8.22.2008

On Vacation

Will be back in awhile. Probably mid-September. I start my new job on September 11th. Until then, I'm on vacation from everything but having fun and shopping.

Item of the Day:

Anything on Anthropologie.com
There's at least three weeks of Items of the Day on that site

8.20.2008

Touchdown

Got the job! Going in tomorrow at 4:30 to get the offer and hammer out the details.

8.19.2008

The Suspense is KILLING Me

So, I didn't get any news on the job yesterday because the CEO didn't make it back to the office from any of his appointments. So I was supposed to meet with him today, but he told one of the other manager there to "apologize 1000 times" and he will call me tomorrow since he also won't make it back to the office today. I'm going insane here! Jeremy just keeps laughing at me and reassuring me that I totally got the job, but still. I'm going crazy.

My last day at work is next Tuesday. I did not realize that until today. I have exactly one week left of work. Eek! I need to get Claire and Braden trained! I created a book for them to reference after I leave, but I still need to show them some of the stuff in it that is a rare occurrence but an occurrence nonetheless. Like, how on earth to find the TrueCore boxes from Light Impressions. The first time I ever had to find them it took hours. They were well-hidden. I now have a bookmark and the exact link referenced in the reference book. And I need to educate them on photo prices. Which, believe it or not, can be very confusing--sometimes you just have to come up with your own definition of what category a client fits into and charge them that price. So much to do.

My art supplies should be arriving day after tomorrow. I cannot wait to start painting and creating things because I have beaucoup d'idées. I'm very excited. I found a fantastic service called "The Sampler," which takes your samples and sends them out in a monthly "sampler" box to magazines and such. Great exposure. I'm planning on sending packs of 5 Moo cards with one of my paintings or drawings on each card and a hand-painted scrabble tile necklace, along with a business card and some great packaging I have designed.

Tomorrow I have an interview for an Outreach Coordinator position at BYU. It's only 30 hours a week, but that's good enough. I'm just taking it because it was offered. Pretty sure I'm going to be getting the other job, though. I'm also still in the middle of interviewing for that USANA position. Much is going on.

UPDATE: The job interview for today is associated with the political science department of BYU. I would rather be unemployed and living in a tree than work for the political science department again. Last time, I lasted three days before I just quit and walked out without finishing my shift. So, I'm gonna be canceling that interview because I don't despise myself enough to work anywhere near the political science department again.

Item of the Day:


Earrings from Etsy shop Realisation Creations

8.15.2008

New Interviews

I had an interview on Tuesday for a Client Relationship and Marketing Manager position at a local company here and I was invited back for a second interview today which (the CEO told me I could say) went very well. He said he was very impressed with me and thought I would be the best fit but that he had to interview the other candidate to "be fair." And then he said, "But when could you start?" He then said he'd let me know on Monday whether I got the job for sure.

Two hours later I get a call that he wants me to come in on Monday to talk to him. Thinking that's a good sign. They don't call you in to tell you that you didn't get the job.

This would be a great job. It's a really small company but really established and I like all the other employees there, including the CEO. And it's from 9-5, so I'd have time to go to the gym before work so that I could have time to work on art after work for my store, which is well on it's way to being up. I bought about 70 canvases yesterday and some glass locket pendants for my hand-painted jewelry. Score for bulk pricing.

There'd be a lot of graphic and web design, event planning, client relations and brochure and welcome kit designing. Both interviewers said the job seemed to be right up my alley. Thinking that's also a good sign.

Item of the Day:


Glass Lockets

8.11.2008

But I Don't Want to Type Anymore!

These weeks of job searching have shown me a few things:

1) Looking for jobs is not fun
2) The stress accompanying the job search is not fun
3) Most jobs are not fun
4) When I'm searching for a job, I am not fun
5) I need to find something that I want to do so that I don't hate my job--in other words, I need to come up with a job that is fun

So here's the conclusion Jeremy and I have come to. Etsy. I've been offered money for my artwork in the past, even before it was even done. So if someone likes my half-finished products and wants to buy them, why wouldn't they want to buy my finished products? I've been researching Etsy and small businesses and tax laws the past few days to the point that I finally understand what an SE tax is and how much I should pay in estimated taxes quarterly. For someone who hates numbers and money, that's saying something. I'm going to keep looking for a job, even just a part time job (and I'm still really into the idea of working at Bassett (4 days a week, so 3 days off to devote to making art) as a design consultant which reminds me that I need to call them back after I finish writing this), and I will open my store in the meantime. It has a name, it has a place, it just doesn't have anything up yet because I haven't gotten to that part yet. When I do, the URL and links to products will be up. And I will be shamelessly asking anyone and everyone to spread the word about me--I may even wear sandwich boards in the middle of the city. So, here's to hoping that I don't have to be a corporate career gal.

Item of the Day:



The Bomb--a bundle of all the Etsy marketing and selling and record keeping tools a person could ever want or need. This will be one of my first purchases.

8.07.2008

There will be books!

My interview went very well. In my opinion. I got along great with my two interviewers and I had an answer for each question as well as questions of my own. So, in the next couple of weeks I will hear if I got a second interview (which includes a writing test--insert ominous music here). I was only the second interview, so I have a bit of a wait.

Did I also mention that I applied for an Academic Resources Consultant at the Bookstore on campus? I did. Which I would love for several reasons:

1) There will be books.
2) We wouldn't need a second car right away because we'd still both be working on campus so there would be money to start a savings account with.
3) It involves PR and Marketing--fun!
4) There will be books.

That job closes on August 18th, so I can't call about it until then, but you can bet I'll be calling about it.

More and more people are finishing Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer and it appears that they either love it and think it had absolutely no flaws and have "who wouldn't want a completely free-from-stress ending to the series?" attitudes and then there are those who are like me--who wonder what made Stephenie Meyer wander off the path so completely with all the random and new character developments that didn't reconcile well with the previous books. But I'm glad that some people loved it because if the world were filled with people like me who take their books way too seriously (I mean, they are LIFE to me) there probably wouldn't be as many books because we'd all be too picky. Plus, I really want her to write again because I do think she's a good writer, so it's good that most (at least it appears there is a majority) like the book. And as disappointed as I was in the ending of the series, I am very much looking forward to Midnight Sun, Twilight from Edward's point of view.

I really think she should leave The Host as a single book, though. No sequels, please. It ended well. There was closure. Let's not take it too far.

Our apartment is a crazy mess right now. We're working on turning the office into a guest room and so we had to collapse two desks and put them away so everything it sitting around in boxes or on the floor or something. And we don't care. We'll care when we finally get our new bed in and we can actually finish turning the guest room into a guest room by moving our current mattresses in with the bed (that we already moved so we wouldn't have to do it all at the same time). Then we'll take a day and clean the apartment and finish the re-decorating.

I'm working on a lot of art right now to sell on a store I want to open on etsy.com. It's going to be paintings and drawings, including handpainted jewelry (pendants). I need a name for the store, though. Any ideas?? Something fun and creative. Not just "Sara's Shop" or anything like that.

I'm also working on decorations for the apartment. I bought three matching black and white Jackson Pollock prints to float between lucite panels (back one is frosted) and hang on the wall (again, floating away from the wall 1.5"). They look great. Our new bedroom is going to be black and white. Cannot wait to get the bedroom done.

Jackson Pollock, No. 14 (Gray)


Item of the Day:

Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space
Our favorite modern sculpture

8.06.2008

Woah!

Bassett Furniture just posted an open Design Consultant position! Woah! I was there on the 24th of July and we bought a bed and a mattress and I talked to the hiring manager because I had put in one of their form applications but they didn't have any openings at the time. He said to just keep coming back and bugging him. And today, a job posting for the Orem Bassett Furniture. I applied with my resume and cover letter through Career Builder (since it was a much better application process than the BassettFurniture.com application process, which, if I remember correctly, doesn't let you post your resume) and I will go in this weekend and "bug him" like he told me to. That'd be great! Plus, it's only about a mile from me.

I will write more and have an Item of the Day later. Right now I'm studying up on the company and myself so I can be impressive at my job interview this afternoon.

8.05.2008

Job Interview Tomorrow

Tomorrow I have an interview with Usana Health Sciences for a "Writer II" position. Hopefully the fact that the person who scheduled me for an interview seemed very excited to talk to me is a good sign. I've researched the company and I would most definitely like to work there. The founder is the man who came up with all the viral diagnostic tests for diseases such as Epstein-Barr and Herpes. He sold his viral research laboratory to begin Usana Health Sciences. They sell health supplements, skin care, and are completely devoted to health. They also have (well, the founder does) a specialized hospital to concentrate on special cases. Dr. Wentz, the CEO, is dedicated to cancer research and other research to find cures for diseases. So, all in all, I'm very impressed with the company and their focus and I would love to work there.

Not to mention, they have an on-site gym, which would make it so much easier to get my workouts in--and I could miss rush hour traffic in the mean time.

Item of the Day:

Usana Sense Skin Care. I'm interested in it. Plus, it's cheaper than Clarins which would be nice.

8.04.2008

$4000 v. $1200 and J.K. Rowling Reigns Supreme

No news on the job front, but no bad news, either. So everything is still looking good for me. I applied for four more positions today, too. But. Today I was looking through job posts again and I noticed that you can make $4000 a month as a mechanic versus $1200 a month as an "executive assistant."

It's so much easier in my opinion to fix cars than it is to be nice to stupid people.

Spoiler alert for anyone who has not finished Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer and does not want to know anything about it. Let alone how profoundly disappointed I am.

Let me start by talking a little about Harry Potter, especially considering Stephenie Meyer has been speculated to be the next J.K. Rowling (which, I have to say, is very unfair--that is a LOT to live up to--J.K. Rowling is a genius when you stop to think about how important every aspect of every book is to every other book in the series. It is completely intertwined and it takes some massive amounts of skill to write like she does. But J.K. Rowling set the standard for this genre, so everyone is going to be compared to her.). So, Harry Potter was amazing. And it was amazing for several reasons:

1) It was well written--the only discrepancy I noticed between all seven books was that in the first book, the lighter that removed and replaced light was called a "Put-Outer" and in the seventh book it was called the "Deluminator" (which I prefer--it flows better). Other than that, the entire series was true to itself and edited beautifully.
2) Each book could stand alone if you could somehow keep yourself from getting hooked and reading them all
3) It wasn't all feel good and happy-go-lucky
4) There was a definite plot that connected all seven books, never wavering from Voldemort and the fight against him
5) There were never any moments that made you think, "Wow...she was really reaching when she came up with that idea."
6) The characters made sense--they were true to themselves and their origins throughout the entire series. Once the characters were developed, they stayed that way.
7) It was believable--yes, it was about wizards, but J.K. Rowling wrote so well and so real that it really wasn't difficult to imagine that there was a Hogwarts out there--and we all wanted to go to school there
8) The villains were really villains in the case of the Death Eaters and Voldemort had NO redeeming qualities and didn't try to fake having redeeming qualities
9) People died for the fight between good and evil

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is still one of my favorite books. It's a great book to get lost in. It is by no means near the level of intelligence and sophistication of Harry Potter, but it was still relatively well written and I loved it. New Moon was good, too, but not as good. Eclipse just made me mad, but I still liked it well enough once I got past Bella's annoying vacillations between Edward and Jacob. But Breaking Dawn...wow. Every prediction that was made about it that seemed completely far-fetched (and absolutely out of line with everything that the characters were developed to be like) was actually in the book. I got to the end with only 20 pages left and absolutely nothing had happened. The tedious and long descriptions of Bella's pregnancy (which really, only lasted a month according to the story) should have been shortened to less than, oh, 300 pages. And the 200 pages spent leading up to the big battle ended up leading to a really big...oh, wait...nothing. No battle. So, here is a list of why J.K. Rowling reigns supreme after the release of the final book in the Twilight series (and really, that was never in question in the first place):

1) There were some parts in the book that I actually stumbled over several times before I realized that there were double sentences within the sentence--as if a sentence was started and then changed but part of the original was accidentally left in place. So, not the easiest read. It was probably a race to hit the deadline and wasn't edited very well.
2) The books cannot stand alone. Yes, they are part of a series so they should be read together, in succession. But Harry Potter was a series as well and you could still read one and it could be considered its own story. Twilight is the only book that could stand alone in that series. You can read Twilight and be pretty much fulfilled. The others, not so much. Breaking Dawn, definitely not.
3) It was too "feel good"--Breaking Dawn was supposed to be a big end to a dramatic story. It wasn't. Everyone was fine. Everything was sickeningly sweet and easy. The stresses that they were supposedly feeling in the book seemed completely far-fetched and so therefore, unbelievable and I didn't share the tension--which is really vital for me in a book--I have to feel it. Maybe it's because I figured Stephenie Meyer was incapable of killing one of her characters, but I knew that all the "horrors" that the characters were facing were going to turn out just fine and so therefore, were not horrific.
4) The only definite plot that connected all four books was "Bella and Edward are in love." The villains differed. The friends differed. The personalities of the actual characters differed. Sure, there were the "shape shifters" (no longer werewolves, apparently) and the Cullens throughout all the books, but really, that was it. There was no great struggle between good and evil like it felt like Meyer was trying to achieve. The only truly scary bad guy was James, in the first book. All the others were obviously going to be defeated the whole time so it wasn't suspenseful.
5) The entire fourth book was a very long moment that made you think, "Wow, she was really reaching when she came up with that idea." The whole book felt like she was just catering to what would make everyone happy and make everyone feel good. Did we all feel good when Dumbledore died? No, but J.K. Rowling didn't care what we thought because it was necessary for a good story.
6) The characters were completely different from the characters in the first book. The character development wasn't consistent through all four books. First example, Charlie. His reactions didn't make sense when compared to the Charlie in the first book. Second example, Bella. Just everything about her--the baby, being mad at Jacob for imprinting (which was completely predictable and I actually laughed out loud when that happened because of course that would happen--it only took away from the believability of the book), her entire personality. She was nothing like the original Bella.
7) It wasn't believable--I can't imagine a real Cullen family. It was just all too surreal by the end of it.
8) The villains weren't villains. The Volturi, especially. They were apparently just cowards who, throughout everything, called their so-called enemies "my friends" and "my dear ones" (what?!) and they tried to pretend like they had all these wonderful qualities. I repeat. Not. Real. Villains. Real villains don't run off with their tails between their legs because someone can block them.
9) No. One. Died. In a book that is, from the whole premise of the book, about good v. evil wrapped up in a love story, someone needs to be hurt. Harry Potter was a fantastic series because it made you FEEL something. This didn't make you feel anything. The entire fourth book was a big ball of nothingness. Nothing happened. And it was obvious that Stephenie Meyer did not have the guts to let a character go. Everyone, besides one random side character, made it through. No fight scene throughout the entire book. No real danger to anyone. No one was even scratched. There was a monologue instead of a fight.

I'm not saying I hated the book. I enjoy reading about Edward and Bella, so I didn't hate the book. But the characters weren't the same in this book so I didn't really enjoy the book, either. It's a problem I am having difficulty reconciling. I think Stephenie Meyer just took the story too far. Had she left it at Twilight and moved onto the Host from there, I wouldn't have been disappointed like I am now. By the end it seemed like she'd run out of ideas, so she just took all the craziest ones and put them together. I was telling Jeremy it reminded me of the Left Behind series. I read the first book and thought, "Hey, not so bad. Not so great, but not so bad." The second book was bad. The third was awful. The fourth was horrid. The fifth was a train wreck. But I couldn't stop reading because I had to see how much worse it could possibly get. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing Stephenie Meyer to the nutjob, completely awful writers of the Left Behind series, but I feel the same way after finishing (though I could never make it through the other series because it was just that bad). I feel let down. I liked the first three books (so it definitely differs from my infamous "Left Behind" torture of myself). The fourth just didn't make sense with the others. But It doesn't help authors that I take my books so seriously. My mother says I should suffer for my art, not suffer through others' art. I expect way too much of authors, really. But hey, that's how it works.

I'll still read Stephenie Meyer's next book. I think when she doesn't take an idea too far and stretch it too thin that she is a great author. She has some great story ideas. I'm just really disappointed today in a book that I waited so long for.

So, J.K. Rowling reigns supreme because she is the infinitely superior story teller. She knows what needs to happen to make a story truly great. Stephenie Meyer, apparently, doesn't know what needs to happen to make a story truly great. Completely feel good, lovey-dovey stories that have no conflict or intense emotions for the reader to feel leave the reader feeling empty, and I am empty right now. I'm sure there would have been conflict had I known that Meyer is capable of letting a character go, but that's just not how she's worked in the past and she still doesn't work that way. So, no suspense because everything always turns out well for everyone in her books. I still like Twilight, but I'm going to pretend in the future that it is a stand alone book.

Update: A review that I ran across that says pretty much everything I said.

Click Here For Review


It's good to know I'm not the only one who was disappointed. Though I don't agree with the "fast pace" she talks about for the first two "books" of Breaking Dawn--I thought they were slow. The 300 pages of Bella "wincing" because she's pregnant and everyone "turning white" from watching her were not fast in my opinion. Very slow.

Update 2: Everyone must read my friend Randi's response below--she makes a fantastic point about the fight scenes in the other books as well. If I'd put that together before now, I probably wouldn't have been so disappointed because I wouldn't have been expecting as much.

Item of the Day:


For obvious reasons.