Thursday, June 26, 2008

Le Sigh

Totally called this one.

Today I found out I DID NOT get the Executive Assistant role at the post-production/VFX lab.

Actually, no one got it.

I got an email from HR girl saying that due to internal circumstances, they are holding off on filling the position and will contact me IF and WHEN the position opens again. IF.

So, that sucks. What a waste of my time - why advertise positions, put me through the run-around and then find out that the position was a mistake anyway?

My theory is that since the other big post/vfx lab in the city just laid of FIFTEEN people, I am assuming that this company just didn't have the funds for the role. Damn you stupid film industry! Why do you have to be so slow and screw everyone over?

Anyway, I'm a bit upset but I'll get over it. I do have my eye on another awesome job prospect (more awesome than this one) as an Executive Assistant at a national broadcaster. TV here I come! But I have a feeling that ones not gonna be easy to get. Hell, nothing is easy to get these days, which is apparent after having applied for 40 jobs this past month and having only heard back from three. I just don't get it. I have tons of education and experience in a variety of things - I mean, what was the point of all my schooling and jobs if it doesn't lead anywhere. It's enough to make you REALLY really discouraged.

But I will keep applying and keep having hope because there is no alternative really.

On the plus side, and there usually is one if you look for it, my meeting with my parents went well. My father is paying off half of my personal debt and that honestly takes SUCH a load off of my shoulders (cuz I had way more than anyone should-damn you online shopping!). Now I know that when I sell my car one day, I'll be even closer to having none at all. So yay for that.

Boo to everything else.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Well that just SUCKS

Ok, So I have been SO tired of applying for jobs, all the while having the little voice in my head wonder about the film job I so wanted. I mean, I didn't want to bug them but still. I thought they would have said SOMETHING, anything.

So - I went into spy mode.

I opened up a fake email account and emailed the company, asking if they were still hiring for the position.

I got an email back (to my fake name and fake email account) saying SORRY THE POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED!

I am gutted. I really, really really really thought I had the job. I mean, I aced the interview ( I KNOW I did ) I fit ALL of their qualifications and then some. And I still didn't get the job.

What's even worse is that they didn't even TELL me!!! I mean, FUCK I could have spent another week here worrying about the job and all the while they had already hired someone else. That makes me so angry and ARGGGG!!!

Anyway, I'm really glad I took the initiative and emailed them, though I wish I had done it earlier, it would have saved me days of moping around and stressing out. But as angry as I am, I am also kinda relieved that I finally KNOW, no thanks to them, of course.

The other post production/VFX facility in town though, they just laid of 15 people because the industry has slowed down so much here. Makes me wonder if that's the state of things, if they still have money for the EA role, and it also makes me wonder if their choice of hire won't get the axe a few months down the line. After all, they've proved they can handle themselves so far without an EA...

Anyway, just trying to make myself feel better. I'm meeting with my parents tomorrow to go over my finances and to help get me out of debt. Then we can plan how long I can afford to survive with them supporting me. This way, if I get a month or 6 weeks or whatever of being able to be picky and look for a job that I want to stick with for a LONG time, I will be able to.

Just still sucky suck sucks, that's all.

(more angst to follow - please see comments)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Patience: tested

I know you are all probably very sick of my ranting about my work situation (or lack thereof) but believe me, I am MORE sick of it.

So far, I have heard nothing about anything.

As you know, I decided to not take the video game production coordinator job as it felt wrong and I did not want to be looking for another job in six months. It was a risk that, even after you read on, I am happy I took. Well, maybe not happy (I haven't felt "happy" in days) but I certainly don't regret it.

Last thursday was my promising interview at the film place - like I had said before, I rocked the interview and left feeling very confident. They were impressed by my answers and gusto and that I had brought my own copies of my cover letter, resume and references - see, they were so busy they didn't even have a chance to look over my resume until they sat down with me.

Anyhoo, later that day I had emailed the HR girl who was sick, and explained about the situation with the other job - wondering if I knew what my chances were and when I could expect to hear back. After all, in the interview, the executives did tell me they have been putting this off for way too long (indeed, they started advertising for this position since May 6th) and that they wanted to make a decision by next week.

The next day, I never heard back from the HR girl about my email. I assumed she was still sick.

On Sunday I emailed the HR girl again - still hadn't heard from her - and then said to disregard the last email. I turned down the job and decided to take my chances with the studio as it is better suited for me, blah blah blah. Then I added there was no rush for them to make a decision regarding me (in the previous email, there was a lot more urgency).

It's Wednesday now. I still haven't heard back from them. I emailed the HR girl to get the email addresses of the executives so I could send them a thank you note for the interview - she got back to me right away. But only about that. She never responded to my emails over the weekend. I thought at least I would get a "no worries" or "We should let you know by this week" but there was NOTHING. Plus, the first email, the one that I told her to disregard, well it had two questions in it as well regarding salary and benefits - you would have thought she would have disregarded the whole "I need to know my chances" part and at least told me the salary and benefits question!!

Then I checked in with some of my references - they hadn't been contacted either!

So now I am so confused and have no idea what to do and am so tired of just sitting around.

Why haven't they contacted my references? Is it because I said that they didn't need to rush? Are they super busy (I know this is true) or traveling again? Or did I TOTALLY misread the interview - did it actually not go as well as I thought and they decided to not even bother to go as far to check my references?? Was I out of the running the minute I stepped out of the office.

The thing is, I have emailed the HR girl enough, I don't want to keep harassing her. Plus if I asked about when they would make a decision, well that kind of goes against my email in which I said they could take their time. I am looking for other jobs (and there really are none but I'll keep looking) but I am just sick to my stomach about this whole thing (literally - I've been sleeping all day, sick with stress). If I am not in, I wish they would just tell me NO and get it over with!

Any advice?

And just so you know, I did email them the thank-you notes. No response then either. But I don't think it's normal for the prospective employers to email you back - is it?


PS on a bright note, I received my UBC diploma in the mail!! This is momentous for me because on one course I DIDN'T EVEN DO MY FINAL EXAM! I was so angry with the class (and hungover the morning of the exam) that I didn't even go. I literally handed in one weeny assignment and ended up getting a C+ for the whole term. Why can't I have the same luck with jobs as I do with school???

Monday, June 16, 2008

Un-torn

Wow - just had my first cup of coffee (with caffeine) in two weeks and holy crap, my heart is going to beat out of my chest! Just thought I would share that with you :)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for your advice. I have made a decision.

I quit EA today, before I even started. I decided over the weekend that this was the right thing to do and I feel a million times better, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Sure, now I'm taking a risk that I will get the film job, and if I don't, who knows how long it will take to get another job. But this risk makes me feel 100% better than the "sure" thing. Yes, EA would have provided money but I just couldn't fathom quitting on them. I just would feel so terrible that I would rather not put myself in that situation.

I figure that it might take me two weeks or so to find another job - but those two weeks are ones I would have to face at any rate, once the contract was over. And I know that if I worked at EA, I would always wonder if I should have been patient and waited for a full-time position in something I wanted to do - and would have had the weight of not knowing if my contract would be extended over the next six months. After all, Kass was right, they have been known to screw over employees and despite how hard I might have worked, I wouldn't have been suprised if I was still let go at the end.

So, I've decided to risk it all on something else. My gut, my instincts and my faith tells me that I am doing the right thing, and though I am in a very scary position at the moment, for some reason I feel like I'm going to be OK.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Torn


First off, before I forget, I want to say that the Oat and Chocolate Fibre One bars are AWESOME! Random, yes, but as someone who has recently learned how important it is to...erm, have enough fibre in your diet, these bars are a godsend. They are sweet and chewy and just as good as any chocolate bar, with half the calories. YUM!

Ok, random food review aside, I want to update you on my job situation.

I had the interview with the film post/vfx company yesterday. Remember, it's the job I really want.

It went well. Really well. It started off kind of iffy because I started to have a coughing fit, but other than that, I couldn't have asked for a better interview. They managed to ask all the right questions, and I was prepared with all the right answers. Not only were they really nice guys, whom I would love to assist, but they seemed to be quite impressed by me.

But the end of the interview had the words I didn't want to hear, "Of course, we still have a few more people to interview" UGH "But we want to get cracking on this thing so we want to make a decision by next week."

Um, guys. I don't have next week. I have TOMORROW!

I didn't say that, maybe I should have, but when I got home I fired off an email to the HR Girl who recruited me in the first place and explained my dillema. I'm guessing that they are interviewing people today. My only hope is that everyone else sucks so badly that they have no choice but to go with me. Hopefully I will hear from her by this afternoon or sooner.

And again, even if all the other candidates don't suck balls, I think I said everything they wanted to hear, so unless there is someone who just happens to have a bit more experience or whatever, I think they would go with me.

Yet, there just might be someone that is better for the position than me, and that person will get it. There's always a huge chance I wouldn't get it for some odd anomaly.

Here's how I think it will go: Despite my email to the HR Girl, she is still going to tell me that the earliest they will know is next week. If I take the job at EA (vid game company), next week I will get a call saying that they want me. If I don't take the job at EA, I will get a call back from them saying that they went with someone else.

That's the kind of luck I have.

The more I think about it though, the video game job isn't so bad. It's really not. There are tons of fun stuff about it, and I do think I could be happy there. Plus, it's money. It's a job. And it's a cool job.

But it's not what I want to do with my life, at least, I don't think it is. Maybe I'll be wrong. But I feel like the film job is where I should be - it's an adult, "real" job that draws on all my work experience and education, whereas EA sounds like a glorified frat house.

Years ago, heck even last year, a frat house would have been fun. But I'm turning 27 this year and I feel like I should grow up.

Truth is, I don't even know what I want. Part of me gets excited about EA's perks, such as: Paid overtime!!! Two weeks vacation during my 6 months!!! $100 off a Wii!!! Free gym membership!!! Beer and cake and DJ on Fridays!!!! Walk to work!!!! Wear flip-flops to work!!!! $40 of free meals!!! Free or discounted video games!!!

Another part of me says, shouldn't I be doing something a little more meaningful? Responsible?

All kinda hard to figure out since I haven't started the job yet. Who knows, maybe it's my calling. Or maybe in 6 months, I'll start my REAL job. I dunno. And the more I think about it, the more confused I get. After all, I am right back where I started a week ago. And despite me having applied to, I dunno, around FORTY companies in the last three weeks, I have only heard back from EA, film job and that other stupid job (see previous posts). So it's not like I have other options.

I guess I'm just afraid of taking the job, starting work on Monday and then being offered the other job and having to turn it down. And then be wondering, "what if?", for my entire life.

Ironically, if I bail out on EA and end up not getting the film job as well, I'll probably be wondering "what if?" about EA. I just can't win. Too many choices spoil the broth...or something.



PS - has any of you ever taken a job and then quit right away? I know I kind of just did that with my last job lol, but I mean like quit within a few days - a week? And at a proper job, not just at like Burger King or something. Why did you do it and what were the consequences (if any)? I've sent my EA contract on to my Entertainment Law lawyer to look over and see what might happen...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bored

Not just an awesome Deftone's song.

I find myself frequently bored, which I partly enjoy because I take great pleasure in doing absolutely nothing. But somedays I am more bored than others - odd considering there are times when I've found stuff to amuse myself with before.

I read a recent article and it had noted that 70% of the time (OK I made that statistic up, but it's supposed to be most of the time) when you are bored it is because you are avoiding doing something.

Hmmmm. Let's see. Right now I should clean my apartment. Put my dishes away and do new dishes. Put the pile of clothes away from my Saturday wardrobe freak out. Print out the employment contract for the video game company. Walk to the store and fax it. I have a stack of interview questions to go over before the interview, to prepare myself. I have keys I should mail to my ex-work. I have my mortgage person I need to call to set up an appointment. I need to order cheques from the bank. Maybe I should start writing again. And I really want a half-caf iced soy latte from Starbucks.

Yet, I'm bored, which is why I'm writing this post.

I have to say, that article couldn't BE more right! I'm bored because I'm avoiding all the stuff that I have to do.


SO...what are YOU avoiding doing??

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm a woman, I'm allowed to change my mind

Call me fickle, call me wishy-washy, it's all true.

I've decided to accept the video game job.

Yes, yes, I know everything I said in the last post but things have changed since the last post. Such as...

The job was offered to me this morning - well, it would have been yesterday but I was successfully avoiding any calls from them.

Anyway, I would have said no off the bat, however I learned two new, important things about the job:

1) My pay is about 5k higher than I expected

2) I still get two weeks vacation

Yes, the main flaw is the fact that this is a temporary position and I really do not want to be back here in the jobless world come December 19th (though taking a LONG extended Xmas break WOULD be nice), plus there are no benefits.

However, they said there would be immediate benefits, stock options, performance bonuses if my contract was extended - plus, the extra 5k would totally pay for any medical, health stuff in the meantime ANYWAY.

OK, so that's the story with that. I have until June 12th to fax in the contract - the day of my film job interview - I am thinking about faxing it in at about 5PM, AFTER my interview, just in case. If I am offered the film job that day then I don't even have to bother accepting the vid game one.

Regardless, the good news is that once I sign it, the contract stipulates that I have until June 16th (monday) to terminate the contract without cause (oddly enough, so do they).

Which means that if I find out by Friday evening about the film job, I can either break the contract without consequences or stay on with the job (depending how the film job goes of course - and I think if THEY don't know by Friday, I'll just stick with the vid game job regardless).

And remember how I had a NEW number two choice for jobs, the online travel picture thingy?

Well. I had that interview today. Oh boy.

Reasons why I am definitely not pursuing THAT job?

1) Interviewer kept stressing about "stress." How well do I handle stress, how other people handle stress, how everyone is always stressed and some people cry cuz they can't handle it and some smoke 20 cigaretes a day. Mmmm. Sounds like fun, when do I start?

2) All the fun atmosphere and go-karting and keggers? GONE. Everything on their website needs to be updated and they are staying AWAY from the youthful, fun atmosphere.

3) 70% of the employees are new - they basically fired everyone 6 months ago and are redoing everything.

4) There will be no training and will be expected to know everything off the bat (at least they are honest). Did I mention the stress? I hope so, cuz she sure did.

5) I will have to go through three more interviews after this one - program head, CEO and then the team. No idea what kind of team. Baseball team?

6) I will have to fill out a 20 page booklet on my career history - what did I like about this job? What about the manager? What did I like, didn't like about them. FOR EVERY JOB I HAVE EVER HAD.

7) Which seems like a lot of work for a job that would pay me only 34K...

8) And for a job whose benefits ONLY kick in after the SIX month probation, in which they made it very clear they could easily terminate me without cause.

9) And the kicker? They need TEN references!!!! TEN!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't even had ten jobs in my whole life! I mean, what the hell? And they all have to be from work only and all have to be managers or clients (no co-workers) and they are going to grill each manager about all my strengths and weaknesses.

I can't believe that after such a long and drawnout processes - four interviews, paperwork, ten references, that they would STILL pay you entry level and still keep you on probabtion for 6 months. I mean...holy crap. Has any of YOU ever had to go through so many hoops for such a mediocre Admin position???

So, it's safe to say that I am cancelling my second interview with that company. Job sounded cool, but I'm definitely getting the big NO vibe from them. I got that vibe with my last job and I ignored it, so I'm gonna listen to my instincts.


In the meantime, I guess I'm employed. Yay? Though I still won't feel better until I know how the film job goes - after all, that's still number one on my radar! Then once I know that I've got (or not got) that job, then I can rejoice in my impending employment. SHIT! I've better appreciate these last few days of sleeping in!

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

SISU!

Thanks everyone for your input on the last post.

As it stands right now, I'm sort of off the hook since the video game place hadn't called back yet, even though they were still interviewing people as of Friday.

I really like Ashley's suggestion and a lot of the latter ones - that the video game job may be kind of a cool place to spend most of your week, but it's NOT what I want to do. At all. And I have done so much of what I don't want to do, something else will eventually come along that will be better. Maybe worse than the film job but at least better than the video games job.

And sadly, I can't get the film job to move around my schedule - believe me, I asked. But there are TWO executives that need to interview me and both are away at the Banff TV Festival till Thursday. So that means no interview, no phone interview - I mean, they aren't in a rush and I knew that so...plus, I understand that if they really want me, they'll consider moving but even if they WERE NOT away on business, that wouldn't happen. Remember, I was interviewed by the HR girl only. The two decision makers, well, they have no idea who I am, except that I am a candidate. Which is why when I go in on Thursday, it's like a first interview all over again. HR girl won't even be there.

At any rate, I am feeling pretty good about things at the moment. I have decided that I will turn down the video game job - if still offered - for the following reasons:

A)Temporary - 5 months later I will be back in this position again. No thanks. I want a job to stick with.

B)Weak Skills - this job will exploit what I am not good at and ignore what I am good at.

C) Not related to career goals.

I'm not in dire straights, I'll be OK with money for awhile, so my best bet is to take something that is at LEAST full-time and has health benefits. And you know what, something else has already come up.

I've got a NEW second choice. An interview with an online travel photo company on Tuesday. Again, it sounds like a dynamic and awesome place to work (more keggers on Fridays, what is up with that in the tech industries?), plus the job description sounds up my alley (proofing writing and images) and it looks like down the line it could lead to travel writing, which along with film, is a huge love of mine. Who knows, it may not, but at least I'll find out soon enough.

Anyhoo, hopefully by Fridayor next Monday I will be employed SOMEWHERE. Of course, I still really want the film job but I am more relaxed about it now (time will do that) and figure whatever happens, happens. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna prepare my ass off, though!


In other news, I applied for Finnish Citizenship...it looks like I will get it too.

Don't worry, I'll still be Canadian but now I will be a dual citizen of Canada and Finland. AND will be able to legally live and work ANYWHERE in the European Union! Bring home the Euros baby!!!!

HOW SWEET IS THAT?

I had always thought that because my Mother gave up her Finnish citizenship (many moons - or Moomins - ago) to become Canadian, that I could never apply for it. But it turns out I could - well, for the last five years anyway, up until last Monday.

And I applied, last Monday, right on the deadline.

I figured, hey, why the Hell not? Nothing wrong with being Finnish (except for having to properly learn the language - oh man).

After all, I lose passports so easily, it'll be good to have an extra one lying around- just in case :P



PS - SISU means "guts" or "courage" in Finnish.

Hey. Maybe I do know Finnish after all.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What would YOU do?

Ok, so I think I may have a minor problem on my hands and I need some advice from my fellow peeps. God, I hate it when I start talking like that.

Anyhoo, I could be jumping the gun but I see a potential problem coming down the track. And when I say track, I mean TODAY.

As you all know, I've been unemployed and looking for work, ever since I quit on that Hitler boss of mine a month ago or so (lookie back in the archives a week or two for a refresher). I've been applying absolutely everywhere with my totally awesome cover letter, but so far it's been really slow with hearing back about things. But the two places I have heard back from are competing for my heart with awesomness and thus where my dillema is stemming from.

I had an interview at a HUGE film studio that does post production and visual effects (VFX) for a whole slew of films that you've seen or are going to see. It was for an Executive Assistant role for the two heads of the company.

I was made for this job. A) I've been an EA for FIVE execs and I enjoyed it (the EA part, the Office Manager role was the part I sucked ass at) so I know that two will be much easier to handle - uh, here's hoping at any rate B) I just finished a course in Post Production and VFX Technology, so I know the ins and outs of everything that this company does C) they need someone to help with marketing and I can do that too - not only did I just ace my Film Marketing course, but that is a long-term career goal of mine (I've suddenly decided ;) AND I've had practical and educational experience D) they need someone pleasant and polished to represent them to their clients - Um, hello, I could totally charm Mr. Ben Stiller when he comes in to discuss his upcoming film. Actually, pat him on the back for his hilarious sketch on the MTV Movie Awards - fuck I love Robert Downey Jr.

This role not only represents what I can do well now, but what I can do well in the future. I can see myself staying with this company and growing with it. I have never wanted a job more. And yes, I will find out more about the role later - who knows, perhaps it's not all it's cracked up to be. But I have a feeling...

