Friday chex mix – podcasts & chillin’

It’s time for another Friday chex mix edition. I regret I haven’t written a whole lot lately – sometimes, I just have all kinds of ideas just floating around in my head doing nothing.

I feel like just when I’m catching my stride with work someone comes along and just trips me up. I was speaking to a colleague the other day – this is someone I always go to for answers – one of my go-to guys. I’d always liked this guy until this past Wednesday.

I don’t know about y’all but when I go to ask something from anyone I always preface it with a good morning or a good afternoon, how are you and so forth. I like to gauge someone’s day before I ask to take anything from them – such as information, a favor, etc. If they’re having a bad day I move on and decide to ask them something at another time. That’s just me – I’m polite.

This guy wasn’t answering my ‘Good morning’ skype messages. Finally, I called him and said, ‘What’s up?’ We usually have a pretty funny back and forth dialogue so when he started in on me about my ‘stupid skype messages’ and that I should just call him and ask my f*cking questions. I was a little taken aback. I blinked back tears and wondered if it was just early menopause creeping up or if indeed he was being a real a-hole. He pretty much berated me for the design I sent him to look at, told me that I was the rookie on the team and that ‘everyone’ knows I have questions so ask my question and quit bugging him on skype. By the time we hung up I vowed I wasn’t going to ask him d*ck until hell froze over. I went for a walk and applied to three jobs after that. I’ve been trying to walk a couple of miles every day. It doesn’t take long out of my schedule and it’s completely doable. It also clears my head of all the stuff that’s running around in there. I’ve been listening to podcasts while I walk, too. This one particular podcast, Sincerely X is really good.

Our friend Benji turned us on to this one podcast Up and Vanished. It’s about a lady in Ocilla, GA who disappears. I admit I was addicted up until the 16th podcast and then I was done. I won’t give anything away and will let you decide if you happen to listen to it. So now I’ve been kind of addicted to these podcast things. (If anyone has a particular one they would like to share please put it in the comments section of this post.)

This past Tuesday Charlie and I went out to Cowtippers to support our friend who was competing in bartender wars. It was sponsored by El Jimador tequila and the drink(s) she made were dangerous. Needless to say she won the competition. She is our hands down favorite bartender in Atlanta.

Tonight, we’re just doing a little dart party at the 143 shed in back and Benji and Emil may come over. Maybe Maybe-Nicole, too. We’ll see. We don’t have a lot of plans for the weekend so we’ll just be grillin’ and chillin’.

Hope y’all have a great weekend, cheers!

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concerts & kicked out

I’m so exhausted this morning. Last night we went to see Counting Crows with Matchbox 20 with Emil and Maybe-Nicole and the Thursday before that we also saw Emily Saliers play at Edie’s Attic for the late show.  We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed both shows but I’m showed out for a while.

(Charlie and Emil with photobomb lady in the background)

In between all the concerts, we went to friends down the street for dinner, saw Benji and managed to make an hour of drum practice yesterday.

So, Charlie and I made the decision to sell her Harley on cycle trader simply because we’d like to streamline our debt a little more and get out from under the payments. Once we sell hers I’m probably going to sell mine but it’s not really necessary because it’s paid for and I can always ride her on the back of mine. Charlie first posted an ad on Facebook in case any of her peeps on there were interested – plus, they could share it with friends of theirs. She no more got it posted on FB when Shutter asked why she was selling and Charlie said she just wanted to at this time that wasn’t to say that she, me, us would never ride again. Next thing you know – we get thrown out of the motorcycle group that we were in with Link, Shutter and Rooster – Rooster had created the Meetup page and kicked us off of there.

That kind of chapped my –well- chaps over that. I mean, this is not to say we’ll even get the Harley sold – and if not then we’ll keep it, ride and keep on. Whatever. I didn’t think we deserved to be kicked out of the group for that. Granted we hadn’t ridden with the group for a while but that didn’t mean we’d never ride with them again – until now. But, hey – now that I’m no longer a member of the group I will say this – I never really liked riding with the group. Don’t get me wrong – I liked everyone as people – just not riding with them in a group. Rooster always led the group and honestly would ride a little too fast for my taste up the busy 4-lane street in Atlanta (that she always insisted that we take to get out of town) when anyone could and would pull out in front of you. What happened to space cushion?? The last time we went barreling up Candler Road I spaced myself back and when one of the girls on her Harley got her hazard light stuck on for an hour and we had to pull off into a gas station we got lectured on riding faster to keep up.

I wanted to say, B*tch, I don’t keep up with anyone when I’m on this machine. I ride my own mf-ing ride. If I’m going too slow then you just go on and I’ll see you another time.  

It’s probably not helping their cause that I have 10 years of being a motorcycle instructor under my belt and this stuff is ingrained into my behavior and brain.

