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An Update on Life & Such

Dec. 2nd, 2007 | 06:23 pm
mood: contentcontent
music: TV

Hello - long time no speak.

I'm just checking in for my bi-yearly entry, it seems, because a lot has been going on and it's worthy of an entry for once.  So first things first, I graduated in May, and it honestly feels like forever ago now.  It was tough to leave that behind, and it's been an interesting adjustment to realize I won't be returning there or being a college student anymore, but I'm very proud of the 4 years I spent there and all the great friendships I made there and I do miss it quite a bit.  Lukcily for the internet, it's easy to say hi from time to time and catch up with our friends no matter where they are in the country, and so it's been a bit of an easier adjustment.

So as a colelge graduate, I am officially a full-time adult now which is kinda crazy, but life has been going well I'd say.  I'd been pretty, shall I say, disinterested in the whole job process as I considered what path I wanted to take - did I really want to do accounting? Go back to school? Need time to myself before I did anything? Anyways as soon as I graduated I kind of caught my breath for a bit which was much needed.  There was a tax related job with New York State I was interested in pursuing and I had an interview in early June for that - I mean, I did well at the interview for my part and I was offered the job, but oh my god the job was nothing like what I imagined and the people were annoying/ugly/boring/miserable and the atmosphere of the office was just as bad, and I knew it wasn't right and turned them down.  

As it turned out, it was the best choice I ever could've made.  I got a call from a recruiter with Deloitte & Touche, which is one of the big 4 accounting firms, about a job as an Independence Auditor in Conencticut.  I was flattered but wasn't really convinced by the phone call at first, but I did more research and got more information on the job and I decided to pursue it.  I was intimidated by public accounting with such a big firm - you hear about the long hours, politics, travel etc and it was something I didn't think I wanted.  Well, this job opportunity had everything I wanted - it is in an office setting, it is 40 hours a week like a normal job, and there's no travel whatsoever besides the 35 minute commute to get there.  I went for my interview a nervous wreck - it turns out the position I was applying for - an Independence Auditor  (more on that later) was a job where they had NEVER hired someone right out of school for.  I went for the interview, and met with three different people at various levels in the office, and I loved, loved, loved it right away -- I just knew I wanted to work there.  Everyone was very warm and interested in what I had to say, and I felt like I connected with everyone I interviewed with, which made it a much better experience than the previous Tax trainwreck I encountered.  Long story short, I was offered the job two days later and I took it! 

So, I've been an Independence Auditor since July.  I love it! It's more of an internal role within the firm.  We audit people at the manager and above level (mostly partners) to make sure they do not hold investments or interests with firm clients that could potentially impact their personal independence and the firm.   It might sound confusing, but that's the easiest way I can explain it.  We have them complete audit packages in which they send their Tax Returns, Brokerage Statements, Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds etc and I have to analyze the statements and make sure everything checks out and is not a problem for them based on both firm policy and SEC (Government) law.  It's more complicated than I'm making it out to be, but that's the gist of it, really.  I have about 10 audits at a time I work on and it involves a lot of communication with people within the firm nationwide, and a lot of research and analysis so I feel like I'm really accomplishing something and learning a lot.  It's a great first job - not something I will do for the next 50 years - but a great starting point as I build experience and skills for the future, and it's money!

Everyone I work with is awesome - that's probably the best part.  Everyone is genuinely friendly and nice and great to be around, and we have a lot of fun.  There's lots of social things going on too - we had a summer outing at the local country club in my second week there, we have a holiday party coming up, we have cake for birthdays every month and lots of other things.  I've also added my own contribution! Barbara, who is like the funniest person I've ever met in my life and sits across from me, we've really connected and we used to take lunch out on the porch and play cards.  Everyone who would walk by could see us (there's tons of windows) and laugh and whatever but we've expanded our clique! We now have UNO Fridays, which might sound juvenile or whatever, but it's so fun - it's something I created and it's really taken a life of its own.  It's quite amusing because it can get heated in a friendly way and everyone talks trash and it's a riot.  We get together for lunch within the group and we had 10 people last time (which is most of my department) and people in other parts of the office want to get in on it! I even send Microsoft Outlook 'Meeting' Invitiations every week with humor and everyone gets a kick out of it, so it's really helped me find my niche and connect with everyone I work with.  

