friends won’t be around

You know, I used to worry about moving away from Hotlanta because I would miss all the friends I had. (Notice I said HAD?) But now, I worry more about eating at the same BBQ place down the road as it being the only place for 50 miles. I worry about driving for miles to go grocery shopping. I don’t worry about having a dock to sit on nor starting up the boat for a quick run around the lake before getting on a conference call.

I guess it’s a balance. I do love our home and we’ve finally been able to turn our carport into a garage blocking the remaining views from our unsightly neighbors. (This would be another reason I wouldn’t mind moving – to get away from them). But, back to friends – lesbians here suck. They do. Our straight friends are way easier to manage than the lesbians. There’s always drama there. We have these one friends who are friends with everyone simply because they just don’t care. If someone goes off and doesn’t call them for a year and then reappears they are fine with it. Charlie and I aren’t like that. I guess we expect more from people why we don’t have a lot of friends, I guess. I’d rather have quality friends I can depend on then some fly-by-night friends that I drank with occasionally. I guess my standards are too high.

This one friend, Link, ghosted us for 5 months. When she got back she was trying to get together with us. We were like, Hello. We hadn’t heard from you. You hadn’t answered our phone calls, texts, nothing. No, we don’t want to see you because we’re upset with you. You can’t just fall in to “Let’s go out and drink and have a good time” because we’re pissed.

I mean, wouldn’t that piss you off?

So Link has to use our other friends against us. We asked Rooster over for chili and football and she begged off saying she didn’t feel well but would try to make it. So, the next day, chili bubbling in the crockpot and we see that Rooster had checked in on Facebook to watch football with Link, Dino and Martha.

You know, if she didn’t want to hang with us she should have said she had other plans. Simple as that. You don’t have to lie about it and say you’re sick. Link’s also pissed that we still hang with Stiletto – yeah, we do because she answers her damn phone. She’s a FRIEND. We’re not taking sides here from their breakup. Stiletto’s been a friend, Link has not been a friend.

But, I think some people just don’t know the difference. They just don’t get it. Some people are just ok to have fair weather friends. That’s ok, though, really. Different strokes for different folks but you don’t have to be rude about it. We have enough on our plates as it is. I have SQL and firewalls to get thru this semester so I don’t have a lot of time for bullshit. So, I’m off Facebook, stupid ex-friends, carbs and after yesterday – football.

 

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keto and scam chex mix

No more breweries, no more bread. No more gluten of any kind. I started the Keto diet while Charlie was in Florida. I have to say it’s very similar to the Paleo. I’ve been on that diet previously so I know what to expect. I found that my appetite has lessened since I’ve been on it which is good because normally I want to gnaw my arm off come lunchtime.

So, here’s a couple of recipes to try if you’re interested:

https://joyfilledeats.com/spinach-artichoke-stuffed-chicken/

I made this one and it’s fabulous! I added mushrooms as well. It’s great for leftovers and to cut up and put on a salad. Tonight, we’re going to try this recipe:

https://tasty.co/recipe/paleo-beef-and-veggie-stir-fry

So, save for my one night out at the bar and a few lunch dates with Stiletto and Emil while Charlie was gone I didn’t do anything. We still don’t know anything at work. I’ve been applying my @ss off to places. I have a phone call with a recruiter this morning and we’ll see where that goes. So, a word of advice to you job hunters like myself. If you get some email from a recruiter asking you to fill out this long form of information, beware. Do some research on the company to see if they are actually legit? Also, if they have a website go to the Domain White Pages and type in their web address. It will show who created the site and how long it’s been up. If it’s under a year then beware. Read this article on the Top 10 Job Scam Warning Signs.

Both Charlie and I got alerts of identity theft and had to lock down our credit for all three credit agencies. Fortunately, we got to it in time but a word of advice: Unless you’re filling out an application for some kind of credit, lock your accounts down at all three credit agencies. You can unlock it for 24 hours if you need to have a credit check done but after that re-lock it down. There’s no reason to have it open unless you’re filling out forms for credit applications or buying a new car or house. Here’s a Quora link that has all three credit agencies links and phone numbers.

Also, in today’s day in age get a mailbox that you can lock. We did and we see messages on our neighborhood nextdoor posts of people stealing mail all the time.

So, that’s it for my advice column. What else is new? Just another semester of school is all and really wanting it to start getting warmer. We have no plans for the weekend. Charlie just got back yesterday and I had to go off to school so we really haven’t had any time to spend together since she got back. We got the dogs some really cool hiking harnesses but it’s supposed to rain again this weekend so I guess that’s out.

 

2019- not a fan so far

Well, this year has gotten off to a flying fucking start.

All along they have been telling us the first of the year there’s going to be layoffs. We’ve had this suspicion since September. So, the week prior to Christmas we have to get on a call to our big boss who says that this could be coming down after the holidays but don’t worry about it right now, spend time with your family over the holiday and don’t worry.

That’s great. Not.

So, they made it sound like the week after New Years it was going to come down. Wrong. Last Friday at approximately 3:00 pm we all get the company-wide email that it is indeed going to commence. I’m like, That’s great. Can’t even wait until the following week to give us the bad news.

I am so over this. Every damn quarter since I’ve been hired they’ve threatened to lay off people. I’ve been through this 3 times already. This time seems a bit more alarming than before because since we’ve bought Turner we’re 40 billion dollars in the hole. I feel like my division is going to be outsourced. I’ve applied my ass off to other departments. Nothing. I have certs. No big deal. I never get even an interview. It seems like a hopeless cause.

My wife and I  – we’re scared. Sure. I could be done by March. Then, I’ll have to find something else. It’s a lot of stress right now. I’m applying to jobs. But, interviews are far in between. I have to be realistic here. I wonder if I should just get another part time job right now to save back some money in case this happens.

And, I’ve been going to school for cybersecurity. But, I can’t get a job in it because I have no experience or IT certifications. So, I have no idea where this is going to go. No one will hire me on just taking classes.

It all seems a little bleak right now.

Then –

We have friends moving. We probably won’t see them again after they move. And, we have other friends who are breaking up. We have other friends who we are on the outs with who there could be a reconciling but it’s not happening right now.

So, things are shitty. And, we’re only 5 fucking days into ’19. I hope it gets better. I do.

the new year chex mix

As we head on in to a New Year, I’ve had time to think about what I want for this next year. Despite still being employed I still apply to jobs just in case there is a need to accept employment elsewhere. I want to worry less about the things I cannot change and start setting boundaries. I read this article about boundaries and I realize I have none. This is a problem.

I admit the year ended on a disappointing note as I’m still not Net + certified and I blew my 4.0 average at school. It’s just numbers, right? Despite all that, the year as a whole turned out to be pretty good. We took a few trips to the beach, our music party was a hit and Charlie we did quite a bit of work to and around the house.

In 2019, I want to be less annoyed by people and have more patience. I want to develop some marketable skills. Maybe a programming language. Definitely a certification.

I want to drink less alcohol and eat more vegetables and of course like 90% of the population of the U.S. I want to lose weight.

I want to practice more self care which means not letting my family get under my skin.

I want Charlie and I to travel somewhere other than the island although, that would be good too.

I would like for all this schooling to somehow pay off.

That’s all I got for now but it’s enough. What do you see for the New Year?

nothing and no one

I trust everyone made it through Christmas in one piece. We did, anyway. Charlie and I never do much for the holiday except hang out and do fun things. This is another perk to marriage is having someone FUN to spend time with for the holidays and do whatever we want. Although, her family is pretty laid back we rather spend time with them outside of the holidays.
Before her, there were many holidays I spent alone. Simply because since my mother’s and grandparents (on her side) deaths there has been no one in my family that I wanted to spend the holiday with. I’d rather be on my own than deal with their shit, to be honest. Oh, I did spend a few with my sister back when she was cool but since she’s gotten older she’s been harder to deal with. To be honest, she’s a bit of a chip off the block of the old man. He’s gotten more and more out of it and mean since our step mother passed in ’17. A lot of people, I’m sure feel sorry for him. But, they don’t know him like we do. My sister still insists on taking him food or cooking for him when he turns around and feels her meals to the dogs. She tells me this on the phone. Despite knowing that he’s going to do this she still insists on doing it. She’s a martyr. I’ve realized that until she stops doing this she will be a little bit mean like him.
She calls me on Christmas Eve to tell me she along with my ex-brothers-in-law are taking breakfast down to the farm for Christmas Day and that our step mother’s family (who we’ve really never identified with which, is a whole ‘nother post). I told her that’s great, leaving it at that because what else can I say about it?

Fucking Martyr.

She asked what we were doing and I said we were canning pickles. She asked why I was doing that? I replied what else was it I was supposed to be doing?
Well, that’s not the type of thing you should be doing on Christmas Eve.

Why not?

I should have said, Oh sorry we’re really hanging out downtown smoking crack on the corner.

WTF?

This is why I don’t hang out with my family. No matter what you do you get criticized for
it and not one of them ever asks how I’m doing, how Charlie’s doing how the kids are
who they don’t even know exist and have never met.

She says she will call tomorrow when they finish breakfast and I want to ask, Fucking, Why? No One cares. I doubt Dad will even know who I am as the last fit of dementia he had he asked who I was. Instead I said, Ok. Like WTF ever. Sometimes it’s just as exhausting resisting an argument than of having one.

The next day when she does call she asks if we have opened all our presents yet. Maybe
she’s getting dementia, too, because we have never really done this. I said, we were
canning jam and to tell everyone Merry Christmas for me I had to get back to canning. I
was afraid she was going to hand the phone around to everyone to talk to me. She said to
talk to dad and wish him a M.C. Whatever. Ok.

He said, Hello. I said MC and then nothing. I asked if he had a good breakfast and he
said he did and that he thought they’d have enough food for dinner that night and I told him he probably would if he didn’t feed it to the dogs and he laughed. I told him I had to go andhe handed the phone back to my sister who I told what I said and then hung up. I’m not sure if that pissed  her off or not but I don’t care. Maybe I need to give it back as good as I get sometimes. Maybe then she will back off.

It makes me glad that I live 8 hours away. I just realize that everyone up there (in my
home state) is just all caught up in their own shit and don’t really give a shit about
anyone else. They just want others to be caught up in their shit because it’s all about
them and always will be. I think it’s time to start taking care of myself and separating
myself from them even more.

And, if I didn’t have my wonderful wife and her family which has become my own I
would have nothing and no one and for that, I am grateful. What presents? I have
everything I want, right here.

Group Therapy

So, we got Thanksgiving out of the way and are moving on to Christmas very rapidly. I was out looking for a pair of pants today and the Christmas music was already piping out of the store speakers with gusto. There’s no way to fight it so just embrace it for the next 30 7 days. Although, the song All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, was playing and I had to grind my own teeth and ignore it. Fortunately, the first pair of pants I tried on fit and I grabbed them, paid, and ran out of the store before I could start screaming and be carted off to security. See, I didn’t have two front teeth from the ages 6-9 of my life. My grandmother on my father’s side of the family practically treated me like a leper because I had no front teeth. Corn on the cob and fried chicken had to be cut up prior to being served to me and she had to make it a point to tell everyone that my food had to be prepared specially because of my impairment. You can understand why I tried to make this woman’s life hell every time I had a chance when I went over to her house to visit.

Over the years I have preferred not to spend the holidays with the family I was born to because they are all miserable people and who wants to be around that? I don’t for sure even if they are my blood. Charlie’s family is another story. This is one of the great things about marriage – you have an excuse not to spend it with your blood family but with the one you create.

We had a great Thanksgiving with the kids despite their dog driving both of our dogs and cat nuts. After they left all the animals bedded down for a good rest. Later, both dogs were playing and I think the cat had still had enough of it because he went over and bit the back of Sadie’s leg like, Cut it out. I think it takes cats longer to recover from company than dogs. Yesterday, we went out to the local brewery and took them with us. They got extra pets and snacks while we sipped on our ales. We got them some very expensive dog sweaters for Christmas. The Pendleton National Park series dog fleece sweaters. Sadie has Arcadia and Bailey has Grand Canyon. They are going to be styling the next visit to the brewery.

 (FLEECE NAVIDOG)

Pretty soon we’ll be wondering where Spring is and when it’s going to warm up. I’m not really sure what the new year will bring but I hope it’s as good if not better than 2018. I don’t really have much to complain about in 2018. The top three are great – health, Family (Charlie & animals) + livelihood -the rest is what it is.

I started to write a recap of ’18 but really nothing went on except for work & school and a couple of trips out to the island and a music party. Despite not passing my Net + exam I am smarter than I was last year at this time as I now have 7 classes under my belt. Well, that’s the way I want to look at it, anyway. Yeah, I could have passed that damn test and got a better grade in Cisco (C for Cisco – bleh) but I didn’t even know anything about networking this time last year so I’m giving myself a break. I already have meetings on the calendar to work with my security mentor’s group in January so maybe something will come of that. My one class starts in three weeks but it shouldn’t be too taxing of a semester. I hope!

Charlie and I have tons of fun things planned the week of Christmas so I will be sure to post more of that later on. Have a great rest of your week and happy holidays!

 

 

 

 

Fleas Navidog

So, this past weekend was kind of a crappy one.

Saturday, I had my Net + certification exam and you probably know from my lack of posting that I didn’t pass. I studied my @ss off for this thing but – as always – the second or third times a charm with me. Why can’t I just pass shit the first time?  That and my C in Cisco have really pissed me off. And, the lack of communication from my last interview. Ok, now even if I heard from them I’d want to ask why the lack of communication and why now? I’ve moved on.

And, last week we had the first of many phone calls of “We think there’s going to be surpluses the first of the year. We don’t know how much, how many, when or what but it may happen.”

Way to go bumming everyone out before the holidays with a bunch of unknowns. That’s just great. I’m still submitting my tuition and book receipts. F-it. I’m in it for the long haul now. I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about anything until I get a message from HR telling me to pack my shit and go.

Sunday, we found out that Charlie’s 103 year old grandmother is on her death bed and is going to hospice.

I hope to be leaving a few things in this year. Charlie and I are going to have a bonfire and write things on pieces of paper we don’t want to follow us into the New Year. Like:

Being amateur therapists or giving out advice. People are on their own to figure shit out. I’m not devoting anymore energy towards telling people what they should do. If someone asks me for advice I’m going to say, you need to look inside yourself and find out what it is you want. I can’t tell you.

Not being certified in Net + – I will get that cert if it kills me.

Worrying about being laid off. If it comes, it comes. I can’t control it, anyway.

Inviting people who NEVER COME to our occasions. Honestly, I’m done chasing people down. People can just invite us out for a change.

I think I’m going to get off FB for a while, too. I think it’s a mental disease. I don’t mind texting and stuff but I’m over social media.

Things I want to do in the New Year:

Make more friends. I feel like we’re bringing fewer friends into the New Year and would like to expand our friend’s base.

I feel like I’ve been studying pretty hard this year so I don’t think I can study more without a brain bleed or something but maybe focus on the certs more than classes. I’m only taking one class this semester so hopefully that will help.

Charlie and I are going to try to go out dancing. Thursday nights are country night at the leather bar so we’re going to go check that out.

Cutting back on red meat. I don’t eat a lot of it now but cutting back even more on it.

Of course, working out more. Hitting the gym more.

I think that’s a good start. We’re off most of the week during Christmas and plan on doing some festive things. I’m going to take off from studying until January and then hit it again pretty hard. Until then,

Baby, it’s [raining] cold outside

Saturday was the last day of school for the semester as well as two final exams. UGH! For the second Saturday in a row I drove in pouring rain to class. The weather here has just sucked lately – I can’t remember this much rain last year. So, I didn’t do well at all on my Cisco exam. I was pretty bummed about that. I have no idea why they offer practice exams if none of the questions are going to be on the actual exam – which, they weren’t. I totally studied the wrong stuff and ended up with a terrible score that sunk my grade to a C. At least the next final in my security class went well and I think I have an A going in there. So, on to the certification exam next weekend. I don’t even want to think about that right now. I plan on cramming all next week for it.

By the time all that was over I was ready to blow off some steam. We had tickets to see Charlie Mars at Edie’s and Emil was going with. I had another friend who was supposed to go bail at the last minute and had to eat the ticket but whatever -she’s off my invite list for AWHILE. But, we had fun without her and for once Edie’s wasn’t packed to the gills – we kind of felt like we were in our own little private show. There’s something to be said for going there when it’s pouring rain and Atlanta United is playing in their cup game. We managed to catch the last bit of the win after the show. It’s nice that Atlanta has one sports team that can bring it.

Last night, we had peeps coming over to help us eat this huge lasagna we’ve had in the freezer. I think so far we have 9 confirmed and maybe a 10th. I went to the farmers market later that day and picked up stuff to make a salad- which, turned out to be a hit. I think goat cheese and pears are in my future. It was kind of an early Christmas dinner as Charlie and I don’t really have any plans for the holiday. While it was hard to get into the spirit with rain pouring down outside the dinner was very cheery and everyone seemed to have a good time.

So, nothing really became of that interview I had a few weeks back. The guy said he would call on Friday, never did. I sent him and email to check in last week and he said he’d be in touch in a few days, never did. So, at this point I’m going to stick it out until bonus time and start working on my independent projects with my security mentors at my current job. They’re going to offer another retirement package come February so I believe that I’m going to lose both my coworkers to that. One is retiring and the other wants out. He’s seriously job hunting right now. I told him if he leaves before me then I want his office. So, pretty soon it could just be me sitting up there in the central office. Granted, I’d love for the one coworker to retire because he’s a bit annoying. But, the other is going to be a blow because he knows so much. There won’t be anyone around to answer questions once he’s gone.

So, on to more studying! You probably won’t see me until after December 15th. Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

school/work chex

I had this post all worked out for the post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas/New Years and 2018 rundown. Yeah, no. I’ll probably post that one later.

Today I have that interview. I have waffled back and forth over it. I’ve talked to my spouse, my friends and my sister (who shit all over it) about it. It all comes down to $$ honestly. If they can’t make it worth my while then I’m staying where I am and taking two classes next semester.

Part of me wishes to stay and grind out another semester. Part of me wishes for a change and to be done with school a little while. Like for instance my Linux class. I am so ready to kick that stupid class out the door.

Our prof is a dick-throb. He opens up his virtual machine and just starts typing in DOS commands like we’re supposed to know what he’s doing. He stands there and lectures for 2-1/2 hours doing that. I usually get up and leave around 8. I mean, I’m not going to be held hostage by this man until 8:40 if he’s just going to drone on and not include the class in anything. The only reason I even show up is because he’s been known to drop a pop quiz on us. The other night, I walk in and see the following schedule on the board.

6-6:30 pm – makeup exam 1

6:30-7 pm – makeup exam 2

7-7:30 pm – makeup labs

7:30-8 pm – chapter 14

8-8:40 pm – final exam review

I was incensed. So, I’m supposed to sit around until 7:30 for class to start because these jokers that weren’t here to take their exams the first time need time to do them or the other jokers who can’t turn in their labs on time need time to complete them? Because I get all my shit done on time I’m being penalized? I went to the Dean’s office to complain. He really didn’t see it my way but whatever. I was one more person who complained about this guy to him.  On top of all that we were discussing the final exam. This one girl in the class who is raging mad at him and who was in the Dean’s office before me yelling asked if there was going to be a scripting component on the test. The last test he made us all script something (which, we later found out that none of the other Linux classes were made to do that on their exams) and only two people in the class knew how to do it. He said there wouldn’t be a scripting component but I still wrote down the script from lecture just in case. This exam is an open book and we typically take the sample tests prior to the exams and bring in the printouts to help. Well, this time he said no printouts. Only the book (which is worthless) and handwritten notes. So, guess who wrote out 120 practice questions by hand? I don’t know why I care so much. Maybe it’s because I’m still hoping for an A in this class even though I know it will probably be a B. Which, blows my 4.0 GPA. This is another thing that burns me up. I still may track down the president of the college email address and send him a letter.

I have two other classes I have finals for next week that don’t have open book exams so I will be studying for sure. Then, after that I have a Network + exam to study for. Hopefully, by the beginning of 2019 I will have one more cert under my belt.

turkey time chex mix

It’s Charlie’s favorite time of the year, Thanksgiving. I don’t really mind this time of the year now that I have fun people in my life to spend it with. The kids are coming up on Wednesday and staying through Sunday. We have a bunch stuff planned along with just hanging out. It’s always fun having them here. Charlie already made pumpkin pies and put them in the freezer. I made these Maple Pecan bars and added smoked maple bourbon. They are insanely sweet, y’all. Yesterday, we made a couple of lasagna to put in the freezer as well. We plan on having at least one of them on Saturday after we’re tired of turkey.

Today, I filled up the propane tank at Ace Hardware so we’ll have plenty to grill with and hook up to our outside fireplace. I’m also going to go to the store again for the 45th time and get stuff to make green bean casserole to go with the squash casserole I’m going to make. If we can ever thaw the turkey out….

So, the things I’m thankful for:

Charlie and the boys and daughter-in-law

My health

Friends

That I have a job  – for now – that may change after 2019 but –

I have an interview next week so everything concerning work could change in 2019.

I was resigned in staying where I am until the ax fell and hopefully moving into a promotion – which is no guarantee that I’d get one – but I got a call from the hiring manager for this conglomerate and the job sounded interesting. Plus, I felt we really hit it off on the phone. So, today he called and asked to set up a face to face interview. Trying not to get my hopes up on this because we all know I’ve been there before.

I have one more day of work then we’re off to the races of Thanksgiving cooking madness. Everyone have a happy one! Cheers!