Job Hunt

Even though I know I’ll have a job in Sydney, I can’t help but wonder what else is out there.

So I start job hunting for the first time in 4 years. I can’t fathom why it’s much more stressful than I remember.

I mean–if anything, it should feel easier, shouldn’t it? I’m older, I have more work experience, and I know what I want.

But that’s just it. Knowing exactly what type of job I want and knowing what I’m worth are the exactly why job hunting is more stressful than I remember.

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When I was younger, I believed in my own skills less. I felt young and hopeless and I was willing to believe anyone else’s estimations of me. Job hunting in my twenties felt just like Halloween–I’m going from job to job, dressed up like an adult when I feel like a kid. I’m holding out my empty bag of hopes and dreams and just asking random strangers to give me something I normally don’t deserve.

Yet another aspect of why job hunting now is more stressful: I am more of a realist now. Four years ago, I was looking for ANY job. I didn’t care what job I had, because in my mind, I was a writer. I was going to be a writer on my own and whatever job I got to pay the bills really didn’t matter, because I didn’t have to care about enjoying it. I blindly believed I could do both; I could work in a professional field for a living and still accomplish the personal writing goals I set out to do.

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But… four years later, I haven’t made much progress, writing-wise. I do my daily word limits like a good little self-starter. I’ve created some interesting short stories in this time. Overall though, my big writing projects haven’t gone very far. There are a million excuses when you work a day job.

  • I’m too tired thinking about my work that I actually get paid for.
  • My brain is frazzled from my paid work.
  • I need down time from my paid work.

The excuses for not having completed personal writing goals are endless when you actually care about your day job.

It’s depressing, because now that I’m (kind of) an adult, I know better. I know that caring about one’s day job is impossible to avoid. Being a kid, even a young adult, you really have no accurate understanding of what might happened to you if you quit your day job. You have no one counting on you to put food on the table at the end of the day.

So here is where I admit: it’s not possible to care less about my day job. I have to care. Caring means more stress. And that’s okay. Being an adult means I have to stress. Maybe having all these things to stress about will make me a better writer.

Caring about my day job doesn’t have to mean that I just throw in the towel on what I want to achieve with writing; it just means that it’ll be more difficult for me to do, but it’s not impossible. I just have to push myself harder.

Perhaps this is why J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan–to help him (or others) deal with the realities of adulthood.

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Goodbye, Yahoo

Yahoo Becoming Internet History

Goodbye, Yahoo. I only ever had one email address (candyass2you@yahoo.com) with you, but your contributions to the internets were great.

Tale of Two Computers

ASUS X205TA 11.6 Inch Laptop (Intel Atom, 2 GB, 32GB SSD)

Versus

HP Stream 11.6-Inch Laptop (Intel Celeron, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB SSD)


I’ve wanted a smaller laptop that ran Windows OS for a long time. I currently own a Samsung Chromebook, but after using it for a year, the glitter has worn off.

Whenever I took the Chromebook somewhere where Internet wasn’t readily available, the functionality of the Chromebook suffers. As well, there were everyday software that I needed to use (like Skype) that I couldn’t install on a Chromebook. Some of these programs offer web versions, which can be run of a Chromebook, but it’s certainly not ideal.

So I started the search into a very portable and very cheap machine that will still run Windows OS. These 2 small notebook laptops were what I found in terms of portability and price.

Let’s do a general comparison:

In terms of portability…

While these were both lightweights, the ASUS computer is at least 1 pound lighter than the HP.

In terms of cost…

ASUS cost me about $250 USD. HP cost $199 USD. Both are about the price of a Nexus tablet.

In terms of Windows OS usability…

The ASUS came with windows 8.1. That’s its first downfall. The second? When I tried to upgrade directly (it was advertised with free Windows 10 upgrade) to Windows 10, it turns out there wasn’t enough SSD space to upgrade.

Both the HP and the ASUS have 32 GB SSD space… but what I found with the ASUS was that a good 10 GB of that 32 was already partitioned into a recovery disk apart from C Drive, this completely changed how easy it is to upgrade to Windows 10. HP doesn’t have the same nonsense.

Not to mention, the HP actually came with Windows 10 loaded already.

Another point in favor of the HP: Intel Celeron is faster than Intel Atom.

