briansjournal1

uncensored, unfiltered, thoughts

Finals Revival

It’s been so long since I last wrote in this journal. These past few months have been so crazy and hectic that this has been the last thing on my mind. I only thought about writing on here after having a conversation with one of the regular professors who comes to visit us at work. Since I last posted this, I’ve still been unemployed, my girlfriend of four years broke up with me and I don’t want to do accounting or IT (the thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time).

Today itself was actually pretty good – I had some nice conversations with people and my coworkers. I told them that Wednesday is my last day so here’s to hoping that they surprise me with a stripper or something, lol. I don’t know man. Some times I feel like theirs a knife cutting through my stomach and I’m in so much pain. Other times like when I’m writing this I feel like everything is as it should be and I’m happy.

I’m learning not to compare myself or guilty myself for what I did in my relationship with my girlfriend. I pretty much screwed it up by talking to other girls and the trust was forever shattered. The fucked up part is sometimes when I look at old pictures or writing I feel totally fucking stupid – I feel so content and happy with her that I don’t know why in the world I would ever look for anything else. Like, I’ll pick up a picture of her and think she’s fucking gorgeous then there are other days where I didn’t feel it so much. Maybe not seeing her every day caused my mind to wander, maybe I like different types of girls but I guess if you’re not 120% sure that you’ll be physically attracted to someone it’s not worth it – I don’t care what those people say when they say it’s “superficial.” Obviously personality holds things together but if the physical attraction isn’t there then you’re going to look for others who more meet those needs.

I don’t get it sometimes – I love(d) this girls hair, her smile and I didn’t even care that she was bigger than me. I don’t give two fucks if a girl is big – in fact it’s nicer than holding on to some boney twig. I know I can’t ever be with her again but god it bothers me so much sometimes that some other guy is enjoying all the shit that I used to have. As much as I don’t want to think about that it pisses me off sometimes. I don’t like to put people down to make myself feel better or even compare myself to others so it’s been getting better. It’s just a hard pill to swallow especially when you can’t 1) find a casual sex partner 2) feeling depressed so it’s not even that enjoyable.

If I had to rate my level of depression with this whole situation considering she was my first girlfriend then I’d have to say it’s moderate. I’ve lost my appetite, I seem less interested in the things I used to care about and finding work is draining my energy but I’m trying to stay positive and find other things to do. I hope to make some new friends and travel. Just sucks that everything requires money to be able to have a good time.

-I’m leaving off with this. I’ll probably be on here again soon because I need an outlet and I don’t usually don’t rely on friends to talk about my problems or feelings. This crying at random shit sucks too.

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Fresh Beginnings

Sorry for the long lapse in writing. I’ve been reestablishing new focus and direction. I recently quit my liquor store job to apply for a job at the Post Office and I’ve been trying to get an accounting internship. I’m happy to report that I’m finding new direction because even though the higher paying Post Office job didn’t work out and I’m currently unemployed (save for work study at my school) this has given me some opportunity to think and reflect on myself. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do and I’ve finally had time to work on things I’ve been wanting to focus on for a while. I’ve been developing some Excel skills and devoting some time to studying it for an hour each day. I’ve been using the Slaying Excel Dragons series on YouTube and it’s been really helpful. I really ignored my need for visual learning for a while until I recently stumbled on some tutorial videos on YouTube and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. I can grasp things a thousand times faster than reading the same passage in a book over and over again. I think I’ve finally found something that works for me. As a result, I think all my notes are going to include YouTube links and references in the future!

As for the internship, I’ve been very lucky and fortunate to find an internship so close to home working with the assistant comptroller at my college. She seems very friendly and keen on getting me to learn the things I want to learn and get out of my internship rather than just serving coffee or doing mindless tasks. I look forward to my first day on Thursday!

In regards to direction, well, finally having the time to look at my life and decide for myself what makes me happy has really given me an invaluable opportunity to decide for myself whether money and work is all that’s important. I realize that my obsession for computers is always going to cause me to spend lots of money – but I shouldn’t be killing myself working 4+ jobs to maintain a unreasonable expensive hobby. Since then I’m just trying to focus on what’s going to improve me as a professional working in the business field. This is why I’m hoping to improve a skill or a set of skills over a a period of few months so I have time to reflect and practice on what I learn.

Finally, I’m narrowing down the universities I want to go to to continue for my Bachelors/Masters. As with anything, I’m probably going to have to take private loans regardless if I get scholarships or not because it’s going to be a tie between UMass Amherst (great public college for business) or Bryant University (small private college, also great for business) – one is 22k (on campus) and the other is 38k (commuting). If I can get the latter closer to state school levels I’ll definintly go for it because it will be closer (albeit a little more expensive on gas because I’ll be commuting) and it really just seems catered to business in and out. It really seems like the go to school for what I want to do and the place to be if I want to be surrounded by like minded individuals.

Anyway, more updates to follow – hopefully soon. Good night!

Winter Thoughts

I’m starting fresh and trying to make some changes for myself. I want to be a new person. I want to change problem behaviors that affect how I represent myself to other people. All my life I’ve learned to be a liar. All my life I’ve learned that lying was the way to get out a situation. Ever since I was a kid I would lie to my mom about stealing money from her purse or make up situations to make myself look cooler or make events seem more interesting. Real life isn’t about fabricating stories and entertainment. I’ve done it so much that lying hasn’t affected me when I do it. I’ve let this go on for far too long. A few weeks I made a promise to my girlfriend that I wouldn’t lie anymore and I’d avoid situations that would cause me to lie. I’ve been proud of myself because so far I’ve been honest about everything. It’s been very hard for me to stay honest so much because there are so many situations that call for me to lie – weird small little things that shouldn’t require the ‘need’ to lie but also situations where I feel the need to avoid responsibility like calling out of work because ‘something came up’ or rather the truthful answer, I just don’t want to come in. Honesty has always been tricky for me because even when I’m not doing anything that requires lying I feel the need to stretch the truth about events to make them sound so more dramatic. How does one stay honest 100% of the time anyway? How do you tell your boss that you hate your job or that you didn’t feel like coming in? I know there are certain things that should be held in but that wouldn’t be honest, now would it? I’ve just got to figure out the mechanics of this whole honesty thing I guess.

Speaking of changing myself, I’ve been seriously considering getting a tattoo which is a big deal since my Portuguese parents really disapprove of them . I also view tattoo much more seriously then kids of my generation do – it’s not a fashion statement or ‘cool’, it’s something that’s etched on your body forever. It has to have great meaning and always remind you of something.  My idea for the tattoo was getting Japanese kanji across my back from top to bottom with the characters for ‘Strength, Courage, and Honor’ – three values I want to always have and demonstrate. Strength to face situations that are challenging, courage to brave uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory, both personally and professionally, and honor to be respectful to others, embrace equality and open mindedness, and be good to others (ethical, honest, caring, etc.). If and when I do get this, I’m going to  search high and low to find a good artist who can make sure what’s written is representative of the language with the upmost accuracy. The last thing I need is the wrong meaning being given off by inaccurate translations!

Another thing I’m trying to change about myself is listening. I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that I never learned how to listen to someone. We’re always taught from a young age on how to speak to others but never how to listen. I want to change that and my biggest issue is always trying to think of my response to what someone says while they’re speaking and cutting people off. I don’t want to do that to people anymore. That’s incredibly disrespectful. I’m often scared if I don’t think ahead of what I’m going to say that I won’t be able to respond. I need to let go of this idea and just be OK with not knowing how to respond right away. It’s truly an American idea when we expect an answer right away which is detrimental to proper communication. I want to be OK with forgetting what I was going to talk about and soaking myself in the other person’s words and reflecting on them. I want to stop controlling conversations and really listen. I often think that many wars could have been avoided if we would have given somebody the extra 10 seconds they needed to process your information and really listen to what they said in the first place. It’s a steep process because this is something that’s been ingrained in me. But, you know what? I’d rather not talk at all then continue to interrupt people. It’s just not fair and I don’t want to hurt or be offensive to anyone anymore.

Finally, it’s the week of finals – my favorite time of the year again where I reflect on how much of an idiot I am. OK, I take that back. I’m not an idiot but maybe it’s because I’m a young adult and don’t know where I fit in the world yet but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. For example, my boss has been bugging out at work because things have been stocked wrong and part of me wants to say ‘that’s not me’ but part of me realizes that it probably is. I then question myself as to why I keep doing the wrong thing over and over again. Do I not care? Do I not understand? Am I trying to go too fast? Am I just too dumb to do things right? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. Sometimes I reflect on my intelligence and just end up becoming depressed. My parents grew up in poverty and didn’t have much education and so I would probably say that they’re not very smart. I wouldn’t call them stupid or anything but I don’t think they’re highly intelligent and since intelligence is in part genetic, I feel like sometimes I was born on the lower spectrum on the intelligence scale because of my parents. Now things like education and stuff like that can improve your level of intelligence quite a bit so often times I feel like I can escape this genetic trap but I don’t even know about that. For example, I get good grades in school and I do try to do my best but I don’t feel like I’m actually learning anything or that I’m smart. Maybe it’s because I’m not at a university yet where things are a lot more challenging or maybe it’s because all this theory shit is fine and dandy but applying it to real life is the difficult part but I just don’t feel like good grades translates to actual intelligence. I feel like I’m dumb when it comes to real life action – building something, following steps, etc. but can pick up on theory and stuff pretty easily.

So, as you can probably see this fear of being ‘smart’ and having practical knowledge and skills turn into this fear that while school may be going decent that maybe I’m just too stupid for a real job. I, like so many others want a high paying job that’s challenging, rewarding, and that I’m passionate about but I’m always worried that I’m not learning anything or that I’m not going to be able to remember anything worth a damn. I set goals for myself like learning a new skill and I practice it like crazy and then I stop because I get busy or whatever and then I forget everything. I’m passionate about business and procedures and I like learning it but as soon as finals are over, it’s all gone. I know it can be relearned but I get so scared, you know? Am I just going to forget everything that I learned in school, blow all this money, and end up working minimum wage for the rest of my life? One of my biggest fears in life is not being able to be independent and I feel like if I’m too dumb to apply what I learn in school to real life or if I forget everything that I’m not going to be successful in life. Trust me, I don’t like all or nothing thinking but I’m scared that I’ll be confined to low skill manual labor for the rest of my life, always hating what I do like my parents before me. I’m also scared of becoming like my schizophrenic brother who’s only ever had low skill, low pay jobs.

These feelings and thoughts are piling on distracting me from my studying for finals and I don’t want them to but it’s like I lose control of them sometimes. I don’t know. When I finally get the house quiet like this I just like to ponder about where I’m going in life and wonder where my place is in this world. Pretty deep questions I know but we all have a inner philosopher right?

Hopefully someday I’ll get an awesome job that I’m really good at it, love going to, and get paid lots of money so I can keep feeding my technology habit and need for sightseeing. Lol.

PS: Forgive my horrible grammar and spelling in this thing. I’ve long given up trying to have proper grammar, sentence and thought structure on this thing. As far as I’m concerned, getting thoughts down is more important than order. Life is random and has no reason sometimes and so that’s how I prefer to write sometimes rather than having some neat filter cleaning everything up.

Poems

I don’t normally write poetry but I’ve read some really nice ones a few days ago that got my creative juices flowing. I actually used to write all the time as a kid and had an active imagination. It’d be nice to tap into it again!

“The Gravedigger”

Dark shadows paint the floors with an ice cold isolation like an Alaska winter.
Thoughts, like repeated gears on some torture machine gnaw at a child who wants to play.
The grave digger digs his lowly holes,
but he doesn’t bury people.

Thoughts of deserving,

love,

needs,

all gone with the steady motion of packed earth being shifted as all these things.

I feel trapped in a tunnel with no exit while a demon with glowing eyes stares back at me. They’re a sick pale yellow and his skin matches the color of his soul – darker than a blood drop in a oil pan.

“What do I do? I want to return to the light.” “I’m afraid to return there.”

Seeking light but never wanting it.
Is this purgatory? Will I see God at the end?
Dig, gravedigger, dig. Your menacing toils
disrupt this weak fabric that stitched together so beautifully is as fragile as glass.

My duty. My honor. My love. My life.
Like a rolling wheel that when stopped loses all but the slightest air.

“Wish”

Blue birthday cake.  Joy, euphoria, neurons.
They danced slightly with every breath.
A soft glow from an inedible frame.
A false truth, the greatest of gifts.
God gave you one mouth so use it.
And I did.
Silent happiness, a freedom from the pain
of living in a world where ignorance is treated
like the dew on a drenched grass leaf in the mornings of April.
I want to be free – the covers do not work anymore.
Their stupid warmth insulates the sounds of thousands
that churn the heart.
Alas, a new warmth – like a mother and babe,
those few moments of a beautiful golden sun with it’s shining rays.
I was held in her arms and for that moment the eternal fires of hell could not trickle into my soul.
The flames extinguish. Darkness is present and then joy.
Sugar wreathing into weak forms of energy.
And love is but a semi-permanent flame, but enough for a soul or to grant a wish.

Revelations and Updates

Time for an update! Recently I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of exams I’ve had/will have these past few weeks. The timestamp of this post should probably be an indication of that. I’ve been procrastinating extensively because I’ve been lured away by into the beautiful world of computer build log forums especially this one called linustechtips. It’s a great site but it causes me to think about buying really expensive computer parts that I can’t afford on a minimum $8/hr job. The worse part about it that it’s kept me from my studying for some time now so this is why I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed in the first place. I’ve been going to bed at 3AM on school nights because I’ve been so mesmerized by people’s awesome computer builds and I’ve been up late researching ways on how to do these things. It almost seemed like an addiction because no matter how many times I told myself that I would get something done that day I would just slack off and browse these internet forums for a long period of time until it was too late or I was too tired to do anything. My reasoning was that if I could research what I wanted now and make plans on how to buy these things then I could be truly happy and then return to studying.

Well, now the problems begin! About a week ago I was browsing the internet looking for ways to secure a loan without credit (bad idea in the first place) and I stumbled upon this website that talked about getting a car title loan. I thought it was a scam but I filled out their online application and low and behold I actually got a call from someone two states away in New Hampshire. They explained the whole process (minus the actual financial details) and then I got this crazy idea that I would actually drive 80 miles up to this place and get a title loan. Well, I did and there were several red flags that should have stopped me from signing my life away to these loan sharks but I didn’t care because I wanted quick cash for a computer build. Well, they told me it would cost 22% interest, I would only be getting $850 financed even though my car is worth at least 3x that much and that the minimum payment would be substantial. Oh yeah, and they charged a $186 finance charge. So fast forward to now and I finally realized what I got myself into. I have to be popping $200 a month on interest on a $850 loan and if it takes me too long I might end up equaling or exceeding the amount borrowed in just interest! That’s getting close to a mortgage! It’s like a credit card bill. People like car finance places know what they’re doing. They’re loan sharks knowing that they’re always going to make massive profits over idiots like me who are too excited/too desperate for money that they would sign away to almost 4x higher than a bank’s interest! So, basically I’m in debt so I’m trying to sell as much of my unwanted/unneeded technology and working as much as I can at my minimum wage job to get the money I need. If my hours slip for any reason, I’ll end up having to pay out the ass for interest. I’m never doing this to myself again!!! The only legit real loan is the one you go to your bank about when you’ve established excellent credit and have a good job with steady pay that will allow you to pay it back quickly! This obsession over money has now spilled over into my studies and my need for increasing amount of hours is cutting into my study time which I consider very important so it’s really stressing me out. I’ve never experienced debt before and I don’t know how so many of us Americans can fall into it. You should never buy something that you can’t afford. That’s the danger of credit – it allows you to do that and has no safety net for when you do.

That’s enough about that.  Onward onto my plans for the future and my rants:
I read an interesting education article a few days ago that asked the question ‘does your college major really matter?’ and then it proceeded to explain how most students are seeing school as a means to an end rather than a learning experience and thus are coming out with lackluster critical thinking and communication skills. I think this guy hit the nail on the head. Everyone got into a big puff because he was debunking the whole college major thing – “Zomg, I’m an engineer! Don’t tell me a English major can get my job” – No one’s saying that. What the guy was trying to point out is that we’re telling kids that college is a way to secure a job when it’s not really as straightforward and clearcut as that. College is supposed to be a time for learning and skill development but it doesn’t really truly prepare you for a job – only related experience can do that. College teaches you about how to think and communicate. It teaches you to not take facts as undisputed truths and to delve deeper. We now live in a global environment so businesses are going to increasingly need strong problem solvers. This all starts with the proper education.  We need to teach kids the basics of communication and listening because these things are not being taught. We need to teach them how to study, we need to teach them how to think and inspire them to think; the one gift afforded to humans that allows us to change with our environment rather quickly.

It’s funny, I once read a review on Amazon on a Calculus textbook. The guy in the review was talking about how kids nowadays have everything dumbed down for them and how only 60 years ago the math textbooks of the day challenged kids a lot more and as a result that’s how we had the great wonders that emerged from the post-WWII era. He felt that kids nowadays don’t have the skills necessary to be able to survive in the workplace of the modern age. That made me think: are we really making things easier for kids? Are we truly not preparing them to enter the real world? Are we not inspiring the thinkers, inventors, writers, of this generation? Will this generation solve the greatest threats facing humanity as we know it?

I don’t know the answer to these questions because I’m a 22 year old kid going through the ‘system’ just like many other kids are but it does cause me to wonder. What are we lacking or how was the past better?

Finally, I’m going to wrap up this long and grammatically incorrect post with an idea I would like to to delve into deeper in the future: Remember that idea I had about a computer business? Still want to do that but I had an idea concerning an underlying problem in my city. It came to me when I remembered what Senator Mike Rodrigues said about my city – it has the potential to grow but no businesses want to expand here because this is a forgotten factory city. The workforce is not skilled enough to be able to fill the jobs that businesses need filled. He also told me how a local medical software company was changing all that by offering full time positions to programmers with associate degrees. Then it hit me, I should start a non-profit in my city to help get peoples technical skills up. Am I perfect for the job? No, some of my friends would make me look like a ape in front of a computer with their level of technical finesse and skill but I want to get people who have those skills and are passionate about helping others to join me in my efforts. I think this city has great potential but that potential is drying up what I like to call a vicious cycle and I think the only way out of it is proper affordable education. I want to offer free education on technical literacy to these students – real localized instruction utilizing state of the art instruction techniques and brain research – taking those who are computer phobic to intermediate programmer. Okay, maybe not that far but get these people started and skilled enough so that they don’t break into cold sweats when they see a monitor. Think about it: if my city has a more educated workforce I could possibly bring business here, I could succeed as a business because I could supply the big businesses, and best of all I could help the local new tech savy populace. People might think I’m crazy – that the only real tech savy people exist in sun bathed California but I wouldn’t knock these old factory workers for the count. There’s a market out there for IT and I may not be the best guy to find it/teach it but I want to lay the steppingstones so someone else can take over my work.

Maybe I’m glamorizing the whole thing but a clean office with a nice view helping my local community surely doesn’t sound that unreal to me!

-Over and out!

Fall 2013 Updates

I’ve finally quit Best Buy and found me a new job working at a liquor store. I find the oddest jobs sometimes but at least it’s in the city where I live – a first for me ever since I started working at the age of 18. Even though it doesn’t pay much, it saves me a bundle in gas which is important since I end up blowing most of my money by the end of the week on junk food and never end up saving up $20 bucks to get me through the week. I’m liking the environment so far.  Everybody is really showing me the ropes and taking the time to properly train me and go over everything. It’s a nice laid back small business atmosphere without policies about everything. Thank god because If I had to get people to buy vodka then I don’t think this place would be right for me. Lol.

Anyway, it’s midterm season and I keep  daydreaming about what my computer business will be like in the future as I learn new software. I have a clear idea of the atmosphere I want to set out and the type people I’d like to hire. The services and products, eh, not so much. This daydreaming worries me at the same time because I’m learning QuickBooks now and while it’s really simple to use, I feel like I still have a long way to understanding accounting because I’m finally actually working with real numbers instead of examples used out of the textbook. It’s far removed from the textbook learning I’ve done so far because I’m looking at typical small business sales of $20,000 a week. Big numbers for a small timer like me but collectively, it’s only a small fraction of what I might be managing someday. The pressure is on I guess…

Speaking of computers I want to set up a small home server, cloud storage for streaming music to my devices, and a HTPC which will be my main gaming machine and movie streaming machine to a 32″ LED TV (oh how I wish it was truly OLED) I’ll be getting for my room. Of course, this is going to cost me a ton of money and it’ll take me a while to get but hey if those guys who blow 10 grand on a exhaust can do it then why can’t I?

Like I said earlier this year, I want to set up a website to have discussions, debates, and everything else. It doesn’t seem like I’ve had much time to do any of that but it is still in the works in my test environment. That being said, I think if I have some time off during Thanksgiving that I’ll bust ass and try to get fully completed by then! I’d love to have the opportunity to talk to some of you guys!

Bad day

Today has just been awful. I woke up at 6:45am to get ready for my wonderful ‘Best Buy Sales Induction’ – 4 fun filled days (32 hours) of how to sell more shit to the customer. Well, I end up taking my usual half hour to eat and by the time I’m out of the house it’s 8AM. I have to go all the way up to Framingham, MA because there are no local training areas for this shit. My GPS told me I’d be there around 9AM. That kinda sucked but at least I’d be getting there right on time. I find this place where there’s a Geek Squad van in the back and I think that must be the right place but all I see are some orange garage doors. So then I go around to the front of the store which has it’s door partially unlocked. Someone then comes outside and asks me if I’m here for the sales induction, I say yes, and he says it’s around back by some shady side door entrance. I go through there and the office looks like I’m there waiting to book a vacation to the Bahamas or something. There’s no one at the front desk and the time is quickly approaching 9:20. Rather than knock on the door and go in late, I just decide to lie to my supervisor. I tell her that my girlfriends in the hospital and I really have to leave and if we could reschedule this thing. I don’t know why I did it but I was so scared of what the person inside would think of me for coming in 20 minutes late when everyone else was already there that I couldn’t bother to even to go in.

Now, to be fair the lie wasn’t an outright lie. My girlfriend was in the hospital a few weeks ago and her mom texted me last night to let me know that she was in the ER again. I just took that story and made it sound more dramatic so I could be let off the hook with this training stuff.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me man. I care so much about what other people think of me it’s not even funny. I drove back for an hour and a half,  paid a toll, put over 100 miles on my car, wasted half a tank of gas all because I couldn’t bear the awkwardness of getting to a place late.

I’ve also been in near accidents all day today. Almost crashed into a BMW getting out of the gas station and almost crashed into a pole early this morning because I wanted to get the hell away from my mom.

Oh yeah, and my girlfriends suffering from depression and I might actually lose my job for this. This days getting better and better…

The start of a new semester

I’m looking at my computer clock wondering where the time went. It says 1:20am on August 31st. In less than a few days, I’ll be back in school. I feel kind of bad for not writing this summer. This journal helps me clarify my thoughts, albeit, even a little bit. I’ve got some exciting new things going on and some awful things as well.

The good news:

I’ve been selected to be a student instructor or a TA as they’re called in universities for an online class. While, it’s not the accounting class I was hoping to sit in on, it still will help me brush up on my technical skills while forcing me to improve my communication skills. I’m also going to be doing tutoring this semester. I attended a 2 day orientation training for it and I must say, I really learned a lot about how we learn. I’m going to try to apply these new study skills to my current classes and see if it makes a difference. I’m sure it will – the whole turning your notes into question/answer pairs seems like a real time saver.

Anyway, I’ve had a few callbacks for some other jobs but I’m optimistic that I’ll find something better than retail soon. While I like the technology aspect of Best Buy and it’s miles better than Home Depot where I’d be selling toilets, I can’t see myself staying there for very long. It just seems so stupid. They buy laptops for cheap, they lose value and to make up the cost we our forced to sell expensive bullshit addons to people who are already strugging to pay for the computer in the first place. What’s sad is that a lot of people in the Geek Squad are people who know a hell of a lot more than me and yet can’t find a good job somewhere so they’re stuck reimaging computers and overcharging people for basic services that they can’t do themselves. I promise when I open my business, if the market ever makes it appropriate to do so, I won’t be the asshole who charges $50 for a fucking virus cleaning. That’s absurd. I believe in charging fair prices, giving honest opinions and keeping prices competitive. I don’t expect to become rich off my business, just to make enough to help out with the bills and still give someone a great service. Although, with laptops being $300 bucks nowadays and the average user just needing to surf the web, it’s impossible to compete with something like that. High enthusiast places like Newegg always face stiff competition and unfortunately, I live in a city where people looking to buy stuff like that are not looking towards brick and mortar solutions.

Anyway, for the bad news…

I’ve been broke most of the summer. It seems that whenever I get paid something else comes up. I used to love spending my money on some new computer gear but now it’s been bills and personal loans all over the place. I’ve actually even had to ask my mom for some money because I’m not used to Best Buy’s biweekly pay schedule and I over spent my money last week on some car repairs. I feel completely embarassed asking my mom for money and she’s been completing understanding. She’s even offered to defer paying her back because she knows how much I’ve had to pay in bills. It would actually be really easy to take advantage of her kindness (like let’s talk about the 2 grand that I owe her that she lent me to help me buy my car) and that’s what hurts my the most. I truly do love my mom but I can’t say it. I’m too embarrassed to say it and I’m more embarrassed now asking for her help. I want to badly be independent and having to ask her for money seems like a real step back for me.

Other than feeling broke my girlfriend has been diagnosed with depression. I don’t even know if it’s a good idea to talk about it on here but I’ll take my chances. I’m scared that she’s going to be sad all the time. That she’s not going to be able to wake up and be the teacher she’s dreamed about being. I’m scared that she’ll throw me out because she doesn’t want to hurt me because she says it hurts her too when she says awful shit to me. She’s already wanted to break up with many times. She’s called me controlling for not wanting to let her go. I don’t want her to think that I’m trying to keep her in a relationship that she doesn’t want to be a part of – the thing is, I see that I make her happy and when she’s on her good days, she does too. However, I don’t know how to deal with this. This is going to come up again – she’s going to yell at me and push me away because she doesn’t want to hurt me. She feels like she doesn’t have any control over what she says or does sometimes and it certainly feels that way. Things that she would never say to anybody, including me, now come out of her mouth with no filter or remorse. I guess I’m just scared. I love her and I want to support her through this. I told her that if I ever couldn’t handle it any more that I would let her know. It sucks having her say awful shit to me and “break up” with me or avoid talking to me. But, I’m not stupid for staying with her. As much as there is temptation out there, at the end of the day I’ve realized she’s the only one who truly makes me happy and provides me with the support I’ve always needed and wanted. I don’t want to let that go because she feels like she can’t control the awful shit she says to me or because it hurts her to say these things. Relationships are all about sacrifices and she’s worth it. I just hope she doesn’t push me away because she’s scared herself.

