Yeah. That’s all I got. Sorry…
Freewrite Friday is kind of like Borat. His premise, for a time, was brilliant yet simple. And there was nothing funnier in the world than the folks who would smile and say, with his Kazakh inflection, Very Nice!! And spout out references to “making toilet.” But one day it just stopped being funny and cool. Now it’s just annoying. But many people simply haven’t gotten the message yet, so they’ll still do Borat. And people look at them awkwardly.
Freewrite Friday is like Borat, and I’m like the guy who’s still trying to impress people with a fake Kazakhstan accent because I think it’s a hoot.
Anyway, I write for five minutes without editing for content. I use this here online timer. I stop after 300 seconds. And then I go around saying Wa Wa WEE wa! until someone has the sense to punch me in the stomach, thus silencing me for a while.
Here’s the thing: October 30 was my seven year anniversary at this job. One of my new year’s resolutions was to have a new job at the end of the year — unless, of course, my job were to change for the better. And I really think it had! Starting in January I was training the new folks yet again (I absolutely love corporate training), and I went up to Detroit to become the eyes and ears for the work I would be training people to do back home. And I actually started at it. This was a challenge, but it was different. I wasn’t bored going to work every day.
Now? We have four folks from the Detroit office who are working specific shifts different from mine. With them down here for good — and because they have a better grasp on the material than I do since they’ve been doing it for seven years longer than I have — they’re the trainers. I have no problem with that. Good for them. What I do have a problem with, however, is that I’m still stuck working the same shit I was supposed to train. I was in it to do some teaching — and to continue teaching once more work comes our way — especially work with which I’m more familiar and have more of a solid background.
I learned this week that that’s just not going to happen. We don’t have enough people. Great.
And I’m pissed off that upper level management has kept me out of the loop on all of this stuff. Even though it’s been made quite clear to them by their peers that they need me in the mix. Perhaps it’s because they want to shelter me. Perhaps they don’t want me to see that they really don’t have any of this together. Or maybe they just don’t think I’m worthy enough to be in their little circle.
Two days ago I made it very clear to my direct manager that I want out of this project. The project to which I really looked forward as a shift in what I was doing. The project with which I felt I could live for another year at this company. But it’s not what I bargained for.
And with that? I might have to get that resume ready yet again…
EDIT: I added this YouTube video. NSFW for language…
Tags: freewrite friday
It returns! At least I see The Absurdist is still on board with it. As for everyone else? Don’t know. I’ll continue to putter along with it until people tell me to stop.
Freewrite Friday entails locking oneself in a room with no windows and only red heat lamps. At that point, you’re supposed to disrobe completely except for one sock and then scream. That’s it. Oh, and some people have a custom afterwards of writing for five (and only five) minutes as a stream-of-consciousnes, cathartic way to really find out what’s up in ‘da brain.
I just read an article in BoingBoing about the Popline Medical Database, provided by the Johns Hopkins University Department of Public Health. Apparently, starting a few days ago, a change was made to the search mechanism. There are over 25,000 publically accessible documents on which you can process searches. And people did. And it was good.
Starting a few days ago, they tweaked it a bit. Now if you enter the search term “abortion,” you automatically get zero results.
Why? Apparently it’s a condition of their federal funding.
Now — I don’t care which side of the abortion argument you fall on. I happen to be passionate about my own views, and I know that there are many who agree or disagree just as passionately as I do. But here’s the thing: what is this trying to accomplish? Is this a mechanism to just make people forget about abortion if the search term isn’t there to accompany it?
Abortion is an issue that will likely remain at the forefront of this country’s political debate — as it has been even before Roe vs. Wade went to the Supreme Court 35 years ago. Not talking about it is as worthwhile and potentially as successful as “abstinence only education” — both of which assume that if the kiddies don’t see the carrot dangling from the top of one’s field of vision, it simply won’t exist. But both of these topics do exist, especially amongst young adults who should really be educated about as many options as possible as to how they can live their lives responsibly. Censoring information just because some people don’t like it? How is anyone going to learn a damn thing from that?
EDIT: I’m a bit relieved to discover that Johns Hopkins has done a 180 on this. Dr. Michael Klag, Dean of Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, released a statement today saying that he was unaware of this, and that he has directed the POPLINE administrators to restore “abortion” as a search term. He also mentioned that he will launch an inquiry as to why this change occurred. I just tried searching on the term “abortion” and over 13,000 matches came up. I guess nobody would have noticed had it not been for those meddling kids…
… and that’s what scares me about policy changes like this — when they happen deliberately quietly it becomes dangerous territory, It turns into an environment which fosters institutional censorship without anyone knowing that certain information has been challenged. This is just one battle that has been fought. Hopefully the number will decrease…
Oh — and Epiphany is still tracking with the Freewrites. Yay ePip!
What’s up with the whole Freewrite Friday thing just disappearing into thin air? I checked the blogs of the five folks whom I know did it last week — and of them, only one of them acknowledged that she’s preempting it. It’s as if someone officially deemed “Freewrite Friday” as no longer cool — and people just dropped it. Kind of like what happened when they added that little kid to “Married With Children.” Suddenly nobody wanted to associate with the show any longer.
The hell with conformity! I’m going to continue the tradition! At least this week, I suppose…
Freewrite Friday is an unrehearsed, five-minute blogging version of freestyle rap. Except instead of Kurtis Blow, there’s Shiny. I set a timer for five minutes and then just type until it’s done. None of this is rehearsed. I edit for grammar and spelling, but not for content. Let me know if you’re doing this as well and I’ll link to you. So far I think there’s … well, nobody else. 🙂
They started running these adds for “ClearCard” or whatever the hell it’s called. You know what I’m talking about — the “fast lane” at airport security that people can pre-register for and zoom through the TSA’s checkpoint. The premise is that since they do the background check on you beforehand, you can speed through security with no further secondary screening. And all it costs is $128 per year.
