A Type A Dilemma

By Cazey Williams, guest blogger

I intern remotely for a consulting company and have to log 20 hours/week. The best/worst part about this arrangement is, I set my own hours – which is an overwhelming proposition. While I have flexibility, I also have to commit to when I set those hours, and, like most millennials, I am a commitmentphobe. Every week I email my boss when I’ll be working, and every time I feel like Ariel giving away my voice. What if I want it back?

Why am I telling you this? Because my hours aren’t actually an exact 20 hours/week. They just have to average 20 hours over a month. So at the end of August, I had worked enough overtime that I only needed to work (wait for it) 13.5 hours. *hand raise emoji*

I happen to plan my life down to details like needing to cut my fingernails. (For real, in college, I would put on my daily to-do list “Drink water.”) So this week I happen to know I have too much going on to comfortably fit in my 20 hours. You type B’ers may say, “Well, I have the rest of the month.” But a person who schedules when they’re going to get their daily dose of hydrogen and oxygen cannot be reassured by that thought. No, no, it’s the beginning of the month; I should frontload my schedule, so at the end of September I can relax aka work less than 20 hours. It would not do to work less than 20 hours this week. (Plus, the rest of my September is sorta popping out of its jeans, so I’m already anxious about other weeks.) The point is, I have to work 20 hours this week.

So I told my boss that I would work this past weekend. On Friday I submitted my 14.75 hours for August (even worked a little more than my necessary 13.5 hours) and volunteered to work on Sunday and Monday (today, Labor Day) and then normal hours on Tuesday throughThursday. Why is this important? Because I’m sacrificing my three-day weekend. But I will not be under 20 hours at the end of this week, so I can breathe without a paper bag on Friday when my friend visits. (I’ve never actually done that – used a paper bag, that is.)

Except. Pause. What was yesterday? Yes, Sunday. But what was the date? Yes, exactly. Fucking exactly. August 31.

I DIDN’T NEED TO WORK.

Can we repeat, I didn’t need to work?

And when did I realize this? Well, yesterday, on August 31, I woke up, declined brunch invitations, worked out, declined an invitation to go the river and lay out, and put on my watch (which has the bloody date – mind you, so does my cell phone, which I’ve been looking at since I woke up) and headed to my neighborhood Starbucks. I found the perfect window seat – like, I had sunlight to mimic that tan I turned down – ordered a Trenta (which, this is a future blog post, is a big deal because I only drink coffee two or three times a week) that set me back $4.51 (pumpkin spice in it, baby – because I thought it was September), and I logged onto my work computer. And that, ladies and gents, is when I saw the date.

I knew Friday was August 29. And Saturday was August 30. How did I forget 31 days has August? BUT HOW?

And so now you, the reader, thinks, “Well then, just pack up and go home.” But – but – but there is a big project due to a client on Tuesday, and unless I slaved away on Sunday, August 31, the project wouldn’t be done in time. (And I could have just worked longer hours today on Labor Day, but I felt that would be too much labor on my faux holiday.)

Insert gun emoji. Insert bomb emoji. Insert an emoji that just can’t express all my feelings.

So where did all this leave me? Sitting facing the sunlight through a window, simultaneously drafting this rant while devising a Facebook status that succinctly describes this FML situation and will earn a satisfactory amount of likes, texting my friend if she’s left for the river yet, listening to a girl order an “extra hot” latte on a 90-degree day, and sakjhkdsjhdslkhdglkghdgsd.

Stalemate, baby. Stalemate.

Happy Labor Day.

20 Times I Knew I Must be an Adult

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of times the thought, “So this is adulthood,” struck me pretty strong. Without further adieu, in no particular order:

  1. Scheduling my own doctor’s appointment and having to fill out all that obnoxious paperwork.
  2. Going pants shopping and purchasing them from the women’s section instead of the junior’s section.
  3. Buying the women’s jeans and being excited about how well they fit and how much coverage they provide.
  4. Wanting sneakers at Firefly, despite them not going with my outfit. However, I still packed like a kid and went with the cute shoes instead.
  5. Having people trust me enough to work from home.
  6. Dealing with the bullshit that is car trouble. Times three.
  7. Having to request time off to go home (well, now my parent’s house I guess) and not just being assigned a time to leave (like college breaks).
  8. Needing to recruit a chaperone when I needed my wisdom teeth out, rather than just having my mom around for it.
  9. Giving a presentation about my job and being thought of as the “professional opinion.” Then doing a good enough job to be asked to do it several times more.
  10. Handing out business cards.
  11. Being included on a recipe email chain, and actually having something of merit to provide.
  12. Taking over the title on my car AND paying my own insurance for it, which is also in my name.
  13. Going to my mailbox to receive nothing but bank statements and bills, rather than care packages and holiday themed cards.
  14. Laying in bed all night stressing about work.
  15. Laying in bed all night and not being able to whine to my mother about it.
  16. Things breaking around the house and not being able to just leave it for my dad to fix.
  17. Missing holidays, birthdays and other social outings because of work.
  18. Spending money on things freely and not feeling terribly ridden with guilt for spending my parent’s money frivolously.
  19. Filling out my own taxes (albeit with a lot of help from my dad).
  20. Having to pack my own lunch everyday.

Were there any times that you were ever overwhelmed by feelings of adulthood? Leave ‘em in the comments! :)

My Unfortunate Handle on Pens

You know that moment when you’re trying to be a real, functioning adult, and then the end of the pen shoots off, making doing real work seemingly impossible? Well, that’s what happened to me this one week. Twice.

Here’s a recap (no pen pun intended):

The first pen-spolosion happened when myself and a friend went to our alumni chapter meeting, where we represented our entire school’s chapter. So I was sort of shambly to begin with, because my shoe had broken, I had forgotten any sort of paper and could only find a pen in the tray in my car. So the day wasn’t starting off the best it could be, and then this happened.

I went to go click my pen to write down the set-up time, and the entire tip of the pen rocketed off, right at the head of an elder man sitting across from me. He took it well, made a joke and the meeting continued.

But without that damn pen tip, I had to write with that dinky little tube from the center of the pen for the rest of the night. My hand writing looked incredibly similar to a four-year-old’s.

Then- I kid you not, two days later, I’m in this meeting with some pretty important people from work, and I rocket the end of another pen off right at the pregnant lady.

That time, no one even seemed phased by it. People are starting to expect this shit from me, I guess. I’m not sure if that’s a win or a loss.

An Urban Elitist Bites Back

By Cazey Williams, guest blogger

A couple of years ago, my friend graduated college and moved to Boston. So she said.

About four months in, I visited. She told me she worked late, so it’d be easiest if I took the train out from the city to meet her. The ride took an hour. This should have been clue #1, but I just assumed this was the average commute for a Bostonian.

Our first night, she took me to a wine bar. The bartender – who may have been flirting with me, who knows; isn’t that what you tip them to do? – asked me, “So what brings you to central Mass?”

Come again?

Five minutes later, Google Maps is out, and my friend is explaining that she lives an hour and $10+ in tolls away from Boston—Worcester to be exact—but “that’s like living in Boston up here.”

I never called her out – moderns friendships seldom allow anything past “you do you” encouragement – but this has become an epidemic in our society.

Several spring breaks ago, I travelled to Savannah, GA with a friend who is from Chesapeake, VA. (Note: To keep the honesty that this rant advocates, we stayed on the outskirts of Savannah.) I was, factually, born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. So when locals asked where we were from, I answered (truthfully) Virginia Beach. And then my friend would say, also, Virginia Beach. Da fuxx is that? You are from Chesapeake, which has its own mayor, its own mall, and a non-measly population of 228,000. In fact, it’s the third most populous city in the has-been state of Virginia. And it’s not like people haven’t heard of the Chesapeake Bay – it’s sorta what killed the dinosaurs.

If you relate to this because you empathize – because you’ve been the person thinking “You don’t live in DC, you live at a metro stop in Maryland” – give me an amen. And if you relate to this because you are sinner, then you – yes, you, geographically illiterate impostor – listen up here and now: You do realize you’re lying, right? Do you think it’s worse to suffer the egotistical delusion that you live in the urban hub than to be a liar? Because I feel the kinder depiction is you’re a fraud.

Please stop characterizing the entire region you live in as some sprawling metropolis where the actual city is the collective downtown. In doing so, you disregard the bourgeoisie (like myself) who pay higher rent and taxes than you so that we can live in a community that has a distinct up-, down-, and midtown; may include skyscrapers, a.k.a. buildings that dwarf your suburban strip malls; and we don’t tolerate Walmarts within three miles of our central business district.

Plus, there is no easier way to get your township on the map than to actively promote it. When introducing your place of residence, just say: “I live in blank, but it’s a insert time drive to the city.” Unless you’re an hour away. Then admit it’s a day trip – unless you stay up for 24 hours; then it’s only half a day.

And if you insist on lying, then I insist you move.

Last year my Bostonian friend became an actual Bostonian. She moved to Brighton, which even the post office recognizes as part of Boston.

A VERY exciting announcement

As mentioned a few blog posts ago, I recently re-launched this blog. In an effort to continue the momentum and keep offering ever-exciting incentives to subscribe and keep up with Tweets and Mascara, I’ve recruited a guest blogger to provide additional content!

The guest blogger is none other than my self-named biffy (which for all you n00bs, is my best friend). While he is in a phD program for stats now, we first bonded five years ago over our affinity for writing freshman year of college.

I gave him carte blanche to write about anything he sees fit, so I am equally enthralled as you are to see what issues he tackles. So please stay tuned and be sure to give a warm welcome tomorrow when his first post is published!

IMG_0074.JPG

What’s Your Worst Quality?

So I haven’t gotten this interview question since applying to be a camp counselor in high school, but have long since been practicing an answer to this question anyway.

How do you answer “What’s your worst quality?” in a way that doesn’t totally suck? My answer from high school was a total basic bitch answer of “I am a people person and try to make everyone around me happy, even if that means I’m not happy.” Not only does that not really apply to my personality, but it’s also like the number one bad answer to that question.

Should I ever be put on the spot for this question, I’m wondering if my inability to get my “who” vs. “that” problem under control is applicable? Is being able to readily name one of my biggest grammatical flaws a strong enough answer to this question? Because in my mind, this just means I am in tune with myself, but also shows that I have great grammar skills to know that it’s an issue.

I could even elaborate about how I would CTRL + F my work everyday to double check for any “that” “who” issues. I had a post-it note on my computer to remind myself to do it. And now I can almost always get it right on the first try after being called out on it so often, and learning to mercilessly scour my work for it. So there is even a success story at the end of this proposed answer.

I’m starting to this is the only really good answer possible to the “What’s your worst quality?” question because it points out a clear flaw (but not a land mine of an answer), but also highlights what I do to combat my problem, which seems to me like a recipe for a good answer.

Recognition of a minor flaw + how you will/have fixed it = success.

 

Change your body. Change your life.

Changing your body may not change you life.

Disclaimer: I totally stand behind living a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating right (ish) and working out (ish).

That being said, I think it’s discouraging to see this plastered on Gold’s Gym wall every time I work out:

Change your body. Change your life.

Now why is this seemingly positive message rubbing me wrong? Well, it’s chafing me all over the place because it’s wrong, and when it is right, it’s still wrong.

Here’s why it’s outrightly wrong:

It is shallow beyond belief to think that if you simply lose a bit of weight or bulk up or whatever your workout goal is, that your problems will disappear. If you are truly overweight, then yes, working out will drastically change your life (and maybe even save it!), but for the majority of people looking to just lose a few pounds, it’s not going to dramatically help you be any less of an asshole (or insert any word in there that applies to you).

Here’s why I say this:

I am heavier than ever. I’d tell you how much I weigh, but that’s not the type of embarrassment I’m okay with publishing. However, I can tell you that this is the most out of shape I have ever been in my life. But this is also the happiest I have ever been without a doubt.

Every time I decide to diet and exercise seriously, I turn into a wretched bitch. I’m no fun to hang out with because “I need to go to the gym,” or “No, I’ll just stay home and eat my lettuce wraps and then lay in bed hungry and miserable until I finally fall asleep.”

Then I’m a few pounds lighter and a hell of a lot less happy. So, yes, my body may have changed and my life might of changed, but is that really worth it?

I’d go with no.

But I also want to explicitly say that when I do this workout thing gradually, like limiting my food intake and still working out at least a few times a week, I am happy. I still feel good and healthy, but I’m not neurotic about it. You know where that gets me? Exactly to where I am and have been for awhile now: at a consistent weight that is more than it used to be. But you know what I notice most? The happiness I see everyday in the mirror.

Sara Woznicki, happy as a clam
That’s me. Heavier than ever and happy as a clam (at an all-you-can-eat crabfest).

Welcome Back!

Okay, so yes, I just welcomed myself back to my own blog. I’d love to say that I’ve spent these past 4-ish months discovering myself in a far away place or working hard after a crazy promotion or really anything exciting — but nope, I just took a break for no real reason.

If you scroll back a bit down the page, or click here, you may have already seen the writing on the wall. I could feel my creativity dying, which is actually a pretty terrifying feeling. One of my biggest self-proclaimed assets is my spark. Whether it’s a tiny victory or a really big one, I can have a massive spark that ignites a whole project into action. And since I wasn’t feeling that spark, I couldn’t really keep going.

Now that I’m done tooting my own horn (beep-beeeeep), Id’ like to give you a low down on my plan for this blog:

  • Much like most bloggers are supposed to do, I’m going to write.
  • I’ve already committed myself for at least 10 new posts, with an ongoing list of things that I want to write about.
  • To prove the above statement, here are 3 topics: wisdom teeth, Ebola and the Gold’s Gym motto. Yup, going to be a ride.
  • I may even renew my domain name, but I’ve got a healthy amount of time to decide if I’m ready for another year-long commitment.
  • I’m going to diversify my topics. Since I’m not fresh out of college (eek, nobody likes you when you’re 23, right?), I don’t think its pertinent to focus on transition, as this is like my “real life” now, I guess.

So that’s my commitment to this, so please stay tuned! I hope your thoughts aren’t “Oh shit, I thought we got rid of her.”

My Experience of Fine Dining

So this week is “Richmond Restaurant Week,” which means that a bunch of restaurants make a three course meal for $25. So, naturally, I’m there.

Since my roommates and I are all really indecisive, I enlist a coworker to select the best restaurant on the list for us. He immediately picks one, and I see there’s salmon on the menu, so it’s a done deal. My roommate and I set out for our bargain meal.

I’m wearing black jeans, a striped black t-shirt and a cardigan. My roommate has an orange t-shirt and jeans on. “Should I put something nicer on?” She asks before we leave. I’m starving so I say, “Nah, we’re fine.”

Lesson #1: never let me decide what’s an appropriate outfit.

We get there and a girl is standing outside in a little black dress and high heels. Her boyfriend/side salad/ random man she took to dinner is in black dress slacks, button up and a tie. We paused outside contemplating if we should go in. Then a lady with a blazer and jeans head in, so we sack up and enter.

Lesson #2: don’t follow the one person’s lead who is wearing jeans.

Every patron looks like they belong to a country club. Since we already arrived, we went up to the hostess, who says “Do you have a reservation?”

Lesson #3: make reservations.

We don’t, but lucky for us, there’s a tiny table in the tiny bar area behind a pole. It must be reserved for the degenerates that wander in during restaurant week.

We sit down, minimally embarrassed about our pathetic attire and decorum, until the waiter comes over to remove our menus to lay out the white table cloth, which really highlighted how out of our element we are.

So then the waiter speaks. Not only is this an uuber fancy Italian restaurant, but apparently it only hires real Italian people. Accent required.

My roommate orders wine, so naturally I don’t want to be that girl, wearing jeans in a white napkin establishment and order only water. Even me trying to order wine was like the first time I’ve ever drank before.

“Uhh do you have anything like a Pinot Grigio?”

“Yes, we have a Pinot.”

Of course they do, they’re a fancy Italian restaurant.

So you’d think that would be the end of the ordeal, and you’d be wrong. My roommate was telling me about how her work friends are doing something at Maggianos, the chain Italian place I love because they give you a whole new entree to bring home with you, and different waiter stops and goes,

Maggianos?! That place is like McDonalds!

Lesson #4: the restaurant you go to as a treat to yourself may be the restaurant someone else goes to where they’re slumming it.