Archive for May, 2013

30 Days Left

Miss Z, one of the mean girls in the office, has decided not to renew her contract when it expires at the end of June. I did a happy dance in my head when I heard this news in my last engineering review meeting. I will not miss her abrasive personality. I will miss her technical knowledge and near perfect engineering specs. Miss MBA is upset because she will now have to handle all the difficult projects she has been assigning to Miss Z. Miss MBA will be the sole mean girl left when Miss Z leaves.

Miss Z is condescending. She never fails to make snarky comments that are usually aimed at other team members. I honestly don’t think Miss Z realizes how horribly she treats other people. She is one of most intelligent people I have ever met but she lets you know, she knows, she’s a smart cookie. Miss Z often talks about her secure financial position even with a husband who has been retired for ten years. She often complains about the extra taxes she has to pay because her income forces her into a higher tax bracket. I’m guessing she has no idea how the discussion of her financial issues rubs the other team members the wrong way. Then there is her annual two week ski vacation in Vail. She brags about flying the whole family in on her dime is spite of the fact that many team members have not taken vacations in last few years because they are supporting children in college. Periodically, Miss Z will go on clothing shopping sprees with her husband and, in true form, lets others know that she spent a lot of money. Miss Z wears a lot of clothes from Façonnable, a pricey high end French clothing line with a store in the Cherry Creek Mall across from Neiman Marcus. Miss Z’s tailored blouses and pants only succeed in making her look like a butch lesbian, and not stylish, like the women who work in the Façonnable store. Miss Z also talks about her personal trainer, her healthy diet, her triathlon training, the pricey bike she bought for triathlons, her swim coach and her triathlon results. It goes on and on and on. Miss Z comes off as an affluent woman of privilege who doesn’t care about the feelings of others. I think she’s insecure. Perhaps talking about what she has and what she can buy makes her feel better about herself in some odd way.

This morning I received an email response to a technical question I sent to Miss Z yesterday. As expected, it included a comment inferring that I should have known the answer. I was tempted to shoot a barb back at her but I refrained. Miss Z will be gone in thirty days. I don’t need to bring myself down to her level. However, I will buy a shirt at Façonnable if it’s on the sale rack but I’ll remove the label from the pocket before I wear it.

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Questioning A Friendship

I talked with Sam yesterday. He’s come down with a cold and has been resting. He told me he started having symptoms on Friday. He then went on to tell me he hooked up with a young guy he met at beer bust on Sunday. His trick was a twenty something model from L.A. who was in town for a photo shoot. At this point I had to end our call because I needed to join a work conference call.

I was really bothered by Sam’s behavior. He chose to have a sexual encounter with another guy even though he knew he was coming down with a cold. Obviously, Sam put his own sexual desire above the health of another person. I thought this was an amoral decision.

I have a compromised immune system so I have greater risk of getting sick than most people. I always try to avoid people who have a cold or the flu. Perhaps this is why Sam’s actions are particularly upsetting to me.

I am beginning to question his moral integrity. I’m also beginning to question why I would want him as a friend. His life seems to be consumed by the hunt for the next fuck. Sam only wants to talk about his hook ups. He never wants to discuss any current event or political issue. I’m not sure I want someone like him in my life.

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Weekend Update

K flew into town on Thursday night. We repaired the fence that runs between my yard and Tom & Sheila’s yard. He drove his Audi back to St. Louis on Sunday morning. I felt really odd when he left. I’m not sure why.

Sam hosted a small birthday dinner for Aaron on Saturday night. Sam grilled steaks and asparagus. Michael brought a really great salad. I baked an apple and pear tart with a crumble topping. It was a nice evening.

I ran a few errands on Sunday and managed to get to the gym. Mike twisted my arm into helping serve beer at the Wrangler beer bust on Sunday from 4 to 8. I, in turn, asked Sam and Aaron to help. The all you can drink draft beer in plastic cups for eight dollars brings out quite a crowd. Most of the guys were really nice and friendly. One drunk guy lectured me on the proper way to pour a beer. I smiled and listened. I walked away and avoided him the rest of the day. Another guy accidentally poured beer down my leg into my shoe. Overall, it was a fun afternoon. Mike invited me to have grilled steaks at his house for dinner after beer bust. I was tempted to jump in the pool but he had the temperature set at 90°. It was like an 80,000 gallon hot tub. I came home after dinner, took a long shower and went to bed.

On Monday I hit the gym for a workout and bought annuals for the pots on the rear courtyard. Mike came over and helped me troubleshoot a problem with the swamp cooler. I had dinner at Tom & Sheila’s. Sheila served lamb kabobs, grilled figs and a nice salad with homemade feta that Deb brought. Dessert was Key lime pie. I left around nine since it was a school night.

It was a fun weekend.

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Cluster Fuck Friday

Why is it that Friday has turned into cluster fuck day? The last two Fridays were consumed by software code issues that drove me up a wall. Little things that should have been caught before the code hit my desk. It’s as if the developers threw the shit over the wall to get it off their desk before the weekend. Today is a little different but it’s still going to be a cluster fuck. The boys in Ireland sent me the regression results this morning for the release going out next weekend. The regression tests should have been run two weeks ago. It’s a complete nightmare. I feel like I’m strapped to a rocket ship headed straight to hell. I will probably spend all of today and Tuesday researching issues. I’m hoping it will make the day go by faster because I’m looking forward to a long holiday weekend.

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Sentence Of The Day

I was copied on an email today that included this gem:

Belgium is a city in France.

I replied to sender inquiring where Brussels and Antwerp were located. I got a reply from the sender advising me not to be a smartass. A few minutes later he sent out a correction. I guess he didn’t study world geography in school.

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She Took Us To Church

I rode the light rail to Five Points to meet up with Jackie at the festival’s main stage late Saturday afternoon. Her day started at 5:30 a.m. shooting the infrastructure set up. Conjunto Colores had just started their set when I arrived. They were outstanding. Many people were salsa dancing in the street. I regretted not getting down there earlier.

Jackie and I got caught up between sets. She introduced me to the other photographers, the production manager and the sound crew. I was tasked with documenting Jackie working by photographing her with her iPhone. She also asked me to take pictures of interesting people in the crowd which was a cross section of society. All races, ages, shapes and sizes were in attendance. It was easy to find subjects to shoot.

Hazel Miller was the final set of the day. She’s a Colorado treasure. It’s always a treat to see Hazel. She’s a dynamic personality who owns the stage and works the crowd. Her shows are amazing. Hazel did Aretha in the second half of the set. The crowd went wild when she sang Chain Of Fools. Hazel took us to church. Aretha would have been proud.

The festival ended around eight but Jackie needed to film the dismantling of the stage and the event strike. The closing shot of the time lapse was a flatbed truck hauling away the porta potties while the light rail train disappeared around the corner. After filming wrapped I helped load the camera gear into Jackie’s Mini. Jackie drove me home around ten.

I took a shower and watched part of Saturday Night Live to unwind. I went to bed with the windows open again. I laid there listening to the water cascading down the waterfall in the pond. Memories of the day ran through my mind. I could hear Hazel singing. Chain, chain, chain.

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Heron Attack

I was lying in bed yesterday morning snuggled under the covers in a cool room. The open windows allowed the chilled morning air to fill the bedroom. I was watching the day start. It was a cloudy morning so it felt great to enjoy a few more minutes in bed before I would start my weekend chores. I heard a loud splash in the koi pond just outside the west master bedroom window. I jumped out of bed, threw on a pair of pants and a t-shirt and ran out the French doors into the garden. A large heron was flying away. Undoubtedly, the bird had breakfast in the pond. A quick inspection revealed all of the large koi were still there as they were too big for heron to eat. I needed to put a net over the pond to protect the survivors. A trip to Home Depot was added to the chore list. There’s nothing like the nightmare of navigating the Glendale Home Depot parking lot on a Saturday. As luck would have it, I was in and out of the store in a few minutes. I secured the net over the pond and then joined Tom and Sheila at a meeting around the corner to review the plans for the new house. Hopefully, next year the heron will eat the fish out of the renovated mega pond in the back yard of the new house and leave mine alone.

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Photo Time

Jackie invited me to join her on a sunrise to sunset time lapse shoot on Saturday at the Five Points Jazz Festival. I plan on joining her late in the day, have dinner and help her strike the event.

Last year Jackie hired a marketing consultant to redesign her website. The revamped site recently launched and it’s driving business in the door from around the world. She’s gotten calls from England, Mexico, Switzerland, Malaysia, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Jackie could soon be traveling the world for clients.

Jackie has been on back to back shoots for the last few weeks. She hired a production manager and proposal assistant. In just a few months Jackie has gone from a severe lack of business to having more work than she can handle. It’s great to see the business back on track. Mary, Jackie’s partner, gave me a polite lecture a few weeks ago about not bothering Jackie since her business suddenly exploded with opportunities. I’ve left her alone. I was pleasantly surprised when Jackie called me about the event.

I’m excited about spending time with Jackie. I always have a great time with her. I’m inspired and influenced by Jackie’s incredible artistic talent and humble attitude. Her artistic process feeds my soul. I need a fun weekend to counter a bleak week.

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Another Sucky Day

The company started laying off people yesterday. My peers told me 30% of R&D was let go. Two offices in Canada lost 50% of the staff. There was a sadness in the air today. The survivors feel shell shocked. The victims are panicked. The make things worse, the CIO issued an edict that all IT employees must report to an IT Center of Excellence. No more working from home. Thankfully, my office is one of them. The edit does not apply to contractors but I expect that will be coming soon. I thank the dictator at Yahoo for starting the trend of eliminating the virtual office.

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Jack Died

Cindi’s dad died yesterday. He didn’t make it back to the ranch. It’s a sad day.

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