Thursday, May 29, 2008

More hockey!

Danielle and I went into Pittsburgh again last night to watch the Pens play Detroit in game three of the Stanley Cup finals. After an ugly first two games by the Pens, we were hoping they'd actually get their shit together and show up to play. We weren't disappointed. It was a close game but the Pens played well and managed to get the win.

Being at the arena was once again a blast. We showed up a lot earlier this time and managed to get really good seats. We also had awesome people sitting around us and the energy was just insane, especially after Crosby scored the first goal. Some Detroit fans tried to be dicks and taunt the Pittsburgh fans, which was a great idea, really. One guy was running around screaming insults and waving his Detroit flag...up until one of the Pittsburgh fans ripped it right off of the pole. Then he got all pissed off. What did he expect, really? With most of the Detroit fans there was just some good-natured taunting back and forth, but you always have to have the few who decide to be complete drunken assholes.

In other news, Shelly is moving to Seneca in only a few weeks. I'm so happy for her that she managed to get back into management after everything that's happened. At the same time, it really sucks that it has to be two and a half hours away. She's one of very few good friends I still had left in this area and now she's leaving too.

Thankfully, it's a fairly easy drive so it should be easy to go visit her for a weekend, or for her to come back here to stay. I'll be going with her on Saturday to meet her new boss and help her look for a place to live. I have to get up really early but I'll get to spend the entire day with her. It'll probably be the last time we really get to hang out before she moves so I'm looking forward to it.

So this weekend should be a lot of fun. I'll spend Saturday with Shelly and then get home in time for the next Stanley Cup game. Hopefully the Pens will play like they did last night again. Sunday I'll probably just relax and catch up on some books and shows, and possibly get a blog entry done that I've been meaning to do for a few weeks. I've been pretty busy lately with job hunting and signing up for a class and haven't had a day completely to myself, so I'm looking forward to that too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ugh, doctors

Not so much the doctors I guess, the healthcare system just pisses me off in general. Everything is so fucking expensive it's unreal.

I have eczema and it can get really bad at times. Bad as in my skin gets so dry it cracks and bleeds, and nothing over the counter will make it go away. For the most part I'll just deal with it, use the over the counter stuff that relieves the pain and itching, and ride it out. Eventually it goes back to normal.

It's been bad for a couple of months now though, and since I have it on three fingers of my right hand it was affecting both my writing and my typing. So I figured I'd scrape the cash together for a dermatologist visit and get a prescription. The prescription cremes work really quickly, and one tube will last me a long time.

First I had to go through the ordeal of getting a damn appointment. I called last Friday, only to be told they had no openings for at least a month, a waiting list of at least a dozen people, and they couldn't even schedule me at that time. Now, this is for a group of seven or eight doctors. After spending most of my day trying to find another doctor, the first group calls back and says they had a cancellation Wednesday (today) so they can squeeze me in. Shame they couldn't have saved me that seven hours I spent trying to find a new doctor and told me that to begin with.

So I go this morning. The nurse asks me about a million questions, and I'm a bit annoyed. I know it was my first visit but I knew what was wrong with me. I knew I had eczema, and yet she kept asking me about psoriasis and if it ran in my family. Whatever. Finally I get the doctor, who was great. He took one look at my hand and arms and confirmed that it was eczema, and immediately wrote me a prescription. He also gave me a bunch of samples of lotions to use when it got a bit better, so that I won't have so many outbreaks and won't have to use the prescription as much.

That 10 minute chat with the doctor cost me $80. Then I went to get my prescription filled. Holy fuck. $105 for the generic stuff. Not eligible for any of those fun plans where prescriptions cost $8 or whatever, of course.

That might very well be the death blow to my Otakon trip, as that money was covering most of the hotel costs for the trip. Unless I get a job in the next week or two I don't think I'll be making it.

God I need to get insurance. >_<

Friday, May 23, 2008

Goals Update 10

Time for another of these already? This year seems to be flying. >_<>_> I'll keep working on it. Piano...this one is getting removed until I get the keyboard. My mom is completely swamped writing some grant proposal so she doesn't get a pay cut, and I don't want to keep bugging her. When I get a chance I'll go and look for it myself and then I can get started.

4. Write every day. Unfortunately not getting much time in, but at least I'm trying. I miss the occasional day (maybe once a week) but I've been doing pretty well otherwise.

5. Let other people read my writing. Blah. Sent some stuff to Shel but need to write more if I want to actually do this more.

