Thing I Didn’t Do This Week

Happy Sunday! In order to keep my content here fresh like a morning breeze while still working on [insert humble brag I’m-so-busy description here], I’ve decided to start a regular series called Things I Didn’t Do This Week.

Every week I’ll tell you about the projects I found and contemplated, but ultimately did not complete. I have nothing to share other than feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction. Also, this blog post.

So, without further adieu, here are the things I totally did not do this week —

1) Declutter or organize my home with tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Art of Tidying Up

2) Be at all inspired by citrus to make tea towels or a mobile for my home.

Thank you, Apartment Therapy!
Thank you, Apartment Therapy!

3) Stay on top of the Boho trend.

photo via Sonya Benham on flickr
photo via Sonya Benham on flickr

What didn’t YOU do this week?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Tumblr
  • Wikio
Posted in Just Me: Writing and Other Wordy Pursuits, Style and Thrills: Posts on style, clothing, decor and other attempts at fabulosity | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Was Magic

 

Stardust Beach

On March 13 of this year, the DC storytelling community lost one of its most beloved storytellers. Since then I’ve been struggling to make sense of why Kevin Boggs’s death was so devastating and so unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Like so many others who knew Kevin, I joined a Facebook group set up to support him and his family, and then watched as hundreds and hundreds of people (myself included) posted messages of love and gratitude. To me and to so many other storytellers in DC, Kevin was a goddamn celebrity.

Maybe “celebrity” is the wrong word. It seems trivial. We lost a storytelling superstar and an inspiration. He made it seem easy, effortless and also magical. And he made us feel like we knew him, really knew him.

There seemed to be a running joke about his diva-ness. I don’t know how much of that was real and how much was put on for everyone’s amusement. But for all of that diva-tude — real or pretend — he was actually so endlessly giving. How else do you explain an outpouring of love and gratitude like that from almost a thousand people?

We all seem to have a Kevin Boggs story to share — a time when he so generously gave us exactly what we needed in the moment to persist. For me, it was the time he told me he got my sense of humor and he wanted to work with me. Since I’m terrible with compliments, I think I probably said something awkward and silly in response. But now I realize he said exactly what I needed to hear. How did he know how to do that?

I don’t know what it is about this loss that has been so different for me. I don’t know if it was this shared group experience that happened through Facebook or the fact that I’m old enough now to have a little more acceptance around death. There’s this very human inclination to want to pour over the details of a sudden and unexpected loss, as if in those details there will be some key to avoiding the unavoidable. I hate that inclination. It’s so futile.

I am more interested in how Kevin lived because what a spectacular fucking life it was. I don’t believe in God. Spirituality and the concept of magic don’t really resonate with me. But the fact that someone can live fifty years on this planet and inspire so many damn people strikes me as the very essence of magic. I know some agnostic-leaning people choose to define God as those transcendent things that connect us — art, music, nature. Kevin was one of those transcendent things that connects us — particularly the community of storytellers, even more so that community which makes the organization almost formerly known as SpeakeasyDC exactly what it is today.

While sitting around thinking about how Kevin was kind of a celebrity, I read a beautiful tribute to him which begins by stating Kevin wasn’t famous. And it’s true — Kevin didn’t have a national reputation and he earned his living as a waiter. But he had the magic. He was the fucking magic. And that made his death one of the most heartbreaking and yet beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.

Image via flickr user kvoloshin 

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Tumblr
  • Wikio
Posted in Just Me: Writing and Other Wordy Pursuits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding My Way In the Skeptical Community

GP Shirt

I had some trepidation about going to Skepchickcon. I mean, I’m not really a geek and I don’t feel like I’m as smart as your average skeptic. But I’d signed up and purchased an airline ticket so next stop…Chicago.

In order to psych myself up for the weekend, I decided to go with just one intention: show up as myself.

You might say that’s a pretty obvious intention since it would be weird to show up as someone else. Or not. There was cosplay.

I didn’t cosplay. That’s not a judgment about cosplay. I just feel awkward in costumes. And taking pictures. So, not sure what else you do when you cosplay but it would appear my choices are self-limited.

Where was I? I began the weekend feeling like an awkward outsider (in other words, the usual). At one point during my first panel, there was this discussion about the woo belief that people can exchange energy, and I was totally ready to throw down for the, um, energy exchangers. Now, I know people can’t actually exchange energy but it’s a useful metaphor for the vibes people give off. Vibes, man. I guess you can take the girl out of Santa Cruz…

So there I am in the party suite of the hotel, sipping my awkward introverted cocktail. But what the hell can I do, right? I can only be myself because, to recap, (a) I just have the one self to show up with and (b) no cosplay. I make a decision to just chill the fuck out on the couch and be open to whatever conversations come my way. You know, like, exchange some energy and shit. Conversations ensued! And before I know it, it’s 2 in the morning and I end up with the party suite all to myself. So that was amazing except that at some point during the night, my soul took possession of the room (stay with me, skeptics). I mean, the room was so totally mine that the next night I felt weirdly possessive of it. Guys, easy on the furniture.

So I stayed up way too late and then got up in the morning and made some questionable decisions about breakfast involving smoked salmon, bacon and a croissant.

I finally checked into my own hotel room and got dressed for my second panel called Food Fright about food, fear and pseudoscience. There was a lot to cover and I wondered how much I’d be able to contribute. We talked GMOs, gluten, allergies, more GMOS. Lots of GMOs. All in all, I didn’t feel as confident as I’d like, but I was good with showing up as — wait for it — myself. Still no cosplay.

Then something kind of cool happened to me during that panel. I’ve been feeling kinda down on skeptics lately. Kind of tired of the smug skeptic thing. Towards the end of the food fright panel, an audience member made sort of a joke about his friends and their penchance for toxin cleansing and at first I thought, oh, here we go. I sort of questioned him a bit, but then it hit me – he’s not here for a lecture. This is where skeptics go to be with other skeptics. It’s a much needed place to vent, connect and be inspired by our own, and that’s perfectly okay. His cleanse-loving friends weren’t there. In that moment, I needed to listen. Because he just needed to unload. Unload his toxins. You know, maybe he should consider a cleanse?

That panel was followed by the panel on how to be an outspoken woman online, and I could not have been more inspired (I was in the audience for that one). Women speaking their mind in public is apparently this crazy, controversial thing that results in death threats. And yet these women continue to show up and speak out, despite it all.

Saturday night was kind of a blur because I was so tired. I don’t know. Something, something, shwarma. There was a whiskey tasting which was beyond awesome and I wore a lab coat (but it wasn’t cosplay). I got to hang out with a lot of my fellow Grounded Parents. So much fun.

Sunday at 8:30 in the AM I was up for our Grounded Parents panel. Evaluating Parenting Information. I already covered that here.

My last panel of the weekend was Communicating Skepticism. And it was really perfect because I finally felt comfortable and like I had something to say. I talked a little bit about storytelling and the way audiences appreciate vulnerability. Stay away from stories that paint you as the savior. They aren’t that appealing. People love embarrassing, awkward stories because they reveal you to be human. And that’s where we connect. That’s where the good stuff is. Although Skeptical Saviors does have a nice ring to it.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Tumblr
  • Wikio
Posted in Just Me: Writing and Other Wordy Pursuits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment