Recent life

Hello all…

As I’m sure you all have noticed, I’ve been very much absent from my blog, and not really active on FB, Twitter, or much of anything else.  There are reasons for this.  In the last 6 months, OK, really only about 5 months, I’ve taken a new position with a new company, discovered the fun that is working over 2 hours from home, finding an apartment, living away from my family more often then not, and generally turning my life upside down.  OK, quick list of Pros vs. Cons on the new gig:

Pros:

  • Job is awesome
  • The pay
  • new experiences
  • Finally doing what I really want to be doing in my career.
  • Oh, and did I mention the pay!

Cons:

  • I now see my family about 3 days and 2 nights a week.
  • Rediscovering how lazy I can be if I don’t watch it!
  • Getting used to the new stupidity that goes on around me.

I know a lot of guys would be going, “Jesus, Partridge, you get to basically live as a bachelor again, what is your problem?”  Well, I let you in on a little secret about me… you ready?  I’m really kind of blase on the whole experience.  There are times I like not having anyone around, having no one to answer too; except for the phone and video calls from the wife and daughters, being able to pretty well do as I please 80% of the week.  But.  There are some serious drawbacks.  First off, really can’t do too much, as most of the things I enjoy doing are focused around a 30 minute radius from my home… There are still commitments every day and evening… calls to be made/answered, etc… Second, I don’t get to see my daughters much at all.  My wife even less… that tends to deflate me rather quickly.  When you are new to an area, older (Yes Tammy, we are older! 😛 ) and not into drinking heavily, there really isn’t much to do.  I know there are museums, cultural sights, etc that can be done, but a lot of that is very mood dependent with me… and frankly I’m rarely in the mood as of late.  I find myself aimlessly browsing the web, watching a lot of Amazon Prime, and eating too much, because I’m bored.  To be blunt with myself, I’m in a rut, I do the daily grind and simply rinse and repeat!

I need to shake things up, but that is challenging, as I’d like to just take off for a few days, but, can’t do that and not upset the home life.  Can’t blame the wife and children, as, well, I’m never home.  However it can be very frustrating, and rather depressing to work all week, then come home on the weekends faced with more work.  I get it, I do, but at this point I’m ready to start hiring people to do some of this work, as, well, I’m never home!  I’d rather spend the time with my family doing things that matter in the long run, instead of mundane, run of the mill, soul sucking, tedious working around the house stuff.  I don’t know how to handle it… personally I feel that I am finally in a place financially that we should be able to farm out some of this stuff… for example we need probably 20 – 30 cubic yards of mulch put down around the yard and our “dog run”.  I’m only moderately put off by the physical aspect of this job, but the time suck that it entails is what kills me!  Why can’t I just call some landscaping company, tell them to bring over the mulch and then put it where the wife says?  I have a garage that is more junk storage than garage!  I have things that are now over 6 months old that haven’t been even opened to be installed because there isn’t enough time to clean and re-arrange the garage to put them in place.  We now have 4 home projects that are most of the way completed… not complete, but around 95%  THAT. DRIVES. ME. INSANE.  I’m a guy, we tend to be goal oriented, and when you are never achieving the final goal, it’s very, very depressing.  I’m just as much to blame for the projects not being finished as anyone, but it is frustrating.

To make matters worse, as of late sleep has been a most elusive prey.  There have been nights in the last few weeks where I will toss and turn, roll over, grab the cell to check the time, and discover that it is 0230, and I haven’t been to sleep yet!  When that happens I’m hosed…. If I try and make up for it the next day, it throws my circadian rhythm into a tailspin of getting too much sleep and being tired and sore or just not getting enough sleep and being exhausted.  It’s a classic lose, lose for a week or two after that.  As I right this I’m struggling to stay awake, as I didn’t get to sleep until around 0030 and then startled awake suddenly at 0500 after having an extremely vivid dream… More on my vivid dreams and why I felt the need to reach out to a deeply cared for friend half a world away at around 2200 her time (Sorry Cush!) in another post forthcoming.

All in all I really don’t have anything to bitch about with my life, it’s all my own doing, but damn it, I’m going to anyway!  Life is strange, The USA is at a Constitutional tipping point, we have, once again, a radical Islamist faction at war with us, terrorist attacks on US soil, a president who seems to have forgotten how our republic is supposed to work, a presidential candidate that has broken laws that would put you and I in prison for life, “protesters” destroying their own cities and cheering for police to be murdered, Schools telling students they can’t fly the American Flag, people worrying about offending those that would like nothing more than to exterminate the entire country, and the general public sits idly by.  Maddening!  People are odd, and I am tired.

