Monday, March 27, 2017

TRAVELOGUE: Atlanta, Georgia: Day Three

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Those Mai Tais and the super-comfy bed made for a nice night of sleep and I got up around 9:00 in the morning feeling quite refreshed. Yes, sore from another day of hard walking (for my out-of-shape body), but refreshed nonetheless. I was also feeling a slight sting from a scrape on my left knee and a small cut on my right ankle. The only way I can imagine I would have sustained these small injuries would have been during the very bumpy roller coaster ride. I guess it was rougher than I thought.

My breakfast consisted of the leftover Checker's food (minus one burger which I kept in my bag) and a couple of in-room brewed coffees after which I gathered up the remains of my belongings, did a quick scan and made my way downstairs to check out.

I was given a receipt for my stay and it showed a zero balance as it should but it was only the original booking invoice which was paid for months ago on my BOA Visa. I asked the clerk about the $50 security deposit on my AMEX and he assured me it was taken off. (NOTE: As of this writing, it, along with two other mysterious charges from Hilton for around $12 each are still on the American Express card...we'll see if that corrects itself soon)

The bellman did accept my bag on hold as I told him I was flying out later so I made my way hands-free back to Peachtree and, avoiding the hated Death Escalator altogether, I waked out onto Peachtree Street and made my way down the hill towards the Georgia Aquarium.

At $42 I thought it was a bit steep but it seemed par for the course. Everything seemed expensive here. (Well, except for those Mai Tais, I thought those were a bargain) It turns out though that you got quite a bit for your ticket price.

The aquarium has multiple exhibits through out its huge two story building along with as many 4-D movies as you'd like (4-D movies, like Shreck 4-D and A Bug's Life as Universal and Disney examples are 3-D movies with a rigged-up theater to include scents, water sprays, bubbles and seat motion to the experience) the Ice Age movie I saw even had real falling snow effects. Plus there was a sea lion show, beluga whale feeding and a really good dolphin show.

The awesomely massive aquarium windows and a through the tank see-thru tunnel (even better than Sea World's) were the star attractions for sure. They also contained in those massive aquariums the largest sea creatures other than whales I've yet seen. Sea World may have the fact it's an entire theme park not just an aquarium going for it, but as far as aquariums on their own, this one kicks some butt.

After an entire afternoon at the aquarium I made my way through the nearby Centennial Olympic Park. This is the place where the 1996 Atlanta Olympics were held. I walked over to the CNN Headquarters to check out the studio tour but the sign said the next one wasn't for over another hour so I roamed the huge atrium/food court a bit and checked out (but did not ride) their massive escalator, apparently the longest in the world? What is it with Atlanta and escalators?

It was getting on near 5:00 so I walked back to the Hilton, got my bag and instead of dealing with the Peachtree Death Escalator, I walked down Peachtree Street to the Five Points station. And what did they have there? Another Death Escalator! Fuck.

I made it down, hopped on my train taking me back to the airport and hung out in Concourse D, ate my cold Big Buford that I'd packed away and people-watched 'till my flight time.

The flight back was really quick taking just over an hour and before midnight I was driving home.

TRAVELOGUE: Atlanta, Georgia: Day Two

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Got up around 8:00 and pulled open the heavy drapes to see that although the forecast had called for some rain, it looked fine and as it turns out the weather not only today but all weekend would be perfect. Low 70s and lots of sun.

I'd noticed yesterday that to the northeast of downtown there was this other cropping of skyscrapers. I'd already known through prior research that the "downtown" areas of Atlanta were broken up between the older Downtown area, where I was and the newer Midtown section which I guess has more of an arts district flavor? But this "city" seemed way off like ten or more miles I'd say. Turns out it's an area called Buckhead. The rich section of town. And let me guess, the whiter section of town right? Looked it up and yup...80% white over there. Looks like they want to become their own city. Well just from the distant looks of it, they sure could.

