Monday, April 30, 2007

good car-ma

Three good things, if not at least 3, have happened so far today.

#1- My mother came up and helped me pack my car. (now there's the stress of "what if someone comes and steals all my stuff from my car tonight?")

#2- I had to buy or rent a rooftop cargo carrier for my car to hold the rest of my junk. I used craigslist and found one in Manassas for sale. Drove out to the boondocks to get it, met some very lovely people who helped me install it, and then they didn't even accept my money! I got a very nice and very new carrier for free!!!! And it is big enough to hold all my clothes and then some. YEAH!

#3- I have a place to live in Utah! Mapleton. Crazy. A good friend is renting me her house while she's in Europe for several months. (And for the curious, there are 2 singles ward and 15 regular wards in the tiny town of Mapleton.)

Still have to find someone to take the lease here, and wait for a judge to determine my brother's fate. But other than that, all is going very very well!!

the final countdown

I've finished all of my temp work (where I was learning Arabic). I had to put in 8 hours on it today to get it completed. I'm looking forward to another night of dreaming about toilets welcoming me in Arabic. (you'd have to speak arabic to fully appreciate that joke. but even then, only poorly speak arabic) I finished the project right about midnight, so I didn't get any packing done today. But I did get all of my furniture sold. Exercise bike, couch, table and chairs. Yeah!
Monday will be all about the packing. I've taken inventory and I don't think it will be too bad. I'm throwing out a ton of clothes. So if anyone has a need for size 8 womens dresses, please feel free to come and take them from me. The hard part tomorrow will just be staying on task and getting the job done.
Tuesday is going to be errands day. Just run all around and tie up some loose ends. Including probably having to go to the Arlington County offices and explain to them for the gazillionth time that I don't live in Arlington, and therefore will not be paying taxes to them. They seem to have a hard time accepting this. I liked Arlington, I really did. But I don't live there, so I am not going to give them my money! I'm broke enough as it is!
Wednesday I will be in Fredneck with my family for the day, and then I am leaving very late Wednesday night and driving straight on thru. I never thought I'd say this, but it all depends on whether or not a judge is sending my brother to jail on Wednesday. Need more details? Sorry. But the moral of that story is don't drive on a suspended license and pay your traffic tickets.
If I leave on time Wednesday I get into Utah around lunchtime on Friday. (I think.) Then I will rest for the weekend, do more apartment hunting, and start my new job on Tuesday.
Crazy crazy I tell you!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

couch cushion-- now free

craigslist couch, now free

table

craigslist table-- SOLD!!!

craigslist chair-- SOLD!!!

for the next 5 minutes i will be...

I'm home. Or at least sort of home. I'm at my parents' house so I can sell off the stuff I have in storage here at a yard sale tomorrow. I'm opting for the no moving truck method of moving cross country. In other words, selling off most of my stuff and taking what fits in my car.
I got home around 10:30 pm, and I have hit the ground running. I have to leave to get my stuff from the storage unit at 5:30 am. So why am I up at 1 am??
The next few days are going to be crazy. I've got a ton to pull off in a very short period of time. Pack, clean, sell, say goodbye, etc. Not to mention scramble to figure out a few other details. I don't have an address yet in Utah, so I don't know where to forward my mail. Chances are slim to none I'll find someone to take my place in VA, so I've got to figure out how to pay rent in two places at once. (I'm getting paid more, but not that much more!) I still have to finish my Arabic program. And try and get some sleep before driving solo cross country and starting a new job. To say I am overwhelmed would be the understatement of the century.
I do have to mention how cute my nephews were this week. I got to attend soccer games for both Dallin and Tell. Tell (first grader) is all about being on a team. He's all about team spirit and the after-party. He's not all that concerned about aggressively kicking the ball. But he does a good job of congratulating each of his teammates. Dallin is the reverse. Watching Big D play soccer is a lot like watching a tornado spin across a soccer field aiming at little boys and intentionally knocking them down. Dallin spends about as much time on the ground as he does running in a game. He really likes tackling other players. Or at the very least, when all the 5 yr old boys get into a little scrum and kick the ball mercilessly, somehow he finds a way to get tripped and knocked over- and takes everyone within his reach down with him. I counted at least 15 different times Dallin was on the ground, waiting for another child to be picked up off of him. Porter (still just 2 years old) has finally decided he likes me. He's also given me a name, "Aunt Owie." He's trying to say Erin, but it comes out closer to "Airie," but with his little guy speech impediment it sounds like "owie." And he likes to say it as often as possible. He couldn't walk past me, near me, etc without saying "Hi Owie!" It was very cute. He still has a fixation with my cell phone, particularly the pictures of him on my phone. He brings it to me constantly begging for, "Bebe! Po-po!" (He calls himself Baby Popo.) This means he wants his picture taken so he can see it. We play this game about 10 times a day at least. But Aunt Owie loves that her nephew has finally accepted her and is willing to play it 100 times a day if it makes him happy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the plan for the next five minutes is...

