Best Work Perk

[ Reminder: our new Blog Challenge, now that it’s red carpet season, is to blog about “best-of” experiences. ]

Working at a university means there’s always something going on. (I feel like I’m writing an admission brochure—but it’s true, guys. It’s all always true…)
So today I’m giving the award for Best Work Perk.

And the Envelope Please…

I don’t have a concise descriptor for this winner…so we’ll call it “random cultural / intellectual / amusing happenings that are part of an otherwise typical workday.”

Today, for example, is Chinese New Year (Happy Year of the Dragon, errrvrybody!), which means it’s time for a traditional dragon dance in the Commons (why not?)…

Here’s a favorite shot from a couple of years ago that perfectly captures the randomness of moments like these:

Don't look now...but there's a dragon behind you.

(Mandy from the web office & I giggled about this photo for days. Still gets me.)

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When my brother went off to college, the internet was barely a thing. My friend Jessica & I would spend hours playing SLINGO and chatting on AOL messenger…but there was no youtube and there were no memes. The olden days. We played kick-the-can, etc. But I do remember one little soundbite I’d found online then (How? Napster maybe?) that I found particularly hilarious.

It was Chef from South Park telling the kids not to do drugs. (Remember Chef?! Ah, the olden days…) His advice:

“There’s a time and a place for everything: it’s called college. Do you understand?”

I can still hear Chef’s voice in my head, 10+ years later. Wow, internet. Look what you’ve done to me… But it’s true! (In the broader, non-drugs sense, naturally.) College is where it’s at! And I get to work here!! And I frequently get to soak up the goodness that college life has to offer. Like Chinese dragons at lunch. And convo lectures. And Physics Club gravity tests (launching old tech equipment off a dorm roof. For fun!).

I hear another voice in my head now. This time, it’s Charles Taylor, VP for Academic Affairs, and while he typically says this via email, I can still hear him:

“Nice work if you can get it.”

Yes, folks, I just managed to quote a South Park episode and CAT’s emailed wisdom in one blog post. I can see the world from a variety of perspectives! Liberal Arts education at its finest!! Did I mention we were founded in 1873?

All this Drury-love on a Monday, no less. This post deserves an A-list after-party…

Best New Obsession: SHERLOCK

[ Reminder: our new Blog Challenge, now that it's red carpet season, is to blog about "best-of" experiences. At least 2 / week. Let's do this. ]

And The Envelope Please…
Best New Obsession

I love letting myself get obsessed. I’m talking about new TV in this case, but let’s face it: I just love loving things. I love loving things harddd. (I love loving absurd things, like new gum flavors or Maroon 5 songs. I love loving important things, like the idea of justice or Tina Fey. I love loving love. Geeky love. I used to doodle boys’ names on my folders in code… I’m that girl.)

But in particular I love, but love, some new TV—especially when it’s shared with friends. (The Office, The Wire, America’s Next Top Model…some of my best TV memories have been shared with TV-friendly friends.)

And now, the winner is:

SHERLOCK

Sherlock is my Holmes-boy...

I’d heard rave reviews from a couple of pro-TV pals, but hadn’t decided to don my thinking-cap and finally watch it until Matt convinced me to give it a go over the long weekend. (Such a good influence!) By Monday, we’d finished Season 1.

<Stefon moment> If you love detective dramadies, England, classic literature, cute boys, or really just anything good, then SHERLOCK is for you! This BBC update has got it all: Clever tete-a-tete. Dudes in suits. Modern London. Mystery. Puzzles. Tim Canterbury from The Office (UK). </ Stefon>

Plus Sherlock. Just, Sherlock, you guys. Played by Benedict Cumberbatch—which, come on, is an “improv British name” if I’ve ever heard one. Give that guy a pair of Ray-Bans & essentially you’ve got my perfect man: tall, trim, brown-haired, well-tailored, lovably snide, bookish, brilliant, British. (…so, basically, what I’m saying is, my boyfriend + an accent? Yay for me!) I do have a type, and it is very close to Sherlock Holmes…the asexual crime-solver…who doesn’t exist… (Somebody please call my therapist.)

This show. (THIS SHOW!) Season 1 is on Netflix. Drop everything, guys. (And plan to drop it for a while…the three episodes are 90 minutes each, so really it’s more like a series of movies in production value and time invested. But so, so worth it.)

After we finished Season 2 Ep 1 last night, I was so pumped. For one thing, I’d figured it out. Yes, that’s a big deal to me. For another thing, it was suuuper sexy, you guys! Sherlockin’ it downnnn. (I mean, geeky sexy. “Brainy is the new sexy,” like Sherlock said. Mmmm.)

I told Matt: Well, let’s call it quits on TV. Mankind needs to find a new medium now. We’re done. Nothing will ever, ever be that good again. Ever.

(It’s that good.)

Throughout Season 1 (aka last weekend) I kept thinking how there should be a Sherlock + Great Mouse Detective meme of some sort, so similar are the character dynamics and quirks, and I love OH HOW I LOVE that some people have gotten there first… If you haven’t watched, just know this is perfect:

^ Moriarty | Ratigan ∨

♫ The world's greatest criminal mind(s) ♫

These villains are startlingly similar. (I mean, can’t you just hear Moriarty saying “I love it when I’m nasty!!” just like Vincent Price as Ratigan?) Confession: I loved me some Ratigan when I was a kid. And I love Moriarty now…the persnickety, ambiguously gay, evil genius… (Please call my therapist, again.)

[ Thanks, Sherlockology, for creating a safe place for geeks like me. And bless wikipedia, too, frankly. Where would my blog be without your fastly found facts?! That SOPA blackout was killer. For me and college students w/papers due everywhere… Really, though, why are you still reading this? Go to Netflix. Don’t keep Sherlock waiting. Waiting is so frightfully dull…and the poor sod’s so easily bored… ]

Building a better SJ

Trying to pull myself away…caught in a pattern and I can’t escape…

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Sometimes I think I must be the least type-A person I know.

But that isn’t quite right: I love accomplishing things. I love being good at what I do. I love getting caught up in rewarding tasks. I can multitask like a mu’a fu’a. (I have, on occasion, been described as “tightly wound”…) But along the way, I’m also super-comfortable going with the flow, changing things up, constantly exploring new ideas.
(Oooh look! There’s one now!!, etc.)

You can understand how I often end up, then, with many To-Do lists—not so many Ta-Das. Or, more accurately, a good number of Ta-Das that are hard-fought victories in the battle against procrastination + perfectionism anxiety.
(Wanna hang out sometime? I’m tons of fun when a deadline’s approaching…)

Lucky for me, everybody’s in the spirit o’ resolutions right now, and there are lots of lovely resources on the ol’ web to help a girl like me get her self correct. (I would love so much to spend 2012 getting myself correct…) Imagine how much more I could do (and do well) if I just got my shit a little bit more together, you guys!

These two articles in particular are helping me guide myself to the land of Ta-Da:

“A Master Plan For Taking Back Control of Your Life” (right?)

from “The 99%” (nothing to do with Wall Street, ps.)

“10 Tips to Get Through Your Holiday Hangover”

from “Talent Zoo” (nothing to do with animals, ps.)

[Both are neato websites for creative-professional types. Check 'em.]

From #1, I especially like the idea of working in “sprints,” doing just one thing at a time. Can you imagine the freedom to allow yourself 90 minutes of uninterrupted time for each task on your list? Glorious, glorious fantasy!!

From #2, I love the idea of choosing an “intention” for the year to help you lean into change—vs. resolutions, which often call for light-switch-drastic adjustments. This morning, I thought I just might take my intention from one Mr. Alex Hitchens:

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.”

Oh, sure, I might’ve made fun of that quote from HITCH once upon a time, but today I choose to let it inspire me.

Like this: The documentary I AM (from the guy who brought us Ace Ventura. No, really.) is well worth your rental. Oprah—from whom all blessings flow—introduced me to this gem last year. Tom Shadyac, the director, has this existential crisis when he discovers that becoming a millionaire doesn’t fulfill him. He starts to look around at the world and wonders what’s gone wrong. Why are we so connected but disconnected at the same time? He goes to some of the best minds we’ve got (scientists, philosophers, writers, Archbishop McDreamy Desmond Tutu…) trying to figure out what’s up with humanity.

The title I AM can be the answer to one of two questions:

#1 What’s wrong with the world?
#2 What’s right about the world?

It seems trite, I know, but maybe the answer really is that simple. What if I follow my intention in 2012, reminding myself to wonder, “What Would Hitch Do?”…so that my “I am” is the answer to #2. On purpose.

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In the spirit of Living Your Best Life as Oprah would do…I’m excited to introduce a new Blog Challenge!!

**Fireworks**Champagne**Confetti**Statuettes**

 “And the Envelope Please…”

Inspired by awards season (which we’re counting as the six weeks between Sunday’s Golden Globes and the Oscars on February 26), the gang is back to blog about “Best of” experiences from our lives (and naturally some movies, too). The goal is 2 posts each week from each of us, so settle in for some red-carpet-worthy writing. Some glamour. Maybe a montage…