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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Collin's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
10:07 pm
Miss me?
I’m sure you’ve all noted my absence from your friends pages for the past 6 months and to tell you the truth I had no plans of returning. But I figured I should probably wrap up my journal and give you all an update on my life since this summer and where I see it going in the immediate future.

Let’s see where do I start… The rest of my summer was pretty great. At my internship I created an awesome model that used stats and random numbers to project out future claims and look at what it would do to our business. I built a GUI (graphic user interface) program that’s now widely used to look up different occupations. So after all was said and done I gained invaluable experience and headed back to Nebraska for my last semester of college and hoped they would hire me back (this was back in August before the financial system blew up).

Classes were fine, but the reason I really wanted that extra semester was to pass another exam, giving me 4 before entering the working world. Now let’s jump to October… This is when everything started coming to a head for me. I started looking for a job (during the blow up) while waiting for Standard to tell me if they’d have a position that I could apply for, my actuarial exam was the first week in Nov so I needed to be finishing up studying (not to mention classwork and exams there), and I kinda wanted some semblance on a social life. After going through several job interviews it was painfully obvious that most companies weren’t hiring or were only hiring their interns (which put me between a rock and a hard place). A week before my exam is when things got to their lowest. I wasn’t getting the material that was on my exam and was getting 7 out of 30 on practice exams. ‘Shit, I need about 20 right to start thinking about passing.’ Nothing was looking up for jobs except the one place I didn’t really want to work (my fall-fall-fall-fall-fall back…or something like that). However, one morning about a week before I woke up and it all made sense. It sounds crazy, but I went over the material, drawing pictures accurately to solve the problems, breaking things down and I got closer and closer to those magical passing numbers as the week went on.

As I sat down that morning for the test, I thought I might have a shot at passing, but 11 questions in something became apparent, I had more than a shot. I knew that I got those first 11 right and after going through all the problems once I knew I had about 23 for sure and maybe even 25 or 26. I walked out of there knowing I was going to pass and comparing to the public answer key, I got about 25 right, easily a pass. Now for the job…

It was obvious that Standard was struggling to get an open position (although their financial standing was so much greater than most companies). I kept holding off Mutual of Omaha on whether I was going to accept their offer. And eventually it was the first week in December and I needed to be making a decision and Standard was still going through whether they could find a place. I was only a day or two from accepting a position when I got news that Standard found a place. So they offered, I accepted and after completing my degree last month I moved out here, into a new townhome in the next suburb to the west and started my job full-time yesterday.

My next goal is to get my ASA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Actuaries) in a year and a half, which means passing an exam in May (the largest on I’ve taken thus far) and go through a year of self-learning modules and exams (tough, but not the 35% pass rate tough). I’m also thinking about hopefully buying a house or condo in a year depending on the market and loan rates. I’m also going to be looking for a more competitive soccer team to play on because I realized this summer that I still have a lot left in me…

I don’t know if/when I’ll update again, but I do occasionally read everyone else’s journals even if I don’t comment. But to those out there still reading mine…Godspeed to you!

Current Mood: headachey
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
11:06 pm
Hopefully I'll update soon...
My Mathematician by Andrea Clark

"It's more complicated than as 'x' approaches 'y' and where your supposed to drawn the line.
There are no definite points, things are not always linear.
Our hearts are not perfect geometric shapes, our faces really -aren't- asymmetrical,
And certainly one plus one does not always equal two.
Feelings are not based on numbers and figures,
Emotions are not like the bothersome square-root you must remove.
The touch of a hand against a soul is not measured in inches or miles.
Love is the only thing that is infinite, that is certain (if it is true).
Now tell me, Mathematician, what are you miscalculating?"

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
4:20 pm
I will live to see another day...
...within the actuarial profession.

I passed my exam!!

3 down, too many more to start counting yet.

Time to start the Forth of July weekend early with some celebratory drinking!

Current Mood: w00tfesting!
Monday, June 30th, 2008
7:58 pm
Half Way?
It's hard to believe but I'm half way through my awesome summer already. Time has flown by and I've loved every second.

In recent news:

- I got a new phone (still the same number though), the Samsung Instinct. You may have seen it around or advertised or something (http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/Instinct%20Main%20Menu.jpg). It's the sprint touch phone to rival (or at least try to) the iphone. AT&T coverage never looked like it suited me (especially with a black hole over my parents house that my Dad confirms since he's now on AT&T) and I've always had a great time with sprint so I stayed on the network and upgraded my phone.

- I'm going down to Florence (finally) this weekend to relax, study, and work on my photography. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to show once I get back.

