Wednesday, February 15, 2006


In Which I Order Bitching (with a side order of Moaning)...

I don't get T.S. Eliot's problem with April. For me, February has always been pretty hard, as cruel months go.

This is especially true at work. Production deadlines always seem to be just around the corner, but February has this way of rushing you to deadline even faster, and maybe that's just a perception issue because it's a short month, but the perception remains. It's a hard time of year to send photographers places, because invariably I'm sending them to places full of snow or impending snow and they often end up stuck in an airport or, in at least one memorable case, a ditch.

This year, the cruelty of February started off with a funeral, followed by four days with my family. I love my family, but being with them for four days under any circumstances is long enough to remind me why I left home in the first place. I returned home exhausted, weary beyond measuring. But the engines that keep my life ever moving have not let up since my return and now I'm up to my nostril-hairs in undone work. Stories to assign, stories to edit, stories to track down in the furthest reaches of the network and shepherd back to the flock. And I have not only to catch up but to get ahead too. I'll tell you why in a minute.

I've been working late a lot of nights, even last night. So when I got home, it was a bit of an anti-climactic Valentine's day. Her Lovely Self and the Brownie had baked me a pie, which had been warming in the oven, waiting for me, so that by the time I returned home, it was dry (I still enjoyed it). Thomas had made me a very special Valentine, which we decided to post on his blog (you can see it here).

Seeing the date of the last entry on Thomas' blog made me realize how many things I've promised to do but haven't quite managed to accomplish. There have been a few instances the past month where Thomas wanted to put something on the blog, but we just haven't had a minute to do it together (and he's still a little ways from being able to do it himself). I'm supposed to do a guest blog for someone--indeed, I volunteered to do it--and I can't seem to find a minute to sit down and let fly on that. Which is awful, because it's something I actually want to do and so I keep holding off doing it for a moment when I won't feel rushed. If I do it when I'm rushed it will be the worst kind of half-assed job, and I want to make sure this person gets writing that I have put my entire ass into. I want him to have full-assed, total ass-packed writing. He deserves no less than both cheeks.

But I have promises to keep that predate even that. My first annual CRAP Giveaway was--what?--back in September? Not only did it take me forever to send everyone their stuff, but some people have yet to get the things I promised. I'm talking about everyone who actually bid on my original stories. I have them. They're all here in an assortment of handwritten notebook paper and smudgy typescript and old computer disks. At first I meant to type them into a pretty, coherent document and email everyone a big file, but then as time went on I really wanted to send everyone something tangible, an actual manuscript. And then I got a promotional deal to do a print-on-demand book with someone like xlibris or iuniverse--and so I waited a bit more to pull that together, because how cool would that be to send everyone real books? And there the whole thing ground to a halt.

And the blog itself! Don't even get me started.

(too late)

As part of his Giveaway promise, Evan did me up three really cool logos--the masthead for the Masthead, if you will. Have I picked one I liked? No. I like them all and can't make up my mind. So I do nothing.

And I have no excuse for why I haven't put my ass in gear and finished up all the rolling changes I was planning to make to the blog. Especially the blogroll. I have so many good and cool people to add to the blogroll it's not even funny. According to Blogshares, I just hit my 100th incoming link. That is staggering to me. I should have at least that many people on my own blogroll. How many do I actually have? Less than 40.

I suck.

Worst of all--the black, poisonous cherry atop this cake of doom--is that I've evidently hit some kind of plateau in terms of how guilty I feel. It's not that don't give a shit. It's that I no longer give enough of a shit.

(Wow, is that a terrible verbal image.)

Her Lovely Self has a much different view of my angst and none of it involves analogies related to my hind end. I expected her view of my woes to be more of the "you think you have it bad" variety, because she is in fact a global distributor of angst and self-flagellation. But instead, she dismissed the above litany with a very simple appraisal and proposal.

"You're burned out. And you need a vacation."

So, BAM! just like that, we're going on one. Next week, in fact. To Florida. We'll stay about three days with my in-laws (yeah, that's exactly the kind of vacation I need), but then we're spending the rest of the week as guests of one Mr. Disney. The kids are so thrilled at the prospect, you'd think they were auditioning for those commercials where they show, um, kids being thrilled at the prospect of going to Disney World. I was last in the Magic Kingdom in 1985, as part of a class trip, taken my senior year in Catholic high school (and boy is THAT a story in itself. I have to find the journal I kept of the trip), so I'm a little excited to go too.

