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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Working Girl (aka, A Call for Help)

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This morning, I was in a very depressed mood.  Following the absolutely tragic events of the Boston Marathon yesterday, I slept way too hard and had awful dreams.  I woke up feeling miserable.  It got worse when I realized the gas light in the car had come on and that Bonnie was low on food.

I need a job.

I’ve needed a job since January.

This time last year, I was introduced to a girl named Tara who was stepping down from one job in favor of another and looking for someone to fill her spot.  After an interview, I was hired by my boss, A.  I worked here for just past 7 months, from May to December of last year.  A turned out to be a rather incompetent boss.  Tara had worked for the company as their Marketing Specialist and had also worked off-site.  One of the stipulations of me working for them was to work on-site, something I was fine with at the time.  I think A expected something different from having the marketing person on-site.  Fireworks actually exploding from the computer monitor, perhaps.  Because it seemed as thought nothing else gave him any satisfaction.  I’m still not sure, nearly a year later, what he was expecting from the new, flashy, on-site Marketing Specialist.  What I do know is that after the 3-month mark, I wasn’t delivering.  A became increasingly disconnected from me.  A also had this insane grammar deficiency which grated my nerves like fresh Cheddar.  I figured putting up with his stunts would only prove me more worthy of my position, like graduating from a hazing.  No dice.  A had two sons, and one of them had just graduated high school and was bored over the summer and decided to hang out at his dad’s company.  This included getting to work before I did, like A did, but added the confiscating of my work computer to listen to music or watch videos.  I almost started to bring my own mouse because the office-issued one would go missing.  The company moved locations and I was told one week before we were supposed to move.  It was all highly unprofessional in my humble opinion.  I was incredibly thankful for the job, but having to put up with crap like that really got on my nerves.  Eventually A got to a point where he would text me in the morning to tell me to stay home that day, or to only work specific hours so he didn’t have to pay me for a whole day.  I knew at that point that my job wasn’t going to be in effect much longer.  He was just stringing me along as long as he could before he finally let me go.  Upon sending me a curt email stating that “we” (not sure who “we” is since I was technically the Assistant Marketing Manager and he was Senior) had decided to terminate my position, A offered me a consultant job in place of my current employee position to start in the “first quarter” of this year.

You can get a sense of the grammar deficiency here.

I’m considering that offer null and void since we are officially past the first quarter of the year and I haven’t heard anything from A.  And I’m SO okay with that.

Anyway, I said all of that simply to release passive aggression, as well as reintroduce Tara and talk about today.

I went on a sort of binger this morning and wrote to anyone I thought could help me get a job.  I worked at a place called Intab for a while as well, from 2011 to 2012.  I quit that job for numerous reasons (see here), but while I worked there, I worked under a boss named J.  I emailed J this morning to see if there was a job available at my old stomping ground, but I haven’t heard back.  It was a lot of crow that I wasn’t hungry for.

Onto Tara.  Because she is also an old work-acquaintance, I messaged her to see if there was a job she could offer me/alert me to since she works for a job placement company now.  She said yes and I am currently working with her to understand the details and apply properly for the position.  Maybe something actually is about to happen.

This is a call: if someone knows about a job that is somewhat close to me, let me know!  I’m available!  And I’m awesome!  Can’t beat that combo, seriously.


When to let go

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“At what point does waiting on the future keep you from living in the present? At what point do you have to let go of an old dream to make way for new ones? Have I reached that point?”


Here I am for the one-millionth time, frozen at an intersection with no clue which direction to turn. Last night at cell, we meditated on the question, “Where is God calling you?” The question made me really angry, and for me, anger tends to manifest itself in an eruption of streaming, messy tears. I realized that I am, and have been, very mad at God. I’m mad at God because I’ve been waiting on an answer to this question for over a year now. I’m mad at God because I feel like I’ve done a hell of a job at staying positive, going with the flow, and making ends meet in whatever way I can while I wait for His answer. I’m mad at God because people all around me seem to be getting their lives together while I have no idea what to expect next week, month, or…

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Monday Afternoon Giggle (MAG)

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I don’t recall how I came across this post, but my life was empty prior to reading it.  SO funny.

this sucks: an update.

