Sunday, January 27, 2013

Organized Atheism

In general, I'm a fairly laid back atheist. I don't care that other people believe. I don't care that it says in god we trust on money. I don't even really care if there is a moment of silence in schools. But as part of my building a community here, I decided to go to an atheist meet up. I've avoided them in general because I find it odd to sit around and talk about atheism. But I figured I'd try it out.

I found the group I found because there was a sign on the highway that advertised that they picked up litter along that stretch. I found that today was the day they clean up the highway and volunteered to do road clean up. I cleaned with two guys, one was new to the group and the other an old timer. The road clean up was fine. It is just road clean up which is no big deal.

They do a Wednesday night gathering and then apparently have business meetings once a month. After we cleaned up the road we went to lunch at a new Chinese food buffet

Anyway, I'm digressing. It was nice to meet new people and I'll probably try another event they do, but.. they're far more militant than I am. Apparently I am right to avoid atheism groups. I don't get a kick out of going where the believers are and engaging them in atheistic banter. I've never been persecuted for my non-beliefs. I don't feel the need to march or protest. Maybe I'll look for a different group that does activism that I'm more passionate about. As soon as I figure out what I'm more passionate about. :)

 I did like talking books with the young daughter of one of the members. She's reading Twilight and I gave her a bit of a hard time. But she's also read Hunger Games and HP (of course). I suggested the series I'm currently reading the Lorien Legacies.

Oh... and one of the weird guys I was picking up trash with messaged me about wanting to get together and chat sometime. Uh, no. Just no.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Word number 2 - Completion

There are 32 uncompleted posts on my blog dashboard. There used to be more but I've deleted some since then. I feel like this is emblematic about me. I feel like I tend to not finish things. I think I get involved in the research and the process but can't push the button. This year I want to work on that. I would like to finish things and feel like I can say look that's done. Shortly after I moved here I 'started' putting together what I needed to make a scrapbook of my scout years. That's in a box by the closet door. Last year I started on a project for Lyday. That might actually get done, but mostly because she's waiting for it. So I want to finish things this year. I want to complete my homebuying goal. I want to finish Lyday's blanket. I want to finish some of the work projects I start that I don't want to do. :)  So word number 2 is about finishing what I start - everything I start (well probably not EVERYTHING, let's be realistic) and not getting sidetracked by inanity. Except for brownies. It would probably be better if I didn't always finish the brownies. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Extremely Stubborn And Suspicious

There's a line from Mary Poppins where she measures Michael Banks with her magical tape measure and it says he is extremely stubborn and suspicious. I am extremely stubborn and suspicious. I've heard from someone with a vague link to my past recently. My first thought was not, wow, how nice to hear from this person. It was 'what does she want?'  Now that we're exchanging pleasantries I'm still thinking this way. I'm afraid she's going to ask me things I don't want to answer or I don't know how to answer.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Long Term Goal/Mid term goal

So I downloaded an app that is helping me track my debt repayment. Theoretically, if everything goes well by 2016 I'll be debt free except for my house. When that happens I think that's when I'll start looking for a library job. I won't be paying a huge chunk of cash out of my budget each month and I think I can take the pay hit that I'll take as a librarian. Luckily I'll be able to stalk the people I worked with at the library for my internship to see when they'll be retiring.

At my gym they have a website mymobilefit. Today I enrolled for their lifestyle challenge. I won't be as hardcore about somethings as I could be but I'm interested in the way the website can create workouts for me and help me with meal planning.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Correct Career Path

I've been working on researching for my home purchase this year. I might be enjoying this research phase a little too much. I love looking at all the houses online. I love thinking about all the possibilities and researching to find the best information. I've queried my coworkers about mundane topics like their electric bills and water bill. This morning I emailed my current insurance provider to ask about things I should look for in a home to lower my homeowners insurance (well and to find out how horrifically much more it would be if my delightful new (to me) home had a pool). The research part is so much fun! I'm sure the actual moving in and settling down may not be nearly as awesome. :) (Or it will be but the possibilities are just so damn exciting!)

Also, I like playing the "what the hell is wrong with this house" game. (Like the one I'm currently looking at which is $59,000.  It looks like it is perfectly normal. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Fiyah! - Apps Apps and more Apps

I won a Kindle Fire in a drawing in December. I lurve it far more than I thought I ever would. (Oh wait I had it before I went to CA so I must have won it in November).  I love the ease of use. I love the ease of downloading crap. I love the portability. I love that I can find free wifi almost everywhere so I don't have to have a data plan. (It isn't fancy enough to require a data plan, it has to connect to the world on wifi only.) 