I've already had a phone interview with the recruiter and then she called me in for a half hour interview with her. She seemed to really like me (we got along great), was enthusiastic about everything I said, and saw - as I did - how my smorgasbord of work experience and education was all coming together to this role, to right NOW.

So she signed me up for a second interview with the two execs. The only problem is that they are travelling a lot - LA, Banff TV Festival - and won't be able to meet with me until next Thursday.

I would have rather had the interview sooner rather than later, originaly because I just wanted to get it over with and find out. This does give me heaps of time to prepare and go over my 80 questions an interviewer might ask sheet and know every answer by heart.

But then I got called in for an interview with another large and influential company. I won't mention names, but let's just say I worked for them before as a temp in 2006 (where I met good ol' Kass, btw) and now I am being considered as a Production Coordinator for a certain 2010 car racing video game that I am going to call "Really Want To Drive Fast." Clever, eh?

The job interview was supposed to be a half hour with an executive producer, but then ended up being an hour and a half long with two other people. I figured it was good practice as the first interview was fairly intense and it would help me prepare for the job I really wanted.

But as I got talking to the people, I realized that this was a good option too. Beer and cake Fridays? Salary plus paid overtime? Room for growth? Fun atmosphere? 30 minute walk from my house? Video games up the ying yang?

The interviews ended up going really well at any rate. The only problem I would have with the job is that it is 5 months contract, there are no benefits with no guarantee of contract renewal and I don't know the salary (they didn't even know). The job itself isn't exactly what I want to do, but it could be a good stepping stone. And like the film job, this place seemed like a wonderfully supportive place to work.

So I left with them saying that they would let me know really soon, as in today, about their decision.

And herein lies the rub.

If I got offered the job - and I'm not saying I will - what do I do? Do I take it? What about the other job, the one that I feel in my heart is the one for me? I won't know about that one until Thursday at the earliest. And while I can't think of a single reason why they wouldn't hire me at the film job, there is always a chance that they won't. And that's cool - it wasn't meant to be and all of that poetic jazz that I buy into. But what if I had turned down the cool job at the video game company? I could end up with nothing (though, I know that even if I DON'T get either job, I believe I will eventually get something that I will like).

So what would you do in this scenario? Turn down the video game job and risk it all on the job you really want (and know you have at least a 80% chance of getting after the interview, unless things go horribly wrong and I set the exec on fire or something like that). Or accept the video job and turn down the job you really wanted. Or accept the video game job, go on the interview for the other job and then, if you get THAT job, basically screw over the other company and back out? I don't really want to do that either - I don't want to burn any bridges with an international company like that. If offered the job, do I see how long I get to think about it (even though they know you can start as early as June 16th) or be honest and explain that I have another job prospect?

Once again, I could not be offered the vid job and I might not get the film job either. But I want to figure this all out before this scenario rears its ugly head. Because as much as the vid job sounds like an excellent and exciting second choice, it's still my second choice.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Money for nothing, learning for free!

Have you noticed a definite drop-off in the blogging world?

I have. More people are giving up on their blogs and quiting - which sucks because they are usually the people I enjoyed reading the most. And less people are coming to my blog than ever which saddens me. Yes, I have been slack with my posts but I'm trying to keep up - and believe me, I do have a lot to talk about. But it's not just less comments, but less people.I used to get 200 a day, now it's like 100.

Maybe I should start blogging about things like those sexy garter belts that I used to wear (which reminds me, why haven't I worn them lately? It's not like it's been summer). Or maybe blog about men in general and why they are such commitmentphobes - how come its easier for men to have a child out of wedlock instead of actually getting married and doing it properly? A friend's bf said it's because you can easily ditch the child (pretty sure he was joking) and not claim responsibility. Though when you think about it, if you were to get married and divorced, you could essentially forget it ever happened and be free from your ex forever. But not with a kid - you will ALWAYS be a father your whole entire life, whether you like it or not, plus that kid will keep YOU involved with that ex of yours. I think men have it backwards. Actually, men are just silly beasts in general.

Thankfully my man is open to talking about marriage (which is good since we are buying a house together) but most men - including my ex - run for the hills? Sheesh, women just want to talk about it, it won't hurt - believe me, if she's really desperate, you'll know it. Though you probably won't realize it, much like the doomed relationship of a certain couple that is getting married (out of pressure from her) this fall. You know things are bad when your wedding party is taking bets at the wedding on how quickly you'll get divorced).

