Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As I mentioned yesterday, I had an office breakfast social this morning, which was scheduled for 9 a.m. I got into the office around 7:30, as usual, with several sleeves of grocery store bagels as my contribution, and I hung around in my cubicle until 8:45 or so and then wandered over to the conference room to lay out my portion of the buffet. As you can imagine I didn’t get much done in the lead-up hour and change beyond checking my e-mail to make sure there weren’t any web-app servers violently melting down at the moment. The breakfast was scheduled for 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. but I’m reasonably sure that was to account for latecomers and folks who couldn’t tear themselves away from their desks at the exact start time. I was out of there by 10. And thus I began my slow ramping up of mental activity to begin my work day, a few hours behind the normal schedule … and then we had an unannounced building-wide fire drill. That ate up another hour, and after that, I realized the day was pretty much a wash.

Which was just as well because I was absolutely torpidly overstuffed with food when I escaped from the breakfast. This is something about modern office life I have yet to figure out despite my many tours of duty through the various levels of the Big Gray. When you go to a potluck the general rule, as I understand it, seems to be that you bring enough of your foodstuff contribution for everyone. That works well if, say, four young couples are going to have a potluck dinner together. The host makes enough burgers for everyone, another couple brings enough potato salad for everyone, another brings two bottles of wine and another brings a pie sliced into eighths. Simple enough. But this approach is not, as they say, scalable. There were something like 40 people potentially attending the breakfast social at my office, and it looked as though every attendee brought enough food for everyone else. However, in practice, no one is going to put 40 helpings of assorted foodstuffs on their plate (or even on three plates ALTHOUGH I DANG WELL TRIED). I don’t know if anyone has ever devised a logarithm for these kinds of scenarios but our national productivity desperately needs one, especially as we are about to head into the holiday season when potlucks and other work functions abound. I would hate for all those food comas resulting from double-dipping into the donuts to result in a dreaded double-dip recession.

Anyway, speaking of torpor and sluggishness and things which are pretty much a wash, that’s as good a segue as any into the sports scene. I haven’t posted about baseball in a while because I was planning on saving up for the World Series. My wife asked me, shortly after the Yankees were eliminated, if I would thereafter be rooting for the Tigers. I informed her that I would not. While I understood and respect her reasoning (the “team of destiny” school of thought, whereby if the team that beats your team runs the table and wins it all you are supposed to feel less bad about being one of their stepping stones along the way) and while I also generally enjoy complicated if-then matchup scenarios and so forth, I really just wanted to root for the Brewers in the World Series, for three reasons:

1. They’ve never been world champs (I like a feel-good story now and then, I’m not made of stone, people)
2. A team name that references beer, which is sadly underrepresented in professional (non-fictional) sports
The game is supposed to be fun after all.
3. T-Plush

But it was not to be! Rangers versus Cardinals bores me to tears, so I doubt I’ll be checking in on the boys of summer anymore from here on out.

Football-wise, my wife and I were both pleased to see our Steelers and Giants, respectively, win on Sunday – but of course neither team managed to cover the spread, and we usually bet with our loyalty-filled hearts in the pick’em pool, so that was kind of a wash. (My wife actually bet against the Giants, though, and it did turn out to be a nail-biter, so more power to her there.) Overall in the pick’em pool both my wife and I are doing ok but not great, with the overall season wins leader holding a lead over each of us in the high single-digits. So it’s not quite to the point where we should give up the idea of ever clawing our way up into contention, but it’s definitely getting there. (If we’re down by double-digits after Week 8 I’d say that’s pretty much a done deal.)

Sometimes the best you can do is to appraise the situation with a hearty, “Yeah, ok, let’s try this again and take it from the top tomorrow/next week/next season.” Until tomorrow, then! (When I will probably spend a lot of time talking about a tv show that aired back in 1998.)

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