So, you have probably noticed that I am not blogging that much. On the one hand this is because I have been busy and all kinds of activities are taking up my time, on the other it is because most of those activities are fairly routine and there’s nothing really interesting to blog about. With that said, I just want to talk a little about the kind of things I am currently doing. Like I said, I am a busy man, so there's quite a wall of text coming. You can find it all below the fold.
- Still searching for a job. I do not like to talk about it that much, since possible employer’s might find this blog and take something I say badly. Or they might see me talk enthusiastically about a job I am applying for and notice it’s not their job I am talking about. (Even though everyone knows that job applicants apply for several jobs at the same time, it is this thing that should never ever be openly discussed. It’s like knowing your parents have sex. You know it, they know it, but out of politeness you never discuss it around the dinner table).
The thing is, I like a lot of things. I could start working in environmental law just as easily as criminal law tomorrow. And I try to be enthusiastic in my application letters, and I really kind of am. Because I know that if I were to start working there, I would get completely obsessed with it, and would devote most of my time at the office as well as my free time getting better at the job. That’s just in my personality. But, I have been looking for a job for close to a year now. And it kind of breaks you. It is much easier to apply for jobs you have a potential of being excited about. I can understand why they want me to invest.
But I hope employers do realize how hard it is. Because every job I apply to, I try to visualize myself doing that job, working hard. I try to imagine myself happy working there, and very quickly find reasons why this would be my dream job. But if a rejection letter comes, that means I lost the chance to work at my dream job. I hope employers can understand why I do not like to have my heart broken several times a week.
- House work. Since I’m doing nothing, I am in charge of vacuuming, mopping the floors, doing laundry, ironing shirts, making dinner, doing groceries, dusting, cleaning the shower, cleaning the kitchen, loading and unloading the dishwasher and so on. It’s like thirty minutes of work a day, but, you know, procrastination.
- I finally found a job working in a bread factory. It looks like exciting work and I’m very eager to start doing things there. The hours will be varied and it will be difficult not seeing my boyfriend as much for a while, but it is worth it if we don’t have to worry about our finances for a while.
- Speaking of which, at least once a month I download the data from our bank accounts and do our finances. That is, I’ve made an Excell sheet that helps me organize the data. First I give every entry a description, such as “Food” or “Mortgage”. I tally up all our income and expenses to figure out how much was added or subtracted from our reserve. The figures are added to a graph, which means instant gratification for a number-freak like me. I also have a table where I predict future expenses and check whether everything has been paid. For instance, if our electricity bill has not been paid, I make a note to expect to pay twice the amount the next month, and possibly to call the company for information.
- However, now that we have needed to cut back on expenses, I have also started a clarification of the category ‘food’. Every time after I’ve gone shopping, I note down what I bought, how much it cost, and what sub-category it has. That way I can more easily check at various times during the month how much money I have left to spend on food, and plan my purchases accordingly. Before, we had a general policy of ‘try not to spend too much’, but now that we try to keep it under 200 euros a month, it is really required to keep track in more detail.
- So, how much of your high school education do you remember? How much of the words you crammed five minutes before the test do you recall? Most people realize that in order to learn something permanently, it is better to spend 5 minutes each day a week, rather than 30 minutes in one sitting. There is research that shows this (and a cracked article that explains it simply). As a student I only cared for grades, but as an adult I have come to see the immense benefits of actually knowing stuff. So, using Anki, for the past month I have been taking steps to learn Japanese. I tried before and I got very far in learning the Hiragana, but the lessons I was following wanted me to know the Japanese alphabet perfectly without providing a decent tool to learn it with. I’ve set the pace a bit slowly at ten new items per day (standard is 20), and I’ve started memorizing the alphabet and Japanese words and phrases. Hmmm, I want to tell you I’ll do my best in Japanese, but I haven’t actually gotten to many verbs yet. Instead I’ll tell you that it’s Friday, and let’s just pretend I said something more fitting ^^’
- You know how I sing and perform in a choir? Its 25th anniversary is coming up, and you can tell by the state of some of the sheet music. The oldest songs are written out by hand, while the ones that were created digitally have been photocopied so many times that they’re difficult to read. So, I have been transcribing for them. The handwritten music takes a lot of work, especially if it was written confusingly, but the old digital files are converted more quickly thanks to Photoscore. It also helps me learn the music better, which is a big plus, even though know what you’re supposed to sing and actually singing it are two different things…
- Have you heard about 50 Shades of Grey? You should have, since I talked about it here and here. This awesome writer has been recapping the books and went ‘hey, I can do much better than EL James!’ and started writing ‘The Boss’. When someone mentioned on Twitter that they were translating it into German, I just couldn’t resist and started on a Dutch translation. For a few weeks I translated a page or two each day, but I got distracted and will need to start that up again.
- Current Location:Netherlands, Amsterdam
- Feeling: chipper