Thursday, February 24, 2011

No more sleeping till noon, midday movies, afternoon naps, and most importantly, interviews.

I finally got the job offer, sort of. I had been told in my final interview that this job would be temp to perm. I figured that was no big deal. I've never done temp to perm before, but I figured you basically were hired, on a trial basis for a few months, and then if they liked you, they kept you. Well, it's not exactly like that. At least not in this case. I don't get a formal offer until after this "trial" period. And until then, I'm making an hourly rate that is really not great at all, so, until this trial period is over I'm still on somewhat of a spending freeze.
I'll be working at a well known investment company as the executive assistant in the private equity group. The job duties are very similar to my last job, however the environment is different. I'll be in a quiet office, instead of a hectic trading floor. I'll be covering three men, instead of reporting to one Global Head (John) and covering his 30 +/- direct reports. I'm a little sad to be leaving the trading floor environment. I had never experienced anything like it. There were about 350 on the floor, people shouting all the time, random things happening when days were slow (like push up contests for upwards of $500) and just being around so many eccentric characters and such great guys. However, I will not miss working for such a large company where I felt like a number. In my first interview at this hedge fund the girl I met with had worked at a large Wall Street bank before this company as well. She said Wall Street is where you do your undergrad, and a hedge fund is where you go for your MBA. I love that. I'm really looking forward to being in an environment where I feel like I'm someone, and get to know more people. I'm also excited to have some work space, and some privacy. It's really hard to work when you have someone sitting next to you on each side, less than two feet away. Literally, we measured one time and there were like 20 inches between us. I can't tell you how many times drinks were spilled. And everyone pretty much knew the business of those sitting near them.
One of the things I'm most excited about, is the office is on the 41st floor, three blocks south of Central Park. There is an amazing view of the park I could never get sick of. Also, the real perk, it's only a mile from home so I'll walk to work every day! I know what you're thinking, "Yeah right, that's what you say now," but honestly where it's located in relation to my apartment it would make more sense to walk or take a cab than to take the subway. I'd only take the subway one stop, and then still have some walking ahead of me. By the time I did that, I really wouldn't be saving myself any time. And it would be way too pricey to take cabs every day (although, I know I will occasionally when the weather's really bad.) I can't even express how excited I am to forego the monthly subway card and expense of $104/month (I'll just pay-per-ride for when I do take the subway on occasion.) And, really, can you imagine a better commute to work than walking 25 minutes most of it through Central Park? I don't think one exists.
Anyway, thank you all so much for your supportive comments and prayers. Hopefully I will be a good match for the position and won't have to temp for too long.

Gaga oh lala!

Clear back in May Reagan and I bought tickets to see Lady Gaga. Feb 2011 seemed soooo far away. I usually never plan anything that far in advance. I think all my international trips usually have less than two months prep time because I just get too impatient to plan that far out. However, as time does, it flew, and before we knew it we were talking about what we were going to wear for the concert. We both had a bit of sparkle, but didn't go too crazy (Reagan had to work and I'm just not that creative.) There were, however, some seriously sweet costumes. We saw an old lady in head to toe silver sparkles, lots of crazy wigs, a bird's nest on a guy's head, and 12 inch platforms (and some very impressive walking in them.)
A lot of people like to hate on Gaga because she's so weird. I think maybe people think she's just trying to get attention or something, I don't know. Apparently she told Anderson Cooper she dresses the way she does because it takes the focus away from her personal life. (It's true, do you ever hear any dating rumors about her? Or see any "Stars, they're just like us!" photos of her in Us Weekly?) Regardless, yes, she is a total freak, but I still love her. I love her music and I love love love her message. Both Reagan and I agreed we felt so uplifted and good about ourselves after leaving the concert. She promotes loving yourself, not letting anyone making you feel bad about yourself, and never being ashamed of yourself, even if you are different. She had a lot of crowd interaction, which I love. I loved hearing stories about her growing up in the city, taking the subway, going to the Tisch School of Arts at NYU, and her dreams of becoming a star. She was such a great entertainer. She sang all her hits, danced her hiney off in super tall heels all night, played the piano (I love when singers can play an instrument) and even played the guitar with her stiletto heel. So cool.
One of my favorite things about Gaga is how much she loves her fans and how appreciative she is to them. I've never been to a concert where the artist expressed so much sincere gratitude to his or her fans. She seems to really truly love her fans and and appreciate them.
Reags and I had such a blast, singing and dancing the whole night. I am so so happy we were able to get these tickets (even though our seats were terrible.) We still had the best time.

My friend Tyson had an amazing view from where he was standing. I stole this picture from him.

Reags and Rae.

PS Reagan wrote a way better recap of the concert on her blob.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Homesick for Australia.

Watching The Amazing Race tonight gave me series homesick feelings for Australia. I would go back in a second. I decided to go through my photos and upload a few of my favorites. Turns out, when you take 723 photos on a trip (actually, that's not counting the ones I deleted) you can never have "just a few" favorites. This was the trip of a life time. Sigh...

In Brisbane (straight off the 15 hour flight, hence looking like death.)

Lake McKenzie. Still can't believe that's all rain water.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands.

Whitehaven Beach. Most beautiful place I've ever seen.

Just before my camel ride in the Outback.

Outback sunset.

Walking the 9km around Uluru.

Driving the Great Ocean Road.

In Melbourne.

At the Sydney Aquarium.

Walking the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Karen and Brooke.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A better day

I wanted to get a new post up because I feel like my last post was so whiny. I feel guilty complaining when I have such a blessed and charmed life. No matter how much I tried to spoil myself, and how positive I told myself to be, I just couldn't get out of a funk. For some reason I've found myself to be particularly emotional lately and yesterday was no exception. Last week my dad was in town and over dinner we were discussing the good news I'd just gotten (that I was supposed to be getting this job offer....I'd found out literally right before he picked me up) and during this conversation discussed how I most likely will never work for John again, and also all the other MDs (managing directors) who worked under John, who I absolutely love, who all told me they'd give me stellar recommendations. I'll never adequately be able to describe my love for these men. They were so sweet to me, and took such good care of me. They were like big brothers in the way they constantly harassed me and were always digging around in my love life. They were so generous when it came to Christmas time, or any other random time when they just felt like buying me lunch. They really were my first family in New York and no matter how many jobs I have, or how many people I meet, that will never be replaced. As I was just briefly telling my dad about the nice texts I'd received from some of them I couldn't help but totally choke up. Then when we started discussing potentially working for John again, I mentioned how I just always felt like our time was over, and, once again, here came the water works. I've always been a pretty emotional person but lately it's been out of control. It's bizarre and there's really no explanation for it.
Anways, this was meant to be a brief post but I get rambling and always manage to turn these into novels.
I have some cousins that are pretty serious readers. Shellie reviewed Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close here, Trish reviewed it here, and Brooke reviewed it here. I know Elise is toying with reading it, and I recently heard it's being made into a movie. I've been hearing about this book for years, so on Sunday night I downloaded it to my kindle and have been loving it. Don't expect me to be finished in a week because I'm a terribly slow reader, but I'm excited to be back into a good book. I haven't read anything that I really loved for a while, so I'm excited about this book.
So far here's a couple of my favorite quotes:

What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls?...except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like a war.

In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir. Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the Reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York was in heavy boots.

I especially loved this second quote, as anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Jackie O. Reservoir. It is one of my absolute favorite spots in the city, and one of my favorite forms of therapy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day for the single and unemployed

8:29am (not pictured) Woken up (briefly) by a "Happy v day" text from my old boss. Thoughtful. Can't you pleeeeease get a job so I can work for you again??

10:39am Finally rolling out of bed. (No interviews today.)

10:46am Texting with Brad. Always good for a laugh.

10:57am Breakfast! I love Grapenuts.

11:57am Had to hop in a cab because my subway decided to change routs right before my stop. I had a 12pm appointment. I was cutting it close.

2:20pm Rose petals lined the halls and stairs of the spa. The winter has been destroying my skin so I decided to treat myself to a Valentine's Day facial.

2:36pm Mmmmmm rice pudding...

3:07pm Back on the subway, in cognito, thanks to nasty post spa greaser look.

3:31pm Finally! After living near Central Park West for six months I finally spot a celeb just strolling along. Hello Jeffrey Tambor, I loved you as Pop Pop in Arrested Development. Please let there be a movie? (PS He is very thin.)

4:08pm (not pictured) Received the following text from my quasi-Valentine: R we still on for tonight or do u want to maybe hang out another night this week instead? My response: Sounds like that might be better for you... This initiated a phone call from him, and then an awkward conversation with curt responses from me. Turns out there's "too much pressure" on Valentine's (he asked me last week, mind you, not the other way around) and I made it very clear that considering the newness of our.....thing.......there was no pressure and we could do something very casual.

4:12pm Treated myself to some Trader Joe's roses (and a DDP I'd been craving for hours) after reading about Elise's sunflowers lasting three weeks.

4:37pm (not pictured) Received a phone call from old boss who informs me he was called to discuss my time working for him, from potential future employer. (Yes! Yes! Yes! Best news all day.)

6:05pm While in shower, the power goes out. I'd just started sudsing up the shampoo. Proceeded to shower in the pitch black. I'm talking, hold your hand in front of your face and can't see it, pitch black. It was.....creepy. Especially because Courtnie was on her way over and I'd left my door unlocked in case she got there before I finished showering. Every scary movie I'd ever seen came into my head. Thoughts of every exboyfriend flooded through my mind, as I wondered if there was anyone that wanted to kill me. I really creeped myself out, and decided to skip the shave, for safety's purpose, as well as hurrying the freak up to get out of the creepy dark shower.

7:45pm Dinner at Harry's with Courtnie. Just what I needed. More soda and delicious mexican food. Thank you.

8:33pm Cupcakes and Bachelor watching with some of my favorite ladies. I'm not usually a Bach watcher (more like a hater) however, when it's shared with these girls it's so so fun.

11:16pm Came home to a Valentine from Mom and Dad, and another from my Huddy Buddy. Have you seen a cuter Valentine? This was the best part of my day.

This breakdown is a takeoff from a great idea Elise read about here. Basically, on the 10th of each month, take a photo an hour, for ten consecutive hours. I think this is so cute and fun. Since I just missed it this month, I decided to do it for Valentine's Day (sorta.)

As I typed about my day I can't help but think to myself, "Wow, what a great day! (Minus that whole date ditching thing...)" But, for whatever reason, today was a really rough day. I think it's mostly because I've been waiting on a job offer that was supposedly coming mid-week last week. Every day it was "tomorrow" and then tomorrow would come and it was, once again, "tomorrow." I sort of hate talking about it because I feel like I'll jinx myself, plus, once it's out there everyone always wants to ask, "Did it happen? Did you hear anything?" And it sort of sucks to be like, ", haven't heard anything. Still interviewing." (Seriously though, don't ask. I promise to let everyone know when I have a job. Thanks for your concern.) Have I mentioned I'm siiiiiiiick of interviewing? So sick of it. And now that I'm supposedly getting this offer I'm really over it. So all day I was feeling really frustrated because I keep expecting to get the call, but no dice. I don't know which is worse, waiting for a guy to call or waiting for the headhunter to call with the offer. Every time my phone buzzes I jump, and every time I'm disappointed. This is why, when I found out they're checking my references, I was so so happy.

I guess you could say the second half of my day was definitely better than the first. It was just one of those days. And I know, I was even sick of being around myself. I was walking down the street, enjoying what was almost like a spring day (50 degrees!) but just feeling so sorry for myself. I kept telling myself to snap out of it, that I have it SOOOOO great and when I think about the problems so many of my loved ones are facing, I feel like the most ungrateful person ever. But...... it was just one of those days that I couldn't shake the blues. At the end of the day, it still sort of sucks to come home and go to bed alone. All day I sort of felt forgotten to everyone but my former employer. And I know, I KNOW I'm being ridiculous. Like I said, it was just one of those days where my brain can't get my emotions in order. This is why, coming home to two sweet valentines really really made my day. I should also mention, my mom, dad and brothers did call later, which was mucho appreciated, whether someone put the bug in their ear or not. I appreciated the gesture.

Okay, tomorrow's another day. I promise to make it a better day. I have an interview (sigh....) and then am going to boxing in the evening. I love love love boxing.

Happy Valentine's Day. Hope you all had a good day and a better attitude than me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Four years ago today...

Four years ago *today I left my parents' home early in the morning to catch a flight to my new home in NYC. I would be sharing a bedroom in an apartment in Harlem, which I'd only seen in photos. It's was a fifth floor walk up. I didn't know who my roommates were, or really very many people in the city for that matter. (Three, to be exact.) I thought the closer the location to Times Square, the better. I had about $1000 to my name. My monthly rent was $625, and I still had a car payment since I hadn't been able to sell my car back home. I planned on getting an entry level job in sales. After the sun went down and it became increasingly more cold (this was February, after all) I texted my roommate while she was in class to ask her how to turn the heat on. Her response? "Sadly, it is on." I was preparing to go on an interview the next day for what I later found out was a job as a mystery shopper. It was extremely awkward, and I told the guy, mid-meeting, that this just wasn't for me and got up and left. I spent most evenings exploring the city with my roommate Chelsie, or hanging out with a guy I had a long time thing for, and had no clue how to play the game. I was 23 and basically clueless. I spent many lunches and dinners at Giovanni's (or, Jerry's, to me and Chels) because Jerry and Mario were extremely friendly, and I could get a big slice and soda for $3. Not to mention, they frequently threw in a free piece of carrot cake. Once I changed directions and started looking for a job being an assistant I took the first offer I got.

Three years ago today I was living in the financial district in a high rise building, sharing an amazing apartment with three roommates, and a bedroom with one. I was dating someone who, even though I didn't realize it quite yet, I was crazy in love with. I felt like I'd officially made it in the city. I loved my job. (Was so lucky that the first offer I'd received ended up being the perfect job.) I had an amazing boss. I felt comfortable getting around the city on the subways without having to consult a map. I loved my ward. Things were good.

Two years ago today is a bit of a blur. This time of my life was incredibly tough and I was facing challenges more difficult than I'd ever experienced (and it got worse before it got better.) I still had the same job, and same amazing boss, thankfully, because he was so good to me when I was such a mess. I was still living in the financial district, but in a shoebox apartment with two other roommates. I gave up the amazing apartment two blocks away so I could get into a place in which I'd have my own room. There were some pretty serious problems in my family life, and I was in pieces over my best friend, the person I thought I was going to marry. I never knew I was capable of feeling so much love and hate and hurt, all directed at one person. I contemplated at times quitting my job, leaving New York, and just making some sort of change. (The big hair cut didn't quite satisfy that need.) I felt depressed and empty and lost. If it wasn't for my good friends, and a loving Heavenly Father, I never would have made it.

A year ago today I'd moved back to the amazing apartment in the financial district. Still had three roommates, but I had my own room. I was paying double the rent of my first apartment, but I didn't care. It was worth it. After dragging on for almost another year, I was just beginning to get over the relationship that still occasionally feels like it defines my life as "before him" and "after him." From this point on, things really started looking up, for a while. Still at the same job, still had the amazing boss, still loving the ward and my life, but feeling a little restless and like I needed a change of scenery. I felt, more than ever, that I needed my own space and independence. I was on my way to getting my life back together after having my world rocked too many times the year before. I was feeling good.

Today, I'm no longer employed. I'm no longer in love. I'm no longer torn to shreds over that love. I'm no longer living in the financial district. I no longer have roommates. I'm once again job hunting in the brutal winter, but I'm much more seasoned this time around. I've got experience. I've got money in the bank. I've got snow boots. I've got a coat that keeps me warm when it dips below 30 degrees. I've got more confidence. I've lost the naivete I had as a new girl in the city. I know what a want, instead of wanting almost any job that paid the bills. I've nailed the coffin shut, as much as possible without finding new love, in regards to my former love. I've learned a few lessons in dating, and even though I sometimes make the same mistakes, I don't make them over and over and over for months and months and months. Despite all the pain, I've taken such amazing lessons and become a better person from my past relationship. I have my own tiny studio on the Upper West Side which I love, in a location that almost can't be beat. I'm more comfortable being alone than ever, and in fact, not only am okay with it, but enjoy it, and sometimes prefer it. All that being said, I am far from having it all together. I have a lot of the same problems, but time and experience has taught me ways to better cope and recover. I'm more okay being me than I ever have been. I have a lot of questions about some pretty important things in life, and am working on figuring them out. As someone who's officially in their late 20s, I couldn't agree more that your 20s are for traveling and making mistakes.

I still love New York, maybe more than ever. I'll never have that new, giddy happiness I had for the first few months I moved here. But it's a more developed and mature love. A deep love. My dear friend Jane once told me, "Happiness isn't being giddy. Happiness is feeling joy and being content." This is my home. I can't imagine leaving or living anywhere else. Despite my darkest times when I craved a change, I don't have the "love/hate" relationship with New York so many of my friends talk about. It is love/love.

Thank you, New York. I love you.

*This was posted after midnight, so it's not exactly "today." I moved to New York February 6, 2007.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Paris has ruined me

Ever since my trip I can't stop thinking about macarons. Vanilla, in particular. I don't even want to admit how many I've eaten this week, thanks to Gina informing me they sell them at Trader Joe's. They are my new favorite treat. Ridiculously delicious.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

An international evening

Last night we saw Biutiful and I loved it. I'm sort of of the opinion that Jarvier Bardem can do no wrong. I will warn you, it's lengthy, and heavy. It's 2 1/2 hours long and all in subtitles. I wouldn't say everyone would love it, but I definitely did. I'm glad we saw a 6:45pm movie though, because we didn't get out until 9:30. I have a really tough time staying awake in any movie but I only got sleepy once.

Next we headed to a restaurant in my hood that I can't remember the name of, but it was middle eastern food. I know, right? Who'da thunk? And guess what? I loved it. Maybe I just loved what we ordered, but it was delish.

I feel so ethnic.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Have you seen the latest Piper Jane video?

I just watched it and cried and cried. I love this little girl so much, even though I've only met her once. Part of the reason I love this video is to see Piper walking so well, and part of it is because of the pure love you can feel between Reagan and Piper. It's hard not to just watch Piper the whole time, but watch Reagan. Such a pure, mama love beaming from her face.
Thanks so much for always sharing Piper with us Reags.
Check out the video here.