More about my room though. The more I looked, the more I could see why the cheap rates. Even though the decor wasn't particularly dated, it was pretty worn out and dirty when you inspected beyond the first glance. The light fixtures looked nice but the lamp shades were cheap-looking and one even had a hole in it. The surfaces of everything were black granite with a speckled look, but if you ran your fingers across it, you noticed many of the speckles were actually dust. But the worst part was the cloying odor of Carpet Fresh. It wasn't only in my room, but in the halls and common areas of the hotel as well. From the exterior facade I'd guess this building was built in the early 70s. Checking right now: Yup, Wikipedia says 1971. So, yeah, it sure needs that major renovation. As it is now, it sure isn't what I think of when I think "Hilton."

But I didn't dwell on these minor issues. The bed was super comfy with 500-count sheets, goose down pillows and comforter, the bathroom was tiny but it was quite modern-looking and the shower had a feature only old buildings have...a hot and powerful jet of water. They didn't have modern eco-pussy attitudes about water conservation in the early 70s, showers ran full and stayed hot as long as you needed.

I was a bit sore from all the walking and standing I'd done the day before but I drank two cups of in-room brewed coffee and made my way back to the Peachtree Center. Since I did end up munching on the second Firehouse sub last night while I painfully watched Bruce Wills try act his way through this terrible movie, I bought a breakfast burrito with coffee ($8) and sat at one of the tables trying not to look out-of-place as literally the only white person among the mass of other diners.

Suddenly, just as I was finishing up my meal, a big ol' rock 'em, sock 'em fist fight broke out between two black teenage guys not four feet away from where I was. One in a security uniform. At first I thought he was the security on-duty at this place but his uniform was different; I think he was security somewhere else probably there to get a pre-shift breakfast? I don't know, all I know is I heard him yell at the other dude as he railed into him to stop "pressing up" on him. Not sure what that means.

The other kid tried to strike back but security dude cold-cocked him upside the head and the kid went down to the hard tile floor with a bang, hitting his head with a loud smack and knocking what looked like 3 or 4 cell phones out his pockets. Sure there's more to the story based on that there.

The crowd was screaming and wailing with the women all like "Oh Lordy, Oh Lordy!" I kid you not.

I didn't know if this security dude was armed with something more than his fists and I wasn't sticking around to find out. I made like Snagglepuss and Exited, Stage Left. Yes, unfortunately, stage left meant down the dreaded vertigo-inducing Death Escalator. Then I took the train to the western terminus of the Blue Line. From there, I hopped on a bus for the short ride to Six Flags Over Georgia.

Got my ticket ($72) and explored a bit, making my way over to one of I think only two alcohol-serving watering holes in the park. And, get this, not only did they ID and bracelet-tag all patrons, but you had to consume your drinks there. You couldn't do like any Orlando park (or any other theme park I've ever been to for that matter, including, back in the day, the now defunct Six Flags New Orleans) and walk around with your drink. And there were badge wearing security guards all around the bar making sure you weren't slipping some to some kiddies. Yeah, 'cause if I were inclined to get my kids booze I'd choose to shell out $72 dollars for admission and $15 a drink to do so.

I sat at the patio bar of this place called JB's Sports Pub, ordered a fairly-ok cheeseburger platter with really nice spiral-cut fries ($18) and a tall Sweetwater IPA ($15). Yes, this place is more expensive than our top-level theme parks here in Florida in all except ticket price. This guy and his girlfriend sat next to me and they struck up a conversation which I tried to keep up somewhat but with their thick Georgia accent it was like they were speaking another language.

Not fitting on any rides here back home, I didn't even try any of the more restraint seated options but I was (just barely) able to successfully get the lap bar down below my bulging belly to ride the Great American Scream Machine, a really nice ol' out-n-back woody seen here:

But the lines were sick long with wait times well in excess of an hour for anything, even the single dark ride in the park, a really quite lame slow river boat ride, "Small World" style, through a Monster Mansion. Mediocre animatronics and effects, plus confusing theming, starting out with comical cartoony "monsters" and then slowly delving into a hell-like scene with more scary-type monsters and back again. I guess to ease the kiddies into the monster atmosphere without freaking them out too much?

I also tried out their park-circling train ride but the combination of the hokey and out of sync recorded narration along with the noxious two-stroke engine fumes had me jumping out at the first stop available.

