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!

 

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rainy day chex mix

It’s a disgustingly rainy day here in Atlanta. Not just a light drizzle that you would expect from Atlanta winters but a FULL ON downpour with thunder chiming in from time to time saying, “SO THERE” and “TAKE THAT!” 

Yesterday, when I was inside all day and had class that night it was beautiful, of course. 63 degrees and sunny. -SIGH- It was the first really nice day we’d had since last Saturday and it was cold even then.

We had a great Super Bowl and the turn out was what most of us wanted. Link was still there in her NE scarf but she held back on the jersey this year – maybe because she had a premonition that they would lose? We had a ton of food and a medium crowd – around 15-16 people. Remember the couple that messed up our spare room three Super Bowl’s ago? They came – this was the first they have been back since that night. And, miraculously they’re married now. (and, no, they didn’t stay this time)

So, I have a new guitar to take to class with me [to play leaving on a jet plane]. Well, it’s new to me. LB is letting me borrow it while I’m taking classes because she just got a new guitar. This one is a little damaged – it has a crack in the side but it still plays well and the crack doesn’t go all the way through (don’t ask me how that happened). She said I could have it since she didn’t need two but I just asked to borrow it. Anyway, it’s a big improvement over that Ibanez I’d been playing that Lee left at my house after we broke up. (I think I’m even going to gift that thing to someone in our neighborhood who wants it)

This Friday we’re going to go see our friend Hannah play for her birthday bash at Eddie’s. Last year when she had it Charlie was sick and couldn’t go so Benji went instead. Hannah always has a full band of rocking women behind her on her birthday bash so we’re looking forward to it.

I broke down and got a flu shot today. There’s only two other people in the office I work and one of them has the flu. So, hopefully I will dodge the bullet. Well, that’s all I got right now – I just wanted to pop in and say hi. Have a great rest of the week and stay dry if you’re in the ATL.

 

Cheers!

 

 

new year chex mix

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!  Charlie and I had a low-key one with us putting a turkey in the smoker and heading out to our traditional mid-day cocktail at our favorite gay bar. (Leave it to the gay bars to be open on Christmas day because everyone knows us queers need a place to go and be Mary).

We weathered Christmas Eve at Martha and Dino’s for dinner – if you can believe it. This is the first we’ve really hung out with them since the whole nudity incident. Everyone – including Mike seemed to behave themselves. Charlie and I managed to get out of there before Mike (who had split a THC gummy bear with her housemate) and Dino got too wasted. Maybe that’s the key although if she ever lays a hand on Charlie again I’m going to break it for her.

Friday we went over to friends of ours for another Christmas party – this is a friend that I worked with at two previous companies many years ago – one being for a grouchy landscape architect who smoked in the office, laid me off right before Christmas one year and had a problem with my being gay. I told her that for several years after that I always had the raunchiest man on man magazines sent to his office. (I bet he looked at them, too). She cracked up. The other company we worked we had a gay boss that was turning 40 one year and we went to party city and rented a helium tank and filled his office full of balloons and sucked helium and left corny messages on his voice mail.

This week the kids are coming to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us. Friday we’re planning on roasting a pork butt and having the neighbors down the street up. Saturday we’re doing a crab and shrimp boil and NYE we’re going to hear live music in East Atlanta.

After this weekend I’m ready for 2018. I have no complaints of 2017 whatsoever. It was a pretty good year for us except for my step mother passing away. I’ve missed her dearly this holiday – more than I thought I would. My father continues to be an impossible @sshole. My sister continues to take him food every week which he doesn’t eat. He’s regressed into an 8 year-old child who eats cookies and crackers all the time. I ask my sister why she bothers but have realized that the two of them deserve each other – he’s an abuser and she’s an enabler.

Classes start up the second week in January for cyber security and I’m also taking guitar lessons at this church next to my office (I could literally throw a stone and hit the side of it from the front of my office). So, 2018 is going to be very busy which isn’t a bad thing.

Happy New Year if I don’t talk to y’all and, what’s going on in 2018 for you?

friday chex mix

a better luncheon 

Yesterday, one of my co-workers Big-D and I are forgoing the Christmas luncheon with the consulting company and going out for lunch on our own. Charlie’s came over to the office to meet me and we met Big-D at the restaurant.

I got a message from the Indian Defector wondering if I was going and I said, No- I’m not friends with them like some. 

This was a dig on Snarky @sshole and the head of the KKK who sit around and complain about them at meetings but yet won’t pass up an opportunity for free food.

So, Big-D, Charlie and myself went out to Houston’s near Buckhead for a fabulous lunch. We happened to sit in the same both that Big-D and his wife got engaged. In fact, he was on the phone with her when we arrived telling her just that. His wife is the head of admissions at the college that I’m enrolled for cyber security. She helped me through the enrollment process – in fact, it went really smooth because of her.

NYE 

After lunch we went back to the office to do a little work before calling it quits. I was already in a festive mood and decided to forgo the gym and go home and hang with Charlie on the porch. She made me a killer margarita and we sat out until we couldn’t stand the cold anymore and went in. During our time on the porch the youngest and his girlfriend called to say they got their cards and that they’re  coming up for New Years Eve. So, we have both sets of kids coming so it should be a party. They’re all going to The Earl with us to see that show.

bro

We had Charlie’s bro here last weekend and it was a party every night. We took him to all kinds of places – Ponce City Market to Biltong Bar for drinks and he bought a ton of bitters from 18.21 bitters.

In Decatur we hit Leons for drinks and played ping pong at The Victory bar and got drinks from their Tiki bar in the back. (I won’t mention the sushi place we went to because it was a huge disappointment). By the time he left we were whipped and needed some recuperation.

this weekend

Tonight, we’re probably going out to dinner with our neighbors to celebrate a birthday and this weekend more of recuperation. At some point we’re hoping to take the dogs to the park and hit Blakes for a queer Christmas drink on the patio if it’s warm enough.

Hope y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

friday chex mix

Thanksgiving wrap

We managed to make it safely to and from Florida to see Charlie’s side of the family this past TG. Wednesday before we spent with the youngest and his girlfriend. We had dinner at yet another fabulous Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, FL – Boco Fiesta before heading to south Florida to spend the next few days with her folks. Saturday we went to middle Florida to spend with the oldest son and wife. We went out on their boat (highlight of the trip in my opinion) and hung out around a bonfire that night after grilling steaks. We took Sadie with us on this trip and she did remarkably well traveling as always. I don’t know why this is so surprising -the dog travels well. This is her on the boat. Only the second time she’d been on a boat but after a while she wanted to drive, as you can see.

Charlie’s  birthday week

We went out to celebrate Charlie’s birthday to yet another wonderful Mexican place Mezcalito’s with Link and Stiletto. Probably had way too many margaritas but it was her birthday.  This is the first we’ve seen L&S since the holiday so it was good to catch up and we were happy they could come out and celebrate with us.

The rest of the week has kind of been a blur. We’re having all our neighbor friends over tonight for Indian food and this weekend I’m sure we’ll hit the GA/Auburn game somewhere and Sunday we’re going up to friends in Gainesville, GA for a housewarming party. December is here already and I’m sure next thing we know it will be –

New Years Eve

We decided to do something different this year and bought tickets to see a show at The Earl in east Atlanta (and, thanks for the great post on Mattiel, Carrie). We’re going to take a Lyft down there, eat dinner and check out the show. If we feel like it later we may stop by Mary’s to dance and avoid the woman-hater bartender.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Cheers!

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:

 

 

Friday chex mix – the power of No, NFL & Senate Bill 85

So, as you know I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. The one that’s been a favorite as of late is Dear Sugars.

Some of the topics they have covered really resonate with me. Like, The Power of No. Even Oprah Winfrey came on and threw her 2cents in about it. (I’m not a huge Oprah fan but I appreciated what she had to say on the topic).

I thought about instances in my life I coulda-shoulda said No. Like all those times I let my sister bully me into going home to Indiana only to run around and do whatever it was she wanted to do or help her do stuff around her house. Even the time it was supposed to be my birthday party and I was the one helping with the food and getting everyone’s drinks. This last time I went home I skipped even telling her I was going because I wanted to be on my own.

