Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hello, 23!

So this week I turned 23. Still not sure how I feel about that. The actual birthday was good. Presents galore (as usual, more than I deserve!) and tasty, tasty cake. And there's something really nice about getting Facebook birthday wishes from around the world.

But actually being 23 is starting to sink in, and it's a little weird. I mean, at this point, there's nothing really special about turning another year older. Except being older. Milestones of decades are ahead of me, but there aren't really any formal advantages to reaching them. The only thing I can think to look forward to is renting a car at 25 without massive fees. But that's not really on the same level as driving, voting and drinking. No one goes Hertz-hopping.

So as birthdays are supposed to get a little less exciting, I'm having to resign myself to adulthood. But I'm fighting maturity tooth and claw! That's right, I have every intention of using some of my birthday gift card money to purchase toys based on Disney films, as well as DVDs of the cartoons I watched when I was a kid. I still maintain that the 90s was the golden age of Nickelodeon and I think I could start up a popular daycare/babysitting business in which we show the kids "real" shows like Ahh! Real Monsters and Doug (and, you know, do other things that don't involve plonking kinds in front of the TV).

So while I know that I have turned 23, I haven't really accepted it yet.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Cocktail Reunion

Everyone understands homesickness: it's when you're away from home and longing to return. But I'm entering a phase which seems greatly under-documented: schoolsickness. Maybe this is an illness only known to weirdos like me, but I am genuinely in mourning for my loss of Sarah Lawrence.

Over the summer, it was alright. I had gone this long without school before. It was a break from the papers and the reading, a happy homecoming and the beginning of the job search. As summer turned to fall, I read the Facebook updates of friends with years left in their education and waxed nostalgic on the registration process (as my blog readers well know). But I still appreciated my working-from-home freedom and enjoyed the extension of summer I had not experienced since I was five.

Recently, however, I have missed school to a terrifying degree. I have dreams about seminar debates, and daydreams about conference topics I wish I had explored. I watched a documentary on PBS about teenage girls today, and when one girl was about the graduate high school and was receiving her college acceptance letters, I actually cried in longing for that time. I found a jacket in my closet from my senior year of high school, clearly last worn during a 'Spirit Week', on a day when seniors were meant to advertise the college they would be attending. Not having a baseball cap or t-shirt of SLC, I made a badge of honor out of shoebox cardboard adorned with glitter and ribbons. Again, the nostalgia for the days when I had four years of Bronxville ahead of me.

Anyway, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post-A Cocktail Reunion. Well, just in time to either cure or worsen my schoolsickness, I attended a happy hour gathering brought together by the Office of Alumnae/i Relations. A happy hour for SLC grads in Austin.

Seeing as it has taken me a few days to get around to finishing this post, I'll skip an excess of details and just say that it was nice to meet fellow weirdos like myself, and see how life after SLC has been going for them. And though there were semi-depressing moments (like when one alum mentioned that she was a former freelancer who gave it up because of publisher's shrinking budgets), overall it was one step closer to thinking of myself as an adult who went to college instead of a college student who has been flung into the real world.

I still miss it, though. I still wish I was being forced into reading 3 books a week and analyzing a single paragraph in five pages due the next day. I miss conferences and Pub dinners, I miss it all. My father tells me I'm lucky that given the opportunity, I would do four more years of college. He could not express the same sentiments about his own university days. And in a way, this is the first instance of, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I would rather miss midnight breakfast than never have gone and made the friends that I did.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Employment Countdown

Just wanted to give an update and catalogue all my current jobs. Partly to inform the blogosphere, partly to show myself that I'm doing something (and then a third partly: to make sure I remember them all!). So, here's what's up:

1. My retail job, which was meant to be seasonal, has kept me on for part-time year round. Which means a shift or two every week. It was such good news because not only does it mean that I can make a little cash, it means that one of my jobs actually involves human interaction! I love freelancing and getting to work from home, but I'm not gonna lie, spending day after day in my living room was giving me cabin fever. Plus, making new friends is one of those intangible job benefits that I appreciate.

2. Still writing for Examiner.com in Literature and Knitting for Austin. Loving the structure of writing an article every day, and it's all stuff I'm really interested in, which is a major bonus. If anyone is interested in writing for Examiner, I totally encourage it for the experience, as well as for giving you an easy way to provide writing samples for anything else you apply for. Plus, it does pay at least a little something. If you're in the US or Canada (where Examiner is) and really want to give it a shot, leave a comment here or contact me and I'll walk you through it and you can add me as having referred you.

3. Also still going strong with Moogi, cataloguing the ins and outs of every Project Runway episode and the products it features. I'm a little burnt out on the second show I edit, just because it involves a certain amount of time and menial mind labor. But I love television and I think the site is going to be awesome when we get bigger and bigger. Also, the guys who run it are amazing. Seriously, I e-mail a question, and I get an answer within an hour 85% of the time, plus random e-mails that have extra info for me that they found.

4. Freelancing for the local paper is still on. My first article was published in January (Maybe I'll post a pic soon!), and I'm working with the editor to figure out my next assignments. There's something about seeing your work published in a true publication (i.e. not run by a school) and on paper, not just a screen. It feels so legit.

5. Just started a new blog writing position contributing weekly for the Food Culture Blog. My first post isn't up yet, but it's another gig that let's me put my writing out there and tackle a subject I love (fooooooood!). Without conferences to write for SLC, I've been missing the opportunity to delve into a subject and do some research. Getting to do this lets me think of mini-conference topics every week. Plus, I'm going to be trying out some awesome new recipes for it as well. Yum!

And.....I think that's it! Isn't it enough? Well, no. Still looking for more, and as always, looking for benefits. I heard Obama wants to make it possible for students who graduate to be covered by their parent's plan up to age 24. Hoping that not only this is true, but that it will be applied retroactively because COBRA is kind of a scam.