Whatsamatta u?

Certain jokes and little stories stick with me because they apply to lots of things in life.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Old Italian couple at the dinner table, and the Momma says, “Whatsamatta wit’ you?  Monday, you like-a lasagna.  Tuesday, you like-a lasagna.  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, you like-a lasagna.  Now, all of a sudden, here it is Saturday — YOU no like-a lasagna!”

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Mystery cat toy

My cat, Gracie, has been playing with what is apparently her new favorite toy for over an hour now.  Her enthusiasm shows no sign of waning.  I was curious about what the new toy was, and I picked it up.  It is a wad of feathers gathered onto some plastic bit, like a dart with no real point, or a tiny feather duster.  She loves it.

I have no idea where it came from.  None.  I recently moved and, in the process, went through every single item I possess on this planet.  This feather toy is nothing I have ever seen before.  And Gracie never goes outdoors. 

I am perplexed.

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Sign o’ the times

I want to get a prediction on the board here:  I just watched a Progressive Insurance commercial with Flo, and they spent about half the commercial promoting the movie “Tron.”  Or maybe it was a “Tron” commercial with Flo in it.  I don’t know; that’s the point.  They have been doing product placement in movies for a long time now, and the idea of “cooperative” advertising is not new in radio or TV.  Usually co-op ads are where a big company like Ford will pay for part of the commercials and the local dealership will pay for the rest.  But this — this, I don’t think I’ve seen before, and the prediction is that *we will see more and more of it.*  Matter of fact, it occurred to me a while back that companies will get together and split advertising costs.  Because the economy sucks, and they’ve got to get by the best they can.  Plus, who knows who owns what company anymore?  Pepsi might as well do one ad for two of their products that go together as do a separate ad for each one. 

Every futuristic movie I’ve ever seen that represented advertising in a ridiculous light — I’m sorry I laughed at you.

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Filing my life away

     I spent most of today at my internship going through old files, separating the very few current ones from the old ones that will be scanned into the computer.  Not my favorite kind of job, but it needed to be done, so that’s okay.  I’m a little bit leery about that part of the new career I’ve chosen for myself:  the paperwork.  Throughout social services, and probably medical services and education and a number of other fields, the paperwork is almost overwhelming.  Accountability demands documentation, to the point that you almost spend more time documenting the work than you do performing the work.  If I could invent one thing for humanity, it would be some way of doing away with paperwork.  Technology is still making incredible advances and I hope someone somewhere is working on this problem right now.  

     Part of what I do at my job is to help people fill out job applications properly.  I’ve been on a job-hunt before, and it was depressing to me to have to fill out application after application with essentially the same information on every one.  Yes, I know why each place wants an application; but why can’t we standardize the process?  Some software company needs to come up with a program to address this.  Here’s how I see it working:  a job-hunter would fill out one long application that asks just about every question an employer would ever want answered, then saves that application as a file.  When he applies for a job, he sends that file to the employer, who runs it through his version of the program, weeding out the information he doesn’t need and leaving him with a completed application.  If there are other questions the employer wants to ask, that can be taken care of separately, and the job-seeker has the ability to tailor the application to a specific employer if he wants to.

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The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold

That’s John Keats, “The Eve of St. Agnes.”  And I know that any owl in my neighborhood is cold tonight.  Weather service said last night that it would hit 10 degrees tonight.  Now they’re saying 5 degrees.  Somebody stole five of our degrees.  Windy, too.

I went to see Second City’s “Holiday Revue” last night at Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center.  Great show overall, with very few low spots.  The last show I had seen there was the Blue Man Group, so Second City was following a great act.  I like watching improv comedy, but it sometimes makes me squirm in my chair thinking someone is going to go blank.  These people were never in danger of running out of ideas.  Some of the physical comedy was brilliant, such as one lady’s portrayal of a blowup doll, and one man’s clue-giving during a kind of “charades” game.  The only “thud” for me — and, I suspect, for some others in the audience — came during a tag-team improv segment.  One of the actresses was lying on the floor, having been a bearskin rug or some such, and was talking to an actor that she pictured as being tied up standing up on a railroad track.  The other actress “tagged” her and took her position on the floor, then dragged herself toward the man saying, “Don’t be afraid!  Princess Paraplegia will save you!”  It just so happens that I work with people with disabilities, and I had already been thinking about how people using wheelchairs could be seated at a show like this.  She was laughing when she said it and I figure she felt a little bit “bad” about it but thought it was just too funny to skip.  But I can’t help hoping that that little tug on her conscience will be enough to steer her away from similar jokes in the future. 

She was a very funny lady, and she sounded like one of us most of the time.

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First post.  Hmmm.  So many things occur to me during the day that I think I might like having a place to write them down so they don’t disappear and I don’t have to keep thinking about them.  And, as they say,  a journey of a thousand miles . . .

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