Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Match Adventure

My Nana married a man she met online. My best friend is engaged to man she met on eHarmony (I think?). Although a marriage proposal is not even remotely close to what I'm looking for these days, I decided to give online dating a try when I saw a promotion on match.com. If nothing else, it might let me try a few new bars or restaurants in the area and maybe I'll meet a few friends since I'm still new to the area.

It started out as a source of entertainment every Sunday. I didn't take it seriously and it was fine by me if it didn't result in any dates. My girlfriends and I would lay around one of our apartments every Sunday afternoon, laughing hysterically at all the amusing profiles out there. Some people just don't have "the moves". I got a few e-mails, which made us laugh even more. I know I have grammatical errors and spelling errors on this blog plenty but these e-mails were on a whole new level. Big turn off. Pass. One guy just said "hey." Eh, sorry. Thanks for playing. Try again.

I was on the phone with my sister one day when I got another match e-mail. My eyes caught the word ninja and I started reading the e-mail out loud to her thinking it would be the epitome of weird pickup attempts. We were nearly in tears by the end of reading his profile, not because he was so weird but because he was straight up hilarious.

I slept on it, showed my friends, and decided to actually write him back. After a few rounds of e-mails, he asked when I was free for drinks...wait...you mean I'd actually have to go on a date with someone? A total stranger? Uhhh...that sounded awful. He could stand me up or be awkward or rude or clingy. And I'm enjoying being single anyway so really, what's the point? But my friends convinced me it might not be that bad and worse comes to worse, we have another funny story to share over dinner. Since funny guy stories are our specialty, I took one for the team.

I survived and didn't hate it. I've only gone on a few official dates and I throw all rules out the window. I forget what topics to stick to, I don't have any "moves" and I just am myself. I definitely had a few blonde comments and talked about an ex briefly but whatever, I was me. We laughed, he bought me a beer and it really wasn't that awkward. It could have been much worse. Whew, ripping the band-aid off didn't hurt as bad as I thought.

No idea if we'll talk again, which is fine by me. He's a cool guy but I'm not trying to date seriously. I'm just glad it wasn't a God-awful horror story. My membership ends next week and I will not be paying money to renew it. I will stick to the traditional ways of bar hopping with girlfriends for potentially cheaper results.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I may or may not have a date tonight...

"I apologize to you if I don't seem real eager to jump into a forced awkward intimate situation that people like to call dating. I don't like the feeling. You're sitting there, you're wondering do I have food on my face, am I eating, am I talking too much, are they talking enough, am I interested I'm not really interested, should I play like I'm interested but I'm not that interested but I think she might be interested but do I want to be interested but now she's not interested? So all of the sudden I'm starting to get interested. And when am I supposed to kiss her? Do I have to wait for the door cause then it's awkward. Do you do like that ass-out hug? Where you like, you hug each other like this and your ass sticks out cause you're trying not to get too close or do you just go right in and kiss them on the lips or don't kiss them at all? It's very difficult trying to read the situation. And all the while you're just really wondering are we gonna get hopped up enough to make some bad decisions? Perhaps play a little game called "just the tip". Just for a second, just to see how it feels." -- Wedding Crashers


Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You know you're reading a good book when...

...you're reading it as you wait for your macaroni noodles to cook and then when they're ready you're so distracted by what's happening in the story you dump them down the sink rather than the strainer. Yup. Definitely just did that. Wasted a whole box of mac & cheese. Good thing I just happened to have another box waiting for me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hobbies and careers

I like to work. I do it as often as possible, and right now that's hardly enough. And yes, that's with two jobs. I've seen a lot of people buy a camera and turn themselves into a business. Suddenly they're booking engagement shoots, weddings, babies etc. and actually making decent money while having lots of fun. Then there are sites like Etsy that lets people who are crafty turn their hobby into a business. I've seen graphic designers begin to freelance. I want to learn something, become good and turn it into a side business. Nothing too pushy but something that lets me be creative, maybe work with my hands at home on my own schedule, and that people enjoy.

If I'm starting from scratch, what should I do? What do I want to do? What would I be good at? Especially with the restaurant at a lull, I need something else to fill my time and bank account. Any and all ideas are more than welcome!

Not what I expected

This weekend has been full of "not what I expected-s". I made it through the week last week without Dunkin Donuts. I don't know how I managed considering the temps were near 100 and I couldn't stop sweating but I made it. I had some less productive days as a result but whatever, I saved money and Miss Faith owes me a gift card!

It was payday and I realized I had about $17.40 left over after all my bills were covered for the month. Super cool. It's time to get some money out of savings until the restaurant shifts pick up again. Especially since I don't work at all next week, again.

I went to Red Box so M and I could watch movies, make dinner at home and save money. We got caught up with a TV viewing of The Break Up and didn't even get the movies out of my bag. Waste of money. We made a salad and it turns out I have a slight allergy to uncooked red peppers. My tongue was getting all itchy so I isolated each part of the salad and the peppers were the culprit. How bizarre, huh?

I FINALLY had a waitressing shift on Saturday and it went pretty well. I made about $110 in tips, unfortunately most of it was cash.

Neither M nor I had plans Saturday night so we met up for drinks, and even said "nothing too crazy". I ended up dancing on a bar at one point-the manager asked me to, I swear.

I woke up late for work and had to take a cab to get there on time. Stupid cash tips makes me think I have all sorts of extra money to spend. I figured my shift would kind of make up for the extra money I spent but I had 2 tables all day. Big waste of time and money. And later I found a $50 bill.

I wanted to go to the gym, grocery shop, prepare dinner and lunch for today but I needed a nap first. I didn't get out of bed the rest of the day except for to pay the delivery guy for my taco salad. Mega oops. I ended up watching one of the Red Box movies, Just Go With It, with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston, another big waste of time.

This morning I was running late (have yet to look in the mirror, sorry everyone!) and thought I forgot my phone at home in my rush. It's not as hot as I thought it would be, very pleasant surprise. On my walk to work I was psyching myself up for some office coffee to avoid Dunkin again. When I got to work, I had 2 free Dunkin Dounuts giftcards from when I signed up for their mailing list, over a month ago. One was for signing up and the other was for my birthday. Happy Belated Birthday to me! Then I heard my phone ringing in my bag so apparently I didn't forget it.

That sums up why I've been a little scatterbrained the past few days but I'm hoping to screw my head on straight and have things go more according to plan this week. After I have my free morning coffee.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Popcorn for dinner

Today was tough. I couldn't fall asleep last night so I overslept today and was running late for work. I got there only a few minutes late but practically sweat through my work clothes hurrying around on the subways. Work was slightly frustrating and very busy. By the time 4pm rolled around, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and take a nap. That wasn't an option because I wouldn't sleep that night otherwise. I had clothes to workout but I was just drained and not feeling it at all. I was just plain restless and crabby.

I couldn't stand the thought of hanging out in my room for one more night, especially since I did that all last week in Ohio too. So I took myself on a date. I spent money to take myself to a movie. I had set aside a $20 to start saving for my bff's wedding NEXT Oct so I stole that and went on my merry way. Hey, it's much cheaper than dropping $90 on a spontaneous ticket to see Amos Lee tonight like I wanted to.

I didn't know what would be playing and at what times but I walked there anyway. It was a great $20 spent. I was just in time for Horrible Bosses. I treated myself to popcorn and diet coke and laughed my butt off. The previews make it look like just another stupid comedy, and it kind of is, but I definitely had a few good laughs. I love Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston was a hoot.

Afterward it was still only 6:30 and I still hated the idea of spending hours in my room alone. I realized I had my gym clothes so I walked on over there. After eating a large some popcorn, it was a great decision. I did the elliptical and enjoyed some Seinfeld and worked up a good sweat. At commercials I switched to Jeopardy and actually got a lot of questions right.

So now at 8:30, after a good shower, I can finally chill out in my room without dread. My attitude has been readjusted and I feel much better. Yes, I spent money I shouldn't have but I was going to lose my mind if I had to have another meal of pasta and if I was going to do nothing for too many nights in a row.

