Tag Archives: real life

I Know Better Than You

I have this problem where sometimes I think I know more than other people.

And, like most people with this problem, I don’t like taking direction from someone I know I know better than. After working in publishing in the same area for as long as I did, I had realized I knew some things better than others, and at the retail gig I’d stopped listening to certain people as well. It sure does make things challenging at times, because I’m a real treat when I have an attitude on, and no one in bossman position likes an insolent underling.

In school, though, this is hardly a concern because I know don’t know shit, and I realize I need all the nuggets of wisdom. I still aggressively question things, but I’m not blatantly disregarding anyone’s opinion.

Except the people I’m paying to give feedback on my job hunting skills, that is.

Through the U, I’ve signed up for a program that helps me get work, by coordinating job interviews, providing career search guidance, etc. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and I’m excited about the prospects, but it’s also a complete load of bullshit. 

First of all, I just got accepted into nine graduate programs, so my cover letter (personal statement, ahem) skills are obviously on point. Oh, and I was a professional writer for almost a decade. Don’t tell me I don’t know how to write a cover letter–an excellent, wooing cover letter.

The cover letter is no place for humor? You don’t want to know what the job can do for me? You don’t think I properly expressed my appreciation or excitement for this opportunity? Fuck you very much, I’m not some vapid suckup. And if you don’t think that the company isn’t seduced by my willingness to drink the brand’s koolaid and have them teach me their ways, then you’re wrong. You’re just wrong. They don’t want a n00b who is certain she owns the world. I am that girl, and I know they don’t want that.

This is the first line of their sample: “Thank you for receiving my resume. I would like to apply for the XXXX XXXXX XXXXXs Co-op Student position.”

::ZzZzz:: Uh, no. I wouldn’t read any further with that opening line.

Then there’s the fact that they were appalled at my one-page resume.

M’excuse? Back in America ain’t nobody got time for people like me thinking they’re bigger than a one-page resume. If it can’t be said on a page, you’re saying too much.

lolz. Silly Canadians.


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HP and babies

Yeah, so, I’m not totally sold on the procreating thing. BUT… The new illustrated Harry Potter books are, like, one of the few reasons I would really want to have kids. I think books in general–and Legos–are a huge check in the pro column.

I probably shouldn’t have told my mom that’s the only reason I’d want to have kids, though. Whoops.

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My First 10 Days in Canada

I’m not even sure what, or how, to tell you about it. It had it’s highs and lows. Mostly lows and lowers, thanks to my pisspoor attitude when it comes to this stuff. Nothing is easy or quick on the moving-in front: furniture (OMG IKEA I CAN’T EVEN), paying bills, applying for a cell phone, opening bank accounts–and more importantly getting the money–have taken far more effort/require more things than I anticipate, every. single. time. But isn’t the how it goes anyway? Then toss in a new country and you really got some learning to do.

The weather is amazing. Perfect all day, e’ry day. I mean the wet winter will suck, but this place is g-damn glorious right now.

My house is nice, but it’s loaded with spiders and surrounded by mosquitoes (I’m not polkadot, not white). The homeowners are eco-friendly fiends so I feel a lot of pressure when it comes to water consumption, using electricity, recycling, killing insects, eating meat/gluten/dairy… really just existing. My washing machine is broken but if I shove a small tool in at the right angle it will run, so we’re just going with that. I’m sure that won’t be annoying for the next year.

On the flip side, the homeowners are a delightful family of four. The two young sons are sweet and it’s nice to have them prancing around to put an unexpected smile on your face. An older Irish couple who live in the homeowner’s basement completes our hippie commune. They all hosted a welcome BBQ last night and I’m really glad they’re such welcoming, fun, and interesting people. And they love coffee and red wine. It’s brilliant. I will definitely be comfortable here, once I get used to it.

School is defeating me. Hard. And it hasn’t even started yet.
-They expect you to have a background in information systems already. I don’t, and I can’t learn it on my own, and I can’t even actually download the appropriate software, and it’s the most frustrating experience. I feel dumb, and helpless, and I hate it.
-They tell you it’s OK to have a Mac, but when you get into course work you find out that Apple products actually aren’t supported (so much for the $2k you just spent on a new computer/software/hardware).
-There are no books to buy. It’s just all these downloads or something, I don’t even know, and I’m trying to find the website where they supposedly live, but there’s nothing there so I can’t find them to prepare before school starts.
-I’ve applied for five or six on-campus jobs, but not a single job wants to interview me. And it sucks because there are some amazing jobs and I’d love, love, love to have them. But also, I’m so broke it’s terrifying, and I can’t imagine living another month, god forbid another five years, without a paycheck. And I didn’t get any great scholarships, and I didn’t get the sorority scholarship, and I’m just hemorrhaging money for something I’m not even sure I’m qualified for, but something I’m definitely sure is currently making me feel pretty shitty.

I’m also in the midst of a personal crisis of faith in myself, what with the not knowing anything about what I’m getting into at school, the having a car I don’t want and can’t take care of because I literally will never be able to park it back in it’s tiny spot if I ever move it, and the finally acknowledging that I’ve put on a lot of weight and feeling very ugly. And being this down on yourself is not great time to meet new people and start new things, and I know that, so that just keeps the stress cycle rolling. #cantstopwontstop?

I’ve fit in plenty of ME time, though. I watched the latest three (available on Netflix) seasons of Archer. I watched both seasons of The Hour. (Delightful! Wish it hadn’t been cancelled.) I picked like a billion other shows and movies to watch.

Oh! And I’m not sleeping well: Partly due to the super expensive/uncomfortable bed I bought, and partly because I have a lot of stress. Also I had a dream that John Stamos wanted to sleep with me, and I said no. That was actually really stressful, too. 😛

And these, folks, are my new first world problems. Orientation starts next week, cross your fingers I don’t embarrass myself too much!

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The 28 List: Final Results


I don’t know how often I even thought about The List this year, mostly because I spent 28 doing EPIC SHIT ALL THE TIME. I mean, this year started when I took last summer off to patio drink my way through the season with two friends, which made me want to be social for the first time since college. That, in itself, was amazing. I actually went on a couple dates with a guy. I got to be in an Indian wedding. Then I got to go to India and attend a wedding. I also lost my job, got accepted into 9 graduate programs, and chose to move to Canada. I indulged the shit out of my bookshop, James Bond, adventure loving self. I actually went to 15 countries during my 28th year of life. I could not feel like this year was more of a win, even if I did only complete 18/28 on The List. I think I raised plenty of cups to the stars, and in no way gave up who I am.

Read the whats, hows, and how-nots, below. (And stay tuned for the 29 list.) From the original 28 List page.


“We’ve come to far to give up who we are,
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars”

– Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”

Dancing at weddings, cruising in Europe… This was my jam last year. And I’m making it my motivation at 28. Here we are, two years closer to thirty and two years into my task mastering. I’ve made some great strides in the last few years and I shouldn’t stop now. But there are some big things on the list this year that are going to require commitment and a change of pace. Late nights, long weekends, early mornings–whatever it takes. I’ll stay up all night to stay lucky.

True to form, this will remain fluid and open to new goals. I’ll track my progress, in an unfashionably slow manner, here.

