Monday, June 29, 2009

Go Greyhound and Leave the Driving to Us...if Your Bus Exists

UPDATES! Much sooner than you think. I'm writing you from beautiful Huntingdon Valley, PA. I am at the headquarters of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. It is an absolute beautiful place with fields and a chapel and a library and wonderful people. I'm lucky to be here though. Why? Well....

Yesterday I woke up at 8am. My bus was scheduled to leave the station at 9:50am. I arrived with my parents around 9:15am or so. I waited and waited and then suddenly a Greyhound blew past the stop! I thought for sure that the bus was mine so I went inside to ask the attendant. She said the bus would stop and that was another bus. By 10:10am, the bus really did come. I almost voided my ticket by tearing it off for the bus driver. He stopped me just in time before I tore it off. Whew! I boarded the bus and picked two seats to myself in the middle. The bus driver was really friendly, telling jokes and helping me out.

I was really nervous about my change over in Wilmington. I was worried I'd miss my bus because the current bus was running late, or I'd board the wrong bus and end up in TN or NY or something. Once we got to Dover we picked up a TON of people. Earlier we had made stops at T's Corner, UMES, Salisbury, and Laurel, DE. I moved my stuff out of my wonderful second seat and a nice lady sat next to me. Her name was Bette and she was an artist and a computer whiz. She loved art that heals, and she worked at a small gallery. She also used to work for companies like Microsoft. Her first husband died in a car accident. Her second husband's mother had Alzheimer's. So she and her husband, Ed, were caring for his mother. She majored in art history when she was in college. She was on her way to visit her sisters in NJ. We had a great conversation. She gave me her card and I'm supposed to call her when I find out what goes on with RMC.

When we reached Wilmington we were past my layover. My bus was supposed to leave for Philly at 3:55, it was 4pm. I was so nervous but she assured me everything would be ok. I said goodbye, got off the bus, got my luggage and suddenly the bus driver got swamped. Everyone wanted to know where he was headed, people were throwing tickets at him. I just waited patiently and finally got the chance to ask him about the Philly bus. "Its late" he said. Ok. cool.

There was a perfectly good reason why I was so worried about the changeover. There were four Greyhound buses parked outside the station. I had to go to each one and try to find out where they were headed. But a million other people were trying to do the same thing. Finally I found a guy who was just trying to get home to Philly. I became instant buddies with him and sort of relied on him to find out what was going on. Well..the four buses left. One to Baltimore, one to DC and two to NY. So I went inside to ask the ticket counter where the Philly bus was. "Its late" they said. Ok. cool.

I went to the restroom and returned to wait for the bus. Finally around 4:20 or so, the Philly bus arrived. The attendant outside said we all had to go in to the ticket counter and get a green sticker put on our ticket. What? But my ticket says Philly...this is the 3:55pm bus....

I started freaking out. I went in to get my sticker with my new friend Safyia. A really nice girl a little older than me who was trying to head home to Philly too. We got the weird stickers, returned to board the bus and the driver started calling out numbers. There were three seats on this bus to Philly. There were about 18 trying to go to Philly. What on earth?

I was number 12, Safyia was 13...we weren't getting on this bus. This sticker thing was out of the blue and I was starting to panic. I didn't miss my bus, but my bus didn't exist. It sort of did but only had THREE seats. What on earth? Ok. Not cool.

Safyia and I waited outside and shared our life story. The Philly people were irate. I mean cursing, screaming, yelling, pacing, complaining. It was quite the show. My friend and I sat there quietly. I found out that she worked for City Year, a volunteer org for a year. She was from Philly and she was one of eleven kids. She was the last girl in her family to get married. It was an arranged marriage. She was Muslim and she told me all about how she was introduced to her future husband. It was love at first sight! He was very respectful of her and they kind of had a high school like romance. They were both new at the relationship thing and respected each other for it. It was incredible. I learned all about her. We bonded over our situation. Then we found out that the 5:40 bus could take a few more people but the majority of us would be leaving the station at 7:30. WHAT? I had called Leah, the volunteer who was picking me up in Philly at 4:30 so she knew to stay home until I called her. I was so frustrated. How can a bus just not exist?

Safyia and I split some Oreo cakesters and crackers on me. We talked about music and turns out she was a radio dj in college too. She loves jazz and she and her friend had a punk show. The Philly people were now cursing out the workers at Greyhound. Leah was getting ready to drive down to DE to pick me up. Safyia went to Amtrack and they were going to charge her $42 to get to Philly. Greyhound wouldn't refund tickets. It was a really crappy situation. Then, there was a gas leak on the street so firetrucks from everywhere came in. Talk about adventure.

Finally the 5:40 bus came at like 6:10pm. I went out there claiming optimism. I got in line as the driver checked the numbers but then Safyia waved me over to her. They weren't checking the numbers, he was taking the first eight people in line! So I got behind her and handed him my ticket. I think it was then he realized they were numbers. So he goes 10, 11, 12...ok thats it. I was lucky 12 and Safyia was 13. She literally got me on that bus. But she needed to get home too! I gave her a hug, thanked her and got on the bus. The only seats available were all the way in the back. I went back there and had to sit by an unfriendly Hispanic guy and a bunch of punky teenagers who talked about everything from Fat Joe to club dancing to sex to if you were dying on an airplane. It was so annoying. The seat was small, the bus was hot and I was annoyed. AND THERE WERE TWO EMPTY SEATS. I should have gotten up and told the bus driver but I didn't want to interfere since he literally yelled at the people trying to get on the bus. So, Safyia was left behind and she was crying. I felt horrible. There was nothing I could do. I was all the way in the back and maybe we were at capacity and I didn't know. So I got ripped away from my friend, miraculously got put on a bus and had an awkward and awful ride to Philly.

When I got to the bus station Leah wasn't there. I was early. So I wandered around and then waited outside. I did the whole press your backpack against the wall so no one can steak your crap thing. I was asked for cigs, $20, and a light by various shady characters. I just wanted to be with someone who knew the city so I could get a hot meal and the hell out of this part of town. It was so sketch.

Finally Leah met me at the corner and we walked to the subway. I got to go by city hall which was beautiful. When I said so, Leah thought I meant the subway. haha No, I meant the buildings outside. The subway ride was lengthy but I got to ask her a lot about her volunteer experience with RMC. We arrived at the stop, got in her car, and drove to her community house. I was greeted by two Sisters who gave me a delicious meal. I talked their ear off for sure. I was so excited to be there, nervous to be with people I didn't know, determined to impress them, and hungry and tired. So I talked a mile a minute. When I finished my ice cream Leah drove me to the headquarters of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. I arrived at 10:10pm, kind of late, and met some Sisters. They were so nice and welcoming.

The put me up in a nice little room with my own bathroom and shower. I couldn't even write about the day I was so exhausted so I just showered and passed out. It was a long day with lots of traveling and my nerves were shot to pieces.

-------------------------Day 1--------------------------

I awoke at around 7:45 and laid in bed until 8am. Then I got up, got dressed really professional style and wandered around to find breakfast. I found the dining hall with no trouble at all and ate a delicious meal by myself until Sr. Ellen came in. After breakfast I met Eileen, the director of RMC. We talked for a bit, she gave me a tour of the headquarters and then I had a two hour interview with her. I think it went well. I certainly enjoyed it. Then she took me on a tour of the Health Care System and I got to see all the Holy Redeemer buildings from the hospital to the nursing homes. After that I got a short break and then had my panel interview.

As I was leaving to go to my interview I walked down the hall with a confident swagger. Suddenly the fire alarm went off. I calmly evacuated the building. Apparently there was something left on a stove on the third floor and it set off the smoke detector. So the fire dept came (I'm seeing a lot of them lately) and took care of things. Then I waited in the lobby until I was called for my interview.

The panel/screening committee interview went really well. I really enjoyed talking to the director of Project Rainbow and the Sister. They were really open,friendly and made the atmosphere relaxing. By the end of the interview I had my feet on the couch. haha

After the interview I went to dinner. First I changed out of my formal clothes and put on a little skirt and a t shirt. Ahh, comfort. Anyway I had a delicious dinner with a bunch of the Sisters. I literally just walked up to them and asked if I could sit down and join them. They've been commending me on my openness and outgoing nature. "She's not shy" they say. I love them already. Its funny because I've only known them for a day but they are just so wonderful. One of them googled me because she didn't know how to spell my last name. She found all the things I do such as when I worked at the Rec and was really impressed. I said "I hope RMC accepts me." She replied, "Accepts you? They're probably going to want to keep you!" That meant a lot to me.

A spunky Sister told me that I have her vote even though she has no bearing on the decision. One of the main sisters jokes with me now. Its so comfortable here and I really feel like I belong. No, I'm not going into Formation to become a sister in a religious community, but this is def. the program for me. I feel certain things will turn out well and I've already won over the Sisters even if they don't get to decide if I am accepted.

