Saturday, May 30, 2015

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Originally written on 5/11/2015

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I just bought a first class* one-way ticket to New York. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I can't believe my life.

*first class, refundable was cheaper than coach since it's only a week before the travel date.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Chobani #BreakYouMake

In honor of the new Chobani Flips, the folks at Chobani reached out to see who in my life may deserve a break. Um, my bestie, Pascale. She's a stay-at-home-mom with a gorgeous, yet rambunctious soon-to-be 3 year old. She's expecting cutie #2 in a couple of months (surprise gender) AND she's moving into a new home in a few weeks. I'm pretty sure she over indexed on life events per season and could use a little break!  

I couldn't think of a person more deserving of a #BreakYouMake.



And nope, Chobani didn't pay me for this post. It's just the best Greek yogurt on the planet, period.

P.S. That's not my bestie in the photo, that's her toddler, LOL! Chobani team, please pick my friend. She deserves it! 

Mind. Blown.

Originally written on 5/6/2015

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One day, hopefully soon, my blog will be in real time. I'm sitting in my homegirl's apartment reading my new lease that I'm supposed to be signing at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. I have to send my questions to my lawyer, she has to answer my questions and review before that time. It's 12:18 a.m. #MightDontMakeIt

So much about this process is blowing me. I think the thing about getting older and having more experiences, is that I see things for what they are rather than what I want them to be. I love New York, but I'll be damned if it doesn't have some serious drawbacks.

Starting with everyone trying to get over on you all the time, which translates to my lease being 53 pages because they have to explicitly state everything. As I'm reading through this, there are a few things that stop me in my tracks and I wanted to share. Let's see if we can get to 10:

  • My apartment has hardwood floors and the lease says I'm supposed to cover 80% of it with carpet or a rug. Nah, son. 
  • There are so many references to "servants" in my lease. How many New Yorkers have servants? 
  • My building is listed as non-combustible, which after 1968 was changed to fireproof, which means if there's a fire I'm supposed to stay in my home for safety. Yeah, no. 
Ok, only 3 things. Sort of anticlimactic, but I wrote it, so I'm posting it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Real Talk

Originally written on 4/29/15

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On my birthday 2015, my little brother hits up wanting to know what city and state I'm in, so he can send me stuff for my birthday. I'm like, send me what? How about you send me a Target gift card because I need groceries.

He's like I was going to send flowers or candy, to which, I IMMEDIATELY reply:

Send flowers. F*ck groceries.

At the end of the day unemployed as I may be, I'm still a girl. And I'm still a Taurus. And Tauruses love beautiful things. And flowers are some of the most beautiful things the good Lord has ever blessed us with.

I'm sure there's a soup kitchen or something I can get food from. There aren't going to be any flowers in a soup kitchen.

And before you all get out of sorts, I'm exaggerating. I'm not to the point where I'm eating at soup kitchens, but I've also never been the type to spend a premium on food in my home. I may eat at a nice restaurant or something, but my fridge is pretty bare on the regular. Now that I've been traveling, I haven't found the time to keep my fridge stocked AND I'm lowkey scared to buy a lot of groceries because I just don't think I'll be living here that much longer. 

Nothing like throwing out a fridge full of food.

Anywho, if I remember, I'll post pics of my birthday flowers. I thank God for brothers!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bum's Log: 3 Months

Originally written on 4/27/15

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April 27th is a special day. In 2012, it was my last day at the PR agency, I spent almost 8 years at. I didn't even take a week and started my new job on April 30th. Now, three years later, it marks 90 days since I got laid off a new job. (Not the job I left my old agency for... Have you ever had three W2 in the same year? A mess).

It's also the day before my birthday. The last day in a year. It's like New Year's Eve for me. This year, it's not my favorite day. I've definitely been in better places on April 27th the other 30 years of my life, but I'm excited to turn 32 tomorrow and put this year behind me. Which, by the way, was a good year despite my current 90 days of unemployment situation.

Anywho, here's my log:

30: Episodes of the Mindy Project that I've seen since my last bum's log
90: Days I've been unemployed 
90: Jobs I've applied to (hey, look at me averaging 1 job a day. That's way better than my last check in)
54: Number of Tinder matches I have right now (That span Chicago, New Orleans and New York... None in Pittsburgh because racism) 
22: Phone interviews I've had
10: In-Person Interviews I've had  
4: Cities I've visited since that fateful January day
3: Number of times I've been to New York for interviews
1: Number of times I've had to appeal my eligibility to the unemployment office in a "hearing" because their computer system broke and they blamed it on me
0: Number of current Tinder matches I've actually ever met in person 

Monday, May 25, 2015

I Don't Want to Do Anything

Originally written on 4/24/15

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I'm sitting here on my second cup of coffee, pulling an all nighter to get not one, but two writing tests done. Because I am in round three with not one, but three PR agencies in New York. I should be ecstatic. I'm not.

I'm bored out of my mind doing these writing tests. And I can't tell if this is a fear mechanism or if I really don't care for these jobs that I'm actually very skilled at doing.

I'm running down a few lanes in my job search.

1. Corporate PR (for a corporation, has to be a great fit in a good city)
2. PR Firms in New York (It needs to be a VP position or similar and in New York)
3. Sports Marketing, PR, Communications or Community Relations for a professional sports team (it could be in any city, if I respect the team)

I'm not so sure that I want to do #2. I know I want to move to New York. I know I don't want to do agency PR in Chicago. I would consider another agency PR job in Pittsburgh if the fit is right, but the types of things they have me doing on these writing tests is boring me to tears and I think it's a sign that even if I get the job I should turn it down.

HOWEVER, it also occurred to me that I just don't want to work anywhere. I want to be a stay-at-home-American. Somehow, even though, I'm not working for a living, I've managed to take on all of these nonprofit responsibilities and I think I could do a better job at at them if I didn't have to look for a job.

I also like keeping my home clean. That's much easier to do when I don't have to worry about finding a job. I also like relaxing, watching Hulu Plus, not checking email and/or answering phone calls or texts and checking Instagram and Pinterest nonstop. I'm a happier, more jovial person when I can do these things. I'm less irritable and less stressed and...

I'm running out of money.

This is why I originally wanted to be a house wife. It's a lot of work, BUT the reward is greater. Knowing you have a man who appreciates you and knowing you're contributing to someone else's professional success is likely more rewarding than running million dollar accounts for public relations agencies.

Maybe. I'm trippin. I'm procrastinating. I'm tired. I'm bored. I'm single and delusional. Maybe I'll play the lottery tomorrow. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lessons Learned

Originally written on 4/23/15

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1. Be grateful for EVERYTHING- If I had just been grateful for the head's up that my flight was delayed, I would have gotten up at the same time and took care of some things for 90 minutes at the airport instead of being sluggish and going back to sleep.

2. Never take no for an answer - U.S. Airways wouldn't sell me a ticket originally because the plane had 50 seats and 50 people checked in. Meanwhile there were 4-5 empty seats on the plane when the door was about to close.

3.  ALWAYS have a list - I got a little cocky since this was my third trip in two weeks AND I had car service coming to get me, so I didn't have to stress about being on-time and such. I forgot so many things that ended up costing me um... close to $800 in flights, Uber, the Verizon store and overdraft fees. I have GOT to do better.

4. Let Go and Let God - I had ample opportunity to get on social media and complain. To curse the air to claim Murphy's law and just give up. But I know everything happens for a reason and I also know I don't control ANYTHING except my own actions. I make mistakes (leaving my ID at home to start) and maybe this situation will help me be compassionate to others who make mistakes that affect me in the future.

5. Don't take your day out on other people - Despite being really angry with myself, I still had a delightful conversation with my Uber driver. There was no reason to be mad or mean towards him (or anyone else, even though I REALLY wanted to be) and that conversation made my day better. PLUS we talked about Pittsbugh restaurants and I added a new one to my list.

6. People/companies deserve a second chance. I wrote a whole post about hating Delta and I DID based on a horrific experience I had with them years back. BUT After missing my flight, I called Delta to make sure I was still on the outbound flight and asked about a refund for the inbound. They gave it to me (#NeverHappens) and now I have essentially a free flight to take wherever I want, which is an awesome silver lining. They have roomier seats than other airlines, cheaper prices on last minute flights and really good Biscotti. While I'm a still bull-headed Taurus, I'm proud of my ability to reconsider what I once thought to be true.

