Monday, June 29, 2009

"Corporate Restructuring"

Mature (sounding) words for "Bye bye, internship."

Yep, I was laid off today. A little before noon, Tom asked me to follow him down the hall. For some reason, as soon as he said that, my stomach dropped. We went all the way across the office to a private room with basically the guy in charge of doing this.

The short story: corporate restructuring. Not having the work load really necessary to keep another intern. Tom had no choice in the matter, and didn't want to lose me. He just found out late Friday afternoon, and I found out today. I got a live check for the timesheet I just turned in this morning, and voila, I was out the door.


On the bright side? Tom basically guaranteed me a fucking fantastic reference, and he told me to email him my resume asap, that he would get it out to everyone he could. I just hate that I didn't really get to say bye to anyone or get any sort of general recognition that I was leaving. It's stupid, but damn, it sucks. Even the Cincinnati co-ops got that.

I know it's probably immature to do so, but I'm holding off on telling the parents or brother. I know, I know, but I just... Need some time to breathe. I have enough for July and August rent and tight living expenses.

Why did I have to predict the future a few blogs ago? And why had I not started the job search yet? I hate myself for that. ... Okay, gonna stop the tears and end this post. Today has been a dry day, for what it could be, and I don't want to open the flood gates.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eat your veggies! Part II

Garlicky Greens
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 huge bunch of greens, mixed or one kind
4 slices of bacon, chopped and rendered (optional)
Bacon fat or olive oil
fine grain sea salt
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
2 stems of green garlic, sliced (whites and greens)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (opt)
crushed red pepper flakes
toasted pine nuts

Render the chopped bacon, low and slow. Don't rush.

Remove bacon, and let drain on paper towels. Turn pan with the bacon fat and browned bits on to medium low, add a bit of olive oil. Add the garlic and white parts of the green garlic. Cook slowly, about five minutes, and add the salt.

Scoot the garlic up to the sides/edges of the pan and turn the pan to medium/medium high. Add the entire bunch of greens to the pan. (They should be cut into about 1" pieces and washed thoroughly, drained.) A great hint/tip from Heidi - "They should hiss and spit a bit when they hit the pan. " Stir continuously until their color gets bright green, and they just barely start to collapse. They cook REALLY fast, so I suggest aiming for 1-2 minutes, and take them off the heat. The hot pan will continue to cook.

Stir in the green parts of the green garlic, the Parmesan, and add a big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve immediately! In the bowl/plate, add some of the cooked bacon if you want, and the toasted pine nuts.

To make it a full meal, I topped it with a fried egg. It you keep the egg yolky, it's a yummy collaboration of flavors! Mmmm-almost-vegetarian-meal.

On a side note - every single person out there NEEDS to make Sassy Radish's Apricot Glazed Sriracha Ginger Chicken. Seriously. Everyone. Make it NOW. It's amazing. I made it earlier this week with a whole chicken. OM NOM NOM.

Eat your veggies!

It's been gross and rainy for the entire month of June here in New York, and maybe it's just me, but it makes me want to turn into a couch slug and eat horribly. But, I've also just been in a personal funk lately. I don't know if my actions lead to my mindset or vice versa, but it's not fun.

Actions? Running late in the morning (from not wanting to get out of bed or getting distracted by stupid things), letting the stupid subway stalling cause an emotional breakdown. (Literally, I cried for most of the ride to work. I just could. not. stop.) Oh, and not waking up until 9am another day? Which meant I didn't get to work till 10:30, and had to bullshit an excuse. I was too embarrassed to man up and say "Yeah, I overslept." Just

On Wednesday, the day I got into work at 10:30, I decided to walk as far as I could after work until I didn't feel like it. I started from work, and went south on Fifth and then Sixth Ave. I ended up walking 2.3 miles before I got on the C train. It didn't fix all ails, but it was nice to just walk. I love that New Yorkers really couldn't give a damn about others. No one cared if I was walking to 'escape' my funk (whether it was outwardly as obvious as it was inwardly to me) or what. I got some odd looks the morning I was crying on the subway but no one was nosy enough to ask.

