I'm mourning the loss of summer. I took advantage of much of the free/cheap stuff that I wanted to. I noticed that every time I think of leaving New York for some place cheaper and less competitive, it always happens during the cold weather seasons. Coincidence? I think not. The weather is starting to cool and I'm wearing jackets for outdoors temperature as well as indoors.
But I have a lot of stuff to do in the next few months, though, so I shouldn't be bored. I started volunteering with New York Cares. Mainly because my resume needs it. I've also started taking research requests at work for the same reason. I'm applying to be a NY Cares team leader (once again, for the resume) and I'm applying to take the Foreign Service exam although I'm stuck at the six short essay questions, five of which require a reference to verify your claims. But should do that soon, I want to take the test in December. I'm also midway through a Peace corps application, but am still too chicken shit to complete it. It seems like I've heard more about more bad, so/so experiences than good when people talk about the peace corps. On the other hand, I want to leave the country for awhile and this is an excellent resume addition.
I also have a lot of foreign service exam studying to do. I'm just applying and taking the test. I'm not getting my hopes up. Only a small percentage of people pass the written exam and only a small percentage of those that pass the written exam, pass the oral assessment. And then, even if you do that and get through the security clearance, there's still a chance you might not get placed and you'll have to repeat the process all over again. But I'm still studying. Worse come to worse, I'll be better at Jeopardy. The test covers American government, American history, Economics, World Geography, World History, English Grammar, Pop Culture, Math, and People Management. In addition, there's a 30 minute essay writing section. When I went over the practice questions (although I didn't time myself or anything, I did much better than expected at guesstimating, but not good enough). I bought some books about particular topics. And I heard the Economist was a great resource so I've been trying to read that, but one issue takes me forever to finish so I have a lot of catching up Economist reading to do, especially when trying to finish reading my other study materials at the same time. Then, I still need to keep up with blog reading. I only have one news specific blog, but the others tend to provide me with so much valuable information that I can't pare my list down to a more reasonable size. And then there's the podcasts which I listen to at work, mostly news related, although usually more opinionated than straight up news, but not as world news focused as I need.
And I've been trying to improve my Spanish with the Rosetta Stone, which I actually think would help if I kept up with it more regularly. I would like to finish with the level one disk my mid-October, but considering I haven't been doing it regularly, maybe not. I also have all these travel Spanish podcasts. And I have these multi part documentaries to watch that I ripped on to my computer, one about WWI, another about American Presidents, and another about Slavery in America. Anyway, I have a lot of information intake going on and relatively little time. Perhaps I should put things like socializing and sleep on hold.
Luckily, the new television season looks like it's going to be terrible, so I won't have to worry about keeping up with shows. I think I will pick up Gossip Girl, conveniently situated next to Top Model, my other keeper. Since Lost won't arrive until February, I've dropped the other fall primetime shows, and nothing new looks remotely promising, I won't have to worry about fictional shows gobbling up my evenings.
Also, I'm going to start with another freelance project at work. It will be 185 hours over 5 months (now 4, I guess, since I should have started at the beginning of this month) about 40 something hours a month, I think? My boss just needs confirmation from HR before I can begin. The last freelance project I was doing was much quicker about setting up my pay situation. But my last boss was the CEO's personal assistant, so naturally, everything happens much quickly for her than for my current boss. Hopefully I can start soon. I could stand to have some money in the bank.
On top of all that other stuff, I want to take dance classes with Char. I was thinking either African Dance or Mambo/Salsa dance lessons, but it seems like both of us are short on time. And I just remembered that I won ten free yoga classes so I should fit those in one of these days.
I always find out about music concerts less than a week before they happen. Next Monday Bjork is in concert at MSG. There still seem to be available tickets, which I found surprising, but I can't really afford to go and don't know anyone who would want to go with. If I'd known sooner, then perhaps I could have budgeted appropriately but, whatever. I didn't really care for her last album all that much anyway. I'm also not a huge fan of concerts, but will make an exception for exceptional musicians. Sometimes I send concert announcements to Michael. He's a huge music fan and I'm trying to convince him that he wants to get a job on the northeast side, but he's been offered a job in Seattle and it looks like he wants to take it.
And that will be the bulk of the next three months, applying + studying + dance + plus work.