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HOW TO PAY ATTENTION AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE.

I was just in a meeting, which I was pulled into after being pulled out of another. At the close of this meeting, some more follow-up meetings were scheduled or proposed. (One woman, in stating her lack of availability at meeting later this afternoon, explained, "Tomorrow is better for me, as I've got a phone meeting from 2-5pm today.") It has occurred to me that, while meetings seem to accomplish quite a bit at my job, there's probably a significant percentage of the corporate world that simply drifts from meeting to meeting, all day and every day, as a means of avoiding any actual work. Because often the real work happens at your desk. Sometimes, what comes out of a meeting is a cloud of loosely organized notes, which most people in meetings implicitly consider themselves a bit too important to record.

Today, with my body in one meeting, but my head in the next and previous meetings, I had very strong two doodle-based ideas. (Meetings are good for this; while you're generating ACTIONABLE[!] ideas, your brain starts producing many secondary and tertiary ideas.) The first was a simple truism, that I wrote down in the margin of my notebook:

I refuse to take you and your mole seriously.

I was proud of this truism for a couple of reasons. (I am also pretentious enough to call it a "truism.") First, I filled in the "o" in "mole" so it looked like a real mole. Classy. This was a typographical trick I learned from my mentor, Saul Bass. Also, this statement really is true. Unfair is it may sound, I may respect and care for someone with a large mole on his or her face, but I refuse to take him (and his far-fetched, mole-influenced) ideas seriously. It's a horrible prejudice, I realize, but it's my horrible prejudice. (I would like to say that I really enjoy people who believe they should be forgiven for their behaviors simply because they had one therapy session and decided that taking responsibility is all you really need to do in order to achieve absolution. They skipped out of therapy prematurely, possibly to take a jazz-fighting class, and never made it to the part about "making amends.") I will take someone with an eye patch seriously, or someone with an arm cast. I will not, however, give serious consideration to someone with a leg cast, finger splint, weak chin, or a python curled around his neck.

While in the meeting I also fantasized about what it would be like if my web site was not named "tremble." (The name is an indication of its age, as I registered the domain back when it was possible to still register single, generic words. Try to register "diapers" or "flood" or "urethra" now, and you'll have yourself a bidding war.) I thought to myself, 'What if my site was called manoverbored.com instead?" This immediately struck me as EXTREMELY clever, and I had a good little stuck-in-the-throat laugh over it. Then I started imagining what it would be like to tell people the name of my web site. Every time I told someone, I would have to add, "that's b-o-r-e-d bored, not b-o-a-r-d. Oh ho!" And as soon as I heard myself make that distinction out loud, calling attention to its intended punnery and cleverness, I would instantly regret the decision.

It was nice to sit in a meeting and play out the life cycle of having a different web site name, and how annoying it would beall while some mole-impaired weasel loudly and unconvincingly presented his silly ideas about corporate restructure.

WE FIRST MET ON 02.13.2006

it's just a line; don't worry too much
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