Food for thought: On birthdays and the detached connected generation

So this week I turned the page on yet another chapter of my life.  I officially entered my 30s.  Last year was the BIG “dirty thirty” turnover and this was the step in.

As I had been not single for a majority of this year, I haven’t seen as many of my friends as I’d have liked to.  Add to it last year’s awesome birthday trip to Seattle was not in the works as I’m currently a Muse for Hire as well as teensy bit pregnant.  (Read: not even showing just yet)

As things have been a bit all over the map and tumbling down as well as riding up (I will go into them in other posts but you can start by reading this one here and this one here to get an idea of where to start) I started to have a few rain cloud thoughts about this year’s birthday.  A couple of shitty phone calls later from my past and, well, I wasn’t exactly feeling the most bubbly about everything.

Granted: there were TONS of birthday messages on my Facebook wall and a few of you even reached out to me on Twitter.  And that was fantastic and completely appreciated.

Despite the TONS of friends and wishes, There were only a few people who even asked what I was up to… less than I could count on one hand… and one of them lived cross country.

I felt crappy about it.  Silly as it were, and knowing that I had dropped off the radar a bit with my relationship, I still was bummed.   Moreso, I felt bad about being bummed- worried that it was potentially just another case of pregnancy hormones trying to get the best of me on my otherwise productive day.

It wasn’t until I ended up telling my current roommate about my plans for the evening that things really came into view.  As it turned out, he had talked to another friend of mine who also knew what was going on and they were trying to arrange a small little outing for me.

I felt like a total asshole.

“People probably assumed you already had plans because, like me, you’re always so busy.”

I bucked up a bit and helped pull the reins.  I reached out to a few close friends and asked them to dinner.  As it turned out, there will be more dinners in the works in the next coming days.  Friends were happy to go and hang out with me and have dinner and what not to celebrate.  They, like my friend commented, just assumed that I had other plans.

At dinner I mentioned the whole thing to friends as well.  It was a unanimous thing said amongst everyone.  As active as we are in our daily lives, how often, unless you have a set group of friends that you do things with CONSTANTLY how often do you take the time to ask someone what they are doing for their birthday?  Really take a moment and step back and think about it.  You might be incredibly surprised.

In a day and age where we are so digitally connected, we too often forget just how much it means to someone (who yes might totally be busy a lot of times) to even get asked the question of what they’re doing.  It may seem petty in a the scheme of things, it could mean the world to… even the people you think might think are social rockstars.

Special days are special because of the people we share them with.

While it’s true that social media is a great tool to stay connected with friends it doesn’t replace the power of going one step further and showing you are also real life person outside of a page.

 

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Parables: The power in simplicity

There was not a moon hung in the sky that night as the friends made their way to the evening’s festivities.  Blurred wavelengths of color mark the streets as they weave in and out of traffic.  Like a painter gracefully presses their brush along a canvas, this is their dance.  It is their silent impact.  It is their passion and fervor embracing their fast past turning world.

I

was

here.

If only for a moment.

If only for these moments.

Plates and silverware clink amidst the roars and hushes of chatter at a local spot by the beach.  The pair break through the sound and enter.  They are eager for this time of relaxation and the company of friends.

It is like every cliche night in Los Angeles.  Even when business is over for the day, it is still business as usual.  If anything, it is the kind of night where the most business happens just as much as it is about relaxing.

We sat there and ate cake and drank a few rounds.  We smiled.  We laughed.  Everyone was enjoying the company.  Everyone was enjoying the chatter.

A drink sits lonesome by at the end of the table.

“Whose is this?”

“He’s coming to join us.”

A man in black with an apron slung around his waist approaches the table.

“It will be about 15 minutes before I am done with my shift.  I have to do some paperwork.  I’ll be right over.”

“Come have your drink.”  the group insists.

“Not yet.  I’m on the clock and I have my integrity.”

The drink glows in the moonlight and sings its own silent overture to the starless sky above them.

