Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh October...

October and I have a love/hate relationship. Professionally, October is one of the most grueling months I have to endure year after year. As a Business Architect and Process Design Specialist in the Health Insurance industry I must ensure my work is complete and handed off to my stakeholders with plenty of time for Technology, Training, Client Implementation, Consumer Communications, Recruiting and Workforce Readiness to do their thing by January 1 launches. I should not complain; a hellish October beats being overworked in December. This hate of October is painful in that prior to launching my career it was always my favorite month; crispy leaves, caramel apples, pumpkin picking, homecoming, the World Series, hay rides, mums, Halloween. October does have so much going for it but all too often I miss it with stressful, late nights at work.

October is especially beautiful as a photographer; the colors, the light, the family fun, all contribute to some of the most wonderful photographic moments of the year. I wanted to share some of my favorites from this October, mostly as a reminder to myself that I was still able to squeeze a little fun between deadlines.

Chick here to visit the full album.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quote of the Week

I've always loved this quote; it is much more intelligent sounding then "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade," but bears the same basic meaning...

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
-Irving Berlin

Monday, October 29, 2007

Betta Assets

If your life had a play list, what songs would provide the background music? This is a question I cannot quickly answer look forward to listening to every CD in the house searching for the perfect mix of music and lyrics that encapsulates my existence on earth. While I work on my own personal play list, I wanted to share the songs that remind me of my family; especially my sisters and cousins. While most families would be offended at the following list I am quite confident that mine, the family that considers “Baby Got Back” a wedding anthem, feel a certain pride with these songs that celebrate our best assets:

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-lot
So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'
To the beanpole dames in the magazines:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!

Fat Bottom Girls by Queen
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round

Rump Shaker by Wreckx-N-Effect
All I wanna do is zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom
Just shake your rump

Big Bottom by Spinal Tap
Big bottom, big bottom
Talk about mud flaps, my girl's got 'em

Thong Song by Sisqó
Ooh that dress so scandalous
And you know another nigga can't handle it
So you shakin that thang like who's the ish
With a look in yer eyes so devilish

Shake Your Booty by K.C. and the Sunshine Band
Oh, shake shake shake, shake shake shake,
Shake your booty! Shake your booty.
(and really, that’s the whole song…)

Shoop by Salt-n-Pepa
Ummm, you're packed and you're stacked 'specially in the back
Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that (thanks, Mom)
Can I get some fries with that shake-shake boobie?
If looks could kill you would be an uzi

My Humps by Black Eyed Peas
(alternate version by Alanis Morissette)
What you gon' do wit all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?
What you gon' do wit all that breast?
all that breast inside that shirt?

Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child
I don't think you ready for this jelly
I don't think you ready for this
Is my body too bootylicious for ya babe

Doin da Butt by E.U.
A big girl gettin' busy, just rockin' to the go-go beat
The way she shook her booty sho' looked good to me
I said, 'Come here, big girl, won't you rock my world…

You can Do it (Put that Butt in to it) by Ice Cube
Baby bounce them tits
Mama move them hips
Baby shake them cheeks

That Girl Is Poison by Bel Biv Devo
Never trust a big butt and smile

Brickhouse by The Commodores
Shes a brick----house
Mighty might just lettin it all hang out
Shes a brick----house
The ladys stacked and thats a fact

And there you have the butt playlist... if you have any additions, please leave a comment.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quote of the Week

Our prayers go out to those in California; the massive fires should be a reminder of how little most of our problems actually are...

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got problem. Everything else is inconvenience.
- Robert Fulghum

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Layovers and Connections

Unless you have lived under a rock for the past 10 plus years, are unable to use a radio or somehow managed to avoid being in a car after 7pm weekdays, then chances are you know of the radio personality Delilah. My memories of her raspy voice, the overly mushy callers pouring their hearts out and Delilah’s knack for choosing a song dedication to perfectly match her caller’s sappy story go way back to a time I frequently drove the I-95 corridor between New York and Virginia over a decade ago. Although her narratives cause excessive gagging and the chosen music can slip listeners dangerously into coma territory, the evening Delilah show is one thing a radio can consistently pick up regardless to what stretch of road you find yourself on from coast-to-coast. Delilah continues to reach my ears through the radio waves, encouraging her listeners to “love someone tonight,” whether life has me on I-95 in the Northeast, California’s Pacific Highway, or I-94 in Chicago. She has evolved from Chicken Soup for the Romantic’s soul into an overly moral, Dr. Phil meets Sally Jesse Raphael on saccharine laced crack irritating preacher, yet here I sit in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas listening to her little program which causes me to ponder; how many things in life do we do not because we enjoy it, pays the bills or provides others any pleasure, but simply because it is familiar?

It is not hard to think of dozens of things we do, eat, or listen to for reasons other then the connection they provide to the past. Holiday traditions are an excellent example of this; cranberry sauce that maintains the shape of the can, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pickled herring, capozzelli (lamb’s head for you non-Italians), lutefisk (cod soaked in lye for you non-Scandinavians). Each one of us can attest to the items that hit our table during celebrations that either sit untouched for the entire meal or are consumed under great amounts of protest. Holiday after holiday, year after year, we muster up the courage to cook and consume a variety of foods because somehow the holiday would not be the same without them. The comfort and consistency we find in these items and remind us of our past and connect us to family and strangers alike.

Time goes by, years fly, generations pass and after a while no one remembers why we streak campus on the day of the first snowfall, watch the mind-numbing Yule log burning bright on channel 11, haze underclassmen with duct tape and cans of shaving cream, toilet paper and parade around school on the last day of class, or wear an unflattering shade of white in our weddings. We simply do these silly, crazy or disgusting things because others; extended family, friends of friends of friends, distinguished alumni, and random people from distant history, established the traditions and laid the path to follow long before we were even blips on the radar screen of life.How does the Delilah evening radio program connect with the rich tapestry of traditions that binds us to the past? They are linked through the similar emotions they invoked; comfort, familiarity, warmth and stability, feelings so powerful they often cause us to do things we do not like or understand just to connect us with the past, strengthen our relationships, and feel secure in our chaotic world. Each time I hear of a person who dismisses traditions as “old-fashion,” outdated or stupid I cannot help but think how they miss the big picture; generations of people, alive and dead, connected through shared customs. These traditions might evolve as families grow, cultures merge and the world progresses, but at the heart they remain a keystone in the building block of our lives.

So here I sit, listening to a radio program because it connects me to a time long ago when life often had me stranded in a car or a hotel room far away from home yearning for a little company; Delilah provided that company. What began as means to get me through long drives turned into a personal ritual anytime work sends me far from home. It is the same reason I dye eggs at Easter although I hate my eggs hard boiled, blow out candles when I would rather blow past a birthday, wrestle with tangled Christmas lights when it is 20 below outside, and recite the traditional lord’s prayer even when a church uses the modern version; the more things change, the more important it is do some things the same. As the late Deborah Kerr said in “An Affair to Remember,” “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories,” and many memories are warmer when shared repeatedly with others over the course of a lifetime.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh, the places I went

Ten years ago this month I obtained my first passport via super-expedited gotta get it right away overnight courier service after receiving word that my employer needed me to fly to Spain ASAP; spoiled by the ease and speed that comes with a $330 (company paid) price-tag for overnight passport needs. That initial trip abroad infected me with an incurable case of wanderlust and the Passport pages illustrate the extent of my travel bug; entry stamps from far away lands, dates of travel forever emblazoned in colorful ink, the folds and creases in the book- signs of wear and tear evidence of a passport well used. With the final chapter scheduled to close on my first little blue book I filled out the paperwork for renewal, simple and painless except for my inability to actually mail it to the passport agency; paralyzed by fear of being trapped, unable to travel at a moments notice.

It was actually the perfect time for my passport to expire; my insane work schedule leaves no time to travel abroad and my bank account is still recovering from 3 weeks down under earlier in the year. Besides a now passed trip to Canada in August (which requires a passport) my travel calendar is clear until September 2008. My irrational fear of being trapped in the United States had little to do with any actual travel opportunities or illegal activities that required sudden trips, but was directly related to the changes in passport rules this year and the consequential delays experienced by everyone needing new or updated travel documents. The media reported horror stories of people having to cancel trips when their passports were delayed over 4 months; what if George Clooney invited me to visit his home in Lake Como or if the UK decided to privatize their health system and needed someone to architect their new business processes? Anything can happen in 4 months! Although I had nothing exciting planned the thought that I could not plan anything or be spontaneous scared me.

After several months and countless hours spent agonizing over the expiration date on my blue-plethered friend I was alerted by several TSA security officials on a trip to New York that my passport was about to expire. My plan was to fly to New York and renew my passport from my hometown in some sort of odd symbolic personal ceremony. There was no rational reason behind this, if anything it was fated to be a stupid move; my hometown post office is world renown in their ability to lose important items. Suddenly, the thought of my very first passport with all the beautiful stamps and stickers being lost forever caused intense sadness, like I was losing a good friend, shifting my focus from fearing delay of my new passport to the possibility of having to say farewell forever to my old passport. You are supposed to get your old passport back after renewing, but I have heard from far too many friends that this is not always the case, especially if the post office sent my document to Peoria rather then Philadelphia. I considered claiming it was lost so I would not have to risk losing my original passport but knew this was a surefire way of landing on the FAA “suspicious persons” list. So I did what any other obsessive compulsive person would do; scanned all my passport pages onto photo paper as a souvenir, kissed the book goodbye and mailed it priority on the fifth of October.

I am happy to report that I experienced a joy not often felt by those dealing with government run agencies when retrieving my mail on October 18th; my new passport arrived a mere 13 days after I mailed it and my old passport arrived the very next day. Between the reported delays and my being too cheap to pay the expedited fee, I fully expected the process to take at least 3 months. I had dreams of lost opportunities to jet off to warm Caribbean islands in January because I was still passport-less. With my brand spanking new passport I am free to move about the world but now to the untrained eye I look like an amateur traveler; the blank book a false indication that life has yet to take me to the corners of the globe. My first passport displayed an interesting mix of locations; Russia, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand among my many stamps. A certain feeling of pride came each time a border agent inspected my passport and questioned my past travel and now I have to start from scratch again.

Rather then view this new passport with sadness at the vacant pages, I am trying to be more positive, looking at this new book as an open canvas; each trip a new brushstroke on a priceless masterpiece that takes ten years to complete. This new book will be the second in a series as I build my passport anthology. Will this new passport, a reflection of my thirties, be as beautiful and exciting as the work of art created in my twenties? I have ten years to make it so…

Friday, October 19, 2007

If I were a famous artist, I would be...

The tie is surprising; how the heck could I not get Ansel Adams hands down. I named my Nikon D-100 Ansel...

Which Famous Artist Are You?

You are part Ansel Adams. Your artistic tool of choice is the camera, but you've got lots of other skills as well. Spoiled when you were young, you grew up to be a loving person and you have a deep affinity for nature and all things black and white.
You are part Andy Warhol. Your artistic talent became clear at an early age. As a result, you are still developing your talent now, chasing the dream. A big fan of commercial art, you see greatness in the ordinary.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quote of the Week

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.
- Pepper Giardino

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Prominent member of the Van Betta crime family

My morning routine is usually pretty standard; wake up, potty, brew coffee, take the dogs for a walk, come back, shower, get dressed, kiss husband, pour coffee in mug, give dogs their kongs and head out the door. Day in and day out this same process occurs like a perfectly choreographed waltz with little to no variation. Occasionally the dance changes slightly; it is too cold for a walk, there is no coffee in the house or if the dogs get rawhide rather then a kong. This morning a “perfect storm” of events drastically mixed up the schedule and led to a disturbing personal discovery; I could quit my job and begin a life of crime.

This week I am a single pet-parent while my husband is away on business. This should not, in any way, effect the morning routine as saying he is not a morning person is a gross understatement of the disdain he has for any hour prior to noon. The morning dog routine is primarily performed by me since I wake up sometime before the crack of dawn. The morning walk is usually around 30 minutes long and I rarely if ever lock the door behind me when leaving the house. This morning, I had a vision of returning to a rapist inside and decided to lock the handle as I exited; I would just key into the garage upon my return. This is when the chaos started.

A very nice walk with my little black and white dogs was ruined when I tried to open the garage to realize that the electricity went out. Trying not to panic, I walked around the house checking every window and door to see if any had accidentally been left unlocked. No such luck. At that point I began searching for “the rock,” the kind that hides in the yard, unnoticed by criminals, and only the owner realizes there is a house key hidden within the contraption. Unfortunately, no key was hidden in the rock. The nearest backup key was either 2 hours away with my in-laws or 1000 miles away with my husband in Connecticut.

Rather then do anything drastic, I decided to take the dogs for another spin around the block and pray for electricity. 30 minutes later my attempt at garage access was once again denied. Assessing the situation, I had a few options; take the day off from work and find a neighbor to take me in, break a window, call a locksmith or break the door. My mind raced with images of breaking down the door Law and Order style, kicking it down with one well placed, magical kick. Luckily, I remembered the pain associated with breaking bones and decided to opt for a better solution. Weighing the pros and cons of my choices, factoring in cost and embarrassment considerations, I decided to try and break the doorknob off, knowing I had only locked the knob and not the deadbolt.

Using my shoe as a tool, I whacked at the doorknob several times until the outside handle broke free from the door. The door would not budge. Traipsing through the yard, I found some sticks to pop open the inside locking mechanism, getting into the house and causing minimal damage to anything more then the doorknob. I felt like MacGyver. The feeling of pride and triumph with this amazing display of self-sufficiency was immediately replaced by the overwhelming realization of just how easy it is to break into a house. While I’m happy that this incident is only going to result in the cost of a new doorknob, the price of discovering how vulnerable we are to the outside world is going to be much more expensive in the long run. From now on I will always remember to lock the deadbolt (and also remember my keys).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


It’s raining; again. After enjoying a very dry June and July where in return for high water bills we got to enjoy the great outdoors constantly without mosquitoes, a complete 180 in the weather pattern has brought what feels like constant rain since mid-August. It is like we are living in the Northwest, but without the mountains and the ocean to keep our minds off of the crummy weather. Being someone whose mood is in direct correlation to sunshine exposure, the wet and gray skies are really putting a damper on my attitude and inducing a horrific bout of writer’s block, which honestly could not have come at a worse time.

Writer’s block must be absolutely the nastiest thing in the world when your livelihood is dependent on putting words to paper. You just stare blankly at the screen before you, frozen by the inability to come up with anything remotely intelligent. Writing more frequently for pleasure has made me recognize how much I actually suffer from some of the same creative roadblocks that journalists and authors do in their chosen professions. As a Business Architect and Business Process Specialist, my day-to-day writing revolves around the production of intricate process flows and presentations. Although my words are more concise bullets then flowery prose, it still requires a great deal of creativity to take an entire business and condense it into a few 8x11 pages that everyone, from business executives and sales to programmers, can understand and execute upon.

This week, I am working upon two major deadlines required for 1/1/08 launches. The project plan shows that client implementation, sales, technology, training and call operations all have major dependencies on my output to move forward with their work. Adding to the pressure is this being my time to shine after the unfortunate career hiccup and consequential department shift that occurred this summer. Never in my 10 years of post-college work have I felt such pressure to go above and beyond the call of duty and show the world what I’m made of, yet, here I sit suffering from analysis paralysis and unable to put a single keystroke toward the completion of this projects. Is it the rainy blues, or am I crumbling under the pressure?

This morning, my dogs were the unfortunate victims of my writer’s block, being forced to take a very long walk in the pouring rain. Returning home 3 miles later, cold and soaking wet, yielded nothing more then two smelly, mud covered dogs and, more then likely, a cold in a few days. With the deadline looming over my head like the dark clouds outside, I am taking a chapter from straight from writer’s “how-to” books and doing the one thing that many claim cures writer’s block; writing about the writer’s block. This writing exercise is one that is recommended by professionals the world over to combat this debilitating condition. For those who have never suffered from writer’s block, the only way I can explain how it feels is taking one of those moments you are stuck in conversation, unable to think of a word, and multiply that feeling of frustration and helplessness by a million. Personally, I am overcome by a feeling that my brain is shutting down, unable to process even the tiniest thoughts. Writer’s block effects my speech patterns; I begin having a nervous stutter anticipating that the writer’s block is going to cause speakers block. Silly as it might sound; I feel overwhelmed, humbled, stupid and embarrassed even opening my mouth in front of others, afraid they are going to realize this shortcoming. Rather then bring attention upon me, I begin to clam up and stop participating in conversations and become a wallflower in meetings and workshops.

Unfortunately, I must muster through this issue and get through this week, forget the thought of producing perfect work just to produce any work at all. To compare work to school, there is just no way I can possibly get an A on this assignment, but I have to suck it up and get things done so I can just pass the class.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quote of the Week

Wishing everyone a happy Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving; and a very special happy half-birthday to my husband... half way to 65.

Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character. Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul.
- Author Unknown

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Top 10 things I hate about Minnesota

Although I made it well past the five years I agreed to live in Minneapolis, it is not because I fell completely head over heels about my new “home” location. Every area of the world has its own little issues that give residents reason to complain and keep the population under control. Imagine if Seattle had beautiful weather; the whole world would live there. Minnesota has many positive things going for it; however, the following list outlines the reasons why I will not retire Minnesota:

It is quite tiring to hear people talk about how easy winters are these days and how much worse they were in the early 90s, the 80s, the 70s, etc. Maybe this is how everyone deals with the miserable winters; make them out to be better then they really are. Three things make the winters in Minnesota horrible. First is the unbearable cold; there is just no way to describe the bone-chilling feeling of death that is -20F. I can still vividly recall like it was yesterday walking 6 blocks from the car to the Metrodome on an evening with a -35 wind chill reading and wishing the lord would just end the misery and take me someplace warm, and this was nearly 10 years ago. Then there is the snow which does not come until February or March, when winter is all but done in most of the world, because it is too cold to snow in January. Snow is beautiful around the Christmas holiday, not Easter. Adding insult to injury, the beauty that is fall in Minnesota, my favorite season, is cut far too short with winter coming well before the solstice and lasting beyond the Spring Equinox. The bonus issue with long harsh winters is how they destroy roads, leading to everyone's least favorite season, construction season, when roads are closed for months on end to repair winter's damage.

Jokingly known as the state bird, the lakes and humid summer conditions create the perfect breeding ground for the mosquito. Mosquitoes could easily band together and pick up small children and animals; carrying them clear cross-state. These little blood suckers grow to the size of dinner plates and their bites leave larger welts on your skin then if you were hit by a Johan Santana fastball. A good run of West Nile or worse would create a health epidemic of monumental proportions.

Minneapolis is ranked as the 13th most “Humane City” in the United States by the American Humane Society. It is well above average in most animal-friendly indicators; few pet stores sell puppies (stores “stock” dogs through puppy mills), low number of fur shops and heavy regulations on “show-animals” like those for circuses. The one thing that drops Minneapolis to 13th in the rankings is the hunting culture that is prevalent across the state. I will never understand how people could kill animals for pleasure and live with themselves. I am from NY, we don’t shoot animals, we shoot each other; chances are the animal did not deserve it.

Minnesota Nice
Minnesotans are very nice on the outside, however, beneath the surface lies the real truth to all the smiles and niceties; Passive-Aggressiveness. Passive Aggressive is loosely defined as behavior in which damaging emotions, especially anger, are expressed indirectly through negative conduct and disguised resistance to the demands or expectations of others. No matter how upset, angered, frustrated or pissed-off a native Minnesotan gets at a person they remain stoically silent, avoid showing their unhappiness and even go so far as appearing agreeable to the person or actions that get their panties in a bunch. Locals will sit and watch a light change green a dozen times and never use their horn to wake the person in front of them up. A co-worker will make a bad decision and no one will say anything to correct them, instead complaining to others in the meeting after the meeting without fixing the situation. Any sign of directly expressing your opinion or speaking your mind is considered rude. As you can imagine, being from a passionate Italian-American New York family, where survival is based on your ability to stand your ground, makes me much (Minnesota) different then everyone around me and the transition to living amongst the passive-aggressiveness very (Minnesota) interesting.

