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Plot Twists Galore

Monday, September 30, 2013

This sums up the last two months of my life pretty accurately. As one of my friends recently pointed out, it's hard to keep track of my life right now. I haven't bothered blogging too much about it because, well, everything was so up in the air I figured I'd wait til there was something a little more stable and concrete. Which it still isn't at that point now, even, but it's pretty entertaining with this collection of ridiculousness. 
Job and House Confusion
I'm not sure I even remember the sequence of all the events since I've been home, AKA America. To somewhat start from the beginning, I had that job at the coffee shop for a day. Quit that due to crazy boss lady. Moved back to Ocala searching for jobs and babysat for several families in the meantime. Didn't find any substantial jobs here so when I had (what I thought was) a solid living situation and potential job, I headed back to Jacksonville. I got one sales job opportunity and continued the search for a more fulfilling job. I ALMOST got the super senior programs assistant job I was really wanting but I didn't have the prior experience like the other girl. Otherwise I was in. So the whole "I can't get experience unless someone gives me the chance" frustrations continued. I did find a great family to babysit for in Jacksonville which was and would've been helpful. So I started my training for the sales job at a sports and outdoors store, while trying to figure out my housing situation and finding a part time job to make it all possible. 

All of this was while trying to figure out my mess of a living situation. I went to Jacksonville planning on occupying a friends' apartment with her sister (Leslie), while she was in Costa Rica. That fell through when our timing overlapped. So Leslie and I started considering other options of living together. When another friend, Lindsay, (I apparently only have groups of friends with all the same initials... AAAA, LLL...) had a dilemma with her rent going up, we thought we'd all search for a place together. So the house search went from 3 bedroom searches to 2, back to 3, then to 1, a temporary stay with Lindsay in the mix, back to one bedroom searching, and a range from really nice apartments, more affordable but still nice places, and super shady places. Living in a tent was a thought at one point too. If it wasn't in Florida... Needless to say, I didn't have the money for a security deposit, proof I'd have money, or any money leftover to you know, feed me. 

So after much debate, anxiety, stress, discouragement, and reality, I'm back in Ocala. Although I was really eager to get out there, learn to be independent, budget, and struggle, I realized the extent of this struggling was not worth it. I wouldn't be able to save, which is one of my main concerns right now so I can get to somewhere I actually want to be, and I'd like to get more on a path to a career. 

During one of my most recent breakdowns while talking to Mom, trying to figure out what to do, if I could do it, and what I even wanted to do, she conveniently got a text about my old school needing a substitute middle school teacher. Long story short, I took it. I had to quit my job at Academy and disappoint some really great employers I was looking forward to working with. 

Although I'm not living on my own and doing the whole independent thing, I'm hoping my plans to find a more substantial job, save, and have a better chance of getting on the right path will do me good. Working my bum off to live and not even save wasn't exactly sounding like the best option right now. 

As if all of this wasn't enough stress, it was all accompanied by sharing my struggles with a friend that was going through some really difficult, stressful changes as well, and the heartache of two amazing friends. Through it all, we, of course, had some great laughs, this Sarasota vacation, and good times, but it was a difficult time for both of us. I'm so incredibly grateful for her and Steve for basically housing and feeding me when I didn't have much to offer in return. 
     Three Nights of Fright 
I can't leave out these nights. The first of this scary sequence was the Night of the Most Disturbing Movie Ever. After watching... I'm not even sure I should mention the title out of fear you will watch it "just to see," or the name will sound familiar in the future, swaying your decision on an innocent movie night. I think I'll choose to allude to this detail to spare you. But basically, Les and I were traumatized, researched the REAL GUY the movie was based on who inconveniently moved to Florida! Of course. Florida is the place for the crazies. So extra freaking proceeded. This said freaking prevented poor Juno (the pup) from having a peaceful pee that night,  when some extraneous sound in the bushes sent us running back into the apartment screaming. "We just did that," was a good last note on that spectacle. 

The Night of the Sketch Car, involved me laying in bed at 1:30am and hearing super loud Hispanic music blaring nearby. Now, we were living in an office too far off the road to be able to hear loud cars driving by. So after a while, when it didn't go away, I looked out the window to see a dang car sitting right outside our windows! After a couple more minutes of them not moving, I reluctantly woke up sleeping Les even though she had a test in the morning. Luckily, they left after peaking out again. 

Last scare? Not quite. The Night of the Heartache and Cops, I headed home before the couple, and as I was putting the sheets on their bed, someone bangs on the window, when my head is in the corner right next to the window. I freaked a little, ran to my phone to see if it was Les trying to get in. Thankfully, it was, so I let her in and we proceeded to talk on the couch for a while. 

Then we heard another banging on the door! Leslie had just gotten off the phone with Steve... who was still at the restaurant... So she went and answered the door to four policemen alerting us of the robbery by men in ski masks upstairs! As a side note, it's funny how your conscious works; When I saw the police, my thoughts went something like, "Cops?! I have wine! It's ok! I'm 23!" 

Anyway, we grabbed the dog, threw a leash on her, and were about to head outside while the men did their official police searching business. Pretty intimidating in itself. They advised us to go back in and they'd lock us in while they searched around. So there we were, two scared girls and our pup, sitting on the floor, hoping the cops would soon come and assure us we were safe. After a couple minutes of sitting there, we figured we'd at least go sit back on the couch. Steve finally returned, passing through the cop ridden entrance, and reassured us we were actually in a super safe building so we felt a little relief. So we survived all of these scary nights. As if we all needed just a little more stress in our lives. What doesn't kill you... ? 
So that's that. 
Meryl Time
Ending this blog as well as this time on more positive notes, I had one of the least stressful, most fun days in a while the day before coming back to Ocala. I met up with Meryl for a planned beach day on Saturday. The super wind and cloudiness led us to a different plan that was equally as good or maybe better. Instead, we biked on over to Grom for some subs with her man, Chad. We tried to go to a softball game a friend was coaching but went to the wrong school. Woops. So we did some dreamy window shopping before heading home for a night of baking, girl talk, (humorous) jealousy over people's dreamy blogs and instagram facades, trying to be artsy, and a quick walk to the beach for our obligatory admiration of the stars. I can't be that close to the beach and pass that up. Following this with a delicious breakfast at a cafe nearby was just more than I could've asked for. 
Substituting
Lastly, today was my first day of substitute teaching and it was a super success. My classes were tiny, the students were great, and it was such a cozy, friendly environment. I went to K-6th grade here, and several of my former teachers are still here, now as my lovely coworkers! I'm not sure how long I'll be subbing for this school, but I'll be applying for the county too and seeing where this goes. 
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Sarasota Weekend

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    Last weekend, Leslie and I took a much needed mini vacation to Sarasota to visit some friends.
  
This pup and I walked around St.Augustine while Les got her education on before heading down on Friday. 



 On the trip down, we stopped to eat at an ordinary Panera, and walked out to the patio to find this view. Heathrow Panera, you win. 

We made it to this #1 rated beach in the U.S, but it unfortunately wasn't at its usual beauty, and I not up to par to fully enjoy it. The salt water did its best at healing the effects of the wine. I'm convinced American wine is not at all as friendly or forgiving as Danish wine. 
Our last night involved a ridiculous moonlit sky, a walk around Marina Jacks, and drinks by the water at this tiki bar, O'Leary's
 Before heading out on Sunday morning, we had breakfast at this cute cafe and omelettes that changed our lives. 
(Photo Credit: Leslie)

On the way home, we stopped in Orlando for dinner, chillin, and epic rap music with some good friends. Now I'm waiting for you to share some sounds, Ron Park! Check out Reepicheep until then. 
Pretty solid weekend.
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Weddings, Water, and Wee Ones

Friday, September 13, 2013

I realized I've left out a lot of good stories in the last month that have made unemployment not so bad! ;)
  We'll start with my cousin's wedding. Her and her hubby celebrated their marriage at their perfectly decorated lake house. It was such a fun wedding with the (fully clothed) wedding party jumping in the lake, delicious food, one of the best wedding cakes I've had, and an awesome atmosphere of friendly people.
The wedding party in the lake on the bottom left because... "Well, why not?!"
We took a quick pitstop on the way to the wedding to see Falling Water State Park. One of (or the only) waterfall in Florida. Definitely worth it.

More great memories at The River with Mark, Denise, and some extra family members one afternoon. Dad and I had a nice, quick kayak around, we all chilled by the river, got an unexpected spray by an air boat, and had a delicious meal at Swampy's. (Where else?!)
Photo credit: Cindy!

My first scalloping adventure! Bri and her fiancĂ© took me out on their boat to Ozello for a great experience. It was a gorgeous day and the rain even spared us! Scalloping was way easier than I thought; I was expecting to search through seaweed for tiny shells with tiny blue eyes... But they were big clam-looking shells, with a whole row of eyes, with a lot of them just hangin in the open! A relief to me, as I was worried I'd be embarrassed and fail at this scalloping business. For other future scallopers that would feel stupid to ask if they bite... they may! I got a surprise when one clamped my finger then proceeded to come up at my face! Didn't stop me though. I still caught that brave sucker. 
 We caught almost two buckets full and got to clean 'em and everything! I felt like such a fisherman. 
The boat dock was even super cool, with an old shop, coke machines, and chickens running around. Pretty low key. Find me on Vine to see my videos from scalloping! 
That weekend, I covered three different bodies of water... Kayaking in the Withlacoochee River, scalloping in the bay, and spending Labor Day at Lake Weir. That's how to spend a weekend!

I enjoyed playing tennis and catching up with my high school friend, Kelly, another nice lunch date with Papa and Mimi today, and babysitting these super cute twins...
    

Had an eventful week in Jacksonville, involving job searching (an update on that will come in due time!), a typical night out with Leslie, Lindsay, and friends (further supporting that a night out in Jax isn't complete without Lynch's, a beach escape, and barefeet... And this time a doll), and some great beach, pool, movie, and wine time. We also babysat two of the rowdiest rascals I've ever encountered in all my babysitting days. 
Les and Blaze, in his not so rowdy state. 

Lastly, adopted this little beauty that only somewhat sarcastically symbolizes "new places, people, and growth together..." and giving fellow Lowe's shoppers a story to tell the fam about the (super cute) lesbian couple" they saw at the store. 
Anyone have any good name ideas for my awesome traveling cactus? 
Shoot em at me, friends!
Is that even a phrase?

Oh, by the way,
HAPPY FRIDAY! 
Enjoy your weekend, will ya? ;)

Allie on Squares

Thursday, September 12, 2013

  Readers, meet Allie... my beautiful but slightly strange cat. 
Despite this being her first introduction in the blog and not posting a picture a day like most cat owners, I do love her. And for some reason, this pretty kitty is drawn to squares. If you put a magazine on the floor... She's on it in no time. Newspapers, towels...  Doesn't matter. We're wondering if it's just squares or if a circle or other shapes would have the same effect. Maybe we'll test that next and have a follow up. 
But for now, here's my precious kitkat on squares. 






Anyone else's cat do this or is it just Allie?
What weird things do your animals do?
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DIY Spectacle of 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

  Fortunately, that post I was eager to share with the world didn't wind up being the disaster I expected. One fine day, about three weeks ago, I walked into my room with intentions to swim and choose the healthy route in dealing with a break up. But upon entering the room, I plopped down on the bed "just for a minute," and somewhere in my pep talk to just get my suit on and go, I decided I was gonna paint my room... Normal right? So, off to the garage I went to see if we happened to have any leftover paint. Conveniently/inconveniently, there was an unopened can of paint.
  Basically, in short version, I started taking everything off the walls which took big chunks of paint off with it. I was super inexperienced, didn't think to do the usual YouTube research for some reason (when it's actually needed), wasn't aware of the whole primer deal, and wound up peeling off the paint from the walls. A couple hours later, you'd find three white walls with several stubbirn blue patches of paint, a floor covered in paint chippings and dust, and one worried girl. I had no idea if it was even possible to paint the walls in this condition, what kinda surface I was dealing with, etc. I had next to no money for any emergency fixes or professional painters, or even primer, and I just did not want to have to explain this to the parents until I was either done or at least knew I didn't ruin it. 

Carpe diem?
In the words of Amy, 
"that time you decided to surprise your parents and destroyed the house." 

  Super gratefully, three trips to Lowes, one failed paint removal spray, several consultings with friends, and several weeks later, I finally got it finished! I didn't have to reapply drywall to the entire room as one Lowes guy advised, I didn't ruin the walls as I was dreading, I didn't have to accept defeat and hire someone to come fix my failure, and it ended up quite nice. Not to mention I feel pretty accomplished using multiple tools to take down shelves, tv stands, and light switches, and sanded, spackled, primed, and painted it all!
  One night, I got all sarcastically deep about this whole process, but it's actually all kinda true. During this whole thing, I was so anxious to get it done, was worried my parents would be upset, lecture me about being illogical and impractical in a time when I have no money, and just be a disappointment. Maybe abit dramatic but it turned into a big deal. But, (here's where it gets deep) it was also a reminder for me to be patient and realize some things take time and don't have to be finished right away. I've always been pretty impatient when it comes to getting projects like this done; I'm pretty sure I had my apartments moved in and decorated within like a week. So this really challenged me. But I calmed myself down, realized and reminded myself I would get it done, and not to rush it just to finished. I wanted it to be nice and that would take time. 
  Oh, I forgot to mention this was all supposed to be a surprise for my parents, so this whole time, I was keeping my door closed, hoping they wouldn't go in for whatever reason, and even snuck a friend over to assess the damage while they were at work. I'm just glad it's done. 
The finished product! 
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  So that's my renovation adventure of 2013. Let's hear about any DIY or renovation disasters/masterpieces my readers have to share! 

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