Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our India trip is almost at an end. It was pretty amazing and will not be our last, considering Husband is Indian. I look forward to future trips where we can really dig into specific areas - Rajasthan, Bombay, South India...

For my first trip, I got to see most of Delhi as well as the Taj Mahal (breathtaking, not overhyped at all!) and other cool monuments in Agra. Not bad!

It's time for New Year's resolutions. I love them because I really get a chance to hone in on things I want to accomplish, though each December/Jan I do get a twinge of guilt in realizing resolutions that have gone unfulfilled. For example, I accomplished very few of the resolutions I made for 2009. Looks like I didn't blog about 2010 resolutions (whew). Yet there is also the 101 list, the deadline of which is coming up (can you believe it?) Looking back (and updating it accordingly), I've actually accomplished a hell of a lot off of it - wow!

Okay, so I feel better :) Now to think about 2011, and possibly a new 101 list...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I grew up in a conservative Christian, middle-class Republican family from the boroughs of New York City. They were people who came from immigrants, whose own childhoods were darkened by poverty, and who had worked hard to give my sister and I a better life than they had had. When they traveled, it was to neighboring states like Pennsylvania. They were wary of planes, wary of foreigners, wary of the ever-changing world outside of New York and the local church community.

Little did I know then that I would grow up to go to college, get a fellowship for work and travel, marry an Indian man and see places my grandparents can't even imagine. I have been lucky beyond words!

I write this to you from a hotel in New Delhi, India on my first trip here. Everyone told me, "Prepare yourself: India is overwhelming. It assaults the senses." Yes, that is true. The smog is thick, the dust kicks up, and it's been difficult for me to breathe while outdoors. The crowded streets and size of population rivals Penn Station at rush hour - no small feat. Many places are dirty and polluted.

But India is simply amazing. The United States is only 234 years old, but I am in a country with palaces and ruins from the B.C. era. Delhi in particular has seen the rule of kings, sultans, Mughal Emperors and the British Raj. It was the scene of terrible violence and upheaval during the 1857 Mutiny and the 1947 Partition. It is still the capital of an emerging player on the global stage, where Parliament convenes and the Prime Minister and President work.

I believe, from my own experience, that for those who have not traveled in childhood, it's impossible to go to another country (ANY other country) without changing your life.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Today is a sick day. I'm home in bed, which is kind of nice - a change of pace from all the hubbub. I knew that moving back to New York City would make me busier and more stressed than when we lived in Austin, but it was just a concept in my head, not real until we actually got here, in the thick of it.

I'm not complaining. I'm happier than I expected. I'm just tired and could use more downtime.

I have so much to write about, to say, but I've gotten out of the habit of sharing here and it feels public. Imagine that! At the same time, this blog was my lifeline and my voice since 2005 and I will always feel a strong tie to it. I want to get back to that type of sharing, opening up and spilling out all of the things that just lay buried. Who else to share with?

Is anyone still here?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I apologize for the lack of blogging - the last month has been a whirlwind, and this coming month promises to be more of the same.

I gave notice, I quit, I left my job and the beautiful state of Texas and came back up to the big city. I started a new job almost immediately. My wedding is in less than a month, and Fiance is coming up in a couple of days so we can look for an apartment together.

Needless to say, I caught a killer cold (in August) that I can't shake. I am fairly certain it is from the stress of all the change. But it is all good stuff. I am happy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

So Fiance and I have been hard at work on wedding planning. Since I am the web genius of the couple (yeah right), I'm in charge of the wedding website and Photoshopping the invitation PDF, among other things. We decided a while back that we wanted to incorporate old photos of our families into our decor. For example, we'd like to find a nice way to put up our parents' wedding pictures at our venue. We also decided - not to give a spoiler away to those of you who will be receiving invitations - to put old family photos up on our wedding website. I have been working on that, and it's a lot of fun.

The problem is that every time I look at an old picture of me and my father, I want to vomit. That sounds bad, but there's no other way to describe it. He has been dead for over 2 years - not that long, actually - and I have succeeded in living in denial and rarely thinking about it for just as long. Now my wedding is here. He will not be there. My father and I had a very difficult relationship and I never really fantasized about him walking me down the aisle or having a father-daughter dance with me before. I just kind of assumed he'd be there. And he won't. And that's kind of a big deal.

Sounds like I'm stating the obvious but when you make a strong effort not to think about someone for several years, it can surprise you that he is all you think about when your wedding's coming up. It is bringing up all kinds of feelings for me. Guilt about living in another state when he died unexpectedly one morning. Guilt about not spending his last years with him. Guilt about not appreciating him and what he had given me until after his death. It's a lot of guilt.

The easiest thing to do is to quickly click away from the pictures, but for some reason I can't look away. It's painful but I have to do it. There's only so long you can pretend that someone is still alive out there somewhere. One day you have to grow up, and maybe the day you commit to a lifelong, legally binding relationship with someone is the day for growing up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The drama at work continues through subtle hints that I will not be paid very much more for taking on the entire department. It never ends with these people. I am hanging back and waiting while they interview other people. If they want me in the end, we negotiate.

Meanwhile, 2 NY jobs are still pending, one of which looks extremely promising...

In other matters, we are getting down the wire on this wedding thing. Fiance and I spend all of our free time working on this. This week I've been finishing up the website and invitation and he's coordinating staff and choosing plates and flatware. Um, fun?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

It Shouldn't Be This Complicated

Wow! I feel like a whole new blogger with this whole new look.

So my life just got a whole lot crazier. I will try to keep this concise without losing any important details.

Sojourness decided to move back up north by end of month whether she has job or not. She got guaranteed freelance work and a family to stay with and is ready to leave the state of Texas. She has worked for the same company for 4 years, the last 2 spent doing the job of the director, with no real promotions or raises to speak of, and it's time to move on.

Sojourness interviewed for jobs up north last week. She was rejected for 2 and 2 are pending, one of which has already expressed to her that she is the lead candidate. That job is an entry-level position that she is willing to take despite her 4.5 years of experience because it's a recession and she wants to be in that city and that industry. The other is a manager position looking for slightly more experience than she has, but she was highly recommended by the higher ups.

A few days ago, she was offered a chance to apply for a director position at her current company. The person who left it did so at least 6 weeks ago and no one considered her for it until they had interviewed people out there and figured out that they cost a whole darn lot. They are laying it on thick that she would be perfect for the position but she is suspicious they will try to lowball her. If she takes it, she has to commit to remaining in Texas at least for now, which is not what she wants to do. Yet part of her thinks to herself, "Am I going to pass up being a director to go be entry-level? How long would it take me to become a director somewhere else?"

She interviews on Tuesday. She found out yesterday that her direct supervisor has been trying to sabotage her behind her back, telling the hiring manager that she is going to up and leave when she gets married, though she has never even hinted at such a thing.

Wow, it feels a lot better to phrase it in the 3rd person as if it's not happening to me.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A New Look

I had forgotten how much fun it was to change things up on the blog, and there are a ton of newer templates since the last time I did it. Woohoo!

Just got back from a week-long trip back home where I interviewed for 4 different jobs. I've made the decision to move back regardless in another month. I'm young, I have no dependents, and I have my old bedroom cleared out for's time to take some risks while I still can.

And how, may I ask, are all of you? :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I thank God that I have never lost someone close to me to suicide. Yet recently, I have seen people that I love touched by suicide, and it is pretty terrifying. In the first case, a few weeks ago a good friend lost a friend and colleague who was about my age. The girl had been applying to medical school, had a good job and plenty of friends, and showed no signs of severe depression or suicidal tendencies before doing this. Then yesterday I found out that a good friend and colleague of my mother's took his life. He was only 32, and I had met him a few times. Though I didn't know him well, he was my mother's closest friend at work. She talked about him constantly when she started her job 10 years ago and I was still a teenager living at home. I actually feel like I did know him, though I really didn't. Apparently he, too, showed no signs until he posted a farewell note on his Facebook account and ended his life.

I can't stop thinking about him. I see him when I try to go to sleep. I keep remembering his last words on Facebook. I try to be supportive of my mother's grief and hide my own. Why is this affecting me so much when he wasn't technically my friend?

Suicide is so incredibly horrible because it's preventable. The person did not get cancer or get hit by a bus. The person made a definitive choice to end his/her life. Did they really think it through? I wonder. Did they realize it would be over for good? Why didn't they know how important they were to the rest of us, how much we would suffer for this?

And when the basic human instinct is to survive at all costs, why are so many of us making such a choice? According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, every year over 1 million people kill themselves across the globe. What is going on?

I can't get this out of my mind. I feel such a sadness.

Related story: PostSecret Suicide Confession Starts an Offline Movement

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Dropped the ball again. I blame work. Friend From Work (can't remember if he's #1 or #2 and too lazy to go back and check) is leaving the company. He's been a part of the company almost since it was started and his leaving is huge. I'm happy for him - he found a place that doubled his salary and won't crap all over him. We should all be so lucky.

Still looking for opportunities back home. Got some decent leads but it all takes time. I am just hoping to get out early enough so that I don't have to deal with the total aftermath of FFW leaving, which will be massive. He has controlled the entire marketing department for almost 10 years - the website, the newsletter and countless other tasks that are probably going to get reassigned to already inundated, underpaid marketing staff like myself. Well, his last day is Friday, so the option of dodging this bullet altogether is really not realistic.

My job search has become focused on the book and magazing publishing industries. I'm applying to be a reporter, staff writer, editor and marketing professional at a number of really cool companies, and some of them actually want to talk to me. So we'll see what happens!

Happy weekend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bitch Fest

Well, one good thing about having this anonymous blog is... Bitch Fest!!

I guess we all have days like this but wow, you know when every possible thing that can go wrong does go wrong? That was my day.

Fridays are supposed to be super happy. I had a lunch date with CL Friend and besides, it was Friday, so I started off pretty well. Then...
  • New Boss was a jackass only minutes after 8:00 am. He got really nasty and passive-aggressive with me about my plans to have lunch with a friend since he wanted to schedule a half-hour meeting at 12:30 (who does that?). All I did was ask if we could do it at any other time and he made a point of talking about me to others, often in front of me, while being friendly to my face. Yeah, this is what I have to deal with folks. Meanwhile, every other department takes 3 hour lunches on Fridays.

  • Stupid meeting where we had to stroke a salesguy's ego and it was heavily hinted that I should learn a new product because no one else has time. I kindly pointed out that I already do all the writing & marketing and am currently learning to manage the website singlehandedly (for no more money, mind you, and making less than everyone else anyway). So I'm kind of busy too. I love when I'm in a meeting and the higher ups ask, "So, who's going to volunteer to do this totally unrealistic thing?" then look directly at me and the other underpaid women in the room. Why don't you just ask "Who in this room has a uterus?" and say what you really feel?

  • I get out of the meeting to find an email in my inbox that I did not get that job I really wanted. Not only that, but after spending 3 hours of my life meeting with 4 different people, they saw fit to have a random employee I've never had contact with send me a form email. Thanks guys. Professional.

  • After work I went to grab a quick dinner to go and the strap on my beautiful purse from India ripped off completely.

Fortunately, the day turned around after work. I visited the teen girls that I mentor and we had a fantastic time. We made pizzas, played cards, talked about boys and laughed a lot. Thank God for that.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wedding Woes

Sundays are such lazy days. Not in the sense of not getting anything done - I basically work all weekend - but in the sense of not getting dressed or leaving the house if possible. Lovely.

You know when you're a little girl and you watch your Disney movies where the prince saves the princess and they get married in the end? What a happy ending with beautiful wedding clothes and friends and family smiling. How come they don't show the scene after that, where Triton is holding a bill for $50,000 and developing an ulcer? It seems a little unfair to set up expectations for a whole generation of children without a few facts thrown in.

I guess when you're royalty, the bill is not such a big deal. Perhaps they should have had a Disney movie where the bride's and groom's families are working class?

Fiance and I made a decision a long time ago: that we would keep our wedding as inexpensive as possible without sacrificing class, and to pay for it ourselves without burdening our parents. Now that we are in the thick of it, wow, did that idea seem unrealistic! If you can keep your small wedding to $15,000, you are lucky. For 20-somethings not that long out of college, this is still a lot of money.

So what do people our age do? Hit up the parents? Go into debt? LAME.

When did a beautiful union of 2 people turn into such an industry?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

At a Crossroads

Every time I come here to write my 'goodbye post' I get cold feet! Aah!

What is it about this blog that keeps me bound? Is it 5 years of my life in these pages? Is it nostalgia for a time when I wrote blog posts in my head while out and about and dashed home to publish them? When people read and dialogued and I wrote about more than the latest wedding planning snafu? And let's not forget one major thing that this blog offers me and other writing does not - anonymity and the freedom to really, truly be myself without risking being judged or fired.

