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.

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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,

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!

 

 

 

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?