Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Olympic Games!

The Olympics start tonight! (Actually they appeared to start on Wednesday when the US women's soccer team beat France 4-2, but whatever, we'll go with today since the Opening Ceremonies are tonight!)

Also, apparently I only post on Thursdays or Fridays now? WTF self? I blame a lot of factors, most notably being busy at work and not having a whole lot to talk about. Which is one of the reasons why I'm SO excited for the Olympics to start!

I LOVE the Olympics. I know that not everyone feels this way, but seriously, I love them. I watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Sidney Olympics in 2000 in a basement of my freshman dorm because they were in early September. The last summer Olympics in Beijing will always hold a special place in my heart because I watched several of Michael Phelps' record breaking wins while at my grandmother's celebrating her 90th birthday. As she passed away this past January, I know I'll watch the swimming events with a special little ache in my heart remembering how loudly she cheered.

I found the clips of Kerri Strug's amazing vault from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and totally teared up while watching, cheering her on again even though it was 16 years ago (sidenote - I still think the 90s were 10 years ago. Another WTF?). I like the video that I embedded above because there's a lot of exposition that I didn't remember - like how far ahead the US team was until that last rotation on vault when everything started falling apart (Dominique Moceanu falling down twice! Shannon Miller fell! Kerri Strug falls on her first vault and hurts herself! Can she go again??). Also I love that they were able to find her the warm up jacket for the medal ceremony but no one could find her pants. Pants? Who needs pants?

This year I'm excited to once again watch and cheer for the US, but also cheer for all of those who made it. You 100 meter swimmer who will finish 25th? YOU WERE AT THE OLYMPICS! That right there is something to be proud of. Also, my friend and her husband will be at the Olympics this year for her job (SO COOL), so even though I probably won't get to see her on any tv, I'll know she's there soaking up the experience (also working her ass off). Also, she also currently lives in Jamaica and I'm pretty sure she's going to find a way to get to see Usain Bolt run. Which will be awesome.

Tonight I'll watch the Opening Ceremonies and laugh at the ridiculousness, but also love the pageantry of it all. It's the Olympics. And I love it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Because I had more to say

And because one post on this topic wasn't enough, I wanted to note a couple more points in follow up to yesterday's post on Marissa Mayer:

1. I really liked this article (even though I nearly didn't read it because of the headline). Read it. The author makes some really good points.

2. Specifically, she makes the point that Marissa Mayer is an outlier. She's not like the rest of us. I tried to get at this in my last post, but I'm not sure I succeeded. But the point is that in this situation, Marissa is an outlier. Therefore, whatever happens for her isn't going to set the precedent for all the rest of us non-CEO women. What it does do is to put a pregnant and soon-to-be-new-mom in a very public spotlight which will hopefully continue to remind corporate America that everyone who can't set their own schedule by virtue of being the CEO still benefits from flexible work arrangements. And paid time off. And ultimately, corporations are better off for allowing it.

3. I cannot believe the amount of blathering and naysaying I've seen all over the interwebz about how Marissa is delusional for thinking she can only take a few weeks off and work through that time. How about this? Instead of expecting her to fail, let's cheer for her to succeed! And instead of assuming she's a naive pregnant lady who hasn't thought this through, let's assume she knows herself and how this pregnancy has gone thus far and is comfortable with her future plans. And also? Let's remember that this isn't set it stone! Sure, this is how she'd like for things to go. But you know what? I'm guessing if something changes, she's flexible enough to roll with it. And she's got the resources to figure out whatever she needs to!

4. Can we please move the discussion from the fact that people are bitching about how short Marissa's maternity leave will be to the fact that a lot of women do not get any paid maternity leave at all? Or even any unpaid time off if their company does not fall within FMLA? Also, has anyone bothered to think about the fact that if another 6 month pregnant woman was hired, she wouldn't be guaranteed ANY time off at ANY place because there is not mandatory maternity leave in this country? Please, can we talk about that for a few minutes?

5. I have another line for the end of the article as well. The author writes, "If an employer whines that a pregnant woman should come right back to work because Marissa Mayer did, then that woman should be smarter and stronger than [the author] was and advocate for herself." I would also argue that that woman should suggest that she be paid as well as Ms. Mayer and have the flexibility to set her own schedule. Then we can talk.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reason to Cheer

Marissa Mayer was recently named CEO of Yahoo.

A great many articles have been written on the subject already, especially as several hours after that decision was announced, she announced that she is expecting her first child in October.

The board of directors of Yahoo were fully aware and still hired her. As annoying as it is that that's news, it is news and I'm incredibly excited both to see how Ms. Mayer will do at Yahoo, as well as happy for her personal announcement.

But now much of the talk has turned to a quote she gave about how she is only planning on taking a few weeks of maternity leave. Specifically that she "expects it to be speedy... [as she] 'likes to stay in the rhythm of things.'" And it seems as though some people have taken that to mean that she is undercutting women's rights to maternity leave everywhere, and that as a woman in a high position she should be setting the perfect example.

Instead of focusing on that, let's focus on the bigger picture.

A predominantly male board of directors (one woman on the board from a list found here) hired a pregnant woman to run a Fortune 500 company.

I'm 30 years old. I honestly didn't know if that would ever happen during my lifetime, especially as we're still dealing with a culture where the current article-of-the-week on women being able to have it all ends up pitting women against each other instead of focusing on real ways that all parents can be better supported in the work place.

I haven't found any one who can think of another time that a pregnant woman has been CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation (nor have other sites). And I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered about if it would ever happen, rather than when.

Instead of expecting that Ms. Mayer will fix all of the wrongs with respect to maternity leave and the issues that working parents face in this country, let's focus on the fact that pregnancy wasn't considered a deterrent to hiring an incredibly impressive and talented woman into an incredibly tough (and visible) chief executive position.

A friend wrote a great post about this yesterday which I feel sums up a lot of how I feel about this issue, but states it in a much more eloquent manner. Ultimately, it's about choice. The choice to stay home, to work, to work part time, to be able to provide and take care of your family in the manner that works best for you and your family. A lot of women don't have that choice. Ms. Mayer will have a lot of options not readily available to other women. But the fact that this board of directors didn't let her pregnancy become any sort of obstacle to her employment makes me hope that things will continue to change until women without Ms. Mayer's resources will be able to have the kinds of choices they want and need for their own families.

As we continue to work to get to that point, I want to give a big hell yes to all women getting promoted and kicking ass whether they're pregnant, a mom to several kids or don't have any kids. I love hearing stories about women kicking ass in the business world, and I expect more of them as people realize how many smart women there are out there, and take advantage of their expertise.

And I also want to give a big congratulations to Ms. Mayer on the new gig and on her new baby. Best wishes with both new adventures!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Believing in Apps

So last weekend I finally joined the 21st century and got myself my first iPhone. Now, I've had smart phones before, but never an iPhone. In fact, this was actually the first Apple product that I've ever purchased myself. Sure I use a MacBook Pro and iPad at work, but I didn't buy those (and if I ever have to leave my job I won't get to take them with me). And that early Mac computer that I got to play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Yeah, that definitely belonged to my parents. The iPhone however is all mine.

One of the things that I've been having fun with thus far is entertaining myself with all of the apps out there that either only come on iOS or are WAY better on iOS. I'm also very much enjoying finally being able to take screen caps of something on my phone to share with others. I'm sure there was a way that I could have done this with my droid, but I never did figure it out.

So for today's WTF I bring you this:

Now, I'm as happy as the next person that it is finally summer in Seattle and look at all those sunny days we have to look forward to. However, notice that bright ball of sun for Friday? When is that going to happen? It's currently thundering like nobody's business outside (and I've also heard reports of hail). Seriously Seattle, WTF? (or perhaps I should ask Apple's weather app WTF? Does Siri respond to questions like that?). Mainly I'm just annoyed because I actually believed the app and didn't bring a jacket. Also I wore flip flops to work. Which was ultimately stupid as my office is always freezing and you'd think I'd know better by now. 

Sigh. At least it's Friday.

Update: Hahaha, now the app has finally updated to this

At least it finally noted that it was actually thundering out. Granted it only did that after it stopped, but hey, better late than never!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A very happy 4th

Yesterday was one of those days that I've been needing for awhile.

Thanks for the photo, J!

Good friends, good food, epic croquet battles, a home town parade that featured a giant octopus wearing sunglasses, a (fake) camel, a (fake) polar bear, a (real, sort of) roman warrior and a drag queen (among other things), sun, sparklers and a whole lot of fireworks.

Sadly, Cody was not a huge fan of the fireworks and we took the ferry back to Seattle that gave us a great view of the fireworks from Eagle Harbor. Which also meant that he had to suffer through them as well. Ah well, I don't think he's permanently scarred. 

My pictures are terrible because instead of breaking out my camera I enjoyed being in the moment (and soaking up the sun. Oh, how I've needed some Vitamin D!) and only grabbed a couple with my cell phone. Luckily my other friends did break out their cameras, so hopefully I can snag a couple of their pictures soon.

Days like yesterday remind me how very many wonderful people I have in my life and how lucky I am to be a part of their lives as well. 

And it almost makes up for the fact that I had to be back at work today. Almost.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy (almost!) Fourth!

Last year I finally made this cake and brought it to share with friends at their 4th of July party. I also got to meet several adorable kiddos and play with lots of dogs. Overall, a very excellent 4th, I must say. 

Especially as we ended up with a spectacular view of the Lake Union fireworks!

This year promises to be a much lower key sort of celebration. While I will still be bringing food and drink to another get-together with friends, I will not be making that cake. Fun as it was, it was a lot of work. But I am very happy that we will get to spend the day relaxing with friends who we don't see nearly as often as I'd like.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and are able to celebrate with family and friends!
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