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Location: Washington D.C., United States
Interests: I love Stevie Nicks music, writing, and sports (go figure!). I'm passionate about gay rights (makes sense that I'm gay), etc. I'm also heavily into the online game NationStates.
Expertise: I'd say journalism is the area that's my area of expertise. I have several passions in that vicinity.
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This past weekend was a change of pace for me. For starters, I was off on Saturday and Sunday instead of Sunday and Monday. For another thing, I didn't go to karaoke at all, nor did I spend nearly as much time at Barking Dog as I normally do on the weekends when I don't go to karaoke.
To start off, one of my friends with whom I once spent a lot of time at the Santa Fe Café called because he wanted to go hang out in College Park. After I left work on Friday, I drove straight down to College Park. Unfortunately, I didn't find him there. By the time he got there, I might have already left. I started off at the Barking Dog, then went to Cornerstone. While at Cornerstone, I met a few people I knew from other bars. One was a bartender at the Barking Dog who gave me a very interesting greeting involving a hug, what felt like him kissing my neck and having his nose meet mine as he talked to me. I later went to Big Play, Bentleys, back to Cornerstone, then back to Barking Dog.
On Saturday, Jason called again. This time, we met at Big Play and then decided to go to the Orioles game if they won the first game of a day-night doubleheader. They pulled it out, so we went to the game. We were both wearing Redskins shirts, interestingly enough. There was a tribute to the late Earl Weaver, then the Orioles dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers by using the formula the late Earl Weaver wanted: Pitching, defense and the three-run homer. One negative was during my trip to the restroom in the bottom of the seventh. While I was in the restroom, some idiot gave me grief for wearing a Redskins shirt and claiming I was spoiling for a fight. Later one, someone called me the f-word I find offensive. In short, reminding me of why I now hate Baltimore's teams.
I've said here before that I rarely go to movies, but I went to see Oz earlier this year. I went to see 42, once again based on the recommendation of one of my work colleagues. The idea of my watching two movies in a year and not having one of them be a Star Trek movie is unusual, but I felt a strong urge to go see 42, even despite my usual reluctance to go see movies. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Harrison Ford did such a convincing job of portraying Branch Rickey that I wondered which cantankerous older actor they'd come up with for the role. There was also a scene involving Jackie Robinson and Ralph Branca that was hilariously awkward. Even though I had a lot of moments of my blood boiling, it was because of the pervasive racism depicted in the movie that was part of 1947 life.
So, no karaoke, a baseball game and a movie. Needless to say, not my typical weekend.
One of the seemingly inarguable truths about the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia to the uninitiated) is that we seemingly skip spring and go straight from winter to summer. Granted, it's not literally the case, but the past couple of days have been brutally hot compared to the cold we left. The past couple of days, I wore shorts, could have worn shorts or would have worn shorts if our company's dress code would have allowed it. As it was, I wore a polo shirt without my trademark long sleeve T-shirt and jeans.
A colleague at work has been upset with our manager because of perceptions that our manager is a bit too much of the drill sergeant type. She is definitely strict and doesn't have as much warmth as you might hope, but I've come to know and respect her since I had previously been on a team with her under my former manager. One thing that makes me wonder whether I'm getting preferential treatment of any kind was her approach when I told her truthfully that I was considering calling out today because of either severe allergies or a belated cold. She told me that my health was priority number 1 and I should keep that in mind. The reason it was striking to me was because it was very similar to something said coworker told me. It was also similar to something another colleague who has since been promoted also told me. In other words, no one questions my work ethic. It hasn't always been this way, and I haven't always deserved the benefit of the doubt.
I went to see Fleetwood Mac last night. Great show . I got to hear "Sara" in person for the first time. I also heard "Sisters Of The Moon" in person for the first time. And yes, even though it was the 13th time I heard "Stand Back" (I missed out once because I didn't get into Stevie's show until about halfway through when she and Rod Stewart were in Philadelphia in 2011), I was stoked because I had GREAT seats.
Misfortune can show the best in people, but it can also show the worst in people. Case in point: Several people at work were awesome when I came back after my grandmother's funeral on Tuesday. My manager Maria took a card around and gave me a box of chocolate-covered rasberries. Several people offered condolences and hugged me. No fewer than three people at work recommended I leave before I found out my grandmother passed. Of course, seconds after Ken (who works for a different department, but is the person I know best at work) recommended I leave, I got the call from Dad #1. Not only that, but Robbie, whom I met through #NationStates, texted me to ask me if I was all right. That was a great gesture.
The worst in people? I just found out from speaking to Dad #2 (whom I've also referred to as Mark) that Dad #1's younger cousin Anita is angry with my father for some reason. Apparently, the fact I spoke with Maria (CiCi) and not her didn't sit too well with her. However, I let Dad #2 know that I left messages for both since I got both cousins' voice mails. Only CiCi called me back of the two. Mark tried to speak with Anita but was rushed off the phone. I texted him CiCi's number, so I'm hoping she can intercede on Dad's and Mark's behalf.
On top of it all, it's snowing. Grr. I hate snow. I freaking HATE snow. I hate SNOW. Did I mention I hate snow?
My grandmother died today.
She has been battling Alzheimer's for several years now. Well, succumbing to it, really. She was once known for a fighting spirit that wouldn't allow ANYTHING to get her down. When my grandfather died in 1996 and my aunt (her daughter) died about three years later, it seemed to rob her of much of that fighting spirit. For the past few years, she hasn't really *lived*. She's just *existed".
Regardless, my grandmother is now gone. I got a text from Mark stating that the staff at Hillhaven thought she would go that day. I then called Maria, who has been serving as my manager with CeCe on maternity leave. I was planning to go into work at my normal time and stay as long as possible, but Maria talked me out of at least the early part. At her suggestion, I went to visit my grandmother before I went back home, made breakfast, then drove to work. Around the time I went to lunch, Renee (who is our "subject matter expert", or source of procedural advice and support with Maria having gone for the day) recommended I just leave and take the rest of the day as an unscheduled absence period. A couple of minutes later, however, I got the call from Dad telling me that Abuela was gone.
I called Maria who then told me, "I'll see you on Tuesday." I'd agreed to fill in for one of my colleagues by working on Monday and she would fill in for me on the following Saturday. The rest of the time I intend to take as bereavement leave.
Of all the thoughts that come to mind about my grandmother's passing, one thought that's been running consistently through my head is the fact that I chose to go visit her before she died. In 1999, I stayed home to catch up on chores I'd fallen seriously behind on. On some level, I probably didn't want to see my aunt in a state of decline that saw her pass at 10:04 that evening. That next day, I had a LOT of commitments I had to fulfill and I was wondering how I was going to meet them all.
This time around, I was also worried about weather conditions and whether or not I'd be able to drive home safely in slippery driving conditions. At least this time, I could at least see her, sit with her, and tell her I loved her before I left for what turned out to be the last time. Thanks in part to a manager who has a great sense of perspective.
I felt awful the past couple of days, in particular yesterday and this morning. It got to the point when I was sitting in my room on my computer that I was debating whether or not to go to work or stay home. I decided ultimately that I needed to stay in. Except for a brief visit to McKeldin Library and a quick stop in Wawa to get some orange juice and bacon, that's what I did. Sometimes, you just need a day to take care of yourself. I needed that today.