Not Traveling: Sewing and Applying to Jobs

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what I’m up to. The fact is, I’m internally singing Ariel’s famous song from The Little Mermaid:

I wanna be where the people are!

Yep, I’ve been back in Hometown for a little over a year now, spinning off to travel here and there during the meantime, but it’s high time to get myself back into a more urban environment.

To that end, I’m applying to jobs in cities and hoping for the best. Cities with international airports. Cities with sidewalks. Cities with bike paths.

But I won’t lie. It’s discouraging waiting for replies that never come from the companies I apply to. If you’ve been in the job market at all in the past ten years, you know the feeling. You send off 100 cover letters and are lucky to get even one clear rejection, let alone an interview.

What’s a woman to do in this period of waiting?

Sew!

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I’m sorry?

I know, I know, it has nothing to do with writing OR travel OR tea OR EVEN the occasional cat. But I’ve finally finished the flagship chicken oven mitts for my Etsy shop and am reopening it this weekend.

Besides these adorable little bok-boks, I’ll have some yoga mat totes for sale, some shopping bags, and a handful of other things planned but not yet posted. Go check it out and, if you’re feeling flush, make a purchase to help me support myself while I await job responses and dream myself into a fancy place I’ll never be able to afford in Queens or Philadelphia Old City or Over the Rhine.

And if you happen to have a job in writing, editing, instructional design, tech comm, or communications, hit me up for my résumé and see if I could fit the bill. I work hard to feed this travel addiction!

What is the terminal velocity of an unladen sparrow?

If you respond with, “African or European?” you’d be corrected by my friends this morning, as I was.

“The line is actually ‘the airspeed velocity’,” they said.

Image from Wikipedia.

But out of curiosity, we decided to look it up. And to our astonishment, everywhere the internet asks about the terminal velocity of a swallow, the internet replies: Don’t you mean airspeed?

No, internet. No we do not. So we figured it out. Because this is what my friends do on a rainy Saturday morning.

Here, for your Monty Python-inspired yet strictly speaking off-script queries as to the terminal velocity of a sparrow, I bring you … The Math.

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Word(s) Count: Revolutionary-Style

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you might know I recently spent some time in Philadelphia. My first day there, while waiting for my cousin (of October 27th fame) and her fiancé to get home from work, I stopped by The Continental for coffee.

But in Philly, nothing stands on its own. There’s always history. And on the Continental building was a Historic Sites in Journalism plaque explaining that, way back in the late 18th century, this was John Dunlap’s printing shop.

What, you don’t know John Dunlap? He’s only the printer who first stamped out distributable copies of the Declaration of Independence.

Early blogging. (Image from Wikipedia.)

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New Life for the Death Strip

As a big fan of thrift stores and ApartmentTherapy.com, I love seeing how people make something beautiful out of what was once far from it. To understand where I’m coming from, please bear with a bit of a world history lesson, then a personal history reflection, before I get into the Death Strip.

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How to Go Underground in Berlin

I didn’t name my blog “in transit” just because I like to travel. It’s really (primarily!) because my life is always transitioning. Take the past month, for example, while I’ve transitioned into full-time job search and part-time transcription work. But this morning I looked up from re(re)(re)customizing my résumé and realized I never wrote about Berlin Underground!

While I was visiting my friends in Berlin (now with a blog of their own at Adventuring Pandas), we had dinner with Rob, once of the This Week in Germany podcast. When he found out I was undecided about my plans the next day, he recommended the Berlin-Underground Tour (which he’d featured on Episode 105, around the 10 minute mark), and Rob, I’m here to say thank you. I only wish I’d had time to take ALL of the tours they offer that day instead of just one!

Conclusion of the notes I took after the tour:

Great tour, great price, go go go!!!

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Driving Through the Highlands

Glancing at my calendar yesterday, it hit me that tomorrow, it will have been three weeks since I flew back to the States. Three weeks, that is, without updating my faithful and patient readers on all the cool, non-farming, non-disillusioning stuff I did while I was away!

Allow me to rectify that oversight starting now, with a Scotland omnibus similar to my Trial By Fire post a month ago.

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Deep Breath

Langston Hughes wrote a famous poem about a dream deferred. I’ve been reciting it in my head a lot during the past month, ever since reality hit in Scotland and it became clear that the pursuit of my sheep farm dream was ending up far unlike I had, well, dreamed it would.

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I spent a lot more time shredding tree branches than tending sheep. Really quite meditative, as jobs go.

But this poem—a brilliant piece of art, go read it if you don’t know it—is about putting off a dream. As Hughes writes, when we put off our dreams, they can dry up, fester, or even explode. It’s scary to put off dreams. But we do it anyway.

Why?

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Ich bin (ein) Berliner

When I was in high school studying German, my teacher told us about JFK’s famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech, pointing out that, in German, we don’t say, “I am a Berliner” or “an American” or “a Pennsylvanian,” but simply, “I am Berliner,” or “I am Pennsylvanian.” Adding an article before Berliner kind of made it sound like he said, “I am a type of gooey jelly donut famous to this region.”

But I digress. Whatever the literal translation, his meaning was clear. And today, I feel exactly the same way.

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Berlin Wall 1961–1989

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