Friday, October 29, 2004

I think I needed a change ... so here it is. Our Lady of Peace may not be my favorite band but I do enjoy their music every now and then. I've always liked the picture on the cover of this album too.

I passed my blueprint class with a 90%, yea for me!! I absolutely, positively, sucked major ass on the mechanical and plumbing sections. I think that's probably due to the fact that I hate mechanical and plumbing drawings. And that's probably due to the fact that I hate tracing tubes and wires through walls and natural grade. It's stupid. I'm just glad I don't have to do it every day. If I did do it every day, I think my eyes would roll backwards and I'd crash on my desk for 8 hours a day. Course I'd prolly get fired but I wouldn't care because I hate mechanical and plumbing work anyway. Although, nothing would be worse than being a disgruntled out-of-work mechanical and plumbing hater.

.....i have to get back to work.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I was so good at scheduling classes in both high school and college that I feel it's suitable I officially dub myself "the queen of time coordination". In high school, classes were difficult to arrange because you had to follow a certain curriculum and we weren't allow to skip the dumb classes. However, my senior year, I still ended up with two free hours for an entire year. First semester, they were the last two hours of the day so I got to leave early and second semester, one free hour was before lunch (so I had a two hour lunch basically) and one was the last hour of school again. It was awesome. AND THEN I came to college. I had, in all four years, one eight oclock class and it was during my very first semester ever. However, even though I had an eight oclock class, I had Tuesday and Thursday off so I made up for it in the end. Every year after that I had not one class before 10am and had at least 1 day a week I didn't have to go to school; whether or not that day was techinically legit is another story. Anyway, so my senior year turned out to be the best of college too. I ended up having Monday, Friday, and half of Wednesday off which proved to be the sickest schedule ever. It was awesome.

SOOOO "the queen of time coordination" is at it again. The wedding is a vacation day gold mine and I'm proud to say that I helped plan that schedule. But there are several advantages that go with that too. First, my out of town family gets to come, stay for an entire week (although I won't be there), and spend thanksgiving together; something they haven't done in probably decades. Second, Thanksgiving gives all the out of town family an excuse to fly out here with is great, I love seeing them. Third, it's the best date (keeping read and you'll find out why), and it's far enough away from Christmas that it gives people a nice break in between. NOW I can explain why it's a VACATION DAY GOLD MINE yesssss!

I have managed to squeeze five vacation days out of the big guy and I'm VERY excited about it. And now you'll know why. I'm taking 5 vacation days and I'll officially be paid for seven AND I won't have to go to work for 11 days total - almost two weeks! YES! Don't understand? Here's how it works, I'm taking off Thursday the 18 and Friday the 19th. Then I have Saturday for the wedding, and Sunday for traveling. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for the following week are actual work days I took off for vacation, Thursday and Friday are office holidays, and Saturday and Sunday are normal weekend days off. That's in total, 11 days off, including 5 paid vacation, 2 holiday, and 4 weekend days. KICK ASSS.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

i got to the end of the road and kept walking. i didn't stop to wonder why the path wasn't as clear as it once was, i just continued to walk.

Monday, October 25, 2004

I can't sleep.
This weekend was fun. I didn't really do much of anything at home on Saturday except sleep in and go shopping for light bulbs, door knobs, and bathroom paint. When I did finally get goin, it was about the time we left for kzoo. We met up with Axel, Alicia, JoeD, Heather, Ryan, Jon, and Jen soon after we got there and had a few drinks. It was a pseudo-shower type thing which was tres cool cause we got the most awesomist stuff ever.

Then we went back to Ryan and Jen's place and sat around for a bit before crashin on the pull out. It was incredibly sweet of them to have us. We can't wait to show 'em the same hospitality when they come to detroit. We had a really good time.

Sunday, we decided it would be a good idea to give the bathroom its first coat of new paint. I must say, it looks a lot better than the old yellow sponge paint but it was a lot of work. Friday night we started taking things off the wall so that we could paint; one of things being the vanity. Yea, we took all the screws out, lifted the giant thing down, and WHOA NELLY. There's a big gaping hole in the wall!!! It looks like someone didn't like the original vanity, took it out of the wall, and just put up a larger one to cover up the hole. I guess it's not a big deal because now we can get one that will set into the wall but still, it was a shocker. Anyway, we finished the first coat and I'll probably work on the second one tonight. After that, I have to do the door and the closet then I'll be done. Finally a light at the end of the bathroom journey! I'm going to do some custom work in there too - I hope it turns out nice. It'll be the first time I venture off of plain paper or canvas - I'll have to practice. :) I'm excited though, if it goes well, I might consider doing more throughout the house. I love working on my house.....I really really do.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I know I talk about this a lot but it's difficult for me not to mention anything about something so big in my life.

