Thursday, May 27, 2010


I have tried to apply for jobs with my current organization several times now. I've had an interview every time, but since my mother mentioned that the university she works for is required to interview all internal applicants, I'm starting to seriously doubt that I really qualified for all of them. I thought, "well, at least they like me on paper enough to give me the chance to interview." But now I'm starting to doubt even that.

This time I actually asked for some feedback about the interview and I apparently didn't convey enough enthusiasm for the position nor provide enough examples illustrating my points. I can totally see how the second part is true, because I was completely flustered and nervous the whole interview. My mind kept going blank, I couldn't remember what I was saying, much less what the question was. All in all, it was terrible.

But I don't get the enthusiasm part, maybe part of it was the nerves, but I love the organization I work at, I love conservation, and I got the feeling during my last interview that they were a bit taken aback by my level of enthusiasm. But toning it down a bit was apparently not the right strategy either. I just can't figure out how to improve. I knew that I needed to provide examples and I was thinking about that the whole interview, but when your mind goes blank there's just nothing you can do.

For fun, I started looking around for something else, somewhere else. But everything I've found so far is either somewhere I don't want to move, it's a part-time position or temporary, or it requires way more years of experience than I have right now. It's making me depressed. But knowing me, I'll bounce back in a few days and everything will seem right as rain.

Perhaps I'll just stop looking or applying for jobs until after our wedding reception in September and then reevaluate what I want to do with my life. I know I want to go back to school for my Master's but right now I'm not sure what I want to study. I've been debating between architecture with a focus in sustainable design (but the pre-requ's for that are insane) or something environmental science related like natural resource management, zoology, or something similar.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Downsizing- Shoes and Cleaning Mode

So, yesterday I stopped by Bed, Bath & Beyond just to see what sort of organization systems they have. I ended up walking out with a foldable dish rack and an over-the-door shoe organization system. Until now, our shoes have been strewn across the floor of our bedroom closet, and it's always a major pain to sort through them.

Once I got home I went into "cleaning mode." My cleaning mode is when I have this overwhelming desire to clean until I'm exhausted. I actually enjoy cleaning when I'm in my cleaning mode, but it very rarely happens. The rest of the time I abhor housework and try to do as little as possible.

So anyway, I went into cleaning mode, hung up the shoe organizer in the hallway closet, and brought all of our pairs of shoes from the bedroom into the hallway. I sorted through my pairs and decided which ones don't fit me anymore, which ones I haven't worn in forever, etc. and added them to my pile of donations. Yes, I know, I'm a woman who doesn't appreciate her shoes, sue me. :p

Then I went through my miniscule purse collection and sorted through those to figure out what I could get rid of there (yup, don't care about purses either). Then I did the same thing with my sweaters and my sleepwear drawer. So now I have an even bigger stack of things to donate in the living room. Yay me!

Then I moved our food/games table from the middle of the living room to the wall by the kitchen to make the space seem a bit bigger and finally got rid of a box of Christmas paper from last Christmas that's been sitting by the door. I brought this out to the recycling bins next to our apartment (of course I filled it up with the rest of our paper and cardboard recycling first). Made another recycling run with a load of bottles and cans and then resumed my cleaning.

I got rid of our rather nasty feeling (from being next to the stove and getting splattered by grease) old dish rack, and made sure the new one fit in the space. Then I folded it up again and stored it against the wall by the sink. I also moved all of our dirty dishes to the little bit of counter space between the sink and the stove, and the rest of the countertop now looks surprisingly spacious.

All in all, I'm very happy with my work, as was DH when he came home after work. I believe his exact words were, "You can spend money on this sort of thing any day," and "Do you know how sexy you are right now." I'm pretty sure that last part was in reference to the clean-ish apartment.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I brought the first batch of books to the library. One whole backpack full and a bag, and still it looks like I haven't even made a dent. Well, I guess I'll be repeating that excercise this Saturday and probably next Saturday as well.

I did end up buying a Nook. So far I'm really happy with it, especially since I can play Sudoku and Chess on it. So far Nook- 1, Anna- 1 in Chess. I've also downloaded one free book onto it (and got rid of one of the books on my bookshelves) from Google's Project Gutenberg and one book that I'd been oggling in the store and refrained from buying.

In other news, I managed to get the information from my external hard drive back via the Geek Squad at Best Buy. I had to buy a new external hard drive, and I have not in fact checked to make sure everything was safe and sound, but it has all of our digital pictures on it since we got a digital camera. And I don't have a backup of those pictures anywhere. So I'm hoping that it did work.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wedding Cords

I finally ordered the supplies for our wedding cords. I've always liked the symbolism of pagan handfastings, but DH's family is a bit on the religious conservative end, so I didn't want to shock them with an outright pagan ceremony. Therefore, I am using the cords to symbolize the love and support our family and friends have for us, and have designated six people to come and symbolicly tie us together. I decided on colors for the cords, beads and charms. I will post a better description once I am done with them and have pictures of the end results. Right now I've braided 4 out of 6 of the cords. Next step is to complete the last two and then add the embellishments.

