As the world continues. Quite dull, actually. My mood matches nicely with the weather.

I finally have a job at Kohl's. I'm not all that excited because it means more retail, and not just retail this time, but I have to work the register when necessary. *pukes* I had a goal in life to avoid learning how to use a register. Mostly because that's where people get bitchy the most. Hopefully I won't have to deal with that much crap - I'm going to hide out in the clothes as much as possible and just do my thing. Leave me alone - I only have this job so I can pay my school bills. I don't care about the company the way you want me to and I'm not staying here forever, I can guarentee you that.

That's pretty much my only saving grace. That I'm not going to be here forever. 3-4 months at most, after that I'm out of here. End of story. This house needs to get sold or even mom will go insane from being here too long. Besides, I still have a trump card up my sleeve that few people know about, mostly because...well I don't really have a reason for not presenting it, I just don't want to go flaunting around when there's the possibility something better might come along.

But I'm being cryptic again. Sorry. Anyway, I've been training on their little computer and today I have to go in from 5-10:30 and I guess I'll just be playing around in the department all day. Which is fine. We haven't learned to use the registers yet so yay on that. I feel like some stupid kid because I have to go through all this training. *rolls eyes* I know how to put clothes back on racks, I know how to fold shirts and pants and size them and blah blah blah. Been there, done that. *snort* But whatever. I'm getting paid to do all this training crap so whatever. Put it on my bill. Working here does mean I need a few more pairs of pants though, which is kind of annoying. I don't like buying stuff if I don't super-need it (as you are all aware). Which is why I'll try and find pants I can use all the time. Don't usually waltz around in black slacks, but I figure I might as well get a pair since there are times when I think, "Hmm, I could really use a pair of nice black pants..."

*sigh* I'm tired. And tomorrow mom is going to PA to visit dad and she'll be there until the 18th. So I'll be head of the house, taking Ashley to school every morning and then going to work whenever they schedule me at night, going to the grocery for food etc. etc. 2007 has been good so far, but I'm ready for some sunshine. The snow was fun, but it melted pretty fast and now it's just gross out. Piles of frozen over snow and the weather somewhere between ice and rain. Yuck. There are times when I don't mind it here, but others I get bummed. I like the open space and I like my immediate living area (riding my bike to the lake, library, etc.) and the mall is nice (except Vanity is now gone so if I'm that hard up for a pair of jeans I might go to Bloomington to get them...), but I miss my trees. I want the mountains. I want some hills and some quiet space and dammit I want something published.

It was nice to get comments on my last post. Good to know people are still reading this from time to time. Even if I am a loser and I don't email you back. Oi. 2.5 hours until I have to go. Ugh. I can feel my intestines crunching up...I seem to get an over-amount of internal anxiety even if I don't feel particularly anxious. I think it's just in anticipation of doing something I do not want to do. But at least now I can feel more productive and my dad can leave me alone about the job thing now and I won't be sucking life out of my family anymore (which basically just comes down to food - and electricity and water if you want to get really technical - even though I've been paying for everything of mine so far as it is aside from maybe one car insurance payment).

At least I get Friday off this week.

I hope you all have been having a lovely February. I know I have. *evil snicker*

I do feel bad for Sandra. I'm assuming Springfield and the surrounding areas have been hammered by as much snow as we have. If not, well then lucky, lucky you because you'd probably go nuts here.

Snow - The main topic is snow here. It's up to our mailbox. Shoveling it off the driveway twice has given me more exercise than the treadmill, which is beginning to break down. I don't mind driving on snow either. "But Nicole, you can slip on snow, blah blah blah, why don't you find it scary?" Uh, because at least I can freaking see? Big difference between snow and fog kids. At least when the snow isn't all blizzard style like it was on Tuesday. Then yeah, I'd be more nervous. Not being able to see was my downfall the first time. I don't care to repeat the incident. But driving in snow doesn't bother me at all; I'm surprisingly comfortable in my little blue Taurus even when it fusses around a bit in deeper areas. I don't really want to think about what the Kia would be like. That car and I never really got along together. But the Taurus and I, we're good buddies. So much so that I've begun to liken my parking skills to Sandra's. It's a pretty sweet deal. I'm getting her washed on Wednesday - a good wash to get off all that salt and dirt, though I've done what I could up until now keeping everything clean, using warm water to slosh off all that gross black slush I couldn't kick off.

But I loooove the snow. After 4 hours of sleep, 1-1 1/2 hours of shoveling the driveway, and little to no food (don't remember), I ran around and played in it for another hour or two. It's super-deep where the plow drove by and shoveled it all up into the yard (which is why it's so high at the mailbox...and I hope our house doesn't catch fire because the firemen are going to have major issues getting to the hydrant. Shouldn't there be some kind of ordinance for that?). Makes it easy to find rabbit tracks though. And the drive by our fence was maybe a foot or two short of being as tall as the fence, which made it really fun to clamber up and then tumble down on the other side. And you all wonder why I want to move to took a decent amount of restraint today not to go charging up a huge snow pile in the various parking lots I was in while mom and I putzed around town when Ashley was at class.

Job - Unreel Media, sucking articles out of me that I didn't know I had in me to produce. I'm not sure what the total is that I've made so far; I'd have to go check my database, but it's around $300 or so, soon to be more. With constant work I can keep up on bills and such no problemo. And constant work is easy to find, except I get really tired of staring at a computer screen for too long because if I'm not writing an article, I'm doing research about the subject first. And then if the client doesn't like the article, I have to rewrite them, which sucks but it's a part of the job. Customer's always right and all. Still, I've only had that happen a grand total of 2 times, both of which were not my fault. One was because the description offered misinformed almost all of us writers out there, and the other because I was never given all the information, only 1/3 of it.

Mom is going to quit her job in a few days. Walgreens isn't the place for her. She's not a careerwoman. Never was. She's admitted this to me and it makes sense. I mean, she didn't finish college, got married, had kids, so she's been housewifey ever since. I think a lot of dad's "strong woman" sense for us got translated into her and since then it's been a big jumble. I kinda wish they'd see someone that could act as an impartial moderator just so they could get this out and clear up some stuff. Not that they're fighting or anything like that. It just bugs me when someone says "Blah blah" and the other person says "Yadda yadda" and when I try to say "Well yeah, but you see," it doesn't go over in translation and together I don't see them sitting quietly and letting one another finish. Someone always has to say something. Most of the time it's dad. He's a stubborn dude. It's like once he gets something into his head in a certain way, it takes a major move to get it to change. He's all, "Well, if mom would have stayed in school, she could have gotten a better job," and while I've been agreeing, the latest development of information makes a big change. Mom doesn't want a job. She wants to be here, being housewifey. Not like slave housewifey, but happy oldschool housewifey letting the guy do the breadwinning since she's not cut out for this new age careerwoman junk.

I don't scoff at the housewife idea. Sometimes I wonder if Sandra thought I was when she talked about just getting married, having kids, and all that jazz. It's not the stay-at-home-housewife/mom thing I scoff at. By all means, if the guy would like me to be at home and I'm totally cool with it, he can go ahead and do the work thing while I take care of housework. I don't have a problem with the whole feminism movement stuff, but sometimes I think they take it overboard a bit. I'm not going to be drafted, and I'm not going into the army. Why? Because I don't belong there. Period. If someone wants to be a stay at home mom, don't think they're a loser or that they're reverting back to the 1950s because, duh, that's not how it is.

Besides, there aren't any fantastic jobs in the Champaign area anyway. I'm calling Kohl's tomorrow about an interview on Monday. Oh joy of joys. More retail BS. Whatever.

Life - I've won 4 times in a row at Score for me. I think it's a record. I don't think I'll get any more for a bit though. Very few entries into January's contest, and none for February's. No matter though, I didn't like February's contest. A good review in 500 words? that's no fun. Too short.

On the same page, I am now Top Reviewer and Advisor for the categories of Books and Movies. Whoohoo! Go me! Wasn't expecting the Advisor hats, just wanted the Top Reviewer in Books, but hey, no problems with either one. I'll be bummed if I screw up and lose them, but it's difficult to know if you're meeting the criteria or not as they keep that hidden from you to keep people from gaming the system. Makes perfect sense. Having these extra hats gives me a bit of extra dough too. To me it's a substantial amount; I've jumped from around $20-some to almost $40. Yet more incentive to keep the hats. It's fun though. I feel all mentory even if I am new to the job and others have been there much longer than me. I do what I can, even if I do still feel a bit newbie-like after almost 4 years. I know, I know, what's it gonna take? I don't know. Maybe a Meet & Greet, or a newbie reviewer getting angry at me for a rating I left. That seems to be the one thing I've not experienced on the site and eveyrone else has. Maybe I feel left out of the loop? Mising a rite of passage? Maybe I'm just weird. Who knows. I've always had a thing about being an expert vs. some chick who doesn't know all her stuff. I like to be an expert whenever possible before I go trouncing about doing stuff. And again, I know; I'm weird.

Other than that, life is good. Snow makes me happy, PayPal got me my money back, I've finally sold off all those Fear Street books (it's weird not having them on my shelf anymore), I have at least some way of making myself some money, Epinions is my buddy (I think I'm in an unofficial race to 600 reviews now...), I've finished the second season of Lost (finally - Stacey will be happy to hear it), and aside from the Carson Beckett thing, I'm pretty happy. Hoorah.

Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day! BWAHAHAHAHA! (actually I don't hate Valentine's Day - I just think it's overhyped. I do think this picture is awesome though.)