Hooray

I haven’t posted here in forever, but I wanted to say that I passed BEC!

1 part down, 3 to go.  Ready to get it over with already.

 

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Perks of Being a Wallflower

I watched the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower over this weekend.  It reminded me a lot of the book, its original form, that I read so many years ago but had forgotten.  One important thing about the book that I didn’t forget, however, is what it made me feel: a sense of nostalgia for something I really never was a part of or able to experience for myself.  If that is even possible, I cannot say, but it is the best way that I know how to describe it.  Strangely, and this will come back around, I learned about the book from the profile page of one of the guitarists for a band I was a huge fan of at the time, Kill Hannah.

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Kill Hannah’s lineup when I first listened to them

 

As I watched the movie,  I was introduced to some great music from the ’80s and early ’90s that I’d either never heard of or had forgotten as soon as I heard it.  One of the songs in particular, Cocteau Twins’ “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops,” struck me as mesmerizing, a song where I can just get lost in the music and escape.  That song, and many others on the soundtrack, made me think about what I liked so much about Kill Hannah’s old music: it’s the freedom to stop thinking about whatever ails my thoughts and go on a journey, if only for a little while.

PerksOfBeingaWallflowerIf you haven’t read the book (or seen the movie), I recommend you at least watch the film.  It’s a coming of age story that rivals any other I’ve had the chance to see, read, or listen to.  Although I originally read the story when I was a teenager or just out of being one, I think someone could read it for the first time as an adult and enjoy it.  It’s set in the early ’90s, which many may relate to, but it still feels timeless.

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Time to waste

I was able to go back home for Labor Day weekend.  It wasn’t too exciting since I didn’t do much but spend time at home with my mom.  It was nice to get back for a while, regardless.  It appears to be hard to get people together to do something on the weekends since the majority of people I know work in restaurants, but I know all about that, and how it feels since I spent enough years working in them.

I miss my dog a lot.  He’s not someone I can just speak to on the phone if I miss him.  I only get to see him a few days every other month, and it’s sad each time I have to leave him.  All he does is stick to me when I’m home.  I guess he knows that it’s only a temporary stay by now.  I’d like bring him with me, but it’s better for him with my mom since she’s home all the time. Because of my work schedule, I’m gone for large portions of the day.  That wouldn’t be good for him since he doesn’t like to be left alone.  Especially recently that’s been true.  Here’s a picture of him sleeping that I took that Saturday.

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CPA Exam, BEC

I finally scheduled my first part of the CPA exam, the Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) section.  I’m excited to get started on this process, but at the same time, it is a little frightening.  I’ve included an image I found on the Internet about the pass rates for this particular section of the exam.  They’re not very heartening.  Test taking is one of my fortes, however, so as long as I adequately prepare, my chances of success should be good.  This is generally–and I use that word loosely–considered to be the easiest of the four sections.  That’s one of the reasons I chose it first.  I don’t want to start off too hard, but it’s a fine line to walk due to the consideration that by the time I’m at the end of the process–one the fourth part–I’m going to be burnt out on studying.  I can’t save the hardest for last; if I do, I feel like I’ll be in trouble.BEC-cpa-exam-pass-rate-2012

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Frye Lewis Keeper

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The other day I bought a new pair of shoes.  I needed a brown pair of ‘dressier’ shoes that I could wear at work.  Somehow, someplace, somewhere, I ran across Frye’s Web site.  Frye is more commonly known as makers of boots, but it offers a nice selection of shoes as well.  I decided to order a pair online since, living in the middle of nowhere, there wouldn’t be any establishment that sells them remotely close enough for me to drive.  Not that I’d want to drive more than I already do, in any case.

They are soft and comfortable.  I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of slip on loafers actually, besides those that I’ve bought for work.  These will primarily be used for work, too, but I can wear them elsewhere, too, since they won’t be covered in grease.  At least, I certainly hope they don’t get doused in grease.  That would certainly be an unhappy accident.  They fit true to size.  Since I ordered them online, I was a bit worried that I might have to exchange them for a half-size up or down, but I don’t feel that’s necessary.  I’m satisfied with how they fit.

The color is accurate from what is presented on Frye’s Web site.  It’s a darker brown but has natural color differentiations in the pigmentation of the leather.  It gives the shoe more character in my opinion, but I say that simply as a layman of leather.  The shoes also have a bit of a driver, but time will tell if that impacts my daily commute any.

Included in this post is a series of images I took of the shoes for reference’s sake. WP_20130801_006 WP_20130801_005 WP_20130801_004 WP_20130801_002

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Pacific Rim

pacific-rim-wp1Pacific Rim is a movie I’ve been wanting to see since the very moment I saw its trailer.  I don’t know how long ago that was, but it felt like forever leading up to its release.  I got the chance to see it last night.  To say the least, I was thoroughly impressed.  I feel as though it were made specifically for me.  I’ve always been a fan of mech anime, especially those involving fighting off an alien monster, like Evangelion, RaXelphon, and Fafner.  While I don’t think Del Toro explicitly stated those three as inspirations for the movie, it’s clear they must have originated from the same breed of ideas.

