Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What I need

I forced myself out of bed and to the rink on Friday morning because I thought it’d be good for me. Crawling out of bed at 6:00 am to skate on my day off of work is mildly insane on a normal day; after the day I had on Thursday, it seemed downright stupid. Staying in my warm bed felt like admitting defeat, so I brewed a cup of tea and pulled on my tights and tried to convince myself that driving to the rink would be worth my time and effort.

I skated amazingly well. Fridays are difficult for me on a good week. The weight of the week seems to pull on me. Jumps are smaller. Spins aren’t centered. Connecting moves are labored and sluggish. There was a bit of that (there always is), but not to the extent that it should have been. I should’ve skated horribly. I spent half of the previous night sobbing, after all.

I went to Mom and Dad’s house after I skated, like I do every Friday. Mom, who usually works from home on Fridays, was at a conference, so it was just me and Stevie. I planned to shower, change into an ragged pair of sweats, and spend the day watching television and moping.

And then my grandma called. She invited me to go with her over to Aunt Marie’s house to make lasagna, which was on the menu for the family party we were having at her house on Sunday.

I assumed that Mom had called Grandma and set up some sort of a suicide watch. “Alyson’s upset. I’m out of town. Can you babysit her on Friday?” I don’t like it when I make people worry, so I agreed to go.

Later, I found out (when she asked me if I’d found out any news about the job) that Grandma hadn’t been told my bad news. I wasn’t on suicide watch after all.

It was nice anyway. The distraction was good. There’s nothing like looking at your aunt, who is finally beginning to walk a year after she broke her ankle, and getting a little bit of perspective on life. And I learned how to make vegetable lasagna. Delicious vegetable lasagna.

The minute Grandma dropped me off at Mom and Dad’s house, I was itching to leave again. My mom wanted to smother me with her sympathy. And, for whatever reason, I just didn’t want to hear it from her.

Lucy and I met up for a pity party.

Admittedly, Lucy has it worse than me. She graduated last December and has yet to find steady, full time employment. She’s lost, frustrated, bouncing around the idea of going to grad school but fearful that, once she graduates, she’ll be in the same boat. Just with more student loans to pay off.

We moped together at Starbucks. We grumbled through a phenomenal meal at our favorite restaurant. We traded stories, offered support, reminded each other that we weren’t the only ones in this unsteady boat, and collectively wondered what the hell we were going to do.

We never came to any grand conclusions. There were no solutions. But I went to bed on Friday night feeling so much better. The outlook was not any less gloomy. But I would live.

I will live.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I prefer writing happy tales

Thursday was just...disaster.

It started out with a few contractors doing work at my apartment who made the late start on my workday (I go in at 11 on Thursdays) even later (I didn’t get in until 12:30 pm).

My coworker Kevin, the man who infamously was accused by my boss, our one-person H.R. department and the company president’s mom of sleeping with me, came in around 2:00 pm.

By 2:30, he had been fired.

He took it really well. He packed up and bowed out graciously. No ranting and raving, no purposely leaving a mess at his desk. A quiet exit that was, of course, much more respectable than his firing.

My boss and our one-person H.R. department pulled him into an office under the guise that he’d be getting his quarterly review.

"We’re not here for your review, Kevin. We’re here to terminate you."

They wouldn’t give him a reason.

Any normal person is going to want to know why they’re fired, assholes. Make something up about how you think it’s time for a change and that this was a difficult decision but one that will be best for the company! Give him some fucking closure. Exhibit the smallest bit of courtesy.

They put two documents in front of him. Sign this one and you resign and get two weeks of severance pay. Sign that one to acknowledge that you’re terminated.

Kevin signed the termination paper, giving himself a shred of a chance of collecting unemployment.

My company, the kings of stingy assholes, are notorious for fighting unemployment claims.

Which is such incredible bullshit.

Give him the unemployment he deserves. Don’t kick him in the balls on his way out.

Like I said, stingy assholes.

Finding out that Kevin had been fired was a shock. His termination came with no warning. There were no signs. He hasn’t been in trouble. He wasn’t doing anything differently than he’d been doing it for the last year and a half he’d worked in this building.

When I found out that Kevin was fired, I was all "I am so out of here."

