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!

 

 

 

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it’s back on chex mix

So, I privatized the blog for a little while. I’m going to do this from time to time just so you know. Sometimes it’s nice to write in general without worrying about soliciting readers. This week I’ve been trying to get as much school work done as possible before the semester is up. I just want to get it all done so I only have to worry about finals. Out of all my classes this semester I think the Cisco one is the best. The other two – not so much. The Linux class could be a lot better if the prof wasn’t such a brick and had one iota of ability to teach. He just pulls up his virtual window and starts typing in Linux commands while he drones on about what they’re for. It’s completely boring. I’ve already finished all the labs in this class on my own and taken all the chapter review tests. All I have to do now is take a test – our third – next Monday and then the final -and, show up for his boring-ass lectures. Might I add it’s completely stupid to take a test next Monday when we have to turn around and take a final exam three weeks later but whatever.

Monday evenings I usually show up early to the lab and talk to my friend, Nancy, who is in the same program. We were in this asinine networking class together last summer. At first I thought she was a complete dolt but once I got to know her a little better she seems really driven and we seem to agree on a lot of things concerning the program.  The other night we met in the cyber security classroom with some other people in the program. The idea is to create our own little study group and “cyber team” – I say this very loosely because it’s in the draft stages right now. I don’t mind meeting early on a night I have to be there anyway but I will not devote any additional time to a club where we’re just sitting around bullshitting about cyber security. I could be studying towards a certification. Certs are going to get me a job not sitting around b.s.-ing. Speaking of certs I signed up to take the Network + exam in December a week after the semester is over. I’d really like to ring in the new year with another cert under my belt.

As we were sitting there discussing a potential “club” my security prof walked in. I have her for my Saturday class that is just so-so. My beef with it is that we haven’t learned any tangible skills it’s just all lecturing and our final project is developing some game for the class to play which I find very cheezy. I plan on submitting a mediocre review of the class at the end of the semester when they send out surveys. I like the prof ok – I think she’s a very intelligent lady – I thought she was a dyke at first but after introductions at the beginning of the semester I learned her husband retired from the company I currently work for. I think maybe she’s a frustrated straight – lol. I have her next semester for firewall configuration and by-gawd she’d better teach me something. I tried to ask her if she had a synopsis of the class next semester and she said they’re currently re-writing it. I wish I could foresee the future because if it’s lame like my current class with her then I’m going to drop it and take a VMware class instead. The prof that’s teaching firewall configuration this summer is supposed to be good so I could possibly wait until then to take it with him. Decisions, decisions…….

I currently have two mentors where I work. I work for a HUGE company that has millions of employees and multiple departments. One mentor is a director of security and his team configures firewalls – why I want to take firewall configuration. The other director deals with regulation and policy. I have monthly telephone meetings with them both and am really hoping to take on independent projects with each of them next year -also, why I’m only going to take two classes next semester. In the long run, I’m hoping that one of them will offer me a job on their team. This is really a long shot, I know. It’s the whole reason I’m doing this but there’s no guarantee. I could be swooped up by another company in the meantime. Who knows. It’s all very uncertain. 2019 is going to be a very interesting year, I have a feeling. It could be either really good or meh. I could lose my job where I am come January or I could stay on – hopefully long enough to get a promotion or another job. It’s a hustle and shake year for sure.

In other news, Charlie and I have decided to abstain from alcohol during the week. This does not include Fridays or Saturdays. Not sure about Sundays yet since it technically is a school night. This is mostly for weight loss reasons. I need to lose some weight. We’re on day four and it really hasn’t been that bad. Although, I’m not planning on blowing it out Friday or this weekend, either. Along with that we’re trying to cut down on the carbs and eat healthy snacks or none at all. I usually try to work in at least one salad per day for a meal.

This weekend, I’m hoping we’ll go catch Bohemian Rapsody at the movies. Supposed to be frigid here (well, 50’s -frigid by southen standards). Everyone have a great weeekend! I’ll leave you with this: 4 drink recipes that won’t ruin your diet

and this:

No Mas

I am so tired this morning. We had a very busy weekend and all I want right now is have some down time.

Saturday, we met up with a friend of mine who I used to work with. She’s had an exceptionally hard time lately so it was plans I didn’t want to cancel despite feeling tired and her being an hour late getting to the restaurant we decided to meet at. We ended up closing the bar with our favorite bartender (in Decatur), Wendy. As we were walking to the car we passed this late night restaurant/bar named Victory and my friend said, What’s that? Let’s go there!