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We went to see the apartment.  There were suddenly all of these fees, and apartments only *start* at that rate and now they’re more expensive.  The unit wasn’t very impressive in person.  We are very bummed out.  As my mother said, we could be stuck in a worse place.  This sucks.

The end.

A “Moving” Realization

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You may remember a week ago when I posted this photo:


It was a photo of the letter our new landlord sent us to let us know that our rent would be going up quite a bit ($40 a month!) and we had a little over a month to either renew the lease or move out.  There were a few things that really rattled us:

  • The actual increase, of course.  It’s a big jump.
  • Suddenly we are required to give a 60-day written notice.  Our lease ends on May 20, but the letter wasn’t sent til after March 20, which would have been the 60 days.  Would we be unfairly penalized for that?
  • New jerky property manager is jerky.
  • After looking for another place to go, we were beginning to lose hope because it felt like there wasn’t anywhere else that was as nice as where we live for any less in price.

But then yesterday happened…

I felt like I had done everything I knew to do.  I had gotten personal recommendations for places to move, I had simply Googled and hoped for the best, I enlisted the help of a real estate agent… I wasn’t sure what else to do to find another place to live.  We weren’t having any luck whatsoever finding a place anywhere near as nice as where we live now, in a decent location, for the same price or lower.  We found a handful of lower-rent places, but I wasn’t willing to move into something as grungy as some of those places were just for a lower rent.  We were ready to just call it quits and accept our fate in our current apartment for another few months.

But yesterday morning, Justin sent me an email (titled, “one last hurrah” to suggest that if this didn’t work out we would have to suck it up at Ticon) with a link to a search engine he had forgotten about that is used only for Duke students and faculty to find housing.  There was another link in the same email from Justin that clarified perks offered for Duke employees or students that people may not know about.  I tried the engine first.  I found a few good options and told him about them.  But then I tried the perks link.  I went through and picked the ones that gave us the best perks, skipping over ones I knew would be too pricey.  After checking into the ones I had chosen from the perks list, I found a site called Century Trinity Estates.  If you click that link, it’ll take you to their floor plans.  We would be living in the first one-bedroom plan, called The Athens.

Do you see the square feet?  Our current apartment is 700 square feet.  This is the smallest one bedroom they have, and it’s 828!  The rent is of course a little higher.  It’s $695 a month.  Now, before you call Hypocrite, hear me out.

  • Yes, the rent is higher.  It’s even higher than our new rent in our current apartment would be.  But the amenities that are offered under that rent are worth it.
  • These are super-luxury apartments.  And they’re big!
  • They’re in a good location, still close to Justin’s work and still close to whatever we need: groceries, shopping, food, interstates, etc.
  • Um, hello, did you get a good look at the above photo??

Justin called yesterday to schedule an appointment and we were almost denied because we were incorrectly told that Bonnie was too heavy to live there.  I called them back and got the associate property manager who told me there was no weight limit, so we were really relieved.  I’m stupidly excited to go see them today.  Our appointment isn’t until 5, so I’m just going to be super excited all day.  I’ll be sure to update later tonight after we’ve seen it.  With plenty of pictures, of course.

If there was any time I’ve asked for a prayer where I really wanted the outcome, this is top 5!  Here’s hoping!!

PS – we got this email this morning from our new landlord in response to Justin asking about move-out procedure in case we decide to move.  Is is just me, or does it come across as really annoyed?

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 12.14.27 PM

My Back Yard Dream

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In the last ten years of my life, I’ve accomplished a great deal of things.  I’ve graduated from college, gotten engaged, gotten married, and am now living away from my family with my husband to make a life for ourselves.  But one of the things I haven’t done yet (and honestly won’t do for a while) is own a home.  There are many things I look forward to as a future homeowner.  I look forward to being able to paint and renovate.  I look forward to sewing curtains without having to worry about how useless they will be when our lease is up and they don’t fit the windows in the next apartment.  But one of the things I look forward to the most is having a back yard to decorate.

