What a freaking lovely weekend.

Friday was the same-old same-old – work, then a brief meeting in which we were all told to basically forget about having any days off in August. Boo. I went straight to Shawn’s after work – he was sleeping off a bout of bad snacking. Spent the evening in, watching movies and generally curling up. Sherlock: A Case of Evil was generally reterrible and featured Vince D’Onofrio as Moriarty, NOT as Holmes himself, as IMDB had advertised. Lame. Did you know that Sherlock was hooked on heroin thanks to Moriarty, and that he routinely got it on with multiple gorgeous girls? Hmm, news to me. Oh, and Mycroft (I think) totally stole Watson’s one joke. Maybe I wouldn’t be so indignant had I not read all the Holmes stories a couple of times. We also watched Quills, which I’ve wanted to see for a while. It was good – very good, though not something I can really see myself watching repeatedly. Geoffrey Rush was brilliant – he seems to be able to pull off the tortured genius bit better than just about anyone else in Hollywood.

Saturday we stayed in bed until late, then sat around on the porch for a while. We were a bit taken aback to make a new “friend” – a woman named Lisa stopped on her bike in front of the house, then came up on the porch and talked to us for a long time. It’s hard to find the happy medium between being rude and being nice when you are really taken aback and/or don’t want interruption. She eventually left, after I hedged a lot about where I lived and whether or not she could come visit me. Umm, no and no. Shortly thereafter, a carful of guys drove by and yelled “HIPPIE POWER” at me. This is an odd, odd town. We walked downtown in hopes of getting lunch at the Cowboy Monkey – it was a gorgeous afternoon, just the sort of day for eating outside. Too bad everyone in Champaign, even the ones not attending the Boneyard Arts Festival thought the same. Apparently Cowboy Monkey hadn’t planned accordingly, and ran out of food, as did a couple of other places. We ended up at Aroma – always a good time. I had the Turkey Jerk Wrap – not as spicy as I expected – and a mojito. Hooray for spring/summertime. Walked back to Shawn’s and chilled in bed for a while until early evening – mmm – and then went flip-flop shopping and to see Kill Bill V2, which was much better than I expected. The first volume was a non-stop bloodbath which, while aesthetically really nice in parts, had some serious continuity issues. Volume two was hokey at times, but felt like a much tighter film – oh, and Uma only kills one person this time around. We stopped at the diner for pie and coffee (which ended up being coffee and breakfast), and then turned in after some reading.

As Shawn mentioned, yesterday just kind of flowed into today. Both days have been characterized by the sort of torpor that sets in when it’s gorgeous out and you don’t feel like working. I finished Down and Out in Paris and London, then dragged myself off the couch around 3 as Shawn was hard at work. Did some shopping, then came home and made iced tea, and right now am curled up in a chair by one of my bedroom windows enjoying the fresh air. I bet if I tried I could access my network from outside, but this is almost as good. I will miss the view of the park when I move, but Shawn’s front porch can hardly be beat (well, except for the random crazies). In a little bit I’m going to try and plan my meals for the week, maybe blog on the book club page, get some stuff done around here, then head back over to Shawn’s for the belated 24.

I’m definitely taking Shawn’s apartment, despite my reservations about the fridge and the lack o’ tub. I’m sure if I looked I could’ve found a place more to my specifications, but it’s such a wearying and thankless thing to do that it hardly seems worth the effort. When I moved here Sarah did all the legwork, and for that I’m supremely grateful. I looked at a few places online, but every place in which I expressed interested ended up being way too expensive ($875 for a one bedroom above Boltini?!?!) or didn’t allow cats. So yeah, I’m lazy, and next winter when I don’t have a tub I’ll be sad, but in many other ways it will be a good place for me. Besides, I really like living close to downtown. I won’t be as close, but I also won’t be in weirdo Urbana or in a complex.

My mom and brother might be coming down next weekend, which would be nice. I haven’t seen them since Christmas, and don’t anticipate getting back to Rockford until summertime – I need to fix my car first, and I won’t have the money for that for a couple more weeks – and I’m sure I’ll want to stick around here in May to spend time with Shawn before he leaves for the Academy. Besides, my parents haven’t been down here since September, a couple of weeks before I moved – I’m glad they’ll get to see my apartment and such before I move again.

