Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Time is Ticking...

Today's quote: Is your vagina listed in the New York City guide books? Because it should be - hottest spot in town. Always open!

So my parents are wondering what the hell I am doing with my life. Honestly, I don't know. I've been playing WoW a lot lately, but how do I tell my old-fashioned Asian parents that? Um, hi Mom and Dad. The reason I haven't called you as much lately is because I've been immersed in this addictive MMORPG and I have no time to do anything else because I've been obsessed with ranking up.

Now they've decided that I'm behind on the career path and also my life path. My brother decided to have a talk with me to let me know that they want me to get my ass in gear. I guess since I'm pushing 26 they think the clock is ticking. Great!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bye-Bye, Boring Laundry

I've recently written an article on new hi-tech machines out there that help make the laundry easier. I know, I know, it's not like the laundry is all that hard. What trips me up about it is the fact that it's a two-stage process. Since most washers I've seen don't come with buzzers, I often forget to come back and put the load in the dryer. The machines I discussed in the article either combined the process into one step, or have notifications sent out to your cell phone or TV to let you know to come back. A lot of people have commented that the notification system is lame, but I have seen everyone I know forget a load in the wash at least once.


The article is up on digg.com and shoutwire.com, so feel free to give it props...

Here are some of the comments I've gotten on my article:

"Really, text massages to your cell? That seams real dumb, and its not like doing laundry is hard. And i kinda like doing laundry, you can watch and its real relaxing. "

"What I want to know is why do most dryers buzz but not washers? That seems totally backwards to me.

Ideally, I want to be notified when the washer is done - not just to save time, but also to remind me my job isn't over yet. So many times I've left wash sit there for days because I forgot to flip it. I'd also like to disable my dryer buzzer as there's no need for the bastard to go off in the middle of the night after I've set it and went to bed.

Also, laundry sucks because of the *folding* - not the washing/drying phases, or even the sorting."

"Author of this story:
"I've often wished for a laundry machine that either let me know when a load is done"...
* * * * * BUUZZZZZZ * * * * *
..."Holy Sh@t! WTF was that??!" [Smartass...to hear the buzzer requires that you actually be in the vicinity. For those of us who don't own homes and don't like to stay glued to the laundromat, it may not be so easy to hear the buzzer if we're elsewhere.]

Here was the most illuminating comment about why Americans don't really have the already washer/dryer in one combo:

"TMCDIGG wrote:

"But seriously, why do we need "TWO BIG BOXES" to wash and dry clothes? You'd think by now someone would make a product that could do BOTH functions in ONE machine, no?...why can't there be just ONE BOX to wash, and dry.. then you just take it out when done.. do we really need to crowd floor space with two machines? Sure, its inefficient for wet cold clothes to then be heated and dried in the same machine but where there is a WILL (AND MARKET DEMAND) there is a way."

I work for an appliance manufacturer, and many years ago we did offer washer/dryer combos for reasons of space-saving (and still do, in Europe). Trust me when I tell you, they are remarkably inefficient, because of the need to drain out all of the water from the washer before drying and the extra energy required to dry wet, cold clothes. People say they want these washer/dryer combos until they hear it will take them upwards of four hours to wash and dry _one load_ of clothes.

If there's one piece of feedback we consistently get from consumers about laundry, it's that they want to reduce the amount of time needed to wash/dryer clothes, not increase it. That's why washer/dryer pairs continue to dominate the market in the US. We've got the space to accomodate them, and we don't want to spend the entire weekend washing clothes. In places where space is an issue (urban areas of Europe or Japan) they have the washer/dryer combos because they have no choice--they can't spare the space, so they have to put up with long wash/dry times.

There won't be a market demand for washer/dryer combos in the US unless (a) we suddenly become hyper-crowded, or (b) the laws of physics undergo some pretty significant changes and it's possible to wash/dry a load in the same amount of time that a washer/dryer pair will."

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happiness..too much to ask for?

Today's quote: Janice, I apologize to you if I don't seem real eager to jump into a forced awkward intimate situation that people like to call dating. I don't like the feeling. You're sitting there, you're wondering do I have food on my face, am I eating, am I talking too much, are they talking enough, am I interested I'm not really interested, should I play like I'm interested but I'm not that interested but I think she might be interested but do I want to be interested but now she's not interested?