Donating Books

Since no one has expressed an interest in my books, I will be donating them to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. It's going to take a few trips, because there's a rather large amount of books sitting in my living room waiting to be taken away, but in the end it should be worth it. Already my bookshelves have lost that "about to collapse" look and now look more inviting to the beginning browser. I've also been playing with the idea of buying a Nook or other eReader. Does anyone have any suggestions on which one to buy?

That way I can load some of the romance novels and other fluff on my bookshelves into the eReader, and get rid of the actual books. Much easier to cart around in my purse too. I'll never get rid of the books by my favorite authors, or some of our reference books, but I don't feel any particular connection to books in general. I just like having them there if I want to reread one of them. Hence why the nook would be a perfect space saver.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Books

I have been thinking about down-sizing my life for some time now. My DH complains almost constantly about the sheer number of books I own, every time the subject of a move comes up. So I have finally decided to do something about it. I'm certainly not going to be giving up my library, but I will be getting rid of some books I've never read, never plan to read, have read once but don't plan on reading again, bought mostly because of school or bought because they were cheap or even free. So, I pass them on to whoever wants them, and I shall be donating the rest to my favorite library. Of course, if you would like one or more of them, you'll have to pick them up here in DC. I have included the ISBN numbers, because it's the easiest way to search for information like what edition it is, etc.

The Crystal Rose- Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (ISBN 0-671-87648-1)
Gods, Demigods & Demons: An Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology- Bernard Evslin (ISBN 0-590-41448-8)
The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde (ISBN Unknown)
Major Problems in American History Since 1945- Robert Griffith and Paula Baker (ISBN 0-395-86850-5)
Espanol 2000- Nieves Garcia Fernandez and Jesus Sanchez Lobato (ISBN 84-7143-446-6) (SPANISH)
Culture, Communication and Conflict- Gary Weaver (ISBN 0-536-61343-5)
Blood Red Sunset- Ma Bo (ISBN 0-14-015942-8)
The Poisonwood Bible- Barbara Kingsolver (ISBN 0-06-017540-0)
Golf for Dummies- Gary McCord (ISBN 0-471-76871-5)
Understanding Research Methods- Mildred Patten (ISBN 1-884585-47-7)
Computers- Larry Long and Nancy Long (ISBN 0-13-140581-0)
Sophie's World- Jostein Gaarder (ISBN 0-425-15225-1)
Reckless Heart- Madeline Baker (ISBN 0-8439-4527-3)
California Angel- Nancy Taylor Rosenberg (ISBN 3-453-13747-7) (GERMAN)
Literature: The American Experience (ISBN 0-13-722448-6)
Possession- A.S. Byatt (ISBN 0-679-73590-9)
In the Shadow of the Ark- Anne Provoost (ISBN 0-425-20277-1)
Ivanhoe- Walter Scott (ISBN Unknown) (GERMAN)
The Words of Peace (ISBN 1-55704-250-0)
Intercultural Communication- Larry Samovar and Richard Porter (ISBN 0-534-56495-X)
The Bedford Introduction to Drama- Lee Jacobus (ISBN 0-312-25543-8)
Armada- Charles Gidley (ISBN 0-670-81807-0)
Meridon- Philippa Gregory (ISBN 0-671-70151-7)
The Shadows of Eden- Michael Joens (ISBN 0-8024-1697-7)
The End of Poverty- Jeffrey Sachs (ISBN 1-59420-045-9)
Galopp ins Glueck- Rita Mae Brown (ISBN 3-499-22496-8) (GERMAN)
Die Abenteuer des Odysseus- Auguste Lechner (ISBN 3-401-01370-X) (GERMAN)
Von Wort zu Wort (ISBN 3-464-03744-4) (GERMAN)
Roget's New Pocket Thesaurus- Norman Lewis (ISBN Unknown)
Oryx and Crake- Margaret Atwood (ISBN 0-385-72167-6)
Never Let Me Go- Kazuo Ishiguro (ISBN 1-4000-7877-6)
Unternehmen Deutsch: Lehrbuch- C. Conlin (ISBN 3-12-675730-8) (GERMAN)
Unternehmen Deutsch: Arbeitsheft- Christa Wiseman (ISBN 3-12-675731-6) (GERMAN)
Lengua y Literatura (ISBN 84-294-5404-7) (SPANISH)
Duden: Die deutsche Rechtschreibung (ISBN Unknown) (GERMAN)
Lesebuch 6 (ISBN 3-425-96012-1) (GERMAN)
Lesebuch 7 (ISBN 3-425-06013-9) (GERMAN)
Cours INtensif 1 (ISBN 3-12-530010-X) (GERMAN/FRENCH)
The Other Elites: Women, Politics, and Power in the Executive Branch- MaryAnne Borrelli and Janet M. Martin (ISBN 1-55587-658-7)
Women and Politics in Contemporary Ireland- Yvonne Galligan (ISBN 1-85567-433-5)
Madam President: Women Blazing the Leadership Trail- Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis (ISBN 0-415-93432-X)
Africa in History- Basil Davidson (ISBN 0-684-82667-4)
Beyond Culture- Edward Hall (ISBN 0-385-12474-0)
Foreign Aid Safari- George Guess (ISBN 1-84401-406-1)
Exorcising Terror- Ariel Dorfman (ISBN 1-58322-542-0)
Peace and Conflict Studies- Ho-won Jeong (ISBN 1-84014-098-4)
International Affairs Reader (ISBN N/A)
Women on the Defensive- Sylvia Bashevkin (ISBN 0-226-03885-8)
Africa Unchained- George Ayittey (ISBN 1-4039-6359-2)
Is There No Other Way?- Michael Nagler (ISBN 1-930722-35-4)
The Africans- Ali Mazrui and Toby Kleban Levine (ISBN 0-275-92073-9)
Presidents and Prime Ministers- Patricia Lee Sykes (ISBN 0-7006-1017-0)
Wide Acre- Philippa Gregory (ISBN Unknown)
Read- Aloud Myths and Legends- Joan Verniero and Robin Fitzsimmons (ISBN 1-57912057-1)
Liebe (ISBN 3-453-37008-2) (GERMAN)
Warrior's Song- Catherine Coulter (ISBN 0-451-19894-8)
Man of My Dreams- Johanna Lindsey (ISBN 0-380-75626-9)
Angel- Johanna Lindsey (ISBN 0-380-75628-5)
The Wyndham Legacy- Catherine Coulter (ISBN 0-515-11449-9)
Ein Schloss im Sueden- Constance Heaven (ISBN 3-548-23961-7) (GERMAN)
The Hellion Bride- Catherin Coulter (ISBN 0-515-10974-6)
So Speaks the Heart- Johanna Lindsey (ISBN 0-380-81471-4)
The Scottish Bride- Catherine Coulter (ISBN 0-515-12993-3)
Pendragon- Catherine Coulter (ISBN 0-515-13225-X)
The Sherbrooke Brider- Catherine Coulter (ISBN 0-515-10766-2)
Captive Secrets- Fern Michaels (ISBN 0-345-34123-6)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

First Letter

I just finished my first letter to my soldier. It's just a general introduction of myself and it actually took a bit of work. I tend to go off on tangents a lot, and I actually had to write myself a rough draft to avoid that tendency. I definitely had a lot of unnecessary details in the draft, that can wait until a later letter. I believe I started talking about my grandfather's funeral, and I certainly don't want to depress her in my first letter. So I managed to cut that out of the actual letter and just stick to the important stuff. You know, name, address, married, cat, job, where I'm from, that kind of stuff. I know she won't receive the letter for several weeks at least, and I might not ever get a response back, but it's exciting to think that a letter I wrote might be able to remind a soldier fighting for this country a little bit of home.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Adopt a Platoon

A while ago I stumbled upon the Adopt-A-Platoon website and decided to apply. I had forgotten all about it until I got a call last night to confirm my continued interest in supporting an overseas soldier. The lady on the phone asked me to confirm my contact information and explained the process to me.

Adopt-A-Platoon is great, because you can choose to support either 1-4 individual soldiers, or a whole platoon. And you can choose between just being a penpal and committing to writing 1 letter a week until they come home or writing letters and sending a care package once a month. I opted for the penpal. You can still send packages if you want to, but you're not obligated to.

Anyway, during the phone call, the lady kept referring to the potential penpal as "he" "him" "his" etc. Afterwards I wondered if all the soldiers receiving mail are men, which I thought was a bit sexist. After all, there's women over there too, and I'm sure they'd love a few letters as well. But this mystery was cleared up today, when I received an email with a female soldier's information on it. Yay!

First letter to go out this week, that's my goal. However, I should set my definition of "a week" first, since theoretically my week could start today and end next Tuesday. But I think I'll go with the slightly more traditional (in Germany) of Monday-Sunday. So, 1 letter by Sunday... check.

Do you enjoy writing letters and cards? Don't have anyone to send them to? Maybe you can check out Adopt-A-Platoon as well.