Oct. 1st, 2011 09:42 am
pikestaff: (Steampunk Vinyl Scratch)
So they finally got the background check in at Kmart and I start working on Tuesday. I'm about as excited for this as one can get for a boring retail job. At least I'll have a paycheck again, I guess?

Living with my dad is a lot different from living with my mom, and not really in the way that I would've expected. I think my dad has prodded me to "eat healthier" more since I've been here than anyone else has in the rest of my life combined. He is also fond of pointing out that I owe him $2000 (he loaned that to me so I could get started on car payments, several years ago) and he also loves to remind me that I have a bunch of junk in the garage to sort through. And you know, it's all well-meaning, especially the stuff about eating healthier, but I think it just comes off as overbearing because he gets lonely REALLY EASILY and he likes to pop into my room and talk to me. He really has no one else-- my brother is just as reclusive as I am-- and whereas my mom had all my sisters and her boyfriend, my dad has no one.

I try not to get annoyed by it. He's giving me free rent after all (at least until I get situated); he's buying me food, and he's doing what normal people do-- which is seek human interaction. I don't think he quite groks that I don't operate that way, but I don't want to mention it, because, again, he's the normal one here, not me. That's how I feel, at least. So I let him talk to me, and we went to a movie together (Lion King 3D) last Sunday, and I think that really made his night.

AAAANYWAYS I'm trying to teach myself to be patient because barring a miracle it's going to be at least two or three years before my financial situation starts looking halfway decent again, and the whole immigration thing (Huxley is in England and we want to get him over here, for those of you who missed the memo the first time around) looks fairly intimidating. It will all be worth it, of that I've no doubt, but patience is the key and I'm having a tough time reminding myself of that. xD It's tough when everyone else your age is getting married and having kids and buying houses and stuff, and you're not. Not gonna lie!
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
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Pretty much everything!


I went to the bank today and talked to a banker in a last-ditch bid for cash and loan consolidations. I discovered two interesting things of import: a.) I can cut my car insurance down by $100 a month (so we got that ball rolling), and b.) my credit is getting confused with my dad's, which is negatively affecting my score. A lot. So I'm working on getting that sorted out as well.

I need as much cash savings as I can get because my paycheck today was ridiculously small. I was hoping for $400 (which is already much less than what I need) and got like... $340. Dem cut hours man. And I'm missing payments this month already and am getting slammed with late fees. SO YEAH.

I can't wait for insurance savings + gas savings. I just hope I get decent hours at the new job. I'll give 'em a few months to see if I can snag a full time spot. Otherwise it's back to jobhunting.

Anyways the rest of the day was spent: being tired, attempting to play Civ IV and quitting because I was tired, derping around on the internet being tired, trying to talk myself into working on "Windshifter" and failing because I was tired, and finally doing a bunch of online quizzes with Huxley for a couple of hours. Which was the most fun part of the night.

I'm still tired...


Aug. 19th, 2011 11:31 pm
pikestaff: (Pinkie Pie - Bounce)
I'm copypasta-ing this from G+ so feel free to skip it if you follow me over there.

pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
General update for anyone not following me on Facebook/G+ :

I've been doing Camp NaNoWriMo (that new summer NaNo I was touting all spring) since August 1; today I hit exactly 13,000 words. Which is still a solid three days behind, but I'm feeling optimistic about catching up, especially now that I've discovered a secret method for motivating myself, which is to allow myself ten turns of Civ inbetween every paragraph of writing. This is a very surprisingly solid motivator and if it continues to be so then I don't think I'll have any problems catching up. Also, the scene I'm currently working on is fun as all heck.

Jobstuff - hours have been cut pretty much department-wide; it's kind of scary. I've essentially given up looking for a job here and am now looking around Bozeman, sending out emails and the like and hoping I get a bite from someone who will understand that I can't exactly waltz in for an interview. I'm hoping I can get something to that end sorted out within a few weeks, and then I can move a few weeks after that and be back all warm and snug in Montana before winter hits.

