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July 9th, 2002

Call for strike

Listening to NPR today, and the latest rumblings of a major league baseball strike. The last strike essentially ended my peripatetic role as a "sometimes there, sometimes not" fan.
I welcome the current strike, as perhaps sounding baseball's death knell, liberating the otherwise baseball-occupied TV airwaves, and clearing the air for more Buffy and Star Trek reruns. I actually paid 2 dollars and 99 cents for a CD of all the various Star Trek themes rendered in their full symphonic dignity, so I obviously am not getting enough Star Trek, even with The Nashville, I mean, the The "new" National Network's seeming commitment to splash ST on the air every ten minutes.

I can think of a lot of other folks that I would send on strike:
a. skateboard manufacturers. I love that bumper sticker "Skateboarding is not a crime!". I would like to create my own, with the coda "....but it should be!". At least it should be when kids do it on my street. Let's fund more public parks with those parabolic ramps of skateboard daring!
b. public relations firms. Did anyone else notice that PR for the latest corporate travesties has gone from merely bad to laughable?
Is the best anyone can do is say "I am not a crook?". How about yesterday's congressional hearings? "Our only duty is to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles". Yes, right, but did they delete the Financial Standards Accounting Board statements about irregularities when I wasn't looking? GAAP principles require more than just the ability to use a four function calculator. Send those PR people on strike, in a campaign for more "tuned in" clients!
c. Michael Jackson and Tommy Mottola. It's Godzilla v. Mothra! Send 'em both on strike!
d. whoever it is at drug company wholesalers who thinks it's moral to hoard drugs so as to gouge customers. Those are *chemo* drugs! Come on.
Go on strike, so we can get some medicine sold at reasonable prices.
e. John Ashcroft. The man needs a rest. He should strike for better prayer rooms.
f. personal watercraft manufacturers...they're loud, they pollute, and they're dangerous for the consumer. Let's pray for labor unrest in those plants!
g. Reality television shows. Please, please, let someone strike for less maudlin manipulation.

Yes, I'm just getting wound up now. I feel that a general strike may be what's needed.

Just don't cut off Buffy and Star Trek.

Three points of silly pride

I like that when I run the "magic points" 'similar interest' LiveJournal function, the LJ user considered to be most similar to me is the guppies, community, with its ardent discussions of tropical livebearing fish.
I am summed up, somehow, by that.

I chose my professional school path in order to cause my father to lose a wager. I've always felt that makes me uniquely qualified to give career advice.

When I was eight years old, I won the statewide newspaper "What's My Line" contest. I supplied a caption to a cartoon. The cartoon pictured a very surly man behind a lunch counter, standing in front of a sign that said "Service with a Smile". My winning caption was "I haven't served you yet, have I?". I believe the prize was 5 dollars. That was the moment at which I knew that I was not a great novelist.

I'll bet everyone has similar "defining stories" of silly achievements. I'd love to hear any of yours.

one step at a time

I got the nervousness.org exchange mailed out in which I am
trading decorated notebooks of poetry with a Tennesseean. I was initially so discouraged with my try at decoration, what with learning first hand that cheap modeling clay really isn't a very workable covering material. Here is what I don't get--when I was a kid, cheap playdough dried in two seconds flat. Flat. Two seconds. Dried. Like a bone. Like a cover to a book. Like a really cool cover to a book. But not THIS cheap playdough. It's moist after weeks surrounding the little note book. I covered it over with construction paper, wrote something appropriately self-important about the fundamental malleability of the book symbolizing the malleability of the idea (as a poet, I remain a competent business attorney), and wrote in ten poems which even by my standards--which accept the good with the bad and treat wheat as pleasantly leavened by chaff--are entirely creditless.

I do not worry much about the poetry, as life has taught me that what I really like is rarely much loved, and the very few publications or notices I have gotten were by and large with poems I liked less than the ones nobody notices. If I had the appropriate look and swagger, I would turn that into some bohemian statement, but being a rather prosaic person, I will just take it as mild quirk and move on.

I was beginning to try to figure out how to scrape off the modeling clay and try something with paints, when voodoukween, who is an artist rather than an apostle of one dollar modeling clay, suggested that sometimes the best way to soldier on with a flawed idea is more or less, well, to just soldier on with it (my skills at paraphrase do not exceed my skills at art).

I determined to "make do" with what I had done, and turn flaw into supposed virtue. On went the construction paper cover over the modeling clay letter, on went two really mildly hip throwaway camera photos on top, on went a title to the book that made sense of everything, and INTO the envelope went a similar one dollar Dollar Store empty notebook, so that if my effort was not received with gratitude and thanksgiving, at least the recipient would not feel out a notebook. I took it all to the mail today, and now sit and wonder at a world so filled with beautiful things--none of which were made of modeling clay by me.

The Pleasing Absurdity of Submitting Poetry for PublicationCollapse )