My actual profession is an auditor. Right now I audit large defense contractors for the D0D. Before that I audited state and local governmental agencies, employers who are “underground” (meaning they are working off the books) and was a senior accounting analyst for a large county.
None of these jobs ever require certification. Many of the jobs require years of experience, but getting an actual accounting certification isn’t necessary and I have never seen where it actually means that person is more capable then someone without a certification.
However, that being said it sometimes looks better to have certifications, even if they don’t actually mean you are skilled enough or even smart enough to do the job. So I have been looking over my CPA study materials, trying to figure out if I want to go this direction, or get a CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner). The CPA is a lot of study, a lot of tests and can take up to 18 months. The CFE and CIA could both be taken in that time, with a lot of time to spare.
CPA has most flexible overall (but I don’t plan on ever working for a CPA firm where its the most use) but this is a better $$ option. Most people when they hear the title CPA they have an idea that you are smart, can do anything for them accounting wise, etc. The fact is I can do that right now professionally without the certification and would charge a lot less is a pretty funny side note.
However, I don’t like the environment of most accounting firms, or other employers that look for CPAs. It pays really really well, but its like this little slice of hell. Filled with more politics and bootlicking then actually doing your job. Also it is mostly cubicle work. I hate both of those things, and I have Oppositional Defiance Disorder, meaning I don’t respond well to authority like figures. However, I will admit that I do like the flexibility in where I can work and the money. That wars with the fact that I hate routine, I dislike having to sit beside most people for long periods (my husband is the single exception to this rule), and I get bored with accounting in general.
On the other hand the CFE is part of what I love doing (auditing) but a lot more niche. It is a lot more interesting. I don’t like the day to day minutia of accounting, the cycles and the getting into the deep details. I prefer digging into accounting, finding if there are problems and basically telling people where they are wrong.
Auditing relies on a person being able to be assertive, able to handle people hating them, being quick on your feet, and most importantly flexible. I am not assertive in most parts of my life, but auditing is a definite exception. In addition I need to have things happening quickly, and I love being flexible. Most importantly I have no problem with conflict, which is a lot of auditing. People push back, yell at you, throw cans of pop at you or threaten you with a pistol (I have had those all happen to me).
That means the CFE is awesome. It just reinforces my credentials in auditing and would expose me to more jobs that are in that direction. The problem is like I said earlier, a lot more niche. Then again my whole professional history is pretty niche (and I do get head hunters after me several times a year for that niche). However, it is still limiting to where I can go and who I can work for.
Since Auditing is what I like, the CIA I will get eventually no matter what so that is just a matter of putting it in order. It will add to my credentials no matter what I do and it is fairly straight forward.
I guess the hard part for considering the CPA for me is I have audited dozens of CPAs and they are absolutely no smarter or more knowledgeable then accountants without that classification. Its purely to charge your customer more. When I was in school and asked why the “5th year rule” was enforced, the idea that a CPA needs a 5th year of college, and my teacher who helped with the CPA test design was specific and said it was to limit the pool of CPA candidates so they could charge more.
I wasn’t really shocked by that, but it really goes at the heart of my experience with the CPA. Of course there are exceptions, but the general rule that has been backed up by ten years of auditing CPAs fits right in there. I do have to say that they get really uppity when a non-CPA audits them, nails them and they get caught being wrong (sometimes doing it on purpose, sometimes they are idiots).
I will play around with the CPA study materials, but the 600+ hours of study needed to take it might be beyond what I want to do. I guess I will just talk to the hubby and get feedback.
It’s funny, I posted about how I woke up anxious last year on January 1st because I hadn’t heard from my parents as they had passed that year. It was the first time in 45 years that they hadn’t said Happy New Year to me, 25 of which was phone calls right around midnight.
I didn’t think it would happen again, but it did. This morning I woke up, the second New Years since they were gone, and worried for a few moments that they weren’t ok since I hadn’t heard from them. Even stone cold drunk they would call me.
Then I laid in bed for about an hour thinking about them. I know they would be proud of the hubby and I, especially all the surgeries he went through. I don’t think I have even really tried dealing with them being gone. I don’t know how to start it. I do know it bothered me laying in the dark, listening to my husband snore and wishing desperately like a ten year old again that they would call me one more time.