Back to the bar for a couple more beers before heading out as the sun was getting low on the horizon. For a park which had little to offer for me due to my size and my intolerance of the massive wait times, I was able to walk around it a bit, even though it was quite hilly and I drenched my clothes with sweat, it felt good to do something physical and the sights and people were interesting to see.

I made it back to Peachtree Center, grabbed a couple of Big Bufords and two chili dogs at the Checkers kiosk ate half the order for dinner in my room and saved the rest for tomorrow.

After a nice relaxing shower and my in room meal, I got dressed up in my black slacks and collored shirt and made my way down to Trader Vic's. But there was a reunion in the neighboring Marriot Marquis hotel of some black college sorority and many of them were staying here in the Hilton as well. Just as I was trying to get down to Trader Vic's on the lower level, they were clogging up all eight elevators trying to get their Flapper-looking costumed butts next door as their shindig was getting underway. I took the stairs down all 13 flights and then had to exit the building to enter the restaurant from the outside.

Once there I sat at the very old skool swank Polynesian-themed bar and had two very strong glasses of their signature Mai Tais ($10 each) to cap off the evening before going back to my room for the night.

TRAVELOGUE: Atlanta, Georgia: Day One

Soon after finishing my previous post, I decided that I may as well go and if worse came to worse at least it'd make a great "awful trip" post. Now that it's all said and done, I gotta wasn't bad after all.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Woke up at 2 am having packed and prepped and gotten to bed before 8 pm Thursday night. Despite the off hour, I wasn't that tired, but all this deviation from my regular sleep pattern did give me a perpetual feeling of jet lag and just a general lack of energy overall and these symptoms would persist throughout the weekend more or less. But I strove forward.

Got to OIA satellite parking around 4:00 but since I parked in the South lot, the shuttle dropped me off at my terminal a bit later than I'd expected. And time was ticking since my plane was set to leave at 5:02.

Made my way to security and though in the past the TSA folks here in Orlando seemed much less Gestapo than other airports, it seems this "rabid dog attitude" has now seeped into the crew here.

Since it was 4:30 in the morning, the roped off maze that was set-up for travelers to file into like good little sheep was quite moot as there was just one guy ahead of me. He saw it too and he maneuvered under the ropes to go straight to the security check podium. So I followed suit, but since I wasn't as nimble, I accidentally tripped the stretchy fabric ribbon and it popped out of its post and quickly retracted, like a retractable tape measure, into its other post. One of the TSA agents went to re-string up the ribbon and came to me, tapped me on the shoulder and said "You're supposed to go through the queue properly!" or some snarky remark like that, telling me off. I just ignored the fucker and proceeded to the podium. God forbid you don't respect their authority! Even if there's no one else in the queue and you just did what the guy in front of you did.

It did get me to pause just enough to spot a shiny little copper coin on the floor just before the security check point. Since I was wearing my contacts I couldn't make out details of the coin but I could tell immediately that though it was the same color and size as a penny, it wasn't one. Once I got to my gate I still couldn't make out the markings so I took a picture of it with my phone and blew up the image. It was a Bahamas penny. Cool.

Of course I sat down for only a couple of seconds as by now my flight was calling last boarding. The plane was packed solid. I guess for the cheap rates Frontier was selling these seats at, a lot of folks did like me and woke their ass up early in order to take advantage of them.

The flight was a quick hour and a half and after deplaning I saw that Atlanta's airport was a bustling madhouse of activity...even though it was just 6:30 in the morning. With tons of time on my hands, I made my way aimlessly through the many concourses, sometimes taking the rapid transit train but other times riding the moving sidewalk through the connecting corridors to witness amazing details like this area which was decked out with a simulated rainforest motif right down to background sounds of running water, rushing wind, and squawking birds. Very cool.

All the eateries were jammed packed and, of course, expensive so I opted for just a small bag of cashews and a Vitaminwater Zero from a gift shop ($7.50).

I people-watched for a couple of hours but after getting antsy to move on I made my way to the MARTA terminal, bought a weekend Breeze pass ($18), and made my way into the deep, dark heart of the Black Mecca.

