30 April 2007


Do you believe in it? I tend not to, but you never know.

This weekend, I went to Michigan for the little brother's graduation. It was lovely, and Bill Clinton was the speaker, which was great, and in all my "I'm apparently growing up" glory, I was honestly really proud of the boy.

Anyway though, on the way there, I had barely jumped back on 94-W in Indiana when flashing lights appeared in my rearview mirror. I looked around hopefully, but I was the only one there. The cop, who looked EXACTLY like the dad from Family Matters, explained that I was going 21 miles over the speed limit. Aha. He then disappeared to his car with my license and came back with...a warning and some advice to "take it easy" the rest of the way! Whew, much appreciated.

Not 20 miles later, and still less than 50 miles into a nearly 300 mile trip, I was moving into the left lane (yes, probably speeding again, but what was I going to do, go the speed limit all the way to Detroit? I'd probably still be on the way) when I heard an incredibly loud noise. Though my first thought was, "wow, that cannot have been good" the car seemed fine (briefly) and I thought maybe I had imagined it. But then the woman behind me went apeshit (I don't like that expression that much either, but that's exactly what she did) and all the honking and waving and yelling, plus the fact that the car was definitely starting to...limp...convinced me to pull over. Yep, blown tire.

Luckily, I had put the number for roadside assistance in my car that morning (speaking of karma, think that's why the tire blew?) and they were really helpful and were able to help me within 45 minutes, which was pretty good. While I was sitting in the car waiting for the guy (that's who fixes car issues - the guy), having already called pretty much everyone I knew to waste some time, a recruiter called to offer me my first (phone) interview. Now, 72 hours later, I've had two and another one is scheduled for Friday. A series of random events or a long line of cause and effect?

PS: I'm going to walk into work and give notice tomorrow morning. I'm aware that it's a risk, seeing as I don't technically have another job, but I think (hope) it's the right decision. More after the fact!

15 April 2007

Imus and the Dookies

Sorry for the delay, was (briefly) out of town this weekend, and I know it's sort of last week's news, but I've been thinking a lot about the curious intersection of the Don Imus/Rutgers fiasco and the implosion of the Duke lacrosse case.

I admit that I had already decided that those boys were guilty. And I'm very angry about the implications for future sexual assault victims now that this story has been exposed as false (you better believe the next woman who is assaulted by a Duke athlete will think more than twice about reporting it). But what a terrible year for the wrongly accused. Though they're certainly not the upstanding young gentleman they've suddenly become in the media - I believe that at least two of the three have arrest records, one for felony assault - they did not deserve the label of rapist and they especially didn't deserve to be abandoned by their school and their community before anything was proven. (I don't know that I can say the same about the cancelled season. Clearly that team had some very serious discipline problems) Each of their families apparently spent in excess of $1 million to get their good names back. This article gives a little more perspective if you're interested.

Contrast that, then, to Don Imus, who attempted to take away the good name of the Rutgers basketball team by calling them "nappy-headed hos." Not long after big-name advertisers began to pull their sponsorships, he was fired. (Did anyone fail to notice how he was merely suspended until Staples and Proctor & Gamble pulled out and then boy, it was *definitely* a fire-able offense?)

Anyway though, both situations have everything to do with race, gender, and especially class, and though the Rutgers women's hoops team and the three Duke lacrosse players couldn't be more different in these respects, both groups have ended up victims. And we all have a long way to go.

I say 'especially class' because, of course, having the $1 million to spend to clear your name is tantamount. Despite the unimaginable year, you can bet that the lacrosse boys will go on to lead productive, successful lives. Assuming they can keep their noses clean, I'd be surprised not to find them living in the suburbs with a pretty wife, 2.5 kids, and a golden retriever in twenty years. Hopefully, the Rutgers basketball players will be living next door. But unfortunately, quite a few people who have endured such slurs won't get that chance.

10 April 2007

Now. If I Could Just Figure Out The Rest Of My Life

Once again, I have learned something from sports. Something about work/life. In fact, though I didn't learn everything from sports, it's entirely possible that I could have if only I had known when to pay attention.

This time around, I've learned a little lesson about goals and buy-in. I may have mentioned (once or twice) that I was working on starting a local women's baseball league this summer. Good news: it looks like it's going to work. We managed to get through a draft and have four teams with eleven on each - sounds like a league to me!

Now that we're past the part that seemed totally impossible, what's left is to tie up the loose ends so we can get on the field in T minus 8 weeks. Right? Except of course it's not that simple. I'm continually amazed by the ability of many of my co-conspirators to get mired in the meaningless details (what if two teams have the same color jerseys? what will vegetarians eat at the opening day barbecue? what kind of batting helmets should we get?) at the expense of the goal, which I would think would be to have a great time playing baseball in a working, consistent league. Right?

Again, not that simple. I'm starting to realize that the reason a lot of my teammates get so caught up in the drama (and I don't, even though I can be somewhat susceptible to that) or feel overwhelmed by the little stuff is that they either can't see the goal or are worried that it won't be enough. I don't have that problem. I love to play. I really do. And because of that, I'm willing to do what it takes to get there. Even when it's annoying (putting flyers on cars, playing nice with people I don't particularly like, whatever). And I can't really be sidetracked.

It's nice to know what you want. Sometimes.

04 April 2007


This time of year tends to bring a lot of talk of religion, particularly in years where Passover and Easter coincide. Perhaps this is controversial, particularly since I do not endeavor to practice a religion of my own, but whether it's Lent or Passover, it seems somehow inappropriate to complain about the things you have given up. These holidays are about sacrifices to mark the much greater sacrifices of those who came before, no? It is a sign of great faith to recognize the hardships of the past with sacrifices of your own. But it seems to me that complaining that your energy level is low due to the dietary changes of Passover or whining about how hard it is to have fun when you've given up beer/chocolate/potato chips/whatever for Lent trivializes your commitment. No one forced you to make this choice and compared to the occasion it marks, it almost seems in poor taste to complain. I see a middle ground in culture (i.e. cooking potato pancakes or hiding eggs), but not in faith.

More posts will be forthcoming soon, I promise. I spend the vast majority of my time thinking about something that I'm a bit concerned about making public just yet.