Ok, so I could talk about those debatable things. I could talk about how confusing and mixed up our twenties are how no one ever warned us about that, how having too many choices in life can spoil the broth.

But I really just want to talk about this: Free Education!!

Did you know about this? There are a ton of universities that offer online courses for free? Most don't give you credits but it doesn't matter - for people like me that love to learn (knowledge is power), this is the greatest thing ever. I can educate myself for nothing and at my own pace. I've just downloaded a few courses from MIT. MIT! That's the Masachusettes Institute of Technology - as featured in Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind - it's where all the top minds of the state go, apparently.

Anyhoo, through them I am learning Marketing Strategy and Managerial Psychology and possibly Spanish. Through the University of California, Irvine campus, I am learning Personal Finance.

And that's just the beggining. MIT has over 1800 course you can take from the comfort of your own home. Or you can peruse universities from all over the world, including the United Nations University.

Take a look HERE

And start getting smrt!

Monday, June 02, 2008

I survived


My 28 day cleanse is over, bitchez!

I actually ended it yesterday since I was having dinner at le boyfriend's rents and I wanted to indulge in yummyness, but I figured, what's a day going to matter?

Anyhoo, having survived a month without caffeine, booze (um, minus a glass of wine or two), dairy, wheat, sugar, soy, corn, pop, etc, I must say I have learned a lot - and I will gladly inform you of it.

Positives
-My tummy pains have ended
-My stomach no longer sticks out painfully from bloating
-I sleep much better and wake up being more alert than before (still not bouncing out of bed though but that probably has to do with the fact that I am not a morning person and no cleanse can change that)
-I don't need caffeine
-I enjoy cooking fresh meals every day
-I like eating healthy, wholesome stuff
-I discovered rice past is as good as wheat pasta, so I may not miss the stuff (if it turns out I have a wheat allergy)
-Rice milk and almond milk aren't bad - once you forget what real milk tastes like
-Water is good stuff
-I will always make rice now instead of buying those instant packets
-I can survive social settings and parties sober
-Roasted vegetables (especially yam) are great

Negatives
-My skin isn't as vibrant and clear as I thought it would be (I was told that wheat and dairy causes a lot of skin problems)
-The detox shakes I had to drink caused me to gain some weight
-My grocery bill didn't go down (especially since two weeks worth of shakes cost $133)
-I still got some bloating from certain "OK" foods such as pineapple, certain vegetables and oatmeal

Regardless, I am proud of myself for getting through it all. I only kinda cheated once or twice in the form of a glass of wine after 2 1/2 weeks - and lets not forget last Friday where I downed a bottle of wine (HEY, my liver detox shake had run out so I figured what was the harm? I'm not detoxing my liver anymore). I also smoked some pot but hey, my doctor never told me to NOT to do drugs.

I've decided to make some changes too - I know I am probably allergic to dairy (though never cheese, strange huh?) and wheat so I am going to try and avoid those when I can. Rice instead of wheat, soy milk instead of regular. I also know that I don't NEED caffeine anymore, so I am going to drink teas or decaff coffee from now on. Both have small amounts of caffeine, so I know that's all I need to perk myself up. I've also vowed to avoid hard liqour for as long as I can, avoid Red Bull (except in my beloved Jaegerbomb), no more pop or carbonated drinks and no more fake sugar ever! I've learned that water is great, that eating purely really does make you feel good and that I have now free reign to eat whatever I want.

Funny thing is, now that I can eat whatever, I still find myself eating what I was on the cleanse. I think a lot of it had to do with "forbidden foods." On my cleanse, grocery shopping and eating out was HELL. I wanted to eat everything! But now, the mystique is gone. I had a bite of chocolate last night and couldn't finish the rest. I had a sip of sour apple slurpee and it gave me a raging headache. I looked at all the junk and goodies in the store yet found myself still going to the vegetable aisle.

Hopefully these good habits will stay with me. At least until my first Jaegerbomb, then all hell's gonna break loose.