Real People

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

 

Taking a big step can be scary.

I begin a new job tomorrow. Off on an (very) early morning flight to the big city. I cannot wait!

Leaving something you know, something you enjoy is hard. People wonder why you want to change. But these people understand. They know me. They matter.

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On Being Humble…Or Not

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Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.            – Jane Austen

I came upon this quote as I was thinking how I could appropriately express my anger and frustration about a matter of professionalism.

There are those I really want to give a tongue-lashing to. But, more importantly, there are those I care about and do not want to disappoint or embarrass.

So, like Mark in Love Actually, enough…enough now. Time to move on.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s a Wild Week

This week, Ken’s cooking has gone wild.

Let me be very clear: We are not hunters. Well, Ken and Christian did witness a gator’s demise, but neither pulled the trigger.

Freshly processed bounty from friends who hunt? We’re game. Really.

So, what to do with one and a half pounds of ground venison? We considered making it into patties and grilling them but thought the meat may be too lean. What then? Johnny Marzzetti courtesy of allrecipes.com. Et voila! Lunch and dinner for the week. Tip: It’s okay to substitute brown rice for the pasta.

Two pounds of alligator filets? Trim them into bite size pieces, lightly dredge in flour, and sauté in grape seed oil. Add some homemade, tastes-just-like Raising Cane’s dipping sauce. Not bad.

I was squeamish at first bite. But, both are really quite good. And, it is a bit like living off the land: Sitting down to dinner…in our house…on a suburban cul-de-sac knowing our food was procured not too far away, in the wild.

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NOT said gator. This one is safe and sound at Brookgreen Gardens.

I Wish I Were a Poet

I wish I were a poet.

That way, I could bury my emotions behind a piece of art, of prose. Instead of focusing on me, people would focus on the art, trying to interpret it instead of me.

When facing fear, I fall behind a smile, a laugh…”It’s okay, really.” Afraid to expose my feelings, wanting to scream, “DON’T MAKE ME SHARE!”

I wish I were a poet.

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Did I Really Just Say That?

20130210-180144.jpgTo share or not to share. How much as a parent am I really supposed to discuss with and expose to our twelve-year-old son? Ken is better at sharing than I am. He’s not squeamish. He’s matter-of-fact and lays it out for the taking. Which, I think in the long run, is good and healthy.

I’m still working on it. Sometimes, topics come up at the dinner table that make me want to crawl out of my skin and go hide under a blanket. But, that’s okay. Maybe I’m growing up, too. As I reflect, I appreciate that we can discuss taboo subjects as a family in a mature, unemotional, and nonjudgmental way.

Don’t overreact. My mom’s cousin offers this: Don’t appear shell-shocked when your kid tells you something you may not want to hear. Poker face it all the way, baby. Or, at least until you have had time (and, maybe a drink) to consider your options. Older children are guaranteed to clam up the moment they think you don’t get it, or don’t ever want to get it.

Adults want teens to share their private thoughts. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal by Ann Lukits reports that teens who share their secrets are better adjusted.

Perhaps as parents, we can open our minds and share a bit more, too.

Grammar, Grammar Everywhere

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 9.05.49 AMNot long after I had posted my previous entry about grammar (and spelling) abuse, I noticed this tweet from David Pogue. Apparently the asterisk police hunted him down and called him out *!*

I was intrigued, so I dug further. The Language Log is a fascinating library of all things language, supported by the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania. Check it out.

Grammar IS Important

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Okay, no catchy title for this post. This is important.

I write this as a plea to my past, current, and future fellow professionals to not give up on good grammar. Heck, let’s include spelling, too. Just because we’re more “social” is no excuse. More of us will read your work. Don’t you want it to look good?

Now, I am no expert nor was I an English major. Translation: I screw up, too. But, still, I beg for your support.

Case in point: A person takes the time to put his or her innermost feelings on paper (or, rather, the Web). Then said person 1. shares those thoughts over a very social network, 2. tags others who may not wish to be exposed, and 3. openly criticizes former employers. Logic would say “proofread your work before you hit Share.” Right? Riggghhhtttt. Or, perhaps those who love him or her would offer their input, ever so gently.

Maybe it’s not the what but the how that counts the most.

The what is easy…it’s what’s in our hearts, our heads.

The how will help people form an impression. Impressions can last a lifetime.

Hand Jive

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Okay, here’s another favorite thing: The Xlerator.

I really like it.

A trip to the ladies’ room used to be non-eventful. Well, maybe it was or wasn’t…but, ahem, whatever. When it came to drying my hands, I always avoided the slow, boring hand dryer and went straight for the paper towels. Or the back of my pants.

My first Xlerator experience? I almost remember it to the day. The place? The USS Yorktown at Patriots Point. On a World War II-era Navy behemoth. A coworker came from the bathroom and exclaimed, “You have got to try the hand dryer in there!” Well, okay then. I did. Now when I see one I get giddy.

There’s competition. The Blade. But sticking my hands down into something? No thank you.

At about $400.00 a pop, I think how an Xlerator would nicely adorn our master bathroom wall…

Have a few minutes? Listen to an NPR interview with Denis Gagnon of Excel Hand Dryer, Inc.