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Friday, October 24, 2008

What I Have to Put Up With

All I wanted to do was take a picture of her hair. it (as you will see) was done really cute today and I wanted a memento. I asked her to stand still for just a second, so that I could take her picture. Below is what occurred.

For those of you that rarely get to see Short Person in true form, I think you'll enjoy this totally candid, extremely honest, view of her.

When she watched this video of herself she laughed so hard I thought she was going to have stuff start flying out of her nose.


Monday, October 13, 2008

It’s Like Rubber-Necking on a Tragic Car Accident

The City newsletter went out and with it a contest we are running. It is a request for the citizens to draft a motto using the adopted Vision Statement. Ideas started rolling in one by one, some good, some questionable, and some that showed a darker side.

I was to be the contact for the submitted word-crafts.

We received one from an angry business owner that had, apparently, just gone out of business-- or, at least chosen to move elsewhere. It was an angry motto that he chose to end with the following:

"Also, everyone in the company that had the misfortune to work with Melody thought she was the rudest public official they have ever met."

The "sent" line indicated that it had also been delivered to my boss, the Mayor, the President of the City Council, and the Chairman of the Planning Commission.

I sat shocked, stunned by the angry outburst from someone whose name was completely unfamiliar to me, wondering what I could have done that would make EVERYONE in his company think that. Trying to reconcile what I think of myself with the word rude and mentally denying it, while also questioning it.

I admit, I am not the most socially-perfected person in the world. I cannot sit in front of someone and smile and chit-chat about every day stuff easily. I find it difficult to "strike up" conversations with people I don't know. And yes, if you are rude to me on the phone, chances are I am going to be rude back. Sometimes, I can catch myself, but most times I'm stunned into a stupor and the reaction is foundational.

I printed off the email and took it home to LJS to see what he thought. His reaction was swift and immediate and in the way of a bunch of swear words directed at the person that wrote the message. His take is that my name was most convenient.

The next day, when I got back to the office, I did some research to try and find out who the person was, which I did. He was the owner (may still be the owner) of a local winery. A company that I'd worked with on a sign permit. A company I had FOUGHT for, spending way too much time arguing with my boss and the powers that be to look for a way around the code that would enable them to keep the sign they proposed.

I fought FOR them. And this is the return for that?

Even if at one point I had been rude, it would only have been a sign of my anger that I couldn't get anything to work for them. And even then, rude is not something I am normally prone too.

I keep looking at the email. Obsessing over it.

It's like rubber-necking at a car accident, both out of curiosity and out of a sense of shock at what the world can deliver. Only this time, I'm the one sitting in the wreckage.

I'm angry and humiliated, stunned and sick.

And it ticks me off that, if this was just a random name pull, they scored accurately in choosing me, because I have let it get to me. My OCD-perfectionist ways making it a struggle to release the attack and move on.


In the end, I think I'll just keep in mind how my friend Kim reacted when I text-messaged her the contents. She said, and I quote, "BULLSHIT! They obviously don't know you at all." A comfort, since when it comes down to the bare bones of what matters, I will choose the people that build the foundation and walls of the world I live in as a gauge of how I left my mark. Not the ramblings of someone looking to burn one on me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


A friend of LJS's owns property in the hills of Yamhill County. Lots of property that is populated by wildlife such as deer, coyotes, and critters. On the property, he has a man-made lake, which he fills with trout each year.

For fun, we decided to take Short Person up there to fish. Actually, it was supposed to be just Short Person and Daddy, but I couldn't resist the draw of quiet tranquility the day presented. The little lake sits on top of a grassy hillside surrounded by large trees untouched by loggers. Lush and green, they blanket the hillside beckoning to the unaware wanderer who would find himself lost, should he be drawn in by the deceptive daylight of their spacing.

Imagine the picturesque beauty and unassuming character of Sherwood's forest and you'd be fairly close.

Dragonflies the size of small hummingbird's buzz around eating mosquitos and if you'd been able to get close enough, you could have seen the smile on their faces. Skeeters hopped across the pond and fish jumped as they played, disrupting the stillness of the water.

It was every picture of a lazy day on a wild pond.

We brought up her fishing pole and his and a container of worms and let her go for it. LJS baited the hook, casted, and handed the pole to her while readying his own. Immediately, she got a bite. The line started shaking like crazy, she yelped, and handed the pole to me. Letting me reel in the first catch of the day. A tiny little rainbow trout the size of a snickers candy bar.

She peered around LJS's legs, daring to look at the fish, but not get close enough to touch, as he removed the hook and then tossed it back in the water.

It went on like this for about five fish... and then she got courageous.


Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, just the grievous fear of bodily harm. To us.

LJS showed her how to cast.

Her fishing pole is a kid's pole, so casting involves putting a finger on the line, pressing down a button, swinging the rod over the shoulder toward the water, while simultaneously releasing the button. It sounds easy enough, but I had to use LJS's pole because her's was too hard for me, which I find amusing. It's like a child-proof prescription cap.

Short Person casting, for us, was a big event. And she did it quite often. We'd have to listen for the crank of the line as she reeled in and then... DUCK!!!

Back swung the pole, the hook wildly flaying about catching trees, grass, and anything else in it's path as it wickedly sliced through the air on its trek back toward the water.

Talk about being on your toes!

We stayed up there for about two hours, until all the worms were gone. Toward the end, we weren't catching any fish and Short Person was getting bored. Even though fishing for her was a lot of work. Cast, reel, reel, reel. Cast, reel, reel, reel.

So, daddy showed her a trick.

He cast the line into the water for her and then walked her over to a forked branch that had been pounded upright into the earth about a foot away from the edge of the water.

"Okay, now just leave it here. Let it stay very still and a fish will come."

He sat the pole in the middle of the forked limb and Short Person knelt down beside it. "When am I ever going to catch a fish?" She asked in a voice full of desolation. And just as the last word left her mouth...


Down bent the pole! It started shaking! It started buzzing as the line sped off of the reel and wildly moved from one side of the pond to the other.

"I caught a fish!" She said jubilantly over the sound of her father and I yelling "Pick the pole up! Pick the pole up!"

She picked up the pole and started reeling that fish in... reel, reel, reel to the buzz, buzz, buzz as it flew back off. She held on for dear life, reeling with all of her might until finally...

She got the biggest fish of the day. I think he was about 7 or 8 pounds.