Friday, March 28, 2008

Goals Update 6

1. Finish my degree/get a job. Well, I've withdrawn from two of my classes. I'm keeping the other two for now, though I will probably end up withdrawing from a third. We'll see. The focus now is on finding a job. Going to devote at least 3-4 hours a day to this during the week, and whatever I can do on weekends considering a lot of the places I'd apply to aren't open.

2. Continue my education. Might cut this one out entirely. I still plan to do it, but it's obviously not going to happen in 2008. Though I don't need my associates degree to transfer and start taking classes. Or even just apply to schools for the Spring 2009 semester. Hmm. I'll have to think about it.

3. Finish my Nano novel. I have been working on my first Nano novel again. I even did some word wars the other night. The girl I was warring with wants to start doing that a few times a week, so that'll keep me going.

4. Nano 2008. It's only March. >_>

5. Play the flute and piano. Ooops. Forgot to email my mom about the keyboard. Should have talked to her on Easter now that I think of it. But, I have to email her anyway about some books of hers I've finished, so I'll make sure and add that in. Played my flute a couple of times.

6. Write every day. I've been doing alright, but still not up to every day. Probably at least every 2-3 days right now. The word wars that I mentioned earlier will help, and Chris also mentioned wanting to war. Even if I only do a war or two, that'll be a big help getting me writing more regularly.

7. Update this blog, etc. Been doing well with the blog, though I feel all I do lately is bitch and moan. Haven't written in the others though. I will get back into the daily pages for my next update though.

8. Let other people read my writing. Nothing this time.

9. Exercise three days a week. Four times last week, five this week. It's finally a habit for the most part. Get up, do some things, work out before lunch. I want to keep that up if possible, and add some weights in.

10. Read 104 books. About halfway on this one, so I should have no troubles completing it.

11. Take some trips. Ireland is out. Can't really take a graduation trip if I don't graduate. Danielle and I might hit a convention in two weeks, though I'm not sure if that's considered a "trip." Otakon is still happening as of now. I'd like to fit a couple of others in as well if I can, though I'm not sure what. A trip to Philly perhaps, or maybe the beach for a long weekend if I can get a couple of friends together.

12. Learn Japanese. Working through some podcasts. This is something I'll probably devote more time to since I'm not quite as busy at the moment.

13. Physical therapy for my hand. One of these days I'll be able to move my damn finger normally. Still plugging away.

14. Time management. Now that I don't have insane amounts of things I need to get done, it's going slightly better. I'd like to get used to managing my schedule now, when I don't have as much to fit in it. That's probably a big part of why I was having so many troubles before.

15. Start buying less stuff, and finish what I have lying around the house. I have a bit more free time now. Going to try and finish whatever I can after I've done my job hunting and schoolwork for the day. Just because I don't have as much to do, I don't want to fall into a habit of lying about not doing anything.

16. Do a book review for Jade's vlog. Still haven't done this. I picked out a few books and started to do one for GRRM, but couldn't get it right. Dealing with my school stuff, I didn't have time to screw with it again. She hasn't even talked about doing another vlog yet, so I don't think it matters. Jade, if you're actually going to keep going, let me know and I'll have a book review for next week. If not this goal can be taken off the list entirely.

17. Learn to work Photoshop. I've had it for ages and never even used it. Just reinstalled it, and I want to learn the basics at least. I've found some tutorials online and I'll start going through them this week.

I'm hoping to make real progress on some of these over the next few weeks, while I have the time. Hopefully I'll get a job relatively soon, and then I'll have to reevaluate this list and probably take some of these off. I'll worry about that when I get to it. ^_^

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Now what?

I know I just posted about the class situation, but I'm already running into problems. I'm so tired of this; I really don't know what I should do anymore.

First off, I tried to talk to my grandmother about withdrawing from classes. I don't know what reaction I expected. I knew she probably wouldn't agree, but I didn't think she'd actually be pissed off. Her whole thing is that the classes are paid for already. Yes, some of that was her money, which she'd given me to help finish my degree on time instead of having to wait. So I suppose she has a right to not be thrilled if it's for nothing.

