Dirty Thirty #6

The other day, while looking through the spoils of my Christmas stocking, I realized that I haven’t chewed gum in like 5 years.  And I used to chew it everyday.  Not sure what happened there.

Also, remember this?? Dirty Thirty was such a good idea back when it was an accurate description of my age! Let’s pretend I’m still 30 and keep it up, how ’bout. It’ll be our little secret.

Also, remember this blog??? Yeah well – IT’S BACK. Coming soon to a screen near you….

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Position’s been filled

Soul mate (noun): A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet.

A soul mate is a person who is with you through thick and thin. Someone who listens to you go on and on about yourself when you are in a self centered phase of life and happen to monopolize every conversation.  When planning a super fun international trip, you plan it with your soul mate.  Soul mates check your blog everyday even if you haven’t posted in months.  Your soul mate doesn’t make you feel bad about not wishing them happy birthday last year because you were having an awful day and didn’t remember it was their birthday until a month later.  And the best kind of soul mate is someone who loves the fair more than anyone else in the world and is the master of the extend-your-arm-to-get-a-picture-of-everyone photos.

Most people think of a soul mate as a love interest or the person you marry but twelve years ago I found mine in my friend Kathryn Hall.  We had met a few weeks before and late one night we were both having trouble sleeping.  So we set out on a walk around our tiny, silent college town to talk about life and adjusting to college and everything else under the sun.  Hours later we returned to our dorms bonded for life.  And we have been soul mates ever since.

So future/potential husband beware!  To me, soul mate = Kathryn Hall.

Happy Birthday, soul mate!

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Long Live Jimmy Carter

Wow.  I just checked and it’s been over 3 months since my last post.  coughcoughSLACKERcough.

However, in my long absence from the blogosphere I have been doing some stuff!

Mainly, I’ve been getting a new job.

As many of you know, I have been working for almost 5 years now (Surely not!) at a hardware store.  What started out as a job to pay the bills while I found a job turned into 5 crazy, unconventional, hard, enlightening, equally frustrating and fun years of padding my resume with retail experience.

The store was good to me – I made some great friends, learned a lot of handy man type skills and more, and got to know the bulk of the people and the spirit of the community I call home.  But it wasn’t enough for me and a couple of years ago I started looking in earnest for another job – Nay!  A career.  And let me tell you – That’s hard.  You gotta ask yourself the tough questions like What makes me happy?  What do I want for my life? What do I have to offer?  Throughout all this searching I wasn’t looking for just any old job – I was looking for my big break, something that would show me some direction and hopefully help me start a career.  And by jove, I think I’ve found it.

Besides this being pretty much the coolest job I can think of, I’ve slowly been realizing added benefits to not working in retail.

1. Not having to work with/be around/cater to/smile at the “general public.”

2. Holidays off. Period.

3. I get to wear cute stuff to work instead of throwing on my Carhartt’s and slapping my hair up in a ponytail. (I realize that this may get old fast but for now let me live in this new big girl wardrobe bubble.)

4. Not having to use a public restroom!

Just to name a few…

For a long time I’ve fantasized about working at NPR and considered the employer of my dreams.  But I can’t think of a closer second place than working at The Carter Center.

Tomorrow I start my job as Administrative Assistant to the Scheduler at The Carter Center.

Going into this job I understand that I know very little about what my days will be like.  The job of a Scheduler is slightly foreign to me.  But apparently everybody’s got one – the CEO of Coca-Cola, senators, the pope.  I do know I will be telling a lot of people no in the nicest way possible on behalf of the Carters, assisting their scheduler in any way needed to keep their lives running as smoothly as possibly, and pretty much keeping my mouth shut.  I don’t even really know if I can post this blog.  Confidentiality is KEY!  So forget this immediately after reading it!  (After you shower me with congratulations, praise, and free drinks – of course.)

Also, the first item listed under my responsibilities is keep the Carters’ passports up to date.  I wonder who dropped that ball for that to make it to #1…I’m sure heads rolled.

Basically, when someone says to Jimmy Carter – “Have your people call my people” – they’re talking about me.  Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

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The dogs days (of Lent) are o-o-ver

Hallelujah!  Jesus is Risen!  And I can drive again!

The carless Lent season has been about as hard as I expected.  I’m dependent on my car to get me places quickly, easily, and in the same condition in which I left.  Take away the car and you have waiting in bus stations and for a break in traffic to run across the highway, planning ahead and leaving extra early, and rain/sweat soaked clothes upon arrival.

Week one (& a half) was exceptional.  I was early everywhere.  I arrived with energy and slept peacefully through the night.  Things seemed to work seamlessly.

Week two was a bit of a reality check.  Week one had gone so well I was flying high then had a bit of a crash realizing I had to keep it up for 5 more weeks.

Week three was the late week.  I arrived no where on time.  I was 15+ minutes late everywhere and was stressed out about it.  Couldn’t seem to fix it though…

Week four was aches and pains week.  My body was like “Hell no you can’t be doing this much more physical activity than usual and not suffer the consequences – don’t forget, you’re old.”  My body is kind of a jerk.

