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!

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One and a half weeks after going public with my blog on Facebook, and I feel like I’m already a celebrity. Just wanted to give a shout-out to everyone who’s already chosen to subscribe by email, follow with your own WordPress account, and/or like me on Facebook.

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It means a lot to me that you want to read my words and see my pictures. If my awesome friends and fans keep this up, I might even buy the domain and go semi-professional with this blogger life!

Living With Mom

In the movie Failure to Launch (which I don’t remember really liking all that much), the main character Tripp and his friends Ace and Demo each live with their parents. It’s the point of the movie—they’ve “failed to launch” into their own independent lives—and Tripp’s parents hire someone to seduce Tripp out of the house and into adulthood.

The part I did like about the movie was near the end, one of the emotional climaxes, when Ace admits he owns the house where he grew up (bought it from his mom) and has the basement tricked out in ultra-tech super-modern style. And when Ace sums up Demo—the guy who’s always rock-climbing and traveling—like this:

Bradley Cooper

And Demo, here, has chosen the life of a wanderer. I mean, sure, he technically still lives at home, but his permanent address is in his heart.

(Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Demo is played by Bradley Cooper. Which was arguably the best part of the movie.)

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Getting Fishy

I love bread.

One of the best things about learning German was that I got to go to Germany where they love bread. In German Cooking, by Marianna Olszeweska Heberle, she writes:

A woman is leaning over her backyard fence, discussing her son’s career choice with a neighbor. “Well,” she says, “Manfred just couldn’t pass his baker’s exams, so he’s taking up brain surgery.”

While she admits it’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s still true that Germans love bread.

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It’s so obvious I’m German.

And so obvious that Wisconsin is peopled with expat Germans. In my 3 1/2 years there, I got to the point when some sort of bread was the focus of every meal. Bread, crackers, Panera Rapid Pick-Up, pasta, desserts—you name it, I probably craved it. And consequently overate it.

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Fit to Travel

Almost four years ago I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, a healthy, fit 135#, and started a full-time desk job. Each year of that job, I gained ten pounds, and so now, I’m officially That Fat American—a stereotype I definitely want to crush before returning to Europe.

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from the German segment of Watch People From All Over the World Describe How to Spot an American (click image to view)

Part of it is that I have a wardrobe of cute clothes that don’t fit me right now, and I’m too cheap to buy new ones in my new size. Part of is that I don’t want to confirm negative stereotypes of my own country. But most of it is just that I feel better when I’m a healthy weight, and that I love-love-love walking and biking when I’m in Europe, activities that I can’t see myself doing well if I’m in my current state of overweight. (Besides, you can fit more clothes in a suitcase when the clothes are smaller!)

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