From the monthly archives:

September 2012

Warning: this post is probably just going to be me rambling on due to severe lack of sleep, even according to my standard… 

These past two weeks have been the annual performance period at my company, the time when we have to write our own self ASSessments and to provide peer feedbacks for colleagues who have requested feedbacks from you. Last year I received 12 requests and I did not turn anybody down. I still shudder when I think of the day 12 months ago when i seriously considered jumping out the window to avoid the tasks at hand. I absolutely hate doing this because I find it extremely difficult to “brag about myself”. Sorry for pulling the “Chinese” card, but it’s true: We were brought up to never toot your own horn for when you do that, that’s a sure proof that there is no substance inside. If you are great, people will notice on their own.

Now, how’s that working for you so far?

In the end, I did survive the annual performance review again. And at Midnight on Saturday, September 29, I have been up since  7 am on Thursday with a 3-hour sleep between 4 am to 7 am Friday morning. AND, I did not have any caffeine all day Friday. I figured I have been running on pure adrenaline since I opened my eyes at 7 am. When I marveled at this fact, my teenage boy said, “How are you not dead?”

Mind you, when we had that exchange, I was vacuuming the house after I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

Sometimes, you just have to stop for a moment and wonder at yourself.

Wow. I am really awesome. I kick ass. I rock.

It’s ok. Nobody else is going to do it for you. And many of these incredible feats you have pulled off with great aplomb are not appropriate answers for questions such as “What’s your claim to fame?” “What is your proudest accomplishment?”

I once cleaned up my son’s explosive diaper inside the airplane lavatory and he slept through the whole thing. And I did not cry.

I once caught the projectile vomit coming out of my son’s mouth just in time and managed to keep most of the vomit inside my blouse so the carpet was saved. And I did not cry.

When I was pregnant, I had a horrible case of morning sickness. I was in a play then. So during intermission I would rush to the backstage to throw up and get back onto the stage. And I did not throw up on stage.

For the first three months of my son’s life, he basically lived on me, like a kangaroo baby. I managed to do everything with one hand, including making pancakes from scratch. And I did not become homicidal.

I once flew with my two children by myself. When I went through the airport, I had the baby in my hip carrier, a roller board in my hand, my 5 year old’s hand in my other hand, while carrying a stroller on my shoulder and a diaper bag on my other shoulder. AND the baby slept through the security check and the boarding.

 

Although I’d like to see those people who ask those stupid questions try taking on any of the above.

I know you all have done something amazing like these, and I would like to ask that you go into the bathroom right now, look in the mirror, and give yourself a self-assessment of

 

 

Booyah!

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I confess: I have a shopping addiction. With free shipping and return, I have got into the habit of ordering everything that I think “may” look good on me (Ok, I also am an optimist. Shut up!) from Myhabit.com and Gilt.com.

As a matter of fact, I am wearing these right now (fresh from the UPS box I just opened). And it’s almost 2 am.

 

NOT me. Not me either

 

So, yeah, my addiction, fortunately, is more like a shopping AND RETURNING addiction.

UPS and USPS. I am looking at you. I am single-handedly keeping you both in business.

Tonight, Gilt.com rolled out a beta called Gilt LIVE.

See what members are buying right now!

Images of goods that have been sold populate your screen one after the other. I was supposed to be in bed about an hour ago, yet I have been staring at my screen. Mesmerized.

 

This is consumerism unfolding itself live in front of our very eyes.

You get to watch our economy being rescued from a potential recession one shoe at a time.

 

Whoever came up with the idea of Gilt LIVE is a genius and deserve a huge bonus and promotion. I am so serious about this I am pondering writing Gilt Groupe a letter to put in my $0.02. As I watch the live stream of things that’re sold artfully morph into each other and the discreetly small box at the corner discreetly alert me that they are almost gone, it’s rather tempting to at least click on the images and see WHY they are so popular. What’s more, to be 100% honest, a part of me feels more confident buying something that others have rushed to buy because “it must have been a great deal!” “The dress probably does not look as ridiculous once you put it on!” otherwise people would not have bought it in droves, right?

A self-fulfilling prophecy if there is one.

I am so amazed by the genius in this move, yet at the same time I am amazed why nobody else had thought of this sooner. Being a data nerd and a marketing/strategy person, I am dying to know how much additional sales Gilt LIVE brings in and how quickly, and how many idiots like me click on the images as they rapidly scroll by as if we are at an arcade playing Whac-a-Mole…

 

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Kind of. For about 10 seconds.

It’s tough to be a politician nowadays what with the ever shrinking size of recording devices and of course, the Internet. Oftentimes in this hyper-connected, over-sharing, real-time-news-update-by-the-second, meme-obsessed world, WWW is the kingmaker. At the same time, it could also easily topple a career. (Ironically, the same world is causing its people to command shorter and shorter attention spans and therefore the ups and downs are becoming less and less definitive and permanent. Think Mel Gibson. Think Numa Numa Kid. Who? Exactly my point).

What the Internet giveth, the Internet taketh.

But I digress (which happens often here by the way).

I felt sorry for Mitt Romney in the first ten seconds after I read about (and later saw) the recordings taken by someone at a closed-door fundraiser of his. What happened to the sacred divide between public and private? What has the world come to if one cannot speak with candor at a private event? If one has to worry about tapes of one speaking one’s mind behind a closed door being leaked and then shared and reshared across the Interwebs faster than one could stick one’s foot in one’s mouth?

Here is one of the choicest quotes from Romney’s private speech to his wealthy donors back in May, in case you have not encountered it (i.e. your butcher’s wife’s brother-in-law has not sent it to you yet):

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what… These are people who pay no income tax…

My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Transcription of the above quotes from Mother Jones

In addition, the following is actually my favorite because Romney told a joke and his audience actually laughed! Who said that he had trouble connecting with his voters?

“My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico… and had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”

Sounded like someone who was denied entrance to a university and blamed on all those people of color for taking his spot. We can debate the (de)merits of Affirmative Action until the cows come home, but, wait, News Flash! You are running for the President of the United States, and your strategy is to whine about it being “Not fair!”?

Not surprisingly, Romney’s got the facts wrong. I don’t really fault him for it, for about ten seconds, since he is not the only one getting confused. Thanks to Fact Checkers (courtesy of Washington Post), we know the following

“Some 44 percent of those who do not pay income taxes are because they benefit from tax benefits aimed at the elderly, while another 30 percent benefit from tax credits for children or for the working poor

But not all of these people are automatically Obama supporters. In fact, according to a map published by the Tax Foundation, eight of the top ten states with the lowest income-tax liability are the heart of Romney country — the deep south. The only exceptions are Florida, a battleground state, and New Mexico, which leans toward Obama. Meanwhile, most of the states with the lowest level of nonpayers are Obama states.

As for other entitlements, of course Social Security and Medicare are reserved for the elderly — and are generally popular. But it seems simplistic to think these are all Obama voters, especially since polling indicates that the Republican share of the vote among white seniors have increased in each of the last five elections, to 58 percent in 2008.” [Emphasis mine]

Or, you could save yourself some time by looking at this easy-to-read chart from Tax Policy Center:

So there you have it.

Ever since the release of the tape on Mother Jones there has been a lot of outcry by the “liberal media” against Romney’s equating Obama voters with people who wait for government handouts (and vice versa). The Washington Post went a bit on the side of overdramatic and called this “Mitt Romney’s Darkest Hour“, and so did one of Bloomberg‘s bloggers who predicted “Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election“.

All the brouhaha aside, IMO, this is not going to change anybody’s mind. On the contrary, any such talk will most likely deepen the resentment felt by many GOP supporters who are already deeply suspicious of the so-called liberal media. (Thanks to Faux News.) I don’t see white seniors changing their minds because of what Romney was caught saying. It’s the liberal media’s fault! It’s a conspiracy! as it always is. The “fact checkers” are probably in on it too! There is no winning an argument if people whose minds you are trying to change distrust “facts”. Besides, when Romney’s talking about people who sit around and wait for handouts, he was obviously not talking about THEM. It is not an outcome I’d like to see if Romney somehow comes out of this 47%gate a victim of “espionage” planned by the Obama campaign. I can already see them turning this whole thing around by pointing a finger at the  oh-so-scary, conniving “liberal media” in cahoots with the Dems.

 

 

So why am I wasting your time with this mental dribble?

 

Here is a collection of Tweets today from my Twitter stream. Quickly! I’d better put this up before HuffPo publishes yet another Top 10 Most Hilarious Tweets on [some mistake made by some celeb’s] masked as journalism.

 

In conclusion…

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How to Suck at Tipping

September 11, 2012 therapy in session

I know that I suffer from a severe case of liberal guilt and that’s why I don’t think I can truly relax in places where there is a clear demarcation, often times physically, between the privileged and the underprivileged. You can accuse me of being a hypocrite if you want. I would not know how to defend myself. […]

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What One Could Learn from the Game of Life

September 9, 2012 no manual for parenting

  Bad mommy confession: I hate playing board games. I still have horrible memories of spending hours playing Monopoly that would not end, and of course I went into bankruptcy half way through the game followed by a streak of bad lucks. Five hours later I was exhausted and bitter. That’s why even though my […]

15 comments