Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Hangover...

Today is Guy Fawkes Day, which may mean a night of fireworks and fun for some. Today, over here though, it is the day after elections. I don't know if there is a country where fewer people turn out for elections. Even in countries where people are pretty sure that the results will be rigged, people show up in better numbers than in the United States of America. In the past 50 years, the highest turnout percentage has been 65% and, during midterms, which is what we just went through, the turnout is closer to 40%. I don't know what that all means.

I do know that I vote and I vote for all kinds of reasons. Even if things don't turn out the way that I hope (which is often the case) I can at least say that I tried and I feel that gives me the total right to gripe about all the things I don't like. I vote because I have parents who were not allowed to vote, simply because of their race, until they were over 30. Getting to the point where they could vote took a lot and so voting meant a lot. I vote because I am rather opinionated and I like to be able to put that opinion out there.

What sucks about today is the post-election hangover. A whole bunch of people is going over the ashes of what's left and trying to figure out what happened. Boy is that irritating. Postmortem, after postmortem, and none of it is illuminating. All we are doing is waiting for the kids we've given the badges to to throw their tantrums again, for another 2 years until some of us do it all over again.

Time for fireworks... hurrah?

Monday, November 03, 2014

Second Guessing

For the last few weeks, people have been going crazy. It seems as though everyone around me and and around the country is in a state - Armageddon is knocking on our door and is not taking "we're not in" as an excuse. Armageddon is bringing a visiting gift - Ebola. Yep. Over here, in the USA, we are worked up and, for good reason. Officially, just about 5,000 have died, though that may be a huge underestimate. More than twice that many have been sick. There is no cure and the spread is rampant, out of control even.

Oh, those numbers aren't just in the United States? In fact only one person has died in the United States and the part of the world that is being ravaged by Ebola is thousands of miles away, over an ocean and a lot of Americans couldn't find it on a map? But the TV reporter sounds frantic! So I should be afraid, right? I shouldn't pay the scientists any mind when they tell me how difficult it is to spread the disease. I know they say a person has to be symptomatic and that I have to get their bodily fluids on me but who believes in science? That person who just sneezed on the subway could kill me! Even if we have kids who come from a place in Africa thousands of miles away from the affected nations, we must quarantine them. I mean, one can't be too careful, right?

I wasn't really worried before. But then, the other day, I looked over at my husband and I said - I am beginning to think that I am the crazy person for being so relaxed about this. I turn on TV and the radio and I read the paper and I think - why am I not panicked. I should be losing it right now.

So I think I shall go some place and work on getting worked up...

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I was listening to an analyst speaking on radio about problems with an investment company. There was little oversight and so employees broke the rules. To explain more fully, he then said, "If the Indians run off the reservations, you have no one guarding the borders." 

Okay then. That explains a lot. Now I know why so many analyses in finance are clear as mud. And often clueless. 

Monday, April 08, 2013

A Lovely Day!

Crazy, huh. It's Monday and I am not super grumpy. Why? Well, today the sun came out AND it was warm. The combination of the two resulted in a truly lovely day. All winter I have wanted to punch people and I really want to punch them when it is freezing out and they say the weather is lovely just because the sun is out. If the sun is out and you can't feel it, does it make a sound? Yes, that sound is me groaning whenever anyone tries to tell me that the weather is lovely. The multiple layers get heavier by the day, I need warm weather!

But yes, today - lovely day. I went out in short sleeves. SHORT SLEEVES! I didn't mind the tourists clogging up the pavement so much because I was out in short sleeves and feeling glorious. My fear that winter was never going away subsided a little. I smiled a lot. And in my head I broke out into a glorious song and dance. It may be raining Mondays but it's sunny and warm and I'm diggin' it!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Good Morning

I must be honest with you, I have been grumpy as hell lately. And grumpy is a very polite term for the foul mood I have been in. Almost nothing seems to please me - it's crazy how it can take one small bad thing to overwhelm and squash the many good things that are going on. Or maybe this is just me. Perhaps I am letting the yuck things accumulate and build into a mountain. I should be crushing the molehills.

This morning I was in my yoga class and, usually, I am glad to be in a 6:30 am class because it is too early for my mind to be working. However, today it was whirring away and nothing good was going on up there. I was getting all kinds of frustrated. As I rushed out of class so that I could be at work by nine, I was still all over the place - my feet seemed to big for my boots, my pants didn't fit correctly, I felt strangled by my turtleneck. But as I walked down the street, birds started singing. Perhaps they were squawking in panic. Whatever it was, those birds were chirping their lungs out. It was striking how many were chirping. I thought to myself, are they doing this because there is a storm coming in? Are they trying to warn others about the bad weather approaching? They do say that animals still have the intuition that humans seem to have lost over time. Then again, I mused, whatever it is, it does sound nice. And it is always good to be reminded that we still have a little wildlife in our overcrowded city. I smiled a little.

Then I walked into work and wished my coworkers a good morning as I passed their desks. I was reminded of one my favourite movies, Singin' in the Rain, and that fun song about good mornings. I mean, if I woke up singing that song every day, my days would be way more fun than they currently are. As I sat at my desk I decided that I was glad that I had gone to yoga, it does give me the balance. I am glad that I do all the things that I do in an attempt to remain sane. I have to remind myself often that there are many good things in my life and around my life. I just have to remember to wish the world and myself a very Good Morning! Maybe dance a little while I'm at it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Can Has Outsourcing?

So the other day I heard a tale of a rather resourceful man. So, there he was, Bob, as we shall call him, working for Verizon. Well, not just working for Verizon but being the most productive guy in his department. He would come in every day and sit quietly at his desk, staring at his computer screen, apparently programming away like no one else in his department. Looks can be deceiving, Verizon has discovered.

First, Verizon thought they had been hacked. Someone was logging into their computer system from China and they were logging in as Bob, yet Bob was sitting at his desk in the United States. So Verizon called in the investigators and the investigators found that the Chinese connection was a daily event. They looked into it further and the truth became evident - Bob was paying a company in China to do his work. He paid this company a fifth of his salary and, in return, the company made Bob the most productive person in his office. In the meantime, Bob had 8 hours a day of free time. What to do with all this free time, what to do...

Now, this is where I get offended by it all. The guy had figured out a way to have more time to himself and what did he do with all that time? Watch Cat Videos. Yes, that was not me mistyping - he used his free time to watch cat videos. What are cat videos? Well there are people who spend their days filming their cats doing what they believe are amazing or funny things. Bob would spend his days watching these videos. All day. Every day.

At least he took an hour and a half lunch. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The More Things Change...

A few weeks ago I went out to dinner with some friends and somehow, talk of Zimbabwean handmade paper came up. Hidef had many questions about it and wondered if he could print some of his photos on this paper (he is always on the lookout for new media for his images). I told him that I was sure that I had some of this paper at home - it may the the rule that any self-respecting Zimbabwean worth their salt must own some Zimbabwean handmade paper.

After searching the bookshelf, I found a notebook that, according to the first entry, I received as a gift on 23 December 1998. I made the entry at 7:54 PM. I am not sure why I made a note of that but it seemed important at the time. Judging also, from the entries, even back then I was not a daily journal writer.  Back then on as the year closed out I wrote down some "Proposed Resolutions"

  • Get Fit - get a flat tummy (I still try to get fit, mostly so that I can finish well the races that I now run)
  • Get a great new job
  • Get a company car (A very Zimbabwean concept. No longer a thing here in NYC)
  • Get organised - get focused. (Always a work in progress though, in many ways, I think I'm better. Then again it may just be what I tell myself in order to get by)
  • Carpe Diem! (Still a philosophy I try to follow)
  • Get a better flat (I think I wanted a garden. I still do)
  • Have fun (YES YES YES!)
On later days in January 1999, I did also add that I must "learn to be not so tired so I can meditate without falling asleep". I read this out to hidef who tells me that the one thing I don't do well is relax, and he laughed and laughed and laughed. I do try though - I now have an official bedtime and that is a step in the right direction. I don't always get to bed on time but at least I have a goal that I strive toward attaining.

I think the analysis of the proposed resolutions and what happened is that, at the Pandave Resolution Board Meeting, I decided to focus on "Carpe Diem" and have fun and let the rest look out for itself. I mean, really, if you aren't enjoying your life and making the most of it, what are you doing??