Friday, August 24, 2007

They Just Sort of Sneak Up On You

Sometimes you're getting ready for work in the morning and you think "Helloooooooooo sexy! Wooo wooooooo!" and kind of wink at your reflection.

Other times, you look in the mirror, and it's more like "Damn, woman, do something about those eyebrows!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

StrengthsFinder 2.0 - Results

My strengths (with the StrengthsFinder 2.0 mini-descriptions):
    Ideation: People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
    Strategic: People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
    Woo: People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
    Futuristic: People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
    Positivity: People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
I'd actually say it is pretty accurate for the most part, although the first two seem almost identical to me. And I think that I exhibit the Woo theme only inconsistently. Sometimes I have it, sometimes I just don't. Other than that, it seems like a rather good description of where I excel.

Hopefully at work, though, they won't say, "What terrible strengths for an engineer to have. You're fired!!!"

Yeah... they probably won't say that though, because I'm pretty sure I've already wooed everyone at the office. Heh. Heh. Heh.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Beauty That Is a Human Being

So familiar we hardly think twice about the miracle.

Blows my mind how anyone can do that.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Another Round, People

Time for another round of "things that make my day in small and magnificent ways"
  • Wearing my little sister's tinted lip gloss and looking Super Hott
  • The Sound of Silence
  • Having the conductor check my ticket on the Commuter Rail
  • Ponytailed woman who hands out BostonNOW papers
  • Diamonds strewn across the grass in the morning
  • A moth
  • Ancient people
  • Itty bitty baby people
  • The dry whirring of cicadas on a summer's day
  • Thinking of him and realizing it doesn't hurt anymore
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Popsicles
  • The Muppet Movie
  • Mustard yellow shorts with a rope belt
  • Peruvian man on the subway who asks if I am "accepting applications for marriage"
  • Being trusted to hold down the fort on this project while the main guy is out of town for a few days next week
  • Old friends
  • "Grandma bra"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Smile Points

Throughout the day, I collect smiles, just as Mario collects gold coins and Sonic collects rings. And, like those two guys, gathering enough smiles from other people actually increases my health, if you can believe it.

Isn't life just like an old school video game?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

StrengthsFinder 2.0

For the big annual planning meeting (where we work on personal and company development), we're each going to receive a copy of this book and take the corresponding personality quiz.

It seems like a pretty cool idea in general: instead of focusing on the things you are bad at that would be really difficult to change, it focuses on your strengths and how to work with them to achieve your life's goals. Well that is my interpretation of it (obviously I haven't read the book yet).

The thing is, I'm really nervous. I really like my strengths, and I think I generally use them gracefully, but I don't think they are good (or typical) engineering strengths. Many of my coworkers probably already suspect this. But I don't want them to know for sure. I don't want them to know that I'm not an Acheiver or Deliberative, that I lack Discipline and Responsibility... I am afraid what they will think when they discover that I am a spaz and a dreamer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Thoroughly Creepy Dream

I was riding the train into work when we slowed down unexpectedly. Out the window to the left was what looked to be the abandoned remains of an old train. I had never noticed any trains abandoned on this route before, so I was surprised to see it. I peered out the window and realized that it hadn't been there long. Quite recently, the top had been blown off entirely and there were people sitting in every seat. Their faces were frozen and waxy, like dolls' faces with their eyes wide open. There wasn't any blood, just black singed hair, skin, and clothing. A couple hundred yards further, on the right-hand side lay another burnt and smoking train, and then somebody in our car received word that the subways had also been bombed.

I looked for my sister Esmerelda, who'd boarded the train with me, but she had moved further up in the car to find an available seet and was now lost in the shuffle. As we approached a familiar at-grade crossing, the air became thick with grey soot; papers and debris floated everywhere, and people were just roaming the streets. The conductor blared the horn, because we wouldn't have been able to stop anyways, and fortunately all of the people managed to get out of the way.

Finally pulling into the station, the city was unrecognizeable. There were hardly any people, and most of them were wandering aimlessly, standing around on street corners smoking or leering at the few people who were hurrying to their destinations. Every time I saw someone who looked like my sister and called out her name, the person would turn out to be a hooker on a bicycle or something. I finally decided the best bet would be to go to my office and call my house to see if anyone had received word from her.

I reached the office and there was only one other person from my company. We went through the phone list, recalling that this person was on vacation, this person had been in a meeting in DC... we had to call our homes and then the other employees to make sure they didn't try to come in to work today.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Home Terminology

Why does everyone refer to a "house" as a "home"?

As in "they just put in a new row of luxury homes," or "we just bought our first home." I hate thinking of it as a commodity that could be constructed or purchased just like that. Really, the physical building is more of the shell of the home, just as the body is the shell of the soul. And it can be in any sort of place, not just a single-family dwelling: rental apartment, old shack, college dormitory... I have found home in all of these places.

Home is something sacred, the place where a person feels safe, accepted, and unconditionally loved. You cannot purchase it with money and you cannot build it simply with a construction crew and a pile of 2x4s. It is something that is patiently woven by delicate spiders with warm and pulsing hearts. These spiders do not even need to be related.

Equating house with home degrades that beautiful word into something that can simply be fabricated with enough cash. Developers use the pleasant imagery conjured by the term to achieve their aims, to sell their product to accepting families who believe the purchase will finally provide a “home.” But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the home is something that we carry in our hearts whenever we dwell with those we love. Referring to the physical structure as a home seriously limits our thinking.

Heheh... and anyway, how will we ever fight suburban sprawl if everyone thinks this is the only option?