evilhippo: hippo (108 [baffled])
( Nov. 8th, 2009 10:35 pm)
So, after a weekend of not really writing (and a week of only ever getting writing done while outside of my apartment), I've decided I'm never going to finish NaNo unless I get a netbook.


I also have a lot of other reasons to get a netbook, mostly 1) I want one to play with, 2) I'm pretty sure if I have something small that doesn't weigh like, 20 pounds, I'll actually use it to write under other circumstances, and 3) My current laptop is nearing the end of its reliable lifespan and I plan on building a desktop soon.

However, adding a netbook to my Build a Desktop Plan is kind of... cost-prohibitive, because I'm really not that rich, and knocking more than $300 off of what I was going to spend on a desktop will make a big difference in quality and... also I'm not entirely convinced I won't just kind of forget about it. Plus my current laptop isn't all that dead, so I feel bad semi-replacing it when it's really not even three years old yet. (In fact, I think my laptop sensed that I was thinking of cheating on it with a netbook so it hasn't shut off randomly even once in the last few days. If it can behave for another year or so and I save it the trouble of being lugged around and banged into walls and people, maybe it'd be happier and I won't have to build a desktop until next year.)

So... I guess the question is, is this a terrible idea? And do I really have the self-control and motivation to say to myself "Okay, if I buy this I am going to promise myself that I will produce x number of words per month to make it worth it, even after the cuteness of a laptop small enough to cuddle wears off."

Also, while I'm being questionably sane, the Chicago Tribune is running some ads lately that have made me, once again, want to go back to school for journalism. But I mean, seriously, this is just my strong desire to be like, a comic book/mystery novel type of journalist, where I actually get to run around and investigate and uncover things and generally be awesome. If I worked for the Trib, I suspect I'd be stuck on, like, investigating how they plan to keep the ice from melting at the city ice rinks when the weather randomly decides to be 70 degrees, and my articles would be something like "Yeah guys, they use freon, which is awful if you release it into the atmosphere but it's also what makes your refrigerators run and keeps your cars cool, so you're so not going to care." I wish I could shake the feeling that I've already made my share of irrational decisions that have not served me well (majoring in English with no exit strategy, going to an expensive private university with no exit-strategy). But maybe at this point, the only way out of this rut is by making yet another ill-advised an irrational decision. I certainly don't seem to be making any progress on rational ones. And if I was a journalist I'd also have a great excuse to own a netbook. What I really want, though, is basically a tablet netbook that I could just write in freehand, but I don't think those exist yet.
So, I was thinking going to culinary school would be like, I don't know, attending a state school or something, price-wise. $22,000??? For 24 weeks? That's... I mean... freaking crap. A year at the UofC was like, $30,000 when I stared (it's almost $40k now, but whatever). And the application fee is... unmentionable. Freaking crap, man, who the heck has that kind of money if they're going to go work in a bakery? Crap. Do all associates degrees cost this much? What the heck?

Why is every irrational dream I have completely unattainable in the dumbest ways possible?

Man, I am going back to wanting to be an astronaut. At least it was a lack of science aptitude that was keeping me from that, rather than CRAZY TUITION or NO ONE IS HIRING YOU HAHA UNLESS YOU WORK FOR FREE or, I don't know, SCREW VALID CULTURAL EXCHANGE, YOU'RE NOT CORPORATE ENOUGH TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN YOU HIPPIE.
evilhippo: hippo (76 [bubble])
( Dec. 9th, 2008 08:58 pm)
To Do:

1) Finish my Amity application. (This is in progress! Must tidy up essay!)
1a) Figure out where in Japan I want to teach. (Hiroshima is seeming really oddly appealing. Opinions?)
2) Apply for passport.
3) Daydream about quitting my job.
4) Actually wake up in the morning.
5) Return my library books.
5a) Get more.
6) Live in a loft with a fireman pole.
6a) Use it every morning to get to my kitchen and make tea.
7) Become a folk hero. (The first verse of my song is already written. "I am going to make a trebuchet / out of nothing but your menu items / but first I will eat this baked potato." The rest of it is a crazy banjo solo/tone poem.)
7a) Find out if it's proper for a folk hero to write her own song.


?) Profit!

I feel better now that I have a plan for the future, guys.
evilhippo: hippo (30 [thinking])
( Oct. 9th, 2007 02:24 pm)
I don't know what to do with myself. I was incredibly awake and alert yesterday, well before my usual 2:00pm... which somehow resulted in me not being able to sleep until well after 6 this morning, as if that makes sense (I finally get a full night's sleep at semi-normal hours, and it prevents me from having two in a row... way to go, self). And so basically I'm sitting here, bored, despairing that the most intriguing Craigslist ad in the last day has been someone's appeal for a writer to help them flesh-out their script for a movie in which Berserker Jesus takes revenge on all the Jews for killing him. (It's terrifying. There's a phone number. I wanted to call it from a pay phone somewhere, just to see if the guy was as serious about the idea as he sounded. But then I decided that, if there was someone who could seriously have that idea, which involved a lot of cursing, breaking necks, and turning the contents of people's stomachs into wine in order to frame them for murder, I didn't want to know.)

And my main dilemma right now is figuring out whether I want to give up and start looking for a second part-time job. It basically means I work more hours than I need to for less money than I need, and sees to it that if I ever do have a spare few dollars I won't be able to use them, but at least it'd be a slight weight off my shoulders when winter rolls around and my student loans come due. I already can't go to concerts anymore, what's it matter that the only day I'd ever have off completely would be Sunday? ... At least I probably wouldn't be bored anymore.

I really hate the job market sometimes. With a passion. Because if I take a second part-time job, I'm going to have to keep both of them for a while, or risk all of my future potential employers going "why did you quit so many jobs in 2007?" It's bad enough I get yelled at for trying to leave the stupid bank job. If you had a job that was only in the evenings, with uneven hours, for just over minimum wage, and were trying to make a living, and they'd made you work for a month without pay and the CTA was horrible so that you hardly ever got there on time, would you have any qualms about leaving it after only two months? Just... grrrr. (I am still bitter about my last interview, which was horrible. Though I'm also bitter about that e-mail I got that told me I wasn't qualified for data entry work, just because I wasn't a marketing major. And so now I'm finding myself applying less to office jobs that are for marketing, recruiting, or even general business places, because they've all been inexcusably mean to me and obviously don't know what they're looking for... though this isn't good for me because there are no other jobs. Stupid, stupid Chicago.)
So... today went well. Or as well as things could go when the buses completely refuse to cooperate. Freaking 'a, it took me more than three hours to get there. Three hours! It was supposed to take two at the most. In fact, the CTA said it would take me an hour and a half to 45 minutes. So I gave myself two and a half hours. And so I was half an hour late. Thankfully they were pretty forgiving, but OMG. Cubs game somehow delayed the red line by twenty minutes downtown. Downtown! I don't understand. That's not where Wrigley field is at all. And then the bus I needed was late, because apparently Pace buses are tardy in ways even the CTA can't manage. And then the bus didn't go where it was supposed to and dropped everyone off at this freaking mall, because apparently Pace also pwns the CTA at not following routes. And so... yeah. Grrr! But like I said, after that things went okay. I think I did decently on the tests (not great, I'm sure, since I took my time on them). I only made a few wince-worthy errors (like forgetting one of the interviewer's names). I have hope. Though the thought of the commute every day, even for a month and a half, makes me want to cry.

Also... my feet are a wreck. I hate shoes. (Well, I don't hate my sneakers. Much. Sometimes.) Yesterday I wore my brown ones that I hadn't worn in a while, and they either shrunk or my feet grew or I glossed over the painful memory of what they do to my feet (I fear it's the latter). Soooo they tore the backs of my heels all to heck, and then today I had to wear my black shoes, which have straps that go right over the damage area. Not cool. Very painful, in fact. But I finally got to use the bandaids I've had in my bookbag since junior year of high school. (Usually I make it a habit not to abuse my feet like this. I owe them now.)
evilhippo: hippo (58 [yip yip])
( Jul. 10th, 2007 11:20 am)
That actually went rather well. Phew. I'll know if I get a real face-to-face interview in a couple of days. Here's hoping... Fingers and toes crossed and all that... and I rather much do want this job now, because the person doing the interviewing was really nice and the company, despite the fact that it's like, home decor catalogs, sounds rather fun. (Perhaps it's the appeal of working around people who have to live off of being at least somewhat creative.) Of course, if I get the job I have to move to the north side, because it's in Skokie. And that's a more-than-two-hour commute from here... which I can survive for a few months, but don't want to continue for more than that. And... and... publishing experience! It'd actually be a useful job.

And, so unrelated it's not even a tangent, but I checked my e-mail a second ago and there it was... I must go to the Hideout Block Party in September, and people should come with me because it's good music (mostly because of Saturday, and not just because of Andrew Bird). And in case I haven't mentioned the free Decemberists concert in Millennium Park with the Grant Park Orchestra on the 18th, that's also going to be awesome (and free)... yeah. Omg. I actually would've held it against my friend who's getting married if I'd had to be back home during that. And I honestly just nervously checked when it started in case, on the off-chance I was employed, it was at a time I couldn't make it. Because it's the Decemberists for free with the orchestra. That is important.
So, the interview went kind of badly, and I kind of spent most of the rest of the evening moping... so I'm trying not to do any more of that right now. I'll just say that the guy interviewing me was a bit awkward, and spent a good part of the interview expressing his disinterest in me. So yeah. Not fun. And I officially hate my job search. I'm probably not the only academic type ever to have trouble adjusting to the working world, nor will I be the last, but eesh. There's got to be a haven of people who haven't been completely corrupted, who'd be willing to take the poor wanderers in.

In other news, tonight I had to finally figure out how to use the gas stove without dying (I've been around electric ones forever, and gas ones scare me on a very basic level because of my fear of leaving it on and blowing up). I got it lit... it went out... I got it lit again... I couldn't turn it down... the knob came off, it went out, I got it lit again... and finally convinced it that it did indeed have something like a low setting. Fun for everyone. But now I have my rice with surprise bits of fish in it and (provided the surprise about the fish isn't that it's undercooked) will be able to survive another day.

I also have a rather formidable pile of books that I brought back from the library. Mark Z. Danielewski's new(ish) book (Only Revolutions), books by David Mitchell (Ghostwritten) and Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys) because I've been meaning to read more by them since last spring quarter, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, because someone recommended it to me a while ago, and a random Battlestar Galactica novel I ran across on the new books shelf just below Only Revolutions... I figured it was fate, and obviously I'm meant to poke my nose back into officially sanctioned spin-off fiction (even if the title is "Sagittarius is Bleeding" and that seems to me like an awful title).
So guys I, uh, have a degree now. How weird is that? The ceremony was pretty much what I expected it to be--fairly boring (save for one student's speech, which was wonderful, but he's been showing me up in my classes for four years, so I'd expect that from him), exceedingly long (every single one of us was handed our actual diploma, so well over a thousand names were called)... and it turns out there are only about two people in the the entirety of the Social Sciences division that I know.

And, up until today, I had no idea how steeped in tradition academic ceremonies really are. Also, I am considering getting my PhD just so I can wear the robes. Though I wouldn't get it from Chicago... ours are just maroon. I'd go to Barcelona or something, so I could have a fringed fez.

So, really there's a lot I should be writing. Yesterday was nuts, especially once my parents got here... We ended up crashing the party at the Museum of Science and Industry (technically the formal afterparty for the baccalaureate) in our street clothes. Which basically means, say, for my dad, who was the most outstanding example of disobeying the supposed fashion rules, a denim jacket, a paint-splattered t-shirt, and suspenders. Suspenders. Apparently a few kids mistook him for Santa Claus a few weeks ago (before he got his hair cut for my graduation). I love how my parents are a constant embarrassment. We put the truck's tailgate down while we were waiting for our table at the Medici today, too. I'm just going to pretend it's like a cultural thing or something. That's a good excuse, right? (All of this and I'm not technically embarrassed... more amused, really.)

P.S. I am still homeless.
evilhippo: hippo (42 [towel])
( May. 25th, 2007 01:27 am)
Happy Towel day, everyone. (Also, happy Glorious 25th of May.)

Perhaps if I carry my towel with me today, Chicago will stop trying to completely destroy my faith in the world. Why Chicago, why is it impossible for me to find housing without you throwing something stupid into the works? Oh, awesome, an affordable sublet in Edgewater with cool people! And the evil housing fates come along and go "Hahaha, no, actually we are going to possess the landlord and have him turn the building into condos in July so you can't live there!" WTF! So I'm going to see a place in Hyde Park tomorrow. I don't particularly want to stay in Hyde Park, but if that's what it takes, so be it. (And you wonder why I wanted to move out of you, Chicago. Why do I have such terrible luck with you? I need an excuse to shake this evil feeling of doom and gloom, but you seem intent on making it impossible for me to find a job, too. Don't make me say I hate you, Chicago. Because I am this close, honest I am.)

Anyone want to take bets on whether or not I'll keep my promise to myself this weekend and actually work a lot on each of my papers every day? (I'm done in less than a week now, officially. This has really snuck up on me out of nowhere.)

(Also, important yet somewhat worrying lesson learned about myself? I can't even get myself to apply for a job if it seems soulless. This is going to be a huge disadvantage, and I wish I'd been on top of acknowledging this sooner so I could've been prepared with a list of potential soul-ful jobs to apply to in case prior arrangements feel through like they have, and probably will in the future, because apparently I've broken too many mirrors in my life or something. Freaking bad luck.)
evilhippo: hippo (58 [yip yip])
( May. 16th, 2007 02:16 pm)
You know... it's about time I had an appropriately embarrassing story to write about here. So! I spent this morning looking at apartments. I got up, and headed back up to Andersonville, where I met with these apartment-finder guys. I was afraid of them, but they were super-nice, and I saw three apartments. All of which were nice, but not super-nice. And so I chatted a bit, got a rental application, and went on my way to my noon appointment.

Noon appointment was with guy-named-Iulian-(whose name I thought was Julian)'s father who speaks no English (that was a lie, he knew about five words). Judging by Iulian's accent, and his name (which I thought was Julian), I assumed he was Spanish. I figured, hey, I can learn enough Spanish to get myself through seeing the apartment. (Basically "Hola, estoy aqui para ber el apartemento" and "so liente, no hable espanol." Getting this straight involved a last-minute call to one of my friends at home, who laughed at me, mocked my accent, and then spelled things for me.) I rang the buzzer at noon, and he let me in. At the door on the top floor, stood a shortish happy-faced man who didn't look Hispanic in the least. This SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY FIRST CLUE. I mumbled my apologies for only speaking English, and thanked him in Spanish. He smiled and nodded, and started showing me around. The tour was largely a game of charades, which got complex enough to tell me where I was supposed to take the garbage, and I'm pretty sure I gave the dish-washer a thumbs-up, because by that point I was super-flustered, having gotten very confused when there were doi refrigerators and not dos... and that there were two refrigerators. Eventually we moved back into the office, where he asked me to sit down, and I continued to sort of look around awkwardly, and attempted to tell him, in Spanish, that I liked the apartment. The conversation from there went something like this... (Oh this is so embarrassing.)

Me: Er... uh. Me gusta... el apartemento.
Man: ::blank stare::
Me: Er, um... sorry! Uh, I really don't know Spanish.
Man: ::odd look::
Me: No habla espanol?
Man: Spanish? No! Romana! American, right?
Me: (Omg omg omg, I am an idiot. Romana? ...Gypsies? Time Lords? ...Rome?... Italy. Italian!) Oh! Oh, no wonder. Yeah. Ha. I don't know a word of that! Wow.
Man: You know... uh... Nadia Comaneci. ::complex hand motions indicating gymnastics::
Me: Ohhhh. (What? The gymnast? What is going on here?) Yes, I know of Nadia Comaniche (yay, Americanized pronunciation, this is so embarrassing).
Man: Yes.
Me: Um... tu parles francais, peut-etre? (Crap, that was disrespectful. Crap. Vous.)
Man: ::blank stare:: No...
Me: Ah. ::nervous arm flailing:: It's the only other language I know, sorry! ::half-mumbled:: Worthatry.
Man: You call my son? ::points to the sign on the window::
Me: Er, yes, I called him already.
Man: ::gesticulates more:: Call my son. He speaks... perfect English.
Me: Yes, all right. (What am I going to say to him?)
Man: ::points to window::
Me: ::shows phone number in phone... calls son:: Er, hi, Julian?
Iulian: Hello, yes?
Me: Hi, er, Iulian, this is [evilhippo], I'm at the apartment.
Iulian: Hello, yes? What?
Me: This is [evilhippo], I'm at the apartment, er, I was wondering (say something useful!) how much do utilities usually run?
Iulian: What?
Me: (Omg, my reception is not this bad!) Er, yes, I'm at the apartment, with your father. I like it. How much do the utilities usually run?
Iulian: I am busy, can you call back later?
Me: Oh, right, um, sorry. Sure. Fine, yeah. ::hangs up... even more embarrassed smile:: He's busy.
Man: Oh, work, yes. Call at 5. ::draws five on the table::
Me: Right, er, thank you. ::nervous hand-wringing::
Man: ::leads back towards door:: Water. ::draws on arm::
Me: (Water? Did he understand the utilities question?) Water?
Man: Walking.
Me: ...(What is going on here?!) Walking?
Man: Yes, walking. ::points east:: That.
Me: Oh, the lake. Yes, I walked there already. It's... very close.
Man: ::nods, smiling::
Me: ::at door:: Uh, thank you. Again. And, er, sorry ::mumbles:: I don't speak... yeah. ::not mumbling:: It was nice meeting you.
Man: ::nods, smiles, stands at door to see off::

The worst part was that I didn't even figure out it was Romanian until I was walking around afterwards. I continued to think it was Italian! Wow. Hello, world, I am a stupid English-speaker, and all other languages sound the same to me. (Okay, I can tell French from Spanish, and Chinese from Japanese, but that's it. Everything else? Apparently the same. Romanian! Freaking Romanian! He might as well have spoken Basque! I feel like such a... I don't even know. Wow. And yet I still want the apartment.)
evilhippo: hippo (51 [silhouette])
( May. 9th, 2007 10:00 am)
It took me two hours to fall asleep last night. That's... not good. Then I had a dream about a menacing, evil rat/possum that was in league with this pirate's monkey that lived in my building's basement and hated me. I had to chase the possum around my room... at first it was a mouse, and I think I said "aww" and let it go... then it was a rat, and it was trying to bite me, so I caught it and tried to carry it down the stairs. Eventually it became a possum and tried even harder to bite me, then it escaped from the bag I had it in and there were too many people in front of me for me to be able to chase it down the stairs. Then I got downstairs, but it couldn't get outside unless someone opened the door, and I said something like "even the monkey couldn't do it," and the monkey got mad and tried to eat my face or something.

Probably a manifestation of my stress. I'm going to see an apartment today, hopefully. It's pretty cheap, and in a wonderful location. So... I guess we'll see. I'm surprised my bad dreams don't center around me having no credit and no savings or income (at the moment) to speak of. They probably will after today.

Looking for a job is hard. I've found one job that I really want, that I'd keep... and a lot of crap jobs that I don't want, but could stand to work for a year or so in exchange for being able to support myself. And as long as they pay me $10/hr, or I work more than 30 hours a week, I can survive at least until my loans come due. It's doable... I'll live... this won't be fatal. It just won't be pleasant for a while. I can live with that.

I think I inherited all this worrying from my mom...
evilhippo: hippo (11 [shh])
( May. 3rd, 2007 01:28 pm)
Dear World,

I'm used to you being mean to me. I've even kind of accepted it, since you seem to take joy in throwing extra obstacles in my path. But it's completely unfair of you to be mean to dogs, too.

Frustrated and Betrayed,

(Someday I will get around to posting an entry that actually has some relevance that isn't vague and kind of weird but omg so much is going on at once and my brain is going to slide out of my ears soon.)
evilhippo: hippo (3 [grr])
( Feb. 9th, 2005 12:10 am)
So... I got really bored. And I've been talking to my dad for the past hour or so now, and I'm back in that lovely little existential crisis about my FUTURE. So... tell me...

[Poll #434021]


evilhippo: hippo (Default)


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