I am flying back to DC tomorrow (Friday). I bought a ticket so I must mean it this time. I'll be in town just long enough to sell some old furniture, pack up my clothes and other stuff and roll back out of town. I'm thinking I'll probably be leaving town on Wednesday or Thursday.
Still no definite place to live in Utah, but I have narrowed it down to 2 places. One is in Orem. More crow.

speaking of the new job

Speaking of which, I guess it's time to tell you what I know about the job. I will be the Marketing and Communications Specialist for a small medical device start up in Orem, UT. The job is perfect for me. The product the company makes and sells is great and one of a kind and selling very well. From my end of things this is wonderful. I will be doing the public relations and telling people about the product. I'm looking forward to selling a product that is making big waves in its industry. The company is growing rapidly and there's just tons of work to be done. It's a very team oriented spirit there. It is Orem, so you can guess that the office is fairly heavily Mormon dominated. It will be an interesting change for me, but one I'm looking forward to adjusting to. I made a Diet Coke joke in my interview and suddenly found myself nervous that it was the wrong thing to say. (they laughed and no one looked horrified) And when they called to offer me the position the lady said, "Well, I know you'll want the night to think about it. So go home and ponder and pray about it and let us know tomorrow." I nearly ran off the road I laughed so hard.

(For the non-LDS readers, "ponder and pray" is a very LDS/Mormon thing to say.) (Also, for the non-LDS, Orem is next to/mashed up with Provo, which is the home of BYU. I think Provo and Orem are about 90% LDS. So it's fairly safe in those areas to assume everyone around you is also Mormon.)

Back to the job. I'll be doing a lot of PR, trade shows, marketing, writing, etc. Basically, doing a little of a lot of things. Or is a lot of a lot? I have a feeling it's going to be a lot. I can expect very long hours, some travel and very exciting work.


Okay, random other questions.
I'm leaning towards Draper or Pleasant Grove as my new place to live. This area (particularly those 2 towns) has changed completely since I lived here 10 years ago. Does anyone have any opinions or insights on good places to live if I am working in Orem? I'd like to be able to walk to restaurants and things to do. (Which I know is next to impossible in UT.) I'd live in SLC at Gateway if I could, but the 40 mile each way commute and rising gas prices just aren't working for me. I'm willing to pay top end of Utah rental prices (because they are still lower than DC prices). So I'm looking for a 1 bedroom luxury apartment. Must have a washer/dryer in it, high speed internet and covered parking. (DC people who think apartment covered parking is a pipe dream, it is very normal here.) Nearby shops and restaurants would be great. I don't care too much about highway access, as my job is off State and Center in Orem. (talk about the center of orem) So I could live in say, PG, and just take State all the way down.
Am I the only one who still associates PG with "Pregnant Grove," or the "PG home for unwed mothers?"

All things subject to change

Okay, so right now the big plan is... completely subject to change.

Today- hunt for a place to live
Friday- fly back to DC?
Saturday- yard sale in Fredneck to rid myself of several belongings
Sunday- a much needed day of rest
Monday- pack what belongings I still have
Tuesday- sell the rest on Craigslist
Wednesday- drive back to UT?
(ooh sidenote to Miss Hass. Yes, I'll be going straight on through Indianapolis. I'll most likely be sleeping there for the night. but as you can see, all things are subject to change. the day and time i get there are negotiable. but i'm definitely sleeping in Indy for a night with some friends.)
Thursday- drive
Friday- drive, arrive UT
Saturday- move into the place I find to live
Sunday- another much needed day of rest
Monday- begin the new job


Or maybe I will...
Stay here all next week and start the job on Monday. Fly back to DC next weekend, pack, move, drive cross country then? I don't know. This is the plan I am leaning towards, but it means asking a lot of my sister to drive me from Murray to Orem every day. Ugh. Why must this be so difficult!?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's Official

I accepted the offer in Orem today.
Now I just have to-
1. find a place to live in Utah
2. figure out what to do about my place in VA
3. pack
4. move across country
5. move in
5b. possibly pack, go to Utah and have my stuff moved later
6. start a job
and a few other slightly stressful things. And do it all as quickly and cost effective as possible.
Yikes!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

So what goes good with crow?

