Thursday, July 27, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Still Breathing

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I know I've been quite absent as of late. This weekend was insane. I was outside all weekend long at a fire muster with my cadets. It was 115 degrees here with 50% humidity Saturday and Sunday. I was so exhausted when I got home that I crashed out each night.

Then Saturday night, I had a moment of complete gracefulness and fell my ass all the way down our stairs. I sprained my left ankle and pulled all the ligaments in my foot and my achilles tendon and I hyper-extended my knee. I'm all bruised and swollen but otherwise intact. My ankle is still a lovely shade of purple and my left side has a cankle where an ankle used to reside. I do hope my ankle returns to its normal size soon...I want to wear my cute shoes again!! Oh and walking normally would be a plus as well.

And now, on to other important things. My first day at work was yesterday. It went well I think. I didn't hang up on anyone (I only answered a few calls) and I survived, so it was pretty much a success any way you look at it. Today was even better. I answered phones all day adn only made a few mistakes. (I am the switchboard for about 55 different people/extensions some of which are outside lines which requires a whole series of numbers in order to transfer.)

The girl training me is fantastic! We get along really well and she is not only patient but she has a sense of humor. We're about the same age and it's been a blast so far. Oh, and did I mention I work with a bunch of guys again? I am so loving that. I truly loved the girls i worked with at the firm; but i have missed working with men. There is so much less drama when it comes to working with guys. That and I think they tell funnier jokes...I now work in a warehouse environment so it's right up my alley. Some of the guys are hot besides. Ooh...I so almost jumped on our Brinks guy...he is one of the hottest men i have seen in a long's nice.

Finally, I heard from ORISE yesterday afternoon...they want to schedule another interview with me some time this week or next. I'm trying not to let myself get excited; but it's difficult not to. I may have a shot at a dream job yet. I'll keep ya'll posted when I find out more.

And, in the spirit of interviews, one of my favorite characters of all time:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

humanistic esoteric superfragile undermiding comprehension sanity

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I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday, and as such is my last day at the law firm. I start my new job first thing Monday morning but I've been so busy and stressed out that I haven't even given myself time to think about it all. I spent time today cleaning out my office and that has made the transition more tangible. My coworkers are still in denial about me leaving, at least that's what they keep telling me.

In addition to my career change, my dad is in the midst of change himself. He officially retires on August 1st, though his last shift is the 27th. He will retire with 31 years in this department and a total of 35 years as a firefighter. This decision has been a long time coming though the timing has turned out to be rather abrupt. It was only a week ago that he signed the paperwork...we're all still reeling a dad included.

The main cause behind his expidited exit is my grandfather's health. Last Friday, he and g-ma went to the oncologist. They were finally given a no bullshit assessment...the doctor gave my grandfather two to three months. Grandpa has been in quite a bit of pain since June and he's been getting increasingly weaker. His spirits are still pretty good but the bad days are starting to almost equal the good.

They will take one final trip to Cali together next month. My nina is going to fly back to Tennessee to accompany them and my dad will take the return trip with them. It is my plan to spend a week there in September, whether it's to say goodbye to grandpa or to comfort g-ma remains to be seen. All in all, it's been a rather long week around here.

I'm doing the best I can, but the mania is swinging back around. I actually called JD tonight because I felt like I was losing control. I'm better now and I know that tomorrow is just another day. No, it's more than's the last day I have to spend in the seventh circle of hell...I can't wait for my new adventure to begin.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

American? Then Act Like It

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I thought it was high time that I did my civic duty and let all my wonderful readers see what another of our warrior heroes has to say. Special Agent Frasier is from my hometown and is currently stationed in Iraq. A while back, he wrote this. Now, he's written again. His letter is here in its entirety.

To the people of [my home] County I write another letter from Iraq. This one is to rebut the numerous articles written by some opposed to President Bush and the war in Iraq. I have read some articles on-line and believe that the thoughts are not only completely without merit, but are simply anti-American. I have read as some have described our president as uncaring and moronic. They often revert to schoolyard name-calling, which is completely useless and reveals immaturity and unfamiliarity of the situation this nation is in. With all of some writers terms of wisdom as to how the war in Iraq is in the words of some "terrible and completely unnecessary" they continuously leaves out one message: An idea for improving the situation.

In my 16 years in the U.S. Army I have been taught not to complain about something unless you have an idea how to fix it. Apparently some have not been taught this lesson. Some are too wrapped up in an obvious political agenda in defacing Mr. Bush, the president of this nation, to think about what is being said.

In my opinion the statements of some mean the soldiers who have died in this war have done so for no reason. I guess they think their families should forget about the lives that their loved ones sacrificed for others. I for one take senseless rhetoric as a jab to my service to this nation and a slap in the face to all that serve or have served.

One writer's brilliant idea of having the president join patrols with Marines in Iraq during a recent visit is either a sign of instability or a wish for the president to be injured or possibly killed in an attack. Either way it is ridiculous. He is our president and there shouldn't be any American who wants any harm done to him. He is a symbol of our nation, like it or not. He is our commander and chief. He is a father and a husband. He is our leader. We as Americans need to sound as though we are not supporting the terrorists. Obviously, some are rooting for the insurgents.

As for the idea that this war is unnecessary; I ask those who think such thoughts how many days they have spent on the ground in Iraq? How many Iraqis have they talked to about their current situation and if it has improved since the removal of Saddam? How many terrorists have they seen up close and engaged? I'll go out on a limb and guess the answers are zero, zero and zero.

This country is improving on a daily basis. I know because I am in Baghdad, Iraq and get to see first hand the violence and all that comes with a war. I also get to see the improvements and steps taken to make this a free and democratic country.

I fight for the First Amendment right to free speech, but that doesn't mean we should say every delusional thought that comes to our minds. I assure you every soldier that has died for the freedoms that make us the greatest nation in the world, did not consider or want them to be used in a disrespectful of harmful manner towards our nation or its leaders.

For those who oppose this war and the president I ask, if you are an American, act as such. Feel free to complain as much as you seem fit. Dislike the president for the tough decisions he has made. Go ahead and pretend that you would make a better president and hold cabinet meetings with your pets. Have neighborhood children provide you with security while you walk from your car (Road Force One) to your front door.

But please think about what you are saying before you harmfully label a war that many have died for and believe in. Especially when the only way you can see a different view of Iraq is with a remote control. But more importantly have some respect for our country, our president and the troops that fight around the world so terrorist don't plant IEDs on the roads you drive on. Even if what we are doing is, in the words of some "terrible and completely unnecessary."

- Jerry K. Frasier is a special agent with the U.S. Army CID, Camp Slayer, Iraq.

Monday, July 17, 2006

For the People

Ok, so in the last three days I have gotten an inordinate amount of hits by people looking for pictures of Peter Facinelli in the Fastlane days. So, always one to do my part to beautify America; here are some photos. For the record…he’s on my list…

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Good News for a Change

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Ok, so I finally have good news. I got a new job last week. I start work on July 24th. That means only one last week in the purgatory that is my current working environment. Yes, I am counting down...and no, it's not moving quickly enough. I can't find words to properly express how happy i am to be leaving. I am definitely going to miss my coworkers; but it is more than time to move on from there.

The new job is a reception/front desk position with a distribution center about twenty minutes from my house. I'm getting a good pay raise and after 90 days, I'll have benefits. I knew from the moment i met the hiring manager that he was someone I would love to work for. Turns out they thought I was pretty super too.

The hours are going to be tough since I am NOT a morning person (I have to be there by 7:30 am); but I will learn to adjust. At least they are guaranteeing me 40 hr weeks.

They also know that if the ORISE job comes through that I'll take it...and they hired me anyway. I'd say that's a good sign. On the ORISE front, there is the potential for a job to come through sooner than i had anticipated. The timing has the potential to suck horribly if I've just started a new job; but as one of my attorneys told me last week, if ORISE is my dream then I have to follow it no matter what...which is exactly what I plan to do.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nikka Rocks

I have to be up in just a few short hours so my stories will have to wait, but I must say, again; Nikka is the damn man.

even as a kid when she was singing at her dad's concerts...

or just singin her heart out:

tearin' it up:

or showing some soul...Nikka is one of the greats, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's so true

This is what happens when I can't sleep and even G has finally gone to bed...

Your Driving Is is: 82% Male, 18% Female

According to studies, you drive like a typical male.
You're reckless, aggressive, and see driving as a game.
And while you like to live on the edge a little, you still know how to drive safely.
Do You Drive Like a Guy or a Girl?

Monday, July 10, 2006

On Your Own

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In the words of Henry Rollins (one of the greats, in my opinion):

"If I thought it would help
I would stay with you as long as it took
I would show you something different
That i was telling you the truth the whole time
As it is right now
I have taken all I can
Your shallowness has thrown me into a deep hole
It would be better for me to hate you I know
But I can't
I try but I keep thinking of you sitting alone
Seeing yourself as pieces of broken glass on the floor
Your inverted rage is hard to be around
Good luck."

Sometimes...that's really all there is to say.

Glutton for Punishment

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That appears to be an appropriate title for me these days. It's not actually that bad, really. A few hours ago, Grace and I arrived home from another whirlwind tour of the state. This time we didn't make it all the way to San Diego though. We stopped about an hour north in Temecula.

Sunday was my mentor, Burt', s 40th birthday. His wife and pastoral staff threw him a huge surprise party on Saturday night...Grace knew I really wanted to be there for it so Friday after work we tossed clothes and food into the car and set off for SoCal. We rolled into out adopted family's house at about 4:30 Saturday morning. We spent a relaxing day in the most kickass swimming pool I've ever been it...I am definitely a salt water pool convert. Anyway, that evening Grace and I headed off to Burt's church. He was shocked beyond belief to see us there (It had been almost a year since i saw him last) and so excited that he introduced us to everyone who walked by.

