Day 286 – It’s Getting Hot in Here.

Money Spent: $64 at Trader Joe’s, and $7 on a fresh juice on my walk to there.

After yesterday’s excited yell, it was time to calm down a little. The date last night was good… in like “I absolutely was attracted to the guy”. Which means I’ve put my hopes down, and hold life’s ironic ways in the back of my mind. But oh. My. God… I have a new item on my want list.

via glee.wikia.com

via glee.wikia.com

While summer is heating up the city, I’ve been trying my best to play it all cool… so let’s see how I did with last week’s goals:

  1. No Spending Week!I’ve been (necessarily) splurging a little recently, and it’s time to go back to (very) frugal. I have food in my fridge and pantry, so unless it’s something I’ve been overlooking this past weekend, or fresh food, I’m going for a zero spending week!

SUCCESS!! I didn’t keep the zero on the score board, but I was really careful spending money, keeping it to the necessities!

  1. Call my Former Boss Week!Remember that one time where I was going to talk with him? Yeah, I’m not a fan. But I do have justice on my side and signed document that proves I made a huge amount of money to little over the past 2 years… so this needs to be done.

SUCCESS! Although it didn’t go as planned, and results are still not there… this will need a little pushing and pulling.

  1. Eat Super Dooper Healthy Week! I was off sugar for the longest time, and then I went to Belgium… bye bye diet. I ate French fries so many times I’m actually saturated for the rest of the year. I did decide to be a little more flexible, though: I’m allowed an alcoholic beverage from time to time. And since I read that one cup of coffee in the morning is actually good to fasten your metabolism, I’m doing that, too. Homebrewed, of course.

SUCCESS! There was nothing but health on my plate this week.

  1. Keep up the Running Pace Week! Running has been going well, and I’m so, so excited to have run 5K today!! I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be running in the morning or at night, after work… but I’ll figure that out this week. I hope to eventually combine running with a yoga practice.

SUCCESS!! I ran a whole lot last week. I may take a couple of yoga classes this week, just to balance things out.

  1. Start Apartment Hunting Week! I guess it’s time to get serious about that… 42 days left until moving… Washington Heights (or higher up), here I come…

SUCCESS! I kicked things off. I also took a decision to perhaps rent a 2 bedroom apartment, and rent one room out.

  1. Go Back to Kundalini Week! Because bravery works best when supported by a higher power.

SUCCESS!! I didn’t go to class, but I had a meditation routine all week: meditating in the morning for about 15-20 minutes: it helped me through the week!

 

Next Saturday, I’m going to Fire Island for the day. A friend of mine has a birthday and a bunch of us are going the… *insert dramatic tune here*… beach.

My body is nowhere near bikini ready, so I’m slightly panicking… people take pictures on beaches, and I doubt I can avoid being in all of them. So this next week will be about the most superficial themes in the history of the world: money and me.

  1. Zero Spending: I’m going to give it another try: my fridge is filled with food, I should be able to manage to keep the spending to a minimum.
  2. Work It Out: I have five days left until my trip to the beach, and I’ll do my best to at least feel a little comfortable in a bathing suit.
  3. No date Week: I just had two dates. The only days I’d have a date, are either Friday or Sunday – all else is off limits, due to #2. Unless it’s the guy from last night asking. Exceptions to the rules are always necessary.
  4. Getting bikini ready: that means I’ll be scheduling a wax. Hello, Groupon Deal!
  5. Work It Out – part 2: I hope to get moving in the matter of me vs my former boss.

And I think I’m going to end here, and enjoy a couple of hours of weekend… before the week kicks off.

My first week back in Manhattan… it sure wasn’t boring.

Day 285 – I’M ALIVE!!

Money Spent: $ 11,80 on laundry and $11,50 on Thai Food… mmm, Thai food.

Now that I’m on the market for a new apartment, I obviously have my own financial well-being in the back of my head… well, more like in the front of my head, buy you get what I’m saying.

Initially, I was focused on finding something as cheap as possible, without giving up the freedom of living by myself. A Studio, or a one bedroom if it fits my budget.

So the other day, I was in touch with a management company with some no fee listings… when I spotted a TWO bedroom, just a little over my budget. The apartment looked nice enough, but it seemed stupid to want more space than I need: an extra room means more time to clean and higher costs to heat as well.

Until a thought hit my mind: what if I rent a two bedroom apartment, and rent a room out. Not constantly, just a couple of days a month… and lower the cost of my rent way beyond the budget I had calculated.

I rarely have bright ideas like this, so I was a little weary about the whole thing. So first off, I did some investigation in the legality of renting out a room in NYC. Guess what? You totally can!

I’m still considering some of the practicalities, but what’s so bad of having house guests for a couple of days a month, if it pays the bills? With some good house rules, that should totally work, is what I’m thinking!

Cutting in my rent money, will open up funds to not only live a little more and better, it will also increase the amount I can put towards debt a month. I’m a mathematical genius right here. KILL, Debt! KILL!!!

Anyhow, It’s still a little early to pin a place down, but as of now, I’ll be actively pursuing a Two Bedroom apartment, and demand all my relatives and friends in Belgium to come visit me.

Meanwhile – I’ve figured out that my accountant screwed up and I probably need to get money back, there’s a lawyer bowing his head over the matter with my former boss (for free), I ran 5K this morning (and a total of 21K this week)  and I spontaneously agreed to a last minute date with a guy who lives 6 blocks away from me.

I haven’t felt this alive in ages.

PS: I don’t know if it’s summer or the fact that the shackles of my former job have been cut loose… but *this moment*, right here… this is happiness.

PPS: I hope you all have happy days, too!

Day 284 – Date Night.

Money Spent: $0   

You know that feeling you have that tells you you should, or shouldn’t, do something? That indicates something that you know is going to be the truth, long before you know it’s actually true? Some people call it ‘gut feeling’, although that sounds a little flaky and ‘out there’.

We all have it though.

I knew I was going to like the guy I had a date with tonight. Not that we had been texting our life’s tales and stories or something. But sometimes, you just know: we shared a sense of humor, he wasn’t overly dramatic ‘into me’, he was to the point, set the date up nicely (and considerately conveniently located).

And I did really like him. Sometimes you meet someone, and you just instantly click. Like, you wonder how this person lacked from your life prior to this evening. You start talking and the conversation immediately feels naturally. None of you both is trying too hard to impress the other. It’s just genuine conversation, flowing from one topic to the other, laughing about a joke, nodding in agreement if you share that ‘been there done that’ moment.

I was charmed, honestly. I like this person – that’s what I thought. That doesn’t happen every day.

It was a great date: he had found a nice bar in Korea Town where the music didn’t make any dialogue impossible. He paid for the drinks we had. He walked me to the Subway.

He’s shorter than me though – not much, a little… but I was in flats, and when he kissed me I was so, so tremendously happy that I chose not to wear the wedged sandals – comfortable but not for too much walking.

Isn’t that always what’s going to happen? Life showing you that there are decent guys – even in New York City, people! Life offering you a glimpse of what else is out there, next to all those guys scheming for hookups and fast love. Live being it’s ironic self, offering you a little of what you want… just not all of it.

But I had a great night.

That much is true.

 

PS: this date definitely beats the one where I was shown a non-metaphorical gun.

PPS: I’m 5’8”, closer to 5’9”… I sometimes wish I was a little shorter…   

Day 283 – Good Vibrations.

Money Spent: $0

For months and most of winter, I had shunned away from my friends, from events and from life outside the walls of my apartment. Dealing with my finances, with myself and all of the reflecting, I decided to be my own best friend, and just take good care of myself – or just be by myself, I don’t know what’s more true.

But now, it’s summer, and nice out. And even though my self-confidence is a little off because of the size my ass decided to grow (at least TWO sizes bigger than ALL the pants in my closet, I might add), I feel more OK than I have say four to five months ago.

And so, today, after work, me and my ass click-clacked our heels to Williamsburg, where a friend of mine designed the interiors of new-built condo. And they were having a party, throwing the overprized apartments on the market, and that came with champagne and so much lobster,  doubt there’s any left in Brooklyn tonight.

The first week at my new job is almost over. I can’t believe how fast that went… how at ease I am. True, I have no bosses around, no colleagues to consider and there’s still much to do to set up the office… but I was so proud to tell my boss this morning that I managed to land 3 presentations at really high end and established Interior Design Offices… that’s a confidence booster right there.

My friends all noticed how much more relaxed I looked. They also notice that “euhm…. Did you gain a little weight in the ass area?” – which is also true.

I know my body will eventually adjust to the lack of nicotine that used to speed up my metabolism. My work outs and healthy eating habits will soon kick in too. Life will babble its course and I will ride on its waves.

It’s Thursday, I met some great new people and bonded with some old friends. I laughed while sitting outside and watching the Manhattan skyline get ready for dusk…

 

Midtown as seen from a Williamsburg rooftop

Midtown as seen from a Williamsburg rooftop

And I said to myself: isn’t she lovely?

And she sure as hell is.

Day 282 – Allo, Allo Again.

Money Spent: $7 – had to get my brows threated, no longer manageable on my own.   

Well… my email following up my phone conversation with my boss – in which I very kindly ask him to either meet me in my new office (I believe I used the words “you are most welcome to”) or to meet for an informal coffee to discuss the matter, has been left unanswered.

In a threat of 5 emails over a course of a month, none have been answered. Disrespectful, definitely. But I would assume that a man knowing he was right, wouldn’t hide behind the arrogance of silence.

Anyway. To be continued, I guess.

On a positive note, my new job has been keeping me busy. I’ve been juggling my time between the business development that has to help us grow, and setting up the office to a workable place… One very important thing I need to do, is getting an office phone.

via und3clared.livejournal.com

via und3clared.livejournal.com

You’d think in this day and age, you’d do the shopping in the morning, and by the time the sun gets up the next morning, you’d have yourself a phone. But no. No-no.

Verizon’s customer’s service is horrible. If you manage to find a way through the jungle their menu is: kudos. But on Monday, I gave up after about 4 attempts. Instead, I send an online information request… I’m still waiting for an answer to my questions.

So today, I called them again… I was promised to get my answers answered by 1pm. I repeated my email address twice, just in case. I even spelled it in a way that there was no mistaking which letter I meant to say: D as in David – e as in Edward – B as in Boy…

But I’m still waiting for an answer.

Eventually, I contacted Time Warner – yes, them… the FBI of customer services… there was no way I’d call them. I posted an info request on their website instead.

Half an hour later, I got a call. My questions were answered during the phonecall, but another 30 minutes later, I received the offer in my mailbox.

I’m not saying I’ll go for Time Warner, but at least they offer excellent care for potential new clients.

 

PS: Whatever happened to haven 3 options and then get in touch with a live person?

PPS: Any suggestions as to what company I should contact to get a phone up and running asap?

Day 280 – Allo, Allo.

Money Spent: $0 yeah!  

When I grew up, the BBC1 series Allo, Allo was immensely popular. The Brits playing a show with French ànd German accents – it as hilarious. Honestly, if you never saw the show, you should try to get your hands on it somehow, because I just needed an intro and somewhat of an explanation for the title of this post.

via meancookie.tumblr.com

via meancookie.tumblr.com

I also called my boss. On the phone. And that conversation was as absurd as a BBC sitcom. But here’s an anthology:

Him: We haven’t cancelled your visa yet, but I’m beginning to feel like we should…

Me: euhm… where do you think I’m calling from? I have a new Visa… like in ‘the embassy cancelled yours already’.

Him: *silence*

Him: we don’t agree with the hours you invoiced for drawing services! That was part of your job!

Me: drawing? Since when? That’s not in my job description.

Him: well, your job description is what WE say it is!

Me: yeah… exactly. I have a signed copy of that description… there’s no drawing services mentioned on there.

Him: *silence*

Me: and also, even if it were, you would have to explain why I had to make all those drawings on my personal computer with my personal drawing program… I’d assume if it were a task in my job description, the company would provide the necessary tools to perform the task within office hours.

Him: *long silence* we’re going to have to see a copy of that document.

Me: of course.

Eventually, he ‘kinda’ agreed to meet later this week for coffee, but to the email that I sent following up the conversation, I have not yet seen a reply.

My word of advice if you ever come across a boss like mine: make sure to keep EVERYTHING of importance – even if it doesn’t seem important at the time.

Keep them positive vibes coming!

PS: totally off topic but an important question: what am I going to wear to the FOUR DATES I HAVE COMING UP!? 

Day 280 – Slow Down.

Money Spent: $20.06 on eggs, apples, carrots and beets – everything minus the eggs for my morning juice. I was shocked, though. 20 dollars for 5 apples, 5 beets and 5 carrots? And they’re not even golden!   

I want things fast. If I set my mind to something, I want it yesterday.

If I start running, it frustrates me that I can’t run 5K immediately, and I tend to force myself – as if all of a sudden running daily will transform me in one of those people who effortlessly gallop over the pavements. Like gazelles. You know the kind.

It doesn’t work that way, though. Even though I felt like I could easily run another 3,5 miles, my legs started protesting by the time I was at the end of my street.

It’s the same thing with dating. Once I decide that I’m ready to throw my heart in the pond again, I expect the right person to pick it up immediately. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I rushed into a date with this one guy who states in his profile that he’s the happiest person walking the earth. That’s how easy you can trick me into drinks after work. I do, and then I read… because two sentences later he explicitly defines what it means to be “very open sexually”. So there’s a martini wasted.

I tend to rush things. Frustratingly pushing life like a cartoon figure trying to move a brick wall.

And don’t get me wrong, although I can act impulsively, I always have a schedule in my head, blocking me from spontaneously jumping on a plane to an exotic destination. Well, a schedule and no money in my pockets, that is.

I have to cook, I have to run, I have a yoga class, I want to read, I want to be by myself, I have to take a shower, wash my hair.

I want too much, too fast, preferably all at once.

But every now and then, I stop. I literally stand still to look around, to smell the roses – so to say, that is, you don’t really want to smell all that much in NYC in summer.

All kidding aside, though: I like those moments. Those moments where I realize there’s no need to rush. No need to argue. And everything is just as perfect as it is.