Tag Archives: Play

When I Won My Oscar

Last night watching the 2014 Oscars, I fondly remembered the occasion when I won my Oscar. It was such a wonderful party! I’m not kidding. Many people know this to be true. I was honored for directing as well as being the author of an original screen play. Or I should probably say many screen plays. Probably about ten.

conference hall

You see, at one of my previous work places, we were a hard-working bunch of people. Regularly cutting 60+ hour weeks combined with 24/7 availability on our Blackberries. Sometimes we had  “strategy workshops” with top management. They usually lasted for two days. I used to run these off-campus events, which tended to be serious occasions with lots of tough discussions. After leading a couple of these, I figured that we would benefit from some lighter fare in between analyzing economic forecasts and world market conditions.

So I wrote a series of humorous, revealing and a bit outrageous skits. While things were not said right out, everyone would know what the issue at hand was. Then I casted the “play”, selecting the actors among directors and vice presidents who had demonstrated some degree of comical talent and ability to laugh at themselves. They loved our secret practice sessions! We laughed a lot and let loose. We made adjustments together and scanned our closets for suitable costumes and other stuff we could use. The funnier, the better.

Then, in the middle of the serious agenda and completely unannounced, we would appear and perform our “play” for the 200+ head audience of high achievers. While we always had some serious observations about the company and its people embedded in the skits, it was mostly just great fun. The audience loved it. And it became a tradition.  A series of skits were now anticipated at these events. The casting changed a bit overtime but all of the actors became “famous” in the company. Many did really well. Although we could never establish a clear correlation between acting and being promoted.

Then, after about five years, it was time for me to leave these guys for a new job. So they wanted to organize one more management conference before I left. We played the last skit “directed” by me and got a standing ovation. That’s when the big surprise came. One director got up and said that the “academy” had decided to award me an Oscar for lightening these typically serious events by writing and directing hilarious skits, which they all had enjoyed, blah, blah, blah.

my chocolate oscar

After the nice speech I received my Oscar statuette. It was just like the real one, but made of dark chocolate. It came in a clear case and with a nice “certificate” thanking me for infusing a playful element in management deliberations.

Needless to say I displayed this Oscar in the bookshelf at my new job for a long time. Until the chocolate started turning lighter. An Oscar gets old too. I miss him just a little bit.

Confessions of a Rescue Dog

“I’ve learned to trust again. I’ve learned to play again. I’ve conquered my fears. But most importantly, I’ve learned never to lose hope.” That’s Bumble’s message to his readers on the back of his new book “Confessions of a Rescue Dog“.  He generously shares what he has learned and let’s the reader peek into his world through touching and humorous observations.

Bumble plans his escape.
Bumble plans his escape.

Bumble hopes this book will be a heart-warming treat for pet lovers of ages 10-100, but more importantly, he hopes it will raise awareness and much needed funds to help more shelter animals find loving forever homes. He wanted to post an excerpt for you to read here. It’s about one of his favorite activities, visiting a small uninhabited island for a swim and a nice picnic:

“I love to go to this one particular island. It’s uninhabited and few people ever go there. It has shallow white beaches, and the sand is soft. My family likes the crystal clear water, and we spend hours snorkeling. This is where I also go into the water to swim and snorkel. It’s such a wonderful beach….Last time we were there we got a surprising visitor, completely unannounced. We were all swimming and suddenly mom was screaming. I thought she’d been bitten by a big fish, like a shark or something. I was ready to swim to her rescue!

Bumble goes swimming.
Bumble goes swimming.

Then I looked more carefully and saw a large dolphin. They are nice, intelligent animals and not fish. Mom had told me that earlier when we saw two of them swimming ahead of our boat. This one was swimming around mom, who was now standing waist deep in the water. She had been a bit scared when the dolphin first came to nudge her, but now she was delighted. The dolphin stayed with us for a while and then swam out to the ocean. The whole experience was very special.

Another thing that I love about these small outings is that we usually go out in the morning and return just before sundown. That means lunch on the beach somewhere, and I mean an excellent lunch on the beach. Mom never brings my bowl or my food, so I get what they get. Usually chargrilled chicken breasts or yummy sausages! I love the lunch time on these trips. I get pieces from everyone, and no one keeps a count. That’s what I call a picnic! I’m suggesting we make a small boating trip a regular feature in the weekend calendar, every week. No one would ever be bored.”

You can read another excerpt here. It is about the time when Bumble had just come from the shelter to his new home and was rediscovering how to play.

His book is finally available on Amazon US as a paperback and also on Kindle! In addition, it will be available on other on-line book sellers in the US and on Amazon’s sites world-wide in the next few days.

We both hope you’ll enjoy it!