friday chex mix -continuing education edition

Well, finals week is over, thank God! I think I scraped through with a B in both classes. The last final with the meathead of a prof I got an 88 but he still has to grade our projects, two labs and an xtra credit assignment so who knows after that. I’m just done and ready to be off until the fall semester.

Right as I was going into my final last night I happened to check my work email and saw that our boss sent out a meeting request after everyone had left for the day. This is very odd but honestly not surprising for him. Between us I’ve always felt he couldn’t manage himself out of a paper bag let alone a group. This meeting could go good or bad but I wasn’t going to worry about it at that moment. All I cared about was getting a B or higher on that final and getting out. 88% later I was in the car heading home in time to sit out on the back porch with Charlie and have a beer and toast the summer quarter being over.

So, this morning we learned we’re getting a new boss – which, from my personal perspective the new guy can’t be much worse than the old one. I’m like, A new face? Bring it!

Yeah, he could be worse than the old boss but the one advantage is that the resource manager d*ckhead that’s all buddy-buddy with the old boss will either A. have to leave with the old boss in order to keep that symbiotic relationship or B. He will lose any special treatment he has within the group because his buddy is leaving. Also, I think the wonder twins are gone, too. They won’t want the new boss moving into their office because the new boss may not be cool with them having an ongoing work affair. They will most-likely go back to construction together. So, without d*ckhead and the twins it’s bound to be somewhat of an improvement.

So, last weekend my younger second cousin was in town. This is the cousin who recently just came out as a lesbian in the family – the second since I came out. I’m telling you the straight people should move over and shut the hell up because we’re taking over the family. Her Dad hasn’t been taking it well despite his brother being gay and who has been with his partner for 29 years – a record and one that my younger cousin shouldn’t scoff at since he has two ex-wives.

I insisted on getting my cousin, Emily, a plane ticket down here so she could see how the more civilized half of the family lives and experience being in the life away from our po-dunky small town. She’s very quiet and you almost had to coax things out of her but she would talk after a while. We went out to lunch in Little 5 points after I picked her up and then I took her to a feminist bookstore where I bought her some age-appropriate reading. We also went to an Atlanta Dream game (she’s a huge basketball fan) and on that large skyview wheel in downtown Atlanta as well as an Imax movie at Fernbank.

The day before she left we borrowed our neighbors golf cart and drove it down to the neighborhood pool and swam and then we took her to Twains to catch the last of the Croatia/Russia game and play pool. She got to do a lot while she was here.

I think she had a good time, however, next time either her parents are going to get the plane ticket or she’s going to have to get a part-time job and save up once she’s driving age. Her parents are so like my family – narcissistic to a point where it’s an illness. Her Dad is a small chip off the block of my old man – he reminds me of him. It’s like dealing with a younger version of my Dad and I can only imagine what it’s like for her growing up there because I went through it. At least they can come out younger these days unlike me and my cousin- we would have been lynched if we would have in high school.

I tried to talk to her a little bit about college but bit back the If you don’t go to college you’ll never get out of there bit. I made sure I pointed out all the colleges down here that we drove by.

See this is Georgia Tech where the Dream plays.

We’re passing by Georgia State now they have really good business and law schools. Oh here’s Emory – they’re good in the medical field.

Well, this is Agnes Scott and they have all kinds of studies in Phycology and Public Health.

We also have University of Georgia that has really good veterinary and pharmacy programs.

Heeeello is any of this sinking in? I wanted to say. Not that she couldn’t live with her mom in Indianapolis and go to IUPUI and have a part time job which is what half of my family did. Nothing wrong with that. At least her Mom is more supportive about her sexuality and I feel wouldn’t hold her back, however, she really pushes sports on her and I don’t feel like at this rate that will get her anywhere. No one from our high school has ever gotten a sports scholarship anywhere. She’d be better off if she focused on her school work and not getting back into basketball – which is another thing. She busted her foot in practice two weeks prior and do you think anyone in my family could call me up and tell me Hey, cuz, Emily has a foot in a boot.

Nope. That’s just how asinine my family is.

Like I said, the whole fam are naval gazers focused THERE and not anything else around them. Despite her being in a boot and on crutches we still made it work. She mentioned coming down for Gay Pride in October and I told her that her parents would have to start a dialog with me about it. (which, I’m not holding my breath over). I got the ball rolling now the rest is on her. If she wants it she needs to make it happen because they won’t.

 

Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend! Cheers!

 

 

 

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hell week

It’s finals week and I am shot. I have one more final Thursday and then I’m done until fall semester. I must say that I hated both of my classes this summer. The reason why I had to take two classes over the summer is because they are both prerequisites for all the other classes that I need to take so I had to cram them in or else I would have been fucked.

One class was online which the labs in itself were hell. It took around 3 hours to finish each one and there were 8 of them. I just took the final in that class tonight and scored an 84% which I thought was bad because I studied my ass off for it.

The other class is a networking class that I had on Thursday evenings. The professor was a total joke. He would lecture for 3 hours and say, Oh, you can work on your labs now. This would be at 9:00 and the class ended at 9:30. Who the fuck wants to sit there from 9-10:00 at night working on a lab after listening to him yap for 3 hours? Not. Me.

I started doing the labs on my own because he wouldn’t go over them in class anyway. The grading so far in the class was pretty loose – as long as you turned them in on time you would most likely get full credit for them. Until last week we had a subnetting assignment. Everyone bombed it and it dropped us all a letter grade. I had a solid A in the class until then. I was incensed. Then, the week before a holiday he hands out a major project that’s due the same week as finals along with two labs.

So, we’ve all been working our asses off doing the project, doing the labs, and he handed out another subnetting xtra credit assignment and we were like, HELLO – WE ALL BOMBED THIS THE FIRST TIME  and unless you give us the answers to the original assignment how the hell are we supposed to not bomb this one, too?

Yeah, he graded the first one and just gave a low score but the actual homework wasn’t marked up and graded so you couldn’t see what you got wrong. Finally, he sent out a corrected copy of the homework but said the xtra credit homework could only be applied to the final project so if you got an 80 on the final project he would add 20 pts of the xtra credit to it to get a 100 but you couldn’t use that xtra credit towards your final exam or your final class score. I’m so calling bullshit on this. This guy is such a dick.

Anyway, I will be so glad when this week/semester is over. On Thursday after I take my final in there I’ll be like:

 

World Cup, School, Work, Keep It

It’s just a mish-mash of things to cover. I’ll start off with the FIFA World Cup. I’ve been addicted to soccer since the 2010 World Cup. At the time, I was not working a regular job and was keeping my own work hours with my landscape company (which, Charlie now runs full time). I had just completed a job and went to cool off at a local bar when they had it on. The crowd in the bar was there just to watch the game and drink beer. It was hard not getting swept away in the excitement of the crowd. I can’t remember the first game I saw but I remember after that first one I was hooked. The US was in it to round 16 and then got beat by Ghana.

During this time I started editing my work schedule around the games. I was doing practically any kind of landscape work I could get my hands on then and remember I had a couple of installation jobs. I would get up so early in the morning and go out and try to get my jobs finished before a particular game came on early that afternoon. Then, after that game I would go back to work. I did this all through the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and so on.

This past week I turned on the TV and watched as many games as I could. Saturday afternoon, Stiletto came over to watch the Denmark win. Sunday, Charlie made us waffles for the a.m. game and by the afternoon B Ferris came over to watch the 2:00 game and eat nachos.

I don’t think I’m going to keep up this schedule but I do have plans to catch games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Taping games is not for me.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get as much schoolwork done as possible so I can have time to watch these games on the weekend. I have one more lab to do for my online class and 3 more to do for my live class. Both of my classes this summer are pretty lame. One is an entry level networking class and the other is an entry level security class which, I loathe the virtual labs we have to complete for it.  The networking class the professor lectures for 2-1/2 – 3 hours and then gives us 30 minutes to complete a lab – which, is ridiculous because it takes at least an hour to complete. We all have gotten smart and started completing them before the class or during his lecture and then turning them in and leaving when it comes time for him to shut up. About three weeks in he decided he’d give us more time to complete the labs in class and started ending lecture earlier but by then we were all used to turning in the shit and leaving. I mean, I don’t want to sit there until 9:30 pm if I don’t have to.

Last night, I went to campus to listen to a lecture from a white hat hacking security firm. It was really interesting if not a little above my head. Basically, companies hire this company to try and hack into their systems to show them what the vulnerabilities are. The starting slide the presenter said, You have to think like a criminal.

I could get into this.

This would be the type of company that would be fun to work for, I think. You get paid to hack into other peoples systems – heck yeah! Just…..I have to learn to hack first.

At the end I went up to introduce myself and ask a few offline questions. There were people in the class I could tell who were just asking questions during the lecture to make themselves look good. Showboaters. In every class. We were asked to bring our resumes why there were so many people packed into that room. I left mine but I really doubt if I hear anything. I don’t have the certifications behind me unless they were looking for a certified PM. Although, they said they weren’t necessarily looking for certifications as qualified people. Whatever that means, it was interesting all the same.

Last week we no more had a merger with another company when they started in on the workforce reduction business. I’ve been through three of these things and I’ve only been here a little over two years. While this reduction is offering really good early retirement options and most of the 10% reduction they are looking for they will get because there were a lot of people in the last one that wanted to retire but didn’t get the option because it got capped at the 10% they needed. This one has no cap so they may lose more people than they intended. The bottom line for someone like me is that I will probably be asked to fill in at another group that lost retirees. This could go either way for me – it could be good because I’d work for a manager who would actually notice appreciate me or I’ll get another white male good ol’ boy one that is more or less the same where on top of that I’ll have a ridiculous commute.

There’s also the chance I could be promoted to another position that’s open that they need to fill. So, the future is unknown. All I know is that I am open to shopping around. Soon as this semester is over I’m hitting the Network + study guide and plan on cramming for that exam for the three weeks in between semesters and having that certification by September.

My co-worker, Chris, is just starting security school and just sat for the CCENT certification exam. He promised me the book he used to study from and when I came in this morning it was sitting on my desk. It’s about three inches thick, too. I flipped through it saying, Fuuuuuuuuuck.

This shit is hard, y’all. But, easy don’t pay 90kaaaaay. (I feel a rap song coming on……)

I’ve been listening to this podcast called “Keep It”. It’s premise is pop culture and politics focusing on female, LGBT and African American rights. I think two of the hosts are gay and the third is an African American woman, Kara Brown – who I think is a hoot. I take the podcast with a grain of salt. Some of the things they discuss I have no idea what they are talking about because I have no interest in the Oscars and theater so sometimes I have to go look up shit they are discussing. Other times they get on a Trump rant and I have to turn it off because life it just too short to listen to Trump rants constantly. Seriously, I agree with the rants but I don’t want to constantly be hearing it. With that said, I enjoy the end of the casts when they each get to state something to Keep It – meaning, something they are each are really over with that week.

So, here’s my Keep It list for the week:

  • While I really LOVE that the world cup is on I really loathe the fact that it’s hosted in a country that locks up, persecutes and even kills gays. (If you don’t believe me go here). I really hate that a county that does that is getting the boost in economy from hosting.
  • A few posts back I mentioned that every time we have a get together with a certain group of people that this one particular person is always rude to someone. We are done with this person, we are done even trying to have a relationship with them. We’re done talking about it. We’re done, done, done.

And, that is all for my Keep Its for the week. Have a great one and if I don’t talk to you before the weekend have a great one. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation recap

We had a great time in Brunswick and on Jekyll island. We rented this cute little house off Air BnB that had a completely fenced in yard with with a fire ring on one side and a seating area and grill on the other side. Unfortunately it rained every evening so we didn’t get much if a chance to take advantage of it. But every morning on the beach was nice. Our friend, Benita, came up for a night and went to driftwood beach with us. Here are some photos:

We really couldn’t have asked for a better trip!

gone are the days

Why is it when I have a hangover  I’m awake at an ungodly hour? Everyone else is sleeping away their hangovers except me and the cat. The cat is bitching at me right now to be fed. I’m ignoring him. He can wait. I have important shit to write.

Last night, we all met up at the pub for Martha’s birthday. It was a surprise party that Dino had arranged. She called earlier in the week and ordered us to be there and asked if I would make sure Link knew about it. I was like, I’ll tell her but she can call or text that she’s coming herself. I’m not planning shit these days because between my two classes I don’t have time for anything but working on the assignments and trying to understand what the f*ck it is that I should be learning.

Of course, Mike and Celia were there. I had given myself a talk about not letting Mike get under my skin prior to getting there. Plus, Charlie’s ex gf was there because she’s met Martha all of two times and thinks they’re bosom buds. We knew J-mac was going to be there and just said, Oh well. I invited B Ferris because I knew that Martha would want her there and vice versa. Link had ridden over with us and Stiletto had shown up later to buffer join the party. Both Rooster and Shutter came as well.

So, when we walked up of course Celia was outside smoking with her and Mikes live-in Sarah (who is very strange) I really didn’t want to hug them because I didn’t want cigarette smoke on me but I did.  We went in and sat down – fortunately, there were a lot of seats to choose from so we ended up sitting at the opposite end of the table than J-mac. Mike just happened to be sitting in the middle and by the time Martha came in she took a seat at the end of the table as the head since it was her birthday leaving one chair beside Mike and a chair at the other end of the table next to me open. We were all sitting there talking and waiting for B Ferris and Christie to come before ordering food.

Dino came over to say that she was glad that I invited B Ferris as she said it wasn’t on her radar. It’s been almost a year to date since the whole nudity situation from Martha’s last birthday. I’m still not over it entirely. I still think, If you ever touch my wife again there WILL be consequences. 

Just then, B Ferris walks in and plops down in the chair beside me after hugging Charlie and I. That’s when Mike lost her shit.

YOU CAN’T SIT THERE BECAUSE CHRISTIE IS STILL COMING AND SHE’S VERY FAT AND WONT BE ABLE TO SIT IN BETWEEN ME AND [SHUTTER] HERE.

Every time Mike speaks its like a shout. Not sure if she needs to be fitted for hearing aids or what. And, how disrespectful to Christie talking about her weight like that at a full table of people. I’m sure if Christie would have known that she would have been mortified.

B Ferris just looked at her and went to get up and said, I don’t think so I want to sit here.

YOU CAN’T SIT THERE THAT’S CHRISTIE’S SEAT! YOU NEED TO COME SIT OVER HERE NOW.

I was getting pissed. I put my hand on B Ferris who was looking like she wanted to burst into tears and said, It’s ok stay here. 

B Ferris had just lost a beloved cat and was having a rough time so I’m sure Mike’s outburst caused even more distress. I was about to shout at Mike to cut her some slack she’d just lost a cat but I was afraid that would push Ferris over the brink and she’d leave and I wanted her to stay. Rooster and Shutter also chimed in that they could make room when Christie gets there no worries.

Mike then pointed at B Ferris and said, I’M NOT GOING TO FORGET THIS.

Like it was a threat or something. All I could think was WTH?! If she would have said that to me I would have been in her face so fast she wouldn’t have known what hit her.

B Ferris said, I think I need to go outside.

I knew if she went outside she’d start crying and then leave. I put my hand on her back and said, You’re fine, stay here.

I think Rooster and Shutter chimed in again that they’d make room and the subject was finally dropped and people were starting to look at Mike like she was the asshole that she is. Yeah, Link and Stiletto say it’s just because she’s from New York. I’m like I don’t care where you’re from -rude is rude. I get tired of every time we all get together either Mike is an ass or Dino has to get handsy or naked. People say, I don’t’ understand why you don’t ever want to do anything with them.

Really, people?

There are so many other friends who behave themselves and are a joy to be around why do I have to put up with that shit? Anyway, we all got through it but if I have to hang out with them in the future I’m going to start calling them out on their shit. If Mike starts talking rude to me or someone else I’m going say, Mike stop being rude and call her out. If Dino decides to grab my wife’s crotch like she did at Rooster and Shutters show that one time I’m going to immediately get in her face and say That’s not appropriate, keep your hands to yourself. Gone are the days of not saying anything. I mean, sheesh, am I being unreasonable here?

I have two more freaking days until vacation. WHOOP! I need it! I’ve been working on what seems like 100 labs to get ahead in school so I won’t have to be hitting the books while we’re gone. If I don’t talk to you before then I will see you on the flip-side. Cheers!

