Sunday, November 26, 2006

Good Times!

Thanksgiving at Kathryn's sister and brother-in-law's place in Denver was a hoot. Rather than write about them without permission, I'll just summarize the whole event by saying her family is remarkably free of those tensions that plague other families at holidays.

I'm back in the 5400, preparing for work tomorrow and a much more important event in under three weeks: Kathryn's moving in. I hesitate to write about the details here, but suffice it to say that sometime in the last two years several dimensions of my life straightened out. Kathryn's been a significant part of that.

That's pretty much all I have right now, folks. Today will be spent cleaning the apartment and doing work, all with football playing in the background.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Just a Song Before I Go

Hey gang. I'm off to work in a few minutes and I'm not sure when I'll post again - I'm heading to Denver for Thanksgiving and may or may not squeeze in a post.

Therefore, I thought I'd plug one of my favorite sites. As an occasional guitarist and mild Deadhead, I stumbled upon a while back. It's basically a site devoted to all things Grateful Dead, including guitar tabs and lyrics. I just visited it again this weekend and I can't believe how amazing the place is. Check out the video instruction - that Ed guy knows his stuff.

Your assignment over Thanksgiving Break is to learn both Jerry's and Bob's parts to "China Cat Sunflower." There will be a quiz upon our return.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Should Be Working

[Instead, I wrote a poem tonight. Not sure about the first stanza or last line. - Ed.]


Early in the morning, clouds are footprints
through a living room after a party.

A neighborhood dog covers the basics first:
what has changed out here
since it circled and settled into bed,
warm and content? What is still here?

It doesn't bark at me now, when ice is a colonial power. It watches me
navigate the sidewalk. It snorts at the snow. We make eye contact.

We agree to keep this secret until later,
when it will howl at my audacity
or at cars throwing slush; at the mail carrier;
at its own feral ambitions long since negotiated into this –
a surrogate den
bloodless food
and strange things to protect.

It barks at me in the thin sunlight.
Ice plots in the gutter. The day
has wearied us all.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

C 20

[I wrote this poem sometime within the past two years. For the record, I have no idea what in the hell I was trying to get at. - Ed.]


Forged and cast into
jerking trusses, nouns are verbed
or worse. Take the French, for example,
who say things like
"le weekend," or our
own digital messages punched out
on cell phones, where numbers
and letters are common denominators.

Maybe they're entitled. Or
maybe the other tenth,
the part the law ignores,
doesn't need possession anyway.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Planning to Plan: This Will Be Suck

In Office Space, on the whiteboard in the conference room where Peter interacts with the Bobs, some office drone has written "planning to plan." In context, the phrase is a shrewd summary of the double-talk and typical waste of brainpower that occurs in meeting rooms. Corporate America is skewered endlessly in that movie, and the small touches are what vaulted it into cult status.

I had three days off this past weekend and managed to commit about 8 hours of free time to playing catch up on work. It wasn't enough. I thought I was okay heading into Monday morning, but once it arrived I realized I had much, much more work to do. About a year ago I had a Korean professor whose English was a little shaky. During one legendary classroom discussion about how badly things can go in our profession, he said something about learning how to deal with it all or "This will be suck." And indeed, I have yet to learn how to deal with it all, and looking at the amount of work I didn't get to, that phrase has stuck with me for the past few days. It's so overwhelming that I literally am not sure how to approach it all. This morning I find myself planning to plan.

And then there's the cold.

I've been slightly sick on-and-off all fall. Nothing major, just the occasional headache (probably more occupational than physiological) and sniffle with a sore throat thrown in for variety. This past Sunday morning I woke up with a stinging sore throat and by Monday morning my immune system had gone AWOL - sore throat, headache, and a desire to do little more than to lay very still. The worst part, however, was my nasal adventure. As the French would say, "My nose, it was going le crazy."

So I took yesterday off, and upon further reflection yesterday afternoon, took today off too. It's just as well, since I need to not give my germs to anyone else and have to catch up on work anyway. The stacks of paperwork have reached critical mass. I have to get through them or my life will implode into a singularity of paperwork hell.

I'm all hopped up on cold meds. Hopefully that won't be too apparent in the papers I'm about to wade through.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Random Question Friday: Super Day Off Edition

Due to a schedule adjustment that only people in my profession have to deal with, yours truly has a (much deserved) day off. And in honor of days off everywhere, today's Random Question Friday asks you to describe good mornings. That is, when you have a good morning, how do you know? What sorts of things constitute a happy beginning to your day?

Mine involves a pot of super special coffee that I reserve only for weekends and/or days off, some sort of cooked breakfast instead of toast, and a visit to for some Grateful Dead background music as I shower and clean up, etc.