Why you might not want to ask me to look at your resume

9.17_Why you might NOT want to ask me to look at your resume

You may have noticed.  I’ve been having some trouble writing lately. I WANT to be writing.  Just any time except when I’m actually near a computer.

I blame two things.  First, of course, the adorable weirdos.  I’ve just been more wiped out lately.  Nap time rolls around, and I just need a break.  Eh, I’ll write something, I say.  Just let me read a few more chapters of Mindy Kaling’s new book first . . .

Also, I joke that I can take care of the kids and only do ONE other thing in my life at a time.  Well, I don’t know why I’d call it a joke.  It is pretty true.  Except not completely true because I’ve been running again and I’ve also been doing more travel planning.  So maybe 1.5 things in my life.  Running doesn’t fully count.  This is why having running buddies is awesome.  I just show up, and they pull me along.  Autopilot.  Melissa, did you have a chance to think about a route for our long run?  Uh . . . blank face.  I’m sure they love it.  I’d like to think that I make up for my route laissez faire with sparkling conversation on our runs.  Which is TOTALLY something I do and not turn bright red and wheeze.

But, yeah, I’ve been spending my precious computer moments planning more adventures instead of writing about previous adventures.  Some out of town.  Some in town.  We went on an epic organized gelato crawl that I need to tell you guys about.  (Because nothing makes people hate you more than pics of you stuffing yourself full of gelato.)  We are going to see Shakespeare at the Globe Theater in BorgheseI saw Castel Sant’ Angelo at night.  We are trying some new restaurants.  We got tickets to see the Forum at night.

All good and exciting things.  All take time to plan.

So I haven’t been writing.

But lately, I’ve had trouble sleeping.  Thankfully, not wake up in the middle of the night sleeping, but just get-up-too-early not sleeping.  (She says, furiously knocking on wood.)  Instead of getting up, though, I’ve been tossing and turning or reading because WHO ON EARTH wants to get up at 5:00 am if they don’t have to.  NO ONE that is.  Maybe babies actually.  But babies can be kind of jerks sometimes.

So today when I woke up early AGAIN I was all FINE UNIVERSE.  You win!!  I’ll get up!  I will write and spend time crafting my brilliant tomes of wisdom that are DEFINITELY not just internet screeds.

Aside:  Screed is a really funny word, right?  Try saying it over and over.  Screed, hehe.

But, ANYWAYS, the joke is on YOU, universe, because I’m recycling something I’ve already written.  (Which is good because I already hear Mac screaming.  See above re jerk.)  You can lead a horse, but you can’t make it drink the champagne.  Which is probably a good thing.  You don’t want your horse stealing all your champagne.  Unless you are me, because I’m not doing a full whole30 right now, but I am trying to cut back on certain things.  Like booze.  Because I may not have mentioned this, but I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately.

Official Disclaimer:  I do NOT give booze to horses.

But I guess the joke is kind of on me because I just wrote over 600 words culminating in a disclaimer I never thought I would write.  Or really the joke is on you because you just read it.  Muhahahaha.

So remember how I have a sister?  (Two actually, but let’s focus on this one for now.  Oh, and a brother.  But I digress.)

When we were back in the States, she asked me for help on her resume.  Do I have opinions on resume style?  YOU BET.

I gave her some pointers, said something obnoxious about her sending me an updated draft within a week, and then scampered back to Rome.

Surprisingly–although I guess not as surprising as you’d think for a put-upon sibling who was used to dealing with the tirades of a domineering older sib–she sent a draft within a week.  And it was AWESOME.  Seriously, you guys should go hire my sister.  If for nothing else than to help you with your resumes because she is now a stone cold resume writing genius.  I just had a few comments and sent it back.

Within a few days, I hadn’t heard anything.

You may not have picked up on this, but patience is not one of my strong suits.

Aside:  I just googled “strong suit” to make sure that I’m not mistyping this.  And I was all, what does that really mean anyway???  Trying to be all deep.  Is it about the strong, power suit in your closet?  The one you only break out for interviews?  Because you had an awesome resume???

And, of course, it is about your strong suit of cards.  Which I think I actually knew, and I probably could have re-puzzled out if I gave myself the chance.  (James is definitely doing some serious eye rolling at this point.  I’ll be able to confirm for you in person in a few hours because I love nothing more than to read blog posts over his shoulder to see where he is laughing.  (I don’t think it needs to be said, but he loves MANY things more than this.))

Update:  James read that first paragraph and was all “seriously??” and I’m like just keep reading.  And then he lost it.  ALL the laughing.  So I was happy.  But then I was like, GREAT, my best joke on here was a private one for you.  Face palm.

So back to my strong suit.  My fictional strong suit is a traditional color, but it has some feminine details, and I like to wear it with statement jewelry.  Because I have LEARNED NOTHING.

My sister.  Even though my email game is anything but tight, I apparently expect everyone to reply promptly.  Because that makes sense.

So I sent her this message.

Which I thought about asking her permission to use, but then I was all, hey, I wrote the email.  And this really says everything about my mental state and nothing about hers so she has no reason to be embarrassed.  Except on my behalf.

You:  OMG.  I just landed the BMW internship job thing.  They said normally they don’t do this, but they are going to pay me a starting salary of $75K because they were SO impressed with my resume.  They even want me to start a resume-writing workshop for all zee Germans who have perfect English but are worried about their English.

Me:  That’s terrific!  I knew you could do it!

You:  Also, NBD, this German prince or duke or something was TOTALLY hitting on me at my interview.  He showed up on the lawn in his private copter (with BMW motor, of course!) and begged me to give him a chance, but I told Dieter that I’m a career girl and I can’t be seen dating the boss.  Or the dude who will be my underling in about 2.5 seconds when I skyrocket up the corporate ladder faster than a German chasing a keg of beer rolling over a field of bratwurst.

Me:  Right on!  Girl power!

You:  Anywho, I couldn’t have done this without you.  You’re the best.  DAS BEST.  I’ll make sure they name the next Z Series after you.  And then deliver one to your door!

Me:  Aww, you’re too sweet.  You really did all the work.  I’m glad I could be of some small assistance.  Don’t forget me when you are off running the Eurozone and rubbing elbows with Merkel!

You:  NEVER.  I don’t have favorites, but you are definitely one of my favorite sisters.  Love you!

Me:  Love you!

With apologies to all jokes at expense of zee Germans.  The email just tickled me, and thankfully my sister thought it was funny too instead of being all WHY ARE YOU RIDING ME ON MY RESUME, WOMAN?  Also, it was for the best because she claims her email ate my original message with my actual thoughtful comments which I would say isn’t a thing except that has totally happened to me before too.

And with apologies to all of you because I’m pretty sure I have exceeded my caps and italics usage for the year with this rant, I mean post.  But you can’t really blame me.   Blame THE UNIVERSE.  Because this is what happens when I’m writing at 5:30 in the morning.

Resume padding

Since we’ve been here, I’ve been learning some new skills.  Sadly, I don’t think these would turn heads on a resume.  Which is a shame, because I have been putting in HOURS of practice honing these skillz.

I can now:

  • produce a snack from somewhere on my person in any situation.
  • produce a tissue from somewhere my person in any situation.
  • get about seven million blows out of said tissue.
  • recite all the words to Mater’s Tall Tales.
  • recite all the words to various Winnie the Pooh episodes.
  • recite all the words to Frozen.
  • sing all the songs in Frozen better than Broadway stars in my own mind.
  • pour out the exact amount of laundry detergent without looking at the line.
  • produce edible food for four people regardless of the state of our fridge and pantry.
  • feed myself and two other people simultaneously, sometimes while loading or unloading the dishwasher.
  • fasten the baby into a carrier by myself, even while wearing my thickest coat.

I’m also working on badly aligned weight training and negotiating with irrational people.  Maybe a next career as a bouncer?  Yes, ma’am, I’m sure you ARE very important, but you’re not on the list.

How to make perfect popcorn

Hands down, the best thing I can make is popcorn.  At first, I thought that was a little sad, but I’m ok with it.  I instantly know what my best dish is.  Quick: can you name yours in the next three seconds?  GO.

Bet you couldn’t.  Or I bet you have so many winners that you just couldn’t narrow it down.  Well played.

Anyway, once upon a time, we went through some pretty serious microwave popcorn phases growing up.  Like I could eat an entire bag in one sitting.  Like my sister and I fought over who got to rake their nails through the possibly-cancer-linked goodness on the side of the bag.  Like I did a science fair project on which brands popped better.  (This was a terrible idea because I ended up sitting and counting hundreds of popped kernels of popcorn.  Science projects were more of a let’s-get-this-over-with endeavor at my house; less of a trying-to-win-the-fair-and-further-science-for-mankind type of projects.)

When I did study abroad in Germany, I missed many familiar flavors.  Popcorn was one of them.  Alas, I could find no microwave bags of popcorn.  What could I do???  Eventually, I noticed that they do have loose kernels.  Like for campfires.  Or pilgrims.  Or something.  But I remembered that one friend I had in middle school whose mom made us popcorn ON THE STOVE.  I was so intrigued by this that I made a point to watch her.

So I gave it a go.  And I’ve never gone back.  #stovetopforlife  Please keep reading if you would like to ruin any other popcorn experiences in your life and create a snack that is not at all good to have around the house with toddlers.

First up, find some kernels.  I have no brand loyalty, but I do like yellow kernels over white ones.  (“Kernel” is turning into one of those words for me that sounds super weird when you say it over and over.  Kernel.  Kernel.  Kernel.  Such a strange word.)


Next up, select a popcorn pot.  Mine is the smallest size from my Revere Ware set.  Which I think is from college.  Nice.

Be prepared for this pot to possibly get a little charred.  Mine is pretty much a dedicated popcorn pot which may or may not get completely cleaned in between every use.  (I make a lot of popcorn.)  Wow, this is pretty much the grossest tutorial ever.  How hard would it have been for me to swipe a paper towel around the pot?  But if that is too much, you know I’m not going to go back and reshoot these pics.  Pinterest this is not.

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Next, get your olive oil.  I like Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I don’t add any butter at the end, and you can really taste that EVOO goodness in every bite.

Pour the oil to cover the bottom of the pot.  Then pour some more.  And then probably a little more for good measure.  James swears he does exactly what I do when he makes popcorn, but his is undeniably not as good.  I think this is the critical difference.  You want at least a finger of oil in there.

Turn on your burner low to medium heat.  Mine has a dial that goes to ten; I set it at four.  I took a picture of this, but if you thought the pot picture is gross, you really do not want to see that one.  Clean my oven.  I’m on it.

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Then, add your kernels.  (Heh, kernels.)  I try to aim for a single layer covering the bottom.

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Put the lid on the pot.  You would think this would be obvious, but you’d be surprised . . .

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Now you listen for those little beauties to pop.  Alton Brown recommends shaking the entire time, but I usually only do a shake or two.  For me, being done is less about waiting for the kernels to die down and more about seeing when they lift the lid.  But that is just because of my familiarity with my designated popcorn pot.  Lid lifting coincides with near popping conclusion.

Once they start to lift the lid, I remove from heat.  I usually wait ten seconds after the last pop to pour them out.  You never know when there will be a diva straggler.

When you pour them in the bowl and see the unpopped kernels, you have a baseline as to whether you should add fewer next time.  There will always be a few duds, but the goal is to minimize this number.  #nokernelleftbehind

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And now you salt.  For added fanciness, I’ve been dabbling with fancy salts.  Bourbon salt has paired well.  Here is my truffle salt.  Go wild!

But first, I like to use a base layer of regular salt.  I salt once around the bowl, shake it down, salt again around the bowl, and then add a pinch of fancy salt on top.  Remember, it is easier to add more salt than to remove salt.*

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And then, ta da!  You have a bowl of perfectly popped goodness.  I think popcorn is especially great for the holidays and for cold weather.  Again, sadly, not a great snack for young kids.

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*Alas, I can offer you no salt removal tips.  If you shake it, it may sift more to the bottom?  You can’t expect this sort of kitchen magic from someone who can’t be bothered to fully clean a pot before taking pictures to put on the internets.

Do you stove top?  Any popcorn tips?  What’s your best dish?