Sunday, February 19, 2012

Baking spree

Cold and snow always bring out the domestic side of me. If you follow me on Facebook or Pintrest, you're probably already well aware of this fact. In the summer, I turn heathen again and refuse to be indoors for any longer than absolutely necessary.

Cupcakes have been my running experiment for the past couple of months and I've learned some interesting things. One, altitude really does make a huge difference when baking things that require some sort of rising action. I've been able to counter this in most recipes by simply adding an additional bit of flour, anywhere from a tablespoon or so to a 1/4, depending on the size of the recipe. However, this apparently doesn't work with chocolate stuff. Both the Carbomb cupcakes I've made before and the Black Magic Cake I made last week have fallen like a drunken giraffe. I don't know if it's the oils in the cocoa or what. So, those are still works in progress.

However, the White Russian cupcakes and my Deconstructed Red Velvet have turned out just fine.
Anyhow. I also whipped up a new frosting to go with the Black Magic "Swimming Pool" cake I made for a friend's birthday last week. I even made the cake twice and while the second batch came out *slightly* better than the first, they both resembled swimming pools. I finally said screw it and hoped the frosting would amend for my failures.

" "Better than You Hoped" Mocha Bailey's Frosting" started off as a regular buttercream frosting with butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Then came in a bit of coffee, Bailey's, cocoa powder and just because it was lacking a bit of that "oomph", I melted up about 2 oz of chocolate chips and mixed those in. The result is that I now have to get that damn chocolate cake figured out, because I'm getting requests for this again!

Tuesday will mark a week of me being at Subaru. I'm pretty sure my brain melted out of my ears that first day, what with the hundreds of pages of reading and cramming for my licensing test. I passed, so it was worth it. What brains I had left are being filled to the brim with product knowledge and general selling tips. Coming from a direct sales background, I don't have quite as far to go with learning how to "sell" and such, so mostly I'm learning the difference between the trim levels and what makes the CVT so different and all.

Eventually I'll get around to including pictures again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Starting tomorrow

I will have a regular routine again.

The next morning after I wrote the previous post, I was awoken by Subaru calling to say all came back clean on the background check (I knew they wouldn't find those hookers for at least another two weeks!) and I needed to go take the requisite drug screening for the final step. Something about not wanting coke heads driving fast cars? Anyway, got that done after an episode of performance anxiety aka I hadn't drank enough coffee yet. Waiting in a screening clinic is an interesting experience to begin with, because there is such the wide variety of people coming in for screening. Some were like me and doing it for pre-employment. Some were doing it for workman's comp; one lady had just taken a bad spill on the ice and was jumping through WC hoops. Another guy probably had to come in as part of his probation terms. Interestingly enough though, with the exception of the one guy who left, it was all women sitting in the waiting area.

Ever had coffee so bad it made you dizzy? I have. Second worst cup of coffee in my life and that's saying something. First worst was in an airport in Glasgow, which can almost be forgiven because while the Scots know how to do a lot of things, coffee is not one of them. American waiting rooms make bad coffee out of sheer spite.

Still, it was nothing a massive dose of sugar couldn't help.

I've gotten so spoiled by my French press. Holy em gee spoiled.

The results of the screen came back today, so I got another phone call to tell me tomorrow was for sure my start date and where the HR office is to go get processed. The Real World sure has a lot more steps for getting a paycheck than just about anywhere else, sheesh. But it's all gravy from here, the glamorous world of people walking in for a BRAND NEW CAR! /priceisright

I also went to the Scentsy Spring Spring (spring product launch) today and have a lot to gush about, but that's going to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Maybe not the traditional type; once I go to sleep I can usually stay asleep. However, my circadian clock, when left to it's own devices, gets all sorts of screwed up. Or on English time. Something. Did you know there's some really neat stuff on BBC at 2am? There's this new show called "The Fades" and incorporates zombies and higher beings and fantastic accents all into one show.

Soon though, I'm going to have to force myself into some sort of regular routine, seeing as how I've landed a Real Job. Or at least I'm 98% sure I have. I find myself simultaneously amused and saddened that I just can't take a good thing at face value anymore and keep waiting for something to happen, for some sort of cosmic "PSYCHE!" thing to come about. So you know how in my last post, I talked about my younger, taller and luckier other half coming to visit? A handful of months ago, she told me how she had talked her way into a sales job at a Mazda dealership. Like literally walked on to the lot, chatted with another sales guy and ended the day with a new job.

She also has an overwhelming desire to be awesome and move to Colorado, so her last day here, we skipped around to a handful of dealerships around here and attempted to repeat that experience. It didn't pan out that day and so she headed back home with the hopes she'd have some phone interviews and be back out soon.

Instead, she was head-hunted by Audi. She's awesome like that.

So early last week, gripped by a vague restlessness and an over-riding desire to be earning some sort of sustainable income,  I decided to hit up Dealership Row on my own. I started with Acura--honestly because it was the first lot I came to, not because I'm THAT OCD--and worked my way down to Subaru. At each one it was some variation of the same. "Fill out this application, our sales manager is busy. Go online and fill that out, we don't take paper applications. We're not looking currently, but feel free to leave your resumé." Being in direct sales for the years I've done, I'm not exactly a stranger to various forms of rejection.

It doesn't make it any nicer to hear, just that I can now make a game of how many tally marks I can get in one day and keep hunting for that YES.

So on down through Lexus, Honda, Toyota, one after the other, watching my handwriting alternately swing between improving with use (it's never been that great to start with and the countless hours of typing hasn't improved it any) and getting shaky because I was getting famished for dinner, I walked into Subaru, rattled off the same line I'd been using and sat down to fill out yet another generic application. I never thought I'd have my high school address memorized again 10 years after graduation, but there you have it.

I handed it in...and that's where things changed. A manager talked to me and didn't blow me off. In fact, I had an interview on the spot. Then another one.

And then they offered me a position.

I had pulled a Stefanie. 

Now I'm just left doing what I do worst--waiting patiently. They said they had to do the background check and that was going to take a handful of days and then the drug test and then the paperwork. I'm still waiting to hear back from the background check because of the weekend and this brings us back to the beginning of the post.

With every passing day--and the fact that I gave my two weeks notice at the boarding kennel and they just decided yesterday was going to be my last day--I keep waiting for that other shoe to drop. It just doesn't seem like things could finally coming together to the point that I will actually be gainfully employed at a Real Job with Real Money, Real Benefits and all that jazz on my 30th birthday after years of scraping by, making do, wondering why all of it just wasn't coming together like it should have been doing, yadda yadda yadda.

So in the meantime, I'm cramming brochure facts about features, horsepower and model differences so that when I do officially start, I can get off to a running start.

I have a puppy to buy!