Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey What?

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all!

This year was the first year I didn’t go home for Thanksgiving in 22 years.  It was a strange feeling of missing everyone at home and feeling like a grown up as I helped my housemates cook all the fixings for our Thanksgiving feast.   We had chicken, (with only 2 omni’s in the house, it was all we needed), homemade stuffing, green beans, lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and lots of dessert!  We finished the evening by watching a Semi-Christmas movie, The Holiday, and I fell asleep on the couch as Leslie and I watched Stepmom. 
            The weekend went quite well with Leslie here.  We house sat downtown and so we played tourist in Baltimore and ate a lot of good food (I’m now broke for a while, but it was worth it!)
            We ended the week with a 2 hour community meeting where we discussed the exciting events of the next 3 weeks which include visiting Hampden where there are really pretty Christmas lights, the light of the Washington Monument (a big Baltimore thing), a Christmas Celebration at our house, and a cookie making party.  With work and all this, its going to be a busy few weeks. 
            The meeting also spent a large amount of time discussing what the chores actually mean… Lets just say that was exhausting!
For those of you who haven’t signed up, I’ll link you to the newspaper I put together for work, so you can see all the cool things I do!  I’m working on my first article for it, where I’m covering a trip that a VP went on in South America, it’s really cool because I’ve redesigned the whole thing to make it more user friendly.
I’m really excited to be going home for 18 days!  For those of you who are wondering, I’ll be in Southern California on the 17th at night.  You can find me at the nearest In n Out drive thru.  I’ll be heading up to Norcal the 26th -29th and leave early Monday morning back to Baltimore on the 3rd.
Hope you all are doing well... Until next time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Buses, Trains, and Cars, Oh my!

Thursday I was lucky to have my Grandma come visit me all the way from sunny California!  Morgan and I picked her up from the airport and she came home to a house full of people.  We met everyone chit chatted and headed off to bed to get ready for a long 3 days ahead of us!
            Friday we headed downtown and I showed Grandma my office then we walked around Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor.  We decided to head to Little Italy for lunch and we met quite an interesting man at the Bus stop, lessoned learned I won’t become a smoker?!?!? ( Long story….).  We enjoyed a nice lunch and a little bit more of a walk and then headed on over to Penn Station to take the commuter train to Washington DC.  After relaxing for the rest of the evening at the hotel, we woke up the next morning and started trekking our way through the Nation’s Capitol.  We saw as much of the monuments as we could- Lincoln’s monument, the Washington Monument, WWII monument, the Vietnam Wall, The Korean War memorial, and Arlington Ceremony.  On top of that we visit the White House, saw the national Christmas tree, walked the mall, saw the Capitol building, saw the Pentagon, went to the National Holocaust Museum, Museum of National History, the Museum of Natural History, and we rode around in style in one of those double Decker buses.  Are you exhausted as we were just reading this list?
            We also enjoyed some of the most delicious food DC has to offer!  By the end of the trip there just wasn’t enough time to get everything we wanted to done, which just means Grandma has to come back and visit after tax season. 
By the end of the trip we took:
2 Bus Rides
2 Circulator Trips
3 Cab excursions
1 Marc Train
1 Amtrak Train
3 Metro Trips
And quite a few Double Decker experiences….

My feet still hurt!

Pictures to follow J

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

5 Things

Its Wednesday here in Baltimore (in case my theories are right and the East Coast really is a different planet) and autumn has begun to creep in.  I’ve found that there are types of chilly in this part of the woods, and believe it or not, I’m not frozen quite yet. 
            Though I’m not miserable as many would have predicted (I’m referring to my  not being in California, not my actual state of being), I would like to take this time to list the 5 things I miss prior to making $105 a month and living in the most perfect state (I doubt there will be any surprises):
1)      First and foremost, I miss my one true love, In n Out.  Every time I smell grilled onions, my heart drops a little bit.  The longing for animal style fries lingers for hours at a time.  And that crisp Diet Coke is just extra spread on the burger (errr icing on the cake).  I haven’t found a replacement for you nor will I ever.  In n Out, I love you.
2)      Sushi.  Those of you who have ever seen me eat sushi knows this one is self explanatory.  Though I will say we did have a sushi night at our house where I prepared everything from scratch (even the sticky rice!) and I have found a new respect for sushi chefs, it sure isn’t easy.
3)      Sunday Morning.  For those of you who know her, she’s a beautiful 2009 Hyundai Sonata whom I adore.  She’s in the trusted care of my 17 year old sister (oxymoron) and she was so dependable at getting me from point A to point B.  I miss the luxury of being able to go where I want, when I want.  She has been replaced by my new friend the bus.  Though I do not loathe the bus like I once had, I still find myself out of luck when she’s running a half hour behind schedule and all I want to do is go home.  I have become friends with 2 bus drivers who pick up Becca and me every morning.  They have been known to tease each other about who got to pick us up today.  To make this story less creepy, Becca and I are usually the last 2 at the last stop, where we see a lot of accidents and randomness that allows conversation with the bus drivers.
4)      Target.  Target is this place on Earth where dreams become reality and you can find your favorite face wash for under $5.  You can get just about anything in your dreams and your price range all under one very tacky yet chic decorated roof.  In college, when I had to wait for Rachel, I would go and simply play in Target.  Now, it’s an hour bus ride to Target, and let’s just say the one in town is less than par.
5)      Two buck chuck.  I enjoy a nice glass of red wine with my dinner (especially on days where the chili powder is used!).  And so when I moved to the East Coast on, you guessed it, $105 a day, I was calmed to know I could afford Trader Joe’s worst kept secret.  Well, little to my knowledge, the state of Maryland doesn’t sell alcohol in grocery stores.  You have to go to an off license (or Geri’s Liquors) to purchase a bottle of wine.  And let’s face it, sometimes a glass Charles Shaw is the only cure to living with 4 other girls.  But I’m getting over this fact and surviving just fine.

Of course I miss my family and friends, but I text/email/Facebook/Call/BBM you all so much, you barely even notice I’m gone!  My next goal on this blog thing is to fill you in on all the cool things I’ve done that you may or may not have already heard about!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How Myspace started my career….

I read my job description about a hundred times before I walked through the doors of the Lutheran Center in downtown Baltimore to join the team at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and had no idea what I was actually going to be doing for the next twelve months.  My supervisor called my first day of work a fire hose of information I probably wasn’t going to remember.  Not only was she right, but by day two, though I felt comfortable in my work environment, I literally had no idea what my actual job responsibilities entailed. 
            Day 2 involved running around the office and learning everyone’s names (which in an office of a hundred people, has yet to happen).  I was asked to look at the website and make a mock presentation about what our organization is all about.  I did these tasks with great enthusiasm, but again I still had no idea what I actually did.  I went through orientations on how to use certain programs and was thrown into department meetings before I was actually aware of what department I worked in. 
            By week two I had turned in my presentation and knew the website in and out- only to realize why I had to do these tedious projects.  Then I relearned an acronym (which by the way- is the way most Lutheran’s speak, so I’ve learned),  HTML.  The last time I had seen the term HTML was somewhere in between a basketball game and an emo stage in the middle of high school posting songs and pictures that identified who “I truly was” on the original internet social media of our time, MYSPACE.  Apparently in the internet world, HTML is more than just posting pictures of you and your friends holding up peace signs- it’s an actual art of design and technique, that I had mistakenly learned when I was 16. 
            Though I was still unsure of what my daily duties were, I knew I could step into the dreaded Sphere program, and innocently maneuver my way around the design of mass emails, web pages, and Enewsletters I now helped manage.  This bit of confidence made me realize that my gifts could include those hours of Facebooking instead of studying for my Ethics final, the hours of silly Skyping I could never get back, and my pointless desire for Tweeting.  In the work place, these activities are called Marketing.
            I have turned my addiction to my Blackberry into a how to guide and have turned the term BBM into daily vernacular and practice in the office.  (As I’m finishing up this blog I was interrupted to start a Skype conference on my supervisor’s computer.)  I am thankful for the opportunity to share my strange gifts with the workplace I have grown to love.  I hope that one day I can turn my college procrastination skills into a full fledged career.  Until then, I am happy to report that I have learned what my job responsibilities include.