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Chicago

11 Nov

I’m in Chicago for the weekend. Tonight, we’re going to Coyote Logistics to discuss some business systems, then tomorrow volunteering at H.O.M.E. and REST.

H.O.M.E. helps low-income seniors in Chicago maintain their independence by providing services such as home maintenance and repair, shopping transportation for those with limited mobility, or just about anything that is essential to their well being – for free.

REST serves the homeless population by providing permanent and emergency housing, as well as education in developing life and employment skills. These people are those in the most dire need, and often do not have a warm place to stay on cold nights. The first snow happened just before the weekend we will be serving these people, so I assume the shelter we will be working on will be packed, and it will not be difficult to fill every space.

Sunday, I’ll post my reflections on this weekend and how everything goes. I’m sure it will be an enlightening experience.

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I Have No Idea What to Blog About

11 Nov

Except for how much I HATE this ad. Why does she want to EAT HER CHILDREN?? Why does she regret NOT eating her children? Why does this ad promote CANNIBALISM???

Cop-out post

9 Nov

I’m sick. And very tired. And contemplating a nap. So, this is a cop-out. It’s still a post.

NaNoWriMo

1 Nov

Happy November! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Dia de los Muertos!

Anyway, today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month, in which people all over the world (don’t ask why it’s “national” if it’s worldwide. I guess WoWiNoWriMo doesn’t sound as good?) write at least 50,000 worlds in a month. It sounds simple, about 1666 words a day, every day, in the month of November. The website has some tools, like a word count chart, where you can track your daily progress (like, if you go under or over your 1666 words a day, it recalculates how many words you have to write the rest of the days) and some forums where you can talk to other people participating in NaNoWriMo.

This is my second year attempting 50,000 words. I started at 12 last night and I’m 1,612 words into my novel. I actually think this is further than I got in the whole month last year. It helps that this year, I’m following @NaNoWriMo and @NaNoWordSprints on twitter, getting inspiration from that, and I’ve been planning this novel for… well, years. I hope to finish, and I hope to edit it in December. I hope to submit it for publication soon.

I’ll talk more about my NaNo novel later this month, and keep you updated on how things are going.

What are you writing? Are you participating in NaNo?

Swagbucks

25 Oct

A few months ago, my friend Mike introduced me to Swagbucks. Basically, you sign up, search (like google), play games, watch videos, whatever, and earn points. These points allow you to buy things like gift cards, electronics, jewelery, makeup, games, just about anything.

Also, you get points for referring people, so I’m about to make my shameless referral. It doesn’t cost you any money (unless you buy things, which will just get you more points), so click below and sign up!

Did you sign up? Did ya? Did ya did ya did ya?

Bucket List

21 Oct

Yesterday, I mentioned that blogging for 30 days was on my bucket list, so I thought I should share my whole list (Including the ones that have been crossed off). This isn’t my first bucket list, and it doesn’t include everything from my old bucket list, but this one is much more mature than what I made in high school.

Here goes:

  1. Buy a house
  2. Finish writing a book
  3. Blog every day for a month
  4. Own a DSLR
  5. Have kids
  6. Take a cooking class
  7. Take a photography class (not the one in high school)
  8. Publish a book
  9. Make mac and cheese from scratch
  10. Earn money blogging
  11. Build the dream house
  12. Sell something on Etsy
  13. Visit Australia
  14. Visit England
  15. Travel Europe
  16. Visit Japan
  17. Visit the Czech Republic
  18. Visit Germany
  19. Learn German
  20. Take part in NaNoRiMo
  21. Read Pride and Prejudice
  22. Take a hot air balloon ride
  23. Model in a runway show
  24. Own a beach house
  25. Travel all 50 states
  26. Go snowboarding
  27. Learn to surf
  28. Be on minute to win it
  29. Be in a magazine
  30. Take a bartending class
  31. Run a 5k
  32. Walk a 10k
  33. Run a 10k
  34. Start a scholarship program
  35. Camp on the beach
  36. Go base jumping
  37. Be self-employed
  38. Write an Android app
  39. Speak as a motivational speaker
  40. Build a Koi pond
  41. Go skydiving
  42. Go to Las Vegas
  43. Dance with Chris (Oct 1, 2011 at Andie and Jim’s wedding)
  44. Walk a 5k (Oct 15, 2011 at Kalamazoo Strides Against Breast Cancer)

Obviously, it’s more travel than anything else. When I double it, I’ll probably post again.

What’s on your bucket list? What should I add? Why am I still wasting time doing things like napping when I could be blogging? Why is Morgan Freeman SO awesome?

Home ownership

29 Aug

Recently, I’ve been trying to figure how long it’s going to take me to save up enough money to buy a house. I had it figured that between the job that I hope to return to in December, my gargantuan tax return, and my savings, I would be able to put a decent down payment on a starter home by May. Too bad I forgot one thing.

Student loans.

I had it all calculated in my head this morning, and I was beating myself up for taking out $70,000 in loans, thinking that I would NEVER be able to pay it all off! I thought I had done so well, saving about $10,000 by graduating a semester early. My tuition averages (with the hikes EVERY YEAR!) to about $20,000 a year (I started at $19,000 and now I’m at $22,000) and I ended up taking out loans for every penny. I thought.

Just a few minutes ago, I realized that a HUGE chunk of my tuition was paid by Pell grants. While it doesn’t bring me down to the average of $26,000, it still brings me down to (including this year) $50,000.

This is my biggest regret in life. I didn’t apply for any scholarships (even though I was eligible for some pretty big ones and could have gotten a few)  because I was lazy. I could have spent a few hours writing essays and getting money for college, but I didn’t. And now I’m going to pay the price. Granted, it’s $20,000 less than what I thought it would be, which is a load off my mind, but I’m going to be putting 100% of my taxes, and probably around 50% of my future salary towards my student loans for the next 6 years. That means that even if I can get a great job, I’m going to look for a second, weekend job to try to pay off my loans. That means that I won’t be able to visit Chris as much after I graduate because I’m going to be putting all of my money towards my loans. That means I won’t be able to buy a house for a year or two unless I figure out a ways to make my money work. And then I won’t be able to buy as big of a house as I’d like.

It’s kind of upsetting, looking back, but obviously that means that I’ll have to work even harder over the next few months, at my job at school, and making things to sell online, at promoting my online sales, and at coming up with cheap alternatives to food. I’ve been looking at great, simple recipes on startcooking.com, which are basic recipes for beginners.

Has anyone else been recently disappointed by your prospective situation? Is anyone preparing to graduate and realize that you royally screwed up? Anyone have any ideas of how I can make $50,000 quickly and morally? I didn’t think so.

Student debt picture found here