Thursday, December 29, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

I've been reading about corporate co-opting in the blog world-- blogs written in the voice of tv characters, blogs written with corporate sponsorship, etc., etc.
Well, let me tell you my fine feathered friend, there is no sponsorship or product placement here. It is I and only I.

The thing about not being sponsored by laundry powder is that one must do one's own publicity. So of course one starts with people one knows. This is fine, but if you happen to be a person with family and friends, or if you know any such creatures, then you realize that one's own life (and the people in it) are the best source for material. Even if they may not like it.
There are worse things than almost not being mentioned in someone's blog.

This entry is actually supposed to be about my Christmas holiday (yes, I said it, Christmas) I had a good time, thanks for asking. No spills, thrills or chills. Still, I have to say that I was a part of some interesting dialogues...

I was asked a number of times about what I'd studied.

"Didn't you study ---?"
"No, I studied ^^^^."
"But I thought it was ---?"
"No, it was ^^^^."
"Really, I thought it was ---."
"It was ^^^."
"Oh, well you need to help me out. I need to study ^^^."

This could have gone on forever. Thankfully, it did not.

Then there was the tantalizing offer to pack my bags and move to another city to work at the publication of someone else's choice. Mind you, this person knew of no openings. They just thought it would be nice for me to work at a place that they like.

"But if you had the opportunity, wouldn't you work for ###?"
"Well, no. I wouldn't move to work for ###?"
"Why not? I'm just saying, if you could, wouldn't you?
"I just love ###...what about %%%? Would you work for them?"

I'll let you fill in the next blank.

Finally, there was the 2005 Gift of the Magi-Who's on First Edition, in which an entire family (of which I am a member) went to the mall the day after Christmas because everyone thought someone else wanted to go, when really, no one wanted to go. Each one's sacrifice of enduring the mall for the other turned out to be in vain. So after a brief sojourn they all left. Some left sooner than others since about half of them got stuck in horrid Day-after-Christmas-mall-parking-lot traffic.
The End.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Have you ever...

Have you ever stopped thinking about what must be done long enough to see what already has been done?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Shared Memory

For the past few days as I have walked down the hallway, coming and going, I have seen the same thing in front of a neighbor's door: a brown paper bag on top of a tv dinner. I don't know what mysteries the paper bag contains, but I can see that the tv dinner is a tv dinner. Especially since it is not in a box.

As I write this, I am thinking, "Why didn't you at least mention it to the manager?" Couldn't tell you why. Could have been left by a friend? Meals on Wheels? I have never seen that door open, and I don't know who lives there. I hope this person or those people are still alive, and just neglectful. Or on vacation.

This reminds me of the time I went on a class trip to Albany in the 6th grade. We stayed at an Econo Lodge. The building was painted with vertical turquoise and white stripes.

For the three days of our stay the same tray of food remained outside of the room next door. I had the gruesome thought that we would come down the hallway to find the tray covered with ants. But that didn't happen.

My brother, who was two years behind me at the same school, claims to have the same memory (school trip, Econo Lodge, tray of food unremoved). I tell him that he has just co-opted my memory, and he emphatically denies this. No matter. I am not particulary possessive about that memory anyway.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Recently it has been impossible to read The Washington Post or its free tabloid, Express without seeing something about, Tai Shan, the National Zoo's new panda cub.

So I was amused to finally see that some Post writers were willing to poke fun at their own paper, skewering the constant panda coverage. There was a really funny cartoon depicting how every single section of the paper could get in on all this panda action.

I laughed out loud, thinking of it as satire rather than a prediction. But you know what they say about the genius of comedy. Today's Health section a short piece explaining the psychology behind why people like pictures of the Tai Shan so much and that "cute" pictures trigger an emotional response in a certain part of the brain.

Apparently humans are hardwired to find respond positively to the physical features of young creatures (human or not). That way the species survives because adults are drawn towards and want to nurture the young.

Okay, so I learned something new...but I still think we are seeing way too much of that panda.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Float on

If you have never had men float past your window, you don't know what you're missing.

These are no hallucinations, but the real thing. The never-ending construction on my building means that I experience this quite often. And this would have been a touching tribute to all their hard work...if they hadn't started hammering quite earlier than usual the other day, waking me up. I want them to be gone so I can miss them already.

If I look out of my huge window, and see the hanging ropes start to shake, I know the visitors will soon appear. I rush to close my blinds, in anticipation. Sometimes they stop right in front of my window; other times the keep gliding up to visit one of my neighbors.

If a song that I love from back in the day comes on the radio, then they are likely to show up with a drill and drown it out.

But then again, they also just as likely to entertain me.
Once, I heard a harrowing tale of someone who traveled through Mexico, and Arizona, being chased by la migra (that's immigration, y'all). And another morning, outside my window there was a deep voice singing, "¡Qué bonito! ¡Qué bonito!" first serenata (serenade). Although I enjoyed the serenade, we really don't like the same music. Their radio is tuned into the all ranchera station, while I prefer salsa, merengue, bachata and Latin pop.

Even as I write this, the ropes are shaking.
But today they have passed me by, moving up to higher heights.