Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Job

Work-wise, I am the head of a university duplicating, printing, and graphics department. I work my ass off at my job. It's a tough job, but I really enjoy it.

Last week, I was helping my boss with some graphic work. My Assistant Manager overheard a compliment thrown my way by him. She sent this email to him later that afternoon:

I wish to relay my observations regarding Marshall's value to this dept. I overheard your comment about Marshall's speedy typing when you were in his office this afternoon. He works at that pace all day long every day.

As I gain experience in this dept. I am trying to lighten the load for him, but I feel that I have barely made a dent. After 9 months of training, Marshall is still teaching me the details of running this office. There appears to be no limit to the intricacies of form production/inventory, copy machine contracts/service and duplicating/printing.

Marshall is a fantastic teacher, an understanding boss, a superb coordinator, the king of multi-tasking and therefore, more efficient than anyone I have ever met. As a bonus, he is always cheerful and positive. I think he is probably irreplaceable, so let's hope that nothing entices him to stay in France while he's on vacation in October.

Thanks for 'listening'.

I didn't know anything about it until my boss forwarded the email to me with this comment: "Marshall, this is between you and I. Read below. I forwarded it to [his boss] and [his boss's boss]. I must say I have to agree with everything Karen said. You do an excellent job."

What a kind thing to do! That really made my day.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Golden Light of Victory

I happened upon the TV show "Ninja Warrior" on the channel G4. The show, imported from Japan, is a reality competition of top (mostly Japanese) athletes trying to complete obstacle courses.

It's a fantastic show!

There are four stages of competition. One hundred start the first stage. In two of the four tournaments I have seen so far, NO ONE has made it to the fourth stage. The show just ends with no winner. Imagine a United States show like "Survivor" doing that.

My favorite competitors right now are Shingo Yamamoto and action star Kane Kosugi.

Here is Shingo trying to conquer the final stage.

Here is one of the few YouTube videos of Kane competing that I could find.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Connecting The Dots

Even in this age of mostly shitty music, I am always trying to find good new music to listen to. Here is the story of how I recently discovered one song.

In February 2007, Rolling Stone magazine featured Panic! At The Disco on their cover. (Yes, the “!” is part of their name.) Six months later, that magazine made it to the top of my To Read pile. After reading the article about the band, I downloaded some of their songs from LimeWire. I narrowed down my favorites and played those for Carlos – “Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off”, “Disconnect The Dots”, “The Only Different Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage”, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, and “I Constantly Thank God For Esteban”. The length of their song titles is a bit annoying, but the actual songs are quite melodic.

He and I both agreed that “Disconnect The Dots” was our favorite of the bunch, though Carlos did like the time signature changes in that last (“Esteban”) one.

I found their album on Amazon, but didn’t see our favorite song listed.

On further research, I figured out that Panic! At The Disco didn’t actually sing that song. A band called Satanic Panic In The Attic did. The LimeWire member who uploaded the song had misnamed it.

That was the end of the story until I was preparing this blog entry. Looking for the song’s video on YouTube, I found out that the band’s name is NOT Satanic Panic In The Attic. That is the name of the album. The band’s name is Of Montreal.

They are from Athens, Georgia – home to REM and The B-52’s. Satanic Panic In The Attic is their sixth album, released in 2004. Carlos and I sampled most of the songs from the album and they’re all really good. I recommend buying this one. (It’s on my Amazon Wish List if you’re looking for something to buy me for my birthday.)

And that is the story of how Carlos and I got turned on to “Disconnect The Dots” by Of Montreal.

Lagniappe: Panic! At The Disco’s "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off".