Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Drinking all the kool-aid

Well, it's now official. I'm drinking every flavor of kool-aid my employer offers. I've never been one to wave the company flag or buy into all the usual corporate b.s. Not that anything is that different now. But, I recently got a little more visible responsibility for a particular project. Now I'd much rather operate behind the scenes as much as possible. However, that tactic usually just results in some asshole taking all the credit for your ideas. But in the last couple of years, I've managed to push a major idea to the point that it has recently become a widely accepted approach on multiple projects.

The company has a mentoring program that is quite limited in numbers. There is an application process and the powers-that-be choose the participants. So, a few weeks back, the annoucement for this coming year's program was made. I decided that this little mentoring gig might be just what the doctor ordered in helping to mitigate my slight badboy image around the office. Yeah, I know - very uncharacterisitc (the changing my rebel image part). So, I applied. Today, I found out I was one of the 44 chosen to participate. Of course, in typical fashion, I managed to once again co-opt the system, at least I think. I've already identified someone I'd like to have as the mentor. Luckily, he's participating and will be putting in the word that we want to work together. So, perhaps I'm not drinking ALL the kool-aid just yet.

Monday, November 28, 2005

nothing to write here

I feel so bad. I see how many of you come here each day only to find the same posts. I'm sure it's an easy click on the bookmarks to see there's nothing new. I haven't felt all that inspired lately. At the other place, I wrote a piece on the progressive stages of cussing - something at which I hold a postgraduate degree. It's not for the faint of heart, so click at your own risk. I'll be traveling to Boston in a couple of weeks on business. Should be fun, and it is always good to be in New England.
Being December, that means one thing, my annual take-all-the-extra-vacation-days-before-you-lose-them month. I'll be off of work from the middle of December until the end of the year. Perhaps I'll be more inspired then. Although, I do have a book chapter to write and a paper to revise. That should keep me busy.

Sorry for the rather boring update. I do have a bombshell to drop at some point. Perhaps the time will be right before you know it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

In 1986, a 10 year old boy who lived in a NY City "welfare hotel" testified before the House Select Committee on Hunger:

My name is David Bright. I am 10 years old. I am homeless. I am often hungry. Right now, I live in the Martinique Hotel. The Martinique is a mad house. The hallways are dangerous. Many things could happen to you while you're in the hallways. Like you could be shot or raped. The roaches and rats are a big problem, too. But being raped is worse. There are people who rape little boys in the hallways.
I am often hungry because I don't get enough to eat. Homeless kids are taken to schools far away. When the bus comes late, I can't even get breakfast at school. When I arrive the bell rings, then breakfast just stops. I just can't think in school when I'm hungry. My mind just stops thinking and this can't go on forever. That's because I want to learn. I want to get a good education. Learning is fun for me.
There are too many little kids in the hotel who never go to school. There is just not enough room in the schools for them. Just like there's not enough homes for poor children and not enough food.
When I grow up I will be President of the United States. When I am the President, every American will have a home. Every American will have something to eat every day. Everyone in America will have a little money in his pocket. When I am President, no 10 year old boy like me will have to put his head down on the desk at school because it hurts to be hungry.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November 22, 1963

Our nation changed for the worst on November 22, 1963. Oh how we need another leader of such vision and inspiration as John F. Kennedy.

I look forward to a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.

Monday, November 21, 2005

That's what Uncle Remus say

I was six years old whenever I first saw it. On a snowy winter's afternoon, I went to the local theater with my neighbor friend and we saw Disney's Song of the South. It was then that I fell in love with Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Uncle Remus. Everyone must be familiar with the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby. This movie is based on the folktales collected by Joel Chandler Harris. These tales are the dialect tales told by African American slaves that Harris had heard as a small child in Georgia. Their documentation provides a glimpse into 19th century African American culture in which these humorous tales also carried a means of commentary against the suppression of Black Americans by the majority Whites.

Tonight, while Mrs. Bloom was off at critique group, I broke out my copy of The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus and introduced Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus to my kids. McK asked if we were going to read the whole book. "Yes," I said, "all 870 pages tonight!" We read 3 or 4 of the tales and then broke out my bootleg copy of Song of the South and began watching the movie. K wasn't too impressed with the stories, probably because of the dialect, but he was all about the video. When it was time for bed, McK asked with a hopeful look in her eyes if we could read some more Uncle Remus tomorrow night. Absolutely!

"It's the truth. It's actual. Everything is satisfactual!"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

what's new?

y'all are dying to read something new here, aren't you?
I guess the problem is that I'm not really dying to write anything new here.
I thought about railing on the administration about having a chump with FIVE deferments from the Vietnam War criticize a highly decorated US Marine for suggesting we need to get the hell out of Iraq sooner rather than later, but then we have to endure these assclowns for 3 more years, so I'm sure I'll have ample opportunity to spray more piss and vinegar their way.
Instead, I'll just leave you with this

you can order yours here.
until next time...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

the purpose

The Purpose Driven Life is a popular book these days. I haven't read it, and I doubt I will. But I suppose that it must be inherent in our genetic makeup to sit around and ponder what this is all about. Does it really all boil down to, "I think, therefore I am?" Perhaps you can find the answer sitting in a shack by a pond in Massachusetts. But you can't find all the answers in the woods. Nowhere in the trees or the ponds lies the answer to why some people seem to be destined to battle their entire lives - the souls who fight unseen demons inside, one after another, until the very end. And so, when that final battle comes, I guess all we can do is pray that their souls find peace.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

the new toy

for those that asked... My photography doesn't do it justice.

Friday, November 11, 2005

God bless Leo Fender

and all his beautiful guitars.

Today, after many years of wishing, I am now the proud owner of a 50th anniversary American Standard Stratocaster. It's metallic candy apple red with a white mother of pearl pickguard and a maple neck. This guitar is truly a masterpiece.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The American Girl phenom

My seven year old has a love for all things American Girl. For her birthday, we made a weekend trip to take her to The American Girl Place in Chicago. If you aren't familiar, the American Girl dolls are a line of dolls from America's past. Each has a story relating to the general life of kids throughout America's history. The dolls have all the usual accessories, but they also come with a series of books that tell the story. McK first fell in love with Addy, an African American slave girl. She could't read the stories fast enough. McK cried as she and her mother read the trials of a young black girl in 1860s America. I know the story of Addy showed McK how lucky she was to born at her time, place and circumstance.

But now, the Christian Coalition is all up in arms over American Girl's support for Girls, Inc. which used to be known as Girls Clubs. American Girl is sponsoring math, science, and athletic programs at Girls, Inc. Apparently, Girls, Inc. also believes in health education which includes reproductive health. Well, this is where the CC gets all up in arms. Nevermind that the money from American Girl will not go to those programs. Doesn't matter - they're going to boycott the store after Thanksgiving anyway. What a load of crap. F- James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell and the rest of the lot. They don't have the market cornered on morality. If I have to choose between a company that promotes reading, science, math, history education over a group that continually spews hatred and exclusion in the so-called name of God, then that's a pretty easy choice.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005