rightangles: (little prince falling)
I haven't posted in a month. I've done very little since then, actually. I work a lot, and I waver between feeling blah and feeling ill. At the moment, I'm feeling neither, but closer to ill. I had a kidney stone that has since turned into a UTI, I think, and now a wisdom tooth that grew in without problems eight years ago has decided to be a douche and inflame my gums. Fuck you, dentin! Fuck you.

Anyway, I won't bore you with details about my failing health. Instead, I'm going to wax philosophic about life or something like it.

No matter who you are, I'm pretty sure you probably fantasize. You may call it daydreaming. But it's something I've done since I was little, something we've probably all done since we were little. Usually -- at least for me -- it involves some man, usually my current crush (real or imaginary), confessing his love for me. Sometimes, though, it has to do with other things -- becoming a successful author, for instance, or being able to drink Coke again without fear of kidney stones. (That last one is a bit of an exaggeration, probably due to Coke withdrawal.) Anyway, this is something we all do, right? We all daydream.

I've been watching Ally McBeal lately, which is a show from the late 90s to the early 2000s. Ally is a lawyer, and she's utterly, hopelessly neurotic. She's me, basically. She fantasizes a lot, too, because she doesn't like the world the way it is. In the second season, this fantasizing becomes so bad that she actually starts hallucinating, really thinking her fantasies are real. I've not yet hallucinated, but I'm afraid I'm turning into Ally. I find myself going to bed early, far before I'm tired, just so I can close my eyes and weave a story in which my current crush, who shall remain nameless, tells me he's into dudes, too, and we go off to cuddle while babysitting my grandma's dog, a shih tzu named Kloee. I take longer showers, I stay in bed after I wake up for a few extra minutes. Sometimes I find myself just sitting in my chair, doing absolutely nothing even though I'm in the middle of a game or a project, daydreaming.

I never used to do this, at least not like this. Before, daydreaming about crushes was something I did for a minute or two, just before I fell asleep. It was a trigger, basically, for my brain to release whatever chemicals it releases to put me to sleep. Not anymore. Now, it's all I want to do, really. It's starting to worry me, actually. I do not want to start hallucinating! There's another episode of Ally McBeal about a woman (not Ally herself) who has had an eight-year relationship with an imaginary man she created because she was so lonely. I do not -- do not! -- want to become that woman. Quite frankly, I'd rather start hallucinating.

This probably has something to do with the fact that I've recently developed a new crush. I can't get into details, but suffice it to say that it's been a very, very long time since I've had a crush, a real crush, one that I actually talk to and could imagine something happening with. (Those prepositions at the end of that sentence are killing me, but correcting them makes the sentence sound totally whack.) This, though, brings up my next point about which I'd like to wax philosophic: crushes.

Remember in high school when you'd develop a new crush, and for a long time it'd be fun? You'd see him (or her, but we'll just use the male pronoun now for ease's sake) and you'd smile. You'd giggle a lot around him. You'd blush. You'd feel butterflies, and it'd be wonderful, and even though you and he weren't together, you were happy. Sooner or later, of course, that joy would give way to frustration and anger and impatience. I mean, yes, that's inevitable. But you'd have those few months of floating on clouds with cherubim singing love songs. For me, at least this time, I skipped over that period entirely. I don't have butterflies. I have rabid vampire bats that fly around my brain like angry motherfuckers fucking angry because he and I are not boinking like bunnies in the springtime. I don't smile or giggle or blush. Instead, I take every move or glance or statement as a direct indication of whether or not I have a chance, which usually finds me contemplating bridge-diving on a minute-by-minute basis. And this crush is still so new! Where are my butterflies, dammit? I DESERVE SOME BUTTERFLIES!

So why?, I ask you. Is it because I'm nearing thirty, and my imaginary biological clock (imbued by the gay gene, of course) is starting to tick too loudly? Is it because the rest of my life seems to be falling apart, so I'm determined to find something that could make it better? Or is it because I'm fucking horny? (The answer to all of these, I think, is yes.) In any case, I'm frustrated. Frustrated because he and I will probably never get together, even if he is gay, because I'm socially retarded and living in a town where being gay isn't really cool and therefore, even if he is gay, he's probably so far in the closet he's in Narnia stroking Aslan's furry mane. True, that's frustrating, but that's not even why I'm frustrated!

I'm frustrated because I haven't really been lonely in a while. I mean, I have, but it hasn't been that noticeable. I was talking to John earlier, and I came up with a great metaphor! For a long time, the loneliness was like a cavity that doesn't hurt. You know you should fix it, but you don't bother or worry about it or even think about it because it's not really bothering you. Now, though, ever since I developed this crush, every part of me -- and I mean every part! -- is like OW OW OW OW TOOTH PAIN OW! (Perhaps not coincidentally, I actually do have tooth pain now... technically gum pain, but still, that's good enough for government work, as they say, so it's good enough for here.)

I'm afraid, though. It's November. I love autumn (J'aime l'automne, Flaubert once wrote) but this means Christmas is right around the corner. The holidays, as you know if you've known me for any length of time, are not a good time for me. The loneliness, it gets worse. Much, much worse. Last Christmas, if you recall, I was in a terrible, horrible place, and I'm afraid I'm going to sink there again this year. I can see in my head -- it's those fantasies again -- what a Christmas would be like if I had a boyfriend. Not a soulmate or a partner or a lover, just a boyfriend. But I can see all that, and then the rational part of my brain takes over and throws a brick that says NEVER GONNA HAPPEN right through the bay window of my dreams. I'm on the edge, you know, at the top of the slide, just waiting for something -- *cough* Christmas *cough* -- to push me down it. And I really, really don't want to slide.
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Oh, boy, journal! It's been too long! I've wanted to write a post for quite a few days, but I never got around to it! I've been busy busy busy busy! If I can remember everything I've wanted to mention here over the past month or so, this is going to be a very, very long post. So get comfy!

First on the agenda: my job! I'm still working at Best Buy; I had my one-month anniversary a few days ago. I've already been promoted once, too, from part-time to full-time, including a small pay raise. I'll get benefits in a few months, too, which will be wonderful! I'll finally be able to go to the doctor's when something is wrong! Yay! But that's a digression. Back to Best Buy.

I'm not used to full-time employment. I remember at Borders, when I'd get a week with twenty hours or so, I'd complain and feel exhausted. And the job at Borders was such a joke compared to the one at Best Buy! Best Buy is non-stop interaction, non-stop moving, constantly being on your toes to handle all sorts of bizarre customer desires and questions. I can't even tell you how strange some of the requests I've heard. "I want to watch TV in a house where I can't put any wires!" and "I want the best computer money can buy, but I don't want to spend more than $300." I've also learned all about people: their divorces, their relationships, their children, their life plans. It's incredible what a customer will share with you after you've been with them for a few hours. And I'm not exaggerating, either: transactions at this place, from the first "Hello!" to the final "Goodbye!" take a very, very long time. My co-worker Brittany and I spent almost three hours with a single customer one day, and the damn bitch didn't even buy anything! (She did come back later in the week, though, and bought everything we recommended, and she left us a great review on the survey site!) Personally, I have about an hour, hour and a half attention span. If I'm with you much longer than that, I start to lose interest, and instead of trying to help you, I'm trying to get you out of the store. It's definitely something I noticed, and it's definitely something I'm trying to work on curbing. It's not easy, though. Two hours is a long ass time, yo!

But I'm off on a tangent. The intended point of that last paragraph is that I'm not used to full-time hours at a real job. Borders was a joke; I lounged around most of the day and helped maybe a customer here and there. Best Buy is different. Best Buy is exhausting. I have 76 hours on my pay this Friday. Seventy-six hours! I don't think I've worked 76 hours in a single month before this, let alone a single pay period! It's utterly ridiculous. And the hours are early, too! 10 o'clock, 8 o'clock, sometimes even 7 o'clock in the morning! Me! Can you imagine? I'm in bed nowadays by 2, 3 at the latest. It's incredibly bizarre to me. I feel very much like some sort of foreigner, a tourist traveling through a very strange, very unwelcoming land. For me, that land is called Daylight.


So, I wrote all that about two days ago, then I closed the laptop to take a break and never opened it again until now. I'm so bad at this. But that's what I mean. I'm so busy now, I can't manage. And I'm not even that busy, to be honest. I have the forty hours of work a week, and that takes up so much more than forty hours. By the time I get home, I'm too tired to do much of anything except mindless gaming or mindless TV. It's frustrating.

But now, where was I? Something about Best Buy... ah, yes! Daylight! I'm not good with it. I just don't get it. It's bright and hurts my eyes, and there are loud birds, and lots of people all over the place. No, I prefer the night, but alas, I am a stranger to the night nowadays. Stupid job. But yeah, the job is tiring.

Otherwise, though, I like it. Sometimes I laugh at some of the idiotic things they make us do or say, but I roll with it. For the most part, I like the people that I work with, and I like the job. It's not like I go to bed unable to wait for the next day, and it's not like I've dreamed my whole life about being a computer salesman, but it's a decent enough job. I feel smart when I do it, and I'm actually helping people out, which is a plus.

I've met some great people, too. A girl named Brittany, for instance. She's leaving our store to transfer to one a bit farther away, and that sucks, because she and I have a good time together. We're supposed to hang out soon, though, and that's exciting. A guy named Sean, who's very cool, and one of my managers, a woman named Mel, is also rather awesome. There're two guys that work there, and it's strange. One of them is twelve years old, and he's not at all attractive. He walks like a Neanderthal, he's skinny to the point of unhealthiness, and he's got a huge nose, but for some reason I have this incredible urge to bang him. There's another guy who's very good-looking, though he has sideburns and tends not to shave when he should. He's also a douche. But I'd really like to bang him, too. I, of course, haven't said more than two words to either of the two. They're not gay, and I hesitate to even say anything about being attracted to them, because if they ever found out, I wouldn't want things to get weird. (This is one of the problems with being gay. If they were women who I happened to think were cute, I wouldn't really mind if they found out. It wouldn't be a big deal, you know? But because it's a gay thing, a same sex thing, I have to be paranoid that they'd suddenly feel threatened or cause a stink. Such a sad world we live in.)

I think that about covers it for Best Buy news. I have a full-timer meeting tomorrow, very early, and it's some sort of round table thing. Sean said it's a good time and we have a splendid conversation, and I don't think he was being sarcastic, so now I'm envisioning mood lighting with candles and Kumbiyah singalongs. So who knows how that's going to go.

I wanted to write so much more, but alas, my pizza is almost finished, and I need to eat that and then go to bed so I can wake up in the morning. I'm also paranoid because I think the 'm' key on this MacBook Air is acting funny, and if this computer breaks and I need to get a new one, I will seriously jump off a bridge. I can't afford all these new devices, dammit! But I do love this thing.... fuck. Let's hope it feels better in the morning.


Sep. 2nd, 2011 01:35 am
rightangles: (Default)
If you still read this, and want to continue reading this, please let me know. I've been cross-posting to a WordPress journal, but I'm growing tired of the tedium there, so I think I may migrate exclusively to the new blog. It's got better organizational features, though I will miss the social community aspect that seems unique to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth...

The WordPress blog, by the way, is http://rightanglestotheworld.wordpress.com.

rightangles: (Default)
Last you heard, I might have gotten a job at Best Buy.

Well, I did.

I’ve only worked a few days, and quite frankly, I’m still rather ambivalent about the whole thing. One minute I love it and think it’s the best thing to happen to me, and the next I’m cursing Borders for going out of business and cursing myself for getting into this mess. It’s very, very bottom-line cutthroat type of selling environment. They give you daily goals, and you have to have end-of-day meetings with managers regarding your sales for the day… every day! And there’s like four hundred (literally, four hundred!) eLearnings I have to complete to get certified…

The people who work there, though, seem cool… for the most part. I have mixed feelings about my manager, who seems very nice and very genuine, but I have a feeling she’ll tear you a new asshole the second you are even remotely unsatisfactory. But all the employees have a good rapport with each other — joking, swearing, all that jazz — and there’s one girl, Brittany, who seems very cool.

On my first day, there was another new hire with me named Royce. He was very good-looking, in a masculine sort of way. He lives on a farm with his parents, and he loves sports, and he lifts weights all the time. He was tanned, well-built, with a Roman nose and a bit of scruff. RaeJean and I have nicknamed him North Dakota Farmboy. As it turns out, he’s only 18 — no surprise there, as I’m apparently determined to rob the cradle. What was strange, though, is the degree to which I wanted to bang his brains out. I mean, we sat next to each other on a couch in a small room — alone! — for something like three hours to watch these idiotic new hire videos, and I barely paid them any attention because I was too busy restraining myself from licking his bicep. The funny thing is, he wasn’t even that good-looking. He wasn’t hideous, and he does work out, but he’s not my type… the whole experience really makes me believe in pheromones… or something like that. I mean, yeah, I’m horny as all get out, but there’s bunches of men that I work with, some of whom aren’t too bad-looking, and I don’t want to throw them against a 72″ HD TV and fuck the shit out of them, you know?

Anyway, yeah, back to the job. They’ve scheduled me a ridiculous amount of hours, including many early mornings, and I’m not too keen on that. But the paychecks will be glorious, and so I’m hoping to get my new computer sooner rather than later. That’s exciting. And I hope I like it there. I’m still a bit hesitant, but I’m going to give it my all and hope it works out.

That’s really the only thing to note. Because I’ve been working so many hours at Best Buy, in addition to my keyholder position at Borders and my “third job” of babysitting my grandma’s shih tzu puppy, I’ve been pretty busy. I haven’t had any time at all to write, and the only reading I’ve been able to get done is a few pages here and there. This is particularly upsetting, because I still need to finish the revision of “Sunflower” for the editor (Steve) at Lethe Press, and I’m reading a book at the moment called The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart by a Mathias Malzieu. (Yes, he’s French.) The book is amazing. Very surreal, very poetic, very fresh, and it’s short. It’s one of those books that I think I’m doing it a disservice by reading it in fits and starts. I wish I could sit down and gorge on the whole thing in a single sitting, but unfortunately, that just can’t happen at the moment. Maybe in a re-read later on in life…

I’m waiting for my cheese bread to finish baking, at which point I’m going to go watch an episode of Ally McBeal and probably go to bed. How strange is that, you know? Me, in bed by two-thirty! Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks after all…
rightangles: (little prince falling)
So, I may have gotten a job at Best Buy.

This is good news, since I'm not sure how much longer my bookstore will be open. Borders, as you may or may not know, is liquidating. I think my little store that I've come to love over the past four years has, at most, another three or four weeks. It's sad, but I've come to terms. We have to move on.

So I applied to a few stores for retail positions. I also sent in an application for an editor position, but I have little real experience, so as much as I'd love that job, I don't think I stand a chance. But Best Buy called, and I went on the first of three scheduled interviews, and the guy liked me so much he called me back five minutes later to do the last two interviews with the higher-ups. The general manager, a woman named Sharon, said I was the best interview she'd had in she couldn't remember how long, because I have both smarts and a personality, and she thinks I'll do really well there. So she hired me on the spot, offering me nearly $2 more than I make at Borders for a position that has less responsibility than my current one. Good deal, right?

I'll be a sales associate in digital technology, which is their umbrella term for things like computers, cameras, and e-readers. I'm a little worried that I'm going to fail miserably at sales -- I'm not the most outgoing person in the world, and Best Buy has apparently adopted some new strategy that involves employees trying a more personable approach to customers. So instead of saying, "Hi, how can I help you?" when I walk up to a customer on the floor, I have to say something like, "Hi, my name is Matt, and I love your shirt!" Cheesy, right? I'm not sure I can do it, but I sure as Hell am going to try.

In more exciting news: I felt an earthquake today! 5.9 on the Richter scale, epicenter somewhere in Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C. I was just waking up when it happened, so I was in that half-asleep, half-awake state of semi-consciousness. I felt my bed shake, and I thought perhaps my cat had jumped up with me, but when I looked, no cat. I remember thinking, "Well, maybe she's underneath the bed and pushing on it down there," which now that I think about it is the most ludicrous thought probably ever to cross my mind. But like I said, half-asleep, half-awake. Anyway, after that, I got up to pee, and I remember walking to the bathroom and standing to pee and thinking, "Jesus, I'm really dizzy. I hope I'm not dying." But I finished peeing and went back to bed. I didn't realize it was an earthquake until I got to work and my co-worker Barb was like, "Did you feel the earthquake!?" Well, Barb: Yes, yes I did!

Summer is still in full swing here, and it's exhausting. There're bugs everywhere, it storms all the time, it's always ridiculously hot out, and the sun is so effing bright. I definitely have that feeling in my bones, that ache for winter. I miss cool nights and snow and holiday decorations. I miss cuddling up under a big, heavy blanket to read while listening to Christmas music. I love that! This will be our first Christmas in the new house, and it's going to be exciting. There's going to be so much snow! We have such huge yards here, compared to the postage stamps we had downtown. Very exciting.

I don't know why -- I'm 28, I'm supposed to be past my sexual prime, aren't I? -- but I have been exceedingly frustrated and, to be frank, horny as of late. This may have something to do with the fact that there are hot-bodied men everywhere I look -- on the Internet, on television, in games, everywhere! The strangest consequence of this increased frustration is this: I see so many people now at the mall that I have to restrain myself from growling at or jumping on the spot. These people aren't even attractive! But they still make me tense in all the right places. It's bizarre. There was one guy who had long black hair and a tattered wifebeater. He was dirty, downright dirty, and I had to bite my tongue so I didn't purr. Maybe it's pheromones...

I'm also frustrated with my writing. I won't say too much here, since I have a whole journal dedicated to writing, but I'm having trouble with a short story and therefore doubting everything -- my capabilities, my suitability, my ideas, myself. I want so much to be good at this, to have people who read my stuff and love it, to get published... but it all seems so far out of reach. Frustrating!

I haven't blogged very much the past few years, which is sad. Since I moved home, nothing ever happens to me, so I never have the dire need to blog. Not like I did when I had Josh-and-Craig drama every weekend, as it was in Pittsburgh, and certainly not like I did when I had Jon drama every day, as it was in Boston. I say I have nothing to say, and so I don't write an entry, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to blog more often. I miss talking about myself and my day, and even if no one reads, I find it relaxing. It's therapy, really.
rightangles: (Default)
Anyone have any experience with WordPress? I'm thinking of switching over to that site from this Dreamwidth/LiveJournal blog... more features, prettier, etc.