Other than that, I’ve just been completely stressed out. I’ve been told by people to not worry and that it’s going to affect my health. I can’t seem to ever listen to those people. Every semester I try to push myself harder. I’m worried I’m not going to be ready for the real world. I’m totally scared that if I don’t do everything and fill my time up while I’m in school that I won’t have anything to show off for when I enter the “real world.” The Big 4 are a set of hard ass firms to get into but they would really help me advance my career. I often wonder what the kids preparing for Harvard are doing differently. I don’t know if it has anything to do with intelligence at that point and it must be more than just dedication. I’ve known students go days without sleeping because they were that dedicated to their work. I feel like that sometimes and when I don’t meet up to this zombie student status, I feel like I’m a failure. I feel like because I’ve only studied 2 chapters of accounting all summer that I’m a failure. I just want to make sure I’m ready for a university. I want to make sure that I don’t drop my major because it’s too hard or whatever because it’s truly something I want to do.  I should have reevaluated my goals. I was studying for 8 hours at a time and then I just wouldn’t feel like doing it. I literally live in a house full of distractions despite the noise level being OK. I got nowhere to study. The library closes early and I like to study with my notes out loud. Libraries are really not the place for that.  I don’t know man, I worry about the future so much. My mothers counting on me to take care of the house after she dies. My brothers mentally ill and I know he won’t be able to do it on his own. I’m also scared of owing more than 1 million hours of minimum wages to student loans. I’m scared of doing drudging work for a good half of my life because I didn’t apply myself in school. This is why I put on Netflix, watch Breaking Bad, and forget about everything. I’m hoping by the time school starts I can work out the “kinks” in my studying, get my schedule all sorted out, and relieve all this career induced stress.

My number one career fear? I’m scared of not knowing what to do when I’m on the job. I’m scared of fucking shit up. I’m scared of my coworkers calling me an idiot because I don’t know or understand what to do. I’m trying to become a professional in only four years and I don’t know if that’s possible.
PS: $600 dollars in books and counting…Fuck my life.

I feel like a bum…

I write this not to put myself down but because I really feel like I haven’t accomplished much this summer and I kind of feel disappointed in myself. I told myself before the summer even started that there were three things I wanted to get accomplished: 1) study accounting and refresh myself to where I feel like I never left class 2) Learn Excel proficiently so I could really know how to use some complicated formulas and pivot tables and 3) refresh my memory on algebra so my business stats class coming up would be easier. So, far I’ve only gotten to chapter 2 of accounting and Excel and I haven’t studied any algebra.

I’m supposed to be getting getting or hoping to get an internship for the fall and they asked me if I’d be available for their audit. Without remembering on how to do even the basics I’d feel awful if I messed up some of their financial records because I don’t know what I’m doing. Audits are huge deals and every penny has to be accounted for. If it’s not, they could face huge fines. So, I’m really worried that I’m not going to get caught up in time. Also, if my Excel skills aren’t on par and I don’t have internet access to look up how to do things, when I’m asked to make sense of some data, I’m going to be scrounging around learning how to put in different formulas and writing my own. I feel if I don’t get my studying done quickly to where I feel comfortable accepting this internship that I would just cause more bad than good.

As for the algebra, I don’t know how involved business statistics is in that kind of stuff but I’m pretty sure I need at least a good working knowledge of it to be able to succeed in that class. They even list it as a requirement course if you didn’t score high enough to place out of it. Luckily I did, but I don’t want to be stuck in a stats class where they’re talking about the quadratic formula and polynomials and I have no clue what’s going on. I’ve looked up my stats teacher on ratemyprofessor and she’s been voted as hard so that makes me worry even more. I just hope I can get through this class because stats is useful in anything. I’d actually like to learn this stuff even if the teacher is a bit of a snob (have heard that from other students and have met her a couple of times and she comes across as one).

Finally, as for new updates, I’ve finally quit that god damn Home Depot job. I’ve been able to land a computer sales gig at Best Buy. Yes, it’s still retail and the pay isn’t great but I finally get to be out of the sun and into some AC and get to be around technology, albeit, overpriced, but still! To be in an environment where I actually care about what I’m selling as opposed to toilets and lawnmowers is great. I hope to really contribute to this job because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (I want to own my own computer business after all). I’ve been trying to stay on top of new technologies (like understanding Haswell and staying on top of AMD’s steamroller upcoming CPU generation) before my orientation to really be on the ball. The mobile processors always still trip me up because all I know is that they have better integrated graphics and they consume less power.

I’ve also been able to purchase my video card and although I’ve been getting some weird black dot graphics errors (due to AMD’s drivers not always been updated), I have no complaints. The card is a Sapphire 7970 Vapor X. The thing has been silent when I’ve run my games and that’s a really good relief! I thought it was going to be overpowering loud. It makes me happy because this is my first time getting into PC gaming and I’m actually enjoying it a lot better. Borderlands 2 is my game of choice for now along with some Minecraft. I can’t FPS worth shit but the game [Borderlands 2] is hilarious and fun so it’s definitely worth the hours of me trying to get my aim down.

As for the upcoming website, that’s going to be on the back-burner for a little bit (I certainly have some cool ideas for it so I hope you stay tuned). I’ve run into some unexpected expenses and I’ve got books and a vacation (hooray!) to pay for in the upcoming month so that’s really gonna take a toll on me. I also plan to get a secured card and contribute at least $200 and keep upping to up to raise my credit limit. I hope this will be the start of a good credit history because I have student loans to pay for in the upcoming year and since my parents pay for everything in cash they have virtually no credit like I do. Thus, I can’t rely on them for cosigning a loan and so I need a decently high credit score to help me get a loan. I want to live on campus after all!

Coming Up

Just a quick five minute update: Got an interview coming up on Monday. I hope that goes well. I really want to find another job. I’m getting sick of working at Home Depot. I mean at first I liked it because the job wasn’t that bad and it was close to where I lived but knowing I have to work in 95 degree weather tomorrow with a bunch of lazy people does not make things better. I want to continue advancing my skill set to find something new. I got this idea that I’d like to do this (become a cashier (for cash handling experience) -> teller -> bookkeeper (junior) -> accountant (senior, work on CPA for a year). Obviously, I don’t think it will quite work out that way but that’s basically what I’m aiming for. I’m hoping I can ace Intermediate Accounting next fall because that’s really what will be the deciding factor if I’ll be good at accounting or not. I’d hate to have to tack on loans for something I’m not cut out for.

As for computer updates, I recently just got in my G600 Logitech mouse and I must say I agree with the reviews. It really does take some getting used to. I have big hands so I’ve always had bigger mice like my last one, the Razer Deathadder. This one, while still large, is a little hard to grasp because of all the macro buttons on the side. However,  when I finally do get accustomed to it, it will be great. DPI switching and being able to map keyboard shortcuts will make it desirable for not only games but also for lots of complex tasks in Photoshop and other programs. Definitely looking forward to that! As for other tech, I also got the Logitech K70 keyboard. This is my first mechanical keyboard and my initial impressions are ‘this thing is hard to type on!’ It’s got Cherry MX switches which are supposed to be better for typing but I still find myself mistyping stuff all the time. I guess I got to get used to it but it’s proving difficult. Other than that, it feels like a great piece of hardware. The back-lighting is really bright and the media keys work really well.

I’ll also be getting in a 7970 Vapor X card which will be my first real graphics card to game with. I plan on getting a dual monitor setup for some gaming and multitasking. I got some real savings with that thing as the very next day it’s being listed for $100 more than what I paid for it. Really lucky that I got grabbed it for the price that I did ($369).

Finally, I caught a flat tire at my girls house the other day. The mechanic only plugged it up (although he did do it for free) which sucks because now it’s not holding up and I’m going to have to get a new tire. The ones I got were pretty expensive Hankooks that were rated for 90,000 miles. I’m afraid because my alignment is getting knocked off by potholes and other suspension issues, they’re getting eaten up. Last time I took them to the mechanic they said it had 12/32 thread when I just bought these things in January with only 4,000 miles on them. Somethings really not right here! I think I just got the short end of the straw when it came to getting this car. I mean, it’s not the worst, I like it, it’s my first car, and it’s great on gas (98′ Corolla) but it seems of late that a lot of things are going out on it and they need replacing. Maybe I’m complaining about it too soon because I’d rather be spending my money on computer stuff but I already have over $600 in repairs coming up.

Anyway, off to another wonderful day of retail tomorrow! I guess I should go to bed even though I don’t want to. I’ve been watching Basilisk on Netflix all day and it’s a pretty sweet anime. Makes me want to update my tiny anime collection (more on that in a future post).

PS: I signed up for the Commonwealth Honors Program. I’m thinking now, I have a high possibility of failing this program because most people don’t end up finishing it and run out of steam in the end. Basically, it’s going to be a group of three projects with one honors seminars course (Leadership course, with guess what? Another project). So, basically, it’s going to be four major projects over the course of a year. The project can be anything I want but it’s basically going to be on the premise of coming up with a question and answering it by whatever means. I’m thinking about doing an ethics project in accounting.

Again, for selfish promotion purposes: Please keep your eyes out for my a new website I want to be starting! It’s going to be a hangout area where people can have discussions of any kind, post artwork, music, etc. and generally be a relaxed environment. I’d love to have some in depth discussions with some of you! I’ll be posting some of my drawings, beats, and other stuff I’ve been working on. I want it to be a place where people can just discuss things from computers, to anime, to music, to whatever you want! Hope to see you guys all there. I’ll begin working on it after I get in my video card which will allow me to have two monitors which will speed up the process! I already have my concept designs in place, now it’s just a matter of actually producing a product.