Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Free(lance) fallin'

I've always been a worker. Since I was old enough to understand that money makes the world go round (as does love, but love cannot buy you round trip tickets to Bora Bora), Ive tried my hardest to make as much as possible. As such, even with a 9-5er, I like to work on the side. Ideally, I'd like to bar tend a night or two a week but I don't want to throw my sleep schedule that out of whack.

So, I write freelance. This is kills two birds with one stone 1.) I make extra cash - not exactly a goldmine but it's something I'm good at and can do with minimal effort 2.)It gives me something to fill up my portfolio with besides aged clippings from my college newspaper. Keeps it fresh as it were.

One of the best tips I've ever received, from numerous sources, is to work for free. This may not make sense coming right after a paragraph where I profess my love of money. But when you're green under the gills, it can be difficult to get clients to pay you for work. They don't know what you can do. So, this post titled the "upside of working for free" has several good tips and justifications for working pro bono.

Once you've worked for free for a bit, you'll have more experience and samples and will be able to snag the freelance jobs that you want (and need!) and Bora Bora will be only a hop-skip and a few 1000-word articles away!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

Who me? Nope.

And the subject that is M.I.A is coffee, not cookies. I'm not a huge coffee drinker, I prefer green tea, or chai's...maybe a latte if I'm desperate.

It all started on my trip to Florida, when my BFF made me the most delicious coffee I had ever tasted in my life everyday that I was vacationing there. I could never reproduce said deliciousness so I gave up trying.

A few months later, now in present day, my co-worker noticed I was having a supremely bad day and made me a cup of coffee. The greatest taste was recreated! Heavens to Betsey! Since that day I had had at least one cup of sweet goodness a day. To the shagrin of my body, I kept it up. Until today.

My trusty sidekick and I walked into the break room for an afternoon jolt. We opened the drawer and *gasp!*

"WHERE'S THE COFFEE?" We both ran out and asked our Receptionist, she said she didn't know, but we weren't the first to report the missing coffee. We had ample coffee left that morning when I checked but opted for my green tea instead.

A few months back, there was a rumor circulating that our company was making budget cuts and the expensive coffee machine was gonna go. Thinking it was a silly rumor, and that there were other ways to trim the fat, so to speak, I wrote it off (and prayed for my job in the meantime). Now, I'm starting to think the rumors were true.

We're supposed to get another shipment in of coffee tomorrow. If we don't, heads will roll.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dating a Work-a-holic, ie. Me

Me: Was my life this busy when I was [in a long-term relationship] with Bob?
B: Yes and no.
B: You didn't have the added business of dating. Which is a full time job.

I'm fresh out of a long ass relationship. Which, in many aspects, I considered work. And as far back as I can remember, I've always had 2+ jobs. I like to work, I like my work and I like to make money. I also have a shopping problem, but I'll save that for my therapist.

My ex never supported my work decisions, I thrive off of working/writing. I freelance for a bunch of places and I also work in promotions in my spare time where I can make my own schedule. The past four months, however, I feel like I haven't let myself stop. I always say, I should take some time off or I should sleep in. I feel like it's a waste of a day.

As Liv Tyler's character says in Empire Records,
"There are 24 usable hours in every day."

Besides being confused about my emotions, I also have no time to really think about them. I have let a few relationship prospects go to poo because of my work schedule. It could also be a sign that I'm not ready, and I'm OK with not being ready. For a man to really capture me during this time they have to make me stop. Not stop me reaching for my goals and dreams, but stop the merry-go-round that I've put myself on. I need someone who's just as ambitious as I am, and extremely understanding.

He's out there. Hopefully I can fit him into my schedule.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Spring! Time for a new purse!

New season, new accessories. I'm in search of the perfect Spring/Summer '09 purse that is versatile enough to be used for all daytime activities including work, lunches with friends and can be used dressed up or down. Not too pastel, not too much white and not too much shimmer...but a color that can go with practically anything. If it can also be transformed into a "night" purse then I'm sold.

I am partial to to the following brands: Coach, LV, Cole Haan, Juicy, Marc Jacobs...you get the idea. Although I am open to any and all suggestions. Price matters but I'm looking at this as an investment. Especially if it's designer.

It needs to hold all my crap. Crap, equalling my planner, my notebook for "things," my wallet (hopefully it will match by new bag), my phone, my mase, my keys, my digital camera, chap stick, eye drops and lip gloss. Possibly a hair brush/comb but I haven't had one in my purse since H.S.

The kicker? I can't buy it until Easter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Welcome to the real world...

Yesterday, my HR Manager left on her 5 year anniversary trip. Where are these lovebirds going? Ohh...a little jaunt through London and Paris, nothing major. Hah.

I have the lust. The wanderlust. I've got it real bad.

My favorite trip was to Spain in Jan. 2007. I went on my own for 3 weeks. I stayed with a friend for a little while (only she and her sister spoke English). Then I flew to Barcelona by myself. Whenever someone asks me what my most memorable moment is I always say "Flying into Barcelona." Hands down.

I left for BCN when it was still dark so when I was arriving, the sun was in that early morning, hazy phase. We circled out over the ocean and I was on the perfect side of the plane. The Gaudi-inspired buildings were lit up with a rose light that took my breath away. I was so distracted and awestruck, it didn't occur to me to take a picture!


Being out of my element is always so inspiring. I write so well when I'm traveling. I love exploring new streets and wandering around aimlessly. I'm not a sightseer or a tourist - I'm a traveler. I like to assimilate with the culture and eat in the shady hole-in-the wall places and try fried crickets and where the crazy clothes that locals wear.

I need to find a job that pays be a ton of money and allows me to work only half the year so I can travel the other half. OR better yet, a job that sends me all over the world.

So...as my colleague said to me when I complained about this "Welcome to the real world"

I replied "...it sucks...you're gonna love it." (Thnx Ms. Mac and Friends)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheapskate city

In this article on CNN.com, Jeff Yeager, author of "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches," gives tips on how to save $20k to $30k a year. Nothing he suggests is terribly groundbreaking, but his interview is interesting. The most interesting suggestion? Don't have a cell phone. Apparently the author is a mad man too.

Love of my life!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let them eat cake!

I always jokingly say that I'm going to give my two weeks notice by burning down my office building. This guy has an alternative that doesn't include arson or possible jail time:

The sheet cake reads:

"Dear Mr. Bowers,

During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim.

However, I have decided to spend more time with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish this organization only the finest in future endeavors. Please accept this cake as notification that I
am leaving my position with NWT on March 27.


W. Neil berrett"


See original photo here.

Bravo! Classic.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Love it

Today, I'm wearing a chunky wooden ring with faux mother of pearl and a large wooden bangle. I think it lends funky, unexpected twist the the same old outfit. On my wish list:

AND It's not too pricey! At only $25, this bangle is a great way to dress up last year's spring work outfits or for casual weekends. Frugality is the new black, remember that!

Procrastinate Me

It's Friday. Friday the 13th no less. And my day has already started off shitty. My boss aka bitch glob, likes to leave me emails to read in the morning when I get in at 8:30am that berade me for a job-not-so-well-done. HER superior told me to do something yesterday, I didn't ask questions and did it. She, however, had something to say about it. Something, not so nice.

I regress back to my "Miss Mac" post yesterday. Bitch glob likes to take a backseat to her job. Which in turn makes mine miserable. For the past few months I have been creating my own work because all she gives me to do is bitch work that never gets explained properly. I do ask her to explain and somehow I still end up doing it wrong.

I just wish the "higher ups" were smart enough to see what she's really like.

Can I go home now?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Miss Mac

I've come to find out, that working for someone else, ie. being an assistant, you have to possess the unearthly powers of mind reading. Miss Cleo, I am not.

At my former position, my CEO even had the balls to tell me that "I have to learn to read his mind." Creepy, yes. Doable, no.

While I do have great intutition, I certainly cannot read minds. Thus, you can imagine my confusion when a new email pops up and it's written like a password to get into something private or a Candadian zip code. Throughout the whole day, I've had to decipher blackberry messages with limited information and try my best to figure out what the hell they mean.

This occurence isn't just today. No, no...since almost a year ago, I've had to read someone's mind all too often. It also doesn't help that she doesn't clue me into what she's working on and then expects me to jump in at the last minute and help her figure out something. Or do the bitch work when she's too busy playing with her baby to do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a career and having a kid, but there's a balancing act, and a time when more things should be loaded on to your assistant so she's not in her cubicle twiddling her thumbs and making up more than 1/2 of her Top 10 List.

But reading minds, if I could...I sure as hell wouldn't be HERE.

Quote of the day

Via IM Conversation:

Mac: ok side note...
Mac: NYC has 55 billionaires
Mac: we need to find their offspring.

So does that mean we wouldn't need to worry about our resumes anymore :} ?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let me stand next to your fire

What drives you? Have you forgotton? I know I have. That little voice inside my head is all too often ignored in the face of necessity, buried under a to-do list with a millions things on it.

My goal for this year is to rediscover my passion. I want to feel again and create. I miss the feeling of clay between my fingers, the click of a 35 mm camera and the grittiness of charcoal under my nails.

"What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive." - Barbara Kingsolver

All signs point to...

I've had a few signs tell me it's time to move on from my current position as a Publicist in Upstate, NY. First, the internal offer from one of my colleagues to pass my resume around to his bevy of contacts (one of whom include the NY Mets!!!). The other is my trusty sidekick, B, who sent me a few job postings, which in turn led me to a website with an almost perfect job...if a million others weren't applying for it as well.

I also had a dream I was pregnant a few nights ago, which, according to B, means something new is developing (not necessarily an actual child within).

Albeit, I've felt I have short-changed myself with my current position. I did get a great deal of experience dealing with a tiger who changes its spots VERY frequently, but I also gained experience working in an actual office environment and doing office duties which are great things to know. However, I wasn't challenged enough creatively and I feel like I lost my focus of what I really want to do...or I'm still paying my dues at 25.

Either way, it's time for me to move on to greater pastures. And all the signs say, the timing is right.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Shoppers Remorse

A few weeks ago I lost my self-control and shopped. Like REALLY shopped. I bought 2 pairs of designer jeans that I cannot afford...they weren't even on sale. I also bought the perfect LBD by Nicole Miller. The jeans, however, didn't meet my satisfaction...well, my bank accounts satisfaction. 7 for All Mankind Flynt jeans for $155 and Citizens of Humanity for $158...it seemed like a good idea at the time. The Citizens were, thankfully, on back order so I called Nordstrom and cancelled them. The 7's however, came in with my dress. I had to hold myself back from taking them out of the plastic, because I knew if i tried them on, I wouldn't return them. I couldn't afford to keep them, when I have a closet full of jeans that are perfectly good and wearable. I even have them organized in my closet in two piles: Designer and Regular.

It has been my mission, as of late, to own designer duds. Jeans, specifically, because I wear them all the time, they fit better and are extremely well made. I do, though, have to figure out a way to afford all of the designer threads I desire.

This is why, I need a majorly successful career.

I also believe, or it's just wishful thinking, that if I owned more designer clothing, I would be less apt to shop because I would want to get my money's worth out of the expensive things that I bought...

Does this make any sense???

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Cue the one of the best YouTube videos ever.

I've given up shopping for Lent. I've given up shopping before. A few months before Christmas last year I didn't buy anything until I went Christmas shopping for others, and I didn't even go all out this year. I also didn't have a boyfriend to buy for so that made things a tad less expensive.

However, it is my own fault that I read fashion blogs and continue to read fashion magazines, basically dangling the carrot in front of the horse. I have yet to take the bait, but there are a few things I am jonsing for.

A killer pair of heels. My co-worker...damn her, has turned me on to Dolce Vita. Sigh. I also will need to replace my pair of Jessica Simpson heels that I have worn to death because they are so friggin comfortable. Shopbop.com also has lots of 7 for all Mankind jeans on sale.

I can't figure out exactly when I became a designer whore, but I just love how well made their stuff is...

I have also come to realize that I own about 3 of the same black "going out shirts."

My mission for spring cleaning is to organize my closet and actually get rid of clothing that I won't wear or haven't worn in a year. I recently just bought a shoe organizer for the back of my door. That came in handy, as now, I can actually see the floor of my closet. But to organize my closet I have to invest in one of those organizer things...

I can buy a tool box right? Do you think they come in pink?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cheap is the new chic?

This article on CNN.com is about frugality. In fact, the author states ""...frugality is the new black."

We're so obsessed with a culture of luxury - and false luxury at that. Luxury bought with credit we didn't deserve and shown off with this false sense of pride as if to say "look what I've got, it makes me whole."

Guess what. It doesn't. A nice watch, fancy shoes and a $3,000 purse does not make you a good person. It does not make you a smart person. It doesn't even necessarily signal that you're a wealthy person (hell-oooo Canal Street).

I know that this may be masochistic to say, but I'm sort of grateful for the recession. Maybe now people will read and spend time with their kids and value each other based on what's in their head on on it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Top five favorites

My five favorite pieces of clothing:
  • Even with a tight budget, I always splurge on bags, shoes and jeans. They're the canvas of an outfit and if they're cheap and dowdy then your whole outfit will look cheap and dowdy. My favorite jeans are AG (Adriano Goldschmeid). This past Black Friday, my best friend/shopping partner-in-crime braved the outlets at Woodbury Commons. I found a pair of PERFECT jeans with faux knee patches and fading. They made my tush look fabulous - the most important part of jeans! And the best part? They were 60% off!!
  • This past Christmas my boyfriend gave me a beautiful black leather Michael Kors bag. When it comes to purses and shoes, I like to keep things high-quality, simple and classic. My bag is black with white stitching and a tan linen lining. It's large enough to be used as a carry-on while traveling but has a structured look to it.
  • One of my favorite accessories is a Thai silk pasmini that one of my close friends bought for me at a market in Thailand. It's thick enough to wear as a skirt in the summer and a scarf in the winter.
  • Another favorite is a pair of rounded toe, wedge-heeled boots made out of real leather that I purchased 2 years ago in Barcelona. I wore them all over Barcelona with tights and wool shorts (that was the look in Spain at the time).
  • My all time favorite article of clothing is my vintage, one of a kind Hugo Boss knee length jacket that I bought at a Saratoga thrift store. Apparently a model who used to live in Saratoga divorced her husband to move to LA and donated $20k worth of one-of-a-kind designer clothing to this consignment shop - that's where 90% of their stock came from!.
I like to wear clothes that are high-quality and have just a little something different about them. I think that that's the difference between being overly trendy and classically fashionable.