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megpie71
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Well, that's my free time sorted for another year

I got a nice letter from the university I went and attacked dracolichs at on Monday. They said "yes, we'd love to see you here this year, here's a web address, now get cracking on your enrolment, O Week is next week!"

So I am now enrolled as a full-time student (I hope... I have a funny feeling that because I don't have to do a Foundation Unit[1] I may just be scraping in a little below the "full-time" course load radar). But I'll go along there tomorrow (bus and train again) and then over to the nice people at Centrelink some time soon (oh crap... I've just realised, the best time to go and talk to them would be NOW! before they get mixed messages from Murdoch, Transperth and everyone else they get information from, and decide on an Alexandrine solution to the whole Gordian mess by cutting off my payments altogether! Excuse me while I grab the phone...)

And having done that, I've discovered I can't actually sign up for their customer disservices online, because I don't have (wait for it) a receipt number from Centrelink for some time in the past eight weeks. I'm on delayed lodgement through my Job Services Australia provider (my next form isn't due in until about the middle of March) and this means I generally go three months at a stretch without seeing the inside of a Centrelink office. The last time I went in there was when I went to find out why the heck the nice people from the government agency who were handling the bond assistance hadn't managed to get things set up to take the money directly from my payment (which apparently needed a different piece of paperwork from the one I had in my hot little hand, and therefore couldn't be dealt with right there and then).

[...]

And now I'm back again, stressed out, tired out, shopped out, and about ready to strangle things. And I still have to head back to the Centrelink office tomorrow to actually get the bloody stuff submitted and handed in (because although I can *print out* the form from their online page, I can't actually submit it online (or at least, that's how I'm reading things - and since just *finding* the bloody form took about six go-rounds of their website, because I still had my mind in dealing with the university mode, where they go for "sensible and logical" as a default, rather than bureaucracy, where the default is "bloody-minded to the extreme", I'm not going to push my luck). My only worry is that there's apparently rules which say the government is only going to support me for so many years of study (and this is equivalent to the length of the course plus one semester). Now, over the past twenty-two years, since I finished high school, I've spent at least eight of these engaged in either full-time or part-time study. Of those eight years, Centrelink was supporting me for an absolute maximum of four (and three of those four were when I was working for them, so I strongly doubt they count!). But I am in full "dealing with a government department" paranoia mode at present. So I'm going to head down there tomorrow, tidied up and ready to face the worst they can throw at me.

Meanwhile, since the paranoia module in my brain is kicking out in full throttle at the moment, I'm currently panicking that I'll bomb out in the first semester, crashing and burning and failing horrendously. Ah, the joys of going back to uni.

Wish me luck, folks.

[1] Foundation Units are a Murdoch University speciality for students who have never been to university before - basically "uni in a box 101" for kids who are just learning how to put things together. Since this will be my fourth attempt at an undergraduate degree they figure I already know what I'm doing with regard to things like writing essays, attending lectures, and showing up for tutorials.

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Current Mood: frantic frantic
Christmas on a Shoestring

So, we're on the dole, paying about $300 a week (or $300 each per fortnight, out of about a $400 fortnightly payment) in rent, and trying to figure out how we're going to cover the cost of Christmas. Fortunately for me, I've been feeling full of energy since we moved into the new place (I think it's a combination of the other shoe finally dropping - we had to give up our old place after a couple of years of not knowing if or when that would happen - and the cheerful realisation that being woken up at oh-good-grief in the morning by the day breaking through the window seems to set up my biological clock for a good day) so I decided to give our immediate families (my parents and younger brother; Himself's parents) something home-made as a way of dealing with the whole "gifts" issue. So yesterday we did a big shop, and bought ingredients for about six different types of chocolate truffle (and I collected the extra bits needed for a seventh today) and I'm making them at approximately one recipe per day until Chrimble finally hits.