I'll be home for Christmas
I grew up in a close-knit family with my parents and two sisters, only about 2 miles away from my Grandmother, aunts and most of my cousins. Those in the family who were not within the 2 mile radius could be reached in less than 30 minutes. While most of my family still lives within an easy drive of each other, I live over 1000 miles away. I am fortunate to make it home for most major holidays and a few other visits during the year, but what I miss is Sunday dinners, popping in unannounced for coffee, meeting close friends and family for a beer at the local watering hole, random family events and casual BBQs. It is very hard to see the life you once had disappear and everyone going on without you; people all but forgetting to include you in events because they assume you will not be in town. I really cannot say I hate Minnesota, I just hate that it is so far away from those I love.

Scandinavian Beauties
Growing up in a community dominated by those of Southern European descent made being a 5’ 9’’ blonde with blue eyes incredibly fun. It is easy to stand out in a crowd when most of those around you are a half a foot shorter. Mostly everyone comes from a Scandinavian, Baltic or German background; they are tall, blonde, fair and beautiful. Frankly suddenly being average is quite annoying.

93% of the people who are born in Minnesota die in Minnesota, with most spending all the time between their birth and death solidly planted within the state boundaries. This situation allows natives to develop incredible longtime friendships but makes it quite difficult to be a transplant. Luckily I am married to a Minnesotan and his friends have let me in their inner circle, but most are not so fortunate to have this avenue to break in and make friends.

Family Friendliness
To say the taxes in Minnesota are high is like saying Brittany Spears is going through a little rough patch. We pay state and local governments through the nose but in return get America’s best schools, plenty of parkland filled with playgrounds, locally subsidized after school programs and enrichment activities. All wonderful things if you have children, which I do not. So my taxes rarely support things that I could actually use like better roads (you should just see the disgrace of the street I live on), a local dog park (Minnetonka is surrounded by cities with dog parks but does not have their own!), and adequate public transportation. Just to go off a little more on the tax situation I still cannot believe that taxes do not include trash pickup (have to hire that yourself), sewers or streetlights (which we pay for additionally as well even though we have neither on our block).

Land Locked
Lakes are pretty, but nothing beats the feeling of water as far as the eye can see, the smell of salt and miles and miles of sandy beaches. When my life becomes overwhelming with mounting responsibilities and issues I am overcome by a feeling of claustrophobia; like the walls of the world closing in on me. My cure when living by the ocean was simple; take a walk on the beach or sit on a rock overlooking the open water and enjoy the beauty of the sea. Calmness displaces insanity the instant you breathe in the ocean air, listen to waves crashing against the shoreline and feel sand tickle your toes. Without that release, I am unable to break a feeling of entrapment.

Where’s the Deli
Oh, how I miss a good NY deli; a place where you can order a mile high made-to-order pepperoni sandwich on crusty bread with all the fixings, a good potato salad, a fresh kosher dill pickle, a pound of deli meat, piping hot knishes, homemade rice pudding, a full chicken dinner, the newspaper, a 6-pack of beer and a lottery ticket. A few places outside the northeast have attempted to call themselves a deli, but they always fall short. As a self-proclaimed “foodie” I miss both the convenience and quality of deli food the most, followed closely by Italian bakeries, pizza joints that sell amazing pizza by the slice, good Chinese food that delivers and Wise potato chips. Lucky for me alot of this is easily solved with frequent trips home and very big luggage.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How to pick up a nerd

Bill Nye the Science Guy could pick me up faster then the speed of light with these geeky pickup lines:
  1. Your lab bench, or mine?
  2. Your eyes have a perfect wavelength of 563.4 nm.
  3. I'm attracted to you like the Earth is attracted to the Sun-with a large force inversely proportional to the distance squared.
  4. Might I integrate your curves tonight?
  5. I'm hung like a Foucault pendulum.
  6. Wanna help test the spring constant for my mattress.
  7. You're more special than relativity.
  8. That dress would look even better accelerating towards my bedroom floor at 9.8 m/s2
  9. I have E=mc2 tattooed on my ass.
  10. Most women are so complex. They're always like"i! i! i!" But you- you're just so real.
  11. I might be a physics major, but I'm no Bohr in bed.
  12. Can I have your significant digits?
  13. Hey baby, what's your sine?
  14. Wanna expand my polynomial?
  15. You and Me = Grand Unification
  16. Engineers don't know the first thing about pleasing a woman. Friction alone can't get the job done.
  17. Would a loser be able to recite pi out to 50 decimal places?
  18. In my bed, it's perpetual motion all night long, baby.
  19. Does your skin feel burnt? Because I think you must have just fallen down from heaven, and re-entry would have hurt.
  20. You make me want to be a better physicist.
  21. No, that’s not a Logitech MX-100 in my pants, but thanks for noticing.
  22. I'm not being obtuse, but you’re acute.
  23. You make me hotter than sulfur hydroxide mixed with ethyl acetate.
  24. I have mass. You have mass. We’re naturally attracted!
  25. If I could make any compound, I would make uranium iodide, so I could put U and I together!
  26. My name? Bond. Covalent Bond!
  27. How bout you slip into some thing more comfy... like a Lab Coat.
  28. How do you feel about group experiments?
  29. You're so hot; you must be the cause for global warming.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Company that Cried Wolf

There once was a company filled with bosses who took pleasure in making their employees work hard on meaningless documents and tasks that were never really needed. To amuse themselves they would often shout, "Emergency! Work weekends! We have to have this done ASAP! Cancel your vacations! Cancel Christmas! This work needs to get done or we will lose a major client!"

Everyone would jump to attention and do everything they could to help the bosses get the information and documents they needed. But every time people would work late, skip family events, miss holidays and eat out of the vending machine just to get the job done, they found no one actually paid attention to their hard work. The bosses just did not notice or care about how angry the employees were at the emergency just being a false alarm.

"Don't cry 'Emergency'," thought the employees, "when you ignore our work anyway!" They went grumbling back to their cubes feeling very low.

Later, the bosses sang out again, "Emergency! Work Weekends! Our biggest client wants to see these numbers in charts and graphs ASAP!” To their delight, the leaders watched the employees run around to get the work done in an impossible amount of time.

When the employees again saw no signs of their hard work being rewarded or even used, they discussed their anger among themselves, "Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don't cry 'Emergency' when there is NO Emergency!"

But the bosses just grinned and watched them go back to their cubes not realizing they were looking for new jobs during their lunch breaks.

Later, the leaders realized they had a REAL emergency. Alarmed, they dialed their phones screaming “Emergency! Work weekends! We need this done or we are going to lose a major client! Help!”

But most of the employees had already left the company, and those employees who remained thought the leaders were trying to fool them again with meaningless work that did not align to any long term plans, and so they didn't jump to get the work done.

The next week, everyone wondered why one boss was no longer in the company address book. They went to look for the leader and found him at the local bar crying in a beer.

"There really was an emergency! We lost our biggest client and I lost my job! When I cried out "Emergency,” why didn't you get me everything I needed?"

One employee tried to comfort the leader, ordering another beer handing the ex-boss a copy of the help wanted ads.

"We'll help you look for new job," she said, putting her arm around the jobless ex-boss, “but you need to learn that nobody believes when you shout emergency anymore...even when there is an emergency, you lied so much no one believes you are ever telling the truth.”

Friday, October 05, 2007

Birth Order Revealed

Guilty as charged...
You Are Likely a First Born
  • At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.
  • At work and school, you do best when you're researching.
  • When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.
  • In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.
  • Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.
  • You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quote of the Week

A little something for Diane on her birthday…

The one thing children wear out faster than shoes is parents.
- John J. Plomp

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Newlywed foiled by office pranksters

What do you get when you combine a dozen or so talented people craving to use their creativity in an energy sapping office and a fun-loving co-worker on a week long honeymoon? You get the prime opportunity to pull off an over the top office prank that people will be talking about for years to come.

The Monday following Mark’s beautifully timed September 21st wedding (a fine day for a wedding anniversary!) his co-workers began recruiting members of the office to punk his cube. What began as an innocent office prank turned into an office-wide phenomenon as word of the project spread. Occupying the cube directly across from Mark gave me the unique opportunity to witness scores of people who came from far and wide to witness the construction project; commenting on the creativity, the attention to detail and the improved radio reception throughout the building. Each day the aluminum foil cube drew increased attention as it became brighter and emitted intense heat from the glare. Four days and over 1000 square feet of aluminum foil later, the masterpiece was complete and ready for Mark’s return to work.

Luckily, Mark has a very good sense of humor and appeared to take the office prank to end all office pranks quite well. What took days and a team of over a dozen people to put together took less then two hours to take down. Luckily, there are some permanent reminders left in the cube to give us a chuckle and remind us of the week we came together to have a little fun at the expense of our co-worker; and foiled everyone’s perception that you cannot have a good time on the job.

For additional pictures visit the full album of aluminum foil photos.

Monday, October 01, 2007

People say the darndest things

It is difficult to convey the type of bias and discrimination couples without children are victims of without sounding defensive or confrontational. Our social and political environment favors those families with children, leaving the openly childfree in a position of making a major political statement simply through their choice not to join the masses and procreate. Often the target of wrath and lecturing, childfree couples are forced to retreat or defend themselves when on the receiving end of hateful words and actions from relatives, friends and perfect strangers. Some people think they are being helpful, bestowing their wisdom on the matter. Most people do not stop and think what they are really saying and how it could be interpreted as degrading to the childfree recipient as well as the broader population. Gender, racial, sexuality and religious biases are often at the core of the message delivered to the childfree. For those who do not know what type of things people say or imagine why anyone would care about such a personal decision, the following list is a small example of things people have said to me about not having children:
  • Why did you even get married? The only reason to get married is to have children.
  • Your husband is going to leave you if you don’t have children.
  • Are you too worried about the stability of your marriage to bring children into it?
  • Marriage is not real unless you have children.
  • You are not a family without children.
  • Children are the glue that keeps marriages together; you are going to fall apart.
  • If you really loved each other you would want children.
  • You must have married the wrong person if you don’t want children.
  • It is your moral obligation to have children when you get married.
  • God does not recognize marriages without children.
  • The bible says to be fruitful and multiply; you are defying the bible.
  • People without children have empty and unfulfilled lives.
  • Childbirth is a woman’s greatest achievement, you are nothing without it.
  • You are not a real woman unless you have children.
  • People like you should have kids.
  • Women are worthless until they have children.
  • The problem with women these days is they’ve forgotten the reason they are actually on this planet.
  • Are you a lesbian?
  • You are never really an adult until you have children.
  • Women who do not have children are failures.
  • White people are a dying breed and you are contributing to the end of our race.
  • Smart/tall/blonde/blue eyed people like you need to have children.
  • Who will take care of you when you are old?
  • Aren’t you afraid of dying alone?
  • Without children you leave the world nothing after you are gone.
  • You are going to die and it will be like you were never here.
  • Don’t you want to have a child to leave your money/house/photos/china/etc. to?
  • You are going to regret your decision not to have children.
  • You are just going through a phase, you’ll change your mind.
  • Hopefully you change your mind before it’s too late.
  • Your husband will be able to have children well into his 50s and he’ll find someone else to have them if you don’t.
  • It’s different when it’s your own.
  • People who don’t want kids are selfish.
  • What if your parents were as selfish as you are?
  • What did your parents do to you to make you not want children?
  • Were you abused as a child?
  • Your parents should not have sent you to college; they ruined their chances of becoming grandparents.
  • The only reason your parents had you was to be grandparents someday
  • If everyone had your bad attitude the planet would be empty.
  • You feminists are ruining the world with your child-hating ways.
  • You should be ashamed of yourself.
  • Your career/vacation/car/etc. won’t kiss you goodnight.
  • You are going to lose all your friends when they have children and you don’t.
  • If you had a baby you would have an excuse for being fat.
  • What do people without children do with all their time?
  • You would be a great parent, look how you are with your dogs.
  • You are using your dogs as a replacement for children because you actually want them.
  • You not wanting children is a slap in the face to everyone who has them.
  • There is something wrong in people who don’t want children.
  • You should see a psychologist to see what is wrong with you.
  • You have nothing to be ashamed of if you are just infertile.
  • I know a good fertility specialist if you are just having trouble conceiving.