Transported through time

Today, I was transported through time to West Bloomfield, Michigan, in the winter of 1999, to the house of my Aunt, Uncle and cousins Matt and Chris. I am nine years old. My brother Ryan is twelve. Matt is fifteen and Chris is eleven. As my mother pulls into the driveway in our Toyota Siena van, Ryan and I can hardly contain our excitement. We’re undoing our seat belts and standing up in the car as our mother tells us to sit down and gives us the spiel to be on our best behavior while staying at Uncle Mike and Aunt Karen’s house.

During the four-hour car ride from Dayton, Ohio, we distracted ourselves on the trip the best way we knew how. I started off playing on my purple Gameboy Color while routinely looking up out the window to avoid getting carsick. I follow this by listening to pushing the back button on TLC’s “Unpretty” to hear it over and over, occasionally switching to Now That’s What I Call Music! 3 and The Backstreet Boy’s “Millenium” album on my Bose CD player with foam headphones.

Visiting our cousins is one of our favorite things in the world, and always involves a constant stream of near maniacal laughter and leaves us with affectionate memories that I never fail to recount to everyone upon my return to Ohio. I irritate my Dad with the repetition of these stories as I recall starting off several times telling him in my most enthusiastic voice, “Hey Dad! One time when I was….” and he finished my sentence, “…at Matt and Chris’?” “How did you know that I was going to say that?” I demanded. He informed me that it was all I could talk about after returning from a visit up north.

I switch the sliding van door button to red, and pull on it in an exaggerated manner, the way we had to with this style of door, and see my cousin Matt standing in front of his new white GM Saturn, looking more mature than I remembered. A sudden flush of shyness overtakes me as I slink behind my mother and brother as we approach him in the driveway. This happens often when I’m introduced to a situation that I haven’t faced for a while and I feel unsure about whether the way I remember my connection to someone still stands and matters to them as much as it does to me. Matt greets my mother as she comments on his car and jokes about how scary the roads are now that he has a license. He then hugs my brother and comes up to me. “Hi Jordy,” he says. I give him a big hug and the rush of memories come streaming back. He is a little different to me in some ways. A little more grown up, naturally, but also appears to have different priorities and perceptions to what is around him. I am happy to see that there are no significant changes in how he acts towards me. I have a funny sort of attachment to him. I always follow him around and want to be in the same room as him because he makes everyone, especially me, laugh ourselves to tears with just about every comment he makes. I am sometimes a little worried that perhaps my behavior towards him is bothersome, but if it is, he never lets on.

Like all places, the inside of Matt & Chris’ house has a certain smell that I will always remember. The scent is very profound where us kids spend the majority of our time: in the basement. It is a pleasant smell that isn’t easily described. A mixture of cool air escaping from below the basement steps and the concrete floors giving off a strangely refreshing aroma fills me with excitement and joy as I settle into the tranquil awareness that I’ve returned to this familiar spot.

 

It’s Time to Get All Real Up in Here About Automattic Trials, Y’all

phantomcoast:

A fascinating look inside the trials at the company Automattic from a Happiness Engineer’s perspective.

Originally posted on Wendomattic:

I’ve been a Happiness Engineer at Automattic now for about 6 months and I still feel like I won the job lottery. I get to work with some of the smartest, funniest, nicest people on the planet supporting a platform I believe in, and they pay me! Woot!

It wasn’t too long ago that I was considering applying to Automattic. Before applying, I wanted to know what this place was about. I read everything I could get my eyeballs on about the company and the people in it for months before I pulled the trigger and hit send to apply.

One of the things that let me know right up front that Automattic is different is the fact that hiring isn’t done based solely on a resume and a few interviews. Oh no…uh uh. Not even close.

Hiring is done by audition, meaning that all applicants have to actually do…

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Falsus Corpus: Thoughts About Women’s Stupid Bodies

Originally posted on You Monsters Are People.:

In prehistoric times the thing that made a woman the most desirable to the rest of her pack was having both arms. Things like sharp teeth and having no diseases were just perks back then. If you were some archaic human female spending her days trying to pull all the skin off a mammoth carcass, had most of your teeth, functional reproductive organs, and could start a fire without help, then you were probably the sexiest woman on the planet. Every man in your tribe would show up in front of your cave with a cup of dinosaur milk and a sharpened rock in the hopes that it might be enough to gain your favor.

Fast forward into modernity and the dinosaur milk has dried up. Everyone is arguing about body shape and what not to wear. There are campaigns endorsing fatness and abhorring skinniness where people make outrageous claims…

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