The Tempest Online™

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Archive for April, 2008

The Bad Part Of My Day…

Posted by Seth on April 28, 2008

I’ve had a few jobs. One great job, a couple “eh” jobs, and a couple jobs I absolutly hated. There was this one where I was the dishwasher. It’s what you would expect it to be, but I couldn’t hack it. The guy that was “training” me, left early! That little stinky son-of-a-bitch left me and I had no damn clue what was going on! It was such a bad night, I went home bawling my eyes out! I my hands were literally bleeding, my back hurt, I hated that kid, and no one even cared to help me or give me any direction! I could have burned that damned place down!

Anyway, this job isn’t like that. It isn’t that bad. I like the people I work with, I don’t cry on the way home everyday, and my back doesn’t hurt…as bad. My ass does though. I sit all day. Though, one thing I do usually go home with is the bleeding hands.

What I do all day is sort claims and mail stuff for the marketing department. Wooo…I’m an envelope stuffer! I go home with bleeding hands nearly everyday because of the DAMNED PAPER CUTS! HOLY SHIT-SON-OF-A-BITCH-POOP STAINS IT HURTS!

Nothing seems to hurt worse than a paper cut. I’ve been shot in the shoulder, sliced open multiple times, kicked by horses and cows, broken bones, bit my tongue, have had hair pulled…and in the “nether regions” it doesn’t feel so well. I know it can be MUCH worse, but I’ve been fortunate so far. It’s just SOMETHING about paper cuts that hurts more than having your puppy skinned alive by terpentine.

 I think it’s because paper cuts usually happen on your hand/fingers, and you use them more than anything. The wound is created and it never heals. It just keeps reopening over and over and over! The only pleasure that comes out of a paper cut is you can make it talk! Apply your forefinger and thumb on opposing sides of the wound, squeeze back and forth, and make a funny voice. That’s kinda fun I will admit.

 Anyway, that’s the only hazardous part of this job. I’ve actually bled all over someone’s envelope before. I don’t think they want to receive that in the mail! It just hurts really really bad!

This is my interpretation of how it feels to me…

 

 The wound…

 

 

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The week following…

 

 

 

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Posted in Common Sense, Just For Fun, Our Writings, Today's Rant, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Move It Or Lose It

Posted by Daniel on April 27, 2008

This moving thing is becoming very tiring! So much goes into planning it. When I moved here to Kansas City, I didn’t have time to save, plan, prepare, hell…I didn’t have but 3 or 4 hours to pack! Daniel just pretty much kidnapped me!

THAAAANKS DAN!

Anyway, we’ll be moving in about5 weeks, 36 days. The next to last weekend in May, Daniel and I are going to be making a trip back to West Virginia to visit my family. He doesn’t have to go, though he wants to, I just want my family and friends to meet him to let them know I’ll be in good hands. Only one person got to when he came in the last time.

They deserve to meet him.

So, in a week’s time, we’ll be driving across the entire country! We’ll be stopping back here in KC for about 4 days. So, not only are we getting ready for a move, we’re planning a trip as well. Well, I’m planning the trip. We’re planning the move.

In the mean time, we’re slowly getting the packing done so it doesn’t have to all be done when we’re finished with work. It’s a little frustrating because we have to separate what we use, what we don’t use, what we’re going to need in Fresno, what can wait to be moved until later. It’s very mentally straining.

It’s also becoming increasingly difficult because of savings. I only have two paychecks left, and all of both of them have to go to savings for the move and for this quick trip. There are a few things that will help though. The paychecks, the check that’s coming from the government, the selling of Daniel’s truck, a yard sale, and a few other here and there savings will help. I/we have to have SOME kind of cushion! We’re going out there with no jobs and little savings.

Anyone wanna help? HAHA!

Also an increasing strain is the gas prices! I’m not going to bitch about it. What can I say that everyone else isn’t? It’s just fucking ridiculous with what’s going on in that department. So, that’s putting a bit of a damper on things.

Anyway, it’s coming down to the wire and my mind is completely FULL! I don’t know how much more free space I have left. Hopefully, it will get a bit easier on all of us.

Posted in Just For Fun, Our Writings | 1 Comment »

Everything Must Go

Posted by Daniel on April 24, 2008

In 1993, there was a futuristic shocker of a mini-series called “Wild Palms” (produced by Oliver Stone), prominently featuring one of my all-time favorites, Angie Dickinson, as the sadistic sister of an ominous politico.
One of the episodes was titled “Everything Must Go.” That episode title sums up what we have going this weekend, and indeed where my life is right now.

This weekend is the annual neighborhood garage sale, which has become a big area draw and an excellent chance to both rid yourself of excess stuff and make some coin at the same time. Each year, I am sure I have finally gotten the last of my cast offs, well, cast off. And each year, I seem to have plenty of new candidates for “reassignment”.

However, this year, with Daniel leaving for California, and my new found urge to simplify my life as much as possible, we seem to have more merchandise than ever. Some items are even still in the packaging, things we have bought for this use or that use, which aren’t going to get used. Some “junk”, but a lot of items we hope generate some cash.
And we got through the Christmas decorations, which was actually easier than I expected. Daniel has his set aside in tubs for when he is able to come back and get more stuff, which will be after he has a place of his own in Fresno. And, my storeroom has room to spare now. I am hoping it doesn’t get refilled any time soon…:-)

But “Everything must go” also applies to us. After another therapy session with Vicki (which went well, my emotions apparently much more evened out than my first session, so much so that to spread my alloted 6 sessions out, I am now on an every other week schedule) I find myself in a better place–a calmer, less volatile place. In the stages of grief, I am definitely staunchly trekking through stage 4, the sadness and depression. It comes and goes. I still get the tightness in my chest and stomach, but the numbing seizing panic has been replaced by a melancholy tug of the heart. These are fleeting moments. I can see myself going on, and growing from the experience. Everything must go, including your initial reactions to sudden changes in your life.

My wonderful friends and family continue to be everything one could ask.
I am looking forward to the Bon Voyage Party May 17, and hoping everyone, including my sister in law, who’s cancer has reoccurred yet again (is this the fourth, or fifth time? She just finished her last round of chemo last December. It makes me sad and angry, and yet puts things in perspective) are all able to make it. My niece, who also works downtown and happened to be on the same bus to Blue Springs as me last night,
and I shared a nice conversation on the way home, concerning both my situation, and her mother’s, along with other family news. My sister in law is a fighter, and one of the most vivacious and genuinely real people you will ever meet. I won’t lie though, we’re worried with the cancer coming back so fast. But we as always remain hopeful while staying vigilant. You can’t live in fear, it’s one of those things that must go.

I am also taking tentative steps out on my own. I went last week to a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) event at a local bar called Bar Natasha. Mostly women, with a few men in pairs and groups, and two KC area women’s professional teams the Roller Warriors (roller derby…I had no idea we HAD a professional roller derby team–we do, and they’re a wonderful group) and the KC Storm…women’s professional football.
Again…I had no idea….lol. I didn’t really talk a lot to anyone, save the local president, who’s name escapes me right now, but she’s very fun and feisty, and Jeannie, aka “Hurt Devil” this fantastic, warm and funny member of the Roller Warriors. I listened to a couple of speakers, had a couple of beers, bid Jeannie a good night and headed home. I’ve certainly had worse nights.

Then last Friday, I had the wonderful experience of seeing another niece, our own Kat’s daughter Abby, in her first theatrical production at her school, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare…Abridged”. I had heard of the show, but never seen it. To sum up…these kids were AWESOME. And I’m not just saying that as a proud uncle, overjoyed that the theatre gene appears to have been passed to the next generation.
No, these junior high kids PUT ON A SHOW. $5.00 for an evening of laughs and smiles was a huge bargain. Abby’s parts, while not huge, were moments I will always remember, and for her debut, she handled them superbly. But better than that, she and her castmates seemed to genuinely enjoy the experience. They were into it, and it showed. And the three leads…two boys and one girl….outstanding. The girl especially. If I remember Kat correctly, this dynamo was a mere 15 years. She could hold her own and then some in any area company. There was even a priceless girl who did a dead-on impression of Alex Borstein’s (“Mad TV”, and the voice of Lois on “Family Guy”) character Ms Swann. So, in case I was unclear, I was greatly impressed…:-)

