Monday, May 25, 2009

The Long Lonely Search

It has been almost four weeks since I lost my job. In those four weeks I have applied to over 30 jobs. I have searched almost every day for any marketing positions in my area. I have applied to every one I have found.

I had an interview the week before I got laid off, but I lost out on that job to someone with more experience. I got great feedback from the interview and they want to keep me on file for future openings. The HR person said it was just a very competitive job market right now.

The only other call back I got was for a part-time marketing coordinator for a local Realtor. I applied to a few real estate positions because back in 2005 I got my NC Real Estate salesperson license. Last year I took the broker update course to update my license to broker status. I never did anything with it because being an employee is very secure with benefits and a steady paycheck and everything. Plus it costs a lot to start a real estate career with all those association fees and the continuing education classes that are required to take my license off inactive status. I thought this marketing coordinator position would be the perfect way to dip my toes in the water, but I just don't think I can live off $300 a week. I get more than that from my unemployment benefits. Plus I would have to spend $500-$1000 just to get my license on active status for the position.

Speaking of unemployment benefits...I find all that very confusing. I was able to apply for it over the phone. I tried to do it online, but their website just kept taking me in circles. But over the phone is still better than having to go stand in the unemployment line. The only feedback I got from that application was one letter in the mail telling me how much I would get per week and another giving me the option to have taxes deducted automatically and have it direct deposited to my checking account. I am going to opt for the direct deposit, but not the tax deduction. I'll take my chances paying those when they are due when I hopefully have a job.

The confusing part is I am not completely sure how this all works. It seems I have to submit a weekly certification for unemployment. I really feel like I have no clue what I am doing right now so I will be happy once I see that first check from them.

On another note, I feel somewhat guilty collecting money from the government. I pride myself on trying to be self-sufficient and I was so close to being able to pay all my bills with no help from mom. But now I am back to using her credit card to pay for gas and it is highly unlikely I will be able to take over my car insurance payments in June as planned. Now I am also accepting help from the government and that is just sad. I am trying to look at it like I am just getting back some of that money I paid in taxes all those years.

It really sucks not hearing anything week after week. But I will keep applying and I am going to look into the real estate options as well. Hopefully the right door will open for me soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh So Lovely!

I am feeling the love in the blogger world lately. I love all the comments and the wonderful Katie at Can I just Say? gave me a lovely blog award! If you haven't checked out her blog yet you should. It is super cute and her posts are so down to earth I feel like I'm talking to a good friend when I read them! Thanks Katie!

I have been sucking a blogging lately. I think it is because I am not spending all my time behind a computer anymore and it feels so good. I still love writing, but I am just taking this time to do things that don't require sitting behind a computer.

For instance today I deep cleaned my kitchen. I swept and mopped the floors. I even pulled the refrigerator out and cleaned back there. Then I got down on my hands and knees and cleaned the base boards. I wiped down all the cabinets and counter tops and now it looks oh so lovely!

I plan on writing about my job hunt stuff later this week or maybe next week. I applied for unemployment on Monday, but I haven't heard anything yet, so I am not sure what is going on with that. I still feel financially stable but I have a feeling after the first of the month when I pay all the bills it may start getting a little more real.

Anyway, thanks for being such great bloggy friends and keep your fingers crossed that I will find the next step on my career path soon!


I am up at 2:00 in the morning because I have an obsession. And this time it isn't Target. Ever since my DC trip and the visit to the Holocaust museum I have been obsessed. I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this really happened.

I couldn't grasp it all at the museum because it was like information overload and I was very claustrophobic in there with all the people, but I couldn't get the image of the crematorium model out of my head. Telling people they are going to take a shower and then shoving them naked into a room and gassing them to death? And then all those shoes. All those people tortured for what? How could this happen? It wasn't just one man. Hitler didn't do it all alone. How could humans do this?

It sparked my interest so I started with watching Schindler's List a few weeks ago. That movie brought to life a lot of the things I saw in the museum. Like the walls of old photos. In the movie they took all their belongings and sorted them and one was a pile of family photos they took out of the suitcases. Another was a pile of shoes. The movie showed the difference between the ghettos and the concentration camps. It showed the cattle cars packed with people on top of each other. It gave real life images to the displays in the museum.

Today I just finished the book Night by Elie Wiesel. I could feel their hunger. I could feel the cold. I could feel the weakness and desire to just give up. Life came down to very very little for a lot of people in the struggle to survive. Family and food were their only priorities. Keeping each other alive the only goal.

Then tonight I thought I would put in the movie I had rented to try to fall asleep to. Someone told me the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was about the Holocaust so I had to rent it. Needless to say I couldn't fall asleep. It was about this family and the dad is a Nazi soldier and they move to the country so he can run a concentration camp. Only the little boy doesn't know what is going on. He thinks it's a farm. In fact none of them knew the whole extent when they got there. (except the dad of course) The boy forms a friendship with one of the little boys in the camp because there are no other children in the area. He goes to visit him at the fence almost everyday. And let me tell you there is a shock at the end. I was boo hooing so hard I could barely watch it.

