Monday, November 15, 2010

My 100th blog post...too bad it's nothing special

It seems like my 100th blog post should contain some profound message, or at least some truly stellar writing.  Alas, I don't think I have either up my sleeve tonight, but I'm tired of waiting.  So, without much ado, here it 100th post.

Um, can we pause for a moment and take note of the fact that I have chosen to write about myself and my life 100 times in the past few years?  That's pretty amazing for a girl who never kept a journal for more than a few weeks.  What's even more amazing is that some people actually read some of the entries!  In fact, if you do, I have a special message for you at the end of this entry. 

So what does one write about in her 100th blog post?  I guess for me, it's more of the same: odd things that have happened over the last few days.

Like, for example, the person dressed as a cardboard sandwich outside a sub shop today.  I'm sorry, but YUCK.  I have never been less inclined to buy a sandwich.  I wonder if all those poor people stuck outside brandishing handwritten signs or, worse yet, dressed like asparagus, are a sign that traditional media really is dying.  My years as Video Bear taught me that hanging out inside a smelly, germ-filled costume is not worth whatever minimum wage you earn.  (Full disclosure - it was my family's business, I was not paid, and at the time I probably thought it was fun)'s an idea!  How about a rebellion!  What if all the mascots, Disney Characters and Human Marketing Figures went on strike?  Would the gears of the merchandising and desperation marketing fields break down? Hmmm...I'll have to ponder that.

Have I mentioned that one of my least favorite job duties is reading the opinion pages?  I can literally feel my blood pressure going up as I read them.  Today I had an epiphany (not a terribly original one). Though it didn't precisely make me feel better, it did put it all in context - letters to the editor and op-eds are just social media "comments" posted in newsprint.  Nothing more.  The only difference is it takes days, not seconds, for someone to comment on a comment.

Lately I've become obsessed with the fact that NPR never says the words "almost", "nearly" or "about" if they can instead use the more pretentious/public radioy "some".  As in "some 10,000 people turned out for this event" or "some 1 million poor suckers bought the next big electronic gadget".   According to the first online dictionary to pop up in Google...oh, for god's sake.  Excuse me while, for the first time in years, I get up from my computer and go find a real dictionary.

Ok.  I'm back.  According to my 1985 Second College Edition American Heritage Dictionary ("The single source for people who need to be right" - I'm not kidding, that's what it says on the cover!), "some" may be used as an adverb to mean "approximately" or "about".  Perhaps they should just say approximately or about.  They both sound more...well...normal.

Speaking of normal, yesterday I achieved "honorary domestic goddess" status as I raked my patio yard, purchased (and used) a new vacuum cleaner, installed a shelf in the garage and even...wait for it...baked cookies while doing laundry! I also bought yarn and a crochet needle; it's time to pick that hobby up again.  Lest you think I've completely lost my mind, I redeemed my bachelorette status by eating a dinner that was made up of toast, soup and wine and watching the Pats/Steelers game all by myself. And while Brady's hair is ridiculous, I still like watching him win.

And of course, no blog entry would be complete without some update to the Chronicles of Sadie, also known as the "yes, of course you want to know about my dog's every quirk" writing tactic.  So, let's begin!

One of the odder things about my pooch is that she won't jump up into the car.  At first, I thought maybe she just didn't like the car.  Then I tried to get her to jump on my bed.  She'd look at me, and then bolt for her dog bed, safely on ground level.  Tonight, I was determined to get her on the bed, if only because I'm stubborn.  I tried treats, I tried cajoling, I tried getting her a running start.  Nothing.  Then - aha - genius struck.  I grabbed the trunk I put my shoes in and pushed in up against the bed.  Viola!  Instant stepping stool for plyometrically challenged pups.  Guess what?  She's afraid of the trunk.  Treats lured her front paws on the trunk; I helped with the back legs.  She floundered in disarray for a moment, then smelled the treats on the bed and lo and behold, there she was on my purple bedspread.  I have to say she looked pretty smug.  I have no idea how she got down. 

Whether I can get her up there again is anyone's guess.   We may have to settle for the Big Chair.

And that's it.  My 100th post is complete.  So from my first entry, Steamed Duck, about a duck named TAD, to musings on dogs and NPR, I guess much hasn't changed since November 2008.  Thanks for reading, and if you're up for it, I'd love for you to post a comment below about who you are and if you have a blog I should be exploring and linking to.  If you're not up for it, that's ok too.

Bonne nuit!  And I really do mean it; if you're reading this, I appreciate you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I want to be smart...and useful.

What a strange day. 

It was one of those days where each new moment, literally, brought about something unexpected, sometimes unwelcome, or surprisingly encouraging.  Nothing was mild.  Everything was amped up.  And yet it's ending in such a mild, comforting way.   Weird.

Here's the summary:

5:51am - bolt out of bed 51 minutes later than I was supposed to.  Why the HELL do I hit snooze on my alarm so many times?  Dammit, gonna have to feed the dog without walking her if I'm going to shower and make it to my 7am on time.  This will be the first time since I got her that I haven't walked her in the morning.  Bad Jodi.  No treats for you.

6:30am - hmmm.  Strangely, I am dressed, coiffed and ready to go.  15 minutes early.  Um, ok.  Guess the dog and I get a quick jaunt around the block (in my snazzy black ankle boots). 

7am - Speaking at a Kiwanis event.  Surprisingly pleasant morning, no hard questions, friendly people, and an invite to join the club.  That, and a ceramic coffee mug.  (PS: We could learn something from the "reports" at this club - they are given verbally and last for precisely one sentence.  Fantastic!)

9am - back to back meetings filled with stress and the realization that I'm not doing a very good job at much these days.  I HATE realizing that. 

