Monthly Archives: November 2011

Uneven Pavement

That’s how I feel this morning: like a patch of bumpy sidewalk. Off center; unbalanced.

I know why. I always know why, right after Thanksgiving. Today marks the insane push to 23 December — the first day of Christmas break. I just need to keep calm and carry on. (I have to get that poster for my classroom.) I think I’m in good company with other secondary music teachers, as the month of December is historically stressful. While I only have three performances, the actual music (which is always a concern) takes a back seat to getting the concert space ready, hiring and writing music for rhythm section players, writing & copying the programs, dealing with other logistical problems, and finally, putting in some practice time myself on accompaniments. It’s a lot of self-imposed pressure, I admit. But there nonetheless. I get ooky in my stomach just thinking about it.

However, this too shall pass. It has passed for the last 18 years of my public school career; no reason why it shouldn’t this time. I just hate that uneven feeling, you know? Like the pieces aren’t falling into place. But fall they will, and I’ll survive yet another Christmas concert season. Eight more… :-)

Now to get to the school house in my fancy rental car (a black Chevy HHR, which PK said looks like a hearse) without crashing into the thundering herds of deer fleeing from the camo people on the second day of gun season. Oi.


I hate that word. The “cyber” label, for me, immediately cheapens a thing. Cyber Monday. Cyberspace, cybersecurity, cyberterrorism. All pretentious prefixes that have come to substitute for the word “internet.”

Where’d this word come from anyway? From Wikipedia:

The term ‘cybernetics’ was coined in Norbert Wiener’s book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948).Wiener used the term in reference to the control of complex systems in the animal world and in mechanical networks, in particular self-regulating control systems. By 1960, doctors were performing research into surgically or mechanically augmenting humans or animals to operate machinery in space, leading to the coining of the term “cyborg,” for “cybernetic organism.”

By the 1970s, the Control Data Corporation (CDC) sold the “Cyber” range of supercomputers, establishing the word cyber- as synonymous with computing. Robert Trappl credits William Gibson and his novel Neuromancer with triggering a “cyber- prefix flood” in the 1980s. McFedries observes that a backlash against the use of e- and cyber- can be traced to the late 1990s, quoting Hale and Scanlon requesting writers in 1999 to “resist the urge to use this vowel-as-cliché” when it comes to e- and calling cyber- “terminally overused.”

And there you have it. “Terminally overused.” I’ll add “outdated” to it as well, akin to using the terms “surf the ‘Net” and “e-commerce.” You could avoid those, if you loved me. Or you could continue to use them, as you were country when country wasn’t cool.

Regardless, I’m being sucked into the vortex (ah, another outdated epithet) of Cyber Monday, as I shall hit the stores from my parlor this morning. I’m almost done with my shopping — how about you? My secret goal every year is to at least finish the buying part before December hits. Once again, I think I’m going to make it.

Did you Black Friday shop this year? Any stories to share?

Cyberfink out

Black Friday, bright Saturday

So, my wonderful fiends — did you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday? I hope so. We surely did at the Fink house. Helen, who hasn’t been feeling well of late, was able to join us, and she brought her lovely sister, who was visiting from Texas. Even though everyone was very tired from having dinner-hopped all day long, a delightful time of love and laughter was had by all. For that, I am grateful and happy.

Then, Black Friday fell upon us, and it was all men, women and shopping carts for themselves. It was the first time I’d done the early-morning shopping excursion, and it was fine. We didn’t see anyone throwing punches or acting stupid. In fact, daughter-in-law Hannah and her mom Jane and I had a fantastic time.

Look at what all I got done yesterday. Even with the insanity of huge lines and what looked like Saturday night traffic (when it was 3:30 a.m on Friday), I discovered that one can really get some good deals by schlepping it out long before the butt crack of dawn.

And yes, that’s a tiny little artificial tree. The Thriller and I decided to take the plunge yesterday, and as a result, going out to get a real tree, hauling it into the house, trimming its  trunk and branches, feeding and watering it, lighting and decorating it, then disassembling and dismembering it are now a thing of the past. We’ve moved on, as it were; too old to mess with it anymore.

At first I was very sad. Now I’m just half sad. But it’s not fair of me to expect the Thriller to do the lion’s share of the physical work (which he would do if I asked him to) when it’s just not wise for his increasingly creaky bones anymore than it would be for mine, so…it’s the Martha Stewart 4-footer from now on, and I’m OK with that.

But hey, I’m still in the Christmas spirit, so fear not! I’m ahead of the game on wrapping gifts (until the online orders start arriving, that is), and I’m pretty much done shopping, so now I can enjoy the upcoming season — which starts, delightfully enough, tonight, with a Js sleepover, when we’ll decorate the tree, play some games, and maybe make some gingerbread cookies. :-)

Hope you had a great weekend. What was your favorite food experience?

Say thankya

THANK YOU to my faithful and kind Finkites (all 90 or so of you, worldwide, yeaaaah boiiiiii) who grace this place with your eyeballs every morning. A bigger thank-you to all who leave comments, because, as you know, the insecure artist screaming love meeee needs that on a regular basis.

And now, since I don’t want to leave anything missing from your holiday RtB visit (*snicker*):

:-) Off to make the cherry cobbler…

Good day

I got a feelin’…nah, I won’t go there.

Now that that song’s stuck in your head all day (you’re welcome), I will say that I fear yesterday’s post scared everyone away. Did I come across too strong? *looking in mirror* Am I pale? I guess I’ve not been myself lately. And now I’m channeling Daffy Duck. Shoot me again! I enjoy it! I love the smell of burnt feathers… and gun powder…and cordite. I’m an elk! Shoot me! Go on!! It’s elk season! I’m a fiddler crab. Why don’t you shoot me?! It’s fiddler crab season!


Yes, it is definitely time for a brief vacation. And yes, I could go on all day long with the Daffy quotes. :-)

OH, and PS — had a fantastic time at BFF Kay’s birthday dinner last night. Happity birthday, Kay!