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 Music
    The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Believe (Lonely Road)

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 Music
    Candlebox - Breathe Me In (Into the Sun)

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 Music
    Across the Universe Soundtrack - I Want You (She's So Heavy)

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 Music
    The Spill Canvas - One Thing Is For Sure (No Really, I'm Fine)

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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
    bouncy weekending!

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 Music
    Funeral For A Friend - Rise and Fall (Tales Don't Tell Themselves)

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 Music
    Coldplay - Viva La Vida (Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends)

[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 Music
    Gavin Rossdale - Love Remains the Same (Wanderlust)

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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 Music
    The Wallflowers - The Difference (Bringing Down the Horse)


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 drained