Monthly Archives: September 2010

This can’t be it

So my new roommates are moving in. The last two that is, the russian guy moved in a week or so ago. I was really enjoying living by myself, and it was a bit jarring when he started being around regularly. With the new couple, the guy has already been kind of a dick a few times about some stuff, but I think it’ll be fine. It might even be nice to have people around. We’ll see. I tend to mostly stay in my room even when there’s no one around, so it really shouldn’t make a difference.

I had a few days of work, and now those are over, so I’m back lassitude and ennui. And should start looking for more. I still need to call some of the vets on my list, and if I don’t hear from any in a week, start compiling a new list of who to contact. This cycle can be pretty depressing, but then I remember when I had an office job, a decent one, and after about a month hated every minute of it. So, given the alternative, I think I’ll stick with my freelancing and non-office uncertainty.

I finished The Plague. I was wrong, it did have a conclusion. It was a very good book, and I was bummed out that I finished it on my way to work yesterday and wasn’t able to keep reading it on the way home. I’m not sure what to read next, but I have a pretty good selection unread on my shelves which is always nice to look forward to.

I finally started using my flickr account, and uploaded my good Costa Rica pictures. But then I was starting in on some other bunches I have, and ran into the space problem. In Costa Rica, it was all film. So when they were scanned and put on a disc and online for me, they’re at a reasonable size. My files from my k-x are all huge. And I’m not sure I want to pay for flickr yet. Especially when all of my financial decisions these days are made by “Do I want this, or do I want Namibia?” so, so far all that’s up are CR pictures, which are good. I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way I can mass downsize copies of my other pictures, or shrink them for uploading or something, because I want to put the ones from St John’s Cathedral and the Bronx Zoo up. We’ll see how it goes.

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Still on the clock

I like working in a business with 4 hour minimums- I get paid for at least 4 hours no matter what. Tonight was packing up a computer gadget event thing, and we were done in about half an hour. So, I was paid to take the train home, eat a popsicle, write this, and I’m still on the clock for another hour. Awesome. Other than that, today was nothing special.

I’m starting to figure out this whole saving money thing (not that it’s that hard, I suppose, but I’ve never really had a concrete goal before) and I think I can make it work. I think that by mid october, I can buy my plane ticket, and if I can keep that rate up, maybe pinch a little more, I can actually pay for namibia myself. I have a fallback idea, but it involves asking relatives for money, which is not the best idea. But, 1200 for the ticket, and 2400 for the trip, I have 200, I’m getting a 750 check soon of which 400 is going in (or 3. Depending on how I’m doing, but I think I can swing 4) and then finally getting my tax refund of 650, so that’s 1250 already. Plane ticket taken care of with money I’ve already made. Huzzah.

I’m currently reading The Plague, by Camus, about the bubonic plague hitting an Algerian town int he 1940’s. It’s very good, better, I think, than The Stranger. I also like that while there is a bit of a plot, and definitely a point, it’s very much just a chunk of time being described. I’m not done yet, but I think there won’t be much of a conclusion. While it’s descriptive of the horrors, it’s also very matter-of-fact and un-dramatic. I also just read The Road, which is a bit similar in tone, though not in style, and it’s all after the apocalypse, not during. But still, interesting things to read back to back. Side effect- I also now suspect everyone on the train with me of having plague. Awesome.

I’m going to go spend my last hour of being paid making dinner and reading. And maybe watching hulu.

Best phone rep ever

This is a story about an awesome and unexpected present from a cell phone rep.

So, just before my bill last month, I called and changed my rate plan (I promise this is going somewhere). Also last month, I got a phone call from an Israeli number, and called it back, and it turned out to be my great aunt, who was in california visiting my grandmother. Apparently, my grandmother won’t let her use the house phone, so she’s using her cell phone for everything. Unfortunately, she handed her cell phone over to my grandmother, who proceeded to talk my ear off for almost an hour. Enter a $61 international call charge. I procrastinated about the whole bill-paying thing until today. I called, and asked if I could get that international charge reduced, pleading ignorance and my grandmothers blabbermouth. He said sorry, nothing I can do. I am incapable of of throwing hissy fits with customer service people, so I gave up.

But then! About 5 minutes later, he called back. Apparently, because I changed my rate plan in that bill period, whoever did that change should have caught that and offered me an international calling plan, and so he was going to give me $50 of credit! Huzzah! What a nice man. He had felt bad because I sounded bummed out, and so he took a closer look at my account, and found a loophole to help me. That is awesome.

Anyway. Today I’m plugging away at my to-do list and making decent progress. The biggest things are writing this “I have no experience but hire me anyway” letter to the vets, and laundry. I’m doing a pretty good job of doing all the other little stuff to avoid those.

I was talking to John about how far away the Namibia trip is, and he said well, that’s half the fun, right? Looking forward to it? I mean, once it’s happened, then what? Which set my brain off, so now I’m thinking that next May I’ll go back to Costa Rica and volunteer at this awesome wildlife refuge place that we visited (the current header is a picture of a margay that I took there). So now I’m really excited about stuff through next may. And then Camp is after that, so I’m pretty much excited about the whole next year. There are just some months to slog through in between. But even those should be good.

Okay. Laundry is easier than writing, so I’m going to tackle that next.

All I want to do is go to Namibia

So I’ve signed up for the research expedition in Namibia, tracking cheetahs and leopards and caracals and all the bounding animals that they eat. I’m so excited. I’m excited to the point where even though I’m not going until the end of february, I’ve made a list of everything I need to pack, and am checking off the things I already have and trying to figure out if I can get away with just carry-on luggage. I need to find out what vaccinations I’ve already gotten and go get any that I don’t have. I need to work a lot and make money and buy a $1500 plane ticket. And also the rest of the money to pay for the trip. Which will be a lot.

I went on Amazon because this group that I’m going with, Biosphere Expeditions, gets points that they can use to get books and such when I order through their site. And then I ordered $540 worth of stuff. Eesh. But it was all (mostly) necessary! A fancy new lens for my camera, a telephoto that means I can actually get pictures of all these cheetahs and leopards. And a dongle for my laptop power cord because hp sucks in the realm of power cords. And a spare dongle for when I manage to break the new one. And two memory cards, because I will take barrels of pictures in Nambia, and not bring my laptop. And a photo album for all my Costa Rica pictures. And a backpack. And a sleeping bag. And a pack of rechargeable batteries with a charger. So, all useful stuff. But holy pants, it makes me nervous to spend that much at once.

In line with all that, I’m looking for a job as an assistant with a vet. I spent the first couple hours of being awake looking up yelp reviews of Brooklyn vets, and finding a bunch to email. Now I get to write a convincing letter about why they should hire me when I have almost no experience. Formal experience, that is. This should be fun.

Reading vet reviews is off-putting. They seem to be really varied. Unless everyone hates the place, you get a bunch of absolutely stellar reviews, and then a bunch of “these people killed my animal/way overcharged me/were really pushy/have shitty front desk staff” stuff. And I understand that people have different experiences, but it’s pretty weird when the experiences are that divided. I did find two that got all 5 star reviews, but they had 6 and 8 reviews, which is a fairly small opinion sample.

John is in Roatan, Honduras right now, diving every day except today because they had a hurricane. I wish I was with him, but at the same time I would have nothing to do. And he’s there for 15 days, so I would be bored out of my mind eventually. But I wish I had the option to go. That would have been nice.

On the other hand, in exactly 5 months, I’ll be on a plane to Namibia. This is going to be a long 5 months.