Happy Mother’s Day 2013
May 12 2013

mothers-day-rosesAnother year has passed and another Mother’s Day is almost over.  Apparently my Happy Mother’s Day 2012 – Keep Up The Good Work post had several hundred views the last few days via google searches.  I still find that “greeting” card I took a picture of and put in that post humorous in an ironic kind of way…not even sure that makes sense or not.

This Mother’s Day, we find ourselves living in an extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks while we wait for our new home to be ready.  We’ve already had several friends over to eat and swim with us. Our new home was supposed to be ready in January, and we are crossing our fingers & toes that we will be able to move in soon.  So many amazing things have happened on this journey and invariably they involved wonderful people with big hearts who have gone the extra mile to make this transition as smooth as possible given the other unexpected changes in my life.  I really can’t thank some of these people enough.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be a grandmother with some of the best First World war stories ever!  🙂

So today for Mother’s Day, my son played soccer, the kids did their homework, they took me to Firebowl for lunch where mom’s ate free, we saw The Croods, they went swimming in the heated & nicely shaded hotel pool, they took me to Macaroni Grill for dinner (using gift cards the buyer’s of our house gave us), and they listened to me 90% of the time without me having to repeat myself multiple times.  All in all I’d say it was a very good day with the only downer being me having a cold.

I told the kids that I would share the fortunes (or statements) from the fortune cookies we chose at Firebowl in this post, so Happy Mother’s Day and here they are :

  • Embrace change, don’t battle it.
  • Don’t be so critical and overly concerned about details.
  • Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens.
  • Drastic means are not as necessary as you think.
  • Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
  • Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.
  • Help people reach their full potential.


Author: | Filed under: mom, mother, mother's day, movie reviews, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Black Swan – Psycho Thriller
Dec 18 2010

I saw Black Swan with a friend tonight and I’m still reeling.  It really shook us.  Natalie Portman will probably win something for her performance.  It was recommended to me by a friend/business mentor who during a difficult transition point in my life suggested I participate in a weekend workshop he and his wife have been involved with for years called The Search Within at the Search for Truth center.  I took the course back in August of 2009 (seems forever ago) and was on the support team two weekends ago.  It knocks your emotional socks off whether you are taking it or serving on the support team and it’s about getting in touch with your heart and living from authenticity versus fear.  So I took the recommendation seriously.

The acting was superb and you never really knew what was real and what wasn’t….a true psychological thriller.  For any of us who have striven for perfection only to realize it’s unattainable until ironically, you really let go to who you are, it’s a perfect but scary movie.  If we can’t blend the parts of ourselves together as many of us have trouble doing because we were told we had to be a certain way that we equated to perfect, in some it results in a mental mess where we can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination.  Driven to madness.

Fortunately, we went to PF Chang’s for dinner after the movie and after waiting 25+ minutes for our table, because most restaurants are really busy on a Saturday night in Austin, we got a great waitress named Summer who helped take the deep edge off the surreality of the movie.  She was funny, light hearted and made us laugh.  My head hurt literally for about 20 minutes after seeing the movie as it was so intense.  Thankfully Summer and some wine helped us move on to more interesting topics of discussion.

Our fortunes (nay statements) in our cookies were “A great man never ignores the simplicity of a child.” and “Your smile is a curve that can get a lot of things straight.”  Guess which one was mine? 🙂

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Interesting Links and Fortunes
Nov 21 2010

These two links are interesting because I wrote the posts…well not just that, they also have some great entrepreneurial content related to my job at the Austin Technology Incubator.

IBM and ATI Announce Partnership On Novel Summer Internship Program
It took us a while to be able to talk about the above partnership that I helped coordinate, but just last week we were finally able to talk about the unique intern program we set up.  It’s pretty exciting news since we helped create three internships that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.  Click the link to read the full story including quotes from our executive director, Isaac Barchas, and a vice president at IBM, Manoj Saxena.

Human Resources Best Practices – Lunch & Learn
One of the many things I do at ATI is organize periodic Lunch & Learn’s with relevant topics/speakers for our companies.  The last one we did was on HR and we had some fantastic speakers (see below).  Check out the post for key questions asked and key takeaways from their talk as well as their full bios.

