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Thread: Thoughts, Rants, and Musings

  1. #701
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    So glad that your painting classes with the other teacher is over. I hope this hasn't scarred you or stopped you from painting on your own. You're very good.

    I've been horse riding in Squamish, Pemberton and Langley (BC). I stayed in Pemberton with a friend on a ranch and it was one of the fondest experiences ever and a great way to get out and explore the surrounding mountains. Also learned a thing or two about stubborn horses but didn't have any issues luckily. We crossed streams, went through lots of brush and saw the countryside and it was a great get away. This might sound odd but I love the smell of horses. Reminds me of the smell of my old dog's fur and being out and about. Nostalgic and comforting.

  2. #702
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    This might sound odd but I love the smell of horses. Reminds me of the smell of my old dog's fur and being out and about. Nostalgic and comforting.
    Me too.

    My poor boyfriend hasn't learned how to appreciate it..... yet.

    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    So glad that your painting classes with the other teacher is over. I hope this hasn't scarred you or stopped you from painting on your own. You're very good.
    Thanks :) I will most likely paint again. I'm a little leery of taking another class, but there are plenty of instructional videos on youtube that I can pick and choose from!

  3. #703
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    That's funny because I saw painting classes at my local community center and hesitated. I know it's not good to be closed off about it. I'm thinking about performing arts/theatre classes for adults but just missed the boat and have to wait for the 2020 schedule.

    I think youtube is the thing to do. There's also something about having your own set up at home. I have my old rags and an old big easel my husband gave me when we were dating. It's a lot more comfortable doing it at home and I prefer natural light. I haven't really been inspired at all to paint for awhile but love your paintings so far. Hope you get to do more of it. I'm always a fan of galleries and museums too.

  4. #704
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    I think I was made of bridge cables and rubber bands when I was a little kid. I was very rough and seemingly indestructible. I loved running, climbing, tumbling--anything where I could put my body to the test. I was a master at the monkey bars. I could muscle up and stand on top of them, or swing from my knees until I gained enough momentum to disengage and flip onto my feet. In the evenings, I would spend hours in the living room, practicing whatever gymnastic exercises I could think up. I couldn't stop moving and no matter how ridiculous the stunt, I never got hurt.

    I felt like I could outperform anyone and I generally could until about 2nd or 3rd grade. After that, hormones gradually started to influence our growth. Boys started to be able to outrun me and do more pull-ups than me. But until that point, I was pretty much on top of the world. I was brave and I wanted to be a hero. Going into the first grade, I lived for the opportunity to stand up for my friends. And one day, during a first grade morning recess, I had my inaugural opportunity.

    The memory is extremely hazy now--I actually can't remember which friend I stood up for, Jaimee or Michelle. They were both my neighbors. We walked to school together. Michelle was a year older than Jaimee and me, and she already had friends in the school. My 'cousin' Jennifer also went to the school (and was also a neighbor), but she was two years older.* Michelle and Jennifer seemed like seasoned veterans to a couple of first graders like Jaimee and me.

    Anyway, whoever it was that I stood up for, Michelle was there and she witnessed it. And through her, the older kids learned of it and I became a bit of a sensation.

    What happened was, a couple of older boys had been bothering my friend. She told me about it, and I decided to confront the boys on the following morning. Michelle attempted to dissuade me by telling me that the boys were tough, but that only made me want to confront them even more. And confront them, I did.

    Like I said, I no longer remember a lot of the details or even who I'd stood up for. I just remember that the confrontation was uncomfortable, that I was successful, and that the whole thing created a bit of a sensation. Pretty soon, other older kids were dragging me along with them to confront their enemies. It's all really a haze to me at this point... I just remember the fear and the thrill of standing up to a blur of faces that seemed two feet taller than I was.

    At one point, during the winter months, I stumbled into a real oh sh*t moment that is still to this day a life lesson. It happened when one older boy didn't back down from me. Instead, he called my bluff and decided to attack. And not only did he attack, but four of his friends joined him.

    I didn't know what to do. Yes, I always wanted to fight and I felt capable of fighting.... but five people??

