2014 apocalypse in the ATL and some good news

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and settle in this post is going to be a long one simply because I’ve been putting off writing y’all until I had some definite good news and little did I know that during which time the 2014 frozen zombie apocalypse would hit Atlanta.

Let me go back to yesterday and before, even. I’m not sure I mentioned this in earlier posts but BAB took another job and started his first day a week ago. No one blinked, had a party or went to lunch. It was like, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Plus, we’d all gotten out early for liberal leave that day because it was the Friday before a holiday.

Even though we no longer have an “official” manager of our department that only means that Noel is taken over with vigor as the interim deputy director (I’m throwing up in my mouth a little as I type this) and has become an even bigger [insert male part and “throb”] than before.

Early in December I had gotten work to pay for me to take a real estate class online. Although, they say it’s a 75 hour course that only means it takes 75 hours to get through all the modules and doesn’t include absorption of the material (which, could take twice that and more). Monday, Noel called a meeting for everyone.

We’re all like, “WTF? Why? You’re not the boss.”

As we sat around the table looking at him he passed around memos of work duties he had assigned everyone. We all had looks on our faces like, “WTF?”

I was newly assigned to be supply manager (meaning it was now my job to order paper for everyone) and given hard deadlines for my real estate stuff. (Please explain to me how you can give a deadline to resolve a property line issue that will probably have to go through a title search company and eventually court – that’s how much of an idiot he is).

“What about my real estate class?”

“Your work duties take precedence over this real estate class you’re taking.”

I just shrugged it off and kept my mouth shut remembering the last time I opened it. After the meeting we all went back to our desks and I wondered out loud to my [former] immediate why it was that we all had work duties on that list but there were none assigned to him, which, has been the question all along – “WTF does HE do?”

Yesterday, we all came in to work because the snow wasn’t supposed to hit until the afternoon.

“If any of you can’t come in because of snow tomorrow then you need to text me and use it as a vacation day. If there’s snow on the ground I need you to take a picture of it and send it to me as well.”, Noel said.

[I’m flipping him off under my desk]

I texted my immediate. “Oh, I’ll send him a picture – of my @ss!”

“What about doing my real estate class – that’s work and I can take my laptop home.”

“Nope, you have to use a vacation day.”

[Me flipping him off again under my desk]

It started to snow around 10:30. At 11:00 we got an email from the executive’s office staying it was a state of emergency, to go home and make arrangements with our managers to telecommute. We all started to close up and Noel said, “Wait, that was only for  Federal Employees we have to wait for them to reply for state employees.”

I’m like “WTF, the conditions aren’t going to change for STATE EMPLOYEES.”

[Ever since the furlough I’ve been so sick of this state/federal b.s. I could die. We’re the ones that got furloughed while the feds just sat back and got a three week vacation and still got paid]

Finally, we got the same email that said “this includes state employees.”- at 1:00 in the afternoon. I was out the door. By then the roads were horrible. I was sliding all over the place and mistakenly got onto I-285 which initially was moving slowly and then eventually came to a halt one mile before the I-20 exit I needed. After sitting there for 30 minutes I decided to get over into the next lane to the right which was moving and forgo trying to merge onto I-20. As I passed the exit there was two cars off the road and police there. Everyone trying to merge onto the exit were parked and not moving. I decided to get off at the next exit Martin King Jr. Drive that led me through a very bad part of town. As I passed boarded up apartments and houses I wondered if I should have taken my chances with the highway. I looked at my map and realized that I was way west of the city. Suddenly, traffic in front of me stopped and we sat there for another twenty minutes and I could see a car up ahead crashed into a telephone pole and flashing lights. I wondered if police were trying to deal with that crash before we could move. Eventually, we did move and as we wound through cars partially on and off the road I saw two more crashes. I saw one guy slumped over the wheel of his crashed van on the horn with it blaring and another car with the front all smashed in. Mind you, I would have stopped and helped but I was so afraid that I would get shot or mugged that I just kept going thinking, “I have to get out of here. I cannot be stranded in this part of town.” I suddenly had déjà vu:

twd

I eventually got back to an I-20 on ramp and from what I could see it was moving slowly. I’d rather take my chances on the highway than be stranded in that very bad part of town. Fortunately, I was able to make it to my exit off 20 and get home – two hours later but some of my co-workers weren’t so fortunate. A guy I work with who travels the same route as I got stranded on 285 by the airport not getting home until 8 that night. My immediate got stranded after picking up both her kids from school and took shelter back at the office and later her husband was able to get there to pick them up around 10. The older semi-retired co-worker who had an annual doctor’s appointment at the Veteran’s Hospital is still there today and says he’s not leaving until the snow melts.  There are other’s no one has heard from. Watching the news there are highways clogged with parked cars that people eventually had to abandon. All the hotels along the highway are booked up from people seeking shelter. Schools still have kids there who have been there all night and who cannot get home. The Army National Guard is out looking in cars making sure people are ok.

ATL ATL2 (actual footage in ATL – look familiar?)

All I can think is all this could have been avoided if we would have all stayed home from work that day.  Is four measly hours of work worth all this? And, I did text Noel this morning of a snow covered pasture with trees and said I would not be back until the snow was gone. Like he really didn’t know I wasn’t going to be at work today with this state of emergency? But, if I hadn’t texted him I know I would have heard about it.

But, I don’t care at this point because Friday I’m supposed to get an offer letter and if so I’m putting in my notice on Monday.

 

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scariness

Charlie and I started watching American Horror Story (AHS) this week. When I originally put this into our Netflix Queue I thought it was going to be really scary. While it’s detailed enough to catch our interest –

“Hon, can we switch over from American Idol and watch Horror Story?”

(-and, can I just say that Harry Connick Jr. is getting on my last nerve on that show? I think both Keith and Jennifer want to tell him to shut up.)

-it’s still not as good/scary/suspenseful as The Walking Dead. (TWD) When we first started watching that it was THE scariest thing I’d ever seen. Now I think it’s ruined us for scary shows.

One of the things I find hilarious in AHS is that despite being afraid everyone keeps going into the basement. Like, “Oh, the basement is sooooo scary and I saw things down there but WAIT – I’m going down there.”

Although, this would be me – I’ve always had a fascination for scary places and deserted buildings. Back when I worked at a local government who had taken over a 99 acre mental facility. This facility was shut down in the 80’s when the government decided that they weren’t going to pay for mental institutions anymore and shut them all down. The county wanted to turn the 99 acres into different parks. What existed on the property were various buildings including the old mental hospital (go to this link and it will tell you some history of the site and has a photo of the old hospital I just mentioned). When I worked there I begged a co-worker, Jon, to go with me into the hospital. Not only did we walk the floors but we went into the basement! At the time there was still medical equipment, tables and furniture there – including the tables that had straps on them for restraining. I was awesomely scared and loved it!

The agency I currently work for obtained a similar property. This property used to be a juvenile justice facility, before that it was a detention facility for “wayward” girls. One of my first assignments was to inventory the buildings on site. Me and a co-worker went down there with camera and GPS in hand to collect photos and data of the site. When we got there the gate was locked and we couldn’t get in. I managed to slip through the bars (I was about 15 pounds lighter then) but my co-worker being a large man couldn’t. I told him not to worry about it that I’d just go in and take some photos and be out. He asked if I was ok going in by myself and I replied, “Of course.”

“I’ll have my cell phone so call me if you get into any trouble.”

“Will do.”

Little did he know that the minute I walked past the gate house I lost all cell phone coverage. This is a site TWD looked at using for the series, however, because it’s so close to the airport they decided it was unsuitable.

I found the old jail on site and went inside. Like the hospital I went into the basement – this time by myself. I stopped when I thought the steps were going to collapse under my weight. I explored all the buildings that day–including the old hospital on site and by the time I came out my co-worker was about ready to call in the police. Once outside the gate my cell phone miraculously restored coverage and started beeping with all the messages he had left. Later, I was told that there were a bunch of crack heads living in the facility buildings but during my time there I didn’t see one person. It was so strange and eerie.

Have you ever been in any deserted buildings? What’s the scariest show you have watched?

 

making a difference with clown pants

Conversation in between watching The Killing and American Idol last night:

 “I could be out there helping people or keeping kids from being killed. I wish I made a difference in what I do. I could be saving lives.”

“Hon, you do that with teaching motorcycle safety.”

“I know. But, I wish I did something important in my main job. I think I missed my calling.”

“Well, go do it.”

“I can’t. I’m too old for the FBI and I don’t want to start over and be a cop and only make 32k and have to work my way up to be a detective and probably get shot before it happens. I’m too old for that.”

“I know.”

“Hey, thanks a lot! You don’t have to agree with me on that part!” nudging her.

“You need a project.”

“I know I do.”

“Why don’t you start another book?”

“Oh my gawd, no!”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s an endeavor just to think about what I’m going to write about and I want to write screenplays.”

“Well, why don’t you? You have that one script that guy gave you.”

“I know but it’s all over the place. I have no idea how to write one of these things.”

“Well, find out.”

“-and, the class at Emory is $500! I can’t afford that.”

“Read books, teach yourself. You’re no dummy.”

“Ok, I guess I could go to a writers group, too.”

“Yes, you could.”

“Ok, Mz. I wore my clown pantz today!”

Charlie wears scrub pants to work every day and since she only had two ratty-looking pairs I bought her another pair for Christmas (also, so the washing machine that’s about to blow a bearing and not used to doing three loads a day can have a rest) they are a little too long in the legs and baggy for her taste so she calls them “Clown Pants.”  (And, she KNOWS how I feel about clowns, too!)

“Oh so no ‘I wore the scrubs you gave me for Christmas, dear’ I have to hear ‘I wore those CLOWN PANTS today, hon.’

At least that got a laugh out of her. I hadn’t been feeling that funny lately. (I think I’m going to dye polka dots on them, too!) But, speaking of clowns have you heard about these eerie clown sightings that they’ve had in Sheffield England? They even have a Facebook page dedicated to photos of the clown sightings. Talk about SCARY!  

Anyway, I digress.

Back to making a difference: I was in Aldi the other day picking up something to make for dinner. I took my small Kindle phone in to read this book while I was in line. The lines in there are frequently long, too. Just as I was getting to a good part in my book the woman in front of me turned around and looked at my shirt. (I had a company shirt on that has the ‘official’ patch on it – I wear it just because I have enough of them where I can just wear one every day to work and not have to think about what I’m going to wear) she read the patch and said, “Whoo-hoo! Department of [military/official/agency], huh?”

I sighed inwardly. “Yes.”

“What do you do for them?”

I looked at her and made sure it was a pregnant pause before answering, “If I told you I’d have to kill you.”

She immediately turned around and I went back to my book. Sometimes even being a grunt for this organization has its perks.

 

 

 

 

 

counting it down

I’ve been staring at a blank page for two days now trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. I started a post on the topic of “friends” but I didn’t like where that was going.

As I eat my salad (and, wish for a cheesy, bacon burger) I realize that I feel like I have the winter doldrums. There’s a whole thing on WebMD about it but all they recommend is either getting more sunlight, taking anti-depressants –in conjunction with light therapy or getting on a plane and flying to Florida – wow, really? THAT would help?! Well, sh*t what am I still doing here munching my salad? If I would have known that was all it took then I would have packed up Charlie and the dogs and we’d say goodbye to our jobs for the months of December – March.

“We’ll be back in the Spring!”

Why do people even live in cold places if they hate the winters there?

Charlie and I have been watching A LOT of The Killing (thanks to Liz and Lina). It’s set in Seattle, Washington. Also every 5 minutes it shows them running from the car to a building in the pouring rain or vice versa. Then, there’s moments of no rain and it’s clear and then, again, torrential downpour. I don’t see how anyone could live in that. Seriously. How do people do it? No one has an umbrella in that show, either.

We did have one decent day last Sunday. It was so nice that we took the dogs out to the park to play Frisbee and had drinks on the patio of Joe’s. That’s the bad thing about living here. We can have one good day and a little hope of more and then, bam, rain, sleet, ice, snow and the good day is gone.

At least we have one more day until American Idol

3 more days until this week is over

26 more days until The Walking Dead

65 more days until the first day of Spring

Let’s count it down! 

 

getting sh*t done – literally

Since it’s been in the single digits here the dogs haven’t had their daily walks. The poor things have been cooped up in the house for almost three days. Yesterday, it finally reached a balmy 40 degrees and I decided to take them out. They enjoy the walks – especially, if I let Sadie chase a few squirrels here and there. But, mainly these walks are for getting sh*t done – literally.

We always go down to the lake, loop around and come home and if we time it right Charlie is usually just pulling in from work. Some days when it’s nicer I linger at the lake, sometimes even sitting down on a bench and taking it in. The other day before all the cold hit I did this only to have the serial killers approach me.

