Archive for September, 2012

Getting Out Of The House

After spending eight hours working on the spreadsheet from hell all day Friday, I needed to get out of the house. I went to gym and then stopped at the mall to buy some new work out t-shirts. After buying t-shirts I walked around the mall for a while to see what was new. I found a pair of casual wing tip boots that will be great for fall but decided I shouldn’t spend $200 on another pair of shoes. I tried on a great charcoal grey blazer that would be a great addition to my wardrobe. I decided to look around before buying the blazer. I also passed on a great winter coat because the price was almost as much as our house payment. At another store I found a really nice shirt but it was a little pricey. I thought the salesman was being a snooty dick so I left. (Why do some sales people act this way? If they had any money they would be shopping at the store, not employed by the store.) I avoided stopping in to see Chris at Neiman Marcus because I knew I would drop a bundle. I decided to head home to make dinner.

I quickly threw together a pot of chili and turned on House Hunters while the chili simmered. After dinner I drove over to RINO to check out the opening of a new exhibit at Ice Cube. It was a great show three woman show. Two abstract painters and a sculptor have put on a stellar show. The paintings were monumentally excellent. I would buy any of them but the cheapest was $3k. I ran into Jessica, a transgendered artist I know form the art gallery circuit, who always seems half drunk at the art openings. She told me I needed to check out the new sculpture show at Pirate as she teetered on her heels and split her wine down the front of her black and white blouse with the plunging neckline. She told me the sculptor was a gay man and I needed to support my team. I took Jessica’s advice and drove over to Pirate to check out the show. The main piece in the show was a light blue tailgate from an old Chevrolet pickup truck that had been hung on the wall over a white patchwork cowhide. It was an interesting show but too abstract for my taste. I did like one piece but it was too expensive. It seems like too expensive was turning into the theme for my day. I also checked out the shows at Zip37, Next and Edge which are all clustered by Pirate.

I headed home about 8:30 and watched a movie on Logo which was a rather unimpressive gay detective tale. I was in bed by eleven as was soon fast asleep with the help of Ambien. A new day was just around the corner.

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Another Corporate Cluster Fuck

It was a tough day at work. The day started with a conference call run by the new management team in Ireland. They’ve instituted a process that calls for unrealistic preparation for the test cycle. The test cycle is 20 business days, or 160 hours. I will now spend 56 hours documenting what I will be doing for the remaining 104 hours in the cycle. I have a humongous spreadsheet to fill out that is fed into a program that will track my progress. I think it’s ridiculous to spend that much time preparing to run my tests. There’s been a process in place for seven years that has run smoothly. The new process cuts down on the actual time I have to run test cases. That means the product house can’t make as many changes because my productive time has been cut by 35%. It must make sense to the management team in Ireland that came from the bankrupt company my employer bought two years ago. I wonder why they went bankrupt.

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A Proper Goodbye

Cindi and I made plans to attend Marks’s service together. Surprisingly, Cindi picked me up on time. She even went to the car wash on her way. Her SUV is usually infested with dog hair. I brought a lint brush just in case. I ended up giving Cindi a once over with the lint brush at the cemetery since she had quite a few dog hairs on her black outfit.

Mark’s service was very toughing. Several friends and family members spoke after the rabbi gave his talk. Lee, Mark’s best friend, gave a very touching and tearful send off. It was a simple service without music. Grave side prayers were mostly in Hebrew. Everyone threw dirt in the grave at the end of the service.

I gave Terry, Mark’s partner, a long hug after the service. It felt so good to comfort him. Tentative dinner plans were made for late in the month.

It was a heartwarming sending off to a man who was loved by many.

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Another Man Down

Cindi called late yesterday afternoon with the sad news of a friend’s death. Mark had been seriously ill two years ago but had rebounded. I saw him about six months ago a charity benefit at the Hyatt Regency downtown. He had closed down his design business because he was tired of the endless travel. Mark and his partner, Terry, started a new business venture that did not require extensive travel. Mark seemed to be doing very well and was excited about the new business.

Mark died from Kaposi Sarcoma. I was shocked when Cindi told me this. I hadn’t known anyone who had died from this disease since the early nineties. How is this possible? I thought the HIV drugs had this disease under control. Obviously, I was wrong.

Mark’s service is this afternoon. Cindi is picking me up at 1:30. It’s a sad day.

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Lap Dances and Escorts

I worked out with Carlos last Wednesday. While rendering me almost unable to drive home he told me about his upcoming trip to Las Vegas with the guys (The guys are owners of the software company that employs his wife. The guys are successful and run a very profitable company.) to celebrate two birthdays. One guy is turning forty-two and another will be forty-five. Carlos is so excited about this trip. The guys like to hang out with Carlos because he’s usually the life of the party. The guys are flying private and have rented two suites at Caesars Palace, one of them being the suite used in the movie “The Hangover”. The weekend will be filled with gambling, dinners, bar hoping, strip clubs and lap dances. Private rooms have been reserved at the strip clubs for lap dances. Escorts have been hired to ride in the limo that has been rented for the weekend. Did I mention that all of these guys are married with children? Not surprisingly, the wives don’t know about the escorts.

I think this weekend is a recipe for disaster. I don’t get the need to have escorts for the weekend. Perhaps it’s because I’m a gay man. I can appreciate a handsome well built male stripper but I don’t want to hang around male escorts for a weekend. It’s a temptation that I can do without. I question why bar hoping, strip clubs and lap dances aren’t enough. After the last Vegas weekend one of the wives got pissed at her husband so she flew her girlfriends to New York for a shopping weekend and spent $100k. I think the next guys’ weekend has the potential to cost a lot more than $100k.

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Give A Gal A Break

Debbie left a humorous comment on my last post about the phone interview. She’s right on target. I don’t know why employers only want to hire a candidate that already has a job. I’m sure there are a lot of very qualified candidates in my field who are currently looking for a job. I guess it’s easier to take the recommendation of a peer concerning a qualified candidate than to actually recruit from a pool of unknown unemployed candidates. It really doesn’t seem fair but it seems to be the way the business world operates in America, and possibly, the rest of the world. Networking seems to be the key to finding a job but after an extended unemployed period the person becomes poison. It doesn’t make sense to me. I have a friend who has been unemployed for almost three years. He can’t even get hired for minimum wage jobs. He’s a bright guy with a lot of skills but he can’t even land an interview.

I know there are a lot people in the same situation. Debbie is one of them. Check out her blog. Clearly, a person who can write as well as Debbie has a lot to offer an employer. Why not help her network?

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An Unexpected Interview

I had a phone interview yesterday. I’m not actively looking for a new job but a former peer thought I would ideal for a position at her company. The interview went well and now the director wants to meet face to face.

I stayed in touch with my former peer when she was laid off about a year ago. Nobody else from my team reached out to her. She recommended me for the position because I stayed in contact. I’m not sure I want the job, or, if the offer will be better than my current gig. It doesn’t hurt to practice interviewing.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. Never burn your bridges. Treat people the way you want to be treated. You never know where your next opportunity will come from.

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