February 11, 2015

Trivia Geek, Seeks Like Minded Individuals

For the last many days, I have had this thought in my head about wanting to meet fellow geeks.  Ones that love trivia.  Music and movie trivia.  Let me outline this out as best as I can.

I love music and I love being able to know all of the details about a band like who the members are.  Most of the time, I'm surrounded by people who are nice, but really don't care about my music knowledge.  Some pass it off as "why is it important to know all that?"  I get that they are not interested, but why are there not more people like me that love this stuff?

So here's more details on what fills my memories.  I often pick a band like Led Zeppelin.  Name off the members: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham.  Then I go down the albums: Led Zeppelin, II, III, Zoso (or Led Zeppelin IV), Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti....  you get the idea.  Then I go into years the albums were released: Houses of the Holy was released in 1973.  I love these details.  And I do it a lot with a lot of bands.

Watching the Grammy awards the other night and AC/DC was the opening act.  I immediately went to the place in my head that stores trivia.  There are only two original members of the band left: Angus Young and Cliff Williams. I know this without having to Google.

I'm not quite there with movies, like who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1983. For that, I would have to go to Wikipedia or IMdb.  But I would love to find people that do love this stuff.  The details.  But with one condition: it has to be nonjudgmental.  Like I don't want some smarty who thinks he is all hot shit and looks down on others "What? you didn't know that?"  I want more of a trivia mentor.  Yeah, that's it.  Someone who challenges but it's all uppity about what he (or she) knows.

Maybe it's because I mostly surround myself with people that don't care about music or movies.  I  mean, think about it.  I love the music just as much as anyone with a good ear does.  I love the guitar, the transitions...  you name it.  Same with lines from movies.

Not that I am soliciting here in this post.  But, per chance, if you happen to match my description, feel free to comment below.  I might even replicate this post over to my main blog at some point. 

December 31, 2014

The Start and The End

It appears this will only be my second blog post here for 2014.  I don't think that's a bad thing, considering the topics I post out here are mostly bitching and ranting about things in my life.  And I've not flooded my main blog with too many details of my struggles with distractions.

Let's just say that I am really wanting and will make an effort for 2015 to be a year where any posts here will be praise for what happened.

It's been an interesting year, based solely off my first post, where I applied for a job but didn't get it and have been stuck at my current job since.  There was always a hope to leave.  I had a couple of phone interviews and one in person.  I realized I am not prepared for an enterprise IT job, at least on a Goldman Sachs level.  Nothing like knowing you blew a 2 hour interview 35 mins into it.  Learning experience, that's what it's called.

Stuck is an interesting verb to use to explain a situation that's almost entirely in my control.  Yes, I applied for jobs this year, but I could have pushed harder.  It's most certainly not because I don't want a new job, which I most sorely need for 2015 to be a better success story than 2014 was.  I had several job opportunities presented to me, but either I applied and wasn't qualified or I spent too much time pontificating over the position and my confidence level that I never applied.  Yes, you read that right.

One of the first courses of action while looking for a professional counselor that understands where I am at is to push for a new job.  In fact, I'm making it a goal for January to find something.  I feel I have overstayed my welcome here and need this change more than anything to help me get out of my comfortably unhappy state and take that first risk into changing.

Let's see what my next post out here will say.  Hope it's a step in the right direction towards gaining a positive foothold back into my life.

January 10, 2014

Loyalty Goes Both Ways

I learned today that a job I applied and interviewed for, went to the other candidate I was up against.

I have no clue who this other candidate is, but obviously he was the better choice for this position.  It was just myself and this other person that made it past the second interviews.  As a constellation prize, I was told that another position will open up in June and that they would like to talk to me at that point.

Also, I get to remain employed at the job I've been at for almost 11 years now.  Which makes me reflect on my time there:


  • I have never once traveled with this company even though we have multiple offices
  • It's been just shy of 6 years since my last raise
  • My last raise was me quitting in October 2007 and coming back in February 2008
  • I am no longer challenged by any of my given responsibilities
  • My last 3 bonuses have all been half of what they were the previous time
  • I do have a lot of flex time, which is nice when I am asked to do things for other people in my life
  • I get 5 weeks of vacation and I use up every single hour that I earn. Each and every year
I was hoping that being dedicated (I've not taken a single unscheduled day off for sickness in over two years), coming in when there is an issue (I live 3 miles away, which is 1 mile closer than one co-worker and 20 miles closer than the other co-worker), always having my phone with me to answer it, staying late when needed would somehow be shown in ways other than the occasional "Attaboy".

Instead, I do my best to appreciate a regular paycheck, which I discovered today, is less take home pay than I made 6 years ago when I returned to the company. And employment that I seem to not be in any imminent danger of jeopardizing.

So in six years, I have not moved forward.  I have not stayed stationary.  I have regressed in many ways.  The loyalty I have given these last six years has all been for naught.  Well, it does garner an impressive response to friends, family and job interviews.  Which I label as a positive.  So long as I use that positive to find much more gainful employment at a company that understands loyalty goes both ways.

Yes, folks.  I am making efforts to leave the job I loathe.  Today was just a minor setback in my quest to take my loyalty elsewhere.

December 29, 2013

14 Years

I didnt post much out here this year. Which means I didn't complain much. Even though I had a lot to complain about.

No, I want to end 2013 on this particular blog on a mostly positive note.

For the previous 14 years, my daughter spent every Christmas Eve with my ex-wife and her family. There was no "every other year" schedule like some divorced parents handle things.  I simply wasn't given the option. But this year, my ex-wife decided to make changes in her life, which didn't include my daughter.  And like every single year of her life since the divorce, I was there for my daughter, who I did get to spend not just Christmas Eve with, but a good 4 months living in the same house, until she moved out on her own for the first time in her life.

A major postive change and moving forward.  Yet, making her papa proud and happy.  And elated I was.  A bit emotional on Christmas morning as well, as I was able to wake up with my daughter in the same house in that same 14 years absense.

On this same Christmas Eve night, another event 14 years in the making was the marriage of my step-daughter's father and his partner, thanks to the current legalizing of same-sex marriage in Utah.  It was a joyous moment amongst family and one that I was very happy to share in the good news reveal.

Aside from traveling and turning 50, I didn't feel much positive and progress happened for me in 2013.  But given how Christmas Eve turned out, it ended with greatness and giving me a boost of hope that 2014 will be a much better year.

October 9, 2013

Rediscovering Passion

This blog is many things to me, but for most of the posts I've created out here, they have been complaints about my life.

My last post talked about making changes.  Most of these changes are related to things I am passion about, which is changing what I do for a living.  After 28 years as a Network Admin, I am needing/wanting a change.

I am very passionate about wanting this change.  But more than anything, I am passionate about the many projects I have going on.  I want to complete them. But I let too many other things in life get in the way of working on them to completion.  This eats at me a lot.. multiple times a day as I encounter the things that distract me.

I keep thinking I will reach that point of "I CAN"T FUCKING TAKE IT ANYMORE!!" but then another day comes along where I deal with these things that block me from moving forward.

I've come to the recent conclusion that I can't let these distractions worry me or prevent me from completing my personal and business projects.  While I've been ok to let them make me feel a lack of passion at my day job, I've let that lack bleed over to my own personal life outside of the day job.  That is where my main frustration level grows larger by the day and the hour.

I must simply find the best and most effective way to work through my personal life and day job responsibilities, while rediscovering the passion I used to have for making videos, writing stories and blogging my life's adventures.  It's the only thing that I can see that will relieve me of my complaints, stress and irritations.

September 4, 2013

Changes Hard

aka Change Is Hard

I turned 50 almost a month ago.  It really wasn't that big of a deal.  I had a nice party with lots of friends and booze and enjoyed myself.  Of course, that party happened 3 days before I hit the big 5-0, but still had a good time.

But turning 50 also brings up new concerns.  I've been at the job I'm not fond of for over 10 years now.  It's evident that I will celebrate 11 years in this comfortably unhappy place of employment.  Unless I want to change.  Which I do.  I don't enjoy bitching about this place.  It's fodder for the bar and former co-workers.  It drains my emotions and time and distracts me from making a change.

Which is what the goal of writing all of this is supposed to do...  incite change.  Change is hard.  Changes are difficult.  They need to happen, but the comfortable state is settling for the easy way.

There are plans in the works for change.  Perhaps a move to California.  At the very least, deciding what best to do for income.  Because when I look towards 11 years and turning 51 in 11 months, I want to look back and see a change.  Not just another similar entry taking about change.

April 26, 2013

Expected vs. Willing

For my first post of 2013 (and the first in over 4 months), I decided to tackle the topic of expected and willing.

The idea of being expected to do something is the negative side of being a responsible person in life. You've set a precedent that others come to be familiar with. If you deviate just once from that pattern, it comes across as negative. Like succeeding 99% of the time and getting little to no credit for that, but that 1% failure is mentioned and takes center stage for all of those you surround yourself with.

That idea is where we as a human race fail. We like and crave praise, but it rarely happens.

As for the willing part, that's a fine line to define. There are many things in life that I do that are expected of me, but ones that I am willing to do. Because I want to. To those that don't know you are willingly doing something, they see it as an expectation. Does it matter that they don't see it as something you are willing to do? Yes, it actually does. But saying something to that effect might have you come across as expecting them to accept you as a willing participant and not as an expected member of the community.

They might worry that if you are not willing to do a previously expected task, that it won't get done. And there in lies the dichotomy that plays out in my head every day.

Of course, that would be setting a new expectation. One of reducing the expectations and creating more willing tasks.

I'm willing to accept that expectation.

December 5, 2012

Second Rate

There are days when I feel like a second rate person.  I'm an overall positive person, some of the positions I have allowed myself to be placed in make me feel less optimistic about many things.

Job
My job is an unchallenging and unfulfilling place.  I see myself relegated to a series of projects that made me excited to be in the IT world to feeling more like the greeter at a Wal-Mart, responsibility wise.  I stay at this job for a couple of reasons: one, I get a decent amount of time off each year, and if I'm sane and crazy enough to stay here till May 2013 - my 10 year anniversary - I will acquire another week of vacation time.  I do have some flex time when there is no crisis happening, which allows me to take a 2 hour lunch if I need to or run my daughter somewhere.  I easily put in over 40 hours a week and usually eat my lunch at my desk, but it's nice to not have to answer to a direct boss (although that is changing once again today).

Home
While my wife and I have a great relationship, there is some intimidation that goes on, as I've blogged about before.  Not so much disastrous, but because I've allowed/participated in giving up some control of what goes on, mostly with positive results I might add, but at times, not feeling comfortable to have a voice of my own, just letting my other half make the decisions.  And this does work, as I just mentioned, but not all the time as I get resentful here and there.  Growing a "set" after years of letting someone else carry that "set" is not an easy transition of occurrence.  I attempt it when I reach a limit, and it makes me feel like I might be overstepping my bounds, yet with a bit of relief to finally take the reigns.

Mental
Due to many factors, I've let a lot of what's bothering me creep into my creative side, which has hampered my ability to dedicate time to making videos, writing novels, reading books and going places without my mental state taking a front and center interruption.  I am seeing a counselor at this time to help me regain focus, but until I can see myself making a major change, I don't foresee any results being made.

And to segue way into change, it's that enlightened hope that change will bring more enjoyment in my work and home lives, bringing it back to being challenged and using my creative side to make moving forward and reality, and not just something I talk about each and every day.

August 10, 2012

Life is Just a List of "Don't Do That's"

So last night, I was scheduled off bowling on the summer league.  There was a concert that I was planning to attend, but the band canceled and none of the people I had planned to go with were still wanting to go see the replacement band they scheduled.  So instead, I decided to go cheer my team on while they bowled.

