Thursday, August 29, 2013

I got me one of them JOB things.

Raise your hand if you got a job today...

It's just temporary, but hey....HEY, IT'S SOMETHING. Time will tell if the temporary job turns into a long-term gig (I know full well how fickle those contract jobs can be) or if I'll go a different direction, but for the time being...

I am once again an employed human being! I'll be doing content writing, eCommerce development and social media for an antiques furniture and decor company! WOOT!

If you know me, you know I'm passionate about all that old vintage stuff. My entire apartment is an array of carefully selected Goodwill treasures. You are also probably aware that I love social media. I LOVE IT. So combine these two areas? Yes please!

I mean, I watch Antiques Roadshow for fun...if that says anything.

I feel excited, happy, relieved and blessed. I drove home after getting the offer yesterday, blasting Katy Perry's "Roar" in my car, made a pit stop for some In 'n Out french fries and a Dr. Pepper, and danced in my car like a crazy child (a safe-driver crazy child, don't worry) all the way home.


p.s. They have a little dog in the office, named Potato. Actually his name is Tudou (too-doh), which is Chinese for potato so I feel like I can use the names interchangeably. Potato likes to bark at me and then sit by/on my feet during interviews. I think it's his way of testing my grit and comforting me all at once. I think we will be great friends. Please stay tuned for the inevitable pictures.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Time to talk about...feelings...

Hello and welcome to my therapy session.

You know in movies where the patient says, "I feel...lonely..." and the therapist is some absentminded loon doodling on a clipboard who responds, "Talk about....lonely..."? Don't worry, I have a better opinion of therapists than that. But in any case, today we're going to "talk about....feelings...."

In the interest of updating you on my little NorCal life, I feel...

...hopeful. Little lifelines keep on coming to keep me afloat financially and emotionally, and I'm confident the big guy upstairs and the good people in my life will continue to look out for me.

...curious. I can't stop thinking about outer space lately and how much I want to go there someday. I feel like I need to educate myself more on the matter. I also want to type SPACE in capital letters every time I write it, just like I always want to do with the word SCIENCE.

...nostalgic. To be honest, I haven't had too many homesick moments for Arizona. But every time someone posts on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/everywhere about monsoon season, I wish I was right there in those warm rainstorms. Some of the best memories of my whole life involve August and the smell of warm rain!

...tired. I'm training for the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay next month. I always forget how much consistent running transforms me into a hibernating bear. I want double the sleep and double the food, always. On cue, I'm currently hungry again. SNACKS! (That word follows the same rules as SPACE and SCIENCE.)

...frustrated. I cried three separate times on Sunday night and Monday morning because I just feel like I'm reaching a breaking point with job hunting. I'm working my tail off just to get noticed and make companies realize that I could be a really good thing for them. It can get demoralizing.

...intrigued. Considering some alternative writing career paths that I hadn't thought about before. Still involves writing, but maybe different than the deadline-driven frenzy of content writing that I'm accustomed to. Currently working on scheduling lunch or coffee dates with people who do what I'm interested in doing. Fingers crossed!

...swamped. Job hunting is surprisingly busy. All the job boards to check, the cover letters to write, the writing tests that every interview process wants, even just for small part-time things...I'm investing a lot of hours in all of it. It wouldn't be so different than normal work, except I don't get paid for any of then I still have to squeeze in time for freelance assignments to pay some billz. I'm creatively sapped and mentally overworked, with a dwindling bank account.

...grateful. People here are seriously so nice. I feel like I've been welcomed with open arms and had so many adventures to keep me occupied! If I didn't have that, the job hunt stress could very well do me in.

...growing pains. Sometimes I look back on phases of my life and recognize that I grew a lot, and other times I can feel the growing pains and recognize the growth in very real, current ways. I'm in one of those latter phases. I can see myself turning inside and out and stretching as every tough and amazing week goes by. I'm excited to see what/who I turn out to be.

...happy. Even amid the stress of it all, I am so happy to be on this #bravekatie adventure. I am proud of myself for taking that leap, even if I feel like I left the cliff's edge two months ago and still haven't quite found my footing yet.  I just have these little moments where I feel like happiness is coming out of my pores, and the permeating thought in my head is a simple, quiet, "Yes." And that inner voice (the same one that made me get in my car and move here in the first place) alone makes any of the other junk easier to navigate. I've learned to trust that inner voice with my life. It always knows.

And that's all. Thank you for joining me in talking about...feelings...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Star Trek, Spock & Snapchat Fails

What is Snapchat for besides Star Trek references, right?

...maybe don't answer that. But I do love a good random Snapchat sesh with my amigos. It's even better when I really fail gloriously at it. Behold...

...the condition of these Snapchats best reflects the current condition of my brain, I think. Who knew job hunting and not getting a regular paycheck could somehow be so utterly time consuming? I'm swimming in cover letters and writing assignments over here...some for freelance pay, but most for interview processes. It's insane the amount of time it all takes! But it's a means to an end, you know. A lovely "I can pay my rent without getting an ulcer about it" end. And I'm grateful there are at least jobs to apply for! We got this.

In the meantime...I work on, and Snapchat on. Small breaks and breathers are best. Over and out!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A&A: Star Wars & Strange Trucks

Dudes, we're so overdue for some of this business. On with it!

▲ Last weekend I climbed into my friend's large black truck and discovered it was not, in fact, his large black truck. The people who did, in fact, own said large black truck proceeded to stare at me in shock from the front seat. I ran away. I got out and ran right away.
▲ I'm sorry but...200 CATS?! Crazy things going on behind the scenes at Disneyland:
▲ I ran into a door at a job interview. When my contact at the company emailed me to ask how the meeting with the director went, I told him I left there "feeling sweaty and in need of a Dr. Pepper." I think I've reached a point of blunt honesty and no inhibitions with this job hunt thing.
▲ A radio station named KFOK. Why does this happen?

▲ This emotional Titanic recorder solo is all things yes.
▲ Star Wars fashion exists and I need that R2D2 swimsuit now please:
▲ I frequently (see: daily) (and nightly) overhear my upstairs neighbors bickering, the teenage son in English and the mom in an unidentified asian dialect. Today it reached new, amazing levels as the young fellow insisted on SINGING over his mother's foreign the tune of Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time." The louder she ranted, the louder he Billy Joeled. I am emotionally attached to these people.
▲ These creative bookstore ads claim to capture the magic of reading and I'd have to agree.
▲ If you have any soft spot in your heart for Arizona, you will love this website.
▲ My Kerry girl made a list toward the bottom of this post of things her Henry dog has taught her, and I feel like it's some top-notch life advice! On that note, I've been on a dog kick lately and frequently look at the local rescue listings (this is not the first phase I've been through) even though my living situation says it's a no-go. I picked out a doberman this week who weighs as much as I do, and I look at pictures of him online daily. His description says he's "initially reserved," has "beautiful house manners," and "within a day is ready to lay down his life for his family." He would be my fierce friend, protector and running buddy, I just know it! Oh look, here he is now:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Music: The Blessed Unrest

It's easy for me to label different phases of my life by the music I listened to at the time.

Sometimes I figure out what the music is after the fact -- when I hear certain songs or artists later on, and BAM I'm in a fit of nostalgia (or a fit of dread and clenched tummy) about a different time and place. Music has a funny, transportive way of making you feel old emotions like you're right back in the moment.

A few opening strains and some key lyrics and I'm easily thrown back to the anticipation and goodbye of my senior year of high school (Ben Folds Rocking the Suburbs), the general gray loneliness of the few months after I transferred colleges and landed in Provo (Patty Griffin's "Burgundy Shoes"), the calm and nausea and hope and frenzy of the first couple months back in AZ after graduation (the Weepies), a dozen sweaty concert crowds (Jimmy Eat World, the Format, Yellowcard, etc etc etc), and a half dozen sore heartaches (Radical Face, the Beatles, Rocky Votolato, Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift, etc etc etc).

And speaking of Sara Bareilles, she's the reason for this post. Because her new album is my NOW music.

I loved her new album, The Blessed Unrest, at first listen for several reasons. She's always had a way of producing lyrics that speak to me, but something about the very chords and beats of this one unsettle me in all the good ways. For example, the discordant high note on the word "sun" in the chorus of "Chasing the Sun" does something to my insides. I don't think it's the most mind-blowing music I've ever heard, but still, it's like the very unrest (aptly named album) of it all gets under my skin and matches the exact flavor of all the emotions I've had since uprooting and moving to California. It's like adventure, fear, hope, anxiety, longing and finding all at once. The visual is something like...running and cliff jumping into an ocean. (Jason Bourne? I don't know.)

Give it a listen:

Other favorite tracks include 1000 Times, Satellite Call, Brave, Manhattan, I Choose You, December,, all of them?

Anyone else rocking the Sara B lately? Or have your own "defines a specific time period of life" music?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

6 Things You Should Know About Me

So, I got tagged for a "6 things you should know about me" post.
(Thanks, Lauren from Pink on the Cheek!) (And I'm VERY pleased that she's moving to norcal and we can be real friends now please thank you that is all.)

I thought the ol' blog could use a little lighthearted fun, and what's more lighthearted and fun than a themed post that reminds me of those email forwards we used to obsessively fill out and send around to each other? I'm talking pre-Xanga, you guys. It was like a form of retro, prehistoric blogging via Juno and AOL. Anyway, on with it!

6 Things You Should Know About Me
(Also, "should" is an awfully bossy word and I'm an awfully not bossy person. But ok.)

1. Is this how you imagined your life would be?

N to the O, not at all. I remember being 19 and thinking that girls who were (gasp!) 24 and single were living in some kind of alternate reality and why didn't boys want them and sooo saaaddd for themmm. Now I'm 26 (and a half, as of Sunday) and I'm living in northern California and I have a college degree and legitimate stuff on my resume and WHOA, you know? But I was just thinking today how happy I am. Current job hunt woes aside, I am a seriously blessed girl. God had a better plan and identity for me than I had for myself, and I think there's more coming.

2. If money were no question, I would purchase...

A year of traveling in Europe. A month or two in each country. Time in the big cities, but time in the nooks and countrysides as well. I'd meet the locals and ride bicycles into the fields late at night and sleep under the stars and see the northern lights in Iceland and go dancing in Spain and pick grapes in Italy and spend hours in libraries and cathedrals and watch sunset after sunset over cityline after cityline. I'd live with only what I could carry and it would include simple shoes, several white t-shirts, a couple gray cardigans, and only the bare necessities. Be still my heart, I can't even handle this paragraph.

3. What's your drink of choice when out with girlfriends?

I need a moment of silence for the blue powerade Sonic slushie because there is no Sonic near me and my heart is broken about it. My heart is thirsty and broken.

4. What do you love about yourself?

It's easy for me to love other people. Also, turns out I'm braver than I thought. I like that I'm starting to learn that about me.

5. Name one good deed you did that went unseen.

Uhhh this makes me uncomfortable. I'm keeping the big ones to myself because it makes them less special if I share them. So I'll just say that....I once picked starfish up on the beach one by one and hurled them back into the sea. An old man stopped and told me that I couldn't possibly save them all, and I just tossed one out there and said, "I made a difference to that one." ......I might be fuzzy on the details, but I'm pretty sure that was me.

6. What hobbies do you have that you don't mention on the blog?

Daily crosswords, knitting, impatient short-lived card house building, and aspirational break dancing.

...and that's the 411, kids.

Tagging....mmmm....Jessica Nan,  SierraNadia and Jenna! And gosh, all of you, if you want to play. Tags for everyone! #tagallthereaders

She's the (job hunting) man.

Just poured my heart, soul, guts and maybe my left eye (it's fuzzy for some reason) into a cover letter and officially calling it a night on job hunting. 1:15am, we are not strangers these days.

