Two Roads Diverged

Life is all about choices – so which choice is coming next?

The Juggling Act

So I mentioned a few weeks ago how my lack of activity was due to lack of internet.

And also that small detail of the acquisition of 5 jobs.

Well, now I have internet! (Yay for mail spam that actually gives you great deals!)

Ok, so my mailbox only had one letter... but it happened to be a great deal from Cox!

Ok, so my mailbox only had one letter… but it happened to be a great deal from Cox!

But those jobs, well, they do require time.

Dang it.

To be perfectly honest, at the moment I’m only doing 4, the fifth hasn’t started yet.

But I’m sure the question is: How did this come to happen?

Well, around December, after 4 months of unemployment, I caught my first break! I finally got an interview! Sure, it was to be a food runner – a step below server – but it was a money making job!

So job number 1, secured.

__________________________________________________________

My mom works in the principal’s office at my hometown high school.

So when first, a family came seeking a babysitter, and then another family came seeking a science tutor, my mom offered my name.

So babysitting and tutoring were added to the list.

Then one night during a food runner shift, I ran into an old customer from when I worked at a bagel shop. I kept in touch with her and her family while I was in Greece.

It turned out the administrative assistant at her company had just left, so she offered me the position. The work is in the mornings, so I could keep the restaurant job, babysitting, and tutoring.

__________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, during all this, my mom had contacted a friend who worked at a casino. He said he could see about getting me a job as a bartender, but I should get a bartending license first, and gave me the name of the school his son went to.

With the luck I was having, I called during their big holiday promotion and paid 1/3 the normal cost.

So I started classes at the Riverside National Bartending School.

Now, I’d read on multiple places online that having a bartending license “doesn’t help”, and “bars prefer you don’t have it”, etc.

I did have several reasons for taking the class. Obviously one was to get a bartending job. But really, it was something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and why would I ever regret the class? Learning new drinks, being able to make drinks at parties — really there would be no losing!

So for a month, I drove 1 hour each way, to finish this class.
Memorized over 100 drinks.
And finished the final (making any 12 drinks the teacher called out) in record time.

Then began the tough part of bartending.

The job search.

So first, I jumped on Craigslist. And saw an ad that said a new restaurant opening where I lived was having interviews.

The next morning.

So the next morning, I jump in my car, wait while one person interviews in front of me, then was interviewed myself.

Got invited to a second interview.

The day after that, got offered a bartending job.

So the first place I walked into? I got a bartending job!

But the restaurant hasn’t opened yet. It looks like that may take a while. So only working 4 jobs at the moment – but (hopefully) soon to be five.

Then we’ll see – for reals – how good my juggling skills are…

42 Comments »

Bloggers Are Real People

So the Wonderful Becca and Amazing Jen have been discussing the idea of Blogger Meetup 2013.

To which I gave a whole-hearteded:

THIS HAS TO HAPPEN!

“Why? Why would this be great?” Other bloggers may ask.

Well, I have two examples of why this would absolutely be amazing.

The first being my encounter with the ever looking-forward, optimistic, bright Vyvy.

In this instance, bloggers might say, “Well, you two had people in common, that changes things. Makes it easier!”

Well, more recently, I had a meetup with the always hilarious Calahan.

(Yes, these name descriptions are required.)

See, Calahan and I didn’t have any people in common! He and his beautiful wife were down in my area for a wedding that had nothing to do with anyone I knew!

And guess what?

We had a swimmingly awesome gathering! I mean, there’s that first awkward, “Shoot, who am I looking for? Although we’ve talked so much online I realize that I probably can’t pick them out of the crowd in front of the restaurant…”

I decided to be helpful and wear the shirt my mom had just given me for Valentine’s.

Oh Yes.

Oh Yes.

But after that: Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

We all talked for hours. Ate some great food. Hung out with ease really.

Because let’s be honest: if you have an awesome personality on your blog. Well, that’s you! And that means you’re awesome in person too.

We already know a bit of each person that we read. I mean, when I write, I know that I really do put myself into it, and I know so many other writers do too.

And as we already know each other that little bit – we should go that little bit farther.

The best reasons of all?

Because now, when I read Vyvy or Calahan, I get to put a face to the stories. I get to put a voice with it too.

And I know my life has been enriched all the more for getting to know them.

30 Comments »

I Love WP, Just Not On My Phone

So I’ve been rather random in posting lately.

And I’ve been even more random in reading. Like some may have noticed that I, just today, commented on blog entries from over a week ago.