Anyhoo, as I have a job, I FINALLY bought a car for myself! I got a new 2007 Toyota Rav4 (it's been so long that I've LJed it that I can't figure out how to insert an image, so whatever, go google it if you are unfamiliar) and it's silver and I love it.  Of course, it means I have bills now, and it's a reminder that I've become an adult.  I always felt, not like a loser, but just behind because all my friends in school had cars (whether used or new) and I never did so it's nice jus tto catch up, I guess.  I also had an unreasonable phobia of highway driving that I had to conquer when I get my job, and I feel like such a fool for ever being intimidated by it now, so that's good too and I'm happy about that too.  I hate local driving now!

And so besides that, the other piece of news is that I am moving out! It wasn't something that was even on my radar to be honest - it's only been 4 months since I've been working and only about 6 since i've been out of school.  The backstory is that my brothers are like 90 and still live at home (granted they left for about 3 months and 2 years each) and they found an apartment in New Rochelle (shoutout to you, Anna!) and it's 3 bedrooms/3 bath and affordable and I would've been the holdout if they said no! I think my Mom would've killed me if I said no and they would be staying longer.  Haha, but seriously, even though I wasn't sure at first I decided to take the chance and do it.  We move in Jan 19th so it's a bit more time to save... with all my car payments and insurance and student loans, money is going to be so tight once I move in but I know it's a big step I have to take and it'll be good for me... plus, it's only a year. So I'm really looking forward to that.

Anyways sorry for the fricken novel I just wrote, and I probably bored you to tears but I promise my next entry in 2009 will be livlier and with more humor and such!

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Remember the Days...

Apr. 22nd, 2007 | 05:57 pm
mood: nostalgicnostalgic
music: Timbaland, Nelly Furtado & Timberlake - 'Give it to Me'

So today was Fountain Day, and for all of you non-UAers, it's a big huge event on campus every spring where the school turns on the fountain in the center of campus.  It's basically a school-wide party day and it brings in Spring nicely here.  The amazing thing today was that it was nearly 80 degrees and sunny, and so it made for a perfect day of fesitivites.. there's also like carnival type games in the area above the fountain, and you can take pictures etc, and then finally at 3pm they allow people into the fountain where there's beach balls and the whole nine yards, a DJ etc until they turn it on, and everyone goes crazy.  It's a really special event on campus, and I don't know - today during the whole thing, it just sorta hit me that it was my last Fountain Day and that I'm really about to graduate in four (!) weeks and move onto the next chapter of my life.

It's funny, I guess.. I was really unhappy first semester year in '03, but God - I've really come to love everything about this school and college life, and I'll be sad to leave this all behind come May 20th.  I just never expected to grow to love this school so much, and I guess the little things in life around here really just make realize that.  I'm really going to miss Albany when I graduate.

In case you're interested, I've also posted a picture I found on the net from a previous Fountain Day.

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"Somehow we'll make it, cause that's what we do..."

Dec. 5th, 2006 | 11:19 pm
mood: busybusy
music: RHCP - "Make You Feel Better"

So, I'm sitting here in the library.  I've been so swamped with work lately, I've really been here for the greater part of every day since Thursday, but atleast it's almost over and I'm in the home stretch.  I had two exams today.  The first one this morning, Managerial Behavior,  I think went quite well, which is ironic because I didn't really need to do that well on it to secure an A, but I won't complain.  However, I wish my more important, second one, Finance,  went better - I think I did well, but I was really unsure about some stuff, and just enough to really put me on the border of messing up my A in the class, so we'll see.  I know I sound crazy. :p But it's important to me.  We'll see what happens, but the class isn't in my major so it's not that big a deal.

On top of those two things, I also had a huge assignment due today in my Money and Banking class that took about three hours, and I have two assignments due for my Income Tax Accounting class tomorrow - either an 8-10 page research paper or a series of memo things, and a 1040 Tax Return problem he gave us to do.  The memos are basically answers to hypothetical questions a client would ask you to research - ie, if something is taxable, deductible, the consequences of an event, etc - and you need to research it, find the appropriate IRS code sections, and court cases.  I started to do it on Friday and got on a roll, but apparently the law has changed recently for the topic I chose, and I was pretty much SOL.  I couldn't find the new laws, just news and reports about them, so I had to start over.  I decided to do the research paper, but after about 3 pages I'm out of things to say about continuing educational expenses -- which was a new topic I chose, by the way, because holiday gifts can go die.  Anyways, I sorta had an epiphany, and I'm going to write new memos based on the educational expenses stuff I've researched -- the memos are shorter and more to the point, and I can twist the situation around to my liking, so I think it'll be okay.  After that, I have to do the tax return which will take a while.. ideally, I'd like to finish this all tonight, but I do have until 545pm tomorrow.  I know I'm ranting and no one cares, but I felt the need to just write about all of this, so there you go.

Anyways, because I was tagged by I.See...

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your livejournal along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

1. Gwen Stefani - "4 In The Morning"... sort of a "Don't Speak" meets "We Belong Together" thing going on, but I love it.  It's a song you can just listen to over and over and over again, and not get sick of it - catchy as fuck but heartfelt.  It pains me to see her doing Fergie-esque nonsense when she has songs like this and "Early Winter" up her sleeve (that would be my #2, but I'll diversify the list).

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Make You Feel Better" - This isn't really anything special, but it just struck a chord while I was studying over the weekend while listening to the album.

3. Damien Rice - "Rootless Tree" I downloaded his album, but never listened to every song - and I played it while I was studying and this song caught me completely off guard. It started off in typical acousticy, melodic goodness.. until the chorus, where guitars chime in and the shouts of "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!" out of nowhere. Brilliant.

4. Nelly Furtado - "Say It Right" This was always the highlight of the Loose album to me, and I'm glad to see it's doing well in the US.  The live iTunes original version is even better.

5. Robin Thicke - "Wanna Love You Girl" It's a year or two old, but it's a good laid back track.  The Neptunes don't really do much right anymore, but this is pretty good.

6. Keane - "Crystal Ball" I was obsessed with this song for a while, got burnt out, but it's back in my good graces again.  Too bad it flopped, but whatever.

7. Blue October - "Into the Ocean" Weird song, but I guess blame the Jill and Becky-o effect.  

I'm not tagging anyone, because almost everyone on my list has done it already.

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2, 3, 4...

Nov. 29th, 2006 | 12:33 am
music: Nelly Furtado - "Say It Right"

Stolen from unicorn23

[Unknown LJ tag]

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It's tough to walk without strings...

Oct. 8th, 2006 | 10:14 pm
mood: contentcontent
music: The Cardigans - Super Extra Gravity (Album)

So, the worst part of being a College Senior is deciding what you want to do after school - it's an incredibly stressful and anxious time, because most of us have no idea what we want to do, or we don't want to leave this safety net we've known for 4 years (Well, by extension, since we were 5 or 6) and enter the "Real World".  I've majored in Accounting, which I don't regret - it's an incredibly versatile degree, but it's not what I love.  It's not what I want to do with my life, atleast yet.  Over the past few years, I've gradually started to like my major less and less, to the point where right now I actually hate it, and don't care about it.  Most people with my major find the great internship the summer before Senior Year, and then do on campus interviewing during the Fall and get the "great" job with one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms and prepare to work 90 hour work weeks.  I had no interest in getting an internship.  At all.  And the thought of getting a job and working that hard for one of the firms almost makes me sick -- it's not that I'm not willing to work hard (Lord knows I'm a hard worker), but I refuse to do it for something I don't believe in or feel passion for - or, at this rate, even have an interest in.

