Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 6...already?!

Wow, it is really hard to believe that we've been in the city for a solid five weeks now. Things have been pretty busy around here the past couple weeks or so (which also accounts for my MIAness). I'll just do a bunch of lists to bring everyone up to speed...who doesn't love a conveniently numbered, easy to follow list?

1. We're finding all kinds of stuff to do.

There is an overwhelming amount of free or nearly-free stuff to do in the city, and armies of people out there to meet. We have yet to get up to the farmer's market in Logan Square (reasons below), but there's that. Additionally, we discovered a strictly-hipster bar called The Whistler within walking distance of our place with free jazz on Tuesdays...and great prices on some tasty cocktails. There's also Grant Park Music Festival going on all summer, with classical, world, and indie bands...all for free!

More recently, we discovered an indie movie theater in Lincoln Park (driving or biking distance) that screens cult classics and another one in Wicker Park that screens classic horror and suspense. Finally, we are trying to plan a backpacking trip out to Rocky Mountain N'tl Park at some point, which, in addition to just being fun, falls right in line with our master plan. Muhahaha...

2. The job situation is...moving along.

I landed something, though! I am trying to maintain a sense of humility about it, as it is certainly not something I want to spend more than the summer doing. I interviewed for the job because it was advertised as a barista position, but it turns out my main objective is to stack sandwiches for absurdly long shifts. The place really believes in a trial-by-fire kind of "training"; I was hired the same day I interviewed and the next day I was behind the counter trying my best to keep up with the festival-goers at Do Division. The "training" seems to consist of verbal slaps on the wrist whenever I make mistakes, rather than proactively ensuring that I know procedures and where everything is (bothersome, but doable). However, I like my coworkers, and that's probably the best I can ask for at minimum wage.

In other news...I got an interview with ACE Tech! *insert squeals of excitement* It's only a preliminary interview, so I'm not getting overly anxious about it (if I am considered as a contender for the positions I'll almost surely have to do a demo lesson in front of administrators and the Department). Without a doubt, it is extremely daunting to be applying for a position in a field where the bulk of my experience is negative, but I am thoroughly convinced that this is something I need to do for myself. The bulk of my student teaching experience should, rationally, tell me that I have no business being in the classroom, but I know better than that. I have a sound teaching philosophy and am innovative when planning and delivering lessons; there are a multitude of reasons as to why my student teaching looked kind of like a combo Legends of the Hidden Temple gauntlet/obstacle course/deathmatch, and a significant portion had nothing to do with me.

tl;dr I'm a better teacher than my experience suggests.

Bryan is also out today for an interview with a place in Northbrook. It's a position for a staff writer who would be responsible for writing product descriptions and marketing for a company that sells eyewear, telescopes, etc. Again, not the most ideal gig, but it MUST be an improvement over the current spamming-the-world angle his current job is taking. So we'll see. We don't know how we'll manage the commute (him to Northbrook and me to the South side, provided I get the job at ACE) with only one vehicle, but as Bryan says: "we'll cross that bridge when we get there".

We're still outfitting the apartment-there are some things that are less-than-livable (like the fact that our toaster is sitting on the floor. or, to get to the closet, you have to trip over the giant air pump for the SleepNumber knockoff that takes up the entire 8" between the bed and wall. or, that we have no patio furniture to speak of. etc. etc.). But once we do, a housewarming party will be in order. :)

In the near future, we're looking forward to celebrating Kendra and Cody's wedding this weekend in Lafayette, in addition to seeing family and celebrating my parent's wedding anniversary, Father's Day, and my brother and sister's birthdays. Whew! Busy times.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To-Do Lists and Job Hunting

Well, I can safely say that this post will be a lot more mundane and a lot less insightful than the last one. I'll add more later, but I want adequate time to process and organize my thoughts.

So! The whole job-hunt thing seems to be turning into a literal endeavor. I feel like Bryan and I have been fixated, waiting by the phone like a couple of addicts, wishing that it would just ring, RING FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE WHY WON'T IT RING?! I've put in applications to about twenty different jobs (both "career" jobs and part-time stuff), and now we're in the very-painful waiting-for-callbacks phase. In the meantime, I've been frantically applying to every serving job and customer service gig I can think of, hoping that I just might get a call back today? or tomorrow? or maybe an email *refresh gmail in anticipation*?

As to the apartment, I made up a to-do list for all the things that needed doing/are done:

  • Assemble shelving unit for the kitchen.
  • Add extra shelves to the undershelved kitchen shelf unit.
  • Assemble and level kitchen island.
  • Save moneys and purchase a bed and frame (still trying to decide what to do...I may build this headboard from Ana White...a knockoff of a West Elm version that I love. But! We want something that we can use for a while instead of investing in a new one every year. Like last years' Ikea tragedy...)
  • Make or DIY some sort of large-and-in-charge wall art to go over the TV (there is a large, sad, white space there currently, which I'm itching to fill with something awesome like this, but I'm still undecided).
  • Make some sort of hook rail to hang hats and purses on (right now they are littering the bedroom floor, but they have nowhere to go!)
  • Build a couple of side tables for the patio like these for plants/beverages to sit on.
  • Eventually, replace the moronically undersized LACK side table (read: tiny square of table space) that our gargantuan TV sits on. Also possibly building it? Leaving it unfinished would match the bookcase that my dad helped me build for Bryan last V-Day.
Whew! Lots of stuff still to go. Although the apartment is entirely livable and organized, it doesn't feel finished yet. Since taking a couple of doors off (a hideous bi-fold door to the pantry that wouldn't close all the way and the door to our closet, which we couldn't open due to how close the bed is) and replacing them with curtains, the place has warmed up considerably.

I also whipped up some curtain tie-backs with some leftover fabric that I had from this project. (On a related note, my sewing machine will only do HALF of a buttonhole. I have a buttonhole presser foot attachment and have used it before successfully, but for some reason it starts with the bottom bar tack, zig-zags up the left side, and then gets caught in a weird endless loop at the top. What gives, fiendish machine? What gives?)

Mom and Melissa came up this past weekend to visit, which was nice. Unfortunately, the weather was relentless and it stormed, rained, and was chilly the entire time, which didn't give us very many options. Also, it seems that this week is when things are going to start picking up in terms of street festivals and free outdoor activities (YAY), but I'm sad that they didn't get to participate (boo, hiss). I hope trolling Milwaukee thrift stores was good enough. :)

There are lots of things going on this weekend, though. There's a reading at New Wave on Friday that we're planning on going to (as well as screenings of classic horror/sci-fi movies via Shock Theater...maybe we can make it to both?), then the Printers Row Lit Fest on Saturday and Sunday downtown, and then, finally, the much-anticipated Logan Square Farmers Market on Sunday. Yay for having a social life!'s about time.