January 2009 archive
I love checking out my stats on the wordpress dashboard. It’s really eye opening! My random little post on nineties music got my most views ever. And I like seeing the different searches that people are using and getting to my blog from. Up till now, my faves were “can’t wear my contacts” and “flatmates won’t take out bin.” I think that’s hilarious. Really, seriously, do people google phrases like that?
But I think the current top search is more telling than funny. “is it easy to find jobs after graduation in Auckland?”
Well, I don’t know. Not too much different than any other city, I’d imagine. But of course it’s impossible to say, too much depends on your field and your contacts and experience.
I’m incredibly lucky I think, to have the job I do, a fairly professional, respectable job for my age. I’d never have had some of the opportunities I’ve had otherwise. I think it’s also given me the confidence I need in other areas of my life, and probably helped me decide to accept that freelance writing last year (some of which I haven’t been paid for yet!).
I’ll be graduating next year, one of the few in my group to do so. I’ll be out earning, out in the workforce before almost everyone else. Now I’m finding it a little scary after meeting a intern here who’s just finished her degree in journalism. What do we do after it all, where do we go? What if it’s not all it’s cracked up to be?
I have a few friends who’ve graduated now. I don’t think they are necessarily totally prepared for the real world, or at least the working world. Even at the best of times it’s not easy being a fresh grad with no experience, even more so if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. I mean, it could lead you into a number of areas, but at the same time you may think ‘no that’s not quite right’ and end up looking forever and do nothing at all.
Even at the best of times, you have to apply to tens or hundreds of roles, far and wide, as many as you can. Because you’re only going to hear back from a very small percentage of them. And go further, to interviews and second interviews, to even less. And today, well, things are really tough – there are way too many people out there and even fewer jobs. No wonder people are going back to school for another year or two.
My point is, even during the good times you have to work and work and wait to score yourself a job. It’s really about the numbers. Applying to three or four positions won’t get you anywhere. And you need to be so well prepared for interviews, you’ve got to prep, dress the part, act the part, practice answers and anticipate questions. Otherwise you have no chance at all. And that’s something I don’t think everyone understands. They think they’ll just waltz in somewhere, impress the pants of the bosses and be offered a job. Or they’ve had fairly low level studenty jobs and don’t understand the processes of applying for professional roles. Or even worse, their tutors and lecturers assure them they’ll get jobs after graduation, and companies will be coming TO THEM!
I think that’s just plain irresponsible. How can you say that to your students? The economy’s tanked, you have way too many engineering and business students, you have no way of knowing what the market will be like when they graduate. And certainly companies will not be chasing them. Maybe the very best, that’s true. But telling EVERYONE to not worry, well, that’s just encouraging laziness and a false sense of security. I’m not jealous of my friends who are constantly reassured. I just don’t believe it, and I hope they don’t either. You’ve got to do the hard work yourself.
Tags: career, life, work
I’m not a big breakfast kind of person. I eat cereal for breakfast. Sometimes toast. Occasionally pancakes on the weekend, if someone feels kindly inclined.
But I think me and BF may make breakfast out more of a regular thing. I would call it brunch, but with my weird newfound ability to function on less sleep, I’m actually up at what I used to call an indecent hour on a weekend morning – so breakfast really does fall before 10, and can be classed as such.
I don’t usually find breakfasts out anything spectacular – we haven’t been to many places yet, only a couple – and reckon we could do just as well at home. But I want to actually enjoy my life, and breakfast out is just a fun thing to do. Having someone else cook, and bring it to you – there’s nothing I hate more than standing over a hot stove cooking greasy food and having oil spit in your face – and just relaxing with a newspaper and conversation is really, really nice. Plus starting the day off with a real meal keeps me going for aaaages…past lunchtime for sure!
I have to admit, I really hate receiving mail.
It rarely, if ever, brings good news.
Some are perfectly innocuous and harmless, if a little annoying. Letters from my MP, trying to reach out to his ethnic electorate. Offers from DTR, hoping to suck me into an HP.
Bank statements, insurance invoices, and other money-demanding correspondence. BF was foolish enough to take some people somewhere last year – IN THEIR POS CAR, driving four people because ALL OF THEM HAD LOST THEIR LICENCES.