Now let me defend myself before I go on any further. First off, I'm not the one to come up with the term the Black Mecca, Atlanta, it turns out, has long held that title. But this trip was my first hand experience of it in person and it was just a bit freaky. Having always lived in white majority communities (even the parts of New Orleans I lived and worked in) this was (pardon my comparison, I don't mean it to sound crudely racist) like I was Taylor and I just landed on the Planet of the Apes.

I rode the train through to Peachtree Center and in order to emerge from the deep-ass bowels of the subway platform, I had to white-knuckle it riding up this incredibly steep and high beast I would dub, the Death Escalator. Here's my pic looking up and some guy's video going down it.

And just like this video, it was a loooong, creaky, creepily-lit fright ride. The moving handrail and steps were not totally in sync either so you had to move your death grip every now and then or it would pull you down. I'm still researching if anyone has ever fallen on this thing. Surely there have been deaths. With my top heavy body and severe acrophobia, I was shittin' bricks!

At the top of this thing is the just below street level MARTA station and to the right is a rather dated mall with a few shops and stores but it seems to mainly function as a fast food food court.

I walked through here and across one of the areas many skybridges to the Courtland Street garage, took the elevator down 7 stories to ground level (Huh? Wasn't the mall just below street level? Yes, but because it was at the top of the hill which seems to be the center of the downtown crop of sky scrapers, it worked out to be 7 stories up when I made it over to the street my hotel was on.)

The hotel is definitely in the midst of major renovation but the lobby looked decent enough, albeit it, like my room, seems to have been lay-overs from the last update I'd guess, maybe around the late nineties from the looks of it? No matter, fact is I was here for a cheap rate so I wasn't expecting brand-spankin' new.

Happily, when I got to the registration desk, I was allowed to check in right away even though it was only 10 am. I dragged my tired, sweaty ass to the glass elevator and up to the 13th floor, got in my room, took a nice hot shower and sat looking out over the scenery below for a while before taking a short nap.

Around 3:00 I was getting really hungry and when I had walked across the skybridge earlier, I thought I saw a sign for the Hard Rock Cafe down below. I decided I'd walk over there for a burger and a beer or two but when I got there, it turns out it was only a billboard for the Hard Rock Cafe. I thought I had seen on a map when I originally scoped out the city days ago that it was not far away so I made my way towards the area I thought it would be and trudged up a steep incline back up towards Peachtree Street. On the way, I noticed a tiny liquor store and made note of it.

Getting near to Peachtree Street I couldn't see it, just saw a Hooters on the corner and I'm not a lover of that so I opted to head into the nearby entrance to the Peachtree Center Mall again and grab something there. (Turns out that the Hard Rock was right across from Hooters so I was closer than I thought.) I got two subs from Firehouse subs ($14) figuring I'd have one once I got back to the room and store the other in the mini fridge for the next morning. I also went back to that liquor store and got a six-pack of Dogfish 60 Minute IPA ($13).

Back in my room I watched as the shadows got longer, munchin' my Italian fully engaged sub, sippin' some nice hoppy ale and soon was down for the count. After forcing myself to watch "Live Free or Die Hard" on HBO, I got under the covers of my quite comfortable bed and was out like a light.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Georgia On My Mind

Almost two months ago I read one of my Travelzoo offers that I get on a regular basis. It takes a bit of extra effort since I have my email setup so that all Travelzoo emails go into a separate folder. I saw that they had an offer for a discount rate on a 4-star Hilton hotel in downtown Atlanta. Since it was undergoing renovations, they were offering $65 a night booking. Sure, I thought without a moments notice and booked a couple nights for as long out as I could so I'd catch warmer weather. I didn't want to go to Atlanta in the middle of winter, it's colder than here.

Well now that time has come. I also booked roundtrip airfare not long afterwards so I'm all set to go, very early tomorrow morning for a weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

Problem is, I don't really want to go now.

After booking shit I checked it out and there's just not a lot that interests me in Atlanta, Georgia. I mean if it were Athens, Georgia, I'd love to tour the proving ground of the early B-52s. If it were Savanna, Georgia, it'd be nice to see the historic homes and stuff and stroll the cobblestone streets. If it were Cordele, Georgia, it'd be fun to see the jail Ric spent a night in, just kidding.

I'm thinking Six Flags Over Georgia might be an adequate diversion but the place is less than half the size of IOA from what I can make out, has typical non-Orlando quality and is almost as expensive as an Orlando park in ticket price with some shady "fake discounts" for buying online. And the food and drink prices seem higher than here? What?!

Weather isn't projected to be great. Cold with highs in the low 70s and rain possible for Friday and Saturday; most likely for Sunday.

Probably because of the renovation discounts, Yelp reviews paint a poor picture of service and value. And with hoity-toity standard check-ins beginning at 4pm (but delayed due to heavy occupation according to several reviewers) and 11am check out, it looks like I'll be having to whittle away time on Friday and Sunday as I try to find things to do while I fill the gap between flight arrival/departure and check-in/check-out times.

Long delays, cold, rain, airport parking, tourist trap tours, ghetto traversing public transit, an overpriced, chinzy amusement park and likely a heavy dose of Southern in-hospitality and I'm really thinking twice about all this.

Stay tuned to see what I decide.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Fabric Of Reality Is Ripping

Never mind a delicate word like "tearing," it's fucking RIPPING!

Russia hacked the United States presidential election...FACT!

Their goal was verified as attempting to assist Trump's campaign and sabotage Clinton's...FACT!

Trump actually won despite all of the reputable media analysis up to and including election day predicting he'd lose...FACT!

The FBI is investigating possible collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russians...FACT!

Members of Trump's posse have already been caught lying about their meetings with Russian spies...FACT!

Trump continues to be just fuckin' weird and delusional.

He thinks Obama wiretapped him but has no substantial evidence pointing to this outrageous accusation. He flies to his golf courses almost every weekend and conducts secret meetings there. He continues to hold "Make America Great Again" rallies. He uses Twitter like it was a fucking diplomatic cable shooting his mouth off with rude, immature and divisive statements. He jokes with a foreign head of state at a press conference that he and she share a joint experience of illegal wiretapping by the US government. "Spicy," his White House Press Secretary, is just slightly less loony and outlandishly-aggressive than the parody of him by Melissa McCarthy on SNL...just slightly.

And the list goes on and on.

The only solution to this total fucking mess isn't to impeach him...that'd only put that homophobic fucktard Pense in the Oval Office.

No, we need a total reboot.

Yup. We need to have another election. And we need it soon.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Still There

According to NASA, my name still roams silently through space high above the lunar surface. As reported on CNN, NASA has found their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter along with a lost Indian probe in orbit around the moon. Now, from what I can garner, the LRO wasn't lost, it is in fact still operating and its team is in radio contact with it, but I guess this was one of the first times they detected it with ground based radar.

As far as why my name would be on the spacecraft? Well, a year before they launched it, NASA initiated a "Send Your Name to the Moon" project announced on their website. People could submit their names and they would be placed in a microchip and installed on the orbiter. I'm one of them as attested to by this certificate.

I guess the idea is, someday far into the future, either humans or other intelligent life will make use of the quaint early 21st century silicon-based wafer and uncover all 1.6 million names that were programmed into it. Maybe even create some kind of memorial from the names. "Space Dreamers of the Ancient Pioneer Era"

Hopefully, the far future plaque or obsidian wall etched with our names won't be titled something like "Some of the Last Humans Who Lived Just Before their Final World War"

Thursday, March 09, 2017

My Tortured Mind

I'm trying to be "a better me."

So I'm focusing on analyzing my triggers and working out strategies to deal with them.

And, more and more it seems, it's not just my conscious mind working on these tasks. My subconscious is chugging right along as well making the valiant, and sometimes, just sometimes successful effort.

The conscious battle against most triggers, if there's gonna even be a battle at all, (It's not always there. Many times I go down with not a single protest.) is often fought as I'm en-route to or in proximity of a potential "buy." You know these, I've had names for them for years...Christie's Syndroms, Publix Crisis, and they often feature a behavior I've been doing more frequently and just named today...the Park n' Sweat. This is where I'm fighting the good fight as I'm parked in the parking lot of the store. Right there. I gotta be honest, it's probably a 75%/25% thing. With the greater figure going to the times I go in.