- I learn my latest exam results on Wednesday. I'm very nervous because I am truly on the fence on whether I passed or not (even after looking at the public answer key). If I happen to pass I will have passed by one question or if I fail I will have failed by the same amount. So here hoping... Although I bet I be drinking a fair amount that night whichever outcome occurs.

- Last Friday I went to a concert with Lauren. It was an absolute blast and the bands were amazing! We saw The Spill Canvas, Ludo, and an unknown band called Liam and Me. They were all fantastic and if you wish to broaden your musical horizons you can watch a video by each one after the break...

Peace Out~

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Current Mood: bouncy
Friday, June 20th, 2008
7:35 pm
I'm incredibly out of shape for indoor soccer. That's all I gotta say. I played outdoor in perfectly fine shape this spring, but I forgot how different indoor is. My team lost 10-5 -- although I wasn't expecting a greatly different outcome -- but I scored a goal and should've had a couple more. I will say though that the field was the fastest field I've ever played on (which increased the feeling of being out of shape). It was lots of fun and met some more people in the company, which was fun.

Also, in case you were wondering, here's a picture (not taken by me) of my building :D

Current Mood: weekending!
Monday, June 16th, 2008
10:56 pm
Geezus, I'm falling behind...
Soo, since last time....

I've been working out every day after I get home from work and my back hasn't been bothering me at all. Although it's because I've limited myself to using the elliptical and bikes, instead of running on a treadmill or the like which always aggravates my back, but gives me a better workout. Since last summer before I went on my road trip I have lost about 20 pounds and am down to the least I've weighed since Sophomore year of high school, but with so much more added muscle mass. It feels good to be fit again, which helps because...

My work has a soccer team in an indoor league here in town and the first game of the summer season is this Thursday!! So, I definitely signed up and I'm super excited to dominate (cause I'm better at indoor than outdoor) and meet some new co-workers in the process. I'll update hopefully soon after the first game, but I make no guarantees...

Other events... I took Mark's Dad out to a local pub last Thursday and absolutely got us super drunk, but we had an amazing time playing trivial pursuit (genius edition) with the entire bar. Bad news was that work was not fun the next day for either of us. I also went downtown with Jamie and other crazy Portland-ers this past weekend. Great time...dare I say, legendary?

I also took a hike this weekend on a secluded trail my boss showed me called Opal Creek Trail. It was absolutely amazing and one of the better hikes I've been on (although it's hard to top some of the awesome Colorado hikes I've done over the years). There are some of my better pictures from my hike after the break, enjoy!

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Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, June 8th, 2008
10:36 pm
Here's What Happened...
I was stretching...yes, stretching...and I hurt my back again. Pretty bad again, I couldn't move a whole lot by the time I got home from work on Friday, took one of Mark's mom's old back pain medicine and passed out the rest of the night.

Wonderful, huh?

So I didn't go to Florence, but it sounds like next weekend is going to be relatively nice (low chance of rain), so I may go out and do some hiking/photography? around the area if my back is a little better. Although it's already feeling better after medicating a lot and getting a massage this morning.

Also, since I haven't mentioned this...interesting coincidence:

When I worked at assurity there was an acquaintance I had, girl in her late 20's, bowled in league, worked with her a few times, really attractive. She disappeared in October-ish, I never really paid attention or found out where she went. Apparently, she moved out here and works at the same company I do now, and she sent me a random email the other day! Too bad she's married now though...

I've rented two movies now through blockbuster online and both were amazing movies that I've wanted to see for a long time. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Orphanage. I highly recommend both, and I hope my selections continue to please me.

Coldplay's new album is surprisingly good, I would dare to say their best...

Other than that, nothing else too new...

Current Mood: in pain
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
5:13 pm
[Insert Title Here]
So, I guess I'm late... I don't know what it is about the happy moments of my life, but I'm rarely on here during that time...

Oh yea...the job!

It's so weird after three years in a very negative corporate culture to finally work in a place where everyone loves teamwork, has such corporate pride and positive moral. At Assurity, no one liked teamwork or entering projects for fear that they would be blamed if something bad happened. No one was happy there. The Standard loves inovation and ideas, it accepts set backs and praises teamwork and going the extra mile. And people love it there, and it's contagious :)

I'm currently working on a couple projects that are interesting (at least to me). They're definitely challenging me more than Assurity, which is awesome.

Other than that, City and Colour was absolutely amazing. I hope I get a chance to see him live again someday. But funny story, I went out to eat with the fam at a new italian place in Wilsonville (nearby) while wearing my newly bought awesome City and Colour shirt. The cute hostess asked me if I went to the concert, I said yes and we said a couple things back and forth about it. It was funny to see another City and Colour fan in the wild, and who knows, maybe I'll actually go back and meet her again ;) The only problem was that I couldn't tell how old she was. She could've been 17 for all I know, and that's just a little too young for me.

