Saturday, December 25, 2010

6 Books Everyone (Including Your English Teacher) Got Wrong

By S Peter DavisDavid A. Vindiola Oct 20, 2010 1,739,405 views

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With most every classic novel comes some outlandish interpretations. Some people have wild fringe theories about Harry Potter as an allegory for young gay love and Lord of the Rings being about WWII and the atom bomb. But some of these laughably wrong interpretations stick. In fact, you were taught some of them in school ...
Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
Upton Sinclair's expose of the American meatpacking industry is largely to thank for the massive drop in cases of gastroenteritis (and rise of vegetarianism) around the dawn of the 20th century. When the book was published, the public, pretty keen on taking solid shits, was outraged by the novel's accurate depictions of the unsanitary conditions in slaughterhouses and lack of regulations forbidding the practice of shoveling week-old entrails off the floor along with the cow shit and calling it sausage.
President Teddy Roosevelt took action as a result, leading to the Pure Food and Drug Act, the Meat Inspection Act and eventually the FDA, despite getting his meat primarily from large game he beat to death with a club (probably).

"Who's hungry?"
What it's really about:
It wasn't about sanitation or meat safety. Sinclair was actually trying to expose the exploitation of American factory workers and convert Americans to socialism.
He went undercover for several weeks as a meat packer and not only saw that working conditions in meat-packing factories at the time were horribly unsafe, but that there was massive corruption within the upper levels of management. The stockyards exploited not only the common man, but also the common women and children, who worked the same lengthy shifts and lost the same useful appendages to machinery without proper safeguards. At one point in the book, an employee accidentally falls inside a giant meat grinder and is later sold as lard.

A pinch of Mitch in every bite.
But much to Sinclair's frustration, the public's reaction was less "that poor exploited worker!" and more "HOLY SHIT THERE MIGHT BE PEOPLE IN MY LARD." They read right past the hardship of the workers and focused entirely on how gross the meat-packing process was.
Adding insult to injury, the passing of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act meant that taxpayers, not the meatpackers, were responsible for the $30 million a year costs of inspection, giving Sinclair further shit to gripe about as it added even more burden to the American worker.

"We have to wear coats now?"
It didn't help that Roosevelt didn't sympathize with Sinclair's socialist views, calling him a crackpot and stating that three-fourths of his book was the same bullshit everyone was apparently eating at the time. Sinclair would later take matters into his own hands, running for Congress twice on the Socialist ticket. He lost. Hell, he should have just run on the "No more shit in your hamburger" ticket. That seems like a pretty easy win right there.
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451
It's the defining anti-censorship book of our time. The image of government crews gathering up and burning books is as iconic in the free world as Big Brother.
In Fahrenheit 451, America in the future is a clusterfucked society and a nation of dimwits. Books are outlawed for promoting intellectualism and free thinking, which inevitably leads to objective discourse and debate, which are now considered politically incorrect because dissenting opinions make people sad. Instead of preventing homes from going up in flames, firemen have been reassigned to rifle through homes and seize any contraband books that remain.
Just about every critic and literary scholar on the planet viewed the novel as metaphor for the dangers of state-sponsored censorship. Can't see this as much of a stretch, considering it was about book burning (although, the title may have suggested that it was really about book warming, since, according to Bradbury's sources, the temperature at which paper combusts is actually 450 degrees Celsius, or 842 degrees Fahrenheit).

This didn't occur to him?
What it's really about:
Bradbury was actually more concerned with TV destroying interest in literature than he was with government censorship and officials running around libraries with lit matches. According to Bradbury, television is useless and compresses important information about the world into little factoids, contributing to society's ever-shrinking attention span. Like "Video Killed the Radio Star," television would kill the, uh, book star (he said same thing about radio too, by the way). An interesting rant from the author, considering that much of Bradbury's fame was a direct result of his stories being portrayed on science fiction shows.

"Featuring your host, a Martian-ophilic hypocrite."
For a science fiction writer who predicted the development of flat-screen TVs you hang on the wall, ATMs and virtual reality, he sure hates new technology. Along with bitching about radio and television, Bradbury also has something against the Internet. He apparently told Yahoo! they could go fuck themselves, and as far as he's concerned, the Internet can go to hell. He doesn't own a computer, needless to say. At least we can say whatever we want about him without getting sued.
What probably pissed Bradbury off more than anything was that people completely disregarded his interpretation of his own book. In fact, when Bradbury was a guest lecturer in a class at UCLA, students flat-out told him to his face that he was mistaken and that his book is really about censorship. He walked out.

