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September 10th, 2008

Today's posting is going to be quite the potpourri, as opposed to my regular daily blow-by-blow. [Get your mind out of the gutter.]

Here's a summary of the day: Day off. Slept in. Blogged. Lower body routine and a little ab workout. Two-stepped and line-danced.



I'm not a big horoscope fan, but I recently subscribed to receive my daily horoscope electronically from wral.com anyway. Today's is eerily applicative:
Libra

Be it business or love, the morning signals the last few moments of flexibility regarding finalizing agreements, so settle things while you're in the mood. The evening brings quiet withdrawal and contemplation as your reflections take you to past decisions, how they have affected your finances and ultimately, how you view yourself.



OMG... Once I got past the "there was two guys..." and the typos, this "M4M Missed Connection"—from a 30-year-old—threw me for a loop!

-there was two guys-

you were on a white honda accord looked to be about a 92 or 93 wearing green tee-shirt

-Next

you were on a toyota greenish color...

I liked what I sow about the both of yyou... hit me back

It took me a minute to realize that the "looked to be about 92 or 93" was not about the guy, but about the Honda—a 1992 or 1993 year model! LOL. This is a classic study in the importance of grammar and misplaced modifiers! Love it.



In anticipation of my imminent trip to China, as well as in appreciation of my penchant for words, my beloved sister sent me a slew of signs found in China, to which someone had added funny captions. Here are two of my favorites:

Plenty of Meat for Everyone!



I Give my Life for my Company, but They Just Keep Demanding More



I love TED and I love Julia Sweeney. Here she is with the first 17 minutes of her show, "Letting Go of God." (Loved her little spiel about being a Libra and the sign being a scale! Also loved the "anthropomorphism and sexualizing of God" part. And her reaction to meeting up with her family in eternity and spending the rest of time with them was totally priceless.)



I received a call from the Arbitron people, making sure I had received my booklet in which to keep track of my radio listening over the next week. At the end of the call, she asked me if I had any questions. Of course I had one.

"I don't ever listen to commercials on the radio. When they come on, I switch to the next station on my preset dials, and keep switching until I get to one without a commercial on it. So, how do I record that? Should I document each station I stop on along the way, or just record the one I end up on?"

She laughed, and said, "We really don't want you to hurt yourself doing this. Just do whatever is easiest for you."



Today I got an e-mail saying that my IBM intranet password is going to expire in 7 days.

My response? In the immortal words of Jo Dee Massina's country songMy give a damn's busted.

For all intents and purposes I'm going to expire from IBM in 1 day.



I officially "outed" myself to the delegation with which I'm going to China. That is, if they hadn't already figured out by the links I gave out (one of which was to my blog, but I doubt anyone is reading it) that I'm a big ole queer.

This is how the "outing" occurred. Our delegation leader posted our just-announced (yet still tentative) detailed agenda for the trip, and a question about, if there was an opportunity to schedule informal dinners or evening gatherings that were not on the formal agenda, how many of us would probably participate, as opposed to wanting our own time in the evenings.

This is the response I posted to our Yahoo group:

Hello Linda,

Thanks for this great update! A couple of things from my perspective:

1) I'm going to opt out of committing to any extra dinner/evening meetings not on the formal agenda, as I'm interested in exploring the local GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) culture if and where there is opportunity.

I'm guessing from everything I've read about everyone so far that everyone else in this delegation is straight. (Not that there's anything WRONG with being straight. I realize it's not a "choice," and some of my best friends are straight.) :-) And to that end, I'm guessing no one else would be interested in such exploration, but if anyone is, please let me know. I don't want to make any assumptions.

So far, I know of one gay bar in Shanghai that I want to try and get to. An IBM colleague of mine has been there, so I would feel comfortable venturing out to it, even if I had to go alone. There are also a few Chinese members of IBM's GLBT Employee Networking Group, with whom I might be able to meet for dinner or drinks one night, so I'd just like to keep my options open.

2) I laughed (at first) when I saw the item on the agenda, "a special Chinese foot massage is planned" for one evening. I absolutely do not like my feet messed with in any way by anybody, so as nice as this gesture is, I hope there is going to be some diplomatic way of opting out of such a gracious offer without coming across as ungrateful. What would be best for me would be if that it was understood ahead of time that not everyone would be participating, so I don't have to try and explain to anyone at the time why I don't care to participate.

Thanks for your continued leadership on this exciting journey!

Best regards,
John Martin

I was particularly pleased with the leader's response, especially since she has been signing most of her correspondences with "Blessings," which oftentimes is not a good sign for GLBT people—although I didn't want to make any assumptions!

John,

I understand completely! And, I will be sure to find a gracious way to explain that some of us might not want the foot massage! I get pedicures often, so I'm attuned to having folks "mess" with my feet, but I do know that this particular thing might not be appreciated by everyone. I'll be happy to make sure that we make no etiquette gaffs in declining...

As to the GLBT ventures, I wish that I could go with you... I might be straight, but I have had some of the best times with my gay/lesbian friends in their bars!

Linda

It's interesting to me that she sent this response to my personal e-mail address and did not post it to the group, but as I said, I'm nothing but pleased with the sentiment.

There were a few, quite amusing, follow-ups from other members, including:

"I also share John's feelings on foot massages... or any other massages for that matter... I'd prefer not to participate, but will do so if not doing so means offending our hosts... but I'd really, really prefer not to...let's cross that bridge when we come to it... perhaps we can beg a personal evening :-)"

"Oh, I'll stand in for anyone who doesn't want their foot massages ;-) (kidding, but I am looking forward to mine if that's part of the agenda!)"

"Re: the foot massage, I’m sorry but I’ll have to pass on that one. After a serious bout with dengue fever my joints never recovered, especially my 'feet joints' – so they’re out of bounds for touching! Sounds like it’d be fun though!"

Good to see/read that I'm not the only one!

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