Wednesday, January 04, 2006

google redeemed

I was just thinking last week (after the Christmas and New Year's logo transformations) that Google design has gone from great to sappy. If I see any more woodland creatures scampering through the "oo's" or peeking cunningly around the "l", I'm going to gag.

Then, I open today's Google and there it is. Beautiful. Google in braille. Celebrating the birth of Louis Braille. If you don't go there today, you can see the designs by year on Googles logo pages

Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy anomaly

I am conscious of, but not concerned about, my age and gender in a profession of 20-30 year-old men who probably spent significant parts of their adolescence drawing comic book panels, gripping video game controllers or creating role-playing characters. Mostly because I am engaged, enchanted and enthusiastic about working with these guys. They are smart and funny and don't seem ill-at-ease with me at all. My job is to maintain my own unique, creative approach to web design and animation. I love what I do. And I try at all times to avoid adopting a maternal approach in my relationship with them. (Though I admit, occasionally my inner "Ancient Wise One" rises to the surface.)

It's wonderful to have 47 years of chronological experience and a passion that feels ageless. It's great to be a female–and a sexual oddity to boot–
in this profession and feel, for all intents and purposes, that I am not held back by that. Not as long as I treat that fact as just one aspect of what I bring to the table. Expecting to be respected (for my work) and wanting to be treated with deference (for my age or gender) are two totally different things. I'd just as soon they forgot my age and gender most of the time.

Btw, I did read the D&D Master manual when my son was younger. Dungeon Master. I liked the way it sounded but didn't ever get the hang of it...

some more musings

I have a compulsion to stick things to my forehead. This is one of those harmless peculiarities that I have learned to accept without too much introspection. Coins, bottle caps, dominos, etc. migrate to my forehead like a mutated tika or bindi. I have to remind myself while I'm at work, in a meeting or at a party that this little quirk is mine to indulge, but it might not be quite as endearing to others.

I like to think that I'm not much of a junkfood aficionado. Even though I am not as 'whole food' dedicated as my healthy daughter, I do enjoy keeping our diet more real than chemical. That said, 2005 could be recorded as my Lucky Charms year. I inexplicably craved this artificial, sugary, should-never-be-eaten-for-breakfast faux cereal. I never preferred it as a child, never let my children eat it when they were younger (except for dessert) but it's been my foolish indulgence. I think I'm over it now, marshmallow bits and all. But who knows what will take its place...

Additional returns to childish/childlike behavior include my continued fascination with the popular Harry Potter books and movies. I find myself wishing the paintings on the walls of doctor's offices and museums would subtlely come to life with movement and commentary.

the miracle of NaCl

This holiday has been wonderful. Quiet, somewhat contemplative and satisfying. My favorite memories: clipping my daughter's short hair on the porch; sitting with my son in the wee hours while he played video games and I waited for my digestive system to stop reminding me that cheese is not my friend; kissing Barbara at midnight (or thereabouts) on New Year's Eve—a sweet kiss familiar with our years together and fresh with the potential of what is around the corner; conversations in Spanish with my father; looking at house plans with our daughter—imagining how moving a wall or a door might affect the way our home "works" with the people in it.

This holiday season also affirms for the umpteenth time how salt water is the answer. We are made of it. Salt water in the form of tears cleanses us. Swimming in the ocean can be a tonic. Drinking water with some salt in it can do miraculous things to a stogey digestive system. On and on. I'm a big fan. I've even discovered the Salt Institute website. And now enters: brining. We made the most fabulous turkey and roast pork loin by following the canon of America's Test Kitchen God, Christopher Kimbell, and the holy salt water soaking ritual. It was so fabulous that my son says he's convinced that brining everything is the answer. Apple pie? Pancakes? Sausage biscuit? Drop'em in the saline.

the year in review

It's been a good, but hard, year and I'm not sorry to be seeing it recede in my rearview mirror. Here are a couple of things that make me happy today (at this manmade juncture, New Year's Day):

Thanks to Rich for rekindling an old friendship and for this NYT article link: Why I'm happy I evolved.

Thanks to Sally for linking me to this site marketing the ridiculous overabundance of cause symbols and the perfect irony of the colon cancer bracelet color.

Then there's my 2005 discovery of Natalie Angier, a woman whose prose about science has me musing whimsically about excerpt from the Chaperoning Proteins chapter in her book The Beauty and the Beastly should be explanation enough for my enthusiasm:

    When a new protein slides off the tiny molecule assembly line within a cell, it is nothing more than a droopy string of amino acids, not yet fit for its designated profession. Only after being spun and pleated and braided into its proper three-dimensional conformation will a protein burst to life, seizing up oxygen if it is hemoglobin, shearing apart sugars if it is an enzyme, or lashing cells together if it is the stout twine of collagen.
Isn't that just the shit?

I am still awash in the glow of having a job and supervisor that make my day-to-day pursuit of a paycheck such a pleasure. A supervisor with whom it is well worth navigating the friendship/work relationship balance. You're a rare bird, Dave. (And you've got damn good taste in women I, respectfully, might add.)

And here's my last hodge-podge for the day: Peter, call me. Joe, write me (Dick York says you must). Mike & Marty, let's get together. Cyndi and Lola, I want you to come to my menopause party (if you don't get too weirded out by the idea). Sisters, I miss you. Barry, you're still my favorite private eye. Chris & Katie, don't wait until that intrauterine bundle of joy is out and about to keep us up-to-date. Bob and Kathy, loved the creche. L&M, come over while the house is clean. Eric J, let's kick up our respective sensible shoes. Eric H, habla conmigo. David & Alvin, can't wait to see you in the fall in beautiful Vancouver. Ruthie, Barbara's and my 20th anniversary may trump the 30th high school reunion this year, which doesn't mean you and I can't get together for our own small 31st reunion.

Felíz Año Nuevo, y'all.

the year of 06.06.06

Among other things, I'm happy that this year we celebrate the Christian bugaboo date of 6/6/6. It's a silly thing but I love number juxtapositioning. And it's amusing that humans sometimes think significant celestial or worldwide events are imminent just because we approach a certain the year 2,000, for example. Hello? We made up this calendar/time-marking system—we just pulled it out of our collective b.c.e. asses, people! How could our clumsy little after-the-fact system suddenly become a soothsayer?