Monday, September 28, 2009

Latest Round of Randomness

1. You cannot mash cold, roasted potatoes. You can mash warm ones. But not cold ones. Don't bother trying.

2. I just got my first paycheck at my new job this morning. Wow. Forgot what a non-office, low-paying, part-time job paycheck looked like. It's time I started taking my budget seriously, or I'm going to blow through my cushion in no time.

3. Classes and work both went much better this week. I now have a sign posted on my mirror: Let go of your attachment to the outcomes. How very zen, eh? It's helping, though.

4. I have sooo much to do today. I should not be wasting my precious time updating this blog. But hey, I think I might have a couple readers here so I must keep you all informed about the inanities of my daily life. I'm making more bread today, I want to make some chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, I need to do this week's assignments and study for a quiz tomorrow, and I need to do laundry. Plus, I have work from 5-9 this evening. So, no stretching it out for 12 hours like I did last Monday. I gotta get moving.

5. I plan on spending as much time in my pj's as humanly possible today. And when I'm not in my pj's...sweats! Oh yeah.

6. I had to cancel some weekend plans for next month. Actually, I've had to cancel a LOT of plans for October weekends. Working 1-9 on Saturdays and 9:30-6 on Sundays eats into pretty much any plans you'd make. I'm supposed to have a performance at some point next month, but it hasn't been scheduled yet. Hopefully it will be soon, because I'm going to need to request earlier hours on that day or else I won't be able to perform.

7. Is it bad that really I just want to crawl back into bed? Maybe I'll do all my studying from there today. Just make myself a cozy little nest and some hot tea and do some burrowing.

8. I wish I could sleep past 7:30. I could really use the extra comatose time. Just an hour. Please?

9. I have been drinking waaay too much coffee to get myself going lately. I'm not liking the trend. I don't want to be one of those people who needs like 10 cups to get herself through the day. Think maybe I should start mixing some decaf in there.

10. With all the stuff I need to do, I'm thinking seriously about working in a walk for myself today. Sanity is nice, I'd like to be able to get outside again before the snow flies!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week 2: Done

Well, I'm ending my second week of classes on a much better note than my first week. There is a lot of information being presented to us, but I'm finding it all really interesting. We've also been practicing different kinds of strokes (effleurage, petrissage, etc) and I seem to be doing better with it. At least, I was more comfortable this week. I definitely feel like I'm learning things I'll be able to apply before much longer.

The line for practice bodies starts over there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

En Pointe

Wednesday mornings are movement-class mornings at my school. I think it's great actually. You've got to be in decent shape to perform a goodDiscount Ballet Pointe Shoes from Dance Unique massage and this recognizes that. Last week was a form of very basic yoga. This week we're focusing on our root chakra.

We are supposed to bring in something that represents our roots for the altar. I dug out my old pointe shoes. By old, I mean age, not wear and tear. I think I got them when I was like 12 or something. My last year of ballet. They are in amazingly good shape - hardly ever used and not even broken in. Our teacher had just started us on pointe shoes when after that school year I decided not to pursue ballet anymore.

When I found them (way at the bottom of an old trunk) I was shocked by how pristine they looked. It got me thinking back to why I quit. I mean, I loved to dance. Obviously I still do. So what stopped me? What was it about that transition into junior high that made me say enough?

I'm not really sure anymore. I think part of it was I finally got sick of my ballet teacher. I was most definitely not her favorite in class and I'm not entirely convinced she thought I had much talent. I was just another paying customer. I think after all those years of taking classes from her, I finally realized that I didn't have to take her attitude anymore. I could find other ways to dance.

Dancing has come and gone in my life, but it's always been a constant. Even when I wasn't taking classes or performing, I was always doing it. Even if it was just to the music in my own head.

So these little pink pointy shoes represent what is at my root: my desire and love for dance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bi-polar?

Sometimes I wonder, what with my swinging from one end of the spectrum to another.

