My anti bucket list

Never, Ever, Ever…Did I Mention Never…?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Kick the Bucket.”

10.  Eat at the Olive Garden

9.  Identify a dead body

8.  Identify a dead body at the Olive Garden

7.  Attend a One Direction concert

6.  Wear fragrance whose title begins, “If you like…”

5.  Shop at JC Penney

4.  Find my picture on Facebook captioned “Walmartian”

3.  Wear something even remotely related to Pandora.  

2.  Read 50 Shades of anything…

1.  Work in an office.  Again.

For more fed up and snarky comments, for clarification on the Pandora thing, or to hear my alter ego rage on, visit http://www.unaristodenfer.wordpress.com.  Thanks for reading. 

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Un Plaza - NYC

If I can make it there…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Make It Anywhere.”

Pivotal moments are surreal:  the five senses stretch to their zenith and everything is in high definition.  I can clearly see the blue suede pumps clicking at a quick pace on the New York City sidewalk beneath me.  They were starting to rub dangerously against the tender skin of my heels and I pleaded silently for them to hold out for a little longer.  It was a warm spring day and tiny beads of sweat dampened my skin under the silk of my navy suit with white Peter Pan collar and gold Chanel buttons.  There was no chance of it stopping as I walked the long blocks from the Grand Central Station to 1st Avenue.  Plus I was nervous. Really nervous.

It took me about two years to walk through the large glass doors of the United Nations.  I had talked about becoming a interpreter during all four years of college and then everyday after graduation for another three.  I had a clear image of me wearing fashionable suits and mingling with heads of state and dignitaries.  World  and rubbing elbows with the world’s most interesting people.  I loved the idea that I would be able to take my love of language and parlay it into a glamorous and purposeful career.

The UN headquarters wasn’t the sort of place you could just send in a blind resume; you needed a connection but in the days before the internet and LinkedIn, networking for my dream job was a slow and often disappointing process. Ironically my way in had come from the lady who ran my favorite sample sales on Broadway.  She knew everyone in New York City and upon hearing my desire one Friday in between trying on the YSL track suit (don’t judge me) and the Donna Karan black mini skirt, she wasted no time and dialed her friend.  I couldn’t believe my ears. In five short minutes I had a advocate in my corner and he was going to get me an interview with the lady in personnel.  I also remember my champion apologizing for not being there to meet me himself but he was on his way to Haiti to help set up democracy in the time of military rule.  I wished him well and said we would meet when he returned to the United States.  To my knowledge, he never did.

My heart quickened as I crossed the lobby and I glanced at my watch: right on time.  The enormous counter seemed to run the entire length of the international monolith.  I singled out my target and announced my appointment to the neatly dressed black man behind the counter.  He picked up the receiver, pushed a few buttons and in a clipped, continental accent confirmed the room number.  I was ushered to the nearest bank of elevators and up I went.  The face that greeted me in personnel matched the gentle voice I had spoken with on the phone.  She smiled and invited me to take the chair in front of her desk. 

Looking at my resume she glanced up over the rims of slim reading spectacles.  “You are applying for an interpreter position I see.  How many languages do you speak?”  “Three”  I said proudly.  “Spanish, French and Italian.”  Speaking three languages had been a big deal to me for as long as I can remember; it’s sort of my thing.  “Italian is not an official language of the United Nations” she said.  My heart sank.  She continued on with a lot of other things but it didn’t matter, I knew my chances were dwindling with each syllable that left her lips.  The interview ended with her promising to forward my resume to the person in charge of interpretation for review, and that she would call me to follow up.

That phone call came 48 hours after my interview.  “After reviewing your application and resume, we can offer you a secretarial position” she said. It didn’t hurt as much as I thought.  I had already begun to prepare myself for the inevitable.  Work as a secretary?  No.  The salary offered was half of what I was already earning, and not enough to support myself in Manhattan.  I thanked her and politely declined.

Not long ago I shared this story with my teenage daughter and realized that I still get a kick out of the fact that I interviewed at the United Nations. I didn’t get my dream job, but it doesn’t really matter.  These days when I tell the story I add the punchline, “and I was so good that they offered me a secretarial position.”  

It’s gets a good chuckle and it reminds me that I made it.  I rock.  Even if the UN doesn’t think so…

I did it my way

Winning Streak or I Did It My Way

Writing everyday for a month.  

 I totally choked when it came down to enrolling in  NaNoWriMo but felt redeemed when I got the email for Photo 101; surely I could keep up with a photo a day for one month.  

I almost made it:

1.  I didn’t realize initially that it was a daily challenge and missed the first week.  Oopsie. 

2.  I think I missed a day towards the end.  I couldn’t get the site to come up on my iPhone.  Filed it under “technical difficulties” and continued on.

On the eve of December, I reflect on what I have learned about blogging:

  • Blogging takes dedication and persistence.  No one can do it for you so make up your mind and stick with it.
  • Writing =  creativity + persistance² ÷ life and you must make time for it.  It won’t ever just be the right time.
  • You have to find new ways to drive traffic to your blog.  Your fandom will not come to a sudden awareness of your talent; you have to beat them over the head with it at frequent intervals. 
  • You can spend hours examining the depths of your soul, spilling your guts about every topic under the sun but nothing will drive up likes more than a picture of your adorable dog sleeping in the sun.  It is what it is folks.

Daily Post?  Yeah, I got this…

It's the little things in life that bring the greatest joy

Triumph

It’s not always about the big moments of “wow!”  

Triumph for me is a moment of rest; serenity found on the chaotic roller coaster of a busy life.  At the end of the day it might be reading, sketching or listening to music on a walk through the park along the bay.  

If that moment just happens to include fresh local scallops and a glass of rose while the slow wake of the harbor water rolls in around me, then it is a triumph indeed.

I took this picture with my iPhone.  I used a few enhancing filters from iPhoto to play up the color of the wine.  (It was a beautiful pale pink).

Waves at The End

Double

It’s easy to get lost in technology in the 21st century.  I’m the first to admit I love my Macbook more than I should.  

It’s refreshing to watch two boys leave their iPad’s in the house in favor of a day in the open air, where they spent hours in front of the Atlantic ocean just letting the wind blow them around.  Though it looks as if they are standing at the shoreline, they are about two or three feet above on a sand cliff; the water colliding hard against the land making them shriek and laugh in delight.  I insisted my husband go down and stand nearby, terrified that the cliff would collapse and take them into the briny surf.  

I shot these from about 40 yards away with my little Fuji Film Finepix S8000fd.  The zoom is amazing on this point and shoot.  I have considered upgrading to an SLR, but can’t make up my mind.

Thoughts? 

Spent the whole afternoon just feeling the wind blow them around...

Spent the whole afternoon just feeling the wind blow them around…

Better than surfing the net...

Better than surfing the net…

Mansfield Hotel window