Both Charlie and I were like, No, maybe next time, we’re beat.

It would be one thing if my friend drove herself home from Decatur but she comes in to town via the train and we have to drive her back to the train station so she can drive home. She doesn’t like to drive why it’s like this. So, long story short – it was good to see her but next time it needs to be at around 5:00.

The next day, we had tickets to Dawes at the Tabernacle with Emil. They were good but I really doubt I’d see them again. I love seeing shows at that venue, though. Before the concert we went down to this restaurant on the west side of town called No Mas (which, means “no more” in English – look at the writing on the wall, Lanie!). We met Emil’s friend Erin down there for dinner and she was originally going to go with us to the concert. When Charlie and I were at that restaurant before we had a really great time and the food was ok. One of the great things about the place is that they have this really great store that they sell goods from Mexico and we like to go in there. Well, had we realized that we’d get slung up in a bunch of Falcons/surly Saints traffic we surely would have decided to go somewhere else. Plus, once there it was packed to the gills with drunk football fans. There were two couples at the table next to us and one of the women of the couples just started going off on her boyfriend? Husband? (God, I hope not for his sake) guy friend? It was so bad at one point we were looking around for a manager. People seemed to ignore it except for us. We were all kinds of stressed. All I could think about was the time I went out with this Bi-polar woman who did that same kind of stuff. We’d be at a restaurant with all her friends and she’d start screaming at me across the table in front of everyone.

I got up and went to exchange a very bad margarita for a Mexican beer and use the restroom and by the time I got back the woman had thankfully stopped shouting aggressively at her man and was even snugged up to him holding his arm.

Yep, that’s Bi-polar – one minute you’re a piece of shit and the next it’s all puppies and flowers and love you’s. In place of aggressive shouting was the shouting over the crowd and noise – so either way she kept shouting. As we left and passed by their booth and if I still had my drink I thought about accidentally on purpose tripping and spilling my beer on her head but knew it would an even bigger fight after that.

I was so glad to get out of there. Erin excused herself and said she wasn’t feeling well and caught an Uber home and Charlie, me and Emil went on to the concert from there. The concert was even quieter than that restaurant it seemed. It was a very mixed crowd there, too. There were people our parent’s age mouthing all the lyrics of the songs like they knew them all. I had to look up how long this band had been around and they didn’t really look that old.

The next day, I was pretty fried from being out late all weekend. I skipped my Linux class – honestly, I don’t think I could have done it if a gun were pointed to my head. But, I can skip once in a while just not always. This guy loves to throw a pop quiz on us from time to time just to keep everyone showing up because honestly, the class is so boring.  This week we’re just laying low and having some friends over for dinner on Friday. That will hopefully not be a late night because I have class the next day.

So, between work and school my butt is kicked this semester and we have all kinds of people coming to our music party next month so I’d better rest up because it’s going to get even crazier.

 

 

the advice line

The other night while I was in class my younger cousin, Michael was texting me about how he doesn’t know what to do about his son being gay and about how he’s cross dressing now. I told him that he’s probably just acting out to get attention. Mike went on to say he was trying to find organizations to talk to about this and reaching out to myself, Jace and our other gay cousin Stephan. I mean like dude you have PLENTY of us to get advice from.

He asked: Do you know of any chat rooms or party lines regarding this situation?

I’m thinking, My God you really are living in Hicksville, Indiana aren’t you – I haven’t seen a chat room since the AOL days and what the hell is a party line? Was that during the Vietnam war?

Meanwhile I had to pay attention to my computer class on networking. I suggested a PFLAG group – surely to God he would have heard of that and went back to trying to pay attention to LAN’s, Hubs and Switches.

I messaged Jace this morning and related my conversation with his younger brother. I said, He should be worrying more about WTF the kids are going to do when they graduate high school not Emilio wearing his grandmother’s old shoes. I directed him to a PFLAG group in another-hick-town, Indiana on FB.

I mean, at least they have these things now – not when we were in school – maybe there was a party line back then.

Jace: We’ve all been telling him this. We all nod our heads when he says his son is gay and we’re like, Okaaaaay – and……I mean this isn’t a big deal like when we were in school. I directed him to an Indy PFLAG group on FB.

Well, maybe that’s ones more progressive but I don’t really think Mikie can handle anything too progressive.

We had a laugh over that and then we both had to go to work. There was nothing mentioned of Samantha coming out from him. I’m wondering if this has just pushed him over the cliff of what’s going on with Emilio or is it that since he’s recently divorced seeking attention as well as Emilio. I didn’t push for dates of when Samantha could visit as I didn’t feel it was a good time.

I’m getting ready to register for summer quarter and after much thought I’m going to suck it up and take two classes instead of just one. I know it’s going to be a lot to take on in just 8 weeks but I spoke to my professor from the networking class the other night and he looked at my curriculum and said it would be best if I could knock out these two pre-requisite classes this summer so I would be ready for the CISCO and Linux classes next fall and spring quarters. He’s also teaching one the of the classes online but told me I should take the ground class but that I could email him any questions I had if I had difficulties. There’s also this guy in my lab group who is taking the exact same classes this summer and we’ve agreed to study together. So, I think I’m going to be ok. It’s just going to be a lot of work but if I can get through I’ll be where I need to be in my curriculum next fall.

And, then there’s the unsolicited advice…….there’s this guy I work with who got me into the program – and, he kind of drives me crazy ALL THE TIME sometimes. He’s graduating in May from the program – that’s how far ahead of me he is. When I told him that I was going to take two classes this semester he went on and on about how hard it was going to be and how this guy who went through the class with him flunked out and yada, yada, yada. I wanted to punch him. I mean, just tell me I can’t do something and I’ll mutha-fucking do it, shut up.

Like I said, it will be a lot of work but I’ll get through.

 

away and this year

I felt like I got a lot accomplished this past weekend. I got ahead on a lot of homework and filed our taxes. Despite liking doing the taxes every year it still gives me quite a bit of anxiety before I finish them. I never know what they’re going to look like, if we’ll get anything back or have to owe. Especially, this year with all the new tax laws – although, I don’t think any of those affect us because we’re not millionaires.

Charlie and I are planning a couple of out of town trips this Spring. One is firmed up and the other I’m looking in to. Both trips include taking the dogs. That will probably be the extent of our trips this year as I can’t miss too much school. I will probably look into taking several stay-ca’s this year which will still be relaxing. I hope to get out and do a little trout fishing this year. This is something I think I’m going to do every year and then it never happens. A friend of mine’s husband is a fellow angler and every year when we see each other at Super Bowl we always say we need to get out and go fishing. I’ve already looked at the stocking times and rivers and plan on trying to get out there as early as March. March – mid-April is really the best times because it’s still cool. When it gets hot outside those fish dive to the bottom and are hard to coax out.

I just love when you have friends who read your blog and every time they tell you something they have to preface it with “Don’t put this on your blog”. It’s a double-edged sword having people you know read your blog.

But, I am not a professor and will not lecture people about their lives and choices. I have only myself and my family (which, I will preface with the family I have chosen not my blood family) to worry about.

It’s a large temptation of mine – getting involved. I’ve had to tell myself several times – don’t get involved. Worry about your own shit and stay out of others. That’s one of the NY resolutions. Others are:

I will not see The Indigo Girls for the 45th time. I will pursue hearing new music.

I will not let my sister or father hurt me and I will remain non-emotional when I speak to them. I will not give them details about my life so they can criticize.

I think the whole sex-change thing was the last straw for me. The last two conversations I’ve had with my sister she’s said she’s taken food down to our father and I never commented on it. She’s asked me what I’ve been up to and I’ve said just work.

Take more breaks from social media – honestly, I have been a little tempted to uninstall FB from my phone – especially, in light of everything that’s happened in the news. I get staying in touch with people and events but there’s a time when it’s just too much negativity and the need to take care of yourself.

I guess that’s enough resolutions for now. How are your resolutions going?

 

tuesday chex

The time of reckoning came. What I had been waiting for to happen for a whole year finally came – I got my yearly review. And, it was good.

Big exhale.

I was prepared for battle, believe me. My boss waited until the last moment to do mine last Friday afternoon – over the phone. That’s fine – he’s kind of a gutless twat. All I was looking for was the “meaningful impact” which is higher than the somewhat impact I got last year. Upon further investigation I was told everyone got the same rating (we were all evaluated as a team) and no one got the highest rating like I suspected they wanted. I was happy that we were all evaluated on the same plane and no one got more of a rating than others, more of a bonus structure, etc.

Now that that’s out of the way I can breathe easier and just hang out here until I get further through cyber security school before I start looking again. I mentioned in the past I’m in this computer basics class – that although I know most of the basics some of it stumps me from time to time – like the UNIX lab we did last weekend. My favorite class is the other one – the hardware class. We cover a part of the inside of a computer every week. Last week we talked about the processors and wattage tonight we’re going to talk about hard drives.

So, I dug out my old Macbook Pro – this is an early 2008 15” running OS X. After several attempts I finally got the thing to turn on. It ran and I played around with all the programs, it connected to the internet but the fan runs constantly on the thing. I suspect is has years of dust that has collected in it. I’ve been doing a ton of research on switching out the hard drive to a SSD and putting in more RAM. That all seems pretty straightforward but then I started looking into replacing the motherboard. That’s a whole other ball of wax. I plan on picking my prof’s brain on that tonight when I get to class. I think it would be a good little home project to do is switch out the hard drive and replace the ram.

I’ve bailed on the last two guitar classes – I mean, why would I want to go play Leaving on a Jet plane all night compared to having V-Day dinner with my wife? So, I don’t know if I’ll be back there. I plan on working on some stuff this weekend while Charlie is away if I can get all the homework completed that I need to. I’m going for all A’s this semester so I need to keep my GPA up and that’s way more important than Jet plane right now.

So, on that note I’ve gotta fly – cheers and have a great weekend if I don’t talk to you before then!

 

leaving on a jet plane

Guitar lessons are not what I hoped them to be.

Our teacher in guitar looks like a hippie from the ‘70’s – in fact, I’m sure she was a hippie in the ‘70’s – and we keep working on these chords which you would expect guitar lessons to be. She has a strange way of presenting – the best I can explain is that say we play something in the key of A then A= I, D=IV, E =V

Does that make any sense to any of you guitar players out there?

Then, the key of D is D= I, A = IV, A7 = V

What is with the Roman numerals, lady? If you want me to play the chords of D, A & A7 just say so instead of arbitrarily writing these Roman numerals on the dry erase board and testing us on this. I’m a bit fed up to be honest. Last night we played the key of G (since we just learned G & C last week) and it was this: G= I, C = IV, D = V then we had to play this tune in this order: I, IV, I, V, then the next line I, IV, I-IV-I-V the dashes between being switching the chords quicker like a quarter note as opposed to a half note.

It was hard enough just to switch between the chords quickly let alone having to just remember what the IV, V was – especially since we just did something in the key of A. I admit I’m not memorizing the Roman numeral/chord/key correlation quick enough.

Again, does any of this make any sense to you guitar players out there? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

To top it all off – all we’ve been playing in class are these old songs. She even mentioned some old cowboy song last night and I groaned inwardly. In the last class recap email she said to start practice playing these songs in the key of A – Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow and Hello Mary Lou.

What.the.fuck.is.THAT?

There is a list of songs online (229 to be exact) that were made in this last century in the key of A we could be playing instead of some songs that were released in 1927 and 1961.

The second half of the class we’re all supposed to go downstairs and jam out with the old people. There’s always some guy standing up front announcing the songs we’re going to play in some key and he holds up fingers that correlate to the Roman numerals. The last two classes my friend, Yolanda and I have been skipping the jamboree. The last week of class we’re supposed to have a recital and play – get this: Leaving on a Jet plane (1967 – at least we’re getting more recent here).

Honestly, I feel like we should be attempting to play more recent songs and the last 30 minutes that have been devoted to a jam session downstairs should be cut to 15 minutes with an extra 15 added on to our lesson. Last night the teacher, Shelly, said that if we didn’t learn all the 7 and minor chords by the end of the remaining 4 weeks then we probably wouldn’t be ready for Guitar Repertoire next semester and that we’d probably have to take Guitar I over again.

Not me, sister.

I’m not playing Leaving on a jet plane another 8 weeks. I keep looking at online guitar lessons by Fender (and they have all kinds of recent songs to play) and wondering if that’s a better option for next semester. Regardless, Yolanda and I have both said we’re done with Guitar I down there after the semester is over – we’re both flying outta there onna jet plane.

 

 

getting sh*t in order

This post has been sitting on the back burner of my mind for awhile so I decided now was the time to get it out.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life is get your shit in order. Because once you’re gone it could be a free for all. A bickering wasteland of people who you thought were your family and were looking out for you but are not after you’re dead.

Unfortunately, I’ve learned this from experience.