Web Browsing…

The ASUS was much faster for web browsing than the HP. Although this could be due to me not using the ASUS for very long (I returned it pretty much as soon as upgrade to Windows 10 wasn’t feasible).

Edit from Starbucks down the street:

Turns out the slow web experience could have to do with our home internet. Web browsing on the HP loaded at normal speed in Starbucks WiFi.

General Experience…

Overall, the HP is more preferable for me than the ASUS. It is:

  • Cheaper
  • Runs Windows 10 smoothly
  • Has most of its SSD space allotted to C Drive
  • Faster USB ports (ASUS only has USB 2.0 ports)
    • 2 USB 3.0 ports, one of these is SuperSpeed

One huge problem about the ASUS:

As soon as Windows 10 upgrade was complete, the wireless network adaptor broke. Broke as in no matter what kind of fixes (upgrade drivers, uninstall and then reinstall drivers, etc) I applied, it simply wouldn’t work.

For the HP computer—I set up the machine straight out of the box. I’ve been using it for writing offline and just about anything else I do for work, and so far it’s running fine. Web browsing is a bit slow; but only on my Chrome browser. This is most likely due to the fact that I have so many extensions built into my Chrome browser that it’s taking a toll on this small laptop with 2 GB ram.

Final thoughts…

I’m very happy with the HP. I purchased this mostly for offline writing, and it’s doing that very well.

Dentistry In Stamford

Welcome to Stamford, Connecticut, where people have to sell their liver for perfect looking teeth. It’s “The City That Works”.

Ready to read my long dental history? You’re going to have to, anyway.

I’ve had braces twice in my life time. Once for 2 years when I was a kid. Then another 3 years when I was 19 (braces didn’t come off till I was 22).

When I was 19, my dentist saw that I was genetically missing some teeth. I was missing my top lateral incisors, so my top row of teeth looked like this, and I was missing 2 second premolars on the bottom. My adult 2nd premolars never came in; so I still have 2 baby premolars in my mouth… the x-Ray looked funny (not my X-Ray, obviously, but it was what my teeth looked like at the time).

What was decided at the time; pull out my baby premolars from the bottom, and use braces to close the gaps. This would pull my bottom teeth back under my front teeth (how a normal bite should be).

Result at the time: my teeth were straight. All four of my wisdom teeth had room to stay in my mouth, so they stayed. I now get annual lectures about how I have to clean my wisdom teeth really well because they are hard to clean. Blah blah blah.

On to the Vampire Issue

So because I was missing the two lateral incisors up top, I ended up looking like a vampire whenever I smiled. My dentist at the time said he could flatten out the canine fangs and we can “pretend” that they were lateral incisors. I didn’t want to do it at first; but after a couple of years of whining, I let him do it.

So he put bondings on my canines to make them into lateral incisors. He also put bondings on my central incisors (2 front teeth) so that they would match. Great fix.

4 Years Later

The bonding on my left front tooth starts chipping. I get it fixed at my new dentist in Vancouver. New dentist is the first one to suggest using porcelain veneers instead. I said no, because it’s expensive and unnecessary. She tells me that me that the bonding will continue to chip every few years. Bondings are less expensive and are usually covered by dental insurance, because it’s not a strictly cosmetic procedure; bondings are typically used to protect any “open wounds” on your teeth in order to prevent cavities. I refuse again.

2 Years After 2nd Bonding

Front left tooth starts to chip again. This time I’m in Stamford. This is May of 2015. I go to Dental Care of Stamford for a regular cleaning, and I ask them to fix my front tooth with more bonding. I’m hounded this time to use procelain veneers. I ask for a quote. Too expensive (can’t remember exactly the cost). I turn them down. They charge me $153 for bonding on one tooth, since insurance only covers a part of it. I walk away happy.

Yesterday

My front left tooth has chipped a lot in the past two weeks. I put off going back to the dentist to get it fixed again, and this time I’m thinking maybe I should just do the veneers. Maybe the problem was that regular bonding just wasn’t strong enough.

I go back to Dental Care of Stamford, only to be quoted a whooping $2152 dollars PER TOOTH for procelain veneers (and Carol wants me to do 4 teeth. That’s close to 10,000!). The dentist spent about 2 minutes with me, telling me what she would do, and when I ask her for  a quote, she says, “I’ll let Carol tell you that.”

