Saturday, May 28, 2016

On Packing

I always tend to pack light, but this weekend is a bit of an exception- suit and tie for the big class dinner, ditto with the size 12 EEEE dress shoes. I also packed a half-gallon bottle of homemade limonaranciello and a half-gallon of a rum-based guava punch as contributions to the revelry.

Is there anything I forgot while packing?

Yeah, right, like you'd even want to spend a few hours in the car...

This post was pre-scheduled, I had thought that I'd posted this funny picture of Ginger before, but I can't seem to find it, even with Google image search.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Reunion Bound

There's a saying that friends help friends move, good friends help friends move bodies. In the case of my great and good friend, my old college roommate The Bronson from Wisconsin, well let's just say that I will be picking him up from LaGuardia Airport this morning and the two of us will brave I-95 on Memorial Day weekend to travel to the Prestigious Bastion of Prestige where we met.

The best thing about reunion is the fact that a single, silly line will reduce everybody to paroxysms of laughter because we share a common store of inside jokes, of shared experiences. For instance, I can greet my freshman roommate with the question "Hey, dude, what the fuck?" and he will be rolling on the floor- it was the common greeting of an ultra-rich foreign-born suitemate who attended a New England boarding school and was taught a very idiosyncratic version of the vernacular.

It's amazing how the years can just drop off, and everybody becomes a goofy teenager for a glorious weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Don't Dig Her, but She Doesn't Deserve This

I am on record as someone who detests Taylor Swift's music, but I have no personal animus against the woman herself. I met her when she was on the cusp of superstardom, and the fact that I didn't realize that she was a celebrity suggests a down-to-earth nature. One could say that I like her as a person while hating her music, so I was taken aback by the fact that alt-right racists and neo-nazis have latched onto her as an 'Aryan' icon. I imagine most of them harbor fantasies of killing Kanye West onstage for being a dick to their 'goddess'... well, they harbor fantasies of killing any African-Americans they encounter, just as their cohort Dylan Roof did.

Why is Taylor Swift the recipient of this 'Aryan' ardor? Sure, she's tall, thin, and blonde (personally, I don't find her all that attractive- I find her too 'angular' for my tastes, though I can see her as a jolie laide archetype), but I think there's something deeper at the root of this infatuation... Just as Taylor Swift was embarking on her career, there was an explicitly neo-Nazi white nationalist pop duo made up of blonde pre-teen twins whose adult male fans had an unhealthy sexual obsession with the underage 'Olsen Twins of Hate'. The girls of Prussian Blue eventually gave up the hate thanks to Dylan and weed, leaving horny white supremacists without a fantasy object for a while. As right-wingers are masters of psychological projection, it didn't take long for them to project their white-power/masturbatory fantasies on the politically unfathomable Ms Swift.

I feel sorry for Taylor Swift, it's not her fault that the haters gonna 'bate, 'bate, 'bate, 'bate, 'bate.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Meanwhile, on the Work Front

I love my job, I need to get that out of the way. I enjoy the day-to-day tasks inherent to the position, I love my beautiful workplace and my nice co-workers. I actually arriving at work each and every workday. That being said, things are far from perfect all the time- for instance, our e-mail system has been out of commission for a week. I had to cobble together June's schedule and ended up printing up a copy for each of my subordinates and another copy which I sent through the interoffice mail to my supervisor, informing him of the fact through a text message. I am sitting on April's expense reimbursement form (I get reimbursed for mileage incurred through job duties) because I can't send the spreadsheet to the comptroller.

Like I said, I love my job, but I've never encountered a work situation like this before. I really can't understand the malaise which could produce such a batty situation. We are in the middle of a spring fundraising event which has been extended for two weekends, news of the extension had to be disseminated through word of mouth. I am going to revise the June schedule and now have to print up additional copies of the PDF in order to distribute it to my department. For a successful organization, such dysfunction is inexplicable... I'm not exactly holding my breath for the solution to this problem, but I hope I'll be able to e-mail July's schedule out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bad Pizza, Worse Ethics

The big local story here in the NY Metro Area is a lawsuit filed by our state attorney general alleging that Domino's Pizza engages in wage theft. One of Dominos's flacks was on the radio claiming that this was disrespectful to small business owners. My feeling is that, if your business model is predicated on wage theft, your business needs to go under. The CEO of Domino's has long espoused right-wing causes- he's yet another pious crook.

When I was in high school, I worked in a local deli. I was paid a fair wage, and treated like a family member. To illustrate the extent to which my boss had my back, a simple anecdote will suffice...

My boss figured he'd boost the lunch business by starting local deliveries. Our first order was from the business office of a nearby department store. The order came out to something like $33.42. The office manager gave my $34 and told me, "Keep the change." When I returned to the deli, my boss asked me, "So, did they give you a tip?" Stuffing the entire $34 in the cash register, I said, "Tip? They gave me the whole shaft." The next day, the same office manager called to place a lunch delivery and the boss deadpanned, "We don't deliver."

Now, that's the kind of boss that people need. He was a ball-buster and a snarky, snarky guy, but he had his employees' backs. He didn't even countenance other people ripping us off.

P.S. Domino's makes crap pizza, we have hundreds of local places owned by people who treat "the help" like family... like I was treated.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Affliction and the Cure: Both Delicious

Walking across the property this evening, I ran across a storied plant combination:

In the foreground, on the left, one can see some of my beloved stinging nettles, while the spindly plant with the narrow leaves is curly dock. The plants are known to grow together frequently, and crushed dock leaves are reputed to take out the sting of the nettle... though this may be B.S. At any rate, the dock/nettle combination is one that you should familiarize yourself with, so you won't face situations like this:

Pity Mr Bishop didn't know that he could have had that entire weed patch for dinner. For the record, the broad leaved plant in the background is burdock (Genus Arctium), which is known for its edible roots.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Texas GOP's Fabulous Platform

Via Tengrain, we have the hilarious grammatical error which has led the Texas GOP to declare that homosexuality is a Biblical mandate from God:

“Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

Uh, dumbasses, 'has' refers back to 'homosexuality', not 'truths'. It's always funny to see stupid bigots hoist on their own petard. At any rate, the Texas GOP platform seems to corroborate the premise of songwriter Ned Sublette's song Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other, most famously interpreted by Texas native son Willie Nelson:

Oh, Texas GOP, you are funny to outsiders, but you must be terrifying the locals.