Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Birthday, the Books, and the Best Job Ever

Okay so one week at my new job under my belt and I finally have time to write about my birthday party.

I trained for my new job last Friday, the same day as the party. As this was my first time taking the Marc train, of course I got on the wrong train home, in the freezing rain, with no time before the party to chill. I was rescued by the best knight with the best night, but I ruined his amazing surprise. Never go to Seabrook, MD. Just don't do it. Even the CVS is sketchy. No offense to the Seabrookians, but you guys are super creepy.

So I was late for Honey Pig, my girlfriends about 90% through their meal by the time I got there, but with many people yet to arrive. Honey Pig is Korean BBQ - large quantities of meat are cooked on what looks like an upside down wok at your table. The duck was fantastic and whatever that sauce I poured over my sticky rice...delicious. After we terrorized them with 15 separate checks (only a small exaggeration), we headed next door to Centennial Cue and Karaoke Bar.

I had looked this place up many times, and somehow it got mixed up in my mind with the Korean BBQ, and so I had been Googling Centennial Que and Karaoke Bar, when of course it is a pool room. If you've never done this, you should make a point to get a private karaoke room with your closest friends. It is not like listening to the bums of College Park sing in Applebees, nor is it like open mic night where everyone can sing. It is loud, and you can only sort of hear yourself, and your friends are all there singing too. It's fantastic.

I started out the night singing Hey Ya with my girlfriends, because Erin and I used to shake it like a Polaroid picture literally every day after school in 12th grade trying to dance as crazily as we could...I'm pretty sure we maintained our lovely figures that way, because we would often walk to Weis and get zebra cakes and oatmeal cream pies and then eat all of them while watching SNL reruns...

So anyway, lots and lots of Shoji shots later (Korean wine which tastes like pure liquor), with lots of songs I do and do not remember under my belt, our time ended and my friends went home :(. I'm pretty sure I sang with everyone at some point (some against their will), so it was definitely worth the price. After a failed attempt to play pool with my girlfriends and several more Shoji shots later, I went home.

I remember this night as fantastic, and refuse to remember it as anything else. And I was not hungover in the morning, thank you very much.

Okay so to go backward in time, this was also, if you recall, my first day of work. I get nervous on days like this and I can't sleep until my alarm goes off, so I woke up early and decided to get energized. I have a horrible love-hate relationship with running, but it does energize me, so I put on my new running shoes and started stretching. As I jogged to the gym, my feet came out from under me and I landed on the palms of my hands and my hips. Of all the days for there to be a thing layer of ice over everything in Laurel, it had to be the day I was meeting all my new coworkers. Now I have horrible bruises and cuts on my palms and of course I still run on the treadmill in the gym so I'm super sore - then I wore heels all day and danced all evening at karaoke.

But anyway. I made it to training day all right, fell immediately in love with the Marc train, and then slipped in the lobby of my new office building trying to pick up candy because we get candy on Fridays. Amazing.

The whole day was a series of back and forths to desks and lunch and different ways of saying goodbye to Anna (my predecessor) and hello to me and trying to remember how to document POs and having Anna be amazing and tell everyone I'm going to be great even though she might have been the only one who believed that.

After training day, skip past karaoke to Monday, I had my first week of work as Administrative Assistant to the D.C. office of The American Academy of Ophthalmology (which is really hard to spell, by the way). I made a total of five recognizable mistakes. I figured out three things completely on my own. I asked my boss Christina probably five million questions. I filled out more paperwork than I ever want to fill out again in my life but probably will have to...

It's a great job. Everyone is nice. It is a lot of work and busy, which I love, but not so challenging that I feel like I won't figure it all out eventually. The two hardest things were getting up early and wearing uncomfortable shoes. Imagine being on vacation for two months sleeping in nearly every day and then suddenly having to wake up at 6 am. Ugh. And first order of business when the paycheck comes in and the bills are paid is buying more comfortable shoes. Aerosoles anyone?

Now I will talk yet again about my love for the MARC train, because it gives me time to read instead of stressing in traffic. I had finished Cartwheel which was alright but made me not like teenagers very much, and I realized that I might be the only person I know who hasn't read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (he is less insane during this one then elsewhere like when he wrote Enchantment which I still love but was all about his crazy religiosity).

The book is fan-freaking-tastic. If they are no longer teaching it in schools, then they are dumb. It needs to be right alongside Animal Farm, 1984, and Brave New World. I think about this book before I go to bed at night. Even just the psychology of it, without the science fiction part, is great. Ender has such a well-written inner voice from childhood to adolescence. I can't believe this book was deprived of me in high school.

