Dear US Reps to the UN: Do your job.

Dear US representatives to the UN: UN gatherings are a place where all members are meant to have a voice. We are “united” by this shared opportunity. Despite whether you agree or disagree with the speaker, when you walk out without hearing what he has to say, not only is your galabanting and parading juvenile – you are not doing your job. Enough with the theatrics. If you have a problem with what he says, then counter point. If you are too proud to hear what someone else has to say, or if you are too caught up with following the leader, maybe it is time to give your job to someone more qualified.

Monumental Inconsequential Firsts

Today was a day of firsts for me.
Not only was today the first time I tried to dye flowers by adding food-coloring to their captive drink supply,
the first time I was asked what the color scheme was going to be for
mine & Erik’s new living room,
or the first time I visited the family dentist and got pronounced to be cavity free.

But today was the first time in my adult life that I haven’t had a savings account.
It is the first time anyone offered to sell me their business.
It is the first time I successfully sold anything on eBay.
And it’s the first time I started a grill – and cooked food on – it all by myself.

Sure the dye didn’t take and the flowers are wilting,
I have no idea what color scheme the apartment will be or where
the furnature will come from to put in it,
the dentist had no craters to fill (but my teeth feel awesomely clean),
I have half the bank accounts I used to have and twice the amount of
intentional direction,
there is no way I’m in the position to be buying businesses
(but I got a phone number and an invitation to learn),
Michelle may have taught me how to bid on your own items to raise the final bid amount and profit on your eBay sale, – totally unethical… I do not endorse… –
and the chicken did turn out a tad charred…

None the less, today was monumental…
and I almost didn’t even notice.

Steps Towards a Happily-Ever-After

Hello webbies,

It’s been a while since my last post. I guess things have been pretty busy. I mean, there is so much detail that goes into a wedding, and starting a new life in a new town, and finding a new job, and all that lies between. There is a lot of change at one time. To those of you who have gone before us (me and Erik), I salute you: Holly & Simon, Jon & Ali, Doris & Geno, Amber & Ryan, Esther & John, Courtney & Tony, Stacey & Dave, congratulations!

So here are some updates:

Erik and I signed our lease  in Sycamore two days ago. The apartment is great – second floor, two bedrooms,two bathrooms, awesome kitchen (with a dishwasher! – one of my top must-haves), washer & dryer, fireplace, porch, community pool and workout room. I’ll post pictures when we move in. The move in date also happens to be Erik’s birthday! We are so excited.

     

The job hunt is on in full force. I’ve found a great strategy in finding open positions in a new area is to visit the town’s chamber of commerce website. These sites usually contain a directory of many businesses that operate in the area. You can click the links to go directly to the businesses own site, see if they are hiring, and apply directly. I’ve found listings for jobs and other opportunities I wouldn’t have know of otherwise going about the search in this way. I also learned of a photo competition at a local frame shop and submitted some of my art. Not enough people submitted for the competition to actually happen, but the photos that were submitted will hang on display for a few weeks – which I think is pretty cool.

Cake tasting rocks. And we picked and ordered our cake. Thanks to Holly & Simon for having such an amazing cake at your wedding, and to Buba for recommending the vendor to Erik & I. Not to give anything away, but the Chateau is actually providing the dessert that will be served to everyone (not cake – but super tasty!). The cake is for smashing or serving… we haven’t decided yet. If you’d like to vote whether I should smash cake in Erik’s face or feed it to him nicely, voice your opinion here and your vote may be considered in the outcome. =D


Snail mail. You are not as reliable as I believed you to be. Invitations get lost, apparently. If you didn’t get yours, please let Erik or I know.

Registering for things is super enjoyable. I’ve discovered I like to shop at I time when I have no money. It’s probably safer that way. Haha. Here are the links to our registries:

 

Erik & I have made it into the second season of our favorite show: Babylon 5. Of course he’s seen the whole thing before, but it’s new to me. I highly recommend it. It is brilliant.

Also, Erik is thinking about starting a blog. This is either VERY good or VERY bad, depending on whether you would welcome the onset of his totalitarian government in your area. I’m looking forward to the blog, in particular because I love to show people how smart he is. Erik is a prodigy, just ask him, he’ll probably say he’s not and then persuade you subconsciously that he is. Because if there is anything Erik is, second to being a prodigy, it’s persuasive. (Exibit A: our future landlord insisted we needed a co-signer – add Erik, stir, and ten minutes later we don’t need a cosigner. That’s my man!)

Anyhow, that’s my update for now. Time to tour friend’s blogs to see what you guys have been up to.

Kristen

My Silver Lining in Green

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, for the past 10.5 months I have been legally prohibited from making any sort of additional income. To do so would result in me losing my position as well as end of the year stipend. Now, those of you who know me know I am not fond of imposition – specifically imposition in the form of laws that ought not to be laws; in fact I tend to rise up against them naturally. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that having this restriction placed on me throughout the past year has brought to light (or perhaps created) my own entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve gained a lot of skill in stretching money, but now, as my VISTA year is drawing to a close, I look forward to expanding this skill from saving money to making money. In a previous post expressed my desire to be my own boss. In this post I will lay out some ideas as to how I plan to begin establishing independent streams of income. If you have other suggestions that I should consider please feel free to contribute these and other comments via the comments section at the bottom of the post. As always, thanks for reading!

Things I am going to do when I finish my time as an AmeriCorps VISTA:

  • Get married and honeymoon (I know this is off subject, but Oh so great!)

–       then –

  • Open CafePress.com and Zazzle.com sites to sell my awesome designs on merchandise (maybe a bonanza.com site too, and if these are successful maybe I’ll just open my own website)
  • Check with the local town hall about starting my own business: Kristen’s Creative Investments (or something like that)
  • Create an LLC, establish a wealth account, and generally put to work the things I learned from The Millionaire Maker, by Loral Langemeier, and continue learning
  • Try my hand at interior design/decorating
  • Advertise proofreading/indexing/etc. services to academics (specifically profs looking to publish in fields I have background in)
  • Advertise scrapbooking services on Craigslist – I’ll have to make a website for this showing work I’ve done so people can choose the styles they like best, then have them send their photos, materials, and book, or have them email me their photos and express their style preferences then print and purchase the items myself and figure the price into their final bill (which would probably be the more cost-effective option because I’m good at stretching people’s money)
  • Get back to a good level of physical fitness and then pursue a certification for teaching group fitness/dance classes
  • Do family histories by interviewing others’ family members, especially the elderly, and then writing a history/autobiography for the family. I suspect I’ll have to develop my interviewing skills to get to really interesting information. It would probably be a good idea to see if this is something I’d be interested in all the way up until completion, so maybe I’ll test it out for free first with a family I know.
  • Try out mystery shopping at mysteryshop.org or jobslinger.com

To health and life, make it so!

I’m tired of being tired, of being sick, of being stressed, of being under worked, and especially of complaining (no matter how legitimate the complaint). This year has been crazy for me health wise – freaking out about arteries and Marphans last Fall and Winter, freaking out about allergies and Lymphoma this Spring. But I feel that I’ve turned a corner and am on the way to a new embrace of health and life. There are several reasons for this:

1. The highly talented and knowledgeable Dr. Susan T. Lyon, ENT, who legitimized and explained my most recent health escapade – it isn’t allergies so I don’t have to worry about impending escalation of allergies next year and being afraid of the air I breathe, and it isn’t cancer. It is Supraglottitis, a viral infection, but it is going away. I feel so freed from random acts of lethally aggressive body defense, from misdiagnosis and impending health digression. I’m sure this sounds exaggerated to many people. It would to me too, had I not spent 50% of the time over the last month considering it a very real possibility that I might soon be cut short from a life lived long by the side of the ones I love. But now I’ve been freed, and I want to sing and jump up and down and (what brings me to writing this bog entry) begin to seriously take better care of my body.

2. So last week me, Erik, and my dad fixed one of the bikes in my parent’s garage. After my doctor’s appointment yesterday, I celebrated my new chance at a long and healthy life by going out and buying a helmet, bike lock, and nose lotion (eww) from Walmart (yes I went to Walmart – my retail nemesis – but I was kind of blown away by how they have everything there, and I can afford it. Anyhow…) This morning my dad dropped me off at my apartment with the bike and etc. in tow. Now I’m psyched to try out my new city mobile, and a more efficient method of exploration via cheaper transportation is at my fingertips! Also, biking is good for the body for obvious reasons, so practicality will help me get back in prime physical shape.

3. One of the first places I plan to ride my bicycle will be to Whole Foods, as this morning I evicted from my fridge any suspect material that may contribute to disease (aka: moldy dressing, yogurt, red sauce, tartar, and various spreads; old eggs; sour milk) and now, well, there’s nothing left to eat. So I am going to the store, and with such a blank slate I am going to start eating healthier. Fresh fruits and vegetables, things with fewer preservatives. I’ll also be looking to some of you (my health nut, eco friendly, resourceful friends) for healthy recopies and ideas, since cooking and food strategy is not exactly my forte.  And since my fridge insists on either freezing or spoiling its contents, I will be buying less at a time, and making more bicycle trips to the store.

4. As I’m on the path back to personal health, I believe a part of holistic health has to do with ones profession. My position as an Americorps VISTA at Loyola University is almost up (on the last day of July). Michelle and I have been talking about starting our own business. This ties in to my life list, for those of you who read that previous post. We aren’t exactly sure what that business will look like yet, but whatever it is I feel it will be a better fit BECAUSE apparently Mollers (myself included) don’t like to have a boss, no matter how good the boss, we want to be our own boss, to establish our own goals, to create and control our own destiny – ask any Moller. How about it? We’ll work hard, but we work for ourselves. I feel like steps in this direction are just around the corner, and that will make a big difference in my career satisfaction.

5. I am continuing to work on my life list. I am now working on growing three seeds, of some unidentified tree species (I suspect Orchid) – two hanging on my window, one on top of the fridge. I found out from the bank the other day that I have fantastic credit for someone my age, which frees up a variety of opportunities for Erik and I. I called one of my dad’s coworkers to learn about her successful career in interior design (she’ll probably call me back…). Michelle and I are having our first “business” phone call tonight. Spring cleaning is going to hit my room full force in a matter of hours. I’m writing more. Erik and I are making good progress in wedding planning. And as I set out on this path of wellness, maybe soon I can help others with physical fitness and make money having fun as a physical trainer.

So I’m on a fresh path of embracing health and life, and these five things along with the many reasons I have to look forward to living life (including the man of my life, my loving and growing family, and a vast horizon of opportunity) make it so.

Eclectic Today, ___ Tomorrow

I’m learning that all it takes for me to write is to open up Microsoft Word and let the words begin to flow. My blog is kind of eclectic now for that reason. But that’s OK, if only for the reason that nothing else in my life is organized right now either. I’m starting to wonder if life will ever be simple again. What will life be after Chicago, after the job is over, after the wedding this summer? Even if life never re-finds its simple structure, I know there will still be those moments when time stands still in joy and the rest of the world passes by unnoticed, and that makes everything so worth it.

My Life List

Some people make lists of the things they want to do in their lifetime. I think that’s great. For me, I think any sort of life checklist would look different than these. I’ve already done a lot of stuff in my life. I’ve traveled to far regions of the world, climbed mountains, snorkeled in varied waters, attended monumental-historical events. I’ve trusted strangers, delved in cultures, lobbied others, and learned from campfires. I’ve been the active passenger of crystal clear rivers, Bedouin steered camels, 747s, and more varieties of public transportation anyone could hope for.  But if I were to make a list of things I would hope to do before I die, I do not think experiences like these would make the list. Why? Probably because, while these things have been fantastic life-enriching experiences, they are quickly passing. They cause you to learn much about the world, and even more about yourself. Lessons I have learned from around the world include: the depth of the human heart, the breathtaking variation of nature, possibility (in its many forms), and a wanderer’s longing for someone to share it all with. If I were to make a list now… it would be a list of things I hope to create. Life and expressions thereof. And if I die before my list is complete there will be no regrets, because my life has been so full already, I have shared it with many, and have found the one person to share it all with.

OK, enough with the sappy. What’s on my list? Here are some things I’ve been thinking of:

Baby (!, just not yet)
A tree from a seed (it’s in my fridge right now)
A house (remodel)
A landscape
A photograph (I know I’ve made a lot of photographs, but this one is different, I’ll know it when I see it)
A song
A book
A business

More to come…