January 31, 2007

Random Stuff

Callie is lying on the dog pillow, all curled up. Elo is lying alongside her, with his chin on her back. Cutest thing ever!

Life has gotten busy. I'm slotted in for a two-day production gig in Philly in mid-February, and a weekend gig in Scottsdale in mid-March. I billed more hours with my biggest client in January than I have in a year. I had good trips to Wisconsin and Little Rock, with a few slotted in for the coming weeks. And there is new energy percolating - writing, self-publishing a techie book I have had on the back burner for a while.

Sympbolic of the new energy - I bought a couple of new office plants and replaced some that I had let die.

On the darker side, I feel like I've been eating poorly of late - wrong foods, too much, too mindlessly. And today for some reason - a headache. I rarely have headaches - never take pain meds. But for some reason, I've had a low simmering headache all afternoon.

Tomorrow - work. An urgent report. A quick template for a client. And end of the month billing. And hopefully yoga in there somewhere.....

January 30, 2007

Railroad Fonts

Sticking to the theme of font geekery, I came across this site: www.railfonts.com/. Great railroad clipart and text fonts. I do a website for a local tourist railroad, so I am grabbing a few fonts for online ephemera*, and am directing them to the site to see what they might like. I also think some of the clipart and silhouette fonts could be nice, used judiciously online or in print.

* online ephemera = oxymoron, right?

January 29, 2007

Helvitica: A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit

Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. Helvetica will begin screening at film festivals worldwide starting in March, followed by cinema screenings across the US and Europe, and the DVD release.

Website here. They even have a blog!

Feels Like a Monday

Not 100% sure why.

On the credit side of the equation, it felt like a real weekend. Jazzercise on Saturday, Yoga on Sunday. A balloon banquet on Saturday. Meals out - Friday we went to Hot Basil, Saturday we went to the Corner Pug. A Netflix movie (Donnie Darko), a trip the New Britain Museum of American Art. Some laundry, some cleaning.

On the debit side, I arrive at work to a backlog - several reports pending, an involved email response to work on, a planning and installation guide to review, and a website to update for 2007.

Also pending this week - a nosh and drink thing tonight for one of the local arts publications. A mentoring meeting tomorrow night. A long overdue hair appointment tomorrow. And maybe (just maybe) a trip to Houston on Thursday or Friday.

January 28, 2007

An active social life

In a story today in the Hartford Courant about a fire in Southington:
Neighbors told arriving firefighters that two dogs and three cats were inside the house, and that the owners were out.

and
Fire crews carried two cats and a dog outside. The animals had inhaled smoke, but appeared to be all right, Donnelly said....The other dog had been away, and the third cat escaped during the fire.

Personally, I want to know about the other dog, that had been away. Had s/he been visiting a sick friend? Running to Petco for treats? At the spa?

Even dogs have a better social life than I do!

January 27, 2007

Another Ending

After 32 years, Timothy's Restaurant in Hartford, on Zion Street near Trinity College, is closing. Timothy's is one of those legendary places - I am sure I ate there back in the mid/late 80's when I was a young suburbanite dating a Hartfordite. Now I live in Hartford, and Timothy's has been in the rotation of regular haunts when we eat out.

It's sad to see places like this close. The logic is irrefutable - its hard to run a restaurant, and in neighborhood that has seen better days, with not a lot of other nearby draws, and without parking - its not really a saleable property. But still, sad.

Timothy's will join other places in my personal mythology. Reader's Feast. The Comet. The old Hot Tomato, 2 or 3 locations ago, with maybe 10 tables and 2 hour waits for the food of the god's - Shrimp and Broccoli. And the closed for now O'Rourke's in Middletown. I'm sure I'll think of others.

It also makes me think of places like that, still open. The Quaker Diner (Zippy had breakfast there this morning). Mo's Midtown. East-West Grille. Tapa's, always elbow to elbow on the weekends. Coyote Flaco. So many others. Little delights in the city, making it work, making the city unique in a world full of franchises and sprawl.

Busy

Not blogging much - apologies.

Yesterday, yoga, much work, dinner at Hot Basil, and then I finally saw Donnie Darko courtesy of Netflix.

Today, Jazzercise, chores, shopping, a support meeting for a bit, now home and on my way out to the CLAS holiday dinner (typical balloonatics - we're a month late).

Tomorrow, yoga. And whatever else happens. Probably chores, maybe work, maybe dinner with Zipster's dad.

January 24, 2007

Surreal

I'm sitting here writing a trip report. Zippy and I are watching the Magic Flute on PBS (from the Met, I think, and strangely in English, but with subtitles) - the costumes are pretty amazing.

Life is truly strange.

