Monday, May 31, 2010

Having a Blue Chip Attitude

Back in April I attended the Leadership Training Session (LTS) hosted by the regional IMA council (MAC = Mid-America Council). One of the speakers was James Schneider, a motivational speaker whose presentation revolves around a "Blue Chip Attitude."

He's a very energetic speaker. In addition to the bright red jacket he also wears a large white hat. His presentation involves jumping off chairs, throwing things, and a lot of manic yelling.

The first thing out of his mouth is that he finds the fact that he's labeled a "motivation speaker" to be laughable. No one can motivate anyone to do anything. The only person who can motivate you is you. All he can do is project a positive aura that might rub off on the people he comes in contact with.

The blue chip is a tangible object that is to be used to remind you of the steps toward the "Blue Chip Attitude."

The steps include:

Talk "Positive"
Use Music
Surround Yourself With Winners
Get a Hero
Dare to Win
Have Fun

His presentation was one of the best of the day and had a lot of food for thought.

Within the "talk 'positive'" step was the use of a Victory List. So often we beat ourselves up over our failures. All we see are the negative things in our lives. We neglect to give ourselves credit for all the things we've accomplished. The point of a Victory List is to take a time out from the negative, "my life sucks" thoughts, and consciously make a list of the things you've done that you're proud of: accomplishments, awards, times you helped others out or were appreciated. Everyone's got something they are proud of.

This was the one part of his entire presentation when he became very serious - almost to the point of tears. He said that too many people these days were losing perspective of the positive. He shared that too many young people he knew had just given up. The point of the Victory List is to pull you out of the "poor me" funk and back into a place where you can better contribute to your own life and the lives of others.

A powerful message. It's definitely hard to have a perpetually "positive" attitude. I know I've failed pretty miserably with this in the last few months. I guess every once in a while you've just got to take a step back to gain new perspective.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oscar Update

Few more under my belt recently:

Sherlock Holmes: I was bored. They talked too fast. I was unimpressed by the special effects. And what the heck - there was no ending. I hate movies like that. (I'm looking at you, Woody Allen...)

The Lovely Bones: It was also hard to get into this one. I'd read the book a few years ago and was looking forward to this adaptation. But really, Peter Jackson should stick with hobbits. I get the "heaven" effect he was going for, but it was overblown and too drawn out. Stanley Tucci was wonderfully creepy though!

Avatar: I gave this one a B+. It could have been an A if it wasn't 2 1/2 hours long. 2:35 according to our DVD player. That's ridiculous. That said, it went by pretty quickly. I was distracted by the superfluous legs on all the animals (which reminded me of the creepy huge bugs in King Kong. *shudder*), the weird Pocahontas and Ferngully flashbacks I was having, and the complete unoriginality of it all. Yes, it was ground-breaking technology of some sort, but as good as the end result was, I don't know that it was all that everyone seemed to make it out to be. But still not terrible.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Brotherly Love

While You Were Out, or, Ramifications of a Week-Long Vacation

Here's what I was met with when I got to the office this morning:

Voicemails: surprisingly, none. Then again, this is the first time I actually remembered to change my voicemail greeting to tell people I was out of the office...

Emails: 152. Not too bad, all things considered (although I do admit I was semi-working on Monday and Tuesday while I was monitoring my email for IMA so there were a few more that I had already taken care of and deleted.) Unfortunately there weren't many that I could delete without addressing. Boo.

Inbox: Overflowing. All three of them. And two stacks on my desk. Paperless society be damned. I saw that and the three post-its on my computer screen and said I was going back home. Ha.

Other notable decisions that were made during my absence:

** The entire accounting department is relocating. Upstairs. In two weeks. Nice...

** Legacy Alcan employees are integrating with Milprint Corporate (hence the move) and with SAP complications it was decided that I'd take back some New London stuff temporarily (my previous position prior to jumping to Milprint North back in 2006.) Unfortunately it appears that the person I'll be taking this back from was not informed about the whole thing as she seemed quite surprised when I asked her about it. Aah, communication!

** A summer intern was hired and apparently I'll be responsible for keeping her busy (again - let's hope this one is more detail-oriented than the one last year!) She started this morning. (Suprise!) But the IT guy is so swamped with SAP and Alcan that he won't be able to get her set up with computer access until later this week. Really, what can one do in an accounting department without a computer these days? Shred and file, that's what. Hello, learning experience!

Oh, and Citrix crashed for four hours this morning, leaving the entire company without access to any financial, reporting, or production systems. Yay! Welcome back!

I'd say I'm about 1/3 of the way caught up with things. Inventory day is Friday, with the Memorial Day holiday royally screwing up my count in both timing and manpower. At least I now have an extra person in the new intern. (Her name is Jennifer. Doesn't quite have the same ring as "Mike the Intern" from last year, but it will do.)

Having a few days off was nice, but it always takes about as long as I was gone to catch things back up to normal. Things are looking to get pretty crazy this summer with SAP training, mocks, and go-live on August 1. Final EUT is mid-July, but it looks like I might be pulled in to some of the inventory dry runs. Woo. Now if only they'd give me access to SAP...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

See it LIVE!

Rest of the photos from the trip are here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Adam's paternal grandmother passed away early this morning. While it was not really unexpected, it's still not something you want to get a call about. I suppose we all consider it somewhat of a blessing that it happened this week instead of next, when both Adam and I and his parents would have been out of town.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


This last month or so has been rough. Work-induced stress. Dental discomfort. An ill-timed cold. It all can make a girl pretty crabby.

Most times I'm wiped out by the end of the day.

Just want to sit and stare into space.

Or vent.

Ok. I feel better now.

Hence, the lack of posting here. I've been trying to keep up with my cooking blog, but there were a few weeks that the cooking here was minimal so even that was pretty sad.

Things are winding up for the season in most areas. The bells played for the last time this morning. Tomorrow we'll meet to clean the bells and put everything away for the summer. And then we'll go to Culver's for some post-season ice cream.

The last IMA meeting of the season is next Tuesday. I'll be in New York for Catherine's graduation so I've gotten a Martha substitute. I'll still be taking care of reservations and venue set-up so I'm hoping NYC has good wi-fi. :) I haven't heard anything about summer board meetings yet, but I'm sure that will come up sooner than I expect.

North's SAP go-live is still on for August 1. It's a mixed bag and I've still kind of got a mixed reaction to it. Hopefully it goes well.

So many other topics I might have written about have come and gone, lost with the passage of time. Who cares what I thought about the Project Runway finale since that was weeks ago? I don't know that I've even mentioned The Celebrity Apprentice at all this season. I've been reading through three different series of books but I haven't had time (or motivation) to talk about them here much.

It's difficult. Most days I don't want to come and sit here in front of a computer after I get home from work. Weekends are full of the things I can't get done during the week or shopping or spending time with Adam or taking a nap. It's times like these that I can't even imagine how people who have actual lives deal with it. I mean, I hardly do anything and I still find myself worn out at the end of the day.

That said, props to all the moms out there today, (and, of course especially my own mother).

I don't know how they do it.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Great "Time"-ing...

Well, this is awesome:
Police found a suspected car bomb in a parked sport utility vehicle Saturday evening in New York City’s Times Square, then evacuated buildings and cleared streets of thousands of tourists in the landmark known as the “Crossroads of the World.”

Now I'm REALLY looking forward to our NYC trip in two weeks! Request to terrorists: please take the days of May 17-19th off, ok? Thanks.