So excited because....
This Saturday Scott, some friends and I get to go volunteer during the filming of an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition!!!!! I'm so excited to be a part of it. Oh, right, and maybe to see that guy that hosts it! Many thanks to Kate for making it possible.
This keynote from OSCON is fantastic - both in format and content. Spend 15 minutes watching it and come out the other side understanding digital identity, where it's going and who might be driving.
I'm beginning to pile up reasons to be inspired and energized. Here are just a few -
Inspired during my workout this morning by a killer music mix on the house sound system including Rush, Judas Priest, Skid Row, Guns N Roses, Cinderella (!) and so on. Funny, I know.
Yes, I said working out. Neat, huh? You may not have known that I've been enrolled in the "weight intervention" program that's part of Microsoft benefits called 20/20 lifestyles. I'm in week 8 or something like that and am 20lb down from my starting weight. It's majorly hard but the results are fantastic, and I have real hope that I'll be able to not only get down to an awesome goal weight/size and but keep it off for life. Tons of folks at Microsoft have taken advantage of this program - most famously Steve Ballmer. Jeff Sandquist does a grea job of explaining some of the details if you're interested.
The working out part made possible by the fact that 6 months after major but elective surgery I finally seem to be healed. I was supposed to be "back to normal" in about 6-8 weeks, but had complication after complication (stubborn? me?) so 3 additional procedures, 6 months and thousands of bandages over gross wounds later I think I'm finally whole again. I remain glad I opted for the procedure, am almost pleased with the results but holy heck this was a terrifying look down the spiral of what losing your health can do to your life. I owe many thanks to friends, family and colleagues for their support, encouragement and patience.
Soon (within 2 months if not sooner) my mom will be moved and living just a short distance away from us in her spiffy condo on Lake Washington. I'm so excited for her to get this all over with and to be able to spend her evenings out on the deck looking out at the water and excited for me to have her finally be nearby!
I've been thinking a ton about my high school and other old pals I've lost touch with over the years. Where are you, old friends?
Patty Burger - colleague from ASC Industries
Carol Workman - colleague from Compuserve
William Self - colleague from Compuserve
I think I'm going to start scanning and posting embarassing/funny old pictures of them all here. tee hee hee.
Wow - This awesome horoscope from Free Will Astrology makes heading over the age of *gulp* 35 seem quite exciting! (Many thanks to the awesome woman who forwarded this to me.)
Leo (July 23-August 22)
The odds against getting a royal flush in poker are 649,739 to 1. The odds that Elvis Presley is still alive are 1,000 to 1. The odds that the Loch Ness monster exists are 150 to 1. And the odds that Elvis will someday crash a UFO into the Loch Ness monster are 14 million to 1. If you would have asked me a month ago, Leo, I'd have given you similar odds, 14 million to 1, that you would ever walk on water while closing a big deal on your cell phone and seeing a double rainbow appear over a cloud that resembles your face. But as of today, the odds of that happening have dropped to a mere 10 to 1. Magic time begins now.
Whoa, cool! I had no these cool Zamboni-like ride-on carpet shampooers existed till I spotted one parked in my building this morning. I so wanted to steal this and go joyriding around campus washing the lawn!
Late last week sometime I was driving home from work after what had been another in a string of long stressful (but in a fun way) work days. As usual I was listening to NPR - and the show in this case was This American Life. I can't recall what the theme for the day was, or even find the episode now but one of the stories told of an American born baseball fan father raising his son in Paris - missing his homeland and fretting that his son has no memory or experience of the game of baseball. He began to tell his son bedtime stories of an infant baseball player who he called "the rookie". Even though I'm not a big fan of the game, I really enjoyed it - it was a fantastic story with the father retelling the bedtime stories of "the rookie's" opponents heckling him, of victories and rests after long days of hard-fought victories. Just as the story was ending I was pulling into the street that leads to my home, and I noticed something in the road that looked quite like a baseball - just sitting there all by itself near the stop sign - no one around anywhere nearby. I pulled over, hopped out and snapped this shot with my camera phone just to prove I wasn't dreaming. Such a pleasant moment - and so welcome after a super busy long week.....and when I left the following morning it had disappeared.
Well, I can tell you MY January will be jumpin' starting Thursday January 6th at 8pm when my favorite former software executive in the whole ENTIRE world makes his prime time television debut in the new CBS reality show Wickedly Perfect which will ultimately crown the next domestic diva.
I simply cannot think of a better competitor for this title than the lovely & talented white suede pants wearing on his first day as a software exec former RealNetworks COO turned skin care mogul Thomas Frank!
I was lucky enough to make good old Tom's acquaintance during my 3 year tenure at Real. See I asked a question about our lack of consumer facing advertising during the "Q&A" period of a company meeting once and he rewarded my respectful curiosity by unleashing a GIANT torrent of se*ualorientationllyconfusedPMSbeatchyness all over me in response in front of the WHOLE company. I forget the specific wording but it was something along the lines of "I'm not going to answer that question, and you are a stupid idiot for asking it, CHRISTINE LUKASIK, so sit down, shut up and never make the mistake of mistaking a Q&A session for being a time during which it is appropriate to ask questions" So injured was I after this public flogging that some dear friends tried to cheer me up by making me a t-shirt with a VERY unflattering photograph of his face pasted on the top of a Tigger body.
So watch with me this January ! If he wins maybe I can auction the shirt on eBay. Or maybe I'll sell the explicit anniversary letter to his wife that Tom composed on his company computer and then posted on the company network along with the rest of his hard drive. Imagine what else was in there. Go ahead, just imagine.
I've made an amazing office discovery! The ubiquitous Koosh ball, long masquerading as an office stress toy is truly an 'office appropriate noise level' musical instrument! Seriously, you can even play a Koosh ball in a cube farm without irritating any but the closest and most sensitive of neighbors.
Here's what to do:
Insert headphones from music source of your choice into your ears. My research suggests that 80s tunes work best. I had some fantastic results with both "Come on Eileen" and "The Fanatic". Jazz is tough due to the sometimes erratic time signatures. Goold old head banger/metal is best for serious stress relief - say a little Skid Row, or maybe some Foo Fighters, but beware of wrist injuries! Creed is never OK. Never.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let's move on to mechanics.
Next, pick up your Koosh with whatever hand you aren't mousing with. This works either if you hold the Koosh so that your fingers are spread with small sections of Koosh tentacles between each finger (shown here from the top):
or in the classic small grip where you hold a small group of Koosh tentacles with your thumb and index finger.
If you plan to get really agressive with the beats, you may want to try gripping nearly half of the Koosh with your hand so you can shake the head around like Animal.
Raise your hand (with arm/elbow forming a right angle to the body) so that the Koosh is at ear level, and shake it to the beat!
Get wild - experiemnt with shaking with more or less force based on the kind of sound you're going for. Try some extra cool above the head shaking, try some beating on the desk/shaking combos - you can even beat the Koosh against your other hand to get the true tamboirine experience (it really helps if you close your eyes for this one).
Feeling ROCK STAR awesome? Try a toss/catch/shake combo or try to switch shaking hands without losing the beat!