Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Reading that is more than worth the time

Whether you read business books typically, or not. Whether you read philosophy books typically, or not. Whether you read ANYTHING typically, or not. It doesn't matter. Get this book.

Leadership and Self-Deception is a book I'm reading for management training at work. The last book we read was ok. So I wasn't especially geared up for this one. But last night, I was flying back from Minneapolis with a couple hours on my hands, and nothing else to read. Before we landed, I had finished the book.

I would try to explain it, but it's too easy to butcher. Basically, though, there is a philosophical theory of self-deception, which says that we often deceive ourselves into a way of thinking about and treating other people because of refusing to do what we know we should. This creates a cycle in which people push back, and we cannot resolve the relationships. It's a cycle that prevents us from focusing on results - professional and personal - because we are focusing on ourselves and how others treat us.

From an editorial review on
The authors use examples from the characters' private as well as professional lives to show how self-deception skews our view of ourselves and the world and ruins our interactions with people, despite what we sincerely believe are our best intentions.

The theory (?) is told as a story, and is very easy to read. Sometimes it's pretty clear that they're simplifying the content to get across to a mass audience, but still good. It's not so easy to get the whole thing right up front though, so I'll probably read it again to get clarity on a couple of questions I still have. I'm excited for the discussion to begin at work. (what a geek)

I haven't done this book justice, though. Go out and get it. Read it. It will make a huge difference in how you think about and react to everyone around you.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Lazy today

Posting lyrics.

Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Album: Born On A Pirate Ship
Title: When I Fall

Words by Steven Page & Ed Robertson
Music by Ed Robertson

I look straight in the window, try not to look below
Pretend I'm not up here, try counting sheep
But the sheep seem to shower off this office tower
Nine-point-eight straight down I can't stop my knees.

I wish I could fly
From this building, from this wall
And if I should try,
would you catch me if I fall?

My hands clench the squeegee, my secular rosary
Hang on to your wallet, hang on to your rings
Can't look below me, or something might throw me
Curse at the windstorms that October brings.

I look in the boardroom; a modern pharaoh's tomb
I'd gladly swap places, if they care to dive
They're lined up at the window, peer down into limbo
They're frightened of jumping, in case they survive.

I wish I could step from this scaffold
onto soft green pastures, shopping malls, or bed
With my family and my pastor and my grandfather who's Dead

Look straight in the mirror, watch it come clearer
I look like a painter, behind all the grease
But paintings creating, and I'm just erasing
A crystal-clear canvas is my masterpiece


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Want to have kids?

My stepfather often says that there is no way he would bring children into today's world. While I don't feel as strongly, and understand that it has always been said that yesterday's world was better than today's, stories like this one do sometimes send me in that direction.

Short story ... cops launch a full-scale assault on a party, tear-gas and all. Their reasoning? The promoter didn't have the necessary permits. Some party-goers video-taped the raid. Cops then violently make efforts to confiscate the video. Some got out.

As always, thanks to The Agitator.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Wow, Mortality

So, our class (Dunwoody High School 1993) has experienced its first loss. Kelly died in a car accident in Denver and had been married less than a year.

All around, our class had been blessed. We never lost anyone while we were in school to the standard (sad as it is) suicide or car accident. And it's been 12 years now before we've lost anyone. The classes all around us have lost many people. I don't know why we'd been spared this long, but that doesn't make it any easier to hear about someone you've known since you were nine years old dying so suddenly.

I'm hit with this for selfish reasons, mainly - realizing that it can happen to anyone at any time, which means my loved ones, too. I'm so sad, though, for her family and friends. It's hard enough to think about someone you knew when, but I can't imagine if I were still close with Kelly like they all are. These things bring us all down to earth a bit, but the real tears are for her friends and family, left to be here without her, imagining everything she could have been and done had she only had more time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

One of many reasons

that my husband is wonderful ... he cooks me healthy dinners.

You see, when I get home and he's taking a nap, I have an entire can of Cheetos for dinner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Yes, indeedy

I'm 30 today. Honestly, as a young adult, I never thought I'd make it this far. Since I couldn't picture my life at 30, I assumed that meant I wouldn't make it. I have. And it's a wonderful life. So today is a day for celebration. I think that tonight I will watch Elvis movies, after BBQ with Dave, since most of the celebrating happened this weekend.