I was anticipating the glory that would be giving my boss my two weeks notice so soon after she canned Kevin. Our office is very small, losing two full-time employees in such a short period of time would really, really fuck things up.

Sometime that evening, I checked the voicemail on my cell phone. A call from the company I’d interviewed for. Hmmm. I snuck out to my car to return their call.

Listening to the message for the second time, I didn’t have a good feeling. There was a hint of doom in the recruiter’s voice.

Gloom, indeed.

The recruiter let me down easy and then continued to babble on about "early stages" of hiring at that office and "if my heart was really set" on their company and all sorts of crap. I barely heard her. I also barely kept myself from telling her where to shove her inspirational speech.

I went back into the building.
And back to my desk.
Humiliation hung on me every step of the way.

But I didn’t cry until I called my parents.

I sobbed. My shoulders shook. I was irrational and stubborn and entirely distraught.

It was too much for one day.

Just thinking about working here – even if it’s only for six more months – drains me from any will to live. Working here without Kevin, who was an oasis in the desert that is this company, multiplies my hatred of this place tenfold.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t even know where to look.

The economy here is so, so incredibly bad. And getting worse.

I feel like I’m drowning.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Vocabulary

Worthless
Pathetic
Stupid
Sad
Useless
Inconsolable
Tearful
Inferior
Angry
Confused
Distraught
Helpless
Meritless
Weak
Useless
Inconsolable
Tearful
Inferior
Brainless
Defective
Irritable
Dejected
Naïve
Flawed
Oblivious
Perturbed
Substandard
Inadequate
Furious
Hopeless
Insufficient
Unacceptable
Senseless
Discouraged
Bitter

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I want to die

I didn’t get the job.

Not only did I not get the job, my bestest work buddy, Kevin, lost his today. My psychotic boss fired him. Out of the blue. For absolutely no reason.

Great timing.

I’m still at work. I’m a complete mess.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I hope I'm wrong

I don’t have a good feeling about this job.

I’m preparing myself for a massive letdown. A letdown that will involve a lot of tears, incessant pouting, a whirlwind for applying to jobs that I don’t really want but at least aren’t here, and being forced to tell everyone (including my entire extended family, a lot of friends, Colin, and two coworkers) that I am a complete and utter failure.

So that should be fun.

I’m really looking forward to it.

There is no reason for me to feel so negative. They said that I wouldn’t hear until the end of this week or the beginning of next week. (And I’m am very sure that I won’t hear until next week so that my entire weekend feels uncertain and tense, by the way.)

My cousin Danielle emailed me and said “Think really positive thoughts about the job for the next few days....picture yourself doing it and the right thing will happen.”

Which is exactly what I’m not doing.

Primary (ridiculous) reason that I’m sure I haven’t gotten the job: they have, as far as I know, not contacted any of my references. And the H.R. girl said that they wouldn’t call me with news until after they’d checked references and made sure I graduated and all of that crap.

If to get a job offer is contingent on having a reference check, doesn’t no reference check = no job?

Seems logical to me.

But, thinking positively, maybe they’ve thrown that out the window because, in addition to the three references they requested, I submitted a couple of reference letters. Perhaps reference letters can stand in for a reference check. Perhaps not. I must continue to wait.

Patience.
Patience.
Positive thinking.

Reason I’m holding out a little bit of hope: they haven’t called me yet. If they ruled me out on Monday, how much bureaucratic bullshit should they possibly have to wade through before letting me know that I didn’t make the cut?

If only I knew.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Crap

When I don’t have internet access readily available, I don’t handle it well.

I’m not addicted. Just, um, committed. Committed to reading blogs and writing in my own and obsessively checking my email (word on the job front? New electricity bill? Love confession from my high school crush? I love it all.) and Googling anything and everything I have the mildest curiosity about.

It’s great. The internet is great.

And that’s why I mildly freaked out when I came home last night, attempted to boot up my laptop, and realized that my screen was massively fucked up. I could see faint shadows that suggested the laptop had booted all the way to the desktop, but that was it. No mouse curser (unless I got so close that I practically pressed my nose to the screen), no letters, no numbers. Is that an icon? Maybe. Basically, though, the page was blank.

I immediately pack up my laptop and drive my ass to the computer repair shop near Mom and Dad’s house. It’s an independently owned store and they’re way, way more reasonably priced than CompUSA and the like. They’re also closed. I cursed my luck and decided to stop by CompUSA on my way home.