Yes, I will be crushed if I'm not accepted. There are other things I can do, I know, but everything is just so perfect here. I felt the same way I felt during Phi Mu recruitment. Everyone was saying "we really think you'd be a great addition to our sorority. You will enjoy it." and I kept thinking "yeah, but you have to accept me first."

Tomorrow I visit two of the sites and then I have an interview with the psychologist. I'm sure everything will be fine. If I'm accepted the hardest part is going to be figuring out which placement site I like the most. haha. I am looking forward to the next two days. However, I have to leave at 7:45am tomorrow. I think I might actually try to get up for the 6:45am mass! We'll see.

Thats about all I have update wise. I'm in their beautiful library right now. I think I've said beautiful and thank you a million times here. We'll see what happens in the coming days.

Until next time.....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...



If you've been following along you've read all about my not so adventurous and depressing life post college. You've heard me cry about being lonely and depressed about my not so certain future. You heard me bitch about how the VA Employment Commission discriminated me because I'm educated and how I've been broke, poor, and unusually pessimistic. But, you have also been with me during the official countdown to my RMC interview. That's right the four day, three night adventure in Philadelphia, PA.

Official countdown? I leave tomorrow. :D

Assuming I don't get mugged or killed in Wilmington, DE or kidnapped in Philly, you will be able to go on this adventure and yes, it is an adventure with me. My internet access will be limited but I'll be writing down every interesting thing that happens to me in a physical journal. Upon my return I'll transcribe these accounts into blog format so you can read all about it. That means entries post July 1st will be recaps of my interview. I'm stoaked.

I'm also nervous. This is it. This is a shot at the real world. This is my calling. This is my ticket out of here. I've never been on a cross state journey by myself. I've never been to big cities by myself. I've never been on a Greyhound. (Yes I'm sheltered. The first time I flew was in March of 2008....I'm 22 in August). I just got to do my best and impress them with my charming personality. Yeah. Right.

Yesterday I went flounder fishing again. I caught 9 croaker and 4 flounder. None were keepers. My dad caught the motherload of the day. A 21 inch flounder! Keeps for sure. We caught around 62 fish between the four of us. It was a good time. Then I went to visit my friend Emily who recently beat cancer. She is doing well but she still has a long way to go. I hope her health continues to improve. So yesterday was an interesting day.

Today I got up, did laundry, did chores and packed for PHILLY! It took me almost two hours. I went through professional outfits, casual outfits, sleeping outfits, bus outfits. You get the picture. I think I finally have everything in order. Now I just wait and then I venture off to my interview! I'm currently waiting to eat some lunch and then I have to get ready for church. Mass is at the same time as I depart tomorrow so I have to drive down south to the base of the Shore to catch the 5pm Sat mass in Cape Charles.

I'll have more profound stuff later and updates on the interview!

RIP MICHAEL JACKSON 1958-2009.

Until next time..

Friday, June 26, 2009

Full of Thoughts

I'm full of thoughts and I can't sort through them right now. Will update soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm Beggin


Never in my life did I think I would e-mail my life story to a perfect stranger and desperately, like my children are starving and I can count their bones desperately, ask for employment.

Don't worry. I did not say my children were starving and I can count their bones. I don't have any children and that would be lying. Just like it would be lying to not tell an employer that I have a college education. Don't get me started on that sore subject.

Really, though. After drinking a tequila sunrise for courage I e-mailed the editor of the only other local newspaper on the Eastern Shore and the head DJ for the local radio station. These are two places I KNOW are not hiring, and can't AFFORD any new employees. Not even for a few weeks. I applied anyway. I sent them e-mails with my I need money to pay off textbook bills/I have tons of experience/I'm overqualified for every job on the Shore and no one will hire me because I'm educated sob story. I poured my heart out, attached my resume and now I sit and wait for rejection. Its funny, I'm terrified of rejection. I realized that is the key reason I can't just march up into a business and request a job. I'm scared they will reject me right to my face. Apparently I have problems with rejection. Perhaps because I'm not rejected all too often. I should work on that psychological problem of mine.

Today was like any other day. I woke up at 10, went outside to do some mindless task for my parents in the yard. This was weeding the driveway again. I hate yard work so much. I don't mind being outside, but I hate yard work. I have several things to look forward to though. 1) the Wachapreague carnival opens soon. This means I get to go and play bingo all night for .25 a card and hopefully win the mother load. 2) my neighbor wants to take me and the fam fishing again. This time we shouldn't be pretending we love each other, we should actually love each other. Please don't rain Friday. I love fishing. 3) O.M.G. 5 almost 4 days until my RMC INTERVIEW.

My itinerary is insane for that interview process. First of all, I'll be taking a 9am Greyhound to Philly on Sunday and arriving that evening. A volunteer is going to pick me up and we'll go to her community house. I'll get to see what their community living is all about. Monday morning I'll be driven to the convent where I'll meet a bunch of Sisters and be given a room for the next few days. I have pretty much at least 2-3 interviews a day on Mon, Tue and Wed. I'm getting to tour my placement sites and everything. Its so intense. I'm really excited though.

Tomorrow I might just wash my car. She needs it badly. We'll see how motivated I'll be. In other good news, I've been published on associated content.com. You can check it out at:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1869479/celebrate_july_4th_with_old_fashioned.html?cat=8

Hopefully they will publish more articles of mine in the future. I wrote a really good one on 10 ways to have inexpensive fun in the summer. It is like magazine worthy. They better pay me for that one, I gave them exclusive rights.

Anyway I'm out to find out what trouble I can get myself into.

Until next time....

Monday, June 22, 2009

I must hide my education under my bed

Last night I laid in bed and looked over job openings on the Shore via the Employment Commission website. I was really excited to find a temporary position as a vineyard laborer a few towns down from mine. It was $7 an hour and it was only for a month and a half. This was the exact kind of employment I needed! I knew it would be rough on the hands and a lot of work, but it was a job and it was money. I filled out the required information and then the site told me to 'consult my local employment commission for more information.' I'm like...uh...fine.

So I woke up relatively late, and drove to said employment commission. I had already registered online so I just had to sit and wait to speak to a representative. I waited for an hour and half, wishing I had brought a book. Finally they called me in. "What can I do for you today?" She asked me with a big smile. "I'm applying for the vineyard laborer position. Your website told me to come here and allow you to review my qualifications." I could tell by the look on her face something was wrong. "Um." She said. "The job is filled isn't it?" I asked. "No, its just the employer is looking for non-local employees." "Oh, Hispanic individuals, I see," I said. "No, not exactly, just not local people. The gentleman before you was Hispanic and we can't hire him because he is local."

I didn't understand. The stupid website said only locals apply. At least that is what I thought. I explained my situation to her. That I'm a recent college graduate with a diverse experience and I really need a job to pursue my goals. I told her how I plan on volunteering in August in Philly pending acceptance into the program. I told her I had bills to pay, loans to pay back, and I needed a job to survive just as a mother needs a job to feed her children. I told her I had applied for 13 positions and only got interviewed for one. I told her I recognize the fact I'm over qualified on so many levels but that is discrimination to deny me a job because I have an education. She sympathized with me. Asked me how her daughter could get more scholarships.

Then she told me I was shit out of luck. I'm a college graduate and fast food, hotels, and farms are not going to hire me. The damn chicken factories won't even consider me! She said I was doing everything I can to get a job. I should follow up at some places. Oh, yeah, and I should conceal the fact I have a college education. Yes, borderline lie. She was trying to be helpful but she straight up told me to "not flaunt my education." To not provide these small jobs with my resume. To keep it to myself as best as possible. She was sorry she couldn't help me anymore and wished me luck.

Then she congratulated me on graduating college. I laughed.





I can flip burgers, debone chickens, cut back vines, answer phones, clean hotel rooms. Do these businesses think they are doing me a FAVOR but not hiring me for their crappy jobs? I'm better than that? Um no, a job is a job as long as it pays. I can't believe it. I'm being discriminated against because of my EDUCATION. I went to college and the world expects me to have this great job with great pay and not a care in the world. I'm so angry. I'm constantly being denied employment because I am TOO QUALIFIED. Because I am EDUCATED. What?

I came home feeling depressed and defeated. My interview with RMC is in SIX days. After that I have approx a month and a half to get a job. Yeah, who is going to hire me for that small amount of time? Its not worth it to most employers.

On the bright side, I got a letter from RMC today. It was a detailed description of my interview process this coming week. I'm super excited and a little bit nervous. The director did say in the letter that one person already interviewed, one person was awaiting their placement location, one person has an interview in mid July and of course I have an interview this coming week. "If all goes well, as I think and hope it will, we will have four volunteers for this year." This was the best news ever. As long as I do my best at this interview I've secured a Philly position!