He finished his shift and pulled a chair over.  The party was not complete for the evening.  However, this is the point when it started to get more real.  Every single other person on there was highly involved within a specific scene, even if their places in line were not the same.  The server was the odd person out in the group.

I asked him simple questions.

Icebreakers.

I wanted to make sure he felt fully included.

“Where did you work before this job?  Is this the job that you would like to have or are you an actor?”

It was very cliché.  I was very… rude actually.

“I lived in Vermont.” he said.

“But what did you do there exactly?” I asked him again.

He stated to tell his story.  He was trying so hard to belong to the group.

“I was working in computers.”

“But what in computers?”

The table echoed with questions pertaining to various fields.

“I was working a help desk.”

More questions as to specifics.

In a way, I felt bad.  Not because of his answers.  Not because But because we were so to the T about his responses yet the majority of us are entrepreneurs.  Our work and dreams are similar to this man’s, even if they aren’t always the same.

He turned the discussion to the rest of the table.  One by one, like an AA meeting, we all spoke about our jobs and stated our names.

Entrepreneur.  PR. Consulting. Etcetera.

The flashlight came my way and I failed.  As I have so many hats on currently, what I didn’t say was what I knew the most.  I had spoken a lot about both but also relatively little, even if I had been verbose.  Succinctly there were only two answers that should have been said.

“I  am a writer.  Sometimes it’s for money.  Sometimes it’s not.  But it’s always with heart.”

Transpose the word artist for writer and have the same answer.

Sometimes things shouldn’t have to be so wordy or complex.  There is so much complexity in the purity.  But only if you look inwardly for it and only if you listen.  I have learned that being dynamic is like constantly being on stage.  You have to be bold.  You have to be brazen.  You have to be fully aware of what you are.

You have to…

You have to…

You have to….

“I  am an artist.  Sometimes it’s for money.  Sometimes it’s not.  But it’s always with my heart- fully open and susceptible to being broken and put back together again and again in every single thing that I do.”

Because that is who I am and that’s what I am proud of.  Every.  Single.  Day.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Comic-Con

As some of you may or may not know, I actually semi “hitchhiked” my way to Comic Con this year.   I found it only suiting that I write a “survival” guide on my adventure to Comic/Video Game/Movieland last weekend.  Here’s a snippet in video blog format where I interviewed con goer Aaron and he let me look at some of the amazing sketches he was able to get from the artists there.

For a full, more in depth list of my tips and things learned while at the Con, you can look over at the article I wrote for Girls Entertainment Network.  I hope you enjoy them both as much as I… had the fun of learning some of them the hard way.

Vlog: I am a character!

Upon recently hearing about the 140 conference in New York next month, I was disappointed that I didn’t know about it sooner. I was talking to my friend Rachael (the other half of this video @1indienation on Twitter) who is one of the characters attending, and she told me I should go.

For those of you that don’t know what exactly it is, here’s a little bit about it taken directly from @jeffpulver ‘s site dedicated exclusively to the contest.

The 140 Character Conference (#140conf) will be taking place at New World Stages in New York City on June 16/17. Since announcing this conference, I continue to be humbled by the people who have come forward to be a part of it. I thank the worldwide twitter community for their interest and continued support. (Feel free to follow @140conf on twitter for updates)

While the original scope of the event was to explore “the effects of twitter on: Celebrity, “The Media”, Advertising and (maybe) Politics”, the scope of the event has expanded and we will be covering these topics and a lot more. #140conf will be taking a look at twitter as a platform and will be taking a look at some of the industries which have been disrupted by the advent of twitter.

The schedule reflects the great variety of the subject areas we will be exploring and discussing at #140conf. The speakers represent a “cast of characters” whose presence will help define this event. Our cast members are flying in from around the world to join us. And while not all members of the cast will have formal speaking roles, many will and their presence will be felt at the event. The cast members joining us will be coming from as far as away as: Perth, Australia and Doha, Qatar as well as from across North America, Europe and the Middle East. This will be a gathering of people with a variety of backgrounds and the one thing everyone who will be there has in common is twitter.

The schedule for this two day event will be unique and fast paced. It is my intention to provide a platform for as many people as possible to share their thoughts and engage in conversation with the attending delegates.

However, I am one of the many sacrificial lambs left wayside in our wonderful economic wake. While I’ve had some freelance work in the interim of that happening (by the way if anyone is looking for a copywriter or a personal assistant in Los Angeles- or anything that can be done remotely if not in LA, please by all means email me), I personally can’t afford the trip to go, let alone the conference and the rest of the sh’bang.

And so, a small video project came about. A day trip adventure to the promenade in Santa Monica, talking to random unusual strangers, toys, balloon animals, friendship, and, of course, foul language. This was just one day with me… and for anyone that reads my twitter stream, or either of my blogs, I am confident that I am indeed a character. I’m a whimsical and seemingly carefree, enigmatic woman fresh to the space and ready to make my mark.

I aspire to make the in person connections with as many as possible.

  • I want to hear your stories and have adventures with you.
  • I want to “lose virginities” with you. (Did I mention that I’ve never been to New York before?)
  • I think the trip would be excellent documentary fodder.

Life is all about the experiences and the people in your life that add to them.  I know New York would be something memorable.  So please, take a look, laugh a little, vote, and then twitter “send @scandalous to the #140conf !”

Social stalking..now with geotagging! Episode 2: real time gps tracking

As if there weren’t enough of these little 2.0 toys to catch your fancy, this weekend when my friend from San Diego said he was heading up for the day to visit, he let me know of yet another.

For those of you in the know already, there are various geotagging programs out there. Stalking, therefore, (as I previously posted about) in the new media age has become even easier.

About 6 weeks ago I was invited to a very secret meeting to brainstorm ideas for a social media related topic. I knew only one person entering the meeting, but was taken back upon revealing my twitter identity, to be met with the question:

You’re on Brightkite aren’t you? I’ve seen you checked in here.

As these programs become more and more popular I can see this becoming a more and more common occurance. Can you imagine going to into a work meeting and having the following conversation occur:

1.So how was that bar you went to last night?

2.What bar?

1.Oh the one that you posted you went to on X social geotagging site….

As a woman it’s a scary thought.

I know of at least one woman who has been stalked via her geotagging submissions.

But wait, there’s more!

Enter gsped.com and google latitude.

Both of these sites utilize your phone to announce your locations in real time.

I’m not surprised. Again even scarier though.

My friend Dan Spisak just laughed at me.  I’d gotten lost on the freeway to go somewhere I’ve been a few times… that was down the street from work.

“Oh that would be wonderful.  Then I could give you some really bad directions and watch you get totally and completely lost in real time!”

Yes indeed.  Such wonderful programs… to get stalked on and give my friends ways to prank me.  Thanks 2.0!

Project Reorganization:The Balancing Act, episode 1

Once upon a time

In a galaxy.. not so far away…

(Hell I oftentimes feel like Los Angeles is another galaxy after living in San Diego, so give me a break!)

There once was a girl who

Was a bit of a socialite.

Perhaps too much.

And while the parties were grand and the people wonderful… for some reason, it just wasn’t enough.  She just wasn’t enough.

And then something happened.

Something remarkable.

Something that you really cannot truly explain with mere answers.

It just was was what it was.

Into the rabbit holes she entered and just as quickly returned.

Of heartache and levity and realization.

Realizing that everything she ever knew was wrong.

Realizing that it was also right.

She pushed further.

She pushed harder.

She changed the cards of her destiny.

Perhaps she was always meant to.

Perhaps they were all always waiting for that day.

She arrived at the destination

and found it was merely the beginning of the journey.

Today was like every other day.

But there is no day like today.