Thank you, Funkle Ester, for the recognition at Wild Wing. I got to play tamborine on stage, in front of family, friends, and strangers!

Now, it's off to meetings until 2:30. Yippee.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


The new Nickel Creek CD came out recently, and it's got a killer breakup song on it. Love the end of that third verse...

I hope you finally find someone
Someone that you trust
And give him everything
I hope you meet someone your height
So you can see eye-to-eye
With someone as small as you

Jealous of the Moon
Starin' down the stars
Jealous of the moon
You wish you could fly
But you're stayin' where you are
There's nothin' you can do
If you're too scared to try

And finally, Doubting Thomas:
What will be left when I've drawn my last breath
Besides the folks I've met and the folks who've known me
Will I discover a soul-saving love
Or just the dirt above and below me...

Can I be used to help others find truth
When I'm scared I'll find proof that it's a lie
Can I be led down a trail dropping bread crumbs
That prove I'm not ready to die

Please give me time to decipher the signs
Please forgive me for time that I've wasted

I'm a doubting Thomas
I'll take your promise
You've always kept me safe
Oh me of little faith

Friday, August 12, 2005

Oh my!

I'm sure you all do this, too, but sometimes I see myself from the outside and it scares me a little. Ok, a lot. Case in point...

Today, I'm working on the reconciliation report for our Australian distributor, and it's always unbelievably complicated (even though it shouldn't be), and it never matches up the first time around. In June we had a pretty complicated order go through, so just to get it out of the way, I started with that one. It matched up the first time. So, being very excited about this, a)I did a little dance in my chair. Then b), I found myself singing Get Down Tonight, and dancing even more.

Yes, so there it is. I think I'm ready for the Funkle Ester show tomorrow night.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

So bad

I've been so terrible about posting. I even had a great idea the other day that must not have been so great, because now I can't remember it. Oh well.

Anyway, thought I'd cheat and put some fun lyrics or something in here. Honestly, though, I just want to get home and relax (or move furniture, hang pictures on our newly painted den wall, and clean for Dave's friend's arrival into Atlanta this weekend).

So sorry to be a tease, but I'm headed home now.

Will try to post more later, but I will leave you with a well-reasoned post from The Agitator. Once they've nailed cigarettes, you know they're going after alcohol, right? It doesn't matter that it didn't work before. Just like communism, I guess prohibition just wasn't done right the first time.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I know it's been a while. I guess there's been a lot going on, but not much to really write about. We've successfully painted our living room and dining room now. The den is next, then the hallway, entryway, spare bedroom/current office, downstairs bath, and finally the kitchen. Then installing a new sliding glass door, banister, and fixing the shower downstairs. Oh, and new hardwoods where to old furnace killed our existing ones. Exciting, huh?

Let's see, last weekend, we stayed at the Ritz Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation. Wow. Fantastic place. If you ever have the occasion to stay there on someone else's tab, by all means, do NOT pass it up. If you ever have the occasion and pocket money to stay there on your own tab, I recommend it.

We shot our last wedding. Woohooooo! It went very well, and the pictures are lovely.

And the company I work for successfully began the merger process with another company. This is very exciting news, and I think the combined company will be one to be reckoned with in our industry. However, during a conference call with my new boss, he let slip something that my old boss hadn't yet let me in on. I was very much aware that my role will be changing, as they have someone at that company that does something similar to me. He's actually at a director level, though. Yikes. But what I didn't know was how significantly. Turns out, they are taking away my most lucrative business to let me focus on that in which I am not strong. My heart almost came out of my mouth. Let me say, though, that this company has always treated me extremely well, and given me nothing but opportunities to prove myself, contribute, and earn more money. As a matter of fact, I have the opportunity this year to earn a decent chunk of change in bonuses. That's what scares me to death. It's the partners I'm giving up that earn me those bonuses, not to mention trips to Australia and England. I'm terrified. This week should be interesting. I get to learn more about "the plan." I sure as hell hope the plan includes things staying the same through the end of the year and a nice little salary increase to make up for lost bonus pay next year. Somehow I doubt it. I imagine they are going to give me some new goals and new bonus opportunities. I just know that I don't like the idea of losing those that I've become adept at dealing with, and that have proven successful pieces of our business strategy worldwide.

Anyway, it's way past time for bed.