Things That Don’t Necessarily Mean Anything

Yesterday, a cute guy walked with me into the office. We were parked near each other, and talked about the parking garage. It was nice. It seemed like he went out of his way to bump into me, and to keep talking to me, and to find out where I worked and to make sure I knew where he worked. It was lovely, and it made me smile.

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Behavioral Insights

I’m reading Michael Lewis’s latest, The Undoing Project, about Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureates whose insights into the systematic ways that people behave against their best interest, financially and otherwise, changed how we think about how people are wired. I’ve been interested in this topic for a long time— I’ve read a lot of Dan Ariely, the behavioral economist at Duke who designs experiments to prove that we can’t really be objective about money/material goods. I’ve published a book or two on the topic, I’ve built a course on the topic— it’s a key area of personal interest for me.

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Gardening

It’s not a no-challenge thing, I’ll grant you, but in a time where it seems like everything is just a little more challenging than I’d like, gardening is my bright spot. I’ve been starting seeds since Good Friday, and I transplanted the first group into larger pots over the weekend. I was a little overwhelmed at the idea of 23 broccoli plants (I’ll have 4.5 raised beds for growing, this year, compared to 1 last year, but my ambitions always outstrip such concerns) but only 15 have survived the transplant process (and hardening off) process. I’m hoping I’ll get better at transplanting, because I’ve started fewer seedlings of every other variety.

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Fried

This week, man. Started out by going for the throat, with my mom falling and ending up in the ER for four hours with a concussion Sunday night. Yesterday, I had a 2.5-hour meeting that’s going to result in hours and hours of expedited work. This morning, the inappropriate member of our Toastmasters club made a sotto voce Klan joke. She wasn’t going to get a podium for it (she was barred from Table Topics this week because she held another role, as was I) and then she got up to deliver her role report and turned it into a Nazi joke that offended several members. And then, this guy in the club started out praising something we did, then he ended up telling me that I was wrong and saying over and over again that I was projecting when I said that his blanket statement was not universally true. And for the record, I wasn’t projecting (or if I was, I wasn’t projecting myself.) Mom and I have struggled to find agreement this week, which means, in part, that I’m going to have to leave work early to take her to the doctor even though I think the doctor isn’t going to do anything more than tell her what her discharge paperwork said, which was that concussion symptoms commonly persist for 10 days to 2 weeks. Maybe they’ll give her an ill-advised refill on the opiate they gave her in the ER to treat her head pain. I guess I should be glad that she’s not demanding that I take her back to the ER.

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Oh, Hey, Lucy, Is That a Football for Me to Kick?

About 18 months ago, a friend (an ex, whom I’ve never met because they “dated” for like, 10 days more than a decade ago) of the BFF friended me on Facebook. I have this problem where I’m unnaturally curious about why bizarre things are happening, and I tend to like to sit back and watch them, bemused. I fully recognize that this is counter-productive, and I’ve started to really push back on that impulse, but I didn’t push back in this instance.  So I accepted his friend request. Then, he proceeded to be creepy, liking over and over again the same pictures from my long-ago history. Then he reached out and we had a Messenger conversation. It was also creepy. It’s clear that he was pining for the BFF (who is married), and also that he’s super focused on his body relative to metrics and female bodies in a pretty superficial way. I let him know that I wasn’t available (it was during the Grey Area Guy era, though I was by then clear enough that Grey Area Guy was probably not going to be a thing that I didn’t feel any question about loyalty in having the conversation, and I was mostly signalling that I was not worth pursuing), that I thought his fixation on the BFF was problematic and neither in his best interest nor hers and wished him well.

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A Word to the Wise Is

It’s an interesting thing, Toastmasters. I feel like halfway through my presidency, I’m mostly just trying to finish what I started and ensure a smooth transition. Today, I went to our special, once-a-month meeting. The incoming president has identified another officer to replace her (mission critical) position. Which is fine—there are no rules that prohibit it, and generally speaking, volunteers for the position are the way those transitions go. I have some opinions about how well the transition is going to go, given that I’ve found the need to very actively manage this other officer and his tasks. It’s technically up to her, so I haven’t said something before today, but today, as we watched him mishandle something she’d delegated to him, I thought it important to say that he was going to need pretty hands-on mentoring to get him functional in a role as important as the one she’s vacating. His intentions are good, but his follow-through is pretty lacking, and his foresight is even worse. That’s bad enough where he is— she could find it pretty deadly under her leadership— from where she is today, she is very likely to find herself de facto doing both roles, to keep her boat afloat. She’s got some control issues, so maybe that’s okay with her, but she’s medium burnt out now, and I think she’ll be extra crispy by this time in her presidency, if she makes it that far.

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