Coal Mines and Anniversaries

First off, I’d like to wish my lovely bride a very happy anniversary. As she has already commented in her LiveJournal, we’re going out for dinner tonight, and then on Saturday we’re going to the Utah Phillips concert. A year of marriage has passed, and I’m still glad I did it. Sure, we have our rough spots and arguments, but not nearly as bad as some people, and we work through them pretty quickly. All in all, it’s a good way to be.

Second: Work! It seems that God has a very strange sense of humor… it seems like whenever I’ve about given up and decided that we’re going to have to move to DC, he throws us a crumb (not even a bone). Just enough to keep the hope of staying out here alive. On life support, but alive. So, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m now employed as an XBox game tester for the company that does the testing for Microsoft. It pays $9.25, and is extremely sporadic. Went two or three weeks calling (as it is an “on call” position) with no luck, and then finally I was supposed to work this whole week (full 5 day shift).

That fell through, the size of the shift shrank, so the new guys (like me) were cut. Enter a call from the Apple Store down the street, who have my resume and would like to interview me for a position (what position is not yet clear). I’m hoping it’s a Mac Genius position, as I think that would make me most happy of the potential roles. The interview is tomorrow.

Also enter a new job posting over at OmniGroup, for a Support Ninja position for their web browser, OmniWeb. I SO fit the qualifications, and needless to say I sent off my resume that very evening. I haven’t heard back yet, but that’s fine. I hope I do get a call back, though.

So while all that is happening… I get a call from VMC (the game testing gig), saying “So, are you available Wednesday and Thursday and possibly Friday?” Since I’d scheduled my Apple interview for after work would be getting out back when I thought I’d be working this week, my schedule was, in fact, free.

Today was my first day as an actual, official, professional game tester. Strangely, the game I was testing has been out for two years. This is because I was not in fact testing the game, but the system: every time they modify the kernel and hardware and system software and stuff in the xbox, they have to make sure that they didn’t break any older functionality (ie, games) in the process. (And saying this much isn’t breaking any NDA, since that’s pretty common knowledge.)

It was pretty boring, but hey, it’s easy money. I made probably around $64 after taxes, today, and all I did was load up a game 50 or 60 times, and then play it for a few hours trying to break it. The place itself is alright — every pepsi and coke product under the sun for free, along with free popcorn and coffee. The people are pretty nice, too… they’re all gamer geeks. At lunch I overheard three separate conversations about D&D or a variant thereof. It makes for an interesting dynamic… there are the regulars who’ve already warmed up to each other and are chatty, and then everyone else is kind of withdrawn and doesn’t talk because they’re uncomfortable in public social situations (like I said, gamer geeks).

Along the same “strange humor” bent, an actual bone that’s been thrown to us might interest some of you: my friend Chris Pelsor is taking a 3 month contract gig with Adobe this summer, and inquired whether it would be possible to crash with us. Paying, of course. So in exchange for Mickey and I sharing an office for three months (NOT the end of the world by any stretch), we’ll suddenly have an additional $1000 per month to go towards rent and utilities and groceries and such. (He’ll be using said utilities and groceries and such as well… that’s not just rent.) So, uh, yeah, we’re still not actually sure whether we’re moving, but if are, it won’t be til the end of August/September.

In other news, my friend Randy Baril (from HS) is moving into the area in a few weeks. He’ll probably also be crashing on a couch for a few days while he finds an apartment and a job. For a few days there, we’ll actually have a full house! Should be lots of fun.

And with that, off to get ready for dinner.

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