411 on the serial killers:

This is a couple who always drives up in a serial killer van (the ones that have no windows on the side – exactly, like the one the psychopath in Silence of the Lambs used) and parks on the side of the road (either too lazy to walk to the lake or they don’t live in the neighborhood). The female looks to be 10 years junior to the male although she has long, grey hair. They have in tow a Chinese Crested that shivers even on hot days. Both the female and the dog have crazy eyes. I could totally see the woman feigning some sort of emergency so the male could come up and knock you in the head and drag you off to the van. The man always has a grouchy snarl on his face. I made the mistake one time in letting the dogs come up and sniff the C.C. and right about the time Sadie got within an inch of it, it started snarling and barking at her like it wanted to rip her face off. Since then I always steer clear of them.

“Are your dogs friendly?”

Really? You don’t remember your dog almost taking my dogs face off?

“No, they’re not.”

“Come on.” The man growled at her.

I mean, really? You think I’d fall for that again? Get the F away from me, crazy. I thought, watching them walk away. Just then Bailey growled.

“You and I have the same freak-o-meter, Bailey.” I said, petting her head.

It’s true. We’ll be walking along and some nasty guy will come along and right about the time I’m thinking it she’ll growl or bark. She’s an excellent deterrent of freaks, and people who want to rob or rape you. Sadie, on the other hand is too busy looking at nature unless she’s in the truck and then she’ll put on the best feral pitbull want-to-rip –your-face-off act I’ve ever seen. She’s crazy protective over both the house and the truck.

But back to Bailey, one day we were walking and one of the bird watchers was looking at some bird in the tree. Now, I have nothing against bird watchers – there’s a group in the neighborhood and next to the lake is a bird sanctuary. I love birds, don’t get me wrong. But, when some weird looking guy is standing around in a trench coat on a 70 degree day looking at something through binoculars I tend to want to steer clear. I spied the guy and veered away avoiding him right at the time Bailey barked at him and the bird he was looking at flew away.

It’s too bad my dog made the bird fly away but maybe if he didn’t appear to look like a serial killer/pervert feigning bird watching he’d be more successful.

Also, in walking the dogs I only stop for the kids that live on the street to pet them – just because they have seniority and live on the street. The dogs love kids but when we go walking we don’t stop for every kid that goes by and wants to pet them. F-that – it’s not a petting zoo, people. We’re out here to get sh*t done – literally.

Plus, it’s not a “Let’s guess this breed” Game Show.  We’re not spinning the wheel like in Price is Right of breed choices of German Shepherd, Labrador, Ridgeback, “OH, IT’S A GERMAN SHEPHERD, RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK, DANISH BROHOLMER MIX, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING – YOU WIN $1,000,000!”

Just say, “What pretty dogs.” And move the F on!

And, I’ll say, “Thank you.” And move the F on cuz –

-we got sh*t to do – literally.

 

NYE & planning

So, if you want to know how NYE went pop on over to Liz’s blog and check it out. We had a blast bringing in the New Year with them! My only wish is that they could have stayed longer because I had several more places I wanted to take them to. But, next time. When it gets warmer, watch out – Charlie and I are planning on heading to NC to see them.

Charlie and I just had a wonderful three-day weekend. Since she just started a new job back in November she hasn’t had a lot of days off – including having to go in late afternoon Christmas and New Years. But, this past Friday she took off and we went running around. We’re in the stages of planning the ceremony. We made an appointment to look at a place for the event and decided that was what we were going to go with. Here’s a few pictures:

solar3solar2solar1

Among other things we’re planning is catering. I thought we’d narrowed it down but we’re really still getting pricing. Music is proving difficult to book in advance. We want Joyscout to play but Emily can’t book her band this early in the year so we’re looking at other options on that as well. In all, I think it will all work out. (just please no guy bleating out songs as he bangs on the keyboard like Charlie’s folks had at her Dad’s 80th birthday party)

I just want the next two months to fly by so we can get to spring. March here comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lion but all the same the azaleas bloom and you get some sense of the impending winter being over. This is my least favorite time of year. The only things to look forward to in these months are American Idol, The Walking Dead and the Winter Olympics. (I love watching anything half pipe – whether it’s skiis or boards).

What do you do to get through the winter?