My Utah bff explained her strategy with how she spends money and I'm going to work hard to adapt it. She spends as little as possible and then when the two weeks of her pay period is up she can do what she wants with what is left. It might be to save some and spend some, maybe save all of it or maybe splurge on something you've been really wanting. Either way, you're not scrapping by the last few days of your paycheck.

If a spending challenge is like a diet, it's true that neither of them really work. They have to become a way of life for them to stick so you don't feel deprived. I'm going to resolve to spend as little as possible and I will definitely have more days where I don't spend any money. But there will also be times when I need to spend a little bit either out of necessity or sanity and I can't beat myself up for it as long as I limit it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fluffy pancakes are gross

Fun fact about me: I hate fluffy pancakes. Normal people would think this stack of pancakes are wonderfully delicious:
I on the other hand thinks those are WAY too thick and it's just a mouthful of starch. Growing up, my dad always made super thin pancakes by only adding water to the mix. I'm not sure how that strategy started but that is the only way I like my pancakes to this day.

A while back when I bought a few cheap staples for my cupboards (I think cupboards is a weird word...I digress), I accidentally picked up pancake mix that required all sorts of ingredients like eggs, oil and milk. I made them when I first moved in and they weren't terrible because I still made the batter pretty thin. Tonight, however, my brain could not process how to make the mix thin. If I add more oil they will just be oily and gross. I didn't know what would happen if I added more milk or another egg and I didn't want it to be terrible so I just stuck to the recipe. Bad idea.

Look how thick that is! 
I ate it because it's my dinner and I don't want to/can't spend money, not because I liked it. I have a whole plate of them because the smallest ratio of ingredients makes 5-7 pancakes. Why don't they understand that sometimes people are cooking alone? Makes me feel like a single loser...but only kind of, don't worry. Unfortunately the leftovers are going to waste because there is no way I'm reheating those. Fortunately for me I have enough ingredients to make another batch if I need to during this spending drought so hopefully they wont be as bad.

Lesson learned, check the box before you purchase pancake mix!

The night wasn't a total waste though. I got to spend an hour and a half reading under the trees with Adele and Amos.
Almost made me forget I live in a concrete jungle :)

I caved

I bought milk. It just made so much sense. Cereal, (unless  you're X), my pancake mix, mac & cheese, and pasta roni all require milk and that's nearly everything I have in my cabinets to make a normal meal. Last night I stole some of my roommates milk (shhh...she doesn't know) to make mac & cheese but I can't keep doing that to her. Lucky for me, the local grocery store sells smaller cartons of milk because even a half gallon is usually too much for me. So I only spent $1.29, I'm not too mad about it.

Earlier I mentioned I would make eggs and broccoli tonight...gross. Why didn't anyone try to stop me? After the gym (running and a super hard abs class) that meal sounds awful. Purely awful. So I'm going to have breakfast for dinner with eggs and pancakes...much better! I wish I had some OJ and sausage but it will do for a week of no spending (mostly). Maybe I'll have a random serving of broccoli or asparagus for a midnight snack since I'm sure they will go bad soon...how long is too long to have asparagus in your fridge?

The challenge will still continue and I'm happy with how I'm doing. I realized that even when I get paid on Friday things are still going to be very tight so I'm curious to see how long I can keep this up.

My parents July check (bday present) arrived in the mail this week. If work wasn't so busy and my bank hours were better, it would have been cashed by now. It will all go towards loans since I havent been getting a second paycheck for a while now. One week was no problem, two weeks was still alright, three weeks was tight and now I'm on an indefinite no spend challenge. I really can't wait to work Saturday and Sunday. I'm hoping they need me to work Sunday night too, like they sometimes do.

I'm off to enjoy another night of no spending by laying out in the grass with a good book and of course making breakfast for dinner.

No spend challenge day 3

So far so good! Thanks to Miss F's motivation, I will easily (?) not have Dunkin Donuts all week. If so, she will mail me a gift card. What a good deal! Thank you ma'am!
Free coffee is good coffee!
I made do with the food I had (hello carbs...very nice to meet you) and managed to hang out on my own after the gym so I didn't spend any money. I found some cool volunteer opportunities and a book club to join and I found a show on Hulu that I caught up on. Has anyone heard of Unhitched? It was a decent way to pass the time but not as hilarious as they tried to make it. I probably should have been reading but oh well. Free internet is a wonderful source of entertainment.

