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The Waiting Game

I don't really have any new news.  Life is going pleasantly; I'm just waiting now.  Waiting for my savings to grow, waiting for the state to send me notification saying that I can take my state test.  Once I take that test, I can recieve my state liscence number.  Once I have my state liscence number, I can get my malpractice insurance card (I have the insurance, just not the card).  Once I have the state liscence and the insurance card, I can look for another job in the Mad City.  Once I have a job in the Mad City, I can look for housing.  Once I have housing, that will be a big load off my back come school time.  Speaking of school, I'm waiting for Madison to tell me when I can begin applying for classes.

Also, I'm gonna do my hair before June.  Yeah, I've made a lot of posts on this subject.  Here's another.  Originally, I was gonna get a short girl's cut like a pixie cut, and then I began thinking to myself, "I can't imagine how these haircuts would grow out gracefully."  Now I'm gonna get a more midlength cut:

<center><img src="http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a319/kitsuneoni22/j2.jpg"></img></center> 

This will be more expensive (because I'm having my hair straightened, and the less hair that I have, the cheaper it will be), but less awkward.  now I have to grow out my bangs.  *That* will be awkward...

-Sierra

Tags:

Updating my bedroom

I've decided to update my bedroom.  I won't do this anytime soon because one: this is an expensive project and two: I will be moving this summer.  I hope my landlord lets me paint because the plan entails this:
1. painting the walls
2. adding an outdoors window box
3. other individual elements

So about painting the walls, I found these designes online and they really interested me:

Here we have the colored silhouette of a flowering tree painted on the wall.  If you look closely, the cloth flowers from the second picture are adhesed to the silhouette in the first picture.  I've decided to do a take on this.  I'm going to use a floral pattern that's connected to a scent so I can use things like Glade plug-ins, potpourri and incense to add fragrance to the room.  My ideas are listed below:

Apple tree

silhouette:baby pink
flowers:white



Lilac bush

silhouette 1:

purple

flowers 1:

blue

silhouette 2:

blue

flowers 2:

purple

silhouette 3:

black

flowers 3:

purple

silhouette 4:

indigo

flowers 4:

purple



...If you've never seen a lilac bush, you should know that they can grow to be tree sized...


What do you think?  And about the window box...window boxes can be placed in your window sill or hung outside of your window.  It's a great way for a person who lives in an apartment to have a miniature garden.  I think that I want an outdoors window box.  I'll either grow cherry tomatoes or some kind of small sprawling flower like Alyssum (which is fragrant) or vinca.

The style will be traditional, the theme is "faerie tales."  I'm not sure about the color theme; it really depends on the wall paint, which is also the mood setter.  Give me your input!

UW-Advising

Not much is new.  I drove up to UW-Madison today (the weather was beautiful, btw), for academic advising in Chinese.  I still need to see what my general requirements are, buuuuut....I don't care.  Hahahaha, that's so bad, but I can do my general requirements during the summer.   

I saw Gail while I was up there; it was a good 30 minutes.  Her hair is real perdy.  That's all!

-Sierra

Feb. 17th, 2007

It appears that my mom has gotten into her old habbits of "accidentally" reading my mail again. Yesterday she "accidentally" opened my pay check. Ahhhhhh - wench. I'm paid by direct deposit, but I'm still sent a "check" that tells me what I earned. I should tell my workplace to not send this to my home...

In other news, there is no news...at least no solid, concrete news. If I play my cards right, I may already have an internship lined up for me. I can't discuss this any more, mostly because this would be two or three years in the future in which time frame an inumerable amount of things could happen to change these odds.

I saw the movie Fearless by Jet Li tonight. It wasn't that great. The editting was amatuer on th emartial arts sequences, the ending was sappy. It just wasn't to my liking.

To bed I go!-soon...

-Sierra

Yeah.

I love watching late night with Conan O'Brien. Drew Barrymore's a really good guest too.

Gross

For the past couple days, I've noticed that one of my eyes will sometimes begin burning in the same place. Upon further inspection, I found a miniature cyst on my inner eyelid. Gross! Oh well, nothing that a flame-treated needle and a steady hand can't fix. I'm all better now.

Today we went to get my car fixed - it needed front breaks and something else done, and it still needs a new set of tires. With out tires, this service cost us over $300. This kind of thing makes me somewhat glad that we'll be selling the car when I move. $600 repair here, $30 there, another $350 right before taxes, and all of this is on top of regular payments equaling at least $500 per month (including gas and insurance). That's not a good thing; I'll take my $47 monthly bus pass and an occasional rental car, thank you.

It's not 100% settled, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be moving myself into Madison and my mom won't be coming with me. Thank you, every body. At first she didn't believe me when I told her that it would cost roughly the same amount of money to own a car and commute as it would to live in an apartment. Then I broke it down payment by payment to her, and she realized that it was -*gasp!*- true! So, I'm at least 80% sure that I'll be getting a room mate in the Mad City by August. Through out the whole process, I realized that my mom often times doesn't think out these financial things as well as I do...which is pretty sad considering that I failed math in high school, hahaha.