The 28 List

  1. Travel three places I have never been
    IMG_3979Stop one: Galena, Illinois. I went there when I was 3, and I don’t remember it, so it totally counts for this.
    Stops two through seven: Copenhagen, Denmark; Bergen, Norway; Shetland, Scotland; Thorsmork, Iceland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland. A friend and I tackled a 14-day Norwegian Star cruise, pretty much owning the gloriousness of my 28th year. Then in January, I ventured to India.
    THEN my parents and I did three weeks in Europe. The headliners being Epinal, France; Paris, France; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Luxembourg and Germany. Oh, yeah. And Vancouver, British Columbia. #NailedIt

  2. Have a monthly cocktail
    June: Mimosa (home)
    July: Josh’s Poppin Lime Aid – Muddled cherries & limes with Cruzan Black Cherry, Pimm’s, grenadine, lime juice, sour & club soda. (At Fong’s)
    Aug: The Old Fashioned (Bride’s drink of choice)
    Sept: Irish Coffee with brown sugar, French press coffee, and strong whiskey
    Oct: Whatever goes with wine (I think I just mixed it with more wine)
    Nov: Eggnog and chocolate vodka (not half bad!)
    Dec:  Champagne cocktail of sparkling wine, sugar cube, and bitters
    Jan: Ciders
    Feb: Bud Light.
    Mar: Bloody Mary (in Boston, no less!)
    April: —
    May: Gin & Tonic (you need something strong when you’re about to enter the Red Light District. With your parents.)
  3. Host brunch
    Hah! Practically cheating, because I hosted a birthday brunch. Day One, one check!
  4. Attend a professional baseball game
    I came so close! It was supposed to be a Twins game. But plans got changed last minute. Oh well!
  5. Cook meat
    Yeah, buddy! I mean, it was technically pre-cooked meat I paid too much for at Target, but I put it in a skillet with oil and browned it and baked it in the oven. And it was awesome.
  6. Make a cheesecake
    I’m going to make this one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-cookie-cheesecake/detail.aspx
  7. Work out 30 days in a row
    Coming from working out never, this will be hard. And, 6 months in, I still haven’t done this. Aww, shit.
  8. Stop the pop
    I was doing so good. Then it spiraled out of control.
  9. Personal
    And for personal reasons, I failed.
  10. Four classics
    I really wanted to read some more classics, and actually read them, not audiobook it. Mansfield Park while happened on the cruise. The Handmaid’s Tale, a newer classic, was read for my sorority book club. Little Women hit the list because everyone should have read that, right? Finally, The Sun Also Rises happened, and I actually loved it.
  11. Birthday postcards
    Failed for three of the six months that have passed. Rats.
  12. Veggie a week
    Already failed at this. Failed hard. But I’m only three months in, and in the words of John Legend and Snoop Dogg: I can change. Six months in? Still failing hard. And I probably just ate brussels sprouts every time I even thought about it.
  13. Lose 10 lbs
    HAH omg are you serious? What was June-Kristina thinking? Not about future Kristina, I’ll tell you that much. This was more like, gain 10. Fuck me. Back on the list next year.
  14. Travel somewhere with my parents
    IMG_4695Well, we went to Galena, IL together and then Madison, WI for my high school friend’s wedding. It was a lot of fun! I’m glad we don’t go on roadtrips all the time, but I enjoy hanging with them. And then we went to France, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. I say I knocked this one out of the park.
  15. Blog more books
    Hey! I’m doing this one. I’ve started a “Last & Lingering” style of blogging to cover things I’ve read/listened to, but didn’t have anything much to write. And I’m going back to the books I read in the last two years, but did take notes, and I’m finally blogging those, too. My goal is to have them done before grad school.
  16. Blog the Bond books
    As part of moving all my belongings into my parents’ house, I actually typed up my notes on these books. Yep, that’s as far as I got.
  17. Get my vintage lamp rewired
    … Or not. I changed my mind. I was worried it’d burn the house down, and so I left it plugged in for a long time. No problems. Maybe it doesn’t need to be rewired.
  18. Don’t check my phone right when I wake up
    I am SO good about this, and I definitely prefer to start my day without panic (email) or comparison (social media).
  19. Go to a Concert
    Ed Sheeran on June 9 in Des Moines, Iowa, was the best concert I’ve ever enjoyed. That man. #pantydropper
  20. Learn/attempt to master a frosting technique
    Jenn and I took a cake decorating class for her birthday. I’ve been experimenting with Wilton tips. It’s a thing.
  21. Take reusable bags to the store
    This must be happening, because I’m damn near out of Target bags which I use for trash. And, of course, I couldn’t possibly be producing more trash.
  22. Develop a routine
    Hardly. Too much traveling.
  23. Learn an e-reader
    This is important for my profession. And my cool factor. I have an iPad, and though I find it infuriating at times, it’s really easy to highlight passages–I like that a lot. BUT, you can’t easily copy the highlighted passages into blog posts. I have to type them up. Wah wah.
  24. Read magazine subscriptions the month I receive them
    I’m doing this one, and it makes me really happy. I’ve decided not to keep anything but Esquire (even though that was a little hard to narrow) and it’s been nice to read, identify if I want to keep something, then recycle.
  25. Make a conscious effort to better my handwriting
    You know, I think a lot more about it when I’m writing. It’s not drastically better, but I’m trying. That’s all I needed.
  26. Finish the Jazz documentary I started a billion years ago, and watch two more
    Ken Burns Jazz is done and it was SO good. I suggest you watch it. Then I watched a couple shorter shows, Secrets of Selfridges and Secrets of Highclere Castle from PBS, and the mini-documentary Inside LEGO.
  27. Go one day – AT WORK – without saying anything negative.
    You know, it’s damn near impossible. But I’m counting Jan 5, 2015 as the win. I wanted to avoid shit-talking my job and complaining. And I more-or-less did, even trying to avoid negativity on the weather! Any less-positive commentary was followed by a positive or acquiescing comment. Negative and realistic was acceptable. Woo!
  28. Make 10 things I’ve pinned on Pinterest
    1. Cinnamon Caramel Cookies
    2. I did a take on these Baked Tacos
    3. I did a version of slow-cooker sprouts
    4. Birthday Brunch included Cinnamon Roll Cream Cheese Monkey Bread
    5. I really only wanted the frosting on these Blueberry Pancake Muffins
    6. I had pinned something more complicated, and went with this Nutella Frosting recipe instead