They, as always, were completely useless. “Uhhhh. We think it might be this. But to diagnose it will be $150. And if it’s what we, um, think it is then, ah, that part will be like $400 more. If you buy a new laptop here, though, we’ll transfer all of your files for free.”

Fuck you. I’m taking my laptop and going home.

On my way home, I call my dad to deliver the bad news: you bought a laptop for me for my college graduation and I’ve already ruined it! Sorry!

He tells me that it’s still under warranty. I feel stupid for running around like a madwoman trying to get it fixed when I can just call Dell and have them deal with the problem. For $0.

I went home and spent an hour on the phone with Dell while simultaneously baking an apple crisp. And now some tech guy is going to come and fix the LCD screen on my baby, my laptop, and then I can return to blogging in my pajamas.

Oh, what a glorious day that will be.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Confession

Right off of I-75, which I take when I go from my apartment to Mom and Dad's, is this billboard for Movado. Featuring Tom Brady.

Each and every time I drive past this particular billboard, which is at least once a week, I am totally a danger to all other traffic.

A giggling, drooling, starry-eyed danger to every other driver on the road.

Friday, October 20, 2006

2 down, ? to go

Today's interview was gloriously brief. I only met with two people; in the first round of interviews, I met with four and had to take a writing test (which I obviously passed with skill and ease).

The waiting game is back on.

The adorably sweet girl in H.R. basically told me the same thing she did last time. Clearly, they did not go through this process last time (when she indicated that they'd make a decision after that first on-site interview), but maybe it'll go as planned this time around.

They'll have a committee meeting on Monday morning and they'll make a decision. Then, they have to go through all of the hiring bureaucracy: an executive hiring committee makes the final decision on me, they check my references, I bite off all of my nails and tear out my hair, blah, blah, blah.

And I should hear by the end of next week.

For the most part, I think that today's interviews went fairly well. Both women were nice and receptive and my answers seemed to please them. Sometimes I felt like I was being too vague when answering the questions they asked to find out how much I knew about the product. But, really, I answered those same questions almost the same way in my first on-site interview and I made it to another round. Hopefully it's a bigger deal to me than it is to them.

An unsettling part of the morning: I was in the reception area with another girl when the one guy who interviewed me my first time around came into the room. He was the guy who I felt I least impressed. He didn't have much personality and he was was hard to read. "Hi, Lauren!" he says to her. To me? Nothing.

Ummm.

I hope he just didn't remember my name. Or recognize me.

As sad as this may seem, I am pretty easy to forget. And I'm saying that because it's a pattern that I've seen all my life, not because I have shitty self-esteem.

Anyway. I put that little mishap, as well as my sniffling about the football ticket issue, behind me. I put on a fairly good show for my interviewers. And whatever happens, happens.

And if they don't want to hire me? Fuck them. I'll find something better.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Party of one

I have tickets to the Michigan/Iowa game on Saturday.

I asked for the tickets weeks ago. I wanted to go with my dad. I thought that we would have fun.

But then the Detroit Tigers pulled off a miracle. And, subsequently, I pulled off a miracle. I got Dad World Series tickets and I insisted that he use them. I would find someone else to go to the football game with.

And that’s the problem.

I wanted to go with Colin. We never get to spend an entire day together, just the two of us. And 107, 499 of our closest friends.

He tried, but work couldn’t accommodate the change to his schedule. He can’t go, and I’d be lying if I said that a few tears didn’t slip down my cheek when I listened to the voicemail in which he told me so.

Back when I was a student, I’d always take my cousin Paul to games. He’s the big sports fan in the family. He has to work. Bussing tables. Poor bastard.

I thought maybe I’d take my cousin Emma. She loves trips to campus, going to the football games, feeling older and wiser than she really is. Halloween party.

My dad keeps telling me that Mom would love to go with me. She could spend time with me, see my sister. Mom feels left out when we’re all off going to sporting events and leaving her at home, he told me. Invite her. She’ll love it.

I invited Mom. She doesn’t want to go. She supposes that she will, in the case that I can’t find anyone else.

I emailed Meg this morning. Sell your seat in the student section (it’s never very hard), I told her, and you can sit with me. She didn’t respond to my email. Nor did she pick up either call I made to her today.

Okay.

I get the hint.

It is stupid, silly, insignificant things like this that make me hate myself. When I can’t get rid of a ticket that is totally in demand because I don’t have friends. Not many. Not enough. Not sports fans.

I am a loser.

Which is a really, really great way to think of yourself the night before an interview.

Almost as great as crying yourself to sleep.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pet peeve of the day

A coworker - a woman who I happen to love to death - has this really annoying habit in which she is forced to point out any mistake I may have made the minute I walk through the door.

I hadn't even sat down this morning and she was standing on her desk, beating on a drum and hollering about how I reversed a date on a document.

Okay. That can be fixed without major catastrophy. And, as a matter of fact, that can be not fixed without major catastrophy. Did you forget that what we do is, in the grand scheme of this world, not really all that important?

No one will die.

Seriously. Let me take my coat off and chill the fuck out. You have nine hours to point out all of my faults.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bitch

Lucy mentioned to one of the other bridesmaids in her wedding that I was interviewing for a job at Really Cool Company.

This gives Other Bridesmaid the grand idea to send the company her résumé to Really Cool Company. Supposedly she recently got a follow-up phone call.

That pisses me off.

I don't even know what position she's applying for. It just seems kind of shitty, to me, to be honing in on a job that a (very) casual friend is obviously very invested in pursuing.

Isn't it basically the same as macking on a boy that another girl has announced she has a crush on?

In my mind, these situations are equals.

So I'm mad.

Maybe even a little mad at Lucy for telling her about it.

Whatever. She has so been out of college for two years and has yet to land a full-time job. She also so needs this job because her loser boyfriend cannot even keep a pizza delivery job for more than a few weeks and he lives with her (and formerly with her and her parents) rent-free. I'm not kidding.

She's also at least 6 weeks behind me in the hiring process. Even if she's applying for the same position (of which they're hiring multiple), it isn't like she's in direct competition with me. She hasn't even scheduled a phone interview.

I don't even know what I'm angry about, except maybe the possibility that at a high school reunion I wouldn't be the only one who could say "I work at Really Cool Company" with a humble smile while watching my former classmates squirm at me with envy.

Yeah, I think about things like that.

Writer’s Block Party

Okay. It’s time. I must admit it.

I am suffering from a hardcore case of writer’s block.

It may be the worst case of writer’s block that the world has ever seen.

Could there be anything more annoying? Ugh. Things have been happening. Things that I could write about! I am (sadly) not sleeping away each and every day (I could use the rest) and I am (thankfully) no longer buried in my work and I am (shockingly) not even spending every waking hour obsessing about Friday’s job interview.

I’m convinced that I’m boring. That may or may not be the case, but being fairly certain that your life is a snooze does not inspire you to write about birthday presents, college football games, the charming and shockingly-well behaved Colin or how my sister’s hockey team accidentally left her at a McDonald’s in St. Louis.

It’s rained nearly every day this month. All of that gloom does not inspire.

It doesn’t inspire me to do anything but stay in bed.

I’m not only boring. I am also a lazy lump of shit.

Tonight, though, I have a game plan. My game plan is one that doesn’t even include watching reality television and that’s huge. Lately, all of my plans revolve around reality television (Laguna Beach and Girls Next Door) or Grey’s Anatomy. Tonight, there will be none of that. I am going to go home from work and I’m going to empty my dishwasher, wash my sheets, fix my hockey helmet, clean my n-n-n-n-nasty bathroom, put away the pleasantly huge stack of birthday presents that is sitting in the center of my living room, eat some cranberry sauce and go to hockey.

It’ll be good.

But will any of it give me something to write about? No.

It’s a tragedy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am so excellent

Today is my dad's 51st birthday.

Today I snagged my dad tickets to game 1, game 6 and game 7 of the World Series (featuring our Detroit Tigers!).

I am awesome.

He is 51.

Happy birthday, daddy!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Longer days would be nice

It's official: I will never get a decent night of sleep again.

And here I am, blogging when I could be sleeping, to hold true to my promise for at least one more night.

I've always excelled at being busy, but this is starting to become unbearable.