I'm going to be picked up by a current volunteer and take the subway to her community house. I'll eat dinner and spend the night there. Then in the morning I'll be driven to the headquarters where I'll be staying for the remainder of the interview process. I'll be fed, have a nice bed to sleep in, be orientated to the Sisters and volunteers and have an adventure pretty much. I'm super excited and can't wait. SIX DAYS. OMG.

So today was a good/bad day. I hear thunder in the distance and I am quite pleased.

Until next time...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Misadventures of MA Cont...

Today was going to be a perfect beach day. Mind you, I had a wonderful time with my best friend, Beth. I really did. However, today was supposed to be a perfect beach day. It was predicted (a few days ago0 to be 90 degrees and sunny all day.

Weather Fail.

It was overcast when we arrived on the island. I didn't mind all that much. We parked our beach chairs on the sand and set up our huge umbrella like a tent instead of up all the way. After eating our subway sandwiches, Beth kind of passed out in a nap coma in the sand. I decided to check the water out. It was cold at first but then I got used to it and it felt great! (thats what she said). Anyway, the water has finally warmed up! So I jumped some waves and then came back to sit. Suddenly I heard thunder. Thinking that I had limited time to play in the water, I grabbed my board and caught a few waves. Yeah, boogie board. I'm not cool enough to surf yet. Anyway the waves were HUGE! It was kind of do or die. I got sucked under and thrown around a few times but I never panic when that happens. I know I'll always resurface if I just remain calm. I caught a few really good waves and then decided to retire for a bit.

In came the black clouds of death. Everyone started leaving because thunder was in the distance and the clouds were almost BLACK. We packed up our stuff and almost got everything in the car when the heavens opened and it poured down rain.

Perfect beach day. We were there about an hour and a half at the most.

We went and got some ice cream and by the time we were finished the sun was out and the sky was pretty blue. Yeah...but we left and went home since it didn't make sense to unpack all the stuff and set up on the beach again.

And that was that. I'm home now and really tired and kind of feeling ill so I'll maybe elaborate more on tomorrow....fathers day...


until next time...

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Misadventures of MA

Today was kind of eventful. Actually last night, my dreams were eventful. I had two dreams that I remember. The first one consisted of me getting a huge gash on my left shoulder down to my hip. Apparently I fell and this was the result. My dad had to stitch my side up with fishing wire. Then three days later the stitches were supposed to come out. My mom was supposed to take them out but she didn't know about the injury since I didn't tell her. My dad stitched the word REACH over my wound. It was really bizarre. I guess I thought I was getting a tattoo or something. I think my mom eventually pulled the stitches out.

My second dream was even more bizarre. I was at work, working out with my boss and the professional staff from the Rec Center. Although, the Rec didn't look like the Rec. I was in a white room with two televisions. There were five treadmills and all of professional staff was on them. I really wanted to join them so I did. For some reason I kept falling, on my bottom, on my side, into the back wall. Eventually I gave up the treadmill. This is funny because I don't mind running a mile on them every so often. After the treadmill fiasco it was time for lunch. Now, during Rec staff training we usually have a big lunch. We also have cookouts at Homecoming and at the end of the year. Well for some odd reason the Rec was hosting this banquet buffet ritzy lunch. There were crabs and lobster and fish and all kinds of stuff. I remember getting my crabs and this guy was like "do you want some sauce and fish sticks? you can have six of them" I really didn't want them but I felt sorry for the guy so I said yes. The sauce spilt over my plate and I had to get another one to put under it. I really wanted lobster. So I searched for the lobster line. Then someone said my good friend Jamar was at the luncheon. I said "the only thing that could stop me from eating right now is Jamar." So I went to find him and embraced him for like three minutes. I returned to the lobster line to find all these seasonings and sauces and shot glasses. What you did was make your own recipe for a sauce and then dip your lobster in the shotglass containing your sauce. Elaborate...I know. Anyway, so I just wanted butter and oil. I put this ball of butter into this container that turned like neon green and made my hands glow. I thought it was some sort of chemical but it was really just a trippy mixing container. I was just about to take a bite of my lobster when I woke up.

I'm not sure if I woke up before or after someone knocked on my bedroom door and I said "Go away I set an alarm" and went back to sleep. Anyway they were two very detailed and weird dreams. I'm pretty sure the Rec Center one is because I really miss the rec and the lobster was because my friend is applying to a Red Lobster in Richmond and that is all she talks about. haha I'm pretty sure that is the case.

Anyway the REAL day consisted of me cleaning the bathroom and then uploading some pictures to purchase at CVS. Then I met up with my friend Beth. We visited her friend at a hair store and then went off to the dry cleaners to see if my huge coat could be cleaned for less than $10. I was getting out of the car and Beth asked if I wanted her to come with me. I said no and grabbed my wallet. I got out of the car and she did too so I locked the car. I went inside and found out they could dry clean the coat for $10.50, that was good enough for me. As soon as I walked out of the cleaners I realized something horrible.

I locked my keys in my car. They were in the ignition.

I took my wallet off them because I thought Beth was sitting in the car. Then I forgot about them when I locked the door. Thankfully I had .50 and called my mom from a payphone to get her to drive down with the spare key and unlock my car. So Beth and I sat at this sketchy picnic table off the highway and waited for my mom to rescue me.



This happened to me very recently. The night of the candlelight ceremony at W&M, I had just returned from having a nice dinner with my parents. My stuff was in my apartment and I just had to get ready and drive to the ceremony. Low and behold my car was acting up. As soon as I got to the Ludwell parking lot, I checked my oil. It looked a little low. So I kept slamming my hood until it finally shut. I didn't know why it was being so stubborn. Or why I was so stupid.

That time I locked my keys in my car...underneath the hood. That is why it wasn't closing. And for some reason I locked the car so I had no way of getting in. Smart, I know. My cell phone and keys and wallet were stuck under the hood of a locked car. I called my parents freaking out because the ceremony was in a half hour. They told me to call campus poe. Campus poe came, calmed me down because I was hysterically crying and it took them about a 20 min to break into my car to unlock it. They did (and let me hold the flashlight) and congratulated me and let me rush to the ceremony being only 5 min late.

So my parents weren't exactly thrilled that I locked my keys in my car..again. I mean after all two days ago I lost $50 in the freaking parking lot. I'm losing my mind.

Beth decided that I should get a spare key and keep it somewhere safe. So we went to a hardware store and got a key made. I kind of want to wear it as a necklace or something so I won't lose it. haha

After that adventure we went on another. Sketch factor = 7. We had to deliver a small gift for Walter, the guy who found my $50 and actually called me about it. The catch was, I didn't want to be seen. I wanted him to discover it as a surprise. So we kind of did a drive by as Beth quickly placed the gift in his mailbox. I hope he gets it. Its a little cross statue that says "peace" and a thank you card. We sped off as if we had did something wrong, got some ice cream, looked at over priced movies, drove through my old town and then went off our separate ways.

I'm staying over her house tonight and then we're headed to the Beach tomorrow. I'm excited because the entry to the beach is FREE this weekend, courtesy of National State Parks. So, free beach day, heat index of 105, yes sir. No holding back for me, I'll be in the water for the majority fo the day. I can't wait. This should be a good time.

On the job front I've applied at the following places and here are the status for each job. Just in in case you were wondering:

1. Eastern Shore News - they are well staffed, will call and pay me if something comes up, prolly won't
2. Food Lion (bagger) - I applied like May 29th...they never called. Pretty sure I'm over qualified
3. Fresh Pride (cashier or stock person) - Nothing yet
4. Data Entry for Appraisals - Interviewed and rocked it, told I'm awesome but she needs someone more permanent, said she'd call in two weeks...its been three
5. Shuckers (waitress) - left my number, they never called, thats ok
6. Sunrise (waitress) - left my number, they were interested, haven't called yet
7. Seaside Family Restaurant (waitress) - yeah..this was the spot interview place, told you she wouldn't call me
8. YMCA (fitness instructor) -they aren't even hiring...doubtful
9. VA ABC store (sales associate) - dream job...my application is still under review...ok its been two weeks
10. Hardees (some sort of shift job) - haven't contacted me yet, applied recently
11. Dental receptionist - don't know where this place is, applied, will accepted interview if actually on Eastern Shore (oh Craigslist!)
12. Head Start (bus monitor) - this would be tight, applied last night
13. Hampton Inn & Suites (front desk/housekeeping/hostess) - haven't heard from them yet, pretty sure I'm over qualified

So thats the status. No one is really taking my bait because its so large and William and Maryish and yeah. Hopefully someone will come through. We'll see.

Other than that nothing has been going on. My parents and I seem to be doing all right. SURPRISES! My best friend is in town for the weekend and I'm spending quality time with her. Father's day is coming up. And...oh yes.. NINE DAYS UNTIL MY RMC INTERVIEW!

I'm happy. Hope it lasts.

Until next time....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My faith has been restored in humanity

My faith has been restored in humanity. Honestly, how many people would return a lost wallet? I didn't lose my wallet today but an interesting situation happened.

