Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The Art of Finger Pointing

I have never seen such a display of chronic finger-pointing. I guess we learn this skill as children, and it just stays with us. There are reasons why I'm leaving this place, and I am counting down the minutes until end-of-day-Friday. This place is operating like a time bomb. Everyone is constantly scrambling around, trying to get things done with a skeleton crew -- under budget! On time (if not early)! Faster! Better! Cheaper!... People are running out of steam. People are freaking out. People are not thinking, they're just doing. And it's all about to fall apart.

We all know how it works here at the Base... if you leave, the minute you walk out the door, EVERYTHING that goes wrong is YOUR FAULT. And it's already starting. Everyone conveniently forgets the times you raised your hand and told everyone in a meeting that you didn't agree with the direction of the project... everyone forgets that you raised hell about being asked to produce something that is needed IMMEDIATELY and not having the time to perform the (buzzword warning ) DUE DILLIGENCE required to do the job the RIGHT way. THESE are the things people forget. People also seem to forget that our clients are not idiots -- they're smart people. And if you lead them on long enough, if you pretend to know what you're doing and give them all smoke and mirrors... they'll come around one day and realize that they're getting screwed. I hope this bomb drops after I leave, because I really hate to see a grown man cry.

So this week has been a complete emotional rollercoaster for me. I've felt every emotion known to man -- all the lows and all the highs this week. A friend of mine pointed out yesterday that the lows REALLY make you appreciate the highs. Don't think I'm manic or anything -- it's just been a very interesting week in the Life of Lauri.

Random thoughts:
I'm reading a book right now that I want to discuss with someone and it's driving me crazy!
Touch people. Everyone deserves a smile.
Don't label people. If someone is fat, stupid, smelly, and ugly -- he or she is always so much more than those labels can ever communicate.
Family is everything.
True friends are rare finds.
Turns out my limb was stronger and more reliable than I thought.

I've got to get back to work. And I'm just thrilled about that.

posted at 3:15 PM

Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, concerns.
I really appreciate it!

posted at 9:24 AM

Make sure the limb is a strong one before you step out onto it.

"That's the secret to life... replace one worry with another..."
-- Charlie Brown

posted at 9:04 AM

Monday, April 28, 2003

Monday, Monday...

This weekend seemed really LONG to me, which is a good thing.

Went to dinner on Friday night with the Lindley's, then tried to watch an old movie with Jim. I don't remember the name of it. I fell asleep. I was tired.

On Saturday morning, I did a little shopping, treated myself to a manicure and pedicure. (By the way...I, the conspiracy theorist, believe that Nail Focus is an underground heroin trafficking operation. I could explain more, but you would think I'm more of a freak than you do now. Just trust me on this one.) I'm always amazed at the number of men who are there getting manicures and/or pedicures. I think that is great. All women like men whose hands and feet are "neat" and well manicured. You've got to respect a man who can walk into an estrogen infested place like that to get a mani/pedi.

Saturday afternoon, the weather was delightful. April and I spent the day (and some of the evening) drinking some cervezas on the Ramirez patio by the pool at their crawfish boil extravaganza. What a day. Nice view, too. ;) One day I will muster up the confidence to actually TALK to a handsome, single man at a mutual friend's home. Until then, I'll just continue to enjoy the view and the Me Time.

I spent Sunday morning doing laundry and cleaning my apartment. How can one person make such a mess? And how many times a day do I change clothes? I digress... Played golf with Jonathan at LB Houston Sunday afternoon. You've got to love that course, especially the gun firing range which seems to border every hole on the course... That's what you call a "master planned" course. I have no idea how many balls I lost, I quit counting after 5, and there's not that much water on this course -- I spent most of my afternoon in the trees, as usual, becoming one with nature, whaling my club against a tree out of frustration... you know, my usual "game". (Note -- I would never hurt a tree. I hug them.)

Let the transition begin. Handing off work this week. Feels good.

That's it for now. Please keep my mom in your prayers today -- she's having tests this morning because of a spot that doctors found on her lung last week.

posted at 10:58 AM

Friday, April 25, 2003

Good morning.

Don't ever succumb to the peer pressure of eating the fake cheese at Fuddruckers.

posted at 9:13 AM

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Today was the best lunch ever. Me and my boyz. We couldn't resist.

posted at 1:16 PM


Last weekend, Emma, my beautiful 3 year old niece played quietly in the bathroom for about 30 minutes at the sink standing on her cousin's "this little stool is mine" stool. Looking at herself in the mirror, talking to herself, playing in the water, singing, combing her hair. She's adorable. But she broke my watch. It was laying on the counter. And I need a new one.

What's new in the watch market?

posted at 8:35 AM

The Perfect Storm
Last night I was laying on my couch (surprise, surprise) watching The Daily Show (hosted by the Justin look-alike), and my vertical blinds started swaying back and forth... I didn't have the AC on, or a fan, and there are no ghosts in this particular unit... it was the wind outside causing a ruckus inside my apartment! So I sat on my porch and enjoyed it with a good book. I saw on the news that the winds got up to 110 mph. The sky was awesome -- the lightning never stopped, and the rain would go from pouring straight down to completely sideways. Storms like this have always amazed and intrigued me, probably because my dad's mother was killed by lightening when he was only about 2 months old.

I must also admit that last night, because I was so exhausted, I pried my butt off the couch only because my TV quit working.

Seems that my resignation has also caused quite a bit of movement here at the Base. People are making statements, asking questions, getting all worked up over "how things ought to be"... I like it! And for some reason, everyone wants to ask ME how things could be done differently (faster, better, cheaper -- another buzz phrase that we've neglected to list this week.) I'm the resident "be frank with me" girl for the next 7 days. Just ask away... I think this place could be a great place to work. I hope so for my friends who are very talented, smart people... I'm going to miss them so much.

posted at 8:12 AM

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Must be a full moon...

That's what my mom always says when things are all falling apart, going crazy, etc. Things are falling apart for Jonathan, and with everything going on in my life right now, I want to jump out of my skin.

posted at 6:15 PM

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Quarterly Meeting Buzzwords (and Phrases)

ramp up time
piece of business, creative piece, commercial collateral piece
bottom of the bucket
top of the bucket
dialogue about it
"at the end of the day".... this one was used several times
and the best one today: ONBOARDING (thanks, Jim!)

I'm a short timer and I'm here at 7:18 pm.

posted at 7:18 PM

JH is the buzz word rockstar this week!

Due Dilligence.


posted at 1:24 PM

Short Timer

8 1/2 days to go. I have so many things to do... but have been searching all morning for the drive to complete them. My mind is at rest for the first time in a long time. Well... that's not true. The part of my mind that is usually focused and over-burdened with work stuff is at rest. The rest of my mind is as crazy as it always was. Perhaps I need medication. Nah... it's not like I could remember to take it anyway.

I keep getting these little glimpses into the understanding that life is very short, and very precious. Good or bad, tell people how you feel about them. Smile at people. And don't hurt those you really love.

I'm tired again today. I'm pooped.

Still wondering about the origin of the phrase "soup to nuts" . Does anyone know?

Happy birthday to Holly yesterday. XO

posted at 1:03 PM

Monday, April 21, 2003

I live in the Twilight Zone

I feel very weird. Kind of numb. I resigned from my job today... to start going to a new job in two weeks. Part of me feels extremely relieved, and part of me has no idea what I'm doing. I don't hate my current company. It would actually make me feel better about the decision if I did, but I love the people I work with, these are my FRIENDS. Oh well. I'll cope. If they're my REAL FRIENDS (they're all reading this), then they'll not forget me when I leave. People who really know me know that I'm not a risk taker. Until today! Whoo hoooo! Bring me more risks! Let me have them! Maybe I'll actually sleep tonight.

So my sister and aunt spent the weekend putting together scrapbook pages. My God I hope that my site doesn't come up everytime someone types that into google. I digress... Considering my addictive personality, I thought I should stay away... but I got sucked in. 18 pages later, I've almost got a book. And a MIGHTY FINE book, I must say! (Insert Manny voice here.)

Other than the "scrapping", as they say... it was a good Easter. Spent time with my family Thursday through Saturday. Then went to an Easter celebration at my church Saturday night (I've got a HOPPIN' social life, I know.) Got to spend the evening looking at a very attractive son-of-my-priest. Whoa. Whew. End of that story.

