February 24th, 2011

storyteller doll

Catching Up

Work: We do an annual review with our group Vice President and I was on the hook to brief this time. It went reasonably well. While he did offer up some advice, I left feeling like I had successfully defended my existence.

Life at work, part 1: At most of my previous jobs, there was a stream of collections for gifts for various events. At my current job, we have what is called "the sunshine fund." Everybody kicks in 15 bucks periodically (nominally, quarterly but it is less often in practice) and we use it for things like sending flowers if somebody is in the hospital and for going away presents and birthday cards and, every now and then, pizza for lunch. I offer this as a suggestion, since I find it is a considerably more pleasant way of handling things.

Life at work, part 2: It is fairly obvious that those of us who work Space Programs do not run the snacko on our floor. Because, if we did, there would be Mars bars and Milky Way bars, instead of Snickers.

Storytelling: I went to hear Megan Hicks and Nick Newlin perform at the Friendship Heights Village Center last week. This is a new venue and I like the location. The room is a good size and it is just a few blocks from the metro, making it easy to get to on a weeknight. Nick told a reasonably amusing story about serial monogamy - except for one summer. I thought he told well, but the ending felt a bit weak. Megan told one story I'd heard before (about working at a Disneyland refreshment stand) and one I hadn't heard before (about how she finally met her Prince Charming.) Both were excellent and the latter was particularly sweet. All in all, it was a very enjoyable event.

Politics, local: I don't think I've mentioned before that I am disappointed that Senator Webb has announced that he won't run for re-election in 2012. I'm not surprised, but I'm concerned about who the Virginia Democratic party will find to run against (probably) George Allen.

Politics, international: I guess I won't be going off to visit any archaeological sites in north Africa for a while.

Politics, middle America: While I think that the collective bargaining is a valuable right, I have somewhat mixed feelings about unions. I believe they can do good things, but they also need to pay more attention to fiscal realities.

Notes to myself: I was trying to be witty when I wrote "chicken a la bling" as a description of some menu item I have now forgotten. I have no idea what I meant when I wrote down "on all four feet."

Why I Love the Spaceman

I entered the lotteries to win the opportunity to buy certain sought after Red Sox tickets. And I did well, having won an opportunity to buy tickets against the Source of All Evil in the Universe. Except, the ticket sale was Saturday and I was busily playing tourist in San Antonio and by the time I logged in, everything was gone on the one day I could actually go.

In a sense it doesn't quite matter because I had already guaranteed seeing two of those important battles for the fate of the universe by buying a pricy package through the Red Sox tour department. (It's August. Two games, hotel, reception with a player who I am sure will be someone other than Youk.)

The other lottery was for the opportunity to buy Green Monster seats. And, again, I won the opportunity. The tickets go on sale Saturday. I have friends coming over to play with my excess of arts and crafts supplies. One of them is from Maine, so will understand the important of my breaking away at noon to take advantage. Two of the others work with me and have some level of appreciation for how I feel about the Red Sox, though I had to explain what the Green Monster is to one of them. I am not sure if she believed my comparison to the black stone in the Ka'ba in Mecca.

I mention all of this primarily as an explanation of why my commute time reading the past couple of days has been The Red Sox Reader, edited by Dan Riley. It's horribly out of date, having been published in the heart of the depressing 1990's. But it is still entertaining, particularly as one of the pieces is a 1978 interview with Bill "Spaceman" Lee. He was being interviewed by a men's magazine and the reporter asked if he had lust in his heart. He replied, "No, I've got about four valves and an aorta coming out and a superior vena cava and a lot of other things."

By the way, he is 63, still pitching, and just as colorful as ever.