Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lacy's Rant



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm It!

I've noticed this game of tag going on around the ol' blogosphere. I checked my blogging buddy, Nari from narislife last week - because the only reason I don't check out her posts as soon as they're posted is because I'm out helping Mrs. C with chores or being held captive by a clan evil rogue ninja... With no wi-fi (Rogue ninjas would be the only reason I will accept from you for not checking her blog out, by the way). Anyway, as I was saying, I checked out her post and, wouldn't you know it, she tagged me.

Now, it requires me to play a game of twenty questions (minus one). But, first off, I have to tag four of you guys. Wait-wait-wait-wait!!! Don't try running. You're tagged! Accept it. So congratulations to:

A Vapid Blonde
Heather (aka Sugar Free) from Sugar Free Thoughts
Kev D. from Highway 10 Revisited
paulsifer42 from "I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference"

You guys are now "it".

Now, the questions:

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?

No pets right now. We can't have anything more than goldfish in our apartment, which we did, but we lost them all to a fungal infection last year (*wipes away tear*). We did have two dogs when we first got married, though. Snow and Ash.
Guess which was Ash & which was Snow.
Crappy quality, I know. They were scanned from old photos
Snow was the prima donna. If you dared buy the "cheap" dog food she had this thing where she'd sniff at it first, look at you, turn and walk away. Even with the more expensive type, it had to be her brand. She first did this when she was just a puppy and the milk wasn't warm enough. Sadly, she died from illness. Ash, the baby, was untrainable but he had mastered this sad, sorrowful look that made it hard to be mad at him for too long. When we moved the landlady, who was a cat person, tolerated him for a while but eventually said he had to go. We sent him to live with a friend in the country where he recently died of old age.

Their personalities made it impossible to see them as just animals.

2. If you can have a dream come true what would it be?

To be a parent. I've seen so many others have children so easily and never appreciate what they have. I know I'll be a good father.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?

Haters. People who can't see someone else happy or successful and not bitch about it for the sake of bitching. Not that there aren't so-called happy and successful people out there who don't deserve it. I know there are a lot of people who abuse their good fortune. They deserve a swift kick in the ass with a steel tipped boot. But I refuse to resent someone simply they have it better than I do.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

I don't really know if I need all of that myself. I'd definitely buy myself a house. I'd buy one for my parents as well. Up to today, they've never had the opportunity to own their own and even now, in their old age, I think they'd love it. The rest? I don't really know.

5.What helps pull you out of a bad mood?

Comedy. I've been pulled out of many a funk from a good stand up routine.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone.

Loving someone is great but I'd say being loved. But, then again, I might just be a needy little attention grubber.

7. What is your bedtime routine?

Not that much, really. I make sure there are no unnecessary lights on and that the doors are locked. I do all the other things too, of course. I brush my teeth, pee, etc. I usually like to shower just before bed too but that's just about it. Oooh! Oooh! There is this one thing. We have one of those memory foam mattresses and, recently, I started working on various "crash landings".

I still maintain that I'll be a good parent.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?

We met where we worked. I wrote a post on it. Click here to see the full story.

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?

A sculptor, definitely. Or a glassblower (cue the pornography reference jokes). I've seen it done on TV. I bet it's fascinating to see it done in person.

10. What kind of books do you read?

I love science fiction but I'm not opposed to a good mystery or suspense either. I've always liked Ben Elton's work. I love the way he uses humor in his writing.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?

I'll tell you in ten years.

12. What's your fear?

Looking stupid. Yet I refer you to any one of my blog posts. Seems I might be a bit of a glutton for punishment.

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for an opportunity to visit outer space?

Hmmm... I'll have to think about that.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?

Married and poor, while it has it's setbacks isn't too bad. I'd probably have a bit more cash at my disposal if I were single, though.

15. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Well, after the obligatory bathroom trip, I like to just spend some time in peace and quite. I use this time to reflect, pray (Yes, I'm one of those. I never denied it) and sometimes hammer out a blog post. It depends on how early I get up.

