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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hole in the Wall

Good evening everybody - who's ready for today's post?

First and foremost, welcome to my pal Gary - the first international user here, hopefully not the last.

Next, in my pondering of what might stir up a good post AND instill a little sense of community here within the group, I came up with an excellent idea for a post, with a little help from a friend. Basically - a little personal survey because come on - who doesn't like talking about themselves? So anyways, I've swiped these 10 topics to discuss about yourself, it will give the rest of us a good idea of where you're coming from (more or less) and get us all a bit more open with each theory, once again. Also, please elaborate - open ended answers drive conversations.

Personal Survey
  1. First Name: Nathan. I'm not particularly sure how I feel about the name Nathan, or to be more specific - Nathaniel. The entire concept of being named by your parents is somewhat self - defeating in my mind. A name should be reflective of one's self and while I may or may not be a Nathan, in terms of generalizing a name, sometimes I don't feel like one. That being said, I anticipate naming my own children - Tori and I already have names picked out, whether we actually go with them or not, I don't know. We're assuming 2 boys (August Always, Sebastian Royce) and 2 girls (Anna Marie Kimberly (I'll call her Kayla Lynn because I'm like that), Kahlan Veda), but we'll see.

  2. Age: 22, although I'm less than a month away from 23. I'm not really sure how I feel about age either - it's a tricky subject. I still have to pause and think about it when someone asks me how old I am because, frankly, I don't feel like I'm 22. I work with people much older than me, my employees are older than my mom, and I'm the youngest of my group of friends... At times, I feel older than my age - maybe it's the stresses of work, I never felt that way at Taco Bell...maybe it's just getting older and I'm multiplying the effect in my mind. At other times, however, I feel younger than my age - this is probably because I have no bearing on where I'm supposed to be at this stage...some of my friends are done with college and have moved on to good jobs, others have messed around and are still working near minimum wage jobs and then I'm there in the middle - I'm working management, going to school, where do I go from here? Where do I fit in? It's very contradicting and confusing.

  3. Location: Kalamazoo, MI. The real question here should be - how long will I be here? As soon as I'm done with school, I'm hoping to find myself a job elsewhere so I can move. I've got nothing against Kalamazoo, at least something compared to how I felt when I left for college, but overall - I think the town doesn't offer me as much as other towns could. As I mentioned in various other posts, I'm looking for a suburb of a major city, I think, but where I truly land - I have no idea at this point.
  1. Occupation/Education: Well, first and foremost, I work as a housekeeping manager up in Allegan, which is a good 45 minute drive to the northwest of Kalamazoo. I also go to school, ITT Tech in the programming department, in Grand Rapids, which is a good hour drive north of Kalamazoo (an hour northeast of Allegan as well). All in all, because of these two factors, I'm dropping a quarter of my paycheck ($200-250) on gas every other week. Right now work is pretty hectic and even before everything else that's going on, I was questioning my satisfaction in the work. I've never been truly unhappy doing the job (I was miserable at Taco Bell, which was my previous employer), but I'm rarely satisfied with my work either. I find myself struggling often because, quite frankly, I'm not a clean guy...I'm not a total slob, but when asked to spot little detail things that I'm expected to and required to notice. I'm currently looking, albeit somewhat passively, for something different. I'm even willing to take a slight pay cut if it's in Kalamazoo, to offset all the driving. I have a potential interview at my dad's work, but it's still thirty minutes away and it's more of a pay cut than I might be willing to take given the drive still exists. As for school - I'm about a year away from an associates and I love programming, I honestly can't wait until I'm done. On the other hand, this associates I'm getting isn't going to get me very far and the local ITT doesn't offer the bachelor program from programming, which means either I get lucky and end up with a new job in a town with an ITT that has the bachelor program, or I have to find a new school to finish off that degree so I can really make a splash in the business world when I'm done. Therefore, both of these places are in complete limbo and that's just about the short end of it.

  2. Partner: I'm married! I know, crazy, right? Well, I'm married to a wonderful woman, Tori (Victoria) who loves me despite all my problems. We met at BD's Mongolian BBQ, which is an excellent restaurant here in town (it's a chain, I was familiar with them prior to them opening here). My roommates at the time and I would go two or three (or more) times a week and eventually, I got to know most of the waitresses pretty well, and overtime we met and talked and then we hung out one day and since then, we've only been apart a total of 5 nights...literally, we spent that first night together and most night since then. We've been married for over two years now and it's not always easy, but we make it through somehow. The funny part about our marriage is that 1) we eloped on our third month anniversary and 2) on our one month anniversary, she totaled my car and THAT was when I knew I'd marry her. So we're not traditional, but we're happy and that's all that matters, isn't it?

  3. Kids: As I already mentioned, we plan on having four kids (right now), although we admit that the number may change as we discover the harsh reality and troubles of actually raising children. We both love children, although we both have clear flaws when it comes to children (patience, ability to be serious) that we know we will have to greatly improve before the big day arrives. Currently we are off birth control, in case you were wondering, and taking a "if it happens, it happens" approach - we're not putting any pressure on ourselves to pop one out this year or anything, but we think we're ready enough now that we're willing to give it a shot.

  4. Pets: We have two wild and crazy dogs - Henri (Henrik) and Cuppie (Cummupins - pronounced like Comeuppance). The former is a Beagle/Bassett Hound (we think) and the latter is a Beagle/Jack Russell. Basically - they are the most fun on four feet and everyone loves them...even if Cuppie tends to get into people's faces all too often. We hope, when we move, to get a place with bit more land for them to run around in (with a fence because neither would hesitate to run away, unfortunately) and likely get a cat someday as well, although I think the adjustment for the two troublemakers to a cat would be a bit of a stretch, so we'll see. We'll have to be very careful as to how we approach that future. I also have fish ambitions, but no plans to implement those as of any time soon.

  5. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:
    1. School: As I already mentioned, this is an ongoing process in my life. When I graduated high school, I got a full ride to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) which gave me the best 12 months (approximately four quarters) of my life, but unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of anywhere with my time there as far as education goes. I started out as a mechanical engineer, unfortunately - it turns out, that's not what I wanted to be, so I jumped over to accounting (after my father) and then ran to mathematics (my strength) prior to calling it quits - I had lost my scholarship because of grades, I was working part time at Taco Bell again to afford things and overall, I didn't see why spending 30k/year to figure out what I want to do with my life would be beneficial to anybody. So I dropped out, moved to Kalamazoo, and now I'm going to ITT for programming, which I could have taken at RIT but alas...didn't realize my own potential in that field at the time. Write it off as a youthful indiscretion and move on. I have more friends from my time at RIT than high school, and I really wish I had kept up with more of them more often...hopefully I can trick some of them into joining me here.
    2. Work: So I started working at Taco Bell when I was 15, before my 19th birthday I was a manager and before my 20th birthday, an assistant store manager and just after that, I worked as an interim store manager for 2 months. Shortly after that, however, I quit. I quit Taco Bell because they hired someone to take the place of store manager and after six months in a three month training they still didn't know anything, so when put in charge - everything fell apart and who was called upon to fix it? It was very frustrating that I was not thought of as "mature" enough and didn't take my responsibility "seriously" enough for consideration for promotion. In retrospect, I can see their point, but I'm still a tad bitter in their decision to pass me over when I knew my stuff better than anyone else who had held the position before me and I'm guessing, since. After a month of unemployment, which was heartbreaking for me, I landed my present job which has been a roller coaster ride if nothing else. In my two years in the nursing home business, I've been in two buildings full time - I've had 5 administrators, 6 director of nurses and countless other admin positions cycling in and out like months in a year. In my 21 months at [my building], I've become the second most senior person in morning meetings (in terms of longevity in present position), which I guess says something about my abilities in my own position, but really - the place is in constant turnover and recent events guarntee another year, if not more, of the same. Very frustrating. Also, I hate dealing with employees - hiring, firing, etc...all a big headache I'd be better off avoiding, in my opinion. Oh well, not really an option, is it? A large part of me doesn't see myself as management material, but I guess a large majority of others I'm kind of stuck at this point.
    3. Health: Well, overall I'm a pretty healthy guy, I'd say - I could shed a few pounds, if I'm being honest with myself. Right now, however, my biggest concern is my left shoulder which I dislocated in January of '06. When I dislocated, the doctor's told me that my cartilage hadn't healed back correctly and I would someday require surgery in order to repair the damage. Well, unfortunately, I think this day may come sooner rather than later, as lately my arm has been popping out much easier and frequently than the two years prior, which is increasingly painful, not to mention the soreness and stiffness. I have an appointment on the 5th with my new doctor and I plan on getting the ball rolling on getting the surgery done so I can have my arm back to full ability.
    4. Leisure: Right now, I spend most of my time playing Tribal Wars, although I'm hoping to get back into the Sims 2 (as soon as I get Apartment Life...come on birthday money) and maybe even Spore someday soon. Besides that, I'm all about music and (American) football. Seeing as autumn is rolling in nicely, it's almost time for the NFL season and I couldn't be more excited. My other love, music, is one obsession that I hope will never die, although it has taken a recent backseat because of monetary issues. I used to buy 2 or 3 CDs a week, at one point, but recently, I'll be lucky to get that in a three month span. I'm hoping someday to get back to my new music hounding ways.
    5. Miscellaneous: See I put this on here as a kind of free section to talk about whatever, however - I've already typed so much and covered so many aspects of my life, I really don't have much to go on. Feel free to put something of your own here though.

  6. Family: Well - my mom works in Washington, D.C. for the secretary of defense, which isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds. My dad works in Plainwell (thirty minutes north of Kalamazoo), but lives in Marshall (thirty minutes east of Kalamazoo), so he suffers the same as me when it comes to driving. I have two half-brothers (brothers from another mother, as I like to remind them). Doug, the eldest (October 1979) lives in California, is a divorced, but now engaged and is awesome because he works for Google (which is actually more exciting than it sounds) - I too wish to get in good with Google, if through him or through my own skills. My other brother, Jamie (January 1981) lives in Vicksburg (thirty minutes south of Kalamazoo). He is married with two kids - Jessie (4) and Cody (2). Cody is cool because he's built like an offensive lineman and laughs every time he falls down, even if he hits his head on the table or something. Jessie is a character - she once stabbed me in the eye with a fork while I was napping and I plan on bringing that up the rest of my life. Jamie works for Flowserve, which produces industrial seals and whatnot, it's actually the largest international company based in Kalamazoo with a net worth well over 1 mil, or something like that (I suppose 1 mil isn't that much in modern times, is it?). Pretty neat. As for my wife's family - I went from no sisters to four (Erica - the missing one (I've only met her twice), Lexi, Lauren and Morgan) and got to add a brother (Parker). Thus far, I have no qualms with them...I probably have more beefs with my various sides of family than them, so that's good I suppose.

  7. Friends: Finally, #10 - I have only one true friend of note and that's Josh. I spend all the time I can with Josh and he is my undeniable heterosexual life partner. I have other friends, in theory and in mutual respect, but in terms of spending an abundant amount of time with a person and sharing otherwise private information - Josh is only beat out by my wife and no one else comes close.
So that's it - feel free to copy down the questions and write out your own responses. Sorry for my short story worth of self promotion, but I had a good time. Maybe that's what I'm in this for - getting to see myself type up massive amounts of nothing, just for the satisfaction of forcing others to read my run-on sentences. Seriously though, something about seeing my little fingers jump across the keyboard and see my thoughts displayed so uniformly on a computer screen...something about that, I don't amazes me. That's it for tonight - tomorrow, culture versus pop culture, night. I mean - ta.

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