 

 

school and friday chex mix

It’s my first class of the summer semester tonight. I’m trying to stay on top of it all. I have one online class that everything’s always due on Fridays by midnight -quizzes, homework and labs – I can handle that. I have another that I have to be there physically on Thursday evenings for lecture and lab. I’m trying to get ahead a little because Charlie and I are going out of town for the holiday coming up. I’d really don’t want to be worrying about homework while we’re away despite having to go straight to class right after we roll into town on Thursday.

It’s been four days since I had a drink. I’m trying to cut back on the beer and the carbs and hit the gym more. I already feel better – I could sleep a little better but every morning I’ve been wide awake around 5 a.m. and have gotten up. I sit at the bar in the kitchen and read and drink coffee while the cat begs to be fed. It’s kind of nice – not for him but me.

A bit later today….

I’m sitting here waiting for my evening class to start – there’s several of the guys back from my Spring semester classes here. One guy I have my online class with – we just found out prior to this class that the book we ordered for that class isn’t in and the assignment is due tomorrow – such is college life. SIGH. We both emailed the prof pleading our cases. I have a feeling that most of the class doesn’t have the book yet, either.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Cocktail hour to be precise. We are pretty low-key this weekend. If it rains I may hopefully be able to talk Charlie in to going to a movie. She only wants to go to the theatre that sells beer. I may need to rethink my drinking plan for the weekend. I was planning on tequila since Link says it’s good for you and you can even take it with your medicine or maybe she meant you can take it as medicine. Hmmm.

The guy teaching the class is an engineer with Nokia – wonder how many students try to network with him after the class. Supposedly, this class is going to prepare us for the Net+ certification exam. That’s good – I need more certs if I’m going to find something in the field I’m studying.

The next day…..which means Friday chex mix.

I didn’t get out of class until 10:00 last night. We were scrambling to finish our lab before leaving. If I would have known we’d need to turn it in that night I would have worked on it more. As it was some of the people hadn’t even started it. At least Alton, Antonio and myself started the thing prior to class. The woman on the end who I teamed with – Nancy, I think her name was -totally wasn’t prepared. She’d hadn’t even gotten into Blackboard yet – where all our powerpoints, assignments, and homework is (usually, I sign in the minute I sit down so I’m there) nor did she bring any kind of flash drive to save her work to. She was sitting there trying to email the lab to herself. I shook my head and thought, Amateur before walking out to the car where Antonio was waiting for me to come out and get into my car safely – what a gentleman.

Next week we have to complete two labs. I’m going to be working my tail off in this class I have a feeling. I got a note back from my online prof and she said no worries on the book she’ll extend the assignment.

So, on to Friday! I have an hour and 15 before I’m going to pour myself a drink. I think Benjii and Goya are coming over weather permitting and bringing the dogs. We’re going to have fajitas on the grill and I’m going to attempt to still skip the carbs.

Happy Friday and Cheers!

 

glad that’s over

I’m glad last weekend is over. I had the memorial service for my friend on Saturday and then met out for drinks after.

The service itself was very odd & sad. There were 6 ex-girlfriends of Alex’s there (kind of amazing it wasn’t a shit show). I was sitting in between gf #1 (who Alex was with when I first met her) and gf #2 Stephanie, who was one of the toads. GF #3 was on the end, Rachael, and then there was GF #5 was in front of us (who was old years ago when Alex dated her and was even MORE ancient – what the heck was she thinking is what I always thought every time I saw her) and finally GF #6 who no one knew personally was sitting on the front row the immediate family. GF #6 was also married to a man and had children. Again, what was Alex thinking?

I know its bad luck to speak ill of the deceased so forgive me.

To say we couldn’t get out of there fast enough afterwards is an understatement. Alex’s mom remembered me but when I said I was one of the toads she said, Yeah, she had that tattoo removed years ago.

I thought, probably, because of you, too.

We met up at Joe’s on Juniper later for many drinks and to reminisce old times. We laughed a lot which was nice. Afterwards, we hugged goodbye and I could tell Rachael was getting teary eyed. I’m not sure I’ll ever see those ladies again to be honest. Now we have this wedge of sadness that brought us all together again that I’m not sure we’ll ever get over.

Sunday, as we all know was Mother’s Day and is always a very difficult day for me especially after losing my stepmother this past summer. I was thinking, Can I just get a break? When will this weekend be over? That’s why I purposely planned a crab boil and invited Link, Benji and Goya over. I needed something to take my mind off of things. Stiletto ended up coming back from SC early so she joined us as well so we ended the weekend on a high note at least.

This week school started back up again so it’s kind of a relief to have something to take my mind off of everything and focus.

Monday chex

I had a rant post and then a sad one so now on to other things. Maybe a more upbeat one, do you suppose? Charlie and I partied away the weekend starting off with going to a show at Edie’s with B Ferris, Link and Stiletto. We saw Liz Longley and after the show Ferris and Still ran off to buy every album, cd, sticker and key chain this lady had to offer while we sat and chatted to Link. Every once in awhile it’s nice to go to a late show but after standing in line for an hour waiting to get in and then elbowing our way to the very end of the bar I think our Edie’s days are numbered. The last two times we had been there the show started at least an hour after the time it was supposed to.

Saturday, I cooked enchiladas all day – a vegetarian and pulled chicken that was prepared in the Instapot. Charlie made homemade margaritas and Benji, Goya and Emil came over. We played darts, drank margs and then ate a feast and had plenty of leftovers even after sending the entire veg one home with Benji & Goya.

Sunday we just took it easy. We took the dogs down to Piedmont Park and then walked up to Joe’s on Juniper where the service was abysmal. It’s always been a little bad but this time it was amazingly bad. I would say we’d be back but only at the bar where we can’t possibly be forgotten or ignored. Although, I think this was our servers very first job EVER as he couldn’t seem to wrap his head around multi-tasking. Fortunately, it was nice out and by the time we got back to the truck the pups were pooped.

This week, our neighbor down the street gave us his box seat tickets to Atlanta United because he’s going to be out of town traveling. This will be our first trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium since it was built. I’m sure we’re going to feel spoiled and hopefully he will ask us again to go.

I have one more week of freedom until school starts up again and so I’d better enjoy it while I can.

 

tuesdays loss

Dammit.

I usually never start out a post cursing but I will with this one.

It’s happened. One of my old friends I refer to as a Toad committed suicide last week. I believe she, Alex, tried to commit suicide back in 2011 when I wrote this post. I hadn’t heard from her since then.  I read back on that post and it makes me sad and frustrated. I know I’ve written about this in the past – the four of us friends who all got the same tattoo (I’m not including K in this because he’s not part of the original four) and were very close and then we all had a fall out and never hardly spoke to each other since. The last time I spoke to Alex back in 2011 I did make an attempt to contact Dina and Stephanie to try to repair the four of ours friendship but I got much resistance. I was very bitter after that – I pretty much wanted to tell Stephanie and Dina to go f*ck themselves. I’ve come around since then and let bygones be bygones and have moved on. The only one I have on my FB page is Stephanie who used to date Alex. She was the one who got in contact with me through FB and told me. All because we have deleted each other’s numbers – which, is pretty pathetic because I’ve given her mine twice over the years – I can even read back on my messages and see. Not that this matters but Stephanie told me how it happened and that Rachael knew more of the details. I emailed Rachael and said how sorry I was and that I just heard. She emailed me this really terse reply back that I ended up deleting.

Why do people have to hold on to the same old grudges when it comes to losing someone? Can’t we all just let it go and remember the good times. Because they were good times whether anyone will admit it or not. That’s what Alex would have wanted.

I’m taking this a lot harder than I thought. I still flash back to a time where we were getting ready to go ride motorcycles. I was at her apartment on Buford Highway. I had ridden my bike over there to pick her up to go ride. She was getting ready and I don’t know how we got on this conversation but she told me that if she was going to kill herself that she would just do it and not tell anyone. I know I couldn’t have stopped it. She’s been lost for a very long time. It’s just one of those things that will probably always drive me a bit crazy, frustrate me and make me sad. She had so much going for her and she did everything she put her mind to. She could do anything and yet they found her on the floor two days after she died with a needle in her arm, instructions on her desk on how to do it.

Yes, when Alex put her mind to something you couldn’t stop her from doing it. RIP, Alex & beloved toad. You will be missed!