Sunday, October 19, 2014

ZOMG I have a follower!

Hi follower!

I think I might start doing this again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Car Free?

So I've been riding the bus quite a bit lately, for a number of reasons. The car is on its last legs, work is close to home, and I need the most of the time it's kind of fun. And let's not forget the $140 a month I'm saving in gas, which is a good thing. And as long as I'm a student, the bus and train are free.

The natural continuation of this is "why the hell do I have a car at all?" Why not just cancel the insurance and give ol' Bessie to KUT? Car 2 Go has a place not far from the house that I could use to rent a Smart car by the hour, which is pretty awesome. And for the semi-annual trips to the parents up in Oklahoma, wouldn't it be cool to rent a big ol' Cadillac for the drive?

Some problems: Smart cars don't carry two kids. There's some question about whether they should even carry one, come to think of it. Also, having two cars is convenient. I had to replace a dead battery for K recently, but she didn't miss work or have to do anything icky with her car because she was able to take mine. I suppose that might be remedied with a Car 2 Go setup, but it would be complicated. Car 2 Go charges by the hour, unless you drop it off in a recognized "zone." I don't know that there are any zones close enough to K's work to make that practical, and I'd still be looking at a pretty long walk if I chose to use it to commute from time to time. And I _did_ miss the bus the other day. I'd have been late without my car.

Then, not to get too far into my mother's line of reasoning, WHAT IF SOMETHING HORRIBLE HAPPENED TO THE KIDS WHEN KIMMIE WAS AWAY FROM HOME IN HER CAR?

And finally, as it stands now I have an alternative to driving a pink jeep with eyelashes. This alternative would really go away, unless I was able to utilize the Car 2 Go thing.

For now, getting rid of the car would only save me about $60 a month. But, since the car is dying, it would pretty soon mean saving me a car payment. And I can't see paying $400 a month to have a car that sits in the street 99% of the time. I'd probably be back to commuting, if only to justify the money spent.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tactics For Dealing With Assholes

So K's "on travel" this week, leaving me to play single dad. Which I'm fine with, don't get me wrong--it's fun, in the short term, when mom's away. Reminds me of my childhood, a bit--when Dad went TDY, Mom "cooked" TV dinners and things were generally much more relaxed.

But Wednesday nights are nights when K generally takes the boys to their grandmother's house to eat dinner with their dad. She does this because a) the boys want to see their dad, b) because it's nice to have some time alone with yer partner during the week, and c) because he's a dickhead who doesn't have a car. And possibly d) she's nice.

I pointed out last weekend that I wasn't keen on doing the drop off/pickup thing on Wednesday--the kids are going to see the guy in two days anyway, and I'm not inclined to jump through hoops just so dude can feed them strawberries for dinner while watching "America's Funniest Kittens" or whatever. There's something that irks me about bringing him his kids, then waiting 2 hours to go get his kids and continue taking care of them. Perhaps if I was a biological parent, I'd look at it differently. But I'm not.

So, naturally, the guy doesn't call yesterday during the day. I'm sure we're both busy--I spent yesterday reconciling payment and transaction data between the DOT and their collections agency, and I imagine he spent yesterday smoking cigarettes and bearing down on "One Life to Live." But come six o'clock, when they're supposed to be at his house, still no phone call. Guess he didn't want to deal with me.

Squared the kids away with dinner, and advised them that I was going to be taking an economics quiz--which, this online econ class is a good reason for another post, if I get around to it. The critical thing about this quiz, from the standpoint of this story, is that it's timed. And, you know, it's kind of hard. Something you have to concentrate on, and concentration's difficult for me when I'm pissed off.

Naturally, he calls when I'm in the middle of it. 6:37pm, because I looked at the clock. Math in my head confirms my feeling-even if I was able to drop everything and take them, what's the point in taking them for an hour? I send the call to voicemail.

Once I'm finished with the quiz, I thought I'd try to grow myself a little bit and actually call the guy back. I haven't yet run across a situation in which I benefited to reach out to him, but whatever. This is what grown, responsible people do. Return calls. Right?

So I call the number, and after a few rings and some light conversation with his sister, I get him. Apologized for missing his call, explained the timed test thing. Pointed out that since it's now 7pm, it's not really efficient for me to bring the kids for an hour. But I'd be happy to let him talk to the kids on the phone.

His response: you can still drop them off over here for two hours.

Not "yeah, you're right," or "yeah, I should have called earlier to make a plan," or "I really want to see my kids, how about I come get them instead?" All of these potential outcomes are so unlikely that I actually had to do some work to sort of put those words in his mouth...

My response: "well, no, as I said, it's...."

The fucker hung up on me.

Which made me kind of mad (although I've been in this game long enough to recognize that being hung up on is better than being screamed at), but I considered it a teachable moment for the kids--who had long ago figured out that they weren't going to hang out with daddy today.

"Well, kids, I just got off the phone with your daddy, who isn't very happy with me right now. In fact he kind of acted like a jerk. Which is somewhat understandable in that he didn't get what he want, and some people think it's OK to act like a jerk when you don't get what you want. Which is not how we want YOU to be, of course, but we can't really do much about your father at this stage. The thing that you should learn from this is that you get a lot more of what you want when you communicate and plan with the people who are involved in your getting what you want. For instance, had your daddy planned something with me, or called me beforehand, there's a good chance he would have gotten what he wanted. Instead he didn't get what he wanted, and acted like a jerk."

Followed shortly by:

"I'm sorry you don't get to see your daddy tonight. But I think I've got the next best thing here."

To which Eddie responded: "Ice cream?"

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Dinner Tonight!

Sort of a date night--the kids are gone, at least. I copied this from the other, long dead blog:

Slammin Steak Kyoto

Shamelessly ripped from the pages of the Weber grill brochure, and put here primarily so I can recycle said brochure:

1/3 cup Vi Dai Bo De soy sauce (or some other low salt/Asian soy, not that Chung King Americanized crap)

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate (not sure about this, but I just used OJ)
2 T olive oil
2 t tomato sauce
1 t or so green onion
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t prepared mustard (I used dijon)
1/2 t minced ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced.

4 big ass salmon steaks

marinade the steaks in all the above for an hour or so, then grill the salmon skin side down with Direct Medium heat til it's done (doesn't take long, 5 to 10 minutes). Boil the marinade for at least 1 full minute to kill nasty food bugs from the fish, the use as a sauce fur deine feesh.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Job Angst

"And you may ask yourself: How do I work this?"

That's me. This stupid song's been running through my head for 3 weeks now, I think.

I have a Management job. It's a grown up job--handling money and a relatively fragile reputation for the TXDOT and toll roads in Central Texas. Dealing, I hear, with POLICE on a daily basis. It involves Meetings and Corner Offices. I've gone from a work station (not a Cube, even) directly to this office, skipping Cubes and the top levels of middle management...I guess. They tell me I'm moving into capital-M Management, and given the way people are bein' all nice to me now, I guess They are right.

And it's not that much more money. It's substantially more money than I'm making now, but somehow there's a disconnect between the way people are acting and what I know will be on my paycheck two Fridays from now. My new peers and boss are doing their best to make me feel like I've "arrived," and the aforementioned corner office is nice, but...if I'm not clearly in a new tax bracket, but people are either doing their best to hump my leg or telling me that people are going to start humping my leg any time I go outside, where am I?

I've owned it--it's not like I don't enjoy my job. I'm a spreadsheet nerd, a data geek, and I don't care. I got the damn job because I was the only person who could pass a relatively simple spreadsheet test, and that's sad. I know I don't sell myself well, and while I didn't freeze up and blurt something about being a professional fire breather, I know the other applicants did well at the talking bit.

Sigh...I have a reputation, it seems, around the workplace. I'm "really smart," and "know everything about Excel." And I'm weird looking--I think I'm the only guy in the building with long hair, and I'm certainly the only guy who has tattoos bigger than some half-assed Sigma-Chi late night drive to Gainesville on his tit. Being weird looking but not too threatening kind of helps you with people in ties, I think--you can be a kind of useful pet.

I work for a GIANT construction firm, and I think what has happened is that I'm being pulled up from the -local- workforce into the lowest ranks of the actual company. I'm replacing (sort of) a guy who's moved off to Florida to do the job of the guy who's three or four pay grades above his boss here...

Everyone keeps telling me "you'll do great." I KNOW I'll do great. I may spend 20 hours a week extra at work, which will suck, but I'll do it and feel good about it even as my carefully built and genuinely happy home life crumbles around my unhearing ears.

Feh. I'm confident in my ability to do the work. It's spreadsheet analysis and navigating the database, and acting like I know what I'm doing.

What I'm not sure of is whether I'm going to become one of Them, or whether that sort of dichotomy really exists at all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Description of Cute Behavior

I'm in bed with the laptop, avoiding Stupid Roommate. The kids brush teeth and the elder, Freddie, comes and does normal hugs/wrestling with me (he's too adult, at six, for man-on-man kisses, which is kinda funny). During the good night stuff, this sort of thing begins:

"Hey, where's Eddie the Younger? Isn't he coming for hugs and kisses?"

Starting at the foot of the bed, moving stealthily clockwise, the rustle rustle rustle of jammies on low-nap carpet.

"Man, Freddie, is that a cat I hear down there?"

No rustling.

"I guess you should go find your brother. I wonder where he is..."

Excited, muffled breathing from approximately the same spot where the rustling stopped.

"Man, I guess I should go brush my teeth, but first I'm going to look in my closet for the clothes I want to wear tomorrow."

A second's thought, then hurried rustling counterclockwise away from where I'll be putting my foot. A tuft of reddish blonde hair appears between my feet, beyond the foot of the bed.

"Wow, I wonder where Eddie is?"

SILENCE. Then the sound of a finger being drawn across a half-snotty nose.

"Well, heck, I guess I'll just call it a night. Sure wish I coulda..."

Suddenly, a small boy in lizard jammies flops onto the bed, scrabbling frantically up to rub his mucus on my chin.

It's bed time. Man, I love this life.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sick Dork

I'm still fighting a fucked up back (for the last 10 years I just THOUGHT I had a back problem), and I'm not quite finished ripping this DVD of "Inferno," which you really ought to check out. Dario Argento before he became a caricature of a caricature.

The E man has had straight Wows since he had a come to Jesus moment on Monday after hitting a kid in line to do something. I can't tell if this is due to the talk I gave him or the spreadsheet I started building for him and his brother immediately afterwards. After dinner ever night, now, we've come to the laptop and booted up's Calc, to update everyone's grades (behavior and legitimate test scores).

I bought K a big fat pink Ipod for her birthday, end of October. Don't tell her-it's one of the new Nanos, because she runs with it (bless her), and because it has an integrated radio receiver. Hopefully I get it with time enough to either a) make a thoughtful playlist of all of "our" songs over the last 2 years, or b) shoot 10 minutes of video down my pants. I sure do love that girl.