I saw this commercial on TV some time ago when Target started their Spring line advertising.  There is a small scene at 0:12, and it only lasts for a few seconds, but it shows an outside gathering where friends are sharing a meal on long tables.  This is what I would love to happen.

I want a classic, Southern back yard complete with lighting hanging in the trees and a large drink dispenser full of sweet tea (naturally).

I love how the lights look hung loosely across buildings.

And I thought the idea of having movie night outside was genius.

I’ve learned that North Carolina doesn’t understand the idea of “in-between weather.”  Back when I was getting all geared up for Fall last year, I had pipe dreams of making Autumn Stew and eating it on our deck.  Autumn is indeed preferable to Spring because there’s no bugs or allergies.  But Fall lasted maybe two weeks here before Winter got its revenge for not coming around the year before.  I felt so robbed of Fall and now I feel robbed of Spring with how hot it’s been over the last couple of days.  I just want some in-between weather.  Is that so much to ask?  Anyway, I hope to have at least one outside Spring or Summer party this year.  I’m already pinning ideas, of course. 😉

I can’t wait to have a back yard of my own to host dinner parties, or have my children’s birthday parties, or just spend summer nights in, but for now at least I have all the more time to plan.

Pictures are from: here/here/here/here/here

Some Hippie Crap

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I ate the big pink egg I bought at the Farmers Market over the weekend (it was a double-yolker!). Tastes the same as a store-bought egg. This is some hippie crap with hurt chickens or some shit. Whatever, tastes the same.

Hint: this is supposed to be funny. Keep your shirt on.

Vampire Weekend

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I got to see my mom over the weekend.  She works in a high school and was on Spring Break, so she came up on Wednesday afternoon to visit!  We spent Wednesday at the grocery store grabbing some food her little diabetic body could handle and relaxing until Justin got off work.  Thursday was super rainy, so we stayed inside and started our Twilight Saga marathon.  Recently, my mom started reading the Twilight books.  I read them back in 2010 after I graduated from college and people way too old to appreciate the story were becoming completely enamored with it.  I even tweeted about it.

When the movies started and got to be the huge thing they turned into, my mom got into them.  I kept telling her to read the books.  She just passed me right off.  Fast forward to two weeks ago.  My mom finally bought the fourth, two-part movie on DVD and was discussing it with my best friend Molly and Luke’s girlfriend Elyse.  Molly and Elyse told her that it was so different from the book.  This was the straw on the book-camel’s back.  She calls me as she’s reading the 15th page in the fourth book, where she’s started reading.  She didn’t even bother to start at the first book!  As a reader, this instantly infuriated me.  We got into a small argument where she actually told me that she had already seen the movies so she “already knew what happened” and didn’t need to read those other books.  I finally convinced her (read: screamed more than I should have) to start at the beginning, and she ended up reading all four books in 5 days.  She was hooked.  Interestingly, I had only seen the first two movies.  Now that my mom owned all the movies, she brought them with her so I could see all of them.  We started at the beginning.  Of course.

We only got through Eclipse on Thursday.  We finished up Breaking Dawn on Friday morning and then grabbed some shawarmas for lunch.  The rest of Friday was spent hanging out and passing out early on the couch.  Saturday morning was fun.  We got up and went to the Farmer’s Market.

C is for Caty: Famers Market screencap

It was incredible.  Saturday was the first full morning of the season, so instead of just being open from 10-12, the market opened at 8 a.m.  There were so many vendors and a ton of people.  The last time I had been to the market, there was only a handful of tables that didn’t even fill up the pavilion floor.  There were two blocks blocked off for this thing on Saturday!  I bought a $1 pink lemonade and shared it with Mother as we walked around and looked at everything.  I ended up buying a half carton of range-free eggs.  They were really interesting colors.

The one in the bottom left was so large the carton wouldn’t close.

After the market, Mother and I headed to Dolly’s.  I found this cute little vintage shop by accident, and have been trying to show it to my mom for a long time.  But every time we’d go, the store was closed for some random reason like a flu breakout.  So we made sure to call this time and thankfully they were actually open!  Mother loved it and talked the owner’s ear off with explaining what everything was and how she grew up with it.

We had a let’s-get-lost adventure that only Durham can offer on the way back to the apartment where we waited to take Mother to the train.  We took her and dropped her off, where she proceeded to wait an hour on her late train and I felt awful for leaving her there.  She said the train ride home wasn’t the best, but she was just happy to see her Dolly.

That evening, Justin, Bubbles, Dave, Lukas, and I went to a reading/launch party for an author friend of ours named Gabe Dunston.  I highly recommend him for commissions. 🙂  Our group headed to Denny’s and then met back up with author-n-friends at a bar in Raleigh called Flying Saucer.  We all drank and laughed til 2 a.m. and by the time we got home, all Justin and I could do was sleep.  Needless to say, yesterday was spent doing as close to nothing as possible.

It was a lovely weekend of movies and mothers and markets and magic and madness.  I hope everyone else’s weekend was as wonderful as mine!

Evicted, Sort Of.

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It’s been a hard couple of days, folks.

Justin and I headed home for Easter this past weekend.  The weekend was full of fun, food, and family.  A great time was had by all.  On the way home, we discussed a potential trip to Universal Studios in Florida for our anniversary in November.  We were having the best time reminiscing about the same trip back during Spring Break of our senior year of high school.  We were also planning to recreate this photo if we can find the same photo booth:


I was getting super excited about all of that, until we got home and checked the mail.

Inside was a letter from Ticon, the company that owns our apartment complex.  Our lease is up in May, and every year Ticon sends out a letter reminding you that you either need to renew or make plans to get out.  We just figured it was our reminder letter.  It wasn’t.  It was this letter instead:


We were absolutely shell-shocked.  That is a huge increase!  It’s a $40-per-month jump, and it took every bit of air out of our balloons.  My brain immediately jumped into moving mode, as did Justin’s for a little while.  I began thinking of how to pack up our lives that have taken root in this little apartment.  After we slept on it Sunday night and the initial avalanche of shock wore off, we began looking for other places to move yesterday.

We were told by one of our friends to lightly threaten our landlord and tell him that we would move out simply because of the rent increase.  But Justin and I both feel like they would just laugh in our faces and tell us to go, since these particular apartments are in high demand in our area.  These apartments are so good for us; they’re in a safe, quiet, convenient location; work is 5 minutes away, every fast food place is up the street, Kroger is up the street, as well as three different interstates.  It’s perfect.  We’ve grown so accustomed to living here.

Justin tried to play the seniority card with our landlord since we’ve lived here for three years, but the landlord, who is brand new by the way, just said he was new and didn’t have a relationship with anyone yet, and basically just didn’t come right out and say that he didn’t care about that.  He also said he couldn’t do anything about the increase for us.

Back to the search for a new place.

I spent a good part of the day yesterday looking into other places, but so many of them are either really ghetto/scary, expensive, or inconvenient.  Not to mention that the reviews for any of these places are completely subjective.  Just because the experience is bad for one person doesn’t mean it’s bad for another, nor does one person’s bad opinion of the place speak for everyone who lives there.

I’m looking into enlisting the help of a real estate agent.  I feel like that would make the process a little easier, since our method of Googling and hoping for the best is just stabbing in the dark and hoping the knife lands in something good.  We’ll see.

We have until May to really start panicking, and it’s not a life-or-death situation.  We could stay here if all else fails and just take it up the you-know-what and pay the outrageous rent.  We’re just weighing all our options at this point.

I know that we aren’t technically being evicted, but reading that letter on Sunday sure made me feel that way.  It may as well have been an eviction notice.  Ticon, thanks to market pricing and other crappy stuff, has us by the balls and they know it.  It’s a sucky situation.  I’ll post when I have any more news, good or otherwise.

Prayers are appreciated, as are any tips you can leave me for apartment hunting.

Hope everyone’s week is going well, or at least better than mine!