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner, what would it be?

She needs to let her inner goof run free more and worry a bit less. Not that I want her to be happy-go-lucky, mind you, but worrying accounted for a big part of her insomnia.

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

I've always liked my name (which isn't Vinny, obviously). It's close. Vinny is a nickname Mrs. C (not her's either, duh) gave me. I've never really considered another one.

I'm still weighing the options on the junk food question...

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

I have in the past. I think I forgive and forget too easily. Then again, the offenses haven't been so fallen into the realm of totally unforgivable. Truth is, if the act was bad enough, I just don't know.

19. If you could eat only one thing for the next six months, what would it be?

Vinny love pasta. Especially if there's some cheese mixed in. Any pasta/cheese combo will do it for me, really.

Sorry. I'm still stumped on that junk food question... It's a really tough choice.

Well, that's it. I pass the torch on to you, my four chosen ones. Now go forth.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unanswered Questions

I saw this posted on the notice board in the kitchen at work:

Since I saw it, this sign has been all I could think about. It has filled me with questions. In fact, my mind has been swarming with questions that I simply cannot come up with the answers to.

I wonder:

  • I do not own a vehicle. If I were still interested, what would happen then?
  • If there were consequences, would they be the same if I had a vehicle, but wasn't interested?
  • Could I still qualify if I lacked either or both? If so, how?
  • Did you even notice that missing “E”? Or did you choose to ignore it? Perhaps this is your way of exerting your own free will and taking a stand against the confines of oppressive social norms and conventions...

       And proper spelling.

  • Are there guidelines for what I should be interested in? Could it be music or poetry or butterflies?
  • What are the rules exactly?
  • Have you succeeded in the art of dressing yourself yet?
  • What level of management are you currently working in? It's a small company so I know we've met, but this note could have come from any one of you.
  • Was the pink highlighter your first choice or did you line them all up in a row and select one at random. Or was some sort of process of elimination used, perhaps?
  • Does it hurt when the doctor drops you on your head at birth? I've always wondered about this as I don't know how developed our senses are so early in life. I'm sure it's possible for one to remember an experience so profound. Do you?
  • I noticed that the word “with” is the only word that is not in uppercase letters. What message are you trying to send us?

So many questions left unanswered by your message.

I will find you.

I must know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Only A Little Bit Overdue

First things first. I'm an MVP!

See? Peachy says so. Who needs to be all big and athletic? I earned this baby without using any performance enhancing drugs (No, coffee doesn't count), or getting any painful injuries (I've avoided carpal tunnel so far) or being super rich...or having schools and sneakers and stuff named after me...

Where was I? Oh yeah! In your face various sporting institutions! Booyah!!! (*does ridiculous looking victory dance, pours cooler of Gatorade on Mrs. C, sleeps on couch tonight*)

Now, I know there are no tasks involved like linking back but I'm gonna anyway (I'm such a rebel. Sometimes I scare myself). Check out both ThePeachy1's blogs: Being Peachy and The Pits of Being Peachy because she's awesome and wicked funny.

Thanks Peachy!


Next on the agenda: A while ago I said something to someone. My words were: "We're starting a petition to get the authorities to have you set-up a blog so you can get some of these too. We've almost got all the signatures." The "these" I was referring to were blog awards and, with the petition filled, the constant peer pressure and even the help of magical fairy chants, by gum, the blog was born. With such big talk, I'd be remiss if I failed to live up to my end.

This blogger, though the blog itself is brand new, has been making me laugh with an unending flurry of witty comments on other blogs I follow. I was honored when those witty remarks started showing up on my blog as well. His blog itself is already off to a great start stimulating some great diablogues (a wordfuse courtesy of dbs from think.stew).

So now, without further ado, Antares Cryptos! COME ON DOWN!!! You're next proud recipient of:

Created by Nikki of my cyber house rules this award is bestowed upon commenters (It's about time blogger added this word to their dictionary, don't you think?) who's comments make you laugh, fall out of your chair, spit coffee onto your computer screen or accidentally almost drown yourself in it from the funny and witty comments they leave on your posts. AC is one of those commenters. Even before he started his blog he has been leaving some of the funniest comments I've seen. Now that he's got his blog started so it's only he be awarded for all the laughter he's brought

This award does some rules but they're pretty easy as awards go (Since he's just out the gate I'll go easy)In Nikki's own words: "If you accept the award, please thank me (the person who gave it to); please re-gift it and offer it to those who make you laugh on your blog and answer this simple question: do your witty answers pop instantly in your head when you read the post with an immediate urge to hit the comment button or do you have to sit and ponder?"

See? Easy. So, AC, come claim your first, and by no means last, blog award. You've earned it. As for me, I'm going to go ice my wrists.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Annoyances

Hope we've all had a chance to recover from the love-fest that is Valentines Day. If you don't already know this, here's a nice tip for next year. Declaring your love to someone on the internet for everyone to see and comment on: major brownie points. Trust me.

Big shout out to Keely, the Un Mom for making Random Tuesday Thoughts possible. She totally owns RTT in every sense of the word and, for a better quality of random, you should go to her.


- You know those guys that always have a loooong story to regale you with whenever you say anything to them? That's the guy in the export department where I work.

You say, "Good morning." He'll say, "You know where I saw a really great sunrise one morning? This one time in Barbados when I was blah blah blah blah blah... (*half an hour passes*) blah Oh, and did that coffee taste good! blah blah (Could I go make a coffee..? Should I pull a chair..? Okay...) blah blah blah (*go, make coffee and come back*) ...and that's I could say it was a good morning.

- Did I ever mention that we live next door to a dance school. No? Well there's nothing too special about them, really. Other than the fact that they party until one in the morning almost every Saturday night. Awesome. Oh! They also started doing this new awesome thing. We were settling for bed the other night when, no sooner had we gotten all comfy when we hear men's and women's voices screaming in terror. Well, you know what I thought. The zombie apocalypse was on! Serves me right for not getting around to making a zombie apocalypse survival kit.

Damn my procrastination!!!

I decide to quietly peek through the window to see if I can gauge the extent of the chaos...

Turns out it wasn't a flesh-eating zombie invasion after all. Seems the dance school is working on an some kind of dance recital. At eleven at night.


- Office Diva calls me today:

Office Diva: Vinny, the client wants specs on one of the products. You’re good with computers. Could you help me out? The supplier’s website is kind of complicated. Could you find the spec sheet for the product on the site and email it to them?
Me: Okay. I’ve been on the site and it isn’t that complicated. You could just send the client onto the site and I’m sure even a total and complete moron could find their way around it.
Office Diva: Well everyone isn’t computer savvy. Besides, I don’t want to give the client any trouble. I’m on the site right now and I have the info here.
Me: (Well you just proved my point).
Office Diva: Anyway, could you just go onto the website and send the info.
Me: So, let me get this straight. You mean the same info that’s on your screen in front of you right now… That you’re currently looking at… online… now?
Office Diva: Yes! Exactly! Just send that info to the client.
Office Diva: Thank youuuu (hangs up).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where It All Began

I was in school the other afternoon. It was just before class and I was sitting on one of the chairs lined off against the walls of the hallway, killing some time surfing the web. Someone called me and I looked up. It was Mr. B, my economics lecturer from early last year.

When I was in his class, it was just after the dust had begun settling from my untimely departure from banking. I was trying to find a permanent job and I was still in a bit of a mess. He knew I had just entered the oh so lovely state of unemployment transition and he asked how things turned out since then. I told him things were going much better and thanked him and assured him that things were getting back on track.

We talked a little longer and, soon it was time for classes to start. He went off to his next class and I to mine.

After that I began thinking (Yeah, I do that from time to time. I try not to make it a habit). Of late, I've been playing with this thought. Imagine that you are actually a meal being prepared. Your life experiences are like additional ingredients and spices that give you your own individual flavor. (Right now, I'm seeing myself as a ham... A big.corny.ham.) Goofy, I know, but follow me on this here.