I woke up around 12:30pm, the usual time for me to wake up with the hopes the day will be quick and painless. Ate some breakfast, applied for a job that doesn't exist with the YMCA and then went out to run errands.

First I went to the bank to cash a $75 check. Then I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the house. After that I went to the corner store to pick up the paper and the post office to mail a few letters. I returned home with my bunch of groceries. I was kind of paranoid because my parents specifically requested that I check the eggs to make sure none were cracked. Well, when I checked, none were. Then I put them in my basket and somewhere during my journeys I cracked one of the eggs. I didn't notice until I was already in the checkout line. I really didn't want to run across the store to get another carton because I KNEW that I broke that egg somehow. Its one thing to discover a cracked egg in the dairy aisle. It is another to discover a cracked egg in the checkout line after you examined said eggs in the dairy aisle. I figured my parents would be pissed about the one egg but I wasn't going back to get another carton.

Anyway I walked inside my house and shoved the groceries down in a heap. They were heavy and I didn't want to make two trips out to the car. I sorted through the groceries and then went to my wallet to gather the change from the bank. The check was my room deposit from school so the money was really my mother's. Well my heart dropped down to my feet when I realized I didn't have the money envelope. I checked my wallet, the bags, the car, and then with dread, announced I must have left the envelope at the grocery store. There was $51 in that envelope. Holy shit. So I kind of freaked out a lot and drove back to the store. I asked the cashier if she saw a Sun Trust bank envelope left at the counter. She said no. The customer service guy said no. I drove home in tears, angry at myself for my carelessness and stupidity. I've had a lot on my mind lately. My head was apparently up in the clouds. I returned home again and my parents tried to calm me down. I ate dinner without speaking. I had called the store and left my name and number with customer service. Sadly when I did this I was still not done crying so I basically yelled at the customer service guy in incomprehensible and high pitched run on sentences. When I cashed the check something told me to put my debit card back into my wallet instead of leaving it in the envelope like I usually do. I suppose I should have been thankful for that.

I began to cope with the situation towards the end of dinner. My dad said maybe someone who needed the money more than we did found it. Bitter, I said some drug addict was celebrating his big score. As I went to the stove to get more snowpeas, the phone rang. I was annoyed at this too because I figured it was our neighbors or my friend and I didn't feel like talking to anyone. "Hello, is Ms. Rodabaugh there?" I thought "OMG ITS A JOB OFFER" But of course, why in the world would a job be calling me at 5:30pm. "Did you leave a small envelope in the parking lot in Exmore today?" I couldn't believe it. "Yes, OMG yes I did. It had $50 in it and a receipt." He told me that he found it and I could pick it up at his house which wasn't to far from my own.

I was elated. A kind soul was returning the money! I thought it was karma at its best. See, few months ago a woman left her wallet at the cash register counter in Dollar Tree. I recognized the foreign object and asked the cashier if it was a wallet. Her eyes got wide and she looked around as if she didn't know what to do. I was already out the door with the wallet chasing after the owner before she left the parking lot. I found her, gave it to her, and just went about my business. I think I held the door for 3 min for a little old lady at the post office on this day too. Anyway I thought it was karma. I couldn't believe this guy actually looked on the receipt and then looked us up in the phone book and called to return the money. What a blessing.

The story gets more interesting. I pulled up at his house and this nice and football player like guy answered the door. He told me I had one heck of a last name. He handed me my envelope and I told him that honest people are hard to come by these days. I searched for $10 to give him but he stopped me and told me that the next time I go to church I should put that $10 in the collection basket. I thanked him again and asked his name. Walter, he said. Then he went back inside to rejoin his family. I took down the address so I could send him a little something to thank him. That was so nice of him. One thing I remember that as I drove to his house I saw sunbeams, the ones I correlate with God.

Walter was a very honest man. I really appreciate him going all the way to call my house and track me down. The funny thing is, just as I put my debit card into my wallet at the bank...I put my shopping list into the bank envelope. It is a good thing too because the receipt didn't have my name on it. Usually when you use an MVP card, your name is at the bottom of the receipt. There would have been no way for Walter to track me down if it wasn't for the fact that the stationary that the shopping list was written on has my parents full names at the top. I put that list in the envelope and that was the only clue that Walter had as to who the money belonged to.

Thank you Walter.

Until next time....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I need to find the road less traveled




I've been down this road many times and I know exactly where it leads.....

I'm a creature of habit and a creature of comfort. Like how my dog sidles up beside me knowing that I will inevitably scratch his ass for him. He knows that if he stands there long enough, I'll buckle down and give him exactly what he wants. Then he looks at me with his aging furry face and such joy in his eyes. After all, his ass isn't a spot he can reach too well.

Creature of habit. Creature of comfort. I know what this road leads to. It isn't a big mystery. But the beauty of the scenery is what gets me. I look around and feel a sense of adventure and joy even though I've been down this way before. I feel beautiful, like myself and incredibly secure down this road. Its a dead end, though. By the time I reach the end, I'm so incredibly content. Then a storm arises and I have to tread through the muddy street cold and alone. I'm always traveling back the way I came alone. The scenery fades into memory and I just focus on getting back on track.

I suppose I'm just going in circles if I keep coming into contact with this road. My heart beats excitedly and my breath just catches in my throat. I stand and pause at the road's beginning. Then I take a few steps onto the road to see if I still get the same feeling. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. If I'm really not certain, I walk a few feet onto the road. I stand and wait and look around at the magic around me. Then I turn around and walk back out to the main way. I stand at the entrance again, waiting to see if the road beckons me back. That road is addicting and always leads to trouble but I just love going down it.

Right now that road is not beckoning me and that is for the better. I still can't help standing there, rooted to my spot waiting for the road to call me back.

I need to keep walking and never look back. But where does one find the strength to do such a thing?

Until next time...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life is full of could have beens


I started today with a more optimistic attitude. I woke up and created a project to bide my time. I decided to fix my bike so I can at least ride it around for exercise/something to do. The poor thing needs a major cleaning job, air in the tires and a new pedal for the right side. My dad said he is going to junk it if I don't fix it soon. So I drove out to Roses to try to find a new pedal but did not have much luck. I drove down to Eastville just for fun and drove over a turtle on the highway. I drove OVER him I didn't run over him. There is a difference. I couldn't stop thinking about that turtle and ended up turning around from Eastville to try to see if the little guy was still trying to make it across the road. If he was I was going to pull over and help him across the road. Rt 13 is a very busy highway. Unfortunately, I couldn't find him. I think he either made it or was another roadway causality. I then made another U-turn and drove back home for a snack. Then I tried the north Roses and couldn't find a stupid bike pedal. I drove back home.

I did however make someone's day today. He doesn't ask for much and seemed really upset. I was home twice and both times he looked at me with those longing brown eyes of his. So I took my dog out for a one hour car ride, windows down. He loved it! I think I made his day. He kind of made my day too. I loved seeing his head out the window in my side view mirror. We drove on the back roads of the Shore. At one point we drove down this road that was really scenic but a dead end. He had a good time, I had a good time and now I have motivation to clean out my car. He sheds...alot. I have a furry backseat now but I really don't mind.

Today was a day of hope. I turned in my Fresh Pride application and ran into an old friend. She didn't have much time to talk to me but it was really nice to see her. The lady who took my application seemed pretty happy to see me. Win win situation. I also told the Eastern Shore News that I'd write for them for free if they let me. I made my ammends, I suppose. I told them I didn't want to lose my touch for journalism and will take any assignment no matter how time consuming or crappy. I got a good reply. The editor told me that if something came along he'd surely let me know. He told me they would pay me. He also asked the dates that I'd be here on the Shore. I know nothing will come along. They are really well staffed and I'm sure are suffering from the recession as well. I read somewhere that this is the worst shape the economy has been in both job wise and just economic wise since the Great Depression. So basically this is like a modern day Great Depression. I think I am going to make a waitress portfolio, complete with waitress experience information and my resume and just give it to every freakin restaurant manager on the Shore. And I might just buckle down and apply for a job with Hardees. I'd rather serve up roast beef than debone chickens at Purdue. I'm just saying.

Despite this hopeful outlook I found myself almost breaking down again today. I am, indeed, depressed about my life right now. I got on the whole selling out to corporate journalism thing in my head and realized I made that situation up in my head. I re read the e-mail and the editor simply said they already had a summer freelancer..which yes...if I listened to my mother and e-mailed the News months in advance I would have that freelancing job. I didn't sell out. I don't know why I thought I did. Besides...the large newspaper program was an educational program...it was meant to train me in daily press. I will shit a gold pony if that program offers me a spot at the end of the summer. They cancelled the fellowship because of the economy but they said if they change their mind they will let me know.