...Which brings me to where I'm at right now.  If you ask anyone who's been my friend since Middle School or High School, and they'll tell you that my plan was always to go to Law School.  Always.  It's always interested and fascinated me.  I entered college in a 1 Year Pre-Law program that I liked, but since there's no Pre-Law major or any continuation of it, I tried to find my niche educational wise.  I never wanted to major in Poly Sci or anything like that, and my natural progression went towards Accounting.  a lot of it had to do with the fact that I absolutely LOVED the two courses I took Sophomore year - they were both taught by an amazing professor who really inspired me to go down this path way.  It turns out she's going to be my Tax 2 professor next semester which I'm really excited about too.

As I progressed through undergrad, the thought and idea of Law School just faded into a distant memory.. I just didn't think I would want to do it.  So how did it come back to me? I randomly had a conversation about it with my Mom this summer, and she really put the idea back in my head.  

At first, I just brushed it off, but I've given it serious thought.  Now, I, Matt, have made a decision (I know, me, the person who can't decide where to sit in the dining hall or where to go out for lunch).  I'm planning on going to Law School! (I know you probably figured that out about 5 seconds into reading this but there's the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! haha).  So, I need to take the LSATs and stuff, and the next time they are offered are in December.  I could take them then, but I don't think that would be smart at all.  Most schools have deadlines for Fall '07 in January, and most have rolling admissions - which means most spaces will be filled by then, and my chances of getting in are even smaller.  Plus, I feel like I'd be a nervous wreck preparing for the LSATs, getting applications together, getting recommendations, etc etc - so the plan right now is to go in Fall 2008.  This way, I can relax, and do this the right and the way it should be done.

This may sound really ambitious, but I'm determined to go to a great school.  I'm not talking on Yale levels here, but I'm going to do everything in my power to go to a well known, outstanding, respectable school.  I love Albany, but it's a State School - and whether people admit it or not, I feel like there's a certain stigma and disrespect for that.  You know, I tell people I have a 3.85 GPA and they're impressed, and then they hear I go here and they're kinda like "Oh".  Actually, I've worked damn hard, thanks.  But I realize this also affects my chances of going to good Law Schools, because I don't think my 3.85 holds up to other people with lower ones at better schools.  So, this makes a great LSAT score even more vital - but I have confidence in myself that I can do it.  I know I can do it.

Since I'll be taking a year off, it's a fantastic chance to get some experience - I'm definitely going to get any kind of related job near home.  I think this will also enhance my application, and reaffirms my decision to wait.  I'm really lucky to live in Westchester.  

It's not going to be easy, but I'm gonna make this happen for myself - just you watch.  This is my dream.  Whether I've always realized it or not, this is what I've always wanted.  And isn't that the point of life? To do what you want to do, to live your dreams, and to do what makes you happy.  I'm not taking the easy road anymore, and I'm not going to compromise just for money or the path to a quick job.

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Aug. 30th, 2006 | 08:45 am
mood: enragedenraged
music: Fergie - "London Bridge [Oh Snap]"

So, since there are things called miracles in this world (and we love, appreciate and enjoy them), I'm supposed to actually have a car to drive in Albany this year. Key word being: Supposed. My brother got a new car, so his old rinky dink car (Nissan something or another) from God knows when (it's probably older than I am) is available for the taking. Obviously, it's really old, and no one has driven it since my brother got his car 4 months ago (another phrase in parentheseses feels appropriate and trendy now but I've got nothing.) So yeah, I go back to school on Sunday so we went this morning to bring it in to the shop to make sure... it's safe and stuff. So I of course am driving this piece of crap and my brother is following me so he can drive me back from the mechanic. I've never driven this car before. It was acting really funny and slore-ish and if I tried to accelearate too hard, IT WOULD BRAKE. I got like no sleep last night and I was really tired AND WENT THE WRONG WAY. So, I realized the mistake and correct it and turn around, so at this point my brother is well ahead of me and isn't following me anymore. I press on the gas at one point AND THE EFFING THING STALLS. STALLS. I usually only associate myself with top of the line, new vehicles, so this was a new experience. AND IT'S RAINING OUT. I tried to restart it about 5 times and it wouldn't turn on. So, I call my brother and after taking way longer than I should have to explain where I was (See: Sleep, deprivation of - several sentences back), he came and got me and I drove his car. So yeah, there's better ways to spend your 730am mornings. Like sleeping. Or drinking cinnamon iced coffee. Maybe reading a book. Not stalling slore cars in the rain.