Fortune Cookies

It’s been almost six months since I’ve done a post on fortune cookies but I got one recently that seemed appropriate.  I was having lunch with Laura Benold, a former ATI marketing associate extraordinaire, last week and got the following fortune: “Impatience may be appropriate at this time.”  We both laughed and thought it was relevant given our conversation at the time.  Although I like to get things done and get them done quickly, I have been more than patient about some things (contrary to some people’s beliefs about me) in the last few years mostly because I was dealing with a personal tsunami of my own, but my patience on certain things has about run out.  So maybe I should be more visible with my impatience for a while. 🙂

Another fortune (i.e., a statement, which seem to be the trend in fortune cookies these days) I got in the last couple of months is something like “Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”  That is so true about people, products, markets, etc.  I have a blog post brewing in my head about that one.  I think entrepreneurs have an even greater imagination than most.  I can’t imagine living life without an active imagination.  Entrepreneurs (business people, scientists, writers, etc.) are sometimes crazy enough to attempt to try and make what they imagine real!

Author: | Filed under: austin technology incubator, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Interesting Reads and Fortunes
Jun 13 2010

Here are a few interesting things that have hit my in box and show my penchant for Chinese food to read and think about:

Articles, Posts, & Cartoons

Why Change Is So Hard: Self-Control Is Exhaustible – Fast Company.

People won’t change because they’re too lazy. Well, I’m here to stick up for the lazy people. In fact, I want to argue that what looks like laziness is actually exhaustion. The proof comes from a psychology study that is absolutely fascinating.”

“This brings us back to the point I promised I’d make: That what looks like laziness is often exhaustion. Change wears people out—even well-intentioned people will simply run out of fuel.”

I found the short article interesting from a business and personal perspective.  Organizations and people can handle only so much change/stress that’s why it’s even more amazing to me when entrepreneurial endeavors make it because the speed and quantity of change that a start-up and the people involved experience is enormous.  Burn out happens often and frequently.  I’m a fairly high (and usually efficient) multi-tasker, but when I’m trying to process a lot of change and exerting a lot of self-control, it can feel exhausting which slows me down.  I also see how it affects people/entrepreneurs in the work environment.

Entrepreneurial Fog – A gapingvoid cartoon.  As an entrepreneur who has had a very interesting set of experiences in her life, many of Hugh’s cartoons resonate with me.  I did a couple of posts a while back on some of his cartoons called Love and Entrepreneurs Part 1 and Part 2.

“Army Generals talk about “The Fog of War.”  No matter how good your preparation is, it all means little once the actual fighting starts.

It seems to me that many things in life are foggy and one characteristic trait of entrepreneurs and great leaders is that they are comfortable with the fog…well maybe not comfortable with it but have the wherewithal not to let it completely overwhelm them like in some scary, horror flick.

Passing it On – A post by my favorite VC blogger, Fred Wilson about one of their firms junior investment professionals, Andrew, that is moving on after his two year stint, teaching their new professional Christina about “proceeds by class of stock.”  The teacher in me liked this post.  Although I’ve only officially taught a short time in my career (i.e., a handful of undergraduate classes in entrepreneurship), I’ve always liked to teach people things.  It must be in the blood because my grandfather and my mother were both professors at different times during their careers.  It’s always an amazing/rewarding moment when you see a student/employee/person ‘get’ something for the first time or you see them applying skills they may or may not have realized they learned from the class.  I sometimes hear from my former students via facebook and it’s really hard to explain the feeling you get when they mention how things they learned are still helping them today.  I really did want to comment on that post, but I think I’ll have to refer back to the ‘laziness/exhaustion’ article I mention above…when I finally had a few minutes, I felt the time to comment had passed.


A while back I did a series of posts based on fortunes from fortune cookies I had received and one post almost resulted in me being mentioned in a New York Times article.  As I was searching for the  links to my previous posts on the topic, I discovered one I did on November 2, 2008 called Business Is Like War; Easy To Begin But Hard To Stop where the fortune actually said “Love is like war; easy to begin but hard to stop.” I compared Love and Business in an actual table format!  How…how…business like of me.  The end result was most businesses and marriages fail (as people tend to define failure – something ceasing to exist) in some form or fashion.  This is when I sometimes look back on what I’ve written and realize I forget that I actually wrote it.  Those words seem to describe the disillusionment I was entering into or maybe it was the illusion I was waking up from at the time and that was over a year and a half ago.  Weird.  Anyway, here are some fortunes I or others have recently had the fortune of receiving.  Like some others, I think that the fortune cookie industry has run out of fortunes and has decided to move into giving mere random statements:

You are a fun-loving person and will find much happiness.

Life is like playing the violin in the public and learning the instrument as one goes on.

Love is the greatest gift of all.

You will be showered with good luck.

Be careful or your true idiocy will shine through. (I’m half joking on this one because someone I was sitting next to got something similar to this, but I can’t remember the exact words but the gist was the same.)

Chocolate covered raisins cure all ailments! (Yes, I made that one up because I’m about go eat some)

I’ll blame it on the entrepreneurial fog and change exhaustion as to why I’m not interested in doing full posts where I create compare/contrast tables on any of the aforementioned fortunes. 🙂

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A Long Overdue Fortune Cookie Post and SXSW
Mar 11 2009

Blogging will be light over the next several days (I think) because I’ll be at SXSW end of this week, part of this weekend, and early part of next week.   I hope to meet many of you there at my panel called Building A Web Business After Hours.  I’m not really into live blogging but I’ll probably be sending out a few tweets so if you are interested you can follow me on twitter @aruni.

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my random fortune cookie posts.   I’ve collected quite a few and I thought I’d share them, but before I do go check out some of the posts I did a while back with fortunes from those crazy cookies:

Business (Love) Is Like War; Easy To Begin But Hard To Stop – Nov 2, 2008

Those Who Seek Will Find – Sep 21, 2008

A Dream You Have Will Come True – July 30, 2008

Life Always Gets Harder Near The Summit – July 8, 2008

Look Forward to a Great Fortune and a New Lease on Life! – June 25, 2008

You can’t ride in all directions at one time – June 19, 2008

So here are the ones that have been sitting on my desk or in my purse for a while.  I won’t be writing full posts about these so here it goes:

A lifetime of happiness lies ahead of you. – Ah, that’s so nice to know.  I would be pretty bummed if a lifetime of misery lay ahead of me.

Your ability to trust fuels your ability to love. – Interestingly I have a hard time really trusting people for a variety of reasons, but oddly I love people.

The secret of vast riches begins with a single penny. – True but a bit simplistic, don’t you think?

You are compassionate and fun-loving.  – I do like being compassionate and fun! 🙂

People will find it difficult to resist your propositions. – This is exactly why I don’t make too many hard core propositions!  Understanding what it means if someone does accept your proposition is extremely important to know before you make the proposition…

Now, I’m off to watch Battlestar Galactica (recorded) with hubby who just completed the Landmark Forum and thought it was amazing!  I knew he would despite the fact he’s a rocket scientist and a know-it-all.   I’ll be doing the Advanced Forum in April where we are supposed to discover who we are…and I have a feeling I might be an elephant.

Author: | Filed under: Just For Fun, random stuff | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Blog Transition Time Period And Fortune Cookies
Jun 19 2008

Now that I took a day job, I’ve been wondering what I should post about.  Should I post about my new job or other stuff?  It also takes time to write meaningful posts and time is harder to come by now.  My new job has a lot to do with helping entrepreneurs or I should say it will once I get past the administrative day-to-day stuff of getting up to speed.

So in the meantime until I figure it all out, I’ve thought about posting about the fortune cookies I get when I go to Chinese restaurants or other restaurants who for some reason hand out fortune cookies. 

Hey, the last time I blogged about fortune cookies, I almost got mentioned in the New York Times!  It started with Comments and Fortune Cookies, went on to Those Darn Fortune Cookies, and ended up with Portuguese Fortune Cookies.

So, a couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with one of my business advisors at a Chinese restaurant in this place in Austin called Davenport village, and I got the following fortune:

“You can’t ride in all directions at one time.”

We both thought it was appropriate considering what was going on in my life.  Of course, I then thought to myself ‘well all directions isn’t the same as two three directions’ and ‘there’s no point in going no direction.’ 🙂

So here I go (the multi-tasker that I am) attempting to go one direction with a few detours here and there along the way…

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Portuguese Fortune Cookies?
Oct 17 2007

So the fortune cookie saga continues and it continues in Portuguese!  A reporter for BBC – Brazil saw my following posts on fortune cookies:

Those Darn Fortune Cookies (I was almost mentioned on the front page of the NY Times business section!)

Comments Now Working and Fortune Cookies

and emailed me to see if I would be willing to be interviewd for an article she was writing on fortune cookies.  She promised me fortune and fame that I would be mentioned because she was writing for BBCBrasil.com.  So, I said sure I’ll talk with you.  So the article called ‘Biscoitos da sorte’ ganham versão pessimista nos EUA was posted yesterday, October 16, 2007, and pretty much the only thing I recognize is my name. 🙂  I’m sure it is a great story.  If any of my readers or visitors happen to know how to read and translate Portuguese, please let me know what it says.

I happened to be eating at FireBowl Cafe again earlier this week and we grabbed some more fortune cookies that said:

  • Right now there’s an energy pushing you in a new direction.
  • It’s one of those low-key days that you’d rather spend just chilling.
  • Today is the day you let it go.  Your chance will come. 
  • When the moment comes, take the last one.  (I’m kind of wishing I didn’t take the last one of something I ate last night because my tummy hurts right now!)

Right now I’m thinking (in addition to the fact that my tummy hurts) that FireBowl Cafe should be paying me good money (or at least send me a bag of fortune cookies) because I’ve mentioned their name on all of these fortune cookie posts!

In case anyone is wondering, I do actually eat lunch at other places. Today I met with some of my Advisors at a local Austin fave, Chez Zee.

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Those Darn Fortune Cookies!
Oct 9 2007

Those fortune cookies I wrote about back on August 29, 2007 are still haunting me today.  Not only is that post consistently in the top 5 viewed posts because tons of people are doing searches on the term ‘fortune cookies’ for some reason, but also during the weekend of September 22, a reporter from the NY Times contacted me after reading that post about a story she was doing on the appearance of these not-so-great fortunes in Chinese restaurants around the country.

I was more than willing to help her out with the story.  It sounded like fun.  Coincidentally, I was planning to have lunch with a good friend at the same restaurant (Fire Bowl Café) where I got those bad fortunes that following Monday.  When I told my friend about the story she told me that her friend, Karyn Turnbull, had a weird fortune cookie experience at that same restaurant a while back during the time of her engagement.  After grabbing a bunch of fortune cookies which seemed ‘normal’ because apparently they switched suppliers, I spoke to the reporter and subsequently put her in touch with Karyn.   

So the story — Don’t Open This Cookie (Disastrous Day Inside) – ran on the FRONT page of the New York Times Business section on October 8, 2007 (Columbus Day so the kids were off from school) and my quote got cut during the editing process because of space issues.  The reporter was nice enough to give me a heads up the day before so I wasn’t surprised, but I have to say the wind was taken out of my sails temporarily because who knows when I will get the chance to have my name, my company’s name, or my blog name on the FRONT page of the New York Times Business section (an entrepreneur’s dream) again! 

So I write this post to illustrate that the life of an entrepreneur can be an emotional roller coaster.  On Saturday, October 6 I found out I was named an SOB (Yay!) by Liz Strauss and on Sunday, October 7 I found out I would NOT be mentioned on the FRONT page of the New York Times Business section.  Sigh.

But after some blah time and telling my 5 year old son in a humorous tone while tickling him that I was NOT going to be mentioned on the FRONT page of the business section of the New York Times and him asking me ‘what does that mean mommy?’ while laughing, I thought to myself maybe the reason the reporter found me was, in fact, to be connected to Karyn so that Karyn would get the opportunity to tell her fortune cookie story.  So that Karyn and her soon-to-be husband would have a story they could tell for the rest of their lives…to their kids, their grandkids, and their friends.  Who am I to feel bad about that! 🙂

Since this is my blog, I’m the editor, and I don’t have space constraints here is the rest of Karyn’s story:

The other half of our story… After Eric got the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” fortune, he opened his second cookie, looked over at me, and said “sweetie, I think I got yours.” It said “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.” Both of those will be going into our wedding album! 🙂   We thought it was pretty funny. All of the fortunes I got that day were pretty boring and standard though. I don’t even remember what they said.

So Congratulations Karyn…may your wedded life be blessed with good fortune!

Now for a plea to my readers:  If you like this post, I’d be pleased as punch if you Stumbled Upon it and/or Digg (or is it Dugg) it.  I know I won’t get as many readers as I would have IF I had in fact been on the FRONT page of the New York Times business section (yeesh) but maybe I can come close with a Stumble or Digg or two. 😀

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