Wednesday, June 9

*When Its Good Its Very Very Good But When Its Bad, Its Horrendous*

Today, with my peers, we attended the highly anticipated business seminar at the Jazz stadium. In my opinion, it couldn't possibly have started much better. Rudy Giuliani spoke on the importance of embracing the new technology revolution in order to be a success in business and life. He urged us to get iPods, iPads, Smart phones, Computers, use facebook, and twitter, and even get a higher degree online. He spoke of the importance of connecting with the world that exists around us. Giuliani stressed that this world has gone high-tech and us being bitter and standing belligerently against the tide makes us foolish. We should not be bragging about our ignorance, desperately clinging to the comfortable, choosing to embrace it our failure to evolve but rather have someone share their knowledge with us, and learn how this new frontier can enhance our lives and make our systems we have in place more efficient. There is no reason to allow ourselves to be intimidated by the new technologies as that is of no use to anyone. Giuliani politely disagreed with 'Bama and his recent remarks at Hampton University where he warned, "With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work," Obama said, "information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation." Giuliani expressed that though essentially all technology has the power to create good as well as damage society if allowed, that is no reason to cower in the face of this revolution and stand idly by as society marches past. He spoke of the importance of expanding our minds by all means possible and most impressively, he sold me on ebooks.

In the second part of his lecture, he suggested a few ways for us to expand ourselves. He shared that he is currently taking an Italian class online and suggested we try not only that but to continue our more traditional education, and to be voracious readers
. He recognized that there are those who currently aren't in the habit of reading and needed to learn to appreciate it and how it relaxes the mind. Simply by picking up a book on a topic that they are already passionate about until they are comfortable with regular reading time, and then to expand their reading selections to a variety of topics from there. In order to both enjoy reading and expand his mind, he shared his habit of always reading two books at once. One book is meant to teach him in some way and works educate and diversify his opinions while the other is simply a pleasurable read. As a result of this study, he has become literate on numerous topics and at the end of a long day, he looks forward to sitting down to take his personal time. Finally, he ended sharing the need to take our new found knowledge and listen to and debate people who have differing points of views in order to understand our world even better.

As the day progressed, I appreciated the remarkable opportunity to have the pleasure of listening to Zig Ziglar, John Walsh, Colin Powell, Mit Romney, Apolo Anton Ohno, Sarah Palin, (ok, she was a total moron when seen in person as she couldn't keep her thoughts straight wit a flatiron), and several others regional characters. Though a half dozen of the sessions were fun, inspiring, and thought provoking, a few were more in line with the late night slap chop/ sham wow characters or America's newest sweetheart, Tina Fey. I tried desperately to remember that the reason we were able to have all of these leaders fly out to speak to us is because someone has made this a profitable venture and could afford to pay them for an appearance. Though cerebrally I got it, there were a few who squeezed the life out of the chance to do just that and came within an inch of my sharp mental obliteration technique.

Bob Patelle was the most adamant opportunist of the presenters. Mid way through his seminar, he shifted us all into the land of late night television testimonials and pitched us all real good. Rather than discuss principles, he shared his website, rather than share knowledge, he praised his free lunch session between breaks, and rather than expand our interests, he hocked his courses which were not $3999, not $2999, not $599, and no not $399 but if you were one of the schmucks who is lead by loud music, a booming voice, and a quarter pound of charm, you could get his courses for the special one time offer of $99 !! Just because he wants to help you out and because he connected so deeply with this audience, he is going to send each of those lucky drones home with a free trial offer of his website, a free trial of his newsletter, a free coaching session with his "talented" life and financial coaches, and a TWO DAY ONCE IN A LIFETIME SEMINAR
with him and his team in the upcoming months at a hotel near you!

Well, now is the time to take a deep breath shake it off, take just a moment, and then do as my newest buddy Giuliani suggested... take in all of the information possible-including likely morons whose point of view actually might have lowered my already tenuous IQ, and then filter the good from the bad keeping only the true gems. Oh, and its a good thing he suggested we have a sense of humor about life, so rather than be shocked and offended that a "cutie" basketball mom - sorry I might have liked her when she claimed hockey, but as politicians are chameleons in public she tried out a different persona today. Anyhow, though I'm an ardent opponent to the current administration, I find it shocking as this lady with the "precious" voice and perfectly teased hair who seemed completely ADD and incoherent was nearly the Vice President of this lovely country, I have Tina Fey to make horrendous encounters of this kind a bit more delightful in hindsight.

Thank you all and as Tina would say.... Have a good night New York!

Monday, June 7

*Eloise at the Plaza*

Well fine, perhaps I am not Eloise and rather than the Plaza I'm staying at a lovely downtown Marriott, but I do still love the idea of taking full advantage of a hotel stay. Tomorrow afternoon, I work in Salt Lake and wont be returning home until roughly 7 PM. Though this seems reasonable, I have to be back up there the next morning at 6:30 AM for a huge event at the Delta center with thousands of people to listen to a leadership seminar given by the likes of Zig Ziegler, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Mit Romney, General Colon Powell and several more. Realistically speaking this means that the traffic will be horrendous, the parking would be impossible, and the stress of doing all of this with my peers as well as my District Manager and my Regional Manager present makes my eye twitch. So, not one to drive an hour and a half in the morning while battling deadlines, traffic, and peer pressure, I decided to chose easy. I used one of Brian's gift cards and got a hotel suite three blocks away from the event. Now rather than the drama, I have scheduled to have a girls night of shopping and fun downtown, a plush robe for a lovely bath, breakfast in bed, a wake up call and then a leisurely stroll to the arena. Now fingers crossed that it works out that these best laid plans are worth the extra few hours of sleep and some self inflicted pampering.

Evidence that Brian and I have actually successfully relaxed in the past. Hopefully we will have a repeat performance.

*update* the girls cancelled on me so I shopped alone, I ended up at dinner with some of the out of town managers and sat next to my DM trying to make conversation that would not result in her rolling her eyes in my direction, oh, and the demons who had the room next to mine at the hotel had their TV blaring until past 3 AM and held the social event of the season in the hallway directly in front of my room when mercifully around 3:30 or so, I was able to drown out the din with Celtic chants from my iPod. Looking on the bright side, at least room service woke me from my near coma-esque state with eggs benedict at 6:09 so I was able to make it to the stadium a full hour before anyone other than my work buddies showed up. At least we got to pick our seats, eh?