Friday Night Lights Bombshell

Uhm, the mayor is a lesbian. Heh. I love this show.

La Morte de Valley Folk

I've blogged before, somewhat irrevererently, of Susan Forbes Hansen. Her 22 year old Valley Folk show on WFCR has recently been canceled. Susan Campbell writes of it in today's Hartford Courant.

I'll mourn Valley Folk - we listened so many nights, driving home from visiting friends or family, or playing at home as we nested, cleaned, relaxed. But I also take a longer view. From crisis, opportunity. Perhaps the area needs a full time folk music station - and the time has come for that to happen. Perhaps Ms. Hansen can develop a nationally syndicated show, podcast, or website. Perhaps she has other passions and life projects. Perhaps some of us (myself included) who took her and her music for granted might value those who continue to create spaces and places for the music we enjoy.

Edit: Susan Forbes Hansen will be live in the studio today on Colin McEnroe's show. I am guessing Colin picked up on the story via the same place I did today - Susan Campbell's column; he's a bit of a folkie himself, having had a lot of the local folkies (Nields, Hugh Blumenfeld, Kate Callahan, etc.) visit the studio over the years.

January 23, 2007

Recovery

The past few weeks have been chaotic. Trips to Little Rock and Madison WI. Two trips up to Boston. A sudden bevy of reports for one of my clients (probably pent up volume from the holidays and new year). I still have a bit of work to do - a trip report, an invoice, and a review of some installation material. But I'm slowly digging out.

I got to power yoga this morning - a good practice, although my legs have been weaker than usual. I have been a bit sick, I think - not anything specific, just low energy, light headache, tired. That seems to be abating. I also feel heavier - have been eating poorly, I think, between the cold, travel, the holidays.....

Thursday, back to Boston with MYA. That's my one main project this week. Next week - lots going on. A dinner on Monday. A meeting on Tuesday. And then, the end of the month, with billing and paperwork.....

January 22, 2007

Jury Duty - Or Not

I was slated for Jury Duty tomorrow. But I called the recording this evening and my name is on the list of those who do not need to show up.

I do not mind jury duty, usually, although in all the times I have been called, I have never had to serve on a jury. The one time I did get pulled in for a trial, I was excused since it was a potentially long trial and I had a business trip scheduled for the following week. Being self employed, they tend to let you off of long trials....

Kind of relieved to be excused. I have not been feeling all that great, and I am way behind on work. An extra day in the office is a good thing.....and perhaps I can get back to yoga tomorrow. I took today off, and Sunday's practice was an exercise in humility.

Blogging for Choice

Today is Blog for Choice Day. The charming and wonderful Helen Boyd (who I actually got to talk to in person this weekend, so I could fall in love with her and her husband all over) reminds me thus.

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic - and not just in name. 12 years of catholic education. Alter server. Folk musician. I have a younger brother who is an adoptee. My father was involved in the Knights of Columbus, my mother in Birthright. I had anti-abortion stickers on my guitar case in grade school. Had some things fallen differently in my life I might be speaking to you from inside a rectory somewhere.

Helen is spot-on when she talks about the economic issue - if abortion were restricted, it would only mean that the well-to-do would get their abortions quietly, by crossing state lines or country lines or visit pricey but discrete clinics. It's the poor who would be forced into the back alleys and into life threatening situations.

Personally, I am aware of a number of friends who have had abortions. Most of these are / were Roman Catholics - and I have no doubt that the church's repression along the lines of birth control and sex education contributed to these abortions.

Do I think abortion is a good thing? No way. All life is precious. But until we can be pro-contraception, pro-education, pro-equal access to care, until we can support pregnant women economically, until we as a society can ensure that children are loved, supported, and not sentenced to a life of hardship, pain, and struggle, then get the hell out of my face about abortion.

January 21, 2007

A New Toothbrush

Between mindlessness, inertia (resistance to change), frugality, and various other personal and social maladjustments, I tend to hang on to toothbrushes way past any sane American Dental Association recommendation for replacement. If it's still got bristles, I'm still using it.

So it is an act of loving kindness and generates a feeling of being taken care of when I find a new toothbrush in the holder, unsought after, unasked for. Zippy is conscious, Zippy is caring, Zippy is loving.

And I have a new toothbrush.

Across the Finish Line

A long day yesterday, culminating a long and busy week. Zippy, MYA, and I drove up to MA for a conference.

I was pretty much in schmooze mode. I attended three workshops; I grabbed lunch with friends, a beer with friends after, a lot of saying hello and quick chats in the hall. I was surprised at how many people I knew - from lists I was on, communities I am or have been a part of, etc. Even ran into a couple of old friends, long lost friends, and unexpected to see you here friends. My highlight was a meditation workshop, led by Peter Welch, an artist and Wellness Educator / Counselor from Univserity of New Hampshire, and was gifted with a copy of the UNH Meditation CD. A delightful bubble of calm in the midst of the conference hub-bub and energy.

MYA had a not so great day - some teen drama with a good friend and said friends mom, some being stuck in between "youth" and "adult" angst, some just plain "being in a tough space in life right now" stuff as well. She had some pretty fierce "eyes cried out" make-up going for a while, which she effaced eventually. She also met some of my peeps and friends who maybe will be connections or allies for her in the future.

Zippy also had a good time, starting out a little less positive (hedging bets in terms of going until the last minute) - but zie met a bunch of tribe members adn did some networking. I kind of went off on my own after lunch and left the Zipster to connect to people solo, which did happen.

En route home, we stopped for Chinese in Framingham MA (my old hometown) and that was yummy (huge portions, good food, not so expensive) and then back home by around 8:00. Then I had to drive MYA back to Bristol.

Today - Rest and Recover. I woke up with a scratchy throat and aches - was on the fence about my weekly pilgrimage to Hot Yoga, but I will probablly go.

January 19, 2007

Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich

My airplane fodder. One passage struck with me particularly:
"Your life feels different on you, once you greet death and understand your heart's position. You wear your life like a garment from the mission bundle sale every after - lightly because you realize you never paid nothing for it, cherishing because you won't ever come by such a bargain again. Also you have the feeling someone wore it before you and someone will after." - Lipsha Morrissey


Powerful. Oh, I'm back. Off to Hot Yoga....then on to pick up MYA for a sleepover.

Wrapping a Cable

Finishing up at the site in Little Rock, the on site engineer is watching me put away my gear. "How did you learn how to do that?" he asks. I pause for a moment. Use an impedance meter? Be a power quality engineer? No, he is watching me wrap a test lead, and notices I am wrapping it "over and under"
If you want to get away from the coiled cable look (even after you've unwrapped your cable!), and you want to be able to unwrap your cables fast, and want your cables to store without added tension (just say NO to the carpenter's elbow wrap!), then try the following method. It's a little difficult to explain, and may take some practice, but once you have it down you can wrap cables faster AND better than ever before - by the way, this is the method most professional roadies use.

I learned this skill / art working in the video production field. I always assumed it had naval origins (seems to be the best way to wrap a line for quick and twist-free deployment, and I come to find out its known as faking a line in those circles) But you can learn it as well. Video here. Text here.

January 18, 2007

Little Rock

Quick site visit, with some good findings. With any luck, I'll be on an early flight out of town tomorrow morning.

Cincinnatti

Because I grabbed some rogue WIFI and I can.

Downloaded mail, but can not upload mail. Grump. Pity, cause one of my client has some URGENT emails that need to go out.

On All Cylinders

A busy kind of week. I'm off to Little Rock AR for a quickie - fly down mid morning today, get into town mid afternoon, and work after 5 p.m. at a customer site. Stay overnight, and head home tomorrow. I have mid afternoon flights booked but from the sounds of it I will be able to catch an earlier one if there are seats available; my client who is accompanying me to the site has a 7 am flight booked so he's planning to vamoose!

Tuesday's lightning trip up to Boston went well, Wednesday I spent a lot of the day entwined in the government - court, DMV, Social Security. MYA and I are drilling down on identity documents - she has hit the age of consent with almost zero official footprint (related to transient living through foster care) so we are laboring to get her a replacement social security card, a certified copy of her birth certificate, and a state identity card (no driver's license yet, that's on the list)

Saturday - we head back up to Boston for a conference. If I get back tomorrow at a reasonable hour I am going to fetch MYA and have her sleep over - so we can get an early start on Saturday. She's excited for the conference, to see my friend and her idol MB, and to connect with others. I have a list of people who want to meet me, catch up with me, etc so I suspect it will be a good day of conencting / reconnecting.

January 17, 2007

Privilege is Sweet

Standing in line at the Hartford SSA office this afternoon with MYA, getting her a replacement card. The line - maybe 15 persons, each holding a "place in line" ticket dispensed from a small printer. We're all pretty grumpy - the SSA office is civil service at its apex, the line is moving slowly. A fairly diverse crowd - perhaps 3/4 POC.

In walks a white woman, well dressed, expensive cell phone - and steps to the front of the line. She sweet-talks another white woman - she was in yesterday, she says, and had to get a letter or something, it will just be a minute. The older black man who was in line behind me (but sat down to give his back a rest) notices her, and starts to protest. I smile at him and say "She does not have a ticket, she will get sent to the back of the line"

A minute or so later, that's what happens. She steps to the window, is told she needs a ticket. Smiles from those in line. I look over at the seated guy, smile and wink. But the story was not finished. After a minute or two of argument, she gets in line, but less than a minute later, she stomps out.

She apparently goes out in the hall, calls the SSA office with her phone hoping to bypass the line, and seconds later she is back in the room, standing by the door, talking on the phone. A security guard comes out, talks with her, commiserates, but she cannot get in. The woman at the window looks out "I told her to take a ticket and get in line and she'll get her turn". Meanwhile, those of us in line continue to watch the soap opera, and she is not popular - I overhear "Barbie doll is too good to wait in line"

She finally gets in line. About a minute later she makes a very loud exit.

One good thing about bureaucracies - they tend to frustrate across boundaries of race, class, privilege. Everybody is treated like crap, equally.

For what its worth, MYA is getting her replacement SS card with a minimimum of hassle - she has never had legal ID, we had a photocopy birth certificate, a school ID, and the right answers to a few questions (middle name, mom's maiden name) - and they were happy to put an order in. Relief on our part - she has gotten to this point in her life with a minimum of legal footprint, and trying to get her a photo ID, replacement SSA card, and certified birth certificate is like putting together a puzzle where the order of the pieces is critical. I think we are on our way.

BDL to BOS and Back

Quick trip up to Beantown - first Logan to pick up Dr. B, then into the city where we manga'd at Maggiano's Little Italy. (Yummers, and I got the doggie bag!) Nice to sit and chat, catch up, get some face time, all that. Saturday will be way to hectic for us to really spend any quality time. Dropped her off at her hotel and hightailed it back here by midnight.

Tomorrow, some morning errands with MYA and family. Then to the office to get some work done. Then pack for a trip to Little Rock on Thursday and Friday. The good news - my Little Rock contact / client has booked a 7:00 a.m. flight out on Friday morning, so I guess i am free to try to push my flights up earlier. (I had an early afternoon departure booked)

January 16, 2007

Pseudo Something

In M. Scott Peck's book "The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace" (strangely missing from my shelf, I wonder if I lent it to someone?) - he speaks of four stages of community, the first of which is Pseudo-community. I was thinking of that this morning.

I am planning to participate in another Enlightenment Intensive in March, and I was thinking about Pseudo-Enlightenment - how after I had a significant experience, I began to doubt that experience, to feel that surely I must be faking it, since I am so adept at playing games, building facades, hiding behind masks. I felt fully capable of orchestrating an enlightenment experience for the benefit of myself, for peers, for the workshop leaders. In fact, I left the Intensive mostly convinced that I had indeed been faking it.

It was only in hindsight, after the Intensive, when I began to integrate my weekend and others began to react to the post-experience me, that I understood that my experience had been authentic, that I had indeed gone through something real and emerged changed.

No particular point, just something I have been thinking about.

January 15, 2007

Cold snap destroys most Calif. citrus

Story here.
The latest freeze will likely surpass the damage done by a three-day cold snap in December 1998 that destroyed 85 percent of California's citrus crop, a loss valued at $700 million, Kawamura said.

So, is it time to start investing in companies that have figured out what the new weather patterns will mean in terms of agriculture, floods, heating & cooling, tourism, etc?

Is it time to strt taking global climate change seriously?

Shiny Bright Pen


Took MYA out for her birthday - Barnes & Noble to spend down a xmas gift card, and our favorite chinese buffet. About midway through the meal I happened to look into my purse and a promo light pen that I got from a client was lighted. (Thought it might have been a cell call coming in) So I pulled the pen out to turn it off, and within about 15 seconds two of the waitrons from the buffet were at our table, oogling.

MYA was much amused. She is enamored with all things asian (and this extends to people) so she was tickled to have them looking at the pen. I think one of them was trying to orchestrate a trade (pen for food). And for the rest of the meal, MYA kept saying "Gimme that pen" as if she might be able to lure the wait staff over at her command.

We laughed about it. A little laughter on her birthday is not a bad thing.....

January 14, 2007

Love is Paying Attention

Wisdom from yoga this morning.

Chimp Haven

Watching PBS Nature this evening, in a "Best of" show, we came across a piece on chimpanzee rescue, and the work of Linda Koebner who spent four years working with chimps rescued from medical testing. A scene where Linda visited rescued chimps, 18 years later, and the chimps seemed to recognize and greet her brought tears to my eyes. Soft sobbing really.

They are our kin, sharing 98% of our DNA, and although I believe that all life is connected and precious, the plight of these sentient beings moved me incredibly. Subsequent to the filming, Linda founded a chimpanzee sanctuary Chimp Haven. Next time I find a few extra bucks, I am going to make sure to send some that way.

Damn, and now there is a story on two elephants (Shirley and Jenny), who knew each other 25 years ago in a circus, reunited after all these years, and remembering each other. Fucking nature. So beautiful, so powerful, so righteous. We humans have no freaking idea.

Indulgent and Blessed

A body reborn - the morning's aches and creaks have been tempered, lubed, massaged by an hour and a half of hot yoga. My reward - a bowl of oatmeal. With a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. And a handful of golden raisins. Who is more fortunate and blessed than I?

Vivid Dreams

Two connected dreams last night.

In the first part, I was back to school, in Worcester, MA. Going back for my masters, I think, I recall commenting that this time I was going to take advantage of the school and professors who specialized in my present area of expertise. I was setting up my "dorm space" which seemed more like office cubicals - very small. My old roommate Don was also there. What was particularly interesting was that the dream became semi-conscious, I remember (in the dream) thinking or commenting that dreaming about going back to college was interesting and a recurring theme, that I dreams about going back to school before, and I always take it as a sign that I need to learn something, go back to school, make life changes, etc.

Part two, I was considering driving back from school to my yoga studio (in the dream, it was maybe 30 minutes drive, vs. a few hours in real life) and decided to check out local options. I ended up at an old rambling worcester three-decker which was inhabited by a commune or new age community of sorts- they had yoga in a large roundish room. I was there, chatted and hung out with some of the residents, set up my mat, we were kind of talking and stretching and shared some bread before practice. The dream ended before I got to practice, but it was neat. I recall watching people in postures and wondering if I could keep up - I was trying to describe the practice I do now, not exactly sure how to qualify it in yogic terms (Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, etc.)

I think its interesting that yoga has infused my unconscious. I awoke wondering if my yoga practice would be changing.....if I would be finding another outlet or place to practice.

January 13, 2007

World According to Shorts

We caught the 5:30 pm show at RAW tonight. Interesting piece. The official site is here. Of special note:

* The Antichrist (Poland) was fierce and dark and powerful - downright scary.
* We Have Not Decided to Die (Australia) resonated with my own inner journey.

India Oven - Park Road

Apres movie this evening, Zippy, AC, and I went to the fairly new India Oven on Park Road (right next to I LOVE SUSHI). It's small, it's BYOB. But the food is delightful. We loved everything we had (the Raita was particularly fresh and delicious - a perfect balm for the medium hot dishes we ordered). I had an eggplant dish (Baingan Bartha). AC and Zippy had Lamb Jalfraze and Chicken Jalfrazi respectively, both loved their choices. The Garlic Naan was also wonderful. And the staff (perhaps the owner) was extremely helpful and eager to please.

About the only complaint - the door opening let in a bit of the cold on this January night. But other than that - yum! Steve and Lisa Alcazari concur....

Not a lot of tables, so plan accordingly - and from what I hear, the lunch prices and meals are superb. And if you want some beer (a cold Kingfisher which would have been nice) or wine, plan ahead.

India Oven - a great addition to the local restaurant scene, and hopefully they will succeed and grow into more spacious (and more climate controlled) quarters!)

Assembling for War

I think the crows and the squirrels are up to no good. Driving down Hollywood, crows were spread out, maybe 1 or 2 on every lawn. Squirrels were suspiciously close to 'em, equally spaced.

Be afraid.

A Weekend

Hm. A real honest to goodness weekend is upon us. No serious commitments, no conferences, no meetings or commitments, no huge work projects to try to crank out by Monday. Not sure what to make of it.

Minor commitments, of course. Jazzercise this morning, probably yoga tomorrow morning. Zippy has a meeting up in NoHo tomorrow afternoon that I usually end up driving to when I am around. MYA is overdue for a visit - probably today. And AC has been talking up The World According To Shorts at Real Art Ways this evening, although the film times (5:30 and 9:30) seem to be less than ideal.

But it's a weekend. Right now, I'm listening to NPR on my headset, drinking decaf, waiting for my oatmeal to cook, and blogging a little. Relaxing, yanno? Even though its 6:15 a.m.

January 12, 2007

Will You Please Dance?

On the wall of my office. A piece by mary anne radmacher, circa 1996. I do not see this piece on her site anymore, but she has many other similar pieces.

No particular reason, I have had this sitting in a file for a while, I finally hung it up today.

Get Carter

Former president Carter is getting edgier and more opinionated as he ages. His recent book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid - is causing a ruckus - with charges of bias, being too pre-Palestinian, anti-Israel, etc. People who have gotten used to the softer and saintly version, the wimpy one that Ronald Reagan beat up on in 1980, are not happy.

I dunno, I do not have huge personal stake on either side of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Like George W. Bush, Israel has been a bully in the middle east, working from a premise of Might=Right. Unlike W and the present US policy, Israel is a small geographic country, surrounded on all sides by enemies often sworn to work towards its destruction. So a bit of bully and bluster is expected.But the expansion, the kibbutz building, the honeycombing of Palestinian territory with Israeli settlements, is extremely aggressive and problematic.

I dunno how I feel about it all. If I hadda choose, I'd probably come down ever so slightly on the Palestinian side. But only ever so slightly.

Yankee Ukes

A fascinating story in the Hartford Courant this morning about Ukeleles in Connecticut - specifically the Magic Fluke Company (New Hartford) and Flea Market Music Inc. (Clinton)

Who knew?

January 11, 2007

Energy, Changes, Vitality

As befits a new year, LOTS of new energy and opportunities.

My trip to Wisconsin was both a good two day training gig, and a lot of connections, contacts, and ideas with a client I have been working with peripherally for a while. Lots of good energy. A follow-up trip to Little Rock (cancelled from December) is planned for next week.

An old friend, Ari Kane, called up - looking to do lunch at an upcoming conference. Another friend also mentioned lunch via IM. And of course MB will prolly want to nosh....I'll be zonked, will be traveling back from Little Rock and not getting back until late on Friday.

And a potential freelance writing opportunity seems to be simmering.

And now Detroit.....

Because I can, I guess. Bored, a bit of a layover, and knowing that if I wander areound I'll find something to eat and aggravate my sore knee. Booking tickets to Little Rock for next week. Catching up on emails. Stuff like that. The NW terminal here ate DTW is pretty slick, all in all. I am looking at a huge LCD display that is wonderfully visible from across the gate area, listening to the Roches, and blogging.

Could be worse, is all I'm saying.

$ 6.95

Which is about what this post is costing me from the Madison WI airport, en route home via DTW (on NWA)

Actually, I logged in to grab all my accrued emails and see if there was anything urgent to deal with en route home; the hotel WiFi was erratic, slow, and unreliable. Nothing urgent, so some bloggishness.

I see via the blogosphere that things have been hopping in CT - between the Gov Rell / Ken Krayeske mess and W's speech. Sorry to miss it all. I'm going to keep missing it all - next week I am heading back out to Little Rock. Eek!

January 09, 2007

Not Very Bloggish

Apologies. I am out it Madison, WI doing some training. And the free WiFi in this hotel has been spotty / flaky - not letting me D/L email reliably, making web surfing a bit frustrating, etc. Nothing fatal, just annoying.

The trip out went very well - all my bad travel karma paid in December is hopefully going to protect me in 2007. Mostly fullish flight on MD-80's (Northwest) from BDL to DTW to Madison, but not horrible. Luggage here. Decent rental car. Hotel is reasonable.

I was able to get all my conference material printed out at a local Office Max and stuff the 20 binders and burn the presentations onto CD yesterday - so last night I had some down time - got a report out, messed with the computer, had a nice dinner at Applebee's (off the weight watcher's menu, although I treated myself to a margarita). Tried to do some yoga before dinner but between a long travel day, a not so optimum place to put my mat, and a sore knee (something new, maybe I strained it on Sunday, and exacerbated it through airport walking and airplane sitting), well, it just did not happen.

Off to the client site in a few for a long day of training - catch up tonight!

January 08, 2007

Back into the Breech

Off to Madison, WI this morning, heading to lead two days of training for a client. I am already wishing I had packed a different outfit for Day #2. (Day #1 is all set with a houndstooth slack suit, but I packed a funky skirt, kind of casual, for Day #2 and wish I had opted for a more professional black suit and slacks. Maybe I can go shopping....)

So far so good at the airport (parking, security, check-in) but one never knows - my two aborted trips in December loom large in my memory. I get into Madison right after lunch - way early, but lots of time for travel delays. I also have to assemble my training manuals once I get out there - just never got time here. I have a Kinko's and an OfficeMax mapped out near my hotel.

A little airport blogging. Sorry to be not so present over the weekend; I was rushing around doing stuff with MYA, getting ready for the training and travel, and the like. Not a lot of blog time.

I did grab a hot yoga class on Sunday, intended to hit Jazzercise on Saturday but I was not feeling well. And I brought my mat and yoga duds so I can practice in the hotel.

January 06, 2007

Women's Hoops: UConn vs. Tennessee

So don't bother calling between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, OK?

Ken Krayeske's Syrian Connection

Tracking back on some blog links here, I came across an interesting tidbit, heretofore unblogged or commented on with regard to the recent arrest. Ken spent some time in Syria in 2005 - here and here. Wonder if this got him noticed by the feds (Homeland Security), on some sort of federal watchlist, and that filtered down to CTIC.

I have to believe this is more than a simple state feud and abuse of power over politics, heckling, activism. I suspect that CTIC, focused on national security and terrorism threats, got Ken's name and face from above....

January 05, 2007

Police on my Back

Reporter Arrested for Political Activism
by Christine Stuart, over at CT News Junkie

Apparently Ken Krayeske was arrested taking pictures of Gov Rell's Inaugural parade. His crime - being on a list of potential troublemakers, perhaps put out by the Connecticut Intelligence Center (CTIC). Apparently, being a liberal, politically active, and a reporter, makes one a potential trouble maker.

I know Ken, he was active in the Lamont campaign and I volunteered a little bit for them. Nice guy. Earnest, cleancut, passionate. Not a troublemaker.

Hey CTIC, yanno where you can get lots of pictures of potential troublemakers? Try here.

Uhm, this would be me on the right, schmoozing and sucking down a martini of some sort.

Behind the Eight Ball

Gonna be a chaotic few days.

Socially, I have a special Kirtan with David Newman this evening, and I may be on tap to help him set up this afternoon. I am going to try to get some yoga in this morning; I have not been since Monday. Saturday morning is the Frozen Buns balloon rally (despite the warmth) in Southington (weather permitting), and the Kennedys in concert at the Sounding Board in the evening. Sunday is the True Colors mentoring party. Busy.

Work wise, I come home to a laundry list of tasks:

a) Invoice for the production gig
b) 4-5 reports for one client
c) 1 report for another client
d) Need to reformat, reorganize, and reassemble 4 training modules for Monday
e) Need to print out and assemble 15-20 training manuals for Monday

And one of my clients, historically a reliable payor, has gotten flaky - the Nov 1 2006 invoice got paid 50% (clerical error claimed, the balance is still outstanding) and the Dec 1 invoice has still not been paid (typically it comes in at the end of the month). Not sure if this is holiday lethargy or a dictate from the top to push out payments (which happens at the end of the calendar year now and then) or just an annoying coincidence. But between that, a slowish few months, and a bunch of airfares for cancelled flights that have still not bene reimbursed, finances are tight. Grumble.

Corporate Giggishness Completed

Not a bad couple of days. Just boring as all heck. Lots of financial numbers and lots of acronyms. Sitting in a frigid back hallway babysitting two laptops, a beta deck, a DVD player and a graphics switcher, with a small speaker and a video monitor to remind me who is at the podium. And 20-some powerpoint presentations to load and attend to. And no internets to keep me company.

Two days of bad food - fast food en route down (breakfast) and back (dinner) - banquet food lunches and breakfasts, and a dinner culled from a local high end grocery store. Ick, should have just gotten room service.

The company in question is doing pretty well, they are nicely positioned to take advantage of the growing energy crisis, and are wall street darlings in terms of growth, execution, and margins. Every year I come back thinking "I ought to buy some stock for my IRA". And, per usual, out of 20 some speakers - no women. One POC. The crowd looked to be about 10% women, which still left for a bit of a line in the ladies room during the breaks.

It was good to be back in my own bed, with the zipster at my side and elo the dog at my feet. It's good to drink my own decaf this morning and eat a bowl of oatmeal.

January 03, 2007

Hotel Room Blues

On the plus side: I am getting a couple of reports done. I got to watch Friday Night Lights. I am watching a wonderful PBS documentary on Annie Liebowitz on Thirteen. The bathroom is large enough to put down a yoga mat, if I were of a mind.

On the negative side: hotel room heat (dry). No zipster. I had a crappy dinner I picked up at D'agostino's (salad and grocery store sushi). I am probbaly not going to hit the mat tonight. And I have a 6:30 am call time.

Grabbing WiFi

At the Ryetown Hilton, in Rye Brook, NY. Although I have to wander with my laptop away from my workstation and into the hall to get it reliably. Pout.

January 02, 2007

Ho Boy

Pat Robertson predicts 'mass killing'. Story here.
"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear."

Of course not. The Lord would say NUCULAR. Like our dear president. Yanno, its stuff like this that makes me start to believe those who insist that the hole in the side of the pentagon was made by a cruise missile, and that the 9-11 attacks were orchestrated by our government. (Neither of which I believe, for the record)

Dylan said it best:
He got a sweet gift of gab, he got a harmonious tongue,
He knows every song of love that ever has been sung.
Good intentions can be evil,
Both hands can be full of grease.
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

From a walk to a run

The holiday downturn - of leisurely work days, daily yoga, household projects, movies and walks, is officially over. I spent most of the day down in Milford updating laptops (on one of them, there were 63 updates BEFORE getting around to the 75M Service Pack 2) - doing updates, renewing and upgrading virus scans, updating flash and PDF readers and the like. Lot of click and wait.

