Month: January 2010

10,000 Tweets

Yesterday, I sent my 10,000th Tweet. Kind of crazy.

I first joined Twitter back in July 2008, but I really didn't start actively tweeting until the end of April 2009 while at the Nonprofit Technology Conference sponsored by NTEN. Before being active on Twitter, I was pretty active on Facebook. I had purposely avoided Twitter for a long time.

I'm so grateful that I finally jumped in feet first to Twitter. I have met so many great people, and even met some of those people in person. I have grown personally and professionally in ways that I couldn't even imagine about a year ago.

Here's to the next 10,000 Tweets.

The Miss Army Knife

I am usually not a fan of taking something manly and making it girly. I find most of the “pink tool kits” to be a joke, and usually you wind up with something not very functional. However, the Miss Army Knife (Kit) may have changed my mind. I need to order one, and this should not be seen as endorsement because I’ve never actually used the product. But, I do like the addition of the little mini mirror and LED light. I could use that on almost a daily basis.

Retelling of Classics

I love retelling of classics. I’m not talking re-makes, but books or movies that put a new spin on an old story or fable.

I have three favorites, including a new one that I’ve just recently seen.

Lost in Austen: A girl from 2009 is transported to the world of Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) and can’t find her way back. Her interactions with the classic Austen characters change the story in unexpected ways.

Ever After: Is a story that sticks to most of the history of the Cinderella story. Starring Drew Barrymore, the movie brings the Cinderella story to life.

Enchantment: A book by Orson Scott Card offers the biggest twist. A man from modern times decides to leap across a cavern and in the process transports himself into the magical world of Sleeping Beauty.

There are many others. Probably the one that I’ve been most disappointed in was Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. Maguire’s writing style was too bouncy for me.

“Just Push In”

Earlier today, Chris Brogan tweeted this: "Excited to be at #smcdallas tonight. Make sure you say hi. Don't say, "but you were swamped." Just push in. :)"

At pretty much that same time, I had just read his latest blog post – Your Farmer List. The Farmer post already had 50+ comments, many that were really insightful, and I was trying to figure out if I could really add something to the conversation. Chris and his tweet inspired me to make a comment anyway.

But, this whole question is something I think a lot of us struggle with. There are people that have been elevated to rock star status – some deservedly and some not. We struggle whether we have something pithy to say that will match their comments or be "worthy" of their blog post.

I'm trying to get over that. I'm trying to "push in".

Why I Need to Move

This post is in large part inspired by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein. Since long before I met her, EPW has been talking about a move to San Diego. Recently, she changed her mind and decided to move to San Francisco instead, but she had told so many people about her move to San Diego that she needed to post a video explaining her change in plans.

I'm hoping that this post will help create some peer pressure and do the same.

First, let me explain my current living situation. I live in a small, but not tiny, studio apartment. The benefits of this apartment are that it's conveniently located to the freeway, the apartment is on the ground floor, it's under rent control in East Palo Alto, and I've lived here a long time.

Now, here are all the reasons I need to move:
a) I have way too much stuff to fit into a studio apartment.
b) While the bathroom in this apartment is huge, the kitchen is tiny and has no prep space. My cooking is really limited to things that come in packages that I can throw in a pot and things that can go in the microwave.
c) The apartment is not really handicap accessible, which means getting around during my previous knee surgeries has been a challenge.
d) My bed also serves as my couch. This is a problem for two reasons — I really need to establish some sleep health (only go to "bed" when it's time for sleep, etc.) and it makes it nearly impossible to invite people over and be comfortable.
e) My ceiling has sprung leaks several times.
f) There's a good chance that there is black mold right above my head every night I sleep.

I'm hoping this post helps create some peer pressure to get me moving in the right direction.

What I learned while about myself while in Utah

For some reason, I didn't take a vacation in the summer of fall for 2009. I should have, but didn't. The upside was that it allowed me to take a full two week vacation in December and go visit Utah. Throughout most of 2009, I thought that moving to Utah was in my immediate future. However, I learned some things while in Utah for my holiday break.

  • It's okay to have slothy days. It's also okay to have non-sloth days where you don't leave the house but you still get up, take a shower, put on clothes other than your jammies and get stuff done.
  • Homecooked meals are awesome. Especially those that never use the microwave. I need a new apartment, so I can start making those happen more often.
  • I can't live in Utah and also have my goal of getting out and doing stuff more. If I could live in California through the winter months and only be in Utah in all 3 other seasons, that might work but I'm not a retiree, so a snowbird lifestyle isn't an option.
  • I need to visit Utah more than once a year.
  • The type of job I want isn't really in Utah right now. The market hasn't quite developed enough.

How I saved Christmas (for the second time)

(Picture is of Ann & Paul Checketts with some of their grandkids.)

About 8 years ago, I began making a yearly trek out to Utah to spend
Christmas with the Checketts family. Christmas has always been a
really stressful time for me. There were a lot of difficult things
that happened when I was a kid, and I used to get really stressed out
around Christmas time. Going to Utah allows me to get away from that
stress and just relax and have fun.

The Checketts family are LDS and for almost the past 17 years, they’ve
had a son (or their one daughter) on a mission. This year, in addition
to having a son on a mission, they are on a mission on the island of
Cyprus. Younger missionaries get to call home twice a year. Most
usually call (or get called by their parents) on mother’s day and
Christmas day. Older missionaries, like Ann & Paul, get to talk to
their families as much as they want really. Paul & Ann use Skype to
keep up with their kids and grandkids.

Several years ago, when one of their sons Josh was on his mission in
the Phillipines, the Checketts were trying to call him with a phone
card to save money. It was not working, and Ann was starting to get
worried that she wouldn’t be able to talk to her son. Turns out,
someone had written the phone number incorrectly. We had to take it
step-by-step and get the phone number correct before we could get the
phone card to work. I’m normally not very functional on an early
morning, but had already consumed a lot of sugar and was able to find
the solution.

On Christmas morning 2009, I was staying with one of Ann & Paul’s
son’s, his wife and their 10-month-old son. We were the first to
Skype-chat with Ann and Paul that morning and then they were going to
Skype with the rest of the kids and grandkids. We loaded up Kory’s
laptop and connected with Ann & Paul. But, instead of Ann & Paul,
their video was showing a giant white cat. The funniest thing ever was
that every time Ann talked, the cat’s lips and eyes moved. I was
laughing so hard I thought I was going to pass out. Ann & Paul had let
someone use their computer the night before and they had obviously
done something wrong. Now, Ann & Paul are not super tech-friendly.
They can usually make things work, but they didn’t even know what
their friend had done — or how to fix it. Thankfully, I have a
similar laptop to them and brought that out. I was able to quickly
find out that the problem wasn’t with Skype but with Dell Webcam
settings and then walk them through where to fix it. (Or, I was able
to tell them the setting that was messed up and then told them to just
start clicking buttons until they got video back instead of the cat.)

Because we were the first to talk to Ann & Paul that day, they were
able to have the video fixed to talk with all their other kids and
grandkids. And, that’s how I saved Christmas (for the second time).