23 November 2014

Quick Update

OK so what's new? Not much. No new job yet, but I've joined a recruitment agent which seems like a pretty good move. So far they have gotten me one interview and given me advice about my CV. My Publishing Diploma finishes in one week and I have two assignments to get through, so that is my number one priority this week. I should probably stop watching movies and reading books so much. Then with the course over, it will pretty much be time to go down south for a visit, then Christmas. Can't wait to get a Christmas tree and make lots of yummy food. Being rather poor right now isn't really ideal but most people agree that there won't be much chance of finding a job earlier than January now. However, tomorrow I'm going to make enquiries about some of the school holiday programmes, perhaps I can manage to get myself hired by the zoo or wildlife sanctuary for a couple of weeks.

So that's pretty much it from me for the last few weeks. Except Cher has begun having a bit of an incontinence issue the last week or so. It's just happened a few times, when she's sleeping, I think it's when she gets too warm because she likes to sleep under blankets, on top of me. So yes, that means she peed on me. Twice. And on her blankets and in the car. I've had a lot of washing to do this last week. There is more to do too, we were going for a drive yesterday, doing some early Christmas shopping, and when I was done I gave Cher a treat for having to wait in the car while I was busy. It was a treat that is supposed to be for cleaning their teeth so it's very hard an chewy, only they were small dog treats, not big dog ones. Since it was small enough for her to not bother chewing I think she swallowed it whole. Next thing I know, I'm driving along, stop at the traffic lights, look over my shoulder to check on her in the back seat and see a pile of puke sitting there beside her. I don't think I'll give her the rest of those treats. My car was overdue for cleaning anyway, as soon as I finish my assignments that should be my first task.

18 October 2014

Still in limbo...

Not to mention halfway up the financial shit-creek. After a very intense week of interviewing and psychometric testing, I did not get the job from the other week. But it was not all bad news; it wasn't that I did not qualify for the position, it was that they decided to take on another senior staff member at the expense of one of the entry-level positions. So that was my job opportunity gone. However, they might recruit again early next year so I will stay in touch of the recruitment agent.

Luckily, I have another job interview this week. This time it is for a part time position as an editorial assistant with Te Papa Press, which is the publishing arm of the museum and creates really beautiful books. The interview is on Tuesday, so I should do some homework and find some tidy clothes. This could be a very good job to have for the summer (it's only a three month contract) so I hope that the interview goes well and that I finally get a job. I would really like to take a break from being a host at Te Papa for a few months too. I might not be able to, but it would be nice.

Of course, if everything else doesn't work out perhaps I will become a Tupperware selling wonder. I have my first few parties lined up and at the least I will earn my kit. But perhaps I can make it earn me some money too, maybe even enough to pay for more than just the necessities. New shoes and clothes would be nice.

At least not having go that full time job just yet means that I should have plenty of free time to enjoy the summer. I have a few other things to keep me busy though. I am nearly finished my publishing diploma but I really need to get on to the last couple of assignments. I got another research article published but I have one more still to write and submit. I have a stack of fabric that I hope to sew up into nice new things and a whole other blog that I have not touched in a year. So, plenty to do.

Today, walking Cher, we came across a little mouse snuffling around the gutter. I pointed it out to here and then she went nuts over trying to get it. Luckily she was on the leash but she still nearly managed to eat it. It was funny to point it out to her but I didn't really want her to maim a mouse in front of me so I dragged her away. Anyway, here is a picture of her sleeping hilariously upside down on the couch and another after she got into a muddy ditch.

And here are a couple of cakes I baked lately. On Monday I am entering a bake off and I really want to win.

30 September 2014


Today I had a job interview for an entry level research role at the offices of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. It is probably the most perfect sort of job for me and I didn't even apply for it. What happened is that I applied for another role, one that was clearly not an entry-level job, but the applications are being sorted by a recruitment agency. So the recruitment agent emailed me last week to ask if I would be interested in this other role, which is the same thing in the same team but at entry level. I went in for an interview with just the agent, and the great thing about recruitment agents (or at least this one because I have never worked with one before) is that you are kept so informed about the process. He immediately told me that I would go through to the next stage, which was an interview with the panel from the PCE. And that if it went well I would have to go through psychometric testing. He even told me what to expect in the interview. Today, he chatted to me before the interview, then called this afternoon to say that I am going through to the next stage! There were five people in the running and now there are three of us, and there are two positions going. So now I have to do well in the psychometric testing. which is scary. It will involve the usual personality test type thing, which will probably be multi-choice or true/false questions. Then there is numerical critical thinking and I think he said another type of critical thinking, perhaps it was verbal or something? Plus a face-to-face with a psychologist. It's all done through a specialised consultancy company and will happen over the next few days, with the psychologist interview on Monday. So big day!

So in terms of other opportunities, funnily enough after my tupperware party the ladies in charge have talked me into having a go at it myself. I let myself be talked into it because I really do need more than what I have now. Whether it ends up being my backup for if this new job doesn't end up being the opportunity for me, or whether I have a go at it on the weekends to bring in some extra fun money. Truth be told, I am quite greedy and they do make it sound good, with all the extra income and prizes and freebies. And if it doesn't pan out or is too much trouble, well I'll take my pile of virtually free tupperware and call it a day. Whatever happens, I am very ready to leave the museum. Speaking of the museum, the new exhibit is pretty good (it's about tyrannosaurs), but it's really loud, with lots of sound effects. We have some new managers, which is nice. But it's mostly the same old. In other news, I am still down a flatmate (another reason that I need to be earning more) but it is nice with just the two of us here for awhile. Plus the dog of course. She has had a red tummy recently, and the skin under her arm got all puffy. It's better now but I think I will have to take her to the vet when I can to make sure she's OK and not allergic to anything. Right now she's tired because we went on two long walks and it's a warm sunny day today, so she's sleeping under a blanket at my feet.

11 September 2014

Still jobless

Well the past few weeks have been more of the same. In a nutshell, my job-hunting has still come to no fruition, I am on a WINZ benefit, thought I still get some work at the museum, and I am once again struggling to find a new flatmate (the last one that moved in was the most loud, obnoxious person I've ever met, with some sort of personality disorder added into the mix, and we had to ask him to leave). I did manage to get one interview, which is good, but I need more of them because you certainly can't expect to get the perfect job from a single interview. However, it's not like there are a lot of jobs that are suitable going right now, so that was pretty much it. I am waiting to hear about the graduate development programme that the Ministry of Primary Industries runs. If I get into that, I will just need to find something to keep me busy and the bills paid till February. Plus I actually really want to work in that Ministry so hopefully I get in.

So to take my mind off work, or more accurately, my lack of work, I have spent the last weekend throwing a tupperware party. It gave me an excuse to bake yummy food, have people over (not that many in the end, everyone was sick) and I managed to find enough people to buy stuff that I will get a nice little pile of free stuff. This coming weekend, I guess I should make an effort to search for  job and catch up on my coursework. And my distraction for the next weekend? I am going to be an election day worker. It will be a long day, at least 12 hours, most of which will be spent giving people their voting papers, with some counting thrown in at the end.

I don't think Cher will be happy about me getting a full-time job again. Today I had a full day of work, and despite a long walk in the morning and a long walk after work, she is still full of energy. She needs a treadmill. Yesterday I took her to the beach, where she went for a swim, got knocked over by a wave, and half-attempted to bury stuff.

