Print Story You know what happened?
By blixco (Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:14:24 AM EST) (all tags)
I have an internal math (I assume we all do) that stacks up some sort of damage count versus the world.

Like, hey, it sucks that I've got X and Y and Z wrong with me.  Or that work sucks.  But at least I'm not field stripping an AK-47 in a rice paddy somewhere, waiting to meet my makers.

Well, kids, my life is charmed.  Goddamn sweet as honey.  I don't have any complaints outside of the usual complaints, and they're sort of hollow in my own ears at the moment.

I am, for instance, about to be squeezed out of my job unless I angle things just right.  But that's not much of a thing; with what I know and what I have, I can find another job somewhere in the world in pretty short order.  So work is not that big a deal.

The house isn't perfect.  It's a small house, with many, many, many flaws.  But the roof is new, the plumbing works, and the electricity will not be cut off without some sort of cataclysm or some random central Texas whippersnapper of a thunderstorm.

My wife, sometimes she can be oblivious to my existence. But I am quick to remind her, and we're doing a lot more together now.  Plus, she just found out yesterday she got a grant, one year salary, renewable, which should be all the funding she needs to carry her to the Next Thing, whatever the post post-doctorate thing is.

My dogs are happy and stupid.

I have a remarkable collection of friends, all of whom I would lay my life down for.  I was recently contacted by one who I have not seen in nearly twenty years.

How bizarre being able to say that.  Twenty years is a whole fuckload of years.  She used to be this improbably tall and skinny punk chick who I'd crushed on in middle school, someone that I admired and really enjoyed, and have missed. She's in Las Cruces, and her roadmap from the past to now has been, look, I won't go into detail.  But she has dealt with more Bad Things in her life than I ever could without breaking.  And yet, she's this happy, whipsmart mom of two, married, caught in the new downsizing of modern American life but still perfectly OK.

I have a feeling, a goddamn rock from space could come crashing down on her, and she'd brush it off. No big deal. Worse things have happened.


Someone from the distant past shows up, someone who last knew you as, say, a highschool kid. A child. Where do you start?  Internally and externally, I'm doing this math.  How to explain myself? I am prone to introspective disorder, my own narrative running rampant (see: google, husi, and etc) but I'm feeling sort of light headed from the perspective I've been given by this.

It's a remarkable world, this.

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You know what happened? | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
distant past by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:28:07 AM EST
I don't have very strong connections to anything or anyone much pre 1995 but when I did bump into someone I was in school with on the street, the only thing I would think to say was 'Fucking hell, you're not dead yet!'

there was a time... by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:46:33 AM EST
...when that might have been the first thing people said to me.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
thanks. by clock (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:02:27 AM EST
i kinda needed to hear something like that.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Blast from the past ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:12:48 AM EST
Uhoh, I see a setup for Texas_Plonker coming up now...

Oh heck no. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:16:48 AM EST
You kidding me?  I'd be killed in my sleep for even thinking it. Not that I would.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
well... by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:11:47 AM EST
you have expressed plonker like tendencies/thoughts/patterns in the past, so ...

[ Parent ]
synergy? by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:38:44 AM EST
Uhm, I just found out that a friend from high school lives within 2 miles of where I live. Until Monday, I hadn't talked to him in decades.

I thought the weird part of my story was that Burton and I both moved several states over from where we'd grown up, yet ended up within walking distance from each other without even knowing it.

But the real weird part of the story is that you, blixy, are living the same thing.

"It means more if you have to earn it, even if it's by doing something as simple as eating a meal." Kellnerin

I on the other hand by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:15:34 AM EST
got a flood relief reprieve on taxes. I get another month to live before I give msrat my cashed-in life insurance to let her pay our taxes.

Woo fucking hoo.

Losing job? by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 07:09:38 AM EST
I thought your job was somewhat safe after the ludicrous overtime you put in a few months back fixing massively broken shit?

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

I will sum up: by blixco (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 07:46:34 AM EST
we used to be a flat org.  Four heads of state and a hundred peons.

Now we have Middle Management, which is a very good thing for the most part, but the new guy in charge of my department is forcing a hire in who has my skillset but his ear.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
hang on by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 11:53:00 PM EST
You sure that's you being edged out and not some (much needed by the sound of it) extra hands to spread risk and make your life easier too?

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We're staffed up by blixco (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 05:37:34 AM EST
pretty well at the moment; I've not had any significant overtime so far this year.

Nope, this one has all the trademarks of an inside move, a slimy management thing:
We have no open positions
His skillset is lacking a few key details
He worked with our new middle manager for 13 years
Our department is perceived as being a semi-autonomous unit, incapable of being managed from the outside.
The interviews are being pushed on people who don't normally interview, people who don't have anything good to say about IT.....

....and a few other key feelings that can't be summed in words.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
That's happened to me a couple of times by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 07:42:48 AM EST
A guy I went to high school with found out where I was (from my cousin, I think) and contacted me. We exchanged a couple of e-mails and sort of caught up a bit and that was about the end of it. He's married, teaches school, two kids in high school, still plays horns. And so ... uh ... how have you been ... uh... so ... and ... yeah...

A second guy I got ahold of by accident. Recent flooding in Ahia hit the local paper and I found out my BFF from middle school is now the chief of police of $city, Ahia. So I sent a note that said "Chief of police, eh?" He wrote back and said "wild, ain't it?" I wrote back and said "Happy birthday, btw". I haven't heard back again.

Another guy I met on a job about 10 years ago I found on LinkedIn, so we "connected". (He had moved to Cali, which I knew.) I saw him once for a minute or two six or seven years ago, but then didn't hear anything until I saw that he'd started doing porn. Anyway, we "connected" and he wrote saying "let's catch up", so I wrote a very short thing. Haven't heard back. That was about a month ago.

So I'm not much of a reconnecter , I guess.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

Two things: by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 08:39:13 AM EST
1. Recently, someone I've known since I was about 9 years old and haven't seen but once since graduating high school in 1992 contacted me through Facebook. That was a pretty odd thing, but we did manage to have some interesting conversations that didn't entirely revolve around how evil Mrs. Sellers in 12th grade English was. It's actually kind of neat, even though I really, really hated high school.

2. One of the Google ads when I read through this was "Bang Married White Women." Er, what???
To Rollins lesbians are like cuddly pandas: cute, exotic, forest-dwelling, dangerous when riled and unable to produce offspring without assistance.-CRwM

I've been catching up with a lot of old friends... by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 11:11:43 AM EST
partly from my High School reunion, partly from... well... FaceBook. Overall it's been great. The experiences have run the gamut from the stilted usual small talk, to resurrecting good and missed friendships. In one case, it catalyzed a chain reaction that has pretty much turned my life upside-down over the last 6 months. Yet, in the end I still consider it a good thing.

Coincidentally enough, I'm going for dinner tonight with another friend from HS. I haven't seen her since the summer after Graduation, but a few weeks ago she moved into an apartment 10 minutes from where I work... What's going to happen? I haven't a clue, but I'm interested in finding out.

As for where you start; really it depends on the person. Sometimes you just do the usual "work for this, do that for fun, I'm married/dating/single, have x kids, y pets", and sometimes you can pick things up right where they were left off. In some ways you're introducing yourself for the first time, yet you still have a shared background to relate with each other. In other ways, people never really change.

Being able to pickup right where you left off is by far my favourite and the rarest of reactions.

[Mostly Harmless]

Congratulations by LoppEar (4.00 / 1) #16 Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 10:23:03 AM EST
If you get wedged out, you know how to take it in stride. Unending renewal is our lot.

And to Laurea for her funding for the Next Thing.

Hey! by blixco (2.00 / 0) #17 Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 01:00:30 PM EST
Good to hear from you.

I hope all is well.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

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You know what happened? | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback