Monday, April 25, 2011

A Time for Decisions and a Time for Limbo

Xan and I have had some decisions to make lately.  Most of them came with limbos where we couldn't make a decision until someone else made a decisions.  Don't you LOVE those?  (heavy on the sarcasm)

One example of these was a chance for Xan to do some digs in Israel over the summer.  He was accepted and was going to be able to go dig up Harrod's palace.  (Can you say awesome?)  Unfortunately, he didn't get the funding.  *sigh*  It was an annoying complication that made Cornell decide not to give him the money.  You see, the dig in Israel doesn't relate directly to his dissertation research.  Makes sense, right?  BUT, the dig that DOES pertain to his dissertation - let me ask him where it is again...Oh yes, the Faroe Islands - won't take him on without SOME experience.  It's simply one of those catch 22 situations where you can't go without experience... but then how else do you get experience but to go GET experience...  *sigh*  Life...

I've been applying for other jobs.  Many of them are part-time and would allow me to still work at Wegmans, too.  I think I've already collected almost 10 rejections for the year.  Such is the life of a recent (2+ years) college graduate in an economically unstable job market.  There are two jobs still pending.  The first, well, we'll see.  The other Xan and I applied for together.  It's to be house parents for one of the sororities here at Cornell.  I have a lot of housing and hospitality experience under my belt.  My favorite jobs were in housing environments.   We already had an interview but they were hoping for more applicants so they extended the interview process.  We expect to hear back by the end of May... we guess.  Honestly, we're not really sure if we want it.  Our decision process goes something like this:

Free rent, utilites, cable, phone, internet, trash disposable, on-campus parking spot, and food.  (That's a LOT of free stuff!)  Plus a $600 monthly stipend.  In other words, the biggest pro is that we could save A LOT of money, and that's after a liberal budget allowance.  There is a house cook so I wouldn't have to make dinner most nights.  Don't like the food?  Well, we'd have the money to go out to eat since Ithaca has a GREAT selection of restaurants.  (I've dealt with living off cafeteria food before in China as well as a summer job at BYU and while its not ideal, I know how to make it work).  We'd be living on campus so I'd be closer to Xan during the day if we wanted to have lunch together.  We could attend more events on campus, like evening concerts.  AND, I could keep a part-time job at the same time.  That DOUBLES the savings. And, this particular sorority has a private entrance to the apartment so we wouldn't have to interact with the girls EVERY time we came and went.

We'd have to move INTO the sorority where a one bedroom apartment is provided. (a sitting room, bedroom, bathroom, and two small closets.  No private kitchen; we'd be sharing with the girls and the cook.  No pet policy (honestly our biggest hold up).  And simply dealing with the girls.  The politics, drama, pranks, drugs, alcohol, sex, ect.  And finally, this house is more strict than some of the others and make it mandatory that you are there any night that the girls are there.  For example, if Cornell gets a long weekend and is out on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we would only be allowed to leave on the Saturday.  And, over the summer or winter break, we couldn't leave if there was work being done with the house.  So, yes, we'd have a lot of extra spending money for travel, but we would have to wait until the job was over to use it.  But, if I stayed at Wegmans, we're not sure this would really be an issue since I already am locked in at work during those times anyway.  That summer trip we took to Utah for 2 1/2 weeks was VERY nice of them.

We go back and forth on this by the hour.  (Can you guess which side I'm on while writing this?)  I think we're currently of the opinion that we'll make the decision once we find out if we even got the job.  Why stress where there is a chance we might not even get the offer? The current house parents are in our branch.  We're house-sitting for them through Tuesday night.  It's a good chance to see a taste of living there.  I slept there last night and yes, the girls do sound like they are rearranging furniture upstairs until one in the morning.  Although, it was still distant enough that I don't remember it keeping me awake.  Xan's coming with me tonight to see how he takes it, since he is the lightest sleeper I've ever known.  Apparently, he'll wake up if I start breathing differently.  It's a good thing I don't snore... or rarely snore and even then quietly.

It's been interesting to hear other people's opinions on whether we should accept should an offer be given.  Those who are really struggling with finances won't even give the cons the time of day.  For them, the financial security would be worth any type of Hell we might experience for a year or two or three.  On the other hand, pet lovers out there claim that no money is worth loosing one's pets.  Which, by the way, the plan would be to give the cats back to Xan's parents (where they originally came from) so we'd still see them anytime we visited the folks.  The frogs would be sold.  I think we calculated that right now we have a frog value of around $1500 (including the tanks).  Although we've had a few more eggs laid and tadpoles born so I think we might be up another hundred or so.  And we would sell my snake, Aakash.  

Have an opinion?  Let us know!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Brownie Recipe

I made some homemade brownies a couple of weeks ago and a few people asked for the recipe.  (No one that tried them, though... )  I got the recipe from Good Eats.  

I liked these videos because they helped with the technique of cooking brownies.  They were VERY tasty.  But, still not quite as good as boxed brownies.  Now that I have the technique, I'll try a few different recipes over the course of time.  (Cocoa can get pricey and brownies use A LOT.  Totally worth it!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tadpole City

I may not write as often as I'd like, but I'm here.  Xan and I are doing really well.  It's getting to the end of the semester so we're tired but we're still finding ways to enjoy our days.  We've been doing a lot with photography lately.  Our frogs have been breeding like crazy and keep us working to care for the tadpoles.  I really like this shot I got yesterday.  So cute, right?