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Trading Places: Shuffled Careers – part 1

March 22, 2014 21 comments

Writing with a Fountain Pen

 

Inspiration to write oftentimes comes from the strangest places.  A few nights ago at a business dinner, probably after a few too many wines and other spirits were absorbed by all, the topic of discussion turned to how wordy and unwieldy business contracts written by corporate attorneys tended to be.  Someone commented that poets should perhaps be employed to shorten up and concentrate the language, which of course led to the amusing thought of corporate attorneys attempting to write poetry in return.  Thus was born the idea of this post, shuffling careers and their professionals.  As fair warning, I am neither attorney nor poet, so my apologies to both in my attempt to poke a little fun…

Here we find our recently unemployed corporate attorney writing a nice love sonnet:

How Do I Love Thee  (with many apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Whereas, the party of the first part (hereinafter referred to as “I”) intends to make the following declarations of unmitigated love, and,

Whereas, the party of the second part (hereinafter referred to as “thee”) accepts such declarations, subject to the following terms and conditions expressly put forth, and

Whereas, both parties agree such declarations and acceptances thereto are mutually beneficial for the purposes of a romantic relationship,

Now Therefore, both parties, thee and I, agree to the following expressions of love.

Article I.  Declaration and Enumeration of Love

1.0  How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1.1 I love thee to the (i) depth, and (ii) breadth, and (iii) height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace.

1.2 I love thee to the level of every day’s most quiet need, by (i) sun, and (ii) candle-light, and (iii) any such form of light that may hereinafter replace 1.2 (i) and 1.2 (ii) due to technological advances.

1.3 I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

1.3.a No compensation, expressed or implied, shall be made from this declaration.

1.4 I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

1.5 I love thee with the passion put to use in (i) my old griefs, and (ii) with my childhood’s faith.

1.6 I love thee with a love I seemed to lose with my lost saints.

1.7 I love thee with the (i) breath, (ii) smiles, (iii) tears of all my life; and,

1.8 If God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

1.8.a  It is duly noted that being loved even better after death shall only apply in the case of a natural death, not one resulting from a deliberate act of of either party to cause such death upon the other.

Article II.  Term, Enforcement, and Survivability

2.1 The terms of this declaration and agreement, as in all matters involving romantic love, is deemed to begin effective as of the date of duly notarized signatures appearing hereinafter and shall continue in perpetuity.

2.2 The terms and declarations herein are for the mutual benefit of the specific parties.  This declaration cannot be assigned to any other party or lover without the express written consent of both parties.

2.3 No terms of this declaration can be altered unless in writing by formal amendment as agreed upon by both parties.

2.4 In the event of any dispute, the parties agree to a trial in the court of public opinion.  Both parties agree to waive their right of privacy in such circumstance of a public declaration, and may be subject to the penalties of ridicule, smarmy attitudes, and possible FaceBook unfriending actions.

In Witness Whereof, the undersigned have caused this instrument to be executed and to be binding upon each as of the date herein.

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There now – isn’t that romantic?  I can almost hear the collective sighs, or is it groans I hear?  As time permits, I’ll check in on our newly hired poet taking a stab a writing a lease in this series of shuffled careers.

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Dialing the Clock Back for Autumn

November 3, 2013 34 comments
Um... isn't the Roman Numeral 4 supposed to be IV not IIII?

Um… isn’t the Roman Numeral 4 supposed to be IV???

 

If you were given the opportunity to relive a segment of your life, what would you do with this wonderful opportunity?  Alas, we get this opportunity each and every fall.  So… how did I spend such an opportunity?  I slept.  Dammit!!!

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The Sky is Falling Down! The Sky is Falling…Oh, Wait. That’s Not The Sky.

November 27, 2012 27 comments

Just give me fresh water every couple of days and we can save a few bucks on buying a tree this year. But you will have to finally get me one of those Pee-in-a-Jar/Poo-in-a-Can gizmos that’s been on my wish list for years now.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed some pretty hinky-dinky stressed out  people lately.  And by “lately” I mean for the last decade or so.

We Baby Boomers kind of freaked out at the year 2000 when we were younger. And by “we” I mean me. I remember thinking that I was going to be 42 at the turn of the millennium and that I would be decrepit so mature I’d need dentures.

I think this is my new motto.

Then there was all the fuss about the Y2K meltdown because computer programmers didn’t leave four digits for the year on most of their programs. With all the computers confused about graduating out of their teens and into their 20’s, experts predicted that the banks would fail, the real estate bubble would burst, unemployment would skyrocket, and Justin Bieber would be famous for singing and looking like a girl. Blame it all on those frugal programmers who wanted to save two digits and ruin the future.

Justin? Justine? Whoever you are, you’re awfully pretty!