I have an interview at Friar Tuck tomorrow. I really don’t want a second job, but I do need the money. I’m hoping that Aroma or Kopi call me back first, though, cos it’d be nice to work closer to home. The not-using-my-car bit would be a total waste if I still have to drive to work, PLUS drive out to Savoy a couple of times a week. We’ll see.

I hope your weekend was every bit as lovely as mine. Let me tell you – it’s hard to keep from being totally lost in love on days such as these.

A quiet and boring day at work, following a pretty nice night at home. I drove by Shawn’s on my way to the grocery, stopped to give him a kiss, and ended up taking him along with me on a massive cart-filling trip to Meijer. Lots of good finds, including half-priced hella tasty ice cream, plus “stuff” for coffee that will end up costing me $1.69 after the mail-in rebate. I LOVE rebates on alcohol. Dinner was super fab – the kids came over around 7:30, and I still had no idea what I was making. I made a killer salsa-y salad with mango and avocado and cilantro (and other things), and then stir-fried shrimp and bell peppers with cilantro and this super tasty lime basil vinaigrette. It was wonderful. Sarah brought cake, which sent us all into sugar shock. I had a bit of a cake hangover still this morning. Shawn spent the night – we watched the odd Damien performance on Letterman – I love love love Damien and the song he (and Lisa and Vyvienne) performed, but it was an odd choice for such a brief segment. I would’ve loved to hear Volcano or Cannonball or Face. Cleaned the apartment a bit last night in preparation for the showing this morning – I’m going to be very sad to leave this place, even though I know I can’t afford it for another year – and was glad I did so, as it allowed me to make all the right excuses to stay in bed late this morning. It’s so hard to drag myself out of bed when he’s here and it’s warm and breezy and sunny and snuggly. The 9-5 paycheck is nice, but sometimes I long for a later morning or the odd day off. Work today wasn’t even worth mentioning, except that I drove home on lunch and took the bus back, thus affording me a little time outside in the sunshine. Stopped at Kopi and Aroma on the way home to fill out applications, then cut through the park – and got a call about a job interview at Friar Tuck on Monday. Yay! I’d rather work at one of the coffeeshops closer to home, but damn, a discount on liquor would be nice too. 🙂 Now I’m just unwinding for a bit, then I’m going to head over to the kids’ to prep the grill and have some tasty brats for dinner. Not sure who all will be in attendance, but it will be nice to hang out somewhere other than my apartment for a change. I love love love it here, but sometimes it’s oppressive being home all the time. Not that I am – just, you know.

Need a new job need a new job need a new job

After a few weeks of gorgeous, the fall weather has returned. It’s chilly, and this morning I had to turn on my heat so I could even think about walking around in a bath towel. To think that I was wearing shorts on Friday! Ah well, spring will come ’round again soon enough. It’s been nice though – this weekend was a bit cooler than it has been, just the right temperature for snuggling down in bed with the blankets pulled up and a cup of coffee and reading – which Shawn and I did a lot of.

Last night started off kind of blah – they were bitchy about letting us go early, and I’m glad I didn’t have to take the bus cos I would’ve missed it. Somehow it doesn’t matter if they want to leave early, but if I’m running out the door cos I have somewhere to be, well, too bad. Need a new job need a new job need a new job. I’ve been looking and applying, but no bites yet.

Anyway, I was in a lousy mood when I got home, so Shawn met me at Kopi for a while. We were there about two hours, and somehow that was enough to really lift my spirits. One of Shawn’s fellow grads was there and teased us about just bringing our books as an excuse to sit at a table together – it sort of is, but we did sit there and read and do the crossword puzzle and write letters. Being together doesn’t always mean leaning on the table and staring into each other’s eyes. I got home around 10, did some dishes, and baked a blueberry crumb cake, the recipe for which I have been drooling over for a couple of weeks. It is light and airy and soo tasty. 🙂 Bummed around online for a while, talked to a few people, then took a bath and crashed with Gambit, who was v nice and slept on my side for a couple of hours.

I’m rereading The Broke Diaries and feeling a little bit better about my own brokedness. Sure, I only have $6-and-change to last me until I get paid on Thursday, but I do have a job that pays me enough to pay my bills, food in my kitchen, and gas in my car. I’m not up to my eyes in debt. I did have a fun broke moment last night – I cleaned out my fridge and rearranged it so it looked really empty. For some reason that really amused me. I’m broke, but I won’t always be. I was thinking back to past financial periods and wondering how in the world I was always broke when I was living with my ex – I was making almost twice as much as I make now – PLUS his income – and yet we were still broke every week. We were paying less in rent than I pay now – our utilities were comparable, with the exception of the phone (MUCH cheaper now). I go out more now – maybe the difference is that I’m only paying for me, or only paying half the time? Or maybe I’m just used to this income level and while it’s a struggle and I need help somewhat regularly, I’m not digging myself out of as much of a hole as before. That is a BIG consolation.

worries/weekend

Not much to say, for it’s been a quiet weekend. I suppose most weekends are quiet around here, and that’s mainly a good thing. I’ve had enough insanity for one twelve month period.

