Today Ken has an interview with a company that provides tech support to the private sector. On Saturday I have a final interview with my D.O. for a jump to management.
Things are happening for us. Our jobs are taking us to new levels, Jack is growing bigger by the minute, and we're looking for a new house possibly. If our income increases the way we're hoping, then we'll be able to save more and expand sooner than we'd hoped!
I'm really hoping that Ken gets this new job. He deserves more than the stress and bullshit that he gets working for CompUSA. He hates retail, and he's more than qualified to work for a large private company. He'd be a hell of a lot happier if this worked out for him.
Keep your fingers crossed everyone...
How hot is too hot?
A friend of mine back in LA posted on his blog that they're experiencing their summer heatwave. Yeah, 105 is hot as all get out, but try 97 degrees with 90% humidity...Oh yeah, THAT sucks even worse.
Is the air conditioner working overtime? You'd better believe it. Don't tell my husband, but I'd rather be where it's hot and dry than where it's hot and humid. This is Atlanta's hottest July on record in four years. I guess there was a reason why the summers have been so tolerable for me since moving here; it wasn't this friggin' hot!
You pay a price with the weather in the places that you choose to live. The rest of the year here in Atlanta is really nice, but yes, the summers do bite! We drink loots of water, run errands as early as possible, and hit the swimming pool after four o clock, when the sun has shifted. Cooking consists of that which you DON'T have to bake, a lot of grilling, and a good percentage of eating out and enjoying the restaurants air conditioning! When the electric bill comes I'll pretend not to feel betrayed by the high costs of energy.
I hate summer anyways...is it Fall yet?
The End of the Stand-off...
My sister Jami and I stopped talking about a year ago. She just kind of shut everyone out and made choices to stop speaking to people. I was one of those people. She stopped talking to me because of distance, and because her current husband is a total self-serving jerk and a manipulater and he planted a bunch of untrue garbage in her head that she chose to believe when she got too many conflicting versions of things going on. Needless to say I was unhappy about the decision and decided to cut her off myself by leaving her a nasty phone message one day.
Here's the thing in my family; we are ALL a bunch of stubborn jerks, and when someone cuts a person off it's for life. Jami and I are closer than most sisters, so when she stopped talking to me I didn't understand it, and I didn't take it too well. While there's very little I can do to improve my sister's situation from here in Atlanta, I have always tried to be supportive of her choices regardless. She's really messed-up right now, and her son Matt is in even worse shape. She's trying the best she can to help Matthew out, but it's frustrating when she gets absolutely NO support from the asshole she married. Even the marriage is falling apart. It's a lot of drama, and I'm glad I am as far away from it as I am.
I was checking phone messages this morning and noticed a number on the caller ID that was from my family's neighborhood. I was curious so I called and checked out the number, and sure as shit it was from Jami. I left her a message telling her I loved her no matter what we were going through and for her to call me back. She called me about a half an hour later and we spoke for almost two hours.
Regardless of what people do, I don't judge. We all are responsible for how we live our lives, and since I'm having a hard enough time sometimes trying to balance things to create my own happy medium, who am I to tell someone that they've messed up their own life? We all make choices, we all make mistakes, we all learn from them or we don't, but when it's a member of my own family, I wince and try and remain a positive force for them, no matter what. Jami was surprised that I wasn't pointing fingers or telling her that she was a screw-up, but I have never done that in the past so why would I start now? Why should I expect anything from her that I don't expect from anyone else? I don't have to live her life! All I could do was listen and tell her I love her, and that it was okay, no matter what we were going through.
I know it's hard for Jami to understand my leaving Los Angeles, and I miss her as much as she misses me, but my chance to be happier than I've ever been came, and I ran with it, and I have no regrets about leaving my family and friends, and they know it and respect it as well. We all need to do what makes us happy, no matter what that is or where your happiness takes you. I'm just happy were talking again.
Meltdown at the COMP...
Okay, for those of you in the loop, Ken works at CompUSA as a Lead Technician. Is he happy there you ask? Not a chance, but it's a job with excellent benefits so he's kept it for over a year. The pay is decent, it helps with the bills and rent, and of course I work to supplement the other things we need.
Ken's Tech Manager Mike is a real schmuck. He loafs around most of the day surfing the net, he's pretty non-productive and pretty lazy. Ken bears the brunt of Mike's foul-ups, which is a pain in the ass for Ken and it stresses him out to boot. Well, Mike got the axe today leaving Ken, this other putz named Jay and two new service writers in the shop. This shop has suffered from a lack of technicians for months, and Ken does a lot of work, more than he should have to.
