Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Music

Christmas tree ornaments
Originally uploaded by TopTechWriter.US.
Like any office, we listen to Christmas music during the holidays. When I'm not in control, we tend to listen to a local radio station that switches to holiday music in November, and I have a theory that the employees all go on vacation for eight weeks and simply repeat the same playlist with no adjustments year to year. Since I listen for about eight hours a day, I believe I am a reliable source on this.

It's the third year of hearing this song, and in addition to having odd lyrics, it still strikes me as trying to cram everything into one song. I hereby present the lyrics of "Santa Claus and Popcorn" by Merle Haggard:
Santa Claus and popcorn jingle bells and reindeer horns
Christmas trees and mistletoe Jesus loves me this I know

Carols singing Silent Night Crosby dreams of Christmas white
We celebrate cause the King was born with Santa Claus and popcorn

Children dancing round the tree sleighbells ringing merrily
Snowballs flying through the air happiness is everywhere

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What's in a Name?

Some of you may be unaware that Faith is not my first name, but I have gone by it for much of my life. I'm quick to use my given name on legal documents, here referred to as H--- for anonymity's sake, and I've started doing so over the phone at work. "Faith" doesn't come across the wires very well. I can't tell you the number of times I've given my name, only to have them follow up with, "Stace?" And I repeat it again and again, finally saying, "Faith. Like hope and charity." When I offer my given name, though, it comes across clearly, and all I have to fear is a possible misspelling.

I called a business yesterday, seeking clarification on an invoice we had received. They took down my name and number. I received no response, so today I followed up. The manager was on the phone, so they took down my name and number again. I mentioned this was a follow-up from yesterday's message, and I gave my name as H---, before realizing that I was pretty sure I had given Faith yesterday.

An hour or two passes when my phone rings. I automatically answered it with, "This is Faith," only to hear the individual ask for H---. I am not above correcting them with, "Oh, that's technically me, but I also go by Faith." However, I was not inclined to do so today. Instead, I asked him to hold, tried to get the laugh out of my voice, and answered as H---, making a slight effort to have my voice at its normal tone, not on the high pitch it had ended on in my chipper "This is Faith" answer.

I think I fooled him.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tagged: Seven Things

Dr. Liz has tagged me, so I'm supposed to share seven things about myself.

1. I love to create. I love examining individual parts and seeing potential in them. This experience isn't restricted to knitting. When I was younger, I wrote incessantly, and I still have a thing for a good notebook or slim journal. Growing up, I was in 4-H where I dabbled in woodworking. Some of my projects are in my home, including a bookcase and a kitchen cart. I have fits and starts when I use my sewing machine to make quilts and small items. As a teacher, I had a sick enjoyment of creating handouts (or improving existing, non-aesthetically pleasing ones) -- laying things out on a page, formatting it beautifully, even color-coding certain handouts. Totally lost on the students. When we moved to Indiana, my mom gave me many of her stamps, so I even have seasons where I make my own cards. Seeing things transform to something greater is so rewarding. It's not always pretty, but I like it more because it challenged me and I succeeded. It's gratifying to have someone ask, "Where did you buy that (bookcase, pair of socks, etc.)," when I made it. Even with employment I enjoy, I think if I could stay at home and dabble in making things all day long, I would be quite satisfied. I'm not sure where this will take me, but I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the future I tackle spinning my own yarn, or even programming if I were quite ambitious.

2. I love classic books much more than contemporary ones. I think it's the character development and the tangents that get me. The unabridged Les Miserables really tested me on both counts (about one hundred pages written on why Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo), but it still emerged as one of my favorites. Dickens, Austen, Dostoevsky, Wharton, Gaskell, and Twain are also favorites.

3. I love technology. For some reason, I get excited about digital cameras, Mac computers, and iPods (I don't care about fancy televisions, though). Throw on DVR or the latest technological development, and I'm euphoric. Come on -- pausing live television? A slick, slim cellphone? Priceless. And this may be my public admission that I am now the proud owner of an iPod Touch. Don't even get me started on the wonderful applications and games for that -- thanks to Stanza, I have the text of 30 books. And there's still plenty of room for the traditional mp3 fare of countless songs, podcasts, and audiobooks to keep me entertained, all on one slim piece of amazing (you know it has to be great if I'm delving into the ungrammatical).

4. I used to memorize things: Shakespeare soliloquies, poems, and passages of the Bible. I've grown rusty, though, and haven't tackled anything in years.

5. I was a nanny for one week. I'm not one to leave jobs unless I'm moving, but many things that had been stipulated as my duties over the phone were increased by the time I arrived, and I worried what would happen in six months' time if they were already taking advantage of me.

6. Right now in my life, I typically don't like to cook. I think this has to do with always feeling so rushed (and hungry) when I get home in the evenings. I like it when I have time to prepare something on a weekend, but I would be one of those people who would happily pop a pill containing all my calories and nutrition. Or graze on small things all day long. Or have a personal chef. Maybe this means I need to be one of those people who prepares and freezes all their meals for the week. And I do enjoy the fall and winter for allowing me to make the most of my crockpot since the prep work is done before I get hungry.

7. When I was younger, I saw a television special about toys coming to life when the children left the room. I was convinced this was true, to the point that I rotated my stuffed animals in bed so they wouldn't feel like there was preferential treatment -- sure, I had favorites, but I wasn't prepared to hurt the feelings of the others. (It's frightening to see that my tendencies to please others and avoid confrontation extended to my toys.)

So there you have it. I now tag Eric, Rachel, and Rebecca.