Category Archives: Warm and fuzzy

The happy olympic hangover…

So as we feel smug about hosting a phenomenal event that I clearly got caught up in (sorry readers – I was at the games!!), something hit me almost like a thunderbolt today.

As a self proclaimed news junkie, 90-95% of the news that I read is critical, negative or tragic. Over the past two weeks, whilst some Brits in the media had issues (“worst games ever!!”), once the sun started to shine, Alexandre Bilodeau won his medal, and the people of Vancouver draped themselves in Canada garb the media started to turn rosy. The storyline shifted.

From that point on, the stories I read were of hope, of perseverance (Joannie Rochette), and of achieving dreams (a tad cheesy but hey). I started to skip over the stories of tragedy, war, healthcare in the US etc… and let me tell you, it felt really good.

So now to go forward and try to hang on to this. The positivity, balanced with the need to remain critical and informed… Not sure how to do it yet, but when I figure it out I will let you know. And here is a link to Brian Williams (the other one – on NBC) blog. He writes a very lovely little thank you note to the people of Vancouver. So go on – feel smug and happy. Nice job Vancouver.

Beyonce – a class act of leadership

If you have been living under a rock then you may not have heard about what went down at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night. In short, sweet seventeen year old Taylor Swift won for best video, started her acceptance speech and was rudely interrupted by Kanye West who grabbed the microphone out of her hand (eeek!) and said that “Beyonce’s Single Ladies is the best video of all time”. Taylor Swift didn’t finish her speech and the look on her face was enough to bring tears to the eyes of the most hardened “I hate country music” fan. Kanye was eventually booed off the stage. But redemption came.

Beyonce won an award later in the evening and after reaching the stage she said the following: “I can remember being seventeen and winning my first VMA with Destiny’s Child, and I remember how nervous I was. I would like to invite Taylor back on stage to have her moment”. Taylor Swift then made her way back on the stage, Beyonce handed her the microphone, gave her a hug and stood behind her. I get chills just thinking about this (good ones!). In one moment, Beyonce distanced herself completely from what Kanye did, and she had the grace and class to ensure that an emerging artist had her moment in the sun. Kanye on the other hand has been dissed by just about everyone this week and had to go on Leno(!!) to apologize. Who do you think needs a bit of coaching on self awareness and their impact on others? Hmmmm…

Are women and men that different? Part 2

I had lunch today with a male colleague of mine at a place called PHAT. I had never been, likely because eating lunch at a place called PHAT seems to be tempting fate and the waistline. But alas, I was able to order a lovely vegetarian sandwich that came with a lovely side of coleslaw with very little mayo. Nice. Also, if you are a single woman – PHAT in Yaletown at lunch time is packed to the gills with good looking men enjoying smoked meat sandwiches. But when our food arrived I had to take a picture to demonstrate boy food versus girl food. You can see by the image that yes, a little different:

boy food versus girl foodgirl lunch vs. boy lunch

My Globe & Mail is getting skinny…

It really is. I am a loyal subscriber and have been for almost ten years, but just the other day over oatmeal I turned to my husband and said “my globe and mail is getting skinnier”. He looked at me and said “well, yeah”. Like duh…

I mean clearly it is not surprising. The web is kicking print media’s butt. We all know this. Newspapers are shuttering but still, I am disappointed and I don’t think I can bring myself to cancel my subscription. Even though I am getting a lot less news for my money than I did five years ago. Duh…

What to do. Readership is up for The Economist, a mag which does not have the broadest appeal (you need at least one degree and a glass of wine to give it a go), but Vogue is releasing its thinnest September issue ever (down 30% over last year). I am confused over where to send my eyeballs…

I could commit to Googlenews… I mean they roll up all the headlines anyways and I can sit and scroll through them while drinking my tea in the morning. But yet, I like the newspaper. I like having to do the newspaper chest press flap to get the pages to flip. And my dear columnists who guide and advise me through my daily life…  A world without John Ibbitson reminding me to be smug about being Canadian because in the States they are just plain crazy, John Doyle dissing network television, Alexandra Gill dissing restaurants, and Leah MacLaren dissing, well everything, just doesn’t seem right.

But I am starting to feel like a dinosaur while the world goes “duh” around me.

The power of online bridge playing

2009.7.30 Community -

The world is shrinking. In the midst of a record breaking heatwave, my hubby and I were invited to dinner with his parents and two houseguests. These houseguests were friends his parents had met online whilst playing bridge, which for these two sextagenariansis an obsession. They sit in two different rooms with two different computers playing with folks across the world. But now here is why this is so cool. My hubby’s parents are Ismaili muslims from East Africa. Their online bridge playing out of town guests are Jewish and live in Israel. And they all got together in North Vancouver for chicken and a good time. LOVE IT. And who says the world is not changing…

The importance of recognition – Bo the Portuguese water dog

Awwwww
Awwwww

 Stop the press – major news announcement this weekend – Bo the Portuguese water dog moved into the Whitehouse! It was on CNN, Fox News and on the cover of the Globe and Mail along with   pundits chatting about the breed, how the labradoodle came up short and that there will be a surge in demand for Portuguese water dogs… Love it. And kudos to Whitehouse chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for not missing a political heartbeat by making sure that Bo came from Senator Ted Kennedy’s dog trainer in Virginia 🙂 That guy is an ANIMAL.  

So why the collective “awwwwww”? A dog was promised to Sasha and Malia (Obama daughters) by Dad during his acceptance speech on election night back in November.  It was a gift to them to thank them for their support and sacrifice during the campaign. What do us HR types call that? Recognition. What is recognition all about? Doing something that shows that you care and that you appreciate the work of others. That you understand that none of us are islands and that great things cannot be achieved alone. What does the collective fawning and positive press tell us? People like people who recognize others in meaningful ways for meaningful contributions. So go to it… you are not required to give someone a pooch, but perhaps a “thanks” or a “I appreciate you and all that you do”. We will all like you more and who know’s, you too may end up as a soundbite on CNN.

What we can learn from Oprah

I am in a bit of a neutral zone – meaning I have just finished a very intense project that spanned many many months. I am initiating a new project but we are in the early days… starting to get moving but not quite at a fever pitch. It feels a bit strange but aha this is what change feels like. Always a good thing to go through what you preach – I can officially state that I am in a neutral zone. I have cast off from a shore but am now in my little boat and can see the new destination but can’t quite make out the shoreline. It feels a bit discombobulating. So here is what I have learned about change in my own personal experiment/experience over the past few days:

  • Structure and routine are beautiful things. Previously I had a 20 minute walk to a client site every morning and evening on my way home. I now have a 20 minute walk around my office culminating in a steeped tea from Tim Hortons. It feels good.
  • We need to talk to people. I am communicating like crazy – lunching, dinnering, having coffee constantly. When you leave an environment with lots of people all around you it is strange to go to one that is much quieter. Turn on the music!
  • Oprah is incredibly effective. All the leadership training in the world – watch this woman for one hour (I popped in her DVD special last night). Amazing – she can connect at all levels, challenge without being threatening, be empathetic without being a marshmellow and pick up on people’s emotions instantly. She also inspires others through her actions to do good things like give. Hmmmm…
  • Exercise is crucial. With a routine change I have fallen off the wagon this week and dare I say, I feel a bit fuzzy and tired. Get back on that stairclimber!!
  • Choose who to listen to wisely. I heard a rabbi state the other day that at the moment he is only listening/watching President Obama. In times of change or crisis too much information/opinions from too many places can reduce energy, be tiresome, angst inducing and unproductive.