It came as no surprise to me that Mike got fired, but they've replaced him with a woman who has NO experience as a technical manager, and NO computer experience at all! Heather is a nice lady, I've met her, but she doesn't know her head from her butt when it comes to the tech shop.
Good times are ahead for my poor husband. He has an interview next Wednesday with a private firm that provided tech support to people. The money is good, the benefits are great and he and I both hope he gets it as it will get him out of retail and back into an office setting, which to him is a dream come true. I only hope he can stick it out for a little while longer, and that he does get this job. He deserves a change and a break...let's hope this works out!
CompUSA sucks and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. God help Ken.
Creme de la Creme...
I'm starting to research day care centers here in town. With me getting promoted to management at work, and Ken possibly leaving CompUSA for a new job as a private corp tech, we'll need to put Jack into Child Care a few days a week, but if all goes well, we'll be able to afford it and not go hungry.
There are a few places right here near where we live in Norcross. Creme de la Creme, La Petite Academy, and Kids R Kids are the ones that strike my fancy, with the first one being my first choice. Toddler care is about $175.00 a week, but the programs are fantastic, the ratio of child to teacher is 3 to 1 or even less in some cases, and best of all they are Board and National Certified programs with internet access to the classrooms to watch over your child! Being within a two mile radius of the house doesn't hurt either.
Do I want Jack to go into Child Care? No, not really, but the chance to go back to doing something that I love is too enticing to keep me waiting tables forever. I was a terrific manager before I got pregnant with Jack, but I had a lot of time to give to the job with Deanna being older and living with her father primarily and coming home to me on weekends. It's time to get back to a salaried position with great benefits and stock options and 401K and two weeks paid vacation a year. Just the financial stability alone would be a nice thing for us all.
I've had a great first year at home with Jack, and I'd love to stay home even more, but the money has become important if we want Jack to have all of the good things he deserves, like private school and little league and football and karate and boy scouts and a decent car to drive when he becomes old enough to do that, and a good college education with the minimum financial aid possible through Stafford if he needs it at all. We want for this child, and we want the best; what parent doesn't want the best things in life for their children?
So my research takes me to new places and new possibilities for our son. I'm already starting to feel the separation anxiety...sheesh!
They say that babies have early memories, and I tend to believe this. I remember planning Deanna's first birthday party, which was held in the rec room of our apartment back in Los Angeles in 1992. It was mostly family and some friends, but the first birthday party is mostly for the adults in a child's life. Now 15, Deanna's idea of a birthday party is a night out at Benihana or Ed Debevic's with her girlfriends, followed by a sleep-over and lots of junk food and giggling. You gotta love it!
Well, being that Jackson is about to turn one, I have options to ponder for his first party. Deanna is a winter baby, while Jackson is a smack-in-the-middle-of-summer baby. Do I do a pool party and barbeque, or Chuck E. Cheese, or Gymboree? What's a mother to do? If I do the party here at home I'm stuck with the clean-up of about 35 people and their children, If I do Chuck E. Cheese I can ply the grown-ups with pitchers of beer, order pizza, and provide extra game tokens for the kids not to mention the goodie bags, and if I do Gymboree I get the party space but have to provide my own stuff as well. What do I do??? Any suggestions?
I'm thinking of going with Chuck E. Cheese. I like the fact that you get this space and a party package that includes the pizzas and soft drinks and game tokens for the kiddies, all in the span of about an hour. I've taken the liberty of ordering his birthday cake at Publix, which provides a free one-year old's "smash cake" with the order. I've started getting the invitations together, but I just need the location and I'll be set. I have about another week, but I hate to do things so last minute.
For my birthday I just like a card and a nice dinner. I can't wait until my children get to the point where THAT will be enough, but it's doubtful that it will happen anytime soon. How funny that my son's first birthday party will be 3 days before my 37th birthday. Maybe we should just do a double party and be done with it...right?
The Little Swimmer that could!
With Nana and Papa being here in Atlanta for a visit, Jack is going to get some time with them today at Uncle David's new abode in Tucker. There's a swing set, a HUGE yard to play in, a deck for him to kick back on with Nana, and best of all smoked pork loin and German potato salad for lunch this afternoon.
Jack's becoming the little weekend warrior. With Ken and I both off on the weekends, (well, Ken's off on Sundays anyway) we've made it a point to take Jackson out to do something, ANYTHING, just to get him out of the house and into the world. Granted, the weather has been less than desirable with all of the rainstorms, but we still do the best that we can.
He'll actually get to spend some time with his grandfather today. Walter is fascinated by Jack, so today should be fun for the both of them. Of course Lydia is completely in love with her grandson, so she'll be in full "Nana" mode all afternoon. Even David will have some time to spend with the Boy. It's a lot more fun for all involved now that Jack is mobile.
Here's to all of the weekend warriors in our lives...fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, mothers and daughters...have a fun weekend! I know we plan to while the sun is out!
For those of you who don't know, I work in a restaurant. Right now I'm serving and bartending, but I'm usually a manager, and with this particular restaurant I'll be going into management in September, but I wanted to wait until Jack was old enough to go into a daycare program a few days a week. All in all the job is good; I've been there for the two years we've lived here in Georgia, but I have my bad days like everyone else.
We've had a lot of drama going on in my restaurant, but I've been in Lithonia opening another location, so I've been fortunate enough to bypass all of the crap going on. Last night I found out that a manager that I'm not very fond of got canned for fraternizing with employees, a big no-no for the managers. She deserved what she got, and threw a lot of good people under the bus in order to try and save her own ass. Apparently it didn't work and she was dismissed, which is fine by me. Now I'll actually be able to work with managers who actually work instead of stand behind the bar all night flirting with guests, trying to get laid. Pretty sad.
The general mood last night was sort of funky. Other servers were sort of pissy, and while the guests were tipping well last night, they too were sort of pissy. I don't know if it's the weather or something in the water, but we're in the business of serving food and drink, not selling stocks and bonds and other securities. IT'S JUST FOOD PEOPLE, JESUS!!!!
If people are going to be shitty, then they should just stay home. For the few bucks they're leaving, it's not worth me getting sucked up in the bad vibe around me, but at times it's hard to pull out of it! I actually had a bartender bitching about having to make drinks last night! Hello...you're the bartender, stop whining and make the damn drink already!
After a few hours of trying to hold it together, I took my manager into our walk-in refrigerator and blasted (or rather vented) on him. I normally have a really decent attitude; I'm there to make my money and then go home...this place is NOT my life, it's my income and that's it! After my sixty second rant and a fast nicotine break I felt better enough to get through the evening without saying a word to anyone for the rest of the night and then going to Kroger to grocery shop at 11:30 in the evening, where at least the checker was sweet despite having to pull a grave yard shift.
Coming home, Ken sensed that I was a bit moody over my evening, but I got over it quickly once I was in the door. I guess the stupid movie on HBO pulled me out of it, and as I crawled into bed at 1:00 am, I was thankful that the day was over. Yes, tomorrow IS another day! I'll learn not to vibe on people too hard...someday.
Jackson Dillon, age 11 months. Standing tall and becoming his own person. (Can you believe how big he's gotten???)
A Big Boy For Sure...
Well, we're counting down to Jackson's first birthday. How strange it feels to realize that this time last year we were waiting for the arrival of this wonderful little person, and now he's almost a year old! Yes, time DOES fly when you're having fun!
So what do we do for his first birthday you ask? I'm thinking of a pool party/barbeque type of deal. That's the beauty of having a summer birthday. He loves to be in the pool, and he eats anything you put into his mouth, so a pool party and barbeque are a great way to satisfy the thronges of people we plan on inviting.
I have some friends that are coming in from out of town for this gathering. People are coming from Boston, Alabama, Baltimore, and even from my home state of California. It's wonderful to know that Jack has this much love surrounding him, and that I've made some terrific friends who are willing to travel for an event such as this!
The milestones in Jack's life have been fascinating, and this birthday is going to be extraordinary. They say that the first birthday is mostly for the grown-ups, but I plan to make it wonderful enough so that Jack has a memory or two of it as well...I know that I'll never forget it, not ever.
Dennis the Menace...
One of the shitty things about living in Georgia is that we get spin-off bands of rain during the hurricane season. We're close to the panhandle and the Gulf of Mexico, so when the shit hits the fan we get to suffer for it as well.
Coming from California, I've lived through a number of serious earthquakes; the Northridge Earthquake being the most devastating. Living in Georgia, I've suffered through Ivan and a few others, and now we have Dennis on our tails. Fun stuff. And to think that my husband actually wants to move down to Florida??? Oh Hell no...I'll go back to California first!
We've been prepared for the Hurricane season since last year when we lost power for about four hours when Ivan hit. I have enough candles to keep a Catholic church burning for a week, bottled water coming out of my butt, (a good 15 gallons stashed in the pantry and in the trunk of my car) batteries and flashlights and a transister radio that works on batteries, and a change of clothes and two days worth of food for each of us, except that I have a ton of baby food for Jack. I also have all of our important documents in a water-safe pouch in my night stand. If we need to make a run for the higher ground, all we need to do is grab our stuff and the baby and the cat and go. I unpack the clothes and use the food during the winter, but I try and stay as prepared as possible from May until October, which is the end of Hurricane season. We're better off than most people I know in case of an emergency.
Spending nine weeks in Orlando for MIT in September is NOT going to be my idea of fun...House of the Mouse my ass...I'm surprised that Disney is still there with all of the damage being done in Florida with each new Hurricane."And that's what I like about the South!"
Mmm hmm...Good times for sure!
The Return of Nana....
I spoke with my in-laws yesterday and they'll be coming down from North Carolina this weekend to help my brother-in-law move into his new house. I'm happy for David; it's a nice house even if it was built in 1964, which bothers my mother-in-law. She's not a fan of the new house, but then again she doesn't have to live in it. (Her words, not mine!)
She's excited about coming back down, this time with "Papa", my father-in-law Walter, who hasn't seen Jack since Christmas. Walter thinks that Jack's in for a big surprise when he see's him. We think it's the other way around. Jack isn't the same baby he was at Christmas...he's made TONS of changes. Look out Papa!
I think that Jack and Walter are going to be quite amused with one another. Of course it will take Jack a little bit of time to get used to his Papa, but once he knows who he is, I'm sure they'll get along just fine. He knows his Nana quite well...remember the four-week visit she just had a few weeks ago? Jack will be thrilled to see her...
I love family weekends. No and's, if's or but's about it. This should be fun.
The First Independence Day...
I can't wait until next year. Jack was asleep by 8:30 last night, so that left us unable to go out to watch any of the really cool fireworks displays here in Atlanta. Given that Jack freaks out at the strangest of noises, maybe it was a good thing that we sat this year out.
Our neighbors pulled out their "Nuke your Neighbor" kits as Ken refers to the fireworks kits that you can buy here over the counter, and of course they made a ton of noise. Now here's the big joke on us; Jack slept through all of it, even the ones that sounded like they were ready to blast through his bedroom window. And we were worried that Jack might wake up screaming. Nope, not this child...when he's out cold, he's out cold.
The independence of our nation slipped by this year with a minimum of fuss and muss. We stayed home, safe and happy, and spent the day playing with Jack, who is now like a giant toy himself. It was a nice day, and a nice evening spent with hubby. I hope it was a safe and fun holiday for our friends and family as well.
So we're coming up on the Fourth of July, and of course it's a hot, humid summer here in Atlanta; so much so that our AC is working overtime right now.
Jack and I were out shopping this morning and I noticed that stores were displaying fireworks packs. I thought that fireworks were outlawed, but then again I come from the West Coast where you cannot buy them over the counter. Go figure that you can buy them here at the local Wal-Mart...strange but okay. Yes, I'm going to have Ken pick up a pack...why not? I rememeber being a little girl and my father and uncles lighting them in the street with the whole family watching, but that was back in the 70's. Now you go to Pierce College to watch them back home. I think it's going to be fun seeing them lit right in front of me...it's like a part of my childhood coming back to life, and now it'll be part of Jack's childhood memories as well.
We've got the grill cleaned and chops marinating, four-bean salad chilling along with some great potato salad, and I've asked Ken to invite his friend Shonge and his wife Lauren and their three kids over as well...let's start a holiday tradition of getting together with friends for the fourth since our families are so spaced-out distance-wise. My brother-in-law will be busy moving into his new house and probably won't want to come over after a hard day of moving or else I'd invite David as well. Besides that, he's not the most kid-friendly individual...nothing against him, but he isn't married and doesn't have any children of his own, but he's still really good to Jack when he see's him. It helps that Jack is getting older and more aware of his surroundings and the people around him.
Well, here's to another one of those fabulous frivolous holidays that I get paid for even when I'm not at work. Happy Independence Day everyone. Be safe and keep cool....I know I'm sure going to try!