Work. I started this job with very little knowledge of roofing and crude sense of management developed through many years of volunteering, soccer, and school. I've had, to this day, no formal 'commercial roofing' training and I've attended not one single business class from the commencement of my college career to graduation last April. Basically, if I had to submit my resume, my resume would read: "Past Experience: Absolutely positively none whatsoever." Thankfully I didn't have to do that because my brother and I are the only ones in Michigan who the business knew well enough to trust, especially in times like these. Yes, you read it right, I in fact wrote "times like these". According to our accountant, my mother, this year is one of the top ten worst years for the roofing business in all 25 years of her career. Business is up however material prices are skyrocketing because of nationwide shortages causing customers to go overbudget and business to scramble to keep prices down AND get work. Some are starving for jobs and will so low to get one, they'll do it at cost. That's nearly impossible to compete with when you need profit to make up the jobs you took a loss on. It's insane.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that in nearly 6 months, I've learned so much about not only roofing but business as well. I've gained a few more points on the confidence scale and I'm feeling a little more comfortable where I am now. I don't know everything yet but I finally feel like I'm moving towards some sort of goal. it's a good feeling. It's nice.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Check it out dude! One month from today I can say I'm someone's wife. That's........really freakin scary. I mean only five short years ago, I was a senior in high school. IN HIGH SCHOOL. I can't believe it. I thought I'd be drivin my trooper blue police suburban pullin over speeders or investigating crimes by now. Or if I'd went with my first dream, I would've been dressed in blue by day and geared up for battle one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Well, not really for battle because women aren't allowed on tanks, jeeps, or anywhere else even remotely related to the first line....so I'd just be dressed for desk duty..but still. If I'd gone with the third dream, I'd be in law school right now, livin in the River Front Towers and wakin up to the sunrise over Canada. I'd be on the fast track to a starting salary of 80,000 workin for the government, a debt in excess of 50,000 smackeroos, and a chance to learn how to fill prisons with drug addicts and thieves. But alas, I did not choose those dreams, I settled for the alternative; assuming my proper place as heiress to a small throne that I'll share with my brother. Did I give up? I don't know yet.

I do know that today is Oct 20th and my wedding in on Nov 20th. Dude, I would be at the salon gettin my hair did right now. CRAZY. Crazy, Crazy, Crazy.

This is weird. I'm doin it but I'm scared.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Well we're still working on the house. We've dabbled with minor construction in the bathroom and we've made some progress. We're just being lazy and broke I think. We'll try and have it finished by the wedding. (EMPHASIS ON "TRY")

I have to ask for more money this afternoon....otherwise I lose a contract. I hate asking for money. I hate it. It's like having to go to the dentist. I hate the dentist.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Dilemma.

Let's say I've been wanting to build this massive metal sculpture for almost 3 years. I've been researching metal suppliers and I've been reading about welding kits so when it came time to build, I had it all planned out. I even took a class so that I could be trained to weld properly. Although I'd still doubted whether or not I'd do it, one day I finally said to myself "F it, I'm just going to build the sculpture".

So I'm just sittin around, calling up the metal dudes, when I find out that metal prices went up. So I think about it, grind my teeth a little, and buy what I need at the new price. Then I get a call, "Jackie, we don't have that welder in stock so you're going to have to wait till next month". I hang my head for an afternoon but I decide to wait. A few days pass and I get an email that reads: "Dear Jackie, the steel rods you needed to build this object have been discontinued. You might want to try such and such a size instead". I sigh in disappointment, call up the company, order the new rods, and tweek my design to fit the new steel. A week goes by and I find out that the metal has to be reordered and the price went up a few cents a foot. I grind my teeth a little more and hand over the credit card. At this point, I've waited over 10 weeks for everything to be set so that I can start fabricating this beautiful metal sculpture....

Now I know that after I build it, I'll make a whole lot of dough selling it but I don't know if I can put up with any more of this waiting crap. What can I do? Do I just stop trying? Or do I continue to cling to the hope that some day I'll be able to profit from this build?

This is so frustrating.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Important News Bulletin

For all the folks staying at a hotel the night of the wedding:

Baymont Inn
48953 Alpha Tech Drive
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone: (248) 735-2781


This is the closest one to the reception. Give 'em a ring and let 'em know if you're staying there pretty soon!




Thursday, October 07, 2004

you know what I miss most about college? When every single one of us were best of friends. Remember? We'd go out to the OP and talk about Smack Down and RAW while listening to Nopa sing every Thursday. Everyone but Jon out on the porch, talkin to Steve, laughin about Ryan and his supposed "gayness". Drinkin in the kitchen of 2116. Talkin about random shit. Fighting on blogger. Those are the times I miss the most.....I miss 'em a lot.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Sometimes I think I'm lost. Like I haven't found my niche yet. I mean, I'm a project manager in a small but very well known roofing business; I should be happy that I'm able to jump into it so young. I should be comfortable here but the truth is...I'm not. What's keeping me in this business right now is the belief that I know I can become great - and prove all these men wrong. I can make waves. I can become a threat and at the same time, a desirable employee. I have drive. It's just so frustrating. I'm young and have this naive sense of the business world. I'm shakey, I'm nervous, I'm new, and I don't really understand all of it. I know one day I'll just get it but sometimes I wish that day was today or yesterday or last Thursday..or whatever.

It's just frustrating. Frustrating being a woman too. Last week, a woman called looking to get a quote on her roof and our operator put her through to me. I got on the phone and danced with her for a minute - asking her what I could do for her and getting some prelim information about the roof. I couldn't believe it but eventually she just comes right out and tells me "well, I'm in the construction business and I'm not trying to be sexist or anything but I need to speak to a man. I mean I can hardly get up there and I just need to speak to a man." My blood started to boil but I'm willing to forget what just happened. "Well mam, I've been doing this for two years, is there a roof hatch in the building?" She feels she needs to repeat herself. "Well, I would rather speak to a man about getting up there, I mean I'm sure you're good and everything but honestly a man could get up there." My teeth are clenching now. "Well mam, there isn't another estimator in the office, I'll tell you what I can do, if you can give me your name and address I can have someone out there later this afternoon if that's ok." She pauses. "What time do the other estimators get in? Who can I talk to?" My face is on fire. "8am mam, call at 8am tomorrow morning." We hang up.

Yesterday, I bought a tire for my bike. I walked up to the counter at a dealership not far from my house and ask "I need a knobby to replace a 110/90 on a 18" wheel". The guy says he might have something in a 18" but he'll go check. I'm thinking well it's the end of the season, he might not and this is my last effort to look for a place that has one in stock. He comes back with a tire that's slightly bigger than what I wanted but I'm ok with it and I buy it. I'm finished signing everything and I pick up the tire and walk out to my car. On the way out, I get stopped by this salesman. He smiles, looks me square in the face, and says "you gonna put that on yourself?" I looked back at him with a now, 'what's wrong with you dick' look, and while holding myself back, I respond "yes." I walked passed him, out the door, and into my truck. I was having a decent day until him.

You know, people tell me I'm not suppose to care. They tell me "that's just the business and you shouldn't let it be personal". WELL screw you folks. You don't know what it's like to be new AND be excluded from the good ole boy's club. You don't know what it's like to be doubted not only because you're young and you're a novice - but because you're female. These people didn't even know me. The woman didn't know I grew up on roofs. The salesman didn't know I have been around bikes since I was five years old. What saddens me is that it didn't even occur to them that if I answer the phone at work or if I pick up a tire from a store, there's a good chance I know what I'm doing. I didn't just happen to pick up a random phone or I didn't just appear in a dealership - I was there for a reason.

How would you feel if you went to a book store, picked up a book, bought it, and then on your way out, a salesman says, "you gonna read that yourself?" ..... OR say you were a math teacher and someone calls you, knows you're a math teacher but still asks "I have a math questions, can I speak with another math teacher please?" It's rather insulting.

Monday, October 04, 2004

So normally Paul and I seldom leave our house (besides going to work everyday). I don't know why really, we just like to stay home I guess. Anyway, so when we do decide to leave the house for more than five minutes, we go nuts. Saturday night was the perfect example.

Saturday night:

8pm - Lindz and Scott show up and we head downtown.
9:30pm - 75 was closed at 8 mile and the lodge was closed at 94. Woodward was a slow ride.
10pm - found a parking spot right in front of Comerica Park. We walk over to the box office to buy tickets for the last Tigers game of the season and they're closed. DAMN! Eh, let's go eat.
10:15pm - Eating at Elmore's Bar & Grill. Two pints of Guiness and a Swiss Mushroom Burger. mmmmmmm.
11pm - Arrive at the Old Shillelagh but it's WAY busy and we wouldn't be able to get upstairs.
11:15pm - Arrive at The Well for a pint of guiness. Place smells like, honestly, old urine. Make Lindz chug a LaBatt and we're out.
11:45pm - Arrive at Foran's Irish Pub. Nice place, nice dj, 9 people and we made up 4. Drink a pint of guiness and we're out.
12:30am - Arrive at the Hard Rock Detroit. Kamakasi shots all around. Take a gander at the merchandise...and....we're out.
1am - Arrive at The Detroiter. Red Head Shots all around. Great live rock/jazz band, good crowd, nice wait staff. Two or three more pints of Guiness. Enter Jeremiah, Scott's Detroit cop friend. Nice but a little distant/standoffish I think. Jackie, Paul, and Scott are now super hammered.
1:45am - Things get a little fuzy here, I think this is about the time we left although I don't really remember walking back to the car.
3am - we got home?
3:45am - "Uh, Jackie, do you realize you're sleeping on the bathroom floor?" -Paul. "Oh Whoops. I guess I better go to bed then huh?" -Jackie now slightly sober.
Several Hours later
10am - Oh damn, I feel like absolute shit. Awe...shoot me.
6am this morning - Crap. I'm still hung over.
So normally Paul and I seldom leave our house (besides going to work everyday). I don't know why really, we just like to stay home I guess. Anyway, so when we do decide to leave the house for more than five minutes, we go nuts. Saturday night was the perfect example.

Saturday night:

8pm - Lindz and Scott show up and we head downtown.
9:30pm - 75 was closed at 8 mile and the lodge was closed at 94. Woodward was a slow ride.
10pm - found a parking spot right in front of Comerica Park. We walk over to the box office to buy tickets for the last Tigers game of the season and they're closed. DAMN! Eh, let's go eat.
10:15pm - Eating at Elmore's Bar & Grill. Two pints of Guiness and a Swiss Mushroom Burger. mmmmmmm.
11pm - Arrive at the Old Shillelagh but it's WAY busy and we wouldn't be able to get upstairs.
11:15 - Arrive at The Well for a pint of guiness. Place smells like, honestly, old urine. Make Lindz chug a LaBatt and we're out.
11:45 - Arrive at Foran's Irish Pub. Nice place, nice dj, 9 people and we made up 4. Drink a pint of guiness and we're out.
12:30am - Arrive at the Hard Rock Detroit. Kamakasi shots all around. Take a gander at the merchandise...and....we're out.
1am - Arrive at The Detroiter. Red Head Shots all around. Great live rock/jazz band, good crowd, nice wait staff. Two or three more pints of Guiness. Enter Jeremiah, Scott's Detroit cop friend. Nice but a little distant/standoffish I think. Jackie, Paul, and Scott are now super hammered.
1:45am - Things get a little fuzy here, I think this is about the time we left although I don't really remember walking back to the car.
3am - we got home?
3:45am - "Uh, Jackie, do you realize you're sleeping on the bathroom floor?" -Paul. "Oh Whoops. I guess I better go to bed then huh?" -Jackie now slightly sober.
Several Hours later
10am - Oh damn, I feel like absolute shit. Awe...shoot me.
6am this morning - Crap. I'm still hung over.

Friday, October 01, 2004

So October eh? Did you know that daylight savings time begins on Halloween? ...or that Columbus Day is in 10 days? I didn't know till my calendar told me.

I had to build a small scale object for class yesterday. Basically it's two small boxes, one on top of the other, positioned perpendicular to each other. The one on the top is a 3"x3"x1" with a hole in the center and the base is 4.5"x3"x1". It took me less than 20 minutes to make. I was done early so I decided to put a little roof on this little thing using a self-adhering EPDM (or rubber as it is more commonly known) patch I found in our test cut kits. Unfortunately it was the last patch in the bag, so now we can't test cut a roof anymore but my project is done!

My dad gave me the stupid cold he's had for a week and a half. I have to keep a roll of TP on my desk to keep my nose from leaking. I hate colds.

I'm not going biking this weekend. I can't say that I'm disappointed though. I kinda wanted to stay home and work on my house. I enjoy it. I also need to get a bed liner for my truck. OH yea, did I mention I bought a truck? Yeap. I have to go get a spray on bed liner so that I can go biking NEXT weekend. I better write that down.

I went to a construction managers office the other day, in downtown Detroit, and I really liked it. I told Tom I wouldn't mind working downtown and he told me I was crazy. And by george, I just might be.

Crap. This guy's gonna kill me if I don't get this bid done this morning (not that I have much to do). I'm having a hard time though because my metal guy hasn't faxed me a quote - and that's about all I'm waiting on. You know, that's it. I'm sick of putting customers off because my stupid metal guy can't get a price in a reasonable amount of time. This has been bugging me for a while now. I hate feeling dumb because of SUBS. Damn you subcontractors!!!