Week five was no bike week because I thought it was the bike that was making my knee hurt (my chief ailment).  This made me late-r to work everyday (also cause my neighbor/friend/coworker that I had been walking with decided to go on vacation – so I was walking slower as well as not leaving on time).  But this week, I didn’t really care about my lateness.

Week six (the final week) was bum rides week.  My knee was feeling a bit better with no bike but I was over it.  But I was what I like to call “spitting distance to the finish line” and that means no quitting.  So I pushed through – excepting all offers of rides from my sympathetic (and equally over it) friends and coworkers.

So now it’s over.

I’ve done some research on the financial benefits of this Lent endeavor and here is a break down:

I did not drive my car for 46 days.

In the 46 days before Ash Wednesday I spent exactly $204.17 on gas.

The MARTA card I bought that lasted me the exact number of rides I needed cost me $43.

During Lent I had to turn down 2 dogsitting jobs and 2 babysitting jobs because they were too far for walking – equaling approximately $250.

I did accept one dogsitting gig about a mile away – pocketing $135 when I would have most likely been out of town that weekend if I were driving.

So….

204.17 saved minus 43 spent minus 250 lost plus 135 gained equals 46.17 in savings.  Not bad.  Coulda been better.

Low points of carless Lent:

*Missing the same bus twice on the way out for the day and once on the way back – all the same day.

*Running to catch the bus to Clarkston to go to the only one of our weekly community dinners that I made it to on my own, with undercooked potato skins in a sack on my shoulder (my entry for the Appetizer Off we were having), only to miss the bus and have to wait 30 more minutes for the next one making me an hour and a half late with my mediocre contribution…I didn’t win, needless to say.

*Dogsitting a mile away from my home and each day picking up a few more things to bring to the other house (clothes, shoes, food, etc) while forgetting to bring anything home.  Result – carrying all 95 lbs of it (give or take) home on my back all the way home through downtown Decatur like a pack mule.

*Every Wednesday in general.

Overall I’m glad I did it.  I like pushing myself in ridiculous ways.  It was hard but honestly it made me realize how lucky I am to live in walking distance to work, public transportation, a grocery store, great local restaurants, my sister and her family, etc.  I may never be this lucky again – I need to be taking advantage of it.

So hopefully some of the habits I adopted during Lent will stick.  In fact, after posting this I’m walking to my sister’s for Easter dinner.  No need to rush back into anything…

But I’ll be hitting the road soon.  And the first stop – the nearest car wash (pollen season was a beast this year!).

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Here’s to the Sacred Thirties…

It’s official.  Everyone’s turning 30.  It started slowly last year and now it’s spreading like wildfire.

And today is a biggie in the “Important People in Sarah Reiff’s Life Who Are Turning Thirty” category.

Courtney Lamie (aka Countney Lawmie) and I become best friends at a very formidable time in life.  When my family moved to Virginia when I was nine, Courtney was my first friend.  I think back on those years and think of us as inseparable.  We had a secret sacred club consisting of exactly two members (Sacred Courtney and Sacred Sarah, respectfully) and a giant stuffed toucan mascot (Sacred Bob, of course).  As far as I can tell our only duty as sole members of this prestigious club was to go around dubbing things we liked sacred – people, places, inanimate objects, burnt down/headless silos with ivy growing up them, etc.)  We were carefree and cooler than AC.

Then middle school came, as well as the awkward years (some of us more awkward than others…)  There was church youth group and summer scholars, ice skating and egg dying, Twizzlers and Fresca/orange sherbet floats, Courtney’s ballet recitals and my band concerts, FAME and Burger Time.  And as we tried to figure out life and preteen selves, we did it all together.

Then it was on to high school and like people do, we changed and got into different things.  At football games she cheered from the sidelines while I played my trumpet in the stands.  She worked hard in her AP classes and I worked hard in the regular ones.  She wore her Chuck Taylor’s and I wore my Converse.  Driving to school, her in her prelude and me in my dad’s hatchback Honda Civic.  We may have sat in different circles in the hall before school but there was no undoing what had already been done.  We may not have been inseparable anymore, but we were best friends forever.

As we went off to college and our separate ways, it was a given we would hang out every time we were home for summer’s and holidays.  And though it has been hard to keep in touch through all these years, we still pick back up right where we left off.

Happy Birthday, Sacred Courtney.  Thanks for helping make me me.

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Dirty Thirty #5

I have seriously been considering getting a cat leash so I can take Yo-yo out on walks.

I have also been seriously considering the impact this would have on my crazy cat lady reputation…..

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Dirty Thirty #4

Apparently 2012 is The Year of the Girl.  So in celebration, I have taken it upon myself to eat at least one box of each of the 11 varieties (11!  Did you know there were 11?) of Girl Scout cookies.  Each in it’s entirety. All by myself. 3 down, 8 to go.

It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.

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