Tuesday, December 29, 2009

120: Heist, pt. 2

From the moment Mick brought up the idea, Dell had been kicking himself.  This "opportunity" had far more risk than what Dell normally accepted in a job and it forced him to confront facts about his own life that he'd long since buried and forgotten.  Not to mention ones he'd never really understood.

The premise was easy.  A small collection of art in a small museum tour making its way through small museums across Europe.  Small, small, small.  Easy. 

And plain as day, right there in the brochure, a small statue with murky provenance which Dell had seen before, in his own home growing up.  He family had always surrounded themselves with art, but the collection was ever changing.  Dell had told himself that his parents simply liked variety, but it was many years later that he'd realized he was only fooling himself and he had inadvertently followed in his father's footsteps. 

It was stupid luck, is what it was.  He, computer components, his father, artwork, found themselves face-to-face in the darkened office overlooking the warehouse, both after the manifests that would guide them to the right shipping crate.  He hadn't seen his father in years, but that night as they crouched behind the flimsy metal desk listening to see if anyone else would be joining the party, he was forced to confront the fact that he and his father were both in the business of "asset relocation."  He wanted to punch his father square in the jaw, but realized that would put his own plans in jeopardy.  They'd parted without speaking that night, the rift still wide between them.

While artwork wasn't really Dell's thing, this particular statue had caught his attention, just as it had done so many years before.  The very thought of it now turned his stomach.  In high school, Dell had become friends with another boy, Charlie.  Charlie's family, too, had a large collection of art and from time-to-time over dinner Charlie's father would tell stories of the artists who had painted them.  Charlie's father wasn't a collector of classics.  He had made his money in mini-marts and couldn't tell a Triesch from a Torvald, but he would always say that every artist had a story and that he enjoyed the beauty of the art, no matter the value.  And one night over dinner, Charlie's father brought out a photo.  Charlie's mother had said "Oh, now, George, he doesn't want to hear this sad story.  Please just put it away."  But George had persisted, showing Dell the photo of the small statue that had been stolen from their home a decade earlier, one of the few pieces of art George owned that had any value.  The police had been no help, what could George possibly know about art?  And the cop had said "It's not like it's a Pih-cay-so" or anything and gave George a form to fill out.  And of course, it was the day after the theft that it occured to George that he ought to invest in insurance and a security system.

Dell didn't speak to his father much after that and within a few months had left home.

So Mick and his friends may have been wanting a quick score for some simple cash, for Dell, it was all about the little statue and he could care less about the rest.   He had Googled Charlie and discovered that he was an investment banker, still in Indianapolis, and a recent news article showed him standing near his smiling parents at the opening of a new art gallery in town.

Mick's plan had been good enough - the art would be temporarily housed at a university.  It was safer than a shipping warehouse and no one would really think to look there.  Security would be minimal, a few off-duty policia picking up a little extra money.  It was standard procedure that this tour had used in a number of other cities.  It was fool-proof.

Until Mick wound up as one of the security guards on duty at the planned time of the heist.  And that fool on the motorcycle who had stopped behind him with his lights flashing and was now approaching the SUV.


A tradition I've been doing for several years now, here's where I look back at the past year, as represented by what I posted on.  

January started off with a bang - 31 posts.  Bam.  The mother-in-law was newly out of the house, we had snow, some fog, and I predicted I'd see 160 on the scale by this coming Thursday.  I guess I need to find someone lighter than me to go stand on the scale.
January 3 - "Motivation" - am amazed at how much easier it is to get chores done on a weeknight than it is on a Saturday when there is all day to do stuff. Lori wondered if it was because I'd already spent the day feeling productive and getting stuff done. But, I'm not sure that's it. I think it's more that I have the mental idea of a very short timeframe in which to get stuff done.

February saw practical tips on handling large volumes of email (a guide based on people continuously asking me at work how I did it), regrets over a Daddy/Daughter day that I felt like I phoned in, lots of photos off my cell phone from my trip to Arizona, I looked back on all the major lessons I've learned from each of my post-college jobs, and we projected the superbowl on the wall and now I wanted a projector.
February 11 - "Dirty Tricks Division" - I think if I had a little color printer, I'd want to have some fun.  Like a new note on the toilet paper... "Westin is proud to offer you this extra roll of Heavenly Wipes(tm) because sometimes we know you need more.  To use, simply remove the outer wrapper.  $8 will be added to your bill at the time of checkout."