But today was one of the 25%. I just sat there, sweating out the inner voices trying to coax me one way or the other. Sat there watching as a fellow alchy made his way in. Oh yes, 7:30 in the morning is when we alchys go in. But I think the others are usually in a bit of a worse off state. It's probably the start of their day. Their presumably full day and evening of drinking. But for me, it's, as you know with my night shift schedule, after a long shift of work, 5 o'clock is now, it's Miller Time.

But knowing that sometimes makes my Park n' Sweats harder. 'Cause if I was getting up and hitting the stores each morning just as they're able to legally sell again, I'd probably more readily recognize the shit I was in. Or, maybe not. I think many in that shape are probably just too far gone to even have Park n' Sweats anymore. I don't want to know. That is, I don't want to progress to that point where I'll find out, first hand.

So my subconscious jumps into the fray as well. One of the weird and new behaviors to spring up? It's what I'm calling Hangunders. Huh? Well you know about hangovers: the after drinking sickness caused by dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and trace formaldehyde build up, etc. Well now I've started to have severe bouts of nausea the second I start to seriously get triggered. When my alchy mind is on a stampeded mission to buy and guzzle, my sober mind can only scream out in what's likely a very crude reptilian brain response to danger or threat...I start gagging. And I mean outright whelps of automated vomit motions as I try to fight the intense waves of nausea overcoming me. To the point of tears and sometimes even to actually vomiting. Remember though...this is all way BEFORE I touch a drop. I'm just thinking about it!

But involuntary retching is not always successful in stopping me. The last time I did it, I puked a little in my sink, picked up my keys and drove to the store, gagging and holding back more urges to vomit all along the way. Held my composure, went in, bought the usual "6-24" (6-pack and a 24 oz. like a Foster's oilcan), got home, puked again and just as I pried open the cap on my first bottle, the nausea instantly went away. My subconscious suddenly gave up. It knew the battle was over.

Man this shit sucks. Many other wagon hops have brought me up to that Pink Cloud awfully quick so it was mainly painless. But this one, she's a tough ol' bitch. And I'm not catchin' a single break. I'm white-knuckling this thing every hour of every fucking day.

And I'm only on Day 4.

Monday, March 06, 2017

BINT Silver Anniversary

Back in '92. (Back In Ninety Two or BINT)

25 years ago.

I've posted a lot about this time, most notably here, and tried in recent years to re-capture the spirit of that time. Funny pun in the word "spirit" used above since it was all about spirits, ie: alcohol.

Like then, I feel very much the same as I remember feeling just before the Smashing Glass Incident. I feel like a sad hamster on a squeaky metal wheel in my cage, running awkwardly as fast as I can inside that wheel but, of course, getting nowhere.

I've always had a thing, almost an autistic thing for anniversaries of milestone events in a timeline. Especially milestones in my life.

Can I utilize that impetus to help mark this anniversary year as the point at which I made the commitment to go back to the spirit of twenty five years ago? Not sure. I thought the 20th anniversary would be powerful enough to do just that but that didn't work out then. Aw heck, I didn't even really try until a year later when I first went on the Phen (aka Rainbow Magic).

What was the key element that two and a half decades ago?

Oft times I think it was the actual smashing of the glass.

Many times I figured it must have been the "coming out" as an alcoholic who'd lost control...not just to myself but to someone I loved.

I've discovered through the years of thinking back to this time that many unconscious decisions were made by me leading up to the inevitability of the events that spring.

Little things like self-demoting, then eventually demoting yet another "rank" lower and transferring to night shift. Picking up and taking home that one-night-stand while I was still living at Logee...why? So he could see the way I was living and shy away the next morning? 'Cause that's what happened. How about dramatically up-ing my usage level seemingly overnight that early spring, just before smashing glass. Whereas historically I stuck almost exclusively to beer, suddenly I was drinking 12-packs of it warm from the side of my bed along with a few swigs from bottle of Jim Beam every day.

