days of naze
|hot air hangs like a dead man
A little audio gift (85 kb .wav)
for my Faithful readers on
the first anniversary (7/14/99) of
the site. Hand cranked to help
you on the long march.
An obnoxiously large
(101k .wav) audio greeting
from the Author.
|August 2, 1999
An Optimist's Struggle to Remain So In the Face of Justification Not To
My friend at work says I'm good at it. But frankly, these presentations are grinding me down. When you get up in front of the mucky-mucks with your slides or your launch plan or your revenue projections, you are essentially putting a great big target on your chest. You grind away in countless meetings, crank away on vast spreadsheets, shoot back volleys of e-mail and then you get up and try to convince people above that you know what you're doing and that they should approve the way you want to do it. They will pick at it. Sometimes because they don't like the trade-offs required to make it happen, sometimes because you actually missed something, and sometimes just to show that they're actually participating. If they say yes, then you try to convince the people on the front line that you know what you're doing and that this thing the company wants to do needs to be done.
You listen a lot. People have strong opinions. Unfortunately these opinions don't agree all that often. You work towards consensus. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't, sometimes people just don't care. Often times you will manage to piss someone off, not because it's a bad direction (although that is occasionally the case) but because they're invested in going the other way. You try to bring them along. Until you're convinced that they ain't gonna.
They don't report to you. None of them. Which isn't always a bad thing. However, it is at times highly frustrating.
A company can become very testy and unhappy in the 18th month of product development. And as one of the breathing sacrificial emblems of said product, the weight of the expectation and concern wraps around you like an armload of wet blankets.
Oh, and my boss got fired.
The VCR is dying and the kids are having none of it. "Daaaaaaaaaaad! The picture's all squiggly again!" I fiddle with the tracking controls, but the Pokemon tape refuses to fly right. The old Panasonic has served us well for 9 years. I mean, c'mon, it's entitled to an honorable burial. But it refuses to die outright, just unraveling at the edges and I can't bring myself to part with it.
I've always prided myself on having pretty decent feet. Some people's feet are just not their best feature. My right foot is really upholding the standard. But the left foot, to my mild horror and disgust, is undergoing the cracking and peeling siege so vividly described (and never pictured) on countless athlete's foot medication commercials. (You weren't eating were you?) I know I shouldn't feel let down by my left foot. But you can't help wonder how the right one repelled the fungus invaders where the left let the siege ladders scale the wall.
When you no longer ask your mate to stop throwing garbage in the recycling, are you getting along better or worse?
I was shopping for pants the other day. It's not something I often do. I drove downtown and parked in the parking garage. Level Blue 5. Next to a Chrysler 300M.
I had no illusions of finding swing dancing khaki wearers in this particular store; I just wanted a pair that fit. And they fit. Perfectly. That was the problem the clerk explained. They're gonna shrink. You need the size that none of the stores carry. But you can get them on the web site and get 10% off. (But I want them now!)
I hate clothing iterations. I want immediate clothing satisfaction.
I eat "cajun" food at the food "court" and read a magazine. On the way back to the car, I drop my last quarter into the guitar case of a very nerdy looking guy doing a good Buddy Holly song on the street corner. I ride the elevator up to Level Blue 5 back to the spot where I left the car next to the Chrysler 300M.
There's only one problem. The car is not there.
Hmm. I must have the wrong floor. I go up 2 floors. Nope. I go down 2 floors. Nope. Uh, this is kind of weird. I'll bet I have the wrong parking structure. There's all kind of construction downtown -- maybe that's throwing me off. I check the other structure. It looks nothing like the place I parked the car. I return, really becoming concerned at this point. I've never lost a car before. I start at the bottom and walk the entire corkscrew to the top. No car.
I walk the area looking for other parking structures nearby. There ain't any others. I look at my watch. Fuck. Cathy needs her car (yes, I've managed to lose her car) in 10 minutes. I'd better call her. I reach into my pocket for the quarter that isn't there any more. I will maintain. I am an adult. I will deal. I, of course, call my home 30 blocks away, collect. "Honey, you remember the car that you needed in 10 minutes? I lost it."
As you may have guessed, I didn't lose the car. It was simply borrowed by someone who we've never met that forgot to ask permission.
My faithful regional ISP (from southern Oregon, no less), who I feel very faithful to and who has given me no reason to feel otherwise has begun to respond with busy lines (at all hours) at an alarming rate over the past 3 weeks.
I have begun to cede certain weakness that earlier in life, with greater resilience, I could deny. One of these is the scientific categorization of my Spring sore throat and runny nose as an "allergy". The drugs helped. I stopped taking them back in June. Everything's cool. Until Saturday. I'm doing laundry, which I really don't mind doing, and my throat starts to close up for no apparent reason ("ha!" says the doc - "allergies!"). I go for the drugs. Which are no longer there because the bathroom shelves were purged last week. I must admit that in all other respects besides my drugs not being there, they are immaculate.
If I could only breathe, I would appreciate them on a whole new level.
Had enough yet?
In the symbiotic nature of relationships, one person (usually without any encouragement at all) is the devil-may-care, free-wheeling, high-spending grasshopper and the other, sometimes out of nature, sometimes out of character, is the sensible ant. And one of the few benefits of anthood is the righteousness that comes with being -- well, righteous. "Honey, did you actually think we could swing $800 worth of facial treatments?" You know. Stuff like that.
So when you forget to fill out the childcare reimbursement form for getting back your money that you deposited pre-tax but paid initially with other money that was indeed taxed, you end up punching a giant gaping hole in your finances where stuff rolls out and bounces. And it's pretty much your fault this time, Mr. Smart Guy.
All you want to do is get to your computer and write it all down. Maybe it will make you feel better. Maybe you'll just feel better knowing that you pulled down a few others who might be feeling that things are o.k.
But there is a little fellow. A beautiful little 3 year old boy who is tired and wants the answer to just one question:
"WHERE IS MY B I N K Y !?!?"
"Where is my BINKY!! My binky my binky my binky my binky my BINKY!!!!!"
"I don't know where your binky is David. I'll help you find your binky."
[in tears] "I can't."
"Let's find your binky." [looking under couch cushion]
"Wwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!" [throwing himself on the floor]
Repeat this for 20 minutes until you find said baby pacification device. And then try to get him to sleep.
Summer has arrived in the Rose City. And after a relentlessly wet Autumn, Winter and Spring, it is necessary. For even those who love the rain, as do I, must have Sol's warmth to remind one that there is a life outside and that it is not evil.
Shoeless, in t-shirt and shorts, I descend the porch steps breathing in the perfect Summer evening air. The neighborhood is quiet with the occasional pedestrian on their way home and the light of a tv screen reflected in the screen door glass of the house opposite.
I relish the moment, taking the final step down onto the sidewalk.
Onto a slug.
p.s. Look at it this way. If you sign up for notification, you aren't going to see anything this bad for a long, long time: new days notification.
p.p.s. Last week I forgot to thank my wife, the lovely Cathy, for being the font of my inspiration and the beacon of my spirit. But she has since reminded me.
I also forgot to thank Nancy McPoland again for the monster link from net4tv.com.
|previously on days of naze :
what i learned on the web
what have you done for me lately? i swear, navigation help between the days entries is coming this month. if i can just survive the relentless attack of the Furies.
|May you never be more active
when you are doing nothing.
|in the feedbag:
film: Babe - Pig in the City (A-), a trifle scary for the little 'uns but quite lovely; The Spy Who Shagged Me (B), worth it almost for just the shot of Mr. Evil's Starbucks world headquarters in the Space Needle.
favorite spontaneous phrase of the week: (my 6 year old, musing in his bed) "I know what would be really bad. A car that went only one way. I would only pay $1 for a car that went only one way."
web: Naked Eye by Catherine Jamieson, a site startling in it's clarity and intensity. Really happy to have stumbled across her from the diarist.net nominations. Go take a look.
book: A Short History of Portland, by Gordon DeMarco. The nadir of Portland history: In the early 1920's, members of the KKK openly ran for city office. And won.
|a watched pot never boils|