What's wrong with this picture?

I went to an all-day finance meeting today that didn't suck.

No, I don't really believe it either.

There were also team building exercises that also did not suck. No really, I'm not lying!

The actual financial part of the meeting was actually relatively brief, and against all the laws of accountancy, our financial controller is a very good public speaker - he is engaging, well spoken and interesting. At least, my eyes don't slide instantly shut upon hearing the words "forecast", "budget" or "projected growth".

The team building exercises were very simple, and surprisingly effective. The first one had everyone standing up, and ready to move about the room. You shook the hand of the person next to you, and you told them your name, and they told you theirs. Then you said their name, and they said yours. And then you moved on to the next person, and so on around the room. It was all over in 5 minutes, pushed no-one too far out of their comfort zone, and actually got us to meet other people in the greater department.

We were divided into teams for the next team building exercise (which involved building a tower out of spaghetti, masking tape and string, and putting a marshmallow on the top (ours sagged gracefully over until it deposited the marshmallow onto the table - the idea was to build the highest one. And no, before you ask, I don't know what this has to do with finance...), and the method of choosing the teams was kinda nifty. Everyone picked a piece of puzzle out of a box - there were 6 pieces to each puzzle, and about 6 puzzles - and you had to find the people with the other pieces to your puzzle. The teams not only found all of their members, but all put their puzzles together to see the picture, completely spontaneously. It actually made a fantastic ice breaker, and provided a really good rallying point, if you will, for interaction.

I know that i am starting to sound like I have got religion - don't fret, I'm still the same old miserable cynic that I've always been! I am, however, very pleasantly surprised to discover that it is possible to have a positive experience at an all-day, team building finance event.

Who knew?

I like my entertainment to be light and fluffy...

That's not so much of what I got tonight, though. (Warning: once you get to the bit about SVU, I start talking about rape.)

Some of it was, of course. It's not possible to watch Glee when they are doing a Lady Gaga special, and not get a lot of fluff. But the writers are really good at addressing some interesting social issues.

The part that I found most touching was the way that Kurt's dad really stood up for him, his sexuality, and his lifestyle choice. That he was prepared to risk his own happiness with a woman that he cares about in order to protect his gay son. Now this guy is a mechanic, the kind who wears a trucker's cap and one of those sleeveless puffer jackets. He's a man's man. But whoo baby, don't fuck with his family. It's one of the things that Glee does really well - it really portrays "alternative" lifestyle choices as being perfectly valid, even desirable, which is seven kinds of awesome in my opinion.

What I really struggled with tonight was SVU. I used to watch it a lot, and then kinda got over it a bit, and have been watching it a bit recently, mostly because there's nothing else on. The case on tonight's show was a rape, as many of them are. One of the characters was a witness to the rape, and was reluctant to testify because she was in the US illegally. Her story came out in rather dramatic detail during the trail, and it was all I could do to keep it together.

She was a refugee from the Congo, an area rife with conflict. Rebels had forced her way into her home, and raped her and her five year old daughter, who then dies. Her husband then throws her out, because he can't stand the shame. She is later picked up and taken to one of the camps of the rebel militia, where she, and many other women, are beaten, tortured and raped, over and over again. She tells of how she was penetrated with guns, and that once one of the men doing this pulled the trigger.

I know that this is a TV drama, and is a fictional story. But really, we all know that none of this shit is made up. We all know that anything that happens on shows like this has happened, many times, to many people. It does my head in, big time. Honestly, what the fuck is wrong with human beings?

Argh - sorry for the major downer. It was just one of those things I had to share, y'know?

Anyways, I'm off to bed now. I might need some brainless fluff to read to clear my head... hmm, pity I only have book number two of the Twilight series (and that was a joke present, and all), that would certainly fit the bill.


I'z sick. Thanks to the snot monster who has appropriated my form and is now residing in my dressing gown and fluffy slippers. Thanks a lot.

On the plus side, I got a lot of sleep today...