30 August 2006

I'm grown to really hate my inspirational calendar

Early in the year, someone I was working for at the time gave me (and others) a "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" daily calendar. I propped it on my desk and now dutifully tear off to the current date each morning and read the quote that is supposed to give me perspective.

Here's today's message, which is typical of the messages it offers: "I've found that being more open and diverse has reduced my feelings of stress because it has helped me reinforce the fact that life is so much bigger than the things I sometimes worry about."

At the start of today when I looked at this I was also looking at 15 To Do's and 2 meetings. Turned out those 2 meetings turned into 4 meetings that entirely took up my day. No lunch. No time to address the 15 tasks, some of them quite complex and urgent, much less process and respond to the 6 voicemail and 27 e-mail requests that came in during the meetings.

So I began to work through what I could at 5:30 pm, knowing that there were a number of key pieces I couldn't get to because contacts were already gone. In the midsts of this my eyes strayed to the calendar and I thought, how does this help me? I'm open. I'm diverse. I'm still stressed.

Aside from providing me with something to hurl across the room, I'm not at all sure this calendar is useful to me.

It's like when people say "Don't worry." Oh, thanks. I was gonna worry but since you said that I'm calm and cool.

Perhaps these calendars should be repackaged as "Absurd platitudes to laugh at while you're getting through your ridiculous day"? Just a thought.

And what is the obligation when one receives a "gift" like this? I gave it a try. Can I pitch it now? Hmmmm, I'm about to move offices (yeah, no extra stress there), maybe the calendar will get "lost" in transition.

29 August 2006

Celebrity Fit Club addiction

It's true. I have a problem. I am addicted to Celebrity Fit Club on VH1. Heaven knows there is precious little to keep my attention on TV these days (probably not a bad thing when you think of the time suck TV is) but I am a regular viewer on Sunday night. Out of an hour, there's probably 10-15 minutes of actual information. Mostly it's "last week on CFC..." followed by "this week on CFC, you'll see celebrity X have a meltdown..." followed by "watch as X has meltdown after the break..." followed by "look! celebrity X has meltdown..." followed by two minutes of video showing bickering and acting out of said celebrity followed by "reactions by the rest of the celebrities to X's meltdown..." and so on. They are expert at turning the mundane into DRAMA. It's entertaining just for that.

I also actually find it amazing AND IMPRESSIVE that people are willing to show their flabbiness on television and step on a giant scale.

Plus, when they say "celebrity" they're really stretching the definition. Most of these folks are lower than Kathy Griffin's "D List" category. It's more like "Oh... yeah... I think I remember him... vaguely... wasn't he on blahblahblah way back when?" So it becomes something of a "where are they now?" show.

Joe Bob says "Check it out."

23 August 2006

Reentry and signs on planes

It's true. We spent 11 glorious days in Nassau for our five year anniversary. Incredibly beautiful water and fishies. Lovely people. No worries. Just sun, fun, lots of food and booze and repeat. Very relaxing. Biggest decision was do we take the Bacardi tour today or the city tour or just laze by the pool? And now I am back. Back to work. Back to traffic. Back to dreaming. Sigh. Got to plan the next trip...

Meanwhile, I got to thinking about those little signs in airplane bathrooms that say something like "Please wipe sink basin in consideration of the next passenger" and it struck me that this is an odd request. Where else do they ask you to do something like this?? They don't. Am I missing something? Of all the places in a bathroom the next passenger might consider icky, is the sink basin really the top priority?

I don't get it. Maybe it's just a small way to improve the karma on the plane.

So, yeah, I wipe the basin with the paper towel after I wash my hands even though it makes me wonder. In this respect, I leave things a little better for the next person. So, with regard to karmic balance, as Bill Murray says in Caddyshack, "So I got that going for me."

21 August 2006

Bahamas... The views from our room

To the left...

To the right...

06 August 2006

Oh, no! Not again!!

DATE :5 -8-2006


It is with trust and believe that I write to you, although I don't know you neither have I seen you before, but my confidence was reposed On you as a good sent person to deal with.

I am Barrister Richard Williams,a solicitor and personal attorney to an American Expatriate Engr.Micheal Cochran.He was a Contractor and Oil Consultant with Agip Oil Company and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) here in Nigeria.On the 26th of December 2004,my client died with his wife and only son and daughter during their x-mass holiday in Phuket tourist resort in the tsunami flood disaster that happened in Thailand, Asia.

My proposal is in respect of a certain fixed deposit made by my late client with Access Finanace & Securit Conmpany Nig Ltd here for a period of one year and eight month,The sum is deposited by my client on the August 1st 2002.This deposit is a total sum at ($15.350,000,00 USD)...

Oh no!! First Uncle Devis and now Cousin Micheal. Not a good month for the Cochrans.

Hm... you don't suppose there's something fishy going on here, do you? Perhaps these deaths aren't accidents at all! Is someone gunning for the Cochrans? This could be tied to the vast right-wing conspiracy. Or the vast left-wing conspiracy. Or to the Oliver Stone conspiracy. Or the Olive Garden conspiracy. Wait maybe it's those yummy pickled olives at Jaleo! Oh god. I had them twice last month. Is it a sign? Am I next? ACK! I better get outta town! You didn't see me. I wasn't here. I ate no olives. ACK!!!

04 August 2006

Blowhards in the cafeteria

Is there anything worse than a person who is not a member of the X community expounding on what Xers believe? Fill in the X with any affiliation you like: Muslims, redheads, dog lovers, conservatives, Japanese, you name it. As if any given group of people believe something without variation or exception. Oh sure, you can speak in generalities: Christians believe that Christ is the Lord, for example. (And I'm sure some expert debater could give an argument why that doesn't always hold true, if pressed.) But beyond that kind of generality, you're just asking for trouble.

I'm all for exploring beliefs and asking questions and trying to get an understanding of folks who are different from you. But why not ask someone from the group your discussing to explain their viewpoint (which at least speaks for them--not the whole group) versus assuming you know the skinny?

I know I speak for everyone on the planet when I say that. ;)


01 August 2006

This could take a while / Mel Gibson's call for help

You'll forgive me if I disappear for a while from this blog. Mel Gibson has sent out a general request to the Jewish community for help. So, you see, I have no choice but to help someone so desperately sincere and in need of "discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing."


This could take a while.

A long while.