Things are going well!  I'm moving out tomorrow - Not a massive move with all my stuff, but I'll take what I need, and come to my parents' house a lot for things.

I got the job at the doggy daycare.  It doesn't pay huge stacks of money, but I like the work and the hours.  And it pays enough to feed me, my dog, and my car.  Yay!  Working with a group of loose dogs is VERY different than walking one dog, though.  It takes a lot of attention.  And of course, there's a lot of cleaning up to be done.  But you know, I don't mind that.  I kind of like it.

I'm pondering starting a tumblr account.  Mainly for attention, let's be honest.  And because I know people on here, Facebook, and occasionally Livejournal who know me in real life, and now and then I wish I had a place to vent about things I don't want to share with people like that.  So we'll see.  I suspect it'll happen soon.  I'll still use deviantart just as much as ever.  Probably livejournal too, though I feel it's rather pointless at times.

I got my albino llama.  LOVE it!

And I'm remembering the joys and annoyances of writing for an audience.  It's WONDERFUL to get feedback, and to know I'm making something that some people like.  On the other hand, I get too attached to the feedback, and can sometimes end up getting whiny about it.  I try to avoid this, and I generally succeed.  But still.

And now... to bed!
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
tako, mad, Japan

...And now for something completely different.

So if you're not very familiar with the way I do things, after reading the last journal, you might expect me to be off living the high life on the coast somewhere by now.
Well, you're mistaken.
As much as I'd like to live near the ocean, or in the Southwest, or pretty much anywhere but where I am at the moment, if I did that, I would end up stranded, broke, and friendless in a place I didn't know, working for minimum wage doing something I didn't like.
Rather than expend the time, effort, and money to do that, I decided to go a different route.
I've decided to change careers.  Now, I haven't had a career up until this point.  More like a series of jobs.  Working at camp is the most career-like thing I've done, and that's only seasonal work.  But I haven't been excited about teaching in a classroom for a long time (and if I'm being honest, was I ever THAT excited about it?  Not really), and high school English teachers are not in high demand right now anyway.
So I thought to myself, what do I love?
I love animals.  So much.  If you put me in any situation, then send a cat or a tarantula or a tapir sauntering through, that's where my attention goes.  The greatest goal of my life?  Having a dog.  I feel comfortable with them, and they're fascinating.
Why didn't I think about this back in college when I majored in English?
1. I could get As in English classes without trying much.  Biology, etc, not so much.
2. I do love to read and write.  So much.  So I though I'd choose that as my "career" interest, and keep animals as my hobby.
So anyway, I'm looking for a job with animals.  I'd love to be an adoption counselor at an animal shelter, which wouldn't require any heavy schooling.  So for now, I'm volunteering at an animal shelter in town a few times a week, walking dogs.  I have to say, I love it.  It's good experience (since my dog experience is still quite low), and quite a work-out (after being cooped up all night, there are some STRONG dogs who don't want to wait any more to get out and run).  I'd say my experience with horses (who weigh about 1000 lbs and often don't want to do what I want them to do) prepares me for that more than with my little Peri, who obediently walks wherever I want most of the time.
Would I still take a teaching job?  Eh, I'd interview.  I'd think about it.  I might even take it (that would probably be a good idea, honestly).  But if I were offered both jobs, I'd take the animal one in a heartbeat.

So that's that part of my life.  Still living at home, but I'm doing something good that I really enjoy with all my heart, so life's not always entirely soul-crushing.

Also, I've been nerding it up.  I saw Wreck-It-Ralph and loved it, obsessing over that for about a week.  Then something made me get into the Portal fandom (though I've never played the games).  OH, love that so much.  There will be a story forthcoming, I expect.  If I still had a scanner I might be motivated to draw something, too.  I haven't drawn anything in a long time.  If you aren't interested in such things, of course, disregard them.
(quit now, and cake will be served!)
  • Current Music
    GLaDOS quotes
tako, mad, Japan


