take the girl out of the country…….

So, I started my new job this week. On the first day I had two huge curved flat-screened monitors sitting on my desk along with a laptop and docking station. Next, came an Ipad, Iphone and a projector. For when I had to do presentations, my boss said. I got everything set up but it was not until today that my company email and new desk phone number got set up. I already have three projects that I’m working on and everyone in the office (so far) seems really nice.

The lady in the cubicle across from me seems cool and we’ve chatted a bit. I’m conscious of not chatting a bunch and enjoying the silence of the office. What a contrast to my former place where my coworker screamed on the phone all day long. Most of the people I’ve met are relatively new to the team. It’s 5 minutes from the house and it just feels really great to be somewhere else.

I had a week off prior to starting and Charlie and I went to the mountains and rented a cabin. We hadn’t stayed in this particular area previously so it was nice exploring the town of Blue Ridge which has A LOT more going for it than most of the towns in the sticks north Georgia. I think it’s because of that Blue Ridge Mountain Railway that takes people along the Toccoa River to the different stopping points so they can get off and shop, eat, drink and get back on. In our exploration we stopped off at Fightingtown Tavern for a drink out on their shaded deck with the dogs. We also checked out Grumpy Old Men Brewing – which, despite the staff being really nice and it being a great hangout, I thought, had an unfortunate name. Plus, it seemed that ALL of their beers were over 5% and very hoppy. When we were downtown Blue Ridge I wanted to check out this fly fishing store – Cohutta Fishing Company – and ended up booking a trip with a guide the next day. It turned out to be a great trip as my guide upgraded me for the same price to floating down the river in his boat instead of trying to wade the Toccoa River in 30 degree weather. I had to meet him at dark thirty in a town about 30 minutes away from our cabin– McCaysville, GA – right on the Tennessee line. The first hour I caught 1 brook trout and 3 rainbows. By 11:00 am the river was already starting to rise from the dam release earlier that morning and by the time we took the boat out it was about 5 feet higher than when we started. It was a great experience and well worth it.

Despite the good time and mountain air, Charlie and I were ready to get back to the city with a few days of vacation still left. Once back as we navigated the stairs to the roof of busy New Realm Brewery I said, You can’t get this in the country, baby.

Yeah, you can take this girl out of the country and even the country out of this girl v as far as I’m concerned.

 

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stress chex mix

So, I got my offer. I was very happy about it – especially since I’ll be making a lot more than what I make now. This was an offer for a permanent role that I interviewed for the first of February and not that shitty 1-year 1099 contract I interviewed for at we-just-want-to-build-roads…. last Friday. Though that interview went better than the one with Al.

Afterwards, Charlie and I met my former co-worker, Anthony, out for a beer. He knew I was interviewing down there and we had planned to meet up afterwards. I told him that it would be my last choice if I didn’t get the one job I’d been holding out for an offer. So, yesterday I was heading to school and he texted me to tell me his boss, Kim, came by that day and told him the IT manager came by asked her about me. He played dumb – no one in that place knows we still keep up because if they did they wouldn’t tell him anything. I asked him what she said and he said that she told the manager that I was good but that she didn’t know how long I’d stay.

I’m shook my head thinking, Someone offer that bitch 20k more she’d hop, too.

Anthony said not to sweat it because I’d already gotten the other offer. I wasn’t. I’m not wasting one minute sweating it. Plus, if she even knew it was just a shitty one-year contract then she’d know I wouldn’t be around after that unless they renewed it. Whatever. People are so stupid. They just have to run their mouths off about shit that they know nothing about. But, I expected more from her, I really did. But, hey, now I know never to use her as a reference.

So, this morning I had to go in for my drug test and physical which turned out to be completely traumatizing. As if I don’t have enough stress in my life right now. I not only had to pee in a cup but also had to undergo a Breathalyzer and do a physical. I was taken to this room and the first thing they did was slap a cuff on me. I normally get nervous in the doctors office so I was probably a lot more nervous there because of the evasiveness of the testing. The girl who took my BP, I could tell was family and reminded me a lot of Benjii. I told her she reminded me of my friend who is a PT at this hospital in town. After taking my blood pressure, she said it was a little high and took my temperature then went out of the room and I could hear her telling the doctor that it was a little high. She came back in and got me and we did an eye test – which, I’d just had a few days back. She checked my hearing, my peripheral vision and then said the doctor would be in. The doctor came in and told me that my blood pressure needed to come down or else I wasn’t going to pass the physical. That I just needed to relax and lay back. I mean, like that was going to make me relax. I thought I was going to throw a clot right then. I mean, I need this job, I need to pass this. WTH?!

So, I laid back and was trying to breathe and relax when the tech came back in and took it again and said it was going down but that we’d check it again after I took my drug test. Like doing a breathalyzer and peeing in a cup with someone right outside the door is going to lower my BP but OK. So, I turned on some music and the guy came and got me and we stood in this little room while he got the breathalyzer machine ready. I was still playing my music because they said to calm down and that’s what I was trying to do. I had to sign yet another sheaf of forms and he got the machine ready. I asked him if it was like the ones the cops use in the cars and he said it was. I blew into the tube when he said – a 0.00 -and thank Goddess I didn’t rinse with Listerine this morning, I mean seriously. Forget the coke, pot and alcohol if your BP is too high and you have good hygiene you could fail. Then, after pasting several stickers on the form that said, “NON- TAMPERED” and peeling off a copy for me he made me empty all my pockets and put everything into this lock box and then stood over me while I washed my hands and then he grabbed a cup and drew a line on it and said to fill to that and gave it to me. As I was walking into the bathroom, I wondered, what if I can’t fill it to that line, do I flunk that, too?

I came out with my pee in hand and gave it to him (and, washed my hands again) he took out this wide panel tester and dropped it in. Obviously, it was ok because he threw it away and wrote on some more forms and then took me back into the room so I could lay down and relax some more. The tech came in and brought in a different cuff and had a stethoscope this time. She pumped it up and looked at it while I tried not to hold my breath and she said, Its fine now, you passed! I just about passed out then with relief and probably would have peed down one leg if I hadn’t just did that in a cup. I asked her what her name was and she said, Ansley and that she had just moved here from Denver. This is the third person I’ve ran in to recently who’s moved here from Denver. What’s going on with Denver that everyone’s moving?

You’re probably still making friends, huh?

She nodded, Yeah, I just got here.

Do you live nearby?

Yeah, I live right up the road.

Ok, we’ll here’s my number and hit me up. My wife and I live close by and we have a she-shed we hang out and play darts.  

She said, I knew you were family! Sweet! I’ll definitely hit you up.

We walked out of that room that I never thought I’d get out of and she said she was releasing me and good luck on the new job. I was never so glad to get out of there, believe me! I got in the car and felt like crying with relief. I mean, WTH! Maybe I shouldn’t have drank that cup of coffee this morning and maybe I should have taken some of Charlie’s water pills a week prior but who would have known? I’m sure it was the allergy medicine that I lied about not taking on the form. But, I didn’t take anything this morning. Nothing!

Whatever, let’s just hope I’m out of the woods with stressful things happening. I have a week off between my end and start date so I’m hoping to do a little staycation along with retaking my Network + exam which, I’m going to NAIL this time.

Is it Friday yet?!

 

 

 

 

trying to stay positive

Its hump day and I’m making a great effort to be positive and not have a crappy week. It’s an effort, believe me. I’m trying to send out positive vibes to the universe to bring in good things.

But, last night we just had to vent. Stiletto came over for soup and we talked and vented about stuff I wrote about in the last post. This was the first time we had hung out since then. Basically, it was just about ex-friends/gf’s being douche bags.

Charlie and I said that was fine we don’t have any friends, anyway.

Well, you have me, Lisa and Emil.  

That’s true.

And, you really think the others are friends? The one who shows up every six months with a bottle of wine? Hell, I’ll buy you a bottle of wine.

We have wine [pointing to the rack on the wall] but we get your drift.

And, Shutter & Rooster? They’re moving away, anyway.

Again, that is true. I’m glad you put that into perspective.

But, we do have friends – neighbors, clients, people we met through work. We’re just not going to sweat the others. I’m just not going to sweat anything. I have to believe it will all work out. I have to have faith. It would just be easier if it just wasn’t rainy and cold all week. I guess it could be a lot worse, though. There could be ice. The magnolia’s are already in bloom and Spring is right around the corner.

 

 

walking papers

Sometimes change has to happen in order for good things to come back. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.

So, yesterday – D-day – I got my walking papers. Out of everyone on the team it had to be me. I’m not even going to rant about some of the losers they passed over to get rid of me. I’m trying to take this as graceful as possible. I’m trying to look at this as something that had to happen. At least I get a 60 day notice and get to stay on the health insurance along with a severance. There’s worse things, I suppose.

I came home early and made myself a drink. I had several drinks. Fuck the diet. Fuck everything. Heather up the street came up and had a drink with us. She was worried and called me yesterday and then came up. That was very sweet of her. Charlie was over at Stilettos tarping her roof so I heard from her all day yesterday as well. Its’ nice knowing you have people you can count on in the rough times. I did text Emil yesterday and told her – she said it fucking sucked. I can always count on her not to mince words. Even Benjii texted Charlie to see if she was ok.

So, I’ll just sit here and look for a job that I can’t start until April. Which, seems like a long time to be honest. Normally, when I job hunt I say I can be available in two weeks after an offer but now it’s like, two months. Unless I’m getting a federal job (which, after the shutdown doesn’t seem appealing) with secret clearance that seems like a long time. Maybe it will be more realistic towards the end of February.

What does suck is that I have to sit there in that office and put my best foot forward until the end of March. I have to work with these people who look at me with relief that it wasn’t them who lost their job. But, whatever. Honestly, I never liked the job anyway. I was always the redheaded step child on the team. Aside from a few people I worked with who were decent the rest were either assholes or people I couldn’t relate to. I never trusted anyone on the team. No one really had my back it was kind of a sink or swim situation. Believe me, it’s nothing like all this shit they tote about on TV. About it being the greatest company to work for. These must be people working for the company on Mars or something. I do plan on having a nice little bonfire in the backyard with the new uniforms I just received a few weeks back. But, alas the smoke fumes from them will probably give us cancer so maybe not. Maybe I’ll just leave them in my office for someone else. According to my coworker who is taking over my wirecenter he said pretty soon they will all be gone. I guess that should give me comfort that I’m getting out while the getting is good. At least I’ll have a head start before they start laying off in the masses because it will happen. 20 billion in the hole is not going to go away. Thanks for nothing Mr. CEO.

friends won’t be around

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

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

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

I mean, wouldn’t that piss you off?

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

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

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

 

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,

school/work chex

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

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

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

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

6-6:30 pm – makeup exam 1

6:30-7 pm – makeup exam 2

7-7:30 pm – makeup labs

7:30-8 pm – chapter 14

8-8:40 pm – final exam review

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

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

turkey time chex mix

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

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

So, the things I’m thankful for:

Charlie and the boys and daughter-in-law

My health

Friends

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

the past is the past chex mix

Sometimes I feel like I am too gullible in my old age. I always seem to think the best of people until I’m smacked in the face with reality. Those who know me may think otherwise as I can be a bit sarcastic. Even so, I’ve recently been going over in my mind of what happened with my friend who committed suicide last year.

Last year was such a fucker. I lost my step mother and my friend committed suicide. As I’m sure a lot of people that have had someone they know commit suicide they are left wondering what the hell happened. I think back to all the times I hung out with this friend of mine – it was quite a bit back in the early 2000’s. I wonder what it was that went wrong. She was a pharmacy rep so I always wondered if that gave her access to drugs. One of the last conversations we’d had she said she was diagnosed with narcolepsy. I really have no inkling at to what that involves to this day. I wondered if it was just a cover up to a real addiction such as oxy. These are questions that I will never know the answer to so I tell myself it doesn’t matter. Stop wasting time thinking about it because you will never know.

Then, fast forward. The other day I was working on a lab for my security class. It wanted you to do a series of web searches on yourself to see if you existed on the web. Not wanting to type in my own name I typed in an ex of mine and, voila, a mug shot came up.  I was shocked. Here all these years I’d assumed she would be some English or Political Science professor all in tweed at a progressive university somewhere with a pencil stuck in her bun.

Man, was I wrong. I copied/pasted the link and sent it to a friend of mine who we went to school with saying WTF?? I haven’t heard back from her yet – she’s in Cali maybe dealing with fires and probably this is the last thing she’d be concerned with is checking her FB messages. All the same, how could I be so stupid? That time at college we were dating she was a huge cokehead and lying was practically a minor. She eventually started seeing another ex of mine and last I heard they moved out to California together. At the time, I had just accepted an internship in Atlanta and thankfully they were gone by the time I got back to graduate. I don’t know why I should be surprised.

Speaking of the loserville past, the independent film/documentary, Monrovia Indiana, has finally hit the theaters. This happens to be the town where I grew up.

I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats to see it. I have not. A friend of mine from high school Facebook messaged me that she saw it the other day and wondered if I had.  I told her I had not. Not saying, Why would I want to be reminded of the backwoods ignorance of where I came from? I did say that I thought I’d be going to see Bohemian Rhapsody first. Like my Grandma used to say if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all. Or don’t text back.