Thursday, September 30, 2010

Revisiting 2010 Goals: Too Much Baggage

4. Do some serious purging so that our apartment isn't so cluttered.

In all honesty, I've done relatively well with donating my clothes to thrift stores, and I've used the receipts in my taxes.  But, I'm a really good consumer.  Though I try my best, it seems that my closet just doesn't get emptied.

In the past several weeks of absolute financial desperation, I'd taken to try to sell some of my items on Craigslist.  For the most part, I've only received emails from spammers, and that has been incredibly disheartening.

Of all the things I am planning to be rid of, the one item that breaks my heart is my very first electric bass and amp.
<3
I figured that I have my acoustic electric here, which my parents shipped to me for a lot of money, and the bass and amp are taking up more space.  I have a lot of great memories with that bass, but it's really time to pass it along to a better home.  I'm thinking about taking it to a local shop to trade it for cash.  I'm hoping that that very little will go to helping me feel less anxious and depressed about my finances.

Yesterday, I decided to take several of my clothing items, jewelry, shoes, and purses down to a new consignment store in Allston.  I had already spent the morning having a panic attack and crying at therapy because of unemployment ending in this upcoming weekend.

So, I took my bags of items down to the Buffalo Exchange, and these two skinny hipster girls perused through my bag, looking for something they could sell.
What's your worth?
As I stood at the counter, watching them lay out my items, talking quietly among themselves, I looked around at the shoppers.  They were all college students, hipsters, trust fund kids.  Okay, fine, so I'm assuming this.  But there were definitely some hipster shorts in the store, being sold and being worn.

"We won't be able to take any of your items today.  But if you find more, please bring it down for us to check out."

I tried to stay calm.  I tried not to feel like my worthless items were not a reflection of how much I was worth.

But as I opened the door to my apartment after bringing my belonging back on the T, I burst out into tears.  I just wanted the measly couple of bucks they would give me for my items, and yet that wasn't even happening for me.  Who knew that in the process of getting rid of items I no longer need that my dignity would get lost.

So, while my goal of purging my items isn't even remotely close to being completed, I have at least been able to separate them from items I'm still planning to hold on to.  I don't know if I can handle bringing my items anywhere else to be judged by others as worthless, but I just might show them to my friends or bring them to the thrift store.

I'm still waiting for things to feel less difficult in general.  This week has really made me feel absolutely depressed and anxious.  When will that Wheel of Fortune turn my luck around?

Is September over yet?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wheel of Fortune or Misfortune?

In the past 2 weeks, I've had 2 interviews.  Both are great opportunities, ones from which I could use my skills as well as learn more skills.

The first position is for a part time, temporary position at a school, covering for a social worker going on maternity leave.  I'd get to work with kids again, though I'm wondering how different they will be from the kids I'm used to working with.

The second position is for a great organization that I've worked with before through my previous job.  I'd get to work with kids, and I'd get to learn about how to maintain my bicycle.  I'd probably be doing a lot of biking, too.

As of this week, I've already heard back from the first position asking if I'm still interested in the position.  I told them that I would let them know my decision in the next week, since I had a chance for a full-time position.  They seemed understanding about it, and it was the most professional thing I could do. 

I would feel extremely conflicted if I was working there and then offered a wonderful opportunity.  The self-care part of me would say that I would have to take the full-time position.  But the nice part of me says that I would stick it out, because I finish what I start (and isn't that what got me in this predicament in the first place?).

After the second position interview, I found another position as a health educator at one of the local prestigious universities.  I knew several people who work there, and they are helping me pass my resume along while I had already applied.  I would love to hear back from them sooner than later.  In fact, this is the job that I would want the most out of the three.

But what do I do?  Can beggars be choosers?  If I get the second position, do I keep waiting to get an interview for the 3rd position?  How long do I wait?

At some point last week, I decided I needed to consult my tarot cards.  One card really stood out to me.
The Wheel of Fortune basically signifies that change is on its way, but that the way things change and the result of the change is just something I have to ride out and wait for.  While that doesn't mean that I just keep sitting and waiting and not doing anything, it does mean that whatever path I end up on is the one that's destined for me.

It was a little bit scary to see that in my reading.  It means that I need to just sit tight.  It means that all this waking up feeling absolutely useless every morning is going to change.  But change how?  We'll see, huh?


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Simple Pleasures - Taking In the Air

In the past 24 hours, I've had quite an exhilarating car-riding experience.  Not being a car owner, I don't often get to enjoy the wind blowing past me.  But I've been lucky enough to experience it twice last night and today.

I've taken some video of the experience, because it's really hard to describe what an absolutely fun experience it is to be moving in a car but exposed to the elements.  I suppose it's like riding a bike, but being a passenger instead of the driver just makes the experience better.

This first video is from very late in the night, coming home from a friend's house.  I could have been sandwiched between the boyfriend and his friend in the truck, but I was more than happy to sit in the bed of his truck.

video


This second video was from earlier today, coming home from a day of belly dance workshops.  Being somewhat of an Indian Summer day, my friend was eager to take advantage of her top-down Jeep.  Though my hair was blowing all over the place, it was such an enjoyable and relaxing experience.
video

Oh, to be young, living life without worry, riding open-air in a car.  What a freeing experience.  I can only hope others can experience that at least once in their lifetime.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getting Started with 2011

Alright, folks.  So, this is me putting it out there to the world and universe.

My next travel goal for 2011 is this:
Get-A-Way with the Goddesses!
I have to pay $200 by October 1st.  Right now, I'm struggling a bit with that, what with unemployment.  But I know I can pull it out from somewhere.

Let's break it down, shall we?

Total:  $1625
Initial Payment:  $200
Monthly Payments from November-August:  $142.50

Absolutely doable!  Absolutely attainable! 

At this point, I feel like things are happening.  I'm getting job interviews.  I'm using my connections.  I'm working my natural charm.  I going to Mexico in October 2011, darn it.

We're talking about an all-expenses paid (flight, hotel, dranks, meals, and hotel entertainment) trip to Mexico!  Considering that I'm from California, you'd think I'd have been all up and down Mexico already.  But I've only had the pleasure of getting to know a bit about Baja California (which is part of Mexico for those geographically challenged).

It's time, people.  It's time this California girl goes to Mexico.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So Long Sweet Summer

This is the final day of Summer.  I'm a bit saddened by it, honestly.  But, I have to say, this has been quite a successful summer.

On the 1st of July, I listed my 8 Things that I planned to do this summer.  I got 7 out of 8, which really wasn't too bad.  Though, I'm still trying to figure out how to accomplish that 8th goal.  The following is a review of my successes.
1. Watched fireworks on the 4th of July
2. Absorbed some Vitamin D on the beaches of Santorini
3. Sang my heart out at karaoke in Greece and in Boston
4. Listened to live music via live bands several times in Greece
5. Watched "I Love You Philip Morris" in Athens
6. Was mesmerized by the bonfire at the Quarry Hill
All Night Costume Dance Party.  So mesmerized,
in fact, that I managed to convince someone to jump
over the fire naked.

7. I miss my best friend a lot.  We're both extremely busy and extremely poor.
But hopefully I will see her soon.


8. Floated in the Mediterranean Ocean,
and loved every salty second of it.
So, so long, sweet Summer.  Thank you for being so wonderful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Plans for Unemployment

In a couple of weeks, I will be officially 1 year into unemployment.   I will then have to try to reapply for unemployment if I am still unemployed.

There's really quite a chance that I will still be unemployed in the beginning of October.

In recent news, however, I had a great first interview last Wednesday!  I felt extremely confident during and after the interview.  It is a part time and temporary position, though, and I'm nervous about what will happen if I am suddenly offered a great job opportunity with benefits while I am still substituting. 

I have another job interview for a full-time position this Wednesday, and I'm feeling very confident about this job as well.  I do finally feel like things are starting to happen, and I'm very happy about that.

All this time has really taught me that I need to keep busy.  I really should have been trying to do more in my side job in the past year, but now I'm trying my best to build it up.

I'm also realizing that while I have been unemployed, I have also been very busy.  With all the dancing, shows, parties, gatherings with friends, I've really had a lot on my calendar.  It's both exciting and fascinating to know that there's so much happening, and it makes me feel like a more useful human being.

My Arsenal of Time Management
So, I am now making a point to start "working" my time as though I am employed.  In a way, it's a "fake it til you make it" stance, though I am honestly filling up my calendar quite consistently.  I'm going to start using my calendar to make to-do lists for every day, and that list will include items for my side job as well as looking for and applying to jobs.

Okay, ready?  Let's go!

Monday, September 13, 2010

New School Year...But Not for Me

Last week, Boston Public School started it's 2010-2011 School Year.
I'd be a fool if I didn't have any feelings associated with the new year.  At this time, I would know who all the new teachers are and preparing them for the year ahead.  We would probably be welcoming in a new group of Interns, sending them across the city on an agency scavenger hunt.  I would be struggling to learn a new group of names.
I was walking around my neighborhood sometime last week, and that included going in front of the school.  In that walk, I saw several kids and parents who recognized me immediately.  Though social work rules state that you can't necessarily acknowledge your past clients, it's difficult to do so when they acknowledge you first.  Plus, depending on the work you do and who you do work with, it could be mighty rude to not even make eye contact.

The kids who saw me greeted me with a look of surprise.  I just ask them how things are going, and they casually brush it off like it's nothing.  One student I saw told me that she's at a different school, but that she is still remembering how fun it was to do a skit for a younger class.  I encouraged her to keep looking for opportunities like that, even if they're not called "leadership projects."  She just needs to learn which teachers will help her accomplish things, but she already knows how to get through projects.

I walked away feeling...nostalgic and happy and sad.  I miss working with kids.  I miss being around kid energy.

But, there are changes on the horizon.  I finally have a job interview on Wednesday.  It's for a part-time and temporary position, but it's at a school where I would be running groups.  I'm excited that finally something has popped up, and I'm hoping it means more will be on its way.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mercury in Retrograde Stings

In the past month, I've managed to engage in ridiculous conversations with ridiculous people.  All on Facebook.  I'm going to admit that I feel like I walked right into these ridiculous conversations, basically forgetting that the interwebs is full if idiots.

Working with Children
On August 24th, a cousin of mine posted a comment about how young girls getting pregnant makes him shake his head (or "smh" as he said).  So, several of his friends chimed in saying that those girls are stupid, they need to keep their legs closed, they're little hoes.

One girl then states that she was a teen mom, but her baby daddy is helping to take care of them and that she's in college now.  She confessed that sex was enjoyable for her, but that she is dealing with the consequences.  

My cousin's friends then proceeded to completely misunderstand what she said.  They didn't understand why she considered herself a teen mom but she was also in college.  They said that she was basically telling them that everyone should go out and have sex because it feels good.

Being who I am, I couldn't help but respond to some of the ridiculousness.  I congratulated the girl for doing what she needed to do to keep her head up, and spoke generally about how it is too bad that there are a lot of girls who are left with very little choices, but that people need to do something about it instead of pointing fingers.

This was the conversation, shortened, but cut and pasted:
Girl 1:  @ cecilia no body not placeing blame on no one her story juss sounded crazy she said the sex is great aand that u shouldn't wait til marriage lmaoo basically sayin everyone juss go fuck b4 marriage its cool lmaoo buhh thass why she got a baby in the first place ?
Me:  @[Girl 1], she said that saving it for marriage was old school FOR HER. Plus, I don't know why you're getting so defensive. No one needs to get defensive here.

Personally, I can barely understand anything you all are saying.

Let's be honest ...here, the rate of sexual behavior is up, though technically teen pregnancies are down. Pregnancy isn't the only thing you need to worry about - there's tons of STI's that'll come your way to. The point is, teen pregnancy is a sad fact, but is perhaps due to mainly to lack of education. But it doesn't mean that it has to be a sad situation for all teen moms. We all agree about that, yes?
Girl 2:  wtf wutss up witt all thaa bigg ass paragraphs..i dontt thinkk anybody givess a fuck about what you gotta sayy..welcome 2wwo reality..obviously she dont shee dontt knoo how 2wwo keep hurr leggs closed...buhh you kno what erry body gonna have sex buhh fuck at least use a fucken rubber....nd wtf did yall read what i read....cuhz brend sayin sex is great and do it b4 marrige...so..
Me:  That's cute, Kye. Hi, by the way. It's nice to meet all of you. I'm M's cousin. :)
Girl 2:  Cecilia shut tha fuck up....trynna sound educated...bitch you kno damm rite you proly a hoe 2wwo trynna stand up for another hoee that got knocked up lmfaoooo wow very funny
Girl 2: and nice 2wwo meet you 2wwo ♥ @cecilia
Girl 1:  lmaoo Girl 2 we are retarded , i'mmm laughin so hard 2wwo this post i wasn't exspecting people to take it the wrong way lol i juss thought it was funny AF .
Me:  Girl 2 and Girl 1, I apologize if I can't understand what you're typing..or texting..or whatever...or is it watevah? I don't know..hahahaha

Before we get all attacky, like I said, I'm Miguel's cousin. I'm 28, a social worker (that's with a Masters). I currently live in Boston, but Miguel grew up with my siblings and I together in L.A. Personally, I don't think it's fair to attack anyone on the basis of limited information. Funny or whatever.

Either way, I hope Miguel brings you guys to our house next time we have a family party! He needs to introduce us to more of his friends...got that, M??
Girl 1:  lmao they really not gettin this smhh :/ , haha anywho's :P
Girl 2: @cecilia i dont wanna meet you in person ur a social worker you might take us away!! you might try 2wwo do some voodoo shit so nice 2wwo meet you thoee SIKE YOU CRAZII BITCH! nd @thailor bitch please no body asked you 2wwo comment on what we said in tha first place ...bitch gett on wit yo self witt that dumb shitt pshh... trynnna sound educated ....bitchh hahaha... YOU proly a hoee 2wwo haha !! how bout you take yo own advice and stick it up your founky ass
 My Cousin: Girl 2 dnt talk 2 my cuzzin cecilia like dat
Did you get any of that? Sigh

Seriously, it was really hard to understand any of what these girls were saying. It took me a while to really be able to respond because I wasn't sure what the hell they were talking about!

I realize that they probably didn't understand a thing I was saying either.  I then checked out what I could of their profiles, and I realized that I was having a conversation about teen pregnancy with girls who are basically still teens themselves.

I take full responsibility for engaging with them and for thinking that talking to them like adults would make them more mature.  Empowerment doesn't work via Facebook, I learned.

When People Think They're Smarter Than You
Then, the other day, another character posted something about how her "racist anti-immigrant Vietnamese neighbor" was having a BBQ, so she blasted banda music as she is Mexican.

The comments quickly disintegrated into racial slurs about Asians.  I mean, really?

So, here's what happened this time:
Dude:  fish eyeball eatin' muthafuckas'!!! next thing you know the fucking muslims will be talkin shit! this country is fucked!
 Me:  ya this country is fucked if we keep pulling out more stereotypes! I can guarantee that you can find people of all ethnicities who are anti-immigrant...ignorance is color blind.
Dude:   im familiar with world economics and my opinions arent based on "color."
try travelling a bit, and see what happens when the world's population keeps rising but the resources keep dwindling. of course, its always the consumerists first in line to point the finger.
Wait, I'm sorry.  I didn't realize that "fish eyeball eatin' muthafucka's" and "stinky breath, nose poking, murph taking out chinos cochinos" was more a comment about economics.

Sigh.

I didn't engage on the status anymore, but I did send that dude a private message basically saying that he had no idea of who I am in this world, and calling him out on his statement.  In the end, he tried to "friend" me, but I really didn't want to bite.

The boyfriend shook his head at me, basically saying if I had learned my lesson and not engaged with strangers on Facebook.  I don't know if I have learned my lesson, honestly.  I don't think it's right that I have to hold my tongue just because there are stupid people commenting as well.

I can only hope that part of anything I say gets heard by someone who disagrees with me, though I'm sure those girls and that dude have already moved on and called someone else a "CRAZII BITCH" or tell them to "try travelling a bit."

For a second, I felt completely turned off my Facebook and the internet.  Why is it that these misunderstandings keep happening?  True, we're in the midst of Mercury in Retrograde.  But perhaps it's best to stay away from engaging with strangers?

Luckily, I know amazing people who in turn support me and my comments.  They left me with this thought, and I will leave it now with you.

‎"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr Seuss


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time For Planning - Halloween

Halloween is perhaps one of my most favorite holidays!  At least, it's a great way to celebrate the Autumn.  With September here, I definitely feel some pressure on coming up with a great costume this year.  Also, the boyfriend and I are hoping to pair up.


So, I present to you my possible ideas for Halloween Costumes:

Tourists - Easiest because we both have matching
Hawaiian shirts and Mickey Mouse Hats.

Care Bear - except with a twist, and probably NOT slutty!

The boyfriend can be the Sorcerer's Apprentice
and I can be a Broom (or the other way around)

Sushi...but that's a tasty version of a mermaid!
The boyfriend can be Wasabi!
I was also thinking more of wearing a tutu and
wrapping green fabric around it

Except not as a creepy baby.
But this would be cheating, as I would really just be a gold mermaid.

Double Rainbow
All the Way!
Any other suggestions are more than welcome!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Toesies of the Month - September 2010

I was very eager to get my nails done again after messing them up last month.  I was also willing to try a new nail salon, but as luck would have it, I was near a familiar spot.

