Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Life in PJs

I'm going on my 9th month of unemployment. And yes, it's as depressing as it sounds. I haven't hit rock bottom yet where I have to take ANY job I can get, but I know that moment is lurking off in the distance. I'm trying not to take it all so personally, I mean, it's not like I'm NOT getting calls because of who I am. It's because it's a shitty market right now with a lot of people, just like me, looking for work. Employers can afford to be as picky as they want because they know their perfect candidate is out there. So I continue to go thru the motions of looking for work every day, checking out the job boards: CareerBuilder, Monster, Craigslist, Indeed, Worksource, etc. And every day I send another resume with a letter explaining why I'm the right person for the job. It's exhausting, mentally & emotionally. There are days when I cry because it shouldn't be this hard to find a job. I'm talented. I'm smart. I'm a hard-worker. I'm good at what I do. Why can't anyone else see that?! Then Christian takes my hand & reminds me not to take it personally.

It's hard to get motivated when you have nothing to do. My day starts between 10a-Noon (depending on what time I went to bed.) The dogs don't seem to mind sleeping in with me & the cats are always napping... they get me. Chances are very good that I'll stay in my PJs for the entire day because, why not?! Maybe I'll tidy the kitchen. Or I'll vacuum up a week's worth of pet hair (it's very fulfilling for me to see the "before & after" on the carpet!) I might sit outside & sun my legs while the dogs sun themselves on the deck. I'll stare at the trees, watching for hummingbirds, crows or squirrels. I might doze off. Maybe I'll sweep the deck now that leaves are starting to fall. I might bring the laptop outside & spend HOURS on Facebook, reading the various articles that my network posts. Maybe I'll work on my website & get lost in the mountain of pictures I have posted. Christian will be home soon, so I might make something for dinner... or not. Surprisingly I don't watch TV during the day. It's boring with soaps, talk shows & court shows & I'd really rather not get sucked into that. I'm happy when Christian gets home & hearing about his new job & being so thankful he found work. He winds down his day playing some Xbox & I get back on the laptop & get sucked into the interweb. He goes to bed & I stay up til whenever I doze off. This is my day... every day.

It's not so bad sometimes. I'm lucky that I get to spend time w/my critters & enjoy their company. And this weather!! Wow, we've had an absolutely BEAUTIFUL summer with lots of sunshine & warm temps. If I were working, I'd be missing out & wishing I were outside. Sometimes I have errands to run or get to meet a friend for lunch. Or I take the dogs for a playdate. People always tell me to walk the dogs. I do walk them, but it's usually in the evenings once it cools off. But I never get out of the house just to get out of the house. I need to have purpose for leaving my abode.

I love not wearing makeup or having to wear a bra. It's very liberating. I don't snack/eat during the day, so I'm not worried about gaining weight. I have time to give myself a mani/pedi or pluck my eyebrows. There, that just saved me $50! My laundry consists of PJs, tank tops, shorts & underwear. I can dance to "Blurred Lines" over & over & over if I want.

The truth is I really want to get back to work. Surprisingly, I miss people. I miss the interactions. I miss using my brain to solve a problem. I miss feeling like a part of something. But for whatever reason, the universe doesn't think that's where I need to be. In the meantime, I'll keep sending out resumes while wearing my PJs.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I'm Baaaaack!

Fast forward to 2013. That's where I am now. Blogging/journaling has never my strong suite, but I had good intentions to keep it up... just failed miserably!

Since 2008, lots has happened. I got more tattoos. I took my hubby to East Africa (making it trip #2 for me!) Adopted two dogs. Changed jobs too many times to list. Went on an Alaskan Cruise. Got into two car accidents (w/in 3mos of each other.) Watched the economy take a nose-dive. Got my first root canal. Bought a new camera. Swam with wild dolphins. Turned 40 in Vegas. Bought a bigger bed because we have two dogs. Went to Phoenix to visit newly relocated parents. Visited Denver to see all my peeps. Became an Aunt. Learned how to shoot a gun (and found out I'm pretty darn good at it.) Saw the first African-American President get elected... TWICE! Lost 10 of the 20lbs I've put on. Changed my photography business name to Sanctuary Images. Became addicted to Facebook. Went thru rehab for Facebook. And some other stuff.

As for what's happening in my life right now... I've been unemployed (not by choice) since Nov 2012. My hubby got laid off at the end of 2012. This led to the decision to pack up & head to sunnier climates. In the running was Phoenix, San Diego & Denver.

Phoenix made good sense because my folks live there, the climate is much sunnier than Seattle & the cost of living is cheaper than Seattle. But after getting a whiff of the politics & we realize their government is waaaay too conservative for us "bleeding heart liberals". And the heat would've surely melted our pets. San Diego has always intrigued us. Ocean, mountains, lots of sunshine... did I mention the ridiculous cost of living?! And we don't know anyone in the area, which always makes integrating into a new area tough. Then there's Denver. A reliable back-up w/the right kind of politics (pot is legal!), lots of friends & family, familiarity of the area, lots of sunshine (even when it's 7°) & it's more affordable than San Diego. It makes the most sense to move to Denver & if we can find a job there, then that's where we'll go.

We're in the process of getting our house ready to sell. Luckily, it's a seller's market & it'll sell fast. But first, we need to secure a job in Denver. That's not as easy as it sounds. The job market in Denver is making a comeback, but there's still a big pool of workers employers can pull from. And usually when employers see an out-of-state address on the resume, they don't even look at it. The dreaded catch-22. But I keep applying because eventually someone will think I'm a good fit for their posted job.

In the meantime, I enjoy the time off from working. Spend time with my critters & husband. Take advantage of the sunny weather (when it happens.) & as my dad always says... we'll just wait & see.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Veggie Update

I'm a few weeks into my "going veggie" lifestyle reorg and so far it's going pretty good. I don't think I've had any red meat since I last posted. Like I said, cutting red meat out wasn't going to be too terribly hard since I don't eat it anyway... especially after reading stories like this one about a recent beef recall! I prefer my red meat to be feces-free thank you very much! Did I mention that I don't really like vegetables either? Mom never made me eat them growing up (except for corn), so I've never really acquired a taste for them. And seeing how I'm not an adventurous eater, this will probably be harder than most people.

I'm finding that it's pretty tough when eating out. There's lots of chicken & pork dishes to choose from, but I start to think about where that meat came from & I just end up getting a salad or veggie burger, which is probably better anyways. There are a handful of places that I feel ok eating the meat because they purchase their food from suppliers that have good animal welfare standards or they're going to make changes to purchase from those suppliers. Fast food joints like Burger King and Chipolte are places that I would choose first over anything else.

I get a lot of my information from the Humane Society website. They often have post updates about what companies are the latest to switch over to buying cage-free eggs, buying their chicken from producers that use controlled atmosphere stunning (which is a much more humane method of slaughter because it uses non-poisonous gas to kill the birds by anoxia), or buying their pork & veal from producers who no longer use or are phasing out crates. These are the main reasons that I would make it a point to eat at Burger King, Carl's Jr., Hardees, Denny's, Chipolte, Ben & Jerry's over the other places (like McDonalds, Wendy's, Jack in the Box). Just for the egg & pork meals tho! Since all these places have a long way to go with their beef meals, I still won't eat the burgers.

My shopping habits have changed too. Shopping at Whole Foods was one a few options where I could buy my meat products because they have amazingly strict animal welfare standards that their suppliers have to live up to. But after Safeway announced that they will be implementing new animal welfare standards with regards to eggs, chicken and pork, you can bet that I will continue to shop there.

So little by little I'm doing my part to make the changes necessary to have a guilt-free consciencous with regards to eating animals. And I hope some of what I've said here will inspire you to do the same!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Trying To Go Vegetarian

Christian and I are going to try to become vegetarian this year, mostly because of the animal welfare issue. We're going to start by cutting out red meat first. I think I'm going to do ok with that, but Xian might have some trouble with it. That's why he's designating one day a week where he can still have red meat. It'll be an easier way to wean him off the meat! The next step, once we've mastered the red meat, will be pork products. I think I'm going to have a tough time with that one. I like the pig many different ways: ham, spam, sausage, bacon, scrapple, chops, etc. Weaning myself will be a bit more difficult.

I go back and forth with this topic a lot. Part of me doesn't want to go veggie, but instead just buy our our meat from Whole Foods, PCC or some other specialty store where they have implemented humane animal welfare standards from their suppliers. That makes it easier for me to eat meat, knowing it was raised humanely without antibiotics, fed a healthy and natural diet, and hopefully transported and slaughtered humanely too. I'm a meat eater with a conscience. There's a great book out called "The Omnivores Dilema". "The author addresses that fundamental question of "what should I eat" with great wit and intelligence, looking at the social, ethical, and environmental impact of four different meals. Eating well, he finds, can be a pleasurable way to change the world.” I should probably read it soon (it's on my bookshelf) with the hopes it can provide some tips on how to not feel guilty about eating animals or how I can make better choices.

But when I watch videos like this one from the Humane Society about the Overlooked Lives of Farm Animals (don't worry it's not graphic, just truthful), I just know I have to make a change for the better for the animals AND myself.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A New Project

I was told I don't blog often enough. I guess that's true. I tend to forget that this place exists or that I don't have anything special to talk about, unlike my good pal Holy Juan. I've never been very good at journaling, but I'm hoping that will all change soon. I recently picked up a book called: A Global Snapshot for the Digital Age. It's a book of pictures from floggers (photo bloggers) from around the world. Here's the website:

Just flipping thru it in the bookstore inspired me to pick up my camera and do something with it more often. Take a picture a day. Talk about it. Sounds simple enough I guess, but it's hard to get inspired around this suburb of Seattle. However, things always look different thru the lens, so there's probably a lot more photo ops out there than I think. Stay tuned for something exciting and new!

By the way, I did get my tattoo and it rocks! Here I am showing it off in Hawaii:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Next Tattoo

This is my next tattoo. A phoenix.

A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration. (from The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen)

The phoenix was a fabulous mythical Arabian bird, said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. It was said that only one phoenix existed at any one time, and it was very long-lived - no ancient sources gave it a life-span less than 500 years. As its end approached, the phoenix made a nest of aromatic branches and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the ashes (according to some sources, from the midst of the flames) miraculously sprang a new phoenix.

The ancient Egyptians linked the myth of the phoenix with the longings for immortality that were so strong in their civilization, and from there its symbolism spread around the Mediterranean world of late antiquity. At the close of the first century Clement of Rome became the first Christian to interpret the myth of the phoenix as an allegory of the resurrection and of life after death. The phoenix was also compared to undying Rome, and it appears on the coinage of the late Roman Empire as a symbol of the Eternal City. It was also portrayed on early US coins, but later replaced with the Bald Eagle.

In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yan. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating only dewdrops. It reflected the empress, and only she could wear the phoenix symbol. Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be worn by people of importance. The Chinese phoenix was thought to have a large bill, the neck of a snake, the back of a tortoise, and the tail of a fish. It carried two scrolls in its bill, and its song included the five whole notes of the Chinese scale. Its feathers were of the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green, and yellow.

It is my inspiration.

I think it's pretty fitting given my situation. And this will complete my animal trilogy... I have air (phoenix on my left arm), land (the cheetah on my right shoulder) & water (the orca on my lower back).

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Christmahanukwanzika

It's that time of year again. Time to shop for that "perfect gift" for that "special someone" at the MALL! No thank you! That's why I did all my shopping on line this year. Hurray for the internet & FedEx! It was a great sense of accomplishment for me to be done shopping by the first of December. I feel like I've been able to enjoy the season a little bit more than before.

We've had some freakish storms roll thru the Northwest within the last month... ice storms shut down the city for a couple days at the end of November. And a freak wind storm knocked out power to over 1 million homes this past weekend... us included! Then the temperature dipped to below freezing making our home a giant icebox. Luckily we were only without power for 3 days. It's going on night #5 for some. Those are the people I feel bad for. But hopefully they have gas stoves/fireplaces & hot water to keep them warm (we're an electric house w/a fireplace.)

And with that, I can't wait to get on the plane Wednesday night & head down to the land where palm trees sway... that's right, we're doing Xmas Hawaiian style this year. 12 days in the sun & warmth. If only there were a way to harness that warmth & bring it back with me. Like capture it in a bottle. Or a lockbox.

Christmas in Hawaii is something everyone should experience. It's not a bad thing, just different for those of us who grew up with Christmas being cold & snowy. Down there, Santa's sleigh is pulled by eight tiny dolphins. He wears an aloha shirt, surfer shorts & flip-flops. Mrs. Claus wears a mumu, a flower in her hair & drinks mai-tais (virgin, of course.) They decorate palm trees, surf on Christmas day & are laid back about everything! I know I could get used to that lifestyle real quick! I've never been there for a New Year's Eve celebration, but from what I understand, Hawaiians like firecrackers... or maybe it's just Christian's family. Whatever the custom, I'm sure I'm going to love it because it's going to be warm, I'll be with family & it'll be warm.

So Mele Kalikimaka, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all!