The writer in me is loathe to give this up, but the way I've been writing has been blah to say the least. Do we need a new guiding topic? Back to religion? On to weddings and cooking and other domesticity? Can I continue to write about more than one, so long as I just show up and fucking write?


Monday, April 05, 2010

I'm at my parents' house waiting for the coffee to percolate. Fiance and I extended our trip because Grandfather is in the hospital in critical condition. His heart is in bad shape and it is causing a host of other problems. We are hoping and praying for a recovery though all we can do right now is wait.

In other news, I had my interviews last week and I think they went well. I am nowhere near done on this search but I have not applied for anything new while on this trip. It has been too hectic. We did accomplish some wedding stuff - namely, we tried a few caterers and I took Sister to try on bridesmaid dresses.

Mother was so excited that I was home for Easter for the first time in years that she gave me an Easter basket. Sounds silly since I am in my 20s but it was actually pretty cool. She gave me a movie basket with popcorn, candy, soda, a DVD and a gift card for Regal. She is so cute! I am working on finding the perfect birthday present for her but no luck so far. Fiance and I are thinking concert tickets because she's big into those.

Today and tomorrow we are going to try to look at additional venues but it's so hard to get people on the phone. I don't get it, are they so overwhelmed by business that they don't need leads?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wedding planning is coming down to the wire. 6 months away and we haven't officially sealed the venue. It's okay, we like a challenge :) I am also having dress drama but I think that deserves its own post with pictures...

On the career front, I'm still looking for positions and was lucky enough to get an informational interview with a fairly well-known publishing company. I applied for a job 2 months ago that they filled but I followed up for so long that the VP I had applied to admitted that I have interesting experience and agreed to meet with me. I've got another potential opportunity at a technology company. The VP there is constantly busy and hard to nail down, but when I do get him he seems interested. I am not naive or trying to believe that one of these will be the one, but I am hopeful and at the very least it motivates me to keep going despite the numerous silences from HR departments.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yes, it has been a while. I was talking to Fiance this morning about turning in my Blogger account and calling it quits after 5 years. He made an immense sad face. So here I am :)

I have been busy - what else is new - because I am working on a nonfiction book proposal that I am super serious about. No, I can't divulge my topic or my ambitions, but suffice it to say that I have been waking up at 5am each day to write before going to the abyss.. I mean, office.

There's also trying to get out of my current work situation, including the strong desire to move back east in the fall. That's a lot of work. Getting a job is hard enough without being halfway across the country and trying to convince people that you actually are serious about relocating.

As for today, well, it's Saturday and I slept in until 9. Didn't do any writing or job hunting or wedding planning. I slept late and then I got up and made pancakes from scratch. Mmmm.

It's going to be a good day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have been so remiss here. I think that since I've started using and loving Twitter, I have reduced my insights (and my attention span) to 140 characters or less, and the thought of writing an actual blog post is, well, wow.

But here I am, Valentine's Day morning with my cup of coffee and a chest cold I'm desperately fighting. Childhood Friend arrives in a few days; I need to be at my optimum hostess health.

Not to randomly bring up religion :) but I've been thinking a lot lately. This is probably because I work for a Jesus Freak. Not the cool ones - and I do think there are some cool Jesus Freaks out there, I've met them - but one of the creepy ass ones. He keeps a bible in his office and when people ask him how he's doing, he says, "It is well with my soul." Yeah, that kind.

The thing is, this guy is active in his church and always goes out of his way to bring religion into any conversation, mainly to show how holy he is. But deep down, he's not such a great guy. He encourages me and other employees to lie outright when it benefits the business. He only wants to purchase promotional items made in China for dirt cheap, as if he doesn't know who's making them or why they're dirt cheap. He has offered to use his wife and college aged daughters as "babes" who can go to business functions and entice men to hear about our product. He talks about everyone behind their backs, including myself and his other direct report. When he makes a mistake, he tells others that we made it and assumes it will not get back to us.

And I can't help but think to myself, "Wow, I remember Jesus being a lot cooler than this." You know, I read my Bible, I remember Jesus, he wasn't a jerk. I look at my boss and think, "If Jesus were still around today, he wouldn't like you at all."

