Bit of Ivory

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I will not get my hopes up, I will not get my hopes up. . .

April 13th, 2011 · No Comments

Hi guys. I haven’t posted for a while because, frankly, my life sucks and I don’t feel like writing about the various ways in which is does. But today I got some news on the job front, and it’s ridiculously exciting news, but it’s not a sure thing and I really, really, don’t want to jinx it either by getting my own hopes too high or getting yours too high. So I’m just going to say that I could really use your thoughts and prayers right now, because something I’ve been hoping for for almost two years now might actually become a reality and I want it so bad it hurts.

So thoughts and prayers would be appreciated. Greatly.

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How does my life suck? Let me count the ways. . .

September 16th, 2010 · No Comments

I just got let go from my job. They said they decided to go in another direction. Meaning they wanted to hire someone with a degree in accounting. They knew when they hired me that I didn’t have accounting experience. I’m kind of upset at how they handled this.

Anyway. They gave me 2 weeks of severance and said that I’d done a lot of good things for them. Whatever that means. I still have no job.

I don’t even know if I’ll qualify for unemployment again. Since I’ve been working part-time the last three months and only full time for 3 months before that. Or if I can reopen my previous claim, which I had almost run out of money on anyway.

And now I have yet another job of a year or less to explain away. And none of them were my fault. I hate this. I hate hate hate hate this.

Excuse me while I go wallow in the depths of despair for a while.

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Yes, I’m alive.

August 13th, 2010 · No Comments

I feel like such a blog failure. I used to be so good at it, taking the time to post an entry even when I didn’t really have the time. Now I’m overflowing with time, and I still don’t post. What is wrong with me?

So. New goal. Two posts a week. I can do that, I think. Yes.

Quick catch-up:

Life has still not returned back to normal following the deaths of my grandparents, because now we’re (well, my mom specifically, but how she spends her time directly influence how I spend mine :P) trying to clean out my grandparent’s house enough that we can get it on the market. Both my grandparents were collectors and packrats, so it’s taking a while. I have thus far inherited my grandmother’s sewing box, a Roseville vase (Grandma collected pottery), a duck (Grandpa loved them, especially decoy ducks), and possibly one of my grandma’s original paintings (she was actually quite talented, I think). Plus several small things I’d given them over the years, like hand-knitted slippers and stuffed dogs. I told my mom to keep the shawl I knitted for my grandma; I think she’ll enjoy it more, and it’ll eventually get back to me anyway.

It’s hard to think about them in the past tense.

My work cut me back to part-time for the summer (I really can’t blame them, as I usually only have about an hour’s worth of actual work to do on any given day, hence the plenty of time to write blog entries) which has thrust me back into the job search. Even if I go back to full time in September, which was hinted at, I simply can’t take the chance that they’re just going to do it again next summer. I’ve had a few interviews, several of which seemed promising, but none of which ended in offers. One more today. Not getting my hopes up.

The day of my grandma’s funeral, I had tickets to see Keane in Las Vegas (so did my sisters and two friends). My mom and her siblings felt bad that I had to rearrange my plans (the funeral had to be held that day due to some family drama), so they and my parents chipped in to fly us down after the funeral. They were going to pay for round-trip airfare, but I just couldn’t justify taking $900 out of my aunts’ and uncles’ and mom’s inheritance for the sake of three $35 concert tickets. But I also felt like my grandma would have wanted us to go, and would have offered the same deal. So we reached a compromise– we took a plane to Vegas, then my parents came and picked us up the next day. It was an awesome concert– general admission with no seats on the ground floor, and my friends had gotten there early enough to get really good spots only 4 rows back. By the time the concert ended, though, we’d moved up to the second row. Nothing like being mere feet from Tom Chaplin as he sings. When mom and dad came the next day, we stopped in Cedar City and took in a play at the Shakespearean Festival– Pride and Prejudice. It was excellent, and, I think, a good diversion for my mom (as was the whole weekend).

Two weeks later, I, my sister, and our friends Sarah and Carolyn met up with Susan and Pam for a real Shakefest experience. My next post will be a write up of the whole trip and the plays especially. I convinced my mom and dad to go back to see The 39 Steps, and we’re taking my Auntie Anna, my Aunt Jeanine and Uncle Steve, and my Grandma By with us. Next Friday night. I also offered to watch the kids so my married siblings and their spouses can see it too. Ben and Laura have already taken me up on the offer, and I think Ben and Amanda will do the same two weeks from today. It seriously is the funniest play I’ve ever seen.

I desperately need to clean my room and do a major stuff purge. Anyone have any recommendations for good books on organization?

I bought the Costco 24-hour Fitness prepaid 2-year membership at the end of June, but haven’t gone once. Such is the craziness that is my life.

I’m really trying to reign in my spending and actually live off an actual budget. So far I’ve done well for a few weeks and then not so well. I need a full-time job, gosh darnit. How else am I supposed to get ahead instead of just treading water?

Can’t wait for Mockingjay. :D

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My grandpa’s obituary

June 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Grandpa died peacefully on Saturday. Grandma is still not doing so hot; we’re hoping she makes it until Thursday.

Grandpa was kind and meek and loving; the very epitome of a Cute Old Guy. I can’t imagine life without him.

More later.

jay johnson

Jay O Johnson 1924-2010

Jay O Johnson, a native of Heber City, Utah, died on June 12, 2010 in his home in West Valley City, Utah, surrounded by his family. He was 85 years of age. Born July 16, 1924, he was the sixth child of Andrew Ralph Johnson and Sarah Luella (Cummings) Johnson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; by his sister, Atha; by his brothers, Fay and Rex; and by his son-in-law, Ray Lee. He is survived by his adoring wife, Theda A Carlile Johnson; by two sisters, Mae and Nona; by his children, Anna Lee; Jeanine Ehat (Stephen); Linda Bytheway (David); Kevin Johnson (Holly); and Mathew Carlile (Carrie); and by 17 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

He also is survived by a grateful nation. Called up to duty in World War II in June of 1943, he served as a tail gunner in a B-24, fighting with the 98th Bomb Group. Assigned to attack Hitler’s main source of fuel, the oil fields of Ploesti (in Rumania), his group flew out of Lecce, Italy, on missions of extraordinary danger. Outside of Berlin, Ploesti was the most fortified target in Europe. Flying in the tail turret of his group’s B-24, Jay’s life expectancy during combat was calculated at 18 seconds. He outlived that experience, though for the rest of his life he would carry a knee wound suffered during a direct hit on the turret by enemy fire. Jay would later be awarded the Purple Heart.

His darling Theda had waited for his return. Married in the Salt Lake Temple on October 24, 1945, theirs was the first wedding reception in Wasatch County after the War. Their love affair would continue for almost 65 years. Jay was the first mail carrier in Heber City, walking 15 miles a day and carrying up to 50 pounds of mail. Because of his knee injury, he transferred to the Salt Lake Valley, where he continued as a mail clerk and where he and Theda raised their young family.

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his whole life, Jay served faithfully in many callings. Jay leaves an example and legacy of love and devotion that his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will cherish and revere.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 17, 2010, at the meetinghouse of the Valley View Ward of the Salt Lake Hunter South Stake, 5180 West 4700 South, West Valley City, Utah. Viewings will occur there from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 and from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2010. Interment with military honors will be at the Heber City Cemetery in Heber City, Utah at about 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.

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Hey, look, a post!

April 28th, 2010 · 1 Comment

It’s a slow day at work today (two of the three CPAs I work for are on-site with clients this afternoon), so I decided to actually update this thing. Hi. Anyone still there?

I’m actually really glad it’s slow, because I was up until 2:30 last night reading The God of the Hive. Considering I started it at about, what, 10:15 PM (I had spent all day re-reading The Language of Bees, that’s not a bad read rate. :P I knew it was a stupid idea to even start on it, since the previous book was a cliffhanger, meaning it was highly unlikely there would be any lulls to allow me to get bored enough to fall asleep. My second mistake, of course, was taking it to bed with me, instead of being sensible and leaving it upstairs to await the morning. You’d think that after more than 25 years of being literate, I’d learn my lesson by now. Apparently not.

The book was very good, though, and worth the sleep-deprived hangover of today.

I read it on my nook, since it’s the end of the month and I’ve already overspent my book budget. I couldn’t *wait*, though, so I overspent it $9.99 for the ebook instead of $16 or so for the hardcover. I’ll buy the dead-tree version next month.

This whole sticking-to-a-budget thing has never been a strength of mine, so it’s not surprising that I’m overspending. Part of it is that with starting work again, I’m finally able to get necessities that I’ve been putting off while I was unemployed (like work-appropriate clothes that fit– 9 months of unemployment turned me from semi-lazy into super-lazy as far as physical activity is concerned), and the prospect of a nice paycheck twice a month has made me a bit, umm, giddy. But I’m determined to make it work, even if it is a work in progress. I’m trying to follow Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to becoming debt-free and financially responsible. My tax refund went toward my Baby Emergency Fund of $1000 and paying off one of my credit cards. If all goes as planned, I’ll be out of debt other than my student loan by the end of the year (maybe even sooner, if I can force myself to make lunches instead of eating out everyday– a problem for both my wallet and my waistline). At that point, I’m going to squirrel away money so that when I start library school (hopefully in fall of 2011) I won’t have to get any more loans to pay for it. The student loans will go into deferment, then I can pay off the loans when I have my MLS In my hot little hand.

I think I will have to go cash-only, though. My debit card is just too tempting.

My job is going well, now that I’m through with the craziness that was tax season. Note to self: mid-March is NOT a good time to start working for a CPA firm, especially when you essentially have to train yourself. We’re now into the much-calmer quarterly/payroll tax season, and I– yes, I– was able to compute and pay the firm’s payroll taxes. I’m so proud of myself.

I still have occasional moments of displacement, though, wondering how someone with an English MA and who hasn’t taken a math class since the age of 16 ended up working with all these numbers.

In order to keep my language skills from completely atrophying, and in an effort to make even more money to pay off my debt faster, I’m looking into doing some freelance editing in the evenings. If anyone has any leads for such a thing, do let me know, will you?

Loving Season/Series 5 of Doctor Who so far, although I still get a pang when I think about Ten. Eleven and Amy are awesomesauce, though, and Steven Moffat is still brilliant.

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One step forward, two steps back.

April 14th, 2010 · No Comments

Mere days after starting my new job, they took my grandpa to the hospital. Turns out his cirrhosis has finally resulted in full-on liver failure. It’s difficult to know exactly how long he has, but it’s not long. We’ve all been coping with the news as best we can, trying to be upbeat.

Today, my grandma, his wife, was diagnosed with extensive bone cancer.

I guess the bright side is that neither will have to live without the other for long? I don’t even know.

In the meantime, tomorrow’s the fifteenth of April, and work is therefore kicking my butt. At least I’m getting time and a half for the overtime.

And here I was hoping that 2010 would be better than 2009. Guess not.

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I can has job naow?

March 18th, 2010 · No Comments


Just got a job offer. And accepted it, of course. I’ll be working as a receptionist/general office guru for a small CPA firm (3 CPAs). Starting tomorrow. Same salary as I was making at my previous position. Benefits after 90 days. Must take crash course in Quickbooks (have taken general overview course, but have never used it in actual practice).


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Random Post of Randomness

January 14th, 2010 · No Comments

I love random entries, don’t you?

Today is my brother’s (and sister-in-law’s) 5th wedding anniversary. Which is both awesome and CRAZY. It’s gone so fast! We’re babysitting the girls while they go out to dinner. Right now there’s some intense negotiations going on as to whether we’re going to watch “Lulan” (Mulan), which Molly wants, or “The Doggie Show” (101 Dalmations), which Anna wants. Since Anna got to watch Snow White the last time they were here, I think Molly’s going to win. Which is okay with me, because when we watch Mulan Molly sings along. She doesn’t know what half the words mean, but she sings them anyway, and it’s SUPER ADORABLE.

I have a Grumpy plushie that I brought upstairs when we watched Snow White the other night, and Anna does NOT like it. She says it scares her. I told her that I’ll buy a Dopey next time we go to Disneyland. That made her happier.

Which is at the end of February. Our going to Disneyland, that is. The whole fam damnly, including my Grandma By, is going. We’re getting two timeshare units through my brother-in-law’s brother and spending 5 days in the parks. It will be the last use of the Annual Passports that my sister and I bought last March. 4 trips with them, not a bad deal. I’m super excited to share one of my favorite places with my favorite nieces and nephew. The girls meeting the princesses, Thomas meeting Mater and McQueen– it’s going to be so fun. And my dad’s coming, and I’ve wanted to get him on Soarin’ Over California since the minute I rode it. We’re driving down on Saturday, taking Sunday to let the kids recover from the trip, then heading to the parks for the week before driving back the next Saturday. Can’t wait.

I’ve recently been obsessed with sunflower seeds and guyere cheese. Not together, of course. :P Reduced salt sunflower seeds, still in the shells. Guyere cheese with nice crusty bread. Mmmm.

I’m taking a Wilton fondant and gumpaste class, mostly for my sister, who desperately wanted to take it and couldn’t unless two more people signed up so the class would carry. Tomorrow will be the first time that I actually work with the fondant, and I’m kind of excited. Also nervous, seeing as how I never took the basic Wilton class. :P

I’ve had my Nook since Dec. 23, and I am LOVING it. The first book I read on it was Pride and Prejudice, of course. Right now I’m working my way through Right Ho, Jeeves, which is, of course, hilarious. I’m loving all the free books I can get for it, and that it doesn’t cause eye strain, and just how gosh darn cool it is. I have named it Tom, and I’ll give House Points to whoever can tell me why. :P

I’ve been knitting a bit more lately, what with all this free time and all. I’m knitting some fingerless mitts for the Disneyland trip– we bought yarn for each of us ladies who are going and are making the same pattern. I’m doing mine right now, then will knit some for my grandma and mom (since they don’t knit). I also got some yarn to make mini versions for the litle girlies. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to make some for they guys and the little man, too. I’ve got yarn for Thomas already. I’m also planning on doing the Ravelympics– where you cast on for a project during the Olympics opening ceremonies, and cast of during the closing ceremonies. I’ve joined TeamUtah, and the team decided to knit only patterns by Utah designers. So that’s fun.

I also signed up for a mystery Knit-a-Long. The idea is that you sign up, buy yarn, and get a clue every couple of weeks. You knit the clue, then get the next clue, etc., etc., and at the end you have a gorgeous shawl! Except, of course, that you don’t know what you’re going to end up with before you start. This particular shawl is called “Evenstar,” and it’s based, of course, on LotR. I figured what better way to celebrate finishing my LotR thesis than knitting a LotR-themed shawl? With gorgeous silver silk laceweight yarn, of course.

I cleaned my room! Can you believe it? My carpet is, indeed, a cream color. I still need to do quite a bit of destashing and organizing, but Progress Is Being Made, which is always good. Next week I’m going to clean of my desk, so I can move it out of the room and set up the new desk I bought back in July. Which will make my mom happy, since the box with the desk in it has been taking up space in her fruit room since, you know, July. :P

Shows I’m loving currently: Leverage, Lark Rise to Candleford, The Mentalist, and NCIS. Last movie I saw in the theatres: Sherlock Holmes, which I adored and which I want to see again. Also rereading the whole HP series, and am on PoA. Love those books.

I am on Twitter and Facebook, if anyone’s interested. Facebook is my real name, Twitter username is same as on Live Journal.

Time for some sunflower seeds, as I’m currently out of guyere. :P

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It’s nervous time.

November 16th, 2009 · No Comments

My defense is at 12:00 on Friday.

I’m starting to freak out.

One hour of the defense is focused on the thesis, and considering how much time I’ve spent thinking about all the issues surround that blasted thing, I’m not too awfully scared about that part.

But the other hour is about my coursework. You know, those classes that I took anywhere from 3-5 years ago? Yeah.

I’ve been trying to review the literature I read, but there’s simply no way to do 3 years worth of courses in two weeks (especially when some of it consists of 1400-page out-of-print novels :P). So I’ll do the best I can, then cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Especially since I want to get my graduation present. :D

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Quick thesis update

November 4th, 2009 · No Comments

Sorry for the silence. I’ve been SUPER busy. You see. . .

I’ve finished my thesis!

At least, enough to schedule my defense. My chair is satisfied with it, and one of my readers thinks it’s “very good work,” which makes me want to dance, ’cause this is the professor whose class I failed way back when. Whew!

In any case, it now stands at 41 (and a bit) pages and 15,864 words. The defense is tentatively scheduled for November 20, but my chair hasn’t confirmed that he’s available yet. Unfortunately, that date is past the deadline for graduating in December, but as long as I finish everything, including getting the thesis submitted to the library, by December 18, I can still graduate in April without having to take any classes. It doesn’t mattert too much either way for me, since if I were to walk (which I haven’t decided if I’m doing it yet) I wouldn’t do that until April anyway. So it’s just whether my diploma says December or April. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

I’m almost done. I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me.

Now, to prepare for the defense!

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