Baby, it’s [raining] cold outside

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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my day as it compared to “Ironic”

You ever had one of those days where you could have just stayed in bed. Maybe in hindsight you should have decided to take a mental health day?

Yesterday was one of those. Freaking Mondays, I swear. I felt kind of like this guy. Despite sleeping the best that I’ve slept for a while the previous night and coming in to work on the later side of what I normally do I could tell it was going to be one of those days right after I got in.

I have this one guy I share an office with and when he’s in a bad mood it’s time to put the headphones on and zone out. I was doing just that and thinking, If I were to get that one job that I interviewed for and that I should be hearing back any day from then maybe all my coworkers would be HAPPY and we’d all be working as A TEAM and saying things like, Hey, let’s head on over and discuss this work solution over a game of pool after we clear out the yoga mats from the class that just ended.

See what I mean?

Instead, I happen to look at my phone and see that I had a missed phone call. From California. And, oh a message of – thanks for coming in but we’re moving forward with other candidates at this time.

Fuck.

I was sitting there thinking, Well, you did just buy this expensive laptop to do school work on and made an investment to stay in school which your current job pays for and if you were to get this then you may have had to drop some classes, drop out or be so crazy busy you’d be stressed out.

It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay. It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.

You know – making analogies. But, it still fucking sucked. I spent almost 6 hours talking to these people. Geez. I should at least get a t-shirt. The I showed up for an onsite interview with [large tech company] and all I got was this t-shirt. But, I brushed it off and went on despite my workmate yelling into the phone in the background and being slightly pissed off.

It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife……

So, I had my Linux class that night. Which, I gotta tell you has not started out well. The curriculum required an expensive book and lab access then once purchased no one seemed to be able to sync it with the school’s grading system nor can some even get into it. The professor knows DICK about what to do about it. He’s this guy who only wants to teach command line in a virtual environment. Fine, teach that but don’t require us to spend $150 on expensive online lab access if we’ll never be able to be graded on it. I went in last night hoping that the kinks would be worked out and it was the same as the previous weeks. I was actually trying to help the guy behind me and then he asked that wacka-doodle woman next to him if she got the same thing and she said her labs had been graded already (which that was my email to the prof as to why mine were still processing) and when the guy asked her how she did it she snapped, I’m not up for helping anyone right now. I was thinking, Wow then you should have not said anything to begin with. I mean, no need to be rude, bitch. I think the guy even got up and left. I have no idea. So the prof lectured for an hour – ½ without a break. I got up and went to the restroom and came back just as he was saying he would end lecture then and we can work on the lab. I did the lab – which was different that the one I had already done – I figure I will eventually get graded on some things that I’ve done – and left.

It’s a free ride, when you’ve already paid…….

So, when I got home Charlie had gotten the mail and finally the card that my sister sent for my birthday with money in it got here (I might say, almost a month late) and guess what? Someone had already torn open the envelope and stole the cash out of it.

And, isn’t it ironic, don’t you think.

A little too ironic, and yeah I really do think.

just another chex mix friday

(this is what Georgia feels like right now)

Last Thursday, I had a day-long interview –can’t really disclose anything about it but let’s just say I felt it went well and I was ready for a drink afterwards to, if anything, celebrate making it through. I probably won’t hear anything for a couple of weeks if I do.

I’m at a juncture right now with what I want to do. If I were to get this job it would mean growing in the profession I’m currently in and I would probably have to put school on hold or reduce my load to one class because I’d have to jump in with both feet. It would be a great opportunity for sure.

If I don’t get the job then I’m going to just continue to tread water where I am and go to school. So, really no skin off my nose either way – that is, unless we go through a lay-off in September like people are saying could happen -they like to call it “surplus”.

School started Monday night – YAWN – I was so tired. My first class of the semester – Linux. When I walked into the building I recognized a classmate I had in networking last semester – Nancy – she was down the hall in a security class I’ve already taken. She has this Linux class, too, but on another night. We talked about how we were clueless about the textbook and lab access for the class, etc. When I walked into the room there was another classmate from my first semester in Hardware and Maintenance. She’s a bit of a wack-a-doodle but very helpful in figuring out how to access the labs. Between her and another guy they figured it out and by the end of the class we were in. But, it was 8:00 by then and the prof let us go. The labs alone are going to take a while to do we were told. Here we go again. I’m sure I’m going to have labs coming out of my @ss this semester as I have two more classes back to back on Saturdays.