My life is really scary these days with money and stuff but I've kind of quit caring about that. I'm far too busy with other things to concern myself too much with "OH NO I PAID ONE OF MY BILLS LATE IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD". I mean, they're just gonna have to deal. It's not like I'm the only one having money issues right now.
pikestaff: (Default)
I went to PetSmart yesterday to pick up some guinea pig food and a couple of otos for my tank. As is usual when I go to a pet store these days, I felt a weird sense of dissonance about being a customer and not an employee. I worked with these animals as a job, 40 hours a week, for three years. I can tell you the eating, breeding, and behavioral habits of over one hundred species of fish; I can tell you what makes a syrian hamster tick as opposed to a dwarf hamster, or a Chinese dwarf hamster, or a Roborovski hamster; I can tell you where a conure's favorite place to be scratched is; I can tell you why beardies are picky eaters and when they'll stop being picky eaters and I can tell you what a greek tortoise's favorite color is. And I should be teaching people all of these things and be on that side of the fence! Not over here on the customer side.

So as usual, it weirded me out.

I thought about asking them if they were hiring but a.) I've asked them like two or three times before and they've always turned me down, and b.) that would only lengthen my commute, so it's really not a good idea.

Anyways yeah.

Sears is cutting my hours like mad so I am in dire need of a new job; too bad there's nothing out here. Hrmm...
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
I called K-Mart back, hoping to set up an interview time or something. Instead, I got this short conversation:

"Hi, you currently work at Sears, right?"
"You were thinking of switching jobs to this because of the commute, right?"
"What sort of hours are you working right now, and how much are you getting paid?"
"About 25 to 30 hours a week, and I'm on commission."
"Okay, well, you can come in for an interview if you want, but I'm going to tell you right now that you'd only get about 17 hours a week and you'd start at minimum wage."
"...oh. :("

And that was that. Back to square one, I guess.


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One of my favorite books EVER when I was a kid was called "Sam the Cat: Detective". It was a super witty parody of film noir and pulpy mystery novels, and the characters were all cats. I read the living DAYLIGHTS out of that book. So, let's say they keep all the wit and charm and humor and turn it into a Phoenix Wright-esque game.

pikestaff: (Twilight Sparkle - Sadface)
According to my mom's friend, who fixes cars, I need new tires.

Tires are expensive. I can't afford new tires.

...of course, I also can't afford to NOT have new tires.

I'm feeling at a complete loss; I've applied to so many new jobs lately and I'm not getting anywhere. Guess I just gotta keep on trucking. If all else fails I have an emergency "out": namely, about a week or so back at work, I applied for a Sears credit card as part of a joke with a coworker (looong story). I figured I wouldn't get approved, because come on, my credit has sucked for the last couple of years. So that was part of the joke. SURPRISE! Approved. So now I have another credit card, which I promptly decided I was NOT EVER GOING TO USE because I REALLY don't want to get more in debt and I REALLY don't want another monthly payment but if my tires go out I may have no choice. (At least I'd get an employee discount for using it at the Sears automotive place, right?)

Sorry for the whine! I'm honestly trying not to whine in LJ so much lately but it seems like this crap just keeps happening.



But yeah anyways I guess I just gotta:

Speaking of which I'm going to play Alpha Centauri for the rest of forever
pikestaff: (Applejack - Thinky)
At my current job, on a good sales day, I'm making about $11-$12 an hour. That's really not bad at all, and makes the long drive (barely) worth it. Still, between gas prices and only averaging about 22 hours a week... I'm barely pulling even, and all it will take is another week or two of particularly low hours (since I never know what I'll get, week to week) and I'll have to start doing things like canceling my phone and "forgetting" to make credit card payments. Which I'll do if I have to, but I'd really rather not.

So I've been looking for a job again that's actually in town. It'll probably end up being minimum wage, and as such I'll have to significantly up my hours to match the $12-ish I'm making now. Well, maybe not significantly, since I'll be saving so much gas money. But! Still. And to make a long story short, finding a job around here that's not part-time is next to impossible, which is why job hunting isn't going particularly well.

So then I thought... maybe I should be looking for jobs around Bozeman, too. Sure, it's 600 miles away or whatever, but if I said "I can work starting August 1" or something, that'd give me some time to get over there. If I'm jobhunting in two completely different towns-- since my mom is here, and my dad is over there-- that doubles my chances, right? Or is it not gonna work because they'll want interviews and stuff?

Anyways, it was just an idea. I'm mostly just rambling now because I'm somewhat bored and it's too early to go to bed... eh, I think I'll go to bed anyway. Ni-night!


Apr. 29th, 2011 12:26 am
pikestaff: (Pinkie Pie - GREAT SCOTT!)
Suddenly, from out of nowhere...


I'm thinking these next two paychecks are going to be rather sizable... at least compared to my recent ones.

