Archives for the month of: April, 2010

One of my dearest friends is geographically incredibly close to where I am!

I haven’t seen this friend in two and half years!  We lost track of each other and are trying to connect.  I was going to go to her hotel yesterday, but I was very ill, so came home and went to bed instead.

Here is where it gets odd.

I called her hotel to leave a message for her.  But the front desk person said no one by her name was staying there.  No one.

So I sent her an email to let her know not to expect me.

I heard back, via email and she gave me the correct number of the hotel.

We are trying to talk this evening, but I called the number she gave me and it keeps going to the voice mail of someone who works at the hotel, not to the front desk.

So, I emailed her back.

But the email I sent her isn’t appearing in the conversation thread, it is appearing in the “Sent” box.

I tried the number they have listed on their site and got the front desk.  I asked for her room number and when they asked me to verify the last name I did.  They have no one of that last name in that room.

Maybe she is staying in the hotel that is adjacent to her hotel and we are just misunderstanding each other about where she is staying?

Nope.  Called that hotel too.  No one by that name.

Tried the number she gave me again and…got the same person’s voice mail.

Hmmm.

Is she staying in another universe?

Heck of a commute.

What I learned today: Sometimes precision tasks are faster and easier when you aren’t thinking about them.

What I re-learned: Technology is still fallible.

Also: So are people.

And of course: Plans often go wildly astray.

Call me, dear friend, call me!

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EDIT: This post was supposed to appear on April 23, but I forgot to publish, I blame myself.

My table mates rocked the conference.  We were rowdy, we answered questions, we networked, we cheered, we hooted, we hollered.  Great conference.

Another full day of learning – soooooooo much about…Google!

I thought I knew how to search before, watch out, I’m about to become so much more efficient.  woo-ee!

Had a super fantastic lunch with my bro and coz at Arriba, very lovely food.  Not sure what was going with the waiter.  Brought the wrong fries, forgot they had taken a beer off the menu and replaced with another, brought us the wrong tab at the end of the meal.  Odd.

Sometimes the most interesting bits of a conference takes place in…the ladies loo!  Returning late from my lunch with my family-boiz, ran into the “before lunch speaker”.  She needed to talk – someone played a joke on her and put a “Ladies” sign on the Men’s loo.  No joke, I explained, the conference is over 200 women and 2 men, and there were a lot of comments about the loo lines in the years past, so for the duration, the women take over the men’s loo, true story.  She was…relived.

We talked some about the differences between the conference this year and the conference two years ago – we both were at both – insightful discussion.

And I let her know how great I thought it was that she references Coleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence”, seriously it isn’t read or referenced enough in the corporate world.

What I learned today: McDonald’s treats its employees really, really well.  Hello?!  A two month paid sabbatical on every tenth anniversary year, on top of normal vacation?!?

Still.

I’m not going to start eating there.

I feel a bit bad about having a good Monday, I mean Monday is practically the most hated day of the week and I go and have a really good one. I’m trying not to be smug.

I got invited to a special meeting in June about IT applications.  Woo-eee!  In interest of preparation, I asked two questions of the person who invited me and you know what – they were really good questions!  Yippeee!

Spent part of the day going through some of my favourite technology with a colleague, just explaining some stuff that I wish someone had explained to me years ago and some of my best advice – my colleague said that information was really helpful to her!  Yippeee!

Spent another part of the day crafting an email giving feedback about a proposed IT structure.  It was too long and one day late.  boooooo.

You can’t win them all.  Well, I can’t.

After working driving over to see some of my favourite people – I got lost.  Not once, but only twice.  Managing to find my way, I don’t know how! The kicker is I had both a map and directions.

Awesome visit and wonderful time.  Many things were discussed.

Sometimes I hate giving my honest opinion and thoughts ‘cuz sometimes the world is an awful place which makes the truth sometimes kind of awful. Sorry.

You know, I didn’t want to come home, as I was leaving I got a “door knob” question and I really wanted to answer the best that I could, but I need more time to think.  I don’t the answer.  This bothers me.

Yes, I got horribly lost on the way home, but happily, I’ve been lost like that before, so finding my way was…ok, so I have no clue how I got home, I got home, no one killed and I still have gas in the tank.  I recognize a victory when I see one.

What I learned today: I’m pretty ok at explaining things to people.

What I remembered today: Sometimes I write emails that are too long!

Branching out into new cuisines and new restaurants, tonight we tried take-out from a little place that serves up tasty Sri Lankan food.  Yum yum.

I’m not sure exactly what we have for dinner, but there were some extra tasty noodles wrapped and folded around various fillings – butter chicken, channa, some random veggie thing, curried goat (for the mammal eaters) and whatever else Dad brought home.

Verdict: yummy!  Will do again.

What this experience made me remember: I don’t talk on the food well!  I start to panic when asked questions about the food I’m trying to buy.

What I’m thankful for: Upon hearing that delivery was impossible, Dad decided he would go and get the food.  Not sure, but I think he could sense my impending melt down.

Wearing a lovely, soft-cotton-made-in-Canada-sheath-dress with shiny patent red shoes and attending a conference for Administrative Professionals.

Excellent conference.

One of my most favourite speakers presented and gave some “game changing” tips for using PowerPoint.  Loved it and there are plenty of tips to put into immediate use.  I’m trying to figure out how to spread the word to colleagues and prevent “death by PowerPoint”…

Other speakers were very good, but honestly, when one is pretty happy and optimistic, motivational speakers are only external voices that match the “internal voices”.

Nicest surprise of the conference: A bunch of people remember me from past attendance and my past role with my previous employer.  Everyone wanted to know where I am and what my “new role” is – and everyone is happy for me! There were many people, too, who thanked me for past favours, information and communications.

What I did to make someone’s conference experience better: Introduced one person attending on her own who needed dinner plans and was attending the theatre to three people who were travelling together, had dinner plans and were attending the theatre.  Tickets even had them close to each other! Smiles all around.

Other contribution I made to the conference: Sitting at the very front, my table is the “rowdy table” – cheering the loudest, first to volunteer and laughing the loudest.

What I learned today: So much. So much I can use immediately.

Item on the Agenda for Friday that I’m most excited about: Smart Cookies!!

Apparently women and men search for mushrooms differently.

Women find mushrooms as they go, take more breaks and stay closer to home.

Men find mushrooms in riskier places, gather less kinds, don’t pick up mushrooms as they go and go further and higher away from home.

Which, explains why the genders have such trouble understanding each other.

Who is faster to get mushrooms?

Women.

Who finds more variety of mushrooms?

Women.

Who comes home with more mushrooms?

Women.

Who expends less energy on gathering mushrooms, so there is more energy to spend on other things?

Women.

There you go.

Study coming soon to a medical magazine near you.

Letting time pass, things settle.

The thing, out of everything, that I enjoyed most about that movie was the comic-book-ish-ness to it.  It was heavily graphic and used a lot of drawings for storytelling purposes.  I loved that one of the characters drew with a comic-book like style.  It really kept the movie grounded in terms of source material and visually to great effect.  Funny how a motion medium can compliment a static medium.  Very interesting.

I also loved how rooted in now it was, all the technology is current, giving it a “this is happening now” feel, even in the few flashbacks, the story was immediate.

Yeah.  I really like this movie.

“This is a crazy movie!”

– Statement from guy sitting in the front row

And he is totally right.

Laugh-out loud, clever,  biting, satirical, silly, fun – an 11-year old “Hit Girl”, her father “Big Daddy” and a high school nobody “Kick Ass” bring chaos down on various criminals and assorted baddies.

Wow.

After seeing a few pages from the comic book (very violent) and hearing the director talk about the movie (not very insightful or interesting) I thought about if I wanted to see this movie.  So happy that I did.

At first I was the only person laughing, snorting and guffawing – then everyone else started to get the joke.  The theatre, although an early evening show and with various people outside of the movie’s demographic (myself included) and even some children.  Not sure what the kids thought of it, but surely some of the hilarity was lost on them, I didn’t hear them laughing.

The sound track was bouncy, fun and although I have heard it said that you aren’t supposed to notice the sound track of a movie, I’m really happy that I did.  It rocked.  Of course any sound track that has “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us” by Sparks as one of the songs is a-ok by me.

If you have a sense of humour, an acceptance that violence happens and that sometimes you understand the (mis)quote “When good men stand by and do nothing, evil triumphs” then this movie is a must see.

Enjoy!

I’m not sure how to write this review.

I’m not sure that I can.

There are some elements that I take issue with.  The first being that people who role-play can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

This was already done in “Wizards and Warriors” starring Tom Hanks back in the 80s. Mainstream culture loves to put down sub-cultures of all kinds, the most popular being ones that attract the socially awkward and the imaginative.  The big difference with this film is that now they are doing it to themselves.

I liked the “in-game scenes”, the visuals were very interesting, the split between the “mundane” world and “in-game” world was interesting.  But, the level of misogyny was really difficult to watch. Female gamers are called  “b^&ches”, “sluts” and one character is almost raped “in-game”.  Sorry, but no way that someone who runs a camp where people LARP would allow this to happen.

And real murders, live blades?

Sorry, but this film made people whose past-time look like people with no sense of reality, without any “real world” ties, connections and responsibilities.

Why would someone who do this to their own sub-culture?

Ok.

So the movie – interesting visuals.  Loved the sense of how much of the things we saw on-screen is created by the players’ imaginations and will to believe.

But, it fell apart for me – too much insulting of the girl-friend (the ex-girl-friend?), not enough sense of sanity – none of the characters stopped for a moment to say “calm down! get out of the game!”.

Hm.

Interesting exercise in film making.

Not a successful exercise in story telling.

Climbing did something to my knee.  I only made it up one route and the second almost finished me off – seriously close to tears.

I’m grounded.

Good timing, my climbing partner is away for the week.

Hope it isn’t too serious.