When do you call it quits?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bizarro

I'm about to watch E! True Hollywood Story: Starving for Perfection, a special on eating disorders. I'm pumped. Now, don't get me wrong, I love any THS, but this one really fires me up. I know one of the featured anorexics. How crazy is that?

While we're on the subject of crazy, let me give you today's Southeastern Michigan weather report: it's fucking cold and IT'S SNOWING. I've lived in Michigan for my entire 24 years and I cannot remember a year when it's snowed so early. Flurries on Halloween? Yes. But not on October 12th. This is ridiculous.

Tomorrow is my day off. If I get this new job, I will miss having Fridays off. I can't stand working on Saturdays, but I can't deny how nice it is to have a weekday off to get all of the essentials - doctors appointments and shopping and banking and errands and all of that - done while the rest of the world is at work.

I really hope I get that new job, by the way.

I want to start planning. Look at apartments, start writing my letter of resignation, research new gyms, figure out where teaching skating lessons will fit into my schedule. I won't let myself do it. I don't want to count on this. I'm really afraid of building this opportunity so high that, if it topples, it will break my heart.

My interview isn't for a week. I have to suppress myself for seven more days. Control my anxiety. Prepare myself. Not plan. Not count on anything. Wait.

I have to wait for a week. At least.

Oh, impatience.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I am simply too awesome

I had my first hockey game yesterday.

Remember how I was nervous about being the suckass, dead weight goalie that all of my teammates would hate?

That was unnecessary.

(For yesterday, anyhow.)

I got a shutout. A glorious shutout. My team won. All is well in the land of Zambonis and forechecking.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wheeeee!

Good morning, friends.

I scored a second on-site interview.

Joy!

I am such a loser that I want to think that this next interview is a bad sign, because I was never told that there'd be a second on-site interview. I was told that the hiring comittee would make a decision on Monday and then pass the decision on to the executive hiring comittee, which would make the final decision by the end of this week.

Here's a summary of my thinking process: "Another interview? Great!" > "There wasn't supposed to be another interview." > "I didn't convince them in the last interview." > "They're interviewing me again out of pity." > "They don't like me."

Which is a really great, positive way to be thinking going into an interview.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chicago: could've been better, could've been worse

I would like to write a long post about the trip to Chicago I took this weekend.

My family, however, is exhausting. And whatever energy I would've put into blogging about the excitement of this weekend was sucked from me sometime around midnight on Friday.

Like I said: exhausting.

So, let me sum up this weekend with one word. Driving. An exceptional amount of driving.

Michigan to Chicago (5 hours). Aunt Louise's house to the rink Meg's team played at (45 minutes, two trips). The rink to Aunt Louise's house (45 minutes, one trip). The rink to Aunt Louise's house with Aunt Louise, who has lived in Chicago for 20 years, navigating (2 hours). Chicago to Michigan, including a 45 minute delay waiting for police after we were rear-ended (6 hours).

Due to bitterness, I will offer no details on:
a. Aunt Louise getting us fantastically lost
b. Being rear-ended

Instead, I'll offer you all a list of things I liked about the weekend:
1. meeting my cousin's charming fiancé.
2. seeing my cousin's stunning, huge engagement ring.
3. eating. A lot.
4. the time I spent with my mom when I didn't want to kill her.
5. the time I spent with my aunt and uncle when they weren't trying to run my life.
6. getting a birthday present from my sister.
7. getting a birthday present from my aunt and uncle.
8. driving along Lake Michigan.
9. spending time with my sister.
10. really getting to know her hockey teammates.
11. watching her hockey teammates interact at the lunch/party my aunt and uncle threw for them.
12. Michigan 31, Michigan State 13.
13. not dwelling on the job interview.
14. the weather.
15. Detroit Tigers 6, New York Yankees 0.
16. Detroit Tigers 8, New York Yankees 3.
17. making applesauce.
18. phone calls with Colin.
19. bonding with Grandma.
20. jokes about mom's menopause.
21. jokes about Aunt Louise's menopause.
22. sleeping in the sun on the ride home.
23. that our rear-end collision ruined nothing but mom's car and a few cupcakes.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hahahaha...damnit

I came back to Mom and Dad's house after my interview because, from here, Mom, Grandma and I are leaving to go to Chicago.

Dad sent a window guy over to give him an estimate on replacing them.

