Showing posts from November, 2012

Farewell, Factory of the Damned

There are one or two ways to handle a major layoff as a responsible and ethical employer. There are about 50 ways to do it wrong. Jimmy's soon-to-be-former employer is trying most of them on for size. Those of you who read my Facebook know my fiancĂ© is about to be laid off. This poses no small problem for us, as book sales have bottomed out and supporting a family of three (including a teenager with a tapeworm and two hollow legs) on a reporter's salary is... problematic. Yeah, that's it. He's been actively job-hunting for two months, frenetically begging on the job market since this layoff was announced a few weeks ago. He's had three nibbles, no offers, though one is quite promising. We've pared down the budget as much as we can (note to self: don't sign long-term contracts anymore). In the meantime, let's review how you DON'T handle a layoff well: • Keep all your employees in the dark and let speculation run riot before giving your workers

Person of the Year

Once again, TIME Magazine presents me with a great conundrum, and this year it's harder than most: the blogosphere is lobbying heavily for Malala Yousafzai as Person of the Year. Yousafzai is a brave, intelligent girl whom I admire more than I can say... but I don't think she should be Person of the Year. This ought to win me friends. Yousafzai, of course, is the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who openly wrote that, gee, girls are human too and deserve an education. While in Western culture some people still argue that we don't need no book-learnin', she defied a rigidly patriarchal Eastern culture to insist that she did not require a penis in order to read, and she was rewarded with a bullet to the head - which she survived. Yes, she deserves accolades (and, one hopes, the opportunity for a college degree she desires). But that's not what Person of the Year is supposed to be about. Person of the Year is supposed to recognize that person who has most changed th

Sartorial Statistics

ME: Aaaah! Noooo! HIM: What? ME: You shaved your beard! HIM: Don't start that, I did not. I trimmed it. ME: Trimmed it to nothing! HIM: It's there. ME: ... I need a magnifying glass. HIM: I trimmed it to a 2! ME: You can't go lower than 4. Ever again. HIM: It's my beard, woman! ME: Don't call me woman! You can't keep it as low as when you were young, it's all gray and it disappears! HIM: Gee, thanks hon. ME: How about this? I can cut my hair every time you shave your beard. HIM: No. I love your hair. You may not cut it. ME: Oh yeah? Says who? HIM: Me. Cause I'm the man and I say so. *chokes* ME: Say that again with a straight face. HIM: ... I can't. ME: You're adorable. Or you were! HIM: It's still there! ME: I loved your beard! It was all lovely black shot through with silver, so distinguished. You could be an honored head of state with a beard like that, or maybe a Bond villain. HIM: ... That's quite a leap there, hon. *tries to

In which I get historically cranky...

All right, let's get this straight: • Guy Fawkes was not trying to overthrow a theocratic, repressive government; he was trying to create one. King James began his reign by offering religious freedom, at least the best that time period could envision. Only after constant threats of violence if he did not convert to the Catholic faith personally and the Bye Plot, which was a failed plan to kidnap the king and hold him until he agreed to reinstate the Catholic Church as the sole faith of England, did James get cranky and begin persecuting Catholics. • The November Plot was to assassinate King James, to kidnap and install Princess Elizabeth, all of (I think) eight years old, because she could be easily controlled. It was not the work of anarchists who believed in no government; it was exchanging a legal monarchy for a totalitarian theocracy. They also tried to convince Spain to invade England and ignored the pleadings of the Pope, who thought it was a bad idea to reinstate Catholi