Monday, April 27, 2009

As Bill Cosby Would Say, "Riiiiiight..."

One year for Christmas, I got a copy of "Charlotte's Web" and a pad of light blue 3-hole punched paper. I proceeded to copy the first chapter of "Charlotte's Web" on the paper. Thus began a long love affair with words (or for the cynical, plagiarism) that continues to this day.

I've wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I had other childhood career aspirations, including veterinarian, fireman, teacher...but the writing thing just stuck. Eventually, I learned that being a writer isn't something you become. It's something you ARE.

Today, I own a photo/video studio, and I create images for a living. I love what I do. I love my clients. It brings me great joy and satisfaction to start with a blank photographic canvas and create something memorable that people will enjoy for the rest of their lives. I will do this until I can no longer press a shutter with arthritic fingers or view the image through a lens with failing eyesight. Even then, I'll probably find a way.

What I've given up to follow this passion is my desire to write. Lately, the itch has come back. I was able to find a couple outlets and was published for the first time in years, even if it was just in the local paper. But now, with the newspaper downsizing and production being taken out of town, that outlet is gone. Opportunities are few and far between in a small town and frankly, I haven't had (or taken) the time to investigate new markets.

But I keep writing anyway. Because as Billy Crystal intoned in the otherwise horrible "Throw Mama From The Train", a writer writes. Always.

A couple weeks ago, I misplaced my glasses. Once necessary only to keep horrific eyestrain headaches at bay, they've become essential for close reading. Briefly, my love affair with the printed word suffered while I was unable to read the small print in the books I love so much. It friggin' sucks to get old. Last night, I found the elusive spectacles (they were behind the couch the whole time! That's where EVERYTHING hides!), and I took a deep dive back in my books the way a starving person attacks a plate of hamburgers.

I loves me some words, folks. I realize more and more that I have a lot to say, a lot I want to share, and a lot to contribute. The pictures pay the bills, and in a way they communicate in ways words never can. But I miss the written word, and I think it's time to rekindle that love affair.

Anyway. That's what's on my mind. Hope y'all are doing well. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm...

So Bristol Palin's babydaddy is going on Tyra to discuss...well, who knows what. But I'm sure we can guess.

And Sarah Baraccuda is angry:

" 'Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship,' says the statement from the Palin family rep."

I'm sure the stunning irony of that statement is lost on Caribou Barbie.

Apparently it's OK to parade the loving young couple out at the Republican National Convention in a quest for the Vice-Presidency (aka "fame, attention, and fortune"), but when your prop no longer serves his purpose, you can throw him to the curb.


Ultimately, though, Levi should be glad he got away while he did. Some people have more nuts in their family tree than others, believe me.

It Should Be No Mystery

Anyone wondering where I got my admiration for Catherine Zeta-Jones need look no further:


Friday, April 3, 2009

I Know It's Bad Out There

Yes. It's bad out there. Times are tough.

But it ain't that bad everywhere. I've been saying for a while now that some companies are using the rough economy as an excuse to purge workers. People thought I was nuts.

I'm not. I finally have at least a small measure of vindication:

"If a deepening recession weighs down and threatens businesses, some of those businesses are undoubtedly also making convenient use of the times to do things they might have wanted to do, but were unable to do in better conditions.

"In some cases, under the guise of "recession" pressure, they may be waging a secret war against their own workers, using even the most innocuous transgressions of workplace rules as the trigger for firings -- and so, of course, putting the fear of God into those who remain. In this way, company payrolls are not only being reduced by mass layoffs, but workers are being squeezed for ever greater productivity in return for lower wages, worse hours and fewer benefits. The weapon of choice is the specter of unemployment, a kind of death by a thousand (or a million) cuts.

"Companies stand to gain a lot these days from such small-scale but decisive actions. After all, they reap a double benefit. Not only do they pare down the size of their payroll, often without needing ... to consent to unemployment compensation, but they also contribute to a climate of intensifying fear. Workers who remain on the job are now not only on edge about layoffs or scaled-back hours, but also know that a late return from a bathroom or lunch break might mean being shown the door, becoming another member of the legions of unemployed -- now at 12.5 million and rising fast."

They point out Walmart as a prime example of a company that's doing well, but cutting jobs regardless:

"In fact, the world's largest retailer is one of the few American corporations doing well in dark times. While retail sales slid almost everywhere, the company's same-store sales went up 5.1 percent in February (when compared with February 2008 sales). Yet, in that same month, it announced a move to "realign its corporate structure and reduce costs." It cut 700 to 800 jobs at its Wal-Mart and Sam's Club home offices, in effect acting no differently than any of the companies being battered by the deepening recession."
Fucking bastards.

I guess it was bound to happen. When unemployment hovers around 4%, that really IS the closest thing you can get to full employment. Companies don't have this kind of leverage when the labor pool is limited, and competition for employees is tough. But to lay people off when your sales are up and you're doing well? That's immoral. Sorry, but it's true.