Monday, January 18, 2016

Cutting the Cord

The day has come . . . the land line phone line is gone. Disconnected by choice. As someone who has always had a land line number and who is really bad about answering her cell phone, this new way of life poses a few challenges.

My "home" phone connected via cables meant that anyone could always leave me a message that I could check when I got home. Now that I must rely on my cell for all calls; I am always available. My cell will now accompany me around the office, at home, and everywhere in between. That means I should probably try to have the ringer turned on. Challenge number one: turn the ringer on.

However, I'm not the sort of person to use a traditional ring tone that you might find preloaded on your cell phone. I like songs so of course my ring tones are songs. I like Duran Duran so of course my ring tones are all Duran Duran songs. Not terribly professional to have RioNotorious or Girl Panic blasting from your phone during a meeting. Challenge number two: remember to set phone vibrate during meetings.

Today as I bid my land line goodbye and the ease of having a home phone number, I also happily say goodbye to phone solicitors. Goodbye endless calls from TOLL FREE, US Bank, the New York Times and the Washingtonian magazine trying to lure me back into a subscription. Farewell pollsters, Walgreen's, and random calls from the Republican Party of Minnesota. Goodbye to all of that and to the hefty fees and price tag attached to my land line. Challenge number three: remember not to give out my cell number to potential solicitors.

Email me at if you would like my mobile phone number. Challenge number four: share my cell phone number.

Challenge number five: remember to return all of those calls on my cell. I might be missing my land line already!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Let's Dance. A Farewell to David Bowie

As I write this post, David Bowie is blaring through the speakers of my Mac, streaming live on my favorite St. Paul alternative station "The Current." I still feel the disconnect and unbelief on learning this morning about David Bowie's untimely death. 18 months of battling cancer. Who knew he was that sick?

I'm far from a David Bowie die-hard fan. And I arrived late to my realization of David Bowie. A true child of the 80s, my first introduction to David Bowie was through MTV and his "Let's Dance" video. It took another decade for me to realize that David Bowie did exist before 1983—Ziggy Stardust, Heroes, Under Pressure with Queen. The breadth and depth of his music is truly astonishing.

When I think of David Bowie, I remember the songs "Let's Dance " and "China Girl," but I also remember all of the bands I love whom he influenced not only musically but via style and fashion. Most notably my favorite band Duran Duran who remembered him in 2014 with a remake of "StarMan."

Fittingly at the moment, "Let's Dance" is playing on The signal to close. David Bowie. His music will make him immortal.

A self-proclamed "almost an atheist," where is he now? Hopefully in a bright and brilliant place.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Walking Meeting Anyone?

Meetings are killing me. Literally they are. All of those hours spent sitting in meetings cannot be good for anyone. Too much time spent sitting in meetings and limited activity equals a few too many extra pounds on my frame that are especially difficult to remove given lack of activity during the work week. A sedentary life is not healthy.

I had the luxury (if you can call it that) of having the most difficult job I ever loved and despised simultaneously. Stay-at-home Mom for 14 years. As much as I loved staying home with my kids, I did miss my former life amongst adults in an office setting. Now that I've been back in the office setting for a few years I admit that I'm missing the active lifestyle of a stay-at-home Mom, but not necessarily all of the duties that go along with that job title.

After reading far too many studies about the horrible effects of an inactive lifestyle on your body and feeling my own inactivity settling in, I did my own comparative study. Since I don't own a FitBit or a Nike activity tracker, I used the Health setting on my iPhone to track my activity on a typical active Saturday around the house versus a 10-hour Tuesday in the office with the usual volume of sitting down meetings tossed in the mix. Here's what I discovered:
  • A Saturday full of running errands, a workout, taking the dog for a long walk, and cleaning up around the house—10,820 steps/5.23 miles/13 flights of stairs climbed.
  • A long Tuesday at the office with six sit-down meetings, lunch at my desk, catching up on emails and tasks, and taking the dog for a short spin around the cup-de-sac after work—5,437 steps/2.63 miles/12 flights of stairs climbed (at least climbing the office stairs helped).
Interesting isn't it? Half the amount of movement on a typical Tuesday in the office. No wonder adult obesity rates are on the rise in the U.S.

I encourage you to try your own activity study with your iPhone or FitBit. The hardest part was keeping my iPhone attached to my body all day. My little comparative study is very much an eye opener that has motivated me to move around more at the office, go for a walk at lunch if it is not too cold or snowy outside, not skip the gym, and try to tack on more evening activity.

Since my office probably won't invest in treadmill desks perhaps I'll have to recommend outdoor walking meetings once spring finally arrives in Minnesota!