Archive for December, 2012

It’s Good To Be Home

I left Denver early Sunday morning and returned on Thursday night. The drive was rather uneventful. I put the cruise control on eight-five for most of the trip and turned up the tunes. I was amazed at how many cars passed me. It felt like I was driving too slowly. The roads were clear thanks to hard work of the Colorado, Kansas and Missouri Departments of Transportation.

It was good to see my parents. My Dad and I got along exceptionally well. My mother was good in spirits and was not on her death bed as her faint phone voice led me to believe. I knew my mother was feeling better as she threw out a few insults and curse words directed at my father. It was the first holiday in a long time that my parents didn’t get into a raging argument over something insignificant.

My brother and his family are all doing well. It was amazing to see all of the holiday decorations in his neighborhood. The neighbors seem to be in an unofficial contest to outdo each other with the lights and other holiday decorations.

The only unpleasant part of the trip was dealing with my sister who showed up unexpected on Christmas morning. She continues to be a self centered cunt. She talked non-stop about her life and her twitter friends. She didn’t ask about my life or K. She ignored my nephew and his new girlfriend. It was all about her and her life. She didn’t thank me for the sizeable check I sent her because of her three year unemployment stint which recently ended with an $8.50 per hour job in a food processing factory. I don’t know why I thought she would acknowledge the gift. I should have known better than to expect her to act otherwise. She didn’t waste any time cashing the check. Another lesson learned.

I did get see K on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I stayed in his loft because there is no way I could have survived three days in my parent’s smoke infested house. He’s got a great place in the Central West End.

The New Year is only a few days away. I’m looking forward to putting this year behind me.

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Updates 12-21-12

Tom and Sheila are hosting a solstice pot luck dinner tonight. All of the usual suspects will be there. I made a pear upside down cake last night for the dinner. Unfortunately, I left the cake uncovered on the kitchen island and the cat jumped up on the island and started liking the cake. Who knew cats liked sweets? The cake is now in the trash and a pan of chocolate orange brownies is in the oven.

I’m leaving for St. Louis on Sunday. I don’t look forward to the drive but I waited too long to book a flight. I’ll be staying at K’s apartment but he’ll be in Kansas City. We’ll probably meet at mile maker 278 and throw gifts across I-70 to each other. I’m hoping to drive back on Thursday or Friday.

Crazy Barb is going to take care of Ferdinand while I’m in St. Louis. I’m sure he’ll be spoiled when he comes home. Barb used to cook breakfast for the cat every day. It’s no wonder he’s always at her house.

The contract negotiations have been put on hold until January. I’m still waiting for the contracting company to respond to my counter offer. I hope we settle closer to my number.

Have a safe and happy holiday.

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Let It Snow

Snow started falling early this morning. The city is expected to get up to six inches while the high country is expecting a foot or more. Blizzard warnings are in effect for areas east and south of Denver. This is an early Christmas present for us. We desperately need the moisture and the ski resorts need the snow. The local news was showing the great condition of the slopes at Beaver Creek and Winter Park. It’s finally time for the skiers to head to the mountains.

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Updates 12-17-12

Lena stood me up yesterday. We had planned on driving up to Cindi’s holiday party together since we only live a short distance away from each other. I talked to Lena on Friday and she said she would call on Saturday to firm up plans. She didn’t call so I left a voice mail for her on Sunday. She never called so I left without her.

The best part of Cindi’s holiday party was the décor. It was a red holiday wonderland. She hung three foot long ornaments from the two story ceiling in the great room. There were also three beautifully decorated Christmas trees on the main floor. Other than décor, the party was just like any other holiday party. The food was good, the liquor was abundant and the crowd was in a festive mood. I was disappointed that very few friends came up from the city. The attendees were mostly from the canyon.

Fluffy, the gay banker who bought the house next to Mike and Chris, is being transferred back to Los Angeles. His house just went on the market. According to Mike, Fluffy spent almost 100k putting in a pool and landscaping the back yard. The house is listed for the same price Fluffy paid for it in February.

I decided the drive to St. Louis for the holidays. K is going to Kansas City for his family’s gathering. I’ll either stop in Kansas City to see K, or see him in St. Louis. The logistic are all dependent on winter storms that are expected this week.

I’m still waiting for a counter offer from the contracting company. Oddly, they paid me for Thanksgiving week which I took off to go to Ft. Lauderdale. I’m not currently entitled to vacation pay so I expect the firm to ask for the money back. I’m not going to bring up the subject. I want to see if they catch their mistake.