04 August 2014

I went to a Tupperware party

So being unemployed is pretty boring most of the time. I am applying for jobs as often as they come up and trying to find things to keep myself busy and off the couch. However, it is tempting to lie around and watch movies all day. One answer is to try to have a social life, which I am already doing quite well with this week. I went to visit a friend in Paraparaumu (turns out to be a pretty long drive away!), there is a pub quiz I go to almost every week with friends from my last job, and yesterday I went to my first ever tupperware party. If you have never been before you get a present, but they are just little things. I got a melon baller. If I ever get into the habit of eating melon, I will be able to serve it as pretty little balls. Then there was another opportunity for some small freebies - a game of bingo. Only this was really brutal bingo, where you get to choose from a box of prizes to begin with, but then when they are all take, if your number is called you choose someone else's prize. So people take your winnings! I managed to grab a cute mini spatula and it got take from me!

Anyway, now I'm all but convinced to throw my own tupperware party. As the host I would hopefully get free stuff, and with nothing else to do, surely I can spend some time convincing people to come along, or at least to order stuff? And it would be an excuse to have the type of party that I like, full of girls with good food and maybe some drinks, lots of talking, hopefully everything that will make the incredibly obnoxious male flatmate stay well away and go somewhere else to get his super loud heavy metal fix for the day. Perhaps I'll just put invites in all the neighbours' mailboxes and maybe get to know them finally after a whole year of living here... On the other hand, I don't really know that many people and the ones I know are mostly like me and have no money. And tupperware is really expensive! It might be really good quality but still, I dunno.

Well that's all that's been happening in my life lately. I bought an overlocker with my credit card, so I guess I should start sewing. I have actually done some useful things around the place, liking gardening and making Cher a new bed and finally getting through my mending pile. The weather's been shocking so that was my excuse to stay on the couch or in bed. It's better now though so no excuses. Perhaps when my movie is over I'll get up and do something.

17 July 2014

Being an unemployed bum

So it's a weekday, nearly lunchtime, and I'm at home, in my pyjamas, in bed. I have been up and out, I have to walk the dog after all. But it's awful outside, it's cold and rainy. I took her to the park, put on my gumboots and kicked the ball around till Cher was tired - the park was more like a swamp so she got very wet and muddy. We managed to avoid getting rained on at least. I came home and went straight back to bed, because it's cheaper to be in bed than to put on the heater. While I am not actually completely unemployed, as I have a job at the museum still, that job doesn't give me much work - maybe no more than one day a week. So I am all but unemployed and I am applying for the dole to see me through till I get a job. There is plenty out there for me to apply for but after about 2 months or so of sending in applications I have had no interviews. Clearly my applications are not good enough. I have re-made my CV and am trying to put more effort into my cover letters. Mostly I am looking at government jobs, as a researcher or policy analyst. The fact that I have recently been working in the public sector might help, but probably not so much as to overcome my almost complete lack of work experience. So the vicious cycle continues.

There does not seem to be much other news going on right now. I had a visitor from Australia, that was fun. I went and did Wellington tourist stuff that I hadn't done before, like going to Weta Workshop and the Zealandia wildlife park. Both pretty cool, at Zealandia you can see birds that people thought were extinct until not so long ago, and at Weta Workshop you get to see them making stuff and touch all the costumes and prosthetics. You can't take photos in there though, which was a shame. Luckily the weather was nice for the few days that my friend was here, but now it's shit. It's OK though, because it's been a pretty mild winter so far and we were probably due for some cold. Oh, also, just last week I took my car in to the garage and it got a new WoF without needing anything fixed! That was pretty exciting. Another friend might be coming to visit soon all the way from Wales, I really hope that happens, because it will be such a long time before I can afford to travel all that way again. It's rough leaving your good friends so far behind.

The only other news might be that I have finally got my house full of flatmates again. The new guy is rather loud, has a big personality, and is on the dole, but hopefully it will work out OK. Hopefully at least one of us will get a job real soon, because hanging around the house all day is bad enough, to have to share it with someone else? Not my ideal situation, if I'm going to be an unemployed bum I want to spread out through the living room, watching animated movies and crappy tv shows all day. At least, while it's cold and rainy. If it wasn't so bad outside I really would go find something to do...until I get really lazy that is, and bored, and then I will probably just fall into that trap of doing nothing at all. So fingers crossed that I get a job soon!

28 June 2014


First story. The other week we had a little rat problem. I went outside and heard something rustling. Next thing I know a big shiny brown rat jumped out from behind the rubbish bag and ran off towards the garden. Probably because my horrible flatmates put food in the rubbish bad without wrapping it properly. So I put the rubbish bag into the recycling bin thinking that way the rat wouldn't be able to rip into it. A few nights later, I opened the door and Cher started getting all excited. I crept down the steps and gave the recycling bin a nudge with my foot, then jumped back quick as that big brown rat jumped out of the bin and raced off into the garden again. Cher chased it, which did no good because it had disappeared, and she simply trampled my garden for awhile. I didn't want to put poison out because there are so many cats and dogs around, and I didn't think I could handle getting a trap and then having to deal with a dead rat. On one more occasion I saw the rat - it was one of the first nights that my new flatmate was here (more about that soon) and we heard a noise outside. Again I crept down the steps and gave the recycling bin a nudge. Nothing happened, so I gave the other bin a nudge and out ran the rat - with Cher right after it again. I jumped and screamed a little. And decided that enough was enough. That night I put out rat poison, and I reckon the rat ate some of it because it looked disturbed. I haven't seen it since. But just to be sure we got a proper bin to put the rubbish bag in.

So a second story? OK, Cher and I were at the park because it was horrible and rainy and I didn't feel like going for a proper walk and coming home with wet feet. The park gets sort of muddy and swampy so I stayed on the pavement under the shelter of the veranda (there is a clubhouse/bathrooms sort of building) and I kicked the ball for Cher from there. Which was fun, except just the one time she wouldn't bring it all the way back to me, she stopped about a metre off. So I thought, that's OK, I'll just step onto the grass, my shoes will still stay dry. I stepped onto the grass and kicked the ball, and in the same movement my non-kicking foot slid in the mud and next thing you know I have landed on my butt in the mud, leaving a big muddy patch all over my butt, up my back and down my arms where I tried to catch myself. So that's what I get for trying to be nice to the stupid dog. From now on she can just bring it all the way to me instead.

In other news, I have one new and much better flatmate (have I mentioned that already?) and we have finally found another one to move in next week. Hopefully it will all work out OK. My job at the ministry has pretty much finished and I have not even had any interviews for other jobs yet, let alone an offer. There is always the museum to fall back on, but it is low season and there are no special exhibits on so there will probably not be much work to be had. I have to finish of my course work for the publishing diploma in the next week and I'm way behind because my computer died on me. Plus my PhD publications are up in the air - one is meant to be submitted on Monday but I have no idea if I'm supposed to be submitting it or my supervisor is. Serious lack of communication. And writing some good job applications is way higher on my priority list than that is. They can just make do without me if they must. So now today has been lovely and sunny and I have been very busy because there is so much to get done of the weekend. Yet despite being busy all day I've done no work on my job applications or course work so I best get started on that now. 

06 June 2014

Still alive and kicking

Right so I know I haven't bothered to write for ages but it's pretty hard to find a spare moment; in between working, studying, job-hunting, flatmate-hunting, dog-walking and life stuff I mostly only have energy to lie on the couch in an exhausted stupor. Basically life is the same as last time I wrote, except for one big thing, which is my awful flatmates finally left. It got a bit messy in the end but who cares now that it's all over. I have one new flatmate already, a much better one who was keen to make friends with the dog. Now I just need to find a second before covering the rent impoverishes me. What else is new? Let's see. My job will keep on going for about another month. Today my manager finally brought it up, asked how I was doing on my job hunt and said hopefully there will be enough work to see me through until July. The other team members will slowly drop off though. Still, it's good news for me, hopefully a new job will show up but if not, I might be able to get enough work at the museum. And my current job will pay the bills until my TV is paid off and then I will be out of debt. Except last week I had a bit of a scare when my computer half died, right when I'm so bus with study and job applications. Luckily the guy at Noel Leeming actually knew about computers and managed to make it work, and cleaned out all the temporary files which it turned out had been taking up a huge proportion of my hard-drive. Still, it's still a bit dodgy and will probably need to be sent away for fixing soon enough. Plus I dropped my ipod the other morning and now I might need a new one of them too.

