no acknowledgment

You know, I’m glad it’s over – the mother’s and father’s day weekends. Leading up to the former I would cringe hearing the commercials of “Do something special for Mom this year….” I have a stepmother that I barely acknowledge – I sent her a card with a gift certificate to homophobe central Cracker Barrel. But, it’s a hollow acknowledgment. It’s only because I feel sorry for her for being stupid enough to marry our father and put up with his shit. Ever since our mother died I have felt I have no more parents.

This last weekend I grudgingly sent our father a card and signed my new name. I know he hates it when I do that. For years he and my step mother would make out checks to my old name and I’d have to sign the check over to my new name. They would fail to acknowledge that I had changed my first and last name. I no longer wanted to carry his name as my last name so I changed it to my mother’s maiden name. I did this over a decade ago and it’s just recently they finally acknowledge my real name.  I really didn’t even want to send him a card to be honest. I told my sister that he’s lucky he’s even getting a card this year. (And, you know it’s a real challenge finding dysfunctional father’s day cards. Why can’t there be more cards that say, You were a shitty father and here’s your damn card you can stick up your @ss.)

She was having both him and our step mother over for father’s day dinner. She gets treated even worse by him but she still goes to all the trouble to meet them for lunch the other day and host a lunch for him. I called our step mother yesterday after the dinner – I had felt guilty that I didn’t call to wish him a happy father’s day. She had told me that he was already in bed asleep that when he eats lunch he just goes straight to bed afterwards and sleeps the rest of the day. (They guy is 78 going on 95) I told her to tell him I called whenever he wakes up. As I was talking to her my sister was trying to call me so after hanging up I called her back.

She told me the minute they got to her house they sat down and started eating without any conversation whatsoever. She had a few other guests present as well so I’m sure it must have seemed very awkward. Then, the minute they finished eating they got up and our father told her they were leaving. She asked if they’d stay 10 more minutes so he could open his card and he said no they were leaving now. She went and got his card and gave it to him and said, See ya, and they left.

I wasn’t surprised by the rudeness of his visit. He’s always treated her like a lowly piece of shit. Ever since after running away for the third time and him catching her and beating the shit out of her he’s treated her like that. I told her on the phone that I don’t know why she still does it – that she needs to stop. No more dinners, no more anything. She said she thought she was done. I told her she needed to be. Then, she said she didn’t know what she was going to do about his birthday. I said, SEND HIM A CARD AND BE DONE WITH IT.

Honestly, I wouldn’t even acknowledge it if I were her. I wonder why I do?

His birthday is near mine. I’ll never forget the time she concocted some scheme for me to come home and surprise him with a double birthday party she was hosting. My plane no more touched down in Indianapolis when she told me that when she told him I came up to surprise him and that she was having a party for us he said that he wouldn’t be around all weekend that he had a thing at church and he was too busy. We had a party anyway but really no one in our family really cares about anyone or anything – except eating. Usually, if there’s food they will come. All the people in our family that gave a shit are already dead. Our mother, our grandparents on our mother’s side – they’re the only people who cared. Our father’s side is just filled with people who don’t care about anyone.

And, they wonder why I don’t ever come home. Why should I? I’ve learned to move on long ago. I talk to our father three times a year – father’s day, his birthday and Christmas. I don’t really care and I admit my sister can be very difficult at times, too. She has a little of our father’s meanness in her but despite that it makes me really angry that he treated her that way. Maybe I should just stop acknowledging his birthday and calling at Christmas. I think I will say something to our step mother the next time I talk to her. I am so sick and tired of people letting their partners, husbands, wives, significant others walk all over them. They are enablers, sure. I am sick and tired of enablers. Enablers are just as bad as the people that do the acts. Because they are too weak to step up and tell people that they’re doing wrong or being @ssholes.

I’m so done with certain people. My sister’s dinner party almost contrasts the dinner party that we had that went south a few weeks ago. I am so done with them, too. Since there was no apology or acknowledgement of what happened that night it makes me not want to even acknowledge the next invitation that will not arrive in their mail. Fuck doing things with them anymore if I always have to worry about Dino being an @ss. Why should I waste the time and energy cooking a meal, buying booze, setting a table and buying desert when she’s just going to ruin it and be disrespectful. Why should I even try? And, if I do bring it up and acknowledge it guess who’s going to be the bad guy – ME.

The new clients that we recently got from the bad review on the neighborhood Nextdoor invited us over for dinner last night. It’s such a luxury to be invited somewhere for once as we ALWAYS entertain and send out the invites. We hit it off and later driving home Charlie said, I hope they like us.

What’s not to like?

I don’t know. I just hope they don’t think we’re crazy.

After all this, why would anyone think we’re crazy? Because we’re normal?

 

 

 

the weekend

Friday evening Link and Stiletto met us down at a Elmyriachi for dinner and then we moved on to darts at a pub in downtown Decatur. This place just happens to be located right next to Benjis apartment and she ended up meeting us down there. We had a fun and pretty late evening and the next morning I was feeling it. We were to meet up with Benji and Emil to go to Tunes in the Tomb. After much freaking planning, we picked up Benji and drove down there and miraculously found free parking on the street. The event had three stages with different performers but honestly, we mostly stood around drinking beer and talking. The one highlight was as we were walking around (trying to find a beer tent that would give me a free PBR sweatband) we heard this group of drummers play Taiko which ultimately led to me and Charlie signing up for an 8-week course.

