Archive for February, 2007

Cute puppy alert!

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Holy furballs, this is one painfully adorable puppy. And someone actually abandoned him or her. Make it right, people! Someone please come forward and give this cutie a home.

Movie plots that scream “stay away!”

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I honestly can’t think of a movie concept I’d be likely to enjoy less than this one.

Quick lunch-time update: musing about surviving tough times

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

A coworker’s dad is battling cancer, and has just taken what sounds like a significant turn for the worse. The coworker is understandably distraught.

My heart goes out to him, of course, but the reason I’m even writing about it is that, naturally, the situation has me thinking about my own father’s battle with cancer, and the dragged-out, painful process of losing him. There’s still not much positive I can say about that whole time period. I’m not even sure I believe the “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” canard, chiefly because it’s taken a crazy long time to recover even to this point, and I still feel like I’m operating at about 50% of my prior capabilities.

I think about the best that can be said about going through such difficult times is that, if we allow ourselves, we can become better listeners, more empathetic, more in touch with our deepest hopes and fears, and more aware and appreciative of the precious fleeting goodness all around us.

That’s good and bad. I suspect all of that may be why I’m operating at 50% — all the added awareness and emotional processing may be crowding out the rational and analytical processes in my poor, overworked brain. And it’s hard to function normally in society when you’re a walking barometer of other people’s emotional states. But then again, maybe that’s a version of being made “stronger” — I don’t know. It’s certainly not the kind of “stronger” I was anticipating.

But I guess I’ll take it.

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Home is where my heart is

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

The trip back from SLC involved a canceled flight, puking in the airport, and lost luggage, but it’s all over now and I’m simply happy to be home. I very nearly kissed the ground when we landed. Of course, I’ll soon be off again, bound for NYC, but let’s not think about that just now, shall we?

It doesn’t take much travel these days to make me appreciate being home. I worked from here yesterday, which was really nice. It gave us the flexibility to meet up for lunch at Baja Fresh with some of my former coworkers from the music technology gig, and that was a total blast. Aside from the ridiculous delay on one person’s one measly taco, it was an entirely wonderful experience. I really miss them, but I’m relieved that we’re actually staying in touch.

Karsten and I also dropped into a few banks after lunch and got some ideas on financing our front porch work. That’s looking promising. It’s going to look seriously great.

And then around sunset, Karsten and I walked downtown to the new H.G. Hill Urban Market to pick up some mushrooms for dinner. I’d read CeeElCee’s appraisal and basically agree with it, except that I’d add they did a great job with the vertical space. (And Smiley, if it were up to me you’d be a Metroblogger already.)

On our way back home, we stopped in at the Germantown Cafe to have a drink at the bar. After all this time, I still get a little thrill out of being able to pop in for a drink at such a great place.

And, oh yeah, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. *yawn* Although actually, rather unusually, I bought Karsten a present this year. I can’t tell you what it is in case he sees this before his gift shows up, but I think he’ll like it. As for me, I don’t need any gifts — I already have the love of my life — what more could I possibly want? (All together now: awww.)

No mention of Mormons in this post

Friday, February 9th, 2007

All this week I’ve been in Salt Lake City for a vendor training for work, and staying at the Little America Hotel downtown. Also at this hotel is an event called the Deaflympics.

Now I had never heard of the Deaflympics, but I have had a few reactions and ponderings as a result of coexisting in this huge hotel with this huge event and its participants:

  • How cool and humbling to be surrounded by people who are defining themselves by what extraordinary things they can do while not pretending that what they can’t do (or can’t do well) is not real or doesn’t exist. 
  • This must be one of the dividends Salt Lake City can reap from its investment in the infrastructure required for the winter Olympics. I wonder how much that investment does pay back over time. I found this, which is an interesting angle, but it doesn’t really get at what I’m talking about. This one is closer, but it only goes so far as to acknowledge the use of infrastructure for future functions, not quantify it. 
  • It feels almost like being in another country, being surrounded by people “speaking” a language I don’t understand. Which is kind of a cool feeling to experience without actually leaving the country. 
  • Holy cheese, there’s a lot of hot athletes here! It’s major eye candy everywhere I look!

So yeah, call me shallow, but I tell ya, I ain’t lyin’. Hubba.

Prince is so shocking!

Monday, February 5th, 2007

I did not watch this super-bowl-thing you all keep talking about. (Is that soccer or something?)

But I have been made aware (that is to say, the CEO just popped his head in the doorway and mentioned to me) that the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince played halftime. In the rain. With an electric guitar.

I am not a physicist, nor am I a meteorologist, nor am I an electrician. But isn’t there some electrical shock hazard here? Or is that not a very rock’n'roll thing to be worried about and I am therefore being a big ol’ sissy?

Help settle my mind, people.

PS: Brittney, does this, in your esteemed estimation, count as blogging about the Super Bowl?

Marketing lessons from student journalism

Monday, February 5th, 2007

I’m very amused by this student reporter’s choice of headline that showed up on my Netflix news alert:

Blockbuster threatens Netflix movie monopoly

Hee.

When the 800 pound gorilla is described as “threatening” to the “monopoly” of the young upstart, the upstart has already won.

Me at a baby shower?

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Yes indeed, I went to a baby shower. For a guy. Well, for a guy and his wife, but it’s the guy I knew. His wife is awesome and reminds me of one of my cousins, but I didn’t know her before yesterday.

Anyway, it was way fun. Got to see many of my favorite local bloggers all in one place again, including Hutchmo of Salem’s Lots (and my up-the-street neighbor), Sista Smiff of A Whiff of Smiff, Aunt B of Tiny Cat Pants, my alternate-universe wife Bad Bad Ivy of the Bad Bad Ivy Experience (and who, as she was leaving, made sure to tell me how beautiful I am, the smartass), CLC of The Dry Spot, Brittney of Sparkwood & 21 as well as Nashville Is Talking, Jag of I’m About To Be Brilliant, Dr. Funkenswine of Mothership BBQ, Kerry Woo aka Wonderdawg, Mack of the Coyote Chronicles, Kat Coble of Just Another Pretty Farce, Ginger of Gingersnaps, Slartibartfast of Shoot The Moose, Kathy T of various blogs including This is Smyrna, TN, and, of course, the impregnator himself, Sarcastro of Watching The Defectives. I even got to meet the Lynnster. One of the highlights was getting to hang out with Aunt B again, who points out the advantages of this particular co-ed baby shower:

in one room, they were talking about the Bible; in another room they were talking about kids; and in the third room, we were talking about sex and porn.

Or, as Sarcastro himself put it:

It struck me, that like the internet itself, one was never more than three clicks from porn.

At one point, it was determined that Dr. Funkenswine needs a reality TV show, and it was further determined that I should be his nemesis. I didn’t get the details of what the job requirements are other than wearing a sexy outfit and sitting on his lap. I don’t think those people really understand what “nemesis” means, but it sounds fun, so I’m in.

Thrifting Misadventure #1276: Scraggly Dude and the Case of the Organic Gardening Book

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Goodwill had their irregularly scheduled 50% off of everything sale yesterday, which we never miss. Normally, though, we’re big on the Berry Road location, but we were just there last weekend and had some concerns that there wouldn’t have been enough new stuff. So like the intrepid adventurers we are, we set out for the Madison location to see how things shook out there.

It was packed, of course — it always is for these sales. And weird things happened — they always do while thrift shopping. But I had one especially weird encounter which I will recount for you here.

While I was perusing the book section (and having unusually good luck finding interesting stuff), a scraggly hippie dude came back there and started looking, too. He saw the stack of books on my cart, noticed one on organic gardening and said in a disappointed, nay, almost irritated tone, “Oh, I see you’re looking for the same books I am. You like organic gardening?” I felt like saying something like, “No, I was here first; you’re looking for the same books I am” but that would have been petty and also stupid, for clearly we could not have been looking for exactly the same sets of books on exactly the same topics. Our shopping may have been an intersecting Venn diagram but it was unlikely to be a complete union of both sets. (Whoa. How geeky was that?) For example, I was finding interesting titles on product design and development, marketing, and so on. Yes, perhaps we both like organic gardening, but how likely is it that our similarities go deeper than that? I’m putting my money on “not very likely,” but we’ll never know.

Anyway, I smiled half-heartedly back at him — I don’t like to encourage chit-chat while I’m doing serious shopping anyway, even if I’d gotten a good vibe from him, and went back to looking. Well, Dude was not to be discouraged. He actually leaned over in front of me to read the spines of the books I was looking at. So I made an exasperated sound (hey, I know I sound like a bitch here, but this is thrift shopping, people — there have to be rules!) and moved away to a different shelf. I gathered up a few titles and as soon as I placed them on the stack on my cart, Dude got a panicky look and made a beeline for the section where I’d just been. I kid you not. This continued for several more iterations before I had made a cursory review of all the shelves and just gave up. At the end, I may have been just picking up books he might be interested in, just to piss him off; I really couldn’t say for sure.

On the off-chance that Scraggly Dude is a reader of this blog, here’s a message: get a grip. They’re just books.

Oh… and I got yer organic gardening book right here, asshole. :)

Snow in Historic Germantown, north Nashville, 2/2/07

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

OK, so we did get a little snow.

It still doesn’t mean a snow day for me. At least I don’t think it does. I’m going to try the roads and see how they are. If they look icy and drivers act nervous, I’m turning around and coming home.

Beautiful awkwardness

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Today at work they had some contractors in to do some wiring in the ceiling near my cubicle. Those guys were here most of the day, and every time I passed one of them, we’d make some kind of joke or friendly comment at each other. It was nothing much, but it was pleasant and it helped pass the day.

When they were leaving, they all made sure to say goodbye to me and wish me a good day, but one guy lingered after the others had gone. This was a guy I hadn’t really interacted with very much, but he nervously stood at the entrance to my cubicle saying a long goodbye. Finally he said, “I just have to tell you, and I hope this isn’t too forward, but you’re really very beautiful. I hope this is OK, but you know, you really have this whole intellectual look going on, but you still look like a model. And you’re just really, really beautiful.”

Here’s the thing: it really did make me a little uncomfortable, just because it was so out in the open and all (although it definitely would have been more awkward had I been in an office all by myself), but not so much so that I felt the need to say or do anything to address it. I mean, really, it was a nice thing to say and all, and at the risk of sounding conceited, it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but it’s the kind of thing I guess that makes me feel like: what do you want me to do with that information? How are you hoping I’ll react? I’ve complimented people on something they’re wearing, or their hair if it looks really nice, or something discrete like that, but the overall “you’re so beautiful” comment leaves me genuinely wondering how to respond.

So what did I do? I’m sure I blushed and stammered some kind of thanks, and wished him a good rest of the day.

And hey, at least he wasn’t trying to ask me out or anything, which has happened, and at which point I definitely would have alerted someone at the company to notify his employer of inappropriate conduct. This felt very polite and I felt duly flattered; I just honestly have no idea whether the whole exchange went the way he was intending it to go.

Huh.