Good and bad

The good: I got a job! It’s a bit less money than I was hoping for, and it’s a 5-month contract, but I am grateful, because it’s a nice job (Youth Coordinator for a local non-profit), I like my new boss, and it gives me time to look for something better-paid and learn some new skills.

The bad: the man I’ve been seeing told me he has sociopath tendencies. I knew he was weird, but I had no idea it was this bad. I was very upset at hearing this, and I still am, but, after I turned 30, I decided that trying to fix men is too costly a hobby. I’ll cry my tears, and then move on. Plus, if I could actually fix sociopathy, I would be going straight for that Nobel Prize, instead of wasting my time with this guy.

I want to focus on the good and go on with my plans. Keep dieting, learn InDesign and Farsi, find a school to finish my degree, save money to pay my taxes, get ready for my mom’s arrival. My mom is coming here for Christmas, and I haven’t seen her since July 2009. She will be getting here right after her last chemo session, and I want to go all out and make a wonderful stay for her.

My heart is still with this man, but it will catch up with my reason eventually. I want good things for myself, and I want someone with whom to share them. I want to be happy.

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Friends with vegans

vegan-chocolate-cake

Vegan chocolate-strawberry cake I made for Easter. The icing cracked in the fridge, but I pretended that it was on purpose.

One of my closest friends here, in Canada, is a vegan, and her boyfriend is, too. I am an omnivore and I can’t ever picture myself going vegan, or even vegetarian, or even pescatarian.

Due to my religion (Eastern Orthodox), I am familiar with vegan cooking. We have four periods of Lent every year, and our Lent consists of a vegan diet (although honey is allowed, so I guess it’s not really vegan, but you get my point), plus no drinking, no smoking, no sex, no swearing. You can imagine that the younger generations aren’t too keen on keeping Lent; I haven’t kept it myself in years. However, my father and my grandparents keep all the four Lents, and sometimes my mother does, too, so I know how to cook a few vegan dishes.

This post is not about veganism per se, since we’ve established I’m not going down that road anytime soon, but about being friends with vegans. First of all, in a city like Vancouver (said to be vegan-friendly), it’s very likely that you will end up having a vegan guest at some point. Continue reading

Hair loss treatment with stinging nettle and coffee – Updated

That's almost what my hair brush used to look like, even after I cut my hair short.

That’s almost what my hair brush used to look like, even after I cut my hair short.

UPDATE – October 17, 2013 – So far, so good. My hair loss has diminished to just a few hairs here and there, usually after I wash my hair or after I haven’t brushed in many hours. Yay! I’ve yet to hear from my friend about her results, but it’s working for me and it costs almost nothing, so I’ll keep using the lotion.

September 25, 2013
Until a week ago, my hair had been falling in clumps. Scary and gross. It was all over my bathroom, my bedsheets and my floors. I hate the feeling of stuff sticking to my bare feet when I walk around the house, and hairs are the worst! Plus, I was always stressed when cooking for people, because there were always a few hairs hanging off my clothes somewhere.
It was long, well below my shoulders, so I thought that cutting it short would fix the problem. It did not.

Last year, I tried Nutricap, and it helped a lot, initially. After a couple of months, the hair loss returned, even as I was still taking the pills. I’m not saying it’s not a good product, but it didn’t work for me in the long run.
I’ve also read about Biotin, but a lot if users say that it comes with the “bonus” of making your body and facial hair grow like crazy. As a woman of Greek heritage, with a weight problem that accentuates body hair growth, this is NOT a risk I want to take.
There are many other treatments I could try, but I’m on a budget here and I can’t afford to experiment with expensive stuff.

Continue reading

My experience at Dress for Success

make-up-lancome-dior

I forgot to include the Shiseido face serum in the photos.

I got a referral for Dress for Success through my local YWCA chapter. They booked me an appointment, and I can say that it was a great experience.

First, you are allowed to pick anything you want from a selection they have in the front room. I’m not sure if this is just in Vancouver, or if every Dress for Success chapter has the same policy. There were two clothing racks with clothes of different sizes, a rack of shoes and a shelf of cosmetics.
Continue reading

My job search tips

job-searching-career

This is a follow-up to my previous post, My Job Search Insecurities – Are You The Same? If you are like me, and the job search process turns you into a self-doubting, self-flagellating mess, maybe the tips below will help you. Again, not claiming they are original, and I know that what works for some may not work for others.

I think these tips could be especially useful if, like myself, you’ve worked a multitude of jobs and done a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and you feel like your resume is all over the place. Since I came to Canada, I’ve worked in retail, I was a receptionist, a loan officer, a collections agent, a website admin/social media manager and a freelance writer. All immigrants must pay their dues, I’ve been told. Back home, I was a translator and a journalist, with some sporadic teaching experience. As you can see, it’s really all over the place!

1. Do a “Lego” resume.

Every job application has to be customized, so, even if you have separate resumes for different sets of skills, you’ll still end up editing a lot to make them match the job description.
I found a solution to customize my resumes in a way that saves me a lot of time and mental energy, and I named this solution “the Lego”, because you get to build your resume like a Lego toy. Continue reading

My job search insecurities – are you the same?

unemployed-cat

Last week, I lost my part-time job. It was actually a contract job at a local university, on a project that I built from scratch and developed for over a year, with excellent results.
This summer, they decided to turn it into an office position. Naturally, I applied. Naturally, I thought I would AT LEAST get an interview. Naturally, I forgot about unions, incompetent HR people and lazy department heads. They hired an internal candidate who is largely unqualified, because the job ad was misleading in the first place-a mainly technical position presented as creative work. I didn’t even get the courtesy of an interview, even though I was the current occupant of the job. I wouldn’t get so worked up over it, but I really loved that job and I put many volunteer hours in it.
Now they’re asking me to help with the “transition”, “for a while” (read: hired candidate has no idea how to do this job), and I invoice the crap out of them. There’s still some money to be made from this over the next few weeks, so I guess things could be worse.

Just a short summary of the current situation. Whining is not the point of this entry, and, I like to think, not the point of this blog, at all. What I want to talk about is the inferno of job searching, because I’m curious to see if other people feel the same as I do. Continue reading

Home alone (1)

black-woman-reading

I don’t look nearly as stylish as this lady when I relax around the house.

I live alone. It’s my biggest luxury, especially considering that Vancouver rents are freaking expensive. There’s approximately $400 a month making the difference between happy solitude and roommate hell, and I pinch that $400 from other areas of life that matter oh-so-much less than having my little oasis. My home is my sanity, as is the case for many introverts.
I spend quite a bit of my free time at home, and I love every second of it. I feel like I’m banking mental energy for when I have kids and I have to to say good bye to privacy and autonomy.

Since this is the Labour Day long week-end, I have a bit more time to sleep, purr and be merry. And yesterday was a really good Sunday: no last-minute work for my part-time job, no emails from the editor, no annoying phone calls, house clean, laundry done, errands run, groceries and cooking for the week done. Why hello, delicious alone time!

How does that translate in practice, you ask (or you would ask, if this blog had any visitors)? Continue reading