Any thoughts?

So long

Jul. 19th, 2011 12:12 am
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Today, Borders announced that the company had tried everything they could to remain afloat and had failed. The store and all its assets will be sold to liquidators, who will then close everything, and the company now known as Borders will be gone.

We knew this was coming. We have been in "bankruptcy reorganization" since February. Hundreds of stores have already fallen, and we knew more were scheduled to go. But even through that, even through the past few days of darkness, when things looked too black to see any light, there was always some small part of me that hoped we'd make it through the void. Hope springs eternal, they say. Hope is the thing with feathers, they say, who sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. Obviously, they were right, but to what end? Even with my hope, and the hope of my co-workers, and the hope of my customers, and the hope of so many other people out there, Borders is still dead.

I don't love my job. A lot of it is tedious, thankless and repetitive. (I'm looking at you, endless dusting!) A lot of it makes no sense -- like separating young adult and intermediate books into stand-alones and series, and then alphabetizing by title for series and author for stand-alones, for instance. A lot of it is dealing with customers that you'd rather slap than smile at and say "Come again!" Lord knows, everything in my short time there (a little less than four years) hasn't been perfect, and some of it has been downright infuriating. (The NOH8 pin debacle comes to mind, which still makes me feel angry and ashamed when I think about it.) I bitched and moaned virtually non-stop to anyone who would listen, about illogical policies or obnoxious customers, about annoying traits of my co-workers or angry notes (we called them "howlers") from my manager. I even remember threatening to storm off in a huff on several occasions, never to return.

But I never stormed off. Why? Because I can honestly say the good outweighed the bad. For every ten bad customers, I had one who made everything worthwhile, whose generosity or kindess or gratitude or love of literature outshined all the angry remarks or sour faces I'd heard and seen. I'll miss the man who commandeered me to help in his quest to collect every twenty-five cent bubblegum bottlecap in the collection. I'll miss the woman, crazy as she is, who called every week to ask if we could order her a subscription to Us Weekly -- she called it You-Ess Weekly and always threw in the strangest non-sequiturs, like "Did you know my glasses look like Sally Jesse Raphael's?" or "I just bought new curtains, and I think they're too green." I'll miss the woman whose in love with Drizzt Do'Urden, the man who buys every issue of Playboy with a check and without shame, the guy who comes in and reads Garfield and laughs so loud the whole store can hear him. These are people who I've seen regularly for four years now. I've developed a rapport with them, got them to open up to me (and vice versa!), chat with me when they're in, call me by my name. They're not friends, not really... but then again, in a way, they are. I'm going to miss them.

Most of all, though, I'm going to miss my co-workers, who are my friends. Our Borders Express is very small -- there's only nine of us. And I can't imagine what my next job, whatever it may be, will be like without each and every one of them. Again, like the job itself, they're not perfect. One talks about manga and video games so incessantly that your eyes glaze over and you start to pray for a power outage. Another one has the mouth of a sailor, even though she's the size of a twig with short gray hair and glasses. A few of them have tempers bigger than they are. But we all have fun together. We laugh together. We watch out for each other, and we've learned each other's rhythms, got the dynamics down, understand how everything goes. I'm not an easy pill to swallow -- I'm something of an acquried taste -- and for the most part, my co-workers have accepted me for who I am and what I am. With the exception of that NOH8 pin debacle I mentioned above, I've never felt the need to be anything other than who I am around any of them... and that's amazing.

I'm going to miss them. I'm going to miss the store, too, which is the only bookstore in our county. I'm afraid for the future. We'll always be able to get books -- amazon.com is going nowhere -- but will there always be places to go to buy them? I'm afraid that the Internet is taking away the physicality not only of the written word but also of daily life, stealing away the places we could go for a break from our homes and our jobs. At this point, things look bleak, and I'm afraid things will only get bleaker. But I refuse to let myself get too upset by this. I will mourn, of course; I may even cry on our last day in the store. But the tears will dry, and I will let them.

I mentioned earlier that through this all, I hoped we'd make it through. When I heard about the liquidation, I admit it: I was mad at myself for hoping. I wanted to find an imaginary BB gun and shoot the thing with feathers that sings that stupid song. But now, after a few hours have passed, I've decided: I will continue hoping. I hope that something good will come from this, the death of Borders will serve as a warning that cyberspace cannot be allowed to oust the physical from our lives. I hope that the liquidation process goes smoothly and with the least amount of drama as possible. I hope my co-workers find new jobs quickly, jobs that they love even more than the one we have now. I hope I keep in touch with them after we turn in our keys and name tags. Most of all, though, I hope that the idea of Borders -- everything it gave us and everything it stood for in our eyes -- doesn't die with the brand name.... because our dedication to literature, to customers, and to each other is so much bigger than those big red block letters that will be no more.

I'm back!

Jun. 17th, 2011 04:29 am
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I'm not sure anyone still reads this, since I haven't updated in months. But to be honest, virtually nothing has happened in those months. The only even remotely noteworthy event involves my selling my first story: "The Calm Tonight" will be published by Lethe Press in an anthology, The Touch of the Sea, later this year. Pretty exciting stuff, I suppose, and I probably should have mentioned that earlier. In any case, though... w00t!

My moods have been pretty swingy lately, usually alternating every few days. Currently, I'm in a sort of slump. I'm tired of just about everything, and I have that distinct feeling that if something doesn't change soon, I'm going to go insane. My mom keeps asking me what's wrong repeatedly, which only makes things worse, because how do you explain that nothing and everything is wrong at the same time? Who knows!

I was thinking about politics a lot lately. Specifically about politicians. I can't decide which one is better: a politician who supports gay rights personally but votes anti-gay or, on the flip side, a politician who hates gays personally but votes pro-gay because of his constituency, etc. I'm thinking probably the former is the worse of the two, since some good is coming out of the anti-gay guy's voting policies. I can't remember why I started thinking about this, but I did awhile back, and I wanted to make a post then, when I had more to say. But for now, this will have to do.

I'm still very lonely. There's this twelve-year-old (he's actually almost 19) that used to have a crush on me, and I kept blowing him off, and now I'm not sure whether he does... but I've been thinking about it, partly because I'm desperate and partly because I've realized I'm not looking, at the moment, for True Love. I just want to have a good time. Go on a few dates. Flirt. Maybe fool around. You know how it goes. Anyway, he's not hideous and he lives very close to me, so I've been like, Hmmm. He's very immature, though... and he's twelve. Sigh. When did I get so old?
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In case I didn't mention this yet, all the grad schools to which I applied rejected me, except for BU, which accepted me into their M.A. program, which has no funding at all and costs something like $60k for the year. So with those results, I basically gave up on advanced education. I emailed the director at BU and asked what I could do to make myself a better candidate, and she said attend BU, because doing well in an M.A. program (and completing it) will help a lot.

But I can't afford $60k, so no. So I gave up forever on grad school.

But I just got an email today from NYU, telling me that the Dean's Office has evaluated my recent application and decided I am a prime candidate for the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Humanities and Social Thought. I'd basically develop my own curriculum to suit my interests/goals, and they offer courses in the six different areas (Art Worlds, The City, Gender Politics, Global Histories, Literary Cultures, and Science Studies).

I got the email and promptly trashed it. But I haven't stopped thinking about it since this morning, and I keep going back to it and looking at it, and wondering, and thinking...

I went to the [personal profile] website of the program. The courses sound pretty cool, and Gender Politics definitely includes sexuality. It takes about two years, I guess, because you have to write a lengthy thesis at the end.

To apply, all I would have to do is write a 350-500 word statement of purpose relating specifically to this program. I wouldn't have to send any more money, and I wouldn't have to recruit more recommendations, since they have all that already. It's not due until July 1st, but they said the sooner the better.

I don't know what to do. Part of me says "Apply. Who cares? It's free. What will you lose?" But I'm trying to be practical. Will I be able to afford this? Is this something I'd want to do? Is this something that would be good for my "career" or my ambitions?

I really have no idea.

Life is hard and I suck at it!

Edit: I should add that the website does mention scholarships that pay for half the tuition, as well as a dedicated financial aid office to help you come up with the rest of the money.
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It's frustrating, when I try to reach out to someone to let them know how bad I'm feeling, and they just laugh and say I'm being dramatic. I haven't felt this way this badly in a very long time, maybe never, and... I dunno. It's not just drama, you know? I dunno. Needed to vent somewhere, and facebook isn't an option, so... here I am!
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Boston University accepted me into their M.A. program.

Before you get too excited for me, keep in mind I applied to the M.A./Ph. D. program, not the M.A. one. (To be frank, I'm baffled as to why they accepted me to the M.A. program, since you had to mark explicitly on your application that you wanted to be considered for both, and I made sure NOT to mark that box.)

If I accept their offer, I will have to take out at least another $40,000 in loans, and that would cover only tuition, no living expenses. The program is only a year long -- is moving and all that jazz worth it for just a year? -- and then I'm back in the real world with a(nother) master's degree. If I want to get a Ph. D., I'd have to apply again and fight my way through the other two hundred applicants.

I'm not sure what to do, if I should suck up the debt and the hassle and do it, or if I should give up the ghost of an advanced degree. I am incredibly bad at decisions, and I hate making them. I prefer to let others make them for me. Although in this case, if I can't get the loans, I suppose the decision won't be mine to make, anyway. And I dunno how the government works, but I already owe them quite a lot from my last master's. And I refuse to do any more private loans, even if through some miracle I could get them.

In any case, I won't decide until I hear from all the schools. Neither NYU nor Tufts has given me a decision yet. (Technically, I haven't heard from Pitt either, but since they phone their accepted students at the start of February, I'm expecting a rejection letter any moment.)

This sucks, though. I was really counting on BU to come through for me with a YES! PLEASE COME!, not the meh they sent.


Feb. 21st, 2011 05:11 am
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Not too much to note.

I've been playing a new MMO called Rift lately. It's a pretty fun game, and I intend to pre-order it tomorrow at Gamestop. I have no idea where I'm going to come up with the money to pay for it once it releases on the 1st of March, but I'll worry about that in a week or two.

I've fallen in love with my Mac, even though I still don't understand everything and find myself trying to do things on it that I'd do on Windows. But I imagine that will disappear as I continue to use the Mac.

I love Scrivener, too. I imported the manuscript of a friend (Romina!) and cut it into chapter files and all that jazz, so I'll finally start working on that for her. Did the first two chapters already! Only thirty-two more to go! I've been telling her I'd do this for months now (maybe years!) so it's nice to have started. Finally. I wanted to have it done by the end of February, but that's looking highly unlikely.

I need to read a book and write a review for HBC by the middle of March, and I need to revise ETERNITY IN AN HOUR, too, as soon as I can! (I'm on my Mac now, and I'm using a weird LiveJournal client, and I can't figure out how to italicize here. I thought it would be Command+I, but it's not!)

Anyway, I'm tired and I have to work for eight hours tomorrow, which will be a treat. I hate my job at the moment. It's boring and tedius and thankless. But I feel like most jobs are like that. I keep telling people I"m not meant to work. I need to find a rich old guy and have my way with him... and by him, I mean his bank account. I'm cute! I could pull it off!


Good night!


Feb. 18th, 2011 04:59 am
rightangles: (o hai panda)
So, I'm writing this post from my new MacBook Air! I'm rather a large fan so far. It's so fast -- it takes 17 seconds to boot up after shutdown and it takes literally half a second to wake up after shutting the lid (and thereby putting it to sleep).

I've already downloaded both of the programs I really wanted, Scrivener and Aeon Timeline. Scrivener is awesome, as I knew it would be. Aeon Timeline has some bugs. It's still a beta project, which I don't think I really reallized, and so it's got a lot of work to go, but... still, it has so much potential.

Once I get a dedicated place to sit with this thing -- the computer is so small, but my current desk barely fits one laptop -- I'll be golden. I'll add that to the list of reasons why I'm excited to move. That makes about two, to counter the 2938479874987 reasons I don't want to move. Yay!

I'm very tired, so I'm going to head to bed. To all you Mac haters out there: suck it!
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So, I just wrote a novel.

Eternity in an Hour, first draft, is done! Almost 160,000 words, baby!

Now I have to find people to read it so I can revise it. Oh my.

But to be done with it... it's such a weird feeling. I can't believe it. I think I'm in shock.

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I was just flipping through old LJ entries, and I found an entry about a boy on whom I had a crush during one semester of 2003. I haven't thought about him in probably six years. Totally forgot about him. Well, I just facebook-stalked him and found out he's living with a girl (i.e., straight) and now I'm irreconcilably depressed. Over a boy I haven't even THOUGHT ABOUT (let alone seen!) in six to seven years!

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My facebook account hasn't let me log on all day. It keeps saying my account is temporarily unavailable due to a site issue. It's also saying this in different browsers on different computers, including my iPhone. I'm very annoyed.

Is anyone else having this problem?
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I just made a match.com profile. I have no intention of paying money to subscribe, nor do I plan on replying to anyone, if anyone decides to say hello. I just wanted to see if anyone else is out there. And, as if making the profile in the first place wasn't enough to depress me fully, my reconnaissance only confirmed what I already knew: THERE IS NOBODY OUT THERE.



Dec. 25th, 2010 04:22 am
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It's Christmas. I always get sad at the holidays. Between the cute romance of Christmas and the super celebration with friends of New Years Eve, it kills me. Since I have no romance and I have no friends, etc.

We had Christmas Eve at my uncle's with my dad's side of the family tonight. It was rough. My entire extended family was there -- that's five aunts and uncles, about ten cousins, and several family friends -- and I was literally the only single person there. (I am excluding the two great-grandchildren, since neither one of them is more than five years old, and my cousin, who is single but in a very involved relationship with drugs.) As if that wasn't bad enough, we watched home videos from a Christmas almost twenty years ago, and it's so painful to see how old everyone's become. My grandfather's dead. My favorite aunt was lying down all night, sick from chemotherapy and cancer. My grandmother can barely move on her own. Everything is just so different now. We are old and dying, and it was so painfully obvious tonight. And I am so dreadfully alone.

So... add all the bad shit with Christmas in general... and the shit about getting old... and all the stress I've been going through at work in retail during the holiday season in a shitty economy... and I'm in a rather unstable mood. I've burst into near-tears about ten times since I got home, and I literally don't want to do anything -- no WoW, no reading, no writing, nothing -- except sleep. That's always a good sign, I think.

I've always said that life is like a glass of water that's got a few holes at the bottom, and the water's always spilling out, but there's usually enough water coming in -- through the good things in life, you know, like friends and family and loved ones -- that you don't notice. But lately it feels like I have no water coming in at all. I can sit here objectively and think about how much better my life is than some people, how I should be thankful that I'm a relatively healthy man with a house over my head and blah blah blah, but that's not enough. I have literally nothing, not a single thing, that brings me any joy any more, any happiness, even the slightest bit of sunshine, so to speak. And that's not okay. It's scary and unhealthy and frightening, and I don't know what to do about it.

I just watched Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. It's not the best sequel in the world, but it's heart-warming, and it always cheers me up at this time of the year. It didn't this time. The message of the movie is all about hope and Christmas, and it just rang so false this year. I feel so hopeless and helpless right now, more alone than I have ever been in my entire life. I keep praying for something to change, something to give, but... I don't know. It feels like nothing ever will, you know? Yes, I know I'm despairing, but... as the characters in Beauty and the Beast would say... C'est la vie!

You're sick of my whining, I know, and I'm sick of sounding so pathetic and woe-is-me on here, but sometimes it helps, even if only a little bit, to vent. Why I don't private these things, I don't know. I guess on some level it feels better if I know someone may read this and commiserate a little. I'm not asking for pity or miracles or advice... just an ear, I guess. Or in this case, since you're reading, an eye. But you know what I mean.

Oh, one more thing. Merry Christmas. I may not have the Christmas spirit at the moment, but I still have nothing but good wishes for you.


Dec. 15th, 2010 04:40 am
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Just watched a movie called Drool. It's soooo good. It's about this housewife who starts having an affair with her neighbor, Imogene, who sells Kathy K cosmetics. Then the housewife accidentally shoots her abusive husband, and she, her two kids, and Imogene go off on a road trip to "take care of Daddy." It sounds odd, and it is. It's hilarious in a dark humor sort of way. It's very Little Miss Sunshine meets As I Lay Dying meets Thelma & Louise.

(I just found out the housewife is played by Laura Harring, which explains why I kept thinking she looked like the girl from Mulholland Drive, considering she is the girl from Mulholland Drive.)

Anyway, you can stream it on Netflix, and it's pretty hilarious. Give it a try!


Nov. 28th, 2010 05:14 am
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So, I have so much shit to do, and I can't tear myself away from the damn computer games to do it!

I have to revise two reviews for HBC that are do basically yesterday. Those *have* to get done tomorrow (which is today for you, since it's very late). Have have have have have to!

Then I have to revise my Chaucer essay, which isn't just a revision but also a cutting, since I need to figure out how to fit it into the page guidelines given by the various grad schools. (This means I need a 10-page version and a 20-page version. The paper itself, unrevised, is 25.)

Then I have to revise my personal statement. For one application, I have to chop it into two statements: a biographical statement and a statement of intent. Then for another application, I have to make sure it addresses certain issues; most of them are already covered in the essay I've written, but I need to tweak.

The application stuff needs done within a week. It has to be done before the 7th of December, because one application is due on the 10th (the essays need snail-mailed) and because Cataclysm, the WoW expansion, releases on the 7th and I know for a fact nothing will happen for at least a week or two after that, no matter how badly I need them to happen.

I haven't written anything for Eternity in months, and I wanted to have the entire novel finished by the end of the year. My NaNo novel is so far behind now that winning is literally hopeless. Add to that another book I need to read and review for HBC and two books for LibraryThing, too! Oy vey!

The problem, of course, is I can't tear myself away from WoW and Starcraft. I've also been dreadfully ill the past week, and now that it's the holiday season, I'm getting over thirty hours a week at the store, which is twice what I'm used to.

I'm off tomorrow (today for you people!) so I'm going to try to get as much done as I can. The HBC reviews revised for sure, and hopefully a good chunk of the writing sample revision. I'd also like to do some of Eternity. But I also know I'm going to want to play WoW at some point, so I have to factor that in, too. No sense in being ludicrous or naive, right? Right!

Wish me luck!