Monday, November 12, 2012

10Xer and the fight against mediocrity

I'm reminded of a concept in Jim Collins' Great By Choice today.

My google search for 10Xers led me to this article, with an excellent closing statement:
On the one hand, 10Xers understand that they face continuous uncertainty and that they cannot control, and cannot accurately predict, significant aspects of the world around them. On the other hand, 10Xers reject the idea that forces outside their control or chance events will determine their results; they accept full responsibility for their own fate.

Inspired, I search for Jim Collins on Twitter. Although I don't find his account (he may not be socially connected here as he's busy touring the world to research content for upcoming great works) I find quote after wise quote:
The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change but rather, a chronic inconsistency.
(As tweeted by @MaryIrungu)

Its these little bits of learning that get me thru the daily grind. And become a fount of inspiration for the passionpreneur in me.

Temporary Bio

This was my bio on twitter yesterday...

"Not-yet-master baker. Online shopper. Theater dreamer. Introvert at heart. Extrovert for the job. Kinda dumb and comes with anger issues."

Me, in 160 characters (spaces included) or less.

It was the first time I'd put something under bio on that social medium, seriously, since I started tweeting ... last ... Jan 2012 (apparently not too long ago!). Not sure exactly what compelled me to put it in there but it felt like this sudden need to be able to identify myself.

I deleted it three hours later.

I realized putting myself in a box that way limits me. Yes, true that I am getting a groove on baking, but it's not the only thing I do in the kitchen. I make awesome pastas and entrees, too. Yes, true that I just bought a ton of stuff online, but that mostly because 1) lately I haven't been to the mall, and 2) browsing thru pretty and nifty kitchenware takes away my stress. Its the same as any other homemaker who calms down whenever she nears pots and pans in the department store. Yes, true I've always dreamed of being part of a theater production, as either a chorus member or a stagehand but it's been relegated to the backburner, revived only recently (as in, yesterday) by an ad for Miss Saigon auditions within the month.

But there is much more to me than these. These statements may represent me now, or over the weekend, or for a quarter or two but it doesn't seem right to limit me to these. I sing, I work too much, I'm obsessed with cable TV, I apparently like to decorate things, I enjoy writing the senseless ramblings of my brain, I used to run, I have never eaten dinuguan, ever, etc etc etc.

To be asked to describe yourself in 160 characters or less is insane.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Online Shopper


I'm Tippie, and I'm an online shopaholic.

Gah! Yes. I admit it! I'm into internet shopping. Surprise, surprise!

I have thus far bought:

1) my wedding gift of a friend
2) my baby shower/hello baby gift for a "new-mom" cousin
3) a food processor for miself
4) 5 Christmas lights
5) 2 ceramic frying pans
6) and 2 non-stick cookie sheets

To-date, only the wedding gift has been retrieved (and already given away). *tear*

Items 2 & 3 are arriving on the 29th, while 4, 5 and 6 get here on Friday.

I think I should stop with 6.

Please disconnect me from the world wide web of happiness...

But seriously, have you tried to shop online? It's actually very... soothing. Okay, fine, that's justification talking but really, there are tons of great deals online.

Take the soon-to-be-mine-but-already-paid-for food processor I got from I paid 1,500 bucks for it, when normally food processors cost 3k and up. How reliable is the brand? What brand? I don't know! It's not like I'm going to use it on a near daily basis for foodstuff. It'll be worked weekly, max, for the baking thing. It'll be fine! (Justification talking again.)

Then those ceramic frying pans I got for 730 and 480 (large and small, obv). Its home shopping advertisement prices them at 4,000 bucks! Granted they're sold as a set but who needs a set of 3 pans? I got two for less than the food processor. From where? And I only pay when the items are delivered. Not bad at all.

So yeah, there are risks in shopping online, but there are great deals and excellent buys, too. Not trying to turn anyone else into an online shopper like me but hey, shopping's just so much better with company, right?

LOTR vs GoT... Hello! No Contest!

I had this conversation once, with a friend, who asked me, as a fantasy sci-fi reader, which do I like better: Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones?

My adamant reaction was, how dare someone even ask that? Nothing compares to Tolkien. NOTHING! N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!!!

Wrong. Three months later, I figure it out and realize my answer should have been... nothing. LOTR is much too different from GoT, so much so that the only thing they do have in common is their section in the bookstore.

Plus the fact that I have not read a single book in the GoT series (even though I have two of 'em sitting and gathering dust in my library), I really had no right to even answer the question.

But first, let me explain my near-violent answer three months ago.

I am obviously a very righteous fan of Frodo and the great Hobbit adventure. I think I've read the books 3 times each on average. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the movies (the extended versions are part of my yearly Christmas break ritual). And The Hobbit was the very first technically adult fantasy novel I bought for myself and devoured whole. I've said hobbit one too many times in a paragraph, haven't I? Might be 'cause I'm EXCITED for the movie.

So yeah, I'm a fan. But more than being a fan, I've considered myself to be a believer, of the themes and ideas Tolkien wrote of in his masterful trilogy.

Back in the (when were they published) 1950s/60s, as industry boomed after the war, Tolkien knew Mother Nature would struggle under the steel wheels of mankind, so he wrote of the importance of trees and the forest, how everything is better with good tilled earth. Amazingly even, he wrote of nature fighting back. Ents gatecrashing Saruman's dilly-dallying is one of my favorite scenes in Two Towers. He was, essentially, one of the world's first environmentalists.

Tolkien was also one of the first to write in women as strong characters into his storyline. Sword wielding Eowyn. Serene, collected yet strong-willed Arwen. Awe-inspiring Galadriel. They all had their role to play in the road to free Middle Earth from the fear of the would-be wrath of Sauron. Arwen steers Aragorn to accepting his fate as King of Gondor. Galadriel gives Frodo the bottled light of Earendil which saves him from Shelob. And Eowyn destroys the Witchking of Angmar ("I am no man!", another favorite, this time from Return of the King).

And Tolkien's presentation of good and evil is as clear cut as it gets. You knew goblins, orcs, Sauron, the Balrog, the Ring Wraiths and the Urukhai were evil. And you knew elves and dwarves and hobbits and eagles and men were good. Black and white. Good had to conquer evil and there's no going around that.

That was my main argument to the question posted. I said, I find the notion of politics, intrigue, cheating and lying and not ever knowing who's on whose side, makes GoT blurry and complicated. Guess it's why it makes for a good series. Its a book per season, you know. So GoT fans who rely solely on the telly, you've got a long way to go.

Fast forward to today, and I look into the books I'm into now. Robert Jordan's Wheel Of Time blurs the lines of good and evil too, exploring the weakness of men (and women) to the temptations of power. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn explores cult formation and history manipulation, to rile the oppressed to fight or hide an unbearable truth from the general public. From my reading of Stromlight Archives B1P1, looks like Sanderson'll further delve into questioning what is right and what is wrong and peel back more layers to expose humanity for what it is.

Maybe its the trend of the new millennium. These are complicated times we're in. Nothing's as A or B as 20, 30 or 40 years ago. There's not just one road-not-taken here. The fork has morphed into a superhighway cloverleaf. Inasmuch as we'd like it to be, the world where Tolkien wrote his story is gone, replaced by this muddled sense of "hey, your own mother-in-law could be a serial killer". Okay, that may be too weird or extreme an example, but you get the point. Good isn't just simply good anymore. Good may be the president who calls in the explosion of an Afghan town that wipes it off the map in order to rid the world of the Al Qaida. Bad may be the corrupt police officer who just needs the extra money to pay for his son's school book photocopy. It's not as black/white clear cut anymore.

So, dear reader, people do turn over new leaves and sometimes eat their words. I honestly still prefer LOTR but I'm not going to put down GoT or any other budding fantaseries in the process of defending it.

Except maybe 50 Shades of NO WAY. But that's another entry for another day.

Been too long

 but tides' a-changing and its high time I steered mi boat into a brand new adventure.


Erm, no. Not quitting the job. As imperfect as it is, its still waaaay better off than most things.

Erm... no, nothing drastic's happening either in the realm of familia. And no change either in relationship status (to answer your awkward unasked Q).

One new thing is this entry. After a lull and a silence, I'm back to writing. Hope you don't mind all the other (howmanynumberof) posts here tonight. Its a writing spree, I tell you.

And I'm off!