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It's getting better.

It is.

This weekend was good. Nicole and Simon came and stayed for the weekend and got her stuff out of the storage locker. It was nice to see them. Tavis and I went to brunch with a friend from work and his girlfriend, it was cool. It made Valentine's day seem less lame. I've been applying for jobs almost daily now, at least a few at a time. I've been e-mailing people about apartments to go look at since our lease will be up in June. I think focusing on what the future will be is going to make things better. I just have to keep telling myself that this is all a temporary situation. I'm not going to be in this apartment forever. I'm not going to be at my stupid lame job forever. I'm going to start making friends soon enough, and everything will be good again. Sometimes it's just hard to dig yourself out of a rut once you're in so far. I think things are finally starting to look up, or at least I'm starting to force myself to see the good in everything.

I need to start writing, for real. I keep saying this every now and again. I should write every day. I went to school for English because I didn't have any other options. I knew I wanted to write and I knew I didn't want to write for newspapers. So where does that leave you, really? English, of course. I can do it! Project motivation! Woo!

Anyway.. I just wanted to update because my last post was kind of "wah wah pity me." So, there you go. =D

Increasing irritation

So far, I hate this year. I feel like I'm getting swallowed by it. Tavis had a kidney stone in the beginning of the month. He had no insurance, but I had to take him in. I thought he was dying. He's never had a history of kidney stones, so I had no idea what was wrong. Anyway, we managed to rack up quite a hospital/radiology/provider bill. Thankfully, we have gotten some discounts since we're paying out of our own pocket, but it's still stressful. Next, both of our cars broke. The Impala smelled like burning and made a weird whirring noise. The Suzuki seems to have a rusting/disjointed tire-rod problem. I don't really know what it is. We fixed the Impala, but it cost $400. Both of my cats have had fleas since the summer, and the flea medicine we got them didn't work, and we don't really have the money to take them to the vet right now. The GI bill never pays us on time, and they haven't paid us since the end of December. They only paid us half of our stipend then, so we've been running on $900 since then. We can never get a hold of them because they only work the phones three days a week, and they don't generally have a "hold" option. If the lines get too busy, they just say "Try again later" and hang up on you. In a panic, I called everyone. I called the Disabled American Veterans, talked to an ex-Commander, called the local offices, and they all just kept giving me different phone numbers. Finally, I started e-mailing every government office I could think of -- President, Senator, Governor, etc. None of them helped either. We finally got a hold of the VA on Monday. They told me that I don't have access to his things. Apparently, Tavis has to sign some sort of "Permission to Discuss" form. I'm like...DUDE. I just gave you his Social Security number. Why can't you just let me deal with this. I have rent and bills to pay. "Nope, we can't. Sorry. Have him call us." UGH! So, Tav finally gets a hold of them, and they tell him that we won't be getting any money until March at the earliest. Between each quarter, they have to re-process all of the claims, and it takes 6 to 8 weeks because they do it by hand, which is also why they don't answer the phones on Thursday and Friday -- because they are processing claims. UM HELLO. IT IS 2010. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS SHIT BY HAND? Why isn't it direct deposited into his bank account every month, on time? Why do you have to re-process it EVERY quarter? A quarter is fucking 10 weeks long...and it takes you ALMOST that to process his claim. How do you expect him to pay tuition you fucking morons?!?!?! UGHGHGHG!

On another note, I can't fucking stand my job. It's making me completely insane. No one talks to anyone, ever. I sit in front of a computer all day with headphones on and have no human interaction until I get home. I feel like everyone there thinks I'm a weirdo because I always say "hi" to people in the break room. I have to use vacation time for this stupid snow storm. I don't have control over the fucking weather, why should I have to sacrifice the time I earned to avoid getting killed? I've been late to work every day this week because of accidents on the highway, and now they want me to stay late and make it all up. I don't want to. I don't want to wake up in the morning anymore because I don't want to go there. I've been furiously applying to jobs every day in an attempt to get out of that place. I just really hate it. It doesn't help that I only have like...two or three acquaintances here. I'm so fucking irritated with everything. The only thing that makes me feel better is Tavis. Life really sucks sometimes.

