Where Logic Meets Love

First Interview!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

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First Interview!! | Faith Permeating Life
I got a phone interview! It's in a week and a half, although I'm paranoid that I misheard the woman when she said June 8th and that it's actually June 1st. So I'm going to prep just in case it's this Monday. It's for an office assistant position at a university downtown, which seems like a good fit for me. Not my dream job, obviously, but that's fine with me. It's just nice to know that I'm at least capable of landing an interview.

Mike and I were supposed to go look at apartments this morning, but apparently I don't wake up to his alarm, and he decided to turn off his alarm and go back to sleep, so we both woke up at 11. He was very sweet about it, took full responsibility, and offered to make me breakfast. He also said we could do something off the wedding to-do list with the time until he had to leave for work, so he sent some more we-need-your-address e-mails and we picked out our attendant gifts. I then stayed in my pajamas until about 5:15pm, semi-finished my dad's side family tree (it printed out at 9 sheets wide, 2 sheets high), and then showered and got dressed for my friend's rehearsal dinner.

There wasn't much option about what to eat at the dinner, and I'd forgotten to eat lunch, so I basically just relied at blissful ignorance and took my fill. It did give me a taste (no pun intended) of what eating after the diet might be like, though, because while I wasn't hyper-conscious of the sugar content of the food, I did try to make smart decisions down the line (corn vs. wheat tortilla, skip the potatoes) so as not to set myself back too far. My tongue seems to be worsening somewhat (after having improved), but I'm reminding myself that the whole reason I went on this diet in the first place is that I was sick of the incessant throat-clearing, and that seems much improved.

The VCR--Mac cord (Elgato Video Capture) came in the mail today, and Mike and I tried it out with an old home video he had with him. It's super easy to use -- you just play the tape in the VCR and it shows up on the Mac screen like at TV, with a "Record" button on the computer that records it all into an editable digital video file. I'm really excited to turn all of my family's old home videos into DVDs. There seriously are not enough hours in the day to work on all the projects I want to work on. I am through the I's in updating year and composer info for my iTunes library. I'll probably stay up a while longer and work on it until Mike gets home -- he went out with a group of my guy friends after the dinner to do who-knows-what. Hope he's having fun!

The first of my high school friends gets married tomorrow -- I can't believe it!

A Job-Hunting Deadline

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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I have a new deadline to find a job: July 1.

My mom pointed out that most apartment leases start on the first of the month, and since we don't want one that starts on our wedding date, we need to move into an apartment on July 1. In all likelihood, I will have steady income by then, but if not, my parents will pay our rent until I find a job. And we may need to get on a waiting list soon for a July 1 apartment. Mike and I looked online for highly rated apartments and found some decent ones in the area for about $750/mo, which seems like a good price, at least for the year that we'll only have one of us really working. Mike jokingly asked why I get to be the one to move out, but he knows that my mom is driving me up the wall.

I finally remembered to call the dentist about the teeth I got filled a month ago that are still hurting me when I bite on them, and I got an appointment for tomorrow, which is good because my insurance is up on Sunday. Mike also took my prescription for more acne meds into the pharmacy this morning when he went to pick up his asthma meds. How is it the end of the month already? My friend's wedding is on Saturday. That's so weird.

Mike and I put together are "must-play" and "play-if-possible" playlists for the wedding a few nights ago, and my dad and I picked out our father-daughter dance song. We also had to fill out for the DJ the order of the pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen, meaning we were forced to sit down and figure that out. It took probably half an hour, but we came up with an arrangement that we were both happy with. My male best friend and his female best friend are going to be standing right next to our matron of honor and best man, which I think is perfect. My little sister is right between the two of my friends she knows the best (other than my matron of honor, whom she knows very well); my two tall friends are in the middle together so neither of them feels awkward next to all my short bridesmaids; and, even though Mike insisted it wouldn't be a problem, his three best friends from grade school/high school have a buffer guy in between each of them so they don't give each other the giggles like they are apt to do in church.