Looking back on that situation, I realize how I get when I think I've discovered my life plan. At one point I swore I'd get accepted into Teach for America. So I started talking about what I'd do if I were accepted. I didn't make it to the phone interview. They cut me at prelims. I'm fine with that. I don't think I'd make a good teacher anyway. Then I swore I'd get this Orlando fellowship. I knew I wasn't a minority but I hoped and prayed. I began envisioning my life in Orlando and looking up apartments just to see if I could afford it. Then the Sentinel smacked me in the face by not rejecting me, but cancelling their fellowship program all together. Then I started applying for every small newspaper position I could find on journalismjobs.com. I began envisioning my life in all the places I applied. Then I set my hopes on the DC friars volunteer program. I made plans about DC. Now all I can talk about is Philly. My plans if I get accepted there. It is one thing to be optimistic and dream about the future but it is another to be borderline obsessed with it. First of all I need to realize that A) I have not been accepted by RMC. I have an INTERVIEW. I am not a shoe in. If I was, they wouldn't go through the interview process and just give me a spot right then and there. Anything can go wrong between now and my interview. and B) I need to stop thinking I have it all figured out. Oh I'll volunteer here, move there, start my life there..etc. I mean, I have all the time in the world to envision my future...but I've learned from the past year that no matter how much I plan, my course will run off the map I've prepared.

Life is full of could have beens. I could have been enrolled in graduate school right now. I could have been a cop in Williamsburg. I could have a paycheck by now if I was sticking around for the appraisal position. I could be the summer freelancer for the News if I emailed Ted a lot sooner than I did because I'm a procrastinator. Additionally my friends have a lot of could have beens. One of my friends have changed a lot over the past few years. This person is becoming jaded by daily life and is losing the very things that make that person...a person. Don't get me wrong, they are still nice and friendly and human. But they've lost a part of themselves which I don't know if they will ever find again. Sadly, I really cherished that part of them. But I'm not them.

I'm searching for love in all the wrong places. Like my "Being in Love" post...I won't find love until I stop searching as hard as it may seem. I recycle my own feelings to give me something to hope for. That means I have feelings for the same people over and over again. That is kind of happening right now. Its because I'm lonely and bored and sad and want something to hope for other than my very uncertain future. This is called vulnerability. Vulnerability is bad.

Tomorrow morning I'm being forced to get up at 8am and weed our driveway. I'm stoked. Not. I suppose I should be grateful for something to do. I mean, it beats sitting in bed playing sniper games and waiting for the day to end. I really feel guilty about that..ya know...waiting for the day to end. Each day is a gift and you're supposed to live each day like it is your last. So why do I wake up each morning and count the hours till I can go to bed? That is pathetic.

Part of my interview with RMC is meeting with a psychologist. I really hope they don't identify some earth shattering mental instability which prevents me from getting a position with RMC. I think all this crap is just a test of wit and strength. Sure, my parents still tell me things will never get back to normal. Sure, my one friend already had a job and is on her way to getting a second. Sure my other friend is in freaking LA right now visiting a friend of his and I can't even afford a weekend trip to Williamsburg where a bunch of my friends are. Sure, I just sit and wait and hope I'll be employed before August.

I apologize for all you dedicated readers that feel like they are reading a train wreck of a novel. I'm just really sad right now and I can't snap out of it because I'm finding it hard to find the joy in things. I promise though, if I get a job soon or something, I'll be a much happier person. I'll have something to do, somewhere to go, I can establish some distance from my fam and I'll get a paycheck. See why I need a job so badly? So many things are riding on a job.

12 days. (its 11:14pm almost midnight right?) Hello Greyhound to Philadelphia to.....my future.

Until next time....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I was meant to be a sniper

First off I want to preface this blog by saying two things: 1) I can't count. I said a few entries ago that it was 10 days until my interview with RMC. Um no...its actually 14. As of today. So I can't count and I'm an idiot. 2) Don't call violence hot lines on me after reading this entry. I'm fine.

I've got your attention now. The reason why I think I was meant to be a sniper is because I've been playing sniper games on addicitinggames.com for the past two days and I'm decent at them. I'd love to be a secret agent or a nationally hired assassin. I mean killing people is bad, I'm not sure I'm even going to be able to kill an innocent deer come hunting season. But imagine all the excitement and adventure one secret agent assassin gets to go on. Its just not that fair. Last night I had a dream that I was a sniper. I only own one gun...a .50 cal muzzleloader rifle...I mean really. I can't be a sniper with that, the reloading would be a killer. No pun intended. Do national assassins really exist? Or would I have to be in the military for that?

Granted, I'm lil wheezy and I can't run down the street to save my life. My lungs like to close up in cold weather and I have the worst vision ever. When I went to get my drivers permit, I took the vision test. I stuck my head in the little box without my glasses. The lady told me to read the characters. "P, L....X....W" I said. She looked at me like I had four heads. "They're numbers sweetie." We took it again with my glasses and I saw it was really "8, 7.....3......5." That my friends is how I got a big restricted X on my drivers licence.

Since I've been so depressed lately and enjoy games that kill people, well zombies and stick figures really....I have decided to make a list of the top 10 simple things I love. These are things that are frequently overlooked. They are in no particular order.

1. that really awesome clean feeling I get, dressed, after a long hot shower
2. that really awesome feeling my hair gets after the ocean water dries out of it on a hot day
3. an almost imperceivable breeze that gently glides past me
4. finishing a really good book
5. when my dog comes up to me and rests his head on my lap even when I'm not eating food
6. the feeling of warm wood from the deck, sand, grass, or plush carpet under my bare feet
7. listening to music and doing nothing else but day dreaming
8. making someone laugh, regardless of the situation
9. looking down and the bandanna bracelet on my right wrist and remembering all the things it means (Nicaragua)
10. seeing sunbeams drift from clouds and instantly recognizing it as God

These are just some simple things I love that I often take for granted or just don't share with others enough. Yes, I'm kind of depressed. You'd be too if you were jobless, friendless, had nothing to do, nowhere to go, and your parents weren't acting normal with you because they were pissed at you. Yep. You'd be too. But I'm striving to find the good in things. Tomorrow I'm going to the employment office to request a list of local job openings. Then I might go for a drive or something. Who knows.

Until next time...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Being in Love

This morning/afternoon there was a huge thunderstorm and the sky was incredibly dark. It looked like it should be around 8 or 9pm instead of 11:52am. I loved it. We had a tremendous downpour with a little lightening and thunder. It didn't last though. The sun came out and I spent the day playing sniper assassin games on my computer.

What do I miss most about being in a relationship? That is the question of the day. I think that the thing I miss most was having someone care about me unconditionally. Someone who was always concerned for my well being and who made me feel special as if his life couldn't go on without me in it. I suppose that is me putting myself on a pedestal.

The physicality of a relationship is nice. I enjoyed resting my head on the guy's shoulder or having big protective arms wrapped around me. A kiss here and there was nice too. I spent a lot of my life so far forcing relationships with people I cared about. See, I dated a few guys who were into me way more than I was into them. I broke too many hearts so I swore to myself that I would never date anyone unless I liked them first. That way I wouldn't just try to be with someone because they thought I was cute. I could avoid breaking hearts.

I didn't avoid breaking hearts, I only further damaged my own. I fell hard for guys, so hard that it became almost an obsession. I'd love them and care for them and try to be with them. I made a lot of good friends out of these endeavors but they never went further than that. I've had my share of random drunken hook ups too. The thing is, I tried so hard to be with people I probably wasn't meant to be with in the first place. I've only, truly been in love once. I spent most of college hoping for a wonderful guy to come along. I hated being single and I loathed couples. I felt that public displays of affection were always shoved right under my nose every day throughout my college career. I felt that I would die single.

Disclaimer: Religion again.

Than I suppose I had a talk with God and realized I couldn't bring a guy with me to Philly. I soon began to flesh out the meaning of a soul mate. My good friend sent me this prayer which makes so much sense to me now:

Everyone longs to give himself completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

But God, to the Christian, says, "No, not until you are satisfied with living for Me and being loved by Me alone and having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.

"I love you my child; and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.

"I want you to stop planning and stop wanting, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan ever existing--one that you cannot even imagine.

"I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you--just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things--keep experiencing that satisfaction in Me, knowing that I AM--keep learning and listening to the things that I tell you.

"You must wait. Do not be anxious. Do not worry. Do not look around at the things others have gained for themselves or that I have given them. Do not look at the things you want. Just keep looking at Me or you will miss what I want to show you.

"And then, when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream of. You see, until you are ready (and even at this minute I desire to have you both ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied with Me and the life that I have prepared for you, you will not be able to experience the love that exemplifies our relationship with Me--and this is perfect love.

"And, dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me and to enjoy the everlasting union of beauty and love.

"I AM GOD. Believe and be satisfied."

St. Anthony

Now, I feel that every time I wish for someone to come along, or watch a romantic movie and wish it was me, or have feelings for one of my old crushes or boyfriends...that I'm taking one giant step backwards. That I'm never going to see what this prayer promises. That I'm too emotionally immature to find someone special to be with. I feel that until I can look at couples and feel overwhelming joy for them, go to weddings without a jealous feeling in the world, and appreciate love for what it is in whatever media it comes in, I will remain single and alone.

Currently I'm not going to find anyone. I also know that I can't go searching. I have to just sit and live my life and someone will "come along." I can't actively pursue them or try to force them into my life. That frustrates me. I want nothing more than to do something about it. All I can do is try to make myself look prettier by attempting to lose weight and actually doing something with my hair.

Perhaps I shouldn't be watching the Notebook and contemplating other aspects of my life. I hate the uncertainty.

Until next time...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A small taste of normalcy

If I were to write about my day today, this blog would be a paragraph long. Honestly I woke up at noon, watched tv on my computer all day, ate, watched Remember the Titans (with my mom!) and now I'm laying in bed writing. My parents talked to me today...small fragmented sentences...but at least they're talking. So I suppose that was a step towards normalcy or some numbed version of it. I'm pleased and I hope the progress continues. I will tell you this, I had some of my wino wine this evening. It is DELICIOUS! It tastes just the way I remember it...like grape juice but grape juice with 9.95% alcohol. My mother cut me off at one glass. Mainly because I sort of drank it like it was grape juice. But its a whole 3 liters, I don't want it to go bad! :P

I'm not an alcoholic. I'm an alcohol enthusiast. I love the way it tastes most of the time, the way the bottles are decorated, the stories behind the creation of a "smooth or unique taste to enjoy responsibly." I have all these big dreams about writing books, working for a newspaper, and saving the world. Honestly when it comes near my retirement, I want to open a bar. I'd call it M.A.'s place but everyone will be like "lets go to Ma's!" Granted, I might just be a Ma at that time. Ma's place is a diner kind of name. So I don't know what I'd call it. But it will be one of those bars where customers come in and I already know what they are going to ask for because they love my bar. The karaoke will be horrible, the food will be edible and the drinks will always be served right. This dream is for when I'm washed up and over the hill. My career aspiration is not to be a bar owner my whole life. Just saying.

I heard a country song yesterday called "you're gonna miss this." Throughout most of my life I have really looked forward to weekends. They meant that I'd be off from school. For normal people, it means they are off from work. These past few weeks have made me HATE the weekends. Why? Because jobs won't call me on the weekends and ask to interview me. Because all my friends aren't here and there is nothing to do on the Shore but go to Shuckers and get drunk and then try to find a way home. Which doesn't work for me since I live a good haul away from Shuckers and I am responsible. The weekends mean that the only outing I really have to look forward to is going to church on Sunday. I'll sleep in, stare at my computer screen, eat, stare at my computer screen, eat, watch a movie, stare at my computer screen, and go to bed. I'm still really lonely even though my parents are kind of talking to me and I have my computer back. I'm not pulling my hair out and crying like I did when my world fell apart awhile ago, but I am sad that there is NOTHING to do. I might cough up a few bucks and go to the state park for a bit to hike and swim. Alone. By myself. With my Ipod and a bottle of water. This is why I really want a job, to at least socialize with people and have daily interactions to look forward to. So that is why I hate the weekend. Yet deep down in my heart I know that "I'm gonna miss this." I'm gonna miss not having anything to do and no where to go. I'm going to miss sleeping in till noon and sitting on my ass all day. I just can't appreciate it right now.

I think the one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning, besides the urge to pee, is that I have approx 11 days until my Philly interview. OMG. My Greyhound tickets are taped to my mirror so I wake up and see possibilty every morning. How is that for inspirational.

Additionally I'm obsessed with the song "River Flows In You" by Yiruma. I've been listening to it on repeat on youtube. I LOVE IT. This song reminds me so much about my life even though it is instrumental. It reminds me of the infinite times I have loved and lost. The challenges I have risen to and the times I've been defeated. The old MA who never worried what people thought about her and the current MA who is terrified to offend someone. The dreams I dreamt and the dreams that have already been crushed by reality. Yes...I see all of this in one 3:14 min song. Listen to it and maybe you'll see part of your life in it.

I've been doing a lot of thinking because I have all the time in the world on my hands. I hate thinking. That is why I always busied myself if high school and college. I rarely had a spare moment and I liked it that way. I don't like contemplating on life that often because I dwell on the past and the things that are not meant to be. Than, I look on the past again and wish it back. Then I get depressed about the future. So many of my friends are already living their "real world" lives and I'm stuck in the nest trying desperatly to fly out even though my wings are still growing and I'd just fall out of the damn tree if I tried.

There are a handful of people I miss so much it kind of hurts, literally. Some are certain guys others are really close friends. I'll leave it at that. I do wonder if I'll ever be desirable or will I just end up a failure. Like, what if I peaked in high school/college? haha What if my success just goes downhill from there? What then?

Mirror Mirror on the wall. Whats the plan? Is there one at all?

At least I have the Greyhound tickets.

Until next time...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Its like the sturdy glass of sanity shattered inside my head....

Today has been one giant hodgepodge of thoughts. I really want to structure these posts a little more but this could be stream of consciousness all over again. First I'll sum up the adventures of the day and then I'll let you step inside my war zone of a head and try to make sense of it all. Ok? Great.

I woke up at 6am for my 6:30am departure to Cape May, New Jersey...my official homeland/birthplace and home to my grandmother...my only living grandparent. The ride started off with a stiff silence which I decided to penetrate by plugging in two tiny white headphones which produce the most beautiful and peaceful sound in the world to me which is just about the only remedy to get my mind right---music. The three hour ride got us at the Cape May Lewis Ferry at 9 for our 9:15am departure.

My mom and I made small talk, sort of, during this whole period of time. It wasn't much but it was something. When the boat reached Cape May we found my grandmother waiting patiently in the terminal hallway. Hugs and compliments were exchanged. My grandmother is very lucky to be in her 80s and still be incredibly independent and mobile. I mean, she needs to take breaks every now and then, and needs support like and arm or a shopping cart, but overall she is doing really well. Her mind is right, she's spunky as every...offering life advice and threatening to "pop you one." She is a bit wary about my decision to try to volunteer in Philadelphia. This being because she grew up in Philly and she knows what a not so great place it is. We'll see what happens there.

We went to the Coast Guard base to look at the ships and hit up the Exchange. It was here where I scored my treasure for the day. A $10 3 liter bottle of wino wine. Yes, that shit that comes in a jug, not a bottle or a box, and is made in California and has a name like "Rose Red" which reminds me of the horror flick with the psycho girl. haha Its not a Merlot, or Riesling, or a Chardonnay. That is why I like it. I'm a Riesling girl when it comes to wine but my good friend Antonio introduced me to wino wine during our Twilight movie drink a thon (drink anytime you feel depressed, want to kill yourself, want to kill one of the actors, thought the line was wayy to cheesy). It tasted like grape juice. Like, crunked grape juice. I loved it so I bought a jug of it and happily carried it around in my backpack like some sketch prohibition coyote during the day.

It now sits in my fridge waiting to be consumed in very large quantities. Don't judge me.

Anyway after that we went to K-mart where we bought....nothing. Then we went back to my grandmother's house and my Uncle Hughie met up with us. I ate some mulberry berries for the first time in my life and they tasted like grapes. I liked them. My uncle showed us this really cool thing that google maps can do (show you street view so you're like walking down the street and looking at actual photo maps of the locations). I showed them my grad pics and then we went to get a healthy McDonalds dinner, caught the ferry and my mom drove me home.

Overall it was an exhausting but fun day. I was really glad I got to see my grandmother for the whole day. Good times.

Ok now for part II: what is on MA's mind today?

Well one of the things I noticed today was how small my grandmother's yard and house seems. Now, its not really that small, but I spent the majority of my childhood visiting my grandmother whenever possible. I hid under her dining room table and tried to climb trees in her enormous yard. Now, as an adult, her yard seems so small and I seem so...big. I seem giant like, stomping around the grass and gravel as if I'm the marshmallow man on Ghostbusters. Cape May, NJ has changed...a lot. My town, the Villas, seems so incredibly compacted with tons of houses new and old just clustered together. Business that have been around since my birth no longer exist. Its just so weird. I suppose I'm use to my acre of land in VA and endless fields and wastelands. However, it is still an interesting concept of how compacted and squeezed in everything in Cape May seems. The whole town/city whatever you want to call it, seems miniature.

Change is not a concept I am really fond of. (No offense Obama). People change throughout the course of their lifetime. It is really hard to believe how much a person can change in just a matter of a few years. Its like you are one person in college and then you are isolated from everyone that makes you, well, you. So the next thing you know you change into an entirely different person. Is the the "real" you since you are not influenced by your friends as much? Or, is this a half ass you because you don't have your college support system and instead have the real world smacking you in the face every morning at 8am. I don't know the answer but I know people change. A lot of this change makes me really sad.

I think I've got my future all figured out. I'm going to hopefully get accepted by RMC (fingers crossed) and volunteer in Philly for a year. I'll volunteer with the Drueding/Project Rainbow project if possible. After a year of volunteer service I'll apply for a job with the org. I'm working with (if they are hiring) OR I'll find a related job in Philly. I'll then apartment search during my final months as a volunteer and move there by August 2010. During this time I'll finally have a good location to start working on a project I've wanted to do. Its very ambitious, but I'm planning on writing a book about the homeless. That is all I'm going to say for fear of someone stealing my idea, finishing before me and getting all the money and credit that they don't deserve. I will say this, the profits from the book for the most part are going to go to the Drueding center and to Cafe Inspiration in Chicago. If this all pans out. After all, we all know that I never finish what I start and I'm full of bright ideas which remain ideas forever.

I'm freaking out about the job front. Nothing has come up and I've applied to almost everywhere that is hiring on the Shore. I NEED a job or I can't go to Philly if I get accepted into the program. I NEED a job.

I also need to make 4th of July plans. If you know me, you know that the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. If we're really close, then you also know why. I want to do something fun for the 4th but there is a chance I'll have a job by then and have to work, here...on the Shore. I want to go to Williamsburg. However I don't really have $$ and I prolly won't have time. We'll see. I'm convinced that Wburg fireworks are THE BEST on the 4th. There are also a lot of people I want to see this summer that are in Williamsburg.

I think after I score a paying job if that ever happens, I'm going to go to the Eastern Shore News and ask them if I can write for free. I'm hoping they will send me a story a week or a story every two weeks to cover. I'll take the crappy ones that are time consuming or that no one wants to cover. JUST PLEASE LET ME WRITE!!! I worked for them for free once, I wouldn't mind doing it again. I don't want to lose my touch.

I guess thats it. I'm just having family troubles still, am worried about the future still and am pondering what my purpose in life is while craving some journalism. The usual.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When a perfect thing is broken

My mother doesn't have a drug problem. She rarely drinks. She has been married to my father for 26 years. She works hard, cooking and cleaning and making our house a home. She chose not to pursue a career but rather to stay at home and raise me. I'm not sure how much of a sacrifice this was when she made this decision because my mother isn't exactly a very open person. Yet it turned into a sacrifice throughout the past 22 years I think. She likes old movies and the actor Cary Grant. She doesn't like butter beans or peas but she'll force them down if she has too because my dad and I love them. She likes gardening and she has really sharp graphic design skills when it comes to the computer. She has given up a lot so I could have a million times more than she had. So has my dad.

My dad has never been violent towards me or my mother. He is a gentle and caring person with a great sense of humor. He likes to take on various hobbies and he pretty much excels in everything he does. He joined the Coast Guard and supports our family with his retirement paycheck now. He had to sacrifice having a normal life because he had to miss out on some holidays and birthdays. I have him all to myself now, without the military sending him to exotic lands. So why do I always seem to piss him off without even trying?

So explain to me why I have one of the worst relationships with my parents where only a large amount of distance and a daily phone call makes things peaceful. Sure, we all have run ins with our parents, but I really don't think I have a reason to have such a horrible relationship with mine.

At times they were a bit overbearing and overprotective. I mean, yeah that was out of love I guess. They don't understand how I've developed my ways of thinking and my own personal ideals. Then again I think they don't really try to either. They would never believe me but my worst fear is when my parents will die. I know that day will come...I hope it is in the very very distant future but I can't imagine it and I don't really want to. I kind of put them on immortal pedestals. Even with their daily aches and pains and the medication they have to take in order to not feel the hurt of aging...I still believe they will live forever.

But they won't which means I have to enjoy the time I have with them now. But I can't. All I want to do is move out and get on with my own life. If things work out with RMC there is a very good chance I'm going to move to Philly after my year of service and continue my work there. I'm really excited about this possible decision. I'm also scared I won't get accepted into RMC and my plans will be shattered. I'm sure they will find a way to rebuild again. I guess I'm trying to figure out the "master plan" if you will. Its like a big mystery and I'm collecting all the possible clues which could be my future. So yeah, if all works out in Philly I might just stay there.

Anyway its been almost a week and my parents still aren't talking to me. I mean they may say things like "thank you" or "where are you going?" But I don't watch movies with my mom after dinner anymore. I don't watch tv with my dad on his computer until the late hours of the night. I don't watch hunting videos with him as he coaches me on how to shoot for this upcoming season. My mother drove me to get my car yesterday and we sat in silence in the car. Tomorrow me and her are driving up to Delaware to take the ferry to Cape May, New Jersey to visit my grandmother. She's only taking me so my grandmother can see me because she misses me. This car ride is going to be one of the worst experiences of my life. I have my mother to myself for a whole three hours and instead of joking around and talking about fun things like we usually do when we go to New Jersey, we're going to sit in silence. She might express her feelings and become really upset, thus making me feel like shit or she might just embrace the stone cold silence. Its going to be painful. Really painful. Usually when we go to NJ I bond with her. She sometimes opens up to me about herself (she is a really private person). We'll joke and I can make her laugh at least 25 times throughout the day. That isn't going to happen tomorrow.

I've been acting like I don't give a shit about anything. I sleep in till 11 or noon, slowly get up and eat something and then lock myself in my cave of a room for the day. Sometimes I'll appear out of it to eat, use the bathroom or read outside. I try to spend as much time as I can in my room so I don't have to deal with the painful silence. The book I'm reading, "Theft" summed up the situation quite well. "in the meantime there developed one of those strange silences between friends that, like a torn shoulder muscle left unattended, grows hard and lumpy and finally locks into a compacted knot of injury that no amount of manipulation can undo." Yeah, that explains my relationship with my parents right now.

I'm not going to lie. I'm crying as I write this. I know it is gut wrenching and emotional but there is nothing I can do about it, about any of it. There is no solution to the problem at hand. I just have to count down to the days when I can go live my life. I want my family back. I don't want temporary fake happiness like there was on the fishing day. No. I want authenticity. I want my dad to jokingly call me stupid for lack of common sense and my mother to laugh because of something I said.

Thats all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Small Break of Sunshine through the Clouds

Today was a good day. It was almost euphoric. It was a much better day than what I've been having lately.

I woke up at 7am, really tired because I couldn't sleep the night before. It could have been the before dinner nap I took to pass the time that messed up my sleep schedule. I went to bed around 12:30am, fell asleep around 1:30am and woke up at 7am. Not a lot of sleep. That fact didn't deter me because I was going flounder fishing today with my parents and our neighbors. Even though my parents are still extremely upset with me (grudge, grudge, grudge), they had to pretend like everything was wonderful. So, I literally had them kind of pretending that life was peachy for about 5 hours. It was really nice. We went fishing out of Folly's Creek, yes the creek that takes me to Cedar island. We caught about 40 fish between the four of us (me, my dad, my neighbor and his wife). My mom didn't want to fish she just enjoyed watching. They were all flounder except one...the skate...which I caught. However, in order to keep founder they must be 19 inches or more. It seems like an awful far fetched goal to me. My dad caught one that was a quarter inch short. Now, most people would bring it home but if we did that it would probably be the one time the game warden/marine police would check the loot. Quarter inch or not, it is a $110 fine for bringing home short fish. So we had to toss him back. I caught 3 flounder and a skate (sting ray). The sting ray was kind of exciting. I remember uttering a "HOLY SHIT" as I attempted to reel him in. Poor bugger was swimming by and got caught on my hook. He's fine though, we unhooked him and let him back to enjoy life in the creek.

After a full day of fishing I returned home, tired and sun burnt. Then I got the call that my car was ready to be picked up. YES! It was $140 and it was the PVC valve. So now it doesn't shake and freak out and cut off at stoplights. On my way to the Hampton Inn temporary office I was actually trying to stop at stoplights, hoping they'd turn red, so I could test out my car. Lucky did just fine.

I reached the office which is in a hidy hole of a building and submitted my resume/filled out an application. I think I'm a good candidate for hostess or front desk person. I'm also legally allowed to serve alcohol, therefore I could be a waitress/bartender kind of person. Everyone and their mother and cousin is applying to work at the Hampton Inn Suites. Why? Because the ad for vacant jobs is in both Eastern Shore newspapers. They are hiring hostesses, front desk receptionists, housekeepers, breakfast cooks, the works. I'll take any position. Just please hire me and pay me k thanks bai.

So today was nice. I'm now pleasantly sunburned. Its not too bad, just a lobster shade over my arms, shoulders and face. I am a little concerned about a mole on my left shoulder. It is really dark and I think it is getting bigger. It could be my imagination. Yet, after watching Grey's Anatomy season finale/season 5 I'm really wary about skin cancer. I mean Izzy DIES from it. Rare, yes...but a possibility...also yes. Its scary.

Here is some food for thought. There are two very significant things I've been pondering lately. The first is that the Eastern Shore does not have a Starbucks. Now, I'm not a Starbucks addict. Their menus confuse me and I don't like the Italian words and crap and also I think their coffee is overpriced. But the Eastern Shore of Virginia does not have a Starbucks. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I mean we don't have a Wal-Mart or a mall either. There are three movie theatres which all have the latest movies come out.....months after they come out. Star Trek is finally playing in the Onancock theatre and that is good timing.

The second thing is that there is one thing I've always been good at. Working. As in, holding a job for pay. Let's recap:

12 years old: I was working as a maid in a bed in breakfast and getting paid $4.25 under the table. This was a horrible job. I'd make beds, clean bathrooms, find used condoms and wish I had gloves to change sheets, and then I'd have to vacuum the hallways and go out and pull weeds in 90 degree heat. It sucked but I was decent at it.

11 years old but later 14 years old legally: (this phrase does not make sense, I know). When I was 11 years old I had just moved to Onancock from New Jersey. My parents were fixing up our 100 year old Victorian and needed me to get out of their way. So they told me to get on my bike and explore the town. Well, I had already turned left at the end of my road and found the bakery, movie theatre and wharf. So I decided to make a right. Now, for some odd reason I had always wanted to work in a nursing home. I have no idea why but I'm fascinated and have a soft spot for the elderly. Sure enough down the right of the road was Hermitage of the Eastern Shore Continuing Care Retirement Community. My 11 year old brain did a quick calculation that it meant it was a nursing home. So I rode my bike up to the lobby, parked it right outside, marched in to the front desk, introduced myself and asked if I could visit residents and help out. The receptionist was friendly but she looked over my head for my parents or a car waiting outside or something but all she saw was a bike. She scheduled me for a meeting with the activities director at 3pm. I rode my bike back to my house and told my parents I had an appointment with the activities director of the Hermitage. My parents were all "chicka whhaaat??" Ok, well they didn't say that but they were really surprised and confused. They couldn't believe their 11 year old daughter went to a nursing home and asked to volunteer. They were kind of proud but also confused. I mean what kind of 11 year old does that?

I started volunteering at a nursing home at age 11. By age 14, I was legally allowed to work for money. I applied for a job with dining services, got it, and worked there until I turned 19. I made a lot of friends. My favorite resident was Joe Custis. I loved her (Joe is short for Josephine). She was a spunky lady who frequently found herself in a bad mood. I loved her for that. I could turn her frown upside down. She passed away my freshman year of college. :-/

I worked in activities for a bit but got laid off because the Herm couldn't afford to pay me. I stuck with dining services for years though. I became a favorite among a lot of the residents and the source of entertainment for a lot of my coworkers.

Age 18: I was a freshman at William and Mary. By the end of my freshman year I really needed a job. I applied to be an Office Manager with William and Mary Recreational Sports. I got the job and started really working a lot my sophomore year. My first shift was 6am-8am on Weds mornings. The catch was I had to be at work at 5:45am. The morning shifts sucked but I worked with good people. After one semester I was promoted to Facility Supervisor. I remained working at the Rec until I graduated. I had won numerous awards and recognition for great customer service and by my senior year I won the 2008-2009 Facility Supervisor of the Year Award. Yes, its on the resume. I was known for getting a lot of positive patron feedback. I actually had a patron come up to me and thank me for being so pleasant because she had a horrible few weeks but I was always helpful and cheerful. She told me I really make her day. That meant a lot. After working there for three years, you really learn the ropes. Patrons would come in and I'd already know what tv channel they'd request before they got to their exercise machine. I had let patrons use my own cell phone to make phone calls. I tended to a lot of emergencies including a small bush fire and a handful of injuries. I loved working there, especially during the summer of 08. My friend Heather Ireland and I literally worked 8am-3pm every day. We played games on our laptops and gossiped the day away. The rec was an awesome place.

Age 20: Which is why in the middle of my sophomore year I auditioned to be a fitness instructor. I was hired as a cycling instructor and taught cycling for two years. By senior year I taught "Hard Core Cycling" which was 40 min of cycling and about 15 min of core. My final class consisted of glow sticks, a dance party (featuring just me) and a lot of laughs. Several patrons told me I was their favorite instructor. I got labeled a jock by some of my sorority sisters due to my involvement in the rec. If you knew me in high school, you'd know I'm not a jock. haha I loved the label anyway.

Age 20 sort of but spanning back to high school at some murky point: How did I get involved with the Eastern Shore News? Well, the same way I got involved with the Hermitage. I literally walked into the Eastern Shore News headquarters with a story I wrote (ironically about my job at the Hermitage) and asked to speak with the editor. He was there, he let me in his office, I showed him my story and told him I wanted to be a journalist. I begged him to let me write for the newspaper FOR FREE. So he threw a few stories my way, I was the first choice pick for the week long Newspapers in Education Internship. Still impressed with my work he came to my house and offered me a freelance stint for the summer. I really wish I was still working for the News. Being a journalist is a really fun job. You get to meet all sorts of different people. For example, I once covered a story about a local food seminar and learned all about the benefits of producing and purchasing locally grown food. One story had me out on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay writing about a high school student who created an oyster restoration project with his dad's friend's cement company. I helped deploy the 50lb reef balls into the water so the oyster population could flourish. This story made it into the Virginian Pilot (a writer from there told me they'd never hire me and I'd do better trying to work up the Gannet corporation all the way to USA today. lol) My first story I wrote was about a resident from the Hermitage who played piano at her old church every Sunday. She was well into her 90s but still made the journey to church and played the organ. As I wrote the article, I got sidetracked on other things. I didn't have a real deadline, but I needed to get cracking. The woman fell ill and was hospitalized. She died before the article was published. It was really sad because she kept asking me why anyone would want to read an article about her. The article became a tribute article. It helped people cope with her sudden death.

Age 21: I decided to do some crazy things in college. So right before my 21st birthday I got my nose pierced. I still have it pierced. Why is this relevant? Well I pictured myself as a crazy and spunky grandmother, telling my grandchildren that as a senior in college I partied a lot, had my nose pierced and was a nude model for the art department. I fell through with all of these things. The art department doesn't get a whole lot of...I'll be nice to myself...curvaceous models. So I became instantly popular in the drawing classes due to my...um...curves. Posing naked in front of a bunch of people (half the time I actually knew them) isn't as scary as it may sound. It is kind of liberating and a lot of fun. $10 an hour...can't beat that.

Age 21: I spent most of my senior year searching for jobs on the SIN (student info network). I picked up some odd jobs here and there such as helping people move in/out of their respective house/apartments for cash. I made a small org. treasury report completely electronic using Excel. I almost was a dog walker but that didn't work out. I did part time cat sitting for one of my professors. AND I scored an awesome job in April as a reporter for the alumni association. I was doing journalism again both video and print. I would cover campus stories of interest, make a video about them and it would be posted on their website. You can go to the W&M alumni website to see some of my work. There is a Shakespeare in the Dark video, a Nicaragua video, an article about a good friend Caitlin Tuffin and a few more I think. I loved that job but it came at way too short notice. The job wasn't even a real position until April...a month before I graduated. My boss told me he really wished I was a junior because I did such great work.

That my friends, sums up my work history. I've always been a hard, loyal, trustworthy worker. Almost all of my bosses have expressed disappointment and regret at me quitting. Also, most of the jobs I've had I've only quit due to graduating high school/college.

If the Holiday Inn Suites knew all of this....they might actually hire me to work their front desk.

Until next time...

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Dedicate This Song to All My Friends

These lyrics sum up my life and friends right now. They're not depressing. This goes out to all of you, you know who you are.

Miles Apart - Yellowcard

If I could I would do all of this again
Travel back in time with you to where this all began
We could hide inside ourselves and leave the world behind
And make believe there's something left to find

We'll be miles apart
I'll keep you deep inside
You're always in my heart
A new life to start
I may be leaving but you're always in my heart

Now we've all grown up, gone on and moved away
Nothing I can do about it, nothing I can say
To bring us back to where we were when life was not this hard (life was not this hard)
Looking back it all just seems so far, so far away

We'll be miles apart
I'll keep you deep inside
You're always in my heart
A new life to start
I may be leaving but you're always in my heart

I'd give it up for just one more day with you
Give it up for just one more day
I'd give it up for just one more day with you

I'd give it up for just one more day with you
Give it up for just one more day
I'd give it up for just one more day with you

I'd give it up for just one more day with you
Give it up, give it all away
I'd give it up for just one more day with you

We'll be miles apart
I'll keep you deep inside
You're always in my heart
A new life to start
I may be leaving but you're always in my heart

I need you now, we're miles apart
I'll keep you deep inside
You're always in my heart
I need you now, we're miles apart
I may be leaving but you're always in my heart