I decided last night that I just need to stop. When I get to work and see my assignments, I say, "Oh, good, crappy shows means a crappy day." I have to stop thinking that way. I can hate my job all I want, but until I find another one, I have to work there. I have to deal with it. I can't just quit jobs anymore, because there's no backup. We need to move out of this apartment in a few months and I need to have an income to help pay for everything. Sometimes life sucks and you just have to suck it up and take the hits as they come. So I will. I will start looking on the bright side. I should volunteer. I might make some friends that way. Maybe even get a new job.

The first year in a new place is always the worst. I remember feeling exactly this way when I first moved to Washington, but Tavis wasn't even around to make me feel better. I should be happy that I have him this time around.

I feel better just writing this.

Things and things

Things are okay.

Working on Friday until 11pm really sucks. I didn't want to do anything for like...the last three hours of my shift.

This week, I have transcription training. My question is, what the hell have I been doing for the last two months?

This week is a three-day week for me. It's nice in theory, but today and tomorrow I work 3pm-11pm and then Wednesday I work 7am-3pm. I'm going to be really tired. But, I asked if I could switch my shift that day because Tav's parents will be here that day. I didn't really want to be at work until 11pm. Plus we need to buy Thanksgiving-related food items that day. Hopefully, coffee will get me through.

This weekend was much needed. I did some cleaning around the apartment, in preparation for the festivities. It's not quite finished yet, but there's always tomorrow.

We went to a potluck yesterday at a friends. It was...I dunno. It was okay. It was a little awkward because we didn't know anyone. But we met some cool people, so that was nice.

I guess I should finish cleaning the bathroom and get ready for work. Blergh. Work. Although, Mondays don't hold the same sort of dread that they used to, because I still get to sleep in. Ha. *shrug*

some days just are

The past couple of days have been sort of stressful.

Yesterday, I realized that I have to start paying off my student loans. That is distressing to me for some reason. I guess it's not really the money that bothers me...I think it's the fact that it's already been close to six months and I didn't apply for grad school. Not to mention, I'm working at a place where I get paid little more than minimum wage. I mean, I guess I kind of knew that I would be taking a pretty lengthy break from academia, but it's just a disheartening reminder...this student loan nonsense. Also...I have four loans, all from the Department of Education. Does that mean I should consolidate? I don't even know what that means. I should research these things. They seem important. To the bat cave!

Anyway, as I was realizing that student loans are expensive and have terrible interest rates, I thought, "Oh yeah, isn't there some other bill I was supposed to pay?"

Indeed there was.

When we first moved out here, we received a bill from Forest City -- the company that owns the military housing we used to live in -- stating that we owed them 1,000ish dollars. I called them and asked what it was for, because I really had no idea what it was for. They told me that it was for the last month's rent and some sort of inane pet fee. I told them that I didn't have a job yet and that money was tight, and they said, "Oh, no worries. We know you were friends with Liz, so just take your time with it."

Liz is a friend of mine who used to work at that particular office, who was transferred a while ago to an office far, far away.

Anyway. So, time went on, and my mind was preoccupied with job searching, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, and my utter hatred for cockroaches. I never received another bill or phone call from Forest City asking for their money. Naturally, I forgot about it. It's hard to remember these things when you have other monthly bills to worry about.

So, yesterday, whilst thinking about my loans, I remembered this very bill. I called them and asked why I hadn't been receiving bills.

They replied, "Oh, we sent you to collections."

"EXCUSE ME?"

"Yeah, you weren't making payments."

"Yeah, I wasn't RECEIVING BILLS."

"Well, didn't Liz call you?"

"Why would Liz call me?"

"Oh, she was supposed to tell you that you were getting sent to collections."

"Why was SHE supposed to tell me? She doesn't even work for you anymore! Why is it her responsibility?!"

"Well, she is a Forest City rep."

"Well, she was never MY rep. She never had anything to do with my move-in, move-out, or anything else."

*insert me wanting to rip this bitch apart*

"Well, here, call this number and ask for Jackie. She should be able to help you if you've intercepted it in time."

So, I call this Jackie. She is very helpful, even though I am frantic and pissed beyond all else. She tells me what to do, and I send them a cashier's check this morning.

I am in complete awe at these people.

1. You have not sent me a bill in four months.
2. You have not spoken to me in four months.
3. You are sending me to collections, but have not notified me of this.
4. You have based our entire transaction on my friend, Liz, who doesn't work for you.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Complete ridiculous. I still need to talk to the site manager about it. And I plan on complaining to some higher-ups in the corporate offices.

I just don't understand why people are so stupid sometimes. And seriously, I have LITERALLY never paid a bill late. Never. My credit score is like...740. It is just absolute ridiculous. UGH.

Moving on.

Today at work, I actually got to transcribe something. This is the first time this has happened, even though it's supposed to be my entire job. It was fun. I liked it. I don't really hate that person I mentioned in my earlier post. I just think we butt heads sometimes. It happens.

I think i sort of like my shift. It seems to go by a lot faster than the other shift. I never catch myself looking at the clock and I always work up until someone says, "Feel like going home?" And then I realize it's 11. Oops. Haha.

The only think I really hate is how Tav an I have opposing schedules. That really sucks. And working Friday until 11pm is really going to suck. How am I supposed to see New Moon!??! FACK.

Haha.

I like writing. It's nice.

Byeee!

lately

Hmm. Where to begin...

Well. I guess...work. My job is okay. I just watch a lot of TV. Mostly bad TV. It's starting to invade my dreams. It's kind of weird. I think in Closed Captioning. Ugggh. I had my first bad day at work on Friday. That was not fun. It made me realize how little I like one of the people I work with. I hate not liking people, but sometimes...it just has to happen. I have one of those jobs like the dude in "Office Space." I show up because I need money and health insurance, but dream about how I could be sitting at home instead. I don't feel like i've accomplished much after a day of work. So far, the only good feeling I've had was watching my captions on TV. My first show aired on 11/11, which was also my 4th wedding anniversary. Kind of weird how that works. But, i felt proud of myself. And then I felt like I should be getting paid more because my transcription is being broadcast for millions of people to see. And then the good feeling disappeared.

Our anniversary was nice. Kind of funny, actually. The night before, I had come home to an empty apartment, just like any other Tuesday. Tavis has class until 9:30 P.M. on Tuesday nights. So, I started cleaning the bathroom, because the only time I get anything done is when he's not here...and then about halfway through, I took a break and checked my email. We hadn't really discussed anything for our anniversary, we usually just sort of hang out at home and enjoy each other's company. So, i'm checking my email and I come across a confirmation email from Amazon. We had just ordered Tav's dad some birthday gifts, so I just assumed it was about that and opened it up. Lo and behold, it is NOT for Tav's dad, but a gift for me. A set of some very nice German kitchen knives and a sharpener to go with them. SO NOT EXPECTING THAT. SERIOUSLY. So, I immediately freak out, since it's the night before our anniversary. I only have about an hour and a half to find a proper gift. So, where do I go? The local comic-book store, naturally. I bought him a zombie graphic novel and a whole lot of Magic cards. It was pretty funny though.

My nephew turned 16 today. That's sort of weird. He graduates next year. For some reason, I thought he was in 10th grade, but he is in 11th. He is considering going to Pitt, so he'll be really close to us. I think that's pretty cool. My sister thought he was moving in with us. I was like...uh...what? Like I really need a 17-year-old boy living with me. Especially when i already have Tavis. =P Haha.

Nicole leaves soon. That is kind of sad. That means I have to start making friend with people that actually live here. Ha. I hung out with her and some of her friends last night and had a really good time. It's nice to socialize once in a while. But yeaaah.

We bought a computer from a girl named Emily that we know here. It's a Mac. It sort of freaks me out. The monitor is really big. And it has all these fancy programs that I know nothing about. But, we got a really good deal on it, and Tavis is happy with it. So, that's nice.

Putting a desk in this apartment has made me realize just how teeny tiny it is. I want to move, a lot. At least the cockroaches have been exterminated. Cats still have fleas though. I strongly believe that it is not the apartment that is dirty, but maybe that the person before let problems go that he should have had taken care of. The place is in a really nice area and I just have a hard time believing that it's gross.

I started NaNoWriMo and gave up almost in the same hour.

I really want to go to grad school, but I don't know what for.

I miss my friends in Washington. And I miss UW. I don't miss the Navy.

I do miss my gas stove and my nice big kitchen, though.

I want to teach myself how to knit. I tried a couple of years ago, but I really really want to learn. And teach myself how to fix mistakes and make hats. And scarves. And bags. And other knitted items.

Piper is laying on my arm. He says, "hi."

I start my normal working shift tomorrow. 3-11pm. I don't know if i'm going to like that very much.

I'm going to read my book now. You should all check it out. It's called, "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I really like it.

The world is a vampire.

So. Hmm. It's 9/11. It never really occurs to me that it's 9/11 when it is 9/11. You know, it never really occurs to me at all. I feel that once the country has capitalized on an event, it is no longer important. At least, not important in the sense of an unforgettable event, something so terrible that happened that no one could ever speak about it...things like the Holocaust. I never see "Remember the Holocaust" t-shirts or coffee mugs. Because why the fuck would you want to remember something like that? I mean, it's terrible. Just like 9/11 was terrible, but now we've turned it into another money-making ordeal and I just frown upon that.

Moving on.

I still have no job, which...ya know, I guess is okay. I'm trying to stay positive because I know it's hard out there right now. I should just be glad I have enough money to survive without an income. I finally found out that the reason we aren't getting the GI Bill stipend is because Tav's school sent the paperwork in like a week ago. That was real smart. So, we probably won't see any of that money until mid-October. It kind of sucks, but it's okay.

We went to Philadelphia last weekend to see Emily & Ross. It was fun! We ate some authentic Philly cheese steaks...at Steve's Prince of Steaks. I don't know how you can NOT eat at a place called PRINCE OF STEAKS. Although, I suppose the King of Steaks might trump that. We saw the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence and all that touristy American stuff. It was cool to see, but it was kind of sad. We walked by Betsy Ross' house and it was just so sad...there was a fucking pretzel stand attached to the front porch. And it was like, attached to two skyscrapers. It was just...I don't know. We make so many cases for "preserving history", but creating a spectacle is really not preserving anything. Most of the people that visit those sites have no idea what these things mean, they don't care about them, they just go to go...because it's what you should do. I guess I have a different perspective on things because I want to archive history, but I just don't think everyone should be allowed to paw at things that deserve, at the least, a thorough appreciation if not a long contemplation.

But that's just my opinion.

It was, all in all, a good trip. We finally met Ross, seems like a cool dude. Drank some PBR, played some cards, ate some good food and just hung out. It was nice.

The Party Wolfe came over this evening for some Straub and some cards. It was a good time. I see an 80's night with her in the near future. It's good to know someone.

Anyway, I guess that's all.

The hunt continues...

The job hunt continues! I've applied at three different temp agencies, so I'm assuming something will come my way soon.

Tav's parents are going to be here on Friday, and then we're going to head over to Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon to see Tav's sister. I'm excited for it, but I wish we had some dispensable income to use. We are pretty much broke, because Tav's housing stipend STILL hasn't gone through yet. They said it would take 8-12 weeks to see any of this money, so it should be sometime this month. If not...I really hope I have a job by the end of the month, because I am already sick of dipping into savings and I've only done it once. But, I have to say, I'm rather proud of myself for bulking up the savings account so much. It makes me feel safe knowing that I have a safety net.

In other news, I've decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. I've already started brainstorming and I think I have a pretty good idea. And, I'm really, really starting to believe that this is my fate, and I'm supposed to be an author. Because, recently, I've started remembering my dreams, and they are all potential plot points.

I wish we had some friends, or at least more friends, around here. I guess in order to make friends, we would have to leave the apartment, but in order to leave the apartment, money is generally involved. Especially going into the city, because parking is stupid.

Football season starts in 9 days.

Go Steelers?
My job search is still turning up nothing. That's great.

I'm getting really sick of not having a job. I think I will go apply to Starbucks. Or Giant Eagle. Or.. some other dumb retail job that I vowed I would never take.

I started to write. I think it's a book. I mean, it's only a few pages right now, but I want it to be a book. I'm going to try to write every day for at least an hour and see where that gets me. Maybe I am still unemployed because it's my destiny to write a novel and become a famous author. I like that idea.

I want to get stranded on an island instead of having to function in real life. Lost, please.

I've been helping Nicole a lot lately, with moving and finding a place to live and such. That's all taken care of now, and my day is empty other than to worry about how much longer I'm going to be unemployed. What a joke. Ugh.

I guess we're going to see Emily in Philadelphia for Labor day weekend. It's a good idea in theory, but I have no job. So we have no money, especially not to spend on fun things like visiting people.

I have to stop this post now, because it is becoming too depressing for me to go on. Sigh.

Tags:

updates updates

Well then.

I went to that informational meeting that I mentioned in my last post, and it was crap. It was for a life insurance company and it was all commission and I just really don't trust jobs like that. I need stability in my life. They called me back the next day to invite me back for round two of the interview process but I turned them down. Oh well. Then, as my next interview wasn't for another week, I pretty much just lazed around. Maybe that wasn't the best move, but I needed it. Applying for jobs is tiring, and so is waking up early to make myself appear professional.

Tangent: The interviewing process is completely inhuman. I mean really. Let's force people to dress in clothes they wear ONLY for job searching, do their hair all nice, put on makeup, and then pretend like they are the best thing since sliced bread. I just don't see how that is beneficial. Wouldn't it be more accurate if I walked in wearing jeans and a tank top, and told them all about myself--how I'm a great writer, I have a lot of experience researching, I'm a fast learned, and just being myself? It just seems weird that there is a protocol for something like a job interview. These people want you to work for their company and when they hire they know almost nothing about you other than what your resume says. How can you trust that? Ugh. If I ever have my own business I will just tell them to be themselves. It's terrible. I don't like feeling tense or making others feel tense. I don't think I'm better than anyone. Stupid job interviews. Sorry. ANYWAY.

I had the captioning interview last week Wednesday. I think it went pretty well. I talked to the Human Resources guy, who gave me a test (English usage and a proofreading thing) and it was pretty easy. Then he sent me over to the Assistant Manager and we chatted for about an hour or so, and he got really into the details of the company, which leads me to believe that the interview went well. I wrote them a nice e-mail today, saying thank you and PLEASE CALL ME BECAUSE IF I DONT GET A JOB SOON I MIGHT BLOW THIS APARTMENT UP. But not really. Haha. I applied for a few more jobs after that, haven't heard anything yet though. Blergh.

We went to MI for the weekend. Tavis went on a Manping (Man Camping) Trip with his dad. They do this every year at the same time. And he always smells when he gets back. =P I stayed back with my mom-in-law, visited some friends and family, and got really drunk with Sarah and Garrett and Scott. Intense night. We just got back on Monday, and we left our cats alone for the weekend, since we don't know anyone. They were fine and everything, but the litter box got REAL gross and they messed on my bath rug and ruined yet ANOTHER papasan cushion. Ugh. And you can't wash those, and the smell just never comes out. So they keep peeing in it. Terrible.

Other than that. You know. Chillin'. Got cable and internet now, so that's good. At least I won't be dying of boredom now. And having to go to Panera everytime I need the internet. Haha.

Consider yourselves updated. Or at least ranted at.

Tags:

Life life life.

So. Let me see how well I can update you all.

I graduated from college. That was pretty neat. I feel sort of important, but sort of not. Job searching is pretty daunting. My parents and sister came out and it wasn't so bad. Then, the packers and movers came, and we were OFF. But first, we went to say goodbye to a friend. Said friend had a baby. Said baby had the flu. Said flu entered my system and the next morning at about 11am in Tracy, CA, I was puking my guts out. I have never been that sick in my life. Ever. Tavis said I was green. I puked so freaking much. I couldn't even hold water. Ugh, thinking about it makes me want to die. We stayed with some friends (Brook & Matt) and Tavis got to visit them while I was hugging the toilet. When I finally recovered, we headed to my cousins house and hung out there. We had dinner, and slept over, and left at like...3:30am and made it all the way to Nebraska by 10pm. We stayed the night in a Days Inn, woke up at 4, and made it to Michigan by 11pm that night. So much driving. Never want to do that again. We stayed in MI for a few days and hung out with family, then headed down to Pittsburgh to claim our new apartment. We lived in our empty apartment for 6 days, waiting for our stuff to arrive, and it finally got here on Monday. We hung out with the Marak's a couple times and they introduced us to an Emily of sorts, and she was pretty cool. I've mostly just been trying to find a job. I had an interview yesterday at this place called Executive Sports, which is a sports & entertainment marketing firm, but they said they'd call me by 6pm today, and it's 7 now, so i'm guessing i lose. Oh well. I have an informational meeting to go to on Monday for some sales job, which I probably won't take, because I don't want that kind of job anyway...but hey, it's just a meeting, no obligations. And then I have another interview on the 20th, which looks the most promising. If I got the job, I would be writing the captions for closed captioning. The pay isn't great, but it's something I can do that is related to my education. And there are benefits. And room to move up. So, I guess I am willing to take the shitty pay as long as I can advance. It sounds cool enough. I feel like I should ask for more money though. Whatever.

Right now, i am sitting in Panera Bread, drinking a very tart frozen lemonade, mooching off of their wireless.

Life is grand.