After what can only be described as another SNAFU riddled trip to get to Utah, I have arrived. (details probably won't be following on that because... well, just read on) My nephews greeted be with all the enthusiasm they could muster. Including little Porter (who generally refused to acknowledge my existence), who actually ran across the room yelling something that sounded like, "Aunt Erin! Aunt Erin!" He actually jumped into my arms and gave me lots of hugs and kisses, while his mother and I just stood there in complete shock. He's apparently forgotten his total disdain for me and made me his new best friend. And I LOVE it!

I had to run straight from the airport to a job interview. Due to the airline SNAFUs I had to miss my first interview of the day, and was late getting to the second one. But I guess no harm was done as the interview went really well. So well in fact that they called me just a few minutes after I left to offer me the job. It really is a dream job for me and something I am very very excited about. However, I am taking the night to sleep on it, and I have to let the dream job back in Virginia have the chance to make an offer. What will I do if they make me an offer as well? I really really don't know!!

But in the meantime, it looks like I will be eating a LOT of crow. Not only will I be moving to Utah, but the job is in Orem. Yes, Orem. One of the 2 towns I have more than once said you could never pay me to live in. (Provo is the other one.)

Yes, crow my friends. I'll be eating a LOT of crow.

Wish me luck tonight. I have a LOT to think about.

snow in freakin denver

ANOTHER SNAFU

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

procrastination station

tonight i am discovering just how far i will go to procrastinate packing for a trip. i won't bore you with the details, but let's just say if it could be measured in miles i'd be 3 states over by now.

on top of the procrastination (or maybe what is fueling it), are my nerves. i'm getting nervous about my trip. i'm about to do something rather expensive. when you have a job and something to fall back on, expensive is just risky. when you don't have a job or a safe place to fall, expensive is just downright a reckless gamble. so i'm scared and nervous. not to mention just plain old sick and tired of interviewing for jobs. but at least this week they are all direct with the employer interviews, and not with recruiters.

on the other hand, i am excited to go out there and give this new adventure a shot. of the 4 interviews i have (i've decided to cancel one), 2 of them really are opportunities worth moving out there for. but the big interview on monday morning is worth staying here for.

with so many options it is getting harder and harder to really know what i want. i find myself avoiding responding to emails or even phone calls cause i just don't know what to tell people. my plans change from day to day so fast, or are just so incomplete, that i just don't want to tell someone "yeah, so i'm doing XYZ," just for a new opportunity to come along 5 minutes later. so if you are one of the many people i'm half-ignoring these days, please understand i just want to wait until i know for sure what is happening before i say anything.

as a side thought, may i also just express how impossible it is to pack for a trip that is so vague? obviously i have all my business clothes for the interviews. but i don't really know how long i am staying there, so i don't really know what else to bring. and on top of that, it is utah in the spring. i think more than half of my blog readers are from utah, so i don't have to explain too much what that means. but for the other 1/3 of you that are not from or in utah, let's just say that means that your average day can easily have a 30-40 degree temperature change. especially if you are in the shadow of a mountain. (oh those happy memories of bundling up for my morning classes at byu- scarf, hat, coat, etc. just to come out of class at noon and find the rest of the student body in shorts (knee length of course) and sandals (birks with socks of course)). It looks like next week will only have 20-30 degree temp changes, but that does mean I can pack everything from my sandals to boots. but should i? this is the big question. on top of not knowing how long i am staying there, i don't know what i'll be doing in my free time still. hike? hot springs? (please say yes to both!) shopping? watching little nephew soccer games? (big yes) dying on the couch with a mystery illness again? (oh please say no!)

oh, and this time i'm going prepared. in case of bizarre emergencies, planes running out of fuel, or my luggage going awol (i'm flying jet blue on the red-eye, so all of these are possibilities), i have decided to travel in my sweats and pack an actual carry-on overnight bag. which, it may surprise you to know, i have never done before.

ooh, i just checked weather.com again. 75 and sunny on saturday. and nothing is more beautiful than a sunny warm day in the spring in utah mountains! YEAH!!!!

ok, procrastination over. must return to the packing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bringing All New Meaning to Blue Darts

"Toto Ltd., known for its high-tech toilets with bidets that have blow-drying, air purification and seat-warming functions, apologized to consumers and offered free checks and repairs after some of its toilets with bidets and heated seats sent up smoke and three caught fire."

read more here

82-Year-Old Ex-Beauty Queen Stops Intruder by Shooting Out Tires

WAYNESBURG, Ky. — Miss America 1944 has a talent that likely has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle's tires and stop an intruder.

