Archive for category KIACS

7 things that are not like the others

I got memed. Just before the new year. That tattle tell known as Google alerted me that someone had been talking about @MsHerr. I employed my keen detective skills to discover that Dani Cutler had tagged me in one of the two circulating memes. I love memes. Isn’t meme just web jargon for chain letter? And I love chain letters. Especially the completely irrational, yet annoyingly persistent, feeling I have of letting down friend/family/acquaintance/imposter while I blatantly ignore the letter.

But I’ve been known to look on the bright side of things. I thought it could be a good way to kick off ‘09. So I started writing…

one: I want to adopt at least one child.

I think that there are people who have an obligation to love each of us, and the first among these are the two people whose actions conceived us: our birth mothers and fathers. Yet real life rarely follows the shoulds. Families form through blood and change through choice.

My birth father was absentee before, during, and after the short nine months he and my mother were married. When I was four, another man came into our lives. When I was seven, this man became my mother’s husband. In sixth grade, I was given three choices: keep my birth name, change my last name, be adopted. I chose adoption. But he became my dad long before that, and I have been blessed to receive a father’s love from a man who had no obligation to show such concern.

Consider that there are many children in this world who, for whatever reason, have birth parents but no mom and no dad. I want to share the blessing that I still enjoy. I want to love and care for, to adopt, a child who is in need of a mom.

two: I used to be a puppeteer.

Growing up in Gallup, the church I went to had a couple of youth groups. One was a puppeteering group for 6th through 12th graders. We’d learn skits that we’d then perform during services or various public events throughout the community. Some were funny. Some were dramatic. Not all were religiously-themed. But all had a lesson of some sort. We had a large collection of high quality puppets and props, a stage large enough for up to seven puppeteers, and a sound system. Not exactly small-time for a church youth group.

Besides being moderately interesting, I share this because, believe it or not, there is some serious technique to operating a puppet. Rather than explain it, check out this video from Puppets and Stuff and Expert Village.


Then verbosity became my downfall. I had set out to briefly capture the story behind each of these seven things, but the lack of a consistent theme has plagued me. My attempts to be consistent in voice, inspiration, and length have been thwarted. Each time I put finger to keyboard, I’ve spun time’s wheels. So here I take a page from Jeremy Tanner’s book, err… blog. Keep it simple. Keep it brief. Stick to the headlines.

three: Kid-in-a-candy-store is my favorite flavor of happy.

four: Braiding my hair is my one pre-race ritual.

five: I enjoy traveling alone.

six: Of all the virtues, patience is the one I dislike the most.

seven: I’d love to work for Harley-Davidson. Corporate. *

There. It’s done. It’s no longer the start of new year. That shiny newness has worn off. The novelty is gone. That unalterable pattern of 24/7 has reasserted itself. It’s only the start of the remaining 96.9% of ‘09, a rather arbitrary statistic.

And so I close with an offer… Should you find any of the above headlines so intriguing that you want a story, holla at me. I will gladly oblige.

And a promise… I shall not meme anyone unless you, again, holla at me.

* Don’t worry Phoenix, I’m not leaving you yet. There is too much great stuff going on here, now, that I want to be a part of. But someday, perhaps two or three or seven years from now…

Elastic Beanstalk


Your first AWS Elastic Beanstalk Node.js application is now running on your own dedicated environment in the AWS Cloud

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on spontaneity

25 days ago, reminiscing on a moment, I wrote about spontaneity.  I claimed it to be something I crave.  Even developed a little theory about it.  But I gave no thought to the things that seed it, nurture it, fuel it.

But what does indeed?

Questions.  Questions are an answer.  Not just any questions.  Specific ones.  Ones that force us to face the real or supposed obstacles that inhibit us: why not? Ones that allow us to create, access, or extract meaning in our lives and the lives of others: will this make a good story?

Questions.  Are questions such as these the difference between having an everyday experience and seeding joy, adventure, fun, and a whole lotta awesome memories?

Last night, @brianshaler undertook an exercise of spontaneity.  The result: awesome … and interesting.

There are two kinds of secrets: those we keep from others and [those] we hide from ourselves. – Frank Warren, PostSecrets: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives

Are there also are two kinds of stories: those we share with others and those we share only with ourselves?

Brian … thanks for sharing. 🙂 

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posted on Truemors

Friend and fellow New Mexican, Spectagirl, sent me an email Wednesday with the subject line: I heart NM.  Inside was a link to a news story that on a scale of benign to earth-shattering, would score somewhere around whoop-de-do (assuming of course that you’re not from Estancia).  But it was funny and bizarre and Truemor-worthy.  So what else is a gal to do but submit it to Guy Kawasaki’s site?


Click here to link to story.

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on spontaneity

I’m the kinda girl who likes to have my head firmly wrapped the things that are goin’ on in my life. I like plans. I keep a schedule. I make 2do lists.

I’m the kinda girl who likes to be reliable. I make commitments. I keep my word. I don’t cancel one thing just because a more exciting opportunity has presented itself.

I also crave spontaneity, something that all too frequently gets penciled out of my calendar.

Then 17 days ago, a refreshing anomaly … a moment of spontaneity briefly overtook my life as Friday night conversation led to an early Saturday morning flight and a two-day road trip. As I packed a single small bag and left for the airport full of kid-in-a-candy-store anticipation, I developed a theory: spontaneous acts seed joy, adventure, fun, and a whole lotta awesome memories. To test this theory, I tracks the use of three words among Twitter-ers: spontaneity, spontaneous, and spontaneously.

I tracked these words for one week. I collected over 60 tweets by almost as many Twitter-ers.

I have yet to do anything with the raw data.

As the days following my spontaneous road trip unraveled, I began to realize that the conclusions I drew from this data, whatever they may be, mattered little. It’s not that I’m not still curious about the validity of my theory, but it has little bearing on my sentiments regarding the trip that may well have been my most dramatic act of spontaneity yet.

I have photographic evidence. This is spontaneity. It is also the culmination of immeasurable enjoyment…

the culmination of immeasurable enjoyment
Image color correction courtesy Adam Nollmeyer of AcmePhotography.


joining the UCR

I’ve had it with responsibility.  I have certain inalienable rights.  You know the ones I mean: life, leisure, and kid-in-a-candy-store happyness.

Enough with the paychecks that get split a gazillion different ways. Enough with the professional dress code policies.  Enough with the doctor, dentist, and optometrist appointments, not to mention the required insurances (if I have the right to life, why the hell do I have to insure it?).  Enough with traffic commutes and oil changes.  Enough with the polite conversations about the weather, the dogs, and the kids.  Enough for the reading for personal or professional growth (I’m done growing up, it’s time to start growing down).  Enough with the dusting and ironing and window washing (was never much good at it anyway).  No more haircuts.  No more baths (well actually, I kinda like the baths and think I’ll keep those).  No more diets.  No more vegetables.  And no more boys who have cooties (basically, half of them) or who break stuff (the other half of them).

I’ve had it with responsibility.  I’m adding playing all day every day to that list of inalienable rights.  And then I’m running away to join the UCR.


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