So I haven't really been working for a couple of months now. Let's review the past year. I've quit law school, moved to Seattle, looked for jobs, been offered 4 jobs, turned down 4 jobs, and have turned to writing. I've read of how so many other people have gotten book deals from their blogs. I wonder how I could get the same deal. I'm the person who not only dropped out of law school, but also chronicled along the way to that decision. What I'm wondering is, would anyone even be interested? You hear stories of these burnouts all the time. People drop out of college, law school, and med school plenty. Is there anything special about me?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dehumanizing Science

Today's quote: The point is that he is an insecure fuck, like all beautiful-but-handed-everything-on-a-silver-platter people. He doesn't trust anyone in this world but you. You've been born into royalty baby. You know it. Now you just gotta be thankful, and wear the crown.

I've come across an interesting question. Today, when you ask most people to name one living scientist, they usually draw a blank. Or, if they name one it's usually Stephen Hawking. One guy theorizes that the only reason people know Hawking's name is because he's in a wheelchair. That could very well be true. What else would explain why there are more brilliant scientists toiling away in obscurity?

In general, we just don't know very much about the people working behind the scenes anymore. Why is this?

On a different note, I've just written a new article that is published here http://www.americaninventorspot.com/gadget_dos_and_gadget_donts

If you want to help me out, you can visit www.shoutwire.com and register as a user. Then, do a search for my article and give it a Shout, if you want to.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Living Virtually

Today's quote: That you can lose yourself. Everything. All boundaries. All time. That two bodies can become so mixed up, that you don't know who's who or what's what. And just when the sweet confusion is so intense you think you're gonna die... you kind of do. Leaving you alone in your separate body, but the one you love is still there. That's a miracle. You can go to heaven and come back alive. You can go back anytime you want with the one you love.

I have had a most awful love-hate relationship with a few games. Mostly, it's been World of Warcraft, but in small part it has also been with the Sims. It's a love-hate kind of thing because the concept in both games is to improve your character so that it becomes more powerful-- hopefully something near the top of the food chain. I guess I can't stand the irony of it...here you are playing a game designed upon the idea of improving yourself and gaining skills, and yet in real life you sit there pouring your energy into something virtual while the rest of the world passes you by.

What is it about these types of games? At times I hate World of Warcraft with every part of my soul. I despise how much time it takes from improving the real me, not the character I play on a screen. I hate how people I know try to plan things around holidays going on in the game, or other special events. I keep telling myself that a person plays a game for fun, and that's really the only objective. However, I guess I find myself wishing that WoW was not quite so immersive...that it didn't draw you in with its siren song. I have fun playing Warcraft also, and sometimes I'm relieved that it's a game that only plays in rounds, it's not something based on a cumulative improvement/leveling goal. You only play the game at that time, and when that round is over, the next time you play you start over from scratch, as does everyone else in the game. It's what I have tried to play to escape playing WoW so much. But then, I resent the fact that I'm playing another computer game to keep myself from playing WoW. It's like falling back on a lesser narcotic in the attempt of trying to wean myself off an addiction to heroin.

By contrast, WoW is one of the most multi-faceted role-playing games out there because the game offers you any number of things that you can do in game. One of the primary goals is to level your character so that it becomes more powerful, but there are other things you can choose to do also. You have professions you can choose to gain skill in; hell, you can even choose to become an expert fisher by spending all your time fishing in the rivers and lakes in that world. At times, I feel overwhelmed with all the things that I perceive my character should become able at. This is when the irony starts to strike me as cruel, because I then begin to muse over how much effort or time I spend trying to gain skills for something, that in the end, doesn't really matter. What does matter?

Friday, July 14, 2006

All for Naught

Today's quote: I hope it feels so good to be right. There's nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?

So...I was led on quite the merry little goose chase today. I left 45 minutes before my interview with a marketing company today. The drive normally takes about 20 minutes from where I live. Guess how long it took me? 1 HOUR. The next stupid thing was that their door with the suite number was conveniently blocked, so I couldn't see the suite number. Actually, all the suites around it were in similar fashion, so I was driving around the building trying to ascertain if I was even on the right side of the building. I finally decided to park somewhere and walk around to get a closer look.

I finally made it to the proper place, only to be amazed at how small it was. The place was about 2 rooms. While I was waiting there, I saw another woman come in and start filling out the same typical employee information sheet I had just filled out. To my amusement, she seemed rather distraught over the questions it was asking. She pulled out several pieces of folded up paper, only to stare at the form in a perplexed fashion and scratch her head. This made me wonder about her chances of getting hired.

Finally, I was led back to the "conference room" to speak with the manager. My interview with him lasted 5 minutes. You know why? Because people like them take bullshitting to unprecedented heights. The positions they had open were for sales people to canvas neighborhoods hawking merchandise. In other words, I would have been one of the people my father was forever chasing off the premises with threats. The ad for the position labeled it as "advertising and marketing representative." Duties included "preparing and providing marketing materials for the internal sales team and prospective clients; developing excellent written and verbal skills." Wow, what a way to say that you're basically going to be hoofing it door-t0-door being a huge pain in the ass by trying to sell something. And where would the "excellent written skills" be coming from? Surely they don't mean having the customer fill out purchase orders??

As soon as I got it out of him what the job was really about, the interview was over. Driving 20+ miles at over an hour away, and this is what I got. I had tried asking the woman on the phone yesterday what kind of duties would be involved, and she'd refused to give me a straight answer. All of this for a 5 minute interview. I guess you win some, you lose some.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Today's quote: Sea turtles, mate. A pair of them strapped to my feet.

I saw Pirates today. I was totally taken aback by how long the line was to get in for the movie, even though I'd arrived an hour early for the showing. By a sheer stroke of luck I was able to obtain seating in the stadium seat section, even though I was almost at the back of the line. While waiting in line, I saw various people dressed up as pirates walking around. When did these two movies develop this type of following? It only had one prior film made, and it was nothing like the Harry Potter series.

***Spoiler Alert***

The movie was more entertaining than I thought it would be, given what I'd heard from the radio interviews from the morning. Of course, the one scene with the rolling giant wheel and the three dueling men was rather ridiculous. I also had issue with the witch who had the most atrocious Jamaican accent ever and black lipstick smeared haphazardly on her. Lastly, Elizabeth coldly chaining Sparrow to the doomed ship to die made me like her just a little less. You sort of think of her as an honorable sort of person, but I guess she's not above having a bit of original sin herself.

There are some moments that are just too ridiculous for words, other moments full of tension and drama. I suppose it was a decent mix, and at least it didn't keep me from being too bored or feeling like it had a stagnant plot. All in all, it was ok. Did I think it deserved its record-breaking box office sales? Not really.

Friday, June 30, 2006

It's a Bird...

Today's quote: You wrote that the world doesn't need a saviour, but every day I hear people crying for one.

Like countless other fans, I went to see Superman. Despite the two leading men being extremely easy on the eyes, and an ok plot with very decent acting, I was actually disappointed. Why? I'm all for the modern-day superhero being all sensitive and everything, but it's a little different if you're chipping away at the actual identity or perception people have of the superhero. Of course, this is just my opinion. Perhaps I'm disappointed from having seen Superman as a little girl and forming an image of his invincibility, and then being confronted with something a little different here. It's always been Superman, Man of Steel with the love of his life, Lois Lane.

***Superman Spoiler Alert***

But this movie portrays him differently. He's still as hot as ever, but what's this? Lois Lane has shacked up with someone else?! And she has a kid?!!!! Granted, you find out that it's Superman's kid. You sort of always think of Lois Lane as a feisty Ms. Uber-Reporter. You don't really think of her as having settled for someone else because Superman is gone, and then going on to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning article titled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." She appears to have very deep issues as to feeling abandoned by Superman. At least the movie didn't muck it up with adultery. The characters are all very noble and have their shining sterling-silver integrity intact. My main point? The movie was good, yes. However, it left me feeling frustrated because things didn't seem the way they should be. For one, where was the chemistry between Superman and Lois? Where was the depth? The characters seemed somewhat flat and two-dimensional. Yes, I know it's partly about character reinvention so that we, the audience, can see a new side of them and love them more for it. I'm just not sure that I'm lovin' it, and I'm not so sure that it's working.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Don't Look Back

Today's quote: I don't think you understand. Me - gonads! You- ovaries!

Do you ever wonder why companies have made the packaging on some things so difficult to open? For example, I bought a crappy optical usb mouse today at Target. Actual time spent buying mouse: 3 minutes. Time spent opening package of said mouse: 20 minutes. In the process, I have given myself two cuts from the plastic, and ruined one pair of scissors. I could not believe my eyes when the plastic repelled the scissors and then broke them. I finally had to get out the trusty Leatherman that I received from an ex-boyfriend as a birthday present (yes, it's useful, but what woman wants a bloody Leatherman for a birthday present?!) and stab at the package until I got a manageable hole to finally get the mouse out. The last time I had this much trouble was with the Sandisk Micro-Cruzer. I wonder if anyone has ever sued a company for injuries sustained while navigating the perilous process of trying to open crazy packaging?

By the way, I've quit my newest job. I couldn't see myself staying there for more than a year, so I felt that perhaps things were better if I just quit now and saved myself the misery of a year of work that I didn't like or have any interest in, and also saved the company the time and energy of training me in the work. Plus, it needs some moderate amount of people skills since construction seems to be one of those things that's very buddy buddy-ish.

So far, I seem to have experienced opposite ends of the spectrum. At the last job, I always had something to do and the day went by fast. The duties would have been enough to engage someone and keep them occupied. The atmosphere is very comfortable, and employees are allowed to wear pretty much whatever they want. All in all, it was a very comfortable place to work. The drawback was that it barely paid better than minimum wage. So much for their policy of trying to "attract the best and the brightest at above-market-average wages." The new job paid more than $15,000 a year than the other job, but at the same time the work did not engage me in the least. I hated the work. The only thing I could foresee happening was that the work would get easier, but that I would not like it any better as time went on. It's funny, last week I thought that I could do any job as long as it paid decently, but this week I found out that I actually think otherwise. I almost feel like I've been betrayed by myself. So what am I doing now? I'm considering my options of how I might actually get to write to pay some bills, since it's pretty much the only thing right now that makes me happy. I need some ideas.

Time to go back to eating ramen.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Suddenly Me

Today's quote: We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?

Alright. After enduring the little trial period in the a/p department, I was extended an offer of permanent employment as an account analyst. But guess how much it was for! A stinking, miserly, bloody $12/hr. I tried negotiating for something more reasonable, but the hiring manager wasn't having any of it. She refused to budge. I even tried to appeal to common sense: how can anyone living in Seattle be expected to survive on less than $25,000 a year before taxes?! Nope, zip, zilch, nada.

In utter despair, after having felt like I'd wasted almost a month of my life to no avail, I decided to call one of the people who'd asked if I was still interested in a job as an office engineer. They scheduled me for an interview for Friday morning, and voila! They offered me the job. The whole thing happened so quickly that it took my breath away.

The only thing is...I know nothing about construction. I don't care about gravel and silt and pipes and rocks. I am amazed that I am here trying to figure out state codes approving or defining what exactly is meant by a "large rock." Do I really need to know what the specifications are for "large woody debris"?

In the last job, I had friendly people I could talk to, a comfortable atmosphere, and free tea and water and hot cocoa. The breakroom has a pinball machine, ping pong table, foozball, and an air hockey table downstairs. The things it lacked: decent hourly pay, and no excuses for being late. In general, the time policy is rather anal-retentive there.

In my job now, I'm salaried at a very decent rate. They don't count every minute (although conversely I don't get paid overtime if I work late), I get free water, tea and pop. I'm higher on the totem pole than I've ever been before. Despite all this, I'm still not happy. What's wrong with me?

Is it better to be a big fish in a small ill-fitting pond, or a small fish in a huge non-caring lake?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Perfect Spoof

Today's quote: That's a tough one. I would have to say April 25th [is my perfect date]. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

On my way driving to work every morning, I listen to a particular radio station for the celebrity sleaze gossip and other tabloidish news. Well, this morning I heard one of the best stories I've come across in a long time.

The Mrs. World beauty pageant suffered a terrible fiasco. Why? Because they crowned the wrong winner! Mrs. Russia was announced as the winner, but person placed the crown on Mrs. Costa Rica's head instead. Not only that, but Mrs. Costa Rica was also given the sash, and took the walk of fame complete with that little wave they do. All the losing contestants also did the thing where they swarm the stage and hug the winner. Of course, this time they actually did it to the wrong person. Meanwhile, Mrs. Russia was sitting there off to the side just watching everything going on. It took them quite a while to catch on to the fact that they had made such a mistake of monumental proportions. It's funny because you can see a man screaming backstage at the woman who gave the crown to Mrs. Costa Rica. The first thing they did was take the crown and sash back from Mrs. Costa Rica and then did a retake of the winner's scene. Then everyone went backstage and started screaming at each other.

I feel sorry for both contestants, but this is too funny! I can totally see a Simpson's spoof made from this. The fake winner is crying joyfully and waving, when the music abruptly stops and they say "oops" and run up to the girl to snatch the crown and sash and dump them on the real winner. I honestly don't know who to feel sorrier for. Mrs. Costa Rica, who got to wear the stuff before they were taken so coldly back, or Mrs. Russia, whose glorious moment is forever ruined and becomes the tawdry stuff of laughable tabloid news. However, I wonder why Mrs. Costa Rica fell for it. Was she not listening to the winner being announced? You would think that if you were one of the finalists waiting with bated breath to maybe hear your name being announced that you would very surely realize that you WEREN'T the winner. Of course, I guess there is something to be said for the whole sequence of events confusing any sane and rational person. Afterwards, Mrs. Costa Rica said she'd gotten caught up in the whole moment. Oh, how I'm having flashbacks to when Zoolander gives the acceptance speech when he didn't win.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Barely Above Water

Today's quote: Dad, I'm prairie dogging it!

Ok, so I've been working at this company for about 2 weeks now as one of their bottom-feeding data entry bots. My vision is deteriorating from staring at the computer screen for so long every day, my back and shoulders hurt constantly, and I'm developing carpal tunnel, I kid you not. Oh, and at night I see invoices and computer screens floating in my vision. The only thing I can say is that I have some flexibility at my craptastic barely-better-than-minimum-wage job, which is more than I can say for the last f/t job I had. Of course, the last f/t job I had paid more than twice as much, and had the most awesome kick-ass benefits.

Just two more weeks to stick it out, and then we'll see if it pays off. In the meanwhile, I think this is the most unhappy I have ever been in my entire life. At least my coworkers seem fun. Sorta. Their personalities are pretty unique, as you'll see down below.

The brain: there is not yet a subject that I have heard this guy say he doesn't know at least something about. He has an opinion on everything, including whether your opinion is misguided or not. At least he can hold intelligent conversations on almost anything. Interesting tidbit of info: he thinks that basketball is the most stupid and non-strategy-involved major sport.

The Russian chick: so far I have little to really see from her, other than the fact that it's kinda cool that she speaks Russian. I think she was born in Uzbekistan, not totally sure. She also seems to be the buffer b/t the two guys.

The red-head: has extremely red hair, and the typical pale skin that accompanies such hair. He also seems to have his fair share of the stereotypical temper attributed to those of that particular pigmentation. Has been in the army for an unknown length of time, and is somewhat of a goofball. Likes to debate frequently with the brain, even on subjects he doesn't really know much about.

Listening to their frequent debates keeps me amused for part of the time, as does their occasional odd antics. So far I've seen the brain throw a paperclip at the Russian chick, to which she responded by throwing a tissue box. For some reason, this made me think of my torts professor saying "disproportionate retaliation!"

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Seeds of Discontent

Today's quote: Rain Mountnier!

I've been feeling more restless lately. I'm not sure why. I've kinda lost my appetite, and nothing seems to taste good anymore. Here I am, on a Friday night (or Saturday morning at 1:39am) unable to sleep, as usual. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had a really good night's sleep. I almost always have a nightmare or two every night, and when I wake up I usually feel exhausted, cranky and have a budding headache to boot.

Well, I sort of have a job. Maybe. Despite me not having any sort of background in a/p, they are willing to try me out, maybe. They've referred me to one of their temp agencies, and I get to start out as a data entry bot where I have to work 50 hrs/wk for truly heinous crap pay. I'm supposed to work in this position at least one month, at maximum 6 months. I'll be working in the data entry position until they deem I'm capable of handling the duties of the real position I interviewed for.

My friend thinks that it sounds like they don't trust me and that they're trying to back me into a position that I don't want or need. I think it's more likely that they're afraid I won't like the job and will just quit on them. Why do I think this? Because they told me straight out that that was one of their fears. I'm just afraid now. I'm afraid that I will find myself in a job that I hate so much that I will be just like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. That's the funny thing, though. I didn't really have any doubts until they kept expressing doubts as to whether I would like a/p. After being bombarded with so many veiled references to such doubt, I have come to wonder if there is just cause as to why I wouldn't like the job or profession.

Somehow, I thought there would be more to things than this? Why am I left feeling like there should be something better? I almost feel like a kid who opens up a shiny present under the Christmas tree only to find some socks. Yeah, the socks are useful, but where is the fun present?

Monday, May 15, 2006


Today's quote: You think I'm not quick enough. Guy thinks I'm not quick enough. Well I got news for you. I am quick enough!... Cockboy!

OK. It's been weird. After not hearing from anyone in months, no one asking for a single interview, no one caring that I exist or even concerned with the slight possibility that I could come work for them, I've suddenly been inundated with calls. The problem is, they were all for jobs that I don't really want now. I've finally settled on a direction I want to go in. Unfortunately, the job I got an offer at was for a project manager position for a marketing firm. It wasn't really what I would call my cup of tea. Plus, I had to take a drug test for them, and when I got the offer letter they demanded I reply in one day. How unreal is that? I thought most places gave you a few days at least, if not a week!

The thing that's holding me up now is that I'm interviewing for an accounting position with an internet company based here. Yes, I'm not naming it b/c I'm paranoid that I would be breaking some confidentiality rule or something, whatever. Plus, on the off chance that someone from there stumbles across this page, there just aren't that many ppl who have recently moved here from Iowa Law. Uh huh. This job wasn't really what I had decided I wanted to do, but the thing that makes it hard is that it is in a field I have previously considered, then discarded b/c I didn't really know enough about the profession. And it sounds boring. But I got a call from the company out of the blue asking me if I would be interested in the position, so I thought to myself, why not? It's not like it's totally a random choice, since I have considered it before. Plus, if I try it out I might like it better than I think...right? I was trying to keep my options open. Well, apparently after surviving a 2 hr 45 min interview, now they're concerned that I seem over-qualified and are worried about my commitment to the field.

Do people not realize the only thing that really sets me apart is the fact that I'm making my choice later than other people? I basically have the same 4-year degree, and about 1 year of solid full-time work experience. I'm so tired of hearing this "over-qualified" excuse. Everyone has to start out at the bottom somewhere, and I am sure in the perfect world everyone would find an entry-level position that perfectly matched their capabilities. However, as we all know, this is a far from perfect world. I'm not just tired of going through all the interview loops, of getting offers from jobs I don't really want anymore, or trying to convince people to just give me a chance before they start worrying that I'm going to jump ship. I'm tired, period. Everything seems like a maybe, but not quite.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Parent Trap

Today's quote: I knew you couldn't resist my shit! I got the shakes that'll make you quake. I got the fries that'll cross your eyes. I got that burgers that'll... I just got burgers.

My parents are in town visiting me. Right now, I've been pushed out of my bedroom and am sleeping on the floor in the extra bedroom. Why am I sleeping on the floor instead of on the couch in the living room? Perhaps b/c I woke up the first morning after they got here to have them both peering down at me. Not the most pleasant awakening.

It's always a strange thing when they visit me. Of course I love my parents, really I do. It's just that I've gotten used to having my own life without their interference, so I always feel somewhat panicky and resentful when they decide to come visit and throw everything into upheaval. My poor brother and his wife, they had to clean up their house and get everything ready for our parents.

My brother and I were busy hiding things that we would otherwise have to explain to our parents. For me, it was basically hiding some clothes and accessories, since they don't approve of the fact that I spend money on anything. For him it was any and all traces of poker. His wife thinks we're crazy and wonders why we can't be ourselves. That's b/c that's just not how it works.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Any Takers?

Today's quote: There is no such thing as coincidence, just the illusion of coincidence.

I've hit the beginning stages of desperation. Therefore, I visited the bookstore and perused the career aisle looking for tips. I skimmed What Color is Your Parachute, 250 Interview Questions, Finding the Career For Your Personality, and a few others. More information shouldn't hurt, right? The only problem is, now I feel overwhelmed, especially when some of the sources contradict each other as to what to do or how to do something.

One thing I read was that the average time it takes to find a new job is 19 weeks. Eeeeek!!!! In the meanwhile, I've hit rock bottom, and do not have any money after having paid rent for April to that evil, godforsaken complex called Seville. I hope that place burns down.

I wish I could be a writer for a living.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Today's quote: You mean to say that you are a daughter of Eve?

I visited Business Careers last week...only to have them tell me that my skills, education, and overall background are only worth 27k-30k/yr. There you have it folks, my pricetag comes at 27-30k. And from the interview I went to on Friday, more towards the low end of that spectrum apparently.

I've been here in WA for almost two months now, and I still haven't found a job that I will be happy with. What with school loans and rent back in IA still riding my ass, I think I need to making a little more than 27k/yr. During this entire time, it has been difficult not to let my sense of self-worth diminish every day. But that's a rather difficult order when you get no calls for interviews, and then when you visit staffing agencies they tell you that you're not qualified for anything (despite an undergrad degree in math from Berkeley).

So what exactly is the problem? Of course, nothing is ever really black and white and that simple. I'm sure that it's a combination of factors. But a lot of times, there is usually just one or two major factors that everything else is sort of tied into or overridden by. So what can I be doing better? I have a not too bad gpa from undergrad, and also not too bad from the first year at law school either. I'm prepared to make the argument that my degree in math shows that I'm tenacious and disciplined, and that I'm not exactly the run-of-the-mill ditz. But I can only really make that argument if I get an interview so that there is someone to spout off all my prepared reasonings to. So, is it a question of not what I know, but who I know? Or, is it because I don't have a typical degree in cs or business that's just so cookie-cutter for certain industries? Curses on the math department advisor at Berkeley! She told me that I would never have a problem getting a job with my degree. However, a few months after graduation I went to the website for the Bureau of Labor & Statistics and it reported that the average annual income for those with my degree was $19k/yr. I am not sure how it's changed since, but that wasn't the news I'd exactly been jumping for joy to hear.

Everyday I wake up and apply to as many jobs as I am even remotely qualified for on monster.com, seattlepi.com, and then I start browsing the websites for each company specifically that I would like to work for. Some of the biggest companies at the top of my list are Amazon, Microsoft, Weyerhaueser, Nintendo and T-Mobile. Is it a pipe-dream to want to work at one of these companies?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I Hate Coffee (cont)

What have I learned from my stint at Barnes & Noble?
  • I hate coffee. I truly do. It smells great, but I really don't want to drink it.
  • Everything at the B&N cafe is way exorbitant. I thought it was still expensive even for me, and I got 50% off all the drinks and food.
  • The B&N Membership is so not worth getting. You pay $25.00 a year for the membership, but you only save 10% off all future purchases. This means that unless you spend more than $250 a year at B&N, you will not even recoup the amount of the membership.
  • Don't let the people at the cafe upsell you to a bigger size coffee or talk you into getting some crazily overpriced food to go with your already overpriced drink.
  • There are so many ways to hurt yourself working in the cafe. I have splattered milk at 160 degrees all over myself, knocked over drinks I was making, splattered dishwater in my eye, burned myself on the coffee shotglasses, burned myself with the hot water coming out of the San Marcos, burned myself on the drip coffee, and cut my finger while trying to slice open a sandwich for a customer.
  • B&N cafe has a policy of getting the customer's order in their hand within two minutes from their entry into the line. How realistic is that when there are like 10 people lined up?
  • Coffee is a whole different language. When I first started I couldn't even understand what people were saying. How many different variations could there be? Let's see: decaf or regular; whole, nonfat, 1%, 2%, or soy milk; how many shots can you get; what flavored syrup and how many pumps can you get; how much foam do you want; whipped cream or not; layered or mixed; etc. I think I'll be happy to stick to tea.
It's funny how right after I was hired several other applications came in, and they all had like 5 years experience at Starbucks and/or B&N. Looks like I had barely beat the rush.

It was kind of cool seeing the regulars who always came in. There was the one woman who came in twice a day every day, and has been doing so for 7 years. Each time she spends about $3, which means she spends almost $6 a day on coffee. The amount it comes out to per year is mindboggling. Then there were all these old people who came in as couples and hung out together reading and just being cute together. I hope I can be like that if I get to that age.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Hate Coffee

Today's quote: It's the devil.

Ok, so I've been out of action on here for a long time. Let's see, where to start. I'm going to need a job while I stay here for a while to establish residency because there is no way I'm going to suffer yet another year of non-resident tuition for law school. It's not that worth it. So I'd been sending out resumes like mad for quite a while now... basically for about a month. No word. So I decided that it would be good to have a part-time job in the meanwhile to help allay some of my living expenses. I had always wanted to try working in Barnes & Noble, so I put in an application there. Lo and behold, I was hired in less than a week from submitting my application. But did I get to work in the bookside so that I could browse all the lovely new books and magazines? No, alas, it was not meant to be. I was hired on as a cafe server. This means basically making all the same coffee that the people in Starbucks do.

I couldn't believe that I was living out Jin's nightmare. She used to joke that she would be working in Starbucks making coffee after graduation. Well apparently, I'm one up, since I'm doing it even before I've graduated.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sleeping in Seattle

Today's quote: Verbal ability is a highly overrated thing in a guy, and it's our pathetic need for it that gets us into so much trouble.

Ok, maybe not really Seattle. More like a suburb of it. After having left on Friday, I am now here! It was funny how right when I had to hold my pee and also needed to refuel the gas simultaneously I hit hardcore traffic. You know that dance you do when you really have to go, but for some reason or another you can't? That was me. To top it off, my dad called for the fifth time today right when I was trying to maneuver past a bitch driving her SUV honking at me when she was the one trying to merge into traffic. I was ready to just throw my cell out the window by then because my dad has had the amazing luck to keep calling at all the worst moments. Yesterday I almost drove off an exit ramp in Wyoming while it was snowing because the cell rang right then.

After the days of driving, not drinking in the car because I didn't want to have to pull off somewhere just to pee, lugging all my stuff to and from the car every night, trying to mash down the mounds of stuff in my car and hope that I wasn't cracking my lcd tv screen, I've finally arrived. In a way, it was anticlimactic. Right when I drove into my brother's neighborhood the sky became overcast and started to drizzle. What a wonderful omen. At least I am reunited with my Hello Kitty slippers. How I've missed them!

Saturday, January 28, 2006


By the way, for anyone thinking of getting a car: forget about getting a VW. Maybe it was just my bad luck with getting a VW model b/t 2000-02, but things on my car keep going wrong. First, the car goes through oil unnaturally fast. Upon reading the manual, I'm told to check my oil levels every time I get gas. Apparently this type of oil consumption is normal for VW cars. Next, my abs module is buggy and drains my battery completely dead. Then, the window on the driver's side rolls down one day and decides it doesn't feel like being rolled back up. The emergency light stops working. Then battery dies again for mysterious reasons. Now, the emission malfunction light is on in my car.

I am starting to think the battery dying and the malfunction light were small ways to stop me from leaving IA. I was supposed to have left on the 20th. I pushed that a little back because I needed time to finish packing. That night I get in the car to go have dinner with a friend, but the car doesn't start. I stare at it in dismay, and then call my dad. My dad said to open the hood and see if the cables connecting to the battery had come loose. I said, you want me to do wha??? Where's the battery?? Note to self: must at least learn the basics. The only thing I do know how to do is change a tire by myself. The next day I had to have the car towed to the shop and diagnosed.

So I had pushed the move out date to the 27th. The morning of, I went through the apartment inspection with the person, and turned in my keys. I get in my car, and now there's a new light on the dash. I swear like a mofo, because now I'm homeless, and it's Friday, and I called the only VW dealership in town but they couldn't get me in at all for that day, the soonest being Monday. But the guy told me that as long as the light wasn't flashing I should be fine to drive to WA. Famous last words.

Another extremely bad turn of events: Seville wouldn't sever my lease, so I'm still responsible for paying rent unless they find someone to sublease the damn apt. They wouldn't even consider a $2k cash settlement. I called a lawyer to ask him what my options were, and the guy basically told me to keep paying the rent. I asked what would happen if I didn't, and he said they would wait till the lease was over and then sue me in small claims court for all of the rent owed + attorneys' fees. If they don't find me, then it's good old published notice (ah Civ Pro showed me what that was) and eventually judgment entered. The lawyer told me that if I didn't plan on being a deadbeat for the next 10 years then I better take care of it, a.k.a. pay the fucking greedy leeches on society. This is just another reason why I don't want to remain in Iowa any longer. The place is way too pro-landlords.

On the Road Again...

Today's quote: Oh, turban now! Do you see any fucking turban here? Do I talk like a turban guy? Do I say 'Hey Jay, you want a slippy? You wanna slippy?' Fuck you, okay? I was born in Brooklyn, Brooklyn, okay? My accent is a fucking Brooklyn accent, okay? Okay?!

Ok, so it's now Day 2 of my drive out to Washington. So far, it's been terribly boring driving through Nebraska and now Wyoming.

Day 1:
Yesterday I really only made it to Omaha because I hadn't slept much the night before. I found a room, and asked the people at the inn where was the closest place to eat. The woman told me the Chinese place next door was really good. So I go there, and had the misfortune to come across the nastiest Chinese food in my life. It wasn't even Chinese. It was about as Chinese as Chuck Norris is. Now I know why Iowans make fun of Nebraskans. Well, there is probably more than one reason: 1) Nebraska has nothing, and 2) Iowans make fun of Nebraskans the way Alabamians make fun of Missippians-- because they can. Anyway, the Chinese restaurant was totally packed, which was completely confusing to me. The food sucked balls. And I thought the food in Iowa City was lacking! By comparison, it was like eating dog food after having eaten gourmet entrees. The only bright side to this terrible adventure was the fact that dinner only cost me $5.34 with tax. Sometimes you only get what you pay for.

Day 2:
Today I suffered through the most boring part of the drive: Nebraska. It was miles and miles of a perfectly straight I-80, with no interesting landscape to alleviate the visual drought. Even when I glanced at my gps monitor, the interstate showed as a perfectly straight and exactly horizontal line. Then the freeway crossed over into Wyoming, which was at least punctuated by some mountains here and there. I got a room, and skipped dinner because I'm tired of eating by myself in public, especially in places out in the middle of nowhere.