Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Are you an Asker or a Guesser?

I read this article the other day and thought it was quite good ...

Are you an Asker or a Guesser?

By Oliver Burkeman

The advice of etiquette experts on dealing with unwanted invitations, or overly demanding requests for favours, has always been the same: just say no. That may have been a useless mantra in the war on drugs, but in the war on relatives who want to stay for a fortnight, or colleagues trying to get you to do their work, the manners guru Emily Post's formulation – "I'm afraid that won't be possible" – remains the gold standard. Excuses merely invite negotiation. The comic retort has its place (Peter Cook: "Oh dear, I find I'm watching television that night"), and I'm fond of the tautological non-explanation ("I can't, because I'm unable to"). But these are variations on a theme: the best way to say no is to say no. Then shut up.

This is a lesson we're unable to learn, however, judging by the scores of books promising to help us. The Power Of A Positive No, How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty, The Book Of No... Publishers, certainly, seem unable to refuse. (Two recent books addressing the topic are Marshall Goldsmith's Mojo, and Womenomics, by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay.) This is the "disease to please" – a phrase that doesn't make grammatical sense, but rhymes, giving it instant pop-psychology cachet. There are certainly profound issues here, of self-esteem, guilt etcetera. But it's also worth considering whether part of the problem doesn't originate in a simple misunderstanding between two types of people: Askers and Guessers.

This terminology comes from a brilliant web posting by Andrea Donderi that's achieved minor cult status online. We are raised, the theory runs, in one of two cultures. In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise– fully realising the answer may be no. In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid "putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept."

Neither's "wrong", but when an Asker meets a Guesser, unpleasantness results. An Asker won't think it's rude to request two weeks in your spare room, but a Guess culture person will hear it as presumptuous and resent the agony involved in saying no. Your boss, asking for a project to be finished early, may be an overdemanding boor – or just an Asker, who's assuming you might decline. If you're a Guesser, you'll hear it as an expectation. This is a spectrum, not a dichotomy, and it explains cross-cultural awkwardnesses, too: Brits and Americans get discombobulated doing business in Japan, because it's a Guess culture, yet experience Russians as rude, because they're diehard Askers.

Self-help seeks to make us all Askers, training us to both ask and refuse with relish; the mediation expert William Ury recommends memorising "anchor phrases" such as "that doesn't work for me". But Guessers can take solace in logic: in many social situations (though perhaps not at work) the very fact that you're receiving an anxiety-inducing request is proof the person asking is an Asker. He or she is half-expecting you'll say no, and has no inkling of the torture you're experiencing. So say no, and see what happens. Nothing will.

Do you know which one I am? :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Short update

Ok, now that you've pinched yourself and realized your NOT dreaming (it really IS a new post from me! - haha), I'll update you a bit.
My place is mostly set up. I just have my spare room to finish, but I don't really have any furniture to put in there, so my boxes of stuff I don't really know what to do with are sitting in there. I've been going through them all day today and needed a break so I thought I'd come say hi. Here are a few pics of my place:

Isn't it weird how small a room looks with no furniture in it ... it should be the other way around.

The kitchen!

The living room ... that's all you get for now. :)

It's been over 6 months now and I'm really liking not living out of a suitcase and thinking I'm going to have to move again soon ... yet I came from a family that never lived in one place for more than 5 years, so I don't really get too attached to a place, so I feel kinda bad when people ask me if I'm LOOOOOVING having my own place and I say, "Yeah, it's cool." I don't think I show the enthusiasm that most people expect. It's great, but it is what it is. A home ... for now. :)

In July I went to a wedding of a friend that I've known since Grade 5. It was so great to see her and our other bosom buddy as well. I love that our friendship has lasted all these years. Do we see each other often? No, but we can pick up where we left off and it's NEVER awkward. I love that and I love these beautiful women!
In August I got to see Mr. Buble again. It was a GREAT concert ... despite the fact that I didn't get him to sign the picture of him and I. :(

In September I went to my 20 year reunion ... I know ... I don't know how that's mathematically possible since I'm only 28. ;) And if you look closely at the picture below, you'll see I went to my reNunion, not my reunion. :)

I got to see my High School BFs again at the reunion. We are 3 very different people but I love that it never kept us from being such great friends.

There weren't as many there as we would've liked, but those of us that came had a GREAT time and promised we would get together in 5 years again instead of another 10.

In October I got to go to my "happy place" and watch Steve Nash play basketball in Vancouver. It feels like just yesterday that I played myself ... but I guess I let the cat out of the bag by telling you what I did in September that you know it wasn't just yesterday. :P

October brought my friend, Karen's birthday and when I asked her what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to go on a hike, so off we went to hike Elk Mountain.

It's a GREAT hike with a beautiful view at the top. I'm glad we did it when we did because I'm pretty sure there's a lot of snow up there now.

Now we're in November and what will that bring? Judging from the pictures I've just posted, I'm sure another hairdo will be in order ... man my hair changes quickly! I'm not sure what else it'll bring, but hopefully it won't be 6 months before I let you know. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Going Private!

Hey Everyone,

I know it's been FOREVER since I last posted, but buying a condo and moving in is a LOT of work!!! Fun work, but work none the less that keeps me away from blogging.

I've been toying with saying goodbye to my blog for good, but I think I'll give it a little more thought. If I do decide to continue, I do have to go private (explanation will come shortly), so if you want to be on my "safe" list, please send me a message with your email address and I'll add you to the list ... otherwise, if you're a lurker who doesn't want to "out" themselves, thank you for stopping by and peeking in on my life every once in awhile. It was a pleasure to be a small part of your day every so often. :)


Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy 50th Anniversary!!!

On March 18 my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I'm SO proud of them. The older I get, the more I realize how much hard work goes into a marriage. Yes, they've had difficult times, but they've also had great times and they managed to stay together and that deserves to be celebrated! Way to go, Mom & Dad. I love you lots!

Here's the poem I wrote for them:

What can I say
About 50 looooong years
There have been many good times
And yes, a few tears

It started at a roller rink
Out with some friends
Laughing and skating
But do you know how that night ends?

When they went to go home
Into the back seat they did climb
But when it came my Mom’s turn
Dad had thought ahead of time

“I’ll let the other girls get in first
But when Hilda goes to get in
I’ll throw the seat back
And let out a grin

She’ll have to sit right next to me
And we can talk all the way back to the farm
Oh, I do hope she likes me
And appreciates my charm”

Well, it obviously worked
And in South Abby church they did wed
They had 2 years of freedom
Before in moved a baby’s bed

Carolyn was the first
And Donnie was soon after
Their house was quickly filled
With the sound of children’s laughter

We stop to give pause
To the brother I never met
He is always in our hearts
We will never forget

Jodi came next
And I was the last
With my fiery red headed spirit
I was bound to be a blast!

We all had to adapt
Because we moved MANY times
I believe the count is at 22 in their 50 years
Now that’s gotta be a crime

But they like it, I’m not complaining
It’s obviously their decision
As long as my Dad gets to take
His big screen television

From BC to Manitoba
Then back to BC we did go
Now they’ve moved on to Alberta
Although for the Canucks Dad’s heart does still glow

I enjoyed our time in Manitoba
Living on all that land
Except during chore time
When I had to lend a hand

We had pigs to feed and grain to get in
And the cows needed hay
But it really was a great life
At the end of the day

I even got to attend
The same elementary school as my Dad
Not many kids can say that
And for that, I am glad

When we moved back to BC
Dad took up again in construction and Mom at the church
But Mom was only part time
So us girls were never in the lurch

She was always home to greet us
And to prepare a great meal
I know I didn’t fully appreciate it
But it really is a big deal

And Dad always worked so hard
To provide for his brood
To make us all happy
And never come unglued

We took many vacations
With the 5th wheel trailer we did go
Yellowstone, Disneyland and 100 mile house
Were all a stones throw

When you could pack up your trailer
And head down the road
With your kids and your dog
It was never a heavy load

In more recent years my parents have ventured
A little farther on the globe
New Zealand, Malaysia, the Panama Canal
Are new places they did probe

There are too many memories
To recall in this short rhyme
But I want them to know
As my parents, they are sublime

We honour them today
On this 50th year
So please raise your glasses
As we give them a cheer

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hockey game with my Dad

My parents came out to visit for the month of March. I had such a great time with them. I miss them already. My Dad and I decided to go to a Canu.cks game and although they lost, we had a great time. We decided to take the skytrain in and my Dad was like a little kid. He hadn't been on the skytrain for years and his head was whipping around trying to see every little thing. He had a story for every stop we made (he used to live, work and/or go to school at almost every place we stopped). One time I asked him a question and then he saw something else that he wanted to talk about so he started talking about that. After he finished, I said, "You didn't finish the other story," to which he said, "I can't be interrupted. I might miss something." So cute. I just pretty much sat back and let him talk and reminisce.

We ate at Whi.te Sp.ot inside GM Place and then we went to find our seats. My Dad went to the bathroom first and he was gone so long that I thought maybe he'd gotten lost. The players came out to do their warm up and I waited ... and waited ...

and waited ...

and waited ...

Finally I got up to go see if I could find him. You know where he was? In the store buying a jersey! It was the cutest thing. He's a little on the larger side and this jersey was quite snug, but he LOVED it and was so excited to buy it. I just smiled and told him the game was about to begin. This was the only picture we got together. I should've asked someone to take a picture for us, but I didn't think of it. Oh well. This one's fun, too.