There’s enough action to pacify any action movie fan; most of which is what you might expect: the jaegers (mechs) vs kaijus (alien monsters).  The special effects are very well done, and that’s a good thing since so much of the movie is presented via CGI.  There’s quite a bit of comic relief in the movie, too, principally by Ron Perlman and Charlie Day.  I think those scenes might have stretched a little too long, though, because I always anxious to return back to the ‘A plot’ of the movie.  They were a bit estranged from the action itself, so I consider them a bit of a reprieve from the intensity of the monster battles.

If I have any complaint, it’s that I wish there were more daytime fighting.  I feel like it would’ve been more satisfying to see more of what was going on than we what we were able to make out in the nighttime scenes.  I still keep thinking about the movie and keep wanting more.  It hasn’t done exceptionally well in the box office domestically, although it’s doing well overseas.  I hope the movie gets enough word of mouth that it has a nice stay in theaters since that would help its chances of getting a sequel.  We never got a sequel to Cloverfield and that’s a shame, but this movie is spectacular.  It deserves one.

This will be a day one Blu-Ray purchase for me.

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JBL PowerUp

JBL PowerUp

AT&T recently had a deal on the Nokia PowerUp speaker by JBL for about half off its normal retail price.  It was a good deal, and I’d been wanting to pick one up for some time, so I bit.  It arrived Thursday while I was at work, so it was home waiting for me once I got off.  I naturally tried it out immediately and was rather impressed.

Of course, it is sort of an expensive speaker, especially if you consider its normal MSRP.  But it’s very convenient for me, being an owner of a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone.  I can make use of NFC to quickly pair my phone to the device using Bluetooth, without having to go through the tortured process of pairing the two devices manually.  Additionally, the speaker has a charging plate on top that will charge my phone wirelessly.  That’s a nice thing to have.  I could see myself buying a couple more charging plates: maybe one at my desk at home and one for work.  It’d be so easy just to lay the phone down on them that battery concerns would be a nonissue.  They’re about $25 a piece though, which isn’t much in comparison to this speaker but still outside of the ‘impulse buy’ territory.

On to the sound, it’s quite bass heavy, so much so that I wish it were ‘toned down’ a bit–and I like heavy bass.  It puts out a nice sound, however, for such a portable speaker.  It’s not the most portable unit in the market, though, since it requires being plugged in.  I’d like to have seen a battery-powered option as well.  As you may be able to tell, it collects dust very easily.

I’ve enjoyed listening to music/podcasts as I fall asleep on the speaker instead of my earphones.  I’m hoping that that will also make my earphones last a bit longer, since I’m sure that laying on them isn’t considered treating them well.

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Mala suerte

I noticed my front passenger tire was flat on the way to work yesterday, almost as soon as I pulled out of my driveway.  Somehow it must have lost air overnight, but  however it happened, the tire wasn’t repairable.  I had to buy another tire, unfortunately, which was a lot of money I didn’t want to spend on something like that.  I’m thankful, though, the flat didn’t happen during the course of my substantial daily commute, since it would’ve been difficult to get roadside assistance in the middle of nowhere.  This incident marked the first go at trying to change a tire on this car, and the lug nuts must’ve been originally tightened with a torque wrench or some similar contraption because I couldn’t manage to get the nuts off myself.  I guess I got roadside assistance as part of my insurance for good reason now.

In other news, I finished my first audit this week (a county audit).  I spent the rest of the week doing city, and I start next week on another county.  I’m getting the hang of things more and more, but I still have an unthinkably large number of things I still have to learn.  It’s a ‘work-in-progress’ (literally, pun always intended!), but I won’t be satisfied until I’m able to handle everything without feeling stressed.  That’s happening a lot now with not understanding how something is done or the difficulty in getting numbers to balance as they should.  It’s not good for me.

I’ve bought Becker since my last update, and I’ve started to study for the CPA exam.  I’m beginning with BEC.  I generally hear that’s the easiest, but that is very arguable depending on whom you ask.

I lack much else to update here except for more work-related business, and that would just bore me, even more so anyone else to happens to meander to this blog.  I’ll leave it there for now.

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Here, Here, and Here

I miss people, and dogs, and things back home.  This isn’t particularly easy.  I knew it wouldn’t be, but it’s good to have moved on from the past into the future.  I’ll have opportunities to remedy that later.  If not, I’ll have to look elsewhere.  I can manage here for the time being, but I don’t see it as a place I want to settle for.

I’m getting used to work more and more as time goes on.  I can see it as a job I can be content with.  It pays well, too; that certainly helps.  The travel isn’t so great.  The days are long even without taking the long commutes into consideration.  Hopefully I won’t be expected to commute an hour each way for my next few work sites.  I could use a break from all of that.  I do make money on the travel right now, though, but that part is very dependent on the distance.

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Delay

I’m still alive.

Over the course of the last month, I’ve had lots of trouble getting my Internet turned on, so I have not had the opportunity to update here.

My job has started.  It’s not too bad.  It’ll take a long time before I feel fully confident over everything I need to do.

I need to start studying for the CPA exam soon.  That costs more than $3,000 for the review program, then the costs of taking it.  The differential is worth it, but it’s a lot out-of-pocket.  Thankfully, I believe Becker has a 0% financing option.

I’ll try to update more at some other time.  I just wanted to check in here for now.

Until next time.

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