Friday, May 30, 2008

The Month in Pictures: May 2008

Random Friday Thoughts:

Okay, seriously folks, was that the best you could do with your deep, dark secrets? sigh...

As I reflect upon my life one thing has become apparent. Clearly I didn't make the most of having summers off as a child. That's way too much responsibility for a child anyway. They should make children go to school year round and let the adults take summers off. I'm going to write to my congressional representative with that suggestion.

And on that note, lets move on to the MiP:

President Bush may finally see some military action as war protesters super-glued him to an Air Force Academy graduate who is slated to serve in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton tried to persuade uncommitted super delegates of her ability to lead by having her face carved onto Mount Rushmore.

Police have added extra patrols at a local department store that they feel may have been targeted.

The Giant Panda Olympics kicked off with the tug-of-war competition.

Unfortunately, several of the participants had to be hospitalized when the rope broke sending them hurtling backwards.

Chelsea's Joe Coleman was red carded when he misunderstood his coach's instruction to mark Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and head the ball at every opportunity.

The Guinness Book of World Records has another member as a man set a record by eating six flaming marshmallows in ten seconds.

A Russian woman failed in her attempt to enter the record book when the world's largest broom collapsed as she attempted to sweep up some dust on the moon.

A train derailment is being blamed on a drunken cat who was hired as a conductor just two weeks ago.

I suppose that was a Cat-astrophe. HA HA HA...ha...erm...sorry.

Saying that they are simply "tired of swimming" after two million years in the water, turtles abruptly took to the skies this week.

A woman is suing a Body Piercing Training Academy after she fell asleep and awoke to find that the entire student body had used her face for practice.

And finally, hell froze over last week, leaving Satan stricken with a severe case of frostbite.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dark Matter

"But that's why I don't like movies so much. There's always a scene where someone starts crying and tells someone else about his deep, dark secret. It always happens. But in the real world you keep the secret to yourself. The darker it is, the more you try to keep it to yourself, the more you'll try to keep it from the people you love the most because they might stop loving you if they knew. You might think about it but you never tell anyone. Isn't that why they call it a secret in the first place?" - Michael Kun

After reading that that yesterday and I put the book down for a moment and wondered if people really do have dark secrets.

At my last job there was a little guy (about 5'5) who was the assistant to the Vice Chair. He used to bully and taunt the women that worked around him. He'd make racially insensitive remarks to the woman that sat next to him, he'd turn down the phone of the hearing impaired woman who sat on the other side of him. He'd make anti-religious remarks such as "The devil be with you" to a devoutly religious office services clerk that delivered our mail. Finally against all odds - and proving that there may, indeed, be someone for everyone, a woman at work dated him. She soon saw him for what he is, and eventually he hounded her until she filed harassment charges against him.

He thought he had position power because he worked for the Vice Chair. But if you thought about it for a moment, you realized that he wasn't the Vice Chair, he was the Vice Chair's secretary. As his HR person, I had to deal with issues related to him nearly every day and, like most bullies, he ran and hid when confronted. His secret was his deep level of self-loathing, which caused him to pick on people the way I'm sure he was picked on outside of work.

The last woman I dated seriously before SSC also had a dark secret which, interestingly enough, was the boyfriend she had on the side while she was dating. I later discovered that this was the same boyfriend she had one the side while she dated the guy she was with before me. I suppose the fact that she continually went away of vacations with her "best friend" - including one time in which I awoke from surgery to a voice mail from her saying that they were going on a last minute trip to Malaysia and that she'd see me in a few weeks.

She always worried about what people thought of her and, as a result, worked hard to make her exes seem like the bad guys in their breakups. What she never realized is that what people think doesn't matter, it's what you do that really matters. People are smart and eventually the truth comes to light.

So do I have a secret? Of course I do - and its huge. I'm not ready to share it yet, though.

But keep in mind the last secret that I disclosed to the blog world and you'll quickly realize that those are the types of secrets I prefer. The things that you aren't ready to share with the world, but that make you smile each time you think of them. To me, those are far better than the ones that make you turn ugly with fear and hatred.

So blog readers, what secrets do you have? Its okay. I won't tell. I'm terrified at the thought of what Grant might write.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random Wednesday Thoughts

Stay tuned throughout the day today for more random thoughts*

8:44 a.m. - If someone teaches you how to make cologne and perfume would you call them your scentsei?

10:09 a.m. - And would the fragrances they create be scentseitional?

11:01 a.m. - Do you realize America is up in arms about paying over $4 a gallon for gas (still ridiculously cheap by world standards), and yet we think nothing of paying $1 for a bottle of water, which is the equivalent of $7.57 a gallon for something we can easily get for free?

1:13 p.m. - I've been working so much that the only way I can tell what day of the week it is is by thinking about what they're serving in the executive lunchroom. They had pizza today, which means it must be Wednesday.

3:05 p.m. - After a long and sometimes tedious campaign that began back in January, it appears that we’ve finally reached an end. The upstart challenger seems to have overcome some missteps that plagued him when he became the front-runner seem to have died down in recent weeks, clearing the way for him to be crowned. He’s been largely embraced by the young, and their energy and unflagging support appears to be the key to victory. Hold on a second. I forget. Was I talking about Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama or American Idol hopeful David Archuleta?

5:05 p.m. - My local bookstore often conducts book signings at which the authors hold brief Q&A sessions. After a recent event some teenagers took over podium and seating to conduct a mock press-conference and it was among the funniest things I've witnessed in a long time. Typical of the rapid-fire-dry-wit exchanges was this one:

Teenager 1 (at the podium): "I expect to earn over $365,000 from this book - or over $1,000 per day."

Teenager 2 (in the audience): "How did you come up with that amount?"

Teenager 1: "Division."
* New and improved - now with 100% fewer insights!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Week in Pictures: Sunburn Editon

Random Friday Thoughts

Softball season is already well underway and so for...welll...we're playing horribly. In fact, the only thing I'm looking forward to is the fact that it's supposed to be sunny, which will allow me to check out the sunburn line on my forehead to see exactly how much hair I've lost over the winter.

Summer hours kick off next week which means that I'll be off at 3 pm every Friday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Can't wait.

Anyway, let's move on to the WiP...

Among the favors given out at Jenna Bush's wedding last week were coffee mugs that when filled with a hot beverage magically change into a naked picture of the President.

In a nod to the British sense of propriety, St. Paul's Cathedral will now blush at any hint of a national scandal.

The Swedish hockey team says they've perfected an offensive strategy that makes it nearly impossible not to score.

Other teams - such as the Swiss pictured here - have failed miserably while trying to mimic the strategy.

Infamous blogger Grant has invented a device that sends a signal to his cell phone whenever a woman that he may find attractive enters into a one-mile radius of his current location.

Kate Hudson was briefly hospitalized due to stomach pains and shortness of breath brought on when she was unable to stop laughing as Matthew McConaughey tried to convince her that he can, indeed, act.

New York City laid out grids on all of it's sidewalks in the hopes of luring the prestigious and potentially lucrative Water Balloon Dropping convention to the city.

A model who had a chandelier attached to her head claims that she's now capable of having up to eleven ideas at once.

The theory of evolution received a boost when a woman who failed clean her mop for over a decade reported that life had begun to form on it.

Members of Oz's gay and lesbian community successfully lobbied to have a portion of the famed yellow brick road repainted to reflect what they call "the diversity of the entire community"

Members of Australia's government were shocked when they arrived at work this morning to learn that aliens had picked up and transported away the entire Parliament building.

And finally, a member of the Spanish synchronized swimming team was forced to resign from the team after she was unable to overcome her deathly fear of water.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Novel Thinking

More conversations I've overheard at work:

Conversation One
Random Male Co-Worker: "Hey, do you have a sec?"
Random Female Co-Worker: "Sure, I have plenty of secs."

Conversation Two
Dick: "So how was your son's baseball game?"
Yolanda: "He did well...I think. I don't really know what I'm watching, though."
Margaret: "What position does he play?"
Yolanda: "He's a..." (struggling to remember) "He's a...Dick knows."
Tom: "Your son is a dick nose?"

One day I'll collect all of these and use them as fodder for a book.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Just Plane Bad

It was a beautiful voice. We all agreed on that. We marveled at the perfect pitch. Some of us were envious and wished that we were that talented. Others simply listened transfixed and mystified at the way in which she seemed - against all logic - to be able to harmonize with herself. We smiled knowingly and went back to our reading materails, calls, and iPods.

During takeoff, the singing became a nusiance. Like an itch. Our smiles grew tighter and our books more difficult to concentrate on. We could no longer distract ourselves with phone calls, so we turned up our iPods further torturing the people in the seats near us by forcing them to listen to the music seepage from our earphones.

As the plane leveled off, she stopped singing. It must have been a nervous habit we said, as our shoulders relaxed and we reveled in the newfound silence. Then she began to speak - loudly, screechy, and reedy - and we realized that all of the beauty that a voice could have went into her singing, leaving no trace of lovliness for her to use when speaking.

We spend the next two hours of the flight considering begging her to sing again for we knew by now that silence - glorious silence - was not an option at our disposal.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Marianne Williamson

I've been playing small for far too long. I've been shrinking for years. As I lay awake one night this week wondering what was wrong with me that I was not worthy of the love and respect of those for whom I've sacrificed so much I realized that I can no longer live with being defined by those that will tear me down and try to reduce me so that they might feel powerful. I can no longer bear the weight of the anger and injustice of others. That I can no longer sacrifice my happiness so that others can prosper as they sit in judgment of me and belittle the things that I've done even as they ask for more. I can no longer allow people to mistake my niceness for weakness and to mock me for turning the other cheek. I can no longer be mocked by the ones for whom I have shown unconditional love. I am worthy of far more than I've allowed others to convince me that I deserve.

From this day forward I shall shine not so that I can feel superior to others, but simply so that I can reach my full potential. I shall not allow others to feel powerful by reducing me. I shall not let others insecurities define who I am and I will no longer seek to earn the respect and kindness of people who have not earned the same of me. I shall stand strong and proud. I will trust myself and will not seek approval from those that act in their own selfish interests for they are not worth my time or interest.

Amd in doing so I shall be the man that I am destined to become and I will find the happiness and peace that I feel that I deserve.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Reading is (Literally) Fundamental

I'm in the middle of reading four books, none of which seem to be holding my interest, so I thought I'd reach out to you to get some advice. I have to fly to Chicago on Sunday for four days of meetings and I'm looking for something to read on the plane.

What are you reading right now and are you enjoying it? What else can you recommend?

Erm...obviously I don't mean "right now" in the literal sense otherwise the answers would likely be "this blog", "not very much" and "anything but this blog."

On a completely unrelated note, can we put a moratorium on the word "literally" until people learn how to use it? Over the past few days I've (literally) heard the following three examples:

"They will literally be on a plane for the entire season."
...which should make it impossible for them to win any games.

"I've literally been asked that question a million times today."

"I literally drowned on the way to work today."

At least the last one gave me the opportunity to end the conversation by screaming "It's a ghost!" and running away. Anyway, if you wouldn't mind pummelling anyone who uses "literally" incorrectly, I'd appreciate it.