Quote of the Month:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
{Past Quotes}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Photography and Free Cameras

I love taking pictures... I just wish I had a better camera! There are websites out there that can help make your pictures better by showing you how to use Adobe Photoshop and providing "actions". Actions are a series of recorded steps to help a photographer achieve a look without having to manually apply each process. They can come in handy when you are editing a lot of pictures at one time. One really good website I've found is MCPActions.com. They have a lot of quality information about photography on their website, and today I just found out they're doing a giveaway! They're giving away a Nikon D700 or a Canon 5D MKII. Click here to see the post about the giveaway and get more information (... and give me another entry :D).

It's always fun to play around with actions and see what other people have done, and have your photos look great afterwards. I would love to finally have a good camera! I really hope I win the contest. Please, even if you don't plan on entering, just click the link and help me out. I will forever be in your debt if I win :P

You can find MCP Actions here on Facebook and Twitter.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Here Kitty, Kitty

Do you ever get the feeling that you're being watched? You're alone in the house, but you get this prickly feeling on the back of your neck. Wait. Did you check on the cat? I bet it's staring at you right now. Just around the corner. Cats are not as innocent as you might think they are. They are very good at playing "cute".

Does your cat ever knead you, bring you dead animals, throw up grass, or go sprinting around the room for no apparent reason? Well, your cat just might be plotting to kill you. Of course your cat might just be the friendly kind. Maybe. But never fear! There is a quiz you can take to find out for sure! I've always wondered about Skittles. She is, for the most part, the nicest cat I've ever had, but she does do some rather odd things.

You can be petting her and she'll be purring and enjoying it and then, for no apparent reason, hiss at you and attack! I always thought she was just suffering from mood swings, but then I took this quiz... It has opened my eyes. Of course, I can't let Skittles know that I'm on to her! Okay, okay! I know all of you who have cats are worried now, so I'll share the quiz with you. It's located at CatsWhoThrowUpGrass.com.

I am a cat person. Always have been- always will be, but now I know better than to let my guard down! Cats are wonderful creatures that can be very loving (and apparently evil at the same time). If you've ever owned a cat you know that they're more than just pets. Skittles sleeps with me every night I'm home, cuddles with me when I need it, and is always the first one to greet me in the morning (mostly because she wants the treats in my nightstand drawer).

Here are my results for Skittles. There is an 11% chance that she's not plotting to kill me! I guess I should feel special.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

On a non-homicidal note, the SPCA finally had their volunteer orientation this weekend! Yay! Needless to say I will be spending quite a bit of time there (: I'm even thinking about doing a "pet of the week" sort of thing to try to help some of the animals in the shelter find their own forever homes. Don't worry, I'll post a few dogs every now and then (;

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Should've Known...

Just as I feared, this job offer was too good to be true. What a load of crap. I got called by Academic Advantage a week ago. They were offering me a job as a tutor. Of course, I haven't had a "real" job in over a year, so I jumped on it. The orientation was last night. The first sign that this wasn't for me was the guy giving the orientation; he was... odd. Physically and the way he spoke, and I'm pretty sure that was something he was born with, but still. Second red flag: lady over the phone said $19/hour; he handed me the contract right as I walked in and as I'm reading it, it says $17/hr. I spoke with a few of the people around me and they were also promised $19/hr.

As the night went on many more discrepancies followed. One gentleman left very shortly after going over the contract, then another woman left. There are so many ways for you to get fined by working there! File your paperwork wrong and they fine you 35 dollars. Turn it in after the 2nd of the month and there's another 25; turn it in after the 6th and you might not even get paid. There is a certain number of hours you have to work with each student before the end of the school year- don't finish those and they will charge you $27 per hour for every hour you did not complete. Besides these deal breakers, there were so many other things that just didn't feel right. The group of ladies I was sitting with didn't feel 100% sure about this thing either. Everyone in the room was asking very confused questions, to which the man would answer "You'll have to call the Academic Advantage and talk to them about that. I'm just a lowly orientation man." Really? So in other words, you don't know anything.

I left at the part where we were supposed to give all of our information to him. No, he's not a supervisor or anything like that, he's just a tutor in the program. I decided against it and I told the girls I was talking to goodbye. I really hope they decided to leave too.

When I got home, and I feel stupid for not doing this in the first place, I looked up some more information about Academic Advantage and I found so many negative responses towards them. One person claims to have been charge $810 for them not being able to find a replacement tutor for him, even though he was promised he wouldn't be penalized. Another man posted that Academic Advantage is "an ethical disaster." They tried to charge him $4700 and are withholding his pay.

Well, now I know. And now all of you know. Please stay far far away from Academic Advantage. Time to pick up on the job trail where I left off. I didn't want to tutor germy kids anyway.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The First Week

This was the first week of the Winter Quarter, and oh what a week it was!

