Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ready for a Vacation

It's not like I've been stressed by the new job since I've only been on it for 8 business days, but leaving the old job in a decent place and the stress of beginning a new place have left me craving my trip out of town. I can't wait to land in Nashville tomorrow and see all my old friends. As luck would have it, not one but TWO of my friends who live in other cities are going to be in town too, so BONUS visit.

And then to Indiana to see my family, who (and I can't really believe this), I haven't seen in over a year. How is that even possible? Oh, right. I live thousands of miles away now. Unfortunately my hubby is staying in the temperate climate of Southern California while I sweat my ass off in Tennessee and Indiana. But the distance will only make me miss him more until I get back.

24 hours from now, I'll be at dinner with friends. . . .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where have I been?: Tales of a Know-it-all

That's a great question. And one that had no real answer because I've been here. Not literally on the Internet every waking hour (although come to think of it. . . ), but I've been here enough. I'm still in LA (at least until Thursday) and I'm sitting in my new desk working away. Well, kind of.

I'm trying to work as much as I can and looking into past files of predecessors to figure out where to pick up the ball and get going. The trick is that my boss is super busy. And by super busy, I mean, out of the office. So I'm stumbling the best I can and then asking my co-workers and team what I can do to help in the mean time. I was told by one not to worry. That things may be slow the first week or so but soon enough my schedule will be packed. But you know me. I hate the beginnings. I have the compulsive need to be a know-it-all. It's pretty damn annoying, but also why PR tends to work for me. As a PR person, you get to be in the know about all areas of a company or at least more areas than a typical employee. It makes for a happy know-it-all.

However, when you're new, you don't know it all. You know only a little more than nothing. And while I'm learning every day,  I want to skip ahead a few weeks or months until I know most of what I need to. Which is perhaps why I was at the AHA for nine years. I got to be quite the know-it-all.

But until I can be a know-it-all here. I will be a sponge. Absorbing all that I can. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A New Career Adventure

It's bittersweet, but ultimately more sweet than bitter that I decided to leave my current job at SAGE after nearly 18 months. I will desperately miss my UK counterpart who held my hand through trying times and my team who work so hard each day.

I will not miss the commute.

In fact, my new position will cut more than 42 miles off my commute. One way. So about 84 miles a day. In LA traffic. Basically it will be like getting 2 hours and 30 minutes of time back each day. And thus allowing me to actually start living in LA. Making friends. Volunteering. Sleeping past 5 a.m. on a weekday. Staying up later than 10 p.m. That kind of thing.

What am I doing next? Great question. I am going to try a completely different atmosphere (yes. more different than LA) again. I'm going to work as an Account Supervisor in the LA office of  Porter Novelli, an international PR agency. I've never worked in an agency before but I've always wanted to try it and I've always been able to handle it thus far, so why not take the risk.

And because I'm still enamored with the ways of LA, I am SUPER excited that 1) my new job is about 3 miles from home and 2) the office is on Hollywood Blvd. Like THE Hollywood Blvd. You can walk out the front door of the building and be stepping on stars. The Oscars are held about a block away. So the side of me that is impressed with this kind of thing is excited.

So if you wonder where I've been the last month, the mystery is now over. I've been transitioning and as my mom used to tell me "Work as hard on the last day as you did on the first." It's a good mantra. I wanted to make sure my friends and colleagues are left in a good place.

Celebrating until I go into my new gig on Monday morning. Why no longer gap?

Because I'm heading to Nashville and Evansville in two weeks (also became officially official today)! Make plans to hook up with me, friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

He's the Romantic One

My handmade "paper" gift


I always knew that my husband was the more romantic one of our couple, but he really displayed this again this weekend for our first marriage anniversary. I add "marriage" because we've been together much longer than one year and I feel like we should get back credit for our seven previous years of co-habitation.

But anyway, being that the first anniversary is paper, my husband decided to give me a book. As a book lover, this was a safe bet. However, he went above and beyond just getting me a bestseller. He researched how to make his own book--including binding it. Then he went to a special art store and to a fabric store to get supplies and learn more from the experts (For those Project Runway lovers out there--including me--he went to the LA Mood store-- Thanks, Mood!). He handmade me the book pictured that he then said we'd fill up with our story.

Our Banana Tart
I cried.

Needless to say I was overwhelmed. He truly is awesome. It even outdid the pre-order of Ruth's Chris Banana tart (it's only available at SOME outlets and not the one we go to so you have to ask for it in advance to get it). It was also delicious.

Here's to a lifetime more of wonderful anniversaries and every days with my wonderfully romantic husband.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Celebrating Independence

Baby, You're a Firework.
The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. It is the perfect mid-summer break and is an actual holiday I can remember because of its theme. Sadly, I'm one of those people that Labor Day and Memorial Day seem like the same day, even though I know they aren't.

Some of my fondest 4th of July memories were celebrating at my Aunt Julie's family's farm (Thank you, Meades!). We swam in the pool (which had a slide and therefore upgraded it from any pool around). We had a raucous badminton tournament (shocking fact for people out there is that my mom was one hell of a badminton player--she could hustle a hustler in that area). My uncle Jeff, who I think was an electrician in his previous life,  not only rigged flood lights so we could play badminton past dark, but also threw one of the best fireworks displays out there.

But despite all the memories, I always think of this as Independence day. I've always been told that I've been independent myself and found in that a source a pride. I think part of it was because my mother highly valued independence. Whether it was true or not, I know she felt like she spent a good part of her life without independence. So she taught me to value my thoughts and actions as my own.

Now that I'm older, I still value my independence, but I've wondered: can you be married and still be independent? (Clearly not speaking in the political sense here). I think you can. Just like you can be American and not agree with all of our country's policies. You can be a part of a team or something bigger and still be independent. Of course, I think you have to fight for it more and do more work to make sure you aren't arbitrarily agreeing with the larger world out of ease.

There's not only work with independence, but a strong belief. I heard Amy Poehler say this at a speech a few months back and while I'm not pursuing comedy it still stuck with me. She said something to the effect of that if you choose to pursue something that's not the normal path of life, you should expect to have money, marriage, and kids later in life than all your friends. It resonated with me, and made me again think of the word independent.

So, we can celebrate the US all we want (and I am doing so by watching John Adams on HBO while working on a department budget), but I'm also celebrating my own independence. Hooray!

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