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Oh! W! X! Y! Z!

February 23, 2012

I feel like all that rest and relaxation in California led to some serious ADHD upon returning home. I’m not so good at sitting and focusing these days. Here are some of the things I’ve been up to.

* Writing a proposal for a new toy

* Tinkering with other people’s toys (my job title suggests that tinkering is what I do, but it’s actually a relatively small part of my day to day work and I always enjoy it when I get to do it)

* Attending (by phone) a departmental staff meeting in which we a) discussed my appearance on Peril?, b) discussed an episode of This American Life in which a guy figures out how to game a game show, c) discussed Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein, which, it turned out, nearly everyone is reading. Those in NY were also eating doughnuts, although they were kind enough to pretend they were awful so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. What we did not do: any departmental business whatsoever. We’re coming off an incredibly hectic period and it’s nice when they let us kick back every now and again.

* I can’t wait to see the minutes from that meeting.

* Learning to play “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on electric guitar. And acoustic guitar. And mandolin — which is HILARIOUS. Well, hilarious to me, anyway. I don’t think my family finds it so amusing. Mr. Spy starts moaning about Bon Iver and Aj quietly shuts the door to my office/music studio.

• Arriving at school to drop of AJ’s guitar as the kids were coming out. It was raining when I left the house, but by the time I got there, it was snowing in the most enormous flakes I’d ever seen. Every kid had his or her face turned toward the sky, mouth open. Driving home was like driving through a particularly aggressive snowball fight, each snowflake blotting out a piece of the window the size of my hand.

• Picking AJ up early from his rock band’s practice, in time to hear them play “Smoke on the Water.” I am very sad to miss their first gig, which is taking place while I’m at a conference in North Carolina. My friend L. has promised to send me a video.

• I came home to find an email from my boss’ boss, who is starting a sort of internal lecture series and has asked me to go first, “because I know you can show them how it’s done.” I am stunned by the compliment, as I have relatively little day-to-day interaction with this person and am still scratching my head over it. Then I think maybe it’s just his way of buttering me up so I don’t feel put upon about having to do a 90 minute presentation with a very detailed list of requirements in less than three weeks, during and just three days after returning from a conference which will have me working all weekend.

* I stomped down the street through the snow to yoga, which was very restorative. Coming home, it was light enough to see all the way down the street, just from the snowglow.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2012 10:55 pm

    After record snowfall last winter it looks like the light dustings we’ve received twice this winter will likely be it for the season. I don’t envy your level of snow, but I would have liked at least one sled-worthy event this year!

  2. February 24, 2012 9:02 am

    I’ve come to acknowledge that it is no longer a warm winter. It is now an early spring.

    I would have liked your meeting better than the 6 hr one I sat through Tuesday. They never did say anything that applied even remotely to my job. I should never have been required to attend. Your meeting gives meetings a better reputation.

  3. February 25, 2012 2:33 pm

    Everytime it has threatened snow here, I’ve been disappointed in the result. Like Yukon Cornelius: “Nothin’!”

    The funny thing for me about DFTR is that when I actually listened to the song, the cowbell doesn’t seem to be that high up in the mix. Was it a song know for its cowbell before the SNL skit?

    The opening riff to “More than a Feeling” would be good after DFTR.

  4. February 26, 2012 3:15 pm

    Blue Öyster Cult rules in non-traditional media. Try “Godzilla.” I used to do a very gentle, feminine acoustic version of it, and it proved popular. Sounds good with accordion, too.

  5. February 26, 2012 6:19 pm

    It really hasn’t been bad here either. This is the only the second real snow we’ve had. And it’s melting like crazy in today’s 50 degree weather. And the birds definitely think spring is coming. The cardinals have commenced their spring chatter and the woodpeckers have started drumming. I even heard red-winged blackbirds down by the pond we usually skate on (it never froze this winter, so we’ve been forced to skate indoors this year), and they don’t usually come around until late March or even April. MKM, I can’t say that all my meetings go like that one. Most do not. But most of my meetings are also quite useful and efficient. The only ones that sometimes make me crazy are with the marketing department and that’s just because they tend to be more brainstormy and less focused on the task at hand. A little of that is fine, even fun. But if they drag on for too long or if too many people are involved, they can be deadly. Hugh and Violet, I will take your recommendations under advisement. I am particularly inclined to try anything that sounds good with accordion. Have I written yet about the accordion girl in the 14th St. station? I will try to get her picture this week, if I head that way.

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