Two days ago, I had my Tarot done. Tarot, for those unfamilar, isn’t a road map showing you all the things that will definitely happen to you. Tarot, as my reader Brenda Smith, who I met a couple of years ago at the KC Renaissance Festival, describes it, is a confirmation tool. It affirms things about you, things you will gravitate too, and in my own words, is a reflection of how you are feeling. Then again, to some, it’s just fun. I received a cassette tape of our session at The Bluebird, a health-style restaurant and bar, serving food and offering even liquor that is more naturalist in nature. I am going to review it again, soon, but these are the highlights:

1. According to the Tarot, I will not be moving in the near future. Down the line, possibly, but I will know when the time is right.

2. It’s a time to center on my own personal growth. What initially seemed like a chaotic disruption will be realized as change for the better. I will also be more social, which is good, as I am a very social person. And this is going to make me more open to what we will call “romantic possibilities”….:-)

3. I am going to come out of this period stonger, and definitely wiser, with a renewed sense of purpose.

Of course, a skeptic would say these were things I could have figured out on my own, and I wouldn’t argue. I would just say, the actual reading, and other fine points that I am not fleshing out here, made the experience worthwhile. And Brenda herself is warm, funny, and entertaining. So even if I didn’t put any stock in Tarot at all, I would have still enjoyed it.
As we parted, after she had heard my story, my hopes and fears (which were told to her AFTER the initial reading, but before specific questions as the reading continued), she gave me a hug and said, “You’re gonna be just fine.”

Yes, everything must go. We need room for all the new things coming our way.

Posted in Common Sense, Family, Friends, GLBT, Op-Ed, Our Writings | 1 Comment »

Wanting the Guy You’ll Never Have

Posted by Daniel on April 19, 2008

I post this advice for Rick (and others in his situation)…because he asked. Glean from it what you will.

We’ve all known him.

He’s the friend we want to be so much more.

The guy taken by someone else.

The guy we think is out of our league.

The one whose sexuality doesn’t match our own.

Maybe the cute waiter at our favorite restaurant.

Or he’s the guy too intimidating to approach—he’d never go for me.

The guy with the stellar good looks, intelligence to match, and sweetness to boot.

He dominates our fantasies.

He’s the irresistible seduction of sanity.

And we’ll never have him.

It’s one of the foremost perils of romantic humanity, this notion of unrequited love (or unrequited infatuation).

We deal with it in many different ways, most completely counterproductive. To name just a few, we:

– Obsesses over the guy and let his presence consume us
– Avoid him at all cost and try to overcome our addiction
– Treat him like shit and hope he hates us so we’re forced to closure
– Pretend the feelings away in his presence
– Whine about not having him
– Imagine the guy we are with is him
– Approach him and tell him how we feel

Although our last option may be the healthiest, it is also by far the riskiest. In telling him our true feelings, we put our friendship (or potential friendship) with him on the chopping block. And perhaps our own reputation.

What if we tell him how we feel and he ends up being a jerk by telling everyone how pathetic we are?

Ouch.

Our fears are well founded, and they keep us from opening ourselves up to those we secretly adore.

So instead of letting him know and receiving a bit of closure on the matter, we continue our daily rituals with him lurking in the crevices of desire.

So what do we do.

Let’s put it this way: what happens if you don’t tell him how you feel?

What then?

Ah, now there’s where the true pain resides.

Regret is the worst possible self-inflicted emotion I can fathom. It represents a decision that, no matter how power our conviction, we will never be able to change.

We can overcome regret, of course, but the motivation behind the villain will not vanish. We cannot change the past.

If we don’t tell him how we feel, we will more than likely experience regret. “What if” will haunt us for as long as we hold him dear. For romantics, this could mean a collapse in emotional strength. It happened to me?

But wait a minute, what if we go ahead and tell him and he turns out to be a real jerk and he starts talking about us? Wouldn’t we then regret our decision to tell him? Or what if he doesn’t want to be around us anymore? That would invoke some regret, no?

