Friday, April 10, 2015

Scenic Friday around Portage Park

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So the twins are a little over six months old now and not quite sleeping through the night.  While we have established, more or less, a routine during the week, our weekends are still a little more ad hoc than we'd like.  Just because the kids napped at 10 and 2 one Saturday, doesn't mean they will repeat the pattern the following.

One thing that really disrupts our attempt at routine is visitors.  Friends want to come over and see the kids and it's has become a challenge because the point of coming to see the kids is

actually seeing the kids and interacting with them.  So you want visitors to come post nap so they can play with the kids.

Well at least the visitors do, all I want is to my hands to be free of holding a kid for a few minutes so I can get something done.  No word yet how the kids feel about it but guessing from the smiles at long as you are showering them with attention they are cool with it.

The best visitor is one who treats the visit like 3rd period French class back in high school.  They show up, play with the kid for 40 minutes and then splits so I can get back to routine.  Because while we love the social interaction with another adult human being who isn't a blood relative, we still have stuff to get done.

At least now that the weather is warmer, taking the kids out for a stroller ride is an option.  This is huge because while I'm talking them around the neighborhood, Nightingale can get stuff that requires too hands and some rudimentary level of concentration done.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Moving some friends to the Practice Squad

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It's too much work to be his friend. In my post-college years, that phrase was used a lot to describe me. Looking back through the lens of time, I have to admit sometimes it really did apply. I could be stubborn, overbearing and say things without thinking. Other times the conflict came when I'd challenging the status quo by standing up for myself. Still other times it was the other person waiving their freak flag justifying their dysfunction.

Today I have a couple of friends that the ROI doesn't meet the LOE necessary to maintain the friendship. It bothers me because it seems so hypocritical to give up on someone without giving them a chance to right the "friend" ship or even let them know what their trespass is. On the other hand I've also learned in my old age that people don't change unless something really shifts their paradigm. Even if you had a Pensieve from the Harry Potter World, and played back the unbiased account of their trespass, they wouldn't see it that way.

 This segment of Getting It Off Your Chest features one friend in questions is guilty of getting upset when I treat him the way he treats me. He overstates my slights against him and dismisses the same slights on his behalf as being overly sensitive. He moves the goal posts. Over the years his modus operandi is: He comes up for air every so often and expects me to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to getting together. More than half the time he cancels 11th hour citing some excuse but with little to no acknowledgement of wasting my time. That's the other thing. Any problems, concerns or Life Challenges you might have on your plate at any moment should be put on the back burner when he wants to get together. But if there is something going on in his world, how dare you suggest the band play on.

I introduced a new segment here on Mysteries of Life called Getting It Off Your Chest. The ideas is to write a short post about some Past Trespass on the behalf of a Friend-Who-Really-Isn't. Not to bitch, whine and moan but to move on by gaining some closure. I invite readers to share their experiences as well.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thread-jacking Narcissist has deeper unresolved issues

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I introduced a new segment here on Mysteries of Life called Getting It Off Your Chest. The ideas is to write a short post about some Past Trespass on the behalf of a Friend-Who-Really-Isn't. Not to bitch, whine and moan but to move on by gaining some closure. I invite readers to share their experiences as well.

This segment of Getting It Off Your Chest features a friend who is guilty of constant thread-jacking which is veiled narcissism, but there is more to it underneath the hood. This friend hands you her resume without you asking. It's one thing to find something in common and talk about it, but to
constantly make it about you is just means someone didn't get enough hugs as a child. This friend can sit at the table at brunch and tell a half dozen of us a story. If someone else shows up, without missing a beat she can start the story all over again. I cannot easily do that. I feel guilty at making the first six people re-listen to my story that they were likely just being polite listening to in the first place. In the words of Cordelia Chase of Buffy fame, this friend really needs to get over it.

God! What is your childhood trauma?! Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it.
The truth is this friend is a bit of a hot mess sometimes and an emotional bag of unpetted kittens the rest of the time.

Even a dog expects to be fed One of the things I do bring to the table is, I'm a very good listener. I seldom interrupt when someone is telling a story -- unless I've heard if for the 586th time, then i might ask you to skip some parts -- and I try to avoid offering a solution 60 seconds after hearing a problem you've been working on for several weeks. However, this does not come free. If I'm going to listen to your drivel and BS, I expect you to return the favor.
One member can consistently do 90% of the listening and only 10% of the talking, and in situations where most of the talking is about life problems, what’s happening is a one-sided therapy situation, with a badly off-balance give-and-take ratio, and that’s not much of a friendship—it’s someone using someone else. -- Source
It doesn't have to be story for story, it can be slightly out of balance, like one of my stories/problems/rants to 4 or 5 of yours. But if you cut me off or suddenly have to get going, then guess what: my ears will no longer be available to hear your bs.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

PST from a previous job

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What do you mean there's a  faster way?
It definitely wasn't all me: I wrote about the PST from a previous job before. I keep replaying all
these old experiences over and over in my head and I realize a couple of things.  One, I really did have a very naive and idealistic viewpoint on how things should and could be.  And two, that place and the people were so fucked up that no amount of governance and therapy could save them.

When I was a paralegal I adapted to the firms new document management system faster than my peers and was treated like a child molester for doing so.  At the time I couldn't understand why the resistance.  This was the direction the firm was going and we all had to do it, so why fight it?

I figured out that it wasn't so much a resistance to tech per se, although that was definitely there.  No it was a resistance to anyone or anything that made them look "bad".  As in not as smart or talented as they claimed to be.  For some people, it is easier to make others look bad than to do a good job.

I had a certain capability to navigate a new technology without fumbling like a fish out of water and this was, for some reason, a threat to them.