Later, he accused the camera of stealing his soul.
Machiavelli's The Prince
If you've ever heard a politician or other powerful person referred to as "Machiavellian," you can guess it's not a compliment. That's thanks to a shifty-looking Italian diplomat named Machiavelli. He was bad enough that we turned his name into a pejorative adjective that means "cruel, amoral tyrant." Napoleon, Stalin and Mussolini were three of his biggest fans, and the Mafia considers Machiavelli thefather of the organization.

In his defense, he cleans up well.
The reason for this is Machiavelli's The Prince, one of the most notorious political treatises ever written, designed as an instruction manual for the Florentine dictator Lorenzo de' Medici to help him be more of a bastard. Completely disregarding moral concerns in politics, the book serves as a levelheaded discourse on the best way to assert and maintain power, noting that it's better to be feared than loved, and that dishonesty pays off in the long run as long as you lie about how dishonest you are.
Machiavelli's masterpiece is equal parts brilliant and irresponsible, showing tyrants how best to run a country like a video game.
What it's really about:
Actually, Machiavelli was totally just trolling. Far from being the spiritual patriarch of the Gambino crime family, he was a renowned proponent of free republics, as noted in a few obscure texts called everything else he ever wrote. The reason The Prince endured the ages while the rest of his philosophy gathered dust in the back of an old library warehouse is chiefly 1) it's really short, and 2) it angries up the blood. By far the best way to get a book on the best-seller list is to write something that pisses everyone off, but the drawback is that it steamrolls the message of any work that's only meant to be understood in context.
The context in this case is that the Medici family to whom he dedicated his love letter is the same group who personally broke Machiavelli's arms for being such a staunch advocate for free government. He worked for the Florentine Republic before the Medicis marched in, mowed down the government and mercilessly tortured him, and then he sat down and wrote The Prince from his shack in exile, assumedly with some really bendy handwriting (on account of the arms). When you learn about that, it kind of adds a new layer of meaning to the text -- it suddenly sounds like it's dripping with sarcasm.

Not everyone was in on the joke.
For centuries, the consensus on Machiavelli's best-known work has been that he was just trying to brown-nose his way back into the government. But a deeper study of his full body of work reveals that this is a pretty absurd ambition, considering not only did Machiavelli repeatedly say that "popular rule is always better than the rule of princes," but after he wrote The Prince, he went right on back to writing treatises about the awesomeness of republics. Considering also that he was no stranger to the literary art of satire, scholars these days are turning to a more likely scenario -- Machiavelli was the Stephen Colbert of the Renaissance.
Part of the blame might also be leveled at the shitty job that people have done in trying to translate his work into English. It's from Machiavelli that we get the notorious phrase "the end justifies the means." A much more accurate translation from the original Italian is something more like "one must consider the end," which kind of means something totally different.

Read more:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don Van Vliet

January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010

I knew I should have bought that complete poetry & artwork book last month. Ahh well, the Captain Beefheart albums will hold me over.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Noteworthy News

Last night, the Blackhawks game ended with a 5-0 win over the Oilers. Dave and I couldn't watch it, since for some reason it was broadcast on a channel we do not have. We did not get to see our beloved Captain Jonathan Toews score a hat trick (3 goals), nor did we get to see Andrea's favorite, Patrick Sharp come back from his scoreless few games to score a short handed goal. But that is ok, they won, and we have the ability to watch the highlights.

Oh, and by the way, Andrea found out this morning that she has been accepted to Northwestern University for graduate school. Want more info? Go here: 

(that's right, another secret off-shoot Andrea blog project)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Right Not to Vote

I am a firm believer in democracy. I believe in a governing situation we should all have the right to participate in the selection process of new ideas, and leaders. I have managed groups of volunteers and employees in as a democratic way as possible, allowing them to choose and vote on final products, committee chairs etc. I fully support this process, what voting in a group situation means and how each vote makes a difference.

Yet I do not vote in any political election.

I am not ignorant nor uninformed.  I pay attention to national and local elections, noting the coverage on CNN, and the many internet outputs of information. I end up in sometimes heated politically driven debates, arguments and conversations on a regular basis. I enjoy hearing multiple opinions and sides to national and local issues. I have heartfelt beliefs about issues in our country including, but not limited to, the educational system, health care and the death penalty. And, of course, as a working adult I have opinions on taxes, minimum wage and unemployment. The problem is NOT that I cannot decide what my opinion is.

