Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today's Horoscope

This is only fitting since I'm in the middle of my road trip right now.

Give yourself a break. A brief one, anyway, because if anyone deserves some downtime, it's you. You've been trying to get away from it all -- or perhaps from 'them' all -- for some time now, but your fans (aka your family and friends) haven't been willing to let it happen. It's time for you to take matters into your own hands and let them all know only one thing: you'll go where you want to, when you want to. It's called personal freedom, and you insist upon it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Doofus & Darling

Another book that I found in Barnes & Noble.

Too many Doofuses in the world and not enough Darlings.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Here comes the sun

I have never felt so hopeful in my entire life.

Last week I was laid off from my job. It was one that I had outgrown and no longer found challenging, but it allowed me to pay my bills. I was not upset that I would no longer be employed there. I was more bothered that the position I had interviewed for several weeks ago and which had given me a verbal job offer had not followed up with me on the specifics. I had started to wonder if I had heard wrong or if I had just made it all up. I was getting nervous.

Today the clouds have finally cleared -- literally. (After a week of rain, today is a beautiful Friday afternoon where the dog and I can lounge lazily in the backyard.) I received the phone call I was waiting for. The job is officially mine. Now I just need to go through the paperwork end of the process with the technology vendor who will be sponsoring me.

So with the employment issue resolved, I can move forward with my newest adventure, my cross country road trip. Oh, it is so on!

I planned on doing this trip exactly like my last one: bring laptop and camera and record the entire trip for friends and family back home. But to improve on that, I'd also be updating via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. I love technology.

I mentioned this to Steve and he came up with an idea that takes this trip to an entirely new level. Pitch it to the TV networks. Let them follow me on my hopeful journey of taking a crappy situation and as Steve put it "venturing out into a cross-country drive to renew her sense of focus and adventure." I can talk to people on the road, hear their stories. Take my readers to beautiful parts of the country. He's already trying to make contacts to find sponsors for this trip. He thinks its a shoe-in because I've done it before and it was picked up by CNN. It a hopeful story and can serve as inspiration to others who are down on their luck to see opportunity to start again.

So now he's got me all excited about this angle. I want to go out right now and get the Flip UltraHD video camera right now. And waiting until Wednesday for the iPhone 3Gs is torture.

As much as I want to prepare for this trip, I know the most excitement comes from the spontaneity of it. The basic plan is set, but the details will come on the fly.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recommended reading

This is the greatest book ever.
Creating Cursing
Just flip the cards until you find the perfect curse for any occasion.
Slut Waffle

Becomg an extrovert

I'm not shy, but I don't really like to initiate 'hey, look at me' moments. That's going to need to change.

Yesterday I went to my local ASTD Chapter meeting to watch a presentation on using simulation software for online training. I'm always interested in different software and how people use it. But the real reason for me for going is to network.

Now that I'm not working, I need to find ways to do some meaningful interactions. I can only be on the computer for so long until my fingers start to bleed and my eyes fall out of my head. Although, this time around I'm keeping much more engaged with Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, webinars and blogs than when I was laid off 4 summers ago.

Anyway, at last night's meeting after I found a seat and unpacked my laptop, I got up and went over to a group of people talking to each other and introduced myself. I know it gets easier the more you do it, but it was still a small hurdle to get over.

The good part is that I wasn't alone in feeling this way. The conversation I interrupted was how they have been coping with being 'in transition'. (That's a nice way of saying "I ain't got no job".) Attending these meetings were their way of networking. Collect a business card, add them to your LinnkedIn profile, move on. They have been collecting contacts like they were baseball cards.

Which is exactly what I've started to do as well.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Today's Horoscope

Think about it: Exactly how long has it been that you've been thinking, wishing, hoping and actually dreaming about taking off for parts unknown? (Unknown to only you and possibly one lucky companion, that is.) If you can't remember not feeling that way, it's definitely time to stop dreaming and start making plans. Get together with your sweetheart and firm up some dates. Do your homework on flights, hotels and travel plans in the meantime.

This is awesome! Not only did I book my July vacation to Greece yesterday but I think I'll wind up doing my cross-country road trip at the end of the month.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Time for another road trip?

It was like any other Friday. Quiet. Boring.

Then I got called into the office. "Claudine, do you have a minute?"

I got laid off. Maybe I'll go into it in another post, but don't feel bad for me. I have something else lined up.

But my first thought is Road Trip. Here's my idea...

View Road Trip in a larger map

For now, it's just a thought in my head. Still have some logistics to figure out, mainly where to keep the dog since my parents are on vacation until next weekend. Then there are some other things that are planned. The earliest I could take off would be June 24th-ish -- still about 2.5 weeks away.

So much to think about. But for now, I think I'll take a nap.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

web 2.0

Find more videos like this on Innovations in e-Learning Workshops

This is a thought-inducing video about how the internet has changed the way people view communication, collaboration and connectivity.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mush fest

I don't know what has been up with me lately and my inclination to cry at the drop of a hat.

I watched the movie UP. I had tears streaming down my face during the preview cartoon.

I watched Susan Boyle sing for her Britan's Got Talent audition. Crying mess.

I was with my mom and dad, a US Marine and Vietnam vet, in NYC on Memorial Day. People thanked my dad for his service. Good thing I was wearing sunglasses. My eyes were teary all day.

Today, Jane Bozarth tweeted:
At airport-announcement that plane carrying WWII vets is arriving; invitation everyone to come over to gate to welcome them. How great!
Then again: - WWII vets arriving Wah. DC for tour of memorials Arlington Natl Cemetery

WWII vets arriving Wah. DC for tour of memorials Arlington Na... on Twitpic

Complete mush all over again.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Today's Horoscope

While other people may be looking forward to getting new material things, you have your eye on a prize more suited to your curious, exploratory nature -- something more experiential. Perhaps it's time to start setting some money aside for your next globetrotting tour or those scuba diving lessons. And if you're on the lookout for a gift for someone else, think about a fun activity -- dancing lessons, a restaurant gift certificate -- rather than another bauble.

I love when my horoscope hits the mark. How did they know about the scuba diving??

Monday, June 01, 2009

Passing the torch

I love playing softball. I started playing ball when I was in first grade and played all the way through my high school senior year. I've played on a work team here and there, but it was never the same as playing in high school.

Yesterday my cousin's daughter asked me to help her practice sliding. She's 11 and has only been playing softball for 2 years. I was so excited to show her because 1) I miss playing ball and 2) that she asked me in the first place.

We drove to a softball field near her house. This was also one of the fields I played at when I was her age. Nostalgia took over.

I was wearing a jean skirt and sandals, but that didn't stop me from showing her how it was done. I can still do it after so many years. Being in a skirt didn't change anything. But to me, sliding was so natural, I had to do it a few times so I could think about what my body was actually doing so I could explain it correctly.

I tried several things. First she just tried to copy what I did. That didn't work. Her legs and hips weren't going in the right direction and if she kept it up she would only get hurt. Then I had her concentrate on how she would position her left leg under her right. I had her just lay on the ground in the final 'slide position' so she can feel how her body should wind up. That didn't work so well either. Finally, I had her fall backwards into my arms simulating the moment that she slid into the base. She was supposed to practice bring her left leg up and shifting her hips at the same time. Nope.

I was frustrated because I didn't know what else to do have the sliding motion click into place for her. She was getting frustrated with herself, too. After about 45 minutes, it was getting late and she was getting tired. And I didn't want her to get hurt.

So we called it a night. I was bummed because she didn't get it. But I was happy that she didn't give up on herself and was genuinely interested in practicing so she could get it right. I hope she finds her groove and that she learns to love the sport as much as I do.