7. Bring Your Own Dough - Even if the company is sponsoring the trip, bring your own money. The $72 I just spent in overdraft fees is money I can never get back. I had been doing so well this year too. I was trying to go a whole year without overdraft fees. You know, act as a responsible, checkbook-balancing adult. Ah well, reset.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Interviewing: A Day In The Life

Originally written on 4/22/15

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Yesterday was the travel day from hell, but I learned so many positive lessons. Today, I'll tell you what happened. Tomorrow I'll share my lessons.

  • My Delta flight was moved to 7:23 a.m. I complained about it and went back to sleep. 
  • Got to the airport at 6:20... but left my I.D. at home in my other purse. 
  • Went back home. 
  • Got back to the airport at 7:42. My flight was gone. Delta booked me on an 11:20 a.m. 
  • My interview was at 10:30. That's a no-go. 
  • The next flight was U.S. Airways leaving at 8:35 a.m. It was booked.
  • I stood by the jet bridge and waited for all the people to get on. 
  • I paid $676.10 + a $35 same-day booking fee to get on that 8:35 a.m. flight in hopes of making it to my interview on time. 
  • The flight was delayed.
  • I get to LaGuardia at 10:20 a.m. 
  • Hop in the car service that was waiting, go to change my shoes. 
  • I left my shoes at home. (I took them out of my purse when I put my ID back INTO my purse) 
  • Have to stop at Nine West during lunch traffic in NYC. 
  • Get to the interview at 11:42 a.m., but cool, calm and collected because I looked good and even an hour and 12 minutes late, I'd be an asset to anyone's team. 
  • Miss my 12 p.m. conference call with another agency I was interviewing with. Can't reschedule because the SVP was on his way out of town. Womp.
  • Got to make a phone call, phone's dead. 
  • Go to Pret to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner because it's 2:30 p.m. by now (yep all that time and I hadn't eaten yet) 
  • Realize I didn't pack my phone charger. MAN COME ON!
  • Bought a new phone charger. 
  • Met my friend at her job to get her house keys. 
  • Made it to her house. Decompressed. 
  • Had a lovely dinner at Streetbird in Harlem where a fellow dolphin is the executive chef. She just happens to be division 033. We produce greatness, in case you didn't know. 
  • Watched the awesomeness that is Married at First Sight (My friend has GOOD cable).

Friday, May 22, 2015

Things I Forgot Before Traveling Today

Originally written on 4/21/15

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- My I.D.
- My phone charger
- My black pumps
- My lip moisturizer. Lipstick is not moisturizing. I'm dry as hell out in here in New York. 

I remembered soap and deodorant though because freshness.

More on this tomorrow.

BECAUSE I'M HAPPY!

I am so happy right now. I was out for my girl's birthday yesterday and everyone was like you have the JuJu... I feel like I'm glowing. So friggin' happy! I'm going to try to write a top 10, but who knows if I'll be able to stop...

10. I LIVE IN NEW YORK! I feel like I live in a movie. Every day I walk to the train in Harlem like "pinch me."

9. I have a new job. Work is work, but NEW work is amazing. I'm happy to be back in the land of the gainfully employed.

8. I get paid at the end of the month. I thought I was going to have to wait until June 15, but nope. Money goals coming back into focus!!!

7. I have a new apartment. I'm sitting in my friend's apartment writing this blog post. #FreeWifi The movers won't be at my new place until 1:30 p.m., but I got my keys this morning and it's NICE! It's better than I remembered it in my head. I'm so happy about it!

6. I have new clothes. Listen, I couldn't start a new job with too-tight and/or outdated clothes. In PR, how you look is important. I didn't go ham at the mall or anything, but every time I pick something up, I pop a tag and I'm SO happy about it.

5. I SEE BLACK PEOPLE! Everywhere. At work. In Harlem. On the train. At the bars. ALL! OVER! THE! PLACE! I am not the only Black person in the room anymore ever.

4. I know nothing. Moving to New York will let you know you know nothing about what you thought you knew. I'm like a sponge, soaking up all the education.

3. McDonald's gave me two hashbrowns today when I only ordered one. The responsible thing to do would be to throw one away. But I ate it...

2. I'm overweight [for my size]. I'm happy because I don't care. I don't care because I'm happy. When I get back in the gym, it'll be because I want to be strong to lug my laptop up and down subway stairs in NYC, not because I want a flat stomach. I'm about this flowy shirt, maxi skirt life. I also sometimes feel like more of a woman when I'm at a higher weight. Like I was a child for the first um.. I dunno... 28 years of my life. I'm squishy and I like it! 

