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Date archive for: July 2010

Stories are not so easy

Today’s Harvard Business Review Tip of the Day:
Create Great Strategy with Stories, Not Plans
Give up being right and sensible. Instead, tell a story about the future. Make it aspirational and envision your organization in a happy and successful place. Then start the real work of strategy creation: ask yourselves, for these stories to come true, what would have to happen?

Here’s my story:
A rabbit is running along in the forest. The rabbit runs quickly, as rabbits are prone to do. This is very different from the pace of other animals that can be slower. For example, opossums are slower than rabbits.
You’re probably wondering why the rabbit is running so quickly. I will tell you: it’s because the rabbit is motivated. The rabbit runs with purpose and direction. What direction you ask? North. That’s right. Always upward and onward. Enough questions; back to the story.

The rabbit runs along, and sees a venture capitalist. The venture capitalist says, “Hello there rabbit, I can see you are motivated, have purpose and direction. Not like the opossum, a creature that I despise with a fiery passion. Do you see how slowly opossums move?” What disdain the venture capitalist has towards opossums! The rabbit shrugs; she has nothing against opossums.

Then the venture capitalist gives the rabbit a thoughtful sum so that the rabbit’s organization can afford marketing and equipment to assist the rabbit’s awesome product in catching stride. The rabbit responsibly uses this money to end up in a happy and successful place.

Hm.

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I Got Yo' Back

This song is really heartwarming and fiercely romantic. It’s a love song about sticking with someone, even if they go to jail for presumably millions of dollars in theft. My understanding of the lyrics is that these millions also subsidize the woman’s designer bag purchases.

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The blink tag

Me: David, David listen to this song. What do you think of it?
David: What is this for?
Me: Our wedding website – it will automatically begin to play in the background whenever someone navigates to the site.
David: (silence)
Me: And…I was thinking we would have our names at the top of the site, but they would be blinking.
David: (more silence)
Me: There’s a blink tag you know. You can make words just blink.
David: (continued silence)
Me: It’s very beautiful.
David: No.

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All in a day's work

Picture me standing in line at the CVS, on the phone, chatting with David about the gripping conclusion to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. This older fellow, also on the phone, comes up to me and says, “Excuse me, how do you spell debris?” Upon realizing I’m on the phone, he whispers, “Oh no! I didn’t realize you were were on the phone!”

Without pausing, I wave my hand as if to say, “No matter,” and I spell, “D-E-B-R-I-S.”

He says, “I-S?” in disbelief, and I reply, “I-S” with confidence, and then he says “Thank you” and runs off.

David asks, “Who are you there with?” and I say, “No one, a stranger just asked me how to spell debris.”

Then I looked around at the crowded CVS line, as if to say, “Did you all see that?! Did you all see how I spelled something correctly? He could have asked anybody how to spell that word, but no, clearly he spotted me, accurately pegged me as someone with great acumen, and I delivered.”
I felt like such a rock star! No, wait, heroine, is probably a more accurate description. He looked pretty frantic when he asked the question, so perhaps the spelling was a matter of life and death, as it usually is. Good thing he came to me. The guy two spots ahead in line who was glaring at me for talking on my cell phone probably wouldn’t have been able to spell the word at all.

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Today's Haircut

Today I went to the Hair Cuttery for a haircut. There is this woman who had cut my hair a couple times three years ago, but I had stopped going to her because I thought it was time to pay for sophisticated hair cuts.

When I arrived, she saw me, and she came over and gave me a big hug and asked, “How ARE you!?” I was a little surprised, because I did not think she would remember me. I was also surprised because she must have known I was cheating on her: I haven’t been to her in three years.
“Gooood,” I responded uncomfortably, whilst returning her hug awkwardly.
“I have another client, but give me 15 minutes.” She said.
“Take your time!” I said to her and to her client, so that she didn’t feel rushed. If I were her client, I wouldn’t want my hair cutter to only spend 15 minutes on my hair!

I sat there, waiting patiently, when another customer walked in, looking for my hair cutter. She came over to him, and said, “I’m so sorry, I forgot you had your appointment. It will just be 10 minutes to cut hers,” she said, motioning to me.

At first I thought I should walk out, because I have long hair. Also, I’ve become accustomed to hair cuts where the stylist needs 10 minutes to simply discuss my hair strategy whilst casually berating my use of two-in-one shampoos and hair pins. After shampooing my hair, combing it, and sighing heavily, the snipping begins. After that, there has to be another 20 minutes to show me the benefits of mousse and make my new hair cut look good. It has never been clear to me how long the actual cutting takes, but obviously you have to be a wizard to do all of the above in 10 minutes.

Sure enough, my hair cutter did it. Well, not all of it. She multi-tasked with the snipping, cutting my and inquiring about who else had butchered my hair. And as for the styling, she turned on a blow dryer and waved it at my head for three seconds, but then turned it off as if to say, “Who are we kidding. I’m not going to style your hair.” I was fine with that though.

And that’s the story of my most recent haircut. It’s quite underwhelming.

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Good Vibrations

Yesterday, David and I were discussing schizophrenia. We talked about how if one of us had it, there would have been signs by now. After running through a list of symptoms, we decided we were in the clear. In case you are wondering, yes, this is what we do in our free time. We pick devastating problems and then self-assess*.

This morning at around 4:45am, I was sitting at my computer, typing away, when all of the sudden, I felt a vibration through the home. It was a very bizarre feeling. My first thought was that extra-terrestrial powers had casually passed through. This first thought is not as outlandish as it may seem: earlier that evening, Fox News had covered reports of an unidentified flying object that the government was aware of, but did not want to comment on. If you’re wondering why I was watching Fox News in the first place, I’ll tell you: The Daily Show was on repeat, and I figured I would just cut out the middle man for my laughs.

Anyway, I quickly decided that I would not share my theory about the extra-terrestrials passing through because it would undermine all the progress we had made just a few hours earlier determining that neither of us had schizophrenia**. I decided to pretend nothing had happened and the house was just shifting, as houses are wont to do.

Long post short, I breathed a sigh of relief at 11am when Connor emailed asking if we had felt the earthquake. An earthquake!

*This is not what we do in our free time.
**Or make me sound like a crazy person.

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Fever

I have a fever, and the only cure is…..

…..

more Justin Bieber.

When I first heard Justin Bieber, I thought, “Who is this young artist with such a captivating voice? Surely just another fly-by-night pop sensation. I’ll pay him no mind.” But as I hear more and more of his ballads, as his voice echoes in my mind, as his lyrics hold a mirror up to my heart, I realize that Justin Bieber is here to stay. Like Madonna.

Now, this the second post in which I have featured Justin Bieber. I suspect that in addition to turning this blog into an elaborate shrine to Justin Bieber, there is also a good chance I will request no less than five Bieber songs to be played on repeat during our wedding celebration. David will protest, but I feel strongly about this.

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Hmm. Funny.

While usually I hate saying anything nice about Connor, I will make an exception today:

What Connor lacks in personality and looks, he makes up for in writing.

It’s true, Connor wrote something that made me laugh out loud. Here is the context. There’s this song I like, by Mike Posner, called “Cooler Than Me.” You can listen to it here:

David hates this song. I played it for him, he thought about it, and then he finally said, “I’m sorry. I would rather listen to someone scrape their fingernails against a chalkboard.”

I shared the song with Connor, and he also hated it. He wrote,
I would rather listen to you talk about your decision process in purchasing one of your new outfits, rather that listen to that crap-ass song:

“You see, originally I was going to get a black blouse with a white skirt. BUT then I saw this black skirt that I absolutely fell in love with (because I don’t have that many of those). And then I wondered what would go with a black skirt? And the answer was obvious: a white blouse! But then I noticed the skirt actually had some CHARCOAL in it, which is normally too glitzy for me, but I was feeling adventurous that day so I bought it anyways.”

Connor’s response is poking fun at my affinity for wearing black and white clothing. He’s a fool, however, because black and white clothing is beautiful. Nevertheless, I laughed out loud and maybe you smirked too.

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New Indie Artist

Hmm. I’ve been away for a while, gathering my strength. But rest assured, I’m back. Consider this post on par with a cast of my image in smoke a la Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That’s right, I’m back and more dangerously hilarious than ever.

When we last left, I was bravely enduring the misery that comes with chigger bites. The bite has healed, and I’m a stronger person for it. I celebrated the bite’s healing by exploring the current music scene. As my casual acquaintances know, I’m a bit of a hipster and very in tune with the underground music. Fortunately for you, dear reader, I’m going to tell you about a delightful new artist I have just discovered. This new artist has a soulful voice and tender lyrics that can melt the most callous hearts. When he sings, it’s like an angel is whispering in your ear, and you can finally rest assured there is a place for love in the world.

This artist knows the pain of heartbreak, recognizes the power of emotions and will change the music industry for the better. Without any further ado, I link you to a powerful ballad that will surely awaken emotions you’ve spent years trying to suppress. You’re welcome.

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