It just blows my mind that this actually happened. Not The Boy in the Striped Pajamas part, but just such meanness and evil towards other human beings. And a lot of it was just because people didn't really know what was going on. And this stuff goes on today too. Some not on such a large scale, but another movie I watched tonight was Taken about human trafficking. Girls kidnapped and drugged and forced or sold into prostitution. Or look at the crisis in Darfur. I don't even know all the details of that, but I know it is bad. And then just this weekend I learned what "waterboarding" is. And no it isn't having fun on the lake. The US was using this technique of torture until it was banned by Obama last month.

I don't know how we stop this evil. The Bible says "Do not pay back evil for evil to anyone, but be careful to practice goodness before everyone," (Romans 12:17). The Bible also says, "Do not be defeated by evil, but overcome evil with good," (Romans 12:21). But really does that tell us how to deal with evil leaders who form evil groups of people who together can do very evil things?

Why can't all people just be good and kind to each other? How can we make that happen?

I need to stay more up to date on that is going on in our world. I don't want something like the Holocaust happen during my lifetime and me do absolutely nothing about it because of my ignorance.

I know I am rambling now cause the Ambien is starting to kick in. But please share your thoughts on this because I am at a loss. It happened and it could happen again in a different way, shape, or form because history does tend to repeat itself. And I am at a total loss. My mind wants to explode thinking about how it happened, why it happened, why it wasn't stopped much sooner, and what can we learn for that and apply to today's issues.

Oh and if anyone has a copy of The Diary of Ann Frank that I could borrow let me know!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I have a problem...

...and it's name is Target. I am obsessed with Target. I went to three different Targets today. I love just being in that store. I love walking around and looking at all the things I they have to offer. I love browsing the clothes and looking at the cute bathing suits. I like looking at the bags and jewelry. I love looking at the books. I love looking at the home decorations. I love looking at the kitchen stuff. I love looking at the shoes. Just about every ailse in that store has something I love looking at.

I especially love seeing those little red sale stickers on things. I also love seeing the "As Advertised" signs. I love a deal and usually I can't resist it.

I know I shouldn't be spending any money, but I really feel like I need this stuff and I just can't pass up a good deal.

Today almost everything I bought was on sale. It all started because I was making this turkey meatloaf for lunch and I realized I didn't have a loaf pan. When I walked in I saw they had some swimsuits on sale. I found a top I really like for $3.24! But I couldn't find bottoms to go with it. So I put it back.

Then on my way to the loaf pans, I passed the sunglasses and I have really been wanting a pair of aviators and I am going to Lake Lure this weekend, so I really felt like I needed them. So I got some. I passed many other temptations on the way to the loaf pan, but I resisted.

After lunch I just couldn't stop thinking about that bathing suit. So I headed to Target #2. At Target #2 I found the top again, but this time it was $10 so I put it back. They still didn't have the bottoms, but I found a tankini I really liked and it had the same colors as that top I liked. So I picked that up. Then I found these bottoms I liked for $3.24. They were just simple black and I couldn't find the top, but I knew I had a top at home that would go with them so I got those too.

Then I decided to go to Target #3 just in case they had the bottoms to the top I liked at Target #1 or the top to the bottoms I got at Target #2. They didn't have either, so I resisted the urge to browse more and headed back to Target #1. I got the top I liked and looked for the matching top to the bottoms I got at Target #2, but no such luck.

Then I thought about how I would need snacks for the car ride to Lake Lure. So I headed to the food section. I picked up some chips on sale. Then I thought I would need something chocolaty. So I got some trail mix that was on sale. Then I thought "what if I want something fruity?" So I picked up some fruit snacks on sale.

I forced myself to stop shopping and head straight to the checkout. I felt good about all the deals I got, but then I felt bad because I will probably need that money for the mortgage if I don't find a new job soon.

But really I need these things for all the pool time I plan I having next week while everyone else is working!

Seriously though, Target- I just can't quit you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The lovely Marathoner81 at Life is a Marathon gave me an award!

The rules state that I must list seven things that make me awesome and then pass this award on to seven other AWESOME bloggers.

1. I have a pretty good internal compass I guess you would say. I can go somewhere once and know my way back or I can usually figure out where I am going even without a map. It isn't foolproof, but I usually don't get lost easily.

2. I am really good at board and card games. I am really competitive when it comes to that too, so watch out!

3. I like to have adventures! Even little ordinary everyday adventures.

4. I have a pretty well stocked bookshelf and can always recommend a good book for you!

5. I'm a strong independent woman!

6. I'm very compassionate and considerate so I make a good friend.

7. This blog and my list...'nough said!

I think all my bloggy friends are AWESOME so I am passing this on to all of my readers! Post this with seven things that make YOU awesome!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Great List Ideas and the Winner!

You guys had such great list ideas! I love the garden idea and I want to ride in a hot air balloon one day too. So on to the winner...

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 10
Result: 4
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations Akirah! Email me your address and I will get the book to you.

I have been quietly working on some of my list ideas.

Back in February my secret blog valentine sent me some supplies to get started on #17 on my list- grow a plant. Let me tell you, it does not happen overnight. And my poor plant has not had it easy, but it is getting bigger everyday and I am just waiting for it to bloom so I can mark that off my list. I'll be sure to post a whole timeline of that with pictures when it happens.

I also did something I have never done before yesterday. I replaced the faucet in my bathroom all by myself! It was not easy. It took over 4 hours and another trip to Lowe's to get a basin wrench, and a lot of frustration, but I did it! When I made the original list and put #18 as upgrading one room in my house, the room I had in mind was my kitchen. I wanted to upgrade all the appliances to stainless steel. Put in granite counter tops. Add some cute knobs to my cabinets. Get a new sink and faucet. Paint and add a back splash. And replace the floors with hardwoods. But that is going to be expensive.

So now I am thinking I might just upgrade my whole bathroom. I want to paint it a light blue or green or maybe even a bright turquoise. I want to install one of those rain shower heads. And then frame my mirror. It will be a lot cheaper and I can do the work myself. But since I have no job and funds are limited, it is going to have to be a slow process. At least I have a jump start on it with my new faucet!

I also need to do a post about my zoo trip last Friday. In the meantime, go check out my reviews of American Wife and Questioning Evangelism on my Bookshelf Blog.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The List Giveaway

I have been meaning to do this for a while but never got around to it. A few months back I got a review copy of The List by Gail Belsky. It is a great little book with "100 ways to shake up your life".

First thing I loved about this book is the cover. It is so stylish and cute it made me want to read it:

This book has a lot of great ideas for your life list. Here are a few I might add to my 40 Before 40 list:

- Learn a Foreign Language
- Run for Office
- Do a Polar Bear Swim
- Build Your Own Piece of Furniture
- Get Hypnotized
- Learn Trapeze
- Visit an Ashram
- Shoot a Gun
- Dive Off a Cliff
- Learn to Sail
- Take up an Instrument
- Start Your Own Business
- Hire a Personal Shopper
- Skydive
- Break a Long-Held Tradition
- Try High Stakes Gambling
- Read the Classics
- Blow Glass
- Take a Year Off
- Bungee Jump

There are 80 more fabulous ideas in this book and it is great because they all have real life stories to go along with each idea.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment with something that is on your life list before midnight on Monday. I'll announce the winner (chosen at random) on Tuesday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Adding Insult to Injury

I'm up late tonight because I am going to the zoo tomorrow and when I am excited I just can't sleep. I also think of all kinds of random things I need to do before my fun trip. Well, one of the things on the list tonight is this letter that came in my separation package from my former employer that I am supposed to sign and send back. They were nice enough to include an addressed envelope, but I just noticed I need to provide my own freaking stamp!

This makes me so mad for some reason. I mean they have a whole mailing department downstairs and I am sure they could have just had the postage rate printed on these envelopes. I'm sure they had a lot to think about putting these packages together. Getting the right letters in the right envelopes for all these poor people. Making sure each packet had everything it needed etc. And then keeping it all a big secret. I imagine it had to be a big production. But really? They should have had a postage paid envelope if they wanted me to send something back.

I know it is only what? like 42 freaking cents or something, but that's not the point. Now I have to drive all the way to the post office to get some dang stamps.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Five Things To Do When You Are Laid Off

Look for another job..duh! Network, update your resume, ask for references, blah, blah, you've heard all that before. So I am not going to talk about job hunting skills here. Maybe in a later post I will go more in to that. For now I am going to focus on ways I have spent my first week of unemployment that have helped me keep my spirits up.

1. Get your house organized. For me this was a monumental challenge! I was so pressed for time over the last year that things had gotten out of control. I had not one but 2 junk drawers overflowing in the kitchen. I had a sink full of unwashed dishes and a dishwasher full of clean ones. I had 25 bottles of half used beauty products and 5 year old eye shadows under my bathroom sink. I had 3 bags full of dry cleaning and a closet full of clothes I hadn't worn in years. The clothes I do wear were all in laundry baskets and piled high on the dryer because I think it had been over a month since I had put anything away. I had piles and piles of papers to file and random bags of things I needed to go through stacked in my spare bedroom. I had empty picture frames I never got around to filling. I had bookshelves overflowing with so much stuff!

