why do I find numbers such a difficult language?

My GED testing dates are coming up, July 9/10. I am, in a word, anxious. I’ve been dutifully reading the numbers manual Becca loaned me, learning more about fractions and polynomials than ever before, but I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m going to bomb the math test. I’ve taken example tests for all the subjects and it’s the only topic I’m not getting 90% on.

Disaster update, more bad news

  • Documentary ‘Gasland’ shows flaming tap water caused by gas drillers ‘fracking.’ Industry speed dials its PR flaks. Most of the PR push-back on Gasland appears to be coming from an oil and gas lobby group calling itself “Energy In Depth” whose anonymous website lists other oil and gas lobby groups, like American Exploration and Production Council, the Indiana Oil and Gas Association and the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, as their members.
  • Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America. The super toxic dispersants that have been pumped into the Gulf of Mexico could potentially chemically bind with oil in such a way that it could evaporate and fall as rain. I say potentially, but it’s apparently already started.
  • Scientists Warn Gulf Of Mexico Sea Floor Fractured “Beyond Repair”. Most important to note about Sagalevich’s warning is that he and his fellow scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences are the only human beings to have actually been to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak site after their being called to the disaster scene by British oil giant BP shortly after the April 22nd sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.
  • excellent links and a job interview

  • Vintage Design: Hidden posters of Notting Hill Gate Tube station, 2010
  • Green Upcycling: High Line Park transformed a derelict elevated railway on NY’s Lower West Side into a mile-and-a-half-long “park in the sky”.

    I had an interview this afternoon for a job I’m sincerely hoping to land, an ace position with a respectable creative sector company, that requires such a perfect fit for my skills that it’s almost a little silly. Plus, bonus, it comes with room for independant thought. (The number of executive assistant jobs that have replied to me lately that should have advertised for a receptionist instead has really been getting me down. Note to potential employers: Personal assistants and executive assistants are two different things.) My only concern, as I know I’m well qualified and have no worries there, is that it’s been so long since I’ve done an interview that I might have come across as either incredibly dull or even a bit repetitive. I found myself agreeing with so much the interviewer had to say, after all, that I must have spent an entire ten minutes nodding my head and replying, “Right.” How.. pedestrian. How incredibly, incredibly bland. On the other hand, I did walk in with an asymetrical purple fedora decked out in six kinds of feathers, so there’s hope.

    I kid. Well, not about the hat, that really is my hat. But about my concerns. In my heart of hearts, my anxieties don’t stem from such superficial worries, but the very real chance that one of the other applicants will get the gig. This terrifies me. Not because being underemployed well and truly sucks, but because the position I interviewed for today is the first job to come along in a long time that I truly want. Not only would I be good at it, I would enjoy being good at it, I would thrive, and that’s precious in a day job. I hate having to constantly choose between doing something I appreciate for flaky employers who “forget” to pay me or steady yet tedious work that painfully reminds me that every minute on the job is a minute I will never get back. It grinds me down. If I’m fierce about anything, it’s that I want to add to the joy of the world, not the grime, and this looks like a chance to do that and get paid for it! Be still my beating heart! And yet, I am flawed and I doubt. What if I don’t get it? What if another person is better? Thankfully, they’ll be making a decision by Tuesday at the latest, so I don’t have long to wait.

  • also, it’s “tank top” not “tanky top”

    Dear Vapid Stoner Girl Talking on Her Cellphone Right Outside my Window,

    You are making me fear for the survival of multiple syllable words. “Like” is a not a comma, “pot” doesn’t have a built-in exclamation point, and ending every sentence with a question mark does not make it sarcastic or more clever.


    The Girl Old Lady Upstairs Trying Not To Laugh

    PS. Please, think of the children when you dress in the morning. They will discover puberty on their own. I promise. That is not a skirt, that is a belt.

    BP oil disaster update

    Oily waters breaking on Orange Beach, Alabama, more than 90 miles from the BP oil spill, cannot distract from the mess 4 to 6 inches deep on parts of the shore.

  • Video: A Possible Rain of Oil in Louisiana.
  • If It Was My Home, trying the spill on where you live for size. Worth revisiting as the disaster progresses. When I first took a look, it was half the size of what it is now. Also see their HOW TO HELP section.
  • BP Burning Sea Turtles Alive. A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP’s controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts.
  • Judge who overturned drilling moratorium reported owning stock in drilling companies. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman issued a preliminary injunction today barring the enforcement of the president’s proposed six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, arguing that the ban is too broad. According to Feldman’s 2008 financial disclosure form the judge owned stock in Transocean, (which leased the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to BP prior to its April 20 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico), as well as five other companies that are either directly or indirectly involved in the offshore drilling business.
  • As oil continues to gush from a BP wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, critics say the company has quietly broken ground on a controversial project in B.C.’s Rocky Mountains.
  • BP Is Pursuing Alaska Drilling Some Call Risky. BP’s project, called Liberty, has been exempted as regulators have granted it status as an “onshore” project even though it is about three miles off the coast in the Beaufort Sea. The reason: it sits on an artificial island — a 31-acre pile of gravel in about 22 feet of water — built by BP.
  • BP spill response plans severely flawed. Professor Peter Lutz is listed in BP’s 2009 response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a national wildlife expert. He died in 2005. Under the heading “sensitive biological resources,” the plan lists marine mammals including walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals. None lives anywhere near the Gulf.
  • ‘Reasonably High’ Chance BP Files for Bankruptcy. The specter of Chapter 11 bankruptcy terrifies Gulf residents because it could allow BP to delay, or even avoid, paying billions of dollars to businesses and individuals affected by the Gulf spill.
  • Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it. In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last month.
  • Required listening: Zoe Keating’s INTO THE TREES

    You know the drill. Stream Zoe Keating’s glorious new album through this widget or do the slightly more clever thing and click through to download the whole thing for $8 or more, depending on how much it’s worth to you that she keeps making music. For example, I’ve been waiting for this album to come out for what feels like half of forever, but I am poor, so I can only give $10 instead of the $25 I’d rather.

    A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light

    "Like a Dude", a commissioned photo for Brenno Van Sise. Purchase your own from my etsy shop, A Thread of Grace.

    Taxes: T4’s arrived, but I mis-answered in the tax booklet. Again. Need replacement paperwork.
    Employment: Spoke with Social Services this morning. Have a second interview with a video game company on Friday afternoon. Have more transcription work. Topic, Twitter.
    School: Finally finished the arithmetic section of my maths book. Will test myself in three days. Next up, algebra. Tests are soon.
    Driving: Need to hash out when I’m available for Young Drivers of Canada classes.
    Photography: Updated and polished the Etsy store. One commission shot today. One shoot booked for later this week.
    Cleaning: Almost all of my things are back in my room. Only boxes of miscellany remain.
    Repairs: One of the cats pulled down our coat rack. The microwave suddenly does not turn on. The antique chest of drawers is missing a handle.

    Other than all that, life consists mostly of tidying the apartment, doing laundry, folding things, investigating what might be left to try and sell on Craigslist, sending off endless, repetitive cover letters and resume, and wishing I had slightly more to eat. To shake things up a little, I went to visit Jenn and Steve today, who were darling, and stayed until almost far too late. As a bonus, I finally got a tour of the townhouse that they bought (which was also darling). Spurred on by this feat, I have once again reinstated my desire to see people again. I’ve been significantly more active lately than I have been over the last few months, as if I’m climbing, fumbling, out of winter, drained by gray and tired, into the bright social buzz of spring and summer, but I fear it’s not enough. As a gentle nudge back into the light, tomorrow’s plans are similar, mixing as they do the regular flat responsibilities of life, returning bottles, taking out the recycling, with sweet, social escape in the form of a tasty lunch with Sara. Her wedding is coming up, too. Seems to be the year for it, though I have physical evidence that I cringed away from Lisa’s bouquet.