May 06, 2001
Just a quick thought for the day.
I vaguely recall taking a psychology class my freshman year at college where we were told about how the average young male thinks about sex at least every fifteen minutes. (Or, was it every 15 seconds? Hmmm.) This was based upon one of those Johnson & Johnson or Kinsey reports. Something along those lines.
As the men get older, we were told, they don't think about sex quite so much (whereas, the lesson continued, women became more sexually interested as time went on), and I think I know why. As men get older, thoughts about how exiting sex can be are replaced by how pathetic their working lives really are, and how much better things would be if their bosses would just listen to them for a change.
I know several folks who love their jobs. These are very fortunate people. At the very least, they are not plagued by the nagging self-doubt that comes with realizing that one's life is being wasted on a meaningless endeavor. Better still, they have something more pleasant to think about every fifteen minutes.
May 07, 2001
Wow. I've got lots to do. Naturally, there's the old work thang going on. There's working on the novel (I'll post an update shortly). We're wrapping up the third and final quarter (the third quarter makes a whole year? Yes.) of the Advanced Commercial Fiction writing class. This involves preparing our entries for an anthology and for the reading that will accompany its publication. There's getting ready for Clarion West, which includes a great deal of homework (I have about four books left to read in the six weeks remaining). Then there's beginning the search for a *new* job (you knew that was coming, didn't you?)... or at least the search for a new income stream. I need to do some marketing work for my parents' business, and I've been very delinquent thus far on that project. Cornell Class of '90 website stuff, likewise.
And so on, and so on. With all of these "DO ME NOW!" tasks on my Things To Do list, I've been even more negligent than usual on keeping in touch with people. Grace announced three months ago that she's earned her MA in Ed. I still haven't e-mailed or phoned to congratulate her. Monifa is changing her job situation. Radically. Have I gotten back to her about her resume? No. Have I returned her phone calls? No. Don't I still like her? Of course I do. I'm just lame.
Scneibs? Sorry, babe. It's me, not you. Dave and Melissa's new baby? We bought the gift, and still haven't sent it out. Dr. Judith Ricca! Spoke to her for the first time in fifteen years, and she sent me some info I'd asked for. Have I replied? No. :-(
My priorities are whacked and I know it. I'm not taking care of the wonderful people in my life. But, what do I do? What do I give up in order to spend the time on the people and things I really should?
Clearly, I'm going to have to give up my job.
May 10, 2001
So, people are still making snide comments in e-mails and web postings about "the stolen election" and how the Supreme Court "gave him the office". They do this apropos of nothing, discussing topics that are in no way otherwise related to politics or government. I see it repeatedly on any number of listserves I'm on and websites I track.
Now, I have to confess that our Fearless Leader is not impressing me thus far. Aside from his general ungoodspeakeness and his dubious handling of certain foreign affairs issues (the one area where his father particularly outshone the eight-year interim office holder), I'm most bothered by el Presidente's insistence upon making faith-based charity organizations into yet another government welfare baby. When some administration down the line chooses to cut this particularly dangerous cord -- and this will happen, someday -- these organizations will suffer the same withdrawal symptoms from the crack cocaine known as Federal Subsidies that so many other local- and state-based organizations have suffered when their own supply was cut. (Remember what happened when President Reagan finally pulled the plug on those ill-advised educational welfare programs in the mid-80's, anyone? Now, *that* was painful... and, totally avoidable had the crack not been handed out so gleefully by previous administrations.)
But, all that being said, the problem remains that whether y'all like the facts or not, our current President was selected by the very same system that has been in place (with a few tweaks from time to time) since the Constitution was adopted. You can bang your drums about how just one more recount might have changed the results, or how the Florida ballot unfairly penalized idiots who couldn't remember to read the bloody directions (the form, interestingly, was designed by a member of the losing political party and was approved by a bipartisan panel and had been used, in various incarnations, repeatedly both in certain Florida counties and other counties throughout the country for decades), but the facts remain these:
1) the vote was a statistical tie
2) supporters of the losing candidate were going to be bitter about the results, regardless of who eventually "won"
3) in the end, this country determined the results of a bitterly contested and pretty much evenly-divided election through legal institutions and not through more nefarious means.
So, please, for crying out loud: Get over it!.
We survived Bubba; we'll survive Dubya. Now, stop your whining.
And if it bothers you that much, get involved in your local elections later this year. The reality of the situation is that your local and state legislators have a much more dramatic impact on your daily quality of life than any yammerhead in Washington. If you don't believe me, spend some quality time in Buffalo, Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco all in one month. Same country, same Federal programs. Very different economic and cultural climates. Why? Local politics.
I know, I know. It's easier to whine about how things didn't go the way you think they shoulda down in some backwoods southern districts than it is for you to get off of your lazy butt and try to do something that might actually make a real difference in your life. Quite frankly, I was more bummed about the results of the national primaries last year than I was about the results of the general election. But I'm tired of hearing about it. It's over. Let it go. Please.
May 20, 2001
Friends and family:
As you know (or, at least, as I *think* you know), Paulette and I are both finishing up our final session of the Advanced Commercial Fiction Writing Program at the University of Washington, where we are each working on a novel. As a part of that class, we will be participating in a public reading of our works-in-progress at the University Bookstore in Bellevue on Thursday, May 24th.
Would you like to come see us read? Would you like to hear a snippet from our respective novels? Then, please come on down to cheer us on! (There will even be copies of New Voices IV with scenes from each of the class participants available for sale, too. Or, at least, that's the rumor.)
- What: Public reading of excerpts from Katrina's Touch and The Do Over
- Who: Paulette, Allan, and several other members of our writing class
- Where: The University Bookstore, 990 102nd Avenue NE, Bellevue WA 98004, (425-462-4500)
- When: 7:30pm, Thursday, May 24th
- Why: Because we like you!
- How much: Free!
May 29, 2001
Yeah, it's been a little while since I've written... partly because I've been so busy (readying for the public reading of my novel excerpt last week, trying to get a handle on some projects at work that have started to slip, trying to pull things together at home and work before my big six weeks away, etc.), and partly because I've been so wired.
Some would say I've been suffering from a bad attitude. The truth is, I've been kinda enjoying it. So, neener neener.
But, all that said, as busy as things can get (and have gotten), and as troublesome as some situations can appear to be (and are), sometimes ambiguity and time to think can be even worse.
Sometimes families only pull together when there's a tragedy. Sometimes, people only lend a hand when there's trouble. Then again, some people show their strongest support when there's nothing you really need help with.
When you're in need, there's nothing better than a friend who helps you out. When you're in fine shape, friends make the time even more enjoyable. It's sorta funny how, often, our friends fall into one camp or another (the fair-weather and the friend-in-need categories), and only a few manage to fall into both. I don't think that's a bad thing. But, it certainly is interesting.
I'm glad to have heard from a friend of mine tonight I haven't spoken to in over a year. And, my thoughts are going out to another friend who is dealing with ambiguity.
Here's to friends. I can only hope to be a better friend to you as I move forward through this life, learning what I can.
Copyright (c)1998 - 2010 by Allan Rousselle. All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed, all reservations righted, all right, already.
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