Yesterday Mike and I talked about whether I should be following up more with the companies I applied to. My experience is that, other than the career place, people really don't want you to call them. At one place HR won't take outside calls; at another the website explicitly says not to call; at another I got the rebuff I recorded last entry. And with this economy, I would imagine they're getting bombarded with calls more than ever. The career advice columns and such always says don't call HR, call the hiring manager, but it's nearly impossible to get a hold of the hiring manager's number, and the front desk won't give it to you. It seems like the career advice columns are generally geared toward people in sales or that type of job. So I have to stand out in other ways. How? I thought my resume and cover letter, but even the best drafts of those can't give me years of experience I don't have.

Still, I shall persevere!

Conceptualizing the Future

Sunday, May 24, 2009

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Conceptualizing the Future | Faith Permeating Life
The weather's starting to settle in a nice low 70s range, so I put the cushions on the porch swing on our back deck and have starting bringing my computer out here. It makes me feel like I'm at least getting out of the house somewhat :)

I'm starting to feel like every time I submit a job application, it's just going into a big black hole. I haven't gotten so much as a phone call from a single place I've applied. I'm trying to remind myself that this doesn't mean it's worthless to apply to jobs, because how else am I going to get one? I hate that everyone says it's "who you know." Because I don't really know anyone who is doing anything remotely related to what I want to do. And the two connections I made, the companies aren't hiring, even though I'd apparently be perfect for the positions they would have if they were hiring.

I told everyone that if I wasn't hired by the time I graduated, I'd freelance until I found a job. I think I was banking too much on the one company that said they'd put me in their freelance rotation -- I haven't heard anything from them, either. I should be going after more freelance jobs, probably, but I spent a solid two weeks trying to track down a single freelance job last summer with no success, and I figure that with all the layoffs going on right now, any company that wants a freelancer can pick from a pool of experienced laid-off copyeditors.

Except for saving up money, I don't really need to find a job until right before Mike and I are married. And honestly, I'm enjoying this time off right now. It's allowing me to do things I didn't have time to do before, like trace our whole family tree, organize my entire music library, and learn -- really learn -- the Chicago Manual of Style. I'm also planning to write an article based on my master's thesis findings and print/compile all of my and Mike's digital pictures from all of college into photo albums (over Christmas break, we ordered, labeled, and put into albums all his pictures from birth to the summer after high school graduation). My mom also reminded me that a lot of my friends who graduated last year with jobs more or less lined up still didn't start work until July, August, or even October.

Mike and I have our Natural Family Planning class today. I'm really nervous, which is stupid. Because I already know a lot about it and have been charting my cycles forever, we're doing an Update class, so it'll probably be all couples who have been practicing NFP for a while now. And even though I've been charting for two years, I've never been forced to make any decisions based on my charts, like, can we have sex now? The upside, I suppose, is that we'll get to hear the challenges and strategies of couples who know what they're doing.

I haven't been able to think about life beyond the wedding yet because I haven't been able to picture what it will be like. I don't know where we'll be living. I don't know what I'll be doing every day. I can't mentally construct a future life for us out of nothing, so I can't conceptualize anything different than how things are right now. Mike and I are basically living together now since we're both living with my parents, so the only difference is we'll get to sleep together, but I can't even picture where that will be since we don't have a bed yet!

Being Unintentionally Healthy

Friday, May 22, 2009

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Being Unintentionally Healthy | Faith Permeating Life
I found a ring!! I was seriously getting worried that all 2mm rings were going to be super-flat, but this one is perfect! It looks like it was made to go with my engagement ring. We found it at Kohl's, where it was something like 60% off, plus my mom had a 20% off coupon because she has a Kohl's card, so I ended up getting a $200 ring for $72. Score!

I was thinking this morning that I'm not really sure how I could possibly be healthier right now, lifestyle-wise. I'm eating basically a sugar-free diet; I exercise 30 minutes every morning; I get 7-9 hours of sleep a night; I'm taking a multivitamin plus extra vitamin C and D, iron, acidophilus and probiotics, and SF722 (yeast fighter); and I drink probably 100 ounces of water a day. Heck, I even floss every day. I'm not a "health nut" by any stretch of the imagination, although my eating habits will probably be somewhat different than before once I'm off this diet, but all of these different pieces of my life -- drinking more water, getting a Wii Fit, taking supplements, and now this anti-candida diet -- have all converged at this point in my life. I'm not even under any major stress right now, because wedding planning hasn't been stressful and I'm not panicking about not finding a job.

I say this because it frustrates me when things get offhandedly blamed on lifestyle. Mike and I are going to a Natural Family Planning class on Sunday, and I got the organization's magazine a few days ago. One of the big challenges with NFP is irregular cycles -- if you don't get a clear indication from your body that you've ovulated, you may get mixed messages and appear to be fertile for an entire cycle (i.e., no sex allowed if you're not prepared for children). The solutions they gave are basically to live healthier -- get more sleep, drink more water, be less stressed. If I'm doing all this, this is a guarantee against irregular cycles? I doubt it. Or the fact that I had three little cavities when I went to the dentist a few weeks ago. If there's anything more I could possibly be doing to take care of my teeth, I don't know about it. Or when people say you don't need medicine for acne, just eat better, drink more water, and eliminate stress. Tell that to my pimples.

Also, a lot of people who have gone on the anti-candida diet report "increased energy" and just generally feeling better. People say the same thing about getting more sleep or exercising more. I assume people must have felt pretty crappy before, because I haven't noticed any sudden surges in energy or feeling good. I just feel pretty much the same as always, which is fairly good, with enough energy to tackle all the projects I want to do but not enough time in the day to do them all :) I guess maybe it's a good thing I don't have so much energy that I'm antsy.

Anyway, speaking of projects, I've finished the genogram of my maternal grandmother's family based on our 1996 reunion records, and now I need to call my great-aunt, who originally organized the reunion and gathered all the info, and see if she has any updated info. I would really love to interview her like I did my grandparents and Mike's grandparents, but I haven't come up with an easy way to do it yet.

Health and Wedding Updates

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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Correction: The acne on my chest has gotten worse.

I'm thinking it's just dried out, so I'm going to try doing the acne cream every other day and putting moisturizer on every day. It's bad enough to have acne visible in my wedding dress, but I don't want to be red/blotchy/peeling/etc.

My tongue is looking moderately better, so that's some encouragement that my diet is worth it. At the moment I'm planning to stay on it for two full months, but part of me is thinking I'll probably take a break from it for my friend's wedding June 20. I already have to miss part of my other friend's bachelorette party (the going-out-to-dinner part) and probably not enjoy much of anything to eat at her rehearsal dinner and wedding the week of May 30, and I don't want to remember both of my friends' weddings as being times when I couldn't eat anything they were offering me!

The video project is complete; the CD project is still underway (and will be for quite some time); and I've begun a new project as well. Mike has to make a genogram (basically a family tree) for a class, and so I used the software he got to make my own genogram, which required me to dig up a lot of family records we have. For my paternal grandfather's family and my maternal grandmother's family, we have a ton of information, so I'm planning to make separate genograms for both of these lineages as well (since there's no way all the info would fit on mine).

I did e-mail that woman at the library, though I'm not really expecting a response. I applied for another job today, an editorial assistant position with an academic journal, which I think I would really enjoy. Well, I pretty much think I'd enjoy any job I've applied for because I only apply for jobs I'm interested in. I just wish I would land at least one interview! I'm reassuring myself by thinking, well, I've only been seriously applying for jobs since I got home 2 1/2 weeks ago, and some companies can take several weeks to make a decision, so . . .

My mom and I (and my unwilling sister) went to Wal-Mart and Target tonight to see if they had the kind of wedding band I'm looking for, but no luck. Target had nothing, and Wal-Mart's only 2mm band is very flat, like the one I tried on at Kay. The problem is that my engagement ring is thin (like 1mm-2mm) but tall, especially at the top, where it's most visible, so it has a thickness off the finger of more than 1mm. The thinnest wedding bands they make are 2mm wide, but all the ones I've seen couldn't be more than .5mm thick, if that, so they almost look like they fit inside my (slightly loose) engagement ring, which is no good. We couldn't convince my whining sister to go to any more stores, so my mom and I are going to go to the mall while my sister's at school tomorrow.

Oh! We received our first wedding present in the mail on Monday. We wrote the thank-you right away, but are sending all of them out after the wedding. This way people don't know we've opened the gifts before the wedding, and also our thank-you cards say "Thank you for joining us" and have our married name so they're kind of meant to go out after the wedding. We have to buy some different cards to send to people who send us gifts but aren't attending the wedding.

