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17-A

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"Increase the Flash Gordon noise and put more science stuff around!" [Sep. 18th, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |productiveNeed more MST3K quotes]
[music |Blink 182 - All the Small Things]

Judging by the way I talked about my job in my last post, some of you might have assumed that it wouldn't last, right? Well, hopefully, it won't have to last much longer and I'm taking steps to try and put an end to it as quickly as possible.

It's not just because I don't like the work... it's also because 1) they're not paying me enough to meet the standard of living in mid-coast Maine, 2) we don't have any friends or much of a support network in mid-coast Maine, 3) the demanding doctor's appointment schedule for faechylde conflicts a great deal with the work schedule and 4) I had to enroll for another thesis credit at UMaine and I'll need time to focus on finishing my graduate project for good. So, phase one is that I'm taking personal leave from my job until the schedule at home becomes more manageable. This lets me focus on other things until about October 15th.

What will I be doing specifically in the four weeks or so I bought myself? First and foremost, taking care of my wife. Second, finishing my graduate project. Third, looking for a new job or another opportunity to get out of Belfast. I know from my last job search that it'll be a difficult process, and if nothing good comes along between now and soon, at least I'll still have my current job to go back to. An alternate scenario would be looking into Ph.D. programs again and taking the GRE if necessary... I already know my master's degree won't do much for me in the job market, so maybe it'll be necessary to get the doctorate before returning there.

The process won't be easy, but there are too many cons and almost no pros to the current situation and something needs to be done. I'll let you all know how it turns out.
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Snowglobe Snowball Effect [Jun. 17th, 2007|02:59 am]
17-A
[mood |lethargicRelaxing... no, wait. Asleep.]
[music |Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack (only thing on TV)]

Hey, yet another update in what is usually a very inactive blog! Is it coming out of hibernation? Or is this like the "foreshock" of a larger earthquake, a sign of potentially disastrous logorrhea ahead? Only time will tell... for now, read on, and hold out hope....

Melodrama aside, I wanted to let you all know that the apartment search has been successful, and was thankfully much more brief than the job search. faechylde and I will be moving to a bright apartment with high ceilings in Searsport, which is pretty much the exact opposite of the cramped, somewhat dirty-feeling apartment we had in Old Town last year. We've also already moved a large quantity of our stuff to this new location; mostly things that never got unpacked from the last time we moved. The more difficult task of moving items like our bed, dressers and couch will come later (Wednesday, to be exact).

This is definitely a relief, since finding housing was the only obstacle standing between me and my new career and with it cleared, I know I can finally stop habitually checking online job boards and such. Hopefully, the job in question won't be too stressful and will allow enough room for advancement... otherwise, I could very well find myself doing this all over again by this time next year. wisedanichi will probably recommend strongly against it, but I may even consider enrolling in a Ph.D. program somewhere if working in Belfast reveals itself to be a dead-end.

One last bit of info regarding this move: I won't have internet access starting on Wednesday, and will probably be without it for at least a week. Not that any of you e-mail me, but if you do for some reason, expect it to go ignored if it falls in that timeframe.
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Shake that snowglobe! [Jun. 7th, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |relievedOne hurdle cleared, at least]
[music |The Used - Crawls Like A Red Rubber Bug]

With any luck, my arduous job search in Portland will soon be coming to an end. Bank of America has offered me a job at one of their call centers and I can start training at the end of the month.

The only catch: the call center is in Belfast (Maine, not Northern Ireland).

So, the job hunt has swiftly transitioned into an apartment hunt! faechylde and I have already decided against a two bedroom breadbox just outside of town, and against a legitimate one bedroom cabin in the woods. We'll be looking at a couple of other possibilities early next week and hoping they're less claustrophobic. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions on where to look (anyone like, say, ichijoji_chan), they'd be appreciated.

Of course, finding housing is just one problem that is raised by a Belfast relocation. The midcoast town is a two hour drive from Portland, and at least an hour from Bangor. This effectively isolates me from friends in each area, and from the major fencing groups in both Malagentia and Endewearde. Not that I'll have much for free time now that I'll be working, but I can't say the location seems ideal at first glance. However, I've known for months now that I would need to go where the job requires, and since it's turned out to be there, it's where I'll be going.

Anyway... if anyone wants to hang out before we move, feel free to leave a comment!
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The latest injection of chaos [May. 24th, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |confusedI don't think I follow you...]
[music |...let me get back to you on that]

Okay, now I *really* have plenty of time to finish my master's degree.

One of the professors on my graduate advisory committee broke his ankle, and is in too much pain to participate in the "thesis defense" (for lack of a better term) I scheduled for tomorrow. The graduate school's regulations state that a minimum of three professors must participate, and I couldn't find anyone willing to jump in at the last minute, so that defense is now canceled. But, wait! It gets more interesting.

Since my adviser (and head of the committee) is going to be out of the country by the time their colleague recovers, the earliest possible day that I could reschedule the defense for is August 24th. This also happens to be graduation day for the summer semester. There's a chance that they'll be willing to let me graduate and defend on the same day, but I have to double-check that and even if it's possible, it seems like it might be too hectic for my adviser to return to the U.S. on Thursday, then attend my defense the very next day.

