Things I Saw At Lunch Today

  • A male in a red suit with white polka dots
  • A whole group of ladies in construction gear and hard hats getting lunch.  
  • A security guard screaming, and I mean an expletative filled rant, at someone that "I"m going to fucking kill you. Don't you dare fucking lie to me, you fucking junky". 
  • A half eaten container of guacamole just sitting in the middle of the sideway

How Many Different Ways to Say Get Off Your Ass and Do Something?

5,498,349 or there abouts.  

I'm in a rut. I've been in a rut. I'm trying to dig my way out of a rut.  I was laid off from a job I despised about a year and a half ago and it was the greatest thing to happen in quite some time.  It was a job which met the definition of everything I didn't want in a job:  poor management, no strategy, reacting to whatever client was screaming the loudest, politics and backstabbing (this always comes with poor management and no strategy because someone has to be to blame if things don't go well). Oh, and I worked all the time. Nights and weekends were not my own. I had to feed the beast of crazy. All so someone else higher up would get a larger bonus. Insanity.  

I was happy to be gone. Happy to have a package and some time to 'figure it all out'.  I knew I had no interest in going back to that sort of environment.  A whole new career, using the skills I had was what I want. Something completely different. So I spent some time pondering. I read books, listened to podcasts, talked to everyone I know.  Follow your passions, don't follow your passions, utilize the skills you have in a different way, take this quiz/webinar/seminar for some sum of money and all will be made clear.  So many stories that I'll save for another day. 

One thing they all said, every one, was it was better to start than sit around with analysis paralysis. Try something, experiment, get feedback and change course if necessary. Do not, absolutely not, sit behind your computer and research, but do nothing. 

I can't say I did nothing, but I did pretty close to nothing. I looked for a job full time, and didn't focus so much on figuring it out (again). Responsibilities loomed, there were mortgages to pay, food to buy, a gym membership to keep up (after all, exercise keeps you sane).  I looked in different industries and found a job. But it's not what I really want to do. I still want to figure out what this magical other path for me is. But I let the job take up my time, and I don't prioritize any of this work. From time to time I pick up yet another book, attend yet another webinar.  But it's all the same. I have to do the hard work of figuring it out and making it happen. Face any fears and go.  I've heard it so many times.  So if I know what I need to start doing, why is it so hard to do?  Even if I know it's hard to do, this is my life, so why can't I get on with it? 

Three Quarters 30 Try 2 - Day 2

Today again was a pretty good day.  

Same smoothy as yesterday, same stew with some corn in it for lunch.   Making meals in advance works for me.  When it comes to choosing foods that are good for me, well, the smaller the choices, the better, I guess.  

Since we're getting ready for a bombogenesis, following by an artic blast, I decided to cook up some food for dinner which could be cooked in a large batch and could be eaten cold, in case we loose power.  What fit the bill was Red Lentil Vegetable Stew   .  Yes, it's Martha Stewart and also yes, you see chick peas.  I skipped the yogurt dressing.  Come on, even I can't justify that.  Super yummy.  

Thoughts on Day 2:   I continue to be surprised that I'm not more hungry, though perhaps I over did it on almonds, and don't miss wine more.  Wine was my friend that helped me unwind was off the stank of my job.  I thought I'd be crying for it, but I'm surprisingly satisfied with decafe tea.  Say what?!  Who are you??   I'm someone who always wanted to be the type who drinks tea.  But I've always been the type of person who drinks coffee and wine.  So there.  

So another successful day, but I reserve the right to be sad about the wine, especially when snowbound over the next few days. 

Three Quarters 30 Try 2 - Day 1

What is the Three Quarters 30?   It's the version of Whole 30 that I am making up for myself because I am a vegetarian.  Whole 30 actually recommends (last I checked, which admittedly was awhile ago) that you eat meat during your 30 days, which isn't going to happen.  This is part of the reason I gave up on my previous Whole 30 attempt.  Well that and I just wasn't that into it.  I hated my job and thus needed wine at night.   

Well, I still hate my job, but I'm really in it for the 30 day haul this time because I found The Whole 30 Shopping List for Vegetarians and Vegans.  What the what?   Have they changed their tune or what?  The big difference appears to be the allowance of lentils, tofu, tempeh and some beans.  That is all I was asking for.  We all need our protein.  Now if they could start to look past chickpeas as well, we'd be in business, but hey, it's only 30 days.  

So what are my goals for Three Quarters 30?   I know Whole 30 is about eliminating food that causes inflammation.  Honestly, if all the foods you can't have on Whole 30 cause inflammation, my body has been on fire it's entire life.  I do want to be healthier and detox from some excesses over the holiday.  Removing grains and sugar for awhile seems like a good approach.  The lack of alcohol will be the hardest part, but (sigh) is probably good for me, as well.  So my goals are to see how I feel after, maybe have better skin and if I lose weight, well I'd love that, too.  

So how was my first day?   Keep in mind, I hadn't really planned out the menu.  It's been 0 degrees here and I wasn't going shopping.  For the first week at least, I have to make due with what I have at home.  

I made a smoothy with banana, blueberries, spinach and almond milk (no carrageenan!) .   Later I discovered banana wasn't on the list.  Whoops.  Since I make them for the week and freeze them, there will be a banana every day this week.  Oh well.

Lunch was a vegetarian chili I made with diced tomatos, bell peppers, black beans (not sure if they are among the beans allowed, but I'm going with it), onion, cumin and then i threw a little bit of corn in because it was here.  Whoops corn isn't on the list, either.   

Dinner was stir fry broccoli, red peppers, onion, celery, snap peas, watercress and tempeh.   

Snacks were almonds and an apple.   

I drank tea with dinner rather than wine.   I turned down chocolates that were passed around at work.  

And I'm still here to tell the tale!   Also, I was bizarrely not hungry all the time.  Weird.   Yes, it wasn't perfect according to the list, but much healthier than I have been eating, especially over the holidays, so a win.  

Gym Tips for Guys

Do not tuck your shirt into lycra bottoms

Do not wear short shorts

Do not wear short shorts with your shirt tucked into them

 

Pretty simple, and yet….   There is a man at my gym who breaks these rules regularly.   Granted he’s in great shape.  He is probably approaching 0% body fat, long and lean.  His workout usually puts the rest of us mere mortals to shame.  The things is his clothes, his workouts, his demenour give off a sense of arrogance and overt pride. 

So my amusement was great when I was walking out of a class tonight.  There he was doing some sort of athletic feat that most of us could only dream about in his short shorts with tight lycra t-shirt tucked in.  Suddenly I hear “oh, this asshole again”.  I turn to look at the woman next to med.  Her eyes are huge.  “Did I say that outloud?  Horrible”.    I tell her no, it’s what everyone is thinking. 

You really don't want to be this guy... so don't.

So you think it’s a good idea to have a business person as President Part 2

If you haven’t worked in a large company, you may not be familiar with how the upper echelons of it’s management think.  To obtain a certain level of control in a large bureaucracy, one must have a certain kind of personality, the kind of personality who doesn’t mind cutting down everyone else to reach the singular goal of making themselves more powerful.  

As the veteran of a few large companies, I can tell you that the common denominator at the top is these guys (and they are mostly guys) believe rules do not apply to them.   Were they like that from the beginning, which helped them get to where they are or did they develop this as they moved up the chain of command in extremely command and control entities, the power and entitlement it grants leading them to believe they live by their own rules?    Does it really matter?  They are where they are, they do what they want and they don’t see limits.  Regulations?  Bah…  change them or find creative ways around them.  Paying what you owe?  When you can expense it to your company?   Come on now.  Firing people who disagree with you?  Goes with the territory.  Expectation of job performance commensurate with ones salary.  You’re funny (note:  they believe they are worth what they are paid, but tell that to anyone in the lower parts of the chain, working like a dog, that it makes sense that the CEO make 10, 20, 100 times more than them).  No matter how bad a CEO messes up, even if they get forced out, they will receive the golden parachute written into their contract. They will walk away with millions, guaranteed.  Even better, they will get another CEO gig.   

Never worked in a large company?  Think you don't know who I'm talking about?  You do.  They are the person behind you honking when you're trying to take a left turn, but there is constant oncoming traffic.  They are the person taking a left turn from the far right lane across 2 lanes because who are YOU to be THEIR way?  They will be driving an Audi, BMW, Mercedes... probably an SUV.   They have places to be and they think the rules don't apply to them.  They are endangering you and your passengers because they don't give a shit. 

The rules just don’t apply to them.  At least not the same rules that apply to the rest of us.   As a CEO if you don’t like what someone in your organization is doing, you can pull them aside and suggest they ‘let it go’.  Most of the time, whatever it is will be gone because if it isn’t you will be fired or worse, treated viciously badly until you resign, and either way they will bad mouth you in whatever circles they can.  The sense of entitlement this creates, even among those who have shareholders and boards to answer to is staggering.   If I don’t like the rules, I’ll just change them.   Unfortunately for the powerful,, but fortunately for us, the United States is a nation of laws.  Laws can’t just be changed overnight because one of our three branches of government wants it.   Executive Orders can’t change everything.  We do not have a dictatorship, you can’t just go around the other branches of government, (weak though some members of them are).  You can’t run a country like a CEO by just telling everyone what to do and firing those who don’t agree with you (thank you founding fathers, THANK YOU).    There are rules and there are laws in a civilized society.  Let’s hope they are strong enough to withstand a frustrated power broker, not used to not getting his way, not used to working well with others.  I believe we can, but please no more business people as President. 

So you think it’s a good idea for a business person to be President…

You think a business person knows how to make money, will squeeze efficiencies out, get rid of waste and in doing so lower your taxes?  This is my theory on the thought process, anyway.   My response:  have you ever worked at a large company?   Waste is all around you.  Examples: 

·        Employees who literally do nothing

·        Poor planning resulting in expensive over runs

·        People whose entire job is making Powerpoint presentations full of the latest business jargon (which they spent the morning googling)

·        The lunches.  One can’t possibly expect anyone to meet between 12 – 1 without being provided an expensive, catered lunch!    Certainly everyone will pass out if they wait to eat their own lunch at 1pm. 

·        The swag.  Everyone has t-shirts, fleeces, blankets and towels with the corporate logo on them.  It’s advertising!  

·        The marketing materials.  Whole forests have been destroyed to hand out glossy brochures that no one actually reads at trade shows. 

·        The expense accounts.  So many steaks, so much scotch, so many tickets.

·        The travel.  Oh, hello expensive room service and other expensive services provided to people out of town. 

·        The conferences.  Where people who know less than you present on topics you’re not interested in, but everyone gets to travel and have expense accounts (see above) and get swag from other companies.   Quadruple threat!  

·        The retreats/offsites boondongle.  Oh yes, we must get away from the mundane and ‘think out of the box’ (no doubt someone spent a whole week on the PowerPoints to get ready – see above).   Sometimes on islands or other warm locations within close proximity to golf course(s). 

·        Senior management bonuses totally more than the GDP of some states, even if the company is going down the crapper.   We can’t expect Executives to live on less.  They are the ‘idea’ people.  Again, even if the company is about to declare bankruptcy and go out of business, the bonuses will still be paid.  

Through all of the above, has the price of something you buy ever gone down because a business person wrung efficiencies out?     I’m waiting..   I can’t think of an example.   You think the ‘efficiencies’ will help you… think again.  

AThing I Have Learned

When in the library, if someone sits down next to you and starts imbibing then opens up their phone to watch videos with the sound on (no headphones):   this is a cry for attention.  Do not engage!   If you ignore them, they will eventually become bored and move to some other area of the library to bother someone else.   Also, bring headphones.  

I'm sorry you need attention so badly, but I have things to do! 

I am afraid..

Afraid that on Friday there will not be one person in the White House who feels this way.... (watch the entire thing or zoom ahead to 1:45 for the start of the really good part).  

Sam Seaborn: It was high treason, and it mattered a great deal! This country is an idea, and one that's lit the world for two centuries and treason against that idea is not just a crime against the living! This ground holds the graves of people who died for it, who gave what Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion, of fidelity.

Sam Seaborn: You understand that last full measure devotion to, treason against them is.