Thursday, October 12, 2017

Better than caffeine

I'm still thinking about what I heard at last week's Penn Women's Conference. The other day, they announced they would be releasing videos of some of the keynote speakers - though not Michelle Obama, unfortunately.

Yesterday they released this video of Carla Harris, the first speaker of the day. She spoke at about 8:30 am, to approximately 12,000 slightly caffeine-deprived women, and she was better than a shot of Red Bull.

The speech is her letter to her 25 year old self, but I believe it's something every woman needs to hear, no matter her age, employment, whatever.


Let me know what you think.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Coffee and politics

This doll sits next to my phone at the office.

She reminds me, three days a week, that I need to pick up that phone and annoy contact my elected representatives.

Have you called your senator today?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fall Schedule

Every year I book too many fall shows, and every year, I'm surprised at how many shows I've booked.

Every. Year.

I had one Friday evening, 9/29.  Then an all-day show on Saturday, 9/30.  Then a day to recover, work on Monday, women's conference Tuesday, work on Wednesday (with a lovely event hangover -- too much stimulation, not enough sleep), Thursday (today) to get done all the things that should have occurred sooner, work and a theater evening on Friday, and two more shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Thankfully after that I had the sense to give myself a break to regroup and restock until Saturday, 10/28, and then it's the slippery slope to Christmas.

Every year I say I'm not going to do this to myself, and every year I do.  At what point do I just realize that this is what the last quarter of the year is going to be like, accept it, and get on with things?  (I mean, I do -- that's exactly what I do, but maybe it's the same as birth -- after the holidays, I forget the exhaustion and stress because I have such a lovely result, and because I forget, I do it all over again and find myself in the same fix.)

Oh, well.  Sleep will feel really good come January.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A very special Tuesday

Michelle and Shonda.  As an aside, I love both dresses.
Tuesday is one of my days to work at home.  In addition to everything I can get done, there's also what I don't have to do -- get up early, get dressed like a grownup, take public transportation downtown and deal with people.

All of which I did yesterday, willingly and with a huge smile on my face all day long.

Yesterday was the Pennsylvania Conference for Women at the Convention Center, and Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker.  That was all I had to hear back in July, when one of the partners at the office where I work part-time was trying to sell tickets to the two tables the firm had purchased.  When I heard the ticket price - $175 - I hesitated for a moment, but honestly, when I am ever going to get the opportunity to hear Michelle Obama speak, except on television, at pretty much any price?

Add to it an entire day of other speakers, workshops, lunch, networking, wine and who-knew-what-else, and I ended up convincing myself it was a bargain.

Just a FEW people
And it was.

So there I was, at the Convention Center from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., surrounded by TWELVE THOUSAND women and a few slightly cowed men.  And it was fabulous.  Motivating, inspiring, fun.

The morning session (post-coffee and pre-workshop) was Carla Harris, Shonda Rhimes and Shawn Achor.  I really only knew Shonda (who doesn't?), but Carla Harris was fantastic.  Picture Oprah on Red Bull, and you have the energy level.

Two breakout sessions in between, and then a fairly mediocre box lunch, but with Brene Brown, Kathy Sledge leading an enormous group sing-and-dance-along of "We are Family," and then an hour plus conversation between Shonda and Michelle Obama.  Which was amazing.

A surprise guest
Originally it was just announced that Michelle would be keynoting, and a few people were initially upset that it was turned into the conversation format, but I loved it.  Even though I'm sure they went over points of it ahead of time, I thought it really humanized both women, showed them as the tough, intelligent, amazing women that they are.  One small sample here, a Twitter link, but the only place I could find it.

And it didn't hurt that President Obama showed up on videotape at the end to wish her a happy anniversary.  You could hear the collective "Awwww" from thousands of women as we all melted just a bit.  Honestly, I think everyone there would like their partner to say those words, in that tone of voice, with that little embarrassment.  Not much of an ask, right?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Walls

Our housemate moved out a week ago, and I'm still trying to get the house back together.  Any change, whether it takes place in our portion of the house or not, is still unsettling, and she and I had lived here for 17 years.  Before that, we were roommates in my 20s and early 30s, so even though the changes has been a while coming and is the right thing to have happened, it's still difficult to get used to.

We're empty nesters, more or less, and I didn't expect to feel like that.

But on to what I wanted to say, rather than what I haven't quite figured out how to talk about yet.  I had to undecorate the halls so the movers could get furniture out without damaging my stuff, and that's when you realize how much stuff you have.  I took 70 things off the walls, and then had to pull 70 accompanying nails -- because you don't want the movers to get caught on them, of course -- and now I'm patching the holes.

Because what I've decided to do is to not completely redecorate.  We're going to be moving ourselves in the next year or less, and partly I feel like there's no point in putting it back up to have to take it all down again, but the other, more pressing thing is, watching her move was a learning experience for me, and I want to have as much of my excess out of the house before the move as I can.  There's no way I want to move it all to a new house and then realize it doesn't fit.

So things are going to go back up on the wall slowly.  With deliberation.  I've gone through all the piles of artwork and odds and ends that were hung and I've chosen all my favorite pieces, the ones I know I'm going to keep.  I'll place those, and then I'll go through the remainder and find some pieces that work with the ones I've rehung.

The rest are going.  Really.  They have to.  There's no way in hell I'm going to have another house with a 3-story, high-ceilinged stair hall to decorate.

If I do, I need my head examined.  Someone please remind me of that fact if I show up here one day talking about my new BIG house.

Right now it's both oddly quiet and strangely noisy in the house.  Quiet, because there's no one upstairs, and noisy because without things on the walls to absorb some of the noise, every single sound echoes.

It's like the house is telling me it's time to move on.  I'm listening, really; these things just take time.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

zero waste

Over on my Facebook business page, I have a weekly Recycle Tuesday feature.  Since most of those are either photos or links to articles elsewhere, I don't generally share them here.  But every once in a while, something is so good that it needs to be spread around.

One of the reasons I got into upcycling was the epiphany one day that I was throwing out more fabric than I was using.  I'd always kept scraps, but never really did much with them until I started my business.  This designer closed his business and then got the scrap epiphany -- in a major way.  Here's a video showing his technique.  Watch this and try to stay away from your sewing machine.  Just try.  I dare you.

Monday, September 4, 2017