Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Eternal Flame

Firefighting. Just one more facet to the myriad of skills I am picking up in my sojourn through the world of publishing. Unlike some skills (for instance my apparently incredible quickly-stapling-things skills, which my boss suggested I could utilize as a full-time career), firefighting is one that I really wouldn't have thought would come in handy here, but you learn something new every day.

It was a happy day for the folks in the creative services department - a catered lunch, how pleasant. The conference room beside my desk filled with the happy sounds of people eating quesadillas and black beans.

After lunch, however, when the delighted munching was merely a memory, I went in to turn off the light and what to my wondering eyes should appear but the light of not one, not two, but four flickering sterno lanterns. Cheerily burning away in the empty room, dutifully warming two large aluminum pans full of water.

I consulted the folks in creative services about this, and they had decided that it was difficult to put them out, so they would just let them burn until there was no more fire left in them. On another, colder day in the office, I might have accepted this, and huddled like a Hooverville hobo over the warmth of the little gas flame, rubbing my hands together as I propped my bandana tied to a stick against the wall. Today however, it was more temperate in the office, and I chose instead to alert my boss. His first attempt at squelching the flames with a plastic serving spoon only seemed to make them angrier. After removing the hot aluminum pans filled with water, however, he was able to extinguish them with bursts of breath, leaving the office safe for one more day.

Other than that, not a lot going on this afternoon. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Silence is golden?

It's awfully nice of you people (my aunt, Walker & Tap, Chase) to notice that I have become the worst blogger ever in terms of actually writing in my blog - for you I will try! I honestly don't know what's up with my brain lately. Maybe I haven't been reading enough? Whatever it is I have just not been in the literary mindset. I think it's a possibility that the problem is the sub-arctic temperatures we've been enduring in the office lately. Supposedly, the computers in the IT room have to be kept at a certain temperature, to the detriment of everyone's extremities, but I'm pretty sure that's a sham. It's not like we just got the computers, and it hasn't always been this cold in here...

Writing is one of those things (like most things, I suppose) where if you try too hard to come up with something great, you just end up coming up with nothing at all. You wonder so much why it is that your brain used to be fine at coming up with nonsense to ramble about and now can only think of the fact that it can't come up with nonsense to ramble about. I feel like Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail when she's recalling how when someone says something awful to her, she wants so badly to say something in return but her mind is a complete blank. "Even now, days later...nothing."

I'm starting to get ready for the holiday season. I'm not to Amy Grant Christmas mode yet (you at least have to wait til after halloween) but now that it's fall I'm getting more and more ready to watch Home Alone.

Every year at Thanksgiving, I have the honor of attending the feast on the night before Thanksgiving at Catherine's house, with her family and also Scott, another honorary guest. We all gather around the table with the candles glinting off the silver and the glasses and share a delightful meal, though my favorite part is after dinner. We've established a tradition over the years of going around the table to say what we've been particularly thankful for, and then some of our favorite things over the course of the year, like movies or books or albums. I've already started considering my options for these important questions, though obviously it is too early to reveal the contenders.

And now I'm going home. I'll give it another shot tomorrow and hope it turns out more clever than this.