Well, where do I start?
I’m finally working again! The job I thought I had a couple months ago fell through. Somewhere between getting the verbal offer and waiting a week for the written offer, they decided to hire someone “a little more experienced” (either younger or asked for less money?), so I took the next offer I received, working as a tech operator for a small web hosting company here in Birmingham. Basically I’m doing Linux and web hosting tech support for account owners and resellers. It’s really interesting, and has instilled a greater appreciation for the support staff at my own web host, Lunarpages.
I’ve been learning my way around WHM (the back-end of cPanel) as well as other control panel applications, as well as re-learn Linux because I hadn’t touched it in YEARS before this point. o.O But it’s cool, and I like the guys I work with, they’re a good bunch. I wish the pay and benefits were better, but it is what it is — a low-level tech support job. And let’s face it, IT jobs are very hard to come by in Birmingham, so I know I’m lucky to get this.
It feels good to be working again. It feels good to be needed and useful.
I spend my lunches reading books. That’s another hobby that I dropped over the years and wished I hadn’t, so now I’m reading as much as possible. I renewed my library card and have been dropping by there every other week or so to drop off what I’ve read and pick up new books. One of the librarians giggled at my selections because they range from animal behavior to ancient folklore to religious studies to paranormal romance. LOL
Things at home are OK. Bruce is adjusting to me working, which I was really worried about. I worry about him being lonely when I’m not there. I felt guilty for not adopting his brother when I had the chance, but I couldn’t afford a second cat. Perhaps I’ll get him a play buddy later after my finances are caught up. I have a ton of reviews still needing to be written for his blog, so hopefully I’ll get time to work on that this weekend.
I’m still working on the redesign for my site. I think I’ve started over 4 times now in the last 9 months. There are a set amount of characteristics that I absolutely want in a design, but every solution I’ve come up with so far is missing something or I just hate it in general. I’ve been looking at a lot of HTML5 and responsive designs from other sites, but have not seen anything remotely close to want I want in functionality and aesthetics … and after a while they all look alike to me, which I also absolutely hate.
Maybe I’m just too picky?
Jessie is doing well in school. She’s almost completed her first year of high school, is studying for her driver’s license, and has had her share of boy troubles … she’s a typical teenage girl. She’s going to spend a month or so with her mother this summer (oh yeah, her mother moved to Nebraska some time back, that’s a long story for another time!), so she’s really looking forward to that. I think the time away will do her some good, though I’ll miss her like crazy.
The change of scenery would be good for her, and though she hasn’t said it directly, her mother would be providing something she desperately wants — a stable home with 2 parents. She posed the question once if she wanted to stay longer would I object. I told her if that’s what she really wanted and would make her happy, then I would support her decision. I added that I would miss her terribly, but it’s not like we can’t keep in touch via phone/texts, Facebook, gaming, etc.
It’s stability she needs, and I want what’s best for her. As long as she’s happy and safe, I’m fine … even if it’s not with me.
I’ve started looking at going back to school again. I’ve applied for a Pell grant, and have been approved for some financial aid at a few places. Now I need to figure out how I’m going to attend, where I want to attend, and what I want to take. Part of me would love to stay in IT, but given how hard it has been over the past 10 or so years to find and keep an IT job here, I wonder if I may do better in another field.
But I love IT the most, hence my dilemma … oh well, I have plenty of time to decide I guess?
Things with my folks are still touchy sometimes. My father is back to not speaking to me again. My mother and I have gotten closer and our relationship has improved a lot over the past year or so. I have to be careful to avoid the subject of my husband. Both of my parents feel that he’s used me, and that I should not be as accommodating as I should be to him. But then again I think my mother would feel better if I hated him too …
I am still very angry and resentful about a lot of things, but I have no desire to hate anyone. It’s wasted energy and honestly would undo what little progress I had made in therapy before I lost my job (and my insurance/benefits) last August. I want to be better than that, and I want to move forward. That said, yeah maybe I am too accommodating to him than I should be, but hurting him would hurt Jessie. And there’s no way in Hell I would ever purposefully hurt my child. She’s almost grown, and eventually she won’t be a shield for anyone to hide behind anymore. As far as I’m concerned, the issue will dissolve itself. Anyone who has more than two brain cells to rub together would be wise not to burn any bridges left with me.
So what else?
Oh yeah, I had another birthday. It sucked. No phone calls, no cards, no visits from friends who have dropped off the face of the planet for whatever reason since whatever point in time. I went to see my parents and regretted it — my father spent the meal picking apart my life choices. I left there that afternoon feeling worse than ever and wishing for a do-over.
Actually a do-over for the last entire year would be nice!
And actually, I’m still pretty angry about my birthday …
Mother’s Day was emotional but OK overall. I was afraid I was not going to have one, but Jessie came to stay with me for most of the weekend and gave me a movie and some chocolates. Her visit meant more to me than anything, but it was nice being appreciated and remembered. I’ve missed that so much since our family has broken up.
I felt unappreciated before … and I’ve felt pretty much forgotten ever since.
I’ll tell you, that sucks more than anything in the world, so I’m a little emotional when it comes to holidays now. Maybe it will get better, or, I’m hoping it will.
So, I think that’s most everything that’s gone on … I’m concentrating on working hard, paying off my debts, and trying to keep myself from falling back down into that dark pit I was in for so very long. I feel a lot better now than I have in a while, but I know I still have a long way to go until I’m “me” again.
I haven’t been “me” for such a very long time, and I kinda miss her.
I had taken this last week when it was a little warmer (above freezing even!) and had wanted to post it before now but have been caught up in a whirlwind of stuff going on … details to come, I promise.
Anyways, here’s a good sign that Spring is near: I’ve been seeing my little favorite reptiles out and about around the grounds outside the house, and heard the first tree frog calls of the year just this past weekend. Thankfully, this cute little guy sat still long enough for me to run to get the camera and snap off a few shots:
I don’t know about y’all, but I am SO looking forward to griping about the heat! Stay warm, everyone!
You know, Hobie had toys and loved them. She destroyed a few in her lifetime, but those took months, even years. For Bruce, it can be a few hours or a few days to destroy a toy. Needless to say, Mr. Destroyer of Toys isn’t getting many new ones and I’ll either patch up what he has or make new ones from my craft supplies. XD
However, what he HAS had bought for him, I’m reviewing on a new blog: Is it Bruce-proof?
I’ve said ever since I adopted him that anyone who could make a toy that is “Bruce-proof” would make a killing. This blog will review the toys that have so far failed to make the cut, as well as various other pet products I’ve bought. I only have 3 reviews up right now, but have about 8 more that I’m currently documenting/writing.
Feel free to follow if you’re so inclined. ^_^
Not much about my situation has changed. I’m still looking for a job. I’m still trying to stay positive. I feel like I’m doing better. I still have my good days and bad days, but I feel like I am moving forward and that’s what I need.
I have a job interview tomorrow. I may potentially have one next week, and I’m excited about both. I really miss working. Being at home sucks, LOL! But Bruce has helped fill my days with fun and laughter.
Jessie is doing well, her grades have been improving and she still enjoying high school. I don’t know how Jim is doing he hasn’t spoken to me much. I still speak to his mother from time to time. In fact I need really need to go see her. My parents have been doing okay. My mother and I are getting along great, and I’m really enjoying the time I am getting to spend with her now.
I have been working on a few projects here and there, and really need to get them posted here on the website. I have also been playing around with different apps on my iPad. In fact I’m drafting this post and Dragon naturally speaking for the iPad. It’s pretty neat, although I’m having to correct words here and there, and I think that’s due to my accent. I’m told that the more you use it the better it gets, so here’s hoping!
Well it’s about 1 AM in the morning, so I think I’ll end this here. Hopefully I can start blogging again more actively. I know I keep saying that, but considering I pretty much sleep with my iPad and carry it everywhere, perhaps that will make it a lot easier to post updates.
I’d like y’all to meet the newest addition to my family. Bruce, meet the Internet. Internet, meet Bruce Wayne Faulk.
Click the above image for a photoset of images.
He is about 5 months old. He was originally named Bandit. His mother was a Siamese rescued from a shelter in Tuscaloosa while very pregnant, and she and her kittens were fostered in Birmingham by Have A Heart Animal Rescue. The staff were absolutely wonderful and quick to answer any questions I had. I highly recommend them if you are looking to add a new furry member to your family!
He started answering to “Bruce” right away, and acclimated really quickly to the new surroundings of my home, as well as to Jessie. He’s very affectionate, but not quite a lap kitty. He constantly wants attention or to be held, but only stays for a few minutes before going off to play, hehehe. He’s surprisingly well-behaved for a kitten — except, of course, when it comes to meal times. He’s a little ninja when it comes to my food, so I have to keep a sharp eye on him! LOL
I haven’t quite had him 3 weeks, but he’s without a doubt the best Christmas present I could have ever received. (My mother helped pay for everything from his adoption fees to food and other supplies as my present.) He’s established himself as a member of the family, and Jessie and I couldn’t be happier!
He doesn’t sit still for photos so I’ll keep working on getting better pictures, but I was able to get him sitting still enough for a few minutes playing a game on my iPad and recorded it:
You know, these past few years I thought it sucked to be alone, but still surrounded by your family — especially during this time of year. And now I’m alone with no family.
I was wrong, this is worse.
Any spare prayers, good energies, etc. sent my way would be appreciated.
I’m doing OK. I’m still job hunting. Things have been really quiet. It’s now heading into the holiday season, and this is typically the worst time of year to be looking for a job. I’ve had a couple of call-backs, but no offers. Money is tight, and I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to be able to pay my bills next month. But I continue to pray and ask for help … and He’s listening. I just wish He’d direct me towards a job. LOL
Otherwise I think I’m doing alright for myself. I haven’t been posting for several reasons. Jim is apparently reading my site now. I’m surprised that it never bothered him that I wrote about stuff on here all these years. I mean, I had this site before we met … this blog grew out of my private newsletter from my Phrozen Crew/SATUF days and has always been here. In one of our last big fights he chastised me for posting personal stuff in public on my “piece of shit blog.” I don’t know what surprised me most: that he’s actually reading this stuff NOW after all this time, or he really cares what I tell others. I mean, Hell, if he’s that curious, I’ll tell him straight up what I tell other people. But I will say this, he should be more worried about other parties telling a HELLUVA lot more than I am, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
Jessie is doing well. She’s enjoying high school, though a little too much. LOL Her report came back with a couple D’s on it, which she has never had in her entire life. She’s also heavily grounded at my house, which she whines about on a daily basis. Her mother chooses not to ground her for grades, much to Jessie’s delight. Jim has grounded her, but I don’t know to what extent and Jessie tells me I’m being the strictest, so …
I’m working on repairing my relationship with my mother and we’re getting along a lot better now. In fact we’re supposed to have lunch together tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that. I went to see her and my father this past weekend and visited with family. I have to admit my father showed a great amount of restraint keeping his mouth shut, but I have a feeling that was mostly due to the amount of glares my mother threw in his direction every time he said something. LOL!
My dad’s not doing too well health-wise. He’s lost a lot of weight and has been having bad leg pains from what my mother tells me. He won’t go to the doctor and has been taking a lot of over the counter pain meds — something he NEVER did while I was growing up! That man doesn’t believe in taking pills, which tells me he’s in a lot of pain. Mother said he’s recently started falling, but doesn’t want anyone to know about it. I kept asking him if he was taking care of himself, which he brushes off and says “Yeah, I’m fine.”
Stubborn as a mule …
So I’m filling my days reading, playing video games, and piddling around the house. While I’ve enjoyed being at home all this time, I’m ready to go back to work now.
I never much liked being at home during the day, but I must say that having a DVR helps. I watch my night and weekend shows during the day now. The only real problem I’ve had is lack of sleep. Some days I’ll go several days without sleeping more than an hour. Then I’ll sleep OK for a night, maybe two … then the cycle starts all over again. I know it’s stress, and I know once I’m working that will even out, but it sucks in the meantime.
So, there you have it … I’m doing ok, really. Just trying to find a reason to smile, and keep looking for work. I’m trying to take better care of myself and unplug completely on days I’m not doing so well. I keep telling myself: all I can do is all I can do. And am trying to believe that.
November 1, 2012 by Nicki
I’m on the phone with a recruiter today and she asks if I have a portfolio and I said, “Absolutely, it’s on my site!” and happily gave her the address. (Yep, still job hunting!) After getting off the phone, I thought to myself, “I haven’t looked at that page in a few months, I’d better make sure it’s not accidentally private or anything.” I had that happen after a WordPress upgrade a year or so back, and it would look poorly for me if no one could access the page, right?
So I go check my portfolio page and to my dismay, none of the images are displaying. I quickly hopped over to Zooomr’s website to see if something was up with my account and saw this message:
On October 28th, 2005 Kristopher Tate launched a closed beta of Zooomr’s first version to his friends and family.
Today, 7 years later in 2012, Kristopher once again invites you to explore what we are titling A Whole New Zooomr, now in official closed beta.
Much like the recent digg.com re-release, this newly envisioned version has been built from the ground-up, allowing us to break free from many of the older concepts that kept the previous version of Zooomr too technically deep from every day users. This new version also focuses more on a community appeal versus the more traditional photo sharing appeal that was offered before. With many photo-sharing solutions on the market today, we would like to use our 7th anniversary to break new ground in exploring with what we have been most excited about since day one: our community.
Well that’s lovely. Apparently the whole site has been down for the last couple of days or longer … with absolutely NO prior notice to its users. I scrambled to fix my portfolio images this afternoon and am going through some of the site tonight to fix the other bigger sections that might not be displaying properly. I’ll try to do some more this weekend when I get back, but to say the least I am very disappointed in the lack of communication from Zooomr. They’ve been my image provider for many years, but the service had seemed to go downhill over the last few years, and getting support has sadly been next to impossible.
Maybe the relaunch will be great, and I really hope things go well for them. I will likely not be renewing my account.
Zooomr, you’re fired.
This isn’t anything big, but I have finally been able to change the login credentials for my WordPress.org SVN account and was able to update the files to my Blank Target Replacement plugin for WordPress. I had been unable to access my account for the past 3 years or so and was unable to publish the update I had done about 2 years ago. Nothing huge — just a slight code update.
So, if anyone is still using this little script, you should see an update in your WordPress dashboard soon, if not already.
I didn’t post about this last year. Things were still too hard. I’m doing a little better emotionally, but this day is always very somber. No matter where you go, when this day comes around, the question always remains the same: Where were you on September 11th, 2001?
I remember that morning very clearly. I was at work — not too far from where I was working until recently, in fact. It was a slow morning, so I had hopped onto IRC and was happily chatting in several of my favorite channels. Someone announced in #phrozencrew that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. I jumped onto the CNN website because they had live streams on their site, so I could watch the TV feed in real-time.
“Surely it was a mistake,” I remember thinking. “No one would do such a thing on purpose.”
I had just tuned in when the second plane had hit. As tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t believe my eyes. One was a mistake. Two was on purpose. The crash on the Pentagon soon followed. Someone was attacking us. Someone wanted to send us a message. It came through loud and clear. All those innocent people! Who would do such a thing? It would be hours later before we all knew for sure.
At that moment, my mind shifted to loved ones who I knew were in New York that day. One friend, a teacher at NYU, who I knew was located near the Towers couldn’t be reached. Another, who I knew for certain worked in the WTC, and I couldn’t reach either. A handful of other friends I knew were in the area, but not sure of where exactly they were located. I spent a good part of the morning frantically dialing and emailing anyone and everyone I could think of, all the while watching the atrocities unfold live, right before my very eyes. I remember hearing coworkers trying to reach their loved ones. One woman I knew was desperately trying to page her daughter, who was in flight somewhere over the East Coast.
At this point no one could concentrate on work. A TV was rolled into the breakroom and we all huddled around it. We all watched in horror when each tower collapsed, then reports of another plane crash (Flight 93) flashed across the screen. The rest of the day was spent in complete shock. I don’t remember anything else about that week, just that day. As a people, we all embraced and pulled together as one. This was not just a tragedy for New York, it was a tragedy for us all. We were ALL affected.
What worries me is that there is a large number of people now who seem to have forgotten what happened on that day. That number multiplies exponentially with each passing anniversary. Why has complacency set in?
I can’t be complacent. I can’t help but feel, and remember. I remember the horrors — seeing people jump to their deaths over and over again, the heroes that raced in to help who were never seen again, the bodies pulled from the rubble, the agony of the poor souls still looking for lost loved ones. I remember everything. I still have the nightmares. And every September 11th, I must mentally and emotionally go back there and re-live everything all over again …
… Because to forget would be the greatest tragedy of all.
So, where were you on 9-11?