Me Things

That's me doing a me thing in Cozumel :)

Now that Christmas is out of my system, I can once again concentrate on me things. You see, during the autumn months leading up to the Holidays, I'm creating things for everyone else but me. I'm working on product for craft shows, working on gifts for family and friends, and getting our house ready for the Holidays (while it's a small place, it is my goal to make it feel warm, festive and welcome for anyone who comes to visit).

But now it's December 30.

I'm staring at 2012 and waving goodbye to 2011.

I've spent the past few days clearing house in preparation for the new year. Yes, you read that right, clearing (not cleaning). For every 2 things that I love, I own one thing that I really don't care much about. It's time to get rid of space fillers that just collect dust. A decluttered house will allow me to think more freely, more clearly and more robustly. I need a space that allows me to sit down and accomplish many, many things and I don't have that with knick-knacks strewn about.

I've filled up 3 bags to donate, 2 boxes of things to sell and 4 bags of trash. I hate that some of this went into the trash, but broken hangers, old medicine bottles, hair doodads and crap just don't need to go to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. I do have my limits. I can once again see my precious collections and find the closet door in my guest room. I now have the space and serene environment to work on those me things I started this post off with.

What are me things? Well, they are lots of things. Sometimes a me thing is writing a blog post, making jewelry, spinning yarn, dying fiber, writing an article, writing a poem, reorganizing my jewelry box, attempting yoga for 5 minutes or cooking. I'm sure I left off at least 53 me things. Me things are just that, things I do for me. Perhaps I want to knit a random hat. I have no recipient in mind... heck, I'm not even sure if the hat is for me, but I know I want to knit it. There is no deadline on the hat, no color requirements, no size requirements, just me and my knitting needles. Me things help heal a tired soul and refresh an overworked mind. It's the things that help balance out my life and I admit, I haven't done a great job in keeping them up this past year.

So allow me to make this my first New Year's resolution:

Take more time and opportunities to seek out some me things.


Happy Birthday, Mom.

Mom and me... Thanksgiving 2006

Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 67. It's still weird that she's not here to celebrate with. Now this is just a day. I don't say that to get sad looks or hugs from friends, I'm just stating what it feels like. The memories of celebration are still there, but the feeling of celebration has been removed. I thought it would take longer until I felt this way, but apparently, a couple of years later, it's just a day.

I wish it wasn't. I wish she was here to celebrate being 67 and looking fabulous and enjoying life. I don't know if Heaven exists, I've found it harder and harder to believe in it the older I get and the more people I have taken away from my life but if it does, I do hope she's having a party with all of her favorite things and I hope her dad is with her... celebrating with his first born and having a good time.

Happy Birthday, mom. We all love you and miss you daily!


Anti-Bah Humbug

I'm going to come right out and say it - If I hear one more person verbally complain/blog/make a passive aggressive comment about how Christmas is swallowing up Thanksgiving, I'm going to blow a gasket.

I'd rather see a Christmas tree all decked out and lit with 149 strands of lights on every single lawn between here and Oklahoma City than listen to one more person complain about Christmas commercials like they are the first person to think of it. Get over it... does it really bother you? I cannot imagine, not with one single ounce of my imagination, that it really does.

How is my wanting to hang my Christmas wreath on November 21st, 3 days before Thanksgiving, really going to hurt you? So what if I'm still amazingly proud of the wreath I made 10 years ago... so proud that I want to hang it a week early? I'm not sure it's going to make my celebration of Thanksgiving any less important. Anyways, I prefer putting up some red and green... silver and gold... pine scented candles and sparkly fir branches than fake Pilgrim hats and cardboard turkeys.

One might say I've bought into Christmas commercialism, but if it makes me happy and feel good, why not? I have to say, I came home a bit on edge (dinner service was terrible, Target didn't have what I was looking for and it started pouring down rain while I ran in to get cat food) and when I started playing George Winston's December I instantly remembered where I put my good mood. A little Holiday spirit (even if a few days early) goes a long way in my world.