My road trip was incredible.  I drove about 6,000 miles... probably more.  It spanned three weeks.  We saw amazing things.  Took lots of pictures (most of the time I was driving and my cohort was taking pictures).  I'm submitting some now (backwards), and I'll submit more later.  LOTS more, I'm sure!!  Most of the time we were couchsurfing, which I was leery of at first, but we met some really great people who really restored my faith in humanity.  There are some breathtaking places in this country.  Some empty, ugly places, too.  Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas have some cool roadside attractions, and are green.  New Mexico's landscape is beautiful, with the green sagebrush and red rocks.  Arizona's a bit too yellow for my taste, though the Grand Canyon was incredible.  Nevada's pretty barren (Las Vegas was fun).  Eastern California wasn't impressive, but the coastline is gorgeous.  I loved the winding coastal road.  San Francisco has INCREDIBLE murals and AMAZING thrift stores that I'm already wishing I'd bought more from.  The redwoods in the north are awe-inspiring.  In Oregon the trees changed to pine.  Still quite beautiful, and if I'd had more time I would have stuck on the coast.  Eastern Oregon is high desert.  Idaho got a little prettier, and Utah was lovely when the clouds cleared.  Wyoming and Nebraska were too empty.  I drove for hours without seeing any civilization, or cool rocks, or big trees.  Then I cut down through Iowa and back to Missouri.

I'm ready to hit the road again.  I loved it so much.  Also, I miss my travel buddy.  When she left in San Francisco I got a GPS, which is certainly more helpful than written directions, but gets annoyed when I deviate from the planned route and is never excited about cool things.  Also, she doesn't take pictures for me or talk about anything interesting or grab snacks or open drinks for me.  Lame.

The day after I got home, my snake died.  The one who's my avatar picture, Mr. S, who has been an ambassador for reptiles everywhere, and has helped countless people get over their fear of snakes.  I miss him.  But I'm glad he died while I was home.

A week later, my wisdom teeth started sending shooting pains up my face.  No insurance, but I couldn't wait any longer to get them out.  It was a major surgery, and one of them had ruptured my sinus cavity.  Terrible!  So they hurt badly for a few days afterwards, but now (not quite a week later), I'm feeling a lot better, and only using the heavy duty pain killer when I go to bed (ibuprofen all day).  My sinuses already feel better than they did before the surgery, and the constant pressure is gone (there is some intermittent pain and pressure still, but it's something that's getting better quickly).  I can smile again, and chew, though I'm still sticking to softer things.  And I can talk without much discomfort, though it's still uncomfortable to open my mouth really wide.

I'm still planning on moving.  Late October or late November, I'm not sure yet.  My top two choices now are Albuquerque, NM or Austin, TX.  Santa Fe's beautiful too, but much more expensive.

So I've been applying for jobs, creeping on the Craigslist roommate/apartment pages, watching DVDs (got all of Slayers, which I'm enjoying), reading a bit, playing Plants vs. Zombies, eating lots of soft things, and obsessively trolling the thrift stores for housewares.  It's a good life, for the moment.

If you were moving somewhere in the US, where would you live, and why?
  • Current Music
    Flight of the Conchords
scurred, whoopwhoop, shocked, upset

After camp (the short version)

Camp was great for me this year.  I loved my job and the people I worked with, and I learned a whole lot.  Working in the health lodge was an excellent choice.  I'd do that again.  I wouldn't work in the office again; it's not for me.  I could be myself, not just 'ad staff.'

Some requests I got over the summer (which are services we did not provide) were:
- full-body tick checks
- rubbing vaseline into butt cracks
- lancing pus-filled bubbles
- cutting out ingrown hairs
- amputating limbs

I'm currently house-sitting for a camp friend who's in Disneyworld with her family.  They have a lab/pit puppy and a skinny calico cat.  I brought Peri with me for a while, but he and the puppy were stressing each other out, so I took him home and everything got better.

When I finish here (on Saturday), I'll go home for a while (and catch up on sleep at last!), then I'm going on a road trip down Route 66 with a friend from New Zealand.  I'm excited!!  I'll have to get my car checked up first, and I'm making a list of things I want to see.  When we reach LA, we'll head up to San Francisco, where we both have friends to visit.  Then she'll fly out, and I'll drive back home.