And I hope I'm right. Because that's a Jesus I can get behind. Didn't he tell all the righteous hypocrites to screw off, and went to hang out with the people who made mistakes like the rest of us but were at least open and honest about it?

Note: I know this seems strange after my last post that was quite hard on God, but I have been raised to see God in various characters or personalities. God the Father is the mean one. Read the Old Testament, you'll see. Jesus is the groovy Son who came later and mediated between us. "Oh, Dad is grumpy and all but he's not so bad. I'll explain it to you like this."


Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you love a partner or just a family member or friend, we all love somebody so enjoy it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good Samaritan Law

Happy Sunday. Now you get a religion post (after all this time).

When I spent the holidays back east, I went to church with Veteran Seeker. I hadn't seen him in a year or two so it was a nice way to catch up, especially since he is quite spiritual. We visited the Episopalian church he frequents which, interestingly enough, is where we met for the first time. (We met through Fellow Seeker but the actual physical meeting took place on the steps of this church.) I met some of V.S.'s new friends and enjoyed the service. This was my kind of church because it was pretty progressive (it has a fellowship group for gays, just to give you an idea), the priest who gave the sermon was down to earth and funny, and the message seemed to focus more on helping others than on hell or every other religion being wrong. I felt good there.

My goal when I got back "home" was to start going to different churches to see what I like here. Then, the earthquake in Haiti struck, and bang! I lost all desire. Why would I want to go worship this Dude? I thought to myself.

Some religious folks out there will cry out, "That's not fair!"" but the fact of the matter is that an omnipotent God who cares about humanity could prevent earthquakes and other natural disasters from taking us out. S/he could. S/he didn't.

Sorry, just being honest.

I was watching a DVD of Bill Maher's stand-up the other week (love him) and he talked about those right-wing Christians like Pat Robertson who say that 9/11 was God's vengeance or He let it happen or whatever. (You know, the same guy who is saying Haiti was struck by this earthquake because they made a pact with the devil. That guy.) I usually just write these people off as insane, but Bill's point on it hit home. He said, "Oh, I get it guys, God is a prick! Thanks for clearing that up." Am I saying that God is a prick? No. But can you at least see the logic? Isn't it hard to deny that a God who caused it or "let it happen" because of gays or abortion or whatever is, um, a less than desirable deity to wake up early on Sundays for?

I'm not big on calling people names, let alone God, so please don't misunderstand me. I am not repeating the Bill Mahr quote. I'm just saying the man has a point, that a God who would stand by at times like these makes you wonder about His character. It's like the last episode of Seinfeld. Would you stand by and watch someone being abused, murdered, etc. - adults, children, babies alike - if you could just step in and stop it? Well, then, you're a... never mind.

One final point: I spent a lot of time in the fundamentalist Christian paradigm and I know the drill. If I was asking why God allowed someone to, say, get shot and killed by another person, the answer would be, "The gunman has free will." But how, my friends, do you answer for an earthquake?


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've been busy, I know. Sorry! Fiance and I returned to central Texas on New Years Day and have spent the last 2+ weeks getting ourselves situated and reoriented. I've gone back to work and we've had to find a place to live. Lots of work and lots of things going on! Time for highlights:
  • My birthday came hard on the heels of our arrival so we got to have a sort of birthday party-slash-reunion with friends. It was awesome! CL Friend, her husband and their new baby (whom I had never met before) came and it was all I could do to give CL Baby back after holding her all night. There was also Friends From Work #1 & #3 and their significant others, as well as a friend I know through FFW #1's wife (confused yet?). We had huckleberry margaritas and appetizers and it was great.

  • After subletting the apartment of a total wackjob for 2 weeks, we found and moved into our dream apartment. It is a luxury apartment that comes with access to a pool and a gym. We have a balcony with a view of a lake with actual ducks swimming around (which is where I'm sitting right now, enjoying my coffee and the morning breeze). It is way more expensive than our last place but we got a deal because someone needed out of her lease, so we got it for essentially the same price. Woohoo!

  • I tried on wedding dresses with CL Friend last weekend. It was super intimidating but there were a few that looked really nice on me and that has kind of gotten me over my fear. Of course, the saleswoman kept trying to get me in very high heeled shoes and lacy veils and it was all I could do not to run out of there screaming.

  • Childhood Friend is coming to visit us for the very first time. So excited.

This is going to be a good year.