73 days until the wedding! So far 48 guests have accepted and 19 declined -- let's hope the RSVPs keep coming steadily!

Projects! Hooray!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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I did a phone call follow-up on a job this morning. It was really nerve-racking, but I knew I had to because it's for a career counselor position and all career counselors teach that you have to make follow-up calls after you apply, so I figured I had no shot at the position unless they knew that I knew that. The good news was that because it is a career center, they didn't do what the first place I practice-followed-up with did, which was basically shut me down and say, "Everything is done through the website and I have no information on the position. Goodbye." The receptionist transferred me to the director, who said they were reviewing resumes and would do phone screens within the week. And she double-checked my name, which is a good sign!

In other good news, my face appears to be clearing up somewhat. I mentioned it somewhat tentatively when I was getting ready for bed, and Mike said he thought it looked way better. My chest, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be changing, which is unfortunate since my wedding dress is a halter. But the dermatologist said I might not see a difference for 6-8 weeks in either place, so I can give it some time.

I've created a kind of schedule for myself so my days aren't so unstructured. I get up somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30, eat breakfast, rack up 30 Wii Fit points, and shower. Then I complete at least one thing on my to-do list, which can either be applying for a job or something else if there's no job to apply for. Then I work on this flashcards I'm making to learn Chicago Manual of Style better, and then spend some time on Distributed Proofreaders. Once I've done all this, I can work on whatever I want to -- my "fun" project (in quotes because Mike thinks it's weird that I find this enjoyable) at the moment is, now that we have ALL of my CDs and ALL of his CDs imported into my computer, going through and including correct release dates and composers for all of them (and artists, if that got screwed up the first time).

Once my family gets their new iMac, and our Video Capture cord shows up, the next big project is going to be getting all of my family's old VHS tapes onto DVDs with menus and all that. That is going to be very fun for me. For some reason I greatly enjoy time-consuming tasks that have something awesome to show for it in the end. I wish there was a well-paying career where I could do projects like this. The closest thing I can think of is working at a library, but there's nothing I'm really qualified for at any of the libraries in the area. There is a cataloging associate job that sounds like something I would enjoy if I were qualified for it. I think I'll e-mail the person in charge and ask if there's any way I could volunteer and just learn the cataloging system.

If This Doesn't Put My Own Problems In Perspective...

Monday, May 18, 2009

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How many crappy things can happen to one family on the same day?

Yesterday, my aunt called to say that my cousin's unborn baby, who was a week overdue, had died. He would have been the first child any of my grandmother's "delightful dozen" (12 grandchildren) had had. It's painful enough to lose a baby, but one that you've already carried full term and more? They don't know what happened.

When my mom called my other aunt to tell her, she found out that they had had a huge fire on their property that destroyed my aunt's, uncle's, and cousin's cars, and killed most of my other cousin's prize birds in the coop outside.


I Love Fruit!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

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I Love Fruit! | Faith Permeating Life
Tonight I nearly broke down and cried because I was craving fruit so bad. Or anything sweet at all. My brother came home from college today and we celebrated his 21st birthday with an ice cream cake that I couldn't have, and I just wanted something to eat other than a tomato, avocado, or Triscuit. That's what's so tough about this diet -- the lack of crisp, sour/sweet foods. Practically everything is vegetable-y or dry. There's nothing to drink except water, basically. Or vegetable drinks.

I searched the anti-candida sites frantically and discovered that not only are berries allowed, they are encouraged on the diet because of their "anti-fungal properties." Blueberries to the rescue! I feel so much better now.

Another bridal shower tomorrow. Then I should have a break from social events until my friend's wedding (well, ok, the bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner the two days before). Not that I mind them, it just makes eating difficult.

I applied for another job today, writing and editing math curriculum (as well as other fun detail-oriented office work!). This one I would really enjoy, but since I don't really have a math background, I don't think I have much of a chance. They say all the candidate needs is "proficiency in math," but I have a feeling they'd pick someone with a lot of math courses over someone who didn't take any math courses in college because she (I) tested out of needing to take any. But we shall see.

