Friday, January 20, 2012

Pros and Cons

Now that I've got a few months at the new job under my belt, let's run down the pros and cons old school style. 

I should point out that everything I do is old school now.  Since...you know...I'm old. 

Let's get to it. 

Pro:  Love the new job.  Get to play with all sorts of new toys, have input in how the department should run and have full support of my boss.  Boss man also buffers me from the political turmoil that is taking place between our area and the UK people (who are technically in charge, but less qualified to be so). 

Con:  Miss my buds from the old job.  Not as much as I would have suspected, though, considering two of my (hot) friends had already left for California and two others for New York.  Easier leaving when there is nothing much to stay for. 

Sidenote: Fuck you, California and New York, for taking my friends away. 

Pro: New team members and I get along great.  We joke around, bounce ideas off each other, sit down for lunches.  It helps the transition when you have a great training/support system. 

Con:  Lunch places are few and far between.  I miss the Boston eateries like Al's, Sandwich Express (Poor Boy rocks!), Sue's Deli (Of Course!) not to mention all the pubs.  Shit, I need to get back for a visit.  I'm coming, JJ Foley's!!!!

Pro:  The beer o'clock tradition continues here.  I talked my new coworkers into joining me a few weeks ago at a pub in Andover center (called 'The Park Street Pub', which is a pub.  On Park Street.  I shit you not) for a few Stellas and yummy buffalo tenders.  It wasn't Foley's, but it will do. 

Years ago DA referred to me as a 'terrible influence' and I'm starting to think she's right. 

Con:  I've had to relearn how to deal with the idiotic (and borderline homicidal) drivers around Boston.  Just this morning some asswipe in an expensive Infinity sedan cut me off twice because he was trying to find the quickest way through some heavy traffic by cutting and weaving across multiple lanes.  When we finally get through most of it, he slows down.  As I pass I look over to see an ancient Jewish rabbi talking away on his cell phone.  About three miles after I pass the Rabbi, he comes zipping by me again doing 90. 

Then there are the dolts who are swerving into other lanes because they're texting or trying to call someone while doing 75.

Or the Darwin Award candidates who slam their brakes on while trying to merge with highway traffic, nearly killing people in every direction in the process. 

Or the ignorant schmucks that get in the fast lane then slow down to 50 and are bewildered why everyone is so upset with them. 

Or the impatient assholes who ride so close behind you they may as well be carpooling with you.  This ain't NASCAR, you stupid hillbilly.  Back the fuck off!

Better stop there before I get carried away. 

Pro:  Not taking the train to work.  This was surprising to me as I didn't realize how much I LOATHED taking public transportation until I stopped taking it.  I get to ride in my warm car with nobody around to bother me.  I come and go as I please with nobody dictating my schedule.  No three foot Asian ladies shoving their way past me, no smelly homeless men lingering way too close, no selfish douchebags in expensive suits stealing seats from elderly and pregnant women, no endless train delays while I stand in the weather so cold it could kill you in 10 minutes, no sticky stains to walk through....I love my personal space is what I'm trying to say. 

Con:  Gas prices.  Fuck gas companies. 

Pro:  No T passes.  These two actually counteract each other so my monthly pay outs are relatively identical. 

Pro:  Commute time.  I've shaved off at least 25 - 30 minutes each way.  This morning I arrived at work in less than 15 minutes (while battling a crazy, rabbi driver).  Taking the train would be 45 minutes on average. It's especially nice on Friday evenings when I'm home before 6.  Can't wait for the summer. 

Con:  Not taking the train has cut down significantly on my reading time.  Haven't read one page of the new Virgil Flowers book that keeps calling to me from my nightstand.  It's tough to read while driving.  Though not impossible according to some other drivers.

and finally

Pro/Con:  Wasn't sure where to place this as it's got benefits and drawbacks.  This new job has had NO TRAVEL involved.  At least not yet.  My boss keeps telling me there will be travel involved and there are a bunch of projects coming down the pike, so it should be in the cards at some point. 

