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Saturday in Baltimore

July 28, 2014

 This past week has been a little hard on me with all the stress on the job front. I thought I had a promising second interview (they even gave me a tour of the place) and yet I received the dreaded rejection email. I must be spoiled because 99% of the time back in Orlando when I got a second interview it meant I had the job. Ty decided that a trip to see Poe's grave and old house in Baltimore
would be a fun distraction. Neither of us had been there before and it is only 40 miles away, so why not?

Ameliorer la Vie

Edgar Allan Poe's house is listed as being located in a "challenging" neighborhood on the website. Challenging is a polite way of saying that it is located in a rough part of town. If you go park as close by to the house as you can and just be vigilant. I have loved Poe's writing since I was in middle school and he was one of my favorite authors to teach when I used to teach. The actual house is quite small and can only hold a small group of visitors at a time. As a literary nerd I loved walking in the house where he wrote some of his poems and stories before his death.

A true Poe nerd can't leave Baltimore without making a pilgrimage to his grave site. The lovely people at the Poe house actually will give you directions to the grave, which is about 8 blocks away in downtown Baltimore.

What would a trip to Baltimore be without devouring some crab cakes? I researched a little on where to get the best one in town and found Faidley Seafood. If you love a good crab cake you will not be    disappointed here.  I have ate great crab cakes in Key West and Boston, but this place might just be on the best ones I have had yet. If you follow me on Instagram then you probably saw the picture

Why it sucks looking for a job

July 21, 2014

Looking for a job sucks, period. No point in sugar coating the process. Sadly it has only gotten worse and more dehumanizing with the advent of the internet. Back in the day you could drive around town dropping off your resume to potential employers. I actually did that when looking for my first teaching job in 2005, but now companies just want you to do everything online. I have more than a little experience in this department since I have been on the job search now 4 times since 2008. So I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned along the way in my numerous times navigating the employment search journey.

1. Patience is tough and yet must be practiced on a daily basis.

The truth is that looking for a new job can be hard on the psyche. Dealing with rejection or not even hearing a response from submitted resumes to employers can be difficult on the emotions. It is easy to start taking it personal and letting yourself get frustrated.

2. Cover letters are a necessary evil. Make sure you write one.

You will need to tweak your cover letter for each particular position that you are applying for. Don't worry if you despise this part of the process, we all do.

3. Take sanity breaks as needed. And trust me you need them.

In my experience this is especially important if you are unemployed during your job search. Last week I took a break to volunteer for a community non-profit thrift store and it really helped to break up the monotony.

4. Disregard any job search advice from anyone who has not looked for a job before this decade.

Gone are the days where you can use the local newspaper to look for a job. The internet has truly changed the way people search for jobs and older folks sometimes don't recognize the differences.

5. Don't be afraid to just send your resume to a company without any job openings advertised.

I did this before and actually landed a job this way. Remember that not all jobs are advertised on the job  search sites, it can't hurt to send them your resume.

Finish the sentence

July 14, 2014


I have failed miserably at attempting this current blog every day challenge, mostly due to being in kind of a unemployed funk last week. Whoops. I figure Monday is a good day to get back on the wagon and try again.

When I open the fridge, I always hope I find... Coke. Which is usually not in the fridge since I have cut down on my soda intake a lot in the last year, but I always look for it for some reason.

My favorite article of clothing.... I don't know if I have one. It really depends on my mood. But I do love a good fitting pair of jeans.

Last week I was really pissed when... I sent in my resume for a non profit position and they called me for a phone interview. During this phone call I learn that I would need to use my own car extensively to perform my job duties around the city and they want me to pay me less than I was making in Florida. I wish some non-profits would stop trying to take advantage of people.

One thing nobody understands about me.... I am fair too introspective. I over think things too much and don't know how to be any other way.

One thing I don't understand is.... the lack of empathy in many people in this country. It really saddens to hear what some people think.

The world would be a better place if..... we had more compassion for others.

If I had million dollars I'd.... pay off my student loans and then take a year off to travel around the world.

If I could change one thing about myself...... I would change it so I actually like to go to the gym.

Something that always makes me happy..... an afternoon spent at a thrift store.

If I could go anywhere I would go..... Italy. I have always wanted to eat my way through Italy.

Something I'll never blog about..... religion. I'm not particularly religious and feel that is too much of a personal issue for blogging.

If I were an animal I would be... a panda. Pandas look cute but can be aggressive if needed.

A job I've always wanted.... writer for a magazine.

My idea of a perfect day.... sleep in, spend time with Ty outside on a nice day.

If I knew I'd die next week, this week I'd.... what a downer of a question. I guess I would spend time with my parents and husband of course.

Harpers Ferry National Park

July 08, 2014

One of the differences in now living in the Mid-Atlantic region versus Florida is the proximity of other states to you. Orlando is right smack dab in the middle of the state which means it takes four hours north you are still in the state and you can drive six hours south and still be in the same state.  Harpers Ferry was just over an hour drive and located in West Virginia. This was my first time traveling in West Virginia and I had no idea the beauty held in that state until I saw it with my own eyes.

Harpers Ferry holds quite a few special distinctions in American history. It is here that welcomed the birth of the American railroad, witnessed the biggest surrender of Union troops during the Civil War, and one of the first schools to educate former slaves in the country. You can explore the town of Harper's Ferry and watch a short video that gives you the history of the town's beginnings, importance in history, and its struggles. After walking through the old, classical streets of Harper's Ferry you want to cross the bridge for the perfect view of the point. The Point is where the two rivers meet and you get a beautiful view of the Potomac River and the Blue Ridge. I haven't been to many national parks in the past but this trip has made me want to explore more of my own country's natural landscapes.

Getting uncomfortable in 2014

July 03, 2014


I always enjoy a blog writing challenge to get the creative juices flowing, so when I saw The Other Juliette was hosting a blog everyday in July, I figured why not. Today's prompt asks what have you done this year that got you out of your comfort zone. That could be the theme of the last year of my life.  Year 32 will go down as one in which I took steps outside of the cozy familiar and I'm so glad I did.

Leaving my teaching job without another job lined up. 

I'm sure some people around me thought I was making a mistake in leaving a job after 6 years with good insurance and decent pay for the area. Instead I followed my instincts and was convinced that I would be able to find employment outside of the classroom, and I was right. Less than 2 months after my last day in the old job I was hired by a non-profit where I learned more than I ever expected to in just one year. Sometimes you just have to take a chance and see where it leads you.

Moving from Orlando to Northern Virginia

We have been here a month now and so far I am enjoying the differences in my new home. I have found it less of a culture shock from when I moved from Orlando to Worcester, MA in 2007. Personally I like that I still have a lot of elements from living in the South with a major city close nearby. I have learned that I don't do well without a Chick-Fil-A in close proximity.