Thursday, May 31, 2007

Big Red X's

Counting down the days to vacation. I have been so busy at work --

[Excuse me. I was just interrupted by my hubs, asking if I was blogging finally. I mumbled yes and kept typing.

Sweet W: Are you blogging about how I'm lying on the couch, watching HBO--

Mama Blah: No, I'm not saying anything about you.

SW: Why not? [shrieking hysterically] It should ALWAYS BE ABOUT ME!

So you see what I'm dealing with.]

At any rate, we leave next Monday. Here is the Blah Blah party line when asked about anything, anything at all, particularly work-related: first, you must interrupt the offending party by standing with one arm stretched out toward them and your hand up, palm facing them, in the international symbol for "stop." Then you say, "Excuse me, are you Hawaiian? Are you offering me a drink and showing me where the best food is on Maui? No? Then why are you talking to me?"

This seems to have actually been effective at Sweet Dub's job. At mine, they laugh and then continue to ask me about the best way to report on domestic violence statistics. That doesn't seem quite fair.

P.S. Sweet Dub is currently switching between watching a Bunny Ranch documentary on HBO and Planet Earth: Life in the Desert on the Discovery Channel. What more need be said, really? You see what I'm dealing with.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Words Are Late

I am afraid that I did not get very much accomplished today as far as work goes. I found an interesting blog today: Syntax and Soul. (Note: This is not why I did not get much accomplished today. I just couldn't get my thoughts together. But tomorrow morning, I am sure, the adrenaline will kick in when I realize how much I have left to do, and I will burn through the project I'm working on and shape it into usable form. )

I like this entry for its description of various people's reactions to a delayed flight at the airport, but particularly for the term "arguing with reality." I think this is a very common and silly thing to do, and I know that I am quite often guilty of it. And I recognized myself toward the end:

The planes come, if not on time. The words come, if not when I want them. I do best when I use the time of waiting engaged in something other than arguing with reality.

The planes come, and I have never missed a deadline.

Scatterbrained. What?

I am working from home today and barely know what to do with myself. We welcomed a new VP to our department three weeks ago and since then I have been even more insanely busy than usual - mainly because we are approaching the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of another and we have been working together to create a work plan for our department. The new VP is a great addition to our department - very positive, lots of great ideas and follow-through - and we are all very excited. However, I'm finding it difficult to get other work done.

My blog looks like crap and I want to fix it but have not made the time.* Has anyone out there used I like the look of Shelfari for cataloguing my library but I'd also like to include music I'm listening to, where it updates automatically on my blog as I add it to my online account.** It would be wonderful to be able to do both things on one site rather than having to either update manually on my blog template or update two separate sites. Since I'm barely posting to my blog these days, I need to find something that is fairly quick and easy.

I am also trying to figure out how I can make my blog a little more specialized. When I post, my thoughts tend to be all over the place, depending on what I'm interested in that day. Now some might say I'm a dilettante, but some might say I have a bit of attention-deficit going on. What? Where was I? Oh, you!

I guess what I am resisting is the idea that I might be pigeonholed in some way depending on what I write about. But even reading back over that sentence makes me want to smack myself - I mean, just frickin' write something, for God's sake.

Here's what I want to write about: family dynamics (I had a great Mother's Day post in my head, but hey, that was days ago), children's welfare issues, race and gender issues, parenting in general, parenting in an environmentally responsible way, real estate, clothes, and shoes. And I'd like to reserve the right to occasionally post about politics, religion, philosophy and pop culture. You know, I'm just multidimensional, is all. I'm embracing that in myself because I am a strong woman warrior who needs answer to no one.

Okay, I no longer know what the hell I'm talking about, so I'm signing off. Love and kisses!

* "Our perception that we have 'no time' is one of the distinctive marks of modern Western culture." - Margaret Visser

** UPDATE: Never mind, I found a Pandora widget. Now I just have to figure out how to bookmark what I'm listening to. Whee!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Greetings from Los Angeles, where fire season is officially underway. It's about 80 degrees here today, unless you happen to live within the vicinity of Griffith Park, which is ON FIRE. The fire, which started yesterday at around 1:30 in the afternoon, has snarled traffic in the area and deposited great quantities of ash in my backyard and all over my car. Yesterday evening, as Viva and I were returning home (a 5 mile trip that took 45 minutes), you could see a gigantic dark plume of smoke churning just behind the Griffith Park Observatory. Have I mentioned that I live a mere stone's throw from the park? Whee, good times.

Fortunately, no lives have been lost, although one man was reportedly badly burned in the blaze. My grandmother, who lives 45 miles north of me, called me at work today to tell me in her inimitable way that she had been "follerin' the fire" on TV and that they were evacuating my neighborhood. This was news to me, and to my elderly next-door neighbor, who I called immediately. "But the sky is blue!" she protested, popping outside to look. "There's no smoke!" The evacuations actually happened last night, and at last report, people were being allowed to return to their homes today. I guess Grandma was a little late to the party.

Viva was intrigued by the fire, if a little disturbed that our favorite hiking area was being burned to a crisp (and by inference, all the animals that reside therein - On a related note, the L.A. Zoo miraculously escaped unscathed). When she got up this morning, she said, "Is the fire out?" When I told her that it wasn't, she insisted she must watch the news. Then she muttered something about the stock market, but I didn't quite catch it.

We did have a wonderful teaching moment while in the car on the interminable ride to school (again, 45 minutes to go 5 miles, thanks to the freeway and street closures): Viva asked what had started the fire. "They say it was a cigarette," I said.

"A what?" Viva said.

"Cig – a – rette," I said. "He was smoking. This is another reason why you should never take up smoking."

"Nobody should ever have a shug-a-rette," Viva said stoutly.

Words to live by, my friends.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Land of Opportunity and Traffic

The people have spoken. At any rate, Cee in SF has spoken, calling me out on my slackerness: "New post! New post!! We want a new post!" her comment shrieks. I wish I could tell you I've been doing something exciting, but in fact, I've been working a lot (yes, even weekends). Ugh, no good.

Happy May Day, my peeps. If you are here in Los Angeles, you know that we are in the midst of immigration rallies which are expected to immobilize downtown and Koreatown, although turnout is anticipated to be much lower than last year. Anecdotally, I know that some folks who marched last year are discouraged that the march didn't seem to have much of an impact – i.e., that immigration reform hasn't made much progress in the legislature.

I realize that immigration is a hot-button word these days. The message boards on all the immigration stories are particularly nasty. My opinion on undocumented immigrants and all the issues surrounding them is not fixed in stone, and the more I learn about it, the less I think that there's an easy fix. The U.S. has not secured its borders, provides free emergency healthcare and public education, and let's face it, supports a capitalist system that makes a bigger profit when it uses low-wage workers. It seems pretty clear what the draw is, so now what?

But, I digress and I only have a second to write this*. Since I work in Koreatown, the site of the second demonstration of the day – one which will start mere blocks from my office building at 2 pm and then travel south and east to reconvene for a 5:30 pm rally – is of concern to me, primarily because I have to drive straight through that area during my evening commute. I have a 3:30 meeting and I really want to bail. I wish I had been able to work from home today. Yes, it's all about me. Viva la self-absorption!

* I've already been interrupted twice. You see how it is.