What have I gotten myself in to, is what I keep thinking.

In the meantime, I’m still studying for that Network + exam that I guess I’m going to bite the bullet and go sit for it by the end of this month because this version of the exam that I’ve been studying for is going away. Our prof was talking about Linux certification and I was like, Not now, dude. Maybe down the road but I don’t see it. Probably next is Security +. I’m just trying to get enough IT knowledge down so I can be a project manager for IT related projects – I don’t need to be the IT person.

So, Larry and Sherry got into trouble. They took vacation together to move in together this week and didn’t tell anyone. Normally, when we take vacation days or if we’re going to be out of the office we’re supposed to put in into this system that shows we’re out. That way if anyone’s looking for us then they go there and see that we’re out. If we’re managing an area then we need to put in a backup person to handle that while we’re out. As Sherry just does ADMIN work (even though she’s being paid to be an engineer) she doesn’t have to put anyone down. But, Larry is managing three areas (he got two of Patricia’s areas after she quit left) and he put no one down t handle his shit. This is very bad from the company standpoint. We cannot take vacation or be out if there’s no one to cover our shit.

I always have Chris cover me when I’m out. I even coordinate my vacation days with his to make sure both of us can cover each other while we’re out. The new boss has said that he’s going to be going to each office to work a day or so and wants to coordinate with everyone those days – meaning, he doesn’t want to show up at an office to work when no one is going to be there – like he did on Thursday when he showed up to Larry and Sherry’s office and no one was there. Not good for them but Baxter let them get away with murder while he was a manager so I’m not surprised that they have never imputed their stuff into the system when they were out.

Since the new boss has taken over snarky dickhead that sits out in the OTP office has been killing us with spreadsheets. I almost feel I’m back at the Wanna-build-roads-but-only-throw-people-under-the-bus place. Granted, no job is perfect but it would be nice if more than one person on the team would take on more of a mentor role instead of the mentality of “This is your shit, handle it.” The job I interviewed for last week I had to meet “The Team” and it was all about collaboration and working as “a team”. I wanted to laugh because none of the jobs I’ve ever been in had that mentality. Oh, they SAID they were a team but mostly it’s been here’s some shit, handle it type of mentality.

We don’t have big plans for the weekend – especially since I will be in class most of the day on Saturday and it’s Charlie’s last weekend until she goes out of town on a trip with her mom. I think we plan on just laying low and staying close to the house – especially, since, Bailey, one of our dogs gave us a scare on Wednesday. Charlie was walking her and Sadie and Bailey got into a yellow jacket nest and got stung a couple of times and went into shock. Charlie called me at work to come get them and take them to the vet but when I got on the road there was all this school traffic and I called her back and told her to call Heather up the street and I would meet them at the vet. So, once there Bailey got a shot of Benadryl and Cerenia and then fluids. She seemed to be stabilizing pretty quick and we took her home and laid her down on the couch and put the TV on for her. Poor thing. So, now we’re looking in to possibly a liquid form of Benadryl and some more Cerenia for the doggie first aid kit.

So, it’s been kind of an exciting week and 1/2. How has yours been? What’s up for the weekend?

Cheers!

Vacation recap

We had a great time in Brunswick and on Jekyll island. We rented this cute little house off Air BnB that had a completely fenced in yard with with a fire ring on one side and a seating area and grill on the other side. Unfortunately it rained every evening so we didn’t get much if a chance to take advantage of it. But every morning on the beach was nice. Our friend, Benita, came up for a night and went to driftwood beach with us. Here are some photos:

We really couldn’t have asked for a better trip!

gone are the days

Why is it when I have a hangover  I’m awake at an ungodly hour? Everyone else is sleeping away their hangovers except me and the cat. The cat is bitching at me right now to be fed. I’m ignoring him. He can wait. I have important shit to write.

Last night, we all met up at the pub for Martha’s birthday. It was a surprise party that Dino had arranged. She called earlier in the week and ordered us to be there and asked if I would make sure Link knew about it. I was like, I’ll tell her but she can call or text that she’s coming herself. I’m not planning shit these days because between my two classes I don’t have time for anything but working on the assignments and trying to understand what the f*ck it is that I should be learning.

Of course, Mike and Celia were there. I had given myself a talk about not letting Mike get under my skin prior to getting there. Plus, Charlie’s ex gf was there because she’s met Martha all of two times and thinks they’re bosom buds. We knew J-mac was going to be there and just said, Oh well. I invited B Ferris because I knew that Martha would want her there and vice versa. Link had ridden over with us and Stiletto had shown up later to buffer join the party. Both Rooster and Shutter came as well.

So, when we walked up of course Celia was outside smoking with her and Mikes live-in Sarah (who is very strange) I really didn’t want to hug them because I didn’t want cigarette smoke on me but I did.  We went in and sat down – fortunately, there were a lot of seats to choose from so we ended up sitting at the opposite end of the table than J-mac. Mike just happened to be sitting in the middle and by the time Martha came in she took a seat at the end of the table as the head since it was her birthday leaving one chair beside Mike and a chair at the other end of the table next to me open. We were all sitting there talking and waiting for B Ferris and Christie to come before ordering food.

Dino came over to say that she was glad that I invited B Ferris as she said it wasn’t on her radar. It’s been almost a year to date since the whole nudity situation from Martha’s last birthday. I’m still not over it entirely. I still think, If you ever touch my wife again there WILL be consequences. 

Just then, B Ferris walks in and plops down in the chair beside me after hugging Charlie and I. That’s when Mike lost her shit.

YOU CAN’T SIT THERE BECAUSE CHRISTIE IS STILL COMING AND SHE’S VERY FAT AND WONT BE ABLE TO SIT IN BETWEEN ME AND [SHUTTER] HERE.

Every time Mike speaks its like a shout. Not sure if she needs to be fitted for hearing aids or what. And, how disrespectful to Christie talking about her weight like that at a full table of people. I’m sure if Christie would have known that she would have been mortified.

B Ferris just looked at her and went to get up and said, I don’t think so I want to sit here.

YOU CAN’T SIT THERE THAT’S CHRISTIE’S SEAT! YOU NEED TO COME SIT OVER HERE NOW.

I was getting pissed. I put my hand on B Ferris who was looking like she wanted to burst into tears and said, It’s ok stay here. 

B Ferris had just lost a beloved cat and was having a rough time so I’m sure Mike’s outburst caused even more distress. I was about to shout at Mike to cut her some slack she’d just lost a cat but I was afraid that would push Ferris over the brink and she’d leave and I wanted her to stay. Rooster and Shutter also chimed in that they could make room when Christie gets there no worries.

Mike then pointed at B Ferris and said, I’M NOT GOING TO FORGET THIS.

Like it was a threat or something. All I could think was WTH?! If she would have said that to me I would have been in her face so fast she wouldn’t have known what hit her.

B Ferris said, I think I need to go outside.

I knew if she went outside she’d start crying and then leave. I put my hand on her back and said, You’re fine, stay here.

I think Rooster and Shutter chimed in again that they’d make room and the subject was finally dropped and people were starting to look at Mike like she was the asshole that she is. Yeah, Link and Stiletto say it’s just because she’s from New York. I’m like I don’t care where you’re from -rude is rude. I get tired of every time we all get together either Mike is an ass or Dino has to get handsy or naked. People say, I don’t’ understand why you don’t ever want to do anything with them.

Really, people?

There are so many other friends who behave themselves and are a joy to be around why do I have to put up with that shit? Anyway, we all got through it but if I have to hang out with them in the future I’m going to start calling them out on their shit. If Mike starts talking rude to me or someone else I’m going say, Mike stop being rude and call her out. If Dino decides to grab my wife’s crotch like she did at Rooster and Shutters show that one time I’m going to immediately get in her face and say That’s not appropriate, keep your hands to yourself. Gone are the days of not saying anything. I mean, sheesh, am I being unreasonable here?

I have two more freaking days until vacation. WHOOP! I need it! I’ve been working on what seems like 100 labs to get ahead in school so I won’t have to be hitting the books while we’re gone. If I don’t talk to you before then I will see you on the flip-side. Cheers!

 

 

glad that’s over

I’m glad last weekend is over. I had the memorial service for my friend on Saturday and then met out for drinks after.

The service itself was very odd & sad. There were 6 ex-girlfriends of Alex’s there (kind of amazing it wasn’t a shit show). I was sitting in between gf #1 (who Alex was with when I first met her) and gf #2 Stephanie, who was one of the toads. GF #3 was on the end, Rachael, and then there was GF #5 was in front of us (who was old years ago when Alex dated her and was even MORE ancient – what the heck was she thinking is what I always thought every time I saw her) and finally GF #6 who no one knew personally was sitting on the front row the immediate family. GF #6 was also married to a man and had children. Again, what was Alex thinking?

