Sunday, May 27, 2007

Five Things I Learned in May

They aren't as sexy as Terry Starbucker's 5 things, but here goes anyway:
  1. I've become better at accepting and more appreciative of feedback at work. Feedback is a gift and an opportunity for growth, which is an attitude and approach I didn't get growing up. Now I know it gives me something I can reflect and act on, if I so choose.
  2. John Coltrane's "Crescent" makes me hold my breath in the same way I do when I watch a trapeze act. You can hear a commentary on the piece by Dave Liebman over at The Traneumentary.
  3. The healthcare system in the US is broken. No matter how many stories you hear in the media about this, you can't fully understand it until you are faced with a serious illness and you cannot identify the right person or group to help, let alone get their attention.
  4. My oldest son turns 12 today. Parenting is the learning journey of a lifetime, and he never ceases to challenge me on all levels. This month I learned that he still has the ability to short-circuit my higher thinking and drive me straight into lowest-common-denominator reactive behavior! I also learned that I should trust his choices in friends a little more - he demonstrated that he has a more sophisticated understanding of the subtleties of human behavior than I gave him credit for.
  5. Tagging can be a great tool for sharing and gleaning information. Until this month I was mostly using del.ic.ious as a place to store my own favorites. But recently I've started to "mine" other peoples' tags, and I've found a lot of stuff I probably never would have found any other way.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Meltdown

It's becoming harder and harder to stick to the script. The conversation at lunch began with an innocent-enough question.

"Do you know where to buy fondant?"

"Excuse me?" (Did she just ask me about fondant?)

"Fondant - do you know where I can buy it? I was up until 2:00 a.m. this morning planning my baby's first birthday cake. I'm going to bake two kinds of cake, then cut them into squares and assemble them into blocks. I want to cut the block letters out of fondant, so they'll look really nice."

"Oh. No, sorry, I don't know anything about fondant." (When I'm up at 2:00 a.m., I'm worrying about the coming climate-change cataclysm. I can't think of anything else to say for the rest of lunch.)

The word "fondant" comes from fondre, the French equivalent of "melting."