Which is fine. You want to pay that money for the privelege of maybe moving faster through the lines at the airport? Be my guest. The last time I flew was in January — between DCA and DTW. Security at each place had a line which had me in and through in under ten minutes. That included taking off a coat and shoes, removing my laptop from its bag, and even going through the cool puffer machine. Splendid. Shave off the few minutes if you have to; it’s fine with me.
What gets me upset is that this service is not an addition to the regular security lines. Nope. It’s replacing resources that the normal people go through. Which means that the “free” lines will be longer — since less personnel will be working them. It reminds me of the “Lexus Lanes” which are beginning to get built on the DC Beltway and which are popping up all over the country. These toll lanes cost more money to use but allegedly get you from point A to point B faster. Again, not a problem. Unless it’s taking away some of the free lanes simply so someone can make a profit off of those who can afford paying the premium.
Tomorrow maybe I’ll post some video. The Smithsonian Kite Festival will be happening on the National Mall, and hopefully our family will be happening at the festival. I just need to remember to buy more string in the morning…
It’s been a week already?
Today was incredibly busy at work — so I didn’t have any time to duck out and do my writing. I wish I had — things were incredibly tense and this would have been a relaxing moment of the day. But hey — it’s still Friday in some parts of the universe…
Says The Absurdist: We write for five minutes as free association, or stream of consciousness. She suggests a countdown timer which she uses — I personally found one here that worked out quite well on this machine with no speakers. There’s also a list of folks who are participating both at The Absurdist and MetalMom’s sites. And, since I’m now part of it, here as well! Visit Finn, Randi, Absurdist, MetalMom and Robin. And join the meme party yourselves!
Damn, my hair is long!
I actually haven’t had it cut since September — probably the longest I’ve ever gone without a haircut. I’ve had it long before, but at least I was getting it styled every so often, and I may have to succumb to that. You see, at first I decided that I wanted to try a new look with it long, but then it became more of a goal: the high school youth group with which we volunteer has a big program at their Fall Convention every year in November where some participants donate their hair to “Locks of Love,” a foundation which uses donated hair to make wigs for children with cancer.
And that’s my goal now. To keep it as long as I can until November. And donate it.
Why now? This is probably the last opportunity I have to do something like this. It’s a matter of time before the hair starts thinning. Or going away. Or graying. This is one of those things on my “to do” list before I die. Besides — I have awesome hair. (Thanks, Mom!) Am I an attention whore as well? Perhaps — but I think that this is the time when it can happen.
The thing is — it’s curly. And I have a beard. And I’m not thin. Which either makes me look like a ponytailed hippie guy or like Hurley from “Lost.” I’m starting to wear it back and I like it a lot — except I probably look quite dorky with it that way. Kind of like I’m ready to wear pastels and wicker shoes if I do.
Wow — my bangs are below my nose now – almost to lip level.
I guess now I have to post pictures, don’t I…
Oh — Locks of Love is a great organization. [link]
This is my second attempt today. Here goes nothing!
I saw the “Freewriting Friday” meme on The Absurdist, and she references MetalMom as the person from which she got this. And MetalMom got it from someone else, most likely, making “Freelance Friday” spread like a communicable disease from blog to blog, emanating strong reactions from all. Except with slightly less splotchy itching.
Says The Absurdist: We write for five minutes as free association, or stream of consciousness. She suggests a countdown timer which she uses — I personally found one here that worked out quite well on this machine with no speakers. There’s also a list of folks who are participating both at The Absurdist and MetalMom’s sites. I hope to be on that list sometime soon — after all, I’m still in the stage where I’m trying to get more than one visitor to acknowledge reading this filth.
And away we go:
I was just getting a chai latte from the coffee shop here before secluding myself for this five minute writing frenzy when I heard “Vertigo” by U2 on one of the overhead TVs. The catchy guitar clicks and the booming echos of “Uno! Dos! Tres! Catorce!” Now I know that everyone had already talked about this when it was relevant — saying that Bono really needed to learn proper Spanish. And then you had the folks who countered by saying that it was some sort of stylistic license he was using to be different. My gut feeling is that he said “catorce,” honestly believing that it was the correct word to use. And people decided not to correct him because, well, he’s fuckin’ Bono and is above all of that.
I think this happens quite a bit — I’m in a new role at my job where I’m entering new territory I’m not so confident with. And when I see an issue where I think that I’m right and the more experienced person I’m dealing with is wrong, I’ll initially want to not engage that person in a heated debate — because I’m not 100% sure that I’m right. I make them all out to be Bono. And I really shouldn’t. I suppose I really should keep at it and make sure my confidence level gets to the point where, in this new job, I can rise to the peak of being Bono-esque.
Or at least get a little Bono-er.
I have to be honest: The last two sentences were finished slightly after the timer went off.
As mentioned below, this was my second attempt today. The first one had to do with pesky financial issues which were on my mind. Viva la difference!
I decided to take a five minute break from work to attempt the “Freewrite Friday” post that I’ve read about. And I did it, locked away in a training room here at work! Alas, I lost the entire post when I was changing some of the HTML markup. So I’ll try again a bit later.
What I wrote was quite cathartic and emotional — but now that I’m thinking about it more, it eels it would be too rehearsed if I choose that topic again.
Still working out the kinks in the new blog…
(obligatory YouTube reference to The Kinks:)
The Kinks – Come Dancing