When I was a child and the grandparents I adored were still alive they always said that one day my sister and I would get their farm. It was always known that we’d get that farm. It was a 14 acre homestead surrounded by 115 acres of farmland that backed up to about 5 acres of woods.

Fast forward years later. Our grandmother signed the farm over to our mother thinking she would outlive her and it would naturally succeed to my sister and I. Nope. Mom died of cancer in ’99 years before grandmother who by then had no power whatsoever over the farm being split three ways between my sister and I and our father – who ended up controlling the land and profits for years afterwards. Our father dragged our mother to a lawyer while she was sick and under duress and she willed everything to him and split the farm three ways and wrote in that our father would receive the profits of the farm during his lifetime. They also wrote in that it was to be joint tenants in common with full rights of survivorship meaning that the last person alive has 100% of it.

This farm has been a contention since our mother’s death. Our father – unbeknownst to my sister and I -tore down the old house and buried it on the property. He also had all the trees taken down in the woods to make more farmland. It’s now a wasteland of corn for profit. The only thing left of the farmstead are the barns and corn cribs. My sister and I only found this out when we went to visit it one day. If it were up to us we would have kept the homestead intact.

In ’09 I was laid off from my job and started my landscape company while I looked for another job. It was then I asked our father to share some of the profits of the land with my sister and I and he grudgingly did. Let’s be aware that he has many other acres of farmland that he owns outright that he gets profits from including those of his mother and 2nd wife. So, he’s not hurting for the measly 120 acres of farm share of our grandparent’s farm. Not to mention he was the sole beneficiary of our mother’s life insurance which I’m sure was somewhere in the six figures.

So, the man ain’t hurting.

As you know recently my step mother passed. For some odd reason she always handled all the taxes including our jointly owned farm taxes. Twice a year she would call and tell me what I owed on the taxes and I would write her a check for my amount. She would put it in the bank and send in a check for what was owed for all of the taxes. I’m sure there are several tax stubs for all the parcels of land conglomerated including our 120 acres. In fact, those 120 acres plus the 14 acres of homestead have about 6 or 7 tax stubs because it’s separated into parcels.

My sister started complaining to me about this a few years ago. She tried to take over that portion of paying the taxes but our stepmother fought it. Plus, we had never received copies of the tax stubs to see what it was we owed we always just went by what she told us we owed. It would have been nice to have copies of the tax bills for our records so I called down to the county and asked to be emailed copies. I then sent the copies to my sister for her records. But, our stepmother continued to pay the taxes and we continued to send her checks for our amounts. When she passed I told my sister that it would probably be a good idea if we started paying the taxes ourselves. Our father (supposedly) by then had decided he was out of the profits and taxes on that farm (I honestly have no idea if he still receives a check for profit or not, but I don’t think so). She then told me that she would have to check with Dad to see what he wanted to do.

That burned me the f*ck up. I told her that we should pay them and he should stay out of it. I mean, the man can barely put something in the microwave to eat let alone pay our farm taxes. But, I shut up about it because since our stepmother had recently passed I didn’t want to upset everyone because then it would be all my fault for stirring the pot.

So, I sent Dad my check for the farm taxes after emailing the county yet again to get the stubs to see what the correct amount for my half was and forwarded it to my sister. (And, let it be known she has never thanked me for doing this). I called Dad weeks later to ask him if he got my check and paid the taxes. He said he did but he had a problem with my check.

Me: What’s the problem?

Dad: Well, I took it down to the county and gave it to them but it was made out to me and they wouldn’t take it.

Dad, you’re supposed to put the check in your account and write another check for the whole amount. Joe (our stepmother) always did that.

Oh, I ended up doing that and going back and paying it.

Well, if you would have told me I would have made it out to the county but I’m sure they don’t want 20 checks for every parcel of farmland that the taxes are due on.

Later, when I told my sister this she said, Why didn’t you make it out to the county?

I explained that I was never TOLD to make it out to the county and that I always made it out to either Dad or Joe to put in the bank and so on.

She then said, Well, next year one of us just needs to pay the whole amount so we only have to write the county one check for the whole year.

I have several problems with this.

  1. She just wants me to pay the whole damn thing next year and when I ask her for her half she’ll say it was $$ I owed her. (which, I don’t – she thinks I do but I don’t)
  2. The county taxes need to be paid bi-yearly because that’s what the stubs say. They send those things out twice a year to be paid then. They don’t want a bunch of upfront checks to deal with.
  3. I have that farm money earmarked for things we need. I’m not paying upfront for something I don’t owe yet.

I told my sister that I wasn’t paying all up front and this was what I was afraid of: Dad fucking up all the farm tax shit and why I said that one of us needed to be in charge of doing this. Then, she cut me off.

Well, I don’t have time to talk about this. I have to get ready and go to work now. We can discuss this later.

This is what everyone in my family does when shit gets too hard. I have to go now. Or, I can’t talk about this anymore. Or even, I’m not going to argue with you about this. Placing the blame on me like I was the bad guy in wanting to start an argument over this. I’m only sticking up for myself which always gets misconstrued of my trying to start an argument.

It’s a passive-aggressive move my sister always makes.

I was absolutely furious after that. In fact, I was so mad I sat in my car and cried before I went in to work that day. It all came crashing down on me – my stepmother’s death, my controlling father and sister to deal with and finally the loss of my mother who I cursed for leaving me this shit to deal with because her and grandma couldn’t properly get a good mother-fucking will done before they passed.

I went into work with red eyes and immediately called my lawyer and left a message saying that I needed to revise my will and that my wife also needed one.

Fast forward to me and Charlie at the attorneys office. I’m asked about my mother’s will and the farm and the language on the deed to the farm, etc. I’m shaking my head and saying, I don’t have a copy of either of those no one gave me a copy after my mother died.

The attorney acted like she was in shock over that. I said, I can’t ask my father because he blows a rod every time I ask about something like that. I don’t know if I’m even in his will.

I was told to call down to the county to get a copy of the deed to see what the language on it was – this was for purposes of whether or not it was inheritable. Which, I later found it was not – because of the language I’m sure my father had put in there while my mother was under the duress of cancer.

Just having to call the county – yet again – to get copies of stuff that is my stuff burned me up. Between my father and sister, no one wants me to know anything.  And, next year I’m again emailing the county for the tax stubs and sending my portion directly to them.

So, this is what I’m telling you. If you do one thing and one thing only before you die take care of your shit. Make sure the people you love are taken care of and don’t have to fight off mean family members. Make sure they don’t have something they have to deal with for the rest of their lives because you couldn’t get your shit right before you died. I’m thankful every day that I have a loving wife, step children, in-laws and friends – who gladly stepped in to volunteer to be backup executors and take care of our animals should something happen to us.  If it weren’t for them I’d have no one. Many times we create our own families through marriage and friendships. That’s why we need to protect the families we’ve created from the ones we’re born in to – especially, for same-sex couples.

Monday chex mix

Post-trip

Charlie and I have been trying to recuperate from our trip this past week. She’s been under the weather – probably because of all the climate changes and being on a plane 7+ hours (round trip). It seems like you can never avoid catching the crud when you travel even when you’re loading up on Airborne. It doesn’t help that the weather has gone from frigid to warm here, either. This is a crazy fall we are having these days.

School 

The whole trip on the plane there and back I studied this computer book so I could take an exemption exam to try to get out of a basic computer class before enrolling in the Spring quarter next year. Yesterday, I went to campus and took the test and missed it by 10 points so I went ahead and registered for it and another 100 level class both being prerequisites to my core classes in Cyber-security. I’m eager to begin and get the ball rolling on this thing. I wanted to enroll in the fall quarter but by the time I figured it all out it was too late. There’s this guy I work with – one of the only few on my “team” I can call a friend and he’s in the program right now – almost finished, in fact. His wife also works for the college and kind of gave me the VIP treatment in getting in the door and in the program. I’m very curious if my friend is going to get this really crazy great job doing this when he graduates. I really hope he does because I feel like he gets treated like crap where we work. He’s responsible for a specific job and and has tons of work with little help. I’d love to see him succeed to a promotion. Hell, I’d love to see myself succeed to a promotion.

Work

It is incredibly difficult to get a promotion with the company we work for. You pretty much have to know someone or your boss has to recommend you to someone. Our boss would never do that. He doesn’t want to lose us so he would do anything to keep us even if it means holding us back. My co-worker friend seems to think that’s why he isn’t getting any interviews is because someone has called our boss when they saw his application and the boss has said no he won’t release him to another job. I told my friend to just keep applying that’s all you can do.

My job has it’s ups and downs. The main reason I’m going back to school is that they will pay the tuition and I plan on taking advantage of that as much as possible but if I had a promotion somewhere else in the company I could still go to school – it would be the best of both worlds.