But honestly, the money is more than likely going to be wasted either way. I can withdraw now and maybe get some of it back, or maybe not. Or I can struggle through the rest of the semester, get awful grades, screw up my transcripts, have to retake some or all of the classes, and still lose the damned money. And that sucks, and I feel bad about it. But all I've done is beat myself up over this and I just can't anymore. I have hard classes, and I have to teach them to myself. I got in over my head, and then I missed weeks of work because I was sick. If it hadn't been for that I probably would have been able to muddle my way through and come out on top, but not with all of that missed time.

Plus, if I stick with classes there is no way I can get a job for another two months or so. I would have to devote all of my time and energy to staying afloat in my classes. There's a very small chance I'd be able to pass all of them, so I'm not going to get my degree. Then in May, I'd have to start looking for a job, just as all the other college students become free for the summer. Or, I could drop some or all of my classes, start looking for a job now, and then hopefully get enough money saved up to make up a class or two during the summer.

I don't know. To me, there's really only one option that makes sense. I've agonized over it for a couple of weeks. I don't necessarily like it, but it seems to be the better plan.

Okay, talked to my gran some more. She's still not happy but she finally sees where I'm coming from. I think. Also, I agreed to just drop the two classes I'm really screwed in, for now. I might drop a third. Going to give it another week or so and see if it's possible for me to bring up my grade now that I don't have so much to worry about, and then make that decision. The fourth class I should be able to pass. I won't do great, but at least it'll be done.

Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for a job. Gran seemed pretty against that, surprisingly. She wants me to "finish something for once." Meaning school. Because clearly I tried to break my finger last spring, and decided to make my organs all mess up this spring. She was just like, "Well if it wasn't that it would have been something else." I'm sorry, what?

I've been dying to get back to work. I really do like school, always have. And I'm finishing, no matter what. I can't help that the very few classes I still need are only offered once a semester, if that. But I've been bored out of my mind and wanting to get back to work again, and start saving up some money. I'm not making excuses for not finishing now (okay I am but they're legitimate excuses). I'm just trying to salvage my grades, and then work while I finish my last few classes. Is there something wrong with that?

Oh well, whatever. To hell with her and anyone else who is going to be like that. I already feel bad enough myself about the entire situation. I've just recently started to accept that there wasn't really much I could do; I can't control the medical stuff, and I can't control when certain classes are offered. I need to accept that completely and move on, and do what I can from this point forward so that I can both get on my feet financially and finish my education.

We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Big Decisions

So, I decided to withdraw from classes today. It's probably one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make in a long time. I really wanted to graduate this semester. I'm already behind when I should have graduated due to medical problems, and I didn't want to push it back even more.

But in all honesty, it's probably for the best. I really do want to continue in school and get my Bachelor's degree. And if I finished out the semester I know my GPA would suffer. Having my grades drop like that and then applying for a transfer wouldn't look good at all. I was hoping to be able to bring my grades up, but it's not feasible. I'd have to get near perfect grades on everything for the rest of the semester.

Of course, there are a few problems with this plan too. I'm not going to be able to get my money back for this semester, unfortunately. I might be able to get a portion back though, since I'm withdrawing due to medical reasons. That would help a bit. I wouldn't care so much about the money, but I'm going to need it to pay for tuition when I do get to take these last classes I need (hopefully over summer and fall). But if I had a portion of the money back maybe I could pay for one or two of them. Then it wouldn't be so vital for me to have a lot of money saved over the next couple of months. And hopefully if I get through the classes in the next two semesters, I won't have to shell out for new textbooks either. I'm just praying taxes is offered in the summer, or I might have to try and just struggle through this semester.

Also, I now have to get a job. This is a worry for me. I'd really like to get something in accounting, but now I haven't finished the degree so I can't put it on my resume. It's fine if I make it to the interview phase. I can easily explain that I only have a few classes left, and that most of them aren't even relevant to accounting. And I can explain that the reason it's taken so long (and why I've been out of work) is because of medical issues, that are now fixed. My worry is that I'm not even going to get interviews. That the people will see that I took time off in order to go back for my degree...and then didn't even finish it, and just toss my resume/application right into the garbage.

I suppose I don't have to get something in accounting, or that I can get something entry level and then try and get promoted after I technically finish. The same worries still apply somewhat though. Many employers don't seem to look kindly on time taken off work.

