So... a brief recap of the last few weeks. The journal went on hiatus because of a misunderstanding between myself and somebody very, very important to me. We each had knee-jerk reactions, which fueled further knee-jerk reactions. I took my journal on hiatus, then took it entirely offline until we had a chance to reconcile. Yes, I was a jerk, I admit it. I overreacted. You'd never expect that from me, right? No, it's certainly not conceivable. *snickers faintly*
Tonight's major theme is, I think, forgiveness and grudges. I've spoken of grudges before. I talked for a while about what it takes to earn a grudge from me, how to earn a lasting grudge, and various other things. As some folks are aware, yakkette and I had a bit of a falling out a while ago because of LJ. I admit it, I made a decision that wasn't top-notch and earned a place on Kette's shit list. It wasn't without reason by any means, so I didn't argue it with her. I was chatting on #WT the other night and the topic happened to come up. I don't have the words she spoke verbatim, as I didn't log it (I rarely log anything) but it was along the lines of "I try not to hold grudges against people. If, for example, I stayed pissed off at people online I'd have no friends whatsoever online." I took the opportunity to express my thanks, as I shouldn't be burning any more bridges than I already have. The last four months have seen a number of them go up in flames rivaling the fabled Chicago Fire.
I'm not good at forgiveness. Usually when my dander is ruffled, it stays that way. It seems like once my ire has been invoked there is precious little that can put it back down again. This is primarily a behavior I have inhereted from my father, via his genes or via learned behavior, I don't know which. It's a pretty lousy goddamn behavior, I'll put it that way. I don't make snap judgements most of the time, but if a perceived slight has gone too far, or there's a long running history of problems, I seem to have a breaker upstairs in my head that just goes *KER-THUNK* in regards to that person and shut off. I've cut people out of my life before because of it, almost always with reason, in a last-ditch effort for self-preservation (Witness my total cut-off of relations with Fenioxx, the ex-girlfriend Christine, and the ex-associate Rhiannon, for beginners). These were all folks that were causing me irrevocable harm. Kette, on the other hand, had caused me no harm. It was quite the other way around, really.
Yet, somehow, she was able to forgive me. Maybe not fully, and I doubt she'll ever trust me to the same extent again, but in this day and age I will take what I can get. Anything else is hopeless pandering or kissing up. I don't believe in that sort of thing. Regardless, she has given me some form of forgiveness. I look back and wonder if I could... if I ever will do something of that caliber. I somehow doubt I could. I believe that quite clearly makes her a better person than I.
Since we're on the topic of forgiveness.... This is a good point to briefly take a moment and examine current events. Attacks have been progressing upon targets in Afghanistan for over 36 hours. I don't think this is a good solution. But, I believe, it's is the best solution left to us given the situation. There is no One True Answer to resolving this, unfortunately. Not a single one, no matter what any side tells you. We (the U.S.A.), as a country, have made some bad mistakes in our past. We aren't perfect by any means. We try to do what we see as right. We have, in this case, brought some of this misery upon ourselves via our constant tinkering in world politics. I don't mean to say that the murder of over 6,000 innocents is right or warranted by any means. But this was also not an unprovoked attack, and we do have to see the other side of the fence. If Osama bin Laden is indeed the party responsable for this, he is also doing what he thought was right. In a sense, he has a ruthless sort of logic behind his reasoning, the same sort of ruthless logic America employed all those many years ago with our own Revolution... or with our own Civil War. Each side thought it was on the side of Righteousness and Reason. It wasn't even a matter of religion, which I think all parties will acknowledge is a pretty powerful motivator, one that has brought us not only great accomplishments but great atrocities. It's a "mixed blessing" at best, I guess.
So, to get back on the topic of "forgiveness." I wish there was some way to get both sides to forgive the other, to encourage a reconciliation and better understanding. A changing of methods and beliefs that meet halfway, and a forgiveness that prevents further violence from continuing.
A pipe dream, I know. But, well, one has to try once in a while. Even when you're a pessimistic realist like myself, well, one has to try or utterly lose faith in humanity.
Last week was all about training for me. I was attending class at the local Hewlett-Packard education center, learning how better to operate the software we have purchased from them to manage our network and alert us to trouble. I had two very talented instructors leading the class, and classmates who were intelligent and just as eager as I to learn the software. We had some very amusing incidents, the one that sticks in my mind the most being the part where the rubber tip from one instructor's pointer coming loose, bouncing about the room, and landing in my coffee. That even made its way into my course review when the week was done. It was nice to get a week off from work, as such, I must say. Even though the hours were the same, the fact I didn't have to attend inane meeting after inane meeting, deal with my boss, or handle trouble tickets... it all was very restful for me. Until I found out my boss was gunning for my head on Tuesday or Wednesday. It seems he was peeved I wasn't answering helpdesk tickets. This irks me for two reasons. One, the Help Desk and my manager apparently COMPLETELY IGNORED the repeated notices I sent out (Even on Monday of last week) stating I was going to be absent for training and not answering tickets. The "Help Desk" ( a more ironic name has never been chosen ) just blithely continued on, assigning me tickets as if I was still there. Two, I guess my annoyance couldn't have anything to do with the fact that my boss was trying to assasinate my character and my reputation while I was out of the office? He evidentally misunderstood the network of friends I have there: I heard everything he said and did while I was gone. Not one of his slights against me slipped by my ears.
Fortunately my supervisor ran interference for me, but frankly I plan to confront my boss about this tomorrow after our (sigh) weekly staff meeting. I will not tolerate having my manager making crazed accusations after me because he doesn't comprehend even basic things. There are four network engineers. FOUR OF US. One might think that I could be left alone for a whopping five days and the other three could handle anything that might come up without me. That's what I'm told, anyways, when I'm told how much of a peon I am because I don't have any degrees or certifications to my name. Yet why WERE people calling for my assistance while I was gone? Why COULDN'T my coworkers handle "routine" maintenance? Hmm... such an interesting series of questions. Maybe, just maybe, I have a clue about what it is I do for a living, and a fairly good idea how things work around there?
Naww, couldn't be. That's a totally unrealistic conclusion to reach.
So I did training last week. Friday night my apartment was the converging place for chebutykin and jenwolf, as well as aureth. We met up with roho, who had parents visiting from town. We ate dinner, had some beer, and then came back to my place to watch movies. Aureth crashed here for the night, did brunch with us the next day, then went off to his MFF meetings. When he returned we all trooped up to the Allstate Arena to watch the hockey game. Jen write a good review on that, and Aureth and Roho have both commented on the dinner. We watched another movie and, when all was said and done, I slipped off to bed for the night. Jen had to work Sunday afternoon so she left fairly early in the morning. My only problem was I had a migraine that could have knocked down a rampaging bull, so I slept in until 11:30-ish in the morning. I got up, chatted with Cheb, then took her out to Mitsuwa Marketplace, where I bought her lunch at the much-loved Dragon Boat. We wandered around there for a while, then went up to the Woodfield Mall, where I procured a new remote DVD playback controller for my Playstation 2. I can't believe Sony sat on this device for almost a year -- it's criminal how good this is, and how long we PS2 owners had to wait for it. While it lacks in some features (pass-through operation of a controller, for one) it more than makes up for it in form and function. I have to say this is a must-have for any PS2 owner.
I spent Sunday evening chatting on the IRC. I heard about our strikes with the assistance from Great Britan via #WT around 4:30pm. Talk about a shock there. A few more hours were spent chatting, then I ate dinner, took a phone call from Jen, slept for a while and then was woken up at around 10pm by a phone call from my old friend Heather. I haven't spoken with her in months, sadly enough. So I killed an hour or two talking to her -- it was nice. We caught up on things, lamented the passage of time and Things That Used To Be, I got updated on Don's status in Las Vegas, and essentially had a bit of that "Warm fuzzy" feeling spoken of so often by the time I got off the call. Iwent to bed, got up this morning, and went to work. Tons of voicemails in my box, lots of emails for me to read (I'm upat 600+ right now), tickets to work and I had to attend a few stupid meetings as well. Such a tragic waste of time...
Oh well. If I survive this week, then I can survive next week. After that I will escape to Wisconsin, and spend a quiet (and hopefully romantic) weekend with my sweetie in a fairly remote hotel. We'll do some sight-seeing (I haven't seen the Frank Lloyd Wright studio, for example) and go walking out in the woods, taking in the fall colors. I'll definately benefit from the time away from my job. I just hope I don't have to be on call that weekend, because if I do I'm going to have to try and swap it off with somebody else so I can be free and not worry about the two hour travel distance restriction, which magically changed to 1.5 hours in the new official document. Suckage beyond all belief.
Anyways, it is late, and I have written a great deal of nothing already. Tomorrow will see another entry.
Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong, but maybe it's the only way