We eventually decided to blow the Tunes taco stand and head for a real taco stand, Mezcalito’s, next door. Emil had been whining wanting to go there for some time to eat with us so we did. After dinner, Charlie and I Lyft’d it back to the house while Benji and Emil went on to see another concert at the City Winery.

Sunday, we smoked ribs and corn in our new smoker and had Emil over for dinner and to play her guitar. Since we had Benji’s dog, Squid, she ended up coming for dinner as well. Between the two of them, though, they had their faces into their cellphones comparing Tinder dates. I had to shut it down after a while saying, Ok, let’s put the cell phones away and have a conversation like adults. Geez, I felt like such a parent but sometimes it’s really annoying. (Single friends should just leave their Tinder dating app at home.)

I’ve been teaching myself a few chords on the guitar so (according to Emil) I can play along with her the next time she’s over. I learned A, D & E so far (A is a bi-otch, btw). We’re trying to get some concerts going in our backyard but we’ll see. I have a feeling it’s going to be an impromptu show with little planning that just happened. Val is coming down from Maine in July and I’m really hoping between her, Emil and LB we can get something going. Link has already said she’d supply the microphones and between all of us surely we can find an amplifier. Maybe I’ll know FIVE chords by then, who knows.

 

 

 

 

Friday chex mix

Music

Monday evening Charlie and I met Benji out to hear our friend, LB play in an open mic contest at Edie’s. LB’s girl was in town visiting from Virginia and she had already texted me to see if we were coming. So, it was an interesting evening. Not as interesting as the previous Saturday but interesting. Aside from LB and about two others who were fabulous the rest I could take or leave, but, hey what do I know? I’m sure it takes guts to get up there and play. The people working the show didn’t seem on it, though. There was a problem with a cord and several, Can you turn this microphone on? No, not that one. Test, test, test…….

I was like what if the next John Mayer is up here and it’s all messed up? (Seriously, he was one of their past shootout winners) Every Monday they have this open mic contest and the winners all get into the main competition called a Shootout. I think they only have shootouts once a year and it’s considered a big deal. The shootout happens to be this Saturday night but we won’t be there as we have tickets to a concert series at Oakland Cemetery called Tunes in the Tombs. This is the first time they’ve put something like this on and I’m looking forward to it.   Benji, Emil, Charlie and I are going and hopefully it won’t be too hot that we will burn up.

Workout

I’m still going to OrangeTheory a couple of times a week and trying not to kill myself. In between, I’ve been running. I’m really on this weight-loss kick. All I want for my birthday is to wear the clothes that I’ve been missing – my ripped up Abercrombie camo cargos, faded and broken in chinos, my button fly jeans and all those cute little cowboy shirts that I still have hanging in my closet that I refuse to throw away because I still want them. I don’t dare weigh myself I want to just feel it in my waistline. I’ve been working out every day this week and haven’t taken one day off. I do maintenance on my knee every evening icing it and taking some ibuprophen but it feels better than ever doing this daily thing. In between, I’ve been trying to stay on the Paleo as much as possible and cutting down on the beer- I’ll only touch a Bud 55 now.

Travel

Southwest was having a sale on flights and I got Charlie and I tickets to Colorado for less than $400. I was alerted this by my sister who said I could book a flight to Indy for my birthday and she’d pay me back. I’m gonna tell her that I don’t want to go up there for my birthday. I don’t want to go up there period, birthday or not. For my birthday this year (which, is a big FIVE-OH) Charlie and I are going to Savannah and staying out on Tybee. The trip and pet sitter(s) are already booked. The week prior to that we’re driving up to Asheville to see our friends Liz and Lina who we haven’t seen in AGES! The last two times we were supposed to see them I caught on fire and we couldn’t get a pet sitter things came up where we couldn’t go.  We’re staying at an Airbnb owned by a friend of Benji’s.

Business

Remember that stone path that Charlie put in for a client that didn’t want to pay us? Well, a month later we had planned to plant some shrubs in the back and do a cleanup for her daughter’s wedding. We had this on the calendar to do after March. So, I had to chase this woman down to ask her what kind of Camellia she wanted planted in the back (there are literally thousands of varieties of these things). I sent her half a dozen pics and she finally chose the one that had the pinkest flower. Long story short, Charlie did all the work and afterwards the woman, again, blew us off for a couple of days before paying us and then said that Charlie needed to come over and trim these boxwoods (that she never said needed trimming). So, Charlie made and additional trip over there to trim them. Well, you know boxwoods have tiny, tiny leaves. So, after trimming those (with scissors) she blew off the back patio. Later, I get an email from this lady screaming about her leaving leaves all over her precious patio. We had already decided that this client was getting too abusive to deal with and that after the planting we were done with her. We were trying to find a way to disengage without her being all nasty about it. I sent her an email back apologizing for the mistake and pointing out ALL THE OTHER work we had done on the job. Two weeks later this lady emails wanting to know where Charlie is and when she’s coming to do maintenance. I wrote back and said Charlie was out of state taking care of her father who was very sick, didn’t know when she’d be back and suggested she find someone else to do maintenance over there. No reply of “I’m sorry Charlie’s Dad is ill…” nothing.

Weeks later it happens. She puts this nasty post on our neighborhood Nextdoor complaining about how we just disappeared after doing a terrible job on her walk, posting a picture. She accused us of doing the planting job (that we had to chase her down about) late and at the last minute. She called us unprofessional and even petulant. (We had to go look that word up) I got on there and wrote a very professional reply to her scathing comment but then flagged her comment as abusive to the manager of the site. Basically, he took it down saying she violated the Nextdoor rules calling us names. He told her to revise her post and take out the name calling and repost. Well, she tried to repost the SAME post calling us names and I flagged it again and wrote the administrator asking him if she could be kicked off this thing because this was TWICE she’d posted insults to us.

Meanwhile, despite taking her post down everyone who subscribes to Nextdoor got an email with her original comment and my reply. On the upside, we just got a new client this week because she looked at the photograph of that stone path that Charlie built and said, I want that path! So, on the upside her negative comment got us even more exposure and we got a new client out of the deal.

So, that’s my Friday chex mix in a nutshell. Everyone have a great weekend and cheers!

180s

keep your shirt on

Aye-yi-yi.

What a weekend. I have so much to tell y’all so grab another cup of coffee, black tea or your drink of choice – preferably not honey Evan Williams mixed with Jack because we all learned on Saturday that that’s a dangerous combination. One that would make –

-well, I’m getting too far ahead of myself.

I’m going to flash back to another time about Dino and Martha. You all know that Dino always gets under my skin when we’re all hanging out. When she’s drunk she’s either spouting off about something or grabbing Charlie and touching her inappropriately.

The last time we were all out at a bar in Little 5 points watching Rooster and Shutters band with our friend, Drewberry. Soon as the drink flowed and they started playing Dino came over and grabbed Charlie and started dancing and fondling her. I’ve pretty much stayed back thinking either Charlie or even Martha would intervene and say, Hey, hey – stop. Because, honestly if I intervene there’s going to be a fight and a scene.

So, after prying herself away from Dino and coming back over to Drew and I hanging in the corner rolling her eyes we thought it had stopped until Dino passed by grabbing her butt on the way to the little girls room (Yes, Dino is a women but I named her this pseudo name because I picture her to be some tacky, redneck guy).

We were shaking our heads like, Unbelievable.  I even said loudly in front of Martha that it was such a drag Dino grabbing Charlie all the time and grabbing her @ss. Did Martha do anything about that? No. Which, is SO typical of her. I have to tell you that I’m sooooo tired of it. This is the reason I haven’t invited them over, too. But, last week Charlie suggested that we have them over for dinner. I told her I’d only have them over if Link and Stiletto came, too, because I couldn’t deal with Dino on my own. So, it was a plan. Charlie made a fabulous lasagna, I picked up a couple of mini cakes because we were celebrating Martha’s belated birthday.

Martha and Dino showed first and when Martha handed me a six pack of craft beer to put in the beer cooler I knew this was a little short for Dino. Normally, Dino brings a bottle of Wild Turkey (because they know we don’t keep that rot gut in our cabinet) and a case of Rolling Rock. I asked Dino what I could get her and she said that honey Evan Williams and Jack Daniels would do. (I almost threw up in my mouth, to be honest) Glad to get rid of the honey rot gut out of the cabinet I freely poured and put a large ice cube into a tumbler for her.

Flash forward to the evening. We had a great time hanging out and having dinner. I actually thought for once that things were going OK. Aside from the little safety debate between Link and Dino (which, they get into every time they are together and I think it’s a total drag) things were running smoothly.  Until Link suggested we go out to the shed and throw some darts. Link and Stiletto had just got a couple sets of darts and were on fire to use them. It had the makings of a great night, really. We had the baseball game on out in the shed, music playing, we were dancing around laughing and having a great time until-

– Dino decides to take off her shirt and get completely naked from the waist up. (And, believe me – it was not a pretty sight). I tried seriously to act like it was no big deal because I think all Dino wants is me to lose it on her and have me deck her. (I was seriously considering it, too.) But, it was Martha’s birthday and honestly, I felt sorry for her. And, Dino did all the things that Dino does drunk – grabbed Charlie from behind and was trying to rub her breasts all over her back and dance. It was so obnoxious. Poor Stiletto looked mortified – she kept taking the birdies off her darts and switching them to the other set of darts saying they weren’t right. I was thinking we had to end this game quickly or else things were going to go south very quickly. Finally, Charlie hit a bulls eye and we closed up shop. I had already talked to Martha about sending the rest of the lasagna home with her and Dino and ran inside to get everything for them to take home. I instructed Link to help carry everything to the car as I was packing up the cakes and rosemary bread to send home with them, too.

And, do you think that freaking Dino could put on her shirt to walk to the car? No. We were carrying things out and here she comes walking down to the driveway saying loudly, I take off my shirt just about anywhere don’t I, honey?

At that point I’m PRAYING that the old ladies across the street aren’t looking out their windows. Plus, pervert Richard next door (who I’m sure saw it all). Then, I’m praying that the neighborhood cops that commonly cruise the neighborhood at night don’t drive by. I’m picturing tickets, blue lights and warnings as we’re packing the car and thinking, Get the hell out of here.

The next day, Charlie and I were still shaking our heads over it. We made plans with Link and Stiletto to go see Wonder Woman (fabulous, btw) and have dinner afterwards. Well, I’m sure Dino and Martha’s ears were on fire because once we all sat down together we were like, What the f*ck was that last night?!!!

Apparently, Dino has done the dancing and fondling thing with both of them, too. The only difference is the two of them have put Dino in her place. But, we all agreed something has to be done now. Link has volunteered to have a discussion with Martha about it. We all agreed that they are alienating themselves from all of Martha’s friends because everyone thinks Dino’s so obnoxious when she’s drinking – no one wants to be around them anymore and after last Saturday I’m about to wash my hands, too. We all agreed if we were at their house then Dino could do whatever she wants – and I agreed. If we were over there and the shirt came off I’d be like, Time to go, honey – BYE! But, the fact that it was at our house for a dinner party that we were hosting came off as being so disrespectful.

If there is a next time we hang out with them and Dino does her same shit I’m putting her in her place. I think we’ve all had it with her and Martha not doing anything about it. So, in short – I feel like the night was ruined. I was disappointed and felt bad for Martha for about a minute until I realized that she just keeps letting this go on and on.

 

 

 

vaca

Back from vacation and wondering when the next one is. We first went down to St. Augustine, FL for our daughter-in-laws graduation -well, we stayed in St. Augustine but graduation was an hour south. We drove about 8 hours that day and afterwards when pulling back into St. Augustine, Bernita texted us asking where we were. We were so tired from driving we just parked the car on some random street (which, we were worried we’d forget later) and walked to the first bar we saw which was Scarlett O’Hara’s . A few minutes later her and Ralph walked in and joined us for a drink. The next day the kids came up and visited before we all headed south to a post graduation BBQ for the new graduate. I dreaded this to be honest. I knew that Charlies ex husband would be there and his looney-bin wife. We both vowed to just put on a calm face, be polite and endure for the sake of the kids. Endure or no I was still packing.

The shin-ding went well except for the point of ex and looney heading our way to extend the olive branch of “can’t we all get along”. I was introduced to them both and actually shook Charlie’s ex’s hand. Weird. The looney was going on about inviting us to come down and stay with them during the holidays to be with them and the kids. (Just for reference – the kids are both grown men now – one married, the other in his early 20’s with a steady girl – both living on their own so it’s not like they’re going to be in matching jammies with footies to open presents on Christmas day or anything). Charlie replied that we had the kids up for holidays all the time and politely declined but thanked them all the same.

The next day we drove to Pensacola Beach, FL all the way up I-10 which we both thought would never.end. Finally there I couldn’t believe the traffic on the island. We checked in to our hotel and decided to hoof it across the street to the beach and then hit a little bar there. There was a guy playing guitar, we ordered drinks and were enjoying the atmosphere – until some guy just decided to sit down at our table and start talking. I had to remind myself where I was before reacting. We went with it and his buddy came over and was introduced. I wanted to just say, “We’re together, see the ring?” but I decided that I didn’t want to stir up trouble our first day in P’cola. Finally, they got the hint and left to go horn in on this other table of women adjacent to us.

The next day we woke to construction trucks pulling up on the street in front of our hotel. They had decided that day to repave the road on the island. Greeeeeat. So, we went to the beach and sat until the sun was fully out and then decided to drive down the street (in the one lane they provided) to Peg Leg Pete’s.  When we pulled up there was a line outside that we joined. Turned out the electricity had been out and they delayed opening. The lights flickered on and we went straight to the downstairs bar where they only served cold drinks and fresh oysters. We had the bar to ourselves and our bartender, John, took care of us – even when the electricity went off again and we sat drinking beers throughout the afternoon. We finally closed out and headed back to the hotel with the paving crew just finishing up. We walked across the other direction and went to Flounder’s which, if we lived there we’d be regulars. Our bartender there – Larry, served up a drink of cucumber/lime vodka with soda and sour mix which was a nice change to the Diesel Fuels of the previous night.

We headed to Destin the next day where neither of us had been previously. I’d always heard great things about Destin but never got up that way. As we crossed the bridge and saw the blue/green water on either side with boats lining the harbor we agreed it was gorgeous. We checked into a slightly run-down hotel (I insisted on because it faced the bay) and went to go rent a boat for a few hours. That was probably the highlight of the whole trip. We drove the boat out to this place called Crab Island where everyone was parked. We dropped anchor and jumped in only to be swept back by a strong current. We literally jumped off the front of the boat and seconds later grabbed the ladder at the back of the boat.  We swam and hung out before cruising around and going back in. That night we ended up at AJ’s for drinks and dinner. We definitely go back – just with more money next time because it was an expensive place – probably a good thing we were only there a day/night.

The next day we made it home by early afternoon. The dogs were ecstatic to see us despite long naps with their nanny while we were gone. It was good to be home but not back to work. In fact, I doubt anyone even noticed I was gone until I got back and they said, Oh hey, didn’t you go on vacation? How was that?  But, as my friend Tate says, Better neglect than abuse – I’ll take it.

 

early friday chex mix

It’s a rainy evening here in Georgia.