March was when I got temporarily hooked on Uno online.  That didn't last long, tried flying a kite with Rachel, complained that Qwest still keeps giving us Tacoma phone books, saw the Seattle P.I. cease to be, seriously cleaned my cube (with photos) and had a lot of dreams.
March 22 - "Father and Son" - Tonight, I was sitting on the couch with Ben on my lap.  I was handing him goldfish one at a time and also eating them myself.  He leaned back and lifted his head to look at me.  Then he raised his arm with the golfdish towards me.  He eventually just leaned back until he was lying down so he could look at me.  He would repeat the almost-offer of the goldfish several times.

In April, I counted stuff (# of offices, length of time unemployed, # of bosses named Jeff or Rich), learned that even "when to call a girl back after a date" is set forth in the Bible (thanks "How I Met Your Mother"), continued to rail against how badly GM's mucked things up, enjoyed the rain, complained about Old Navy, and seemingly the big news of our year, we got the Wii Fit.
April 24 - "Mine" - And then inspiration hit. I instructed her to stay put and went and found her birth certificate. I showed her where it said 'Certificate of Live Birth' and 'State of California' and she brightened up and said "That's me!". She liked the colors of the embossing on the paper and seemed impressed by the notary impression. So I showed her where on the paper that it listed her name and my name and Lori's name. And I told her that this was proof from the state of California that she was our daughter and always would be.

In May there was a scare that there was something large in our attic - nope, just a crow clubbing something to death on the roof at 5 am; I talked about TV shows a lot, I tried to document my Wii Fit progress every day (didn't last long), and I proposed fractional pony ownership (similar to NetJets). Think this was also the month that Marcus killed himself, not that we'd find out about it for a few months.
May 6 - "Getting the Band Back Together" - I don't know why, but as I was sitting at dinner, I was struck with inspiration. If I were musical, I'd want to start a band and I'd call it "Store Brand." Our musical style? Covers, of course. (Yeah, I think I'm pretty clever.)

In June I reflected back on an email that Lori and I have been sending back and forth for over 10 years, started doing more creative writing, and took a real honest-to-goodness vacation - foreign country, days spent sitting and doing nothing, views of the water.  All of the sudden, I really miss Victoria. In early June I was inspired to think of a new way of organizing stuff at home, but then really didn't follow through with it.
June 13 - "Inappropriately Insecure" - A rather interesting phrase came up tonight in Small Group: Inappropriately Insecure.  It was used to describe someone who is so insecure that they rely on the rigidity of rules to get by.  Everything is black and white.  There's no deviation from the rules and that's the only time they feel safe.  I thought it was a rather interesting description and a great phrase.  I think I know some people like that and that I once had those tendencies.  But, especially at work, I think I am becoming more confident, more secure, more able to determine when rules should apply and when there is flexibility to choose the best course of action.  It is liberating to be secure, confident.

July was a dry month - not much posting going on, mostly just videos I found cool and screen captures of a busy day or the thermometer in my car.  I also spent more than half an hour screwing with a spammer who had hijacked my friend's Facebook account and was trying to get me to wire them money because they had apparently gotten stuck in London without their wallet.  (Or their four children under the age of 4, one of whom has had some health issues and needs a lot of care and attention.)
July 30 - "Leadership" - Can't remember exactly where I heard it, or if I even am getting the attribution quite right (Dupree?), but thought it was compelling.... Leaders have but two jobs: (1) Define reality. (2) Say "Thank you"

August was also a slow month.  Firestone went on my list, I formulated a plan for cold-call emails, fought with as Waste Management (I think I lost), spent way too much time detailing my (albeit amazing) iTunes smart playlist composition and gave the world unsolicited advice on vacations. 
August 3 - "Woo Hoo" - Not only have the idiots at the Box network been fired and horribly killed and Planet Express is back on the air (errr... in the air), but the new idiots have done something right... thank you to Fox and the stars of Futurama to the compromise that brings back the original voices.

In September, Lori and I stole away to Seattle for a very quick vacation to celebrate 10 years (sadly, the Hawaii trip was out of reach) (thank you Eskews for entertaining our children!), and I took some screen captures of some positive results in Wii Fit.  What a dud of a month, as far as regular posting went.
September 15 - "Yeah, I Brought It (2 of 2)" - Today is going to be an excellent day. I tangled with someone the other day - they had presented some information in an email that they had gathered and I started to try to reply and address some incorrect points in the email but eventually gave up and just said their email had too many problems for me to know where to begin and that we ought to meet. (Today's lesson for the corporate world, kids - check the org chart first - person didn't like what I said/how I said it and let some others know.) I do believe I've managed to since convince them that I'm a good guy.

