Monday, February 28, 2005

Busy Day

We are in the middle busiest season at my work, and I have a really busy day scheduled for me, so only have time for a quick post :-)

Headrush has a great post today, centered around the question: How do you make people care? It references those people in customer service, and talks about how passion is contagious - please check it out!

The struggle is, when things get really busy (the way they are for me right now) and you have other interests that you care deeply about that are not connected to your 9-5 work. How do you retain the motivation necessary to find out about the hopes and dreams of your customers, when you feel that all your emotional and mental effort is absorbed just by going through the motions of your day?

It's a challenge.

One thing that has worked for me though: Share your feelings with your client. If you have other interests outside of work - talk about them. Your client can probably relate to your varied interests. If things are really busy and you feel that you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off, then joke about it. Like Hugh Macleod says, have real conversations with these people. Clients don't mind if you act like a human being. In fact, they usually like it. Just as long as you remember to keep your negativity in check. Talk about things that make you happy, excited even. Because passion is contagious and if you treat your customers like your friends they will remember you and want to come back.

Brain wave - The way I am going to stay motivated today is I am going to ask every customer what they do for fun. This conversation excites me, and I think that my clients will be glad that I asked.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Photos of Our Discontent/Consent

Saturday and I am warming up for another day in the archives of UBC (University of British Columbia)...a half day so I can't get too bogged down in the working-on-the-weekend-so-pity-me I am here of my own choosing. Anyway. I just wanted to jot down a quick recommendation that if anyone is reading this AND in Vancouver anytime soon, check out the exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, titled "Real Pictures." I spent an hour taking in two rooms and a half...must return...must soak it all in...

Got me to thinking about the representation of "other." This is basic modes of colonisation discourse rearing it's complex head...been talked about backwards and forwards since post-armchair Anthropology times...but I think the concepts, ideas, philosophies, ethics need to be revisited. I refer you back to my recent link to Wade Davis' beautiful but troubling site.

Is it ethical to take photos of non-Western it ok to then make money/a career off of the photos (even if funds do dribble down to the 'subjects')? What is consent?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Conversational Markets:

In order to get customers to buy in to what we're selling, we have to get them excited. In order to get customers excited, we have to talk to them like real people - but what if there are Barriers to this conversation, as Evelyn Rodriguez points out in a recent post:

"It’s impossible to really hear your customer’s burning issues and their stories if they sense that there are taboos - conversations where they’d be judged for even considering the content matter much less expressing their authentic feelings and viewpoints. "

Lets take that a step further - into the manager's position: It is impossible to really hear your employees' burning issues and their storis if they sense that there are taboos. And if your employees feel that they are unable to speak up - how will they be able to talk to your customers?

It's like a game of broken telephone - the closer to the beginning of the line of people (upper management) that the message starts to break down - the more garbled it will become by the end of the line (through customer service reps to customers.) If this sounds like it relates back to my : What Inspires Me post - and my statement about managers needing to ask more questions - it does. It's all about communication. When the lines of communication break down, then your attempts at marketing become hollow. Customers leave for the competition. They don't feel like you care because nobody is able to effectively communicate.
It's not that the competition is necessarily any better than you at the communication thing- there is just no need for customer loyalty in this scenario.

However, if your competition figures this out before you do - watch out!

Check out Dig Tank for an great expansion on Seth Godin's Purple Cow theory.

Basically he talks about how futile it is to try to be a purple cow, if you don't have the basic's of customer service already in place. Big companies that put me on hold for five hours while I'm trying to do a simple transaction: Let this be a lesson to you.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

For Renaissance Girls and Boys everywhere:

From Wired - Check it out:

Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work, and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and deployed by CPAs. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But they're no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere - artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent.

The Flight was Breath-taking

So I am off the island and back in the sky-scraper sea that is is not as smooth this morning as I had anticipated but it is just good to be here.

This has been a good week in general because I am liking my job. Now that I have the daily minutia under some version of "control" I am raising my head and taking in the long vista of potential I now see as my new job's potential. Besides, it doesn't hurt that this week has included a software training session and work "in the field." Anyway, what a difference - following in the vein of Jay's latest posts - when you are working, existing, in the moment as opposed to gritting one's teeth and clenching one's eyes shut until those liquid gold moments after quitting time. Not that work can't be about paying the bills but wouldn't we all rather live every hour of our lives instead of waiting for off hours?

I know I do.

And the budget's out...unfortunately, the losers (according to the Globe & Mail) are those areas/people of Canada that have historically always been the "losers." And yet, why do I feel the title "Mr. Dithers" is not fair for poor Paul? Damn I need more time to read, sythesise, and formulate intelligent opinions...

What Inspires me?

Rosa Say in her great Blog Talking Story asks the important question today: "What Inspires you"

She goes on to say, that if we consistently strive to do what inspires us, then we will continually be reshaping ourselves and says:

"I sincerely believe that we must all be working on ourselves daily, reshaping our thinking and our habits on the way to an eventual new kind of retirement that translates to working the rest of your days on doing what you love for profit and not paycheck. It’s a model that includes working whenever you want."

Which is inspiring in itself, no?

I think that the problem with management in business as it is (in most cases, again I generalise) Is that nobody is ever asked what inspires them. Fundamentally, it is a MANAGER'S JOB to INSPIRE their staff, but if you were to ask, say 90% of the working world (regular joe, going to work to feed their family people) what inspired them - their work is not on the list.

So we get sad, lonely shells of people doing their time in the 9-5, hanging on til retirement, dreaming of fulfillment. A far cry from Rosa's model of non- retirement. Management has bonuses, they have games, and morale building exercises, they have meetings and power point presentations. Sometimes they even have motivational speakers. So much more productivity could result with so much less energy spent, if managers would ask their employees Rosa's question - and mean it. Then work would be for profit, instead of for paycheque, and as in Hamish's recent post on his new blog Cardboard Spaceship: Business would become a "flow" a group of people working together for a common purpose...


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I Never Saw a Purple Cow...

