Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Resistance is ...

I think I'm having a bit of a "me vs. all the rest of you" kind of week. Doesn't bode well for my attitude or my ability to play well with others, which is kind of unfortunate given that I have at least one board meeting this week.

The thing is, I am just a bit weary of people telling me "no" or arguing with me or pushing or just being generally obstinate. I'm sensitive to the controlling aspects of my personality and try to keep them as toned down as possible. But really, would it kill my kids to just do what I tell them the first time? Hell, I'd even take the second. And is there any reason why it must take an hour for them to get ready for bed and 20 minutes for a certain child to brush her hair in the morning and hence make me very late for work?

Speaking of work, I swear I'm likely to come unglued if one more Ph.D. tries to tell me that it's absolutely essential for all sentences to include no less than 30 seven-syllable words. C'mon people.

And if all of that's not bad enough, one of my few respites from resistance, who happens to be going on a summer-long vacation, actually asks me why it is I want to be sure to see him right before he leaves. How about, "I want to." Is that good enough? Or shall I create a Powerpoint presentation with the complete rationale of how I'll miss seeing him for two flippin' months.

Resistance is everywhere. It's driving me batty. Someone needs to give me an affirmative answer to something, and fast, otherwise my eyebrows may soon knit together in the middle of my forehead. And in the wise words of another dear friend of mine, "That just ain't sexy."

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Poetic crusades

The journalism haiku from SPJ national has inspired me. So, in honor of my favorite crusades:

Random capitals
The bane of my existence
Self-important types

General public
Why, when one word would suffice?
Die redundancies

Passive voice must cease
No cake will be had by all
Subject, verb, object

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Becoming a man

No, no, not me. My son. At 12 he now has his first girlfriend. And it appears that at least a little of my "be nice to girls" dogma has stuck. I mentioned to him that I had gotten a call from a 13-year-old who was interested in babysitting over the summer.

I said, "That seems like a bad idea, the more likely scenario would be that you two would flirt all summer."

"Mom," he replied with some exasperation, "I can't do that. That would be cheating on my girlfriend."


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What a girl wants

This from a friend who is beginning a job in government in Alaska. We had been talking about the benefits, primarily retirement and health care benefits. It's great that we can count on such things in our golden years, that is, unless the legislature decides to change that too...

"It's a false sense of security, that's all I really want."

What's even scarier is the people who don't realize that's all it is. And don't even get me started on the people who know what it means and still vote for these yahoos. At some point we'll discuss the biggest myth in Alaska, namely that a 401k-style retirement plan is good for public employees. Not tonight though. Not enough time to rant.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Seeking serenity

It'll be green tomorrow.

As I glanced at the trees during my evening walk, I could see just a tinge of life peeking from the tips of the buds. My guess is that they'll burst forth once the sun warms things up a bit.

Amidst all of the stressful things this time of year brings, and this year more so than most, the promise of green leaves rustling in a warm wind can't help but offer a little bit of hope and comfort. As I walked this evening, with a nearly full moon at my face and the sun setting at my back, the air just cool enough to feel on the tip of my nose, it was a little easier to shed some of my cares: work, the frantic pace of the end of the school year, the lack of funds in my checking account, the impending departure of a loved one.

Just walk, under the sinking light of Fairbanks' springtime sun. Feel the wind. Hear the robins converse. Breathe.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sometimes it ain't what it seems.

I'm out in my yard the other night, whacking away at my wiley wild rose bush and cleaning out my planter boxes, when I overhear a conversation from next door. In order to fully appreciate this conversation, it is, however, helpful to have a bit of context. You see, the conversation was coming from a group of four drunk neighborhood guys standing around a fire burning in a 55-gallon drum outside a trailer.


I'm plucking dead plants from the ground and so not minding my own business. I hear things like:

"I don't think Bush was always this way."
"I think Bush used to be a lot weaker."
"How do you think Bush compares to others? Is Bush stronger?"

And I thought, "Wow, maybe all is not lost. Maybe even people whose politics I wouldn't likely agree with are at least paying attention enough to form opinions. I mean, if they are sitting around a burning drum talking national politics, they must be at least noticing a little of what is going on. Maybe there is hope for the sheeple yet."

'Cept about 30 seconds later, I realized the limitations of the spoken word.

I was hearing "Bush."

They were saying "Busch."

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I think I'm obsolete...

OK, maybe I am not exactly obsolete, but my web publishing skills sure are. It'll take me a bit of time with my book and a lot of experimentation to come up with a design I really like. Actually, if I am being truthful, what I really mean is it will likely take me at least three hours of filling in random hex codes in every location in the template before I figure out how to make my links purple. Of course then I will discover that purple looks really crappy and I'll forget which place I changed a D0D0D0 to an 3F45T2. And then I will say "fuck" a lot. And then I will turn off my computer.

The version that passes muster with certain copy editors: I think I'll stick to a prefab template for now.

(HAH, I dare you to make that shorter.)

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

'Creative' use of white space

Hmm. The test post, done for the purpose of being able to preview what the heck I have created, has revealed that white space abounds on said creation. The word "sterile" comes to mind. Must remedy that.

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Test post

This is a test. And come to think of it, I wonder how many blogs start out with that exact sentence. Alas, not very hip and edgy. Not at all.

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