Archive for June, 2008

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Even Temporary Unemployment Sucks

June 30, 2008

MOVED!

As part of the great Big 20-Something Bloggers Blog Swap, I bring you a post from Ben

9:56 a.m. — Wake up.

At first, the prospect of waking up whenever I felt like it, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches whenever I feel like it and taking a shower whenever I feel like it seemed like absolute freedom. By the third week, this schedule revealed its true nature: absolute tedium.

11:03 a.m. — Roll onto floor from bed.

My anxiety isn’t even financial in origin. Because I, bachelor, didn’t spend a dime that I didn’t have to all last year, I have enough saved up to coast until well past Labor Day. Past that, if need be.

11:04 a.m. — Turn off alarm.

Once I’m awake, I remember how much I hate coasting.

11:32 a.m. — Stumble toward Internet. Eat instant oatmeal. Make sandwiches as needed; play Guitar Hero as desired.

Really, I can’t even call it coasting. I’ve been interviewing when possible and dropping off resumes when not — it just feels like coasting, in part because I still haven’t the slightest lead for a job. Journalism around where I live has exactly zero positions available, and substitute teaching won’t warm up until school starts again.

4:23 p.m. — Shower.

That means six more weeks of joblessness; six more weeks of Deep Space Nine reruns; six more weeks of migrained boredom. I need to do something.

4:52 p.m. — Apply online to big box retail and national chains. Touch up resume or work on cover letters, if needed. Repeat until tired.

I find something to do.

4:53 p.m. — I’m tired; I keep up the job hunt.

Even though I exhausted all my leads yesterday, I try to come up with new ideas. For me, idly looking for a summer job is better than futzing around on a feed reader, or on the blog, or on the forums, or playing Tetris, or organizing my iTunes.

7:09 p.m. — Exhaust all leads. Go back to Guitar Hero.

I’d give up the chance to get five stars on Through the Fire and Flames if it meant I would have something more substantial to do. However idyllic doing nothing might seem to the guy from Office Space, I can report, firsthand, that it isn’t all that he cracks it up to be.

11:02 p.m. — Go to bed.

Doing nothing is, at first, an instant high, but really it’s just empty calories for the brain — I feel my brain atrophy already.

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That Time I Wanted to Kill Myself, but Killed Bugs Instead

June 27, 2008

MOVED!

This week was, by all accounts, pretty terrible. All I had to do was get through this week to get to the oasis that would be New York City with my sister, Jillian, and Lindsey. I wanted nothing big. Nothing stressful. Just the end of my class and some packing. The universe, apparently, wanted something else.

After being in a finicky, annoying mood on Tuesday for a number of reasons (living in filth, lots of reading, lack of quality television), I woke up Wednesday wanting to just be positive. Positive, positive, positive. I was going to get up early to go running before my class. (I’ve been making good progress on my way to running a 5K before the end of July.) I had my notes out to study for my final at 5:30. I had my gym class at 12. The day would go well. It had to go well. Then the day actually happened.

I got up and got ready to go running. I was planning on going to the gym early to run, and then study in the comfy gym chairs before my class. After getting ready, I decided to just stay at home (as not avoid dragging all my reading to the gym) to study and just run right before my class. I went into the kitchen, happy with my new plan, to make myself some breakfast and when I opened the garbage to throw out a wrapper, a swarm of gnats flew into my face! It was horrifying and disgusting. (If you know me at all, you know I am freakishly clean. A swarm of gnats it not only gross, it is unacceptable.) I had known that my roommates had left out some food that had attracted some unwanted grossness (and that I had refused to clean, because it wasn’t mine, and I’m five-years old), but I hadn’t know it had gotten this bad. I hid in my room and called my mom, almost in tears out of annoyance at everything messing up my attempt at positivity, at the fact that I was going to have to deal with the effects of everyone else’s messiness, at the fact that I’m the only one who cleans or who cares, at the two weeks (nay a month!) of things just being crappy. She calmed me down, and I decided to go to the gym to run and go to class, then just pick up some bug spray on the way home. (I had to kill the bugs before I could even shower since they had taken over the bathroom *shudder* I have problems cleaning in myself in a room that is, itself, vile.) 

