November 28, 2010

Social Media

Social Media has been on the table the last few days.

At Thanksgiving, my sister's use of Facebook to keep tabs on her eldest (1/2 a country away as a college freshman) was bantered about - her son refuses to friend her, although has let in an uncle. So she keeps in touch via text message and skype. We were teasing her as a "stalker" although my niece used the perhaps trendier word creeper. She's not really that much of a helicopter mom, but a mom cannot help herself. We were laughing at what our mom would have done had she had access to such technology when we were in school - no cell phones even back then, and no land lines in the dorm, so we had to rely on the catch as catch can payphone in the dorm hallway.

Then at the reunion, a clear line of demarcation between those who have embraced social media (a handful) and those who have not. Interesting. I'm on the cutting edge, I suppose, at least for my age group (surely not in general) - part of my work involves staying abreast of such things for tourism and small business concerns, I've been blogging in one for or another since 2002, and have had an online presence (personal essays, business) long before that. And my social network skews younger and hipper - folks without land lines, who text first rather than call, who have less concern about privacy.

Being self employed helps - my clients come and go, but I am not wholly dependent on one entity for financial survival. So a lot less concern about propriety and discretion. And in some ways, all of my online presence is a marketing campaign for my brand - my self. My music, my balloon chasing, my yoga teaching, my writing - all of these little bits of renaissance me stirred into one gumbo.

In some ways perhaps I am a bridge figure, between we oldsters coming to terms with the new media, and the young guns who do not know anything different. Not fully embracing the technology but exploring it's capabilities and seeding the potential within my generation.

Reunion

Last evening was an overdue (31) reunion of the Marian High School class of 1979.

We've been reuniting sporadically over the years. 5 and 10, surely. Not sure if we had a 15 - if so I did not make it. We did a big deal at 20 (I was in attendance, probably right on the cusp of my big life change). And now here we are at 31. Can it have been that long?

A reasonable turn-out, 45 or so pre-registered out of a class of 160 and a few dropped in, but that (I think) includes a handful of spouses and SOs. Kudos to the folks who planned this (Dawne, Eileen, Jacqui....you rock!). It was nice to see old friends and schoolmates.

Always a little disappointing regarding who did not show - a lot of what might have passed for my posse (or at least the clump of kids I knew best, by dint of taking similar classes) were absent. Going through the yearbook now - Nancy, Keats, Mary, Jeff, Winifred, Claudette, Joyce, Rich, Kevin, Mike, Andrea, Cheryl, BJ, Maura, Jim, John. All you guys were missed, by me at least.

A few random observations. A couple of my classmates could have walked out of their yearbook photos and into the reunion - Dan, Kevin, Lisa, Marcia - you guys are timeless. Pushing 50 and you look like kids! Others seem to have grown a few inches - almost as if high school was diminishing and somewhere along the line they figured life out and grew into themselves - people you want for friends. Others have aged a bit but still bringing their spirit and energy forward from high school to now. And a handful changed quite a bit - often for the better. The women especially changed hairstyles and fashion, or grew into themselves.

All in all, the class seems to have done very well - lots of kids, interesting careers and lifestyles, lot of great energy. One might suspect a bit of selective filtering (the folks who made a point of coming were happy to be seen) but on the other hand, perhaps those missing have amazing lives that they were not willing to step away from for the reunion. So let's just call us a typical cross-section and say "bravo!"

Although "Most Changed" was not one of the class superlatives to be elected (thanks for trying, organizers!), I nevertheless accrued a significant write-in vote. Kind of hard to top my journey in terms of changes. Tee hee.

A lovely time. Thanks for your kind words everyone. I'll try not to be a stranger going forward.....

November 12, 2010

Long Time No Post

Yes, I am still here. No I am not posting much. Quick updates:

1) My engineering work has been a bit too busy (overloaded) which has kept me from too much recreational web geekery (including the blog)

2) My yoga teaching / practice is still chugging along. Teaching 2x a week at the studio, 1x a week at Bristol adult-ed, and subbing regularly. I am working with a fairly chronic shoulder / upper arm issue that has kept me out of full chaturanga, of late, but does not impact my practice too much other than that.

3) Guinea Pigs are also making some progress, with a few gigs this month, and a soon to be available EP / CD with 7 original songs.

4) I'm clearly in a bit of a writer's block (or whatever the engineering equivalent of that is) with a few projects overdue and hard to get cranked out. However, I find that when I am stuck with something, I tend to get a lot done. A lot, in this case, means a complete cleaning of my office (it has become an almost civil place to work, it was turning into a bit of a cave) as well as the rest of my domicile. I've actually had folks over to hang out and visit - almost unheard of.

5) Went to The CT Forum last evening (Education) which was enjoyable. Even if I went with a teacher...

6) Have gotten a bunch of movies in recently - between Real Art Ways (Freakonomics), Bowtie / Cinema City (Waiting for Superman, A Social Network), and Netflix (The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, among many others).

7) Getting regular walks in nature with the dog. Getting out balloon chasing pretty regularly. Finding it hard to believe that it is mid November already. The weather, remarkably, remains quite temperate.

Will post more regularly, I promise. For now, off to bed.