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Unemployment Can Be Exhausting

24 Dec

My title is truth. I am still wildly unemployed, but despite my lack of income, have been super busy the past week or so and am pretty exhausted. It is also semi-embarrassing to describe yourself as exhausted to others when you are unemployed because they all give you the look, like “you have nothing to be tired over.” Not true guys, not true.

My sister came to visit last week with her boyfriend and it was a lovely and welcome visit, especially since it is the first time I’ve been able to hang out with family in over two months. Military spouse life is lonely (oh yeah, Navy guy and I got married a few weeks back. There. Announced). Before my sister came, I cleaned the whole apartment top to bottom and I am becoming startlingly good at cleaning now that I have nothing else to do. I also did a massive amount of grocery shopping because my sister’s fave thing to do seems to be eating, so I wanted to make sure I was stocked. I tried to become one of those people who shops at Trader Joe’s (it seems to be the Cali way, that or Whole Foods), so I stopped there first. I don’t get the appeal. Yes, they have some cool snacks and condiments and such, but the meat selection looks like it was picked from the Darwin reject farm and the fruit and veggies look like they led very sad lives before they made it to the TJ produce aisle. I bought several things from TJs and then ended up going to the regular grocery store because, no offense, Trader Joe’s kind of sucks.

Anyway, besides the fact that she used all my tampons and ate all my popcorn, my sister and her boyfriend were a good time. I won’t describe everything we did with words, I’ll just convey the itinerary through visuals:

french toast

OK so I have to narrate because words are important. The above is french toast from The Mission in the East Village downtown. Probably the best french toast I ever had, and I have had a lot of french toast in my life. Also a very cute restaurant. Navy guy hates it because he has a personal vendetta against hipster cafes so it was nice to have my sister and her boyfriend here so that I could force them to eat there with me. They were fans.

la jolla

There was hiking at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. The hiking there is quite easy – the trails are well laid out and the inclines are minimal. The views are pretty amazing though. We have hiking back East, and I’ve done some trails in the NJ/NY area, but I am pretty sure the views here in Cali beat any of the views I ever had hiking back at home.painting

We did a wine and painting night through Wine & Palette CA. Groupon had a deal for $17 a person so we all went to Ocean Beach and did some painting. My painting is on the left and was the clear winner of the night. Anybody who says otherwise is stupid.smiling turtle

Obviously we went to the zoo because animals win. I am 100% positive this tortoise was smiling at me, as he should have, since I spent ten minutes talking to him (her?).Ty hiking

We did some more hiking while Navy Guy was at work at the Mission Trails. We climbed up Cowles Mountain, which has some important statistics that one of the park guides shared with us that I don’t remember now (and didn’t really listen to then). This hike was a little more challenging than the La Jolla hiking. My sister, while being big into sports in high school, is slightly on the lazy side. I think this hike kicked her butt a little bit. I only say this because the whole way up the mountain, she could be heard muttering, “F*ck this mountain, f*ck this hike, f*ck this sh*t.” She’s a lady.

There were more activities scattered throughout the week, but those were the highlights. It was hard watching my sister go because it was the most company I’ve had in a long time, and it’s been a little depressing now that the house is quiet again.

Navy guy, one of his friends, and I hiked again this weekend at Poway Lake up some crazy ass mountain that kicked my ass. We did the Mount Woodson trail and that sh*t is all uphill and my asthma was like “stop it a$$hole” but my pride was like “if you don’t finish this, I’m never speaking to you again.” I did finish the hike, but not without some verbal abuse of Navy guy. To know me is to love me.

HIKING

Near the top.

There’s a crap ton of hiking to do here in Cali, and while I have all this free time, I am trying to take advantage of all the outdoor activities. I’m also trying to eat better because living out here makes it VERY easy to eat really well. Everywhere you go wants to feed you veggie this and veggie that and gluten free this and no diabetes ever that. My meals today were on point – fruit smoothie for breakfast, sushi for lunch, and a grilled turkey sandwich with clementine slices for dinner. I almost don’t recognize myself. I need to be eating better and working out more anyway because being unemployed makes it very easy to get chubby from sitting around watching TV and eating all day (AHEM).

Some random thoughts:

– I need hiking shoes if I am going to be doing all the hiking. I’ve busted my ass more than once and there is nothing sexy or fun about falling in dirt. Also, I feel like the more you fall, the more mountain lions think you’re the weak one of the group and the more likely they’ll come eat your face.

– My parents gave me funds to buy a bike as my Christmas gift. This isn’t that big of an announcement, but I am excited to bike all over the place.

– I wanted to really dislike Beyonce’s surprise CD since it did so much better than Britney’s CD released the week prior, but I’ll give credit where it is due – the songs and the video on the disc are kind of amazing. “Blue” made me tear up the first time I listened to it. Internet fist bump for Bey.

– I despise Christmas. I went to the grocery store at 3 PM today to pick up some essentials and the place was packed. Women were running up and down the aisles, frantically searching for stuffing and chocolate chips and were merciless in their cart pushing and aisle stomping. I wanted to set the decorative Christmas tree at the front of the store on fire as a statement, but felt like it was against my best interests to do so, so I refrained. But still, I REALLY hate Christmas.