Add to that all this talk about the Mayans and the end of their calendar that just went on forever. But apparently it only went on forever backward, not forward. They had excellent hindsight. Um. I have that, even without my super-powers.

Should we really be putting all our future eggs in a basket woven by people from an extinct civilization?

Speaking of eggs. That reminds me of chickens and chickens remind me of Chicken Little–that paranoid excuse for poultry–which reminds be why I started writing this post in the first place. There’s something in the air that’s, well, unsettling. I’ve noticed it. Have you?

If you haven’t noticed it, maybe it’s because you’re part of it and it feels normal. Well, trust me, if you have any one of the following symptoms, then you’re on the trippy-dippy side of Unbelievabubble Street (translation for the un-hip–you’re not normal):

  • It’s Cyber-Everyday! I’ll buy this crap just because I’ll get free shipping. Someone will need it, want it or regift it.
  • Finally, Twilight, Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is in the movie theaters. Now I get to see for the 5th time that vampire love, just like vampires, is real and everlasting. Sigh. I wish I was a vampire.
  • Not tonight, Honey, I have to watch the next episode of Breaking-Bad. I wish I was a dying Chemistry teacher. It seems so exciting!
  • Dexter is my hero. There’s never a good sadistic sociopath around when you need him.

Take it from me. I know about normal. I’m constantly dizzy, converse with my dog, take 10 hours to write a post, and believe I have super-powers. I also meditate. If that isn’t normal, what the heck is?

So what’s making people so jumpy? Besides me and this weird post, that is?

Stop looking around and start looking up. There’s some wonky shiznut falling down from the sky. And I’m just here to warn you that maybe you want to wear a hat, a helmet, or a catcher’s mitt.

On September 26 in Butler, PA a 30-pack of beer came raining down on two police officers responding to a domestic dispute call. A woman, apparently not wanting the officers to come upstairs to the 2nd floor apartment, or not wanting any more beer (since it’s so filling and is bad for one’s figure), threw the beer out of the window hitting the two officers on the head. I know some people like a good head on their beer, but not the other way around.

The best of both worlds? The worst of both worlds? You be the judge…

On October 11 in Accomac, VA a one-foot piece of processed chicken fell from the sky and hit a teenager on the head. The teen was out exercising. This baffled local police and the execs at the nearby Tyson processing plant. No one could believe this story.  Processed chickens don’t generally fly, they fry. And what was a teenager doing outside exercising, anyway? It’s all a bit hard to swallow if you ask me.

I must say, she handled the chicken bomb with more grace than I would have…

On October 22 in Novato, CA a 2-inch meteor fragment struck the roof of a minister’s home, right over his study where he writes his sermons. He was elated, believing that God was sending him a message. The parishioners, not as thrilled with the roofing repair bill, also saw this as a message: “If the sermons aren’t more inspiring, we’ll make sure the next hit will be.”

Actually, Minister, we were looking for another meteor, er, um, sign from God.

Who knows what’s next? But you can count on me to keep you informed of any new developments.

In the meantime, take a listen to this oldie but goodie. Hopefully, it is only raindrops that keep falling on your head. I’d check often if I were you…

Fun With Pumpkins

November 1, 2012 26 comments

Halloween is past, all the little trick or treat kiddies are now on a sugar buzz, probably driving their parents and teachers to the brink of madness, and most folks are tossing out all their Jack-O-Lanterns freshly carved up just a few days earlier.  When I was a child, most pumpkins were either carved into the familiar spooky scary face, or maybe was made into a head as part of a scarecrow like person, clothes stuffed with hay.  Lately though we seem to have become a bit more artistic with this annual interpretation of expression.  Witness the following sightings floating around:

 

I got your pumpkins right here pal…

 

Apparently these pumpkins are not bashful about showing off their assets.

 

Wait. (hic) Was that beer before (hic) liquor or… (hic) uh oh…

 

Yeah, the idea is to get into the spirit of Halloween, not let the spirits of Halloween get into you.

 

Push dammit! Push!!!

 

I’m speechless with this one.  Never ceases to amaze me what folks can do with a simple knife, a few pumpkins and maybe a vegetable or two, and a wild imagination.

 

Come on now – you know you smiled.  I just know you did.

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Bewitched

October 30, 2012 41 comments
What ? It’s her again?

The last time I posted, I asked Phil’s readers to ponder why Phil would let me be a contributing writer on his bomb diggity blog.

The vast majority (over 80% of those who voted) decided it was that “Lorna cast a spell over Phil and he was drunk on wine and Jazz, thus unable to resist her blue-eyed magic.” I’m not sure if this speaks to my supernatural powers or Phil’s all-too-human weaknesses, but I’m going with my supernatural powers because it’s close to Halloween, I’m writing this post and it just looks better for me.

Not fair! I just finished a bottle glass of wine and was listening to some smooth jazz, then you appeared. Now you won’t go away. Why doesn’t this bother me more?

Some of you know me well. Some of you kind of know me. Others of you are wondering if WordPress is wonking out on you again because you know Phil doesn’t refer to himself in the third person on his site.

Well, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to let all of you in on a BIG secret that will make me unforgettable. You’ll stop wondering, “Who is this Lorna person and what has she done with our adorable Phil?” Well, you still may be wondering about the last part.

I can’t be responsible for what Phil does on all those supposed “business” trips.

I was born under the astrological sign of Scorpio, which makes me mysterious and breathtakingly alluring. I don’t quite get the connection between “exotic deliciousness” and “creepy lobster bug.” But just because I can’t explain something , it doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I can’t explain quantum physics either.

Sexy, huh? It’s because of quantum physics. Little critters don’t follow the same rules of matter and energy as bigger critters. It has to do with math so just forget about it. But that’s why mice and cockroaches are so frustrating.

Combine my Scorpio-lishness and my ability to connect with the world beyond what most mere mortals can see (think Ouija  Boards not the fluff beyond the range of the Hubble Telescope), and I’m a perfect candidate for dancing communicating with the stars spirits and casting spells on our sweet, unsuspecting Phil.

You don’t believe me, right? I thought not. Skeptics! You probably don’t believe that Jeannie lived in that bottle, either.

What’s not to believe?

The only proof I can offer are my first person encounters. I know I joke around a lot, but these stories are true. Maybe I should call them accounts. Accounts have numbers and you can hack into them. That makes them very real.

  • Account 1: I helped my sister locate her lost cat. Pippin was in a wooded area about 100 miles from her home and lost for 3 days. I guided my sister (via cell phone) to the precise spot where Pippin was hiding under a shrub. I was 150 miles away at my home, giving her the instructions.
  • Account 2: My friend had a lump in her breast. Prior to the procedure to remove it, I envisioned the lump as if it was a tablet of Alka Seltzer dissolving in her body. I did this twice a day for two weeks. When she went for the pre-op ultra sound, they couldn’t find the lump, cancelled the procedure and has been fine since (4+ years).
  • Account 3: I had another friend with stage 4 lung cancer. This time I thought of her healthy cells nibbling away the cancerous ones until they were just crumbs easily swept away by her immune system. She lived for nearly 20 years.
  • Account 4: An owner of a Golden Retriever with severe hip dysplasia told me she was thinking of having 7 year-old “Hoops” put down. He was hardly able to walk. I asked her not to change anything about his food or medications, but to wait for 2 weeks. I visualized him as a healthy, vibrant dog twice a day.  She called me after 2 weeks to report that “Hoops” made a miraculous recovery. He was running and playing like when he was young. “Hoops” went on to live a healthy life for six more years.
  • Account 5: An elderly friend of the family was dying. Slowly. Everyone wondered when the final time would come. I made a prediction that seemed outlandish because it was in weeks rather than days as the doctor predicted. Only my then-husband I knew which day I foresaw. He died on the day I predicted.

I have more accounts but that should put a dent in your skepticism. Whatever I have doesn’t always work. My ex-husband was immune to my charms and I can never pick the right lottery numbers. But still, I’ve got something going for me.

Grace Kelly was a Scorpio, like me. You can tell by the eyes.

Is it any wonder that Phil would fall under my spell, wine and jazz notwithstanding? No matter how hard I try to keep my powers under wraps, they just ooze. I’m sorry.

In honor of Phil and his music-themed blog and Halloween, please enjoy this song. Not that I need any love potions to cast spells. Just being a Scorpio seems adequate.

Happy Halloween!

Parents, This Could Be Your Son or Daughter

October 8, 2012 19 comments

Hmm. I thought I was going to enjoy a quick read and hear a little music to lighten my day. Bummer.

No, WordPress hasn’t gone all Kamikaze on you again. You’re at Phil’s door, but Lorna is the one who is greeting you.

Phil invited me to be a guest writer on his blog. Only Phil knows why. For now, I can proffer a few likely reasons. You can vote on which one you think is most likely and then we can move on to what really matters most: what I have to say.

Okay, now that that’s been settled. Let’s get on to this post.

The fall semester of college is well underway. You probably know someone who is either in college or has been to college. Maybe it’s you. Or or son or daughter.

I’m sure it’s a science experiment.

As a retired college professor who was professing for 20 years, I have some great news, good news, and not so good news. Especially if the person you were just thinking about is someone who calls you “Mom” or “Dad” and who you are still supporting.

The Great News: In my career, I met a few top-notch students who I knew would be successful after they graduated…if they could find jobs.

The Good News: Most of my students were functionally literate and, with the possible exception of Fridays and pre/post holiday classes, showed up for class. They weren’t always prepared, but pretended to be. That shows the kind initiative employers like, if they ever decided on a career or found a job that wasn’t beneath them. These students changed majors as frequently as they upgraded their cell phones (for which their parents paid), stayed on their parent’s auto insurance plans, and made no mention of finding “places of their own.”

The Not So Good News: I met a few wing-dingers in my career–students who stand out because I wonder how they got into college. All these interactions are true and I’m sharing them with you so that you know why some college professors are cranky.

Yes! Yes! Yes! That will be on the test. Stop asking that question.

I was teaching an upper level class that required only written assignments only. One student, who sporadically attended and barely took notes when in class, always had A-level papers. Then he turned in an F-level paper. I called him into my office to explain the discrepancy. Here’s what went down:

Me: “Can you explain the disparity in the grade between this paper and your others?”
Student: “Sure. Um. My girlfriend and I had a fight. But we’re cool now.”
Me: “What does your girlfriend have to do with your papers?”
Student: “Well, um, she helps me with them.”
Me: “She helps you? How?”
Student, shifting uncomfortably: “She kind of writes them. But I tell her what they’re supposed to be about.”
I referred him to the Dean of Students and failed him.

Prior to a semester starting, a student came to my office wanting to get credit for Sociology of the Family without taking the class. His reason: he was raised in a family and had one of his own. I said, “That’s like wanting credit for taking Anatomy and Physiology because you have a body.” He smiled and said, “Good idea.” I denied his request and hoped he didn’t go over to the Science Department.

Student athletes have to keep their grades up to stay on their teams. One athlete was worried about his poor performance in my class. He came to my office dressed as scantily as any young, buff male had ever come into my office. Muscles and other things were bulging all over the place. He sat with his legs wide open in front of me, stared directly into my eyes and said in a deep, steamy voice, “I’ll do anything you want if you’ll give me a C for a mid-term grade.” He blinked slowly. Or maybe that was me. Anyway. I was glad there was a desk, a Code of Professional Ethics and about 25 years between us. I replied, “Really? How about studying for the mid-term and making sure your written assignment is turned in on time?”  He sat up straighter and said in a definitively less sexy and higher voice, “Well, I didn’t mean that.”  He dropped the class.

Yeah, he made himself real comfortable.

Many college students have to work full or part-time jobs while in school. Sometimes those jobs interfere with their academic performance. One student, who sat front and center, would always fall asleep, often snoring. One time, the hand propping up his head slipped and he banged his head on the desk. He woke up, then fell back to sleep. I finally asked him why he came to class. He said, “You take points off for skipping class.” I wanted to put a “no sleeping” clause in my syllabus, but I didn’t.

Another student carried a beeper. The first time it went off, the class collectively jumped. She dashed out of the room. The next class I pulled her aside and asked her to turn her beeper off when she was in class because both the beeper and the running out was disruptive to the 50 minute class. She said, “But I’m a single mom and my kid is always getting arrested.” Being a single mom is a full-time job, so I told her, “Okay, put the beeper on vibrate and sit next to the door.” We made it work.

Who knew this was illegal in most states north of the Mason-Dixon Line? That poor mother…

I’ll be popping in every few weeks to stir things up here until Phil has had enough of my shenanigans. See you next time! And if you can’t wait for next time, you can always pop over to my blog, Lorna’s Voice, where you never know what you’ll find, but I’ll try to make you smile!

September 28, 2012 10 comments

Apropos of our Music Passion game whose theme this month of September is “The Blues”, I managed to stumble upon a brilliant Freshly Pressed piece that is hilariously informative for all who have ever wanted to compose and sing the Blues. Pop on over to Tinman’s blog and see his irreverent tongue-in-cheek style that had me howling with laughter earlier today. Thanks Tinman for making me laugh! And thanks for the permission to reblog. I hope the added traffic from the tens of … er… tens of followers I have doesn’t crash your stats. OK folks, go on over and show the Tinman some love…

Worth Doing Badly

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “blue”, so here is Tinman’s guide to one of the most famous of all music genres….

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The first requirement of being a blues singer is that you woke up this morning. Of course, most of us did, but we don’t feel the need to complain about it. Your next problem could be anything – your woman could have left you (the Lovesick Blues) you could have a hangover from last night’s pub-crawl (the 12-Bar Blues) or you might be tired after the walk uphill home (the Hill Street Blues). This problem will form the second line of your song.

In case your audience don’t get it, the first and second lines are then sung again, before the verse ends with one line summing up just how bad the situation is. An example would be “Woke up this mornin’/Found ma woman gone/woke up this mornin’/found ma…

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