MIM4.5a

A Celebration of 100

Posted on February 12, 2014. Filed under: MIM4.5a | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

…articles, not years.

This is my 100th posting in this blog thing.  It took me 24 months, today.  That means I posted an average or 4.17 articles per month.  According to blogging gurus, I should post 30 a month to be considered a real blogger.

Oops!

Saluting what matters.  I have certainly enjoyed letting my imagination fly in this manner and look forward to bringing a few back-burner literary efforts to the front.  Fittingly, I am making this 100th posting a salute to that one who is the key in my efforts to clear cobwebs from my dusty inkpot.  To be sure, that one is totally unaware of her contribution, and I tremble at the possible consequences should she make the connection to some of my more avid commentary.

ABSOLUTION.  MIM4.5a is hereby absolved from any involvement in, or prior knowledge of, my ramblings.

THE FACTS OF THE MATTER:

  1. Her physical presence in my world, while little more than an image espied through a fence knothole, filled my view as if in a picture window.  She impressed me along the order of that asteroid impressing the dinosaurs, and, unfortunately for me (partly due to my antipathy to change) with equally dismal results.
  2. My presence in her world couldn’t measure up even to the influence of a tiny gnat buzzing Washington’s nose on Mt. Rushmore.
  3. Yet, wonder of wonders, though our interactions were exceedingly brief and sporadic, she accorded me the utmost of regard and respect.  She was never condescending nor did she dismiss me and my coworkers as the inferior corporate beings that we actually were.

I shared my awe concerning this Lady in an earlier post, which I put together while in a fog after having my orderly and hum-drum life disordered.  Revisiting that article, I can see that it could leave a creepy impression.  Since I was not subsequently served a legal restraining order, I have assumed that…

  • …the Lady I hold in high esteem has not read the article and that…
  • if she did, she did not make the connection.

This respite provides time for me to do three things:

  1. Rewrite the article while not in a disheveled state of mind.
  2. Try to make it not too creepy for the Lady in question…   just in case she reads it and DOES make the connection.
  3. Update my list of defense attorneys…   just in case.

Yet, in spite of the potential danger, “thank you” must be said and admiration must be expressed while one has the freedom to do so.

Your words for the day:

  • MIM4.5a = my Muse; she whose name I must not mention.
  • elan = smooth; energy expressed in elegance.
  • steel = the essence of strong.
  • endurance = strength of both character and body expressed over a span of time.
  • satin = an elegant fabric know for its sheen and frictionless surface quality.
  • arctic wolf = white wolf of the far north, imbued with phenomenal endurance.

Out of that, I find two words that capture MIM’s essence:  steel and satin.  She, the personification of those two qualities, unknowingly pushed me out on these internet waters where I could explore myself and give voice to the dark nature of the existence that surrounds us all.  While I will share with you the nature of that impetus and why it roused me from my moribund state, I will leave out specifics so as not to embarrass or offend MIM.  Further, lest the ardor of my admiration give a wrong impression again, I must state emphatically that the impetus was NOT of the boy-meets-girl type.  That statement, though, in no way lessens her impact upon my psyche.

If each of usas many populations living close to the heart of Nature asserthas an animal spirit, then, beyond any doubt MIM’s would be the arctic wolf, a timeless expression of elan, strength, and, most notably, endurance.  To exude elan and demonstrate strength in the face of what has to be an exhausting work agenda is, to me, an astounding feat.  I witnessed that over and over without realizing it, mostly because I had no idea just what her job duties were.  To me, she was a brief, recurring ray of sunshine incidentally warming a lesser being mired in the tedium of existence.  Those infrequent, yet, to a degree, predictable encounters over time constituted a slow, steady impact like dripping water etching an indelible pattern into a rock.

That etching started at our first encounter.  I and two other new employees were in the office lobby when a veteran employee entered, waiting quietly for a visitor.  Breaking the silence, I asked her name and what she did.  Her noncommittal facade and outward gaze were redirected to me, her eyes instantly alive with interest as a new-born smile invited further conversation.  My two buds joined in, and, together we pelted her with questions for about five minutes while she fielded every one of them in seeming delight.  Her amusement was evident in posture, smile, and twinkle as they asked in unison, “What else you got?”

The revelations from our impromptu interrogation painted for me an appealing character outline:

  • She was quite at ease in a spontaneous forum.  We three inquisitors had a corporate function that excluded us from easily engaging other employees.  She knew our function, ignored it, and played 20 questions like it was the only game in town.
  • Self-assurance and composure flowed smoothly from her posture, speech, and penetrating gaze.  From a totally benign presence, she morphed instantly into an engaging and interactive spirit responding with apparent delight to the verbal ambush.
  • She was living the life that was my fantasy in my youth.  The adventurer that I had always dreamed that I would be stood before me in that lobby; she routinely traveled to exotic ports of call, both beautiful and dangerous.  I immediately felt a kinship with her and I had already forgotten her name.  There was no chance that I would forget her face.

Over time, I learned that she had been to some of the places that I had been, further cementing my feeling of kinship.  Seeing her schedule in practice (1 month on the other side of the planet, l month at home) and observing her freshness of face and attitude immediately upon returning, underscored her physical and mental strength.  For these traits alone, I began to hold her in higher regard above the crowd.  That and the welcoming smile she flashed in our occasional and brief “hello” moments.

Workplace dynamics eventually relocated her to another site.  That was when I discovered the pattern etched in my psyche, a place into which a devout hermit does not permit intrusion.  It would seem that, drop by drop, I had become an addict dependent upon the warmth found in a random, but always certain, appearance of a single ray of sunshine.  I consoled my loss by learning more about the professional aspect of MIM.

That Lady of the Lobby with a pixie smile and twinkling eyes —

  • …is a corporate eagle who, for some reason, found delight in the antics of 3 corporate mice.  Had those mice known her stature, there would have been no in-depth questioning and I probably would never have experienced MIM.
  • …has responsibility for corporate assets.
  • …is a corporate shark handler.  She interacts with government officials (domestic and foreign), a variety of self-interested big-business officials, hostile litigators and friendly legal types.  This she accomplishes on both sides of the planet, yet showed no stress in our occasional encounters.  Judging from her tenure, she is exceedingly good at what she does.

She was eagle, and, I was mouse blissfully unaware of the wide disparity.  Though she undoubtedly knew, she never exuded an air of superiority.  In each and every one of our very brief and sporadic interactions, I was accorded the social status of equal.  I was respected simply for being a person.

Elan, strength, endurance — my Lady of the Lobby, you have the whole package.  It would be futile for me to try to be you, so I must settle for vicarious fulfillment.  Thus, as a token of my respect and admiration, I recognize you as my Muse.  To summarize you in words, steel and satin seem quite adequate to the task.

My unfulfilled literary ambitions over the years centered on my distaste of the so-called Press and its arrogant personalities.  Finding an article in the public forum that I found offensive toward MIM brought old resentments to the surface; I began writing, using this blog format.  Many of my compositions for the past two years are unkind assessments of the Big P and other self-promoters who prey on public ignorance to make a buck, callously trampling the rights and reputations of businesses and persons.  And, they do it so self-righteously, claiming for themselves “constitutional right” while denying their victims a reciprocal right to the same constitution.

MIM, I cannot thank you enough for upsetting the familiar and orderly hum-drum of my prior existence.  I will try to be a credit to the traits that occur so naturally to you.

 

Next up:  Steel and Satin

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The Great Cluster Fu…

Posted on July 9, 2012. Filed under: Journalism, KBR, MIM4.5a, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

9th in the series THE GREAT CLUSTER FUSION.  Shazam! What did you think that title would be?   …Oh!  Yeah.  I can see that, but, I’m trying to maintain a certain level of decorum here.  However, if it pleases you, hold on to your version.  I know I will.

“GREAT CAESAR’S GHOST!  WHAT KIND OF BIZZARO COMIC PRODUCTION IS THIS?”  Our guest analyst, folks.  The irrepressible Perry White of the Daily Planet, a major news player in Metropolis, ….  ???  (Nobody ever mentioned what state, did they??)  Anyway, it’s an unauthorized gig on his part since we didn’t get permission from whoever holds his publicity rights.  But, they’ll get over it.  Just tell their litigators I’m an individual who carries his net worth around in his pocket…   the one without a hole in it, usually… 

… Betcha I become invisible in record time.  It’s not like I’m some multi-billion dollar corporation getting a lot of unjustified and persistent bad publicity, say…   like…   KBR.  Bad publicity and unfounded  accusations either perpetuated by, or generated by, persons and factions with axes to grind…   say, a losing political party trying to get back on track, voters who backed a losing horse and couldn’t get a winning number even after numerous recounts (and the vast majority of them can’t get a winning lottery number in anything else, either), journalists afflicted with Pulitzer fever cashing in on the perceived ambient populace mood, and litigators who aren’t so high-minded — they’re just blatantly going for the gold (ore, not medal).

What turned Editor White apoplectic (I know!  That’s his standard coping mechanism.  Use it myself most of the time.) was the unbelievable cluster fu…  (WAIT!  We decided to go with “fusion” didn’t we?  … Right!) the unbelievable cluster fusion I have been working toward dissecting since I started this blog back in February.  (Yeah, Sparky (TM), I have to admit you have been on my mind a lot.)  When I first saw Sparky(TM)’s display (the so-called “shocking deposition of current and former KBR employees”), I was appalled at such an unethical use (you know, take it out of chambers and turn it into a reputation-smearing campaign way ahead of any court room litigation)  of court-mandated discovery testimony. 

The more I looked at it, the more things just didn’t add up.  The current KBR employees were straightforward, offering testimony that revealed, in essence, only routine and standard business practices and  absolutely nothing derogatory.  The ONLY derogatory “information” came from the voice-over ADDED AFTER THE FACT by that goofy-looking gold prospector, the silent film-era dialogue boards ADDED AFTER THE FACT between obviously edited video segments, and the hear-say “testimony” of two former (and you gotta ask, “Why are they former?”) KBR employees.  Neither of those is-this-my-15-minutes-of-fame? contestants were privy to any of the events they were “rebutting.”  It is as though they were carefully coached by Danny Boy who seems to have provided one of them with the material being testified to.

About then,  my Muse hit me over the head with the biggest clod-hopper boot I’ve ever seen (more later about that).  I said, “Duh?” and she pointed me to the insignia on the toe:  Sparky(TM).  Suddenly, I was hit with an idea (I don’t think my Muse threw another unfortunate steer at me):  This Sparky(TM) display is loaded with everything I hate about the news/information media:  Sensationalism, rumor, inaccuracies, unfounded accusations, reputation smearing, soap opera approach to real life stuff, AND THE UNSPOKEN PERSONAL INSULT THAT I AND THE REST OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY ARE SO STUPID AND SELF-INDULGENT THAT WE WILL BUY ANYTHING THEY SIMPLY TELL US TO BUY.   So, why don’t I just turn my bad attitude and irritation loose on this crap?  Hmmmmmmmmm!  (That’s a tribute to a police officer with whom I worked for several years.  If he should ever read this, he will know exactly what that means.) 

Next up:  On a roll.  No time to think.  But it’ll be something unkind about Sparky(TM)

Tags:  Mary L. Wade, KBR, Doyle Raizner, Ms. Sparky, Pismires, Qarmat Ali

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Digressions: MIM4.5a – A Very Special Lady

Posted on July 8, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, MIM4.5a | Tags: , , , , |

Your word for the dayetch = to leave a clear and distinct impression

Water, one drop at a time, striking a rock in the same place over an extended period, will etch a pattern into it.  The water, though soft, is persistent; the rock, though hard, must acquiesce.

With my inner sanctum closed for business, I permitted only superficial relationships or contacts with others.  No more need for spiritual anesthetics and bandages.  And, then

At my new day job (one that paid) some years ago, I and two colleagues (also new) were in the building lobby when one of the veteran employees came in.  I supposed she was waiting to meet someone, but, after a bit, I spoke to her.  She responded with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.  My colleagues joined in, and, for about 5 minutes, we interrogated our cornered quarry without letup.  But, she was genial, catching every volley and returning each with that twinkle and (…amused?) smile.

That encounter left me with an enduring picture.  This Lady of the Lobby was at ease, and in no way intimidated by our persistence.  Her easy demeanor and steady gaze shouted self-assurance.  That got my attention, but, I think that first drop of MIM landed on me, right there in that lobby, the instant I learned that she was the adventurer that I had always dreamed I would be — a major part of her duties took her to exotic destinations around the world.  The best I could muster in the exotic travel circuit was a stint in Bangkok, Thailand, and the most in commonality I could offer was knowledge of the big traffic circle in the middle of that city.  She was strong of character, and living my dream.  From the get-go, I was going to be an easy target for that slow drip.   

Wonder no further about my frequent references to wines from Georgia (the country, not the state);  it’s because she expressed a liking for them.

In the several years since the lobby event, my interactions with this Lady were very sparse, consisting mostly of “good mornings” and a brief update on where she had traveled, and there was a running joke on my rainmaking “skills.”  For the most part, her movements through my field of awareness were like a vagrant ray of sunshine on a partly cloudy day, appearing when and where it deigned.  When the ray moved on, I never chased it; I knew, without a doubt, it would find me again in its own time and share its warmth, even if it was, typically, for only a couple of minutes once a week.  The best things are worth waiting for.

WOE IS ME!  Social isolation and the avoidance of my traitorous emotions failed to protect me — I became addicted to the certainty of my sun ray’s very brief appearances.  But, business is dynamic; it changes.  Workplace convenience removed my sunshine.  Break out the Ronstadt CD.

I consoled my loss with a little research, which shed a different light on that first lobby encounter.  In the big, corporate scheme of things, those three nosy interrogators were at the bottom of the corporate food chain — field mice, as it were.  I had seen a couple of my pay stubs, so, I already knew that, but, I didn’t know that our “cornered” quarry was, in comparison, a corporate eagle.  A daunting disparity.

That research pointed out just how special this Lady is.  Neither in that lobby nor any conversation she ever had with me, did she talk down to any of us.  SHE RESPECTED US.   The other kicker is, I never knew just what her job duties entailed.  I knew her title, just not how it was applied.  Turns out, she has considerable responsibility for corporate assets, a responsibility that is ever-present and entailed an absolutely killer travel schedule.  And, the part that makes me really proud to have known her?  She doesn’t report to an “office” office.  The best description would be shark tank.  That easy smiling, lady-in-the-lobby-with-a-twinkle-in-the-eye, is a corporate shark handler…   business sharks, legal sharks, government sharks.  Equal opportunity handling.  Judging from her tenure, a damn good one, too.  There is no doubt that she found those three little field mice quite amusing.  My Lady of the Lobby, “special” doesn’t begin to describe you.

Elan.  Strength.  Endurance.  Of such is the motivator that I call MIM.

Through no action from either of us, she is etched into me in that deep recess where I will not allow anyone to be.  Not even myself.  There are emotions in there that can totally overwhelm.  So, I’ll just pull up a chair here, outside that forbidden room…   just in case a random ray of sunshine escapes…   I sure don’t want to miss that.   Hmmmmm…   maybe just a little closer…

Yeah, I know.  I’m a pathetic mess.  But, somehow, I’ve never felt better.

Next up:  Resuming The Great Cluster Fu…

Stand by, Sparky!  Comin’ your way.  Oh, and when you’re done with Doyle’s boots, could you do mine?  Good boot-licks are hard to find.

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Digressions: MIM4.5a – To My Surprise

Posted on July 6, 2012. Filed under: MIM4.5a | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Your word for the dayabdicate = relinquish; hand over

For most of my life, whim and impulse have been the motivators of my undertakings.  No guiding Muse to fire me up, set my direction, and approve or disapprove my achievement…   if you don’t count “self-satisfaction as an entity.

Today, I find myself in possession ofwell, more accurately, possessed by — a motivator that is so close in character to being a real-life, bona fide Muse that I have felt compelled to name her.  That would be MIM4.5a (Don’t try to make sense of that; it is strictly between me and MIM…   at least, it would be between us if she even knew about it.)   It’s sort of like that tattoo in the song “Margaritaville” because, even though she’s a real beauty, I haven’t a clue how she got here (with apologies to Jimmy Buffett). 

Ever lose something and not know that you ever had it?  Really, how do you even become aware of such a thing?  A sudden vacuum?  An absence of the usual?  You only know that a very elusive something is dragging you down, and, you can’t put your finger on it.  Eventually, you suspect the source of the aching, but, in the world of rationality, there is no reason you should be missing it.  Two or three months of Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time” playing on a loop serves only to accentuate the “loss” while doing absolutely nothing to explain either the why or the nature of Longing’s dark, tide-like surges.

And, then, you start doing things that you only planned to do before...   for a very long time, you have been planning to do them.  Out of malaise, a burgeoning need to do, a need for approval…   but…   whose approval?

In the most remote recess of psyche, there is a cleft, a place where precious few are permitted.  Here, in a region that oscillates between nothingness and sentiency, the quintessential SELF begins.  In a soup of emotions, urges, and purposes, SELF works to assemble its identity, learning quickly that, as a member of a dual-gender life form, it is only half of that equation;  thus, courtship and an active effort to entice another to share this sanctuary.  But, sometimes, it’s a lot easier; the other just barges in and sets up shop.  One becomes smitten, as it were, and abdicates the throne of SELF.  A joyful descent from absolute master to willing servant.  Twice, I have submitted to that access.  Twice that place became a shambles, a pitiful reflection of my emotional condition.  And, after a lengthy recovery period, I said, “Never again.”  Filled it with rubble.  Locked it.  Sealed it.  Stayed the hell away from it.

Became a hermit.  A crabby one, too.  Didn’t need that kind of pain anymore.  Yet, here, in quiet reflection, I view this once abandoned realm, this scene of former abasements.  In wonder, I view the whirlwind bustling about the old place, purposefully tidying, dusting, tossing, refurbishing…    all without consulting me and in total oblivion of my presence.  She doesn’t know she is here, and — given my predilection for solitude — I truly don’t know how or when she got in there.  But, I must say, I like it.

I finally took Ronstadt’s CD off that player loop.  The aching is still here, but it has muted somewhat.  I think I may have figured out how this situation arose…   maybe.  So, indulge me just one more “digression” before we get back to The Great Cluster Fu…

Next up:  MIM4.5a – One drop at a time

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Digressions: Where No Foot Has Trod

Posted on July 2, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, MIM4.5a, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Your word for th daymuse = someone who is a source of inspiration

The old Greeks had them. Muses, I mean.  In earlier posts, I touched on them, even if somewhat irreverently.  For the Ancients, they explained what moved that most remote recess of Self, the mysterious Psyche, to elicit from it the creative urges and even the dark manifestations that we call the  human spirit.

For most of my life, I didn’t have a Muse.  But, I had a love of poetry, so I guess you could say that Erato was my nominal, default Muse.  In verse, I could take “the road less traveled,” and “rise with eagles” to “touch the face of God.”  By finding reflections of my own inexpressible feelings toward this torture we call Life, it gave comfort that I had fellow travelers on a journey I just knew would, somehow, end badly.  But, what the heck…   eat, drink, and be merry…   right?

In spite of the Muses, in spite of the poetry, not all that emanates from the Psyche is definable.  There is the unexplained, a pathos that darkens the soul, a heaviness that ensconces the heart making its every beat a Herculean task.  An aching that surges to unbearable fullness, then ebbs, only to surge again; a vast emptiness that hovers just beyond feeling, where echoes fade like  diaphanous whispers into infinite nothingness. 

A poem I memorized decades just a few years ago often surfaces during my own musings.  The third verse of Each in His Own Tongue by William Herbert Carruth (1859-1924) captures that feeling; at least, it has for me:                     

Like tides on a crescent sea beach, when the moon is new and thin, into our hearts high yearnings come welling and surging in;  come from the mystic ocean, whose rim no foot has trod.  Some call it longing, and others call it God.

Yearning.  Longing.  A deep, aching feeling devoid of anything that could define it.  When all is said and done, is this the total eulogy that Life will intone for each of us?

Next up:  MIM4.5a

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