Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy 40th Birthday, Honey!

You've reached a milestone today, my wonderful husband. I love you so much and you mean the world to me. Here's to many, many more birthdays! I hope you loved your massage therapy session and your new Otaku tee shirt.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A unique networking group

Today I met up with a wonderful group of women in a networking group organized by Nicola Ries-Taggart and it's called Moms in Business. It was our first meeting and about 12 came - not bad for a first time!

Turns out there are quite a few moms out there like me who are not completely a stay-at-home mom, nor are we full time workers. Many of us are starting our own businesses or are indepentent contractors or consultants. Moms in Business is an opportunity to network, talk about business, talk about kids and how to juggle all that into a manageable life

Today two big issues were discussed. First was an issue that Golf and I face: we can't afford child care - even part time child care is very expensive. But if we are able to get Aidan to a pre-school part time, it would free us to work hard during those hours, bringing in more business. It was a quandry that several moms had faced and we talked about different options and gave me some good ideas to look into.

Second issue was how to tackle the feelings of isolation that work at home moms feel sometimes. Many women talked about how they don't ever get out of the house or their sweatpants! One said that she simply didn't have any nice clothes any more, and if she and her husband were invited to a nice party, she'd panic because she didn't have anything appropriate in her closet. Because of feeling isolated and not getting out to talk to people, MARKETING their business was a problem for a few.

It was a diverse group of women - some had only children, some had teenagers, some had two kids in school, some in creative artistic careers, others in more analytical types of careers. All were very interesting and engaging to be around and I look forward to next month! Thank you Golf for babysitting Aidan this morning. :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

A busy hiatus

This is my first chance to catch up on my blog in over a week! It's been such a whirlwind....

My trip to Las Vegas went quite well. I had a chance to meet the other professionals in my organization and they are from all over the country, most located in the midwest since the parent company is located in Louisiana. One of the interesting facts I discovered is that I'm the only woman and I'm one of the youngest (and I'm not young anymore!)

Our meeting was held at Caesar's Palace and I was surprised and pleased to find a HUGE Thai spirit house on the premesis. It was covered in silver mirrors with a golden Lord Bramha with his four faces seated in the center. It was beautiful and I found myself sitting there quite often as it was on the way to the pedestrian walk-over to the other side of the street. Anyone familiar with Thai culture knows they love to gamble and they love to appease the spirits to keep them happy. Obviously a well-to-do Thai family wanted lotsa luck gambling at Caesar's Palace. I loved watching the passers-by noticing the "exotic little temple". :)

I also noticed in some of the other casinos that the main entrance was flanked by two huge Chinese lions, also a symbol of luck. The casino owners know a thing or two about their Asian customers! There was one thing that struck me as offensive (something offensive in Las Vegas? How could that be?) and that was a nightclub at the Venetian called The Tao. This video shows it - it is GORGEOUS inside, but it's a NIGHTCLUB for chrissake. Buddha statues inside and statues of monks behind the bar... I mean STUNNING statues and images that look like they belong in a museum and during the evenings have drunken writhing mating rituals before them. OK rant is over, but it's highly insensitive and ignorant, IMHO.

Right after my trip to Vegas I had to substitute teach all this week, my networking meeting was on Wednesday, my investment club meeting was Wednesday night and my Toastmaster's meeting was last night. I did win as best speaker last night, though! I did an organizational speech on the repurcussions of China's gender imbalance. In 15 years time, it is expected that there will be 30 million more men than women in China and what's going to happen to Chinese society with all those wild and sex-starved bachelors roaming around?!?!? I find it to be fascinating and important, a result of the one child policy implemented back in 1980.

So I'm thrilled that it's now Friday. I haven't been this happy for an upcoming weekend since I taught regularly in Bangkok since being at home with Aidan most the time one day feels just like the next, weekend or not.

Anyway, more to come later!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Going to Vegas

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for the first national conference my company is hosting and I'll be away until early Sunday morning. I'll be staying at the Stratosphere and I'm looking forward to a roller coaster ride at the top! This is the first time I've been traveling on my own since meeting Golf over three years ago. And I've only been to Vegas one time back in 1992 for a family reunion, so I'm quite excited to see all the new attractions and casinos that have been built. I know it's a cheesy sleazy place, but it does look like fun to do a 3 day venture (one of which is a full day training period anyway).

This trip I have packed a big suitcase - mostly because that's all we have - either big or too small. I have to bring several changes of business attire, unlike my adventure travel days where you bring only bare essentials and launder your clothes as needed. No, I have to bring my curling brush, hairspray, several pairs of shoes, jewelry and a few business suits in addition to my off-time jeans and comfy clothes.

The only person not looking forward to my trip so much is Golf. This is his first long-time stretch alone with Aidan, but fortunately Aidan is getting easier to handle alone because he can entertain himself better than when he was super small. He also seems to be better behaved when he's with one parent. When both of us are around he gets quite contrary!

Bon Voyage! I shall tell you all about it when I get back.