Thursday, March 31, 2011

Comfort Food This Morning

Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls. Delicious. And we go way back.

Why Working in a Restaurant -- For Now -- Doesn't Totally Suck

Alright, so I'm waiting tables. No, it's not a career move, it's not something "I've always dreamed of doing," and it's certainly not something I plan on doing for the rest of my life. But for right now, it was a good decision. And it's actually a lot more work than I ever gave people credit for.

I'm in a period of downtime and refueling, and waiting tables works well for that. Plus, it doesn't totally suck, and here's why:

- I'm getting exercise? I do a lot of running around, lifting things (buckets of ice, bins of chips, pans of salsa), and very little sitting down. Oh, and laugh if you want, but the plates we use are heavy! Seriously, I think my arms are getting bigger and my thighs are getting smaller. Nice.

- I get to practice my Spanish -- a LOT! That's not something I thought would happen back in good ol' Kentucky.

- I have a very flexible schedule.

-I bring home cash. However, I do feel a little weird going to the bank every week to deposit lots and lots of $5 bills...

- When I find myself in a new city in the near future and am totally broke and jobless (again), I'll at least know I can fall back on my waitressing experience to keep me from starving. Because apparently, in today's economy, you can't even get a freaking restaurant job without prior work experience.

- And lastly, serving tables is basically...a rite of passage. I don't think you're really allowed to say you were ever young and broke...unless you've waited tables.

And that's me, trying to look on the bright side of things. Hip hip hooray.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

______ Reminds Me of Guatemala!

Drinking tea (out of Leeah's mug!) reminds me of Guatemala! :)

We Knew How to Pick 'Em

I haven't thought much about high school in a while. In fact, I probably stopped really thinking about high school once freshman year of college got going and intense love and pride for a new school took over.

But now, now that I'm once again living in the place I haven't really lived in, well, since high school, I'm understandably brought back to those days a little more often.

Don't get me wrong, I liked high school. Heck I loved high school while I was in it. But looking back, we did stupid things and thought stupid things and believed we were "living the best days of our lives" haha -- when, in fact, we hadn't really experienced much of anything. (Yes, I realize that when I'm 50 I'll be reciting these very same words about my twenties.) I guess, in a lot of ways, I've just liked putting high school behind me. Who doesn't?

But there is something I don't think I gave our teenage selves enough credit for: friends. We knew how to pick 'em.

Now that I'm back in Louisville, I still see Greg every day or so because we work together, and I still walk next door to kill time at Emily's just as much, if not more, than I did during high school. Last Wednesday "the four of us girls" -- our high school clique, if you will -- shared margaritas and Mexican food. On Saturday night, a different six of our gang went out, including Michael, who I probably hadn't seen since high school. And this weekend at a wedding, we'll see even more people.

Every time I come home from one of these get-togethers, my first reaction is always, "Wow, it was SO good to see them! I'm surprised how much fun that was!" And my second reaction is, "Wait, why am I surprised?" Like I said, we knew how to pick 'em, and I think I sometimes forget that.

I've been halfway around the world and back a couple of times, so I'm certainly not the same high school Carrie (Thank God). But I guess there's still a little bit of her in me (And I'm okay with that). Changing, but not totally forgetting where you've been, I think that's called growth. That makes you human.

And having some people who stay fairly constant along the way? Hmm. I think that just makes you lucky.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh Em Gee Read

We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver

I started this book about a month and a half ago, had trouble getting into it (it's sort of a downer -- the story is a fictional set of letters that a wife is writing to her husband after their teenage son carries out a massive school shooting), but then picked it up again last night. And I couldn't stop reading.

I stayed up 'til 2 a.m. finishing the book, and at about 1:45 a.m. when I yelled out loud "WHAT! Oh my God!!" in regards to the plot, I was really glad I hadn't been reading in some public place. Like on an airplane. Or in a coffee shop. That could have been awkward.

Sooooo good!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top 5 Adjustments

You don't need to be an Einstein to know that coming back to the States after a year in Guatemala was certainly an adjustment. Ignoring the much more complicated emotional-mental-heart side of it, let's just skip right to the nitty gritty part.

What were the five strangest things to adjust back to?

5. Snow. I came back in January, right in the worst of winter. Snow, ice, sleet. Ew.

4. Being outside and not seeing mountains and volcanoes. This place feels so flat.

3. Basically having a house and a room to myself. Without seven housemates, my life is a lot quieter and a lot less exciting. I often find myself thinking back to our house with the cozy "living room" and the communal kitchen table. And I miss it.

2. Toilet paper goes in the toilet here.

And weird adjustment #1?

1. Remembering how to drive a car! Seriously, my first few weeks back behind the wheel were just terrifying

Old Habits Die Hard

I thought I noticed something odd the other day. And then my mom confirmed it yesterday.

"Carrie? Do you notice that we always seem to be out of bowls lately?"

YES. What is up with that?

I thought about it, and amazingly, the answer came to me almost immediately.

"Um, I think it's because I only ate out of bowls in Guatemala. Three times a day, every day. Pretty much." (Looking back, I actually mentioned it here.)

Hahahahaha. Apparently, old habits die hard.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Friends Are So Wise

In regards to my current life dealio:

"Carrie, you can't SEIZE (life, the moment, etc.) all the time. Eventually you have to take a break to refuel."

-Mr. Tom Milteer (see his students' adorable blog here!)

So What ARE You Doing Now?

It's a fair question. Here, I'll do a little Q&A with you.

What are you doing now?
To make money, I'm waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant. Believe it or not, I don't hate it. Does it provide me an extreme sense of fulfillment? Hah. No. But I like the people I work with, I like the food, I'm bringing home cold hard cash, and I don't mind going to work every day. So that's good enough for now.

Outside of work, I spend part of my time doing some volunteer envelope-stuffing and phone-a-thon calling at my high school, another portion of my time keeping up with stay-in-touch phone calls and emails to friends spread all across the country, and the rest of my time slowly trudging through a to-do list that constantly says "write more, blog more, and cough up the money to join the gym."

Soooo...why Louisville?
I have love love love love LOVED all the hopping and bopping around I've done since graduation. Seriously. LOVED every second of it. But, to be honest, the feeling of "just scraping by" financially has left me a little bit exhausted. As Guatemala neared an end, I wasn't quite sure I had the energy to enter another adventure dead broke.

In Louisville, I'm lucky enough to be living rent-free with the 'rents for now, so even though I still feel broke ("Bills, Bills, Bills" appears to have been my welcome-back to-the-USA theme song), I know I'm saving big.

Plus, I've also been lucky enough to have stayed in touch with a lot of my high school friends. Granted, they all have their own lives here now, but since my return they have been nothing but generous in inviting me to jump right into those lives.

But you're looking for a real job, right?
Sort of, but not really. That's the truth.

I am keeping my eyes open for communications/publishing jobs in Louisville. So far, nothing I'd love has come up. And that's actually fine, because I've never had plans to stay in Louisville. If something comes up, I'll obviously pursue it. But no, I'm not very concerned with finding the dream job in a city I know I want to leave. And I don't think that makes me crazy.

I'm also keeping my eyes and ears open for great jobs in other cities. I've found plenty of those already, but I'm just still too broke for any major moves right now. Just gimme a sec. :)

But then why don't you just take any old real job in Louisville -- even if you hate it? At least you'd make more money faster, right?
Probably. But there are already a lot of depressing things about my current life situation. Please don't make me add Job I Loathe to that list. And for what? A line on my resume that I'll just delete anyway when I apply for future jobs because of its total and utter irrelevance?

So, you really don't think you're crazy?
My parents think I am insane, my peers probably think I have turned super lazy, and my all-too-nice friend Nick makes me sound much cooler by describing me as doing the "starving artist" thing. I appreciate that, haha.

I guess I'm just shooting for "realistic, with minimal settling-for-things-I-hate just in order to say I'm doing the 9-5."

So who knows. Maybe that makes me crazy. But that's the life update!


In the other day's post, I said that I was "friendless" in Louisville. I shouldn't have written that, because it's not what I meant. I should have written "social life-less," because that's what I really meant. The two are not the same.

So to my fellow margarita-drinkers from last night (I became friends with two of you 10 years ago and friends with another one of you 13 years ago -- whoa), I hope you knew what I meant. But just in case, here's an official correction. :)

Um. Yum.

$4 margaritas + spicy bean tacos + yesterday's 80 degree weather + girls' night out = bliss?

Thanks, El Mundo. Locally-owned, locally-loved, and charmingly hole-in-the-wall (your bathroom includes a shower), you might just be my new favorite spot. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reason #7 for Bringing Back the Blog

Reason #7: Blogging to stay positive.

For whatever reasons, I tried to make it a point to keep my blog positive during my time in Guatemala.

Maybe it was because I was representing a volunteer organization and wanted to keep my public trash-talking to a minimum. Maybe it was because nobody likes a whiner, in person or via blog. Or maybe it was because of that whole "when you look back, you won't remember the bad things -- only the good things" mentality that made me think twice about whether I really wanted the future 40 year-old me to have to look back on published rants I'd already long forgotten about.

But regardless of the why, my blogging philosophy became one of positives. It was a daily exercise in which I forced myself to either find something good about my crappy day or turn the something crappy into something lighthearted and publishable.

Challenging at times? Yes. Yet incredibly healthy on a mental level? Quadruple yes. Which brings me to Reason #7.

It's safe to say I'm at my whiniest life stage yet right now. (I'm living at home, broke, basically friendless, and without an exact plan with an exact time frame. You don't want to get me started...) I tend to answer most How are you? questions with one of those drawn-out Fiiiiiiiine's that's actually asking your permission to let me whine about how not fine I am, and I know you're all getting sick of it. I'm getting sick of it.

Well! Time to change that. Maybe. Right?

So with Reason #7, I propose a toast. To more blogging, and less whining. :)

Reasons #1 - #6 for Bringing Back the Blog

Reason #1: It's easier for you to stalk me this way.
Reason #2: I'd feel kind of guilty becoming only a fairweather blogger.
Reason #3: Something to make me wake up before 1 p.m. on mornings I don't work. (More on work later.)
Reason #4: An activity to keep me busy -- that's free!
Reason #5: Mental stimulation. It's refreshing dealing with words and phrases other than burrito, queso, cut tomatoes, deluxe enchilada, and frozen no salt. (Again, more on work later.)
Reason #6: I missed you, blog.

Here We Go...Again

Hello to all my fans! (Wow, engasada much?)

Oh come on, you know I'm just kidding. Hi friends. :)

As you can see, after a short hiatus and a slight makeover (shout-outs go to for another awesome background and to the folks at Blogger for adding new fonts -- woohoo!) the blog and I are back.

The theme this time around is exponentially less exciting, but exponentially more relatable, I think. I'm post-grad, post-awesome-Guatemalan-adventure, and post-all-life-plans-I-had-ever-lined-up-for-myself. In short, I've hit the phase of life that no obsessive compulsive planner like myself ever wants to hit. I call it:

Um, now what?

I'll keep this inaugural post short and sweet by ending here, but that's the gist of things for now, and I wanted you to know. So follow along with me, and watch this recent grad (wait, it will be two years in May), ok somewhat-recent grad, figure out what the heck to do with the now what.

And let's look on the bright side. I guess that with no exact plan, things could have the potential to get pretty unpredictable. :)