Wednesday, October 23, 2013


To play along, just answer the following three questions ...

• What are you currently reading? W Is for Wasted by Sue Grafton. For light reading, there's a lot in this book. At age 38, our girl Kinsey meets her extended family (some cousins) for the first time under stressful circumstances. A former lover reappears. And she interacts, in a personal way, with Santa Teresa's homeless community. Grafton's unsentimental yet compassionate approach to this last is really staying with me. I'm very nearly done with it, and suspect I'll look back on this as one of the more memorable "letters" in the series.

• What did you recently finish reading? Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and The Marriage of the Century. While I'm not unsympathetic to the easily accessible human tragedy -- two people genuinely loved each other but their relationship is derailed by drink and drugs -- it's not why I reread this book.

It's indescribable fun to shove quarters into the coin-operated dryer downstairs and then pick up this book and read about jets, jewels and jaunts to Budapest and Rome and Puerto Vallerta. In 1968, they actually rented a yacht for $2,400/week ($10,000+ in today's dollars) to house their dogs on the Thames. England requires pets entering the country be quarantined for six months and Liz just couldn't bear the idea of her two Pekingnese and two Yorkies being caged for that long. At the end of his life, when Burton was living quietly outside Geneva with fourth wife, Sally, he was shocked by his own excesses during his marriage to Taylor.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I don't know. Next on the TBR pile is Five Days at Memorial about the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans and how they coped during the crisis of Katrina. But the heartbreak of Katrina is still fresh and so that book might be too intense for my current mindset. Maybe The President's Club.

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"I don't care"

I'm annoyed with my Annoying Coworker.  When she's working on a project with our boss, she's completely engaged. Otherwise ... not so much. She doesn't care.

How do I know she doesn't care about her contribution to my projects? She is always on the phone (her cell, so she's not even pretending it's work related)  or working on her favorite freelance project (updating the menu for the restaurant owned by her sister and brother-in-law).

Oh yeah, and because she FUCKING TOLD ME.

Our creative team -- four of us -- all sit together in a super cube. I call it, "the clown car." Interior designers who specialize in offices call it, "open work space." The four of us are together all day long,
5 days a week. This was designed to help us collaborate but I think that in reality it just emphasizes our differences.

When I was done writing a project, I turned to our art directors and said, "Now who wants to work on this?" She didn't even turn away from her big Google Mail home page. "I don't care," she nearly moaned.

Later in the day, we were talking about another project and I asked her to try something a little different, design wise. She wrinkled her nose. Literally. Wrinkled. Her. Nose. I asked her what the problem was. She didn't already have the piece of artwork we'd need to explore as I requested.

I suggested ways we could get it. I was surprised she didn't know this, as her job is the pictures and mine is the words, but I was trying to be helpful and encourage her.

"I know," she responded sullenly. Meaning she just doesn't feel like doing what it takes to make our work better.

I like and admire our client. I want to do a good, honest job for them. I'd also like to keep this agency gig for as long as I can.

So sometimes I hate her.