Sit down; this is MAUOR

Sept. 1, 2005
A window in my workspace offers a view. The wall, however, rises to about four feet off the floor.

A window in my workspace offers a view. The wall, however, rises to about four feet off the floor. When seated as I usually am as the editor of RDH, I can’t see much, just the sky and some tree limbs. In the movies, editors apparently prefer to stand, looking a little petulant or reluctant to get involved with a writer’s crisis. The movies’ editors keep standing as they inch toward the door en route to a social function, trying to get away from those pesky writers.

I like sitting down and talking with writers. This leads to one of those generalizations about the sexes that will take you about two to five seconds to think of an exception. Regardless ... women will stay up all night to find just the right way to say something. They want to find the one perfect way to communicate something. Men think there are a zillion ways to say the right thing (and there are a few wrong ways too). So a guy will think about it briefly, and just pick what sounds best.

The upside to that generalization is that women have a much better batting average when it comes to communicating, despite whatever anguish they personally experience to arrive at that point. But they do get it right the first time. So why would I mind chatting with a writer for RDH (primarily female)? Men often will keep trying. If a guy is determined to succeed at communicating, why would mind I chatting with him? Writers of both sexes earn my admiration.

This is MAUOR (month after Under One Roof). I feel like sitting down, since the RDH conference in Chicago in July was a little tiring. But I rest now, believing the speakers, the exhibitors, and the PennWell staff gave the show their best shot. I am content with an upward view of the Oklahoma sky in August as I perform an editor’s duties.

At least part of MAUOR occurs during the month of August every year, which happens to be the worst time to be living in Tulsa, Okla. - the home base of RDH. It’s hot and humid - zero breezes. The, uh, weather doesn’t exactly lend itself to inspired thinking about the site of the next RDH Under One Roof. Las Vegas! July 26-28, 2006! So I asked Jeeves, “How can I stay cool in Las Vegas in July.”

Most of the answers were for cool as in trendy. But one link that popped up was for a blog. The author was a male who had stayed in a Las Vegas hotel where the air conditioning was not working. A previous occupant of his room had soaked the carpet with water in an effort to stay cool. The author writes (and I resisted the temptation to edit this): “One of my future wives friends came to our room to help decorate ... our wedding suite and she got down on her knees to make some decorations and before she realized it her slacks were soaked from the knees down ... and we should have told her ahead of time and then she could have worn her swimming suit bottoms ...”

The guy has friends of his future wives decorate the honeymoon suite where he is staying with his current wife? Wow. Do you think the current wife had doubts during the funk of the unplanned sauna? She could have said, “Thanks to you and your honeymoon plans, I have a smelly fungus growing on my feet from this carpet. I’m ready to be replaced by wife number two.”

I should point out that this hotel is not where UOR will be. UOR will be hosted at the festive Rio Hotel & Casino. I enjoyed my previous visit there, and the air conditioning worked.

In conclusion, let’s flash back to Chicago 2005. Five of the seven “cover models” this month should be somewhat familiar to RDH readers. Cappy Snider has written a few articles for the magazine, and Noel Kelsch’s cartoons have been appearing in recent issues. Through RDH, Cheryl Thomas has advocated organ donations, as well as the care of donors and recipients in dental settings. If I’m not mistaken, one of the first articles Austin Risbeck wrote was for RDH. Catherine Draper was interviewed for an RDH article about her “missionary” trip to China. In a sense, the award ceremony in Chicago was about getting to know Maureen Chodaba and Maxine Wehling a little bit better.

The recipients of the award truly deserve the honors. But I think what sticks with me during MAUOR is what good folks these winners are. They are very gracious and modest about who they are and their accomplishments. It really was a pleasure for me to coordinate the photo shoot for the cover. They probably, however, gnashed their teeth at the sight of me being the most comfortably dressed for a hot summer day in downtown Chicago.

This is MAUOR, and I’m already thinking about the photo shoot in Las Vegas. It should be indoors if they are going to wear those clothes, don’t you think? I think a chair would be nice too, since there’s no good reason why an editor should stand during a photo shoot.

Mark Hartley is the editor of RDH. He can be contacted at [email protected].