After the gym tonight, I think dinner is going to be scrabbled eggs and steamed broccoli...things might start getting pretty weird in my kitchen by the end of the week but I'm determined to stick to it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Underserved is different than undeserved.

That one little letter makes all the difference! I want to get more involved with all this free time I have. I want to make a difference as well as feel more connected to this massive city. NYC has a cool program called NYC Service with the motto "Everybody's got something to offer". I saw an ad for it while walking home from work one day and it's a pretty cool way to find volunteer opportunities for whatever skills you might have to offer. Based on my preferences, I found a site called New York Cares, which once I complete orientation they will set me up with helping with children education or coaching a sports team.

I was searching through different opportunities and I kept reading the word underserved but I accidentally read undeserved and thought "wow, these kids must really be awful if even a volunteering site is saying they are not deserving." It kept bothering me and I finally slowed down to realize they are UNDER SERVED. Duh! Don't worry y'all, I will not be participating in SAT prep for high school kids, clearly it's not up my alley. 

I don't have orientation until August 8 but I'm really excited for an inexpensive way to help others. If I can get a decent workout in, cook dinner and still have hours to spend not doing a whole lot, I need to find better things to spend my time on than watching random shows on Hulu.

My research will continue because New York is known for all of the cool opportunities here. I'm so excited and curious to see where this will take me.

No spend challenge Day 2

Technically it's only been a half day of the challenge but close enough. So far so good. I made spaghetti after my workout last night so I was already sweaty and the heat wasn't so awful. The best part about making the spaghetti was that I actually remembered to grab it when I left for work today. I also brought a box of Fruit Loops I haven't opened yet and coffee creamer.

It's really hot outside. Like for reals. Sweat is dripping from people's faces when they are on the subway (how gross is it to be crammed up next to these people during the ride? oh trust me, it's a new level of gross.). So the idea of drinking hot coffee this morning sounded awful...still does. The whole ride to work I thought, "one little small iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts won't hurt." But I stayed on the other side of the street while walking to work so I wouldn't be tempted and here I am, sans coffee. I really really wish my work had iced coffee. I'm going to eat my cereal and see if I've cooled down enough to have regular coffee. Some sort of caffeine is definitely needed after staying up way too late chatting with my girlfriend L, especially with a monster inbox still to tackle from being in Ohio. Totally worth it because she's hilarious.

Better go eat since I have a meeting in 30 min!

Monday, July 18, 2011

No spend challenge rears it's head again

I'm officially broke. Throwing budgets out the window sometimes is a big no-no apparently. I caved and bought iced coffee today because let's face it, a Monday back in the office after being gone for almost a week and returning to an overflowing inbox and being the only assistant at the moment requires some serious coffee.

I get paid on Friday so I cannot spend a dime until then. Even when Friday rolls around, I will not have my typical cash flow because I'm in debt to myself. I will allow myself to buy milk because otherwise I won't really be eating anything in my cabinets. Wait, I can probably use the milk at work (free with the coffee) and bring cereal at least for this week. I'm going to try to pull this off without buying milk but if I can't do it, that will be my only exception. I will cook a meal for my lunches tonight, no matter how hot my kitchen might be.

I have a few things coming up that I will have to spend money on once I get paid but I have no choice but to do my best and limit it to only those things.

As of noon today (right now) I'm pulling out all the stops to not buy a thing unless absolutely necessary. Luckily for me, work is so busy from being gone that I don't have time to think about hunger or to go out and buy lunch. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I lied

Having a life really sucks the money right out of you. I caught an earlier flight back from Ohio and went out with my girlfriends last night. Unfortunately between drinks, late night food and brunch this morning, I completely bailed on the idea that I wouldn't have to spend money this week. I found my Sex and the City crew and had a wonderful time with them so I'm not too mad at myself. It makes being in New York much more bearable with them by my side.