That is all.

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"It's that time of year again..."

Aug. 23rd, 2006 | 09:42 pm
mood: amusedamused
music: The Stereophonics - "The Local Boy in the Photograph"

So, to elaborate on my last entry (because I know all 5 of you were dying for the followup!). Anyways, we went to a Minor League Baseball game last night, which was really fun. It's so much better than going to a Yankee Game or something because the stadium is a lot smaller so every seat is really good, and everything is a lot less hectic, cheaper, and the stadium is brand new so it's a lot nicer. Really good time. Anyways, for background, probably one of the most famous contestants ever on Survivor (STFU I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING I AM NOT A LOSER) lives in Tom's River, NJ, which is right next to the town where our beach place is. Anyways, she ans some person I did not know at all from some Survivor season were doing an appearence at the game, threw out the first pitch, etc etc. So, after all that, they announced they were signing autographs, and even though I don't really watch the show anymore (and truthfully, have probably only watched 5 out of the 10+ seasons they've done), I watched both of her seasons, really liked her, and she's a tamale so I decided to get on line. When I got on line, it was pretty long, and I didn't realize they had left to do some mid-inning game on field, so the wait was quite a while. I'd say after about 45 minutes, I finally got to the head (I could see the game perfectly on line so it wasn't a problem), and my dad and my brother Rich walked past to see how I was doing. My dad is about the same type of Survivor fan as I was and really liked her too because she was a really good player, and I let them cut into line right next to me, haha.

So anyways! There was a table with the two has-beens and the guy I didn't know was first, and then Stephenie was next to him. So I say hi and whatever to the guy, being really fakely nice and interested when I wasn't, and then I met Steph and had her sign stuff. :D She was really, really nice and funny, it was pretty cool. So after we were all done, I had forgotten my camera but I had my camera phone so I turn to Steph and I ask for a picture (which most people did on line with both of them). The guy was already onto the next person in line, and Steph goes to me, "do you want Terry in the picture, or.. *face to signify OF COURSE YOU DON'T*" and I go, "NO, I only waited on line for an hour to see you!!!" and she starts laughing.. so then Rich takes my phone and we go to take a picture and this SLORE Terry (the no-name guy)gets up AS IF WE WANT HIM TO SPOIL OUR MOMENT and tries to get in the picture. Rich got one of just me and Steph (but it's blurry), and then we went to take another with the 3 of us... Rich sounded like he was joking when he said "DON'T WORRY MATT TERRY'S NOT IN IT!" but the hilarious thing was that the three of us could see what the picture looked like from the outside creen of the phone too, and Rich was purposely leaving him out of the picture, and he realized it!! And he got SO MAD!!!!!! It was hilarious!!! He was all like I SEE, I GET IT!! and he sits down and everyone on line, and Steph too, were HYSTERICALLY laughing because everyone knows they didn't come to see him, you know? He finally gets pu and takes the picture anyways but it was too funny!! We made him feel liek SUCH an idiot, it was great!!! After we were being so nice to him, hahahaha.

I might post a picture if anyone out there can teach me out to make LJ cuts, and how to post proper links and how to post pictures.

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Look at your watch now...

Aug. 23rd, 2006 | 02:01 am
mood: tiredtired

Well, this isn't a real update - that's to come tomorrow. But basically, I had a fun night. It included, but was not limited to, me meeting someone from Survivor (Well two actually), and my brother and I making him (who I didn't know/recognize/remember, shockingly) feel like a COMPLETE loser. It was classic. More to come tomorrow. ;)

And woot woot, Lindsay Davenport - 6-3 6-3 over K-Sera Srebotnik. Win the effing US Open. And Chokalie? Stop winning slams. kthxdie.

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(no subject)

Aug. 19th, 2006 | 09:17 pm
mood: complacentcomplacent
music: The Killers - "When You Were Young"

So, hello everyone. It's been quite a while since I've written, huh? Okay you can tell it's been a long time because something just flashed and apparently this entry has an autosaved draft. Okaaaaaaay then.

I finished my Junior Year of college in May, and I've been home on summer vacation since. School was good; same old same old. I did well, enjoyed myself and had fun. I went back to work at the library again this summer (Year 7 what what!), but I worked about half as much as last year which turned out to be a good decision (20 hrs-ish this summer). It gave me more time to myself, more time to relax, more time to watch Giada/Judge Judy and various other TV delights, and I didn't have to work with Carolyn! FYI, it's a long story, but Carolyn = Devil Woman who needs to die. Or atleast have acid thrown in her face a la Seal (wow that's really wrong, sorry).

I went to Florida a couple of weeks ago, which was really fun too. We went to Universal in Orlando (where we actually went last year). We were going to go somewhere different, but apparently my parents had lots of rewards points from American Express and our hotel was completely free and we got a few plane tickets free too. Free = trip. Even though we went last year, it was still amazing and it wasn't boring at all. They're taking away the Back to the Future ride (Okaaaaay it opened in 1991 but whatever, it's such a good ride) but atleast it was still there when we went. We flew out on a friday, and the day before was the day all those terror arrests in the UK were made and all the plane plots were uncovered, and all the liquid bans etc started. That = scary, I have to say. I'm not the best person with planes, but I can deal with them... but when you hear about all of this the day before you fly, it definitely gets you nervous. It's funny too, because in '03 we went to Las Vegas and the day before we came out that huge blackout hit the Northeast (and at that point nobody knew how it was caused, either). Suffice to say, my new life's motto is: "If I can walk there or drive there I don't want to be there" :D

So, we got back and stayed at the shore at NJ. We actually flew in and out of Atlantic City. I have this little record going at Casinos.. I had been 4/4 in casino trips - I always win! I won $400 the day after I turned 21! :D So yeah, we stayed over at Caesar's before our trip and of course I went and played. I was actually down $30 or so, and I was like "Wow this is a bleakocity" and then I played this ridiculous 5 cent Pink Panther slot machine, and on my first try I won $45! Streak in tact. One streak that has fallen apart is my no ticket streak... it was uncermoniously ended by some stupid cop who gave me a stupid parking ticket, SCREW YOU!

My whole family stayed in NJ this past week, but I went back to NY to work. I didn't feel comfortable saying I was leaving work on like August 2nd, particularlly because I was late in notifying them I needed time off. So, I was home alone from Mon - Today. I didn't really want to go back to NY, but I'm actually really glad I did.. it's good to have the house to yourself sometimes and to getaway (GETAWAY!) from the family. Except for the whole episode on Wednesday when I came home from work at 8pm and all the lights were off in the house and I was convinced some serial killer - slash - burglar was in the house and going to kill me, it was all good. I shopped for real groceries for myself for the first time (as in, food I need to eat for real meals) and cooked for myself and didn't burn the house down. It was good practice for me because I'll be living in Empire Commons on campus this year, which are University Apartments. It's the best of both worlds... your own room, no dorms, bathroom, a washer/dryer in the apt (THAT'S FREE!), air conditioning, a full kitchen, etc etc.. and you're still on campus so it's convenient. I'm really looking forward to it.

So I write you this from the shore.. I'll probably go to the beach tomorrow, and who knows what else I'll be up to. Random gripe - my brother and sister pissed me off within like 60 seconds of being home, haha. Just annoying and they were kinda rude and not in the fun way, and I was like whatever! Who needs them! Alright, this was like my life's story in journal format, sorry for the long entry.. just keeping you up to date (since I've become a friends-page whore as of late and haven't written in ages).

PS - This song is bleak.

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(no subject)

Mar. 12th, 2006 | 12:46 am
mood: blankblank
music: The Cardigans - Erase/Rewind

It's 12:46am on a Saturday night (Well Sunday). And I'm sitting here writing flash cards. Is this what my life has come to?

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