It’s Only Right

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On Sunday morning I woke up lazy and calm and satisfyingly rested. The temps outside were too chilly to rise from my cocoon, so instead I lolled in bed with The Good Man and the Feline. TGM and I talked over Sunday morning things, as couples will do, holding hands, talking quietly, and laughing.

After a while I said I was going to get up because I was hungry.

“What are you having?” TGM asked.

“Hmm, probably a bagel,” I replied, thinking of the mediocre but passable bagels we had procured the day before.

“What are you going to put on the bagel?” he asked. Food is a thing with us. We both love to eat and sometimes the story leading up to the nosh is just as important as the nosh.

It was as if he was asking me to tell him a story. A naughty, naughty story of bagels and cream cheese and toppings that would make us both suck the air in through our teeth and nod approvingly.

I thought a bit, adjusting my legs under the comforter, stretching my calves and toes in the anticipation of being upright.

“Probably just some cream cheese,” I said, staring my lactose intolerance square in the eye and refusing to blink.

“And tomatoes?” he asked,

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

“And capers?”

“Umm…”

At my hesitation he gave me a look somewhere between “you are an alien” and “you shot my dog”. He was crinkly browed and taken aback.

“I don’t think I like capers as much as you do,” I said.

The frown intensified. No words were said. Only this ever-deepening sadness and disbelief.

“It’s not that I don’t like capers. I do. Just not as much as you. I don’t always want them on my bagel.”

His frown deepened further and his head drew back like he was trying to put me in better focus. Like he was wondering to himself who this person was that he thought he knew. Like he was thinking, “I really should have gotten that pre-nup back when I had the chance because no way in hell would I have gone through with it if I had known she wasn’t going to have capers on her bagel on a lazy Sunday morning in December 2013.”

I shrugged. He shook his head and then I exited the bed. I paused on the way to the kitchen to take my morning vitamins and The Good Man went on ahead of me and began toasting two bagels.

He set out a variety of fixings and when the bagels were just a slight crispy brown around the edges, he said, “Your bagel is ready.”

When I accepted my bagel, I schmeared it with cream cheese and I lightly salted it and I added tomato slices. And then I put capers on my bagel because it was the right thing to do. The right thing the sake of another beautiful day in a long and happy marriage with a wonderful man.

He was right, the capers were delicious. In the world of food, I may reign supreme on all things green chile, but I should know better than to question the handsome boy from Brooklyn on the ways and means of eating a bagel.

Even a mediocre bagel nibbled on a frosty Sunday morning in Northern California.








Image found here.




I’m So Arty. And Maybe A Little Farty.

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It’s been two months now at the new gig and I’m really getting into it. The job, the management and the culture are all really in my wheelhouse. Even though I’m crazy busy and working hard, I really do like the job.

So I guess at sixty days into this gig I am making plans to hang around a while. When I went through new hire orientation, they talked up their employee activities program and mentioned that there are a lot of strong clubs here at the company. It seems most employees participate in at least one club. It’s not required, people just want to be involved.

Cool!

I took a look at the list of clubs and the one that jumped out at me was the photography group. Rock on! I haven’t been shooting much lately and I certainly need a kick in the butt. I belong to a photographer’s salon group where once a month we meet and critique images, but I felt like this new group would really expand my horizons.

I dropped an email to the co-presidents of the group, two female coworkers, who were listed on the webpage and told them I’d like to be part of the group. They answered pretty quickly and said they were actually the last year’s co-presidents (the webpage is out of date) and handed me off to the new leadership. In closing, one of the women said, “I’m so glad another woman is joining the group. It’s mostly men right now. They are all nice but it’s all men!”

Oh. Well ok! My photography teacher and mentor has spoken about this. She has been a professional photographer for a long time and has dealt with the male dominated world of photography for years. I’m unsure why it’s still so heavily male dominated, but fair enough. I know my work can stack up.

I got an invite to the online user group and to the meeting coming up next week. I also got access to the club’s site where members upload their photos. Each month there is a theme and a contest to pick a winner.

Whooo doggies, the photos on that page are really good but they are all very technical. I don’t feel a lot of emotion in the photos. Then I recalled that I work with mostly engineers and scientists. Yeah. These are the kind of folks who will sniffily say they only shoot in manual and can calculate the exposure triangle in their heads.

I have taken other photography courses, including a class from a well-known and well-respected landscape photographer. That guy wasn’t too uptight about the stuff, but several of the men in the class were. One guy challenged me on the spot to calculate the exposure triangle for a particular photo and I said, “Nope. I don’t need to. I shoot in Aperture mode and am happy there.” He looked like he had bad gas and walked away from me.

Look, I know *how* to calculate the exposure triangle. I just choose not to.

So we’ll see how this group thang goes. I decided I should put together a quick portfolio of photos to show the rest of the group what I’m about.

What do you think?





“Knob” — I feel this piece speaks to the inaccessibility of the world and the challenges of just getting past closed doors. Should you walk away or bang on the door demanding to be heard? That is for you to decide.





“Elusive” — This is a study in hiding behind false coverings, like the fur that covers a Cranky Feline. And the need to hide behind artificiality and illusion. The grain reminds us of the blurry nature that life presents and the need to have better lighting.





“Have A Seat” — The black and white really captures the moodiness that comes with the decision of whether or not to have a seat. The push-pull of subverting yourself to the will of powers greater than you or maybe standing up to fight instead. This thought provoking piece required meticulous set up and lighting.



I think I am a shoo-in for high praises and honor from this new club. I can hardly wait to reel in all my accolades!





All photos Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. (why would you steal these masterpieces anyway?). All three taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.




Yeah, Well You Give Music a Bad Name

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Warning: Rant ahead.

I have something to say. Oh, do I have something to say.

Let’s start with the background, a blurb from the entertainment section of my local newspaper.


—————————
Jon Bon Jovi has taken aim at Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, accusing him of “killing” the music industry with iTunes.

The rocker is saddened that children no longer enjoy the “magical” experience of buying records in a store because of the ease of downloading individual tracks onto an iPod.

And he lays the blame for the generational shift in music-buying at the feet of technology mogul Jobs.

Bon Jovi tells The Sunday Times Magazine, “Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.

“God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.”

—————————


Dear Mr. Bon Jovi –

In my best Dan Aykroyd Chase imitation, circa Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” in the ’70’s…

Jon, you ignorant slut.

Ok, so let’s say I’m on board with you recalling that “magical” time where one could buy an album and have NO idea, other than the photos on the jacket, what you were getting.

Let’s just agree that era was “good” for the sake of argument.

Might I just ask you if you remember something called a cassette tape? Well that sure took the shine off a vinyl album, now didn’t it?

Now…do you remember something called a cassette single?

They were pretty popular back in that crazy era called the nineteen eighties. Do you remember the eighties?

I think music buyers back then realized the value in buying only the songs they like and not having to suffer through an entire album of songs they don’t like.

Or more succinctly, having to pay for an entire album of songs they don’t like.

People might listen to MORE music if they get a chance to listen first and decide what suits their tastes.

Oh, and Jon, dearheart, perhaps all those years of bleaching your hair frizzled your brain….

Because do you remember Napster? Yeah? People were sampling single songs and downloading only what they wanted in the 1990’s…WAY before iTunes.

Do you remember that the music business was on the ropes back in the late 1990’s? The industry was talking about not making as many albums and not backing as many acts because they were not making enough money. The model, the one you wax rhapsodic about, didn’t work. That model, your ideas of “good” is what killed the music industry.

Do you know what singlehandedly saved the goddamn music industry?

Apple’s iTunes. Launched in January 2001.

By legitimizing what Napster was already doing and putting it into a reasonable for pay model, at least artists are getting SOMETHING for all those downloads of their music.

No, not good enough for you. You want me to suffer through some freaking navel gazing Bon Jovi “concept album.”

Oh Jon. I don’t think so.

Let me tell you a story. Back in the day, I took my hard earned money to a record store that used to be located on the corner of San Mateo and Menaul in Albuquerque.

That store was called Sound Warehouse, and I *loved* that record store. When I got my fresh new driver’s license at age 16, I’d drive myself there to spend my hard earned waitress wages on the music that would make me happy.

That year, everyone was chattering about this band called U2. They’d just released a very popular album called “The Joshua Tree.”

Yeah. I hemmed at hawed in the aisles of Sound Warehouse because I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy that album (on cassette tape). First of all, it was about three dollars more expensive than the other popular albums of the time.

But it was more than that…Something about it didn’t feel right. I looked at the cover, and it didn’t move me.

I talked to a store employee who assured me “yeah, it’s great.”

It would have been so AWESOME if I’d been able to sample a couple of the tunes and then I would have known….

…That I consider that album to be one of the most egregious and self-indulgent piles of crap that the music industry has ever produced.

I’m sure many U2 fans will think I’ve lost my mind, but I’m serious. I HATE THAT ALBUM and I’ve resented that I lost my money on that thing ever since.

I’m not sure how, dear, dear Jon, you can arrive at the conclusion that iTunes killed the music business.

Perhaps it just killed YOUR business because people have the chance listen to your drivel and realize is sucks long before dropping a single dime on an album.

I mean, who could forget such classics as:

“Shot through the heart/and you’re to blame/darlin’ you give love a bad name.”

Pure musical poetry there, bubba.

Now just go away, grandpa.




Story source.


Physics by way of the cable company

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From a whipping-up-anxiety article in Time magazine titled “Will the Earth Have Two Suns by 2012?

Regarding Betelgeuse, a rapidly collapsing red super-giant star:


“It goes bang, it explodes, it lights up,” Carter said. “We’ll have incredible brightness for a brief period of time…and then over the coming months it begins to fade and then eventually it will be very hard to see at all.”

And while the celestial event could take place before the end of 2012, it may not occur for a million years.


Emphasis added by me.

Sooo, it could happen in a year or a million years. Trifle hard to plan provisions for that million year stretch. What’s the half-life on my water container?

It’s only January of 2011 and I’m seriously DONE with the doomsday predictions.

Meanwhile, a star that explodes and lights up the Earth for a few weeks then fades away? That’s pretty damn cool. I kind of hope it happens by 2012.



Source.

Round Two: Your Definition and My Definition Differ Greatly

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Yesterday, early in the morning, I had my weekly one on one with the boss.

He’s in the US this week, so it was nice to have a face to face meeting. I have such respect and yes, I’ll say it, affection for my boss. He’s amazing.

I had a long list of items to discuss, and we jumped right into the fray.

It was a good meeting, much cussed, much discussed. Decisions made. Strategy set.

When I’d exhausted my list of items, I said to Boss Man, “so, do you have anything for me?”

He said he did. There were a couple small items. “No problem, boss, I’m on it.”

He continued,”Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to put you on a development plan.”

Then the world went molasses on me.

Oooooh. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

My hearing slowed down. My head swam.

I’ve been a manager for a long time. Development plan is a cute little Human Resources euphemism for “You suck, we’re trying to fire you, but we have to do a ‘development plan’ first to document what a toad you are.”

What had I done? In four months I already blew this gig?

Sure, I was a little blunt with that supplier, but damn, they suck at invoicing! And ok, I might have made a joke in a serious meeting, but that’s just my way. Everyone seemed to appreciate the moment of levity! And fine, I might have been late to work a few times this week, but that’s mainly because I was on seven in the morning calls with India, and I took them from home.

I’m not a perfect employee! But damnit! I work hard and my intentions are right!

While the edges of my eyes went wavy, and I tried to figure out where exactly I’d screwed the pooch, I noticed my boss was still talking.

“And so we’ll be working on this over the next month. Being new, you may not know that development plans are only offered to our top performers, so be aware that not all of your coworkers will be doing this same activity.”

Wait. What?

Oh. I see. “Development plan” as used at *this* company is a good thing.

Whew.

My heart can now regain regular rhythmic activities.

(And then I almost cried….but I held it in. A girl crying at work is sooooo uncool.)