I also found time to visit the bar at the bowling alley and throw back a few drinks.  Now if you've known me when I drink, I'm a happy drinker.  I'm not angry, nor do I get all weird or odd when I drink.  I smile and have a good time.

But as sometimes happens with consuming alcohol, we all tend to increase the volume in our voice to some degree.  And evidently saying the word "whiskey" many times throughout the night was annoying to someone on the other team.  They didn't tell me, but told my wife, who then told me to "tone it down"  The third time she told me this is when she mentioned the person on the other team.  So I toned it down... way down.  To a mostly silent level.

After the last game was over, I congratulated the other team on their win and apologized to the person I was being "too loud" to.  She seemed a bit confused and said that it was ok and that it wasn't an issue.  It wasn't until the car ride home with my wife that I learned SHE was the person I was being "too loud" for, not the other bowling.

This is not new.  There have been many times in the years we have been together that there are things I do that bother her.  Slurping coffee or soup, the occasional smacking of the lips after eating something, shaking my leg at night when I sleep.  And many others.  I have taken note of them after we have our discussion about it, which then turns into me stopping the thing I do.

We ended up having quite the discussion about the "loudness" last night and this morning before I left for work.  She made it known to me that it wasn't about me being happy... she just simply wanted me to tone it down in that particular setting.

How I work and operate is that I try to not do things that annoying people.  And over the years, I've made extra efforts to stop those things around my wife, even to the point to when she is not around, I have that level of "I need to make sure I don't do that"  And in general, that's a respectful thing.  And it has the benefit of, just in case it bothers other people besides my wife, I get a win for not being annoying to the public.

But it's a consumable list of items that I add to here which prompts a long discussion, followed by a cool off period which is then forgotten until I do something else that bothers her and we repeat the whole drama situation over.

I hate drama with a fucking passion and I do what it takes to avoid it at all costs.  Yet, for some reason, as I add now yet another item to my "don't do that" list, I've pushed myself into another round of drama.  Did I make a big deal out of nothing?  Quite possibly, but at the same time, I struggle with the understanding of being with someone who tells me often that I'm a good guy, yet will find the thing that I do that bothers her that makes me question the title of "good guy."

Have I set the bar too high?  Am I that good of a guy that my wife expects so much more out of me and each little thing I do that bugs her has to be squashed?

At this point, it's just a level of frustration added to my list of "don't do that" on top of the other shit that I am personally dealing with (projects in various states of incompleteness) and another dramatic episode that I try so hard not to repeat.

Another round of drinks please.  I'll be over here quietly managing my lists.

July 19, 2012

Reduction

Since last November, I started going back to the gym.  And until the first week of April, I worked out and didn't lose more than three pounds.  Nor did I get any fitter, with the exception of being able to climb stairs without getting overly winded.  I just enjoyed my cheese curds, bacon cheeseburgers and cheese sprinkled liberally on all of my salads.

Starting the second week of April, and after several discussions with a friend, I decided I wanted to see if I could lose more than just three pounds.  So I started counting calories and watching what I eat (which is not to be confused with watching myself eat the food I was putting in my mouth).

Today, I am down 13 pounds since November.  Not my ultimate goal (I still have 5 more pounds to go for that), but it's been nice to see I could do something like this.

Most of the changes came from sticking to a set number of calories I consume each day, combined with exercise most days.  For example, my daily sandwich omits items that carry a lot of calories in a single serving - like mayo (which I love).  A very thin layer conceals the top of the bread.  Replaced the majority of the mayo with mustard (which has little to no calories, depending on the brand and type).

While it's a nice change, I still splurge every so often (mostly booze) and then add an extra 10 minutes to my workout and drink more water.

I've got many more goals, projects and personal tasks I want to get done, and I will use this experience to show I can actually make it work.

Now to go find that 150 calorie snack I brought to work today.