Soo, it’s been….a year…

Well….hello.

Yes, I realize it’s been about a year since my last post. No, I don’t really have an excuse. Except I just…lost interest. As usual. My goal to commit to something once again…demolished. Truth was, I just got super busy. Lately, haven’t been as busy (since about May).

However, I guess it’s time for an update seeing as it has been a year. A few big events have occurred since my last post, but I’m not going to get too into anything right now. I’ll just do bullet points since it’s almost 10:40pm and should go back to bed soon. 

  • For a while, I was working two jobs. I ended up quitting one because my primary job was suffering. It was a good decision at the time, but now I’m looking for another one again. (Could use the extra money)
  • Started dating a fella in November of last year. We moved in with each other in May. It’s still going well.
  • Went to my first music festival in June, (Electric Forest). It changed my outlook a bit on life and I will most certainly be going to more festivals.
  • I ended up getting kicked off my Dad’s health insurance due to the City of Detroit going into Bankruptcy, and am now on Medicaid. I still feel a bit ashamed of this and hope I don’t have to use it anytime soon.
  • I got in a bit of a car accident in June. Against a carport. Ooops. 
  • I don’t really have hobbies anymore. I really need to get one. 
  • I need to get back into shape. I’ve let myself go a bit.

I’m also seriously considering deactivating my fb for a year and writing about it. I want to see if it will make a personal change. Whether it will help or hurt me. I briefly looked at other blogs on the subject, and honestly, it sounded like it worked out for the better overall for those who have already done this.

I don’t know if I’m going to write again. I hope I do. I forgot how therapeutic this could be. 

Anyway, back to bed I go. 

xx

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I’m Stressed- Millenial Money Problems

This is a spur of the moment blog. No fancy words. No clever quips. Just something I needed to do. 

I live in Howell. Well, Cohoctah, but were gonna call it Howell because Cohoctah literally consists of the feed mill, a gas station, a podunk post office and an abandoned general store. Howell has one coffeehouse that I like to go to sometimes and fill out job apps. But today, I don’t think I should have come here. Overhearing the two older women near me bitching about their coworker or whoever is not exactly what I wanted to hear when coming to a coffee shop. But then again, it is a coffee shop. Oh well. (Headphones going on) 

I’m stressed. And drinking caffeine is not helping my stress levels (smart move there). I’m stressed more than ever about the fact that in less than a month I will be turning 24 and feeling like I’m still stuck. I also feel guilty when I’m trying to have some down time and I’m not applying for jobs. Like it’s almost a full time job to apply for jobs. I even feel guilty because I’m writing this and not applying for jobs.  (can you see how insane that sounds?!)

Don’t get me wrong. Things are going A LOT better than they were in March. I have two jobs rather than no jobs, and I’m at least able to see that my bank account is starting to grow again. Aside from last week where I had to pay nearly $800 in car insurance. I had a friendly face on at State Farm but I know as soon as I saw that receipt print that my brain kinda melted in disbelief. 

I’m scared. I’m scared that in a year from now things won’t have changed. I’ve been going at this since I moved back to the states and I’m still, not getting anywhere. My parents keep saying that I will find a job, but with all the rejection I’ve been getting lately, It just feels like I’m running into a very thick brick wall. 

I know it’s not just me in this situation. Millenials all over the US, actually scratch that. Millenials all over the world are having issues obtaining jobs due to lack of experience, even though they have an enormous educational background. However one thing that makes it more stressful for American millenials, I believe, is the fact that in two years, if I don’t have a job, I don’t have benefits..aka..health insurance…aka…i better not get sick or otherwise I’m gonna be paying out the ass just to get a check up. 

Even though I’m lucky enough to even have health insurance right now, I feel as though I should be getting it through an employer and not my parents. Not to mention the fact that because my dad worked for the city of Detroit and that Detroit is bankrupt, he’s one of the thousands affected that could lose his retirement. Soooo, technically, I could lose it any day. 

This may just sound like one big complaint, but it’s something that I know a lot of us are thinking about. A good handful of my friends are applying like crazy because they lose their benefits in two months. That’s mortifying. 

Also, I’m feeling a bit lonely. A lot of people I know from my high school class are already married, and have children, and they’ve settled down. (Also, my ex just got married on Saturday…..) I know I’m not ready for that. I mean, I’d like to get settled myself before even thinking about having children. But, I still feel lonely. I was seeing someone for a few weeks, but that ended abruptly because he moved…because he got a job in his field. See where I’m going with this? Probably not a smart idea, but it made me forget about my troubles for a bit. It was sad to see him go, but I’m happy for him because I know he’s not having to deal with this feeling anymore.

I don’t wish this feeling for anyone. This feeling like you aren’t good enough even though you have done everything by the book. And then worry about the fact you have to decide whether or not you are going to pay your car insurance or your student loan. And then feel guilty you bought a 4 dollar coffee even though you rarely buy anything for yourself to save money.  

When I came back to America, I knew it was gonna be rough. I got over the fact that I probably wasn’t going to be seeing London again for a while. Or the amazing people I met there. But I thought at this point, I would at least feel like I was progressing forward a bit faster than I am. I remember a few months back I wrote a blog on patience. Well, I can tell it’s being tested. I just hope I can keep it together until that special day comes. 

Sometimes, I feel like that 😛 – artwork by my good friend Olivia Courant.  (That’s supposed to be me…in case you didn’t get it…but I’m sure you did…I’m just gonna stop writing….k) 

Image

 

HIATUS AVERTED!! …oh, and Retro-a-go-go!

OMG looking at my stats makes me want to just bawl. So yes, I disappeared. I had a bit of a feeling like that would happen, but it happened because GOOD things happened. First things first to address!!! I’m still going to write the rest of The First Six because I feel that needs to be written down. 

Second…I GOT A FULL TIME JOB!!! HELL YES!!! About freaking time! The company I was doing freelance for, Retro-a-go-go!, hired me on full time! And I haven’t quit my retail job so now I work two jobs and have absolutely no free time. I seriously think I sleep with my eyes open sometimes because it has definitely been lacking. BUT, I am sooooo not complaining. This is what I needed. I’m not feeling as shitty anymore, I can actually look at my bank account and have a bit of a smile rather than a “oh shite” look, and I actually like the job. It’s not in museum and gallery studies, but I’m learning Quickbooks and still working with artists and using my degree, just in very different fashion. 

But I like it. I like that I’m learning about artist licensing, product marketing, things I would have never learned had it not been for my boss taking a chance on me. And I am seriously grateful for that.

I have no freaking clue where my life is still going to lead, but at least I’m a bit happier than I was. I’m still living at home (ugh), but I’m at least saving up more and am looking forward to how Retro-a-go-go! can benefit my future. 

If you like retro/vintage inspired accessories, pin-up, old school tattoo art, or anything quirky really, give our website a looksee at http://www.retroagogo.com! If you are interested in anything, you can order directly offline or email me at kristin@retroagogo.com (I have a work email. A real work email, how freaking awesome is that :D) 

XXXXXXXXX (I know I usually write/end my blogs differently, but this is just a quick update) More to come!!! 

 

 

 

The First Six: A Recap of March….Part 1

I just reread my last post and have realized that my proofreading skills are similar to that of a kid in middle school. Sorry I damaged your eyes with such negligence.   I will strive to do better.  Maybe.  If I’m not that tired when I post.

Also, I’ve decided to split March up into two blogs, otherwise you all would probably be even more annoyed than you already are because my blogs are ridiculously long as it is. And this is just the first four days. So apologies in advance.

March…..Part 1 I lost my voice on March 1st around noon and found myself sick, AGAIN (this time it was just a cold though). I had been out the night before with my friend Laurent and ended up getting absolutely hammered.  The evening was just supposed to be a relaxing dinner but one glass turned into two bottles and I did it because I think deep down, I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy excessive drinking for much longer. A sore throat mixed with a hangover was a recipe for a disastrous Kristin the next day.  I sounded terrible and I was drinking an obscenely amount of tea because I knew that I was meeting up with my flat mate Jorgen and friend Melanie to visit some former colleagues at Buckingham Palace one more before I left and didn’t want to sound as though I was going through puberty, because you know, that’s totally what you want someone’s last impression of you to be.

It was a great day, but thankfully it went quickly because my throat was on fire.  One minute I was walking around Nash in the Queen’s Gallery, the next I was at a tea shop enjoying lunch with them, and before I knew it I was back at The Hub (my flat, there’s a story behind the name, basically a hubcap got onto our roof somehow, we don’t know, it will forever be a mystery) getting ready for my going away party. At this point, my voice was starting to become non-existent.  It felt like someone was had shoved sandpaper down my throat because that is how sore my mouth was and because of it, I was forced to try and take it easy on the talking. At the times when I did utter words I really did sound like as if I hit puberty just a few years late. I wish I actually had a video of me speaking that evening just so I could show you all a visual as to how ridiculous I sounded.

In addition to sounding like a small child, I couldn’t decide what to wear.  I felt like the buttons on my favorite high wasted shorts were going to pop off and fly across the room due to the pressure of my ehem, plumpness, so I said screw trying to look like a sex bomb on my last hurrah.  I threw on my favorite owl/hipster t-shirt, some shit jeans, UGGS, and for a finishing touch, my USA Olympic jacket as a way of showing that I accepted my situation and was going back to the land from which I once came.  It wasn’t flattering at all and I looked a bit chavvy but hey, what was I gonna do?

People started arriving around 8 and the party lasted until 2 or 3am. Friends from my Master’s program, my housing block, friend’s housing blocks, Cricket Jam, the Palace, and many more came and went.  It was an evening of drinks; laughter, tears, reminiscing, and one really short speech because everyone was playfully making fun of me on me for my high pitched voice *cough Kosha cough*.  The feeling of love in that room overwhelmed me that evening and for a while, I was able to forget that I was sick, and that in a few short days, I was leaving the country I had become attached to. It wasn’t so much that people came to see me off or that it was going to be the last time I saw most of them, but the sight of everyone enjoying the company and interacting with one another that made my heart full. Even my flat mate Jorgen told me he was impressed at how packed our house was. He and I always seemed to have semi-emotional moments when we were drunk. I don’t know why it was only then but I appreciated his friendship a lot that evening.

That Saturday and Sunday after the party went by as if they were just squished together into one day. I was busy packing, booking my taxi to the airport, and pawning some of my things off that I didn’t need or couldn’t use in the states for some extra cash.  With each item that I pawned off or chose to leave behind, it was as if I was leaving a bit of the life I had built for myself behind. I know that may seem like a somewhat mushy thing to say but it does ring a lot of truth. By Sunday evening, I still had a crap ton of stuff to pack, but like many of my friends who had already left, I chose to procrastinate it some more and went out for one last time.  I also still had that awful cold but I brushed the fact my health was rapidly declining aside (I know, stupid after the scare I had the month before) It was acoustic night at The Cricketters and my friend TJ was singing. Overall it was a chill evening with some close friends.  Tears trickled down my face as I was leaving because TJ seriously had become someone that I felt amazingly close to and was a bit scared at the fact that I wasn’t sure when the next time I would see him would be (we still talk almost every week so to be honest it’s as if he’s always with me).

The guy I was seeing came back to my place with me that evening.  I packed the rest of my stuff up aside from my bed sheets, but I didn’t want to sleep because I didn’t want to miss any last moments I had with him. In a way it was similar to that mushy Aerosmith song that my friend Barb and I always sing to each other whenever we part company. *imitates Steve Tyler’s cracked out screamy voice while pretending to cry at the same time “DON’T WANNA CLOSE MY EYES, I DON’T WANNA FALL ASLEEP CUZ I’LL MISS YOU BABY AND I DON’T WANNA MISS A THING”*…..yeah kinda like that (not really). Anyway, so we just laid there on my bed and held me as I cried into his chest while I had a death grip on him  (I’m sorry if it’s starting to sound a bit repetitive but I was doing a lot of crying). We had an interesting history and though we were both messed up,  we still needed each other.  We talked about the mistakes we made with one another, what was to come of our futures, and that whatever happened, we would always still deeply care for the other person. He was the man of my 2012 and the one person I was the most afraid of losing.

My flight was scheduled for around 10:30 AM and because I had to be at the airport at the buttcrack of dawn, I said my final goodbye to The Hub at around 6AM. I wanted my flat mates to come with me to the airport, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the taxi and I already had two people in the car with me so they ended up staying behind. I said goodbye to Irene, Marc, and Jorgen and looking back, Jorgen and Marc should have been with me.  Out of all of my friends, they had known me since the very beginning and because I was blinded by my own personal issues, I couldn’t see that they were the ones who I knew I could always count on. The ride took about a half hour. I was crammed between Kristin and the guy I was seeing in the back seat. I clutched both of their hands as we travelled to the airport, aside from when we had to make a pit-stop to Tesco because I didn’t have enough money on me *…just…fail*

Melanie came to see me off as well but we didn’t meet up with her until we were at the airport.  After I checked my bags in (and slightly died inside when hearing the price of a second checked bag), we went and had a last breakfast together.  In those moments leading up to my departure through security, I was pretty messed up. I tried to laugh it off but I knew I looked miserable. I felt like my heart had dropped to the bottom of my stomach and was just numb all over. I was checking my phone every few minutes to make sure I had enough time to get through security and make my flight, but really I was just hoping the seconds would stop flying by and time would just freeze.

It was me who decided that it was finally time to get up and go. I figured why prolong the pain any longer and just do it. We got up and walked over to security. I think everyone started crying at that point. I wanted to get a last picture with each of them before I left, so one by one all of them stood beside me and my stupid overly stuffed backpack on, as we tried to smile. However, when I look back at the pictures, I can tell each of us had a hard time trying to smile. Afterwards I couldn’t hold it back any further and I just broke down, which therefore made each of us break down.  I gave each of the girls a massive hug and one last kiss to the guy I was seeing.  Looking up at him, I had a gut feeling that it would be the last time I see him. It reminded me of when I left my ex at the air-port when I was first getting on the plane to fulfill my wanderlust and begin my London experience, except then it was by choice, this time, I didn’t have one. I turned back one last time and waved at them.  I know I looked awful and I’m pretty sure people were staring at me thinking “Whose the crazy chick with puffy  red eyes and snot rolling down her face” but I didn’t care.  When I walked through that gate, I was going to be leaving everything that I had experienced and worked for behind.

After getting through security, I still had about an hour to kill before I officially left. I walked around the airport god knows how many times; looking at overpriced designer items I couldn’t afford.  I was silently freaking out inside and not sure how to comprehend the swirling  of emotional shit that was going through my head. “How am I going to feel when I get home? What am I going to do about a job? Why was I not good enough?  Will he forget me? How are my parents going to react to me?”.  Thinking about all these questions was driving me nuts and no matter how much I wanted to stop, I just couldn’t.

Eventually my gate was called and soon I found myself sitting in a seat looking directly at airplane below feeling nauseous . I felt my backpack buzz and forgot my phone was still on. As I took it out, I saw I got a swarm of texts from Melanie and Kristin, the guy and then some from other friends of mine, wishing me a safe flight and what not. I cracked a small smile because I knew that whatever happened, London was one of the best times of my life and no one could ever take that away from me. I was leaving a lot behind, but I knew they would be there for me. I replied to every one of them and then received another message from the guy I had been seeing. “You’ve been my 2012”.  Seconds after seeing that they started to board my flight. I quickly went into my backpack and took out The Book Theif so that I had something to read on the plane. The guy had given it to me the night of my party along with another book. He said it was the only book to have ever had made him cry and that he wanted me to have a copy for myself. I clutched that book  hard to my chest as I walked on the plane with my head held high; heading into an unplanned, unknown future.  Since I’ve been home, that book has not left my bedside.

I left a lot of people I cared for that day. Some I may never see again. But, they will always be a part of me.

John Denver – Leaving on  Jet Plane

Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day, I always wish you the best.

With Love, Miss Kristin E Rhine xx

The First Six: A Recap of February 2013

February

                              (I just read this over. I swear these are not meant to sound whiny, I’ts just what happened!  Oh well.)

I should start out by saying that I had a large group of friends over in Kingston.  Most of us all hung out together at one time or another. You eventually get to know most people in the area because we all hung out at the same places ( usually O’Neills)  or went to the same parties (at my house :P).  Basically we all intertwined. However, I think    February was emotionally one of the hardest months for me and a good amount of my friends because it literally was the month of goodbyes.  A good portion of my friends were  international students and  left that month back to their own countries because like me, they got royally screwed and couldn’t find a job, forcing them to go back to their own countries. Now, I understand people lose connections they have made throughout their lifetime, but losing people that you had become close with all at once, that is a weird feeling. My group  was shrinking, and it was definitely hard to deal with when  losing the people you were closest with one by one.

February was also the month where I got sick. And I don’t mean just having the sniffles sick, I mean scary, oh my god what the hell is going on am I dying, sick.  I’m not going to go into detail about what I had but I will say this, I seriously thought I had contracted some sort of disease or viral infection. I was a wreck at home. I was constantly in pain and as the days went on, whatever I had kept spreading.  I was hoping it would have cleared up by my flat mate’s joint birthday party, but somewhat like an unwanted, annoying suitor, it just wasn’t going away.

The only person I felt I could really confide in about this was the guy I was seeing. Along with two of my other girlfriends, he was the one I always went to because I felt like I could tell him anything, despite whatever issues we had. He started coming over more frequently and took care of me when I was feeling unwell. He made me feel wonderful when I was at my lowest, and losing him again became one of my greatest fears because I wasn’t sure if I would ever find someone like him again, even though I knew he didn’t want anything serious.

I finally flipped out and called my mom bawling on Skype because I could not figure out for the life of me what was going on (nor could doctors , go figure) which did not help with my already high stress level due to leaving. However, my visa expiration was coming up and I had to be out of the country by that date or I was going to be in some serious shit with the UKBA. So I sucked it up, packed my bags, and went on my last adventure in Europe.

February 18th, 2013 was the day my visa expired and on that day, three of my best friends and I went to Budapest for four days.  Though it was a good trip, I had a hard time enjoying myself sometimes because I was in so much pain. It drove me nuts that I couldn’t be as active or walk as much as I usually did when I was on a trip. I felt unhealthy and physically inept.  I also had to be careful because I was on certain meds (my doctors had me take medication as a precaution)  and had to watch what I touched and how cleanly I was because I didn’t want the other girls I was with to contract what I had.  It was a bit of a buzzkill, but I still had a good time with my girlfriends and made some good memories. That is, until we came back to London.

After our plane landed, two of my friends went to the All Passports lane and waited while our other friend breezed through the EU line.  When we got up to the front, my friend Kristin (yeah, same names, also we act like sisters, it’s weird) got through no problem because her visa was good until the end of March. However, when my friend Nicole tried to get through, she was rejected because like me, her visa had expired the same day as mine. I kind of figured this might happen, but I took a chance anyway because what I had been told was that as long as you leave the country on the date your visa expires, you can then reenter the UK as a tourist for up to 90 days. In hindsight, I should have done some more research on it, but at the time, there was no information saying that we couldn’t reenter the country.  (Well, seeing as the UKBA is now disbanded anyway, shows them for not giving the right information)

I was denied as well and we both were detained at the border for over an hour as the Border Patrol tried to figure out what to do with us. We told our other friends to go because we knew we were going to be there a while.  They kept telling us one thing, and then another thing and we were both freaking out that our asses were going to get thrown on a plane back to the US.  Eventually they let us through, I got off easier because I at least had proof I was leaving the country in a few weeks whereas Nicole did not. The whole bus ride home, I felt ashamed, embarrassed, ….and itchy.

We arrived in Central London around 1AM. After a short bus ride to the same stop, Nicole and I parted ways and I stepped up for my second, very long bus journey home. Until about 20 minutes in. I was sitting on the lower floor of the bus and around Vauxhall station, an extremely intoxicated girl got on and lasted about two seconds before spewing chunks near the second door and then again near the steps on the lower floor, next to where I was sitting.  The smell would make anyone stomachs churn and I was border line gagging.  At the next stop, the bus driver forced everyone to get off because the vomit was a health hazard.

So not only had I been detained at the border, and burning from whatever disease/infection I had, but I also had to wait another half hour before I could get home. At this point I was furious, freezing, and in so much pain that I was on the brink of breaking down at the bus stop. Not to mention I couldn’t get the smell of upchuck out of my nose. I called the guy I was seeing because he was working late and I knew he would be up.

After a few minutes of me raging over the phone, he was able to calm me down. Just hearing him speak was comforting and I was able to get my mentality back to a semi-normal state.  I didn’t arrive home until about 3AM and ended up having another break down the next day in my kitchen.  With everything that was going on, I couldn’t handle it. I was attempting to do laundry, but I just gave up and fell to the floor bawling because I was so confused and scared at what was to come.  For once I was actually scared for my life. When my flat mate Marc saw me, he sat down, put his arms around me, and didn’t say a word as he just let me wet his shirt with my tears.

In the days after, my skin started to heal up and my doctors gave me the all clear. I finally started to feel a bit better. I figured if I could get through that month, I could get through anything. And I did. It was called March.

Sometimes the unexpected can be a royal pain in the ass.

Feelin 90’s this evening.

“I wanna wake up where you are, I won’t say anything at all, so why don’t you slide”

Goo Goo Dolls- Slide

Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day, I always wish you the best.

With Love,

Miss Kristin E Rhine xx

 

The First Six: A Recap of January 2013

 

As I sit here trying to think about how I’m going to explain the last six months of what has become an insanely boring and daunting life, all that’s running through my head is how I’m at a such a different point than where I envisioned myself  last year.  However, that isn’t why I’m writing about these last six months. This first half of the year has been utterly stressful in ways I couldn’t even describe without the use of one particular word; HELL.  Hence the reason I’m getting it out. I want things to change, and I think the only way I can get over this rough first half is by writing down.  So those who give enough of a shit to get past the first paragraph, I give you the first month of my new series The First Six.

JANUARY 

 I wasn’t exactly living the dream life of a young American abroad in the months leading up to January. I chose to stay in London over the holidays because in the year previous, I missed out on job opportunities by coming home. That was my first mistake. I didn’t want to leave London in fear that I would again miss out on a potential job interview, and didn’t want to intrude on the holidays of my friends already living in London.  This in turn caused me to spend Christmas alone, which take my advice, wherever you are in the world, try and avoid at all possible costs because it seriously makes one feel as though they are the lowest form of life.  I did manage however to get what I thought was going to end up being my ticket to staying in London at a bar in Shoreditch on the east side of London (Thank you UKBA you lying jerks for showing companies that sponsor, but fail to mention they only sponsor those in high corporate positions….though that should have just been common sense….well, they still suck).  The bar ended up asking if I could work on New Year’s, so I did because I wanted to at least get out on New Years and I was broke and needed the money, though I’m pretty sure I ended up spending it just on travelling there and back. It ended up being a weird experience. I spent my New Year’s with people I didn’t really know, and when the clock struck twelve, I was speaking with the cook of the bar Paddy, who actually had a pretty interesting past.  I knew in that moment that this was going to be a year full of unexpected obstacles and journeys. One I was willing to take on, but had no idea how much it was going to bring me down.  I also had some prick keep rubbing his hand on my ass o the tube home (even when I would brush it away pretty forcefully) and that just, well, let’s just say the guy who did it ended up getting an earful. So that was a thing.

In all honesty though, January was actually a pretty neat month. A few days later, I bid farewell to ole London, let my wanderlust take over and took my first trip by myself to another country. I figured by this point, I should just enjoy what time I had left and figured the bar wasn’t going to ask me to come back, so I decided to pack my bags and met my cousins up in Bratislava, Slovakia  and made the five hour train journey from Trnava to Velky Saris for my cousin’s wedding.  That trip was probably the highlight of January for me. Not only was I exploring my Slovakian roots, but I was hoping to experience that closeness large families have, because I only ever grew up with my parents. And it was exactly what I wanted. I stayed with my Pappa and Babka (Grandma), who I had met once before when they came to visit the United States. They took me in as if I was their own and I was fortunate enough to experience hospitality that I never had before.  Of course the language barrier was a bit of an issue at times seeing as my cousin Stefan ( yeah, they like that name over there), was the only one who spoke English well enough to converse, but to be honest, that didn’t really matter. I was enjoying myself and it put off the fact that I only had two months left over in Europe.  The wedding itself was crazy. I don’t think I ate or drank so much within a short time span EVER; not to mention doing any favors for my already fluctuating weight (which I am trying to get back on track) but when you are on vacation who cares right? (hehe…yeahhh, I should have watched that).

I was in Slovakia for about a week and when I got back, it ended up being a pretty uneventful month.  I spent time with my flatmates and we went to this pub The Cricketters every other Monday for Cricket Jam. Going there with them made me forget my troubles by the means of too many Desperado’s and live music.

I also had a goal to try and see as many people as possible before I left and at the same time, mend a few very mangled bridges.  Things had ended badly with the boy I had been seeing in particular and at the time, figured it was a better idea to try and be friends rather than go home with bad feelings between us. I called him up and we decided to go to this venue called Jamboree, which was in South East London. I had been there once before with my flat mates and found the whole experience very relaxing and was really impressed by the fact this venue had different themed music nights each day of the week. (If you get the chance, I highly recommend a visit if you like “hole in the wall” kinds of places)

http://jamboreevenue.co.uk/

At first, it was a bit awkward.  We hadn’t talked in so long that we weren’t really sure how to behave around one another. But as the night went on, we found our old groove and could feel that usual comfort there once was.  We still kept our distance at points, but it felt really good. The music was also an amazing mix of folk rock bands, which made it all the more better.

Though he and I were able to eventually mend what we once had for the time being, what I didn’t realize that January really was the beginning of an unwanted end for me. My parents kept asking me when I was going to come home and I could feel the pressure mounting. I figured if I didn’t at least ride out my visa, I would regret it, but that also meant still having to pay for costs when I didn’t have a steady income.  I chose to stay. Was it the best idea, probably not.  Though I was looking for jobs and applying every day, I was also starting to get discouraged. It was only a matter of weeks before my visa was to expire and I knew no museum, organization, or company was going to want to shell out two thousand pounds, just so I could work for them when they can hire a Brit or an EU citizen for free, even if I was over qualified.

Overall, January was by far not the worst month, but it was the start of a year that was going to be filled with stress and challenges. One I was not looking forward to. And it only seemed to get worse with February.

I felt this was an appropriate song. I just heard these guys on Saturday and I’ve been hooked since.

Roster McCabe- The Traveler

February to come tomorrow night.

Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day, I always wish you the best.

With love,

Miss Kristin E Rhine xx

A Way Out?!

*Insert insanely witty and satirical introductory paragraph here. I’m sorry. I tried. I failed. Miserably.*

As much as I would like to write some hilariously belly rubbing bullshit, I can’t. There is something I’ve been itching to share and I figured I might as well be straight up with it instead of trying to ease into it. I have only told a few close friends and family because I’m super nervous about jinxing myself. But hey, why the hell not tell everyone? It’s only my future and my ticket out of my parents house.

So here it goes.

A few months ago, I was talking with my friend Eoin, who I have mentioned before, about how I should go about applying to places and whatnot and blah blah. Now, something I haven’t mentioned, Eoin is from Ireland and he’s only working at MSU for the summer.  We met randomly at my friend’s gig one evening in April and ever since, have been pretty close friends. IF what I mention actually turns out to happen and I get a foot in the door somewhere, I owe this kid everything.

Anyway, back to the story, he told me that I should apply to this gallery in Cork called the Crawford Art Gallery. I didn’t think anything was going to come from it because one Ireland’s economy is in the shit, and two, everywhere I had applied to in Ireland already either ignored me or gave me a flat no, probably because Ireland’s economy is in the shit. I was skeptical but sent an email anyway with my CV attached to it. And as I expected, I got a pretty quick response from the Director saying there were not positions available for me there. I thought, “Ok, well, I tried”, and didn’t give it another thought. Until two days later.

I had just woken up and checked my emails, thinking about how many rejections I would get that day when I saw I had received an email from him again, telling me he might have an opportunity for me. In the email, he mentioned that there was going to be an exhibition of Irish Decorative Art beginning in March of 2015 at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was his goal to potentially have a travelling exhibition going at the same time that featured works from Crawford’s Collection at a Museum or Gallery and ending in the Chicago area.  And that if I found a venue that said yes, I would be Assistant Curator of the overall exhibition.

Now when I first read this, I froze. And then I thought, “Uhh..haha, Kristin,WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! GET ON THIS!!!” and that is exactly what I did. For a week straight, I put the job apps aside and focused on who I could get in contact with for possible venues and how to make this work. I emailed Peter back and forth daily and spent numerous hours putting together a very professional portfolio of all the possible works to be used, along with a possible budget.

Since then, I have met with the Director of DePaul University’s Art Museum, and am waiting to hear back from MSU, UofM, and Grand Valley. Mainly, I am waiting on DePaul’s answer. It was a four hour drive down and I was feeling pretty confident the whole way down, until I got right up to the door of the museum. I could see my reflection in the glass and I looked like a scared, disheveled mess. My hair was frizzing because of the humidity, my clothes though professional, were a bit wrinkled since I had been sitting in them for four hours, and I had just spent a small fortune on gas. Overall, I was scared shitless. This was my first big meeting, and needless to say, one could tell I was a bit of a novice.

The meeting itself did go well. I made a few mistakes, some my fault, some I blame on my education and on my “boss” for not telling me or preparing me for what I was going to be asked. But nonetheless, I did it. I put my so much hard work into this proposal and went in there by myself and did the best that I could.

After the meeting, I called my director right away to tell him how everything went. After trying to connect for 10 minutes via Skype, I was finally able to get a hold of him (he ended up having to park on the side of a country road in West Cork). We talked for 20 minutes and he said that no matter what happened, he was pleased by my work, professionalism, and willingness to work so hard for something that might not even happen, which was an amazing feeling.

Truthfully, I don’t know what the outcome of this will be. We haven’t heard back from DePaul yet, but like with most things in life, it takes time to make these decisions. If it works out, I will be an Assistant Curator employed by the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland and be travelling back and forth between Chicago and Cork.  If I don’t, well, there is always another venue. But I do want this. I want this so bad because it will allow me to not only travel, but to actually do something that I love and that I am passionate about. I’m sick of waiting. I’m ready. I’m ready to take this head on.

But if I don’t get it, I will not be surprised. Opportunities like this usually don’t fall into my lap. Also, when I get my hopes up, and this goes for whatever situation it may be, I usually get let down. I’ve gotten used to it, but  this would be the start of my career. A career I am so ready for.  But for now, like I have always done, I will wait and be patient.

Sometimes good things come to those who wait. Question is, how long does one wait?  (To those of you who didn’t have to wait that long, appreciate what you have, and hold onto it as long as you can)

Day 8: Your Twenties-Billionaires

“We’ve been waiting half our lives to make this change, we’ve been hiding out for days”.

I hope this blog got you thinking in some way. Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day, I always wish you the best.

With Love,

Miss Kristin E. Rhine xxx

 

Wanderlusts of Michigan: Beer City USA

*I want to start off this particular blog by saying one thing: I DID IT!!! I did six blogs in May and I kept this commitment for a month.  WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I’m seriously proud of myself. I usually don’t commit or get serious about something unless I’m doing it for a grade, to get paid, or get laid on a consistent basis (*cough boyfriend cough*). However, I’m glad I’ve kept to this for a while and want to see where it goes so bring on the next five months!

Ok, soooo here’s the actual blog.

As most of you know who read this, I have in a perpetual state of stuck for the last few months. Actually, scratch that. Ever since I got off the plane really.  Trying to get acclimated can pose to be a bit of a challenge when you’re broke because you can’t go out and do anything due to the fact, you’re broke. Well, I said eff it to being practical last weekend and took the weekend for myself.

Now, I’m sure those of you who live in Michigan, the majority of you have been to Grand Rapids at some point. And the whole reason I started this series was to go discover places I’ve never been. BUT, Grand Rapids is a special place for me and you can always find something to do. Also, it won Beer City USA for the second year in a row and if you know me, I love, love, love, love craft beer. Severing some of Michigan’s finest such as Founders, Shorts, Bells, Arcadia, Dark Horse, Arbor Ales, Grand Rapids Brewing Company; I could keep going but I know you’ll get annoyed so I’m going to stop.

Nestled on the west side of the state near, about a 40 minute drive away from Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids has had it’s fair share of ups and downs as a city. However, it is the city that I called home during my undergrad years and came to love it’s quirks.  For those who aren’t from the West Michigan area, (like myself), people are stunned at first to realize how much actually takes place in Downtown Grand Rapids. From Art Prize to swing dancing in Rosa Parks Circle, Founders Fest and  4th of July Fireworks, there is always something happening.

While downtown always has something going on, I always remembered that I seemed to find myself in Eastown the most. Eastown, which houses some awesome hole in the wall eateries such as Yesterdog (made famous by American Pie), and Tillium Haven (farm to table), always has students from nearby Davenport, Aquinas, and Calvin colleges, as well as it’s fair share of hipsters. It reminded me a lot of Shoreditch in London, which is probably why I loved going down there. Vintage shops, various ethnic restaurants lining the streets, cobble stone roads; it was like walking down Brick Lane, except everyone spoke in a similar accent.

Overall Grand Rapids is probably one of the most vibrant cities I’ve ever been to. While it is a college town,it also has a ton of young professionals. People who are  taking their first steps into their careers, creating a kind of community amongst  those in the same position. And with the economic state Michigan is in, Grand Rapids is really the only place that offers jobs.

I went to visit some friends and an old college professor who I still keep in contact with and they reminded me why I loved Grand Rapids and why I went into my field of study.  It was a refresher. Sharing the same interests, thoughts, career goals, and relationship advice, because it seems each one of is is having issues in that department :P. But most importantly, it reminded me that if I work towards what I want, I will eventually get there. I may be in this stage for now, but it is not forever. The only person who can change my situation is me, and I have every intention on doing so.

*The original London crew. Barb is in the bright yellow, and Becky is wearing the studded blazer. I’m standing behind Fish, our prof whose kneeling. Yes, we call him Fish. I went to visit those two girls and they brightened up my weekend 🙂

So if you feel like you are stuck, and need to get out for a bit, try Grand Rapids. I know you wouldn’t think it, but don’t let it’s small size fool you. This city will have you floored.

Sometimes you gotta remember why you left in the first place. But then, you gotta remember why you should love the places that made you. I’ve been listening to a lot of folk rock lately. I saw American Opera play in Grand Rapids and absolutely loved his music. I hope you do too.

Day 7: American Opera- Bright Lights & Amplifiers

“This life is my own. I throw a dart onto a map and then I make it my home. This life is my own”

I hope this blog got you thinking in some way. Wherever you ware in the world, whatever time of day, I will always wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Miss Kristin E Rhine xxx

Am I Proud To Be An American?

Forget Me Not Flower

Yes, I know. I said my next blog was going to be a Wanderlusts of Michigan.  And there will be another one, that I am certain. But this is something that I have been wanting to write about for a while now and with how things have gone this week, I think now is an adequate time. Two things propelled me to write about this topic. The first being something that happened outside/inside of Wal-Mart (not People of Wal-Mart type incident), and the second being a conversation I had.

For my friends who are overseas, and for those of  you in America who have forgotten, tomorrow is Memorial Day. The day in which we remember those who gave their lives to fight for our countries liberties, values, and freedoms.  Which is why it absolutely disgusted me when I saw how fellow Americans were treating our veterans who are still alive and kickin.

After getting out of my part-time job today, I drove over to the Wal-Mart in Fowlerville to pick up some items before I went home. As I drove in, I saw there were some older men sitting at some tables outside the entrance with a canister. I figured they were asking for donations but for what I didn’t know. As I got out of my car and proceeded to walk up to the store, I saw two boys in their late teens/maybe early twenties walk out. The older man asked politely if they would be willing to donate to save disabled American veterans. The boys didn’t even look at the man as they walked past. One ignored him while the other one quietly said, “Nahhh” in a mocking manner. Now, with tomorrow being Memorial Day, you know, the day where you are supposed to HONOR fallen veterans, I was a bit shocked at the behavior of these boys. After seeing how they acted, I walked directly to the table. As I was pulling out a dollar (because unfortunately I’m poor and can’t really afford to donate anymore), I saw the man had a hat on commemorating his platoon and the years he served while in Vietnam.

I ended up telling him my father had served in Vietnam as well around the same time. He asked about what he did while over there and  if he had been to D.C. to see the Vietnam War Memorial. They were both really nice men and if I had the time, would have stayed longer to hear a story or two, but I was in a bit of a time crunch and had to get home. Before I went inside, the man then gave me a Forget Me Not flower, representing the Disabled Veterans of America. He also told me to tell my dad “Welcome Home”, which is what veterans of the Vietnam war tell one another nowadays because unlike the fanfare those returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan receive, all Vietnam vets got were protests and bags of piss and shit thrown at them when walking off the plane. (No hostility there at all XP)

So afterwards, I go around Wal-Mart, I get my things and once I’m in the check-out, the woman in front of me (who is of slightly more than voluptuous proportions) picks up two Snickers bars and says to the cashier with a smirk, “Just something to nibble on during the drive home”.  At first this doesn’t really phase me. Ok, so she picked up two candy bars, whatever. People eat junk all the time. I had some Sweet Tarts earlier, so what?

Little did I know that I would be turned off from eating Snickers for the rest of my life. I ended up following her outside because our cars were both in the same direction. We  passed the table where the men were sitting and the men again asked if she would be willing to donate, and she said “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” and waddled her merry way to her SUV, which had a very apparent “Semper Fi” military sticker on the back of the vehicle.  ….Ummm…….haha…WHAT?! I could not believe what I had just seen.  I thought to my self, “Did this really just happen? I’m broke, living at my parents house, have a shitty retail job that only pays $8.00 an hour, and I was able to part with a measly buck to help out these men.”  She was probably too busy thinking about how happy she was going to be when shoving that Snickers bar in her gaping gob (I could also think of a few other places she could shove it). Thinking back, what I should have called out was “WOMAN YOU JUST BOUGHT TWO SNICKERS BARS IN THE CHECK-OUT FOR 68 CENTS A PIECE AND PAID WITH A 10 DOLLAR BILL!! I KNOW YOU HAVE SPARE CHANGE…but I didn’t. Instead, I walked back over to the veterans and gave them another dollar.

The whole way home, I was fuming. How could people be such douche bags to those who served to protect our country? This then reminded me of a conversation I had earlier on in the week with my old flatmate whose still in England.  We were discussing patriotism of our countries. Well, more-so America. Apparently earlier on in the evening, him and my other flatmate were talking about the USA, and as he put it “Neither of them had kind words for the US”. This both made me a bit defensive (as I usually am) about America, but at the same time, ashamed. Ashamed of being an American; which is an awful thing to admit.

It was pretty bad in London. As an American ex-pat, (And I’m pretty sure I was not the only American who felt this way who was overseas) I was sometimes ashamed of how Americans were seen by those in European countries. So if I was out and a “Murrica” joke was cracked or a stereotype was called out, I just went along with it  and even cracked a few jokes myself. I just went with it because it was easier to do that then defend the acts of my own country.

Anyway, back to the jerks at Wal-Mart, it took me a moment to realize my past behaviors made me no better than the people who ignored those men today.  All it makes me is a hypocrite. And that I plan on changing. It’s the whole reason I started this blog in the first place. To fall back in love with my own country.

Do I believe America is perfect and the greatest country on earth? Hell no. Our governmental policies and politicians are all screwed up, our economy is in the shit  and causing those in my generation to have to fight tooth and nail to get the right job, and some of our people still seem to be stuck in a rut when it comes to certain “issues of morality”.  But, we are striving to become better. And at the end of the day, I am still American. I still grew up here. I still have friends who have had my back throughout high school, and undergraduate here. I still have great memories from living here. I still give my full support to those who have served, and continue to serve our country. I still have respect for my father despite our issues and for what he fought for. And I should be appreciative of the life I have had because of him.

I guess the only question that remains is: Am I proud to be an American?  I certainly hope so. And if I’m not, then I want to be.

Day 6. No song this week. Not feeling in a very musical mood this evening. You probably have a large music library. Pick something.

I hope this blog got you thinking in someway. Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day, I always wish you the best.

With Love,

Miss Kristin E Rhine xxx

Motivation:Take Names & Kick Ass

Ok, see it’s already happening. The bad with commitment thing. But I have good reasons!!! (….ok it might be shit but still)

Two things.

1. Some things happened a couple weekends ago which affected my actions and my priorities last week. Which you think would actually propel me to write more and get rid of all the angst. But seeing as I don’t want to seem like I’m bitching, I didn’t.

2. I had writers block.

I blame the writers block more because I did try to write. Except I got halfway done, looked at the screen and just went, “This is complete and utter crap” and chucked the whole thing. I would rather wait to write a decent blog, then a half-assed one just to make a deadline. That being said, I have two more to write this month to reach my personal goal so I better get on it then!

These last few weeks, I feel as though I have been unmotivated. Yes, I’m actively looking for jobs every day.  Am I putting in 100%? Giving it my all? Putting my nose to the grindstone? Well to be frank, no. Just no.  With the weather getting as it is, I’m trying to divide my time evenly being home and out. I want to try and get as much sun as possible, because I mean, lets face it; I was a pasty bitch back in the British Isles and one of the perks of being back in the states is that I have my tan back. (Vain, yes. Do I care, no.) The other is that I feel sometimes it is an obligation to be home. Meaning I HAVE to be home to please the parents. Therefore, driving me insane and on the brink of  having one of those fits in the movies where the person gets so frustrated they just wipe off their whole table, desk, or whatever. And then just causing more bullshit for them because now they gotta pick it all back up.

Anyway, my point is, I’m trying to be better. Truth is though, I’m struggling with how. How do I keep myself motivated? How do I keep telling myself it’s going to be ok when I feel like I’m up a large freaking river and my paddle is a tiny stick? I’m moving, but I’m not going anywhere. This has led me to the point where I really need to start taking names and kicking ass. The only way I’m going to be able to move forward, is if I cut the unnecessary fat (meaning the worry, the frustration, the people holding me back), and just get back to basics. Does this mean I could possibly lose more people I care about? Unfortunately yes. Since I started this blog I know I already have and it was extremely upsetting. But I’m not going to let it get me down anymore. Time to get motivated, time to get back to me.

The next blog will be another Wanderlusts. That was the one that I was writing when I wiped it. Sorry. Not really. It was crap. you would have wasted your time.

Day 5: The Ataris: The Boys of Summer – I heard this while driving my with my friend Eoin and it reminded me that it really is a great cover of the Don Henley version and that it is a great song for road tripping to. Here’s to summer y’all!!!

“Out on the road today I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, ‘Don’t look back. You can never look back’.  I thought I knew what love was, what did I know? Those days are gone forever, I should just let them go”.

I hope this blog got you thinking in someway. Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day, I always wish you the best.

With Love,

Miss Kristin E Rhine xxx