Archive for the ‘Shameless Self-Promotion’ Category

A year ago I met two important people on my porch.

The first was a gal named Thelma. We first spoke in the kitchen–which was apropos–but we met on the porch, chatting and staring at the stars and the city across the way. My life with her has had the indolent pleasure of a ceaseless brunch whose end I wish never to come. Knowing Thelma’s appetite, I’m sure she would agree.

Here we are last Christmas on said porch, one from a series some people somehow took seriously (such is the mystery of our love):

The second important person I met on the porch was a fellow by the name of Taylor. His arrival on the porch was at first inauspicious, as it interrupted one of the aforementioned conversations between Thelma and me.  He soon won us over, however, with a bottle of duty-free scotch initially intended for our landlord.

Here is Taylor on CNN talking about his organization in Rwanda, and here he is snuggling with me on the porch (photo credit: Thelma):

Through a logical chain of conversation since unlinked by poor memory, Taylor and I got to talking of my teenage fascination with World War II and his work as associate producer on The War, a documentary by Ken Burns which I had watched just before coming to Rwanda*. Seeing my interest in the process, Taylor offered to link me up with someone at Florentine Films for an internship while Thelma rubbed my shoulders encouragingly–our first meaningful physical contact.

That was a year ago on a porch in Rwanda. Much happened in the meantime, but as of last week I’ve begun an internship at the editing house for Florentine Films in Walpole, NH until December. I’ve washed dishes and taken out the trash, but I’ve also gotten to do some (very very) basic editing work on a DVD extra for the upcoming Prohibition and may have made my first visual contribution by finding some period newspaper articles on FDR’s 1910 state senate campaign for The Roosevelts (coming in 2013!). Here’s a boring and unlikely to be used sample:

Beyond a rendezvous with Thelma in Germany I don’t know what the new year will bring, but so far things have been nicely unpredictable.  The only ill harbinger at the moment is the prospect of my first New England winter, which will surely keep me inside and off any porches.


* In another strange linkage, I had first seen The War during my year in Germany but quickly changed the channel because I didn’t want to watch it in my limited German and have its impact lessened as a result.

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Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but I have proved my worth. Here’s what I said two weeks ago:

My keen observation of the ruling American zeitgeist in the past few months permits me to make the following predictions vis-à-vis Halloween costumes:

  • For the ladies, the most desired will be Sarah Palin.
  • For the gentle-men, the most desired will be the Joker.

And what to my wondering eyes does appear, but a newspaper headline with a validation most clear:

Looking for Halloween ideas? Joker and Palin costumes are hot

To be honest, I suspected I had powers of clairvoyance ever since a woman vaguely resembling Roma Downey bumped up against me on a Germany subway, but now I’m sure of it and must give warning:

Stan Lazarus, of Muncie, Indiana: today, you and Phil from accounts receivable will decide on Scotty’s Brewhouse for lunch and hop in your truck. As you make the turn out of the Duffy Tool parking lot onto Kilgore, Phil will try to turn the radio on. DO NOT LET HIM DO THIS! You accidentally left the volume on after rocking to the oldies on WERK 104.9 last night, and when Phil switches the radio on, the Righteous Brothers’ version of Unchained Melody will come on with such force that you will involuntarily jerk the wheel and clip the curb, taking out a traffic sign and doing several thousand dollars worth of damage to the grill and chassis of your Ram.

Also, Scotty’s will overcook your burger, so order it rare.

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Every Monday morning there is a set meeting at my company in which all the managers gather around a large ovular wooden table in a conference room and report to the director about their respective ongoing projects. I also attend these meetings and am ostensibly obliged to give a report on my activities, though I am sometimes skipped purposely by the managing director due the long-windedness of other managers and because it is (usually rightly) assumed that I have nothing of import to relate.

At today’s meeting, however, the managing director tasked me with sharing my thoughts about a report the German government had released regarding the attractiveness of the former East German states for investment from India. The director was ambiguous as to what direction my thoughts should take, so I decided to be presumptuous and use the report as an argument for a new strategy for the company. It was bold, heady, simplistic, trite, and completely unfeasible, and was outlined in a halting German that belied the formidable competence of the speaker.

I think the director liked it.

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This marks my 100th post here at The Ruling Zeitgeist. My thanks especially to those loyal readers, who, though they rarely comment, at least cast electronic shadows of their presence long enough for me to detect and thereby keep me writing.

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A friend directs me to the following page.

The business school knows more (Moore?) about me than I do. Seeing as how I hate talking about what I did in school (something which is almost required in certain settings), this page will henceforth provide me an easy template to follow in order to minimize my unease.

Oh, and that debate prize is bunk. It’s worth about as much as a science fair participation ribbon.

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