Officially Technological

Monday, February 27, 2006

I Quit

Today, I quit my job. After a long chat with one of my bosses on Friday, she asked for a Letter of Resignation with a date on it. So, after chatting with Brian last night, I wrote a Letter of Resignation and told them that I would leave on or before March 29th. You may ask if I have a job. Nope. You may ask if I have any leads. Uhhhh.... kinda. You may ask how I feel. Strange, relieved for today and nervous about the future all at the same time. So, you can all hope and pray that I find something.
posted by Julie at 2:27 PM 8 comments

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Are You Ever Curious?....

I have a long commute. And frankly, a very boring commute. I have already memorized all the billboards between here and there, and all the road signs, so now I watch trucks and license plates. I make up stories about people based on their license plates - even the ones that are "individualized" I come up with stories for. And I read semis as I pass them.

I have noticed for some time that even products with the smallest market have semis. Hobby Lobby has a semi - not that that's strange because I'm sure they do a lot of business - but I can just picture a semi full of little bags of beads, and mosaic tiles, and silk flowers. And it kinda makes me chuckle (even though I'm aware that it's not particularly funny).

But this morning I saw the most curious thing. I saw a truck carrying a huge advertisement for "Tango". Isn't Tango that weird orange drink that you can only get at places that carry specialty stuff? And isn't Tango not even made in the US? If these things are true, which I'm pretty sure I'm thinking of the correct Tango, do they really do so much business that they need a semi truck in Charlotte, Michigan. Curious. But entertaining.
posted by Julie at 11:01 AM 8 comments

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So I Talked To My Boss....

I talked to one of my three bosses this morning, about my not staying with my current job and it went well (by well I mean she didn't kick me in the shins), but I don't think it went over very well. She kept saying that she would ask around and see what they could do which sounds good, but then she kept referring to it as a "hard sell" - not good. So, I think I'm going to take my throbbing head home, get some sleep and come back tomorrow when we've all had some time to get over it. Anyway, I don't know. Maybe at the end of this week I will be cleaning out my desk, maybe not. It's amazing how much everything looks like a calamity when your head hurts and you didn't get any sleep the night before (on account of the head hurting - not the job thing). So, hopefully tomorrow will look more hopeful. Heck, this evening (after a nap) will probably look more hopeful.
posted by Julie at 12:34 PM 3 comments

Thursday, February 16, 2006

How To Get Eight(ish) Hours Of Sleep

Brian calls when he gets off work, and at the risk of sounding completely sappy, that is easily my favorite time of day. He "gets off" work at 9:00, but it's usually more like 11:00ish (with an emphasis on the "ish"). Needless to say, this is the middle of my night. Since we're both night-people, we are usually more fun in the evening, so, when he calls he's usually bright and chipper, and has funny things to say. Nothing I want to miss, for sure. I'm a night person by nature too, so when he calls, I'm usually also bright and ready to joke around. Unfortunately, two bright, chipper, joking people talking at their favorite time of day, usually results in long phone conversations and if you add an hour or two to the 11:00ish, you can see that my getting up at 6:00 doesn't leave me with much sleep.

So, for better or worse, I have derived ways of getting eight hours of sleep per day. Here is the evolution of my sleeping patterns over the past three months since Brian and I have been engaged.


4 The first thing I tried was to stay up until he called, and after a week or two I would get a little sickish and call off of work for a day and do nothing but sleep. Then I would feel better and do it all over again.

4 That only worked until I started burning pretty fast through my sick time. So, I was determined to find a different way. So, I started to only talk to him for 30ish minutes, instead of three hours.

4 That last for about a week and a half. Believe it or not 30 minutes a day isn't long enough to maintain a relationship. Our weekends started to become confusing and hectic because we hadn't talked about what we wanted to do, so I realized that I would have to go back to the two hour approach, but how?? One night, I was so tired I fell asleep watching TV, and being somewhat uncomfortable-ish with a dog laying across my legs (not to mention hogging the blanket), I got up and went to bed (even though it was only 8:00). That was the beginning of a new pattern of going to bed super early and just letting Brian wake me up when he calls.

So, now I've been getting 8 or so hours of sleep a night, but if you call at 8:00 and I sound a little groggy, don't be surprised or feel guilty. Yes, I was probably asleep, but no biggie, I can deal. You might actually find me to be an easier more relaxed person to talk to.

MORAL: The "ish" will kill ya every time.

posted by Julie at 8:41 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day, DeBrands Fine Chocolates, And Rubberband Bracelets

Today is Valentine's Day. Up until the year 2006, Valentine's Day has been the bane of my existence. Up until the year 2006, my Valentine's Days consisted of getting five bucks and Twizzlers from my mom with a cute little card that said to take myself out and get something sweet on her. Some years, my dad would send me flowers, which I always liked a lot (even though I don't particularly like flowers). Like the year I worked at HoneyBaked in East Lansing and I got a huge bouquet of pink roses delivered to the store (I still have the vase and not ironically, it is currently holding the red rose I got from Brian yesterday). That was actually my second best Valentine's Day. It was awesome to get an embarrassing bouquet from your dad at work on Valentine's day. Very thoughtful of him.