The thing is, I enjoyed the travel at my last job.  Got to hang out in fun cities, try different beers and pubs, meet cool people. 

But...

The stability is making home life much easier.  Boys are happy to see more of me (even if Wifey may not be) and we're doing more as a family.

So there you go.  Mostly positives, a few drawbacks, but all in all I'm much happier.  Or, as wifey announced around all our friends last weekend 'You're much more fun to be around lately'.  Um....thanks?


Today's distraction:  The official Boston driving rules.  The one that sums it all up: 'When in doubt, accelerate'.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Puberty Q & A

I don't want to hear it.  I'm fully aware of how little I've posted in the past few months, but life is busy and my lack of inspiration crippling.  Plus I'm old, started a new job, have a new routine and barely have enough time to eat lunch.  It's tough being important.

Or so I hear.

However, I have decided to simply pass along random thoughts as they occur rather than trying to make coherent, 4000 word entries.  Not that anyone would accuse me of being coherent.  Life is too short, but I also don't want to disappoint my loyal readers even if I find the terms 'disappoint' and 'loyal' amusing when referring to this space. 

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.  A few random stories for your consideration. 

-  My eleven year old (fuckin' A....11!!!) has been experiencing growing pains with his childhood friends.  He's been clashing with a boy he basically grew up with and he's told me that they are no longer friends.  It's tough explaining that you don't stay with friends forever.  As you grow up, people change.  Happens to all of us. 

What makes it especially difficult with kids today are the easily accessible cell phones everyone owns.  The friction started with this kid because he would text my son trying to provoke some sort of trouble.  He accused him of flirting with his girlfriend (more on this in a second) and that someone told him that my son is 'always staring at her'. 

I finally told him to just not respond.  'Don't reply, don't say anything negative to your other friends about him and don't provide him any more ammo to use against you.'.  Wifey even got into it with the friend's mother and now THEY aren't talking to each other.  Way to lead by example!

Son has learned the simple lesson of 'if you don't like being around someone, then don't be around them'.  It's a remarkably simple tactic too few of us use.  He's still in classes with the other boy, but they've come to some sort of truce.

-  Onto the 'girlfriend' part. 

The other day eleven year old asks 'Dad, how old were you when you had your first girlfriend?'

Not an easy question to answer.  Not because I wanted to skirt the issue (pun intended), but because the term 'girlfriend' doesn't apply to a lot of my so called relationships.  Do I start with the girl I lost my virginity to?  Nope, we never even went on a date.  Do I figure out if my neighbor's grand daughter would count because we fooled around in the field behind my other neighbor's house?  And, yes, we were the same age.  Get your mind out of the pedophilia gutter. 

Should I pinpoint my first real relationship?  That opens up another can of worms just by trying to define 'relationship' as I wasn't very committed (not just to our relationship but ANY relationship).  Frankly, I didn't have a straight answer.

And how do you answer a question to which you don't have an answer?  Why you turn it around on the asker, of course. 

I ask 'Why are you asking?  Is there a girl you like?'

He answers is a round about, sorta, kinda way.  He's just wondering, he claims. 

'Well, let's work this out.  If you do ask a girl out what happens next?  You can't actually take her anywhere.  You have no money.  So what would you do?'

'No, it would be like that.  We would just...you know...well....it's complicated...'

Welcome the first lesson of women, my son (I do NOT say, but try hard to send him telepathically) 

I say instead 'Well, let me make this easy for you: You are way too young to have a girlfriend.  When you get to 8th grade or so we can discuss this again.'

'Well, how old were you?' he insists.

'I was in high school', which seems to satisfy him.  To get him back I ask: 'So, if you don't take these girls out, what do you do?  Do you kissy kissy behind the school?'

'No,' he answers nonchalantly, 'That stuff happens at the dances'. 

Today's distraction:  My required reading for the next few years.  Can't wait until he's a least old enough to drive himself around.