Fox News Story Here

Favorite line-

Ramey said the man told her he would leave. "I said, 'Oh, no you won't,' and I shot their tires so they couldn't leave," Ramey said.

She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.

Friday, April 20, 2007

finally friday

happy thoughts for the upcoming weekend and week

1. i can sleep in this weekend (no more 6 am seminary rides)
2. i have more dates than job interviews in utah next week
3. i have a second job interview with my dream job before i leave for utah
4. i am excited about 4 of the 6 interviews i have next week
5. i've lost 6 lbs this week. i'll probably put 3 of it back on with one good meal though.
6. i'm almost halfway done with my temp job
7. i can now say "the little boy is six years old" and "the mother drinks milk" in arabic. i'm ready for that trip to iraq now.
8. i get to see my nephews in just 4 days
9. i'm going hiking next week (in real mountains)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

quicky american idol recap

**update**
Yeah! Sanjaya is gone!!!!
And apparently I've still got the touch. LaKisha, Sanjaya and Blake in the bottom 3. My theory as to why it was Blake and not Chris is that because of Simon's extra mean comments regarding Chris he got a lot of extra sympathy votes, pushing Blake down.
It was a little sad to see LaKisha next to Sanjaya. She really is a phenomenal singer and does not deserve to be lumped with him like that. She just had a bad flat week.
Yeah! No more Sanjaya!




Okay, for those of you who actually read these recaps, here is my very fast and short Idol recap:
It was country week with Martina McBride (I LUV her) as the mentor. She is someone who really really does have incredible singing abilities (so much more than say J.Lo?).
Phil- for Phil he rocked. For me, his best job to date. Will it keep him in? Maybe. I think he just lacks a serious devotee fan base, and as a result he may end up in the bottom 3.
Jordin- by and far the best performance of the night, and by and far her best performance ever. She sang "Broken Wing," made famous by Martina McBride, and that took big time guts. And she hit it out of the park. As good as Martina's version! And she gave me goosebumps!! Does anyone else laugh every time they see her standing next to Ryan Seacrest? She dwarfs him! It cracks me up!
I'm going from memory, so this may not be in performance order.
Melinda- Okay, I can't believe I'm saying this. She was great. And she did the most countrified performance of the night, which it pains me to say.
LaKisha- This may be the week she lands in the bottom 3. Plain and simple, she sucked. She was flat and she didn't even look like she wanted to be singing the song.
Chris- Hmm... what to say? I say he's headed to the bottom 3 as well. He was breathy, nasally, strange and just not that good.
Sanjaya- He deserves to be shot for what he did to that song. A song I used to like, but may never listen to again. He looked like an idiot and made a mockery of a talent show. Will he be in the bottom 3? Unlikely, but he was by far the worst performance.
Blake- my problem with Blake is that every week I wait to fall in love with him and then I never do. I keep waiting for him to woo me, to just turn into this incredible sex symbol, and yet, it never happens. He sang "When the Stars Go Blue," a song that usually causes me to swoon. I LOVE that song. But he did his Blake thing to it, which wasn't so bad, but he didn't make it better. And I didn't fall in love with him- again. But I want to. I want him to amaze me!!

So my bottom 3 are- Sanjaya, LaKisha and Chris. Who do I think we will see there? Chris, Phil and LaKisha.

And had I put up a recap last week (I just wasn't in the mood), I would have called Haley and Phil as the ones to leave, and sure enough, Haley did. But I'm sure we'll see her back in a L'eggs commercial, or maybe a Venus razor or Candies shoe commercial soon enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Day

One part of me wants to acknowledge what is happening at Virginia Tech. But for now, I just can't do it. As my dad put it yesterday, "there's been enough death for one week for me." At this point I'm just grateful that almost surprisingly I know no one directly affected by the tragedy. We were concerned at first with that many deaths, at a school so close to home, that we (especially my brother and sister) might know someone. I'm just glad that so far, we don't.

Personally, I'm in a place where I need happier and funnier thoughts. I know others need to mourn right now, but I can't do it anymore. I just need happiness. Too much death for one week of a girl's life.

And so I bring you the insanity of my day.