So the first thing I did when opening the Kindle Fire - Apps. Now whatever Apps that I talk about are ones I've purchased of my own volition and not because I have received any renumeration for anything I may say or not say about their awesomeness or lack of awesomeness. Additionally, the fiyah uses Android platform (is that the right word) and you mostly have to get the Apps from the Kindle Store so I may have a bum app (which I do) which may actually be perfectly normal in the real App store but since I'm limited to the ones from the fiyah store I'm stuck.

First apps I downloaded were the mail, twitter and facebook app. Yahoo mail and twitter work just fine and mostly how you'd expect. They work just like the ones on your phone. The facebook app is a waste of time. It has some weird bug that limits what you can see to only the top 6 or 7 items in the newsfeed. Since I have zero reception (for anything cell phones included) in my office, I can't check facebook 400 times a day and can only do so at lunch in the breakroom or at the end of the day. Thus, when I use their facebook app I can see 6 events and that's it. Totes frustrating. I just use the web version of the facebook.

The next thing I downloaded were a bunch of games I'd heard of but never got to play... Oh and those group games that everyone likes. Sadly, for me, many of those have already been abandoned by all my friends who used to play them. :)  BUT I did pull down Hanging, Words and Scramble with Friends. I like all of them. I also grabbed Draw Something which I play with my mother of all people. Neither of us has very good artistic skills. But all those apps work just fine and the way you'd expect them to. No surprises there.

I also downloaded (and here's how you know I'm behind the curve) Angry Birds. That game IS addicting. I've completed almost the whole thing, but several times I've had to consult YouTube for assistance.  (Now there's an app the fiyah doesn't have - a good YouTube app, perhaps because it doesn't have a camera and recording capability?)

Netflix and Hulu Plus are both available. I'm currently a member of Netflix (although maybe not for long) and not a member of Hulu Plus (although maybe not for long) so we'll see. The netflix app works just fine and is easy to use.

I do love the pinterest app. I'm not sure why but I like the interface and how easy it is to see all the pins. I don't like that it seems like (and I could be wrong) that in the attempt to save space on the screen (or something), when I'm repinning I can't see ALL the boards I can pin on so that can get frustrating for me.

While I was visiting M's kiddos in CA (oh that sounds like I go there just to see the kiddos... ) While I was visiting M & the fam in CA, I downloaded several kiddo apps. What bugs me about kid apps (which is what I'm sure kids love about kid apps) is the need to add on to the app. I downloaded some free coloring apps and those were fine, but any of the dress up apps you had to buy up for more stuff. I have smartly turned off in-app purchasing so I did not get a $600 bill from Amazon for my in-app purchasing. Oh unlike the iphones (and my droid phone) Amazon provides me a receipt for any app I purchase. (Even those that are free) Since those are automatically sent to my email I would see it much quicker if I had kiddos doing in-app purchasing that I was unaware of.

The app I just recently downloaded (and the actual reason for my app posting) is called Erase Debt. I put in my debt situation and give it some variables such as how much extra I can put toward debt and it calculates for me my debt payback schedules and how long it would take and how much I'm paying over the purchase. I'm hoping this app helps keep me on track to become debt free in the future. I like that I can adjust how much I want to put towards debt repayment per month and it will readjust the repayment schedules. I also like that it isn't tied to anything so there's no sharing of data between that app and my card companies or anything.

And let's not forget the Fiyah's original use - books. All my already purchased books hang out in 'the cloud' and I can pull them down or remove them from the device anytime I am hooked up to wifi. (Well I can delete them anytime but I can only pull them down when I'm connected to wifi). I like that the fiyah is back lit so I can read in the dark. It is probably bad for my eyes or something but I like reading in the dark. My local library has books for me to check out and since I can access the internet from the fiyah I can do it all on the fiyah and not have to go back and forth from computer to kindle. If I decide to join Amazon Prime (in consideration), I can also check out books from Amazon Prime's lending library so that's nifty too.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Vastly Different

For most of my working life I've worked for companies or a private university. Now I work for a governmental entity. What fascinates me is how public everything that we do has now become. There was a payroll issue today, which was a pretty big deal but I recognize that this is the first time this has happened in 30 years so that's pretty damn good. I have been at least one other (maybe 2 actually) places where this issue has happened before.  The big difference - this was front page news in my hamlet. Apparently once a year my employer will publish the salaries of pretty much all of us. I'm not sure if they do it by job title or specify salary by person. Under the Freedom of Information Act, people can request all sorts of information (and in fact I had to sign off on a form so that they couldn't release my SSN). 

The result of this is that everything we tell people (including employees) is fairly calculated. I went over to a notboss (if you will recall a notboss is what I refer to as someone higher on the food chain than me but not over my department) to ask what I needed to tell employees when they called and he couldn't believe employees would call my group on this. The man has no idea. We get called for everything - in fact I frequently hear "I don't think this is your area but..." JFC if you know I'm not the right persno why are you calling me?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Square Peg, Round Hole

Lyndsy pointed out in the comments on yesterday's post about home that perhaps Fort Worth isn't the right place for me since I haven't found "my people" here.

If I'm being honest, and why the hell not, it isn't that there aren't "my people" here, it's me. I have always had a very hard time making friends. Maybe it is because I was painfully shy as a kid (a trait I still have). Maybe it is due to a ridiculous level of low self-esteem that says 'why would someone want to be friends with you?' (Ok yeah that one is a biggie) I can't expect to move to a new place and have my life be magically different.  So far in multiple states that hasn't happened. The difference between Texas and some of the other states I've lived in is that I had built in friends already. When I moved to CA, I moved in with Michelle. In fact, when she moved out and started dating her now husband I actually had a bit of a hard time because she wasn't around as much. So I went back to my isolated status.  In Seattle I had V and through V Matty P. I picked up a few other friends along the way but it took years to get there. And if I'm being honest (and why the hell not) for many of my friends it was pretty rare that I'd initiate contact or an activity. (Lyndsy and Stephen were both exceptions to that but that took quite some time as well and at least in Lyndsy's case at the time she didn't have a whole lot of local friends either (don't hate me for saying that L)) Mostly I'd wait until I got invited because I couldn't imagine they would want me around. Matty P once said (and I wrote it down have carried it around with me for years because I value it so much) that I really under value what I have to offer as a friend. I know he's right.

A FOAF (friend of a friend although she's kind of my friend too but maybe not so much hard to know) once commented to our mutual friend that she was surprised we were friends. That cut me to the core because one of my biggest fears is that people are just tolerating me. That I'm the hanger on that you have to put up with if you want the better person to come to the party too.

In all honesty this is one area I don't know how to fix. It's probably a years of talk therapy kind of thing.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

One Word - Home

Michelle is doing this whole thing with three words for her new year. I like her words. they are very clever and really clear. She joined Chris Brogan's Brave New Year program.

I don't really do resolutions, just goals. And sometimes I do well with my goals and other times I don't. So looking at my earlier goal for the new year and expanding it further leads me to the word "Home."

For me home means so much more than the big goal of purchasing a home. It relates much more to accepting jesus christ as my... oh no wait not that. It relates much more to accepting Texas as my home and building the relationships and experiences necessary to make Texas my home and not just some place I'm currently living. I have to get more involved in my community. I need to get out more and be active to try to meet new people. I also need to explore my community. I've lived here for three years and I barely know my city beyond my immediate suburb. (This will also help me in the house hunting project since a house in my current neighborhood is probably going to be more expensive than I want).  I want to feel less temporary about Texas. I can't build a life here if I'm always looking onward at where to go next.

So there is word number 1 - do what is necessary to make Fort Worth not just the place I currently live, but my home.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Goals for the New Year

Michelle sets up themes for her goals for New Year. Last year it was Health and Finances. I don't really have a theme for 2013. Maybe it is Home.

My first goal - buy a house. Unlike Seattle, FW is a unique position in that I could probably save $300/mo by buying a house. Or not. Given that my electric bill will probably go up (although when I move into a house I'm switching off the rock & twig hippy electric company I currently use) that'll take up some of my funds. I'll have to pay sewage and water and all that which I currently pay only about $20/mo for. At least I presume it would go up. (Look in the span of 10 short minutes I've talked myself out of it). :) But that's my goal. That's my biggest goal. I hope I can make it work. My lease is up in August so I'll begin to seriously start looking at houses in May. I think that's the right time. It gives me 3 months to find and go through the process. You know, unless I'm too optimistic. :)

My other goals are much more minor. I want to keep going to the gym regularly. I want to work on debt. Not encouraging more but reducing the current one I have. I may have to forgoe some things I usually want to do.