Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dogs v. Cats v. Social Anxiety

Hullo again, blog, and happy belated St. Patrick's day.

Patron Saint of Bad Decisions.  Note that in this context, "patron" refers to the tequila.

I've been rather busy with a guest in the house: Jonathan, an Australian couchsurfer who's been with us about a week or so now.  I feel bad for "ignoring" him to hang out on the internet, though it's not like I have a responsibility to entertain him, either... couchsurfing is just a way for people to get a free place to stay, really, assuming you're cool with strangers.

I can think of absolutely no way at all that system could go wrong.

I suppose some things have happened but I don't really want to dwell on them much. Jack and I are doing relatively better in our relationship, though I did get drunk and come onto him pretty strongly, embarrassing both of us, a couple weeks back. I never really got over him and I don't think I ever will, but the important thing to me is trying to remain his friend. I still don't see how I can trust him and he's really hyper-sensitive and we fight a lot, but maybe with time that will fade away. Who knows? Like I said, I don't want to dwell on it.

Andrew and I have been having trouble with our neighbours on the other side of the duplex, who keep complaining that we're too loud. They're old and go to bed early, and because these houses are old with hard wood floors and doors that stick, we all but have to tip-toe around the house. Honestly, I've become so uncomfortable I just want to move. I hate sharing a wall with them, and I'm in my mid-twenties; it's unfair to me to have to go to bed before 10 on a Saturday and to kick out guests so my ailing neighbour can get her beauty sleep. Also she complained that my 12-lb. toothless dog is chasing her cats. 

Her stupid cats don't even sing show tunes, 
making them immensely less bearable than these cats here.

Hey, lady, news flash: my dogs have a right to be here; I paid a pet deposit; my dogs are LICENSED by the county and they also are on LEADS anytime we leave the courtyard... how come your cats get to run wild, shit whenever they want (including on my porch), don't have to wear collars, and so forth, and not the dogs? Sounds like someone needs to get their facts straight. Also, the reason my dog keeps running up to the cats is he's saying hello. Unlike your snotty cats, my dogs are well socialised. And they wouldn't have wandered back in the courtyard to your front porch if you didn't LEAVE OUT FOOD FOR THE CATS THERE. Not only will that attract ferals and neighbouring dogs, but it'll attract wildlife like raccoons. Hope your pussies are vaccinated. My dogs totally are. Because that's the fucking law. Hmph.

"I only have about... maybe this much rabies, tops."

In other news, I had a job interview with USC and I think I might get the job... I'm in the final “pool” of candidates and I really did GREAT at the interview, which rocks because this is definitely the job I want. It's perfect... the experience, the location, the benefits, the pay, everything! What's more, THEY will pay for ME to get my California Animal Tech license, so I can really move up in this job. Hopefully my degree will finally begin paying off.

Inexplicably, doing this for 12 hours a day isn't working out so great financially.

Concerning finances: I went ahead and paid my car insurance, filled up the tank, and paid off Carlisle's vet bills, but then I gave the rest of the money to Andrew for bills and the like.  It's not as fun or romantic as buying a bracelet and going out, but it was the responsible thing to do, so there you have it.  Just in case anyone was wondering what I ended up doing with the tax return.  (No one was.)

But speaking of going out, this weekend Jonathan (the couchsurfer) is taking us to Six Flags as well as Disney. (He gets free tickets because he works for Universal Studios.)  (Maybe I'll post pics?)  I'm excited but also a bit anxious. Having someone around all the time really dragged me out of my comfort zone and more days than not we go out and see or do something, which is emotionally draining to me.  Honestly, just being in Los Angeles and seeing Jack and Andrew all the time is draining enough, but going out and doing stuff with people I don't know is really pushing it.  Although I guess I ought to get in the habit, if I don't want to end up as a weird little hermit lady with a bunch of dogs who talks to herself.  Though, arguably, blogging is already pretty close to talking to myself, and the entire last paragraph was about how awesome my dogs are and how superior they are to my neighbour's cats.


Andrew's been very busy with quals coming up so I haven't seen much of him, except in the evening when he's tired. It's been hard for us the last month, in between not having money and having a guest and being anxious for different reasons. But I'm overall pretty optimistic about the future. I mean, I'm not, but I'm also aware that the reasons I'm not aren't logical ones; I'm just being anxious. So I guess what I'm saying is, if I saw things for what they really are instead of creating things to be pessimistic about, and could stop worrying for two seconds, and was being reasonable, I would be optimistic.

"There is no pessimism."

Anyways, that's all for today. Sorry for the long interval and for the lack of effort put into this one. I imagine once Andrew and I get back onto a regular schedule things will calm down a bit and I'll be back to my weekly thing.

Oh, one more thing I nearly forgot.  I set a new all-time record on my entrance test to vet tech school.  So I guess they were pretty impressed and I'm getting a scholarship for being smart and stuff.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Holy Tax Return, Batman!

It's that time of the year, Blog.  I got my tax return, and as usual, after taking out about 90% of it to put into Carlisle's vet bills, I have about $200 left over.

