Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Heidi needs a Sr Java Software Engineer

(Heidi did me a big favor yesterday, so I'm returning the favor with this job posting for her.)


We are hiring a Sr. Java Software Engineer to help design and code web-based applications and websites that will be used by thousands of Church members and leaders. This individual will work on the next generation of very public applications such as stake/ward websites, stake/ward leadership applications, and content-rich websites delivered in multiple languages, across multiple delivery channels including web, mobil, and RSS. This individual must have the ability to rapidly investigate and evaluate new technologies, and implement them into sound architectures. They must be able to work on a highly-productive team pushing toward aggressive schedules to deliver exciting new solutions for members and leaders of the Church.
The Church Information and Communication Systems department (ICS) has established a core set of technologies. This position will utilize the following technologies (but not limited to):
· Java/JSP/JSF
· Portal Server Software
· Spring, Hibernate, JPA
· Ajax
· XML, CSS
Ultimately, the success of the individual engineer is directly tied to the success of the engineering team. We need people that can focus on delivering high-quality solutions, quickly.
* Must be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, currently temple worthy.
* Exposure to a broad range of Java technologies, and able to contribute meaningfully to technology and product decisions.
* Must have 5 or more years of relevant experience
* Significant experience developing web applications and content-rich websites is preferred.
* Worked on large-scale enterprise application
* Able to comfortably apply and recognize design patterns in determining algorithms, design constructs and in making architectural decisions
* Proven ability to estimate the time to develop software features and then to deliver on that estimate
* BS/MS/PhD in CS or equivalent.
* Strong Java skills and object oriented design experience.
* Experience in database design and SQL.
* Experience with Portal Servers and Content Management are a plus.
* Knowledge of session management, object relational mapping, XML web services, and agile development methodologies desired.
Send resumes to: Heidi dot totten at parallelhr dot com

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend, Exhaustion is Thy Name

Thursday 4 pm- get the go ahead to launch major project, start working fast and furious

Friday, 1 am- end crazy work, go to bed

Friday, 8 am- meet with new client

Friday, 10 am- meet with another new client

Friday, 12 noon- rush home, grab food, shower, pack, leave for Cedar City


Friday, 5 pm- arrive Cedar, meet up with road manager.

Friday, 5:30 pm- get to Jae's house. Begin adoring cute triplets, and catching up with old friend. Go to dinner with Jae and Brady.

There is something very comforting and relaxing to visit with a friend you have literally known your whole life. You don't have to "get to know" each other again. You just do know each other. There's no need for explanations. No need to worry about what they will think. You can remember what you looked like in your homely pre-teen years, and you are still friends. Nothing can really beat that.

Friday, 7:30 pm- get to Centrum Arena, watch Due West get TWO standing ovations! (Craig Morgan, the headliner, didn't get any.)

Friday, 8:00 pm- Use restroom and find strange ads in the stalls. Disturb other patrons by taking a picture in the stall.




Friday, 9:00 pm- do lots of networking in the hall during the concert. Enjoy watching my Due West boys sign hundreds of autographs. At some point, actually talk to my clients.



Friday, 11:00- get back to Jae's house. Catch up with old friend more.

Saturday, 12:30 am- Brady lets Jae and me know it's late and we should go to bed. We don't argue.

Saturday, 7:30 am- Cute adorable triplets wake up. We all wake up for the morning feedings. I have never before seen such well-behaved and sweet little girls. So cute!! (Jae, please forgive me for the pajama picture.)


Saturday, 9:30 am- Brady kindly checks out the scary noise coming from the back end of my car. He gives me the all-clear, I leave for SLC.

Saturday, 1:00 pm- Decide there is no way I can stay awake much longer, pull over at a truck stop. Discover that the nearby Comfort Inn has a free and strong wi-fi signal. Prove my nerdiness by checking emails.

Saturday, 2:30 pm- Get home, shower, change, leave again.

