Monthly Archives: May 2012

Talking in code

If we blog about our lives, we inevitably share information about other people. Usually nothing terribly consequentially, but it is still not, technically, our information and ours alone to share. When we’re having a conversation with friends, no one blinks if we mention friends, co-workers, or relatives. “My Mom sent me a funny picture,” perhaps. Or “this guy I work with is always telling the most groan-worthy puns.”

All harmless, right?

But sometimes something that seems just amusing and/or unimportant to us may be highly embarrassing to the person we’re talking about. An off-the-cuff comment might make a few friends laugh, or it might ruin someone’s job prospects.

Corporations tend to be more cautious about that sort of thing, which is why we occassionally read stories of people being fired for something they tweeted or shared on Facebook.

Long before those services became ubiquitous, I adopted the practice of referring to my place of work by a code name. Even then leaving out details, always discussing things in generic or abstract terms. I ofent described my work load with juggling metaphors. Heavy workload with tight deadlines and/or a lot riding on the success of the projects, and I’m juggling chainsaws, one or two of which may have time bombs attached. A lull between major projects where I’m doing lots of project clean up or administrative stuff with one or two tiny things on deadline, then I’m juggling a few bowling pins, rubber balls, and a knife.
Continue reading Talking in code

…and a mint gimlet!

We took a small road trip up to Bellingham to visit Sky and J’wyl and Zork. It was the furthest in a single go we had driven the new car. And it was the new car, so I has having fun.

Unfortunately the day out of the three-day weekend that made most sense with our schedule was one of the days that Zork had to work, so we visited him briefly at work (I have now been inside and actually shopped a wee bit at the Granola Mine), and then met him for dinner late in the evening.

We didn’t have an agenda other than visiting. We talked about lots of things, from The Skyman’s super sekrit project, to favorite shows on DVD, to gaming, to just random chatty things.

We had lunch at one of their fave restaurants, Bayou on Bay. The food was awesome, and they don’t skimp on the gin in their gimlet, let me tell you! I had a second cocktail as Sky had volunteered to drive back. Now he’s experienced some of the fun of the zippy new Outback.

Particularly after the conversation about the sekrit, I had been determined to get some writing done Monday.. Progress was made, though I did more napping than writing that day. Which isn’t exactly a bad way to spend a holiday.

Some of what I wrote will be posted somewhere soonish. Stay tuned!

Pop goes the culture

In childhood most of your cultural experiences are dictated by your family. Particularly when I was a kid, when the typical family had, at most, one TV and one stereo music system. I was lucky enough to have parents who believed in reading and being cheap, so except in those towns we lived in that were too small to have a public library, most of my childhood involved near weekly trips to the local library.

For other things, we had church music, TV, my parents’ record collection, and radio. And most of the towns we lived in were so small there was only one local AM radio station. Which didn’t really matter, because our house, like most of our neighbors’ had the TV and stereo in the same room. So you watch/listened to what Mom or Dad wanted.

Continue reading Pop goes the culture

Doin’ the cleanin’

Few of us enjoy doing housework. No matter how necessary we tell ourselves it is, we’d all rather be doing something more fun or interesting.

Some of us aren’t very good at it. I don’t mean we’re not good at making ourselves do it, but that we don’t seem to be very efficient at it. For example, in the time it takes me to unload and reload a dishwasher, my husband can clean the stove, clean the table, hand wash most of the dirty dishes, and mop the floor. It’s like he has a superpower. He just moves so quickly.

On the other hand, afterward, neither of us can find half the dishes he put away. Continue reading Doin’ the cleanin’

Names, names, names

I think a lot about names. My parents named me after both grandfathers, which means I wound up sharing my first name with my father, paternal grandfather, paternal great-uncle, and a second cousin, all of whom lived in or very near the small town where I was born. It wasn’t until I was in my early teens that I realized I shared a first name with the cousin, since he had gone by his middle name since before I was born.

Continue reading Names, names, names

Avengers Assemble!

Friday night my husband and I saw The Avengers. It was awesome. It was fun. It was entertaining. It had great dialogue. Every character had great moments. There were plenty of nods to the comic book history of the characters as well as the recent movie incarnations.

And Chris Evans looks awesome in sweat pants. Just sayin’.

(and for those of you who don’t drool over men, there was plenty for you, too. And not just Scarlet Johansen’s Black Widow– Cobie Smulders was a**-kicking in both the action and beauty departments)

Continue reading Avengers Assemble!

Losing history

I’m not ancient, but sometimes I really feel like it. Such as when I was explaining to someone recently that the legal notion that a woman’s body was the property of her husband, rather than herself, was still fully active in U.S. law only 35 years ago (and that some vestiges of that notion still survive in the law today).

I remember when I was in junior high school people were still quoting parts of the Bible (that had been previously used to justify slavery) to argue against civil rights laws to protect racial minorities. The federal civil rights act had been passed some years before, but politicians and activists were still openly arguing that some races were inferior to others — and they were using the Bible to justify it.

One such politician ran as a third-party candidate for president in 1968 on an explicitly racist platform and won several states. He softened his proclamations when he ran again in 1972, but his compaign speeches had enough racist “dog whistles” (including some biblical ones) that it was clear he was still appealing to racist voters. And he was doing very well in the democratic primaries, until a nutjob out five bullets into him in an attempt to assassinate him (and even then, he did well in the next two state primary votes while recovering in a hospital).

So it is disheartening to learn how many christian journalism students at a recent conference didn’t realize that when a speaker said the Bible had been used to justify slavery he was simply reporting a fact, and not even one from ancient history, but rather within his own lifetime.

Just because it didn’t happen on twitter doesn’t mean it is ancient history, totally inapplicable to the here and now.