Maybe this year I need to actually work on that. Although I do want to say that this year is looking far better than last year. W’s surgeries are all done, all requirement to stay at this job are satisfied. By the end of this year we will have left this soul crushing job and moved out of this people crushing place and maybe actually get back to being us.
I do war about the job thing. This is probably the most money I will make in my life. The job is super easy to do skill wise. It would pay W’s and myself’s 125k in student loans within four years (not counting the 25k in short term debt this year). The problem being is this job is a complete scam and the people in it are incredibly toxic. I don’t feel any pride in going to work, and over the months I just watch more and more bullshit and it makes me angrier every time. This doesn’t even count that I dislike working for Trump’s administration and the rights they are rolling back on anyone who isn’t a cisgender, heterosexual white male.
I have a lot to talk about with work, and I think I am going to start doing it this year (probably later this month). So for now I am going to look forward to the fact that things are moving forward. My husband is healthy. I am fairly healthy and will be taking steps to address other factors. Most importantly I am going to celebrate the fact that we never have to worry about food being in our fridge or the ability to buy what we need, when we need right now in our lives. This is a first in our lives together (and a first in my 46 year long life ever).
Happy New Year to everyone, may 2018 surpass anything else you have in joy and happiness!
Today in our “Spotted in Phoenix” segment we saw some interesting people.
We came down to the two waffle makers and there were two guys who didn’t know each other messing around with the waffle area. The guy on the left was messing around with things that weren’t waffles, but he still decided to stand in front of the first waffle maker
That first guy work a “Don’t Tread on Me” t-shirt, with flags/snakes/eagles. It was the same guy that wore a “Fuck ISIS” t-shirt yesterday. He was a larger guy (larger then me, but I don’t think as tall) with a salt and pepper goatee from the 90s. He was looking us up and down, I didn’t notice because I was trying to help the second guy (with no effect) so it was the hubby who noted his look
The second guy had a don’t tread on me tattoo and couldn’t figure out how to make waffles. He looked like a kid from elementary school lost on his first day of school. I had to point out that the timer wasn’t working, I asked if he had turned the waffle iron to start the timer. He told me he had already done that. I then noticed that he kept opening the waffle maker. I could see parts of waffle stuck to the top as he kept closin, waiting 10 seconds and opening it again.
He was one of those young fit guys who shouldn’t be allowed away from his girlfriend or the house will catch fire (those kind of people they make sitcom episodes about). At the end when he left I saw him flip the waffle iron over and viola the waffle timer started. I asked if he wanted to make another one, but obviously he was too embarressed and kept going.
Then we had an old man who asked for a large garbage bag from the front desk. He then walked over to the breakfast area and started filling it with muffins. He then walked over to me, started loading up peanut butter packets, bagels, bread and other things. It was full by the time he was done. He also went into depth about using the peanut butter for those peanut butter bones for his dog. I couldn’t resist so I helped him find the extra stash of peanut butter packets.
Then I saw two different older ladies come down and like locusts clear out all of the baked goods, eggs and sausage. They really were locusts and as they moved down the baked food the shelves were left empty. They then immediately turned around and went back to their rooms in different directions.
It was an interesting experience. What is it with “Don’t tread on me” libertarian/republicans. I see them a lot here, and it definitely makes me realize why Trump/GOP Sellouts won down here.
I was also surprised by the locusts. No matter how poor I grew up, we would never have stripped all the food on the shelves. We would have taken stuff back like a couple of muffins, but there is a limit. Although I really kind of liked the guy with the garbage bag, that took cajones, and he was fairly nice and very friendly. That is probably why I helped him find the extra peanut butter.
The last three days were a little stressful, but mostly unassuming. First let’s cover our Ghost cat status. Torie was kind enough to feed him.
The hubby and I went to his final pre-op appointment on Tuesday, where we waited for the doc to get caught up. Finally we met, talked and things looked good for the surgery.
We then went to the surgical center, where he would stay a day before being released. Once again we waited, and about an hour after surgery was supposed to start our doc arrived for that (are you seeing a pattern yet). Hubby was incredibly happy to get it started.
The day ended with the hubby getting out of surgery, being rolled back to his room and resulted in me visiting with him for a few hours before going back to the hotel room.
