Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The WeeK oFF

This week, as i might have mentioned in the last post, i am taking off. Explicitly. Well, i worked yesterday teaching my last noon Monday class at Bally's, and i also went to teach yoga to my preschool teachers at Harvard. Today, though, the only thing i did that resembled "work" was going to get my badge and picture taken for Fidelity. Other than that, i've been making juice for my raw juice fast and drinking it. Yes, that's right, another raw juice fast. I figured i'd do a cleanse before starting a new job, and i've been wanting to do a juice fast again for a while. What better time than when i'll be sitting around all day anyway tempted to eat all day? I remember from my last one that my favorite juices were the carrot-orange-beet juice and the pineapple-grapefruit juice. I also recall that the homemade vegetable broth was invaluable, as was extra soymilk and ricemilk. So i stocked up accordingly, and have been enjoying it very much. Today is day one. I think i'll do two and a half days.

Tomorrow, i am going to get my hair done (having some highlights again, though not quite so bright this time) and will be using a gift certificate that i got for a massage. And i can have them both done at the same place! Woot!

Thursday, i'll be taking an early (8:00am) bus out to Lenox where i will luxuriate at the Kripalu Center for slightly over 24 hours. I'm not getting a massage or anything there -- just the basic package -- dorm sleeping for one overnight's stay, and all the yoga, meditation, walks through the Berkshire forest down to the lake in the autumnal air, and delightful hippy food that i can squeeze in. I'll most likely have three or four yoga classes, definitely will be going to the morning yoga, and will delight in the sauna. Yes, all inclusive. Not bad for $130. Too bad the bus ticket is so much. Ah well.

But i deserve it. For a while, i was feeling guilty about spending the cash. And then i remembered -- it's been a while since i've just plain old been good to myself. Yes, i bought clothing. I HAD to. Nothing i had fit anymore, and i needed something that would look smashing at interviews. This is me treating myself for a week before i start a new job. A real chance to refresh myself and start off on the right foot. YAY! How exciting.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Lovely Present

I was just given a lovely gift. A monarch butterfly landed on the screen of the window next to my desk. The sunlight is reflecting through its wings, and the window is josteling it gently. The butterlfly is trying to warm herself in the sun, while the deep oranges, orange yellows, and polka dots shimmer in the light. I feel so blessed. How infrequently one is given the opportuntiy to see a live butterfly from the underside so intimately close. I feel lucky that butterflies have deemed me as a healer. They land on me with unusual frequency. But this is truly a new perspective.

Actual News

The following is an excerpt from an email to my favorite cousin. Allow me to preface this by saying that it's almost too good to be true and, while i have known this since monday, i haven't written it down since i am afraid i'll jinx it...

"...after three months of looking and turning down offers that didn't appeal to me, i found [the right job]!

it's almost too good to be true. i'm totally psyched! it's with the fidelity foundation, which is the charitable branch of fidelity investments. there are 15 people there, 4 people in my department, including me, and they donate scads and scads of money to research being done on neurodegenerative diseases, as well as technological advancements, and they sponsor conferences to get these people talking to each other so they can possibly come up with solutions. isn't that cool>!>! and it's all done anonymously. i mean, people know that you can apply to the fidelity foundation for grants, but they do a lot of other work anonymously (like financing gallery openings, educational research, etc). my job will be grant administrator, so half of the job will be making travel arrangements and event planning, and the other half will be processing (reading) all the grant proposals that come through. i can't think of a better way to spend a day in an office. they are all really close, and they are out the door by 5:00 because they've all got families they want to spend time with. they're totally fine with me leaving by 5:00 to teach yoga classes and spend time with daN. YAY! so yes, on top of that, i've got my own office with a big bright window that i can put plants in, and they'll be paying me QUITE well. whew!

i'm so excited! the best is that they all OBVIOUSly love what they get to contribute to every day, and that feels wonderful.

i'm excited! yay good! i start october 30th, and will be taking this coming week off to mentally and emotionally let go of first marblehead and transition into a new full time job. i want to be ready. when i moved from global protection to first marblehead, i didn't give myself that chance, and i really regretted it. i was overwhelmed and simply not ready for a new job yet. especially not one that takes up so much time and energy."

I can hardly believe it. But there it is! A job i am truly excited about and looking forward to. I will be learning all kinds of new things, and that's thrilling in and of itself. I'll be around wonderful people, from what i can tell, and contributing to something i truly believe in. All the while, the Foundation is part of a larger company, so it still has the marvellous benefits. And yet it's in a totally different building from the corporate headquarters, so it's got a completely unique feel. I think i just got the best of both worlds. Maybe they'll even pay for me to get a Master's in Public Policy!

