A day by day and often hourly account of a temp

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vacation Time

Well, even though I'm the only one at work, it's actually great because I got a lot of personal work done. Plus, I can almost taste the salty air of Atlantic City, which is where my boyfriend and I are going in a few weeks for an extended stay at one of their fine casino suites. It'll be like the real life version of the Hangover, except there'll be just two of us, no one will go missing, and a tiger will likely not be involved (but one can hope!) Seriously, this place has one of those hot tubs that fit people. Not one person - people. Let's just hope Ashton Kutcher isn't staying nearby. We all know about him and those hot tubs, and as far as I know, my boyfriend may have a man crush on him. 2 and a half men, indeed.

And now, a dog who loves guitar.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Miss America

Every now and again I wake up and think about the wonders of the world. So many beautiful things. Or to quote the Insane Clown Posse, "Pure motherfucking magic. Right? This shit'll blow your fucking mind." And it should be noted that when I think about the joys of life, and magic, I think of this woman. I'm not joking, I think she is a national treasure. I know I've blogged about her before, but I saw her on the news today and I just had to watch this again and get my freaking mind blown. Happy holidays.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

If I Were A White, Middle Aged Certified Public Accountant Who Occasionally Writes For Forbes

A lot of responses have been written about an article in Forbes this week by Gene Marks entitled, "If I Were A Poor Black Kid". The hilarious comedian and Onion writer Baratunde Thurston even started a Twitter feed as A Poor Black Kid. So I figured I'd throw in my 2 cents.

If I Were A White, Middle Aged Certified Public Accountant Who Occasionally Writes For Forbes

President Obama gave an excellent speech last week about our nation’s veterans by calling for lawmakers to find them jobs. “For all our differences and disagreements, they remind us that we are all a part of something bigger,” said the President, “that we are one nation and one people.”

He's right. More and more of our troops are coming home to find that not only is the economy in a poor state, but it is very difficult to get a job.

The president's speech got me thinking. I have a job, but a lot of people don't. Some people have jobs, but choose to write opinionated blog posts about whatever they feel like for free. Regardless, the world is not fair to those who both have and don't have jobs. But no matter what, people will always have the opportunity to write about whatever they want on the internet. This is a fact. In 2011. 2012 may be a whole different ballgame, but let's get back to the issue at hand.

I am not a white, middle aged certified public accountant who occasionally writes for Forbes. I am a white woman who comes from white parents. So life was different for me than it might have been for someone who wasn't me, and I take pride in blanket statements. But that doesn't mean that having knowledge of basic facts, and cultivating coherent, inoffensive thoughts from said facts isn't a potential strong suit for someone who is a white, middle aged certified public accountant who occasionally writes for Forbes. It doesn't mean that they can't be sensitive when penning their beliefs. It doesn't mean there are no opportunities for them to ever grasp the basic concept of what is appropriate when dealing with sensitive matters they honestly know nothing about. I believe that everyone in this country has the chance to succeed at making only mildly offensive arguments as opposed to colossally offensive ones. Even a white, middle aged certified public accountant who occasionally writes for Forbes.

It takes brains. It takes a little bit of hard work, depending on how knowledgeable one is with selective fact grabbing. And if I was a white, middle aged certified public accountant who occasionally writes for Forbes I might say it takes technology. Because technology is a big fancy word and can mean just about anything. Maybe I would like to take the rest of the article to talk about how much I know about technology.


If I was a white, middle aged certified public accountant who occasionally writes for Forbes, I would first and most importantly work to make sure I got the best profile picture possible. That's the first thing people see when they read your words to get knowledge. I would also make it my #1 priority to be able to read sufficiently, so I could write. I wouldn't care if I was a blogger at the worst blog with the worst IP address. Even the worst have their best. Chew on that. And the very best bloggers, even at the worst blogs, have more opportunities because I just said so. And getting good comments is the key to having more options. Because the more comments you get makes you more searchable on Google. Google is a part of technology.

Speaking of technology, I after I would write my blog piece based on thoughts in my head with said selective fact grabbing, I would find places to re-post on various social networking sites along with others. Many places, that I will now list off and link to, as a favor to you. Like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, CliffsNotes, Fubar, Gather.com, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, Livejournal, MySpace, AIM Pages, Badoo, Bebo, CyWorld, EarthFrisk, ECpod , Faves, Grono, Hi5, iBritz, LiveJourna,l LoventoMultiply, MyWebProfile, NetFriendships, Netlog, Orkut, Passado, PlaxoSkyrock, Tagged, Tribe, Trig, Windows Live Spaces, Yahoo! 360 Zaadz and CIA World Factbook .

I would then check to see if I was "trending" with sites like CNN, Blog Engage, Blogg-Buzz, BloggingZoom, BlogsVine, BookmarkUs.net, BuzzFlash, Content Pop, Digg, Fark ,Hubdub, NewsCloud and NewsHeat.

Once you're done with your opinion piece and put it on your homepage, you'll want to get it published on a reputable blog. There are a lot of hard ones to get it into. But there are also those who are willing to take a chance on a white, middle aged certified public accountant who occasionally writes for Forbes. Most fancy newspapers, like the New York Times, are filed to the brim with the 1% best reporters imaginable. But there's a secret about them. They want to show diversity. They don't want to look like elitist asshats, so they take a chance on white, certified public accountants who occasionally write for Forbes, to make it look like they mix it up. Mind you, this would never work for anyone a notch lower than my status, but that is what would makes me exceptional. And you can be exceptional too.

President Obama was right in his speech last week. The lack of jobs is a national problem. But the biggest challenge we face isn't inequality. It's ignorance. Ignorance on the part of white, middle aged certified public accountants who occasionally write for Forbes. If only they knew how easy it is to disseminate their opinion far and wide about anything and everything. And it's all because of technology.

Now, don't even get me started on those poor black kids.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Beautiful Little Lula

One of my dear friend's daughter, Lula, passed away last week, after a very challenging 18 months of life. She had many health problems since she was born, and everyone who ever met her was enraptured by her. She had the most beautiful green eyes, along with the longest eyelashes I've ever seen. Lula is survived by a twin brother, who is also extraordinary. I know someday soon he will learn about her beautiful presence. She was as stubborn as her mom, and just as charming. As my friend put it in the memorial service, "In the end the greatest gesture of love that we could return to her enchanting spirit was to release it from the beautiful but broken vessel that was her body."

I am thinking a lot about my friend and her daughter for many reasons. But one of the extraordinary things that I can't stop thinking about is the amount of heart-exploding love one can feel for a human being. And it's not just the love for this amazing little girl; it's also the love one can feel for life-long friends. It's rare that you can get everyone you've ever known in a room together and know that it's ok to cry. Cry, and laugh, about everything and anything. I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. Below is a beautiful video a friend of ours made for the memorial service. The song, "Lula", is written and performed by a band they've never met. Months ago, someone forwarded my friend the link to the song, and when she passed, Lula's mom and dad contacted the band and they sent them the MP3. I hope they can meet the writers of this someday.

So here's to love, and friends. I also put in the story Lula's mom wrote that was read at the service.

"The twins were due on my birthday, June 21st, the summer solstice. Throughout the pregnancy Sam and I resisted finding out the genders, but I knew I desperately wanted a girl. We had weekly sonograms in the third trimester and each time I reminded the technician; don’t tell us the genders. One day she let it slip: baby B was a girl. My heart was full.

They were born on June 11, 2010, the day after our fourth wedding anniversary. Roan Douglas Walker Murray at 11:37am, Lula Neave Walker Murray two minutes later. Roan and Neave are both islands off the north coast of Scotland, an inspired place that we both love. Lula was my maternal great grandmother and as I learned later, my paternal great grandmother as well. Roan burst out with a scream, but Lula was silent.

We never had a moment when we believed that Lula was healthy. From the first day an avalanche of mystery symptoms and deficiencies were piled on us by specialists; global developmental delay, hypotonia, poor eating reflexes, weak vocal chords, failure to thrive. But in her own complicated way she was utter perfection. She was sea green eyes and the softest skin imaginable.

Despite her catastrophically uncooperative body, Lula’s spirit emanated. She found a way to connect with all of us without any of the conventions of communication that we all take for granted. She couldn’t smile, cry, laugh, she couldn’t even hold her head up. But she was a brilliant little girl; she insisted on being held nearly 24 hours a day for her entire life. When you held her you couldn’t help but feel her very essence pouring through her skin. She oozed love through her pores to anyone lucky enough to hold her.

In eighteen months Lula was able to teach us everything that eluded us during a lifetime of conventional living. There is only one thing that means anything in this universe and that is love. There is no cause, job, accomplishment, or goal greater than to love and to be loved, to care for the people closest to you. Her needs and complexities stripped us of all the artifice of a life without meaning. She struggled to survive for eighteen months, through endless deficiencies, illnesses, procedures, tests, and hospital stays until she knew that we understood what she wanted us to know.

In the end the greatest gesture of love that we could return to her enchanting spirit was to release it from the beautiful but broken vessel that was her body. Lula died on December 4th, my grandmothers birthday. We were able to hold her, bathe her, kiss her, and rock her without the tubes, wires, machines, or needles. Losing Lula is a pain of withdrawal that has reset our heartbeats, that is only survivable because we have been engulfed in overwhelming love from friends and family. She has gifted her twin brother Roan with an ethereal sidekick who will be with him always. She has given us an indelible legacy. In the blink of an eye she has managed to reinvent us all."

To donate in the memory of Lula Neave Walker Murray, please go here: http://www.extremekidsandcrew.org/xkids_site/Donate.html

Part Of Your World, And Coats

This is what happens in a coat room of a holiday party.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Happy Cabby NYC

First of all, for those who were asking (so nice of you!), yes, the mammogram was clear and everything is fine with Breasty - I can commence motorboating!

So last night I went to visit a dear friend of mine whose daughter is in the hospital, and as you can imagine it was pretty intense. Considering it had also been a very long day of running around, I was feeling pretty emotional by the time I left. Because it was late, I treated myself to a cab home, and was ready just to listen to my music and zone out. Well, Happy Cabby NYC™ had other things in mind.

I get into the cab, and do the obligatory in-charge sounding, "I'm going to Brooklyn" just to make it clear that he's taking me home even if he doesn't want to, (which invariably, cab drivers don't). But he turns and says, "Wherever you want! I want to make you happy. I am Happy Cabby NYC! Cabby with a 'y'. Google me!" Ok, I'll bite, I thought, as I pulled him up on my phone. Well, what do you know, there he is, all over the internets.

At first I was a bit hesitant to listen to him talk, but he was just so darn charming. He put on loud dance music and would turn it down to spout aphorisms like, "Peace and love" and "Keep smiling, stay happy, throw stress into the garbage", and "Happy Cabby", only to turn the music right back up. He even made his light turn into a flashy strobe during the intense parts of songs. What started out as an emotionally draining day turned into a fun, relaxing night. I wish I had gotten it all on video, but here's a snippet:

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