Fortunately, the graduate school has already offered to waive my enrollment (and therefore, any additional cost) for the fall semester in case I have to push my graduation date back to December. It's a long time to wait for my degree, especially considering that my work is already done for the most part, but as long as I still get the damn degree, I don't care. It's not like I can really blame my professor for breaking his ankle, or my adviser for having a life, so... clearly, I have to find something else to blame. Global warming is currently the #1 blame contender, followed by sock puppets, mold, and moldy sock puppets.
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Propogation of Procrastination and Manifold Monotony [May. 20th, 2007|02:59 am]
17-A
[mood |pessimisticSlightly augmented "ugh-ness"]
[music |Three Days Grace - Just Like You]

For once, my academic workload is feeling manageable. I've realized that the final version of my project isn't due until August, and that I can spread the labor over more than just a couple of weeks. That's definitely a relief, though I still need to scramble a little bit to make sure the tentative version is ready in five days. It shouldn't be a problem though, especially compared to what I thought I'd be facing.

The bad news is, despite expanding my job search to the rest of New England, I'm still having trouble finding a good career opportunity. This means that I've resorted to re-applying to companies that have already rejected me once and hoping they don't remember my name. I was also thinking of dyeing my hair, wearing makeup that changes my skin tone and adopting a foreign accent to help with that forgetfulness factor.

Bottom line: my professional life is as stagnant as ever, and I'm almost literally sick of it. My mental exasperation is at an all-time high and I feel like soon, it will have nowhere to go except to flow into actual physical illness. Don't be surprised if you see a post in the coming weeks in which I troll for potential kidney donors. Or, if by some stroke of luck I actually manage to find a job, my sigh of relief will probably be loud enough that you'll hear it even if you're living in Michigan (invoking wisedanichi, and Peelizard by extension).
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"This Brownie Might Kill You" [Apr. 25th, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |blahSame 'ol something]
[music |Aerosmith - Same Old Song and Dance]

The distracting factors I recently discussed have produced an inevitable result: I've delayed my own due date by a month and should be getting my master's degree in August, not May, of this year. Although I'll have to enroll for one more credit to make this happen, I'm not too disappointed by this decision overall. I still have quite a bit of work to do for my seminar class' final project and the extra time will ensure that it will get done. Given a choice, I'd much rather not have to re-take one of these frivolous seminars, so it's truly a well-made, "lesser of the evils" kind of move.

It also means I can keep focusing on the job market. I had an interview in Boston yesterday, but I'm not sure the starting pay will be enough to justify relocating, so I doubt I'll accept a job offer if they make one. I'm also keenly aware that not many other options have arisen, and if I don't get any other leads soon I might reconsider; but I already have another interview lined up on Friday (for a job in Maryland) and anticipate hearing from other employers soon too, so by the time Boston gets back to me it might be easier to say no.

Things are still very much in disarray, life-wise, but I kind of feel like I've been in this state for so long, I don't notice it as much now. For nearly three months, I've seen the lack of certainty in my future and have struggled to find direction but the chaos is mundane now. Hopefully that means things will at least appear to fall into place soon. I guess I'll find out, and update you all when it happens.
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"She's glowing, and you're flowing!" ...Okay, WHAT?? [Mar. 9th, 2007|02:59 am]
17-A
[mood |blahNo jet lag, just sick of jets]
[music |Washing machine solo!]

First, the bad news: my last semester of graduate school is aggravating, job prospects remain stagnant and I'm still DYING for faechylde and I to get a place of our own.

The good news? I was able to forget all that crap by finally going on my honeymoon in The Bahamas for the last few days. Some of you may be puzzled. "The Bahamas?" you ask, "but that isn't Honduras!" Well, yes, I know. In Honduras, you can buy a doughnut for about $0.10 and a beer for about $0.60 (also known as: BREAKFAST!). In The Bahamas, you can pay up to $5.00 for a bowl of Rice Krispies. Truly, as a master of cultural studies, I have captured the essence of these two countries' differences.

...All right, so maybe there's more to tell about my vacation than what I did or did not pay too much for. Of greater significance behind this trip (though not the greatEST... see again, honeymoon) is the fact that this is one of the few times I've succumbed to acting like a tourist. We stayed at a resort, ate almost exclusively at restaurants and wholly became consumers for the duration of our stay. This seems to suit the Bahamians just fine, since most of them know that tourism is their #1 industry and will go out of their way to pay special attention to the tourists. This usually means that they will kindly offer to take your money in exchange for some touristy thing. It got to the point where the phrase "would you like to go on the booze cruise?" strarted to sound like a traditional Bahamian greeting.

Overall, it was enjoyable to not worry about everyday life and let other people cater to us for a while. It was also nice that on this vacation, I didn't have to play basketball with young, orphan girls who would ultimately laugh at my efforts (though this phenomenon comes to hold a certain charm about it). Honestly, though? I don't think The Bahamas is a country I'll want to visit again any time soon, even if I do have the money. I imagine that I could have had more fun somewhere else, for less money, and The Bahamas aren't unique enough to justify the cost.

The company was excellent, though... ;)
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Age and birthdates ain't nothin' but numbers [Feb. 3rd, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |anxiousHuman spin cycle!]
[music |American Idol?! NOOOOO!!]

Last month could have ended on a better note, what with a communication failure that resulted in me not being in court for my AoA (non-SCAdians, smile and nod), but at least February is trying to make up for it. Typically, I'm supposed to wait until the fifth of the month for cake, presents and other birthday festivities but circumstance decided to deliver all that early this year. faechylde and her parents gave me clothes, mostly, four days early and I am grateful for their concern that I not go naked (though I found the absence of pants among the articles conspicuous). The next day, I went to my hometown and my parents upstaged them a little. Suffice to say, I have plenty of amusement now... hopefully it doesn't distract me too much from my ongoing job hunt, though.
With any luck, I'll be getting another present after this weekend, too: a roommate! A friend to both me and my wife, and one who has already proven to be a good roommate in the past, no less. I do hope she wears a bow in her hair when she arrives.
Surprisingly enough, running around the state this past week hasn't actually given me much else to ramble about... I guess I better have another birthday soon to get some more material. Is there some kit I can buy to grow new birthdays? It's probably something I can get used for cheap on eBay, right?
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Portlandic Sweaters and other fine goods [Jan. 24th, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |busyPress "Reset"]
[music |The Killers - Mr. Brightside]

You may be wondering, as one of my MySpace friends put it, "How is Portland working out?" Well, I'm happy to say that the job hunting here went much better than it did in Bangor. I found a full-time job a couple of weeks ago with Auto Europe at their call center for car reservations. I'm furthermore happy to say that it lasted slightly longer than my last call center job, clocking in at slightly more than seven days worked as opposed to slightly more than three days. I can expect an underfed paycheck for my efforts in about a week, the parting was amiable and the manager said I can use them as a reference, so at least it all wasn't for naught.
But, I realized that the job I should really be looking for is one that will still be fitting for me after I get my M.A. this M.A.Y. Auto Europe was a mostly enjoyable job with a good company, but I'd only recommend it for college dropouts, not college graduates. Staying there wasn't doing me any good; it actually delayed my REAL job search in which I'll out whether or not staying in Portland is even feasible in the long run. So, I'll get back to that top priority as soon as I can. Right after I play Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for another 30 hours or so.
One other thing I got out of the experience: waking up before 10 a.m. annoys the hell out of my body. I think this is due to a circadian rhythm-related sleep disorder. I know ichijoji_chan has used an ultraviolet "light box" with positive results, and I might have to look into getting one myself so changing my sleep schedule won't bother me so much.
All in all, I think I'm okay with the way things are going, though. I have a lot of annoyances to deal with, but the biggest one-- school-- will vanish in May and as long as I can keep my priorities straight, my next job won't cause the same problems as this one did.

P.S. Finally, there's a presidential candidate in the running who I actually want to vote for.
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"Crappy New Year"? No, that joke isn't original enough. [Jan. 6th, 2007|02:59 pm]
17-A
[mood |mellowMellow? Or masking...?]
[music |Seven Albatross - King of Shit Hill]

So, 2007 could have gotten off to a better start. Like last year, I was able to catch up with some high school friends and have a little revelry but nothing special. January itself hasn't brought anything nice other than unnaturally pleasant weather, though.
First off, I received news of the graduate school's decision regarding my Liberal Studies cirriculum. As I should have guessed, the knob goblin committee decided I need to take a second LIB 500 seminar that's unrelated to my course of study rather than engage in a perfectly good, relevant independant study in language and society with Professor Kathleen March. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to take a Maine Studies course broadcast over closed circuit TV to a site at the University of Southern Maine. If not... I don't want to think about it. I'll be out hundreds of dollars in gas money if I have to commute elsewhere and waiting to see if there will be a web-based or distance-learning seminar available this summer will be equally costly. I doubt graduate school realizes the full depth of incompetence in their decision or, at the very least, they don't care.
I also haven't made any progress in finding full-time employment. This was mostly to be expected given that my search started during the holiday season. I'll be checking in with someone who works at one of the places I applied to and seeing if he has any inside information for me. I've also got my eyes open for other businesses that are seeking Spanish speakers in particular.
Last but certainly not least, faechylde is off cavorting with her formal bridal party in Pennsylvania. I am at a loss as to who I should harass in her absence.
I think I'm doing okay weathering these issues, though. Or at least if it's bothering me, it hasn't manifested itself in a noticeable way yet. I'd prefer the former scenario of course, especially because my chances of finding a Nintendo Wii to help me supress my dissatisfaction are still slim to none. Maybe I'll search for some good, used DS games instead.
Finally, I'll leave you all with this "quiz spam" which I found to be surprisingly accurate.

What horrors lurk behind this text?Collapse )
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