Birthday Again Again

It was my birthday yesterday, and I broke my ipod yesterday!

Worse yet, I tried to fix it today and made it, oh, so much worse. I took the screen off and BAM! It’s worse. I bought a repair kit on eBay. Hopefully, I can fix it. Buying those red nanos is getting expensive.

So, I’m pretty disappointed. Before work told me I was going to go to this other client, I was planning on going to the museum on my birthday, or at least going to the movies. Instead I had to work all day. Also, I got home and mother had made enchiladas. I hate her enchiladas. So I had a Hot Pocket for dinner. Not the best day.

Ummmm, yea I think that’s it. Pretty uneventful birthday. I’ll have to make it up to myself later.

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First Sister Gone

I dropped my sister off at her university yesterday.

I only really thought about dropping her off twice, on Monday and yesterday. When I briefly thought about it Monday, I cried. It wasn’t because I was going to miss her, or anything forward-looking like that. It was because we spent a lot of time together and now those moments are gone. I won’t be able to go back to those moments when we were hanging out around the dinner table making fun of the stuff my mom or my sister said/did.

Yesterday, after we took her stuff up to her room and set up her bed, and after I broke her mug by throwing her bag around, we said good-bye and I high-fived her. On the way home, I cried again for the same reasons. Those moments I’ve had with her are gone.

I wasn’t really sad about her leaving because those college years are pretty great. They are a great time with half adult responsibilities, which is the best, and half real world problems, of which the less real world problems, the better. I wasn’t sad for her. I was sad for me.

It did remind me of when my parents dropped me of at St. Edward’s University a long time ago. I remember I was using that tape-to-ipod cassette thing and the last thing I was listening to before they dropped me off was Hot Hot Heat’s Public Service Announcement.  They left me there for orientation, because it was has an orientation/move-in date, the earliest you could move in, which is why I chose that date for orientation.

But yea, that was my yesterday. It was a six hour drive to drop off my sister and fix a bed.

She’ll be alright. I don’t know about me.

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Get Shipped Out

Yesterday afternoon I was told that I would be going to help out some of my new fellow KPMG employees.

So today I woke up early and drove all the way to Grapevine. The client was up by DFW airport. It was a long drive, but it’s only for two to, or maybe three, weeks. That drive in the morning was actually the worst part.

The KPMG people were pretty cool. It’ll take a day or two to get integrated into the group, but it shouldn’t be too bad. The work wasn’t too complicated today, but I don’t know if I was exactly doing it correctly. I’m sure someone will review and tell me eventually. I just hope it’s not too late in the processes, so that it doesn’t screw anybody over. The hours were longer than I wanted. We were in at 8:30am and out of 7:30pm. Although, they say they were usually only work until 7:00pm. But leaving at 7:30pm meant there was no traffic.

It cut the day way to short though. I’m definitely going to miss that overtime pay.

But yea, that’s the most memorable thing from the last three days.

Manchester United lost their opening game. That sucked. They didn’t play well. I watched some Pokemon and Doctor Who. I also saw Guardians of the Galaxy again. That was super cool. But yea, that was it.

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Religion Over Lunch

I had an interesting conversation over lunch today.

It was about religion. It was with two other guys. I think one of them called me agnostic. I said I wasn’t, because it’s true. We started to argue about the definition of agnostic. Then I looked it up, told them the definition, and they STILL didn’t believe me!

Anyway, the rest of the conversation is kinda my fault because after that I asked, “What do you guys believe?”

The are both Christians. I didn’t bother asking what denomination or church they attend. I thought that might get too specific. They explained some of their basic tenants. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before then. What was really interesting was when I dug down to how they view the Bible and heaven.

They believed the Bible was divinely inspired and thereby the word of God and undeniably true. I remember saying I didn’t like the Bible because of all the bad stuff in it, and they looked confused, like what bad stuff? Apparently the stuff I considered bad, they just reinterpreted so that it would be fine. For example, the the wife will submit to the husband, line of the Bible. They didn’t take that literally. They interpreted to mean the husband will be the ultimate decision maker, because some one has to, and without some one to make the decision nothing would ever get done.

On heaven, I did get a small split. One believed that heaven was only obtained through acceptance of Jesus Christ (JC) as the only way to heaven. I proposed a hypothetical person who was 50/50 good/bad person, but believed in JC. Would they get into heaven? Both said yes. Then I proposed a hypothetical person who was 20/80 good/bad person, but believed in JC. Would they get into heaven? One said yes, the other said no.

That is something I can’t get behind. I’m a believer in good acts will get you to heaven, if it exists. Regardless of whether you believe in JC or not.

Besides, I don’t want to live in a world where you need to be a Christian to go to heaven. Why would God be that . . . petty?

We talked for about another 30 minutes, after we talked about getting into heaven. But after that conversation, where I realized that was an irreconcilable difference, I just wanted to listen to understand what these people believed. We went back to talking about the Bible and God’s role in life, which to them was heavy. I didn’t tell them that I don’t believe God indirectly influences life, much less directly. I’m sure they would have freaked out.

The entire conversation was fairly pleasant. The only time when I felt offended was towards the end. The last thing I asked was what they thought heaven was. The one guy who believed JC was the only want to salvation thought heaven was being with God and pure happiness and good feelings. The other guy said happiness, but also quoted Robin Williams, who when asked if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates said, “The concert begins at five, it’ll be Mozart, Elvis and one of your choosing.”. Then I told them I believed heaven was whatever you wanted and that I was sure if I wanted to come back to Earth and do this whole humanity thing again, God would let me.

They laughed, at me, and then called me Buddhist, which isn’t insulting, but proceeded to ask me if I remembered any past lives and if I had been a snake or a bird. That was insulting. What happened to all that respect we were showing earlier?

But yea, other than that, it was a good conversation. Mostly enlightening. Not because I learned anything new about Christianity, but because I learned something about those guys.

ah, religion is silly.

Spirituality for the win!

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Feeling Like a Fraud

While I sat at work yesterday, I felt like a fraud.

I felt like at any moment someone, with a clipboard, would come by and tap me on the soldier. They would say, “Hey Luis. How’s it going? Listen, I’m going to need you to stop what you’re doing and get out. I know what you’ve been doing and it’s over.”

I spent most of the day thinking I wasn’t good at my job. I remember that it started early in the day. Towards the end of the day I messed up on an easy task. It was a really easy mostly conceptual task, but I spent two hours on it. A that point, I gave up and asked the manager. He told me what I was doing wrong and it was sooo easy AND I was doing a completely different, wrong, thing.

Looking back on it today, I wondered if maybe I made the mistake because my entire mindset for the day was, I’m a fraud.

I started thinking about this because something else weird happened.

I was talking to talking to the girl who sits on the other side of my cube. We usually don’t talk about anything substantial, (Hey, how are you doing? What are you working on? What’s that?) and today was no exception. She said she was having trouble finishing this one thing, but that was because she was doing four things at once. She said she should probably focus on one thing. I agreed, said I would let her get back to her four things, and started walking back to my cube. On the way back I said, I don’t want to become the fifth thing. She laughed and I felt pleased with myself.

I started tearing myself down almost immediately. Even before I sat down, I felt sad, and I couldn’t help thinking, you’re so fake. You’re not really that funny/witty. You didn’t deserve that laugh. She doesn’t like you. I don’t like you.

I don’t mind my level of introspection. It’s not always pleasant, or even helpful, but at least it pushes me to truth and honesty and occasional self-improvement.

But, it’s moments like the ones I described above that make it hard. There was no reason to have those thoughts. I don’t know why the fuck they popped into my head, but I spend most of the day just thinking about it.

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Seeing Some Progress

One of the things I liked about all those years of school was the obvious progress I would make every year.

At end of every school year, or some times around Christmas/New Years, I would look back at last year and at least feel like I was going somewhere, like something was getting done. Even when I wasn’t sure where I was going, at least I was moving in some direction towards something.

I guess the job I have right now is kinda like that too. Every year I move up a little and I suppose can eventually top out at Partner, or leave as a manager/senior manager. But that would only take 5 to 10 years, what am I supposed to do after that? I know that sounds a little silly, but I’m going to be pretty disappointed if I don’t like at least another 30 years. That being the case, what do I do the other 2o years?

Wait, this isn’t the direction I wanted.

oh right, anyway, I was looking back on things today and feeling like I hadn’t made much progress in a while. The last time I really accomplished anything was those few weeks I learned how to drive standard. That was like last November/December.

I think that’s because the acquisition negated some of the progress I made last busy season. Everything I learned about the old system, our old audit approach, and our old audit procedures, isn’t useless, but it isn’t as helpful as I thought it was. Although I hoped that stuff was transferable, I don’t think much of it will.

Other than work stuff though, I think I’ve made some progress. I started learning Portuguese for the trip to Brasil and I’ve kept up with it after I returned. I’ve gotten better at Spanish too. I think I’ve gotten smarter, although I don’t have anyway to prove it. It’s just a hunch.

I guess it’s bothering me because I think if I’m not improving then I’m just standing still, or worse I’m deteriorating. That’s not the way I want to live life.

But, at least I feel like I’m a better good person. Doesn’t that count for something?

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Two Days of Training

It was in Hollywood.

It was a pretty sweet hotel. It was right by the Magic Castle. The last time I was in Hollywood I was there to get gas. I was driving back from seeing a friend in Burbank. I was running out of gas and I decided to get off the highway to find a gas station. I didn’t know where I was and drove straight into Hollywood. There were a bunch of people walking around and doing stuff. I remember seeing a Valero and it was so weird because it didn’t look like it belonged there. It was a really weird place to get gas.

Well turns out the hotel was right next to that EXACT Valero.

The training wasn’t very useful. A lot of the training really didn’t apply to me. Normally, I would be happy about this free vacation, but it turned out to be a lot of work. It was a good opportunity to hang out with the co-workers. Of course that meant bars and drinks. All of it was free, but man it was hard work getting up the next mornings for the 8am training. Those were 4 hour of sleep days.

As a result, I’m fucking tired.

It also didn’t help that I’m finally working on a client, a month after the acquisition, so I had to work a bit late today. I’m surprised I didn’t take a nap and that I’m up so late.

Also, Guardians of the Galaxy was great. Not as good as the Avengers, but very very good.

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