Monday, December 30, 2013

Not Waiting Until 2014 to Clean My Financial House

            I transferred some money from my savings to my checking to payoff my Perkins student loan. I figured that I had the money why wait until 2014 to pay it off.  Furthermore, it would decrease my indebtedness, increase my creditworthiness, receive a payoff letter that I can send to all three credit bureau, and help my 2013 tax situation. 
The momentum I created today won’t stay in 2013. It would continue well into 2014 because I aim to payoff another student loan.  I have already decided to pay money each paycheck to accelerate my repayment. I will be done by July 1, 2014.  When I receive my state and federal tax refunds, I will use these funds to pay down my debt. Improving my finances are a 2014 resolution.  Even if it means my missing NBA All-Star then so be it because my credit rating matters more.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Instant liquidity

                This morning I ate breakfast at the Four Seasons using the leftover cash from my hair appointment.  At my waitress’ recommendation, I tried that shrimp and grits. I paid in cash.  Stunned she asked me if I needed a receipt. I told her yes leaving her a cash tip.  Later this afternoon, I ate dinner at Doi Moi where I left my waiter a $5 cash tip.  His response was immediate upon seeing the $5 bill. This reminded me that cash is king especially among service workers.  They don’t get paid the standard minimum wage due to tips but need cash to support their families.  That $5 can be spent as soon as possible for food or medicine or even rent.  In this era of credit, debit and Bitcoin, the public must never forget that service workers still prefer cash.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reppin' My City

            Even though I spend most of my time in Washington, DC, I always represent my hometown Cleveland, Ohio. I must because I spend 28 years there and always return. I patronize Cleveland clothing companies showing my pride. Below are my Homage’s Cleveland is the City t-shirt and the Cleveland Clothing company’s Fashionista t-shirts.

Homage Cleveland is the City T-shirt
Cleveland  Clothing Company Fashionista T-shirts

Yes Virginia There Is a Santa Claus!

            Santa Claus is my Mommy who mailed me these red Christmas pajamas.  I love them because red is my favorite colors (hers too!).  Even though I  am an adult, I still love getting presents from  my Mommy!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Don't Complain, Make a Plan!

            Yesterday something urgent popped into my brain out of nowhere. Instead of letting fear consume me, I decided to start working (through the USA Network’s Indiana Jones marathon which took dedication because I loved Indy!).  Once I gained a rhythm, the fear dissipated.  Before leaving for dinner at a restaurant, I completed most of it. While awaiting my meal, I whipped out my notebook and started jotting down my plan. The fresh air helped because I no longer felt confined to my apartment.  There was an energy of fear permeating that place. It didn’t seep out into the open so getting out of my apartment let my brain decompress.  I wrote down everything I fear and created a plan to overcome it.  There were no complaints, excuses or obstacles. I just wrote down my own timeline of how I would accomplish everything.  Calmly writing down everything and making a plan eliminated all of my fears allowing me to push forward. Exiting the restaurant, I felt better ready to face next week with a plan. I didn’t waste any time or energy on fretting, I decided to plan making my shorten Christmas holiday week more effective.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy for Someone Else's Success

            Today a friend of mine notified me that she received a White House Christmas card. I was so proud of her success because she worked hard for it.  Her announcement made me remember my 2011 White House Christmas visit.  It was awesome! Next year I will return to see the Christmas trees (and Bo again).  Also knowing that someone has received a White House Christmas card motivates me to put this on my 2014 to-do list. I was in the prestigious Vote Corps, a founding member of Organizing for Action and long-term donor so why not? Aim high here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

If You Want to Come At Someone, Please Use Spell Check!

            Someone was reading my blog entry highlighted to and sent me an email telling me not to listen to certain people. Okay, cool. What wasn’t cool was that this person included people who did nothing to her and failed to use spell check.  So PSA: When you want to come at someone, please use spell check else you look foolish giving the other person a whole lot of ammunition!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I have a Wednesday interview but I know nothing about the industry. I need to get out of my current workplace because it is zapping my energy. There is too much toxicity and ego. I am very happy to humble myself pushing mine aside to ask someone more qualified for advice.
It is amazing how much help you can receive when you ask and have good energy.   I am a big believer on karma which is why I emit positive energy even on negative days. Why be down when I can be up? Also as a Type A, I employ my research skills to solve problems, however, this time, I don’t know anything about the consulting industry and since I know someone who works there, I’ve decided to ask.

 I am preparing for a consulting interview and I email a contractor who works at my current agency.  We’re LinkedIn connections so I drop her an email.  She supplies me with so much information and insights like pay structure, career track and proposal writing. I have googled the firm finding a contract and am considering taking some Foundation Center grant writing classes to improve my skills.  It is essential to think beyond the ground floor with me.  The phone interviewer tells me that not having a consulting background so it’s necessary to acquire these writing skills to make myself the best candidate. Also she tells me that it is okay to ask about the possible government shutdown coming in January (My life coach was against it but since the professional confirmed my original line of questioning, I will ask that question. I am disaster-funded so I’d still be working if not hired by the consulting firm).  

Monday, December 09, 2013

Ridding Myself of Cabin Fever at Doi Moi

            Since I stayed home today due to inclement weather, I RSVPed at Doi Moi for dinner.  When I arrived at 5:30pm, there was virtually no one there. I bet that I was the only person who made a reservation. Anyhow, I sat down asking my waitress if there was anything new on the menu. I saw the Cambodian dish (Doi Moi was Thai and Vietnamese so why not?). The ginger made the pineapple pretty tangy but it was good overall.  Next was the crab fried rice.  The Cambodian pineapple dish filled me up forcing me to take the rice home but I was happy to get out.
Doi Moi Plai Manoah Cha Cambodian Style Stir Fried Pineapple and Ginger

Doi Moi Khao Phat Puu Blue Crab Fried Rice

Taking Time for Me

            After being in the heavy snow flurries yesterday I thought that the federal government would close today. My body was all ready for a ‘snow day’ (DC is a Southern city. As a native Clevelander a couple of inches of the white stuff doesn’t shut down my city! But, I will take it however I can get it!). However, that wasn’t the case: raggedy Office of Personnel Management (OPM) only gave a 2-day delay. Ba Humbug! This was the Christmas season. Why OPM wanted to put a coal in my stocking was beyond me. After checking my leave calculator, I (and my body) decided to stay home today. I took time for me because I needed to with everything that was happening.  I needed a break plus I didn’t want to fall on the sidewalk en route to the metro; fight it out in freezing sleet during the afternoon and the very real possibility of it freezing overnight. Hopefully this time OPM will close the government doing everybody a favor. In the meantime, I am taking it easy.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Not Putting My Life On Hold

             I know that I have not written for over one month due to all of the craziness surrounding my life. I have been in survival mode.  I am fighting for my job so I’ve been busy and booking life coach appointments left and right.  During all of the madness, I’ve poured out all of my emotions to her.  In one session, I talked about how I really wanted a pair of winter boots that I saved for but was afraid to purchase them because of my current situation. My life coach told me not to suspend my life.  I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring. She was right. I bought the Stuart Weitzman tan nubuck 5050 suede boots one month ago, traveled to the Montgomery Mall Stuart Weitzman store to have them sprayed (If they messed them up, I’d get a new pair), and kept on with the rest of my life. At that time, I was finishing up Bits of Thread’s fashion illustration class because I was working on drawing my fashion line. I was proud that unlike this summer, when life punched me in the gut, I didn’t buckle continuing the class. That showed my resiliency. Fast forward one month later and everything is starting to work itself out. I am on the cusp of finding a new job and a new career field. My life coach was right, I couldn’t put my life on hold over a temporary setback.

Below are my new Stuart Weitzman tan nubuck suede 5050 boots from 20th anniversary collection:
Stuart Weitzman tan nubuck suede 5050 boots

Things Are Never What They Seem

             Speaking with my life coach has helped me clarify things. First, I’ll survive my current workplace Second, since I was promoted in August and that should be my FY13 annual rating, I should demand 2 5s and 2 4s. A promotion is the highest award you can receive so why not start there? My supervisor signed it so she can’t dispute it. End of story. Third, tread lightly on asking about the government shutdown. That might bring up a red flag. I ‘ll ask the contractor about this since she’s  worked during the government shutdown. That might bring up a red flag. I ‘ll ask her about since she’s a contractor who worked during the government shutdown. I’ll ask her about starting pay so that I don’t undercut myself. I want to start at $120,000. Also ask about work schedule and holidays off. Fourth, I will make my life coach proud next Thursday by executing on Wednesday’s interview. There’ll won’t be a letdown just to generate a story. This time will be different. The narrative is that I would’ve received two promotions in one year. It’s not the way I want but it’ll due. I will end 2013 on a high note. Remember, life is all about resiliency.