I also met up with two friends, one from Sweeden and one from far away NJ, for dinner tonight so there goes more money. Ooops. I can't swallow the idea of bailing on plans because I'm broke. Especially when you can't help that your friend from Sweeden is here and you haven't seen her in years. It sucks.

I'm supposed to go make spaghetti for my lunches this week. The idea of that sounds awful because it is hot and humid and our kitchen does not have air conditioning. The idea of cooking meat sauce and pasta over the stove to make our kitchen even hotter sounds like pure torture. Instead I will watch a movie in my air conditioned room and hope it cools down later tonight. Dilemmas dilemmas.

This just in...I only work Saturday and Sunday brunch shifts this week. I wish it was more but I'm happy to at least be working some! Bring on the loan payments and extra money!

Friday, July 15, 2011

15 Things Friday

  1. I cut up my credit cards. I haven't used them in a while since they've been out of my wallet but I was cleaning my room last week and I realized I should just cut them up. It felt pretty good.
  2. My phone replacement didn't cost any money. By the time I get to work on Monday I will have my new phone (albeit the same kind of phone) and I hope it works much better. 
  3. My entire night consists of watching When Harry Met Sally. I'm not mad about it!
  4. Have you seen any of the new shows on USA? Necessary Roughness or Suits are both very enjoyable!
  5. The convention center I've been at this week had a separate convention for 31 Products. Their stuff is super cute but I'm poor so I won't be able to buy anything. 
  6. My mom started a similar personal consultant company with Jockey. There is a big old sale for the end of their spring line and my mom bought be a bunch of cute jackets, tops and accessories. Thanks mom! I tried to link you to the catalog of sale items but it's a pdf so if you're interested, let me know and I'll e-mail it to you. 
  7. I have not been to the gym once since July 1st. I hate that I nearly wasted this month's membership. I have to make the most of it once I get back to make it worth it. I will start Sunday morning with pilates. I'm pretty excited because Jennifer Anniston does pilates and who doesn't want to look like her? 
  8. My exhibit booth this week was right outside an Einstein Bro's Bagels. We had one at the U of M and they had awesome strawberry cream cheese. The past two days I asked for a bagel with strawberry cream cheese and I kept getting plain cream cheese. The line was really long and I didn't want to complain so I let it slide. Today however, they finally got it right. Score!
  9. As much as I complain about the city lately, I'm ready to go back. Actually I'm ready to go anywhere that I have friends. I've become a spinster whose only entertainment is food and tv. I always felt bad for the single women who had to stay home on Friday nights watching Say Yes To The Dress and now I will be one of them.
  10.  I want to switch banks. I'm sick of terrible ATM fees and since Wachovia switched to Wells Fargo, my accounts are in two different bank names. The bankers get very confused when I explain that I opened my savings account after Wachovia switched. Not my fault. Most of them seem to have bizarre fees these days though so I don't know what makes the most sense.
  11. I'm about to call Sallie Mae. They have lumped all my loans into one billing group so I can't make an isolated payment to one loan. When I typed into Mint.com what I pay each month to each loan, it would not submit my information because it's not enough. Thanks Sallie Mae. 
  12. The "where are you from?" question is getting harder and harder. I flew to Ohio from New York, however I'm from Minnesota. "Oh, so you moved from MN to New York?" No, actually I moved to South Carolina and then I moved to New York. It's way too much explanation for what should be a one or two word answer, especially to strangers. However, when I used to say I'm from Minnesota, people would instantly want to talk about Brett Favre since it's the only thing they associated with that state. GROSS. But now they talk about our embarrassing politics and government situation...I kind of wish they would talk about Favre again...kind of. 
  13. Sister of my Heart is also a good book. I don't think I've ever read this much. When I was younger I had a challenge from my nana one summer that I would get $1 for every book I read, I wish that was still in effect. 
  14. As I've mentioned before, I want to move back down south. M might want to move with me and we've been talking about checking it out over Labor Day weekend. There's a Gamecock game that weekend and I really want to go. Tickets are already expensive though and I'm in the process of apartment and furniture hunting, which costs a million dollars. Fall is turning into a huge money suck and I really wish I was working more lately.
  15. Anatomists are hilarious. The anatomy conference I've been at has opened my eyes into the lives of anatomists and it was the best entertainment I had. One of them had a beard like the picture below and a married anatomist tried to take me on a "date" by offering to buy me a coffee from the free coffee cart...he thought he was hilarious. Best of all, today was casual Friday and most of them chose to wear Hawaiian shirts.
Imagine this mustache on a balding anatomist in a suit, not a baseball player.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Minty Fresh

Well I've decided to try Mint.com. Here's the video to explain how it works:
I'm sick of logging in to all six accounts almost every day to keep track of every dime I have. I'm sick of spreadsheets that almost never add up (although I will likely still use the one I have since Mint doesn't seem to give me everything I need so). Most of all, I need free advice on how to manage my money because I feel like there are so many options I can put money towards and there is never enough coming in to satisfy all of those options. I get overwhelmed when I try to focus on too many goals at once.

While I was making an account and loading all of my financial information into their site, I looked like this
I know, I know, my hotel room has some pretty sweet decorations.
It was scary giving them all of my financial information because ummm what if they steal all my money? It's not like I have much to give anyone but I can't really spare to be ripped off right now (or ever). I have done a lot of research on reviews for this site and it seems legit and so far fairly informative about where I stand financially. Although when I saw that I probably won't have my credit card debt paid off completely until June of 2012 I looked like this
ouch!  
Apparently Mint.com has met Dave Ramsey because once one card is paid off they transfer that payment to the other card. It will still take almost 2 years. Crap. Crap. Crap. However, when I make more a the restaurant, more money goes to this debt so maybe I can bump it up to at least a month or two.

They also let me create goals of things I'm saving for, such as my Dallas trip for the 1/2 marathon and my best friend's wedding next fall. It tells me how much I will need to set aside each month in order to afford each trip. Ouch x 2.

I do like that this is an online service because conveniently there is an app for that. They will alert me when financial goals have been met or there are issues with my spending habits. I can also access my financial info on my phone where ever I am instead of only on my computer where my spreadsheet is. 

The only thing I don't like about this site is that I can't allocate funds like I do with my spreadsheet. It only keeps track of money in and money out and gives me a big lump sum of what is left. This is why I have to keep my spreadsheet because that lump sum needs to be broken down into my monthly expenses so I know how much I really have to spend.

According to Mint.com, I spend way more than I earn. Surprise Surprise. It's helpful to have it spelled out for me and then have it tell me where to cut back. I'm very thankful that when I get back from Ohio I have enough food in my cabinets so I can make my meals for the week without having to spend more money. I'm also thankful that I will be picking up more shifts at the restaurant so I can make more progress on my financial standing. Money is stressful but I will keep on working at it!

Coincidentally, TrueLife:I Can't Afford My Lifestyle is on while I type. It helps to know I'm not the only one...although with America's debt constantly on cable news, it's hard to forget I'm not the only one.

On a separate but awesome note, I tracked down a Buffalo Wild Wings and I'm currently enjoying some Honey BBQ boneless wings for free. Business trips aren't bad!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cable is awesome!

I feel so much more connected to current events and pop culture after 24 hours of cable. It's also kept me sane in a very quiet hotel room. Tosh.0 is hilarious, my new goal for living in New York is to get on Cash Cab and Michele Bachmann is crazier than ever...no surprise since she's a Minnesota politician...I'm from Minnesota so I can say this. 

I ventured out to Wendy's last night and a guy pulled into the parking lot, rolled down his window and tried to talk to pick me up. I ignored him. He walked in and tried to talk to me again, I said "no thanks". Then as he was driving away and I was walking back to my room he was still asking if "I was sure". Yes sir, I'm good. Leave me alone creeper! Another old sketchy man kept asking me what sports I play. Normally this is fine but after the parking lot creeper I was paranoid. He asked if I played basketball. Nope. Do I play volleyball? No sir. Tennis? No (that's kind of a lie but I wasn't going to burst into a dialogue about the few times I've recently attempted to play). Finally he gave up and luckily he didn't follow me to the parking lot. I never feel unsafe in New York but in small town Hicks-ville? Totally. So now I stay inside and order in. Dominos is on its way as I type.