I arrived early (after having a great waffle breakfast at my La Quinta hotel) and prepared for the hubby to be released. His initial schedule was somewhere between 10-11am. We eventually checked him out at 5:30pm (see that pattern) and this was without even seeing the doc. We were told to check with the office on Friday for when they will want to see hubby to pull his drain out.
We went to bed and finally woke up today (Friday). We went and had a great waffle breakfast which made him very happy. We then moved on to more laying in bed while he heals. We tried getting a hold of the office but found not only were they closed, but their phones were disconnected…
We left a message on the nurse’s separate line and she called back eventually, arranging us an 8:30 am appt on Monday that is right before our flight. Unsatisifying to me, but I will take what we can get.
Finally I had realized I had forgotten my battery I use to charge my iPad/iPhone at the hospital so I picked it up, picked up some Red Robin burgers for the hubby and now here I am sitting in the room letting him heal. So that is it for this report. Stay tuned there will be more updates and I will eventually write a full review of this experience 🙂
Our first day of travel went really well. Our flight was slightly later then normal which means we didn’t leave house until 5:30am, our normal time we go to work. That meant we were doing a bit better on sleep then expected.
We arrived at the airport and went through a busy security checkpoint quickly because the DoD has given us the “pre-check” status so we avoid most of it. I will probably miss that when we eventually leave.
Oh, surprise note, the Lyft driver dropped us off at arrivals instead of departures. The departures area had a half of mile of cars waiting to drop off, the arrivals was empty and we went up two escalators and ended up at security ahead of a huge wait. Thank you for that pro-tip Lyft guy.
The flight itself was pretty straightforward. We were surprised at how cheap first class was (we bought tickets six months ahead) and so my legs actually fit and I didn’t feel clausterphobic. We landed in Phoenix and found the temperature was only about 70 degrees and everyone was wearing pants, well of course except for hubby and I. This is summer weather for Seattle so we had shorts and sandals. Some photos from the flight below:
We had some lunch, checked in to our hotel and then went and saw Justice League (spoiler alert, wasn’t as bad as I had worried, there is a review coming). Finally we got home, laid in bed watching Shark Tank (yes, I do that sometimes) and then fell asleep.
In reality a pretty low key day, even with travel.
Well today we went up to Bellingham to do a few things.
- Drop off some tupperware with my brother’s family.
- We went up to get pictures of all of Wolsey’s old places he lived at.
- Went up to place a wreath on my parents grave for the holidays, along with stringing some lights.
I do have to say though, the travel up to Bellingham and back was unprecedentedly smooth. It is a 112+ mile trip each way and we were up within 2.5 hours after stopping three times for bathroom attempts… Hubby couldn’t find a stall to use… and only 2 hours coming home with us doing shopping at Target for the cat. There are a lot of pictures of places the hubby has lived, and like the photos I took of where I lived I will have in depth postings about those places and why they are important.
First we stopped by my brother’s place, we saw his kids and their mother and hung out for a little while. Wolsey dropped off some of his jewelry from pre-transition to Kristen our niece while I gave Tupperware to Monica. Hopefully they will find uses for all of those. Fortunately the family seems to be doing pretty well. We got some ideas for the kids for Christmas and it was nice to just see my brother sober.
Then we were off to see Wolsey’s childhood places he had lived at. We went over through the Alderwood/Birchwood area and hit up a few places. Things went well on this leg of the journey except for an old man coming out of one of the houses we went by and we had to take stealth pictures of it, so as not to alarm him.
We then went up to Toad Lake area and saw the first home his parents built. It is also near where his grandparents lived, so we swung by there. The house is obviously still owned by his sister, and we saw a white SUV in the driveway which means his mother was probably there as well, so we were in ultra-stealth mode to avoid contact.
Although I really wanted to take him up to the door, and when Debbie and Toni answered (Debbie is mom, Toni sister) I would be excited, give Debbie a hug saying I found Clark’s long lost son (Clark is Wolsey’s dad) and pull Wolsey in front of me. I can only imagine the reaction, and yes it isn’t a fully positive thing that I would love to see the confusion and then the apoplectic shock.
After we snuck away, we then went down to the Gladstone/James street homes. These are some of the places where he lived as a gutter punk and where I watched him do a photo shoot with a flower and nothing else. I thought he was so beautiful (and he was still my best friend then, although this was pre-transition for him). I do find it a bit humorous though, the whole time I had a crush on him, he wanted to be with me and would have dropped anyone he was with to see if it would work between us.
