Sunday, April 25, 2010

Twitter

Yes, I remember that I have a blog. The problem is that nobody wants to hear me constantly gripe about my unemployment (although I am currently working on something that would hopefully end that) and the only thing that I do consistently enough to write about is the campaign but I can't blog about that (campaign rules). I could talk about the randomness of Chicago but most of you aren't from - or haven't been to - Chicago so most of you wouldn't get what I'm griping about (Mike and I have actually talked about starting a blog based on all of the cell phone pics we take of shit you would only see in Chicago). So basically I'm stuck for the moment.

However, if you want a more steady stream of me (and who wouldn't?), you can follow me on Twitter (@riverdalesucks). I'm on it all the time due to some new campaign duties so I figured I should do my own thing on there as well. You will retweets related to the senate race but you'll also get my own opinions about things as well as my random ass gripes. Think of it as getting texts from me (and feel free to respond).

Anyway, time to get back to that thing that will hopefully work out and get me employed. Keep your fingers crossed. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy, Positive News Time!

I have written way too many depressing blog posts so I’ve decided to write about something good and positive:

I’ve lost 10 lbs!!!

True, it’s taken me around 4 months to lose it but Mrs. J told me that the pounds that take a long time to lose are the ones that you keep off. It is also true that when I weighed myself 2 days later, I had regained 3 lbs. but I’m going to say that it’s because I kinda pigged out the night before because I had a serious craving for a (veggie) burger and fries and refuse to make myself feel bad about it.

Either way, I’m going to say it was a combination of exercise and diet. I will admit that have fallen off the wagon a couple of times (like when I bruised my knee on my birthday and it hurt when I put any pressure on it), but I go to the gym around 2 times a week (Friday and Sunday) and will remember to attempt to use the Booty Bounce (or whatever it’s called) DVD my mom got me at some point. Plus now that it’s getting nice again, I can walk again, including the mile between the gym and the J’s house. Who knows? I might even fulfill my wish and get a bike.

And yes, I am a vegetarian now: no meat, seafood occasionally, and I drink soy (or rice) milk instead of regular but I haven’t given moo-milk dairy completely…yet (maybe once I actually get a job and can afford substitutes). I decided to try it out for a combination of environmental, animal cruelty and health reasons (my mom got me Skinny Bitch for my birthday and it made me want to vomit) and don’t really miss meat all that much. I didn’t really eat pork to begin with and usually had to find ways to add pork and beef to my diet before – now I just don’t bother. Meatless burgers and chik’n taste pretty damn good actually and usually satisfy any cravings. I always loved eating vegetables so I get to eat a lot more of them (although it sucks that I still don’t like mushrooms since portabellas are in a lot of things). Plus, I probably consume a lot more protein, fiber and other things than I did before just because I’m making sure its in my diet so I don’t become deficient. Will I ever eat meat again? Maybe. I’m not counting anything out. My major test will be barbeque season because I love anything cooked on a grill. I just don’t really feel like eating meat so I’m not and if I feel like a steak, then I’ll get a steak. But it has been helping with the pounds lately though.

But yes, I lost 10 lbs. I am also under impression that I do not look my weight since my mom was surprised when I told her my actual weight. She offered me her car if I got to a certain weight by a certain time but I don’t know since I’m doing this for me and no one else. It’s nice to know that I don’t look it to my toughest critic.

But the important thing is that I lost 10 lbs! Squeel!!! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2 Degrees, No Job and $66,000+ in Debt

The above title is technically false – I only owe Sallie Mae $66,000+ (essentially the cost of grad school and living expenses) – and now that I’m writing this without an internet connection, I’m not sure if that includes interest or not. If I added in my federal loans, I owe somewhere around $100,000. I try not to think about it the total amount because I started crying hysterically last time I did.

Besides, this is an opus against Sallie Mae. The federal government at least understands that this is a terrible economic climate and many people my age who went to college are either unemployed or underemployed and so I can defer my loans every 6 months until that hopefully changes.

But, oh no, not Sallie Mae! If you’re unemployed, then tough shit because you have to start paying them back anyway. I asked them when they were calling me every day about my defaulting loans where I was supposed to get the money to pay them back since I wasn’t working, and they told me in the most unsympathetic voice possible that they didn’t give a fuck – they just wanted their money.

(FYI for those who hate outsourced call centers: DO NOT CALL SALLIE MAE! In an extended sequence that both amused and ­­­elicited empathy from some of my fellow interns, I called customer service to ask a question and not only got people who spoke with really think Indian accents, but got people with really thick Indian accents that didn’t understand what the hell I was talking about. I just finally kept asking to speak with a supervisor until I got someone in the United States who I could understand and could explain the issue at hand.)

