Unemployed: Hazelnut-Apple Cake

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

-A little note about this post: I wrote this shortly after I became unemployed and decided not to post it while I was job hunting because it was best that way for obvious reasons. As of today, the day this post is going up, I am starting a new job that I'm extremely excited about. So yayness.-

As of the day I'm writing this, January 3, it's been almost a week since I was rather unceremoniously let go from my job. It was with sincere regret on the part of my employer, bereavement on my own part, and just a general sense that, suddenly, the floor was collapsing beneath me and an unfathomable plummet was imminent.

It was. Is, I suppose.

I left my old job in adoption services and foster care at a lovely little nonprofit a little over three months ago. It was a rather difficult move as I loved the mission, my co-workers, and the people we worked with but in the end a massive reorganization and other upheavals had left me feeling somewhat panicked and rudderless like a dinghy plunging to the center of Charbydis. I felt the need to move onward and upward to a place where there was a bit more room to grow.

With the recommendations of some incredibly kind friends I landed an interview for a job at a local nonprofit of sorts. More like a nonprofit bank, really. It was with a well-respected changemaker in the region with the ability to influence the region and that had come across my radar numerous times.  I was thrilled at the opportunity and salivated at the prospect - the first and only one I had come across in my recent months of search. With little investigation or research I updated my resume and shot off an email to the executive director.

I was, according to the job description, more than overqualified for. They wanted two years experience (I have nine), a Associates Degree (I received my Masters), and the ability to stay organized (OCD, motherfuckers). I absolutely decimated the interviews to the point that I knew that I would be offered the job.

A few days later the call came in with an offer and a salary that was more than I had anticipated. I eagerly agreed.

Mugged: White Chocolate and Marmalade Cake

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

-White chocolate doesn't care what you think of it. White chocolate just kinda with it like that.-

I was already having a spectacularly craptastic day at this point.

To start things off I had lost the key to my personal safe and I needed to access some of the contents inside - in particular, my social security card - in order to apply for a job.  I made my way to the closest locksmith dragging this eighty-pound, fireproof, steel behemoth along with me and when I got to the front door the locksmith had flipped his "Closed" sign. I pleaded and pressed my face against the glass weeping for help. Alas, he told me to come back tomorrow.

I crawled back to the car, defeated, called the Human Resources manager and told her I would have my card for her the next day. I then bowed my head on the steering wheel and prayed that no Windex would ever wipe my ghostly face print off the glass of the locksmith's front door and that it would haunt the locksmith mercilessly and remind him perhaps of a wasted youth gone by and hopes scattered like leaves before a hurricane. 

NOT THAT I'M BITTER OR ANYTHING.

2013 Thus Far: Hardy Winter Wheat Bread

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

-This is going to be one of those rather uninspired posts where I moan and make lists. Fair warning.-

2013 To-Do List

1. Buy a house. See this post. 

2. Find a new job. Right at the end of December I was let go from my job, which means I'm sustaining myself off of savings that I have been hoarding for a home down payment, some income from writing, and my husband's wages. You can bet I champagne'd myself into oblivion on New Years. I'll write another post on this whole staying at home all day thing later, but as of right now I see this as an opportunity to find the right job that'll make me happy.

I've just never been let go before and this whole thing is sorta scaring the crap out of me. I've also learned that one of the government requirements to sign up for unemployment is, apparently, shame. Oh, and judgment. It's in the fine print, I believe.

How am I filling time now? Lots of volunteering at other amazing nonprofits, writing, cooking, and catching up on a few books I have meant to read. Oh, and job hunting. (Probably should put that at the top of the list, right?) We're still looking for a house as owning is actually the cheaper option right now and we're still in a darn good place to do so.

Yay being money smart.

Culinary Ennui: Garlic and Parmesan Bread

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

-It's strange how little I actually write about garlic on here.-

I'd like to take some time and talk about forgotten foods.

Right now, we need to be able to step aside and re-evaluate the foods we once loved, foods each of us once personally thrived upon once out of necessity, and re-embrace them.

For those of you who went to college or moved out on your own for the first time I want you to remember ramen. Remember? Those fifty cent packets of Styrofoam noodles and flavor pouches that you once subsisted on when you were penny poor and your couch was a hand-me-down? Lunch, dinner, and even a few breakfasts consisted of five-minute noodles and powders filled with MSG, sodium, and many other delicious and unpronounceable chemical compounds. If you learned how to really make it work and turn it into a healthy meal you started tossing the packets and began to use chicken broth. You sauteed garlic and onions, and added them to the soup. You plonked in slivers of radishes and the radish greens because a bunch of radishes were only a dollar.

You didn't bemoan these meals (well, not often). This was because they were your first foray into self-reliability. The ramen was a means of living and eating. It was a codex that brought your social circle together and gave you a common, affordable food to bond over. It was what got you through the slag of finals, the heartache of another electric bill you somehow had to pay, and what you made to celebrate the passing of both.

Now that you're years out of college, have found success, and sit at a desk for a grownup job how often are you eating ramen? When was the last time you even thought about it?

Home Hunting: Ginger-Maple Scones

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Me Blogging Before Beginning the House Hunting Process:


Aaaaaaand Now:


THE END.

Or not. But really, this is insane.

According to Lyon Realty, the average American only stays in the home they bought for eight years before selling and starting the whole process again. I don't actually get this. I grew up in only two homes my entire life. The first one I was in until the age of six, but my parents had been there for 15 years, and my mother is still in her second house.

How does the process not mentally and emotionally scar people to the point where they never leave their new homes? I imagine myself at the end of this process sustaining on the unfortunate squirrels who happen into my backyards in order to avoid society. I would have to restrain myself around loan officers and realtors for fear that I might bludgeon them to death with mortgage insurance paperwork?

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