Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Off to Milan

I'm on a quick trip to Milan for business. Things seem to be going pretty smoothly so far, but you really need you track shoes at JFK. You walk and walk and walk and walk. And then, you walk some more, get on a train, then more walking. Normally, I'm delighted to walk except that I usually travel with the few things I need in tow, and it does get a little heavy.

I'll share anything interesting from Milan, but for now it's planes, trains and taxis.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

en plus tard

I normally keep a pretty cool head about things. It's generally easy to sort of go with the flow. Things aren't quite right? No problem -- don't worry, be happy.

BUT, I get so aggravated when I make an appointment and I end up having to wait. Five minutes, not a problem. Maybe even ten. But 35 minutes late just irritates me! (Depending on what I have to do next, 15 minutes can push me over the edge.)

It's not that I get irritated. I get moody. I don't want to engage in chat. I don't want to small talk. Why do I behave this way? No freakin' clue. I know this is not my normal behavior. Is it the loss of time? Is it the lost opportunity of doing something else? Do I feel slighted? No clue.

As cool a head as I normally keep, it's disturbing to me that I get so torqued about late appointments. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. I believe that I over-react. It's troubling.

So, I'll be taking a look at why I get upset when I make an appointment and I have to wait around. The answer ought to be most interesting.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Catchup (and mustard)

I did get to do a little light reading between conference calls tonight (and a brief nap). My stress keyword hit brought back the consistent set of "fight or flight" articles. Best quote was something like spending $10 in energy on a $.10 problem as a bad investment. The stress articles generally describe how you should evaluate your reaction to events and come to an independent determination as to the appropriateness of your response.

Many of the articles seem to try to measure how much stress is healthy (the added edge) vs. the level of stress that is unhealthy (over-cortisol?). Many articles cited a recent study correlating stress to socio-economic status, with consistently eating breakfast as a health indicator.

Rest is viewed as another indicator of good health practices. So is regular exercise. This week, I had half of these covered. Time for catchup. Goodnight :)

Another Late Night

Just finished up with the crisis du jour from work. It will still be a crisis when I wake up a few hours from now. I love my job -- so much opportunity!

Today was sort of globally weird. It's full moon lunacy, without the full moon. So many people I came across had this nervous tension; an anxiety that's hard to describe other than edgy. Actually, I think it's coming up on New Moon. I don't track this accurately, but I usually feel a little on the lower side during this phase. (I've decided not to be on the low side this time, though -- three day weekend, and all!)

Speaking of the weekend, I plan on some down time, quiet time, assimilation "phase" activities. It's also time to find a jazz piano instructor. Need to ask Dennis (don't forget).

But for now, sleep because I must; sleep, I hope I'm able...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rattling Around the Attic

It's been a while since I've rattled around the attic in the middle of the night. Over the past few days, I've been working a little bit later than usual at home, having technical discussions and talking really slowly with people halfway around the globe. At the end of this excitement, I find it difficult to just simply crash out. There's always more work, so I do some of that. But it's always interesting to see what is in the attic.

I did stash away a good title for another article or book: "Yoga, and Adventures in Male Mentalpause." I found a truckload of unread RSS headlines. There are some bills to attend to and an unread book. I also have about a week of unread Google searches.

It also looks like I'll be taking a day trip to Milan next week. Seems a little crazy, but it's a biz trip.

My piano teacher is winding down for the summer. Even though I know next year is his last year in this area, I have been thinking about a new teacher for helping me with jazz. I'm concerned that breaking the routine of the weekly lesson that I'll lose focus on piano -- which is already happening with my arguably overflowing plate.

Okay, down from the attic and off to sleep.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Morning After

It was a great time last night hosting J's 18th b'day party. Everybody had a lot of fun and we didn't trash the house in the process. I feel a tiny bit hungover, which is odd since I didn't have anything to drink. There must be a slight touch of "low" that follows a big night of fun and excitement.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Why So Late?

This has been a very busy week for me with the expected set of challenges -- even though they came in the form of surprises. The only challenge that wasn't a surprise was the (unfortunate) case that not everybody has stepped up yet. It also does not come as a surprise the people are very willing to deflect personal responsibility, even at the expense of blaming others. I realize that ultimately there is one set of facts, and this is why I am careful to document important activity accurately. I also seek to reconcile opinion with others in case there is any question.

I received the info from The Bodhi Tree, and it looks like the 200-hour course for En Yoga Teacher Training and Cert is very doable. It's a weekend class, one weekend per month, for 10 months. 9a to 9p on Saturday, and 9a to 4p on Sunday. There is homework and other related activities. Looks like a winner!

One of the requirements is 20 hours of student teaching of basic Hatha classes. I'm sure I could find a local studio to support me in this task.

I should find out in the coming week about travel to Italy at the end of the month. While travel brings its own set of challenges, the opportunity is to arrange and lead the customer presentations with the WW team. This will be a good experience, but will demand some serious prep time and effort.