But since they started to not only threaten my credit but also Mike’s since he cosigned one of my loans, I had to start paying them on an extremely extended schedule. Luckily my already broke parents (who are attempting to save for their retirement themselves) are splitting my loan payments until I can get a job. But that’s pretty much it. I still intern three days a week, which means that I have to pay for transportation (which isn’t cheap in the Chicagoland area since the state is broke – and my lack of money is the reason why I don’t go in more often which may be keeping me from advancing faster). I also have to pay for my cell phone. Oh, and I do like eat occasionally. Luckily Mike doesn’t mind when I occasionally go into his wallet. I could really use my tax return right now but my mom is a selfish, inconsiderate bitch (long story) so I can’t get it until sometime in April. Le sigh.

I willingly admit that I am not completely blameless in my situation. I did not read/understand completely what I was signing on to. I did not know that they didn’t have any deferment options unless you were in school, medical residency/training (which is technically still school) and I think one other option that I don’t qualify for. But the reason I was so flippant with my financial future is because I thought that I would graduate with a job – or at least not have to wait very long before I started a position. I mean, when you spend your life constantly being told that the key to being successful is a good education, who thinks that they’ll be unemployed with a Master’s Degree?

But yet here I am. Under qualified for most of the jobs out there and I’m not connected enough for the jobs I’m overqualified for. And at the time in my life where I’m supposed to be gaining the experience for those jobs, I can’t find work. But I can find bills from Sallie Mae. Oy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Pantsless Valentine

I was awoken Valentine’s Day morning (or is it Valentine’s Morning?) by Mike returning from an early morning shift at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and was immediately given a dozen roses, a stuffed puppy reminiscent of the puppy I want in real life, a box of Russell Stover’s dark chocolates (that I’m currently eating) and an additional bag of Ghirardelli extra-dark chocolates and then he went to the kitchen to make me a breakfast of home-made fruit salad, vegetarian sausage and heart-shaped pancakes.

After a bit of an afternoon nap, we went to this restaurant I found and had some really tasty food, some complementary campaign and belly dancing, we continued the middle eastern theme and went to a hookah bar and shared a bottle of wine. Yes, I ended up throwing up my dinner in the hookah bar’s bathroom, but I didn’t let that ruin the night and we spend a good chuck of the night just cuddling on a couch. Afterwards we stopped by a Baskin Robbins and got some ice cream.

When we got back, we ended up talking to his brother Dave about the whole Kevin Smith too-fat-to-fly thing. During this, out comes Mike without his pants or shoes on and then he sits down in his mom’s chair to take off his socks and unbutton his shirt. I was still in my coat and hat – that’s how long we were in the house.

So yes, I am in love with a nudist, someone who has mastered the art of stripping off everything in the blink of an eye, someone who cooks me breakfast in his boxers. And although I was completely honest when I told him that Sunday for me was less about Valentine’s Day and more about just spending a nice night out with him but he pulled all of the stops and spoiled me rotten. After all of this time, I still love spending time with him and falling asleep all wrapped up in his arms at night. Like the card I got him (along with the chocolate bacon bar I got him) said: somehow we just work. He loves me and I love him, my pantsless valentine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shannon Miller - Campaign Intern (Go Alexi!)

So as many of you may or may not know, I am an intern for Alexander “Alexi” Giannoulias’ campaign for President Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat.

I decided in October to start volunteering because I was starting to go crazy just sitting around at home (or at Mike’s) all day, looking for jobs that weren’t really there and I decided that since I wasn’t working for pay, I might as well be working to gain some experience that could hopefully make me an even better candidate than I already think that I am and thought that campaign experience would be the most helpful if I want to make it to Washington. My dad asked me why I didn’t decide to work on a more local campaign like Cook County Board President since I could probably get a job out of it after the election, but as much as I may joke about being a future warlord or despot, Cook County (and the same for the State of Illinois) is way too corrupt for me to deal with and their employees are way too incompetent for me to work with and if I can’t work in international politics just yet, then I might as well work in national. And although this may been a little flaky, but I decided on Alexi because I saw some pictures of him at a charity poker game and he seemed more personable than the other candidates (I can’t help it, but I can usually tell right away whether someone is a good person and if I’ll like them – even if it is based on a photo or just by the company they keep).