The next party invite I’m saying No to some. I will not be bullied or talked in to inviting people that I don’t enjoy. (I think you know who I’m talking about).  And, tonight – we were supposed to go down to Joe’s for Trivia and a. we really don’t have the $$ to spend on drinks and food right now and b. it’s raining outside and it won’t be any fun not being able to sit on the patio and c. I have a really intense interview the next morning – while I’ve prepared as much for it as I can I really need to get some good sleep and not be hung over in the a.m.

So, it’s decided – NO. Ah, the power of No. If only I could have been doing this sooner.

Next day…..

The interview went as well as a behavioral one can go. I felt as prepared as I could possibly be and the hour went fast. Now I wait to see if I will get a call from the company recruiter for a meet and greet. If I get no call that means I didn’t score the way they wanted their next candidate to score on the interview and it’s probably not meant to be anyway. But, I feel like I did well.

So, is it me or does it seem like preseason football isn’t really worth watching? The teams you expect to win are 0-30 and the ones you expect to get creamed are the opposite. Let’s get on with it, shall we? I don’t plan on watching anymore football until Sept. 7th (Go KC).

Today marks the first day in Atlanta that craft breweries can sell their products – at least Nathan Deal did something I approve of -by signing Senate Bill 85 the breweries now become bars. That’s great because if I had to look at another beer yeast vat in order to sip my 2 oz beer tasting I was going to scream. If you’ve seen one beer vat you’ve seen them all. Tonight, we’re heading out to Wild Heaven Brewery which is in our part of the ‘hood. (If only we had a golf cart to ride on down there in).

Other than that we have no planz for the holiday weekend so with that I will y’all a happy one and cheers!

 

Friday chex mix – podcasts & chillin’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope y’all have a great weekend, cheers!

friday chex mix – and, another prayer

Friends and Working Out 

Last week, Charlie went to Florida to see the kids and I stayed home and maintained home life with the dogs. Unfortunately, while she was gone we did not have a working dryer. Since I was watching Link’s cats I hauled washed clothes over there to put in her dryer. Saturday, I went to Incubus with Emil and this new girl -I don’t know new girl enough to give her a name. Maybe Nicole – that sounds like a straight girl name, doesn’t it? So, the plan was Emil picking me up and almost killing us in a car accident on the way to pick up Maybe-Nicole to go have dinner prior to the show. I was initially a little skeptical of the evening because originally when we met Maybe-Nicole she didn’t make the best impression on me nor Charlie. I had already told Emil that if I felt like a 3rd wheel then I was outta there. Maybe-Nicole just broke up with her live-in boyfriend and was dipping her toe into the lake of lesbianism with Emil.

[I don’t know about you but is there a gong going on in your head saying DANGER, DANGER, DANGER?]

But, the evening went well – we- um – had some special brownies that kind of enhanced the show. Along with some whiskey that I had snuck in in a special compartment in my bag with pads and tampons thrown on top. All weekend I practiced guitar to no avail. Despite my fingers developing some great calluses on the tips I still suck at guitar. I really do. I will leave the performing to the pros. Emil was supposed to rehearse with me all weekend but she got caught up in this Maybe-Nicole girl. At one point during that evening we were talking about work and Maybe-Nicole trying to make a better impression and be nice asked me what I did. I explained pointing to the wires above that provide service to everything that was around us (so that should tell you I work in utilities and engineering) and Emil said, I don’t think I ever knew that about you. Here’s what I wanted to say, Because every damn time we’re together all you’re talking about is your ex is why. 

I did not say that, of course. But honestly some of our friends they’re either falling off the map because they met a girl or all they have to talk about is said girl. It’s gets so one-dimensional and boring after awhile. Seriously, can we contribute anything to the conversation aside from who you’re screwing, thinking about screwing or wanting to screw right now?? I’m tired of it. It makes me want to start another Meetup group – one of serious conversation or one that people get out and actually DO something other than talk about Tinder. It’s one of the things I really appreciate about some of our friends who do provide thought-provoking conversations that are not always about themselves. I need more of that to feed my brain.

I’ve been going to Orangetheory every night this week to make up for my eating and drinking debauchery of last week. I love it and the more I go the more I want to go. For some reason the subject of our friends and how no one in our group really works out came up last night. Charlie, being the lucky one in landscaping all day doesn’t have to pay for an elevated heart rate and lifts weedeaters and saws in place of dumbbells said, Sure we have friends who work out.

Who? Who do we know other than Todd and Christie who live in Dahlonega and cycle and run all the time do we know?

Neither of us could name anyone. It’s part of the social aspect of why I like group fitness is the outlet to talk to other people who are trying to get fit like myself. (Believe me, I’ve asked some of our friends to come with me to the gym and they look at me as if I’m asking them to join a cult or something. They sort of back away shaking their heads, trying not to trip and fall backwards.) It used to be competition when I was in bootcamp but not so much where I go now. Although, every time we have a rowing competition in the gym this one burly guy always wins it. But, then I think – maybe this is the only thing he wins ever – so then he deserves it. I think most of these people, myself included, could be across the street at the pizza place drinking beer and eating a pie with pesto crust and instead they’re in here sweating their bums off. Working hard. Yes, I’m bitter about the pesto crust as I row and look across the street at the pizza place. There should be a law against putting a Mellow Mushroom across the street from an Orangetheory – it should be a zoning law. Like not being aable to put Industrial next to Residential.

Parties

Charlie and I are getting ready for our music party the Friday after next and going to see our friends in Asheville. We’re still planning food and drink but think we have a handle on it. I know next week is going to be hectic preparing. There’s little things that tick me off about inviting people to parties – like, not RSVP-ing. EVER. Or, when you ask them to they put a comment like, Oh sorry I forgot about this and I made other plans. 

I know it’s a fact of every party thrown that there are always going to be people who never respond without some major arm twisting. Then, there are those who say, We don’t know yet? These are the people who still haven’t made up their mind if they’re going to go to work or not tomorrow. Everything is “We’ll see.” 

Ok, we’ll see if we invite you to the next party, how about that?

This weekend is anything goes – we don’t (at least I don’t think we do) have any plans to speak of but maybe it will be getting ready for the following weekend. Even without the “We’ll see’s” or “Maybe’s” we still have about 20 people confirmed.

Prayers 

In all the mix Link has to have a surgery tomorrow so please send positive thoughts and prayers or even energy today for our dear friend.

 

pray for a calm of lake water friday chex mix

Charlie and I are getting ready to be full swing into the summer and all the activities that entails. For once, we’re not having a 4th party as it falls right in the middle of the friggin’ week and we’re invited over to our [new client] friends house for a celebration that day. It’s kind of a relief, to be honest. After the 4th Charlie’s heading out of town for a long weekend with the boys and I’m going to use the time to eat pizza practice my guitar(s).

Notice that was plural? I picked up a starter Fender and amp for a little over $100 from a guy on craigslist who never played it. Even though Emil said it was a “Mexican Fender” (I saw no Spanish notations on it so I wondered what she meant by that) I thought it would make a great little practice guitar and something we could keep around for music parties. I need to be able to sound something more than @ss by the time of our music party the 21st.

The 21st. Hence the title of this post. The music party needs to be a success but relatively calm. No nudity, no heated political talks, no arguments. None of that – I’m not going to tolerate it. We have two couples coming that are our business clients so we cannot make a bad impression. (If I still sound like @ss by then I’m not playing) This kicks off hopefully a series of music parties we’ll have in the future if it’s not a bust. We have Val in town for the party, Emil is going to play and hopefully a few others. I have a lot of work to do before now and then.

Speaking of concerts – Emil got us table seats for Emily Saliers who is playing at Edie’s August 10th. This will be an awesome show as it’s a very small venue and I’m sure it will be sold out. (Indigo girl fans eat your hearts out) I remember the first time I met her I had just moved to Atlanta and was working at this bar and a bunch of us from the bar went out one night. We were at this place in Decatur and after getting beers,  I sat down at a table with my friends I was there with and someone introduced me to this woman named Emily. I said Hi, nice to meet you and didn’t think anything of it until she later said, Hey, I have to perform now and got up from the table, grabbed a guitar and headed for this little makeshift stage across the bar. I said to my friend, Is she THE Emily from the Indigo girls? My friend said, Yep, and I about fell out of my chair. I ran into Emily a few more times later (at a running race as we were running, and I carded her once at the bar I worked) but this was the most memorial story.  I’ve seen the band play several times – including twice at an outdoor venue that rained both times but, I’ve never seen her on her own.

That’s about all I got right now. Happy Friday and the 4th and be safe!