roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (BF - Vast and solemn spaces)
So I apparently just lost my job. Not in the sense that I got fired, but in the sense that said job i.e. the business itself ceased to exist. As in, job not found, abort/retry/fail?

I am somewhere in the neighborhood of as upset as you would expect me to be. Goddammit, I liked that job. Pretty much everything was going the way I wanted it to go. Finances were stable, I was learning stuff and having fun. Now everything is in pieces on the floor: I can't imagine I have health insurance anymore, so that's pretty awesome. And I need to come up with a source of $1050/mo. pretty much within the next two weeks (HA!).

Plan was to go to WA this week and visit with Laura, and now being away from Portland that long is suddenly a source of anxiety and fear instead of just a relaxing jaunt. I'll probably do it anyway, because We ♥ Laura; I'll just be a little distracted, so please forgive me in advance. o_o

It sounds like there's still some packing-up to be done on Tuesday and maybe a few days in addition to that, but I'm at liberty tomorrow. Guess I'll polish up my résumé and go drop it off at five or six places. At least I've gained some skills in the last few months; I'd really rather stay in retail than go back to canvassing. Hey, maybe I can get some kind of technical job, that might be nice too. And I'm pretty confident Abundant's managers will give good reference for me.

Still: I'm a little worried. I've got something like $1500 to my name at the moment; I'll be getting another half a paycheck, maybe a bit more; let's be conservative and call $1700 the total. I don't like that number one bit. Expect me to be a little bit tense for a while. And if you get any interesting leads on jobs around town, do please pass them on.

Posting without friends-lock, because why the hell not, right?
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Ryoga is lost.)

I wasn't reading LJ for about a month, but I'm back now. How's tricks?

  • Photos of my new digs. Hi, Mom!
  • Man, SO many Portlanders have no clue how to use a 4-way stop sign. In the interest of public education, I'd like to re-iterate that in the event of a simultaneous roll-up, the furthest-counterclockwise person has right of way—if the other guy is to your left, you go; if they're to your right, you wait. Easy and fun!

    On the other hand, being forced so frequently to play traffic cop and traffic at the same time seems to have granted me the Pointer Finger of Authority and the ability to make recalcitrant drivers shift immediately. So that's pretty cool.

  • I am seriously considering learning Cocoa in order to cobble together a functional Dreamwidth client for Mac. I am obviously insane and should be stopped, and this is blatant displacement activity, but it would be reeeallly nice to have one. And since there's already a promising LGPLed Cocoa framework that talks to a Livejournal server, it may not even be as hard as all that.

    My immediate problem is that Cocoa still generally means Objective C—yes, there are Ruby and Python bridges, but you're still calling functions from a bunch of other folks' ObjC code and have got to be able to understand it. And ObjC, of course, requires knowing some C. So I'm boning up with one of Schwern's O'Reilly books whenever I need to take a break from writing. We'll see where this goes.

  • Finally had enough pay+expenses data to run a hard budget (i.e. "stay under this limit or you will bleed savings") instead of a calibration budget (i.e. "what does my lifestyle cost?"), and surprise, I'm not loaded. Say what you will about the middle class, but boy, it'd be nice to feel financially safe for a while.

    I mean, it looks like I'll be self-sufficient, barring catastrophe, and my ass is insured, which counts for a lot, even if American health insurance companies are criminal rackets run by vile subhuman pieces of shit. And I should even be able to sock a little money away. But when I say "a little," I'm talking like $30-50/mo. Not satisfactory, especially since I'll be needing to pay for some routine maintenance on Leslie sometime soon.

    I looked at food stamps, but after playing with that estimator over a wide variation of likely pay, I can't get it to say I'll get more than $10/mo, which really doesn't seem worth the hassle. If anyone here has been on Oregon food stamps within the last few years, I'd LOVE to hear your take on it.

    So barring some windfall, my options are to keep squeaking by in a state of mild worry, while working hard and hoping the shop does well enough in the coming year to give me the raises I need to live in comfort; get really creative with my scrimping; and/or drum up some source of supplementary income. I don't have any good answer for this yet. It is, however, making me think some very interesting thoughts.

  • Was dogpaddling and playing it safe for a while with my breadmaking, but a visit to the market struck me with a sudden desire to start pushing things forward again. So I made my first truly ridiculous bread tonight, a slightly deformed version of those Tim Decker via Pete Reinhart tater/cheddar/chive bâtards. I don't even wanna get into all the unexpected shit that went wrong here, but the loaves are cooling right now and they look and smell fantastic. Will update with taste report. (Edit: It is bloody delicious. Photos one and two.

Changin'

Jan. 8th, 2008 01:49 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Great Caesar's goats!)

So I may have mentioned here before that my mom is something of a garage sale fiend. One of the things she used to do (well, and still does, but less so nowadays) was to put all her small change in these yogurt containers, and grab a full one whenever she was going garage saleing. That way she'd have correct change on hand, which makes things quicker, and since the ten or twenty bucks in a tub full of quarters has already passed out of the budget, it acts kind of like money for nothing, which makes it easier to justify one's finds.

Anyway, she was cleaning her dresser the other day, and decided that it was probably time to cash out some of that accumulated change, seeing as it was taking up a hell of a lot of space and it was the off-season anyhow. Since I tend to keep track of which banks will convert my change for free, I volunteered to take it out the next time I had errands to run in Lacey, which wound up being yesterday.

Friends, yo had $493 in change. It's no Cold Women, Kept Safe, but damn.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Reversal!)
And isn't it just typical of me that ten minutes after I spend $75 on mailing off my books, I go book-shopping?

Ryan and I went to Dreamhaven before both of us left (he sails off tomorrow), and I got Elizabeth Bear's Whiskey and Water, which I have been itching to read since finishing Blood and Iron. Which I also bought my own copy of today, because they had a signed one for $5. (Part of the back cover was scrunged up.) And I snagged a $1 hardcover of Brust's The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, just because it was there and I liked it quite a bit.

Other expenditures for the day: Something like 40 bucks to replace the bent fucking axle on my back wheel (wow, how'd that happen?), $20 on food (mostly fruit)...

...and, uh, another 20 at Barnes and Noble for the new Harry Potter. (I had $1.50 on a gift card to use up, and they had it for $13 cheaper than Dreamhaven.) The plan is to not crack that fucker until I am safely loaded onto that westbound train. We'll see how that one holds up.

Anyway, I'm meeting Sanden in a little bit at the 331 club; we're gonna catch up a bit and see some old-timey band play.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Viva! La Revolution!)
I just filed my taxes with "e-file," and it is probably the last time I will be doing so for the foreseeable future. It was that lame. Definitely a big step DOWN from Telefile in terms of usability.

1. I posit that typing in every number on all of your W2 forms is more of a pain in the ass than either a. punching in a select few of the numbers or b. just mailing the suckers in.
2. You do not e-file with the IRS. You e-file with one of a multitude of PRIVATE BUSINESSES who have contracted with the IRS to do the free-file program for people with less than 50 K of income to report. None of these companies is altruistic in the slightest, and they will try and trick, wheedle, and harass you into "upgrading" to their for-pay services. As a sweet bonus, your user experience and graphic design sensibilities are at the mercy of Corporate America, which is very eager to flash its hairy ass at you.
3. Of course you'll have to create an "account" with one of these private contractors in order to e-file. One more username and password to remember, and if you want to use a different contractor next time around, that's another one again.
4. I was using a printout of one of the paper 1040s (I think it was "a") as a worksheet to get my numbers right, and it took me all of half an hour. I spent two more hours sitting at the computer pointing and clicking. 'nuff said.

I'll be getting my refund a bit quicker, sure, but hell, if I was that eager I could have filed my taxes back in January.

In conclusion, Vive l'arbre mort.

(Also, Katie and Chris: You'll probably have to e-file anyhow, since all your forms are probably not with you right now. Talk to mom about it, and talk to her EARLY.)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Reversal!)
Look what showed up on Friday's Olympian:

The three WA quarter candidates.

Excuse me, state outline? What are we, fucking Ohio? Pennsylvania?* We are Washington State, and we have a huge fucking mountain. Let's just make friends with the inevitable, okay guys?

Although I must say, that killer whale design is actually very, very nice. Stylish, clean, beautiful, and incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't lived here. My vote may be a hard one.

EDIT: You know where every vote for the state outline design is going to come from? Eastern Washington.

______
* I was going to say Nebraska, but I luckily caught myself: one, Nebraska hasn't come up yet, and two, their design kicks some serious ass.

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