Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"I'll Be 23" or "No one likes you when you're 23"



These are two songs about being/becoming 23. Which is what happened yesterday, for me. So I had a birthday and it was awesome. I had to work (my birthday tends to fall on the 1st day of college classes, the 1st day of volunteer work...etc) but it was all good because clients and coworkers wished me happy birthday all day. I had an overwhelming 123 facebook posts for my birthday (admit it, you count too just for fun) and my parents did everything they could to make my birthday a special day short of actually being in PA.

Becoming 23 made me think...alot...about a lot of things. No I'm not questioning the meaning of life or reflecting about how "old" or "young" I am. Rather, I realized how meaningful it is to wish someone happy birthday. I'm making it a personal goal to wish my facebook friends happy birthday on their respective days. I'd usually ignore the birthday list and check my OWN stuff. Well, people from high school, middle school, college, random parties...etc were wishing me happy birthday. I thought, if all of these people can take 30 sec out of their busy day to wish me, someone that many of them have not talked to in some time, happy birthday...why can't I try to make someone else's day by doing the same? So I'm going to work on that. I also decided to thank each person individually on their wall. It took forever, but it was certainly worth it.

I also got an appreciation for the value of life. I'm a member of a Writer's Group in Philadelphia. This morning I awoke to an e-mail to the group from our organizer. Well, one of the members passed away. I had never formally met this individual and only knew them because they were at the last meeting. Death never ceases to amaze me. One day you are here and the next day you are not. I hope this member's family will heal from their loss. This person was working on writing fiction...they were retired and really into writing. May they rest in peace.

So about that novel...yeah...kind of need to get started on it. Because..you never know...

Anyway I'm here at work trying to find motivation anywhere. I've checked under my desk and behind the door and even in my half empty cup of coffee. No motivation to be found. I have to make back to school packets for the clients, do some assessments, organize some protocols and all sorts of fun stuff but I'm tired. I stayed up late watching the Phillies lose in a 16 inning game. Bah, it was horrid.

Here's to being 23!

Until next time...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Betwixt and Between

So I started working for pay on July 26th. As you must know by now, Project Rainbow hired me as a full time PAID Youth Advocate. My boss jokes and says "she made herself irreplaceable." That was my goal, right? To be honest, work is the only consistent thing in my life right now. With the school year right around the corner, I'm gearing up for launching the tutoring programs again and helping our families get ready for back to school. It is a busy time for me and I love it. So, work is awesome. I've gotten some new responsibilities as well but I'm always looking for that task that makes me feel like superwoman. For example, last week my boss and her assistant went to a meeting. They came back and told me about an essay contest for kids. If they did the contest they could win a gift card for back to school but the entries were basically due back that day. I thought it would be damn near impossible to get the kids to write the little essay, get the parents to sign off on them, and fax them to the agency before the day ended. Sure enough, I did just that and all but one entry was sent before 3pm! (I got this assignment at around 12:30). "She was on a mission," my coworkers said. That I was. I love moments like that.

I'm still getting used to the 8.5 hour days. As a volunteer, I'd work through my lunch break to earn more hours. Now I HAVE to take a lunch break because I don't get paid for that. haha I also have to stay until 5:30pm. It isn't that bad but I find myself staring at the clock from 5pm on, just waiting to be released. Wassup, real world.

As for my life life, well, it doesn't really exist. I'm in a perpetual transition and I'm sort of just rolling with things. I moved out of the convent yesterday and in with a friend from work. Basically, I realized that the convent, amidst its own little transitions, would need some time to form a new community (2 members moving to a new house, 2 members moving in). So I politely excused myself from the whirlwind of change and moved in with said friend. The irony is, I had less than 24 hours to settle in my new habitat before I drove to NJ to house-sit/cat-sit for my friend who is on vacation. I'm staying at her house for a week before returning to the friends house. My commute from Jersey to Philly was a breeze today. Something tells me I'm not going to be so lucky during the rest of the week.

So look at that, I moved out of the convent a little earlier than expected, in with a friend for a hot second, temporarily out to house/cat sit, then I'm moving back in for a month or so. I'm halfway unpacked because, as homey as my new home is, it isn't MY home. It is someone else's home. I'm welcome in it, but its not MINE. So I want nothing more than to drop 2 grand on a apartment and start living my life. However, I don't have 2 grand when I have credit card bills, phone bills and yes, those Godforsaken student loans. I had about $70 for my first paycheck (1 week's pay) after the rest of it went to pay off loans and crap. Sheesh. It makes me wonder if I can really survive out there on my own. I'm having to adjust to new bills and figuring for how much car insurance would cost (an arm, a leg, and your first born child in Philadelphia per month), as well as get my doctors appointments straight (yay health insurance and new doctor) and apartment hunt as well. Talk about multi-tasking. :-/

As you can see, I've been a little bit stressed. It kind of reminds me of my fish. Every time I change his water, he has to readjust to it. I know the temperature and Ph isn't matched exactly. So he has to adjust with each new environment, which changes weekly. So far he's been doing great but I bet all that adjusting takes a lot out of him. And he isn't gracefully put into the clean bowl either. I don't have a fishy net yet so I literally DUMP him from his carrier container into his clean bowl. So he enters the new water HEAD FIRST and then he must adjust. That is EXACTLY how I feel right now. Although I'm getting the hang of this adjustment thing.

Bad news and good news. Bad first--remember my weight loss challenge? Lose weight to look great in that bathing suit by Sept 12th? Yeah..well...the house in NJ has a great high-tech bathroom scale, which, against my better judgement, I got on. I weigh exactly the same amount I weighed ONE YEAR AGO when I realized I had to lose that damn 50lbs to live a healthier life. So I lost about 20lbs, looked great, got too stressed out for my own good, fell off the diet wagon, and gained it all back. So I am literally back where I started one year later. It depresses me beyond words. The good news on this topic is that cat/house sitting friend gave me money to buy groceries. So I'm going to treat myself to some watermelon, cucumbers, lean chicken breast and peaches. I'm going to drink way more water. The other good news is that friend I live with has an elliptical in the basement. The elliptical is making sweet love to my exercise ball. I assure you both will remain dust free. Its like a mini gym 30 seconds from my bedroom. So time to lose weight...AGAIN. I'm starting to get really wigged out by my weight. Last Saturday I accidentally bumped into a guy on the street while eating a big slice of pizza. "Watch it big girl, " he said. That still gets to me.

The other news is just some epic stories. You know me. Two weeks ago I went to the Piazza with my bestie to see Needtobreathe and OK Go play, live, for FREE! Afterwards we went on a drinking tour of the city. No, really, we bar hopped, enjoying over proofed drafts of strong beer and cheap delights. We ended up at my new favorite bar, Jons Bar and Grill on South Street. You can not beat their drink specials. I'm making friends there as well, including a regular, her fiance and the bartender. After indulging in alcoholic goodness, we went to end our night at this nightclub on Market street. I finally looked at the place sober so I know where/what it is. (The first time I went in because I heard hip hop and never knew what the place was called).

So we're in this small club dancing, watching retro rap videos on the screen, jumping to Vanilla Ice and sweating out whatever we consumed over the past five hours. I get some water and "Baby Got Back" came on. Well, these girls on a couch saw me dancing earlier so they get all excited and say "THIS IS YOUR SONG GIRL, GET OUT THERE!" So I'm like, yeah it kind of is, and I give my friend my water. I start dancing and I'm totally in my element when all of the sudden I realize I am the only person on the dance floor. Everyone cleared the floor, formed a circle around me and started cheering me on. At one point a girl got in the middle but she couldn't keep up. So its just me, dancing, like I walked out of a plus size hip hop dance video to "Baby Got Back," which I do got. When I realized it was the MA show, I started dancing better, dropping it like its on fire, getting my eagle on..etc. Yeah, it was awesome.

The song ends and I go back to my seat to find my friend drank all my water. Bitch. haha but it was all good. This really drunk girl comes up to me and says "OMG I LOVE YOU SO EFFING MUCH. YOU ARE MY HERO. YOU ARE THE HOTTEST CHICK IN HERE." Mind you, I am not at a gay bar. So I thank her for her um...kind words. The lights come on, its 2am and time to go. So I'm leaving and all these people are coming up to me and saying how I really know how to throw it down. The DJ pulls me over and gives me a high five. "You know how to party." "you can dance like woah." "You know how to throw down." "Girl, you were on fire out there." "That was amazing." I leave the club and walk down busy Market street only to be greeted by more....can I call them fans? I walk through a high five gauntlet of guys and girls alike. People are calling me out and high fiving me left and right. I am just walking with a huge smile on my face, thanking everyone for the compliments. Meanwhile, my best friend is like "OMG I WISH I HAD A CAMERA. YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN WHAT I SAW. IT WAS SO EPIC. I THOUGHT NOTHING COULD TOP THAT PIZZA I HAD." haha. Step Up 4. what? what?

I would have went there to dance this past Saturday night, but I ended up staying at Jons...which is where I tend to find myself every Saturday night now. Its kind of funny. I have to drive to the subway, take it into the city, walk 5 blocks to South Street, walk 2 blocks on South Street, just to get to my bar. Its not convenient but I love that place. I'm networking with my friend there, the bartenders and my friend's fiance. This weekend I had Cafe Patron, a coffee liquor mixed with Patron tequila (OMG IT WAS SO DELICIOUS). At one point the whole bar did a shot together with the bartenders. The theme of the night was bombs, Jaeger and Irish Car. I learned what a pickle back shot was (1 shot Jameson chased with a shot of pickle juice), and my friend was promoting what she was drinking to the rest of the clients. A fight almost broke out over a seat at the bar. I sucked at darts. I had a guy buy me drinks and it was a jolly good time.

I don't even want to think about how many calories I consumed. Then I had late night McDonalds and returned home at oh....4am.

Typical Saturday. Typical MA. :P

Time for work. Until next time....

Sick September A Recap

After an fantastic month of August where all the stars were aligned and life seemed damn near perfect, I entered the month of September with...