So most of my week was spent getting my house in order. I cleaned out my junk drawers and closets. I did laundry and put it away. I threw out things that needed to go. I gave 4 bags of stuff to Good Will. I organized my bathroom and realized I had enough travel sized toiletries to stock a whole hotel. I went through mounds and mounds of stacked papers and mail deciding what to keep and file, what to take action on, and what to throw away.

And you know what? I'm not even done yet! I still have more stuff to go through in my spare room and I am going to install a new faucet in my bathroom (the other was cheap and gross). But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels so good! When your home is in order, your life just seems more in order and at peace.

2. Spend time outside.
One thing about being stuck in an office all day is you miss out on so much sunshine! And sunshine just makes you feel better. I've been sitting on my patio during the day and opening my blinds. I take Cam for walks around the neighborhood. Even just running errands with the sunroof open can brighten your day!

3. Stay on a normal schedule. I am such a night owl that it would be easy to completely throw my schedule off and stay up all night and sleep all day. But I try to make a point to go to bed at about the same time I normally would and get up semi-early! I did decide to take a week off from the alarm clock, but my body still wakes me up around 9 so it hasn't gotten bad yet. Next week I'll probably go back to using the alarm though.

4. Be around people. Don't isolate yourself in the house. Get out in society. Be around people. Go to lunch with friends. Even if you just go shopping and chat with a random old lady about faucets or ask the Home Depot guy for help, some live human interaction everyday really helps.

5. Do something fun.On Friday witty guy is taking the day off and we are going to the zoo! My mom sent us some free passes she got from a friend. I am so excited. I haven't been to the zoo in forever. Having that to look forward to has kept my spirits up a lot and has made the week go by so fast! Also, little things like playing a game of Scrabble or going out for a drink with friends can do so much too.

This week has felt needed. I was losing all my motivation for life. I was burnt out, frustrated, confused. This break has been a breath of fresh air. Yes, I am nervous about the money situation. Yes, I think this will get old quickly. But it almost feels like such a blessing. Like it was just what I needed. I am looking and applying and updating and spending time everyday to find my next job. But I have faith that God has a plan for me and He knew I needed this. Things will probably get worse before they get better, but everything will be just fine.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jesus loves the little children

That's why he created Children's Church (AKA Kids Life at the Summit). So please parents, take advantage of it!

For the past two weeks I have not been able to concentrate in church. I really wanted to listen to the message. I got up early. I brought my Bible. I was ready to learn.

Last week we had two young kids right behind us. They were probably about 3 years old. And I learned 3 year olds can not sit still and be quiet for an hour. Surely their parents knew this. Surely they know their kids better than I do. Surely they knew they would not be able to sit still and be quiet and listen to an hour long sermon. So why oh why did they bring them?

Our church has a FREE Kids Life program where the kids get to be loud and play and learn about God in a much more age appropriate way. I do not understand why the parents would even come to church if they do not want to drop off their kids there. If I can't concentrate when your kids are talking and moving around and being kids, then I know you can't concentrate, so why even come?

Before going in church today we were talking about how we didn't want to sit anywhere near kids this week. I thought we had succeeded. We were half-way through worship and there was not a kid under the age of five in sight.

But then a couple walks down our aisle with a baby. Not a newborn who was sleeping, but one of those who has teeth, but can't walk yet. A fussy, impatient older baby and they plop down right beside me. This was going to be bad.

As predicted, we are about 5 minutes in to the sermon and the kid can't sit still and is making that high pitched fussy noise. I'm getting annoyed as the mom says "shhhh" and then something I never ever thought I would see in church happens.

She pops out her boob. Yes, that's right. In the middle of church, with middle schooled aged pre-pubescent boys all around us, this lady pops out her boob and lets the kid start breast feeding. No blanket over her. No embarrassment. Just a boob in a baby's mouth to keep him quiet.

I turned to Steph and whispered "Is she doing what I think she's doing?" With wide eyes Steph replies "yes". I try not to look. I try to redirect my attention. But really I just want to write on the back of my program "Not appropriate" and slide it over 3 feet to the woman with her boob out to let her know what we are all thinking.

This same scene repeats itself not once, but twice, for a total of 3 breast feedings before the baby finally starts screaming and people are turning around giving them the evil eye and she finally takes the kid out to the lobby for the remainder of the service.

Why oh why did they even come? Why get up early and get not only yourself, but the kid ready and come to church when you know you won't be able to leave your kid in the care of the lovely Kids Life staff so you can actually listen? You know just sitting in a church when your mind is elsewhere is not going to do you much good. And you are also ruining the experience for everyone within a 20 feet range of you.

So please if you have kids under the age of five, don't bring them in to hear the sermon, because I guarantee they won't listen. If you do bring your kids, don't sit beside me, because you will force me to give you a look that could kill and get up to find another seat far far away from you.

And never, ever, under any circumstance should you pop your boob out during church.