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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


A friend of mine, who will remain anonymous for obvious reasons, contacted me tonight to say that he has been in my office and in a jail cell, and my office is much nicer than a jail cell.

This is probably true, especially since I spend more time in my office than most prisoners spend in their cells. Somewhere along the way, it has become somewhat personalized. Unfortunately, I am locked out of my office for most of the week and will not be able to provide photographic proof, but here's a bit of a tour:

The Pink:

I brought my Pink to work when it seemed that I was never going to get a real door. At the time, I worked in a converted meeting room, and the door was being moved so that I would be able to enter through the main work area rather than through a nearby hallway. The hole was cut pretty quickly, but getting a door hung took more time. After a few weeks, I told my boss that I was going to play Newfoundland music all day long and that as my boss, he would be duty-bound to allow me to practise my cultural traditions. The only way he would be able to avoid the drinking songs would be to install a door in my office. I got my door. The Pink hangs on the wall.


I keep this above my computer. It is a picture of my former boss literally falling on his ass in front of the Heritage Committee. Good times.

New York City, September 11, 2001:

I keep this one on my door. I blogged about this a couple of months ago, but I keep it as a reminder that you need to hear at least two sides of a story before you make a decision. This image represents a half second, from one angle.

I don't want to turn into Little Miss Know-it-All, but this is probably a good place to mention that I don't like the term "9-11". It's too quick. It rolls off the tongue too easily. I also don't like phrases like "Then September 11 happened." I know that this comes from a desire to sum everything up in a couple of words, but I really think that some things shouldn't be summed up quite so easily. It's OK to take a few extra words if you need them.

Pearls Before Swine:

Pearls Before Swine is a meta-comic that breaks through the "fourth wall". (I am SUCH a geek.) The one above is fairly representative. That's the artist in the last panel. I have a six-day story arc from this comic on my wall in a series of frames. In the story, Osama bin Laden moves in with the Family Circus, but they don't know it's him because they are stuck in the 1950s. They gently admonish him with suggestions like "Osama, when we're done with grace, we say Amen, not Death to America."


I am not sure that it is actually the Weekly World News, but I am not really that familiar with supermarket tabloids and any publication that puts the Bat Boy on its cover will do for our purposes. The story is a two-page spread about bird flu. It is the tragic story of a man who caught bird flu and actually turned into a bird. There is a realistic photo, showing Chicken Man. Case closed!

I got this story from our chief medical health officer as a joke about the media. This one is particularly enjoyable because every single thing in it is wrong. I like this much better than the stories I see in the real media, which are a mix of yeah, that's sort of right and no, that's entirely wrong. Those are particularly difficult to combat, because the reporter is generally very excited about getting at least one thing right, so you end up having discussions like this: "Yes, it is true that we want people to get flu shots. It is not true that people are dropping like flies when they get the shot. THAT'S the part we would like you to retract."

Autographed Picket Sign:

This is not my picket sign - this is a radio host I used to work with, back on the east coast. When my former co-workers at CBC were locked out about a year ago, they started what was probably one of the first Web 2.0 labour protests. I won an autographed picket sign from a reporter in Rankin Inlet (they were picketing in their parkas in August). It has been autographed in English and Inuktitut by Charlie Panigoniak, a minor celebrity north of 60. My boss called this "union propaganda". I keep it on the back of my door so the big bosses don't have to see it.

Inspirational Photo:

Everyone needs a personal hero. This is mine. I aspire to gramatical hieghts like his. I could burst into song just thinking about it.

More Heroes:

I really don't hate reporters, although they do tend to get a lot of grief here. I criticise them because I hold them to a higher standard. I expect them to ask good questions. I expect them to think about issues. I expect them to understand how to use the English language. Sorry if this is too much to ask.

I keep this photo near my computer. Woodward and Bernstein were about my age when they started at The Washington Post. And I...didn't. *sigh* I really am not doing what I wanted to do with my life.


Anonymous said...

"*sigh* I really am not doing what I wanted to do with my life."

Aren't you GLAD? I'm grateful that
I'm not doing what I wanted to do with my life.
At age nine I wanted to be a secret agent. At ten I wanted to be a fur trapper. By fourteen, I wanted to be a rock star. Then I wanted to be a goat farmer.
Truth to tell, I still want to be these things, and other things, more silly than these.
I'm TOO LUCKY to be doing what I want! God is too kind to allow it. (I see He is being kind to you, too.)

Your Dad

Cin said...

Megan, you're 28 years old. There is a lot of time left to be the next Blatch or Woodward or Tremonti or (insert personal journalism hero here.)

Hey, I wanted to be a famous journalist by 30! Instead, I have 3 kids! I am grateful to have gotten "sidetracked", but I still wonder.