One week ago I started my day in the most productive way. Up earlier than necessary, got tons of extra chores done and still managed to make it out the door with 20 minutes to spare. Chalk it up to a gut feeling telling me to do as much as possible as soon as possible.
While backing out of the garage to make a run to the mailbox around the corner, noticed my new roommate had left her window open all night. Oh well, not the end of the world, right? So I grabbed the mail, came back to the house to run upstairs and close the window. Forecast called for a wonderful sunny CO day, free of rain, wind or hail. Again, gut feeling told me to close that sucker up. Done and done. (Coincidentally, that night it rained and poured and hailed in proportions not seen in years. Yay for gut feelings!)
Minutes after leaving home, my truck broke down. 4 blocks from home it gave up the ghost and refused to accelerate. Uh oh. And that sinking feeling in my stomach where I know that something is REALLY wrong came to stay.
Called AAA, called my truck dealership, called work to say I'd be late, and called my Dad for advice. And I Twittered. Of course I Twittered.
Almost immediately my friend Tom tweeted that he would come pick me up if I needed a pickup and I was free to stay with he and Dale. Just like that, no questions asked. Cause that is how Tom and Dale roll. They've rescued me in the past and I can't think of a crisis I've gone thru where they weren't there for me in one way or another.
Wound up having my truck towed to the Dealer and got a shuttle ride into work. My stomach was in full-on stress mode, since I don't exactly live close to work. Not close at all.
Long story short, the news was not good (as in horrible) and it became apparent I needed to find a way to get back and forth to work for the next week. So I accepted Tom & Dale's kind offer to stay in their beautiful home while my truck was in the Isuzu ER.
Something you may not know about me is that I have a very hard time accepting help. Giving help? No problem! I am there...I'm your chick. But accepting? It's difficult...always has been. I always feel like I must repay and repay the act of kindness right away. Add to that a small degree (some of you would say huge boatload) of control-itis (total control freak here) Do I require or expect that from those that I help? Oh hell no...not all. I'm a big fan of paying it forward. When the shoe is on the other foot, however, all that goes out the window.
Please understand this is just me being the quirky unique individual that I am. I was told repeatedly by both Tom and Dale to 'relax..don't worry..everything is fine...we are happy to help'. And they were. And are. It was humbling for me to accept, especially being in a situation where I could not repay immediately...not even close. I've had this happen while staying with other friends too. That's just how I am.
So over this last week I looked for the lesson in all of this. What could I learn? How could I grow as a person? How could I be the best houseguest possible? And how to graciously and lovingly accept help from two wonderful friends that neither asked or expected anything in return?
We don't really know WHY something happens...all we can do...all I can do...is guess and deduce and go with what feels right.
Maybe Isuzu needed the business? Maybe Tom and Dale really really really wanted to catch up with me? Maybe Tom wanted an iPhone cohort to discuss why AT&T stupidly does not provide more than 2 bars at any given time to his cell? Possibly it was meant that I meet Tom & Dale's wonderfully funny neighbors Sam & Anjanette? Maybe I needed to be in the presence of two people who truly and deeply love each other and live as deeply committed and loving partners? (Always a plus to witness a loving relationship, no matter what the circumstance). Maybe I needed a reminder that love does happen and when it happens, it's wonderful..and that wonderfullness can give hope to others that might (might??) be open to the same thing but haven't been lucky enough to have it happen to them just yet. And just maybe it was meant that I wind up getting a free 1 day rental from my truck dealer and finding out that Nissan Sentra's are pretty zippy little cars that get really good gas mileage. Finally, it could be nothing more than my truck wanting some 'me' time...who knows?
I left Tom & Dale's lovely house (with their equally lovely and darling doggies Millie & Zoe) tonite shortly after work. Some good karma came my way and I was able to keep my rental car for another day so I took that as a sign to come home.
Tom and Dale, you both are wonderful friends. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you the most. You both went above and beyond and you will never know how much your kindness means to me. Finally, thanks for reminding me that life's not always about giving...it's also about receiving.
Message received, loud and clear.