We could see Fin down below.

Anyone remember this guy? It's Dan Murp.hy! My sister graduated with him and now he works for Sport.snet. Pretty cool to see him out there.
Let the game begin!

My favorite part of the game ended up being during the singing of the national anthem. They had a video going of the Canada team winning the gold medal game at the Olymp.ics and Luon.go and Cros.by getting their medals. The crowd went nuts when they showed it ... I don't even think they were listening to the anthem. :)

Luon.go had to stop the game because it looked like he had something stuck on his skate. Whatever he did to fix it didn't help because they ended up losing 5 - 2.

If you've watched the games on TV, you've most likely seen these guys in the crowd. If you google, "Green guys at Canu.cks games" you'll get some fun video clips and pictures. We had a good laugh about them.

And Luon.go got benched. Too bad. Can't win 'em all, right?

All of a sudden we heard this loud banging behind us. We turned around and there was Fin. He actually ended up coming over and putting his shark mouth over my Dad's head and stealing his cap. My Dad and I had a good laugh about that.

Thanks for hanging out with me, Dad. If you moved here we could do a lot more things like this together. ;)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Final Olympic days :(

On our last weekend of the Olympics, we went downtown both days. On Saturday we did a lot of walking and standing in lines. As we walked through Yale.town to get to the Socc.i House, there were people stopped at any store that had a TV in the window watching many different athletes win medals. It was a very fun atmosphere on the streets.

Looking across False Creek at Olympic Village. Remember seeing this flag on the news and in the newspapers?
Hmmm, I wonder which athletes were in those condos in the middle? ;)

All the many flags from around the world represented at the games. Very cool.

As you walked around the seawall towards what we know as Scien.ce World (which was transformed into the Soc.ci House - the Russian town where the next Olympics will be held), everyone was creating their own Inukshuk.

How many ways to you know how to say Welcome?

The flame isn't even snuffed out in Vancou.ver and the countdown begins to the next Olympics already.

Here's Ellen and I outside the "Socci House." This was the only day that I went downtown and it was a little rainy and chilly. I decided to make Ellen a rain slicker to keep dry. This picture of her and I also made it on her website.

I think she appreciated it.

Now, I'll admit that when our mascots first were announced, I didn't think too much of them, but over time, they grew on me. Wanna have your first look at the Soc.ci mascot? Hmmm, not too sure about this one. I think it makes our mascots look pretty cool.
Here's Ellen getting her last picture with BC Pl.ace (where the Opening and Closing ceremonies took place) and Canada Hockey House (or as we BC'ers like to call it, G.M Place) in the background. This is the 3rd and final picture that made it on her website. It was fun hanging out with you, Ellen. Until our next adventure ...

Outside the Molse.n Hockey House - it cost $100 to get in here and I don't think that included any food or drinks. You just got to possibly hobnob with some celebrities/hockey players.

I think this is supposed to be Luon.go.

The next day was the final day of the Olympics and we headed down early to get a spot at a nice restaurant in Yale.town, however, a few other people had the same idea. We split up and waited outside 3 fairly well known restaurants, but were turned away from all 3 of them. We happened to luck out and found a table for 3 in a quaint little place where we were instantly friends with everyone in the restaurant.
Elation and much cheering when the score was 1 - 0.
More excitement as Canada gets another goal!

A little more tense ...

Yes, Karen. I know how you feel. It was definitely hard to watch at times.
At this point I put my camera away because it was just too stressful. With 30 seconds left I remember thinking to myself, "Only 30 seconds and we can celebrate and all this stress will be over." No, that was not to be. With 24 seconds left, the US scored and tied the game. It was literally like the air was sucked out of the room. Everyone was deflated, scared and nervous.
Then, the good and honourable 22 year old, Sid.ney Cr.osby scored the winning goal to give Canada the gold medal! We were high fiving and hugging strangers. It was like we were all best friends and would be bonded for life. What an amazing (albeit stressful and scary) game.

I know this little guy was happy ... I have no idea who he is, but he was cute so he deserved a picture.

Call me a nerd for taking pictures of the TV, but I had to capture Sidney getting hid medal.

And how about that moment when our flag was raised. SOOOO much pride!

I know this is a terrible picture of the team, but I just had to put it in and say, "Way to go, boys!!!"

Then we filed out onto the street to celebrate with even more "friends."

I don't know if you saw the corner of Rob.son and Gran.ville on TV, but I was in the middle of it.

Lots of "whoo hooing" and "Oh Canada" being sung and air horns and cow bell.

And that, ladies and gentleman (if there are any gentleman who read my blog) was my experience at the 2010 Olymp.ics. It was SO much fun and it was sad to see them go. I have never been so proud to be Canadian. I think Vanc.ouver did an excellent job.

Socc.i in 2014, anyone? :)