Then we went to the Blue Dolphin and had a very nice lunch, however we forgot to hit his parents home (last place in Bellingham he lived at that I didn’t) because of the food induced dementia. It is ok though, it was already stressful enough at his sister’s/grandparent’s house so it was a good idea for a break.
We also had swung by my parents’ grave. We noted that the wind chimes were gone. It has been super stormy lately so it could very well have been blown off. Also, the cemetery often has teenagers that prowl it, they might have grabbed it. Either way it doesn’t bother me at all. If it was the wind, it was totally expected and it probably made some cool sounds as it blew away, and if it was teenagers/college kids I hope they are enjoying the tinkling sound it makes.
Either way we will replace it next time we go up. We knew the stuff we place on the grave isn’t permanent.We also noticed no one had been to their grave since we went last time. The remains of decayed flowers we had planted were still there. We cleaned it up, and the ever inventive Wolsey found some stuff to wipe it down with. I figure next time I will bring a small cleaning kit just in case.
Even with all this, Wolsey was kind enough to set up the new solar powered christmas lights along the shepherds crook and we set up a wreath. My parents always loved Xmas (well at least my mom, and my dad did anything my mom asked of him).
I noticed “Angel Eyes” a statue of an angel as part of a family grave about 50 feet down from where they are was there and a bit worn looking. Angel Eyes is sort of a cemetery icon, and as teenagers we would run up to her at night and dear each other to sleep on the “death bed” beside her. I had remembered earlier this week I had scanned a photo of Angel Eyes from 1994 so I present to you the passing of 23 years (1994 to 2017). It is amazing how time slips by. I think I might have to do a photo session with the graveyard itself, it is still the most beautiful one I have seen ever.
The only thing that really bothered me and still bothers me is that it was obvious no one had visited their grave. I suspect I am the only one that visits, which is ok in the end. Wolsey pointed out we were the only ones that tried to take care of them when they were alive, somehow it seems fitting it is only us now. Even though I understand that, it still makes me angry, especially with my sister who has done nothing, not offered to help with anything and was the source of a lot of real grief when both parents passed (that is part of the upcoming continuing posts of my parents passing, still so angry I can’t write it).
So there it was, a fairly easy going trip up to Bellingham and then back home.
It was a seemingly innocuous dream, but for some reason it bothered me a lot.
The hubby and I were with a group of people, some of whom we know from other larping events. We were all discussing a new larp and we found that it really wasn’t a very interesting thing. The weird thing is hubby was still my hubby (yes still Wolsey), but I can’t remember if this was pre-transition hubby or my new improved hubby. All I remember was he had short blonde hair and I still remembered him as my husband, not my wife.
Then all of us plus a bunch of new people were sitting at a restaurant, it appeared like some sort of Denny’s or Sharis. It was sunny outside, not super warm, but warm enough that no one was bundled in hats or heavy coats.
Hubby was still there talking, and I was working on something about a larp, or maybe it was tabletop, but I do think it was a larp with a map. I was marking a map indicating how we the group should travel. It started somewhere southwest, went west to the coast, then up the west coast and into Canada.
I couldn’t tell you why but I was so pissed about something. Nothing had happened in the dream, but it was there.
All of a sudden hubby got up with a group of people and started walking away down the street. He hadn’t said a word to me and I was confused. I started to get up but he indicated not to make it a big deal and let him walk off.
So I just grabbed my backpack and started walking the other direction super pissed. Even in the dream I wasn’t sure why he was walking off, for some reason though I absolutely hated the group he was walking off with, no explanation in dream why.
That is when I woke up.
Overall the dream lasted most of the night, although I did get a good amount of sleep. The annoyance I felt in the dream was reminiscent of some of my larping times. Mostly it was when the hubby (pre-transition) would wander off with a specific player/character at a game. That player, let’s call him E, was a douchebag to women.
It wasn’t that I was jealous of my then wife roleplaying dating someone else at the time, it was specifically him that set off everything.
Wolsey had in-game dated others and it never bothered me, but for some reason this dream set off the feelings of dislike I had for this one gentleman, even though there was nothing about dating at all in the dream.
