Monthly Archives: June 2002

M is for…

Management. And now I have joined the club. Yep, that’s the big news. I was offered a promotion last week. The whole job req/head count still needs to be worked out, but the job is mine if I want it. Scary huh? Me. Management. Facial piercing, pink hair and all. My new manager, who had never actually seen me before, didn’t even blink. Of course I was wearing a very nice Jill Sanders skirt and Strenesse top with my Patrick Cox kitten heels, when I arrived. So my new title will be, HPE IT Manager. I manage the white space. I have no direct reports, thank God, unless you count the three pieces of paper attached to my monitor that say Joe, Susan and Bob. Nick, who is in Patrick’s workgroup, thought I needed a staff so he made one. I am responsible for a Financial IT platform across Europe. My first task will be merging it with Compaq. Scary huh? I think I can do it, but I am scared. The ramp up is extreme and it has to go live by Nov 1st. Seems that our technical solution will be simple enough, but I am still nervous. I mean, why me? Bob, my new manager, said he talked to a number of people who gave him three names. I was on each list. When he asked some other people to rank the list, I was first on all of them (three I think). He said I should be flattered. And I am, but still why me? What is so damn special about me? I work hard and I am smart but I don’t think I am that special. I asked Ivette if she wanted the job. She has more experience than me and she ran LDMP from Hell, quite well I might add. She said she wasn’t asked but I don’t think that counts. Anyhow, wish me luck and if I don’t write, you know why.

And what about that outfit? Is management allowed to show their stomach like that? Not to mention my slightly sloping behind! Normally folks, I wouldn’t wear something like this but Patrick really really loved it and I wear a long shirt at the office. Kind of fun being skanky.

I was in Geneva this week for two days. It was a meeting about this merger project. I was disappointed with the town, in a sense. As an American, I had this idea of Geneva being this perfect blend of old world and modern finance. A city that had Chalets with hand carved wood and bat phones to all the major international indexes. It was more like a tired old town that had a lot of ugly buildings built in the 70’s. I didn’t get a great rush of Financial power when I got off the plane. In fact the airport makes Stuttgart look like the new Int’l wing at SFO. But we went for dinner on the outskirts of town and it was beautiful. I had the most succulent Salmon I’ve ever had. The setting was so beautiful. As we drove into the area of the restaurant we saw lots of people riding horses down the streets. We were out of place. One of the guys at the meeting told me that Geneva (Genf in German) is actually a sleepy little city. It is a French speaking city, unlike Zurich, which is German speaking. Zurich is far more metropolitan and has more things for younger crowds. The meeting was as these meetings go. Please refer to the time = money passage from last week’s talk.

Patrick and I are going to the South Side festival this weekend. We’ll be car camping. I’ll take pictures so that I can prove I did it. Still going to bring my electric tooth brush. The battery should last until Sunday no problem. Mostly, I am going to see The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Mostly, Patrick is going to see Shirley Mansion of Garbage and Gwen Stefan of No Doubt. Should be fun. Being dirty can be fun. And if there isn’t enough room in the car for both of us to sleep, Patrick can sleep outside on the ground because he was a Boy Scout and knows how to do these things. He said mud is insulating.

Today the US lost to Germany in the quarter finals of the World Cup. I am actually sort of relieved as I don’t think I would have wanted to be an American in Germany if we’d won. Especially if anything ‘funny’ had happened (think Schumacher in ’84, I think). I am told it was a good game. The US played well. I happened to be on an errand when the game finished. Lots of people driving around honking and waving German flags. Decent number of accidents too. When I returned to the office I asked when we would all sing ‘Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles’. People laughed. Technically the song is against the law to sing. Something about extreme Nationalism. Oh well.

Patrick says he’s damn hot and the fan isn’t helping. Maybe we could practice sleeping in the car tonight, as it is parked in the nice cool underground lot? Cheers.

the next big thing

So Mom and I talked by phone finally. She thought I was mad at her because I didn’t respond to an email. I just didn’t know what to say. Thankfully my brother had similar advice to her about this moving in thing, ‘take it slow Mom’ was the quote I got. I was glad to hear this since Andy has always been pro-Mom dating unlike myself. We chatted and talked about it all a bit and it is better. It’s just different and a change and you all weren’t there in that hallway that day.

The new Stephanie Plum comes out on Tuesday! I already ordered it from Amazon. I figure the book will arrive late in the week and Patrick and I will end up reading it at our concert festival this weekend. I can just see us sitting in some shady spot me reading out loud to him as he lays in my lap, Red Hot Chili Peppers playing in the background, fans cheering and dancing wildly around us as we read and laugh our heads off. We are such a strange couple.

In my Lucky Magazine this month (the magazine of shopping!) there was an object displayed with the following description, ‘Eve Reid Spiky Hair Bracelet’. What is a Hair Bracelet and where do you where it?

Last weekend I went to a club with my friend Ulrike. It was medium hard music. One of the most interesting things I saw all night was a gentleman doing a strange ‘River Dance’ to ‘Back in Black’ by AC/DC. He was dressed as Jon Bon Jovi is his ‘I’m a cowboy with a six string, blah, blah, blah’ days. He looked incredibly happy though, so I was happy for him. The dance moves were odd though.

Did you know economics professor Ian Walker recently derived the equation that proves time = money. It is as follows:

V = the value of an hour
W = a person’s hourly wage
T = tax rate
C = cost of living…therefore

V = (W((100-T) / 100) / C

Amazing huh? You can now calculate how much money you are wasting in stupid meetings, doctor’s waiting rooms, watching sitcoms, etc…

I was recently discussing the concept of passion with someone and it got me thinking about myself. I was asking him what he was passionate about and in his trying to explain it to me, I turned it back on myself and tried to put it in words. So far it has been difficult. I started with a definition but am not sure this covers it. What do you think…Is passion an emotion that is an input or an output? Do we have passion for something and then act a certain way or is it that something causes us to exude a passion? Is our passion for fussball the same as our passion for our lover? Is energy passion? When you feel good because you’ve won a game, is that passion or joy? Are they different? How does one know if something is a passion or simply pleasurable? Using the example of sex, cause it’s easiest, it can be passionate or pleasurable or both or neither. It can be pleasurable, I argue, without being passionate, though the reverse is not true. So where is the line. And how do we find it. I can’t really come up with anything I am passionate about except everything I do. I don’t do anything without all my passion, at least that is what I would call it. But is that correct? Perhaps what I do is merely enthusiastic? I think I want passion though. Don’t we all? Isn’t passion one of those emotions up there with love and hate in terms of power and strength? Most people would probably say I am passionate about shoes and clothes, but that makes me feel funny. I think I am passionate about helping people, if even by making them laugh on a bad day. Hm. Anyhow, I’d be interested in what you all think (no dictionary definitions Minturn).

Music soothes the savage beast or teenager or mid-life crisis. Music is popular with a certain group because the music means something to them. Disaffected teens love uber depressing music because they can relate to it, it helps them from feeling alone. As long as the artist/musician continues to write music that speaks to the audience and the audience sees them as ‘one of them’, the artist stays popular. I don’t think it is likely that a bad can constantly sing to the same age bracket. As they grow older, the age of the listeners to theirs will spread and it is hard for a 14 year-old to believe a 40 year-old feels their pain. Of course, they might but that isn’t how the teen years work. Anyhow, when their genre is relevant to the audience, the artist stays relevant. There is a resonance factor from a a purely physical standpoint too, I believe. Certain music is esthetically pleasing to certain people’s ears. The sound, itself, literally resonates well with them. So why the Back Street Boys and N’Sync? Because they have the particular ‘thing’ that a world of teens need and want. But teens are growing and changing faster than any age group. They are changing so quickly that the music may only speak to them for one album, regardless of how strongly. Teens are finding themselves, trying to assert their own identity and find a path so where they are now isn’t where they are in 6 months. The older one gets the more stable ones personality gets. Adults have, for the most part, found themselves, so their interest is more fixed. Why do more people stabilize in the ‘Rolling Stones’ range? I don’t know. Why are there fringe bands? Because the diversity of the human race is wide but out there at the 6th standard deviation there aren’t that many people. So is the music that is created by the N’Sync of a lessor quality than The Rolling Stones? Maybe from a pure musical sophistication standpoint. The rhythms of N’Sync may be more simple or basic. The concepts and insights of the words to their songs may be less experienced, but the music in its whole is no less relevant to its listener. And if N’Sync changes with their audience, as The Rolling Stones have, then I think they’ll stay around. I don’t think the issue of whether a band makes it or not is based on musical quality but on listener relevance. Can a good ad campaign help the relevance? Certainly. It assists the listener in relating to the artist more. But it can’t be the alpha and the omega of the band. There has to be relevance and resonance. At least this is how I see it.