We managed to come up with a convincing enough reason to show up without giving away any information about his birthday. At the endo of the service, Burt's wife brought out a huge birthday cake with 40 candles and we could see the wheels turning in Burt's head. As soon as things settled down a bit, Grace and I made our way back over to him. This time we said "Happy BIrthday" and gave him the card we had. His response cracked me up (and i quote), "No...shut up! You didn't! Wow, you girls really drove all the way from Sacramento for me. Wow...I am really special." The way his face lit up was worth the entire drive.

See, Burt is one of the most important people in my life. I don't see him very often anymore, but that in no way diminishesthe impact he's had on my life. Many of the things that my friends love about me are the direct result of Burt's influence. I worked for him when I lived in San Diego, and to be perfectly honest, if he had the resources, I'd be working for him right now. He's one of the most non-judgemental and caring human beings you could hope to meet. People are his passion...well, people and extreme sports. He loves all things that speed but he's a surfer first and foremost.

I was really thankful to get to hang out with Burt this weekend. It's what my soul needed to reenergize. The eight hour drive didn't even seem too if only I didn't have to start another week up here...I would be ecstatic. I have a feeling that another roadtrip is in my not too distant future...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Come What May

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Ok, so I know posting has been sporadic at best lately, but I have a couple good reasons. I've been spending all my work time not consumed with actual work applying for different jobs. I have to say, job hunting is incredibly time-consuming. Anyway, I had an iterview on Friday with a company in Sacramento. It's a high call volume reception position with a hefty pay raise and benefits. From the moment I talked to the manager on the phone I knew he was the kind of person I would want to work for. On Friday however, my life was an example of Murphy's Law.

It takes twenty minutes from my front door to the building where I was to interview. I left my house 50 minutes before I my appointment. I got to the general area without incident and then all hell broke loose. I was supposed to end up on West National street but I missed a turn adn ended up on National West...they are two different streets...and they don't intersect. When I finally found my way, I was five minutes late for my interview. Foretunately, the manager was running late as well. I know I interview well; I always have, but I didn't give a particularly stunning interview this time around...or so I thought...I struggled to be articulate and I think I forgot all the good buzz words I know. I'm pretty sure I was more irreverant than one is supposed to be and most likely I talked too much.

Apparently I must have said something right because he basically waxed poetic about my interview, my speaking skills and his general impression of me...I have a meeting with he and the general manager tomorrow morning so they can make me an offer. I might be out of the law firm soon after all. I even told them about the ORISE job being a's not a problem they say. So we shall see what tomorrow brings.

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Land of the Free

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Happy Independence day! I always get a little more emotional today...I hope I never lose that. I am proud to be an American and I am grateful for the opportunities and freedoms I am provided simply because I was blessed to be born here.

Tonight I had the pleasure of explaining to my five year old niece why we salute our flag and why we stand for the national anthem with our hands over our hearts. She had the wide-eyed wonderment that so many of us have lost as we've grown up. It's refreshing to see freedom through a child's eyes. After I answered all of her questions and we settled in to watch the fireworks, she commented that we live in the best place ever!! I have to say, I agree with her.

Go, read what Ms. Joan has to say today and remember why we're proud to be Americans. And, as you enjoy the rest of the nght and head back to work tomorrow (or the next day if you're lucky), take a second to remember all the men and women serving around the globe (and here at home) whole ensure that Amenrica remains the Land of the free.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Because this week hasn't been confusing enough

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We've been sold. I'm still reeling though I recieved the news on Wednesday. It feels like mom and dad got divorced and the judge sent us to live with the wrong parent. We all wante to live with dad, but alas, we've been told that mom will be keeping us. She will certainly lower our allowances and increase our chores...while micromanaging us all along.

The law firm I work for has been reduced (it's official as of today along with the end of the fiscal year) from a general partnership to a sole proprietorship. The partner commonly referred to as Peter Pan has purchased the 50% interest of the other partner. This sale ushers out the last remaining voice of reason in management.

The other boss I really liked has effectively been laid off...those no one has the balls or ovaries (as the case may be) to tell her that she no longer has a job. See, around here they don't like to fire people. Not only is it "not friendly" but the company would also be required to pay unemployment...God forbid they spend any money on their any point. Rather, they like to make the work environment so unbearable that you quit. Then not only does the company not owe any money; but managements' collective conscious is absolved.

As ya'll can see, I am way past disillusioned and way in to bitter and beyond caring. I would love nothing more than to get fired right now. That's saying something about my workplace since I'm actually a bona fide workaholic. Always have been...but now I'm more like Peter Gibbons.

One of the attorneys and I were discusisng the problems that just seem to be getting worse and worse around here. She made a comment about the people at the top balancing the financial responsibility on those at the bottom. My observation: There are many governments that balance the economy on the backs of the peasants. But those governments are usually overthrown in some sort of a messy military coup. We've almost reached riot status kids.

I'm still job-hunting like crazy. Keep your fingers crossed about a job with ORISE/ORAU. (Google it if you want to know...I can't give out a lot of detail yet.)