Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Collective Wisdom

Hi all,

We are eagerly awaiting our baby to come along, and will surely have plenty to say once that happens!  Until then, I'll post some links to my company blog, www.globaladjustments.com/wpblog, where I've started writing a few things about some of the cultural issues we face in our training.  There's also some cool pictures of our office there right now.  I'll let you know when a new post comes along too.  I know it's not as exciting as a baby - but it will have to do for now!

Peace,
Neil

Here's the latest one that I wrote.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home

What a sweet and complicated word. When you're little "home" is usually whatever house you live in with your parents. As you grow, new "homes" start popping up. Life gets deeper, richer, and more complex. Sometimes, it leaves you confused. I remember the first time I referred to college as "home". It was the first time that I realized I had two homes now. Much has changed since college, including the addition of many more 'homes' for Neil and me, the most recent of which is our small flat near the beach in India.

This year our little apartment has transformed into a true home for us. A place where we eat, where we joke, where we cry, where dear friends come over to spend time together, a place where we host visitors, a place that, for the first time in our lives, we actually own everything in it! A place where when we walk through the door the feeling of arriving somewhere that we belong comes over us. Truly, we have a home here.

And yet, just like college, it is both a home AND a home-away-from-home. "Home" will always be the smell of my mom's apple/cinnamon spiced candles, my dad & brothers walking around the house shirtless, the constant chill of my room (which has NEVER gotten as warm as the rest of the house), hugs and kisses from my brothers, sitting at the counter with my dear SIL while mom mixes something tasty in her big tan bowl, hearing my dad working in the garage....HOME will always boil down to one place. I am blessed to know the true comfort and relaxation that a home can bring; it is that home that I can't wait to come into in December, breathe out a deep sigh, and drink my fill of all things loved and familiar.

Counting down!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

iPhoto

This is by no means an advertisement. I have had plenty of frustrating moments waiting for iPhoto to load or refusing to recognize a picture I have just uploaded. That being said, since it is our current photo organizer, I must pay it the respect it deserves for giving me a platform to occasionally reminisce. I felt like I should post a blog today, but didn't have anything particularly important or pressing to talk about (unless you consider the fact that I'm eating quite possibly the best frozen yogurt I've ever had in my life. Too bad I already have a yogurt entry).

{Enter iPhoto}

A few minutes of browsing old pictures and I find myself waxing nostalgia. Here are a few goodies...

ahh, yes. The dreaded wisdom teeth removal process. A rite of passage for all 16-23 year olds. This picture was taken in a Walgreen's parking lot while my then-fiance, Neil, went in to get glorious pain meds that ended up making me puke all night, followed by dry-sockets and final semester college exams. Joy.

The first (of many) cooking-for-Neil experiences, full of 'I want him to ask me to marry him' pressure. Canned peaches and boxed pasta hardly count as cooking, but I can say that the ribs were a great success, as has been the marriage.

My friend, Libby, and I hit a deer the day before (well, technically I hit the deer while Libby sat innocently in the passenger's seat). Neil picked us up at a local McDonald's to bring us back to school. While there I encountered the most inept McDonald's employee you could possibly imagine. He handed me this ice cream cone with an, "I'm sorry, I have no clue what I'm doing" look on his face and all I could do was laugh and say, "No problem. It might end up being the best ice cream I've ever had. Who knows." Not the best, but it was good. And it provided some much needed laughter after our 'deer meets bumper resulting in totaled car' incident.


4 of my favorite guys reff-ing one of my favorite things: powder puff football. The tall guy on the far left looks like he'd make a great husband, don't you think? I have many fond memories of hits, bruises, and potentially broken jaws.

So ends the walk down memory lane. Hoping the next post is extra inspiring to make up...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yenna Pandradhu

Translates in Tamil as “what to do?”, and is currently my greatest cultural adjustment. “What to do?” as in your computer stops working and the IT guy doesn’t know how to fix it. As in you try for 6 months to get your name added onto a bank account. As in you switch mobile networks due to bad customer service only to find out your new one doesn’t give you a signal in your house. What to do?

Here’s a recent conversation I’ve had with my new home:

India: Neil, enna achu (what happened)?