Saturday, 4:00 pm- Arrive Juli's house for our 2 mile walk. And go to Maverick for necessary post-walk Diet Coke. Get hugs from favorite fairy god-daughters. I heart the Caldwell Chicks.

Saturday, 6:30 pm- Dena and Lance's wedding reception! LOVELY!



Saturday, 8:00 pm- Eddie's birthday party. Catch up with Eddie, Juli, Mattie (pictured), and Camille (not pictured). So fun to see so many faces from home in one weekend!

(sidenote: I weighed myself on Saturday. I am at my lowest weight in 2 years. You just can't tell in that dress with it's apparently unflattering print.)


Saturday, 11:00 pm- Get home, fall into bed, talk to Stacer for a few hours.

Sunday, 1:00 am- Fall asleep.

Sunday, 12:30 pm- Wake up.

Sunday, 12:45 pm- Fall back asleep.

Sunday, 1:30 pm- Answer ringing phone. Nap intermittently.

Sunday, 4:00 pm- Discover there is absolutely no food in my house. Only freezer burned ice cream. I'm starving. Go out to eat.

Sunday, 5:00 pm- Enjoy blissful dinner with an amazing view.


Sunday, 6:00 pm- Decide to stop off and visit these guys. Come up with brilliant event idea.


Sunday, 7:00 pm- Home. I like home. Blog.

Sunday Morning Shout Outs

I've decided to make it a weekly thing to do Sunday Morning Shout Outs. It seems like a fun way to start off the week, doesn't it? I hope you'll visit these friends and their sites and endeavors, if for no other reason than to just show love and support. We all love watching that Statcounter go up, don't we? And it never hurts to check them out and share the love with other potentially interested friends.

Dirtius Wifius and Dirtius Maximus have shirts entered in the Woot.com shirt derby this week. To show a little friendly love and support, all you have to do is vote for their shirts. No obligation to buy- just vote!

Bertie has a new site called "Lose and Win FREE JEANS"- and how can you not want free jeans??

You can always check out The Hip Homemaker for great ideas and advice. Even singletons like me can enjoy this clever site!

I am still giving away free Mp3 music downloads for Due West. And I started a new blog for them. Check it out!

Photography by Keli is a great deal for anyone needing photography in Utah. And my cousin Jonathan is great for people needing wedding photography in the Washington, DC area.

Tami is a tutor. And right now you can get 50 minutes of tutoring for $1. Go to tutor.com and enter in her code TCISR50M

A girl I have never met, but find quite entertaining on her blog is Cindy Mindy Pindy. She does incredible paper cuts and sells them on Etsy.

That's all I can think of today. I'm sure other friends could use some shout outs too, so if that is you, let me know. Any oversights were merely the product of sleep deprivation, and nothing intentional, I promise. I'm happy to show the love too everyone I know!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Mp3 Download from Due West

It is almost difficult to explain how relieving and exciting it is to finally be able to launch my favorite client. First, it is exciting, because this is my baby, from beginning to end. I'm the one who approached them, had to sell them on my product, and then create the campaign and go for it. We had some completely crazy and unexpected setbacks, which makes it all that much more rewarding to finally launch this sucker. And to make it even more fun for me, I get to see the boys tomorrow when they open for Craig Morgan at SUU's Centrum Arena.
So, without further ado, legal problems, publisher's rights, timing problems, and who knows what else, I give you the Due West Widget! Even if you aren't a country music fan, I think you'll still like "Sweet Gravity." It is country, with a lot of crossover appeal. (At least in my incredibly biased opinion.) And for the next 4 weeks you can download the song for free via the links in this widget.



I don't plan to ask for many favors for my clients on my blog here, but this is one time I am asking for lots of favors. If you like the song, GO DOWNLOAD IT! And take and share the widget! The whole idea behind my plan for this client is to virally move this song, and make a big internet hit out of it. I think if you give the song a chance, you'll see it has a chance at success!

