Monday, April 24, 2006

Weasel's Brush With The Muckedy Mucks

I don't think I've ever written about my job except to illustrate points about philanthropy and volunteerism. Partly it might be the name of the organization I work for: Outhlink with a "y" at the front and an "s" at the end (confound these anti-google counter-measures) sounds terribly like a mobile youth ministry to my ears and I can't escape the image of yours truly dressed as a trendy vicar handing out "Jesus is Rad!" stickers. Also, its probably because I actually like my job, do something realtively uncontroversial, and find little drama in the world of fundraising, policy, and statistical analysis. Besides, I don't think my politics and rants have any place in my studiously neutral professional life and I would hate to see the two conflated.

If I may blow my organization's own trumpet for a bit, we have had a pretty good fiancial year around external recognition of our volunteer programs for teenagers. In September we were awarded the ME Community Foundation's Noyce Award for Non-Profit Excellence and in February we picked up our local Rockland-Thomaston Community Service Award. Today we travelled up to the State Capitol in Augusta to pick up the third coronet for our triple crown, the Governor's Service Award. I obviously didn't work at YL when we became one of Bush I's "Points of Light" so this has been a pretty good year professionally for me personally as part of the team that hauled in the silverware.

Anyway, I am getting into the habit of toting around the digital camera and so here's Weasel and some of his colleagues grooving around in the Maine State Capitol's Hall o'Flags:

Given M's outfit, this was the only place en route we could realistically stop for coffee.

The house that logging built.

An ill-lit portrait of Margaret Chase Smith in an ill-lit State House. It really looks less like a mighty hall of goverment and more like a grange hall illuminated with 40 watt bulbs inside.

From the Hall of Flags; the 10th Maine Infantry, from the Civil War. I couldn't find the flag of the famous 20th, who (out of bullets) saved the union at Gettysburg by bayonet charging the Alabama Regiment from the slopes of Little Round Top: perhaps it was in the wash.

Colleagues M and A react with awe at the raw power contained in the state capitol. Both regretted not making an outfit coordination call before we left.

I don't make a habit of taking photos in bathrooms, honestly.

Having your own coffee is real power.

Governor John Baldacci is trained to turn towards any flash indicator light. I wonder if he remembers when I called him "Bela Lugosi" from the stage of the Bar Harbor Film Festival.

We should spend more on collateral materials, I suppose. But it doesn't pay to be too slick in Maine.

So a couple of handshakes and a quick exchange of pleasantries with the Gov; a bit of circulation with others in my field; and free mini-muffins. Not a bad morning, all told.


MsDee said...

I like the pink picture and yes, your place of work does sound like a youth ministry.

thanks for the poem:)

Debbie (new blog)

Jim said...

Congrats on Y'link's award. I have to laugh, as I, too, thought your organization might be a religious front organization (obviously before I knew you).

Augusta's an interesting town--an odd state capital, but, much better than NY's state capital, in Albany.

Having spent alot of time there, over the past year, particularly at the ME State Library, I've developed an affinity for the place, even the strip mall wasteland of Western Ave.

weasel said...

Jim; you, and the one paranoid hippy dad who grilled me for a hour before letting his kid take part!

Usually its the other way around; it seems most kids who are inclined to volunteer come from mildly to highly religious households (and we recruit across the spectrum of the local communities) and we appear a little suspicious to them. I have the opposite conversation there, reassuring parents that we are not going to to turn their kids into godless atheists who believe in evolution.

I like to think about my work as an endless family thanksgiving; never bring up politics or religion and keep passing the cranberry sauce.

weasel said...

And oh yes, "Disgugusta"; interesting is the precise adjective. When I first moved to Maine I couldn't believe that much of the state capital seemed to resemble Mogadishu after a particularly bad firefight. The only things missing from the sweeping exapanse of the state house lawn is a junked truck, a gigantic NASA surplus satellite dish, and a haphazard pile of styrofoam and wood kept "just in case". But- and this is a big but- the state museum and library are both pretty groovy, and the Bonanza keeps the sneeze-guard over the salad bar pretty clean.

Albany must look terrible.

RPS said...

Such respect I gained for you that night I whispered in your ear, “He really looks like Bela Lugosi,” and before long you were standing on stage (wearing a tux, no less) in front of a large audience, blurting it out loud.

“Speak your mind” — the Parsley... er Weasel family motto. (Or was it my mind?)

p.s. Speaking of that tux, nice photo in the capitol bathroom. Very slick — both the suit, and the photo.

p.p.s. This is Not a Vampire Blog #1
the governor of Maine

Bela Lugosi

weasel said...

Whoever that is Bald Archie is attacking, I'd like to point out that's the closest thing to a winsome virgin Maine has to offer.

And I do acknowledge my place as the Rupert Pupkin to your Jerry Langford.

rps said...

Rupert: "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here."

BTW (as you bloggers say), it turns out that photo of the gov was taken in Havana (!), and the winsome virgin, as you call him, is the head of the Cuban food import company Alimport, Pedro Alvarez.

The photo appeared, it looks like, only in the Havana Journal, and at the BBC — which says that shortly afterwards, the gov went off to meet with Castro.

What kind of Red state do you have over there, anyway?

p.s. Speaking of the Reds, Happy May Day!

weasel said...

I always wonder about these export boosting trips. I am at a loss to explain what the Cubans would want with 5 gross of Cape Shore blueberry scented soap, a container of balsam fir pillows, and a christmas wreath. On the other hand, perhaps the Cuban Peoples Revolutionary Party will want to open a call center in Waterville.