It's not all bad though, after all I have started running again, every other morning with the dog. It's rough so early though and it's usually still dark. Cher enjoys it, I think she is still surprised that I run along with her instead of trudging behind. Having a new flatmate makes the entire house much more enjoyable to be in, I wish I could afford the rest of the rent myself so I didn't have to try find a third. It's warmer here now too, because the landlords installed a cool ventilation system, there's a fancy control panel on the wall and everything. The jobs that I have been applying for are all editor positions, I have had no interviews yet but I have some time yet. I found some time to plant bulbs in my garden - my attempts to grow vegetables didn't really work so I've decided to stick to flowers.

While I"m sure interesting and funny things have been going on that would make for a good story, I cannot think of any right now. I am much too tired, getting up at 6.30 every morning is a bit much for me and I wish I didn't have to! It makes the weekend better, but I can't sleep in much because Cher won't let me. Right now she is whining though so I think it might be bedtime.

13 April 2014

More of the same

So the last few weeks have been more of the same. I get up super early, I walk the dog and go to work. The weather has turned foul, there has been no blue sky in over a week and one morning was so wet that my clothes got soaked through and the water leaked from my legs into the tops of my shoes, so despite being waterproof they filled with water by the time I got home and I could feel it sloshing around my feet. Luckily the heavy rain stopped after that, and this weekend it has been mostly dry so I finally got washing done. Work is good, I am enjoying what I do, the science I am reading about is very interesting, but the work will only last until June. I came across a good job to apply for earlier this week, at Vic Uni, and when I asked my manager if I could use her as a referee she told me that she had been hoping I would be one of the team members that stayed on till the end in June. However, job security is more important so of course I applied anyway. And almost immediately I got called up and invited for an 'informal chat', before they make the shortlist for the interviews, which are hopefully next week. I think the chat went well, but then everybody's chat might go well so who's to say what the outcome will be. I was supposed be called within a couple of days but considering it was already Thursday, I am not yet ruling out that I will be called tomorrow. But if not, I guess I'll just have to keep looking. Finger's crossed though, would make a short working week even better.

Not much other news in my life right now. Working a proper job makes me appreciate the weekend more. I still haven't got my car back - it's probably ready but I forgot to call on Friday, and the mechanic is not open outside of working hours so I will have to make a special arrangement to pick it up one evening. For the time being, I am terribly poor but I will at least have work at the MBIE long enough to get back on top. Hopefully something to follow on from it soon enough too. Seeing as I didn't win lotto this week a new job is the only hope I'll have to ever live in a better place or drive a better car, or buy all the nice clothes and shoes I see on my bus ride through the city every morning. Actually I might put up with having flatmates and a damp house in order to have more spending money. We'll see. I feel bad for the dog, when I'm working all day; I think she needs a friend.

21 March 2014

New Job

Ok so I have been completely busy and exhausted since returning from Invercargill. Being down south was a good break, but not really long enough to do everything I wanted to. When I got back, I went straight to my new job, and have been trying to get there for 8.30 am every weekday morning. Which means I get up at half 6, get out the door as fast as I can so I can take Cher out for nearly an hour. I get home, have a superfast breakfast and shower, then rush out to the bus. Today I had to run the entire way up the hill to the bus stop, and it nearly went without me but someone must have said something to the driver because he stopped after just pulling out from the curb and opened the doors again. Then I was absolutely puffed and couldn't find my bus card, but I think the bus driver forgave me.

My job is nothing more than I can handle, what I find hardest is not having any independence. Even outside of work I have so little, because I have such limited time to get everything else done that my free time isn't really free time at all. The job itself took almost a week to really get started, because our databases weren't up and running - so it's actually not so bad that I took most the first week off! Now what I do is take a research proposal, read the abstract, put some data into one of our computer systems and use it to find reviewers that match the proposal. Then I get them approved. Soon, when the rest of our computer systems are doing what they should be, I will start emailing these potentials and hopefully enough will say yes. Unfortunately, when everyone has said yes my job is over so it wouldn't be so bad if a good number of them said no. On the other hand, when the job finishes I can go back to half days at Te Papa and more free time. Until I run out of money. Soon I will go back to job hunting actually, try to see what I can get lined up.

For now though, I'm at work 8 1/2 hours a day, I walk the dog for nearly 2 hours a day, I have no car for at least another week so every time I need food it's a half hour walk down the hill and back. My housework is lagging so nobody should come to my house. But at least I get to see the sunrise most mornings, and I am walking faster so staying fitter, and I have no time to blow my new paychecks with shopping. This job will last long enough to get my finances under control, despite wasting money by crashing my car. Plus finally tonight I have just a little time to myself and am on the couch watching tv with the dog. Who lets me know how much she doesn't appreciate being left home everyday by jumping in mud puddles like this one:

22 February 2014

And now for some good news...

So yesterday morning I was still feeling pretty down and out on account of the whole car crash thing. To make myself feel better I was writing a cover letter for another job and I had just finished it, when I got a phone call. Now did I mention that I had a job interview this Monday just been? Well I did, at the MBIE, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The job was one of four being offered to assist in the process of finding reviewers for the scientific research proposals that are sent in to try get government funding. So while the interview went well and there were four positions going, I wasn't really thinking about it too much because they had a lot of people to interview (so they said at least) and I didn't want to get my hopes up. But yesterday I got a phone call saying that they would like to offer me one of the positions! It begins in the first week of March, so I was a bit worried when I reminded her that I had said in the interview I will be away that week - but something will be worked out despite my missing the training period. It's only a four month contract, but it's much better than what I currently have and is a big step in the right direction. So I felt pretty good after that. Then, to make things better, I dropped by my local panelbeater and showed him a picture of my poor car, and he reckons it'll only be 500 to fix it, which I can surely do after a couple of months on a better wage. So while it would be better if the car didn't need a new bonnet and bumper, it could be worse. Now all these ups and downs have left me pretty exhausted so it's off to bed for me.

20 February 2014

Bad day

Today has been far from a good day. It started well enough, in fact the week in general started pretty well, on account of getting a job interview. Today was hot and after work I was planning on making the most of it, getting home and getting out with the dog. But then I crashed my car and that pretty much spoilt my day, my week, and probably my next few days too. I came out of the work carpark into 5 o'clock traffic, and was trying to change lanes so that I could drive the quiet way home and not on the busy one way system. So I looked over my shoulder to see if there was a gap, and when I saw one I quickly turned into the next lane. Unfortunately I was busy looking at the next lane and didn't see that the line of traffic I was in had stopped, so the left front of my car hit the back right corner of the van in front and shunted it into the car in front. I got such a fright, and then the car didn't really want to drive to the side of the road. I pulled it over as well as I could, and then ran back to get the bit that had fallen off, then rushed to the other drivers to reassure them that I had 3rd party insurance and that I was really sorry. Luckily they were so nice, and tried to make me stop worrying and just take a minute, because I was pretty freaked. Both the other cars were fine, there were some small marks on the back bumper of the van but he didn't care, was on his way to the airport, and the other lady asked for my contact details but only to be able to text me later and make sure I was OK. Both said their cars were fine and not to worry, so there'll be no insurance claim and it's only my car that I have to worry about. Now I don't have insurance because it didn't seem worth it for such a cheap car - considering that I have had a minor crash and now a real one in less than a year, maybe it would have been worth while? Because the car is probably a goner, I doubt I'll be able to fix it, it won't be worth it. So now I have a busted up car parked outside my house (my brother drove it back for me after pushing the fender off of the wheel, lucky he's here), and life will be that much harder for the next while. I have enough to get through the next few weeks, and I can only hope that I get a new job offer within that time. Or win the lotto. The job is more likely I guess.

27 January 2014

High time for a good rant

With the PhD being over now you'd hope that I had run out of things to rant about right? Well I actually have a whole new lot of things to rant about these days and today it has come to the point where I need to let some of it out. The main thing is actually my flatmates. There's also the fact that finding a new job and making the right career move seems nearly impossible and in my current job I don't make enough money or get enough hours so I'm getting pretty worried about making ends meet. But really the reason I am dissatisfied and pissed off a lot of the time is because of my flatmates. When I moved here I had to find somewhere to live fast, and I was lucky enough to find somewhere that would let me have Cher and is nice enough. But then I had to find flatmates fast, and several suitable candidates couldn't commit. By the time these two came along I couldn't afford to be picky, I wouldn't have been able to cover another week of the rent by myself. However, they are first of all a fair bit younger than me, though the youngest is not the one that bugs me most. I don't think they've ever flatted before or had to do proper housework. They're not really that friendly, like the one is in her own way, but the other at worst seems a little hostile and at best indifferent. I am subletting to them and in order to get people in when I was getting desperate I lowered the rent, but I don't think either of them realise what a ridiculously cheap rate they are paying. I have done my usual thing of sometimes baking and cooking for everyone but nobody else has bothered to do the same. And most importantly, they don't take responsibility for keeping the house clean. The younger one does when I remind her, and they are both capable of cleaning the kitchen, but they don't seem to notice that the bathroom needs cleaned or that they are showering in grime and mold. I mean, when I got back from Ireland there was actually a clump of black mold growing around the shower drain. And then there are the huge disgusting clumps of long black hair that need to be pulled out of the shower drain all the time. See why I need to rant?

So at the top of my priority list right now is keeping to a budget to ensure I can continue to pay the bills, and finding a new living arrangement. As it is, I could ask my flatmates to leave as I am subletting and we have a 4 week notice period agreement. But I am not confrontational enough to be able to ask them to leave. Plus that would put me in the same situation as at the start. I can't afford to live on my own and if I could, I would be better off still flatting so I can save a decent amount of money. Which leaves me with the option of first finding someone new to live with, then finding a new place, then giving notice to my current landlords and flatmates, then moving. It's a good plan I think. To start by finding someone and making sure we get along - so this time I think I need someone closer to my own age, perhaps also new to Welly but not necessarily. Someone with some similar interests and likes and dislikes to me. Someone who wants to be sociable sometimes but also do their own thing a lot of the time. I would like to find someone like who I lived with in Ireland, but a little less depressed and anxious. The next question is how to find this person? I was thinking of putting a trademe ad up, and also asking round my friends, see if anyone knows someone who is looking.

My next priority is to get a new job. Thing is, it's really slow going. not many jobs come up that are suitable, with a lot coming up that a too senior or need much more experience than I have (mine being none). I applied to be an analyst at the Ministry for the Environment and I would really like that job. I applied to be a writer for a website called 'I fucking love science' but I think that one is a push as I am overeducated for their budget. There is a job going at the zoo but I think it is too senior again, and that they will get loads of applicants from all over the world that have zoo and conservation experience. There is an editing job but it is way out in Upper Hutt and doesn't have a great rate of pay, and probably not a lot of opportunity for advancement. At the museum I can hope for some professional development, and intend on introducing myself to the writers and publishers some time soon, but they have made huge cutbacks in the last couple of years and there is not much money left to spare, so the chances of a good job for me opening up are pretty slim.

So now I am done ranting I'm a bit exhausted, think I need to go hide away with my book and forget about all my problems for a couple of hours.

17 January 2014

New year, same old

This week Cher has needed two baths after rolling in poo. But we also went to the beach a couple of times and she spent ages in the water, while I went back to my old habit of collecting sea shells and pretty stones and bits of sea glass. On our walk the other day we found a baby tui fluttering on the ground. At first I was worried that Cher had grabbed it out of the air and hurt it, but the parents were flying around squawking so I reckon it was too young to fly at all and had fallen from a nest. I couldn't see a nest to put it back in though. It was stuck under  branch so I had to pick it up, so I had a good look at the little thing and I reckon it had at least one broken leg. In the end I had to leave it because I don't know anything about saving baby birds. Luckily I still got to save a little animal that day, because on the way home I found a hedgehog in the gutter about to try cross the road, despite it being day time. So I picked it up and put it in the bushes, and I hope it was smart enough to stay there and not try cross the road again.

At the moment I am applying for jobs with various government ministries. First the ministry for the environment, and then some others. I think what I really need is a job where I can sit at a desk, read stuff, understand it, write stuff and talk to people. Basically some proper intellectual stimulation would be good. Not to mention to earn enough money to not be worried about stuff and to keep my car in good working order. It needs a new cam belt, which is way more expensive than I anticipated. In the meantime though, I have nearly finished preparing my next academic paper to submit, and I got an email about my PhD conferral, so hopefully my degree will arrive in the mail in the next month or so. Then I'm going to try find a nice frame to put it in, because what's the point in having it if I can't see it right?

For now it's a friday evening and I'm about to make a yummy dinner, and hang out with Cher for the evening because she gets lonely when I'm at work during the day. She doesn't even play with her toys, as far as I can tell she just sleeps in my chair until I come back home. Silly sad dog. 

07 January 2014

Happy New Year

So it has been 2014 for a week and the new year is just as hectic as the last. I have so much to do and never enough time to do it. Today I took my car in to get the warrant sorted after getting all the little (and not so little) problems fixed - but would you believe that it just the last couple of days one of my headlights has blown a bulb! So still no warrant, and as soon as that is sorted the rego is due and I need a new cam belt. So my car is causing me no end of trouble, and on top of it all it's dirty, both inside and out, and I've not time to clean it. So then, if I didn't have enough problems, Cher has a sore eye, and I just hope I can get her a vet appointment first thing tomorrow because it is weepy and bloodshot and she is keeping it closed, so it must be sore and uncomfortable. I hope she is OK. It is more worrying than last week when she had an upset stomach and had an awful accident all over my living room floor. Lucky I don't have carpet. Nice image right? Bet you all enjoyed that.

For me the new year itself was pretty good, much better than mine usually are. I had a really good Christmas too, even though I worked right through both I managed to have a good time, eat nice food, relax some, spend time with new friends. I finished the academic paper I was working on and sent it on to my supervisor. Now there are plans for yet another. I have some jobs to apply for, and surely more will pop up now that it is the new year. One day at work I was talking to some visitors and got into a conversation about my academic background and where I want to go with it - next thing the guy says his work, and environmental organisation, will be hiring in the communications area soon, and that I shouldn't apply because the manager of that section is an ass, but maybe I want to look into it anyway. So you never know, maybe working at the museum will pay off. Until then the museum is still good, though I really need to be doing something that uses my brain more. Today I was very helpful when someone wanted to find out about a science event for his school holiday programme kids, then after the person in charge came to chat to him I stopped her and volunteered to help. At least I might get to do a bit of science education instead of directing people to the exhibits and bathrooms.

And I think that's it for me in the first week of the new year. Today the fancy art exhibitionist we have on reduced all the shop prices to 50% because it's closing in a few days. So I bought a jigsaw, haven't done one in ages. This evening I'm going to make muffins to feed all my work people tomorrow. Blueberry and banana. Cher has just started rolling onto my computer so I guess it's time to feed her. She is being very clingy, I think because of her sore eye. Oh, and here is a picture of my cute little Christmas tree, which I took down today: