Memorial Day – Baking, School, and Tribulations

redvelvet3

Wow, so it is the end of a much needed long weekend here in New York City. I usually spend at least half of these weekends at the gym, but these last few days were different.

In the last few weeks I decided that it was time for me to go back to school, and pursue an advance degree. Thus, I have spent my free time researching different graduate programs and their requirements, as well as sprucing up a 1,200-word personal statement. I just completed this statement about two hours ago.

I’m hoping to have my proposals and statements written, edited, and rewritten in the next few weeks, so I can just start applying and applying to various schools. Most programs start their application period in August, but a couple I can apply to now– so hopefully by the end of 2015 I will know where I’m going.

It is a tough decision, but I have been out of school and working for 5 years, and my last couple of jobs — I felt “stuck”.  Meaning, I come in and I do a great job, I get promoted and some more money; everyone is happy with my work blah blah blah, but I don’t seem mobile, like I hit a ceiling or something.

Well, my first job ended in lay-offs, which I recently found out that on my second anniversary of leaving, the organization will close for good. I’m not facing lay-offs now, but I’m in the same place where I started last year, and although I acquired a lot of skills, some of these I don’t see myself using in the long term. Thus, what am I getting out of my current position, except for a paycheck?

New York City is competitive, there are tons of people walking around with B.As, M.As, and all kinds of BS; so maybe a PhD will give me more of an edge, especially since I have a better idea of what I want study and what field I want to work in. As well as being a student will open more opportunities, like internships or fellowships etc….

So I’m feeling optimistic! This is the first in a long time. I even tried a red velvet cake recipe for the second time –without any dye — and I’m proud to say it came out red, moist, and frosted with a yummy traditional ermine frosting.

Thus, I wish you all a happy end to this Memorial Day weekend. A day we remember why we are here; our hopes and dreams and the chance to capture them!

I hope you have your cake, and eat it too!

@ReporterandGirl or on Facebook at TheReporterandTheGirl

Destination Ideas for Adventure-Themed Weddings

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Adventurous couples everywhere are turning to more fun options for their upcoming nuptials. Take Cheetah Platt and Rhian Woodyard, for example; rather than spend their money on an average ceremony and reception in California, they plan on having 38 unique wedding ceremonies across 11 states this year to declare their love to one another. If you’re looking for out-of-the-box wedding ideas, look no further; here are six destination weddings that cater to the adventurous couple.

A Wild Ride

Las Vegas is known for chapel weddings officiated by Elvis, but that’s been done too many times. However, you can still reinvent the Vegas wedding ceremony — you just have to know where to look. At the New York New York Hotel and Casino, couples can get married in a taxi. This taxi doesn’t take you to city hall, though. It takes you for a loop on the Big Apple roller coaster. Take the ultimate plunge in this 15-minute ceremony and roller coaster ride that will be different than anything you’ve ever done before.

Head in the Clouds

Weddings on land are so overdone, and it’s hard to hear vows under water. Take your party to the sky, with an up-in-the-air wedding ceremony and reception from Dinner in the Sky Events. Twenty-two guests are strapped in chairs on a rectangular dining table that rises 180 ft. in the air. The bride and groom are positioned in the middle of their guests, so they can easily communicate with all attendees, swap rings and even have their first dance.

The Great Outdoors

Many couples dream of having their wedding outdoors, and nature certainly makes a beautiful backdrop. Destination weddings are especially popular for this reason. If Mother Nature is calling you, she’s probably calling from Canada. With multiple lakes and campgrounds to explore, this is the perfect time to turn your wedding into a weekend getaway for your friends and family. Plan some adventurous activities, but just make sure you take the extra steps and precautions to keep everyone safe. If you plan to be out on the water, you’ll need a valid boater’s operator card as well as enough life vests for everyone.

Hitting a Homerun

Need a venue that holds a ton of guests but isn’t a stuffy, outdated banquet hall? Try a baseball stadium. Stadium seating provides the perfect view for all attendees, and it couldn’t be more practical in the off-season. If you and your honey love America’s favorite pastime, just imagine the possibilities for a baseball wedding: a big fuzzy mascot as your DJ, Cracker Jacks and beer for your cocktail hour, and racing sausages seeing you off to your honeymoon. It doesn’t get wilder than that.

Safari Sweethearts

Tau Game Lodge, located in the Madikwe Game Reserve of South Africa, is known for its luxurious accommodations. A truly unique wedding venue, the lodge takes care of everything — from dinner to hotel rooms to safaris in open land rovers. The lodge can be completely rented out for the happy couple and 60 of their closest friends and family members along with resident wildebeest, impala, lions, buffalo, elephants and more.

If you both love adrenaline and hate conventionalism, the ideas listed above are just the beginning of how far wedding ceremonies can go for adventurers. Use your imagination; no matter how crazy it might seem, this day is all yours and you should spend it exactly how you want.

So what is your dream wedding destination?

Share with me @ReporterandGirl or on Facebook.

Happiness

success, happiness, the reporter and the girl. S.C Rhyne

Happiness seems to be getting a little harder to find these days.

Granted, I’m not in a position to complain much: bills are paid, roof is strong, belly is full, and I can still walk normally.

But I feel stuck. There is no excitement, challenges, or anything new, nor anyone new. Just the same old, same old. Thus, this week I’ll be making some very important decisions regarding my future here in New York City and my chance to free myself from the waste-deep mud of work and home.

In other words, currently I am not doing what I love; thus I am not happy. In fact, I cried this week on my commute home. Thus, its time for a change as it doesn’t seem that I am able to cope anymore.

I can’t say anything yet, because nothing is definitive and I am struggling with a bunch of “what ifs” scenarios. But I think its time for me to take risks and hopefully get a positive ROI on a risky venture.

Hopefully, there will be more news to come soon…

So have you had to “reinvent yourself” at some point in life or make a leap to find happiness? Please share with me your tips for success at:

@ReporterandGirl and on Facebook

INFJ

From www.bradgarbus.com

I didn’t think I would be writing about this topic tonight. I actually had plans for a “how to” on masturbation, but alas, this happened.

So as I was browsing through some very old messages on Facebook, a friend and fellow blogger Jenny Luu, had sent me a message about taking a personality test and since we seemed to be so similar, had sent me the link to take it too.

Now I’ve done tons of online quizzes, from “What’s Your IQ?” to ” Which Percy Jackson Character Are You?” but hardly found them worth mentioning. But I took a look at the link, and decided to go ahead since it claimed it would take less than 12 minutes.

The results:

  • I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).
  • N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
  • F – Feeling preferred to thinking: INFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
  • J – Judgment preferred to perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

    INFJ, personality, S.C Rhyne
    From http://www.bradgarbus.com

INTJs, like my friend Jenny, are closely related; however instead of making “impulsive”or “emotionally-based” decisions, they prefer to review the data and facts. Hence, the T for thinking.

The 16 personalities model was created by psychologists, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers as an extension of Carl Jung’s work on psychological types in 1921. Thus, there has been decades of research on this and there is some data to back up the validity of these categories.

As an INFJ, I’m creative, decisive, determined, passionate, and altruistic — hence the nickname “The Advocate”; but my weaknesses are that I’m extremely private, which can be hard to make friends or build relationships. As well as I focus so much on my flaws and failures and forget to highlight my accomplishments.

I also burn out easily.

So I’m really relating to this personality assessment because it feels so accurate; and why half the times I feel other people are just crazy.

KRAZY!!

Because INFJs make up less than 1% of the population. INTJs are rare too, at 2-3%. So there aren’t that many of us out there, which can make it hard to relate to other people. Or for other people to understand us (without becoming too offended if we don’t feel like hanging out).

This week was a great example of how the crazy world just made me want to shrink away. I didn’t want to deal with anyone this weekend. I just wanted to be by myself, and I did just that. Sorry friends, and my cousin whom I left perplexed on the sidewalk as I sped away to the gym; I just didn’t feel like talking or catching up. Maybe next weekend.

I must say though, the model leaves out one personality that I’m sure includes a significant part of the population: The Asshole.

Check out these links for personality assessments:

https://www.personalitypage.com
https://www.16personalities.com

Let me know your personality at @ReporterandGirl and on Facebook!

Sigh….Men Problems

men

For those of you that have been following me for the last two years and change; ya’ll know that I have been living single with no plans in the near future to change that.

I have not actively dated nor seek men to date; my roaring twenties are starting to die down, yet I do not feel any need to settle down or find someone. I like being alone.

Not too long ago, I had a brief winter chase from a man at work who was pursuing me, but he had too many problems and I believe I effectively nipped that one before it got too far.

That’s fine, just leave me the hell alone.

leave me alone, alone, sketch, S.C Rhyne

Two months ago, I just so happened to answer the phone to a man who works in the real estate industry. He needed help with the bureaucratic red tape he was getting from a city agency about the numerous permits he requested for a little league he manages.

It was nice to talk on the phone for 45 minutes with him, because frankly there was work to be done and it was a nice distraction. He called nearly everyday since that, but I thought it was because he was anxious about hearing whether the permits went through or not.

And of course, like a good government employee I ignored some of those calls until I got an answer from the agency and was able to give him some good news. His permits are fine, everything is fine.

He was elated and 45 minutes later we hung up. Now at this time (February) I was planning an event for the community and he came to show support, which was really nice. I did know somethings about him, like his long career in politics and he is now the “community face” for this company and heck, a good person to know, right?

I mean when you’re young and trying to network and make moves, its good to know people in senior executive places. However, what I didn’t realize was that this guy was trying to make moves of his own too!

A few times we talked after work hours, and the conversations were appropriate, — in fact if I remember correctly, the first night we talked he told me explicitly he was not interested in being more than friends, but he was surely a talker — 2 to 3 hours worth!

The vibe I got from him was that of someone who was really lonely and who wanted someone to vent to.

So my good cousin advised me on setting proper boundaries and assured me that no man would be on the phone for hours with a woman while only interested in talking.

We met in person once during my vacation in March for lunch, in which I told him I was interested in networking for professional reasons; he did push to spend more time with me, but I did not. Again, I’m not interested in monopolizing my time for someone.

A few weeks ago, when we had a couple warm days here and there, he invited me out to his boat; he had talked extensively about his hobby, but I have only known this guy, at best, two months. Plus, I don’t want be alone on his boat all day with him. He said he wanted to spend more time with me and I feel like we had gotten to known each other well enough.

So here are some issues:

He’s 54 years old, and I’m still in my roaring twenties.  There’s not really a conflict of issue as he does not do any business with my agency; but I’m not attracted to him at all, I think he’s a great mentor but that’s as far as it would go.

Last week he called two days in a row, well after 10p.m! Not even my mother would call me at that hour unless something was wrong. And judging by his tone of voice on the answering machine there wasn’t a fuck wrong, and I sure as hell wasn’t in the mood to talk aimlessly into the wee hours of the morning.

Alas, we are in different stages of life. He is a senior exec with liberties to work from home, come into the office at 11 a.m without owing anyone an explanation and can drive home to sit on his boat or pour himself a scotch. I’m not there yet, I don’t have all this luxurious time; I work overtime — below minimum wage with a 3 hour round-trip commute everyday, with enough money left over to pay this bill or that bill. So I’m in bed at 10 o’clock, not on the phone.

Sorry to vent, but it does look like he is getting the point. In one of our last conversations, he did mention that he knew nothing personal about me, because I always seem to talk about work. So he asked if I’m dating or had dated, and I told him the truth and tacked on that I’m not interested in dating anyone in the near future. Period.

I emailed him my resume and cover letter last week. He gladly confirmed that he received it, and would pass it along to a friend.

So has anyone ever been in this position and had to toe the line? I want to hear about it.

@ReporterandGirl or Facebook

4 Date Night Ideas to Replace Boring Old Movie Night

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Turn your weekly date night into a romantic rekindling of love or do something silly and new together. Choose new activities that go beyond Red Box to something more unique and thrilling.

Studies show that when you tailor your date to something of more substance, you stimulate your brain’s reward system and ignite the love that brought you together in the first place, according to intimacy specialist and professor of social psychology, Arthur Aron. So, reconnect with your significant other by shaking things up on an alternative date night.

Ask the 36 Questions

Create interpersonal closeness with your partner by turning to Aron’s famous list of 36 questions for a unique date night. Discover a deeper connection and level of intimacy by becoming vulnerable in your self-disclosure. Go on an afternoon picnic, sit together next to a stream or get a table in a romantic restaurant and ask each other each question in order. You will undoubtedly learn something new about your partner no matter how long you’ve known each other; you might just learn something about yourself, too.

Questions begin innocuously with questions such as “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” Then, they become more weighty and personal as you move through the list.

Have a Costumed Night Out

Who says you can only dress up as your favorite movie character or super hero one night of the year? Defy the rules of Halloween and date night by finding a great couples costume to wear for a little fun together.

Decide together if you’d like to dress up as bikers, go to a biker bar and role-play all night; or find two Despicable Me minion costumes to roam around town in. Either way, you are sure to have fun breaking away from the same old dinner-and-a-movie idea.

Make a Fort

Build a blanket fort and hide away together. This will be your fortress for the evening (and next day if you so desire). The living room or backyard are ideal locations for your love lair. Give some thought into the architecture of the fort as well as the romance you bring inside. Although they are not necessary, consider bringing red light strings, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, music, flameless candles and rose petals.

However, some essential supplies include:

  • Sheets and blankets
  • Pillows
  • Safety pins, clothes pins or rubber bands
  • Flashlight
  • Twinkly lights
  • Snacks
  • Entertainment

No handheld electronics are allowed inside your fort unless they are playing music or a movie. Together create your den of love, and enjoy the outcome all night long. And, this might be the ideal time and place to ask Aron’s 36 questions.

Pretend to Be Tourists

Strap on a fanny pack because you two are going to explore your city, tourist style. Don your favorite Hawaiian shirt (you know you have one) and put on your walking shoes. This is your chance to grab your guy and get into the city. Go downtown to see the sites that are not often visited by locals, but frequented by tourists. Take pictures in front of the gothic cathedral and the famous statue or any other silly landmark. Then, turn those pictures into a collage you can cherish forever.