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Day Two

Of no longer living in the Target parking lot.


The struggle is already real. I don’t think I’ll survive Canada.

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power plays

So, back in 2011 I had this amazing hair. It was crazy long. I wore it to a wedding and afterward thought, “Maybe too long.” So I cut it a bit, and wrote about it, alluding to the fact I find a lot of security in my long hair.

For the next three years I opted for a deep clean, you might say, of cutting more-than-just-a-trim once per year as a celebration of the end of wedding season. But I was really just wanting to grow it out again. Finally, in 2015, I got back to my glory days of naked-video-style hair.


I was thrilled. It needed a trim, though, those dry ends were killing me. So, I made an appointment (accidentally at the wrong stylist) the day after returning from a 3 week trip in non-English-speaking Europe.

West Des Moines.

It’s clear that I was having (lack of) control issues there, because here’s what I looked like twenty four hours after being back in the States.

I’m glad to have challenged my own body image (probably bad timing, though) and tried something new, with time left until winter wedding season. It’s only hair, after all, and I’m moving to a new country where no one knows me as Rapunzel, anyway, right?!

But, honestly, this look is too, “Midwest Mom” for me. Too “I don’t care about my hair.” Too “90s JGL” as well, which, coincidentally, was the last time I had hair this short. Just pass me the butterfly clips so I can do a twist crown to complement my baby-tee and baggy jeans with Docs. Commence Operation Grow Out Part 3.

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Pacific Northwest

In truth, many of the things I’ve been not exactly ready for were actually things I wasn’t at all ready for. But this, the picking of a second promising grad school (that I really hope I don’t dropout of this time), was something I was truly not exactly ready to do. I’d visited as much as I could, I’d spent countless hours on the websites, making pro-con lists, and researching professors and class schedules.

And when it came down to the wire, I was as ready as I could be, just not exactly ready because I didn’t know what to pick. Boston was out a few days into the week. London resurfaced hot and heavy, leading the pack–because how badly do I want to say I lived in London for a year? Real, real badly.

But not enough to pick it. It’s been raining and foggy for the last two days. I’m taking that as God’s way of saying, “Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. You have chosen wisely.” I’m headed to the University of British Columbia.


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blahblah work sucks blahblah

I got some shitty news. The job I’d been doing for the last year (which I recently left) is now  hiring at, let’s say, D level. I was working at B level. That means the new job posting is two levels higher than the job title I had while working there.

Now you might be thinking: What a missed opportunity! What a bummer that you can’t get that experience! If only you’d known.

No, no, my friends. That job posting is the exact same job I’d been doing for the last year. Just with better money and title. So, basically, I did the work of one editor, with the respect and payment of an entirely lower editor (who, we remember, worked by herself for three months of the period) only to get “promoted” to a c level editor a different title. They realized it and decided if they were going to hire the job they better rectify the situation. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I hate this system. This lifestyle where you can work hard, work more than others around you, yet work only to be unappreciated and overlooked.

Thank god I have Justin to complain to in situations like this: “Stay strong. Eventually capitalism will collpase in on itself like a dying star and we will seize the means of production. Until then just don’t go insane.”


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The Status Quo

Haven’t checked in with me in a while? New to NERdom? Simply wondering WTF is up? Well, things have been happening. Sort of.

I know a lot of pregnant people. This is new for me. Very excited for them!

New Years Resolution: Wear jewelry everyday, because, man, I gots a lot.

I dated a guy. (I think “dated” is the right word, but I never really know all the old/new school meanings.) This was new for me, too. Short Story: Still Single. [Long Story: I don’t think it worked out, least of all because he called me weird a lot and sort of told me I’m bipolar or schizophrenic and we had few things in common, but more because we were always on edge around one another. It wasn’t easy. Or comfortable. It didn’t click. At least that’s what he said the same night he actually admitted to liking me. I don’t know.]

Should be working out. Am not.

I got a new job! I told you a little about it before. Unfortunately I’m still trying to wrap up my old job, meaning right now I’m working on five different magazine issues. FIVE. It’s insanity. Worse, though, is that my new boss just announced she’s retiring. Remember this time last year when my old boss got moved? Now my editor is announcing her retirement in less than a MONTH after hiring me. I’m really pretty frustrated with her, but more terrified at how I’m going to survive until she’s replaced. As if I wasn’t questioning my decision to take this job already. Jeesh.

Moving up the sorority volunteer line, too. Lived at the house for a couple weeks. Might be becoming a pretty active adviser. Eh.

Got wireless Internet back after not having it for a month. #Winning

Life post-PB is liberating.

Volunteered at a high school debate tournament for the first time in a couple years. Felt dumb. So all things as usual there.

Going to be happily rejoining the lawyer book club just as soon as I can, and I am still going strong with the PB Book Cult and the sorority quarterly club. Goal: 30 books this year.

Finally, and unrelated: This clip which makes me think of this post’s title.

The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. 

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Personal Space

I work on a floor with a bathroom with seven stalls. Seven. Unless you’re there around lunch or a floor-wide meeting, it’s not terribly busy. Rarely are more than three people in the room with you, and often none at all. Restroom bliss.


Let me lay it out for you:

Scenario upon my entering the barthroom: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [_6] [_7]
{all empty. 6&7 are handicap, so they’re a little bigger}

So I pick a stall. Let’s say Lucky #4. This is me: x
Now: [1] [2] [3] [x] [5] [_6] [_7]

10 seconds later 2 people enter. This is them: X
Now: [1] [X] [x] [X] [_6] [_7]

Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY. This is, without a doubt, my biggest pet peeve. (People who don’t use blinkers are a close second.) It happens all the time here. When you’re offered a panoply of stalls, why choose to take care of business–whatever that may be–next to someone? Bah.

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