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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: