My Work Trip

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware that I went on a work trip last week.

And I did actually WORK! You just happened to see 800 photos of the fun part of the trip.

So here’s the deal – at my job, these events are really intense. Your are up and going and working from 7:30 or earlier, to midnight or later, every day as many days as you are there. It is really intense, we also have a work hard/play hard philosophy, so at some the work becomes play, and drinks become conversations with influencers, and dinner becomes mai-tais, and then in just a few short hours your back to your booth and sessions and whatever else.

So for this particular trip, I was in Orlando. It has been on my bucket list to visit the Mouse in his Florida House for years. So, given the chance to go there. I was going to go. And I did. We arrived Saturday late, and didn’t have to be on the floor until Sunday at 3pm. So Sunday, morning – 2pm, we went to Epcot. We = my friend Karen, and I. We BLASTED through Epcot and hit everything we wanted to hit. Below are photos from that day. Epcot was cool, and very educational. We hit “Land of the Living”  – which is a very cool ride through some greenhouses, Soarin over California (which is the same – aka – identical – as the CA version), the ride in the ball and Test Track – which is a souped up version of Radiator Springs. We walked through all the country sections, rode on Maelstrom, and had lunch in Morocco, and gelato in Italy. After we were done working (3pm – 7:30am + 2 hours of email before we left for the park that morning), we snuck back over and watched the fireworks. It was pretty awesome, we took the water taxi – very fun!

Monday, I worked in my room from 7 – 8:30, was on the show floor until 8pm, and then had a team dinner, until 11 – so that was that. Lots of work. We had a team dinner, and then had mandatory fun with the big boss, in the hotel lobby bar until 1:30? 2? I can’t remember. And I do mean, mandatory. Alot of these events is getting face time with the big bosses after the business day is over, so it meant being in the bar, bonding over numbers and football – but it was fun.

Tuesday – same deal, but we closed the floor at 6:30, so we could do a quick change and head to Hollywood Studios for the big event. Each event we have one “entertainment night” provided by the conference, you may remember in past years I’ve seen Carrie Underwear, or Adam and Maroon 5 – awesome! This event they bought a section of Hollywood Studios, and we were there for a few hours. It was a fun time – we rode Tower of Terror, Star Tours, I chickened out of the Rock & Roll Roller Coaster at the last minute, and the Toy Story arcade was closed. Damn. Tower of Terror was AWESOME and different from the DL version – so much more fun!

I also rocked the Cupid Shuffle on the dance floor with my boss. Now, if you aren’t familiar with the Dirty South – please watch this video – or at least the beginning of it:

So, Renee and I heard that song and totally ditched our group to join the dance party – was pretty awesome. My favorite comment was “Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, you can move!” – Yup, college at Cal State Northridge, did in fact teach me something. We got back from the park and ended up in the bar, where we had a lovely dinner of Mai-Tais and bar nuts. Delicious. We ended up in a bar with a few of the influencers until 2ish, which was good. Good networking time.

Wednesday was a full work day. I facilitated a 20 person meeting for 3 hours, and then crashed in the hotel. I was done. DONE.

Thursday, however, Thursday was a day of pure fun. Most of the team flew home on Thursday and had Friday off. I took Thursday off and flew home on Friday.

We woke up and it was miserable weather. MISERABLE. It was low 40’s and raining, so we had a plan B moment. We decided to breakfast and explore downtown D, and then Karen was catching an earlier than planned flight so she could get to Denver prior to the start of the giant storm, and I’d hit the park solo. It turned out to be perfect. Downtown D is HUGE. Like… dwarfs the size of our Downtown D – it was crazy. We had breakfast and she had an ice cream sundae, and then we headed to the monorail and toured a couple of the hotels. I ended up hitting the park at 2pm. I had an “after 2” ticket, sold through the conference for 1/2 the price of a full day ticket.

I literally walked the entire park. I did every ride I wanted to do. Exception being Big Thunder, which literally as I was the next person to get on. I did not do Space Mountain – no thank you. They have new seats like the Matterhorn at DL, and no thank you. Tailbone.

I walked every land, saw every very thing, went on every ride, saw a couple of shows and it was SO fun. and HUGE. Like.. GIGANTIC. There were only a few thousand people in the park, so I literally walked on everything. I waited a bit for the Winnie the Pooh Ride, and used my fast pass on Peter Pan, but everything else…. walked on. It was SO fun.

I also got to use my new digital camera on the Electrical Parade, which was so cool. I havent seen that in YEARs, and it was awesome to get to see it as an adult.

Finally, they had a lightshow, using the castle as the background, and then fireworks. Please note – it was SO foggy, all you could see was little glowing moments, no fireworks – totally funny. Also a bunch of the castle photos are blurry, but it was pretty cool to see them use the castle as a backdrop, which is what I tried to capture.

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And then. Well, that’s it. I bought myself a hat, and my mom some winestoppers, looked for silverware (didnt see any, sorry K) and nearly bought a hoodie, but decided I’d hold off and then headed back to my hotel where I tried to cram 14 lbs more of stuff into my bag, than I’d brought with me (8 pages of flip chart paper, a new backpack courtesy of the event, and my heavier shoes, since I was wearing sandles home) and then passed out.

 

Got up, flew home and today am back in my home office, in my work uniform of yoga pants and a hoodie, and am super happy that I got to cross something off my bucket list.

 

Next bucket item: 11 day cruise to Alaska this summer, courtesy of Annette – whose mother, L1 died and left her a chunk of change. L2 (Annette) is taking us all on a CRUISE TO ALASKA. I am beside myself. Camp finishes on the 1st, and I will be on a giant boat on the 8th. With a balcony, and a 16 year old roommate, and I dontevencareIamthatexcited!

 

The.

End.

I also have a ton of work photos, that show what I do on the showfloor, but those are not nearly as exciting. However, if you – all 8 of you – want to see them, I could post or send them.

 

now, the end. again.

 

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Office Revamp

Well, if you follow along on Instagram, you will have noticed the paint color conversation.

I apparently feel the need to crowd-source key life choices. Like Paint Color.

So when it comes to the office, here’s the bigger vision:

Overview

Picking the paint color has been the hardest. The goal is tan walls with thin random stripes around the room in fun colors. Not a lot of them, and kinda random. Apparently stripes are a bitch, so they might turn into wavy stripes.

I need the office to feel clean, warm, serene, with a bit of a funky touch – so that’s my logic around the stripes. Curtain, Dog Crate, Lamp Shade – all in the stripes.

Paint Color – blech. This is hard. HARD. I want a tan, because it’s in keeping with the nature of my house – which I recently discovered was built in 1920. I have picked 4 samples, 2 are too pink. 1 is the lightness I want, but kinda dull. The other is the tone I want but too dark. The challenge is I think I got a jenky color sample from the OSH – the lady was a bit… wacky. So, I might try Home Depot? Lowes? Kaleena – where from did you get yours? to see if the outcome is different, or ask them to lighten it up a bit…

Side by Side paint chip vs wall sample

Glidden photo

I think I would like it was at it appeared in the sample, but again – I think that is a OSH paint issue, so we’ll see.

My pinerest board has furniture samples – it’s going to be very hard clean lines, which is the other reason I’m debating curvy stripes… idk, maybe I’m nuts. If the board preview doesnt show up in your reader, click here if you want to see it.

The TV Stand is a Lack table from the blue & yellow furniture store, and it’s currently wood tones, but I want to paint it cherry red, or some other fun color. And if it bombs, the tables are like $10 at that store, and this table is 10 years old. Ha. Actually, all the new furniture, lampshade and curtain are from the blue & yellow furniture store. Love that place.

What else? I don’t think anything – unless you really love to paint, or assemble furniture, and then you’re welcome to join the party. I’ll provide your beverage of choice and snack of choice.

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Proud

Man – yesterday, in church I cried.

Which happens fairly often, I don’t really know why – but it does – and I’ve just accepted that I’m that person, and it’s part of who I am. I’m not the only one, and I think that’s been good for me to see. There are few other weepy-willies (to quote k) but yesterday, there were many many folks with the tears.

Yesterday, we celebrated an adoption. We’ve not had many of those, and in our church there’s a small service to celebrate the adoption of a baby, but not an adoption of older kids. So our priest altered and adjusted and we had a small service-in-service to celebrate the adoption of two kids – 9 and 11. And I have **never** been prouder to be a member of the church that I am. You see, these 2 kids have had a long road, and were adopted by 2 Moms.

And we celebrated that, without any discussion, without any pretense or explanation or anything. And it was awesome. 2 of our church senior members and leaders were up there celebrating birthdays and it was just awesome. I realize now that I can’t really articulate why it got to me so much – but it just did.

I think it’s because in this day and age, where the is still discrimination and strong opinions both ways, and all the other thoughts and feelings out there (which, fyi – this isn’t about that, I know that everyone has their own opinion and feelings and you are entitled to them and I am entitled to mine, and to each their own) – I was just really really proud to be part of a church that openly, honestly and with 100% enthusiasm celebrates the cementing of a family that is led by two moms.

Anyway – just proud, proud to be an Episcopalian, and proud to be part of a parish that celebrated as much as we did yesterday. Cake with a big pink flowers, it doesn’t get more celebratory than that!

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Irony

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of irony is:
a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be the  opposite of what you expected

So when we last left off, it was 2 weeks before Hapitok, also known as CRAZY time of the year. It was a good year, lots of progress by the kids, lots of fun – some unbloggable stories. FYI – in case you EVER wanted to know – the animal with the HORN is a Unicorn, the animal with WINGS is a Pegasus. The two are NOT the same, and the horn and the wings are mutually exclusive. Dear God – if that doesn’t sum up my summer. (If you were at camp, ahem, Amani – please pretend you didn’t read that.)

In the middle of camp, my job changed. Well actually, not even in the middle. I think it was the Wednesday of Week 0. 3 days into the start of camp. I got a call from my Director at 7:30pm his time, and we had a conversation in which I had to provide an opinion by the next Monday – also known as the first day with kids and OMG – please make a life choice in the next 2 days, is pressure enough – but to do it while I’m running a camp and responsible for the health and safety of 56 kids, and managing 20 staff, not to mention the rest of the stuff going on…. no pressure.

After having made an opinion, the timing actually worked out quite nicely. It was a quiet summer, which was much needed. But here’s the ironic part. I’m now on a team charged with building a Social Business. So that means – being social, enabling others to be social, and marketing social products. (For the record, I’m also on a team doing new things, in a new space, with a new manager, with new day-t0-day tasks – so that’s challenging and fun, to say the least)

Ironic, eh… being that I am not all the social myself. I understand the tools, but I don’t really USE the tools. Outside of Twitter, where I mostly tweet random crap, and Instagram where I post photos of the dog, and wine. So, in order to align my personal goals with my professional goals – I am going to attempt to be more social. I’m already fairly active on Twitter and Instagram. I have an updated LinkedIn – do all of you? If not you should (ahem, Lynette). It’s a great way to build a professional network, get endorsements, recommendations, etc – I know most of my readers (all 8 9 of you) are in Education, but it’s not just for business, check it out and connect with me there.

Another cool thing is aboutme.com. Its a way to build a personal page, for free, that gives info about you – but doesn’t totally expose you. You can customize the layout, photos, information exposed, etc. I’ve been using it on forms where you have to enter a personal URL, and I don’t want folks to see my personal stuff, not that there’s much on here… My aboutme is on my sidebar, but click here to check it out – and for those that are privacy focused (April, Joanna) this might work for you as well.

So, that’s it – except that I met a cat on a leash, wearing a bindi and an elaborate necklace & pendant, being walked by a guy also operating an RC car – and if you don’t believe me, check out my Instagram.

For realsies, that’s all I got – its been a whirlwind, but I’ll post more soon.

Upcoming Topics:
– The time I almost died on a mountain in Big Bear
– I swim now. With a Snorkel.
– Where should I go in the Winter?

Hope you are all doing well – cheerio!

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Attenion Dog People!

Here’s the deal –

I have this dog. He’s cute – no?

dog in a tie2

 

I saw BarkBox – on GMA a few months ago, got one – and love it. Love it!

Photo Dec 27, 12 16 04 PM

 

I just got my June BarkBox, and its a “4th of  July” picnic in a box… big beefy bone, doggie beer, pup-tatoe chips, calming wafers (hello fireworks), and a bag of sirloin burger treats – I love it.

Barkbox is running a promotion – where if I refer someone to Barkbox, I get early shipping and a free box in July – and if you use my link you get $5 bucks off…

I really do love my Barkbox each month – so if you have been hemming or hawing – think about it, use my link and… try one out.

Link: https://barkbox.com/r/TJ0XEqg257/

 

If not – no worries.. .

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Some Stuff

Well – here’s the update:

I discovered maxi dresses, and they are kind of like wearing pajamas.Photo May 24, 6 03 11 PM

I decided to get a new sofa. My old ones were GROSS and terrible. So… I found this one:

Photo May 18, 1 33 39 PM

and couldn’t decide if it would fit… but I got it. Here’s the before and afters…

Photo May 30, 5 30 57 PM

Photo May 30, 7 56 57 PM

Photo May 30, 8 50 06 PM

I love it.

The dog has a new rule… not allowed on the sofa. It’s really a hard life. He has 2 beds to choose from and likes neither. And now he’s required to look out the front door window, not the windows from the sofa. A hard hard life.

Photo May 18, 8 31 03 PM

Sometimes – you need a little humor. “horizonal running” What What…     Photo May 23, 9 43 24 PM

Camp is coming… Balloons are the theme. I have many balloon related projects to complete in next month.

@Kaleena – its way better than Fiskaring.

Photo Apr 13, 8 10 52 AM

My little bros engagement extravaganza was last weekend, no pictures yet – but hopefully soon.

 

That is all.

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what did I do when I was there –

I did this…

So the question is “What did you DO when you were there”

Well – I was in a lot of meetings. But when I wasn’t working on my other stuff, and not in meetings. I was part of the “livestream” stage team. So, I did a lot of meeting and greeting executives and super smart big blue-ers and helping them get ready to be on stage.

I was also on the social team, so I wore my social hoody over my business clothes and helped people learn how to tweet, follow each other, I took a TON of pictures and posted them to instagram, etc etc.

So -with that, here I am with the social team, and with my hoody – and yes, I am aware of the giantness that is my being in that photo.

Alison at Pulse

socialpulse team

So what does it mean “livestream stage”. Well – we had this stage in the middle of the expo, and on it we had the execs and partners and super smart people up there doing interviews that were a) live and broadcasted to the expo, and b) posted on youtube or whatever for people to watch.

So sometimes, things went awry and we had to do crazy stuff to make it happen. This video clip below is one of those moments. These 4 people are crazy smart, fancy folks – and in the middle of the interviews… the sound started cutting out. We’d had sound issues ALL WEEK -and this one was awful. So the production team lead and I figured out that if we stood and held the antenneas, we could maneuver them to pick up the wireless mic waves (?) to pick up the sound. So I literally stood there for 27 minutes looking like a butterfly catcher, or windsurfer or something trying to “catch” sound waves with my antennea. When I looked up a BUNCH of folks I knew were standing around and totally cracking up – and someone caught a picture.

So heres a link to the final video: http://livestre.am/4mXso

So FYI – that bit at the begining about Dev/Ops – highly entertaining to the right audience, and these guys were REALLY funny in the prep minutes.

And what was I doing off to the side… I was doing this:

vanna

Don’t mind me fancy people – just trying to catch your sound waves.

 

happy weekend, people.

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