Saturday, September 01, 2001

I am rather impressed with myself that I have actually written something substantial here everyday. I am sure my writing will wane after I get more into classes, my new job and get more aquantainces here.

Well, contrary to what Lindsay (who's 12) thought would happen... no bad guys got us in the night. I did have to sleep on the spare twin bed in her room and make sure to leave the light on, check the garage for bad guys and let her turn the alarm on. Remember people, the Winstead's live in one of the nicests communities I have ever been in... I did take it as a complement that Lindsay felt safe with me and to an extent enjoyed my company. She randomly hugged me while we were making breakfast this morning. It's nice to have those little things happen and realize that the girls like me... Schuyler did something of the same when she came in late on Thursday and snuck up to my room when she saw the light on just to talk.

Blanka... this huge tall woman came to take Lindsay to the beach this morning. Blanka lived with the Winstead's for 3.5 years, a bit before college and then for a few years while she went to AU. I think she is Ukrainian?!?! She seemed very sweet and told me to get in touch with her to go out sometime and introduce me to some AU people. I think I might take her up on the offer.

I've spent today reading and hanging out... of course taking a nap. I tried to go to the Rec center at school but it was closed?!?!... didn't like that one bit, especially since it was mid day on a Saturday and I haven't been there yet, but here it is an awesome facility. Not to mention, you don't have to wear a sleaved shirt like the Rec at the U of M (what's that rule all about anyhow??) So tanked topped I was, I biked off to the gym only to find it closed.

I talked to Otto a bit today about going out. It sounds like he has plans with some friends but might ask me along. It's sort of a strange position to be in... I hate when I call up people with the hopes that the will ask me along with thier plans. It's much more satisfying to call them up and invite them somewhere. Oh well, I am in a mood where I could chill out and watch a movie with the Kitty and be satisfied... if he (Otto not the cat) has other plans I'll maybe invite him to that movie I wanted to see and am planning on catching tommorow. It's in Georgetown sort of by where he lives so it might be an easy convince. Gee... this finding friends thing seems so contrived. Ugh... I am glad I can be happy alone otherwise I would be going stir crazy...

But a reminder... the only person calling me is mom. (Yes mom, I love you but I love all my other friends too)... I was going to call some of you today, but Jess and Erica I knew it was moving day and I also now it's Labor Day weekend and I wasn't sure who would be around... That means you folks should give me a call someday. My cell phone is a free call ladies and gentleman... 612-306-8662... and remember I am taking Kate Spade bag orders... it's a toll free call, no additional shipping or tax.... I really would like to hear from some of you. OH and Ailene and Jess I want your new number and address (for real folks, I've been sending mail... real snail mail... so if you want more of this dish and not via electric means send me your addresses)

Friday, August 31, 2001

I am not sure what my weekend is going to afford me. I still feel like the kid in the worm eating song...

nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I guess I'll go eat worms...

No really, that's not true at all. I am very much at peace with my surroundings and everything that I am doing but I can help but miss all my friends. It's very strange not to have two of my best friends sharing space with me, another couple next door and a few more just down the street. I realize what a luxury that lifestyle is and I truly miss you all. I think that is why I sometimes question my happiness with my recent solitude... shopping in Georgetown alone, shopping at Lord & Taylor alone, going to yoga alone, riding my bike alone, reading a lot... ALONE. It feels strange, but I also like it... I sometimes feel like I shouldn't like it. It's a different lifestyle but good for me right now... I am alot more focused and productive.

I could go on and on about being alone, but talking about Georgetown reminded me to write about some of the stuff I have noticed about quirky DC....

At first I thought the shopping sucked. It sort of does. Everything is smaller. My mom says that's because of land prices. You know the way I am about getting good deals at the Limited by going there every week... well, the one in Georgetown has ONE Sale rack and half the amount of clothes as any of the Dales in Minnesota. Okay, quit my bitching right?? (And I know Mom and Dad are thinking, this girl doesn't have any money to spend anyhow... a veritable truth.) BUT... I like to shop, not buy (not always) but just to shop... and I really do miss Daytons or Marshal Fields how ever you want to put it... I finally found the place to shop... Lord & Taylor. I was always under the assumption it was sort of like Neadless Markups (Nieman Marcus) or Saks. NOPE... it's Dayton's but with better instore brands. And to think it's on the same cross street I live on...

THAT... and knock of Kate Spade bags. I am taking orders ladies. Anyone you see, any print any size... and even real leather. They are sold on street corners in DC proper and also in Georgetown. I also found this store that is less than alley size... it's crammed with all these women (everyshape and size) in a single row made for walking that is less than three feet wide. The sides, the ceiling the floor is crammed with Prada and Kate Spade bags of everyshape and size. And you can heckle for a better deal... what fun. I ended up getting a mini backpack thing that's leather and a new wallet for $40. Now I ask you, why would anyone spend so much on a real bag?? especially when it's so much fun to hunt like that. It truly is a game. And I promise you I am not crazy, but once again I am taking orders.... mostly cause I want to go back in for the kill.

Other DC notables... the Metro. WOW... fist off, it's the best public transporation I have ever seen. It's not a subway according to the DCians (??) It's a commuter railway. Well, it's the nicest and cleanest sort of public transportation I have ever been on... and super easy. I live amazingly close to a metro stop and only one stop away from school. The thing that gets me is the desent in to the station. It's scary I tell you. If I can figure out how to get pictures on here I'll show you. Maybe other major cities have the same sort of desent, but I would say on average it is about three stories down on these really steep escalators (that sometimes and too often are broken)... they go super slow but half the time I am too scared to climb up or down while on the escalators for fear of loosing my balance. I can't imagine tipping over on one of these things and I am sure it has happened. I am going to keep my quads in fine form just from all the climbing though...

Wow... I started this post with a pre-account of my weekend and never got there... I bet it reminds a lot of you of conversations with me... The weekend... who knows. Tonight I am taking care of Lindsay while her parents and sister are on a visit to Brown. I have to sleep upstairs with her because she is a total fraidy cat (elevators, planes, bad guys in the garage... you name it)... I am taking advantage of the Winstead computer to ease her fears while she falls asleep. Besides that there is this film 'The Journey' that I really want to see. I am hoping I can convince Otto (Dr. Boy from Georgetown and seule friend) to go along... or I'll be hoofing it alone. That and a bike ride. (Dad, I finally got my bike tires fixed... woohoo... and the first thing out of the bike guys mouth, "I'll bet those tires are a little loud.")


I went to my last interview today... ugh...

I was really into the company before I went. Susan Davis International... a PR firm that specializes in events planning. How cool is that? They are doing something in a couple of weeks the Queen Norr is the celebrity guest and I always like to test out my skills as a budding Martha Stuart...

I got a late start for my 11 o'clock interview... I ended up rushing up three blocks once I arrived on the metro. I swear a 'city block' is twice the size it should be in DC especially when you are running around in a suit and heels trying to keep your makeup from running in the sweat created on a miserably humid August day... I arrived and still had to wait. The office was pretty awesome though... leather chairs and cool japanese traditional dress in frames on the walls. And then the interview...

it wasn't an interview. These people are so hard pressed to a decent person to work for them that they try to sell me on job instead... and not very well at that. They basically begged me to come work for them. They were totally unplanned and didn't care on iota about my skills. UGH... They always to tell you to prep for an interview by researching the company... I did that... I already know what it's like and they need me so bad that all they can do is tell me sorta what I would be doing prefaced and sufixed by how great a place Susan Davis is...

Thank God I had already accepted my offer with SWANA. I didn't tell them that much, but I did tell them that I had another offer on the table that included a stipend and since I would be specifically assigned in Events Planning instead of the media side which is what the original position was open for I told her I would get back to her in the spring when I was looking for a new internship. I really do like the idea of the organization but they could have at least pretended that the competition was a little stiff or sounded super excited about me and my qualifications... She truly told me that the canidate pool was weak and that she was just excited to find a resume that had enough qualifications to actually be interested in the canidate... NOT A GOOD WAY TO NEGOTIATE... not to mention I am slightly miffed that in a corporation of 12 people I am only meeting with a Jr. Acct Exec. At SWANA they totally impressed me with wanting to introduce me to the CEO and all the people in her office right away.

I guess this whole internship getting process has given me a lot of confidence. I realize that I do have skills and good ones at that. I am sure most of my competition does too, but I worked hard to arrange mine in a marketable fashion and it paid off (as much as I hate to say it props to the CSOM job prep class.) I am going to have to remind myself of this confidence when I go out looking for a real job someday. I shouldn't be afraid of the whole process and up until last week I hate to admit, but I was.

OH... I also got called back by the Racist Dog People. I got the job. He woke me up from a nap and I was too flustered to not accept the job right off. I told him I'd call him by noon on Tuesday. He called so late on Friday it probably doesn't matter in their search so I didn't feel too bad. I am going to call and tell him I got offered a job where I wouldn't have to struggle at all with my political beliefs to fit into the group... ?!?! I feel bad for leading him on but I wanted to see if I got the job. Do you think it could have had anything to do with the fact that it's an all male office with the oldest being 27 save for the crazy CEO who I hear is sort of an ass?

Thursday, August 30, 2001

Ahh living at the Winstead house. Once again a little background... I am not living in a dorm like most of my fellow classmates because it's expensive and well, communal bathrooms and quiet hours no longer really do it for me. Instead I am living with "The Winsteads" a nice suburban Maryland family... Sisters Schyler (17) and Lindsay (13), Mom (is a stationary vendor out of her home), Dad (overworked Lawyer), Tigger (Fatty Mancoon cat that is about 100 years old and has long front claws) and Trevor (20 and spending the summer in Europe before going back to Princeton)... Amanda fits in this group as the Babysitter, Au Pair or chick that lives in the awesome bedroom over the garage and cooks dinner most week nights and drives around to pick up Lindsay in when ever Page (Mom) is too busy....

if you haven't gotten the picture. These people are "comfortable", but they aren't obnoxious about it. As my parents can attest to the house is gorgeous as is the neighborhood. The family travels and the kids don't work.... Through it all the kids are super sweet and down to earth. Lindsay calls when she'll be late and felt bad one night when I cooked for her and came home having already eaten with a friend. They still yell-- MOMMY through the house the moment they walk through the front door, but I won't deny that I did that too ( I think all kids do) and Page is just as annoyed with it as my mom was.

Living with a family is different, interesting and I think I like it. I am figuring out how I fit into the game which is sort of odd. Do I chat with Page while she's doing her stuff during the day and do I sit and read in the living room or do I just run up to my room and hide. I am pretending I am just sort of part of the family and I think it's working. Schyler and I get a long. She's super sweet and her friends are all really nice so I don't mind hanging out in the kitchen with them. Lindsay is fun too... cookies on the weekend when I was babysitting and then watching and laughing at the Miss Teen America Pagent-- I spend a bit more time with her because she is less busy and I do more "babysitting"-- if you can call it that-- for her.

The only bad thing is I feel a little like I have sacrificed finding friends in the dorms. I think this will change once we are going to class regularly and I think the way SWANA is I will feel a little less isolated. I also got together with one of the guys that I met when I was here in June. We went out for coffee last weekend and sort of have plans for this weekend. He is very nice as were his friends I met when I was here last time. I hope we hang out enough that I can meet some people. (He's a third year med student at georgetown so he's BUSY)... I also went to an Orioles game with Chi Alpha, a christian group on campus (yeah, can you believe it)... they seemed pretty low key when they were passing out their info on the first couple of days and I thought it would be a good way to meet people. I found out info about crew from them (still undecided about it though)...

I am trying to go to yoga, but I don't really like the place. It was REALLY crowded and the atmosphere was totally lacking (but then again I used to go to the enchanted forest)... It's also a different type than I am used to. Supposedly the Gym at AU has good yoga and it's cheep... I might try it... I am off to there after writing to check it out...
I haven't gotten my email set up yet at the house I am living at so I have to trek to the lab. Once I do I will try to write a bit more.

For now, I thought I'd take some time to talk about my first week or so in DC. For those of you that don't know I moved to DC this fall to spend a year... this fall participating in a program at American University focusing on Journalism and then this spring doing whatever can get me a decent amount of money. The program isn't like regular school. It's 2.5 days of seminar classes and an equal amount of internship plus one additional AU class.

My professor for my seminars seems awesome. He is a documentary producer/director and worked for CNN until he started freelancing. He's very funny and has an awesome lookout on the class and what we should get out of the semester. The first day of class he was wearing a striped button down shirt, a tie with frogs on it, khakis, socks that have party hats and martini glasses (he wore these the following monday too?!?!) and tennis shoes. He considers himself the 'cruise director' of the semester who signs his emails 'cheers', speaks with a slight British accent and is incredibly funny and honest. Every other class, including the other journalism section has a glutony of homework and at least one text-book. We have assigned popular books to read... the first was awesome and I totally recommend it ("An American Story" by Debora Dickerson... Grandpa and Mom you'd love the education and poverty thing going on in the book and Ailene you'd really enjoy it too)... I never read my text books and I am already on to my second assigned reading. Amos (the prof.) has also given us the first couple weeks to experience DC and get our internships....

Internships... that has been my one big aprehensive thing going into the program. I had no idea where to start. If you can believe it there were 500 to choose from or solicit for interviews from just for journalism students (I think there are maybe 50 of us.) I sent out resumes, writing samples and recomendations to 20 companies that sounded interesting, mostly PR and Lobbying or Consulting firms. I did that this Sunday... Then on Monday we had an internship fair. It was a breath of fresh air. I walked out of it totally confident... I was pretty sure I had scored a back up position with a Women's Reproducative Rights Group... I wasn't totally interested in it, but I knew if I went in for an interview she would hire me on the spot. I ended up talking to the people from SWANA (I'll tell you what they do in a minute)... It was a man and a woman and they seemed totally psyched to be there and the poster they had with them said PR and Marketing. I almost left because I had seen most everyone and there were always people at the booth but I decided to stick around and talk to them...

They were great. Very excited about thier job which turned out to be a trade organization for waste management professionals. SWANA stands for the Solid Wasta Association of North America. Hrm... that's a negative on the score card. But they were so nice and so excited about the position and thier jobs and they kept talking about how apart of the company the 'marketing assistant' not the 'intern' would be. Their current intern wrote about 7 or 8 pages of thier marketing plan. They are going all kinds of true PR things and it sounded totally up my alley... but WASTE MANAGEMENT???? Garbage Men?!?!

They called me that afternoon and set up an interview which went awesome. The office is crazy, albiet a bit farther away from DC than I'd like. The CEO was doing a jig across the door of the marketing guys office while I was interviewing and he in turn shot her with his nerf gun. He asked me awesome interview questions and the mentioned a trip to Baltimore and New York. SOLD... but waste management?!?!

I left the interview totally stoked and ran off to a meeting with my professor. Afterwords, I had a message from Todd, the Marketing guy... offering me a job. Less than an hour later, me being thier first interview... I got the job... How cool is this? That and he offered a $500 stipend and travel expenses. Once again SOLD. But I told him I needed time to look at other opportunities. I did cancel my other interviews at places that didn't 100% interest me. This afternoon I accepted the Job... WOO-WHO...

Shh... I stil have an interview tommorow with a PR firm that does events plannign (how fun) but if they offer me a job I am going to tell them I'd love it if the extended the offer to this spring instead....


ALL this and I haven't even talked about my 'charges' and living at the Winstead house....

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

I am sure the best way to start would be at the very beginning but I am sure you are all wondering about the RACIST DOG. Yup, I met a racist dog today...

Today I had an interview with a political and coporate consulting agency called Luntz Consulting. It sounded pretty cool but they seemed kind of conservative. TOTAL REPUBLICANS... and you know me. I went anyway. Everyone was young which was cool but there where all these news clippings with a conservative bent hanging on the walls. It still seemed cool because they do a lot of non-political stuff too (Boeing, American Express and a lot of Casinos)... THEN... I went into to talk to the second guy. This DOG, yes puppy dog bounds up to me and starts to lick me... COOL... they have an office dog. But then the guy doing the interview says something about how he hopes I like dogs... that is is a great dog but "he doens't like minorities. He hasn't been exposed to too many and he gets sort of upset around them." WHAT?!?!? They have a RACIST DOG?!?!? I couldn't believe it. And for him to say something to me about it in our first minute of conversation. The killer of the whole company and interview though was not the Racist Dog, but the huge, larger than life (truly five feet tall) photo of Nixon on this guys office wall. I almost walked out. Man Nixon had some bad old man eye-brows... I haven't told them I am not interested but if they offer me the job I am SO tempted to tell them I'd love to, but I don't think I can work with a RACIST DOG....
Welcome to Capital City Tales. I have been in DC for a week and haven't had time to update everyone I would like to on my daily activities. I thought this would be a fun way to keep you all informed... Everyone needs to hear the tale of the Racist Dog and I figured this would be a better way of keeping you all updated than inundating your inboxes with randome emails.

So, friends and family when time permits check out what's happening in my life, bug me about keeping current updates and don't be too cruel when I make spelling errors and grammer gaffes. AND PLEASE... email me when you can at aanneb@hotmail.com... this can still be two way communication, I promise... Also, I promise this won't be my only outlet of communication... yes mom and dad, I'll still call, girls you'll get the unedited version via email... All in all... ENJOY.