Of course it would, but ask yourself, would I rather regret telling him or regret never saying anything?

At least in my opinion, it always hurts more to keep it a secret. Why? Two very important reasons:

1. As human beings, closure (good or bad) forces us forward. If we know for a fact that we can’t have him, there will be no more what ifs, and we’ll more than likely find a way to cope and move on. Even if it tarnishes our reputation, it will do so only to the most superficial and immature.

2. What if he feels the same? You may think he’d never look at you that way in a million years, when really, he’s been thinking the same (or at least is willing to give it a go).

NEVER?

Oftentimes, the title of this blog is true: he’s the man we want but will never have. Not because we can’t have him. But because we’re too afraid to try. Always ask this question: which will make me happier?

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve been there, and this is what I extrapolate.

Posted in Bad Advice Meant Well, Common Sense, Friends, Guest Posts, Our Writings | 1 Comment »

Call Me Crazy But…

Posted by Daniel on April 16, 2008

So I started this new job this past January 30th.

Seems Seth and I both were able to find full-time work at pretty much the same time…but in two very different places.

I left it up to him to better describe the details of his newly gained employment…which he did in a previous post.

Mine is a great job, if not a smidgeon on the stressful side.

See, I work in the Business Office at a type of “nursing facility”.  I use the ” ” because when people hear the type of residents that reside here, they raise their eyebrows.  This facility takes care of those with mental issues, which require medications to keep them from harming themselves or others.

And let me tell you, it may be stressfull here, but it’s never dull.

My particular job description is Human Resources – A/P – Payroll and Resident Trust.

The first three are pretty self-describing, but the latter is what keeps things here interesting. 

Resident Trust means that I am, in effect, the resident’s bank.  I have to keep my door open during the same hours as any bank that you might go to.  Now, here’s where it gets fun.

These residents only have so much $$.  And it comes in at the same time each month.  It’s always amazing…these folks – most of the time – couldn’t tell you their names, but every one of them seem to know when the first of the month is here.

And that’s where it get’s hairy…

“Do I have any money?”

“Is my money here yet?”

“I need some money.”

“What do you mean I don’t have any money?!?”

Now, there are 90+ residents here, and each of them comes to my door at least nine to ten times a day.  Even when they are either given money or are told it’s not in yet.  Without fail, I will get interrupted by them every minute or two.

Factor that into a day where I also maintain payroll for 200+ employees, who are constantly coming in asking that I make corrections to their time because they forgot to time in/out.

Then there’s also Accounts Payable, which keeps me hopping every second either paying bills or tracking invoices down on the phone.

Oh, and Human Resources.  I take care of their health/medical/dental/life and vision insurance.  This is a fun little merri-go-round.  Plus there’s keeping up with employee benefits, perks, vacation and sick time.  Mix in maintaing and updating corporate procedures (and enforcing them).

So my days are pretty well up to my nipples with stress.

How do I maintain?

Simple…

Die! Die! DIE!!!

I laugh…a lot.  At anything and everyone.  And I do my best to keep them all laughing…or at  least smiling.

But that time is rapidly growing short.

In 38 days, I’ll be leaving this job because I’m moving to California to start a new life. 

And both the residents – who’ve all come to refer to me as either “Banker” or “Mr. Money”  (a few call me Daniel also, but that’s only when they’re all “there”)  – and the staff here are PISSSSSSSSED!!!!!

It’s always a great compliment when you work at a job for a short period (especially this short) and you’ve helped make things better for those around you.  I’ve heard many times that I’ve run one of the best Business Offices in this facility in YEARS.  So that’s why I understand why everyone keeps telling me not to go…or words to that effect…

“Please Stay.”

“Why are you leaving?”

“What’s California got that we don’t??”

“Burn in hell.”

“Take me with you.”

“Eat shit & die!!”

“Who’s gonna give me my moneeeyyy???”

I’m really going to miss this place and the people here.  Now, not only am I leaving my long-time friends here in Kansas City, but now a bunch of crazy folks whom I’ve come to care about very much and very quickly.

I have to go now…it’s medication time.

Posted in Just For Fun, Our Writings | 2 Comments »

No Raise? Ask For Perks!!!

Posted by Daniel on April 10, 2008


As a Human Resources Director, I’ve heard it at least once a day. “Are we going to get a Cost of Living Advance (COLA) this year.” Man, I hate having to answer that one, mostly because I have to see the disappointment in employees faces.

But I’ve got some advice that might be of some help to you if you receive little to no raises either annually or at review time.

If your job performance has met or even exceeded expectations, you can expect a decent pay increase, just like last year, right?

Maybe not. With signs of slowing job growth, employers may think twice about doling out generous bonuses — or even handing over slightly-less-than-stingy merit increases, according to Steven Gross, a senior human resources consultant at Mercer, a global provider of investment and outsourcing services.

Recession is still more fear than reality at the moment, but even that fear still makes it harder to demand more money.

Flexibility Pays Off

Even if you think you’re likely to get that increase, it doesn’t hurt to consider whether perquisites — like better opportunities for career advancement, or improved work-life balance — are more important than the cash. For many people, they are worth their weight in gold.

In a 2006 survey of 10,000 U.S. workers, human resources consulting firm Hudson found that slightly less than half considered money their biggest consideration. Others valued perquisites such as healthcare benefits, better retirement benefits, and a better work-life balance over extra pay.

Health and retirement benefits are usually not negotiable after you’ve got the job, although it doesn’t hurt to ask. Other perquisites are routinely given, in addition to, or in lieu of, pay increases. These include:

  • Extra vacation days
  • Training
  • Telecommuting
  • Reimbursement for commuting expenses
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Sabbaticals

4 Negotiation Tips

Once you’ve decided what you really value, you need to know how and when to ask for it. A few tips:

Be honest. If money is most important to you, speak up. If you can’t get the money you want, then ask for other things that don’t cost the company anything.

Be realistic. If you are a cop, a firefighter, or a nurse, it’s not likely you could do your job at home. But if you’re an IT professional, telecommuting makes sense for you and the company. Likewise, if you’re an accountant who wants an MBA, your company isn’t likely to pay for it. However, you can make a case that coughing up dough for one management class is a win-win.

Don’t wait to ask. With career development, you should have ongoing conversations with your supervisor about where you want to go and how to get there, so that your needs are not a surprise at review time. In terms of work-life balance, it’s crucial to ask for what you need, such as time off to care for an ailing family member, as soon as the issue arises.

Have a flexible plan. Gross explained that flexibility will make you look good, and can even work out to your benefit. If career advancement is important to you, there may be some lateral moves that would work out for you and the company. You could even consider volunteering to take an assignment that you wouldn’t ordinarily consider if it will get you to your goal.

Posted in Bad Advice Meant Well, Common Sense, Our Writings | 2 Comments »

It’s A Family Thing…Really…

Posted by Daniel on April 7, 2008

Greetings, gang. Just back from a whirlwind trip to visit the family in California.

I hate those kind of trips…never long enough. I really didn’t want to come home.

The weather was fantastic – unlike here in Kansas City…which was colder than a witches tit.

I went because one of my cousins passed away and since there was no formal funeral (she was cremated) I didn’t want to miss the memorial gathering held late in the month.

While the occasion was a sad one, it did create an opportunity for more of my reclusive family (immediate and extended) to reunite. It never ceases to amaze me how all of my family lives in Fresno and yet they rarely see one another. Point of fact, I see certain family members more often and I live over 1800 miles away.

It was very cool, though. I saw family that I haven’t seen in over 30 years (and I’m not old). Most of the time, as I was mingling, I kept hearing, “Who is that?” and “Who are they?” Goes to show that you can be close to your family geographically, but not emotionally.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I know (well, deep down, anyway) they care deeply for one another. I guess it’s just harder for some to show it.

Anyway, while I was visiting, we had set up a photo studio sitting for all of us kids to pose for a portrait. Sort of a gift to Mom. It was planned to duplicate a portrait that we had done waaaaaaaaay back in 1971…and with all of us in the same pose.