In other news, this is what researching a company then writing a cover letter, personal emails to current employees and reaching out to people on LinkedIn for a job I really, really want (really, really late at night) makes me feel like:

Monday, August 12, 2013

All the recent haps & other nonsense.

You know that part in What About Bob when he's in the wood-paneled station wagon with Anna and he randomly starts making word associations and rhyming? "A poodle...a noodle...a DOODLE..."

That's kind of how this post is going to go. So let's have at it.

I did laundry tonight. Two loads. I bought myself sunflowers at Sprouts the other day because I needed to brighten my life. I forgot to open the blinds today and let them have sun and they are looking wilty. Wilty is now a word. I've been really into posting on the twitter lately so come find me. I still have no job even though I'm trying so hard. THE HARDEST. I'm currently eating lime chips and salsa + mashed avocado. I mashed the avocado with my hand because I couldn't find a clean spoon. I've started to think about applying for waitressing jobs, because then I'd really be that girl who moved to CA to be a writer and ended up waiting tables. I would not mash avocados with my hand if I worked at a restaurant. I've been watching Friday Night Lights and it's all mostly good except Julie is the worst and season 4 is starting to get a little old and Peter Pan McCoy is a real jerk these days. I'm going camping this weekend. I love camping. I washed my favorite plaid flannel shirt for the occasion, just so I can make it smell like smoke and then wash it again. Also, my cousin's little baby died this weekend. I know that's a big thing to squish in the middle of a rambly post, but somehow it hurts less to say if I just squish it in there. Sunday was eight years since my brother Mason died. EIGHT. What's with that weekend in August? It was also my half birthday and I felt a little homesick about not celebrating it for the first time in a long time but I'm the new kid, you know? I went running tonight. My hair is wet because I just showered and I left the window open to ventilate the bathroom afterward and now it kind of smells like skunk because wildlife.

In other news, Suzzie had me guest post an old post of mine and it's a favorite so go check it out and poke around her blog while you're at it!

In other other news, Kayla included me in her Babble post about choosing outfits inspired by favorite book characters. Go see what I chose and browse through the other outfits!

And those are all the haps. Goodnight ninos. xoxo

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

4 Reasons Why I Love Crusty People

I have a soft spot for people with hard shells.

Also, the phrase "hard shell" makes me want a taco. And, I'm not using crusty in any hygienic sense of the word -- I do prefer my friends to bathe. But back on topic...

While I tend to like all kinds of people, I find that one flavor of friend I particularly enjoy is the somewhat difficult kind of friend: the crusty people, not to be confused with rude and hateful people. Usually blunt, yes. Sometimes cranky, yes. Often introverted, on the regular. But the heart is good and the middles are secretly squishy, is what I'm saying.

Here are 4 reasons why I love crusty people:

1. Befriending them is a challenge. (And a victory.)

When it's not easy to automatically become friends with someone, it feels pretty good when you achieve that status. I would say the #1 rule to befriending a crusty person is a) no drama, b) no drama, c) don't touch their iPod, and d) no drama. Also, never point out that they are grumpy/a party pooper/raining on your parade. They probably already know it, and they probably want you to stop talking about your parade.

Some of my favorite moments, as far as friendships go, have been when that frowning, quiet guy in the corner cracks a smile at something I say. It's like a silent, small, non-shiny trophy.

2. They're extremely loyal.

Make friends with a crusty person and you've got a friend for life. They don't have dozens and dozens of friends, so the ones they keep are important to them. You can also move away and go a long time without calling (I find they usually want to avoid unnecessary phone calls anyway) or texting a crusty friend, and they'll still like you when they do see you again. (Though they might not hug you or gush about it.) No guilt trips, no silly expectations.

3. They usually tell the best jokes.

Sitting next to the quiet, ponderous type during a long boring meeting is an excellent choice. Turns out they can be talkative; they just don't talk over other people. So when you get close enough to listen...let the good times roll. And, they're not afraid to say what you're probably already thinking when something humorous or awkward happens. Bonus.

