Monthly Archives: December 2002

the superfluous gift

the giving of gifts is not exactly my strength. for certain people, i do just fine. for others (like my parents), i just wind up feeling a bit like sisyphus – the shopping rock keeps going up the mountain, but it always comes back down.
today was a case in point – a gift exchange with cherished friends, in fact with some of the only people with whom i do go through the gift ritual. a time of joy, a moment to reflect on our friendship and to bask in the glow of shared affection.

until the wrapping comes off, that is…

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seeking da vinci

job descriptions keep getting better and better. i wonder, do companies realize what they’re asking for, or are crack pipes just getting bigger these days?

the following job posting was placed on a yahoo group to which i subscribe (names changed to protect the innocent):


The Developer Marketing Group at XYZWidgets is looking for an intern
to assist in developing an important module of the XYZWidgets
website. XYZWidgets is the company behind the uber Widget, one of the world’s
most successful small and ubiquitous devices.

Job Description

Superior writing skills, expertise in Dreamweaver, Shockwave
Flash and html coding and creativity are of primary importance.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Creating mock ups of the web site
  • Developing content for the module and marketing collateral
  • Conducting some market research to understand the needs of the
    developers and end users

Ideal candidate would possess:

  • Expertise in html coding, Dreamweaver and Shockwave Flash.
  • 2-3 years of experience in web site design
  • Familiarity with Java Script
  • Superior written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively with team members of various disciplines
  • Experience with my SQL a plus

Hours: 40 hours per week.
Compensation: Competitive and commensurate with experience.


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the wave

it’s a social nicety we are all familiar with, at least those of us who brave the urban streets in our modern chariots.
it’s a small thing, really. some poor soul is trapped trying to merge, or caught at an intersection with no break in sight, and you pause to allow them to join the fray. you lose a precious five seconds in your act of kindness, causing blood pressure to inch up a few points, but you do it out of the goodness of your heart. after all, you would hope that someone would do the same, were they in your shoes.

in this not-so-humble writer’s opinion, your courtesy should be acknowledged, not with flowers or fanfare, but with ‘the wave.’ the hand doesn’t have to go out the window (unless obscured by tint) – it just needs to go up in the air, the barest notch above the gearshift will do just fine. a few calories expended to grease the social machine…
and yet, people don’t seem to do it, at least, not all the time. this is where road rage is born, people.

occasionally there is the need for the reverse wave, too, where someone doesn’t let you in, but by gum, you’re going to merge anyway. you raise your hand to say, ‘sorry…asshole move, and i know it…’ it can be a risky proposition if someone honks and you raise your hand after the honk (it could be mistaken for a gesture involving the middle finger). i’m never sure what do do in these situations.

i won’t overanalyze. just remember to do the wave the next time someone lets you in (or the next time you cut someone off – innocently, of course). at the risk of engaging in hyperbole (who me? hyperbole?), it’s things like this that keep the fabric of our society intact.


ikea is like a casino that deals in (and often shatters) home furnishing dreams.

its stores are labyrinthine, designed to prevent easy escape, and impulse items await at every turn. i haven’t seen the video surveillance cameras, but i know they’re there, hidden above the björklund designer shelving units (easily complemented with expandable starkjowinterklung lighting inserts), or perhaps inside the hellström lamps. these cameras feed cables, which in turn feed black-and-white monitors; furniture pit bosses scrutinize dazed families of three as they careen from lighting into linens, through dishware and back again, in search of the perfect home improvement item.

it doesn’t matter to ikea whether or not you fulfill your dreams, because you always leave the store with something, filling the coffers of some mysterious swedish furniture conglomerate in a land far, far away…

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photo frenzy

finally, some new series of photos have been posted. those joshua tree photos were pretty old sand at this point, so now there’s some stuff from france to check out.

blog entries to recap my adventures will follow shortly. i’ll try to keep them brief (so let’s see, i was there for 16 days, which is 16 entries, plus my general commentary about the french and their dogs, limited to 5 diatribes and 3 warm reminiscences, plus a little bit of french politics thrown in on the side…just kidding).

look for more photos of non-French subjects in the near future.

typo on page two

copy editing is a thankless job. it’s also one that oftens goes unnoticed, because when you’ve done your job properly, things don’t necessarily look great, they just look…right. right?

people seem to notice mistakes, not the absence of them. when was the last time you saw someone slap a copy editor on the back and say, ‘great job!’? you’re probably more likely to hear someone say, ‘are you done with that yet? we’ve got real work to do here, and you’re kind of holding things up…’

why am i troubled by the plight of copy editors? well, i spent most of yesterday reading and re-reading an important proposal, searching for rusty needles in the haystack. the actual editor was in canada for the weekend, the document was due, and i’m ok with words. you can figure out the rest.

after more hours than i’d like to remember, we put the beast to bed, celebrated briefly, and then started printing. i left the office with a deep sense of satisfaction over a job well done…until i got home, that is.

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