Monday, August 31, 2009

Pre-vacation meltdown

Securing the house, lining up a cat sitter, giving a highly edited version of vacation plans to my mom, dealing with last-minute client calls...getting ready for a vacation is such fun.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Russell Up Das Barbecu!

I've never seen or heard Wagner's Ring Cycle, but that isn't stopping me from going to the ACT Theatre parody of it, Das Barbecu, tomorrow night.

Of course, knowing something about the 20-hour, four-part opera being parodied would probably help. Fortunately, singer Anna Russell provides a delightful synopsis, which has been posted on You Tube. (The synopsis is also in four parts, each about 10 minutes. I linked to Part 1, which was the only one I could find that had video as well as audio. It's worth tracking down and listening to all four parts.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Off to Gnomedex

It's been quite a while since I've gone to any confabs in the social media community. These are the people who were second-wave adopters of Twitter and who believe there is vast potential for communities and businesses in places like the Twitterverse (and Second Life, and Facebook, and blogging).

I'm not so sure; I tend to use social media for fun or for professional development (depending on the platform). My clients use it for marketing and fundraising and, while I'm happy to advise them, I'm not crazy about being on the receiving end of 90 percent of the marketing and fundraising that goes on.

For the next two days I'll be at Gnomedex in Seattle and will report back on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Low tide at Golden Gardens

People often ask me how I can focus on work in a home office. Actually, I often have the opposite problem — I'm just a few steps away from the outdoors, in casual clothing, but I'm tapping away at the keyboard for hours on end. This is particularly sad because I'm just a few blocks from a beautiful beach.

This morning the Scholarly Gentleman and I got up early and went down to Golden Gardens to see what was revealed by this morning's ultra-low tide. There were crabs, a huge live scallop, spurting clams, and thousands of anemone. And many seagulls and egrets enjoying the sashimi banquet.

There were people fishing, several painters with easels, day care teachers with squealing, splashing kids, and one woman who had set up a chair on the wet sand and was warbling opera to the waves.

Here's my iPhone video of how to annoy a clam. You can hear the seagulls, and the Burlington Northern, in the background.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Who's afraid of the big bag wolf?

That is not a typo.

I am referring to the Seattle shopping-bag fee ballot measure and its slavering opponents.

As someone who lives in a world where gas prices soar $1 per gallon in a month, where people routinely pay $3.50 for a daily latte, and where dry cleaning prices are approaching the level of fees for restoration of rare artworks, my reaction to the bag fee is: big deal.

In fact, I'm grateful that stores will sell me a cheap plastic or paper bag to use if I've spaced out and forgotten to drag around my own trendy, reusable shopping sack. It would be difficult to carry 10 potatoes out of the store in my hands.

In the past week, I have received several calls from the bag-fee opponents, disguised as "surveys" that purport to want my "opinion" on the bag fee.

I agreed to take one, and the surveyor read a "question" that went something like this:

"How do you feel about an oppressive, socialist invasion of government into your life by way of a bag tax?"

a. in favor
b. maybe kinda in favor
c. not in favor
d. heat up the tar, Bubba, them bag tax people is a-headed this-a-way

"And how do you feel about the opponents valiantly trying to defend our community against the bag tax?"

"They're a bunch of hysterical wing-nuts," I cut in. "I feel no need to be defended against a 20-cent bag."

To my surprise and delight, the surveyor, a young woman, burst into laughter. I hope our call wasn't being monitored for "quality assurance."