Like most of Northern Virginia last night we lost power for several hours. (6 hours if anyone cares). So I was all alone in the dark and searching for the candles. Thankfully, I knew exactly where to go to find the matches in the kitchen. Unfortunately in the complete pitch dark I didn't exactly see the microwave door was open. (which can only be blamed on me) And boom! Forehead right into the sharp edge of the microwave door. Nice little goose egg on my forehead. Very nice. Black, blue, swollen with a little cut in the middle of it. So sexy.

So this evening I gave into my overwhelming need for happiness, ice cream and a trip out of the house. About half a mile down the road I became aware of a strange squeaky bird-like sound coming from the back of my car. I went faster and then slower. And the strange sound got louder and quieter. Very strange. So I pulled over to investigate. First, I found a bird in the muffler. Yeah. In the muffler. But he flew out when I kicked the muffler. (I really didn't know what else to do.) I started the car, thinking this would cure the problem, but no. It started again. I pulled back over. I looked at the back tire. And, oh my gosh, there's a bird IN my tire/wheel, whatever you call it. Stuck. In. My. Tire. Kicking didn't help it this time. I poked. Nothing happened. The bird squeaked. I tried to go to a service station. But first I had to stop to get the ice cream. (It was on the way.) Bird gone. Don't know where it went. Maybe the kicking helped. I don't know. But it's gone as is the squeaky noise.

Crazy.

Marhabbin

A few weeks ago I saw something come across one of the many listserves I am on regarding a temp work-from-home project involving language translation. Just for fun I responded to the email and just happened to get the job. So this week I am trying to cram 80 hours worth of work into a 7 day period before I leave for Utah. On the bright side this isn't too hard because both of my roommates have abandoned me here all alone and there's nothing to interrupt me. On the downside, there's no one here to interrupt me and I'm bored out of my mind. 12 hours in front of the computer with no one to come home and amuse me is not so fun.
But the language program is fairly interesting. There were 10 languages to pick from, but you had to go with one you had no or little exposure to. Knowing that I tend to pick up romance languages fairly fast, I chose Arabic (with Russian as my alternate). Which in hindsight was pretty dumb of me. Arabic isn't just learning a language, but also a whole new alphabet. Learning languages has always been really easy and fun for me until this misery hit. But it is interesting to test out their software in spite of my despise. But I have to admit, 12 hours a day pretty much sucks. Especially when my computer keeps crashing (again, beta software testing going on here), and it takes 20-30 minutes to re-boot and get back to where I was. It is VERY easy to get distracted and not want to get back on task when that happens.
The up side to all of this is that they are paying me, and I'm not paying them, to learn Arabic. Money is good.

Speaking of which, I did have a job interview scheduled for today, but I canceled it. It seemed like such a waste of time that I figured the smart thing to do was cancel. Just as I was starting to second guess myself for canceling the phone rang. Another interview in Utah! Yeah! And for a job that sounds really interesting and challenging, so I'm pretty excited. So we're up to 4.5 interviews and 2.5 dates next week. ;-) Now I just have to endure this week so i can get to the fun of next week!!

Good thing this couch is comfy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It was in the bag, but now it's not

So here's the update for the job search this week...

Monday- phone interview (already done, blah)
Tuesday- in person interview. Not toooooo excited about it, but willing to give it a shot because I like the people, just not the position.
Nothing currently scheduled for the rest of the week.
Ooh, but the dream job from about 11 days ago could get back to me starting mid-week.

Next week-
I was attempting to keep it in the bag, but I see that the cat is out and running loose. (maybe cause i told all my cousins...) But the rumors are true, and yes, I have interviews in Utah next week. 4 in fact.
Monday- fly to Utah
Tuesday- 2 interviews (i won't reveal which companies until after. but 1 might make a few of you former and/or current utahns laugh)
Wednesday-1 interview
And I'm playing phone tag with 1 other company, and have it on good authority that another one will be calling me in. So 4 interviews in Utah... Crazy.

I haven't finished setting up interviews out there, so I haven't purchased my return ticket yet. But I will be coming home. My roommates' plants need me.

Yes, I do know that if I were to move to Utah I have a lot of crow to eat. I've been stocking up on Tabasco sauce just in case. Tabasco makes everything better.

I'm not saying I'm moving there for sure. There's just a reasonable potential possibility at this point. I'm not moving anywhere without the perfect job first. So let's not get ahead of ourselves.

So Utah friends, who wants to take me out and convince me to live in their town first??

Hufflepuff!


The sorting hat says that I belong in Hufflepuff!



Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot, and treat them just the same."


Hufflepuff students are friendly, fair-minded, modest, and hard-working. A well-known member was Cedric Diggory, who represented Hogwarts in the most recent Triwizard Tournament.






Take the most scientific Harry Potter
Quiz
ever created.


Get Sorted Now!



Overall my scores were-
Hufflepuff- 85
Gryffindor- 81
Ravenclaw- 77
Slytherin- 62

I expected to be Gryffindor over Hufflepuff, but my scores were close, so I'm okay with it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

12 O'clock Knob Rd

With my uncle's death and my cousin's wedding this week, I have had a very long week walking down the family memory lane. And since I know of at least 3 cousins who read this (j, j, and t- hello!) I thought I'd share a few of the memories I can't forget right now.

To the rest of the world, forgive me for what I have to do here. But the real word I want to use is something I do not need coming up in google searches. So I'm going to use a slang term that won't come up in a google search. Read on and you'll see why.

And as clarification, please understand I'm not mocking anyone. I'm just reliving a funny childhood memory that may only make sense to those involved.

My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and had a mastectomy before I was 8 years old. I don't know when she had the cancer or the surgery, but I know it was before I was 8. I've never asked her any of these questions, (although i probably should), so I don't know why it is what it is. But she has this fake "girl." (and that is where the word i don't having googled would be) And she used to leave it sitting in the bathroom on the back of the toilet.
Now let me describe this fake "girl." It's shaped like a mound or a mountain, is flesh colored, and jiggly. And it is hollow (probably so women who only have partial mastectomies can place it over what they still have). And it was usually sitting in a Tupperware bowl in the bathroom. Sometimes something like a scarf, or pill bottles were sitting inside of the fake girl in the bowl. Sometimes not. Anyway, I'm pretty sure none of us kids really knew what it was or why it was in the bowl in the bathroom. But there it was and we all had theories. And one day my partner in crime (ahem, Karma) and I decided to convince Seth it was a hat. (We were small kids, and the girl was pretty big. Out of respect for my grandmother I won't speculate on size.) So we did. We got Seth to put it on his head. I don't recall if it stayed on, if we got caught, or what happened next. I just remember that we got him to put it on. If anyone else can recall the rest of this memory, please tell me what happened next!

End memory.
Next memory.

When I was little my favorite game in the whole world was to play "little runaway orphans." I wanted nothing more in life than to live in an orphanage and be friends with Annie. And when my cousins Karma, Tami and Seth came to visit, they got recruited in my game, as did my sister Natalie. "Little Runaway Orphans" required also playing dress up from the closet of old 70's dresses my mom gave us. So one day we all dressed up. The big girls ran away, and then we "grew up," came back, and decided a wedding was necessary. I believe I was the minister for this wedding. And we (and by we I mean me and Karma with Tami trying not to be an accomplice) married Natalie and Seth, and made them kiss. And being little kids, we teased them about that for years to come. Kissing cousins, ooh la la. And I do recall spending an evening when we were about the wise age of 12, doing our best to convince Natalie and Seth that they were now in an arranged marriage for life and they HAD to marry each other. And the best part was that N and S were just about the most gullible kids ever and pretty much fell for everything we told them.

Last memory
To the best of my knowledge my Uncle Dan was a very kind and gentle man. And yet the memory I keep replaying over and over is of him spanking me. And not just spanking me, but taking the belt off, bending over his knee, and smacking my bare bum. Again, this memory involves Karma and me getting in trouble. Funny how that never changes. We were probably 6 or 7, and I was spending the night at their house. And Karma and I had figured out a way to knock a hole in the wall between two bedrooms by opening the doors and slamming them against the wall. One must presume there was no door stoppy jam thingy. The doorknob hit the wall and we succeeded in punching a hole through it. And being fairly small girls, we could get our hands and arms through this and make a game of pulling each other's arms through the hole from the opposite sides of the wall. If memory serves, Tami wanted no part of this trouble and was sitting on a bunk bed watching, and Seth was just jealous that we wouldn't let him play. So we took a toy of his and passed it back and forth through the wall. And (I'm sure it was Karma, I would never have done this) dropped it in the gap between the two walls of sheet rock. He cried, and we got spanked. I remember Karma went first and cried, and I was absolutely terrified. I lived in complete fear of my uncle for years after that. Which is funny because all of my other memories of him are of him making jokes (or of him telling me and K to stop giggling all night).

And now I'm seriously questioning why our parents ever let K and I be roommates in college??

So there, no real punch lines, no real point to them. Just some silly memories I keep recalling this week. Cousins, if you have any memories you want to share, I'd love to hear them. Feel free to email or put them in the comments section.

PS- the title of this post will only make sense to my cousins.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Screw Red Bull, Trader Joe Gives You Wings!

Thinking I was going to be making some very long road trips this weekend I bought some energy drinks at Trader Joe's yesterday. I had looked at their labels and read the ingredients, which mentioned Green Tea extract, Guarana extract and other things. But no definitive caffeine ingredient, although Green Tea and Guarana do contain caffeine. It sounded good so I picked up a few. Last night all of the plans for road trips changed, and I decided to just buy plane tickets instead. So this morning while puttering around the house I decided to try out a drink for breakfast.
Holy crap!
30 minutes later I'm jittery and bouncing off the walls!!! I reconsulted the can to see what on earth could do this to me in such a short time period. It's low calories, low-carb, and no sugar. Oh, but then there's those little words on the FRONT of the can, not anywhere near the ingredients that say, "75 mg of caffeine per serving." There's 2 servings per can!!
And then I read this on wikipedia, and realized that my theories on "no definitive caffeine" were a bit stupid. This stuff is pretty much caffeine in its freaking purest form!

To give you an idea of what I've just ingested--

1 Diet Coke- 34 mg
Mountain Dew- 54.5 mg
Red Bull- 80 mg
Jolt- 150 mg

And since I just finished off this whole can, I just had the equivalent of 1 can of Jolt for breakfast on an empty stomach.
I think I will go run a marathon or something now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My new laptop needs a name, I'm thinking "Bankruptica?"

I finally caved in today and bought a laptop. Crazy, I know. I need it for the work from home job I start on Monday. (more on that deal later) It's a Compaq Presario, used, with XP on it. I really didn't want to buy Vista yet, so I went to a refurbished computer store and found this one. I did my research and think I got a pretty good deal with it. I'm happy.
(Now if I could just get the stupid wireless card (D-link external) to work my life would be complete.)
I also got a new windsheild today. So pretty much, I spent a lot of money for me all in just one short morning. I'm a little freaked out.
I'm leaving for Indianapolis tomorrow and a second funeral. A close family friend succumbed to brain cancer after nearly 9 months of illness. It hasn't been the easiest week in the McBride family. 2 funerals and a wedding... Ay yi yi.
With a third major road trip (2 to Roanoke previously this week) now looming, plus another massive trip right behind it, I'm doing some massive packing today. I've given up on suitcases and just packing everything in big rubbermaid containers. I'm surprised how much more I can fit in them rather that suitcases.
Bottom line, I'm tired before I even get started right now. I'm not going to say much more about what is going on. I'll just take and post pictures and let them do the talking.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy day

yeah! They did it!

update

I had been considering not explaining all of the craziness going on these days. Somehow it just didn't seem fair or sensitive enough to several of the others more effected by it than I am. But having seen them all this weekend, I've learned that most wouldn't mind my personal acknowledgement of our family's situation.

Last Friday my uncle Dan passed away. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for two months. He was a great man and will be horribly missed. My favorite part about him was his ability to make great off-the-cuff, off-color jokes. In a family of otherwise bookish people, his humor was always very welcome. His family was all able to be with him on Friday when he succumbed to the disease, and were able to say goodbye. Not many people get the chance to be surrounded by those they love most in their last moments. And I am so grateful that my uncle was able to be.

The weekend was spent with family activities. While my uncle's passing was sad, we were all greatful that his suffering had come to an end. The gatherings of the weekend were tearful and yet full of love and happiness. Any time our family gets together there is fun and conversation. And several hundred people. I know the size of my family is approaching legend and lore status. I shall now try and quell some of that.

To the best of my knowledge I have- on my paternal side only-
34 first cousins
over 400 second cousins
and countless third cousins
And yes, the bulk of them live in Virginia.

So when it starts to sound like I have a zillion relatives, guess what? I really do.

And I haven't finished seeing my relatives this week. With every dose of sorrow there must be some happiness as well, right? My cousin Jonathan is getting married on Wednesday (which I now realize is today). We had a really nice dinner earlier tonight (tuesday) to get to know his bride Sarah's family. I'm looking forward to the rest of the festivities this week.

As a sidenote, I also went out to buy J and S's wedding present today. Wonderful people that they are, they registered. I took one look at their registry and knew what I was going to buy for them. The stainless steel toilet plunger. Why? Because they registered for it. And on the card, I just had to write, "I insist that you think about me every time you use it."

J and S have their own photography business. So needless to say, the pictures from the wedding this week will be incredible. J did say I could take some ghetto pics on my camera if he gets to be on the blog. Be prepared for lots of fun ghetto pics this week, as the blog will be serving as my photo album!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Starting with yesterday there will be a lot of unexpected travel in my next three weeks. Rather than talk about the events going on around here, I've decided to turn the blog into a game of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" Except in this case, Carmen Sandiego will be me, my brother, my sisters and my cousins at different times. If you want to guess where the Traveling McBrides are on a given day (and are not one of the participants in the activity), feel free to venture a guess in the comments section.
Enjoy having that little song stuck in your head now. (Or the "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" song, depending on your age and generation.)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hooha Thursday

THINGS GOING GOOD
1. 3 job interviews this week. Don't know if company #1 will make an offer, but it doesn't matter as I sent them an email saying no thanks in advance. Company #2 is pretty darn near my dream job and that interview went really well considering I have laryngitis. Company #3 happens later today.

2. I have a 2 week temp job that I can do from home and it pays absurdly well.

3. My "Idol" sixth sense is fairly attuned.

4. I am still sticking to my big decision.

things going not so good
1. I'm wondering if this eternal head cold/allergies/laryngitis/etc has turned into mono.
2. COBRA health care would cost me $800/mo. So if it is mono, I won't be finding out for a while.
3. Gina got sent home from Idol.
4. Not to make light of this, but there's some very sad things going on in my personal life and family right now. While I'm grateful for the chance to be of help to others during this time, it is also very hard to have so much time to think about the sadness.
5. I'm still sticking to my big decision.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Idling Idols

So it was Tony Bennett on Idol this week. Loved the songs, but not necessarily the performances!

Blake- 3 stars
He's so pretty.

Phil- 3 stars
He showed some sex appeal finally, but sadly, not in the music. But he still has an amazing voice. Just needs to improve his polish and performance.

Melinda- 4 stars
I hate hate hate that dress she wore. Again, she sounded incredible, but doesn't make me want to buy a CD with her on it. Put her in a musical on Broadway and she'll kick butt. But she won't make Simon any richer this time next year.

Chris- 4 stars
My favorite performance by him so far. He's a performer and he's fun, and cute to watch on stage. But... I think I have figured it out finally. It's the timbre of his voice. It's just not that great.

Jordin- 5 stars
My favorite of the night. Girlfriend was hot tonight! Of all the songs tonight she was the only one that I could see myself buying or even downloading some day.

Gina- 3 stars
She really is cool. But she didn't rock out tonight, and it worries me that she might get sent home for just not winning people over. If I were the kind of girl that voted, I would call and vote for her just to keep her around next week.

Sanjaya- 3 stars
It pains me to say that he sounded good. He just looked stupid as usual. Remember my prediction that eventually he would finish his transformation into a woman? This week just took him one step closer to that.

Haley- 2 stars
She looked like the Little Mermaid, but didn't quite sound like her. If she didn't look so freaking hot (Simon and Ryan are both so crushing on her), I think she would be going home for sure. But I'm relying on teenage boy and old bored men hormones to keep her in the game.

LaKisha-
You know what? She always sounds the same. I have nothing to say about her. Nothing ever changes. Especially her facial expressions. So boring.

And it must be said that Paula's jacket needs to be burned!! It was hideous!

Look! My Julipalooli Made a Movie!

(there's an inside joke here that only juli is going to get- for the rest of you, enjoy the ninja rap)

Monday, April 02, 2007

updates

obviously i changed the blog layout and format. i never really liked the lighthouse thing. it's just not me.
i also added several more blogs on the side. i read several more than that, but i'm not sure how public some of them are. if you want me to you add yours, leave me a comment, and i'll be happy to add you too.

Can I Get a Hoo-Ha Monday?

I hereby declare this a good Monday for Erin.

Why?
The dogs I am watching have not fouled upon anything in the house today.
I FINALLY got paid by that company I left 8 weeks ago.
I opened a new local bank account.
I have THREE job interviews lined up this week. Not too shabby. (and none of them are with recruiters)
I made a major decision last night, and I'm not freaking out about it today. (that almost never happens)
I lost another 3 lbs this weekend. (down a total of 12 now) (that's a lot of dog walking)
I think this or maybe this will be mine by the end of today. Maybe not till tomorrow though. I like to sleep on big purchases.
So far today, no migraines. (I was plagued with them all weekend.)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

i dont understand boys

My brother's pants and shorts. In the middle of the kitchen. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps he needed to loosen his belt and they all fell down? In the middle of an otherwise spotless kitchen?

i just dont get it

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