When I entered Dana's Nail Salon, I was prepared with my own nail polish that I brought in, thinking that I would do a dark green.  But I always like seeing if there are new colors that I would like to try on in the next couple of months.  I spotted a sparkly teal color, picked it up, and completely fell in love with it.

Later on, as I was looking through some design samples, I surprised myself by settling on none other than a flower design.  At this point, I'm pretty sick of flower designs, though they seem to be the most common probably because they're the easiest.  Nonetheless, I knew that the folks at Dana's would do a good job at making the flower design anything but common.
Designed by Ken and Nina, Dana's Nail Salon, Brighton, MA
Color:  OPI - Catch Me In Your Net
Occasion:  Friend's Wedding Celebration
September 2010
I liked the color so much that I also got a mani with them.
I already have an idea that the nail technicians at Dana's think I'm a little crazy because I always choose crazy colors.  But I just couldn't help myself with this color.

I definitely feel like I need to add this color to my growing arsenal of pretty colors, though I'm sure I have one that's exactly the same shade minus the sparkles.

Luckily, this color matched my outfit perfectly for my friend's wedding celebration.
Matching outfit and nails
Though a lot of people assumed that I was trying to be really mermaid-y with this outfit, I was actually trying to wear peacock colors (note the peacock feather headband) in honor of my married friend.  I was excited to dress up for her party, and I was honored to do some belly dance for her and her husband.

I wanted to talk a little bit about how much I enjoyed their wedding celebration.

Firstly, they were already married on July 4th.  Secondly, this party seemed to be a group effort.  There was a BBQ potluck the night before, the desserts were all from various guests, the entertainment was provided by the guests, and the music was planned out by the couple.  The food was a variety of tacos, Ethiopian food, and Moroccan food.  It was delicious!  Everything was delicious!

During the ring exchange, people were invited to say a couple of words to the couple, and everyone was so heartfelt and genuinely happy.  The celebration just seemed so relaxed and fun.  While there was a schedule of events, it didn't feel as though the evening was stuffed or that the event was stuffy.  It was really just chill, and that made the guests feel more chill.

There's usually so much hoopla involved with wedding celebrations, that I always feel exhausted by the end of the evening.  But I felt completely energized by this party and just so happy for the two of them.

Here's hoping more wedding parties are like this!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's Too Late Now

I feel like I'm doing such a horrible thing.

Since I moved in with the boyfriend back in 2008, we've done laundry at a laundromat a couple of doors down from our apartment.  I try my best to be friendly with people, sometimes to a fault.

I realized a couple of weeks ago that the man who runs the dry cleaning and laundromat thinks my name is...Celeste.

Okay, so I'm lying.

I thought he thought my name was Celeste a long time ago, perhaps a year ago.  But I was counting on the fact that he would forget my name, and ask me and then I could correct him.

But nope.  I'm still Celeste in his mind.

I mean, don't get me wrong.  Celeste is a really pretty name.  I've thought of giving my future daughter that name or a variant of that name.  But, it's not my name.  It's not even a nickname.

It get worst.  He's called me Celeste to my face and I didn't correct him.  I think I wasn't sure if I heard him correctly, or I just chickened out.

The only thing left to do is to move away or never do laundry there.  But instead I'm just going to casually avoid him and hope that he will just forget my name eventually.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

City Sights - September 1st Eve

For some reason September 1st fills me with a mix of sad feelings and happy memories.  Though it's still hot and humid in Boston, September's arrival means that summer is over. 

In Boston, it also means that the students have come back, and thousands of leases have ended and are just beginning.

On the final night in August, a couple of friends, the boyfriend, and I took a walk around Allston and Brighton, neighborhoods fraught with students and leases.  I just wanted to share with you some of the amazing piles of trash that we came across.
Another man's trash...

...is another man's Double Rainbow All the way!
It was fascinating to walk around the neighborhood.  Usually, I try to avoid the craziness of the U-Haul trucks, smelly sidewalks, and hyped up undergrads.  But doing this with friends makes the experience a whole lot better.

Words of advice for anyone:  Bring hand wipes or hand sanitizers or both.  I made the mistake of touching a Guitar Hero drum set that was just disgustingly sticky.  Gross!

There are a lot of things I miss about being a student, or just in general about years past.  But I'm interested to see what this September will bring.  With that, I leave you with this awesome tripped out video of an amazing song.



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