Life

Fall 2008

I’ve successfully completed the first two weeks of classes for the fall semester. When I started on the 19th I had four classes: Intro to Music, English 102, Modern Social Problems, and Beginning Japanese. I had a feeling I would have to drop Japanese before I even went to the class because itโ€™s a difficult language to learn. If I was working 10-20 hours/week I could give it the attention that it needed, unfortunately, I’m working 30-35 hours. When I originally made this schedule last semester I was still planning on staying at that school and Intro to Music was part of WKU’s curriculum but I’ve found out it’s not part of UofL. Itโ€™s really confusing which is why I’m going to go to an adviser who knows about what will transfer and what won’t. Needless to say the Intro to Music class was dropped but I was too late to add on another class. You would think that they would give you more than one day to add a class. Oh well, I’ll get done with school eventually.

I’ve enjoyed my Modern Social Problems class so far, because my sociology instructor from last semester also teaches this course. I wish I could take video clips on my phone to show you all just how silly he is. Today’s class included him skipping around the room and a very awkward moment of him talking about Viagra and that it’s for older men like him who need “help”. Ha!

English 102 is going to be a lot of papers, in fact we just turned in our first paper today. I wasnโ€™t too thrilled with how it turned out because she chose the topic. It was supposed to be a claim/argument paper, but it was over something I had no real opinion on and I bs‘d my way through it. Our next paper is an evaluation over a movie of our choice. I’m going to do some research first but it’s going to be over either “Once” or “Across the Universe”. It *should* be fun!

My iPhone has come in handy especially now that I’ve added phone service to it. To my surprise I actually get service at home! Gasp! Shock! I’ve been using iCal to enter in homework and spamming the heck out of twitter with random updates from the day. I’ve recently joined Loopt (a location based social network) but I don’t think I will be parting with BrightKite anytime soon because of it. If you didn’t notice I’ve officially become a social networking junkie. As if I need more websites to check daily. ;-P

Other than school nothing real exciting is going on in my life. I am going to New Jersey and possibly New York City in October – that came about in the last month. I’m going to spending about five days there with my friend Andy, I’m looking forward to a break and to hang out with him again!

Hopefully there won’t be such a gap between this blog entry and the next. Hope you all are doing well!

Life

Happy Birthday!

In a little while I will be turning 24, and while it feels insignificant, like many birthdays do after the age of 20, I have many things to be happy about this year. I have a great group of friends, friends that I’ve grown up with, as well as friends that I’ve met in the last year. On top of that I’ve finally figured out what I want to do with my life and what needs to be done to achieve it. I really don’t think any gift can top that feeling of independence.

I’m not sure what kind of celebrating I’m getting into this weekend. I have the entire weekend off and my brother Roy is coming in Saturday from Seattle. I have a feeling we’re going to end up in Louisville Saturday night to celebrate. I’m sure there will be a couple drinks on my part. The following weekend I have plans with friends that I’ve grown up with.

The photo above is from my first birthday on August 7th, 1985. I wanted to find a photo of my siblings and I together and this was the only one in which I had clothes on. According to my Mom I didn’t like clothes when I was a kid. Ha ha. Check out my sister’s glasses!

I wanted to wish Courtney a very Happy Birthday too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Life

Transferring

Louisville, KY.

For months I’ve been going back and forth between where I’m going to transfer to after I finish my general education courses. For those of you who don’t know me very well I currently attend a community college in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and through that college I can finish my four-year degree via WKU without leaving that campus. This is appealing because I would only have to travel 30 minutes to school, could still live at home, and could keep my current job. Basically this is the comfortable route.

On the other hand, I could transfer to UofL and live in Louisville. Outside of the five months that I spent living in a suburb of Michigan I’ve never lived outside of my parents home in the country. I don’t think I’d have any problems adjusting, it’s more of a fear of being able to support myself. I suppose it’s good to have that kind of fear. Fortunately, I don’t have any debts and I don’t own a credit card. I need to figure out a way to start building up my credit without a credit card. I’ve only taken out one loan and I repaid it in a timely manner. I’m not really sure if just one loan can give you a credit score or not. Can it?

I know where I’d like to live and I think it’s doable. I’d like to live in Old Louisville; not too far away from campus. I’ve been looking at Craigslist and found many places for at or less than $400/month for one bedrooms. Outside of rent the only other things I will need are broadband internet (finally!!!!), groceries, gas**, and a little spending money. I know it would be more economical to have a roommate but all of my friends in Louisville either have families or already have a place with roommates. Maybe something will open up between now and then.

I know a lady through flickr who sells houses in Louisville who knows a guy that owns a few buildings in that area of town. Hopefully, I can use that contact and find something cheap and safe. It won’t be until this spring that I really start to look for something seriously, but it’s something nice to look forward to.

**With gas the way it is now I might even consider a bike since I’d be close to school and downtown. From what I hear parking is hellish on campus so it would be less of a headache for me.

So that’s the big news going on in my life. What’s going on with you?

Life, Photography

In the city

The roof

King of the World Yours Truly IMG_4478 IMG_4490
IMG_4446 One bad apple. Group photo.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a couple of friends (Tim, Courtney, and Christina) snapping pictures around downtown Louisville. It was refreshing to be around other inspiring people and an inspiring city because I haven’t been picking up my camera very frequently. I should go out more often and try to find things to take pictures of, but honestly that requires too much effort on my part. ;-P

We ended up on top of the building where Christina works and got a nice view of downtown; at least one you don’t get to see very often. I don’t get into downtown very much simply because I’m not as familiar but what a beautiful downtown area we have…at least the good areas of downtown. None of us girls got very close to the edge but Tim was practically on the edge snapping pictures at people walking by. He is much braver than I am.

I’d really like to go on a road trip soon and spend the day taking pictures at a nearby city. In a few weeks my brother is coming home to visit and we might end up in Nashville for a day so that might remedy the road trip itch that I have. I’d really love to go back to Chicago. I keep telling myself that it’s only 5 hours away and it would only be for two days. I might do it this fall if I can get someone to do it with me. Any volunteers?

Life

Repairs

I’ve had my car for a little over six years now and I’m proud to say that it’s only been in “the shop” two or three times since I’ve had it. Now at 165K miles I’m surprised it’s still trucking along after all the hell I’ve put it through on the roads.

My little Echo has been in and out of the shop for the last week because of problems that should have been fixed a long time ago. About four years ago my check engine light came on and after spending close to $500 on it, and still nothing was resolved, I gave up. Aside from being a little sluggish when the engine began to warm up, there were no other problems that I experienced. I could live with that…

Before my trip to Japan, when my brother was driving me to the airport, he suggested that I get a tune up, and then I realized how long it’s been since it’s had a tune up. Never… Oops! Admittedly, I know nothing about cars except when to put gas in it and when my oil need to be changed.

The mechanic got started on my car last Wednesday and put new spark plugs in it, and he said something kept “missing.” After a couple days he figured out it was the fuel pump. He installed the new fuel pump but something else was still wrong. I knew my bill had to be racking up so I began stressing.

Fast forward to Wednesday when my car was picked up… To my surprise the bill only ended up being $327.65. I know he gave me one hell of a deal considering the amount of time he spent on it; he only charged $60 for labor! Apparently he figured out what else was wrong with it because I had a charge for the fuel pump and a mass airflow sensor.

I’ve only driven my car two days since the repairs but it is running so much smoother now. I don’t have any problems taking off when the engine is still warming up. The best part is after four years my check engine light is finally off! Let’s hope it just stays off and my car will last me until I graduate college. ha ha.

Life

Customer Service

As mentioned in the previous post I have my eyes set on a Blackberry Pearl, and I had a little extra time before going into work today so I stopped by Bluegrass Cellular to get a few questions I had answered. I walked in, and I was greeted and asked if I had any questions. I told her that I was just looking but then quickly added, “…Well I do have a few questions!” The middle-aged woman answered them, but not without acting as if I was an idiot and that she was being inconvenienced by actually having to help someone. It’s not as if I asked ignorant questions, I simply asked about the Blackberry models that they offered and what kind of monthly prices I should expect if I indeed bought one. After giving me the spiel (reluctantly) she handed, or shall I say “tossed”, me some brochures. Needless to say, I didn’t stay very long and left feeling annoyed.

I work at a “mom and pop” store and I know how hard it is for independents to make it these days, and if you don’t have good customer service you won’t make it. When you have potential customers come into your store you should be pleasant and not belittle them. Even if they don’t buy anything on their first visit they’ll be likely to return if they were treated well. If it wasn’t for the fact that Bluegrass Cellular is the only provider that offers service in my area I wouldn’t give any thought to going back. I realize everyone has their days but this isn’t the first complaint I’ve heard from this company; specifically this location.

As much as I want a new cell phone something keeps telling me just to wait a few more months, because I’m still a little apprehensive about going with this company. Because they’re not a nationwide company like AT&T, Verizon, and the like, they have quite a few restrictions. For example, if I ever make calls from Louisville or Lexington it’s considered roaming and you are only given a certain amount of roaming minutes a month. Granted, it would be rare that I went over the alloted roaming minutes, it’s the idea that it’s restrictions. My boss uses this company and I remember one month he ended up with a $700 bill because of roaming between him and his wife. Unfortunately, they had to pay it. Yet something else to fear.

Secondly, I’m not a huge fan of their prices. I’m looking at $150 for the phone, $39.99/month for unlimited email and internet, and around $49.99/month for a decent voice plan. I don’t mind spending a little extra money because I would actually get service at home, but that’s a little more than I want to pay. I’m going to be looking at $90-$100/month for service. I don’t think so…

I guess I’m back to waiting and hoping that AT&T puts up a tower nearby soon. I was talking to an AT&T rep a while back and she said the next tower is going to be put near my area and it was likely I would finally get service. She didn’t know a time frame but hopefully it’ll happen soon. I’m becoming impatient, can you tell?

