Whew, where did my inspiration go? It's right here! Wheeee!
Well, I'm home. We're home. We survived the midwest and meeting the family. More on that later. I have stories and video to crunch. But all I wanted to do this morning was sit in a box, and I did. It was just as fun as when I was a kid. All familiar with the smell of cardboard and possibilities. Now, I just need to find several refrigerator boxes. Know where I can find some?
Earlier tonight I came across a sidewalk with embedded color changing squares. I had to stop and shoot some video. Here's my first clip. The lighted pathway was at the entrance to the KC Art Institute - where I studied for a short time. (Yes, I thought I wanted to be an artist.)
Well, Barcamp LA #2 is over. It was this weekend. It was a lot of work - but it totally paid off. People often wonder why I got involved. What was my motivation. I ask myself the same reason. How do I pick what I get involved with and what I spend my time doing? This post isn't supposed to be that post, so instead of waxing introspective, I'll just say, I had a great time, met lots of new people, saw lots of friends and generally had a great time once I relaxed. I especially liked building my own digital camera for $35 and Jenka's Branding of Authenticity sessions. And who could forget werewolf lead by danah boyd? Apparently my intuitive skills were sharp (especially after the jello shots) and I outed two of the werewolves one after the other until I convinced the other villagers to kill me so I could get back to the party.
My only question? Where were the vloggers?! One night crashers.
Well, here it is. The second barcamp los angeles is happening tomorrow and tonight I'm making jello shots.
I don't know what it is like to have a one-track business plan these days. Today I worked on 5 different projects: writing for 2 blogs, checking user stats, checking my own stats, calls and discussions for product management possibilities, finally joining the gym, all the last minute barcamp coordination, making a video of my house to show to prospective buyers, washing my car, stressing over all the stuff I didn't get done this week (or today) and I think that's it - for now.
But anyway, back to the point. Tomorrow is Barcamp, part 2. And the geek dinner is on Tuesday and after all that is done, I am taking a break from coordinating for a while and going to eat turkey in the cold midwest and then I don't have anything planned until the end of the year and I already know what my 2007 resolution is going to be because I kicked so much ass this year. How'dya like that runon sentence?
I was half dozing in my tent under the influence of Burning Man when I heard my voice speak. "We need some journey here" a pause "the kind with Steve Perry." Although I spoke these workds, they were not mine.
I wasn't much into Journey when they had stadium concert fame, but I couldn't hide behind depeche mode, minor threat and pink floyd the whole 80's. So imagine my conflicting delight I felt when "Don't Stop Believing" started playing on our art car. There were 50 of us, silent at first and then singing along at the top of our lungs.
There's nothing like come classic rock in a techno dance dream.
Since then, Journey has been growing on me. Last night I was in Trader Joes when "Don't Stop Believing" came on. The usual hubbub in the store was silenced and there was reverential silence. I almost expected to see lighters alofted. I looked around at my fellow shoppers, more than one was singing along under his breath. And I remembered the feeling from the playa with my best friends singing along with Steve Perry and not mentioning the dreams we have - individually and as a group.
It was still playing as I walked out the door. I've still got the feeling.
Another familiar application blast from the past. It's cool to see this being developed, and I wonder if I know the developers working on it.
It's got collaborative and chat functionality. So, what is google up to after all...
I awoke this morning to bright sunshine. I rolled over and hid my face in the covers. Two hours later my feet padded down the stairs. I opened the patio door and my nose was greeted by the sweet hot smell of the desert. My heart jumped - the santa ana winds are back!
I sat outside in the shade and enjoyed the wind and heat. My mind traveled back to the tan, rust, striated mountain ranges I know so well, east of the inhabited LA basin. In an instant I'm standing on a pile of boulders on the top range. I can see a full 360 and all around mountains, basins, washes... no roads. No houses, no inhabitants, no water. My hair is longer and the wind is whipping it around my face. I love it up here. The sun, the wind, the openness, emptiness, space and lack of human mark (save the power lines and landing strips).
I miss the desert. When the santa ana winds come blowing through LA - bringing their China Mievelle dreams - it is like my favorite grandmother visiting. It's a little reminder of home and that I must plan a quiet visit soon.
I met Iva Lou in 8th grade pre-algebra class. We became fast friends after she loaned me her copy of Singularity. She was much smarter than I in the realm of mathematics, but that didn't matter. Her mom worked for the city council. They lived off a country road in North Kansas City. I loved the ribbon roads we'd transverse from one house to the other. She showed me the magical overpass light arch. We stayed friends even when I moved back to Iowa, although sporadically. We hung out again one summer after my first year of college. Just kicking around NKC. Not much to do.
The summer ended almost tragically when we were in a car accident. I was driving, making a left turn. The other driver ran a red light and hit the side of my car, the impact spinning it around several times and up onto a median. Iva was sitting in the passenger's side. She had a huge cup of soda from a gas station between her legs. On impact, the soda exploded over the inside of the car. The first thing I did, after we stopped spinning was to turn off the radio. Then I noticed the liquid all over the interior of the car. I thought it was blood. I looked over at Iva. She was alive and awake. But her seat was crushed. After a few moments, when we counted the minutes on the clock, we spoke. She was somewhat ok (as much as you can be after a major impact that totaled the car). It was soda not blood.
Long story short. We both ended up at the emergency room and were discharged at the end of the night. I left the scene with a small bruise on the interior of my left knee, and the memory of that night emblazoned in my mind.
This is just the tip of the iceberg to this story. It gets much stranger than the common reality I dare write here.
The summer continued. Iva recovered, but our friendship never really did. In the subsequent years we continued sporadic communication, until I moved to San Francisco and we lost contact completely. Sometimes I think of her. Of that night. Of the first day we met. Of our similar and yet different viewpoints and experiences. And I wonder where she is. If she moved to Utah. If she found love and satisfaction and a happy life.
Last week, I crushed my left thumb in a compound metal door frame at a Boston Hotel. In an infinite second I watched my thumb turn white and lost all feeling in it before my synapses fired PAIN and I arrested the crushing. My bold, I can live through anything will, told me I could still make it to my business meeting in 10 minutes, not even late. But then the throbbing kicked in, and I started getting cold and realized I was going into a bit of shock. I could not power through and ignore the major pain just inflicted on my body. I had to take care of it. And help my body take care of it.
I called the Hotel and had them get a doctor. They brought up a silver champagne ice bucket filled with ice. (Oh the irony.) And pain even lashed out at my other fingers when submerged in icy cold water. I was all I could do to lay still on the bed, quietly meditating, keeping the pain at bay. I had never broken a bone, and the pain was intense, so I wondered if this would be my first time. The doctor arrived. He tested my joints which barely moved, but moved with my yelping in pain - no broken bone this time. The pain was caused from the pressure of the fluid (blood) trapped under my nail. To think that such pain radiated from something so trite, so simple. And the remedy, sounded gruesome, but promised immediate relief.
I watched as he held an unbent paper clip over a lighter. It was red hot. And then I turned away. He was pressing it through my nail. The pain of fire was added to the pain of pressure and then, the release. Cool, liquid flowed. I squirmed as the doctor pressed down on the nail to squeeze out the remaining fluid. Add yet another type of pain to the morning's tour. But when he was finished, I felt 500% better and all that was to show for my labors was a simple band-aid.
In the course of a week (and several more self-surgeries) I watched my thumb heal. It was painful for many days after the accident. And then yesterday I removed the band-aid for good. There is still the blood path (more like ocean), but the bruises on my tissue are almost gone. I have started using it. And I don't cringe in pain when it is accidentally bumped.
Such a dramatic different. In one second, my thumb was crushed and I lost the ability to use it. In the following week, my body has been healing it at a rapid rate. In that one moment, I wanted to die for the depth of the pain. And in the following week, I am at awe of my body. Fragile and resilient. Broken and healed.
And it's this, my body, the ability to fix my cells, to take care of my pain that is most awesome. Awesome, because it's something that is a natural activity for my body. And I don't have to do anything to reap the benefits, except take care of it. And it's going to happen, regardless of my awareness of it happening.