Friday, September 30, 2016

The Things That Make Me Different Are the Things That Make Me Me

Happy Friday, everyone!  It's a bit overcast and chilly here, with highs in the low 70's the next few days.  Ahhhh, actual Fall weather.  I'm heading down Springfield-way this afternoon before spending all of my upcoming off days preparing for the big move to my apartment.  I will be calling my friendly landlord for an official move-in date on Monday.

I opened the store as shift manager twice this week.  Both days things went wrong, but were able to be fixed.  Yesterday I had to switch a few breakers to get things up and running!  Good thing too, it was National Coffee Day and combined with the cooler weather, we had a line to the door from 6am on, and only four people behind the counter.  It was absolutely nuts, but we survived!

School is still going well.  I got a high B on my Economics test that I was really nervous about, which is better than I expected.  And now I know how to study for the next one so hopefully I'll do even better!  I got into a discussion with the teacher last night about how standards-based education makes electives like art, music, and gym, almost obsolete.  His opinion was that if the elective teacher can't explain how their class supports the standards, they shouldn't be teaching.  I explained that the standards sometimes pander to the lowest forms of thought and that electives not only encourage innovative learning and creativity, but allow students a break in an otherwise boring day.

I think that having specific standards for students to achieve is a good thing, but the entire world is not based on math and english knowledge, especially since almost everyone I know as an adult can't remember how to do anything more than the most basic algebra and misuse your and you're all the time.  The other point in this argument is that electives like home-ec, sewing, and shop are much more valuable life skills, especially in this time when traditional college isn't always the best option post high-school.  I think it would be a disservice to our future society to discontinue elective courses just because they might not support some pre-laid out, limited standards of knowledge.

Anyway, maybe I'll break out my chalk pastels in the next few days!  I haven't taken any pictures recently so today's posts included recent Instagram findings; I hope you enjoyed them!

(photos collected from theprettycitieslovespringfieldgeninneurbanoutfitterssausagedogcentral)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Thirty Days Has September, April, June, and November

This is the last week of September, already.  Now we just need some of that chillier Fall weather to kick in, then maybe it'll make the time feel like it's slowing down.  This last week was a busy one; we had a couple days of rain, I had to go into work during my off time to do some online training, I worked on a few little homework assignments,  and did some other mundane workweek things.  I bought some pumpkin ale to celebrate the official first day of Fall.  Schlafly's version seems to be a bit sweet this year so it's more like a dessert beer.  I probably won't get it again.

I ordered a ZTA sticker for the back of my car so I can tell it apart from all the other little navy blue sedans that look like mine.  Ahhh, sorority girl nostalgia.

This past weekend my Uncle Paul was in town for Nana's birthday.  We all went to Dewey's on Saturday then headed over to Debby's for a little after-party on the patio, which was quite fun.  Then last night we went to a steakhouse called Citizen Kane's for the official birthday dinner.  I went for the seafood option of Shrimp Scampi rather than a giant steak, and it was delicious.  But the desserts were the highlight.  We ordered a few to pass around the table including cheesecake, chocolate chip cheesecake, and a layered chocolate cake.  All were doused in whipped cream and were extremely good.  And afterwards we were all so full and tired that we went straight home to bed!

(photos by e.hunt)

Monday, September 19, 2016

As It Were

Another Monday off work filled with sleeping in, a relaxing cup of coffee, running an errand or two, and studying for my first test of the semester.  I've already had a presentation and a five-page lesson plan, but this is my first test.  It's in Economics, and I'm a bit nervous.  I'm a good test-taker, but I feel like my teacher is the kind of guy who makes his tests really hard just because he's so full of himself and his area of study.  During each class meeting we've had so far he's given a whole speech about how our society and life as we know it wouldn't exist without economics, like this is some magical fact that's going to change our outlook on life forever.  If you can't tell, I don't like him or the class very much.  Oh well, maybe I'll be wrong and the test will be fairly straightforward and easy.  Now I'm off to study!

(photo by e.hunt)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

With a Swing, a Jump, and All the Elation

Get ready for more exciting news: I got approved for the apartment!!  I spoke with the property manager on Friday and he seems very friendly and welcoming.  We discussed my move-in date, which depends on when a few elderly people are moving out.  He expects that I'll be able to move in the last weekend of October, but it could be a week before that, or a couple weeks after.  We discussed how, as a young female living alone, I need to be on the second floor, and he said he understood, and even though it is a safe area, he was already planning on having me on the second floor near the front of the complex.  It was nice that he had considered this already.  And lastly we discussed that I should come in and introduce myself in the next week or so.

I am beyond excited.  While it is a bit of a wait before I move in, it'll be good because then I can take my time to pack and start gathering some kitchen-ware, furniture, and other odds and ends that I'll need.  I've already decided that I'm going to splurge on a nice rug or two (although the two I've found aren't too expensive), and that will be my one new item; the rest will most likely be thrifted.  Here are the two rugs I am considering: what do you think?

(photos collected from urbanoutfitters)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sway Like the Trees, Travel Like the Wind

It's been raining almost all day, which means it's been a little cooler outside too.  Not cool enough to wear pants or leggings, but cool enough that my feet aren't super hot in my duck boots.  I planned my outfit accordingly; Fall in front for the rain, Summer in back for the temperature.

(photos by e.hunt)

In Order to Be Irreplaceable, One Must Always Be Different

I got the shift manager position!!  I've gotten nothing but compliments and positivity from my fellow baristas, which has been quite encouraging.  It's a lot of responsibility, but I'm ready for it.  I've done a bit of informal training over the last week, and have until the end of next week to finish to official Starbucks training on the computer before my first opening shift the following week.

I had some very picturesque drives to work over the last few days.  On Wednesday, I didn't have to be in until 10am, meaning that the sun was up when I got to work!  And then Thursday was back  to the opening call, but there was a beautiful full moon in some very Fall-like night clouds.  And today, I am off!

(photos by e.hunt)

Barbecue Pioneers

And Sunday was Dad's birthday, so we celebrated with a little barbecue party.  We had three kinds of meat with rice, veggies, and green beans.

I was around to document and learn a little about how to barbecue, but I became more fascinated with the late summer sunset coming through the fence vines.  The patterns of the leaves and the shadows of the fence, and the little yellow flowers peaking over the top!  It was a fabulous photo opportunity.

And then it was time to eat.  My compliments to the barbecue chefs, because everything was delicious.  My particular favorite was the turkey.  After dinner, we had a lovely dairy-free oreo ice cream pie that Mom made earlier in the day.  Needless to say, we were all quite full when we moved into the men's card room for gift-opening.  Happy Birthday, Dad!

(photos by e.hunt)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Feudal Tent Brigade

I had a lovely Saturday off work.  We started off the morning with a traditional trip to Kaldi's.  It was a little chilly out so I took advantage by wearing a Fall floral dress, little ankle boots, and by ordering the Pumpkin-Pumpkin special!  That's a slice of pumpkin bread and a pumpkin maple latte.  It may have been a little Fall-overboard, but what can I say, I'm excited for the season-switch!

After that Mom and I went apartment hunting, but you all know how that went (see the post below).  Update on that: I'm not fully approved yet, but all signs are pointing to yes!  That evening, Mom, Taylor, and I drove over to Clayton for the annual art fair.  The weather was perfect for a little art viewing, and we got some beers to sip while walking around.

The selection of art was okay.  These prints by Gillian Kemper were fantastic.  She did them using the mono print technique, where you paint onto a sheet of plexiglass then roll it under a large press.  This is the same technique I used in my printmaking class in college!  It was very neat to see some professional examples, and of such interesting workmanship.  I love the little brushstrokes that give the pieces great movement and texture, and the vibrant colors add so much.

The next artist's work I enjoyed was Jeff Condon.  His medium of choice is the oil pastel, so they have more a drawn-quality, rather than the type of immediacy and thickness you get with paint.  Again, the color makes these rather simple landscapes much more interesting.

 Makes me want to get out the pastel set!  There were a few other exciting displays, but overall it was just kindof okay.  It was fun to get out of our usual weekend routine and do something different though.

(photos by e.hunt)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stand in it For All You're Worth, Facing the Sunshine

We found an apartment today!!  Mom and I geared up for our weekly outing and stopped at one we found last weekend but was closed.  It's in a great location; about ten minutes from home, probably less than five minutes to work, and close to the highway to get to school.

The lives-on-site maintenance guy, Randy, showed us a one bedroom.  It was nice and sunny, and a good size.  The whole thing is carpeted, except for the kitchen, which had hardwood, it had decent appliances, good closet space, and a little balcony off the bedroom.  The one I'm going for would face a wooded area separating the complex from a church lot.  There's even a pool!

We ended our search then and there so I could get home and fill out the online application.  I should find out in the next couple days whether I got it or not.  Wish me luck!!

(photos collected from apartments)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Weather On the Eights

I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend.  I had two of the three days off work, including Saturday!  Because I didn't have to be up before the sun the next day, on Friday night Taylor and I decided to go hear Dad play music at this place called Stovalls.  We sat at the bar, drank a few beers, and watched the country dancers.  The rest of the weekend was also fun; a family Kaldi's trip, the continued apartment search (to no avail), and a big dinner with the Grandma's.

Excluding the last week (mid-90s!), it really is starting to feel more like Fall.  The mornings have been cooler, it's getting darker earlier at night, and all the stores have their cozy autumn selections out.  I just did a major closet clean-out and have four bags of clothes, shoes, and accessories that I don't wear enough to merit keeping that I will donate to my favorite thrift store, Savers.  I'll get a nice little coupon for doing so, and then I can refill some of that open space!

I think I'm ready for a little cooler weather.   My Starbucks uniform of jeans and a button-up shirt will be much more comfortable in lower temperatures, and schoolwork is much less daunting when it's not as fun to be outside in the sun; but what I'm really looking forward to is wearing ankle boots again!

And here we are at another weekend.  For the second week in a row, I'm off work on a Friday and Saturday!  It's supposed to rain all day today, which means cooler weather the next week or so.  We're planning on going to the Clayton Art Fair tomorrow.  We went last year and saw some great artwork. It's more traditional art rather than crafty art, and it's fun to go over to the more upscale area of St. Louis known as Clayton.  Hope you all have some fun weekend plans as well!

(photos by e.hunt)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Running Today In Order to Run More Tomorrow

Happy Friday!  And happy September, too!  I am overjoyed because I have today and tomorrow off of work.  I can't remember the last time I wasn't scheduled on a Friday and Saturday in a row without requesting it.  I had a luxurious full night of sleep and am now sitting on my bed still in my pajamas enjoying a cup of coffee.

It's been a busy few weeks since returning from the beach.  I've been working a lot more, which is good because I was definitely affected by the cutting of hours that was big news over the summer: you might have seen a headline or two about disgruntled Starbucks baristas.  My boss is currently out on extended maternity leave so we're getting settled with an interim store manager.  He's very pleasant, and very transparent about numbers and higher-up stuff, which is nice.  He asked if I would be interested in being promoted to a shift manager yesterday.  I told him I would have to think about it.  I'm flattered by the offer, and it involves a pretty nice raise, but I'm not sure I want to put in the extra effort, now that school has started again.  He said he would make sure I wouldn't be scheduled more than my 25-hour average, that it would just really help him out with opening a few days a week.  I do think I would be good at it, but I also don't know if I want to move on from my current duties that I enjoy, like setting up the pastry case and being the main barista.  I have a few days to think about it, so we'll see.  In other Starbucks news, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, and we will be crazy every day from now until after the holidays.

The other big bit of news is that I'm looking at apartments to move out of my parent's house!  While I've enjoyed living at home, and am really grateful that they even let me live here rent-free for the last two years, I'm really ready to have my own space again.  It's crowded, now that Taylor's back home, and I feel like it's a lot of family time.  I feel a little stunted.  This may sound really weird, but I feel like I have to leave the house and go do something in order to be productive during the day.  And that means I spend more money on coffee and little shopping trips than I otherwise wouldn't, and I'm not spending as much time making artwork or writing than I would if I was in my own apartment.

My Mom is helping me sift through the lower-budget options convenient to work, home, and school, and we've looked at several, but the two that I've really liked have both had setbacks.  We had some communication problems at the first one, in that we thought an apartment that we went and saw was available but it actually wasn't, and the only one that was available was a different floorpan and on the first floor (since I'll be living alone it'll really be safer if I'm not on the first floor).  The second one looked great in person but I got online to read some reviews of the complex and they were terrible.  Now it made sense why they had so many upcoming availabilities!  We're going to look at a couple more tomorrow so we'll see!

School started a couple weeks ago.  I scheduled it so I would have one class at the community college on Monday nights, and my three education classes out in St. Charles on Thursdays.  So on Thursday I drive out to campus and find the classroom, and 1:50 rolls around and I'm still the only person in the room.  I think, well, this is weird.  I checked my email to make sure it wasn't cancelled or moved or anything, and then I checked my official schedule, and it turns out the class is on Tuesdays!  Of all the hundreds of credit hours I've taken, I've never made this mistake!  Oh well, the professor had a sense of humor about it.

Oh yea, I died my hair purple, and I really like it!  I think I'll keep it this color for a while.  It's washing out to a more deep pinkish-red color, which is also nice.

And all of this excitement led to me getting a pretty bad cold.  I've slept a lot of the last week and probably had a fever for a while of it.  Hopefully this will be my one cold for the season!  Have a lovely long weekend, everyone!

(photos by e.hunt, and collected from starbucks)