Friday night my network and internet connections decided to fail – still not sure why, because after a couple of reboots and 45 minutes on hold with tech support they spontaneously came back to life. Ahh blessed internet, you are my friend. I cleaned my apartment, then Shawn came over after four hours of minestrone-induced coma – we had dinner, which tasted much better than it looked, then watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico. I’ve seen Desperado, but not El Mariachi, which we also rented – maybe I’ll get to that later today or tomorrow. Anyway, Once Upon a Time in Mexico was fun, but definitely rental fun, not $7.50 movie ticket plus popcorn sort of fun. Johnny Depp is insane, and Antonio Banderas is pretty-pretty, but shouldn’t talk much. He’s v nice to look at when he’s emoting. 🙂

Saturday we slept in, then exhausted my breakfast resources with french toast. I took Shawn home around noon, then bummed around the apartment for the afternoon. I took a long bath and read Steve Martin’s The Pleasure of My Company, then picked Shawn up so we could go to dinner with the kids for Hannah’s birthday (which is actually today – happy birthday!). We all convened at Radio Maria, which was excellent for the second week in a row. It was so much fun to have everyone there – that hasn’t happened since before my arrival down here – Sarah, Hannah, Amity & Chris, Sam & Brian, Dan & Mariko, Sara L, Oday, Shawn, and I. I had the chicken tangine which was remarkable – it was served with apple-mint couscous and a coconut cilantro chutney that was to die for. After dinner we traipsed down to the art theatre to see The Company, which was better than I expected and elicited a few gasps of remembered pleasure from me because Neve Campbell’s character worked at Neo, my very favorite Chicago club. (Ahh, Neo. Such fond mmmmemories of my last visit. That wall in the alley – wow. OK, we’ll leave that one alone. It’s a good wall.) Anyway, the movie was lovely, and I’m glad I saw it. Went back to Shawn’s afterwards, fondly rehashed Neo, then watched the ultimately forgettable SWAT.

Slept in late this morning, then read in bed for a while. I dreamt last night that I failed the GRE’s because I had to fill out some sort of registration paperwork, which was blown out of my hands into the Mississippi River, and I was on some sort of precipice and couldn’t get down to it – and they wouldn’t let me reregister. Don’t know where that one’s coming from. I also dreamt that Shawn was moving from his current apartment to a new one tomorrow, only he didn’t have a new apartment yet, and somehow was going to move all his books without any sort of boxes. And after those two, I laid awake for a while, worrying about money. I’ve decided that I need to make a serious effort at getting a part time job – even an extra $100/month would really help out. The CPL is hiring, as are a couple of other places I’ve seen, so I’m going to send out a couple of applications and see what happens. That would also help with the loneliness and downtime as my friends get busy with school and I remain, well, not busy with anything. And then I started worrying about grad school again, and about whether or not Nate was taking care of his end of the divorce (aka signing the paperwork) – and then Shawn made coffee, very kindly threw a shirt at my head, accused me of stealing the blankets and not being conscientious of the sheets’ feelings, and neglected to apprise me of the morning’s plan until he was putting on his shoes and I was still clad only in the aforementioned shirt. It was silly and random – and just what I needed to snap out of it this morning. We went to Aroma for lunch, where I finished In a Sunburned Country (which has to rank as my second favorite book, behind Microserfs) and was charmed by two ten-ish girls who plopped down in the chair next to us and talked about coffeeshops and complimented each other on their respective braces. I took Shawn home in the blustery cold – at some point it started snowing in earnest – and am now sitting on my couch with a cat in my lap, trying to decide what to do for the rest of the day. The last few Sundays have been dominated by reading, then dinner and Law & Order at Shawn’s, but he has work to do and the Golden Globes are on anyway. So we’ll see.

Oh yeah, and we joined Netflix this weekend and already have approx 75 movies in our queue. Any suggestions are welcome. 🙂

I really feel that if you trust in your vision and pursue that which moves you, the work will come to you.

Two absolutely brilliant finds today: stupid creatures and monster factory. I am totally in love with these bizarre little beasties and may have to make my own.

I spent a lot of time reading Keri Smith’s blog, which never fails to lift my spirits and encourage my creativity. Regarding self-promotion: I may be going out on a limb here, but lately I feel these things need to be said. Our culture focuses way too much on “how to make money”, instead of “how to live well”. I really feel that if you trust in your vision and pursue that which moves you, the work will come to you. Regarding finding your true vocation: I think you have found your true calling when you start to do your work and then begin to feel like you are goofing off all the while…Do not limit your play time as an adult! Your best work comes directly from there…I’m speaking of the old fashioned get down on the floor and colour your brains out. I don’t believe that anything called “work” should have to be painful. I’ll get off my soapbox now. I just wanted to remind you that you’re allowed to play. And to hang your work on the fridge when you’re done. Her site is so charming. It just makes me smile.

Tonight: chicken parmesan, some pasta, and 24 with that boy. Sarah’s found some small work for me, so that’ll help with the current lack o’ funds. I never thought about pimping out my grammar skills. God, what an awful sentence. Let’s add that to the “don’t put on the resume” sheet, along with my video game prowess, Puzzle Pirates, and, um, bedroom skills.

mmmmatrix

There are two obnoxious small children at the computer next to mine. About every 2-3 minutes they will yell for the librarian (or at each other). As far as I can tell, the only reason they’re using the computers is so they can watch cartoons. Somehow going to the library to watch cartoons seems to be missing the point.
Work’s OK. It’s a job. I need to get more practical shoes – my wicked sexy interview shoes (OK, maybe they look like they belong to a Pilgrim) just aren’t practical for hours on my feet. A few more days in training, then on to the campus branch and my real job. I would say it will be interesting, but I have little faith in that.
My wall projects are awesome. I will post photos when I can, I promise. I made a makeshift memo board out of my entire living room wall – it doesn’t look as nice, but it’s definitely fun. And then there’s the postcard wall which makes me smile with its radiant weirdness. Up next, the wall of mirrors.
The Matrix Reloaded came out today, which is HOT HOT HOT. Now if only I can find a free DVD player….
Not much else to report, I guess. There’s so much in my life right now but I’m at a loss as to where to begin. Still no phone at home – I’ve decided to tell AT&T to take a flying leap and have signed up for digital cable instead. We’ll see how that works out. Should be a quiet week – nothing on the books til my meeting with NaNo Robby on Friday and the Celebration of Meat with Sarah this weekend while Hannah’s away. Last week was very full – dinner with Sarah and Shawn on Tuesday at my place. Dinner at Sarah’s Wednesday, then drinking coffee and reading until late late. Dinner with Hannah and the MFA poetry reading Thursday. Moonstruck meeting with NaNo Robby, reading, then random Bento boxes with Shawn Friday night (including the largest shrimp ever) followed by lovely hanging out, Dirty Pretty Things and Pulp Fiction. Saturday was gorgeous and unstructured – Jen and Joe and Russ and IBM in for the party – wandering around my sunny neighborhood, then dinner and the party and random head explosions. A Super Bacon Chicken Burger at the Happy Wanderer with Shawn Sunday, then pathetic begging as I had no hot water – somehow got suckered into watching my first Law & Order episode as well – playing with House of Leaves til late and not waking up alone. Monday a day of freedom and blues, then back to work.

how to get a job in your field

Hey, remember when I said I wasn’t going to blog for a while? Yeah, that was funny.
Kate has decided that we need to teach “how to get a job in your field” courses cos really, that’s much more practical than a lot of the stuff you take at college. I thought the fact that neither of us have jobs in our field might be a problem, but Kate doesn’t think so. I’m going to trust her on this one.
20 minutes til I can get out of this basement. Came to the realization that I live an almost entirely subterranean life. That sucks. I work in a basement, escape outdoors for a little bit, then go home and spend most evenings in the basement with N. Hmm, no wonder I’m depressed. My body is probably screaming for sunlight! Perhaps I will have to remedy that with some quality porch sitting tonight.
Going to the library to pick up Galatea 2.2 cos I’m wicked in love with Richard Powers. Oh yeah, and just what I need is more reading material. I am brazenly disregarding my ban on the library. I don’t care. I will make time.