And missing these posts as they come out causes me to be late on Big news – like the resigning pope (Thank you Doggy’s Style).

Why have I been so remiss?

Well, I’ve got 5 jobs now. (Ok, Truth: soon to be 5 jobs, one hasn’t technically started yet). 3 are in one city, two in another.

This means lots of travel and little extra time for WP for the moment.

It also becomes much harder when one of the places I’m sleeping at has no internet.

Why this travesty? Because I’ve been too lazy to set it up…

So soon, hopefully, I will be back to not being a week behind on everyone’s posts. And I will be able to write my own posts more frequently.

For now – I’m trying to work out my fingers so they’ll slim down and stop hitting the wrong buttons on my phone’s internet pages…

How does anyone have the patience to write on this?!?!

How does anyone have the patience to write on this?!?!

26 Comments »

New Blog Name

All right, so this is ridiculously overdue.

As you may have noticed, I have what looks like gibberish, but is actually Greek writing as my blog title. Cause you know, I started this when I was living in Greece.

But I’m no longer IN Greece; so I can’t really ask Greece if it’s ready for adventure anymore.

So it’s time.

Time for a new blog title!!

changes_ahead

I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. Trying to think of what would be my inspiration.

Weirdly enough a Robert Frost poem kept coming to mind.

Why is that weird? Because 1) I haven’t seen this poem since 8th grade when we had to memorize it. And 2) I am seriously not a poetry fan.

But I think it fits my life. Well, really, just life in general.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Source

Photo from: endlessstream.blogspot.com

Photo from: endlessstream.blogspot.com

So my blog will be getting a new name.

Will life be taking a new path? Maybe, maybe not. But for me, life is about the choices you make. Which road you take.

So the question that will be answered in my life to come, is which roads will I be taking?

28 Comments »

I Love People

As a people-oriented person, naturally, I love being with and interacting with, well, people.

It amazes me sometimes how even a one line joke, a 2 second conversation, or overhearing a comment can have me grinning like a simpleton and giggling to myself.

Customer: “Miss, miss, do you have 911 on speed dial??”
Me: “Uh… uh…”
Customer: “Cause this dessert is KILLING his diet!”

Singing happy birthday to strangers? Giant smile.

Any “that’s what she said” joke? Giggle.

Birthday female: “Another pizookie?? But I had one for dinner!”
Me: “Oh don’t worry. It’s your birthday – calories don’t exist.”
Birthday female: “ I LOVE you!!”

Little boy in a suit complete with bowtie? Cheshire cat smile!

I can’t even remember the million and one things that make me smile about people during the day!

It’s one of those interesting things where I think most people are good, and nice. But I’m still so happy and surprised every time I experience that nice, good side!

I don’t know about you – but if “Walking Dead” came to pass, or “I am Legend” – or really anything where people weren’t people anymore. The world would be a sad, sad place!

What about people makes YOU happy??

21 Comments »

6 Degrees of Separation

So I’m sure most of you know of the concept of 6 Degrees of Separation, or if you don’t, well, I guess we’ll forgive you and I’ll give you the handy-dandy Wikipedia link.

Of course I’ve heard about 6DoS. But never really thought about it.

Until recently.

Sometimes you never know what commenting can lead you to learn!

Vyvacious meeting blog friends real life meetings

Thinking, “Hm, that’s interesting she feels that way, I gotta ask…

Blog meetings, meeting people online

“What if we had class together once?” I so innocently asked at the end. Because as two UCLA alums, that’s definitely how we would’ve gotten to know each other, right? CLASS!

Without thinking too much about it, I click through my other internet pages.

AKA: Facebook.

Ah, more planning for the Surprise Birthday Party for a friend.

I read through the messages, and come across one that catches my eye:

Meeting people online, online meeting, Vyvacious

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute!

A girl named Vyvy? That’s funny, I read a blog by a girl named “Vyvacious”.

Mistaking a comment as being about strippers?!

Vyvacious has a pretty dirty mind!

But it can’t be! That would be so coincidental!!

So I ask:

online meetings, meeting people online, Vyvacious

And so we’ve figured it out.

We’ve met on WordPress, been commenting on each other’s posts for months.

And we share some of the same friends!!

So this weekend, both Vyvacious and I prepared to celebrate our friend’s birthday.

And we prepared to meet in person.

meeting people online, online meetings, Vyvacious

This is what WordPress Badasses look like!