So quit complaining about people getting excited about Christmas now and start complaining about things that matter. Like the treatment of the the peaceful Occupy participants or how Westboro Baptist Church (vomit) is planning on picketing the funeral of the 19 year old University of Arkansas Football Player. Those seem like worthier causes than my putting up my Christmas tree in November.

Carry on.


Lunchtime Thoughts

It's dark and stormy outside which always leaves my pensive and full of things to say. I've been experiencing a bit of post vacation depression since my return from my cruise. It's a lot like going back to work after a long (but not long enough) holiday. While on the cruise, everything was taken care of for me. My food was cooked and prepared without my having to wash dishes, my bed turned down each night, heck, I didn't even have to decide what to do at each port of call... my sister did that! It was a bit of a shock to the system when I came back and had to wash underwear. I suppose returning to some normalcy isn't a bad thing... it just took some adjustment. However, instead of wanting to tell everyone I know about my wonderful vacation, I've just wanted to sleep.

I also had a couple of doors close just before my trip that I was hoping upon hope would open up for me. Life is like that, opportunities present themselves and if they aren't the right ones, they end as quickly as they started. I know this but it still makes it hard to jump at the next door that presents itself. Lost opportunity results in increased hesitation - I'm pretty sure that's human nature.

I'll compare the situation to one spring evening back in 2002. The band sorority I was a member of (Tau Beta Sigma) was holding elections for officer placement. I so badly wanted to be the Membership VP and ran. I lost by 2 votes so I ran for the next office and the next. I'm not sure what came over me that evening, but I threw my name in every pot there was available.

Guess what. I didn't get a single office. I was devastated. Never in my 21 years had I not been elected for at least something when I ran for it. Actually, more than devastated, I was embarrassed. Why had a tried so hard for 5 different offices when I really only wanted the one? That was silly... it showed determination, yes, but it also made it look like it wasn't the office I cared about, but the position.

To make a long story short, a year later I was voted in as the Membership VP which was followed by and incredible year of revamping the rush process, getting some awesome new members on board, and just loving my last year in the organization. I suppose it worked out for the best.

I think of that story in almost everything I don't initially succeed at. But how much of that story holds me back? When a lost opportunity floats away, do I instinctively close my eyes to others just waiting in the background because I don't want to seem that I'll jump at every chance out there and embarrass myself again? I can't say that I do this, but I also can't say that I don't. I'd be fibbing if I didn't say that the thought of holding back completely scares me. It's not like me to hold back... I dearly hope that I am not.

And who cares if I try on 5 outfits and only pick one? It's the end result that counts, right?

Now for some less meaningful banter. There was an earthquake in Oklahoma on Saturday night and we felt/heard it loud and clear here in my part of the world. It was odd. It was unsettling. It wasn't a good thing to happen within 24 hours of watching Paranormal Activity 3 (which involves an earthquake... and a demon... I'll let you figure out my first reaction when the quake hit). It last for 30 seconds which was followed by lots of excited phone calls and texts mainly to talk about one thing "DID YOU FEEEEEEEEL IT??? COOL!". I think everyone talking about it on Facebook and Twitter that evening felt like they were 9 years old and finally tall enough to ride the big roller coaster. The adrenaline was high and the excitement non-stop. Imagine how we'd react if something major actually happened.

Humans are funny.


Some Reflection... if you will

At about 1:50PM CST today, the most recent issue of Facility Manager (an IAVM publication) hit my desk. At first glance, it was masked under a stack of junky catalogues and other spam type snail mail. However, a quick double-take was all it took to realize what jewels lie within today's mail.

This is the magazine I have been waiting my entire life for.

This is the magazine to trump all other magazines.

This was my SHINING moment!

I've finally been published!

I did a bit of a dance across my office, hugging my new magazine, smiling from ear to ear and not so modestly proclaiming that my article has been published. Coworkers smiled, patted me on the back, asked to read it and the 30 minutes that followed might have been the most exciting 30 minutes of my life.

Once things calmed down a bit, I stopped to think back on the past few months (and eat a bite of chocolate... after all, excitement does make one hungry). What things have lead to where I am now? Let's go back in time a few months... shall we?

I remember, in great detail, the night before the First Timers breakfast at the IAVM VenueConnect conference this past summer. I sat in my hotel room reciting my speech over and over and over again. The TV got to hear my speech, the view of the parking garage heard it, and my bathroom mirror heard it a few times. I was beyond nervous. I had just spent the evening at a reception where I didn't know a single person in the room and was tweeting (yes, tweeting) about being a wall flower. How on earth would I give this speech the next morning? I could almost replay every second of that night. I'm not sure why... maybe it was leading up to something significant (like in the movies when they show important segments in slow motion).

Every day after that evening was a blur of activity, meeting new people, getting new opportunities and having a blast (as I blogged about last July). Each and every single thing that happened at the conference has lead to some amazing growth opportunities since. My speech was turned into the article that I danced around the room holding just a few hours ago. So many doors have opened for me and while I haven't stepped foot through all of them, they are there. I have options to chose from. Most importantly, I started to realize what I know, what value I carry for my professional life and how to actually use it beyond my day job.

I'm just simply and not so simply amazed.

After the brief reflection on the last few months, I quickly sent an email to the person who hired me at Walton Arts Center to thank her for giving me the opportunity way back when. When I met her, I was fresh out of college, desperately looking for a job that would carry me for a year while I took some time off of school before heading to Toronto for grad school. It was my first professional interview and I sat nervously answering questions about my past, my passions and my future. I don't remember any earth shattering topics, but I suppose I said the right things as I didn't even have time to send them thank you cards. I was offered the job later that day. The new job lead to an unknown passion and I haven't looked back... and it's been 7.5 years... and going.

The initial job has lead to promotions, new teams of coworkers and eventually new teams of people I supervised and entire departments being put under my watchful eye and creative mind. I've gone from needing someone to sign off on my activities to being the person who creates activities that need signing off on.

And today it lead to the article. It might seem small to some people, but to me, this is one of the most exciting professional moments I've had to date.

Who knows where it will lead me tomorrow. New things are around each and every corner.


It's like this...

The loot... be jealous, be oh, so, jealous!

I'm still stumped as far as what to write in response to my day spent at the Craft Gossip blog meet up. It was only a few hours long but I left with my brain full of big, craft lovin' smiles (and a couple of bags STUFFED with free crafty goodies to play with). With so much bounty you would think I could easily pluck one single thing to talk about... or 5, but I'm lost, with nothing.

I've been able to pinpoint my problem. I do believe I'm overwhelmed with creative possibility. Not a single thing we played with at the event or what I brought home with my afterwards has anything to do with spinning or knitting. I'm never one to shy away from a new project, but I typically keep to my comfort areas. It's not that I'm afraid of branching out, it's just that I don't have room in my house or my head to do much more.

Or so I thought.

The meet up started with a go around with introductions from each of the ladies as well as a bit about what they create and what is the strangest thing they have ever used for crafting (anyone remember my poodle hair experiment that ended with frustration and failure?). I think we had the entire craft world covered. There were people who sewed, jewelry makers, quilters, scrapbookers (that's not a word.... work with me), gourd artists and so on. One lady as even used a salmon as a stamp... I'm not sure what that makes her. As I sat there and listened the wheels in my head started turning. Thoughts of "Oooooh, I should look into that" or "Oh yeah, quilting, I should finish my quilt" and "I wonder how hard it is to actually make something out of a gourd" scrolled across my mind about as fast as the wine emptied from our glasses during lunch.

I knew I was in trouble. When I start thinking like this, it is usually a sign that I'm about to bottom out from too much creativity. If you don't think it's possible, then I can't explain it to you. For those of you who have stood in the middle of their crafting room, starting at potential project after project, but couldn't even begin to pick one out, then you know what I'm talking about. It's that feeling you get when your rational side begins to battle with your creative mind. One side wants you to use all of the crayons in the box and the other side tells you that you don't have enough time for more than 2 crayons. Neither side wins and you're left exhausted.

And disappointed.

