One Of Those Flowery Entries

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I keep trying to snap a photo with my phone whenever I go to the mailbox or out to dinner. My garden mostly fended for itself this year and I’ve stayed too busy to tend to it. Sometimes I have to make the most out of the short moments that are there.

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Detroit Maker Faire 2013

Today I attended the Detroit Maker Faire which was like touching my RSS feeds. I finally saw things like 3D printers in person! A few of my favorite exhibits were:

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Hypnocube from Ann Arbor, MI had an array of LED thingamajigs that I absolutely loved. One of them was programmed to look like Tetris blocks falling, too cool. Their kit instructions and videos can be found on http://www.hypnocube.com

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Cre Fuller’s robots are amazing. See more erectus roboticus tyranus at http://www.tinangrymen.com

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This is a pony from the Hackerspace ‘Legal Evil’ booth.

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These are from a car decorated in California by artist David Best. Note the Furby, My Little Pony and 45 records after my own heart.

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Girls are screwing in this photo (don’t even act like I’m the only one who thought that). Taken during the life-sized performance based on the board game ‘Mouse Trap’.

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Obligatory fire-breathing dragon that reigned dead center of the faire. Obviously awesome.

An Identifiable Loss

ImageI walked into the install bay. The door was open, letting in the morning sunlight, and I just wasn’t ready. This was supposed to have been a series of courses that we could graduate from but we knew it wouldn’t be. A few who weren’t self-driven, who had their own opinion about attendance and their requirements for the future – they didn’t show up. It was whatever John wanted to say before he was gone and I knew it.

No pressure or anything. I had only been looking forward to it all week, one of the roughest weeks of my career. I simply had to pull resources from a magical place on my one day off so I wouldn’t crash. He only had to make it worth it. What exactly would he say, when everyone took a seat around him, when he was taking off and the question on everyone’s mind was: what now?

There weren’t really any pens or pencils. No surface for tablets or laptops. Binders fell to the floor. And as much as my mind recorded, there is nothing that I can write that would recreate what happened in that little garage. Oh, sure, there were purposeful exercises to get us arguing, then agreeing, then realizing how our different stances were the same and why we were all holding our own positions – there were role plays on nonverbal cues and emphasis on tone and language that took one sentence through every intention and meaning. We stayed busy.

The takeaways were in the willingness to listen. The way the natural light lit the bay and washed our casual business attire. The way the laughter echoed when someone was forced into spontaneity and the value you felt in simply sitting together as a single unit. I kept looking down, like it was easier to contemplate the material and easier on the facilitator delivering the messages if you didn’t stare too long.

Feedback was the hardest thing to give. I took absolute refuge in everyone else’s eyes when it was my turn. And it seemed to work because everyone was looking at me, anyway. I could have spoken to the rest of the world with ease but I never could…look back at him during that moment.

I said that everyone could benefit from that final course. Leadership, management, peers, salespeople, short or long term. Big dreams or beer money. In a much vaguer and stumbling fashion I recommended the experience for everyone.

I thought, but held back and constantly reworked, that it was a shame how everyone would not get that opportunity. People who needed a crash course in communication and perspective would not receive one. That it was too fucking bad that it was all over.

“Okay.”

When it was time for him to finally walk out, I would be there zooming in via CCTV. Staring too close, for too long. Asset protection is like that, sometimes.

I hate losing shit from that fucking place.

Of suits and missing pieces.

Underneath all of the bad wiring, past the challenges within my brother’s unrealized potential there is still the good person at heart who dreams about becoming a “wise business man”. Smart choices. Successful. Strong. Still in there on a good day, in a sober state, wanting to look good. Wanting to have fought the good fight and actually won it.

Jobless and seemingly aimless at times, he actually has a few suits in his wardrobe. And wears them. But when you see him you know something is not quite right because they lack those extra measures that make or break the pretentious fist-bumps and water cooler conversations… they aren’t tailored. A button is unbuttoned. He may have facial stubble. The story you’d assume just isn’t there and you catch yourself looking, unclear of what you see. You see the teeter totter of ego and actuality. You see my brother without the business. You see someone I love very much who wishes that he had the missing pieces.

Today at work I was told that someone at the rear of the building would be toting around a large shopping/looting bag, because that’s what we gave the customer instead of handling matters according to our policies. I hate it when they announce something, like that makes it okay. So I followed the product, like it was a little sailboat on a big adventure, and followed it through various conditions and opportunities for theft until I couldn’t see straight. How were we all so accepting of such a huge MISS? And WHERE WERE THE PROPER MATERIALS?

I ended up abandoning my CCTV station for just under a minute in order to confirm that we had run out of the various tools put in place so that product is more easily tracked and protected. It’s typically not a big deal, for me to do other things – they don’t sew my eyes open to solely watch people. Real life happens. And we really needed to order some shit weeks ago.

When I got right back to it, I instantly spotted one of those suits.

Sleeves a little too long. Material worn, loose, ill-fitted to the grown man’s figure. Even if he had just gotten out of the office, surely he’d have more awareness of his appearance than that. And his face lacked that luster, that special attention to detail. Like there were no business cards in those pockets. No precise font. This guy was just messy. And pushing a cart without anything in it besides a DVD.

Christopher, I thought, when I first spotted him. I saw the disorder. I knew it.

I proceeded to watch more closely. He grabbed something from the shelf and added it to his cart, but had barely looked at it. Did this guy really want some random Wii Dance Party accessory? For real?

When he neared the front of the building he paused and spent a moment on his phone. Distant. Uncertain. He brought the few items over to a cashier and told her that he had forgotten his wallet and would have to run out to his car.

Run out he did, into the passenger side of a waiting sedan that promptly took off.

An associate walked over an empty box to me later on. Of course. Of course.

“He was in the suit.”

This caused strange reactions from the staff. How could I just look at a package and know who it was? Or when?

I rewound the footage with them, and the empty box beside me. You could see the cameras all follow around a large bag, obsessed with the break in policy, until everything settled. I’d moved away from my desk and the suited man with a box in his cart came on screen into the gaming aisle and fussed with something in his hands. I returned and the cameras zoomed in, seconds too late.

The motion had been compromise and concealment. He buttoned a few buttons. Dressed the darkness and came out on the other side where I knew I was watching faux shopping and a peculiar suit but didn’t understand why. Because it had been Time. Time to catch a thief. The time of day in the month for the adrenaline rush that wouldn’t happen…

In a good fight fought, but not actually won.

Coming To Think Pink

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This was originally intended to be a quick photo of the pink lilies I brought inside (bottom:right) and ended up as several inside photos from my home’s “pink room” where many things are contained. And yes, those are Furbies from different generations.

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Outside, a lot of the pink lilies have taken over.

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I did a little research on how we came to associate “pink” with things like: glamour, girls, etc and it seems to have taken a lot of strong opinion over a span of time in order for us to so widely share our description and its “appropriate” applications in western culture. My personal belief is that there had to be more logical association behind it. Maybe the way we thought of the color pink began as simple as the reactions from a girl’s flushed face. Or vagina.

Then one day while on the battlefield a king tore the heart from his enemy. It was red. So he was all, “We’re giving red to the guys.” Etc etc, and so the colors were assigned.

DUHHH.

How It Appears

It’s 5:30 AM and I don’t know why I stopped sleeping. The white paper I begin my moments with is full of objects, sounds, scenes, which probably has a lot to do with it. Typically I wake up blank, but for whatever reason everything is still here, replaying in parts, continuing to buzz and flow.

Things from yesterday.  The 3-inch-thick stack of semi glossy papers John flipped through with his fingers before sliding everything into a plastic bag and taking it out to his car mid-shift.

“I just don’t want them to get rained on.”

How I noticeably took interest in the documents. How he purposely refrained from angling them in my direction.

“You could probably guess,” he threw somewhere in there, quickly but almost regretfully. I shot him a look that said ‘Yeah, like crap for your new job because I’m always right that you’re leaving and not telling anyone yet.’

“Don’t look at me like that.”

 

Uncle Sam Is An Alcoholic

ImageAmerica:

The double-edged sword, the catch-22

The dream had and lost, the red white and blue

Your freedoms not free, your fallen not few

a lifetime of trials and allegiance to you

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My brother was back for the fourth of July. He got stickered with American flags, grabbed the hat I got from the dollar store and mixed those things with enough beer to put on quite a show as everyone walked past our house to get to the fireworks site.

When he’s funny, he’s hilarious but everything is so uncertain – so unscripted and over the edge that when you’re in his company you’re constantly worried that something bad is about to happen. I dunno how to explain it any other way… it’s the madness and the laughter and the violence that all comes together and scares you while being really, really entertaining.

We grilled stuffed jalapenos, set off fireworks in the driveway and spent most of the next day sleeping in. Then we started drinking again in a breastaurant next to a theater that served drinks (where we saw ‘This Is the End’) and walked over on the other side to a different bar for dinner drinks. Etc. More crashing and being tired.

At work the constant, incessant theme is always “safe and secure, safe and secure. Careful on that ladder. Lift with your legs. Blah blah blah.” This holiday as I was lighting one of the mystery fuses with the boys’ lighter, I thought to myself, “This isn’t very safe & secure”…

But I kept that to myself.