As with many of the blogs I read, I often found myself thinking as I read Vyvacious’ blog, “Man, I bet if we ever met in person, we’d totally get along!”

And you know what? We did.

And just like that, blog friend became real friend.

46 Comments »

Talk About Your Emotional Gamut

I guess this is what it must feel like to be pregnant.
Or hormonal.
Or like a girl who’s learning stick shift.

The last week has been my first week driving the stick (name still to be decided).

Alone

And man, it got driven a lot. Several hours worth of distance every day.

And during those hours: my emotions swung everywhere.

Emotional gambit, swinging emotions, emotion meter

And most days went a little something like this:

Get out of the driveway.
Cheer!
Wait at the stop sign to cross two lanes of traffic.
Fidget, body tenses
Make it to the freeway safely.
Happy!
Shift onto the freeway, guy behind me tailgates as I shift too slowly.
Wince
Navigate the freeway.
Ecstasy!
Have to get off the freeway for some reason (gas, destination, etc.).
Get to stop sign/stoplight.
Nervous

Light turns Green.
stall
Anxious
Restart, let foot off clutch.
stall
The car behind me honks.
Start panicking
Somehow get the car started.
Get through that intersection.
Get stopped at a light.
Stall
Another car honks.
Burst into tears

Most of last week I stalled at least 3 times a day.
And burst into tears at least once a day. (I swear I don’t cry that much!)

It all culminated into Friday, I jumped in the car, headed off to work.

I was parked a bit differently and was going to have to navigate a bit more to get out of the driveway. Now, our driveway is relatively flat at the top, drops off on one side, and the drive is a good 70O angle. So I didn’t want to go off the edge, and I didn’t want to be trying to navigate the steep drive.

When my turning angles weren’t quite what I wanted them to be (damn you geometry!), I tried to go back to start over.

I turned too sharply, and the right front tire went over the edge.

Cue the tears.

Crying

If only I was this adorable when I cried! Ah, lost youth…

A quick phonecall to my dad – a turn of the steering wheel, and the right wheel was able to grab onto concrete and pull me back onto the driveway.

Completely shaken, I took my dad’s car. Loving the automatic, and not having to shift, I was able to calm down.

But just as many of you claimed I would, I missed the shifting. I can’t say I missed the control, which I hadn’t gotten yet, I didn’t even miss the gas mileage, which I hadn’t calculated yet.

I can’t honestly tell you what I missed. But when my mom suggested I stop driving the stick, I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t just the desire to learn (or ‘stubborness to learn’ I guess I should say), but there’s something about the car that I liked.

So I returned to the stick.

And for three days now I’ve been relatively stall free! (Only twice in three days!)

I can HEAR the engine changes. I’m starting to understand the shifting.

It’s falling into place!

But my emotions are still all over the place. No more crying – but panic. That’s definitely still there.

39 Comments »

You’ve Got Mail

I don’t know about you, but I love opening my mailbox and finding mail for me. You know – letter and/or postcard mail. Anything with handwriting on it.

Luckily, my mom had this adorable addiction to greeting cards. As in, I’m pretty sure that Hallmark is still in business because of her.

For instance, since I was a little girl going away to camp – my mom has sent me letters and mail. 4 years in college – I’d get letters at least every 2 weeks.

And then last year in Greece, I got all kinds of mail from mom, friends, etc.

So now, I’m home. Living with mom. So mom doesn’t send me mail (understandabe).

Any chance I get for mail, be it a facebook event of “Who Wants a Postcard From ”, to offers of random Christmas cards from bloggers (Thank you to the wonderful Madams Jen and Raurasaur for their amazing Christmas cards!) I take it!

So naturally when I heard about a way to guarantee mail to myself, I jumped on that bandwagon!

Or rather, mail wagon I guess I should say.

Postcrossing

It’s a pretty simple system. You sign up with your address. You request addresses for people around the world. You send them a postcard. Once they’ve received your postcard, your address is released to someone else in the world.

And voila! You’ve just gotten a beautiful postcard from some nice person somewhere in the world!

I’ve gotten cards from Russia, Germany, Taiwan, China, Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, etc etc! You can watch your stats, see how far your postcards have traveled, how many you’ve sent, how many people like them (I know how much us WordPressers like stats!).

It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s a way to give and get a bit of cheer through the mailbox!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

21 Comments »

Driving to the End of the Year

As 2012 came to an end, and many were looking back at the year, I spent the last days of 2012 looking forward.

