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Schladies and Jongens Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Game Marshall" journal:

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April 3rd, 2011
03:00 pm
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I Smell A Mystery
I love our office. We have a great staff. Free lunch. Charming patios. Friendly neighbors. Easy parking. Granted we keep losing our bathroom keys and the schizo thermostat takes us from the rainforest to the arctic if someone so much as walks past it, but to me it's fabulous. I mean our cleaning guy even washes our dishes.

Recently, something strange came to my attention. At first, faint and sporadic, I doubted myself. Then it came in potent wafts. Rarely was there anyone around to second my sensory disturbance. It began to materialize instantly and forcefully, like a wall slamming into my face, redoubling me in full grimace. "My god, what is that?! It smells like, like... Urine!"

I began to doubt the conditions of the mens' room. Is their floor just covered with it? I then suspected a faulty system in the building sending waves of odor wafting in through our open door. Or could it be the ocean?

Yet each time I sensed it, the conditions were different. At last our PA was around to corroborate the foul scent. He sat good-natured, his eyebrows raised, nostrils flared. "Do you smell it??" I demanded of him. "I...think so." I pressed him to identify the aroma. He furrowed his brow: "It smells like... rotten eggs."

Hmmm. I had recourse to call our building manager.

"Hi! Rebecca. Um. So, you may or may not be the person to talk to... I've been experiencing a smell." I flashed back to horror stories shared months ago in the writers' room of dead rats in walls and men in hazmat suits flushing homes with cyanide and abducting ET and children crying as giant red-eyed rats with mangled fur danced across telephone wires and squeezed into small holes with their collapsable skeleton bodies.

I faltered. Rebecca laughed and said, "We'll send our smell guy."

"You have a smell guy?!"

"Oh yes, he's very good. Our other building called because they thought they had a gas leak. Our guy went over and gave a sniff. It was onions! Just call us when you smell it. We'll send him."

Deeply relieved I hung up. Of course for several days illusory whiffs would come only to evaporate the instant I picked up the phone.

Until this morning.

"QUICK!" I yelled to Josh. "CALL THE SMELL GUY!" He jumped, "What! I-I don't smell it!" "CALL HIM!" I gave a deep sniff and wretched, grabbing for the phone myself. "What, are you dialing too?!" Josh connected first:

"Um, hi, Rebecca? You had said to call if we um...we need the Smell Guy."

He came right up. I love this guy. He had been here before to help with the rainforest thermostat. He has a mighty stride and fabulous white sideburns. He walked in, sniffing. But the smell had departed.

He confidently waited. He had a theory and adjusted the thermostat. "You know that new car smell," he asked us.

"No, I'm too poor."

"You'll get in - it will have this smell after it's been off for awhile. Because of the AC."

I was rapt. "You see," he gestured with his hands, "It gives this smell after it's been off - wait. We'll see."

He stood still. I sat, erect like a rabbit in an exposed field, all senses on high alert, nostrils scanning the horizon. We both intermittently sniffed.

"I think I smell it! UGH! There it is! It's faint though!" He didn't smell it. "No, really, I think my nose is like trained to detect it now..." He adjusted the theromostat again and gave a sniff at the different vents. He stood tall behind me, sniffing.

"I smell it."

He gave his diagnosis - a function of the AC - but he would do something about it. He thought it might be a drip in the system building up.

Jubilant, I thanked him and asked him if he ever had to have an awkward conversation with a friend. Oh, he said, he smells everything all the time. He avoids one of his coworkers.

I asked about the onions.

"Oh yes. They said they had a gas leak - that building doesn't have gas! But they said no, no it's a gas leak. They called the fire department. We were all arriving at the same time. Sirens and everything. I walk in and say, 'It smells like onions!' Everyone is confused. We go upstairs and they had a box with some onions-" he held his hands out indicating massive bulbs. "The sun was shining right on them."

With a handshake and a wink, he strode out.

I sighed, lifted my coffee cup to my lips, turned to Josh and said, "Well done, Watson. That's a job well done!"

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March 4th, 2010
09:53 am
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I like this article
A Call to Action – Life is Too Short Not to Face Fears

images“I don’t have enough time to focus on myself.”

“It’s a luxury to have a career you love. No one enjoys work.”

“I can’t spend time or money on myself to figure out what will make me happy.”