Carol is the sales woman assigned to make me sell a liver. She’s dressed like a sales person and she has zero dental skills. Why do dental offices even have sales people? Carol fights hard to sell me this incredible expensive procedure that I “absolutely must have” if I “want to look my best.”

I refuse a couple of times. She tries other tactics of convincing me. I get tired of saying “no”, so instead I say:

“I have no money. My husband supports me. I have to ask him.”

You’d think Carol would leave it at that, right? Nope. She then starts showing me this brochure for some kind of medical services credit card, she tells me that my husband can finance it on a monthly basis. I want to stop her there and tell her that I have no credit here (I’m not American, and I don’t have a bank account here), but I figure I’d let her continue wasting her breath for a few minutes before I just say, “great, thanks. I’ll talk it over with my husband.”

Carol’s closing line, that really made me laugh? –> “Just tell him it’s your Christmas Present!”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Dentist in White Plains

I walk out of Dental Care (I doubt they care) of Stamford, laughing internally and feeling like I needed a shower after 30 minutes spent with sleazy sales tactics thrown at me. I complain about the cost and experience to TubHubs for a while, then I ask him for the number for his dentist.

Turns out his dentist is The Lincoln Lawyer of dentists. His practice may not have all the fancy tools and shiny chairs that Dental Care of Stamford does, but there isn’t a single sales person on his staff.

After taking some X-Rays, the dentist came and looked at my teeth. I told him briefly about my dental history (he knew I had braces from looking at the X-Rays) and why my front tooth had been chipping so much. I told him that I was thinking veneers since they were stronger, but that I was worried about the cost.

Here is what he tells me:

There’s no reason for bondings to chip so easily after just months of use. The reason that mine are chipping more frequently is because I no longer had canines.

Canines are naturally designed to absorb the impact between your top and bottom teeth. He showed me how my bottom teeth have collusion “damage”.

He then gave me 2 options:

  1. Get porcelain veneers, and he could try building me proper canines. This would be expensive and out of pocket, as veneers are always considered cosmetic.
  2. Get bondings on that one tooth again, but this time he’ll give me a night guard to wear, which would prevent my teeth from grinding and chipping the bonding. This option is covered by dental insurance. Good bondings should last 5 to 10 years.

Out of all of the dentists I’ve seen (aside from my first dentist, who did my braces) before him, they’ve all pretty much omitted the “truth” about my ever-chipping tooth–just so that they could sell me a much more expensive procedure.

The Very Short of It

Honest dentists are hard to find. That’s all.

Let’s All Just Stick to Our Own Choices; and Stop Telling Others How to Live

Thought Catalog: Children Are The Shackles to a Woman’s Dreams

This woman wrote candidly about her choices in life, and what having children means to her. It’s freedom of expression. She writes about how she was constantly reminded that her “time is running out”.

Why do people make it sound like you’re dying of some disease if you’re not having children? Her “time” is not “running out”. She’s still a person who has a whole life ahead of her without kids.

Then to scroll down and see the first couple of comments tell her that “not all parents have the same experience” and that “being a parent is good for some people”. That’s awesome. But then they go on to tell her that they don’t think she ought to be saying that having kids is a bad thing; because that will scare people off from having children.

Err… isn’t that exactly what so many people have been doing to us young folks the entire time we’ve been alive? Telling us (women at least) that having children is the most wonderful thing you can or will ever do? (Don’t get me started on how damaging this type of conditioning is to a women who literally can’t have children).

There was an article a few months ago about studies done on couples with kids. Their conclusion was that depression is a lot more common among parents versus non-parents.

Thanks to people who keep referring to parenting as some wonderful thing; people who listen to them and end up having kids EXPECT some kind of wondrous experience. Then when the experience doesn’t live up to the hype and postpartum hits, these women are extremely unprepared to deal with their emotions.

I do want to have kids, but I’m tired of people telling me how wonderful it’ll be. I know it won’t be wonderful. I know it’s not going to be sunshine and rainbows. I know I might even end up with some ungrateful assholes for kids. They might be disabled, they might become sociopaths.

I’m definitely sick of hearing people tell other women who don’t want kids exactly the same sales speech they give me. And then to go on and paint these women as “not real women” because they lack the urge to procreate.

For all the parents out there who talk about the good and the bad of parenthood: Thank You.

Children ARE a burden. The reason we’re biologically made to think of them as “cute” is so that we won’t want to just leave them on the road side because they are too much work. I want to have kids despite the fact that they’re a burden. They are a burden I’m willing to take on.

The “rewards” that these procreation sales people keep talking about are not always a guarantee, so they should stop peddling their BS. It makes people who do have kids end up expecting way too much; it makes people who don’t want to have kids feel like they’re abnormal.

Do I look forward to the first time my future kids laugh and smile at me? Yes. Do I look forward to the first time they tell me about someone they like? Yes. But I know enough not to expect those things. Too many things could go wrong with having children that for me to expect only happiness and fulfillment from having children is just plain misguided.

Folks who think they have to “tell” other people how to live their lives should kindly shut the hell up.

Why Is Canadian Politics So “Boring”?

The results of the latest election is literally everywhere. Justin Trudeau’s handsome mug is all over the front pages of Facebook. This is literally the most interesting Canadian politics has ever been in my experience as a Canadian.

Granted, I have only been a Canadian for the last 20 years.

I went on the Googlesphere today to try and find out just why Canadian politics is so interesting right now… and the auto-complete search bar thought I was asking, “why is canadian politics so boring”. The top search led me to this online article from LA Times, which gave me a crash course on the differences between the contemporary political climate of Canada versus the USA.

The reason us Canadians are so “boring”? Because our friend down south makes politics such a shit show. Given the choice, most of us would rather be watching a bunch of overgrown toddlers yelling at each other about what Jesus would have wanted and Hilary’s emails than a group of middle aged white dudes standing around talking about how to best run a country.

The thing about democracy is this: when politics gets boring, you get poor voter turn outs. No one cares enough to go out voting for someone if they’re not angry enough about the opponents. That’s one thing American politics have done a lot better than Canadians. Americans know how to piss people off. They know how to flip you off, spit in your face, and insult your mother all in the same breath.

Canadians? We say “sorry” and “thank you” and “no please after you” all in the same breath.

So what happened with this past Canadian election? People were pissed off enough. Canadian campaigners took a page out of America’s book and incited some hate against their opponents. Our gloves (made out of beaver skin) came straight off and out came the fists. Sure, we’re sorry about it afterwards (we’re always sorry), but it got the job done.

At the end of it all… I still feel disconnected. I’m a Taiwanese Canadian living in the USA. I’ve never had to live in one place for too long, not long enough for the politics of that country to truly affect my long term goals. So if I had to be honest, politics is still boring to me. I’m not interested in the shit-show, I’m not interested in the country’s economy and how one guy fucked it up and the other guy’s vowing to fix it now. I keep waiting for something in the news to “piss me off”, but so far, the closest I got was when some American politics threatened to defund Planned Parenthood.

My feelings for this would be different if I had kids, I think. Because then I’d worry about a whole shit ton of things. Whether they’d be shot a school, whether their post secondary education would be subsidized by the government, whether they’d be discriminated against… the list goes on.

For now, I’m still just waiting to give a shit.

Windows…. Why You Be Like This?

So I finally have some time to write about the horrid experience I had with Microsoft and Lenovo.

How It Started…

I have Nvidia Geforce graphics card built into my laptop. Whenever Nvidia has a new driver update, it usually messes up my monitor display. I’ve learned to ignore it.

At 10 am on Tuesday morning, my Lenovo Y5010P machine booted up with a black screen. The mouse icon was there, and moves around, but that’s about it. I try all the fixes suggested by Google-sphere, but to no avail.

I go on Microsoft Chat. First guy I talk to goes through a bunch of steps with me, nothing worked. Final suggestion was to re-install Windows. Fine

Reinstalling Windows

What the guy failed to tell me was that because I got a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1, I would most likely lose validity of my OS upon reinstall; he had me download the OS from their website.

Essentially, I was reinstalling a new retail version of Windows 10.

The Shit Storm 

Four hours later, my machine is back up and running. I needed to catch up with my work day. I go to reinstall all my work software. Turns out my Windows OS is no longer activated. I couldn’t use certain administrative functions. Um. What?

I call Microsoft, I’m told that I now have a new retail copy of Windows 10 installed on my machine.

….

I explain my situation to the guy, he says no problem; just give him the product key of my original Windows 8.1 and he can generate a Windows 10 product key for me.

I don’t have my original product key.

Guy tells me it’s on a sticker on the bottom of my laptop. Yah. Not there.

I’m told to call Lenovo.

