Thursday, July 30, 2015


July 30, 2015

Hello everybody! Still applying, still networking, still maintaining my freelance and looking into getting personal business cards for fall...

And you know what else?

This transition period in a person's life means working extra hard getting your name out there. But few people also take advantage of the fact that we are young adults, and some of this "free" time we have from not working full time, while a little frustrating, is also a gift.

Once we do get the full time job we want and/or can temporarily tolerate, you're going to miss having that free time. Don't stop sending in applications, but if you can swing it, go somewhere. Some people can afford a trip out of the country, that's fine, but if you can also just go into the nearest city, go to the beach, visit friends, do that! A little vacation won't hurt especially while you've got the time, because if you don't you'll miss the opportunity.

That's a big concept that people miss. Opportunity doesn't have to be solely about jobs. Sometimes it's there for your mental health as well.

This week, I drove down to DC to visit Captain Cadaver. (Remember her from the NY internship part of the blog? Studied bones, graduated, and now works at a fancy restaurant half a block from her apartment, best friend from home--that's her!)

Not a bad time to be a tourist, though we did get a bit more sun than anticipated. Evidently we were outside during the exact time bracket it was advised people stay inside. Whoops. But worth it.

Also Batmobile lives across the street
from them. Nanananananananana...
 We walked along the monuments, tried some delicious Korean BBQ (my first Korean BBQ, but Cap'n's favorite way to eat!), thereby making use of the calories burned that afternoon.

Another thing I'd wanted to try for a long time, my aunt gave me a kit for molecular gastronomy. Basically, it's the modern art of food science.

Cap'n and I ended up making balsamic pearls on top of a caprese salad.

Agar agar is a substitute gelatin powder (vegan, too, for those who care!), and in the case of the kit came in a little pouch. The powder got dissolved in the balsamic when boiled, then with a syringe, got sucked up and squirted into a chilled glass of oil. Agar agar solidifies at room temperature, which is how the chilled oil immediately made the little pearls of balsamic.

The pearls got rinsed so they wouldn't, I presume, get congealed in a mass of pearls stuck to each other like dough balls on monkey bread, and then spooned and sprinkled over the caprese for a delicious, photogenic, scientific meal!

Next up...GenCon in Indianapolis, IN with the boyfriend. (The overall experience write up expect next week!)

GenCon is basically ComicCon for gaming. You get to listen to the professionals (designers, players, writers, publishers) discuss new releases, how they got their start in the business, and this part is important: how to get your foot in the door.

I am not opposed at all to writing and editing stories and scripts for games. It's a harder niche to get into, but sounds awesome! Interactive storytelling is my jam. Regardless, it supports my personal beliefs in the need for creativity encouraging escapism, not just in adults but in teens.

We will also be playing new RPGs  (Role Playing Games), making foam weapons, and learning how to LARP (Live Action Role Playing; basically playing a character-based board game on a bigger field when you are your character. Best example I can think of, LARPers may disagree, is the difference between Harry and Ron playing little wizard chess versus standing on the big chessboard themselves. Minus potential death, and a greater range of free movement!)

As fun as this will be, I am also using the opportunity to take several copies of my resume to booths with me in case I run across publishers or editors. Vacation can sometimes be helpful to vocational goals, if you let it! Just remember to balance. There's not much fun if you're ONLY there to network.

Don't be afraid to balance the fun in your life with work. My nana told my parents when they got married to take advantage of time you have. If you keep saving up your vacation time for "later", you're gonna miss out. My nana and poppa traveled some, but they were planning a trip for my poppa's retirement to go to Hawaii. He had a heart attack and they never went. This was before I was born, and still a dream destination for my nana.

My mom and aunt wanted to take her to Hawaii to have that family trip, but they kept waiting...until my dad said if they kept waiting, it wouldn't happen. For my nana's 80th birthday, they went to Hawaii. They had to be careful how much walking they did, but worth every penny.

Basically, work should never get in the way of making memories.  If you can swing it, always go for it. My parents do this, and they tell my brother and I a lot "well, don't expect much money, but we'll leave you a good name!"

I'm good with this. And if I maintain a similar philosophy in life, I think I'll turn out okay.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


July, 16, 2015

Four applications sent, and one to go!

My life is gradually getting back to some kind of order. I met with clients this week about freelance projects, I've been putting some thought to looking into business cards, and maybe one day a website to market myself better as an editor...

Still applying of course--I still want my own cubical, but there are plenty of publishing people who do freelance work on the side, like copy editing. And I've been reaching out to contacts, and I have some marvelous friends looking out for me to make me more contacts as well.

But motivation to keep pushing myself towards these things hasn't always been as high as it should have been.

