Living alone affords one lots of time to think. That’s probably why when I see people I often start a conversation with “So, I’ve been thinking about something…” And I’ve had tons of time to think lately, due to my car stereo’s demise, and working at a job where I can listen to podcasts all day. Since my days of funny kid stories are gone, at least for now, a list of what I’m thinking about will have to do. (as always, no one is forcing you to read this. šŸ™‚

  • I listened to an audiobook called “A Long Way Home,” not to be confused with the Dixie Chicks album “Taking the Long Way Home.” The book is the memoir of Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier, one of the “lost boys.” As I listened to the story of his recovery from the trauma of being a soldier, and all of the outrage about child soldiers, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of a difference age could really make. If we don’t want our children to experience war as a soldier, is it really vastly different to ask an adult?
  • I am sick of hearing about the Iraq war. For about a week, when Petraeus (sp?) was making his speech, all the podcasts were about the war. The part that is so irritating to me is that if everyone really believes that staying in this war is a mistake, why can’t something happen?
  • On a related note, I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless about elections. I think Barack and Hillary are probably the best options, but still…will they actually do anything?
  • One podcast last week, and I can’t remember which, had a guest who had written a lot about executive privilege, and how far the Bush administration has gone to guarantee that the office of the president can do anything it wants, and justify it with executive privilege. It’s amazing the public hears virtually nothing about this. Except the guy who wrote the book who was on the podcast…can’t think of his name.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about work, not a surprise since I am currently temping. I’ve been thinking about lots of different aspects of work. Some are still confusing to me, some not so much. I have determined I do not want to be a worker bee. I want to be in charge of something. What I have not determined is exactly what I want to be in charge of. I’m still processing advice from friends and mentors about career ideas. It’s amazing what a little encouragement can do.
  • It’s been very interesting to watch how the department I’m temping in works. It’s become quite enjoyable, mostly because the work is mindless and I can listen to my iPod all day. But almost daily I think that if I had to work there for good I’d kill myself. A woman who works near me made a comment about us temps being young and deserving good jobs, which made me think she’s not particularly fond of her job either. That being said, and perhaps because the jobs are dull, there are all kinds of incentives and supposed motivators. Friday lunch was catered in. Today sweatshirts with the company logo were handed out. And on an on-going basis you can write thank-you notes to people. If one is written about you, you get a helium-filled mylar balloon taped to your desk. That one always makes me laugh, but it must be motivating because they keep doing it.
  • Much less serious than anything else, I’ve been noticing things about this area that I blocked out when I left. There are weird bugs–there are tons of these ugly beetles with wings that die all over my house. The daylight/dark ratio changes incredibly quickly. Looking at the way people are dressed here will always depress you. Spiral perms live on in the Midwest. You can exchange “don’t” for “doesn’t,” as in “It don’t work.” There is unrelenting wind that for some reason has always seemed very unfair to me, almost unjust. People decorate crap for the seasons like their desks, porches, and holiday sweaters. Pick-up trucks are not required to use turn signals. The abundance of green during the summer is overwhelming. Recycling is still new here. Honking is considered impolite and should not be done. Service people show up when they say they will and do their work well. And a host of other things I can’t think of right now.

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