Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas to Every One!


merry goopmas 09
Originally uploaded by goopymart
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Solstice, Happy New Year and all the rest!

Dragon Age: Origins wins two Video Game Awards!

Dragon Age: Origins won best RPG and best PC Game at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards.

What's even better is the fact that DA:O Executive Producer Mark Darrah received his award from Snoop Dogg. No, really. I'm not making that up.

Read the full story here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Really? Last post was August?

Man, so much has happened since then. I don't really want to recap - my Twitter feed is probably best for that.

Mama moved back to CA. YAY!
I didn't get laid-off (yet - fingers crossed!).
I presented at the IGDA Leadership Forum 2009.
I'm about half-way done with my Masters degree in Project Management (bets on its successful completion!?).

Is that it? Seems like so much more than that...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Excellent post at LeadingBlog on self-awareness for leaders:

12 Keys to Greater Self-Awareness

  1. Stop blaming others for your choices. It’s you.
  2. Take a personality assessment to help you gain some perspective.
  3. Get feedback from as many significant people in your life as you can. This can be uncomfortable for both you and them, but it is the fastest method for gaining a better picture of yourself. (Make them feel safe. It's a big, unknown risk for them!)
  4. Get a coach or mentor. They don't have to know more than you. They just have to see you in action and help you to be a better you. You're not as hard to figure out (complicated) as you would like to think.
  5. Understand that your biggest irritations look a lot like you.
  6. Look beneath your behavior to reveal your assumptions and filters. They dictate how you see yourself and others and impact how you relate to them.
  7. Look at your roadblocks. Learn to separate facts from your interpretations of them.
  8. A lot of negative interactions signal a selfish approach to life.
  9. Reflect daily on your behavior. Ask questions like: How do I handle difficulties? What do I think or do when I don’t get my own way? How adaptive am I? Can I control my emotions? Do I tend to say what I’m thinking when I’m thinking it? Do I judge other people and create conflict? How do others relate to me?
  10. Organize your thoughts in a journal. It is one of the best ways to capture what is going on around you and inside you. Make a note of the causal remarks people make about you.
  11. Read books and go to seminars that help you rethink your assumptions and address your problem areas and blind spots.
  12. Words mean a lot. Your language reflects your thinking and attitudes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amazing nano-pic


1stplaceHeliaJalili
Originally uploaded by rodolfobernal
At first I thought this was a pile of chopped-up teddy bears. But then I bothered to read the text and it turns out to be a nano-structure that just *looks* like a teddy bear head.

Craziness!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Weirdest Dream I've Ever Had

This is the weirdest dream I've ever had.

I was in Oregon visiting Mama. I went to Mona's house to say hi. She had two daughters and an older son. She also had a child who died previously. I was spending some time at her house when we decided to go out. As Mona and her kids were leaving, I realized I forgot something upstairs and went up there.

Something seemed wrong - a door was a jar which I was sure had been closed - so I poked around a bit. I opened a closet door to find a deranged Chinese man staring at me. I asked what he was doing and he said he was searching for something and to leave him alone. Startled, and knowing he didn't belong there, I hit him on the head. He fell down and I screamed for Mona. She and her kids came running upstairs, wondering what was going on. I told her this man was in the house, and they called the police.

He woke up and started chasing Mona and I around. We ran into a pantry which was very large and strangely filled with bottles of tomato juice. The man used some kind of psychic power to make the bottles explode, and Mona and I screamed and ran away. Finally, I realized which item in the house the man wanted. I grabbed it and invoked its power. The man ran away swearing revenge.

After the man was gone and the magical thing - which looked like a white hair roller curler thing with some gauzy substance on it - was secured, I left to go to the bank. I first tried the ATM where I wanted to transfer money from one account to the other. At the end of the transaction, a bunch of receipts came out that indicated I'd overdrawn my account and several fees would be charged. Though the bank was just closing and there was a huge line inside, when I explained I only had a question the woman minding the door let me in.

I waited in line forever, sharing the odd story of the mysterious object with my fellow line-waiters. Once I reached the correct point in the line, the bank door woman gave me a solid red Russian winter hat, which I donned, and told me to proceed to the front.

Finally at the counter, I started telling the the teller that I had a problem to discuss. She told me to wait a moment and moved into the back room. Then, the lights dimmed and a special effect light show began. The floor of the bank cleared and each teller came out in a ball gown, sparkling with jewels. Music played, and a great show was put on. The other customers stared, waiting for the tellers to get back to work. One woman who needed change came to the backside of my teller's window and took some change from her desk to add to her deposit.

Eventually, the show stopped and the teller came back. The lights returned to normal, and work resumed. The teller apologized for the mistake and gave me a $1000 bill. I was no longer annoyed and left to go back home.

I returned to Mama's house, where James was waiting. I told him I had to tell him about the incredibly strange day I'd had, with the mysterious device and the $1000 bonus, but he just wanted to go to sleep. He kept turning the light off, and I had to keep turning it back on. I finally convinced him to talk to me, but when we sat face to face in the light, I could see his front tooth was broken. (This referred to another dream where his tooth fell out.) I then wondered if the $1000 would be enough to fix his broken tooth...

At that point I woke up. I spent all morning reciting the dream so I would forget as little of it as possible. And now it's written down!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Paper taco truck 08


paper taco truck 08
Originally uploaded by goopymart
A little cut out. For the kids!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Project Management resources

People say "Karen, you are a project manager. How can I learn more about the fascinating world of planning, scheduling and controlling?"

To those curious folks, here is a list of my favorite resources right now:

Books

Flannes & Levin, Essential People Skills for Project Managers

Meredith & Mantel, Project Management: A Managerial Approach


Websites

General project management:

Project Management Institute

Methodologies:

W. Edwards Deming Institute

Introduction to Six Sigma from GE

Ken Schwaber's SCRUM site Control Chaos

Introduction to eXtreme Programming

Lean.org

Groups & Organizations for women in project management/business/technology:

Women in Technology International

Women in Project Management Special Interest Group (SIG)

Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Microsoft Women in Gaming Luncheon at GDC 2009

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Microsoft Women in Gaming Luncheon at the W Hotel on Wednesday. It was the first annual luncheon celebrating and honoring women in the video game industry. This is a quick summary of the proceedings.

After lots and lots of talking with the many attendees in the lobby, we moved into the dining room. Very early on in the program, Fiona and I made the "official announcement" about GameMentorOnline, which was awesome. What an amazing crowd to be talking about mentoring with -- attendees responded well, and I spoke with several people at the end of the program about signing up as mentors! Hooray!

Lunch was tasty -- a beet and goat cheese salad was served to start, followed by roasted chicken with potatoes. An excellent chocolate mousse cake, served with coffee, completed the meal. The W Hotel definitely provided delicious food and a pleasant atmosphere for the luncheon.

The best part of the event was the award ceremony to recognize the contributions of women in the art, design, programming, and production areas of the industry. The complete list of winners can be found in this Edge Online article. I was excited and proud to see my colleague Robin Hunicke amongst the honorees; she is so great -- no number of accolades can truly measure her awesomeness.

In summary, it was a great event. Karen Randhawa and the entire team at Microsoft put on an excellent event, and deserve BIG kudos for the successful luncheon!

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Very Late Ada Lovelace Day Women in Technology Blog Post

Not that it's a great excuse, but this week I've driven 1650 miles from Edmonton to Burlingame, moved a car full of stuff into an apartment and am preparing to start a new job. So, March 24th kind of came and went for me this year.

Now that I'm "back" in the digital world, I can do my blog post on a women in technology in honor of Ada Lovelace Day.

The woman I want to talk about is Robin Hunicke. She's a woman. She's in technology. She is working on her Ph.D. Seems like a great candidate to me!

Robin inspires me because she's kind, funny, smart, outgoing, and knows her shit. She reaches out to other women because she genuinely cares about them. She gives them a hand up into the industry, if that's what they want.

If you don't know Robin, you should.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Can't get enough of that Goopymart!


Another fab pic from Goopymart.

Check out Goopymart on Flickr!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

LOLCAT of the Day

funny pictures of cats with captions
See moreLOLCATS!

Maybe it's just the back pain meds talking, but I find this very funny right now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Something to ponder



Something to ponder tonight, as you drift off to sleep...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Octonauts & Meomi

I have become obsessed by The Octonauts.

Just...look at them! How can you NOT be obsessed?



If you think that's awesome, definitely check out the Meomi website. What great stuff!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Revelation! Spaghetti Cat is an Apostle of Flying Spaghetti Monster

I had a wonderful revelation today, my friends.

Today I realized that our dear Lord Flying Spaghetti Monster has sent his only begotten son, Spaghetti Cat, to spread his noodly word.

RAmen, indeed!