    I ran. I hated it; it was against my ideal, but I ran. I was scared.

    Eventually, I couldn't run anymore. I stopped. The boys caught up to me and surrounded me. I was really afraid. I'd never been in this situation and I didn't know what they would do. But whatever they had planned, I wasn't going to let it happen. One of the boys made like he was going to hit me. I lunged right back at him, and he retreated. And interestingly, that's all it took. Each boy in turn attempted to intimidate me. I dished it right back and they all flinched. None dared to actually fight.

    I learned a lot that day about groups.

    Another life lesson--and really the main reason I'm writing this whole narrative-- came through my cousin Jennifer. Even at the early age of 8, she was quite socially-oriented. Apparently, a very 'cool' girl in her grade (Andrea) requested to meet me during lunch. Jennifer brought me to the lunch table where Andrea sat with all of her friends. As she walked me over, Jennifer emphasized that it was a great privilege to be meeting Andrea and admonished me to act appropriately.

    I thought this was ridiculous. Why should I treat these girls any differently than I treated my own friends? I was determined to act normally.

    The interaction went like this: Jennifer introduced me. We probably all said "hi." I sat at the table and Andrea started talking to me.

    Andrea: "Jibralta?"
    Me: "What?"
    Andrea: "We all respond with 'yes,' not 'what.' Let's try it again: Jibralta?"
    Me: "What?"
    Andrea: "If you respond with 'what,' we won't respond to you. Jibralta?"
    Me: "What?"

    Obviously a dismal failure. The girls tuned me out for the rest of the lunch. My cousin was furious--and actually we've NEVER spoken of it since and it's been over 30 years hahahaha.

    I always knew the situation was ridiculous, but writing it out makes it seem preposterous. It actually reminds me a lot of the movie Heathers. Except I was 5 or 6 years old and Jennifer and her friends were 7 or 8 years old. Cray cray.

    Anyhoo, the reason that I bring ALL of this up is that I was just reading an article about Red Auerbach. It talked about the Tuesday round-table lunches that he had with friends at a Chinese restaurant in DC. Understandably, it was a great privilege to be invited to one of these lunches, and a greater privilege to be invited as a regular. I came to this part where Chris Wallace, son of Mike Wallace, received an invitation. It describes Chris Wallace's anxiety:

    Chris didn't bring his father but showed up the next week, nervous as a cat. "It was funny," he said later. "I've covered summits, I've interviewed presidents and heads of state, I've been on live national television more times than I can count, and I can't remember ever being quite as nervous as walking into the China Doll that day.

    "Part of it was Red, knowing who he was and what he meant to sports, but the other part of it was feeling a little bit like I was being invited up to the tree house for the first time by the other kids. I didn't want to mess up."
    Right away, I remembered that long-gone lunchtime exchange with Jennifer, Andrea, and Andrea's friends. I thought, "Oh man, I'd never get invited back to Red's lunch!"

    I have to admit, I've thought about that elementary school lunch a lot throughout my life, especially when I was in grade school, middle school, and high school. I wondered how things might have turned out if I'd only responded with "yes?" instead of, "what?" And I even thought about it in my 20s and 30s, when I cursed myself for being so strong-willed: Why couldn't I just settle for what other people say is alright, and be happy with it?

    But now I think I am finally starting to accept that my 6-year old self had some wisdom. I could never be happy conforming to (what I think) is unnecessary nonsense. Even at age 6, I didn't have time for that crap.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    *I put 'cousin' in quotes because Jennifer wasn't related to my family; she was the daughter of my mother's good friend. But Jennifer and I called each other cousins and we did not get along AT ALL. We never understood each other, and still don't understand each other to this day. But we STILL call each other cousins, and as far as we're concerned, we ARE cousins.
    Last edited by Jibralta; 11-22-2019 at 02:59 PM.

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  6. #705
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Just watched Becoming Jane. Thought I would hate it, but actually found it to be fairly ingenious.

  7. #706
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    As far as fighting the boys - that was my sister. And she usually won. We had lots of practice with three older brothers.

    And oh my goodness, that Andrea. It does remind me if the movie, the Heathers. Good for you for not buying into it!

  8. #707
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by luminousone
    As far as fighting the boys - that was my sister. And she usually won. We had lots of practice with three older brothers.
    It actually became one of my favorite pastimes during recess and after school, and it often didn't involve any hostility at all. Some of us just enjoyed sparring.

    Funny story: My last boss (who I have alternately referred to as both "Matt" and "Mark" (oops)) was the same way as a kid. (At work, Matt had this habit of 'downloading' on people. He'd just wander up to you and start talking about random, non-work-related things. So I learned all about his daughters, fishing, things he liked to cook, etc.). One day, he randomly started telling me about fighting when he was a kid. He told me that he and his friend used to get off of their school bus, drop their books on the ground, and start taking swings at each other. I was like, "I did that, too!!!" And it was sort of a bond between us after that.

    It seemed like such incongruous behavior coming from him because his demeanor is so gentle and laid back. But I understood that because I have a similar demeanor. I don't like hurting people or being aggressive; I just like fighting. I think it's the Irish in me. Matt was even more Irish than I am, so there you go.

    Originally Posted by luminousone
    And oh my goodness, that Andrea. It does remind me if the movie, the Heathers.
    I know. In retrospect it seems so much creepier than it actually was. She didn't seem that sinister at all when we were kids, though. She wasn't a bully or anything, and I don't think she was ever truly mean to anyone. Just sort of an elitist lol.

  9. #708
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Another one bites the dust at work. Some poor guy got fired yesterday 🙁

  10. #709
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    Tim, on the other hand, was like a bull in a china shop. I actually thought of him as a rhinoceros. He was a very nice, fair guy. But if you were taking too long on something or thinking a dumb thought--watch out. He'd run you through faster than you realized what was happening. Then he'd go back to being normal.

    I remember one time, Matt left me an assignment as he was getting ready to go on holiday. He said, "If they give you any trouble with xyz, get Tim to back you up." I was like, yeah. Matt was the soft speaker. Tim was the big stick.

    I think that Shannon is a lot like Tim. She's nice. But if you take too long or do something wrong, you're dead.
    Oh god, Shannon is a real b*tch. I can't stand her sometimes. Yes, she is knowledgeable, and yes, I'd rather work for her than for Frank any day. But DAMN. What a b*tch.

    Things get stressful in that department pretty fast. And everyone gets snappy, even Jason. But ESPECIALLY Shannon.

    One night, last week or the week before, after one of Shannon's 'episodes,' Jason actually followed me out the door at the end of the day to tell me not to worry, that he had my back. That the expectations were unreasonable, etc.

    That was nice.

    But yeah, he can get snappy, too.

    Despite the stress, I'm still pretty happy with where I am. The frustrations are that there's no training, that I'm being thrown into fix disasters that I didn't create on projects that I've never seen before, and that the timelines are always unrealistic. The timelines would be tough for someone who worked in this department for a year and was trained in their standards. But they are impossible for someone like me. Fixing other people's mistakes at the same time as I am learning what's correct is not exactly efficient.

    I worked 12 hours last weekend, in part because I've missed time due to my spinal injections, but also because the work load is so crazy.

    As usual, Paul, the finance director, was there. He's a good guy. Funny, but also no-nonsense.

    I complained to him about Shannon. He said, "She's a b*tch."

    LOL. I love how people just say things like that at this job.

    I told him, "Yeah, she's a B*TCH. But I'd rather work for her than for Frank! At least Shannon knows what she's doing."

    Paul said, "Frank's a loser."

    I love that guy.

  11. #710
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    About two years ago, one of my boyfriend's best friends (Dave), asked me to help him renovate his house.

    I was very reluctant to accept because I felt like I didn't yet have enough experience to properly manage the project.

    Dave's house is 120 years old and has been converted from a single family home to a duplex, then back to a single family home. It has a lot of battle scars.