Neil: Oh nothing, I’m just stressed because of __________ (insert a too detailed explanation)

India: Oh yes, that happends. Yenna pandradhu.

Neil: What do you mean, What to do? There’s a lot I can do. I am equipped with advanced problem solving skills. I can figure this out on my own and beat this problem into submission.

India: Apdia? (Is that so?)

Neil: Yes, I am very skilled at checking off things on my to do list and vanquishing them from existence so that I can move on to other things on my list.

India: And how is that working for you?

Neil: Well, not so great right now, but I’m still fighting it.

India: Hmm, it seems to me you are just stressed and you still have your problem, right?

Neil: Well, that’s true, but at least I’m doing something, right?

India: Puriyala (I don’t understand you)

Neil: I mean it’s always better to work really hard at something even if your chances of success are miniscule. All the sports movies I ever watched taught me that.

India: Neil, how long are you planning on staying in India?



Epilogue

I went to pick up my business mail at this rent-a-office place. When I finally explained my purpose, the proprietor went to some hidden drawer and pulled out a mountain of mail and began to sort through it looking for my name. I would usually get annoyed, walk over, and sort through my own mail looking for my stuff. But this time, I just sat back, read more of the paper, and ordered some tea. I mean, honestly, what can you do?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baby's first concert

Our friends Kamal & Priya took us to Bangalore to enjoy an AR Rahman concert. In layman's terms: the guy who wrote the music for Slumdog Millionaire; they call him the "mozart of Madras". He is by far the most successful composer in India, and rightfully so.




video

Eat your heart out Jai Ho fans!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Networking

Since around February, I've been trying to become a serious businessman with serious contacts and clients. It's been an interesting journey of self-awareness and discovery. The main thing I've been doing is lots of reading and talking with people wiser than me. I feel I have a whole new perspective on the world and what roles I can play in it. Courtney remarked that the Neil of 19 years old would probably have a hard time recognizing the Neil of 28, and it's been a good thing so far.

One of the my strategies in trying to build up business has been meeting as many people as I can, which lately has meant going to a lot of networking and association meetings. For those who know me well, it's pretty hard to imagine me as a life of the party kind of guy, and don't worry, I haven't changed that much. While way out of my element, I'm trying to learn the art of meeting a large number of people and trying to follow up with most to develop a few close relationships.

Here are a few results so far:

-I've been in the Rotary Club for almost a full year now. It's a nice place to see some familiar faces and have a reason to get out and do some good things too. Out of this group, I have made a tennis/music sharing friend, and got my first training order on my own.

-I joined the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, which happens to hold monthly meetings at a hotel which has an amazing breakfast. At my first meeting, I realized I only had about 5 business cards and ended up avoiding talking to people. At the next one, I walked out with around 30. As I was going through them, I felt like a kid going through a new pack of baseball cards and hoping that one was Ryne Sandberg or at least Andre Dawson. Ironically, the only further contact I've had is lunch with a guy from the Russian consulate who was surprised that Americans actually liked Russians.

-I also joined the Indo-American Association, which I quickly found out was an organization that pretty much exists for it's own sake. It's a lot of older people who like to get together and occasionally plan things. I'm scared if I go too many times they will want to make me an officer of their club.

-I've been to gatherings on Marketing and Empowering Women in IT, all very fascinating.

So, as I get acclimated to the business world, I'm trying to be more social and outgoing, yet still be myself. We'll see how it all goes, but it's definitely been a fun ride so far.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Growth Chart


Blog readers, sorry to tell you that you are the last to know: We're pregnant! Our progeny is due in early November and there's lots to be excited about. Our first baby, second grandchild for the Millers, first for the Wrights, and just plain awesomeness inside of Courtney (speaking from an outsider's perspective).

At the suggestion of some friends, we started a growth chart for the baby, or I guess for Courtney. It is already incredible to think of a human being formed inside her and how big of a role that person is going to play in our lives!

A quick sketch of the next year suggests a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Wright just before the due date. We'll have the baby here in India, and then return to the US for a visit around Christmas time for about a month.

For so long, it's just been Courtney and me on this amazing adventure - I think it's about time we added another travel companion. Here's to a new level of the Miller High Life!