Also, Rooster has no GPS and relays on some paper with directions rubber-banded to her arm. After a long, hot ride to Macon for a history lesson (now those I did enjoy) and lunch on the way back I was running my GPS and it showed that unless we wanted to extend our trip another 2 hours that we should turn at this one particular intersection. Charlie and I pulled off into the gas station at the intersection and they circled around and back and asked what was up.

Gas, and we’re turning here.

This isn’t on my directions – we were going to ride closer to Athens and then turn back. By then, the paper with the directions had blown by us and had been lost on the road and I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence she really knew where the F we were going. But, I knew because I had GPS.

That’s fine but we’re going this way. Enjoy getting lost the rest of the ride.

And, we left. Which, brings me to the question as to why, if you’re leading a group of riders don’t you get some sort of GPS device on your bike so there won’t be any confusion? Or ask someone like myself to lead.

But, no that would be too hard and too advanced.

Maybe it is a good thing we got kicked out of the group. Charlie and I were going on our own rides anyway. It’s just easier to get an early start and go and get back so the day isn’t all taken up. That group would plan a trip to Birmingham and wait until 10:00 to leave and get back at 9:00 and we’d say, No thanks.

I mean, I don’t know if I’ll keep riding. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t but I don’t like other people making that decision for me. I mean, I’ve gone to a couple of Meetups for this screen writing group – I don’t go all the time because it always meets way up in Dunwoody during rush hour and it’s kind of hellish to get there. Even so I haven’t been kicked out of the group. I just find the whole thing to be mystifying.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever been kicked out of a group? Became a lesbian and kicked out of the Junior League?

 

 

Censorship, naval gazers and blogging

Years ago when I first started blogging I kept it completely anonymous. None of my friends who lived in town knew about the blog. All of the other people who knew about the blog were other bloggers that I hadn’t met in person at the time. Eventually, some of us did meet but none of them blog anymore.Those were the good ol’ days of blogging. People looked at you in wonder and said, You blog?? Wow…..that’s soooooooo………creative and fun!

Unlike nowadays people look at you like you have a horn coming out of your forehead and say flatly, Oh, so you have a blog.  Said like they’re going to fall over any minute from sheer boredom. Then they say, You’d better not write about me, or that one time, or THEM.

And, hence, censorship.

I want to reply something to the extent of You really think I lay awake at night thinking up a post to write about you or your situation?

The problem is they would actually believe it – that’s a naval gazer for you. They think all you want to write about is them. Sometimes I think they think the reason you started the blog was so you could write about them. I can hear it now:

Me and my girlfriend broke up and now Lanie has started this blog to write about me and my life- f*ck my life!

And, in answer to that – Yes, yes that’s exactly WHY I started a blog is to write about YOU and your life. AND next I’m starting a book about your life so sit down so I can interview you starting from the time you were born. I’m going to write about EVERYTHING.

So, there you have it – it’s all out on the table.(Maybe I should have censored this?)

Then, we have those who have asked me a gazillion times what my blog address is. I’m like, Bitch, I’ve told you 3 times. If they have to ask me that many times for the address then they really aren’t going to actually go there they’re just asking to listen to the sound of their own voice.

Then, other replies to finding out I have a blog are, Oh, maybe I should write a blog.

Yes, maybe you should and name it simply your own name. Or better yet, Navel Gazer – from the beginning. And, whatever you write about I don’t care. If I don’t like what I’m reading I just click on Amazon dot com and order myself a Kindle book and call it a day. I don’t lose sleep over it nor wonder what’s going to be written about me next.

And, I certainly don’t think, Every 30 minutes someone starts a WordPress blog to write about me, Lanie Belluz, OMG! F*ck my life!

Incentive

Sometimes you just have to take incentive into your own hands. This is so true with my current job. My sometimes office mate often tells me that I have it made. I probably do since I don’t deal with the things he deals with every day and this is where I’ll tell you about our team and how uneven it is.

I know I have often wrote about work in the past – I’ve had some growing pains with this position and the “team” I work with including my manager. Since I’ve been running a wire center I’ve learned to go to different people for questions and help. There’s only a certain few that I do go to. I’ve been screwed over by others on our team – including our resource manager who I’ll name Fred Flintstone. The only reason he’s been called that is because he’s friends with our manager and he just gave him that title. Our manager has segregated the team into different responsibilities even though we all have the title of “Engineer”.

Some of us are actually doing the duties of an engineer – running wire centers, doing design work and overseeing construction of the jobs. Like myself. I have just come into starting to enjoy it as I’m pretty much doing my thing and people don’t get in my way.

Then, we have the wonder twins. The wonder twins are responsible for submitting all the permits for our jobs. They work side-by-side all day long in the same vicinity as our manager with their sweet smelling candles, candy dishes, refrigerator stocked with creamer, LaCroix and bottled water. Larry complains that they are so busy doing permits and that’s all they do. Meanwhile, they have soaked up all the OT for the group for the remainder of the year. Larry’s pulled so much he could probably buy a nice ski boat by now. (Personally, I think he’s banking for his divorce.)

Part of the team sits down at the southside of the city by the airport. I used to work a bit down there during the time I was going to take over this wire center from one of the chicks down there. I didn’t mind it – much. But, to put it mildly I did not fit in really well with the demographic down there.

The other whitebreads work out in the sticks towards the northeast outside the perimeter. By whitebreads I mean rednecks. This is where FF works with “the guys” and one lone woman from India who used to be my work BFF until she defected out there and now I have to watch what I say to her because I suspect she repeats all my instant messages to them.

Then, there’s the office where the twins, our manager, myself from time to time and Patricia work – on the west side of town (inside the perimeter). But, recently I have started to move over to the central office closer to my house where Donnie and Chris work – Donnie does an entirely different engineering job – he’s like a building engineer whereas the rest of us engineers deal with outside (plant) stuff. I often ask Chris questions because he also runs a wire center. Plus, it’s a lot more peaceful and close to the house. Mind you – I just took the incentive to move over here on my own. I figured everyone else works where they want to work then why shouldn’t I.

The southside team all runs wire centers as well as most of the whitebreads except for Shampa the Indian woman and Fred. Fred just approves jobs and dictates stuff even though he has the same title as I and is at my same position level. Shampa just designs certain jobs and that’s all she does. I’m waiting for them to heap some more responsibility on her and see what she does. She just sits out there in the sticks in her cocoon of the guys and does those same jobs over and over again. I was doing those jobs over and over again when I first started but then the Fred decided I needed too much help, bad mouthed me behind my back to the manager and thus, why I got a mediocre review although after that I was given a wire center to run.

Hmmm, how does that work – you’re rated as mediocre BUT we’re going to give you a wire center to run where you have to deal with construction people, play a customer facing role and do more complicated designs?

Makes sense, right? NOPE.

So, this isn’t going to happen on my next review if it’s the last thing I do. Anyway, what I’ve been describing this whole time is the structure of our “team” and illustrating that aside from running wire centers like we’re supposed to do there’s people who don’t do shEEot. Although I’m glad I’m running a wire center and sitting in the central office now – but it was all incentive that I took on my own. I totally could have used  mentoring from my manager but I’ve learned that he lacks basic social skills. I’m just amazed at some people even getting the manager position when they can’t even manage to communicate with people. Alot of the people on the team “think he’s the best manager ever” sans the twins. But, I think that’s only because they’re friends. Me, I don’t think I’ve ever had a best manager unless it was the one I had when I worked for a local government.

I decided I liked this quote and what it stands for: Incentive

the trip

So, I made it back from Indy in one piece after an 8 hour drive each way. I never realize how far the drive seems until I’m on my way back and I think, I’m flying next time.

I stayed with my cousin and his husband while I was there and I must say it was a lot more relaxing and less stressful than staying with my sister. (I’m not sure I can get away with that again for a while.)

I got up there in the early evening on Thursday and just hung out with them that night. I called my step mother to let her know I was there and that I’d be by the next day. I wanted to meet with my contract farmer to discuss farm business unbeknownst to them because they always seem to get so upset when I mention anything about it (and, as I’m one third owner I felt it was my right to know some stuff). I drove down and met Doug – the farmer. It had been almost 30 years since we had seen each other. We grew up together only being a year apart and our parents have always been friends.

When I got there he drove up in a tractor trailer as he was hauling corn that day and we stood out between the corn cribs talking farm stuff. He told me his folks were taking food over to my folks that afternoon and I thought, Great, yet another person knows I’m here talking to you. He had sworn his Dad to secrecy but farmers are just as worse as a pack of church ladies at a shotgun wedding. In fact, that’s all my Dad does nowadays is sit on the porch and gossip about people and tell these stories that are so far-fetched that I wonder if the suspicion of Dementia is true. By Saturday after spending a couple of afternoons there listening to his stupid stories and one terrifying ride in the car with him I was done. I’m glad I got to see my step mother and she does look and act so frail that I fear that it won’t be long before she’s gone.

Saturday evening I went out with my cousin and his husband to an Irish pub and we had some appetizers and drinks. I got a little toasted to say the least and later when we got back to their house we stayed up late talking about things. One moment I was crying about losing my original mother and the next I had us both crying – with laughter over the time my sister and I took skiing lessons in Switzerland.  By the time I looked at my watch it was 2 a.m.

The next morning, I woke up at 6:30 and started packing the car to leave. I wanted to get a head start on the driving day. As it was I didn’t get back home until around 5. I listened to Ellen DeGeneres most of the trip back as I needed a little comic relief. Thankfully, I had the next day off for my birthday. Charlie had built me this really nice desk for my office and had installed can lights in the hallway while I was gone.

Later, we went out to have some Mexican beers and a few shots for my bday and Emil and Maybe Nicole stopped in to say hey. They seem to be doing really well and were really happy. It was nice and lighthearted. I had been kind of a wreck since I got back and needed that.