You’ve been a great help, sir-you’ve got my vote

Yesterday had it all. It was, to say the very least, an intriguing day.

I could bitch about the absurdity that was work, but it wouldn’t be very amusing. Well, maybe it would if you really enjoyed corporate nonsense.

I could go on to talk about how I spoke the words “What? We’re gonna fight?” to a pudgy effeminate-sounding man while watching our 4-year olds play soccer. Well, that one bears telling anyway, but not quite yet. In fact, on its own, it was like Manna from heaven for this silly diaryblog. But, no, it only got better after dinner.

I’ve told you all that we live in a townhouse, right? And, as such, there is a Board and occasional meetings. Well, last night was an annual meeting to elect a new board.

Let’s just say that I’m now going by “Mr. President”

Oh fuck.

A bunch of us owners wandered down to the pool (JewelrySlut was at home with Shmuppie, getting her ready for bed). Several of our Court-mates spotted me and we exchanged pleasantries. Pretty much, I knew from then that I was on the Board if I wanted (or even if I didn’t want). So, I volunteered myself for the ballot and ended up getting the most votes of everyone…sentencing me to a 3-year term. I think I got on simply because I was by far the youngest person running for anything by like nearly 30 years. A little young blood never hurt.

I had wanted to get on the board anyway, so none of this was bad yet. It only got truly amusing once we split off into a group for election of officers. At which time, two fellow Court-mates (also elected) nominated me for President. It came down to me and a retired minister. Let’s just say that Jesus was not voting last night.

So, here I am.

Funny thing is that if I’d stayed home to watch Shmuppie, JewelrySlut would be president. If either of us showed, we were winning. But, I’d like to think that my hulking manliness, mucky scent, and overall charisma got me over the top.

Right.

It will be OK. I just need to learn a few things. Like to give a shit about stuff like this and how to chair a meeting. I mean, we have motions, minutes, amendments and shit of the sort. I tried to explain that my job takes me out of town quite frequently, but nobody cared. I was not getting out of this thing.

I’ll be happy to serve because there’s a major issue at hand that could really impact us. A lot of the retirees want to close and then sell off the pool. They’re using the “I don’t use it, why should I pay for it?” argument. They figure that if they sell the pool, dues will go down. While that’s true, there are a few major problems. One is that in the Bylaws it states that you can’t sell common property. So, to even think about it, you’d have to re-write the Bylaws. Even then, it may not be possible to sell of common property. Then there’s the other reason. Our little complex backs up to 2 large apartment complexes. We’re fairly shielded from them by a lot of trees. But, that’s who they want to sell to. That’s bad because, a lot of the apartments are Section 8 (or Section something) housing. Namely; poor black people. (Lots of police cars and drug busts) Paint me a racist, but it’s a fact, Jack. Just over the trees is a mostly unpleasant place. Now, how does that impact housing values? Not well I say. Not well at all. The pool area would become a mess. We also have a tennis court that’s been locked. In the past, it was open and had a basketball hoop on it. Well (let me get out my wide brush of generalization), in the past, it turned into Rucker Park and hosted any number of undesirables. Again, not good for home values. If they were to sell the pool, we’d list the house that day. No doubt in our minds.

So, other than the selfish reason of wanting the pool, I also figured it might be fun to watch people act like assholes. I figured it would give me writing fodder for ever.

Then they put me in charge.

Shit.

This is going to be quite fun. But, I need a new Title. Mr. President or El Jefe just don’t do it for me. How should I make people address me? I’m asking you folks to help out your NoGoodDaddy here.

Wanna hear my other tale? The one about how I almost came to fisticuffs on a Micro Soccer field at the local Y? It’s a good one.

Shmuppie has been playing Micro Soccer for going on 3 weeks now. It’s for kids who are 3 or just 4. They play on a tiny field, like 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 with no goalies. As the coach says “herding cats”. There’s not a whole lot of real soccer going on here. Just the other day, off the “drop ball”, Shmuppie took the ball the length of the field. She tried to shoot, but went too far to one side of the goal. Rather than dribble back, she picked the ball up, put it in front of the goal, and booted it in. Like I said, not a lot of real soccer here.

Until last night.

We played the red team.

Before the game, the coach on their team gathered the kids around him for a Sportsmanship chant/group prayer. (Remember this)

Right off the tip, this one kid on their team clotheslined Tucker (a kid on our team who is actually quite good for his age). Tucker got up and was promptly knocked on his ass again. They stopped play, reset and gave our side the ball. BAM. Same result.

On the sideline, I’m laughing my ass off about this because it’s funny. But, JewelrySlut and Tucker’s mom don’t think it’s funny. Tucker’s Mom is concerned and yelling things like “Hey Coach…that’s not fair”. The red coach just keeps telling Parker (the kid on his team) that he’s doing a great job. Every reset leads to Parker belting one of our kids, Shmuppie included. After he positively tackled Shmuppie on one of her breakaways, it got personal. I stared a hole through Parker’s father. It had gotten out of control. Tucker was crying, Tucker’s Mom was almost crying, and the red coach was encouraging it. Our coach likes to rotate the kids in and out of the game and make sure they all get a chance with the ball. As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of passing at this level. It’s: hand the kid the ball…watch them go straight. Well, red coach is repeatedly giving Parker the ball and pretty much excluding his teammates.

Basically, he’s trying to win.
A game of micro soccer.
Played my toddlers.

After yet another attack by Parker, Tucker’s Mom and JewelrySlut started really yelling. Parker’s father goes onto the field and yells our way “He’s only 4″. I yelled back “That’s why you need to get out there and talk to him”

Now, I yelled for 2 reasons. As a certified asshole, I was trying to rile the guy up. He looked like a prick and was clearly not setting a good example for his kid. And, I was the only Daddy on the sideline and, NoGoodDaddy or not, I had to protect my Soccer Moms.

Parker’s dad went on the field, talked to his kid and then made a beeline towards me.

Oh boy, I thought. Confrontation time.

He swished over and started in with me.

(Now, please imagine someone who looked a little like Nathan Lane, but had a real faggy-sounding Southern Accent)

“Do you want to ssssstep over tttthhhhere to dissssscussss thisssss?”

“Are we going to fight?!?” (That was in my excited voice because, honestly, the thought of throwing down right there on the soccer field would have made my life. I think on my Top 5 list of awesome things to happen (Wedding Day and the day Shmuppie was born being 1 and 1A) this would have been in contention for #3. I was psyched)

“No…but he issssss only 4. He’s not doing it intentionally. He’s jussst a little agressssssssive”

“I understand they’re all 4. And I would most certainly hope that he was not trying to hurt our kids, but something needs to be done because this is getting out of hand”:

“He issssss only 4″

“And that’s why you need to go talk to him and not encourage his behavior” (look at me…NoGoodDaddy himself, dolling our advice)

“He issssss only 4″

At that, he swished off.

After the game, our coach was a little bewildered. He apologized but tried to explain to the kids that sometimes you have to deal with mean kids and try your best and not try to hurt the other kids. It was kinda sad because for the rest of the game, Tucker played very tentatively. He seemed afraid to go near this other kid. And, that’s not cool. The object of this league was not to win games; it was to introduce a team sport to kids. I’m all for winning, but am not so keen on having my kid terrorized.

I just wished I could have thrown down. It would have been epic.

So, what’s my new title, folks? Come up with a good one.

Strange situation, wild occupation

We got through the weekend and it was more interesting than expected for the most part.

I got home on Thursday OK and they got in that evening OK. We went to dinner and had many margaritas to loosen the mood. Shmuppie was thrilled to see her grandparents and my father especially was thrilled to see her.

Back to the house, quick tour of things, and we all watched some TV. No problems to that point.

Friday morning met us all in good spirits. The plan was to all go to the Farmer’s Market to pick up dinner fixins. I was going to take my father on a tour of the area and then let the ladies head home in JewelrySlut’s car. But, my mother wanted us all to go together, so together we went. We poked around downtown and headed up through the “city” up towards North Raleigh and Falls Lake. All the while, we extolled the virtues of the Triangle. Finally, Shmuppie was done and needed to get home for a nap.

For S’s and G’s, I put on the Real Estate channel once we got home. Bad idea, NoGoodDaddy, bad idea. 1 hour later, my parents and I are in the car headed to Wake Forest to look at houses. We looked through 2 subdivisions up there and had to pry my mother home for dinner and present-opening festivities. The seed had been sown. They were considering moving. (Of course, all along, JewelrySlut and I knew this was happening, it just happened quickly).

Presents went well. My parents overdid it, as grandparents do, and Shmuppie loved the things from us. She immediately started banging away on the keyboard and tooling about on the trike.

After dinner, my mother went to bed and JewelrySlut my father and I watched a movie and discussed “Stuff”. Basically, would we be OK with them moving here. We said that we can’t stop them but we would want them to move because they agreed to do it and not for some other crazy ass reasons.

Saturday was to be house hunting day, Part Deux. Back to North Raleigh for more houses. It was amusing watching them go from the low $200′s to the mid $400′s in the span of like an hour. The houses kept getting bigger and bigger, but the need for more space grew. “I just need one more room” was the rallying cry of the morning. The 3 of us and my father were all getting antsy. It was a lovely day, but was a little hot and Shmuppie was getting ornery. We finally escaped and made it home in time to get ready to head out for some baseball. JewelrySlut, my father and I had a blast at the game, drinking beer and enjoying the evening. All the while, it hung over all of us what was in play.

Once we got home, over more drinks, we all discussed it all. They’re in a Chicken or Egg phase. Does my mother insist that my father have a job set here before they sell the NJ house? Do they move and have him find something once they arrive here? Do they even come at all?
It’s going to be interesting. I think they’ll be here before long, but it may be a bumpy road between now and then.

Gotta go, it’s time to go to Soccer. Or as the coach calls it; Cat Herding.

An entry so bad, I won’t sully a Buffett quote by attaching one to it

**WARNING*** WORST, MOST UNREADABLE ENTRY EVER COMING UP***

Jesus Tapdancing Christ am I bored. Or just annoyed. Or maybe just cranky.

I’m here in the hamlet of North Wales, PA, stuck at the RedVendor site plugged into t dialup connection. Wanna see how cool life is? Try working on dialup for a week. That will remind you of how awesome high speed internet is.

I’m turning over a new leaf here. After today, I will never talk about my job situation. Seems every time I do so, I put the maloik on myself.

Last time, I was mentioning how another director here at HealthCareRelatedCompany had expressed interest in having me come work for him. Plus, I had the whole thing in the air with RedVendor.

Then the phone rang.

RedHead was her usual skittish self and I knew what was coming, I just needed to let her freak out a little bit first. Seems, they are not keeping me beyond September. OK, I knew that was coming. But, what came next was a little shocking. I had told her that I felt it appropriate that I be given a stay bonus or severance package to make sure I stayed until the end. Well, they thought it over and decided not to do so. OK…so I have a job until September and them nothing. OK…I can’t say I agree with their thinking. She asked me what I thought I should have gotten (see…she’s a great manager). I told her that I deserved whatever the going rate was for a person in my position with 3+ years at the company who had worked as hard as I had on this project. She had no idea what to say. She’s decided to split my job up among 3 other people. At some point, I’m supposed to fly to NJ to train one of them on what I do. Oh yea, I’m inspired to do that. Pick me.

So, the job search is on. I plan to leave as soon as I can. As much as it kills me to leave the project hanging in the breeze, fuck it. What can I do about it? They’re not doing anything for me, why should I do anything for them? I honestly believe she thinks I’d never think of leaving early. When I told my boss, I believe her words were “I can’t wait to go tell her you resigned just to see her reaction”.

I can’t gripe too much considering that about a year ago, I went to my boss and essentially resigned. In fact, in order to keep my job this long, I had to resign it first. I’ve gotten a year of work at home when I didn’t expect any. So, that’s my severance package.

But, it does do something to my motivation over the coming weeks. I mean, what’s my incentive to be hopping on a plane every other week? I should be using that time to be at home looking for work.

