Saturday, February 27, 2010

We're the dream and fate's trying to be the plow, You got to fight with all the light in your skull

Ever wake up and just be in a foul mood?? The proverbial getting up on the wrong side of the bed day. That's today. I don't know what it is. I'm not sure why. I slept in, well tried to as best as I could. But a couple phone calls woke me. I of course answered neither. I can forgive mom for calling, but I'm tired of Urban Active calling to remind me it's time to renew my membership. Especially since I already have. I also made the unconscious decision to skip the union meeting today by sleeping straight through. I'm not sure who's convenience they're scheduling those things for, but considering the 10 or so people in recurrent, the 4 afternoon guys, the 4 day shift guys, and the midnight guys who would have to interrupt their sleep schedule to make it.. I'm thinking it's some one other than 50% of the group. But what do I know. I figured they wouldn't say anything that would help my mood. Where sleep does improve my moods.

Thinking it would help sweat the blah out, I took off for the gym. That didn't go as well as hoped. The 40 car line to get off the interstate coupled with the ridiculousness of traffic in front of the gym just added to the aggravation and sucked out what motivation I had.

Maybe it's the weather. There's this thing called S.A.D., or Seasonal affective disorder. I'm hereby diagnosing myself as a SAD sufferer. It's what people used to call the "blues" that brought people down during cold, dark winters. This winter here in Louisville has really been a drag. I think we've had 5 days of descent weather since November. Throw in the copious amounts of snow, it's just been kind blah. Lots of grey days. Again this morning, I drove home in snow. On the upside it was all gone by the time I woke up.

So, I'm trying to spend time focusing on good things. This week I made it to see a free Barenaked Ladies show at the Hard Rock Cafe here. That's was neat to be in a small venue like that. They only played 5 songs or so, but it was free so i suppose I shouldn't complain. Of course, afterward it started snowing again :-(. After work Tuesday I'm flying to ATL. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and family and having people to hang out with.

And after that is the big trip to Thailand. I'm kind of winging that in so much as I have no idea what I'm going to do there. I have several ideas, and most of which involve in some way a beach and riding an elephant. Though not necessarily combining the two. I guess when I get there I'll let Adam and tourist guides be my inspiration. All I basically know is when I get there, when I leave, and where I'm staying the first 4 nights. After that, we'll wing it. Now, this kind of makes me nervous in that I've always been one to plan the hell out of trips. But not knowing where to go or when exactly my travel companion is showing and leaving makes it hard to exactly plan schedules and crap. And that's fine, it's been a while since I've been fluid and wandering. I' sure I'll find something worthwhile to do, and it's pretty damn cheap over there so that helps. Maybe I'll just keep the $7/night bungalow until I run out of money and credit and then come home. That may take a couple years :-).

Of course I'd be out of a job, but I don't really feel that's a bad thing. There's nothing new on that front. The voluntary program to keep everyone employed has seemed to have fizzed out. I think it may help 1 person stay on, but after that... I'm highly doubtful. So, I'm continuing to keep my eyes open for something else. I read yesterday that Qatar Airways is hiring, I may apply just to see what's happening. Though I don't know how Doha living would suite me.

Monday will be the one year anniversary of me doing thsi whole diet/gym thing. I don't think I'm gonna make the 100 lbs mark, but I far surpassed the initial goals. So that makes me happy. I had to go out and buy new clothes this past week, again. Most of it for the trip to Thailand, but also because I have no collared shirts that fit. So $300 of so later, I have a bunch of new clothes. Next I suppose I'll need a new suit. I'm kind of waiting to get a little smaller. I've been lacking motivation lately, which I'm hoping is a result of the weather. I bought some shorts for summer that were tight-ish in hopes it'll be good motivation to keep it up. We'll see. One step at a time.

I think that's enough whining for one night. Keep posted for dispatches from Asia.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Waitress, I need two more boat drinks, Then I'm headin south 'fore my dream shrinks. I gotta go where it's warm."

I saw an eight foot snowman in some ones yard today. That’s impressive. I’m sure that took a lot of work to make. The most troubling part is there’s enough snow to make an eight foot snow man. And it’s still falling. And there’s more coming this way. I shouldn’t complain too much, I could live in the Baltimore area where they have something like 8 feet of snow. At least my little Scion will climb a 8 inch snow berm. I know this because that’s the approximate height the plow piled it up when they scraped my street. One of the disadvantages to living on a snow emergency route. At least my road gets scraped.

I keep thinking ahead to lying on a sandy beach looking out onto the Gulf of Thailand. In about a month I'll be winging my way towards that goal. I'm very much looking forward to warmth and sun and sand and Thai food and a massage. And then there's the opportunity to visit Adam and his new found harem. I'm still working on how I'm getting there. I don't think I'm going to take the Sydney route and instead spend more time venturing around someplace I've never been before.

So I'm looking forward to that. otherwise, it's been cold and dreary about. I spent the last couple days off down south in the Atlanta area. It was good to see everyone, and I was quite saddened to leave. The mood didn't improved when I had to scrape a few inches of snow off my car.

On the flight back, there were a few military personnel who were coming home for their 2 weeks of RnR. The young lady behind me had just spent 4 days flying from Bagram Airbase in Kabul to Louisville via Al Udeid (Qatar), Kuwait, Shannon, and Atlanta. IN the conversation we had, I learned that she wanted to see "green". I felt kind of bad when we busted out pf the clouds and Kentucky was covered in snow, and probably will be for the duration of her visit. She was coming home to a house she had never seen before (her husband had been transferred from Ft Hood TX to Ft Knox while she was deployed). Hopefully over the next couple weeks she can road trip southward and find some greenery.

The other soldier on board took up the role of a babysitter. He didn't seem to mind though. There were a couple of mothers traveling solo with their children, both of which were "laps". The soldier had the fortune to be seated next to one and across the aisle from the other. He was actually playing with one of the little ones while the mom was situating the paraphernalia that comes with shuffling a small child through the skies. Luckily, the flight was pretty empty and mom and baby took up residence behind the GI in an empty row. But he still held and played with the baby for taxi-out, and most the flight.

The on arrival he was met by his own wife and child, who was about the same age as the kids on the plane. Very touching reunion. A small reminder of how good most of us have it, and how much some people are sacrificing to keep us that good.

So, now I feel like I shouldn't bitch about work, but I will anyway. It's been snowy here which totally confuses us. Still nothing new really on me not taking a pay cut. There's some options being presented that will help keep all of us employed (hopefully), but it's hard to feel like saving a company money that comes out and says "we have a surplus of cash on hand." But in other news, I'm still keeping my eyes open for self help options. I'm amazed at the encouragement from others to keep looking (and not just friends, but co-workers). I firmly don't believe you have to love your job, but you shouldn't loathe it.

I'm off to do some research on southeast Asia. Hope everyone is doing well and I encourage everyone to take a vacation soon. Just thinking about getting away will make you feel better. Later!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Again the morings comes, again he's on the run.

It's a rainy day in Georgia. At least it's not snowing. I suppose that the fine folks of Georgia would probably welcome snow, as it means a day off work and school. Well for most of the citizens. However, I'm tired of snow. I can't imagine living further north of Louisville where it starts snowing some time round November and doesn't really stop until March or so. I poor car sits in parking lot covered in road salt, which is corroding away the undercarraige as we speak. Not to mention it just looks bad. But with more snow in the forecast for the coming weekend, no real reason to wash it just yet.

But enough of that. I'm happily occupying a room at the stately TanJoe manor on the fringes of New-Nan Georgia for a few days. After making the questionable decision to give up sleep on Tuesday in the name of fitness and hair care, I flew down to Atlanta where I was happily plucked from the airport by my mother.

