Tuesday, June 12

Geek Girls RULE!

Last night I attended my first (of many, I hope!) Geek Girls TO event. It was held at the wonderful ING Direct Center in downtown Toronto - a truly fabulous venue. If you've never been there, the atmosphere is laid back and yet edgy, somehow - a perfect fit, as far as I'm concerned.

The topic was Mobile Evolution: Thinking Beyond The App. The speakers:
  • Kitty Shum - @kitty_shum
  • Thomas Purves - @tpurves
  • Matthew Fabb - @matthewfabb
Honestly, I couldn't tell you which talk I liked "most" - they were all fantastic. Of the most interest to me personally was probably Thomas Purves' talk, which explained a lot to me about mobile carriers in Canada and how airwave auctions, "work" and why you're getting ripped off on those US roaming charges. 

All in all, the event was a wonderful time. I met some new people (shoutout to Shanta Nathwani - @TantienHime - who was an absolute delight to speak to and meet!), engaged in some great conversation, and  just had a great time. 

Here's looking forward to the July and August events! 

You can follow Geek Girls TO on Twitter or check out them out on MeetUp.

Friday, May 11

Stop 'Yer Whinin'!

I bet I've thought this 500 times this week. Just cut it out. I know you didn't get the promotion you thought you deserved. I know you didn't like how things worked out with that guy you were dating. I know things are shitty at home. Listen, I get it. I understand.

But stop 'yer whinin'!

Every single day we do things we're not happy about. Heck, some days I wonder if that's all my schedule says: "Do shit you don't want to do." You're not alone here, let me assure you. Somewhere, someone is just as pissed off about the way their day is going as you are *right now*.

I'm a big believer in making your own way in this world: No one's going to haul your shit around but you, soldier, so suck it up. Am I saying you should never feel down or depressed about what's happening around you? Of course not. I am, however, saying that it's time to stop whining about it and start doing the things you need to do to make shit better.

I have to give a huge shout out to Erika Napoletano right now. In case you don't read it (and you SHOULD), her blog is amazing, and often gives me the (bitch)slap I need. Like this one, that prompted me to get off my ass and do something. Read it. You'll feel better about your life.

And seriously.....stop 'yer whinin'.

Tuesday, January 3

Why I'm Glad I'm a Geek Girl

It's after 1am. I'm sitting here watching Breaking Bad (which, if you haven't watched yet, you should, because it's amazing) and thinking. My brain is literally teeming with ideas, plans, thoughts....all of them more expansive and impressive than the last.

I learned some very difficult lessons in the last year - difficult, frustrating, angering, humbling lessons. 2011 was much, much harder than I expected it to be. Family health issues, employment issues, life plan issues, financial issues...the list is long and winding, to be sure. Through it all, I attempted to remain calm, cool, collected and not stressed. (Did you snicker there? I sure did... ) I had days where I thought I was going to unravel - and not necessarily at the seams. There were many nights of sleeplessness, many days of worry, many  "What on earth am I doing??"-like thoughts going through my mind.

So how does 2011 being a total crap shoot pertain to this blog post? It's a brand new day. Nay, a brand new year. Furthermore, I am a Geek Girl. And as you're about to find out, Geek Girls rule.

I've decided I'm going to make 2012 my year. In case you haven't already (for shame!), check out this post - it explains that a little more fully. When I decided this, I hadn't quite decided yet how I was going to make this miracle happen...I just knew it was going to. It seemed like a bit of a mountain, sure, but I'm more stubborn than most people realize (maybe even myself...). Then I came to one very amazing, wonderful conclusion:

I'm smart enough to make things happen in my own life.

Read that line again. It bears repeating. And hey, do us both a favour: When you read it again, substitute "I'm" with "You're" and "my" with "your". You'll thank me later, I promise.

I'm smart enough, I'm capable enough, and I'm determined enough to make things happen in my own life. Why? Because, like other amazing Geek Girls out there (heck, there's even a #hashtag!), I'm intelligent, I'm able, and most of all, I'm willing to kick my own ass when I need it kicked. Let's be honest - sometimes there's no one else strong enough to do it. Most of us Geek Girls are also exceptionally strong-willed.

Part of my plan for making 2012 "The Year of Me" includes working on my own things. After all, we all want to be happy and feel accomplished and successful. Another part is about being proactive in encouraging and supporting others in finding their passion. I recently had a conversation in which some of my oldest and closest friends discussed whether or not we were "missing our calling". In that conversation, I realized that many of us were doing what we were "supposed" to do, what we "have" to do, etc. None of us were following our dreams, none of us were doing, as another Geek Girl friend of mine described, "What, when you do it, envelopes you in it so entirely that you literally think if nothing but what you are doing? That's called flow. What makes your heart sing?". (Thanks, Jules. You're brilliant.)

I am a Geek Girl. I get excited about technology and gadgets and Blurays, I love Facebook and Twitter and Google+, I make my Geek Husband proud, I love a good blog, my set is set aflutter at the thought of a new way of doing things. I'm smart enough to know that because I'm a Geek Girl, I will make 2012 The Year of Me.

And I'd be thrilled to help you make it The Year of You, too.

Monday, January 2

I Wasn't Kidding....

I'm starting 2012 with a bang. I refuse to simply sit back and wait for things to happen - I will MAKE them happen. I will not sit idly by and depend on the word of others - I will MAKE things happen.

Guess what, 2012? I'm turning 35 in a few short weeks, and you should know right now...big things are coming. 35 and 2012 are going to be nothing short of phenomenal.

I can't wait to look back at this and smile because I've made myself proud - of ME.

Sunday, January 1

2012: The Year of Me

There's not much more to be said; the title of this post says it all.

I'm done "trying"...I'm about to start doing.

I'm finished "hoping"....I'm about to start acting.

I'm through with "wanting"...I'm about to start having.

2012 is the year of ME. And what a year it will be.

Wednesday, September 21

Winning? Not Today.

Le sigh. There's no winning.

Okay, so a few things about today's changes on Facebook. No doubt you've heard the complaints, the irritation, the rants, the vents, the general goings-on. If you didn't, you might be the only person on the planet - or you're not online.

I get that it's new. I get that it's different. I get that you liked "the old way". I get that you now have to "learn this". But seriously...c'mon, people. Think about this, as said beautifully by this someecards card:

Here's the thing: Facebook can't win with everyone. Think of it like road construction; we all bitch, moan and whine that it needs to be done - the potholes are terrible, they're eating our car, the government needs to fix this - and then we bitch, moan and whine when it's being done - it's an inconvenience, it makes our travel time longer, it's a pain to sit and wait. Let's be honest here, shall we? If the Facebook of September 21, 2011 looked exactly like and performed exactly like the Facebook of September 21, 2008, we'd all scream and curse and rant and rave that it was "behind the times", "outdated" and we'd ask what in the name of all things techie they were doing in those offices.

If you'd like to see a perfectly good example of what happens when a company stops innovating, take a look at RIM. There are many news stories out there all clearly illustrating that lagging behind has hurt this company more than anyone could have believed. Other companies moving ahead and doing new things that delight and captivate their customers means that the lack of the same at RIM is highlighted fantastically - though not so much for them. When they released their new lineup of phones just a few weeks ago, there were loud cries of "Too little, too late!" - I'm 150% certain that's not the reception they dreamed about the night before launch.

Maybe it's because I'm very much an online person, but I embrace changes like these. Facebook employs an entire team of developers and creative minds whose sole purposes with the company is to innovate and create change. As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 750 million active users. I find it pretty impossible to even suggest that a company that has amassed that sort of user-base doesn't know what it's doing. Even if you're not a fan of the platform, I think it's safe to surmise that they've got a grip on what's going to make their product better or worse. Maybe they could make their plans a little more publicly known, sure - but as I said to a friend (on Facebook, no less), why should they bother? They're not going to drop from 750 million users down to 14 individuals because they didn't hold a press conference before rolling out changes. People will adapt, the same as they always do, and in a week's time no one will remember what September 20, 2011's Facebook looked or behaved like.

The changes are here. Why not spend time getting to know them, find out what's nifty, helpful, interesting or new and embrace them? That's what I'll be doing.

What are your thoughts? Should we expect a message every time a free service/platform upgrades? I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, September 15

Brilliant or Insane? Game On!

There comes a time in your life where you take yourself by the hand, walk yourself down a scary little path into a shadowy, wooded area and say, "Okay now, Self...it's time to take the next step." Then comes the fun part - watching to see whether you'll take the step, or run screaming back into the light. (I make it sound joyous, no?)

That scary walk happened this week for me - I've started a new venture. Whether or not it'll work, only time will tell. Whether or not I've completely lost my mind, only time will tell. Whether, as the title of this post asks, I'm brilliant or insane, only time will tell. Obviously I'm hopeful that I'm brilliant, but if I'm completely honest there's a pretty good chance I'm certifiable.

I recently read a blog post by the awesome Lindsay Bell that rattled me to the core. Not because she's a fantastic writer (which she is) or because the topic was fantastic (which it was), but because the timing of it couldn't possibly have been better had she said, "Hey Tab - what do you think I should write about that would reach out and touch your brain?" Her post is about being comfortable with being uncomfortable - something many of us simply hate even attempting - and why it's important to take those little journeys.

For me, planning the trip isn't hard. Talking about the trip isn't hard. Getting my shoes on to walk the path isn't hard. Dropping myself off outside of that shadowy, wooded area and saying "Okay....go!!"...that's hard. I almost wish I could halve myself - at least then I'd be able to give myself a push, right? Alas, I have to stare into that shadowed, scary area and say to myself, "Alright...let's do this."

I've done it. I've started what may or may not be the coolest, greatest, most fun and brilliant thing I've ever done, or the craziest, off-the-wall, most insane thing I've ever done. Right now, I have no idea which it is. Am I comfortable being uncomfortable? I'd love to tell you "Hell yes I am!", but I'd be lying. Right now I'm more in a place of "Okay, the first step has been taken. Let's just get some footing and see how the next step forward feels." However, and this is the part that I think is really cool, I'm on the path to getting there.

But you know what? That's a lot further than I was yesterday. :)

Thanks, Lindsay - you've been a great source of inspiration and believe-in-myself the last few months. Pretty good for someone I've never met, huh?