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Friday, January 19, 2007

Malleable thinking

Today was an unreal day at work (actually the whole week has been like this). I have been in my job for 7 months now and have built good working relationships with almost everyone. I still struggle with a few (and they struggle with me, I'm sure), but this week has been really ouchy.

Example: I used the word "malleable" today in a meeting and half the attendants burst out laughing (because this isn't the first time I've used unfamilar words) and asked me to explain it in "plain language".

1. Is "malleable" such an unusual word as to strike the general population as confusing?

2. Didn't women making fun of other women for being too smart go out of style in the eighth grade?

3. I know many, many people much smarter than I am. How do they feel?

I refuse to dumb down my speech. I already have to simplify my writing to appeal to the audience for whom I write. So, in future posts, expect more angst on my part as I whip out "erudite" and "perfidious" between the hours of 9-5.

As a side note, I know how to read/write more words than I can pronounce, so I love Merriam-Webster's online dictionary with audio pronunciation.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To the woman who lives at...

...1047 Rolland E. Gardner Court in Columbus:
Did you know you almost killed me tonight? You didn't even seem to be aware that you almost plowed into my car. And not just my car - me! Me - head-on into the driver's side. Did you know I have a husband that loves me, not to mention family and cats? Did you know that, if I hadn't change my speed, you would have hit a bullseye - I mean, dead-on, perfect aim?

To refresh your memory, you took a left turn (illegally, I think, based on my driving around the exact same shopping center every week for two years) into Broad Street. Maybe you were looking at the traffic coming westbound on Broad and didn't notice me headed eastbound. Maybe you thought I would slow down, or speed up. I'm glad you didn't slow down. Between slamming on my brakes to keep from being hit by you, but not slamming down to hard to avoid being rear-ended, I don't think I could have compensated for you being any less committed to making your left turn.

As a side note, I'm sure your pretty blue Benz coupe would have been trashed as well, although not as much as say - my head.

I think it was the adrenalin or my curiosity (Are you high? Senile? Talking on your cell? Sad about something? Lonely and distracted? Rude?) that caused me to follow you to your house. I really just wanted to ask you, even after I screeched my brakes and honked my horn, did you notice me? I didn't have the guts to get out of my car though...

My first inclination was to send this via snail mail, but I'm sure that - after I settle down - we'll both be glad that I didn't.

Maybe this is karmic - I am thinking What if I was talking on my cellphone, or it was raining or I was distracted? Maybe you came along to remind me that life is a thread, subject to unexpected breakage? Maybe you are just not nice. Or a bad driver. Or made a mistake and are still shaking about it, worse than me.

Regardless, the stars were brighter during the rest of the drive home, my house is more welcoming and I'm definitely more appreciative.

Please try, though, to avoid having this same kind of perspective-adjusting effect on anyone else in the future.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy New Year!

Yikes! It's been quite some time since my last post, owing to a crazy busy Christmas-time. Lee and I were lucky to have family over on Christmas Day and had fun cooking dinner for all 10 of us. It was a bit challenging as I had to improvise - I forgot that no grocery stores would be open on Christmas Day, so the menu got tweeked. All in all though, a wonderful time.

Today Lee and I finally tackled the first of a series of projects designed to get us to a king-size bed. After seven years of wedded bliss, we can't take the full-size mattress anymore. So here is how it breaks down:

0. Clear out our guest bedroom in preparation for holiday visitors (the "guest" bedroom is where all the "to-be-put-away" items live until they are put away. We had things in there from October!).

1. Paint guest bedroom. This is the project we are working on today. These things always take longer than you think. Once we got the first coat on, we realized that the ceiling was filthy. FILTHY! So we just painted the ceiling too. And of course, we had to paint the closet because we are perfectionists. A little trim, one more coat on the walls, and we are done and ready for step two.

2. Move our (small) bed into the guest bedroom and sleep in there while...

3. Paint our bedroom and Lee's bath. I am dreading this as the room has all these nooks and weird angles. We will not be painting the closets. I am jazzed though, as we picked out a really pretty, subtle deep purple-ly shade. Of four options, it was Lee's first pick (he's not a "purple person") and my first pick too.

4. Buy the biggest bed we can! Lee asked me if there is a bed size bigger than King. I said yes, but if we got a California King we'd have to hop from dresser to bed to bathroom, as the floor would no longer be visible.

Well, back to painting!