Lenovo customer service can’t help me, passes me to tech support. Tech Support guy told me he’ll send me a recovery disk (who still uses these?) of Windows 8.1 and I can generate a product key from that–for a cost of $70 USD.

Why am I paying any money for something I already owned?

I yelled at the Tech Support guy. I’m extremely pissed at this point. I have never yelled at a random person on the phone before, but now I’m yelling. I told the guy why I would possibly pay money for something I already had.

He just went on to tell me I should choose one of the 4 options of payment.

I told him I’m going to call Microsoft back to get them to do something for me. He actually laughed at me and says they won’t do a thing for me. I hung up on him.

I called Microsoft back, 2 different times.

Long Story Short

I got my Windows activated, but it was 3 calls later. It was the most frustrated I’ve ever been for a while. I go through to reinstall my work software on the newly activated Windows 10; only to find that the first guy who advised me to install had given me a Windows 10 Home version…. meaning I could not use SQL Server (you need Pro).

I had been using SQL Server on my machine before Windows crapped out… and now I’m looking at paying either $100 for Windows Pro or go through another 8 hour phone fiasco with Windows.

I’m ashamed to say that I paid. $100 dollars is worth avoiding 8 hours of tearing out my hair, yelling at people over the phone.

OS Monopoly

Thanks for reading the bitch fest. I hear many people tell me to just switch to Linux or Mac… but the reality is, Microsoft has a monopoly over enterprise software. If this was a computer for personal use, I’d switch in a second (I had Linux for 3 years on my old laptop), but this laptop is for work, where I need to run certain software that’s only available in Windows.

And yah, why not dual boot, why not get a Mac and use bootcamp or parallels; because in the end, doing all that is still a hassle.

It’s amazing that in this day and age (is this a common phrase for old 30 year old ladies to use now??), we’re still putting up with so much shitty user experience with technology.

Or maybe, our expectations were too high in the first place.

 

Continue reading

Obvious Science

Obvious Fact Proven by Studies #0001

A new study suggests that people should get married between the ages of 28 and 32 if they don’t want to get divorced, at least in the first five years.

Well… NO SHIT. 

People in our generation haven’t really had to grow up until our late 20’s. Getting married when you’re still mentally a teenager means that you’re going to get tired of your spouse much faster and much easier than you would have as an adult.

If you grew up in North America, chances are, your parents and their parents were married much younger than 20’s, or 30’s. Why?

Because people from an older generation went through a lot of shit.

  • World World I
  • World World II
  • The Great Depression
  • Spanish Flu
  • Suffrage
  • Martin Luther King
  • Vietnam
  • Gulf Wars

The list goes on. The correlation here is this: the less shit you’ve had to go through as a child or a teenager, the slower you mature. Maturity can really be summed by a few words: “I’ve seen some shit.”

What were the great tragedies of our generation?

  • 9/11

…. That’s all I got. And to be honest, most of us were mostly unaffected by 9/11. We still remember where we were and what we were doing when it happened, just like how your grandpa may now recall what he was doing when Kennedy was assassinated. 9/11 changed the lives of many, but for a larger majority of us, it was not a personal tragedy.

So our generation matured slower. I certainly wasn’t as capable at 23 years old than my forefathers were. I’m hazy about my own history, but I do know that my grandfather lost his family in the Nanking Massacre, and he was only a teen.

In general, I believe that a study that showed at what maturity level people should marry would be much more interesting than a study that shows what age. Age is just a number.

WINDOWS 10 MUST DO FOR USERS WITH NVIDIA GEFORCE DISPLAY DRIVER

HAPPY DAY

So the problem I had last week that I gave up on…. I was able to find a fix for it… on Reddit.

Here’s the link to the comment that saved the day: Set hardware settings as Never download from windows update.

(Turns out there was a PSA sticked in /r/NVIDIA that included the same instructions noted above for upgrading to Windows 10…)

Here’s a screenshot of my NVIDIA Control Panel back in action:

NVIDIA Control Panel

(Yes, I played Sims 4).

Sure, I don’t play enough games for this to have really affect daily use of my laptop… but not having the Geforce icon in my notification area (bottom right on task bar) was really bothering me. Also not being able to change the default graphics for individual games really bothered me.

I’m glad I got this to work.

TubHub Says: You spent way too much time obsessing over something you don’t use anyway.