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Roasting The Guests

I stopped by Mike’s birthday party a little after six. A silver Bentley Continental GT was parked in the driveway with a big bow on it. Mike’s boss gave him the car to drive for a few days. The car was a 2012 that was taken in on trade a few days earlier. A lavish food spread covered the large granite kitchen island while a variety of deserts were spread out on the dining room table. There was already a crowd when I arrived. The house was so hot I felt like a rotisserie chicken roasting in the oven at the grocery store. Mike and I did a few shots of really good tequila that he brought back from Mexico. It was going to be a wild night. I felt bad for leaving early. There was a large stack of cards and gifts on the console in entrance hall when I left. It felt good to be in the cool evening air as I rushed down the street to meet up with Tom and Sheila for a ride to the symphony.

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Still No Contract

It’s early Friday morning and I’ve been reading blogs for the last half hour while listening to NPR. I’m waiting for the developers to make code correction so I have nothing to do until they make a delivery. The contracting company has yet to reply to my counter offer. The client VP called me yesterday from Ireland to see how the negotiations are going. He told me that he doesn’t want to lose me or my two peers because we are a valuable asset (partly because his employees don’t know how to do what we do). Hopefully, the VP will put pressure on the contracting firm to resolve this issue.

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Updates 12-12-12

I turned down and countered the offer from the contracting company this morning. I need get this settled by next Friday or I may be unemployed in January.

I’ve got a date with a married man tonight. Jesse and I are going to the symphony with Tom and Sheila. Jesse’s wife, Deb, is a stage hand at the concert hall and she scored some free tickets. Jesse asked me to be his date. It should be a fun evening.

Mike turns 50 today. His partner, Chris, is throwing Mike a party tonight. I have to stop by Mike’s party before going to the symphony. Mike doesn’t want gifts because he’s a man who has everything he needs. I made a donation to the homeless youth shelter in his name.

I’m meeting Carlos after work at the gym for a workout. We haven’t worked out together for two weeks.

Cindi is hosting a holiday party on Sunday at her house up in the canyon. It should be a lot of fun but I dread the drive. I’m sure the holiday décor will be off the wall. I need to find a hostess gift for her since we don’t exchange holiday gifts.

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Drunken Cougar

I went out with Helena, Jeff and Jana last night to celebrate Helena’s 53rd birthday. After a nice dinner we headed to a bar over by Denver University to listen to a blues band. We arrived at the bar only to find it was rock night and not blues night. The crowd was younger. The men were bearded, inked and mostly dressed in t-shirts and crummy jeans. The women were painted for war, inked and had their racks out for display in low cut tops. The crowd had a biker/rockabilly vibe to it.

I lost count of the number of shots and rounds of beers that were ordered. Jeff had stopped drinking shortly after we arrived at the bar. I only had two tequila shots all night. Helena and Jana got smashed.

What started out as a festive birthday celebration turned into a drunken spectacle of epic proportions. Helena was flirting and mauling almost every guy who walked by. The guys were polite as they removed Helena’s hands from their body and ran for shelter in other parts of bar. Most had a look on their face that clearly expressed disdain for the drunken cougar who was attacking them. Helena was loud and obnoxious and out of control while Jana was flirting and doing shots with a trio of lesbians. Jeff finally told Helena it was time to leave a little after ten.

It makes me sad that Helena can’t control her drinking. It’s a shame that she has made a drunken fool of herself every time we socialize. Helena needs professional help. I need to talk to Helena about her alcohol abuse but I know it will probably end our friendship. She will probably continue to drink. It’s a situation that will not end well for either of us.

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Protect The Rich

The Chase Bank near our house was robbed this afternoon. The van used in the robbery was found abandoned nearby. The police have had the streets blocked off in the western section of our neighborhood for the last two hours. This part of the neighborhood has large wooded lots and most of the über expensive homes. A police helicopter is flying over the neighborhood. The streets in our part of the neighborhood are unprotected. I guess they have to keep the judges and the titans of industry protected from the underbelly of society. The rest of us can defend ourselves.

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The Offer

I finally received the new salary offer from the contracting company. The offer includes 10 vacation days, 10 holidays, and 8 sick days along with medical, dental, vision and a poorly matched 401k. The company pays the monthly medical premium but only covers $1,000 for dental and $300 for vision. I am currently paid by the hour with no benefits. The salary is better than I expected but less than what I want. The offer expires on the 15th. I’m contemplating rejecting the offer and countering with the same benefits but a higher base pay. The offer is 25k less than my base salary just four years ago. I don’t feel like the offer takes into account the raise in hourly rate I requested in September. I feel like I’ve been on a downhill salary slide that will never end.

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