Well in an effort to keep this as a quick update (Too late!) I’m letting it all go for now…. Take care, stay safe, and live you life as if it all goes up in flames tomorrow, because it just might!  Remember, No one gets out alive!

Why are children being slaughtered only a geographical concern?

     So I would like someone to answer a question for me.  If there was a group of people here in the US that were beheading our children, cutting them in half, and crucifying them, I would think,  that we, as a nation, would hunt down the parties responsible and cause them to cease to exist.  I would hope that the rest of you would agree, at least on some level.  Am I wrong in my faith in humanity that we would demand swift and violent justice for a group that commits these kinds of atrocities?  Or, have we as a nation or, even worse as a species, become so jaded and desensitized, that we wouldn’t bother to lift a finger?  I would fucking hope that we are not that far gone, I have my doubts at times, but I pray it is just my cynicism getting the best of me.  I do fear that the PC, bleeding heart factions of this country will not paralyze the rest of us, and that we would still do what we know is right and just! So what is the difference?  Is it that only children in our own area are worthy of our rage and thirst for justice?

     Now, riddle me this… why is it that if one teenager is shot and killed by a police officer, justified or not; the jury is still out, an entire town riots and loots, but we have thousands of children being viciously mutilated and murdered, and most of the nation can’t even be bothered to notice, or comment.  Why the FUCK are we, as a nation, not protesting in the streets, demanding that our elected officials not at the very least send an emergency evac mission to Iraq?  Now most of you that read my little diary of dementia know that I am agnostic… no, I’m not an atheist, I’m an agnostic… look it up, there is a difference, however, I’m not demanding this action of our officials based on any religious loyalty, but out of simple human decency!!  I cannot believe that we as a nation of supposedly, good, kind, decent people can stand by and knowingly ignore these kinds of heinous crimes that are being carried out by ISIS, ISIL, or whatever the hell they are calling themselves now;  I consider them nothing more then murderous rabid dogs… dogs that need to be put down with extreme prejudice!  Many people of the more conservative mindset are calling this the 21st century holocaust, and I agree fully, this is exactly what it is.  During the Holocaust in the second World War, people said they didn’t do anything about the Hitler death camps, and genocide because they didn’t know anything was going on… I leave you with this question to answer for each and every one of ourselves in the dead of the night…. What excuse will we use to justify our inaction this time, when we can see in glorious, high definition, exactly what is happening?

 

Live your life to the fullest, ’cause if we don’t stop the bastards now, they’ll be in our streets doing it to our children!

The Human condition? Or just my own neurosis?

Why is that we humans, in general,  can’t seem to ever be happy and content with what we have?  Why are we always striving for something newer, better, bigger, faster, and just more?  Or is it not the Human condition, but just my condition?

What say you all, is it just me?  Am I the only one that always seems to be looking for what’s next?  If it is just me, how the hell do I change it?  How can I learn to be content with what I have?  Because to be honest, it’s rather exhausting to always be striving for something?  It seems there is always something to be worked towards, lusted after, and coveted.  I’m tired, so very tired of how life is; it always seems that regardless of how hard I try, I’m always letting something slide, or my best just isn’t good enough.

Take work recently, I’m the Tech. and support lead for a Windows 7 refresh project.  I ended up figuring out how to save the company that I’m contracted to right now a very hefty amount of $$ by eliminating another 280+ old Windows XP systems that have to have a support fee paid for each system, and each patch that is needed is also another fee.  So I figure that out, and then I have to get a re-deployable image created… should be a fairly simple process right?  Wrong.  They are using a product that I am sure is quite good, however there are 2 flaws with it:

  1. The original company that they contracted to install it had no clue what the hell they were doing!
  2. I have almost no knowledge of the product other than what I have figured out in the last 2 weeks using Google and one very hefty 900+ page book… which if I had time to properly research, and learn the product it wouldn’t be an issue, but time is the one thing that I/they don’t have, they want these XP systems swapped out ASAP, and I can’t blame them for that.

Now the problem is that no one, and I mean no one else in this company has any knowledge of the product either… oh, and the main application that has to work on this image was originally designed for, and no I’m not exaggerating, Windows 3.11!  The one “developer” that knows anything about the nuts and bolts of this bastardized mess is now, after working with me on it for 2 days, on an indefinite, health related, leave of absence!  This week I haven’t worked a day less than 10 hours.  As of right now I’ve been at it for 20.5 hours… That amount of stress, focus, and sleep deprivation will do some weird shit to your head!  Try it some time, you won’t believe the shit that literally just falls out of your mouth!

Just when I figured I’d reached the depths of my “condition”, the project manager, a lovely young woman who has/is doing a great job keeping this hot mess of a project in order tells me that at this point if we can make the image work by just installing drivers and what not on the front end, that it’s good enough, she can’t have/doesn’t want me to continue keeping up the hours I’ve been doing.  Now I’m sure most people would feel gratitude concerning the person in charge saying that she doesn’t want you killing yourself… me?  Nope, not me!  The first thing that pops into my twisted psyche is that she is needing to make sure I’m still available and viable for the rest of the project.. I am also the support lead, so my role is far from done yet.  Now first I know that that is not probably not even a factor in her statement, that she really is concerned for my health and well-being, and second, and infinitely more pathetic, is that in my current half delirious state, I’m responding to her as if wanting to make sure that I am still around for the rest of the project is her primary motivation for her statement.  Now I’m not to fond of the fact that I almost always, without fail, instantly go to the dark and base, primitive side of human interactions and motivations!  What is sad, is that have been many times in my life that my normal response has served me well and saved me much angst!   Then, when I’m aware of, and know that I’m falling into that spiral of darkness, I try to mend my statements  and typically succeed in simply making it even worse!

 

I have found that there are few things worse in life, then the regret of having harmed a relationship/friendship/professional workplace, by either trying to avoid your darkness spiral, or embracing it… regardless what you do, say, or mean, nothing ever seems quite the same again.  Of course that could be my “human condition” tainting my views again……

Working out, life, government, and our rights being blatently violated…

All, I know I’ve been absent for quite some time, it’s not for lack of wanting to blog, but more of general life and work squeezing out any free time to do so.  Yeah, it’s a lame excuse, but for once an accurate one.

Since my last blog, I’ve joined a gym, and have been, up until the last couple of weeks, been going at least 3 times a week, most weeks it was 4 or 5 times.  I don’t think I’ve actually lost any weight, per se, but I have began toning up and getting definition back that has been hidden by that fat bastard for far too long.  I can also state that I do have more energy, and a little less mundane grind angst because of it.  Now, I’m not trying to become even more intimidating than I already am, by bulking up,  but unfortunately it is happening… oh well, once anyone gets to know me, they discover I can be their best friend ever, and yes that includes hiding those pesky bodies!  LOL, kinda….

I have also unfortunately discovered that I am becoming more and more frustrated with the sad state of our country’s government.  I just learned yesterday that my personal information was seized by a government agency for no valid reason.  It seems that the 4th amendment doesn’t protect us from our own government anymore!  All of you reading this that have known me for a decent amount of time, know my background, and know that I at times struggle with maintaining a balance of paranoia concerning the government, and just living my life.  I partially “blame” my father, although I can say that he did open my eyes to realizing that just because someone is in power, doesn’t mean that they are using it for our own good.  I rather shamefully realized today that I do not believe I have ever read our Constitution in it’s entirety ever.  This is inexcusable to me.  I also feel that every American citizen should read the entire Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, every 6 months or so.  This would allow us all to remember how things were intended to work, and maybe let us all remind the federal government who works for whom.  With the recent goings on in the federal government, the warrant-less searches, searches conducted with warrants obtained with knowingly falsified information, POTUS illegally modifying, delaying and changing laws that were passed by congress.  Congress being too useless to impeach, or enforce their constitutional authority.  Do you all realize that with the latest rounds of Executive orders his majesty passed, he has given himself (illegally) the power to seize the assets of any US citizen that directly, or indirectly “actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine”  The problem with this is that who gets to determine what threatens the peace or security of the Ukraine, more to the point, no US president should ever threaten any US citizens assets over the state of a foreign nation!!!!  What the fuck are we doing people???  Why are we letting this stand?  There is another “useful idiot” in congress wanting to post FCC agents at all Broadcast news agencies, “to assess the coverage of eight “critical information” subjects, including public health, politics, transportation, the environment and “economic opportunities.””  umm, hello, THIS IS TYRANNY!  Hell it’s not even poorly concealed “soft Tyranny” that we’ve all been conditioned for the past couple of decades to just accept; it’s the full on, USSR, Chinese, state run media!!!  thankfully, at least for now, the public outcry has been so great that they have “amended” the idea… which to me means that they will back-burner it for another “national emergency” situation.

And then we have the, hell I don’t even know how to describe them.. insane?, foolish?  or just plain stupid, state lawmakers in Connecticut who are attempting to force legal, law-abiding US citizens to surrender their 2nd amendment rights… now these Liberal Obama sycophants are stunned by thousands of CT residents who are simply refusing to comply… Are they trying to start a second revolution?  Have they forgotten everything about early US history?  Do they not realize this type of act is the very spark that ignited the first revolutionary war?  Now there are tens of thousands of patriots that have pledged support of their Connecticut brethren.  This is shaping up to turn into a damn Civil war!  Don’t get me wrong readers, I DO NOT WANT a war, I DO NOT WANT to have to kill and maim my fellow citizens, but I will not, I repeat, I will not live as subject, a servant, or a damn slave!  More to the point I will not allow my daughters to grow up in a country that orders them around, that determines every aspect of their lives, that gives them so much debt that they will never be out from under it.  If the fight comes to me, rest assured that I will fight, I will fight and I am sure I will die, but I will not bow down, I have done more than a few things that I am less than proud of in my life, but I will stand for my beliefs, and I fully believe in the Constitution of the United States, and CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC that we have!  In my belief the only way to ensure our continued success, and survival of the Best and last bastion of Freedom in this world is to defend it, to the death if need be.  I will not be disarmed, I will not submit, I will not comply with any further laws that are against the Constitution of the United States.  I will work as hard and tirelessly as I can while still being able to support my family, to turn the tide of the laws that have already encroached much too far onto our freedoms.

 

Now that the heavy, weighty crap is outta the way, work is, well, work… I’m extremely busy, I have a project with a deadline that is so insanely aggressive that I have no idea how in the hell me and the team of 5 others that I am the technical lead for can possibly complete it.  Not to mention one of those 5 is a complete useless waste of space that acts like a damn 2 year old 90% of the time.  We have almost 500 computers to image, build (install all the customized software on), and deploy them all, by 08APR14.  If every system had the exact same software load out, and there were no data transfers to be done it would still be an almost impossible task.  With customized software loads on every PC, and having to do data transfers for almost everyone of them, it is an impossible time frame.  I know this, my co-worker the project manager knows this, but yet we have to continue on.

 

Home is OK, other than not having enough time to be at home with my wife and daughters.  This week I am flying solo, as they are on Spring break, and I’m too busy with work to be able to get away.  That is something that I have to change in the next few years.  I should never be to busy to spend time away with my wife and children; none of us should ever have to be that busy.  I’m not saying that we should all live like the Obama’s, taking more vacations them a travel agent!  But we should all make sure we have time to appreciate what we have, to remember what we have that is worth fighting for.

 

OK, this post is far to long and rambling, so in closing, Live well, and pray that in our lifetimes, we do not have to “use them, or lose them, and our country forever.

Christmas: My melancholy time

I have a very difficult time during Christmas.  I believe there are many different reasons for this, and I’ll go through a few of them now, just so you all know why I’m even more of a pain in the ass to deal with during this season.

As a child growing up, cash was usually very tight in my family; so Christmas was stressful for everyone.  This does not work well for a man like my father who was always a little on-edge, and possessing a hellacious temper.  Christmas time usually led to multiple screaming matches between my father and me.  One of my most dreaded times was the decorating of the tree.  You see in some things my father was a massive perfectionist, the Christmas tree was one of those things.  The tree had to stand straight; if that meant 2 hours of trimming down the base, and affixing various anchor points with high test fishing line, then so be it.  Then came the lights, as we had to have a real tree, which meant everything had to be installed manually.  Not like my family’s tree now, where I simply plug in three strands of lights that are permanently attached to the fake branches and go; the lights on my childhood trees took literally hours to install.  It would start simple enough, all I had to do was feed the ever growing strand of lights to my father… then it would be “helping” place some of the lights, then being told I’m a fucking idiot for putting that light on that branch, etc… this would go on for about an hour or so; then my father’s favorite lights would go on.. the bubble lights, now I like bubble lights, but they are a special kind of a pain in the ass to install; they are tall, and heavy, which means if you attempted to place one on a branch that was too small it would droop, or worse, fall off.  Since the bubble lights were heavier and taller, and much more expensive than regular lights, there were only a couple of strands of those. The next 45 minutes would be spent attempting to cover at least 50% of a 6.5’ tree with two strands of bubble lights… yeah, it sucked!  After that fun was complete, then came the actual ornaments.  In my family there were your standard run of the mill BS ornaments that you pick up at Kmart, Ben Franklin, or Aryes stores (wow, I’m really reaching back in the old memory banks, and dating myself at the same time!) You know the ones that no one really gives a shit if they survive more than a Christmas or two.  Then we had what we always called “The Special Ornaments” these rarified beauties were the Hallmark collections, hand-blown glass, and/or crystal baubles.  My parents had started collecting the Hallmark series ornaments back in 1976, a couple of them were before they dated the ornaments… so in other words if you fuck up one of those ornaments your ass was grass!  Typically the decorating of the tree took about 4 or 5 hours, I was normally a basket case blubbering in the corner by the time it was over, and my dad would be pissed off and go for coffee as soon as we were done.  So yeah, Christmas time, and especially tree decoration festivities aren’t exactly a fond trip down memory lane for me.

The next reason I’m not a cheery Holiday person is the weather.  I tend to get very dark, moody, and depressed during the winter months.  I’m sure if I were to go to a doctor and describe it all I’d end up diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) yeah, I know sounds like I just pulled that straight outta my ass doesn’t it?… but it is a real disorder:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195 .  I just don’t like the winter, everything dies, the color drains out of the world and everything is cold and hard.  I. Don’t. Like. It.  Like I really need another disorder attached to my life!   Anyway, just another peek into my perplexing persona.

I also have some serious gift-giving insecurities associated with various gifts given in my youth that were either not appreciated, rebuked, or just not truly acknowledged.  Some were my own stupidity, some were just immaturity on the part of the gift giver and/or gift receiver, and some were just assholes!  Regardless gift giving is difficult for me.  I always feel like whatever I give isn’t good enough, there aren’t enough presents given by me to my wife, that it seems that my gifts are simply an afterthought, when, in fact, they are actually an extremely painful, gut-wrenching exercise in indecision and insecurity for me; which tends to lead me to procrastinate, and have a hell of a time figuring out what to give my wife.  My children on the other hand are the exact opposite, well, at least for now they are.  They are both still easy enough to buy for, and in my opinion, we, my wife and I, give our girls far too many gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  I know that this stems from not getting much during most of my formative years, but even still, I think we are on the cusp of spoiling our little angels…  🙂  Anyway, back to my shit!  I also have problems picking up on cues as to what my wife and others really want for gifts… I tend to not pick up on subtle hints for gifts very well.  It actually drives me batty that I can walk into a store, and tell you within a minute what people in the crowd are what I would consider a possible threat, tell you at least two exit strategies, point out a half dozen makeshift weapons of opportunity, but I couldn’t tell you what my wife mentioned that she wouldn’t mind having a few months ago.  Now I’m sure as much as it puzzles me why I can’t remember these things, it pisses Renee off to no end.  Often times I know that she thinks it’s that I don’t care enough to remember, but I assure you all that isn’t the case, I just don’t remember.  I find that I have to work very, very hard to try and etch something like that into my brain!  But for whatever reason, I can tell you the caliber, magazine capacity, and method of operation of hundreds of different firearms off the top of my head.  I can rattle off the amounts of RAM from 1MB to 8GB (8192MB by the way) all day long; but ask me what movie my wife stated she’d like to have on Blu-Ray 3 months ago, and I’m likely to give myself an aneurism trying to figure it out! Maddening I tell you, maddening.

Another reason I don’t care for the season all that much, is the two-faced, fake nature of people.  Supposedly good christen folk that normally can’t be bothered with even acknowledging your existence are now telling you merry Christmas, and trying to be all nice and happy.  This annoys the shit outta me!  I am a very basic person, I would prefer someone telling me that they hate my guts and wish I was dead, than having to deal with a PC bridled asshole that will just appease me, and act as if they like me; to them I say Fuck OFF!  For whatever reason this season seems to amplify people’s hypocrisy more than any other time for me.  Now I know that most of this is in my head, that it’s just my hyper sensitivity during the season, but it is what it is for me.

So that is why I’m a little more tightly wound this time of year, why I’m a bigger pain in the ass then normal around now.  I’m working out again, and that helps, but it’s not quite enough… so everyone has to, unfortunately deal with me being a little pissier.  L

Live your life to the best of your ability, because you never know when some big bastard with a shitty attitude is going to piss in your Cheerios!

I Need a Break!

