Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Archive for the ‘Administrative’ Category

Independence Day

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I can’t make any apologies for the fact that real life has gotten in the way, as I knew it would, over the last several weeks and prevented me from posting in this space with the frequency I always intend. As much as I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts, real life and work must come first.

And it’s not like the news has been silent during this time. Everywhere you look, it’s been one deadly terrorist attack after another, one political gaffe after another, and Brexit, the dreadfully misguided and xenophobic “Dear John” letter from the United Kingdom to the rest of the European Union that pissed on the world economy for no reason and proved for posterity that dimwitted, uninformed voters aren’t just confined to one country.

So where’s the positive in any of this? How can we take an occasion like the Fourth of July when people in this country like to dress in the colors of Old Glory and loudly proclaim how great America is and how if you don’t like it, you can get out?

The way to do it, the way to get past negative news of any kind, is to focus on the society we live in, the cities, countries, and planet we call home as merely works in progress. This is a world and a life that, naturally, will be filled with steps forward and steps back, but no steps back can undo the fact that time goes on and we all have much to celebrate and much to fix.

Our world is a work in progress, and WE are the ones expected to deliver the results. However, we must be doing something right because immigrants have over the centuries and even to the current day risked their lives and livelihoods to make better existences for themselves and their families in countries of opportunity and liberty like this one.

I always think of “The New Colossus,” Emma Lazarus’s 1883 sonnet to raise money for the construction of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal and now inscribed forever within it:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

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Laundry list items

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Not a lot of time for le bloggage tonight because of the curse of the laundry and other fun distractions like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but I wanted to talk about the future. Again. I mentioned the FLICS posts right before putting up a list of conversation starters yesterday, but allow me to throw out a preview of other regular kinds of posts I look forward to sharing with you. Obviously, more ideas are welcome!

  • Detailed discussion of my political positions by topic. I like to consider myself politically active and engaged and am prepared to talk about where I stand and why.
  • Recipes and restaurant reviews. I love to cook and dine out, and I would love to share that passion with you all here.
  • Thoughts on language. I named this blog Call Me English because I’m a language man. I love words and am in awe of the power they wield. It was comedy legend George Carlin who said that “the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language,” so I will talk about the finer points of language that we should all be aware of and use more effectively.
  • Life in New York. I am lucky enough to live in one of the most exciting and influential cities in the world, and I look forward to sharing some of the positives and negatives of life here.

Written by Dave

May 17, 2016 at 23:59

Good habits to get into

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18-cockpit-avion-boeing-787As I went through this blog’s past and spent the last few days thinking about what I wanted this thing to be, it dawned on me that I had already put some good things in place here when I began… For instance, I really like the idea of throwing multiple topics out in brief bullets in the same post, something I referred to in the early days as FLICS, “Five Little Internet Conversation Starters.” Topics often come into my mind in waves, so I thought I’d share them almost as quickly as they spring up.

I also like when posts are fully tagged and easy to find. This will be important here because I intend to cover lots of ground: life, politics, sports, culture, sexuality and relationships, language, and more. I’m hoping to make the comments sections open and interactive and encourage different views and emotions to be shared using my posts as a jumping off point.

All it will take is some practice. WordPress, even these several years later, remains a cockpit to me, a place where an awful lot happens but where I don’t necessarily know what everything does. All I know is I want to press every single button I can.

Written by Dave

May 15, 2016 at 22:57

Posted in Administrative, General

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So why will this time be different?

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One of the worst things about blogs is that people create them all the time and then quickly forget about them. People get bored; they get boring; they get busy. Life intervenes. Sometimes the blogs themselves look nice, like they might have promise, like friends and family and even random voyagers on the internet might want to read what they say.

Well, as you can see, I have not managed to avoid this trap. Even just two posts down from here, back in November of 2012, was the last time I had to apologize for disappearing off the face of the planet. And that was really just to set up a crazy venting session about the presidential election of that year.

It’s not that I don’t have things to say; I most definitely have a lot I want to share here. The trick is to find the time and the motivation to share and to feed my love of writing. I have this forum that I created for myself some time ago, and I see absolutely no reason not to use it.

I hope those who may have subscribed to this blog years ago when I swore up and down that I was going to write in it more often do not receive a bunch of nuisance emails now as I figure out what I want this thing to be, as I fine tune it. Please let me know right away if you get bombed with emails and need me to make them stop.

So I love to write, and I was recently inspired to get back to it, to make the time for myself every day to put my thoughts out there. Hopefully I can keep myself honest and not let years go by between attempts.

Written by Dave

May 14, 2016 at 22:27

Posted in Administrative, General

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Remember me?

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Remember that big old disclaimer I threw at you when this blog started… the one that said that stretches of time might pass between posts? Well, a lot of time has passed.  And I’m sorry about that.  But not sorry.  I was promoted at work, and my new position requires much more time and energy, and that has meant I have been unable to blog often… or at all.  Until now.  I’m telling you to look for a post that will be full-on ridiculous on Wednesday morning.  Stay tuned.

Written by Dave

November 5, 2012 at 12:37

Posted in Administrative

How commenting works

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Here’s a quick little administrative note about how commenting works here.

Anyone and everyone should feel encouraged to leave comments on any post or page.  If you have never posted a comment before, I will have to approve your first one. Once you’re golden, you’re golden.

If I know who you are, you can post anything – positive or negative – but it will be up to me to decide if any comment can stay up once posted.  If I don’t know who you are, your comment should be on topic and written in a language I understand.  If you feel you have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning than to come here and leave a craven, anonymous nastygram telling me how self-absorbed I am, this is probably not the blog for you.

Written by Dave

June 23, 2012 at 09:59

Posted in Administrative

Tagged with ,

On Posting from Work

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One thing I wanted to be clear on in the early going is that although I expect to post things from work, I will never post directly about anything that goes on at work. This is for a couple of obvious reasons: I don’t believe that the things that happen at work are relevant or interesting to you, and I respect the social media policy that we have enacted as part of the confidentiality agreement signed by all employees. All smart companies should have social media policies, not as a means to quash free speech in any way, but rather to impress upon those who sign such agreements the difference between smart uses for blogs and stupid uses for blogs.

Spoiler alert: Talking about how much you hate your job and want to kill your coworkers is a stupid use for a blog.

If you wish to know more about what I do for a living, you can ask me privately.

Written by Dave

June 19, 2012 at 12:43

Posted in Administrative

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