Whatever happens, happens. I just hope that I can get something fairly soon, that's decent. I don't want to work some shit job in retail. I don't want to go back to telemarketing. Actually, I should give Jay a call. I seem to remember him saying that Enterprise hires for their accounting even if you don't have a degree, and that you just got more money for a degree. That might work. But then again, I also seem to remember him saying something like everyone in the company starts in sales. I can't do that. It's not something I'd like to do, plus I want to avoid commission at all costs. The economy sucks; I don't want my living to rely on my ability to sell people cars.

I've been working on my resume, and I'm going to come up with a list of places to apply for by the end of the week. I'm hoping to actually apply or drop off resumes at a few of them as well. Then, next week, the search is really on. I'm going to devote at least four hours a day to it. Either searching for stuff online, making calls, or driving around applying to places. Whatever it takes.

I should also go through and organize my clothes. I think i have enough nice work clothes to last me for a while at least, but I have to actually get them out and see. See what fits and if there's anything I need right away, or what can wait for a bit, etc. I don't think I have much when it comes to summer clothes. And I'm not sure if all of my clothes will still fit. I bought quite a lot of them a couple of years ago.

On an unrelated note, I got a letter today from the medical aid people. I don't quite understand it, to be honest. It's not the packet of stuff that I got last year; it's just this letter with some legal jargon that is rather confusing. However, if I read it right, I think that they're going to cover all medical expenses incurred from January 29th through February 8th. Which would include every medical bill I got for the surgery, hospital stay, and everything else. That would be wonderful. One less thing for me to worry about financially.

So, what I need to do now. Find a job, as soon as possible. Save up money for tuition for a class or two first thing, and then start putting some money aside for Otakon in August. Maybe I'll make another small trip or two, depending on how soon I get working, how well I'm paid (or not), and how many hours I manage to get. Even if the pay is crap, a full-time job should allow me to have at least some fun over the summer. Then save as much money as I can. First for a car, and then just so that I can move out.

Oh, and call the people tomorrow to see if I really have those medical benefits, before I make the assumption that I'm fine and then end up owing money to creditors. >_>

Anyway, I think that's enough for tonight. I've been babbling quite long enough. It might not be very interesting to anyone else, though I really needed to get my thoughts organized with everything that's been going on, and where I need to go from here. Once again, I promise I'll post something interesting soon.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

St. Patty's Day and a boring week

Wow, it's already been over a week since I last updated. I don't know where the time went, honestly.

Saint Patrick's Day was last weekend. We went out Sunday night instead of Monday, because of people's work schedules. Danielle and I met Karrisa, Karen, and Lisa at Tom's to start. After a couple of drinks and a few games of darts, we walked up the street to Callahan's. We lost Karen and Lisa somehow. At Callahan's I got myself my first green beer ever. Then we settled in to listen to a lot of bad karaoke.

It was surprisingly fun. I've never gone to karaoke before, except to a couple of actual tournaments. And I'm definitely not one to sing in public. But since it was St. Patty's Day everyone was plastered and just having fun. I wasn't sure whether I would sing, but I was considering it. Then Karrisa gets up to sing, and damn is she good. I wasn't going to get up at all after that, but she forced me to. We did "Love Shack" with some random drunk guy, and then "I Love Rock and Roll" just after that. I was mortified. Though I didn't know anyone and will never see them again probably, so I suppose it wasn't too bad. Plus I couldn't hear myself so I don't know how horrible I sounded. Haha. We left shortly after that, and as Tom's was closed, decided to call it a night.

I didn't do much of anything during the week. I just got some work done, and relaxed at home. Tried to figure out where in the hell my life is going, with little success. Worked on my resume and started looking for other jobs besides the inn one I've already mentioned in other entries.

Friday I decided to actually go out. I figured I needed to get out of the house at least once, especially since I'd have to deal with my family over the holiday. Danielle and I went to Tom's, and Karrisa eventually made it there. We played a game of darts, but none of us were very lively, and all of us were pretty broke. After a while Karrisa and I went to a different bar. I don't have a clue what it was called honestly, it's rather far away. We ended up having a lot more fun there. Karrisa knew some of the people there and it was just more lively, whereas Tom's had been full of a bunch of drunk weirdos. We stayed until closing, and then I didn't get home until after 3. I was tired as hell today, but I had fun so it was worth it.

