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The Remnants of Uncertainty...
Happy Stress
07/24/09 at 12:11 PM by cassusriff
Happy stress and anxiety? Is that possible? Iíd say so. There are people out there who work 12 hour days and love their job. There are parents (no really, there are) that spend all day with their kids and love it. So I think itís possible.
But in the end, it is still stress and anxiety. So with a week to go at the company Iíve been with for over 2 years, Iím starting to feel the anxiety and the stress. But Iím happy. Iím cracking jokes at work, smiling most of the day, brushing off minor setbacks. For example, this morning I was late, I spilled my starbucks as I got out of my car, I had to walk through sprinklers to get into the building, and the phones were busy when I got in. I laughed it off and kept going. Thatís very unlike the person I have been in the past.
The whole prospect of going to UC Davis to finish my degree, to give myself the opportunity to get a degree so I can start an actual career instead of working these entry-level jobs, to finally get a shot at being a Ďrealí college student again (and by Ďrealí college student I mean NOT working more than 20 hours a week and actually staying on campus all day as I go to classes that are actually challenging and exciting) has me very excited.
But Iíve been here before, obviously Iíve never been this close, but Iíve been here. I went to Arizona State out of high school and I left after a year for so many reasons. The last two years Iíve been working at Blue Shield and going to the four community colleges in this area. I almost went to UC San Diego, I almost went to University of Washington, I planned on moving to LA, I almost joined the Navy. Iíve had a different goal every few months it seems.
So when I finally got focused and did what was best and most intelligent, I decided to go to UC Davis. I have a great major (Managerial Economics), I got great financial aid (half scholarships and grants, half loans), I figured out a way to graduate in one year instead of two, I found a cheap, efficient, environmentally friendly way to commute (biking and riding the train), and I even managed to find a part time job on campus.
It all fell into place. Itís all there. Itís all done. In a little over a week Iíll start my summer session there.
So why the anxiety and stress? Because EVERYTHING is changing. Iíve been trying to get here for three yearsÖ and now that it is here I donít know what to do. Iíve had a certain comfort level being at Blue Shield the last few years and Iím leaving that. Iím challenging myself with the most difficult classes Iíve ever taken and Iím taking a heavier schedule than most students because Iím trying to graduate in one year. Iím switching from driving to biking and using public transit. Iím holding myself to a much stricter budget because Iím not going to be making the same amount of money. Itís all great, but god dammit it is scary.
I keep waiting for something to fall apart. But it canít. There will be minor setbacks, there always will be. But I got all the major stuff figured out.
I donít know many people whoíve taken as many risks and accepted as many failures and gone through as many changes as I have the last 3 years. This one is major and it is understandable that Iím a bit anxious for it. But shouldnít I be used to this by now?
Iím afraid though. Itís why I havenít bought any school apparel. For every college I almost went to I bought a shot glass, a hoodie, or something with the schoolís name and I always ended up not going. I took my bike in for a major tuneup because I fear that it will fall apart on the first day I ride to school. Iím buying my books as early as I can. Iíve budgeted myself out for a whole year. I havenít officially sent an email to all my friends in the company letting them know that my last day is a week from today (though my notice is in of course). Iím treading carefully. And everyone who is close to me feels the pressure and the anxiety too. They know Iím on the brink of where Iíve wanted to be for years. They know I need this to work and frankly, they do too.
Hereís to hoping. Hereís to futures and changes. Hereís to a new chapter that truly pays the dividends.
Tags: Stress, life, school, work, change, more serious personal blogging
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Previous Failed Endevors and Razia's Shadow
06/14/09 at 01:03 AM by cassusriff
It has been a while. I fear that twitter's microblogging has killed the actual blog. That truly is sad to me, as these blogs used to be my soapbox. It was like I was shouting out loud to no one in particular and the occasional listener was always a welcome sign.

I've always tried to take on fun little projects to give myself a recognizable name on the internet, but they have all failed. There was the collaboration with RyanFTW, the video reviews I tried to do, album reviews I could never edit right, the entertainment blogs, and now the Razia's Shadow thing.

To be clear, all of the things I tried to do before Razia's Shadow failed because I had too much on my plate and I didn't have enough dedication to them. My priorities are finishing school, surviving, and spending time with my girlfriend, friends, and famiy when I can. For the last two years I've been doing double time working and going to school. In about a month and a half I will finally be able to just go to school... though even then I'll be taking two years of courses in one year. To clarify:

Right now I have two semester classes (about 15 weeks) that are online and condensed into 6 weeks. I have three chapters of homework EVERY week in both of them. I'm also working full time.

By the end of July, both the classes end and I will likely leave my job (assuming financial aid works itself out). But the first week of August I start four quarter classes (10 weeks) that are condensed to 6 weeks for summer session. Then I have a week off and start fall quarter, then winter quarter, then spring quarter, then graduation which puts me almost exactly a year from now. In that time I'll be taking 75 units.

This is the only way I can get my degree without going too much in debt or taking 6 years. One year off of work, one year of loans, and then I'm done. Hopefully the economy is better and I can find a decent job coming out of college.

Anyway, back to the thing about Razia's Shadow. It isn't my lack of drive this time. In fact, this has everything to do with the others involved. I put this out as a way to raise money for a scholarship. I got the numbers from the venue to see how much it would cost, I got people to help me with set design, I talked to the groups that would help me get this all together, I talked to actors who I wanted to be in it. And truly, I've been ready to get this thing going. Unfortunately, I've had actors being flaky (as they always are), the theatre group taking weeks to get back to my calls and emails, and no one cooperating with anything. Truly, this show could still happen. But the ball isn't in my court anymore. I need actors to respond to me and actually agree to get together. I need the powers that be to sit down and talk with me about marketing strategy and rehearsal logistics. I can only do so much. As anyone could read above, I don't exactly have all the free time in the world, but I'd be able to make this work if people would cooperate. Seems there is no time to try to do something that would be both fun and for a good cause.

Anyway, that's an update on my life and that.
Tags: razia's shadow, performance, frustration, past, life, college, work
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Random Thoughts/Tidbits
03/18/09 at 06:11 PM by cassusriff

That's the amount of songs on in my music library. I have a stereo in my car that plays my ipod and recently I've just kinda let it shuffle on its own and avoided specific artists or playlists. I'd love to just keep it going like that, it's very interesting. You go from broadway tunes to Senses Fail to the Beatles to Norah Jones to one of my radio clips from ASU to Valencia to Dane Cook to Death Cab and... well you get it. It's fun!


How I Jumped the Shark.

How I Met Your Mother is my favorite show, hands down. This weeks episode was very disappointing for me for a few reasons. 1) Lily and Robin (Alyson and Cobie respectively) are both preggers and it's becoming very obvious on the show. Lily can barely move anymore, the last two episodes have had the characters sitting down almost the entire time, and the feable attempts to hide the pregnancies are awkward. 2) The morning show fiascos that Robin went through were too much. Live birth? Heart attack? Fire? I don't like that style of writing. Shows are allowed to venture into the surreal a bit sometimes, Barney has been established as an enigma, so his character can get away with weird stuff like that. Robin's morning show fiascos were just a sad attempt to get some laughs. This season needs to end on a high note and get back to more of the subtle, witty comedy and steer away from the outrageous slapstick stuff. We don't want a repeat of Scrubs Season 6 & 7 again do we?


Twitter is becoming kind of cool. I'll admit I like to follow celebrities, but only the ones who are funny and have cool stuff to say. I like hearing about Mark Hoppus's day, especially when it involves him rehearsing for the Blink tour. I like hearing about John Mayer's creative process. I like hearing Shaq's ridiculousness. It's funny how much news and entertainment have changed. You see newspapers going under every day and yet Facebook and Twitter just keep growing. A whole job market is starting to fade, which is bad right now, but good for the future. Reporters aren't the fountain of knowledge, they are mediums. Successful reporters have blogs and twitters and facebooks in addition to their articles. I know immediately when the niners are bringing in a free agent, I get minute-to-minute updates of the Apple iPhone 3.0 event, I can stream video, read blogs, read twitter updates, etc on anything I'm interested about. News oversaturation? Maybe. But it makes sense why day-old news isn't selling anymore and why waiting till 6pm or 11pm for a hokey, depressing newscast isn't the number one option anymore.

For those who say it's bad, I ask, why? Because of tradition? Tradition is sentimental, but it is not progessive. We have to keep moving with the times, with the new ways of getting things done. Tradition is good in many ways, I think it belongs in many facets of life, but we should always look at ways to renovate, recreate, make things better. But this is coming from me, someone who is really open and adaptive to change. I'm probably the only person who likes the new facebook layout. Did you know you could create a friend list and it will only feed you stories from those people in the list? I love that! I have a friends list and a family list and it weeds out all those people I'm friends with on Facebook just to bloat my numbers. If I wanna see their random updates, I can just go to the regular news feed. I love it.


Anyway, heading to Oregon and Seattle tomorrow to tour colleges. I'm looking at University of Oregon and University of Washington. I'm really stoked about it and I will definitely be going to one of these schools come fall. I'll have a video (maybe) and some thoughts on it when I get back.
Tags: thoughts, life, social networking, twitter, facebook, himym, music, itunes
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01/06/09 at 04:24 AM by cassusriff
So many applications!

University of Oregon Fall 09

University of Washington Fall 09

University of Oregon General Application Scholarship.

University of Washington General Application Scholarship.

Navy Degree Completion Program Application.

Navy Officer Program Application.

Blue Shield Tuition Reimbursement Form.

I'm having fun with it though. Hopefully all this stuff falls into place and I can go to school this fall knowing I have a job in two years and not having to work full time. My question for anyone reading this is... Oregon or Washington? Eugene or Seattle? Small Town or Big City?

Or do I stay in CA and go to San Diego or LA (blah)?

2009 is a big year for me.
Tags: 2009, school, navy, choices, applications, work
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10/21/08 at 01:51 AM by cassusriff
Man, I thought last year was busy. I thought last spring was busy. I thought I knew what busy was.

I had NO fucking idea.

I don't even have a second to breathe it seems. I wake up exhausted and head to work. This job isn't like my old job at Blue Shield, I actually have to produce quality work for a straight 8 hours. I get off work and go home and try to find some piece of mind while maintaining communication with the girl I'm crazy about who lives across the country. I go to class and take a test or sit through a rough lecture or take an extremely difficult quiz. I get home and use my spare time to buy groceries, talk to my girl again, watch some TV with my brother, talk my friends through hard times or even good times, organize my finances and bills, do homework, make a video or write a blog.

Before I know it, it is 2am and I have work in 6 hours.

Rinse. Repeat the process.

Those who know me know that I am a bit OCD. In weird ways too. I used to have this routine of websites I'd check and I am really adamant about responding to comments on my blogs and facebook and youtube and such... but now I'm finding that I don't even have time to do that. I want to make more videos but I have no time for that. I want to work out but I'm just not finding time for that unless it is during my 10 minute break at work. Fortunately, I've continued eating relatively well so I've stayed at my target weight.

My mind is a blur of thoughts. I just applied for a second job during weekends and I don't know why I think I can handle that right now but I feel like I just NEED to handle that right now. I feel compelled to take on all of this because I think that 2009 is going to be another big year for me (maybe more successful too) and I can't slow down now. I need to hit the new year in stride and I can't relax now.

In two weeks my life is going to change when she steps off that plane.

My friends are all getting older and dealing with the pain and frustration that I have been dealing with for two years. They feel alone, they feel pressure, they feel lack of support and realism hitting them all at once. Welcome to the party people... I'm your host.

My family cannot function as a whole, but expect me to be their glue. I have to deal with them on an individual basis and it is up to me to make time for that. Same with my friends... just because I have a new love interest doesn't mean that I am just going to abandon them. I'm not like that nor will I ever be. I'm willing to stay up the extra hour for them. Work sucks, school sucks. I may be working 7 days a week and going to school 4 days a week in the near future... Help me.

But in the face of adversity, I have to stand strong. I may not have much air to breathe, but every breath is crisp and refreshing. I need to learn to survive on less oxygen. Thank heavens for her, she's injecting me with positivity throughout all of this and it is like a drug to me. I can't get enough of her.

So here I am... counting days. But the days are moving quicker than I can count. Before I know it...

The day will be here.
Tags: personal, work, friends, family, school, relationships, time
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Move In, Move Out
09/15/08 at 01:56 AM by cassusriff
Wasn't I supposed to rest on weekends?

Damn, changing roommates shouldn't be this much work. My brother is moving in though, so his lack of any furniture falls on me and my mom to provide. She did most of the work and I give her a lot of credit, but I went through my usual OCD of having to clean whenever a lot of stuff is moved around. So I spent all day vacuuming, cleaning, dusting, moving furniture, and putting stuff together. Though I did take a nice break in between to watch the 49ers win a thrilling game in OT while eating pizza with my now former roommate and my other friend. There is nothing better than a sunday eating pizza with friends watching football, nothing.

Hanging pictures is a son of a bitch, there is so much intricacy that goes into it. My living room looks sweet now though. I really want to thank my old roommate, he left his sound system here because he has no room for it and said I could borrow it until he has a use for it. This makes me very happy. Though I do need to find out why the sub isn't working.

A few more kinks to work out with the apartment: Have to reorganize my room, make sure the cable gets set up correctly, make sure the gas and electric continue just fine, and the aforementioned fixing of the sub on the sound system. Besides that, the place is looking nice. I'm glad to call this apartment home for the next year.

Alright, on board for this week:

-First week of training at work. I've been doing the easy stuff so far, but now I have to actually learn the job. This could be moderately fun or extremely boring. Former please!

-Accounting and Calculus continued. Another week or these classes that will only get harder.

-Heart Walk on Saturday. The Heart Walk is pretty exciting for me. I ran a 5k last week in 30 mins, so I'm pretty sure walking it in 3 hours won't be a problem. I'm excited I've raised almost $200 already.

-Hanging out with Eric and maybe some other friends. We will see how my time works out with all of that.

I'll post some recs tomorrow, right now is sleepy time.

Donate to the American Heart Association for my Heart Walk
Tags: moving, roommates, family, friends, weekend, football, work, school, charity
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Alone at the Office...
06/13/08 at 07:37 PM by cassusriff
It's friday night. 7:20pm approx. I'm sitting in an office where about 50 people work. No one is here except me. If the phone happens to ring, I'll answer and not be able to help at all. Customer Service is closed. The agents went home. Even my managers are gone. It's just me, myself, and I.

It's strangely fulfilling. I can't remember the last time I've felt completely alone. Even though my roommate has been gone all week, I've had people over every night it seems. And when they all finally leave, I just go to bed. Then I wake up and go straight to work.

I don't know if any of you have ever worked in a sales office... but it's loud. It's about 30 people on the phone at any given time. You sit in cubicles that are put together in larger cubes. So I have my own corner cube and the other three corners are my co-workers. Then there's another next to me, and another across the room, etc. All these people just sit here and do their jobs... and, especially in my cube, my co-workers will ... wait, I got a call.

"hi, i need to speak with someone about plans, I just got a divorce."
"all of the agents are out right now."
"well can you send me information?"
"sure, let me get some info"
*I get info*
"and your telephone number please..."
"I don't want anyone to contact me! I'll look over the stuff myself!"
*hangs up*

Anyway, where was I? Oh yea, my coworkers love to talk. They are funny people, but sometimes I just don't get them and they don't get me. I spend 40+ hours with these people every week, more time than I spend with friends, any girl I might be dating, my family, even myself. Yet, I'm still not that close to them. It's weird.

Eerie silence. You just wouldn't understand how strange it is to hear nothing but your own typing and breathing after being in this place while everyone else is here. Being in an office alone, what a strange experience.

I don't really know what else to say. I have a bunch of people coming over tonight, so I guess I should get prepared for that. But besides that... I have about 25 more minutes that I have to stay here and do nothing. I'm supposed to be making calls to tell people about rate increases... but I don't wanna do that. It's 7:30pm on a Friday night. I want people to enjoy their weekends. I don't want to be the guy who calls during dinner on Friday night after a long week to tell a hard-working, middle-class American who is suffering from the economic recession that they now have to pay more money per month in case they happen to get sick so that they don't have to pay even more.

It's a twisted system, and a twisted job. And tonight, I'll just sit here in silence until I'm off the clock. I don't want to hear anymore upset voices tonight.
Tags: work, office, alone, health insurance
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