And I've been combing websites looking to pillage other peoples ideas for something interesting that I can add my two cents to. I'm feeling a little ill today, so maybe my brain is plugged. I did find some great thoughts in Seth Godin's Purple Cow theory:

While driving through France a few years ago, my family and I were enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing in lovely pastures right next to the road. For dozens of kilometers, we all gazed out the window, marveling at the beauty. Then, within a few minutes, we started ignoring the cows. The new cows were just like the old cows, and what was once amazing was now common. Worse than common: It was boring.
Cows, after you've seen them for a while, are boring. They may be well-bred cows, Six Sigma cows, cows lit by a beautiful light, but they are still boring. A Purple Cow, though: Now, that would really stand out. The essence of the Purple Cow -- the reason it would shine among a crowd of perfectly competent, even undeniably excellent cows -- is that it would be remarkable . Something remarkable is worth talking about, worth paying attention to. Boring stuff quickly becomes invisible.
The world is full of boring stuff -- brown cows -- which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not just slapping on the marketing function as a last-minute add-on, but also understanding from the outset that if your offering itself isn't remarkable, then it's invisible -- no matter how much you spend on well-crafted advertising.

Of course, every business blogger that knows anything has probably already read Seth Godin's book. The problem, as I see it, is that too many people making the big decisions in advertising, have not. Everywhere you look - the message is still about branding ie. if somebody loves your brand enough their money is yours for ever. This is the basic generalization behind Lovemarks, of course.

The truth is though, talk to any average consumer that you meet on the street, and they are more likely to inform you that they buy based on research (Consumer Reports, anyone?) and also on which product have worked for their friends. Just because somebody owns a sony TV, does not mean that they will buy anything else from Sony, if the products are crap, or if somebody else makes the same thing for less $$. Hence the sea of brown cows, and the need to be remarkable if you are going to be noticed. A tip for marketing people out there: It doesn't matter how you spin that brown cow, at the end of the day well, most consumers are pretty smart, and they'll see right through you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Freedom is taken for granted..

Oh what a good life we have here...

And I complain about my job too much, methinks.

Yes, it is important to work/live a lifestyle where your creativity is free to blossom - but what if it isn't about lifestyle anymore. What if you live in a place where your own voice can be taken away by your government, and you have to fight every day just for the chance of something better? (no thoughts of lifestyle here - just life.)

That's why todays post urges everyone to link to the committee to protect bloggers . Two Iranian bloggers have been jailed recently for expressing their opinions on their own blogs. Apparently, because blogs are a personal story, bloggers are not even protected under the same laws as journalists when it comes to what they can/cannot write in other countries. (although one trip to the amnesty international website will tell you, journalistic protection doen't offer much either.)

So take the time today to visit the websites and read about what you can do to help. Remember, as long as we are lucky enough to live in a place where we are offered a voice, we can try to use it to effect positive change in the world. Thank you, and keep writing.

Hey it's on the BBC

Check it out!

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

thank you Jay, for the head's up about this...

Monday, February 21, 2005

I was away for the weekend (with no computer)

So I have been tardy in my posting :-) But I come back refreshed and full of ideas (or something)

We spent the weekend in a cabin in a very small logging/fishing community (so small in fact that there was no grocery store to be found, just a general store which incidentally sold mostly chips and alcohol.) Our cabin had an ocean view, and the trip was almost completely relaxing. It would have been totally relaxing except for one small detail: The open floorplan of the cabin meant that every sound travelled. My snoring cabin mates unknowingly interrupted my nightly sleep; meaning I am perhaps not quite as refreshed as I may have been otherwise. It's times such as those (lying awake at 3am) that one begins to ponder just how much our actions (intentional or otherwise) really affect others. This occurs in little things (ie keeping others awake in the cabin) and much bigger things (buying sneakers made by underpaid workers in the third world). In fact, with the true global community, a butterfly flapping it's wings in the western world really can cause a tornado around the globe, at least metaphorically speaking. I think it is difficult for any person to fully understand the ripple effect that occurs when we, for example, buy a bottle of coke at safeway. It is part of our body's own self-preservation system to not be fully awake to the consequesnces of such small actions. I think if we did fully understand the potential negative impact of modern living, we would become paralyzed - unable to get out of bed in the morning because how do we live without potentially hurting ourselves or others?

Ok big and heavy, I know - but very important if you work with people. Everybody is processing information about the state of the world in their brains on a daily basis (even if they are not conciously thinking about it at any given time.) We get images and messages about this stuff from everywhere, TV, newspapers, internet, bloggers like me (sorry guys :). With all of this scary stuff going around and around our heads, it's no wonder we are irritable, depressed and stressed out. The challenge in customer service, then is to remind people that there is hope. Remind us that we are basically good, and show us how little actions not only can make a negative difference in the world, but also a very positive one. Remember the Hughtrain - "the market for something to believe in is infinite"

Time for THINGS

My head is a buzz this morning and it is not because of the two sips of coffee I have barely ingested. I have scheduled myself into oblivion and worry that I will not have the time necessary to breathe, think, and just process (let alone produce). So I find myself up against my need to learn time management skills…the elephant in the room I thought I could ignore until I had a moment. Ironically, one does not have “moments” if one is not managing their time. So I Googled “time management” and, obviously, got multiple hits for various sites using motivational imagery that seem to always include extreme sports. And then I clicked on Jeremy Wright’s site, ala: a list apart, and he explained the “pickle jar theory”:

I am sure the significance of this little exercise hasn’t escaped any of you. Each of us has many large priorities in our life, represented by the large rocks [in the pickle jar]. We also have things which we enjoy doing, such as the pebbles. We have other things we have to do, like the sand. And finally, we have things that simply clutter up our lives and get in everywhere: water.

None of these are bad things. After all, we need the gamut of these objects—from large priorities to times of rest—in order to feel truly fulfilled. No Time Management theory should be without balance, and the Pickle Jar theory is all about balance. You make time for everything, and everything simply fits well where it is supposed to fit…

I appreciated the reminder, I am sure I have heard this theory in my early days of university, and the clear language (no motivational imagery or quotes); but what really struck me was the affirmation that it is ok to ignore my email and turn my phone off.

Email is a lot like the phone in that even though we all have our phones on just in case an important call happens, when we look back on our year it is rare that we can remember more than one or two occasions where we absolutely needed to answer our phone or email at that precise instant.

Friends/family don’t always understand, or like this tactic to steal back some time from the edge of the void, but how else am I going to focus on the myriad of activities I want to pursue in my life? Don’t get me wrong, I would certainly classify the people in my life as priorities. I just want my life to be about more than socialising. I want to have a worldview where the horizon goes beyond what I have already experienced. It blows my mind that there are so many THINGS I don’t even know exist. Forget modern science telling us that there are x species undiscovered in the rainforest, y types of unknown genetic material even in our own bodies, what about the people, places, THINGS, that we have just not experienced or seen through mainstream media sources?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Headrush has a great post today:

"So that's the question... how do you keep your work feeling inspired and passionate? Fresh? If you're a manager, what can you do to help your employees stop sliding into the phoning-it-in stage? Obviously putting them under constant stress isn't the right idea, but what about making sure they have chances to have variety in their work, or at least occasional chances to work on a different kind of project or role, at least temporarily, to step back and look at their work differently.
How can you keep your own work from suffering from phone-it-in? What can you do so that when you sing to that audience after twenty years, you leave them feeling as though this was your debut night, and they were the most special audience you'll ever play to?"

