Create your balance. Design your life.

Is a picture worth a thousand words?

Is a picture worth a thousand words?

Mar 31, 2014

Let’s put this to the test. I have randomly selected a personal photo of mine and want to see if I can get 1,000 words out of it. Here is the photo I am going to talk about.   This photo was taken on Halloween night 2013. We attended a special Halloween night screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the historic Tampa Theatre.  I am seated in the right corner of the photo next to my dear friend Marge. Our costumes for the evening were Abby Sciuto (Marge) and a Catholic High School Girl Gone Bad (that would be me). Marge and I have always loved any chance to wear costumes or really fun and off the wall fashion. This does include hair and make-up (and sometimes wigs). I live by the theory that life is a stage and our wardrobe are merely costumes. People will perceive many things from our appearance. My favorite clothes at home are jeans and horror movie t-shirts with beat up sneakers, however I would not be caught dead in these if I had to go to an important function where there are people I am going to be meeting. You do not get a second chance to make that first and initial impression. Say we are meeting at a PTA meeting to discuss the upcoming fundraiser for the school year. I am wearing one of the 5 outfits from below. Which one would make the best first impression?                                       Photo A: This would assure me that my kids (if I had any) would be without friends and the parents of the PTA  would wonder what the hell was wrong with me. They would also request that I never come back. Photo B: Parents would immediately decide I was a whore and would keep their teenage sons under lock and key, terrified of what might happen if I got near them. They would also be terrified at the impression and influence I may have on their daughters. Again my poor kids (if I had any) would be without friends for the...

How To Be The Bad Guy and Keep Your Job

How To Be The Bad Guy and Keep Your Job

Mar 31, 2014

Few people enjoy being the “bad guy.”  It’s difficult to fire people, write them up for persistent rule breaking, or mediate awkward situations.  A manager has to do those things in order to keep the team running smoothly.  In fact, failure to deliver consequences can be detrimental to a team’s morale and performance.   The Company Is Key Managers can grow fond of people in subordinate roles and form friendships.  It’s only human! This, however, makes any disciplinary action more difficult.  It can also be difficult to enforce new policies, move forward with new initiatives, and change old office patterns when the people resistant are your office pals. Aside from avoiding befriending people you manage, the key is to remember that the company comes first.  Always.  The good of the team and the good of the company needs to dictate any decision a manager makes.  It helps to keep this in mind when delivering less-pleasant news.  If you are afraid the “friendship” may suffer, you are putting your needs over the company.  If the friendship is true, and the person receiving disciplinary action is capable of separating work from personal feelings, it shouldn’t be an issue.  If the person is upset, so be it. This same “company first” policy should be a mantra in meetings as well.  Rather than focusing on the person who has poor ideas, poor output, etc., focus on why the idea itself will not benefit the situation.  Explain why the behavior is detrimental.  Keep the focus off the person behind the behavior or idea. Go a step further and focus on the positive.  Here are two examples: “This idea about sprockets is just the kind of thing I’m looking for!  Not only does it align with our company mission, but it has been addressed in our customer feedback several times. Can anyone think of anything else along these lines?” “I wanted to thank Sam and Henrietta for consistently being to work on time.  One of our big contacts called first thing in the morning, and they were able to handle the situation immediately, saving us hundreds of dollars.  The client was impressed with how quickly we were able to resolve...

Musing #31: Bizarro King Lear and The Port Chicago Disaster

Musing #31: Bizarro King Lear and The Port Chicago Disaster

Mar 28, 2014

Welcome to what is not really a continuation of Musing #30: Oscar, LeVine-Style (Teach Your Children Well, Part IV). The following doesn’t count among my film-based “Teach Your Children Well” series of posts, but it is tangential to the last one. After this month, I’ll stop writing about my dad for a while. I swear! (Not that y’all don’t love him. I know you do.) In all my talk of “Da Fadda,” I’ve never consciously shared an image of him; always using the avatar of Gene Wilder as “Willy Wonka.” That’s partly because I was raised “in a world of pure imagination,” and partly because Dad looks a hell of a lot like Gene Wilder. I’ve decided that I want to show you, dear readers, the real face of Mitchell Lee LeVine, MD. And you should know that he is 100% cool with (even, truth be told, thrilled at) my selection of the image that shall henceforth be tied inextricably to his name. Presenting the man I have so frequently described as a “progressive Baby Boomer” (virtual drumroll): Mitch LeVine, OG Hipster (1971) That’s Dad, on the campus of Emory University at age 19. Assuming with full confidence that my writing doesn’t appeal to idiots, I’d be willing to bet (were I a betting woman, which I am not) that your intelligent stream of consciousness processed the information I’ve just given you thus: Progressive Baby Boomer→ Defiant “Flip of the Bird” on a Microphoned Stage → 1971→ University Campus = VIETNAM WAR PROTEST! Had I bet correctly (which I didn’t, ’cause I don’t), you would be entirely in the wrong (though I would give you props for knowing your history). Protest is nowhere close to what you behold. And the meta-text is far more interesting than the amazing image. Here’s the only existing documentation (aside from oral history) as to what the image in question actually depicts: Note the chronic misspelling of our last name. Capital “V,” people! (And rhymes with divine!) Read the caption closely. (Emory’s, not mine.) The operative phrase is “courtesy of Emory Theatre.” Teenage Mitch LeVine was still years from being an actual doctor when he performed the character of “Dr....

Walk for a Breakthrough: Lifesaving 5K

Walk for a Breakthrough: Lifesaving 5K

Mar 27, 2014

By Mo Breden This Saturday, March 29, we will be in Al Lopez Park in Tampa, at 7:00 am, for the American Brain Tumor Association Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5K Run/Walk. Last year was the first American Brain Tumor Association walk sponsored in the Tampa Bay Area. Last year, Erin had no symptoms of any additional growth in tumor or additional tumors. We walked to raise money for research to help cure brain tumors. We walked for everyone. The only way to beat something is to fight, and raising money for research is a huge part of that fight. Each individual, each family faces the diagnosis of a brain tumor differently. From the very first whisper of the word tumor, we were devastated, but I became determined to educate myself, to the maximum extent possible on the optic nerve meningioma that was growing along the optic nerve of my then 13 year old daughter. The American Brain Tumor Association was in it’s infancy at that time, but I found them, I called them, I talked to a real live person and they sent me information on different types of tumors, and I took it from there. But, the American Brain Tumor Association was there for me. I was able to do battle for my young daughter because of their help. Today, they do so much more because of donations like yours. ABTA funds vital brain tumor research while providing patients, family members and caregivers with comfort, guidance and answers. Today, twenty years later, my little girl is a woman, but she is once again, in the second fight of her life against this insidious disease. The first tumor took the vision in her right eye, but following radiation has remained dormant for twelve years. Her second and third tumors, removed surgically, took the sense of smell in her right nostril. Today her fourth tumor is threatening her only seeing eye and she is fighting with all of her strength and the help of radiation therapy to defeat this fourth tumor. She has been working since last year’s walk, to make this year’s walk better and more successful than last year’s. She can’t walk this year,...

Hope From A Sunrise

Hope From A Sunrise

Mar 26, 2014

By Erin D’Addio You know that time of the morning when the sun isn’t quite up yet, but you see the light coming? If you don’t, I suggest you find the time one morning to revel in this beautiful moment of the day. Unlike the sunset, which I equally enjoy , this moment is perfect and reminds me of all the possibilities the day has to offer. Things may go completely mad after that moment, but there was a moment in the day when things were perfect and right. A sunrise is filled with promise. I usually get to see this when I’m walking into my classroom each morning. I turn to my left and the sky is a mixture of pink, blue, orange, and white. It’s breathtaking and I always stop and whisper, “Thank you, God.” In the past month I have been faced with the reality I may not get to see that moment of the day for much longer. One month ago, my vision in my only seeing eye started to fade. An MRI revealed a new tumor was growing in my optic nerve. I have been battling optic nerve Meningioma for my entire life. This will be my fourth time fighting this. And while fighting, I can’t help but think of the “what ifs.” It’s only human, right? My point of all of this is to remember not to take the small things for granted. Try to find a small moment in each day to be thankful for something. You will be surprised with what you may find. If you get to see that beautiful moment in the morning that I was talking about, I hope you remember to be thankful and smile. It’s a small. perfect. moment. Hold on to it in the most desperate times. Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

%d bloggers like this: