Archive for April, 2006|Monthly archive page

Family resemblances

Friday, April 28th, 2006

My brother and I have the same chuckle, the same loyalty to friends, the same habit of rubbing our hands together learned from my Dad (pitter, patter. let’s get at ‘er.). My sister and I have the same profile, the same half-smile to hide our slight overbite, the same belief in the power of reading. My mother and I have the same body, the same movements, the same voice. My father and I have the same glint in the eye, the same spark of thought, the same sense of personal space.

..and we all love the story of the fight with the pig.

If I had a dog

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

and I wanted to humiliate him in the snazziest way possible, I would buy him this:


Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

What I found: “Both of us quiet and enthralled…”

I was writing about a leaf-shower in October, triggered by heavy frost on the trees. JeanLuc and I were watching out the window.

A photograph I didn’t take

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Inspired by (thanks to Melle for sending it to me).

A tall, strong and lean nubile woman, accentuated in a brightly traditional African dress that hugs every curve. She is walking down a mundane street in Kitchener in the rain, with an umbrella to protect her.

Erect. Beautiful.

Shouldn’t I be DOING something?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Is what the new member of my team was asking. “You are doing something,” I said.

Anyone who has studied product management, or best practice SDLCs will know that the more thinking, planning and testing you put into the early stages of the project lifecycle, the better, faster and more productive the “doing” part will be.

But in the real work world, too many of us give up. We go to “do” because we look at the deadlines, or we think we can’t show value unless there are documents or code or objects to show for it.

I am always amused to see how uncomfortable it makes people to NOT start producing the thing right away. I mean, I get it that a person who’s new to a company wants to make an impression, to provide proof that they were the right choice. BUT, if they can learn how to do it right (albeit slowly the first time), then there’s hope that the thinking and planning and testing becomes an integrated heuristic that they can lengthen or shorten as the first part of the cycle. It becomes the way they frame a project, instead of something that they’ve read about but never tried.

As a manager, one of the best things I can do for my team is make them stop. And think.

On the coke

Friday, April 21st, 2006

I had an eye exam today – complete with the “frog-eyes” drops that dilate your pupils. Allowing the chatty doctor to shine REALLY BRIGHT LIGHTS in them and look at your blood vessels and stuff. The drops make your pupils the size of dinner platters.

Did you know that you can see plaque build-up in your eyeball? That diabetic blood vessels look like sausages? That your eyeball arteries can harden??

Mine (yeah) are healthy and fat and in nice curvy lines. And I have better than 20/20 vision – which for a 38-year old computer/book person is saying something.

I had prepared for the excursion though. I mean, sunlight when you’re on the coke is a dangerous thing. However, a good pair of Bolles circa 1987 offer excellent filtering and cut a mean reflection if they’re mirrored. And they ain’t vintage rip-offs, baby. These are still with the original owner.

We followed up the appointment with some necessary medicinal shopping and it was rather amusing to shop for shoes in a greenish haze of light. I reassured the girl that I was, in fact, NOT on drugs. She took my credit card, perhaps feeling it would be better to let me buy something than go into a coke-induced frenzy.

By the time we got to lunch with old friends, I was coming down.


Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

My driveway access? Not so much.

Currently, there is about 6 feet of rubble, cement and pieces of street smack dab at the bottom. Looks like Fred and Barney just stopped as soon as the whistle blew.

Have to leave my car on a busy street. Have to walk. mutter mutter.


Sunday, April 16th, 2006

In the story of my family, there has been much silence. Sometimes, it was the silence of secrets, sometimes of impending doom.

With my father, there have been years where I disavowed him; then, years where he disavowed me. Until one morning when he showed up at my doorstep and we started again.

All leading to a moment this afternoon, on a beautiful Spring day, when the two of us were hard at work in the backyard. There was no talking, no sounds really except for the hammer and the rustle of leaves as I cleaned up behind us. But this was a silence of trust and happiness.

Silence hard-won and cherished.

Sex and the City, Redux

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Sex and the City. On the surface, not something that one might think I’d watch. In fact, I didn’t watch it when during the original run. I thought, “faux-witty sexual freedom, women with no real aspirations than to find a man and buy shoes…”

And then I started watching the re-runs. And here’s the thing: the writers? They cribbed parts of my life. It’s uncanny how something will be going on with me and the ep that’s on that night speaks to that thought, or question, or whatever it is.

Magical thinking, sure.

But what I’ve noticed more recently in my viewings are the male characters. There’s a certain wish fulfillment revealed in them–for the modern woman. Moments of “gallantry” that seem more real, maybe because the show spends so much time debunking the surface romanticism that the stupid girls seem to go for.

In each case, the man acknowledges and then pushes past the quirk or ridiculous tactics used by the woman resisting to commit, resisting to be vulnerable, resisting the need to need him. Is this what women really want? Is it fulfillment?

Isn’t she the one who…

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

A while ago, the Divas had a conversation about the importance of being “memorable” in the workplace. Part of the network is having presence, such that even when you aren’t known, you are known.

I see the truth in this. Think about the people at work who have presence, and they will generally have power. Whether that’s leadership power, or the power to swing the mood of a room, or the power to kill an idea, it’s there.

So, by strange triplet of events, I’ve discovered what my “memorable” is.

The Scotch lady
Got an emergency BB message. One of the IT Managers is in London and needs to get a bottle of scotch for his father in Heathrow and he thought I’d probably know. I was happy to oblige with a short list of labels to look for :)

The Kicker
Went to the kitchen this morning for my coffee. One of the guys has taken up kickboxing and he wasn’t getting his foot placement right – and could I show him? I was in a kicky skirt (how fortunate), so we did some practice kicks.

At One With Power Tools
Nuther guy stops by my office later in the day. He’s putting down some flooring and wanted advice on spacers and the nail gun. And he figured I was the girl to help.

With this kind of resume, how could I not be in IT??