August 2008

Memo to you… yes you.

I know working with others is hard. Not all of us like to play in the sandbox together, but when we have to there are a few rules of engagement. And they don’t involve banging Sally on the head with your shovel and then running to snake the swing out from under Kate. You should have learned that a long time ago… Also I know that meetings are the bane of our existence. But since you hold this bureacratic bullshite meeting at least once a quarter there are no more excuses, you should have already learned from the mistakes. So it is time someone went over a few simple facts with you.

First… If you are going to ask people at the last minute to cover your ass for inane shit, you’d best step up to the plate. It is not hard nor is it confusing. For once it is simple. If you ask me to come and help you get a meeting ready at 7:30am (when I rarely grace my office before 10am) you damn well better start by picking up your phone when I call and being there too. That is a basic form of respect. Also FYI it does not take 2.5 hours to put out folders, water and name cards. I’m just sayin.

Second… For the record in case you forgot, I work on Policy. Yes with a capital P. And don’t think I am playing hierarchical here like you are (who sits on which side of the Deputy Secretary Generale I don’t care… throw your temper tantrum elsewhere). I don’t think any work is beneath me, hell I have an assistant from hell that does nothing, so I do her job too. An assistant who I now thanks to the immature joys of working for an international organisation can say I am sending to Khartoum. You don’t like your assistant, send her to Sudan (for the record she is from the region and happy to go)… but it is saying a lot that NEITHER of your TWO assistants are there doing anything. And maybe before panicking and rounding up FOUR substantive consultants to do what is a ONE person 30 minute job… you should stop and think if you want to expend that kind of capital. Also learn to count!

See people round here think I am some kind of a miracle worker when we have to work to do in the Ivory Tower. Nope… I am just friendly and not beneath bribing people or whatever else it takes to get shit done. Also I am VERY VERY thankful to anyone who helps bail my ass out when the Arc springs a leak… Which has happened on more than one occasion. Hell in May I had the hull full choppered in half and thanks to being smart and the power of Vodka I kept the frigging boat afloat. Just like during prayers at the family table, you need to give thanks here too. Let’s be clear though, I don’t mean a half assed email saying thanks afterwards. I mean if it is 7:30am on a fecking Friday… BE THERE WITH FUCKING COFFEE. It is a gesture that opens doors.

As a matter of fact after this last go round with the bullshit I can now clearly say that I will feel no guilt next time round, cause there are always more Steering Meetings (we are steering more shit around than anyone knows what to do with I tell you). I will be the first to say No. HELL TO THE NOES. I am going to sleep in so that when 3pm sneaks around and I have yoga at 7pm I am not dreading the end of my week cause dude… ALL I WANT IS A NAP. And your head on a platter, so I can hand you your smacked ass.


Lots going on lately. Since this is more for me I am not going to do a very grand update. But just a hit and run. Rather go take pictures for a true knitting content posting! 🙂

Purchase (10/101)

  1. Treat myself to a massage or a facial once a year
  2. Buy a Lomo camera (I got a Holga instead… But a friend says he has found one for me, maybe one day soon 🙂 )
  3. Buy one piece of art
  4. Buy fresh flowers for my room once a month for a year (so I bought them for my office last month…)
  5. Buy a new “professional” set of luggage
  6. Buy one piece of investment furniture
  7. Get a subscription to National Geographic Traveller, New Yorker, Economist
  8. Buy an antique map of Paris and frame it
  9. Buy a new DSLR upgrade (wish this were purchased… but GRE and life plan called the budget over it. Sigh hopefully before the end of the year for tax deduction!)
  10. Find and buy one pair of killer jeans

Health (15/101)

  1. Run/Participate in a 5k, 10k, and half marathon
  2. Participate in an olympic distance triathalon
  3. 30 day trial… bikram yoga 3 times a week (I was going 2x a week there for a while. Things got hairy. I start back again tomorrow)
  4. Visit a nutritionist/naturopath
  5. Do a master body cleansing/fast/colonic

Travel (31/101)

  1. Rent a beach house for a getaway
  2. Go surfing in Costa Rica or Hawaii
  3. Visit 3 national parks (i.e. Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Muir Woods, Yosemite, Moab, The Arches, Grand Tetons)
  4. Take a working vacation at a winery in the south of France
  5. Play in the tulips in Netherlands and Skagit Valley
  6. Visit 10 friends (I visited friends in SF and Seattle so I am going to say I am now down to 7 more friends to find and visit 🙂 )
  7. Rent a convertible and go on a road trip
  8. Do an Ashram in India or Bali
  9. Camp out in Wadi Rum
  10. Climb up Macchu Picchu
  11. Visit a buddhist temple in a buddhist country
  12. Watch an opera at La Scala and a ballet at Opera Garnier
  13. See the northern lights in Iceland
  14. Go to Ireland
  15. Go on a crazy Thelma Louise girls trip
  16. Stay in a luxurious 5 star hotel

Finance (42/101)

  1. Work to better credit score (by 50-100 points)
  2. Contribute at least 50% of max out to my Roth IRA annually (approx. $2000-2500)
  3. Create, maintain and track my budget for one year (need to finish out the medical reimbursement requests, shipping reimbursements should be sent soon… and while not budgeting have lived within the paycheck limitations and am still working to rebalance all the accounts, moving apartments and new furniture have set things a bit off)
  4. Pay off all credit cards and maintain zero balances (all balances can be paid off with savings if need be)
  5. Save $5 for 1001 days (Very Bad… need to catch this up! Will try to recuperate half of what I need to this month)
  6. Do my taxes annually (need to fix the state one… ASAP!)
  7. Invest in retirement and net worth (10% of income)
  8. Pay off 50% of remaining student loans (Perkins Loan is now Paid OFF!)
  9. Invest in socially responsible mutual funds (2% of income)
  10. Get a major credit card: use and pay of in full monthly (I bit the bullet… I have a major credit card, I use it, and it makes me twitch)
  11. Save $10000 towards a major investment (purchase of property etc)

Learning (53/101)

  1. Take a photography course on light and flash
  2. Learn how to fly the trapeze (this IS what I did on my 31st birthday! and it freaking ROCKED)
  3. Take an intensive Spanish language course in Spain
  4. Get my a scuba diving certification
  5. Learn how to drive a Vespa
  6. Take a wine tasting course
  7. Learn how to dye yarn
  8. Learn more about buddhism
  9. Research travel photography and writing
  10. Take skiing lessons in the alps
  11. Learn 5 Photoshop tricks (I learned one… Photomerge, now to use it :))

Reading (59/101)

  1. Go to 3 book readings
  2. Read 6 classics and 5 works pre- 1950 (Read Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth)
  3. Read a banned book, a booker book, a pulitzer prize book
  4. Read the Tao Te Ching
  5. Read 3 biographies per year (bought Jane Goodall for the next one)
  6. Enter all my books into Library Thing

Creativity (69/101)

  1. Design my blog (working with a friend to finalise what the Etsy person didn’t deliver on)
  2. Do a photographic travel/documentary project
  3. Knit three sweaters for myself (Sweater #1 to be finished… Sweater #2 Bought the yarn)
  4. Document all my yarn stash (might be one of this month’s photographic projects…)
  5. Print 10 of my photos for framing and hanging (doing a test printing of photos I like this month!)
  6. Keep a film and book list
  7. Sell 5 photos
  8. Participate in Sunday scribbles
  9. Go to the cinema once a month (Went more than once… cant remember everything but I have gone to see The Dark Knight, Kung-fu Panda, The Counterfeiters, The Indiana Jones movie)
  10. Make a quotes book

Gastronomy (74/101)

  1. Go berry picking (went lavender picking… ok not the same and yes I want to do this at the end of the month… now to find people’s and a place 🙂 )
  2. Eat at 12 new restaurants- one three star (I have now eaten at a Ruth’s Chris, but the best was the Slanted Door in SF- good people, awesome drinks and killer food, I dream of that place)
  3. Try one new recipe a month
  4. Throw a dinner party for 8 friends
  5. Try 6 new foods and 6 foods I “dont like” (I tried sushi- yellowfin Tuna I believe it was. not like what I remembered other sushi as, not my exact cup of tea but I could eat it just fine too. 3 more to go!)

Career (77/101)

  1. Take GRE Course and Exam (1350 score goal) (I took the GRE Strategies Course. I am now trying to force myself to do the prep work… sigh. must set a date here soon)
  2. Apply to 10 PhD programmes
  3. Work on creating a career path

Do (101/101)

  1. Go galopping on a horse out in the free range
  2. Participate in some volunteer/public service project (maybe dealing with sexual health or at a soup kitchen)
  3. Go canoeing in Central Park (Check did that around my birthday with visiting friends!)
  4. Watch one classic movie per month
  5. Go to a live music festival
  6. Go to Shakespeare in the Park
  7. Meditate for 5 minutes 3 times a week
  8. Purge my wardrobe (of at least 30%) (hmmm well I got rid of some and then some in storage… but I still need to weed more 🙂 )
  9. Attend a meditation retreat (5+ days)
  10. Go snowshoeing
  11. Get rid of 101 things
  12. Consolidate and reduce my storage needs and use (I have closed out the Paris unit, and reduced out of the Seattle unit enough to fit some furniture from my mom if I have to- good me!)
  13. Go to the HCB museum in Paris
  14. Reduce my carbon footprint (by 10-20%)
  15. Donate “one meal out” per month to a Food Bank
  16. Spend 5 minutes daily in total silence and inactivity for a month
  17. Visit my grandmother and father’s graves and take flowers
  18. Go to an outdoor movie
  19. Live in a new city in 1001 days
  20. Hang my mirror, shelves and frames (have moved so not all needs to be hung but will see…)
  21. Trace my Irish geneology
  22. See a broadway play
  23. Preserve my family photos
  24. Go to a museum once every other month (Tenement Museum this month… promise 🙂 )