3 posts total in October?  Sad, just sad.  I think I must have posted more on Facebook.  But I'm trying to post here on the blog first and let it flow over to Facebook since it'll be retained much longer on the blog.  Yeah, so I made fun of something I like (candy corn), purged my friends lists, and finally learned that Marcus had killed himself.
October 12 - "Fight Night" - Something happened today that's making me re-think how I use Social Media, if at all.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy hearing from my friends, but this event made me take stock of who my friends really are.  I heard a researcher recently quoted saying that people can have, I think, between 80-110 friends and really know them. Anyhow, as I looked at it, there were 436 on Facebook and 76 on Twitter, without a lot of overlap.  Were they all friends that I genuinely knew?  No.  I began slashing.  And then I slashed some more.  In the end, I had 233 friends on Facebook and 38 on Twitter.  (And that was after adding two on Twitter.)

November was a little better with 18 posts.  In a number of cases, I had a notepad open as I went through my day and would flip over and jot observations and thoughts and then at the end of the day, post them all at once.  I posted my second-favorite 120 (my first was "Unspoken" in June) and I've intended to follow-it up with additional pieces, but I've been struggling to put them together cohesively.  I might need to just dive in and write about Dell's (my character) backstory before returning to the present where the cop is riding up on the motorcycle behind his stopped truck.  Also questioned Target's new brand strategy, thought I'd solved perpetual motion (but instead got some physics lessons - though those are mostly on Facebook) and Google releases a new toy that I thought I wouldn't see before I got to heaven.
November 7 - "When Will I Learn There Are No Guarantees" - What the world needs now is a new Frank Sinatra. And not in a Cracker way (the person most likely to understand this reference probably wouldn't be caught dead listening to Cracker, so there you go.) And if you say "What about John Mayer?" Then you need a kick in that teeth. That overhyped commercialized pretty boy is nothing but a corporate tool and "Waiting for the World to Change" is a piece of falsely optimistic tripe that appeals to people who are way too self-absorbed, prideful and egotistical (sadly, a topic I'm all too qualified to speak on). You can keep waiting for the world to change, but you will change first. Trust me. The sooner you get real about this fact and look at what you can change at the same time, the more effective you'll be. Don't wait for the world to change around you. Seize the carp and whatnot.

In December, I posted some stats from iTunes about our music listening habits, cheered as Time Warner excised the cancer known as AOL, and suggested I ought to write more.  Ha Ha, Mr. 7 Posts.  And then on Tuesday, December 29, I was late for work.  Though I was there an hour late last night and the office will be virtually empty this morning, I don't think anyone will begrudge me a few minutes.
December 17 - "Undertow: Not a Book Review" - But, yeah, where does that leave me?  If you say "Write what you know." then suddenly I feel very dumb.  I have absolutely no interest in non-fiction, but I feel like I don't know enough about anything to make for a very interesting fiction story.  Or that it's going to be flat because I lack actual experiences to draw from.  And the images in my head, while rich, are sometimes difficult to draw out, or the detail required to give them life will bore people as it veers into non-fiction.

Related posts: 2008, 2007 (parts one, two and three), 2006 and 2005.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What Are We Listening To? (2009 Edition)

So I thought it would be interesting to see what iTunes about our combined listening habits.  It is indeed an interesting mix.  To get these results, I created two rather simple Smart Playlists just to get me the stats.  In some ways, I may be under-represented because my playlists don't allow the same thing to play in a week or month (depending on the rating) of its last play while Lori has a much smaller playlist of her favorites, with no such restrictions on when something can play.

Our daughter also likes to hear the same things very often, hence the many Tarzan songs and Milli Vanilli's high ranking.  The audio clips are exclusive to my playlist and there is a small number of them total and the playlist is instructed to always keep 10 in my master playlist at all times, so that explains their high number of plays.

Results are the combined results of my iPod, the mostly-Lori's iPod touch, iTunes and our two RAZR phones that play iTunes.  Should be interesting to see what this looks like in a year.  I do predict that Lori's favorites will further dominate the rankings since the iPod touch was given to us later in the year and Lori didn't have a car adapter for it until October.  That and it holds a limited selection of songs.  This is probably the year where we switched to buying more singles on iTunes versus full CDs in disc form.

