Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sex, Guns, & Cash

Apparently 50 Cent is going to start publishing a line of novels and novellas written in gangsta style (Not by him, I hope, but then again, why do I care? Am I buying the books? Um, no.). When asked what the theme would be, he replied, "Sex, guns, and cash." Why this is so funny to me, I do not know. But I keep walking around the house going, "Sex. Guns. And CASH." Which has nothing to do with what this post is about, except if you include the part about cash.

I have a knack for taking a week off of work and making it far busier than my working week would be. Chalk it up partly to my need for the aforementioned cash (I have iTunes and Starbucks habits to support, not to mention the fact that my microwave gave up the ghost and my shocks are far bouncier--painfully so--in the winter than in the warmer months) and also to my delusional mind thinking that I! Can! Do! Everything! I was actually relieved to return to work today and get back to my normal schedule. Despite my best efforts to sleep in, I was more sleep-deprived over my week off than I am during the work week. You may ask how that happened, and I would reply that I really don't know and also don't want to think too hard about it.

And now it's officially the holiday season, which means more schedule disruption. My posts here might be quite disjointed (hopefully you're used to that by now) as time flies by and leaves little time to think while typing. So I'll just spew out whatever comes to mind and you can read it until it gets unbearable. I'll try to throw in a lot of photos on flickr to keep you visually stimulated, and somehow we'll make it to the other side of New Year's. Already I can promise you something: This weekend I'm making what has become the annual trek with John & Judy & Co. to Chicago, so there will be plenty of photos from that. Look for those next week, say Tuesday(ish).

For now, the stuff of life calls, so I'm off.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

And Then There Was Pie

my birthday pie

The birthday party was wonderful. There was (and is) a LOT of pie. Thanks to all who sent their good wishes and to everyone who came to the party. I feel so loved and special! You made turning thirty twenty-four fun. There aren't a ton of photos, as I was busy celebrating and just gave the camera a break, but you can see a little album here.

It was just the kind of party I'd hoped for: Plenty of people came, and then at the end there were some folks from what I like to call "way back in the day" lingering to chat and munch and just hang out. I went to bed well past midnight and woke up tired this morning, but it was worth it. It was most definitely worth it. Thanks, everybody. You're the best!

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Celebration May Now Commence

Because it is, indeed, MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

We May Have Been Having Too Much Fun

This weekend I'm hanging out with my friends' daughter. We're only half a day into it, but we've already been Living. It. Up. Tonight we abused our Apple store privileges by spending excessive amounts of time taking and retaking photos using the photo booth software. See the flickr album here. You can also click on our fabulous mugs below to get in there.

glowing

Thursday, November 24, 2005

On Calling

The post over at David's got me to thinking about calling, and specifically how I'm not sure what that means anymore. I've been having trouble with the voice of God lately anyway, having recently lodged a formal complaint with him, and so it shouldn't surprise me that I have trouble with the idea of calling. I thought for years that I knew what it sounded like, the "call", but I think I may have gotten it wrong. Because I never thought I'd be called to be a nanny, and I certainly haven't asked the big guy about it lately, but here I am anyway, and it seems very good. I'll be honest and tell you that my decision to apply for a nanny job in New York had nothing to do with prayer. I didn't ask. I'm kind of tired of asking. I just decided that I would try it out and see how it went, and by way of how it went, I'd have an answer, if there was an answer to be had. I decided to use the brain I have been given, and the heart as well, and make a decision, and just plunge in.

So far it's gone well. Very, very well. The agency loves me. The family I work for loves me, and everyone I've contacted as a reference has been excited to hear from me and eager to provide a good recommendation. I had no idea that I would be considered one of the best candidates in my field, yet here I am, assured by a prestigious nanny agency that I am, indeed, a very strong candidate and will be snapped up very quickly. More importantly, I've discovered that I really do love my job. Once I got over myself and my need to receive some sort of recognition from the world at large for the kind of work I do, I realized that it is a very good fit for me. I like going to work. I can't imagine something else that would pay my bills in a more satisfying way, at least not right now. And here I am with the opportunity to move up, to pay those bills faster, to get to a place where I won't have to worry so much about my finances. It will be a gift, one I'll be truly thankful to enjoy.

So here's what I'm thinking about it lately: Maybe calling isn't so much praying and praying and praying until the ears of God bleed with the fervency of my request for wisdom, and I hear something, have some strange stirring in my soul, and can tell for certain just exactly what he must be saying. Maybe calling has more to do with being wise with who I am, as I am, and what I can do. Maybe it's got a lot less to do with knowing for certain and a lot more to do with making a leap and just trusting, knowing what I know, that it will all turn out fine in the end. Maybe it has less to do with the words (mine go pleasegodpleasegodpleasegodplease or whygodwhygodwhygodwhy, and it's gotten old, probably for both of us), and more to do with the action. Whatever the case, I'm trying this now. I don't know if it's my "calling" per se, but I know I'm good at it, and I think it's worthy of a good effort, whether I hear directly from heaven or not.

And also? Happy Thanksgiving. Go forth and be thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jeremy Byrne, Is the Title of the Post a Good Enough Place for Your marymuses Mention?

Jeremy Byrne went all out last night just because he wanted a marymuses mention. I really went over there to see his fabulous wife, Anita, who gave me a Fabulous! New! Haircut! (I feel pretty!), but Jeremy stole the show. When he pulled out the real dinosaur tooth, I decided I'd have to at least give him a courtesy mention.

Actually, the dinner alone would have merited a mention. I was terribly thankful to be invited to eat some of the delicious dinner Jeremy fixed, as my power was out and I couldn't use my microwave. (My power is back on, by the way, but whatever happened to it fried the microwave, so I still can't use it. I have to heat my pre-cooked and zip-locked meals in the oven. The OVEN. How quaint. And also very slow.) I was also thrilled to be able to do my very first graffiti tagging in their home. As you can see, I'm not very good at it yet.

tagging the byrne's floor

Really, it was kind of like a night at kindergarten. We had snacks (er, dinner), arts & crafts (tagging the floor), show & tell (dinosaur tooth), and even naptime. I have a photo of naptime, but I'm not sharing it because I think I look funny in the picture. And most importantly of all, they let me spread the word about marymuses.com right on their very floor.

they let me advertise my blog for free--how nice!

Thanks, Jeremy and Anita. I hope I'll be invited back soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

So Diligent! So Determined! So....Stupid.

I made a series of choking sounds earlier today, and I'd just like to let my neighbors know, if they're reading, that I am fine. That was just the sound of me choking on my own stupidity. But it's okay now, because I figured out what was wrong (nothing!) and am now back to churning out back-up CDRs of all the photos that are currently not backed up (let's not talk about how many that is). I am determined to get all the files backed up and all the photos off my CF cards by the time the sun rises in the morning. Further choking may ensue, but don't worry: I'll be fine. Just put on something that can serve as white noise and go on about your business.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mary the Movie Critic

Last night Rachel and I caught the late showing of Elizabethtown with Adam, her landlord/downstairs neighbor, who just happened to come up at the right moment to be spirited away to Starbucks and the movies (lucky guy, yes?). We had a good time, and it was great to sit in the theatre so late knowing that I could go to the grocery afterwards and still not worry about getting enough sleep to wake up in the morning because: I didn't have to wake up this morning. (I did anyway, actually, at 11:46, but could have taken the sleepfest past noon without any worries.)

Right, so, the movie critic part: Orlando Bloom was horrible. I'm sorry, Orlando, but you were doing this little thing we call overacting and it was annoying. You're a decent actor, Or (Can I call you Or? Or do you prefer Landy?), but this was pretty shabby. I'm guessing the director may have had something to do with it, as Kirsten Dunst was similarly stiffly overacting at many points, but you really took the cake. Tell Cameron Crowe to calm down and stop making his drama too dang dramatic. You're distracting me from the plot. Seriously.

Thank you for your cooperation, Or (Landy?). I look forward to seeing you in better movies in the future.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hint, Hint

It's not too late to get me something special for my birthday.

It's also not too late to make fun of me for putting Fraggle Rock plush items on my list.

Or for having absolutely no shame when it comes to begging for birthday presents.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mary Plus The Movies Equals True Love Forever

For quite some time now I've tried to pretend that my affection for the silver screen is not what it is. It seems frivolous to me, when I am trying to pay off my debt and be fiscally responsible, that I would, with the swipe of a card, spend at least six dollars and two hours of my time enraptured by what are mostly fictional works played out by people who make a lot more money than I ever will. But it's true anyway, whether I want it to be or not: I simply love the movies.

Tonight I went to my second viewing of Pride and Prejudice. In my defense, yesterday's viewing was cut short due to my inability to accurately estimate the amount of time previews take, and I had to leave to fetch Jack from kindergarten a good twenty minutes before the credits rolled. I know the story, and I could have refreshed my memory with the book, which I have in my living room, but I felt the overwhelming need to see it in its entirety on a screen that is larger than my apartment building. And so I went again tonight.

It is some consolation to me that tonight's feature did double duty as another opportunity to see the trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia. Yesterday when I saw it for the first time in all its huge-screen glory, I sat with my breath caught in my throat and at the end wanted to jump up and yell, "AGAIN! AGAIN!" So tonight I was indulged and saw it a second time, though to be truthful I could have watched it even again, could have sat there for hours even, just having it play over and over and over. I hate to admit it, but I am in danger of becoming like those ardent Star Wars fans that would pay to get into a movie just to see a trailer. This trailer is that beautiful. And I always did like talking animals besides.

Anyway. Back to my point, which doesn't exist. But here's something to consider anyway: Pride and Prejudice was very well done. The cinematography was beautiful, music pretty near perfect, and both Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen exceeded my expectations, bringing the characters alive in the way I've imagined them when I've read the book (which is high praise, let me tell you). This film is well worth the second viewing, perhaps even a third. Yes, yes, a third. I know.

But hey, at least then I wouldn't be paying just to see the Narnia trailer.

Um, so... Who wants to come with me?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It Was Sad, So They Gave Me a New One

And now I'm sitting here, enjoying watching all 2212 of my songs load from iTunes into my shiny new iPod.

Really, I love it. It scrolls down as it loads them in. Quite soothing, really. You should get a new iPod and try it.

In other news, today is Jack's 6th birthday. Happy Birthday, Jack. You're one of my very favorites.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Month Eleven: Cheater, Cheater, Chocolate Eater

I may as well begin by telling you that I got all emotional one evening and impulsively bought fifteen dollars and thirty-seven cents' worth of imported chocolate and French sparkling pink lemonade at World Market.

I may as well also tell you that it was completely worth it because I felt so much better once I'd consumed most of my stash.

The Experiment: It's just a sham.

Okay, not really. But kind of. For some reason, this month was more difficult than the others. I thought it would get easier as I progressed through the year, but this month felt much harder. I cheated with the chocolate, and that was a definite cheat, but there were some other situations in which the lines were a little blurred.

In case you haven't heard, I'm going through the process of finding a nanny job in or around New York City. Because I have chosen to stay with Jack and Mary Liz through the end of May, I won't begin interviewing until April. This is great in the sense that it gives me a lot more time to pack up my stuff, spend time with Kansas City friends, and figure out where everything and everybody (in the case of the cats) goes before I leave. It is unfortunate in the sense that a review of my spring and summer wardrobe revealed that I had (note the past tense--oooh, foreshadowing) pretty much jack squat nothing in the way of decent spring and summer clothes. The family I'm with is pretty laid back about what I wear to work, and I've known them long enough that I no longer need to make a good impression appearance-wise. So I'd let my spring and summer wardrobe dwindle, which was no big deal until I decided to try for a job that may require a bit more sophistication, at least at the outset.

So here was my dilemma: I was still in the middle of my experiment, yet the clearance racks were bursting with bargain basement cheap spring and summmer clothes that were also quite cute and professional for a nanny hoping to score her dream job in a new city. I realized that I could either shop right away and save a bundle, though I'd be violating the rules of my experiment, or I could stick it out until December 11 and risk having to buy most things at full price in the spring. I chose to shop immediately. This experiment is as much about learning to be wise with my finances as it is about learning to be happy with what I've got, and so I chose to be wise and save as much money as possible. In the end I came home with (or had shipped to my home) ten shirts, three skirts, three pairs of pants, and two pairs of capris, all for just $170.75 plus tax. The full price total of those items would have been $588. In order to honor the experiment as much as possible, I packed the new stuff away in a suitcase, and it won't be opened until I begin interviewing in the spring. Sound fair? I hope so, because I'm not taking it all back now.

And now there's just one more month of the experiment. I'm going to try very hard not to cheat at all this month, to really do the experiment justice before it's over. When it is actually over, I hope to continue to conduct my life in much the same way, being happy with what I have unless I truly need something new, and eating at home much more than I eat out. I plan to continue eating what I have before I buy more so that nothing will go to waste, though I will allow myself to eat out every now and again with friends. (I say "with friends" because when I'm alone I just eat chocolate chips anyway, and there's no reason to go out for those. I can just open up a fresh bag at home.)

This experiment has been interesting and challenging and in many ways a lot of fun as well. It is rewarding knowing that I can be just as happy eating at home as eating out, that I am inventive enough to come up with new ways to wear the same old clothes and feel just as cute and pretty as I do in something brand new. I look forward to having a little more freedom to do as I wish, but I hope that what this experiment has taught me above all else is to be more responsible with my freedoms, whether they are in the financial realm or elsewhere.

Onward to Month Twelve. I think I'm going to make it...

The Weekend: Kind of a Blur

But I did take some pictures. You can head on over to my flickr page if you'd like to see them. Some of them are so adorable that you might not live to tell about your visit. There's even a new one of me, sporting a case of the puffies (from excessive pizza consumption) and a really cute scarf (courtesy of my knitting habit).

It's past time for another experiment update, but I'm a little too tired to take care of that now. I'll do my best to give you a little something tomorrow. It should probably be titled something like "Cheater, Cheater, Chocolate-Eater," which should give you a hint about how the month went.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Spiritual Instruction, From the Mouths of Babes

"God doesn't like it when people lick their own butts."

You can thank Mary Liz for that one.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dear __________

Dear Mars, Incorporated,

Thank you so much for making mint M&Ms available for my consumption during the holiday season. Now could you please make them available throughout the year so I can stop stockpiling them in my freezer like a crazy person? I'll be moving that stockpile (what remains of it, anyway) to New York in June, and you know that looks weird. Help a girl out, won't you?

Cordially,
marymuses


Dear New York & Company,

First of all, why did you change your name from Lerner to New York & Company? I still want to call you Lerner, and now I sound like all those old ladies I used to make fun of that called what was obviously a Ben Franklin store TG&Y because that's what it was before. Are you trying to make me old before my time?

Second, whatever your name is, I heart you very much. Where else can I go for vanity sizing and deep discount pricing? Nowhere, that's where! For $9.99 or less per item, you will be my main work wardrobe supplier. I love your prices first and foremost, and second? I wish I weren't so shallow, but putting on those pants that are the smallest size I ever buy and having them be a tiny bit loose made my day.

Hearts and flowers,
marymuses


Dear iTunes,

Please stop taking all my money.

Gratefully yours,
marymuses


Dear Starbucks,

Please stop taking all my money.

Sincerely yours,
marymuses


Dear Phae,

I'm sorry about the suitcase. I didn't realize that the reason you were peeing on my bed was that you thought I was packing to leave. For crying out loud, cat, I just brought it home and I haven't put it away yet. Stop peeing on the bed or I will hose you down with Febreze.

But also thank you for curling up against my back last night because that was really warm and cozy and special.

Love,
That Girl Who Feeds and Pets You


Dear Eponine,

Hunting and eating spiders is your favorite thing in the world, and yet you let one get away and bite my neck, leaving a very unattractive red welt with a bright red dot in the center. Please patrol the bedroom, especially the area on and around the bed, a little more vigilantly in the future. Thank you and enjoy the spider snacks.

Love,
That Girl Who Keeps Stepping on You and Apologizing


Dear Camper Shoes,

I wish I'd found you sooner, and at the same time wish I'd never found you at all. You make the cutest shoes I've ever seen, and I'm certain that at some point in the future I will both love and curse you with the same fervency that I both love and curse the aforementioned iTunes and Starbucks.

Newly yours, but yours forever, I'm sure,
marymuses


Dear Readers,

Are you still reading? I am impressed by your dedication. Now get up, stretch, and go get some fresh air or something. Autumn is beckoning; you should accept its invitation.

Most sincerely,
marymuses

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh, The Temptation

Do you know how tempting it is, when one has a large bonus coming, to entertain the thought of purchasing what may be the cutest shoes ever?

So. Very. Tempting.

This Second Post Brought to You By My Desire to Eat a LOT of Pie

I'd like to officially invite you all to celebrate my upcoming birthday with me by eating pie. Those of you who are in the Kansas City area are invited to my apartment for the Blessed Occasion (Amen, Hallelujah) of my something-th birthday, and the rest of you can eat pie in your own homes and think of me. (Let me know if you'll be joining in, and I'll think of you, too.) For those of you who are close enough to make it, the details are:

Monday, November 28
6:30pm to ??
My place (If you don't know where it is, please e-mail me for directions: marymuses@gmail.com)
I'll be providing one pie and soda. If you are willing and able, please bring a pie to share and/or whatever else you might like to eat or drink. Appetizers are fine, too, but the party is about pie, so please, some of you, BRING SOME PIE.

RSVPs to the e-mail address listed above, or by phone, if you have the number, would be greatly appreciated so that I can get enough plates/forks/cups/soda/etc.

And I'm serious that you're invited, even if I don't know you yet. Come on over! Let's eat pie!

Amen. Hallelujah. You may now return to your previously scheduled weekday events.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Let The Corny Sentimentalities Begin!

This morning when I told Kelly that I would stay through the end of May, she jumped up and down with her arms in the air and gave me a big hug. She's normally very reserved, so to say that it was an indication of her excitement is perhaps an understatement. She also told me that yesterday when she was talking to the nanny agency, answering all their questions for my reference, she almost started to cry, thinking of all I'd done for them and how much they were losing. I am bowled over by how much she cares for me, by how grateful she is, by how I have affected her life, and the lives of her children, in ways I never guessed. I am truly blessed to work for someone who appreciates what I do so much. I am grateful, more than I can express, to work for this family, to have found them when I did and to be able to stay with them as long as I have.

There have been a great many people who have encouraged me in my new endeavor, who have helped me get certain requirements for the agency taken care of, who have prayed for me and loved on me and supported me--and who have also expressed that they'll miss me very much when I go. I am blessed beyond any measure to have so many people in my life who care for me so much. I really don't know how to thank all of you. I am grateful to all of you--whether I know you in real life and see you on a regular basis, or you read here and sometimes leave your comments. I am so very, very thankful to all of you for your support, for your prayers, for your encouragement. How amazing it is that some of you have never met me, yet you have been praying for me? How cool are you? Seriously.

So thank you, one and all, for being here for me. You are amazing and wonderful and super-fantastic, and I am thankful for you, each and every one of you. You rock. Back and forth and side to side. I can't wait to share the rest of this journey with you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sleepy

I've begun feeling sleepy earlier in the evening, which is what happens for a time when my lack of sleep catches up with me. I'd been on a roll, with two nights of decent sleep in the bag, but last night disrupted it, and I was up for an hour in the middle of the night, just thinking, and then half in and out of sleep for the rest of it. But tonight I am able to relax, knowing that if all else fails, I can go back to sleep after I drop the kids off and I send my Very Important E-mail. I fretted over a certain decision all day, bounced my thoughts off both Nicole and Rachel, and finally made what I feel is the best choice for me right now. Let me fill you in.

This morning the kids' mom offered me a substantial bonus if I would stay through the end of Jack's school year. Her husband recently acquired an out of town job, which, without me around, would leave her alone during the week, trying to piece together drop-offs and pick-ups at two separate schools and find care for Jack on the days his school is not in session. It is worth it to them to offer me extra pay to enjoy the security of a nanny they know and trust taking care of all those things for them. Though the numbers don't quite add up in terms of what I'd gain taking a job earlier in New York as opposed to staying here and taking the bonus, it makes sense to both my head and my heart to stay. I'll get to enjoy Jack and Mary Liz for a bit longer while still making a bit more to use towards debt relief. In addition, it will ease the transition to a new city; as it was, I was going to have to scramble to make interviews and get everything done while trying to have some sort of holiday season worth enjoying. It would have been a frantic, hectic mess. I would have made it work, and I was quite excited and willing to do so, but I must admit there is some relief in having five additional months to go through this process. I will not be rushed in finding a family to work for, I will have plenty of time to pack up and find a place for Phae and Eponine to stay, and above all I will have the satisfaction of being able to leave Jack and Mary Liz at a time that the transition will be a little more natural for them. This way we all win. The agency is anxious to work with me, but content to wait until I am ready. So tomorrow I will e-mail them to tell them that June 1 will be the date I am ready. More than ready. I look forward to New York City, to the change, the challenge, the adventure that my time there will bring. In the end, I may come back right to where I started, but I'll have lived a little more, and I'll know I'm not settling for here just because I'm here already.

These past couple of weeks have been a wild ride. After thinking that I'd be jetsetting through the rest of the year, it's a beautiful thing to have life settle down for a bit, to have a chance to ease into the holidays, to take some time to relish the process of relocating to a new city. A part of me still wants to go soon, but the rest of me...well, the rest of me knows that this decision will let me sleep soundly tonight.

And I'm all about sleeping soundly tonight. Goodnight, all. May all your dreams be sweet ones, and may some of the best of them come true.

More Words From Productivity Central

Seriously people: If I continue to be this productive, I will soon have nothing left to do. Mary Liz and I ran errands today, and here is where we went, in chronological order, beginning at 8:20am: doctor's office for Mary Liz's flu shot, DMV, park by the DMV, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Target, the bank, my place (to change clothes since I spilled oil on my favorite jeans), Starbucks, FedExKinko's, Tim's office to pick up my DVD (thanks, Tim!), Target again (we had to wait to hear back from MLiz's mom about a dress she wanted), the post office, and home for lunch. We are Dy. Na. Mite. And we are also very tired. MLiz is sleeping now, but I am up taking care of a few little things, one of which will affect your reading pleasure here at marymuses.com. Because my blog shows up when I am googled, I am removing anything that may seem offensive to prospective employers. I'm saving the entries that I really love, so if one of your favorites disappears and you just simply have to have it because you love it so very much (um, right), you can e-mail me (marymuses@gmail.com) and I'll send you a copy.

There are some other things going on around here that I'd love to tell you about, but I don't want to say anything until I've weighed my options and made a sound decision. (And the sound of Mary's head spinning was heard throughout the land...)

Just when I think I know what's going on, I find out that I'm mistaken. In this case, though, either way things go will be good for me. So that's good news, very good news indeed.

Enjoy your Monday.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I Even Wrapped All My Christmas Presents

Greetings from Productivity Central. I returned home last night after an endless night of babysitting, which had capped off an endless week of lots and lots and lots to do, looked around my apartment, and asked myself, "What slob lives here?" Oh, wait, it's me. Right.

One of the things I love about Sunday is that, once the Sunday Sleep-In is over, I've got the whole day to putz around the apartment putting all the things away that I've left out during the week. This week, since I was so busy with other things, I had more than usual out, plus there was the unfortunate truth that I couldn't remember the last time I swept the floors. They were pretty gritty. So I tidied, and I straightened, and I swept, and I Windexed, and pretty soon I'd made a nice, clean space of floor on which to wrap gifts. And so I set to work, starting with the November birthday presents, and continuing on (while I was at it, and since I wasn't sick of it yet) with the Christmas gifts. They're all done now except for the two I have to finish making. Yes, just two. I know, it's sick. Of the two, I only have to buy supplies for one; I'm already set to go with the first one. Doubly sick, yes, yes, I know.

I used to be a master procrastinator. I would put off anything. In college, I remember rushing into the library at 10pm and grabbing a stackful of books to use as reference materials for a paper that was due the very next morning. At 8am. I didn't have a computer then, and the computer lab opened at 7am, so it's a good thing I'm a fast typist. It was kind of crazy, but I did it all the time, and not just with schoolwork, either. When it came to Christmas, I was a Christmas Eve shopper. It's a wonder anyone ever got anything worth keeping and that I wrapped the poor gifts.

I don't know when the tide turned--it was most likely quite gradual--but at some point I did realize that my life was a whole lot easier when I got things done as soon as I knew I needed to do them, or at least somewhat ahead of time. If I pushed through and finished right away, I didn't have to spend any time worrying. Maybe it's part of growing up, or maybe it's just part of wising up, but I very much prefer the way I do things now. It's fantastic. You procrastinators should try it.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I Know It's What You've All Been Waiting For


autumnal nanny
Originally uploaded by marymuses.
Here it is: the Official Nanny Photo. I was going for cute, but not too cute. I think my hair is a bit...fluffy. Still, I'm happy with the result, and hopefully I look like the kind of girl any parent would want to help raise their children, fluffy hair and all.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It's Not Just Any Chocolate Malt

"Would you like that made with chocolate or vanilla?" he asked.

"Chocolate," was my firm reply.

At which point he queried, "Do you want chocolate sauce in that, too?" and, leaning over, in low tones, "because that would make it, you know, wicked chocolatey."

I almost handed him my number right then and there.

Wicked chocolatey, indeed.

I'm All About Bunnies Achieving World Domination

Let's just face the truth: I love bunnies. I found this bit over at Holly's, and it said to paste it your livejournal. However, since I don't have one of those, I'm putting him here. This is bunny, and he'd like to achieve world domination. Put your own bunny on your blog and help him reach his worthy goal.

(\_/)
(O.o)
(> <)

Impulsive? Perhaps. Tired Beyond Belief? Definitely.

This New York thing came up a little fast, I'll admit. It was just a week and a half ago that I sat on the deck at Starbucks with Rachel, discussing what would come next in our lives, and I mentioned that I might be interested in living in New York City once Mary Liz hits kindergarten. The next day she forwarded me an ad from Craigslist as an example of the kind of work that is available there. I was enticed by the high pay and benefits (oh, the benefits--apartment! car! health insurance!). Somewhere in there, it crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, I could do this right now. Once the wheels started turning, they only gained momentum, and they haven't stopped since. And people? Suddenly I'm just so dang tired. You have no idea.

Or maybe you do.

Tonight it's all about the Nyquil and my cozy bed, for on the morrow I must look bright and competent for my photo and my video. Nobody wants a nanny with dark circles under her eyes and disheveled hair. I may not have had more than six hours of sleep a night for nearly two weeks, but no prospective employer needs to know about that. By Monday morning, all the necessary information will be on its way to the agency, and I can finally rest easy, knowing that my least favorite part is done.

So here's to a good night's sleep, tonight and for many nights: I hope you get some, too.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

New York Nanny Job Search 2005: The Update

The interview went well, and I am very encouraged by what they told me. I am incredibly impressed by the professionalism of this agency and their commitment to finding good placements for their nannies. In all my years of nannying, I have never heard of an agency turning a family away, but this one turns families away on a regular basis if they feel the home would not be a positive, professional environment for their nanny candidates. From here I have to have a new photo taken (in which I'll try my best to look fabulously nanny-esque), film a video clip, update my resume, and get some other paperwork in order. Once everything is in, my file will be sent to families, and I will begin interviewing. Like, next week. It's kind of making my head spin; this is happening so fast.

To get away from it all, I took a break this afternoon for a field trip, so: Coming Soon to Mary's Flickr Page: Monks! Sand Art! The Excitement! (Actually, it was very, very cool, and I forgot to bring cash for their donation fund--only fair since I got so many great photos out of the deal--so guess where Mary Liz and I are going tomorrow?)

A nanny's work is never done, so I'm off again.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Holy Thoroughness, Batman

I just got off the phone with a representative from the nanny agency with which I have applied. My application has met with their approval, and they are interested in interviewing me. They will do so tomorrow at 9am. I was told to expect to be interviewed by three people and to be prepared to give a detailed work history of all jobs since high school, including dates and phone numbers. And yes, they will call them all. Every. Single. Job. Since. High. School. They would also like me to send copies of letters of reference, a current resume, a photo, and a video clip. Video. Clip. That's right. They want it ALL.

Have mercy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And Then I Hit Send

The thing about me and writing essays for some specific purpose (besides entertaining myself--what, you don't write essays just to entertain yourself?) is that I always doubt their quality. So I let the nanny application rest for the afternoon, came back to it, and decided that it was just as good as any other essay I'd ever written, so it was time to just send it already. I double and triple-checked the rest of the application, did my best not to freak out, and sent that puppy on its way.

Now we just get to wait and see if they think I'm completely fabulous or completely full of crap. Neat.

It's Giving Me a Headache, So I'm Taking a Short Break

I'm trying to write an essay for my nanny application, and the truth is that I think that what I have down now kind of sucks. I don't think anyone who will be reading it will notice, but I pretty much hate it. The instructions are: In the space below, write an essay that tells us about you, your family, and where you grew up. Also tell about experiences with children, including the ages of the children and your responsibilities. Tell us why you want to be a nanny and the qualities you have to offer a family.

I've already written ninety-four quintillion words, and I'm not even to the part where I tell them how fabulous I am and why they want to hire me. Apparently I have done entirely too much in my life and I need to slow down. Do you know how many children I've taken care of? No? Neither do I! Because there have been a whole darn lot of them! Good grief. And truly, my writing is all sorts of awful.

Except for my first paragraph. I write a dang good first paragraph.

Gah.

Okay, back to work.