THANKS!!!
I LOVE LAURIE CROMIE!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I worked from home from 3-8 today. My apartment was trashed. The living room had stuff strewn all over the floor (pictures, pictures in frames, frames with no pictures, DVDs with no place to go, etc). So of course this would be the time the bishopric from my family ward would choose to stop by unannounced. I won't even tell you how bad I looked, but I wasn't much more cleaned up than the floor. Oh, and did I mention my new drapes were draped over the floor, as I was contemplating how to put the drape rod up over the sliding glass door without a chair or a ladder? Classy.
I made the appropriate small talk with the bishopric, whose names I still don't know. And as usual they asked "is there anything we can do for you?" as they left. They looked stunned when I said yes. I bought an entertainment center yesterday at Ikea, but the box was too heavy for me to lift alone. So I put them to work hauling it from my car to my 3rd floor apartment for me. They looked strained.
But the good news is that I was then able to sit and watch American Idol (LOVED tonight's episode) while setting up the entertainment center. And now my living room is CLEAN and organized. It is far from being pretty. Very far. But the entertainment center, which is made of painted white metal/brass rails and glass, makes a huge improvement. I even hauled the TV and cable back into the living room for it. Until now I've had the tv and dvr sitting on an antique bench a few feet from my bed where I can see it without my glasses on (blind as a bat). So now my bedroom feels more bedroomy without odd electronics and cords on the floor, and my living room is starting to feel like a place I could spend some time.
I still need to get a couch, a better bookcase, and hang my pictures and movie collection posters on the walls. But the movie posters are still in safekeeping back in Virginia. Someday someone will finally send those to me. And until I have a couch and real furniture, it just seems awkward to hang the pictures.
But finally! I feel like this place is getting more home-like every day. Maybe later this week I'll get around to taking some pictures.
Next up- get a real bed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No Sleep Till (. . .) Brooklyn!

Does anyone else sing this song to themselves when faced with a crazy work week ahead?



I just have to figure out how to do about 60 hours worth of work before leaving town

And Did Butt Crunches At My Desk

I justified not hitting the treadmill or bikes tonight because I walked through Ikea for over an hour. Does anyone have a problem with that?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Special Skill is Putting My Fist in My Mouth

Yesterday I was walking through a loud, noisy mall, and a blind man held open a door for me. And then he moved to the next door and opened and held it open for me again. I was wearing tennis shoes and I wasn't clodding about. I walked rather quietly. 24 hours later, I'm still amazed at his abilities.
(I hope that doesn't make me sound narrow or small minded. I truly am impressed with ability.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mad Libs Widget!

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Mad Libs, I give you the Mad Libs widget.
Warning: Highly addictive and may cause you to get distracted from work.

Random Thoughts

I can't sleep tonight, so I'm killing time online. My kidney pain has been back and bothering me for about a week now, and tonight it is really getting to me. I've done everything I can to distract myself from it, but it's hard to ignore the pain when I'm trying to fall asleep. Instead I am wide awake, so I figured, why not blog?
Random thoughts going through my head-
1. American Idol- Kristy finally left us. I wasn't surprised to see Brook in the bottom 3, but I was stunned to see Syesha there. Andrew Lloyd Webber is next week. I can't wait to see those performances. Syesha, Brook, and David A will naturally do great. And it will be interesting to see what the others pull off.
2. My One Year Anniversary- In just a few more days it will be my one year anniversary in Utah. I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year. It's strange to think that I have been here this long already. Things certainly didn't go as expected once I got here, that's for sure. As unhappy as I have been this past year, I still believe I made the right decision, and that it was inspired, for me to move here. Hopefully things will begin to make more sense soon, and I'll find more happiness here.
3. Tomorrow, April 18, is my baby sister's 19th birthday. I can't believe she's that old. Here's a bit of McBride Trivia for you- 3 of the 4 children in our family have birthdays on the 17th of the month. Only Steph, by far the most stubborn member of the family, is not on the 17th. In fact, she was born around 2 am on the 18th, in her first defiant move to prove she was going to do things her way, and not just follow the leader. 19 years later, that hasn't changed much.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol

I haven't done my recaps of American Idol this season like I have in the past. But I loved tonight's episode so much, that I have to!
First, it was Mariah Carey night. And to be honest, I don't care much for Mariah's songs. Which is why the fact that I loved Idol tonight was so crazy.

