As I was trying to figure out how I wanted to revamp my site, I knew I didn't want to be on Weebly anymore in order to have a little more freedom in design. I learned, actually that Weebly has quite a bit of freedom and most other blog hosts can be pretty annoying at times. But most of them have been around so much longer than weebly, that there's a lot more info, widgets, and opportunities for more in depth CSS/HTML altering. 

Then I realized that Buddha Le Dread, after 8 years of faithful service, no longer fits my style. I don't have dreadlocks any more, and it's hard to stick with the BoHo style even though a lot of people are quite used to this as my nickname by now. After brainstorming with Steve, we came up with something that had to do with tinkering, since that very much fits me, and well, the name is kind of awkward and nonsensical, but I think it could grow on people like Buddha Le Dread was able to.

So meet my new moniker: Tinkery Peat. I tinker with everything in my life, most of the time haphazardly (appropriate), and peat I find conjures up the idea of a boy name Pete as well as being earthy, mossy, and I found one definition that it used to be used in Medieval times for a Bold and Lively woman. I'm all those things, right? (Not sure how I can be "mossy" without being gross, but I guess I'm a bit gross too).

Changing my blog completely around (yeah I'm a little crazy and change things a lot) - and I'm even changing the name of my blog (Let's say I don't plan on having dreadlocks for another few years...). I will also be changing it over to Blogger for a little more in depth customization. 

Anyway, there won't be updates on here for a while (or ever again) and I'm probably at least a week or more away of making my new site presentable (and infinitely away from ever getting the site I truly ever want). So yeah... it's 1am, and I'm incoherent. Cheers for now!
Today is Monday. I gave myself the weekend to chillax because I was actually really productive last week. Looking for a job is just as time-consuming and exhausting as actually having a job, why not have a weekend, amiright?

Anyway. It's Monday and back to the grind. There are so many things I need to do and plenty more I WANT to do, and most of the things I want to do are actually a worthwhile step forward toward lifelong goals. 

What I really should get done pronto:
  • As always, job hunting
  • Fixing my car
  • Figure out if I REALLY want to go back to school - and talking to CU Boulder about my options
  • Finishing gathering information for my vector graphic. UGGH

What I would really like to do soon/nowish:
  • Raw food recipes to whore out to DBC and the world
  • Being creative and designing my own clothes, knitting more, and I'd like to get back into painting. I also haven't taken a single photo in gawd knows how long.
  • Learn new things: programming, guitar playing, new languages.
  • Read a book once a week at the very least

Last week, I was actually pretty phenomenal and juggling reviewing math in order to take the Praxis test and become a substitute teacher while I job search, learning French with Duolingo (check it out, it's awesome), learning new programming languages with CodeAcadamy (also worth checking out), and applying to at least one job a day, usually through USAjobs, though it feels pretty pointless because they pretty much only take vets.

It's only Monday. Maybe I need to ease into this week. Unfortunately, there are also things I kind of need to do but require having a constant income, like changing banks, trying to transfer my credit cards to a 0% interest account so I can pay it off before interest starts, and other maintenance I need on my car and in my life in general.

I just can't focus at all today. I'm staring at my math work, an open tab on Code Academy, the shortcut for Duolingo with distaste, and dreading my Insanity workout today, knowing if I don't start soon, it's not happening today. And it's my last week of Insanity, and I told myself I'd actually be super strict and on point for it! Fuck.

Okay. I'm going to eat, because I haven't done that yet. I'm going to knit while I digest for an hour. Work the fuck out. Be happy about it because I could be barefoot and pregnant in a run down crackhouse and 500 lbs. But I'm not, so it's time to appreciate what I have. And then I will look for stupid jobs from stupid people that somehow don't realize how phenomenal I am. I will give my resume to the structural engineer guy I talked to for 3 hours Saturday night who was interested in me. And then I will learn 10 new words in French,  PHP programming, and if Jake is up for it, we will learn statistics together tonight.

Done. Eat it.
Meet latte hoodie scarf. I just named it after the color. Or you can totally drink lattes while you wear it.
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I really wanted a cute scarf with a hood for versatility, but all the ones I saw online were either too complicated, didn't have a nice drape, or just plain UGLY. Finally I decided it was time to make my own. This one was actually commissioned by a friend as a Christmas present, but I really like the way it turned out so I may one day recreate it for myself. 
I was texting Steve all my ideas when I thought maybe I should just write it down where I can see it whenever I want and dwell and think more and maybe someone would even come across it and give me their two cents. I've talked a little about it with Jake, but he's still all Negative Nancy about me going anywhere without him. 

Okay, so here are my options, I think. Maybe I'll list some pros and cons about them too

1. Continue on the path I am applying to be a substitute teacher while I try to get my foot in the door for some science/tech job. I'm so afraid that three years is going to go by and I'll still be subbing without really getting anywhere. But Jake has some friends in my field he said he would talk to for me to see if there are any entry-level openings I could possibly try for, or at least increase my networking.
  • Pro: I like the idea of teaching full time and being a positive influence on kids and helping our society move forward in that direction. It's possible I could make it a full time gig.
  • Pro: I would be making SOME income soon and start paying off some debt sooner.
  • Pro: I just want a sciencey/techy job!!!
  • Con: The possibility I'm just wasting my time is... there. I would say "high" but that's sounding a little too negative rather than realistic.
  • Con: I could feel like I'm at a dead end job that would make it hard to get up most mornings...

2. Talk to CU Boulder. Go back to school to work my way into a PhD program. I would need to repeat a lot of undergrad classes, maybe even a full two years. But I wouldn't mess up like I did at UCSC and not make connections. It would definitely be guaranteed work afterwords and doing something pretty awesome - being a rocket scientist.
  • Pro: I could redeem myself and get into the field I want, doing what I want, and still live in a place just as cool as Santa Cruz.
  • Con: I could fall back into old habits and make it really hard to study and do well, turning into the same depression that got me here in the first place.
  • Con: It's going to add onto my school debt, and I didn't do any FAFSA this year...

3. Talk to CU Boulder and AFROTC. Go in as a transfer student, definitely do two full years, but have it potentially paid for by the military and have a better chance of writing my own ticket into the the Air Force doing what I want to do (or at least something way less shitty). 
  • Pro: extra schooling paid for
  • Pro: I still redeem myself and get into the field I want
  • Pro: Even though Jake gives me a ton of shit for it, I really do want a job in the military not just for it but also to get government jobs in the future.
  • Pro: Potential for more schooling through the AF and have it paid for.
  • Pro: All those military benefits...
  • Con: I'm a slave for 6+ years.
  • Con: I could fail at school in the same fashion I did before... and ruin everything worse.
  • Con: A lot of sleepless nights, which is scary because I don't do well on lack of sleep, and I could super mess things up.
  • Con: Getting stuck feeling worthless because that's how the military could potentially make me feel after a year of sleepless nights.

4. Argue my way into the Air Force now. I don't have the greatest transcripts, and so could really easily be stuck with the crappiest job ever and have the worst time like Jake keeps telling me I'll have.
  • Pro: Same pros for military as above: future job where I want, benefits, etc.
  • Pro: Maybe some school paid for.
  • Con: Have a really horrible time for 5-6 years. Potentially get stuck in Guam.
  • Con: Have to still wait a year (or more, or maybe less) to even get in, meaning I'm still jobless for a year.
  • Con: same as above for sleepless nights and hating my life.

5. RAW FOOD. I could finally go for the dream above all dreams and start a raw food business. I'd want to take some culinary classes through Matthew Kenney, but after that...
  • Pro: No Raw Food in Denver, could be a huge thing. And I would have to do it NOW because I'm sure a lot of other people are going to start to get on top of it soon.
  • Pro: I could still do other things I want with school, even if it's just free M.I.T. classes. I still want to learn everything about every subject, ever.
  • Con: Culinary classes are EXPENSIVE and I would need to do it now... with no money
  • Con: I'd have to take out a business loan and start the HARDEST business there is to start: Food. The potential for failure is HIGH.

Alright, those are my thoughts. I'm going to talk to CU, AFROTC, and an AF recruiter this week and get more information. I'm also going to start to make some raw food snacks and see how well they go over at DBC. Maybe someone will want to go in on Raw Food with me. I know Mary talks about having an adjoining thing to her yoga studio she's trying to start up, and we've casually talked about it. So who knows. I appreciate any thoughts anyone has. Try not to be so negative and tell me something sucks. Try to keep it positive and just tell me about the idea that you really like. I have enough nay-sayers in my life, and I'm already an extremely negative person.

Now it's time for Insanity, 100 push-ups, and studying for this stupid sub-teaching math test.
So if you remember my South Africa post, I had a song Pata Pata on there. Well if you're on the Google homepage, it turns out it's the songwriter's [would be] 81st birthday today! And the song is so adorable, I thought I'd give another shout out. 
When you set out on the path of awakening, you begin wherever you are. Then - with time, effort, and skillful means - virtue, mindfulness, and  wisdom gradually strengthen and you feel happier and more loving. (pg 15)
...every thought involves a momentary positioning of streaming neural traffic into a coherent assembly of synapses that must soon disperse into fertile disorder to allow other thoughts to emerge (Atmanspacher and Graben 2007). Observe even a single breath, and you will experience its sensations changing, dispersing, and disappearing soon after they arise. (pg 33)
If getting upset about something unpleasant is like being bitten by a snake, grasping for what's pleasant is like grabbing the snake's tail; sooner or later, it will bite you. (pg 41)
[..your brain has a built-in "negative bias"], it generates an unpleasant background of anxiety, which for some people can be quite intense; anxiety makes it harder to bring attention inward for self-awareness or contemplative practice, since the brain keeps scanning to make sure there is no problem. 

...Consequently, the mind continually tends to render unfair verdicts about a person's character, conduct, and possibilities.
To become happier, wiser, and more loving, sometimes you have to swim against ancient currents within your nervous system.
There are a lot more highlights I made and I'll probably add onto this post, but for now.
While I'm gathering information for one of my Ethiopia posts and waiting for my new computer to edit pictures for another, I thought I'd open up a bit about some things that have been bothering me, concerning me, and depressing me.

I feel worthless. As a human being. As a productive member of society, really. I suck. And I know a lot of you are like gufawwing at this, thinking "No! You are so awesome Lauren, I love you, you're fantastic! You're wonder woman! You can do anything!" because most of you have actually said those things to me. I realize I come off a certain way - fearless, adventurous, even intelligent and capable. But the truth is, I'm not really any of those things. I know I've traveled a lot, and some places a lot of people wouldn't even consider seeing. And I know I pursued a very astute major of study. But I slacked on both of those things, and now I feel worthless.

I know I'm young, but I feel like I landed at just the wrong time in our society. I didn't do well in school, regardless of my degree, because I got burned out. Bad. I mean, it's not like I flunked anything, but I am not normally a B student, even, and in my physics classes, there are a lot of C's. And I wish at the time I realized "Hey, that's average at the number one research institute for physics, you can still do this" because if I thought that, I wouldn't have gotten myself down SO HARD that I didn't even try to do better, or try to make connections with students, or try to go for research opportunities with professors. I basically just quit at that point because I thought I was a failure, so why bother? And there's a lot of stories like that for the 3 years I was at UCSC. I just didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't know how to handle getting over 15 years of bad study habits from growing up in a shit town with zero challenges in class. And parents that never really pushed me to do anything because I was stubborn. I inherited my dad's laziness and arrogance and thought, "Well, when I'm put in a situation where I actually need to perform, it'll happen, I don't need to worry about it now." But all I wish for was that I had a better upbringing to push me to do more extracurriculars, or pick up an instrument, or TRY for that tennis scholarship. But with my parents going through a divorce that whole time, I was just floating around, not really being responsible for myself, but not having any idea what await me in adulthood.