All I know for sure is I need to jump back on the wagon sometime soon. May as well be in this Silver Jubilee year because there's no fucking way at this rate I'd be able to keep treading this crazy-ass wheel until the Golden Anniversary rolls 'round.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Tamp The Tude

I's gotsta "tamp the tude" today 'coz  I be triggered!

I haven't posted about work lately 'cause really things have been rather ho hum. Until recently.

First off, my annual review which was conducted a full month late, was not as sterling as it's been in the past. Why? My supervisor said the 3-11 shift has complained that during some recent busy times (like the scabies outbreak...yeah, right on the heels of the bedbug crisis...this place looks all posh but pull back a metaphorical layer or two and you see the scummy, disgusting underbelly) I was not helpful and shit. I reminded her that in fact I bent over backwards to help, jumping in to help with med deliveries and even application of scabies cream on one resident who refused it for all other staff.

I told her that I think the person saying this shit about me (no I didn't use language like that, this place is too uptight for that) is Michelle because I called her out one night since she repeatedly takes forever to complete her duties running herself into overtime. I was trying to be pro-management in that I knew her game: she was purposely procrastinating shit so she would end up with a few minutes overtime each night for "approved reasons."

My supervisor was playing dumb like she never knew that some employees play that game. And the sad thing is I think she really was clueless. Her management style is so "Mommy Loves You!" with her subordinates, bringing in food all the time and even sharing some inside info that is really none of any one outside of management's business with her "family" of "coworkers." She's one of these managers that still think she's "one of the gang" and that everyone "has her back." Well, she's got a lot to learn about entry-level employee mindset, especially here in Florida.

Some are just outright sneaky motherfuckers looking to fuck over their employer every chance they get. Especially prevalent among black people. My theory: they equate having to answer to "a boss" and "follow the company rules" with "obeying massa" especially if the company, as it is here, is white "owned." (We're a non-profit so it isn't owned per se but the Board of Directors, CEO, CFO, Clinical Director and Jessica, whatever her fuckin' title is, are all white.)

So my supervisor said she "put in" for my 3% merit raise but "hasn't got it yet." That was two pay periods ago and I still "haven't got it yet." My suspicion is I'm at the ceiling. I mean, they've got to be asking themselves: "Are we going to increase the highest paid caregiver in the place yet again?"

Oddly enough, Anthony (formerly Tony but now the queen doesn't want to be called Tony anymore) was telling us after shift report last Sunday morning that although he's back now as part time, when he was full time a few years back he was one of a bunch of employees, including admin level like the then-HR Director, that got fired because they made too much. Made me gulp silently 'cause I don't know who knows I make what I do.

And now, last night (well, what you would call "last night"...I call it earlier today).

One of the residents gets a midnight dose of antibiotics, I bring it to him in his room. He punches out the pills from the bubble pack cards and I bid him goodnight. Did I see him actually swallow them? No. He's not the type to cheek meds or otherwise fuck around so I didn't play Nurse Ratched with him.

My co-worker, the new black girl (yes she's like the fuckin' fifth one or somethin') brings this guy his 6 am dose. Well, she sees some pills lying on his counter top and asks him about them. He says "Michael gave them to me and I put them there and forgot to take them." She brings them back to the Health Center and tells me what the resident said. I'm looking at her like..."What the fuck dude, this is a med error, are you shittin' me?" and tell her "I'll take care of it." I mull over what to do. Of course if it were me, I'd keep quiet about it and dispose of the pills and that would be that. No worries. I'd do it for anyone. It's only antibiotics for cryin' out loud.

But she's a Glory to the Lord Bible-thumper so of course she has a big moral dilemma with "covering up" this. Oh but if I was black she'd back me up. Since I'm a white devil, she's not throwing a single bone my way. So I say, well go ahead and write up the med error and I'll add my response (which is the proper way to do it) but she's also really reticent to "take charge" of anything, preferring to continually play dumb and defer to me to make all the tough decisions. Well, not this time bitch. You want to throw me under the bus, you best get a running start 'cause I's a big ol' fat cracker!

So if I get fired over this shit, at least I said my piece on it. Now I just have to "tamp the tude" when I see her again tonight (or what I call tomorrow) or that too will be held against me in the Court of Estrogen-flooded Law of Lakewood.