Tuesday, September 25, 2012

from whence we came

Parentals  telling their courtship story 48 years later to a captive audience. It always amazes me how it all came together... #tothemysteriouseast #familytime #loveiranianstyle

I am starting to collect family stories in a more orderly and formal fashion.  I have heard many of them before. As a child, they both fascinated and bored me to tears when all I wanted to do was go play outside or hang out with my friends.

Now those stories enthrall me and make me realize how much about my parents I don't know or didn't consider was important.   I am honestly in awe of half of what they have done.  This past week I had the incredible pleasure of sitting down with them and hearing the stories, spending time with them and my  mom's extended family.

I am so blessed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I have no words

Sometimes I am so disgusted by what has happened to Iran as I knew it growing up and from family stories.  I am usually on the other side of the argument, trying to explain and maybe rationalize behaviors of a culture which I am fiercely proud of being associated with and a country that is now so insular that many cannot remember life before the Revolution.

I must have been living under a rock when this was first announced. 

Please donate what you can to help feed and house these dogs until their are rehomed. I was also flabbergasted to hear that the current Western embargo against Iran bans the import of flea and tick medication for these dogs.  My mother worked tirelessly to bring humanitarian goods into Iran after earthquakes and helped raise funds to shelter and home street children in Tehran. She retired from these efforts when she returned from San Diego, but when she hears about this, I'm sure she will with these efforts. While she can't walk and play with these dogs, she can work to educate Iranians around Seattle and try  get some of these dogs settled, transported and help write letters to get medications to these dogs.  I will be at her side helping and learning from her, she is the master of persuasion.

I recognize there are a million things going wrong in the world and we can't fix everything, but if every person did one thing to help another person, creek, playground, ocean, forest or garden, the world would be a better place because of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

My secret, not so secret life

Seat 5K, my first time in new first on @britshairways #wanderlust for @bonnevivante

Many of you know of my not so secret obsession with frequent travel and my vast, yet esoteric knowledge of some frequent flyer programs.  I was recently featured by the Frugal Travel Guy on his blog.  FlyerTalk is where I found a group of like minded folks who flew both for work and leisure and enjoyed talking about all things points and miles. I have made some great friends and connections through FlyerTalk.  My dearest @joanek is one of them, without her in my life I would never have eaten a sweetbread, cared about helper monkeys, enjoyed Kamakura and hanging out in Paris going from market to market.  Ditto for @missydarlin who has roped me into many a race starting in 2007. She met her soon to be husband on FlyerTalk as did a few other of my friends.

The FlyerTalk community started out as small group of passionate flyers who were looking for like minded individuals.  The forums looks very much the same as when I first found it in 2000.  Some of the same people still post, some of them I count as my friends.  I still go to the forums for  travel advice. I go because many FlyerTalkers have the same travel habits that I possess,and partially because I know much of the advice is tried and true.  Like other brands FlyerTalk has joined the rest of the social web. While I follow their twitter stream, post pictures to the Flickr group and like them on Facebook,  I find most of the advice and knowledge is still active and alive on the forums.

Thanks to the folks who keep FlyerTalk well moderated, active, and fun place for me after all these years.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


The ninth month commences with greetings from my favorite petty and pretty tyrant.

Bring it on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Things about job hunting I learned from my dog Part 2

This is one in a series of blog posts I have been cogitating upon about job hunting... Please read 
the first post here

En attendant #tme

4. Get dressed every morning

We undress E every night before he goes to bed.  His harness and collar are taken off to air his belly  and reduce amount of noise when he shakes or scratches during the night. Every morning we put his collar and harness back on and get ready for his day. He loves his routine and very rarely strays from it - breakfast, walk, nap, walk, nap, run around, walk, dinner, walk, and bed.

After walking E and going to the gym in the morning,  I shower and get dressed in casual, but work appropriate clothing including shoes just as if I was going to my office, but with shorter and more pleasant commute.  I try to keep the same rituals as before, except for going out for coffee or listening to the radio while driving. It is easy to let these habits slide as you move away from the structure of a typical office environment.  I try to get all my job hunting, scholarly research and data analysis, and meeting coordination tasks done during a typical work day time frame. That way, I retain my work/life balance when TH gets home.

Have someone check your work

5. Have someone check your work

E's best friend Charlie often will pick up E's chew toys after E is done and chew on them a little more and vice versa. They optimize the chewing texture and consistency of each other's bones to bring out the best flavor. It is all in a days work for the hounds.

Find someone you trust to give you constructive feedback on your job application material. Even better would be someone who to carefully proofread for overlooked typos or grammatical mistakes or number transposition in your contact information.  After staring at your own writing  for three hours or three days, you start to miss the little things that a recruiter or hiring manager might pick up on the first glance. Another set of eyes can be a tremendous help. 

6. Stand apart from the pack

E has unusual markings for a basset hound.  Even better is that he will perform an impressive commando crawl around other humans when things don't go exactly his way. He will do this when have to move on from a riveting conversation, an adoration session or we're not taking the routing he desires on his walk.  It is nothing obnoxious or dangerous, in fact it is quite enchanting and charming. However, as the person who replaces his harness every few months, I am not as amused. It does make him memorable. 

I am not suggesting that you should start crawling on your belly or break into song at a networking event or job interview. However, you increase your chance of being remembered by presenting yourself in the best light. Be conversant in the topics of the day and listen to what others are saying, carry great looking business cards with your current contact information and remember to use them and be genuine. If you promise to follow up with someone, please do so. It will show that you have follow through and many will remember that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Things about job hunting I learned from my dog Part 1

This is one in a series of blog posts I have been cogitating upon about job hunting...

I spend a lot of time talking about my dog. Ernest is a pretty special basset hound. Many have remarked on him - his markings, his personality and his demeanor. We were very lucky to be picked by him. 

He has also taught me a lot about patience, tolerance in the pursuit of a new career path.  I have learned much from watching him interact with others to win over their hearts and their minds. 

daily walkies

1. Pick a path to follow, but be prepared to make adjustments. 

E goes for four walks a day. They are not long walks, they are very thorough walks - no blade of grass goes unsniffed and no phone pole goes dry.  He has a set pattern of walks he takes every day. However, at times something sends him off down another street, a scent or a lead.  Some times that street brings him to a new discovery or a new friend.  If not, we don't take that path again.

Job hunting is very much the same. We routinely set up job agents and check for results daily or weekly. If nothing interesting or compelling is being returned by these agents, if may be time to shake things up and  try something new.  Check out key words in new job listings that are pertinent to what you are looking for, it may be time to adjust your search to find new leads.

kissing babies

2. Network

Ernest walks so much not because he needs the exercise, but because he craves the attention of  his public. He loves meeting and greeting his old friends and making new friends when we explore new territory.  

Getting out there and networking is hard. Putting yourself up for public scrutiny and judgement can be painful when you are shy or out of practice. It takes time and courage to start networking. Start small, work on your small talk and your pitch (genuine) and soon people will be seeking you out.


3. Sit to greet

E infuriates me at times because he refuses to advance while walking because he sees another dog in the distance. In a way, this is good.  He recognizes something is coming our way and wants to meet and greet before moving on.  He does the right thing in doggie obedience training. He sits to greet and if the dog or owner is friendly, they sniff,wag and sometimes play. If he gets a bad vibe, he tends to move away and lets the dog move on without a lot of interaction. 

Do try and make an effort. Eye contact, a firm handshake, calling someone by their name, trying to introduce that person to others around you are all good ways of showing your interest in someone and you are being polite.  Don't be aloof, be respectful.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Disclosing what I think to be the obvious

This is my 1000th post. Gosh, where has time gone?


Lounging on the High Line, New York City, February 2012

I am on the job market. Some of you know may know this, some of you may not. I am actively looking for a position that uses my expertise project management along with social media analytics, engagement and and strategy. Finding a  position that capitalizes on my background in environmental sciences, my canny ability to network and bring people together, my love of data and innovation would be ideal.  I am however, completely open to other opportunities and markets. I love the idea of working for a startup, something I thought I would never say.

I look to self-help articles, social media, expert opinions, friends and networks for any information on how to best go about looking for a job. I am very appreciative of those who have listened to me, encouraged me and sent me leads. I cannot thank you enough.

I have a long way to go, but I am optimistic that something good will happen soon.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


We ate chocolate, poured our hearts into selling ourselves, watched a little boy explain that the moon is NOT MADE OF CHEESE, and laughed with a friend.

Great day with more to come.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Still life


I am done with my web optimization class.  It was not easy, but I learned a lot. I was going to take another class this quarter, but decided spending the rest of the summer working on my job search and writing a book chapter would be better.

I hope to spend at least one day a week writing and at one afternoon taking a nap.

I could use a nap.