I think I will unpack this today and maybe post something reflective later.
Yesterday (2017 Thanksgiving) I had a pretty strong memory come back, a little one that has no real significance in my life, but for some reason I dreamt and then thought about it anyways all day.
It was early 2000s (I think 2002, and I think this post from 2002 was from the same day). We were sitting in the bedroom of our mobile home we owned. It was a grey Thanksgiving Day that is typical in the Pacific Northwest.
I was sitting on the bed, playing with my 2002 iBook. I had just bought a program that would rename photos in batches as I was going through a huge photo Library waiting for Wolsey’s parents to show up and take us to Thanksgiving.
Also we were watching Trading Spaces, which was one of our favorite shows at the time, it was playing in the background. As a funny side note, evidently they are bringing back Trading Spaces in spring 2018 with most of the same cast (it went off the air end of 2008). I guess some things don’t change.
It was a really vivid memory though and it stuck with me the whole day. The wonder I felt that hubby and I didn’t have to go to two meals for a holiday at different households for the first time since we got together. It would be the first time we would get home and have time to be with each other for a holiday.
The fact my parents were cool and let Wolsey’s parents have Thanksgiving Day without a fact was amazing. What we didn’t realize at the time was that Wolsey’s parents would fight us to come for Christmas as well even though we asked to rotate holidays at family get togethers and gave them first choice of which holiday they wanted.
It was just a really strong memory, and it wasn’t until I was writing it up at this moment I realized it was my first time I didn’t have Thanksgiving with my blood family. Last Thanksgiving would be the second time, although last year was a blur. It is probably a trigger memory missing my parents.
The last eighteen months have been a whirlwind. Wolsey has gone through three surgeries, we have had to fly to Phoenix (including in four days from now) three times for two of those surgeries. Both my parents have passed in that time, and the estrangement between me and my sister is pretty much permanent. Not counting all the extra stuff we had to do for the surgeries, burials and work issues.
I am looking forward to the end of the year, and the beginning of the new. I realize it is an arbitrary date, but humans need things like that to set up our boxes. Next year is exciting, we will hopefully move on to more enriching work, maybe move to a better location away from the crowd and especially the traffic, and maybe, just maybe we will get our short-term debt paid off.
I guess my memory post went into a ramble, but that is me in a nutshell. Oh, and sorry but no pics in this one, way to lazy with the food hangover from yesterday. 🙂
Disclaimer: There are of course exceptions to everything, this post is about the generality of Generation X.
As a member of Generation X, I used to always wonder why the media is fairly silent on my generation in comparison to the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. If you watch the news, or read articles online, Generation X is almost non-existent in the discussion. I used to be annoyed about it, would grump at people and wonder not only where we the latchkey generation as kids, evidently we were also that way as adults. I found an interesting article on Business Insider that covered it a little here that did back me up a bit.
My grumpiness about Gen X has changed though when I realized an important point. We really aren’t a separate generation, rather we are sort of the place between generations, the grey area where boomers and millennials touch. My husband and I have talked about it for years now and it has become a lot clearer. We really don’t have our own place.
Don’t get me wrong, Gen X does exist, there are things about our generation other than the music and some movies that aren’t present before or after, but we don’t really have any things that we can show off as our own. Unless of course you count that we have been hit by a lot of recessions and we aren’t quite young enough to change it around like the Millennials can, while not having the resources to start with that the Boomers had.
Our generation is divided between the boomers and the millennials. I realized this as I watched my friends fall into those two categories as we have gotten older. Now that I am on the higher half of my forties I realize some are boomers, some are millennials.
The boomers overall have kept to their parents outlooks. Generally more conservative, more religious and believing that things shouldn’t changed. These are the people more likely to talk about making America great again. They don’t like society changing, they think everything is going to hell in a hand basket and don’t believe in same sex marriage or gender identity. They believe in owning the biggest homes they can, the nicest cars, working the best jobs even if its at 80 hours or more a week and that the economy will fix everything so capitalism is good.
The second half is where I believe you first see the ideals of Millennials had started. The people who keep up with technology, who believe in equal rights, same sex marriage and that people can determine what gender they are based on what is right for them. Same group that doesn’t believe wealth is the way to success and that they have to maintain the planet for future generations, whether or not they have children. Most have cut the cord to their TV.
