The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


Wrapping Up 2010

Since I've not been posting nearly as much as usual in the past 3-4 months (including several movies I've seen that I've not mentioned), I thought I'd do a year-in-review posting.  I'm wide awake (it's 2am on a Tuesday morning right now) and just had a very long, emotional-rollercoaster phone call with someone very special (more on her later).

So at the beginning of the year, life found Tony (uh oh, third person...) doing the daily grind.  Working, living, participating in band events at the high school.  I remember getting sick (was it a sinus infection?  I don't remember) and being out of work for 3-4 days.

The day I came "back" to work (February 17, 2010 if memory serves), I was let go, laid off, fired, whatever.  This was after 12.5 years of what I consider to be a highly successful run (considering I created the department and just about every mechanism in it from scratch during that time, and considering what I know is now happening in that 'department' after my departure).  I was bitter initially, but frankly, since I was the fourth highest paid non-president at the Corporate office at that point (unfortunately this company's IT department did nothing to secure files of a sensitive nature, and I'd be willing to be to this day, such files are STILL publicly viewable by anyone who knows how to look), I can only look back and say "a successful run, time to move on".  Maybe someone should tell Zoty about the backups that are in multiple locations that are publicly usable, the files that are on shares on people's personal computers that are publicly accessible, or perhaps the passwords that STILL WORK after over THIRTEEN YEARS in certain places (well, when I left anyway).  It's truly amazing.   I also imagine that FTP server that was used randomly for Warez purposes is probably running.  Not going to check, myself.  Nothing to gain from it.  (shrug)

So then I applied for the typical benefits, started applying for jobs, and found that the local (as in, 25 mile radius) job market was pretty dismal (not a shock, but frustrating to find first-hand).  I expanded, and also started looking in key geographical areas that I'd be interested in moving to, AFTER discussing the possibility with my son, which was of primary importance.  Jobs were out there, but given that the recession has caused a huge swing in how much an employer can demand from someone, and the income level they can now get away with offering them in many cases, I had to make the decision to wait it out and live on minimal monies while repeatedly refining my resume.

I ended up lethargic for a few weeks, meaning I was laying on the couch a lot, waking up at 4am to get my emails from Monster, CareerBuilder and the State of Florida so I could apply for things "ASAP".  Made a LOT of applications to Disney (still getting replies to this very month on that) which would have been a big commute, but the idea of working there in an IT-related capacity held great promise.  As I had just lost over 40 pounds (later 50) by then, and was inactive, I actually ended up in the hospital for a couple days (a combination of "minor" factors that all hit at once).   Wow.

I worked with Bank of America on an "Obama Plan mortgage restructuring" which never happened (a horrific waste of time of over 6 months) and ended up handling that situation with an arbitrator so BofA could "save face" basically.   Dumb.

My oldest daughter "officially" moved out on her own, which was both exciting and sad.   She probably thinks I was elated that she left.  In truth, it was emotional for me, though it was quickly replaced with the return of my younger Daughter who found living with the former wife/mother was not what it was cracked up to be in her eyes.   She's getting married next September.  My older son is in Afghanastan for the US Army.  That's both scary, exciting and bizarre to consider.  My youngest son is finishing up his Senior year and is going into the US Army as well and will become an M.P.  He's excited about that.

There was an incident involving one of my kids, their friends, and some golf carts at a nearby residential community.  That's still being finalized.  Yay.

There was my decision to re-enter the dating community.  That's had an odd series of effects, ultimately leading to what I can only call *the* best relationship I've *ever* had.  I'm not even going to qualify that with a "so far" because I'm not allowing for such possibilities.   The progression was as follows (those who I dated "more than once" - single dates just don't qualify in my book).

Regina.  Met her on  Username "SailTowardSunXXX".  Very nice, smart person.  Very TALL (6'1").  Likes SciFi.  Hard worker (3 jobs).  Had musical and other ambitions that I could appreciate.  After a couple months, I started to cut things off due to some perceived control issues.  That's when she told me she was born a man.   So, yeah.  That ended.  Very bizarre.  And very disturbing to be fooled like that.  (sigh)

Maureen.  Met her on  Username "Gingerrr4XX".  Very sensual, mother of two young girls.  Had just kicked her 9 year boyfriend (father of second child) out.  Spent time becoming very engrossed in both her kids and her situation (lost job, home approaching foreclosure), and also pulled in by her sexual nature.  One Sunday, her daughter (who started calling me daddy by that point) blew up at her (Maureen) for having gotten involved with a man "so quickly" after "Richie" left (this is what I was told).  The next day, I'm dumped via email, after being told that the father of the FIRST daughter (who was calling me daddy) had come back that same day via Facebook.  They apparently are going to pursue a relationship after 10 years apart.  I wish Maureen's kids the very best and, hopefully, a stabilized life.  They desperately need it.

And then...

Jaime.  The woman I am currently dating, "in a relationship" with (my kids call it "Facebook semi-official").  She thinks and reacts to situations very much like me.  She speaks her mind, yet knows how to not be impolite or talk down to people.  She communicates at my level (let the smart alec remarks commence).  We have a very natural connection that feels "too good to be true" at times.  There are no expectations other than free time we have is spent together, because our kids are at the end of child-rearing status, we're not going to have any more, and we have very simple desires.  To say I'm excited about the prospects with Jaime is to put it mildly.  After (1) the cheater, (2) the crazy woman, (3) the man and (4) the dumper, I've ended up in a relationship that so far has given me great hope for the future and a connection I've not had before.  I really have high hopes for what we've had so far.  There is a simple, open honesty and mode of communication that has just made things awesome.  I look forward to 2011 with Jaime.  And beyond...

 Christmas this year was pretty subdued.  My income is currently lower than I'm used to, so I did not do much this year.  Those around me surely understand.  The new year is about to begin, and I get to go with the high school band to do pics and video of them marching in the new Governor's inaugural parade on January 4th -- that's cool.  Work is going well in general (have enough to do to last me months right now, then I can perhaps do the daily grind at that point).  Everyone seems generally healthy (though I've not been to the "Y" in 3 months -- need to rectify that).

So that seems to be my year-in-review.   Hopefully I didn't forget anything noteworthy.  A large part of the year was spent unemployed and figuring out what I was going to do with myself.  And then dating began again.  Overall, a year of transition.  Might be time to start a "fresh journal".  Hmm....

Have a great 2011, everyone.


Sony Noise Canceling Headphones (MDR-NC7)

I was surprised to be given a pair of these headphones by one of the people I answer to at work yesterday.  Merry Christmas!  Give the environment I work in (loud-talking and music-playing phone reps everywhere) and the kind of work I do, this was a welcome gift.  I love 'em!   They work quite well.


Cereal - Mouth Closed - Really

If God meant for cereal to be crunched with one's mouth open, I think he wouldn't have bothered giving us lips... (sigh)


Hello, Jaime!

A new beginning with a great new friend.  Had a great outing this past weekend with Jaime at Chili's, then Takeya, then The Ocean Deck, the Steak 'n Shake (one outing long enough to span two days, so...).

Great precursor to a week at work that is destined to be very stressful.  Future's bright, wearin' shades.