David Archuleta- "When You Believe"- I don't know what the Mariah version sounds like, cause I don't know her songs. He did a good job, but as usual, he made it sound like any other song he sings. I like David and respect he has incredible talent. But... he's no Idol. In 2 years from now he'll be the next Clay Aiken, singing Christmas hits and inspirational tunes. And belting them really loudly.

Carly Smithson- "Without You"- this one I did know. Mariah has that huge and airy voice jumping octaves. Carly has this deep heavy low voice. So she changed up the song, and it was good. But it wasn't fantabulous.
But then again, it was incredible compared to this Bulgarian version-



Syesha- "Vanished"- Holy canoli, Batman. She's got pipes. She gave me chills. Because she's young and multi-racial, like Mariah, she'll be compared to her. But wow, she was good.



Brooke- "Hero- another one I know. She did an unplugged, piano, "singer-songwriter" kind of thing. It was very Brooke, and well done. But... this was the first time I didn't feel like Brooke was great. I voted for her because I don't want her to go yet, but my money is on her for getting the boot this week.

Kristy Lee- I don't know the song name, cause, hey, I don't know Mariah. She put a country twist on it. And it bugged the hell out of me. Adding an electric fiddle and a whining steal guitar does not make a song country. So I pretty much hated it. But I'll admit that it was one of her better jobs. Still sucked as a country song.

David Cook- "Always Be My Baby"- this song is pretty much known by everyone. But not the way David did it. You could barely even recognize it as the Mariah hit. David took it, twisted it, changed it, added violins, and made it an angry grunge rock love song, with a nearly DMB vibe. Unreal. He's the next Chris Daughtry. I love him. I almost hope he gets kicked off before winning the overall competition so he can be free to record (a la Chris Daughtry). Unfreakingreal. Watch it to believe it-




Jason-"I Don't Wanna Cry"- He's so cute and fun. But really, he's no Idol. Boring. Forgettable.

My predictions-
bottom 3- Carly, Brook, Jason


(If the You Tube clips don't work, I won't be surprised. They have been pulling the plug on some of the Idol clips, since iTunes has them for paid download.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Saying Something Nice

I thought today I would do something different and shine the light on my friends for a change, and encourage you to check out their online endeavors.

Bertie is giving away free jeans- with a bit of a catch.

Heather and Brent have t-shirt designs in a derby at w00t.com. If you vote on them, and they win, they make good money.

Cousin Tami is a tutor. And right now you can get 50 minutes of tutoring for $1. Go to tutor.com and enter in her code TCISR50M

Other cousin Jonathan and his fabulous wife Sarah have an amazing photography business, Vantage Pictures. J is one of the best photographers I have ever seen. And I'm not just saying that cause I am biased.

My favorite band and client (shh- don't tell the other clients), Due West, has a new song and video up on their MySpace and Facebook pages. And in a few more days, barring anymore bizarre legal complications, I will have a new website up for them, and a free mp3 download.

Laurie has a fun website called the Hip HomeMaker. It's for the hip homemakers, and the homemakers who want to be hip.

I can't think of anyone else to give a shout out to right now. If you want a shout-out, let me know. I'm happy to oblige.