On Sunday, I enjoyed the weather, along with everyone else within 100 miles of the DFW area. It just doesn't get better than that. It should be against the law to work indoors (especially without a window) when the weather is great like that. When I rule the world...

JH gave me a new buzzword today that I forgot -- SANITY CHECK. Man that's REALLY a good one. MIGHTY FINE BUZZWORD YOU GOT THERE!

I'm out. I've got to write a letter to tell people that I won't be coming in after two weeks is up. Inhale.... exhale....

posted at 6:11 PM

Thursday, April 17, 2003

I recorded the following buzz words in a meeting today from 1:30 - 3:00 pm.

on par
united front
team barometer
dialogue, dialoguing (i'm not sure how to spell that one.)
equity pyramid
leadership science
point of differentiation
point of parity
value perception
holistic program
halo to rest of brand, haloing effect
increase penetration
point of difference
launch and leave
moment of truth
reframe the category
loyalty program
action item
revenue stretch goal
generate ideas against that
idea generation
account service model
ideation session
agency report card
roles and responsibilities schematics
actionable ideas

I also recorded the following ACRONYMS that were used in today's meeting:

For a newcomer, that's an entirely new language to learn, and a lot of acronyms to keep up with! Whew!

posted at 3:37 PM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Prospecting Methodology and Modeling
Career Laddering
Client "reportcard"
Kick Off
action points and agreements

low hanging fruit
resource planning
heads up
smart goal

posted at 2:19 PM

I just can't take it anymore. Now, even when my boss tells me, "good morning, LB!" I'm waiting for a buzz word. You know, it's not so much a buzz word that irritates me, it's the buzz phrases. Jonathan and I discussed this last night, and he reminded me of the best one ever! "Let's take this conversation offline." What the hell does THAT mean???? It's not like you're discussing something in a conference room ONLINE. Last I checked, there's generally not anyone sitting with his or her laptop open surfing the net in my meetings. Maybe they are, and I just don't realize it...OR... maybe people are using those fancy schmancy wireless PDAs or whatever they're called and I just don't realize it! It's all a scam! Everyone is online but me! And every subsequent conversation AFTER every meeting is "offline". You know, if the meeting attendees were using a PHONE in the meeting it might make more sense... but they're not.

Okay, that's all the ranting I'm going to do on that subject. I have, however, decided to keep a list of these words and phrases as I hear them throughout the day here at the Base. I need a distraction, and this seems like a good one.

I'm extremely tired today for some reason, and not feeling 100%. Have you ever driven to work... and when you arrived, you don't remember the trip? "How did I get here?"

It seems as if I do more ranting than reflecting in this blog.
I'm channeling positive energy right now...

posted at 9:15 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end."
- Margaret Thatcher, in Observer April 4, 1989

If there is one thing that I know about myself to be true and real -- it is that I am the most impatient person in the world. The Waiting Game is killing me.

posted at 12:55 PM

Monday, April 14, 2003

Also. I had no idea that being hit by your own golf ball is a two stroke penalty.
Thank God I've never really read the rules of the game. I hate when I pick up tidbits of information like this, it's hell on my conscience.
I'll just continue to not keep score and enjoy the good holes.

posted at 10:54 AM

What a weekend... I think the weather dictates what kind of mood I will be in when I wake up in the morning. But I'm not the only one -- the weather affects all of us. It affects the circulatory system, mortality rates, human behavior... I've read that if the temperature rises very quickly, people tend to take aggressive actions that they normally would not take.

For me, it makes me want to shop. And that's exactly what I did this weekend. Julie and I enjoyed the weather so much on Saturday that we drove around looking for signs pointing us to estate sales, garage sales, yard sales... we didn't buy anything but it was fun looking at other people's junk at the yard sales. This weekend marked my first ESTATE SALE experience. I must admit, this was quite depressing. I can't describe how I felt walking through this recently deceased woman's home... every posession of hers was laid out with a sticker on it, a price. Everything from paintings and furniture to hairbrushes and silverware... I can't explain why it bothered me so much. I guess I imagined that one day strangers might file into my home and walk through it...all of my crap with tiny little price tags on it, haggling over how much my antique bedroom furniture is worth, or how much to pay for my shoes or clothes or fingernail polish! Makes me crazy. My sister has a painting hanging in her kitchen that I love -- "The best things in life aren't things". I guess that's what estate sales are all about -- selling the things that those family members left behind have determined as "just things".

Enough about that. The rest of the weekend involved cooking, eating, sleeping, and reading. I bought two more books this weekend, so now I have about 4 going right now. I really am the biggest dork in the world. But that's okay. I like me.

This week is Holy Week. For me, this is the end of Lent, the season of self-examination and meditation, patience and sacrifice. The end of this week will start a season of peace and celebration. And, most importantly, I can start eating fast food again. ;) Mmmmm... Chic-fil-A...


posted at 10:32 AM

Saturday, April 12, 2003



posted at 10:09 AM

Today is my perfect weather day. I know it will only last a few weeks, so I need to get out and make the best of it. This is the first weekend in a while that I have absolutely nothing that I HAVE to do... and doing nothing sounds like a pretty good idea.

We'll see. There are a million things running through my head right now. Perhaps I'll spend the day with them and figure it all out.

posted at 10:08 AM

Friday, April 11, 2003

I love Friday.

I am feeling the pain, the Whirleyball hangover. I learned a lot yesterday -- I'm a passer, not a shooter; men are like children when playing sports; there's really not a vehicle on the planet that I should be granted the privilege of driving.

It feels really stupid to talk about golf in my Golf Girl blog, but this is going to be a GREAT weekend to play. I have two goals this year -- to correct my grip and learn how to use those irons that are currently not even in my bag but standing in my apartment ready to defend me if anyone breaks in and tries to get me! I've got to get another 8 iron. I used it to break up all the ice on the sidewalk outside my apartment during "THE FREEZE" and realized last week that it's really all jacked up now.

I like guys who say all the right things.

posted at 10:02 AM

Thursday, April 10, 2003

I saw a banner ad this morning.... "What would your family do if you died?" What is that all about? While we're on this subject, why do I get paid to help in creating banner ad campaigns for companies when there's nothing I hate more than BANNER ADS on web sites? I've determined that my life is a conflict of interest. I've got to do something about that.

You know what I like more than banner ads? MARTYRS in the workplace. I like those almost as much as I like "buzz words".
"We really need to go after the LOW HANGING FRUIT for this PIECE OF BUSINESS."
"What I'm looking for this year is ORGANIC GROWTH of our business, so let's have a DIALOGUE around that."
"Let's take a SYNERGISTIC approach to looking at this NEW BIZ OPP!"

Really, what's worse is people who throw around terms that they don't even know the meaning of... to make themselves sound smart. I want to be "DEFINE THAT" girl at the office. In any given meeting, I can shout "DEFINE THAT!" when someone uses a term that (clearly) they don't understand. Perhaps I could use "WORD ORIGIN!" or "ROOT WORD!" or "PLEASE USE THAT IN A SENTENCE!"

I have got to get the rules book for the game.

posted at 10:38 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Just got this in an e-mail.
Jonathan has requested that I post it.
War humor. I wonder if that's one of George Carlin's oxymorons...

"If Saddam loses a leg but survives, how pissed will his body doubles be?"

posted at 3:20 PM

Getting prettier.... GETTING PRETTIER!
Thanks, Jonathan.

I hate "Corporate America". I even hate those words, that name. Most of all I hate the game. Some people play it really well, but I'm just not going to do it. Mainly because watching those people play the game makes me want to vomit.

Looks like we've moved into Baghdad. That's all I've got to say about that. If you need to hear more, turn on your tv, radio, cell phone, PDA, check your e-mail, or look for smoke signals.

While I'm in such a negative mood today, I think I'll comment on how freakin' cold it is outside. What the...? I need warmth. Lots of it.

I'm channeling positive energy into my body from my new flavored water drink of the week. It's got all kinds of goodies in it. Sure to make me a better person. :)

posted at 9:32 AM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

My goodness we all have a blog now.
(Translation: now that I'm enlisted, everything is complete.)

I'm trying to discern exactly what should be entered into the blog. Who sees it?
The Life of Lauri really is quite interesting, isn't it?

Jonathan, why is mine so ugly? LOL

posted at 3:18 PM