Monday, November 30, 2009

Its a Brand New Day

I am back in Brooklyn after my Thanksgiving break. The week before I left was pretty hard for me emotionally so I wasn't able to blog. I had a rejuvenating few days at home. Mom and Jake were very supportive and encouraging and although I may have begged and cried they got me back on the bus to NY. Now that I'm back I'm feeling good and ready to start again with a good attitude about finding a job and having my New York adventure.

Last week besides feeling sorry for myself I had a two-day temp assignment for Clinique. The offices were amazing. They were on the 37th floor in the same building as CBS and FAO Swartz, right across from The Plaza. My job was to read press releases that come in any time the company name is published. I think that means my blog will be on the desk of some other temp in about a year. It was entertaining and I got to see CBS taping the Early Show each morning outside.

View from the window at Clinique

Also early last week I decided to look up the options for scrapbooking and crafting clubs and stores in the area as I always feel better when I'm being creative. I ended up finding a portrait studio/scrapbooking store in Manhattan. Thinking that that sounded like a business hand made for me I sent them an e mail saying I was an avid scrapbooker and photographer specializing in children and would love to send them a resume or small portfolio of my work. I send these e mails to businesses often and never get any response except a few regrets e mails now and then, so I didn't expect much. The e mailed me back and wanted to schedule an interview for Tuesday!! I couldn't believe it. I don't even HAVE an actual portfolio or any professional photo experience. Laura and I sat Monday night picking out the best of the pictures I had taken at my last job and while I was working Tuesday she picked up a pack of 8x10s at Target and a black folder. I went to the interview not even knowing what to expect. I think it went really well. They introduced me to the owners and gave me the run down on what my job would be like and even gave me a tour. They said they'd be excited to have some more people on staff that were interested in scrapbooking AND photography as a lot of the photographers they had weren't as excited about crafts. They said they'd get in touch with me this week. I can't believe it and don't want to get to excited until I hear for sure but what a fantastic opportunity this could be. I'd be a professional photographer in NYC!!

In case that doesn't pan out I have a week + assignment lined up through one of the agencies for next week. So for now I'll try to just relax and enjoy myself. Contrary to how I sounded at home yesterday I am feeling good about being in Brooklyn.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fine 'N Dandy

I know my blog posts are coming farther apart these days but so are jobs and adventures. I'll try to get back on the ball. Its been a little rough being unemployed this week. I'm really looking forward to coming home for Thanksgiving!

A couple of days ago Laura and found a new bar to go to in our neighborhood. Its called the 773 Lounge and it was a lot of fun. They have a lot of regulars and an active Darts league. Everybody there was happy to have us and friendly. They gave us free food and one man took my card to see about a job workign for his friend who distributes toy trains. Another man gave us two-dollar bills and a third offered us Circle Line cruises whenever Laura's children are visiting. It was really fun and we'll be going back.

Yesterady I got one of my rare temp assignments. This one was by far the best. An advertising agency was doing a big pitch to land an account with Sweet n' Low and because their staff was relatively small almost everyone in the office would be in the pitch meeting that day. They hired a handful of temps to sit at desks around the office and look busy so when any of the Sweet n' Low people walked around the office it would look like there were plenty of busy employees working away. So we were being paid to pretend to work there and all we really had to do was sit at desks with computers. We got some busy work tasks but mostly we just hung out and had free use of the pantry and chatted. I loved it. We even got name plates to match the special pitch-day nameplates everyone else in the office had.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome Visitors

Sorry it has been so long since I updated. I didn't do a THING all week last week. No work and no responses from any of my applications or resume submissions. I was feeling kind of crummy. Its so frustrating to not be doing more. My friend Sarah came by on Wednesday and we walked all the way around Prospect Park and that felt good. Thursday and Friday the weather was too spiteful to do that.

Friday night I went to Target to get a new mop and then cleaned my apartment from top to bottom because my mom, sister and nephew were coming to visit this weekend. Laura bought me The Perfect Brownie Pan for my Birthday so I also made fresh brownies. Going to bed Friday night felt like trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Saturday I met my family on 34th street where they got off their bus. We had steaks and then waited around a bit for Gage's friend who was looking at colleges in the area. We got caught in some rain and then finally got a taxi back to Brooklyn. When we got here we ordered from Picket Fence and then played Catchphrase until the food came. Then we ate a delicious dinner and then watched Almost Famous and went to bed.

Yesterday my sister and the kids went thrift store shopping and mom and I were on our own. First mom took me to the grocery store and I got to stock up on some stuff. Then I took mom on the subway and we got off around Rockefeller Center. She got to see the NBC studios and we went into the NBC store. We also go to see the skaters on the ice rink and the big Rockefeller Center tree with scaffolding all around it. We kept seeing bags from the American Girl store and so we thought we'd go have a look. After that we sat by St Patrick's cathedral and then took a taxi to Herald Square where we looked at the newly decorated windows at Macy's until it was time to catch the bus. We had a really pleasant day looking around and it was very hard to say goodbye when everyone got on the bus. I miss my mom so much.

The Rockefeller Center Tree in progress

Only two weeks until Thanksgiving. That is what I am looking forward to now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Cover Letter Down

Its late Tuesday night and I only just now feel like I even deserve to write a blog. Yesterday was a whole day of NOTHING. Oh well unless you include dish washing, television watching and mail checking. Ok so I also went to the library. Something I didn't do: WORK!!

Today was a bit more of the same except I did venture out of the apartment to meet Laura DeWitt for Birthday Tea at her favorite Brittish restaurant in Greenwhich Village. The restaurant is called Tea and Sympathy and it was delicious. I had a cornish hen with all the fixings, like a fantastic Christmas dinner. Laura had Sausage rolls and some great macaroni. THEN we had dessert. Laura got chocolate cake and I got amazing Apricot Crumble. We got to sit right in the front window and watch people come up and read the menu or walk by on the street. That was great. Thank you Laura for the birthday dinner!

The only other thing is that I did just write another cover letter and submitted another resume. Maybe one day someone will actually respond to one of these.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We Love Karaoke

Last night Sarah came over to our apartment and we all walked over to Shenanigans for Karaoke night. What fun. Laura and I sang a song each and then dueted on Shoop. Sarah loved our bar and everybody there was having even more fun than the last time we were there. Everyone in the place sang along to every song. Even the bartender was into the music.

Sarah and Laura at Shenanigans

Today my back is hurting me a lot, maybe from standing at the bar for so long last night. Laura and I went to the farmers market a bit ago for eggs and now we're home watching tv. I'm hoping for some work this week and looking forward to birthday tea with Laura DeWitt.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Deep Fryday!

Yesterday afternoon my friend Sarah of Funemployment Brooklyn hosted Deep Fryday. The idea was to come over to her apartment with something you'd like to try and deep fry and she would provide the drinks. Of course I had to take oreos. When I got there it was Sarah and her friend Samantha. They had gone all the way to Target to get a Turkey fryer but after assembling it realized they'd need a propane tank. We decided to try deep frying on the stove instead.

Homemade Fries

First we made sweet potato fries and then regular french fries. They were delicious! I never knew I could make french fries so easily. Then we used the internet to find a recipe for crispy fry batter and mixed it up. We used the batter to coat some onion rings and then some asparagus. Wow was that asparagus good too! Finally we fried some brie because Sarah had had that once and loved it. It was pretty fantastic.

Onion Rings

By this time Laura was getting off work so she headed over and we started to mix up funnel cake batter. When Laura got there we started a new pan of oil for sweets and used the batter to fry oreos, twix bars, coffee beans and sweet tarts. The last one was just for science. The oreos were perfect and the twix was amazing too. We used the last of the batter to make a little funnel cake and then we were all really full of greasy food. Mmmm. It was so fun and delicious. Now that I know how I feel like I would like to deep fry everything I eat. We had a good time talking and Sarah and I realized we both love Girl Talk and made plans to go see him in concert if he is ever close by. Sarah and Laura realized they both love Top Shop and we made plans to go to the new New York one today. Yay for new friends and fried things.

