Of Pooches and Human Treats

Happy Wednesday everyone, today and tomorrow can’t seem to pass fast enough for me.  Friday evening I go meet “Abe” a beautiful lab mix that with any luck will be coming home with me!  A man needs a pooch plain and simple!

So this morning I was rummaging around the kitchen trying to figure out what to pack as a good energy snack for breaks at work.  The kitchen is slightly bare til payday Friday in the realm of quick items so I’ve got to get creative.  I noticed I had a bag of cashew pieces and a bag of almond slices in the freezer that I use for brownies and such so here’s what I came up with:

Sweet and Salty Nut Mix

I melted about a tablespoon and a half of unsalted butter, mixed this well with a cup and a half of cashew pieces and a cup of almond slices.  

Added 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar mixing well as I added these.  

Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet evenly and baked @ 350 for approximately 15 minutes (sorry I just eyed this step).  Removed from oven and set aside to cool.

After it was cool I poured the whole thing loose sugar/salt and all into a ziplock bag and shook vigorously I ended up adding a little more cinnamon at this stage as I was tasting as I went.

And now I have a tasty snack that should give me a good protein/carb/fat profile and a quick energy boost throughout the day!

Now usually I thin slice a can of spam (fyi the bacon flavor or jalapeño flavor spam is awesome) spread the slices on a baking sheet, dust with whatever curry or rub I’m in the mood for and bake at 425 for around 10-12 minutes.  This gives me Spam chips that I can bag up and snack on during my breaks.  Unfortunately I’ve burned through my Spam stockpile over the last few weeks with my long shifts.  Don’t judge till you’ve tried it!! (Most people that claim Spam is disgusting have never actually tried it).  I can’t fight the Hawaiian in me I love the stuff.

Spam on!!!

~J

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Random Thoughts on a Monday 

Yesterday and tomorrow are days off (technically tomorrow isn’t off as I’m going in for a test).  I’ve managed to do half my laundry, eat lots, and even get a nap in!!  My next shift starts in about 4 hours providing they don’t call to beg I go in early.

In early, hmmmm Apparently I am good at what I do as I’m on the short list of the first people called for extra time. Even with two days off this week my schedule will give me 60 hours and that’s not taking account for the morning “can you come in now??” calls I receive every day.

While the job I am working is crap and I don’t expect to be there soon I still take pride in it.

Being able to play a cornerstone role has given me………..

Matter of fact I think the experience was needed!!  Lately I’ve felt pretty useless being able to play a cornerstone role has given me some of my old drive back.  I’ve also begun to learn patience and understanding with others. I never thought that such a simple and crap job would have much result.

Thank god I have other irons in the fire as surviving on this job alone would surely be a stress filled life.  And yet people do it!!  For whatever reason, I’ve met plenty that are well qualified and smart but just can’t seem to land the job for whatever reason.

I suppose it’s a blessing I know my reason?!  Today I will do my shift and do the best I can and I will attempt to keep my thoughts of the past and future at bay, a simple sideline as to who I am presently.

Again take pride in all you do, the best legacy is that you always worked hard and took pride in that

~J

Being a Pollster Can be Fun

If you were to ask me if I thought I would ever be a pollster I probably would have laughed my ass off.  Until now, I actually find some of the polls rabidly hilarious.  Sure the completion ratio is horrible as most people don’t like taking polls and occasionally I get cussed out and yelled at but all in all when someone does take a poll it can be incredibly fun.

People tend to get heated over politics and asking them opinions on Trump often gets real interesting results.  I’ve heard everything from “Love HIM” to “I think he’s a runaway shopping cart”.  Todays questions were nothing short of amazing to ask, I’m making it a point to look up the results of the particular poll I am currently working.  From Trump to Anti-fa, white nationalists to North Korea it’s bound to be an interesting read.

And while today was long (10 hours) I absolutely had a blast lol, my team smoked our quota and we rocked it.  And a few of my completions were incredibly intelligent, I even polled a double doctorate today hah.  Just some reflection on todays work, the job may be grueling at times but there’s no reason to not give it my best when I’m there.

~J

Waiting for my paper!

I should be a paper delivery person, I would be early every day.  I sit waiting this morning for what seems like everything.

The coffee pot….

The paper…..

my shift at work…

Hah, payday

So awake at 4 am with no paper I decide to pop in an old movie, hackers.  I have to laugh at this movie as they really did try hard but just absolutely failed to hit the mark.  Being a geek I can point out the million references they attempted and being a man of course a young Jolie yeah okay easy on the eyes.  Movie overall though total horrible and yet I have it on DVD why??  Well because I can, I have a lot of horrible movies on DVD I had a conversation with a friend about this just the other day.  They are re making all my old favorites and ruining them, Charlie and the chocolate factory, mad max, oh my god Blade Runner!!

How do you touch Blade Runner?  Ever?? The premise is simple and hilarious when I think about it, I’m getting old!!  The vast majority of movie watchers were born after 1990 (holy crap 90? 2000??) and don’t have the fond memories of playing baseball in the cul de sac or watching movies on a giant television.  Half of them have no idea what black and white or beta max even were.  HAH!  “If you could only see what I’ve seen through your eyes” I would say quoting my beloved Blade Runner.  The fact is the younger crowd doesn’t know any better and the older crowd (i.e. me) will watch just to have something to hate.

With my menial job (that I actually enjoy lol) I get paid to ask people questions which are mostly political but…. the most interesting is when I get to the demographics and ask “in what year were you born?”  It’s interesting as a pollster that very rarely do youth actually answer questions yet everyone complaining that nobody is listening is in this same age group.  Maybe someday when I’ve had my breakfast and paper and hot coffee I’ll do some random study on this but for now I will laugh.  The strangest part of my day is hearing 1990 something when asking someone when they were born.  Next year people born in 2000 will be able to buy cigs lol.

Funny, I’m a pollster now I get paid to ask questions…  what an odd realization for me this morning!  And I just heard the paper smack the porch I’m off to read and hopefully enjoy a cup of coffee.  The movie in the background eh…. it’s there for noise and not much else.  Still incredibly hilarious to me when I catch a glimpse here and there.  Even online has changed since I remember it.  Every user has instant access and it used to be we would dial in, nobody remembers loading a tape or hearing the clicks and whirs let alone the term warez lol…

I suppose I’m getting old but that’s okay on to my paper

~J

Wok on Water

I’m thinking today I’ll put in for something very different…

Several years ago I had this idea, my mom lives on the channels in Oxnard, California where many of the homes have private docks at the rear of the homes.  I love to cook (I absolutely LOVE to cook) and many of my dishes are Pan-Asian inspired.  Out there the popular thing is to have an electric boat they typically call  “cocktail boats” and just putter around the channels watching the seals and generally hanging out.

So I thought to myself why not modify a little boat Bladerunner style (favorite movie ever btw) and cruise around cooking and slinging stir fry?  I named this dream boat of mine “Wok on Water” and, while somewhat of a pipe dream it’s always good to dream.  I’ve been battling a touch of anxiety lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I don’t dream enough.  Stewing in all that can go wrong or all that is wrong often yields piss poor results for someone like me as I do just that, I stew.

I dream now and then of a food truck or a career where I can just cook so I think perhaps maybe it’s time for me to rethink and just go find me an entry level kitchen job and follow a passion.  What’s the worst that can happen?  People might say no, I might end up in a dish pit for a while, maybe I’ll get lucky and find a prep job.

It’s on

~J

A Positive Day

Positive action pays off

So my last post was about keeping my head up and I mentioned that I was going to pour some effort into finding a more stable career track. Shortly after firing off several resumes my work began to pay off! I got a call for an interview which I went to this morning and the interview in my opinion went very well!

For me the environment seemed quite ideal, the hours are constant and stable, and the benefits are decent. I now play the waiting game after sending my follow up email and of course am still searching as well. The interesting thing I need to keep in the forefront of my mind is that had I just sat in a semi depressive state waiting for work to pick up I would have lost this particular opportunity. It was in forcing myself to take positive action where I found the opportunity not in sitting waiting for it to just swing by my place for dinner.

Yesterday evening I started working on a new little project I’ve been thinking about for some time now and such that most of my free attention has been focused on that I’ve really not much else to post about today. I just wanted to get the thought of positive action out there.

And just because I don’t want you to feel short changed on content I highly recommend you check out DawnSeeker’s Depression Emergency Kit as it’s well written and has already helped me.

Roll on cognitive wheel,

~J

Digging in, Digging out

Something *had* to give, and finally it did

I blogged a while ago about pulling myself out of a deep depression, sadly it did not last very long and I’ve found myself less than apt to do much.  Life has a way of being hard for everyone not just me and I must accept that.  In fact, it should be stated that I have been extremely blessed in life.  I have an extremely supportive family despite how poorly I have behaved both in the past and recently.  I have food in my belly and a roof over my head.

Stewing in all we’ve done wrong, not being able to shut our brains off and only catching sleep a half hour at a time becomes maddening

Not having motivation to do much is incredibly emotionally painful for those of us who have always maintained an active lifestyle.  Stewing in all we’ve done wrong, not being able to shut our brains off and only catching sleep a half hour at a time becomes maddening.  I found myself avoiding everyone in particular my family.  Something had to give.

 It’s a sad reality that when one plays a game against the self, he/she loses in either case

I used to suffer light depressive periods which are fairly normal for most human beings.  I never really understood a long term debilitating type of depression until now.  Short periods of pulling out and actually accomplishing small tasks such as cooking a meal or sweeping the floor, even smoking a cigarette (I don’t smoke inside) become major wins in life.  The frustration seems to feed on itself- depression keeps me from doing things, thinking about the things I haven’t done creates more depression.  It’s a sad reality that when one plays a game against the self, he/she loses in either case.

So I’ve been working here and there as a day laborer, which has paid me just enough to pay for the gas and cheap lunches with little left for living.  Yesterday (Sunday) I was prepping for a good nights sleep as the day labor game requires me to show up at 5:30 AM in the “hopes” of getting work among the 100 other people.  I received a text from a friend of a friend of a friend asking if I would swing by to talk about a job.  A job in a career field I have been in before: hardwood flooring!

This was a small lead I got about a week and a half ago, I used to do gymnasium floor installation about 20 years ago and not only did I enjoy it but I was also quite good at the work.  And so I went and met with the man, I start tomorrow (Tuesday) morning!  Good work, full time, good pay!  I decided that today I was not going to shovel dirt for no money and instead prep lunches for the week and practice a little self care.

For the first time in months I used my camera to take some macro shots of wildflowers, I folded laundry, I vacuumed, organized some things.  I’m in a good mood and am hopeful that this time around I wont slip back again.  Tomorrow morning I go back to a career I truly enjoyed decades ago and I’m incredibly excited.  I am taking today to go through and do a personal inventory of all the ways in which blessings and luck have fallen on me through my life.  No negatives, just the long list of gratitude’s.

And I might even call my mother

~J

My Ever Changing Life

Today I planned to take things easy, mom is leaving tomorrow morning so it was a day to get last minute loose ends tied and relax for a bit…….

HAH!!!!  Not a chance, while mom ran some minor errands I got a call this morning from a job I applied for earlier in the week asking if I could show up for an interview at 1:00 PM.  So much for spending the afternoon relaxing before mom left.

Last night we made lists for ourselves, my mother had to drop off a clock to be repaired, pick up some minor items, and we were going to drop off items for donation.  I had some simple tasks of going through things, getting my utilities and change of address stuff in, etc.  Nothing super difficult, nothing too tedious.  Then as usual, all hell broke loose (or rather we came up with more to do).  Things in my life seem to change every couple of minutes, all of a sudden I need to do this or we need to get that or, or, or.  At least my days aren’t always boring!

Between the job interview, going through stuff, getting another load from storage, on and on and on I’m absolutely wiped.  I didn’t even allow myself time to blog this morning!  I’m okay with that honestly, and truly today was a good day.  I will be sad to see mom go but also relieved (sorry mom, I love you but I also love my moments of solitude and self reflection).  I’ve got exactly a week before things double in magnitude on the hectic scale and I need to be prepared if I’m to make it through sane and sober.

All in all I’m incredibly optimistic, a little disheartened by the difficulties in changing career but this is to be expected.  If anything, I am learning to accept rejection better than I ever have and this is not a bad thing at all.  A lot of these jobs I don’t even want and would most likely be miserable after a very short time.  I have to face the fact that I need income, and rightly soon!  So, I keep plugging away in a seemingly futile attempt to avoid going back to the tech industry at all costs.  Something has to happen.

Something *WILL* happen.  I am sure things will get better over time, I’ve been working too hard at progress for it not to be achievable.  I just need to keep leaning forward and stop looking back.  Going through my belongings has made this both difficult and easy at the same time.  Throwing away some things makes me feel just that much more free, finding bits and pieces of the past here and there sometimes makes me dwell.  Odd how our brains and hearts work sometimes.  Time for a restful sleep and a good final morning with my mother.

Never trust a man that doesn’t love his mother,

~Joe

Time to Turn On

Let’s put that positive attitude to work!

This morning in just less than an hour I have a second interview for a marketing company. I cannot say that I am particularly excited about the position, however I need the income and its comfortable territory given my entrepreneurial background. Business development is paramount to any company’s success regardless of market and of course that is what I will be doing should I get / accept the position.

This position will require me to talk to people, a lot of people! A skill that I developed over time and would like to think I am rather good at on most days. It is going to require me to maintain a positive outlook and attitude regardless of what is going on “behind the curtain”. The pay scale is, eh…. O.K. a long shot from what I was making as a network engineer. I cannot go back to that career for my own health though, and I will have opportunity for commission which could balance the scale.

It will come, it has to.

So, I sit here sipping my coffee and pondering the need for some dress shoes as I stare at my brown Merrell hiking shoes. Waiting for time to pass before I leave early to arrive early (it’s one of my good habits). With all that is going on I definitely need a job, I’m at the point where any job will do. In all earnest, I am having a difficult time finding a positive attitude this morning. It will come, it has to.

I’ve got less than an hour to find that golden egg, and so I will. Perhaps I might actually like this position? I do enjoy remaining active which is part of this position as I will be doing events and such. The stress reduction in having a stable income as well is a huge plus. Not to mention having something productive to do on a consistent basis. This might not be such a bad day after all!

Trudge on with a smile,

~Joe

Promoted Before I Have the Job?

I guess stranger things have happened, crossing fingers!

I need a job, any job regardless of my technical background.  Not only do I need the income but I also need something to do I don’t like to sit, I need to be doing!  Last Thursday I applied for a customer service position with a local company, lo and behold human resources for this company called me Friday morning with an interesting twist.

 I don’t even have the job yet?!

The call came in while we were shopping which made it slightly awkward but I can roll with the punches.  Let me find an empty flat space here and whip out my trusty notebook and pen.  I always carry a notebook and pen, this is one of the reasons why!  Anyhow time for the twist, I effectively got promoted for a job I don’t even have yet!  The woman stated “I know you applied for customer service but based on your resume I would like to bring you in to interview for Business Development Manager”.

Wait, what??  Okay, I’m game lets do this!  We had about a 15 minute conversation during which time another shopper asked me if I worked at the place we were shopping at.  I get that a lot, maybe it’s the fact that I like to dress nice?  In any case she mentioned that they needed to fill the position fast and we set up an interview for Monday morning (today coincidentally).

So off to the races, another interview.  I must say shot gunning applications and doing constant interviews with either no word back or “your overqualified” is getting extremely old.  Something has to give, maybe this one will be it?  I can not exactly say I am excited about marketing and business development but having done the entrepreneur thing it’s not exactly uncharted territory for me.  And let’s face it, despite the fact that I hate people I will approach and talk to anyone.

So, wish me luck!  I’m going into this with a positive mindset and the idea that I can do whatever they need without much struggle.  Effort yes, struggle no!

Attitude wanted, inquire within,

~Joe