Anyhow, while the car was being taken care of, my mom and I went to the mall to waste a little time. I finally accomplished my fashion goal of buying a corset. Go me! I bought it from Charlotte Russe where it was a little over $30 - it's the first thing that I bought with my tip money apart from gas. So maybe it's not practical, buuuuuuut...oh well. It's not like I extravagantly buy things - ever.

Nothing much is new apart from this. I like the new Kagrra, CD Shizuku pretty good, but it is not my favorite. I do however, love the song Hakai from said-CD. Also, I found some truffle recipes online. Go me!

~*Grosses Bisses*~

Sierra

I'm moving...

So, not so long ago I made a long boring post about how I didn't think I could attend Madison unless my mom moved in that direction....

Then not so long after that I made another long boring post about how I could make it on my own...

And now I'm making a pointless post to summarize both of those thoughts...

As things go, my mom's still determined to move towards Madison to help me, but truthfully, I think that she just doesn't want to let go of me. I on the other hand am increasingly enjoying the idea of moving out into the city. It just seems so pointless that my mom should move away from every one and every thing she knows for one daughter...

Familiarity: As before, I'm worried that my mom will be lonely. With school, martial arts and work, I'll rarely be home. When I am home, I'll be doing homework and studying, so I won't really be home if you know what I mean. This is just going to be super depressing for my mom, and I still have to make time for my friends. She's gonna move all that way for me, and then she'll never see me.

Travel time: The place where we would move would only be ~25 minutes closer to the university, and when all's said and done, both my mom and I would be disadvantaged: I would still have a 40 minute ride to the campus, and my mom would now have a 30 minute ride to Delafield (vs 15 minutes now) and 1hour+ ride to Milwaukee (vs 45 minutes). What I'm saying is, instead of just majorly sucking for one of us, it's going to suck pretty good for the both of us (travel-wise) if we do this.

Transportation: If I lived in the city, I would just sell my car. That will suck, but that's why taxis, buses, rental cars and friends exist ^_- I've decided that what it would cost me to own a car, pay for insurance, be able to afford gas and increased upkeep due to extensive traveling would be equivalent to what it would cost me to live in an apartment with a room mate...maybe living on my own would be a little more expensive, but not by too much. Besides, I'm still less likely to wreck the car when I don't have a car to wreck^_-

I would just prefer to live on my own. I'm gonna start applying for jobs in June. I'll see what happens with that. If I get a sweet deal, I might get to be on my own. Now I gotta talk my mom out of moving. Every time I try to do that, she tells me that she doesn't want me to be saddled with bills, but I'm going to have bills pretty equally either way. Now it's just a matter of convenience...

~Grosses Bisses~

Sierra

Tags:

Massage Envy

Today was my first day on the job. Everything went well. The worst part was when I accidentally statically shocked my first client. I didn’t put the sheets on my table; the last therapist did ,and they were really static, hahaha. It was ok though. At any rate, I made $38 in tips. That is a lovely thing.

In other news, I have two academic advising meetings on Monday, possibly three at UW-Madison. This should be interesting.

~*Grosses Bisses*~

Sierra
So I've decided to attend UW-Madison. I believe that often times you get what you pay for and that every bit of money that I put into that prestigous degree will pay me back after graduation. I've also decided that I can afford to live on my own if my mother goes back on her offer. I'm thinking that there's a possibility that she will because she is really reluctant to move.

So even though apartments in Madison are outrageously priced, I did find a few decent looking apartment complexes. All of the buildings were less than 20 minutes from UW-Madison, and all of the buildings were on the bus line, so I wouldn't hav eto use my car often. All of the buildings included at least, air conditioning, water, sewage and trash disposal in the cost of the rent, but my favorite was $620 for a one bedroom apartment, but all of the amenities were included. These are the types of deals that I am aiming for. If you're interested, here's the math:

First, I would need a new job...
INCOME
With my new job, I would expect to "work" 30 hours per week. 25 hours would be spent massaging, the other 5 hours/week are hours that I spend on break. If I am paid a gross amount of $30/hour massage, I can expect to take at least $25/hour massage home after taxes. That's $625/week -or- $1,250/pay period -or-$2,500 month net pay, not including tips. I expect to haul in roughly $500/month in tips, give or take. This is far from impossible working as a massage therapist, unless of course one works for Massage Envy =:( My income would looks like this:

  • 25 hrs/wk hands on
  • $25/hr net pay
  • $625/wk
  • $1250/pay period
  • $2500/mo.
  • --------------------------->$500/month in tips???


