Monday, March 28, 2011

interviews and more interviews

A short update: some of you have asked if I already graduated and have moved out here to Ca, but I just wanted to clarify and say I definitely haven't yet! Unfortunately there's SO much I have to get through before graduation, such as finishing my thesis, defending my thesis to the English department and my super-smart peers who will no doubt push me (in a good way!), finishing up my other classes, and preparing to move out here in June--all before the big day on June 5.

There's also a lot of really fun things happening before graduation too. After classes end on May 13 and we finish our papers and our exams, we'll be heading down with the rest of our senior class to Hilton Head for a week, a Williams tradition undoubtedly left over from the time when it was an "old boys' club" college. (We actually didn't admit women until the 70s!) After Hilton Head we go back to Williams for Senior Week, filled with fancy dinners, dancing, champagne brunches, and bonfires. Graduation is on June 5, then L. and I will stay with my parents for about a week while I pack up my room, donate/sell my stuff, and then we'll finally head out here!

So quite awhile to go.

The last week has been all about L. and me trying to nail down jobs before we actually move out, so that we're not, you know, driving across the country and renting an apartment with no income! I had four meetings/interviews: last Saturday (the 19) I attended a job fair of sorts for independent high schools to interview for teaching positions, then Monday I had my long-awaited interview at a big, wonderful publishing company about a half hour outside LA, and last Wednesday I met with two literary agents. One guy was a big-whig talent agent and was a total tool; I'll have to give him a post of his own.

My teaching interview with a great private school in North Hollywood and my interview at the publishing company both went really well, and though I haven't been offered either position yet it seems promising for both. I'll have a big decision to make, since the publishing job, while it would be perfect, would be about a half-hour commute each way depending on traffic, perhaps up to an hour. Teaching would be a short commute but it sort of terrifies me.

L. had such good luck out here! I don't know if I mentioned before, but his initial offer from the UCLA biochemistry research department had a contingency; the person who has the job now had to get into med school to free up the position for L. to take. On Friday L. and I went into Westwood so he could meet with some more people at UCLA (and so I could stuff my face with cookie sandwiches from Diddy Riese), and his boss told him that he officially had the position, no more contingency! Color me HAPPY.

Now that we know where at least one of us is going to be living, the apartment hunt is on. We're hoping to live in Westwood since it's a perfect little mini-city, with enough bars, restaurants, shops, and movie theatres to keep us busy, plus it would be great if L. could walk to work. What I don't want, however, is to get into a situation where we're living in an apartment building with a bunch of UCLA undergrads-- I am SO READY to be out of college and do not want to feel like I'm going back to school in the fall!

When we haven't been interviewing in LA, L. and I have been relaxing in Santa Barbara. We had a fun date night on Saturday that I'll write about in another post. Unfortunately it's been rainy almost the entire week we've been here, which is a huge bummer.

So that's my short update! I'm leaving California tomorrow to spend some time at home with my parents in New Hampshire, and then I go back to Williams for the last time EVER on Sunday to hopefully fly through this last month and a half.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

three cities in less than three days

I've been in LA (slash Newport slash Santa Barbara) for less than 48 hours, and in a way I feel as though I haven't actually slept, that the days have all rolled into one, and that I've been here for a week at the same time. Between frozen bananas on Balboa Island (there's always money in the banana stand!), sunsets on the Newport harbor, a seedy motel in North Hollywood, a day-long independent high school job interview convention that went flooringly well, despite the fact that I only got 5 hours of sleep Thursday night and 6 hours Friday night, dinner and a movie on state street, and finally waking up in L.'s parents' comfy, cozy house in Santa Barbara with the rain falling outside, it has been an absolutely crazy 48 hours.

More details soon, but for now I'm going to disappear into my happy place where I do absolutely no traveling for a whole day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

halp! are you a mac guy(gal)?

Recently I learned that Williams offers a loan up to $2,000 to purchase a laptop for currently enrolled students, which doesn't need to be paid back until nine months after graduation, and the payments for which will be suspended if the student continues onto grad school.

Here's the 411 on my current laptop:

1. No battery power. NONE. As in, when the adapter falls out of the power plug, my computer stops EVERYTHING it is doing, looks at me like this:

and then rolls around on the floor violently, making gagging and gasping sounds, kicks its legs up in the air a couple times, shudders a violent death rattle, and dies. Without even thinking that MAYBE, before it left this earth, it might be polite to back up some of my work.


2. The screen. It has somehow become loose, it weebles and wobbles (but it won't fall down!), and basically it lolls about like a newborn baby without the muscles in its neck to support its head.

3. The N key is completely gone. It's just a lone black key. Good thing I played word typing games LIKE IT WAS MY JOB in 6th grade, so my fingers have memorized where it should be.

4. The DVD player is going, which means that my ability to play the Sims and watch Sex and the City in lieu of writing papers or studying for finals is becoming severely threatened. This would impact my life in catastrophic, inexplicable ways.

5. It's four years old, which is about 80 in computer-years.

6. Norton and MacAffe (however you spell it...I honestly have a panic attack every time it pops up and click violently to get rid of it so I can't be expected to have memorized the spelling) straight up COMPETE with one another to do scans on my computer NOT once a month, NOT once a week, but literally, which completely overtakes the system and makes everything else unbearably slow. The whole "we'll just do this in the background so you can keep working while we clean up!" is completely false. And also, they NEVER find anything! So why the persistence?

Clearly, a new computer with this loan program, which has a 5% fixed interest rate, is a wise investment. BUT, in a world overrun by Macs, what is a PC girl to do?

(PS, I know that a lot of people become enraged by the use of "PC" as the contrast to Mac, because Macs are also "Personal Computers," but for the love of god you know what I mean.)

So here are my questions. Do you use a Mac or a PC? If a PC, which kind, and has it treated you nicely or have you been cursing the day you ever got it? I'm thinking of getting the Dell XPS15. Heard good things? Bad things? Lukewarm things?

Do tell!

PS. While we're on the subject of computers, I have a funny story for you. The other day I was in the library, attempting to actually be productive and work on a paper. I had my headphones but my iPod was dead, so I plugged my earbuds into the library desktop computer--surrounded by about 50 others, most of which were taken. It was a quiet, peaceful Friday afternoon. (I know, how lame am I for being in the library on a Friday afternoon?) I'm currently on a movie soundtracks, especially Hans Zimmer, kick, so I pulled up a song from Inception on YouTube and went to town.

But the music sounded really far away. I kept turning the volume up louder and louder but it only got marginally louder in my headphones. I was completely puzzled. Then I looked down.


It gets funnier.

The song was this one:

And I started turning it up right around 1:35, aka the most badass completely embarrassing part. The entire library got to be privy to a very, very loud Hans Zimmer horn on a lazy Friday afternoon whilst they were trying to write papers and study.

The end.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday Night Sushi

L. and I probably go to Sushi Thai Garden, one of about three restaurants within walking distance of campus (that aren't sandwich/lunch shops...yes, it does get very old, especially when you don't like Indian food, like me!), once a week.

Here's a funny local hint: Students call it Sushi Thai, and professors call it Thai Garden, but nobody calls it "Sushi Thai Garden." It would sound foolish.

I've never been a huge fan of sushi--I don' t like seafood! Have I told you guys that before?--but L. loves to order Dynamite Rolls, and I can actually eat two or three before I start to remember that I'm eating seafood, taste the seafood, and feel sick.

That's progress.

Sorry these pictures aren't great. I always feel really strange using a flash in the middle of a nice restaurant! Oh, the amazing meals I have neglected to share with you guys because of the flash problem.

My chicken dish, which is what I eat when I realize I don't like eating seafood.

This weekend, I bought two incredible trench coats from the Gap outlet. I've been dying for a staple, khaki, long trench for years, and had been stalking $100 versions at Victoria's Secret and Gap. This weekend I decided to make the hour-there, hour-back commute to the outlets to see what they had, and sure enough, amazing trenches in khaki AND black awaited me. PLUS, being the queen of discounts that I am, I got them each for...are you ready? $34. $34!!! That was the discounted outlet price on top of my AAA discount. Do you guys ask for that? If you have a AAA card, lots of outlet chains will honor a 10% discount just for flashing it! Definitely try it.

The coats are a dream. They're stylish, lightweight, and perfect for LA weather! And the night I bought them it was about 50 degrees, with a warm(ish) breeze blowing and the snow melting. Spring was springing. I was so excited that I'd get to wear my new coats almost immediately.

Today, it is snowing. Again. New England FAIL. Thank god I'm leaving for LA on Friday morning...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Whirlwind Weekend

Last weekend was almost too much awesomeness packed into three days. Friday night we threw L. a birthday party for his 22nd, Saturday night was Williams' annual senior party, 100 days, marking the 100-day-and-counting mark until graduation (hurry up!), and Sunday was both Oscars day and L.'s actual birthday, for which we went out for Mexican and ate wayy too much cake.

Phew. I'm tired just thinking about it all again...and thinking about all the cake and punch I drank, I am very, VERY sorry to my body, which only wants for spring break the week after next to NOT have to swelter in jeans and sweaters in warm So. Cal. weather. Sorry body.

But I got to wear pretty dresses two nights in a row and actually put on more makeup than just a quick swipe of mascara--hell, I actually wore REAL clothes at all instead of hanging out on the couch in yoga pants and a sweatshirt--so the weekend has to be a win in my book. Here's me and my girl Sara at L.'s party Friday!

L. didn't get dressed up for his party (universal law of boys v. girls--if it's a boy's birthday he DOESN'T HAVE TO get dressed up, whereas if it's a girl's birthday she can no matter what, even if no one else does...except her boyfriend probably has to, too), but he had to get dressed up with me Saturday night for 100 Days! Muahaha.

I didn't get a picture of the Red Velvet cupcakes with which I surprised L. at his party, but I DID manage to snap one of the cake I surprised him with Sunday at our big birthday dinner! BUT it came out badly. So you'll have to take my word for it that it was very pretty.

Poor guy. It's got to get confusing when your girlfriend is yelling at you to go to the gym with her every day, but essentially throwing confectionery goods at you left and right.

But the cake was good.

I also got him the best presents he got from anyone, and I was SO HUMBLE about it too. Not. I'm REALLY into giving presents.

A Danny Woodhead jersey. I think the face says it all.

And an old train stops-inspired print that I made on Photoshop with lots of iconic/places that have meaning to us in LA, which let's face it, is also a gift for me because it's going to look SO pretty in a white frame hung up in our apartment! Here's the .jpeg:

It was super easy to make, and it cost less than $2.00 to print! I'll have to buy a frame, but if I pick up a cheap one from Ikea we will have our first piece of art for our new apartment for around $10 clams. Not too bad!

Needless to say, this past weekend was not NEARLY as eventful. We had a lot of work to catch up on, and I was still trying to purge my system of all the baked goods and punch (vodka, Crystal Light raspberry lemonade, ice, and Sprite...make it! It's SO good) to which I had subjected it, so I enjoyed curling up on the couch in leggings and a hoodie and watching some good movies (we saw The Kids Are All Right for the second time and I liked it even better than the first!)

Oh, and on Saturday L.'s a cappella group, the Octet, had their mid-semester concert.

Here they are singing "Absolutely (Story of a Girl) by Nine Days."

And here's a little treat for you--their Taylor Swift medley.

It was awesome.