This involves a lot of melting of chocolate, and making small balls of various things, coating them in other things, and chilling them in the refrigerator until they're "done". So it's all heaps of fun right up to the point where I have to do the ball making, because despite having extremely poor peripheral circulation (to the point where my hands get cold walking through a supermarket freezer section in the height of an Aussie summer, and stay cold for a good hour or two afterwards) my hands don't get cold enough to roll balls of truffle mixture without getting extremely sticky. I also can't roll balls of choc-dipped truffle mixture between my palms without getting chocolate practically *everywhere*. Definitely something to get my younger niece involved with, I think - the messiness of it might appeal to her. On the positive side, I've just completed the second batch, which are chilling down in the fridge as I type this (all I have to do now is finish tidying up... ergh). Only another five to go. Then I get to make up the gift boxes I bought, find out whether we have any cards hidden somewhere near the surface, and do fancy tags for each one (it's amazing how useful my stationery craze can be at times - I have enough fancy-schmancy pens to sink a small aircraft carrier).

Oh, handy tip for those in the extreme southern metro region in Perth, WA (eg Kwinana/Rockingham/Mandurah) - The Spud Shed, on Kerosene Lane in Baldivis is a brilliant place to shop. They do fruit and veg, plus wholesale priced meat and fish, and a fairly good range of groceries too, and it's all at nice low prices. It's not absolutely brilliant quality - the fruit and veg is definitely the stuff Coles and Woolies reject (slight blemishes and marks on the fruit, veg is a bit smaller than average) but it's certainly edible, and for the price, it's well worth the trip.

Now, on to the dishes.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/5478.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Excuse me while I scream

There are days when I want to kill my partner. This is one of them.

As some of you may be aware, we're under a few deadlines at the moment. For one thing, we have roughly 1 week left in our current place of residence. For another, while we've put in an option on a rental place, we haven't heard back from them yet (except for a quick call yesterday which didn't make me feel positive at all, since they were saying firstly they hadn't heard back from our one and only rental reference, and secondly they wanted whole heaps of information about what Himself does for a living). So while we do know we have to move out, we don't know whether we have somewhere else to move into at the other end of it. Stress number one.

Stress number two: The real estate agent who is attempting to sell the place has one offer, for about $110K less than we need to clear all our existing debts. We discovered today there's a potential second buyer (I discovered this when I spotted him peering in our front windows, under the impression the house was empty). Rather than refer the man to the real estate agents, Himself has decided to try and sell the place privately, and thus save the fees and commissions.

I've already warned Himself if this backfires, and we lose both buyers, he's going to be hearing about it from me on possibly a daily basis for the next twenty years at least. Other than this, I'm staying the hells out - I don't have the energy, or the stamina, to get involved in arguing with him.

Stress number three: I went for a job interview last week. I still haven't heard back from the company involved, and I'm suspecting I'll get the usual answer when I do (ie "Sorry, not interested"). So I'm busy waiting back to hear from the recruiting firm, who'll probably give me some kind of vague answer along the lines of "oh, they didn't say" rather than the truth of the matter, which is probably along the lines of me being too old, too female, and/or too fat for the job (it's a helpdesk operator position - by "too fat" they mean "not pretty enough", or "not suitable office totty". Women are under-represented in the IT industry for some reason, and none of the guys can figure out quite why...). So I have this inevitable disclosure to look forward to.

Stress number four: Himself's parents have made an offer to us of the use of a couple of rooms in their house should we find ourselves without somewhere to go. It's starting to look like we might have to take them up on this. I don't want to do this, since at present I'm stressed enough without having to wear my "public" face all the damn time.

Stress number five: I'm unemployed. Christmas is coming up. 'Nuff said?

Stress number six: Day one of my period, and I have cramps and a temper like a bear with toothache.

End result: while I'm sure my situation has a whole heap of positives in there (as per my nice rep from Commonwealth Rehab Services) I can't really see them at the moment. All I can see is the potential for things to go very badly wrong. This doesn't make me any more likely to relax, or calm down, or want to do anything other than sit in a corner and scream for a bit. Unfortunately, I'm not able to do this at the moment because Himself's folks are over doing a spot of weeding for us (and probably thinking of me as the most lazy bitch in the universe, which is probably true) and I can't really let loose until they've gone.

Small relief: I've just discovered I can suspend my health insurance rather than cancelling it, which means I've one less expense to worry about. It also means I've another $60 per fortnight to play with when it comes to rent and similar, rather than spending it on the health insurance.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/5078.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: stressed stressed
Current Music: "Not Pretty Enough", the Spooky Men's Chorale
So What Are You Doing Today?

My day so far has been... um.

