Thursday, February 26, 2015

Former Friends let me down

As part of the new category I want to start writing about, here's a situation I found myself in some time ago and I've struggled with moving past it, with minimal success.  I won't mention who Friend1, Friend2 and Friend3 are but I've got other aliases for them here.  Mostly I'm sharing this for posterity because someday Moose and Squirrel may find themselves in a similar situation.

Friend1 sent out an email to two mutual friends and myself.  Friend1 has access to box seats at a sporting event and we have a choice of dates but we need to jump on this pronto.  Friend2 writes back that either date is good for him.  I write back suggesting that the second date would work best for me. Now the fun begins. 

About 12 hours later Friend3 chimes in.  He responds to the email from Friend2 and suggests the first date because he will be out of town for the second date.  Friend1 says he'll check to see if that date is still available and asks if I can make it.  I check and cannot get that day off of work.  Somehow the date that worked for me was forgotten and Friend2 got to go to the event.  Did Friend3 not see my email?  Unknown.  Did Friend3 manipulate the situation so he could go?  also unknown.

Do Friend1 and Friend2 have the smallest penises in the world for pretending not to notice what Friend3 did?  Absolutely.  Either one of them could have simply replied to Friend3's email and said "hey what about what Icarus said regarding his availability?"  Instead they dropped back to watch and see how it would play out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Compartmentalized Winter is still annoying

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This is the part of winter everyone hates.  It's too cold to do anything enjoyable or productive outside.  Everyone is over wearing boots, coats, scarves and hats.  The snow is essentially dirty ice that cannot be easily moved and just sits there preventing you from unloading your car from one side, or in our case, using our driveway.

Because the snow came in such a large amount, along with Moose & Squirrel's neediness, I was unable to keep up with the snow shoveling.  I foolishly assumed the snow would melt enough a few days later like it usually does.  Therefore I opted not to shovel the snow in our driveway opting instead just to handle the front side walk, our deck in the back and a path to the garage.  This has come back to bite me in more ways than one. 

For one thing, the water company is doing work on our street which means my mom and our cleaning lady do not have easy access to our driveway.

It has been a compartmentalized winter.  Little to no snow in December.  A good 20 inches in one shot in January.  February has been fuck-ass cold.  the forecast says this week will be cold but next week will be in the high 20s and low 30s which will feel tropical by comparison.  I'm really hoping that is the beginning of the end of winter and that the snow starts to melt enough for us to reclaim our drive way and the selfish low class idiots who abuse dibs are forced to give up their spots.  yes I went there. 

I'll give you a short term pass during Snowmaggedon or a 10+ inch snowfall that overwhelms the cities ability to keep up with plowing.  But once the snow has abetted, you have to give up your junk furniture saved parking spot.  Growing up, dibs was considered the tool of the less educated, classless fresh off the boat type who didn't know any better. 

This is going to be a crazy week for me.  I wrote a couple of posts about my Winter Training and the Half Marathon I will run next month.

Here's the MMHM training:

WEEK 7: 15 Mi
Tue Feb 24 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @10:19
Thu Feb 26 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 8:40; Cool
Fri Feb 27 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @10:19
Sun Mar 1 Long Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:19

I also need to get a haircut and renew my driver's license.  I actually have until May to do that but I thought maybe I would take advantage of working in the burbs by getting my haircut and then running driving over to the Driver's Service Facility that is only two miles from my office. 

I'm also itching to get a start on either the garage or the laundry room makeovers.  Another reason I cannot wait for winter and the cold weather to be gone.  The Proslat Protile that I ordered from Woot has finally shipped.  This is the longest a shipment has ever taken.  Since we are on a tight budget these days, I only ordered a small sample to see what they are like.  If I don't like them or determine they will not work, I can simply use them in a corner of the laundry room, either the part under the stairs which I'm tormented over how to maximize the use of that hard to get to space, or underneath the washer and dryer.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Extra set of hands needed ASAP

Our kids are at the stage where they want to be held and sometimes they don't want you to be sitting down.  There is just so much you can get accomplished when you only have one free hand.  Also, they are doing this thing now where they get up at 3am and won't go back to sleep for at least 90 minutes.  Which means puts us at about 90 minutes before our alarm is about to go off.

Our problems are compounded by the fact that we have two babies.  I'm not saying single baby families or families with more than one kid at different ages don't have their share of problems.  I'm just saying this is our only frame of reference and there are challenges unique to twins.  In the hospital and when they first came home, they acted more or less as one unit in terms of sleeping and being hungry.  That obviously didn't last very long but now the differences are more pronounced.  If one is sleeping and the other isn't, you still have to get the other one down before you can do anything.  And Boris will often wake up Natasha or vice-versa. 

Our frustration level is skyrocketing and I don't know what to do.  In the Old World, one of the ways I use to relieve stress was to go for a run.  That has been taken away from me of course because my knees are achy and because I haven't been running as much my endurance has gone away.  Also, it isn't easy to carve out time when I can get a run in, which is also making HM training difficult.  Even if I can get out for a run, that doesn't solve the problem long term.  We need an extra set of hands at the house in the evenings when we get the kids home from daycare so that we can get ahead of everything. 

Unfortunately, we don't have a young relative that is GaGa for babies that lives nearby.  Our only option is my mom who is her own bag of crazy.  She really likes to play life on the highest difficulty setting possible.  For instance, on a very cold President's Day, she plans to go to her bank and get a certified check to pay her property taxes and then travel downtown to deliver said check.  Most normal people in this century would pay online.  [I did point out to her that everything was closed that day.]