I know its bad luck to speak ill of the deceased so forgive me.

To say we couldn’t get out of there fast enough afterwards is an understatement. Alex’s mom remembered me but when I said I was one of the toads she said, Yeah, she had that tattoo removed years ago.

I thought, probably, because of you, too.

We met up at Joe’s on Juniper later for many drinks and to reminisce old times. We laughed a lot which was nice. Afterwards, we hugged goodbye and I could tell Rachael was getting teary eyed. I’m not sure I’ll ever see those ladies again to be honest. Now we have this wedge of sadness that brought us all together again that I’m not sure we’ll ever get over.

Sunday, as we all know was Mother’s Day and is always a very difficult day for me especially after losing my stepmother this past summer. I was thinking, Can I just get a break? When will this weekend be over? That’s why I purposely planned a crab boil and invited Link, Benji and Goya over. I needed something to take my mind off of things. Stiletto ended up coming back from SC early so she joined us as well so we ended the weekend on a high note at least.

This week school started back up again so it’s kind of a relief to have something to take my mind off of everything and focus.

no dice no d*ck

I admit I haven’t written in a while – well, except for that last rant I left up for a day or so then felt guilty about it and made it private. Sometimes I should just shut up  and change the behavior instead of ranting about it on here. But, it is my blog and I feel entitled to rant a little because if people don’t like it they can go read about Trump on CNN or something.

I finished up Spring semester in school with a 95% in both classes and an IT fundamentals certification. Baby steps, I know. Summer semester starts up in three weeks and I hope to be ahead of the game before classes start so I can keep up. I think by the end of the Fall semester I should have enough classes and certifications under my belt that things professionally will look a lot more promising different. I won’t say that things are entirely that bad right now but things can always change quickly and like the Summer semester I want to stay ahead of the game.

We had great weather here last weekend which meant we went and did a lot. We ended up at our neighbors down the street for dinner last night and Yolanda was there as well. We hadn’t seen her since guitar classes were over. I asked if she had been playing but she said no. I said I’d been learning some songs on Fender play since then and was thinking of having a guitar practice dinner at the house sometime next week if she’d like to join but she said she’d be out of town. No, that sounds great, I cant make it this time but please include me in the next. So, I was like ok, then. I get it, you’re not interested – guitar was in the past but there’s no reason to hang out after that unless we happen to see her at our neighbors and I just skipped a whole bunch of ranting over A-gays and A-listers but instead of ranting I’m just never going to ask again. Maybe we’ll see you at the next dinner. I have too much to do to chase people down these days. Either you’re in or you’re not and if you’re not then moving on. Next.

My sister tried to call me this past weekend but I didn’t answer. If she doesn’t leave me a message then I wait and call her back the following week when she’s pushed for time and can’t talk very long. If a few times go by and it’s not urgent she will text me instead which is even better. Most of the time when I talk to her I try not to give away much information which is to my benefit. I started doing this after the whole sex change rumor my father started throughout the county I’m from. So now I don’t tell her DICK (no pun intended) so she doesn’t have anything to gossip about concerning me to our father, our relatives, anyone in the county who will listen including and not limited to the liars club that he hangs out with every morning for breakfast. I’m sure there’s people in my hometown now who are dying to know if I have a package now. Maybe out of shits and giggles the next time I go home I will pack more than a bag.

Today she texted me she was leaving the country for work and knowing she was at the airport waiting to board the plane and pressed for time I called her back. This time she was going on about our father’s cell phone service and how he tried to have our step mother’s phone shut off because she died and they wouldn’t until he showed them a death certificate. Long story short she’s putting him on her cell phone service. What. Ever. I said, I wasn’t under the impression he was talking much on his cellphone and when he gets a new phone store my number in it because he never calls me. Not that I care if he calls me but HE NEVER DOES. I told her I was tired of always having to call him because he never called me. Let’s just see if she says anything to him about it. This was only a test really to see if she would tell him what I said. If he calls me then I know for a fact she tells him everything I tell her. Anyway, that’s a family rant that I allow myself.

 

 

 

 

 

strapless

The first week of school went off without a hitch. My first class was Tuesday evening. I made it to school in plenty of time to eat my salad in the car and hang out until class started. This class is hardware installation and maintenance. In short, we take computers apart and put them back together and learn about what all the stuff inside them do.

The class was pretty full and we went around the room and introduced ourselves. Then, the professor went over the syllabus and talked about grading and assignments. I felt a little like his lecture on turning stuff in on time and not missing class was for the benefit of the youngsters in there.

After about an hour lecture on chapter one we broke into groups to identify some of the internal parts of a computer. I had a young guy named Trey and a woman who was probably way younger than the dark circles under her eyes did her justice. Later, she said she worked at the Publix down the street evaluating their milk. I didn’t know what to say to that – I didn’t know they had milk evaluators and looking at milk all day long could certainly be the cause of those dark circles. I just said, I hear they have great benefits there.

The next evening I had my first guitar class. The first part of the evening is devoted to class and the second is a meetup downstairs for everyone to have a jam session. There are banjo, mandolin, fiddle, ukulele and singing classes going on there at the same time. A mutual friend of our neighbors down the street – Kim was taking the class as well as a friend of hers, Yolanda. Our class consisted of myself, her, Yolanda and two other women as well as the instructor lady named Shelly.

So, Wednesday evening I pulled up at the church after Kim texted me she was there. We stood out in the parking lot and talked while she smoked a cigarette. She was going on and on about not having a guitar case and feeling weird about just carrying the guitar in as-is.

Just order one on Amazon, I said.

I don’t know what kind to get because this is a slim guitar.

I mean, this isn’t the only slim guitar ever made I think you could find one.

Hers was a Yamaha slim both acoustic and electric. I liked it and picked it up a few times during the evening to strum but would get frustrated because it had no strap on it. She was dragging a strap behind her when she carried the guitar in to practice and had to explain to several people that this was a special strap because it was autographed by a favorite musician of hers that when asked who it was no one acted like they knew who this person was – myself included.

Well, put the strap on then, I said.

I don’t know how it goes.

Well, get the instructor lady to show you.

By the time the instructor lady put it on class was over and when I picked it up to strum again the strap fell off.

Girl, just go frame that strap and hang it on the wall and get something practical that will hold your guitar on while you stand up and play.

Yolanda had shown up late to the class and by then we were already past the D and A7 chords. I think she was also subjected to the strap story. So, we learned D, A7, A and E and if we get proficient in those chords then we can all play and sing Leaving on a Jet Plane. I like how no one cares how bad you sing, either. We’re all just trying to play and sing along best we can.

Saturday, I had my second class which was computer basics. This was the class I tried to test out of but missed by 10 points. The instructor basically just went over the syllabus and lectured on the importance of attendance and doing the homework and cut us loose. I was thinking that maybe I should have taken a third class as this one is starting to seem like it’s going to be a cake walk but we’ll see.

 

 

 

 

it’s a wrap

Well, we got through the rest of ’17 without getting too beat up. The kids came into town on Friday. Charlie and I had driven all the way out past the perimeter to buy a ping pong table and spent [it seemed] the entire afternoon putting it together. In fact, we were almost done when they pulled up. We were somewhat in the weeds by then because we had a meal for 10 to prep but we managed to pull it off. There were six of us altogether with the kids along with our neighbors down the street and Emil and Sarah.

The next day we took a trip down to a very crowded Ponce City Market and then over to Wild Heaven for some libations. Later, we had a lowboil going on the porch with crab legs and shrimp. Sunday we took it easy for most of the day because we were going out that night to see a show at The Earl. We lyfted it over to Argosy in East Atlanta for dinner before the show.

I was amazed that the food came out so quickly at Argosy and the service was awesome. I had read some not so good reviews prior to us going so they must have stepped it up. The kids all got pizza and Charlie and I split a burger. Afterwards, we walked next door to The Earl and went to the back music venue where it was a smog of smoke. Mattiel was awesome, the two bands prior to her sucked (who would have known that you can actually shout instead of sing) and we didn’t stay for The Coathangers because the smoke was killing us–I doubt I will see another show at that particular venue because of the smoke.  We got home just in time to set off a bunch of fireworks.

New Year’s Day was very low-key. The kids left after breakfast and Charlie and I just hung out and ended up watching the game. (there was only one game yesterday in my opinion). Everyone I’m sure is just trying to get back into a normal routine today – I’m sure all those Georgia fans are a little hungover if not elated this morning.

So, Happy New year and I will leave you with 17 things to make you feel smarter in this new year.