Wednesday, June 18, 2008

42. Something Strange

About two weeks ago I was driving to work, when I heard a story on NPR about SomethingStore.com.
You can listen to the full segment here.

For $10, The Something Store will mail you a surprise. I love surprises, and $10 really isn't that much. I play the lottery for $1 all the time, and usually get nothing but wishful thinking for it. This at least guarantees I'll get Something for my $10. Even if I got something that I personally didn't want, I could probably set it aside as a stocking stuffer for someone at Christmas.

I had to try it. The anticipation alone was worth the $10.

My Something finally arrived today. Actually, it may have been there for a few days. I tend to forget about menial things such as checking the mail. But anyway. It is here, and it is definitely...something. Not something I want, but something more or less. Mostly less. It isn't really even something that makes sense. Honestly, it's just ridiculous.

Behold. My new, red, white and blue handbag, made entirely of zippers!

















They aren't just decorative either. Every one of them opens. And it's just in time for the Fourth of July!

What a fine, tax deductible donation this will be to Goodwill...
Still, I think I'd try my luck with The Something Store again. Maybe.
I do love a surprise.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

41. For Sale

One oldish, smallish sort of refrigerator. Large enough to freeze a small dog, yet strangely too small to house the half-eaten remnants of a Thanksgiving turkey amidst the sea of forgotten condiments packed well beyond their bursting points.

Reliably keeps things cold, but loves to freezer burn. The interior light is broken, but your electric bill will thank you. Otherwise not terribly energy efficient, unwilling to remain closed, and 100% free of confusing bells and/or whistles.

Please get this eyesore out of my living room. It is taking up valuable space which could be occupied with more interesting things.
Like air.

$50 cash.
Or best offer above the $30 check the recycling company promises me I'll receive 3-4 weeks after they come to haul the fridge away on July 12th.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

40. June 7th

At 7:45 this morning, Matt and I woke to the sound of construction workers on our deck talking loudly and making a variety of really unpleasant tool sounds. Our deck is being rebuilt by order of the condo association, which we were told would take approximately four weeks to complete. It has now been a week and a half, and I have begun to seriously wonder about the contractors' level of proficiency in project planning and execution.

We were given one day's notice to have our deck cleared off and ready for them to begin work. Rather than attacking one building at a time, so as to minimize the inconvenience to the residents, they seem to be doing bits and pieces of multiple buildings at once. Also, they come at random times. Some days they don't work at all. They didn't do anything for most of the last week, and then showed up first thing on a Saturday morning in order to disturb anyone who was attempting to sleep in. Like me.

I slept until 10 just to spite them, but Matt wasn't so lucky. They left shortly after I got up and haven't come back. 3 hours of work and they call it a day. I can only assume their entire point of showing up at all was to disturb my sleep. At the rate they're going, I can't imagine they'll finish in the 4 week time frame they promised.

In the meantime, my living room resembles a one room cabin. You can hardly move with all the patio furniture. Not to mention the refrigerator we're waiting for the recycling company to come and collect.

I had hoped to walk Frank today, but it's raining and doesn't seem like it's going to clear up anytime soon. Hopefully tomorrow will be more outdoorsish.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

39. News Items

Japanese class seems to be going well. Though, I suppose I'm able to say that because there are no grades, and all of the homework is like an open book test. Without my reference materials I think I'd be absolutely screwed. I can't say I've actually acquired any mastery of sentence structure and grammar, or that my vocabulary has grown terribly large. Still, I have gotten more out of learning Japanese, through a combination of self study and class work, than I did from two years of Spanish class in high school. So I suppose that's better than nothing. I am nearly able to recognize and write the first 46 characters. Which is exciting to me. From the outside looking in, the language appears incredibly difficult, but as it is broken into smaller pieces with decent explanations, it becomes as easy as learning any other language. Though I never expect that I will ever be able to read or write much in the way of kanji. We'll see. Tomorrow is class number five.

Matt and I bought a tent this week. Which was sort of random, but we talked about it for a month beforehand, and were looking on Craigslist for a cheap one, when conveniently, Matt's co-worker mentioned having one for sale. It's a 10x10 five man tent, which is quite a bit larger than I'd planned on buying, but it was only $50. It's big enough to fit an air mattress, the dogs, or possibly an extra couple of people who don't have their own tent. And you can almost stand up inside while getting dressed. It's only been used once, so it seemed like a good starter. We'll hopefully be taking our first camping excursion next weekend, in a national forest near Leavenworth. I'm hoping to spend a day playing in German town, do some hiking, and get lots of photos. I ordered a new tripod for my camera today, to replace the frustrating pile of toothpicks I had before. It should arrive by next Friday, just in time for our trip.

Otherwise, I've spent too much time over the past two weeks applying for random jobs. It's beginning to be a frustrating venture indeed. I was declined for an internal posting I was exceptionally qualified for, probably because I refuse to schmooze. I still refuse. If I cared more about the company or the people in it, I might put forth the effort. But I just don't have the energy to care. I've turned down two very exciting veterinary positions because the pay cut would be too great. I've got a couple other applications I've submitted or am still working on, but I don't have much hope for those either.

I'm torn between desperately wanting a job that I would enjoy and desperately needing to find something that pays better. And as it turns out, neither of those things seem to be attainable without an effing degree. Silly me. Dropping out of college because I wasn't ready to be there and wasn't able to afford it. As it turns out, you should take the opportunity to get the paper while you can handle being a broke-ass college student. I finally feel I'm mature enough and motivated enough to handle college, and now I can't afford to have a part time job that would allow me the time to get a bachelor's in under 4 years. Who knew.

On the bright side, I did discover that I can get $750 a year in tuition reimbursement through work. So that's something. It claims it will cover the photography class I've been eying for this fall, and probably 1-2 more classes in the spring. Free school is cool. I'd take that in a heartbeat. So there's at least one perk to staying where I am.

I need sleep now. Oyasumi nasai.