For my birthday, I got three books I'll be book clubbing with my bestie in the Navy - Dune, 10th of December, and Cat's Cradle. Then my girlfriend book club is discussing Handmaid's Tale and then moving on to Divergent.

I haven't had time to figure out which classes I'm going to take, but it might have to wait until Spring, as I'm still getting accustomed to my job. I need some yoga in my life though.

I'll need to reroute this blog soon, as it is becoming very journally, and I'm not a huge fan of that - but I'll still need to update month to month. See you, at the very least, in February.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Oh January


Signing up for classes: Yoga and Ceramics
I've taken an AACC class before, about a year and a half ago. Somehow I'm supposed to remember a seven digit ID number or I can't reregister for noncredit classes. They won't reset the password or the ID number, so I have to do to AACC to prove who I am and register for the stupid classes...I'm a little frustrated they don't have a better system. Most likely I won't even get the classes I want now. Bummed.

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
Today I finished the book we are reading for book club even though we aren't meeting until January 29th. It was a good book and I think there will be a lot to discuss, so I'm not going to review it here and ruin it all. Perhaps I'll update after we meet. Just a hint, read past the end of the part where she stops talking; there is a weird analysis of the recordings that I can't tell the seriousness of.

Birthday Weekend
Thursday - Victoria's Gastro Pub w/ my bestie in a snow storm, then Community premiere
Friday - Dinner at mom's, tuna noodle casserole and pumpkin pie...noms
Saturday - D.C. w/ my bf, National Zoo and then District Chophouse for dinner
Sunday - Dinner at dad's, chicken parmesan and tortellini...noms
This is the life! But not so good for my I'll start next week :).

Still no jobs, but looking forward to Tuesday-ish, when people have gotten through their absurdly long todo lists and have time to look at resumes again! I'll keep you posted.



Also, I started watching Doctor Who...I'm so behind the curve but it's a good show. Still reading and writing. Still haven't signed up for those classes.

Most amazing day of January is coming up this Friday - my karaoke birthday party! Fourteen people are coming so far and oh goodness gracious there will be singing. Stay away from Ellicott City this Friday evening, because you will hear me, and you will not like it :).

Friday, January 3, 2014

This, My 25th Year

Resolutions are important to me, as evidenced by my previous years' posts. This year, I have waited to talk about my resolution until the post coincides with today, my 25th birthday. I want to emphasize how important I think this year is going to be and therefore, why this resolution is so special.

This year, I am going to better myself. These past two years I've tried in small ways: writing every week, reading 50 books, concrete things that can be counted and forgotten. Instead, this year I'm going to be a bit more vague and a bit more interesting. The reason? A quarter of my life is ending, I am transitioning into adulthood (and have been and will be for a few years), and I am wholly unsatisfied.

I have proven that my resolutions can last a year, so now I'm going to focus on quality...lots of qualities in fact. I want to change things! Therefore, each month of this year is going to be dedicated to a different quality (patience, humility, etc). I've talked about Ben Franklin before, and I will mention him again, to explain that I will not be giving up something each month as he did and adding on as I go. Instead, I'm going to dedicate each month to doing something different.

There are a lot of parts to this so bear with me:

External Monthly Structure:

One day per month will be dedicated to planning and executing an awesome event for myself and my friends. This could be, as it is this month, the celebration of a birthday (my birthday karaoke party), or it could be a volunteer day at Habitat, going out to a bar with my girlfriends, etc.

Each season will have a structure as well, in the form of a class. I'm taking some AACC continuing education classes - nothing serious. These include Yoga, Ceramics, Writing, etc. I like structured things and it doesn't get more structured than I paid for it so I'm going to go even if I'm not feeling up to it. Classes are separated by season, so two per season-ish gives me a good extra structure.

Internal Monthly Structure:

Each month has a quality attached to it. For example, one month might be perseverance, where I might write for thirty minutes each day. Another month might be peacefulness, where I do yoga each morning before work. The quality won't be determined until the beginning of the month. I will track each month on this blog.

Each entry will detail the class I am taking, the event or day I am planning, and the quality that is the focus of that month.

For January, I'm going easy on myself and picking hope. This month is dedicated to finding a job and getting comfortable with the daily tasks. In this I hope to find value, but until then it is just a hope. I am trying to sign up for a yoga class and a ceramics class. There are some issues with the passwords, blah, blah. I'll keep you updated on those in a later post. My birthday party in a week is going to be the planned day for this month. We are eating at Honey Pig and getting a private karaoke room at Centennial Que and Karaoke Bar for a couple hours.

Anyway, I'll see you in the next January post. The method and underlying point to this resolution will reveal itself as the year goes on. Explaining it now seems like a giveaway :).

Happy New Year! And Happy Birthday to MEEEEEE!!!