Saturday, January 12, 2013

Class Issues

I'm pretty sure I was who Shakespeare was referencing when he wrote "green-eyed monster" in Othello. I am an insanely jealous person.

Not so much about material things.
I don't care if you have a nice car, or if you have nice clothes (well I kind of care--like where you purchased them from, but I'm pretty sure that is another topic).
I am really jealous of people who have an insane amount of privilege AND they don't realize it.
They realize it and squander it.

This all began upon listening to an old Savage Love podcast (which is a godsend when I'm about to stab my eyes out writing copy for glitter-bomb sweatshirts). A caller was wondering what to do because she was dating an older man that her parents didn't approve of, and they were threatening to cut her off financially. She was getting her bachelor's degree in something that required her to continue on to graduate school. So she was going through a first-world Sophie's Choice.

Because, you know who put me through college?
The plus side: I could do whatever I wanted during my college years (which are still going on by the way). This meant I could move in with a boy I like. Or not go to class because I didn't feel like it. I didn't have grades to keep up or anyone to answer to financially.

The down side:
I had to work through college. I still have to work through college. This not only means that I don't have the free time that other students have, but I don't have the option of getting an unpaid internship which could give me other connections/experiences which could help me get a job/ins/contacts for the future.

And this is just the business side of things. As a graduate student who works full time, I'm unable to attend roundtable/brown-bag lunches and/or take part in other academic endeavors that tend to take place during the work day. While my work is currently VERY flexible (and I am SO VERY THANKFUL FOR THAT), they aren't THAT flexible. I can't take two hour lunches without me staying until 8pm, which would then cut into my homework time see where this is going?

I am an adult. I know I have to do certain things, and I have made certain choices. I chose to go to graduate school when I didn't have an assistantship. I could have quit my full time job, but I was left with a house due to a split, yadda yadda yadda. I understand that these are the choices I've made.

But think about people who aren't as fortunate as me.
There is an excellent New York Times article which talks about this issue in depth, by following three low-income girls who succeeded in high-school but are having a tough time succeeding in college. It's a class issue. I was raised in a middle class family, or maybe I just thought I was? Except for my first semester of college, I went to public, state schools. Upon completion of my master's, I will have $40g+ of debt.

College costs are going up. It's not fair (and yeah, I know life isn't fair. I'm just venting), but what are people/kids supposed to do?  Think of those who don't have flexible jobs, or people with kids who are trying to better their position? How are they supposed to compete with those who don't have those responsibilities?

I don't have answers.
I'm not saying that my life is SO HARD.
Cos it isn't.
I love school. I actually do really like my job. I am super-duper fortunate that I even have a job and an undergraduate degree and an almost master's (first one in my family, yo!). But sometimes, I get a little testy when I hear people complain about their free money getting taken away. People get by on so much less all the time. And I sometimes wish people would be cognizant of that. Not everyone has the luxury of pulling allnighters or going for that internship.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vegan Challenge Week One: COMPLETE!

You may or may not know that I'm participating in a psuedo-family vegan challenge. My aunt and a couple of uncles are taking part as well. And....


I'm super broke, and thus can't be super creative yet. And I've had to use what I've had in my pantry, which isn't a whole lot (I moved in November and got rid of a TON of stuff).

With that in mind, I think the challenge is going really well.
While I've had to fall back on a couple of old stand-bys:

  • veggie refried beans/onions/lettuce burrito
  • pasta with red sauce and/or olive oil and veggies
  • salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled over it
  • vegan bread from an AMAZING local bakery, Rocket Baby (full disclosure, the owners are friends of mine and I have worked part-time for them in the past. WITH that being said, I don't live in the neighborhood and will be back when my current bread supply runs out).
  • a terrific vegan chili from The Vegan Slow Coooker, which when I get paid, will be a mother-loving god send. Even if you're not a vegetarian or vegan, this cookbook has amazing recipes for the slow cooker.
I am being more creative with cooking/using up what I have.
I always look at labels, so that hasn't been too different.
The fake butter isn't awesome, but it isn't terrible and it's half the calories of regular butter (yes, okay, FINE. I would be lying if I said I wasn't doing this to lose a little weight. I'm not a big fan of the way I look right now, and I'm hoping this, as well as the other regimens I've implemented) will help me tackle that).
Oh! And it's cheap! Not buying cheese or milk is fairly easy on the budget.
Yellow Tail reds are vegan (actually, their whole website is super helpful and says upfront which wines are vegan AND gives nutritional information)!

I'm craving sweets? I don't know if this has to do with me being vegan-y, but I almost bought a pack of windmill cookies at Walgreens!?! What!? Totally not me, and in the end I didn't do it, but...
Wine. A. LOT. of wine is not vegan. As I'm really trying hard to not be a super huge burden on people, I have drank some wine that isn't for sure vegan. Barnivore has been a godsend in regards to booze, but it has sadly informed me that cider and certain wines I like are not vegan.
Since I'm cooking almost everything, the clean-up SUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKSSSSS.

All in all.
I feel good. 
Energy is decent.
Excited to make new things!

Friday, January 4, 2013

On Disappointment

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was pining for a position that I interviewed for, thought I would actually be good at, AND actually wanted.

The times, they are a-changing.

It was brought to my attention today from my HR rep, that not only did I not get the job.
I didn't even advance on to the second round.

A status update on facebook, some insider info, and I feel a little better.
But not much.
While it's nice to cling to those "Something  better is on the way!"
"It wasn't meant to be!" it's not necessarily guaranteed is it?

I suppose these sentiments could be true.
But it could also be true that I lose my job, and die a homeless person.
In which case, something better wouldn't be on the way.

It's not that I don't appreciate the sentiments.
I do, I really REALLY do.
And this whole short stay at Pity-Me Pines has me thankful for the things that I do have:

Friends! Super duper awesome friends who loan me money and buy me drinks when I have zero dollahs.
An awesome flat in an awesome neighborhood!
Two ridiculous dogs!
A secret trip to murdershack/rapecave/Chicago/??? with a bf who is cute/funny/smart and actually seems to dig me!
An actual job with friends who keep me sane and sometimes wish I could see outside of the workday!

But the whole "it gets better" is really something only privileged people can say.
Because it doesn't always get better.

I'm extremely grateful to be privileged enough to believe that things will get better.
Fresh start. All that mumbo jumbo.
And in all honesty, I might be a secret optimist. And maybe that's why me not even advancing has really gotten to me. Do they even know how super awesome I am to work with and just know generally???

In other news
Vegan Challenge:
 Day three! Even had the Stone Creek barista check the chai to make sure there wasn't any honey!
Veggie burgers and pasta are saving my broke arse right now. But thus far, I feel good. I'm not overly tired. I think the The Vegan Slowcooker is going to save my life and I can't wait to stock up on groceries to make almost everything in it. Even when this challenge is over.

Grade came in. While it's not a grade most grad students would be proud, after my semester of nervous breakdowns (including one during a meeting with said professor), falling behind, and general inefficiency--I really, really couldn't be happier. AND! I'm actually excited for the new semester to begin! Feminism and US Film!?!?! Splooge central.

Maybe me not getting this job is subtle hint to pursue the PhD? Unsure at this point. Need to utilize my ovaries and not be such a baby about everything (CFPs, writing in general). Will keep you posted.

Try not to pee with excitement.

My bittersweet Brew Crew. How I love thee.
Nosebleed 10-pack will be purchased and I promise to follow you more closely.
But not necessarily spring training, cos we all know that is no great predictor.
(biting nails, shaking knee)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Obligatory New Year's Post: Setting My Intentions

What a world. What a world.

After celebrating in amazing style, class, and overindulgence with some fabulous friends. And taking a well-deserved day off from life, watching the League with the bf, I have now decided to state my intentions for the year.

It has come to my attentions that two of my relatives, and myself, are all taking part in a vegan challenge.
Will it be hard?
Has it been hard?
Not yet.
Will I get thru it?
I don't know! Enough with all the questions!

My goal for this challenge is to cook more, and eat more plant-based food rather than always going for a frozen pizza or fake meat as my fall-back.

Thus far (and let's be real, I'm on day 2).
Things have been fabulous, although not all that plant-based. I'm thinking of keeping more detailed challenge-related progress in a different blog, but who knows. Will keep you little minxes posted.

Keep trying to be the best at everything I want to be good at.
Writing. Knitting. Cooking. Awesomeness. Jocularity. Pithiness.
Why not?

Ensuring to make time for those that bring me happiness and joy and ridiculousness and try to sever less enjoyable bonds.
This could be the hardest intention yet.
(That sounded really diabolical. But I didn't mean it that way.)

I really REALLY would love to blog more.
I am like a dog and I thrive on routine..
But I very rarely have one.
I'm going to try hard to keep up this blog, and try to ensure I have interesting things to say.

Things I say I'm gonna do all the time:
Exercise more!
Eat better!
But if I keep trying, I suppose something has got to stick.

In other news.
I want to watch Raging Bull again, after listening to a podcast from Scorsese's editor.
This also has made me want to blog about AFI's top films and my thoughts on them and the role women play in them.
I'm not saying this hasn't been done, or that I'd be good at it. I just want to try it out.
That is all.