10:50am - a colleague walks by and blinks in surprise while telling me how much she loves my outfit.  That's not a compliment I get very often. 

10:51am - I say to this colleague: "Oh my gosh, I have no idea what I'm going to say to the class that we're about to go speak to!"  She calmly says, "Walk with me, we'll figure it out." Very Zen response, and just what I needed.

11:00am - I should really go back to work after doing the introduction to the class.  Nah.  I'm gonna stick around for the backstage tour; it's always fun. 

12:45pm - tour ran long.  No time for lunch.  Gotta run to meeting.

1:00pm - fast, pleasant meeting.  I want more of those.

1:30pm - sign some papers and really hope that they are legit and truthful.  Start talking with a colleague about someone who is getting a Governor's Arts Award today.  Me: "And he's smart. There aren't many people out there who are both smart..." (trails off, searching for that perfect word) - My Colleague: "...and useful."  Enjoyed a huge laugh at that one.

2:30pm - back to the class.  They're running late.  Luckily, lunch is still available.  Read some national news, including the story of people stuck on an ocean liner being towed out of the Pacific by tugboats.  Yeah, ok, that pretty much sucks.

4:00pm - practicing delegation.  Passing on a project to one of my staff, and feeling very good about it.  Had a nice little moment of realizing that it's my JOB to push them and challenge them, not coddle them or keep them safe. And along the way, I'll save my sanity.  That seems like a good deal.

5:15pm - Jeez, is it dark out already? 

5:40pm - Come on, dog, get in the car.  We've gotta get to the dog park before the sun completely goes down.

5:41pm - Success!  Lured by treats, the dog gets into the car on her own steam for the first time ever.  It's the little things.

5:42pm - Busted by the suburban mom for driving too fast on "her" street.  Gulp.

5:43pm - Dog park in the dark.  Funny.  Nice vibe to the park tonight; dogs are happy and playing, people are watching them, everyone is calm.

6:15pm - There's a note from my landlady in the mail; she wants me to give her a picture of my dog to keep in her files along with the pet deposit.  Excuse to take photos of my fur kid?  As if I needed one. 

6:16pm - back home, answering work emails, some of which, if I were to let them, would make me angry.  But I'm not gonna let them.

6:17 to now - quiet, calm night in the house.  TV on DVR.  Thought provoking Glee (sometimes standing up to bullies doesn't work, which is depressing).  Looking forward to spending the latter half of the day with friends tomorrow; I need the break.

It was a tough day, even though this accounting doesn't really show that.  Mostly, because I'm falling behind in everything; work, laundry, planning for the holidays.  But also, because when I fall behind, I start to screw up, and that's when I start to worry if I really know what I'm doing, or if I've just fooled everyone into thinking I do.  It's humbling (which is a good thing), but also scary.

But then again, Sadie is sprawled at my feet after a happy evening of chewing on her rawhide bone.  And that's not bad.

PS: Well, actually, since I went back to proofread this entry, she's begun her ritual "it's-almost-time-for-bed-so-now-I'm-gonna-get-hyper" routine.  But that's not bad either. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

The girl with the full soul

Well, this has certainly been a lovely last week or so.  (I'm choosing to block out election day - and the bright side of that is that Jon Stewart's got a lot of good material).  Without any attempt at a marginally witty expository introduction, here's why.

I'm playing volleyball again!  In a women's league, on a women's net. Bliss. 

It's fall.  And though they aren't widespread, the few orangey-red trees we have are stunning.

We've had Trey McIntyre Project in residence for the last few days.  As I've said before, hanging out with artists is the only way to keep jobs like mine in perspective.  Tonight, they performed to a sold out house.  Let me say that again.  A dance company performed to a sold. out. house.  Now THAT is a professional victory if I do say so myself.

My friend Kathryn had a new baby.  Even though her family is heading for an overseas state department posting and I probably won't meet the kid before she's 12, it's still delightful.

And then there's my dog.  I will admit, this dog ownership thing isn't easy.  Getting up early for a walk each day is not, contrary to what "they" said, becoming easier.  It sucks, in fact.  And trying to project calm-assertive energy when your dog is wiggling herself into a frenzy is tiring.

But still, she's worth it.  There's something to be said for unconditional love.  And it doesn't hurt that she's funny; I could write my own personal "Funny s#!& my dog does" anthology.  Here's just a few:
* I can get her to play fetch.  For exactly 2 tosses of the ball.  Then she's done.
* Sometimes, when we head out on to the frosty grass in the morning, she leaps up, all four feet off the ground, as if to say "Jeez!  That's cold."
* I kid you not, yesterday, while peeing at the dog park, she squatted and lifted BOTH of her back legs off the ground.  That and her ability to change directions at the speed of sound makes me wonder if I've got a circus dog on my hands.
* She likes to move my shoes from one room to the next.  Not chew them (at least not yet), but move them.  As if to say: "Hey, check it out!  I can move your shoes."
* She's afraid of my trash can.

So yeah, life isn't bad.  I'm exhausted and would love a day or two to just watch movies and sleep.  But all thing considered, I can't complain.  Which most of you know is unusual for me.  :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why I should never blog on election nights...

I've been writing this blog entry for 20 minutes now.

It was a rant.  About voter turnout.  And political advertising.  And the absolute pile of crap that we are fed by the media and campaign managers and pundits.  Every. Single. Day. 

It's a good thing I erased it.  It won't solve anything, and will just make me lose sleep over who I may have offended. 

I take comfort in knowing that this is still my country.  And that the politicians elected tonight, D or R or in between, more often than not, do not speak for me and my values.  And that there are millions of others like me.

I'm just pissed they didn't vote.