This weekend, a friend and I went out to dance at a local bar, accompanied by a couple male friends. We were content to dance amongst ourselves, but both my friend and I accepted invitations to dance with another patron, a friend of a friend. His actions that night reminded me that identifying as a 'nice guy' is not the same as being a nice guy.
Actually, I'm a good sport in the sense that I'm a very graceful loser when I fail miserably in a sport (and then quit it), because I have discovered that I have no natural talent for sports and getting upset when I fall, miss, trip, go too slow or otherwise fail would lead to much unhappiness.
Proof of my poor abilities, despite my desire to be one of those sporty and fit types, is in the abandoned athletic gear that has cluttered my homes.
I want to clone Michael Penn and make the clone work nights and weekends so I'm never pressed to take a photo again. When Michael's not available, I often find myself toting a DSLR camera to events and hoping I'll get lucky, that I'll have the right shutter speed, the right f-stop, the right white balance — if it sounds like I know what I'm doing, I've fooled you. Fancy cameras with all those different settings continue to befuddle me. I should probably take a proper photography class instead of this fake it 'til you make it style of taking as many photos as time and an SD card will allow.
I could name many reasons for liking our new publisher, Rustan, but I would be lying if I didn't say a big factor was his decision to let me bring my dog to work. Is that selfish? Nah, I've had a lot of co-workers express happiness at having Beau the Dog in the office. I think this decision is indicative of a desire to foster job satisfaction and a community feel at the Empire.
I've worked many jobs over the last decade, a little more if you count slinging pizzas in high school or feeding animals and babysitting, and this is definitely the most interesting job. It also, as it turns out, best uses my skills and talents. It also allows me to sleep in late most days.
I guess I've had jobs in the past that allowed me to pull in some of my talents in ways outside the scope of my job description, but it's super fun to get to do the occasional illustration for the paper. It's cool to be at my desk painting a little picture for my job.
Late this spring, when we were first having that summery weather, I decided to weed out and garden a patch in my back yard. I had helped my mom garden in the past and I've written an article or two (three, actually) about other people gardening, so I figured it was something I could handle.
After one day of grueling weeding and turning over of soil with a shovel, I had cleared about a quarter of the yard. Let's call it good.
The death toll from recent clothing factory disasters is high; more than 1,100 in the Bangladesh collapse, around 300 in the Karachi fire in Pakistan. When you look at the label of your clothing, where does it say it's made?
Some of my clothing tags do say "Made in Bangladesh" or "Made in China" and maybe "Made in Pakistan" — it makes me wonder if having affordable fashion is worth the conditions caused by our consumer demands. My Gap dress cost $40 on sale — but at what cost?
In an open letter to Alaskans on the Choose Respect site (www.chooserespect.alaska.gov) Gov. Sean Parnell wrote, "In December of 2009, I pledged that Alaska would take every step necessary to stop the epidemic of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse in Alaska. Since then, we have witnessed more and more Alaskans finding the courage to speak, and the strength to act."
But respect is more than not hitting or raping a woman.