At the road in front of me and concentrating really hard on the ‘sound of the engine’.

Actual New Years Eve I spent working. The night shift. And then the night shift had the opening day shift on New Years Day. Brilliant Managerial scheduling really – we were all ready to work from having passed out from exhaustion rather than from drunken partying.

Driving a stick, Day 2
My dad drove us out to a little town nearby. (And when I say ‘little’ I mean population 1,000.)

Lots of back roads, no people. The perfect place to practice.

Needless to say as I got behind the wheel I was petrified.

“There might actually be someone else on the road! What do I do if someone else is driving on the road too?!”

My dad just patiently looked at me.

Oh right. I know how to drive, just not the mechanics of the stick shift yet…

I pushed in the clutch, and started the car.

And everything about day 2 went better!

Having actual space to get the car moving to practice shifting gears? Awesome! I was no longer just starting, stopping, starting, stopping.

I was starting, GOING, shifting!

For over an hour I was able to drive on the roads, not only shifting, but also practicing stopping and starting as I hit stop signs.

I even went on the freeway – jumping off and on at exits to practice shifting faster. (Let’s just say: I need more practice…)

And the next day went well too! (Though it was a rough start – it was the first time I drove with shoes on. I really am a better driver without shoes – my feet are more sensitive to the minute changes in the pedals.)

The end result: when we first got the Oldsmobile, it was meant for my dad to take up to San Jose, for his work commute. But since he claims, “I’m comfortable enough to manage,” the car will be staying in San Diego for me to drive. (I am especially rejoicing as the truck I’ve been driving gets 18 mi/g. Ooph that’s been hurting my bank account!)

Next week will see me driving the stick shift. Alone.

Eek.

21 Comments »

Reverting to 16 Years Old

New Driver

Day 1
“Why are you wearing flip flops?” asks Dad.
“Well, I drive barefoot.”
“Your feet will get tired.”
“I’ll handle it.”

Dad and I jumped in the car, and he drove us to the church parking lot.

“It’s like I’m 16 and learning to drive again!” I joke.
“Well, you are learning to drive. A stick shift,” says my ever-logical father.

I lol'd.  This is me. Viking hat included.

I lol’d. This is me. Viking hat included.

He starts the process of explaining how the clutch works – what it does for the engine. Technical talk to fill up my brain.

I push in the clutch, and turn on the car.

“Ok, push the accelerator and let’s bring it up to 2,000 rpm. Listen to the engine, hear what 2,000 sounds like. Then slowly let off the clutch.”

I listen. I let off.

We jerk.

“Ok, let’s do it again.”

We try that for a while. Lots of jerking.

“Ok, let’s try something different.” He puts on the e-brake. “Let off the clutch, we’re looking for the slip. Feel the slip of the clutch.”

I feel it. We take off the brake, and try to let go of the clutch, and push on the accelerator; simultaneously.

The engine dies.

“That’s ok. Again.”

The engine dies.

We keep trying. As the engine dies for the 250th million time, hot tears spill down my cheeks. I pretty much am a 16-year-old-frustrated-at-learning-to-drive-and-not-being-perfect-at-it again.

“Don’t get frustrated,” my father calmly says.

Yeah, I’ll work on that…

“Ok, pull into a parking spot. Right, good. We’re going to go in reverse. Now the engine power is lower in reverse. You can’t let go of the clutch, you have to slip the clutch. Let’s just go in reverse for a while.”

And it finally starts to make sense. I feel what slipping the clutch is! I’m going backwards, the car’s not dying!!!!

“Ok, good. You feel it? Right. Let’s go forward now.”

And now, I can go forward! We’re not dying! Sure, I’m jerking at least half the time, but I’m not killing the engine!

“Ok, let’s go out of the parking lot. We’ll turn up the street and go up to the Smith’s house the next street up.”

Attempt to pull out of the parking lot: successful
Going up the hill: successful
Turn onto the next street: successful

“Let’s stop, we’re going to practice e-brake stop and start to go up a hill.”

I stop on the hill. Pull the e-brake. Clutch and accelerator. Release e-brake. Engine dies.
Repeat. Car rolls back.
Repeat. Engine dies.

“Maybe this wasn’t the best idea,” dad ponders.

We eventually, eventually get over the hill, and then safely back to the church lot.

Dad takes over from there and we drive home.

That night is filled with dreams of clutch failing on steep hills at a stoplight with cars behind me…

24 Comments »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 167 other followers

%d bloggers like this: