February 2009 archive
You know, I may only be twenty but by gosh I feel SO much older right now.
Must be grand to be living the quintessential uni experience.
What does BF’s future hold? He’s young, he still doesn’t know what he wants to do. Make money, yeah. Do something he’s good at and doesn’t hate.
He could go back and study something like accounting or IT. He could call Skills4Work back up and take up an apprenticeship and get qualified (hopefully would be accelerated given his experience thus far…but who knows if anyone is hiring now. He was, however, top of the list for that very reason before he pulled back a couple of months ago and don’t see why he wouldn’t still be). That’s a three year commitment. About half of what he’s used to making, but trade qualified by the end. He’ll still only be 23 by then.
We also noticed the Army advertising quite a few civilian officer roles. He called up the army line and spoke with them briefly. He would have to reenlist. We don’t know really what that involves; he’s done his training, will working in a civilian role mean they can move him around, uproot him? I’ll broach the subject with him tomorrow. It’s a big decision and not one to make lightly – you don’t just hop in and out of the defence force, you commit to it. He’s already left once, for a reason. It’s a whole lifestyle, though like I said we don’t know what it’s like outside of the soldier’s perspective. He was quite thoughtful after that phone call. I’d be scared, for sure. It’s now been exactly three years since he left for army basic, and two and a half since he returned and came back to normal life. But I guess that’s the hardest part, the training, and now it’s over and done with. And a career with the army is stable, bar the moving around.
What to do?
Tags: career, life, work
what a day it’s been.
FINALLY, got my restricted licence…passed the test with a lovely instructor, who DIDN’T make me do a three point turn, but did make me reverse round a curve (which I totally flunked) and parallel park at the end.
Far cry from the douche I had the first time, who belittled me, patronised me, and said my nervousness was NOT his problem and he couldn’t do anything about it. Fair enough, but he was the one who mentioned being nervous FIRST, why bring it up to make snide, pointless comments? He also (after telling me I wasn’t allowed to wear sunglasses) rudely asked if I minded him wearing his…refused to call out my name in the waiting room, like all the other instructors – obviously didn’t even want to attempt to pronounce a ‘foreign’ sounding name, and told me “you’re trying…you’re trying hard, and you’ve got some points, but we’ll see if you can keep them, if that’s enough to get through”.
Anywho, after that brilliant start to the morning, popped into Work and Income with the bf. Turns out, seeing as I’ll be receiving student allowance (a whopping $183) and making maybe $150ish from work a week, Bf is INELIGIBLE for any assistance. No unemployment. Doesn’t matter, he could have nothing saved, be starving on the street, nope – my $330ish will just have to sustain us! Doesn’t matter that rent alone is $205, and the rest will just cover food – no transport, bills, clothing, emergencies, savings, debt repayments. Doesn’t matter we’ve been paying taxes. Even if I quit my measly job (which I wouldn’t, it’s an amazing foot in the door) he STILL wouldn’t be able to get unemployment. I’m sensing some disparity with their definition of unemployed here…
What fucks me off most is that Studylink DO NOT recognise us as partners. It’s only a ‘relationship’ if you’re 24 or over (or 25?). Not so for WINZ. But wtf – they are both govt departments, why the different rules? Why such discrepancies? Get your shit together and get it straight, you can’t have it both ways. You need to align your policies. Obviously if he is to squeeze a cent out of them we’d have to break up or one of us move out and live separately. How fucked up is that?
How am I supposed to support us on student allowance and my paltry earnings? I pointed this out, politely, to the receptionist. She shrugged. Repeated that she couldn’t help. Stopping work would not help. Jesus fecking Christ. BF’s brother and sister get money every week for their children. And they won’t give him a bleeding dollar; nevermind that he has been out there WORKING, contributing to our economy, and has now been made redundant.
I read the other day that less that 800 people nationwide were receiving assistance under the ReStart package. I thought that was shockingly low. Not so, anymore. Not after this afternoon. And according to fellow Kiwis in strife on the TradeMe message boards, the unemployment figures are far higher than what’s been released.
I plan to be writing to Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett. This ‘policy’ is ridiculous.
Tags: bureaucracy, driving, economy, government, work
BF finally got laid off, officially. The letter was sent almost two weeks ago, but to our old address. We got it today.
I’m hoping we will quality for the Restart package. I don’t know if we would qualify as our rent is low so we might not be eligible for the full accommodation supplement.
He’s owed a little from his last day or two of contracting, but the guy has seemingly done a runner.
but we’ll see.
I know I’ve been wanting this, closure, but it’s a bit of a shock as well – we weren’t quite expecting it to be quite this bad. I mean of course this was a huge possiblity, but we both, I think, held in the back of our minds that this was something to fall back on. that he could go back there – once everything was smoothed out and the new year turned over, things would go back to normal. But they seem to have halved their staff.
The redundancy letter included two pay slips. the ‘one week’s notice paid out’ was holiday pay. They also started deducting his health insurance premiums from these, which they had been paying till now, and were supposed to; that’s the basic plan, where the employer pays the premium – FREE health insurance as they advertised it – too good to pass up!
