Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Review: "FEAST DAY OF FOOLS" by James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke’s “Feast Day of Fools” is 463 pages of the kind of stuff a full semester of an English Lit course is made of.

Mr. Burke uses allegory, symbolism, and personification whilst interjecting bits of armchair philosophy and Freudian psychoanalysis as secret ingredients to this entirely movable feast of a highly seasoned literary delicacy. Burke revisits his main foil, Sheriff Hacberry Holland who has just enough baggage to make him step right up to but not cross the imaginary line; of which on the other side, proudly sits the villainous Preacher Jack Collins.

These two characters brilliantly move along parallel paths illuminating their moral compasses in word and deed until the final climatic showdown at what symbolically could be Hades.

But what about the showdown and the lesson learned from this vividly and intensely written thriller/drama? Do we have a wildly action packed adventure culminating to “the more things change, the more things remain the same” or is it as Burkes alludes “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”

In the end, I find this quote by Burke’s namesake quite appropriate as an epilogue:
"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
-- Edmund Burke

Reviewed by: JRS

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When Email Goes Wrong, Terribly Wrong

We've all done it. Hit "reply all," when we only meant to hit "reply," letting the entire office know that we have an appointment with our podiatrist. Or written, "please find attached," and forgotten the attachment.

But what about that blooper of all email bloopers when you rant about a co-worker or your boss in a heated moment, you just wanted to vent, and the email accidentally goes to EVERYONE - meaning all the people who weren't ever supposed to see it?

It can happen.

In fact, it happened to someone I know very recently.

The repercussions can be disastrous. Might even get you a reprimand or worse.

This is a good time for us all to remember before you hit send - stop - look and re-read what you wrote. Actually, some things are better left unwritten. Just pick up the phone and don't memorialize your feelings. Period.

It's so easy to make a mistake. We're facing tight deadlines, we're multi-tasking (that's another post) and we're just plain frustrated.

I'm actually speaking to myself more than anyone else.

We want to be productive and get it all done. But, sometimes, you just need to slow down.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Monday Morning Blues on a Sunday Night

This always happens to me. First of all, THANK GOD I HAVE A JOB.

Okay, now that we clarified that, why is it that I always leave work on Friday evening feeling so upbeat? It's like I could conquer the world. Or, like I'm really going to be able to recharge my battery, do laundry, have a fun-filled weekend, go to church and go back just two days later feeling like a new woman?

The last couple of weeks, I started playing this little mental game with myself. I pretend that I actually look forward to Mondays.

I even try telling myself that Monday is actually the best day of the week. I make really great coffee when I wake up on Monday and I walk really, really fast and purposeful on my way to the office. Okay. I'm running late so I have to hurry. But, still, it's all mind over matter, right?

The good news is that my boss is so high energy and works most weekends, so that when I get to work on Monday mornings, I usually have a ton of work to do which means the day flies by quickly (if I'm lucky).

If you have tips for beating the "Monday Morning Blues" I'd love to hear from you.