Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's the point?

Was going to post a goals update, but I can't be bothered to type it all right now. I can't be bothered to do much of anything, to be honest.

I'm so fucking tired. All I do is work. I go to my job for 40+ hours a week, and I try to get about 55 hours worth of work done in that amount of time. Work's been stressful, between all of the new responsibilities, and worrying about my job security. I still don't know if my job is in jeopardy. All of the bullshit going on about my vacation time has only made the stress worse.

And then I come home to hours of homework. I only have two classes but the workload is insane. I have ten papers (research needed) due on Monday. TEN. For one class. They're all supposed to be short, only about a page...but there are TEN OF THEM. Then for my other class I have four exams, each worth a quarter of my grade. The first, I have to take two or three days after the ten papers are due. If I want to have any hope of doing well, I need to know these tax laws inside and out...and that means reading the chapters at least three times, each. Plus doing dozens of pages of problems.

I don't know where I'm supposed to find the time to write ten research papers and learn about 150 pages of tax law in such a short period of time. I only have a few hours a night. I come home, work out, shower, get dinner, and then do schoolwork until it's time for bed. I can't really make any more time. I don't get enough sleep as it is. I could cut out the workouts for now, but they make me feel better and help with my stress, so that's a last resort.

As if that weren't bad enough...I'm only three weeks into the semester. The work is going to get progressively more difficult, and I still have twelve weeks to go. I honestly don't know how I'm going to survive like this until May.

I hate school right now. I would give just about anything to not do this to myself anymore. The only reason I'm even making myself is because they're my final two classes, and I've already had to put them off for so long. Though I don't even see the point in it. I probably won't be able to continue, so I've worked my ass off to get a two year degree. Which means...absolutely jack shit. It's worthless. Hell, my general manager's reaction when I told him I was finishing my associates' degree was, "Oh, you'll only have a two year degree? Well if you ever get through a regular degree we'll move you into the accounting department."

What the hell is the point in being miserable like this if that's the attitude I'm going to end up facing? Sadly, that's the majority of people too. I went to community college, and I'll have a two year degree, and that means nothing. It doesn't matter that I lost everything, had to drop out of school, got myself back in...had to drop out again for medical problems, and still somehow managed to work my way through this far. Oh's "only a two year degree." Normally I'm proud of myself for what I've done, but anymore I feel so fucking worthless.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just so damned tired and needed to vent...I'm sure I'll be over this in a few days. I promise there will be a real, non-whiny update soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Help with cameras?

So I'm looking into buying a digital SLR camera, and wondered if anyone who reads this has any pointers on what to look for, or any suggestions to help steer me in the right direction.

At the moment I'm leaning toward a Canon or Nikon, though I'd consider other brands. I don't want to spend more than a thousand for the body and the lens. I'd prefer to spend a good bit less, but that's my limit.

I talked to some people at a camera store, and they didn't seem impressed with the Nikons. They recommended either Canon or Pentax, due to the quality of the pictures in comparison with Nikon. Not sure how true that is (or how noticeable of a difference in quality there is). I'm hoping to get some more info on that and ask around for more brand/model recommendations.

I have done a good bit of research on my own, and I have a couple of sites people have given me that have reviews and information about different types of cameras. I'm always looking for more info though...I'm new to all of this and don't have a clue what I'm doing. The sites I have are very helpful, but also get a bit technical for someone like me. I'd really like someone who can explain different features to me in a way that I'd actually understand.

So, if anyone out there can help, please comment or drop me a message on MSN. Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New goals for 2009

I'm a bit behind on getting these up, but between my computer dying and getting sick, I just haven't had the time to finish. Just like in 2008, I'll probably edit these as I go, and add or subtract goals throughout the year.

Without further ado, my new goal list for 2009:

1. I'm not setting an overall goal for how many books I read. Instead, my goal this year is to get through at least 75 books that I own but have never read. It'll be a bit of a challenge considering the number of books I borrow from friends and the library, but I need to start getting through my own books.

2. Another goal dealing with getting through some of my stuff...I'll have quite a few of these this year, because it's something I'm really bad at. I want to watch all of the movies I own and have never watched. I'm only counting what I had as of January 1st in order to make the goal measurable.

. Video games. I haven't completed the majority of my games, I always play partway through and then start something else. This year I want to work on finishing some. I'm going to say 12, as I figure one per month is actually attainable.

4. Travel. Yeah, I did this one last year, but planning a few trips well in advance got me out of the house and doing shit, so it's back. First off is a trip to Philly for Christian's 21st next month. DO is a month after that, though due to work issues I'm not positive I can go. Then in July I'm going to go visit Jade in Ireland for about a week. I may try for another weekend trip or two if I can come up with any ideas.

5. Continue to learn Japanese. Specifically, I want to get to level 3 on the Japanese proficiency test. I don't know if I'd actually be able to take the test, as it's not offered everywhere, but I know what the guidelines are so it gives me something concrete to work toward.

6. Cooking. I can already cook fairly well, but I'd really like to learn more. My goal for this will be to learn to cook twelve different meals and six new types of desserts. I have no idea where those numbers came from but they seem doable.

7. Finish one of my Nano novels. Doesn't matter which one, I just want the first draft of one of them 100% done.

8. Write every day. This is also a goal from last year, but I didn't quite manage it. I wrote a lot more than I would have normally though. This year I wan to build on that and try to get up to writing every day.

9. Let other people read my writing. Another from last year, and self-explanatory. This is another goal I made some progress with last year, but I'd like to make even more this year. Hopefully if I can finish one of my Nano drafts, I can pass it to a few people to read.

10. Finish my associates' degree. This has been postponed so many times because of either health or money issues, but no more. I have two classes left, and I am going to work my ass off to get through them and finish in May.

11. Continuing education. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this for sure, so the first part of the goal is to research the schools I could go to for my Bachelor's degree, and see what classes I would need and how much it would cost. I'd like to get through that much by mid-February.

12. Clean out my stuff, and get organized. This is a carry over from last year, but I need to finish it. First up is my closets. I could honestly probably get rid of about half of my clothes, lol. Same goes for shoes.

13. New wardrobe. I need more clothes that I actually wear, especially for work. It's been a long time since I bought anything aside from the bare minimum that I needed. As soon as I get my closets cleared out a bit, I'm going to start filling them again with stuff that I really want. This will probably take all year because I can't spend a lot of money at once, but I figure I have to start somewhere with it.

14. Exercising. I did well with this for the first half of 2008, but then started working full-time. I want to get back into regular exercise. I'm going to start with Zumba, three hours a week, and build up from there.

15. Save money, and learn to manage my money wisely. I'll probably make this a bit more specific once I start paying insurance and see how much I actually bring home a paycheck. However, I want to set up my 401k and put money into that on a regular basis. I also want to save some money from every paycheck I bring home, and continue to pay a bit extra on my car every month. I do pretty well with these things now, but I want to make a real effort to build up my savings and stop buying stuff just because I have the money lying around.

16. Eat healthy. Self-explanatory. I've already been making an effort on this one the past couple of months. I'm not going on any specific diet, I just want to eat less junk food and more healthy food like fruits. I've cut out candy for the most part, the next thing I'm going to cut back on is soda.

17. Photography. I've always been interested in photography, and I'm going to spend a lot more time on it this year. I'm going to start going out at least a couple times a month to take pictures, and I might take a class in the fall, especially if I don't continue with my accounting degree right away.

18. Nano 2009. Another self-explanatory one. I want to participate and win for the fourth time this year. I'm mentioning this goal now, but it won't be brought up again until October or so.

Wow, this list is long...hopefully I can get through at least some of the goals this year! I've already been working on them for a couple of weeks, so the first update will be up soon. And since this entry is finally done, I can actually get back to regular blogs too...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Off to a great start

I was going to either write a review of 2008 (yeah I stole that idea from Jade >.>), or get started on my goals for 2009. But too much has happened the last couple of days so I felt the need to vent instead.

First off, the first was okay. I didn't feel that great and I spent the majority of the day lazing around, but overall it wasn't a bad day. The second....that's when everything started to go to shit.

I'd woken up in the middle of the night coughing and needed a drink. I noticed that my laptop had the blue screen of death. I glanced at it, but just shut the computer down. Anyone who uses XP knows that sometimes those just happen. Usually you restart and the computer is fine, so I went back to bed.

When I woke up in the morning I tried to start up my computer, and got the BSOD yet again. I tried a few things but had no luck. Turns out my hard drive had died. Just died. As if that wasn't bad enough, I didn't have everything backed up. I have a lot of it on my external hard drive, but not all of my documents. I only have parts of my latest novel saved, and none of my music is backed up. The killer? I was going to back everything up that day so that I could reformat while I was off work. I wanted to get my computer cleaned up before classes started this week. But could my hard drive wait 10 measly hours to die? Of course not.

I talked to Dell, and they're going to send a new hard drive, so that's not an issue. My warranty isn't up for another few months. Also, my mom has a friend who is going to try and see what he can salvage, if anything, from my dead hard drive. I'm hoping he's able to help me out, and that it isn't too expensive. Oh, and that he can do it quickly as my classes start on the 8th. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'd been up at 9am, but by the time I sorted all of this out it was mid-afternoon. My doorbell rings, and I open it to find a package on my doorstep. It turned out to be Christian's Christmas present. I'd mailed it on December 6th and was wondering why it hadn't been delivered yet. Apparently some asshole had taken the package, stolen most of what was inside, sealed it up again and scratched off the address. And so it was returned to me as "undeliverable." At least not everything was stolen. I guess.

That's enough complaining from me. Everything should work out eventually. January always stinks for me, it seems. At least so far this year it's only been stuff instead of my health. Things are always replaceable, though I am really hoping that if nothing else, my mom's friend can save the rest of my novel.