But first, I have to finish up the work I got behind in because I was gone for my grandfather's funeral. And then get ahead to give myself breathing room for next week so that I might actually enjoy myself while I'm gone.

Plus, I want to make sure I leave all of you with plenty to read. Which I do not consider as a pressing obligation, understand--you should never feel that writing things here is work or a pain, so much as it is a release from those things--but just because, well, I want to.

I'm not quite desperate enough to ask my brother to guest-blog. On the other hand, he seems more or less willing. And apparently you all do too, so, maybe...

And on that note, I must end this entry as I have--in case I didn't articulate this point before--a lot of work to do just now.

Hope your February has been better than mine so far.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

Wow, busy much? :>

Don't feel bad about not sending the stories...I haven't done the thing I promised to do to get them, anyway. I don't have a good excuse. Things have been happening, but it's not like I don't have time. I just don't seem to have any time management skills.

(It would be cool to receive a "real book", but the real charm of your stories would be seeing the original manuscripts. Pieces of history, if you will. So don't stress out too much about it, eh?)

If you happen to drive through Augusta, Georgia on your way down (not likely unless you plan to cut across the state to get to I-75--and of course this assumes you'd be crazy and drive instead of fly), look me up! ;>

And yes. BB guest blog = teh win.
relax... keep cool... You are only one person!!!

Have fun in Disney World, I went there in winter of 93 - with the marching band of my own Catholic high school... it was good times -

anyways... have fun relax and go spend the wonderful time with the fam!!!
HLS is right. Take the vacation, and do whatever it takes to enjoy it and your family. Let BB guest blog even. We'll live. (Okay, I'll live. I can't speak for anyone else.) You've set a pretty high standard for yourself with your entries blog entries, and that's just for the hell of it. I can only imagine the energy you must use in your job. Anybody who doesn't think they can get through a day without a blog entry from you needs to rethink her life. And I'll go do that now. :)
Feb is the worst. It always is... This dead of winter...

But, it is easier to carry through in the sunnier places.

That much I know.

Florida will be good. :-)
Yeah MM! Great have a fantastic trip! I agree with HLS you need a vacation and no better place to go with the kids than WDW! Don't forget to go to Universal I saw an ad for the kids to stay, eat and play for free.... can't beat that!
Don't worry about us you just relax I know you will have plenty of great stories on your return!
Yesss! the F***ing Guest Blogger from Naverone! We should be so lucky!

Don't worry about the blogging sphere: Just relax and enjoy your vacation. This trip will mean the world to Thomas and The Brownie and you'll want to be tuned in to every minute of it. This is the good stuff. The rest? It'll be there when you get back.
No offense to any non-BB who may guestblog in the future, but I sure hope the first one is Big Brother. And not just for the great stories or the writing style or sense of humor. I especially look forward to his postings because he curses after my own heart, fucker!
MM, I understand. I've actually had to pinch myself at work to keep from literally screaming lately. Busy, busy, busy. Plus, February isn't the sunniest month ever, so it can get to be kind of a bummer. I was feeling like a vampire for a few weeks.

As for the blog, maybe you could "assign" people to write about something every so often. Might be kind of cool.
I'm glad you wrote this post. I was beginning to think you were some non-human droid with your commitments to your job, your family, your blog which you always write totally awesome pieces in, almost daily, plus all the other little nuances you deal with (spy work on neighbors and demanding justice from Really Big Home Improvement Stores) PLEASE feel free to take a vacation. You are allowed some burn out. We will all be here waiting to here some crazy adventure tale from Disney World and I join the others who would love BB to guest blog.
Have a great time in FL, MM! We expect pictures.
That guest blog would be awesome. And seriously! Take a break! Have a relaxing time in Florida. So jealous. =)

- Freezing in NY
haha - gotta give HLS credit.. impromptu trips to warm sunny locations are always helpful when stressed out or just increeeeedibly busy. good for you - hope you all enjoy it :-)
You are AWESOME MM!! As you drown in your own life, I hope you take a moment to realize how much your thought provoking blogs enable those of us faithful to the Masthead, to float out of our own realities each day! It is a true joy to read the sagas you go through at regular intervals! Enjoy your time off, cuss at your inlaws when they shame HLS, and ride in the teacups with your children while grinning stupidly and singing 'it's a small world'. We'll all be here when you get back.
So, if you like all 3 logos why not put it up to a vote from your readers?