If that were the case, it would explain the changes I've been noticing about myself. Without a doubt, my leaving that job would be one of these ingredients. But, added to that would be taking Mr. B's class last year.

Why? This is because of the journals he had us make. Sure, there were other classes that required you to write journals, but they generally kept you in the boundaries of certain topics within the course outline. Mr. B had a different approach. He didn't restrict us to topics on the course outline. Shoot! He didn't even restrict us to the course outline. He let us write about whatever we wanted – within reason, of course. Whether it was our hopes and fear about taking the class or attending the school in general. We could even write on a topic in the course outline too, if we wanted.

Out of curiosity, I went home and dug up my notes from last year and found those journals. I didn't know it at the time but this freedom actually rekindled the spark I once had for writing. It's safe to say I started blogging because of having to write these journals.

And I decided to share one with you:

Journal Entry IV

Group Projects: Face It, Some Things Are Just Here to Stay.

As is the norm, we've been assigned the obligatory group assignment again. Oh... boy. At the top of my list of computer geek tendencies is that I'm a gamer. If there's one thing I know, no matter how much you dread it, almost every game is going to have an escort mission where you protect someone as they get from point A to point B (if the programmer's really evil there might be points C, D, and even E too) and you have to just keep them alive long enough to make it to the end you can get back to the really important missions. Why I mention this is because most gamers hate escort missions. The party you're escorting either can't keep up or moves too fast, they don't stick to the route and everything usually goes south close to the end and you're left scrambling to the rescue hoping you don't end up having to start the whole thing all over. Unfortunately you just can't avoid them. Game programmers love them and so they're here to stay. That is the way most students here feel about group assignment projects. But, like the escort mission, you just have to shut up, take a deep breath and try not to kill the party you're supposed to be helping along before you get to the end.

Why, what's wrong with group projects?” one may ask naively. Well, one thing is that it is another assignment, after all. But you can't expect not to have to deal with that and, by itself, that isn't a real problem here. The real issue surrounding group projects is that it's the one assignment that puts a chunk of your final grade in the hands of other people. I know, I know, obviously the intention is to foster the ability to work as a collective on a joint project seeking a successful end result. To build a spirit of camaraderie and mutual respect and to be able to get past individual differences and focus on the task at hand. All very well and good... in theory. In reality, though, what you usually get is stress, fear, infighting, resentment and the lingering question, “Why did I agree to work with these people?”

There are a host of problems which arise from having to work in a group. The first thing is dealing with the – um – not-so-enthusiastic members. Gaming analogy time: Helpless escort parties (those who can't lift a finger to fight for themselves) leave all the work up to you while they do their best to get into harm's way... as much as possible! In group projects it's the same thing. Since they are usually the ones not contributing in group meetings and work – or avoiding them out right – with the intention of putting it off long enough for someone else will step in and do their part – their plan is to get a good grade without doing any actual work. [The College] tries to curb this by having the group members evaluate each other, but that's a two-edged sword that doesn't solve the problem completely. In video games if you're escorting a slow-poke you run the risk of having to fight off more enemies as they give the baddies plenty of time to stroll on over. And just waiting for them to catch up is an exercise in patience. Some group assignment members may simply have a lot on their plate and don't really intend to not pull their own weight. Still the same end result, though. Someone else gets some extra work. On the other end of the spectrum is the firecracker that runs past you telling you to keep up. This is no less annoying or less dangerous. They usually have some snide comment about your inability to keep pace and just accept that you will lose sight of them once in a while. But, of course, they are quick yell to you for help when they run headlong into an enemy patrol. If you don't get there in time it's still your fault they're dead. This analogy needs little translation. You're left frustrated... and tired.

I fall in between. I do what I believe is my fair share of the work. I communicate with my members and do my best to get to and participate in group meetings though. Admittedly, I never volunteered to lead any group, school or otherwise – I am happy being the grunt, leadership's too much work. I'm the guy who's usually stuck trying to keep up with the over enthusiastic while helping those who lag too far behind. So I get it coming and going, as they say – Wait! Is it narcissistic for me to think they're just characters in the game I'm playing? Forget it! Like I said, I'm the grunt. That's too deep for me. Back on track, though. As I said before, I get it. I know what the whole point of group assignments is. It doesn't make it less frustrating. But, truth be told, in writing this and articulating the merits I guess it's worth giving a shot – it builds character, after all. I'll probably learn to tolerate people better if I learn to deal with this. And, at the end of the day, I'd just better just accept that like it or not, working in groups is here to stay.


So, there it is. And, since you now who's to blame, I kept his real name secret.

Going back to the meal analogy, I'm not sure how it really works but the only thing I'm sure of is that new ingredients and spices are constantly being added (So I guess that means the simmering doesn't really end).

Maybe I should rethink this theory.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Consistently Random

Hmmm... Decisions, decisions.

Write a random post or worry about an uncertain future...

Ehhh! I'll multi-task. Employers like that, right?

Of course, shout out to Keely, the Un Mom for making Random Tuesday Thoughts possible. She totally owns RTT in every sense of the word and, for a better quality of random, you should go to her.


- I will not bitch anymore about the workplace situation. I will, however, bitch about my aching muscles. Last week, I said I was rejoining the gym. I thought I could take it slow and ease into it. That way I could minimize on the muscle aches. My body, apparently, disagrees with this strategy and has decided to have most of the muscles in my body to ache like a mo-fo.

My old Thai-Boxing instructor used to say crap like, "Feel the pain! Respect the pain! LOVE THE PAIN!!! YEAH!!! He called it toughing us up. I called it sadomasochism.

- Last night, as I was travelling home, I looked up and couldn't help noticing the thuggish looking individual a few seats in front of me in the minibus taxi. I'm not one to judge but, with crime on the rise, minibus drivers have had to be cautious about who they pick up and where they stop. This has led to a type of profiling among drivers.

"If you look like a thug you don't get on my bus." is the general rule nowadays.

With that in mind couldn't help wondering how he managed to get the driver to pick him up. He reached his stop and was getting out the bus and I could see he had the full gangsta gear on:

Plain white vest? Check! Baggy capri jeans? Yup! Head tied with bandana peeking out from under basketball cap? There too! Gritty, angry-at-the-world facial expression? In place. Boobs? Roger tha...

Wait a minute!

Holycrapit'sagirl!!! I think...

Ummm... Well, okay then. Never mind.

- In one of my earliest posts I mentioned a very disgusting coworker. I've been pretty hard on him since then. From time to time I have considered trying to be nicer to him but he isn't making it easy. He generally works outside the office but he was in the other day. I was walked over to my desk and he was seated at a desk close by. He was rubbing his ankle with a piece of a sample we show customers.

Him: Foot fungus.*scratch scratch scratch* Itching like crazy.
Me: *Dry heave* Dude! What the hell?! You can keep that, by the way.

There! I think I've been rather productive.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Hunt Is On

Things have been crazy with me at work the past two weeks and, as a result, I've been mostly absent from blogging. Crazy to an extremely uncomfortable level. Especially in this last week. The events of last two weeks alone have sent me diving headlong into the want ads.

It actually started just over a month ago with one of my coworkers in my department quitting. This, of course, increased the workload for the rest of us. Not really a major problem by itself. We're a hard working bunch and we were dealing with it. Then, about two weeks ago, another coworker was fired. He was a major asshole and no one was really surprised. His fate was sealed when he was put to work alongside a woman in sales I refer to as Office Diva. She had a knack for getting her own way in the company and he, being unable to curb his know-it-all asshole ways, rubbed her the wrong way. Sure enough, she put steps in place for him to be ejected from the company.

The pressure was on now. Our workload had increased and, at the same, a tidal wave of work came in. Work that was going bring in big profit.

Boss Man and Boss Lady saw dollar signs and started to directly insert themselves into the running of the department. Only thing is... they don't know what the hell they're doing. They've been running the company like it's their own private kingdom and, when it comes to the particular idiosyncrasies of a department, they are clueless. They proceeded to turn everything upside down and, even though things were working before they stepped in, we were the ones doing everything wrong.

Things there went from bad to worse. My immediate manager is new. She's been trying, but they haven't been making it easy. They realized that she wasn't going to be a faithful minion when she refused some of their more unreasonable requests. As a result, she's now certain that they are going to fire her before her probation ends. To be honest, I think they're looking for excuses to sanitize the entire department and bring in staff who are more minion-like (I'm trying to convince myself that I'm just being paranoid).

Not too long ago, all of this would have sent me into full panic mode but I refuse to let it get to that point. If anything, I'm pissed off at myself for letting my stay here be this long. This, I knew when I came here, is only a temporary stop while I tried to find my bearings after leaving banking. But, as usual, I made the mistake of settling. The time has come to get my ass in gear. To move to something more fulfilling... At least until I finish school anyway.

Things will cool down eventually, I guess. Whether or not they try to make a clean slate of the department remains to be seen. In the meantime, I'm dusting off the old résumé and setting my sights toward greener pastures.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Random Aches & Pains (A Blog Post NOT MEDICAL ADVICE!)

January is over so I guess that makes 2011 officially here to stay. No turning back now. If you haven't gotten this year off to a good start yet then, sorry, there are no do overs. I checked.

The bastards!

Of course, shout out to Keely, the Un Mom for making Random Tuesday Thoughts possible. She totally owns RTT in every sense of the word and, for a better quality of random, you should go to her.

No. Really. Trust me. She's much better at this stuff...
- With classes in the evening, I've had to make a lot of adjustments. One of the thing that has suffered is my going to the gym regularly. This semester, I got exactly the schedule I wanted so, for the next few months anyway, I'm back in the ol' saddle. Yup! I've rejoined the gym.

I'll try (note, I said try) not to bore you in the coming weeks about the aches and pains as I try to whip myself back into shape (Please stop visualizing an actual whip being used. I know some of you were).

What I really want to do is take up a new martial art. I’m thinking kung-fu this time. I really want to learn the "Death Grip of the Rabid Monkey"*.

- I'm lucky the gym actually had room for me. This time of year in T&T, with Carnival fast approaching, everyone is trying to get into shape to fit into ridiculously tiny (and even more ridiculously expensive) costumes.

The insanity starts from just after Christmas and, for about two months, they train hard. Gyms are packed, jogging paths are crowded and, all of a sudden, people watch what they eat. What they really want is to look like this:

Nope. Neither of these guys is me.
 Or this:
Roll your tongues back in, boys!
Buy they only have about two months to work with. Instead, most of time you still end up with this:

In case you're wondering, the answer is no. You won’t see me parading the city streets in tights and sequins for those two days, thank you very much. Even if it wasn't for religious reasons, I’m waaay too self-conscious for that.

- Good news! After three years, Mrs. C finally got transfered and she's back to a day job from this week. We're very excited. It'll be interesting to also be a married couple during the week again. She had two week's vacation in between and she's been preparing. Adjusting to the new sleep schedule was the hardest part but we'll finally get to see, once and for all, if this will mean an end to my fun, freedom and being able to pig out whenever I want her insomnia.

- Remember boomboxes? Back in the day, even here in T&T, there was always someone in the group with the huge sound system on his shoulder. I was only a child but I remember a cousin who was like that.
The interweb is a magical, magical place!
Now, thanks to the modern miracle that is the cell phone, everyone has a miniature boombox in their pockets. For the past few years I’ve noticed people blasting their playlist on their cell phones’ loud speakers. Yeah, that’s what I want to hear on my bus ride to work: your favorite Jamaican dancehall tracks.
* If this move doesn't exist, I will create it. That name is just too cool.