Anyhow, on with the rankings...

Top 50 - All Time 
(or since late 2006 when we finally added all our CDs to iTunes)

1. Trashin' the Camp - Phil Collins
2. Who Says You Can't Go Home - Bon Jovi featuring Jennifer Nettles
3. My Savior My God - Aaron Shust
4. Morning Has Broken - Various Artists
5. Can't Stop This Thing We Started - Bryan Adams
6. Audio Clip - Mystery Men
7. Girl You Know It's True - Milli Vanilli
8. Jingle Bells - Barenaked Ladies
9. The Cheap Seats - Alabama
10. Audio Clip - The Angry Beavers
11. Keep the Candle Burning - Point of Grace
12. Audio Clip - You've Got Mail
13. Audio Clip - Office Space
14. I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
15. Circle of Life - Carmen Twillie
16. I Can't Be Your Friend - D.H.T. featuring Edmee
17. Strangers Like Me - Phil Collins
18. I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
19. Audio Clip - Futurama
20. Deliver Us - Ofra Haza featuring Eden Riegel
21. Audio Clip - Men in Black
22. Rainbow Connection - Various Artists
23. In Christ Alone - Adrienne Liesching (with Geoff Moore)
24. You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi
25. Free Your Mind - En Vogue
26. Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
27. Angel Eyes - Jim Brickman
28. Heaven - Live
29. Secret Ambition - Michael W. Smith
30. Ancient Words - Michael W. Smith
31. You Are Holy - Michael W. Smith
32. Under the Sea - Samuel E. Wright
33. Trashin' the Camp - Phil Collins featuring *NSYNC)
34. Two Worlds - Phil Collins
35. Audio Clip - Mystery Men
36. Theme: The Flintstones
37. Lavender Blue - Various Artists
38. Danny Boy - Celtic Woman
39. Bonny Portmore - Loreena McKennitt
40. Two Worlds - Phil Collins
41. Wonderful, Merciful Savior - Selah
42. Audio Clip - The Angry Beavers
43. Born to Be My Baby - Bon Jovi
44. The Gorillas - Mark Mancina and Phil Collins
45. Two Worlds Reprise - Phil Collins
46. You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins
47. Angel - Sarah McLachlan
48. Audio Clip - Mystery Men
49. Manic Monday - The Bangles
50. Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin

Top 50 - Music Added to iTunes in the past year

1. Bonny Portmore - Loreena McKennitt
2. Tainted Love - Soft Cell
3. Waiting for My Rela Life to Begin - Colin Hay
4. Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler
5. The River - Brian Doerksen
6. Cupid - Sam Cooke
7. Fields of Gold - Eva Cassidy
8. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
9. I Want it That Way - Backstreet Boys
10. Slow Me Down - Emmy Rossum
11. The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
12. Push - Matchbox Twenty
13. We Humble Ourselves - Paul Baloche
14. Tearin' Up My Heart - *NSYNC
15. He Knows My Name - Tommy Walker
16. What Do I Know of Holy - Addison Road
17. I'm In a Hurry (and Don't Know Why) - Alabama
18. This Magic Moment - The Drifters
19. The Way You Do The Things You Do - UB40
20. Lonely - Akon
21. Remember When - Alan Jackson
22. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
23. Angel - Shaggy & Rayvon
24. There She Goes - Sixpence None the Richer
25. Mickey - Toni Basil
26. My Maria - Brooks & Dunn
27. Little Darlin' - The Diamonds
28. Nothin' to Lose - Josh Gracin
29. Here With Us - Joy Williams
30. Behind Those Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson
31. Movie Clip - Ferris Bueller's Day Off
32. If My People - Promise Keepers
33. Goodbye to You - Scandal
34. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens
35. Red Red Wine - UB40
36. White & Nerdy - Wierd Al Yankovic
37. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) - Dead of Alive
38. There Will Come a Day - Faith Hill
39. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
40. I'm Not Ashamed - Newsboys
41. The Road I Must Travel - The Nightwatchman
42. No One Else on Earth - Wynonna Judd
43. It's My Life - Bon Jovi
44. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
45. Hard to Say I'm Sorry / Get Away - Chicago
46. Will You Still Love Me? - Chicago
47. He's a Rebel - The Crystals
48. Riverie - Don Wyrtzen
49. What Is Love - Haddaway
50. Down Under - Men at Work

Saturday, December 26, 2009

120: Nothing

Everything was covered in a fine red dust.  A single solitary bulb shone on the porch.  How it was powered or why it was still lit was probably a mystery that would need to eventually solved.  Sunlight had not graced the parched land for a long, long time.  What little light the bulb did produce barely spilled off of the porch, most of the ground in front of the building was held in permanent darkness.  Three of the four steps were very worn, sagging.  The fourth step, which was actually second from the top, was disconnected on one-side, collapsed under the weight of someone, probably leaving the place in a hurry.  But even that would have been a long, long time ago.  The railing, too, was broken, as were all the windows.  The door stood open, the screen door, hung at an angle, its lower hinge still connected, its screen mostly detached and folded over onto itself.  A sign on a pole extending off the front of the building hung perfectly still.  There was no wind to speak of.  The sign itself was also a mystery, the paint had been stripped off decades ago, there was no way to tell what it said, though from the looks of the building and its location, it must have been a gathering place for a community that no longer existed.  This wasn't a place where they would be allowed to stay very long, it wasn't safe.  They turned the vehicle around and headed back the way they had come.

Thou Shall Steal (and Profit!)

A great article today on MSNBC about Christian "parody" products and why they persist (companies are hesitant to appear "un-Christian") despite clear copyright violations.  Looks like I need to look into The Center for Church Communication, but I'm not holding my breath - there's no Facebook or Twitter or anything on their homepage.  Looks clean, sterile and static. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again... parody is misunderstood by the modern church and it shows a true lack of understanding and creativity.  It may be a shortcut to recognition, but it's also free advertising for companies that you might not want to associate Christianity so directly with.  I got excited once when I heard of a Twitter named "Jesus needs better PR" - until I quickly found that he was identifying a problem but not working to address it.

Related posts:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Reindeer Games

Played three fun Christmas games this weekend.  While none were necessarily new, they were all fun, in case you're looking for a last-minute game idea.

Christmas Mad-Libs - we were handed a sheet that asked for things like "Superhero" and "article of clothing" and "noun" and "favorite movie quote" - asked for more than 30 of them.  Then we were handed "'Twas the night before Christmas" with blanks in it.  One person read while the other added the missing words. The fun part was that when we were picking the words, we didn't know the context. 

Christmas Memory - a large tray was presented for a few brief seconds, twice.  Then we had to write down as many things as we could remember off the tray.  Ranged from a stamp to a Christmas card to a pinecone to an ornament.  Probably at least 50 items on the tray.

Christmas Pictionary - Two teams had to guess from the simpler "Deck the Halls" to the more complex English carols the names of which I've already forgotten.  Some were probably too complex.  I am pretty proud of myself, though, one guy drew "___ ___ ___ ___ ____________" (we were drawing lines first in each round to show how many words we were looking for) and I knew right away what it was.  He then tried to draw more and no one on his team or our team got it.  I'm not sure I'd pose this one if I were running the game, but it was "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."  My "12 Days of Christmas" was kinda sad, but someone still got it pretty quickly.  (I drew 12 boxes and then a really sickly bird in a really sickly tree in the first box and they got it.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

10 Minutes

I'm really feeling uninspired to write.  I can't think of anything to write about and I'm still struggling with the idea that I don't have anything that I want to write about.

The curtains in front of me are open, which is somewhat unusual.  This is a large window situated high on the wall above the couch and faces north towards Seattle.  If it were lighter, the view would be of our neighbor's home, trees and sky.  However, it's so pitch black this morning that the view is a reflection of this room - the overhead light, me mostly in what I can only descripbe as white-silhouette -- you can see the outline of my hair and t-shirt bobbing up and down as I step on and off of the Wii balance board.  There's the voice caused by the laptop in front of me and off to one side the reflection of the TV.  "Damaged" by Danity Kane is playing on Pandora.  It's not that good a song, but at least it's got a consistent, fast beat that easy to walk to.

Today is our department Christmas party.  They're doing light catering and then a lot of people are making dessert.  This is a nightmare for me.  Large groups of people standing around not doing anything, unlimited access to food in the form of goodies, a really vague duration (noon to 2 or 3).  I might have to duck out at some point to go take my walk or something.  Really need to remember to recharge my Blackberry.  Then at least I can do some work while I'm sitting there.  I'm hoping they send us all home early.  Then I could hang out with Ben while Rachel and Lori go to a birthday party.  (Friends - three things that should not happen in December: moving, birthday, wedding.)

"S.O.S." by Rihanna.  That's a little better.  But what kind of name is Ree-hah-nah?  Probably not how it's pronounced, but what do I know?  I think the H is silent, but I don't really care.

I'm tired.  Just weary.  And hungry.  Just over an hour until breakfast and coffee.  And 90 seconds left to go on my walk.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Undertow - Not a Book Review

I read Sue Grafton's latest Kinsey Milhone novel "U is for Undertow" on Tuesday.  Well, I started at 11 pm on Monday night, but otherwise I read the whole thing on Tuesday.  There are some people that say "Why read the whole book in such a short time-frame?  Why not let it linger, savor the story over a longer period of time?"  To them I say, "Why not buy tickets all week for the same movie and visit the theater each night to watch a little bit."  No, but I devour fiction.  Non-fiction can take me forever - "Three Signs of a Miserable Job" - it was mostly fiction and I had that part done in no time.  The last few pages are non-fiction and they're taking me forever.  Like weeks.  And the way I read fiction is probably also not the best for my family, I'll carry the book everywhere and any chance I get, I'll crack it open and escape back into that world. 

I didn't care too much for "U is for Undertow" but this isn't my review.  If I do review it, it'll be on Facebook with all of my other reviews.  But, there was one character I liked, a high school writing teacher.  In order to pass a class, the student needed to turn in writing every week over the summer.  At first, the writing was bad, but the teacher didn't hold back his criticisms.  And the student knew that he needed this to graduate.  So he began to realize that he needed to write consistently and he came to understand that he needed to write about what he knew. 

I think the first part of that is easier, writing consistently.  I can and should do that.  I've thought of myself as able to write, but then haven't done it as frequently as I'd like.    I've been writing the second part of the Heist forever.

It's that second part, writing about what you know, that's driving me crazy.  I don't feel like I know anything cool.  I don't have strong emotions, except occasionally frustration or anger, and that's typically towards work.  Used to have more problems while driving until I decided to always drive the speed limit.  Now I no longer have any frustration with whether I'm going to be able to make it somewhere on time or not because that's now actions that need to be taken before I get in the car, because that's going to take as long as it takes once I'm in there.  And the cars driving faster than me?  They're all crazy and I'm smugly better than they because I'm following the rules.  And the cars driving slower than me?  Yeah, they're still a problem, but they're more rare.  Though not last Sunday.

But, yeah, where does that leave me?  If you say "Write what you know." then suddenly I feel very dumb.  I have absolutely no interest in non-fiction, but I feel like I don't know enough about anything to make for a very interesting fiction story.  Or that it's going to be flat because I lack actual experiences to draw from.  And the images in my head, while rich, are sometimes difficult to draw out, or the detail required to give them life will bore people as it veers into non-fiction. 

So, this is my writing for today.  Not going to claim that it's much, but at least I'm doing it.  Should have done it last month for NaBlPoMo or whatever it was that Lori and everyone was doing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

End of the Road

I remember the moment clearly.  I got on the elevator and one of my co-workers was already on the elevator.

"Did you hear?" they asked, "AOL just bought Time Warner."

For reasons I didn't understand, they then got off the elevator.  There were two people behind me in the elevator.  Ignoring them, I said aloud "I could never work for AOL." and jabbed the button a few times for my floor.

I was pretty sure they weren't from AOL or Warner Bros., but I really didn't care.  AOL was evil.  Well, still is. 

Turns out, I wouldn't need to worry about that, I wouldn't be working for them too long at all.  To make the merger work (it didn't), some cutting would need to be made to realize the efficiencies of the synergy or something like that.

But, what happened instead, at least for me, was the series of events that I could never imagined, all of it -- ALL OF IT -- uniquely positioning me for where I am today.  When I think back now, I am amazed.

But at the time, it was very frustrating.  So in some ways, I've been bemused by the failings of this merger and so cheered when I learned Dec. 9 would be its undoing.  AOL had bought itself some time, but in the end, it was being tossed to the wolves.  And I missed cheering on Dec. 9 because I've just been too swamped.  But now, the AOL death watch can resume.

Cat image courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2009/nov/23/digital-media-aol-reactions-to-new-logo
And here's an article about their new logo(s): http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10403346-93.html?tag=tvjames.blogspot.com