Thursday, April 30, 2009

The sound of an exploding brain

Well, ok, it didn't really explode but I am certainly overwhelmed with information. The course this week is awesome and the people amazing. We are talking about ways to ultimately transform our world through our work as consultants to Community Benefit Organizations (because nonprofits are not "non" anything". Just the change in terminology causes a shift in thinking beyond one organization to the whole community.

It is exciting and I feel like I have so much more to learn.

Off to get my mind blown some more.

P.S. The whole class went to see the Soloist last night. Whatever the critics may think, one of my classmates has worked with the LAMP community and was pleased with the portrayal of their work. 500 residents of Skid Row were involved in the filming.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Off to my first consulting class in a few minutes. I feel like it is the first day of school. Of course I didn't get a new box of crayons but I'll survive. Catch you later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Finally some poetry

I haven't contributed anything all month to the poetryfest and decided it was time. I debated on something by Edgar Allan Poe but in the end decided on the first poem I read aloud for a 9th grade English class. I think the tone appealed to my angsty teenage heart, plus I got be dramatical :-)

It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintery sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.

The Skipper he stood beside the helm,
His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
The smoke now West, now South.

Then up and spake an old Sailor,
Had sailed the Spanish Main,
"I pray thee, put into yonder port,
for I fear a hurricane."

Last night the moon had a golden ring,
And to-night no moon we see!
The skipper, he blew whiff from his pipe,
And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the Northeast,
The snow fell hissing in the brine,
And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable's length.

"Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale
That ever wind did blow."

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,
And bound her to the mast.

"O father! I hear the church bells ring,
Oh, say, what may it be?"
"Tis a fog-bell on a rock bound coast!" --
And he steered for the open sea.

"O father! I hear the sound of guns;
Oh, say, what may it be?"
Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea!"

"O father! I see a gleaming light.
Oh say, what may it be?"
But the father answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be;
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
On the Lake of Galilee.

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surf,
On the rocks and hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew
Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board;
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,
Ho! ho! the breakers roared!

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I was interested to discover on Wikipedia that the Wreck of Hesperus is referenced in Lydia the Tatooed Lady, made famous by Groucho Marx. It also happens to be a song my husband loves. Weird.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I think I'm back in work mode

A realized today that I'm back in work mode, after nearly a year of being sort of laid back. I know I've been getting busy with meetings and all those others little responsibilities I keep agreeing to. That isn't it. I actually feel like I'm getting up and going to work every day. I might even have a routine!

That's probably a good thing, except now I find myself looking forward to weekends. I also resent time taken away from my weekends. That may be why I waited until 10PM tonight to start working on the stuff I need by 8 AM tomorrow. Or it could be that I'm channeling Amy Lane and think writing starts late at night :-)

My Board work should ease up since we hired an executive director for the youth services group I'm affiliated with. There has been a lot to stay on top of the last five weeks. Most of the rest of the Board walk out after a meeting and think, "good -we got that settled". I'm the one thinking, "and tomorrow a letter has to go out on this, we need to order the materials, I need to coordinate with the chair of the committee etc., etc.,etc." Damn my parents for giving me the hyper-responsibility gene!

Now I am really going to bed so I can make my 8 AM tomorrow. Sleep well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I am Twitterpated

I have spent a good part of the last few days trying to learn the various social media used for business networking in today's world. I got a consulting blog started, updated my LinkedIn page and invited a variety of colleagues to join me and joined Twitter.

The blog part isn't too bad except for getting used to Word Press and the fact that it may be months before anyone finds it. One has to start somewhere and if I build it eventually they will come (right?).

LinkedIn isn't the most user friendly for those of us used to MySpace and Facebook but I'm getting the hang of it. I also am able to link it to both of my business websites and the blog. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Twitter doesn't connect with LinkedIn but does link with the blog which is linked to the website also. Most of this is for just the one business - not two. (At this point I start singing about the head bone connected to the neck bone, etc. ,etc.) I'm told there is a purpose to all this incestuous linking that will eventually make me easier to find on Google.

Out of all of it Twitter is the piece I'm struggling with the most. It is very different than the others, with its own vocabulary and shortcuts. Writing in 140 characters is challenging enough. Writing something entertaining and intelligent that someone else wants to read in 140 characters - very challenging. I refuse to write about what I ate for breakfast, though did mention chocolate and jelly beans on Easter. It is fast paced, generates huge numbers of messages, and feels a little like being on an LA Freeway with 6 cars changing lanes in front of me.

The basic concept is to communicate with others (followers) while receiving communications from others (following). I get the relationship building part of this. I get the potential to have something interesting I say shared virally with thousands of others instantly. Beyond that I'm pretty lost right now.

This is straining my brain worse than learning to knit socks!! Speaking of which, I haven't even made a start on my second roulette sock thanks to all of the tweeting, blogging and posting. I have finished the second sleeve on my February lady and am back at work on the body. It looks really small but I've read how much negative ease there is once washed so should be fine.

Now that my brain has exploded all over the page and you are as confused as I am, I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reading readiness

No, this isn't about preparing children to read or teaching literacy to adults. The title of today's blog refers to the fact that I have about five books I need to read before Tuesday morning. These books are related to the class I'm going to in two weeks. Although I have only had one paying gig doing a little consulting in the last year, I do get asked to share my services for free with various local nonprofits.

Based on that limited experience and my years working in nonprofit organizations, I was accepted to this week long consulting intensive at the Community Drive Institute in Tucson. I am beyond excited to go! The people involved are so positive about being visionary and creating change. I've known for months though, that one of the requirements is to read all of the books and articles published by the group before attending. They want everyone to have a baseline knowledge.

Admittedly, I have read most of what the leader has written in the last 5-6 years so I'm pretty well covered on the articles. I've read two of the books previously, and have used her ideas in my own work with nonprofits. "But you have two weeks left", I hear you say. Not really.

On Tuesday morning I am doing a phone conference to discuss where I am (trying to determine starting level of each participant for this first time course) I would like to have completed the bulk of the reading by then, so I can honestly say I've honored my commitment. Ordinarily reading isn't a hardship, I've just been knitting instead.

I wish I were as talented as some of you who read and knit at the same time, but can envision many dropped stitches and cursing. I guess I will just plug along and do the best I can. Knit an hour, read an hour, knit and hour, read an hour. Oops, I didn't leave room for cleaning in there. Too bad. I guess that will have to wait :-)

I did get the shopping done for dinner tomorrow. We are having lamb roast, broccoli, salad and probably some kind of potato. And deviled eggs. Nothing fancy but still tasty. I only make lamb about twice a year when it goes on sale. Being resourceful, I also picked up a bone-in ham for cheap and a small beef roast (also on sale). I even picked up hamburger and premade a whole bag of patties for future meals. I think I've been inspired by Mother of Chaos to preplan, though perhaps not a whole month of meals!

Now I'm off to work a booth for my youth board. One of the local Rotary groups is doing a fundraiser for us today. Thankfully, after hours of interviews this week, I think we are getting closer to finding a new Executive Director. Keep your fingers crossed that my recent unpaid part time job will go away soon!

Have a wonderful weekend with family.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's 11PM. Do you know where your cats are?

Actually I do know where my cats are. They are all draped over various pieces of furniture sound asleep. The crazy cat hour has come and gone. Now is the time for total sloth. It is nearly time for me to do the same! Instead I'm watching the last Crocodile Dundee movie. Can you believe I've never seen it? I thought we had watched every sequel that shouldn't have been done.

My daughter in law loved her baby socks. Unfortunately the Phoenix Suns are highly unlikely to make the play-offs so I'll have to make another pair of orange and purple socks in a larger size for next season. Not to worry - I have more yarn in those choice colors.

I finished one sleeve of the February Lady and am about half way through the second. Unfortunately anything larger than about a size 5 needle makes my carpal tunnel act up. I have to knit and rest or my hands go numb. I knew there was a reason I liked knitting socks. Those little needles don't bother me a bit.

Off to bed now. Sleep well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Following in Amy's footsteps

Here is the Meme (or survey) that Amy posted yesterday with my answers:

1. If you could eat ANYTHING at THIS VERY MOMENT what would you be stuffing your face with?

Scotcheroos (these are the peanut butter rice krispie bars with melted butterscotch/chocolate chips spread on top.

2. If you could warp the space time continuum and start and finish a project in an hour, what would it be (and what color would it be?)

The Arwen cardigan - I want to make it but am a little intimidated.

3. What was the weirdest thing to happen to you all day?

I walked outside to find a huge hole in my front yard and my plants dangling almost in mid-air with roots trailing down. I guess the sewer is really here!

4. What was the funniest thing someone said to you today?

Meow - I've hardly talked to anyone without fur today :-)

5. What was today's songworm?

Don't have one

6. What was the thing you did today you were proudest of?

Got the billing all done for our business and got the books caught up for the month.

7. What was the dumbest thing you did today?

Played egg breaker on Facebook

8. What was the most same ol' same ol'?

The craptacular house (ditto - I can't improve on that)

9. What was the best thing about your region today?

Bright blue sky

10. What color was your day, and would you knit a project with it?

My day was tan rocks, blue sky and a sprinkling of purple flowers. That would be a lovely knitting project.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Over the hump

Thanks for the great advice and encouragement. My head has mostly stopped spinning and we are over the hump and moving forward on a number of issues.

We had our ribbon cutting at the Chamber yesterday for our new business which was quite exciting. It almost made us feel like real grown up business people (at least until someone figures out we are flying by the seat of our pants :-)

I picked up my taxes today and we actually are getting money back for the first time in years. I guess all those business start up expenses did the trick. Of course that means we spent a whole bunch of money to get some back. That almost, sort of makes sense.

I sent the baby socks off to Iowa but forgot to take pictures of them before they went! I got the new DPN's and am back at work on the February Lady. About half way done with the first sleeve. I took the advice of several people on Ravelry and did just two lace repeats on the body and then went back to the finish the sleeves. That way I don't have to keep turning the whole weight of the body for each sleeve. The toddler cardigan I made was done the same way - finish sleeves, then finish the rest of the body. So far so good.

I did get a circular needle to try the Magic Loop for my roulette sock. Not sure when I'm going to start that. I still Embossed Leaves socks and Monkey socks hanging out on the needles. And I have a baby layette set I want to cast on. Sorry Julie, baby set may trump roulette sock in April. Am I kicked out in disgrace if I don't finish my second sock by then?

Now I'm off to spend some time with a friend I haven't seen in a while. We usually sit on the patio and eat frozen pizza but drink really good wine. It works for us.