Thursday, May 27, 2010

IN WHICH our heroine takes a shaky step forward

I was feeling huffy and ignored because a bunch of my favorite bloggers haven't been updated as frequently as I'd like them to. And by that, I mean every day.

I then realized that maybe I should do a little writing myself before I judge.

I had an absolutely amazing meeting with my program manager yesterday--just talking about what I'm doing after my year of service, what my next steps are, and what I want. Having a chance to talk out my dreams and worries and plans with someone was fantastic for clearing my head and coming to a place where I feel comfortable.

I'm on the right track. I just need to keep going.

Small successes: being nominated, taking a deep breath, and trying something new. Apartment Therapy is having their annual meet up in a few weeks, and I RSVP'ed to attend the one closest to me. I'm pretty excited about it. I'll give me a chance to reach out to people who have similar tastes and hobbies to mine, and to practice what I preach about all that community building stuff.

It's starting to really warm up, and against my better judgment, I'm going camping this weekend. I'll let you know how that works out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ON pining and planning

It seems that my little excursion last weekend didn't whet my appetite for the open road. I'm wanting the ocean, people.

My boyfriend is handsome (oh, how I miss his long hair). 

Picture from two years ago, when he and I took our first trip to California. He and I had only done a few small trips to Flagstaff before, and he had planned both trips. He's much more of the "it'll work itself out when we get there" type, while I had our hotel reserved a month in advance, with a clear plan of restaurants and things to do. We've had fun on every trip that we've taken together, so I guess it really doesn't matter if I don't have a precise itinerary. I just really like making lists.

Like right now.

In the next two months, I will be unemployed and homeless (so to speak). My term of service with AmeriCorps will be over at the end of June, and my lease is up at the end of July. I do not know where I will be working or where I will live. This terrifies me. And excites me, just a smidge.

I've been applying for jobs here and there, but the unholy trinity of a bad economy, almost no experience, and a degree that translates to almost nothing (good job, Global Studies. Pfft.) are not working in my favor.

A few really amazing opportunities have been presented to me--but they'd be unpaid. I've been interning with a political campaign for the past five months, and I've been given some amazing responsibility and I love what I'm doing--and I'm doing it well.  A friend of mine has also asked that I help with rolling out his organization's election communication plan. Um, yes. Hi. Dream jobs. Both of them.

There's only the tiny problem of needing to pay the bills. I've applied for jobs that would pay me (ha! novel concept) but I wouldn't be doing the type of work I want to, just putting in entry level time at either organizations with missions that I feel good about, or that might someday lead to more responsibility or an "in" to the communications department.

So, do I find a serving / bartending / receptionist job to pay the bills, and take the unpaid experience for what it's worth? Or do I plug away at something that I might make marginally more money at, but doesn't do much in the way of what I want to do?

Plus, I really, really want to go to grad school--but I don't want to A) take a GRE and actually, you know, apply and B) loose my network here in Phoenix. I have an amazing group of friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, classmates, and professors who I can call on for an extra volunteer, a reference, or an introduction. If I started studying now, it would be at least a year before I could start.

As of now, I'm leaning toward the "unpaid opportunities." I don't have a car payment, credit card debt, a mortgage, a husband, or kids. My student loans are negligible. If there was a time to work for free, this would be it.

So, forces of the universe / internet, if you were me, what would you do?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

IN WHICH our heroine ventures east

Mini road trip with the boyfriend today. We drove through my favorite part of Arizona, the Tonto National Forest, to Saguaro Lake and Payson.

Growing up, I never appreciated how beautiful the desert is. I thought it was brown, dry, dead. I think these pictures can easily prove me wrong.

We had a great day until our trip to Roosevelt Lake was canceled, thanks to my car overheating. The little chipmunks in my engine didn't like running up so many hills in 90 degree weather. I had packed us a Ploughman's picnic lunch for us to eat at the marina, which was unceremoniously relocated to the back seat of my car while the engine cooled down.

Strangely enough, eating hunks of baguette and brie cross-legged in the back seat of my Civic was fun with the boyfriend. Simply put, he is my best friend, and I love him. Even with the detour, I had a great day.

PLUS, Urban Cowboy is on the Country Music Channel. Who doesn't love that?

PS - YUP, that's my romper.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

IN WHICH our heroine's wish is (almost) granted


Remember how I love Phoenix?

Let's not even talk about how bad I want these, which I saw on The Kitchn

PUHHLEASE. I'm dying, seriously. I need them, but at $78 for 4, I'm going to have to wait. Le sigh.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

IN WHICH we discuss hometown pride and shame

Although I'm pretty embarrassed to be an Arizonan right now, I really, really love Phoenix. I love the heat, the mid-century architecture, the challenge of reaching past strip malls to find locally owned businesses and restaurants. I love that I'm never more than a short road trip from the desert, the mountains, the oceans, or a completely different country. I love that Phoenix is young and that I have the opportunity to build a community. I love that I can get the amazing burritos 24 hours a day. 

I know I can't be the only one.

I just wish someone more talented than I would make a Phoenix poster, like one of these:
Or the fabulous Ork Posters! (D.C.! Le sigh.)

So... can someone get on making me a Phoenix poster right quick? Thanks. 

(I had a bit of a blog epiphany the other day. I thought about posting said (rambling) epiphany, but that's not important. What really just needs to be said is that I started this blog so I could write, and I wasn't writing because I didn't think what I wanted to say fit in, and that I didn't do anything "cool" enough to write about. Pardon me, but that is clearly twisted logic. So things might change. Who knows?)

This weekend the boyfriend and I are taking a road trip to Payson and the Tonto National Forest. I'm pretty excited. I will take pictures! They will be poor quality. 

Also, I bought a romper? And I like it, but I'm pretty sure it's terrible.