squee!

Happy Spring!

I don't know if it's the weather, finally having recovered from the weekend, the fact that I drank my coffee at the PERFECT time this morning, or the fact that I got a great night of sleep ... or just dumb luck! But I am in a super awesome top notch good mood today. It's WONDERFUL.
moon path

Dev Retreat 2015

I always have a post-event drop after a large event, and I just finished my largest event ever: 400 people for four days at the Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire. I started planning it over a year ago, and at the beginning of this year, I handed off most of the remaining planning (which is a lot) to my then-assistant (now successor as I've moved into my new role), but it still felt a lot like my event, especially since most people there identify me as a person who can answer their questions or solve their problems.

Also, although it was 400 very smart people, almost none of them are able to find their way out of a paper bag, which leads to a LOT of frankly baffling questions. Like: "Should I eat lunch before or after I put my suitcase on the bus?" Dude! You pick! Are you hungry now? Do you want to stop dragging your suitcase around? Both options are fine!

Overall, it was awesome. The Mount Washington Resort is fantastically beautiful, and the staff was unmatched by any other venue I've ever worked with, and the agenda worked super well, and our attendees were, in general, well-behaved, even if clueless.

On the other hand, we had a handful of prima donnas who threw dramatics over minor and soluble issues, which was a definite downside. My favorite was the fellow who, outraged, insisted he was going to fly home to California if he was going to have to share a bathroom. (Some of our guests were staying in townhouses with some shared bathrooms.)

But the highlight for me was that it was kind of a victory lap for me. This is the event I've run every year in my role as "Minister of Fun" at athena, and this group is sort of my "home base" group at the company. I was given pretty free rein to institute a number of programs that made their lives at work better and more fun, so they really like me a lot, and they're geeks, so of course I love them.

They surprised me with a thank you ceremony that involved a giant cake reading "So long and thanks for all the fish", and a set of gifts that included a fancy pair of noise-canceling headphones, a set of five gorgeous metal dice, a Star Trek sushi-making kit, an 8-bit mug, a useless box, a plastic crown and scepter, a velvet cape, and ... a drone. Oh! And an air cannon. And a truly absurdly decadent donut covered in frosting. And they said a lot of nice things about me. It was incredibly heartwarming and affirming.

Later, I sang karaoke by myself for the first time ever ("You Don't Mess Around with Jim" by Jim Croce -- with thanks to regyt for the suggestion), because I realized I was there with a group of people I truly didn't mind making a fool of myself in front of, and one of my colleagues told me she hopes her 8 year old daughter grows up to be like me, and another one told me that I make everything I touch better.

So, that was all super nice, and really well-timed, because outside of work, things are pretty sad and hard for me right now, but I have a lot of good friends, and my family is awesome, so I think I'll get through.
working on the porch

to be of use

Part of what I love about where I work that makes it stand out from any of the other places I've ever worked (including the places I liked!) is that there's true opportunity for growth (for me). I think this largely has to do with it being an organization that's a great fit for me, with work that I enjoy doing and that the company needs done.

I'm sure I learned and grew in other positions I had, but it was never easy for me to put my finger on my major accomplishments or achievements. It was always like, "I did my job, as requested."

This is the first place where I've been given a lot of leeway and been able to really make my way in the organization, and where my contributions -- uniquely mine -- were just the thing.

It's a good feeling.
flow

no baby no baby no baby!

It will come as no surprise to exactly no one who knows me that I don't want to have kids. I've fantasized for years about permanent sterilization, but, of course, I know how much our desires and inclinations can change over time, so I always had age 40 in mind as the point at which I would pursue a permanent solution to the problem of my potential fertility. Since moving into a household with kids, I've been even more sure that that's not a path I want to pursue in life. (I love living with other people's kids. Almost as much as I love not having any of my own.) (Okay, not even close to how much I love not having my own.)

So, even though I'm about 18 months from my 40th birthday, I feel ready to make a longer term decision. So! I met with an OB/gyn this morning to talk about my options. I went in with Essure as my likely preferred option. It's a minimally invasive procedure with good outcomes. The other permanent option is tubal ligation, which is a real surgery.

While I was talking to the doctor, she suggested I consider the Mirena IUD, primarily because the low dose of hormones could alleviate some of my endometriosis symptoms, and most women on the Mirena don't have periods, which is obviously appealing. But it's also appealing to know that pregnancy is totally off the table. So, I'm thinking about it.

I'm interested to hear thoughts and helpful questions, if you have any, but it will make me angry to hear anything along the lines of "But what if you change your mind?" or "Don't you want to keep your options open?", so please skip those!
iris portrait

Famous By Naomi Shihab Nye

Famous
By Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
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bubbly

Confessional 2015

Tell me a secret! Tell me a not-secret! Whisper sweet somethings in my comment box. Express your maddest crush or deepest curiosity! Expound upon the fabulousness of your friends or lovers or would-be friends or lovers! Or people you know or want to know. Do it anonymously or with your name attached; anonymous commenting is on and IP logging is off.

You know you want to!

[Please note ground rules here.]

[Link to flat version of comments is here.]

A note on user experience: If you're starting a new thread, if you give it a subject, it'll be easier to pick out comments in response to it down the road.

ETA: IP logging is back on!
anonysmile

Confessional 2015 pre-post

Happy Confessional Month! First, some ground rules, and shortly, I'll post the confessional itself:

As I've done the past couple of years, I'll be moderating comments with a relatively heavy hand, especially around pointlessly mean-spirited comments or threads. Similarly, I'm aiming to nip in the bud comments or threads that seem to be headed in a bad direction. If you think I made a mistake about leaving something up, feel free to email me to bring it to my attention.

One of the things I deeply value about the confessional is the opportunity to say hard things, but it's important to me that they be productive, so please refrain from mean comments without substance. In past years, we've had some pretty amazing learning, compassion, and vulnerability, along with playful fun.

If there's a comment/thread that seems primarily to be about character assassination, I empower you not to respond, and to privately draw it to my attention for deletion. I will try to delete that sort of thing ASAP, but I have to eat, sleep, work, and play outside of this, also, so my eyes won't be on it every second it's up.

If there's any comment about YOU that you'd like me to remove for any reason, please email me so I can do so.

Remember that all those anonymous voices are people, some of whom you know and like, and all of whom are people like you.

Finally, on commenting with your name/handle vs. commenting anonymously: please consider anonymous commenting the default unless it's specifically relevant and important to post with your name attached. We have many settings in which we can converse as identifiably ourselves, and part of what's fun for me about this is the opportunity to hear people's words without always already knowing who is saying what.
bubbly

(no subject)

I missed this on other social media, and it's too hard to catch up there, so! Let's do it here:

What three things would you put in a circle to summon me?

Comment with my three and I'll respond with your three!
sleepy

so this is the winter of 2015

I fell into one of those nonconsensual naps for about 5 hours this afternoon, and I'm feeling substantially more human. I awoke to the combination of dusk and a power outage, which my nappish brain had a difficult time parsing.

I give groggy thanks to my past self that has scattered headlamps all over the house, so I was able to navigate around to find and light some candles, and soon after that, the power returned; it looks like it was out for about 3 hours, which works out to pretty good timing all-in-all, since it was mostly when I was napping and during daylight hours. And it wasn't enough time for the house to get problematically cold (though our heat proper isn't electric, the forced air action is).

I'm beginning to rethink my conclusion that the airline's original offer to get me back to Boston on Friday was not the right choice after they canceled my Sunday flight. But it's a little late for second thoughts, now that I'm here!