I think I might go down to Florence (Google Map it!) with the fam next weekend. Hopefully I'll get some get pictures at the coast :D

"Every asshole in the world says he loves somebody. It means nothing. What you feel only matters to you. It's what you do to the people you say you love, that's what matters. It's the only thing that counts." - The Last Kiss

Current Mood: calm
Sunday, May 25th, 2008
10:31 pm
Hopefully I'll get around to updating about my new job tomorrow. Until then I'll leave you with some pictures I took this weekend...

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Current Mood: artistic
Saturday, May 17th, 2008
8:00 pm
I made it to Portland! Here's what's happened since the last time I posted:

My actuarial exam was an absolute J.O.K.E. (not in a good way) This was only the 3rd time they've ever given it. The first time was ridiculously easy and they released the exam to the public. The last one was supposedly incredibly difficult and they didn't release it to the public. So all people had to study from was the syllabus and this past easy exam. Needless to say, this one was also incredibly difficult (EVERYONE online is saying how stupid and hard it was) and they tested the most ridiculously obscure shit that no one would know. All I have to do though is do better than everyone else and I have a 50-50 shot, so we'll see what happens in 7 weeks.

My road trip was really long and uneventful, but:

- California drivers don't know how to use cruise control and suck at driving.
- I can NOT legally pump my own gas.
- I need to unpack.


Current Mood: drained
Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
10:49 pm

See you on the other side in Portland!

A pen ends a note
Is this all that I have earned?
The words you wrote are from lessons
You've unlearned about who you are inside.
What are you trying to hide?
'Cause I can see through you so clearly.

Now you're standing at the edge
of breaking new ground.
There's so much in your head
before you hit the ground.
Just wave goodbye
To everyone you thought you knew
Just wave goodbye
To everything that's keeping you alive
Keeping you alive
Just say goodbye
Say goodbye

Before you choke...

Current Mood: anxious
Wednesday, May 7th, 2008
8:53 pm
Oh Boy...
It's getting so close I can taste it. I'm done with all my finals and all that's left is my actuarial exam in a week...

I don't really have anything else to say, my life isn't that interesting at the moment...

"I wanna bullet proof your soul
Would you like to lose control
I won't let you fall until you tell me so" - Goo Goo Dolls

Current Mood: calm
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
3:30 pm
Sunday, May 4th, 2008
1:05 am
I had soccer playoffs earlier this week and for our first game we played the team that destroyed us in the regular season like 6-1 (that 1 being my goal, of course). Right off the bat my team and especially me were on fire, except I couldn't make a f-ing shot to save my life. I had great chances, just couldn't put it away. So we were down 1-0 at half and I was pretty down and just thinking how I could take over the game. With about 10 min left we were tied 1-1 and I got the ball at the top of the box, drew some guys over to me and threaded the most awesome pass I've ever made to a streaking teammate for an amazing game-winning goal.

So we went to the semi-finals game and ended up losing 5-2, but it was still an absolute blast!

Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing Tantric (one of my many favorite bands) live and it didn't disappoint. They seemed so energized to finally be back on stage after almost a complete band member change (except for the lead singer). They even played "Let It Be" by The Beatles! I don't know if they do it at every concert, but it was still amazing.

I now have 4 finals left (3 that matter) this week (Mon, Tues, and Wed) and then massive amounts of studying until the 15th.

I also reserved my hotel room in Salt Lake City (well, actually, Ogden so I wouldn't have to back track a bit, but close enough) for my move out. So I'm just one step closer...

Take it easy kiddos!

Current Mood: bouncy
Friday, April 25th, 2008
11:33 pm
I don't want to brag, but...
...I kinda rock at soccer. Seriously. Right now I'm dealing with a sprained ankle on one foot, two blood blisters on the other (I don't know why they showed up either) and I had a game last night and still scored two really awesome goals. It's strange, I'm playing so much better and relaxed now than I ever did in high school. Probably because I don't have to worry about the politics, acting, and all the hoopla surrounding high school sports; Now, I just get to play, have fun, and smile.

In other news, starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. One class done, 4 more finals (3 that matter), and my actuarial exam a week later. After that I'll be getting in my car, driving 24 hours and beginning my new life for the summer. I found out the other day I'll be working in their individual disability income department, which wasn't what I was expecting, but apparently they need someone with visual basic skills so I was their man; which is great and I'll run with it, cause they say a lot of happiness that comes from a job is appreciation for the work you do.

Current Mood: chipper
Friday, April 18th, 2008
2:02 pm
Bittersweet Ending...
Today was my last day at Assurity after working there for almost 3 years. It and the people have become a staple of my life and I will miss them terribly. On Wednesday they pooled money together to get me a going away gift:

a couple boxes of my favorite pop-tarts (frosted brown-sugar cinnamon, of course)
some bottles of diet mt dew (my favorite pop)
lots of reese's peanut butter cups (my favorite candy)
$45 visa gift card for gas on the drive to Oregon
and a gift subscription to blockbuster online for a year that I've been meaning to purchase

I couldn't believe it. They are such wonderful people. But I had to leave, I need to experience other things. I just couldn't get stuck...

"If I had so much to say...
Why was I the one to walk away" - Sevendust

Current Mood: nostalgic
Sunday, April 13th, 2008
9:21 pm
Where did I leave off last?
Since last Monday...hmmm....

I had my final week of league bowling and bowled out of my mind. Granted, it was a nine pin-no tap tourney (if you get nine on the first ball it counts as a strike). My last game I started out with 8 strikes in the first eight frames. I ended with a 302 (240 before handicap)! Pretty sweet!

Right after that I had my second soccer game, which didn't go quite as well as the first. 10 min into the game I sprained my BAD ankle really bad...

::SIDE STORY:: It was easter my senior year of high school and I was playing bball with my dad and brother. I came down completely sideways on my ankle of shredded any sense of ligaments I still had after 13 years of soccer. It was swelled, turned black and blue, and every thing. I couldn't walk on it, but was determined to get back on the soccer field in 2 weeks since it was my senior soccer season. I got back out there, but didn't let it heal and permanently damaged it for the future. ::END SIDE STORY::

... Luckily, it wasn't as bad as that time, but it hurt bad and I continued the game. I even scored after said sprain. So we were up 4-1 at half, but we ended up losing the game 5-4. It sucked! I gave up defense after high school (I played there cause that's where we needed the most help) and now play the position I'm better at, forward. And I get frustrated cause I could do better than others at defense, but it's just for intramurals and I would feel bad just taking over their spot.

Tonight, then, we had our third game and of course I played on my bad ankle and played great (if I do say so myself). Scored our only goal (and should've had another), but we lost like 6-1 :( At least I'm having the time of my life out there though. I've always wanted to keep playing after high school, but I thought it wouldn't be the same. I was scared that it wasn't going to feel the same and I was going to lose a step to everyone else.

Other than that, beginning the last push for my next Actuarial Exam on May 15th. And my last day of work is this Friday. A little bittersweet, but I'm SUPER excited to get out to Portland and start my new job, with new people, in a new (relatively) city.

Peace Out!

"Should I let them get close
Should I let my guard down
Should I take a step back
Keep my feet on the ground
Am I running from pain
or the things that I fear" - Dive

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, April 7th, 2008
9:35 pm
Soccer game last week went fabulously. Oh, how I have missed that game so much. My team ended up winning a close game 3-2 and I scored the first goal of the game and I almost had a second with 20 seconds left in the game but I was foiled on a shot from mid field by the post. Even though I was extremely out of soccer shape, it was the most fun I've had in a long time.

ALSO, I got my new lens for my camera the other day! I'm still really trying to get used to it by playing around with it in my room. Just learning to best settings for manual focusing, lighting, shutter speed, and exposure. Here's a few of my beginning practice shots:

PicsCollapse )

Finally, think Panic at the Disco wants to be like The Beatles??

Their new CD is really a great tribute to The Beatles style, lyrics, and musical production and I think they did a great job...

Current Mood: artistic
Monday, March 31st, 2008
9:25 pm
...I have my first outdoor soccer game since I gave up the competitive sport after my final high school game. Should be a rousing good time, I hope I still remember and have the ability to play since it's really a completely different sport than indoor soccer (which I have been lucky enough to play several times since starting college).

Wish me luck (I'm sure I'll probably update tomorrow night after the game)!

In other news:

- Drake trip was pretty awesome. Good times!

- My lens for my camera is here, but the adapter to put it on my camera is not :( So all I can do right now is stare at the lens when all I want to do is play with it.

- I've eaten soooo much chocolate in the past week, it's ridiculous.

- And....Best Buy still really really SUCKS (duh?)

Current Mood: excited
Sunday, March 30th, 2008
9:00 pm
There was a huge apartment fire in Omaha the other day that engulfed twenty-some buildings (due to winds). The horrible part, many of these people didn't have renters insurance.

The absolute stupidest thing anyone can do when renting housing...

It costs $10 a month people! And without it you lose everything in your apartment or house!

I almost feel sorry for their loss...almost...

Current Mood: bitchy
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