6. Exercise 5 days a week. I've been scatterbrained the past two weeks and didn't consciously keep track. Nearly positive I hit this though.

7. Read 104 books. I'll probably be done with this one by the next update, definitely the one after it. I'm somewhere in the 90s now.

8. Take some trips. Since Doug is finally done with the semester I can get him to help me with Baltimore stuff. That should be taken care of sometime this coming week. Trying to come up with a time that would be good to visit Philadelphia too, and will probably plan something to Erie in a few months.

9. Learn Japanese. Still doing well with this one. One of those podcasts a day seems to be working out for now.

10. Physical therapy for my hand. Got a new stress ball (^_^) so back to doing this as usual. I'm going to start working on it even more than I have in an attempt to get it back to normal more quickly. Having a writing class this summer should help.

11. Time management. Back to improving at this after the two shitty weeks. As long as I continue to improve this without too much backsliding, I'll probably take this one off in a month or two.

Start buying less stuff, and finish what I have lying around the house. I actually didn't buy anything, despite going to the used bookstore. I'm impressed haha. Finishing everything that I have is probably going to take forever, but I'm very slowly making some noticeable headway.

13. Learn Photoshop. I have discovered I am not an artistic person. That and I don't know what half the buttons on Photoshop do. I'll have to start spending a bit more time on this one if I don't want it to take months.

14. Organize my stuff and get rid of unnecessary clutter. The books turned out to be a bigger project than I'd expected, and I had less time than I thought I would to work on them. Have everything for BookMooch organized, and sold what textbooks I could. I still need to pack those up and drop them off at the post office, drop another box at the library, and then reorganize my shelves. Also, if anyone knows what you can do with older textbooks that no one will take, please comment and let me know.

For next time I'll finish what's left that I have to do with the books, and then get through all of my other media. DVDs, games, CDs. I'm absolutely horrible with getting rid of any of these things, but I either need to learn to or find a more efficient way to keep them organized and stored.

15. Get through borrowed stuff. Finished Buffy season 2, three books I'd borrowed from Pat, and also one of his games. I didn't get to any of the borrowed movies but oh well, I got through more than I'd honestly expected to. For the next, I'm not sure. I'll try and get through the first 3 discs of Buffy season 3, I suppose. Try and watch the borrowed movies again, and read two or three books. Play some FFIX, though I doubt I'll have time to get through much of it. I'm not sure what time I'll have after job hunting and my summer class and I don't want to overdo it.

Good enough for now. I'm spending the weekend with friends, and going to see both Prince Caspian and Indiana Jones, so I'll probably update again in a few days.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hockey fun

Woooooo the Pens won last night! ^_^

The game was a lot of fun, even though nothing went exactly the way we'd planned. Just before the Squirrel Hill tunnels we turned on the radio to catch some of the pregame show. We were just in time to hear them announce that the area outside of Gate C (where they set up the huge screen and everyone camps out to watch, and where we were headed) was filled to capacity and if you were still on your way you'd be best off finding someplace else to go. Since we were already into the city, I texted my brother and asked him if he could think of anywhere else we could watch the game. He messaged me back saying that if he'd known ten minutes earlier we could have gone to his house, but that he'd just left to watch the game at his friend's place. Figures.

We decided to head to the arena and give it a shot, at least. We didn't want to go to a bar or anything and have to pay for drinks, and we didn't want to drive the whole way home and not see half the game. After two complete trips around the arena unsuccessfully searching for a parking spot, a guy waved us into a lot. We paid twenty bucks to park up on an island of grass in the middle of the lot, haha. Could have been worse; parking was up to $40 in some of them.

The area by Gate C was not nearly as full as they made it sound on the radio. We found plenty of space in the back. We were close to the street but had a clear view of the screen. I got to try and hold our space while Danielle went back to the car for the chairs. Thankfully she didn't take long, as more people were showing up constantly. But we got set up, finally, and got comfortable. At which point it started to rain. And guess what the one thing was that Danielle left in the car? That's right; the umbrella. Of course by the time she got back from her second trip to the car with the umbrella, we didn't even use it.

Even though we had all of those small hassles, the game was a blast. Pens won 4-2, and the atmosphere and energy at the game were just incredible. We also got a fireworks show after the game, directly over our car. I'm glad we decided to brave the weather and go down there. I'm really hoping that I get the opportunity to get down there for at least one more game this season.