I then walked twenty minutes to the gym, finally calming myself from the disgustingness of my living situation, when I looked into my wallet to find I didn’t have my school ID on me. Damn it. Since the BU gym nazi’s won’t let you into the gym without one, I now had to walk ALL the way back home to get it, thus taking up my running and study time. This is when I started getting pissed. I figured I might as well get bug spray now, so I picked some up, headed home, and started murdering bugs with a fiery rage. Not pretty. I even scared myself…and inhaled way too many bug spray fumes. 

I took my second walk to the gym with the satisfaction of knowing I had taken out a small army of gnats, but I was still pissed about missing my running time. I got through my (oddly painful) gym class and went home to study in my apartment that now smelled like my great-grandmother’s house, thanks to the bug spray. (Note to self: buy febreeze)

I, kind of sadly, couldn’t bring myself to shower in the still mildly bug infested bathroom, so I became as smelly as my apartment as I studied for the rest of the afternoon, trying to concentrate and not stew in annoyance. Five finally came and I headed out to take my final. I finished pretty quickly (first in my class), and when I went to hand in my paper, a girl I’ve talked to all session looked at me and exclaimed, “You’re done! God, I wish I was you.” 

If she only knew.

I left feeling alright about the test, but wanting nothing more than to finally get the run in I’d been waiting for all day. I popped on my iPod and headed toward the Esplanade (my favorite Boston running spot.) I plowed through the first half, feeling better than I had on my previous runs until I started feeling not so great about my knee. Five minutes later I could barely run, then barely walk, then I was limping down Park Street hoping I’d make it to my apartment. Wonderful. Why wouldn’t my day day need to be capped off by a debilitating knee injury? Thanks universe. 

Thankfully, last night I had a relaxing last night with Lynn, who leaves for home while I’m in NYC, eating out at my favorite restaurant, Picco in the South End, then going to the Lowes Theater to see “Get Smart.” (Funny, but not life changing, but how you can not love Steve Carrell?) My knee still killed as I walked up and down stairs, but today I’m feeling mildly better about it (and hoping to be able to run next week. All that progress can’t go to waste!)

Now I’m on the Bold Bus (Yay free WiFi!) FINALLY heading to NYC to visit some of my favorite people. A hopefully uplifting, upbeat post to follow this one AND THEN the great big 20-something bloggers’ blog swap post. Have a good weekend!

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Loving and Hating…but mostly hating.

June 23, 2008

MOVED!

Loving: My Saturday night spent out on the town with my uncle. We started at an art opening, where I got to drink free alcohol (delicious Pinot Grigio) that wasn’t in red or plastic (or both) cup and rename art work with one of my favorite family members. Uncle D then took me to Rocca in the South End for a delicious and painfully filling Italian meal. Class level for the weekend: a perfect 10. 

Hating: My apartment. It’s dirty. There are bugs. There are dishes in the sink that I refuse to clean (hint: because they aren’t MINE!), plus, while I LOVE LOVE LOVE my roommate, it’s so hard to share a room with after sophomore year in college. 

Loving: That I’m heading to NYC on Friday. It’s seriously all that is getting me through my week. 

Hating: That I am having trouble saving up money to spend on myself in NYC because I am forced to buy trash bags, toilet paper, aluminum foil, and other random essentials for our apartment that no one else will buy. Plus paying all those stupid bills. Damn you, Comcast!

Loving: My political science class. It’s nice to be in a regular class again, especially one that is actually interesting. If anyone has any questions about the black/white achievement gap, the lack of women in science and engineering, bilingual education, or teacher pay, I’m your girl. 

Hating: The girl who chooses to sit directly in front of me in my Political Science class, despite the fact that there are only EIGHT people in the class, and thus ample numbers of seats that are not directly in front of me. Plus, she seems to not understand the concept of a start time to class, as she comes in EVERY DAY around 6 or 6:15, feigning embarrassment, despite the fact that class starts at 5:30. This shouldn’t bother me that much, but on top of everything else, it makes me want to punch her in the face. 

