Coming Attractions: SUMMER

The weird thing about working in education is that I still view the year starting at the end of August and ending at the end of May, just like I did when I was a student. Unfortunately, I’m no longer a student and I don’t get that nice summer vacation that my students do. Some professors and administrators (and other people who have no idea what we do in my office) think that we either don’t work during the summer or that the summer is incredibly slow. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! The summer is actually one of our busiest times of year – with fewer students on campus, there’s finally some time to do all the things we couldn’t finish during the school year. The first thing on that list for me is cleaning my office – I don’t even want to talk about what it looks like right now.

But enough about work…what am I doing with my summer?? Check it out below! (Okay, fine, some of these things will involve work…sorry.)

May

Classes just ended, so I’m listing all the fun stuff starting with this coming weekend…which is when I am going to see The Killers in concert again!! After that, I get to attend the annual Junior League dinner and chaperone a trip to Atlantic City. I get to bring a bus buddy, so my friend Kristy will be coming to AC with me. At the end of the month, I’ll be moving into my new apartment.

I saw The Killers last summer in concert. So excited to see them again!!

June

June kicks off with the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse sale. I went last year with both my little and another sorority sister, Jackie. Jackie is coming back down again this year and I’m crossing my fingers that my favorite Lilly Pulitzer dress will be there and in my size.  I don’t think I have any other social plans for June, but I will be working on housing assignments for the incoming students which should take up quite a chunk of time.

This is what happens when sorority girls go to a Lilly Pulitzer sale AND outlet shopping in the same weekend.

July

July starts with a nice long weekend thanks to how the 4th of July holiday falls. I was on duty the last two 4th of July weekends, so I’m going to make sure I don’t have to take duty that weekend this year! I’m not sure what I’m going to do during 4th of July, but I’ve been discussing some ideas with my friends. Later that month is my family reunion in Upstate New York.

Lilly loves getting to go out on the boat.

August

Unfortunately I don’t get to do too much in August…we have RA training. We are changing up RA training so I’m actually looking forward to it. My birthday is in August, so I’ll have to celebrate it before training and after classes start.

Reno celebrating my birthday last year with some random Berks County hipsters.

…just noticed that I didn’t include cleaning my office on here…whoops. I’m hoping to cross a bunch of things off my list and hopefully add some new ones!

It’s Complicated: Moving

I started writing this when I first found out I was moving a month and a half ago…I should probably stop writing about packing and start ACTUALLY packing.

When I first found out I was moving, I was excited for two reasons. One, a new apartment sounded awesome! Two, it meant I was going to be able to cross a LOT of things off my list. I decided to see how many things could be crossed off by this move and came up with FIFTEEN!! Considering my list just passed the 150 mark, that’s a pretty big chunk! While I still plan on writing posts for each thing as I accomplish them, here’s a sneak peak of what I hope to do in the coming weeks!

Before the big move…

17. Get rid of all the shoes I never wear. I try to keep all of my shoes in one of three places in my current apartment: in the shoe organizer hanging in my closet, in an old wicker basket in my closet, and on a shelf in my closet. There are a lot of shoes there and I’m pretty sure I wear MAYBE 1/3 of them on a regular basis. While my new apartment is larger, it has less closet space, so I need to get rid of things I’m not using!

41. Make my t-shirt pile smaller. See above. T-shirts are currently one whole shelf in my closet. I do have “make a t-shirt quilt” on my list as well so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone!

87. Properly recycle my old laptop. My college laptop finally kicked the bucket a few months after I moved into my current apartment. It’s been sitting in a closet ever since. I don’t want to just throw it out so I’m going to have to find out where I can bring it.

92. Sell the stuff I say I’m going to sell. I’ve got a Coach bag, some old J. Crew and Lilly Pulitzer stuff, plus some old stuff for the dog that I’m not using anymore. The school has a “Community” email that people use to advertise items for sale, so I’m going to try that first!

After the big move…

22. Organize my giant bookshelf. In order to move the shelf, I’m going to have to unload it first. As I’m putting things back on it, I can try to make it look nice and organized. (And it will finally serve it’s purpose of room divider!)

36. Buy a couch. My current couch came with the apartment and it’s a bit broken. There’s no point in moving it to the new apartment, so I’m on the hunt for a new couch!

37. Buy the rest of my bedroom furniture. This is the one that I’m not 100% sure if it’s happening yet. I guess I’ll see how things work out in the new apartment!

56. Fix/finish the gallery wall in my living room. For some reason, there’s one picture frame that always falls off the wall. In my new apartment, I think I’ll be able to hang things with nails.

57. Decorate my bedroom. No point in starting this before I move!

58. Hang my flag. Same as #57! Plus, it will be easier to do with nails.

59. Plant something and have it grow. I’ll have a little patio at my new apartment, so I want to try a small container garden this summer.

95. Live somewhere with in-unit laundry. It’s been a long and bumpy road to get to the point of all of the ADs moving into new apartments, but one of the things that happened during that time is some of the campus administrators did a tour of our current apartments. One of the things they noticed is that not only were the apartments very different in terms of size and condition, but they also had different amenities. While our new apartments will all be different sizes again, they will all have washers and dryers!

96. Live somewhere with a dishwasher. I’m 99% sure that the apartment I’m going to move into has a dishwasher.

134. Organize my closets. This goes along with organizing my shelf. I have to empty my current (and somewhat organized) closets in order to move the contents to the new apartment. As I put things away, I’m hoping to make them a little more organized. That, and I don’t have too much of a choice since I’ll have less room for storage.

135. Organize the entry way. Right now, my entry way is a narrow, dark hallway with a small shelf and a bunch of closets. The stuff I use most often SHOULD be on the shelf, but it’s currently home to…I’m not even sure what. In my new apartment, there really isn’t a dedicated entry – the door opens right into my living room. But there are certain things that need to live by the door like Lilly’s leash and my umbrella. I’ll have to create some sort of entry nook in the new place.

 

While I’m really excited to move, I’m not the biggest fan of the actual moving process. I really wish I could just go to sleep tonight and wake up and be all settled in my new apartment. If you have any moving tips, please feel free to share them!

I’m Baaacckkkkkk

The last time I updated this blog (over a month ago, whoops) I mentioned that I was sick and work was crazy. Looking back, that might have been the biggest understatement  since the time Bill Clinton uttered “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. (Sorry 90s kids, I’m on a mid-to-late 90s SNL kick.)

I’ve probably used work being “crazy” for a few missing posts by now. Back when I was in college, I used to think that I’d have so much free time once I was working a “real” job. I was incredibly wrong. I miss having my free time scattered throughout the day – it forced me to get stuff done! Now I get home at the end of the day and am just exhausted. I don’t want to do the dishes or my laundry or clean or work on my blog. It doesn’t help that during the past month, I’d come home from work and just open the laptop and get right back to work from the comfort of my living room. That’s a habit I really need to break.

Why has work been so crazy? Earlier this year, we found out my boss wasn’t going to be coming back from her maternity leave. She had decided to stay home with her newborn son. I don’t blame her at all! Half the time I don’t want to leave Lilly to go to work! But since it was unexpected, we did not have a replacement for her and clearly there were tasks she did that need to be done. We split them up and I somehow wound up with housing selection. Housing selection is not easy. Housing selection is long and painful. Oh – and I didn’t know anything about housing selection going into it. For three weeks, I was working every hour I was awake on every single day – including when I was in Boston! The process is nowhere near done, but now that I know what I’m doing, it’s much easier!

So onto that other part…being sick. When I first wrote that, I had a sore throat. That’s all. My throat had been bothering me in the mornings for about a week prior and coming back to Reading from Joplin made me feel TERRIBLE. I blame the major change in the weather. Eventually I felt so miserable that I went to the doctor – not something I normally do. It turned out that I had strep throat. I was given antibiotics and told to take some time off work, but since it was right at the beginning of housing selection, my “sick days” were really “work from your bed so you don’t contaminate the office” days.

Around this time, I also discovered a lump in my breast. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened – it happened when I was 16 and 19 and both times I was told it was nothing and that I was just “a growing girl” (which is a big fat lie cause my boobs haven’t changed since ninth grade). But this time it was right where my underwire is and it actually hurt to wear a bra, so I had it checked out. First they did a needle biopsy, but the doctor wasn’t able to get anything because the lump was rock hard, so they scheduled me to have it removed. I don’t like surgery. Or needles. Or getting put under. Or pain. So I really didn’t stop to think “oh hey this could actually be serious” until AFTER my surgery when the doctor said he’d call with the results. Luckily, everything is fine and I’m just “enjoying” my time at home, recovering from surgery.

My plan is to go back to work this week, although I’m not sure when and for how long…sitting at my big computer just to type this isn’t the most comfortable. I’m still super tired and feel like I’ve been kicked in the ribs. My plans for today include taking the dog for a brief walk, looking at my work email, and maybe working on another post or two. Hopefully this is the start of work slowing down and blogging getting back to speed!

My recovery buddy!

My recovery buddy!

Just Another Manic Monday…

I’m back from Joplin, but unfortunately I’m sick AND it’s a very busy week at work, so I’m not sure when I’m going to be write my Joplin post. For now, I’ll just leave you with my newest Joplin video!

In other exciting news, I found out that I’m going to be moving at the end of May! The building that my apartment is in is going to be renovated over the summer, so I needed to go somewhere. At first there was talk of just moving me for the summer, but the idea of having to move twice (during check out and RA training) made me incredibly anxious. There was a period of time that I knew I was moving but just didn’t know where I was going at that was pretty nerve wracking too. Right before I left for my trip, I found out where my new apartment was going to be and now that there’s only eight weeks to go, it’s time to start packing!

Going through my list, I noticed that a lot of items had to do with where I live. It looks like a lot of things are going to be crossed off during the moving process…I REALLY want to get rid of stuff before I move. Another exciting thing about this move – my new apartment will have a dishwasher AND a washer and dryer. Now that I’m back in Pennsylvania, I kind of just want to skip ahead to the point where I actually move!

A Haunting in Pennsylvania

I read the Wikipedia article for “The Haunting in Connecticut” after I typed the title. That was probably a poor idea.

My apartment is haunted. I’m sure everybody says that their place of living is haunted at one point or another. You misplace something or hear a strange noise and BAM! Haunted! I think I’ve even made jokes about my apartment being haunted before. Just as recently as last week, I referred to the strange noise that the fridge makes as “the aliens in the kitchen” (okay, so not ghosts, but still paranormal).

Before we get into the good stuff, a bit of necessary back story. About five months after my roommate Lilly moved in, one of my neighbors complained that she barked a lot. This surprised me because Lilly’s rather quiet, considering what she’s mixed with. My mom actually thought that something might be wrong with her because she didn’t bark for the first three weeks I had her. She’s since become a bit more vocal and barks at normal dog things, like when the doorbell rings on a TV show, but I was certain that she did not spend all day barking. I was told that I needed to do something about it, so I wound up buying the Dog Monitor app. My iPad sits in the kitchen watching the door and I can check in on her via my iPhone. I’ve had the app for a few months now, so I’ve gotten pretty good about recognizing certain sounds and knowing where they are coming from. (Oh and in case you were wondering, the dog doesn’t spend all day barking.)

Lilly in her cage during the day. This is what the Dog Monitor app shows me.

Recently, I had an incident where somebody entered the apartment without my knowledge. I was at work and heard someone knocking on the door, followed by someone keying in and yelling, “Hello?” It was just a man from the alarm company, but it scared Lilly and she became not the biggest fan of cage time after that incident. However, I would have never known that it had happened had it not been for my trusty Dog Monitor.

This is Lilly doing her best impersonation of Dobby the House Elf.

Last week, something even more disturbing happened. I was at work when all of the sudden I started hearing this music. It wasn’t a song or tune that I recognized. My co-worker Melissa described it best – she said it sounded like a music box. It was also rather loud. My first thought was that some link I had clicked had music on auto-play. I checked my browser real quick, but nothing there. Then I noticed that my phone was lit up. I picked it up and sure enough the music was coming from my phone through the Dog Monitor app. (I know it sounds absolutely crazy and I’m glad that Liz and Melissa heard it as well otherwise I’d probably have myself committed.) The music lasted about a minute. I’ve tried to come up with some rational explanation for it, but I can’t. It was too long to be someone’s cell phone and the monitor wouldn’t have picked up on it unless it was in the apartment. I don’t know how it could have been an electronic in my apartment – the TV would have needed to turn itself on and then off. I tried to put it out of my mind and carry on with my day.

When I got home from work, I decided to straighten my hair. When I sat down at my dressing table, I noticed that there was a crack in the glass on my jewelry box. I sit at that table every day to do my hair and makeup and had not noticed the crack that morning. I remembered that I had taken a picture of my table a few days prior, so I checked the picture. No crack. I looked around the jewelry box. Nothing had fallen on it, at least nothing that was still out of place. I remembered the strange music from earlier in the day and called my friends. And then, instead of straightening my hair at my apartment, I shoved my stuff into a bag and got ready at a friend’s house. I did not want to be in that apartment!

They say bad things come in threes and the third is what made me finally call security. Before my shower last night, I went to put my earrings into my jewelry box. Yes, the one with the broken glass. When I opened the box, I saw that all of the contents had shifted as if someone had picked it up and tilted it. I normally don’t go into this box, so contents should have been organized instead of laying in a heap. The only logical explanation that I could think of was that someone entered my apartment while I was at work…and seriously at this point I prefer the idea of a burglar to a ghost!

So then I had to send the weirdest email of my life…how exactly do you tell someone that your apartment was either broken into (but nothing was taken) or a supernatural being has taken up residence without coming off as crazy?? Luckily security thought it was just as weird as I did and they sent someone over to make sure that my door wasn’t busted or anything. But seriously how crazy is that?! Melissa invited me to sleep over her apartment, but I decided to be brave lazy and stay in my own bed. Lilly’s at my parents’ for the week, so I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t have her to protect me, but I survived the night! Too bad “having a totally freaky experience” wasn’t on The List…could have crossed one more off!

Looking at the List #5

49. Apply to another job.

People keep asking why I have this on my list. This isn’t a goal I have for right this very minute, but at some point before I’m thirty, I would like to (and am pretty sure that I will) apply for a different job. My current job is entry level – most only stay for two or three years. I’m halfway through that already! Co-workers have already started to ask if I’m looking again and I’m not at this moment. It’s weird to think that I might not be here for a third year and that I’m  planning events that someone else will run. Another weird thing – this is the first job in my life that doesn’t have a set “end” date. This is also something a lot of my friends will be going through around the same time, so I’m glad I won’t go through it alone!

52. Visit a neighborhood in NYC that I have not visited before.

Even though I grew up going into Manhattan regularly, it’s a big place and there are plenty of areas I’ve never visited! When I was younger, I’d go wherever my parents wanted to go. As I got older, I sort of created a “routine” for going into the city – head up 5th Ave to Central Park then wander around the Upper East Side. I don’t have any plans to go Manhattan anytime soon, but next time I do, I’ll be sure to ask for suggestions!

53. Buy my dad Yankees tickets for his birthday.

My dad’s really into sports. Football and baseball are his favorites, but he willingly came to hockey games with me all through high school. My dad and I do not see eye-to-eye on football teams (Go Patriots!) but we DO share a favorite baseball team. My dad’s birthday is also just days before baseball season starts. There have been a few years that I’ve looked into getting him tickets for the home opener, but I can’t afford that. Sorry, PJ. However there are a bunch of other games each season that I’m sure he’d be happy to receive tickets for…I also want to see the new stadium…yes that’s how long it’s been since I’ve been to a game.

55. Watch the entire series of “Friends”.

One of my neighbors was really obsessed with the TV show “Friends” when we were in middle school. I watched a few episodes here and there so I had something to contribute to the conversation. She was also obsessed with Backstreet Boys but that was not a path I was willing to travel. I’m sure that I would appreciate the show much more now as a twenty-something. Is it on Netflix? I don’t think it’s on Netflix…that means I have three and a half years to find the DVDs and watch it.

Looking at the List #4

31. Get the balance of my student loans under their original amount.

Like most twenty-somethings out there, I had to take out student loans in order to fund my four five seven years of higher education. I pay a lot towards them each much so I can pay them off as soon as possible, but I swear it seems like I haven’t made a dent. I currently owe more than I took out in the first place thanks to interest. It’s hard because at this point, my payment isn’t much more than the loans accrue in interest each month. Every month I look to see if my loans have gotten below that magic number and I plan on celebrating once this happens…maybe a $12 bottle of wine instead of a $6 bottle!!

37. Buy the rest of my bedroom furniture.

Many entry-level student affairs positions require that you live on campus. Mine is one of them. Most schools provide furniture for your apartment. Mine is only sort of one of them…when I moved in, the only furniture was the same type of furniture that you find in a dorm room – desk, dresser, and a twin XL. My boss told me that I could have this furniture removed and bring in my own, which I promptly did. I spent a wonderful day at Ikea picking out everything I wanted for my apartment, but only left with a few things. Currently, I have the bed and the vanity from my bedroom set. I still have the school-provided dresser in my apartment and probably will until I leave (which will hopefully be sometime before I’m 30!). I can’t wait to have the matching dresser and nightstand!

I already have the vanity on the left…can’t wait to have a matching set!

42. Be a bridesmaid. (October 2014!)

While I’ve had plenty of friends get married, I’ve never been a bridesmaid. The closest I’ve come is being a flower girl when I was seven (no I don’t have pictures). Next year, I will get the chance to be a bridesmaid! Ashley, my friend that I met the first day of kindergarten, asked me to be in her wedding! I’m super excited for her and super excited for the wedding!! We’ve already picked out our dresses and shoes – now comes the fun part…planning the shower and bachelorette party. The other bridesmaids are Ashley’s sisters and some of our other friends, so there won’t be any crazy Bridesmaids-style drama.

Trying on bridesmaids dresses for next year!

Trying on bridesmaids dresses for next year!

44. Visit a farmer’s market.

When I lived in Rochester, I was lucky enough to have the Public Market a short drive away. On Saturday mornings, I could head out and pick up food for the week for a fraction of what it would cost me in the grocery store. There would be farmers selling fresh fruits and veggies, Mennonite families selling baked goods, and plenty of stands on the side where you could get crepes or empanadas so you didn’t hungry-shop. Apparently there’s something similar in Reading, but I have yet to check it out. Maybe this weekend…