Friday, April 21, 2006

No good deed...

...goes unpunished -- or so they say.

I wondered who they was until last night. I volunteered to put together the local ham radio club's newsletter and have had nothing but grief since then. I'm working with -- or rather besieged by -- a bunch of guys who have no idea how to work with a real editor. The president is doing his best to micromanage me and I'm getting fed up. That is, I was fed up until I talked to a friend -- the only person in the entire club who took the time to Google me and read my writing and about me. He has become my advocate and keeps a ready supply of ear plugs for when I get emails like the one I got last night.

Suffice it to say that after a few phone calls, talking to the Evil One (who, I might add, calmed me down considerably and offered his point of view -- and a bit of salacious rumor) and deciding how best to work out a resolution with the dunderheads, I have calmed down considerably and am nearly finished with next month's issue of the newsletter. Of course, I don't have a lead article and I don't have all the material that must go into the newsletter (club and board meeting minutes, president column, membership report, and various committee reports), but the hard part is done and I have all the monthly changes made. I had to impose a firm deadline for the people who absolutely must have their article, news item, changes in the issue and I will not bend on that. The rest of it is calling the printer to make sure he got the emailed issue and when I can expect to have the issue finished and ready to be picked up, calling the people who pick it up, put it together and mail it out, and wait for another month's worth of bitching and moaning. What amazes me most is that the issues I have seen in the archives that span the past 3-4 years are amateurish, have some missing issues (they weren't published) and were late month after month and they're griping because the membership had their printed issues three days before the club meeting.

The Evil One told me it was way too much pressure and grousing for a volunteer position that no one else wanted in the first place. I know there is no one warming up in the bull pen anxious to take over as editor because the previous editor couldn't give away the job for two years -- and I know he begged, pleaded and offered his first born if someone would. Oh, well, I'm not the type to cut and run when things get tough. Instead I take the political jerks head-on until one of us is bloodied and bowed. So, for the nonce, I am here to stay.

That message rather took the joy out of my dinner date last night. After a sleepless night, scrambling for work and another long night ahead of me, I have finally regained that sense of peace and relaxation I had after dinner last night. The conversation was good, the laughter flowing like a placid stream and the company definitely a keeper. Of course, being with a boy scout is no camping trip, but you just never know. I think I have a new pagan friend with leanings toward Celtic Druidism.

Looking out my windows as the afternoon glides toward evening, I am finally able to breathe calmly. A playful breeze tickles the ends of my hair, which still smells like Aramis, and brings me the scent of BBQ and mesquite from my favorite restaurant. The scent is a combination of wood smoke and bubbling honey and spices that reminds me it's time to pop dinner in the microwave and settle down in front of Brokeback Mountain. I have heard good and bad and mediocre things about the movie, but I want to make up my own mind.

I always do.

Night before last I was transported to a world of subtle mystery and beauty as it walked side by side with jealousy, vanity and sadism with Nitta Sayuri as she became a celebrated geisha in Memoirs of a Geisha. Surprisingly, the movie is based on a book by Arthur Golden. The screenplay is an interplay of lush color and subtle darkness and intrigue that shows a hidden world that is misunderstood by most westerners. Geisha means artist, not prostitute, and geisha are the "wives of nightfall," half a wife to men of power who followed tradition and familial expectations to marry the women chosen for them.

"Remember, Chiyo, Geisha are not courtesans, and we're not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty."

Makes me wonder about the sanctity of marriage, but that is a topic for another post.

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