They got pulled over, he got the fine for carrying passengers, and for one of their car lights being broken.
It would have been nice if they paid for both tickets, seeing as he was doing them a favour. Not that they are. In fact, it’s doubtful they’ll even pay for the fine for the broken light.
Yesterday he was done for driving around another friend who has no licence.
He has three months till getting his full, so I have begged him to please NOT drive anyone else around. Just because almost all his friends are dumbasses who’ve lost their licences, is no reason for him to lose his too (not to mention the heinous fines).
ANYWAY. Yesterday I got my fees invoice. Uni fees this year are over $5100!!! First year, around 3900. Last year, $4200. So this is almost a grand more….
All of my papers have outrageously high fees – I’m not really sure why. Instead of being under $600 each, some are $700 and $800. Hopefully my scholarship will cover it all – they should. Speaking of which, I must ring them and see what to do next.
I’ll probably have to pay almost a grand out of pocket, for other costs and materials and the student association fees.
Plus I plan to get contents insurance, and get a laptop and camera. I’ll be getting some money from mystery shopping, overtime and my first story assignment at work – which I haven’t even touched on yet! And if I ever get paid my $400 from December’s articles, that will cover the techy stuff.
I’m glad this is my last year of studying. I can’t imagine how fast fees are going to increase from here on now.
Tags: money, uni
I’ve missed my blog. I really have. But until I get a new laptop, hopefully within a couple of weeks, posts shall be sporadic, unfortunately. Things are pretty busy; I’ve got my first writing assignment and don’t want to botch it up. It’s pretty scary, ringing up people you see on TV or read in mags and actually speaking to them. It’s gone pretty well so far…only one person refused to speak to me, pity really, if I was the type to have celeb crushes i would totally be into him. I’ve learned even if you don’t have a specific question, no matter how vague the brief is, FORMULATE one! It was pretty embarrassing to be caught out. I mean, it doesn’t matter too much, you just need something to kick it off with, a starting point, a catalyst. But I’m learning early and I feel really lucky to be building up my contact list this way.
Anywayyyyyy, back to television! I really don’t get the kids off My Super Sweet Sixteen. Don’t get me wrong, I hate, loathe, despise that show with every fibre of my being. As per all of C4′s reality shows. Unfortunately sometimes I’m too bloody lazy to walk to the set to change channels when the bed swallows our remote. I especially don’t understand the girls who feel this need to make a huge showy entrance, and decide they’re going to perform some really elaborate dance and impress all of their friends. They spend all their time worrying sick about it, whether they’ll mess up, etc – that’s no way to ejoy your birthday! It’s frickin ridiculous. As is changing into five different outfits throughout the night. You are not a presenter at the Oscars. And even then, that’s barely an excuse is it?
And Trading Spouses is back. Watching it really reinforced just how there really is no such thing as a normal family. We all have our own quirks and ways of doing things. And in the privacy of our home well who’s there to judge? Like me – I’m such a homebody, over my long weekend I spent time doing thigns around the house, going on runs, sorting out old photos and organising old papers. I threw out a ton of old tax refund records, read through all the letters BF wrote from the army, and chucked out some hideous photos dating back to 2000. And i loved it! My home really is my haven.
We were offered to housesit. but I’m not super keen. I just thin it would feel weird. Not my bed, not my house…I wouldn’t feel comfortable. Obviously if it was a mansion with spa hot tub and fully stocked kitchen, I’d be jumping at the chance…but it’s nowhere special, so the only thing would be getting away to a slight change of scenery.
Tags: media, television
to hear back from the cops.
After Monday evening’s revelations, we called the burglary department and updated them. The officer was like “so what number is that house?” I never go left of our house (it’s where the street turns ghetto and unsafe. I prefer not to even look in that direction. Especially when those hoodlums are around). Kicked myself and popped outside to check, then called back. Don’t know what happened during that three minutes, but they didn’t pick up, and I left a message.
BF kept calling them during the day; apparently our officer was out, but she had “got our message”.
Left another message this morning. Trail is probably cold by now.
