Category Archives: work

Slippery slope (A grammar rant)

You know what annoys me?

Well, okay, plenty of things. The sun is too sunny, mosquitoes bite, I have no cookies in the house and yet can’t bring myself to make any because then I’ll eat them all; but no, something else.

The plural of euro, that’s what.

I know, I just lost most of you. Never mind. Come back tomorow, I’ll talk about kids or something.

The euro is the currency of many countries of Europe, and has been for several years now. It was introduced in Ireland only a few months before I left the country, which is why I still have to hunt and peck in my purse to find the right coins whenever we’re back there. At the time I was fully and gainfully employed as an editor – in a whole department of editors, no less – so the issue of how to properly refer to the new currency was discussed in a professional capacity, as it were.

We looked into it. It was discovered and agreed upon that the official word was that the plural of euro (in English) was to be “euros.” Sensible and obvious, since to make a plural in English we pretty much always do just add an s, especially when the singular ends in a vowel.* 

So why is it that, since that time, the entire country of Ireland decided, en masse and seemingly of its own volition, with no editiorial consultation, that if you had ten of these new units of currency, you would not have ten euros? No, no, of course you wouldn’t. You would have ten euro.**

I’ve tried to be good. Lord knows, I’ve done my damndest to hold the line, even from this distance. I talk about euros whenever I can, even in Ireland. All it has done is to make me sound like one of those crazies who insists on saying “fort” instead of “fortay” because it’s a French word, not an Italian one. (This may be another argument for another day.)

Apparently, much as has recently – heinously – happened with the definition of literally – about which I am figuratively hopping mad – common usage has triumphed and what was wrong has become acknowledged as right just because it’s what most people do.

I hate that. Talk about a slippery slope. One minute it’s euros, the next minute people will be advertising banana’s and apple’s and how its over their in the lady’s department and nobody will know where they stand and they’ll have to abolish the apostrophe all together, as well as common decency and saying thank you and not farting audibly in public.

*Collins still says this:
euro. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved August 20, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/euro

** Dictionary.com is a flipping flip-flopper that refuses to have an opinion, so it says that the plural is either euro or euros.

Points of things

Sky, sea, land

Tomorrow is the first day of the last week of the summer holidays. Mabel doesn’t go back to school till after Labor Day, but Dash starts second grade on August 19th. The second-grade thing isn’t phasing me, but the fact that the summer is almost gone is a bit stunning. This year seems to be going faster than any one before. If this keeps up, by the time I’m in my eighties, I imagine days will fly by like seconds. No wonder my mother is confused.

I partly feel like I’m just getting back into the groove of our nice laid-back summer (after the disruptions of going away, two weeks of camp, and then BlogHer) but on the other hand I’m looking forward to a bit more peace and the opportunity to throw away some of all the crap that’s been piling up around here. Because apparently I can’t do that when the kids are in the house.

I went to Target on my own for an hour yesterday and realised why I like shopping: it gives me a chance to center myself and plan things, whether it’s figuring out what might help for organizing the house a little more (I bought an in-tray!) or deciding what I want to, um, invest in this autumn. (Found a dress I want as a shirt, decided to e-Bay a bag I never use and buy one I fell in love with in Marshall’s; also tried on boots, but that’s not relevant ahem as I was saying…)

I thought I’d missed my Dad’s birthday and blamed it on the fact that apparently now I only know it’s someone’s birthday when Facebook tells me about it, and my Dad (needless to say) is not on Facebook. But then I realised I just had no idea what the heck date it was in August, and I hadn’t missed it at all. So that’s good.

I might have a freelance editing job lined up for when the kids go back to school. You might not get so much blathering from over here if I find I’m actually working instead.

In the last week both kids have started swimming underwater, Mabel for the first time ever and Dash for the first time since a little last summer. My kids have never been those ones who don’t seem to notice whether they’re on top of the water or the water’s on top of them – they would always crane their necks to keep their faces out of the water, even with goggles on for extra protection. So to see them whooshing around underneath all of a sudden is pretty cool. I told Mabel I didn’t do that till I was twelve, and she was well chuffed.

Technically, I finished the 30-day shred yesterday. That is, it was the tenth day I’ve done the level-3 workout. However, I did take off about ten days in July when I was sick and then away, and almost another two weeks from BlogHer until yesterday, and I spent a few intervening days working back up to it by doing levels one and two a couple of times. I don’t feel any different, though it’s not as hard as it was at the start, so I must be at least a tiny bit fitter and stronger. Dash says I look taller, which has to be a good sign. The scales still say I’m a few pounds lighter even though at no point did I stop eating all the muffins I usually eat. I will try to keep going until I get totally bored or something else happens or they go back to school and I try running again.

Since we didn’t do anything today, here are some photos from last weekend, when we took in some history by going to Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A decisive battle of the War of 1812 took place in Baltimore Harbor, and as the poet Francis Scott Key watched to see which flag would be flying over the fort as dawn broke the following morning, he wrote what would become the lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner.

Stars and stripes over Fort McHenry
Teeny little flag up high; huge enormous flag down low
Three people walking the battlements
Walking the battlements

End of an Ergo

I’m giving you a little break so you can catch up on all my past posts, and all the other things going on around the Internet, whatever they may be. At least, apparently that’s what I’m doing. But in the meantime, a few bullets to get me out of this bloggy doldrum:

  • I dusted off and gussied up my resume (which mostly meant changing all the fonts so they looked less 2004 and more 2013 to my non-graphic-designer eye; maybe it just made the whole thing look different to me and therefore as if it must have new information even though it doesn’t, much) and sent it to someone who expressed an interest. So that was nice. I will now proceed to freak out about all the free time I don’t have even though nothing has happened yet.
  • We had visitors, which was lovely and gave my deeply ingrained Internet addiction a little break. I’m also re-reading the His Dark Materials trilogy, which is exciting enough to get me away from the computer from time to time.
  • I have given away, sorted out, and designated for donation the last of the baby clothes. Even more finally, I am selling the Ergo. (And the Moby, if anyone wants it.) I put them on a local mailing list yesterday afternoon and by 6pm I had three offers for the Ergo. I think it will be taken today. I used it daily for, I’d say, four years in total, and apart from some fading it’s in perfect condition, not a stitch out of place. Those things are built to last, and if you’re looking for a baby carrier I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Baby-wearing on a bus with an Ergo and a toddler
Oh, Ergo. The fun times we had.
  • By which I mean that the baby train has left and I am not on it and I’m finally fine with that. (Disclaimer here so that writing this sentence does not immediately cause me to accidentally conceive. We do not intend to procreate any further, that’s all.)
  • Bedtime has taken a turn for the worse. It’s not fun. I do not like chasing Mabel around the street in her nightgown after stories because she’s not tired (except she is, so much) and as a result her second-favourite Barbie is now reposing in the recycling bin. I suppose I’ll take it out, but it’s the first time I’ve actually been forced to take such a drastic step. Or lost my temper enough to go through with it, I suppose.
  • I hope it’s a phase, because the rest of my life isn’t looking much like a good time if it’s not.

Disappearing pizza and itchy fingers

I’m starting to get itchy fingers. I think I’m at one of those Points In My Life.

See, here I am churning out acres of verbiage – garb(i)age verbiage perhaps, but still – every day, and I seem to have a surprising amount of time to do it in, once I ignore the siren songs of cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming the playroom and paying attention to my quite self-sufficient younger child; which is hard but, you know, I love you all so I do it.

However. I can’t help thinking all this energy in my fingertips could be put into something more, well, I hate to be crass, but lucrative. Or meaningful or fulfilling or something. Not that this isn’t… oh, you know what I mean. If some of the time I did something I was paid for, then I could pay someone else to clean the house now and then, and then I could continue to ignore the housework with impunity. It’s a glorious tiny circle of capitalism.

Yesterday (this seems like a detour but bear with me, it’ll get relevant), my dinner plans went a little off kilter, and B offered to pick up pizza on his way home. Which was lovely, except that when I tried to order online from our local pizzeria, it had disappeared from the Internet. It had also disappeared from the phone network, as the number listed brought me to the next town over’s Domino’s, and then the man on the other end couldn’t hear me anyway. 

Fine, I said snottily, and made carbonara, which is what I should have done to begin with.

And then when I was asking local friends where our Domino’s had gone, someone humorously suggested that I should rent the now-empty location and start a cafe from which I could sell my home-baked goods.

It is indicative of my state of mind that I almost considered considering it seriously.

In one way, it’s lovely. I mean, the idea that yes, I could do this, that even though I’m not the entrepreneur “type” and that I’ve never considered being a small-business owner, I could probably do it in real life. My life is not over just because I’ve had kids. I never opened the second-hand bookstore/coffee shop I’ve been musing about since I was twenty before I had childrnen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it afterwards. Maybe it’s something to do with the headlights of the oncoming forty that makes me so cavalier in my assumptions, but I do actually think I could.

But there’s plenty of time for that, and right now it’s not actually what I want to do. I think if I had to bake for a job rather than enjoyment, I’d very soon get sick of churning out the goods. Not to mention all the headaches that go with owning a small business. Not at the moment, thank you, though I won’t write it off forever.

On the other hand, it seems like I do have a little time on hand and maybe I could actually do something else with it. I could start small and look for some freelance editing work. What I’d really like is for someone to pay me to write, but then I’d have to work out what it was I was going to write, or write things other people tell me to, and I’m not certain how to do either of those. I do want to capital-W Write Something, but I can’t do that while Mabel’s flitting around the house begging every five minutes to watch My Little Pony on my computer or actually putting on Sesame Street in the background. That particular project will have to keep growing at the snail’s pace it’s coming along at, for the moment, if I want it to be any good.

—-

And then I had to go and, you know, actually parent or something, and make dinner and take in the laundry, and in between I checked my LinkedIn profile to make sure it didn’t have any misspellings and then I put out the word on Facebook and Twitter that I am, in fact, in the market for some freelance proofreading, copy editing, taking words and making them prettier/clearer/correcter*. 

Sure, what’s the worst that can happen? I’m deluged with offers and have to turn people down? Or nothing at all. I think I can cope with both eventualities, but something in between would be ideal.

*Not actually a word. I do know that, don’t worry.

Present disculpatory

Apparently I was a little distracted when putting Mabel to bed last night. She wrapped herself up in my big brown blanket and I totally forgot that we hadn’t put a nighttime pullup on her. So at eleven thirty she woke up all wet and it took a long time to get her back to sleep.

My big brown blanket is now in the wash.

I’m busy. Which is good. I like to be busy when it’s just the right amount – not overwhelming, not stressful, just busy enough to give me a sense of purpose and a good excuse when the children come wanting me to be a mommy cheetah. (I said “Miaow,” but apparently cheetahs don’t miaow. They don’t roar either. They make a high-pitched chirping noise. I find this hard to believe. I am suspicious of my children’s television-acquired knowledge.)

I’m busy getting us back to normal, whatever that is, but also trying to start exercising again – running and yoga, I’ve decided, this year/semester/term/week – and doing a small freelance job, as well as the writing course I’m taking from Alice Bradley (the wonderful, hilarious Finslippy, and I only partly said that because she might be reading). [Alice Bradley is reading my blog. Hyperventilate, hyperventilate, spend an hour browsing past posts to try to read them with a stranger’s eye; fail.]

And then I had to restock our supplies of peanut-butter and tinned tomatoes and boxes upon boxes of Cheerios (they were on special offer), as well as trying to keep the house from falling into a state of absolute squalor (some squalor is fine, just not absolute), and have a cup of tea every now and then and eat a muffin (somebody’s gotta do it) and also see above re laundry, and so that, what I’m trying to say, is why I didn’t update the blog yesterday.

Lofty aspirations

I registered for BlogHer. See, I have a logo and everything. (Look right. Down a bit.)

I have no idea how that will go, but what the heck. There was an early-bird deal, so the actual conference ticket was as inexpensive as it could possibly be (unless I had sponsorship or something, I suppose). If I can’t go, or chicken out, I can transfer the ticket to someone else any time before the end of June, and I’m sure it would be pretty easy to find someone to take it.

It’s in Chicago, which is not exactly down the road, but a flight for one isn’t going to break the bank. I suppose now it’ll be in DC again in 2014, but if I’d waited it wouldn’t ever be. I’ll have to find someone to share a room with; I think there are forums to link up with people. If you’re reading and you’re going and you need a roomie, hi! Consider me! I’m quite tidy and I don’t think I snore.

I don’t know what I expect to get out of BlogHer. I know it’s a huge conference. I know there’ll be bloggers there I read but am too shy to talk to. I know there’ll be bloggers there I’ll start reading afterwards. I hope I’ll meet some people who might start reading my blog. I hope I can manage not to die obsessing about what I’m wearing and how my hair looks the whole time. (Honestly, my hair usually looks good if I make any sort of effort. I’ll be obsessing about how thin I am or am not.) I hope it will not be anything like high school.

Mostly, though, I want to go because more and more I’m identifying as a blogger. It’s what I am, while I’m a mom and an editor (on hiatus) and an ex-pat and a wife. I don’t want to put ads here at this point, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have nearly enough traffic to bother, but I would love it a lot if some day this could become part of, or lead to, something that brought in a portion of income.

So I’m going to go to a conference, because blogging is my self-appointed, not-for-profit job.

Past lives

What I really want to do is retire to bed with my laptop and blog my little fingers out. But that’ll have to wait until I’ve finished all this homework-enforcing (not happening), dinner-producing (only grudgingly; didn’t I feed you two just last week?), bed-putting-to (on my own; husband has watertight excuse of PTA meeting), and nose-wiping (constant, unending, soul destroying) that I have to do for HOURS and HOURS until that glorious moment will finally come.

However, since making the grown-ups’ dinner just involves shovelling some of yesterday’s lasagne onto a plate and thence into the microwave, and I’ve given up on the homework for the moment and they’re watching their beloved TV programme, I’m just going to start this right now in the brief, blessed peace. Standing up here at the kitchen counter is not quite the same as cosily in my bed, but it’ll have to do. It’s closer for nose-wiping purposes anyway.

Kate Takes 5 of the Lovely Irish Bloggers (not their official name) started (started? perpetuated?) a meme this morning, asking what we did before we were “just a mum”. (Just.)

I did a few things. I did a lot of things. I became an excellent waitress when I was 16. And again every year until I was 21. I tended bar in North Beach in San Francisco for a summer. I had regulars who came in just to chat to me on Monday evenings when business was slow. I dated a German who was five years older than me and had a car so he could show me the sights. I camped in Yosemite with my best friend and hiked down from Half-Dome and was beware of bears and ate pizza beside a family of raccoons.

I spent a year in Spain, studying. I mean, “studying”. I can order two beers in six languages.

I got a job in a software company in Dublin during the boom times, despite knowing very little about computers. I didn’t need to; I was an editor. These days software companies have mostly let go of the editing function, but back in the late nineties the software company people were happy to employ a whole department of us to give comma-placement workshops to the technical writers and spend our staff meetings discussing the proper use of the en-dash. Happy, happy times. I had finally found My People.

It was an Irish company, but head office was based in California. I got sent to Redwood City for a month to do, um, something; I forget what. I had a rental car, an apartment, and a company credit card. The following year I was sent to Phoenix, Arizona for a month to train someone. Or something; I forget what. I had a rental car, an apartment, a credit card, and I got to see the Grand Canyon.

This shiny photo of a photo is of me taking a very small hike in Sedona, Arizona. It was pretty nice. Also, I had good hair.

Right now I’m locked in my own bedroom while my overexcited, overtired, anarchic children are whispering on the other side about screwdrivers and sticky tape. I have threatened the light sabers and the halloween candy and none of it has borne fruit and I don’t know how to do bedtime on my own tonight. My hair is greying and in need of a cut.

I thought I was tired when I swept the restauraunt floors at 2am and was back there opening up at 8 the next morning. I thought I could be diplomatic, and firm yet empathetic, when dealing with a managee who started crying in a meeting. I knew I could be organized and systematic when booking a department of engineers travel for a conference in Vegas. I felt I could be convincing and persuasive when arguing my point to a room of non-editors.

I didn’t know I was still in training. This one is the hardest job yet.

Green Card (and other movies)

Sometimes I think that blogging is exactly what’s wrong with the economy.

Okay, maybe that’s not quite it, but it seems that the free time needed to read about the minutae of other people’s lives, and maybe even write about your own, could be better used doing other things. Especially when many people who read blogs read them at work, when they are actually being paid to do other things, or should be, except that maybe they haven’t any other things to do.

Let me clarify. If you’re reading this at work, I don’t mean you, and please don’t go away. You are a boon to the economy, I’m sure. But I first started to read blogs when I was chronically bored at work, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason I ever read through all the archives of Amy, Kristen*, and Julia, to name a few. There I was at a desk with a computer and literally nothing to do, so my self-assigned project for the next few days became to read through someone else’s backstory. If I did have something to do, I needed to string it out, so I’d read blogs in between short bursts of work.

I’m not the only overeducated underused employee that ever existed, so I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who ever did this. I’m not the only person with a degree in English to find herself sitting behind the receptionist’s desk or waiting for someone else to schedule a meeting so that she could update a handbook that nobody would read anyway. On a global-economy scale, that’s a lot of unharnessed energy.

It occurred to me today that if I had been driven enough, lucky enough, and interested enough in something, I could perhaps be somewhere very different today, with a big fancy career and a big fancy life. (I’m very lucky and interested in various things, but I’m the first to admit that I’m not very driven.) But then, I thought, would I be any happier than I am right now?

Nope. I’m pretty much as happy as whoever Larry was. There are niggly things that I’d like to have more money to spend on – outsourcing housework, getting my hair professionally coloured, buying all my clothes from J Crew – but in the big picture, this is where I want to be. There’s the tiny issue of that hypothetical third baby, but I think in order for that to happen I’d have to go back in time and have got married a few years earlier.

Which would have required me to win the visa lottery the first year I applied instead of the third, let’s say. (You note that marrying someone else is not an option. He’s my lobster.) And maybe B and I needed those years apart to make it work now, anyway.

And then I thought, what if I’d never got the visa? The Diversity Visa Lottery is something many Americans have never heard of: the government offers a number of resident alien visas every year to countries whose emigrants have been under a certain number for the previous five years. If you’re lucky enough to be picked, once you can show that you’re reasonably employable and enough money to not be on the streets straight away (and not a communist), you get your very own green card. My chances of winning the year I did were about 1 in 100, and you’re no more likely to get picked the tenth year you enter than the first. I was lucky.

If I hadn’t got my green card when I did, I don’t know what we’d have done. B could have come home after his PhD, but to no job. I could have gone over illegally, but it’s very unlikely I would have. We could have got married straight away and I would have been legal but not eligible to work (I think), which would have made me feel that we began things on an uneven keel and under some level of duress.

It’s all very Sliding Doors-y to peer down the wrong end of the telescope at what you might have done if your life had turned a different way. And while Gwynneth Paltrow’s haircut was cute and John Hannah’s accent was dead sexy, it wasn’t a very good film, and the ending left us all feeling pretty frustrated.

It’s probably better to just work with what you’ve got and move forward as you are. As I am, damn lucky. For one thing, if anything had been even a tiny bit different, I probably wouldn’t have this to entertain you with:

*Not there; at her old, and sadly currently defunct, blogs, “Debaucherous and Dishevelled” and “Better Now”.

Things I will do with my seven-and-a-half hours of free time every week starting next Tuesday, not that I’m counting down or anything.

Mabel starts school next week. From 9 to 11.30 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she will be entertained by and entertaining the teachers, co-opping parents, and her classmates; slicing play-doh pizza, painting masterpieces, splashing at the water table, and of course minding the babies. From time to time, I muse on what I will do with the few minutes of extra time I’ll have to myself with both children out of the house. And by muse, I mean plan ferociously and count the minutes.

Of course, what I’ll actually do is run around like a headless chicken because I can’t light on just one thing, and I don’t have time to really do anything much. But there are plenty of things I’d like to do.

1. Go to Target. Trawl the aisles slowly, at leisure, without having to recapture an escape artist every five seconds, without having to bribe anyone with chocolate milk at Starbucks afterwards, without buying anyone a pair of conciliatory Hello Kitty sunglasses because it’s really hard to visit the toy aisles and choose a birthday present for a friend when you’re not getting anything yourself. Try not to spend too much.

2. Go to the outlet mall. Actually try things on. Buy clothes for me, not for the kids. Try not to spend too much.

3. Go to Old Navy, Marshalls, or Ross, and spend ages perusing the sale racks. Hardly spend anything at all, because it’s all cheap crap anyway.

4. Clean the house. Hah. Right.

5. Do the ironing. The downside to line-drying like a nice environmentally friendly tree-hugger is that some days I really do need to bust out the iron if I don’t want to look like I slept in my clothes. And I actually like ironing – it’s soothing, and satisfying, and I can listen to the radio at the same time. Oooh.

6. Listen to the radio. Any time I have tried to listen to music for the past five years, it’s been instantly drowned out by the cacophony of my children demanding something else, or not that, or the tv, or attempting fratricide.

7. Read a good book.

8. Write a good book. That would be nice. In my dreams.

9. But more realistically, blog, so that I don’t have to do it in the evening.

10. And maybe, just maybe, write a short story. Or finish that one I started.

11. On a more practical note, go to the supermarket without having to take a TV cart and pass out bagels as soon as we get to the bakery section and defuse arguments about who sits on the side with the steering wheel and who put whose shoes on the TV screen. I could even come home with all the ingredients for more than two meals, rather than just half the ingredients for one and a half meals.

12. Or I could just plan the meals at home, and do the shopping later with a properly organised list. But I like to be inspired by what I see in the store, not sit at home waiting for inspiration to strike.

13. Bake a ton of muffins. Eat them in peace with a nice cup of tea.

14. You know, I’m going to do that right now. If naptime lasts long enough. What are the chances? Tell you what, I’ll save vital time by not proofing this.

15. Oh, there was meant to be something about getting some freelance editing work and earning a crust of my own. I’m sure I’ll get round to that at some point. But if I’m busy working, when would I get to go shopping?

Apostrophizing

Every night since we came back (that’s, ooh, twelve nights now) I’ve wondered if this will be the one when Mabel goes to sleep without a trip downstairs or three for a drink/waffle/book/talk to Daddy. So far, apart from that one evening when I wasn’t home till after nine because of a committee meeting, that night has not yet come. Maybe it will be tonight.

No. No, it’s not tonight.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about possessive plurals.

About three of you said “Yes, let’s,” and everyone else’s index finger is slowly migrating north to that suddenly more attractive Next Blog link. Well, fine. Go if you want, but you might miss something. I’m just warning you.

It all began with the Presidents Club, which was something dreamed up by the Sales Department of the software company I used to work for, to entice its members to sell, sell, sell our product. The sales people were all (mostly) in the USA, and I was in Ireland, where head office lay. And somehow we in the Editing Department, desperate for work so as not to be downsized, had got our tentacles on Marketing Stuff and I was faced with proofing some internal baloney about how if you sold Lots and Lots of computer-based training courses, you too could become a member of the prestigious Presidents Club and go on a special trip to New Orleans next summer.

This may be something that all US-based sales departments have, but I was not US-based and had never been in sales, and I was very hazy as to what on earth all this was about. I sent confused e-mails back to someone in California asking what president this was, and how many presidents we were talking about here, and in what sense was this or was this not the club of/for/by/about one or more presidents. And whether they could not just call it something less ambiguous, please, instead?

Now that I’m older and wiser and know about Presidents Day, I am more forgiving of the presidents club. I passed more than one third Monday of February in this country before I acquiesced to those who forwent the apostrophe. I wanted it to be the day of all the past presidents, and therefore to be Presidents’ Day. But no! It’s not the day of them, it’s the day celebrating them, about them, if you will. So no possessive needed.

Looking back, I would now charitably assume that whoever invented the damn Presidents Club was modelling it on the eponymous Day, and I would just leave well enough alone. But that was then, and I can only apologise so much for apostrophes inserted where none were due.

But every week now for half the year, twice a week at least, I’m faced with a similar – but not similar enough, more’s the pity – conundrum, as from May or June on, I begin to see signs pop up on random street corners for a market where farmers gather to sell their produce directly to the public. A farmers’ market. Or a farmers market? Is it a market of the farmers, by the farmers, or about the farmers? I think we can all agree that it’s not a farmer’s market, unless it’s particularly tiny, but beyond that I’m no longer as decisive as I was in my confidently dogmatic youth. Perhaps the sign is merely telling me that farmers market. Yes, they do.

I’m not even going to try to tell you about the confusion that arose in my mind when I encountered the phrase “Laissez les bon temps rouler” in the same internal sales brochure. If only we’d had Wikipedia in 1999.