And when the window guy was in Meg's room, he noticed all of her hockey posters and equipment and autographed memoribilia.

"You play hockey, huh?"

He saw the pictures of Meg in the room and, since we look somewhat alike, he must've thought I was Meg.

"I do, actually. That's my sister's room. She's the real hockey player, I just play for fun." I told him that she plays on her university's team.

He was impressed.

"Are you going to have the opportunity to do that?" he asked, smiling.

"Well, um...no. Like I said, she's the real hockey player."

And, like I didn't say: I'm done with college.

Everyone always thinks Meg is older.

Alive and well

I left today's interview feeling better than I did after the last two. I was excited. Giddy, even. I told the H.R. Coordinator, who was super sweet, that I may skip to my car.

I didn't. But I definitely could've.

The interview lasted the entire three hours it was scheduled to. For the most part, conversation ran smoothly and painlessly. Generally, I enjoyed myself. Undoubtedly, I want this job.

I interviewed with four people. It was interesting to observe their different interviewing styles and to see what from my resume each chose to focus on. I'd say that I really clicked with three of the four people I interviewed with. The other one. Eh. I don't know. The guy didn't have a lot of personality. His questions weren't exactly easily answered. It felt like he was waiting on me to fail. He ranked third on the hierarchy of those who interviewed me, so I'm hoping that his opinion on me isn't the be all and end all. ...unless he really liked me. Then his decision can SO be the be all and the end all.

I had to take a writing test. Snore.

After I finished up with my final interview, I closed things out with the H.R. Coordinator. One of the first things she said to me was "I heard you in here with so-and-so (the highest ranking of all of my interviewers) and it sounded just like he was talking to a coworker! You were so laid back and comfortable! It was great!"

I hadn't had the chance to process anything so, until she said that, I was pretty neutral. After that comment, though, I have a bit of hope.

A small bit of hope which I will not blow out of proportion.

I'm just waiting things out and trying not to get too excited. I will be calm. I will be rational.

I promise you all this: you'll be the first to know. Late next week.

Don't uncross those fingers yet!

p.s. Written fluency in a foreign language was never mentioned. Phew!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Written fluency in at least one foreign language highly preferred

My job interview is at 10:30 tomorrow morning. I'm spending today preparing. The company (which is so awesome that I really wish I was gutsy enough to tell all of you the details) has been awesome with letting me know how the interview is going to go (they came straight out and told me to expect to be there for three hours, which I appreciate) and what I should do to be ready for it.

Everything is so straightforward that it's made me a wreck.

I've researched and studied and memorized. When I am being reasonable and logical, I know that I'm as prepared as I can be. Most of the time, however, I am terrified that I am missing a huge and crucial piece of knowledge that will make the difference in me getting (or not getting) this job.

There's also something in the job description that really, really scares me. It's this sentence: "Written fluency in at least one foreign language highly preferred."

I took Spanish in high school. Not fluent. I studied Italian in college. Not fluent.

And my college transcripts definitely show it.

I took Italian 101 during the first semester of my freshman year. I passed it, largely due to a teacher who was straight from Italy (read: she had painfully low expectations) and a good deal of studying.

In Italian 102, which I took during my second semester, I struggled. I studied and studied, at the expense of my other classes, but I couldn't get ahead. I was horrified. I'd never failed a class and I was on the verge of it. At the suggestion of my professor and my academic advisor, I withdrew from the class.

That summer, I enrolled in Italian 101 at the college my mom teaches at. I thought it'd be a good refresher and, due to my mom's position, I took the class for free. It was a win-win situation. I passed the class but I wasn't the superstar. And I probably should've been. After all, I'd already taken the class.

In the fall, I reenrolled in Italian 102.

And I bombed again.

I studied my ass off. My nose was continually to the preverbal grindstone. Still, I had no luck. The professor, who happened to be the same one I had the first time I'd tried Italian 102, suggested I try to waive my language requirement. She saw how I was struggling. She knew I was trying. I was putting in the work but I wasn't getting the results.

For students like me, the University administers the ASVAB - Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Test - and, if you do shitty enough on it, will grant you a waiver of the four-semester language requirement.

I must've done pretty shitty. I got the waiver. Instead of language classes, I was required to take four courses rooted in the study of one culture instead.