I did not get back home until 6:30 - after stops at Loew's, Office Depot, the ATM, and the office. And I need to sneak back to the office tomorrow morning to do a couple of quick things, as well as get gas en route to Rye Brook tomorrow.

So - no formal yoga practice until maybe Friday - I am taking a mat so I'll probably get something done in the hotel, but it's going to be a couple of long days.

A Day Off

I had penciled in a 6 a.m. "Hour of Power" yoga class with an instructor I have not worked with. I have a work appoitnment down in Milford around 10 a.m. so will miss my semi-regular Tuesday morning power class.

Alas, the dogs got me up for a while around 3:00 a.m. - so when they (and I) regained consciousness, it was 5:55 a.m. - too late.

Truthfully, my body needs a day off - I did hot/power practices on Friday, Sunday, and Monday, snuck Jazzercise in there on Saturday, and went for two reasonably long hikes in there, Friday and Sunday. A well deserved day off. I just know that I will be off the grid, yoga wise, until Friday due to an out of town work gig (work? she blogs AND does yoga AND works?).

Next week, I am off to Wisconsin - heading out Monday and returning on Thursday. And the weekend in between looks full - with a special Kirtan on Friday night, Kirtan set-up Friday afternoon, a concert on Saturday night, and a True Colors holiday party on the 7th. If the weather cooperates, Saturday might also be the Frozen Buns rally (an annual new years tradition in the balloon world). And I have to prepare course material for the training next week in Wisconsin.

Nothing like being busy....

Banned Words for 2007

Every year we get this list of overused, overwrought, and just plain tired words and phrases. This year I realized for the first time that the list is the product of a specific entity: Lake Superior State University.
Lake Superior State University is Michigan's smallest public university with an enrollment of 3,000 students. It is known for its academic programs such as fisheries and wildlife management, engineering, teacher education, nursing, criminal justice, fire science and business management.

For admissions information, go to LSSU's web site, www.lssu.edu.

LSSU accepts nominations for the banished-words list throughout the year. To submit your nomination for the 2008 list, go to www.lssu.edu/banished.

I love that this small school has adopted this cause, has owned this concept. Yeah for them.

The words / phrases for 2006 (see the website for explanations): GITMO, COMBINED CELEBRITY NAMES (think Bragelina), AWESOME, GONE/WENT MISSING, PWN or PWNED, NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS, WE'RE PREGNANT, UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN, ARMED ROBBERY/DRUG DEAL GONE BAD, TRUTHINESS, ASK YOUR DOCTOR, CHIPOTLE, i-ANYTHING (e-Anything made the list in 2000), SEARCH ("Might as well banish it. The word has been replaced by 'google.'"), HEALTHY FOOD, BOASTS.

January 01, 2007

UFO Over ORD

Story here.

Or rather, a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) which is the preferred term. Seems logical that it might have been some weather phenomenon, but hope springs eternal. I mean, gods or aliens, somebody or something better get down here and set us stupid humans straight in terms of pollution, global warning, renewable energy, etc.

New Year's Magic

Again, at the hands of a powerful one. In the past, my deep moments have come face down, deep in my hips, body racked in grief. Today, something different - my heart.

During savasana, a poem. "When I Am Among the Trees" by Mary Oliver from her newest collection, Thirst. At the closing stanza:
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.

My heart filled with light, and I felt myself pulled up off the mat as if a celestial string were reeling in my heart. I stayed there for some moments in wonder and delight, feeling the glow and the warmth and the yearning. And then, aware of my back arching, my chest reaching, I slowly settled back onto the mat.

For 2007, one single and simple resolution: to shine.

Oh, and Happy New Year

By the way. 2007 and all. We were in bed - our friend AC stopped by around 9:00 pm - she called earlier hoping to cajole us into socializing but I was about an hour into my basement cleaning and had no desire to get out. So she stopped by, witnessed our new years eve lethargy, and headed out to a Shag Frenzt new years eve.

We headed in around 11:00 pm. I was up eary this morning, and did the dishes. The plan du jour. Some work at the office. Some late morning yoga of the sublime and sacred variety. Some shopping. Pretty much a regular day.....

The Kennedys at the Sounding Board

Next Saturday, January 6th, at 6:00 p.m. Sounding Board information here. The Kennedys information here. I forget how gleeful, how joyous, how happy these two songsters make me feel. How open my heart is when I stand and listen to them, drinking in their music of optimism and faith.

WWUH is playing two songs right this moment to help me remember. I intend to be at the Sounding Board next Saturday evening....