4. You can be real with them.

Having a bad day? Your crusty friend knows all about that. They won't tell you to smile and lift your chin up, or brainstorm ways to solve your problem. You can flop on their couch and watch Seinfeld for hours (I've found that crusty people tend to like Seinfeld) and you don't even have to talk about your troubles because they won't make you. Or, you can vent and say horribly honest things and they won't think you're an awful person. If you're ever feeling antisocial at a very social event, hole up in a corner with a crusty friend and some snacks. They won't tell you to get out there and mingle. You never have to be "on" for a crusty friend. They're not trying to impress anyone (another quality I admire in people), and they don't expect you to either.

Gotta love 'em!

Any other people out there who are fans of the crusty type?

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Notebook did me a solid.


I was getting tired of waiting for companies to get back to me, so I picked the one I most want to work for and sent the following picture to them and said, "You have my resume on hand. This is how I feel about wanting to work for you."

...two hours later I had an interview scheduled for next week. So, that worked. Life is good. (And, I think I have managed to shake the funk from the other day.) Fingers crossed the interview goes smashingly well!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Something about shaking the funk.

Disclaimer: I'm one of the most naturally optimistic people you'll ever meet. Cynicism and I, we are not pals. So, the first paragraph below is going to sound like nothing that I normally sound like but I can tell you that it is 100% honest, so that means it's probably something worth sharing because I just wrote that whole post about not being afraid to be flawed and heyyy you just have to get it out sometimes.

A Paragraph of Negativity

I could tell this week started out a little off when I woke up on Monday and the idea of writing yet-another-cover-letter made me stay in bed for two extra hours for no reason at all. By Wednesday, I was a mess of gray hoodies and acoustic Dashboard tracks like whoa. Job hunting is the pits. Nay, the armpits. It was hard to take a leap of faith and move to CA only to lose my contract job (aka security blanket) the very day I arrived. It's hard to apply to jobs that I know I'm qualified for (every bullet point on this list, I say!) and hear nada back. It's hard to be told by the umpteenth HR department that "we'll get back to you soon" and two weeks later I'm questioning the integrity and etymology of the word "soon." It's hard to know that I'm a writer (not a designer) and be turned down for writing (not designing) jobs because I don't know photoshop (it's for designing, not writing) very well. It's hard to know that I'm really good (I am! I'm good at this!) at what I do and not be able to figure out why no one else is seeing that right now. It's hard to write a rent check for August and feel kind of sick inside about how September and October are going to pan out. It's hard that I gambled on a potentially glutenous snack yesterday and I've had sharp pains in my stomach for the last 30 hours, because it would be really nice to just eat like a normal person now and again. OK DEEP BREATH END NEGATIVITY VOMIT. I know I'm doing everything I can, and that means the right thing will work out. I really do believe that. But I'm human, and everything lately has been enough to tip me a bit over the edge into the land of wallow. Tomorrow morning I'm getting up and going running. I'll shake this funk off (can that be a new dance craze? shake the funk?) and hopefully be back leading the hopeful chipper parade in a few days. But right now...gray hoodie and acoustic Dashboard tracks like whoa. And something about an episode of Duck Dynasty?

A Paragraph of Positivity

Let's be real. That entire paragraph above? First world problems. I know what I need to do -- I need to read the news and get my tush out into the community and do some service projects and then I know my head will be in the right place again. I need to listen to faith and not fear. I need to be patient, trust my gluten-pained gut and remember why I got in my car and dropped my whole life and moved to a new state in the first place. I need to enjoy the total awesomeness that is northern California (the trees! the cool air! the ocean! the TREES, hooverdamit!). I need to keep loving that the asian boy upstairs sings Imagine Dragons to himself in the shower in a really, truly great monotonous way. I need to remember how many people are praying for me and sending good juju into the universe while I'm on this leap-of-faith, gut-trusting ride. I'm also going to keep appreciating that this angel friend of mine is in town and somehow that makes all kinds of things right in the world:

Because what more does a girl really need than a friend, a plaid shirt, boots and the ocean?