Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2012

Math vs. Humanities

I was listening to a couple of Microsoft engineers talk about college tonight. One guy mentioned how strange it is that the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology -- The Russian MIT -- has no humanities.
"In India we had to do all of that philosophy sh*t and ..."
"We don't do that in the East Block," the other guy interrupted. "We have polytechnic schools for math and science. I was studying computers. I had no need for the other bullsh*t."
I laughed, and he stared at me alarmed.

"I'm sorry if I offended you," he said.
"No. That was awesome," I assured him.
But it wasn't awesome. It sucked, because I was bullsh*t in the context of that discussion.

What is it they say; the truth hurts?
You don't want an artist on your team in the race for ultimate greatness. You want someone like John Nash who sees the algorithms in daily life. You want someone who can mathematically simplify dating and the battle of the sexes for pe…

Take a hike

I love myself, I hate myself, I love myself, I hate myself ... Every day is like that game little girls play with daisies, except I don't need the flower. I know as soon my fingers hit the keyboard, whether or not I will love myself.

If I make it through the first sentence without stopping -- without hitting the backspace -- it will be a good day. Unfortunately I haven't had one in quite some time. There's no predicting exactly. I can guesstimate. If I'm not feeling well; if I'm spread too thin; if I eat too much; my concentration and thus my writing will suffer.

I wish it was so easy to spot a good day -- then I could replicate it. But I don't know what happens on those rare occasions that my brain and fingers work together. When they do it's magic. When they don't I hate the world and everything in it -- Grrawr!

I try to keep track of things on good days -- where I was sitting; what I was wearing; what I ate; what time I woke up; what time I went to b…

Job-related brain rot

It feels like the world is blazing past me at 100-miles-per-hour, and I'm stuck is slow motion. There's this ever-present lump in my chest -- the panic appendage -- screaming at my legs to run faster.

"You've got to move," it reminds me. "They're leaving without you. Hurry, hurry, hurry."
But the harder I try to catch up the slower I go like a snail or a turtle or a worn-out computer processor.

There must be a glitch in my operating system -- something terrible like Alzheimers or cancer; exhaustion from lack of coffee; dehydration from too much coffee; or worse. It could be that super bug everyone's on about -- the people-ending super pandemic would begin with me.

Five years ago I'd have run straight to the doctor with a shopping list of pharmaceuticals, but Snowpocalypse 2007 killed my money tree.

I was drying my hair yesterday -- scowling at my reflection -- when I noticed something black and squishy protruding from my ear. I climbed on th…

You can't have EVERYTHING

I've been thinking a lot about my childhood -- my kid self compared to the grown-up me with two daughters, three cats and a husband -- would the little me be happy or disappointed with the life I chose?

I said a lot when I was little -- some things stayed with me; while others were forgotten.

I was a kid; I said what I wanted and blamed it on youth and inexperience when people got offended. I don't think I've changed much on that score.

"Those better be your party shoes." I was going to the park with the neighbor boy for play date. Ryan -- everyone called him Boo -- was a shy kid. I vaguely remember feeling irritated -- I was 4 -- that he wouldn't talk to me."Are those your party shoes?" I asked him. He examined his feet for a moment and turned his head away from me."I asked you; are those your party shoes?" He did not answer."Those better be your party shoes.""Mom's right, Dad. You are a jerk." We were visiting my g…

Writers get laid

Writers get laid -- or they would if they tried -- because people -- especially women -- are impressed by the phrase, "I'm a writer." It's romantic.

Introducing yourself as a writer insinuates substance and depth of character; people like that. They don't know why, except that one-dimensional characters on T.V. sitcoms and big-screen romantic comedies prattle on and on about the whole package -- a good looking, funny, intelligent single with rock-solid values and money.

People admire the skill and dedication it takes to be a novelist or a journalist or a screen writer  -- "I always wanted to be a writer," they tell you with stars in their eyes.

Whether they know it's a myth or not they imagine us in rich, thrilling lives with sports cars and beach houses and Louboutin shoes like Carrie Bradshaw. So the woman at the grocery store doesn't feel bad when she puts back the US Weekly she read cover to cover before she checks out.

Or downloading unauth…

A quiet corner anywhere but here

Writing is irritating sometimes like not being able to sleep  -- I can't get comfortable.

I started this evening at my desk in a tiny yellow chair, but I hate the way my desk is positioned against the wall in the middle of the bedroom. My right side, left side and backside are all exposed to whatever terror -- murderers, thieves, meth-head zombies, attention-starved cats, my children or my husband -- may come barreling through the door. 
I hate writing in here, but it's the only room I have any real control over besides the bathrooms -- and who wants to write in a room that people poop in?

I considered moving to the bed, but the outlet behind my' nightstand is occupied, and the mouse I'm using -- the back-up, corded piece of crap -- doesn't work well on soft surfaces. I have a cordless mouse, but the battery died more than a month ago, and I can't be bothered to look for the handful of AA batteries I got from the neighbor in exchange for some useless-size batte…

Another birthday -- blah!

I'm 35 now. It doesn't feel any different than 34 --  more depressing perhaps that I'm still in the same square professionally that I was three years ago;  two years ago; one year ago.

I thought I beat the odds when I graduated from college. I didn't technically graduate from high school, so completing college was a big deal. I taught preschool for a couple of years. Then I was a journalist -- that didn't work out so well, newspapers going extinct and all.

Now I'm a "web analyst," which is a fancy way of saying I scrub porn and other nasty stuff from the Internet so your kids don't see vaginas when they're looking for Curious George.

I'm not alone. Millions of people are stuck on the same sinking ship -- people with college degrees in education, English, journalism, art ... We weren't so great at math and science, but the experts --  academic advisers and career counselors -- told us that writing and communication were valuable skills.…

Do you poop out at parties?

The Insecure Writer's Support Group I forgot that sometimes you need to go out after work and drink mojitos until you're cross eyed.

I've been so busy working and writing and fulfilling all of my other "obligations" I haven't set time aside for FUN, and fun is important. It makes life worth writing about -- without it your stories are sad, boring, one-dimensional piles of depressing crap. And that's how I feel -- sad boring and poop like.

Not now of course. Right now I'm feeling very close to awesome, because I went to the bar this evening and drank four mojitos and remembered there is more to life than writing and working. (And don't worry, I arranged a ride home with my husband beforehand so I didn't ride the bus home drunk.)

I felt so good at the bar I was tempted to put my legs over my head, but I was one mojito shy of a train wreck. I'm rather thankful for that considering it's only Wednesday, and I have to face my coworkers tomor…

Something is missing

This morning began like most bad days -- something was missing. I set my security badge on the table next to the computer on Friday evening.

I'd been in a rush that night on account of my daughter's gymnastics recital -- preparations included sprinting from the office to meet my husband -- Jerod; driving home in rush-hour traffic; picking up the clutter around the house to keep Jerod from killing our children (and my mother -- it's very hard to look after a 2-year-old all day without making messes); camouflaging my icked-out work face with many layers of makeup; calming a pissed off toddler -- Ashlyn; nagging the 6-year-old gymnast -- Lily -- to "GET DRESSED;" loading two children and two grandparents in the car amid tantrums over seating arrangements; and driving once more in rush-hour traffic to deliver Lily in costume 15 minutes ahead of showtime.

So -- I tossed my badge carefully on the table as it was the most convenient surface available at the time and ran …