Monday, November 20, 2006

In Which Our Heroine Starts Thinking About Christmas

Thanksgiving is this week, so it is time to start thinking about the shopping, the shipping, the making, and the whole deal. I've already completed one or two Christmas gifts (you knit, you start early), and I have some good ideas what to get most people. Assuming I have disposable income, which at this point is looking dicey, but hey, here's hoping!

And of course, people keep asking what to get me. I have two options for you. gift list as ever, or I just found this: Ooooo, it made me shiver with tingles of goodness.

But first, Thanksgiving. I have to figure out how to enrobe the chocolates.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

In Which Our Heroine Joins the Fray

Right, people. Tom Cruise. More specifically, Tom Cruise's wedding. For fifty points and a chance to win the boat, please discuss the following:

Why. Do. We. Care?????????????

I am, or was, as much of a Tom fan as anyone should be. I mean, he was cute, in a short guy all -American way. The movies weren't too bad on the whole. Some of them were really good. (Born on the Fourth of July, Magnolia, etc). But not being on the obsessive side, I saw them because I wanted to see the movies, not because Tom Cruise was in them. Most people I know feel the same. And now..... well, we all thought this last year was a bit out there for Tom and his publicist should rein him the hell in. Not because we actually cared about what he did or didn't do, until it became an annoyance in our lives. And he should not become an annoyance, as I/we/you haven't met the guy. And 99.9% of the world is not affected directly or indirectly by his actions. So what on earth is all this durm and strang about his wedding? It isn't even his first one. The guy's on his third, and the speculation is that it isn't going to last anyway. (I won't go into the reasons here.) There should have been a total of three news lines about this:
1) Tom Cruise is going to get married.
2) Tom Cruise is now married.
3) (If necessary:) Tom Cruise is no longer married.

So why is there all this kerfuffle? I just don't understand, and what's more, I'm totally sick of it. It isn't like they want me to send a present. Because if they do, they'll be sorely disappointed.

I'm not usually so bitter, and almost never so about weddings. But this celebrity culture thing is just insane.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In Which Our Heroine Keeps in the Poetry Vibe

By sheer coincidence, my friend Liz (the other half of Team Milhouse) sent me this poem today to give me a chuckle:

Short Love Poem
Judith Viorst

It's hard to love
The tallest girl
When you're the shortest guy,
For every time
You try to look
Your true love in the eye
You see
Her bellybutton.

I don't know Judith Viorst, but I'm suddenly a big fan.


Friday, November 10, 2006

In Which Our Heroine Gets Various Feedback

That post on business-speak resonated with people, I'm glad to say. I can't take credit for prompting this story in the BBC
but that shows how much this is becoming an issue. In addition, I was sent to the lovely site for the humorous antidote to all this garbage: Keeps me going, knowing that there is still sanity in the world. Particularly as I am interviewing for jobs at the moment, and having to keep discussing my "core competencies." These seem for the most part to be basic lawyering skills such as drafting, negotiating, and the like, but have been taken over by business speak. I'm hoping that the Campaign for Plain English becomes involved at some point.

Thankfully, where business speak leaves off arts comes into its own. Specifically in this case, poetry. Now, I've read a bunch of poetry and in fact I quite like it. I owe a lot of my later understanding of the genre to my friend John Hildebidle, literature professor at MIT, poet and someone always eager to share his enthusiasm for this chosen topic. As much as I was (and continue to be) willing to learn, he is always willing to share, and is the embodiment of the philosophy that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Believe me, I have tested this philosophy to the limit with him.

But he's also a deeply funny guy that you can joke with very openly, and laugh very hard in his company. I have been winding him up of late with my statement and conviction that whatever poem he sent me that week was pretty good, but that all truly great poetry required cows. Needless to say, I chose cows as to the best of my knowledge, they only rarely turn up in poetry. This has been an on-going joke for a while, and now in my in-box there suddenly appears the following:

A friend (to meet her, you'd take her for genteel)
seems devout in her attachment
to beasts of bovine persuasions.
I'd thought the custom was to link
girls and women with horses (just as
men lean toward fast cars and Harleys).
But cows? I suppose, the kindest view
is to take her as unique, not generic.

made to order

He has also hastened to point out that "the greatest of cow verses (outdoing even the Irish proto-epic, "The Cattle Raid of Cooley") is Ogden Nash:

Cows are of the bovine ilk.
One end gives moo, the other milk."

I have had other poems written for me in my day. Most of them were, quite frankly, atrocious. One of them (the one before this) was very very good. But it just didn't have the cow factor. And as previously stated, the cow factor is what makes it all truly great.