Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Recently Written Collection of Haiku

I was reading a collection of Robert Frost poetry, a free download on the iPad. The plane had just taken off from Logan airport in Boston en route to Orlando, Florida and we were forewarned of some choppy air on the way up – then this came to me:
In flight with my thoughts
Reading Frost and getting lost
No more turbulence.

Sitting a few rows ahead of me was a couple that seemed to be enjoying each other’s company. It was obvious to me they were talking but I had no idea what they were saying because they were too far away to effectively eavesdrop. Therefore, I allowed my imagination to take over and came up with this:
Speaking in a code
Known only to each other
They spoke of their love.

While I was alone with my imagination, thinking about what others might be saying or thinking, one more haiku came to me after looking at he scenario above from a different angle – not imagining what was said, but that which was unsaid:
Sparingly, they spoke
It was with their eyes they talked
And I heard it all.

I was listening to a keynote on Wednesday (7/24) and when the speaker was making a particular point in a story referring to listening/hearing, I was instantly inspired, pulled out the iPad and came up with this:
Don't just listen, hear
If you speak, speak from the heart
Make a difference

It was a few days of busy time (with quite a bit of fun time) before I was scheduled to return to Massachusetts on Saturday (7/17); I was sitting on the sofa, relaxing in my quarters, watching television and just chilling out. I went to get the iPad because I wanted to review some notes I made and compulsively tapped the notepad and wrote this:
I'm heading back home
Thought I'd find some perspective
I won't stop trying

Flipping through the channels, I don’t remember the specific moment of inspiration and I can’t even recall now if I actually saw the “comedy and tragedy” masks or envisioned them as a result of something I saw or heard. However, the idea of the comedy and the tragedy struck me and I wrote this:
Like a comedy
I laughed, then, started to cry
Like a tragedy

The final two haikus I wrote on this trip was inspired by a weather report. The mere mention of rain somehow got the Neil Sedaka song “Laughter in the Rain” stuck in my head. I began singing the song in my head and next thing I knew, I found myself amused and thought about intentionally twisting the idea that one would normally find sadness in rain and happiness in sunshine – this is what I came up with:
Laughter in the rain
Depression in the sunshine
Twisted emotions

I thought that was it, I had put down the iPad and began to doze off for a bit. I had intended on taking a short nap and I guess my brain needed a brief rest.
I later met my colleague and his wife for lunch and worked my way to the airport afterwards for the worst part of traveling, the traveling… after 45 minutes or so in the JetBlue line, where I was delighted to be successful at nabbing a seat on an earlier flight, and an awfully long wait in the TSA line, I arrived at my gate and planned to see if there was wireless so I could kill the half hour wait with some Facebooking or other Internet based activity. I heard a nearby traveler mentioning rain and the time I spent earlier in my room came back to me.
This last haiku, composed at gate 110 in the JetBlue terminal at MCO came to me and is the closest of all here to the traditional Japanese poetry form:
Flowers in springtime
Sunshine kisses morning dew
Summertime bouquets

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Flawed Algorithm?

I received this in an email from drugstore.com:
drugstoreI’ve ordered the Litter Locker refill from them. The litter locker is kind of a diaper genie, but for cats – you put the stuff you scoop out of the litter box into it, give it a twist and then get on with your life. What is obviously baffling, is how this computer decided I would possibly like tampons as a result of my purchasing cat litter supplies….
[**warning, I am about to go there, if you don’t wish to be a part of it then leave now…..**]
See, now I didn’t even need to go there as I have forced you to get there yourself! Enjoy the laughter. BTW, the above is a real, undoctored email.

Friday, July 23, 2010

One That Slipped Through The Cracks?

Tales from the helpdesk of a community college in Somewhere, USA (the names have been blurred to protect the…)
[You may need to click on the picture to see it full size and appreciate/fear it properly]
graduated

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Road (Way) Less Traveled

It was my first day here in Florida, I had my rented car and found my lodging. Once settled in, I made my way to the Gaylord Palms, where the conference was being held. I don't love to drive and when I am in unfamiliar territory, it takes me a bit of time to warm up - fortunately, Florida was warm, so I got more comfortable with the roads along with the aid of my GPS, which I cleverly brought from home.
Once at the Gaylord, I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that parking was not free and worse, was rather expensive ($12+tax per departure). While I resolved to deal with the parking fees later, I sought out the registration check-in booth to get my badge and materials and then walked around a bit to become familiar with the facility and locations of the various conference rooms and the sort.
After a while, I met up with W and we started to strategize a bit about conference sessions, chat about the previous couple of days when he attended the developers conference, and then made plans to go to dinner somewhere.
I left the Gaylord en-route to the Floridays Resort, where I was staying, upset at the parking fee, but looking forward to a shower, changing clothes, and heading back for dinner. Upon my return, I regretfully pulled through the gates of the parking lot taking my ticket and went about meeting up with W, Mrs. W, and Niece of W. We met up in the somewhat impressive atrium, a seemingly central concept of Gaylord hotels, and just hung out for a bit while contemplating some dinner option (with the help of my trusty Droid).
[*back to writing a few days later*]
I realize I could really go on and on about things that have nothing to do with the title of this post and the crazy story...so hear goes...
It's near 11:00pm and I start to make my way back from the Gaylord hotel to mine. I pay the ridiculous parking fee and set up my GPS and like a good soldier driving in unfamiliar territory, I pay attention to the lady inside my little electronic gadget.
At some point, GPS lady says, "make left turn on something or other street (name forgotten and not relevant)”. I dutifully make my left turn and while the road is super quiet and apparently under construction, I proceeded. Shortly into my cautious trek onto this road, I sensed something didn't feel right but then miss GPS directed me to make a right turn, which seemed to be such a relief at the time, I proceeded with hope that I may end up on a less remote road.
Unfortunately, hope does not always pan out and I was now on a far more remote road, a dirt road and hear are the fears and thoughts that topped the list just seconds after my obedient act of driving:
  • Where the fuck am I and how do I get out?
  • I had a few drinks, what if a cop finds me here and asks me to take a breathalyzer test?
  • What if there is a sinkhole or quicksand ahead?
  • Okay God, this is the test...let's both pass it, okay?
What was minutes surely seemed like much, much longer but after all that anxiety and worry, a main road came into view along with my lodging off to the left. I emerged from the, whatever it was I was trapped in to get right back onto International Drive, made the next U-turn while contemplating what must have been going through the minds of the drivers that passed me while waiting to get onto the road and eventually found myself at the entrance of the Floridays Resort...day one of trip down, four to go!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tales from central Florida...Blackboard World 2010

What do Venezuela and Morocco have in common?
We are at a party hosted by one of the vendors, a sponsor of the conference and someone we do business with. The event is at a restaurant in the hotel and features a lovely open bar and a lovely paella featuring some serious prawn action.
After several plates of the luscious paella and a few Peroni's, I was jonesing for something sweet, none of which was to be found...that is, until I turned on the charm.
Throughout The evening, I was making small talk with the wait staff, in particular a lady from Venezuela named Kristelle and a lady from Morocco named Farah...just little chit-chat, where are you from, what brought you here, etc.
At some point, I caught both of their attention and motioned for them to come over to the table. I told them how nice it would be if the vendor had a table of desserts and how good a nice sweet dessert would be right now. I had them laughing but they said this event was just food and drink. Then I started asking them if they do the traditional restaurant thing and if so, how many times a day they had to sing the dreaded happy birthday....they continued to laugh and then, I went for the bleachers and said this...
"I can't imagine anyone wanting anything sweeter than the two of you, but boy, a little ice cream or s piece of cake would really hit the spot; I'm just sayin'." Soon after, they were on their way to wait on other table and 5 minutes or so later, as pi was deep into shenanigans and conversation, the two of them come out with this beautiful brownie sundae with a birthday candle in it (it wasn't my birthday) and just smiled. I thanked them both, gave them each a hug and then went on to eat my dessert (I did share it with my colleague's wife and niece)...fun times!