Well, shit…

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Sorry, that’s not very nice language.

2016 really has been a cf, though, hasn’t it? I mean, Donald Trump is our President-Elect – wtf, America?!

The icing on the cake is that my company – the company that on Thursday I was telling my coworker I was so relieved to work for, because it was a stable and reliable company that I knew was never, ever going anywhere – that company…was sold. To a company based in FRIGGEN OHIO. They announced it on Friday. (Please note the timing – less than 24 hours after I proclaimed that we were a solid, stable company…we were sold.) For the average employee, this purchase won’t have a huge effect. But for those of us at the corporate office…well, we’re getting information about our severance packages this week. They’ve made sure to inform us that no one is losing their jobs for most likely the next year, but…we’re gonna lose our jobs eventually. I’ve had indigestion ever since. I mean, maybe – maybe – they’ll offer us similar jobs. But will those jobs be based in TN? Um, no. They’ll be in FRIGGEN OHIO. You think Mr. T is gonna move to Ohio?! lololol (Do you think I would move to Ohio?? No. No, I would not.)

So, yeah…there will be some changes in the upcoming year, I do reckon. Some changes, indeed.

Traveling Alone

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Boring backstory bit: The company I work for is trying to display a more united front between all the business units. I was hired on to update all their websites so they have a consistent look and feel. I use a content management system to set up the site, and then I travel to the business unit to teach people there how to maintain their own content. It’s all very exciting. I’ve been working here for a little over two years and have only trained two business units, and both of those were in the past 6 months. No one’s in a huge rush to take over their websites, lol.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I got to experience some firsts. It was my first time to fly alone, my first time to go to Texas, my first time eating in a restaurant alone. It was nerve-wracking and empowering all at the same time. I was a nervous wreck the entire time that I would somehow jack it up so epically they would write books about it. The longer I went without that happening the more proud of myself I felt. Like it was some big thing that I had done. Throw me a parade, world!!

I flew out of Nashville Sunday evening. Nothing too exciting there. Mr. T dropped me off a couple of hours before my flight, so I had 1 hour 45 minutes to sit around, being bored, because it does not take as long as I was thinking to get through airport security. The last time I was on a plane was nearly four years ago and we were flying internationally, so I guess it was more strict? Anyway, I worked on my “Rapper’s Delight” cross stitch some and tried to not get too bored. The flight itself was uneventful. I finished reading The Honey Month, which was a pretty interesting book. Then I started The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. #csb

Landed in Dallas and got my luggage. Road the shuttle to the car rental portion of the not-so-small city that is DFW. Here is where things started to fall apart. For some reason all their computers had rebooted. I think they were auto-updating? You should really turn auto-updates off, guys. There were only a couple people in front of me, and I wasn’t looking forward to navigating Dallas, anyway. I get up to the overly-friendly clerk who tries to push every upgrade in the world on me. I’m assuming there is some sort of commission? First he wanted me to get a GPS. Then he suggested upgrading to the next price range of vehicle (I had gotten a compact car because I enjoy the maneuverability, especially in new areas), adding extra insurance, and I don’t know what else. I was trying to be nice but wanted to yell “For the love of God just give me my keys so I can get out of here!!” And then his computer restarted. f*ck. After it reboots we have to start over again. He thanks me for being so patient and polite and upgrades my car for free. What the donkey butt ever, I just want to go. “Keys are in the ignition, your car is in slot <whatever>.”

The signs in the parking garage are misleading and I ended up wandering into another rental company’s area. Got yelled at by the dude in the booth and sent back to the right section. Get in the car, it’s one of those push-start things. I’ve never driven one before. It’s hot as balls, so I push the button and it goes in auxiliary. Push it again and it says it’s on. I’m like “Man…what a quiet engine!” Turn on the AC, get the data/GPS set up on my phone, and put in my new Weird Al CD. Put it in reverse, step on the gas, nothing. Umm… Maybe there’s something past “On”? Nope, turned it back off. Try turning it on again. Nothing. How do you start this stupid thing?? I should go back to the desk and ask – this is taking too long. Wait, where is the key? There has to be a key right?? He said “in the ignition” but there’s no ignition! I searched every crevice in the stupid car before I found the key – there was a spot in the dashboard, below and to the left of the steering wheel. Oh, and in all that shuffle I did finally figure out you have to put your foot on the brake before the engine will start. Victory!

I manage to navigate out of the garage. Pull up to the check-out area and the woman says “Do you hear that??” “Hear what?” “Oh, you need to get out of the car. You won’t like this.” So I get out and the engine is making this weird almost knocking noise. f*ck. “What should I do?” “Go back where you came from.” Well. That’s a bit rude. lol! She directed me back around to come back in the garage. I parked the car back in its spot, got all my crap back out of it and stuffed back in my bags, and headed back to the front desk. Now there are like 10 people in line. Balls. I go up to a woman helping direct traffic, as it were, and she tells me that I don’t need to be here – there is a desk out in the garage. So NOT where I came from. Alright, then. Back out into the heat. I find the desk and meet a woman that has been sent out THREE TIMES. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I tell the dude at the desk that the gate woman had pointed out the engine was sounding off and he said “Well it sounds like YOU didn’t have a problem with the car – someone else did!” wtf does that matter?? I have a 1.5 hour drive ahead of me and I have no desire to break down on the side of the road in Middle of Nowhere, Texas. He switched cars for me and I head back out into the heat to find THIS car. Thank goodness it has a regular ignition!! I just about have everything set up and realize….I left the CD in the other car. f*ck. Thankfully I remembered the number, so I walk (wasn’t sure I could navigate a car around all that successfully) over to the original car, which is still unlocked. 90% sure they just rented it out to someone else after me, hoping they wouldn’t notice the weird engine sound. As I start to head back to the new car, I realize I forgot the number for it. >.< Thankfully I had the keys, so I just start pressing unlock until I find the car. lol! And now I’m finally on the road!!

* I would like to point out that if Overly Helpful Man had just let me take the compact car I had reserved NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. *

That’s about the most interesting part of the trip. I won’t discuss work because boring (like the previous seven paragraphs were interesting…) and I didn’t really have any exciting adventures on the road – thankfully. My hotel was quite literally across the street from the business unit I was visiting. I ventured out alone once to get junk food. My period may have started…don’t judge me. I managed to get off and back on the interstate in the middle of all the cray cray construction around Dallas/Fort Worth. I stopped at Cheddar’s on my way back to the airport at the end of my trip. I realized as I went in that it was the first time I had ever gotten non-fast food solo. It wasn’t terrible…a bit boring, to be honest. I turned my data on long enough to download The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on my phone, just so I’d have something to do.

I gave myself too much time to get back to the airport after my visit. I was worried about getting lost or something. So I dropped my car off at the airport the night before my flight and caught a shuttle to a hotel. Originally I was planning on driving up the day of my flight, so I scheduled it for early afternoon. Because I decided to drive up the evening before, I had a ton of free time on Wednesday. I spent about five hours in DFW. >.< When I got to work they were all “Why didn’t you just ask to be put on a list for any flights with empty seats?” 1: No clue that was a thing. 2: I had made it that far with no major catastrophes…I wasn’t keen on pressing my luck. But! I was able to read Jagannath, Sworn to Raise, and Sworn to Transfer in all that time. So 3.5 books in 4 days. Not bad…not bad at all. 8}I read entirely too fast.

Anyway, that’s my incredibly wordy and mostly pointless story about traveling alone. I’m glad I did it, and I’m more confident about doing it in the future. But I would be perfectly fine to not ever do it again. lol! I wasn’t really lonely…just kind of bored. Exploring an airport is fun when you have someone with you. I just sat and read a book (or three). I would’ve been just as well off sitting on my couch at home. Ah, well. It’s not like it was a vacation – I did the work I needed to do. And Texas in July is too dang hot to explore.

* Note – this topic was triggered by Brittany Gibbons’ “August Writing Prompts”. I’m probably not going to do all of them, but here are the ones I’ve done:

17. Have you ever dined out, gone to a movie, or traveled alone? (this one!)

Little Bit ‘O Ketchup

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Get it? We’re catching up! “catch up” = “ketchup”! omg I had such a long weekend…

Ugh, I have much to write about. I need to write a scathing review of Midtown Music, because that festival sucked balls. It’s going to be a long post, and full of rage. Just you wait. But that goes on the back burner for now. Hopefully I get to it before I forget all the details.

I’m sorry, I don’t know how to segue.

My uncle passed away this weekend. :( His funeral was on Monday and…it’s just super sad. He was fairly young, considering his parents lived to be in their 90s. I think he was in his late 60s, maybe 70s? We found out he had cancer a little over a year ago. At the beginning of September they told him all the tests and procedures hadn’t helped and it had spread. Thankfully he did know, so he was able to spend time with family and friends these past few weeks – say his goodbyes. They got to have Christmas with his grandkids. They all live in Alabama, so they’d all gotten to spend a lot of time with him over the years. And I think they’re all old enough to have at least a few memories of him.

Mr. T thinks my family is kind of weird in the way we handle bad situations. My family on both sides is more about joking around than crying and hugging it out. Mr. T has been around for…quite a few funerals, actually. I think the only one he wasn’t a part of my life for was my dad’s mom who passed away the summer after either my freshman or sophomore year at MTSU. I’ve lost my dad’s father, both my mom’s parents, and my pseudo-grandfather (Mama N’s dad), and now my uncle. I think it’s because pretty much everyone in my family are strong  Christians. So the way we view death is that it’s just a really long absence. We know that, eventually, we’ll all be together again. So instead of being sad we can celebrate their life and enjoy the time together. As our family has grown, about the only time we all see each other anymore is at a funeral or wedding. Unfortunately more people seem to be dying than getting married… >.<

This one did affect me a bit more strongly than even my grandparents, because he’s the first of my parents’ generation that I’ve lost. It forces you to realize that yes, one day your parents will be gone. And that terrifies me. This is one of the main reasons I want to have kids now. My parents are still healthy and active. My sister’s kids spend a lot of time with them. And even though Mom way overdoes it with junk food, I know my sister would never begrudge her time with them. I don’t want to wait around and my kids never know my parents. They’re just too cool.

Here is another weak segue.

So I had a long, sucky weekend. Got in to work today and had heard back from support regarding an issue we had with something we’d tried to do at work. Turns out we’ll need to restore our DB all the way back to Sept. 12/13. So we’ll lose about a week and a half of changes. Not to mention – after I’d missed two days of work I was ready to come in and throw down. Crank out a lot of stuff and get back on speed. But instead I had to sit around all day waiting on our systems people to get us the backup, then restore it and all that other hooplah. It’s boring and I’ve gone on for too long as it is. Just know my day was less than productive.

Also, today was the day of our health screening. It’s some sort of assessment the company pays for that just gives you an overview of how healthy you are. They pricked my finger, you guys. A few weeks ago we had to get physicals for our life insurance and they drew blood. I hate having my blood drawn. But getting my finger pricked is so much worse! And it bled so much. So. Much. She pulled the gauze off to wrap it in a band-aid and by the time she had the band-aid unwrapped there was this huge bubble of blood on the tip of my finger. She was like “Oh.” and wiped it off, then put the band-aid on. Which then filled with blood. So she had to take it off and have me hold gauze on it with my hand above my heart for another couple minutes before trying again. Now I have this big bruise on my finger and feel all queasy because blood.

But the most important thing that happened to me today is as follows:

I was using the restroom, as I am prone to do. Drink lots of water, have lots of pee. There was someone in the stall two down from me. Well, someone comes in – singing – and gets in the stall next to me. I was like “This woman has a very deep voice. Kind of sounds like a man.” As I was finishing up I decided to look at her (his?) shoes – so if I ran into this person later I would know. Well. Wellllll. The first thing I noticed was that they were tennis shoes. Which are so not allowed in our business-casual office. The second thing I noticed (yes, second) was that they were facing the wrong direction! So it was definitely a man. In the women’s restroom. Right beside where I wast just peeing. I step out, in a bit of a panic, and the other woman is out as well. She looks at me, mildly horrified, and mouths “What is going on?!” and I’m all “I have no idea!” and start to get giggly. We bolt out of there and wait by the front desk, pretending to chat with the front desk woman. One of the men in charge of the wellness screenings walks out.

Honestly…one of the more exciting things that has happened to me since I started here. Office jobs are so bland.