What a week
On Wednesday I got a call informing me that I won a $500 shopping spree for select shopping malls/department stores in Texas. Now, I had actually gotten this call last week and hung up after I heard that because I thought it was a scam. But the fact that they actually called me back caught my attention. I was on the phone for a long time (20 minutes at least) and every second I was trying to figure out if this was a scam or not. The company said they were OnStar Communications and that I was one of the winners of a random selection of shoppers in Texas. They already knew all kinds of information about me (I'm assuming from credit card purchases I made) so I gave them some credit for that. The only thing I had to pay was a $4.95 S/H fee. They also were giving me a phone card with unlimited minutes for 10 free days and I wouldn't pay a thing as long as I canceled it before then, I was assured. In the end I'm still not sure if this is a scam or not, but I figured I'd be a risk taker for once and see what happens. I'm just thinking of it as a $5 bet on $500. :D
On Friday even more money came rolling my way. O_o One was a utility refund account check from the city of Austin for $344.14. I don't know what I'm being refunded for, but hell I'll take it. :D In addition to that, my apartment complex promised a $50 gift certificate for HEB (grocery store chain in Texas) to people who gave them some information by a certain deadline. I had almost forgotton about that, but it looks like they are finally going to pay out. So all in all, I (might) have gotten $894.14 this week for doing next to nothing. Not bad I say. :)
On Saturday I attended an all-day neuroscience conference, as one of my many efforts in trying to decide if I really want to pursue a PhD in this field. It was pretty awesome (much better than the computer architecture conferences I've been to), if only a little intimidating. But I was able to fully understand 6 of 8 presentations, so I guess a 75% comprehension rate isn't too bad for only taking one class for 3 months. :) They had an enormous number of posters too (many of which used too much biology/chemistry jargon for me to read). The confrence was help at The Crossings in Austin, which had REALLY nice grounds and a great relaxing atmosphere. It almost reminded me of the Thanskgiving vacation trips I usually take in Sedona (Arizona), which is like my ultimate relaxation spot on Earth. I didn't know anyone there though and I'm a shy person in those types of environments though, so I didn't talk very much.
At lunch I met a couple of people who were there for a Yoga and Meditation workshop. We shared stories, and they both said that I need a vacation (hell, who doesn't think that at this point?). One of them actually lives in New Orleans, so she was telling us about Hurricane Katrina and how everything is dead in the city now. No squirrels, birds, or sounds of life what-so-ever. That sounds really freaky.
Another person I talked to was the graduate coordinator for the neuroscience program, whom I've exchanged e-mails with as I'm applying to the program. We talked a little bit and got onto the subject of the accident I had when I was 14 years old, where I had an accident involving severe cranial trauma and permanent brain damage. I was describing how I believe that somehow enhanced my powers of dreaming, and she said she wanted to hear more later because she's writing a novel and wants to model the protagonist after me or something. O_o
Yes, it was a very eventful week. This coming week is the last week of regular classes and I have a term project due Friday which I haven't done very much work on so far, so I need to get cracking. Its hard when I'm still having these motivational problems though!