This placement between generations doesn’t seem to be the first time. There are other generations just in the last century that appear to be a parallel to Gen X in their invisibility, and as buffer between generations. These include “The Lost Generation“, people who came to adulthood during the First World War. You hear a lot about their children, the “Greatest Generation” that fought World War II and brought our economy to become the leader of the Free World, but you never really hear about them. The “Lost Generation” underwent the horrors of World War I, and especially in Europe, but also in America the generation was shattered by that war, and never recovered fully.
“The Silent Generation” that grew up between the “Greatest Generation” and the Baby Boomers. Some of them fought in World War II, but most came of age in the late 1940s and 50s and fought in Korea and early Vietnam. They were sometimes considered the luckiest generation as they came after World War II so they were not as likely to see combat (Korean War had much less casualties and a lot smaller military), they enjoyed the increase in lifestyle, retired the earliest out of everyone but with all that no one really talks about them. Their deeds are often assigned to the Baby Boomers, but in fact many of those Civil Rights Movements were pushed by the Silent Generation (Martin Luther King Jr. was a Silent Generation member)
It makes me wonder if the cycle for the generations is longer then we try to make it.
With my experience of Gen X, I wonder if we need to span 30-40 years for each generation, with a known grey area between. That would explain a lot to me about Gen X and why we seem to be conglomeration of Boomers and Millennials, just either too young or too old to fit those designations at this point. It would also explain why the Lost and the Silent Generations, each sandwiched between two other talked about generations didn’t get much recognition as their own and seemed to have the same situation where many of their people fit into the generation before and after them.
So nowadays when people ask me at work to form into groups or to express who I identify with, I generally identify with the Millennials. That being said, I still have no idea what happened to Generation X.
Trigger Warning: Not a pleasant dream (not bloody, but not pleasant).
Last night I had one of those dreams that skips across drifting awake and back to sleep.
It lasted over several hours but I couldn’t tell if I had dreams in between of different things. It wasn’t a horrible dream for almost all of it.
It took place somewhere similar to Bellingham, a green smaller city lacking the heavy traffic of Seattle suburbs. There were lots of trees, it was quiet and smelled clean.
I spent most of the dream wandering around residential neighborhoods. It was the hubby and myself with bit parts of some of my friends and a lot of characters I didn’t know. It all seemed to take place around this large residential apartment building.
The building itself was probably 5-6 stories tall and it was one of those stairs only apartments. On the outside of each floor ran a full size balcony/walkway. People’s apartments opened up onto the balcony, with an almost five foot tall railing.
The dream had some bits about a small outbreak of zombies or something, a bit urban fantasy like in its setting. We were running around and doing stuff. This whole time though was an older man with a black pug dog, fairly young dog I think, but not quite a tiny puppy. The pug was on a small cart the man was pushing around, like a flatbed cart, but smaller and could fit on the walkway. The pug was constantly being pushed along in a flatbed cart.
Evidently I knew him and talked to the man a couple of times. He resembled my father-in-law a lot except with slightly asian appearance (not sure as someone awake how that works, but that is how it was in the dream). He was always talking cute to the pug, saying things like “aren’t you a good boy, lets go get so and so”.
The dream continued on with small things, even the zombies or the smell of them occasionally wafting didn’t bother me at all. However we were up on the fifth floor and the gentleman with the pug was racing around with the cart playing with his dog raced by me, stopped to go around the corner and the pug slid off the cart and over the balcony.
I froze and I all I could think is “Holy fuck, the puppy” and I ran over to the edge and I could see the pup down on the ground below. He was sprawled out, no blood but not moving either. For some reason, the picture of the sidewalk that was parallel to the road with a grass strip on either side stuck out to me. I grabbed the person next to me as I looked at the gentleman and I could see a look of horror. I started yelling for the guy’s niece to go to him as we ran downstairs.
I started running downstairs and that is when I woke up, trying to launch myself off the bed.
I realized where I was and that the hubby was still snoring, but our cat Ghost was staring at me like I was crazy (he was sleeping between me and the hubby). I laid there for almost an hour before getting up and writing about it. Still bothered me a lot, more than a lot of the horror, blood and guts dreams I sometimes have. Even right now my heart is still racing and I am stupidly worrying about some pug that only exists in a dream.