Today was a good day - a catch-up day. I thankfully had no place to be, so I could dictate my own schedule. It was definitely a laundry day. I decided around 9:30am that I was going to bake some bread. Real bread. So, my day kinda rotated around kneadings, risings and bakings. The end result is two of the best loaves of bread I have ever made in my life. I think they are perfect. And they taste perfect too. It's almost a sin to eat them. Almost.

In between baking and laundry, I've also been doing homework and studying for a quiz tomorrow. I've been spacing it out over the course of the day, trying to work in breaks so my head doesn't explode. That anatomy textbook is a killer. The first chapter went into great detail regarding the cellular level. The terms at least sounded familiar, thanks to high school biology. But lord knows if they are going to stick.

I do love the term golgi apparatus, though.

I've come up with a mnemonic device to remember the 11 systems of the body. Wanna know what it is? Okay, I'm going to tell you regardless, but at least I asked first:

In Skies, Many Clouds Enter New Days Royally Lying Under Rapture*

Now, I just need to remember a shit-load of other stuff and I might actually pass this quiz. I'll study for a little while longer, take a break for the season premieres of all the CBS sitcoms, then back to it. I'm hoping to go to bed a little early tonight - halfway through kneading the dough my back started screaming at me. It hasn't stopped hurting, and I'm not sure what I did to yank it out of whack. I'm hoping some quality time on a flat surface will fix whatever I did to it.

*Integumentary (skin), Skeletal, Muscular, Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Nervous, Digestive, Respiratory, Lymphatic, Urinary, Reproductive.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh, the irony...

Retail is the only place that has the hours I can work in, and yet I have such trouble working in it.

Sigh.

I'm trying, really I am. But somehow it just feels that I can't do anything right, no matter how hard I try. I'm getting it, but I'm afraid I may be getting it too slowly for their preference and they're only going to float me for so long. All the stylists are seeing how hard I'm working and they are appreciative of it (they've said as much). But in the end, I'm really not working for them, but with them.

Sigh.

Oh, well. What will be will be. There's no point in worrying about the maybes until they become definitely's.

It's dinner time. I'm going to forget about the day and just have dinner and maybe do some homework if I'm not keeling over from exhaustion. Luckily I have the day off tomorrow so my plan is to cram as much homework into it as I can, all while doing laundry, making (quick) bread and quite possibly a curry. Made with blue potatoes. Yum.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better.

Today was a better work day. We were straight-out busy but all ended well.

Last night's tip fiasco was made better by the people who can make it better. They were more upset about the till be off as a result than they were about the tip itself. Apparently the stylist got a talking to for insisting I take the money out of the till - that's a Bad Thing and apparently she knew that. But in the end she still got her tip so I'm pretty sure she's not too upset about anything.

I still feel bad about the whole thing, and I'm not sure how they rectified the situation; at this point I'm not going to push it anymore and move on. I think I'd have gotten in a lot more trouble if I hadn't had the "new" label so firmly affixed to my forehead. The subtext was pretty clear: don't do it again.

Tonight's till was perfect and no one complained about missing any tips, so I am considering it a Good Night. Although it still gives me some stress, tonight eased my mind a little. I still really like everyone there and it is a good place to work. I am very thankful for this job and appreciative of all the help (and patience) they are giving me. I want to do right by them.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I suck.

Or rather, I am feeling like an abject failure right now. I feel like I am an idiot for not comprehending what other people around me seem to have no problem with and for not quickly and easily coming up to speed.

Which, of course, is silly.

It is negative self-talk that certainly is not doing me any good. It doesn't make me feel any less bad, but I guess deep down I know I am not stupid, nor an idiot, nor a failure.

But the one thing I know I'm good at is blowing things waaaaay out of proportion.

It all started at massage class today. Yesterday we got the tables out and practiced draping and how to let your client know what area you are working on. Easy peasy. Got it. Today, we got the tables out and we were practicing compressions. Not just one kind, but three kinds. In multiple areas (leg, back, shoulders). All while holding ourselves in a specific position and this and that and this and that. I was lagging behind and felt like I could do no right. Which then spiraled down into me making a huge mistake going into massage and I'm going to suck at it and I should just quit while I can still get a refund.

The reality is, I had a "client" with very specific preferences and a table that was adjusted too high for me. After class a couple other students (who have massage experience) indicated that they too had problems with the afternoon class, though for different reasons. I think it was too much for us beginners and too contradictory for the more experienced. I think a lot of people left class today a little off-kilter and questioning themselves.

So, from that I went to work. It went well enough actually. I was on my way to closing out at a decent time and getting everything accomplished. Until one of the stylists told me her tip was missing.

Fuck.

The thing is, the till was right. It wasn't a heavy night and I remember distinctly taking the tip out and putting it in a little envelope and in the tip holder for her. Of course, I spiral this into me not able to do the most simple of tasks and everyone knows how bad I am in math so why the hell am I in retail and they're going to fire me because the till is now $10 off because I needed to give the stylist her tip. Honestly, I felt horrible about it.

Odds are what happened was it got mixed up with one of the other stylist's tips (or I put it in the wrong envelope) and someone else has it. The stylist was understanding, far more so than I was with myself.

The two incidents that were really minor just combined into this overwhelming sense of stupidity and failure and I spent the entire drive to the bank and home sobbing. I'm sure the bank's security cameras have a great picture of me putting the deposit bags looking pathetic and bloaty.

I know I am being too hard on myself. I would be much more sympathetic and understanding to someone else in my position, more than I am with myself. Things have come so easily to me for so long; being challenged is not something I am used to anymore. Coupled with this is a distinct fear of failure: my future is riding on my success of this program. If I fail at this or am just no good at it, I'm screwed. That's a lot of pressure to put on one's self, and I have to learn to either let go and just deal with the consequences or just quit.

I am not going to quit. They're going to have to kick me out of this program and throw me out the door.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ironic, isn't it?

As sick as y'all were with me bitching about my old job, you're gonna be just as sick of me saying how happy I am. But I can't help it.

I AM SO HAPPY!

Anyway. Today was my first day of class. We didn't crack open any books or do any massage or anything. It was just a get-to-know-you kind of day. There are 14 people in my class and they are a great bunch of people.

At one point we all sat in a circle and briefly gave our life's story - what brought us to where we are now. It was fascinating that though the details changed, it was the same thing over and over: I was looking for something and I didn't know what, then I got this sign and the road just opened up and here I am. Even the teacher remarked that it was a very dynamic group that all seemed to just fit.

I think these next nine months are going to be an amazing experience. I am so glad that I took that risk and pursued this. It's going to be one of the best things I've ever experienced.

I am so grateful.
I am so happy.
I am so blessed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Overachiever, Me?

Dear Self,

Any job worth a paycheck cannot be learned in five days or less. You're not going to get everything right away, and they understand. Comparing yourself to people who have been doing the job for years is going to get you nowhere; quit doing it. You're not perfect, you will never be perfect, so quit feeling guilty if you don't end the day perfectly. You ended the day pretty darned well all things considered. So dust yourself off and move on.

Your overwhelming desire to do it right and to be liked and be the best is going to burn you out before you even get started. Relax and enjoy it a bit, will you?

Slow down, you'll be okay.

Sincerely,
The Rational Side You Never Listen To

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day off.

This is going to be my last one in a good long while, methinks. Between work, classes and homework I'm thinking just about every spare minute is going to be accounted for. Good thing I got rid of cable; I'd never get anything accomplished otherwise.

Since this is my last full 24 hours off, my initial goal was to go grocery shopping, do some laundry, make meals for the week, and maybe take a walk and do some yoga.

Yeah, so I spent the morning lounging in bed watching Regis and Kelly and IMing my friend Marie.

I finally got to the grocery store around noon-thirty. Luckily I can walk there otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered at all. I am making soda bread now. Vegan lasagna for dinners this week. Lunches will be pretty simple as I don't tend to eat much at work - mostly just a banana and a kashi go-lean bar. I'll have the soda bread and some cheese handy if I feel I need anything more substantial.

I need to be careful about bringing lunches to work - the salon is in a mall and mere yards away from the food court. The culture there is to just buy lunch. After two days of doing that, I realized that in order to afford my 6-inch veggie delite and bottled water at Subway, I needed to work for 40 minutes. Um. Yeah, I can't afford Subway!!! LOL. So, I shall be bringing my own water and food from now on.

I will master this whole "on a budget" thing if it kills me.

So, I can probably fit in doing laundry, taking a walk and going to yoga still. Although fitting a nap in sounds much more inviting. Maybe I'll walk to yoga.

Or maybe I'll just nap the afternoon away.

Ahhhhh.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Argh!

Dear Brain,

Would you please shut the frak up so I can get a decent night's sleep???

Thanks much,
Jade

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here

Is this what it feels like to like your job?

I'd forgotten.

Well, my first day at my new job was today. I've got to say, I think I'm really going to like it there! It has a great atmosphere and everyone is really nice. I think once I get used to things it'll be a good fit not only for my personality but for my new choice of professions.

Overall the experience was really good, and I'm actually looking forward to going back tomorrow.

I haven't felt like that in over two years. It's a nice feeling, I've got to say.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Next Day.

Well, here I am. The day after my last day. It's almost like the day after Christmas. In the harsh light of day the magic fades and there's just an out-of-place tree in the living room with nothing under it and a sad tray of pawed-over cookies in the kitchen.

It's still surreal to me. It just feels like another holiday weekend. I don't think it will truly hit me until I leave for my new job Tuesday morning. Boy, that'll be weird.

My friend Jenn and I went out last night to celebrate (there were going to be more of us initially, but sickness and a funeral laid waste to our plans). We went to the movies - Inglourious Basterds - dinner at a wonderful pan-asian restaurant and dessert at a place that serves amazing chocolate crack cake.

This morning I got up and went to my first yoga class in almost two months, came home and roasted some tomatoes that were going down hill. This is a great idea if you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with: you wedge them up, put them on an oiled and rimmed baking sheet and in a 250 degree oven for like 2 hours (I checked them every half hour to give them a push around the sheet). Once they're done, let them cool for 15 or 20 minutes then whir them up in a blender. Instant tomato sauce! Obviously you can doctor it up any way you see fit, and if you're a canner then have at it. I stuck mine in the freezer. This idea came from a post on the Weight Watcher's vegetarian board, and I think it's the best idea ever.

Then, while I was waiting for the cable guy to show up (again) I made Isa's cinnamon rolls from her latest brunch cookbook. Mmmmmmm. Need I say more?

The cable guy did show up at 4:20 (hee hee), but he showed so I'll take it. I no longer have any cable to speak of. Which should free up a considerable amount of my time although I may go through SyFy withdrawal. The important thing is I still have access to the CW for America's Next Top Model and the Canadian CFCF12 for episodes of The Tudors. Score! I'm going to have to Hulu Mad Men, I suppose.

To kick off my tv-less existence, I've decided to re-read all seven of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series in order. Starting this evening the first (and shortest) installment: The Gunslinger.
The Gunslinger


Yee-ha, party people.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's the Final Countdown

With just 3 hours and 13 minutes remaining in this work day and at this work place, I thought I would take a moment to look back and recap some of the things I will not be missing:

1. One of my coworkers breathes like Darth Vader. It's really not funny and it's likely the result of a medical issue, but man is it annoying.

2. No more business-related catch phrases. If I have to hear "all hands on deck" one more time...

3. The dreaded phrase "Can you pop into my office for a minute?" It never takes just a minute, and it is guaranteed to be a request to do something you have no business doing.

4. All the touchy-feely crap. I mean, I'm going into massage therapy so I'm not adverse to touchy-feely. But I'm sorry, I don't want either of my bosses giving my chummy pats on the shoulder or any other kind of "supportive" touching. Leave me the heck alone!

5. Listening to that guy (every office has one) who is an authority on everything/toots his own horn at every little inconsequential thing he does/has driven everyone in the office batty with his caffeine-driven ambition to impress and run the place. He's all wrapped up into one person here. No one really likes him, and he doesn't have a clue.

6. The commute. Granted, there are people with a lot farther to go, but it's a bitch in the winter and frankly I'm sick of spending the money on the gas.

7. Trying in vain to fit into a place who doesn't know what to do with you or your talents, and quite possibly didn't need them in the first place.

8. That feeling of dispondency every time I pulled into the parking lot.

Lest I sound like an ungrateful wench, here are a few things I will miss:

1. The money (ha!). It's not all that much, but it's a hell of a lot more than what I will be making over the next nine months. No more random shopping trips for me...

2. I will miss my two coworkers-in-arms, so to speak. The two you could be truthful to, the fun guys, the guys you could shoot the breeze and actually wanted to know outside of work. I will truly miss them.

3. The view as I'm coming down around the hill and into the town on a fall morning. When the sun is coming up and lighting all the mountains and trees just so, and there is a fog hanging in the valley, it is a gorgeous site to see and one I will never tire of.

4. Not being the only vegetarian in the office.

5. Having my own office and a wonderful view from the window.

I am excited and happy to move on. These last two years have been difficult for me, and I have yet to determine how much of it was my own fault and how much of it was office dysfunctionality. I think it lies somewhere in the middle. I learned a lot about myself during my time here, and I think I needed this so I could figure out my next steps. If I hadn't have started work here, I'd have never started up yoga, or belly dancing, or really even questioning if my career was a career I wanted. I've gotten so much from this place in the end, and I am thankful for that.

But I'm still outta here come 5:01pm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Score!!

I have a new job, party people!

(insert joyous celebrations here)

Starting on Tuesday, I will be working at an area salon as a receptionist. The pay is pretty minute, but hey. You gotta start somewhere and it will pay the bills. I should know, I've done up a budget and everything. The next nine months are going to be bare-bones living, let me tell you. But so long as my hours average close to the 32 mark, I should be okay.

I'm not really taking anything of a break in between jobs. I probably should, but frankly just doing something different will be a big break for me. Besides, I'd rather have a week to really devote entirely to learning my job, rather than trying to learn a new job and start my school schedule at the same time. I am taking Labor Day for myself, and I plan on enjoying it to the fullest!

I am so happy right now I can't even tell you. This whole change in career was just meant to be. Everything seems to have fallen into place with it. I have such confidence for the next nine months and even the next couple years. I can see this leading to new, amazing things. But most importantly, I can see this leading to a happier me.

Hell, it already has. I'm happier now than I've been in a very long time.

Squee!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

Well, okay. It isn't yet. But it will be in a few short hours. The morning is going to be pretty calm, but the afternoon is chocked full of me running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

It all starts out with a second interview at 1:30. Squee! I am very hopeful with this position - it would work around my school schedule while giving me an entree into the wonderful world of spas and salons. An important stepping stone if I want to actually develop some clientele once I'm done with the training.

The cable guy is also coming some time between 2 and 4 tomorrow. Which if he decides to show up on time (a long shot, I know) I'll be cutting it pretty damned close. I'm switching my cable off, essentially. Just keeping the bare bones channels and internet. I'm trying to save as much money possible these days. Taking a gigundo pay cut makes you realize that the SyFy channel is not actually a requirement for life. Well, okay it is but there is a lovely thing called Hulu so I should be all set.

I also need to pick up my car and its brand-spanking new-to-me bumper by 5pm tomorrow. I never thought I'd miss my car, but I do. The rental car I'm in is a friggin' tank and it scares me to drive it. It's got all the bells and whistles and I'm just not used to that. Windows I don't have to crank? Knowing the outside temperature right next to the time? Crazy, I tells ya!

Today, You are Ten

Well, as far as we know, anyway. We're not sure of your exact birthday, so we use your "Gotcha Day" instead. You've been...