Friday, May 30, 2008

Where will this post go? - nobody knows

First - my apologies to those of you who actually waste precious minutes of your day by checking out this blog.

I have no excuse for not blogging more recently - I simply didn't have anything I really felt compelled to say in the public forum.

So, that being said - life hasn't been very remarkable. Well, by my standards at least.

Given the "Thurber-esque" carnival quality of our lives, I forget that what is normal for us is weird for others.

For instance, Thurber's grandmother was convinced that electricity was constantly leaking out of the walls and ceiling. That's a dart toss with my family - throw one and you'll hit one just as weird.

But back to the silence - after we returned from our vacation in Italy ( I will say it again - I LOVE ROME), I began a new communications job with the research division of our company and it's been full-tilt-boogie ever since.

I've been literally doing the jobs of three people from the start, which initially included covering my old job until a new person was hired and then backstopping our intranet editor when she left the company.

Since then, I've been keeping so many plates spinning simultaneously, that I am sincerely surprised one hasn't dropped.

The good news is - the boss and the VP are quite happy with me, or so I hear from my "network" (at work they call me "the guy who knows people"). Hand me a rumor and I'll have confirmation or denial in 15 minutes or less (or your gossip is free).

Currently, though, I and a group of like-minded individuals are focused on mobilizing our regular boycott of the corporate communications annual software competition. After a number of us were encouraged to participate and represent two years ago, we were sidelined and not allowed to play because our talents weren't yet known.

Instead, the focus was on WINNING, WINNING, WINNING! To the extent that actual communications employees were NOT allowed or asked to play, while certain other parties brought their CHILDREN and FAMILIES in to play, because they offered a competitive advantage.

OK, call me bitter, but I am occasionally a damned good softball player. I used to regularly injure old people with line drives at my Dad's barbershop chorus (SPEBQSA - the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing in America - why do I remember that?) annual picnic back in the 1970s. In fact, I once took a 249-year old pitcher up about a foot and four feet back off the pitching mound with a line drive to the solar plexus.

We would have won because my hit brought in the two runners and myself while the other team was distracted with attempting to resuscitate the fallen baritone. Sadly, the ambulance tore up the home plate area and we had to call the game.

I was very disappointed in my mother's reaction to the whole event. She actually chastised me instead of praising the technical excellence of the hit. She was always rather dour where summer picnics were concerned. I have followed in my father's footsteps in very few aspects of my life, but we are absolute soul mates in the annual "summer picnic uber-jocky sports wonder star" sickness that we share.

We used to end every summer picnic or barbecue at the emergency room, with Dad being stitched up, plastered up or doped up after his latest super wondrous, triple-twist, full fandango volleyball "I am the greatest sportsman ever" reckless abandonment dive and save. This dive required a snap-judgement that you were the ONLY Person in the world who could save this game and you must, therefore, abandon all personal safety and fears of bodily harm whilst flinging your hugely out-of-shape body in a perilous attempt to prevent a white leatherette sphere from bouncing outside an imaginary line.

Dad was the expert. But he bred the MASTER.

Not only can I execute upon my father's classic volleyball save, I can do it with nearly a fifth of Jim Beam raging through my system AND with the uncanny ability to leave my shoes on the ground at the EXACT same spot where the snap judgement was made to leap.

I have also expanded his repertoire to include chasing volleyballs into oyster beds, barefoot; the full-nelson, triple twist, head-landing softball save; the ass-master 3000 sit-on-a-balloon and break it while somehow snapping your toe bone maneuver; and the ever popular how-did-you-get-a-tug-of-war-rope-burn-there stratagem.

I am a warrior.

In fact, my very athletic (and totally hot) friend that I used to work with once pulled me aside before they put me on the stretcher and said,"You are a natural athlete, man. No one - but no one - could have ever executed that dive, roll. tuck and somersault into the blackberry bush and rattlesnake laden ditch while setting up the ball for the spike that won us the game -- like you."

Then I think I passed out or something because all I remember was something about penguins and dish-soap.

But I digress (and aren't you glad I did?) - our current annual testosterone fest pits all the local communications team members together in a competition that is SO FIERCE and SO IMPORTANT that we must spend days tying huge, heavy things to our testicles so that we may shame the other males into submission with our manly gonads.

We will shout sports-like-yell-thingies at each other about YEAH and HOO HOO HOO and beat our chests and sip designer beers.

We will only field those players who we KNOW will win - not some wimpy ass, unproven nobodies who would - quite honestly - much rather have been in a local pub sipping martinis and talking about the appropriate age when men should just grow the hell up and stop trying to be goddamn Barry Bonds or whoever.

I'd love to play an old-fashioned pick up game of softball - just among friends - with Mighty King Testicles checked at the door.

Why can't the game be about fun and camaraderie and sportsmanship? Why must it always be some do or die, yahoo, winner take all event?

Uh-uh. You laddies are on your own this year. We aren't even going to show up to cheer for the headquarters team this year. No one even mentioned our valiant attempt - with Moe and Ivor - to recreate the letters "CHQ" in an inspired "Jack 2000" type of sideline performance two years ago.

Q is freaking hard, man. Especially during the vault and flip.

Now I need to add that to my list of annual picnic sport injuries. Damn.

Doris! Get me Conde Nast - they need me!

Girl - it's called SPELL CHECK.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Geeked out

I never thought I'd be a gizmo geek. But it's happened.

As I was packing my backpack for work this morning, I realized just what a techno-geek I had become. I blame my job.

As of today, my "go to work" kit in my backpack includes:
  • cell phone
  • laptop
  • Logitech gaming headset for podcasting and voice chat in Second Life
  • laptop lid-clip high-resolution USB video camera
  • wireless mouse
  • USB Polycom for online conferencing
  • Bluetooth earpiece for web conferencing
And I'm actually considering a Blackberry.

What's in your backpack/briefcase?

Monday, May 12, 2008

New. Funny. Love!

A You Tube treasure that B& I just discovered - John Roberts - in an homage to Mother's Day.

Hat-tip to Joe.My.God.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The week in Powerpoint bullets

Why this week rocked:
  • Pulled off organizing a major event at work enabling the director of my division to meet with his reports around the world via real-time web video conferencing - and it freaking worked.
  • My VP informed me that I both "kick ass" and "rock"
  • My successor - I'll never call her my replacement because she is gonna OWN that role - is getting up to speed
  • My mentee and all-time favorite great guy was in town from Austin - had lunch with him and another great colleague I hadn't yet met in person.
  • We are purging the basement, closets, garage and more for a huge booze-fueled yard sale at P's this weekend.
Why this week sucked:
  • B is working crazy hours again - no quality time
  • I'm working crazy hours - but with some potential relief in sight
  • I want to do more with friends
  • Saturday Farmer's Market (and subsequent post-market partying) hasn't started yet
  • Post-vacation ennui (and related debt pain) settling in

Friday, May 02, 2008

Buehler?......... Buehler?..........

Worst. President. Ever.

Like we didn't already have this one figured out.

A new poll suggests that President Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows 71 percent disapprove of President Bush's job performance.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as president.

"No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup Poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.

Just think - next they'll be telling us the moon isn't really made of green cheese - or that the sun doesn't extinguish itself in the ocean every night.