divide and conquer

is the name of what could be the title track of the much-anticipated first Drama Queens album… much anticipated by the few of us in the band, and possibly by a fan or significant other or two, although of that we can’t be certain.

You can hear some of the tracks, still in progress, at http://www.reverbnation.com/ericfriedman — the first 5-7 songs there are likely to be on the album as well as a few others. The latest song wrote itself, as they say, on a ukelele borrowed from my brother that Jeff Tweedy of Wilco signed, so please… a little respect. I thought the signature was a little faded and hard to notice so I livened it up with some glitter glue and smiley face stickers. In a rapidly developing and then unraveling story, we were going to kick off the album tour at our strangely downsized company holiday party, where they’ve gone from renting out a nice hotel ballroom in Cambridge and providing drink tickets and good catering in previous years to holding this year’s affair in our basement conference room with a potluck dessert. They were asking around if people would play music if they put a guitar in the corner of the room, and stifling a guffaw I said maybe I’d play a song or two with the better musical half of the Drama Queens if she could come, only to be told this was an employee-only affair. No spouses or guests. What?! Just a few months ago they were having a launch “cafe” party for a long-overdue and still largely non-functioning intranet complete with hired baristas. One year ago we acquired a company based in Australia, which led to an executive retreat in some exotic Pacific locale to plan the strategic alignment of our two companies and our shared values (ahem, another massage?). Hath our corporate finances been squandered? Was it our company that designed the first Obamacare website? Ah, crap!!

No, we weren’t responsible for that. Had we been, we’d be all snug in our healthcare at this very moment, leaving the rabid conservatives shrieking at the top of their own preventatively-cared-for lungs. I think our company’s doing fine… then again, my colleague and I just pulled off a nice little presentation at one of our internal technical dissemination series, a presentation that I packed full of information but then ended with the following slide:

This is how you undermine any credibility you've established in the previous 40 minutes...

This is how you undermine any credibility you’ve established in the previous 40 minutes…

And they say I’m not VP material. Well, I’ve decided once and for all that growing up is a fool’s game, yo. I mean, of course, unless I’m talking to my kids… in which case, they should really try to grow up a little bit. I mean the tantrums that began at age 18 months have got to stop sometime. But when my kids act their age and are content (what rare, sweet moments!), then that is really the place to be… for all of us. Excited to learn, completely trusting in their loved ones, free to be themselves. I suppose if everyone was that trusting and carefree at all times, we’d all be eaten by lions… so let’s just backtrack a bit and assert that one should feel free to reinvent what it means to be grownup and responsible, rather than just act out the part or try to emulate others who seem more grownup than ourselves. I think I fell into that trap and sort of assumed my elders/superiors 1) knew what they were doing, and 2) deserved to be where they were by some merit/hard work of their own. While 2) might be true some of the time, I’m finding 1) rarely is. It’s really more about convincing others of 1) and 2)… I still find that a bit shocking.

So somehow the holidays are upon us already. We’re contemplating a small addition to our house but a bit terrified of the not-small price tag. Not that we’ve seen an actual price tag yet… we’ve had a series of contractors stop by, poke around, shake their head, promise to send us an estimate and then disappear. I might be losing them by the time I talk about the new family room being entirely self-sufficient with geothermal heat and windmill-powered electricity. I’m kidding, the town of Sharon would never allow a wind turbine in our yard. They’ll allow two hens per adult, but not a windmill. A henhouse is something we could afford.

Beating a path back and from to L.A. for one of my projects — but it’s the most “consulting” like job I’ve worked on so far, as in it’s all about capacity-building rather than digging into the actual work that needs to be done. I’m finding that a bit frustrating, and the five to six hour flights back and forth are no fun. I specifically do not recommend a red-eye flight back on Virgin, where the purple neon lighting and the low ooze of nightclub music makes you feel more out of place than comfortable. It’s pretty crazy standing for a moment in the back of the plane and seeing all of the bright screens in the back of everyone’s seat… sort of a microcosm of our modern-day world, where all of us are staring at screens for more hours than we’d like to admit/think about. That said, I’m sure there’s no going back… we are a screen-hungry culture now. We’re not far from interacting with just about everything through some sort of filter. Control the filter, control the world! That’s the motto at Melitta. (they make coffee filters? hello?)

Ok, getting way too tired apparently. The jokes, they do not come at this hour. I will wish you a happy holidays then. Until next time…

-Eric

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About ericf73

A modern-day combination of Noah, Godot and Clark W. Griswold.
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