Friday, August 22, 2008

Last Day at the Office and Rock Star Sundays!

So today is my last day at the office, WOO HOO!!!!! This week has been pretty busy, trying to organize everything at work and I’m really looking forward to next week when I can hopefully catch up with all my personal correspondence and organize everything at home. Is it totally sick that all week at work, I’ve been fantasizing about cleaning my house from top to bottom? I have a cleaning schedule for the important things (bathroom, kitchen, living room), but nothing else gets cleaned very regularly due to the whole working full-time and writing full-time thing. The last time the house had a serious scrub down was in May 2005 when my ex-boyfriend moved out and while he was packing, I channeled all my pain, anger, and sadness into throwing out junk and making sure the whole place was spotless. I really hate cleaning, but that was a really good release and made me feel like I’d also wiped away all the bad energy. I feel like it is important for me to scrub away all the exhaustion and frustration of the past two years of trying to juggle this job with everything else, too. Plus I just like to start fresh and organized. It seems so appropriate to take this leap at the beginning of the school year. I was one of those dorks who secretly liked going back to school and getting all organized to start a new year of learning. That’s kinda what I feel like I’m doing right now.

Anyway, as usual last night, I couldn’t get myself to bed until midnight and couldn’t fall asleep until one or so. Then I woke up before my alarm, but I was thrilled to realize that this is the last time I’ll be waking up so early except on special occasions. The earliest I’ll ever have to get up is 8 am on the rare days when I need to borrow the car from my mom and she needs to get it to me on her way home from the night shift. But going to bed at 1 and waking up at 9 like my body wants, here I come!

This morning I got dressed in professional-ish clothes for the last time. Not that I’ve been doing that too much this week. I wore my cloth mary janes with skull & crossbones on Wednesday and jeans and a tank top yesterday, but today I have to do a presentation thing. I’m still wearing leopard shoes. And I didn’t bother to wear makeup. I rarely do at work ever since I lost my motivation for the job because I was completely screwed over by this evil woman and told I wasn’t qualified for the job I’d already been doing for a year without the title/pay/recognition and then she proceeded to hire someone with less education and experience than me. (I’ve been trying to refrain from ranting about this and didn’t put it in my blog about quitting because I try to take the high ground and be more professional than the people that wrong me, but it slips out sometimes.)

The CTA decided to remind me why I hate my commute, the train sitting at the Forest Park stop for several minutes, steadily filling up and becoming crowded. I was reading my Red Eye (the free, abbreviated Chicago Tribune aimed at commuters. I don’t read it every day, but decided I should on my last commuter experience) and can I pause for a moment to say Gwen Stefani, you named a boy Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale? WTF are you thinking! I’m all for naming children in creative ways, but seriously, this name sounds like an energy drink and I am so over crazy celebrity baby names. Why does her child need 4 names? I mean if the third name was Stefani it would make sense to me, but Rock? What? And I get it, Nesta is Bob Marley’s middle name. Fine, I’m all for that. The unique middle name that has significance to the parents a la Frances Bean Cobain, cool, but combining it with Zuma and Rock? There is a Zuma Rock in Nigeria, but even if that has significance to Gwen and Gavin, really, you’re going to name your kid after it? There are plenty of natural landmarks I enjoy, but you won’t see me naming my kid Snoqualmie Donald (my fave rock star’s middle name) Falls Kuehnert.

Okay, back to the CTA and my last commute. So on the crowded train, I get stuck next to this chick who at first really closely reads my paper over my shoulder, and yes, I read over the shoulder sometimes, but I don’t invade personal space, but it gets work. Then she proceeds to fall asleep, half slumping onto me. Oh CTA, I will not miss having to take you 10+ times a week. I will miss the friendliest CTA employee ever (or perhaps the *only* friendly CTA employee?) at the Medical Center stop. I made sure to smile and wave eagerly to him for the last time. I won’t particularly miss this portion of my walk to work either, sometimes I see interesting things, but mostly they are depressing. Every morning this week there has been a mentally ill homeless man camped out on the lawn of the County Hospital. He sits surrounded by garbage and stench of bodily fluids is overwhelming as you pass. He’s only there in the mornings, so someone must shoo him away in the afternoon. God forbid someone actually help him seeing as he is on county property and all and you think there’d be some sort of resources. Or maybe the Laziest Jehovah’s Witnesses Ever could be compassionate religious folk and get out of their car where they sit shoving religious magazines through the window at people getting of the train to offer him some assistance. But today I ignored the Awake! flapped at me for the last time (and for all of you who thought they weren’t lazy, but were just sitting in their car in the winter because it was cold, umm, yeah it’s August, they’ve been doing this all summer!) and found that other than a random woman sparechanging, the County hospital lawn was clear.

Work is work. Nothing interesting enough to tell you about. I’ve packed up most of my things over this week, but am waiting for the end of the day to take my pictures down. My gym has been closed the past two days (hence me writing this quick on lunch break), which sucks cause I will miss it, but my elliptical was delivered on Tuesday and it is awesome! A stream of people have been coming to my cubical to ask me to sign their copy of IWBYJR, which is cool and I’ve had some sad goodbyes and sweet going away presents. I said goodbye to my boss on Wednesday because she is out of town now. I know with Kathy and Sharon it won’t really be goodbye because we’ll hang out. Kathy and I have cocktails planned immediately after work. So yeah, that is pretty much that. I’m sure I’ll have more reflections on all of this next week when I begin my new routine.

I’ve got my Beacon schedule set. I’ll be bartending there (101 Circle Ave in Forest Park, IL) Sunday, Thursday and Saturday nights and Wednesday afternoons from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm. I encourage you to come out, talk to me, hang out, get your book signed, and become a regular! The new beer garden is awesome. I’m looking for people who want to form darts a league for Thursday night and Sundays I’ve decided shall be Rock Star Sundays because those who come out on Sunday nights are proving they can party like a rock star. You can choose any of the weekday drink specials on Sunday so the booze is cheap. I’ll probably start bringing in some rock-themed movies to view when there isn’t a game and when Rock of Love returns, viewing parties, for sure! This Sunday I am there at 5. It will be 7:30 once football season starts and Dan starts opening during the day. But 5 is good, you can still get a nice buzz on and go to bed by 10 or 11 and get up for work. So come on out!

Tomorrow is my last work-free Saturday night. Oh well, you have to make some sacrifices. My friend Chris will be in town so I know we’ll have a good time that night. Anybody else have exciting weekend plans? If you have some time to kill this weekend or as your work day ends, there are a bunch of links for you to check out:

I blogged at MTV Books yesterday about the other new development in my life… getting glasses. And I’ve been visiting more girlfriends. Learn all about my best and worst Spring Breaks at Jennifer Echols’ blog. I talk to Megan Kelley Hall about my writing friends, my best high school memories (yes, I do have some!), and who I wish would be in my writing clique. Stacy DeKeyser gets me talking about fantasy jobs and chocolate. Eileen Cook gets me talking about my favorite movie so far this summer and what people thought about me in high school. I discuss my writing process and my favorite music movements with Shanna Swendson and there is more writing process stuff and tips for new writers from me on YA Fresh with Kelly Parra.

Phew, that is a lot of reading for ya! If you are not up for all of it, I totally understand, but maybe you want to enter contests this weekend? If so, don’t forget the tour contest, the latest Women Who Rock Wednesday contest, and the cover flat contest on Melissa Walker’s blog. Okay, have a good weekend, I’ll talk to you next week when my new life begins… Scary! And exciting, of course!


Anonymous said...

Oh ya! Burn the corporate clothing and celebrate!

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Totally! I forgot to mention, the first thing I'll be cleaning is those awful office clothes out of my closet!!!

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