Holidays

I feel like Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Next thing you know it will be Christmas and then a New Year. We are planning on going to Florida for TG but Christmas we’re planning on staying here. We always stay in town for Christmas. The year has just flown by.  It all kind of reminds me of this song:

 

 

ghosting the past

I know I have been writing a lot about pod casts lately but some of the topics make me really think about things I want to write about. Usually, I listen to these when I’m going for a walk. In fact, they kind of spur me to walk more because I look forward to listening to them. I cannot seem to listen to them while I’m at work because I can’t concentrate on my work and listen to what they are saying – sometimes even when I’m walking when I’m listening to something that makes me think I take off with my own thoughts and have to rewind the podcast to hear what they said because I drift off.

One of the topics that has stuck with me is ghosting. We all have been ghosted at one time or another and probably have ghosted someone else. I know I have probably written about this previously but I was ghosted by two of my good friends who I share a tattoo with and the other two friends with the tattoo I have ghosted (there are five of us altogether who share this tattoo). Sometimes I wonder if this tattoo was a curse to us. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone all-in to be marked for life with the same tattoo.  Other times I think that it’s just a way of life -having friendships come and go like the ebb and flow of the ocean. I’ve come to grips with it and am completely ok with it.

I believe that friendships fit into three categories.

  1. The besties you see or speak to every week or sometimes even more than once a week: These are a rarity for Charlie and I. We only have a few who we see every week and it’s kind of works out the way it does because if we had more then we wouldn’t have any time to ourselves.
  2. The once a month kind of friendships – the ones you may say, Hey haven’t seen you in a week, month, a few months since that ho left you – you meet for a drink or dinner.
  3. The ones you maintain a distance relationship with who you only really converse with on social media. Maybe you’ll travel every once in a blue moon to see but you remain distant friends.

And, everyone outside of that is really not a friend. They’re just someone you run in to at a bar or concert or restaurant and you exchange pleasantries of “We really do need to get together soon.” When both parties are thinking, Yeah no.

I believe someone can only have so many close friends in this life or else it gets crowded. I also believe people outgrow friendships, they move on or the time to spend with them takes a lower priority than the ones who currently are your besties or they piss you off.

I’ve lived on the same street since ’97 and have been friends with another lesbian couple three houses down. They have only been here a year longer than myself. They have both been through some health problems over the years but they are both doing well now. I used to take them lasagna’s when one of them was ill and there were times I got the mail for them. Charlie and I were always asking them down for a beer, over to dinner and even to the parties we’ve thrown – to no avail. They never hardly ever took us up on it – to a point where I was starting to think that there was something they didn’t like about us or our house or something. They always said no. It was a while back that I needed a ride to the train station – which, is less than 3 miles from both of our houses. I asked one of them if they could give me a ride to the station – this was the one who has her own business and is not tied to an 8-5 schedule. Before I could even tell her what time  or day I needed to go she said, Oh I don’t think so. I know I’ll be busy.

I was hurt by that and thought after all the lasagnas I’ve made for them when they weren’t feeling well and taking them all my Good Housekeeping magazines she won’t even give me a ride to the train? I mean, I think I almost cried.

Flash forward, they are one of our landscape clients and Charlie always gets roped into doing extra things for them like getting their mail when they go out of town and making sure if any packages that are left she gets them so no one will steal them. I told her that she shouldn’t do anything extra for them that I was done after that train station incident. She said that she was going to test them and ask if they could get our mail while we’re out of town next week just to see what she says since just recently she not only hauled their mail down to our house but also all their Amazon boxes as well. (Strangely, when Charlie said it would be easier if she had a key to their house and leave all that stuff there the woman acted all weird about it and changed the subject)

Don’t count on her saying yes, I said.

I just want to see what she says.

I guess the moral to this story is to just do stuff for people and not expect anything in return. Maybe I just need to get my head in that space and not expect anything of people. Even so – she’s pretty much off my #2 list.

Then, there’s the ones who are taking a different path – away from the friendship. Whether it’s a life changing thing, a new relationship, or a lifestyle change the ghosting may be mutual. Sometimes we’re just all in different places. I had heard that one of the “Toads” I share a tattoo with had hers removed. I find this ironic because she was one of the ones who always tried to get us all back together. I look down at mine in the traditional Chinese style on my ankle and think, this was just a phase of my life. Part of my past. I will not erase it. You can’t change history but only the future.