One of my good friends suggested I make myself a motivation chart or collage. What is a motivation chart? It's where I write a box that says "What Motivates Me", and then I branch out like a family tree to give myself examples of things that motivate me to work aggressively towards getting that first time job. Like:

  • Activating new levels of adulthood
  • Getting my own cubical
  • Getting my own kitchen (apartment)
  • Saving money for fun things after I've gotten the boringly necessary things out of the way (utilities!)

You get the idea.

The motivation collage is a little different. It is meant to function the same as the chart, or list above, but is full of mostly images instead. I think what my friend had in mind was that I cut out magazine clippings, and while that sounds fun, I will admit I was lazy enough not to want to go find magazines to vandalize, and instead stayed at my computer and opened up a word doc.

ZERO of these images are mine, I really just googled for key words, some of which were more specific than others--for instance, I specifically looked for peach pie, as well as searched for a picture with a cat and a piglet in it. Because I love pie and it'd be nice to get my work life in a place in which I can indulge in happy food like pie. And because I really want to someday own a cat--since I do not know how long I psychologically can last without having a cat--and a pig because pigs are awesome. I can do a whole post devoted to what I presume owning a pig will be like based on what I've read. I'll save it for when I've met someone in person who has a pet pig and does not simultaneously live on a farm.

Only thing I'll say about it now, however, is that the piggy there is a baby and it is really misleading when someone is like "oh yes I have this adorable tiny tea cup pig pet, it'll look this way forever" because it will NOT look that way forever, even the tea cup piggies grow to be about 60 something pounds. (If someone knows better, please let me know, but regardless: they are not going to stay small enough to sit in your tea cup unless you drink from a monstrous sized tea cup like one of those rides at Disney.)

Also yes that is Zhu Li in the upper right. When I get my own cubical I intend to frame a picture of the awesome lady with the phrase "DO THE THING" to motivate me to be even a fraction of the assistant she is in the show.

Now when I see the collage, I can see all in one place a wonderful reminder of what all I'm working for. Try one out for yourself!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sorta Productive?

July 10, 2015

Uhg. Okay, you know those weeks where you think you've got your call to action and you're so pumped to be productive and then you are productive--but not on the project you had intended?


To be fair, I knew that I was doing this multi-day gig this week, in which I would be more or less out of commission for my writing projects, even before I quit my old job.

There was a Preaching Boot Camp for seminary students being hosted at the beach that I got hired with my aunt to cook for eleven people regularly. Additionally, I had been hired to help plan said event and make reservations. So, busy but also really, really fun. With the exception that I got a cold towards the end which severely altered my beach time into sleep-indoors-so-I-can-breathe time.

What was especially awesome about cooking for this many people is that they expected the traditional camp food--you know the kind that is filling but you don't expect much out of it, but you hope that there are brownies one of the meals anyway?--but we gave them legit home cooked meals, and with my aunt's flair for upscale recipes, we were rockin' it AND stayed well within the budget! The fanciest meal was goat cheese mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and parmesan crusted chicken. Otherwise we stuck to crock pot kind of meals that you can throw in and forget about until you have to stir-and-serve. People are impressed and you hardly have to do anything! It's great, and I highly suggest you look into it if you haven't.

Besides that, I've dealt with some of my freelancing, and finally moved my stuff out of my friend's house. The sad part is that I could fit everything into my car--except one bedside table. So I'm going back tomorrow to officially get out of her hair.

So what did I fall behind on? Applications!

It's a vicious trap that a lot of people fall into: I did not apply for as many jobs as I needed to because I was too busy doing jobs.

Ideally, if you don't have a full time job and you're looking for one--or a couple of part time jobs together--you need to send out:


That's right. That's the minimum. If you can squeeze one a day, that's even better, and many people send out even more than that. I, unfortunately, only sent one this week...but I'm aiming for a roaring two this evening.

For those already employed full time, you're even supposed to job search and apply every six months. You may be perfectly happy in your job where you are, so the worst that will happen is somebody calls you and you say "No, thanks!". But maybe there is something available that you didn't know you were qualified for that is better than where you are--and you'll never know until you try! Every answer is no if you don't ask. 

But I get it. It's a lot harder to set aside time to update your resume and do the routine job search when you work full time. Especially cover letters. Cover letters for me are like the standardized test essays in high school. You don't know if the person reading it wants you to be super formal or not, you don't want to sound too generic, but you don't want to miss the major points that everyone has to write about sucks. 

But solidarity, brother. We shall write them, we shall sell our talents, and we shall be employed!

So here we go. I didn't take advantage of my call to action before like I'd wanted, let's take two--they're small--and see how I go this round.