March 27, 2014

A Diary By Any Other Name




So yesterday was the long anticipated day: the “magic” pile of found money in my amazon.com account as part of the ebook settlement. Unfortunately the euphoria of finding the email awarding me money for books was somewhat undermined by the small sum: $27.39. Somehow I'd anticipated over $100, and many of my fellow Kindlers did find amounts of $100, $180, even (supposedly!) $587. (That dude spends way too much on books or is a good liar.)

I think part of it is that I didn't buy too many bestsellers between '10 and '12, and that's where you get up to 30% of the book's value. For other books it's much less. And I buy books from religious publishers like Ignatius Press, which obviously weren't involved in the lawsuit.

Still $27 is $27 and I went on a spending “spree” and I picked up George Will's new book on baseball and Wrigley Field.  I also got the biography of Bozelle, the flamboyant conservative crusader. Was tempted by a James Joyce biography but ended up requested that one from the library, as well as a big new book on Pete Rose (how much more can be said??)

So that was fun while it lasted.

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You can't live on bread alone, but some have lived on prayer alone or so the hagiographers say. I've been trying to live off the spiritual high of Monday night's spiritual reading but it's Thursday so it must be Denmark. You can gin that stuff up; you have to let go and let God.

I'm still edified by a single word in John's gospel the other day: “wearied”. As in Christ was wearied by a journey (on foot). Somehow I tend to have this picture of Jesus as being without stress/strain until Holy Thursday and Good Friday. As if he might've simply snap his fingers and bi-locate if he wanted to be, in this case at the scene of the Samaritan woman at the well. But of course that's not what his miracles were about. They weren't for himself but for others.

That Jesus was tired is even more telling in John's gospel since John so likes to emphasize His divinity rather than his humanity (going so far as to ex-nay the part about Simon of Cyrene helping carry the cross). “I don't need no stinkin' help!” is the gibe I get from John's gospel: which is one of the reasons I like John's gospel. I always tend to error on the side of my patron saint, St. Thomas the Apostle, in assuming that natural processes rule the roost.

The high point of the day was around 1pm: Mass at lunch with its pleasing metanoia - followed by lasagna capped by “found” cookies, chocolate chip, scarfed via a co-worker the other day and residing in all their latent power, in my desk. A “look what I found” rebound if there ever was one.

At 2 there was one of those content-free leader chats that tend to amuse me for their content-free nature. I participated, answering the question “What is something that makes your work environment less satisfying?”, saying it was this uber-focus on engagement scores. One of the leaders had the perfect response, perfect for the Orwellian reply: “Yes, we've heard from employees tired of the word 'engagement' which is why we're avoiding it and emphasizing what we can do to make the work environment better.”  In other words, let's get at engagement by calling it something else. Somewhere there's a Dilbert cartoon….

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On diaries: I kept one for 4 months back 40 years ago when I was 10 years old. Over that period of time we see:

    * Number of babysitting nights: 10 -- (3 Linda, one Mark C. and the rest me)
    * Average payment I received for babysitting:  12.5 cents
    * Average payment I received for snow shoveling: 50 cents
    * Number of pizza nights: 14
    * Number of fights between my sis and me: 2
    * Number of times Dad went through red light that "wasn't red": 1
    * Times bro got paddled/ broke something/ was on TV and got sick: once each
    * Times Mom's friends/family came over: 5
    * Times Dad's family/friends came over (excluding his father): 1

Entry 40 years ago today:


After school I went straight to Joe 's on his bus. We practiced are play called, "Another dull day at school". Then Joe, Rusty, Tom M., and I played football against Maureeen's brother and Tami's brother. Mom went to buy Jeannie a Easter-suit. 

Jump that shark baby!

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