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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what context that quote's from O_o

Tenshi wrote:
@Nem: Honestly, a book of proverbs tends to be as good as colloquialisms of proverb-like advice, in my experience. That said, the book seems to be focusing on one thing: balance. Balance between "light fires under people" and "don't burn your bridges". (Hey, look, I could be a vague author....)


Hmm, I guess. If you've the sort of mind to distinguish when to use one or the other though, I suspect you're smart enough to have worked it all out for yourself. If I had to judge it, I'd say it's a book about power for idle dreamers. There's not a lot of actionable stuff there.

The best book in this regard that I've read is Peter Drucker's The Effective Executive. Which contains such tips as 'Try to work in blocks of at least 90 minutes.' And 'Work on strengths. The strengths of your subordinates, and the strengths of your superiors, rather than emphasising weaknesses. Don't undermine your boss, and complain about his weaknesses, instead compensate for them and thus become indispensable....'

That's not precisely what it says, I'm paraphrasing from memory but... That sort of really useful little tips and insights. Okay, the second one's sort of obvious but considering the way many performance reviews do focus on the negatives clearly people aren't getting it and it does line up with an awful lot of what I've read about the virtue of specialising labour and so on so... Yeah. It's apparently a fairly good insight for some.

Anyway, yeah it's an utterly fantastic book that I'd recommend to everyone - I found it in a charity store bargain bin, from its condition I suspect it was unread. ^_^

#

Today, for the first day in a while, I didn't go out anywhere. Yay! Walking around town every day can take its toll. @_@
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3538
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usa, please don't force me to see 'Obama' every time I read one of your posts. That would be cruel and unusual punishment in the extreme. I'm already of political overload...

Anyway, got home at 10:30 on Wednesday, and got the part. It was a good day. Didn't eat enough, but I DID eat an omelette sandwich for dinner, so that helped.

I have a guest for Shabbat, and I need to cook and clean, but I don't want to get up out of my chair...
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today a friend is going to Japan. I warned him, though I know this will not make sense to him, that the problem of travel, at least if you take your mind with you, is ending up stuck somewhere inbetween two cultures. That from what little I've gathered, to the Japanese, Americans really seem to be very shallow creatures - childlike and vain in their inability to deny themselves pleasure or sacrifice for others.

[Not that I'm saying Americans ARE that way, mind. Just that that's the impression I get from the Japanese.]

He's not going to belong there. I know people over there who've lived there for 30 years who don't belong. But, when he comes home, he'll have some of their way of looking at the world (hopefully the better bits of it) and things he takes for granted won't look the same. He won't belong in America either - not anymore, not really.

There are advantages I suppose, if you pick up the right bits. Having a new perspective on things that can cause you to question why they are the way they are is the first step to changing anything. Making the familiar strange can be a powerful learning experience.

Equally, however, experiencing other cultures is a dangerous thing. And most people don't, I suspect, really want to do it. They want to play tourist; to stand on the edge and peer in with a camera, to experience the thrill of a proximity to danger without taking the plunge.

-shruggle-

Talking of failure to deny yourself pleasure - I have a pie in the oven NOM NOM NOM. Very Happy
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:

[Not that I'm saying Americans ARE that way, mind. Just that that's the impression I get from the Japanese.]

Oh but Americans are that way. Not all, but that is a stereotype that's based pretty heavily in truth.

And how much he picks up will probably depend on how long he's staying. Asia has a culture that is nearly the polar opposite of America, so if he's just there for a short time, he might reject it entirely. Culture Shock is a strange beast.

The optimum time for him to be there, and still be able to take something away with him, would be about a month. After that you start getting bitter and irate and terribly homesick, generally.

Today I go in for background checks and to turn in all the paperwork the hospital gave me. As of yet, I haven't been able to secure a copy of my immunization records, though I did order them. I really hope I'm able to get them before my appointment because if I can't provide proof that I've had some shots, they're going to give them to me, and I really do not want to be stuck with needles today.

I've even had the TB test in the last 12 months--which means I would be exempt. If I can't provide proof of that they're going to stick me again. And I don't care what they say that hurts.

Today shopping and movies with a friend.
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
Usa, please don't force me to see 'Obama' every time I read one of your posts. That would be cruel and unusual punishment in the extreme.

I giggled at this. Okay, no Obama quotes. But waffles....

Congratulations on getting the part. Smile

@Tinu: I hope you don't have to get stuck with needles, because that does hurt. No thank you, please. Especially some of the immunizations they have to stick you with for hospital work. Eurgh. Part of me is glad that my immune system couldn't handle hospital work. I do not much like needles, if I am honest.

What movie didja see?! (I may be taking a friend to see her first Bond film, the new Skyfall. I am unduly excited about the movie. :3 )

@Nem: Ah, culture shock. Allow me to bring my American, know-it-all ego to the table, here. ;p

In all seriousness, Americans have a tendency to view the world through a pane of glass. We're taught to look at other cultures as a curiosity, a fascinating oddity. We're not taught to see them as people, places, memories, homes, traditions, families, entire communities, etc. One of my favorite smack-in-the-face examples of this was the "Nacirema" paper: Link.

Once you've given that a read, read the paper's subject backwards. I mean, the Nacirema people. Yep. Good times, that. I loved that Anthropology professor.

Anyhow, even New York City was a cultural shock for me, and I touched on this a bit in my term paper. Any time your cultural bias is exposed to a more broad range of "outsiders", you have two options: Either shrink inward, and defend yourself vehemently; or accept outsiders as part of your "in group". In the latter case, you get true melting pots such as large cities, and these people tend to find foreign culture more fascinating, diverse, and interesting (and legitimate, frankly). In the former case, you tend to get the "The country's going to hell if you elect that non-American <string of profanities I shant repeat here> to office!" Well, I'll go reserve a poker table overlooking the sulfur mines, I suppose?

Personally, I think your friend would be well served by having the locals teach him how to communicate with them in their native tongue. Simple things like "thank you", and "I would like", and "good day/afternoon/etc". Then, just dive in. You're in a place you've never been, you're not likely to go back to... why not delve as deeply into it as you can, so you have no regrets? And in any case, I've found that these polar opposite cultures (Chinatown, in my experience) are thrilled to share their world with a genuinely interested foreigner.

I suppose the thing to remember is that it's just as foreign for them. You are, for all purposes, an absolute alien to them. Their curiosity will mirror yours, whether you're curious about everything or about nothing. I just find the "everything" option personally far more fulfilling. ^^;

Also: Pie should never be denied. Piiiiieeeeee....

Today, Homework. Boo.

All of my souvenirs from NYC are waiting for me at the post office, so I'll go snag those in a few minutes. I'm quite looking forward to doing a lot of baking and brewing and such with some friends. A friend pinned this clever caramel-inside-an-apple thing, and shared it on Facebook (where I saw it, as I refuse to join Pinterest on principle of not having lost my life to it yet). So we're going to give that a try, hopefully next week. Also the friend who I'm dragging to a Bond film on Sunday (if she can make it) wants to re-do some experiments involving alcohol that I did with my long-standing, "you can crash here any time", friends. I didn't partake before, might not again, but melting candy in liquor inside of wine carafes makes me feel like a chemist. And that is awesome.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Usa: We went back to her house and watched Pan's Labyrinth. I never get tried of introducing people to that movie. And since my friend's a big language nerd we spent a good portion of the movie talking about quirks of the Spanish language.

Today everything seemed to go well. I still had to get a TB test done, and apparently I never received a second immunization for chicken pox. I was given the option of getting blood drawn to see if I was immune or getting the second shot. I chose the shot. Which I will have to get at some point and time.

Today I went out. On a Friday night. I think this is the first time I've ever done that.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tenshi: Well, I was sort of saying that the risk of delving deeply into another culture is you might end up alienated from your own without being able to integrate with another and that would, perhaps, be a cause for regret. Some people may get back from being abroad and not be able to stand their home culture anymore - their family becoming a bunch of strangers with abrasive attitudes and things that previously seemed logical seeming the work of some horribly insanity.

But I mostly agree with you. ^^;

#

Today walking through town, turned on the microphone for a second.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/50133814/AudioNote-2012-11-10_103605.amr

It's very crowded, especially on the weekends. From time to time people come down there to busk.

It's strange, while I was walking through town I didn't really enjoy the music. I just wondered what it was. You get so caught up in things and you can't really stop and just take in the moment. It was just grey, and dreary, and I'd been walking around shops with nothing really in them - just come from an interview for a job I didn't really want. But listening to it like that it doesn't sound so bad.

I wonder if Sound Hound works on instrumentals - I'm guessing probably not as well as vocals. It's incredible how searchable information is becoming.
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Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't stand my home culture even before I moved away from it. And don't be so melodramatic, Nem. My feelings had nothing to do with my family, and everything to do with the society around us.

As one who HAS moved to live in a different country, you're both right: There's an element of feeling like one has a foot in each place, being uncomfortable in both places. On the other hand, you have to consciously choose which place you want to stay in long term, and work to align yourself more fully with that culture, so as to minimize the shock. In that case, Usa's method would be the way to go.
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usa's method is a survival technique. Razz I spent a lot of time in my teens moving seamlessly from high-brow, ritzy functions with suits and champagne to dark city alleys and long nights on the riverfront staring at the sky. Back again, if I had to. Teenage years were kind of odd for me, but most of it was spent moving between distinct cultures (though not distinct geographies) without causing ripples in either. I'm oddly melancholic about it, these days.

I think your follow-up statement is, in my experience, accurate. That's one of the reasons, if not the primary reason, that I'm so rare to talk about myself. I love to talk about experiences, share stories, but myself... If I talk about myself, I might have to reveal something that people dislike. It's harder to move between cultures seamlessly when you expose personal identification. I'm like a social chameleon. Razz

Asa, I'm... not really sure that was targeted at you. o_o' It fits pretty well for me though, and (from what I've read) I suspect it fits pretty well for Nem, as well. Yours is a bit unique case. Your support network is your family, among other groups no less ancillary. That support network is lacking for some of us. I could explain more in PMs, but not in public. Family matters and all.

Today I'm up far, far too late, listening to electronic music and doing some thinking. Monday, I'll be picking up a job. Not that I'm certain I will, but I suppose I'm just going into it with success on my mind. Exude confidence and all that, right? Well, it helps having been a hiring manager. I know so many of the tricks that speaking the coded language is pretty easy.

Today... Today, today. Mm.

Oh, and yes, SoundHound has a bit of trouble with some instrumental, acoustic, and live versions of songs. It also struggles if there's any background noise (understandably). It's clever technology, and I use it a great deal. It's more broad than my own musical knowledge, but not quite as precise.

The scrolling lyrics are a nice touch though. I like those.
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I know it wasn't directed at me. I just don't like when Nem makes generalities in the negative, and I feel compelled to offer an opposing viewpoint in the positive.

Sorry, Nem!
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't define the size of the group, I thought that'd be enough to stay away from generalisation territory. ^^;

But yeah. Heh. Don't worry about it. I didn't intend to imply that everyone who has cultural dissonance has problems with their family life. But I'd rather know if it does come off that way.

Need to find a clearer quantifier than some people perhaps. Though none occurs off hand.

Today I just got up so not much has been going on. Went to sleep with my phone in my pocket apparently. It's fine though. And people say these things are fragile... what do they do? Stick it in their pocket with a bunch of keys or something? O_o
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I am looking for a new knitting project. Christmas presents ahoy!

Today I ponder culture shock and how little it affected me. Moving across the North Sea didn't phase me in a cultural way so much as a run-of-really-bad-luck sort of way. I got my purse stolen containing ID, my camera, my money and bank cards, phone and my notebook in which I wrote everything, I got sick enough to require an overnight stay in hospital which, coupled with my dislike of doctors and my inability to understand what anyone was saying was an extremely scary experience, and my brother got sick all within the space of two months after I left the UK. All of these things set me off to a bad start, but seemed to swamp the cultural changes I might have worried about otherwise.
Having said that, I do notice cultural differences, but they don't strike me in a positive or negative way. Norway just has different ways of doing things. The good and bad balance each other out. I suppose the Norwegian and British cultures are closer than, say, the US and Japan and that will affect how badly culture shock hits.

On the subject of family; there's not much more to be said, except that I would not have stayed in Norway this long if I didn't have the wonderful support group which is my family. I'm extremely lucky.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday was a really nice day, so I put my elderly cat outside while my mom and I went shopping, because he's been really cooped up lately.
We got home late and couldn't find him.

Today he still hasn't shown up.

I know it's not unusual for cats to wander off for a day or two and appear back on the doorstep like nothing's happened, so I'm trying not to panic about this, but I'm worried about him.
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Asa



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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck... I know how that feels.

This morning when I woke up I realized that I missed a doctor's appointment last night. *scowl*
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three days, still no cat. General consensus is that the cat is probably not of this world any longer. He was old--18. We'd had him for twelve years.

Stupid cat. I'm going to miss him.
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