Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stop the randsanity!!! (Just kidding, please keep it going.)

Last New Year's Eve, I went to the wedding of two college friends of mine, Tony Guerrero and Lisa Baker (now Guerrero too). It was a lovely celebration and the first time I had seen them both in quite a while. Fortunately, I've been able to see them a few more times this year (including Costa Rica night and GameWorks for Lisa's birthday). However, I still felt like something was missing recently... perhaps subtle yet profound... but I wasn't sure. Then it hit me: I hadn't received an LoL in like forever.

For those of you who don't know, Lisa used to send e-mail updates about her life to friends and family. Back in 2002 when she started the LoL, these updates were weekly. Over time, they became less and less frequent. Then one day, like I said previously, it just sort of hit me that it had been like forever since I had received an LoL.

Of course, the first thing that crossed my mind was to be like Sherlock Holmes and try to solve this mystery. I thought about sending Lisa an e-mail to inquire about the matter, but decided that it might be a touchy subject. So I gave up on the Sherlock Holmes track and decided to reminisce about the good ol' days instead.

The first thing I realized was that I had been taking the LoL for granted all this time. How could I have been so stupid? But hey, the LoL was a great ride while it lasted. (Did you know that the word "randsanity" was invented by Lisa in one of her LoL's? True story.) And of course, I'll never forget the shoutouts. To be mentioned by Lisa in an LoL was the highest honor she could electronically bestow upon a person. (I wasn't going to say anything about this, but yes, one time I was the recipient of an LoL shoutout.)

Oh, the memories. Sadly, they had apparently come to an end... but wait, what's this new message in my inbox from Lisa Guerrero? It couldn't possibly be..
LoL#54: Multitasking while Multitasking
Disclaimer: Okay it's been forever since I've
sent an LoL and my address book is on the
fritz so if you weren't ever on "the list"
before sorry if you're confused. LoL stands for
Life of Lisa or Lisa on Life or Lisa Online
or whatever and it was once a weekly e-mail from
me that became a monthly than a quarterly and
is now a once in a blue moon quasi-humorous
rambling e-mail from me. For a further history
see The Archives at MSN Groups

So I'm back. I know it's been a long time and
for those of you that actually read these, sorry
to disappoint. I don't know if I've just been
overly busy lately or just uninspired, but
work's been a bear so I haven't had much time to
spew all my crazy ponderings into an e-mail for
y'all. Not that today is much slower, but I tend
to have these brief breaks throughout my day
(waiting for centrifuges to spin, purification
columns to drip, cells to plate, etc....) and I
thought maybe I could string a bunch of breaks
together to create something of a coherent e-mail.
But before I continue I have to go warm up my
cell media in the water bath. Be right back....

....Okay where was I.... Oh yeah I wanted to tell
you all about my super spiffy trip to Washington
D.C.!! It was way cool. Tony just changed jobs
and he had a week vacation paid out from his old
job so I took some time off and we went to visit
his dad in DC. We spent most of the trip museum
hopping which was quite convenient since there
were no lines and everything was free. I'll give
you the play by play of what we saw/did in one
sentence but keep in mind this was over four
days: Dulles Airport, Natural History Museum,
President Bush (in his limo), Sculpture Garden,
White House, US Treasury, White House Visitor
Center, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Castle,
rode the metro, coffee with Barack Obama & Dick
Durbin (IL senators), Senate gallery tour, Botanic
Gardens, Air & Space Museum, American History
Museum, Chinatown, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam
Memorial, Korean War Memorial, WWII Memorial,
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington House,
Air & Space Museum Annex, and back to Dulles
Airport. It was an awesomely full trip! Now that
things are more routine again - actually my
centrifuge just beeped. Hold on....

Sorry. I'm purifying SPARC (it's a protein...
'nuff said) today which means every 20 minutes I
have to add more PBS to the columns in the
centrifuge. I'm also running a proliferation assay
which requires a one hour incubation after adding
reagents to my cells followed by two plate reader
applications. And then I'm treating a different
plate of cells with two different growth factors
and eight dilutions of SPARC. As well as
answering the phone, signing for packages,
placing orders, refilling tips, checking on
mice, etc. etc. etc. Hence (as you noticed from
the title) I dedicate this LoL to all of you
considered to be Masters of Multitasking!! But
seriously, people, what's the deal with
Multitasking anyway??? Doesn't it really just
indicate that -

*phone call*

- we're all just overworked? That's what
interviewers want these days is a "Multitasker"
which basically means they want to hire the person
who will do the most things at once. How crazy
is that?!?!?? I'm certain that once upon a time
it was quite acceptable and perhaps even applauded
to compile a "To Do" list and methodically check
off the items one by one, yet in this day and age
we would call someone like that slow and
inefficient. This is the Age of The Multitasker.
And note we're not looking for Dualtaskers or
Tritaskers, no we want MULTI!! The more the
better! In fact even e-mail has thrived because I
can send a message to all 43 of you with the click
of a single button. But let's not stop there.
Consider if you will a grand phenomenon known as
The Lunch Meeting. No, you can't take precious
time out of your work day to do something as
mundane (and hopefully relaxing) as eating lunch.
That would be a waste of time! Instead we need
to -

*sorry had to show our new medical fellow where
the syringes are kept*

- use that precious lunch hour for more business!!
And then there's the more overlooked expanders of
multitasking. Take for example voice mail. It's
no longer good enough just to talk to someone on
the phone. We need the capability to take
someone ELSE'S call while we're talking. Or even
worse is Call Waiting. When you utter that sweet
little "Hold Please" aren't you basically just -

*centrifuge again*

- telling the person on the line that you'd
rather be talking to someone else? And how about
the brilliant invention that is the TiVo?
Granted most people have some generic cable
company provided DVR system but everyone calls
them all TiVo's anyway. And I like how "TiVo" is
suddenly an acceptable verb as in "I won't be
home to watch Lost tonight, could you TiVo it for
me?" That cracks me up. But I digress, the
genius of this product is that you can tape one
thing and watch something else. Even in
something as purely leisurous as TV watching,
we've found a way to multitask.

Anyhoo, I have a point here *shocking isn't it?*
and I just remembered what it was. See, I was
talking to a pastor friend of mine the other day
about taking some time out from all the work
I've been doing at church. I'm no longer going
to be leading a small group of high school
students and am transitioning into working more
with the service ministry (where Tony and I
are both involved) and working to get students
involved with service projects. But I was
telling him that I've been feeling spread too
thin and that in trying to do too many things
I wasn't giving my full heart to any of it.
He told me very simply "Sometimes you just
have to focus on One Thing." I laughed rather
cynically considering all that typically goes
on in my life and replied "Easier said than
done." But rather than accept my attitude he
came back with "Better done than regretted."
I think I at first took his comment to mean
that I should just have one ministry in my
life but when I thought about all that I care
about in life (family, friends, work, church,
self, home, etc etc etc), two things came to
mind: God and Finger Eleven.

Let me explain. There's a Finger Eleven song
that came out sometime last year and it's
called "One Thing" and the lyrics to the
chorus are : "If I traded it all, If I gave
it all away for one thing... Just for one
thing. If I sorted it out, If I knew all about
this one thing, Wouldn't that be something?"
And in thinking about those lyrics I realized
that God should and needs to be my One Thing.
All the rest can be better cared about if that
first part is true. What would life look like
if instead of trying to do a million things
for the church I "traded it all" for making
God my priority? How much calmer and less
hurried could I be "If I sorted it out" and
"If I knew all about" God and His plans for me?
As the song says "Wouldn't that be something?"
So maybe this is where the truth and the good
side of Multitasking comes in. We need to
start with our One Thing. With that in focus we
can handle everything else that we need to deal
with. And maybe that is easier said than done,
but I'm certain it's better done than regretted.

Multitaskfully Yours,

lisa :)

p.s. For those newbies on the list, sorry if
this failed to amuse you. My last e-mail was
all about an annoying air freshener so you
can check out the archive for something more
entertaining if you like.

p.p.s. Here's the full lyrics of the song
for anyone who cares:
Restless tonight cause I wasted the light
Between both these times I drew a really thin line
It�s nothing I planned and not that I can
But you should be mine across that line

If I traded it all,
If I gave it all away for one thing...
Just for one thing
If I sorted it out,
If I knew all about this one thing
Wouldn't that be something?

I promise I might not walk on by
Maybe next time but not this time
Even though I know I don't want to know
Yeah... I guess I know I just hate how it sounds

If I traded it all,
If I gave it all away for one thing...
Just for one thing
If I sorted it out,
If I knew all about this one thing
Wouldn't that be something?


lisa :) said...

Thanks Greg - truly an honor to be blogged about. And now that a lisa blog exists, blogging must follow scrapbooking, reading, red licorice and Diet Coke in the list of things I'm addicted to. Smiles!!

Westy said...

Welcome, Lisa!
The first thing I thought when I saw Greg's post was, "She needs a blog to post this sort of stuff on..."

Greg said...

Note to Lisa: You're more than welcome.
Note to everyone else: Lisa's got a cool new blog.