Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lamp Just Sat There, Like An Inanimate Object.

She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.

Jaunt sent me this.

I just had the best fifteen minutes ever perusing this poetry.

You. Are. Welcome.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Glitterati v. Technology

**Snow Day! This unexpected vacation has allowed me a moment of time to actually update my blog.**

It has GOT to be witchcraft.

I am not completely technologically inept. I am of the generation of children that was raised on computers: learning to read using special programs, typing up reports on those giant IBMS with the flickering black-mustard screens and the cursor that was roughly six times the thickness of the svelte little leader we have now.

But make no mistake: I'm also not technologically apt. My entire volume of knowledge on the subject of fixing computers begins with two fundamental axioms:
2. Turn it off and turn it back on.

It then proceeds to the most advanced things I can do:
3. Run a virus/malware scan
4. System Restore

And, in dire situations, I have one backup upon which I lean if the previous 4 attempts at revival have failed:
5. Google

From thenceforth, I become completely and utterly useless.

My co-worker's computer, for the past few months, has been completely possessed. If it were a teenage girl in the 1600's, she'd a been put on trial and tested for buoyancy by now. Windows flashing up all over the place, shut-downs occurring out of nowhere, sudden freezes and halts and crashes and crazy error messages.

And I have literally exhausted my list of potential fixes which, in this case, became ever more creative:
7. new keyboard (maybe there's a macro somewhere?)
8. new mouse (maybe the old one was stuck?)
9. defrag
10. endless calls to IT
11. blame the iPhone that's plugged into the USB, and move it to the other side of the room in case weird, witchcrafty waves of energy are messing with the computer's hard drive (You think I'm kidding? Google iPhone, computer crash. This is not Bigfoot. It. Exists.)
12. move all files to shared server, replace computer

Even after drastic Step #12 (which, if given my 'druthers and a dream budget would always be Step #1 because I HATE dealing with computers and would far rather just replace them at the first sign of even a hiccup), it's still possessed. AN ENTIRELY NEW COMPUTER. POSSESSED.

Which has led me to this complex and technically-supported conclusion: my co-worker's office is haunted.

It's really the only explanation.

Unfortunately, my logical and completely plausible deduction is without support. I would have been satisfied to leave it at that. "Office Haunted, Case Closed. Move everything out into another office, close the door, and let us never speak of this incident again."

This war is on-going, and I am expected to figure out what demon has decided to occupy the hard drive of whatever computer is residing in the corner office. This is going to get scary. I might need a priest, some holy water, and possibly "Possessed Computers for Dummies" or some equal faction. I will need teams of IT specialists, and possibly a scientist or two to help me diagnose. I will also need multiple bottles of vodka and possibly some aromatherapy and guided meditations.

But I will win. I will find out what is possessing the computer. I will SOLVE this IT conundrum. Victory will be mine!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Life Gets in the Way

So, I haven't updated in awhile. This is probably not news to you.

I think every blogger goes through cycles of writing (well, every WRITER goes through cycles.) Jaunt, for example, has apparently been so busy since March 4, 2010 she has failed to update. Snap fell off the face of the earth when she moved to San Francisco in December 2009, as evidenced by her last blog posting.

Lee is usually pretty good about updating, and slyly threw into his latest post the fact that he is engaged.

Yes, that happened. Lee is engaged to a girl I once casually referred to as "some med student," except she's not a med student at all, but some sort of....microbiologist? Neurologist? Lobotomist? I think I will settle for "Science-ologist." NOT to be confused with a "Scientologist," because she is not. But, rather, my invented term, "Science-ologist," for people who are smart, wear lab coats, do experiments, and know things like "science," and "math," and "facts."

I am happy to say that I had a hand in introducing Lee to his fiance (technically, they met through trivia, but another friend and I set them up at a party in the fall of 2009) and even happier to say that I think she's completely awesome.

I've digressed here.

None of this has anything to do with my lack of updating, except to say that I've been busy. In my attempt to fight off the usual winter lag that takes over me this time of year, I've made sure to draw the distinction between "down time" and "I've-been-on-the-couch-for-three-days-under-a-pile-of-blankets time." It's easy to fall into that mindset in winter, I've found.

So, instead, it's been all maintenance runs and cooking dinners for friends and work these days. Which is just fine by me. The weather outside is frightful- keeping busy is so delightful. Ugh. I just said that.

Is it spring yet? No? OK, then I've got to fill up my schedule until it's time to go kayaking again.

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK, jr.

I know I should dip into my current passion for peace and social justice and write some pithy observation of today's holiday.

But, to be honest, like so many other Americans I am appalled and frustrated with the state of things today; both in the US and the world at large.

I wish I could say that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would look upon our society today and see the advances we have made against outright and blatant hate in any form.

I suppose all we can do is have a little optimism and a little faith that perhaps although progress is slow, it is happening somewhere, in some form, and that maybe it will grow.

In observation, I simply plead the case for a little bit of peace and understanding in everyday interactions. Start small, I suppose, because that's about all we can control on some level.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Life Is What Happens....

I do believe this is the longest I have gone without updating my blog.

Oops. My bad, yo.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Night Run

Went for a run last night. Took a pause.

Winter. Harbor. Cold air. Stillness. But not quiet. Cacophony of city: sirens, horns, yells, trains, traffic.

I never thought I'd find a home in Baltimore. And it took years of living here before I did.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Forest for the Trees

"Acts of creation are normally reserved for gods and poets;
To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel."
Aldo Leopold

I was driving home from work on a circuitous route last night as I had some errands to run and found myself in a stretch of Blue Light District (read- sketchy part of town.) Sometimes, in Baltimore, you tend to block out certain things and this part of the city is certainly not one I frequent.

But then, suddenly, there's this mural. Of a forest glen, beautifully lit. All I could think of was that quote, "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty." Senseless, but not so. Isn't it our job to make some little corner of the world a little more beautiful and livable? Someone did here, and it caused me to pause long enough at the light pondering this random beauty that four cars kindly reminded me via a chorus of honking that the light had turned green.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Well Hello There, 2011!

"2010 was a...'Rebuilding Year'," Jaunt said to me last night. It came out with a mix of affection and exhaustion with a slight pause to emphasize that, for all of us it seems, 2010 was a bit of a tornado that picked us up and dropped us off in some entirely different location then where we started the year. Some of us a little more scathed then others, but mostly in one piece.

To call it a "Rebuilding Year" is entirely accurate and, because it's Jaunt, it's also a quite intelligible and poetic way of referring to said tornado. I've felt more change in the air- with friends, family, and the world at large. Change is riddled with difficulty, excitement, and a certain degree of learning when to dig your heels in and when to simply let go and allow the winds to whip you as they will.

In 2010, I went to New Orleans and helped rebuild a little corner of it. I started running and completed 4 5ks and the marathon relay. I started a new job with a nonprofit whose work makes me proud and is fulfilling to me in a way I didn't know a career could be. I got simultaneously angry at the state of affairs in this city that's become my home and elated that there is change happening on so many levels to address things. I went back to one of my favorite past times- kayaking, and explored waterways in Annapolis, the Eastern Shore, and Gun Powder. I reconnected with some old friends, made some new ones, and had more fun with my big band of merry girlfriends then really should be legal.

And I watched change in my friends too. I watched broken hearts and new beginnings, big moves, engagements, break-ups, marriages, pregnancies, new jobs, sicknesses and healths. I've started paying more attention to these things, realizing that our problems are shifting as we are all getting older. The things that are most important to you begin to change over time, and the things that bothered us in the past begin to fall away a little easier with these shifts in priorities.

And 2011? Well, if 2010 was the "Rebuilding Year," then perhaps 2011 is the year to experiment with our new selves. Test the steadiness of the foundation, feel the strength of new roots. Shift the focus away from the skeletons we've been building and start to flesh out the aesthetics a little more. Begin to move around and enjoy the fruits of our labors. Face new issues, build stronger safety measures, and perhaps use some of our newfound architecture as a launch pad.

I don't really have any grandiose resolutions- aside from the fact that I intend to train for and run the half-marathon in October- but I do promise to go a little easier on myself. After so many years of breaking and bending and testing, I want to live 2011 a little more comfortably in my own skin. Don't we all?

Cheers, 2011.