26 November 2008

Con-Giordial Greetings!

It's that time of year, again. Presents, food, family and friends gathering... You guessed it! It's Giordi's birthday!

I met Giordi when he was 16. I was in college, and he was hanging out with college nerds. At the college. At the time, I remember being jealous because his hair was longer than mine.

I'm not sure how he entered my social circle at the time. It basically consisted of my roommate and a bunch of people from the college who didn't want to go home to their parents' houses. We would all hang out together and do nerd stuff. One day, Giordi, whom I had already met, showed up at my apartment and was smoothly integrated into the group.

Later, when he started college, he was about the only other student there who could understand what I was talking about, and that just helped us bond more completely.

My first IT job after college, I worked with him upgrading the computers for Lyondell, a large company with no real product but a lot of toxic waste. I was fired because my roommate stole from the company, and Giordi was fired because he knew me. Joy.

Later, we worked together at a small company that totally didn't appreciate either of us. At Giordi's suggestion, we formed a religious group. It grew and grew and grew. Then it died for no reason.

Later, when Giordi's first child was born, we were sitting around, and he was holding his son. He looked at me and said, "I finally figured out the meaning of life. It's this, right here." I still cry remembering the look on his face.

For the past five years or so, I've been living in Giordi's house as a renter. He and his wife have been there through my medical emergencies, when my fiancé left me, when Data died at the end of that Star Trek movie, when my hamster died, when I nearly lost my job to anti-feminists, and during my divorce.

He's always been honest and straightforward. He's helped me out a lot. He was in the emergency room with me when I went into shock from a burst appendix, and he came to bring me gas when I ran out in the midle of nowhere. He's my legal adviser and has power of attourney when I'm not able to function.

He's like a brother to me, but in a good way. I'll never be able to repay everything he's done for me. So instead of trying, I'm writing about him here.

Happy Birthday, Giordi!

16 November 2008

What kind of burger?

I know a lot of time has passed, but I have good reasons. It's been a crazy time.

First, while cleaning up from the hurricane, Giordi informed me that they need my bedroom. No biggie, right? Except... they were going to build a bedroom for me in the garage, but have decided that this would lower the value of their house, so...

So I was looking for a place to live. An old friend of mine who works for the government, Katy, is selling her RV, one of those trailer types, and offered too sell it to me. My eyes kept saying "no", but my mouth said, "yes". I asked my eyes what the problem was, and apparently I was traumatized by the idea of trailer homes.

It seems I have an allergy. When I was a child, I often had to go visit mobile home sellers with my various redneck relatives in my mother's family. Upon entering a brand new trailer, I would have a reaction to something in the wood, which resulted in temporary blindness. Every time.

Also, no one wants to be labeled "trailer trash".

I was discussing this with a real estate contact of mine, and he said to think of myself more as a Gypsy. Now, this I can deal with. I shared this insight with all my friends, and Giordi, a descendant of Romanian Gypsies, said, "In Europe, Gypsies were trailer trash." Yeah, that helped.

Anyway, so I went to the store and purchased some long skirts and bandannas and dug out my tarot cards. And started looking for a place to park an RV.

Apparently, after the hurricane effectively erased all beachfront property within 150 miles of Houston, all those people living in their beach houses before moved into their RVs while contractors from all over the country rebuild the beach houses.

And wanna bet where the contractors are living?

So, I was conducting a massive one-woman hunt for an open RV slot. I didn't want to give up on the RV thing, because not only do I now have a verbal agreement with Katy, but I also have a 60 pound dog. Try to find a reasonably-priced appartment that will let you have a big dog. They exist, but they're few an far between, and mostly in poor repair. Probably from the big dogs.

So, I was conducting the hunt. Then, one day, upper management announced a mandatory "all-hands" meeting. Since I had hands (I checked), I went. It's a good thing, too, because they announced that after ten years, our office is closing and we're all being laid off and our jobs are going to India.

Yes, they said it.

My favorite part was where they said that for the remainder of our time there we're still expected to provied the same great service we have for the past ten years. Even all the managers laughed at that, including the guy who said it.

Anyway, so now I'm looking for a place to work and a place to live. It would be funny if it weren't the tragedy of Modern America. Am I now a homeless, unemployed crazy person? Well, not yet, because I haven't vacated my bedroom and I won't actually lose my job until January.

Oh... and the crazy part? Well, somehow, and I'm not entirely sure how, I got into a discussion with Giordi and Anna about Asperger's Syndrome. We had discussed it before, and I thought they were implying that maybe Jean had it, but it turns out they think I might have AS. I tried to argue it down, even looked up the symptoms, but that didn't help my case any. So I called my ex.

At one point, we had thought my daughter might have AS, but in the end my ex said, "No, she's just like you." Hrm. So I called him. "How did we determine that your child doesn't have AS?"

"Actually, we didn't. We just assumed she's like you." Crap. OK, so I started arguing my point as best I could. But everytime I said, "Asperger's", Giordi would chuckle and say, "ass burgers". So the discussion didn't get very far.

So now, I have to find a place to work, and a place to live, and a pshrink to prove I don't have AS. That's why I'm a homeless, unemployed, crazy person. The only good part is that gas prices have gone down lately, so I think I might be able to afford all the travel.