Friday Night, March 23 - Sick Day

1) I've done nothing today but lie around, watch Maltese Falcon, The Heiress, at a lot of scenes from Feud: Bette and Joan; eat leftovers, hydrate, and wash dishes, and I am absolutely, scratchily prostrate.

1a) I am far too busy to be sick right now!

2) If you want a treat, look up the podcast "Help I Sexted My Boss," which just premiered.

3) The neighbors said it felt like spring today. More proof that if you don't like the weather in New England, all you need to do is wait five minutes.

Friday Morning, March 23

1) Yesterday in the late afternoon and early evening I staffed an information table for Interlochen at the state's High School Drama Festival. After some confusion (alas for them, one of the principal organizers was unable to be there due to illness), I was parked at a table in a large, low-ceilinged room jammed with teenage hubbub and emotion. Every ten minutes or so there would be a crest of screaming or other exclamation, until the room emptied for them to begin the program in another space.

2) This morning, in a most likely unrelated incident, I woke up with the unmistakable signs of a cold - bleah! Staying home and handling some work stuff from here will be better than spreading a lot of cooties all over the office, especially at a time when all of us need to be in good health.

3) The back story feature at the end of this morning's NY Times briefing shattered a myth for me. All this time I thought the expression "OK" originated with Martin Van Buren's 1840 presidential campaign. Turns out that first it was a joke in a Boston newspaper in 1839!

Thursday Midday, March 22

1) Static. Friction. Paralysis.

2) Finalmente, feedback on an important project, resulting in a different set of criteria that will require me to redo about 85% of my work.

3) The verse goes "Know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." Knowing the Truth means recognizing it as the Truth. So many do not. They see it, but do not recognize it.

Thursday, March 22

1) This morning's devotional somehow threw a spotlight on Matthew 23:15: “Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of Hell than yourselves.”

2) I went to bed after 11 PM, and the snow hadn't started by then. Now, at almost 6:30 AM, it seems to be snowing a bit feebly. All this dramatic buildup for nothing.

3) Yesterday morning I arrived 15 minutes late for a large breakfast meeting, which sort of set the overall tone for the rest of the day. In other words, Lonnie Gordon's "Bad Mood."

3a) Which is not to say there weren't some lovely light moments as part of the day.

Wednesday, March 21

1) Yesterday being the first day of spring, a colleague and I persuaded everyone on the team to wear something floral. This actually involved me bringing in a couple floral neckties for a colleague who doesn't wear ties much. Later he reported a lot of compliments!

2) Last night for the third year I went to Taste of the South End as the guest of my friend Carl. Fabulous negronis in the Room No Longer Referred to as the VIP Room yielded the most fabulous event souvenir: faux-sapphire-tipped swizzle sticks.

2a) It's funny sometimes, the momentary rage for a souvenir. My delight in those swizzle sticks reminded me of my first ball for the Pastel Prison, for which the event planners arranged for Egyptian charms to be tied around all the napkins. One lady was so excited about them she commandeered ALL of them at her table and made them into a necklace.

3) Someone needs to write Fifty Million Users, a parody of Fifty Million Frenchman (a musical of which I know nothing but the name), about Cambridge Analytica.

BONUS: OMG, I cannot believe how people are just losing their minds over another snowstorm. It's New England, it's March - snow happens!

Monday Night, March 19

1) Quietly freaking out because a) my camera, which I just used to take photos when I got home, has disappeared, b) the news, and c) where is my damn camera?!

1a) There just aren't enough chocolate chips and tamari almonds in the house right now.

2) Tonight's soundtrack: the Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann. The Countess of Rothes remembered this being the last piece of music the band played on the Titanic before shutting down for the night - before the iceberg struck, of course.

3) Tonight at Doyle's I was shocked to hear someone ask for the wine list. A beer list, I could understand that!

Monday Morning, March 19

1) Last night's dinner went OK. Really interesting questions. Sometimes I can't stop myself from being more of a comedian than I need to be. #flaws

2) Today's Shakespearean insult seems tailormade for a Certain World Leader: "None but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy." [emphasis mine] - Much Ado About Nothing

3) Another sun-bright, bitter cold day featuring (among other things) the plume of steam atop the BU Law School across the river, a bacon breakfast burrito, and the constant battle with the office thermostat.

Friday Morning, March 16

1) Yesterday might best be described as "So many carbohydrates, so little time." Om nom nom.

2) I will certainly need to get my Oscar Wilde Memorial Green Carnation today for Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow.

2a) When that LGBT group was rejected earlier this month by the Staten Island group planning their Saint Patrick's Day Parade, they should've rebranded as an Oscar Wilde Appreciation Society. After all, the parade organizer was quoted saying "Our parade is for Irish heritage and culture. It is not a political or sexual identification parade." And Wilde is undeniably one of the great Irish writers!

3) This morning's reading from Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom included "No one looks directly at the sun, but everyone does when it is eclipsed. The vulgar will fasten upon your one failing rather than on your many successes." And how true that is!

Thursday Morning, Ides of March, 2018

1) Oldest Nephew Who Must Not Be Tagged gave me last Christmas a daily calendar of Shakespearean insults. It's been a big hit with me; I keep it at the office. The insults for Presidents Day and International Women's Day pulled no punches! (But I didn't save them, so don't ask what they were.) So I expected something good for the Ides of March, and instead got this from The Two Gentlemen of Verona: "How now, you whoreson peasant! Where you have been these two days loitering?" Which is rather off topic when considering regicide.

2) A nap + (1.5 manhattans + 1 plate of the spaghettini alfredo special + 2 chapters of The Colony: Portrait of a Restaurant) + Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade" on repeat + online solitaire = last night

3) This winter we seem to be accumulating snow the way I tan in the summer: burn and fade, burn and fade, resulting in freckles and sunspots.

Tuesday Morning, March 13 - SNOW DAY!

1) Ye Instytytte proactively announced yesterday that it would be closed today due to the latest nor'easter. Grateful for a day in my home. Just after 9 AM, the frosting is visibly thicker on the trees I see from my parlor window.

2) I wasn't going to read the news today, but sweet mercy goodness, one look at the Times and the sh*tsh*w that is our kakistocracy -- today it's a car crash I don't want to see, but from which I can't look away.

3) One year ago today we had a blizzard and a snow day - and it was the office's first-in-a-long-time 24-hour giving challenge. This year at least the giving challenge is tomorrow!

Monday Morning, March 12

1) Mercy goodness, it looks like we have another nor'easter coming Tuesday night, and people are just losing their minds. PEOPLE! We got through the winter of 2015, and we will get through this! Calm yourselves down and go stock up on French toast ingredients. Don't forget the cinnamon and vanilla.

1a) Interestingly, Tuesday afternoon I'm supposed to have a meeting with my oldest reunion committee at the office. I rather think we should reschedule.

2) This morning's devotional included a reading from How to Manage Your Day-to-Day about managing one's use of social media; the phrase "logging on with intention" somehow was the most important thing. And later I fully recognized that the only reason I logged onto ye Fycebykke was to post an opinion piece from the Times that I found meaningful.

3) I stand at the threshold of a new week not yet clear where it will take me. What's most present is the completion of projects over the last three days, not anticipation of work yet to be done - or indeed, of opportunities not yet clear or contemplated. Well, except snow shoveling. Let's see where it goes!

Sunday Night, March 11 - the Weekend Ends

Aside from the adventure of speaking at the WGBH Masquerade, it was an active weekend:

1) Saturday I was very surprised to run into a colleague twice: first on the platform at Green Station, and later outside Doyle's (!) at midday.

2) With my new presciption in my hands, it was off to Wahby Pahkah for new glasses at last. Madly, impetuously, I ended up getting three pairs, including sunglasses. Rejoicing that they still had my current frames.

3) Friends were quite right; I have very much enjoyed the podcast You Must Remember This. And I would love for Carina Longworth to do an episode on all the films made in 1939 by the cast of Gone With the Wind. Among others there's Stagecoach, The Rains Came, These Glamour Girls, Each Dawn I Die, The Women, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, and dozens and dozens more.

4) It's so valuable for me to have an unscheduled day in which to accomplish things.

Friday Night, March 9

1) Feelin' good having completed three important projects today: tomorrow night's presentation (whew!), the first draft of a project for work, and submission of an award nomination (also for work).

2) There is nothing like finding out 15 minutes into your lunch at your desk that you have a lunch appointment across campus in 15 minutes. But I made it!

3) Feeling really depleted, and eager for a solid night's sleep before a creative weekend.

Friday, March 9 - One Year Later

1) One year ago today I started this personal blog, This Is Robert Talking (and later This Is Robert Talking - the Dark Side of Etiquetteer), as a reaction to my increasing frustration with ye Fycebykke. It's interesting to see how my three-part status updates have become less brief (and less witty) and become more "This is what my day was like." Overall, though, it's been a good change for me . . . even though I can't bring myself to leave ye Fycebykke altogether, as a friend just did. If only there was another social media platform where we could all go and be happy together without having our content curated and managed and organized for us (and inflitrated by ads) . . . once I'd hoped that would be Ello, but that just turned into another way to see pretty pictures, and after they were overrun with Russian sexbots last year I left.

1a) All that said, right now I'm engaged in two different threads on ye Fycebykke that remind me how valuable it is to see thoughtful and respectful debate among people from opposite sides of the issue at hand. I am truly grateful to learn more from the people I know.

2) A late night at the office saw me home at 10:30ish and falling into bed like a stone about 11. Four hours later I woke from heavy sleep feeling as though my jaw was clamped shut and my shoulders and upper back carved from granite. I finally had to get out of bed, take two ibuprofen, and stand under a shower head set to Obliterate for 20 minutes to relax. Back in bed, I was thinking, "What on earth could have made this happen?" And then I remembered shoveling half of our long sidewalk yesterday morning . . .

3) Cathleen Calvert: "And then . . .  and then he refused to marry her!"

Scarlett: [whispers in her ear.]

Cathleen: [looks knowingly] "No, but she was ruined just the same."