I tried working out in the hotel fitness room last night. One of the treadmills didn't work and the other one felt like it was going to fall apart with every step I took. I know I haven't worked out in a while and I've eaten like a fat kid lately but I knew I didn't weigh enough to be the cause of this weary treadmill. After 15 minutes I gave up, mostly out of exhaustion concern that I would break it and be charged for it.

The conference today gave me plenty of time to read. I'm reading The Soldier's Wife, it's really good. Go read it. Anyway, clearly work was suuuuuper exciting. My company has it's location in it's name yet someone today asked me where our company is located. Someone also tried to pitch me a book idea...not even close to my area of expertise work at all. My favorite was a woman who was not there for the conference approached me to tell me her niece is very talented at drawing medical pictures and maybe she could work for our company (we have medical books, among others so it wasn't completely off base). Sorry lady, we don't exactly draw the pictures in our books anymore...She even showed me a picture of her niece's work on her phone. Sorry, that is not going to change my answer, especially when her example was not even close to medical related...as if that might be a factor. I know I've mentioned that people in New York are weird but it really is all across the nation.

Pizza's here! I hope you guys have some weird people or things in your day today! It's the spice of life apparently.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cow tipping ya'll

Well I've made it to Ohio. Before I left the airport I saw two signs similar to this:

I was thrilled to be back in the Midwest but cow tipping brings Midwest to a whole new level. Guess I'm not in Kansas anymore...although I'm much closer to it!

Before I left I managed to update my budget. Although I threw it out the window for the past few days or even a week. I assumed it would be awful but surprisingly I broke even. I've paid my August loans, put money in savings and now I'm working on the company dime this week so I will be just fine.

We had an employee meeting at the restaurant last night and fortunately all this travel has not cost me my job. I told my boss I will be back at the end of this week and can I please get back on the schedule. He said "yes" so I'm excited to get back to work. Mostly I'm excited to get my second paycheck again. However, as a reward for showing up to the meeting we received a lottery ticket so maybe I won't need a paycheck after all...a girl can dream, can't she?

Well I'm off to go explore the hotel fitness room...I can't run a half marathon in March if I don't get back on track. There's not much to do in Ohio, especially without a car, but I'm perfectly content with a full night of cable TV in my king size bed, quite a contrast from my big city apartment.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh hey there!

So apparently when you leave the office for an extra day after a long weekend and the other assistant quits, work really piles up! It has really been cramping my blogging style so sorry about that! Work has been busy and when I'm finished I typically turn into a ball of lazy. I haven't worked out in weeks and laundry is high on my to-do list. There's a little thing known as my budget that I haven't looked at in far too long and I have not had a single shift at the restaurant. Lucky for me (and maybe you!), I have a work trip alone to Ohio starting tomorrow and I am sure to have lots of downtime perfect for blogging!

Here are a few bullets of what's been going on:
  • I spent too much in South Carolina. When things are so much cheaper than in NY, I go spend crazy...not ideal but it was ok. 
  • I bought a cute dress at Ross in SC. I wore it to work when I got back and it split down the butt while at lunch...good thing I had a sweater and a belt to tie around my waist so I managed to only look like a tool instead of a naked tool. 
  • I joined a book club to meet fellow New Yorkers. The first book is Infinite Jest, which turns out is 1,076 pages. That was not a bright idea. I will have to join them on their second pick instead I think. 
  • I have received a lot of great books for my birthday and I'm loving it. I'm a slow reader so I will have days upon days of entertainment with all these new books. If you use goodreads.com, add me as a friend: Specialk32  It's a great way to keep track of books you've read or are wanting to read. 
  • I relaxed at my Aunt and Uncle's house this weekend with M. It was wonderful to sit a the pool, enjoy a delicious birthday dinner, and bask in the peace and quiet. The city is constantly loud, crowded and dirty so get always are always welcome.
  • As I mentioned I haven't been working at the restaurant. I was gone for 4th of July and they hadn't scheduled me for 2 weeks. Now I'm gone to Ohio this week so once again, not scheduled. Fortunately I was smart and put my last two paychecks towards loans so those are taken care of for August. Summer months are slow in NYC because everyone is away at the Hamptons (don't we wish!) and for whatever reason we just hired 3 new girls so we are short on shifts. I'm hoping once I get back and football season starts, things will get a lot busier again. I sure hope so because I'm counting on some extra money for the new apartment...I am not a fan of sleeping on floors when I pay so much for a bedroom. There's a staff meeting tonight so if there's anything juicy I'll let you know. 
  • I need a new phone. Yes, I got a new one in April and it already sucks big time. No, I have not dropped it or got water or sand on/in it. It randomly shuts off or randomly freezes to the point of me having to take the battery out and restart it at least 5 times a day. This happens anytime, which is not ideal when your phone is your alarm clock for work. I don't believe I have insurance and I know Verizon is going to charge me an arm and a leg for something different. What I really want is an iPhone but I know that won't happen. I'm stopping there after work today so we'll see what the damage is. 
Anyway, once I update my spreadsheet and catch up on work I'll be right back to blogging. I'm sure Ohio will have all sorts of great stories...or not. Anyone know of anything to do or see in Columbus? Any great eats? I have a solid 5 days there with nothing but a few shifts at a book conference to do!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Plane Etiquette

There really should be a list of required ways to behave when flying. As much as I wish the human race had common sense and can functionally normally, they continue to baffle me! If you want to be quirky and weird and inconvenient to others on a regular basis, fine. But you should alter your behavior when you're forced to sit on in close quarters with a large group of people for hours on end with no way out. It's just common courtesy.

If I were in charge of all airlines, I would provide this list of mandatory rules:

1. Don't recline your seat. There is no need for a teeny tiny recline when you're really just invading the already limited space of the person behind you. Rude. If you must recline, don't constantly move around and have the seat bouncing all around because it's equally annoying for the person behind you and you will probably spill their drink. Double rude.

2. When in the boarding area for your flight, be patient. You will get on the plane eventually, no need to crowd the line and push your way to the front. It is not first come, first serve so chill out.

3. When you are waiting for take off or when you've just landed and you're allowed to use your cell phone, text. It's just more polite to keep the plane relatively quiet. If you must talk on the phone, which I really don't mind too much, use your inside voice. I don't want to hear about your whole explanation the flight and what your exact plans are for once you get off the plane. And for God sakes, do NOT use your speaker phone. There is no need for the whole plane to hear your conversation.

4. When  you are boarding the plane, sit in your assigned seat. It's not that hard really. Usually you can pick the seat you want when you book the flight so it shouldn't be a huge shock when you board. Please do not sit in some random seat and then get all confused and argumentative when someone comes along claiming that is their assigned seat. It's not that hard. Everything is labeled by row and seat letter so please just avoid confusion and a bunch of hold up among others that are trying to board the plane. If you want to sit next to your beloved because you can't live without them for a few hours, fine. Take your assigned seat and then once people are settled, ask politely to switch with someone. But wait until everyone has figured out where they need to be etc.

5. If someone is wearing headphones or sleeping next to you, it is not a good time to strike up a conversation. I understand it can be fascinating meeting new people and hearing their stories, but sometimes planes are great for getting away from life for a little bit. You're forced to turn off your cell phone and I always like to enjoy that time as quiet "me" time. Respect that.

6. When your plane lands and you're towards the back of the plane and especially sitting in a window seat, just stay seated. You will not be the first one off the plane so there is no point in being impatient. The ceilings are too low for you to stand up straight so you end up hunched over the person in the seat next to you and it makes things feel crowded and rushed. Make sure all your stuff is packed and then just relax.

7. If someone is annoying on your plane, relax. You do not need to complain under your breath or make obviously annoyed noises. It will only make you equally annoying. Just turn on your iPod and ignore them.

There are probably many more but those are my biggest take aways from this past weekends traveling experience. Fortunately, the planes landed everywhere on time and very safely. Other than the odd ball people I traveled on planes with, the trip was absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to get back.

Many more updates, financial and non, to come tomorrow! Hope everyone had a great 4th weekend!