Saturday Night Stuff

I made it back home on A Saturday, as I usually do.

That way I can adjust on Sunday. Also Manchester United usually plays on Sunday so if I fly in on Saturday, then I can watch the game in the morning and everything is alright. 

So I got home Saturday and I was expecting to go out with a girl, but it didn’t work out. Instead, an old friend of mine said there was going to be a strokes cover band playing that night in Deep Ellum. I love The Strokes. So the idea of any type of live strokes music was intriguing at the least and necessary at the most. 

My only reservation was my friend. I know I called her a friend, but we haven’t done anything “friendly” in about 5 years. By that I mean, we haven’t hung out or seen each other. We’ve texted each other. That’s about it. 

We got into a big fight about 5 years ago and haven’t really mended that relationship. I might have written about it before. Either way, it’s been a papering over the cracks situation. Going to this strokes cover band would be like dancing over of the cracks situation. 

But I went. 

I don’t if it was because I really wanted to see any semblance of The Strokes live, or because I wanted to see if we could be friends, or maybe both, but I went. 

It was a good time. 

We hung out a bit before the concert. It was fine. It was actually nice, if for nothing but nostalgic reasons. The concert part was fine. She wanted me to dance, but I don’t dance. The funny part is, the last time we really hung out, I remember her says that I was good at concerts. That I knew when to woo. After the concert, she asked if I wanted to go somewhere else to do something else. I said no, that I was tired and hungry, which was true. She ended up staying up late and was hung over the next day, which is what I was afraid would happen and trying to avoid. 

But it was a good time and I was glad I went. 

I don’t know if we’ll really be friends again, but hey, maybe. 

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Too Nice

Have you ever had too many people be nice to you?

I did this time on the way to the airport to catch my flight to Dallas. Once two people in a row were nice to me, I immediately thought I was going to die. I always figured a few nice things in a row would happen before the worst thing of all happened, death. So the two nice things put me on edge. 

The two nice things that happened were with the Uber driver and the TSA agent. 

The Uber driver was really easy to talk to. We talked about why I was flying out, his daughter, how to raise kids, sports, famous people he had picked up, etc. 

I have had nice Uber drivers before, so that niceness wasn’t too strange. The TSA agent interaction was a lot more unexpected. I was in the security line and the TSA agent looked me straight in the eye and asked 1) if I was doing ok, 2) if I was on time to make my flight, and 3) if I was going to make it to the gate. That was the nicest experience with a TSA agent I ever had.

Back to the Uber driver. Right before we made it to the airport, he asked me how old I was. I gave him my usual answer. I don’t know. People ask once a year and it changes every year. Can’t they just ask when I was born? That doesn’t change. 

He thought that was hilarious. The dude literally lol’ed 

Honestly, it really pointed me toward something I knew all along. It’s so much easier to get along with black people than white people. Oh the Uber driver was black. I don’t think I’ve ever not gotten along with a black Uber driver. It’s always a pleasant conversation where we connect about a bunch of stuff. White people though, especially in LA, feel so foreign to me. I han an easier time connecting to the white people out in the country during my summer road trips. I’ll stop at a gas station or diner and we’ll connect about something safe enough, like cars, sports, or food. 

Anyway, people were too nice. It freaked me out. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t die. 

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The Tax Partner

I don’t go to the main office. 

My company has a satellite office that I live closer to, so whenever I have to go to the office I go there. There’s hardly anyone usually there. Actually, the only people who are usually there are the tax people. 

There’s a tax partner there that often goes and talks to the audit partner. Since I sit near the audit partner, he’ll usually say hi and we’ll small talk. 

This last week the audit partner wasn’t in the office, but the tax partner went to go see if he was and we made some small talk. When lunch came around, he came to see if I had plans. I said no, not really. I was planning on walking to the nearby mall and getting something there. He offered to give me a ride over there. I wanted to walk over, but that would mean missing out on lunch with him, so I accepted the offer. 

We covered the easy stuff quickly. Family. Sports. Work. What to have for lunch. He’s not a typical down the middle guy, so I was looking forward to getting to the fun stuff. Religion. Politics. Views of life. 

Sure enough, we got to the fun stuff around the time we sat down at the restaurant. 

I pushed a little on his family. I asked something general about his son and followed up with if his son usually behaves that way. He responded with how his wife is too concerned about feelings and how feelings should be ignored. He wants his son to focus on his principles, because he believes principles should drive actions instead of feelings driving actions. 

That’s what I wanted. I wanted to talk about something real, like this. I can go online, or talk to any other coworker, about pop stuff. The new Dr. Strange movie. What they’re doing for Thanksgiving. How their weekend was. But I can’t really talk to someone about something like this without killing the conversation, or at least getting a weird look. 

It’s refreshing. 

Some people I talked to don’t like that about the tax partner. But I don’t think it’s an issue if you’re relatively sure of who you are and are open minded. If anything, it’ll make you think and what’s the harm in that?

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Thanksgiving Day Flight

This was my second time flying back for Thanksgiving, on Thanksgiving. 

It wasn’t too bad. It’s not too bad. I take the earliest flight to Dallas, so the entire thing, parking, security, food, and flight, isn’t too bad. I imagine it’s worse as the day progresses. It’s the volume of people that makes it bad right? 

Although this flight was weird because before the plane took off the guy in front of me said I was punching his seat. Was I pressing the screen pretty hard? Yes. Was that because the screen wasn’t sensitive? Yes. Did I pretend I didn’t speak English? No, I should have. That would have been appropriate. 

Also, there was another guy two rows ahead of me that was watching Die Hard. That is a pretty long movie. It’s a bit over two hours. Anyway, the guy gets through most of it. There’s about 15 mins left in the movie when he gets up and goes to the restroom. He misses the entire ending and most of the best parts. He comes back as the credits are rolling. He could have just paused the movie! What a monster. 

Thanksgiving was fine. It felt like I had travelled through time to have thanksgiving with my parents. Not that they’re backwards people or anything, but the situation felt so familiar that it was unsettling. Honestly, it felt like time travel. It was nice, just odd. 

But yea we had the traditional Thanksgiving. One of my cousins family came over. We had dinner at halftime of the cowboys game. We hung out after. It was great. 

The return flight was uneventful. The middle seat in my row was empty. That was nice. It was raining when I arrived in LA, again. That was surprising. 

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Nice Wrap Up

My job isn’t that bad. 

The Tuesday before thanksgiving was the our last day at the client. This client is cool. He’s on top of his stuff, so he knew it was our last day. He also likes us, so he when were leaving he took us around the office to say good bye. 

It was a pretty nice gesture. Usually only the main contact says good bye. We shake hands and then we leave. This was…uplifting. We went around to all those people from which we had requested items and thanked them for the help. They lied a bit and said it was no inconvenience. They even made small talk and asked where we were going next.

It was a nice way to start the thanksgiving holiday. 

I’ll take it as a perk of the job. On top of the occasions free meals and business expense reimbursements. 

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Best Friend’s Wedding

One of my best friends got married last weekend. 

I was part of the wedding party. I bought my way in though. I paid for the rings. So, I had to be at the rehearsal on Friday night. That didn’t work for me. I had too much work. 

I flew out Friday at midnight. It was a big mistake for lots of reasons. First, I arrived in dallas at 5am. I slept 2 hours on the flight, but I was exhausted. Second, I landed at DFW. There were only cabs. I took one to the house and it was $85. Third, I was exhausted. I went to sleep after I got home. I think that last one was the worst. 

I got about two more hours of sleep before the wedding. There were photos taken before the wedding at the grooms house. We made it to the church separately. We waited at the church until show time. 

There was a girl assigned to walk down the aisle with me, which was great because I didn’t know what I was doing. I could make pretty good guesses, but why chance it. Besides they were recording it.

The mass was nice. Nothing unexpected happened. It went off without a hitch. 

I gave them the rings. They put them on. My part was done. Pictures were taken.

There was a party bus from the church to the reception. It was fun. I didn’t get the music they were playing, but I did understand the tequila. Also, side note, I took a drink from the bottle and felt fine. The other guys did too and also seemed normal, but the girls. They did the same and were fairly close to drunk by the time we got off the bus. 

There were more photos at the reception location. It was cold and windy. I was afraid I would get a cold. Also, we took some photos with cigars. They wanted to light them. I tried, but couldn’t. One of the guys asked if I smoked. I said, “No, my grandfather smoked and I hate my grandfather.” True story. 

The reception was fine. Dinner was on time and it was fajitas. I hear that’s a really easy food to get catered. I was starving because I didn’t have breakfast or lunch. I’m actually surprised the tequila didn’t hit me harder. After the food, my parents arrived and I hung out with them. 

It was super Mexican music and I was fine with it for about an hour. I got tired of it pretty fast. I wasn’t really expecting it. I should have been. 

After that, all of the traditional wedding things happened, throwing bouquets, dances, and other dances. I was waiting for the cake. It came later and it was fine. Oh wait, it was too sweet. Like diabetic sweet. I left soon after the cake. 

I can’t wait until my next friend gets married. Although, I’m running out of friends, on the count of me not having many friends. 

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Another Evaluation Again

I had another evaluation last week. 

It happened pretty quickly because I had completely forgot about. See, you have to request an evaluation in order to get one. I request it right before the job, like you’re supposed to, then the job happened. It didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, so I wasn’t eager for it. Then I rolled off the job, got busy, and completely forgot about it. 

So I get an email that is labeled as urgent from HR telling me to complete that evaluation as soon as possible. I ended up reaching out to my boss. Luckily they were already working on it, so we turned it around pretty quickly. Unfortunately, before they gave me the formal evaluation we needed to have a phone call to discuss it. 

I wasn’t nervous until the call started. I think that was because I was pretty busy beforehand. Anyway, after the pleasantries, the boss starts off by asking me what I think went right on the job. Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything. There were things I wanted to point to that seemed good, but most of them ended worse than they had finished during the last job. So I didn’t bring those up. 

I started a few sentences, but they were quickly aborted. After a silence of about 10 seconds, I told the boss I couldn’t really think of anything that went well. It was mostly meh. 

So he ended up starting it off. He went through things I did well and then lead into areas for improvement. The main example of how I could improve was that excel mistake I had made that was caught late during the first week. It was the one I wrote about a few weeks ago. I knew that was going to bite me in the ass. 

What I didn’t like about that was that this little mistake became the crux of the improvements section. Are people not allowed to make a mistake anymore? I fuss improvement criticism is mostly just “don’t make those mistakes again.” Oh well, it’s easy enough to not do again. I don’t typically make the same mistakes. I make brand new mistakes. 

The craziest part is that I ended the evaluation with a better…grade/rating than my other evaluations. But still, I felt worse about it than all the others. I think that’s because I knew it was a disappointing showing. 

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