After that I plan to wait a week or so, then pack up my car and my dog and move to Santa Fe, NM (unless something better presents itself along the way).  I'll rent a room, find any job I can, and work my way up to an apartment.  If I stay in town, I'm going to keep being shy, unambitious, and unwilling to take the steps I need to.  I'm kind of scared, but this is what I need to do.
  • Current Mood
    excited excited
Terraces Home

Of course!

So I've been applying to loads of teaching jobs.  Mostly teaching jobs.  I aim for at least three every day.  I had a phone interview yesterday, and I've got one or two coming up soon.  Most of them lately are in rural areas.  Half of me would have a blast living out in the country, for the nature and the huge amounts of space and the wildlife and such.  The other half would feel uncomfortable in such a small, conservative, set-in-its-ways community.  But if I get a job like that I could stick with it for a year or so, and then if I didn't like it, keep looking elsewhere.

I'm going back to camp.  If you didn't see that coming, you don't know me very well.  The last two jobs I've had were taken, of course, but I'm going to try my hand at being health staff.  I don't have much medical experience, but I'd be working under two nurses and a nursing student, just helping with things, giving out meds, and performing basic medical care like putting on band-aids.  It's not something I'd ever given serious consideration to before, but I'm really excited about it, and I think I'll like it.  I'm really looking forward to not being anyone's boss.  That's not something I enjoy overly much.  I'm taking a hard-core CPR/First Aid class before camp starts, to be more prepared.

Until then I'm working at the barn and tutoring a bit still.  Walking with Peri.  Teaching him to roll over (he fought it, but he's getting better now).  Writing.  Reading.  Seeing movies.  I keep busy.

I guess that's it for now.  More news as it develops.
  • Current Mood
    excited excited

That's enough of that.

I haven't regretted my decision to switch to tutor for a second.  I'm enjoying what I do, and I have plenty of time to search for other jobs and pursue my own interests.  And I still get a paycheck, albeit a smaller one.

We had an ice storm last month, and my mom slipped on the ice and broke her elbow.  I've been helping where I can, cooking and such.  My mom can't use her left hand enough to do much useful with it, so she's going batshit crazy with nothing to do.

I had a phone interview today with a Girl Scout council in PA.  I'd like the job.  I'll hear back from them in about 2 weeks.  This is plan A.

However, after years of research, I've pinpointed a place I'd like to live that sticks out above the rest.  I'd REALLY love to live on the Oregon coast.  Or Portland would also be acceptable.  Rental prices aren't terribly high, though property taxes are.  I don't have a specific town picked out.  They all look good.  Oh, to have a view of the ocean...

Plan B!  If I don't have a job by the end of the school year (June 1), I'm going to pack up my car and my dog and hit the road.  And travel the Oregon Trail.  Minus the cholera, dysentery, and bandits.  I will not attempt to caulk my car and float it across any rivers.  We'll take our time (but not too much) and take a few days' road trip.

Others are invited, but all will decline.

So I'm making lists of what I'll need to bring/do.  I'm pinpointing my job search on the coast/Portland areas.  I'm looking into shared housing that would accept a well-behaved small dog.

I've mentioned this casually to my mom a couple times.  The first time, she snidely said that I could flip burgers anywhere, she guessed.  The second time she blew up and called me immature (she also cited my 'useless degree' from India as an example of immaturity).  And I realized, I finally don't care.  Well, I don't enjoy it.  But I'm not going to keep my life on hold for her approval.  My dad's slightly more supportive.

I'm going to keep building up money from tutoring, and a little from the barn when May comes around.  And then I'm going to go.  Because I have to get out of here.  Otherwise I'll keep sitting here, stuck in this house with these people, getting more depressed, gaining weight, with no room to grow.  I won't keep doing it.  I'll take whatever work I can get out there.  I have enough money to live on for a while, if I stick to a tight budget.

I just had to get that out of my system.  I have to get out of here.  I'll stay in the country because of Peri (I don't resent him at all for that; he's kind of the love of my life).  Also, I'd like to settle down in a place of my own.  Just not here.  Camp was the one thing holding me to this area, and I'm finally at a place where I can leave it without any bad feelings.

On to more boring news.  I had contemplated getting Pokemon White, but decided not to.  Then my brother came home from college with his Pokemon Black.  I hijacked it, and I've started to play.  I'm not terribly impressed.  But I just beat the first gym.  I don't think I'll buy it myself.
  • Current Music
    Big Bang Theory


A new year, and a new realization of something I should have known about myself:  I don't like supervising other people.  I like to be given tasks and left alone; and I'll complete them efficiently and effectively.  I like the tutoring aspect of my job.  I like most of the people I work with.  I like the menial office tasks.  But I really don't want to be a supervisor.  I don't want to be responsible for other people's performance.  That's their business to take care of; I don't want to make it mine.  I've given it a month, and I've improved in many aspects, but I'll never be an extrovert, which is what they really need (and what the director frequently tells me I'm not being).  I talked to the director about my feelings on this, but said I was still on the fence about it.  After thinking about it for a few days, I realized that while I can get to enjoy and excel at some parts of the job, the most important parts are ones that just aren't right for me.  I wondered (and still do a little) if I wasn't just giving up too easily because I haven't had a regular job in a long time, but at this point, that's really not it.  And I won't just leave, I'll stay in my position until they can find someone else for the job.  It was surprisingly easy to talk to the director about this, after she frequently told me I wasn't jumping into the action enough.  And I've talked a little about the possibility with my dad.  Telling my mom could be rough.  She worries too much, and I think she knows I've been having a hard time, which is why she usually doesn't ask me about work.

I'm a little sad about this, mainly because... I was really excited about getting an apartment.  But either I'll find another full-time job that's a better fit, or I can get a couple part-time jobs for now.  I'm still applying to lots of jobs...  Zoo keeper... Data entry... And I'm not homeless, so I have the luxury of finding the right place.  There are plenty of rewarding things I can do.

The last two days have been positively spring-like.  It got up into the 70s today!  I gave Peri a bath - it was getting pretty necessary.  He shivered in the tub while I rinsed, lathered, rinsed again, and repeated!  But now he's sweet-smelling, white, and fluffy.

Christmas was nice and laid-back.  I went to a fun cookie exchange and brought home what seemed like hundreds of cookies... They were gone in a few days (I ate some, but it was mainly my dad, brother, and sister).  We had a seafood lunch.  My dad made lobster tails, crab cakes, mussels, and a really yummy scallop dish.  Mmm!  I got a new watch (which I've been needing), and a few little things like a toothbrush, teabags, and some quarters.  The day after Christmas, my mom's birthday, we had her side of the family over for brunch, then I went to a friend's annual Boxing Day Bash and we played games and watched a terrible Christmas movie.  Great fun!

New Years was even less eventful.  I watched The Sandlot with Peri, mainly because I think it's illegal to go to sleep before midnight on New Year's Eve if you're over the age of 12...

I filled another notebook writing my story (I gave the first chronicle a title once, but I forgot it, so it must not have been much good), and was pretty excited to go out and get a new notebook.  And I've been clicking Pokemon.  Thrill to my exploits!!!
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved

New things!

Oh, so many things have been happening!

I had a bunch of job interviews. Here are two of the worst: I was told that my retail experience was too low-class for a certain store. And I went to another place only to be told that the hiring manager had gone to the baseball game. Needless to say, I did not get either job.

But I did get a job as the Reading Supervisor for a tutoring company in West County. Even though I made a couple of dumb, careless mistakes in the teaching demonstrations, I got the job. The people seem really nice. I start tomorrow. I'm nervous, but I keep telling myself it'll be fine.

That means I won't be returning to camp in the summer. It took a long time to get to this point, but I think I'm ready. I had planned on getting a job, then an apartment, then a dog (it's been a lifelong goal), but after Peri found me, the job just seemed like the next natural step. I considered other options for a while, but my parents don't want to have Peri depending on them (though they really love him), and pets aren't allowed at camp... And even if I got special permission, I wouldn't want to leave him in a pen outside with the animals and parasites, or locked up inside alone all day. So Peri was my catalyst in this.

However, I'll have Fridays and Sunday off, so I can keep working at the barn on Sundays. Excellent!

Peri's doing splendidly. He still chases the cats occasionally when they run, but he's really settled in. Mom makes him coats and takes him on walks sometimes, and Dad talks to him. He's started barking when the mailman comes to the door. He's really smart, though. I taught him to sit, lie down, and walk on a loose leash next to me. He plays fetch (when he wants to). I took him to play with a friend's little dogs once, and they had a great time racing around her yard. Then I took him to play with my aunt's bigger champion show dog (a Grande Basset Griffon Vendeen, a rare breed), who was not especially polite. Peri completely trumped him in manners, obedience, and intelligence. My aunt was shocked. He tried out her agility equipment, and I think if I worked with him a little, he could really excel at it. Or anything else he tries, for that matter! He's an all-around great dog, and I LOVE him.

I've been looking at apartments online. Rent in West County is more expensive, but I'll be making enough to afford the lower end ones (which are still quite nice). I'll need some furniture, appliances, and housewares... And I won't move out immediately, but give it a few months, and I'll be out of here. At long last. :)

Brr, it's cold... I start work tomorrow. It may snow. Gross!
  • Current Music
    City of Ember

Jobs and dogs

I've had a good couple of months. I've been applying for lots of jobs... Mostly retail, but cool kinds of retail. Waiting to hear back from World Market. Interviewing with Restoration Hardware (which isn't actually a hardware store) tomorrow. I subbed for middle school English classes for one day. I went in to talk to some high school finance students about being a vet (which I am not) and working with animals in general. It was fun.

I went to a wedding. It was beautiful, but cold and rainy (everything was outside). I helped at a camp event. I went to the Pirate Festival.

My shoulder's been hurting horribly for the past couple weeks. Bad enough to take a pain killer now and then, which is pretty extreme for me. I don't know what I did to it.

I dog-sat for two friends, and discovered the joy of Netflix. Dr. Who and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog were the favorites by far.

I crept around Borders a lot, and got a LOT of books and a few DVDs.

I went out to the barn to feed horses last week, and there was a little white dog running around. He's probably a Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, cream-colored, and about a year and a half old. He was trying to eat grain, and racing in circles by the horses. I called my mom and promised to take him to the Humane Society in the morning, and brought him home. He's well-behaved, mostly obedient, loves everyone, and gets along with other animals. And he's housebroken and neutered. The rangers said he'd been running around for a few days already. So I put out a few found ads on craigslist and the animal shelter networks, and word of mouth. I had him scanned for a microchip (there is none). If no one claims him by the middle of this week, I'm definitely keeping him. He's exactly my ideal dog. My dad loves him, my mom likes him, after some initial panic he's quickly becoming Buddy the rabbit's best friend, and... he'd like to be friends with the cats, but they either run away or growl and hiss at him. And he's perfectly healthy, as far as I can tell (I'll take him to the vet later this week). What I don't understand is how someone could spend so much time training, socializing, and teaching a dog to be a good, polite member of a household, then just... get rid of it. Or lose it, but a lot of animals get dumped near camp. And he's SUPER cute. He plays fetch, he learns quickly... He's just the perfect pet, really. It's baffling.
I'm trying to think of a good name for him. Any ideas? I'm thinking "Waffle" at the moment.

  • Current Mood
    loved in love

(no subject)

This summer was generally excellent. I felt more comfortable in my position, so I did a better job. We had some craziness, but that's unavoidable, and it makes for good stories later.

I was just offered a 3-month teaching job in Japan. And I'm still thinking about it, but I think I'm going to turn it down. I really want to build more experience here. I have applications out at the Humane Society, Petco, a couple vet clinics, a few schools, a records office, and a few zoos around the country. Last time I went to Value Village there was a sign that they were hiring for day shift, so maybe I'll go inquire into that until something better comes up.

I'm thinking of deleting my LJ. It's pretty unnecessary, not many people read it, of those, even fewer care, I have Facebook and deviantart to keep up with the ones who do, and although I do enjoy looking at certain things, I wouldn't be lost without them.
  • Current Mood
    determined determined