“I’ll figure it out later. With the bad economy, I just have to put my head down and make money to pay the bills.”

Have you ever said these things? I know I’ve had these thoughts. And I hear them pretty often from friends, family, colleagues and clients.

Where do these beliefs come from, I began to wonder. And how are they serving us individually and collectively?

My guess is that these beliefs do protect us in some ways. On the surface, “not having enough time,” allows us to hide behind humility and virtue. It presents us an opportunity to not seem selfish. As human beings, we have a strong desire to be caretakers and supporters of our friends and loved ones around us. What we are taught reinforces this value that many of us hold. And to focus on our own wants and needs seems to contradict this value.

But is it a contradiction? Is carving out time to care of our own needs and seeing ourselves as worth it really in opposition of being supportive of others? I’m not sure. If we go deeper, we see that to be truly supportive of others in the way we desire, we must be at our best. This allows us to fully give our gifts to the world. And in order to be our best, we must see ourselves as worthy enough of the time it takes for self-care and an investment in our personal growth and development.

To simply say we don’t have enough time may be just another way we avoid facing our fears.

Fear of what you might ask? The list is long. It takes multiple shapes for many of us.

Fear of not finding the career that will fulfill us.
Fear of never finding enough clarity to move forward.
Fear of making the wrong decision.
Fear of making a change and still not being happy.
Fear of the difficult journey it will be to find and pursue a new path.
Fear that happiness and making money are mutually exclusive.
Fear that you will not be capable and effective if you pursue an area of passion.

The list could go on. The underlying fear as I see it, is a fear of the unknown.

It is human nature to fear the unknown – to choose unhappiness over uncertainty.

But although we have a great capacity to endure undesirable situations, there is something deep within us that knows it is worth doing something about. So what can we do about it? How can we begin to make the changes in ourselves in order to make a positive impact for our immediate circle and the world?

We find that in order to conquer a fear, we need to define it.

In Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week, he has readers face what I see as a brilliant question in helping us define our fear of the unknown.

What is it costing you – financially, emotionally, and physically – to postpone action? Don’t only evaluate the potential downside of action. It is equally important to measure the atrocious cost of inaction. If you don’t pursue the things that excite you, where will you be in one year, five years, ten years? How will you feel having allowed circumstance to impose itself upon you and having allowed ten more years of your finite life to pass doing what you know will not fulfill you? If you telescope 10 years and know with 100% certainty that it is a path of disappointment and regret, and if we define risk as “the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome,” inaction is the greatest risk of all.

And I’d like to add, what is it costing those around you?

How is your inaction impacting your friends and loved ones? Your colleagues? The world at large?

We are all inter-connected. A change in how we see and treat ourselves will ripple out to the world. Change in the world starts with each one of us. If we all hold back and live from a place of fear, we will continue to build a world of full of distrust, unhappiness, lack and scarcity.

So the next time you find yourself saying, “I don’t have the time to invest in myself” or “I’ll wait until a better time to make a change,”

Ask yourself, “What is it costing me to postpone action?”

And remember…What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.

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January 12th, 2010
10:16 am
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From Cynopsis: Classified Advantage
A Job Hunter's Resolutions

As a job hunter in 2010, I resolve to do the following:

I will scour Cynopsis, Cynopsis Classified Advantage and job sites for opportunities.

I will work on listening and interviewing skills. I will video tape myself in mock interviews and study them in order to improve.

I will network with anybody and everybody.

Keep up on the industry by reading everything I can find about it. I will search the internet for industry trades and find at least five different bloggers that represent various view points about the future of the industry and read them all religiously.

I will create and maintain a Professional Facebook page that will demonstrate my abilities, describe my work history and skills, recount professional highlights and describe what I am currently trying to achieve.

I will spend time everyday on LinkedIn, looking at the companies I would like to work for; learning about their corporate culture and names of people in key positions. I will answer questions on the boards in order to help others and have my name seen. I will try to connect with those with similar positions within industry companies.

I will have "informational" cards created. The same size and look of a business card, but with my name, job title, and all contact information including Facebook and LinkedIn pages. I will hand out these cards to anyone who may help me get an interview.

I will have a professional quality picture taken of me and post it on my PROFESSIONAL Facebook and LinkedIn page. If I decide to start a blog and/or create a website, I will use the same photo so people will have a consistent image of me.

I will try to set up meetings with people in the industry and ask their advice about job seeking, the future of the industry and current trends.

I will write several resumes and cover letters templates, each geared toward a specific segment of the industry.

I will quantify, then list, all my achievements in a clear and concise manner.

I will write a specific resume and cover letter for each job I apply for.

I will have many friends read all the materials I write and carefully consider their criticism prior to posting or sending any of it.

I will learn new skills relevant to the industry.

I will volunteer my time to a worthy cause. This helps with aiding the cause, networking, resume building and self worth.

I will stay up to date with current events. This makes me a more interesting person, and therefore, one that people will be more willing to recommend to a friend or colleague.

The Latest Economic News

The country dropped more jobs than expected in December suggesting that the economy as a whole is still too weak to sustain new jobs.

The unemployment rate remained at 10% but 85,000 jobs were lost in December, however, the revised numbers for November state that 4,000 jobs were created rather than the initial estimate of 11,000 jobs lost. While employers aren't adding employees, they are not eliminating jobs at the same high rate.

On a much more positive note, temporary jobs rose by 47,000 in December, believed to be a leading indicator by many economists, to handle increase demand for products.

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November 17th, 2009
02:01 pm
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Mom sent me this and I love it and want to share!:

The Awakening of Mugai NyodaiCollapse )

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November 4th, 2009
11:50 am
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Re: Nanowrimo
Pep Talk from Neil Gaiman

Dear NaNoWriMo Author,

By now you're probably ready to give up. You're past that first fine furious rapture when every character and idea is new and entertaining. You're not yet at the momentous downhill slide to the end, when words and images tumble out of your head sometimes faster than you can get them down on paper. You're in the middle, a little past the half-way point. The glamour has faded, the magic has gone, your back hurts from all the typing, your family, friends and random email acquaintances have gone from being encouraging or at least accepting to now complaining that they never see you any more---and that even when they do you're preoccupied and no fun. You don't know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you're pretty sure that even if you finish it it won't have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began---a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read---it falls so painfully short that you're pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.

Welcome to the club.

That's how novels get written.

You write. That's the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

A dry-stone wall is a lovely thing when you see it bordering a field in the middle of nowhere but becomes more impressive when you realise that it was built without mortar, that the builder needed to choose each interlocking stone and fit it in. Writing is like building a wall. It's a continual search for the word that will fit in the text, in your mind, on the page. Plot and character and metaphor and style, all these become secondary to the words. The wall-builder erects her wall one rock at a time until she reaches the far end of the field. If she doesn't build it it won't be there. So she looks down at her pile of rocks, picks the one that looks like it will best suit her purpose, and puts it in.

The search for the word gets no easier but nobody else is going to write your novel for you.

The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm---or even arguing with me---she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"

I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"

"You don't remember?"

"Not really."

"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."

I didn't even get to feel unique in my despair.

So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.

One word after another.

That's the only way that novels get written and, short of elves coming in the night and turning your jumbled notes into Chapter Nine, it's the only way to do it.

So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another.

Pretty soon you'll be on the downward slide, and it's not impossible that soon you'll be at the end. Good luck...

Neil Gaiman

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October 24th, 2009
03:00 pm
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Viva Mexico!
Off to the Black Scorpion zen center for a week!

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October 20th, 2009
09:21 pm
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Tonight I volunteered with Organizing for America, Barack's field team to enact health reform. It was awesome! People are really cool. Granted we were calling Barack supporters.

It was nice, and inspiring.

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August 25th, 2009
10:02 am
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Meme time!!
Okay so this is how this works. I have five words that my sister gave me. My task is to tell you about each of these five words. If you want words, you should say "WORDS!!" in my comments, and I will give you some.

Words!Collapse )

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August 21st, 2009
09:32 pm
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Email from Dad:

I've redone the bathroom, my bedroom, and repainted the kitchen and hallway, but several Xena posters and the giant Xena cutout are still in the guest bedroom.

Hale and his wife (and Rich and his wife) are visiting tomorrow. Hale & mrs. Hale are going to spend the night on the Xena suite.

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August 18th, 2009
03:42 pm
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Freaking out on the inside. Not sure why-yyyy.

Not all hope is lost and now I have to muster up the courage and energy to redouble my efforts. Cable pilot pick-ups rear their heads!

Just need some caffeine and enthusiasm woop woop.

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