the sound of your disappearing career

If you ever want to know what the sound of a disappearing career is, it could (quite literally) be a toilet flush. And I'm not saying that simply because I've been watching Ally McBeal.

At certain points in the year, particularly around quarter-end or fiscal year-end, I attend enough meetings to drive any rational person (ie: me) insane. I passed the 5 hour mark for meetings on Tuesday and realized I had 3 more hours to go. Meaning, 3 more hours to go insane. When does one eat lunch? Go to the bathroom? Get any work done? These questions and others created such a din in my head I got a migraine. Bygones. Yes, that was a Fishism. Anyway, you see my point. You get tired. Off your game. Do irrational things. Do dumb things.

Yesterday was just such a(n) (idiotically dumb) day for some poor schmuck. Let me break down the scene of the crime, a Big Time meeting: scheduled for 2 hours, over a hundred people, many people attending by calling in on a conference line, lots of background noise because people can't figure out how to mute their phone. To add to the chaos, everyone not attending in person dialed in on the "moderator" line rather than the "attendee" line. What this means is the odd automated voice* that said, "all lines are on mute" lied. The voice lied. Repeating that phrase over and over again. So, as the meeting was getting under way with our VP going over points (yada yada yada) everyone heard the unmistakable sound of a flushing toilet ring out and echo over every telephone line to every corner of every conference room where employees crowed around the phone as if it was the only source of heat around.

A toilet flush. Silence. Laughter.

I'm not gonna lie, I harbor the fear of my mute button not working. But if I have to pee during the middle of a meeting where I don't have to talk, you better believe I'm leaving the phone in my office. I don't know what happened to the guy.** Methinks the shame of the VP saying he wish he had handi-wipes and antibacterial hand gel to give out was probably enough punishment. And my guess is that the lesson of toilet flush, silence, laughter will be a long lasting one. Perhaps at another company.

* oddly enough, the automated voice on US based calls are male ("please press the pounds sign") whilst British based calls are female ("please press the hash mark")
** I'm assuming this person was a dude. Bygones.


old man candy

I've recently experienced a candy renaissance of sorts. Suddenly the long-neglected candy aisle holds more interest than some variation on peanut butter (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter M & Ms, Peanut Butter Twix, etc.). I'm rediscovering old classics and developing new candy theories. To foster your own candy renaissance in your area of the country (these things are highly regional, after all) here is my recommendation: follow an old man down the candy aisle. Go straight for whatever that old man picks up, no matter how much it may ruin his dentures.

While Worthers and other such hard candies (I prefer butterscotch discs) are an excellent starting point, just jump right in. A personal favorite of my is the Chick-O-Stick. It's like the inside of a Butterfinger without the bad chocolate around it. Moreover, the Chick-O-Stick is lovingly rolled in toasted coconut. It creates a magical flavor combination that kicks a Butterfinger's ass any day of the week.

Next up, I'm eating crow. Not the literal kind, of course. But I've poo-pooed Big Hunks recently because all I remember is weird nougat and a candy which requires strategies for consumption. Not my idea of fun as a wee one. I disparaged the Big Hunk in front of a life-long Big Hunk lover. Last week a Big Hunk made it's way into my hands as a result. Tastes change, I know this. I'm opinionated, not obstinate. I tried the weird nougat that requires strategies for consumption. The result? Brilliant. Absolutely delightful. A salty sweet (with peanuts!) concoction of such dense proportions one must fully commit to the candy. There is certainly no ability to speak when indulging.

Next old man candy adventure: Abba-Zabba

In summation: old man candy is where it's at. Shadow an old man down the candy aisle. Do it.


my boy builds coffins, I make chili that will put you in one

I'm just gonna say it. The chili I make is awesome. It's thick, meaterific, perfectly seasoned deliciousness. I bring this up because it's super bowl weekend and the super bowl is nothing but an excuse to eat food that is not good for you while drinking beer. Chili will most definitely make an appearance at this year's festivities. I suppose people actually watch the game. I mostly watch in fits and starts, but if it's good I'm a bit more inclined to pay attention. One thing that I won't have, because I think it's in the back of Matt-O's old car, is my old Nerf Turbo. Now that, friends, is a good time. Playing catch in the street and moving aside for cars to go through, just like you did when you were 11 years old.

One other thing that's awesome: Florence + the Machine. The fabulous MQH passed along the recommendation and I'm eternally thankful. The song below is called "My Boy Builds Coffins".... listen. Do it.


Migraine Update

I recently read a personally affirming article on the NYTimes regarding migraines and my particular approach to living with them over the past 3 months or so. One thing, however, that gave me pause was this particular line: "Researchers are learning that pain and the medications used to treat pain can potentially change the biology of the brain." Brilliant! But things are going well at the moment, so I'm not going to dwell on the issue. Just keep on keepin' on. Don't rock the boat, so to speak. And this is why... ahem: "[Migraine] Sufferers inherit a hypersensitivity to physical and emotional events — like stress, noise, certain foods and even bad weather."

You can check at least 3 of those things for me. I'm not sure about the noise bit for me personally, but I probably just haven't put two and two together.

I'm doing well at the moment. HUZZAH!