Bored and Frustrated

I'm bored and frustrated, as the title bar says. I get this way on Sundays frequently. I have NOTHING to do. No place to go, no one to visit, NOTHING to do. So by the end of Sunday I'm just bored out of my mind and wishing I could just go to sleep and make tomorrow come faster.
Except I have nothing to do all week either. Nothing to get excited for or look forward to. And that frustrates me even more. It's just another week where all I have to do is work. And quite frankly, I'm not supposed to be working as much as I do (I work billable hours, and I'm not supposed to work more than a client is worth). As pathetic as it may seem, I get so bored when I get home from work that I just start working again. And I'm pretty sure that has a lot to do with why I burn out so easily.
It's the fact that there is no end in sight to the boredom. I'm stuck in a low finances- high boredom situation that won't be changing any time soon. And I'm not good at this. I'm used to being active and busy and involved in things. But since moving here- NOTHING. Seriously, I've lived here 11 months now, and things aren't getting any better in that department are they? I swear they are actually getting worse.
Don't give me the crap about trying harder and putting myself out there more. Because believe me, I've tried very hard. Maybe it's just time to accept I'm a square peg in a round hole, and I'm never going to feel comfortable here? And maybe it's time to accept that this is what life is like over 30 and single. You just get good at being alone, and always being the gooseberry.
Whatever it is, I hate it right now.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pain in the Neck

I can't move my head.
It all started as a minor pain in the neck. No, seriously. I had this small little aching pain in my neck this week. Probably just a stiff neck from the unfortunate lopsided bed situation (see below for details). And now, I can't move my head, and it hurts to open my jaw.
I blame Juli.
Or maybe Mike.
Or Keli.
Or all three.
Or that comedian guy who made me laugh so hard I popped my jaw.

Tonight I ventured north to Ogden with BFF Juli, her sister Keli, and Keli's husband Mike. I've known Keli and Mike for years now. Jules and I go back about 11 years now, so naturally I've been meeting her siblings along the way. (Although I still haven't met them all.) But the most important thing to know here is that Mike was my first blog friend. Really. He was the first person I ever linked to, and that linked to me. We're special that way.

Mike performs and emcees at Wiseguys, a local comedy club. I've seen portions of Mike's act on his blog for years now, and I was excited to finally get to see the real thing. And it was definitely worth the drive to Ogden to see! Great job, Mike!

Mike emceed the night, plus did his act, and then there were 2 warm-up acts before the headliner took the stage. The headliner was a guy named Marcus, who apparently has no last name. I've googled and looked and can't find it anywhere, but I did find his MySpace page. From the minute he took the stage I never stopped laughing. He's freaking hilarious. But I think it was somewhere in the middle of this bit that I laughed so hard that I popped my jaw.


(Sidenote: When done live the buttler bit is several minutes long and freaking hilarious. The MySpace clip barely does it justice.)

I have never done that before- popped my jaw, or laughed so hard that I have popped my jaw. It hurt like hell, but I was laughing so hard I didn't care. I tried to rub my neck a few times after that, because it was tensing up funny, but I didn't worry about it.

So the show ended, I literally had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard at times, and we went home. Now this may seem a trivial detail, but it becomes important later. I actually had been having a rough and crappy day, and had been running late on my way up to meet them, and long story short, was pretty much out of gas. Because I was not wise and thinking straight, due to the crappy day, I hadn't thought to bring my wallet, and only had $5 cash on me. Knowing the capability of my gas mileage, $5 was more than enough to get me home. So I put $5 in and off we went.

There was an important stop to be made at Juli's house. Her daughter/my fairy god-daughter, got her first straight A's report card, and I had promised to come see it. Yeah Cali!!!

I hugged all the little girls (Mike and Keli's girls were there too) and left. It was when I was picking up Andi to give her a silly funny angle hug in the chair that I really noticed something pulling in my neck. But again, I didn't think much of it.

Jules and company live in Syracuse, a town that Google Maps tells me is 36.6 miles north of me. And don't forget, I had put the mere $5 of gas in in Ogden, about another 17 miles north of that. About 10 minutes after I left Juli's house, around 10:30 pm, I found myself in a complete and total highway standstill. No cars moving. Nothing. About 25 minutes later I had gone a short .5 miles. That is when I finally saw the first sign telling me the highway was closed. And that I had several more miles before the next exit.

About 5 minutes later is when I realized I couldn't turn my head anymore.

And then the yellow low gas light popped on.

Oh crap.

It was nothing more than my bargaining with God and a lot of faith that got me home tonight. I also think it was the prayers of the few hundred other people stuck in that backup who just wanted to get home, and my car getting stranded on the highway would have screwed them over as well.

It took me over 1.5 hours to get home. I managed to go about 70 miles, when realistically speaking I only had gas to go about 50. Seriously, I have never been so scared about running out of gas before in my life. But I made it.

I finally got home and in my room when the real neck pain began. When I went to brush my teeth I realized I can barely open my jaw. So I've loaded up on pain killers and muscle relaxants. But I can't find the heating pad because I can't move head to look for it.

So basically tonight I laughed so hard I hurt myself. Seriously!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Who Knew? Hulu!

I don't believe I have professed my love for Hulu.com on my blog yet. At least not in the way Hulu deserves to be honored and respected. Hulu is a completely free - and legal- website where you can watch tv shows and movies. There are commercials, but they are only 15 seconds, and way less annoying than the commercials on network websites.
My love for Hulu comes from watching nearly the entire second season of Battlestar Galactia online, in my bed, last weekend. It also comes from missing last night's returning new episode of "The Office." My DVR was set incorrectly and didn't record it. I thought I would cry. Until I realized today that it was already posted on Hulu. So now, if you haven't seen the hilarious vasectomy scene, you can! (And you should.)
It doesn't have every show ever on there yet. But it does have old and new series of BSG. And it has the X-Files- the movie and some fun clips. It doesn't have Freaks and Geeks yet, which is a point against it. But it does have Scrubs and SNL. Another show most people haven't seen yet because it is on Sci Fi is "Eureka," which you can see on Hulu. If you are a sci fi comedy fan, you will enjoy Eureka. And if, heaven forbid, you missed the 2007 Westminster Dog Show, never fear, it too is on Hulu.
So basically, if you haven't discovered Hulu yet, I think you should. My only regret is that it wasn't around yet when I was so sick and stuck in bed with Horatio. It could have saved me some serious time and energy and money getting DVDs.
I'm such a fan now of Hulu that I am going to cancel my Netflix account, just as soon as I have finished watching all the episodes of Freaks and Geeks. (I only started this week. How have I never seen this show before? It's so good! I have the strangest crush on the little brother - the one that now has the recurring role on Bones. I love that guy, as nerdy as he is.)
So go try it out. Hulu.com

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 days without a blog? 5 days? WHAT?

Sometimes I'm just too busy to blog. Or just not interesting enough to have anything to share. Or both.
So I shall share some Erin Free Random Thoughts at you instead.

1. Two weeks after I pay out the butt to have my power windows fixed on my car, Pontiac issues a massive recall to fix the power windows on my car.

2. Sometimes my little ideas for business development turn into massive insane projects involving lawyers. And they make me laugh. Not the lawyers. Just the insanity of the projects.

3. I hate how in Utah (and supposedly other high altitude locales) everything I cook boils over and on to the stove. And I hate how I never remember to put butter or olive oil in the pot before it boils over.

4. I am looking for volunteers to be public case examples (not studies) for a "healthy habits lifestyle" for one of my clients. If you want 5 minutes of fame by going on his "healthy habits lifestyle diet" (that does not include crazy theories, pills, or random supplements), and are willing to do this with pictures and video on a blog, for the world to see, let me know. If you are white, live in Utah, and in your mid-30's, we're all full up on that demographic. Sorry.

