Panic ensues

I'm moving on Monday morning. I am not packed and my weekend is already filled with other tasks—Spanish final exam, moving sale, goodwill run, and a "meet the new roomies" party. I still don't have a key to my new place and the pressure is building to get things fairly settled before my mother arrives tomorrow night and the moving truck arrives Monday morning.

Not only haven't I finished packing but I haven't figured out how I'm gonna get rid of all the excess furniture that I don't want to move. I posted an ad on craigslist and I'm still waiting for more replies. I got one last night but the guy was really weird and just called to ask if I had costume jewelry and knickknacks. I don't. The ad specifies the basics of what I'm selling and all my knickknacks are being boxed-up for Goodwill. I guess if I'm pressed and unable to sell the furniture, I will just move it to my new place and deal with selling it in July.

I also need to schedule UPS to ship a dozen or so boxes home. I don't want to purge certain school stuff and a few other things I know that I'll need in the future (post-Peace Corps) so I'm sending them home.

I haven't felt this pressed in years. I know that my mother will bring calm and reason into my move when arrives tomorrow, but until then, I'm panicking and feeling the need to hit something (or someone). So stay clear.


A Kick in the Pants

It was exactly what I needed. A reminder of why I'm on the Hill. A reminder of the goals I set back in April. I've gotten quite comfortable in my current position and I can see how easy it would be to get lulled into complacency about my position. But if I learned anything from my last job, I need to bring my game-face every day and always seek new opportunities to broaden my responsibilities and increase my visibility. A staff assistant position isn't my end goal. It's only a stopping point on the way to where I really want to be. I need to do my best to take advantage of this opportunity so that I can move on (and up) as quickly and as prepared as possible.

The problem is that I'm a rather shy girl and have always been that way. It's in my nature to clam-up and be socially inept 65 or more percent of the time. The key is that I'm trying but apparently, not trying hard enough.

As my pseudo-mentor told me yesterday (and Floyd told me a million times), I need to step out of the "I'm shy" box that I've put myself in. I need to be assertive, proactive and genuinely outgoing in order to achieve all the things I want to achieve. On the Hill, those qualities essential. Otherwise, you can get forgotten amid the hoards of other staffers trying to be noticed. I don't want to be forgotten.

So I've been charged to recall the sense I had in April when I first started on the Hill--my desire to learn, to network, and to gain new experiences. At this point, I know my job well enough that I can take on new projects and take time to connect with others who can give me insight about the Hill. And I've already started on that road today.

I think this new charge—along with the fact that I'll be living with 5 other people in less than one week—will surely prepare me for life in the Peace Corps. It will make me more at ease about opening up, asserting myself, and truly taking control of my career, social and personal life.


I'm gonna have 5 new roommies!

I sign my lease this evening, and I'm so excited. I really need to check out the house again and see how big or small the room really is. I have a tendency of mis-remembering size and other characteristics of people, places, and things. I hope that the house and my room turn out to be as bright, open and spacious as I remember...

I plan on having an un-garage sale this weekend to get rid of a few key items that I can't or don't want to move into my new place. A-M has offered to serve as security guard to keep an eye out for weirdos and thieves. The main thing that I need to get rid of is my futon. It is huge and although it has treated me well these last 5 years, I have no room for it anymore and it's gotta go. The starting price is $25 but I'm willing to give it away for free. I'll assign a price (under $45) to everything else in order to recoup a bit of my original investment.

It's great to have a new plac,e and I'm so excited to be starting a new chapter. It's definitely a headache to get everything in order and make sure that I'm making the right decisions. But, when it's all done, I will sing.


"Saturday night's alright"

I am not going to be homeless come July 1. I just got an email from the house in Columbia Heights that I was hoping for. I’d been selected to fill one of the two open rooms!

This past week has been so stressful and my days and nights have been filled with anxiety about finding a place—and specifically about being accepted to this particular house. Now my fear is that I can still get screwed and be homeless. So I’m pushing to sign the paperwork and handover my checks as soon as possible. My mother will be here in less than one week and I am so relieved that I have a place before she arrives.

I can focus on sorting my stuff and packing now that I have an idea of what my new housing situation can accommodate. My new room will be sunny and a pretty good size with a walk-in closet. So I’ll be able to keep a few things I had planned on chucking. Notably, I should be able to keep my plants and few other semi-essential things.

I got news on Friday that my coworker was offered a great position in another office. I am so excited for her as she’d been “paying her dues” as a staff assistant for 8-9 months. I am worried about how her departure will affect my workload—until they hire someone new. But mostly, I’m concerned about being the “senior” staff assistant on a two-person team. I’ve only been working in the office for two months, and though I know my tasks pretty well, I’ll have to learn her tasks in order to properly train her replacement. It should be interesting.

I am so glad that I did not take the original staff assistant job I was offered. I got a taste of what I would have to do on Friday, when a barrage of calls came in criticizing a particular vote and I was asked to help answer the phone. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so irritated at work and more ready to write-off activists as a bunch of rude/nasty people. I don’t have a problem with passionate people who are informed and anxious to comment on a particular issue. But I do have a problem with folks who aim their disdain at others—especially a low level staffer like myself—who can’t do anything to calm the caller or defend their boss.

But whatever, that’s the thing about political office—about life. Not everyone is going to like you and some people will really dislike you. You can’t take it personally and you must always surround yourself with loyal supporters and candid confidants who’ll be there even after you’ve made the hardest, most controversial (and perhaps, worst) decision of your career/life.



It's been a whirlwind week. I attended a few receptions and charmed another group of potential roommates. No, I still don't have a place and if I don't get a congratulatory callback today, I'm gonna beg my leasing office to extend my lease for one more month. That would give me all of July to look for housing and further whittle down my possessions.

I'm hopeful but realistic now. I plan on spending the entire weekend packing my stuff and getting everything ready for freecycle/craigslist pickups and goodwill. My mother comes next Saturday (for vacation and to help me move), and I really want to have my shit together before she arrives.

It's amazing how fast this month has gone. It's been a good month and I sense that July will be even better. By then, I'll be settled in my new place and willing to venture out with friends. Also, I'll be able to spend more time studying Spanish so that I don't have to spend my Saturday mornings struggling to keep up (because I spent the whole week packing and attending open houses).

Work is going well. I'm finally starting to make friends and branch out beyond Floyd's circle. I still love what I do (even the stuff that a trained monkey could do) and I'm enjoying getting to know my coworkers and the Hill. Once things settle in July, I plan on recommitting myself to consciously building a network on the Hill so that when 2009 comes around, I'll be well-positioned for the job of my dreams—which could surely force me to delay my Peace Corps ambitions for a few years.


We like you, but not enough to be our new roommie

Yeah, so I got a call late last night from the all-girls house. The girl that I thought I had totally cliqued with called to let me know that I had not been selected as a roommate. She really liked me, the roommates were torn between the other girl and me, I wasn't chosen, good luck, blah, blah.

I thought I had that place in the bag. Actually, I was worried that they would render a verdict on me before I had been given a chance with the nice shared house up the road.

It's so funny to read my entry from Sunday night. I was so hopeful and happy. The whole world seemed to be smiling at me. But now, I've been thrown a left curve and I'm reminded of the precariousness of my housing search—the precariousness of life.

And, that is life. Over the past few years, I've experienced its rollercoaster of thrills and woe. I do feel that I am in a better place now to make the best of whatever I am given. But, last night's news keep me tossing and turning all night. I have less than two weeks to find a place. If the nice, shared house up the road doesn't pick me, I'll be screwed. There doesn't seem to be much out right now and I may have to accept whatever comes my way (within reason).


Anxiety, now Excitement

I can’t stop myself from smiling right now. No, I still haven’t found a place, but I feel that I am getting closer. I decided against living on the Hill. Aside from the easy commute to work and access to the phenomenal Eastern Market, the Hill really isn't what I'm looking for. Mostly, I don’t want to end up isolated from the rest of the city—or rather the parts of the city where my friends live and party. That’s how I feel about where I live now. So, I’m thinking Columbia Heights.

I got a second round interview with a place about 4 blocks from U Street and a promising first round for a place in a great house near Meridian Park. At this point, my fingers are crossed for the second house because it is very sweet. I’d be living with five, yes five people (half-guys and half girls) but the house is large enough that it wouldn’t feel cramped or overwhelming. The other place is with four chill girls (even a Hill staffer) in a nice, drama-free house.

I hope that there is resolution this week because I’m tired to scouring Craigslist and spending my evenings and weekends looking at housing. Everyone reading my blog better cross both fingers for me this week. Especially for house number two, though house number one would be great as well. Hopefully, the bird-poop incident and the penny I found on heads today will give me the luck I need to secure an ideal new housing situation.

Of course, I must mention the great Whiskey party I attending last night. Kali always knows how to throw a good party and keep folks entertained and feeling good while in her presence. That’s probably the thing I admire in her the most. I hope that I am able to score a great house near her so that we can chill on a random Wednesday at Solly’s or Marvin very soon.


Anxiety & Bird Poop

This morning has been unfortunately eventful. I was standing under a tree waiting for the super-late N22 bus when I was confronted by a small mound of purplish goo on my shoulder. I'd been attacked by a bird and it was the last straw.

I guess I feel that I've been regularly shit on during the past few weeks. Okay, so maybe that is an exaggeration but wtf, why can't I get things together? I still haven't finished packing and at the rate I'm going, I wonder if I ever will. I just have too much stuff and not enough willpower to part with it all. Plus, I have two weeks left and still no place. As of June 30, I will be a homeless girl with boxes and crates full of junk and nowhere to go. And that's the least of my problems.

I know that I shouldn't complain as my life is pretty good. I have a job, friends, and some solid plans to look forward to. But having my favorite shirt pooped on this morning put a damper on my normal optimism. Thankfully, I brought along a tshirt, which I plan on wearing under my suit coat all day.

I believe that being christened with bird droppings is a sign of good luck. And I've had at least two other bird dropping incidents in the past few years. So perhaps, it's a sign that things are turning around. Tonight, I will find my dream housing situation, and this weekend, I will tackle all the crap in my living room and in my closets. But it could just be a sign that I should retire my snug work shirt and stop standing under that tree every morning waiting for the always late N22.


Fun-ness Recap

To keep myself from totally freaking out about my housing situation, I signed myself up for two cool activities to distract me.

On Saturday night, I attended a Johnny Walker Journey tasting downtown. Thankfully, I wasn't brainwashed during the night (we later went to Fado where I ordered cider not JW Red). But, I had a good time. BTW, Fado's is a surprisingly great bar.

On Monday, I made my way to the new National's Stadium (the first LEED certified green stadium in the U.S.). The Nationals lost to the SF Giants (again). But I didn't care. Baseball is so boring and my time at any stadium is always spent waiting for the wave and people watching. Plus, it was really hot last night. I headed home after a few $7.50 beers and a tasty Ben's chili cheeseburger (Yes, it was just as good as the burgers at the U street location). Being at the stadium was very surreal but I'm excited about the sort of new development it will surely bring to SE (though it will probably push many of the locals out).

Next on tap this week are a few happy hours and receptions (more avoiding of the inevitable housing search and apt packing) and a kickass whiskey party Saturday. It's amazing that my June calendar has gotten so full. May was very slow. Now things have picked up and I'm overwhelmed (but having a lot of fun).



Wow, what a day. What a week!

Things are going well. I’m falling in love with my job or at least my new routine. There is just so much energy on the Hill and though I’m not doing amazing stuff (yet), I feel that I am learning new things and brushing up on important skills. My new job has afforded me my first opportunity of managing interns, and I’m really enjoying that.Most of all, I love the fact that I still have the opportunity to write and edit. Sure, I’m writing and editing letters to children. But the range of topics that little kids write about is what makes the work so fun and interesting everyday.

My search for shared housing isn’t really going anywhere. I’ve seen three places so far. The first, which I really loved and totally cliqued with the roommie, was way out of my new budget. Once I finally got into the mindset that I have a lower salary now, I started looking at places that max around $750 with everything included. So far, I’ve seen two places in that range. A tiny (and I mean tiny) room in a fun shared house one block from my office building and a medium sized room in Columbia Heights. The thing that struck me most is the fact that both open houses were attended by at least 10 people. And I found myself reluctantly competing with the others for attention from the potential roommates. So very odd. I didn’t realize that I had to bring my game face. I’ll definitely bring it to tomorrow’s open house.

One problem is that I’m competing with folks that are ready to move in today. I’m willing to “move-in” on the 15th but I’m not going to show up with a checkbook and bucket full of charm. I still have three weeks but I am panicking.

Besides finding a place, I need to figure out a plan for all my current junk. My mother offered to fly-in at the end of the month to help me get stuff shipped and to Goodwill. And I pray that I’m ready by then. I just have so much stuff and I’m finding it so hard to part with much of it.

I really like my place. I’ve lived here for three years and it’s treated me well. Sure, I have loud neighbors and the commute to work and DC bars is a pain but I’ve made it my home and I will definitely miss it. Before I move, I plan on having a last hurrah at the dive bar down the street.

One more thing. Pete's New Haven Style Apizza in Columbia Heights is amazing. I had the chef’s special which was artichoke, black olive and spinach. Very tasty! I’ll definitely be back.


Making Eyes on the Metro

I had a nice commute this morning. Sure, I had to stand most of the way. But I had the sweetest view of the cutest guy I've seen on the metro in a while. I don't know what it is about the Glenmont direction of the Red line, but the trains are almost always bereft of attractive young men. I spotted a hottie a few weeks ago (that I couldn't help smiling at), but otherwise, there usually isn't much to look at but older, suburbanites and annoying teenagers.

I did a quick search on the internet. A search for informal surveys on the line and direction with the most attractive ridership. I'm guessing that it's the Red line Shady Grove bound. Or the Orange line toward Vienna. I know it's not my ride.

I think that it is possible to find love on the metro. I've heard that it's happened before, and I've read about efforts in NYC to make finding love on the subway easier. I think DC should institute a similar "singles car."

But this brings up another problem. Regardless of the slim-pickings on my commute, I haven't mastered a come-hither look or learned how to get results from flirting. I normally clam up around guys I like and my half-smile from across the bar/room/train turns into a nervous blank/cynical stare. Yes, I should first work on my technique--or at least how to appear more open to the approach.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy the random cute-boy sightings during my commute and hope that my new metro ride (after my move) will afford me with an abundance and variety of male cuteness.


Start Spreading the News

Blame it on SATC, but I want to live in NYC.

Yes, I've been talking about moving to NYC since high school. But my initial thought of moving to NYC after Peace Corps (and a sojourn in Europe) has become a thought of moving to New York in lieu of going to the Peace Corps or continuing on the Hill. Shameful, I know. Selfish, I know. But I can't shake my idyllic vision of a year (2009) in NYC. It would be expensive and challenging but so rewarding and memorable.

Like Jennifer Hudson admitted in SATC, I want to move to NYC to find love and labels (i.e., beautifully cut clothes made with amazing fabrics).

Ah, SATC. I saw it on Friday with a few girlfriends. It was very enjoyable and I'd give it an 8 out of 10. I made me laugh, cry, and reconsider my approach to life and love. Mostly, it made me want to move to NYC, invest in a brand new wardrobe and find a man like BIG who'll support me and my budding fashionista ways. Well, no—that's not true. School made me a bit too leftist to buy-in to the capitalist-consumerism propaganda so evident in the movie (A pair of shoes cannot define me. My character defines me). Yet, I do buy into the idea that NYC is the perfect place for young folks with big dreams (or old folks with lots of money).