As I said earlier, we left the event with 2 bags FULL of crafty goodies. There were cross stitch projects, scrapbooking supplies, stamps, jewelry making goodies, stickers, plush patterns, markers and the list goes on and on. As I unpacked my bag before leaving, I could feel my heart rate go up. The pitch of my voice went up right along with it. We all giggled, squeeled, skipped across the room holding tightly to our new favorite thing in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

It was like Christmas where you are the prized, only child.

But better.

I skipped right out of there, already planning 43 different projects for when I got home. I was going to start scrapbooking again... or maybe I was going to make a shadow box with the scrapbook supplies... or maybe greeting cards... or maybe promotional materials for WoolyHands... or maybe I was just going to put it on my shelf like a trophy and lovingly look through them once a month like a family photo album... or maybe...

You see the problem. I really could do a million things, but I can't land on just one. It's not just the scrapbook supplies. It's all of it. I went through the bags tonight and pulled out project after project to start and was left with a pile at least a foot high.

So you see, I'm overwhelmed with crafty possibilities. There are worse things to be overwhelmed with, you've never heard of someone in a mental ward because she couldn't decide on which rubber stamp to playwith first, but still, overwhelmed is overwhelmed.

Hopefully my brain will begin to compartmentalize some of the creative inspiration gained in Little Rock at the meet up and I'll be able to unpack things one at a time and unveil them here for you to "oooooh" and "aaaah" over, but until then, I'll be over on the floor of my craft room, sorting through project after project...

after project.

And this is me... before realizing I was in over my head:


I'm warning you...

... this is addictive.

I promised some people I would post my pumpkin.sausage.mushroom soup recipe. I'm not sure where this recipe came from. I saw a version of it on a forum board a couple of years ago and I've adapted it slightly, but I can't claim the original idea.

1 lb breakfast sausage (I love hot, but sage and even regular works fine)
1/2 c. onion - chopped
1 clove garlic - minced
1-2 cups mushrooms (or more, I like more)
1 can 100% pumpkin
4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 c. heavy cream

Brown sausage in a large stock pot - drain fat if needed
add onion and garlic, cook for about one minute
add mushrooms and italian seasoning, cook until onions, garlic and mushrooms are cooked down add pumpkin and chicken broth
bring to a simmer and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes
add cream and heat through (a couple of minutes)
salt and pepper to taste

If you live in the NWArkansas area, serve this with Martha Harps rolls, if not, do what you want. This soup doesn't discriminate against any kind of bread. The soup also tastes quite amazing with some Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese on the side.

Serve this to your loved ones... to your friends... heck, I bet it would even get you a raise, so go ahead and invite the boss over.

You can thank me later.


The password is... procrastination

After spending 30 minutes writing and rewriting tonight's blog post about my trip to Little Rock last Saturday and the Craft Gossip Blog meet up, I've given up and changed courses. It's not that I have nothing to write about, quite the opposite actually, it's just that I'm having trouble doing my homework. I'll write the following post in an attempt to at least be somewhat productive with my procrastination.

I spend all day coming up with creative solutions to everyday problems and when I get home, my brain is empty.

Thankfully no one is grading me on this homework and the most brilliant blog post will come to me (hopefully sometime tomorrow).

As usual, I've been thinking. I've had a terrible time trying to balance my day job with my night job. In a match up of performing arts event management vs. fiber arts, who do you think wins? My first instinct is to say the former. I depend on that job to keep my brain on its toes, to pay my bills, to advance me to a world of happy, professional bliss. It's easy to devote my time and energy on something like that. However, when I get home, my wool, spinning wheels and knitting needles taunt me. The names they call me when I'm not looking are enough to be sent to the corner for. My every growing fiber stash is just that, ever growing, never shrinking. It looms over me casting a shadow on what is just a shell of my formerly crafty self. Perhaps it is all of those things that leave the fiber arts in the winners circle.

I've felt it taking a bit out of me. I'm not as friendly in the evening when I'm not playing with wool. I get crabby, short and uninteresting. I need to make time to balance the two out once again. Everyone with a professional day job probably experiences the difficulties in leaving your work at work. It's impossible to do these days. Our brains are functioning at a million miles a minute (I blame the internet on that - information is just a click away, so productivity and reactions to problems are expected to mirror that) and it's all too easy to answer email after email in the evening when you should be detoxing and unwinding. You certainly aren't doing a service to your professional colleagues by never resetting and you certainly aren't doing one for yourself.

