Tag Archives: work

The Not-So-Gentle Gin and Tonic.

My fave.

My fave.

My new favorite drink.

It used to be Pinot Grigio, since Chardonnay gives me kind of a headache. Pouilly-Fuissé is pouilly fabulous, but it puts too much of a hole in my wallet to be a regular thing – and hey, an artist likes a little nip now and then after a hard day’s, well, arting.

So now I have discovered – well, technically, REdiscovered, since it’s not like I never had a gin and tonic before in my life – the wonders of this clean, refreshing, and buzzy little drink.

Best of all? The little bottles of Tanqueray are VERY moderately priced, and there’s something about pouring your drink out of a flask-shaped container that makes you feel charmingly like a cross between a hobo and Dorothy Parker.

Especially if you drink enough of it.


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I’m no valedictorian, but…

Add to Technorati Favoritesgraduate celebratingI practically fell asleep at both my high school and college graduations, not to mention the endless graduations I was forced to attend during my stint as a PR/web diva while employed at a local community college.

Why these institutions relentlessly opt for the most boring speakers, year after year, spouting the same, clichéd advice, I will never in my life figure out.

Do speakers honestly think they’ve hit on something original and fun when they approach the podium with Dr. Suess’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go?” For the love of all that’s holy – the book itself isn’t even that good. It just has Suess’s name on it, so the speaker thinks it’s got an automatic seal of “Aren’t I fun? Won’t this be the best speech EVER?”

Do speakers at roasting-hot graduations, facing crowds of hungover, soaking-wet individuals who are impatient to get back to drinking again, diplomas in hand, think that anyone – even the proud, ignorant parents – think anyone is really listening to a word they say? Especially if they say anything past three minutes or so?

Why these institutions  relentlessly opt for the  most boring speakers, year after year, spouting  the same, clichéd advice, I will never in my life figure out.I think they do. I think there’s something about a microphone that dangerously brings out the absolute worst in all of us. Get someone behind a mike – someone who most people see a few yards ahead, casually turn on their heels, hoping to avoid a “Hey, howya doing? Have you heard the latest about ME?” – and some people go simply MAD with the attention.

Now, they think to themselves, I get to say all the things that have been gathering in my heart for years. And I have all the time, under this blistering sun, to say it to a captive audience, clad in long, dark, hot, heat-gathering robes. And hats. Don’t forget hats. Which also keep the heat in.

I was once at a graduation where one professor with an axe to grind went on for over a half an hour, listing everything he thought was wrong with the world. Administrators wandered helplessly in the background, along with security, wondering if, in fact, they were going to need an actual vaudeville hook to remove him from the dais.

Not that anyone is ever likely to invite me to give a graduation speech, but here’s the one I’d give, in the event I were asked:

Very cool, folks. You graduated. Time for the touchdown dance. Guess what? Now that you will never be attending another mixer, no one will ever ask you again what your major is. No one will ever care. They only care that you graduated. Which you did. So yay, you. A lot of people don’t.

Now that you have, though, here’s what happens next.

You will not remember any of your Spanish, French, or whatever language you took. The quadratic equation? You actually WON’T ever need it; you were right – the unit prices in ShopRite are printed right there on the shelves when you’re trying to figure out which is cheaper, the big jar of peanut butter or the two little jars. That’s daily math for you. I liked math in college, but I’ve never needed the advanced calculus I took to live my life, and I’ve had more different jobs than Stevie Nicks has costume changes at a concert.

You will barely remember, in fact, much of what you learned. I recommend at some point in the future, actually, that you pick up a book called An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones and William Wilson.

Not to imply that you haven’t received a perfectly good and thorough education here at this fine institution – I’m just warning you. Real life – as in work, rent, bills, someday kids – has a way of driving from your ballooning brain things like philosophy, history, literary criticism, and all the things that have seemed so very important in the past few years.

This book? It’s a fabulous, one or two paragraph reference to catch you up at cocktail party time, so you don’t end up sounding like a picket-fence polishing, lawn-mowing, brain-dead, “I-gave-up” suburbanite.

I don’t know.You will hear, over and over, people asking you: what will you do now? I hereby give you permission to say: I don’t know. If you DO know, that’s awesome. Go for it. If you are all set for the next step – like medical or law school, and you put in a few years and hate it – I give you permission to quit and try something else. One of the happiest guys I know was a successful lawyer for years, then quit in his forties to become a broke high school English teacher.

You don’t have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life NOW. Try a bunch of things. It’s allowed. Don’t let anyone pressure you into the family business, or into one of the official professions. If you majored in finance, but your dream job is rodeo clown, go for it. The only person who actually lives your life is you.

The only opinion that really matters is yours.

You have an education now. That’s awesome. Now you’re off to the business off getting yourself some wisdom and judgment. That comes with experience. You can have a happy life if you follow your own path. Do whatever makes you happy, and the money will follow, trust me. You may have a few lean years, but if you stick it out, everything will be cool.

Believe in yourself, even if nobody else does. My aunt used to say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. And being happy is a lot better life than being miserable. Seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many people are so bent on pleasing other people that they forget that – for instance, pleasing the people who just paid for their education.

Still – the people that paid for their education aren’t going to be living that life of yours, are they?

So get out there. Keep your ears open. Your mouth shut. Don’t think you’re done. This is just the beginning of your education. What you really learned in college is how to learn. So get out into the world and start really learning. And don’t ever stop; that’s when you get old.

Now? The fun part starts. Now? It’s just pass/fail. The trick? There is no fail until you give up. So just don’t ever give up, especially on yourself.

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And I thought I wouldn’t have anything to make fun of today.

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coconut macaroon pancakesGmail, my primary source of mail, makes money like this:

You let their robots view your e-mails.

Their robots serve you up tailor-made ads, based on the content of your e-mails. No big. No people are actually reading your e-mails. So what, privacy, shmivacy. Everybody knows by now that there’s no such thing as a private e-mail anyway, right?

Right? You DO know your e-mails AREN’T private? You’re better off writing and posting stuff right outside your office cubicle. In 18-point type.

So if you didn’t know before, trust me. I used to write a newspaper column on personal technology. AND I’m a web developer. So really: trust me on this, folks.

ANYWHO: Imagine my alarm when one of the ads served up to me, based on my correspondence, was this:

101 Cookbooks: Coconut Macaroon Pancakes.

A) I don’t even like pancakes.

B) I am SO WAY NOT the pancake-flipping, apron-wearing type.

C) I rarely open a cookbook. Who needs a cookbook for spaghetti-os? Peter doesn’t even use cookbooks, and when HE cooks, he uses all those cooking-show style ramekins, filled with all kinds of colorful diced things. And everything comes out delicious. Plus, it isn’t even ANNOYING that he’s used every ramekin in the house, because then he CLEANS them all – plus all the dishes — and hand-washes the pots, too. (So tell me again? WHY am I getting pancake recipes on my Gmail? Where IS Peter, anyway?)

D) Did I mention I don’t even LIKE pancakes? As in, I REALLY can’t STAND pancakes? Those horrid, soggy things?

E) Have I mentioned that Peter takes the garbage out, and THEN puts a new bag in, too – without being told? It’s almost unimaginable that I got so lucky to find the one male in the world that knows how to do that.

F) Lordy, I hate pancakes.

G) PLEASE visit the 101 Cookbooks site. It is so hilariously funny. They describe the pancakes as “decadent and delicious,” [pancakes?} and the writer goes on line, after line, including a mention of her “favorite skillet.”

H) NOTE to SELF: Do I have a favorite ANYTHING?

Really, please, you HAVE to read the laboriously constructed journal of the genesis of this confection. Her head is alternately “in pancake land,” and “in the clouds,” although at some point, she confesses, “her heart was heavy,” because the cookies that inspired these flapjacks “would suffer.”

Poor aching cookies.

I) NOTE to SELF: Consider donation to Amnesty International, Cookie Division.

j) I’m starting to get in the mood for some pancakes.

(photo source: 101 Cookbooks.)

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More: How not to make deadline…

Actual game of tiddlywinks.Ah… So Tiddly Winks actually exist.

NOT just a cliché. SEE! Take THAT, all you editors, who struck them out of my writing with your non-repro blue china markers… there IS such a thing after all.

I wonder if they’re fun?

Because now I really, really want a set. Okay. Ebay, next up, right after I post to this blog, then, oh wait: this computer monitor is kinda dusty. Better wipe that off.

Where’s my rag?

STOP! FOCUS! You have a CLIENT to meet. In the MORNING, no less. It’s not like you can get up early and fake it…

(yeah, like you EVER get up early)

YES I do – I get up with the kids every morning…

(Getting up and smoking at your desk, cheering them on in your pajamas, “work-at-home-mom,” while they get themselves ready, doesn’t count. Especially if you sneak back to bed for “five more minutes” after.)

It counts! I walk the dog every morning, after I walk Annie to the schoolbus stop, don’t I? Er, most mornings?

(Only if your hair doesn’t look like Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein, and providing you can find a hat if it does… otherwise it’s the backyard of doo for the dog.)

I really have to try that trick of training him to go in just one spot.

(Sure. Like you’re EVER going to pile up dogsh*t in a lump in your own yard… like there exist gloves THAT industrial. Have you gotten a load of the size of that dog?)

Hmm. Good point. Speaking of which, what’s our point again?


Is that why I’m talking to myself?

Beats getting down to business.

(photo source: http://www.boardgamesexpress.com/)

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How not to make deadline

The Easiest Song in the World, © Elizabeth Williams Bushey

DominoesIt’s been a day full of piling up dominoes, and knocking them down. Fruitless, but sort of fun.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had days, literally, where stacking up dominoes and knocking them down was a good, productive day – but today wasn’t one of them.

I DID re-record the above song, though.

And I redid the look of this blog. (SO very important. MMM-yeah.)

So technically, I DID get stuff done today.

Oh – and I built a table. (Well, I sanded wood down, covered it in batting and fabric… still trying to figure out the coolest way to coordinate legs for it…)

But I still have things I’m putting off doing. And a pile of junk.

I only have until June to clean 3000 square feet for Peter when he comes home. Peter is extremely tidy, and I really would like it to be better than when he left.

My friends are right when they say my life is like a movie. Today, though, it was the part when you run out for popcorn.

(photo: © Elizabeth Williams Bushey)

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