This year, I got a whole bunch of stuff. My usual ration of $5 from my mom was doubled, since I now have Brian, but I didn't get any Twizzlers (I think it was a pay-off). From Brian I got a box of DeBrands Fine Chocolates, a red rose, a newspaper (to look at the employment section), an adorable card, and the free installment of brand-new Bosch windshield wipers (very handy). When I got to work this morning, I had waiting for me on my desk (from my friend, Jenny) Hershey's Kisses, a couple of suckers, a pink and white swirl rubberband bracelet with "cutie" on it, and a dish towel with hearts on it. Very cute. It's been a very fun Valentine's Day.

This has easily been the best Valentine's Day of my life. Mostly because of the mixture of spending all day yesterday playing hookey, hanging out with Brian, and getting DeBrands Chocolate. For those of you not from Indiana, DeBrands Chocolatiers Headquaters is in Heaven. The chocolate from there should not be spelled with a lower-case "c". It's not chocolate, it's Chocolate. One look is intrigue. One taste is obsession. I have been to DeBrands before. I have tasted their Chocolate. I have become obsessed. But never have I received anything more than a single Chocolate in a white envelope. Yesterday, I got a box. A box! Do you sense the wonder?

Mid-gasp I heard my brain start reeling. Where should such a treasure be hidden? Where will it be safe? How can I protect it? My precious.....

Under my pillow? No. It may feel overheated.
In my car? No. It may feel cold.
In my closet? No. It may feel unappreciated.
In my cabinet? No. It may feel cramped.
In my safe-deposit box? No. It may feel lonely.
Yes, yes. The only sensible place to safely put a box of DeBrand Caramel and Pecan Chocolates is in my stomach. Yes, yes, it's the only logical thing.

In the meantime.....
Happy Valentine's Day to all!!
posted by Julie at 11:16 AM 7 comments

Monday, February 13, 2006

My Views On Tailgating

I look at tailgating as a necessary evil. I know, I know, it's really bad, not to mention extremely rude (as Brian told me last night), but after living in Detroit, I honestly don't remember how to drive without tailgating. However, as I was driving down to Indiana last night I realized that I treated certain people with different rules. Some people I could tailgate for twenty miles without the slightest feelings of remorse or shame, while others I stayed seven car lengths behind because I felt too guilty to get any closer. Upon noticing this inconsistency, I became determined to discover its cause. And this is what I learned.

In Southwest Michigan there appears to be four kinds of drivers on the road they are (in no particular order), drivers from Michigan, drivers from Indiana, drivers from Ohio, and drivers from numerous other states/countries.

Drivers from Michigan know snow. They know rain. They know fog. They know potholes (that darn freeze-thaw cycle up there kills their roads!). Michigan drivers are unafraid. They are undaunted by a little tailgating. They don't see tailgating as rude so much as… communication. There is nothing a Michiganian can't handle on the road and tailgating is just another one of those things. That's why I personally don't have any qualms about tailgating a person with a Michigan license plate. Because people from Michigan understand that when someone is tailgating them it's most likely because the roads are clear for the first time all month, and the tailgater wants to drive like the wind.

Drivers from Indiana are the opposite. Indiana is a soft, sweet state with no big, huge, scary cities, less weather, and white picket fences. I do not tailgate Hoosiers. It's like tailgating your grandmother. Not only would such a gesture confuse them, but it would be mistakenly understood as offensive and somehow vulgar. When I see the pretty green license plate of someone from Indiana I am on my best behavior.

Now Buckeyes! They are a completely different story! I think there is an unspoken, underlying angst between the drivers of Michigan and the drivers of Ohio. It's not our fault that Ohio has the slowest posted speed limit in the civilized world. It's not our fault that Ohio policemen were trained by retired Nazis. But yet we suffer for it. Because when Buckeyes drive in Michigan they have one of two reactions. They either bring their 55mph speed limit and fear of police with them, or they take advantage of Michigan’s driving liberties. So, if you see an Ohio person on a Michigan expressway, they are either going 97mph or 54mph. So, when I see someone with an Ohio plate on the road I have almost a natural reaction to tailgate them all the way back to Ohio.

Drivers not from Ohio, Indiana, or Michigan should be treated strictly on a case-by-case basis.

I realize that this is highly discriminatory, but half the battle with discrimination is discovering the prejudice, right? So, in the future, I hope to tailgate everyone equally.
posted by Julie at 1:51 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Finding A New Job

Am I missing something? How does one go about finding a new job? I have been very actively looking for a new job for over a month now, but I still haven't found anything. I mean, I've applied for stuff, but I haven't even had an interview yet. Isn't that weird? Or maybe it's not weird, I don't know. I've been combing Career Builders every morning and applying to stuff that I'm qualified for, and ???..... I don't know, it's a mystery. Maybe you all have some insight, cuz I am running out of ideas.