Not that I’m complaining of the rain – never. We have grass seed in the back that needs to germinate and I desperately do not want a drought this summer. Yes, I’d take rain any day over a dusty summer. I do realize that we’re still in spring and not quite gotten to summer just yet. I am not rushing it, either. I enjoy these lush, spring days (now that I’ve gotten over the high pollen count with two sinus infections). Charlie is feeling a little under the weather today – something she ate last night, perhaps. It was date night tonight and we went to have pho and then straight home. She has fallen asleep in front of the TV watching some documentary about Africa.

Vacation, f*cking vacation.

I want to be on vacation, honestly. I want to see beaches and smell the salt in the air. We leave for Florida the end of next week and it cannot get here soon enough.

Happy hour.

It’s impossible to get everyone together anyhow for this. I feel like I constantly be the communicator, the planner, the organizer. Maybe one HH a month is enough. We got quite a few 3 people over last week for it but this week we have a bunch of maybes and rain. Maybe’s and rain = Meh, forget it.  Sometimes it would be nice to sit in a cozy Irish pub by a fire (Hey, Marley House) so if it’s raining tomorrow we go there – that is, if Charlie’s feeling better.

We have this friend.

Who I will name DD for Dreary Debbie? Debbie Downer is too common. Desperate Debbie? Yeah, more like that. The girl puts a whole new meaning into that word desperate. Deeeeesperado…….why don’t you come to your senses…….

-it’s like that, y’all. She’s been chasing a dream with two legs for seven-sevenfucking-YEARS to no avail who treats her like a laundry basket or one that holds magazines. Every once in a while you kick it when you’ve had a frustrating day – that kind of basket. So, when she’s Desperate Debbie basket she gets on Tinder.

No good can come from a DESPERATE women in her mid-40’s being on Tinder.

NO GOOD, PEOPLE. No good…..So, you can just imagine the types of people she’s talking to. The ones who ask for money after the 50th text, no snapchat-asses. These are probably men in their mid-50’s using their 20-something year old nieces pictures to elicit money and sex on the internet. We have lunch with Debbie sometimes on the weekends and she shows us dozens of pictures of ho’s women she’s talking to on the internet. Then she gets all depressed that she’s not meeting someone and in the same breath says she’s going to see the woman who treats her like a basket for dinner. We say, Why, why, why, Debbie? You’re going to be on Tinder when you’re FIDDY (50). You don’t want that to happen. You won’t able to swipe left or right because you’ll have arthritis by then from swiping so much. Stop being desperate, Debbie. Stop.

Even Benji had problems with Tinder. Her Tinder woman went cra-cra, said she didn’t want to see anyone and then dropped off the face of the earth (but, probably not off Tinder). They had planz, too. Like going out of town and to a (teeny-bopper 20ish) concert which didn’t happen. Benji was so depressed that she didn’t go – even after trying to talk her into going and giving the xtra ticket to some hot 20-something and having fun. She stayed at home and moped. I would have gone if I were her.

Work. PMP. What am I doing?

I don’t know. We had a “team” meeting on Tuesday and we were told that they found enough old geezers people to take an early retirement that they wouldn’t have to lay anyone off. This is a relief because I’m still trying to find a way to get a promotion to a different department and it’s proving to be equal to landing a federal job interview. That difficult. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks since I got certified but I hope this PMP thing holds more weight than it is holding so far. Part of me doesn’t know what to do with all this spare time I have now from not having to study. The other part is like, what’s next? The company has all these online training classes on Agile Scrum and if I take 22 of these things and take their test I get their company bronze certification in Agile Scrum (notice I said company – by no means is this the nationwide scrum master cert) so I’m doing it so I can add it to my company resume. I’m going to take six months and keep applying and if I don’t get any interviews then I’m going on to another certification – scrum master, Agile, or even Leed. Something.

So, that’s all I got. I hope you enjoyed the snippets of topics – we’ll call it an early Friday chex mix. Y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

 

wing central

I know y’all have been wondering where the hell I’ve been lately. I’ve been studying my @ss off for that PMP exam which I retook last Friday and –

I PASSED!

‘Cause I’m P.M.P., I’m dynamite
(P.M.P.) and I’ll win the fight
(P.M.P.) I’m a power load
(P.M.P.) watch me explode’

That’s why I’ve been AWOL the past month. I devoted all my spare time and energy to studying for that thing so I could pass it the second time. Now I’m looking around for my second certification and I really think it’s going to be LEED AP. But, I at least want to take a breather before hitting the books again. Friday after passing the test our friend, Benita came up from Florida to help celebrate. Since she had just passed her Real Estate test we had a lot to celebrate. We started out at The Imperial for happy hour drinks with Benji and a friend. We were all sitting there drinking when Benita wanted to get something for us to nosh on. Other than pizza rolls (which, seemed a bit strange to me – can’t we just get some humus? But no – it wasn’t on the menu) the only thing that looked appetizing THEN was the chicken wings. You know – wings that are small, buffalo flavored that you can pick up with your hands and gnaw on? Like these:

Not these:

Picture half the done-ness. Like, these things were barely done. We all sat there looking at the plate. The wings stuck up looking like some meat crown from Game of Thrones. And, we should have been a wee bit suspicious when we asked the server why there were only three to an order and she put her whole arm up and said, It’s the whoooooole wing, y’all. Pointing to her arm. (The five of us almost lost it laughing but we held it in)

We each reluctantly took one and instead of picking it up with our hands we picked at it with a fork and knife. I mean, if you have to use a knife and fork on a wing then you shouldn’t be eating it. We left three on the plate (thankfully, we talked Benita out of ordering like 20 of these things – Benji is a vegetarian and friend, Liz was only staying for one drink). The server came over and took one look at it and asked what was wrong. We said, Nothing. They’re fine.

No, I know something’s wrong, what’s up?

Well, they’re just not done enough for us…. (what was not said -plus, you left that wingie thing on there that Benita said is where the orgasm on a chicken comes from sticking up like a crown and it just grossed our shit out).

Well, I’ll take it off your bill. No worries.

We breathed a Thanks. Until she came back a bit later with more drinks and said, I just put in another order for you – extra crispy.

No, really we’re fine – give them to someone else.

No, I insist. Oh, here they are. And, she said down yet another crown plate.

OMIGOD WILL THESE THINGS EVER GO AWAY? We reluctantly ate another – I pulled off the slimy skin and pulled off some meat with a fork. Enough so that it looked like I consumed something. Benji, who had been watching this whole fiasco thinking, Why I’m a vegetarian suggested we go to the fabulous taco bar and we closed out so fast that our heads spun and the server put the remaining wings in a TOGO box for us and we reluctantly carried them out to the car which later we dumped on the side of the street hoping someone else would appreciate them. The rest of the weekend we kept saying, THE WHOOOOOLE WING, Y’ALL and laughing. Which, is the reason for this picture:

Saturday we took in Ponce City Market and a fabulous Latin-inspired place called El Super Pan (probably the best Cuban sandwich I have ever had and the Yucca fries are to die for).

Benita spent a bit of time at this really cool premium bitters shop called 18.21 Bitters and ended up buying this jalapeno, cilantro bitters that is really good in margaritas for her daughter who is a Mixologist.

Around the corner was the King of Pops frozen alcohol bar which made my mouth water. If it would have been later in the day I would have certainly pulled up a stool and had a drink. Upstairs we played around taking pictures in this store called Citizen Supply.

Later that evening we had tickets to see Sister Hazel at the Variety Playhouse. It was a really great show and we ended up parked right in front of the stage. After the show we stood around hoping to get to the back to get a little memento from the band. Just then this guy who sat in on a few numbers playing a mean guitar came out and we said, Hey, you were great up there – who are you? He (Travis) played with Wild Adriatic and happened to be in town for the 420 festival downtown and Sister Hazel had asked him to play a few numbers with them. Just then Benita happened to score the song list that was taped to the stage and Travis grabbed it and said he’d run it back and have the members with Sister Hazel sign it for us. Amazing! Plus, we got three guitar picks.

The next day, sadly, Benita had to take off for home. I admit I was a little hung over from so much excitement of the weekend. I went in to work on Monday and told my boss first thing that I passed my PMP exam and he had the reaction of like, Oh. That was it – OH. I’m like whatever. I know it’s a big deal even if he doesn’t. Then, we got notified this week that they are going to start layoffs. We’ve had two meetings so far on the subject and no one knows sh*t about it. Of course. What’s it’s all going to come down to is making the managers do the dirty work and identify people to cut from their teams. I only hope that I’m not one of them but I know I’m a female and a minority on his team of male drinking buddies -and, his two favorites Larry and Sherrie. But, you know – there’s really nothing I can do about it so I’m just going to continue putting one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time. If I get laid off then perhaps this place wasn’t meant to be for me and that I’ll find something better. Because I have a brand new certification that I can put next to my name now – Lanie Belluz, muthafucken PMP!

I just got to be upbeat and hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That’s all I can do. Tomorrow, we’re having happy hour and a dinner party at the house and inviting friends who we haven’t seen in a while so I’m looking forward to it. The weather should be nice and we can open up the bar shed and play some music, darts and hang.

(And, Sadie says this is her shed and she cards everyone)

 

 

 

 

 

a challenge

This is why I haven’t written in a while because nothing really new is going on. It’s just the same work/study grind over here.

Be careful what you wish for. All this time I wanted a challenging job. One that I would learn something new every day and would challenge me. I have that now – but, I think the universe wasn’t listening very closely – I meant “challenging” vs every day is a challenge.

See the difference? Challenging is stimulating, interesting, and thought-provoking:

