15 December 2011

Bazinga!

I know I really ought to be packing right now, but I have to write down some of my thoughts!

Ben and I got the job with that nice school.  It's in Yongin city, not too far from Seoul.  I've heard many reports of it being an awesome city, so that's good!  We got the unofficial offer Sunday, and we got the contract Monday night.  I turned in my notice at work on Tuesday and craziness has consistently ensued ever since.

The most stressful part:  they want us to move in two weeks.  Actually, they want us to be there on the 27th.  (AHHHHHHH!)  I told them I had to give my two-week notice at work, and I hope they got that.  Because I kind of need the extra day or two to move all our stuff up to Jonesboro... and to get Cat settled up there.  I don't know how she is going to react, and I'm kind of worried about her.  I never thought I would feel so protective about an animal, but she's important to us.  Hopefully we can get her moved to Korea quickly and safely... we just can't afford it (financially and time-wise) right now.

So to add to the stressful part of them wanting us to move in two weeks, we don't know when we are flying out.  Which means we are packing now, thinking later.  We're selling whatever we can, giving or throwing away the rest of what we don't want, and storing the rest at my mom's.  I hate packing, though.  Never was good at it.  And it's just Ben and me... no one to help.  Sigh.  Not that we can really afford the U-haul either...

I am excited, though.  I just wish all of this extraneous stuff would take care of itself!!

Note:  If anyone needs a dining table and chairs, couch, tv stand, or end tables, let us know!

11 December 2011

The waiting game.

Waiting is tortuous.  I've never been incredibly patient, and waiting to hear back from this school has been tying my insides in knots since our interview on Thursday.  The first school we had interviewed for (the shady one) offered us a contract within 24 hours, but we turned it down for obvious reasons.  We thought we might hear from the second school as quickly, until we realized that Friday evening for us was Saturday for them... so we've been on pins and needles waiting for news all weekend.  Ben's being much more chill about it.  As for me, I've felt sick off and on from the nerves all week, haha.

Worst case scenario:  we don't get an offer.  It won't be the end of the world, and we will continue to interview for jobs until we do find one.

Best case scenario:  we get an offer, and we leave for Korea in a month.  Which means this week I would have to put in notice at work and at the apartment, we would have to pack all of our stuff, and get ready for a really quick December.

Both scenarios seriously stress me out.  I'm still having difficulty figuring out how we will pay for everything if we leave in a month.

08 December 2011

Morning thoughts.

Well, here I am finishing a stale cup of coffee, thinking about what went down last night.
We had our first school "interview," which basically entailed talking to one of the teachers while the director was listening in.  Which basically means they probably couldn't be truthful about some stuff.

We had originally been scheduled to have two interviews last night.  The first one was rescheduled last minute because of an unforeseen situation arising at the school.  The second... well, they just forgot to call us, apparently.  I ended up having to e-mail the recruiter to make sure we got the interview... And they called us, about 45 minutes late.

The interview wasn't really like any interview I had ever had.  The fact that it was a teacher talking to us let our guards down a little bit (until we realized the director was there the whole time), and the guy was pleasant enough.  However, his lack of anything negative to say about his experience was a bit of a red flag for us.  Also, when he asked the director if she wanted to talk to us or if she had any questions for us, she said no.  The entire "interview" was pretty much the teacher asking if we had any questions.  He didn't ask too much about us, which was surprising.  The feeling we got out of the experience was strange... we couldn't tell if they were just feeling us out, or if they were confident about us and just making sure we didn't have any questions...  No e-mails from them since, and I have no idea if we're going to hear back from them at all.

The final weird thing about the interview happened when I asked the teacher for his e-mail address.  His e-mail had his full name, so we Googled the teacher.  None of his online presence has anything to say about being in Korea since August 2010.  In fact, his sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook) all say he is currently in law school in Washington DC...  Ben got upset over this.  It's hard to know who to trust, and when it looks like we're being played... that's disheartening.  I'm sure there is some possible explanation for it, but those explanations aren't exactly forthcoming, and it isn't a question one can just whip out in casual conversation online.

"So, like, were you lying that whole time?"


The good news is that we have this second interview tonight.  I hope it goes well... from what I've heard about the city and the possible school we're interviewing for, it's a really great job.  At this point, we're just needing some concrete information!  This constant limbo of waiting for job interviews is pretty nerve-racking.

I'll let you all know what happens next when I find out.
Cheers!  

20 November 2011

Updates.

Well, here's a quick update on our situation!
First, we are still poor.  Ben's still trying to find a job.  Chris is getting married this weekend (that's a major yay!), which means soon I shall have a sister-in-law and two new nieces.  I'm pretty excited about that one.

I had a nice birthday, though it was fairly quiet.  Still had to go to work (boo), but they got me a chocolate cake (yay)!  Ashley, Julie, and Ben took me out to Olive Garden for dinner.  And on Saturday, Mom came down from Jonesboro to take Ben and me out to dinner... we went to Gauchos-- yum.  And Mom got me the most amazing suitcase that I'd been drooling over.  I still have my bright fuchsia one... and Ben may have to use that one when we move, haha.  I also got the Doctor Who Series 6 Part 1 Blu-ray pack!

Now for the real updates.  We've been accepted to Footprints Recruiting, which is great.  And we've applied to two jobs already through separate recruiters.  We haven't heard back from them yet, but those jobs started March 1st, so if we can find something sooner, that would be better.  Also, Ben and I bit the bullet and reluctantly signed up for online TEFL certification courses.  This set us back $445 (I had a bit of a panic attack on the way to work after paying), but the benefit is undeniable.  We will not only get some good insight on the classroom settings we will be working in, but we will also be qualified for higher salaries with those certifications under our belts.  I hope we made the right decision.  I'm still freaking out about it a little...

In other news, our FBI background checks finally came in, and we got a recommendation for a private organization that can get them Apostilled for us much quicker (as in, about a week, as opposed to 4-6 weeks). Which means, once we get that taken care of, and our letters of reference are complete, we will have all of our paperwork.  Which means we just lack a job offer, a contract, and our visa from the consulate.

Moving right along...


14 November 2011

Baby steps forward.

Well, things are a little better than they were my last post!  We decided to ditch the TeachESLKorea recruiter and move on to other options.  As in, we applied to six other recruiters.  I was hoping we would only have to focus on one set of applications, but as it turns out, most people have better luck from exploring more than one route.

So.  Here's the current sitch on things.  Despite some negative comments about Footprints Recruiting on Dave's ESL Cafe, we went ahead and put in our applications.  We are playing it pretty wary with each recruiter until we get the info on what they can offer us, so don't worry about us getting stuck with a bad organization!

I just had my interview with Footprints this afternoon, and I think it went really well.  Ben's interview is on Wednesday, so please send positive vibes his way.  What we really need is someone looking for jobs for us at this point instead of being in perpetual limbo.

As far as our E-2 Visa process goes, the only thing we lack is getting our FBI background checks in.  We applied for them in August, and they still haven't gotten back.  After that, we have to send them to get apostilled, which will take another 3 weeks or so.  (ugh).

The only real difficulties we are having right now involve the TEFL certification and our current financial situation.  Ben and I simply cannot afford shelling out $220 each (that's with the Footprints discount) to go through the course.  I really want to take it, and Ben's resume would really be buffed up if he had the certification.  But we are poor.  :(  Seriously.  I have been eating ramen noodles for at least one meal every day for the past two weeks.  All carbs all the time.  We'll get through it and figure something out, but it's been tough... and probably will be for a while.

Note:  I've never done this before, and we don't want to put pressure on anyone, but if someone feels inclined to help us out, even a little, we now have a donation account on PayPal.  The button is up there in the upper right hand corner.  We would sincerely appreciate any help you can provide.  All donations will go either toward our TEFL certifications or our cat's relocation fees.  =^.^=


Sometimes the pressure of our financial situation is overwhelming.  It will hit me all of a sudden, on the way to work or while I'm making dinner, and I will have a mini-meltdown.  I honestly don't know how we are going to survive financially if we are forced to remain in the States for more than a couple of months.  If we go through a pet relocation agency, we are going to have to borrow serious money from family to pay the bill.  I've been considering sending funding letters to friends and family, like I did for many of my Hungary trips.  (This is what I get for not learning how to budget properly from the beginning.  Sigh.)

I keep telling myself we'll make it through somehow, that we will figure something out.  But the longer we wait, the worse it gets, and I can't figure out a way to do it all without borrowing.

Boo hoo.  There's my sob story for the day.  Poor and unafraid to say it.  Just terrified to deal with it, haha.

Love,
Beks

01 November 2011

Setbacks

This is so frustrating I could cry.
This morning I received an e-mail from the recruiter saying they probably could not place us in Korea.  That there are too many applicants and too few jobs.  He told us to go get a 100hr TEFL course (about $200 per person), get all of our documents in order, and then talk to him, but he couldn't make any promises.

Can we afford to invest more time and money into this?  As it is, I'm uncomfortable with our current financial situation.  We were counting on this.  We have friends who are over there, and we had no reason to believe it would be difficult to get placed.

So right now I'm having a little freak out, trying to decide whether to send back a reply assuring him we'll do what we can, or whether we should just forget Korea and move on to another country.  I can't sanely back out of this venture.  We have to go.

19 September 2011

Don't let me down.

Letting people down is not something I relish doing.  I hate "breaking the news", and I generally put it off as long as possible.  Though I doubt that letting the wait drag out hardly improves the situation, I guess it's more for my sake.  Knowing that people may think less of me or blame me for something is the worst.  I shouldn't care what they think, but I do.  It's natural for me to want to please.  It used to be worse.  Back in high school when I had frequent and disturbing nightmares, I narrowed the problem down to my difficulty with saying no to people.  I would let myself get so stressed out with not only my schedule, but worrying about what other people would think if I messed up, that my mind would vent when I went to sleep.

All this to say that I have news that will not make some people happy at all, and I don't know how they will react.  These people have been so good to me, and while I can get pretty frustrated with them, they have done a lot for me since I have known them.  I've always been a teacher's pet--so sue me-- and this situation doesn't seem any different.

So boo.  I have to break the news soon, because once the paperwork starts trickling back in... Ben and I are moving to Korea.

16 June 2011

catching the career bug

So............................................................................................................................................

Still at the spa.
Things are going okay, I guess, but I still can't help but itch to get out of these restraints of working in such a conservative, one-sided work-place. Don't get me wrong, I love the people I work with, and I even enjoy the work. I like the make-up of course (Jane Iredale is AMAZING, even if Bare Minerals is sometimes a letdown), and the retail side of things that I'm in charge of can be fun. It gives me a chance to use numbers and some minor statistics (and we all know how much I love stats, hehe).

Nevertheless, I often get frustrated. The past few weeks, I've been required to assume a full-time receptionist role since we've lost a couple of girls up front, and the more I'm in that role, the more problems I seem to be causing. I'm not cut out to be a receptionist. Sorry. I think of myself as the more aloof, independent creative, ya know?

I can't wait until we hire a couple of new people so I can focus on why I'm there-- um, the make-up.

Also, I've been "training" to be the secondary spraytan person... I don't even like tans. Anyone who sees me will know that I know next to nothing about a healthy golden body. I am paaaaasty, and I like it. Now, ask me about a good bronzer, and I'm all over it. I'm just not a spraytan kind of girl.

I guess it would help if I'd take out my airbrush again and actually try to use it. I haven't really had time...

In other news, I'm throwing around the idea of going to cosmetology school while I'm down here... I have been lusting after doing freelance full-time (especially since I just can't seem to get used to just being a beauty mua), and I would be losing a LOT of opportunities by (a) not being able to understand a thing about hairstyling, and (b) not being licensed. All the lovely ladies out there who monopolize the freelance industry in LR are certified (to the best of my knowledge), and they are often hired for hair AND make-up.

So.

Much as I reeeeeeally don't want to be labeled a "cosmetologist", I may end up needing it. Plus, I can demand higher pay with the certification.

Unfortunately, I still want to go to a make-up school. And Ben still needs to find a job. One thing at a time, though...

Kristi, if you read this, I miss you.

Beks

19 April 2011

anxiety

I've been getting so much better about my storm-related anxiety... but all of that progress is thrown out the window when I know my husband is driving home in the storm. :(((((((

21 March 2011

spring is here!

