Wednesday, July 22, 2009

That thing I haven't talked about before

I decided to break up what was going to be the previous post into a few posts. This is about something I've never talked about before here. I volunteer on a website ( as a moderator. I love it. It's great.

The purpose of the website is asking questions and answering questions. But we aren't Yahoo! Answers or anything. The questions and responses are held to standards outlined in a set of guidelines. The guidelines are a living document, which is part of what I like. There is a lot of judgment the moderators have to use to decide what to do. And even once we make that call, if another mod disagrees, we hash it out in email. It's cool. Everyone in charge cares about the site. And so do most of the members.

This is me on the site:

My profile on Fluther

I'll work on getting it to actually show the nifty new badge later, but for now, that's me. I've been a member of the site for almost a year now and a moderator for a few months. I kind of want to talk about the whole process of becoming a moderator -- the emotional process -- especially as it came just when I was being fired from my real job, but I don't think now it *quite* the time yet.


Moving, working, and something I haven't talked about before

Well, when last I wrote you I was busily trying to put together my life. Swiftly. Since then, I've got a lot to talk about.

Finding a House.

The first task of any moving adventure is to find a home dwelling. It doesn't have to be glamorous. It just has to exist. Sometimes there are steps to that. In this case, I found roommates. Quickly. Wonderfully. And through them, we found a fabulous apartment that a friend of theirs ran. It was a dreamhouse. Everything you could ever want and more in a place -- inexpensive, but with all sorts of luxuries. Wonderful. In fact, so wonderful that on the day we went to mail the security deposit, he signed a lease with someone else. After no communication beyond the previous notice that if we dropped a check in the mail (which we were doing) it was ours. Great.

We were two weeks away from moving, literally moving, and suddenly had no place. And the guy in charge was not returning our calls. Because there were two guys in charge -- a friend and the guy who screwed us, we wondered if perhaps the lease wasn't actually signed yet. He successfully avoided all communication until we decided we didn't actually care, we weren't putting up with him. And started the process of trying to find a place to move to in two weeks.

Househunts are stressful. Always. It's the nature of the beast. With a deadline like ours and the need to move in immediately, they become more so. Forunately, one of our group was in Pittsburgh already. She could go and look at houses. Less fortunately, ninety percent of all the listings that were in our range were absolutely horrible or scams. The other ten percent were not available for an entire month.

At the last moment -- really, the last moment -- a listing went up. Available immediately. Basically everything the previous place had minus one luxury I desperately desired (gas stove) but will have to live without (hmph). It was about the same as the previous place cost-wise. It was in a good location. Our agent saw it and like it. And just like that we were in a race to fill out applications and get a deposit in before the others (and there were quite a few others) who saw it did. But we won.

That was on Wednesday. On Friday we got the keys. I didn't actually know my move was "go!" until two days before it actually happened. Thank goodness rental reservations are very cancellable. Not that I needed to in the end.

It worked out okay, the place was great, but the extra stress... well. Get your security deposit in fast. Even if everyone assures you it's a done deal.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Pink Slip Party

I see Lu's been here in my absence, and it makes me a little sad that I have to read our shared blog to catch up on some of the details of her life.

So I've not posted since April, which is fitting considering that's when the year took a sharp turn downhill... well, that's not exactly true, June has been the culmination so far, but things are looking up. I think Lu and I can agree that 2009 started off as one of the worst years, but has immense potential for turnaround.

As Lu's ambitions turn more towards grad school, mine have by necessity been deferred another year. While accepted into my own prestigious programs, I did not receive funding. This would not normally be a problem, I would simply get more loans and go back to school in the fall.

But then I lost my job. There were some personal reasons for this unexpected occurrence, but I've come to the conclusion it was less about me and more about a number of situations going on at the clinic-- within one month all of the employees had either quit or were fired, with only one new hire. I had just gotten certified on performing ultrasounds when I was fired, so the rather pathetic "cause of termination" they gave me said less about me, and more about them.

I'm trying not to be bitter, because it remains the best job I've had to date, and I still feel very strongly about it. I still love the work I did, and would like to do again.

In the immediate aftermath of my firing, I do what many seem to do when faced with the impossible to comprehend-- I fled back to my parents. The timing happened to coincide with a trip to San Antonio to see one of my sisters for the last time before she re-deploys to Iraq, so on the whole I cannot complain about being given the opportunity to see her one last time for well over a year. Had I kept my job, I would not have been granted that chance, and she is the sister I look up to the most.

A fourteen-hour solitary drive also allows for a lot of thinking, and spending that time in motion, ruminating, helps you to let go of a lot of things. The depression and shock that set in Fired Tuesday were gone by Long-Drive Thursday night, San Antonio was wonderful, and I got to re-evaluate my options. I had been planning on leaving this town in mid-July (I'd given notice already when I was fired), but now I felt like I was being forced out. And while I may run away short term, I do not take well to being told what to do in such an abrupt fashion.

I had such high expectations for this year, so to have the first half be so thoroughly rubbish was disheartening. But I realized while driving that humans are essentially a rootless, mobile type of creature. So because I had no claims on my time but a rain-checked date, I detoured to New Orleans and remembered something long forgotten-- I am young. I am flexible. And there is no better time than now to move to one of my favorite cities.

Every other option had become stifling-- I have too many bills and memories in this town to be fully happy here again. I cannot run home to my parents, though it would eliminate a number of bills. I cannot couch surf at friends' homes until I get my proverbial shit together. I could not bear the thought of going into so much more debt for grad school, when my original intention was to incur no more debt. So I'm going to defer my enrollment for a year, and this September I'll be moving to the Big Easy, getting an apartment with some dear friends from whom I have been absent for far too long.

I feel like my grammar here is fractured, but at least you've received an Eli update. Also I have the excuse of lortabs-- I had never taken pain medication before, but I injured myself pretty painfully in a roller derby accident night before last, and the kind doctor at the urgent care center had me disinfected and bandaged properly, and dismissed with a prescription to take the 7.5-8/10 pain down to a relatively mild 4. This experience has made me re-calibrate my pain scale-- I generally have a pretty high tolerance, and while I did not cry at any point during or after my attempt to absorb asphalt through my, well, ass, I did hit a pretty solid 9 when a friend attempted to clean it.

The pain was enough to make me uncertain as to whether or not I was actually sexually assaulted by said friend, or if the incident was a fabrication of my pain-riddled struggling-to-awaken mind. But if I think too much about that right now I'll be wracked with nausea, which is to be avoided.

There will be more posting soon, because I have much to discuss: public assistance, the short-term job search, BDSM, and more. I'll get on that as soon as I get more sleep and am less high-as-a-kite. The pain is still too much to actually remain sleeping, unfortunately, as I am one of those women who cannot sleep on her stomach.