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existential crisis (g2)

I believe all of us go through various stages of our lives where we look up and suddenly think, “I HATE my life right now.”

I did that just before I got a divorce. I did the same when I hated the job and the town I lived in and just found out I was going to be a parent and moved a couple thousand miles back.

I had the same  when Spawn was a few years old and my career was… well, really fucking boring and leaving me strapped. It was mindless, repetitive, and just when I was done and updating my resume, I received a call from a former boss who wanted to lure to me their current company. Not only would I be using more of my brain, it held a significant pay raise.

It was great too, for a while. But one of my co-workers was as mercurial as they come and I was often walking on eggshells. The work itself was great and I was learning a ton, but the environment… not so much. However, a friendly buyout that turned hostile takeover nixed that job for all of us. The best time I had there was when the mercurial one jumped ship early on and the rest of us just didn’t give a shit anymore.

I landed this job right as I was ending that one. The work itself is a mostly mindless again, but the pay, on paper, is better. What I get to take home though, is significantly less than it was at my last job and although I know the benefits are a part of that, I didn’t think they were that big of a chunk.

We’re given no authority over our own position, but then they complain that no one takes initiative. Neither owner can keep their hands out of the cookie jar when things are good, and don’t hesitate to jump your shit when they aren’t. Hell, the CFO’s mom just died last week and one of the owners commented to her yesterday “What the hell is wrong with you, you look like your dog died?” She broke down so badly she had to go home.

Right now, things aren’t so great and its all to do with that fact that when we’re in our busy profitable season, the owners couldn’t buy new toys fast enough, despite my boss continually telling them we would need to sock away what we could for the lean season. They assume no one has their grand vision,  so any counsel is ignored.

This is also when I’m told my communication needs work. I’m the connection the outside world comes to when they want information and when things aren’t going so well, that communication increases by several fold. It means I have to come in and choose whether I’m going to do my job or just sit there and get back to people and I do balance both. But the bottom line is I’m never going to be able to make someone happy if I can’t give them what they were promised and that’s what they want me to do.

So I hate my job. I hate where I live. I hate that I hate both so much that I’m both restless and uninspired to do even the little things. I hate the debt I hold for a degree that has proven nothing but worthless and I feel that it will inhibit everything else I do for the rest of my life.

I want to move, I want to have a cafe, on the side of a cliff with a view to the ocean and I want it too fucking cold to see even a single surfer unless they are batshit insane.

But for not, I would settle for moving to the area where I hope my daughter’s future school is and get a job that lets me take home the amount I was promised, or at least a significantly bigger portion than current.

I want to get just a little ahead instead of struggling so far behind.

I want to be inspired.

I want to be challenged mentally.

I feel like a corpse in motion.

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i really need stop thinking heavy shit while driving (g2)

So I’m driving one very bland day with nothing whatsoever striking to catch my attention, listening to a CD Spawn selected that I have really been enjoying and letting my mind wander.

I’m not sure why my head seems to want to direct my thoughts to heavy shit when my emotional stability isn’t very much under my control, but with one of the most bigoted, sexist, racist, fuckheads that has ever walked the planet now swathed in the title of “Mr. President”, I cannot help but wonder what the hell is happening to our society, especially when I’m bombarded with the amount of stupid shit he does every day.

The job of reporter in the US is no longer about getting to the “truth” and backing it up with sound researched information, it is now bought and paid for by a corporate agenda. And that applies to all of them now, even NY Times has fallen to the bullshit.

In order for the average US citizen to find truth, you have to look to comedy or foreign news. Yes, I said comedy. Because it is the last frontier where if you wanted to suck up to the GOP or a corporate sponsorship, you’d get booed off the stage before you could finish a set.  We know when we’re being fed shit in comedy, not so much when they call it “news.”

Crime is at an all time low, and is still dropping drastically, but no one ever hears about it. The wage gap still exists, but there are plenty of pseudoscience trying to convince you it isn’t. I see the invoices, every temp company we go through has at LEAST a 2-3 buck an hour disparagement between the guy and the girl hired to do the same fucking thing. Even one of my more intelligent and fair minded coworkers sincerely believes it doesn’t exist.

However, I found my thoughts not landing on these things, so much as race.

When people talk about the way the legal system is skewed to keep minorities in jail, they mean things like this… In this country, cocaine is mostly a white consumed drug (who besides lawyers or those who can keep one on retainer can afford it anyway?) Crack, being cocaine’s inbred  diluted cousin, is a mostly minority consumed drug because it is cheaper and markets to a lower income bracket. The max time a person can spend in jail for crack is almost twice what a person with cocaine would have to serve and they don’t have to carry much to get the book thrown at them.

I live in the South. Born here. Raised here. Went to a school that was about 60% black and completely freaked out when I moved to the midwest for several years and saw almost none.  It’s a real culture shock when you’re used to seeing more colors and shades in your crayola box of life and become suddenly surrounded with many shades of nothing put pink instead.

The black culture, despite or perhaps TO spite the horrific origin, have enhanced the culture in our area of the map in ways not seen anywhere else. I cannot imagine life without the blues, Creole, small pockets of held out languages, hoodoo, superstitions, or voodoo. The fierce defiance in spite of a calm facade is, to me, the mark of black culture. The passion for religion, music, family and vast support for one another.  The pride in spite of years of putting up with epic bullshit.

There’s just nothing like it.

Then I think about now when we have people who feel that since they got their white piece of shit in office, are now welcome, if not encourage, to come out and say whatever hate speech they want and they are somehow among kin. The next step being taking action? doing whatever they want without the risk of consequence, at most? For those that visit that link, fuck you CNN for just naming the victim and not billboarding the mf’ers names who actually DID the crime! Shawn Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John King, fucking die.

Those are the faces of a Trump supporter.

I think of Sandra Bland and how they ruled it “suicide” and alluded to “mental health,” as being part of her problem…if I was thrown in jail over a fucking traffic violation, you can call it “mental health” all you want, but I’d be ready to stab a bitch. I sure as shit would be making notes of badge numbers and calling any loudmouth I could to make as much noise about it as I could. On the slim chance she did really take her own life, which I don’t believe, can you blame her? After being treated like that? She’s probably put up with it her whole life.

I think of the cops that are mandatory now on school premises. Then I’m stunned when I’m trying to find the link to the ONE instance I know of, to find out abuse by cop towards CHILDREN is getting massively fucking common. The only difference between the American schools and the prison system is the latter gets a better lunch and a real recess.

This isn’t an isolated incident and it happens in a million subtle ways every single day. I go into a store where a group of minority kids are lingering near the door, chatting and laughing and just being, well kids. As i approach, they talk suddenly ceases. I can see the fear in their faces that I’m going to somehow cinch up my bags, or cross the street, or say something offensive. They brace for it. How fucked up is that? I don’t blame them in the slightest, I know why, it just kills me to still see it now.

Missing children organizations are less likely to give ideal exposure to minority children, the excuse being that too many children being posted would dilute the sense of urgency among the community. Then fix the system so it notifies those in the area, you dumbasses, keep it relevant to the people in the region they disappeared in, then move out as needed I was nowhere near the Jon-Benet Ramsey story, did I really need her face thrust in mine every day? There’s a couple thousand miles of impossibility going on there.

When they talk about the wage gap as being about 80%, they are referring to the people in office jobs like I am, but what they don’t go over is that that when you add the minority element or just compare those in service industries, that gap can be as bad as 50%. It’s no wonder that so many minority mothers have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

I even thought about how the Women’s March had a great message and sure, it’s a great cause and its kind of sad when half the population of a country kind of hates its new leader. But it didn’t represent women at all well, and here’s the problem…The women who had to go to job 2 or 3, the ones most bitterly affected by the disparagement, cannot afford to show up for fear of losing their livelihood. So there is a huge chunk of women who just couldn’t come, and they are the most needed.

The ones most heavily affected by racial and sexist bullshit don’t even have the time and energy to complain. Few are in positions where they can take vacation time or make up the time later because the system is rigged to keep them oppressed. They could be fired for not going above and beyond the expectations of their minimum wage overlords. I’m looking at you, Wal-Mart.

Then my mind wandered to the young mixed race couple who had twins not so long ago, one pale and blonde, the other more of a mocha with eyes like onyx. Both identical otherwise, both adorable. If gives me a lot of hope to read, years later, they don’t deal with racial prejudice. Then I remember. Thankfully, they aren’t American.

Otherwise, one of them was going to be privy to “the talk.”

The talk where a minority parent has to sit down and explain to their minority child to never get visibly hostile, especially in the face of “authority” because doing so might get you killed. No matter how badly you’re being treated or baited into becoming violent, don’t do it, because cops, teachers, principals, the law, and anyone of non-color could very well be out to get you, to make you a monster. To use you as an example to keep oppression and racism alive and well

.And the thought of that cherub face having to be told that the world has a deep-seeded and irrationally violent fear of her for no other reason than by the color of her skin just hit me so hard I started sobbing to the point where I nearly had to pull over to get it all out.

I spent most of the day trying not to think about it because my eyes were sore and I know Spawn was wondering if I was getting sick and I really really didn’t want to have to go into it for fear I’d be rendered unable to speak. Nothing upsets a kid more than a parent being upset, I’ve found. Even if the reason for it should upset the hell out of everyone.

At a time when we WERE showing so much promise, so much evolution to our own thinking by FINALLY electing not based on  color, but intelligence, stoicism, wisdom… and then going this… the complete opposite of the ideal of unity, equality, fairness, kindness…. I cannot help but wonder how bad this period of backsliding has to get before we’ve just had enough.

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dinner with the little ones (g2)

As much as my antisocial tendencies govern most of my actions, I thoroughly immersed in enjoying the company of my two littles cousins. I even started remembering a me that actually enjoyed going out and spending time with others regularly.

I look at these two grown lovely ladies and their free flowing banter and sharp wit, and with a certain expression or just how they would say something, they would transform to two toddlers fresh and crisp in their Easter Sunday best, spinning in the foyer to make their dresses fly up. Golden ringlets, chubby elbows and a laugh that can never, ever be duplicated by anyone past the age of four, completely full of nothing but sheer joy.

It makes me ache in a nostalgic way. It reminds me how little I see them, how much I missed, moving around and completely focusing on my own shit. It makes me wonder if their half-sister ever has these regrets as well, ever looks at them and feels a pang for the time gone forever.

I ponder the days when their half-sister and I were nothing more than gangly, awkward kids ourselves, then young adults completely convinced of our intellectual superiority and ready to take on the world, bent on making it our bitch or just making it better and being nothing like our parents or any other adult we met while doing it.

It reminds me of a time when the little cousins first met Spawn, fresh from the hospital. They rigged up a laundry basket as a makeshift crib and just cooed over them like the most awesome thing they’d ever seen.

Now Spawn stands between the two in height, and is still growing.

I finally get the need to want to watch films of the past over and over. It’s not that you wish you could go and relive it all, but maybe just visit. Get a little more connected. Slow down and give a few more hugs, listen a little more attentively, be more in the moment. It’s a shame you have to get to a certain age before you fully understand that and so much is already lost.

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i feel fine… (g2)

Somewhere near the end of the year, with the doom of Thanksgiving and Christmas looming, I got a wild streak to basically throw everything out and scrub it all down with bleach.

Sometimes, I wish I could do this with my brain.

The Yankee is steadily showing herself to be more of a Heather. The Hippy, who has stuck up for her for the longest time  suddenly said one afternoon after work “Put some distance from her, for your own sake.” She didn’t elaborate and at the time, I didn’t feel I needed to ask. I kind of got the gist.

God, I’m too old for this shit.

The Yankee made a shit first impression from the get go. You don’t move to the South, shit on southern education (which you’ve never personally experienced) for which most of your co-workers are by-products of.

You don’t go off about how your Master’s degree should exempt you from doing shitty work, like my job. Especially not if you keep reminding me what you do when I catch your bullshit mistakes in the process of doing my own job. If you don’t want me to catch your mistakes, stop making them.

I also have to appreciate the irony of me, the southerner, having to explain to said Yankee that making remarks like “only some blacks actually fall under the N word” is indeed a racist statement. For someone whose boyfriend likes to reiterate they won “the war,” his girlfriend doesn’t seem to understand what that means.

Perhaps its because I cannot pour bleach on her to flush her away that I felt the need to purge my world. We’ve made several trips to Goodwill. Spawn still has some stuffed animals to cover. What idiot bought this kid this many toys?

I finally dismantled the bed and took it to my co-worker who lost so much when we had the storms and flooding.

It felt good. I even tossed the curtains that had been hanging since Spawn was a baby and bought new ones I really couldn’t afford but my sense of well being couldn’t afford me not to. I’m pretty sure I won’t be taking them with me if I move, but I feel better and more refreshed in my home now. Spawn was unusually supportive and worked with me as I went. Maybe I wasn’t the only one needing to purge.

Of course, when the bulk of it was done and there was almost an echo in the house, my instinct is seeking out anything else to eliminate, measuring out what I can break down to nothing as keep worthy, while Spawn’s response was to point how little clothing they had left that actually fit.

Damn.

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kicking diabetes ass: week…. huh, google says I finished 8 weeks 2 days ago (g2)

So apparently, my 8 weeks is up.

My diet buddy immediately wanted to schedule a celebratory outing at our favorite burger joint. I think diet buddy is trying to make this translate into places of temptation. I’ve already been doing this, but apparently they feared trying it. I wanted to ease back into the real world without going nuts in it.

Personally, I would have preferred a giant boat of fucking sashimi. I haven’t had sushi at all in this time and I miss it. Sashimi is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Sure a flash fried roll of some sort would be awesome, but I’m not there yet.

I mentioned that my eight weeks ended to Spawn when I got home and they just said “huh, well kind of too late to change now after all this effort.”

What a great answer.

I do plan on hitting a wing and ale place at some point, I don’t like potatoes but I like raw fries (floppy, thank you, with loads of malt vinegar) – don’t ask, and although I inhale my food when I eat, I’m eating less overall.

In all, it wasn’t as stellar as I thought it was going to be. There was no nipple scars from chest tape going across the finish line, no cheering, no passing out in the pavement and thanking everything to have to made it. I think my main thought was “huh, that got here faster than I thought it would.”

I’m still not where I want to be weight-wise, of course, this was a tiny amount of time. Yes, my pants are looser, my shirts fit better, the water weight in my legs is finally starting to fuck off and is mostly gone, I’m sleeping better, I’m moving better and with less (not none yet) pain. But I’ve a 6 year jagged track to reverse and I intend to do that in a lot less time.

So although yes, I won’t adamantly abstain from everything now, but this is where the cycling has to begin, My body freaks out when I don’t go by a routine. I was off to a good start because I was doing extreme things it couldn’t predict and plan for. I will have use that information in order to make sure my body stays in a constant state of WTF?! until I’m back to a state I want to be in: High one day, extreme low the next 3, week of normal, two weeks of low cal/carb, etc.

It’s all ok…. because I still have cheese ;p

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so the excel class blew, and apparently so does the teach (g2)

So… me, the Yankee, the Hippy and one of our other employees went to an “advanced” class on Windows Excel. I say “advanced” since I’m not sure if they just have to mention the buzzwords of “pivot table” or “vlookup” to qualify, but that was about the quality of this course. Our suspicion of exactly how bad it was going to be started when we got a good look of the picture of our instructor.

I’m not sure why this is a thing, but they are now doing courses where the instructor is remote and you have to listen to them over a conference speaker. They can see everything you do on your screen and you spend a majority of your time on mute and only interrupt with questions. Call me old fashioned, but this doesn’t appeal to me at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the utilitarian aspects of it. I just think it blows.

Considering the instructor’s photo looked like it was pulled right from her Tinder profile, duckface and all, she looked like she blew too.

And swallowed. A lot. And cheaply.

We spent at least another half hour trying to find a linkedin profile for her, which we found, and it too looked like yet another choice Tinder alternate, except this one was about 50 pounds heavier than the one in our faces currently.

How much lack of self-awareness do you need to think slut photos are “professional?” Why wouldn’t a boss doing their due diligence kind of guide you off a whore-ish cliff in the workplace?

Unfortunately, after the usage of “irregardless” (not a word) and “cumbersun” (cumbersome) and every cliche used backwards, I can only guess from a lack of understanding them, there was no value to be had in the instruction either.

There was not one single question posed to her that she could answer. We stepped through formulas that no person on earth would ever find useful. Most of her knowledge seemed to be based in memorization, in spite of bragging to 30+ years (how old was that fucking picture?) of Excel experience .

Though she wanted to spend a great deal of time on how to make spreadsheets “pretty.” Fuck that noise. If I want to see a pretty spreadsheet, I’ll look here:

tatsuo-horiuchi-1-670x354

“Cherry Blossoms of Historical Castle site” (2006)

 

Tatsuo Horiuchi | the 73-year old Excel spreadsheet artist

They requested we fill out an evaluation for the class when we were done for the day.

Bad move… no, I didn’t hold back. I kind of eviscerated her: her grammar, her Tinder pic, her lack of any real usable instruction or knowledge in the material. However, I did try to finalize it on a positive note and complemented the building, the snacks and the book…

In spite of everything, it was a nice day. The Yankee and I only got in one argument over the fact that Dunkin Donuts sucks epic shit and Krispy Kreme rules. Apparently, Northerners are all about DD for the coffee? …even though the doughnuts blow chodes. I would rather get coffee where the main element – the doughnuts –  are actually good. I don’t usually go to doughnut shops for the coffee, but hey. We finally agreed to disagree on that point.

We tried a new wing and ale place for lunch and I had an epic spinach salad with honey bacon that kicked some ass, so all in all total win of a day. Oh yeah, and it wasn’t at fucking work!

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so vp think she’s good with spreadsheets… (g2)

I think I’ve already gone over how the VP in our department thinks I’m a fucking idiot, something even the Yankee picked up on even though my boss tries her best to play the diplomatic card as much as possible. My boss rocks as they are not the type to get into drama and will get pissed at the issue, not the person. They also have a tendency to try to see the best in others and want to explain bad behavior under a more rational light. Sometimes a bitch is just a bitch. Also, like I told my boss… I have to value the opinion to give a shit what it is.

The VP has more than once told me I scare her. I’m starting to wonder if she isn’t kidding.

The owners decided they wanted to see more training since our financial situation (i.e. people finally started paying their fucking bills and we got bitchier about getting them paid) started getting better. My stress level once this occurred plummeted. Up until that point, the VP wanted to send me to a class on communication skills, which in a meeting with one of the owners and the VP present, I pointed out “There’s only so many ways you can communicate ‘we can’t pay you because we’re not getting paid.'” The owner readily agreed, the VP stfu about it, but it was still on the to-do that we should have training of some sort.

Yankee and I both saw an advanced Excel class we thought might be interesting, so we requested that. VP is not so skilled in Excel, in fact usually asking for Yankee’s help and marveling at the skills, even when its a minor thing. VP and I don’t really interact much work-wise, so it became apparent she had no clue of my skill level when she suggested it would be too much for me, and I just said “I highly doubt it considering I’ve already taken the advanced certification courses. This would be little more than a refresher unless they’re getting into the actual VB coding or in-depth macros without the step-through recorder.”

I lost her somewhere in the first ten words, I could see it in her face. She backpedaled a bit, and it wasn’t long before she had signed up for the same course but before ours.

She came back afterwards and said she learned a couple small things but they didn’t go over anything she didn’t already know. Before I could stop myself I said “well that’s disappointing, I thought it was supposed to be an advanced class.”

The Yankee coughed to hide their snort, but we were rather concerned that we wouldn’t be getting much out of this. It looked like the only classes that were more of our cup of tea were a minimum of two days and about five times the cost. We were told point blank we were not allowed to be gone over one day.

Either way, we finagled it so our project cohort, the Hippy, is also scheduled for this same class (at the Yankee’s house, Hippy mentioned they had no clue how to even request training and they too used spreadsheets a lot, so I put a bug in the VP’s ear. Sometimes, she is useful).

So we get out from having to deal with the VP for at least one day. For that alone, I guess I don’t really mind if I don’t take a lot away from this class, though I’ve never walked away not learning at least something, even if its small. I’m also curious as to whether the VP just didn’t understand a lot of what was being said and filtered it out. Will be interesting to find out. At least the company will be worth it anyway.

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