The bowties alone cost me hundreds.

This is not enough money for me to get my cavity filled (tooth #8, distal surface), but it is enough for me to get some cool stuff.  What sort of cool stuff, you ask?  Here's a list of things I'm considering and the pros and cons.

1.  Take Andrew out to dinner.
Cost: $50 - $100

Pros: First and foremost, I really like Andrew.  He's been supporting my ass for months and I want to do something nice for him.  Also, we rarely go out and when we do it's his treat, not mine.  I feel like I owe him and this would be a lovely gesture.

Cons: Frankly, the reason we don't go out is because we're poor.  Although I really want to do this, I'm aware it's not the best use of my money.  I could make him a nice meal at home and he'd probably enjoy it just as much, which makes me wonder if I only want to do this because I want to.

One of those fancy places where the cooks fire off sassy one-liners,
 and the maĆ®tre d' pretends to be French.

2.  Get a bike rack and bike bag.
Cost: $40 - $80

Pros:  Huge pro here is that I need to be able to drag my stuff around and it's heavy.  This reduces my reliance on cars and Andrew, which is my current method of transporting things.  (Andrew has a bike rack and bag.)  This seems like a good investment considering my back problems, and if I get a new bike, I can transfer the rack onto that one.

Cons:  None that I can think of.

So far, carrying home eggs in my purse hasn't worked out well for either the eggs or the purse.

3.  Get a new bike.
Cost: $60 - $200

Pros:  I will need a bike in the future.  My current one sucks so much.  The gears don't work, it randomly shifts gears in a dangerous manner, it's too tall for me, and frankly I hate the way it looks and the colour too. 

Cons:  It gets me from point A to point B.  Granted, I really hate it, but maybe now's not the time to get a new one.  Then again, I could resell the old one for twenty to sixty bucks, which isn't a bad idea.

This isn't my actual bike.  My actual bike is green, and much shittier.

4.  Get a new phone.
Cost:  $50 - $120

Pros:  Like my bike, my phone is a piece of crap.  It has bad reception and is unreliable at getting calls.  The buttons are tiny, like it was made for a snowman with stick fingers, or maybe a tiny circus midget with deformed hands who uses a stylus to punch them.  Texting is impossible and the interface is awful.

Cons:  Like the bike, it works and is free, so maybe I shouldn't complain too much.  Unlike my old bike, I might not be able to sell the old phone.  Sort of seems like a frivolous purchase.

This isn't my actual phone.  My actual phone is not filled with candy,  and is much shittier.

5.  Get the car registered.
Cost: $120

Pros:  Well, it's technically legally required of me.  Getting the car registered and getting it CA plates would decrease my chances of getting ticketed and also would allow me to get a permanent residential parking pass.

Cons:  It's expensive and, while technically legally required, not a top priority.  Guest parking passes are good for 3 months, can be eternally renewed, and actually cost less than the permanent ones.  It also requires a trip to the DMV, which is run in Los Angeles by a single sullen teenager who plays Solitare on the computer and directs people to new lines to avoid having to help them.

When you Google search "DMV," an actual picture of my DMV comes up!  
And it's just as shitty as I remember!

6.  Buy some board games.
Cost: $20 - $60

Pros:  Board games are fun and encourage socialising and I really want to get a few.

Cons:  They're frivolous, I don't have many friends right now, and we already have a couple simple games around the house.  This is definitely more of a "want" than a "need."

Another pro: Having my own board games means I can offer alternatives to playing fucking Settlers of Catan, the only board game Jack owns.  I hate that game.

7.  Pre-pay on my car insurance.
Cost: $60

Pros:  I have to pay it anyway.  Might as well do it.

Cons: None.  I'm probably going to do this.

Call me insensitive.  These two images together crack me up every time.

8.  Pre-pay on some vet bills.
Cost: Whatever I want it to be.

Pros:  Eventually, realistically, Carlisle will create more bills for us.  He always does.  Having those bills dangle over our heads sucks.  By putting the money into this, it would ensure the next emergency won't be so bad.

Cons: My current credit plan doesn't accumulate interest in the first 6 months, giving me that long to pay off the bills.  In that context, it seems stupid to pre-pay since I have a long 6-month grace period to deal with it.  Also, this isn't fun at all, or rewarding.  And for now, both dogs are healthy and up to date on teeth cleanings, shots, and so forth.

Then again, Carlisle has a miraculous way of costing money 
even when he appears perfectly healthy.

9.  Pay for the tooth and put the rest on credit.
Cost: $200+

Pros:  It will need done eventually.  It will only get worse if I wait.

Cons: I might end up with benefits from a new job within a month or two.  Even sixth months won't make a huge difference.  I should wait and try to get a discounted or free service via my job, instead of putting my own money into this.  It's a super small cavity so it's not urgent-urgent.

If going to the dentist was like this I'd go every goddamn week.

10.  Fucking this!
Cost: $20 (shipping included)

Pros:  It's cute and I want it and I never get anything nice for myself.  It's also the cheapest thing on the list.

Cons: This is by far the most frivolous thing on the list and I don't need it.  Not by a long shot.


Out of $200, I will spend $60 on car insurance and up to $80 on bike gear, leaving me with the meagre sum of $60.  This I will probably use to take Andrew out.  If there's any left over I can get the dog bracelet and then feel guilty about it.  I also think I'll keep my shitty phone and cavity until after I'm employed, but try to sell my current bike for a new one.  Maybe I can buy a bike that already has a rack.  Then I'd only need to shell out $30-40 for a bike bag.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quick Update: Job Hunt

Hey Blog.  Quick entry just so I'm not falling behind.  Truth be told, not much is happening.  I had two interviews with Amgen last week, and got refused for one, and the other I got a "we're considering other candidates," which is a refusal with an asterisk.

They did give me some good advice: they said I came on too strong at the interview.  Well, I can see that.  At one point I said something was honey-glazed and when the interviewer said "You mean honey-coated?" I said, "No, honey-glazed.  Like the ham."

The good news is that they told me I was perfectly qualified, had the experience and work ethic, and would totally own the job.  Once again, my anxiety translated into over-confidence and I bombed the interview.

They were looking for a Kenneth, not a Jack.

The good news is, I'm getting better and better at interviews and I'm getting better and better at answering the questions.  Give me another few months and a hundred more applications and I'm sure I'll get a job eventually.

Also, does anyone else think it's weird how the interviewers did a reverse Hannibal Lector on me?  Truthfully the weirdest part is how spot-on they were about my personality.  They were like, "Listen, you're perfect, but you have a... strong personality.  Also, we think you might be co-dependent and have a substance abuse problem.  We're really looking for a candidate that was hugged enough as a child."  Then when I started crying, they gently embraced me and whispered, "We'll keep your resume on file."

I found this relevant clipart, but it appears to be a card.  I like to imagine the inside of the card says "YOU'RE FIRED!!!" in Comic Sans with a bunch of little happy suns around it.

I guess I knew I'd blown it when I kicked in the door and yelled that I'd have their jobs in a couple years.  Although to be fair, they did ask me where I planned to be in five years.  Or maybe they asked if I was a team player.  I'll be honest, I wasn't listening.  I was wearing my Drunk Sombrero and listening to Enrique and didn't have time for their asinine questions.

(Hopefully everyone understands that I'm joking here.)

Oh well.  Live and learn.  I'm confident that I'm getting better at doing this and that I'm on the right path.  There's two possibilities, really: either they hire me and I prove that I was just nervous at the interview and I'm actually a great person, OR they don't hire me and we forget about each other forever.  So it's not worth obsessing over.

In other news, Andrew and I have put together the house better... we got a couch that matches our rug and the house is finally looking more homey and I don't mind having people over.

So overall I'm pleased, making progress and getting stuff done, and getting interviews and doing a little better at each one.

Stuff with Jack still sucks.  I invited him to come get a sandwich with me and he was fucking around on his iPhone the whole time, which is not how you mend a friendship.  I'm going to let him start working on his, because I feel like I try and he responds by telling me my boobs are big and ignoring me.  (Not being facetious here, he actually told me my boobs are big, which is both inane and immature.)  (It's true, it's just like, you know, don't be a tool about it.)  If he really cares he'd grow up... a lot.  But I don't think he does.  He has so many friends he can't even be bothered to have a 15-minute-long conversation with me without checking his phone a couple times, replying to "time sensitive" messages.  They're ALL time sensitive, according to him.  If he were defusing a bomb and got a ping from his phone (420hi4lyfe: no YOUR a faggot!!1!) he'd probably push the bomb aside because the message was "time sensitive."  (jack: nuh-uh ur mom is teh faggot.)

On the other hand I feel awful because I love Andrew so much and I've put him in a terrible position where his two best friends can't hang out cordially, so he has to act like a mediator and split his time and everything, and that's not cool.  Andrew said Jack is very distressed and he said I'm like a baby snake.  (Fun fact: Baby snakes don't know how to bite without releasing ALL their venom.  Once they mature, they can release venom in smaller amounts to debilitate prey and still have more venom left over.)  But if Jack were half as distressed as Andrew says, wouldn't he grow up already and stop constantly acting like a teenager with unmedicated ADD?  I mean, damn, seriously.

Andrew says he's confident it will get resolved.  I want to believe him.  So far Andrew's never led me astray and always gives good advice.  For example, he dragged me to church this Sunday, which I was very grateful for.  It's stupid but I always wanted a guy who would come to church with me, and Andrew is the guy who dresses up in church clothes and yells at me to get out of bed even when I'm thrashing around and vomiting pea soup on him.

This is both my exorcism face as well as the look I get anytime he says I smell pretty.

He finally told me he was going even if I wasn't.  Ashamed at being out-Catholicked by a Jew, I did drag myself after him eventually.  (When he made it to the church, he sent me a text message that said "It's not too late to join me!"  Also he remembered to bring in my food for the food pantry.  What a winner, amirite, ladies?)  We got to carry up the offering to the alter AND on the way back I found $20 lying in the street.  God works in obvious ways sometimes.