Hey there. I'm employed now, and I have one week's worth of pay coming on Thursday. I've compiled a list of things for which I need to pay- past due debts, cards, expenses, and monthly what-have-yous -that I need to prioritize for payment in the coming weeks. I think it will likely take more than just a couple of weeks though. My biweekly paychecks will be noticeably smaller than the semi-monthly checks that I received at DST, of course because there are two more of them each year, but also because my salary is actually lower than it was at DST.
As my withholding forms have not yet been received by corporate, and I don't know what the initial amount will be, I can't really set up a debt-paying plan yet. So, I'll just keep pushing on these HR forms and this hardware that the folks at the home office just sent me.
I went and saw Star Trek last night with Matt, and enjoyed it immensely. I was very disappointed, but not surprised, that it was so accessible. My biggest complaint is not about the improbable inconsistencies in the plot- those are to be expected with a hollywood picture, and they're beside the point. No, my biggest complaint was the shaky camera. In even the slowest of scenes, the cinematography was such that it was difficult to focus on one item or character on the screen. In the action scenes it was damned near impossible to keep track of what was going on.
That said, it was an excellent movie, and I look forward to subsequent installments.
I had a great weekend. It began with what was supposed to be a group visit to Worlds of Fun. Chris managed to get a hold of a couple extra DST employee tickets, for a modest group of Chris, Brad, Ben, and myself. Unfortunately, one of the heaviest rains I've ever seen descended on KC at the exact time that we had plotted out for our visit. So we just sat around a table at Harry's until Angela joined us. When she arrived, we piled into Brad's car and went to Paci's in North KC. It didn't take long for us to discover that the music at Paci's was tragic that night. Instrumental 1989-style solo guitar songs. It was enough to make us leave.
So we got in touch with Kendra, Derek, and Frank. They were playing video games over at Frank and Kendra's place in the Crossroads, so we hurried over there, with a brief stop at Grand Slam for some party favors. We played games on their Wii and PS3 until the small hours, drinking beer, and offering each other constructive criticism all the while. My cousin Ellen and her boyfriend Matt rolled into town toward the end of our time there, and met us. After teasing the cats a bit, we took our leave, and finished the night off with a nightcap at the Peanut by my house.
An abbreviated sleep ended with my alarm screeching out its horrible sound. When I turned it off, I heard the sound of running water. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for my roommate to finish his shower, but in the end it turned out only to be about six minutes. I guess time passes more slowly when your eyes droop. Ellen, Matt, and I went over to the City Diner and grabbed some cash-only breakfast, and I wished them well on the rest of their weekend's trip. They were headed to Lawrence for some camping and business, and I exited the vehicle with about 45 minutes to spare for them to get there.
I walked home from there and grabbed my car keys to drive down to Angela's place, where I'd foolishly agreed to help with some yard work. Nick, Derek, Jonathan, Frank, Kendra, Ben, Angela and I moved a very large pile of sticks, branches, logs, and whatnot from the farthest corner of Angela's back yard to the street, where she had rented a wood chipper. I helped for about 2 hours before I had to get going. I got home, showered again, got dressed, and drove to Nick's house near 27th and Gillham.
We walked over to You Say Tomato and met up with Chris and Amanda. I had a root beer while the others had some kind of coffee and breakfast food. We walked from there over to 31st and Troost for the fifth annual Troost Festival. Justin, of course, was already there, even though nobody had any idea that he'd be there. We exchanged our hellos. I had previously arranged with a nice woman named Chrissy that we'd meet down by Linwood and Troost at 3pm, so I excused myself from the conversation circle to hasten down to the corner. Chrissy arrived and I introduced her around.
After perhaps an hour, all the people with whom I had come left, leaving Chrissy and me to our own devices and goofy conversations. We talked as we people-watched and enjoyed a bluesy band playing their instruments. We walked through the neighborhood, soaking in the mid-May sunshine, and I got sunburn all over my face before we met up with Nick and Anna at Thomas on 39th. They'd just toured the home of their dreams, only to find out it was under contract. They were feeling down, but I think we managed to cheer them up. Derek and Mary joined us after a measure, and the six of us had a really nice time. Ben arrived soon after, with Angela showing up a few minutes later. The assembled group talked, joked, laughed, and just generally enjoyed the company of all present.
Nick, Anna, Chrissy, and I went to Amore on 39th and Pennsylvania for some kind of Tango exhibit. Lots of people were tango-dancing to the sound of scratchy old Italian and French music. Complimentary wine, fruit, and vegetables added savor to what was already one of the nicest, most romantic occasions I've had the luck to enjoy. Nick and Anna are like the mafia. They seem to know everyone in this town, and they know about all the great things there are to do.
The four of us went to Gilhouly's from there, and met up with Jonathan, Angela, Justin, Ben, Kyle, and Christina. We sat around a table talking about nothing in particular, but enjoying the moments copiously. Chrissy and I exchanged a look, and decided it was time to call it a night. I slowly drove her home, walked her to her door, and said good-night. I drove home, awash with emotion about how wonderful things are for me right now. I can't believe I once dreaded the idea of living here. What was I thinking?
I've been on the job for a couple weeks now, and there's allegedly a paycheck en route. I'll push that wall when I get to it, but in the meantime, I've been trying to get my email into a manageable state. When I worked for this company from 2004 to 2006, they just forwarded my company email to whatever address I wanted. So, I just had them send it to my gmail, and it was the best work email experience ever. In the two years during which I took a dip back into the private sector, the company seems to have revised its permissive email policy.
All employees that deal with the Army are required to have an account on Army Knowledge Online, or AKO. My employer changed their policy to say that the only addresses to which they'll forward mail have to end with .gov or .mil. AKO addresses end in .mil. So, I set my AKO account up, and set up my gmail account to grab my AKO email using IMAP, but found out after the fact that gmail will not check for new emails more often than once an hour. This is not a workable situation.
I can understand why Google isn't willing to let people run an internet-scraping mail checker as often as they wish, but this reality was threatening my ability to avoid using some pain-in-the-ass corporate email software. As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I remembered the existence of fetchmail, a command-line program used for pulling down emails of various formats, including IMAP. I've never used it, but five minutes of googling revealed to me that there are plenty of people that use fetchmail for checking their AKO email, and soon I had a working setup that was checking for new email every five minutes, and forwarding the emails to my gmail.
To test it, I tried logging into my ancient seznam.cz email address. They used to have a full site in English, but it would seem that Czech Nationalism has wiped the English away. I stumbled my way to a compose page, and I clicked the boldface button all the way on the right that said, "Obsvetsnyy!" or something like that. What appeared to be an error page came up promptly, and it was clear that I would have to take more steps to get this email sent. A captcha screen came up, and I started laughing, as there was no way I was going to use it.