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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s Day 12 of captivity. I’ve gained two pounds. I have to resist the urge to eat cheese all day. It’s bad enough I take my vitamins with wine.

I’m still going to work for a few hours each day for a change of scenery. I’m not a dress-down-for-work kind of gal. Yesterday, I wore a skirt and heels. Just for me.

I rarely see anyone when I’m there. Yesterday, though, I saw the CFO at the water cooler on the second floor and the woman in charge of special projects down the hall. We all paused in our tracks, giggling nervously. The CFO went back into his office, and Special Projects let me go into the bathroom before she continued down the hall. Six feet of space, people.

Later in the day, I crossed paths with the CFO again. Same situation.

Him: Stay on your floor!
Me: I don’t have a bathroom up there. Unless you want to spring for a Porta Potty, I’m coming down!

When I was at my university the first time around as an English major, I won a major award for writing. The prize package included “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

In our house, it’s “Love in the Time of Corona.”

Gideon broke up with his girl Peyton. He informed me last night:

I don’t want to be in a relationship anymore. It takes up too much of my time. My precious time.

Incidentally, I won the award for a short story I wrote called “The Pot Roast.” It was about my weird grandmother wanting raw meat as a Christmas gift.

Last night, I made the dish.

Gideon, girlfriend-free with precious time on his hands, roamed into the kitchen.

Him (peering into the pot): What’s this?
Me: Pot roast.
Him: We haven’t had that in a while.
Me: Yep. I’m bringing out all the hits.
Him: Top 20?
Me: Top 20 from the 2000s.

After dinner, the family decided to play Twister. Yes, Twister. I’ve still got it! I managed to keep myself up plus Dominic. I bowed out when a spin for me would have required me to sit on his head. Let’s not get crazy in confinement.

Nighttime also is TV time. Even “sheltering in place” cannot help me get through the treacly “This Is Us.” I deleted all episodes in my queue, and instantly feel better. (Honestly. It takes itself SO SERIOUSLY. It’s like a DC Comics movie.)

I’m still taking CORVID-19 seriously. Perhaps too much. I got a little worried earlier this week because I had a sore throat and a headache. Insert panic. Then I realized it’s springtime in the South — an inch of pollen everywhere.

Maybe that explains the guy restocking at the gas station. He emitted a small cough. The cashier and I whipped around on him.

Me: How long have you had that cough?
Him: (Scurries quickly away from the loud lady)

Stay safe, and don’t get Corona-ed,
Beth

 

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Dear Parental Patience:

Where are you? Now in my hour of need? Please come back.

I thought I had turned a corner with Dominic.

Funny, right?

And he finally got his Publix uniform to start working.

Today was the big day.

But.

He realized that he had to be at work in 10 minutes but didn’t want to walk in the cold.

He’s so delicate, you know.

So he wanted me to drive him.

After sighing loudly, I put a coat on over my pajamas, and took him over.

Then he texts me. And this is when you, Patience, apparently jumped on another call.

And if the subject matter isn’t bad enough, the child refuses to use proper grammar and punctuation.

Please come back.

I miss you.

Love,
Beth

* Thanks, GnR.

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Dear Corporate Folks:

One of the best things about my job is meeting new people and finding cool opportunities for students. As a result, I’m getting to know my hometown of Atlanta and its residents even better.

There is a big difference in terminology in the higher education world versus the professional world. I go back and forth between the two, so I hear plenty of jargon in both.

I went to a presentation about Atlanta’s workforce last week. Plenty of discussion of past, present and future.

While it was interesting and productive in general, I heard a ridiculous amount of lingo.

Here’s a taste:

  • “We have to incent someone to learn new skills.” Please. No. Can we just provide an incentive? Or encourage someone?
  • “I talked to someone offline.” Good LORD. Can you just talk to someone? Let’s leave “offline” for tech.
  • “We wanted to internship these students.” Internship is a noun, not a verb.
  • “Pre-skilling,” “re-skilling,” “up-skilling” and “out-skilling.” Oh. My. God. Can we just say “training” instead?
  • “Workstream.” I’m OK with “workforce” (barely) but not “workstream.”
  • “Internal ecosystem.” Really? This is unnecessarily complex. Company culture is slightly better.
  • “Thoughtware.” Barf.
  • “Growing social capital muscles.” Can we not?

The visual aids were just as ridiculous.

I’m not a fan of cloudy communication.

In fact, one of my dissertation advisors yelled at me for not “elevating my language” like standard scholarly journal writing. I replied that the “elevated language” is why most people don’t like to read these journals. Especially professionals in the industry of interest.

So.

No need to be clever.

No need to obfuscate. (Hee hee!)

Just be clear.

KTHXBYE,
Beth

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Dear Readers:

My last post resonated with a few of my female friends. A college friend, “Sue,” wrote the following that she said I could share as a guest post. (And you know I love a good guest post.)

See you Monday with fresh content from me, courtesy of Gideon.

Beth

My own non-resolutions
By “Sue Buckley”

This year, I will not:

  • Keep those heels I think that I might wear just one more time. You know the ones. My knee and ankle … done.
  • Brexit quietly or vote for Trump. I demand IQ tests with a score range of at least superior or gifted — depending upon the scale — for all voters.
  • Wear all that odd jewelry I’ve accumulated over the years. In fact, I may give it away.
  • Obsess over the last time I changed the kitchen sponge. (Trust me: This haunts me.)
  • Blurt out what I “really think” during a video call. It’s impossible to hide my face. Learned this from experience, and it’s easier without the visual.
  • Say yes when I mean no. I was taught this during my formative years, but it wandered back in. I don’t have to spend my time anywhere or with anyone if it’s not valuable (true friends and family excluded).
  • Not shut up about menopause. I don’t care how boring it gets. They don’t tell you this shit. 
  • Not finish my book. (Beth and I have the same goal.) It’s happening this year.

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Dear Friends and Family:

It’s Jan. 2. People have already broken resolutions, or never made any to begin with.

I don’t usually make resolutions, as you know. If I decide to do something, I just do it. No need to wait until the new year.

This year, I’m declaring things I WON’T do:

  • Keep makeup I don’t wear. Coral lipstick is not for pale people like me, and frosty pink is for preteens.
  • Retain books on my Kindle I won’t read. “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments” by David Foster Wallace is a supposedly fun read that is not. Byeeee!
  • Put up with less than I need/deserve/worked for, etc. I am not a “Welcome!” mat.
  • Save money. Yeah, I know I should, but let’s be honest: I won’t.

  • Stay home. I want to say “absof–kinlutely” to adventures near and far. Dream scenario: I get paid to write about it.
  • Continue procrastinating on my book. This is the year I finish it, write the proposal, and find an agent. If E.L. James can become rich and famous off her trash Twilight fan fiction work, so can I.
  • Lose more than just five more pounds. I’m calling that my “wine cushion.”
  • Stay in this place with the small kitchen. When it’s a pain to make things as fairly easy as Scotch eggs, it’s time to upgrade.

  • Ignore show suggestions from certain like-minded people. I resisted watching “Killing Eve.” I was stupid.
  • Let people try to make me feel even slightly embarrassed about my love of bad taxidermy. Those uptight people can shove it. My obsession is Hando approved.
  • Vote for Trump. Duh.
  • Stop writing blog posts at least twice a week. I’ve been keeping this pace since April, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

What are your anti-resolutions? Tell me in the comments.

Love and kisses,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

Though you didn’t come through with anything on my previous list (in fact, my eye is worse), you worked through my family to ensure I had a great Christmas.

Just look:

I coveted this shirt. Eddie has one from his pals at CrossFit Steadfast in Savannah. I donate to Goat Yoga Lisa‘s fundraising campaign every year. Now I have a shirt of my own!

This is the gift that will keep on giving. Not only am I excited about learning how to do this art at the February class, but I can write about it. I’m going with Revell, the guy who cuts my hair. So that should be a hoot.

Behold a perfect gift for any Murderino.

That gift is from the kids. They know I listen to “My Favorite Murder” as I walk to work. Eddie reports the following conversation.

Him: Those are really expensive.
Dominic: They are for someone who deserves it. She deserves it. Plus, I’ve been a jerk.

And suddenly both my eyes had issues.

So thank you, Santa. Like Bono’s girl, you move in mysterious ways.

Love and kisses to you and the missus,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you in person this year. I tried. The line was just too long at Santaland. I had other places to go, and people to see.

(It occurs to me that I’m actually lamenting the fact that I didn’t get to sit on some some old dude’s lap. Holiday traditions are weird.)

As I’ve been (mostly) good, I’m hoping that you can still help me out with my wish list. Items are a little tricky this year, I’m afraid. Not sure the elves can handle these things.

Anyway, here goes:

    1. Some kind of cream that will make the itchy spot on my right eye go away. The dermatologist is stumped. I use the same products on BOTH EYES, but my left eye is fine. Please help. I look like Hitch.
    2. Guests in our Airbnb condo who will actually read and abide by the house rules. It’s not like we are asking for much. Just take the trash out of the place, and send it down the rubbish chute right outside the door. We aren’t asking for gold doubloons as tips or anything. Although …
    3. A money tree would be nice. Have you seen how much Dominic eats? Or how leggy Gideon is getting? At least they can’t wear my shoes anymore, so that means mine stay clean. I promise I will share the harvest with friends and family. Well, most of them.
    4. Expansion of Marta. Or at the very least, a change of heart for the car-focused people of Atlanta who keep voting against it.
    5. People who are driving at or below the speed limit to STAY THE F out of the passing lane. You have a reindeer-powered sleigh. You do not know the horror of I-16.
    6. Another season of “Schitt’s Creek.” Season 6 is supposed to be the last one. But you can make Daniel Levy change his mind, right? RIGHT?!
    7. The ability to speak Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese fluently. I dream big, but you’re Santa. It’s not like you are starting from scratch. I’m at toddler levels for the first two. And I know key phrases for the others. Look, you never know when you need to tell a Japanese person that he’s taken the last Band-Aid.
    8. A stop to the entire country of India requesting to add me as a contact on Linked In. I really don’t know anyone in India.
    9. More followers for this blog. It’s not an ego thing (although an audience is great). It’s an expanding-my-circle thing.  I’ve met some of the most interesting people via this blog — folks I never would have met otherwise.
    10. Guest posts. I’m still waiting for posts from Julia, Royce, Kerstin, Nick, TJ, etc. I’m not holding my breath, though.
    11. Patience. Lord knows Dominic regularly uses up my limited supply.
    12. Someone to make these for me. I’m a great cook, but kind of a crappy baker.
    13. The cute blue cheetah-print jeans I gave away when I thought I’d be fat forever.
    14. More early-morning water boot camp classes at the Y so that I won’t ever be fat again.
    15. For Origins to bring back the Spring Fever scent. Please! I can’t be the only one who has asked you for this.

I know it’s a tall order. Just do what you can. Thanks, Santa! I appreciate you.

Love,
Beth

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