More grown-up talk…this could get boring

Somebody remind me the next time I go out that when I come home and throw up in my garbage can, throw the garbage bag out immediately! Last Saturday I ended up doing just that (throwing up in my garbage can) and neglected to throw it out the next day. As a result, it was sitting in my room for a week and spawned a handful of gross-looking fruit fly thingies (I think they’re fruit flies, at least) that continue to fly around in my room. Seriously. I am 22-years-old now, and I can’t believe I let that happen.

This week was my very first week working both full time and part time. Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than I thought, and I didn’t even work a full 40 hours at my internship this week because we get a four-day weekend for Labor Day. My body is so completely exhausted, and I barely have time to shower, eat and sleep when I’m home. I actually have to make plans for things like shopping, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I insist, though, that a majority of my shopping is for work-related clothes, because I noticed my closet kind of screams “college girl” (lots of T-shirts and skanky tops) rather than “young professional” (dress pants, fancy blouses). It also doesn’t help that I just got a new credit card. With a $5000 limit. But I’m telling you, I’m going to do everything in my power to go against the norm and NOT be one of those girls who just pulls out the plastic whenever she sees something pretty in a window display. I really just wanted to get a new credit card with better rates because the one I’ve had since freshman year is sucking me dry, and my Best Buy one just hit me with a nasty load of deferred interest charges. So I’m trying to manage.

Speaking of money and grown-up things, my parents have been pressuring me to buy a car lately. It makes sense, obviously. There’s five of us in this house, three working adults (I’m one of them now, yay!), one community college student and a high school kid. Everyone’s got somewhere to go, especially now that summer’s over. We have three cars, one of which is a total gas-guzzling SUV that is in desperate need of a checkup. My parents have been commenting a lot on how we need a fourth car for the family, and obviously that fourth car is going to need to be bought by me.

But the thing is, I don’t really want a new car of my own. And by that I mean I don’t want to have to pay for a car every month for the next 5 years. I know I really do need a car and all, but what if something happens and then I’m stuck with a car I can’t pay for? My internship is only temporary, and my part-time retail job isn’t going to cut it if/when the time comes and I’m stuck in a rut again. Plus, there’s my secret fantasy plan, which I haven’t really told anybody much less my parents. Thing is, I can’t see myself wanting to stay in Illinois for the next 5, 10 years. As much as I love the city of Chicago, the feelings aren’t there anymore. Plus, the politics and government in this state sucks. At the moment my plan is to live at home and work in Illinois for a couple more years, then move abroad temporarily. I’d really like to do the Peace Corps or teach abroad for a while before settling somewhere more permanently. Or, there’s still my other plan, which is to go to graduate/law school.

There’s also the fact that I don’t know anything about cars. Which one do I buy?!

Today was somewhat of an improvement

My dad informed me that I will be getting my first paycheck from him this Friday. So yay, money. I also lined up two job interviews for later this week. One is an informational interview with a company that somehow found my information and contacted me. The other is for a part-time retail job. It’s all better than nothing, right?

So at any rate, you know how they say don’t drink and drive, give the keys to you friends, yada yada? Well they don’t seem to have a saying for the “make-sure-friend-knows-to-turn-lights-on-so-bitchy-suburban-cops-don’t-hand-you-dumb-fine” situation. I went out to the bars in the River North area this weekend, having driven to my cousin’s friend’s apartment in the city earlier. I, of course, end up drinking away happily and at the end of the night we arrange for my sober cousin (whose house I was supposed to be sleeping at that Saturday night) to drive my car back to her house while her boyfriend drove hers. Well, unfortunately neither of us noticed that the lights on my car were not turned on while she drove. Since her car automatically turns its lights on, she just didn’t think to check with mine. Once we hit the suburbs, we realized our mistake and then the cops pulled us over immediately after our lights were finally turned on. Like seriously…what the fuck? Someone remind me to pay my cousin for my half of the ticket fine she was issued…

Americans, they so mean

I got a job. Sort of. Last week my dad woke me up in the morning to tell me he wants me to come to his office, fill out a job application, and start manning the phones. Like on that day, good grief. And so here I am, at my dad’s place of business which is barely over a year old and which I helped start up last year, sitting at the computer and waiting to take down phone calls. While I am fully more than happy to help out my father and help his business grow, I feel a little odd working for him. It’s like I’m not really making my own money if I’m being paid by my own dad. But I’ve got nothing else to do, and I haven’t been able to do work for Demand Studios in a while since there’s slim pickings for actual do-able articles, so any form of income is better than none, right?

On another note, I’ve been dreaming a lot lately about either going back to Costa Rica (as in planning a trip) or actually being in there again. Various members of my host family keep appearing, and my intense penchant for popular Latin music (hellooooooooo, Prince Royce) has yet to waver. This can only mean one thing…I must go back, haha. Where I’m going to find the funds to do that, I still don’t know, considering all my graduation money went down the drain into paying bills, old apartment rent, etc. I think I’ve mentioned all this before.

One thing I miss about Costa Rica is the amazingly generous hospitality and friendliness. And I don’t just mean my host family and school — I mean everyone. For example, last entry I mentioned that I went out to the bars in Wrigleyville a couple weekends ago. What I didn’t mention was that we ended up getting kicked out after my friend drank too much, blacked out and subsequently began throwing up on the floor of the bar (we were sitting at the tables in the back). Every employee that passed by was giving us death stares, and it wasn’t until a bartender cried out “Oh, heeeeeell naww!” that I knew we were done for and had to go. No friendly “Is she okay?” queries, no looks of concern. Just straight up “Get her the fuck out of here” looks from people.

Now, let me recount the few times I threw up in Costa Rica last fall semester. Oh, there were a few, haha. I remember sitting at a table with my friends, drinking beer merrily and playing cards as usual. I ended up buying a bottle of rum that night (oh, how I miss the awesomely cheap bottle service in Costa Rica) and later throwing up on the floor (and also on one of my friends, but that’s another story). Our waiter that night promptly rushed over to me and told my friends I should probably go to the bathroom. He didn’t make any fuss, just cleaned everything up and kept checking to see if I was okay. In fact, the next time we were at that bar and he was working, he laughed at me and asked how I was doing. And in fact, he ended up befriending us and now we’re Facebook buddies and everything. On another occasion, we were at another bar that was hosting Ladies Night (my GOD, I miss those nights in Costa Rica even more), which translated into me and my friends getting very drunk very fast. Once again, I threw up on the floor and my friends debated about whether to take me home or not. But alas! We weren’t going to let our night end there. One friend told me I must be strong and rally through the night, so she sat me at the bar and asked the bartenders to give me something to help my…condition. They gave me some grenadine (how that’s supposed to help, I don’t know) and let me sit at the bar for a while. Eventually I stopped feeling like I was going to hurl, and somehow later ended up on top of the bar, dancing with a bartender nonetheless.

Goodness I miss Costa Rica. Americans can sometimes be just so unfriendly!

I’m getting old

I know, I know, being nearly 22 years old does not exactly constitute one as feeling old yet, but I have several reasons for feeling as such. First of all, it’s a Tuesday night. I was invited to go out for drinks with some friends, but feeling incredibly lazy I decided to stay in. Even though I have absolutely nothing to do tomorrow (or for the rest of my life, as a matter of fact). I used to be able to go out 7 days a week! Now I can barely get my ass out on a Tuesday night — a Tuesday night, MY night of the week!! In Costa Rica we had a bar we’d go to every Tuesday; at school Tuesday nights were the best week nights to go out; even here at home I’m often getting texts to go to this bar or that. But alas, tonight I just did not feel like it. Something must be wrong with me.

Another reason for feeling old: my brother and I went to Meijer and there were displays of “Back-to-School” items everywhere. School supplies for the kiddies, dorm essentials for the freshmen. It was the latter that nearly set me off and made me reminisce of my own first college move-in nearly four years ago. It also made me realize how much I love decorating and furnishing my space, because I kept scrounging for items to use in my tiny bedroom here at my parents’ house. I can’t wait for the day I actually move out and have a real apartment of my own again.

On another note, last Saturday I went out to the bars in Wrigleyville for the very first time. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I definitely didn’t realize it would be so crazy. There were people everywhere, bars everywhere, drinks everywhere, all spilling out into streets. I didn’t drink much, so I stayed rather subdued for much of the night — which I guess must have translated into everyone thinking I was an uptight bitch. Forreals! Twice a person used the word “uptight” to describe me, and countless others were asking me if I was having fun or not. And for the most part, yeah, I was having fun. But people were calling me uptight! And asking me if I even enjoyed going out period! (OK, that’s a lie but I’m sure that’s what was on their minds.) To be clear, I was out with a small group of friends, only one of whom actually knows me very personally. The rest of the people I socialized with were complete strangers and distant acquaintances. Plus, I was sober. So, no I wasn’t my usual life-of-the-party self last Saturday. Why don’t guys just realize that when a girl is acting “uptight” and “uninterested,” it’s because they’re not interested at all?!

Rolling with the big boys now

I’ve spent a majority of the day today trying desperately to reorganize my room. I just simply have way too much stuff. And unlike previous summers, where I was planning on only living at home for a couple months, I need to find room for it all on a more permanent basis. But alas, this entire house is a mess and filled to the brim with junk. I need a desk, I need workspace, I need room for storage. As to how I’m going to find that here at home, I don’t know. And considering my current lack of employment and poor financial state, the option “move out” isn’t quite available yet.

I have way too many books
There’s a problem…I have way too many books

Last Friday I finally managed to be social and went out with friends. Derrick Rose was due to make an appearance at a nightclub in Chicago, so we scrounged up the money and went. It was crowded and packed, and I only saw very few glimpses of the boy and other NBA players (mostly through my camera) but nevertheless it was a fun time. I will say, though, that it had been a long time since I’d felt so…young. You see, by the end of my senior year in college, I had taken over my college town. I regularly cut lines at the bars, knew the bouncers, befriended managers, got cheap drinks, knew people already out partying. Things were comfortable, and my ego was at an all-time high. Even in Costa Rica, I had managed to paint the country red multiple times and befriended numerous people. But at the club on Friday, I felt like a little girl playing dress up. The DJ was doing shout-outs, saying things like, “Where all the single ladies at? Where all the college educated ladies at? Where all the ladies with no babies?” I cheered excitedly, of course, but then my friends and I just had to grin sheepishly when he started saying things like, “Raise your hands if you employed! Raise your hands if you just got paid! Raise your hands if you’re over 24! Raise your hands if you got more than $100 in your pocket!” I don’t do designers, I don’t roll around with $100 bills in my pocket. Guess we’re just not there yet.

Derrick freaking Rose
Derrick freaking Rose

Friday night also marked my first time in the city as a college graduate (lame milestone, I know). One man actually swooped in and put his arms around my waist by the end of the night. I was so confused at first, it took me a while to realize that he was shamelessly hitting on me. I was so taken aback when he kept asking “What do I need to do to take you out to lunch or something?” I mean, in college, guys are all, “What’s yo’ number? Let’s hang.” This dude had two phones on him (“One for work”) and was begging to have dinner with me. And when he found out I was only 21, he looked slightly apprehensive but pressed on nevertheless. I never responded to his text yesterday though.

Then Sunday I went to the Gay Pride Parade in Chicago. It was a day full of merriment, dancing and drinking. At one point we were chilling in a Jewel Osco parking lot with our booze when a female employee approached me. At first I thought she was about to tell us off but instead she hands me a piece of paper. Since I was at Pride, I instinctively thought it’d be her number or something (definitely would not have been the first time a lesbian’s given me digits). Then I opened the piece of paper and it was a message from some guy: “You’re stunning. Contact me? Steve.” Apparently though, Steve was a creepo in glasses, who didn’t even leave me a phone number but an AOL email address instead.

There surely has to be better prospects somewhere in this state!