Thursday, July 09, 2015


My dear friends...

It has been almost 2 years since I posted a single word in this space. The past year of my marriage to Juice has been rocky, to say the least, but we managed to come through the fire, and today, we celebrate 10 years of being married.

I'll be honest, a year ago, I didn't think we would make it to this point. Hell, 6 months ago, I wasn't sure. But today, I feel confident that we will survive. I feel that way because of the strength and perseverance of my wife. She has held our family together despite me. Together, we have put in the work and the effort to make it to this point.

There is still work to be done. There is still hurt to work through. But there are also many laughs and good memories to make. Neither of us is perfect, but together, we will become stronger. Our family will become stronger.

A decade ago I had such high hopes and optimism. I don't know if every marriage goes through the trials that ours has been through, because those are things people don't talk about in polite company. I just know that looking back over the past 10 years, when things have gotten rough, we each have taken our turns holding things together. That is a testament to our strength and love for each other and for our children. I can't tell you now where we'll be in another 10 years. I just know that, at this moment, today, I feel lucky to have someone in my life who is willing to stick with me and work through problems that come up, and who is willing to put in the work to keep our family together.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Achievement: unlocked.

Finally, at long last, I have accomplished my goal.

The job opportunity I spoke about in my last post was offered to me in late July. Everything has been official for a couple of weeks now, and I just finished up my first week at my new job.

As I had mentioned previously, I was a little worried about the salary, but I was able to negotiate a small increase in pay for myself over my previous job, which was just what I needed.

I had been offered a similar position about 4-5 years ago, but when I wanted to talk salary, they said that the salary they offered was the salary they were willing to give. There would be no negotiating. When you've reached the point I'm at in my career, and someone is telling you, "you're the guy we want running our systems," then to turn around and tell you that they think that job is worth $X when you think maybe it should be worth $Y, that set off an alarm for me, that maybe that job wasn't the one I wanted. So I waited. and it has finally happened for me.

I'm in an organization that's about 25% of the size of my previous one. While that may seem like a good thing starting out, it also means you have a lot less personnel to handle issues, and a lot of them ultimately end up falling on the person in charge. In this case, that would be me.

But honestly, y'all...I'm so happy to be there. I know it's going to be a lot more work, but at least now I feel like I'm a part of something, and that my input is valued again. I haven't felt that way for a couple of years, so I'm happy to take it on.

Juice also got a new job right around the same time I did, so we've managed to flip our whole lives upside down this summer. Her job is in the same place as her old one, just doing something new (with more pay - yay!), so it's going to be a bit of a struggle as we both adjust to new schedules and responsibilities, which also means that Peanut and Peach have some adjusting to do.

I just can't wait until my folks get here in the fall to help us out with some of this craziness.

So, celebrate with me, dear reader. Pop open a cold one and toast with me.

To new beginnings...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another opportunity

So I have another interview on Wednesday. Hopefully, this will be the one.

I am so ready to get out of this place. It's driving me crazy every single day. Then I have days like today where I am completely encouraged by people's openness and willingness to try new things. Then that feeling goes away and I'm right back where I started.

Anyway, this new opportunity is one that will be in a much smaller organization, so I'm worried about salary if I do indeed get offered the job.

I step at a time. I have to get to the damn interview first.

That being said, I took my suit to have it altered yesterday. I haven't worn a suite to an interview at all in the last two years. Just a shirt and tie (maybe that's why I'm not getting these jobs...). I figured it was time to go all out. Then I put on my pants.

Now, you all don't know this, but last summer, I tipped the scales at 252 pounds. I decided that I'd gone quite high enough, and started to make a change. Then, in November, I had hernia surgery, which put me on a less-than-solids diet for a couple of weeks and the pounds started to peel off. I decided that even after I could go back on solid food, I would take it easy since my soup and plant diet seemed to be working out pretty well. I made it under 230 pounds mid-winter, and have been hanging out right around 230 ever since.

When I bought my suit 12 years ago, I was a slim 215-220, so still a little extra weight. I could actually button the pants, but was afraid for what would happen if I sat down.

I took them in to get them let out, and the guy said they needed to let out about 2 inches. Luckily, there is exactly 2 inches of material to be let out.

Here's hoping those pants fit come Wednesday morning, and here's hoping they help my interview. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You find out who your friends are...

A couple of years ago, one department in my organization decided they needed to poach a couple of people from my department. One person was given a choice of whether they wanted to go, and she chose not to, so another person was chosen (we'll call her Diana). A second person (who wasn't all that competent) wasn't given a choice.

Now, two years later, the department Diana moved to is starting to chip away at the things my department has historically done. Now, I'm fine with things changing, but when you're piling virtually everything that 5 people used to do on just one person, and that one person doesn't have the first clue about how to do all of these jobs, that's when I start having problems.

Diana has basically been made the queen of everything we used to do. It seems like every day, there is some other task that we used to handle that now she is in charge of. To make matters worse, this also means that we're getting access taken away from our department, so we can't help people who are used to calling us for assistance.

It pisses me off because I used to consider her a friend. When she first moved to that department, we would still talk, and I was trying to help her get a leg up. Evidently, she was just using me to get what she needed and since I'm not needed any more, she steps on my like she does everyone else.

The biggest stink is the double standard that's in play. If we were to suddenly take away any kind of access to anything this other department has without telling them, there would be a shitstorm coming down on us. But just this morning, we found out that admin level access had been taken away from our department on a piece of software and no one had bothered to tell us it was going to happen.

It is getting to the point where I wonder why I come in to work any more, since that department obviously doesn't think we know how to do anything.

I used to be respected and trusted by the senior leadership, and I can't put my finger on anything I've done personally to get that taken away. Being handcuffed and not able to do the job I know I can do is more frustrating than anything. Every day, I think about quitting. Every day, I look for a new job.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Boy, THAT was close.

Juice came to me over the weekend to tell me she was late.

Yeah. THAT kind of late.

And not just a little bit. More than a week.

For this, we were not prepared. I had inquired about getting snipped last year, but came up with a hernia that needed more immediate attention right at the end of the calendar year, blowing my entire deductible and leaving me unwilling and unable to have another procedure before the calendar turned. Without extra cash reserves to pony up for another round of deductible (and since when did hospitals start collecting the deductible up front?), I opted to wait.

I guess we'll be having that discussion again this summer.

We thought we were done with long nights, diapers, formula, and on and on and on...

After everything we've gone through with Peach, we didn't want to risk any of that ever happening again. We were done with kids.

Juice felt horrible because the considered all of the options, however briefly, and just because the though of any option besides the obvious one had entered into her head, she felt like a horrible person. I have to say, when something unexpected like this comes up, I think anyone who says they don't at least have a small glimpse at every option available is lying.

I thought about it too, and immediately put it out of my mind. If this was the way it was supposed to be, it would happen. I've taken a very zen approach to everything lately, since nothing seems to be panning out the way I want it to. I've just decided to do what I can do to make things good and accept whatever happens.

Juice went to get milk late Monday and picked up a test while she was at the store. When she got home, Peach and Peanut were finishing getting ready for bed, so I told her just to wait until they were down so we could deal with whatever the result was together.

She did, and we did. Luckily, it was negative, and further proof came the following day.

But, holy cow. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A long, dry spell

Well, hello there, dear reader. It's been quite a while, hasn't it?

I found today that I  need my therapist back. It's been a long time coming, and honestly, for a while, I didn't know where to turn. I had forgotten about you, but when I asked an acquaintance today how he handled the situation I currently find myself in, he said he blogged.

My first thought was, seriously? This guy is a prolific writer and has one of the best known professional blogs around. People from around the world know him because of his writing, and I wondered how it was that when he was feeling the shit storm coming down, that he could just sit down and write. He truly is a different person than me, and I admire his tenacity, but with everything I'm going through that's work related, there is no way I could write on my professional blog about professional things and keep my emotions out of it.

It took me the better part of the day to figure out that my therapy was also, indeed, blogging, but that I needed to do it in a different way. I needed to come back here to speak my mind.

Plus, I needed to dump some paint thinner in a large cup with some orange juice and have at it.

Now, I get where my colleague was coming from. He became the best person at his job that he could be given the situation, and got his name out there by writing in a professional manner. It landed him one of the jobs I interviewed for last year, so obviously, it worked for him. I get the why and the how, but I wear my emotions on my sleeve and if I start writing about something, anything, work related without blowing off some steam first, my professional writing is going to suffer.

And obviously I need to do something differently to start getting my name out there, professionally. I've struck out at least half a dozen times in the last year. That's right, more than 6 interviews and nothing to show for it.

As I said when we last spoke, this is a very unusual situation for me to be in. Up until last year, I'd never interviewed for a job that I wasn't ultimately offered. The final straw came in the last couple of weeks. I applied for a job I felt I was completely qualified for and never even got a call for an interview. I even emailed one of the supervisors for the position and never received a response. And last week, I found out about a job that would have been perfect that had been open for a month but wasn't advertised in any of the places I normally look, so I put in my application on Friday and found out today that someone else got the job. My references had just gotten my reference forms this morning.

The guy who got the job is also a colleague, and I'm really happy for him because he's been looking for a while, but I was kicking myself because he was recommended for the job by someone we both interviewed with a couple of months ago. The difference was, I withdrew my application after the first interview because I knew the job wasn't heading in the direction I wanted to ultimately end up. He went for a second interview, didn't get the job, but got recommended for this job, which is EXACTLY the direction I wanted to head.

So, of course, I'm full of "what-ifs," because it turns out that this is the same guy who got a position that I turned down 4 years ago, and all I can do now is what-if the whole thing. What if I'd taken that position 4 years ago. What if I hadn't withdrawn from this latest interview. What if I'd looked at the company's web site instead of relying on third party sites (which, trust me, won't happen again. I have a whole list of sites to check now). What if they'd actually advertised outside of their own site?

To say I'm extremely frustrated is an understatement. To say I'm extremely disappointed is an understatement. Nothing about my current job has changed since I last wrote about it a year ago. The leadership still has their head up their ass. I'm still not doing what I love to do. The only change is that now I feel like my boss is the greatest factor in my unhappiness. He seems to be intentionally sabotaging our department, taking us further and further away from what I was hired to do because he's in a pissing match with one or more of the senior leaders.

I come home almost every day thinking, "I hate my job," and that's not something I take lightly. If I was not making the amount of money I'm making now, I'd take another job in a heartbeat. But at this point, the best I can do is to keep applying for the jobs I really want and just try to stick it out at my current job. There is no point in me taking a job that isn't going to move me toward my ultimate goal of being in charge of a department like the one I'm currently in, because if one of those jobs opens, I'll apply for it. So to take a job just to get out of where I'm currently working would be a disservice to whomever hired me.

OK...the vodka is evidently starting to kick in because I can't type a coherent sentence anymore, so I"m going to say good night for now. But I think I will be back soon.

As always...thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More on the bathroom thing

I have a 2 year old. You get to hear about potty training.

Peach has gone the last couple of weeks without wearing diapers during the day. We will occasionally put her in a pull up if we know we're going to be someplace without bathroom access for a while, but for the most part, she's in underwear.

The first few days we had some accidents, but she's pretty much been accident free for a couple of weeks.

Now we're working on the night time stuff. Which is a lot harder.

 We have Peach in a toddler bed (which is really just her crib with one side taken off), and a guard rail along the open side. She can get in and out of bed on her own, but unlike her sister, she won't get out of bed unless someone comes and tells her to.

When Peanut was her age (and actually before she was 2), she would climb out of bed and knock on the inside of her door so that one of us would come to open it (she hadn't figured out how to open the door yet). There were times at night that I had to go into her room and yell at her to get into bed because I could hear her out of bed, playing with her toys in the dark.

Peach has never done that, preferring instead to lay in bed and cry for one of us to come get her. Which is where I found myself at 4 AM, with her laying in bed yelling, "Dadaaaaaaaa. My Daddyyyyyyy. Peeeeeee peeeee!"

When I went to pick her up, her diaper was dry, so we went into the bathroom. She sat down, did her thing, and when I asked her if she was done, she said, "No. Poo poo."


I knew what that meant.

Half an hour later, when she decided she was done (I have no idea if she went or not), I put her back to bed, and started at the ceiling for the next hour until the alarm went off.

I'm conflicted. At one point, Juice came in and told her, "Just go in your diaper," and I said, "Don't tell her that!" I WANT her to go in the bathroom. I just don't want her to wake me up at 4 AM to do it. But that's the price we pay as parents.

So this morning, Juice and I discussed taking the rail off her bed. The problem is, there isn't anything to stop her from rolling out. With Peanut's daybed, there were little half rails that came out about a foot on both sides of the open edge, so presumably, if she rolled over, she would at least hit something, provided she wasn't rolled into a ball right in the middle of the bed.

Peach's doesn't have that. So I may be doing a little carpentry this weekend and teaching my child that it's OK to get out of bed to go to the bathroom at night.