Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Road Trippin'

I went to an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC is a professional organization I am a member of) special interest group meeting this summer on the topic “Social Media,” specifically podcasting. While I am sure I probably knew this deep down inside, the meeting’s guest speaker said something that really resonated with me.

“Everyone can be interesting for five minutes.”

He was speaking about planning podcasts; however, this is also incredibly relevant for blogging. You may start out with a bang (which I don’t really think I did, but that’s beside the point) but you have to continue being interesting every other day or at least once a week.

My stretch to be interesting today is to talk about a girls’ road trip I just took with my friends Lauren and Kate. I feel like guys are constantly going on golf trips or friend trips or bachelor parties—something—but it’s rare that girls take time away from being in their regular town to do this kind of thing. It’s not that we feel chained to our boyfriends but maybe bond locally. Okay, I am just typing to type now apparently. Key word “stretch” from earlier in this paragraph.

Anyway, a 24-hour Walmart seemed like the perfect place to leave the two extra cars. After a delicious and nutritious (okay, maybe not) lunch at Zaxby’s we hit the road. Our estrogen-filled vehicle spewed with conversations that ranged from the intense and amazing taste of baked cheetos and the latest scoop on the guys in our lives to our career dreams and aspirations to fashion tips out of Glamour magazine. It was good to be with the girls.

Our drive went by quickly and we arrived at Staci and Dan’s home just before 8pm on the Friday night we left. It makes me smile to think about how we all (with the exception of Dan, who Staci “picked up” sometime just before or during college) have been friends for a long time now. When I get together with these kinds of friends, troubles, every day stresses and deadlines melt away from my consciousness.

It was on to pizza at Lily’s in Raleigh’s Little Five Points. Mmmmm. A private dance party ensued later at an empty bar with a solitary (and awesome) jukebox. Some of the tunes I recall are “Get Into the Groove” by Madonna, Corey Hart’s “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” and some random Buck Cherry song that Kate really wanted to hear. It really didn’t matter that there wasn’t another person in that place, aside from the quiet bartender; we made our own fun.

The rest of the weekend was filled with other delights, such as a few hours at the State Fair, some quality time with my father (who also lives in Raleigh) and vegetarian food via Staci’s kitchen.

‘Tis a fun thing to have great girlfriends.

I will try a little harder in my next blog to be a little more interesting.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reasons Why I Love the Fall

As mentioned in my very first blog, I am a big fan of making lists. It also turns out that I am a big fan of the fall. Today is October 8, and because I feel October embodies the fall, I will list the reasons why I love the fall.

(note: forgive my very elementary post today. I can't help it on a day like today.)

  • The crispness in the air (and often subsequent decrease in humidity)

  • Halloween (both dressing up and the decorations)

  • Pumpkin carving (related to Halloween but a separate bullet item in itself)

  • Football (both college and professional)

  • Pumpkin spice lattes (an occasional Starbucks splurge)

  • Bonfires and fireplace fires

  • Flannel blankets and fleece pullovers

  • Autumn foliage

  • Hiking and/or camping

  • Hot toddies

  • Feeling generally cozy inside when you know it's cold outside

  • Memories of family hayrides and trick-or-treating

  • County and city fairs

  • Scarves and sometimes even gloves

  • Perfect temperature days and chilly evenings

  • Cupping my hands around a warm coffee or hot chocolate mug

All of the above items are things that make me smile and make me look forward to the fall each and every year.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Gen "Y Me?"

So, I've encountered countless workshops, seminars and lectures on the topic of four generations in the work place. Apparently, this is the first time in our history as an industrialized nation that four generations of working professionals have existed in the workplace simultaneously. Cohabitation at its finest.

I've read that Gen-Yers include those born in 1980 and after. I read a different account saying that a Gen-Y kid graduated high school in the year 2000 or after. Either way, as someone born in 1983, I am undoubtedly (and involuntarily) a member of Generation Y.

We are said to have facebook accounts, instant messenger (IM) habits, incredibly short attention spans, etc. These are not the things that offend me. They are, for the most part, me also. I am, however, slightly offended by the notion that Gen-Yers all have a sense of entitlement (think "I should make $80,000 upon college graduation"), are the children of "helicopter parents" (newly coined phrase to mean parents who hover over their children, watching and commenting and advising on their every move) and possess bad communication skills. Gee, thanks.

One bit that I unfortunately relate to is the need/desire for a constant stream of feedback and communication. As I commuted to work this morning, I thought about how I miss college. This does not include just the laid-back lifestyle, lack of responsibilities and cheap beer; I am talking about being graded on my merit.

I continued my inner monologue. "Why did I enjoy regular examinations of my merit and skill during college?" In many ways, I think it boils down to emotionally needing compliments and occasional critiques that can lead toward improvement. Yes, I do have a supervisor who encourages me to do well and gives me fairly regularly feedback--but in my head, I think I wish to walk in every afternoon to be handed my "paper" or "test" back with a grade and a series of marks for right, wrong, colorfully dictated and erroneously prepared "answers."

I wonder if when more Gen-Yers are managers, they will somewhat micromanage and treat their reports such as what I mention above...