Today’s shameless coffeeshop eavesdropping

A middle-aged man with a middle-aged women mentions Goldshire. He explains how in Goldshire, everything is located in sensible locations. Engineering trainers. Cooking trainers! And downstairs, warlock trainers! Soon after, they leave.

Then my attention is drawn to the trio the next table over by Mr. Hubbard and philisophical machine. It’s strange stuff, a mixture of business discussion and organizational theory and emotional talk. The primary speaker is relaxed and laughing a lot. He asks a lot of questions, encouraging the small business owner to pour out his dreams while the third member of the trio, a woman, looks on. The first thing I noticed about them, when I first arrived, was the paperwork on the table: a chart and what looked like a contract and notebooks.

They’re back to Mr. Hubbard and his philosophical machine again. The businessman is so interested. He’s a self-described pessimist who used to be an optimist, who does some sort of support consulting service, and who prefers to work with charities. He used to work for Microsoft. He has a three year old.

And now they’re looking at a binder, which outlines programs and training of some sort, with pricetags attached. The businessman asks if there’s a list of benefits to the training, rather than a list of what it contains. He’s in interviewer-mode now, listening to the primary speaker explain a list of bulletpoints about his experience, and nodding with the oh-so-neutral ‘k and mm-hmm of a hardened interviewer. Maybe this is some kind of sting. I can hope. The businessman volunteered to stay until 5, earlier. Now the woman is asking questions. She’s been very quiet previously; maybe she’s an employee or partner instead of a wife?

The businessman has gone to the bathroom now. The woman confides in the primary speaker that they own everything. She’s definitely involved with the businessman in some intimate fashion, or wants to be. She’s been taking very careful notes.

*sigh* There are better things to do with my time than this. It’s educational but I’m tired, and there’s not a pen or napkin to be found (where I might scribble a handy url for somebody else to find).

Interesting observation. Something good from work?

So, I’ve hit a snag on the outlining that will require a slowdown– some worldbulding, some re-consideration. My self-imposed schedule, as you might recall, is very tight. Even tighter, since I was aiming for finishing the outline on the 30th so I could have a day to breathe before launching into the text.

I get all panicky when I think of my schedule as a hard deadline, as ‘must have X by end of November’.

But when I think of it like I was taught to think of deadlines at work, as ‘I think I can have X by the end of November, but of course events may revise that’, I feel calm, relaxed, as if it’s achievable.

I have to remember my theories about not rushing. But I also have to balance those against various unavoidable time limits. Juggle juggle.

And now for something completely different:

For various reasons, I’m familiar with a lot of the stress and controversy and problems associated with breastfeeding vs. formula. Blogs and articles and ridiculous protests or complaints over and against breastfeeding imagery.

I thought I’d share the impression my own upbringing left me with, regarding breastfeeding, the ideas that all the science and data and reason must push against. ‘Cause I haven’t seen them mentioned by anybody else. Most protests are ‘gross!’ or ‘sexual objects in view of children!’ (I speak of the social reasons some people wouldn’t want to see other people doing it; the personal or occupational reasons one might not breastfeed cause no significant reaction).

On breastfeeding itself, I never got the impression that it was gross or offensive. Instead, I picked up the idea that it was something poor people did. Poor people, who couldn’t afford all the amenities of civilized life, fed their children the natural way. Formula and bottles were like tampons, eyeglasses and birth control. They were like nice clothes, and disposable diapers. They were like automobiles instead of bikes or horses. If you could use a bottle, you did. If you couldn’t, society was politely sympathetic and looked away when you found yourself temporarily embarassed. Society usually looks away when somebody experiences an unavoidable natural biological event.

This very well may have been a unique idea I cobbled together purely from observations and comparisons.

The other idea buried deep inside is that I should never ever let something I’m not comfortable with happen to my breasts. Except mammograms. With a grandmother who died of breast cancer because she was too shy to get treatment, my mother was very firm about that exception. But infants were never mentioned.