Posts Tagged ‘meeting’

Content Creation

1 August 2010

Dear J-

There’s a lot of lessons to be learned in trying to meet up without a plan but suffice it to say that I never did get to see my cousin today coming out of the water after a five-mile swim (according to the table, he did well, just over a couple of hours).  We got there a little too late, I suspect, and because of my nonexistent phone skills, we never bothered to check until the stragglers were coming in.

On the other hand, figgy had a great time at the beach, getting thoroughly soaked (I did my part and walked around barefoot for as long as I could, driving barefoot too, stupid as that may be).  So the primary purpose wasn’t achieved, but we definitely had a good time; it’s been a good weekend, honestly, and no complaints are coming out of my camp tonight.  The envy-meter is low:  I’m not on the outside looking in at things I want or people I want to be.

That’s my key:  contentment.  It’s a question of being able to tune out the voices that insist that if only I had … or if it worked this way … Naw.  Nothing’s perfect.  I learned that when I was picking out a PDA years ago, choice falling between a Palm IIIc, Vx, or the original Sony Clie — they all had pluses and minuses, but it’s what you can live with.  Didn’t meet up; it’s okay.  figgy loves the beach, and I love watching her laugh.  Content, and happy.

Mike

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12 January 2009

Dear J-

The poster yells starkly at me.  MANAGERS HAVE EMPLOYEES.  LEADERS HAVE FOLLOWERS.  It’s one of those complete with some kind of splashy product photography — this one, some kind of brightly-colored marching band.  My eyes slide over it again as we troop dutifully into the meeting.  We might as well be in 1984, constant vigilance and conformal thinking.

Sun and sky drag my attention out the window as the canned presentation rolls out.  Why do they believe we have reading issues?  If the talking points are already in the PowerPoint slides, I just need explanation; if the explanation bloats your slides beyond comprehension and legibility, then I could read it on my own time.  Ugh.  They’ve got the chairs tied closely together again — ostensibly to enforce row neatness, but when the chairs are designed for grade schoolers — skinny grade schoolers — pressing the flesh takes on a whole new meaning.

Style takes pole position.  I admire the graphics; I admire the A/V setup (having run the A/V department for the fourth grade class, I can tell you that filmstrip projectors are a completely different animal from threading your standard 16mm Bell & Howell movie projector).  One neat cable, nicely packaged, slick transitions and on a shoestring budget.  We’re committed to change, but not the follow through, like drunks on their last bender.  We say the right words and fail our faith, choosing to follow the same old comfortable patterns that brought us here.

Changing course is as easy as turning a ship with a rudder stuck hard over:  you’re yawing, but not going.  Back to the poster again:  do I read that right?  CHANGE IS A LIFESTYLE, NOT AN ATTITUDE.  And yet everywhere I look, walls and barriers, deaf ears and dumb mouths.

Mike

Little Professor

19 November 2006

Dear J-

Sometimes I wonder about how much I really could have known way back yesteryear, when I spouted off regularly on such various topics as WWI-era Dreadnoughts, Star Trek (embarassing myself last night, having recited some details of Amok Time to a half-asleep theVet — I got the priestess’s name right, but not the betrothed), and hockey (hey, Spokane is close enough to Canada to count, and the Chiefs did win the Memorial Cup around the time I graduated). TheVet often tells me that I slip into an unconscious lecture mode; I think it’s a habit that I picked up from my dad and also from debate (thankfully, the only other lasting debate aftereffect has been a predilection for Phoenix Wright games). It makes me wonder (with a fair amount of dread) what kind of horrible influence I’m going to pump down to the next generation, and if they’re doomed to the same corduroy-wearing factoid-spewing fate.

No secret, theVet is pregnant. We are with child, in gentler terms. But that was the easy part — six months from now, how do I suppress the urge to cram the sum total of human knowledge into an unsuspecting infant, how I do know I’m doing right by the child, how do I blend the same measure of steely discipline and self-esteem needed for this world? Here’s a shiny new life, now just make sure you don’t mess it up for them. Agh, the responsibility.

I know I’ll be able to associate answers with questions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I have the answers. We’ll muddle through together, unborn fetus, theVet, and I; we’ll learn together and as much as I know I’m going to be able to teach you, I already can’t wait to learn more from you. So hurry up already and stop making your mom nauseous and tired (and some sort of amazing ravenous eating machine) so we can meetcha. I want you to know as much happiness in your life as I’ve known in mine; I want to watch you laugh, watching me with bright curious eyes; I want to lead you to the same castles and pyramids and knights and emperors to see the new blooming bright every day. I already know you’ll be wonderful.

J-, I want you to meet baby nemo, and don’t tell me you’re too busy or don’t know the way. Anyone who can sit through Scent of Green Papaya (will he pee into the pot or not?) can spare a few moments to meet someone completely new.

Mike