OK, I know that no one wants to hear me whine like a little bitch, but, I’m going to do it anyway! 🙂

I have too many things I want to do, need to do, and just plain can’t get out of doing.  The last category is starting to seriously infringe on the first, and in some cases even the second.  I am currently on another one of those fun work assignments that leaves me with no clue what my schedule is going to be like, when I’m actually going to be able to accomplish any work, or when my “free time” will actually be free again.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic I have a job in this crappy economy; I just wish it was a little more stable and predictable (hey, I said I was going to whine, didn’t I?).

I have come to the realization that currently the fat bastard in me is winning, and it depresses the hell outta me, and pisses me off.  The problem with this is that the depression part, coupled with the fat bastard part, tends to sap any motivation or energy away to actually fix the issue and execute that fat bastard!  I have a gym selected, I know the cost, know the hours I can access the gym coincide with when I can actually work out (gotta love 24 hour gyms!) and I know damn good and well that I need to work out to lose at least 30 pounds for the quick goal I’ve set myself.  Now I know that I can drop 30 pounds pretty easily, I’ve done it a couple times in the past few years; the problem is actually getting off my ass, saving/spending the $ to get the gym membership paid for, and getting down to business.  I have set a goal for myself since having my birthday this past week.  I want to be able to run a warrior dash/Limit of Advance race before I hit 40, and do it without feeling like someone just worked me over with a large bat and wringer.  I realize that this is a pretty bold goal for a guy who is currently sitting at 370 pounds, and who has never run any kind of race, and hasn’t ran more than a hundred yards in years, but I’m going to do it; now I need to ensure that it doesn’t kill me!

I haven’t been shooting in months.  I’ve only been shooting about 2 – 3 times this year.  Anyone who has known me in the past couple of years likely knows that I’m itching for a good blasting session, and some actual structured training with my chosen firearms.  There have been a few factors that have contributed to this dearth of bang sessions; some I have little control over, others, are scheduling issues coupled with locational issues.  Finally I’ve been too damn busy to be able to take a 4 – 8 hour block out of a weekend to just go and have fun with a little trigger therapy.  There are, of course, multiple home improvement projects that are in various states of completion.  There is, unfortunately for me a growing list of future projects that keep piling up, which will steal more of my “free time” and that depresses me and saps even more motivation, which in turn makes it even more difficult to get my fat ass up and inflicting some much needed positive physical change to myself… do you see the vicious cycle of shit that I’ve managed to get myself into?

Hence the need for a break.  I know that as an adult there is no such thing as truly “free time”, as there is always some type of work to be done.  I’m just worn out and broken down from the mundane daily grind of working all day, coming home to more work that needs to be done.  I find myself working to get out of work at home… no, not actually doing work for my job, just really trying to not have to do any of the house work when I get home.  I know, it’s sad and pretty pathetic, and I need to apologize to my wife, as she has to deal with it more than anyone else.  The bad thing about me and a break is that I tend to languish in the “break mentality” meaning once I get to rest, moving again is a big ol’ pain in the ass.  I know, I know, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion” but damn it, I don’t wanna move!

So, here I sit, waiting for my site contact to actually get me the info and access I need to actually be able to do any of the work that they want me to accomplish for the day.  I need to stop bitching and start doing.  I need to quit whining about things and do them, but it is soooo freakin’ hard to get started.  I don’t know how some of my friends and acquaintances do it.  So how do you all do it?  Yes, I’m talking to you Amanda, Cushla, Tammy, George, Rick, Casey, Troy and the rest, how the hell do you do it?  How do you manage to get off your asses and actually make a difference in your physical life, while not letting your professional and personal life go to shit?  I’ve always had problems with the juggling act that is modern life… it always seems that I’ll get one aspect of my life going well and the others start to slide… I always picture a failing plate spinner when I think of the balancing of my life.  I don’t even want to get into the desire to positively effect change on the direction of our country, that’s a whole ‘nother rant for a near-future blog entry!

In closing, Live your life like how you want to see it on the big screen, ‘cause no one’s getting out alive!

I survived my 20th high school reunion. Part 2


I survived my 20th high school reunion. Part 2
After my man-sized pull on my Jack and Coke, I looked around and recognized quite a few classmates… Angela, Matt, Chalisa, Dan, Julie, Abby, Megan, Bryon, Tricia, Erin, Stacy, Amanda, etc…  Now I will say right now, that this is not everyone that was there, this is just a quick list of who I remembered seeing at the beginning, and I could have very well missed some, and added some that were not there until later.  I wondered over and said hello to Bryon, attempted to firm up some plans for crashing at his place that night, etc…  I then went and chatted with Dan for a bit, asked about how his daughter was doing, if he’d been shooting lately, etc.  I spoke with Matt and his wife quite a bit.  They are very good, down to earth, normal people.  I will say that Matt’s lovely wife Leah, has done a great job of calming Matt down!  Or at least I’m assuming it was her!  LOL, just pokin’ a little fun Matt, you are a great guy.  One of my larger surprises for the evening arrived about 30 minutes after I had; Mike flew in from, I believe it was AZ, with his wife.  The surprise was that not only did Mike remember me, he was quite happy to talk and hang out with me.  Now, you have to understand, Mike and I were on polar opposites of our high school class, in fact I can remember a number of times where we exchanged some heated, very unkind words.  Now I’m not trying to paint myself as some poor hapless victim in this relationship, quite the contrary I definitely gave as good as I got!  I was, to say the least, completely taken aback.  Here was a guy that arguably disliked me as much as I disliked him, and here we were talking amongst ourselves and the others in attendance.  I’m sure that the judicious amounts of social lubrication imbibed by both of us played a part in our amicable conversing, but none the less, we did more than co-exist in a small shared space without resorting to yelling.  There were more pleasant surprises in store for me, Kathleen coming up and saying hello and asking how I was, what I was doing, etc… was unexpected, pleasantly unexpected, but unexpected none the less.  Jim, who I swear has a portrait of himself 20 years older locked up in a closet a la Dorian Gray, was happy to shoot the shit, and chat.
                During this time I was marveling at some of these surprises with Missy and Chalisa, and was informed that I had missed an entire group of people in our high school on my preliminary Blog concerning the 20th reunion I was now enjoying(?!).  Both Chalisa and Missy were part of a group of people that I will now dub The Floaters.  The Floaters have an uncanny ability to seemingly effortlessly float between the many different socio-economic groups of high school.  To the members of this group, I wish to offer my apologizes for leaving you out of the earlier post, it was not intentional… it is just that I view your remarkable ability to float with such amazement that I tend to block it out!  🙂
                One of the other earlier arrivals at the reunion was Bill and his wife.  Bill was as pleasant as he has always been, but now sports a rather dazzling mustache!  I was very surprised to learn that after his stint with the USMC (Thank you for your service Bill!  And all the other members of PHS 1993 who served in the Military, I appreciate your services and salute you all!) Bill was in an IT field like me…. At some point after that, Bill did what I think many of us would like to do and just said Fuck it, quit the job, the rat race, etc. and became a Farrier (Horse-shoe’er) Now this floored me, as I would have never pegged Bill for the type to say fuck it, not that I have any issues with it, hell I envy him! I just didn’t expect it of him.  Bill is a great conversationalist, and I enjoyed our time chatting.
                There were, sadly, still a few classmates that seem to hold to the old “rules” Angela said almost nothing to me until after, or at least I assume after, multiple drinks, not great, but still better than Jodi, who the entire evening never said one word to me.  Then of course there was Steve, who I didn’t recognize, so I made no attempt to speak with, but, neither did he.  To them, I say… Oh well, you didn’t hurt my feelings any… sorry you couldn’t have grown up after 20 years.
                Tammy arrived at some point, it was great to talk to her and once again remind her, that yes, we are all getting to be middle-aged!  😉 Sorry Tammy, but you know it’s true!  I also got to talk briefly with Julie, Abby, and Amanda…. Amanda was, well, she was Amanda!  I don’t think she will ever be able to sit still for more than a few minutes where there are other people about!  I briefly spoke with Erin, not much more than a hello, but that was through no fault of either of us, as we were both in the middle of talking to others and doing the quick walk to the bar.
                Tricia was at our reunion as well, and I got the opportunity to talk with her and apologize for not stopping in and saying hello when I was dropping off Cushla after our visit.  I explained, honestly even, that I didn’t want to intrude, and that in the past we hadn’t exactly been friends!  It was very nice getting the opportunity to talk with her, catch up, and realize that she is the epitome of people growing up, and becoming wiser, more tolerant and generally pleasant people!  Tricia, if you read this, I just want to say thank you for re-affirming my beliefs that humanity can evolve, and people can change!  I mean no disrespect, nor am I being snarky, you are a wonderful person, and I look forward to talking with you on FB, and at the next reunion.
                The evening progressed with more social lubrication, a couple of quick trips to the “buffet” I will say the meatballs were rather tasty, but they removed the food a little quickly for my taste, but that’s why I stopped at Penguin Point beforehand!  The music selection was, surprisingly, quite diverse and pretty good.  I will say that the DJ didn’t seem to get the fact that we all were attempting to talk… the music was far too loud, and numerous people, including myself had asked them to turn it down.  Apparently the DJ’s idea of turning it down was to nudge the slider down about 1/16th of an inch, and then turn it back up even higher after a few minutes!  Annoying, but not the end of the world; most of us just went outside and talked on the balcony.  After a while, it was determined that the reunion should move from the Country Club, to the Eagles lodge, as another of our classmates was in the process of playing a gig, and the atmosphere, and the drink prices, are much better at the lodge.
                I would estimate that about 95% of those in attendance migrated to the Eagles Lodge.  It was very, very loud upstairs, but downstairs was much more conducive to conversation!  This is where I spent about 85% of my time at the Eagles, talking with Matt, Chalisa, Chalisa’s Husband, Julie, Bryon and his wife, Mike and his wife, and various others as they drifted in and out.  It was a great time.  I saw many people that I know, and quite a few that I did not.  There were many conversations had, and far too many laughs to remember.  During one of these many conversations, I lost track of Bryon and his wife… I was mildly concerned, as he was my lodging for the night.  After a few minutes I wandered upstairs to see if I could find them.  Still no luck, I wandered outside in time to see their car pulling out.  Oh well, I send a couple quick text messages to see what the deal is, and find out that they are running for food.  Later on I find out that Bryon ate, and then promptly passed out!  LOL 😀  I was not really concerned, as I knew I could make do regardless.  About this same time the party was beginning to disperse.  I said my good byes and went to my car, where I sat for a bit.  I jumped on FB and saw that a couple of my favorite people in Plymouth were still up and going strong.  Don and Kathy are the Mother and Step-father of a good friend from days past, Chris.  I posted a quick follow up message, and to my delight was invited over.  I headed over to their place, to find them all on the back porch bar.  At this point Don, Kathy, Kathy’s daughter Heather; who I also know from days past, and another of their friends our outside hanging out, drinking and generally having a good time.  I bellied up to the bar, had a drink or two and proceeded to spend a couple more hours catching up with good friends.  Around 0330 I think it was, everyone was beat, and started to turn in.  I was offered any place in the house I could crash, but politely declined, as they already had a full house with Heather, her husband, and her children there.  The last thing they needed was a large, snoring guy waking everyone up!  I said my goodbyes and headed to the car.
I decided at this point, as any middle-aged madman would, that crashing in the car for a couple of hours would be a good idea.  I choose to park close by in the Penguin Point parking lot, it’s fairly quiet, and secluded there.  Unfortunately I made the mistake of parking too close to the street light.  I reclined my seat, cracked the windows, and proceeded to attempt to nap.  It was not easy, it was bright, and though exhausted, sleep was elusive.  I grabbed my tee-shirt that I had worn earlier in the day and used that as a face cover to assist in sleeping, it was just beginning to work, when I heard the rather distinctive crackle of a police radio; Great, just what I need hassled by my hometown PD for trying to be good and not driving after drinking.  I popped my head up enough to see the cruiser and the officer approaching my car.  I sat back up in the seat and rolled the window down a little farther and prepared for harassment.  To my delight the officer, who appeared to be very young but that could just be my middle age’edness peeking through, was just wanting to know what I was doing and make sure there was no distress, I wasn’t dead, etc… He asked if I had been drinking, and I responded that yes I had, it had been a few hours by this time, but yes I had.  I offered to move along, but he stated that it was OK, and to stay safe and have a good evening.  Wow, so much win on this trip I could barely believe it!  I reclined my seat back again and had a fitful nap until around 0500.  At that point I gave up and headed out of town.  I stopped off at the gas station as I was heading out and grabbed some caffeine, and off I went.  After about an hour or so of driving… well, more of madly trying to keep myself awake through various methods, I gave up and pulled into a Travel Plaza/truck stop.  I went in, used the facilities, grabbed additional sustenance and went to the car.  This time I left it running with the AC on so I wasn’t sweltering, and actually got a couple hours of sleep!  Once I woke up and got back on the road, it was a long, but un-eventful trip.  I will say that next time I hope that our reunion is on a different weekend than the BBF, as attempted to find a place to stay, that isn’t over $200/night, is near impossible!
I am glad I finally decided to attend, and that I didn’t wimp out at the end and just head home.  I learned a lot about those that I shared my middle and late teens with, and even learned a little more about myself.  All in all it was a wonderful, if exhausting, time.
Stay safe my friends, and live your life like you stole it, ‘cause no one is getting outta here alive!