Sort of a “Then & Now” kinda thing. I thought our parents would love the shit outta that.

And, of course, as is always the case…I was right.

Check it out…

All of us as guppies…

Could we BE any cuter???

 

Blessed By Mother…Cursed By Father Time.

Well…We SMELLED good collectively…LOL.

 

So we did the portrait thing and, all things considered, it all went pretty well. The photographer was a tad on the uber-annoying side, though.

Being this was a short visit, Terry and Theresa did everything they could to keep me entertained…well, as much as they could considering they were dealing with the poster child of ADD. Fortunately for them, I wasn’t there long enough for the jet lag to wear off entirely.

One night my brother Terry and some of his friends went to the Elks Foundation somethin-er-other. Funny story, they’re a philanthropic foundation that helps to preserve wild elk…so that they can kill them during elk hunting season. LMAO The irony is just too funny. Anyway, while they were out drinking and “Preserving-To-Kill” (as I called it), his wife Theresa and I went to dinner with one of her friends, Bonnie.

I love this lady. She’s ballsy and brassy and loud and CHATTY and just so squishily adorable. Oh, and I found out that one of her biggest pet peeves is a man with unshaved balls and unshaved ass crack. I worship her!!! I have since been referring to her as Bonnie Ball Hair. Yeah, this is the sort of thing we talk about on “Girls’ Night Out”.

Here’s the rub…Whenever I’m there visiting, everyone relentlessly demands that I just move home. While I do understand their enthusiasm – I mean, I am their favorite (hehe) – I usually have some lame excuse or another for not heeding their calls for relocation.

I love it here in Kansas City. Granted the winters leave a lot to be desired, but hey, no place is entirely perfect, right?

This time was different, though. This time I not only relented, I did so with gusto. I accepted the calls to move back to Fresno…and I gave them a target date.

My reasons, family not withstanding, were my own. I love California and have missed it for MANY years. I miss the plants, the smells, the mountains, the people and, most importantly, I really have missed my family. It’s been far too long.

So yes, I will be moving back to California.

And I will be going on May 31st.

And I will not be going alone.

Well…he’s got a GREAT ass!!!

The Bastard Son Of Julia Roberts & Mr. Ed

 

 

Posted in Family, Just For Fun | 3 Comments »

We Love Balls!

Posted by Seth on April 6, 2008

For the past two months, bowling has become a weekend ritual. I love it! Bowling has been one of my favorite past times with my friends in West Virginia. I’m absolutely terrible, with an average score of probably 80, but I do it because I’m there for the fun, friends, and beer. We started bowling to replace the monotony of going out every Saturday night to the bars.

Daniel has been in the bar seen MUCH longer than I have, so he was ready for the change. I, on the other hand, wanted to stop going for multiple reasons. One, it’s a waste of money! With bowling, or nearly any other hobby, you get more for your money. You get the beer, you get to be around friends (and not have to scream to talk to them), and you get a bit of exercise. Two, I’m just really tired of seeing the same old queens at bar, after bar, after bar. Really no matter where you go, you’re going to see the same crowd. The prissy queens, the nasty drag queens, the old hustler perv’s, and the tricks. I’ve not been around that many years, but I know well enough to know that is not my scene. Three, what you paid for 3 hours earlier, ends up on your bathroom floor. Four, fag hags are a great idea, but there are way too many bitchy ones out there. Five, I’m just bitter to the gay bar scene.

It’s nice to know that outlet is there when I need it. I just don’t want to make it my only form of weekend entertainment.

Anyway, the point is we go bowling and it’s fun. Steve found it mundane and monotonous and stopped going. He feels about bowling how I do about going out every weekend. It’s just not his thing. So, we lost one from our little weekend gathering.

So, for the time being, we’re enjoying this time with everyone. You never know when things are going to change and you don’t have that hobby with your friends every weekend. Enjoy and appreciate life, your friends, and your family while you have them. You just never know when they’re going to be gone.

Great times with great friends!

Seth, Scotty, JJ, Cindy, and Daniel

Posted in Friends, Just For Fun, Our Writings, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »