Writing everything about everything.

The Best of The Week

The True Meaning of Smekday
by Adam Rex
Hyperion Books, 2007

The True Meaning of Smekday is a children's / young adult novel about that time the Earth was invaded by aliens. And then those other aliens. And how it all worked out okay in the end.

Gratuity Tucci (her mom thought that gratuity meant something else) is one of the first people on Earth to learn about the alien invasion. Unfortunately, this is because the aliens took her mom first. In the chaos caused by WWIII (mostly bloodless, because the aliens guns didn't make you bleed, they made you disappear) and the random appearance of aliens in certain people's homes, Gratuity (call her Tip), manages to live on her own for five months without anyone noticing.

Then the aliens decide that sharing isn't working, and all humans are going to go live on reservations now. Tip, being rather independent for an 11-year-old, decides that…

Ever since I left the NOC, I've been doing work on a much smaller scale. Now, on the eve of going back to work in the Internet infrastructure, I'm thinking a lot about doing meaningful work, what it means to be doing meaningful work, and small actions in the context of a larger whole.

The kind of work I do, the managing of technical programs (change management, among others), the actual job role, only exists in medium to large sized companies. And, where I'm going,…