Saturday, September 20, 2014

Family History

This weekend started with me researching baby name spellings online. I'm not pregnant or anything but I can't be the only one with boy and girl names picked out since forever. I've had this girl name in mind for a long time and it's of Russian origin and therefore originally written in Cyrillic. So transliteration  can often result different spelling variations of names from language to language. I have been given a somewhat hard time about this name from the few people I've shared it with; no one will be able to pronounce it, she will have to always explain it, etc. Well I first heard it when there was a girl in my 4th grade class named it and none of us, nor the teacher had any problems saying her name correctly, so I'm not really worried about it. In any event, after researching it I found out it is a name used in Lithuania and it just so happens that my grandmother is Lithuanian and I immediately felt like this was the spelling I was meant to use. The only problem with the spelling is it uses a diacritic to signal the way it's pronounced which means it will forever be mispronounced in the US and diacritic marks aren't printed on official documents in the US so I don't know.

All of this led to me reading wikipedia articles about Lithuania, Lithuanian people, Lithuanian language and Baltic languages and I thought maybe I should learn Lithuanian.  That itself is nothing new as I'm fairly sure I've wanted to learn every language out there at one time. But then I was driving home on the beltway and I was driving behind a car whose license plate read VILNIUS. Coincidence???? Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. I got home and was googling Lithuania some more when I decided to google my grandmother's maiden name, which led me to her obituary.

My grandmother died while I was living in Spain and I honestly don't think it really hit me that she is gone until this evening. That I can't ask her why her parents immigrated to the US (a better life I'm sure, but still). I can't ask her, did her parents meet here or in Lithuania? How old were they? Did they keep in touch with their family in Lithuania? Who else came here besides them? Did she grow up with a huge extended family in Massachusetts or just her parents and siblings? Did her parents speak Lithuanian at home? I remember her teaching me Lithuanian phrases, specifically something to the effect of "shut up cabbage face" and I repeated it to my dad who was none too happy. I can hear her voice in my mind and I'm scared it will slip away. And so I'm struggling to get all my thought's down on this digital paper here, so I can remember later how she made me ramen noodles after school with shrimp, and how she was such a giving, thoughtful person. My parents separated when I was young and later my younger sister was born. Her father died when she was an infant and she never met my mother's parents. She shares a birthday with my grandmother and my grandmother would visit us and she would always remember my sister, she would send her cards on her birthday with little checks in them just like she did me and my brother. My grandmother was an extraordinary person. Tonight I miss her so much. 

Bucket List recap

So.....totally failed on that blog regularly one.


ride my bike on the C & O canal path–I managed to walk on it but not bike

take a tour of dc monuments at night–fail, was waiting for bf's nephew to arrive but he never made it here

try white water rafting in WV–did not raft but we grilled on the side of the road by the Shenandoah river

eat ice cream at Miller Farm–honestly not sure how I managed to fail on this one but it's not too late, maybe tomorrow

Eat crabs–check!

go camping at Assateague Island–Assateague Island camping on the weekends fills up like a year in advance but I did sit on the beach one night and all around us   people were making little bonfires which I had no idea was allowed

visit Art Museums–not a one

take the canoe on the water–the canoe went out on the water but sadly I never got a chance to ride in it

buy sparklers for 4th of July–fail. I knew in advance that fireworks and the like aren't sold in my county, this was just poor planning on my part

go to a movie at a theater–been trying to do this one for the last 3 weekends and     something always comes up

take a girls trip–drove to Philly with my girl

make homemade ice cream–fail

eat a cheesesteak in Philadelphia–partial. When we went to Philly we went to D'Nics in the Reading Terminal Market and had their famous roasted pork sub sandwich which was AMAZING and totally worth the drive. Perhaps another trip is in order. Incidentally, that started out as a trip to READING, but luckily I looked up the D'Nics address before we left.

make churros–fail and I even have the churro maker and the dough mix which is why it even made it on the list in the first place

read 5 books–this one is so sad, why do I not have time to read?? I finished 2 and half books. The first was called This Love is Not for Cowards by Robert Andrew Powell. It was great, it feels like a memoir but it's about Juarez and their soccer team and the fall from major leagues to the minors. I loved it so much I read another book by him called Running Away which was a memoir of how he trained to run the Boston Marathon. It was also great, made me cry. The 3rd book which I haven't finished because I've been super busy is Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. And the 4th book I've had checked out and renewed and checked out and  renewed all summer is The Art of Political Murder which I haven't started. I don't even have a 5th book lined up.

take pictures, print and frame them–oh well, just add it to the fall bucket list

find a place to go stargazing–I was going to say never happened except that while camping at Point Lookout there was an incredibly clear night where you could see millions of stars in the sky.

take a road trip–drove to Philly, see above

learn how to grill–check!! I am no master griller but I now know how to start a fire and put the meat on the grill and turn it over. Basic I know

visit the Hirshhorn sculpture garden–fail, still want to go

find Einstein monument–CHECK!!

eat at a place that's been on Food Network–Check, went to D'Nics in Philadelphia and Taquería R&R which probably shouldn't count because I've been going there since before I knew it was on food network, it's not far from my house.

try to blog once a week–we know how that worked out

build a tiny house–still on the list. I am obsessed with tiny houses




Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Bucket List

I've seen these lists on other blogs and always thought they were cute so I thought I'd make myself a little summer to-do list. I also thought if I post it here it might make me a little more accountable for trying to do these things instead of wasting the summer away working. 