I need to try my best to support BF. It’s going to be a stressful enough, and expensive enough final year. Thankfully, my shorthand class has been moved to Monday, so no more six hours straight on Wednesday.
Got to keep his spirits up, keep him motivated – don’t know how long it will take to find a job. I guess if nothing happens within a few months we should look at getting him into some sort of training. I have the Restart form and the extra help application form; just need to go get the unemployment one tomorrow.
I can’t support us on a student allowance. There’s only so many hours i can work. But neither do I want to set him back by taking a totally crap job, unless it comes down to it. It’s pretty poor timing for our generation I think; has there been a worse time to start out in life recently?
Well, unlike some we’re looking forward to turning 21 – we’ll be able to rent a car for road trips, find it easier to be considered for rental houses, hopefully lower insurance premiums, and generally get taken much more seriously in the real world.
Onwards and upwards (??)
Tags: economy, redundancy, work
For such a forward thinking country….America still pays unemployment benefits via CHEQUE?
Like, those slips of paper?
That take DAYS to clear?
ETA: Just remembered that people tend to pay rent monthly, and seem to send out physical “rent cheques”. Maybe not so preposterous after all. (But still seems a tad backward to me)
I’m sitting here looking at jobs for BF with that new TV show Missing Pieces on…that’s the one where they track down long lost relatives. Today they’ve found someone’s dad in Australia. With 17 years of child support owing, he’s not coming back to NZ anytime soon. But now they’ve interviewed him, shown his face on national TV….. what now? Will the IRD come after him? Can they made the producers divulge his whereabouts? Do they care enough, and can they touch him over there? I’m sure 17 years’ backlog is a crippling amount…
Tags: media, television
One of my favourite books.
I haven’t seen the movie, but like Twilight, I’ve heard terrible things about it, so I’m probably not going to bother.
I have to admit, reading through, that sometimes it does seem sort of glamorous. Getting immaculately dolled up, dazzling and entertaining men with wit, charm, grace and beauty, being admired and having someone who pays all your living expenses and more to spend time with you.
But it also seems like a really lonely existence. You work all day, every day. You always have to maintain a perfect facade. You’ve always got to be in control; you can’t be off game for even one night. And yet at the same time, you have very little control over your own destiny. As Mameha says, “We don’t become geisha because we want our lives to be satisfying. We become geisha because we have no other choice.”
And it’s so true. Getting sold to an okiya, incurring huge debts during training and not being able to pay it back for years, if you’re an adopted daughter, never seeing any of your own earnings, adhering to a strict hierarchy. Having to entertain rude, ignorant or downright disgusting men. The geisha can’t be truly successful without a wealthy danna to pay for her upkeep. And I struggle to comprehend the role of women in this world – at one point she quotes “When a man takes a mistress, he doesn’t divorce his wife.” Fine, fair enough. But how hard must it be for the wife? To know your husband is off with someone else, in the evenings, on weekends? At another point, they’re all at a party. The wife sees all the geisha out and gives them leaving presents. One of the geisha has “left early”, but really has gone to another wing of the house with the husband for the night. And the wife knows this.
What I thought worst of all was that when the war began, Sayuri had no one to turn to. She says that no one wants a geisha in need. Every geisha in Gion is turning to the men they know hoping for help, hoping to be rescued. None of them can survive of her own accord.
So while I love, love love the book, and I think it’s an amazing insight into a totally exotic world, it saddens me as well the more I read it. I know it’s not true. That’s something I had trouble believing – it sounded so realistic, and the “foreword” didn’t help. I just wanted to believe the beautiful ending, that she’d finally found happiness.
The prose is super flowery and super poetic. Some people probably think it’s too over the top. At times it’s a little irritating I guess, a little too extreme. But considering the culture, and Sayuri’s personality, I think it’s appropriate, and I’m totally amazed at Arthur Golden’s ability to build such a strong, convincing female voice.
Why, exactly, are the Oscars the pinnacle of the entertainment year? Why do we idolise actors so much? I would think that music is a far more universal thing. But it’s films we celebrate, American, English movies with the token nod to ‘foreign’ films.
I have no idea when/if the ceremony is screening on free tv here – I REALLY want to see the opening number (wanna see Hugh and Anne singing) but I’m sure it’s on YouTube by now.
Honestly though, the red carpet coverage made me cringe. There surely must be no worse job than being assigned to work the red carpet. To try and get the stars’ attention, yelling out their names, then asking them generic and inane questions…humiliating! Always looking out for the latest arrivals, trying to snag the biggest names and garner a few moments of their time. One of the worst moments I saw was an AP journo. She struggled to communicate with the Japanese actors from one of the foreign movies, and ended up telling them to speak into the mic in Japanese. Then, she asked one of the guys involved in Slumdog Millionaire to give a quick message in Hindi to “all the viewers around the world.” Uh, “I don’t speak Hindi,” the guy said.
But goddamn, were the Slumdog kid cast not the cutest little things ever? No human being should be that adorable. It’s criminal. I wanted to shrink them and keep them on my shelf. They were so humble, so excited, so energetic and ridiculously animated. They wanted to see Disneyland! They couldn’t believe they were here! How lucky they were! They loved acting, but first they had to concentrate on their studies!
Must see: Milk, Slumdog and The Reader.
Summer’s brought out my elephantine pores. The ones on my nose are especially heinous. And I officially now know what a blackhead is. Because I have them. By the truckload. ARGH!
Hereby, my skincare wish list:
Body Shop pore perfector
Cetaphil gentle cleanser – the HG for many people; I’m wary given that it actually contains sodium lauryl sulfate, but it’s fairly cheap and given all the success people have had with it, sure it’s worth a try!
Trilogy balancing gel cleanser
Neutrogena pore refining cream and extra gentle cleanser
St Ives apricot scrub
I have the most difficult skin imaginable. It’s super sensitive, so I am paranoid as hell about what I put on it. I don’t want to blow money on something that’s going to burn my poor cheeks. Hence, pretty much everything I use has somewhat natural ingredients, but my pore problems and blackhead bane is pushing me to look at trying other things for my T zone.
It’s also super oily. This varies from day to day, depending on the season and on the humidity (if it’s dry, my skin oils up to make up for the lack of moisture). I love my Body Shop powdered blotting papers. So I can’t really use dry/sensitive moisturizers, because they leave me shiny and looking like a grease pan. I want matte! But I also want moisture. It’s a paradox in the world of skincare. Right now I’m using Nivea Young mattifying moisturiser. It’s great – thick and nourishing but leaves me matte at promised. However, I’m starting to worry that it’s keeping my cheeks red and doing me no favours. I’m thinking of asking for a sample of the Body Shop seaweed matte day cream.
Third problem. I’m fairly sure I have mild rosacea. I get flushes like no one else. They flare up randomly, usually when I’m feeling nervous, self conscious or under pressure. I resemble a tomato after half a drink, and a beet after one. And in terms of day to day life, my cheeks and chin are always pink and fairly blotchy. I think a lot of the sensitivity is due to using harsh crap (Clean and Clear, I’m looking at you) when young. It’s much, much worse in extreme weather.
My skin is also really thin and delicate. And like I said, I have massive pores, at least during the summer. It’s mainly on my nose and cheeks, less so on my forehead.
I’m keen to revamp my whole skin routine. Right now I’m just using a cheap cleanser (Sukin, an organic line – used to use Body SHop Vit. E wash, but this is probably about as effective for half the price and far, far more natural), my Nivea for day and Body Shop aloe night cream. I occasionally use my Dr Hauschka calming mask, but to be honest I don’t think it does anything for me, apart from make me feel like I’m pampering my face.
Oh, to have an unlimited budget…
Tags: beauty, skin, skincare
BF’s project has ended; such is life as a contractor I suppose. Not holding out any hopes of going back to Old Company, although they are still paying his health insurance, the new manager V is somewhat of a dipshit and does not like BF. Rumours are he will soon be ousted. Honestly, the dramas of management at that place. it’s ridiculous. How many times can you possibly chop and change?
Hoping to get a hold of Boss of the co. where his project just finished. Apparently he really liked him; he just didn’t like the guy BF worked under/contracted under, or his work ethic, they didn’t get along, hence the sudden windup. BF will propose to be taken on as an employee. If he can get through to him, that is. Being the head honcho he hasn’t been at the workshop all week.
We have absolutely nothing this week…not helped by the fact that payroll managed to miss an entire day off my timesheet, and SL is still being deducted despite the fact that I’m pretty sure my balance is now zero or less. Have signed up to view balances in real time online, but now I’m waiting on my temporary verification code….
And yet,,,,we’re talking about the end of year! The plan is to go away for a week. Somewhere tropical and lovely. Fiji. Bali. Raro. I dunno, don’t care too much really – we’ll have to get our passports, sort flights, book accommodation…and of course save and save some more.I’m a bit worried. I’ve never travelled on my own (well obviously he’ll be with me, but the only international travel I ever did was with my parents, YEARS ago) and don’t really know how to go about it. Particularly all the trip details. I definitely don’t want to pay a travel agent, but maybe we should have a chat to one at some point. I’m worried about finding a place to stay, getting from the airport to wherever, etc. I’m still signed up to all my travel newsletters, so I’m getting those every week and I can start paying attention to them later in the year.
Gotta have something to look forward to!
Tags: travel, work
My HG self tan; pity bout the price tag, (goes for around ($35) but this was a freebie, and should last me an age! Also have the sunscreen – it’s super dry but seems to be super potent.
LOOOOVE this self tanning lotion. It smells divine, a sort of tropical coconutty goodness, and contains aloe vera. Builds a nice even golden colour, it’s not too dark and looks really natural.
Tags: beauty, skincare