Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finally Finished

Well, I started it on April 25th and finished It's Your Ship May 25th. It really was a great book on managing people. Much better than any of the other books I've read. Here's a little more of what I learned from the Cap'n.

One of the big things Captain Abrashoff talks about is building up your people. You have to make sure they know you care about them and what they're doing and that you feel this on a very personal level. It's super important to make sure that you recognize the good things people do when they do them. It's not as effective if you wait. In a workplace setting, that means you can't wait until annual reviews. In a personal setting, it means you shouldn't wait until everyone has forgotten what you're even talking about.

The other thing that I really liked in the book was the idea of generating unity. One aspect of this is making sure that you tell people they've done things wrong when they do them. You can't wait arount to discipline people and you have to be as fair as possible. When people see that you are quick to punish and that you are fair about it, they will rally around you. It's also important to listen to their ideas and implement what you can while removing any roadblocks that may be in the way. This builds everyone's confidence and helps them to love what they do.

He also talked a lot about having fun. I think that everyone needs to have more fun. I know that it's one of the things that brought my family together growing up and it's a great way to build unity at work. I think I'll start with some grilling. That's always fun!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Decoration Day

Today is Decoration Day, also known as Memorial Day. I remember reading books as a young girl that talked about families making a big deal about Decoration Day. They would spend a good part of the day at the cemetary and visit all the family grave sites.

Any graves I'm really interested in visiting are too far away for me to go to right now. Perhaps another year, I'll make it Burley or Malad for this day. I'm sure others made it.

The DH and I did visit our local cemetary today though. We took photos of the military section of the cemetary. It really was beautiful.

So, on this day, I want you all to know that I've been thinking of my maternal grandparents and my fraternal grandfather, hoping that their graves were decorated today. I've also been thinking of all those in the military who have put their lives in danger for the cause of freedom. I'm very gratefull for all they do.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Timing is Everything

Last night, the DH and I went to see Corteo. It's the current Cirque du Soleil playing under the big top at Marrymoor park in Redmond. We had a wonderful time seeing women swing from the chandeliers, jumping on beds, and doing amazing tightrope walking. There was so much movement on the stage at any given time. We were amazed at how well-timed they all had to be in order to avoid getting hurt.

One other really cool thing they did entailed several people who had rings that looked like large hula-hoops, but then they would hold themsleves up in the ring and roll around the stage and spin inside the ring and things like that. This even included rolling over their own hands. OUCH! I've found that Cirque du Soleil is so difficult to describe to someone who hasn't seen it. Hopefully that didn't just sound crazy.

The acrobatics they do are simply amazing. They have so many things that seem simply surreal. During the second half of the show, one of the performers was on a bicycle that was suspended in the air and he looked like he was riding in the air. He pedaled and moved forward slowly. Another man was in a harness, suspended upside down and walking along the tightrope. It was jut fantastic.

We also enjoyed yummy desserts and got a Best of Cirque du Soleil CD. We haven't listened to it yet, but we're hoping it's good. This is one event that I'd recommend to anyone who can afford it. The tickets are pricey, but we felt like it was well worth it.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I made a quick trip to Washington D.C. for work this week and there were some very entertaining moments. The best were the two cab rides I took, to and from the airport. I was staying in Silver Spring, MD and flying in and out of Dulles, so it was about a 30 mile trip each way.

The cab from the airport on Wednesday was driven by an older gentleman who was a native of India. He drove a very clean and well-kept cab and was also very well-dressed himself. When we started out on the drive, he told me all about the big news for the day -- the Oil moguls on trial in Washingtong! He talked about the price of gas hitting $135/barrel and American Airlines starting to charge $15 per bag on domestic flights. All were an outrage. He went on to talk about how cab fares have not risen in years and that it's close to impossible to make a living at it now. I have to admit that I felt for him. He was driving me all the way to Silver Spring and would have to drive the return trip empty. The trip was almost 90 minutes, so I got quite the earful.

On my return trip to Dulles, I was driven by a gentleman from Camaroon. He started the drive by asking if I was familiar with African music. I'm not such a world music aficionado so I said no. He then told me that he would play two CDs for me and find out which one I like best. The first CD was all in French and it was pretty good music. Jacques told me the name of the artist, but I couldn't quite understand the name. The entertaining part of this music appreciation adventure, however, was the commentary. I got the whole back story on every song. One song was about how every woman and every man in Camaroon want to be with a white man or woman. Another was about a woman who's husband left to work in another country so she put a lock on her knees. Another was about a priest who goes to France and starts to do all kinds of things preists shouldn't do. The last one was about how a man needs to be busy working and living and loving or he will get depressed. I then heard the first two songs of the second CD, but didn't have a chance to vote since we got to the airport in only 55 minutes.

I feel like I got a very cultural diverse experience going to the nation's capital, even though I never saw much more than the airport and a two-block section of Silver Spring. Adventure -- it's just a cab ride away!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Working for the Weekend

Well, it's been a really long week. I had a huge proposal due by 5:00 Eastern on Friday and it ended up taking up all my spare time all week. And I really mean it. I didn't even go to My Ice Cream Diary's surprise birthday party on Thursday. The good news is that everything got done and submitted on time. It just came at a price. Of course, that has me thinking about the decisions I've made lately and has me a bit worried about my current job. I'm going to have to figure out how to have better boundaries with my time. It's not really one of my strong suits, but I'm definitely going to work on it.

On Saturday, the DH and I went out to breakfast and I had crepes in honor of Annzy's birthday. Happy Birthday girly girl!!! And then, we bought some plants that the DH planted in the yard and I didn't do much of anything else. I did run to the grocery store for some sustenance, and then we got together with some friends for dinner, but it was very low key. I've not done a thing today either. It almost makes up for the ugly week.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

And Another Thing...

While I was in Utah last weekend, I picked up the amazing quilt that Annzy helped with. You should see some of her other work. It's amazing. Like this, and this.

For me, she made the Drunk Love quilt again. I was going to make it, but I got stage fright and couldn't get it started. Annzy took it off my hands and put all the squares together for my Christmas present. Then she got the back for it and I paid to have it quilted at the Porn Wagon* where Annzy used to work.

Annzy didn't trust me to do the bias tape for the binding, so she pulled that together one evening and sewed on one side. Now all I have to do is finish the binding and it's all done. Isn't it amazing?

And I thought I'd leave you with a little more detail from the painting. This is the shiny white front door and the new switch plate cover on the light switch.
* NOTE: It's really called the Corn Wagon, but when Annzy first told me she got a job there, I thought she said Porn Wagon. I was very concerned about her new job. Then I found out there was nothing untoward involved and that she got discounts on cool quilting stuff. It's all good.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Painting Complete!

After moving the furniture out, the painters got started on repairing the walls. It looked pretty rough for a few days before they actually started the painting.

Once the painting started, we realized there was no sleeping in that stinky house, so we had to bug out. Patrick got a hotel room while I was out of town and I joined him there for two more nights after I arrived home.

This is how the house looks now. The painters at Seattle Painting and Decorating Company did a fantastic job. They kept everything clean, did work above and beyond what we agreed on, and generally exceeded expectations. The rooms look awesome!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


So, last weekend, I went to two movies. I wasn't totally wowed by either of them, but I was entertained.

Baby Mama
I went and saw this one last Thursday evening with the girls. The premise of the movie was fairly believable and the cast was fantastic. The story moved along and it was funny without being gross or crass most of the time. The scene where Amy Pohler pees in the sink really is the worst thing in the movie -- and you already saw it if you've seen any trailers. I laughed quite a bit and I enjoyed the love interest part of the story line.
I'll give it a 7 out of 10.

Made of Honor
This was the Friday night movie of choice. We were all looking forward to it and expecting a great show. The story line was a lot like My Best Friend's Wedding, only not as funny. Patrick Dempsey makes a pretty good leading man and the woman playing the lead was pretty good, but the story lacked depth and it was a little too predictable. There were even things in the movie that made me uncomfortable, like the woman hawking sex toys at the bridal shower. That part wasn't funny at all, just really uncomfortable. The one great thing about the movie was the Scottish countryside. It really was beautiful and I enjoyed seeing that part on the big screen. All in all, I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone. It would be a good rental though.
I'll give it a 5 out of 10.

I'm hoping to be able to report on Iron Man soon!

Weekend Recap Part II

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping and eating and playing games. We had great food at Hattie's in Midway (I have to recommend the Swiss Onion Cream Soup) and a wonderful pizza place there too. I don't recall the name of the place, but Annzy and I shared a salad and a pizza and loved it.

We spent a good deal of time at the outlet mall and I ended up with a couple of sweaters, a jacket, and a couple of t-shirts. I still can't believe we were there for over four hours, but it's true. We all had tired feet by the time we were done. Annzy stayed and hung out with us for quite a bit of the evening and I'm so glad she got to have fun with us too. Family rocks!

I think the games were my favorite though. We played a really fun game called Sleeping Queens and then played a game that Diana and her family are working on called Catch and Release. I'll let you know when she get's it marketed and on the game store shelves. It was really fun and I'm sure it would be a hit.

The saddest part of the trip was leaving. I had such a great time with a wonderful group of women. The only thing that took the sting out was knowing I'd be back with the DH in only a couple hours.

I drove down the canyon by myself and was amazed as always at the beauty that is in that area. I love the Wasatch mountains and miss them when I don't get to see them often enough.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Weekend Recap Part I

My weekend started with a flight to Salt Lake. The flight was great because I sat by two fabulous ladies from my stake who were on their way to the Women's Conference as well. We had great conversations and it made the time race by. Then I picked up a rental car and headed to Camille's house. She and her three girls were all waiting up, in spite of the late hour. It was 11:30 by the time I got to their house. The men were all sleeping soundly, but I got to reconnect with the girls for an hour or so before going to bed. Camille's girls are all fabulous. It's been way too long since I saw them last and they are all growing into amazing women.

On Thursday, we went to the Women's Conference and met up with Camille's mom, sister, cousin, and other cousin. They're a great group of women that I had a blast with all weekend. The first thing we did that day was listen to Sheri Dew. She was actually the best speaker we heard the entire time and she was the first one of all. I find her to be very inspiring though. She has a no-nonsense way about her that just works for me. We also heard a bunch of other speakers and had a yummy lunch.

After the conference on Thursday we had Annzy hook up with us for dinner at a great little Mexican place on Center St. in Provo. Yummy! Then we went to see Baby Mama. I'll have to post my movie reviews separately, but I will tell you that one of the funniest things about the movie was watching certain people sleep through it.

On Friday, we went to more of the conference, but I skipped the middle presentations. The first presentation was by Sis. Beck (the General Relief Society President) and she gave a really nice talk about making sure that your home is a refuge. I like that idea a lot since I really enjoy being home. The later presentations were by a couple talking about marriage and then Pres. Monson. Pres. Monson's talk was sort of like a lot of his talks. He told some good stories, but it was nothing that really spoke to me.

During that time I was skipping sessions, I did some work that was on deadline for Friday and then shopped at the BYU bookstore. I didn't mean to spend as much time there as I did, but it was for a good cause. I bought the DH new sciptures and had to wait almost an hour for them to get printed with his name. They're really pretty. It's a quad with green leather cover. lovely!

That evening, we had dinner at Red Robin and then saw Made of Honor. After that, we went back to Camille's mom's house and laughed and talked and played games. It was great fun!