Anyone reading this needs to know that I write things on my blog and to the various sites I post to because I want to keep these things as a journal of some sort (everything gets archived)… take the following with a grain of salt, and be warned that I will be using… descriptive language… this is cathartic, I like writing, and I really want my kids and their kids (etc.) to have my history, so :P
Saying three good things lets you say one bad thing right?
In the past week I have had three absolutely incredible things happen to me and one tragic. Fuck saying they’re related, but I feel I should add more positive than negative.
Positives. Two of my best friends, guys that have been there for me forever announced that they were going to have a kid and that they had a kid this week. Hell yeah! It’s absolutely incredible that my friends are having kids. I am sooooo excited to have my kids meet their kids. Ridiculously happy for you guys.
I also had an absolutely incredible couple days with my girls while Kel was off having fun. We got to tour the new school they’ll be going to next year and got to explore a new park. I’ve been trying to do this “explore a new park every weekend” thing with the girls after realizing we have a ton of parks in Madison. It’s been really good and I’ve had an awesome time bonding with all three girls.
And then tragedy hit this morning.
I found out a really good friend of mine from Ohio, Mark, committed suicide. This was a mentor of mine. He was one of the VPs of the company I used to worked for. An extremely small company. He was a guy that you’d go to when you needed to bitch about shit. Examples. One of the guys in accounting making your life hell? Talk about it to Mark. Your boss, the only other actuary in the company, decides to leave the company? Talk to Mark. Thinking about leaving your current employer, where Mark is the VP and has a vested interest? Still talk to Mark. DAMNIT man why didn’t you talk to ME?!?
I am very “I don’t know” over this..
I am angry. Very angry. I know he has two kids that are still young and as a parent I don’t understand how he could abandon them like this. Kel and I have been planning a trip to Columbus for awhile now and Mark was my #1 that I wanted my kids to meet. Are these feelings selfish? Are they justified? I have no clue. But F you for making me wonder Mark.
At the same time, THANK YOU for being the person you were. I honestly don’t think I would have made it out of Ohio (honestly, I needed this) without Mark’s guidance. He confided in me that I should be looking for another job when he was specifically told not to this. He gave our board of directors a big middle finger by doing that. He also told me to get a “contingent contract” with the company after shit got bad. This was a contract where if I lost my job, FOR ANY REASON (including being fired), I was to be paid $100K. I had no idea I could ask for something like that (I thought it was ridiculous), because I didn’t know my value to the company, but he (damn man) told me straight up to ask the CEO for this. I thought he was a fool for suggesting it. But when I brought it up to the company’s CEO (remember, small company)… The CEO gave it to me. This was a HUGE security policy in a really rough time of mine and Kellie’s life.
Mark was a voice of sanity. After my boss left (the only other actuary in the company, the head actuary of the company), our *parent* company’s head actuary came to visit me. This was a hilarious meeting. In hindsight I realize she couldn’t outright say that our particular sub-entity was failing, but all she did in the meeting was point (literally, non-verbally) to specific values in our annual statement that pointed out, as I know now with substantially more experience, showed that our company was fucked.
After this meeting, things got really… “crazy” at our company. I was suddenly asked to do quite a bit more responsibility-wise and didn’t have enough hours in the day to get the job done “adequately”. As someone who was still trying to take actuarial exams, and was trying to start a family, this was a shit-ton of stress. And here was Mark through it all telling me that it wasn’t that big of a deal in the “grand scheme of things” and that I shouldn’t worry about it. He was right. Voice. of. sanity.
I can’t tell you how many times Mark calmed me down and made me feel that “every thing will be alright”. From talking to other past co-employees, I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. He had a lot of us, pretty much in the same boat. We all looked up to him. He had this great sense of humor. It almost demanded that every situation be more than humorous. Almost surreal. We were all on this sinking ship, and he was the jester telling us that everything was “ok” while at the same time telling us that we should really find a life preserver. My current employer told me that he gave me an incredible reference. I am eternally grateful. I’m sure he gave my co-workers the same.
I’m shaking writing this now, it upsets me so much… I really wish I would have paid more attention to Mark after he decided to “retire” after our company got “bought”. I realize now that this was the company he started working at after college (Harvard!) and that he basically brought the company into the computer age (he was the VP of IT). Looking through the past comments on my personal blog, you’re sure to see a few chides where Mark dissed my use of Linux (he was a MS stalwart). He went through a HUGE life change, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t easy…
If you are a friend of mine, and if you are reading this you probably are… please know you can call on me anytime. I won’t try to talk you into why you’re loved or any of that shit. But I WILL listen. If you are a facebook friend, my number is a part of my profile. If you aren’t, you can get it through my contact page. Send me an e-mail. If I’ve friended you on facebook, you can guarantee that you’re one my friends that I actually give a shit about. PLEASE. If you aren’t a friend on face book, please use the contact page on my blog.
The implication: If all the HIV-infected people in the world got the drugs, the 30-year-old pandemic could be brought to an end. Nobody expects that to happen overnight, maybe not ever. But the administration’s chief AIDS strategist is leading a what-if discussion within the government.
This needs to happen.
Great interview with a former Army interrogator on why it is STILL wrong to use torture as an interrogation technique (surprise, surprise) and not just for moral reasons.
And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.
Go BioWare! Found via Twenty Palaces.
Ugh… So pissed about this. I initially thought this had to be an early April Fool’s joke…
Walker turned down $810M in federal money to build a light rail infrastructure based both on the principle of accepting money from the federal gov and because he felt that maintaining an “unproven” light rail system would be too expensive. Now he’s asking for $150M in federal money (where’d your supposed principles about accepting federal money go?) to maintain a rail system that is estimated to be 16 times more expensive to maintain?
Tuesday afternoon, several Madison Police officers were monitoring a crowd of around 100 protesting outside of the M&I; Bank, 1 W. Main St., when Sen. Glenn Grothman approached. Demonstrators allowed Sen. Grothman to pass, but some were verbally abusive to the lawmaker. When Sen. Grothman exited the bank, he was also subjected to angry words, but as he walked away a man hugged Sen. Grothman. An officer reported that Grothman did not appear to enjoy the embrace, and was able to squirm away. The officer came up to the man and told him it is not okay to put hands on people who do not wish contact. The man told the officer he had no idea who Sen. Gorthman was, but that he hugged him because,” I loved him.” He added that he loves “everyone,” and that he decided to hug Grothman because he was wearing a suit, like the one the man used to wear when he worked in insurance. The man told the officer that he is the “peace walker,” that he had trekked here from Las Vegas, and that he is considering running for president. He also asked the officer if he knew “Snoop Dog.” The officer said he did not, and again told the man not to touch people who do not want to be touched.