The first day of spring has never seemed so infinitely perfect. When I walked outside for a bit today, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful weather. Just the perfect temperature. I haven't loved being outside that much in a while! I wish we had outdoor furniture to put on our balcony so I could have read outside today, but instead I had to make due with opening all the windows and turning on the fans to circulate the fresh air.

I took the opportunity to do some spring cleaning-- much needed, might I add. I had to go out and purchase a new vacuum cleaner today since our old one had called it quits (the motor died, poo *sadface*). So I vacuumed the apartment, did laundry, did dishes, swept, and treated our hardwood floors. When I get up the courage to face my allergy fears, I'm going to clean the litter box, too. :/ I'm going to tie a scarf around my face first, though lol. And wear rubber gloves.

Going back to work tomorrow. I had a five-day holiday! Well, I was sent home on Wednesday, and they told me not to come back for the rest of the week since it turned out I was contagious with strep throat. All better now, though, and quite rested. Though I know I'm going to be hating my paycheck for last week, I appreciated the time I was given to recuperate with my sweet husband (who took very good care of me, might I add).

I've been doing a lot of thinking this weekend about our future, and still haven't gotten any closer to making any real progress. The more I see babies on television and in real life, the more my heart aches to start a family, but OH MY WORD do I know that we aren't ready for that, even if it WAS in our immediate future plans. Ben feels it, too. He gets this really precious look on his face when we see a cute child while we're out. And his family certainly has made their opinions and wishes known. I'm lucky that my own extended family has plenty of babies to soak up the attention.

Nevertheless, I feel like if I decided to stop here and settle down, I would overwhelmingly feel like a failure, after wanting for so long to pursue my dreams as a make-up artist. I like my job at the spa, but I know it isn't going to be a long-term option for me. I don't have enough freedom or flexibility, and my true passion in make-up is film! This job has made me turn down multiple film opportunities this spring, and I know I wouldn't be happy if that was my life from here on out.

I want to go to Vancouver for film school, but it's getting hard for me to find motivation. I know the move will be hard on us. We will be horridly in debt, which is why we're here in Arkansas for now-- to pay off debt before we can think of acquiring more. The longer I stay here, the less possible the move seems, but there's no way we could leave now. I want to learn more! I want to go to the best school out there! I want to meet the extraordinary people in the industry and be involved in incredible, life-changing projects! I'm not going to get all that here, but we're stuck for now.

Like I told Kristi, basically the name of the game right now is "try-not-to-get-pregnant".

I want to set a goal for myself. A year from now, a year from today, March 21st, 2011, I want to have made a decision about Vancouver (or whatever film/makeup school) and have a definite timeline for getting OUT of Arkansas. That way we can adjust our budget (ha) to start saving money, and I can give definites to the school for application or even inquiry purposes.

...because let's face it, just because I apply, that doesn't mean I'll get in.

We have the whole world ahead of us, and we (I) just have to find the courage to make the decisions that will change our lives, hopefully for the better.

16 March 2011

cruddy.

I'm sick, and I feel like telling someone about it. I've a feeling it's the beginnings of bronchitis... Started out yesterday as a bit of pressure in my chest which I immediately recognized as congestion, and I was feeling a little short of breath. This morning I woke up with a sore throat, and thanks to the Mucinex I took last night, some of the congestion had loosened in my chest so I could cough... a little. It hurts too much to try a really productive cough, though, so today I mostly tried to take shallow breaths, and if I coughed I kept it toned down... little pathetic baby coughs, pretty much. Until I run a fever, all I can do is suck on Chloraseptic lozenges and take Mucinex twice a day. I feel like crud, and I wish someone would baby me lol.

Ben's on days at work now! I'm so excited about this. We don't really see a WHOLE lot more of each other, but we are on the same sleep schedule. We sleep in the same bed at the same time, we get up and see each other before work, and see each other at night after work. I feel much more grounded because of this, so let's hope things stay good.

Our dishwasher has been broken for like two weeks now. My hands cry out from all the handwashing I've been doing...

What else... job's going well. Kristi came and visited me last week, which was so nice. My cat is snuggling next to me right now and being stupidly cute. Aside from being sick, missing my friends, and wishing I could fix my friends' problems, things are good.

But then there's that Japan thing... I worry for my friends and family over there. My cousin Sean and his family, Eika-chan, and several others. I wish I could hop into a helicopter and scoop them all up to safety. As that's an impossibility, though, I can only hope for their continued safety, health, and sanity. :(

17 February 2011

golden glow

I figured it was about time to update about the new job and everything.

Let's start off with a resounding "I AM SO GLAD I GOT A NEW JOB"! Starbucks, my dear, you were a fair-weather friend, and I realize now that I was missing out on so much by sticking around. I cherish the real friendships that I made there, both with co-workers and customers, but it was about time for me to leave.

Working at the spa has been a huge change for me. I get up at six in the morning so I can shower, apply make-up, and style my hair. I leave home at eight, occasionally stopping at the SBUX on Oak St. on my way out of town for a double tall nonfat latte (a huge, majorly healthier change from my good old standby triple tall iced white mocha no whip). The drive down to Little Rock isn't that bad, and I leave early enough to account for most traffic snafus and snares (usually happening right outside of Conway or Maumelle, ugh).

Typically, I'll arrive at the spa twenty minutes early, time enough to help myself to more coffee or to read a book while I wait for the day to begin at 9am.

My job description is MAKEUP ARTIST, but I am quickly assuming a lot of other roles... recently being trained as a receptionist, retail specialist, Facebook page operator, and occasionally maid and interior decorator. This broad list of jobs is not a bad thing! I hate having nothing to do, so I always get excited when someone gives me a project. It's just that this is a slow make-up season, and it won't really pick up until spring (wedding season!).

We sell Bare Escentuals and Jane Iredale at the spa, two really great brands that I can sell without having to lie about how great they are. I'm still more comfortable with Bare Minerals than I am with Jane's make-up, just because my clients are few and far between, and I'm more experienced with that line than Jane Iredale. Plus, there are three types of foundation in the Jane line... as opposed to one type in Bare Minerals (unless you count Matte minerals as a different species altogether...).

In the normal work week, I usually have one or two prescheduled make-up appointments, with several small touch-up sessions after clients have facials or treatments. I relish the make-up part of my job, the part I was hired for... but after my clients leave, I usually have to find something useful to do... like dust the twenty some-odd glass shelves of product that we have in the lobby and make-up room!

Everyone at the spa is incredibly sweet, polite, and professional. It was refreshing to see how all these women (and the occasional guy) interact positively with one another. They accepted me right away, which was such a relief. No one seems to begrudge any complimentary services offered to the other new girl, Kate, and me. So far, I have gotten eyelash extensions, a hydrating body wrap body treatment, and a really awesome spray tan (which terrified me-- imagine me, pale olive pink me, suddenly having browned skin!).

The only things that are really not that great about this job so far are that I'm new (duh), and that I sometimes wish I could do more. A lot of this boils down to my need for people to trust me. Being the new girl that I am, I'm constantly having to backtrack because I made a mistake about which I wasn't warned... It's an unnerving feeling, always being on one's guard to be corrected when one doesn't really know what is unacceptable in the first place. It's really no one's fault. I can't expect them to remember everything during training. Beyond that, I can't help but feel handicapped as far as my own make-up business goes. There are jobs that I have or may have accepted in the past that I can't do now, and wedding gigs as a freelancer are nigh impossible since I work at the spa on Saturdays. The brides have to come to me! I feel like my hands are tied. Or one is.

One thing that is making that claustrophobic feeling a little better is that I've already made a suggestion to my bosses that they have been really receptive to: I want to start doing airbrush make-up at the spa, particularly for brides and bridal parties. This could seriously increase the income for the spa (and myself), and it would allow me a little more room to flourish as a make-up artist in a workplace where the make-up is a bit of an afterthought. Ben is buying me an airbrush kit (as a belated Valentine's gift ;) ), and I hope to be able to start airbrushing for pay by summertime.

All in all, I am happy. I don't necessarily get to see my husband more, but there is a regularity to our schedules now that we didn't have before. The predictability is relieving. I'm lucky to have this job, and I'm thankful for it. I'm thankful for a lot these days.

Enough rambling...

<3.

18 January 2011

My husband.

Even though I'm about to fall over from exhaustion and general illness, I feel like I need to talk about how awesome my husband is.

Sometimes I get frustrated because we don't always get to see each other a lot. Him being on nights, and me having an irregular morning/night work schedule has caused no little tension for us as a newlywed couple. However, I think it's important to note how eager my husband is to make time for me when I need it. Sometimes I get lonely the nights that he works, and he takes time to text me every once in a while... so even if I go to sleep, I'll wake up to see something he's written me.

He takes care of me. Today I was sick, and he quickly thought to go get my heating pad and made sure I was comfortable. He always tucks me in and kisses me goodnight when he's not working. He listens to me whine about work or other pithy things, and he offers reasonable feedback that I probably wouldn't have considered beforehand.

Overall, I am just so happy. I love him, I love us, so much. How blessed I am!

17 January 2011

Beauty.

Today, after meeting another girl from the spa and reading the dress code rules, I started thinking about how rough around the edges a girl's appearance can get while working at SBUX or other similar jobs. I was thinking, "Geez... I'm going to need a serious manicure and a haircut to be able to keep up appearances with the other employees here." My hands are rough, dry, and chapped from chemicals and heavy usage, my nails are unpolished, and my main hairstyle for the past year and a half has been a ponytail or bun. I thought to myself, "I need some work."

Just when I started to think about it again this evening, I ran across this quote:

"And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. You should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning." -- Isaac Asimov

What a perfect thing to find. I really needed to hear that.

...still gonna get a haircut, though.

16 January 2011

Sunday, Sunday.

Only four more days at Starbucks, and then I'm out of there.
Much love to all my coworkers, but I am ready to be gone (as I'm sure I've made it very clear, sorry).

I met with Jim and Mahvash on Friday to go over the schedule for the next month or so. They're training me on the front desk, so I can book my own appointments and check people out if need be. Basically, they're trying to make sure that I'm always occupied, for which I'm grateful! I'll probably just be happy that I'm not bored.

I got some sad news about a family member last night that I'm unsure if I can share right now, so I'll just say that I'm disappointed, sad, and concerned.

Not really all that sure why I decided to post today. Just felt like it, I suppose...

I miss my friends. I miss that about college... being around friends all the time. I hardly ever see Julie or Ashley, and now Laura and Flora are both out of state. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Ben to pester all the time! It's true that we're all busy, but I hope I'll at least get to see Ashley more now that the semester has started back up for her.

Love and kitties,
Beks

08 January 2011

turning the tide.

I had to invite my other e-mail account (AKA this one) to "contribute" to the blog, since this address is in my old e-mail's account name.

ANYWAYYYY.

So, a certain exciting development has unfolded in my life, and I'm anxious to share it.

First, we moved to Conway back in October, and we love our apartment.

But the real development is that I just got a new job this week. Yesterday, actually. A friend of Flora's let me in on an opening for a makeup artist at his aunt's day spa in Little Rock. I went, interviewed, and they pulled me in for a second interview yesterday. Long story short, I am now a bonafide makeup artist getting paid for what I love to do. My current boss at Maubucks isn't too happy, but to tell the truth, I'm tired of coffee and trying to be nice to the same jerks day in and day out for almost two years. It's been long overdue.

My last day at Starbucks is in two weeks, and after that, I will be full time at the Rejuvenation Day Spa. I have my own make-up room and everything, and I can use all of their products-- Bare Minerals and Jane Iredale!

What does this mean for the future? Well, Ben and I have recently discussed moving to Washington in the near future (next couple of years). He's going to try to interview with some stores up there and in other places around America to get a feel for what it'll take to move... he's even trying to figure out how to get into a Vancouver store. My new job isn't going to take away from Vancouver and our future plans. We still have to save money before MU school. But being in a job where I can get more hands-on experience and hopefully get some good letters of recommendation is very important and exciting for me right now. I need all the help I can get to find my way into a school.

Besides, I'm getting paid more. And I'll get to see my husband more, with the regular hours.

Today is a good day.

Beks