14 Jan

Well. I’ve still not gotten my car. Which means I had to extend my rental. Again. I know what the guy at Ameriprise said, but this is ridiculous. Seriously, if I’d had my car in the shop for 15 days, I would have had a rental for 15 days, right? Well, it’s totaled; so I’m sorry, but I should have a rental for however frickin’ long it takes me to get a new car. No, wait: I should have a rental for however frickin’ long it takes me to get the settlement check which would be the downpayment on a new car. Logical, I would think.

Other than that, woke up to a call from Jo. Moving her flight would have cost an arm and a leg, so after accepting the fact that we probably won’t be able to do this trip, I realized she could probably fly into Kansas City way cheaper than Omaha. Lo and behold. So Tuesday morning, I’ll drive down to KC to pick her up and then head back to Omaha, then she’ll fly out of Omaha on the 9th. I’m excited. I haven’t been to the zoo in a hundred years, so we’ll most def be going there. (The Henry Doorly Zoo, you know, the best zoo in the country. You heard me, better than San Diego. Check this shit out: http://www.omahazoo.com). Also, I’ve got a little West Country Meets West Nebraska daytrip mapped out on this awesome website/app called Roadtrippers. It is the shit and I think it’ll be really fun. I’ve never been where we’re going and there are a ton of interesting things along the way. (For example, Hastings, Nebraska, where Kool-aid was invented. Ohh yeahh).

So, back on the prompt thing for a minute or two.

January 14th – Ripped from the headlines:
Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.
(wrings hands schemingly) Naturally, I went to BBC.com. I took a look at the Entertainment section first, but nothing really caught my eye. Back on the main page, however, under the Autos section blurb, I saw Top Gear. Talk about something that grabs me. Even better, it’s about the boys coming to the US: “Top Gear makes US landfall”
I have to do this without reading the article, or I have to read the article and further base a story off of that? Okay, well, the story is about the boys doing a 700mile road trip from the rural south to Manhattan. I can work with that. (You know this is going to be fanfiction, right? This could even be foreshadowing since this ep airs tomorrow. Dun dun dunnn)
→The boys had set off from Atlanta, Georgia, preparing themselves for more of an 867mile road trip than the 700mile road trip, as the producers had previously said. None of them slept well the night before the journey. It was either the memory of the last time they were in the Southern US, or it was the excitement of driving such stunningly beautiful cars north on the interstate. Although it was truly a bit of both, it was mostly the former.
No, they weren’t in the same town, and no, they weren’t driving vehicles with hillbilly-enraging phrases painted on the sides, but nevertheless.
They were also a bit nervous for another reason: They had a woman with them. Well, alright, a girl. Of 25. She had won some sort of Top Gear contest that they didn’t even know about and all of a sudden, they were meant to take this stranger with them on their trip up the east coast of the US.
Even more annoying was the fact that her flight was delayed, so they were having to pick her up from the airport and then start right off toward Manhattan. They argued at dinner about who would be stuck with her for the 800-plus mile roadtrip.
“Absolutely rubbish,” Jeremy said, after he downed the rest of his pint in the hotel bar. “She’s certainly not riding in my SLS. She won’t know how to operate the gull-wing doors and it’ll be an utter embarrassment.” He sighed dramatically and got up to get another pint.
“I could have her in the Ferrari, I reckon,” James said thoughtfully. He seemed to be slightly more alright with the aspect of a young bird in his car. That’s because-
“Oh, come off it, mate. You only want her in your car so you can bore her to death with your facts and maths and agonizingly slow driving and-” Richard drawled on until James interrupted him.
“Yeah, well, she can’t be any more bored than she’d be in your 911 – a.k.a the same 911 made for the past however many years.”
“Oh my God, we’re not talking about the Beetle again, are we?” Jeremy complained as he returned with his beer.
Richard attempted to get the attention off of his beloved Porsche. “We’ll just have to flip a coin, I guess.”
“Oh no, we won’t,” James and Jeremy said simultaneously. “You’ll have her, mate,” Jeremy said, raising his glass to cheers James. “I think that’s quite settled then, Hamster,” James concluded, clinking his glass against Jeremy’s.
Richard closed his eyes and sighed. “For God’s sake,” he said, getting up for the bar. A hangover would definitely make things worse on the ride, but he couldn’t be bothered to care. He found an open spot and hitched up onto the barstool. A few minutes away from the others would be a welcome break. “Gin on the rocks, please,” he said when the barman noticed him. He was running his hands over his face when he heard someone say, “excuse me?”
He turned toward the source of the voice and saw a young woman standing next to him with a carryon. She looked a bit travel-weary as she plopped it on the stool directly next to Richard. He did a quick rake over her and determined that she was pretty, and even in the dim light of the bar, he noticed her hazel eyes – her genuine smile making them crinkle at the corners.
“Richard, hi, I’m Nina, I, well, I’m- nice to meet you,” she stammered, extending her hand.
Richard took her hand and shook it. “Hi, yes, nice to meet you, too. Can I.. buy you a drink?”
“Oh, God, yes,” she said with a huff. She moved her carryon to the next stool over and sat down next to Richard. “I fucking hate when my flight’s delayed.”
“That really is awful,” Richard sympathized, as he got the barman’s attention. “Are you stuck here, then?”
She gave a hesitant laugh, then turned toward the barman. “Old-fashioned, please.” She looked back toward Richard with a smirk. “Actually, I’m uh, I’m here for you guys.”
Well, I sure hope you enjoyed that piffle.

Expedited Shipping on my Order of Patience

I’ve been home from London since September 10th and done with my master’s degree since September 16th. I took some time to get my shit together – as in reorganize and de-clutter my apartment. Then I started looking for jobs online.

The last time I job-hunted was about two years ago. I was dying to get out of my job at the time and made it my second job to scour Careerlink.com. I started out looking for jobs to do with my psych degree: something at the Department of Health and Human Services, something at a local counseling center, etc. Then I thought, well, I have training in customer service, so I’ll look for customer service/receptionist/administrative jobs AT those places.

After being denied for absolutely everything, I started applying for any and all administrative jobs. I applied to be a receptionist, a secretary, a mailroom clerk, only to be turned down with an email. According to the (likely automated) email, I didn’t meet the minimum requirements for literally everything for which I applied.

Oh, so being in customer service for six years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to be in customer service? Being a receptionist for three years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for being a receptionist? Having a brain for twenty three years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for being a mailroom clerk?

I applied for one more position – an escrow officer at a real estate company – on a total whim before I started looking at GoArmy.com. At this point, I was down to part-time work at my job and knew I would have to move into my dad’s basement in about a month if I couldn’t find anything.

Amazingly, the awesome people at NP Dodge must have liked something they saw in my resumé and further saw potential in me during my interview, because I was hired as an escrow officer within a couple days.

Seventy five applications later, I had a job.

I’m so glad none of those admin jobs worked out. I would have hated it and really, those jobs didn’t meet my minimum requirements.

When I started looking for jobs in October, I chose some companies: BBC America, Time Warner, AMC, Fox, Twitter, Discovery, ABC, NBC, Dreamworks, Sony, Apple, etc, and checked them every day. I think I’ve applied for at least forty jobs since October – all in New York or Los Angeles. After more thought, I have essentially stayed away from LA and really only apply in New York. I’ve always loved the idea of New York thanks to Sex and the City – getting up every day and taking the subway, grabbing a coffee at this Starbucks every day – just that city routine. I loved that in London – taking the tube, stopping by the neighborhood Starbucks, walking the busy streets. I feel that New York would be the closest thing to London. For now, anyway.

I have that strong feeling again. Before I went to London, I had such a strong feeling about being there and how it would be when I was there. I was not disappointed in the least. Like I said, I’ve got it again. This time with New York. I can see myself there. I can see my apartment, I can see the streets, I can see my office, I can see everything.

Just need the job now.

That’s where I tend to get discouraged. It feels like I haven’t been job-hunting for long at all, but then I look back and realize it’s been just over three months. (Of course, spelled out, that sounds like nothing). My apartment lease is up in May. If I don’t find anything in New York by March or so, I’m going to have to find something here. If I have to do that, I want to get a house.

There are so many if,thens and they’re stressful to think about. I really only have two months left before I have to start looking here (the hopefully-easier-job-market to penetrate this time), and then at that time, I’ll have to find a house and start the escrow process so that it times well with the end of my lease.

I just had to stop and put my hands to my face.

Okay.

I mean, I know I can always rent my apartment month-to-month – whether I find something here or find something in New York and have to delay moving one way or another. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. It’s just the job thing… I hate temporary things.

People have told me that I “should just get a job here because it’ll look better if I’m currently employed;” and I “should just get a job here to get some experience and keep applying for others while I work.” While I can see the logic of the first, well, and the second, suggestion, I don’t like either of them. Currently, I’m a co-owner of a film production company with a couple friends, so technically, I am ’employed.’ That mostly solves the first should. As for the second, I am a long-term kind of person. I’ve had three jobs since I’ve been 16; so, three jobs in nine years. The thought of going through the rigamarole of the hiring process, getting acclimated, learning my responsibilities, and being trained for a job I’ll have for fewer than six months (hopefully) just makes me shake my head. At that point, I’d be torn between keeping the job that I’ve invested in and packing up and leaving for a job in New York. Which sounds utterly ridiculous after everything I’ve just said.

Also, if I have to ‘settle’ and get a job here, I can’t help but feeling that it’ll be just that – settling. As much as I adore Omaha and could easily live here for the rest of my life, now that I’ve got this desire and drive to be somewhere else, it’ll just never measure up. New York isn’t London, but Omaha isn’t New York.

I’m getting a bit restless and I’m always impatient. People (lovingly) telling me what I should do makes me feel rushed. Yesterday, I was on the verge of a mini-freak out when I found this a graphic that said, “Don’t rush and never settle. If it’s meant to be, it will be.” That was a perfectly-timed find, along with another graphic that said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. – Earl Nightingale”

I was completely meant to find both of those things when I did. I need to take a breath and try not to rush things, as well as not resigning to settle. I don’t want to settle for Omaha and I don’t want to settle for a not-quite-perfect job in Omaha. About the only thing I will settle for is a not-quite-perfect job in New York: as long as it’s at the company I want and there is room to move up, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a gold star.

I am also glad I was reminded not to give up on my dream to find a perfect job in New York. And the time is going to pass whether I keep working for it or not, so I might as well keep working for it. I just have to keep trying.

Getting a perfect job in New York could mean so many steps toward getting back to England someday. That alone is enough encouragement to not rush and not settle.

My only ‘resolution’ this year is to spend next New Year’s Eve in Times Square – which will only have been a subway ride away from my apartment.

If Not Now, When?

It’s May 1st. Twenty-three days of work left; and a month from today, I’ll be on a plane to Boston with my folks and brother. 

It’s a bit staggering, I’ll admit.

I’ve done my dentist appointment (turns out I need new retainers, so I’ll need to get those before I go), and my doctor’s appointment. I am sure I’m up on my vaccinations. I have had a facial and set a hair appointment for the last week of May… 

I’ll sign a new lease this month, I’ll need to make a duplicate key for my folks, I’ll have to forward mail to mom. 

I’ll have a shit ton of cleaning to do in my apartment. 

Anyway, I was driving home from work today when “If Not Now, When?” by Incubus came on my iPod. I had listened to the lyrics before, but today they rang a little differently to me.

I have waited
Dined on ashes
Swung from chandeliers and climbed Everest
And none of it’s got me close to this

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?

We’ve been good
Even a blast, but
Don’t you feel like something’s missing here?
Don’t you dare

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don’t hide your eyes
It’s time

No umbrellas
No sunglasses
Hailing Hallelujah everyday

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don’t hide your eyes
It’s time

Incubus (2012). If Not Now, When?

 

I’m single, so I’m not saying it means anything toward anyone. More toward Omaha. I love Omaha. If anyone has seen “Shit People From Omaha Say” on YouTube, that’s totally me: “I’ll definitely want to raise my family in Omaha.” It’s true. However, I’ve waited all my life to do something like this – I thought I might move to New York and go one of two ways, Friends or Sex and the City. Then I fell in love with London. 

You can’t help who you fall in love with. Or in this case, where. I’m just so convinced that this is where everything is going to happen for me. 

A month. Good God. 

 

I’m feeling… really great. Content. Work is leveling out, getting less stressful, I’ve got the end in sight; I’m working out and trying to eat a bit better (get in shape for all that walking I’ll be doing in London, and all of that fashion I’ll be around); I’ve spoken to the flat owner again and it just sounds more and more perfect for me; I can see myself going to shows and concerts, meeting people, relaxing in the pubs, seeing everything I want to see; I am doing better in my master’s program; everything is falling into place. 

I’m ready.

Well.

My anxiety wasn’t all for naught.

Got to the Department of Homeland Security about 10 minutes before my appointment, checked in, and was told to go to a waiting area.

After about a half hour of waiting, I started talking to the woman next to me, turned out she was from Canada getting her US citizenship. She said I was supposed to have a print out of my appointment time, but if I didn’t, I could write my name on a slip and put it in the same box. Go figure. Did that.

After some more waiting, the man came out of the office and called the other woman up. She said, “her appointment is before mine” (very Canadian of her); but the man had already pulled up her information.

Shortly thereafter, he came out and asked me if I was sure I had an appointment.

My heart sank.

Why yes, I signed up on Tuesday to come down here and turn in my supporting documents and do biometrics, etc. He had me wait some more while he went and asked where I need to be.

When he came back, he asked me if I had my appointment print out. No I did not. He said I had to have this print out so that they can pull up my biometric information.

“If you can go print it out and come back…”
“If you can find a library near here and print it there…”
“You don’t even have to come back today…”

No thanks.

I felt a bit defeated, trudging out to my car having accomplished absolutely nothing but wasting my time. I noticed, as we were close to the airport, that there were several hotels in the area. I took my chances with a Holiday Inn Express.

The lady at the front desk was on the phone and distracted, so I slipped into their “Business Center” (containing one ancient PC and a printer), and proceeded to print out the document that I need.

Feeling a bit better, I trekked back to DHS, this time having proactively removed all of my jewelry and metal items from my person in prepration for security, and got sat in the waiting room of the biometrics department.

Luckily, that wait was only about five minutes and then I got to watch nerdily as the woman electronically took my finger prints. Another woman signed off on my passport and told me to mail everything to the address on the sheet.

 

In essence, out of all of the paperwork and passport photos and supporting documents I brought, the only thing they needed was my passport.

All I had to do was print that damn form.

 

HOWEVER, my supporting documents (paystubs, letter of leave, potential flight itineraries for there and back, proof of funds, executed application, and the damn form) are sat in an overnight FedEx envelope – so by tomorrow or at least Monday, they will be in the hands of someone in New York who matters.

Big sigh.

I was much more frustrated at the start of this post, but I can see that I’ve done all I need to do at this point, and I feel better.

It’s Friday. I’m getting a drink after work at my favorite bar/lounge where there is a drink named after me (containing lilac gin) and I get to sleep in tomorrow.

And my visitor’s visa approval process is underway.

NP Dodge to unveil next-generation technology for home buyers

NP Dodge to unveil next-generation technology for home buyers

My employer, y’all!

Robert Wiebusch, Director of Digital Innovation, is also my supervisor for my field project. The information I’m working on gathering will apply to our new company website. Potential homebuyers will be able to search for houses/communities based on important factors other than the traditional ‘number of bedrooms’, ‘number of bathrooms’, ‘garage size’, etc such as ‘pet-friendly neighborhoods’, ‘nearness to parks’, even as specific as ‘near movie theatre’.

Some major cities in the US already use this kind of search method; now Omaha is joining the ranks.

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