Whereas a challenge is  something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, a call to fight, a duel, a demand to explain, justify, etc.
That seems to be where work is at nowadays. It is challenging – very – but with almost no support. You are pretty much left on your own to figure shit out. My manager is never here. He decided to work from home the entire week last week because his kids were on spring break. I just love how everyone who has kids in my group gets this buy of, Oh, I have to work from home because my kids are off.
Everyone on my team works from home except for myself, Shampa (only because they are so lame in never ordering her a laptop when she started) and the twins, of course, because, you know, they go to work to hang out and have FUN!
Yesterday, I was steamed. I work in the same building as construction so when there’s a damage job in my area then come to me about it. Well, we had a huge cable down in my area and they said they needed a job created so they could order the materials and get it fixed. So, I created the job (which, takes a minute to create) and then did a design on it. Mind you – I have not done that much design work and most of the people I work with in the construction office almost don’t know how to open up Microstation let alone lend any help. So, I thought, It can’t be that hard to design something that replaces another. Right? Right.
Well, it was still a pain in the ass but I did it. I mean, it was DONE. Ready to be approved, firmed and sent off to get the order placed. Then- construction started whining about having to order and put up a cable that large when we only have 22 working pairs in it. (engineer speak) Effing whiney ASSES. I’m giving you your cable, beeeotches! Plus, this shit is coming out of my budget NOT YOURS, F*CKERS.
Here’s the large division (as wide as the Mississippi) between construction people and engineers. Construction people think engineers are just lazy a-holes that sit behind a computer all day writing stuff that doesn’t work in the field. Engineers think construction people just want to sleep in their trucks all day and whine about doing work. There’s stereotypes on both sides, sure.
So, these bitches go screaming to my boss about having to put up this large cable, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, the boss who came in at 10:00 that day (because remember last week he worked from home), took a long lunch and then parked himself on the phone the rest of the afternoon so I couldn’t talk to him about it – but, he did manage to send me an email saying I should use a 100 pair cable.
OH! (Slapping forehead) why didn’t you tell me! Ok, I’ll do that except – what the HELL do I do with the (math in head) 600-22 = 578 pairs left in the existing cable? Oh, well Lanie – just figure that shit out! Geez. You’re supposed to be an engineer and not bother your boss about these trivial THINGS. Go on, girl – get it done – especially since now there’s some angry woman in cable repairs is emailing you every 15 minutes wanting to know WHERES MY MUTHA-F*CKING CABLE…………………..beeotch?
Ima like, BeeotchyougetyourcableIMWORKINGONIT!
This is a day in the life of an engineer.
So, next it’s like this – you only have 22 working pairs in that effing cable so you need to actually SEE which of dem bitches are workin’. You don NEED the rest of those 578 bitches cuz they don work. OK? Eff them- they out drinking cervezas like your bitch @ss should be right now.
Ok, that makes sense – how do I see which ones – out of 600 – are working?
Oh, that’s EASY. Just go here, click on this, and type a bunch of this shit and run a ADKMCDKC<K Report and it will show you.
A what? Where? How?
Finally, I get the report – 42 pages long of gibberish. I mean, it looked like someone played tic-tac-toe with 42 pages of hieroglyphics that made no sense. Now I know how the Egyptians felt – they actually couldn’t read the shit they put on the walls – someone just told them to run a hieroglyphics report on some rock that wasn’t placed right or some shit. They were engineers, too, you know.
So, I went into my bosses office 3 times to talk to him about this report and he was still on a conference call. Could he have emailed me and said, What’s up? Sure. How about send me an instant message while he’s just staring blankly at his computer screen while he’s listening saying, Hey, still on the phone what you got? But, no.
Finally, I see that the twins are back from their daily field visit romantic excursion and send Sherrie a message Is other twin there? Hoping that Larry can help me because I sure know Sherrie can’t as the only pair she knows is – ok, don’t go there, Lanie.

Sherrie happily tells me that Larry is IN. I then ask if Baxter is off the phone and she replies, Oh he left.

You can IMAGINE what was going through my mind then. It was something like, You KNEW I needed to talk to you and you just took off. (in so many words)
Get my drift?
So, I go into Larry and Sherries office and ask Larry about that report. Larry doesn’t know how to read it but does suggest that instead of putting in a 800 foot cable with a smaller one just to do a jumper and splice here and splice there and blah, blah, blah(yeah, I feel your confusion). So then, another engineer comes in. This guy actually orders the equipment – sans cable that I’m trying to build. Larry hands him the report. He doesn’t know how to read it either. Then, they tell me I should just go to the rundown, dilapidated, zombie-world central office in my area and check the wall to see which pairs are working in that cable. Like it’s going to be this:
HERE’S THE EXISTING CABLE, LANIE (which I’m fighting off zombies trying to write this shit down) and it has 22 PAIRS IN IT AND THEY ARE NUMBERS, 61, 72, 96……up to 600 THE ANSWER IS HERE!
Right. I ain’t driving my bitch ass over to zombie-land-creepy-ass building and LOOK ON THE WALL. FUCK THAT SHIT! I picked up the report and left them to their gossiping over Baxter of all people. No one is any effing help over here. I went home steamed knowing I didn’t get my job done (which, really bothers me because this is my area and I’m responsible for it) and that I was going to have a hundred emails from that bitch in cable repairs – WHERES MY MUTHA-F*CKING CABLE………
Don’t you hate when you’re trying to help and people are yelling at you or not helping you help? I do. Makes me a bit angry.
I come in this morning and SUPRISE the boss isn’t in. Larry’s making the plans for the day with him and Sherrie and I go in and message one of the other engineers that actually know more about this stuff than anyone and offer to bring over donuts if he can look at what I have so far. He said, Come on over.
So, I spent the morning going over random reports and him showing me how to read them, what would be the best design for the current situation and how to proceed. Shit my MANAGER should have been showing me, y’all. I mean, when he said he was a hands off kind of guy I really thought he meant he sat back and let you do your work – which, I’m fine with but I didn’t think it meant stay away and leave me alone, don’t ask me any questions and I don’t want to have to teach you anything.
See where I’m coming from? It’s a CHALLENGE and if I hear from that cable repair woman one.more.time………….

it’s never glamorous or easy

Even for movie stars – it’s never glamorous. There’s photographers sticking their cameras in your face, people calling all the time and constant appointments and engagements.  Just like people think my job is glamorous and that I have it made – it’s not. I spent three hours with developers on Monday getting yelled at because they need service for the subdivision they’re building and I can’t give them any answers except that we’re working on it and it’s a process.

I recently had a recruiter contact me about another job in my field. They engaged me through Linkedin and asked if I’d be interested in this job. I looked up the title of the job on Indeed and found it – I also found it was a recruiting company listing the job.

As a rule – I’ve never really trusted recruiters. They talk a big game but all they’re looking for is their commission if they can place someone in the position their client is advertising. They work for the client or the business that has the slot open not the person who’s looking for a job. I asked the woman to send me a little more info about the position and she did. I turned it down -it was too much of a commute and the knowledge base was stretching it a bit. In short – I wouldn’t feel comfortable in accepting it. Although, a few more years in the position I’m currently in – I could pull it off.

After I turned it down she continued to engage me asking if there were any openings in my group, who my manager was and if she could meet with him and possibly myself. [Like she was the one looking for a job] I was like, WTF, lady? I said that I didn’t feel comfortable with that and to go to the company recruiting website for information on openings within. Like I tell everyone – you have to go to the career website and apply just like everyone else and hope you get lucky enough to score an interview. I mean, I’ve probably put out thousands of applications over the years. You have to put in the work, sweat and tears writing applications, revising your resume, and [if you’re lucky] scheduling interviews. No recruiter ever got me a job.

I had to drop off my laptop at the corporate office yesterday (such an oxymoron since I work for a tech company and my computer is a POS) that happened to be across the street from the JAIL of my previous job. (Let’s call them the D*cks of Transportation). I had texted my buddy over there to meet me for lunch but he wasn’t sure if he could or not so I ate before going down there. Just as I was paying for my parking meter I heard him shout to me across the street. I ended up meeting him while he ate lunch. Just as I thought -4 other of my previous co-workers were there and walked up and hugged my neck – at least my old co-workers were nice (well, some of them but never any upper management). One of them took over one of my former committees and I was asking him how he liked working with the committee head and he groaned and we commiserated. As much as I’m having growing pains where I’m now I SURE wouldn’t go back to that mess. Then, one of the guys asked if there were any positions where I was and said to email him. I wanted to say, WTF, dude? I’m not a recruiter. Here’s my advice go to [company website] dot com backslash careers and apply just like everyone else.

I mean, maybe I missed my calling as everyone else seems to think I can get them a job. I will tell you that I went to a career coach during the time I was laid off. It was very expensive but in hindsight worth every penny. Maybe people should do that – maybe that’s what gives me an edge over them. Honestly, some people I wonder how they got the job they have. I was on the phone with a tech support person for the company later that day and he was talking to me from his home in Pensacola, Fla. I was like, How do I get your job? I said it in jest but he told me that he started out where I am now and just moved into the position. I was like, DAAAMN.

I think most of the time getting a job is 10% what you know, 20% who you know and the rest is just sheer dumb luck.

SO –

-I’ve been putting off telling you but I didn’t pass my test. It was such a pain in the butt, too. When I went in you would have thought I was going to JAIL (my second reference to that this post – maybe too many episodes of Wentworth? Who knows….) I had to put all my stuff in a locker, get patted down, waved with a wand, they had to check my glasses – like I had special SuperWoman glasses that projected all the answers onto the lenses or something. Anyway, after three hours of grinding it out I got my results. FAIL. I was mad, of course. I went home only to find that Charlie was still out at a job grinding it out. I went over there to help her clean up – literally as it had rained earlier and it was a muddy mess. So now I signed up to take it again. I really need to start hitting that pretty hard but I just needed a few days reprieve from it. I know – no one ever said this shit was easy.

 

D-day

Saturday I take my PMP exam.

I want to pass this thing [desperately] the first time and not have to retake it for another $250 but I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get that certification number before my time runs out mid-May.

This week has been very cold, rainy and windy. This was probably a good thing as I’ve needed to stay in and take it easy. Although, tonight Charlie and I are going out for date night since tomorrow night I have to be back to taking it easy as my exam is bright and the next morning. That’s unfortunate as Friday is St. Paddy’s day, too, and Rooster is having a shing-ding at her house. I told Charlie she could go celebrate her Irish roots without me but she refused.

So, what’s new?

I finally got my new construction area to manage at work. The manager I got the area from really screwed it up, too. Monday, I’m meeting with angry developers who have been requesting service for a very long time (well, to them a long time is a week). I know how to manage construction projects – I do. This is my lifeblood so I’ll do fine despite the setbacks. It’s all on me if I screw it up and there’s been quite a few at work who want to be the first in line to tell me that – including the former bitch manager of the area I’ve been assigned. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised people can be so pissy when it comes to doing work. Everyone has work to do so why be pissed off all the time – it just sucks up more time and energy. But, like opinions everyone has assholes – or is that the other way around?

Why can’t there be more 4-leaf clovers and nice people? That’s what I want to know. In the meantime, have a Guinness (I believe if more people had one they would be LESS angry) and happy St. Paddy’s Day!

-believe me, I know!