Friday, June 20, 2008

Goals Update 12

1. Get a job. Working on it. God, the job market sucks. Found a temp agency and should be able to easily pick up a couple of things there. It's something at least, while I continue to look for something more permanent. Tamala's sister is still going to try and get me a job, but right now all that's open is in Pittsburgh so I can't take them. I'm not going to just sit around and wait for something closer to home.

2. Nano novel. I feel bad, I haven't even opened this the last two weeks. I've been stupidly busy lately and class has started. I'm going to make time to work on it at least a couple of times over the next two weeks.

3. Play flute. Did twice last week. Nearly forgot this week but then played for about an hour Wednesday, so still keeping up with what I wanted to do.

4. Write every day. Haven't really done this either. Too busy getting into the swing of my class, which is taking up a lot of my time. I'll start fitting some writing in now that I've gotten my schedule together.

5. Let other people read my writing. Let Shelly read some more of my stuff, and now she's moved. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with this goal. I guess I can email her once she gets internet set up in her apartment, and maybe find another person or two to start sending stuff to.

6. Exercise 5 days a week. Kept this again, so I'm taking this goal off the list. If there's a noticeable decline in my exercising I'll put it back on, but I think it's enough of a habit that I don't need the constant reminder.

7. Take some trips. New York will be in August, for sure. Philly is looking doubtful, as I haven't figured out a weekend that would actually work for everyone involved. I will absolutely be going up to see Shelly sometime in the next few months, she and I have already talked about it. Ireland, I don't know. Not knowing what is going on with a job and school in the fall is making me unable to plan that trip, so it might have to wait until next spring or something.

8. Learn Japanese. I haven't had the time for learning anything new. I've looked over everything I know regularly so I don't forget most of it. That's probably going to have to do for the next month.

9. Physical therapy. I've been fitting this in once a day, sometimes twice. I'm going to try and continue with twice a day so that I can be done sooner. Noticing a good bit of progress now.

10. Time management. This has been going quite well. Even though I'm insanely busy, I've been juggling everything easily, and even finding time for fun. If the next two weeks go as well, I'll take this goal off the list.

Start buying less stuff, and finish what I have lying around the house. I bought a bunch of books since Patty's had her sidewalk sale, and I wanted to mooch the next Sword of Truth book since a good copy finally came available. I also bought a new game. I still spent less than $20 on all of that though, so I don't feel bad about it. It's the most I've spent on myself (for fun things) in months.

12. Learn Photoshop. I didn't open Photoshop over the past two weeks either. If the weather continues to be rainy though I will this time. I've just been spending a lot of time out enjoying the sun. I don't feel like screwing around on the computer, not when I already have to be on so much for classwork.

Organize my stuff and get rid of unnecessary clutter. Said last time I'd be working on the clothes. So far I haven't gotten that far, especially since Shelly gave me that huge box. I did get through that at least, and I've organized all of my shoes. Have a lot of work ahead of me the next couple of weeks, though I hopefully won't have to buy anything now. We'll see if I get finished.

14. Get through borrowed stuff. Read and returned all of Shelly's books. Only got through one of the movies, but did manage to get a little bit of time in on FFIX. For next time I'm going to try and finish the library books I have out. Except for maybe Revenant, which is book 7 of the Indigo series that I mentioned in an earlier entry. I'm still only on book 2 of that so I don't know that I can get through all of those plus the other 5 library books I have out. At least, not with my class. =P

I'll also continue with FFIX. Not planning on any of the shows or movies really, as I don't want to sit around watching television. I'll get through a some when I get the chance but I'm not going to actually plan to do it.

Even though there were a few goals I didn't touch at all, I still feel that I've been getting a lot done. I do feel bad about the writing thing, though I've felt burnt out on that lately so maybe a little break is what I needed. And I also took another goal off the list. It's finally starting to become manageable, lol. Of course, I'll probably come up with more goals to add before long.....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bored on campus with nothing to do

A while back, Corey sent me some books to read. Some of them were Magic books, and he also sent me the Indigo series, by Louise Cooper. Very little known fantasy series...seriously, it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. I was looking up the books on Amazon, trying to find a damn summary of the series for someone else since at the time I'd only read part of one book. This is when I realize that there are eight books in the series. And Corey had only sent me seven books.

Turns out he hadn't even finished the series before sticking it in a box and sending it here. So he sent me books 1-6, and then book 8. I have been looking for the seventh for a while now. Patty's only ever has a couple of the earlier books, the only copy I found on BookMooch was in England, and on Amazon the stupid thing costs about $20 after shipping for a decent copy. No idea why that one book is so expensive when the rest are fairly easy to find.

Finally, I discovered a great library perk. You can request a book at your branch, for free, and then if any library in the state has it they will get it in for you so you can borrow it. Unfortunately, I hadn't gotten a new library card to use their spiffy new online system for this. It was only implemented a couple of months ago, and to access it you need the barcode on the back of the new cards, which you need to go and pick up at your local branch. And I've had a hell of a time finding time to get to the library when it's actually open to request the book and get my new card.

While all this shit was going on, I stopped reading the series entirely. Only one other library in Pennsylvania has the book, and it's up in the northeastern corner of the state (aka as far from me as you can possibly get). I figured it would take a while to get to my library, and at the time I didn't even know when I'd get to request it to begin with. I didn't want to get through six of the books then be stuck wondering what happened. So I let it go, deciding that I would pick up book two again as soon as I requested the seventh. At the rate I read it should be easy to get through them. They're all fairly short too, at around 300 pages each.

I requested the book...last Wednesday. And I have yet to bother starting the second. It's sitting on my nightstand with a bookmark in it, but I haven't actually read any of it yet. Of course, I've started five books besides that one. Then I went to Patty's today and picked up two more books. And then went to the library and got Ysabel since it was actually in for once. And now I'm sitting here on the library website putting in requests for other books that I haven't been able to get before. So far I'm up to four, I think. It would be more but libraries apparently don't feel the need to get much fantasy that's come out in the last two or three years.

Oh look, The Lies of Locke Lamora is available at my branch, and it's not checked out either. Same with one of the Mercedes Lackey books I've been wanting to read for a while. I should go and pick those up tomorrow...

At this rate the seventh book will be here before I even read book two, much less three through six. I am never getting through this Indigo series.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I <3 free stuff

Spent the afternoon with Shelly today. I can't believe she's moving next weekend. Time has really flown. I probably won't get to see her again either, unless I stop by for a few minutes toward the end of the week.

At any rate, I had a great time. Laurie and Kayla and Jackie were there too and we sat around bullshitting for hours until Shelly had to get a shower so she could go out to dinner. Then, as I go to leave, Shelly is like, "Oh hey, I have a box of clothes here you should go through, it's all old work stuff of mine that doesn't fit anymore." This box is massive. I just took the entire thing home so I could try it all on.

I went through it tonight and wow. Even if I get rid of all of the stuff that I don't like or doesn't fit right, I still have a lot of new clothes. About a dozen skirts, half a dozen pairs of pants, three dresses, a jacket, and a bunch of shirts. And a lot of this stuff is from Express and really nice stores. Seriously, if I went and bought all of it on my own I'd probably spend about a thousand dollars.

This really couldn't have come at a better time. I've been going through my clothes and getting rid of old things I don't wear, and making a list of all the things I need. I have a lot of clothes but not much in the way of work clothes, and especially not skirts and things that are more appropriate for summer. Of course, I have pretty much no money at the moment, so I wouldn't have been able to buy much. I was really worried about how I'd manage to get enough to wear to work, and already figured on spending my first paycheck or two stocking up on new clothes.

Now thanks to Shelly I won't have to. <3

Monday, June 9, 2008

Change in plans, apparently

We've decided to give up on Otakon for this year. It would be really expensive, and both Danielle and I would just barely be able to afford it. Plus, Doug's mother apparently thinks she controls his life and his money. She pretty much shot him down when he mentioned just driving here for a long weekend, saying he can't afford it. I have a feeling she'd do the same shit for Otakon, and there's no way Danielle and I could afford to go if Doug had to cancel. So before we paid to register and then lost that $55 each, we decided we were better off not going.

I'm disappointed but at the same time I'm not really. We decided we'll just try for next year instead. We'll make sure to book the hotel much earlier so we get one of the cheaper rates. That alone would cut the hotel cost in half, at least. Plus next year Doug won't have to worry about his mother causing problems if he wanted to go.

So that leaves me with the money I would have been spending on Otakon freed up for other things. Hotel, registration, gas, tolls, food, and spending money. After talking about it earlier with both Danielle and Doug I'm thinking of taking a couple of smaller trips. It might actually work out better this way; I'll spend the same amount of money (or thereabouts) but I'll get two or three weekends away instead of only getting to Baltimore. I'll also get to visit more of my friends.

First off we're probably going to go and visit Doug. Maybe over the same weekend we were going to Baltimore, since Danielle is off work. I already looked and hotels up there are maybe 1/3 of what the Baltimore hotel cost, so it's definitely doable. Then we'd still get to hang out with Doug.

Also thinking of a trip to Philly to see some people, possibly with Danielle. We mentioned that tonight as well, though we'd have to work out more details on it before I can be sure. Even if she can't afford the trip I still may go out for a few days.

With the money saved from Baltimore I'll also be able to go and see Shelly one weekend at least. I only need to pay for gas for that but I wasn't sure if I could before, considering how much gas is right now and how much I needed to save for Baltimore. I'm definitely excited for that, and she hasn't even moved yet. >_>

Finally, my Ireland trip is tentatively back on. Even with these other trips I should have money left. I'm going to talk with my family and see if they'd cover the rest of a plane ticket as a birthday gift. Prices for flights drop drastically just after Labor Day so it wouldn't be all that expensive to go for a week toward the beginning of September.

Honestly, I'd be happy if even one of these trips ended up working out. But there's actually a good possibility of all four of them happening (and the first three are pretty definite) so I'm really excited. My summer might not be quite as boring as I thought it would be.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Goals Update 11

1. Get a job. Talked about the Tamala thing in the last post. Still not sure when that would pan out though, so I'm still looking around here. I have three jobs at the school I am applying for, and I'm sure I can find a few other places to try.

2. Nano novel. I'm a bit stuck right now. Still managed to write 8 pages though I wish I had done more. I'm not sure how well I'll stick to this goal over the next month or so.

3. Play flute. Twice a week for 30 minutes seems to be working out. It's not that much time to fit in but it's enough to actually notice a bit of improvement.

4. Write every day. I've been having some writer's block issues but I managed to fit in about 20 minutes a day, even when I didn't write much.

5. Let other people read my writing. Showed Shelly a bit more of my one Nano book. Not sure what I'm going to do when she moves.

6. Exercise 5 days a week. Did at least that. Thank goodness for air conditioning in my room or I have no idea how I'd keep any sort of exercise plan in this 95 degree humid shit weather. If I keep this again over the next two weeks I'll be removing it from the list. I would now but I want to make sure I keep making the time now that I'll be busier.

7. Read 104 books. DONE. After six months...yeah I need to read less.

8. Take some trips. Otakon in August, yadda yadda. Still trying to figure out the particulars so that I can decide whether any other trips are feasible this summer. Or even in the fall.

9. Learn Japanese. Still getting through about one podcast today. I've learned quite a bit so far. I might not be doing the podcasts every day while my class is running, but I will at least look over everything I know every day or two so I don't lose any of what I've learned .

10. Physical therapy. My hand is so much better than it used to be. I've started doing the therapy a couple of times a day and it's made a difference.

11. Time management. Been doing well with this. Monday will start the true test though. Taking a 15 week intensive writing course as a 6 week summer class will make me manage my time if I don't want to fail. Honestly, if I manage to do well fitting everything in during the next 6 weeks, between job hunting, the class, and just trying to enjoy my summer, I think I can safely take this goal off the list.

Start buying less stuff, and finish what I have lying around the house. Mooched a couple of books that came up from my wish list. Also finally found Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett at Patty's for $0.50, so I picked that up. I've read quite a few more books though so that's good. I need to get through as many as I can over the next couple of weeks so I don't feel bad going to Patty's sidewalk sale (hurray for $0.10 books!) on the 20th. Also need to start spending some more time watching my movies and/or playing games. I've been getting through books like crazy but neglecting those.

13. Learn Photoshop. Spent a few hours on this. Managed to figure out what the point of most of the buttons is at least. Also fiddled with different brushes for a while. I'm starting to get more comfortable with the different features. I might be able to actually do a few (simple) things now without it either failing miserably or having it take hours.

14. Organize my stuff and get rid of unnecessary clutter. Organized my books, DVDs, CDs, and video games as well. Got rid of quite a lot of books, though I still have some textbooks I don't want. Kept all of the games and movies but they're organized and stored more efficiently now. I even have some extra space. I know it'll be filled soon enough, knowing me, but at least I won't have to worry about it for a while.

Next I'm tackling my clothes and shoes. I have a lot of stuff, and since class is starting I'm not sure how long it will take, so I'm giving myself a month if I need it. Going to donate everything I don't wear or doesn't fit me, and try and figure out what if anything I actually may need to buy.

15. Get through borrowed stuff. Got through the first half of Buffy, and another three books. Of course, Shelly lent me another three books so I'm really not making any headway there. Didn't really get to anything else either.

For next time I'm not even worrying about Buffy. If I watch some that's great, but I'm going to try and finish the four movies I have first and foremost. Also want to read all three of Shelly's books so that I can return them to her before she moves. Then I don't have to store them until the next time I see her. I'll also play some FFIX hopefully.

And that's it for this update. Finally knocked off the books goal (whee!) and it looks like at least a couple of others will be off soon too. I feel productive, haha.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Caspian, Indy, and Seneca

I'm a bit late with this update, but oh well. I've been pretty busy.

Completely forgot to mention the last time I posted that I'd been to the movies. Saw both Prince Caspian and Indiana Jones over Memorial Day weekend. Caspian was excellent. They added some stuff that wasn't in the book but that just made it more interesting.
I don't think the book on its own wouldn't have made for an good movie. There's a really big part in the middle where there isn't any real action; they're just traveling around and talking and it would have been boring to only watch that.

Indy was pretty good too. I don't think it's on par with the originals but I still enjoyed it. I don't really get the complaints some people had. Sure, the vine swinging thing was pretty bad and cheesy. But I've heard people bitch that it "was completely unrealistic." Um, because all of the other Indy movies were so very realistic? I mean, nothing far fetched at all in finding the Ark of the Covenant and having it melt Nazi's faces off.

Then last Saturday I got up at stupid o'clock to head to Seneca with Shelly. The drive was a bit over two hours, and that was even stopping for coffee and getting stuck at an accident, so it wasn't bad. We went straight to the dealership and met her new boss, Tamala. The woman is absolutely insane, and I mean that in a good way. She's just like Shel, times ten. Those of you who know Shelly will understand what I mean by that, and how very scary it is to think of them both working at the same place. =P

We went looking for apartments, and got lucky because Shel fell in love with the first place we saw. It's a really nice apartment and the landlady was fantastic. The town it's in (Franklin I believe) is gorgeous. Plus it's in Shel's price range and will be available on the 20th, so she's good to move the 21st. I'm glad that all worked out, as finding a place to relocate to on such short notice was really stressing her out.

Then we had lunch with Tamala before heading back home. Tamala offered to send my resume to her sister, who is the vice-president of some company and could definitely get me a job at any number of places, just because of all her connections. Well, she won't even recommend me until she sees that my resume and grades are what I said they are. But once she does I'm guaranteed a job. And it'll actually be in my field too so that's excellent. Only problem is that I don't know for sure if it'd be around here or in the city, and I don't know when I could start working. So I'm continuing to look around here as well. I may find something else in the meantime, or at least get something short-term. At any rate it's still pretty exciting.

We stopped for ice cream at The Meadows just before we got back to my house. How have I never been there before in the past 25 years? It's probably the best ice cream I've ever had. Will definitely be making it a point to go more often. >_>

I'm sure I originally had a lot more to talk about from that weekend but it's completely slipped my mind. Must not have been that important. If it is I'll add it in later.

Class starts Monday. Here's hoping it doesn't take all of my time and I can actually still have some fun with the rest of my summer!