But first things, I subjected myself to an experiment Tuesday morning in the form of allowing some one new to touch my hair. After having the same person cut my hair for roughly 30 years, it's hard to go out and find new barbers. I have found an acceptable place for hairstyling in Louisville, but I was lured away by a hot bartender who is going through training to be a hairstylist. And really, it's apparently intensive training. After a minimum 1800 hours of class time followed by a 6 month apprenticeship, she will be allowed to touch some one's hair unsupervised. I didn;t have that much training to get my dispatch license. But, she did a good job, even if it took over an hour. And it was a free haircut!

Now, down in Georgia.. I am driving mom's car on a borrowed status. It's not my kind of car really, s I don;t feel young and cool cruising in the '87 oldsmobile (or whatever year, I'm sure it was produced prior to me being able to legally drive). It's the typical "little old lady" car. Which my mother is not a little old lady, but she bought the car from one. And really, who has a car for over a decade and drives it 30,000 miles??

But mom is gracious enough to loan it out so I can visit my hoodlum friends. I feel kind of bad sometimes that I come to town and see none of my family. I feel a bit disjointed from most of them, my interests and opinions seem to lie along a path that runs parallel to most of them (I'm not the settle down with kids and wives and horses and be a responsible adult kind of guy). PLus I tend to keep myself busy with all the friend visits when I'm in town. I guess having had the ability to choose my friends, its no wonder I would ratehr spend time with them. I guess Christmas and Thanxgiving has fulfilled my my family time quota of late (except for Darci, since we seem to be on the same non-converging path compared to the rest of the immediate family types). Of course, the same line of "when r u going to..." line of questioning gets a bit old. Some one suggested I pay an actress to play the part of a wife type, and fake wedding photos and a relationship history to bring an end to that line of questioning... seems a lot of work when I can just not answer the phone.

On the other hand, they do love me and just worry about my well being. SO I can't complain too much.

I also observed brewmaster Roberts crafting a homemade concoction that's currently fermenting under the stairs. It was interesting and seemed really simple to make one's own personal batch of beer. The only hard part is waiting the 6 weeks or so for it to be ready. I'm not known for my patience. I am however planning to be there for the initial tastes of the Newnan Black Chocolate Stout (based on the recipe of the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout). I think Joe got a little sad when I told him I'd had the original and it was good... but then I found him a sample at Brick Store (more on that later). I think he is looking forward to the 50 or so high gravity home brews that will emerge from under the stairs in a few weeks.

Yes i drug yet another friend to the scenic Decatur square for some Brick Store fun. Joe and I were joined by Grace, Jonathan, Matt, and Travis. We really revel in the fact that it's a Wednesday afternoon and we have nothing better to than to slack off and drink beer. It was actually a very nice day, warm and sunny, for slacking and drinking beer. We then departed Brick Store for Ri Ra's in midtown, to be joined by the people who weren't able to be slackers all afternoon (namely Molly, Tanya, and Elissa). I think it's so nice that the wives are willing to work all day so their husbands can entertain me in the afternoons. We also discovered that Ri Ra's, in attempts to really bring the authentic Irish pub experience to America, actually imports Irishmen (and women) to work here. Seriously, James (not me) was brought in from his home near Cork just to serve us beer with an authentic accent. It's still not he same as a small pub in Limerick, though.

Otherwise, my life of luxury seems to continue for the moment. I have another month of being well paid before I'm downgraded. I am happy to see that management raises have been re-instated. I'm happy my coworkers and I can take pay cuts (some up to 100%) to make this happen. But hey, we're lucky to have jobs!

A woman just walked into the New-Nan B&N with the most hideous red and blond hair style.. I should send her to my student stylist to help her out... I'm hoping she didn't pay for her hair color... sadness. I digress.

Anyways, I also this week resigned the lease on my apartment. I feel kind of bad about not moving in with Jon Charles, but he was most understanding... considering that my landlords were nice enough to drop my rent by 25% and I'm taking on a roommate. So looks like another year on Duker Ave.... well.. maybe.

That's about it... I have some emails to send out and contacts to make. I met a fine lady who works for Qantas on my last flight to SDF I'm going to make sure to keep in touch with. And there's vacation planning to do before taco mac tonight. Later!