Tuesday, February 14, 2017

HELP...MEEEEEEEEEE...

Today is Valentine's Day and my birthday.

People keep feeding me.  Dear God, they will not stop feeding me.

It started with doughnuts. My boss got me doughnuts and that was good. I like doughnuts.


Then more people came.  MORE PEOPLE CAME AND THE FOOD DIDN'T STOP!


There was a ladies prayer meeting and they brought us food, but some was for my birthday.  They sang happy birthday to me and handed me a plate of food.

Baptist women do not screw around when it comes to food.

I don't want to be rude and not at least taste what they've given me, so I've been eating all day and I don't know if I'm going to survive. I had to secretly throw away part of a cupcake. I did it like I was smuggling contraband out of the country, just so no one would see me and get their feelings hurt. I've hidden a baggy of mini muffins so no one knows I didn't eat them. My boss then bought us lunch because that's what he does and I told him he didn't have to, but he still did.

I love that all of these people want to do things for me, but I'm so full that I can't move.

I've eaten all of the food in the world. I've probably eaten the food that should have gone to a village in Malawi.  Please tell them I'm sorry.

My pancreas has given up. I'm going towards the light...



Tuesday, February 07, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Did you know that they are now in the process of tearing down Madison Square Mall?  Well, if you live around here, you probably know, but everyone else probably doesn't care! Haha!

I haven't gone there in a long time, mainly because the shops inside had started to close one by one and it was like going into a haunted house. Even so, knowing that it is going to be gone makes me sad because I spent SO MUCH of my formative years in that mall!  I was only six years old, but I remember what a big deal it was when it opened.  I remember the first time I went there with my mom, and I was so small and it seemed so huge and overwhelming.  It was one of the first places where I was allowed to run around unsupervised with my friends, and one of the first places I went when I got my drivers license.  I went on dates there (shut up, they were fun), my friends and I would go and spend hours walking around and I even worked in one of the stores there for a very short time.

I know change is inevitable, and whoever bought the property plans to make it a place better suited to the kind of town that Huntsville is growing into, but it isn't fun to see a place that has so many memories attached to it going away.  Hopefully I'll get to make some new memories in whatever kind of place that it is going to be next, but I can't help but think that whatever comes next will never live up to the silliness and fun I had there when I was a kid!

2) Last Saturday Steve and I were supposed to be going to a lock picking class that would be run by one of the people who is associated with one of Steve's many extracurricular cyber security groups.  This would normally be one of those things that Steve would do on his own, but I asked to go along because I thought that would be fun, plus lock picking might be a good skill to have during the zombie apocalypse.  I don't know if most people will lock their houses before they are brutally slain by the undead, but they may have closets or pantries where they keep supplies that need to be unlocked.  You never know!

Unfortunately, for me at least, what we arrived at wasn't a lock picking class.  I had apparently been signed up (unknowingly) for a Cyber Security Conference, and I can say with certainty that I was WAY out of my element.  We walked inside the main conference room, and BAM! I'm surrounded by neckbeards.  Not only was this a conference, the lock picking thing wasn't even a class, it was just some dude set up in a room with a bunch of locks, and he'd let you borrow tools to see if you could unlock them.  I did manage to learn to pick a couple of padlocks and handcuff locks, but then I had to sit through panels that made no sense to me.  I could have left, because Steve had a friend there that would have taken him home if I took the car, but Steve wouldn't let me.  I'm sure he had his reasons, but I don't know what they were!  Luckily, we didn't stay terribly late, because I think I might have bitten someone in an attempt to get thrown out! 

I wish that I could get more interested in cyber security, though.  The industry is hiring like crazy and there are seemingly not many women in it at all.  I think I saw six women at the conference besides myself, and three of them were serving coffee and doughnuts.  It's just all way above my head.  I did manage to smile and nod a lot during the panels, so maybe no one knew I was confused.

We did get a set of lock picking tools out of the deal though, and I'm getting better at picking the practice lock we have!  Silver lining!

3) Have you noticed how down and negative everyone has been lately?  I know things aren't great, but I also know they aren't so bad that almost everything should be mired in doom and gloom.  At least, it isn't just yet.  Almost everything in my Facebook feed is political, my favorite website has stopped being entertaining because every article they publish is just an ugly screed against the president (and God knows I'd like to hear something different these days) and even my Twitter feed has gotten ridiculous, and I don't even follow anyone in politics. Even the twitter account that shows cute puppies has gotten political.  Ugh.  It's life draining. Going online has gotten depressing.  I'm holding on tight to everything that I do that doesn't get political these days.  I don't mind discussing that sort of thing with rational people, but geez, trying to find a rational person is getting harder to do.  I hope that I can be a person that people can talk to if they get tired of all of this stuff. 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Sometimes I feel completely smothered by the things that are going on because I don't always feel I have a choice about them.

But I know it could be a lot worse. 


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

THIS JOB

I've complained about my job a bit in the past.  I don't like to do it much, because I know that I've got kind of a sweet gig here. The hours are decent, what I do is not hard, and most people here seem to think I'm really good at my job and they bring me snacks.  I'm grateful for that, absolutely.  As long as I am safely inside the building, I'm usually good.  Working here has been an interesting experience, and I say that with true sincerity.

But sometimes this place is really freaking weird.

Don't get me wrong, our church is a great place.  We have a loving and close congregation, and it's one of the few southern baptist churches left in our town that have held off on flashy stage lights, worship bands and tattooed preachers.  We are an old school place, with old school members, and with few exceptions that's not such a bad thing. Lately, however, we seem to have wondered into a bubble of complete bat-poop crazy that seems to be holding fairly steady.

*In the past week and a half, as I already told you, we had a guy who was working for us get held up at gunpoint. Our preacher, who decided to pretend to be Barney Fife, started casing the neighborhood for the man, and actually found him and managed to get him arrested.  The man is now being held not only for armed robbery, but also possession and he had a warrant out for him because of domestic violence.  We are glad the guy is in jail, but I'm also very glad the preacher didn't get capped.  This neighborhood isn't good for snitches.

 *A few days later, we had a drunk man stumble up the aisle of the sanctuary (saying all he wanted to do was pray) but he also wanted someone to buy him a pizza. 

*We had one of our special members, a man with a form of autism, have a complete come apart when the worker from his group home asked him to sit with the other men he came to church with. It disrupted things.

*We had a lady trip over the lip of the doorway and lay in the floor, flat on her back, until I called 911 (again) even though she wasn't hurt and refused treatment when the paramedics got here.  Her sister, a fruit-bat of the first order who believes that she is some kind of long-lost mother goddess who will eventually go to Africa to save children (?) and believes that the African people will see her as royalty, told us she was in the medical field (she is not) and so she would take care of everything (she did not.)  By the way, the sister also told us that she could cure AIDS and cancer with common household ingredients, but she can't tell anyone how to do it or the government will have her killed. I'm not kidding about any of that, just so you know.

*The same man who showed up drunk and wanted a pizza came back here today while the preacher was gone, so I had to talk to him. He didn't remember that he'd just been here asking for stuff, and even though I told him we had nothing to give him, as we are having to reevaluate how we handle things after the armed robbery, he wouldn't leave.  I had to tell him about six times that we couldn't help him.  He also had a tall tale of woe, which I suppose was supposed to make me throw money at him. No idea.

*I was inadvertently pulled in, at least tangentially, to a situation where a man from our church (allegedly) defrauded and was attempting to take over the life/money of a mentally challenged woman. I have had to talk to an investigator for the Huntsville SVU, and will have to give over copies of my notary records, because I notarized the form that would allow him to do this.  I know I can't get in trouble for what I did, but the fact that that skeezy dude got me involved makes me mad.

*And finally, today, one of our more...out there, for want to better term, members came by the church three times.  She didn't say what she was doing, but that's OK, because we know her and she comes by occasionally to pray.  She'd come in, walk into the church, walk back out.  On her second visit, she came into the office and asked if I wanted an apple.  I said yes to be nice, and she left the plastic produce bag with me so I could choose one while she disappeared into the depths of the church again.  When she came back, she told me to keep all of them.  Uh...sure.  She came back one more time, walked back into the church without saying hello and left without saying goodbye.  Huh...OK then!  I didn't think about her again for a while, except to tell people about the weird apple thing, until I walked into the sanctuary to load the pastor's Wednesday night Power Point Presentation.  That's when I noticed that she'd left apples on the altar.  I don't think I need tell you that, as Southern Baptists, we don't generally leave offerings of a tangible nature on the altar, but for some reason this lady had been compelled to leave produce there for Jesus.  I suppose that's who it was for, at least.  She didn't leave a note or anything.  So that's when I realized that she had given me some of the apples she'd brought for Jesus.  She gave me sacrifice apples.  I don't even know where to begin on that one.

These are all real things that have happened in the last 10 days, and it doesn't even scratch the surface of the crazy that goes on here on a regular basis.  I may need to look for other work.

Everyday is an adventure.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Wow, happy new year about half a month late!  I hope you all had lovely Christmases, or whatever it is you celebrate!

Ours was lovely and very low key, thanks for asking.  Steve's dad was in New England with his brother this year, so Steve and I really only celebrated things with my family on Christmas day.  It was nice, though.  I certainly don't mind quiet holidays.  At home I made elaborate Christmas cookies and we watched Netflix junk, and I think we ate pizza rolls for dinner.  Good times, noodle salad.

2) Not a lot of any interest has been going on lately, to be honest.  Time keeps on slippin' (slippin', slippin') into the future, as it tends to do. I had so much I was going to do in January, but it's like I fell asleep on January 1st and woke up and half the month was already gone, so I'm playing catch up as best I can.  Time is weird that way when we get older, isn't it?

At work, I've got all the lovely beginning of the year mess to deal with.  W2 and 1099 forms are due and I haven't even started them, which means people are going to be breathing down my face soon if I don't get started on that!  We have new budget sheets and new pay spreadsheets, and it's really only sucking the life out of me a little bit every time I think of all of that.  I've also been sick for about a week, which is never fun.

3) WHEN SUDDENLY...

Hehe, just about the time I hit save after writing #2, the door to the church opened and a workman who'd been installing cables for us walked back inside the office.  He said there had been a man outside that had a gun and had asked him for his wallet.  I didn't really understand the problem at first, because the guy was kind of calm, so I said, "Do you want me to call the police?"  He said yes.  Of course he said yes.  I'm a doofus.

- OK, before you roll your eyes, I knew I should call the police, but I wasn't sure if I needed to call 911, or if I needed to call the other, non-emergency number.  The guy was obviously OK and the man had run away, so I wasn't sure if 911 was the proper people to call. I also didn't realize that the workman had actually been robbed, because he didn't say that.  I thought the guy had pulled a gun on him and then got spooked away.  Clearly, my brain was working slower than it needed to at that moment.-

So I called 911 for the first time in my life.  That's another one of those F*CK THAT list items you never want to have to do.  I didn't really know what to tell the operator, so I handed off the phone and went to tell the pastor what had happened. We also had to tell the women's prayer group that was meeting downstairs, what had happened and that they couldn't leave just yet.  One poor woman had left early, and she was the one walking out the door when the robber was just leaving, so that scared her badly and even though she saw the guy, she wasn't here when the cops arrived.

I was surprised how fast everything happened after that.  We soon had a bunch of cops and a K9 unit here.  They set up a perimeter in the neighborhood and went looking for the guy.  I was very impressed with the man who actually was robbed.  He was very calm, a good observer, was able to tell the cops what he looked like, and the exact model of gun he had used. Apparently the guy is a gun enthusiast and knew specifically what the guy had.  He was also able to keep his head when the guy held him up.  The workman was on a ladder when the guy (who had walked by twice before and asked for change and was told no) came back up with the gun. The workman, who's name was TJ so I'll just call him that, took out his wallet and only handed him the cash inside instead of handing over his whole wallet. 

I'm not sure how long all of this took. I stayed outside with the pastor and TJ until things settled down. We asked all the ladies to leave while the police were still here, and believe it or not, TJ went back and finished up our install!  I think what happened finally settled into TJ's head after it was over, because he seemed to be more nervous afterwards.  Poor guy. The police haven't caught the robber, as far as we know.  Of course, now we're all super vigilant about the people we see and who we let inside the building.  There had been an active shooter situation in this neighborhood on Monday, but our office had been closed for MLK day.  Things seem to be getting worse around here and I'm not feeling as safe as I wish I did.

So that was our excitement!  May the rest of the year be just as exciting, but maybe in good ways instead of bad ones.

Yeah, I think I'm going to start seriously looking for another job.

4) Steve is officially a deacon now!  They did the voting last week and all three men considered were voted in.  It's all very weird to me.  I mean, I'm proud of him for taking on the role and all that, but I certainly don't feel like someone who should be married to a deacon.  People keep telling me that now I have to behave myself.  Maybe they're kidding, but I don't know for sure. I didn't sign up for this, Steve did.  Personally, I think I'll just keep on being whoever and whatever the hell I want, but that's just me. So now I feel like I should go out and do something rebellious and not-at-all deacon's-wifely!  We'll see how it goes from there. :)


Thursday, December 22, 2016

AN ADDENDUM

OK, so I let my nerd rage get away from me yesterday.  Feel my shame.

I SAID FEEL IT!

I realized this morning that I had not, as previously stated, seen the original, hand written, lyrics to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" by Robert May which proved Gene Autry changed the name Donder to Donner in the song.

So I did some digging.

What I had actually seen was the original, hand written draft of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," or as most of us know it, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore (or whoever. Apparently there is a controversy over who actually wrote it, but that's not important right now.)

Whoever wrote it was the person to give the reindeer we all know and love the names we use in popular culture (Rudolph not included, obvs.)  I looked back at the draft, and sure enough, the name was Donder, like I thought.  HOWEVER, when the song "Rudolph" was written, Robert May used an alternate spelling of Donder, which happens to be Donner, and ergo, it isn't a mistake.

Also, there are two other alternate spellings for both Donder and Blitzen: Dunder and Blixem, which are Dutch words for thunder and lightening respectively.

I did not know this!  Dogs and cats, living together, MASS HYSTERIA.

So, basically, I was wrong and have been humbled and Christmas is ruined.

via GIPHY

; )

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) A couple of weeks ago I was scheduled to sing during the Sunday morning church service.  I was not feeling well  for whatever reason, but it wasn't too bad.  A little tired, a little queasy, a bit dizzy...you know, the regular crud that goes around and around this time of year.  I was nervous about singing, of course, which didn't help matters, but I was OK.  No big deal.

At least it wasn't a big deal until I got up on stage and the music started.  I don't know if my nerves kicked everything else into overdrive or what, because suddenly I was standing in front of our entire (albeit small) congregation waiting for my cue to start singing and had become about 93% certain that I was either going to pass out or vomit.  That's a pretty bad feeling. I don't know about you, but I don't want to do either one of those things in front of a room full of people.  So not only was I nervous about singing (and I'd forgotten the sheet of music that had my lyrics on it, so I was freaking out about forgetting the words to the song) I also had a second layer of freaking out because I was fairly certain that I was about to have something unpleasant happen up on stage.  I started singing and everything sounded ok, but I had to hold on to the pulpit to keep from falling down.  I thought I was being nonchalant about it, but apparently other people noticed something was wrong, but at least if I did go down, there would have been people at the ready to help me out! Yay!

In the end, I didn't actually barf or faint and I made it through my song, but that's the closest I've ever been to having a medical emergency while singing before. I felt better after I got to sit down for a while, so I have no idea what the problem was. I'm glad, because I have a feeling I'd never fully be comfortable ever singing in public again had I thrown up on stage.  That would be a shame.

Huh. Now that I've written it all out, I realize how anticlimactic it all is, but still...I wanted to share.

2) Did you know that you can now visit my blog over an encrypted connection?  Instead of http:taebelle.blogspot.com, you can use https:taebelle.blogspot.com. It's the little s that makes the difference.  Just FYI.

3) Have I ever told you about the time I won the 4H cookie baking contest 3 years in a row?  Well, technically I only won 2 years in a row, but I know the third year they just didn't give me the 1st place ribbon because they didn't think it would be fair to the other participants if I won all 3 years.  The reason I know this is because all of the judges asked for my recipe that third year, and they didn't ask for anyone elses. Pfft.

I have no idea what made me think of any of that, because I honestly hadn't thought of even being in 4H in a long time. There was a time when I could bake, and win prizes for my baking, without any problem and that's when I was a kid. What happened?  I know my current oven is not 100% reliable, temperature wise, but still...I was 10 and not burning things so often.  At what point did I lose my ability to cook?  Probably when I opted to do Agribusiness instead of Home Ec.  Eh, I ain't bovvered.  I learned how to weld and use power tools in Agribusiness, so really I think I came out ahead in the end.

4) I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I know how cliche that is, but it's the truth. In some ways I feel like the month has flown by, and in others, I feel like it's dragging.  It's like riding on some weird kind of temporal elevator that is having electrical hiccups. I've still got a lot to do, but I can't seem to accomplish anything useful.  I just look at what needs to be done and then sit down in abject horror at the scope of it all and ignore it.

Steve has had a lot of Christmas parties to go to this year, because he's involved in so many things now.  You'll either be thrilled (but probably disappointed) to hear that I managed not to do anything awful at his corporate Christmas party this year!  I stayed very still, I didn't eat anything that required a plate, and I didn't drink anything containing alcohol.  OK, so I accidentally almost broke one guy's arm by hitting him with a door, but it was his own fault for not knowing I was coming out of a door when I did, and Steve and I left right after I hit him, so maybe he didn't even know who I was!  We went to a party for one of his Cyber Security groups, and that went well because we got to sit at a table. I'm much better at parties when I don't have to circulate, so I got to talk to one of Steve's co-workers for a while.  He was from Ohio, and was very excited that I had once been in FFA. It came up, shut up. He said I was the first person he'd met down here that had been in that (Wha?) and that was a big deal where he is from, so we talked about it. A lot.  Apparently he hasn't been over to Limestone county at any point, or he'd find a lot more people to discuss FFA with, but whatever!  I tagged out of his last cyber security party and Steve got someone else to go with him and I was glad.  I can only pretend to be fascinated with cyber security for so long. Yikes.

Other than that, December is weirdly lonely because everyone is really busy doing...stuff. Everyone disappears. So even if you're at a million parties or whatever, you can't just sit down and have regular conversations with your people. I'll be glad when things settle down and get back to normal. I kind of miss what was going on before all the Christmas craziness started.

5) I'm going to tell you a very specific, Christmas related irritation that I have.  It's the very famous Gene Autry version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."  He mispronounces the name of one of the reindeer.  He says "Donner" and it is supposed to be "Donder."  I even looked at the original, handwritten lyrics written by Robert May and it is Donder! Gene Autry sang the definitive version of the song and he messed it up! NERD RAGE!

6) I know that it probably sounds like I don't like Christmas much, but I promise that isn't the case. I just think it's harder to enjoy it when you're an adult.  Too much to do and not enough time to enjoy it, maybe?  But at least I know that people I love will be close by (Even if some of them will be there for just a little while), there will be sausage balls and the Doctor Who Christmas special, and at some point, there will be a whole day where I'm not obligated to wear pants!  Who can have a problem with that? :)  Merry Christmas everyone!