My suitcases look like they have exploded across the living room.  I'm currently packing for a trip to two middle eastern countries: Qatar and Oman.  Thankfully, I'm a bit of a heavy traveler, so I have light, easy fabrics that are easily transportable and somehow manage to fit the criteria of dressing for middle eastern countries:  no plunging necklines, no knees, no elbows, etc. 

I'll be back January 3rd. 

And yes, Cosette is currently sitting in my luggage.  She's giving me big Lab eyes and non-verbally saying, TAKE ME WITH YOU.  And I'm all, DOG, don't make me, BECAUSE YOU ARE BLACK AND I'M GOING TO THE DESERT, YOU WILL BE  HOT.


 
 

Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger.
Honor your parents, teachers and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Show gratitude to every living thing.

----

Just for today I will try to live through this day only & not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that 'Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.'

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is & not try to adjust everything else to my desires. I will take my 'luck' as it comes & fit myself into it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study; I will learn something useful; I will not be a mental loafer; I will read something that requires effort, thought & concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn & not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count; I will do at least two things I don't want to do-just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as good as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything & not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry & indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself & relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. I will enjoy that which is beautiful & will believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

 
 

1. I love my dogs. They are such an awesome addition to my life.

2. I’ve never been so purely fascinated, enriched, engaged, and simultaneously in a constant state of hurt, disappointment, and anger as I have been in this Ph.D. program.

3. I really, truly miss my friends and colleagues from my previous University.

4. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in graduate school is how to narrow my focus in order to finish. In fact, it is in direct contrast with how I think and live my life: broadly.

5. I wear 85 SPF sunscreen every single day. I also wear sunglasses no matter the weather. Skin cancer is a real possibility for me. I’ve also never smoked – anything.

6. I hold others to very high professional standards. I think this is a fault sometimes.

7. For the first time in my life, I have managed to keep a New Year’s Resolution the whole year.

8. I dance more than once a day.

9. I quite possibly had the best match for a mentor, colleague, and friend in my masters program, and she’s irreplaceable to me in such a deep, trusting sort of way.

10. My partner is the most encouraging, smart, engaging, supportive, humorous, warmest, and bravest person I’ve ever had the pleasure to be in a relationship with. I often say to him that when we are out hiking with the dogs, I’ve never felt more like I’m in an L.L. Bean or Eddie Bauer catalogue. That imagery is something I’ve desired since I was a pre-teen. Now the real thing is here, and the feeling that goes along with that imagery is indescribable.

11. I feel alive and connected when I am teaching or practicing yoga.

12. Most people don’t understand my piercings or body modification in general. That’s okay. I don’t ask that you do. I just ask that you don’t judge me, because they are there for a deeper personal reason. Speaking of judging others, I don’t judge your personal choices, so I would ask that you don’t judge mine.

13. I miss my family, and they still weigh very heavily into every decision I make.

14. I've learned how to be more patient with the added complexity.

15. I finally, finally have a grasp on statistics. We had to battle it out for a while (years), but this semester, a leap in my conceptual understanding of it has occurred. It took, and continues to take, a lot of work.

16. I actually like his parents.

 
 

Thanks to Natalie Dee.

 
 
 
 

I was hosting a finals study session yesterday for my students, and a student had a question about strong vs. weak influence tactics in organizations.  I answered the question, and then meandered off on a point when I should have just totally stopped instead.
I said, "Compare it to child behavior and punishment.  If your child does something wrong and you spank them, the behavior stops but your punishment isn't all that great because you just used a strong influence tactic and the behavior isn't likely to extinguish.  Compare that to holding the child back from crossing the street, and kneeling down and explaining to them why they shouldn't do that.  That's a weak (but good) influence tactic.  You are more likely to empower the child to "do good," than to scare them into not doing bad.  Same thing in organizations.  If you want to empower an employee, you would want to sit them down and tell them why their behavior isn't correct and what they can do to improve.  That's a weak influence tactic because you aren't standing there yelling in their face for a mistake -- that'd be a strong influence tactic.  And if you really were comparing this to child behavior and ineffective influence tactics, you couldn't spank your employees.  You'd so get arrested, and then, suddenly, someone else has learned a very different lesson.  HOW NOT TO GET ARRESTED IN THE WORKPLACE."

I just felt myself going there and I...just...couldn't...help...myself.  The students all cracked up, so it was totally worth it.

 
 

"I'm like a Blackberry...except more needy."
-Joel, on explaining how he keeps me organized sometimes

 
 

Joel: "I'm an imperfect person and I have my flaws. For instance, how I crunch my chips when I eat them."
Me: "Well, I know there are things about me that are far from perfect or that you don't like."
Joel: "Yeah, the thing that is not perfect about you is that you complain when I crunch my chips when I eat them."
Me: "Well, if you didn't crunch your chips, I wouldn't complain. Sooo...it's of your own doing why I'm not perfect."
Joel: "It's a catch-22." -pause-
Joel: "By the way, do you know how much concentration it took to not crunch my nachos tonight during the movie?"
Me: "What?! Oh my gosh. I feel kind of bad."
Joel: "Yeah, it went something like this (does sing-song voice): pick chip up, dip in cheese, insert in mouth, close lips, chew chew chew."
Me: "Wait a second, you're telling me you had a SONG?"
Joel: "Not really. It just took a lot of thinking to not crunch down on those first delicious bites."

 
 

So,  I'm starting a doggie playgroup in my area.  I'm really excited!  I'm being a total GEEK about it, keeping perfectly-aligned notes in my notebook about the owners, their e-mail addresses, the names, ages, and breeds of their dogs.  Our first play-date is this Saturday and I am jazzed!  So far, I have
1 Great Dane
3 Golden Retrievers
1 Lab/basset mix
1 Alaskan husky
1 German Shephard and
2 Labradors
in the mix!  I love big dogs, and I think my head may explode when I get to pet and play with them all on Saturday.  If I don't update, then you'll know what happened.  I'm just warning you.  Labradoris, which is basically saying I love big dogs in general, is quite fatal.

 

Neckwear

12/08/2008

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After more than a year of hiking, water retrieving, getting dirty in the mud, snow, rain, dust, dirt, camping, it was time for Cosette to have a new collar!  Landy had also just joined our family, so I searched around on Etsy and found these awesome dog collars from The Mod Dog.  Landy is one lucky dog (since he was adopted!) and so we went with this stylin' collar.  I chose this collar for Cosette since she's so glamorous.  :)
They are awesome collars so far and have been performing beautifully out in nature.  Falling through ice?  No problem!  Hurling muddy tennis balls?  No problemo!  They even resist the weird dog collar smell that some of 'em start to develop.  Priceless!