Ignite Denver 2012

Last night was my first ignite event. It was very, very cool. The concept is a speaker has five minutes to present on one topic with 20 powerpoint slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Kinda like Ted Talks, but with slides, a full bar, and lots of cursing.

This is an example of a really good one:

How to Buy a Car

As has been an issue with powerpoint since it was invented,  there are some people who are going to essentially read slides to you. If I had one wish in life (well, if I had like 50 wishes in life) it would be that no one would ever read a powerpoint presentation to me again. The more effective speakers allowed their slides to complement their talks without being tied to them.

There were, in my opinion, three types of presenters:

1. The guys tied to power point: well rehearsed but would have been lost without the bullet points on his slides.

2. The stand up comedians: Little actual content and lots of obvious statements (like “Don’t do this obviously stupid thing” or “make sure you do this really obviously smart thing.”) Combined with funny pictures from the internet and plenty of f bombs. These folks were mostly going for laughs.

3. Dynamic speakers with a cool message: Clearly the ideal, these folks had a cool message, presented well, sprinkled in a few well timed one liners, but overall left me smarter and better for having heard them talk for five minutes.

In my opinion, the best speakers were Arif Gangi, Eric Rosenberg, Ben Deda, Eli Fehler, and Mollie Rusher.

I would gripe more about the talks I thought were bad, but Denver’s kind of a small town.

I would post video of the talks that I thought were really good, but they’re not on youtube yet.

I would tell you about my idea for applying to speak myself next year but I haven’t come up with it yet.

Coworker Etiquette

A coworker has an awesome habit that I wanted to laud.

I send him a request for something I need and, as per usual, copy my boss.

He notices I’ve said something that doesn’t quite make total sense and missed a piece of info I should have provided. Not a huge mistake, but a little flub on my part.

He emails just me in reply and asks for the additional info.

I feel dumb, apologize, and provide the info I should have.

He completes the request and then replies-all to my original email (to me and to my boss) saying he is done and we are all set.

See how he kindly refrained from CCing my boss when pointing out the my small, silly mistake?

I’m just saying. That’s classy, friends.

Odds and ends

Chris and I went to REI last Sunday and he spent like 30 minutes trying on cycling jackets, looking for one to replace his current jacket, which is looking a bit tattered. He’s a tall guy on the skinny side, so we were both surprised when he kept having to size up to a large or even extra large. And I was really impressed that the jackets came in the usual neon yellow but also pretty peacock blue and…we were in the women’s section. Which explained why all the jackets seemed just a little tight in the shoulders and short in the sleeves.

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We have one of those things that lets you make your own sparkling water. Or sparkling anything, really. I love sparkling water, so Chris has been carbonating water and sending it to work with me in these glass bottles. I did not know they were beer bottles and I got some funny looks at work.

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Our ‘Yes on 2a’ sign finally arrived! If you live in Denver you should vote yes on 2a if you like things like libraries and police officers. This is a pretty uncontroversial measure. Regardless of your opinions on the role of government in our lives, we all agree that libraries and police and roads are essential functions, and 2a allows us to have more of all that good stuff without raising taxes. Magic!IMG 3468

We are dog sitting two dogs this weekend, bringing our household total to three. Sadly I spent all day yesterday in bed fighting some kind of fever-y evil sickness. Dogs barking and wanting to play were not what the doctor ordered. (Chris was at work.) I felt much better today, so first thing we took them to the park for a good long romp.

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I was rather short sighted when I bought my MacBook Air two years ago and only sprang for the 32 gig hard drive. I have struggled with storage space ever since, and I finally decided to move most of my music and photos over to the iMac to free up space. It was pretty easy to copy it all onto an external hard drive and then from the drive into the iMac.

As a bonus, as the photos loaded into iPhoto, I got to see a rapid fire slideshow of that last five years or so of my life. It was fun to see really random photos I haven’t thought about in a long time. And not just…oh, that wedding! But also…oh man that really good breakfast I took a picture of with my phone. Or those suspenders I texted a photo of to a friend.

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Now I have a touch of the Sunday Night Blues. I definitely don’t live my life counting down to the weekend, but I always find myself lacking time on Sunday night and feeling a little stressed out. Like, I want to finish laundry, triage my work email, take the dogs for a walk, pick out clothes for tomorrow, make lunches for the week, fill out my mail in ballot, and go to bed in about three hours.

Tights are not leggings and leggings are not pants

Today I wore a dress to work that I deem just an inch or two too short to wear with bare legs (because I have borderline Victorian notions about hemlines) but it’s completely fine to wear with opaque leggings under them. The following is a very slightly dramatized text conversation that just happened.

Me: Embarrassing! I have a giant hole in my leggings. Since you will shortly be leaving our home and going right past my office, will you swing by and drop me off another pair?

He: Oh god. This is my worst nightmare. What if I accidentally bring you tights?

Me: Leggings don’t have feet and they have a wide waistband.

He: So, they’re like pants…

Me: Leggings are not pants!

He: I think I found some, but they might be workout pants?

Me: If they have anything reflective on them, that’s not the right thing. Or a nike logo…

He: Okay. I don’t know. I’ll just bring you a variety of black stretchy leg coverings from which to choose.

I won’t leave you hanging, he triumphed.

Obligatory cell phone pictures and a bunch of random unconnected thoughts from an Alanis Morissette concert

Obligatory cell phone pictures:

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Despite my terrible photos, we actually had really amazing seats at this show tonight. I am so blind that unless we’re in the first ten rows, I just see blur.

Her bass player was super hot.

I didn’t plan well, arrived starving, and ate the grossest pretzel ever.

I wish I wasn’t, but I was distracted by how much I disliked her green pants.

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I was a little surprised that I knew the words to almost every song. I’m a fan, but maybe I didn’t realize I’m a super fan.

Except when it came to ‘So Unsexy‘ which is one of my favorite songs ever, ever, ever. Because it’s about being sensitive and feeling like you’re being silly and let’s just say I can relate.

all these little abandonments
seem to sting so easily
I’m 13 again
Am I 13 for good?

I felt like I was one of the only people belting it out so I tried to belt a little more quietly.
 

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Under Rug Swept is my favorite album. And Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, but mostly the second half of that one.

I always think it must be really hard to get really, really famous for something when you’re really young. Like, she was 19 0r 20 I think when Jagged Little Pill came out. Can you imagine your breakup poetry from that age being the thing you are most known for the the rest of your life?

At the same time, I like when artists are happy to play the songs that made them famous (and rich) and do it with a smile.

This lady is a freaking rockstar. Glitter guitars and did not stop dancing around for two hours. Same with her band, they were all jumping around the stage like jackrabbits.

She’s also at this point probably given like…ninety thousand concerts, right? No chatting. Many “Thank you so much”s but that was about it. Get in, sing your songs, and get out.

I had FORGOTTEN about the hair-swinging, staggering headbang walk. If you haven’t seen that hair swing around in person you haven’t seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be played.

I’ve been listening to Alanis Morissette since I was in 7th grade. A lot of these songs take me back to really specific ridiculous places. Like the school bus. Or my dorm room. Or my old car.

I always felt like a faker rocking out to ‘You Oughta Know’ because (KNOCK ON ALL THE THINGS) I’ve never had a bad breakup.

She looks so much like Soleil Moon Frye it’s eerie.

 

Livejournal style:

Mood: content

Current music: Alanis Morissette – Unsent – Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

It was hot, now it’s cold, and other breaking news

Last weekend we went to the Green Spaces Full Moon Harvest Festival. There were a bunch of eco-friendly vendors (I was most excited to stop at chat with Nooch and Plants and Animals.) We got some yummy food truck snacks, Chris chatted with a local fermented food club (he just made his first batch of homemade sauerkraut). There was a small stage and some good beer.

I took some crappy photos on my phone. We didn’t stay all that long because it was too hot.

Green

 

This morning I planned my run to take me through City Park to check out Cultivate, a festival put on by Chipotle. There were activities for kids, food booths, and a bunch of informational booths. (It was like a giant festival informercial for Chipotle, but in a good way). There was a small stage and some good beer.

I took some crappy photos on my phone. I didn’t stay all that long because it was snowing.

Cultivate

I don’t generally care to offer too much commentary on the weather, but I was not quite ready to run in this cold weather. But I did! I ran seven miles. I got snowed on and my hands and legs were starting to feel numb on the last stretch to get home. So this should count double.

I’m refusing to turn my heat on this early (I feel like I just escaped the pricey air conditioning months) so I’m sitting at my dining room table, typing, with a mug of tea, a dog in my lap, bundled up in a fleece and wool socks. I would put a hat on but I don’t want my hair to get flat, because it’s almost time to go to the Booklover’s Ball!

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The photos from the last three years show Chris’s hair getting longer and my earrings getting bigger, but this year Chris just rebooted his hair and I love last year’s earrings so much I’m wearing them again. I thought about buying a new dress, but I have my eye on the rumored new iPad coming soon and of all the shiny things I spend money on, I choose gadget over gown.
 
We look forward to this so much every year. 2011 was the year I finally met Governor Hickenlooper (in line at the bar) and danced with my city council representative. We’ll see if we can top that.
 
Edited to add: Chris just got home and handed me these, so now I feel cuter and warmer:
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All I intend to say on the internet about politics for the moment

You know how you love or hate some celebrities? For no good reason? Scarlett Johannson is this person for me. And when I saw her speech at the DNC it made me like her even less.

I speak to you not as a representative of young Hollywood, but as a representative of the many millions of young Americans, particularly young women, who depend on public and nonprofit programs to help them survive

Okay, ScarJo. Except I’m not sure how you’re a “representative” of Americans who depend on public or nonprofits to survive since you get paid millions of dollars to make movies. But that’s not what really irritated me.

When I was a little girl, my mother—a registered Democrat—would take me into the polling booth, and tell me which buttons to press and when to pull the lever. Is that even legal? I remember the excitement I felt in that secret box, and feeling like my mom’s vote wasn’t just about the candidate, it was about our family—and all the families just like ours.

This last election, I finally got to punch those buttons for me, for real. I wore my “I voted” pin the whole day.

Per the internet, this lady is 27 years old. The idea that she “finally” got to vote in “this last election” is ridiculous. You guys know we vote for stuff other than who the president is, right? That we also get to vote for U.S. senators and congressmen, state legislators, city council members and school board members, mayors and governors, judges, oh, and also laws? And that we vote more frequently than every four years? Homegirl lives in New York; there are three opportunities to vote in 2012 alone. I mean, you’ve at least heard of the midterms, right?

The obsession with Presidential politics drives me bonkers. The President of the United States does a small percentage of the governing that affects your day to day life, but the campaign gets 90% of our collective political attention.

More than voting for a president, and really more than voting for any person, I like to vote for laws. Because laws have predictable behavior. Laws don’t end up having to resign because they’re banging an intern, and laws aren’t swayed by campaign donations or by lobbyists. Laws don’t get bogged down by gridlock in congress. Laws don’t seem really cool and nice at first but then end up supporting a moronic camping ban. They’re just laws. Once you vote for them, you pretty much know exactly how they will behave and we can, with large success, predict how they will affect us.

Which is all basically to say this:

One, you (we all) should stop obsessing over the minutiae of the presidential campaign.

Two, if you live in Denver, you should vote Yes on 2A because instead of kissing babies or releasing tax returns or brewing beer or fudging a marathon finishing time, instead of squabbling over who built what, instead of promising to do something to improve our roads, police force, and libraries, 2A will actually just improve our roads, police force, and libraries. (Without raising taxes. Magic!)

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It means if Denver has extra money collected from property taxes (and right now we do) instead of having to give it back, we can spend it to patch the crumbly holes in our city government left by the decrease in revenue from when the economy tanked. It restores services we lost from the recession.

And three, Scarlett Johannson is annoying.