I thought I had CSUB all figured out (this is my second quarter there afterall). I've learned where the free parking is, I know where all my classes are, I know how to get food, and what time I actually need to get to campus in order to get to class on time. I didn't think anything could surprise me... and then I went to the health office. I needed to get TB tested for my new job. As I'm sure many of you know, CSUB is utterly ridiculous when it comes to being able to pay for anything on campus. They accept credit card, but they don't accept Visa. Are you kidding me? This has got to be one of the worst things about CSUB, but it was not the worst thing to happen this week.

On Monday I had to park at the Marketplace because I can't afford/refuse to pay $45 for a quarterly parking pass. As I'm walking I run into my friend Khushi and we stop to chat for a couple of minutes. She decides to go with me to Starbucks and we're on our way again. We come to the street light separating campus and the market place, and when the little white man says walk, we start to cross the street. We get about a quarter of the way when we hear this big booming sound. I looked up just in time to see the girl who was crossing from the other side of the street bouncing off the front of a truck. She flew. The truck pulled over to the side of the road and the driver, a woman in her thirties, jumped out. We also ran over to the girl to see if she was okay. She sat up and said she was fine and attempted to get up. There were so many people who saw it. She wanted to stand up, but everyone just kept telling her to stay where she was. Khushi called 911 and the campus police and an ambulance came and checked her out. She didn't even have a scratch on her. One lucky girl. We stuck around for a while to make sure she was okay and the medics gave her a clean bill of health.

That was one of the scariest things I've ever seen. Needless to say, I watch carefully when crossing at that particular corner from now on. Then to make matters worse, Tuesday comes along and my best friend Sharan is in a car accident. Luckily she was in a car, not just getting ran over. Wednesday came and went without incident (thankfully), and Thursday is almost over. My tutor orientation is tonight at 6:00 pm. I can't wait to get started! This week has been crazy indeed and I cannot wait for this weekend. No school Monday so it's a four day weekend; yes, you can all be jealous.

Here's to hoping nobody I know/near me gets hit with a vehicle next week. Watch where you're driving people!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Photos and Memories

Yes, we ended up doing the "kiss thing".

I was just randomly looking at pictures on my computer, and I came across this one. I also have the strip thumb-tacked to my wall and I noticed there was a code on the bottom of it. I had forgotten that Blababooth recorded your visits to their photo booths. So I typed in the code and got to relive the experience. I love taking pictures- either behind the camera or in front of it (mostly behind it). These were taken March 29th 2011, only 5 days after our 1 year anniversary. Yes, it took me a year to get him into one of these booths :P I just felt like sharing.

I love photographs. It is true, a picture is worth a thousand words. They capture and hold onto memories and save them for when our own memories fade away. I call myself a photographer, but I am a complete amateur. At one time in my life I had plans to make photography my profession, but that is just a distant dream now, though I am satisfied with calling it a hobby (: Check out my Flickr account to see some of my work. I've actually decided to start a project. My last Wordless Wednesday picture of Lucas inspired me. I have always loved taking pictures of animals, and his black and white picture is one of my favorites. So get ready to start seeing a lot more black and white photos of the animals in my life! School, work, and photography. I'm going to be really busy the next few months!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year. New Ashley.

New Year. New Me. I know everyone says that, but I actually mean it this time! This is going to be a new year for me, and I'm going to make the best of it. This will be the year I move out of my parent's house. This will be the year I start standing up more for myself and learning who I really am.

This morning my goal was to look around until I found someone who was hiring, and then get them to hire me. I really want to work at a vet hospital so I Googled all the vet hospitals in Bakersfield. I wrote down their names and numbers and then waited till 8 AM for them to open. I had a fairly large list- at least 15. I called around. Not a one of them was hiring. I got a lot of positive encouragement though. Many of them told me to come by and fill out an application anyway. I even got called back by one place where I left a message!

So I'm sitting there in the living room in front of my laptop, looking up places, fixing up my resume, and waiting for places to open when I get another phone call. It's not a Bakersfield number so I assume it's EventPro Strategies offering me another gig (which I would most definitely accept), but it's not. It's a woman from Academic Advantage, offering me a job as tutor. She found my resume on the CSUB CECE website. $19/hr and at least 8 hours a week. Thank You God. Not what I was expecting to do, but I will take anything I can get!

This job might be just the starting point I need to get on my own two feet. I'm still going to go drop my resume at the vet hospitals and see what happens, but so far it's looking like I'm not going to need to. I am just so excited for the future right now. Everything is finally starting to fall into place.

So far this year has been pretty good. Only six days in and I've got my school books taken care of, a possible job (I won't believe it till it actually happens :P), and it all started out with my very first New Year's kiss. I start school Monday and my job orientation is Thursday. I can't wait. Bring on 2012.
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