    The renovations were all done on the cheap, and the poor quality construction damaged the house. A column was removed from the basement, causing the floors on the upper level to sag. To make matters worse, many of the girders in the basement were notched to accommodate the numerous renovations. There were a lot of other issues, as well. But the column thing gives you an idea of what kind of idiots were making the decisions.

    However, Dave was persistent. We've known each other since high school, he knows what my skills have always been, and most of all, he trusts me. I couldn't shake him lol. So, I took the job on the condition that I could bring in a more senior architect (Joe) to oversee the whole project.

    When Joe saw Dave's house, he said it was the worst house he's ever seen. And Joe is 75 years old!

    But we took the job and we're charging Dave a very, very low "friends and family" rate because Dave and his wife (Meredith) really don't have that much money.

    We broke the project down into five phases and agreed to charge in installments by phase, so that the project could be stretched out over time and Dave and Meredith could hold on to their money as long as possible. One of the benefits of this structure is that there's no set timeline for the project. We proceed as funds dictate. Unsurprisingly, progress has been in fits and starts (which is fine with me).

    We charged $1800 for the first schematic design and design development phase. This included a field measurement and a digital model of the existing structure. Dave took about 6 months to pay me for the field measurement and model portion ($600), so I required that he pay me the remaining $1200 upfront before Joe and I started working on the design.

    Dave delivered the $1200 I guess last March, and Joe made a first pass at a new layout for the first and second floors. In July, Dave, Meredith, Joe, and I met, reviewed the design, and identified what they liked and what they wanted to change.

    After that, the project cooled down again.

    The last time I saw Dave and Meredith socially, which was in early August, I got the impression that something had happened to them financially. Something negative. It came from Meredith's gentle interjection, something like, "It's going to be a while before we can afford the construction." The way she said it cast doubt upon the usefulness of pursuing more design work. Like, why pay to design something that we may never be able to build?

    A couple months later, after basically no forward progress, I said to my boyfriend, "I think I'm going to give Dave's money back."

    The unused $1200 had been sitting in my reserve account untouched, and I was starting to feel guilty for keeping it when I wasn't actually doing any work and when Dave and Meredith were obviously in denial about their ability to continue with the renovation.

    To be honest, their state of denial wasn't exactly obvious to me at that point. I just sensed something was "off," and I sensed it had to do with money. I figured I'd pay Joe $200 for his work, and give Dave back $1000.

    I actually just realized about the denial part today.

    Anyway, my boyfriend didn't seem convinced that I should give any money back, so I shelved the idea for a little while.

    But then about three weeks ago, the idea came back to me in earnest. This is something I should do. I was sitting at work in the early morning and I just picked up my phone and texted Dave. I said, "I still have $1100* of your money here, unspent. Do you want it back for the holidays? I know money is tough and you guys aren't in a rush to move forward with a major project. I was thinking maybe it made more sense for you to have your money now, and then pay when you are ready to move forward again. Makes no difference to me; it's just sitting in my reserve account."

    Dave seemed a little reluctant at first. But the next day, after speaking to Meredith, he agreed. I transferred the money back to him and didn't think about it again.... until Wednesday night.

    It was one of those sleepless nights that happen every once and a while. I came out into the living room and sat in front of the computer, mindlessly surfing the internet. My boyfriend came out soon after, and we started searching Zillow for a house that was for sale near the restaurant we'd gone to that evening.

    Pretty soon, we were looking at listings in neighboring towns. I clicked on one of the lowest prices I saw, and was stunned when Dave's house came up in the picture. It was in foreclosure, scheduled for auction in January 2020. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach and I'm sure Arnold felt the same way as we stared at the photo, completely helpless to do anything.

    We were like, He must have known about this for a long time. Why didn't he say anything?

    But knowing Dave for as long as we both have, we know that he is not always honest with himself about things--how can he be honest with others?

    We're not going to let on that we know about the foreclosure.

    I just feel so bad. But I'm glad I gave the money back.

    I told Joe about the whole thing, and I think he thinks I'm crazy for giving the money back as well. But I don't care. I wasn't using it.

    ____________________________________
    *Yes, I upped the amount.

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