I may have some big news for you all next week (no I am not preggers and don’t plan to be any time soon). Got to get more details. I wlll say I am going to a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday. Wish me luck. It could be interesting.

Colourful outfit, hey? Matches my hair colour. I was just feeling punky and it was on sale. I’d think you would all be proud I have indulged in another colour. So now my wardrobe consists of black and pink. Goth and Feminine. Works for me. Cheers.

the moment has come…

I don’t have a new outfit photo for the page. Of course I have a few outfits that aren’t on the page, but I don’t have any pictures of them. And I don’t really feel like getting dressed up. I’m pooped. Too much testing this week I didn’t even finish it. I accidentally deleted a line from the program that left half my transactions unprocessed. Have no fear though, it was the test system after all. We use the system to check our code AND write the documentation so that at ‘go live’ we don’t do stupid things like accidentally delete the line that processes all the shipment credits! Brilliant! Anyhow, since I don’t have any pictures and I don’t feel like making one (maybe tomorrow) I’ve posted a very cool picture of me and my best friend, Christine. While we were home for Christmas, Christine declared that she had no pictures of us and since Brent, her husband, had just got a cool new digital camera, we had to take some. I hate posing for pictures, no seriously, so I thought about how/where we could go to get some that were ‘natural’. So we went to a coffee shop. I thought the two girls freshening up in the bathroom was a good idea. Worked ok I’d say.

Well, what else happened this week? I was sick. I had a horrible head cold so I even stayed home one day. God, was I bored. I finished ‘C&P. Asked a bunch of people what the big deal was. They all had the same opinion as me, nothing. It’s over rated but still a good book. I then read ‘The Eyre Affair’. It is rather complicated to explain but in general, the lead character is a LiteraTec in a parallel 1985 in England. Her Special Ops team is responsible for following up on and prosecuting ‘Literary Frauds and Theft’s’. Yep, they police books and manuscripts. So the story is that this super evil dude, Acheron Hades, is pulling characters out of original manuscripts, thus changing the stories in every book printed subsequently, and holding them hostage. He steals a character from ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ by Charles Dickens, which honestly I have never heard of, and kills him to prove his point. He totally disappears from all copies. Then he steals ‘Jane Eyre’ from Jane Eyre and the Bronte Federation (don’t forget the accent over the o) gets really upset. Anyhow, obviously she saves the day and there are all sorts of other bizarre not-really-based-in-reality side events (Britain has been at war with Russia over 130 years for the ownership of Crimea. One of the cool things about the book were the weird literary factions. The Mavlovians, who believe Maslow wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare, obviously bash heads with the Baconians who think Francis Bacon wrote them. These people go door to door just like the Jehovah’s Witness. Amusing. Then there was the riot between the Neo-surrealists and the Raphaelites. Anyhow, Dean the Receiving Guy recommended it and it was very good.

Honestly that is about it. Not an inspiring week, not an inspiring coffee talk. Of course you are all still pondering last week I am sure. Cheers.