Tell me what it is I’m meant to do…

Last night was the RA concert. Freaking awesome as usual. I cannot complain about a RA concert because I have seen them 4 times in Phoenix (including their first Phoenix show at The Mason Jar a few years ago) and they are always great live.

If I did have to mention anything, it would be that they did not play very many songs off of the new album. Most notably missing were Superman, I Lost Everything Today, and Tell Me. Especially Superman, which happens to be in my top 10 all time favorite songs (talk about a song that has it all – mellow, yet heavy; great guitars; INCREDIBLE vocals and lyrics). And there was no encore, in which they could have played any of these songs. But C’est la vie.

Opening up for RA was Evolocity, a local band that kicks major ass. I saw them on Friday night too, but Randall hadn’t heard or seen them yet. 2 quotes from Randall about Evolocity “They Rocked my socks off” and “The Best Local Band I have ever heard.” Now, that’s some high praise.

The Second band… Well, we didn’t watch or listen to them. But from what we could hear, they kinda sucked (this was confirmed later by some friends who did watch them). Nothing was going to top the Evolocity-RA combination.

We had a great time. And no sightings of Dave or Dom, which was kinda weird and yet rather pleasant.

A Lesson in Integrity, aka “She bit my f***ing lip”

Saturday night, Randall and I went to the Chamber 8 show. It started off pretty slow, but I ended up with quite a story…

Part 1: Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi…
Our story begins after Chamber 8 finished their set. Randall and I were just chillin’, talking with Anne, Amy, Gary, and a couple of others. We notice that Sommer and Yazmin are getting hit on by a couple of guys (intent on taking them home). Sommer breaks away and joins the group near us (she eventually gets followed by her stalker, Mexidude), while Yaz continues to get free beer from her stalker – Spikeyman (this sort of action has been known to happen in the past). Yazmin is finally able to break free as well, and immediately heads over to Randall and I.

“Help me,” she says. We laugh a bit, but this is where our lesson in integrity truly begins. Randall is a stand-up guy, probably the best I know. If you are a friend in need, he will help. Now, Yazmin isn’t exactly a friend – she’s more like a user, but she asked for help and Randall obliged. The struggle between 2 on-again-off-again lovers had commenced.

“You had sex with another girl…” “Yeah, we were on a break! We were separated for 2 weeks and therefore I am fair game…” (I chime in) “You shouldn’t talk – I was there when he needed a friend. You weren’t.” It seemed to be doing the trick on Spikeyman – he would walk away for a bit, but eventually return. And every time he returned to the area, Yazmin walked back up to him, only to flock right back to us begging for help again.

Finally, it’s nearing closing time and Spikeyman gets kicked out because of some rules they have regarding the purchase of a take-home 6 pack. Yazmin somewhat thanks us after I tell her that Randall saved her, and I ask why she won’t do the same for one of her close friends (Sommer was still being attacked by Mexidude). She calls Sommer over to our little corner and she thanks Yaz for saving her. Bar closes, and we get kicked out.

Part 2: The Persistent Bitches
Like I said, Spikeyman was intent on taking Yazmin home. The charade had to continue outside of the bar due to the screams of “Yazmin!” coming from Spikeyman, who was standing not 15 feet away from us. Yaz ignored him and continued to pursue Randall. This went on for 10 minutes, as Spikeyman continued his raving “Yazmin” and “Bye Yazmin” chants and yells.

She tells Randall to kiss her so that S-man would go away, to which he refuses for a bit, but then finally agrees. It seemed to work, but Spikeyman and Mexidude still were not leaving. We were leaving though, heading to Denny’s for some crappy sober up food. We walk out toward the cars and Randall says “You bit my lip!” She says sorry and that she always does that. I tell her that she owes Randall – BIG time. She agrees – “You want to have sex?… Too bad.”

We get in our cars, and only then do Spikeyman and Mexidude get in their car. Not feeling threatened anymore, we leave. Randall calls me on the road to bitch about Yazmin biting his lip and the entire proceedings.

Part 3: A Sobering Experience
At Denny’s, the whole story is all of the rage between Randall, Anne, Amy, Gary, and I. R refuses to talk to Yazmin, and I protect him from any interference by her. Randall decides to play a little hangman. He writes out the phrase and I answer it correctly before a single letter is guessed…

The only reason I mention being at Denny’s is that I got to chat some more with Amy and Gary, who are awesome and good people to hang out with (and I wanted to give them their due props).

Part 4: A Lesson Learned
I have had a few days now to ponder the proceedings of Saturday night. They include a couple of lessons that are valuable to me and perhaps others.

1. I should not have let this situation happen for Randall’s sake. If I was in the same position, I would have done exactly the same thing. But I didn’t prevent anything from happening when I could have.

If you are a good looking girl, who uses her looks to get free booze (and probably a whole lot more), then you should know how to handle that sort of situation on your own. You’re asking for it because you lead the guy on with no intention of making any of their hopes a reality. On the flip side, what Yaz did was probably exactly how she would handle the situation any other time – by using another guy to do her dirty work. I didn’t see this until it was too late. And for this, I apologize to Randall.

2. Grow some balls. I could have, at any time, saved Sommer from Mexidude myself. But since I was intimidated by her looks and personality, I let it be. Only after we got Yazmin away from Spikeyman did I suggest helping Sommer (and I wasn’t the one that even did it).

3. Twice we have seen Chamber 8 play, and twice I have had interesting stories to tell about the night. I’m looking forward to the next…


Phone-Camera pic of Yarsh and Randall @ Denny’s (3:30am) courtesy of Amy

Fin

Yesterday marked the end of my tenure with Trax Technologies. I am full of mixed emotions about this. I have been, and will continue to be, restrained in what I say about the company that has given me 2+ years of employment. However, I did want to say a few final things.

To start, my job was outsourced, or ‘offshored’ as they like to say, and therefore it was not my decision to leave. Over the past 6-8 months, company-wide morale has been going down. I could probably count on 1 hand the number of people in the U.S. office who are truely happy with their jobs. With this in mind, I was not upset when I found out that I was being “released.” I actually saw it as a blessing and a great opportunity for growth. And now the time has officially come to move on.

And that’s where the mixed emotions come into play. I now need to find a new job. This actually scares me because I had been stuck in a mostly configuration and support-based role for the last 8 months, and although I do feel that I have a grasp on programming in C# and ASP.NET (with my skills extending into classic ASP, Javascript, VB, CSS, HTML, etc), I tend to doubt my skills when I truely need them. Like in job interviews.

There’s the rub.

I will break out of this funk, I have no doubt of that. And I am hitting C# hard right now, with individual time – in books, contract work, and sample projects – as well as in a group environment with Jeff (who is, and will continue to be, my development mentor). I am confident that my skills are getting back into shape daily.

I’m ready to move up and move on.