I'm looking forward to Jenn's b'day party this weekend and the dance recital Sunday.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Remember The Guidelines

I found myself today several times in a situation where I really didn't get what I was looking for from some other folks. Now, this is really not like me to feel this way because I'm usually pretty much a go-with-the-flow, tolerant, understanding person. But, on three different occasions (at least) people didn't respond as I would have liked.

Rather than go into the details aloud, I'm more interested in how I got left with this sensation. In one case, I don't think I asked the right questions and even though I did get good feedback, it was done in a somewhat distracted manner. In another case, there was a miscommunication. Plans had been made and broke down at the time of execution. It bothered me. In one case, the situation was out of everyone's control.

There was one other irritating event. Again, sparing the details, someone at work did something really irresponsible, and then sought to blame others. Ok, one detail. A response on a bid was due and the person responsible for delivering was one minute late. Since it was for a state agency, the timestamp at one minute past the deadline led to a dismissal of the response. One of the execs sent a note to me, which included the finger-pointing. The exec asked me about lessons learned. I said, "Leave the office earlier with the response so it can be delivered on time." It seemed an obvious enough lesson learned to me, but the exec responded that he didn't understand. There is no light at the end of this tunnel :)

Ok, my ten minutes of pissing and moaning are now officially over. I'm going to rest so I can find the opportunity that I'm certain will be in my path on Tuesday.

Page two.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

As Luck Would Have It

While reading through my Google daily search report on Yoga, I read a most interesting article about how a Haryana minister suggests yoga to eradicate corruption. Nestled in this article was a link to The Bodhi Tree, wich is advertising a 200-hour, 10 month, one weekend/month Basic Hatha Yoga Teacher Training & Certification program. This school is in Charlotte, and with our condo in Davidson where I could stay over the weekend, I could just possibly advance my practice and gain the skills needed to share Yoga with others.

I've responded to the school and await further information about the class, shich starts in September. The practice of Yoga is something that I love so this just might be the next best step for me as I seek to broaden my skills and impact.

There's More than what I'm Doing

I was looking at one of the Yoga studio sites this morning and saw where a co-owner of the studio was engaged in "general-purpose" business activities outside the studio. It made me stop and think about the ability to do something that you really love, something that contributes to peace in the world, and operate a seemingly viable business proposition at the same time.

I do enjoy what I'm doing, and I really get a lot out of it. If I wrote more about my work (and read the same) I might be more aware of the broader impact. But, as I see how other talented folks have diversified their interests and found ways to combine the aesthetic an profitable, it gives me cause to reflect. And now, the pause for the cause...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Random Craziness

It's come to my attention that I haven't been writing much to my blog. (I took this up with myself.) Rather than wait for some grand inspiration, I'm following the lead of another blogger who just lets it go.

Why are the little, round chocolate chip cookies -- bite size -- so addictive? I found a bag of these in the house and find myself compelled to refill the "handful" before emptying the hand. There's nothing special about these little, round, crunchy cookies. That doesn't stop them from being ever so compelling.

I've downloaded some fabulous new music. Taylor Eigsti is a brilliant jazz pianist who has a lot of technique, a great sound and fresh ideas. Curandero is a small group with flamenco guitar, tablas, bass, and a lot of cook! Bobby Watson has a release called Horizon Reassembled. Very good tunes, but I was a tiny bit disappointed with the tinny sound of an electronic grand piano. The notes were right but the sound was just a little bit Casio.

The first prize for exciting new sounds (to me) is Beady Belle. This is a Norwegian singer and bassist who have composed songs with interesting lyrics, very interesting compositions, great arrangements and an excellent recording (yes, with REAL piano). The genre is electronica, but the music is jazz to me. The songs are predominantly modal in scope with long melodies over single, interesting chords with tasteful progressions.

All the rest is progressing: Yoga, Piano, French, Work, Exercise. Well, the XML has slowed down a bit, but that's probably because I got enough structure and coding done to get great utility out of my notes.

Come to think of it, lots of stuff is going on! I was worried when my writing slowed a bit. No need to worry; just need to write!

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Dancer

The dancer, the dance, the sound and light
With beauty, poise and grace sensations are created
Intent from the stage, sentiment in the crowd.

We watch in stillness, our only movement being awe
While the dancer moves from here, to there, and back again
Never the same way twice.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Accessing your personal resource

Every now and then, when I stop to reflect, I can see the many threads that run through my life. There is the physical thread in body, the ideas, the creativity, personal experience, relationships, music, art, and on and on. Tracing each thread back to the origin is fascinating. From one thread going backwards, it fans out into many areas, then back in again to the origin.

What does this mean? It means that if you trace the thread you can gain understanding about yourself, the way you relate, your knowledge and skill base, and so much more.