In other news, daN is loving teaching. in fact, he loves everything about being there -- his coworkers, the kids, the curriculum -- except for the commute. it's in foxboro. not close. he spends about three, sometimes four hours a day in the car. to add insult to injury, he hates driving. so we're thinking about moving south of the river and getting a condo (yes, BUYing a condo) in jamaica plain where i could still take the T into downtown to get to work, and he could shave off about an hour or so a day from commuting. that would be a big help. Things are changing again -- changing with the seasons. A move probably wouldn't happen for another few months though, at least. I want to pay a few things down before applying for a home equity line of credit. It helps the credit score. I can't say i didn't learn anything from working in student loans.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Something that put a smile on my face

Let me preface this post by saying that when i am hooted and hollered at by passers-by, or people in a car or truck whistle at me, or i'm walking past and guys stare, i typically feel very uncomfortable with it and find it completely inappropriate. Usually, i'm by myself or with another person of the female persuasion.

Today, i was walking down the street in the re-invented part of the South End of Boston with Kal-El, his parents, daN, and Matt Razz. And this guy who had been hanging out at a street corner chatting with a buddy said to me, "I'm hypnotized by your beauty!" I did a double-take in disbelief, not believing my ears, i replied, "What?!" And he said with a big smile, "I'm hypnotized by your beauty!"

Yep, i heard correctly.

In broad daylight while i was walking in mixed company, he shouted out for all my friends to hear that he was hypnotized by my beauty. That made me smile.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Heat Is On! (that 80's song)

OK, that last update was really long, so i won't bother with a long update this time. No need. You still have some reading to do :)

Long story short: I have one offer out there from one company, and waiting to hear from another. The others aren't far enough along in the process for them to be viable at this point.

I'll be taking the weekend to think. And perhaps order some oil for our oil tank. It's starting to get cold!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I don't even know where to begin.

Let's just say the job prospects keep trickling in, and i keep getting more an more excited about each one, as each gets closer to me getting it, and then someone else gets the job for a variety of reasons. The most recent is that they (this time, the architecture firm) wanted someone with a more senior level, and they were willing to pay for that. That's fine, and i respect that and believe that the right person most likely got the job. Apparently, though, they really liked me, so that's positive. All the feedback was great -- they just wanted someone with more years in them.

One company, a educational publishing house, is checking my references, and it's down to me and one other person. The one i'm MOST excited about, though, is a scientific foundation that donates scads of money anonymously to teams researching neurodegenerative diseases. I LOVE the people in the office, and their excitement and love of what they do every day was contagious. I hope i hope i hope... but, whatever will be will be.

Harvard still might pan out as well, and i had an interview this morning at the center for state and local government -- also a research place. So, all in all, i have some prospects out there that i am sincerely excited about, and eventually, one of them will be just as excited about me.

In OTHER news (sometimes it doesn't even feel like there are enough hours in the day for there to BE other news, but there it is), Q is alive and well. I spent Friday making sure she was alright during her second foot surgery. I was pissed to discover that no one had been at the hospital with her for the last one! What a shame! I would have taken that day off, too, had i known! Ah well. I was there this time.

Friday night, daN and i joined the Boggies to see none other than the illustrious Jon Stewart Live at the Wang Theatre. It was hillarious! We laughed. We cried. We balked. He's brilliant. Afterwards, they insisted on going to the Ritz Bar after we tried to find something else. And i have to say, i love the place. The coctails are certainly expensive, but they're all top shelf and delicious. I was impressed. The ambiance was quiet -- the kind of place you could actually sit down with some friends and have a pleasant conversation. The music was a pianist sitting in the corner wearing a suit and playing old jazz standards. It wasn't so loud that you couldn't hear what else was going on, but it was just loud enough. Perfect. And expensive. And the Bogs wouldn't let us pay. Grrrr. They keep doing that.

Saturday, daN and i had a lovely time bowling with Lee and Alan and some of their respective family members in celebration of Alan's birthday. It was a lot of fun! And it was great to see a couple of Lee's siblings, too -- with whom i used to spend quite a lot of time in late childhood / early teen years. They're a part of who i am, too. And i'm so happy to see Lee and Alan doing so well, loving their dog :) On Saturday night, daN and i went on a date to make sure that we didn't go a whole week without seeing each other. Lee recommended trying out this place called "The Pepper Club" in the Old Port, and it was great (Thanks, Lee!). Scratch that -- it was exactly what i wanted. I had a sweet potato rainbow chard streudle, savory with dried cranberries and walnuts, complimented by seasoned brown rice and a mesclun salad. I rounded it off with a glass of sangiovese. It was delightful. You can't find that kind of cool American fusion food in Boston, and if you do, it's $30 a plate. I was happy. This was more like $14 a plate, which is much more reasonable.

Sunday, we ate some more :) It was my Dad's birthday, and we met Dad, Jeanne, and Yulia for brunch at Slate's in Hallowell. Mmmm. I think i'd eaten there once before but forgotten just how much i enjoyed it. More experimental food, i got a strawberry cream cheese and almond omelette that came with home fries and a pumpkin spice muffin. Dad and i got bloody mary's and coffee, which was a fun celebrational thing to do. We had a wonderful time catching up and hanging out. Afterwards, we went to Gardiner to see what Dad has been doing with Grammy's old house -- he'll be moving into it soon after the floors are redone -- and it's quite astonishing! Now that all the 1960's furniture and 1970's shag carpeting has been removed, it's actually quite light and spacious, and the hardwood floors are gorgeous. It's really kinda neat.