1. I'm going to Chicago tonight! Grits and Biscuits tonight, fresh off the plane with 4 Southwest drinks tickets in my purse. Day Party to celebrate all these Gemini birthdays Saturday. Wedding of the Century Sunday and chill time with my sick grandmother on Monday. Doesn't matter where I reside, Chicago is my home and makes my heart happy.

Bonus: I saw um... four Chicagoans last night. Because Chicago is everywhee. And we find each other and we party together in different cities and it feels like home, but better.

I'm so friggin' HAPPY!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Hate *Unnamed* Airlines

Originally written on 4/21/15

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I'm leaving for New York this morning for interview number several with one of the five companies I'm interviewing with in New York. They paid for the flight, so I didn't tell them that I would prefer to fly American or Southwest. I'm trying to practice being gracious.

I wake up to a text message saying my flight has moved from 6 a.m. to 7:23 a.m. 1. Thanks for the text, but 2. What the fuck? What if I had a 9 a.m. meeting? Don't they understand people traveling this early are traveling for business.

I know things happen, but I swear things happen MORE on *Unnamed* than on any other airline. I have no patience for people or companies who don't work on their craft. If UPS can master logistics, clearly *Unnamed* can figure out a way to get flights out on time. This is a big part of why I stopped dealing with them in the first place.

Now the car service has to wait downstairs for me for an hour and a half because there's no way I'm leaving at 4:30 a.m. for a flight that doesn't leave until 7:23 a.m.

Shout out to the Pittsburgh airport for being so easy to get through that I can show up an hour before my flight and still make it. #SilverLining

I'm going back to sleep.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tea's Tangents: Unemployement Edition

Originally written on 4/11/15

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1. Procrastination is the devil. I also participate in active procrastination to try to trick myself into thinking that's not what it is. For example, I went to the doctor and had lunch with a former coworker [and took a nap] before I got my day started today. BUT since today is the day before I travel, I probably should have rescheduled both of those appointments and skipped that luxurious nap to fully focus on preparing for these interviews.

2. I thought my flight was leaving at 2:30 and it's actually arriving in New York at 2:30, which means instead of leaving at 12:30 p.m., I now need to leave at about 11 a.m. and the number of things I need to do before now and then is just...

3. Meanwhile, I still sat down to write down my thoughts because I can't Tweet them because I don't want people asking me what I'm doing in New York and I have to say interviewing because I don't have a job. 

4. Trying to pack for a trip when you have given no thought whatsoever to how your weight gain has affected your work clothes, BUT you also cannot buy anything because you are not employed... is the pits. I'm about to be sucking it in for 7 straight days. I'm seriously considering buying maternity pants for my everyday flow. I need a belly pocket too. I just want to be comf-table.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It started with an invitation

Originally written on 3/31/15

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Yesterday, I got a wedding invitation in the mail. It was gorgeous. Classic, traditional, elegant. I couldn't wait to RSVP.

A quick survey of my closet indicated that I'd need to purchase a dress (or maybe even a gown because it's an evening wedding) and I IMMEDIATELY got online. After exhausting myself on RentTheRunway, Ebay, Maggy London, Badgley Mischka and a host of other sites. I decided on two styles of dress that I MAY wear to this wedding.

Then today, I borrowed a friend's car to go to the dentist and found myself on errands, amongst those, taming these brows. Do you know I went in about a month ago and Hanna (brow threader at La Biotique in the Monroeville Mall)... Yes, I know they were shooting in the mall, but seriously, where else am I going to get my brows done in Pittsburgh.

I digress.

A month ago Hanna told me I'd messed up the shape of my brows so bad that she couldn't even clean them up.

I had to go to Sephora, buy some brow powder and fill them in for a month and ACT like I didn't notice the monstrosity on my face. It was real Bert from Sesame Street level horrible.

Back to the story.

So brow place is at the mall, the mall is near DSW. I need shoes to go with this imaginary dress I'm buying. And perhaps shoes will help me pick between the two imaginary dresses I'm buying.

I proceeded to play a game called "If I wasn't unemployed, how many pairs of shoes would I buy today?" The answer was four, maybe five. Maybe three. If I was feeling sensible, but probably not, there wee some great deals: Cole Haan loafers for $60. And there's no tax on shoes or clothes in Pittsburgh. I about cried putting those back in the box.

So I leave out of their unscathed, but I still need some cute flat shoes that are not flip flops for the upcoming bachelorette party that's in New Orleans in less that three weeks (related to the wedding in less that two months).

I get online looking for some shoes that I saw in DSW LAST YEAR and left them there being "responsible" and boy, I'm not doing that anymore. They next time I have a job and want something, I'm buying it.

So thanks to the lovely internet, I track them or their knockoffs down at Bakers and they are $84.99 and I cannot spend $84.99 on anything frivolous when I do not have an income and I am sad. If they were $25.99, I would have been all over that and taken it out of my grocery budget. I'd be all... #MeatlessMondays What?

So now, I'm going to be flip-flopping it up in New Orleans like a peasant without cute, strappy, rhinestoned footwear, but the moment I have an income, I'm buying these shoes. And not even because I want them so bad. It's because I want them NOW and I can't have them. So I will have them later. (I clearly have issues with rejection, denial and the word no in general. I feel like one of those girls on Ricki Lake talmbout "You shunned me in kindergarten, but look at me now." Pray for me.)

UPDATE: Now that I have a job, I really don't want these shoes. I bought some other stuff I wanted though. :-)

Taken For Granted: Employer Costs

Originally written on 4/7/15.

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I just got my water/sewer bill and it is 150% of what it was last month (the last bill I had before I lost my job). What's worst is that this bill I'm looking at includes 2 weeks that I was out of town.

I completely took for granted the fact that I wasn't cooking breakfast and lunch at home and running the dishwasher and the laundry machine daily while I was at work. All my trash. All my dishwashing were paid for by the gig.

Add that to these healthcare costs:

Obamacare is awesome, but my copays are higher because I picked a midrange plan vs. an expensive plan that cost about as much as COBRA.

Then add that to the fact that I no longer have a tax-sheltered fund to pay for prescriptions and doctors visits. I paid out of pocket to go to the dentist chief. I was like we're not doing X-rays until I'm an employee again. Eff that. Scrub me white, then I'm out of here!

So yeah, the next time I have a job, I will be thanking God line by line for all of these things that I never quite considered as "costs" or "low cost" because I always had them.

After I get a job and sing grateful at church, it's going to have a new meaning.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Get Humble

Originally written on 4/4/15.

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I went out for a friend's birthday last night in Pittsburgh. The pickings are so slim that we ended up in a club that's really for college students and has no discernible dress code. I seriously saw a woman with a McCutchen jersey on and a man in a jogging suit amongst other things that FURTHER let me know that Hulu Plus would have been a better look.

But, I'm a good friend, so I subjected myself to it. Sidenote: In 2016, I may really stop going to places I don't want to go whether it's someone's birthday or not. It's SO hard to do, but I wonder if I waste my life away doing stuff I don't want to do under the guise of supporting others. Like are they going to quit me if I don't go to their birthday party. I think no. 

I digress.

So somewhere on this blog, I've written about how I hate DJs calling out the dumbest stuff on the mic. I believe I said something like:

"The DJ said 'if you have a job and make more than $25,000, MAKES SOME NOISE,' but if you DON'T have a job and/or if you make less than $25,000 a year, you shouldn't even be at the club. Like, why are you consuming anything that isn't essential if you don't make more than $25,000 a year?"

Of course, I'm out at this place with teeny boppers and the DJ says the same thing "If you have a job, if you make more $30,000 a year, if you have XXX in your pocket, MAKE SOME NOISE!"

It was at this moment that I realized that I'm a judgmental jerk. And for all the people I want to ride out of my pockets, I spend a lot of time assigning meaning to what other people have a don't have. 

The DJ at this wack club called out these meager stats and I couldn't even fist pump to them. I was in there looking at my shoes. I wanted to be like, but I have a healthy savings account and a strong IRA. I have good credit and lots of earning potential. I'm just in between jobs right now. This is really what I was thinking.

God humbled me last night. Even though, it seems to be in contrast to my core and who I am as a person, it's my goal to keep this humility with me in my future dealings. Everything happens for a reason and if the only reason for me to be unemployed was to humble me, that's reason enough.

Thankful for the opportunity to have a new perspective.