I started off the day by having nightmares. Gods alone know why (although I suspect it has something to do with the raw skin on my right hand smallest finger, where a hangnail got too persistent) but I was dreaming I was the TARDIS in human form, and I know I woke up once all in a rush having thought someone was drilling into the back of my head. No, really. I could hear the drill. Scared the bzuh! out of me. Fortunately I got back to sleep again, although the nightmares didn't stop. I really should take a couple of Nurofen when I have something owie before trying to go to sleep.

The next thing to wake me up was a phone call from a real estate agent regarding a rental property I'd seen advertised online. As some of you may know, our house is currently being repossessed by the bank, which means we have to be out by 5 December, and handing over the keys for vacant posession by then. So we're looking at rentals. Given we're both on the dole, this isn't easy - I'm setting an approximate value of $200 per week (which is roughly half a fortnightly dole payment each) on the rent we can afford, and the result of the searches is... interesting. Let's just say if we wanted to live in rural splendour, we'd be spoiled for choice - there's places galore in spots like Kalgoorlie, Bunbury, Manjimup, Northcliffe, Geraldton, Norseman, and Kambalda West. Unfortunately, none of those are precisely convenient for jobs in Perth (plus, of course, if we moved to any of them, we'd be moving to an Area of Lower Employment, so our dole payments would be either cut down or cut off for about three to six months. Hoo-flippin'-ray).

Anyway, I have an appointment to have a look over this little 2 bedroom cottage in Bassendean that I put in an enquiry about. Now, given Bassendean is about 10km out of the Perth city centre, there has to be something wrong with this place for the rent to be this low (the next lowest rent is something like $260 per week, and the more likely one is $350 per week) - so I'm going to be looking carefully at the location, the neighbours, and the house itself to try and find out what the issue is, and why the rent is this low. Hopefully the issue is something liveable, such as noise, or a bad area (noise I can live with, a bad area I have lived with) rather than things like missing doors and windows, or a hot water system which doesn't function. From the maps I'm looking at (the map online, and the street directory I have handy) it looks like the problem's more likely to be noise from the railway crossing and passing traffic - in which case, I can live with it for the rent we'd be paying. Himself will just have to start sleeping with earplugs, or move in with his parents - his choice.

Aside from that, I've also been moving on to the next stage with my job search: cold canvassing. I've written up the letter, I've drawn up my list of candidates (I went through the yellow pages last week and drew up a list of all the mining companies listed) and now I'm chasing up contact information, checking details against websites, and getting email addresses where possible. So far I've sent out 10 emails today, I have another 10 planned for tomorrow, and I'm going to keep on at 10 per day until I've emailed all the ones I have email addresses for. Then I start on the mailouts - 10 per day every day until done. Once I've done all of those, I'm going to make a list of the oil and gas companies, and then pick my economy sector from there. If I haven't got a bite for tech work by the time we have to move out, I'll start looking for general admin stuff (but I'm hoping I'll get at least a nibble for the tech work).

NaNoWriMo update: I'm not doing it. Writing cheery, upbeat, positive letters to 10 companies per day soliciting work is quite enough fictional output to keep me busy. Even if it is mostly copy & paste.

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Current Mood: okay okay
Semi-regular update post

Gods, where to start? It's been a bit of a frantic week-and-a-bit. Let's see - how about I give a rundown of "good things and bad things" and then an expansion in TL;DR below.

Good things:

  • Meds packaged in blister pack, Silver Chain stuff almost up and running.

  • Purchased Dissidia on Tuesday, already 9/10ths of the way through the initial part of Story Mode

  • Heard from my folks, they're coming back to Perth early


Not-Good things:
  • Still depressed

  • Court hearing on Tuesday resulted in an order to hand over the house

  • Still unemployed


This is the TL;DR stuff )

So yeah, how's everyone else doing?

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/3013.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

location: Here, for now.
Current Mood: stressed stressed
Crosses fingers and toes

Just had an interview for a possible position, for a damn near immediate start. I think it went well, but I can never tell with these things - my instincts are all over the place, it seems. As a result, I'm now second-guessing myself all over the place and panicking about whether I might have put the potential employer off - was I too dressed up, too dressed down, too friendly, not friendly enough, did I give off the right vibes, the wrong vibes... aargh.

I've just let go of the trapeze bar and performed my triple somersault backflip with the half twist... now to find out whether the other bar is where I think it should be. If not... this is gonna hurt.

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location: Home again
Current Mood: worried worried
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