Mari

Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

John: European Travel.

In Experience, Strategy, Travel on 02/26/2010 at 11:35 am

I met John (@localcelebrity) via Sydney at dinner one night. He mentioned that he spent some time traveling through Europe, and since I’m actually a European at heart, we started talking about the places and things we’ve experienced.

John speaks German. He doesn’t really speak French. But when he went to France, he used this trick to get by with English:

John (to the person selling train tickets): “Sprechen-sie Deutsch?”
Train ticket person: “Non, non. English?”
John: “Oh, yes, I speak English. I’d like two train tickets to Amsterdam.”
Train ticket person: “What time would you like to depart?”

And just like that, he convinced a French person to voluntarily speak English. (Which rarely happens.)

He said this: “They’re obstinate about speaking English, until you present them with another language they’re even more uncomfortable speaking. Like German. And then they beg you to speak English.

I’m totally trying this the next time I go to Europe.

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Caleb: The Oatmeal.

In Just plain fun, Tolerance on 02/12/2010 at 8:58 pm

I had a really rough day today with my bank. A bank I never chose to do business with, but a bank that swallowed up a bank that swallowed up another bank that my husband originally chose to do business with over 10 years ago, before we were even married, no less.

I posted this in my Facebook status update:

And my friend Caleb posted this rant from The Oatmeal to cheer me up.

And it worked.

Caleb, you are seriously cool for a million and one reasons (the fact that you wear cardigans and dark shell glasses and still go out on dates with your wife even though you have a baby top the list), but this one really made a difference in my day today. So thank you. 🙂

Mrs. Dunn: Save a party.

In Experience, Human behavior, Just plain fun, Networking on 02/10/2010 at 10:10 am

A few weeks ago, Sydney and I went to the most random dinner ever with the most random group of people ever. It had serious potential awkwardness written all over it.

But then I remembered a game my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Dunn made us play on the first day of school to get us all to start talking to each other:

1. Talk about yourself, your accomplishments, your life, your goals, your dreams, your fears – for two minutes.
2. No embellishing allowed – just straight facts.
3. Those listening shouldn’t be judgmental.
4. Stop after two minutes.
5. Allow the others in the group to do Q & A / follow up on any interesting points for two minutes.
6. Move onto the next person.

By the end of this game (and before our dinners even showed up), I had something in common with everyone. No joke.

Mrs. Dunn, thanks for coming to our rescue – 21 years later. If you’re reading this, could you please remind me what the name of this icebreaker is? Because right now, it’s just called the 2-minute-bragging-game. And I’m positive you had a better name for it . . . .

Chari: Organize Crafts.

In Create, Organization on 02/08/2010 at 5:51 pm

I’m a big craft whore. I love glue guns, ribbons, adhesive, glitter, wire, beads, magnets, calligraphy pens, pretty patterned paper and markers.

But being crafty automatically means you’re crazy disorganized.

I was over at Chari’s house in Seattle several years ago and discovered her organization secret:

Compartments for everything! Clear ones! That you can label! Off the ground/floor/dining table! I still have the one I got as a gift for my 23rd birthday. And I still use it. And I love it.

What’s a revolutionary organization tip you’ve seen and implemented? And how has it changed your life? Share, please!