The entire experience was very humbling. I'm a smart girl; I'm not accustomed to failure. Especially on such a grand scale. That waiver felt like an announcement, a fact: you are incapable of learning a foreign language. You have no hope.

And that, kids, is why I don't have written fluency in a foreign language.

Now here's the question: if I'm asked if I have written fluency in a foreign language do I:
a. just say no
b. say no and start crying and begging for forgiveness
c. say no and explain that my strong grasp on the English language makes up for it
d. say no and explain the circumstances around my foreign language retardation any my glorious failure of the ASVAB

They have a copy of my transcripts - they can certainly see the withdraw and the failure (which, unfortunately, I had to take because the University wouldn't consider granting a waiver without one).

I'm really not sure how to approach this. Provide details and let them see my weakness? Offer no explanation?

Help me.

I suck at having shortcomings.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A month's reprieve

My skating coach is always teasing me about the weddings I'm in. It seems like I'm always missing lessons because of bridesmaid's obligations. She is forever sighing "when is this wedding again?" and "how many weddings is this that you've been in during the last year?"

It's only been two, actually. Plus Meg's best friend's wedding, where I did a reading. But, truthfully, it seems like a lot more. One cannot take a laissez fair approach when marrying off her best friend and her closest (age-wise) cousin!

Coach grinned a spectaular smile when I told her that there were no more weddings on my radar. Obligation free! Let's work on that layback spin!

That lasted a month.

Exactly.

Today is Lucy and Chet's one month anniversary.

Today is also the day I learned that my cousin Mara is engaged.

And, while I will bet against being a bridesmaid (we've been very close in the past, but not in recent years), I will guarantee that her wedding will be a lavish, stylish, painfully expensive affair to remember. Her parents, my oh-so-demanding aunt and uncle, like only the finest.

Especially for their only daughter.

I expect that this turn of events will make this weekend's trip to Chicago - where Mara and her parents live - much more interesting.

Fabulous.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sunny side up

With all of the gloom and the doom that I paint my job with, I sometimes forget about the people I work with.

The caring and hard-working and interesting and diverse and funny and genuinely enjoyable people who I work with.

(With the exception of my boss, Ms. Email Snoop, of course.)

When I came in this morning, two of my coworkers were decorating my desk. The balloons came at 10:00 am, with the part-time staff who was coming in for her shift. Not long after, a former employee and her son came in to visit because they knew it was my birthday. And then there was an enormous, sinfully delicious chocolate cake. Complete with candles and singing.

I'm lucky to have a group of people who like me and appreciate me enough to acknowledge my birthday at all.

It was so nice. The whole day was lovely.

And the best present was from my boss: she took today off.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Snore...and more

Lately, I have been exceptionally exhausted.

I keep awfully busy, so being tired isn't anything new for me. But tired like this? Unusual. I am sluggish. I am confused. Coffee and a few hours of wakefulness don't shake it.

I'm blaming it on the weather, because I have a hard time believing that I've come down with a case of mono.

Or maybe it's age.

After all, I do turn 24 tomorrow.

Mom and Dad took me out to dinner tonight to celebrate my birthday. We went to the local fancy-schmancy restaurant. I ate. And ate and ate. And then had some chocolate mousse.

My mom asked me if I was going to have children before she died.

I considered telling her that, at this point, my goal is to have sex before she dies. It seemed somewhat inappropriate, so instead I asked her if there were any immediate health concerns that I needed to know of.

The subject was dropped, which I was thankful for.

Since they won't see me tomorrow (which I'm slightly bitter about), Mom and Dad gave me a few birthday presents, too. New Ugg boots (as the ones Meg bought me last Christmas smell like a rotting skunk carcass), hockey goalie pants that make me look as though I weigh 300 lbs. but will (hopefully) keep me from serious injury and a goalie's neck guard (different from the famous player's neck guard).

I like presents. Even if they're random pieces of hockey equipment.

I'm only working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, which I am totally excited and thankful for.

Originally, I took Thursday off to be a chill day before heading to Chicago with my mom and my grandma on Friday. Now, it'll be a cram-for-interview day, which will be helpful. I like feeling prepared.

I also like that I already had Thursday-Sunday off and then I land this job interview. Isn't that perfect? Doesn't that mean something? Won't the third time be the charm?

Cross your fingers for me.
 
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