This pales in comparison to other experiences but this is today’s feature. Feel free to post your tales of bad customer service or better yet – really good customer service.

Life, Photography, Travel

Lost in Translation

Blooms.

My trip to Japan lasted almost two weeks and went by in a bit of a blur. It’s hard to believe that I’m back home and life is back to normal, well somewhat normal. I’ve been home almost two days now and of course my sleep schedule is completely whacked. It’s 8AM, I have yet to fall asleep, and I go back to work on Saturday. I’m going to do my best and keep myself busy today and hope that I can get to sleep early tonight.

4:30AM

It was nice seeing my sister, niece, and brother-in-law, who I haven’t seen since they moved there two years ago. However, Japan is not someplace that I would ever want to live. If you’ve grown up with that culture or if you’re highly adaptable to your surroundings you could enjoy it there. It’s a hard place to live. Living in America my entire life has spoiled me on such luxuries as my personal space, portion sizes*, and most importantly diet pepsi. Two weeks without a decent soda is enough to drive someone mad. They have Coca-Cola there but it tastes like a flat version of America’s Coca-Cola. *Probably a bad thing.

Chuu

Honestly, if it wasn’t for having family over there I doubt I would have a desire to return. I think I’ve deluded myself into believing that I like Japanese culture more than I really do. It’s a very hard place to visit if you haven’t mastered the language. According to my sister even if you have mastered the language it’s still a hard place to live. This is her second time living in Japan and she’s still trying to get used to their customs.

subway

I felt helpless throughout most of the trip because I would need my sister or brother-in-law to translate or ask questions for me. I came unprepared and it was no ones fault but my own. I knew there wouldn’t be English translations everywhere but assumed there would be some translations. Not at all.

Interior

Despite saying all of these negative things I did enjoy the time I had with my family. The mountains in Kamikochi were my favorite, we went to Kamikochi for a weekend and spent our nights at the Pension TengallonHat which was surprisingly nice after all. My sister and I relaxed in an outdoor hot tub (not the correct term), which was right next to a loud stream coming from the mountains. When we visited the Japan Alps it was cool and rainy so it left a nice fog on the mountains. Sadly I haven’t mastered photography enough to capture it really well.

Krill

Other than that we did a lot of (window) shopping, went to the aquarium, Nagoya Castle, visited with my brother-in-law’s parents, and more shopping… Did I mention shopping? Yeah, we did that too! Oh and I watched about 12 Japanese people try to fit into a very small elevator. After pressing several buttons and the elevator door still wasn’t closing two of them ran off to the escalator to catch their train. That was pretty amusing.

Bicycle

I’m pretty happy with the way my photos turned out. I have about three rolls from my Holga that will be developed this weekend so you should see more photos soon. Unfortunately, my supersampler* broke near the end of the trip. ::tear:: However, I’m hoping lomography will replace it, as it’s not even been three months. Cross your fingers for me…

Click below to view a slideshow of photos from this trip!



Life, Travel

Sayonara

I’m leaving for the airport in about an hour and I’ve been doing a good job of not getting worked up about it. I’m not a nervous flier like some, but being in a confined space; in the air, for many hours may end up taking a toll on me. I’m bringing a journal with me and hopefully I’ll utilize it. Instead of blogging about the entire trip I thought I might just blog about really interesting parts of the trip in detail. We’ll see how that works out.

We’re flying out to Chicago tonight where we have an 11-hour layover, needless to say we’ve reserved a hotel room near O’Hare. (Thanks, Roy!) At 7:30 tomorrow morning we fly to San Francisco and reach our final destination (Nagoya) 17.5 hours later. I think we arrive in Japan at about 2:30pm their time; they’re 13 hours ahead which would make it 1:30AM on Wednesday EST. I’m sure I’ll be fine once we’re getting on the plane in San Francisco and en route to Japan. I’ll have books, an ipod, my laptop, and camera with me on board so I should be entertained for a while.

I suppose this will be the last you hear from me until I return on June 3rd. Most likely I’ll be updating my twitter account sporadically. Keep an eye out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Life

New beginnings

I’m starting this blog with a fresh slate. Partly because the entries that were here were meaningless, but mostly because I’m too lazy to back things up correctly. I’m not sure what I plan to blog about here, I suppose it will be whatever pops into my head and seems worthwhile.

This time next week my Mom and I will be packing for our trip to Japan to visit my sister. I’ve been planning this for close to six months, if not longer, and it’s hard to believe it’s finally happening. I’m excited but equally nervous. I don’t have a fear of flying but being on a plane that long would be enough to mess with someones nerves. We’re leaving out Monday (19th), arriving in Nagoya on Wednesday (21st), and coming back June 3rd. We’ve planned a few things to do but I hope we’ll have some downtime to rest and relax. I’m actually going to be missing three weeks of work. I’d hate to feel like I need a vacation after my vacation. ha. ๐Ÿ™‚

I suppose that is it for the time being…