Monday, September 29, 2008

"Kindly Say Your Number Twice"

If, for some archaic but occassionally useful reason, you are going to leave a voic email message for someone, leave a short but informative one. And if you are cold-calling and we (the world outside your world) don't know you from a can of paint, then be smart about your communication. The smart communicators leave their telephone numbers twice. The wisest folks leave the number at the beginning of the message and at the end of the message (that trick I learned from Maeshay, who used to work here at AKILA WORKSONGS).

If you're speed talking when you leave your voice mail message, you do know that you force us to rewind the message, right? First, we don't like analog but we know that it's necessary. Secondly, we certainly don't have time to rewind messages just to get a number right. Please, either say it slowly or say it twice. You will stand out if you do...which is a good thing!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hello. My Name is JJ and I Am So Important to You

it is a myth that woman talk more than men.

OMG! i am on the train headed to the congressional black caucus in washington, dc. (from new york city). there is a young guy sitting across the aisle and one row behind me. from the moment he stopped to unload his bags to the time the train pulled out of the tunnel at 34th street (a lapse of about 15 minutes), the guy - let's call him JJ for "JabberJaws" - has NOT stopped TALKING!!

take me, now!

the poor woman sitting next to him is slightly engaging. not good.

in the time it takes me to wash my face and brush my teeth, i learned this about JJ:
he is a blogger for time magazine
what he wants his family and friend to do with his ashes when he is cremated
that he turned thirty today
that he missed his two early morning trains and ended up on this on
that he borrows his landlord's juicer once a year to go on what he calls a "juice fast"
that he's no "richard simmons typle" health guru
that he doesn't like to take medicine
that he was on his way to the congressional black caucus, as well
and about 17 other mindless things that no stranger should know about you in the first 15 minutes of saying "Hello."

is there a quiet car on this train? i need an upgrade to business class!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quote of the Week: On Houses (Kahlil Gibran)

Greed is money's biggest client. Comfort is the context. The money-changers (Wall Street) have built houses made of straw. Read this week's quote from Khalil Gibran:

"And tell me, people of Orphalese, what
have you in these houses? And what is it
you guard with fastened doors?
Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals
your power?
Have you remembrances, the glimmering
arches that span the summits of the mind?
Have you beauty, that leads the heart
from things fashioned of wood and stone to
the holy mountain?
Tell me, have you these in your houses?
Or have you only comfort, and the lust
for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters
the house a guest, and then becomes a host,
and then a master?

Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook
and scourge makes puppets of your larger

Though its hands are silken, its heart
is of iron.
It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your
bed and jeer at the dignigty of the flesh.
It makes mock o f your sound senses, and
lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels.
Verily the lust for comfot murders the
passion of the soul, and then walks grinning
in the funeral.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"How Racism Works"

"How Racism Works"
(One of the gems I found floating around the Internet. Simple but true.)

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said "I do" to?
What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama were a member of the "Keating 5"?
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quote of the Week: James Baldwin

"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

LEARN MORE about JAMES BALDWIN, a masterful writer.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quote of the Week: Harriet Tubman's "Keep Going"

Hillary Clinton got it wrong. Here is the quote that has long been attributed to Harriet Tubman:

"...If you are tired, keep going;
If you are scared, keep going;
If you are hungry, keep going;
If you want to taste freedom, keep going."