5. The Office comes back to TV tonight. Halle-freaking-lujah.

6. I am tired of being online and looking at a computer all day.

Bye bye.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Scary Movie


I saw my first scary movie tonight. (Sidenote- I've seen many Hitchcock movies. They don't count. They are different.) We're talking the stupid girl dies first kind of scary movie. And I survived. Sort of.
See, I have a stupid other problem. I've been borrowing a generously loaned fancy air mattress since moving. And this morning around 6 am I suddenly got bucked from my bed. Makes no sense, right? It's hard to explain. Basically the air mattress has ridges and seams. And around 6 am this morning, right in the middle of a decent dream, one of the seams burst. And what had been two ridges, is now one giant ridge. And it happened with so much force, that it seriously bucked me right out of the bed.
(Now we can add "buy new air mattress for generous friend" to my ever growing list of unexpected expenses.)
So now I'm sleeping on a very lopsided air mattress. I flipped it over, so now it's a little bit like a teeter totter air mattress.
So combine odd new sleeping situation with scary movie, and you can pretty much assume that I'm going to have very strange and possibly scary dreams tonight.
Which is why I just took a very strong sleeping pill. So I don't have any dreams. The last thing I need is a gigantic eyeball attacking me on the teeter totter tonight.

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Inner 14 year old self is having a field day

The 14 year old me can't decide which of these she is more excited about-


(new kids on the block reunion on the today show) (and is it just me or did meredith viera call joey jordan?
or this-


(battlestar galactica returns tonight. what the frak is going on?)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

38 years and counting!!

The Numbers Game

$500- deductible paid by me on my car this week
+ $216- for damages not covered by insurance or the deductible
+ $2750- how much insurance had to pay on my car this week
+ $114- how much I pay in insurance monthly (don't judge- I freely admit I speed- a lot!)
+ $150- for the ticket I owe Nevada Highway Patrol for speeding
+ $284- how much Arlington County, Virginia claims I owe them for having a car there 2 years ago for 2 months (I say BS!)
+ $305- monthly car payment
+ $15- weekly gas (let's hear it for the 4 mile commute to work! w00t!)

= Erin missing the DC metro system (and don't even try and tell me to try Trax. it's not even close.)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Trouble With Bookcases Is

I have now lived in my new apartment for two months, as easily measured by the fact that I have to pay my rent for the third time. In the short and busy time I have lived here I have attempted to furnish my empty hole. And for the most part, I have failed in this endeavor. I have managed to buy a small loveseat that is a good starting point. And my friend generously gave me two end tables. I brought with me from Virginia my antique bench and beloved boomerang coffee table.
But that is where the furniture ends.
I am still borrowing a fancy air mattress (double decker with a motor thingy) from a friend. I have no bed. And I have no couch. And I have bookcases, but really wish i didn't.
Twice now I have gone out and purchased bookcases, or at least objects I believed to be bookcases. The first one I got home and assembled and discovered was anything but suitable for holding books. So I sold that quickly off on Craigslist. And then a few weeks ago I bought another bookcase while out shopping with Juli. The first sign of trouble was when it took both of us to lift the box to get it in my car. The next sign was when it sat in my car for 2 weeks until I could talk my cousin into coming over to carry it up the stairs for me. And the third sign of trouble was when I read the assembly instructions and warning that said it may tip over. And there was an extra piece to secure it to the wall to prevent it from falling over.
So I assembled it and realized that in spite of triple tightening the screws and double checking everything, that it was very wobbly. But I got it up and put it by the wall, and chose not to put any books in it. I figured I should give it a few days to see if it was even going to stand on its own. Each night I have gone to bed expecting to be woken up by a tremendous crash.
That was a week ago. When I got back from Reno this weekend and found it still standing, I decided to put books in it. Remembering the warning and extra securing piece, I attempted to first secure it to the wall. That didn't happen when I realized that it's pretty much impossible to get that stupid screw into the bookcase without a precut hole.
So the books went in.
And came right back out.
No sooner did Harry Potter vol 7 go in than the entire bookcase swayed heavily to one side, threatening to decapitate me.
So all of the books quickly came out. And then, the entire bookcase swayed again (though empty) and fell right on over.
Conveniently, it broke in two. So now I have half a bookcase that sort of kind of works as a bookcase. Except that I'm afraid to put anything in it, and the new height doesn't really fit for what I had envisioned in the room. And it doesn't even hold half of my books now.
Back to the drawing board.

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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