Tuesday, April 22, 2008

401(k), yay or nay?

Within the past 2 months, I have quit my job and moved on into a more, how do I describe it? I guess a very classic office setting. I officially feel like I work in a real office. NO offense to the past job. I mean, it was a great starting off place into working in an office setting, which I never did before and met some awesome people. At the new job though, we have not one, but TWO conference rooms, a kitchen, and I work in a cube. Craziness. All I need is to start wearing office appropriate clothing and you could almost call me an adult.

Ha. Right. I wear weird jewerly and have visible tattoos.

Anyyyway, I am making a good 7k more at this job, but once taxes go through, I'm still not making anywhere near the threshold of comfort. And on top of that, you have to consider the money I should be giving up to my 401(k) ---another new office perk--- which when I eventually stop procrastinating and sign up for, will leave pennies in my pocket. I love the idea of being "responsible and thinking of my future". But ugh, who's going to pay for the young me, who wants cocktails and new summer party dresses?

Of course I'll put money away, I have to. And you want to know what really hits me? Seeing senior citizens doing jobs that you wouldn't have done when your were 14 and under-qualified for just about everything. I saw a grandpa-esque man handing out flyers on the street, in the rain just the other day. HELL no.

So where will I be then when I'm 65 and should be enjoying my golden years? Without my 401(k), I'll either be waitressing at a diner or driving around people's neighborhoods in the early morning distributing newpapers. I assume I'd be fired at both jobs immediately for being slow, too feeble minded, and spiteful. The end of my life will be saturated with hate focused on my younger former self who was super selfish and had no desire to save for the senior citizen Kristine.

So yeah, I better get on top of this 401(k) action because no way will I be handing out fliers or waitressing when I should be hanging out with my grandchildren and doing granny yoga.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The European Goddess

For some weird reason, I must give off some odor that instantly attracts middle-aged European weirdos. I'm assuming my European perfume is a teaspoon of Diet Coke, 2 cups Oatmeal, and a sprinkle of "I have places to go and no desire to bullshit" dressing. But still, in just two weeks alone, I was literally stopped in my tracks to be chatted up upon.

One Friday afternoon, I was rushing to Penn Station because I was going to Middletown for the weekend. Juggling bags on my shoulder, I noticed a Spanish dude walking by my side, willing with his eyes for me to look in his direction.

(In heavy Spanish accent) Escoose me, but you look very familiar, do you go to Bah-ryant Pahk ever?
Me: Not in a while.
SD: Did you go to EN WHY YUU? Maybe that's were I've seen you....I teach Engleesh as a second language and blah blah....yadda yaddaing.

All the while, I was looking frantically around, trying to lock eyes with someone to rescue me or rob me, so at least distract the Spanish man and I could make my escape.

So finally he stopped and asked where I was going and if I was running late.

Me: Down to NJ and yes late late late.

From here, he got into another speech about teaching in NJ and being down in, get this, MIDDLETOWN.

SD: Ghave you ever been to MEEDLETOWN?
Me: Nope, NEVER. (Or I may have just grown up there, but whatever. We did not need to share something in common. I could only imagine how late I would have gotten back to NJ then).

FINALLY after a good 20 minutes of him jabbering and me painfully listening, I said- I NEED to go, fine take my number.

And apparently he called me 8 times.

Can I show my face in Bryant Park this year? Hmm I better cut and dye my hair and become incognito.

A week or so later, I decided it was too nice a day to sit indoors and should take a little stroll down Fifth Ave. I headed to H&M to look around for a new clutch. Or a dress. Or a nice shirt. Maybe a bracelet. Or all of the above.

I turned to my right and there was a middle-aged, maybe 50ish, Italian business man smiling at me. He began to walk with me and chat me up about my day. Within our 10 minute conversation, he

a) told me how cute I was, over and over and over again
b) that he worked in the diamond business and wanted to buy me jewelry "you like jewelry? (while kissing my hand), I will get for you".
c) that he would take me to Jamaica soon
d) wanted to wine and dine me
e) hugged me
f) kissed me hand
g) hugged me again
h) waved his friend over so they could bask in the glow of my beauty
i) said he would come with me to NJ for Easter because he wanted to spend time with me
j) couldn't understand why I wouldn't allow him to come to my parents home
k)oh, another hug, and then brushed his hand across my face, while saying, "so cute, so beautiful. I like you. I need to take you on a date.
l) said that Hoboken wasn't too far and I could still see him in the city.
m) because I didn't and still don't possess "don't give him my number" skills with Europeans, he got my number and I wasn't surprised when I got a phone call a week later.
n) said, I like you. I like. I LIKE you. I NEED to see you tonight. Yes, we will go out tonight.

He could easily be my sugar daddy. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd be a very good gold digger without being highly intoxicated every time we met up. I'd be getting paid to be a wealthy alcoholic. Don't get me wrong. He was a very attractive Italian diamond business man, but he was like the same age as my parents.

Maybe I should go on a date with him. We'll go to Jamaica and party, so he said.

Yet another reason why I'm single. Where are all the beautiful Brits? Why aren't they radiating towards me. Oh no no, of course I'm the sun for a certain brand of Europeans who are corny and overly-affectionate.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The First Spring Day

My parents recently took a trip to Germany and to coax me into house sitting jokingly used the "well, we can either put Jessica to sleep or you can stay at the house for the week" trick. I mean, come on. What could I do? I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing my selfishness was the reason our poor collie's life was cut short. Honestly, I really didn't mind. I was kind of looking forward to catching up with some people I haven't hung out with in a while and hit up some of the local week-night spots I used to go to before I got a job. Let me just say, I give you people who make that commute from Central Jersey to the City everyday a lot of credit. I felt emotionally and physically drained after doing it just a week. How my father has done it the past 30 years, I have no idea.

Jessica was a great dog. I would say by far one of the sweetest and loving beings I have ever met my entire life. She got along with all animals and people and truly wanted to make you happy. As she got older and older, her legs gradually got weaker and weaker, to the point of not being able to make it down stairs and often slipped on wooden and kitchen floors.

So around day five or so of house sitting, I came home to a horror of a sight. I walked into the kitchen and Jessica was sprawled on the kitchen floor, laying in her own filth, looking up at me so helpless and ashamed. I had absolutely no idea what to do. First, I tried to pick her up to help her stand, but her legs were so weak that she couldn't hold herself up. I carried her outside to the deck and started cleaning up the kitchen and calling people. First Hennessey to tell her I couldn't work out that night (which thankfully, she came over immediately to help), my brother and sister, and my mom & dad in Germany (ooops forgot about the time change. Cousin Juttah was NOT happy with me for calling at 1am). I then began to put the kitchen back together and sponge Jessica down. She was so sticky and sweaty and the stench that combination made was unbearable. She was so sadly uncomfortable and I could tell it hurt her, but what else could I do? I carried her to her bed and it was heart-breaking to see her unable to sit down and relax. Every few moments she would attempt to stand and then fall immediately after. For the rest of the night, Hen and I hung out with Jessie. I knew I would have to take her to the vet the following day if she didn't sleep through the night or mildly improve. I may have only slept an hour that night because Jessica wouldn't sit still. She couldn't get comfortable and was so frustrated with herself for being so weak. Around 4, unable to sleep, I called my mom in Germany and we agreed that I'd take her to the vet the next day and do whatever he thought was best.

Mind you, I didn't even want to be there when my family put her to sleep. I don't know. No offense to Jessica, but I just didn't think I'd be able to see my mother go through that and watch her die. But there I was, carrying my super old collie into the vet, tears rolling down my face, because I knew that was it. When he looked her over, he confirmed that there was nothing more to do. She was dehydrated and in pain and this was the point in her life he'd recommend putting her to sleep. So he talked to my mom in Germany to make sure and I called Hennessey. She knew Jessica for almost her entire life and wanted to be there for me.

Before it happened, I sat and hugged our puppy, put my head in her fur, and took a deep breath. I hugged my dog that was so comforting and felt like home. I got panicky knowing that I'd never see her again. In just minutes I'd never be able to look at her face that contained so much love and hope. I told her over and over again how we couldn't have asked for anything more and how much we were going to miss her and love her.

Around December, my mom had some friends over for reiki practice (side note, my mom does a lot of energy work, which includes reiki. It's a Japanese form of healing). Anyway, she had people over and they concluded with a healing circle. Little Jessica, as weak as can be, somehow dragged herself over and sat in the middle. My mom's friend the psychic, who knew nothing of Jessica's condition or the fact that my family was debating when the right time to let her go, said, "Jessie isn't feeling very well right now, but she wants to stick around to the spring. It is her favorite season".

It was amazing that the day Jessica chose to move on was by far the first really beautiful spring day.

Bathroom Horrors (cont'd)

In one ofthe previous blogs, I talked about the disgusting bathroom habits of the women that used to work on the same floor as I did. This was a side-note-email to E after yet another miserable trip to the bathroom:

"Even worse than a loud gross lady breathing heavy in the bathroom is one who makes not ONE peep, but you know they're in there doing something. You realize you obviously interupted...something...and they just sit there, frantically, but quietly willing in their minds, for you to leave, so they can continue. That makes you the one making noises (flushing, pulling toilet paper etc.) and all the while feeling rushed becuase you KNOW someones there and they want u out.

Yup. I hate it Hence yet another reason why I prefer single stall bathrooms."