Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Party Poet

At a Memorial Day party this weekend, I had the pleasure of being introduced to all of the guests as a poet.
With this honor came great responsibility and a bit of embarrassment, I must admit. I felt like I had to uphold the honor of struggling poets everywhere - give us good PR, you know? At the same time, I had no poems prepared to share with anyone and they all wanted to know what I did "for a living" which - at least by common defininition - is not poetry.

I have always thought that you could tell if someone is an artist just by looking at him. And when I say artist, I mean creative types of all sorts - from painters to dancers to writers to designers. There is just something about the way an artist presents himself in the way he dresses, the way he speaks and most of all the way he socializes.

I've got the dress down for certain, with my fairly ecclectic blend of things borrowed and bought. Yesterday, I wore a thin crinkle skirt with a tank top and a strand of blue Italian glass beads. One of the other guests, who creates her own glass beads admired my necklace, which once belonged to my step-grandma. Unfortunately, this same necklace broke later in the evening. Just my luck.

At the party, we drank wine, which helped the conversation flow, but I found myself repeating the same stories over and over again, in slightly varying degrees. I had invited my boyfriend along with me so we got the repeated "how did you meet?" questioin - which thankfully was an interesting story to begin with, but not so much after the third or fourth telling. Along with that came "where do you live?" and "what do you do for a living?" Pleasant Prairie and data entry. Sometimes I would go into more detail on my living and working arrangements, but found no joy in the details and often tripped over the words. My parents have recently issued the official edict that I must vacate the premisis. And my work is new to me so I don't even know the terminology to talk about it yet.

My boyfriend helped fill in some of the awkward silences when I became tongue tied. He seems to be a bit better at this networking thing than I am. But even he bemoaned the fact that he forgot to bring business cards, a thing that I wouldn't have even considered bringing. It was a party, afterall, and I am a poet, given to whimsical thinking. And generally a lack of planning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Corporate Jargon and Acronyms

If you have ever worked in a corporate office, you are most likely familiar with corporate-speak. When I worked in the communications department, I was inundated with it. It clogged my pores and leaked from my mouth like bad b.o. Anyone outside of work had no idea what I was talking about. Half the time, even I had lost all recollection of what the various catch phrases and terms actually referred to. They just sounded sophisticated and occasionally ridiculous. Some of the ones I remember are "consumerology" and "tooj."

Now I have been plunked down into tech services where on a day-to-day basis I deal more with numbers than with words. Given my background, however, I get selected for fun projects now and again. Most recently, my superviser has given me leeway to develop some acronyms. Admittedly, I am not a fan of the acronym. If anything, it is a highly contrived play on words that reminds me of early poems I wrote with my name - Kooky Amazing Intelligent Talented Likable Yearning Nut.

In a spurt of inspiration, I suddenly could only come up with acronyms that were utterly inappropriate for the workplace. They included PINT, SPAM, SPIT, PIMP and PORN. I moved from these to better alternatives: PIT, PART, PAC, SPARC, POP and POINT. I still did not find any of these particularly appealing, but my boss was pleased with the results. Good thing I don't work in marketing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Like the Facebook Baby!

It actually doesn't surprise me that there are now children named after technology and social media. An Israeli girl will have her parents to thank that she has been named Like. There is another girl in Egypt whose parents have named her Facebook.

I do, however, feel a little sorry for the children. Just imagine being named Like. What if someone didn't like you? Isn't it a little presumptuous to name your child Like? And Facebook? That's another story altogether. At least Like sounds a little bit like a name and a little less like a brand.

Next we'll be seeing kids named Twitter, iPod and App. Maybe we'll even get retro with it and find some names like Atari, Pong or Sega Genesis.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Her purse was small - almost too small for all the things she regularly stuffed into it - her keys, her wallet, her datebook, her lipstick. Despite the glossy finish, the material was fake - a poorly done alligator skin. The color, a faded green, reminded me of pea soup, the kind with chunks of ham floating in it like pink islands. She carried the purse with her everywhere, even onto the plane that day when she couldn't afford to bring any money with her.