I may be thoroughly broke and the first 27 years of my life may have been a big ball of fail but I refuse to give up hope on the future!
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Do Not Want)
My new mood theme is ponies. AND I DON'T CARE. I mean, it would be preferable if it were the ponies from the latest generation, but until someone makes one of those, it's still PONIES.


Sooo today's project is to try to talk myself into calling the student loans people and telling them that I don't have enough money in my bank account to pay them, so they may as well give me that freaking forbearance because they're not getting paid either way. This... is... more difficult for me than it is for most people for various reasons, so I imagine this is going to be a bit of a rough day D:

And I wish I didn't think so incredibly poorly of myself that it's quite impossible for me to talk myself up in my resume, call back potential employers, or ever step out of my bottom-rung retail comfort zone :( Not sure how I'll ever get another job at this rate...

ON THE PLUS SIDE! My dad thinks that in another month or two he might have enough money to help me out as far as moving-back-to-Montana is concerned, so hopefully that will remain an option if things continue to go south.

Rant Time?

Apr. 17th, 2011 08:34 am
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Not Impressed)
I'm feeling pretty claustrophobic and trapped lately. I really want to be back out on my own again-- setting my own schedule and making my own mistakes and not worrying about everyone else's problems on top of mine (because that's just how empathic I am. If you are in the same household as I am, I will worry incessantly about your problems. It was MUCH easier when it was just, well, me.)

I don't mean this in an angsty teenager sort of way... or maybe I do. I 'unno. I was joking the other day that my angsty teenager period of life seems to be showing up a decade and change late (I was too busy playing Zelda, Goldeneye 007 and Pokemon the first time around, apparently), so who knows!

But really I do love my family, it's just hard when you've been living with them on and off for the last 27 years. Ya know?

As I'm sure most of you know by now, this period of living with them was supposed to help me shore up money to move out again, but with the divorce and the moving and having to quit my stable job and everything that all sort of... crumbled down around me pretty quickly and now I feel very stuck. I don't want to be stuck anymore. Really, I need to start working on my books again, and also locate a job that's closer to home so I don't keep flinging money at the gas station every week. Easier said than done on both counts, though!

I think moving back to Montana is a pipe dream at this point unless I either stumble across a large cache of money or someone at least donates me a U-haul truck and gas money for it. So now I think the plan is to just get some sort of job here, make as much money as I can from that, and then GTFO this gorram island as quickly as possible. I don't care where I go-- somewhere where there's a better chance at a job. I'll probably inch closer to Seattle. Closer to the city = more jobs = more money!

And writing, writing, writing... Windshifter needs to be edited again. I know exactly what I need to do, I just need motivation to do it. I also need to pick up that kids' book I started writing around Christmas time and finish that because I think it has potential and would be easier to market to agents than anything else I've got so far.

Welp, sorry for the rant. Just had to get it all off of my chest. I'll be fine; don't worry about me too much~
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
So yesterday I got paid to go to a trade show for my job. It involved several long, boring hours full of people talking, followed by about a half hour of actually being able to test the tractors and lawnmowers and chainsaws (Yes, I used a chainsaw. And wore goggles while doing so. Cuttin' boards up erry day).

The tractors were my favorite part; I could drive those things all day for the rest of forever and be content. I can't even begin to tell you guys how in love I am with vehicles and transportation in general.

There was also this antique machinery museum right there that was sadly closed, but most of the good stuff was outside so I went and drooled all over everything for a long while, and took about a million pictures with my cell phone.

Steam tractor from 1909! Directly after taking this picture I went and stood next to that back wheel there-- it's a couple inches taller than I am. True story.

Anyways, people kept giving me Mountain Dew and food throughout basically the entire day, which culminated in going to an all-you-can-eat dinner with the people I carpooled with and getting even MORE Mountain Dew and food, so by the end of the day my poor body was very confused and was alternating between wanting to nap, and feeling oh-so-very-jittery because I'd had about five Mountain Dews and raided the ice cream counter at the restaurant.

Anyhow! Both physically and emotionally tired, I went to bed early last night, but then I couldn't fall asleep for a while because I was PANICPANICPANIC about money from out of nowhere. And then I was PANICPANICPANIC again this morning for the same reason, so I ended up waking up early. So now I am tired. BUT! When I braced myself for the worst and logged onto Wells Fargo Online this morning to pay a bill, I had a few hundred dollars more than I was expecting, so I feel a bit better now. Still, it's definitely time to start applying for at least one job a day, again, because part-time Sears isn't gonna cut it anymore, and I need to be prepared for when I inevitably do run out of my tax refund.

I just... want to not have to worry about this stuff anymore!
pikestaff: (Default)
So that Video Game Meme took up most of last month. Here's a more proper update:

Script Frenzy: I'm actually not sure if I'm going to finish it this year. I'm sort of struggling along with it at a snail's pace but I'm already rather behind, and it doesn't bother me terribly. I always seem to get more out of NaNoWriMo, for some reason, which is odd because I think I'm better at writing screenplays than I am at writing prose. Ironic, I suppose!

Work and Money: I randomly got more hours than usual these last couple of weeks, and that combined with a few big sales days has got me hoping that this Friday's paycheck is unusually hefty. I'm... trying not to get my hopes up, though.

Anyways, work has promptly nerfed my hours into oblivion again, so even if it is a nice paycheck this week I imagine it will be a one-time thing. Which leads me to...

Jobhunting/Moving?: The realization that whilst I love Montana, I would probably be content being just about anywhere, has got me considering just looking for a job around here and calling it good. There seem to be more job openings in the vicinity lately. I'll see how my hours are looking when I see next week's schedule. (I already know that next week is going to be weird since I have to go to this all-day long trade show thing at some point-- pretty sure I'm getting paid for it, though.) At least I know I have a place to go in Montana if crap really hits the fan-- which, knowing my luck, is always a possibility.

Aaaanyways, yeah. I'm feeling so much more optimistic about things as of late. Huxley has been such a big help, I don't even know where to begin with that. As terribly cheesy as I'm sure this will sound, just knowing he is there to talk to makes me feel better about even the worst or scariest things. It doesn't matter how sucky the rest of my life is-- I can come home and derp around with him and be silly on Civ and 4chan, and feel better. I also think it's neat that we're facing a lot of the same challenges-- for example, we've both written books and are looking into the big scary world of publishing-- and being able to have someone to commiserate with is just wonderful. <3 <3
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Do Not Want)
So I printed off a form and went to go fill it out and send it into my bank, basically saying "Yeah um about those student loans, the monthly payment on them is like 40% of my current monthly income, can you cut me some slack here?"

Halfway through this process, I remembered that Wells Fargo (my bank) was currently in the process of transferring my student loans to some other bank or something-or-other, which is what they're doing to all student loan accounts that were done through them.

So I went to that bank's website. Okay, so, I dunno if whoever made their site is just a shoddy designer or if the site is super overloaded from all the Wells Fargo transfers or what, but the site is BUGGY AS HECK. It took a good 10 or 15 minutes of derping around to get it to sign me up without throwing an error message in my face, and then I couldn't download the form I needed because it was telling me I had to fix my phone number, and it wouldn't LET me fix my phone number without even more error messages. Seriously I messed around with this gorram site for like a half hour, to no avail.

But I really REALLY wanted to at least do SOMETHING and not sit here and wait for them to assume that everything was hunky-dory and then send me a massive bill, so finally, with no other real recourse, I went back through the Wells Fargo form and sent it to THEM in the hopes that they'll forward it on to the right people, seeing as they're still in the process of moving accounts over.

Then I found out that we had no stamps, so I had to go spend some of this week's lunch money to buy a book of them.

Anyways, at least it's in the mail. Now I wait, I suppose, and try back at that website again in a couple of days, perhaps. Until then I'm just going to take things a day at a time. Paycheck by measly paycheck!

Gosh. All I want in life anymore is to pay off my loans to the best of my ability, locate a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere in Canada somewhere, and live there away from human civilization and do my own thing for the rest of my life. Is that too much to ask for? D:


Mar. 18th, 2011 11:51 am
pikestaff: (PikaRaichu)
I'm tired of my life sucking because I'm scared of everything. I mean, I can't stop being scared of everything, because that's just sort of how I am, but I've temporarily pushed it aside and put down an ultimatum before, and I want to do that again.

I'm giving work two, maybe three weeks to see if my hours improve. I don't need 30-35 hours a week like I was getting around and immediately after Christmas (though it would be nice), but I definitely need something closer to 25 as opposed to, I dunno, the 15 that I've been getting all month. The reason I'm giving work a couple of weeks is because anytime I've raised concerns about hours they pacify me by talking about how I'll get more hours in the spring when people come in for lawn mowers and tractors, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for a moment.

But if my hours don't improve by then, I'm putting in my two weeks notice and going back to Montana ASAP. I've already talked to my dad about it. We're not sure if we can wrangle me getting all of my stuff back over there, so it may just end up being me, my computer, my pets and a suitcase full of clothes and books and video games in my car as I drive back. But as he was telling me, don't worry, we can arrange new furniture and everything upon my return.

If it comes to that, I'll call PetSmart as well before heading over and see if they can at least give me something part time (25-30ish hours a week) because frankly I could probably pull that off as it would mean I wouldn't have to dump $120+ a month into gas as I do now. I don't know if they'll have an open full time slot anymore, as they're pretty limited (I was one of the very few full-timers there), but they love me and I'm 99% sure they'd at least make room for me part-time.

I'll also be looking for other jobs, of course.

Anyways that's my plan. The reason I'm typing this all up and posting it in public is to give me more incentive to stick to it and not chicken out like I've done with so many other tough things in my life. Everyone's support and encouragement would be lovely and appreciated. :3

You know...

Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:24 pm
pikestaff: (Default)
Other than the omnipresent money issues and work cutting my hours YET AGAIN...

...I'm pretty happy these days :3

Also I'm trying to talk myself into taking the plunge and e-publishing. I had myself pretty much convinced at work today and I decided that it was SO GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT WEEK but I think I've since chickened out already.
pikestaff: (Profferlink - Thinking)
Every day, e-publishing (through Amazon or what-have-you) is looking more and more appealing to me. There are a couple reasons for this.

One is money-- I'm not even gonna beat around the bush with that one. Work is cutting my hours more and more each week (21 hours? Really?) and being sick also struck a blow to my latest paycheck. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep up with my bills and help my family pay for Internet and the like. At this point, any extra cash infusion is welcome, even if it's just a couple hundred bucks (I'm not expecting any sort of overnight riches from an e-book, particularly from an untested author).

Another reason is (presumably) greater control of my intellectual property and what I do with it.

The biggest reason, though, is simply that the more time goes on, the more I think that we're standing on the cusp of a major change in the publishing world. I'm nearly convinced that e-books are about to catch on in a major way. Not that I think they're going to kill traditional books-- much like blogs didn't kill traditional news sites-- but owning my ebook reader has made me appreciate how genuinely convenient such a device is and I really think that this is the future; that this is going to catch on.

I'd be a big derpface not to catch the wave early, right?

My only fear is that I might be completely wrong and then I'll end up blowing everything. I'm such a wuss.

Tax Refund!

Feb. 9th, 2011 03:22 pm
pikestaff: (March Hare)
Federal refund + Montana State Refund (WA doesn't have one, apparently... they do Sales Tax instead) equaled out to about $1300, which was deposited into my bank account today.

With the money I promptly got an oil change for my car and bought a birthday present for my sister, and also invested in a Sony Reader which happened to be on clearance.

It looks exactly like this:

I bought it partially because I've wanted one forever, and partially because I owe like five different people NaNoWriMo Draft Read-throughs and I figure this way I could just upload them here and read them wherever I want... say, at work, for example. Or on the bus, which I need to figure out, since work is doing things like scheduling me six days a week and putting 300 miles a week on my car is stupid when I could just man up and figure out the bus.

The rest of the money is going straight into bills/savings. I've sort of turned this "whittling away my debt" thing into a game; it's fun to put a little more than the minimum into payments so I can see how much smaller the minimum payment is the next time... and then do it again.

I'm still in dire need of a job that is more than 30 hours a week, and that preferably does not require a full tank of gas each week in mileage, but until then I at least am staying afloat, and that's a good step to climbing out of the hole I dug myself into. I won't make the same mistakes again.
pikestaff: (Tree Finger Wag)
I'm considering sprucing up "Cricket Song" (NaNo 2010) and chucking it at this contest. I mean, I'm not anticipating any sort of response, but why the heck not, right?

In other news, my paycheck today was a good few magnitudes smaller than my last one. This has both a.) made me decide I dislike commission-based sales, since it's impossible to anticipate paychecks and budget anything, and b.) Kicked me out of "Moving Toward Financial Freedom" Tier and put me back firmly in "LOL, At Your Mom's House Living Paycheck to Paycheck" Tier. It stinks, but there's not a whole lot I can do about it, I guess, except wait it out and keep job hunting for something better.

I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to move back to Montana this summer. I keep alternating between being all "Yes, 100% Positive, Coming This May to a Moving Van Near You", and being all "Meh, May As Well Stay Here Now That I've Got License Plates and Everything". I guess I'll just see how things are going in a couple of months. It's not like I can go anywhere for a while anyway, what with all the snow between here and there.

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