Continuing, these are my regular bills. I think that I got them all listed here except for the cell phone bill which is covered by my mom under the Family Plan. I tried to over estimate rather than underestimate what I will have to pay. This is what I have come up with:

Bill------------------Cost---------Total---------What's left of my paycheck
car payments------$200
car insurance-----$100
gas---------------$200----------$500----------$2000

Parent Plus-------$100
FAFSA-------------$50
Lakeside loans----$300
School savings----$250----------$700----------$1300

  • $4000 /semester; this is roughly what it will cost me to attend Madison each semester
  • -$3000 from financial aid; I can milk both FAFSA and Parent plus for $3000, or $1500 each.
  • $1000 /semester; this is what I have left to pay out of pocket after financial aid kicks in.
  • $250 /month; a semster is roughly four months. $1000/4 months=$250/month that I need to save.


karate------------$100----------$100----------$1200

savings-----------$200 plus tips
spending-----------tips---------$200----------$1000


If there's no error in my math, I would have $1000 left to live on after I pay for my regular bills and tuition. I can either find a place with a room mate, or find my own place.

RENT (in general w/ a room mate)
rent----------$400
utilities-----$200 (I'd have as many included as possible)
food-----------$100
$700; $1000-$700=$300 left over every month, not including tips.
* With the extra money, I could put more towards tuition, rent, food, savings, etc. or I could cut back on the hours that I work per month to help free up time for studies.



RENT (at my favorite location w/o a room mate)
rent----------$620
utilities-----all included
food-----------$100
$720; $1000-$720=$280 left over every month, not including tips.
* Looks like I could still afford to live off campus. This would allow me more space and more freedom.


So that's that.

The educational dilemma

As a small recap, I have recently been accepted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the state’s premiere university. I now have to choose between attending UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee. If my decision were based on the quality of education alone, the decision would be simple. It’s no mystery as to which school offers a better education: that would be UW-Madison. As you probably already know, I plan on studying International Relations with a focus on Politics (as opposed to a focus on economics) as well as Chinese language and culture. I can get a PhD in Chinese at Madison where as I can only get a certificate in general Asian Studies coupled with Chinese language from Milwaukee. The language classes at Milwaukee aren't even as intense as the classes at Madison. What the hell?

Unfortunately for me, the decision is not that easy. Though Madison is somewhat more expensive than Milwaukee, it is not out of my price range - or at least it isn‘t until one considers that the extra cost of living on campus coupled with the price of a meal plan at Madison would run me a couple thousand more in tuition per semester, where as these things would be free to me if I attended Milwaukee. This would firmly place Madison out of my price range, which would also quickly make my decision as to which university to attend.

Things however are not this simple. The reason that room and board and a meal plan would be free to me if I attended UW-Milwaukee is that my mom would move to the Milwaukee area, and I would live at home instead of on campus. My mom wouldn’t be moving just for me though. Her family lives out that way, and now her oldest daughter/my sister lives in Milwaukee too. This is where things get tricky: recently, my mom said that she’d be willing to move closer to Madison if I chose to attend that school. I don’t think that it is right for her to move in the opposite direction of every one who she knows just for one daughter, and I would feel guilty when she quickly became lonely to say the least. However, her moving towards Madison would make it possible for me to live at home, in which case I could afford the better education. Besides, even my mom will admit that no one really comes from Milwaukee to visit us anyway, and we’d only be moving thirty minutes further away from the MKE than we are now. That would be an hour and fifteen minute drive versus a forty five minute dive to Milwaukee.

My mom’s really pressuring me to give Milwaukee a chance, and believe me, I am. I’m trying to consider both schools, pros and cons. To encourage me to choose Milwaukee so that she won't "have to" move towards Madison, my mom keeps saying really depressingly desperate things like, “The mayor is trying to get more Chinese business to come to Milwaukee,” and “I’m sure that Milwaukee will get a lot more classes soon. I bet that they will over haul their program so that it will rival Madison’s! Just give them a chance, you will see.”

Her saying these kinds of things makes me slightly disheartened about the possibility of attending UW-Milwaukee. First off, business is leaving Milwaukee. Second of all, the last time Milwaukee tried to improve their education system, they tried to add a nursing school, but Madison took it. Even if Milwaukee were to randomly choose to over haul their Chinese education out of all of the other educational opportunities and programs available for remodeling, I’m sure that it would take at least a few hundred thousand dollars that the UW system doesn’t have. Even if they were to pursue such a thing, it would take years. I’d already have graduated by the time anything happened, and besides, I don’t think that Milwaukee has it in them to rival Madison in anything anyway. Hell, Milwaukee’s known as “The Brew City,” with more bars per square city block than other city in the US and they can’t even rival Madison (“The Mad City”) as a drunken party school. Furthermore, most of the breweries aren’t even left in Milwaukee; they sold them to South Africa. There goes some more business. Now do you see what I mean by “depressingly desperate” and “disheartened”?

I’m not sure what to do, though I feel like the decision should be so simple. Do I tell my mom to move just for me so that I can pursue the better education? Do I attend Milwaukee whose over all education isn’t horrible, just vastly inferior, especially as far as Chinese is concerned because it makes things easier on the family? I realize that most parents wouldn’t relocate for their kid’s education, so I am completely at my mom’s mercy on this one, and I can’t be anything but grateful that she is even considering moving to help me…but I know that she doesn’t really want to move (though she’s offered to move), and I’m not sure that I should suggest to her that she do so. I'm not sure what to do...