gurustu's muse the daily thoughts of an every day guru
Daily Guru Thoughts
Thursday, July 31, 2003 Homeward Bound... You ever get that feeling you should just stay home? Well, I did... so I did.
I was in the middle of getting ready when I thought, "you know, I could get more done if I just don't go into the office." Fortunately my schedule allowed it today, and technology made it possible.
Except for a two hour window of errands (which was equal to drive time plus lunch, I figured), I hardly moved from the same spot. It was very reminiscent of the days I used to work at home. I can't believe I spent four years like this -- solitary consignment, I used to call it.
Later in the evening, I was talking to a friend about just how daunting of a task it will be improve communication for the entire department. I said that it was very much like standing at the base of Mt. Everest.
Today was a good day to prepare for the climb. I'm up for the challenge... and besides, who ever pictures a guru at the BOTTOM of a mountain? They're always on the TOP...
Before you build your castle, you must lay the first brick
I'd have to consider today as the first real day in the new "job." It's a big undertaking, and I have to make sure I'm starting off on solid footing. Rushing in to anything could build the wrong foundation.
Fortunately I've done a lot of pre-work in the past. Pieces of the past are being dusted off and laid out, ready to assemble into what I hope will be something spectacular.
My new manager leaves for vacation for a week and a half, and I figure that's enough time to get something to wow her when she gets back.
Just a moment ago, I saw that email horoscope, which always entertains me...
"Optimism wins, so venture out from the safety of your shelter. A rebirth is under way."
So out of curiosity, I went to tomorrows, which is equally as encouraging...
"Look back with pride. You could do it again and it seems like you'll get the chance."
As they mapped out the new roles and responsibilities, I saw some more of what I had built dissolve; explained by a logic that only a few others understood. I looked towards my team for signs of hope, but in their eyes I saw sadness, anger... pleas for me to "do something!"
I've been put in charge of communication, because I'm "good at it." What they don't know is just how good. I got what they're saying... only too well.
That said, it's really far from hopeless. Every change presents new opportunities, For me personally, they're giving me a venue for a much bigger say than before. Before they wanted me to do the work, but I couldn't talk about it. Now I can talk about it, even if I don't have all the work.
For my team, there is the potential for a lot, or a little, change, There will be more work in areas that they might not particularly want to do; but with the proper planning and set up, there's also the possibilities of more work that they DO love.
They need to remember that I am always their advocate; that I am also being put in charge of Culture... and that means if their work does not support their growth, then we have failed to improve the culture.
I saw this quote that I wrote on a scrape of paper when I got back to my desk after the meeting:
Challenges only look bigger when they're coming towards you.
We'll make it through these changes, and come out of it stronger. We have to. It's the only culture I'll accept.
Monday, July 28, 2003 Like water... The day flowed along at a fairly steady pace today. Nothing torrential; nothing standing still... just like a gentle stream. I worked on projects, trickled down to a meeting down the hill, floated over to the gym at the end of the workday. The evening was still, ripples of emails and websites dancing across the surface of the world wide web...
The evening done, there is a clap of thunder in the air. The rain is starting.
Tomorrow is expected be more turbulent than today; It's time to drift into much needed deep sleep.
Sunday, July 27, 2003 Resurface... Wrote my article on Friday, then got out of town to get away from it all... no computers or pagers... to get the variety that I talked about. I didn't even think of work, except for the one time I went to a museum. Other than that, the change of scenary did me well.
I knew I'd be outside a lot, so I tried that Mystic Tan, which helped me go from white to off-white. With that, and the help of spf 50, I discovered a way to turn sunburn pink. Wasn't exactly the "resurfacing" job I expected.
So now I'm covered in Aloe and "resurfacing" from a pile of emails as well...
This is a short note, as it's late and it's back to the grind tomorrow...
Friday, July 25, 2003 Merry Christmas... A friend of mine calls this "Christmas in July" cause it's half way into the year. He also does it to remind everyone that his birthday is tomorrow. (Hey, whatever works, I use a convenient store to remind everyone that my birthday is 7/11). He shares the birthday with Lady E, so as soon as these two can get their schedules together, we'll head out for some Todai's All-U-Can-Eat Sushi.
I could use the celebration now, since this week has been filled with some good progress, in between the usual madness. My site is coming along, and still winning awards; I write so much of my new book that I look up from the bike now and discover the half hour has gone by; and today at work, I checked off a bunch of stuff that's been dragging on for weeks.
This week has been like a present, all wrapped up and waiting to be opened. Hopefully I won't have to wait til the real Christmas to see what goodies await.
That entertaining horoscope that came in my email did it again...
Cheer up. You still have your say here. Your skills are never going out of style.
...that I just had to smile.
Had that meeting with my new manager, then post meetings with the team... just to start setting up some sense of the future. I can see that there's going to be a difference, and some differences in opinions... I can see how as much as some things will change; some things will always be the same. There's some political battles in the works, and this new position actually leaves me on the side lines... and in this case, it's better to just sit and watch it unfold than to get in the thick of things.
There are opportunities here, but it's going to take a different strategy... and that's not here yet.
The appropriate move now is stillness... Let it unfold before knowing what the next move should be.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003 What's the buzz? Reflecting on the day's events, "what's the buzz?" came to mind. It came loaded with many different meanings...
The first "buzz" was the announcement of my group's move to a new manager. Many people already heard the gossip about it; others will be talking about it. Although the latest surprise to "sting" us was that a project that has been ours off and on for the last three years has once again been assigned to someone else. It always comes back to us, because they discover that we know what it needs... but then they never give us what we need to get it done. Then, they give it to someone who has the resources but no direction; so it goes nowhere. Once again, we'll just have to see how this "flies."
The second "buzz" was in my earphones. Trying very hard to get the audio off a "home-made" video of a class to sounds anywhere close to decent. I wasn't there for the taping, so I couldn't have advised anyone that you need a really good mike, really close to the person you're taping. So what I have to real with now is a lot of "buzz" from a very big room.
The final "buzz" literally came from a bee. While doing situps on the patio of the gym, this poor little bee was trying desperately to fly. It would walk a little bit, look like it's trying to straighten out its wings, then take off; only to quickly flip over and end up on its back.
It shows how important it is have everything working right in order to achieve what you're best at. Without it, others won't know what you were once capable of.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003 Gone Fishin' A friend's father left this world suddenly yesterday. It was comforting to her to think that he was now fishing with his brother, who passed some time before him.
Everyone grieves differently. Some feel nothing at all; others feel everything at once. Some get over it quickly; others never leave that moment. For certain, it all takes Time. That's one of the magical things about Time... it really can heal all things.
Death makes us very aware of time. It compresses someone else's life into a short series of instances. It makes us wonder how much of it we have left. And depending on how close you are to the one who left, or those left behind, the more seemingly random reflections come to mind.
I think about...
My own parents, who are still alive... where they might be going (since neither of them fish) and where I'll be going without them.
The paperwork that came in the mail the other day. My mother has already bought up all the plots for the family, nestling me in between my brother and my cousin in a 6 x 2 rectangle.
My own Near-Death Experience at age 3. Something I always think about when I hear someone's gone over to the "other side."
My other friends, who've lost parents and spouses... and children. I think about the hours of listening to the same stories, as they worked through their loss.
The grandparents who went when I was younger... the aunts and uncles... and wondering if they're still talking as loud to each other as they were in the kitchen.
My first dog, who was my 4th birthday present; who we buried under a tree in the backyard when I was 20. I remember how he couldn't even sit up in the end... and how heavy he was, wrapped in a blanket on the way back from the vet.
Which brings me back to my friend, since she has so many animals.
...and I think about her husband.
According to the HR, he is my "employee," my "co-worker," my "peer." There is an invisible wall that separates us by projects and cubicle walls.
According to the HEART... he is a friend; with a visible bond.
And my thoughts -- however random -- come back to him, his wife and her father... to a life well lived; and one well worth living.
Monday, July 21, 2003 <pain> Sometimes html can be such a pain in the code...
I spent all day trying to get a new template to work right. Foiled by a form tag! Try as I might, the code just didn't want to look right. Doing it "wrong" worked just fine, but messed up my Dreamweaver; doing it "right" just looked wrong.
Seemed so typical these days. All the right things I've done in the past don't look right anymore; and those things I did "wrong" are getting all the praise.
Saturday, July 19, 2003 Sock it to me... As I reached into a big pile of socks after doing laundry today, I got thinking how relationships are kind of like a giant pile of socks...
First you have your perfect pairs... they have those stripes or gold toes... but you can just tell they were made for each other.
Then you have those that are compatible. You know, those six pack of white gym socks that go well with any of the others, but don't always stay together as a pair.
And then you're always left with those loners, Those oddities that have lost their mates a long time ago and just don't seem to fit with anyone else. They're the ones you keep throwing back into the laundry, hoping the match will somehow magically show up sometime.
As for me, I think I'm that magic sheet you throw into the dryer, to soften everyone else up.
Friday, July 18, 2003 Final-E Finally spent an evening with Lady E, after many, many failed attempts to get together. She's moved up from backup singer, to singing lead vocals for Rose Royce (of "Car Wash" and "I wanna get next to you" fame)... getting the star treatment of limos, 5-star hotels and autographs. She's flying about the country, then she has to "come back down to earth" when she gets back L.A and her "day job". She's getting close to Fame-as-a-Full-Time-Job, but still has to deal with the bizarreness of two separate worlds. Hopefully her next album will solve that.
I'll be doing her next website when the album is ready; and in the meantime I have to figure out why SoulfullyInspired.com isn't showing up in search engines.
Speaking of moving on, the restaurant we went to, Chao Praya, is searching for a new location. If you're in the Los Angeles area, or are planning on visiting, keep your eye out for this place... some of the best Thai food I've had in a long time!
So "moving on" seems to be the theme of today. At work we had our first semi-new-team meeting to start planning our next steps; the film festival, which I haven't spoken about in quite some time, got new management and got so cliqueish that they replaced all my previous work and have been talking to me like I've never done anything... so I will be moving on from there as well... and all this inspired me to write my next article; though not exactly about moving on, it does deal with getting back up and moving after a setback.
So as I settle in for the day, and settle my stomach for the night, I look back on a good day, and will now move on to dreamland...
Thursday, July 17, 2003 Not so instant replay Today I got this horoscope in my email.
"Replay the past -- you can still make it better. Adaptation is your strong suit now."
And it just seemed to fit today. Mostly because I spent the day recapping the entire careers of my team, so that our new management will know what to do with us.
There are two sides to change... one of opportunity, and one of rebuilding. Rebuilding can be frustrating because after so much work and so many rewards, to have to explain who you are and what you do makes it like none of the past ever really happened.
On the flip side, starting fresh gives you the opportunity to become whatever you want to be.
I'm willing to play this replay game for now, but I'd much rather fast forward to see how this thing plays out.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003 Close, but no sing-ar On American Jrs tonight, AJ made it to the final three. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to the group, but we're not giving up hope.
Ever since I wrote about spending the day with AJ, my blog gets a flood of hits as young kids try desperately to reach him. So I broke down and quickly put together my AJ page. It's not much, but it's something.
Judging by the reaction, I don't think I have to worry about making sites for AJ... sites are starting to crop up all over the place.
Monday, July 14, 2003 Like new... When I was little I would run to the window at midnight on New Years. I kept looking to see if anything was different. After squinting at the dark trees and moonlit sky, I'd shrug, then go back to my overstuffed chair and old movie on TV, while I waited for my parents to come home from their party.
Nothing changed overnight... no matter how much I expected or hoped for.
Such as today.
This is the first day "under new management" and so far, not much has changed. I still have to attend old meetings until it's "official" and I still have work to finish up.
Saturday, July 12, 2003 Hi yo Silver! When I first started applying for awards, the serious award programs started sending me bronze awards (Mesweet, Nem 5). That was good, because that's pretty much where I though my site was at. Lately, after months of tweaking, I've started receiving silver (Dreamworld, Artabus, SweatPea's). Not that I haven't greatly appreciated the occasional Gold awards (Deco, WorldWideWeb), it's just that I look for trends. Judging by what the majority of awards are, at any given time, gives me a better judge of how my site is actually doing.
Some people have questions why I apply for all these awards... is it some ego trip? or some traffic generator? I'd have to admit I appreciate both when that happens, but I love it when I get feedback up against higher standards. It not only tells me how far I've come, but also how much more I've got to go.
Growth rocks! I love discovering ways to make my site more enjoyable... this keeps me on my toes. It makes sure I'm keeping up with the site; tending to it like a beloved garden.
Gold awards would look better on my gold painted site, than does silver... but I'm working on that.
Friday, July 11, 2003 A gift of a shift... Like going to any good chiropractor, sometimes you just need a little adjustment to get you back in line.
That's kind of what work was like today. Several months of discussions lead to a couple of morning meetings, and by afternoon, my team emerged reorged to another manager.
There's nothing wrong with any of the people involved; in fact it's probably more like a mutual admiration society than anything... it's just we "grew apart." My team stopped making sense where we were, and it was showing.
The new organization may or may not be the best fit, but it is a good fit. It can all go extremely right, or extremely wrong, but that's part of the excitement... it is full of possibilities. That might be scary to some, but being an optimist, I like to imagine the "what if's" in terms of what we can gain, instead of what we're going to lose.
And we don't really lose the most important things, I think...
I had lunch with a whole bunch of special people... most of whom were once on my team. I was reminded from that lunch that they were still on my team, even though we work apart.
That, in itself, was the best birthday present I could've gotten today.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003 Doing what's write... At the end of the workday, I drove a coworker to the local repair place. Along the way, we got to talking about writing. I mentioned my book, and he told me about how he intended to write his story because "it's very interesting."
Besides the usual encouragement of "yeah, you should" and "always write about what you know" I said to him something that was said to me some years ago, which changed my life.
"So what day you gonna start?
I didn't care what day it was, or how long he thought it might take to finish, I just wanted a firm commitment.
"October 1st," came his reply
Which is fine with me. I ought to be finishing up my book by September 30th, according to my plan, so I'll check up on him then.
How simple that concept is... just set a date... but for years I never did. I was filled with "I oughta" and "some day I'm gonna..." but it wasn't until I met a Life Coach (and wonderful actress) Lauri Johnson that my perspective, and commitment changed.
"So what day you gonna start?
And she meant it... and she called me to remind me of my commitment.
And it didn't really set in. I too had a bunch of excuses why this didn't happen, or why that didn't get done...
But I never forgot that simple message. Set a date and commit to it. Then I did it for gurustu.com, and it became so... and I'm doing it for my book now, and it's becoming so too.
Today I rode and wrote, as I've done since the day I started my book. And I'm watching my life's plans unfold on schedule, as planned.
Since everything takes time, all we need to do is set the time, and then take it.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003 And cut! I need a better editor than the one I tried to use today... I need one that can cut out all the time I've spent trying to get this stuff to work.
Something old, something new and something borrowed, made me blue. One of the items I got off of eBay is now back on eBay. It just didn't serve my purpose. the next item should be up by tomorrow night.
Yesterday I asked "what makes your day, the highlights or the space between?" Today I can add to that list, the "lowlights" also shape your day.
Between the bad moments, I made a good day of it... not 'cause I'm an optimist, but because I needed to make my day work more than the machines would let me.
So it's not the highlights or the lowlights or the space that makes your day really... it's you, and what you do with the lights that matter.
Monday, July 07, 2003 What makes your day? When you look back on it, what exactly makes your day... is it the shining highlights or is it the space between?
I think we remember the highlights the most. That's how we can fast forward over our lives so quickly.
Today might just be one of those that gets skipped during the rewind. There were a few moments of note, but not much that hasn't been said before.
It was a good day, overall... I mean, compared to all the many bad days out there that other people are having. I was able to help a friend in the morning, get ready for an important meeting... and in the evening I rode the bike at the gym and sweated out several more pages on the book.
Tomorrow should be a different kind of day, since I'll be working from home, so I hope it has a lot of highlights to report.
Now to go hit the "Pause" button until the morning...
The performers all proved to me why they're finalists for that show. The M.C. of the show was ANT, who didn't get chosen to live in the house, but I'm sure his career will be fine just the same. Dat Phan then came out and did his routine on his Vietnamese parents and was the biggest marketer of the evening, with his tapes and website. Tess Drake came out next, and was hilarious in her comparisons of the types of men she dates. Then Ralphie May followed, who made some references to his size, talked about race relations, and shaped his set to the local audience the most. It turns out he's been friends with Buddy Hackett for several years and not only imitated him very well, he gave a really touching tribute to him in the end.
Overall, it was a great long weekend... tiring as much as it was rejuvenating. It was full of sun and sand and laughs and LIFE... who could ask for more?
Free to hit the beach with the bike... Literally. A woman on her bike crossed in front of me, sending me sailing into the sand.
Free to celebrate fireworks at the Rosebowl. Actually, I take that back... that wasn't free... $15 parking, $7.50 half price tickets, $16 for some chicken & ribs, another $13 for drinks. I guess you can say I really did get a true Taste of America... capitalism at its best.
And lots of free ham No, there wasn't free food... just me hamming it up... I just saw Channel 13 news about the fireworks and they showed me saying "I think it's great!"
Wednesday, July 02, 2003 My World, the Sequel... The world went on as it's apt to do. Today like yesterday... so I figured I'd rate it as before.
On my scale of one through 10, here's today...
Wires? Wires? Anywhere?
No luck again on the cables... online or in stores. The guy who sold me the controller said he never mentioned the cables in the first place; which he didn't... but that still doesn't solve my problem. I gave him a neutral rating on eBay, and will have to move on from here. On a positive note, the salesguy at Guitar Center was so helpful. Even without finding the cables, he kept at it until he exhausted every possibility. Now that's what I call customer service!
A.J. still has to 'work it'
On American Juniors, AJ didn't make the final three, but he's still in the running... so it's ain't over, but that's not as positive as I'd like to see.
Riding and Writing
30 minutes on the bike... 11 more pages. Small pages really... mostly headlines with a couple of paragraphs that will eventually turn into a chapter each... but for now... more more more :-)