Category Archives: Rants and reflections

Wise words from Amy Poehler? Yes Please!

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler

Lately I’ve been on a reading kick, and particularly autobiographical books from funny women. Amy Poehler’s contribution to the collection is one of the best. Part memoir (from her “middle-years”), part words-of-wisdom, part collection of funny stories, it was a real treat to read.

You can tell that this was a book written as snatches of stories in stolen snippets of time, but masterfully edited together. Seriously, kudos to her editors. The 3 sections/themes of the book likely weren’t planned on the outset, and yet it works.

Not only is she very funny, Poehler is thoroughly quotable with some very wise words regarding working and career that really resonated with me.  Continue reading Wise words from Amy Poehler? Yes Please!

1000 views!

This blog of mine has collected its’ 1000th view today — woot!

Just wanted to mark the occasion with a little celebration. That is all. Carry on. 😉

~Jen

Santa skeptic in the house

“I don’t think Santa Claus is real. I think it’s just you and Daddy sneaking to the tree after we fall asleep and putting the presents there.”

These were the words uttered out of my 6-year-old‘s mouth yesterday evening. Continue reading Santa skeptic in the house

Looking at my reaction and not liking what I see

When I heard the news on Sunday night that the CBC and Jian Ghomeshi’s “relationship had ended”, I was shocked. I was quadruply so when his Facebook post showed up in my stream hours later stating the fact that he was fired from CBC and his show Q over how he conducts his personal affairs in the bedroom. He was amazingly forthcoming in the nature of the what those affairs in the bedroom entailed, and then explained that he is now a victim of a vengeful ex-girlfriend’s smear campaign.

I was outraged! How could the CBC be so cowardly as to fire him when such allegations are still just allegations? They have had such a string of bad news lately (e.g. loss of NHL Hockey broadcast rights, reduced budgets and programming, staff layoffs) that it amazed me that they would invite further negative attention until the truth was sure. I pressed the “Like” button on Ghomeshi’s FB post to show my support and share my outrage.

In the cold light of Monday morning, however, I started to probe more into my reaction. Why did I so quickly trust his version of the story and, more disturbingly, accept the fact that the ex-girlfriend was vengeful and crazy-bent on trying to destroy a good man? Looking at my own reaction was disturbing and uncomfortable – was it somewhat misogynistic, in it’s own way? Continue reading Looking at my reaction and not liking what I see

DIY Snowy Owl costume – success!

The Backstory
How to DIY Sew my Snowy Owl Costume

Continue reading DIY Snowy Owl costume – success!

Hiring a life coach was my best decision this spring

I admit when I first started, a part of me felt that getting a life coach might be hokey and questioned whether I’d be doing exercises like walking barefoot over hot coals and repeating positive mantras in the mirror. The larger part of me though was more pragmatic: having a coach should make this self-analysis more efficient, help direct me toward forward momentum and hopefully as an outsider see something that I’ve been blind to for ages. Without a coach, I feared I might end up naval-gazing to the extreme, potentially ending up wallowing in self-doubt, negativity, and guilt in wasting time ‘searching for myself’.  So I decided to take the plunge and invest in the time , money and energy with her.

Now as I wrap up my last session with my coach,  I have a bunch of various emotions: Continue reading Hiring a life coach was my best decision this spring

Attack on Parliament Hill and War Memorial

What is there to say so soon after such a shocking and astonishing day? John Doyle of the Globe and Mail captures my sentiment exactly: “Language is beggared by such events”. Perhaps I’ll be more articulate in the days to come, but I feel compelled to chronicle at least something on the day that surely will be historic.

Obviously my thoughts go to the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the reservist killed by the gunman at the War Memorial where he was one of the ceremonial guard on duty. I am so thankful to the men and women of our police who did their job to stop the shooter and prevent further casualties, and the armed forces for their daily duty to protect our country and the freedom that we often take for granted.

I cling desperately to the hope the gunman was a crazed individual, and not further evidence of the theory that there is movement of radicalized Canadian-born planning to seed further terror in our country. However, with it happening so close to the events on Monday, the timing is chilling.

One of my fondest memories of Ottawa comes from attending Canada Day celebrations at Parliament Hill. Thousands of people, all happily congregating freely on the Hill grounds and the public spaces surrounding it, proudly being patriotic without feeling like a braggadocio. I recognize that there will need to be improvements made to security procedures, but I sure hope that freedom and joy we have won’t be tamped down for the sake of excessive security. I hope that we can keep calm and carry on.

The Globe and Mail’s editorial response says everything else I’m feeling: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/after-the-attack-were-still-canada/article21248043/

~Jen

Leadership of Virtual teams: Strategies and Tactical tools

The reality is that the composition of my teams in the past 8 years of my work at Accenture has increasingly become more virtual. I know there have been times I’ve struggled to adapt to the differences in being a part of, and managing, these teams that are not all located together. Further challenging the situation is the frequency with which the teams change, and the typically aggressive schedule for completing the work. Unfortunately, the training and mentorship I’ve received from Accenture to date on managing virtual teams amounted to little more than cross-cultural awareness and how-tos for the collaboration tools available.

Yesterday I attended a great lunchtime learning webinar hosted by the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) on “Real Leadership in Today’s Virtual World”.  Finally, some strategic and tactical tools to learn! Continue reading Leadership of Virtual teams: Strategies and Tactical tools

How deep is my love? Some anniversary thoughts

Hi Honey,

(feel free to play the Bee Gees song below in the background while reading)

Happy Anniversary, my love. Just like that, 8 years passed. Eight years since we said our vows to love, respect, and support each other through our adventures in life as husband and wife. While we didn’t know exactly what would happen, you were game enough to face that unknown with me. Continue reading How deep is my love? Some anniversary thoughts

The iPod was a gateway drug.

Last week’s announcement of the Apple iPhone 6/6S and Apple Watch got me thinking back to those early, innocent days of when a mp3 music player called an iPod was launched. At its design core it was a revolutionary way for people to interact with their music. Their marketing then capitalized on this through capturing the joy that people had when using it.

It was a cultural revolution. You could sense that there was this seismic shift happening, even though you may not have been conscious about it. No one wanted to miss out on being a part of the revolution into the future. And so the iPod was a gateway drug for getting us hooked to the desire and aspiration for personal electronics.

Then the iPhone was launched, and with the iPhone 3G version it brought the smartphone away from the paradigm of being a phone and email tool (predominantly associated with business and government) into the realm of a personal “life” tool. Gaming, snapshot photography, YouTube, and importantly, the rise of social media applications: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Anyone armed with the new smartphones could now create content for anyone else to view, anywhere, anytime. Another cultural revolution into the future. And boy you did not want to miss out on this one. Being left behind would not only make you out of touch with the cultural touchstones of the day, but also your friends and family. Addiction complete.

The ensuing versions of each of these products then dealt with making the devices smaller, faster, bigger storage, better cameras, etc, so the perceived utility of each subsequent version seemed to be increasing. And so we keep buying into it, because we are already addicted to the sexiness of being part of the future.

Relevant Oatmeal comic.

For me though, I’ll be taking a pass on the Apple Watch. I’m content with my current level of addition, striving to be a functional techno-holic.