As for BB guest blogging...hehehehe. As an older sibling myself I can see BB gathering together his good MM stories to tell, you know, as payback for the ones you've told on him.
oh jeezuz, i knew you were stupid, but not this stupid. Guest blog? Sure. Be glad to. And while you're at it, I got this bear here that wants to guard the honey.

We're doing inventory next week so I'm pulling some all-nighters. Is there a way I can write up a bunch (oh, i have so many stories. Forget the sap: I'm telling everyone about who REALLY set the pool on fire and the time you tried to flush a gallon of Jean Nate, glass bottle and all, down the john, and the time you got us kicked out of Canada). Anyway, can I write a bunch over the weekend and then have them post every day you're gone?

Yeah, like your gonna tell me. I guess I can just write em and them post em when I get home in the morning.

Bring it, bitch. I'm ready.

Hang in there man!

On the brightside, since this month has been crappy for you, atleast it's short so we'll be into March before you know it.

Have a good vacation. I actually think I haven't been to Disney World since '85 either. I was three and a half though.
did you see/live/learn office space? someone has a case of the mondays.

and you sound like you need to get away too. guest blogs from bb? sweet. whatcha waitin' for, mm? get outta town!

maybe you could have the grandparents ride herd on brownie and the art lad and whisk hls away for a bit? have a wonderful time and don't worry about what didn't get done before you leave - if you finished it all, more will just be waiting.

vaya con dios!
I was 17 the last time I went to visit Mickey. There is magic there MM- you just have to look to find it. Have a great time and shed some skin.
Even Superheros need vacations.

I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one feeling totally overwhelmed with the shitstorm life is throwing about.

I think it's totally HAWESOME that you're going to guest blog with both cheeks!

As for your guest blogger, he's been chomping at the bit for a long time now. I think his head will explode if you say no. So, in the interest of Mom having to clean up that mess - go ahead and let him Blog.
Yay MM and clan are going to DisneyWorld! We're heading there with the whole family (including little baby girl) in October and it cannot come soon enough!

Cannot wait to see some BB guest blogging. I'll take any of his stories with a big grain of salt, though, as I suspect some of it's just gonna be payback.

If you want guest bloggers, I like the idea of assigning days and topics to some of us faithful readers. I have been wanting to dip my toes into the blogosphere. Doing it on someone else's space might be a 'safe' way to try it.

As for you doing a guest blog on someone else's space, I agree with Sharfa, it's gonna be HAWSOME. Meaning, I know where and I cannot wait (had a feeling it was gonna be you.)

Enjoy the magic. Check out Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom. It's not officially "open" yet but they are doing sneak preview rides. I hear it's fantastic.

We will all still be here when you get back, and we can be patient. I promise.
We will all still be here! Don't worry so much! Take a break, you need it!

I agree with Sandra! Give us all something to write about! If it weren't for American Idol, my blog would be total shit right now.
Go. Shed some stress. We'll all be here waiting for you when you get back.

In the meantime, having BB blog should be a pip.
And I thought I had it bad.

I am going off on a 3 day 2 night pampere myself vacation starting today.

I do know the feeling. :P
I can totally understand about February MM! It's a hard month. As for the logos - might I suggest letting everyone vote on them? I couldn't decide either and it helped me out

Plus - I'd be happy to tell you my favorite, but I don't want to influence your decision at all.

Have fun at Disney!
If you're going to be guest blogging for who I think you are going to guest blogging for, the maybe you should be guest vlogging? Either way, it will be hawesome, I'm sure!

BB would definitely be a great guest blogger for here.

As for your stories from the C.R.A.P giveaway, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would BUY a book of your writing if you self-publish it (even if it doesn't reveal your secret ID!) Something to consider...
Go,have fun. We'll still be here when you get back. I'm sure spending time with the in-laws and Mickey and Co will give you some really great blog fodder.

But while you're gone it would be a real treat if you'd let BB post a few stories.
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