But! lest I have an entire post without a list.... I will list the reasons why looking for a job is my least favorite thing to do. :)
  1. You can (or should) summarize all your life experiences on the front side of an 8 1/2X11 (can anyone hazard a guess at how hard that is for someone who likes words as much as I do?)
  2. What's a "Salary History"?? That's none of your (not you, some random HR person's) business - is what that is (I just did the indignant side-head-bob with that little statement).
  3. Isn't it a no-brainer that HR people from a potential job shouldn't try to contact your current employer? I do admit in an ideal world that would be very helpful, but the way it is, wouldn't you just get worked over if your boss found out that you were thinking of leaving?
  4. I was always under the impression that the squeaky wheel gets greased (not a practice I actually like - and would probably rather do without - but necessary all the same). If that's true, why don't employers post phone numbers or email address on Career Builders?
  5. How do you write a cover letter? I've written cover letters for years and still feel just as uncomfortable writing them today as I did when I started.

Grrr. Job hunting. But, apparently, it's a necessary evil. So, I keep doing it. But don't be surprised if I give it all up to be a Mystery Shopper (I still think that would be a fun alternative to a "normal" job - it would, at least, be way more fun than my current job).

posted by Julie at 4:21 PM 4 comments

Monday, February 06, 2006

Reasons Why To Avoid Overstock.com

This is what I learned from spending the last hour on overstock.com. If you are a rational person, you will run now. Flee from overstock.com! You will spend your entire tax refund in one foul swoop! Escape! Save yourself!

And now, without further ado, the reasons why:

  1. It's a bit too easy to use (a.k.a. it doesn't discourage you from shopping by not pulling stuff up, not being able to find items, etc.).
  2. You will find everything of which you could possibly dream.
  3. You will find 17 different options (or maybe even 17 pages) of everything of which you could possibly dream.
  4. Everything is "affordable" (until you start buying ridiculous quantities of these affordable items).
  5. It has customer satisfaction ratings on many items.
  6. Just when you think you're finished trying to find everything of which you could possibly dream, you realize it has a "Travel" section.
  7. It has a "Deal of the day" page (I mean who doesn't need a Prague watch?? Especially when they're so cheap!).
  8. It always tells you how much you're saving. For an example, if you would like a "Prague Men's Automatic Multi-function Watch" the price you pay on Overstock would be $115.60, and it states right underneath the price:
    You Save:
    $379.40 (77%) - Which is very helpful for anybody who doesn't have a calculator handy.
  9. You can sort your search by just about anything. Manufacturer, top seller, price, latest design, etc.

These reasons and many more are reasons why you too should avoid overstock.com. Beware! It will suck you in. I liken it to mosquitoes to those little buzzy-bug-killers that you hang on your patio. ~~~~~Overstock.com!~~~~~ ZZZZZZZZTT! And your dead (or at the very least broke).

posted by Julie at 1:36 PM 7 comments

Friday, February 03, 2006

This Is Only Funny Because It's True

For all the visitors, from places other than Michigan, coming to the Super Bowl in February.

  1. First, you must learn to pronounce the city name. It's Deh-troit. NOT DEE-troit. If you pronouce it DEE-troit then we will assume you are from Toledo and here for the country music hoe-down.
  2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Detroit has its own version of traffic rules... Hit the gas, hold on and pray!
  3. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning. Weekends are open season.
    If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot. If you're first off the starting line when the light turns green, count to five before going across the intersection. This will avoid getting in the way of cross-traffic who just ran their yellow light to keep from getting shot.
    Schoenherr can ONLY ;be properly pronounced by a native of the Detroit metro area. That goes for Gratiot too.
  4. Construction and renovation on I-94, I-96, I-75, I-275, I-375, The Lodge and The Southfield Freeways are a way of life and forever. Just deal with it. (We do. So, you have to too.)
  5. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect or they are "out-of-towners" (truer words have never been spoken)
  6. All old men (or women) with white hair wearing a hat have total right-of-way.
  7. The minimum acceptable speed on I-696 and I-275 is 85 regardless of the posted speed. Anything less is considered downright SISSY. Oh, and don't even think of allowing more than one car length between your car and the guy in front of you, you're just giving someone the chance to cut you off!
  8. That attractive wrought iron on the windows and doors in Detroit is NOT ornamental. DO NOT get out of your car to take pictures.
  9. Never stare at the driver of the car with the bumper sticker that says "Keep honking, I'm reloading", he/she most likely is.
  10. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 in a 60 mph zone,people are not waving because they are so friendly. I would suggest you move over quickly, duck, or both.
  11. I-275 and I-696 is our daily version of NASCAR.
  12. It's not M-10, it's "The Lodge".
  13. That's not a lake, it's a pothole.
  14. If someone tells you It's on Outer Drive, you better hope you have a map (you have no idea how true this is. I worked right off of Outer Drive for a year and still got lost every time I got on it).
  15. The Michigan left turn is simple. If you want to turn left, go a 1/4 of a mile past your turn, get in the left lane, then make a left, then make another left, then make a right when you get back to the intersection where you wanted to turn left in the first place. NOW you have gone left.
    And those 2 really ugly arches over Telegraph???? DON'T EVEN ASK!! WE DON'T HAVE A CLUE!!!!!

    WELCOME, ENJOY YOUR STAY, BUT AVOID EYE-CONTACT WITH THE LOCALS!
posted by Julie at 4:26 PM 1 comments