I have an interview later this week (a group interview - oh joy). The job was advertised as an "attorney" position, but the email confirmation re-titled it a "case specialist." Not quite sure what to make of that. Maybe you get a promotion after a certain period of time?

The interview was set up before I received my bar results. I was unsure whether or not to tell the company ahead of time. I consulted with the career counselor from my law school, and she advised me not to say anything. But it's a potential strike against me.

The job is about 15 miles away and stretches over a high-traffic area. I don't know how much it pays; if I had to guess, I would say between 40-45k. It would be full-time, and it's not an area I'm interested in. And technically I should be studying for the bar full-time come mid-December. I suppose what I really need is a part-time law clerk position. But I feel like I should still go to the interview. It'll be an experience, if nothing else.

Has anyone else out there tried to work full-time and study for the bar... and passed?

(Belated) Happy Thanksgiving!

I meant to post this on Wednesday night, but the time just got away from me... So here's a belated Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate it, and a belated happy Thursday to those who don't. ;)

M and I attended 2 Thanksgiving meals - 1 with my family and 1 with his. And we played lots of Taboo and Scattergories. We had a really nice day.

Today was more of the same. :) Once upon a time, I did force myself to wake up for Black Friday sales, but the last couple years, nothing aside from an emergency can make me open my eyes before 9. We ended up stretching our sleepy time til 11, then perusing the web for sales (the $50 discount on the iPad was the only one that caught my eye)... But we did venture out in the afternoon to wander around the malls. And I turned out to be a very very lucky girl... M bought me a gorgeous bday/Christmas present that I've been drooling over forever!!

Anyway, hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Bar Results

Over the past few months, I've confessed to M, my friends and my parents that there was a 98% chance that I wouldn't pass. I didn't study enough. In fact, I hardly studied at all.

I was feeling really burned out even before graduation. I wanted time off, but felt like I couldn't have it - I had to take the bar in July, along with everyone else. I was already sabotaging myself the first week. I skipped the first day of bar review so I could recuperate from graduation weekend, and the next day I came down with the flu. After that, I decided to do the bar review course online only. I watched the lectures on and off. And then I stopped watching them altogether. I didn't take any practice tests. I was basically screwing myself. But honestly? I knew that and didn't care.

It was a waste of $3000 - the cost of the bar review course plus bar fees. And for that, I feel terrible. It's also embarrassing to be the only one among my group of law school friends who didn't pass. At least, I guess, I won't be losing a job over it. I did have a fun summer. And I'm now fully over the burn-out and ready 100% to tackle the February bar.

I'm lucky to have a very supportive group of family and friends. I'm not proud of myself. But I've heard nothing but encouragement. In February, I don't intend to let anybody down.

Home Phone

I mentioned before that our apartment complex installed gates and were only allowing landlines to be connected to the intercom. We, like most people, don't have a landline. So we questioned the rule repeatedly, and ultimately asked to either be allowed to use a cell phone or be reimbursed $21/month (which is the cheapest home phone service I could find). We received a response a couple days ago - an unfavorable one. I talked to M and we decided reluctantly to go ahead and get a landline.

I wasn't happy with the $21/month offered by Verizon. (And it was actually more like $39 if I had gotten an unlisted number, caller ID, and service that wasn't pay-per-minute) I tried to negotiate with them but didn't get very far. So I tried our internet service provider. They were offering digital phone only for something like $44 a month online. I first tried an online chat. The rep informed me that she couldn't authorize any discounts, so I had to call in. (what's with that?) Over the phone, the rep quoted me $80/mo for internet plus phone. I told her I was considering going with Verizon, and emphasized that we had been loyal customers for several years. I asked if $80 was really the best deal she could offer me. She agreed to look into it.

What she ended up doing was giving me a better deal on internet, so the total package came to $70/mo. We were paying about $58 just for internet, so that makes the phone $11. That price includes unlimited calling in California and caller ID.

I'm kind of pleased about the whole thing now, because, truth be told, I get terrible reception in our apartment. I'll wait to make calls until I'm at the gym or grocery store so I don't have to deal with people constantly telling me "you're cutting out." Since M's reception is crystal clear, it wasn't worth paying $30+/mo, but for $11? Yeah. It'll make my life a little easier. :)

Closet Cull 2010, Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post, and inspired by Red. I'm examining my closet's contents and selling or trading the clothes that don't fit me or I don't care to wear again.

Part 2 is all about the tops. I organize my closet by color, so I'll be posting my cast-offs by color here too.

And hey... if anyone spots something they like, shoot me an email and I'll give you a great deal. ;)




Greens & Yellows

Domestic Partnership

M's work started offering domestic partnership benefits to opposite sex couples - just in time for open enrollment! This will give me access to a health & dental PPO that's much better than the one I have now, plus vision benefits. And I can use M's flex spending account for co-pays and prescriptions (among other things). Unfortunately, he found out that I can't use it. :(

My only question is... do I need to do anything to ensure a smooth transition from my insurance to his? It's the same provider, just a different plan. I'm paid up until the 1st of December. We're planning to turn in the domestic partnership affidavit by the end of the week (we're waiting on a letter from our bank). Do I need to inform the provider that this is happening?

Is anybody else out there getting domestic partnership benefits? I read in an article that it's mostly opposite sex couples that take advantage of them. I wonder why?

Apartment Annoyance

The management company in our apartment decided to install gates over our front door and driveway. We've had 1 or 2 people rummaging through the trash before, so I think it's an okay idea (though not necessary). But the BAD idea is that the gate intercom has to be tied to a landline.

Everyone in the building received a letter a few days after they began work on the gates. The letter stated that "for security reasons" cell phones would not be tied to the intercom system. M and I, like most people, use cell phones only. I complained to our building manager and she said that she and her husband had to get a landline too. I pushed some more and she said she would talk to our property manager and assess the "consensus in the building." We have some older people here, but there's no way that the majority of people have a landline. But the building manager sent me a follow-up email and flatly stated that landlines were required if we wanted to use the gate intercom. My feeling is that lack of landlines in the building was ignored at the property manager's say-so.

M and I researched landline options. The company through which we have internet offers digital home phone only for almost $45 a month! The cheapest I could find was $21, and that's not counting any add-ons (like the virtually mandatory unlisted fee).

M thinks we should ask them to lower our rent to take into account the landline cost. I am really pissed off at this whole situation, but I don't know how hard I want to fight this.

What would you do?

Closet Cull 2010, Part 1

I'm participating in Red's experiment - I'm examining my closet's contents and selling or trading the clothes that don't fit me or I don't care to wear again. In the past I've donated (just 6 months ago I dropped off a large bag), but I'd like to get some of my money back for these particular clothes... I also might trade a few for other clothes. (My friend's having a potluck/crafting/clothes swapping party in a few weeks.)

I have a walk-in closet that I share with M, as well as two drawers for my workout clothes, a drawer for my winter accessories, a drawer for night clothes and tank tops, and a drawer for lingerie.

Here's my closet (the pic on the right is actually the left side of my closet, where I keep suits, jeans and dresses. Underneath the clothes on the pic on the left are 2 double hang closet rods... that's where I hang jackets, cardigans, shorts and skirts):

Here's the first item I'm thinking of getting rid of (returning to Anthro, to be more precise)... I'm undecided. (I keep all the tags on my clothes before I'm 100% sure about them. This one I've had for about 6 months and haven't been able to wear because it's been too hot) Do you think I look like a clown? (Oh yeah, and please excuse my gym clothes! ;P)

Next are dresses that need to go. I'm undecided about the white and blue ones on the left (need to try them on). The polka dotted dress is see-through, the teal dresses fit me 10 lbs and 10 yrs ago, and the long sleeved blue dress is dowdy.

Finally, we have my maxi dress and a dress I wore to a wedding reception 5 years ago. The maxi dress could be wearable if it was altered (it needs to be shortened and front needs to be stitched closed). Is it worth it? It is a prettier purple in person. I need to try on the dress on the right, but it's giving off a "blah" vibe to me.

Stay tuned for part 2, when I tackle my tops... ;)

Proofreading and Editing Business

My friend and I launched an online proofreading and editing business a couple days ago, called Engrish to English!

We've both mentioned the biz on facebook, we've created a facebook page, and I've tweeted about it. I was also planning to post some ads at local schools. Serendipity suggested posting an ad on Craig's List. Any other ideas? I want this to go somewhere! :)

We're offering free proofreading for documents up to 2 pages until November 15th. Any takers? ;)

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

NaNoWriMo is going on this month... The site describes it as "a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing." You (ideally) write a 50k word novel in 30 days - from November 1st to the 30th.

I first heard about it last year (probably from Crystal), and signed up, but then never wrote anything. This year is gonna be different! :)

This article details five reasons why you should participate. I dig #5... my novel is hiding in me, and I must find it! Even if it's the crappiest of all the crappy novels! ;)

My username is astral. Last year I tried to sign up as sunflowers, and ended up misspelling it and being "sunflowes." ha! So I went with something shorter... a character name from one of my childhood stories. Let me know if you're participating and we can be writing buddies!

November Goals

  1. Find a job. I'm starting to sound like a broken record with this one. :P
  2. Exercise daily. I go to the gym at least 4 times/week, but I need to start doing yoga again.
  3. Write. NaNoWriMo is this month. Hopefully I can still get involved!
  4. Read. I finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being last month. I haven't decided what to move on to this month. Any suggestions?
  5. Continue keeping apartment clean & cooking at least 4x/week. Includes monthly washing of sheets, monthly scrub down of entire house, weekly vacuuming, and bi-weekly dish cleaning.
  6. Go to ENT. Ear, nose & throat dr - just for my annual ear cleaning.
  7. Do blood test and visit endocrinologist for follow-up. I'm hoping that my TSH level is finally normal, and that we can get my Synthroid dosage stabilized.
  8. Sell on eBay and Craig's List. I still have a pile of stuff sitting next to me that I haven't sold.
  9. Promote my business website. I mentioned on twitter that I started up an online proofreading/editing biz with my friend. I'd like to have it actually go somewhere, so I need to figure out my promotion strategy.
  10. Start thinking about Christmas gifts. M and I have a list started in google docs. His entire family has bdays in December, so that's something we need to think about as well.

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