So...that's an update. But, what was my original point in posting? Oh, yeah... So two Thursdays ago, my first CSA pickup, we got a ton of mixed greens. I had no idea what to do with them, so I emailed Heidi from 101 Cookbooks. She's what I consider the master of healthy, yummy vegetarian recipes. She gave me some great basic directions and I really appreciate it. Tonight, I went with her ideas, and made her Garlicky Greens, or my take on them, FINALLY. I was pleasantly surprised with how the greens had faired in the fridge for a week and a half. Since I rambled on about my feelings and my life, I'm going to post the actual recipe in a second post. But two things I have to say - it's amazing (for me) how cooking something delicious can perk me up. Mentally having a recipe work makes me happy. And two, don't be intimidated by greens, nor think you have to kill them like Southerners do with collards. Just go to Heidi!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A History Lesson

I just submitted this to Beyond the Birds and the Bees. Whether or not it's posted, I wanted to post it here. That website is awesome, and it really had me thinking about what I've grown up with. I sort of look at this as an open letter to my parents... Although they would be shocked (and probably not happy) that there's stuff on the interwebs!!!! about them.

- - - - - - -

A History Lesson

Since I've begun reading BBB, my mind has begun wondering about what I've grown up with and my experiences with "sex ed". I realized, at my young age, I can't quite remember one defining moment with my parents. More importantly, what I've come away with are examples. Role models that have instilled in my the knowledge to not only approach sex intelligently but my entire life that way.

My mother was born and raised in the South in the 1950's and 60s. My father was born in a family of ten in Palestine in the 1940's and 50s. (We won't get into politics at the moment.) Although they grew up in opposite ends of the world, they were raised in similar households. Fairly Christian, fairly conservative, you mostly get married and have kids at a young age. Your life should be your family, and your family is your life.

And yet, my mother and father created a different road for themselves. Both the oldest children of their family, they created a life of their own first. The free spirited nature of the 1960s and 70s definitely rubbed off on my mother, and she spent a good amount of time living in different cities around the south with her best girlfriend and gay guy friend. My father used education as an escape from the realities of the traditional Arab life.

My father and mother were 42 and 32 respectively before they married or had children. They have never ever pressured my two brother or I about dating or marriage, even as we reach our "prime" marrying age around our neck of the woods. I look at both sides of our family, and our parents have silently (and vocally, at times) instilled values in my brothers and I based upon the "Learn from the mistakes of the people that surround you to avoid making the same mistakes."

As I'm growing up, maturing, dealing with being an 'adult', and being separated from my family, I appreciate what examples my parents have set for me. The focus on living your life in an intelligent manner has set the tone for my lifestyle. No matter what I do, I try to keep sane. If the time comes for me to have a family, I will be more physically vocal about safe sex and education of our bodies. But I will always keep in mind the one thing my mother said recently when talking to myself and a friend of mine who was a teenage mother (and has done extremely well for herself) - "I don't care if you're having sex, just make sure you're having safe sex!"

So, thank you mom and dad. Dad, for your strong, silent personality that kept me in line (almost out of fear) and mom for the cool, hippie spirit that comes through your motherly love and overprotection. You've taught me well and I will always value that.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I don't even know what to title this...

But it might as well be "Fuck My Life." It's been a really long week for me, generally worrisome and just, blah. I mean, it's had awesome moments, don't get me wrong, but right now, I don't give a damn about those.

We've had issues with our toilet since we've moved in. I thought it was just because my brother and I can have some... intense bathroom times. Tonight, I got home dying to poop... I knew our toilet was acting funny, but I HAD to go. Went to flush, and the damn thing flooded over before I could get the water turned off.

That's just disgusting. Like, it's gross. And it's expensive - cleaning that up with towels means even MORE laundry. And it's just...gross. Really gross. I was already really really upset about that, because we've been dealing with this for a while. Well, then I walked into the kitchen to grab a paper towel for my sweaty face. Oh, what a lovely sight to see.

YAY for fire escape windows. So I guess we have a squirrel that decided to invade and conquer. There were a few pieces of food leading out the window as well.

(Ok, we really don't normally keep bags of trash sitting around, but when I got home yesterday, Omar had crammed pizza boxes into the trash, tied it up and sat it by the window. Like every morning, I was running late today, and didn't take it out. I have no idea if this somehow happened when Omar was here or after he left.)

I'm so tired already, this got me so flustered. Shit (literal and non) to clean up, and plans to cook what I had just shopped for are out the window because I'm over it now. Dinner shall be the two beers I bought, mkay?

...I wonder if the apartment management would laugh in my face if I requested screens be installed on our windows? Not only would it be good for damned squirrels (or WHATEVER that was) but that would prevent me from being COVERED in mosquito bites (which I already am. Fucking yay).

I think I need a drinking buddy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We have a visitor to the blog...

Should I say a returning visitor? Either way, blog readers, meet Emily's self doubt. Self doubt, say hi to the group (...pair?). This was going to wait until after I cooked dinner, but I kept feeling like it sort of couldn't wait, and I just wanted to get it out.

While I have heard nothing official, I'm pretty sure Li is coming back to work this Monday. Somewhat frustrated no one has said anything to me yet, I vaguely heard Sue responding to someone (who was walking by, I think?) asking about Li. I'm already bad about my random eavesdropping, so I didn't say anything today, but I'll ask Sue or Tom tomorrow.

In reality, I'm not surprised she's coming back. She definitely didn't seem like one of those women who had the money laying around to be a full-time stay at home mother in New York. But now, my mind is racing... Now that Garan is getting this steady influx of University of Cincinnati co-ops (the current group mainly leaves Friday, the next group comes in two weeks from now), I wonder about my full usefulness around the office. Li will be back, they'll have an equivalent (maybe?) number of Cincinnati students, and even fewer computers for everyone to use.

Ok, I KNOW I've done fairly well in the office, I do realize to some degree that I'm useful, but that's why self doubt is back visiting. There are just so many questions and not really any answers.

And, a side note, but since my computer crapped out a while ago, and was revived back to life with absolutely minimal add-ons, I no longer have software to even update the resume. Yeah, I also don't think it would be ethical to do that at work. EVEN if it was after 6pm (or my "lunch break") and I didn't count it in my paid time. So that makes trying to move forward with finding a full-time, long-term job that much more frustrating and difficult.

Oh YAY, self doubt brought along its pal, negativity. Thanks, buddies. You know just how to get my mind in a rut.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mystery SOLVED!

Holy cow! Every day, people surprise me.

So, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I was perusing Zappos and saw some decent looking sandals that came in my crazy shoe size (7.5 EE) that were only $40. Ordered them, and patiently waited. On Friday of last week, I got a slip from UPS. It oddly said it was the 2nd try delivering the package, and I had no previous slip. So on Tuesday night, I realized I had never heard from UPS again. I also realized that there was a number on the slip that I could get info on the package.

So, I looked it up online Tuesday night and was stumped. Someone had submitted a delivery change request at some point and it had been delivered that day. What the hell?! Wednesday, I finally took a lunch break and gave UPS a call. So, UPS had no idea how, but someone had my package redirected to a building on Sixth Ave. UPS filed a tracing report, but otherwise couldn't do much. They were trying to contact the office it was delivered to when we got disconnected. So, I called Zappos - the Zappos Service Twitter had responded to a frustration tweet of mine, so I called the number they gave me. The lady was super sweet and totally stumped at what could have happened. Unfortunately, they were completely out of stock of the sandals in my size, so I got a refund and a $15 off coupon for my next purchase.

BUT, today after work, my door bell buzzed and guess who it was? My neighbor! The first time around, they left the slip at the next building over, the same apartment number as mine. The slip had no name nor the full address, only the apartment letter/number, so she had no idea it wasn't her package. The address she had it redirected to was her work (thanks UPS for never noticing HER name wasn't MY name). And then UPS got in touch with her, after Zappos got in touch with UPS. I am so thankful that I have a friendly, helpful neighbor, I must say! The shoes are here, and now I'm in the ethic/moral dilemma of "If I keep the shoes, do I keep the refund?" I'm not 100% sure of the fit, so I'm wearing them around the apartment. But still...

Oh, other exciting news?
I'm officially a CSA member! First pickup next Thursday!
I went to Cringe last night. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME!
Going to the Renegade Craft Fair Saturday. Imagine Etsy in person!