So, how do I begin to balance the two out again? As I said above, I'm having trouble with one homework assignment, so I'm not even going to pretend that "scheduled crafty time" is the solution. It has to come in the form of inspiration, but not in the form of time suck. For example - a walk through a local art gallery or botanical garden = inspiration; 3 hours spent browsing Pinterest for new Christmas craft ideas = time suck. Both are fun, both have different results for me.

Okay, okay, so maybe I will assign myself a homework project - I'll go find some inspiration this week. All I need is a breath of fresh air to reset myself. I know my coworkers and my fiber stash will thank me.

Balance is not that far out of reach.


General news for a general type of Friday

Before I get into this post, I have to tell you a story. When I created my blog banner (the one you see above), I was quite proud. It was clean, classy, and perfect for my blog.

Then the sadness came.

Last night, I saw a not very good blog about nail polish (don't you judge me, for the first time ever I haven't been biting my nails and this girl is obsessed with pretty nails) with an almost identical banner. The font was different, but dang it.


Okay, now on to more important things. My sister and I are heading to The Rock (Little Rock, AR for those not up with the lingo) for a Craft Gossip meet up. We'll get to hang out with some craft bloggers, play with crafts, eat some lunch and perhaps even drink some wine. We'll also be leaving the event with a schwag bag FULL o' goodies to play with later. How did we get so lucky? Well, we know some peeps. The one requirement for this day of fun is that I blog about it upon my return to the real world.

Yup, that's it.

I have to write about it. I'm never really short for words, so this will be a piece of cake.

After the gathering of brilliantly creative minds, my sister and I will be heading out to do a bit of shopping in our state's capital before eating Indian food and heading home. I have to say, that isn't a terrible way to spend a Saturday.

In other news, I'm still working on designing my own tomorrow. After spending the past few years feeling less than perfect I've finally found a doctor who will listen to me. After 30 minutes in his office, I left with an almost diagnosis, a prescription and hole in my arm from filling up 4 vials of blood for testing. I immediately cut caffeine out of my day (I'm not sure how people get off hard drugs because that was the PITS) and I'm left less tired and without daily headaches than I was before. Eureka! I'm feeling 100 times better already. Also, my insulin levels appear to be out of whack and probably have been since I was 15 or so. Yay. Medicine has been helping that and guys, I haven't felt this good since college.

I'm ready to face whatever tomorrow has in store for me with a new, not so tired or blah feeling me! Bring it!


Of a lighthearted nature

10 years ago I marched in my first UT football game pre-game show. While this video isn't the best quality (and some girl keeps trying to sing and talk and mess up the moment) it still made me cry a bit. I felt like I was going to pass out that day when we flooded out onto the field at pre-game.





Dare I say it... the path less traveled?

Sticking your toe in the lake and testing the waters can be a very scary thing. I've been very hesitant to take a leap of faith for the past few years which is very unlike me. However, I'm quite lucky that my braver, gutsier self seems to be visiting more and more as of late. I had one of those strange realizations that just came out of nowhere yesterday while getting a manicure (exactly 25 minutes before the stomach bug of doom consumed the rest of my evening - I'll get back to how that might be connected to the topic in a moment).

A couple of months into my first semester of college, I decided that the University of Texas was not a good fit at all. 50% of the reason I chose to attend UT was to march in the Longhorn Band. When my dreams were crushed that late August evening with the realization that my name was not on the final cut list, I was left with nothing more to do but practice the heck out of my bassoon and make the best grades I made the entire time I attended college. Good for the brain and GPA, terrible for the soul. I was so unhappy that I packed up the car and went home to go to a branch of UT closer to things more familiar. While that doesn't sound crazy, the idea of it was completely scary. I didn't know anyone in the music department at the new school. I didn't even think I wanted to graduate with the degrees they offered in Music. However, home I went. Something pulled me there.