How DO you do that? When a job, a lifestyle, a friend, a hobby etc. is new, it's easy to feel excited, energetic and passionate. You hop out of bed in the morning with boundless enthusiasm for the day ahead because each day brings new and exciting opportunities. When an activity becomes routine however, motivation wanes, and just getting out of bed in the morning can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. The post in headrush today uses the experience of going to see really good bands play to illustrate the magic and connectiveness that can happen when activities do not become routine (even after the band has played the same song one million times - ie. ever seen the Rolling Stones play live?)

But most of us will argue, passion is easier said than done. One comment after Kathy Sierra's post in headrush stated that if you truly LOVE what you are doing enough, then passion is easy- but I'm not sure it's that simple. Love is important, yes, but it will not help you overcome all boundaries. I am thinking about work where the actions of others impact your own progress. Even in the band example: you can love to play music, but if the people you are playing with are difficult to work with, or put unreasonable demands on you then the gig can feel like work. In regular jobs too, if you feel that you are UNABLE TO LIVE UP TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL (here Mr. Self-actualization rears his ugly head again) then it is hard to stay passionate for extended periods of time. So Love is important but without the Freedom and Ownership of your own work/life, passion may be out of reach.

So to answer the question posed in the quote: Please give me room to learn, grow and explore. Let me take responsibility for myself and my work. If I make mistakes let me fix them. Let me also do for my audience (customer) the work that needs to be done without bureaucracy or politics getting in the way, and let me experiment and have fun. Then I will be present and passionate every working day.

great minds think alike (except for my concluding rant)

Yesterday, walking home with concrete feet, after dragging myself through box-aerobics, I thought – you know, I don’t HAVE to do anything. I felt as light and free as when I made that statement to myself years ago, in the middle of writing my thesis. I told myself I could just walk away. I bring this up now because an interesting dichotomy of life is making itself known to me: entering into new experiences does not have to mean over-scheduling your life. It can be as simple as unplanned, no expectation, experimentation. Playing. We, cultures of the “West,” continually oscillate between seizing the day and keeping an eye out for the future. We may be hit by a bus in an hour but we may not.

Focus may be the key; that cliché about living in the present being a truism. But how to responsibly plan for the future while staying clear of the pitfalls of planning?

I wonder how effective those deprivation chambers are in stripping away the “noise” of the outside world and allowing the person inside to uncover the core of their reason for living, reason for striving (or not striving, as the case may be). I would probably have to be in there for at least 24 hours before I stopped day dreaming and replaying past events and just floated. I guess I’d need a catheter and IV for food. This is starting to sound like a lot of unpleasantness for some clarity. Traveling sometimes works too because you are so over stimulated that the inundation acts as a stripping away mechanism, as well. Yoga sometimes works (usually not prolonged enough). Sometimes breakfast alone in a busy greasy spoon works…

I watched the news last night and the first in-depth piece was on the Governor General and the media frenzy surrounding the expulsion of a grade 8 student (Patfield) from Rideau House. He disrespectfully asked if she was the one who spent all the money. I am so glad we are being kept up to date with such weighty political matters. And then we are subjected to an injection of fear with the close up of a pair of eyes – those of a serial rapist getting day patrol from the detention facility in Mission. And like news anywhere in the world, the only sound bites we get from outside of our country consist of the shockingly violent or anecdotal. And the damn Globe makes you pay at the newsstand and online. The Guardian seems to be the only option at this point

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My Computer doesn't Work

And I think it's funny. My work computer never does what it's supposed to do when I want it to do it. For example, in the mornings I can download .pdf files using Adobe acrobat reader - no problem. After lunch however, I try to download the same .pdf files using the same adobe acrobat and my internet explorer freezes. Sometimes when I am using work software to access information critical to me doing my job, that software program will also freeze, and I'm usually left looking incompetent in front of clients I am trying to impress. But, you can't let the little things in life get you down - so instead I laugh. I think it's funny.

I work for a BIG company. This company makes decent profits every year, but somehow they don't seem to be able to give us computers that actually work. Because many of our computer gaffes happen when we are giving client presentations, some days I find it difficult to believe that the company cares for customer service as much as it tells me it does.

Oh they send out technical releases to fix the computer problems, but this is also funny. Each new release will invariably fix one problem while starting another. Technology has a sense of humour!

But the good news this month is: New computers are on their way. After months (and maybe years of slogging through technical difficulties -and that really annoying hour glass that appears on the screen whenever your computer freezes.) We will finally be free of our computational annoyances!

Or will we?

In other news:

One tiny article on the fifth page of the newspaper today on Kyoto
Big full front page spread on end of NHL season of the newspaper however.
This really makes you question our priorities.

no plans

Maybe I just saw myself swimming in this crazy, desperate, horny, existential, urban, greedhead-frenzy sea of random bodies…

Chaos can be a positive thing. Chaos is inherently part of the creative act. To embrace creativity means you must also embrace chaos. Things don’t happen when everything is neat and “just so”. Creativity is all about distruption. The people who tell you that creativity is pain-free are liars. The people who tell you they’ve got a plan are liars. There is no plan. There’s just you, God and the need to invent. And this uncertain world is what most of us now find ourselves entering, willingly or otherwise.
Creativity equals chaos. Chaos equals creativity. Embrace it or die. I’ve already done so. I know all about it. It almost cost me my liver but like I said, education is expensive.
The Creative Age is upon us. The Chaotic Age is upon us. We are scared. Damn right, we should be scared. But out of the terror comes the amazing opportunities for us to expand both on the material and spiritual level. The fewer safety nets there are to save us, the less choice we have to be anything other than ourselves, the less choice we have besides doing what is meaningful to us. And finding ourselves, doing what matters, becoming the person we were born to be, this is what God put on this earth to do.

~ Hugh Macleod

I have been pondering Hugh’s anti-plan statements above and cross-checking them against my desperation of late to seriously work on THE PLAN. He has caused me to ask myself, “what if I don’t write a list detailing some arbitrary five year plan that will be obsolete the minute a new detail comes into the mix that I could not have foreseen because I did not even know it existed when I devised THE PLAN in the first place? What if I just reduce this urge to its most minimalist state: the foundation = uncovering what I want to do?”

The problem has always been that the discipline I love has a very narrow, visible job spectrum (as far as I know). And therein lies the problem for me…I just don’t know what “other” things anthropologists are doing besides the obvious: teaching, studying “others” and writing up the findings, working in corporations as pseudo counsellors or market place advisors, researching within governments (me), researching for “others” (me), NGOs…
It seems to me it is a matter of deduction as opposed to induction. I used to think I had to learn about every role an anthropologist has ever played/worked but now I think it is about knowing myself and then “creating” my niche. Reading Jay, Hugh, and the myriad other bloggers I have recently linked through to, I realise that it does not matter what you are passionate about doing; it is about knowing that passion and pursuing it everyday. No plans - because that everyday pursuit will open up the horizons, inform you, and lead the way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Love Synchronicity!

So, in the midst of all my creative challenges and opportunities lately comes this incredible post from How to Be Creative (incredible stuff - I recommend it to EVERYONE). This post speaks to me:

"a lot of people think being "creative" is something that "just happens." Well, perhaps this is true when you're young. But then the real world takes over and we find ourselves needing to eat.
Most of us deal with this by suppressing our creative selves. We call this conforming. We get a haircut, buy a suit, polish our shoes and pretend that the creative part of us is over, when in fact it isn't. We pretend that it's dormant, when it isn't. It's still awake inside us, knawing away, dying to get out. And keeping it buried is slowly killing us.

With the post-dotcom/9-11-Enron-Iraq world looming on us, suddenly we find the old certainties the powers-that-be promised us in return for our souls aren't materializing. The wee voice inside us gets louder."

The wee voice inside us, saying "I'd like my crayons back now, please" (or my guitar, or my video camera, or my paint brushes etc. etc.)
I've been a victim of creative self suppression for about 6 years now. I bought the suit, I got up early and went to work for the man (still am, for a while.) But today I will metaphorically stand on my desk and shout "I'd like my crayons back." I will stay up to midnight every night, and write a song a day; I will take leaves of absence from the corporate world to shoot video; I will paint and sing and dance and laugh - if only for myself and my own sanity.

I see the people who fail to acknowledge their creative selves every day. These are the people who live in comfortable homes and drive nice cars, but slowly drink themselves to death every night before work. These are the people who are fixated on how much better things used to be - who eternally wish that they were still 16 so that they could try to live life over. These are the people who get tension headaches and repeated heart attecks at an early age - then one day pass away, without life ever feeling like it was enough.
Well count me out please - I don't want to sell my soul away.

I am slowly extricating myself from the safe places and taking a step into the chaos of self actualization. This process takes time, and of course, has to be balanced with the need to eat and support oneself- but a balance can be achieved. Deepak Chopra talks about recognizing coincidences in your life as the opportunities that they really are. I have had a lot of creative coincidences in my life lately, and I think a creative storm is coming:

Coincidences/Opportunities: Meeting Nigel
Discovering GapingVoid
Being told by my friend to get of my ass and start writing
Offers of additional film opportunities
Applying for a two year work/school program that turned into
a one year school/school program, entailing a work break

I could go on.
I challenge you to take a look at the opportunities/coincidences in your life. Start tearing down the walls of perceived limitations and listen to the wee voice. You'll be glad ya did. We can do it together.

Oh, and I did complete my songwriting assignment last night.

Is The EU Where It's At?

I see Jay is up early this morning and I also received a wonderful email up date from my friends in Australia – a sweaty but at peace sort of message…

Kyoto Global Warming Pact: takes seven years to implement, seven years to run it’s course and the US and Australia take themselves out of the mix because the Pact will ruin their economies…that’s great, I wonder what Bush and Howard’s great grandchildren will think about that, as their skin peels off…

Last night in French class I was happy. Not because the cute police officer was smiling at me but because we were all joking with each other and gently encouraging each other to work through the language problems we were assigned. We are such social animals and when that society is working we are happy. It is so straight forward that even I, preoccupied by the overwhelmingly bad taste after-effects of tic tacs and espresso, can appreciate that (as I solve math equations in French). What the hell is wrong with those who lead us? And then we start circling the wagons on the age old discussion of: those leaders WE voted in, etc….

Mornings always find me cynical and cliché.

I thought it was snowing as I walked to work this morning until I realized that the “snow” was actually blossom petals from the in-bloom cherry trees along View Street…and we are getting close to Flower Count season here in good old Victoria…I have read the Fort Victoria, chief factor’s journal from 1850 when he describes the snow drifts in this place, the bitter cold….Paul Martin was dead right when he stated that we know global warming is happening. We feel it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Happiness is...

Knowing your friends are looking out for you.

My story: I used to be a pretty good songwriter. I was among an elite group (if you could call us that) chosen to go to special festivals and study with some top songwriters from across the country, and I was chosen to be a part of this group two years in a row. That was 6 and 7 years ago now, respectively.

This is where the story gets sad. About 5 years ago, I developed writers block. I haven't really written a song since that time, and I hardly even play my instrument anymore. Oh, I have other creative outlets, but the one I used to enjoy so much and do so well... All dried up.

But, like I said in the title; happiness is knowing that your friends are looking out for you, and apparently mine are. A good friend of mine who is also a songwriter and a musician that I respect very much has given me an assignment: Starting tonight, write one song every night. It doesn't have to be a good song, and nobody ever has to hear it, but I have to discipline myself to the practice of writing again.

So thanks, man. I'm gonna do it, and will probably end up tracking some form of my progress on this Blog. I'm hoping this exercise will light the spark that has been cold for so long, but if nothing else, it (like this Blog) will sharpen my skills as a writer.

Wish me Luck ;-)

Good luck Jay! (and today's word is: juxtapose)

I ate too much salt last night and now I am paying the price: dry mouth and taste bud disaffective disorder (i.e. my buds now hate me and are punishing me by making my coffee taste weird). But even a world weary soul such as mine, especially in the morning, cannot help but breathe deeply when it sees frost glazing the tops of old homes. This is my lead into a ramble about internal and external living: the dichotomy in that but also the obvious connectivism.

Last night CBC newsworld had two interesting programs on: "Sex, Truth and Videotape: Sex and Celebrity" and "The Hour" hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. The former had notable Canadian women talking about feminism, love, sex and everything in between (Mary Walsh actually seemed shy at points in the conversation). The latter had a particularly engaging discussion with two of the three authors, Kenneth Cain (?) and Heidi Postlewait, of Emergency Sex and Other Extreme Measures (topical in light of the sexual abuse charges against U.N. soldiers and civilians coming out of the Congo right now). The two shows together were especially interesting when viewed behind Western cultures’ lens of Valentine’s Day. And the overwhelmingly strongest connection between the two stories was the issue of loneliness.

And then I channel surfed past Nick and Jessica’s newlywed docu-drama and took in a brief image of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony singing a duet (and doing costume adjustments on stage) for the 47th Grammy Awards.

Needless to say, my mind was racing to keep up with the seemingly juxtaposed and openly warring sides of my consciousness: my fascination with popular culture and my horror surrounding those things we do to one another for myriad reasons/non-reasons, AGAINST my struggle to remain strong and respectful of myself and loving thereby developing my ability to be both to others. Obviously not so juxtaposed; one affects the other and vice versa. Consciousness is an amazingly fluid entity and I firmly believe we should all have journals on our person at all times AND have weblogs.

And write songs...

Monday, February 14, 2005


"Bleah, " I thought when I arrived at work this morning. "Valentines Day. What an overcommercialized excuse for a non-holiday! No time off, no spiritual purpose, just BUY BUY BUY! BUY CANDY! BUY FLOWERS! BUY CARDS AND DINNERS AND....bleah"

But then... Next to my computer terminal was a small chocolate heart, and I thought "Awww, How sweet!" Then I thought "I should have bought something for so and so at the office"


"Maybe people will think I'm a bad person if I don't get them chocolates. Maybe I will be looked down upon as the office miser - then I will be shunned at the office party, I will get all the bad clients, and I will have nobody to go to lunch with...Ever...Oh No!"

So I rush out to the nearest drugstore, and spend $10,100.00 on Valentines day merchandise (because this is the day when everything is at it's MOST EXPENSIVE) (you can't wait until tomorrow when everything goes on sale because then it's not Valentines day anymore and the gift DOESN'T COUNT!) I carefully wrap each cinnamon heart individually, proud of my Martha Stewart like efficiency, and I give 20 pound gift baskets to all 120 people in my workplace. Then I sit back and wait to bask in the glory of my Valentinsy goodness.

.............Long pause........
........."Cinnamon Hearts? Oh, I'm Allergic"......

This story is all true (at least up until the rushing out to the store part) :)

Holy Hell, I want to be a #3!

I was feeling a little uninspired, yet again, this morning but after reading Jay's latest posts I felt the flame relit. Someone from work just walked in as I was writing the title to this entry and I feel I am close to getting I purposefully sabotage myself here because I know I want something else? But that is dumb...leaving with a good recommendation is worth the effort's weight in gold. So, sadly, I admit I may be a "#2." Sigh...

Last Thursday I was also inspired by an amazing Spoken Word poet, lisa b....she reminded me (as so often Jay does) that life is about DOING and striving, maybe falling on your face but getting up and doing it all over again. So on Friday I went to my second restorative Hatha yoga class, taught by the wonderful Michelle at Moksana, gathered myself, and pushed on...

I am still untangling myself from my last incarnation as a sub-contractor of sorts which I realise more and more is a lot like my thesis was...a reason to not move on. I always have something to do to "tie up loose ends" and this takes up any energy I have left over after work, exercise and French class. I let it take the energy I know I want to channel into THE PLAN. I hesitate to say, "more creative endeavors" because my job etc. can be creative, when I am not sleep-walking through the day. So I will just say, THE PLAN, and hope to be understood as talking to those larger issues of: 'who am I' and 'what do I want to do'. I feel old this morning and very impatient. I'm hoping it will pass and can be attributed mostly to the fact that I am not very perky in the morning.

So this morning finds me pondering the idea of "connections" (thank you Jay) and working to my potential...scratch to my potential.

I am also thinking about why the movie "Amelie" always strikes a chord.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Sleepy Saturday

Great night last night. The band played well, and as I had hoped I was able to really connect with a few friends. fuck'n brilliant.

I have this creative idea that I am trying to develop. For the first time in a long time in my life, I am feeling excited for the future, and surrounded by interesting possibilities. This is almost entirely due to the implementation of my creative ideas and the resulting self-actualization (see post: motivation - it makes scientific sense). I notice that when I talk about my ideas and the way I feel about them, I generally get three different types of responses from people:

1)"Oh, that's nice" subtext: "I'm glad you're happy but I don't understand why this is so important to you, as it doesn't seem to bring in money or career enhancement"

2)"That's good, but I'm depressed about______" subtext: "I'm not sure how happy I really am for you because your happiness is making me feel insecure about my life"

3)"Wow, what can I do to get involved" subtext: "your enthusiasm is infectious and I appreciate somebody who is in touch with their creative desires"

Now I KNOW I'm generalizing here, and of course some people have a mix of the three reactions, but it has become apparent to me in talking with other people that there are different reactions based on personal experience. My favorite reaction is #3, for obvious reasons, but lets talk about the others:

#1 is so out of touch with the inner desire to be creative, that they do not understand that creativity is not a means to an end ($$) but is exciting in and of itself. These are the people that get caught up in the corporate world, stay in the same job for 25 years, and then complain bitterly at how unfair the world is because they haven't gotten everything they wanted out of life. All the while, they never even think to take control of their own situation or question the status quo.

#2 fears that they will never get what they want out of life, but at the same time is afraid to take the necessary steps to go for what they want in life (an interesting paradox, that one). I feel bad for #2 because they want to access their creativity, but are held back from doing anything about it. I myself have fallen into this trap before, but am hoping to keep out of it in the future.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by enough people in the #3 category to keep myself creatively motivated on a regular basis. I hope all of these people in turn, find something that excites them, so that I can be a supporter in their creative endeavors.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Hmmm. Not feeling very creative today. This is the third time I've started to write this post, and to no avail, as the ideas just don't seem to flow as naturally as usual. I'm writing this only through strength of will based on two things: 1) somebody actually could be reading this who would care if I missed a post (chance, slim, but still) and 2) Forcing yourself to write something every day is a GREAT creative writing exercise, and with going back to school for communications in August (T minus 26 weeks and COUNTING) I figure I should be tuning the instrument, so to speak.

Speaking of instruments... TODAY'S THE DAY! Kiltlifters playing in Town, so I go to relax and listen to good music after a stressful week (the beer helps too).

Anyway, It's been nice this week to have an event to look forward to. For me, seeing this band play is not just about going to the bar and having a good time, it is also about connecting with old friends- which tends to nourish the soul.

Actually, connecting with PEOPLE nourishes the soul of everyone involved in the exchange. That's what alot of corporations (and big media especially) don't get. As Hugh says: Advertising is a one way conversation. It takes a two way conversation for any connection to happen, but once a connection is in place, wow is it powerful.

That's when you move from experiencing life, to enjoying it. Cultivating those little connections with people every day takes emotional and mental effort, but it gives back in spades.

There, done writing for the day,

Thursday, February 10, 2005

This Is Not Here

The title to this post was a sign above the door of John Lennon's house in the UK.

I like it because I feel it signifies a fundamental truth in life: No two people experience the same moment in exactly the same way. So, what is "here" for me is only the place that I have created with my attitudes, past experiences and pre-conceived notions.

There is an interesting post on creating compassionate users today which talks about unlearning as an important precursor to learning. Worth checking out. Applies to the above as, of course all our attitudes and the eyes through which we see the world are learned through experience. Sometimes we have to unlearn our thoughts in order to make the 'here" we are in the very place we want to be. I think that's what blogs like the ones Nigel quoted below help us do.

Stifled and cloudy

I am feeling noncommittal this morning so decided to see what other people are thinking about today…Hugh Macleod is uncharacteristically silent for the moment so I followed a link on his page and then followed another and another and another…the following are the bits that hit a chord with me…

And at the center, another question arises which is, if I'm not in control, then what and where am I, really? It is in this place, after the discomfort and internal fires burn away, that I believe something else can come in. Externally, in our relationships and sense of community, this is a place where authentic contact can be born. And in our inner worlds as well, this may be the birthplace of a deeper love and the beginnings of a path toward a new kind of light. - Dan Oestritch

This is NOT letting the spark die out ... it's sitting back and relaxing into watching and listening to the spark, and stilling all the wind currents that we keep bringing with us as we keep trying to figure out how to make the spark jump into flame ... and blowing at it all the time without knowing what kind of fuel to bring to it won't make it flame but will keep it sputtering and jumping ... acknowledging that it won't go out, sitting back and watching it lets us know what kinds of fuel it might like to use next. - Jon Husband

"To be what you are is in itself very arduous without trying to become something, which is not difficult. You can always pretend, put on a mask, but to be what you are is an extremely complex affair; because you are always changing; you are never the same and each moment reveals a new facet, a new depth, a new surface. You can't be all this at one moment for each moment brings its own change. So if you are intelligent, you give up being anything." - J. Krishnamurti

(from: The Obvious)

Find your own pathway down there, and don't stop. Walk in the mud of your own soul. That is the work of people. That is the work that is called for by these times. – Lisa Thompson

(from: Fieldnotes)

There are people everywhere who form a Fourth World, or a diaspora of thier own...When you are among them you know you will not be mocked or resented, because they will not care about your race, your faith, your sex or your nationality...They are exiles in their own communities, because they are always in a minority, but they form a mighty nation, if they only knew it. It is the nation of nowhere. - Jan Morris

(from: the Intentional Traveler)

more on the above at a later date...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hooray hooray!

The kiltlifters are coming to play this Friday! They are a great ska band, as well as a bunch of great guys - so thanks boys for giving me something to look forward to.

Helps me get through a lengthy and challenging week.

I went to a deep-water aerobics class last night. Now, a couple of years ago I used to teach these type of classes so naturally I thought " No problem - this class will be easy." Halfway through the class my leg muscles were burning and I was getting my ass kicked by this workout. Keep in mind, that I do land aerobics and other forms of excercise at least 3 times a week. I'm in pretty good shape and not one who usually has trouble making it through class. So what gives?

My body (and every one else's) Is a highly tuned adaptable machine. When I was teaching deep water classes two years ago it WAS easy for me because my body was used to the movement of exercise against the water. However, get me out of water and into a land class at that time, and I was toast. Now, by not doing water excercises for a while, my body has forgotten what it was like. My muscles were "woken up" last night when I used them in a different way- and I got a better workout. When exercising, experts recommend you vary your routine once every 6 weeks or so to see better results. That is precisely because your muscles are more likely to develop if they are consistently challenged.

Where is this story going? People (and their brains) like muscles, are MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP IF THEY ARE CONSISTENTLY CHALLENGED. When we are not challenged we start to atrophy - are much less productive and certainly not satisfied (a happy muscle is well worked).

Evolutionarily speaking, our brains have evolved to learn and be challenged. To deny that is to take away our Raison d'etre. (or at least mine, anyway).

Personal Apex

Took public transit up to the local university last night for my weekly French class (directed to check out this helpful site - be warned it is a very busy site) and instead of reading or nodding off I actually listened to those around me…I had forgotten about youthful enthusiasm when one clicks with the subject matter one chooses to pursue.

Mostly the chit chat centered around egotistical musings about how, “we can do it better,” not realizing of course that they were talking about the same shit I did five years ago…and others were fifty years before that…but nuggets struck a chord with me and I felt inspired to turn my thoughts again toward change…Tom Peters says it best, “I wanna make “all this stuff” work together to do Miracles! Because Miracles ARE possible!...I’m old. I’m tired. I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH OR ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS THAN REVOLUTIONARY ASPIRATIONS!” (his site). And Hugh sums it all up in today’s entry with, “Maybe there's more than one way to crack this nut. Maybe that's what being creative is really all about…Our thoughts are coming together because we are no longer asleep. We're not even sleepy.” (his site). Again, nothing new here but the obvious, read common sense, needs to be re-stated every so often.

And this is where I think I fit, the making meaning part – Hugh’s nugget, “We are entering "The Creative Age". We have started to look for meaning. We are hungry. Meaning is the prey.”

Ta dah, this is how I sell the value of today’s anthropologist. We are not only a specialised and sometimes insular little group, known only because of the weak link between the discipline and popular, mislabelled media reps of the discipline (ex. Indiana Jones and Wade Davis). We are a highly skilled group ready (and already entrenched) to facilitate the articulation of MEANING and analysis of the attributes of ourselves, our cultures, and the interplay between us all.

Question to self: Is my marketing “pyramid” (gapingvoid) this blog, my cash job, and, at the pinnacle, my aspirations to be a contributor in a more global forum? I suppose I am back to my original goal, an entry or so ago: to define my own personal apex.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Baby it's cold outside

Some days like this, when you wake up when it's still dark outside - and have been doing so for about 3 months, it feels like winter is never going to end.

Well there is hope, because the tulips have been blooming in our yard for about a week now.

New blog worth checking out: Howard Mann posted some food for thought today, based on a dentist who started working half the time for 3 times the money:

"Customers enjoy dealing with businesses where the team members are happy. Where they speak affectionately about each other and their clients. Where they don’t complain about pay and conditions. Customers (don’t) buy because the product is better or cheaper, but (because of the) people in the business."

That is only one of the posts that makes this new blog worth checking out.

I think that the grass roots/blogging/internet movement in sales/customer service/business has to do primarily with boosting three things: Integrity, Creativity and Treating your Customers like Human Beings.

Now, big business has been trying all along to convince us of it's integrity but, like I said before, We don't buy into what they tell us just because they say it's true. Because big business has failed time and time again to demonstrate real integrity, they have alienated the customer -and thus the mighty marketing machine has failed.

Creativity has of course always been frowned upon, businesses still to this day want every employee to demonstrate a robot-like countenance in the name of consistent branding.

Customers? Well they've been valued only as much as the money in their hot little hands, and as much as business has prostituted itself in the name of attracting customers, it has never fully tried to understand them or care about them. As a result, the customer does not care about the company, making brand loyalty ever- elusive.

Business seems to KNOW that something is up, but just can't fathom how simple it is to be a part of this because they don't know how to tell the truth.

Don't believe me? check out the new fake blog from everybody's favorite burger joint.

*shaking head in disdain*
'Nuff said :)

I need to surf

I work in a “business” that does not represent itself as a business but as a service. Whether or not I agree with that labeling of the work I would say that the following still holds water (thank you Jay and Hugh): we need to undertake our “service” with integrity, creativity, and with the respectful treatment of our clients (and all people, whether involved directly with the process or not). Period. Why does common sense (common decency) have to continually be spelled out?

And believe me, it most desperately does…

This morning has seen back to back meetings regarding policy change and I couldn’t help but have my focus wander to the idea of ‘plain speaking’ when disseminating information. Jay touched on this in her earlier blog, “Caffeine Inspired Thoughts…,” and I couldn’t help but note in my meetings that I was not being inspired to help others achieve something better (let alone their dreams), I was listening to dialogue surrounding cost-effective, resource-minimal, management of the FUTURE…specific pieces of the future. The conversation could have included a broader view and achieved so much more.

So getting back to effective, inspirational work/dream achievement, for yourself and one’s client, the answer seems deceptively simple: integrity, creativity, and respect. I say “deceptively” because I caution the reader to never forget tangential issues such as cultural values, societal contexts, etc. that affect and steer the application of the above three methods/values. However, as guides they serve admirably well. As would the adage, “do no harm.” I am feeling very naïve and petulant writing the above but, damn it, why can’t the world be fair?

More on this (and better argued/articulated) as I do more thorough research for my own work and possible FUTURE work…

I need to surf the web and keep up with my co-blogger on the linking of subject matter…

Monday, February 07, 2005

thought for the day...

Courtesy of Mr Hugh Macleod at gaping void (Thank you, Hugh for being ever-inspiring)

"Blogging, I firmly believe, is the premier emergent marketing-brandbuilding-lovemarkcreating tool of our times! It is the premier way to have intimate-engaging-informative-WOWing "conversations" with Clients and prospects! This all goes double for small enterprises and niche enterprises; and goes triple for the Professional Services; and works wonders in the Public Sector as well."

He instructs us to "Blog as if your life depended on it" - so here goes...

I think it's interesting that he includes the pblic sector. In my experience, the public sector has often been regarded as not needing to keep up with the Jones's. They have long been considered ineffecient and technologically impaired - which may or may not be the case BUT. I think the point that Hugh tries to make regularily and I have taken to heart is. Public or Private don't matter, EVERYONE is going to be behind the times as long as big organizations resist creative change.

The corporations are running the world now, more than any political organization. Ergo, the corporate sector is becomming the new public sector (albeit a much more ruthless one) and unless the creative people in the world are given free space to initiate change amoungst these organizations - they are slowly going to fade away.

I don't mean to sound like an anarchist or anything- but I do think we live in a world where anything is possible.

now THAT'S a thought to start your day.

It is sunny outside and I'm at work

Spent what I believed would be a weekend of compromises and ended up really enjoying a series of moments…putting into practice positivity exercises I thought were common sense and therefore needed no examination; and certainly no thoughtful application.

So I found myself on a boat in choppy seas blown away by the incredible beauty of my surroundings (take a look). Foggy islands in the distance, still cormorants on rocky outcroppings, the steel gray of the water…and my loopy former employer at the helm of the worse for wear 2 cylinder boat.

Her rented cabin on the water front of a nearby island is a peaceful place; throw in a roaring fireplace and friendly cat and you can’t help but pull on some fleecy pants and sleepily read a book. I quickly realized that any talk of work or money owed would have to be spoken of in soft tones and subtle highlights…and the charts I had brought would have to be emailed to her office once I got home. No expectations became my mantra…

This weekend got me to thinking about expectations and the line between compromise and compromising. How far is too far before you are bent over the proverbial couch? And I hate it when the answer is, “your gut will tell you.” No, it won’t, it is confused and that is why I am asking in the first place. Self-doubt is a terrible thing – the enemy within…the hand that muffles common sense.

It is Monday morning and time for a second cup of coffee.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Caffeine Inspired Thoughts...

I have a dear friend who at one time could not get started in the morning without a Large coffee cup filled to the brim with 8 double espressos.... that's what this title reminds me of.

More on the subject of Motivation:

First thing this morning, when myself and my coworkers are usually found eating breakfast across the street in what has become a Friday ritual, we were forced into a "company meeting".

The presenter, was eager to impart strings of knowledge on how we could sell a certain product more effectively to it's target marget and why selling this product is a "good thing". So, he stood in front of us with his POWERPOINT PRESENTATION and imparted pearls of wisdom from above. In this meeting I learned two things:

1) Fancy technology does not make a boring presentation any more fun.

2) You can not make a person care about selling something if your only benefit is "the good of the company"

Now, if this gentlemen had held an engaging meeting which involved us and contained all the necessary information but presented it in a playful and surprising way - I would have enjoyed myself and retained more. If he had said "Sell this product and in doing so you will help people achieve their dreams of________" I would perhaps have listened more attentively. As it stands, however, my but fell asleep... and I envied it.

Motivation does not come from you telling me to listen and talking at me - it comes from you getting me excited about becoming something better. This applies always.

Caffeine free thoughts

Had a lovely conversation with Jay yesterday, over tepid but tasty pizza, and got on a tangent about "the pure language." Traditionally (western tradition only?) this is the science of mathematics; however, due to a recent posting of Hugh's (Macleod - and I can't seem to track back to the actual post so I apologise) I starting thinking about the comment that having an MFA and MBA were the new cutting edge skill set to acquire and wondered if having these two degrees, working within them, would be the new pure language. But now I am confusing pure language with lingua franca. Or are they the same thing? A way to communicate with other people about a common interest or toward a common goal; the problem with a pure language is that it has to transcend one's cultural context. I say problem because not everyone knows the science of mathematics well enough to converse in it, nor does everyone have MFAs and MBAs. So we are back to needing intermediaries, middlemen, and I don't think I need to go off on a rant here to point out the big problems with speaking through others. So, how then do I reconcile my position that this may be a role for me in the future but a problematic role. Cautionary notes before positing any opinion always comes off as irritatingly passive...

I find it hard to be concise in the morning.

My other conundrum is blogging about my work. I recently started a new job in the same field I have worked within now for about six years. Love the work but still haven't found a conduit for that work that I feel satisfied part due to the fact that I just plain haven't put the energy into looking at the myriad of conduits available or at the culture to see what could be supported as a new role for the work. Anyway, the confusion surrounds whether I want this blog space to be a job-free space. I suppose I could write about the work divorced from the job...and as it is a huge portion of my life it feels odd to think about leaving it out all together. Must drink more coffee and ponder...

Thursday, February 03, 2005

RE: Sucked in Again...

Nigel the title of your last past reminds me of another great blog out there: Escape your television. It's kinda like the "Supersize me" give up Mcdonalds for thirty days idea, but instead it's a bloggers account of going without TV... not for the faint of heart - but I give him an A+ for good ideas, and an A for effort (he does watch the occasional TV, but is basically free)

Sucked in again

Watching tv last night, after promising myself to spend my time in more creative endeavours, and an unusual documentary came on under the auspices of Fashion Television. I usually don't like to watch anything to do with fashion, celebrities, etc. as it is akin to picking up a copy of a magazine whose primary purpose is to convince me that I have been extremely lax with my beauty regime and/or mating skills...that said, the documentary was delightful and I was glued for the whole hour of "Flipping Uncle Kimono." Basically, the crew followed John Malkovitch around for three days as he prepped for a rough showing of his Uncle Kimono clothing line described as "Italian communist" (one of the sweaters was called"fucking commie sweater"). I didn't know previous to this that Malkovitch designed or was together enough in this pursuit to actually have a fashion company (Mrs. Mudd) working busily away in Milan (I think they said they had produced four lines already but this was the first to be shown). So here is this rather enigmatic man designing beautiful menswear, exuding an eye of the storm persona while his judo practictioner models and harried company president run around pulling together the show under Malkovitch's direction, all the while he is calmly discussing with the documentary filmmaker everything from his wife's ability to eat enough pasta at one sitting to feed four to Derrida's theories on deconstruction (poor bastard was talking a bit into the void on this last item). I even found myself serious taking in his thoughtful words on creative problem solving and seeing how I could apply them to my own work. Not to mention the laugh out loud moments...

In sum, I highly recommend catching this documentary if you ever get the chance and please keep me posted if anything in a similar vein pops up anywhere...

I am still turning his comments on western society (or did he say culture?) over in my mind...if this society is a house "the foundation would be guilt and the walls consumption"...

Motivation 1)

So I always try to start my day off with a visit to the hughtrain and also a quick visit to creating passionate users and I was particularily interested today on the latters discussions about helping people become more than what they are. This is fundamentally what many of these forward-thinking bloggers are telling us we need to do in order to sell our products (from toilet paper to fine art) to a loyal customer/fan base - and I think they've hit the nail on the head. Psychology 101 tells us that what motivates people on a very basic level is the desire to have our needs fulfilled in this order:

Physiological; Safety; Love; Esteem; Self actualization.
(Maslow's Hierarchy of needs)

By trying to Inspire every cusomer (or better yet every person) that crosses your path, you tap into both the Esteem and Self actualization needs on a fundamental level. This motivates people, and excites people - a very useful tool if you are trying to sell yourself, your book, your idea, your product, etc... but wait, there's more.

By trying to help people become better in daily interaction, we can help make the the world around us a little better- good for our own self-actualization, and motivational for ourselves. And that's why these ideas are effective. Basic psychology.

And that's why it's great to be a renaissance man/woman. If you find so many things challenging and inspiring - it becomes much easier to inspire others. So here's to wrinting a novel, learning a new instrument and basically doing anything you haven't done before!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

My First Time

I am disappointed that I feel so hesitant to commit even a paragraph to a space that has the potential to be so public. However, Jay is right. It is time to strike out in a new direction, if only for the exercise...maybe birthdays are about celebrating one's survival of new directions, new choices. So many choices are made throughout the span of a year.

Writing in this forum feels a lot like leaving your diary out on a park bench in the middle of downtown...but you find it again and again and keep adding to it while others write feedback and new thoughts. Anonymous, but the very real possibility of being discovered as you slink back to the bench for another session.

I am wondering about the terms in this blogger contract concerning copyright. It seems to me that not matter what one produces, how and why, all that matters is the where...the "where" is the intellectual property owner. What does this mean if one publishes what they produce in this blogger arena? They give a cut to...they can't publish because...I already feel the creative juices drying up and the fear descend...what happens if I write something at the copyright savvy, corner cafe in the near future? Will the barrista come running over to grab at my scrawled upon napkins? Or merely throw down a weighty contract to sign that promises a nice cut to the establishment...I feel so ill informed and impatient for the day when Gibson-like one can just plug into a data source and learn IT all.

Happy Birthday

Alright, new year, new blog - I like it.

My birthday was yesterday. It was decent, although I feel that it included too much working as far as I was concerned. The perils of weekday birthdays..

But it got me thinking about the funny things humans do, and why we even celebrate birthdays. Partly I think, it's a way of showing the birthday boy or girl that you love them - "Happy Birthday" meaning "We are glad that you were born x number of years ago." However, I have a funny idea that it is also a congratulations for surviving this long sort of thing. "Happy Birthday" then meaning "Good job for making it through another year without getting killed." Hey, in this day and age, one could argue that making it through another year is DEFINITELY something worth celebrating (especially in some countries).

So what else am I excited about this year? I have some ideas for videos that I want to shoot (more on that in further posts). I am going to create an entire Freddy Krueger prosthetic makeup (why? because I can). Also I am going back to school - where I will take communications and hopefully become better at.. well, This! It remains to be seen