A Blog about Everything

Thursday, December 28, 2006

belief net

Christmas has come and gone and I survived. All the flap in the media about "merry Christmas" vs. "happy holidays" or some other alternative greeting started me thinking. Much of Christmas traditions are a Christian legacy and no one really thinks much about them. And why am I a Christian? In part, it's a legacy too. It's because St. Patrick came to convert the pagans in the 5th century. It's because most of my ancestors were European. I happened upon a web site called beliefnet.com. You can answer a series of multiple choice questions to define what faith would be closest to your beliefs. The first time, my best match was liberal Quaker and second was neo-pagan. I tried the quiz again, and this time neo-pagan won. It must be because of of my pro-environment and anti-sexism answers. Liberal Quaker sounds OK, but neo-pagan? I hate to think that St. Patrick wasted his time!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

the old stompin' grounds

I just returned from a four-day excursion to northern Michigan. The primary goal of the trip was to purchase new cross country skis and then use them on the wonderful nordic trails that are available there. A secondary goal was to visit places that were familiar to me when I lived there some years ago. My job was as a biologist for an Indian tribe, and the view from my office window looked something like this photo. I loved the area, and enjoyed working with a tribal organization. The pay was decent and the benefits were good. The main problem was that I had Major Issues with my (Caucasian) boss. I have some ancestors who spoke Gaelic, so I figure that is why I can go from zero to livid in about 3 seconds. One day my boss and I had a Major Disagreement and in a fit of anger I made the decision to quit. I didn't have another job lined up but it didn't seem to matter at the moment.

I came back to Indiana and scraped together an income from a couple of part-time jobs. It was two years before I had another paid day off. I finally was hired on full-time, but now my window looks out on a bunch of storage units and a busy urban road. And I still can go from zero to livid in about 3 seconds on any given workday. But what I have learned from all this is: don't make the decision to quit when you're angry. Go for a bike ride or walk. Go cross-country skiing if there's snow. Go home sick. Just don't make a decision you'll think about the rest of your life.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

You know it's time to diet....

When you find out your employer counts you as 2 people on an Equal Employment Opportunity form. Really. One of my co-workers discovered the form, tucked away in a drawer, in which our company was said to employ 2 Native American females. I work for a small company and I am the only one who even marginally matches that description.

This is even worse than when I realized I could register in the "Santa weight" division at a local charity running event. That is, if I had been motivated enough to register. Oh well, New Year's resolutions are only a few weeks away.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The office Christmas party

It's time again for the office Christmas party. I work in a small office where every one is Christian (or claims to be), so we don't have to hold a generic "holiday" party. It's also that time of year when the news media offers us helpful advice on what not to do at the company party. Most of the items on the not-to-do list are inspired by alcohol. Our company parties are usually sedate compared to the cautionary tales that I read about. But we do have drinks served and this leads to a few interesting moments. Like the guy loudly proclaiming that he loves the (male) boss. I assume he meant that in a biblical, love-thy-neighbor way. Or the same guy questioning the paternity of his kids, much to the humiliation of his wife. Or the same guy insisting on giving me a big hug when normally he won't speak to me. Of course, I would NEVER do anything at the company party that would be discussed the next day. I'm usually too tense because I am wearing make-up, pantyhose, and a dress. All of these are completely non-normal attire for me. How fortunate that the Christmas party only comes around once a year.