Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Usually it will.

Prepare for a month more of undecided obsession about the hair Chop. I have an appointment one month from today with a edgy, hipster, artistic stylist; will we go for it!?

In the meantime, last night there was much support around the Memorial Day s'mores snack for embracing a big dramatic change, and the safety mantra was repeated yet again: "Remember, it's just hair, and it will grow back. It will grow back. It will grow back."

Though an honest point was then made, to much laughter: the man in the room with ever-slowly-thinning hair said, "To be fair, that is not always true."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quit slouching! Part Two.

A few days after the eye-opening video experience (below), I attended two work events, in rooms full of tall men.

That is to say... I read once there is a high correlation between very financially successful men and height. At both these events, filled to the brim with lawyers, bankers, financial planners, CEOs turned consultants, some who's who of Portland (including those that actually live in Vancouver because it is cheaper), there were A Lot of Tall Men.

And the truth is, no one like to schmooze. No likes small talk. No likes, as we say back in politics, to work the room. (If you really do love it, well, ok: I believe you; you're just not of the race that knows Joseph, and alas, I am).

But there can be a little thrill, a little fun, in playing the game of Schmooze. It's like acting in a play, and there's a little fun (and a little terror) in that!

So in this room of Very Tall Men, and then again a couple nights later in another room of Very Tall Men, I chuckled to myself quite a bit. Playing the part, working the room, pretending not to be shy - it is so much easier when A, you stand up straight, and B, you have tall people to look in the eye and project confidence to. Score a second lesson for the week - it is time to quit the slouching.

And will lesson three be about The Chop? (As in - the hair. Chop. Is it? Isn't it? Being cut off to a tiny, tiny, boy-like length? I'm undecided. Still.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quit slouching! Part One.

At work recently, I had the opportunity to view myself speaking in front of (most of) the company about an hour after I'd done the speaking.

When the memory is that fresh, watching a video is incredibly powerful.

I've always liked public speaking... the baby of the family often does. I mean, hey, we never got the gavel growing up! So to command attention and be able to say your say - it is enjoyable, it is fun, and I've never been too afraid of it.

That said, I am also new to this job and company. And I don't want to be a pushy know-it-all, so in my head, I was speaking in a consciously unintimidating way. I was casual, I was calm, I was asking for people's attention but not demanding it. I had something to say, but I wanted to invite you in, too, to ask questions and feel comfortable, not dominated by a gaudy speaker.

Well. Well well well.

One hour later, I watched the video with this experience-memory vivid in my mind. And lo and behold, no amount of "projecting casualness" is going to come from this woman. I am, to the slight disappointment of that gendered-shy-feminine-fragile piece of my Self, undeniably authoritative. No amount of tucking my chin down, no amount of peeking out the tops of my eyes, no amount of shrugging or smiling is going to convince anyone I'm not in charge. I clearly am, on that video, and frankly, I'd be all those other things I'm going for - likable, affable, funny, charming - if I just listened to my mother and grandmothers, and "Stood Up Straight!"

If I threw my shoulders back,  lifted my chin, and really spoke - I could actually be great at this public speaking thing, and not just decent. Whether or not this qualifies as a realization, or as a blog-worthy piece of self-awareness is up to you. But before you weigh in, try it. Record yourself in front of an audience and then watch it just as soon as you've had a little snack and a walk around the block. You might be shocked at what you find!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bike Updates

Me and Linus the Girl Bike (you remember her) have been commuting to work lately - the goal is two days a week, and preferably three; I have the "out" of loading Linus onto the bus if I really can't face the ride home - or if it rains!

On day three of commuting, me and Linus passed our first other biker! Felt great.

On week three of commuting, me and Linus were aggressively honked at for the first time. Felt terrifying; I almost steered INTO the car. It should be noted that the honk was intended for the biker two behind me, who was passing the biker one behind me, and I got caught in the tangle.

And on week four of commuting, I completed a real hurdle... I went to Zumba after riding home 4 miles (mostly uphill) and made it through class! Barely. Linus the Girl Bike called me Rider the Jelly Legs after that one.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On the other hand...

I've been obsessed in recent months about the connections between our gut bacteria and food allergies, asthma, eczema, even autism. The research coming out about being too clean, and too sanitized, is fascinating, and there's a whole subcategory of this research about dairy (which I personally react to in various ways) and skin/digestive/bacterial issues. The superbugs and fecal transplants and microscopic curing of insane food allergies in children... this stuff is the Best. If I was fifteen, I really might go into medicine or biology; that's how much this fascinates me.

But. There's a line. My great-grandmother said we all have to eat a bushel of dirt before we die, and she was right, no doubt. But this article about changing stations that are never cleaned, and the norovirus that brought down most of the employees of an auto dealership after a little kiddo had an epic, explosive shit situation in their bathroom... that's the line. That's too much dirt. That was enough to make me want to use Purel! And the force of nature no further can go.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Never ever gonna get old

That's a line from a David Bowie song I love but I don't think Sir David would like why I'm quoting him... I'm quoting him in regards to peanut butter.

Look people. I'm trying. I'm trying to like this almond you're all so crazy for. I've tried it plain. I've tried it on toast, and with an apple. I've tried Wild Squirrel's vanilla espresso almond butter. I've tried Justin's various versions.

That stuff doesn't hold a candle to peanut butter. It's like tofurkey at Thanksgiving. It's like carob brownies. At heart I'll always be seven years old, eating peanut butter off a spoon - and I'm never ever gonna get old!