So, why don't I use my right to vote, to stand up for my beliefs, make my voice heard and join all my friends in urging us all to get out and vote?

Firstly, the right to vote allows us the right not to vote. And, it is my hope that we can learn to respect this as we  (hopefully) learn to respect the right to believe in God, or not to believe in God. It is my choice. I am not saying this is a steadfast rule, but for the time being, this is my choice.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I dont register to vote to avoid jury duty. I don't want jury duty, I would be the most difficult person on the jury. No one wants to deal with me. Why? I can see too many possibilities, too many individual circumstances, I'm too objective. The rest of the jury would democratically (and unanimously) vote to cast me out. But this is not the only reason.

I simply don't like my choices.

I don't want to have to choose "the lesser evil".

I am disgusted by the political ads (all of them).

I am ashamed that we elect celebrities and/or turn our politicians into celebrities.

The system will not allow each person to keep all the promises they make. They are just empty promises. Good intentions yes, but empty promises nonetheless.

Human greed and selfish nature far outweighs the sense of the common good. Decisions are not always being made objectively, as they should.

And, we, as the American public, have allowed this to happen. 

Your vote, no matter who you voted for, accomplishes the same thing: it gives you the profound sense that you have a right to complain. You condemn all of us "non-voters" because we "did nothing" and therefore we have " no right to complain". What did you do? You chose sides, voted for someone who kind of sort of stands for what you believe, and will most likely be disappointed when it doesn't work out.

Things aren't ever going to change if we keep doing the same thing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fear vs. Love

Today I interviewed a potential intern. As we already know from my previous rants relating stories of the lack of common sense my interns possess, he will most likely end up being primarily worthless. At this point please do not concern yourself with the perplexing nagging question of why I hire them in the first place, this is just one of those cases where I am doing the best I can with what I have to work with. All that said.... this interview brought up an intriguing thought.

During the interview I always ask, " What was the last book you read?" I ask this because it gives me a sense of personality, which is important in our small team-oriented office, and it helps weed out the kiss-ass over-studying ridiculous-ness that is the modern college undergrad. Word of advice: if you answer with some obscure business related, or econ related or modeling related textbook or study, I will be disappointed, and I don't hire those who disappoint me in the interview.

Side Note: I also will NOT HIRE you if :
1. You show up to my company for an interview, insisting that you have scheduled said interview with Constance, or Emily or Brittney in HR. I am the only person in HR here. If you didn't speak with me, you are in the wrong place.

2. You show up for the interview wearing a "long" sweater and leggings. If I can see your pink underwear through your black tights, this is not appropriate work attire, let alone interview worthy wear. I don't care if it's trendy, it's tacky. 

3. You cannot speak English. I speak English, my colleagues  speak English, my boss and the owner of the company speaks English, our clients, while located in various countries do business with us in English.  If you speak another language, more power to you, but I need to be able to communicate with you on a daily basis.

4. You give me attitude. While it is true that I perform Assistant duties for Tom, I am not ONLY an assistant. I am interviewing you, I will hire you, I will be your supervisor (among the many other things I do on a daily basis) DO NOT come into an interview with me and ask to speak with "someone who does the hiring". I will likely ask you to leave. 

5. You answer or text on your cell phone during the interview. Really? Come on. 
Now, back to the point I was failing to make. Today's intern applicant answered my book question not only positively, but it made me think. His answer was " The Prince" by Machiavelli. A classic I have read several times and own. The interviewee expressed the following about this reading material:

(Paraphrased) "It was short and I chose it because it was during a flight, so I thought I could finish it and its a classic. But also, it was really thought provoking.  In the book Machiavelli basically states that in the role of a leader it is better to be feared than loved. People listen to you more and are more willing to do things for a leader they fear, rather than one they love. I could relate this to my experiences and think this is something I should consider as I want to start my own business someday. Machiavelli makes a really good point about what it takes to be a leader."
Thus we are brought to the title of this post, Fear vs. Love. The thing I have noticed is, he is not alone in believing this. Several business professionals have adopted this principle.  While they may be good people, on an individual level, they instill a deep rooted fear in their employees and clients. And, it works. Or does it?

Personally, I lean more towards being loved. I have managed people of varying degrees of education, social status in large or small groups. And, I have done everything in my power to remain friendly and approachable throughout my leadership role. To my knowledge, I have never been feared. Of course its possible I have not been loved either, but for the sake of argument. The thing is, I have stayed in touch with a majority of the people I have managed. And, better yet, they are reaching out to me. If I were feared, I doubt that would be the case... in fact I am fairly certain that I would do everything in my power to not have contact with a leader I "feared" after I left my position... and I would definitely leave my position after a while... you can only work so long under a reign of fear.  My position: it is better to be loved than feared.

With any luck, my *new* intern will learn this valuable lesson.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkins & Passports


Here we are quickly approaching Halloween, and we have yet to purchase any pumpkins. We've discussed carving ideas, and the fact that we ABSOLUTELY need actual carving tools, as evidenced by last years debacle during which my Hello Kitty turned out more like a faceless blob, Oogy Boogy was held together with toothpicks and of course Dave's Jack (like the one above... not an actual picture of his, but who can tell?) was perfect. This year we are thinking one large pumpkin for both of us. After all, let's be honest, it's just going to shrivel up and sit on our porch for weeks rotting until it snows and freezes and we forget about it until the Spring when we have to dispose of have rotten/frozen jack-o-lantern carcasses.  (again, as last year). My assumption is that we will get this pumpkin, and tools this week, so that we can carve this weekend, just in time for the holiday.

It is time for a passport renewal. It has been a while since I have traveled outside of the US, and my passport is a little out of date. I am notorious for bad pictures, to the point where professional photographers have commented that it's difficult to get a good shot, candid group shots from Christmas end up with me appearing slightly mentally handicapped, and ID pictures -- bad for everyone-- horrific for me.  Cases in point:
1. ID: bright red face, with scarf (it was winter) wrapped tightly around my (non-existent) neck.
2. Work ID: sunglasses on top of head, double chin action causing me to get stopped by security on a somewhat regular basis
3. Old Passport: apparently I was once a 12 year old computer game playing nerdy boy with a mullet. Awesome.

Hopefully the new picture is better. Though, I'm not getting my hopes up.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Blog: Andrea's Photos

So, I decided to create a new photo blog, to store all our collections of photos. Enjoy: Fauxtography

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Winter Vacation

We are planning a Winter Vacation for mid -December. Where should we go?  

We are thinking someplace warm/beachy. Tell us what you think! Answer the poll to the right, or just comment with your best suggestions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tis the Season

The temperature has dipped slightly, the leaves have begun changing, Halloween costumes grace all the stores.  You know what this means....

Hockey Season has started.

Before you judge, we fully admit that we are bandwagon Blackhawks fans. But, the timing just worked out so well. Considering the fact that while Columbus does indeed have a hockey team (Bluejackets.. we will beat you on Friday!) they were only introduced as an expansion team in 2000. Before that, hockey and Ohio... not so much.  So, we had ignored hockey through our early years and early adulthood, with only occasional observations of the sport. Then we moved to Chicago.

We arrived in our new home and decided we needed to get to know the area, the teams and the variety of sports. We tried liking the Cubs. eh. We tried the Sox. better, but eh. We don't care for basketball much, and we haven't made it to a Bears game yet. But, last year, we were given free tickets to the first Blackhawks playoff game. 2 things happened.

1. Dave and I loved it, instantly, entirely and equally
2. Andrea fell in love with Patrick Sharp

Since, we have witnessed our new found love win The Stanley Cup. It was so exciting, we still get chills thinking about it. Andrea stood in horribly muggy hot weather last summer with millions of people to watch the parade and see the cup (and Sharpie, of course).

And now, the season has begun again. 82 games this season, and we intend on following every one. Hopefully, to another positive result. Though, we realize it is unlikely we will win the Cup again this year... but there's no reason not to cheer and hope!

But we have a few concerns.

We lost some of our Stanley Cup winning team due to the salary cap. The hardest for us is Antti Niemi. Our fantastic goalie, now a San Jose Shark. We have Marty Turco as a replacement, but so far, 2 games into the season we aren't all that impressed. Perhaps we are being a little hard on him, still mourning the loss of Niemi, and hopefully he proves us wrong. So far, we've lost our first two, but with 80 still to go, we aren't worried (yet). Hopefully we beat Buffalo tonight.

Let's Go Hawks!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers has been on my mind a lot lately, as I have found his books to be very interesting and they have been coming up a lot in conversation at work. I highly recommend each of the three, and have yet to read the latest, but will let you know the verdict soon.

Gladwell also writes for The New Yorker. His latest has caused a lot of stir. See for yourself, but personally, I think he makes some fair points.