I know this entry was rather boring, but I didn't really have anything to talk about. I haven't been doing much, and I've been in a bit of an odd mood with everything that's going on in my personal life. I'll have a more substantial post sometime soon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Goals Update 5

1. Finish my degree. Honestly, I don't know that this is going to happen. I'm too stressed and I can't handle it anymore. I thought getting away for Digital Overload would provide me with a break, and allow me to come back refreshed and get to work. But nothing has changed. I had a heavier courseload than I would have been able to handle in normal circumstances, I think. With all the medical issues, I'm not sure how I'm going to finish with decent grades.

There's a job I'm applying for this week actually. If I can manage to get it, I'm going to withdraw from one or two of my classes, and take them in the summer. That will give me more of a break from school. I'd still get my degree this year at least, only three months later than planned. I don't want to do that if I don't have a job though. Without a job I wouldn't be able to pay tuition in the summer anyway.

2. Continue my education. Not even worrying about this one until I manage to finish the degree I'm working on now, or at least get back on track with my schoolwork.

3. Finish my Nano novel. Still plugging away, a bit at a time. I've actually spent more time working on my first Nano novel and not last year's.

4. Nano 2008. Don't care yet. Though if I finish my first Nano over the summer I may do the sequel.

5. Play the flute and piano. I'm about to go to my mother's house and look for the damn keyboard myself if she doesn't get back to me soon. If I get the job I'm applying for I'll be taking lessons for both piano and flute over the summer though. It's only about $100 for seven sessions.

6. Write every day. I'm not up to every day yet, but I'm making it happen more regularly. Hoping to get to every day or two by the next update.

7. Update this blog, etc. Still keeping up with the blog far more than I thought I would when I first started it. I wrote in my regular journal twice too. The daily pages...yeah, haven't done them. I should work on them for next time. They're good therapy for my hand as well.

8. Let other people read my writing. I let a friend read a couple of my old stories, but that's about it. I'm trying to get parts of my Nano novel (both of them really) to the point I feel comfortable letting other people read them.

9. Exercise three days a week. This is finally becoming more of a habit. I think I might try and up this to four times a week.

10. Read 104 books. Way ahead on this one still, even though I've slowed down a bit because I've been busy.

11. Take some trips. DO was last weekend. Glad I managed to work that out. I've also got some other trips planned. Ireland in May, Otakon in August, and a weekend in Philly at some point, to name the ones most likely to actually happen.

12. Learn Japanese. Haven't done anything here. I just didn't have the time, but I'll get back to it over the next few weeks.

13. Physical therapy for my hand. I forgot my stress ball when I went to DO, so no therapy for that week. Aside from that I've still been working on it daily.

14. Time management. This is going horribly. If anyone has suggestions here, let me know. I'm working on it, but every time I seem to start making progress I end up backsliding and not doing well for a few days. I suppose I can't expect this to change overnight but I'm getting really frustrated with my inability to manage my work and get things done.

15. Start buying less stuff, and finish what I do have lying around the house. I didn't buy anything aside from a CAD book while I was away. I've also finished a handful of books, and have been watching more DVDs. Of course, Chris lent me a metric fuckton of stuff, so I have that much more to get through now.

16. Do a book review for Jade's vlog. Right, this goal is carrying over until next time because I just didn't get to it. I didn't have the time to mess with it before I left, and I've only been home for a couple of days. Plus Jade's going to be out of town now so there's no hurry. I'll get at least one done in the next two weeks for sure.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Digital Overload '08

I'm back from Providence, and I had a fantastic time. I was insanely busy the entire time I was gone, and probably need a week to recover from the trip, but it was definitely worth it.

Thursday morning I was up early to catch my train to Paoli at 8. For once, that trip went remarkably quickly. I have no idea why but I'm definitely not complaining! Got
into Paoli just after 2, and of course Neil (Christian's dad) was waiting at the wrong platform to pick me up. Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out with Chris, and Kyle once he made it after work. Kyle and I introduced Chris to Boobah, which I'm sure he's eternally grateful for. >_>

Friday we only left an hour after we were supposed to for our drive to Rhode Island. Not too bad, considering. This trip seemed to take forever. But we finally got to Providence around 5pm. We met Laura, Zim, Kevin, and Austin at the hotel. Eventually we made it over to the convention center and met up with Doug, Rachael, and X. Went to Dave and Buster's for dinner, which was fun. Even though there's one in Pittsburgh I've never actually been there before. I had a good time
, even though the drinks cost a fortune and there were the most obnoxious drunk girls ever at the table next to us.

After D&B, we headed back to DO for a bit, until Laura, Clegg, and I went back to the hotel to meet Askee and let him in the room. We just hung out the rest of the night until we finally went to sleep sometime after 6. It would have been sooner, except Laura and I kept having fits of giggles instead of actually going to sleep. >_>

We were up at 8 the next morning (Why do I always sleep less on vacations than I do normally?), showered, and headed to the convention. We played DS games and pictochatted, and I stole Doug's PSP to play God of War. I loved it...I didn't return it until the last possible moment at the end of the weekend. I wish I had a PSP, haha. For lunch, we went over to the Cheesecake Factory. I had some kind of Kahlua cheesecake. I tried everyone else's as well. It was fantastic; there's one near my brother's house so I'm going to have to go again sometime.

After Cheesecake Factory we went to the mall. Which is only important because I got in trouble for taking this picture of Christian and Kyle. Apparently we're not allowed to actually have fun in Spencer's.

We went back to DO eventually, and hung out for a while longer. Neil took us on a beer/Smirnoff/rum run. We went back to the convention long enough for the question and answer hour with Tim...which honestly was a bit of a waste to me. All it was was a bunch of silly contests for prizes, and five people got to ask Tim stupid questions. Though there was a guy in a banana costume who gave some other guy a lap dance. That was pretty funny.

After the Q&A a live band played. We stayed to hear them for a bit, and then headed back to the Hilton. Christian managed to get an early copy of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and Rachael was nice enough to drag her TV over, so we hooked up the Wii and had a massive Brawl party while we drank.

Sunday I was up again at 8, then got ready and went down to the convention center with Kyle. For the most part, we all played Guitar Hero 3 that day. Doug kicked my ass, but I expected that. I beat him on one song, and I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact we couldn't even hear the TV. >_> Laura and I went to see The Other Boleyn Girl around four, and Kevin met us there. The movie was good; I'm hoping to check out the book soon. We ordered in and had more Brawl in our hotel room that night.

Monday we packed up and headed back to Christian's. The trip back was a lot faster, possibly due to the three hours of Rome Kyle and I watched. Love that show. Once we made it back I went to the Sixers/Celtics game with Kyle and his friend Greg. It was my first pro basketball game since we don't have a team anywhere around here. I had fun, even though there was a drunk asshole behind us who kept talking shit and kicking me in the back of the head. I also finally ate at Wawa...Frank would be proud of me. Even though Sheetz is better.

Tuesday I got the train back to Greensburg. I played Phoenix Wright and read Magic's Promise during the entire trip. Oh, and tried to understand anything the three crazy Russians sitting next to me were saying, but that didn't work out very well. Danielle picked me up, and then I was finally able to get home and get some real sleep.

I know I've said I thought this year was my last year attending, due to real life obligations, but I'm already considering next year. It's always such a blast, and I'd really like to make it again. So I suppose I'll see what I can do. I'll leave you with a random pic of some of the group:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Off to Providence!

Tomorrow at 8am, I'm catching a train to Christian's house, near Philadelphia. I'll be spending the night there, and then Friday we'll head up to Providence for Digital Overload. I can't wait. It's going to be a blast. I'll be back to Chris' on Monday, and catch the train back here on Tuesday afternoon.

Okay, I probably shouldn't be leaving when I still have so much work to get done. But damn it, I need a break from everything. I'll be taking work with me, so it won't be a total waste. I'll be able to get a good bit done on the train hopefully, and I'll order internet at the hotel one day and try to get some assignments and such in. But for the most part I'll get to have fun and see friends I haven't seen in a year. Plus I'll get to meet more CADites for the first time. ^_^
On a side note, I had a good steak from a restaurant last night. It made me sooooo sick. So much for being able to eat good beef. I'm just hoping some day my body can handle it again. I really miss being able to eat whatever I want.

That's enough for now; I really have to get packing so I can get to bed early. I probably won't update before I get back, though you never know.

See you next week!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Baby! ^_^

Keagan Michael, born yesterday at 5:17pm. 6 pounds, 8 ounces, 18 inches.

Congrats to Emily and Jeremy!