Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Man, It's a Bummer When Vacation Ends

You know what sucks? Sitting back at your desk and re-tensing back up after you've spent a week un-tensing and having fun. But, we all suffer though the best we can, no? My plan is the slow immersion: Amid a lot of tea and chocolate, I will choose one task to power through in totality. Juggling to be added later.

To brighten the day, some funny from our friend E.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Haven't Read This Yet, But What's Been Teased Looks More Appalling Than Seems Possible

A new (long) GQ article on Donald Rumsfeld's tenure as defense secretary.

on the morning of Thursday, April 10, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon prepared a top-secret briefing for George W. Bush. This document, known as the Worldwide Intelligence Update, was a daily digest of critical military intelligence so classified that it circulated among only a handful of Pentagon leaders and the president; Rumsfeld himself often delivered it, by hand, to the White House. The briefing’s cover sheet generally featured triumphant, color images from the previous days’ war efforts: On this particular morning, it showed the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Firdos Square, a grateful Iraqi child kissing an American soldier, and jubilant crowds thronging the streets of newly liberated Baghdad. And above these images, and just below the headline secretary of defense, was a quote that may have raised some eyebrows. It came from the Bible, from the book of Psalms: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death.”

This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine. On March 31, a U.S. tank roared through the desert beneath a quote from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” On April 7, Saddam Hussein struck a dictatorial pose, under this passage from the First Epistle of Peter: “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”

Friday, May 15, 2009

Whatever You Do, Don't Throw Away Her Juice Box

I'm really glad that this hasn't happened yet with our office fridge, though I think that it's arguably only a matter of time.

(CNN) -- We've all been there: reached for our food in the office refrigerator, only to recoil from the stench from the crammed containers of decomposing food.

When a worker at an AT&T building in San Jose, California, took it upon herself to clean out an office refrigerator during her lunch hour Tuesday, the smell from the moldy food was so noxious that it sent seven of her co-workers to the hospital and prompted the evacuation of all 325 people in the building.

"It was like a brick wall hit you," employee Robin Leetieh told CNN affiliate KGO-TV. "Stopped you immediately."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ah, Yes, We Commenced with the Weeping

In our class, my friend C bravely trudged forth with writing about her mother's death. Yay! She had a really nice meditation on faith, family, loss, and she told me before she started reading that she migh have to hand it off to me if she got choked up.

It got too intense for her, so she handed it over to me, at which point I made it through a while before I started to lose it and had to hand it to the woman next to me. I think they thought it was really a testament to the work that I was crying, but really, it's hard to see your friend remembering what she went through at the time and reliving it. It was really solid work on her part, though. By the end of it, a lot of people were misty eyed.

Then, of course, we dove into reading my piece, which I have read aloud a zillion times, tweaking this and that. The last part of it was completely matter-of-fact to me, nothing too raw about it. Naturally, I started crying again.

The kiddos were all looking at me, like, "whoaaaa. Some deep shit and connection to the material right there." Then we all congratulated each other on our digging into the depths of our souls.

Last Class!

It will seem so strange to not have to pack a dinner of a Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Have I Mentioned I Love Sushi?

My new favorite lunch place. Spicy tuna, spicy shrimp, unagi, plus fruit smoothies. Color me happy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Next Project

Do you, like me, have stacks and stacks, and hangers and hangers, of vintage clothing bought in the days before they sorted all this stuff out of the Salvation Army, when you could get armloads of pieces from the forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies for less than five bucks a pop? Stuff with stains and stuff that's the wrong size? Things that are made of exquisite fabric but are more suited to Betty Draper-hosted dinner parties than the office?

Then, behold this book. And start contemplating how you can rip it all apart and reuse it.

The Final Push

Wednesday is my last writing class! In preparation for same, I'm doing the final round of revisions on my piece. It's in pretty good shape, but there are a couple of puzzles I'm still trying to figure out.

On class ending, I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I've got senioritis, summeritis, and various other -itises, and I cannot wait to plan long weekends without factoring homework into the equation.

On the other hand, I have loved working on the material I'm doing in here. While everyone else has been complaining nonstop about how boring it all is, worrying whether other people will care what they have to say, I've been really connecting with mine. I'm pleased with what it's turned into. Not to say it hasn't been difficult and very personal.

Thanks, you guys. I appreciate the reminiscences and, B, I greatly appreciate your feedback as an independent set of eyes removed from all the characters and events. The plan from here is to get it down to a manageable length and into a publishable form for shopping around. Woo!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Know of Some Farmers in a Certain Idyllic Town Who Aren't Going to Be Happy if This Happens

Obama administration is considering reducing the corn ethanol subsidies:

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed renewable-fuel standards that could reduce the $3 billion a year in federal tax breaks given to producers of corn-based ethanol. The move sets the stage for a major battle between Midwest grain producers and environmentalists who say the gasoline additive actually worsens global warming.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ah, It's Spring and the Curmudgeon's Back in the House

Upon arrival home, I found the following:

  • signs from my weed-control people, advising all to stay off my lawn because of treatment
  • small children, throwing dirt from under my shrubs onto my walkway
  • small children, digging in the dirt where the tree stump used to be
  • small children, running into my side yard.

I have on two separate occasions so far gone out and asked that they not do that, as, you know, not their yard, plus chemicals. Alas, they keep coming back, and adults on porch next door seem not to care. Sigh. Do I ask too much that folk keep offa my lawn, I ask?