Looking forward to the game tomorrow night as well. Hopefully we'll continue to play as well as we've been and make the series 2-0. GO PENS!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Goals Update 9

Wow, time for a goals update already. This is why I should not be a week late posting them. >_>

Since I was a week late getting the last post up, and I changed around a lot of the goals to make them more specific, a lot of these updates will only include the last week or so, the time since I actually made the changes.

1. Get a job. Working on it. Bleh. I'm tired and frustrated and don't want to go into it any more than that.

2. Finish my Nano novel - write 10 pages or edit 20 pages. I wrote a little over four pages, but that's it. About right for a week though. I'll try for the same amount next time, though hopefully I'll be able to increase it soon.

3. Play the flute and piano twice a week. Played flute once this week. I really need to get music before the next update. Also, talked to my mom on my grandma's birthday, about the keyboard. She hasn't really looked for it yet, but said she would. She's busy with graduation and stuff so I'll give her another week before bugging her about it again.

4. Write every day. Doing well on this, aside from days I'm really busy (like last weekend). Sometimes it's utter crap, but I'm getting to the point where I at least open one of my stories and write something nearly every day.

5. Let other people read my writing. I swear I'll do this eventually. >_>

6. Exercise 5 days a week. Four times this week, which was good considering everything else going on. Should be back to five from here on.

7. Read 104 books. I'm through 79 I think. Will finish this one fairly soon.

8. Take some trips. Need to book the hotel for Otakon. Got behind due to Cath and because of some credit card issues. Hopefully will get that straightened out over the weekend.

9. Learn Japanese. Three podcasts this week. I'm getting through more since I set a measurable goal for this. Hopefully I'll keep it up.

10. Physical therapy for my hand. Getting there. Need to either find my stress ball or get a new one asap.

11. Time management. Backslid, a lot. That's probably in large part because of Cath; I really just didn't care. Spent far too much time doing nothing. Not even reading or whatever, just wandering about on the internet or grumbling that I didn't know what to do. Definitely want to get back on track with this as quickly as possible.

Start buying less stuff, and finish what I have lying around the house. Danielle gave me a B&N gift card for fixing up her laptop, so I used that. Other than that the only thing I bought was the second issue of The Long Road Home. Still making my way through what I have, though it's taking forever.

13. Learn Photoshop. Nothing with this, been too busy.

Organize my stuff and get rid of unnecessary clutter. First up was the books. I put a bunch of books on BookMooch and organized all of those into one box. I have another box for the library. Have a couple more boxes to go through and then I can organize the rest.

15. Get through borrowed stuff. I'm halfway through Buffy, finished one book, and am partway through two others. I should still be able to get through all I'd wanted to in the next two weeks.

Okay, that's good enough. I'm off, as I'm heading into the city soon for the hockey game and need to get the cooler packed. GO PENS!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nothing really

Just letting everyone know, the last entry was only a rant. It wasn't directed at anyone who reads this blog, or I wouldn't have posted it in the first place. I was pretty upset with some of the people I know in real life, and felt the need to get that off my chest.

Figured I'd clear that up as I know at least a couple of people were concerned that I was bitching about them.

Also, happy 81st birthday to my grandmother! ^_^

Monday, May 5, 2008

R.I.P. Cath

Cath passed away on Friday morning. Even though she'd been dealing with the cancer and chemo for about six months now, I wasn't ready for it. Up until a month or two ago they were fairly optimistic that the chemo would work. Even when they realized the cancer had spread, they estimated she had another year or two left. It just seemed so sudden. I was told she went in her sleep, painlessly, though, for which I'm grateful.

The weekend was rough. And it's brought home the sad fact of how few friends I really have around. Don't get me wrong, I have a few good friends I'd do anything for (they know who they are), but the majority of the people I talk to don't fall into that category. Sadly, most are more the fair-weather friend type. They're around constantly when we're just joking and having a good time, but the minute something bad happens they mysteriously vanish. Or they just don't acknowledge that anything has happened and act the way they always do.

Is it really so selfish to want friends who are considerate of me or ask how I'm holding up? Or who will put their own fun on hold for five fucking minutes to let me talk about it? Am I just expecting too much from people? I'd like to think that's not the case. I mean, a close friend of the family died. I don't think I'm being unreasonable to expect my friends to be here for me.

Oh well. If that's the way I feel, maybe I should make it a point to try and make some new friends, and ease back from the ones who have shown time and again that they really don't care much. If I don't do that at least, I really have no right to complain.