Something will be written in the next 80-90 hours...I promise
If you've read my blog (or know me IRL) for any length of time, you know that I hate to cook. Not a fan of the kitchen. Unless I'm cleaning it. Cooking...the act of buying ingredients, mixing them together- correctly- then putting said ingredients together to form something resembling a tasty, healthy and fun meal....scares the hell out of me.
I mean yeah, I can cook. I can survive. It's not my favorite thing in the world to do...probably one of my least favorite things to do. In my last house, I used my oven 4 times in almost as many years. And on one of the nights I did use it, my roommate at the time was astounded...he figured the oven was broken, which is why I never cooked.
I may (may?) (No! Will!!) be heading in a new direction which will change my concept of kitchens and what they mean to me.
Last night I got together with Terry, who I met when he presented at Ignite Boulder 5. And by meet, I saw him on the stage, loved his presentation, and started following him on Twitter. And last night was the IRL meeting.
Over the weekend, Terry put out a call asking for people who hated that they hated to cook. Which sorta kinda described me.
Last night at bSide lounge over tasty organic mint Mojitos's we can up with a plan in where we cook...and like it, dammit! Or maybe we cook, and no longer quake with fear? Or? We cook and don't run screaming from the kitchen in utter horror. You can guess which description fits me.
And before you go getting all judgemental and stuff, please remember what you may find easy I may find impossible, and vice versa.
So Terry and I are off to a smashing start. It was cathartic to trade tales with someone that GETS IT like you GET IT! Terry didn't look askance when I shared that the first dinner I made for my college boyfriend sent his brother (who came along for the ride) to the ER. (Musta been a bug going around, cause my family was fine...but whatever). And that I might enter my kitchen once a week, if that, and if there's no milk or Coke in the fridge why do I even bother going into the room, which instead of calling it the kitchen I now call it the room at the front of the house.
I got to thinking
What if this were my last Summer on earth? I mean really...what if it was? Knowing me, if I KNEW that for a fact, I would try to do as much fun, crazy, wild, passionate, transforming activities and events as possible. So I decide to act like it is. Then REALLY act like it is.
I know peple say 'life is short' and 'live each day as if it were your last'. But how many people actually DO THAT? Practice what they preach.
As of last night, me! I'm gonna do it.
So between now and the end if Sept, I'm gonna go all out. If it's fun, I want to be there. Same for educational. Inspiriring. Thought provoking. Helpful. Challenging. Especially the challenging. Techgeeky. That too!
I want to love to cook. And cook at least 5 meals really well. I want to spruce up my deck. Go on a hike. Climb more than 2 feet upwards in a climbing gym (me and my huge fear of heights). Take a trip to Royal Gorge and cross the bridge (again with the height challenge) To sit perfectly still and quiet in a secluded space and watch the stars. A concert at Red Rocks. Film on the Rocks. Margs at the Rio Rooftop. Run a mile. Capture the most beautiful sunset ever and make a holiday card from the picture. Spend a long weekend in the mountains in an area I've never visited (and since I've only been to Estes Park and Vail, that leaves a sizeable list of choices). See some killer concerts where I scream my head off and dance the entire time (ahem, Green Day Aug 15 have awesome tickets...oh yeah!).
If I could do each and everything on my list I'd be thrilled. Beyond thrilled. And if this summer really was my last, what a fitting way to go!
So I challenge you to do the same. Go balls to the wall and live it like it's your last. Don't waste a day, an hour, a minute.
Get out there and attack Summer like you really mean it.
Then get back to me in early October and regale me with tales of your Summer of 2009.
#BDNT is the hastag for Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup.
I attended tonite's presentation...my 4th in as many months.
The concept is simple. Quoting from their site
"5 companies this month take the stage for 10 minutes each, 5 minutes to demo and 5 minutes to answer questions".
Tonite's meeting was packed..as they all are...and some really great companies gave us the rundown on what they're all about.
It was good...don't get me wrong...but here's where I think #BDNT can be better.
#1- Turn on the air conditioning!! Hello? It's July. The temperature inside the packed-to-the-gills auditorium was hot. Freakishly hot. Sweltering hot. I left without hearing all the companies present because I got so hot I thought I was going to pass out. I wasn't the only one. Look, you have these great companies...don't you want their message to be heard? And don't you think their message would be better received if the audience was comfortable? Really, you have to do something for the next meeting before someone passes out from heatstroke.
#2 - The music intro was nice. It was way too loud to faciliate ' hi, nice to meet you' conversation, though. And hopefully the Michael Jackson was a one time thing.
#3 - General Housekeeping - At past events they've asked who is there for the first time then they advise how to get online. That didn't happen Tuesday night. Too bad. Keep the 'how to log on' info up so more of us can access the internet. Finally, repeat yourself. The door prizes are wonderful and a very nice touch. But when someone wins? Repeat what they said to win. Or have them repeat it. The seats at the back and people near the door miss a lot of what is said.
#4- Could we turn down the lights just a bit? It would make the screen easier to see and might even make the room a degree or two cooler. Just an idea?
#5 - Consider a larger venue. Maybe Chem 140? #BDNT is a really great event and once announced the seats are snapped up asap. Larger venue = more people can attend?
Robert, you put so much work into #BDNT and I for one am very grateful. And if I didn't care, I wouldn't speak up.
If there is anything I can do to help with #BDNT, please feel free to reach out to me.
One of the strengths of Boulder and the Tech Community specifically is their passion for being open to new ideas. Not saying all my ideas are wonderful and MUST be implemented...not saying that at all. But if even one of my suggestions can help to improve on the quality of the #BDNT experience, that would be awesome.
As always, just my 2 cents.
Yeah, I'm in love. With Colorado! Am sure it comes as no big surprise to you.
Ever since I moved here in January 2006, not a day goes by that I am not enamored of CO. Yeah, it can be rainy, windy, snowy and icy and I'll still be in love with CO.
Driving home from a BBQ on 4th of July, I was smitten by the beauty surrounding me as I drove on Hwy 36. While these aren't the clearest or prettiest pictures, I just had to take them as a remembrance of the day and the moment.
Seriously, I could have the best camera in the world and the sharpest eye for photos and it still wouldn't do justice to how gorgeous CO is in person.
So what are you waiting for? Come for a visit!
It turned out better than thought possible, this last edition of Ignite Boulder
741 wonderful people came out to see Ignite Boulder 5. Lots of laughter, geeky enthusiasm and energy filled the Boulder Theatre. The presenters were amazing. The volunteers, outstanding. The closing bands The Autumn Film & The Fellow Citizens, were entertaining.
Eventually the crowd dispersed, tables packed up and put away, final details attended to.
Shifting from the IRL to the internet, the energy taken from Ignite moved forward and outward. Twitter & FriendFeed & Facebook were alive with feedback & congrats to presenters that lasted thru the night.
If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't, I'm truly sorry you weren't able to experience the magic.
Not sure how we can top Ignite Boulder 5, or if we even can.
But I can't wait to try.
(Immense thanks & <3 to the Ignite Boulder 5 Planning Committee : Andrew Hyde, Aaron Sagray, Ef Rodriguez, Grant Blakeman, Larkin Carey, Mike Kohn,Rande Kamolz and Jo White! I'm honored to be a part of this wonderful group)
Never be afraid to take a chance. Especially if you've weighed the pro's & con's. If it feels right, then do it. Jump!
Seems I've made lots of major life decisions on or around the 4th of July. Decisions along the lines of ending a marriage. Moving to a place I've never been. Having surgery. Those kinds of decisions. All decisions that happened to revolve around independence in one form or another.
In each case, the decision was right for me. Perfect timing too. Things turned out better than I or anyone else had hoped for. In the process of doing so, I made promises to myself. Some promises I've kept. Some? Not so much.
So it's natural for me to revisit what's happened and take stock of my life. Congratulate myself for the victories and renew the promises I made to myself to improve in certain areas that need improvement.
It helps that I'm around awesome people that I trust and look up to. It helps having role models, both personally and professionally. And I'm doubly blessed with an overabundance of role models. Some I've come to know since I've moved here and several I've met in the last week...the last day even!
Independence and freedom are wonderful things that I honestly don't take for granted. Especially when the road to that freedom is not easy. But then, happy endings aren't always easy...and aren't always meant to be.
Is there a jump you want to make? Then do it! Plan it out, be thoughtful about it, rely on your role models, then go for it and make that jump.
Happy Independence Day!