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Archive for March, 2009

Upset with myself

March 31st, 2009 at 01:58 pm

I just finished taking my GRE. They show you your scores (minus the essays) at the end. I bombed it. Completely. Horribly.

I got a 570 on the Verbal - over 100 points less than I'd been getting on the practice exams. On the math part I got a 460 which is pretty close to what I was getting on the practice exams. I was surprised I got that high on the math - so much of the questions I did an educated guess on. The verbal though really, really upsets me.

An average score is 575 - so both my scores are below average. I dont know if its even worth it at this point to even send in an application to grad school.

I knew I wasn't going to be able to get the math much higher, but I was hoping that my verbal would be high enough to make it a good overall score.

Maybe my essay scores will be enough to help.

All I know is that I've blown through a couple hundred dollars, plus spent numerous hours preparing for this test - and it feels like it was a total waste of time money and energy.

Keeping Busy

March 29th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Hi all,

Just a quick note to let you know I'm still percolating. Smile

I'm anxiously and nervously working on getting ready to take the GRE on Tuesday. I've taken two practice exams so far -- out of 800, I scored in the low 700's for Verbal, and high 400's for Math. Urch!

I'm not really sure at this point if there's any way for me to study enough to boost my math score. I'm going to keep reviewing the math parts that are giving me trouble - but mainly it is all the various formulas and knowing when to use them.

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My friends got back from their cruise Friday night. I spent most of Saturday with them, church, potluck, and then watching videos they took/pictures.

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I *stil* haven't heard anything about my Unemployment status. So, will have to attempt getting in touch with someone via phone yet again this coming week. Looks like tax day will have been an overly positive estimation of when I receive my first payment. Ugh!

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Still haven't done my taxes. I know - time is running out.

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I've decided to use my GRE test trip as a mini-vacation. My dad has generously provided funds for two-nights hotel stay where I'll be going. There are several free admission museums there - specifically one about Children's Literature which looks interesting. It'll be nice to have two nights of cable as well. Smile

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After I get back from this trip/test, I am going to have to seriously hunker down on the spending front, the eating/health front, and the finding a job front.

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Ok, I need to get some posts put together for my two other blogs, and then work on getting packed. I'll be leaving right after working at the gym tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to a 3 hour drive, but I'll survive - as long as I can find good music stations on the radio. Big Grin

Quick Update

March 25th, 2009 at 05:31 pm

I've been keeping pretty busy the past couple days doing various things. Nothing really exciting really.

Today I did my last pet-sitting visit before my friends get back (actually, I stayed there last night and watched some more cable!) Big Grin Their cat Megan was hiding from me this morning, but as I was just about to leave, she came out and hissed at me. So I sat down and took my shoes off -- and she let me give her foot rubsies. Big Grin

My dad sent me $100 for my hotel when taking my GRE. (Isn't my dad sweet?) That's enough for 2 nights - taxes. I'm thinking about maybe making this a little mini-vacation. Yeah, like my life isn't a vacation right now, right?

But really, Abilene does have some interesting things to see, and it's one town in TX I've not been before. If I stay one or two nights will depend on how my job search is going. If I've got an interview lined up for Wednesday -- it'll be one night!

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I've kind of been disappointed with the traffic my children's book blog is getting. It went for nearly three days with NO visitors. I was beginning to wonder if it was worth it to keep going with it. Then . . . the visitors started coming back (mainly google searches) and then *yesterday* I had 8 unique views - but one of them had to have been one of those indexing robots, because I had a total of nearly 600 page views!!!!!

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I am beginning to think that sending responses to job postings on Craigslist is good for one thing, and one thing only. Job search credits for UI. Every week I've sent at least 6 or more responses (sometimes closer to 12) and I've gotten 4 interviews out of it, plus two other responses - one of which was that spam site trying to get me to sign up for online degree programs.

Yech.

There has to be a better way.

When I get back from my GRE test on the 1st, I am going to seriously start trying to figure something else out. Also seriously work on revamping my resume. I've kind of been doing *just enough* in trying to prepare for the GRE. So once that's out of the way, I can get focused again. Even if I could just find a part time job to add to my gym job - that would be great.

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A few days ago I wrote a post about the

Text is Montana Plane Crash and Link is http://thesinglefrugalton.today.com/2009/03/24/montana-plane-crash-three-degrees-of-separation/
Montana Plane Crash and how there were people on it who hit close to home for my family.

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Ok, I'm going to catch up with some blogs here, then get back to prepping for the GRE.