It's weird to have all this time stretching out in front of me. To some extent it just feels like summer vacation, but then I'll catch myself and remember that I'm not going back to school until fall -- my schedule will stay open like this until I find a job. And then I have to remind myself I've only been home two weeks, and I just need to find a job before August.

Motivation and Self-Control

Thursday, May 14, 2009

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Yesterday I went to classes with Mike all day, which was a nice chance to get out of the house. He has all of his classes on one day, 9am to 8:30pm with breaks to eat. Met a lot of the people he talks about, including his two closest friends there.

I brought chicken chili soup for lunch and dinner, so that wasn't an issue, but in his morning class someone had brought donuts and they looked delicious. This diet, if nothing else, has taught me that I have an amazing amount of self-control. When my family went out to an Italian restaurant last Saturday, the loaf of bread was sitting in front of me the entire meal and I didn't touch it once. I miss warm, flaky bread. Yum.

My own job-searching efforts have been diverted to helping Mike find a job for when his quarter ends. I wish he could do it on his own, but I know that even getting him to update his resume and apply for multiple jobs is a huge step, so I'm not pushing it. He applied for four jobs, two of which he won't be qualified for until he gets retrained on CPR, but hopefully they won't throw out his application immediately.

Organized the whole basement bedroom today so it's now livable again. My brother will be home from college tomorrow so I'll have to stop sleeping in his room. It's nice to have the reorganization/unpacking finally done. I have a few more projects keeping me busy until I find a job. I like projects.

Cake tasting tomorrow!

Being Productive?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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Being Productive? | Faith Permeating Life
I applied for three more jobs yesterday -- one copy editor/proofreader position, one career counselor position, one administrative assistant position. It's really sad how little confidence I have in my ability to get any of the positions. Once I'm in a job, I tend to impress my bosses and go above and beyond and all that until I'm told that I'm holding everything together, but getting the job itself seems to be the hard part. I once thought the same thing about being in a relationship -- that I made a good girlfriend, I just could never get a boyfriend. I guess that must have been somewhat true, since once I finally found a guy who pursued me, he stuck around long enough to marry me.

I'm starting to get anxious about this summer and our financial situation. Mike wants to get a job at a hospital once his quarter ends, and this may be our only ticket to getting an apartment before we're married, but trying to get him motivated to go after the jobs is a struggle. He's found one position he's planning to apply for, but if he doesn't get it, then what? Then nothing unless I find something else and make him apply for it, and I don't want to do that. Then he picks up maybe a day or two extra at the restaurant he works at, which isn't enough for us to pay for an apartment.

In other news, my face has become incredibly oily, and I don't know why. Is that a side effect of Retin-A? Take a perfectly normal face with pimples and turn it into an oily face with pimples? Because the pimples haven't budged.

I should really start using Wii Fit again. I did it during the school year, but now I haven't gotten back into it yet. It's not like I'm doing anything more valuable. I spent the entire day today moving my music from my iPod to my mom's laptop to my flash drive to my MacBook so I can get my iPod wiped and reformatted for my Mac at some point. Which I guess needed to be done, but I kind of feel like I wasted a day.

Day 8 of the diet, and I think my family has officially gotten back in the routine of wanting to get takeout and go out to eat on a regular basis. My mom made some awesome chicken chili soup tonight, though. And I should have leftovers from that for a few days at least.

Plan by the end of the week: Finish this video I'm editing and unpack my crap. Learn the song I'm supposed to sing at my friend's wedding in a month. Get started on learning the Chicago Manual of Style and racking up some hours on Distributed Proofreaders.

Let's go!

Back Off, It's My Body

Sunday, May 10, 2009

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Back Off, It's My Body | Faith Permeating Life
The bridal shower yesterday wasn't too bad. For some reason, almost every dish for lunch had fruit in it -- jello with oranges, salad with fruit, chicken salad with grapes, a plate of fresh fruit. I picked around the fruit in the salad and the chicken salad and had some rice with peas and (I think) peppers. My good friend and middle school English teacher was standing next to me in line and made a comment about me not getting the jello (which was the first dish in the lineup), so I told her briefly about the candida because she always shares her latest health concerns with us so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to tell her. Unfortunately, two other friends on the other side of the counter overheard bits of what I said and started saying, "What? What are you talking about? What can't you have?" So I explain to THEM, and then we go to sit down at the table and they ask me more questions, so all the other girls at the table say, "What? What? What kind of diet are you on? What's going on?"