So, I emailed the other director about the other job, telling him I was available immediately. He wrote back to say that he’d started getting flack because people wanted the job sitting in NJ. He’s not sure why they want that and thinks I can do the job, but now it’s been put on the back burner.

I was 0-2 at this point.

The thing at RedVendor is out there, but it’s going to be all travel-based. I still don’t know how that will be. I may like it, but the past few months have been rough. I miss the ladies and much prefer being home.

So, I’m actively looking for a job. I’m also pounding our internal job boards and applying for shit left and right. I’m telling people that I can do the job from my house. I expect NOTHING to come of this. But, maybe it will trickle back to RedHead and she’ll see what I’m up to.

So, no more talk about jobs here. I’ll mention it next when I have something new and am off on a new career adventure.

Otherwise, I’m headed home first thing in the morning. I have a 7:30 flight. I thought of going home tonight, but there were no flights available until like 9:30PM. Since US Air and PHL suck, the flight would be late. Then, I’d arrive home very late and just be a cranky-ass mess. So, later today, I’m driving down to PHL and staying at a hotel there. The Resaissance. It looks swanky on the website. I do love me a swanky hotel. Because where I stay up here is decidedly un-swanky. I liked in particular the peeling wallpaper in my bathroom. Or the refusal by the cleaning people to replace my coffee. All in all a good time. And, their gym sucks. It’s crowded and hot. And the bike and I don’t get along very well.

Oh yea, I love business travel.

JewelrySlut has the bathroom all finished. So, it’s going to be all squeaky clean for the arrival tomorrow evening of my parents. It should be a hoot and a half this weekend. I just hope we don’t kill each other too much. Shmuppie wants a party for Friday, so a party she’s getting. She wanted decorations and hats so she and JewelrySlut went to the store the other day to pick them out. We didn’t get her too much stuff. She’s getting gifts: a tricycle (A real Radio Flyer, not some plastic piece of shit) a batting Tee (She’s taken a shine to playing baseball lately) and a keyboard (Scored off Ebay for a good price). She actually asked for drums, a trumpet, a piano and a violin, so she’ll undoubtedly be disappointed. Or not. She’s 4. She’ll love her loot and drive us crazy with the noise she makes.

I just hope the weather is OK. It may be rainy on Saturday. As long as the Bulls game isn’t rained out, we should be fine. I’m planning some sort of grilled feast for Friday night, but we’re not sure what I’ll end up making. JewelrySlut may just go poke about at the local pork outlet and see what she can find. That’s right…I said it. Pork Outlet. Welcome to NC. You can buy parts of a pig that I only had nightmares about. Like a whole head… Shmuppie likes to go there to look at “the piggie heads”. I’m just happy she’s not as horrified as I am by them. My mother wants to buy one and put it on my grill. I don’t think so.

Speaking of which…my grill.

It’s a sad story, but one that deserves to be told. For the grill’s sake I should tell the tale.

We bought my grill when we moved to Hackettstown. So, it’s now 8 years old. I love my grill. It was my first big boy grill. It’s got 3 levels of cooking space and a side burner that I never use. I’ve cooked everything out there. Name a food, and I’ve probably tried grilling it. But, it’s getting old. I’ve replaced the grates and gas/flame diffuser thingie too many times to count. Now, the inside is getting nasty and the wheels are falling off. It may be time to get a new one. JewelrySlut is wisely letting me come to grips with this all on my own. I’ve finally brought myself to the point where I can think about a new grill. But, it’s going to take a while until I finally put my old one to rest. And, please don’t give me the whole gas vs. charcoal thing. I don’t have time to light a fucking fire. I want to have the thing turn on when I want and heat up quickly. I van overcome the lack of smoky flavor because I am a seasoning wizard when it comes to grilled foods. So, whenever we’re in Home Depot or Lowes or some other place, I take a look at the grills and ponder them. JewelrySlut keeps her distance as I whimper over my ailing friend out on the patio. I may get a new shiny grill, but I’ll always have my first grill. It will forever remain special to me.

Boy, this is a crappy entry. Can’t wait to post it.

I should just keep going with this just to see if I can make even myself puke.