NG does have an Aunt who stayed with us for November and December but unfortunately, she has hip issues and going up and down our stairs is not ideal for her.  She cannot easily maneuver in the claw foot tub upstairs and going down the stairs to the basement shower isn't easy for her, not to mention that the basement is where our cat has his kitty litter which unfortunately doesn't contain the smell to just the laundry room section.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Conservatives say the darndest things

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A couple weeks ago, a friend posted a link on Facebook to an article that caught my eye. I wrote a post about my thoughts on that subject here.

What I left out of that post -- for word count purposes and to keep the post focused -- was the second thing my Conservative Friend said, which didn't sit well with me.

"A 16 year old with more love and understand of this country and its true values than every Democrat combined."

This particular friend is former military, extremely patriotic to the point of nationalism, and hate's Obama with a passion.  I don't know if he meant every Democrat in Congress, every elected official at any level or any person who affiliates with Democratic Party.  In any of those cases, that's a very board brush to stroke with and one of the reasons I generally distance myself from people like that.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting It Off Your Chest

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I'd like to introduce a new category here on Mysteries of Life called Getting It Off Your Chest.  The ideas is to write a short post about some past slight, trespass or other injustice committed on the behalf of a Friend-Who-Really-Wasn't.

It could be that time your roommate chose to go to a movie instead of help you celebrate your milestone birthday; it could be the friend who made you leave a cool party before you scored someone's phone number because they had to leave now; it could be someone promised to help you move and then didn't answer their phone all weekend.

The mitigating criteria being that the statute of limitations for bringing it up to said friend has very likely long since expired but you are still traumatized by it for some reason.   The purpose isn't to bitch, whine and moan but to move on by gaining some closure.

Note:  I will probably mirror this category over at ChicagoNow but the difference is here the posts will be more raw and uncensored. 

I invite readers to share their experiences as well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quick Catch up post

Okay, after a reasonably good start, I've gone too long without posting here. This is because I'm trying not to post too much from work and when I'm at home, Moose and Squirrel are a handful especially if my mom doesn't come over to help and it's just Nightingale and I. 

While I stand by my earlier proclamation that this has been a relatively mild winter, I am ready for it to be over.  It's just too cold to do anything and the snow has turned into ice which makes carting two infants around a bit more problematic.

When we drop the kiddos off at day care, the side of the car that is facing the parkway is usually off limits because of the pile of snow.

I wrote a couple of posts about my Winter Training and the Half Marathon I will run next month.

So we didn't go grocery shopping over the weekend.  We should have, but we didn't and I don't want to go into the details of that bad decision.  I just want to write about how it came back to bite us in the ass.  Because we didn't leave the house to physically shop in the store, we opted to order from Peapod.  The earliest available slot was Tuesday and we had a choice of 7-9 or 8-10.

We thought that if we picked the 7-9 slot, with our luck, Peapod would arrive at 7, right as we were trying to get our kids down for the night.  So I said we should take the 8-10 slot.  It did occur to me that means they could arrive at 10 but we are usually up anyway because one of the two kids wakes up around then.  It never occurred to me that they would be 45 minutes late on the first night in weeks that our kids decided to sleep for 4 straight hours without and we could have gone to bed much earlier!

Friday, February 6, 2015

How have I not told this story before

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I've written about the No-Name Software Company many times on this blog but I don't recall ever telling the story behind how I got that job.

It was spring of 2000 and I was in my last quarter of G-School at DePaul.  One evening after some database class ended and everyone was rushing toward the elevator, I lingered back.  Night classes were supposed to go until 9pm but they usually ended early and if you were lucky, they ended early enough to catch an 8:35 train to the burbs.  I was back in the city and using the El but even so, catching an earlier Brown Line would have been just as much of an advantage.  So it was odd that for some reason, I decided to hang back.

It was at this moment that Emram and I talked for the very first time.  He asked me what I do (for a living) and -- having just been let go from a Dotcom company -- I said "nothing."  He found that odd but then realized that it meant I was unemployed and not happy about it.  He told me his company was hiring and I should give him my resume.  I think he gave me a business card, or perhaps he wrote his email down on a slip of paper.  Back then Google was not a thing but I was smart enough to backward engineer a company from an email address.

I checked the company website and there was a couple of positions I remotely thought I had qualified for.  Six months ago Motorola turned me away because I didn't have a degree or experience in IT and I didn't think it would be much different this time even though I was technically six weeks away from graduating with a degree in computer science.  The details are hazy but somehow an interview was set up for the following Tuesday, the same night as our class.

Had I more experience and a modicum of confidence, I would have realized how my interview was a sign of things to come.  The person I was to interview with had forgot we had an interview.  I was kept waiting for a relatively long time.  A future coworker/call dispatcher kept coming out and apologizing to tell me that Gavin would be right out.

We finally got together and talked and Gavin asked me a few database questions.  One that I was sure I bombed was to demonstrate a join on the white board.  I was trying to recall a right-join which even today I cannot do without looking it up (and by default all joins are right-joins unless you specify otherwise).

I had arrived at 1pm and left the interview around 4, so that gave me just under 2 hours to kill before class.  When I saw Emram, he asked how it went and I told him that I probably blew it.  Apparently I hadn't because Gavin called me Friday night to offer me the job.  I started the day after my birthday about a month before graduation from g-school.