I plan to call the CAB and Community Law today and see exactly what we can expect, what the cops are obliged to do and what their powers are now. I mean, we KNOW those kids did it. They know WE know. And I don’t expect to see my stuff again but we have to live near them, and I refuse to send the message that they can rob the house across the street, flaunt it, and get away absolutely scot free. Surely the police have to follow up. Whether it’s just questioning, or searching the place, and finding nothing, whatever, they should be doing SOMETHING.
Tags: crime, police
Just as I was feeling better; it’s just stuff we’ve lost after all, life will go on. So on Monday I realised that my cameras were also missing. My crappy digital (no big loss, I wanted a new one at some point anyway) and my film SLR (well, my photography days are probably over, and as much as I loved my Minolta film SLRs aren’t worth jack these days).
Yesterday the little homies came out for the first time since Sat afternoon. The hoodlums were hanging around across the street as they do. Strutting around. Wearing my camera case slung across one of their shoulders. We watched them for awhile, squinting through the blinds. I have terrible eyes even with my contacts in, but it’s a very distinctive case. It’s a big bulky pouch with shoulder strap. Black and spewy-grey with the top folded over and a buckle. Inside it has two compartments, the larger on the left and the smaller on the right for my USB cable and batteries.
Honestly, we couldn’t believe it. How freaking stupid! That’s not brazen, it’s just foolish. Even I would know better than to parade around stuff I’d just stolen in front of the house I stole from. BF and flatmate went out to speak to them. They squealed “What did we do!” the second they spotted them and ran into their house. Yeah…
An innocent person wouldn’t run. And what exactly was it they “didn’t do”? Oh, and their mother came out to yell “Leave them alone, they didn’t do it”. Yeah…
I think they gathered all their cronies together down on the corner later. And sent their dog over to bark at us on our driveway. Unfortunately it was after hours for dog control services by then.
It was sort a stand off, we hung out at home, they didn’t come back out. We plotted fun ways to sort them out, like explosives on their roof (it’s low down and easily accessible from the walkway next to it), sniping them with our hunting rifle, or bow and arrow, etc.
Rung cops back to inform them we’d seen them with our property. Not sure what next. Haven’t heard back.
Wow, it’s like a gang war! I really could do without these dramas in my life.
Tags: crime, neighbours, theft
I worry for the future of journalism. I imagine it dying out for real before long. So many journos are making the move to PR after just a few years, for the hours, pay, glam and perks. The older generation – the experienced feature writers, investigative reporters, editors, subs – will be retiring soon, and who’s going to take their place?
The thing about communications as a degree is its specialization. It’s tightly, narrowly focused. There isn’t much room to broaden your knowledge base. It seems to me that it’s better to do undergrad and do a bit of everything, whatever interests you – biz, science, politics, history, sociology – and then the post grad in journalism. It also sets you up for a particular round, if you have knowledge and experience in a particular area.
Us comms grads aren’t going to have the wisdom of the older journos, and who’s going to guide us?
Our house got broken into on Saturday night.
I no longer have a laptop. That’s all they took though, that and a set of keys that were on the couch just outside our room.
I’m totally unimpressed. I’m no right winger but I do believe in hard work and earning your way. I’ve worked hard to get where I am, I work hard to get the things I have (what few there are…). So in my mind it’s really not on to steal from others. If you want something that bad, get out there and work for it yourself!
Yet I was pretty calm. And I haven’t been too upset really, surprisingly…just kinda resigned. Brings me right back to my first ever flat where my phone was stolen the first night there. I just feel really violated by the whole thing. I mean, someone’s been in my room. Looked at my stuff. Taken something of mine. BEEN IN MY FREAKING BEDROOM WITHOUT ME KNOWING AND NOT BENG THERE!
Phew. Anyway, have moved my guitar and amp out of the house. We also had BF’s lil bro’s PS3 but in a diff room. Thank god. I am so relieved that wasn’t taken, because imagine if it had…it was brand new and we could not afford to replace it.
It’s rare that we’re all out at once. During the week, sure, but during the weekend normally at least one person is home most of the time. But all of us were out Saturday night. Got home at nearly 3, went into my room, noticed the conspicuous absence of my laptop on my desk.
But aside from that, we don’t actually have that much of value! Which I guess is good. I just can’t believe how dumb they were. They didn’t take our new DVD player, while the box was out on the floor. As was the PS3 box, but they obviously didn’t go and look for it. Our gain.
Pretty gutted we’re not insured. I was all set to get contents insurance back in November – had got three different quotes and everything. Then BF more or less got laid off. That fell down the list of priorities like a rock. Gonna get onto that real soon though. Still, it was just the laptop, so would have had to pay my excess anyway. I plan to get a cheapie this time, probably $600 or so (not much more than an excess woulda been!) Also, doubt they would have paid out given that our windows don’t work properly. And that’s how they would have gotten in.
We told the landlord we want those windows fixed up so they shut and lock. Tightass didn’t want to pay for new locks, “not his fault”. Well of course, it’s not ours either! But these guys got in and took my computer and flatmate’s keys because our windows don’t work, and that IS your responsibility. Whatever, we’ll pay for the new lock if he sorts the windows and gets the alarm going.
Worst of all we pretty much know who it was. Let’s hark back to my entry about how we live in the ghetto. I understand life is not easy for some. That’s doesn’t give you the right to be a little shit. And their parents need to take some freaking responsibility. There are three little hoodrats (BF’s awesome word, I use gangster/hoodlum) who recently have taken to hanging around our street. Mainly outside the house diagonally opposite ours. One of them lives there and the others live down by the corner/around the corner. They loiter, drink, glower at people, and sometimes yell out things. Last Sunday I’m pretty sure they were saying something to us as we pulled in home but we ignored them. And as we all left on Saturday night they also called out something (something genius like “what you looking at?”) One of them goes around with a bandanna over his face. Yeah, I know. And we haven’t seen them loitering outside since Saturday night. Coincidence?
Tags: crime, theft
Yes I was a nineties child (although you couldn’t really tell it at the time, so deprived and removed from general pop culture was I!)
C4 had a great countdown the other day…actually they had quite a few good ones, 90s one hit wonders, 90s best of, 10 years of the Big Day Out… I still know all the words to that one Billie Piper song! And god I hated Limp Bizkit, but now I can look back fondly on them and actually headbang along to them…
So in honour of that great decade, here’s my Hot and Not list of nineties music!
S Club 7 (have to put them in there – I even had a mad fan site devoted to them, with the coolest – relatively speaking, bearing in mind this was 8 years ago – nav bar, whose CSS I ripped off someone else’s page)
Worst but still freaking fantastic
Alice in Chains
I think something is really wrong in my head. I’ve been missing things at work, and I don’ t know how or why. I was positive I’d done all the horoscopes last week, but someone complained they hadn’t been updated since Friday and voiced their strong ‘disappointment’. People are very vocal about these things. Horoscopes, and puzzles. If Sudoku’s not up there is an instant outrage and floods of emails – I reckon they wouldn’t care half as much if there was no fresh news in the morning, as long as they have their precious Sudoku! I live in fear of those, of accidentally messing up a going-live date or mixing up days.
I also loaded up a 100 best books feature, and somehow missed about 30. That was like 4 pages worth! I don’t know how on earth I overlooked them. When I went back, well I just couldn’t work out what I’d done. I must have been really preoccupied that day. To make things worse, by then the story was no longer in the system ANYWHERE…it was a week too old by the looks of it. I had to type up the rest of the article by hand. That was a lot of lines. Thankfully it was dead quiet and I was glad to have something to do, line by painstaking line.
For the past two days I’ve also had a really bad pain all up through my right side, like I’ve strained something. It starts up in my butt and goes down to my feet and makes me hobble like a hobbly hobbit, cause I can’t walk normally on it (hurts too much). So I tend to hold on as long as I can to minimise limping trips to the bathroom, or to get water from the kitchen.
On the bright side, I managed to wear my contacts ALL DAY yesterday! Woohoooo!!!! They got dry quite fast – which I put down to our wonky AC – it’s alternately noisy and freezing, or silent and completely non functional. Why they can’t maintain some kind of consistency is beyond me. Hopefully the worst of the pollen is past us, cause I loved having my contacts in, and even if I can wear them half the time then I’m happy with that.
Tags: contacts, work