Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thought from Emerson for Thanksgiving Day

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am grateful I have had so many days to blunder and be absurd.  Thank you to all the people in my life who are still willing to love me and be my friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Behave in Public as a Female Professional

Wow.  I am sad that this type of thing is still happening. This is from the New York Post.

Firm to female staffers: Learn hard words

Smart women don’t show cleavage — or at least that’s what one high-powered Manhattan law firm is telling its female employees.
The legal firm Clifford Chance sent female associates a bizarre memo advising them to  stop giggling, squirming and showing cleavage while speaking in public, irking female employees who called the tips sexist, the legal news website Abovethelaw.comreports.
The memo urges lady lawyers to “practice hard words,” stop saying “like” and to button up, explaining “No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage” and “Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.”
It also offers tips on how to be more masculine while speaking, noting “lower your voice” and “take up space.”
The presentation tips were sent to female employees of the firm across the country, which angered  lady lawyers, who said it unfairly singles out women as air-headed and unprofessional.
“[F]emale associates are very upset by not only the elementary nature of the tips themselves, but the suggestion that these would only apply to women. We have never been a very female friendly firm, but this is beyond the pale,” one employee told the site.
Other tips on the memo include:
  • “Like” You’ve got to Lose “Um” and “Uh,” “You know,” “OK,” and “Like”
  • Don’t raise your pitch at the end of a statement if it’s not a question.
  • Lower the pitch — say “uh-huh” and match that pitch to how low you can go
  • Don’t qualify: “Kind of, sort of, just…”
  • Don’t giggle
  • Don’t squirm
It also offers “what not to wear” tips:
  • Don’t dress like a mortician: if wearing a black suit, wear something bright
  • Don’t dress like you do every day, wear something special
  • If wearing a skirt make sure the audience can’t see up it when sitting on the dais
  • If wearing a scarf, make sure it stays tied
  • Make sure you can stand in your heels, not trip, don’t rock back on them
A rep from the firm said the  tips came from one particular individual who found them helpful.
“The original presentation and associated tips represented a personal perspective, shared with a group of colleagues, some just starting out in their careers,” the representative said.
“We believe that it is important that women as well as men are given access to a range of different viewpoints and approaches; there is no Clifford Chance template on how people should present. The offense caused by a small percentage of the suggestions in the tip sheet was entirely unintentional.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dear Page

[flash fiction]

Dear Page/ Dear Screen/ Dear Void,

I'm writing because I haven't written. You poor neglected beast.

I haven't been writing but I've been thinking my head.
Thoughts that are better left unsaid.

Those hasty generalizations and anxious bursts of feeling that can only cause trouble. Averse to trouble as I am I have a way of finding it, probably because of those thoughts. They nip at my heels like playful pups with their sharp milk teeth. Like cats they crawl up to my chest while I'm sleeping and suck my breath. 

They are the thoughts entertained by anyone. Or so I must assume. I can't confirm that because I won't let them see the light of day, poor children chained under the porch while I enjoy the cookies and milk. 

They starve of neglect, but wither and do not pass. Rather I pass them in the street and deny them coins. 

They sneak into my bed at night and leave changelings.

They are disagreeable. Personas non gratas. uninvited guests. But their voices twitter outside the windows and their nails scrape the panes. I leave them in the cold. They never let me forget it.

So I am sorry I have not written. I do miss you.