And now here I am, I'm applying for all kinds of jobs on Craigslist, and USAjobs, and USGS, etc etc, and for 3 months I haven't gotten a single word. Not even from two tutoring agencies. All I think is that I don't come close to qualifying for any of this. I know I'm smart, I know I'm capable, but I got a 2.8 GPA in school and have zero experience other than Walgreens and Target. What scientific agency is really going to want me? I seem unmotivated and incapable of anything beyond those in-college jobs of cashier or customer service rep. But I don't want a job like that because after 6 months, I'm clawing at my brain for something that USES it. 

I know I belong somewhere! I know there's got to be something out there that can utilize my skillset. I know I HAVE A SKILLSET. It doesn't translate well on paper maybe, so I have no idea how to broadcast it! I just feel like nobody out there will give me the chance I deserve. I know I can make a difference in this world but I have no idea how or who to go to in order to start! Nobody wants me and for the first time, I don't know how to fix that. 

I'm so terrified that I won't find anything, and so how long do I stick around, mooching off my friends before realizing I need to give up, move back home, and work at Walmart?

Honestly, this is something I've been keeping to myself because it's not something I'd have thought about even a year ago, but I've seriously been thinking about joining the military. Just to give me something to put on paper. I feel like they could use my degree and I feel I could connect with people for a nice government job when I get out. However, lately all I've been hearing is how selective they've been now, and I worry THEY won't even take me. I think I'm going to talk to a recruiter when this snow stops though and see what they say. I'm just sick of sitting on this couch day in and day out, posting my resume everywhere and feeling like a whore with STDs. 

Why can't I just find a billionaire who wants a housewife? I could balance checkbooks like a pro. Then I could make art, learn music, and buy gym equipment to work out all day. Oh life. And how different mine has turned out. I think I had great potential and somewhere along the lines, I simply squelched it.
Just chiming in to say I'm still slacking. But my laptop has been sucking at life lately, so even though I can't come close to affording it, I bought a new one (yay horrible but awesome decisions!). So hopefully in a week or so, I will have my new compy to finally finish editing pictures and post the final Ethiopia summary on here. 

I am also slacking at the other posts I've wanted to do. Mikey has agreed to help me with my vector project, but I have yet to send him all the info (fail, me). But hopefully that will happen soon too.

Right now, I'm applying to jobs all over the place, not hearing any response whatsoever, and also doing 4 free M.I.T. classes that I hope to complete for official college credit (woohoo!). In the meantime, I'm also deciding whether to put school on hold some more to do a few years of work and not look like a total slack loser, or if I want to find another dead-beat job to make income while I ask schools if they would possibly take me for a PhD program. Decisions...

Life in Colorado has been nice though. While I feel like a mooch and a non-productive member of society, Jake and I do some pretty fun stuff every day and this week we hope to have our first couchsurfer!! Other than that, it's Insanity six days a week (mont two is about to start!), biking to our fave cafe, DBC, and raw food extravaganza. 

I'm starting to get inspired again to be creative and do things. I have like a billion sock monkey beanies I could revamp and sell (thanks Arlene!) and I'm knitting again. I want to paint again and maybe take creative writing classes. But really, I just want a job and routine for a bit and try to fit a bunch of fun stuff all around it. So, wish me luck I guess!
I'm sorry guys, I promise I will update soon, I've just been incredibly stressed and unmotivated. If anyone has a job opening anywhere in the world, I'm all ears btw, lol.
In the meantime, here's a cute underwear kitten: