26 October 2011

renn fest and the search

Well how about the job-search update first. Which isn't much of an update. Since we've moved here, I've applied to about 11 local retail businesses and haven't gotten a word back from them. I've called back to most of them, but it hasn't really gone anywhere. Which is not really surprising. Different place, same shitty job industry. But what else can I do?

I can only keep doing what I'm doing - sending out applications/resumes.

The only thing that is resting HEAVILY on my mind every day now (and I'm sure hub's as well), is that we are definitely LOSING money every month that I don't have a job - ANY job. And since we moved (since moving = $$) our savings were cut into. Even with a slightly lower rent, we still can't afford to live with just Takeshi's salary.

I *am* going to meet with the art director at a local magazine business tomorrow about interning there (unpaid). I had sent out a bunch of emails to "design" places in the area a while ago, asking general inquiries about interning/working at ANY place to get me some more industry experience. I'm crossing my fingers. I'd really like to work there, gain some experience, put it on my resume. But you never know. And even if I get it, I still need to find a job where I earn $$$!!

Takeshi is probably going to meet with a manager/chef? person next Monday at a restaurant in Woodley Park, D.C. As far as I understand it, they've been favoring him to be possibly be a sous chef there. But he is unsure if he will like them - what the cuisine is like, what the pay will be, etc. So we'll see about that when he goes.

On a happier note, this past Saturday I was able to make it to the Maryland Renaissance Festival with my high school friend Natalie! Hub, sadly could not go this year, (since he never EVER has Saturday off without asking in advice, and) since his new days off are Mondays and Tuesdays. So no weekends off right now at all. But it's actually nice sometimes to have weekdays off with him since places don't close earlier, and there are less crowds out in the middle of the day, since everyone's at work!

My other best friend Todd works at the festival, and was able to give us 2 free tickets! :D Yay. The weather was lovely and bordering on cripse, I ate things were bad and yummy, drank a new favorite drinky, a "Snake Bite" (half hard cider, half beer), and bought a few trinkets for the hub and for myself. We took in a sword swallowing show which was quite good, got Starbucks on the way back to her house, and had a quick dinner. We ended up meeting quite a few people from high school (some people I remembered their names, other I didn't...). It was fun to catch up with them. All in all, it was a good day. I felt like I was back in high school in a sense, before hubby and all (not that 'after hubby' was bad! ;D). It was just me and Natalie chatting, being silly. It made me forget my new 'adult' woes for a time - but only a short time. I definitely want to go again next year, with TK! :) Have a good rest of the week everyone.

Natalie and Todd

Todd and I being weird. But mostly him ;)

16 October 2011

new apartment

So far, the new apartment has been quite nice. It also seems that the neighborhood has improved as well, over the last one. It's quieter, and has less bratty children running loose in the parking lot.

This 2BR apartment has about 900-ish square feet to it, while our last 1BR apartment had about 775 square feet. We have a lot of closet space, with 2 in the hallway and 1 in each bedroom. We did end up having to sacrifice on kitchen space a little. Our last kitchen was a nice square-shaped space, whereas this new one is a 'single-line' space with parallel countertops. It's a little hard to move around in there with 2 people. But thankfully we ended up having enough drawer/cabinet space to put our HUGE amount of kitchen tools/food.

So we're all settled in pretty much; everything is out of boxes and we have all the utilities/service stuff figured out and set up. The only thing that takes more time is obtaining new state tags for our car. Takeshi was able to get his MD license pretty much within one day of going to the motor vehicle administration (MVA). My process to get mine has proven frustrating...I've had to go and get a 'new' Maryland birth certificate (was born here!) that the MVA would accept ($30). Also, I need another piece of paper that shows proof of residency in MD. So far, my name (and new address) is only on the apartment lease agreement. Hub put his name on the cable account so that's a no for me. Just waiting for some mail with my name on it, so I can go get this license already! I hate going to the MVA and so far I've been there 2 times without success.

I've been applying to tons of retail places in the Frederick area, and calling back later on to follow up. Tomorrow I call some more places I sent applications to. Fingers crossed for a job SOONER rather than later. Seasonal job opportunities have also been listed lately, since the Christmas season will be upon us before you know it!

panoramic of living room/kitchen area

bedroom 1 - for us! ;)

bedroom 2 - storage/future guest room

06 October 2011

late night wednesday

Hub's first day at work was today, and we found that his hours are about half of what he worked at his last place. The hours, so far, for the morning shift at this place are crazy because he's due into work at 6:00am! Which means he's getting up at about 4:45am. But he gets off at around 4:00pm. That's about 10ish hours of work. This WOULD be an improvement IF he was getting paid more at this job, but he isn't getting paid more than his last job. Which means he may not be earning as much as he thought he was going to.

Which makes my finding a job even more important. I've applied so far to some general retail-ish businesses in the area, and plan to start calling them to follow up.

I do wonder now if I'll ever get a job as a professional graphic designer, the thing I went to college for. It's painful to see certain other former fellow students at my college in PA, who have design jobs right now. They're not the most awesome jobs ever, but it's graphic design. My dad told me that the time might come where I may have to essentially give up mostly on the idea of trying to land a design job, and try to find something else to delve into, for our financial future, for just a chance to move up professionally, somehow.

I hope that doesn't come to pass, but I have terrible thoughts of just doing something mundane and totally not design-related for the rest of my life. Telling people, "Yeah I have a major in Graphic Design - little good THAT did me...". I don't want to end up a jaded failure, forced to do something I don't really like to do, just for the sake of a paycheck and being able to LIVE.

Right now, it's what we need, more or less. So I have less of problem of doing that for now. But I'm uncertain about my future as a professional designer. Maybe freelancer at best?

Facebook is 'poison' for me, most days because I end up scrolling through people's 'lives' and comparing myself to them. "Oh she's already an assistant manager at suchandsuch...he just bought his first house....". I end up feeling like I'm behind on my own life. :/

03 October 2011

new place

So we didn't end up moving to Florida. We ended up not moving too far away from our last apartment in Virginia.

After my food poisoning episode push our schedule off course a little, we started to doubt the move to Florida. Too far, too much money and all without either one of us already having guaranteed jobs there to begin with. I had one second-interview scheduled but there was no guarantee of that going through in the end.

So we started debating 2 alternative choices; lay low by staying in our current apartment, buying back the lease, and getting TK's old job back, and me getting a job anywhere - or - still move somewhere where it's cheaper to live, but somewhere that's closer to us = less moving costs and time.

We chose to move. Takeshi, a year ago, ended up "staging" (chef term for work for a day(or more) without pay) at a restaurant called Volt in Frederick, MD. Afterwards they, at that time, extended a position to him if he wanted it. It just happened that, in the end he took a job at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria instead.

So a few days ago, we went to Frederick and he spoke to the chef/sous chef again. They gave him an unofficial 'yes' and told him to come back a day later for another 'stage' just to get the feel of the kitchen again yadda yadda. So hub was pretty well sure of his job. So that solidified it for us.

Time to pack all our crap up and go! With just the two of us. Argh. And one of us *ahem* doesn't have very good upper-arm strength. ^__^;;

But we did it. It was painful at times, since the hub ALWAYS packs the "books" boxes so full that it's about 80 pounds...Good thing for us that most of our furniture is from IKEA so it can be broken down. Since it was only two of us, we ended up packing for about 5 hours during the first day (the 29th), took a break for dinner, and then went BACK out to the truck and carried out lighter stuff until about midnight. The next day (30th) in the morning we packed the rest of the small things in the truck and our tiny car and just left. Drove up to Frederick, signed the lease 1 hour before the office closed and got our keys to our new apartment. We then started UNLOADING the truck and the car, and was carrying in the last piece, our couch, in the evening just as the sun was going down.

While we were sitting amongst our heaps of boxes, Takeshi told me that this process reminded him of a man in Japanese history called Toyotomi Hideyoshi. According to legend, he built a castle overnight. Yeah, our story seemed similar I suppose. We ended up packing and unpacking all of our belongings in about 2 days! We were moved into our new place pretty much overnight.

So here we are. Hub starts work on the 5th or 6th I believe, and before that gets here, we've been working on getting as many things set up; new car tags, internet, possibly cable, calling our old services to cancel them, etc.

I'm searching for job openings in the area. I don't plan to hold out for a design job up here, for the most part. This area's definitely not as bustling as the area we were in. I need to have a job somewhere, so it'll probably be some kind of part-time gig.

Here are some photos from about a couple weeks ago, before we moved. TK and I went to D.C. one day, and I took some photos on my rainy, cold last day of dog-walking. Have a good Monday everyone.