I have to admit that I’m really enjoying myself on the campaign. Pretty much everyone on the campaign is really nice and cool, including Alexi himself and his mom is seriously like one of the sweetest ladies ever. I have actually learned a lot about political campaigns and fundraising, things that should come in handy if I ever have to go into fundraising or decide to work for another campaign. I also have learned how to be an internet stalker: I can learn a lot about people on the internet – a lot more than people probably know or like. It’s slightly creepy when you think about it actually, but I like to think that it’s going towards a great cause. I was also forced to (slightly) get over my completely irrational fear of calling strangers on the phone (I can’t help that I’m more comfortable face-to-face or through technology) when I had to phone bank and call people and ask for their support.

I have to be completely honest and say that I was a little scared for a little while. Alexi said during an event that a lot of negative things were going to be said about him in the run-up to the Primary and he wasn’t kidding. The local media was fawning over one of his opponents, David Hoffman, and so did the national media once it hopped onto the race after the whole Massachusetts fiasco. I will admit that there are questions about Alexi and his candidacy but I wouldn’t be supporting him like I am if I didn’t think he would do a great job. But yet there was all of this seemingly negative press was out nonstop in the last few days about how he was crooked and a monster and part of the “Chicago Machine” and I did get a little concerned – mostly because even though I didn’t have a plan for if he in fact didn’t win.

But even though the day of the Primary was crazy – and that night was even crazier with people practically throwing themselves at his feet – he did win the Primary and so now I am back to doing my donor research for the finance department because the fight against Mark Kirk (the Republican nominee) is going to be a bitch. I hope through all of this that I end up getting hired by the campaign because I could certainly use the money (so I don’t end up going “Fight Club” on Sallie Mae) because I am paying for transit and other incidentals out of a pocket that isn’t really there but I really do appreciate this experience and learning all that I have learned. The road to November is going to be a long journey but at least it’s one I’m looking forward to.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Open Letter To MTV

Dear MTV,

Sometimes, late at night, I watch reruns of “America’s Best Dance Crew” because I enjoy the show but don’t usually catch it’s first run. Because the episode is new to me, I don’t know who won or is going on to the next round. Therefore, can you please stop showing commercials right before the judges announce their final decision that ruin it and say who the final chosen group was? It’s kind of a dick move. Thank you.


Sincerely,
Shannon

P.S. I really appreciate that you've (sort of) changed your logo to acknowledge that you, in fact, are not Music Television anymore. I can't actually remember the last time I watched music videos on MTV before 2 am (the same goes for VH1 but you own them so I blame you for that - but at least they have awesome documentaries).

Friday, February 5, 2010

The New Story Of My Life

So to answer your question, Maddy: no I didn’t get the job.

I found out this afternoon. Although everyone thought I had an impressive resume and a great personality, I didn’t have enough experience compared to the other two candidates. This is apparently the new story of my life: I keep getting turned down for jobs because I don’t have any experience. WHERE/HOW IN THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO GET EXPERIENCE IF I CAN’T GET A JOB? I am getting so sick of hearing that and how I’m going to go so far when I can’t get a job. I don’t even know what position I would be in if I didn’t have the resume and experience I currently have since that’s not enough either. I’m already being selective in where and to what I apply to because I want to enjoy what I do, but I’m getting sick of having my soul crushed repeatedly by this that it’s probably not worth increasing my number of applications anyway. Besides, at this point I don’t know if its better or worse coming so close to being employed rather than just not hearing anything at all.

All I want to do is work. I miss waking up in the morning and having something I had to go to and do. I miss having a sense of accomplishment, like I actually did something that day. I feel like my life is on hold because all I want to do is work and start. My internship is fine and I enjoy it and all, but I don’t like and am not all that interested in national politics. And with Alexi winning the nomination (I promise I’ll write about this soon), all is going to happen is that a ton more interns are going to come in (the day after he won the nomination there were already 20 applications) and it’s going to get really competitive as they begin to get ready to hire staffers in preparation for the general election. Why deal with national politics and all of its infighting and smears when you can work in international politics and just assassinate and covertly plan coup d’├ętats?

Anyway, I just have to keep thinking that I’ll get something because people keep telling me that I’ll get something. I’m just not looking forward to this upcoming class to graduate and enter the workforce as well for the added competition.

(And to add insult to injury, I had to spend some time with my mom so I also ended up feeling fat, ugly and like I'm crazy and can't take care of myself and paranoid that others around me also think I'm fat, ugly and that there's something wrong with me because I can't take care of myself. Sigh. She certainly knows how to kick me when I'm down - repeatedly and viciously).