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Apparently it is not uncommon in the industry for manufacturers to ply their biggest customers with presents, and chocolate is among the most common, but even my coworkers were impressed when two of our pattern designers pooled together to send me flowers! How awesome am I?


One of my coworkers sent me the following chain email:

Important Safety Information

Complete text, bad grammar and weird emphasis and allCollapse )

The number of issues I have with the content of this message is vast, but falls in to a few basic categories:

1. A lot of the "information" in here is just straight up not true. And what's with the "someone told me that a friend of hers said that a cop she talked to said"? Dudes, I love gossip as much as the next girl, but you need to give me a skosh more credibility than that.

2. I think the net result for anyone reading this email is totally unjustified paranoia. There are "crazies" out there, but the people most likely to physically hurt you, are in your immediately family or close friends. You're much more likely to get raped in your own bedroom than in a parking garage, no matter how sketchy that van parked next to you might be.

Your thoughts?

Day 19 - Best t.v show cast

Another easy one:



I watched the first episode of "Treme" Monday night. It's the new show by the guy who did "The Wire" and it's set in post-Katrina New Orleans.

A few comments:

- I loved the music

- All the white characters are whiny douchebags

- The black characters are actually quite interesting

I'll probably keep watching.

Drama at Work

It was only a matter of time, right?

There's a volunteer at the shelter who is a bit of a belligerent douchebag. He's got a lot of swagger and strong opinions and doesn't think much of people who don't share his views. But he's harmless for the most part, and he does good work in the small animal room. We need all the good volunteers we can get, and he is a good volunteer who donates a lot of his time.

Today two different men came into the shelter, more or less bruising for a fight, and BDV (belligerent douchebag volunteer) gave 'em one. The first man left saying that they would adopt elsewhere and advised us to make sure "that asshole" doesn't "have a job working with people" (not that he's paid for his current work with us) and the second guy called us up later threatening to sue.

Is it BDV's fault? Yes and no. He could have handled it better and the people he bitched out probably had it coming.

Still, the worst part about today was my manager informing my coworker and I that we "shouldn't talk about other coworkers, even to them." Translation: don't gossip.

But . . . but . . . I LOVE gossip! It's pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world! If I had to choose between gossip and chocolate . . . that would be a hard choice! Now she's telling me that I can't ask BDV what was happening between him and the customer? Or ask flirty kennel guy (hereafter known as FKG) if he saw what was going on with BDV and the customer?


Why must they take all my fun?

Vetinari is a creepy bastard

Taking full advantage of the local library, I was reading an excellent book yesterday when I came upon the following passage:

". . . one day when I was a young boy on holiday . . . I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I'm sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she at it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature's wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."

What do you all make of that?


Who would've guessed that the job I finally got offered was the one I didn't actually apply for? The universe has a sense of humor!

And on top of that, H got into the U of O!!!

I love you, universe!!

Interview 8 was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

I really, really, really, really, really hope I get this job! The woman interviewing me was all "So, this is how much we pay, this is our health insurance, these are our paid vacations, are you cool with all of that?" and a I'm "OMGYES!!!!ONE!"

But I don't have the job offer yet so I gotta keep it chill. I'm just so darn happy!

Monsters and the Monstrous

I just heard about this awesome conference called "Monsters and the Monstrous". Check it out:

8th Global Conference
Monsters and the Monstrous
Sunday 19th September – Wednesday 22nd September 2010 Oriel College, Oxford

Call for Papers

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary project seeks to investigate and explore the enduring influence and imagery of monsters and the monstrous on human culture throughout history. In particular, the project will have a dual focus with the intention of examining specific 'monsters' as well as assessing the role, function and consequences of persons, actions or events identified as 'monstrous'. The history and contemporary cultural influences of monsters and monstrous metaphors will also be examined.

Papers, reports, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:
* The monster through history
* Civilization, monsters and the monstrous
* Children, childhood, stories and monsters
* Comedy: funny monsters and/or making fun of monsters (e.g. Monsters Inc, the Addams Family)
* Making monsters; monstrous births, childhood
* Mutants and mutations and freaks
* Technologies of the monstrous (including RPG)
* Horror, fear and scare
* Do monsters kill because they are monstrous or are they monstrous because they kill?
* How critical to the definition of monster is death or the threat of death?
* Human 'monsters' and 'monstrous' acts? e.g, perverts, paedophiles and serial killers
* Revolution and monsters
* Enemies (political/social/military) and
* Iconography of the monstrous
* The popularity of the modern monsters; the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein, Vampires, Cannibals
* The monster in literature
* The monster in media (television, cinema, radio, internet)
* Religious depictions of the monstrous
* Metaphors and the monstrous
* The problematic attraction and admiration of monsters
* Gothic Monsters
* Critical Theories on the Monstrous

Papers will be accepted which deal solely with specific monsters. This project will run
concurrently with our project on Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners – we welcome any papers considering the problems or addressing issues on Monsters and Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners for a cross-over panel.

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 26th March 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 13th August 2010.

What do you guys think?


I just finished reading a very interesting article that compared the leadership styles of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

The article started with these two questions:

How do you select individuals worthy of positions of power?

How do you educate and guide such individuals so that they will develop and contribute their talents to the full and be worthy of the public trust?

Then it looks at how Mao and Deng answered the questions.

Mao basically used the Confucian system of imperial examinations revamped to be based on Marxist-Leninist ideals and threw in a class struggle element. The class struggle thing eventually outweighed everything else and the only people who got promoted were those who knew just how to pay convincing lip service to the virtues espoused at that particular moment.

Still, how do you go about identifying people of talent? And once you've got your talented group, how do you get them to work for society?

Maybe you just have to assume that society will naturally benefit when people of talent get to do whatever they want, though that seems a bit like anarchy.


Ruty Wherland

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February 2012


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