Monday, April 24, 2006

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Or shall I say Cousin It? As this mop is looking a little freakish. Apparently, for Tom Hanks the storyline of The Da Vinci Code was not controversial enough. Choosing to sport a new look for the film, Hanks' stylists used a flat iron to smooth his long locks into a comb-back. No matter your opinion, rest assure that you are partaking in a serious national debate and keep informed with Newsweek.

Friday, April 21, 2006

First Job, Version 2 (J.1.2)

Today I accepted my second first job--thats right, second first job, I was more or less fired from the first first job for lacking experience.

Beginning Monday, I will ride elevators, sit at a desk, and rewrite press releases into engaging and stimulating reading for professionals in alcohol biz at my new office on 28th and Park for $1000 less than J.1.1, even though I live in New York City, not at home with my parents.


But I'm not unemployed and I have health benefits. Yes. Ben. Ne. Fits.

Oh, and I will be moving to Brooklyn or Queens or Harlem or under a bridge in Central Park.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How to Save Money in New York...Or Why I Don't Go to the Gym

Call it my latest excuse--in the past year I set foot in a gym once, after the pneumonia and before the broken foot--but we all have to make sacrifices if we want to live in New York. And it's not like I haven't worked out in the past year. I went on a five-mile hike--panting--two days after my cast came off--like a dog. A few times last summer I donned some flippers and swam laps after lessons. And last fall I would run--walk--around my neighboorhood.

So when I moved here I wasn't about to dish out $75 for a gym membership that I wasn't sure I would use. Surprisingly, I am in better shape than before I moved here. Case in point--I actually ran around my neighboorhood over the weekend.

While I can't call myself "in shape" at this point in time, I was amazed that I ran so far--seven minutes!--over the weekend. (Yes, I'm seriously excited that I ran for SEVEN minutes.) The only other time in my life I was surprised by my athletic ability was after freshman year of college when I got my all-time best breaststroke time and the only explanation was that I had been lifting the past year. So why could I run as far as I did last weekend without getting cramps?

Was I working out without realizing it? Sleep-running? Hardly. Then it hit me...I have become more of a power-walking fiend than any of the old ladies in my McLean neighborhood. Which explains why everyone that's come to visit seems to be lollygagging.

I dodged people, strollers, dogs, and sparks flying from construction sites everyday as I walked to work on 47th and 3rd. I've gone on long exersions that took me from Chelsea to Tribecca to the Financial District and NoHo, which lasted all afternoon and always involved shopping and cupcakes. I climb stairs in the subway stations when the escalators are out of service, frequently, or by choice, once. Last week I trekked to the UPS building, which is pratically in New Jersey. And this week I unloaded, organized, and put away $400-worth of bulk-packaged groceries, I had ordered for the XE Capital office.

So without the help of Jenny Craig, The Biggest Loser, or my local Y, I am on my way to the Presidential Physical Fitness Award, if I can find a kid to steal a patch from.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

How to Land a Job in New York

One of the past year's great mysteries, how to land the elusive full-time job I would actually want--and not be freed six weeks later.

It is strange to think that a year ago I couldn't handle the thought of a 9-to-5 and these days, not only I am I obsessed with finding a 9-to-5, I crave it, dream it, and would it if I could. Oh to be able to pay my rent, my bills, and buy groceries without feeling guilty!

So far I've learned that if you want to move to New York, you have to show up, even if you don't have a plan. You temp, you sublease--expecting a secure job and a perfect apartment before you get here is not only impossible, it's just plain silly.

Here's what I've learned:

1. To get an apartment in New York, you need a job in New York. To get a job in New York you need an apartment in New York.

2. If you don't personally know someone moving out of an apartment, you are going to be paying a hefty broker fee. Luckily a man named Craig Newmark has a solution and while providing me with mine I came accross this article on Jessica's coffee table, which was next to her couch, which I was sleeping on because Annie's roommate is obsessive compulsive. I should also mention that I met Jessica the night I came over to sleep on her couch. Oh New York!

3. Temping is the best way to get the elusive "New York experience" Annie's interviewers claimed was required. (There is also unpaid internships, but that requires savings or loan.) It seems that employers are afraid that us southerners are not going to to be able to handle the hustle and bustle and dog pee of New York--this goes for anyone that didn't grow up or go to college on this god forsaken island.

4. No matter how compelling my argument, I will never convince people that I am not from the south. I am beginning to accept that most of the country does not know anything about their capital, besides the buildings that occupy The Mall, which for some will conjure the great white building of Tysons Corner. (This last point has nothing to do with job hunting, but it pisses off enough that I'm mentioning it. ((I suppose I deserve it since the kids I was in Italy with were from Kansas and they complained that people from the coasts knew nothing about the midwest, which I couldn't argue with.))

Insert brillant concluding sentence here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I Love Coffee...Just Not When I Make It

Today is the first time I made coffee for an office. Through three internships, a six-week stint in a "real" 9-to-5 job, and four adminstrative temping gigs, I have never made anyone a cup of coffee in an office besides myself.

In this fifth temping experience and first that will last more than two days, I made my first pots of coffee for an office. It is strange that I've been out of college for almost a year and this is the first time I was asked, expected, required to make a pot of coffee as part of my job. It is not that I think making coffee is beneath me--it is definitely not--if there is anything I've learned in the past year it is that a college education gets you in an office, but it doesn't mean that you will be using your brain once you get there, at least not 100 percent of the time. My problem is that whenever I make a pot of coffee, it is always disgusting.

My mother began to teach me the art of brewing the perfect cup when I moved back home after graduation. Not ready to enter the rat race, I signed up for one last summer of jumping in pools fully clothed as a swim coach. The enthusiasm required to entertain 50 seven year-olds at 7 am requires massive amount of caffine from the perfect pot of coffee, thus the coffee brewing quest.

As of yet I have mastered the too strong and the too weak varieties, this morning it was too strong. I winced as someone took a sip of my coffee, he didn't make an ick-face or pour it out, but he couldn't have thought it was good.

It is my hope that I will achieve the perfect balance of grinds and water by the time I am finished with this current gig, which is doubtful--but a girl can dream.