Friday, January 21, 2011

Witnessing 1/5 of #IBM100 History...

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

...Practically First-hand

Our rabbi likes to use the occasion of High Holiday services, which our synagogue hosts at the Javits Center in NYC, to remind us to be awed by being part of something so much larger than ourselves, rather than being alienated by it. She asks us to look around the mammoth space where our services are held and somehow helps us feel akin with the thousands of worshipers that opt in to these services.

This past July, just 10 days after my 45th birthday, my IBM service counted for 20 years; I was with a joint-venture till '96, but IBM's influence was giant there, too. When it became a joint-venture, for example, all of the sudden, there were learning options galore. The prior company, on its own, sent me to one class in three years, to learn to use a text-processing product for writing my EDI user guides.

Rabbi Kleinbaum's talent for warming up a crowd of thousands comes to mind as I consider IBM's Centennial year, which is starting to be celebrated today. There are ~400,000 IBMers worldwide. Oy! So big! How do we not all get lost?

Picture a really, really, really huge virtual Javits Center, with a mashup of the enormously charismatic IBM leaders from around the world, plus a phenomenally large quorum of warm, interesting, global colleagues and I can't help but feel awed, rather than alienated when I consider the company I work for.

It's the same company that said yes to my helping start up a first-of-its-kind business development team, serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) B2B market; the team celebrates its first decade this year...the same company that sent me to India for six months to help design and deliver accelerated leadership development learning to the region's GM and his direct reports, including a spousal allowance for my female partner, Pat, who accompanied me...the same company whose global non-discrimination policy protected and welcomed Pat and me within IBM's four walls throughout our Indian sojourn...the same company that is sponsoring my part-time Master's at Columbia University's Teachers College...the same company that encourages its employees to engage in social learning online, both internally and externally through blogging services like this one from Google, and through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook...and it's the same company that has enabled me to make real/true global friends including from Austria, China, United Arab Emirates, Israel, India, Japan, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Canada, UK, Thailand....

Too bad for the weather and inertia that keeps my partner and me from heading out to Shabbat (Sabbath) services this eve, but I'll still end now to begin enjoying Shabbat at home with Pat and our two, sweet cats anyhow. No doubt, alas, it will be TV-and-online-community-infused, rather than liturgy/music/f2f-community infused relaxation, but we'll still take it on this windy winter metro-NY night.

I'll repeat my YouTube comment, which I posted upon seeing the film that's accessible from here:

"I'm an IBMer. That means that I get to make my good ideas real, and I get to be myself in all my humanity...."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Favorite Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Films

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Reprinting from GLBT IBMers & Friends Community Behind IBM's Firewall

This weekend, a Brazilian, female colleague posted, "Off-work Topic: What are your interests when not working?"

A Peruvian, male colleague and I have answered so far. Here's my response:

Other than spending time w/my partner and other family & friends, I like to swim, watch TV, go to museums and plays, and blog, micro-blog (tweet via Twitter) and keep track of Facebook. Just now also exploring

As far as GLBT films go, my favorites include (warning: I'm giving away some of the plots here):

* "Desert Hearts" - a female Columbia Univ. professor goes to Nevada for a quick divorce in the '50s and meets a charming cowgirl - thrilling/charming
* "Southern Comfort" - a documentary, featuring a tragic love story between a transman & a transwoman in the U.S. South - heartbreaking
* "Fire" - Two Indian women discover each other during unhappy marriages - mesmerizing, sad and hopeful
* "Julie Johnson" - An American housewife in the '90s falls for her best friend - super-poignant in its simplcity
* "Show Me Love" - Two Swedish high school girls fall in love - a fairytale, since one is the popular girl and the other the nerd - darling/sweet, hopeful, charming
* "Milk" - Features the life & untimely death of the closest leader that the GLBT community has had yet to Dr. Martin Luther King, worldwide - sad and inspirational
* "Hannah Free" - About an independent American woman and the married woman she falls for in the '40s or '50s, flashed back to from a nursing home setting, where both now live - sweet
* "Prodigal Sons" - a documentary about an American transwoman and her mentally ill brother - clever, disturbing, and all should see it
* "A World Unseen" - Two Muslim Indian women -- one married with two kids -- discover each other in Apartheid South Africa - sad, thrilling and semi-hopeful
* "Maurice" - Edwardian schoolmates at Cambridge fall in love and one marries - romantic and sad
* "Brokeback Mountain" - Two U.S. cowboys -- one married -- fall in love - tragic, including for the wife.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What the Samoyed Taught Me (Again) Today

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

A Perfect Lesson for 1/1/11

I'm barreling down our quiet street, where a neighbor got the city to post a "Slow...Children..." sign last year, when I see a neighbor, walking her dog. I slow down, at first a bit annoyed that she doesn't try to move over -- though, where's she gonna go, given the banked snow on either side of the road -- when I notice that the dog is harnessed to a back-set of big cart-wheels.

The dog is as white as the still-pure parts of the snow, which blankets the middle of people's lawns -- a beautiful Samoyed whose hind legs are swinging to and fro while the dog trots along on his or her front paws. I stop the car completely and watch from behind how jaunty the dog is. The dog is having a ball. Apparently half-paralyzed, he or she is thrilled to be out for a walk, no matter the conditions.

The dog reminded me to be patient about getting from here to there, and grateful and joyous at what I've got already: love, companionship, sufficient mobility, spirit....