Then, daN and i bid Dad farewell and headed to my Mum's new digs in Union about 2.3 miles up the road from daN's Mum's house. I have to say, Mum has done wonders with a trailer and has made quite a nice little home out of it. The area is absolutely beautiful, and the sunset was stunning. We had a really nice visit for a couple hours, and eventually we went down to daN's Mum's where we'd be crashing for the night in one of the spare rooms. Nate and Tara were there, so we got to hang out with them for a while, which was great fun. In the morning, daN's mum made some wheat free blueberry muffins! YAY! That and oatmeal with coffee made a lovely breakfast. We did the lazy morning thing, and eventually, daN and i set out for home, and sat in traffic for a while in doing so. Ah well.

It was a lovely weekend, and great to see the autumn leaves. There wasn't enough walking about in the gorgeous weather for my taste, but alas -- most of the times that we go up to Maine, more time is spent driving and sitting than anything else. Ah well. Someday it won't be that way.

Today, i cleaned here. I vacuumed, unpacked old boxes of crap, recycled stuff, washed the floors, put the dishes away, and that was an afternoon (during the morning, i was interviewing). I think i'm ready to do something creative now. Like cooking something. Hmmmm...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Flurry Begins

i have two interviews tomorrow (thursday!) weeeeeeee! i am excited. they are both at architectural firms that also do urban planning and sustainable design! woot! one is through laura (my friend the staffing agent), and the other is through beacon hill staffing (they
remembered me as being hard to replace. when i was on the phone with them, they said, "wait ... are you, yeah, you're THE lindsay! first marblehead couldn't stop talking about how great you are!). i also had a phone interview this morning with houghton mifflin publications in the international relations division, and it looks like they want to bring me in sometime next week when the SVP gets back from germany. so, beacon hill staffing is working out. and so is laura. YESSS. i've got another interview at harvard next week as well. so, i think i'm in a good position.

in related news, today, the boss asked me about full time work at FM again. i told him i'd think about it, and we agreed on next friday as a deadline (he has some spots to fill). i was candid and let him know my reservations about working under this regime in a student loan company, the frustrations faced with the resources available to my team at work -- i don't think that creative thinking and problem solving is actually encouraged at FM because it means spending money. so... that having been said, i let him know that in order for me to return full time, i would need the bonus and to be able to work from home a day or two a week. but, i don't think that i'll be doing that after all -- not after all the great interviews i'll be going on. it's clear to me that i'd be happier in a place that's more creative.

with all this interviewing coming up, i needed a suit, so i bought two today. it would have otherwise cost me about five hundred bucks, but the wonderful women at ann taylor got out their calculators and used their knowledge of the system and ran separate transactions to help me get the best deal possible. i walked out paying about three hundred seventy. whew! they're good! and my suits look fantastic :)

well, that's it from here. so much more, but i won't bore you. i'm going up to maine this weekend, which should be good, and i'll see both of my parents' new respective houses and celebrating couple of birthdays :) that should be fun.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Recent Topics

Loose ends and whatnot:

1. No go on the architecture job. It turns out they were looking for a candidate with more years of experience. Ah well. I loved that place, but so it is.
2. I have not yet heard back from the land policy institute, but from what i can tell, the interview went well. I plan on giving them a call after this.
3. ...erm, that about says that part of it.

This weekend was nice, if uneventful. On Saturday, we had a lazy morning until we mustered up the go-go-em to drive down to the Arboretum area of Jamaica Plain, because we are vaguely considering buying a condo down in that area. I could still take the T into to the city to get to work, and it would shave about, oh, 20 minutes off daN's drive. And fortunately, we seem to have been been very comfortable there -- there were some cute restaurants, easy access to the modern conveniences, and the BEAUTIFUL walkway along the Jamaica Pond, not to mention the Arnold Arboretum... it was lovely, and i found myself getting excited about the prospect of living in that area. The thing is, we LOVE it here. We really love it. But if daN ends up staying at the Sage in Foxboro for another couple years (which he'll most likely know about in the spring) then it makes sense to buy something, and it also makes sense to do that in a place that would allow him to save a LOT of driving time, but would still be T accessable so we didn't have to buy another car. At the same time, we want to live somewhere that we feel as comfortable as we feel in the Somerville area. It's great here. So, we'll see. There were a lot of hippies and babies and families in JP, so it will be on my mind.

Anything else, I don't think so. I'll be going into First Marblehead a lot this week -- good for me and for them. I need the money, and they desperately need the help.

Well, i should go check my now thrice-baked carrot cake. It has been acting more like a pudding, and i'm thinking that in hindsight, it should have gone in two separate baking pans. Well i was making a half recipe! How was i to know it would still behave this way?!?