Monday, April 23, 2007

The First Day

Today was my first day at my new job, and it went great!

This was good news, since my night's sleep and morning wasn't the smoothest. I didn't sleep well because I was nervous. Elora started crying at 5:00am and insisted on being let into our room. Then I rushed my breakfast and didn't eat enough for my multi-vitamin to absorb and almost threw up. I rushed into the kitchen and scarfed down a piece of bread with poor Tim rolling his eyes at me.

Finally I was on the road. 95 South had two separate accidents - one of them involving 4 cars. Tim was ahead of me on the road and called to tell me to get into the right lane, but unfortunately by then all three lanes were stopped. [My commute runs the same way as Tim's until he gets off the highway and I continue on 322 W and 1 S.]

Thankfully, I made it to work just in time, and things were smooth sailing from then on until I left for the drive home and encountered more accidents!

At work everyone was absolutely great. I recognized many people from the interview process. I completed my mountains of paperwork and got most of the basics set up. I received a tour of the building and got acquainted with the amenities there. They really do a ton for the families of the employees in addition to the employees themselves. I also signed up for the fitness challenge. I'm not really sure what all of that is about, but it was the last day to sign up, so I did.

So, now I am home and I will prepare for tomorrow!

Thanks all of you for your well-wishes and support :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How Do You Feel?

How do you feel, Kendra? Tomorrow you start your new job.

I looked back at Tim at our table at Gigi's. How do I feel? I feel a lot of ways about a lot of things, but how exactly I feel about starting a new job is harder to put my finger on.

How do I feel?...

I feel sunburned. After doing some cleaning around the house this morning and running errands, Tim and I joined the crush of cars from God-knows-where in search of a green patch of grass on which to have a picnic and play some games of frisbee and the "velcro-mit-ball" game. [This is the game where there are circles with velcro and a ball that sticks to velcro and two people throw the ball back and forth and catch it on the circle thing.] More about the ten years it took to locate the aforementioned patch of grass and parking later, but as for the activities themselves, they were fun. Despite the fact that we both applied 30 SPF sunscreen, I still have a red face and arms. So, now I have that first sunburn of summer sleepiness and headache.

I feel frustrated. I am getting more and more frustrated about living in the city or possibly just this city... I'm not sure which exactly. We pay wage tax, high car insurance, mortgage, condo fees, etc. like pretty much every other resident of the city. Then when the time comes to try to take advantage of the city parks or some other city service on a nice day, the resources are overrun with people, and the parks are littered and messy. It is sad, particularly, on this Earth Day weekend, that people don't take more pride in their surroundings, and I definitely can see why people tire of living here after awhile. Everytime I see people (and this happens a lot) purposely throwing trash on the ground, I feel like screaming, whereas I used to at least attempt to take it in stride. At the same time, there are many things we do love about Philadelphia, and we are conflicted about moving. We have been debating the decision especially since I got the job in Kennett Square. We could move in that direction and both have shorter commutes to work and a lot less of a headache. I could probably write a novel on this topic, so I'll move on for now.

I feel like the owner of a car again. For the first time in about 5 years, we have two cars, since we both commute now. I got a used Saturn Ion a few weeks ago, and so far I love it! The car's name is Storm. I finally got my parking permit in the mail, so I have more parking options. It was a pain for awhile, having to go out ever 2 hours during the day when all the permit spots were taken up.

About my new job, I guess the best way to put it is that I feel we are definitely starting in on a new phase of our lives, and I am not exactly sure what that will entail. We'll have to find out as we go along. For a planner like me, that is always a little scary, so I am anxious. I'm also nervous about starting something totally new after 8 years at Accenture and having to prove myself all over again and get to know new people. It will be very odd to commute almost an hour each way rather than walk across the street to the client site from whatever hotel I happened to be staying at that day/week/month/year. I have rarely known what it is like to not fly somewhere every week, so I honestly don't know what to expect or how I'll feel along the way. I'll be in training for awhile, so I'll have some time to sort out my reactions and feelings more.

Despite all this, overall, I am optimistic. I'm confident that I made the right decision in leaving and finding a new job without constant travel requirements. I am also confident in the company I'm going to. After the long interview process, I am confident it is a great company and the people have a great deal of integrity. They care about their employees, and I feel I'll be a good fit.

At least I've gotten a much needed break from working so much, and I've been able to relax and see my friends and family during the last few months. So...we'll see how it all goes!

(This weekend we did some other Philly exploring...we took a bus over to the University City Section to stop by yard sale put on by one of my co-workers who's moving out to move in with his girlfriend...we had a great lunch at Rx and then did some clothes shopping on Chestnut St. Saturday night we drive down to New Castle, Delaware to hang out with some other IMS folk. Good times had by all...especially now that we've seen the sun for 3 days straight!!!- Tim)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another Feast from Kendra

Tonight I came home from a long day at work to find that Kendra had been at Whole Foods and had a head full of ideas. She had posted on the outside of the door a paper welcoming me to "622 Bistro" and that she and I had reservations for 7:00pm (it was 6:45). The table was already set with a salad of mixed greens, blue cheese stuffed green olives, sliced avacados, sliced tomatoes, and shredded parmesan cheese. I wasn't allowed to enter the kitchen until she came out with the finished entrees...a grilled sea bass for her and a seared sushi-grade tuna steak for me with a marinade of wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, sea salt, and black and white sesame seeds. It was all very good, (with a cold Yeungling porter, too!) and she finished it all off with a wonderful surprise- something we haven't had for months- fresh mangos, cut in the special way we learned in the Philippines, along side vanilla ice cream with strawberries.

It was a very special meal! My baby's the best, ever! Stay tuned for some important news about her (if you haven't heard already!), plus my upcoming "Less Than 100 Days till I Turn 30 Proclamation and Testimony about Life, God and other Odd Concepts".

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fork (Tim's turn)

There can't be enough description about Fork from the other night. It has been a long time since we've been there and I had honestly forgotten why I had it at the top of my list of Best Philly Food spots.

ll, as soon as the first course hit, I remembered why and it's back up at #1 for a good long time. Anyplace that can effortlessly pair an amazingly tasty piece of Salmon with Cellaphane noodles and a Thai sauce with perfectly cooked asparagus on the side deserves it's accolades. Kendra had this salad which was also fantastic: "Baby Spinach, Honey Roasted Crimini Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Chive Vinaigrette". The official description of our dessert was a "Ginger Port Poached Bosc Pear with Raspberry Sorbet"'ve never tasted a pear so pimped out!

Seeing that Fork has once again locked up the #1 spot, what else ranks up there for Award-Winning Philadelphia Food? In no particular order, here's some recent additions to Tim & Kendra's Tops:

The Sushi-Grade Seared Ahi Tuna at Gigi on Market St. (a fantastic piece of melt-in-your-mouth heaven)

Magic Hat #9 on tap at Charlies on 3rd st.

Spasso on Front St. for authentic Italian (thanks Anthony!)

Pizza Picks: (Kendra) Black Olive & Mushroom at Old City Pizza (3rd and Arch)

(Tim) Pepperoni at Rustica at 3rd & Market

Heading West, outside of Philly:
Fantasticly massive pub burgers at Tilted Kilt in Mount Joy, PA- (also go for the Deep Fried Hard Boiled Scotch Egg)

And finally, head further West to Bethel Park, PA (just outside Pittsburgh) and hit up Al's Cafe for one of the biggest menus you've ever seen (and it's all good!).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Celebration Friday

Yesterday was a very fun celebration day. Tim and I had planned that when I received the job offer I have been hoping for, we will go to Fork to celebrate. Fork is my favorite restaurant, but we haven't been there in well over a year. But I am getting ahead of myself...

In the morning, Tim went to work, and I stayed home and did the laundry and cleaned up around the house. Tim came home just before 6:00pm and brought with him a surprise for me... an Easter basket!!! He had me go into the bedroom and wait while he set it up. When I came out, I saw that the fed ex envelope with my official offer had arrived and Tim picked it up downstairs. Also, there was an Easter basket which had a bottle of wine, a bottle of Maker's Mark, a bag of loose leaf tea, and then some things for my car that we will go to buy on Saturday (pressure gauge and air fresheners). The basket also had some mice for Elora :-)

I was very thrilled by the Easter basket. Tim remembered that I like Easter! Whoo-hoo!

After opening the Easter basket, we got ready for our date and went to Patou first to get some drinks. While there, we realized we forgot the gift card my brother and Lisa had gotten us for Fork, and so Tim ran back to get it. By the time he got back, I had made friends with a couple at the bar and the bartender. They were all great people! The two guys I was talking to were telling me about a program you can sign up for and get free/reduced price drinks at two great restaurants in the city.

Tim was so funny when he came back. He said he was not suprised at all when he leaves me for 20 minutes and I am talking to everyone in the bar when he returns. He said, "That's my baby!"

After drinks, we went to Fork for our dinner. It was an absolutely fabulous meal as always. We each had fish - Tim had Salmon and I had striped bass. We shared a gingerpear-raspberry concoction for dessert and each had an Irish coffee. Although none of the portions were very big, we were stuffed.

On the way home we stopped at Neon Video and got The Departed. I fell asleep half way through it... well, as much as anyone can sleep in a movie that is very good but contains a lot of yelling and fighting and the f-word in a Boston accent as every third word. I am actually watching it right now because I woke up really early and couldn't go back to sleep. It is a great movie... I just don't recommend falling asleep to it.

So, it was a great evening of celebration!