Saturday, March 27, 2010

What did you say?

This week at work I was struck by how much time is taken up just communicating information to other people - and then re-communicating about that same information to whomever didn't comprehend it the first time, or to whomever received the mistranslated version from the non-comprehender. Even though the people with whom I work most closely all speak English as their native language, it's amazing how hard it is for everyone to understand everyone else and for each person to take away the same impression from the same conversation. I had a meeting on Thursday where I thought someone had said, "let's do x, y, and z,"...which seemed a little excessive to me (and this is coming from me, little Miss Triple-check) and so I thought I must have misunderstood. So I said, "did you just say "let's do x, y, and z? Because I think just doing x and z would be enough." And the other person said, in a way that was hard to follow, "no, I am saying we should just do x and z." So I said, "okay, that's good. Let's do that." Then, the next day, I get an email from that person laying out the workplan that says "We are going to do x, y, and z." What?!

I am going to let it go, even if it'll take days more to complete the project which has already dragged on beyond belief.

So, I was finally on my way home on Friday evening, tiredly waiting for the train at the Downtown Crossing subway station. And there, singing on the platform, was a musician who always caused me to deflate whenever I realize she's there and I'll have to listen to her until the train comes. She's kind of trapped in 1972 and is always singing depressing social justice songs from that era - in a painful monotone voice and with an expressionless face. The word "joyless" comes to mind. Last night she was singing the Oasis song "Wonderwall", but still managed to make it sound like a song you would hear in a church basement during a Catholic folk Mass. Both the voice and the volume, bouncing around all the hard surfaces of the subway station, were painful. So I sat on the bench with my hands over my ears. I could see two people were walking down the platform, so I looked up at them as they were passing. When I looked up, I saw the man was looking at me, so I looked back at him. He smiled at me. I smiled back. I knew why he was smiling at me, and he knew I knew why he was smiling at me. Easy. Total comprehension, no words. Why can't it always be like that?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

At least I'm consistent

It's true. I really do like stripes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blue skies

I'll take the warm days and blue, sunny skies we had this weekend over the 10-inches of rain we got last weekend.

Other than that, I'm a little sad because I just found out that my all time favorite radio show host, Ray Smith, has died at the age of 87. He hosted Jazz Decades every Sunday night for the past 38 years and I have been listening to it for 15 years at least. Maybe even 20. A lot of interesting knowledge of tiny bits of jazz history died along with him. And, he had that particular Boston accent you don't hear so much anymore...unless you are talking to my dad! That accent is even better than the one you hear from the Car Talk guys. You can learn more about Ray's life and his show here. Thanks for introducing me to so much great music Ray.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Portrait Party!

I finally held my first portrait party yesterday and it was a lot of fun. All day the rain was pouring and the wind was blowing. Staying inside to draw and drink was the perfect thing to do.

This is Stacy's drawing of Peter B. Of all of our drawings of Peter, this one is the most unmistakably him. I can even tell what he's thinking! (but maybe I have an unfair advantage because he's my brother.)

This is Pete Y's drawing of me. I think he really captured my inner Muppet! :-)

Here's my drawings of Jessica. Her face completely changed from the 2-minute pose to the 15-minute pose. It was very interesting to see that happen and try to capture it.

This is Stacy, drawn by Jessica. I love how this picture captures Stacy's regal essence!

Here's Pete Y. drawn by Peter B. I like how he rendered Pete's glasses. Can you believe he's taken a 10-year break from drawing? Welcome back to the pencil, Peter!

If you want to know what a portrait party is, you can learn more about it at Rama Hughes' site. Try it, you'll like it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's coming!

You might think that people are the only ones who care what season it is, and are the only ones who get excited when Spring shows signs that it just might return again. But judging from the way the birds have been singing lately, I think they are pretty psyched too. I know, I know, I should not be fooled by a few warm days - it is only March 10 after all - but I am cheered by the thought of all the little seeds and little buds just waiting for their chance to sing too.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Clothes make the man*

I made this drawing from a photo in a magazine. I was admiring this guy's outfit as I was riding the train to NYC and flipping through the magazine that featured his picture. The man sitting next to me, who had been earnestly typing reports and emails on his laptop, said to me "What do you think of that?" and I said "I think it's great. I love a guy who puts some flair into what he wears." Then the guy said, "I know him. I work with him." I said "Really? Where do you work?" He said "Colgate Palmolive," and then he went back to typing as if he had never spoken to me at all.

* "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
- Mark Twain