ride my bike on the C & O canal path
take a tour of dc monuments at night
try white water rafting in WV
eat ice cream at Miller Farm
Eat crabs
go camping at Assateague Island
visit Art Museums
take the canoe on the water
buy sparklers for 4th of July
go to a movie at a theater
take a girls trip
make homemade ice cream
eat a cheesesteak in Philadelphia
make churros
read 5 books
take pictures, print and frame them
find a place to go stargazing
take a road trip
learn how to grill
visit the Hirshhorn sculpture garden
find Einstein monument
eat at a place that's been on Food Network
try to blog once a week
build a tiny house

Friday, August 2, 2013

Cover letters and stuff

I am conflicted. About the future. About the present. Shoot, even about the past. It always feels like time is just passing me by, like I have to wait for something to happen before I can start living. Not to say I'm not living my life cause i'm still getting on with it. I just don't know where I'm headed or what I want to do. I'm always scared I'm making the wrong move. 

So after a year of working part time at my job, they made me full time. And it's a decent job, the pay is...ok. It's better than unacceptable but nothing to swing from the chandeliers about when you live in a high cost of living place like metro dc. I mean literally for the past year I have been gunning for them to make me full time. I'd bug my supervisor that this job was too much work to be just part time. I'd work tons of extra hours whenever they needed me. I am efficient and organized, whereas my boss is the creative type. She loves me cause I came in and made her life so much easier. This job previously was just a bunch of tasks divided up among several full timers and part time employees. I arrived and took all those things on and made it clear, "wouldn't it be great if I was here full time!" And so now I'm full time. I can't stop thinking about what I'm going to do next. 

Seriously, I just "got" here and I already feel like this is not the job for me for the rest of my life. I mean sure it's fine for a couple years. I wouldn't say that I can't learn more here cause I know I can indirectly. Not in this specific job but from the organization as a whole and from the people in other positions I work with. But since those things aren't quantifiable in dollars, it's hard to think about that as a benefit when your job just barely pays you enough to just cover your living expenses. 

And then I think, well when will I ever earn "enough". I mean technically, if I can cover my bills than it's enough right? I mean I could even manage to save some money if I ate beans and rice and eggs everyday and didn't drive all over the place. 

I have been wanting to go to grad school basically since I graduated but there has always been something holding me back. And now, I can't decide if it's really worth the investment. I suppose that really depends on what you study and what type of job you plan to get when you finish but we've been interviewing for another position at my job recently and it's really made me question some things. First off, people barely look at your resume. I had to go through 50 some applicants for my boss and weed out all the bad ones. I don't have time to read through your work history and it's boring. I glance at it to see if anything interesting pops off the page but mainly I go for the cover letter. This is your chance to truly sell yourself. So many people use a generic cover letter and don't tailor it to the job and don't really talk about their experience. 

(As a side note, this was funny to me. Years ago on best of craigslist I read a post from rants and raves about cover letters and the poster talked about crappy cover letters and then posted a great cover letter. I modified that cover letter for every job I applied for after that and always got called for interviews. So as I was reading the cover letters, what should appear but my go to cover letter! Practically word for word the same as the one I read on craigslist.) 

Then I give my boss the top 8-10 and we went through them with the other person interviewing with us and we chose the ones we were going to interview basically from the ones I had already picked. So most of the top ten have masters degrees. and experience of course. But it makes me think two things. One, you practically need a masters degree to even be considered for jobs these days because everyone you're competing with has masters degrees. And two, people with masters degrees are going for a job that is basically comparable to the job I'm doing now! It might be one pay grade higher than where I'm at but I actually never looked up the job when it was posted so I'm not sure exactly what the pay range is. Do I really want to go back to school just so I can get a job that is slightly better than the job I have now? And if I study something different, I have the problem that I don't have any experience. Practically all my experience in the last 7 years is ESL. I'm interested in so many things but I feel like once you're in education you are practically STUCK in education. And if I'm being honest what I really want to do is open up my own little boutique hotel in a beach town in Mexico. 

Ok, so i don't actually think I'm stuck. I truly believe it's never too late to do whatever it is you want to do. i just haven't really decided what that is right now. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken." – Frank Herbert 

been sleeping, but feeling motivated today =)

Friday, March 15, 2013

In like a lion...can you believe it's March already?

Forgive me blog readers, I have sinned. It has been many many months since my last blog post. Believe me, there has been quite a lot going on but not much I can share right yet. Husband is still in El Salvador. Did I mention his waiver was denied? Yeah that kinda sucked. We're in the midst of refiling but it just seems hopeless. I really do try to think positively but, I don't know. I've been working a ton, trying to pay down debt. If anyone is out there, write to me in the comments! Tell me how you're doing, include a link to your blog if you have one. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I've been back in Maryland for just over a month now and I feel horrible for not blogging more. I have no immigration updates for anyone who's wondering, we're just still waiting. I've been camping out in my mom's basement for the last month and I'll be moving into an apartment at the end of July. I got a new job at my old job, so I'm working at the same place with the same people but just a different, better position. I also have some huge news that I can't share on the blog but if you're interested email or facebook me!

While I was in Spain, I had started jogging doing the C25k training program. I've been trying to keep up with it here but between the 104 degree temperatures and not being able to get a routine going, I've been really slacking. Hopefully once I'm in my own place I'll be able to get a better routine established. 

Honestly it feels so good to be home. I loved Spain but it was pretty lonely. I do however miss gazpacho and olives and sidra.