Sunday, August 3

Hello, Hello..

Wow - I'm so sorry for the lack of posts lately.  As you can tell by the last one, I had several setbacks in the game of Life that have been keeping me busy.

My ceiling in the upstairs of my house decided to fall in randomly.  Basically because of poor construction from the guy we bought the place off of.  There were two layers of drywall with plaster and about two feet of blow in insulation just attached to the original trusses of the house.  Dumbass carpenter plus humidity equals - a goddamned mess!  It destroyed most of the things we had upstairs, including our bed.  On top of that the guy that wrote my house policy did a horrible job so none of it was covered at all.  $1500 bucks for the cleanup, another $4000 to have new ceilings put in, and still looking down the barrel of repainting, recarpeting, and re-furnishing.  Great times!

On top of that my father in law got sick and they realized he had some stomach cancer.  They went in, worked on him for about 8 hours, and came back out stating they couldn't get it all.  He's a great guy and taking it pretty well - but is pretty sore.  Even the thought of losing him has everyone all blank faced and in disbelief, especially my wife.  So on that one - fuck you cancer!

Also - I did a benefit and helped out with a few other benefits for a young boy named Noah that was diagnosed and fought Leukemia about 2 years ago.  I'm very sad to report that Noah's fight ended this past week.  I can't go into detail because honestly I get emotional about it and his family is still upset, but I know I'll miss the little guy tremendously.

I have been working a lot lately at the corporate gig.  They went from no overtime to telling me that we had to be at a certain percent or another percent or we had the possibility of loosing clients.  They changed my team completely around and started making us do basically illegal shit to make this client happy.  It's my team and my department that this particular number derives from.  During the merger this was one account in Pittsburgh that they kept my company's folks on originally - and added the other company's management to look over.  They all seem to hate the other side and bust my balls on a daily.  But you know what?  I worked my ass off, got them that number they were looking for - and didn't say one damn word about it.  Adding careless people to my team, removing thorough people, and telling me that if I didn't make this happen 34 people could loose their job was enough motivation to me.  Now allow me to go on a quick second tangent for a second.

Quality of quantity.  The corporate management style focuses so much on numbers and that is it.  I have four bosses who do nothing but pull numbers.  I have four people below me that are supposed to make these numbers happen.  Last thursday was the last day of the month.  It was numbers and spreadsheet city.  All I could think was if you idiots would quit pulling reports and start helping out (even just one of you), we could make this work with less stress.  Meaningless jobs.  I had been going in at 5 or 6 in the morning and staying until 7ish at least to make this happen.  These assholes would just come in 10 minutes after the start of their shift, have a thousand meaningless meetings and try to pull me into half of them, and leave at their regular time.  Sit down long enough to bitch or send more numbers and then back at it.  Maybe it is the entrepeneur mind in me, but maybe it is just common sense.  I hate this place more each week.  I have no problem busting my ass, working, and being productive and even don't mention the fact that I am underpaid and undervalued.  Lets face it - things are tough out there and I guess I am lucky to have a job with insurance for my family.  I just don't think the corporate heirarchy is structured enough to be worth a company's finances to pay their salary for absolutely nothing.  On top of that, everyone seems to be sick of the mergers - even the excel monkeys.  I had a meeting and one of the top excel machine told me - "yeah, I don't even care anymore".  It's all a political game of horseshit and backscratching and I really don't want involved in it anymore.  I've applied for transfers, promotions, etc. with nothing being offered.  I even asked to be laid off while shit was hitting the fan and all that got me was screamed at.  I hate to say it - but I hope this place goes bankrupt so they can see how bad they fucked up. 

Charity and Side projects.  I STILL have not gotten to repaint the basketball court in town.  My only half free days off are on Sundays and it literally has rained every single Sunday here in Ohio this summer.  I've asked a bunch of kids and people to at least give me a hand and all I've been getting are blank stares.  I'm staring outside right now and it is pouring down rain.  I wanted to arrange a fishing tournament for the kids and that hasn't even happened.  I am working with a local guy to get a studio put together to offer art nights for the local people - but that all is transpiring in the early stages right now.  I really need that satisfaction of helping or contibuting to society, but somethings you have to work on your own first before you can help others.  Especially if the lack of interest and volunteers remains at a goose egg.

Love life.

j.

Tuesday, July 15

How to Deal with a Bad Streak of Luck

Have you ever had a span of a few days or few weeks where you were just like - "Common man!  What can happen next?"  I'm midstream of one of these unlucky streaks myself.

The term 'make you or break you' is used a little too freely, but it's how you actually react, absorb, and deal with these difficult situations that helps shape and build your character and you as a person.

How do you deal with it?  Maybe you get yourself all alone and cry in desperation, maybe you get shitfaced drunk and forget about it for a few hours, maybe you get angry and slam stuff around and yell, or maybe you're wired a little like me - and just laugh and shake your head.  My wife thinks I am some kind of 'he went off the deep end' maniacal laughing dumbass.  She wonders how I don't get all pissed off and freak out at everything like she does.  That's easy.  It's all about approach, experience, and reaction.

Approach.  Are you already pissed off and this situation just adds to it?  Just recognize the issue, laugh or breath for a quick second, and then move forward a resolution.  Some things are out of our control and we just have to deal with it, but it all starts with how you are going to approach each situation at hand.

Experience.  Sometimes the things that happen to us we are already expecting.  We have been through it ourselves or have helped someone close to us get through a similar situation.  Maybe your house is getting foreclosed on.  This news and situation is easier to break down and deal with emotionally if you have already been homeless or shitty living situations.  But remember one thing - you got through those shitty living situations previously.  Take your experience, add it to your new wisdom gained by living life, and dust yourself off and do it again!

 

Reaction.  How you react depends on how you are wired.  Could this particular situation be the proverbial 'straw that breaks the camels' back'?  On a sidenote I always thought that was interesting.  This means there might have really been a camel to get it's back broke by hauling straw at one time.  Are you going to react in a way that is negative and does absolutely nothing to deal with the problem at hand?  Are you going to focus on the situation at hand and react in a way that brings you back towards loving life and a sense of normalcy?

It's a action/reaction type of thing.  Something bad happens = action.  You loose your cool = reaction.  It really is that easy.  Mentally preparing yourself for the bad things that can happen without spending all of your life dwelling and afraid of that particular situation is a key to being able to move forward, deal with the situation, cope, and take care of what needs to be taken care of.

Keep your heads up my friends.  Shit can always get worse - don't think for a second that it can't.  At the same time - shit can ALWAYS get better as well.

Love life!
j.

Friday, June 20

Status of the basketball court

Wow - there is nothing like a quick blog to make you realize how quick life manages to pass by.  Especially with a 5 month old, a corporate gig, and trying to make some moves with your small businesses.  Oh shit - did someone say that he is 5 months old already??

 Unfortunately this is my first post in almost a month.  As much as I love doing charity work and staying involved in the community, it really has been challenging lately.  I'm working about as much as before (all the time), but enter my 5 month old son and that's about a wrap.  I heard plenty of time before about how having kids is "life changing".  Well, that's an understatement if I have ever heard one.  But at the end of the day and first thing in the morning I just listen to him laugh because his dad is ugly as shit and it makes it all worth it.

So a quick update on the basketball court here in town that we've been working on.  The village went through and spent a couple thousand bucks asphalting the entire court and surrounding it with slabs of sidewalk.  It really looks sweet.  I bought backboards last spring that I thought would be perfect down there.  They're acrylic.  The problem?  The poles that are concreted in the ground are about 9 inches in diameter and the brackets I got with the backboards are only cool with up to 6 inch poles.  So that is a no go.  I still have to get the court lines painted and figure out what to do with the backboards and repaint the poles themselves.  Good stuff.  Hopefully I can get a few hours this Sunday.  We'll see what happens.  I bought new breakaway rims already and some neighborhood guys finally got them up and going.  Small start I guess.

I went down there a little while ago to inspect the poles and do some hand sanding and there were about 15 or so young kids - I'd say right around 12 years old getting a game in.  Calling each other "punk bitches", etc.  I love the competitiveness in kids and some of the shit you can overhear them say when their mom isn't around makes you do nothing but shake your head and laugh.

I'm still also planning the fishing trip this summer for the kids and hopefully we can get a night of the arts or something like ready to go by the spring.

I also managed to recently buy, on contract, a barber shop located in Minerva Ohio.  I'm still in negotiations with a barber who was supposed to start the beginning of June, but hasn't managed to do so yet.  Mo Money Mo Problems I guess.  I went up there this week and Minerva is really a nice, clean little town.  It was actually refreshing seeing that the area I live in seems to be slowly dwindling down to nothing.

Love life.
JC