CHRISTMAS: Got to mix things up a bit… Part 3 of 3

 

Read first post HERE

Read second post HERE

CHRISTMAS DAY.

At Cousin J, Cousin Jo, and Cousin Jul’s house. They are losing their house 😦

 
 

The Ladies...

Smiles

Aw, precious ... Their wedding is in July.

Eating

They had time to fall asleep ... lucky!

Now… the purpose of the 3 part post of Christmas day.

The Mystery Machine.

This van used to be ours. I remember car-pooling in that miracle van since 3rd grade. We extended family used the miracle van for all of our excursions. It held ALL of us. In later elementary my dad gave it to my uncle. I completely forgot about the van until it made a miracolous appearance 🙂

Of course we needed to take a picture with it!

Did I mention we love to mimic Forever 21 poses?

Apparently some of them are still on the Forever 21 pose.

For these next pictures… you’re going to see the angle change. In order to get the van with everyone in it and to have the flash actually make an effect on the picture my sister had to place the camera in the middle of the street. By the way, the “town” we were in is called Richgrove; population: 2000 approximate. My cousins happen to live on the last street of the town.

So camera in the middle of the street my aunt is watching for any oncoming cars. It’s supposed to take 3 pictures on self-timer.



#1 Self Timer picture

#2 Self-timer picture

#3 Self Timer Picture

Maybe now you know why I’m so random and crazy, kind of 🙂

 

CHRISTMAS: Got to mix things up a bit… Part 2 of 3

Missed the first part? Read here!

Continuing on from my last post…

Now everyone wants to go outside. Play some basketball. Etc.

I’m looking for my boots to join them… I can’t find them! I see other brown boots that are NOT mine.

I give up looking and stay inside to join the older folks with the karaoke. (I hear you: typical.)

They also went caroling without me. (New tradition)

 They went next door and were given $4 for their crooning serenade.

Such manners… as they relayed the information my bro J took the money. Cousin Ry yells “SCORE!” as they’re walking away… Someone also adds “JACKPOT!” to the shouts of surprise and thanks…

Apparently, there were some cute guys in the audience mix. To console myself by missing the cute guys sighting… I say… “Oh well they’re [Cousin Jul & sister D] still in college they’re probably like 19s.”

Cousin Jul: No! They were in college. Cousin J saw them to!

Cousin J: Yeah.. they were cute.

Cousin Jo: MAN! I missed it.

Me: Were they black?

Cousin Jo: You like them bros?!

Me/Cousin J: Duh, she dated a black guy for 2 years…

Cousin Jo: dude! I didn’t even know you like them bros!

Me: Uhm, yeah! Lol. FOUND OUT! Hahaha.

Somehow the conversation steered back to the cute guys.

Cousin Jul: I didn’t even notice them because an old guy answered the door and there was little kids running around.

Me: How do you know it’s not their kids?!

Cousin Jul: It’s probably their cousins!

Me: Oh no. I’m not signing up for no baby mama title.

Cousin Chuck: Oh yeah.. that’s what they were looking for. Good thing you didn’t go Mel.

Cousin Jul: You guys are so messed up!

And with that conversation we wrapped things up at this house and proceeded to say our goodbyes, hugs, and “see you tomorrows” to everyone…



Packed up for the next house. It was 7:30 pm.

And what did we do?

Can you tell we love taking pictures together?

Cousin J and Cousin Jo

Sister wanted to be in the picture too!

When the tripod is setup; more people can get in the picture

 

Yes, we are weird and random. Ok, just me 🙂

 

At this house we continued our gift opening from this family.

We continued our caroling to random people (my cousin’s friends).

One more post left 🙂

CHRISTMAS: Got to mix things up a bit… Part 1 of 3

Christmas eve day.
Arrive in Bakersfield at 1:30pm.

Eat. (The most important part) (Of course, after I hugged everyone and their mother)

My cousin Toby showing us his madd piano skills.

Paused for a picture.


Sing and goof around. (My auntie provided the entertainment of goof around-she fell back against the chair she was sitting and was conveniently caught by the plant and the wall.) Needless to say, only 2 precious souls tried to help her get up while the rest of us were stuck cackling in our seats.

After setting her straight. I mean the chair straight.

Ugly sweater contest. (New tradition)

Supportive Audience

 

 

Ugly Sweater Contestants

White Elephant Gift Exchange.

 

Prepping for gift exchange

Hard at thought. Which should I choose?!

 

 



My bro J gets the gag gift! Girl's hott pink swim shorts!

We hit a lull. It felt like it was 10 pm. It was barely 6:30 pm.

 

I mean THEY hit a lull 🙂

 

We were soon revived with Pinta time. (New tradition)

Here comes Benjamin Franklin.

Getting into candy ready positions.

The first batter up... CHARGE!

CHARGE!

CHARGE some MORE!

Happy with our prizes!

**Notice some knee stains?

Gift Opening.

 

Gathering around...

Showing off our AERO shirts.

Excited about our mugs!

 

 

Happy Happy

 

To be continued…

Guest Post: Caleb, bucket list: Drink coffee every day

Hello faithful readers. Today’s post is by Caleb. He and I signed up to do a blog swap from 20sb.net. Click here to access Caleb’s blog. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the following post:

First, thanks to Melanie for doing it with me!  Er, I mean, doing this with me.  The blog-swap.  Okay, foot out of mouth.  I’ve read through a lot of her postings and see why so many of you enjoy reading her stuff!   There are those who say that good-looking and funny ladies can’t be accountants, but Melanie is out there to prove them all wrong.

We all need things to be excited about.  Snowmobiles, parties, hot dates, new shoes, Chappelle show back on the air- whatever.  It doesn’t matter what it is we’re excited about as much as it does that we’re excited about something.

I have one of the best things ever to be excited about: Coffee.  I know, I know- some of you are thinking this is a paltry and mundane item to get excited over, but if you are one of those non-fanatical coffee drinkers, let me win you over.

I didn’t start out in life being excited over coffee, or even liking it.  My first experiences with coffee happened while growing up, watching my dad transform from a mumbling and incoherent zombie into the sarcastic and abstractedly-supportive father I knew and loved through the sheer power of hot coffee.  I specifically remember him on weekends (usually when friends were over) shambling out of his bedroom in off-white old man underwear and a stained t-shirt, pin-balling his way through the hallway and kitchen towards the coffee pot.  If any of my friends happened to notice him and his rooster mane of hair sticking up and he caught their eye, they could expect a salutary grunt, wave, and sort of a “Hey there calshe nana hermherm… [trails off]”

He would scoop out some Folger’s and stand there, hunched over, watching as the dark brown coffee spilled into the pot.  If one were to watch closely, you could actually see his shoulders straighten and his eyelids lift as the aromas wafted into his nostrils.  Not a patient man, he would yank the pot out from the coffeemaker as soon as he determined that a cup’s worth had fallen and pour it into his (cream already added) coffee cup.  Since we didn’t have a newer coffeemaker, when he did this the coffee would continue to fall on the boiler, creating a hissing sound.

Now I’ve seen my dad excited.  I’ve heard him cheer raucously for great Cubs plays or exclaim “Yes!” with an exaggerated arm motion when he scratches a winning lottery ticket. Rarely, however, does he get as dramatically appreciative as when he has that first sip of coffee in the morning.
Dad: “sssllluuurrrpp. Ahhh!! Yeah baby! Oh yeah… that’s JUST what poppa needed!  Mmm… Sweet, sweet coffee…”

After this would usually follow some harassment of me and my friends, a half hour’s worth of internet news reading, or back to his room to do crosswords in the bathroom for an hour.  Whatever he did, after that first bit of coffee he did it as his old self again.

I didn’t understand any of this great fuss until my early twenties.  I don’t know what day between my first cup of adult coffee and today where I became as passionate about coffee as he is, but now I find myself the same zombie until I have my coffee and also emitting the same pleasurable sounds at my first sip.  Strange, I know, but I find myself equally excited every single day of the week for my morning coffee.

So I officially add to my bucket list an item that is not a one-time event: drink delicious coffee every single day of my life.

Thanks for reading!

Caleb “I’m drinking coffee while writing this” Shreves

Don’t tell anyone!

When I went home on Monday I told my mom all about the good news.  I told her, I’ll be taking TB test and fingerprinting on Wednesday.

I wasn’t able to tell my dad the good news because of how hectic the day was.

Tuesday mid-afternoon, after a work meeting, I saw my mom had called me twice. I call her back.

Mom: Did you tell them yet?

Me: No, mom.

Mom: Ok, don’t say anything yet because they could still change their mind.

Me: Ok mom. Ok.

My dad calls 15 minutes later

Dad: Did you tell your job?

Me: No dad, I didn’t.

Dad: Oh ok, don’t say anything yet until you’re sure.

Me: Ok. I go tomorrow for testing and some paperwork.

Dad: Ok, bye.

10 minutes later my mom calls me.

Mind you, I’m at work.

Mom: Did you get the job? Dad said you were going for testing.

Me: Mom, I need to take the TB test.

Mom: What did they say to you?

Me: Mom! I’m at work right now. Are you at work?

Mom: Yes

Me: Ok can you check your email?

Mom: Ok yeah. Yeah.

We proceed to have a conversation as she asks me questions. I answer her via email.

Email: They offered me the job. I accepted. Tomorrow (Wed) I go in for a TB test and fingerprinting. Friday they’re hoping my prints clear and we can do all the paperwork and HR stuff.

Mom: Oh ok. You didn’t tell your dad medical testing.

Hold on Mom. Dad is calling me.

I join the calls.

My mom tells my dad the background info.

Mom: She already took the test last week. (Correction, I took it last week of November) They interviewed her last week. They called her on Monday.

Dad: Oh ok.

Mom and Dad have a conversation. My mom is speaking in Tagalog as if I can’t understand.

Somewhere along that conversation my dad hangs up the phone without saying good-bye.

Before my mom leaves… You need to teach me how to three-way!

Interviews: The ending

Monday. I took my lunch late. Things were hectic at the office.

I’m relaxing in my car.

I receive a phone call from my old boss, Nick.

Nick: Melanie! I got a phone call from Whittier. They’re probably going to call you soon. You probably got the job.

Mind you, I’m not one to believe in here say. I must hear it myself from the source or I won’t believe you.

Nick and I continue talking about other things.

Me: Nick! Sorry I’m getting another call. Oh its Whittier. I’ll call you back!

Me: Hello, this is Melanie.

HR: Melanie! Hi this is, K from East Whittier I’m calling you regarding the Accounting Food Specialist position. Are you still interested?

Me: Oh yes! Yes, I’m very interested!

HR: Oh good. We would like to offer you the job. When can you come in so you can take your TB test and have fingerprinting done?

So, I’m taking a personal day on Wednesday to get all that stuff done and taking half-day on Friday to get the results back.

I will have to write a post re-capping my interview experiences. It’s been quite an adventure, hasn’t it?!


Welcome to my Randomness XXV

This past week has been insanely crazy. As you have noticed, I’ve not been able to blog much.

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Actually, I didn’t blog at all. I apologize. Please forgive me.

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So, I have an amazingly funny story to tell you regarding my parents and my job offer 🙂

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Planning to post later today or tomorrow. No later than Monday though! Promise!

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Last night I participated in a mock debate for my youth director, Jay.

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Service started at 7pm. I was unable to leave right at 6pm because my boss was relaying his fears that our accounting clerk will never be able to finish the filing unless I tell her exactly what to do.

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I left at 6:15. Mad dash to the freeway. ITS TRAFFIC!

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For debates my favorite part is the cross-examination. No one else would sign up for it anyway. So by default its given to me. I gladly take it! 🙂

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Fortunately, we were able to stall until I got there, at 7:20. Sorry again.

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Thanks Jay @ barbequethministry.wordpress.com for letting me participate! It was a lot of fun. I actually miss debating.

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It’s been raining! Finally, I can listen to Christmas music! I don’t won’t listen to Christmas music when it’s sunny, hott, and 80 degrees outside.

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Tomorrow I’m going out-of-town again, Bakersfield/Delano area. It’s my grandpa’s 93rd birthday.

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It’s a big deal of course. Each person has to bring something.

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My uncle said I have to bake a cake.

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He told my cousin J to make a sign

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My Auntie Jovy is bringing rice.

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Wow, how original we are.

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I re-did my categories. My catch-all is Welcome to my Randomness.

I’m pretty random, huh? Poor readers, I’m sorry.

Interviews: The Story of My Life II Update

Remember my Forever 21 interview experience? Read here if you need a reminder.

I was unable to call them back on Friday night. They called me Monday morning 10am. I decided to call them back on my lunch break. I took a late lunch Monday, not on purpose, of course!

I called back but the line was busy. I couldn’t get through. I felt bad only because I didn’t want them to think I was being rude or making them wait on purpose.

Monday afternoon on my lunch break I receive excellent news. News I will hopefully be able to share on Friday 🙂 Stay tuned!

Tuesday morning. I receive an email-she’s been trying to call me: ‘Please call me back, etc.’ I tell the initial interviewer I was unable to get through on the phone lines yesterday. I’ll call her at 3pm.

She replies with her work number and her cell number.

Hm….guess they really really want me.

I call her at 3pm. She wants to know my thoughts.

Me: “It’s $10,000 less than I make now and its a further drive for me. I can’t do it.

Her: Ok, I can’t really talk because there’s not much privacy but I will email you and it’s more than what you were expecting.

Me: I won’t be able to check my email for another hour.

Her: Oh ok, I’ll expect a call at 4:30

Me: Ok that sounds great. Thank you.

The email?

1. The CFO and President authorized a $0.50 increase. Wow?! $0.50 Forever 21 is a GROWING company. They’re opening stores internationally EVERY MONTH!

2. One hour of overtime each day. Again, this is an extra expense of my time mandated by the state of California to be rewarded by time and a half.

3. Estimated $1500 bonus every year. Estimate? Still can’t lock it and load? What is one person’s salary worth?!

My response: I am truly honored the President and CFO would authorize a pay increase. Unfortunately, I have another pending job offer in which the salary exceeds the yearly compensation Forever 21 has authorized. etc..

I didn’t hear back from them. I didn’t think I would. Why were they hounding me? I had the experience they needed at a pay rate they can easily afford. They would have the ultimate benefit. Me? I would have the benefit of the retail industry learning everything from sales and retail tax, international accounting, etc the greatest con? The further drive and the stress. My dad worked retail-he was a manager. He did not like it. He only lasted 6 months.

 

Don’t forget to stay tuned on the pending job offer! 🙂

 

 

 

Community Network MeMe

I know I’m late! I’m so sorry! 😦

1. If you could interview anyone on your blog (alive or dead) who would you chose and why? I would interview my cousin J. She’s eccentric and without shame, literally. She would give you an honest answer to any question.

2. What do you feel is your strength as a blogger? I believe my candidness-whatever is going through my head is being typed out.

3. Can you share a little bit about yourself that you have not already mentioned on your blog? I am easily pleased by cheap thrills. I can get excited about anything and everything no matter how small. Sometimes, I think its pathetic.

4. If you were forced to change the name of your blog, what would you change it to? Why? Melanie’s life ramblings. I think it’s pretty obvious but I ramble about my life.

5. What do you think is the most fulfilling part of being a blogger? That my life ramblings seem to have some connections with people across the globe.

6. What would you do with your last day if you found you had only one more day to live? I would probably sit down and reflect on my life for a while. If there was anything that needed changing I would try to rectify with the time I had remaining-persons and circumstances. I would strive to leave the world as “righteous” as I could with God.

7. You’ve been doing medical research for decades and have finally found a cure. What was it that you found a cure for and why did you choose this particular ailment? Eczema, allergies, anything under that broad umbrella. I suffer from this and it’s a pain to deal with sometimes, ok I lied, ALL the time. Random flare-ups, needing stronger medicine, etc.

8. What is your most guilty pleasure? French fries but its so bad for me because I’m severely allergic. The next day I’ll suffer for the next 3 days from flare-ups. I tried. Sadness. Not just french fries but potatoes in general, lol.

9. Answer only one. What is your favorite book, movie or TV show? This is quite difficult…but I would have to say The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. Great plot I could not put this book down.

10. What do you think is the very best smell in the world? The one smell that can take you back to a time and place of a very vivid memory in your past? The smell would probably be onions being sautéed… will always bring me back memories of family and friends. Always.

Interviews: The Story of My Life II

Friday afternoon was the mother of all interviews. I’m not joking.

I received the call on Wednesday early evening. HR:  Are you available for an interview on Friday at 1:30pm? Me:  Actually, I’m going out-of-town at 2:00pm can it be earlier?

HR: 10am

Me: Ah..no, sorry.

HR: Ok, 1pm.

Me: Yes, that’s fine thank you.

Thursday afternoon. I receive a phone call from one of the Hiring managers. Melanie will you be available for interview on Friday at an earlier time? I have several people who may want to meet with you/interview, etc.

Me: No, sorry.

HM: Can you come into today?

Me: Oh dear. Sorry, I can’t.

HM: Ok I’ll see you on Friday at 1pm.

Friday 1pm.

I meet AP manager. Interview with her for about 15mins. At the end of the interview she says I have a few more people I want you to meet. [Oh dear I wonder how long this will take]

I wait. Probably 3-7mins. I think it may have been 10-15mins.

This time I meet Carmen, in charge of sales tax.

Interview for at least 10 minutes. Wait again. For the next person.

Stephen. He didn’t really tell me what specific department he worked in. Except that he’s worked in all of the different departments. This interview was a little bit longer: 20 minutes.

Wait again for the next person.

SURPRISE! It’s the Controller.

She was nice. I really liked her; very personable and she talked. a lot. good talk though. at ease talking. She’s the only interviewer I feel has actually taken the time to listen to what I had to say about myself. Not the typical what I can offer about the company but what makes me and what’s shaped me-the university i went to. why i chose the particular university, etc. She commented on what I said and supplied her life experience as well. It was refreshing. as if she really tried to get to know me.

At the close of the interview… she says I have to meet a few more people. Oh dear. Ok that’s fine.

She walks me to the exit and says she’ll be in touch.

It’s 3:15 GOODNESS GRACIOUS I’m running late! I don’t actually get to leave the building til around 3:30 because the first interviewer wanted to speak to me before I left.

I don’t actually get out of hairy LA traffic til 4:oo. At 4:30ish my butt is already hurting/sore from sitting/driving, etc.

You think my interview day ends there right?

WRONG! 4:52 cell phone is ringing.

Its original interviewer. The CFO wants to meet me even if it’s over the phone.

Me: I’m actually driving right now

HM: Oh when do you think you’ll be able to talk?

Me: I’m actually driving out-of-town.

HM: Oh really?

Me: If CFO doesn’t mind my talking on the phone while I’m driving and the noise, etc.

HM: Yes, she really wants to meet you.

We talk. on speakerphone. while I’m driving.

[I realize I don’t usually type with the periods cutting me off but that’s my thought process at the moment]

We cut in and out only twice. I’m surprised I didn’t drop the call since I was driving in the mountains.

CFO and I are done talking. She’s going to put me on hold while she talks to HM.

HM comes back on the line. The CFO really likes you. Will you be able to give me an answer about accepting the job offer today?

[TODAY?! I can’t give you an answer today! I’m hardly in the mood to deal with such a decision]

The biggest reason as to why I could not accept this offer on the spot…. is the salary.

Its $10,000 less than what I make now. I can’t accept it on the spot even if I’ll be hourly, working overtime, and having 3 bonuses every year.

Back to the phone call. I didn’t know what to do or what to say. I told HM I’ll have to make a few phone calls and that I’ll call her back. Honestly, I wanted time. I wanted to talk aloud about it. I wanted someone to hear me out and tell me what I was really thinking. Help me think it through. I dialed my mother’s number frantically. I’m upset because 1. I was expecting a one hour interview TOPS. 2. I was running late. 3. They’re hounding me

I dial my mother’s number incorrectly. I finally get a hold of her and wouldn’t you know?! I get a dropped call with my mom of all people and of all times to get a dropped call!

So that’s that. I can’t accept the job even though I get the feeling they really need me but they can’t provide me with the salary I’m wanting. I even told them my minimum which is $4,000 that I’m making now.

I’ll make $10,000 less closer to home. Not farther.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed. I’m not very timid when it comes to my schedule anymore. If they need someone they’ll make arrangements. I wouldn’t want to work for an organization that doesn’t care about another’s schedule.