Toot a loo!

Checkin' on the neighbors

March 21st, 2009 at 03:51 pm

Friday afternoon I went over to my friends house to check on their rabbits and their cat. If you remember, when I went there on Wednesday, the rabbits were completely out of water. That is why I decided to go back on Friday instead of waiting till Saturday.

Well, I guess the weather had been cooler, or the rabbits hadn't been as thirsty, because their water bottle was half full. Still, I had bought a second water bottle (Walmart $3.xx) for them, so I went ahead and attached it to their cage.

I had decided to go ahead and spend the night there (which my friends had told me I was welcome to do) to both keep Megan (cat) company, and wait a few hours to change out everything (plus they have a big cable package, so I did a bit of cable surfing too.) Smile

About 9:30p.m. someone knocked on the front door. I debated about acknowledging the person, but in the end decided to at least turn the porch light on and see who was out there. After seeing it was a man, I called out "um, yes?" He asked me if I was a family member. I told him that no, I was a friend of the family. He said, Oh, ok. and then went on his way.

That was a little unnerving, but it also made me feel good to know that my friends have neighbors who are keeping an eye out for them.

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I kind of wish I had Lifetime for the next 4 weekends at least. They're showing 4 new Nora Roberts movies. If I could pay for just one channel, it would be Lifetime.

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One week from Tuesday is my GRE test. I'm really getting nervous about it. I almost wish I'd scheduled it out further. But, even if I had, I probably still wouldn't feel ready for it.

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I talked to my brother today. Once he has his acceptance letter for nursing school, he is thinking of signing up for the Air Force - have them pay for his schooling, and then serve however many years are required in exchange.

He'd be able to go in as an officer because he already has a degree, so wouldn't have to do boot camp (which is good, because he has two bad knees.)

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I want my brother safe, but I'm also proud that he's willing to serve his country (even though it also will benefit him financially.) Going in as a medic/nurse should keep him fairly safe -- hopefully.

Whatever happens, will happen. Hopefully it will all be for the best.

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My recent post on Single Frugalton is about the

Text is dangers of gift shops. and Link is http://thesinglefrugalton.today.com/2009/03/20/gift-shop-danger/
dangers of gift shops. I'd love to hear your opinions on it.

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Sunday plans;
() Craigslist
() Study GRE math
() update blogs
() clean kitchen
() trash run
() exercise

Realization & Jury pay

March 19th, 2009 at 07:00 pm

Yesterday at my interview, one of the questions was if I prefer working by myself or in a group setting. I thought that was a funny question, because sometimes I have thought that I'd much prefer working out of my home and not having to mess with the whole office/coworker thing.

But the last five weeks or so, where I have had very little interaction with other people comparatively to when I worked in an office, I've realized that I actually miss it.

Even working at the gym doesn't offer that much in the way of interaction. For example I was there today for four hours, and only ONE person came in.

I feel kind of bad for people who stop and say more than hi to me, because sometimes that's enough to get my mouth going - just to have someone to talk to face to face.

Another thing I've realized is that when I was first laid off, I had so many people calling me to check on me, or emailing me, etc. But now, it's back to normal - where I get maybe two calls a week.

I think next week I am going to force myself to go to at least one of those networking get together things. Even just to get out and interact with other people. Although, when in a group of strangers, my shy/quiet will hardly say a word side strikes up. Worth a try though.

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Yep, I received my check for Jury Duty today. So, since I had to pay $6 for parking (since the attendant gave me back $2) I am now even. Yay. Wink

I'm really having a lot of fun with my children's story time blog. I hadn't realized that so many of my favorite children's poet poems were on you tube. Some of them aren't read exactly the way I'd do it - but they're still good. Smile

While at the gym today I skipped the last section of chapter 5 - just was not getting it - and studied through the middle of Chapter 10 of the GRE math. There were a couple sections I didn't stay with very long, but might go back to later if I have time.

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oops - time for ER - will finish later

Interview today, Unemployment, Funny Cat video :)

March 18th, 2009 at 07:00 pm

Well, my interview this morning was interesting. I didn't speak with the person I'd been corresponding with, and he didn't seem to have seen any of my info until it was handed to him. He reiterated the fact that there were at least 600 cannidates for the positions.

Then he mentioned that sometime they had to work a little late to ensure projects were done. I told him I didn't have a problem with that. THEN he mentioned that sometime they had to work Saturdays. (Groan. Interview over.) I told him I couldn't do Saturdays, but I'd be more than happy to come in on Sundays if needed.

They're of course not open on Sundays.

Oh well - I don't know that I'd really want to work at a place where I'd be expected to put in that much overtime anyway - esp not for what they're paying per hour.

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Long story short - I found out today why I haven't received my unemployment benefits yet. They were on hold. For more of the story check today's post on

Text is The Single Frugalton. and Link is http://thesinglefrugalton.today.com/2009/03/18/unemployment-frustrations-and-kudos-to-chase-bank/
The Single Frugalton.

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Here is a really cute video of a cat being aggressive with another cat - that is, a *picture* of a cat! LOL

Text is Cat attacks Picture and Link is /http://holy-cuteness.blogspot.com/2009/03/cat-attacks-cat-photo.html
Cat attacks Picture

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I went to take care of the
Text is Bunnies and Hissy Cat and Link is http://thesinglefrugalton.today.com/2009/03/15/taking-care-of-the-bunnies-and-hissy-cats/
Bunnies and Hissy Cat today. Hissy cat of course hissed at me as I opened the door and growled at me as I walked past her to get to where her food/toilet/water were all at. Before I left though, she let me give her a foot rub - only after I took my shoes off. Smile

Poor bunnies! Their water bottle was completely empty! After I refilled it, they both practically attacked it.

I ended up goofing off for an hour or so, then before leaving, I refilled their water again.

I'm not supposed to go back again until Saturday - but I'm worried that they'll be dehydrated before then. The weather has been pretty warm.

I'm also thinking about getting a second water bottle for them - but I really don't want to spend very much, since well, they're not MY pets - and it won't probably even be necessary again once the family is back.

Any suggestions?

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I called about the Lab bill today. I was told to resubmit my insurance info to them and then see what happens. For now, I'll leave it at that.

The lady I spoke with confirmed that it should have been covered.

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Wednesday's Accomplishments:
Wednesday Plans
(x) Interview at 10:30
(x) Cancel savings account at Chase
(x) Call Aetna and holler
(x) Go feed hissy cat and bunnies
() Study Chapter 6 in GRE
(x) Update blogs
() Finish Driver's Ed renewal course!!!!

Thursday's Plans
() Watch Lost Big Grin
() Update blogs
() Finish Driver's Ed renewal course!!!!!
() Study Chapter 6 in GRE
() Send in application to place mentioned by Chase bank lady

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ETA - When I got home today from taking care of the fur babies, I found out that my freezer door hadn't properly shut. So, I don't know how long it had been like that, but there was starting to be some drippage.

None of the food is meat - it appears that all the frozen fruits have turned to mush. Do you think my frozen burritos (bean and cheese and rice) and my frozen veggie lasganas will be okay to eat still?

I can't believe I did that!

Say What?!

March 17th, 2009 at 06:16 pm

When I got home tonight and checked my mail, I had a bill from a lab. It said that the insurance company had denied the claim because I wasn't covered on the date of service.

WHAT?!!! I was told I'd be fully covered through Feb. 28, and after that I'd have to go with Cobra. The lab work was done on Feb 19.

I will have to call Aetna tomorrow and find out what the eck is going on!

The lab bill itself isn't horrible - $104 - but if that wasn't covered, then probably the doctor's visit wasn't, nor my medication refil -- that all would add up.

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I hadn't realized how long and involved Chapter 5 of my math book was. I worked fairly steadily on it today for about two hours, and still haven't quite finished it. The last section is on Algebraic Fractions (+,-,x,/).

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I applied to a number of postings on Craigslist today. It was weird though, one of the listings I'd found last night and had left up to apply to in the morning, had been removed. I guess they found someone between late yesterday afternoon and early this morning? It had every appearance of a legitimate ad. Oh well.

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Tomorrow I have an interview at a place that does loan modifications and credit repair. They sent me three websites with info on their company.

I looked over all three websites - the first one is just a list of products, but the other two are for the Loan Modifications and Credit Repair. The Credit Repair site shows they are licensed and bonded in the state of Texas, but the Loan Modification one doesn't say anything about that.

I read an article on MSN yesterday about the Loan Modification places basically not being worth anything because they take your money up front, and then have little if any results to show for it.

So . . I am wanting to ask enough questions about how they operate their business to reassure myself that it is a legitimate business that is actually helping people. I'm just not sure of the best way to phrase my questions so that I don't come across as accusing them of something in case they ARE legitimate.

For instance: How does the loan modification process work? Do you take the money upfront, or upon successfully helping someone? What is the success rate?
How long has this business been operating? Has it gone under any other names? etc. ..

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Smile

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Tuesday Accomplishments;
() Cancel Chase savings account
(x) Cash paycheck
() exercise
(x) Check Craigslist
(x) Update blogs
() Study Chp 6, 7 GRE Math
(x) Gym from 3 - 7

Wednesday Plans
() Interview at 10:30
() Cancel savings account at Chase
() Call Aetna and holler
() Go feed hissy cat and bunnies
() Study Chapter 6 in GRE
() Update blogs
() Finish Driver's Ed renewal course!!!!

Getting Up Early

March 16th, 2009 at 06:34 pm

Due to the shift changes prompted by one of our staff members being asked to leave, I now have the early morning shift on Mondays.

It's amazing to me how fast a body gets used to NOT having to be up at the crack of dawn and how difficult it is to force that same body to rest the night before.

I had to go by the South gym to pick up the paychecks for the other two locations, so I even got to sleep in a few minutes more than I would have otherwise.

Even so, I was totally dead off my feet at the gym. Luckily, between 7 and 11 only 1 person came to workout. The other problem was that I was *cold*!

I hope I'm not coming down with something. Ugh!

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I stopped by my apartment management's office today and signed a 6-month lease. I also found out that I could rent the smallest two-bedroom for $750/mo including utilities. So, I think I will spend the next few months looking for a roommate that I can live with to split the rent. Even if it goes up a bit, it'll still be less than $400/mo which would save me at least $265/mo. The biggest issue I still have to wrestle with is if I can give up my privacy.

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I did manage to get in a few hours of studying my GRE math. I'm working on Chapter 5 of 14. So, if I concentrate on two chapters a day, I should have throughly gone through all the chapters by Sunday. Then I can take the practice exams, and review what I missed. Then on to the rest of the test. Big Grin

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I spent way too much time this afternoon working on my Storytime For Children blog. I think though that I like how it is coming along. If you'd like to check it out and let me know what you think -- especially about the header and color scheme -- check my side panel in a few minutes for a link to it.

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Tuesday Plans:

() Cancel Chase savings account
() Cash paycheck
() exercise
() Check Craigslist
() Update blogs
() Study Chp 6, 7 GRE Math
() Gym from 3 - 7

Good Friends post 2

March 15th, 2009 at 03:37 pm

My friend T and her husband are going on a 12 day cruise tomorrow - her husband won it as a prize for being the top salesman for quarter 4 at my former company.

Their two children are on their way to their grandparents, but they have a cat and rabbits at home. I've been asked to stop by and feed/care for them 3 times while they're gone - which I readily agreed to do.

I would have done it for free - but they insisted on paying me. So, I said, ok, let's say a tank of gas. Before I left today, they gave me enough money for at least FIVE tanks of gas! And they wouldn't hear otherwise.

I kind of feel guilty accepting that much money just for taking care of their furbabies 3 times. It is a 30 minute drive one-way with good traffic - but they've done so much for me over the years, it doesn't feel right accepting anything for it.

God has truly blessed me.

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It looks like I have another interview this Wednesday. That outfit that had over 700 responses to their post responded to my followup response. It would be a full time position, M - F, paying 10 - 12/hr with benefits. It sounds like it is a place helping people modify their mortgages - so probably something pretty stable even in a bad economy.

I would however, have to limit myself to just one or maybe two classes per term, so that means it may take an extra year to finish. But again, if I want it badly enough, it's worth it.

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I have 15 days until I take my GRE and I have not been focusing very well at all. I need to really hunker down for the next 9 days and focus on studying the Math, and then I'll spend 4 days on the writing, and the last few days focus on a general overview and taking practice tests.

I was talking to my dad last night, and he offered to pay for my hotel stay after the test is over. I probably need to make a reservation now rather than later. My test is at 1:00, so I may drive there in the morning, leaving around 7 a.m. in case I get lost.

Nevermind then

March 15th, 2009 at 10:22 am

OhhKkkaay... Just got a call from E. Looks like I won't be getting more hours - just had my shift changed all around and getting basically the same amount of hours as before. So . . the job hunt continues.

Speaking of the job hunt. I got an email from one of the job postings on Craigslist. They said they'd had over 700 responses for the 6 positions they're offering. This is so much fun.

Tomorrow I get to make another claim on unemployment. I wonder when I'll actually see any money from it - if ever?