Loving: That they are making Rock Band for Wii.

Hating: That I cannot afford a Wii OR a rock band for the Wii. Or a Wii Fit, which looks totally awesome too. 

That last one is completely random, but really…they HAD to make Rock Band for Wii? Because I didn’t already want to spend all my nonexistent money buying a Wii and a Wii fit? 

Sorry to be such a downer lately. I’m just in that place where every little thing is driving me crazy to the point where I will punch anyone in the face who even looks at me on the T. For real. 

Deep breathes…ok….so NYC in four days. Visit to my parent’s in 10. I can last til then, right? Right. 

Oh, and in my annoyance, I’m hoping I didn’t start some kind of internet fight here. Oops.

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Feelin’ Classy

June 21, 2008

MOVED!

Last night, Lynn and I headed out for a night on the town, aka dinner in the North End then a show at the Improv Asylum. I had been wanting to see a show there for three years, and with my new summer slash fall goal of doing all the things in Boston I’ve always wanted to do before I (possibly) leave come December, it seemed like a good time to go. Plus, I got special $10 tickets on Goldstar, so score!

Dinner was a delicious Italian meal (of course) of baked ziti followed by some torrone from Modern Pastry. The show at the IA was really good. High points were a lovely song and dance about assholes on the T (a subject I know all too well) and and an interview with a 38 year-old-scientist who is getting married in two weeks. It wasn’t as funny as the show I caught three years ago at Second City, (Damn you, Chicagoans and your mildly superior comedy troupes!) but good none the less. Lynn and I also fell in love with the tall-skinny actor with glasses, because that’s how we roll. We had a few down moments, mostly involving the drunk bitches next to us screaming out “SKETCHY GUYS” every time they asked for a prompt from another section of the audience. I really have no tolerance for drunken outbursts in public, unless it’s me, which really, it never is. 

We were supposed to head to our sorority sister’s going away party when we got back, but the thought of having to take another T ride into Allston at 11 and then possibly have to walk or cab back if we didn’t leave by 12:30 was not appealing, especially when the party may not even have been fun. I’m such an anti-college student in this respect. If I am not guaranteed to have a good time by putting in the effort to get dressed up and go out, I would rather put on pajamas and watch Friday Night Lights DVDs, which is exactly what we did.* And it was a fabulous end to the night. 

*I fear for what I would be like in a relationship because of this. Aren’t you supposed to want to go out and be crazy when you are single? And stay in and watch DVDs when you aren’t? I would NEVER leave my apartment after 10:30 if I had a boyfriend. For real. Maybe that’s why I never have one. It would just be bad for my social life.

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Damn you, Television

June 17, 2008

MOVED!

So I’m watching Gilmore Girls, and I just can’t take the happy, coupley-ness of this particular season 2 episode. (Rory and Dean back together…Max and Lorelai engaged…cue lonely Amanda vomiting), so I switch the channel to The Royal Tenenbaums, where, right on cue, Luke Wilson attempts suicide. Wonderful. 

I think the television is too accurately capturing my current emotions, and it’s freaking me out. Especially when all this love and suicide comes on the heels of a conversation with my mom about my deepening summer depression. Thanks, television. You were supposed to be my escape. 

And so this isn’t too depressing, I’ll post a picture that has made me laugh way to many times this past week:

I don’t know why it’s so funny….

And now a picture that I think sums of my life of late:

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Playing Catch Up

June 17, 2008

MOVED!

I feel like my life has been in shambles lately. My future is hazy. My apartment is a disaster area, and I had a mid-term yesterday that has been taking up all my free-time that wasn’t aleady being taken up by marathoning Friday Night Lights with Lynn. In an effort to catch up, I think I’ll write a series of short posts on things I was going to write about, then didn’t in my abyss of ridiculousness. Hopefully, this can jump start my new plan to blog more, with shorter posts. We’ll see how this plays out.

And now the first installment of short, stupid stories with Amanda: an email exchange with my mother during work hours.

Amanda to Mom
I’ve decided that if I move home in December, I will require my own dog. To keep me busy. And to fight Sookie (my mother’s beloved 4 pound toy fox terrier) in organized battles…of cuteness. The dog would preferably come from here:  And would preferably be one of these specific dogs: (one, two, three, four, five
Yes, I have this much free time at work.
Thank you for your time,
Amanda
Mom to Amanda
This is a one dog huse…sookie must rule! Although the dogs are very cute!
Amanda to Mom
See, I think that Sookie could use a friend on her level, as Chloe (my fabulous, yet sadly neglected cat) is cleary superior in intelligence and wit. Another dog could give her that.
Mom to Amanda
Maybe she would like a friend but I’m not sure that any dog would have the superior personality of sookie – friend to all
Amanda to Mom
I guess it’s true few could match her hours of charity work and her millions in charitable giving.
And that is how I spent my Friday at work. And yes, I am still determined to get that dog should I move home.
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Not Bad, Not Bad At All

June 9, 2008

MOVED!

My weekends have been perking up the boring-ness of my weeks lately. 

This past weekend wasn’t too bad. Friday night after work, I met my friend Megan at Shaw’s, as she graciously allowed me to cook a Giada De Laurentiis meal in her kitchen since mine barely has space to microwave. We went with the intention of making butternut squash tortellini*, but Shaw’s let us down in the mildly exotic ingredients realm, we had to switch plans mid-shopping trip. We decided instead to make sword fish with spaghetti and citrus pesto* – made from scratch, thankyouverymuch – which was amazingly delicious and fun to make. (I’d been dying to grille something after watching hours upon hours of Thrill of the Grill Week on Food Network…) 

Saturday, Boston decided to become a hot and humid disaster, but being dumb and naive to the weather, my friend Josh and I decided we would walk from campus to the North End to get cupcakes at LuLu’s. Sadly, about halfway down Newbury, dehydrated and about to pass out, we decided a better idea would be Italian Ice and shade in Boston Common. Saturday night, I took Megan to see the latest musical at the theater where I work, because, who doesn’t love free theater tickets? The show as wonderful, and again, free, so a good time was had  by all.

Sunday was lazy and hot. There was an incident of me walking all the way to the gym only to discover I didn’t have my swipe card, causing me to have to walk all the way back to my apartment to get it. In the end, though, it just made me proud of my dedication to fitness. The weekend, of course, could not be complete without a mild meltdown on the phone with my mom about the state of my future – grad school plans, moving home, finding a job, bah! But I just put it out of my mind slash spend hours researching various options to make myself feel better, so as of right now, all is fine. 

Sunday ended with me going to see Josh’s roommate’s band at a bar in Allston. Besides having to pay cover (boo to that…) the show was excellent, despite my feeling not nearly hipster enough to be anywhere near this bar. 

Today it was back to the routine. Gym class. Regular class. Work tomorrow. OH WAIT! There was a major win today. My uncle brought me an AC! Greatest moment of my life…well, of that last few days at least. I couldn’t sleep last night I was so hot, so my mom reminded me my  uncle had offered to give me his extra window unit, which is now happily humming in my bedroom window. Hooray for sleeping in human temperatures. My sister, sadly, is suffering a similar fate in NYC without the help of wonderful relatives who bring you free stuff. She texted me from a McDonald’s, where she had to seek refuge from the heat. Major weather fail.

Lastly, I now think I’m close enough to begin some countdowns to exciting upcoming events, as they are the only things that are going to get me through the next two weeks when the new awkward roommate comes and Lynn and I are forced to cohabitate in my not so giant bedroom. So here goes: 

June 14: Boston Blogger’s Happy Hour

June 28: NYC Weekend Trip! (including visits with my favorite sister, Jillian, and Lindsey!)

July 2: Home to visit the family

July ??: NYC Road trip with Josh. 

Also on the horizon is Josh, Megan and I’s “Boston Tourist Day,” which includes a walk around the Freedom Trail, a Duck tour, and dinner at Top of the Hub – all things I need to do in case I am leaving Boston in December for good.

I think that is all for this rambling, unfocused post. Anyone else have any exciting plans coming up? 

*All recipes courtesy of Everyday Pasta, aka my new food bible.