Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm 25, and I live with my parents...I promise I'm not a loser!

Most newly graduated master's degree students would balk at the idea of moving back in with their parents, but that's exactly what I've done. I graduated in May with a master's degree in historic preservation.

The past two years have been filled with wonderful experiences in new places and lifelong friends. I moved away from home to go to grad school...almost 9 hours to be exact (which was pretty far for me). I thought when I graduated that I was destined to settle somewhere other than my hometown.

The prospect of getting a job in the field of preservation was just not something I considered to be an option where I'm from. During some preliminary job hunting in January, I found a job on PreserveNet.com to be an Architectural Historian in my hometown. What are the odds? A lengthy interview process ensued, and I was eventually offered the job.

As I neared the end of my schooling, I began to feel more and more drawn home. I almost thought something was wrong with me that I didn't want to stay where I was (which was a beautiful city filled with some of the most fantastic historic buildings you've ever seen) or go somewhere even more exotic. I felt the need to be closer to home. I have a wonderful relationship with my family and have never wanted to be far away from them. But as a young, single woman, I thought I should "spread my wings" so to speak, and go wherever I wanted to go while I wasn't tied down to anybody or anything.

My decision to accept this job wasn't terribly difficult, but being the indecisive creature that I am, I had a few sleepless nights trying to choose between this job and another potential job opportunity that was "right up my alley" and was located in the town where I was already living.

In the end, the job in my hometown won out and I am happy to be here. I enjoy spending time with my parents, sister and her husband....and of course my new baby nephew. I didn't want to be an absentee aunt and I LOVE getting to see him regularly.

My family suffered the loss of a loved one recently, and I know that my being home is exactly where I'm supposed to be. It is amazing how things work out.

Now, for those of you who scoff at me living with parents, to you I say: Pay off my student loans and help me find an apartment or house, then we'll talk. I get along with my parents extremely well, and they give me plenty of space and a place to live while I save money so I can make a dent in my student loan payments.

After I told one of my coworkers where I lived, she said, "Just don't make it a habit." I thought that was really funny. I suppose the concept is probably foreign to most people, but I don't plan on living with them forever. It's just nice to be able to come home not only to spend time with my family, but also get well on my way to paying off loans and saving some money for my own place.

They say you can't go home again, but I say if you're family is willing and able to have you back, then it is okay to take advantage of that gracious offer in order to establish yourself for the future.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Adult" is not a synonym for common sense

Last night, I volunteered as a docent for a downtown tour of homes that invovled standing in a room for three hours saying the same thing every three minutes or so. I'm not complaining about that, exactly, because I really do enjoy it. Standing on your feet for three hours straight isn't terribly comfortable, but I have such a good time talking to people as they walk through the house that it's worth a little foot pain.

But you would think that some of these people were raised by idiots...which in some cases is probably true. The houses on the tours are private homes that people have graciously opened to the public, and you would think that people would respect that, but that's not always the case.

I didn't have anybody try to touch anything last night, but I did a tour last fall where this woman actually opened an old cutlery box when my back was turned. She almost dropped the lid when I turned around to give her the stink eye. Are you kidding me? What would possess you to touch something in a person's private home when you are on a tour? And 9 times out of 10, the culprit is an adult. I rarely see small children on these tours, so that leaves imbecilic adults who don't know how to behave themselves.

In addition to sticky fingers, I also get a lot of arrogant know-it-alls who like to interrupt/correct me when they think they know more than I do. I will admit it when I don't know something for certain, but I hate being interrupted. I had a man last night who I had to use my "teacher stare" on to get him to stop talking so I could begin the tour. After that, he interrupted me three times. Hello?! Use manners much? I am not a genius, but I do know a few things about old buildings and I never say things that are inaccurate.

This just reinforces my belief that just because you're an adult does not mean that you are a professional, considerate person. When you're a kid, all adults seem so cool and sophisticated and always know the right thing to do and say. Now I know that is not always the case.

Oh well, maybe I'll just bring a cattle prod and perfect my disapproving glare to encourage people to keep their grubby hands off people's personal property and keep their unwanted opinions to themselves.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is it possible to have too much free time?

I realize that it has been some time since my last post. All I can say is that my thesis is done and I couldn't be happier. However, rather than having no time for myself during thesis, I now find that I have what I would call copious amounts of free time.

I'm not bragging to you hardworking folk out there, but I really don't know what to do with myself. I am in danger of becoming one of those people you hear about on the news whose bodies have conformed to whatever seating apparatus they can't seem to leave. Oddly enough, my choice of seating is a small love seat that does not instill love when there are two occupants sitting on it. All that can be said for it is that it should be thankful slip covers were invented because otherwise its country plaid self would be out on the street.

OK, it's not this bad, but it's getting there.

But, watching T.V. in my room for hours at night is quickly losing its appeal. Don't get me wrong, I am a threat to be a couch potato (my parents can attest to this), and watching the six episodes of Family Guy that come on three different channels every night is great, but I think I need to get some better evening hobbies.

My days are filled with pleasant bike rides to class and trips to the beach. I even got to do a little woodworking in my lab class today with a wonderful gentleman who taught us how to do wood inlay. My career as a carpenter ended when I saw the power tools, but the finished product is gorgeous.

So, my paints and easel are sitting in the corner of my room. I should break them out and do some painting....perhaps on my piazza. Yes, I have french doors in my room that lead onto a second-story piazza. It's quite nice, but I'll have to lace the threshold with roach killer or I'll be covered in the nasty little creepers while I sleep. Eek!

Here's to not squandering the free time I've complained about not having for the past three months!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Reading is a solitary pastime...

I just want to say that I hate it when people interrupt me when I'm reading. I am obviously doing something, so anything more than a comment or two is rude. Part of the fun of reading is getting imersed in the story and I can't do that if people keep interrupting me.

For example, I sit around a lot at my part-time job so I get to read when we're not busy. On one such non-busy day, I was reading in the seclusion of the gift shop when one of my coworkers kept coming in and talking to me. I don't mean to be rude, but why is it that some people cannot pick up on social cues? If I talk to someone and all they respond with is "uh huhs" and "yeahs" I just leave them alone. However, this chick did not bring her own book to read, so she preceded to walk through our book section commenting on all the ones she wanted to buy.

I try not to be too curmudgeony, but when I'm doing solitary activities, I like to be left alone. I come from a family of loners so I suppose I inherited it from my parents. Don't get me wrong, we are very chatty and social most of the time, and my family will attest to the fact that I talk a lot, but we all enjoy our alone time.

So, if you ever see me reading, and I don't respond to your comments with much enthusiasm, take that as a gentle social cue that I want to be left alone.

Hooray for Sunny Winters!

It is 65 and sunny today, and I am in a great mood. I have a thesis to worry about, and the prospect of graduation and job hunting before me, but I feel great. And I think part of that is due to the spectacular weather.

I went to a hockey game last night with some friends. It was cold outside, but not cold cold. It was the nippy cold that you get living in the south, minus the snow. I told one of my classmates who is from Pennsylvania that our long walk from the car to the arena would have been utterly miserable if we had to trudge through snow and slush. She just laughed and said "Oh, Kate." But I'm seriously reconsidering my vow to apply to jobs "anywhere" because after looking at the mountains of snow people in northern regions have to deal with, I'm not so sure I could make it.

This would not be okay with me.

Snow is beautiful....for a couple of days. But to live in it for weeks and months at a time seems like such an inconvenience. I realize getting snow in the south is different because we are completely inept at driving in it, and everyone freaks out and buys up all the milk and bread. We only freak out because we are so not accustomed to being stuck in our homes for days without electricity and water.

We got exactly one night of beautiful snow a week ago, about 2 or 3 inches, and it was perfect. The bright, warm sun melted the snow away the next day and everyone was able to go about their business.

I know I'd probably get used to it if I lived in a snowy area for a couple of years, but I don't know if I want to. The Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is listed as a legitimate disorder on the Mayo Clinic's website.....no thank you! I'd miss my gorgeous sunny days and 65 degree weather too much.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Miss Tess

I meant to write about this last week, but as usual the procrastination monster got the better of me. But I said I'd write about it, so here we go. I mentioned Miss Tess in an earlier post. She is an absolutely fabulous jazz singer that my friend heard about. When she told me Miss Tess would be performing in our fair city I was so very excited. The concert was free which was an added bonus.

The concert was on a Monday night at an out of the way venue, so I didn't really expect it to be crowded. However, we got there about 45 minutes early just in case. When we walked into the bar, we were a little stunned because there were only about five people there. I thought that a little odd, but figured more would come later.

Well, when Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade (her band) took the stage, there might have been 15 people there not counting my group. Not crazy exciting, but the minute Miss Tess started to sing, I was hooked. She has this absolutely flawless voice. I am always impressed when I go see musicians and they sound exactly like they do on a CD. Her songs range from playful to soulful and I was tappin' and swayin' to them all. She has a quirky look with short curly hair and glasses and subtle retro clothing. I liked how she let her music be the focal point rather than tarting it up with flashing makeup and clothes.

In addition to the awesome music, my friends and I also had some interesting characters to watch. Since the place was pretty empty, there was a lot of floor space. People weren't dancing much, but we did have this guy who I'm pretty sure was high on something hopping up and down and fluttering his hands by himself in the middle of the dance floor. There was also this girl who rolled up her shirt and displayed her stomach in indecently low-rider jeans. She even got into a push-up contest with a guy. Yeah, that's how much unused floor space was available.

There was also this older guy sitting at the bar. He apparently got hungry at some point and went out to his car to bring in a bag of unopened chips. As the numbers dwindled down to less than ten, I guess he felt more comfortable speaking up. When Miss Tess said the song they were about to play was a little dark, this guy responded: "That's okay, we like dark songs here in Charleston."

Probably my favorite character was this guy who we think was probably high on some serious drugs who danced around the room by himself, fluttering his hands at his sides. He had some interesting moves to say the least.

Aside from the odd group of people, the Miss Tess concert was wonderful. I recommend going to see her if you can. Check out her website to see her upcoming tour dates and listen to her music.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Lady Gaga Flash Mob?

So, as I was walking home from class yesterday around 5pm, I noticed several people with what I would describe as Cirque du Soleil-esque costumes on. As I got closer to the city square, I began seeing more and more people dressed in weird outfits. When I got to the corner of an intersection, I asked a girl next to me what was going on. She said it was some kind of dance thing to Lady Gaga music....hmmmm?

This is the girl I saw!!!

Becky and Steph...This one's for you!!!

As I walked by the huge crowd, I saw people holding up camera phones dancing to "Bad Romance." There was even a radio station van there too. The further I went down the street to get home, I saw droves of girls laughing and dancing in the opposite direction wearing leotards and tights with blond wigs and garish makeup. I felt like I was in one of those disaster movies where you see the main characters in the lone car driving back into a doomed city while the other side of the interstate is in gridlock trying to get out.

Curious, I looked up the cause of this flash mob and it turns out it was a big Facebook thing that had 2,000 people RSVP to come to the city square and have an impromtu dance party with a Lady Gaga theme. It only lasted for 30 minutes, but they apparently raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross for Haiti relief in tins surrounding the dance-off.

I may not be the biggest Lady Gaga fan, but I thought this was awesome. Even though the weather was dreary and rainy, young people were out having a good time and donating money for a good cause.