activate cheap mode

Oops… I did it again. I spent too much money. I am realizing the issues my wallet has with senior dead days. When there’s nothing to do, you have to do something. And doing something usually involves opening the wallet up. My last two paychecks are going to be quite delayed given that I forgot to turn the last week’s one in and the one for this week will end next week (when I’ll be long gone from Houston) and it will take one more week to process. So basically I’m looking at no money from there for about 3 weeks. That’s a damn long time.

Hence, I am going to counter this by activating cheap mode. Unfortunately there will be a slight hitch in the plans since I will have to pay for (a) storage this month and (b) various graduation things (such as a Baker stole). So that’s more money going out. 🙁 Boooooo…. Let’s see how it goes. Luckily one of my credit cards has a low APR so I can actually use my credit line a bit. Hopefully I should get my moving bonus from NI soon as well, although my last few emails to my HR rep and manager have yet to be answered. I guess times are pretty busy.

Oh, I did do something cool today, which was that I drove on the highway for the first time. Jesús was the accomplice and despite my suggestions to write a will before he volunteered, he did come and it was not bad at all. In fact, it was a lot better than driving on roads! I see now why people like highways so much.

Apart from that I’m pretty much ready to graduate. Woot. Anyways, I guess that’s all for now. I just wanted to gripe a bit. 😛 Now I am going to get some dinner and then I should definitely start packing. Yeah… still haven’t started that. Oops.

the weekend before the weekend

These last few days had an inordinate number of activities stuffed into a tiny amount of time. Figuring that it would be good to have a place to live when I began work in Austin, my future roommates, a couple of other friends and I decided to road-trip to that funky town and get that process started. We had narrowed our choices down to 1, but that was not as “all-the-eggs-in-one-basket” as it sounds. I’ll get to that in a bit.

We left Rice at around 5pm on Thursday and managed to skip a lot of the rush hour traffic thanks to the HOV lane. Austin was reached at about 8pm, where we settled down and had dinner at Pluckers, the wing place. We also ended up watching Game 6 of the Rockets-Blazers series, which was a must-win game for the Blazers. Thankfully, they lost and the Rockets set a Western Conference semifinal date with the Lakers. That should be a pretty intense series, although I expect Kobe and company to be a little too difficult for us to handle. But you never know…

After that I dropped my stuff off at my ex-roommate’s (from last summer’s Austin extravaganza) place and we then proceeded to E-Bus it down to 6th Street. At this point we only had about an hour to spend, but in retrospect that was probably a very good outcome for my wallet, which was going to take a beating over the next 24 hours.

On Friday, Hubert and I put ourselves on the waiting list for a 2 bedroom-2 bath affair at the Riata. The Riata is a huge, and by huge I mean massive, apartment complex community in Austin, about 5 minutes from NI. There are more residents at the Riata than there are undergraduates at Rice. Yep. Huge. They have an 11,000 square foot athletic center, which was probably one of the major selling points. Oh, and did I mention there are 9 swimming pools there as well? Truly ginormous. And the best part is that rent is extremely affordable–we booked a special that means that we will be paying a maximum of $500 a month plus utilities. That price may come down even more depending on how the market is when we decide our apartment sometime in June.

After taking care of that business, we decided to stop by at Kona Grill in The Domain for lunch. Thanks to a discount coupon that Neal had, we got one meal off. So it was definitely affordable and worth it. We then drove back to West campus and picked up a couple of Rohan’s and Hubert’s high school friends and then drove to New Braunfels to go tubing. We are planning to do that again next week when my family is here, but it was nice to get a taste of what exactly it is–extremely relaxing although very likely to cause sunburn (which it did in my case).

We then had dinner at Rudy’s, which was almost adjacent to the river. Finally, we began the long and tiresome drive back to Houston. We reached Rice at around 10.30pm on Friday night. The weekend had just begun, although I suppose everyday is a Saturday if you are a graduating senior. I’m going to go take the Target shuttle and buy some stuff for Alice’s pool party now. The rest of the day will probably be spent beginning that arduous task of packing. I did reserve a 5 foot x 5 foot room at the nearest Public Storage for $50 a month. I’ll have to watch my finances these last few days because I’ve began spending money that I literally don’t have.

senior gala-ing

Well it’s that time of year. Finals week has officially ended and now we have about a week and a half to do… nothing, really. Tonight is the annual Senior Gala, which is essentially a dress-up event held at a swanky venue. This year the party will take place at Hotel Derek, and the budget is supposedly $22,000. That’s more than a semester’s tuition at Rice, so let’s see if it can live up to expectations.

Beer Bus yesterday was quite a lot of fun. We went first to the Stag’s Head where we had Baker alumnis pick up our tab. The next location was the Marquis II where I played a couple of rounds of pool with those who were willing to challenge me (and sponsor a game). I was able to get away with an unbeaten run in about 3 games. Finally, we headed to the Boondocks and ended the night of bar-hopping. However, we did stop by at Whataburger on the way back and grabbed some chicken biscuits for the road. It was quite a delicious night.

Today, I enjoyed the freedom of not having an ounce of work to do by sleeping in till about 12pm. I then had lunch and spent the rest of the day staring at the television. There is a pretty nifty show on called The Phone on MTV which actually seems interesting and is not entirely (or even at all) trashy. The show is kind of a combination of Who Dares Wins and the Amazing Race. Contestants communicate with the host (complete with some British accent) with their cellphones and receive instructions as to what to do. Pretty intense show and one I may be following for the next week that I am here and maybe even online if my internet connection in India is good enough.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Time to grab some sushi and get my Gala on.

ready, set and go (again)

I have finally gone ahead and restarted my blog–this time using actual blog software (also known as WordPress). Being done with classes (all that shiznazz will be covered momentarily) is what actually allowed me to achieve this since I could dedicate something like a day to developing my custom WP theme, testing it and installing it, instead of doing all sorts of other things that I probably should been doing. Oh wells, I’m not one to complain especially since at the end of it all I can now blog again.

Unfortunately… there isn’t a lot to say. My career as a Rice student is now officially over as far as coursework is concerned. All the fun stuff (graduation, senior parties and the like) do remain; if only college was all that it was without courses! Maybe some day someone will come up with a way to address this dissatisfaction. I must add, as well, that this web-based WYSIWYG editor that WP provides is miles better than using a phpMyAdmin screen.

Anyhow, I have a few things to do tomorrow, namely go do my drug test for National Instruments and go to work. In the evening we have our final edition of Baker Beer Bus, wherein members of Baker College hop on a chartered bus and visit a few bars around Houston. It’s one of the few events that brings together all the different seniors at Baker together. I’m definitely looking forward to that.

In other news, I finally purchased my cap and gown from the bookstore. So I will be graduating in non-shirt-and-t-shirt attire (hopefully… depending on how I ended up doing in Comp 421). Other remaining things to do range from backing up all my stuff on Rice storage (including email and Owlnet files) to doing my driving test. Since I’m practicing driving in about 8 hours, this is probably a good time to end this entry and get some rest. Let’s see how v5 (or maybe v6) of this blogging affair progresses.