Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Though we're spending the day apart. M is at a one-day "start your own business" class, so I'm recovering from a minor hangover with just the dogs and birds and sunshine, which is lovely. There was about an hour of peace interrupted when the neighbor kids started blasting their crappy popular music, so I retaliated with our local roots/rock radio station on high volume out on the deck--power guitar beats electronic every time! Damn I'm getting crotchety! Or would that be more crotchety? Since it's our anniversary, we may go out to dinner tonight, but depending on how I feel later, it may be better to go tomorrow night. And who knows how M will feel after six hours in a classroom. (We are both very excited about him officially "hanging out his shingle" next week!)

I have a bit of a headache because we were out last night at the local Bar Association social event. M was called by a friend with two tickets that he couldn't use, so we got in for free. The food was better this year and the announcements reduced to about 5 minutes, so that was a mercy. We knew a few people, and I successfully made small talk with some new folks.

Lately, I've been inspired by a line in The Big C (which I'm not enjoying as much as I'd hoped, unfortunately), where the main character's brother tells her something about how she's lost her creativity and needs to "get her weird on" again. So in the spirit of getting my weird on last night, I decided not to put up with seeing an empty dance floor surrounded by swaying, hopeful looking women and their don't-make-me-do-it dates and got the dancing started by asking one of the volunteer staffers (a woman) to step out on the floor with me. I also cut the parquet with another older lady--I could tell she wanted to dance and just needed a little help. It was fun. The band was quite good, so that made it easy. I don't think M was embarrassed by my moves (I let him use the knee pain excuse for not dancing with me), but if he was, oh well. My goal was to have my photo in the next Bar Association newsletter, so wish me luck. We also have a shot at a published shot because M's nametag had a sponsor ribbon, thanks to the firm where the friend works being a sponsor, and the photographer had us pose for a few snaps.


Not sure if it's the wedding anniversary, or the many milestone birthdays this year, or work changes, or what, but I've been thinking a lot lately about how I visualized my life at this age thirty years ago. It really hit me one morning a couple of weeks ago--I was getting ready to put my bags in the car to go the conference in Santa Clara, and paused to adjust M's tie since he had a court appearance that morning. There we were, a couple of middle aged DINKs with real careers and dogs and a mortgage and several vehicles and a yard and grill…was this what I always dreamed of? Truly, in my heart of hearts?

Yes--the answer is yes. I think I had cats in mind rather than dogs, and that I would do more embroidery rather than knitting as my craft of choice. Well, perhaps "home" would have been in a more exotic location. And there's that husband thing--for all of my teen years, I expected to be spending the rest of my life with my then-boyfriend whom I married at 20. But that momentous change was the right one, and while life isn't perfect now (and won't ever be), the changes I'd like to make in my life now are quite small. I want another few hundred square feet of house, sure, another cat at some point, and to activate more weird creativity, but other than that…Wait, and that diamond ring. But then--complete! Anyway, it's always good to have goals, right?


In other catching-up news, we went to watch motorcycle flat-track racing last weekend.

Here's the traditional view from the hotel, from the last show in Santa Clara:

I did lose my cell phone during the conference, so earlier this week I got a very feature-filled Android phone (we have an Android conference coming up, so I figured I'd better see what the fuss is about). Apparently it's going to take weeks before I've got it set up the way I want it. Also, I think the footage of my speaking adventure will be posted soon. I'm sure I'll squirm when I watch it, but maybe it will help, too.

Oh, and I joined a book club! One of M's law school friends, whom I don't know very well, invited me. I probably won't be able to go every month given my travel, and I'm such a slow reader, but she said it's mostly an excuse to get together with other gals and drink wine (she has an excellent palate), so I'm doing it. Gotta try new things. Better get to readin' so I can finish "My Life in France" and move on to the club's pick, Anna Quindlen's Every Last One so I can contribute to the discussion a little next Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Stage!

Ignite Speakers by O'Reilly Conferences
Ignite Speakers, a photo by O'Reilly Conferences on Flickr.

One of my personal goals for the year has been to do more public speaking and despite my best efforts to procrastinate on that, it's been happening. Yesterday afternoon I was asked to be a part of Ignite, which is a fun style of presenting, generally where you get 20 slides that each automatically advance after 20 seconds. The host for this conference's Ignite incorporated a slot where ten volunteers improvised commentary on five slides each (sometimes known as PowerPoint Karaoke) and I was one of those volunteers. I was desperately hoping that more than ten other people would volunteer and I would be off the hook, but it was not to be. And I'm glad! It was fun and I got through it and hopefully that will help my confidence for next time. Who knows, maybe I could actually plan some sort of speaking engagement. I was also one of two women speakers during the event, and I was glad to represent the ladies.

Pinar, our fab conference photographer, took this shot of me--professional shooters, another advantage to speaking at conferences!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Pleasant Weekend

The prelude was a return to the long-neglected gym for a Zumba class. Four people seemed so happy to see me and encouraging about returning again soon that I may have to actually do it again tomorrow morning.

It was well worth the drive through the unnerving and freakish June deluge to spend the day in the City with family having fun. Stepsister Kirsie was in town from Missouri with husband and daughter; we met up with them and Mom and Don for a few hours fooling around with science in the Exploratorium thence to dinner and ice cream.

Today M and I visited a friend of his in our local open studios tour. He's a metal artist and we're thinking of having him design and fabricate a gate for us. Then I headed down to Petaluma for an afternoon of gabbing with the gal gang.

I also finished another Sookie Stackhouse installment. On to the final tome, or Julia Child's "My Life in France" next?