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

DJ's Are Cooler Than Me

DJ's: Work in a hip, modern office with ipads

Me: Work in an office that is roughly the same temperature as the Arctic, where I have to run my heater all day, even when it's warm outside.

DJ's: Know who sings every song

Me: Every time I hear a Sublime song, asks Dave, "Who sings this?"

DJ's: Have time to go to rad (that's right, I used rad) concerts and shows

Me: Lucky if I make it to the dog park once a month

DJ's: Have cool tattoos

Me: Can't decide what tattoo I would still enjoy when I'm 85

DJ's: Get invited to bunches of parties

Me: Still have no friends after living here for 3 years

DJ's: Have to work on Saturday

Me: Probably also have to work on Saturday

Meanwhile, we met our (soon to be) Wedding DJ last night. We are still working out the details, but check out their cool little shop for a preview. Toast & Jam

They even have cooler company names than me. *sigh

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh Summer, I miss you.

Summer Sped Up (A Chicago Timelapse) from Josh Kalven on Vimeo.

Number One

This morning, it was bright and sunny, a perfect Fall day. As I walked the dog around the neighborhood I took a deep breath and marveled at the delightful morning. This was pleasantly enhanced by an unknown neighbor who was filling the crisp air with the sweet sounds of Frank Sinatra. I love when I have these small magical moments. Dave and I shared stories of how music sometimes enhances moments, makes them more magical and imprints them in your memory. (Perhaps we are on a music kick, as we will be meeting the DJ for our wedding next week. ) Whatever the reason, music is an important part of our lives. But... we can't help but notice that some of the "new" popular music is lacking something....

Sometimes, we listen to radio stations in the greater Chicago area, if for no other reason, than to mix up the monotony of Radiohead, Andrew Bird, The Beatles, Beck and Rufus Wainwright that we have been listening to a lot lately. Also, we like to learn what the popular songs are. Perhaps we are old, but as I said before, something about music now is depressing, annoying and sad.

First we listened to a Pop Station. We made it about 3 songs before we had to move on. Every song was auto-tuned to annoying proportions. Currently, there is only one auto-tune song we are excited about:

Next up: the hip hop station, where we learned the Number One song.

Deuces (Clean Version) by Chris Brown

REALLY?! My "favorite"lyric is the "you ain't nothin' but a vulture, ah ah ah". Pure genius. I shed a tear for the future of our country if THIS is the number one song. Frank Sinatra is turning over in his grave as we speak. We listened to the Eminem song that followed and were impressed with his vocabulary in comparison. (He used the word, "sincerity").

Finally, we moved to the 80s and more station where we realized Bon Jovi should have just stopped after the 80s. Don't get me wrong, "Slippery When Wet" is one of my all time favorite rock out albums of my youth and " You Give Love a Bad Name" still makes me sing. But, "It's My Life" should have been made at the same time, thus making it iconic and memorable rather than just kind of sad. But "It's My Life" did remind us that in the late 90s-2002 there are an incredible amount of songs including a similar pattern. See if you can pick it up.. these are the ones we remembered.

One of my old favorite videos... I'm a sucker for group dance scenes, Michael Jackson throwbacks and zombies.

Backstreet Boys: Everybody

And then, this gem. Who can forget?

But even these songs, my generations embarrassing guilty pleasure... are, I venture to say, significantly better than today's number one.

What is happening to our pop culture? We went from The Beatles, to Lil Wayne. What caused this? Here's an interesting idea:

The Hubert Peak Theory

Looks like Dave and I will stick with our "old" favorites.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Common Sense University

We hire interns in my office to assist us with research, marketing and presentations, as well as usual intern stuff like coffee runs and filing. We post at prestigious schools in the greater Chicago area, and have a g.p.a. stipulation of 3.75 or above. We have a small, laid back office which provides these interns with the ability to be flexible, work with top executives and really get to learn something. Plus, we pay them. In return, all I ask is for 2 things: 1. respect 2. do the work we are asking you to do. Seems simple, right?

But I have noticed an interesting trend. Students who don't quite make the g.p.a. cut off, and/or are from the "less" prestigious schools make better interns. They listen to me, they respect the positions of all the members of our team, they ask intelligent questions, and they complete the work to the best of their ability. The super students from top-tier schools with amazing test scores and off the chart g.p.a's have continually let me down.

Oscar Wilde said, " Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."

I can't help but be reminded of this, of how important common sense is in real life every time I am faced with intern blunders I can't understand. Below are some common examples, keep in mind that these are not examples of ONE intern, but many, and have occurred multiple times, all from excellent students from a top school.

1.Paper/Folder Sizes: I cannot count how many times I have had to explain and even demonstrate with examples the difference between letter size paper/folders and legal size paper/folders. Countless times I have a letter size hanging folder in my left hand, and a legal size in my right, and have to lay them on top of each other to demonstrate the difference.

2. Alphabetical Order: At what point did we stop learning the order of the alphabet? "W" comes after "P" and "Pr" before "Pu". I don't even have words to describe how annoying this is.

3. 3 Hole Punch Operation: There is a fancy machine made to punch holes in a piece of paper, you literally slide the piece of paper into the side, then push down, and Presto! 3 holes! Ok, let's go over it again, you slide the piece of paper in... in the front... until it stops.... ok, you press down... no, keep the paper there while you press down.... *sigh

4. Binder Construction: We have given you a stack of paper, every 15 or so pages there is a blank sheet on which we have written the title of the section. We have handed you tabs, a 3 ring binder and the 3 hole punch (that hopefully you remember how to use now). Your instructions: put this in the binder, the names on the blank pages are the names of the tabs. It is already in order. Yet, 20 mins (yes 20!!) later, you bring me the binder, and extra pages.

5. Answering the Phone: We are a business, this is not your cell phone, "hello?" doesn't cut it.

6. Proof Reading: Occasionally we ask for help proof reading final documents. First of all, it's a giveaway that you didn't read it closely if it only took you 10 mins to finish a dense 100+ page document. Secondly, in your scouring, you missed: " The company has one several awards" you will not be asked to proof again. As a side note of proofing: for the love of everything holy, do not turn in a presentation to me that you clearly have never read. I hate re-doing your work.

7. Punctuality vs. Punctuation: Me: "I'd like you to work on your punctuality" Intern: "Yeah, I need to work on my comma placement"

8. Calls to Clients:Occasionally we ask interns to assist in database updates, sometimes this means calling to get updated contact information. If your list a. hasn't been approved and b. contains the names of our CURRENT clients... please do not call them.

9. Ask Questions Related to the Work: I get it, you are here to learn. But, I need you here to do your work, so stop asking me tons of questions about something you recently learned in class, UNLESS IT RELATES to the project you are supposed to be working on.

10. Galloping: I don't get the running/galloping up and down the hall, is it to save time, be more efficient? Are your gchat friends and solitaire cards not going to be at your desk when you return from down the hall?

11. Time Sheets: I hate to break it to you, but you are not getting away with anything, I know full well that you sat in the conference room playing solitaire and chatting with your friends all day, listing 8 hours for the day on updating a presentation is ludicrous, especially since I had to re-do the whole thing. Also, you didn't work on Labor Day, or Christmas or New Years Eve.

When I bring things to your attention, all I ask is that you listen, contemplate and respect my position, but instead, more often than not I get a snide remark such as, " I'm a (Prestigious School) student!" as if this is proof that you are far more intelligent and superior to me. Well, I don't care where you go to school or what your g.p.a. is if you can't figure out a 3 hole punch!

*sigh. I worry about the future of humanity.


Can we get some love?

We have been blogging about our usual and sometimes unusual boring daily lives for quite some time and yet only 4 of you follow us? Come on! Show us some love. We recently started branching out and following others we love, you can do it too...

Come on, where are you?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Books Update

With a tremendous amount of help from our friends and family we have whittled the book list down to the following. Thank you everyone who has contributed to this so far. I am confident we can meet the goal by the end of 2010. :)

1. Gone with the Wind by Mitchell
2. The Maltese Falcon by Hammett
3. The Day of the Locust by West
4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Doyle
5. The Invisible Man by Wells
6. The War of the Worlds by Wells
7. Leaves of Grass by Whitman
8. The Shining by King
9. Paradise Lost by Milton
10. Remembrance of Things Past by Proust
11. Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss
12. The Time Machine by Wells
13. The Origin of Species by Darwin
14. In Cold Blood by Capote
15. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
16. The Waste Land by Eliot
17. Dr. Zhivago by Pasternak
18. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Thompson
19. Pygmalion by Shaw
20. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Williams
21. The Importance of Being Earnest by Wilde
22. A Streetcar Named Desire by Williams
23. Tartuffe by Moliere
24. The House of the Seven Gables by Hawthorne
25. Eating the Dinosaur by Klosterman
26. Into the Wild by Krakauer
27. The Bourne Identity by Ludlum
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