Category Archives: editorial

Dear N/A

I got a press release today, and like many of the correspondence I get from publicists, it was addressed to me specifically, probably using an automated system.

This release began, “Dear N/A”.

Obviously the firm didn’t have my name, so put “N/A” in the name field of their database. I have had releases addressed to me as ? or in some cases there’s nothing at all when they don’t know my name. The letter just reads “Dear    “.

I’m happy being “?”, because that translates to “I know you exist but I just don’t know you”. And a blank is just another way to say “Sorry, we don’t know your name and don’t have time to find out what it is.”

But “N/A” just seems more like, “We don’t care what your name is because you don’t matter.”

Which is how I feel sometimes. I’ve always written those moods off to hormones or too much wine the night before. But gee, maybe this PR firm knows something I don’t? I guess it’s a good thing I got this part time job, since I have to wear a name tag. It says “Joanne.” Phew.

Home sweet bird’s nest

During last night’s rain storm, a bird’s nest apparently was blown out of one of the trees in our backyard.

Incredible, isn’t it? The way a bird, without the aid of any tools other than its beak, can craft a home like this. Round, sturdy (although it wasn’t a match for last night’s wind, when it landed in the driveway it was virtually intact save some of the outer shell), and surprisingly neat.

While I, with the aid of modern technology and housekeeping tools the founding women would have killed for, still have a cluttered, messy home. Laundry never quite caught up. Dishes in the drainer. Kitchen table piled high with books and papers. Floors filthy with paw prints no matter how much I sweep or mop.

And yet … both are home sweet home.

The 12 Project – 12 adventures in 12 months (with potentially 12 trips to the ER)

I'm preparing for 12 adventures in 12 months, with potentially 12 trips to the emergency room. And you get to help!

As I write this post, it’s 1:00 PM on a Monday afternoon, and I’m lying on the couch watching season 4 of “Psych” on DVD while enjoying a coffee ice cream cone. For me, that’s living on the edge.

Or at least it has been for a while. But, believe it or not, I’m ready for a little adventure. In fact, I’m ready to declare the a whole year of adventure!

I know, I know. I declared 2009 the year of adventure, and then did it again in 2010. And so far this year isn’t looking too adventurous.

But I have a plan, my friends.

Continue reading

I thwart a security take down at the Stuff Mart

I was shopping today at … well, let’s call it the Stuff Mart, the fictitious big box store made famous in VeggieTales “Madame Blueberry” … I was shopping at the Stuff Mart, just kind of wandering around looking at stuff I didn’t need when I noticed a man acting very strangely. He was a big guy, very tall, heavy, dressed in jeans and a hoodie, and he was clearly following someone.  Continue reading

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize, and I get a Pulitzer for a book I’m thinking about writing

I woke up this morning to news that President Barak Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and immediately thought that NASA’s attempt to bomb the moon has turned the earth on its axis and sent us into an alternate reality.

Barak Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize … for what?

The general consensus is that it was awarded for his aspirations towards ending nuclear armament rather than any actual success in that arena. (Or any arena, for that matter.)

The news outlets are reporting that when he was awakened with the news this morning, his response was that he was humbled to be selected, but let’s be honest. His response was probably the same as the rest of us: “You’re shi*tting me, right?”

Maybe they felt bad that he lost his bid to hold the 2016 Olympics in Chicago and didn’t want him to cry. Either that, or the Nobel committee was drunk when they voted. Polish President Lech Walesa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate, was quoted in a Fox News story:

“So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act. This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let’s see if he perseveres. Let’s give him time to act.”

Translation: “You’re sh*tting me.”

While the Nobel committee can’t release the names of this year’s nominees until 50 years after the prize is awarded, it’s believed that the list included Denis Mukwege, the doctor who founded founded the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he helps women who have been sexually abused. As of last October, Dr. Mukwege had treated 21,000 women suffering from devastating gynecological injuries as a result of rape in Congo’s brutal war.

And Obama wins?

(Hey, what about Bono? Isn’t it time he got the official Nobel nod? Despite the fact that Bono was awarded a “Man of Peace” award in 2008 by the Nobel Committee, that isn’t the Nobel Peace Prize; that award went to Finland’s Martti Ahtisaari that year. But I digress.)

Awarding a major international award to a man who hasn’t accomplished anything even remotely measurable – nothing in his years in Congress, nothing in his first months in office (unless you count borrowing a gazillion dollars from China, in which case maybe he should have gotten the prize in economics), nothing in any way that would even hint at a nomination – is surreal.

It’s like awarding me a Pulitzer for a book I’m thinking about writing. Everyone thinks it’s a great book idea; all I need to do is actually write it. In which case it may or may not even be readable, let alone a success.

Hey, maybe there’s a chance I could win the Pulitzer!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize, and I get a Pulitzer for a book I'm thinking about writing

I woke up this morning to news that President Barak Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and immediately thought that NASA’s attempt to bomb the moon has turned the earth on its axis and sent us into an alternate reality.

Barak Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize … for what?

The general consensus is that it was awarded for his aspirations towards ending nuclear armament rather than any actual success in that arena. (Or any arena, for that matter.)

The news outlets are reporting that when he was awakened with the news this morning, his response was that he was humbled to be selected, but let’s be honest. His response was probably the same as the rest of us: “You’re shi*tting me, right?”

Maybe they felt bad that he lost his bid to hold the 2016 Olympics in Chicago and didn’t want him to cry. Either that, or the Nobel committee was drunk when they voted. Polish President Lech Walesa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate, was quoted in a Fox News story:

“So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act. This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let’s see if he perseveres. Let’s give him time to act.”

Translation: “You’re sh*tting me.”

While the Nobel committee can’t release the names of this year’s nominees until 50 years after the prize is awarded, it’s believed that the list included Denis Mukwege, the doctor who founded founded the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he helps women who have been sexually abused. As of last October, Dr. Mukwege had treated 21,000 women suffering from devastating gynecological injuries as a result of rape in Congo’s brutal war.

And Obama wins?

(Hey, what about Bono? Isn’t it time he got the official Nobel nod? Despite the fact that Bono was awarded a “Man of Peace” award in 2008 by the Nobel Committee, that isn’t the Nobel Peace Prize; that award went to Finland’s Martti Ahtisaari that year. But I digress.)

Awarding a major international award to a man who hasn’t accomplished anything even remotely measurable – nothing in his years in Congress, nothing in his first months in office (unless you count borrowing a gazillion dollars from China, in which case maybe he should have gotten the prize in economics), nothing in any way that would even hint at a nomination – is surreal.

It’s like awarding me a Pulitzer for a book I’m thinking about writing. Everyone thinks it’s a great book idea; all I need to do is actually write it. In which case it may or may not even be readable, let alone a success.

Hey, maybe there’s a chance I could win the Pulitzer!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Starbucks makes their bad coffee instantly worse

While I spend a lot of time at the Starbucks in one of the local Barnes & Nobles, I confess that I really don’t like their coffee. It’s too strong, it’s too bitter, and it’s way too stinking expensive. I have the tea, because Harney and Sons is one of the best and oldest tea blenders around.

Today comes news that Starbucks has found a way to make their bad coffee even worse: instant coffee.

Apparently the company has been selling its Via Instant Coffee for the last eight months in Seattle and Chicago, and now the rest of America – and Canada! – can have bad coffee faster.

For me, I’ll stick to my Tim Hortons. No uber-hip pretense, just good coffee with a smile.