Plus Ça Change, Plus C’est La Même Chose

Each generation asserts its modern values and dismisses the old, priding itself on its sophistication, its wisdom. We appear to have little in common with those that have gone before us. . . . But within these tunics of flesh, the human heart beats the same as it ever did. Greed, desire for power, fear of death, these emotions do not change. . . . The things that are fine in life, too, do not change. Love, courage, willingness to lay down one’s life for what one believes in, kindness.

– Audric Baillard, from Kate Mosse’s, Labyrinth

Catching My Breath

If sales is a marathon, then last week was a sprint. Do as much as you can, as fast as you can, and don’t stop until you hit a wall.

And though it all seemed to end on Friday, I woke early Saturday morning, heart-pounding and sweating with anxiety. Raced downstairs to check my email and ended up working half the day to make sure a larger order cleared. Continued to dream of work and grind my teeth at night the rest of the weekend. Which kinda sucks.

In any case, today is day one of the new year. Primarily a cleaning-house kinda day, but still getting some quotes out and some orders in. But mostly, everyone in the office (those who strangely showed up today) are staring at each other in wide-eyed, shell-shocked silence. Battle fatigue, I guess.

Thoughts About My Personality Pattern

Passionate trait: Sometimes you react before you think.

Translation: You get yourself into lots of trouble, completely and totally of your own making.

Lesson: Shut up, already!

___________

Aesthetic trait: You have good taste, and you’re proud of it.

Translation: Pretentious bitch.

Lesson: Seriously! Shut up.

___________

Creative Trait: [You] enjoy avant garde and classical music as well as literary fiction and scholarly non-fiction.

Translation: See? Pretentious. And boring.

Lesson: Perhaps you should pay a little attention to popular culture. Ok. A lot.

___________

Introspective trait: You never feel bored when you are by yourself.

Translation: You have lots of imaginary friends to keep you company. You think we’re joking.

Lesson: Get a life. Tout de suite.

Passionate, Aesthetic, Creative

I just took the Personality Pattern test.

Jennifer’s Top Ten:

Passionate

You are in touch with your emotions, and sometimes you react before you think. The good news: you don’t tamp down your feelings. The bad news: you sometimes say or do things that you later wish you could take back. You do not live your life on an even keel; you do not go for long periods without experiencing some mood swings.

Aesthetic

You appreciate art, beauty, and design; you know that they are not superficial but absolutely crucial to living the good life. You have good taste, and you’re proud of it. Those with a high score on the “aesthetic” trait are often employed in literary or artistic professions, enjoy domestic activities — doing things around the house — and are enthusiastic about the arts, reading, and travel. You don’t think it’s pretentious to be moved by art and beauty. You’re not one of those who believe it doesn’t matter what something looks like as long as it does its job.

Creative

You are good at solving problems, coming up with original ideas, and seeing connections between things, connections that most other people miss. People with a high score on the “creative” trait often are employed in such fields as finance and scientific research, and enjoy avant garde and classical music as well as literary fiction and scholarly non-fiction. You do not shun abstractions and concepts in favor of the concrete and tangible.

Introspective

You like your own company; you’re a very interesting person. Tracking your own mental processes, knowing what you’re thinking and why you do what you do, is important to you. Often, what’s going on in your mind is more compelling than what’s going on outside. For the most part, those with a high score on the “introspective” trait enjoy reading, taking long walks, learning new things, and other solitary activities. You are not someone who is constantly looking to be among a group of friends; you never feel bored when you are by yourself.

Solitary

You are a private person, not very comfortable in a big group, and view excessive socializing as a waste of time. You do not prefer hanging out with others to spending time alone; you do not tend to feel at home in a crowded room, club, stadium, or auditorium.

Organized

You like to think a task through before you embark on it. If it’s the slightest bit complicated, you make a list (even if it’s only in your mind) and methodically work your way through it. When you have a goal in mind, you’re not satisfied until you reach it. You are not one of those people who ignore the details, and you don’t understand how anyone can get anything accomplished without thoughtful planning ahead of time.

Unflappable

You are not a slave to your emotions. It takes a lot to upset or unnerve you. That’s why you’re a good person to have around in a crisis. You don’t let it all hang out, which means that those around you often don’t know the pressures you’re under or what you’re going through. You’re not the kind of person people run from in a crisis.

Astute

You are a quick study. You generally don’t need to have things explained to you more than once. When presented with a problem, you will often have an instant understanding of where to look for the solution. You do not take your sweet time when presented with a new task to complete or problem to solve. You don’t avoid assignments that require you to learn new skills.

Intellectual

You are thoughtful, rational, and comfortable in the world of ideas. People find you interesting to talk to. You’re the living embodiment of the saying “You learn something new every day.” In general, those with a high score on the “intellectual” trait are employed in such fields as teaching and research, and are enthusiastic about reading, foreign films, and classical music. You do not avoid abstract conversation, experimenting with new ideas, or studying new things. It bores you to stick to the straight and narrow of what you already know.

Reserved

You are somewhat shy, or at least unwilling to spend all your time socializing. With you it’s true that “still waters run deep,” which is why many of your acquaintances never get to know you well. You are not always ready to talk at the drop of a hat. Whether you’re in the office or at a party, you’re not likely to be found gabbing away in the middle of a group of people.

Now it’s your turn. Take the test, post your results on your blog, and leave a link in the comments.

The Government You Deserve

The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

– Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Angst

Lesson for Jennifer:

Myriad sources of frustration and anger do not make it acceptable to lash out the nearest easy target. The height of love is to behave in love, regardless of the circumstances in life. You wanna prove you love someone, then ACT that way. Regardless of how you’re feeling. You’re feelings don’t matter as much as the person you claim to love.

Now, go apologize. And mean it.

Doing It Backwards

Cook chicken. Cook veggies. Cook rice. In that order.

Bringing hot food to the plate all at the same time: FAIL

*shakes head and sighs*

On the upside, tried a new chicken recipe with a white wine reduction. It called for mustard and sour cream, but since I have neither on hand, I sauteed onions, artichoke hearts, and fresh spinach with butter, seasoned with fennel*, parsley, pepper, and sea salt. Stirred in the reduction, et voila – seriously delicious dinner.

fennel seed, which I minced by hand with my big chef’s knife. By hand. Which was an adventure unto itself, what with all the projectile fennel bits that kept flying around the kitchen. I’ll be sweeping the pieces out of corners for a decade, I swear. Note to self: buy spice mill.