Monday, January 30, 2006

The Hot List

When I play catch up with most of my friends they are interested in three things – my social agenda (most of them are married which leaves them without one and therefore, are living vicariously through me), my latest crazy work story, and what music (new or old) I’m listening to. So, I’ve decided on a weekly basis, I’ll devote one post to these three topics – breezing through the social stuff with a list of highlights/lowlights and one spotlight on something fabulous, ridiculous, spectacular, and/or embarrassing that happened to me or someone I know…yes – this means if you spend any amount of time with me, there is a chance you’ll end up on my blog…although I’ll try my best to keep your identity anonymous.

So, in its first installment, here are the picks of last week:

Social Highlights:
“Business” trip to Atlanta that ended up being more drinking than business. Activities included cocktails at Turner field, drinks at my favorite bar, dinners at my favorite restaurants, a trip to the GA aquarium, listening to great music (more on that later), dancing (see lowlights), catching up with old friends, and laughing harder than I have in weeks.

Social Lowlights:
The lack of sleep acquired from Atlanta trip, getting stuck in verbal prison (more on that later) at the GA aquarium, dancing (realizing I have a serious control issue and am unable to let someone lead…I might have been more apt to let my dance partner lead had he not almost dropped me once), and having to speak in public in front of many people after three nights with no sleep and four nights of serious drinking.

Social Spotlight:
Alright, verbal prison is a term coined by M.D. Everyone has been there – stuck in a conversation with someone while you’re missing out on a great party with no escape in sight. This, my friend, has defined as “verbal prison.” At a party at the GA aquarium, I found myself repeatedly in verbal prison, which I turned into a fun game. Basically, each time I got trapped, I began making up a new story. It was much more fun than one would think. I was in sales for Google, the person who had developed eBay’s bid engine in my dorm room, a reporter for “Wired” magazine, and at least two more identities that I can’t remember. I know – I’m a total dork and this isn’t even a story worthy of the spotlight, but most of the ones that are can’t be repeated…so, at least you learned a new phrase.

Crazy work story:
This week the craziest story I’ve got involves a conversation with a customer and her 5 year old. It lasted 30 minutes longer than it should have. It is nice to know we still have fans out there that are crazy for Pokemon…or maybe they are just crazy. Speaking of crazy fans, the kid in the first link of my last post made it on VH1’s “Best Week Ever” that week. Sweet!

What I’m listening to:
Right now my favorite “real” albums are the Death Cab’s “Plans” and Rogue Wave’s “Descended Like Vultures.” Also getting a lot of play is my homemade, two-disc compilation, made for M.D. and inspired by the best New Year’s trip I can remember, titled “Late Night Indie favorites Disc One and Two” which we probably listened to 100 times last week and if I could take credit for the "Plans" album, I'd make it Disc Three and would be able to claim that I developed the best musical trilogy ever made!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's that time...

At the beginning of every quarter there are two days in particular I dread. Dreadful Day One (DD1) is the day I have to review my division’s quarterly presentation with the EVP before our quarterly meeting. Dreadful Day Two (DD2) is the day of the meeting and I have to deliver the quarterly presentation to the company.

DD1 is the worst day because I get yelled at (read: berated, humiliated, reamed, threatened, and shamed…Japanese style) for missing my financial targets for the quarter. No matter what we do right, I always get hammered for missing the sales targets (which are unrealistic and were not set by me…or anyone who understands ecommerce) and I walk away feeling like a total failure…even though I know there is no way we could meet these goals on the budget I’ve been given. This quarter’s DD1 was yesterday and went surprisingly well (read: only slightly berated, humiliated, reamed, threatened, and shamed…Japanese style). Maybe it was because I came to the meeting prepared with an argument as to why we were meeting our goals. My number one reason focused on our lack of understanding of our target audience. I simply shared these two links (please copy and paste): with Mr. EVP and stated that “we (meaning me) can’t properly market to our target audience because these folks are just too weird for any of us (me) to understand them.” He laughed so hard, I think he forgot about the yelling part.

This quarter’s DD2 is today at 3:00. It isn’t as humiliating as DD1, mainly because no one else really cares and/or listens. It just stinks because it’s a really LONG meeting and the majority of it is super boring…my part in particular. I think I rank up there right behind accounting in terms of “most boring material.” Last quarter, I was lucky enough to go first when people can find it in them to act like they are paying attention. Accounting wasn’t so lucky. During their presentation, I counted five people sleeping – including the CEO who only awakened himself to stop his own head from hitting the conference room table. I’m not even kidding! It was classic. I’m hoping for something even more spectacular today. I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Weekend Dilemma

It’s a good sign when my number one life decision at the moment concerns my weekend plans. I haven’t been in the city (without company or 25 things scheduled) since November – so the party ME wants to hit the town. And there are a bunch of fun things going on where I’d get to see some folks I haven’t hung out with in a while…like months. But, the other part of me is STILL tired from my debaucherous New Years trip and wants to be lazy and rest. The lazy ME wants to finish getting my apartment back into shape and try to see at least two (maybe three) of the movies on my “must see before the Oscars” list. There were 18 movies on the list and I’d planned to see at least ten of them while I was home for Thanksgiving and Christmas (just like I planned to update my blog), but I only managed to knock two off the list and one of them really sucked. So, this leaves me with 16 movies to see in two months – which could be feasible because New York is cold and gross in January and February and I’m not usually up for schlepping around in the cold/wet/snow wearing my good shoes.

I’m too hungry to think about it anymore. So, I’m off to grab lunch. Which leaves me with my number two life decision at the moment – what am I going to eat???

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Congrats UT!

I can’t help but be a little melancholy today, since college football season officially ended last night. At least Texas won which will stop all that talk about Mack Brown not being able to win the big games that count. Now that conversation will more than likely involve Mark Richt…and I might have to jump in and agree. I was unfortunate enough to witness the Sugar Bowl debacle live on Monday night. It was disgusting. We were out-coached, out-played, out-cheered…WVU’s band was even better than ours.

Not only am I coping with this piece of reality, but I woke up after only three hours of sleep to a cold, rainy day. I still dread coming into work and can’t seem to get myself excited about my job. It doesn't help that the entire office is in chaos because we are moving into a new space across town tomorrow. Right now this move is a total pain in the neck. However, having just returned from the new space, I’m feeling less grouchy and sad because:
- my new office (with a door that shuts) is much bigger than I’d realized
- cute boys in black wearing secret service earpieces work in the lobby
- there is a salon and a starbucks in the new building
- we get to leave tomorrow at 2:00 so the movers can relocate our stuff
- the sun was shining when I walked back which always makes things better.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I need a vacation from my vacation.


Again…it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything to my blog. I’ve seriously been working non-stop since Thanksgiving. When I wasn’t working through the night, I was hosting or attending some sort of holiday celebration which generated some great material, yet left no time to actually document any of it. I thought for sure I’d make good use of my Christmas vacation to update you all on the past few months and yet I couldn’t even bring myself to turn on my laptop. Unfortunately, I’m back in the office for the first time in two weeks and, therefore, can no longer avoid the connection to that crazy thing we call the Internet. However, I’m still not in “working condition” which is obvious from:
  • the lack of excitement, creativity, or (quite frankly) interest this post possesses. I, myself, am even bored by it.
  • the fact that I’ve been here for six hours and have yet to bring myself to read more than 100 of my 786 emails or check any of my 19 voicemails…not even the three that are urgent.

I am certain after a few days of detox and a week of good sleep, I'll be back to normal with lots of stories to share.