23 May 2006

Cows in the street

India continues to be a frenetic and interesting place.  On my way to work every morning I pass the cows browsing in the trash on the side of the road.  We narrowly avoid being pummeled by lorries and cabs, and pass the bicycles and pedestrians with just a hairs breadth of room.  I have tremendous respect for anyone who can drive in this city; our driver is amazing!

Last night was a small moment of downtime (at about 10pm, mind you) where I was able to enjoy some quiet conversation in nice restaurant watching the skyline across the lake.  In the day time it looks pretty swampy and you can't miss the shanty-towns, garbage, and chaos.  But at night, the skyline looks peaceful and pretty.  It reminded me a little of dinner at Salty's on Alki.

Though tired I am, the luxurious opulence that is my life at home is missed. Sometimes as a stink in my nostrils, other times with sadness and longing.  Disparity is a constant friend.

Oddly enough, I don't mind the food.  Perhaps maturity is upon me at last?  Say it isn't so.

15 May 2006

Make It Do What It Do, Baby

One thing you can say for sure about overseas hotels is that when they do something, they generally do it right.  An example of this is the way they use your card key to keep the lights on while you are in the room.

If you've never been in a European-style hotel they have a slot on the wall inside the door of your room next to the light switch. When you walk in the room, you put your card key into the slot and leave it there. This activates the lights and whatnot automatically. There are many reasons why this is cool.

 - It saves energy because when you leave and take your card with you, the lights can all go out no motion sensors needed.

-  When you are getting ready to leave, your card key is always in the same place, so it's harder to forget.

- When you leave the room, it turns on a signal so that the staff knows you've left your room.  This way there is no annoying knock from housekeeping at "Oh-Heavens-It's-Way-To-Early" in the morning if you forget to put the Do-Not-Disturb sign out.

- There are handy indicator buttons that light up inside and outside so that you can tell in a glance if your room is in Do-Not-Disturb mode or not and adjust accordingly.  This is great if like me, you head to the gym first thing in the morning and don't want someone in your cleaning before you get back.

It sounds trivial, but this kind of sound thinking is way overdue for the US market.  As someone who travels full-time, you learn how valuable the little things are pretty fast.

13 May 2006

India is Far Away

Eight hour lay-overs suck.  Even if they are in cool Business Class Lounges with amenities and whatnot.  Trying to stay awake after 18 hours of flying is tough.  I did get to walk around buy some presents and stuff.  Ready to find a bed and crash.

Happy Mom's Day you guys.

07 May 2006

The Vegas Quotes from Day One

Steve: Vegas, baby.
Joshu: I'm in love man.  In love.
Geniveve: She doesn't really drink.  I don't think she has sex. What is she thinking?
Lane: We're going to the jacuzzi at 4 in the morning.
Joshu: I'm drawing you a bath.  You are getting in the bath.
Steve: We are getting boy-band status tonight.
Joshu: I'm spooning you until you come down with us. And I'm just going to keep saying spoon so you know what's happening.
Steve: You are a pessimistic guy.  But that's beside the point.
Geniveve: Prague girls are hot.  I almost went lesbian for just a minute. I mean hot.
Lane: You are obsessing over this girl and we all just say 'F'-that.  And we mean it both ways.

03 May 2006

Men of Film

By way of adding some more fuel to The Problem with Men, you should check out the newest study from USC about the portrayal of men in movies.  Evidently men are mostly "casanova's, criminals, or clowns".  If we are teaching our children so much through movies is it any wonder we are seeing the repurcussions now?  We see evidence of this decay all around us.

We already know that women are supposedly under-represented in G-rated movies, because See Jane told us so.  According to that study, in G-rated movies the characters are inordinately male.  Which may very well be true.  Of course, being skeptical I ran my own little test.  I used a quick formula to assign male, female, or both to each major Disney film release since 1937.  The ratio was closer to 53% male, 47% female, but I digress.

In the end, my point is that sure movies teach us things.  We find things humorous and entertaining which won't always mirror our value systems.  Does this mean we have some systemic problem we have to rush out to counter?  I say, boo.

If the values of the majority mirrored your own, then you could expect popular theater and culture to reflect that.  Since it doesn't, don't be surprised.  You want to change that?  Don't treat the symptom, address the disease.

02 May 2006

The Irony of the Orgasm

Handling a paradox can be hard.  When I review employees one of the key metrics for maturity is their ability to deal with juxtaposed objectives.  In listening to my friends (and in my own experience) I find that the ability to manage conflicting goals is essential to success in more than just business.  Okay, so there are many skills that bear that trademark, I'm writing now about one of the less-obvious ones.

In sex and love, just like in the workplace, you are continually challenged to collate a conflicting checklists of desires.  Your boss wants to get as much work out of you, while paying as little as possible.  Your lover wants to satisfy you but also has desires.  You want to have a career you enjoy and get paid for, while keeping your life and relationships a priority.  In a healthy relationship, the desire to satisfy your counterpart is comingled with the necessity to allow your counterpart to satisfy you.  Simply put, somethings you do for them, other things they do for you.

Even in the not-so-healthy case (such as mine), where the desire of one party is only to serve the needs of the other, an insidious balance is struck.  It can sound like the perfect relationship; the servant with a place to serve, the served having needs met steadfastly.  An accord in situations like this are fragile at best.  As humans we are creatures of need and our actions however independently appearing are the outward expression of that need.

When you stay late at work to meet a deadline for your boss, when you spend your hard-earned money on flowers (that will be wilted and gone in a day) for your lover, when you sit through an endless baseball game for your counterpart, or when you take the outside spoon.  Sure you are doing something for them.  But you are also doing it for you.  For the raise, for the smile, for the quiet evening, for the kids, for that special funny face of pleasure/pain that only you get to see, for your deity, for a bazillion little reasons.

I wonder if the partner who handles paradox in the boardroom with grace, does likewise in bedroom?  If someone can handle the Irony of the Orgasm, shouldn't they also be able to do the Priorities Shuffle?  Sometimes I think yes, but often times I realize the opposite is frequently true as well.  Like a bodybuilder who can't balance a checkbook or a mathematician who doesn't dance.  They go together so well (caloric intake = bank account, music = math, keep up folks!), and yet it is so easy to over-compensate in the mix.  Almost as if the control required to keep the plates circling in one ring of the circus must be offset by a loss of control in yet another ring.  Sometimes those rings are clearly antithetical, other times seemingly the same.  We run back and forth spinning plates madly for one show, and dashing them to the ground for another.  Sometimes we just want to get off, other times we want to get someone else off.  (I'm talking about the Ride of Life, you dirty-minded reader!)

Methinks it is this control that belies the rub.  Everyone needs to lose control, if even in a small way. For each of use that takes a different form.  It can even take different forms for the same person in different relationships.  If you've been giving, your balance is the take.  If your rut is in taking, your loss would be the give.

When did you last lose control?  And how long since you've given it away?  When's the last time you used your tongue?  When's the last time you let someone else use theirs? (I meant for talking, you horn-dogs! Well, for everyone except you, Jan. ;-) )