Ross has a thing or two to say about p.o.s. vehicles and the people who
decorate love them, mwheh-heh.
Last night was the first session of my Intro to Policy class. If you were to take the skill sets of my current job, and describe them in a textbook (with sparkly new vocab), it would look a lot like the material that will be covered in my intro class. At least that's how it looks now. Wednesday, my second class meets. It's an economics class. This, except the basic microeconomics I covered in community college a while ago, will be all new material for me.
The Intro prof started off by having us volunteer to say a few words about ourselves and why we were there. She seemed to think that most of us would be too shy to speak up. But in point of fact, we were all more than willing to talk about ourselves ad infinitum. I got the impression (and certainly did this myself) that everybody was taking the opp to really learn about our fellow students. We want to choose our associates carefully. After all, these people can make or break a small group assignment. And there will be lots of those in the coming semester.
Was I the only one who wanted to jump up during my turn, and tell the class I'm a fraud, and that I must be out of my mind to have boarded this crazy ride?
Some of you have seen photos of my desk, including a portion of my handsome collection of desk toys. Yesterday I rediscovered one of my favorites:
And I got a little story to go with it ...
One of my first jobs in civil service was customer service rep for an agency that collects repayment on federally-guaranteed student loans. All day long, I received phone calls from loan borrowers regarding their defaulted loans. I talked to every kind of college student there is, folks, and I heard every. Problem. In the book.
The people that amazed me most were those who were perfectly cognizant that they had signed for and taken out loans, loans that had to be paid back, yet were angry for one reason or other – at the school, at their low income-earning potential, at their bad judgment, who the fug knows – and so decided they had exquisitely valid reasons for never paying back. They evaded our collectors, in all their various guises, for years. Please understand, there are legitimate reasons why a college student’s loan debt might be written off. I was trained to know them all. I was trained to help students take advantage of all methods of loan forgiveness. But if a student didn’t qualify for any of those, I was also trained to encourage them to bite the damn bullet and get on a payment plan before the government got irritated.
Times have certainly changed in this office. Today I actually have work to do. An assignment - nay, a project, that has me on the phone talking to dozens of ticked-off clients, taking statements and gathering proof for action against a business that stiffed its clients. All this means I'm ... I'm busy. Bizarre. I'm not used to maintaining this level of concentration on my work. I feel faint! I may need to sit down! Wait - I am sitting down. I may need to lie down. Aaaah. Whup - now I cant re ach the keyb
I'd be remiss in my duties as your local cubicle-dweller, if I didn't link to this article about Bob Propst, the designer of the modern office cubicle.
This is the single oddest moment that happened to me all week. (Even more odd than imagining a vast board game called Tyrannical Father.) I've lived in one cubicle or other for ten years now, but never once wondered, in a concerted way, where the first one came from. And now, I'm suddenly able to put a face with a design. Suddenly, my millions of half-formed opinions about my environment are augmented by knowledge of the designer's purpose. Now I know that the large storage capacity, the vast yardage of pinnable surfaces, even the ugly austerity I've always half-loved, were all deliberate.
I hate working in cubicles, yet now that I know his thoughts, I realize there are aspects of living in the warren that I like. For instance, I can hear phone conversations. They're not interesting to me on a normal basis, unless some word or some level of distress cues me to listen. More than once I've gone to Alien Secretary's cubicle and told her to transfer obnoxious callers to me. (She puts up with lots of crap dumped on her by us, her esteemed coworkers; she shouldn't have to take it from the outside world too.) Another thing: I know well in advance who's going where for lunch. At the right time, I just insinuate myself into the group going where I want to go.
At the same time, patently obvious as it is that there's almost no privacy in cubicles, I can usually maintain a high level of denial and convince myself I am blissfully alone. I believe there's a word for that psychological state. Too bad the article didn't go into that. But I bet Mr. Propst counted on it, when he hyped a design that would revolutionize the modern office.
During the 19 years since Pat and Joe Posey adopted a son, the couple have lavished him with love and attention.
But, in all those years, Kevin has refused to grow - he is just 30cm tall.
In fact, he is a Cabbage Patch Doll, who came into their lives in 1985, when the toy craze was near its peak.
They have raised him as their own son and take him everywhere. He even has his own playroom, a red Corvette car and a £2,000 college fund.
'With every kid that you adopt, you promise to love them and be a good parent and take care of them and that's what we did,' said Mrs Posey. 'He's easygoing and quiet, well behaved.'
The couple, from Maryland, say Kevin's favourite show is SpongeBob Squarepants and he loves to go fishing.
Mr Posey added: 'Probably everybody has one kid who is special who they bond with. He's very special.'
Who's afraid of Edward Albee? Tra-la-la-la-laaaa ...
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross has died! No, I don’t believe it! That makes me so mad. I’d give anything to have her back, anything! I just don’t know how I’ll go on now. Oh well …
It all depends on your perspective. My brother sends us a real groaner.
Make your own star on the the Hollywood Walk of Fame here. What? You say you've already visited, you've made your own star, you've moved on? Well, how about making your kid's star? Or your blog's star? Or Elizabeth Kübler-Ross's star? Hmm? Really, I begin to doubt that you people waste as much time as you should on these free sites. Please try and focus.
Can't find your cat? Have you checked in the closet? (Those of you with cats, tell me if a cat might really do this, or if this is a staged vignette somehow.)
Finally, there's Colonblow. It's ... gaaah! It's beyond description, though the words "macabre" and "vile" are a couple of adjectives searching in my head for a sentence. Pay a visit to the tasteful baseball cap. Stay [everyone except you, Anthony] for the sheer fascinating horror of these pics. Then go to the info page to try and figure out why anybody would administer themselves a colonic with medicine they bought. on the freakin'. internet.
Geez. When they first put up posters in my office building, I assumed this event would be just another of the state's annual warehouse sales. Once a year, General Services quietly opens its doors and either sells or gives away slightly moldy desk chairs, outdated computers, and yes, the odd drug-raid car. But this!
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) is holding a rummage sale to dispose of unwanted state property from aircraft engines to jewelry. The "California Garage Sale" will take place on Friday and Saturday in the state capital Sacramento and some of the items will also be offered by online auctioneer eBay.
The items include office furniture -- most of the state's furniture is made by prisoners -- 30 pounds of scissors, forklifts, knives, expired color film, computers, jewelry, a red 1995 Ford Mustang and even baseball cards.
Okay, could all the other states just relax and quit picking on California, please? Just because yeah yeah, it's The Terminator in the big chair, it doesn't mean all our normal state activities should constantly get picked up on the newswire and thrown into the "News of the Weird" section by the media! Because next thing we know, the whole country is laffing at California, again, for something that's really not that unusual.
(Except for that eBay thing. I have no explanation for that.)
I stayed up until 11 last night, finishing the "Avengers in Green Acres" parody I started this summer. Start with Part 4, if you've been following along. But if you don't happen to think it was worth the loss of sleep, I don't want to know. (Geez - LOL - Jo, maybe that's why nobody ever leaves comments.)
If you're an Avengers fan, you ought to visit Cal Westray's website. He's amassed quite an impressive compilation of all things Avengers-related. He e-mailed me earlier this month, and also linked to my site, which caused an exciting spike in my stats, let me tell you. Heady stuff, this being famous among dozens ... for two days ... :-)
Okay, first of all, I'd like to thank whatever gods may be, that this silly thing is removable. No having to wrap it in plastic bags, which never succeeds in keeping bath water out. Bunny walks easily in the boot, and even does things like twirl or pose on one leg like a stork, until somebody catches her at it.
As far as when exactly this happened, BB and I are unsure. Any one of several incidents might have been the one that caused the fractures. Next week she'll have an appointment that will feature an MRI and other exploratory procedures. Maybe we'll know more then.
My little sweetie is off to the doctor's this morning. For the last few weeks, she has had what we thought was a sprained ankle that wouldn't heal - very frustrating. The last time we saw the doctor's office for it, the nurse practitioner gave lots of advice and a sports brace. But nothing helped. Because it's been so long, I called again and she went in for a second visit yesterday. This time she saw the doctor, who got concerned and took an x-ray. And found she actually has two fractures, one in the ankle and another in the foot.
So this morning BB will take her to a follow-up appointment, where they'll put her in a cast and give a more cheerful prognosis, I hope. What BB reported yesterday wasn't so great, and involved worst-case scenarios I'd better not write about here - little potatoes have big eyes, so to speak.
It's hard to write about this; my guilt keeps rearing up and threatening to delete the post. It's true that the doctor's office didn't take x-rays as soon as they should have, to eliminate the possibility of a trauma, but I also need to take a lot of responsibility. I was just so sure it was a sprain that she just kept reinjuring through normal kid-related activities. I didn't know it was more serious, but I should have. My poor baby.
Update: Well, they called to say she's been fitted with a removable boot to wear while the inflammation goes down. Next week or so, they'll see her again to assess the bones for damage. (The phrase "MRI" came up. Nice!).
Poor Mindy writes that she was sick during the night. There was no adult-strength medicine to be found (isn't that always the way?), so she had to resort to taking half a bottle of children's Motrin. She went on to say, "If you are a parent, push back your keyboard tray, find your children, and beseech them for forgiveness for ever making them drink that vile potion." Sorry, Mindy, I know what you mean, but I won't do it.
In our medicine cabinet at all times are at least three bottles of OTC children's medicines, nearly full, tick-tick-ticking toward their respective expiration dates. Bunny h-a-a-ates them all; when occasionally compelled to take them, she never gives a direct "no", but she pushes my patience to the limit with every passive-resistive technique ever used by a kid against a parent. (Kids must share these tricks with each other in preschool.) One teaspoon of medicine can take up to fifteen minutes to swallow; two teaspoons, and I may as well settle in, find a nice comfy cushion for the rim of the bathtub, etc., because she'll make us hang out a seriously long time.
But am I sympathetic to her distress? No, not in the least. BB and I tell her she has it easy compared with kids medicines we took back in the day, and we mean it. When we get to reminiscing, it's enough to make your hair curl.
As kids, we had these delightful choices: Aspergum (and believe it; the vile orange flavor did nothing to disguise the fact you were chewing aspirin), St. Joseph's chewable aspirin (slightly more bearable than the Aspergum, so why the horrible alternative? Why?), Sucrets (cruel, tongue-numbing lozenges, which never worked, and you weren't even allowed to chew to get rid of), and ... the worst ... the last resort during strep season ... this prescription medicine I can't remember the name of, which was bright yellow-colored and tasted like tar spread on cardboard.
Compared to these, our kids have it easy. Easy. At least they get no yellow medicine. And, in our house at least, Aspergum is strictly forbidden.
I've been meaning to post this for months! This building-sized mural is a real treat to look at when walking on J Street in downtown Sacramento. It's a parody of the painting, "Sunday Morning in the Mines" by Charles Christain Nahl. Isn't it great? The original painting happens to live around here, too.
AMEN. This is a long but excellent description of one blogger's burnout on the mind-numbing noise of the Presidential campaign. Does it sound like she's suffering from a variant of the Existentialism Virus? It does to me, and I can utterly relate.
The noise coming from both sides has reached a level that should only be heard by dogs. To these ears, it's all turned into such a horrid screeching sound that I can no longer focus on all the myriad individuals making the noises - be they in newspapers, on radio or tv, whether they be official spokespeople or bloggers or the candidates themselves. Aurally, it's perhaps the sound of thousands of children blowing whistles at once. Visually, it's 1950's era tv, going static after the national anthem.
I've tried to focus on single issues, but there's no one issue that can get through all the crap being hurled against the fan these days ...
Though my seven year old daughter knows the who the Tooth Fairy is, she still talks about her - that is, me - in the third person. Sometimes it feels like we're speaking in code.
At Mom's house today, Bunny stuck her fingers in her mouth and talked around them. "I gah a real looth tooth, Mah! Wiggle it! Go on!"
I gingerly touched the tooth. "I'll say!" Ick. Here comes the inevitable follow-up question.
"Can you pull it out, please? It's bugging me!"
Bunny doesn't know I there's a reason why I never became a dentist. "No, it still seems pretty firmly, uh, attached. Maybe it'll come out tomorrow."
My mom joined in. "Bunny, how much does the Tooth Fairy pay nowadays?"
"A dollar," she answered.
Mom tsked. "Is that all? Boy! You should ask her for more!"
Bunny rolled her eyes. "I know how it works, Grandma, okay? The Tooth Fairy is really Mom!"
But a few seconds later, Bunny came back to me and whispered, "Why doesn't the Tooth Fairy pay more than a dollar?"
I replied, "Hey, forget it. Grandma's just trying to tease me. But maybe the Tooth Fairy will pay more if the tooth comes out at Grandma's house."
She began wiggling the tooth harder.
It actually did come out on the drive home. Bunny cheerfully regarded the little bump. "I'll put it in the jar with my very first tooth. Uh ... will the Tooth Fairy be able to find it?"
I said, "The Tooth Fairy won't need to find it. She already knows. She'll visit. But she'll let you keep your tooth again. Or ... can I just pay you a dollar now?"
She was firm. "No, she has to visit."
So before I go to bed, I must put a dollar in an envelope, and write a little greeting on the front in my best magical fairy script. She still wants some magic, she'll get some magic. Where are my silver pens?
Coffee: the frou frou place came through with bells on. Aaaah! And after breakfast, I did clean for a while, and also mowed the front lawn. S'pretty.