Young, Fabulous & Broke

January 24, 2010

Filippo and I went to the Waialua Farmer’s Market for the first time this morning, (which had an excellent selection of local, bargain-priced produce), and then to the Library, which was just down the street. While there I picked up a few books, and I’ve been having fun diving into them.

The book that inspired me to write this is Suze Orman’s The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke . It came out in 2005, so some of the details are a bit off  (it doesn’t take the recession into consideration), but most of her suggestions are spot on.

In particular, she urges her young, fabulous and broke readers not to settle for whatever job pays the bills. She wants us to make the career moves now that will set us down in a place that we will be happy with 20 years down the line, even if that means less income right now.

She writes: “I just made up my mind that there was a big difference between and job that simply paid the bills and a career that I could enjoy and grow in. I wanted a career. I want you to make that same choice for yourself. Yes, I know it is hard. Yes, I know it takes courage. But at the same time, you are in a perfect position to make that change. When you are young, fabulous and broke, you have far more flexibility than you will ten or twenty years down the line. Use that to your advantage today to build that better future.”

What sound advice for the place I am right now. I don’t have any job, but I’m limiting myself to applying for jobs that will make me decent money, instead of jobs that will give me an advantage in my future career. Sure, I’ve been staying within the medical field, so I’ve got the right idea. But since I haven’t had any luck actually getting a job, maybe it’s time for me to go directly to my career goal. So I left a message for Oahu Speech Language Pathology, asking if I could come volunteer for them. I’ve been talking about doing this since before I got here, but I had wanted to start earning some money first.

Go me.

Suze then goes on to surprisingly suggest that we young, fabulous people go into debt to pay for our living expenses, if necessary. Hopefully it won’t come to that for me. But her point seems valid:

The best way to make money is to look for an undervalued asset, borrow money to invest in it, and then hold on until it appreciates enough that you can sell it, pay off your loan, and pocket a nice profit. . . You stirke me as an incredibly undervalued asset. You have a great education, great skills, and great energy. You  have what it takes to succeed in a career that truly interests and excites you. . . All you need is time to make your mark in the field of your dreams. The time to pay your dues is now.”

Dinner for 10 for under $30

January 18, 2010

Last night we had an impromptu dinner party here at the house, and what was supposed to be dinner for four turned into dinner for ten! I’m not complaining at all though, because it was a lot of fun. We stuck two mismatched tables together in the living room, lit a couple of candles and played a little music from the computer. I made chicken a la Julia Child  from my new cookbook, Filippo roasted some veggies, and we made garlic bread and brown rice to fill everyone up. Everything cost under $30, and it turned out super tasty.

It was such a good feeling walking from the kitchen to the living/dining room to see our friends enjoying themselves, and to have the food turn out so well. I’ve officially decided that I really enjoy playing hostess.

Our guests weren’t able to stay too long though, because our roommate came home as we were finishing eating, and she seemed pretty shocked by the amount of people at the house. We had told her we were going to have a few friends over, so I understand why 10  people was a surprise.

It was really a very mellow party though. Everyone was gone by 8:45, and we had the whole house cleaned up and back to it’s original state by 9:30. While I was cleaning, our roommate had a little “talk” with Filippo, which left him pretty upset. She was overreacting to the get-together, and bringing up completely un-related things. Thankfully, she and Filippo talked again this morning and cleared the air.

The whole ordeal reinforced my feeling that we should get our own place though. We enjoy having guests, and I wish I could have let everyone stay till later, because we were having a lot of fun. So as I’ve said before, as soon as we both get jobs, it’ll be time to search for a new place.

MmmmmMacadamia!!!

January 15, 2010

The job search is finally gaining some speed! My interview went well yesterday morning, and I got a call today informing me that instead of being a 24-hr/wk part-time job, it is now full-time, which makes it even more perfect! I should hear back about it in a week. The position will include three days at the Hawaii Community Genetics office, and two days at the Palliative Care office at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

I didn’t know what Palliative Care was, so I looked it up:

Palliative care (from Latin palliare, to cloak) is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of diseasesymptoms, rather than striving to halt, delay, or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure. The goal is to prevent and relievesuffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness.

I haven’t had any experience in Genetics or Palliative care, but I love getting exposure to new fields, so I really hope I get this job!

I also found out that the job pays $15-16/hr with full medical and dental, which is more than I’ve ever had before!

Thinking about getting this job has sent my mind spinning onto all kinds of exciting subjects, particularly getting an apartment of our own.

Yesterday our roommate left Filippo a note asking him to clean the bathroom and kitchen after each use, and to put the trash out on Tuesday nights. I find notes of this nature a bit offensive, since we see our roommate and speak with her several times a day, and she has plenty of opportunities to talk to us face to face. I also thought it was odd that the note was only for Filippo. It especially bothered me because we have made an effort to be very good roommates, and it isn’t like she is very clean herself. But these are the things you have to put up with when you share a house, so I need to just let it go.

But one productive thing I can do is start checking out new places to live! We have more or less decided that once we both get jobs, we’ll move into a place of our own. It’s fun imagining the perfect place: on the North Shore, two bedrooms, one and a half bath ( at least), accepts dogs (I miss my toby!), washer/dryer in-unit, utilities included, full kitchen, open floorplan, big windows, ocean breezes…..aaahhhhh.

As for activities, we took a trip down to the Macadamia Farm with some friends yesterday. It was a fun little trip; free macadamia nut samples, free coffee (mmm), we got to crack open our own nuts and enjoy the soft nutty goodness inside, and then they even gave us a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts for the ride home! What generosity! Filippo knows the owners, so that might have had something to do with it 🙂 The farm is on the east side of the island, so the drive was of course gorgeous. We also stopped at the Kahuku Superette for our favorite Ahi Poke.

Tonight is my good friend and yoga partner’s last night on the island, so we’ll hopefully have a little get together for her. I’m sad to see her go, but I’m sure I’ll be able to recruit someone else to go with me to yoga. Then tomorrow I’m babysitting Alyssa’s kids!

What a great day! I started out in kind of a bad mood because my online job search wasn’t getting me anywhere. But then, at 2:54 PM, I got a call from an unknown number on my cell phone. I expected a telemarketer, but no! It was a woman calling from Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children! She wanted to set up an interview with me for a Patient Service Representative position!

Here’s the job description:

“Under the direct supervision of the department manager or designee, acts as a liaison between patients and the professional staff by facilitating clerical and reception responsibilities and assisting in administrative tasks.  Interviews, registers, admits, updates, and creates patients’ medical records.  Performs accurate, complete, and timely processing of all professional/ technical fees generated by department providers.”

I can TOTALLY do this job. I’m really hoping this is the one I’ve been waiting for. That wonderful job that I’ve imagined myself having since I got here. My fingers are crossed! I think I’m going  to keep having butterflies in my stomach until after the interview on Thursday morning.

In other good news, a friend (who is also job searching) told me about a job fair that we can go to on Wednesday. So if the interview doesn’t go well, I will hopefully have some other leads to follow from this job fair.

This afternoon we took a hike on the Kaunala Trail at the end of Pupukea Road here on the North Shore. It was a gorgeous hike, with some great valley views. The trail took us through a eucalyptus grove that smelled wonderful and reminded me of San Diego’s Balboa Park.  I also picked some tea leaves to make lei’s with one of these days. On our way back down the hill, we stopped again at the Heiau to see the view of Waimea Bay. A big swell came in again last night, so some of the crazy big wave riders were out, and it’s always fun to watch them risk their lives :p

I’m so relieved that my days of stressing out over the job search may be coming to an end. I’ll try not to count my eggs before they’ve hatched, but if I get this job, I am going to be SO excited. So everybody please send your thoughts and prayers my way on Thursday morning!

I’m back from a wonderful trip to New York! Filippo and I went to visit his family, and ended up staying through Christmas, Filippo’s birthday, and New Years. It was really nice to enjoy the cold for a while, but I’m glad to be back to flip flops and shorts.

I spent quite a bit of time in airports this trip. On the way there, I spent two nights in airports, and one at my sister’s in Carlsbad before I finally made it to New York. On the way back, I was delayed two days (but able to stay with Filippo’s family), and then waited through a stop in Colorado Springs for a medical emergency, and a 9 hour layover in LAX. I was feeling really sick by the time I got home, and I spent the entire day sleeping yesterday trying to get over it.

But now I’m starting to feel much better, and I’m looking forward to setting up my life in Hawaii, and making this a decade to remember! I’m pretty sure I’m going to look back at this time in my life as the “good ‘ol days” when i’m old, so I need to be sure to make amazing memories. This weekend we’re going out surfing with some friends, but with a twist. Instead of the girls sitting on the beach while the boys surf, we’re all going out in the water, and the boys are going to help us girls get up! It should be a blast 🙂

So here’s to a new year and a new decade! It’s shaping up to be a great one.