In contrast, I went out last night with a few friends (three male, one female) to a bar (no one questioned that I didn't drink because I rarely do anyway, and I volunteered to be DD) and then to Friday's for late-night appetizers, where I said I wasn't having anything. My one girl friend, who had been at the shower, looked at the menu and said, "Can you have anything on here, Jess?" and I said, "No, it probably all has some sugar in it." Guy friend #1 says: "Wait, you can't have sugar? When did I miss this memo? You can't have sugar anymore?" I say: "It's just for the next two months." Guy friend #2 says: "For health reasons?" I say yeah. And they drop it! I love guy friends.

Having to tell people that I was unemployed over and over again at the party was kind of frustrating. I have found a few more postings I'm going to apply for, but I haven't had the discipline yet to do so. Mike has a lot of studying to do, so I'm going to make him go to the library with me. Probably not today, though, since it's Mother's Day. I still have a lot of unpacking to do (which is going very slowly because I don't really have any space to unpack the stuff to, but I need to get some of it out of the boxes so it's accessible).

It's frustrating to continually hear "It's who you know that gets you the job" because I don't know anyone. I'm a member of Chicago Women in Publishing and can start going to events now that I'm back in the state, but I'm not terribly good at socializing if I don't know at least one other person there. Guess I should work on that.

Eating Out

Friday, May 8, 2009

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Eating Out | Faith Permeating Life
Today was the first time I've eaten outside the house since starting the diet. We went to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the Harry Potter exhibit (which was awesome). When we got to the food court for lunch, I looked around at the headings: Pasta (nope). Deli (no bread). Grill. I looked at the Grill menu and saw they had one option -- grilled chicken breast -- that was safe. I waited in a long line, got two chicken breasts, and covered them with tomatoes. Then I discovered that my mom had found another station -- Favorites -- that had mahimahi and vegetables. They looked really good. Guess that's what I get for not looking around enough.

We hadn't planned for dinner tonight, so my family's typical fallback is to go pick up takeout. I looked on several sites trying to figure out if there was ANYTHING sugar-free at any local place, and found nothing. There should be enough leftovers for me if everyone else has takeout, but my mom is being massively reluctant to go out and buy anything I can't have, so they haven't decided on anything. Mike is being supportive with this whole thing, but I can tell he's a little frustrated (he loves going out to eat), so I'm hoping that doesn't build up over the next few months while I'm on this diet.

It's a little frustrating trying to find information on candida (which I was doing while Googling things like "fast food anti-candida diet") because so much stuff out there is contradictory, and every "official" medical source will tell you that it's those "alternative medicine" people pushing anti-candida diets when there's no evidence that candida causes any of the things they say it does. But all you have to do is read page after page of forums where people found relief from an anti-candida diet to believe there has to be some truth to it.

The reason I originally decided to go on the diet was because I've had this throat-clearing thing for forever and found a forum where people with the same problem had been poked and prodded and tested by doctors for everything under the sun, and only people who were diagnosed with candida were able to cure the problem. But it's not exactly a constant problem, it just crops up now and again, so it's difficult to know if it's getting any better. I also have a white coating on my tongue, but don't know if it's actually a mild case of thrush or something else, but everything I've ever tried (brushing my tongue, scraping it, mouthwash) hasn't done a thing to change it, so I'm hoping that even if it's not candida, eating a healthier, sugar-free diet will make it better.

Tomorrow's a friend's bridal shower. It's scheduled for noon, so I have a feeling they're going to feed us snacks if not lunch. I hope it's not too awkward. They're guaranteed to have cake, as my friend LOVES cake, so that will suck to not be able to have any. Speaking of which, Mike and I have to try our wedding cake flavors next Friday, so I don't really have a choice but to break my sugar fast to at least taste them.

On another note, we got our first two online RSVPs today. I'm hoping we get a few every day -- it's exciting!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

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Roadblocks | Faith Permeating Life
Mailed around 200 invitations this morning. I have to pin down a few pieces of information tonight and try to get some more out tomorrow to avoid the awkwardness of one person getting their invitation a long time before someone else they know. Or maybe I'm the only one who cares about that sort of thing.

I noticed yesterday that I've developed some kind of rash on my neck, chest, and forehead. It was before I started the Retin-A, so at least I know it's not a reaction to that, which means it's probably a reaction to something new I ate -- and basically everything I've eaten for the past three days has been new. So trying to figure out what exactly caused it could be a bit difficult, and once I do figure it out, that means limiting my already-limited list of what I can eat.

My mom and I went shopping for some more stuff I can have, and when we got home I asked if we could clear a spot in her pantry with the stuff I can eat so I don't have to hunt through a bunch of stuff I can't have to find something to snack on. We cleared a spot and filled it with four items -- Triscuits, sunflower seeds, my herbal teas, and my sugar-free gluten-free everything-free rice puffs cereal. My mom said it made her sad that there wasn't much to put in the spot, so I have a feeling she's going to try to track down more foods for me. But it's OK; it's probably good for me to get in the habit of not snacking so much. I think I do it just because I'm bored or thirsty or dumb reasons like that. So this is giving me an excuse to have a little more self-control.

On the way to the store my mom broached the subject of what I'm going to do if I can't find a job by the time Mike and I get married. I really don't know. I haven't considered anything other than our moving into our own apartment, but I need a steady job for most places to even consider letting us rent there. So I'm broadening my job search to include administrative assistant positions. Most of them require a high school diploma, which makes me flinch a little bit given that I just finished my master's degree, but it's only temporary, right? It's only temporary.

The Launching Pad

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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The Launching Pad | Faith Permeating Life
I'm reluctant to get back into blogging because it tends to turn me into an observer of life rather than an enjoyer. But with all the things I'm starting right now, I feel like I should have some track of my progress. So why not on the Internet, in front of everyone?

Today is day one(ish) of my new skin regimen (finally under the direction of a dermatologist), day three of my anti-candida diet, and day I-don't-want-to-think-about-how-many of trying to find a job. And it's 87 days until the wedding.

On Monday I went to the dermatologist for the first time and also got a free microdermabrasion and was talked into a not-free blackhead extraction. I got Retin-A that I'm supposed to start tonight, and supposedly the microdermabrasion will help the medicine work more quickly. Everything I've ever put on my face has made my acne worse or done nothing, so here's hoping. The microdermabrasion has 72-hour side effects that make my face look worse than it did before, so those should be gone by tomorrow. I'm not terribly hopeful on this front.

After untold years of a throat-clearing problem and what looks suspiciously like thrush on my tongue, I decided to self-diagnose with candida and go on the very strict anti-candida diet. My mom has been awesome in reading up on it and buying stuff I can eat. I probably should have gotten diagnosed by a doctor, but 1) a lot of doctors don't believe in candida, 2) I just left the only good doctor I've had in Ohio when I graduated, and 3) I'm not in a hurry to find another primary physician until I'm on some consistent health insurance.

This, of course, won't happen until I get a job. I first started applying for jobs last October, and got serious around January. This is a crappy time to be looking for a job, and even though I've got more to offer than a lot of new grads, I'm competing against a lot of more-experienced professionals who have been laid off. So far my focus has been on a few different areas I could see myself doing:
  • editing or something related in the publishing field (my dream job, which I've been prepping for with editing work for years now)
  • something in alcohol and drug abuse prevention education (I don't have a lot of options without a counseling degree, but I've done this kind of work for 2.5 years now and did my thesis on preventing college binge drinking)
  • some sort of career counseling position (I've taught employment interviewing for a full school year now, but the fact that I can't find a job myself doesn't speak too highly of my reputation)
  • research, particularly in the social sciences and/or public health (I've only found one job like this, though, which I haven't heard back about)
The job-searching efforts have been a little weak since moving back home on Sunday because I've been addressing wedding invitations (and hunting down missing addresses), working on our registries to get those squared away before the invites go out, buying shower gifts for my two best friends who are having their own bridal showers in the next week, and other wedding-related tasks. The goal is to get the invites, or at least most of them, out by tomorrow (maybe Friday) before the postage increase on Monday.

So that's where I'm starting from. Good luck to me!
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