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Guess it's that time of the year......

Go figure.  It's been over one year since my last post.  I'm not even sure who still reads this stuff.  One thing has been occupying my mind since the last time I posted anything:  Call of Duty.  Yes, the game.  I've also been sick, to the hospital, taken copious amounts of antibiotics, missed a lot of work here and there.  I've also managed to have just one relationship with a girl that lasted 5 months.  It wouldn't have even lasted that long but I don't like being the person doing to the breaking up.  I just couldn't take it anymore and she gave me an easy way out.  Perhaps her next boyfriend will be more suitable for her and things will work out and she'll get married.  Most of my previous girlfriends are married now, and if they aren't, then they have boyfriends.

I've also gotten prescription glasses.  I guess I've reached the age where I can't ignore the fact I can't see 20\20 anymore.

I've lived in Nashville for two and half years now.  I'd like to move back do Denver.

My brother got married at the beginning of September.  The wedding was great.  He's in the process of moving into a house right now.  Everyone is happy for him and his new wife.

Other than that, it's back to Xbox for me.  Gears of War 3 is out and I have it.  Until next time....
So today I went to the Post Office to mail a box of stuff to a friend.  As I pulled into the parking lot, a small child was being led by the arm by a rather cranky looking old man.  My first assumption was that the old man was probably a grandparent.  As I followed them into the post office, the old man asked the first woman he saw if it was her child, to which she replied, "Si."  The old man ranted on for about a minute how the kid was wondering near the street and how someone could have snatch the kid up.  Then he left making unpleasant remarks under his breath. 

What bothered me about the whole episode was the mother's response.  She seemed almost completely apathetic about the whole ordeal.  She genuinely seemed like she could have cared less.  I would go so far as to say she even seemed inconvenienced.  This infuriated me because my whole train of thought is that if you don't care for children, especially your own, then why did you have one, or two, or more?  Sadly, the term  "anchor baby" came to mind in this particular instance.  But this could have been anybody of any race, creed, or religion. 

As draconian as it may seem, some people really should not breed.  Period.  I'm not saying taking the kids away from the parents, unless it was absolutely necessary.  But how about spaying & neutering people?  If that lady can't take care of the kids she has, don't let her have any more.  Dead beat dad with 5 kids from 4 different mothers?  Neuter him. 

There are plenty of good parents out there.  I know this.  But it's too often that I've seen crap lousy examples of parents as well.  

iPhone

I hate you.  There I said it.  You suck.  Thanks largely in part to the marriage with iTunes, which is easily one of the worst pieces of turd on my computer.  I understand business & capitalism.  But to have to pay for every stupid little extra ringtone is very disappointing.  The whole sync process is also very disappointing for those of us who don't need someone to hold our hand through the process of transferring files.  I especially don't want iTunes to transfer everything on it's own when the default settings are used.  

One thing that makes me want to use my iPhone for target practice and call Apple for a $0.99 refund is my purchased ringtones disappear from my phone every time I sync it to iTunes.  Then I have to go through the trouble of trying to sync the ringtones again, and again, and again, and again.... and restart the phone in the hopes they will magically appear.  

Oh, and god forbid you start bashing on the iPhone to an iPhone lover.  You talk about getting defensive with cult-like conviction.  "A person" I know Loves his iPhone.  Every time I mention the petty problems that irk me about the iPhone, he's always quick to something like "Why you don't you just save up your money and buy a new phone, since you don't like yours?"  Or this, "You just don't like the iPhone because it's too easy to use and you like to make things complicated."  My personal favorite is when people try to tell me I just don't know what I'm doing.  I would like to give a big, fat F**k you to those people.  I know what I'm doing.  I know how to build a computer.  I have fixed almost every single software issue I've ever had.  I've fixed computers for other people.  So don't tell me I don't know what I'm doing.  Get off your high horse.  The iPhone isn't that great.  And the "person" in question?  The iPhone is his first "smartphone".  Prior to that, he just had a cheap flip phone.  He never experienced the ease of Drag & Drop file transferring that was possible on the Blackberry, or any other phone for that matter.

Here's another gripe.  When I updated to the new iOS4, i made sure to click "Backup Phone" prior to updating the phone.  That didn't matter.  I made the mistake of click on the button that said "Manually manage music and videos".  Amazingly, when I tried to uncheck that button, I got a disconcerting warning message that stated that all music & videos would be removed.  Nice.  Way to go Apple. 

Despite all of the cool and nifty things about the iPhone, I will gladly get rid of it when the time comes. 

Seriously, if any of you would like to argue with me about the virtues of the iPhone over some other phone, feel free to.

I don't know.

I still do not understand how beautiful girls and women can have self esteem issues. I get looks are subjective, but still. Even when you tell them how attractive they are, some still want to deny it. Or at least deny it to themselves. I just don't understand.

Let me share a story with you.

     The other day, I was out and about running normal weekend errands.  I grabbed my Zune MP3 player, put on my headphones, and started to listen to Mastodon's album "Leviathan" because I have an appreciation for some good heavy metal.  At some point during my outing, I realized I had enough heavy metal.  So I pushed the "stop" button and took off my headphones. 

     Then something odd happened. 

     The music didn't stop.  It just kept playing in my ears.  Something was wrong, I just couldn't figure what.  The volume was a bit loud too, so I couldn't hear much from the outside world.  As you can imagine, it didn't take long for me to become concerned.  Over and over, all I could hear was Mastodon blaring away. 

     My brother was with me.  I asked him if he could hear the music too.  He didn't hear anything.  But I couldn't hear him speak over the sound of heavy metal already playing my ears.  I couldn't even hear what my voice sounded like when I spoke.  

     By this time, I was scared.  Genuine fear started to take over.  I had never experienced anything like this.  How would you explain to a doctor that the music is still playing in your ears?  Even worse, it was the same album over and over and over again.  I started to ponder the prospect of only hearing the same 10 songs over and over again for the rest of my life.  I knew I wouldn't let that happen because I'd freak out and do something drastic before it ever came to that.  But I could already imagine the insanity I would suffer before I would take drastic measures.  

     As I became more scared, I became more agitated.  I just wanted the music to stop.  I thought about just punching myself in the sides of the head.  Perhaps a square hit to the ears would make it stop.  Before I clenched my fist to start hitting myself, I just wanted to scream.

     And just as I opened my mouth, I gasped....... and woke up.  

     It was all a dream.  A very bad dream.  About 4 hours earlier, I put on some headphones, selected "Leviathan", pushed play on my Zune and went to sleep.  The music was set on repeat.  My mind was able to incorporate the music into my dream.  This isn't the first time I've had outside sounds or music sneak their way into my dreams.  However, this was the most realistic episode.  Next time, I'll just make sure I have more music on the playlist.

It's August.....and almost September.

     Last month, I got received letters stating that I was eligible for both of the positions I applied for.  Shortly after that, I was offered and accepted one of the positions.  It's for the Collection Representative position, which is what I was doing in Denver before I left.  The debate is still out on whether or not I will attend the entire Core training class or just the later On-the-Job training portion.  The truth is, I'd rather go through the entire class again because 1.  there have been numerous changes to procedures since I left and 2.  the first few weeks will be a total sham for me that I can just sit back and relax for a while.  

     I'm still waiting to hear about the other position I applied for.  I have not received any further correspondence pertaining to it.  This is still somewhat good because it means I might still have a chance at it.  Otherwise, they will send me a letter stating that I made the best qualified list, but they hired someone else.  Rumor has it that there is a hiring freeze until the new fiscal year.  That's fine because the next fiscal year starts October.  I've also been talking to a handful of people in the building, letting them know that I want the job.  The hope is that they can throw a good word in for me.  But the truth is that the Gov't has taken steps to prevent exactly what I'm trying to do.  They want to prevent any sort of pre-selection.  I do have a few things that will work in my favor.  1. Veteran's Preference - That's right.  If you and are have equal qualifications, I get the job over you because of my military service.  2.  Prior ACS experience - Having a background in IRS Collections is a plus.  3.  People just like me.  Well, some do.  You can't please everybody all the time. 

     Aside from work, there isn't much else for me to tell.  I've settled into a pretty mundane routine.  I still do the occasional kayaking on the lake on weekends.  I've made a couple new friends.  I haven't seen any new movies lately aside from "Year One".  I keep meaning to go, but never get around to it.  My cat is still her usual obnoxious self.  Speaking of which, does anyone else have a cat that wants you present while he/she eats?  It's one of the weirdest things.  I swear.  

It's July.

Well......

     I'm still here.  I think I'm just about settled into my life in Nashville.  Some things never change no matter where I go.  I still get stopped by nearly every stop light anywhere I go.  My co-worker became privy to this phenomenon during a recent trip to Florida.  It will still rain a day or two after I wash my car.

    In Denver, I had some dumb co-workers.  In Nashville, I have co-workers with a poor work ethic and seem to be more concerned with petty things than what's actually important.  However, most of my co-workers seem to like me, or at least appreciate having me around.  I'm like Morgan Freeman's character in Shawshank Redemption.  Plus they like the work that I do. 

     Back in May, I applied for two jobs: Collection Representative and Intake Advocate.  I've received letters stating I'm eligible for both positions.  So that's a step in the right direction.  In addition, one of them can net me a higher pay grade. 

     In the past three weeks, I've been to Florida twice.  I anticipate going again within the next few months.  

     I'm still consistently broke.  The debate is out as to where to work for a second job to help make ends meet.  Having no money is also why I haven't made any attempt to meet any potential dates.  So until I can find a girl who is equally as broke or one with all the money, then it'll just be the single life for me.

     Despite being broke, I've managed to make a few trips to the lake to go kayaking.  I even saved a couple turtles from certain death.  

And that's about it I guess.  'Til next time.....

   

Update

For those of you who didn't already know, much has transpired since I last made an entry.  Much of it has to do with pride and the fact that I didn't want to suck it up.  There is one lesson in life that I've learned and forgotten time and time again.  The grass is not always greener on the other side.  For myself, I am always required to leave a place I didn't like, only to realize the place I left wasn't all that bad afterall.  (Perhaps I should read up on Tao Te Ching again.)  

For all of Denver's faults, there were certain qualities that I am going to miss.  Only time will tell if this move was really worth all the sacrifice I made to make it happen.

Speaking of sacrifice.  The day I finally decided to move, we had the worst snowstorm all winter.  In fact, it snowed more in one day than in it did for the whole year.   So I had to wait another day to start driving.  Then about 1/3 of the way into the trip, my car broke down.  I had to fork over another $400 some odd dollars to rent a truck to complete the remainder of the trip.  As we speak, my raggedy Suburban that I had grown fond of sits in an open parking space at a storage facility in Salina, KS.  (Anyone interested in buying it for cheap can send me a message.)

This in turn, caused another significant problem.  I had to buy a new car, take on car payments, and higher insurance.  This is not how I wanted to start out my time in Nashville.  I was actually hoping to be able to start saving up more money, not spend more.  

And then there is work.  The severity of the sacrifice I have made became more apparent when I finally started working in Nashville.  My supervisor is a great guy.  In fact, he is too nice.  That is a source of many problems because a majority of the people I work with take advantage of his kindness.  Most of the people I work with have a piss poor work ethic.  And it kills me to have the specialized training that I have, and not be able to use it.  I made an attempt help another employee with a rather complicated case.  I'm so good that I actually help the guy by sheer memory and had him resolve the case.  But I was later advised not to help like that again because "he needs to learn how to find out the answers for himself" and that I had him do things he wasn't trained to do.  This frustrated me because this guy is expected to find the answer to something that took me 3 months of classroom instruction and almost 2 years on the job to know.  How is he expected to be able to decipher the Internal Revenue Manual in order to solve a complex problem that he has never had any training on at all?

Now, one of the reasons my current boss took a gamble to hire me was because he was hoping he could get now as a secretary, and then hire me as a Tax Advisory Specialist shortly thereafter.  But once again, some with an approved "hardship" submitted a transfer request, effectively eliminating my chance at the job.  So now he knows he might lose me again because I've applied for a couple other positions.  By the way, this is the second time now that someone has used the hardship transfer system only to have it affect me adversely. 

One bright note: being "just a secretary" has afforded me the opportunity to take a week long trip to New Orleans and Uncle Sam paid for it.  Most of it anyways.  Meals & incidentals, travel and lodging (at the JW Marriot) was all paid on my Gov't credit card.  Any souvenirs, alcohol, and fun stuff has been paid out of my own pocket.  I could have a abused the system a little by withdrawing my per diem for the day from an ATM and spending it my own way, but decided to do the right thing.  (This time.)

I may post a few pictures from New Orleans at a later date. 

Gotta go now, they're getting ready to board my flight.
 




Let me tell you why I hate Denver, CO.

1.  Every time I wash my car, it snows or rains within the next couple days.

2.  In the event it doesn't snow or rain, we will still have enough wind to blow dirt all over my car.

3.  It's always unpleasantly windy, especially during what should be the nicest part of the day.

4.  There is always "dirt" in the air. 

5.  Every new subdivision in the area is comprised of overpriced cookie-cutter homes. 

6.  Many of the cookie-cutter homes are merely purchased by real-estate speculators in the hopes of getting rich quickly.  (Which is one of the reasons why the economy is so messed up.)

7.  I finally have a job that gives you paid snow days, but it didn't snow enough for that this year or last.  Until today.  Which ironic because I'm on vacation and I'm supposed to be driving to Nashville today, but can't.

8.  Denver can have 4 seasons a month.  But Summer doesn't usually occur on weekends except when it's actually supposed to be summer.  The wind will still ruin an otherwise perfect day. 

9.  Almost every single woman I've met either has a dog, or wants one.  I'm allergic to dogs and general don't like them. 

10.  I've paid more for vehicle registration in one year here than in all the years I've had a car registered in Florida.

11.  State Income Tax - It's obvious that neither the State income tax nor the overpriced registration is being spent on roads.

12.  I know it can happen anywhere, but my car was broken into for the first time in my life in Denver.

13.  I know it can happen anywhere, but my car was totaled for the first time in my life in Denver.

14.  People talk about how great the mountains are.  But as close as they look, it's still a day long trip out of the city to enjoy them. 

15.  There is no "Real" beach. 

There are a few things I like about Colorado.  But they do not make me want to stay.  It's just time for a change.

:^(

As much as I want to move, I hate the process of actually moving.