As always: more photos are up on my Kodak Gallery. Just use the link in the upper right of the blog.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm More Than Empty Boxes!

Today I had a one-day assignment at Prada. I was assembling empty boxes meant to resemble large heavy books for a book launch party they are having. Unlike my last empty box job though, I got to work with others today. There were six other temps sent from my same agency and two interns working on the same project. They stuffed the eight of us, as well as the four thousand unassembled boxes into a fitting room. Granted the fitting rooms at Prada are bigger than our Brooklyn kitchen, but it was still a tight fit. The task itself was mindless and of course I cut my finger on a box, but I got to spend lots of time talking to new people and it wasn't a bad day at all. The two interns were international: Jay from South Korea and a quiet young lady from Romania who didn't spend much time with the rest of us. Dusti and Paul and Michael were aspiring actors and they exchanged lots of tips on getting jobs and auditions and managers and agents. Dusti moved here from Alabama two weeks ago and was the most outgoing of any of us. It was great for me because she asked everyone all the questions I wanted answered and I got to just sit back and listen. Trent just moved here because his wife got into Columbia. He went to school to study interior design and was really excited about the design in the store. Dylan did not want to be our friend or talk to us and he put his iPod on and peaced out pretty quickly after we got our instructions, but I did get out of him that he was from Sterling, VA. Later on I told everyone about Sheetz. They didn't understand. Someday though, they'll be driving down the coast and they'll see that sign on the Gas Exit XXX and they'll stop and then they'll know.

At the end of the day everyone went home but I got to stay a little late and put necks on the mannequins. People there were very very very fancy. It was fascinating eaves dropping for me.

I came home tired and sore and cranky but not for long! The UPS man came at 8pm with presents! I got Elvis Pajamas from Jake's Grandma, a new rolly cart from Mama but best of all: Mama also sent me a COFFEE MAKER!!! Hooray hooray hooray! I'm saved.

Laura came home and we watched Grey's Anatomy.

No work tomorrow it looks like. Hope I get something good next week. I hope I don't only get jobs involving empty boxes. There's so much more to me than that, right?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Funemployed it is!

Jake left last night and today when I woke up I was feeling really down. The sink was full of dirty dishes, with more dishes that had to be put away on the counter, my boyfriend was all gone and I was still unemployed. I felt useless and didn't see any reason to get up. I started to watch a DVD on my computer in bed and feel sorry for myself. After a while I thought I'd use the computer to look up a book club on Craigslist so maybe I could make some new friends. I searched under 'Groups' in Brooklyn and didn't find a book club but I did find a listing for a group called Funemployed in Brooklyn. Here is what the post said:

Are you an UNEMPLOYED Brooklyn resident under the age of 35, interested in
replacing Facebook-stalking, The Price is Right, and week-old takeout binges
with stimulating, social, and FREE activities? Do you have a practical, unusual,
or supernatural skill or ability you’d like to share with other people in your

We are a small group of highly creative, educated, and currently
unemployed individuals looking to share our useless/useful knowledge and talents
with other people who are free during the day. We want to improve our own
skills, explore new interests, and help others discover and improve upon their
own --- all for free, because we don’t have jobs.
To be considered for
admission to the group, you MUST:
-Be under the age of 35, and open-minded
-Have the desire to remain creative, collaborative, and motivated while out of
work -Be able to make at least one contribution to the collective betterment of
the group. This is a purposely vague requirement; we really hope you have
something to offer that we’ve never even thought of wanting to learn.
examples of valuable things you might share with the group are:
-fluency in
a foreign language -HTML/flash/photoshop/dreamweaver/protools/finalcutpro
skills, etc. -creative writing skills -culinary skills -athletic skills
(preference given to experts in obscure/foreign sports) -musical skills
-pool-hustling skills -card-gaming skills -drink-mixing skills -belly-dancing
skills -bow-hunting skills -and the list goes on…
If you’re interested in
hanging out, teaching something, or learning something new, send us a note
telling us a little bit about who you are, why you’d like to participate, and
what you hope to bring to the table. If we think you’re a good fit, we’ll
schedule an interview and help you get to know us as well. This is just a fun
way to collaborate with your peers and explore new interests, while preventing
muscular and neurological atrophy in this dreary economic climate.
No cover
letters or resumes, please.

Laying there in my bed I didn't see any way I could not answer the ad. What did I have to lose? I came here for adventure and to meet new people, not to lay in my bed at home and be pissy about not having a job. I e mailed the given address and heard back pretty quickly from Sarah. The group was meeting in a bar in a neighborhood called Greenpoint at 2:30 today to play Scrabble. I jumped up from bed, washed and put away all the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, showered, got up and headed out to make new friends and play some Scrabble.

Greenpoint is in the northern part of Brooklyn, almost to Queens. It was a bit different than our neighborhood and it took an hour and two transfers to get me there. Once I found the bar I met Sarah, Kate and Amanda. They were really nice and we had some nice chatting and began to play Scrabble. During the game we all talked about job hunting and what we were doing last, where we came from etc.

During the game my cell phone rang with temp assignments from BOTH temp companies!! I accepted the first assignment before the second company called so I had to turn them down, which really hurt. I couldn't believe it and the other girls were really impressed. I tried to assure them that the temp companies NEVER call me really but I don't think they believed it.

After Scrabble we all walked to the train together and rode together a while. I stayed on the train the longest. When I got home I got online and looked up an infant and toddler dance program I had seen a poster for in a different, fancier neighborhood. The program sounded really cool so I e mailed them and then followed the ads on that site to other interesting child-centered websites. I ended up also e mailing a kids photography studio.

Finally Laura and I had to take our laundry out. We had a tip from a woman on the elevator that there was a 24 hour laundromat on a block further down than Courtelyou. Since both laundromats on Courtelyou are cramped and there's no place to sit and never a table to fold on we decided to try it. We ended up having walk about four blocks and then some over to get to it but it was much larger and fancier than the ones close by. It was really big and most all the machines worked AND they had seats, tons of folding tables AND TVs!!! It was a bit more expensive for washing but the dryers cost the same. Instead of a coin-op it had a card system where you had to go to a sort of ATM and purchase a card for $3 and then put the money you wanted to use on laundry onto the card and then use the card in the machines. You can't get your money back from the card but you can get the $3 back if the card is empty. Well whatever: They had TVs and seats and tables!! Oh and video games! NOT that I have video game quarters at this time. We watched some of the big baseball game and listened to all the Yankees fans around the place cheer for their team.

Tomorrow I have work so that is good. I'm supposed to wear all black so who knows what I'll be doing. For a day that started off on the blah and mopey side today shaped up to be pretty good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Don't Wanna Grow Up!

Yesterday I took Jake to see Times Square and Central Park. We took the train to Times Square and looked around at the lights and signs etc. Bless his heart, Jake wants to talk to every promoter, etc that is handing out a flier. I don't know how we got out of there without theatre tickets, bus tickets and some hip hop artists CD, but we managed.

Jake and I spotted a Ferris Wheel INSIDE Toys R Us simultaneously and were so excited to go inside. The ride costs money but I had fun taking pictures and then Jake spotted the Nintendo station. We ended up spending at least an hour exploring the wonders of Toys R Us. It was so cool. I picked out multiple gifts for everyone I know there (for when I have the money to buy gifts, of course.)

Next we walked up Broadway to Central Park. We stopped at Bethesda Fountain and watched a busker who was blowing enormous bubbles with some rope. Wonder how much he makes blowing bubbles in the park each day... The bubbles were beautiful and we sat on some steps and watched for a little while. Then we walked over to Strawberry Fields so Jake could see it. He got into a conversation with the man who places flowers on the Imagine circle each day. He's been doing it for sixteen years. He also gave us a piece of his mind about the government and peace. After that we walked over to the Dakota and then to the subway to come home. When we got here we had some chocolate fondue in my fountain and played Trivial Pursuit with Laura.

Today Jake went back to VA so its back to the never ending job hunt. I heard from another temp company today so maybe they will have some leads. I'm so grateful for a wonderful weekend and birthday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It Doesn't Get Any Better.

Friday night Courtney, Laura and I went to a club called Mercury on the Lower East side to see Harper Simon perform. I had seen an ad on facebook or myspace about the show and thought it would definitely be worth the $15 tickets to see Paul Simon's son live. We got there during the opening act, a band with horns called The Americans. When they finished their set we started scoping out the crowd, just in case Paul Simon might have come out to support his son. We didn't have to search long; he was sitting five feet behind me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The three of us immediately began to freak out. After 90 seconds of gasping and giggling but trying to still look calm and cool I decided we'd have to go and shake his hand. Then we had to gasp and squeal silently another 30 seconds. Finally I walked right over to Paul Simon, who was seated on a bench against the side wall, with his younger son sitting beside him, wearing black and a black leather fedora, and shook his hand. I said, 'Hi, I'm Katy. I'm a really big fan. Thank you. Then I stepped aside and Laura and Courtney shook his hand too. We returned to our standing spots five feet away and freaked out for a few more minutes. Then we went and bought ourselves some beers. After that Harper came on to perform.

The music was really good. I'm pretty sure I was standing there savoring this amazing moment in my life when I looked over and noticed a small woman moving into the front row to stand next to Courtney. She was wearing a top hat and sunglasses and she turned and handed her belongings to a young man standing behind her. Her body guard. It was Yoko Ono. Standing directly beside Courtney who was standing directly beside me was Yoko Ono. For real. No joke. I began to hyperventilate. I had my hand over my heart and was standing there with Paul Simon right behind me, his son playing pretty music on the stage, and Yoko Ono dancing beside my friend Courtney from camp. Yoko was very happy to be there, smiling and dancing with her top hat and her sunglasses. She kept smiling at us three girls so after a few songs I waved a little and said hi. Yoko happily waved and said hi back. At the end of the next song I reached around Courtney and shook her hand and said 'Hi, I'm Katy.' She said hi back but before Courtney and Laura could shake her hand somebody elbowed in and took over. We stood next to her and danced and enjoyed the rest of the set. Unbelievable.

After his set, Harper Simon and Yoko pose for a photo.

After Harper's performance I had to go outside and call everyone in my family. On the way back in I hugged the bouncer. This is certainly the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me.

Yesterday Laura and I went for groceries and cleaned the apartment. On our way back from the store we saw tons of Trick or Treaters in the neighborhood. On Church Ave they had a DJ in the Verizon store and the kids were trick or treating at all the stores. It was really cool and there were so many cute kids. We walked back on Marlborough, the street across the tracks from our windows with the huge mansions. Some of the houses were decorated and the street was FULL of kids and parents. At the house directly behind ours there were tons of people in the yard. Once a group of kids gathered in the yard, a man dressed as Leatherface would come around the house with a chainsaw fired up and all the kids would scream and run. It was hilarious. We heard the chainsaw from our apartment windows for the rest of the evening, followed by the screaming and it was funny every time.

Jake came for my birthday and he got here around 7. I took him to Picket Fence and we had a nice dinner. Then we came back to the apartment and did Karaoke with Laura until the early morning.

Today is my BIRTHDAY! HOORAY! Laura went to the New York Marathon this morning but Jake and I slept in. Then I got my presents from him. He got me a shiatsu back massaging pillow with heat! AND a chocolate fondue fountain!!!!!!! WHAT? I have the best boyfriend ever. A massager and a chocolate FOUNTAIN! Laura and I just had strawberries dipped in hot melted chocolate.

We're going to try and find some decent cheese fries and wings tonight for my birthday dinner.