– I had an interview on Friday for a paid internship (I know, internship at 28, awesome) with a startup tech company. The internship is doing PR and marketing work and exactly what I am trying to get into, so I am hoping that the outcome is positive. I am tired of job hunting and the job itself seemed pretty perfect (except for the pay, but oh well). I am hoping this turns out like the Chandler story arc on “Friends” where he quit his job, took an advertising internship, and then got an awesome job. I know real life isn’t like TV, but there is no reason it shouldn’t be.

That’s all for now.

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Getting to Know San Diego

10 Dec

I’ve now been a San Diego resident for about 2 months (although it still isn’t driver’s license official – add that to the “To Do” list). Two months has been enough to get a feel for the area, find some favorite places to eat, and drive around without getting lost. It has also been enough time to notice differences between here and home – besides the obvious things, like weather and accents – and to recognize things that comprise San Diego’s “personality”. I shall enumerate here, since that was the intended purpose of this blog – documenting the transition from East Coast to West Coast.

For example, there are ZERO Dunkin Donuts in San Diego (or southern California, for that matter). If you are a NY/NJ/PA person, you know that Dunkin Donuts litter the streets, with their small pink and orange storefronts playing mecca to the working schlubs of the East Coast. I have never been a big DD fan – I think their coffee tastes like bitter water and while I love their donuts, my stomach does NOT love me after eating one. However, as soon as I noticed they weren’t out here, I started to miss them. I don’t understand why they haven’t made their way out here yet (although rumor has it that over 100 will open out here in 2014) but I guess Californians prefer burritos and lettuce to donuts and coffee.

One of the first things I tried to do when I moved out here was figure out the major roads. This has proven more difficult than I anticipated. Having spent most of my life in New Jersey, I got used to the basic idea that if I ever needed to get anywhere, the Garden State Parkway or the Turnpike would take me there. San Diego, and I guess California in general, is different. There are approximately 873621990 different highways/freeways here. If you want to get anywhere, you have to take three different major highways to do it. From our apartment alone, we can quickly hop on CA-94, CA-163, I-5, or I-15, and they are all connected in weird, convoluted ways. Also, the direction I am coming from on a particular highway usually denotes which exit I get off of – for example, just because I get off at the B-Street exit on I-5 North does NOT mean I get off on the B street exit from I-5 South. In fact, if I want to get home from I-5 South without making unnecessary detours, I would get off on the CA-94 exit and take that to G street. Obviously, if you don’t live around here, you have no idea what I am talking about, but it is as convoluted as it seems. I purposely drive around sometimes without any GPS assistance so I can get lost and find my way home. It is the only way to really figure all this crap out. I never thought I would miss the Garden State Parkway, but I do. Go figure.

In addition to the strange highway to highway to highway driving pattern here, the drivers themselves are also strange. Maybe it is because I come from a very aggressive driving state, but nobody here honks their horn. Ever. I got beeped at once since I moved here, and the driver had Florida plates. I’ve seen drivers sit and stare at cars in front of them as a light turns from red to green and nobody moves and nobody honks. I broke the horn in my first car from pounding it so much, so the fact that the instinct to punch the horn as soon as a light turns green and the first car in line doesn’t move is not in these drivers is strange to me.

I’ve already mentioned the whole delivery issue in previous posts but I am going to highlight that again here because DAAAAAMMMMITTTTT if I do not miss Chinese delivery. Or the days of cheap delivery. Any place that delivers around here charges stupid delivery fees (i.e., 4.99 + 15% of your bill). I’m starting to think it is because most of these delivery people have to take three highways to get anywhere, so I guess it makes sense, but still.

There are also a lot of really great things out here, I know I sound like I am hating on it, but I’m not. I think it is part of the acclimation process to immediately notice the stuff that is weird or different. I’m actually starting to really like the area, especially the particular neighborhood that we live in. We live in the Golden Hill section of San Diego, which is just south of South Park, and the whole area is very cute. When I was researching apartments and neighborhoods before I moved out here, I consistently heard that the Golden Hill/South Park/North Park sections of San Diego were the “Brooklyns of San Diego” so I figured they would be the most suited to my general preferences and lifestyle. And, like most times in life, I was correct. I’ve gotten Sam (the guy) to do lots of walking around this area, and there are ton of really cute stores and restaurants and there are always little events going on. The more I explore the area, the more I really like it.

Also, San Diego weather wins. I miss the heat, but everyday here is like perpetual Spring, and that is kind of nice. I still haven’t learned how to properly layer for the weather, since it is warm during the day but chillier at night, but I am trying.

Nothing new on the job front. Still trying to pursue that whole advertising/marketing thing, but all of these employers want portfolios. Anybody know how to make a portfolio? I know there are schools that you can go to where you essentially spend a year building a portfolio, but I don’t have an extra $40,000 lying around to do that. I wish I saved the crap I did in college – everybody mocks hoarder types but I wish I hoarded all the WONDERFUL garbage I had to do for my copywriting and graphic design classes. Sigh.

On that note, I shall end things with a pic of the cats. Because they are the cutest. And the apartment still has a LOOOOOOONG way to go. Unpacking and arranging has been stalled momentarily by funding issues. It drives me crazy that there are still unpacked boxes and a TV on the floor, but it is what it is. Job me San Diego. Seriously.

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