Sunday, April 28, 2013

23 Twenty-Nineth Beginning (Nanowrimo 2007) Organizing Aunt Sheila

[If you're not starting at the beginning, this is going to be confusing.]

    [Not that it won't be confusing if you do start at the beginning, just that you'll have a better shot at knowing why you're confused.]

[Oh, and some really vague notes between the last post and this have been skipped, but the conversation between Barbara and her Aunt Sheila continues.]

experiencing power
making a strong impact
having vitality
creating miracles
becoming energized
feeling vigorous
being creative

no, that’s not a poem.  That’s a procrastination list. 
Then this probably isn’t a poem either.
Even after leaving the group and ceasing its consciousness-altering practices, this habitual, learned response tends to recur under stress.

Cowardly reading in the face of stress.
Reading as a controlled substance.
Preferred form of mind altering.
I want the Book of St. Albans 1486 - yes, it's a collection thing

Are you sure all of those sentences go together? 

Are you alright?

I’m feeling very tired suddenly.

Reading and cowardice.  Does it sound like that’s doing it?


well, that’s significant

do you want to go back to the van?

not yet. what was that labeled?

It was labeled reading.


I’m going to leave the rest of these alone.

I appreciate that.

Odd.  We’re making good progress. 

I’m going to put them all under projects with a keyword for procrastination.

Thank you.  That feels like we’ve finished something.  What more is there.  I’m enjoying this, in it’s own nerve-wracking way.

There’s a copy of a book called Tristram Shandy. 

That’s literature.  I downloaded it from the Gutenberg Project, which I will introduce you to. 

I’ll make a note – not in the database.

There’s a pdf of something called godsdebris.

God’s Debris – by the guy who writes Dilbert.  It was a free download.  I got a little further into it than into Tristram Shandy.

I’d want to keep those, but not necessarily enter them into a database.

Well those are books you’ve never read.


did you finish the Romulan Dictionary?

I didn’t memorize any of it, but I did read it.

I’ll put it under bibliography.

No books I’ve read.

No.  That’s not pretentious enough.

Good to hear.

There’s a bunch of medieval stuff.  I’m going to lump them all into history.  But I have to ask about two.  One is titled Pure dog dung.

That’s about tanning.  I know where I can get sheepskins..

Sounds like fun.  I’ll put that one under projects, then, shall I?


The other is Latin, but it’s short

Ecce Eduardus Ursus scalis nunc tump-tump-tump occipite gradus post Christophorum Robinum descendens

That’s the first line of Winnie the Pooh, translated into Latin. 

Barbara mouthed the words, turning her head sideways.  It’s the bit where Christopher Robin comes down the stairs and Pooh is dragged behind?

Yes, very good.

Here’s another speech.

Fellow toastmasters Welcome guests

My name is Sheila Long and I’m an engineer.  This is an appropriate way to introduce myself, even though there are many different ways that I could describe me.  It’s appropriate because of an old joke.

It’s not a joke, really, more of an amusing comment that academic folks make.  They say that Engineers are the opposite of Physicists.  Physicists study things in great depth.  They have to focus their study in one area to allow them the time to study it deeply.

Engineers, on the other hand, study many things, but only deeply enough to use them when designing.  So the saying is that Physicists study more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing, while Engineers study less and less about more and more until the know nothing about everything.

Self-help author Barbara Sher says that some people are delvers and some are scanners.  I am definitely a scanner.  It’s a dangerous thing for me to enter a bookstore too soon after payday.  I have my library card number memorized. Anything that I don’t know about, yet, is very interesting. 

You can describe me in many different ways, but that’s the main recurring theme in my life.  I want to know things.  I enjoy knowing things that other people don’t know. 

I’ve gone to those human resources classes about dealing with other people, you know, the ones that divide people into four groups.  Each class divides people different four ways, but there’s always a socializer and there’s always a director.  Then there’s either a thinker or an organizer and there’s a relater or consensus seeker.  That last one is me.  So that means that I want everyone to be happy, and I want to bring them all odd tidbits of information. 

I took the Strong Interest Inventory while I was in college.  It said I was an RIA.  That means I’m mostly interested in real, material things, first, information or investigating things second, and artistic things third.  The other possible categories were Social, Entrepreneurial, and Clerical.  Finding out that there were three large categories of things that I wasn’t interested in was a relief to me, because up to then I was afraid that I was interested in everything. 

In high school, I had been looking forward to taking the SATs because I was interested in both science and math and writing and ideas and I was going to choose my college major based on the results.  Unfortunately, my math SAT scores were exactly the same as my language SAT scores.  Exactly.  It was no help at all.

The  Inventory also had a side category – it had a funny little name that I’ve completely forgotten.  The score there was used to determine if people had enough tolerance for library research to get through grad school without going insane.  I scored very high in that little side category.  No one who knows me well would be surprised at that.  I’m the kind of person who could be locked in a library, alone, for months and I’d be perfectly happy as long as someone was throwing sandwiches through a window three times a day. 

Myers-Brigg Personality Type says I’m an INTP, most days.  That stands for Introverted, theory-loving, thinking, procrastinator.  Actually, the P doesn’t stand for Procrastinator.  It stand for stands for perceiving.  It means that you want to understand things more than you want a quick conclusion.  I will make no decision before it’s time. 

So if you want an odd piece of information tracked down, please don’t call me.  I won’t be able to leave it alone and I’ve got way too many things going.  This is November, which is national novel writing month and I’ve still got 26,000 words to go before the end of the month.  One of my friends has asked for a recipe that a Crusader might have picked up while traveling through southern Spain and I can’t beg off of digging that out because I already have the cookbook and this would be such a good opportunity to read through it. 

In fact, I don’t have time to put a conclusion on this speech.  Hey, conclusions aren’t my strong point.  This has been proven scientifically.  Instead I’ll tell you about the Myers-Brigg Personality Consultant that got thrown our of her own class.  Seems the boss was too quick to come to conclusions and needed to practice getting more information before making proclamations.

The opposite of the P for Perceiving is J for Judgment.  She lost him when she told him “You have too much J-ness and not enough P-ness.”

So that’s not the first time you’ve told that joke.

Nope.  For some reason it tickles me enough to stay in my mind.  I tell the jokes that I can remember.

Were you really an engineer.

For awhile.  It’s sort of a painful subject.  Could you find it a category and just file it for now?
[The conversation is not over, but it looks like we've reached that point in November when I switch into more speed, less coherence mode.  So if I keep posting this, it will get spottier.]

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