Who is the A-hole?  Let's say you are at you friend Tina's party and you meet Brian.  He seems really cool.  Tina pulls you to the side at one point and tells you that Brian isn't the great guy he
appears to be.  You decide not to give him your number or not to get further involved. years later you find out that Tina exaggerated/made things up and he was actually a really decent guy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Missing the Action

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 I know nobody wants to read a hundred pleas per year for the kinds of things a dude with a blog is supposed to request. I appreciate your patience with the following paragraphs.

Just a reminder that if you aren't following Mysteries of Life  on Facebook and/or Twitter you don't know what you're missing

There's more to it than a bunch of links to posts. It's a little heavier on humor and lighter on stream of consciousness rambling compared to this site. And I'm obligated to try to boost traffic and build a base of readers and all that stuff. So do it.

It really is hard for me to ask readers to do this, especially since I have already asked in the past.  I have tons of connections on Facebook who ignore didn't see my requests but then turn around and ask me to like their stuff.  Or the friend who likes all those faceless corporations but cannot give a click to me because God forbid it help me out in anyway that doesn't benefit them.  Okay end rant.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Some thoughts on blogging

During the week I often envision myself pounding out several posts here and at ChicagoNow when I work from home on Fridays.  Unfortunately my day usually gets chopped up.  First I have to drop Moose and Squirrel off at daycare.  Nightingale figures that it saves her a few minutes of stress so why not.  Then when I get home there is usually a conf call I need to be on.  Sometimes I want to get a run in and shower before the cleaning lady gets here.  I also strive to do some laundry and other odd jobs around the house that daylight and (now) lack of infants make more optimal. 

We miss Maggie very much
Blogspot, Wordpress and Typepad are full of blogs that have a handful of posts and then the blogger stopped posting.  There are probably lots of reasons for this.  I know a guy in particular who every January re-discovers his blog, starts posting for a few days and then forgets until next year.   Most likely because there isn't any reader interaction or feedback so if you are the type of writer who needs an audience you are going to get frustrated rather quickly.  Blogging, at least quality blogging that will attract consistent and growing readership and reader interaction is hard. 

My goal for this blog this year is to try and hammer out approximately 10 posts a month. That will keep me in line with my averages for previous years. 

I'm trying to avoid writing posts here while at work even though it probably doesn't matter.  They either already have this domain in my internet history or they don't.  But not writing while at work means I can only really write when I'm at home during the few hours that Moose and Squirrel are sleeping and most of those times I'm either scrambling to get things done before they wake from their nap or they are down for the night and we are trying to relax, eat something and catch some sleep before the middle of the night feeding.

So we are on the verge of putting Nightingale 's condo up for sale.  We unloaded mine last fall and the result was for the first time since we got married we didn't have to pay any taxes.  The market seems better this year because a First One neighbor of mine from the condo building put her place on the market and was under contract in less than three weeks.  Her unit is slightly smaller than mine and she priced it accordingly.  She also owned the place for 15 years and unless she did something really stupid with refis and HELOCs, she will do okay if she got anywhere close to ask (which one should assume if it went under contract in three weeks).

Friday, March 20, 2015

A few things to avoid multiple posts

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So I had to pass up the chance to run the March Madness Half Marathon on Sunday.  Boris had a 102 fever and was up all night so I didn't get much sleep.  Combine that with the fact that while I did the majority of the training (more than 80% of the mileage), my running form was still not effortless, it would have been a sucky race for me.

Borrowed and Edited from actual finisher
The only part I'm even remotely saddened about is that this year the weather was absolutely perfect and I would have been able to run in shorts.  This happens every few years but is obviously unpredictable. My hope was that my training for and running of this half marathon would provide me with the necessary pseudo training for the Shamrock Shuffle in a couple of Sundays.  I can still run 5 miles but not fast or without stopping.  I guess we'll see.

Boris and Natasha (aka Moose and Squirrel if you haven't already caught on) are waking up at 3, 4 or 5 am and acting like it is time to be awake for the day.  This is not working well for us obviously.  I don't know what to do about it.  Sleep training is a little harder for twins because even if one is sleeping the other can wake them up quickly.

On the nights that my mom is over it is both a blessing and a curse.  Blessing because she deals with them.  Curse because 1) NG still wakes up and 2) my mom talks to them and holds them too long instead of putting them back in their cribs so they have no incentive to go back to sleep.  Sometimes she either doesn't get to them quickly enough or doesn't soothe the one that is crying before the second kid wakes up.  It isn't all her fault but it doesn't help that my mom is the type of person who wears out her welcome rather quickly.

She questions and scrutinizes a lot of our decisions even dumb ones like how much to bundle the kids up on a day that is between warm and cold. 

It wasn't just me

A few Thursdays ago I went to an event hosted by the man who got me the job at the No-Name Software Company.

There were two others from my  No-Name Software days, and a third person from my stint at Big Bucks Law Firm 2.0.  We caught up and talked about the events that caused us to leave No-Name Software Company

On the positive side, it vindicates me that BM was forced out even though he has a much better attitude than I ever did at that place.  On the negative side, it seems like a lot of our "classmates" keep in touch without including me.

Still, each of those persons has been able to find a new job by reaching out to someone we know.  I have done it alone.

Strange Dreams

Thursday morning of that same week, I apparently made a loud noise while in the middle of a dream.  In the dream I was walking with Katness and Monica and I stepped through some snow and ice.  What should have been a small step into some melted snow turned into a deep chasm and I was sinking very quickly.  The water apparently was so cold that I didn't have an buoyancy.  I sank to the very bottom very quickly.