So, I think we can all agree this blog is long dead. I'm sure nobody has been to it in months or years. But just in case, I'll let y'all know I am now posting sporadically on Facebook, so if you know me in real life, look me up on there.
Yes, it has been forever since I blogged, but this time I really do have a legitimate excuse. Our antivirus protection expired a couple months ago when we were momentarily really broke, so we didn't renew it right away...and then nothing bad happened, so we didn't renew it later, either. About three weeks ago, our computer became almost instantaneously overrun by spyware, to the point where Internet Explorer would only stay open for about two minutes before randomly shutting down. Then finally, Internet Explorer wouldn't work at all, and Chris couldn't play WoW, and the whole thing sucked so much. No counterspy or antivirus software would eradicate it, and finally we had to start from scratch and reinstall Windows. So now our computer is super-stocked with antivirus and antispyware software that is set to run automatically daily, as well as a firewall router, and so I think we're in business again.
So...new job! Like Chris's recent promotion, this happened really quickly. Chris got word that the Camping Secretary at the Council was moving across the country since her husband got a promotion/transfer. So he asked the Camping Director about it, who is someone we know from camp, and who has been more or less trying to find me a job at the council for almost a year. Well, I sent in my application, and scheduled an interview as early as I could work it in around my work schedule. When I went in, it didn't really feel like an interview--it felt like two colleages chatting about a job opening. So I learned all about the job, and even though it sounded like a lot of one-on-one customer service, it still sounded pretty cool. Then Scott asked me to stick around for a second interview later that afternoon with the big boss. At that point, I figured I was pretty much in, and it seemed the rest was somewhat a formality. And it was. I got the job--they told me immediately after the second interview--and it pays a lot more than Starbucks. Because it's classified as a "support staff" position, I don't make as much as the District Executives and other professional scouters (I make a LOT less than Chris, for example), but the job is great.
I work very regular hours: 8:30 to 5, Monday through Friday. I get an hour for lunch, for the first time in my entire job history. And I get real benefits, once we can get them set up. The online benefits server is a little buggy. It's a desk job, but I do a variety of tasks during the day, and actually not that much time answering the phone. That's a big plus to me, because I get restless if I have to do the same thing for too long (I have the attention span of a five-year-old) and a lot of customer interaction wears me out. So, you may be wondering, what do I actually DO? Well, the quickest way to explain it is to say that my alternate job title is "Program Registrar." So, I register people for camping programs. When people mail in their checks and registration forms, I receipt them and enter them into our computer database. I send statements by mail showing how much people owe still for summer camp. I answer phone and email questions about the camps and about registration and money for the camps. And I file. Oh, how I file. Any of you who know my obsessive love for organization systems will understand how much I love to file. No, this is not sarcasm. I actually love filing systems.
So, yeah. The job is pretty cool. The commute sucks, and I'm totally not used to having so little free time during the week and so much free time on weekends, but I'm adjusting. It's nice not to be exhausted at the end of an 8-hour shift like I always was at Starbucks. And the extra money is going to mean a lot more financial security for Chris and I, provided we save some of it.
In unrelated news, I'm a camp aunt again! Mark and Heidi had their baby, and since they live so close to us, I get to go over to their house and get my baby fix pretty much whenever I want. Baby Andrew is two weeks old and still tiny and squishy and totally sweet.
Well, I'm going to go see if there's a Law and Order marathon on, and if not, try to redeem my earlier pitiful performance on Guitar Hero. I'm about halfway through Hard, and I have to play a lot of the songs several times before I can beat them. Also, I'm trying to unlock the USA guitar, because I think Casey Lynch would totally play it. Yes, I'm completely unashamed of my nerdiness. Oh, and btw, Super Paper Mario for the Wii is pretty great too, if only I had the attention span to stick with it longer than one level at a time.
For those of you who have wondered why I'm wasting my college education at Starbucks, there are three reasons why.
1. I haven't really figured out what I want to do with my life. The jobs I want (ropes course facilitator) aren't practical and won't pay me anything, and the jobs I'm qualified for that would pay me properly seem to be either tedious desk jobs or jobs that would require me to be aggressively outgoing a lot of the time. Neither appeals to me.
2. I really don't want to put myself through the whole time-sucking, emotionally destructive, endlessly frustrating process of resume-honing, applying, and being rejected from multiple jobs before I get hired on to a job I don't even know if I'll like.
3. It's really my last chance in life to be so completely irresponsible. It's like Diablo Cody says in this quote from her book, Candy Girl:
"I had spent my entire life choking on normalcy, decency, and Jif sandwiches with the crusts amputated. For me, stripping was an unusual kind of escape. I had nothing to escape from but privilege, but I claimed asylum anyway. At twenty-four, it was my last chance to reject something and become nothing. I wanted to terrify myself. Mission accomplished."
I always thought it would be neat to work at a coffeeshop, but bad timing and other opportunities conspired so that I never got a chance to do it while in college, which is the normal time for it. So, sort of like the last fling before deciding to get into a serious relationship, I determined I was going to work at Starbucks before signing on for a responsible "serious" job. The fact that I was having no luck whatsoever finding a good serious job was a contributing factor, but no doubt I could have found a respectable office job if I'd pursued it as singlemindedly as I pursued Starbucks.
I have had a lot of fun working at Starbucks, but it's not fulfilling, and it's not where I want to be long-term. I'd been saying that all along, but in the beginning it was mostly to pacify my mother and high school English teacher, to reassure them I wasn't throwing my life away, only putting it on hold. Now I'm finding it's true. The only catch is that I can't figure what I want to do instead. I'm in a bit of a catch-22: by my nature I don't do well at sitting still for long periods of time; I need variety in my day, so a desk job is not a good choice. But I am an incontrovertible introvert, and find interacting with the public incredibly taxing. I like to move around a lot, but my bad knee flares up whenever I've been standing for too long. So I can't imagine what type of job can fit all these criteria.
So, yeah....I'm not dead. Although, if I was dead, I could just get an injection of a serum made of Clark Kent's blood, and I'd be fine. At least until I started bleeding from the eyes.
I've been watching a lot of Smallville lately. Perhaps an unhealthy amount. No spoilers, please, I'm only in season three. Whenever I stumble across Smallville on ABC Family (and it's on there like all the time) I have to close my eyes and sing "lalalala" loudly until I can manage to mute and change the channel. Yes, I am twelve years old.
Speaking of twelve years old, today at work a bunch of us ended up singing Spice Girls songs in the tiny drive-thru workspace. It was awesome.
Christmas was great, of course. In fact, it was so easy to make the plans and preparations that this ranks as the lowest-stress Christmas I can remember. There was no drama or wrestling of families, and we had our shopping and wrapping done well in advance.
And yeah, I know this is not really what Christmas is about, but in the fine American tradition of consumerism, here's some of my favorite presents:
Espresso maker, hand-me-down from Mom and Dad Used sewing machine (yes! I finally have one!) D&D Player's Handbook Walk the Line How-to-knit book and knitting needles Lots of gift cards from Chris's folks, which so far have bought me a coffee grinder and a stretchy shirt with super-long sleeves
In other news, I left the boys to eat my Christmas candy and started the South Beach Diet on December 26th. Why? Combination of factors. I have gained thirty pounds since I got engaged two years ago, which is clearly an unhealthy amount of weight gain. I want to make it clear though, this is NOT a pitiful self-image thing over how I look fat. Except for the rare occasions I catch sight of a double chin in a photo, I feel better about myself and the way I look than I ever have in my life. This is entirely for my health. The last two doctors I have been to have been really concerned about my blood pressure and the possibility I may be doing serious damage to my circulatory system even now, at such a young age. So obviously I want to alleviate that. Also I want to have children in the not-so-distant future, and I want to have my weight under control beforehand to prevent complications. Plus I just don't have as much energy as I did when I weighed less. It's much harder to get into and stay in shape. So yes. That's why.
If any of you aren't as obsessed with food as I am, you may not know much about the South Beach Diet. It's loosely related to Atkins, in that it involves cutting out most sugar and refined starches. But it's also relatively low-fat and focuses on replacing bad fats and bad carbs with good fats and good carbs, rather than totally changing the balance of carbs, protein, and fats. I've been eating a TON of vegetables. And it's kind of cool, because I've been forced to plan and cook each of my meals very deliberately, and I do love to plan menus and cook.
I am going through carb withdrawals. No, I'm not kidding. Food can act like a drug too--you can understand this with sugar, salt, and fat the way you crave them sometimes. (Side note: did you know cheese contains an opiate? Yeah. I was surprised, but not shocked, because I know how I love cheese.) For so many years, I had starchy carbohydrates at every meal, and now I am having none at all. It's a system shock. I'm supposed to be done with cravings any day now, according to the books, so cross your fingers for me. It's really tough.
What keeps me going is the fact that I've lost 8 pounds already. In less than a week. Supposedly, most people lose 8-14 pounds in the first two weeks, and the weight loss will slow down significantly after that as I start adding carbs back in limited quantities, but still, it looks like I may be able to lose most of the weight in only a few months, depending on how well I can stay with it. So we'll see how it turns out. I'll keep you posted.
The Stihl Timbersports Series on ESPN 8, "The Ocho". (Or ESPN 2. Same thing.) It's a lumberjack competition with a variety of events, most involving burly men hacking wildly away with axes or chainsawing incredibly quickly. In one event, they actually try to chop through a log while standing on it.
I'm hooked on Sarah McLachlan's new Christmas CD, Wintersong. If you've been hanging around in Starbucks, you've probably heard the single off it, "River", which is catchy and lightly haunting. One could expect no less from Sarah.
I'm taking a class on Church history at Puyallup United Methodist. It reminds me of college, in a pleasantly reassuring way. It makes me wonder if I should reconsider graduate school. But I'm not going back to school until I figure out what I want to do for a career. I'm not just going to go to school to put off making a decision about the rest of my life, as I nearly wound up doing with law school.
In the past two months, I have been asked no less than a dozen times when I plan on having kids. I am too young for this! Not too young to have kids, not necessarily, although I'm far too unstable financially to consider it just yet, but too young to have people hounding me about it, as if I ought to have done it already. At the camp Christmas party last weekend, it seems there was a rumor going around that I was already pregnant, probably because I'm carrying a few extra pounds around the middle these days. No, kids, that's not a baby, it's just my Frappuccino habit.
Speaking of Frappuccinos, I highly recommend the Frappuccino juice blends, Tangerine and Pomegranite. I think they were new this summer, but even if they're not new, they are delicious.