During the 3 months I was at that school, I managed to make terrible grades, wait tables 40+ hours a week, stay out WAY too late almost every night, start to fall out of love with my then boyfriend, and lead the UT-Arlington cymbal line to a 1st place victory at PASIC (for you percussionists out there, you know that's kind of a big deal).

It was JUST what I needed at that point in my life. All of those things above (some cooler than others) started to form an arrow pointing me back to Austin. I began to value attending a school that inspired me to get better grades. I left a relationship that was sucking the tears right out of me. I also regained the confidence in my ability to crash 2, huge metal plates together, while marching, and doing it well. My time spent in the unknown played a huge part in forming who I am today.

The quick and dirty end to that story is that I went back to UT-Austin, successfully auditioned for the Longhorn Band, ended up being a section leader before graduation, and had a BALL. Some grades upon my return were great (the music ones, that is, and really that was all that mattered in my head) and some were not. My soul was happy, I finally valued where I was, and the Erin I am today started to peek out from behind my youthful ways.

I could go on and on about what my return to Austin did for me, but that wasn't the point of this post. The point was that doing something unfamiliar and a bit scary was 100 times better than staying put. Sure, I ended up back where I started, but I was on a different path. Currently, I feel as though I'm being presented with some scary and unfamiliar paths and when this story popped into my head yesterday, it was a complete "a-hah!" moment for me. This is no different than then. Sure, walking down the unknown path might mean I'll run through some brambles and pot holes along the way, but somewhere down that path is greatness... wouldn't it be worth checking out?

And now back to that stomach bug - it's quite possible that my completelyunabletodealwithstresslately self created the stomach bug that led to some champion porcelain God worshiping... but that just means it's important to me, right?

See, I told you I'd get back to that stomach bug :)


A Mother's Intuition

Mother's Intuition is something you hear about a lot. Mom's worry when their babies are on airplanes, or are away on a road trip without an adult for the first time, or when they are doing something crazy like tearing their ACL on a ski trip many states away from home. Mom's just have a sense that something bad is brewing... but they also have that same sense when something good is on the horizon.

I don't think I ever fully valued my mother's intuition until it was gone. That thought alone is enough to evoke one of those gasping for air, deep throaty gulp kind of cries from deep within me. There are a lot of things I miss about her (okay, a million things and then some) but some things aren't things at all... rather, perks. When you don't have them it's like trying to reach for that sky you'll never touch or attempting to reach some goal that is beyond ridiculous.

I used to stand with one toe in the water in almost everything I did. If my mom seemed hesitant about my diving in, I would back up a bit. However, when she seemed excited about that pond before me, I'd jump right in, feet first. She was a good thermometer, so to say, about any decision in life, no matter how large or small. I don't think I realized how many times I checked the temperature through her actions/reactions until lately.

I have a strange feeling that life is going to throw some major decision making situations my way soon. My sister, who has taken on many of the maternal duties that every family requires (certain Christmas candies being made in December, sage advice giving, lunches during the work week to lighten the work burden, etc) has mentioned a few times that she feels something is changing for me... or something good is on the horizon... or something is brewing (I can't remember her words exactly). Whichever it is, it sounds good.

It also sounds like a mother's intuition.

Do I trust it like I trusted my mom's over and over again? Sure, my mother's intuition wasn't always right... at least, I didn't think it was until I was so far removed from the situation that it wasn't worth bringing up that she was right and who would need to bruise their own ego at that point anyways? Would trusting it lead me far away from my familiar path and if I find a new path, would it be worth forking off of the familiar one for?

Who knows... I suppose if we all had this intuition, life wouldn't be the exciting mystery that it is and we'd all be bored.




Since I don't like boring, I'm going to go ahead and follow her enthusiasm for my unfamiliar path. I'd hate for her to be excited about it alone.


Of Many Things

I had grand plans for this quiet Saturday evening. Well, more like homework, really. I am submitting an article for publication and it is due to the magazine on Friday. It is mostly written but needs some editing and tweaking. However, technology is failing me tonight. I'm unable to log in to my work computer from home and it's very hard to work on an article when its draft is sitting, locked in the server at work. So, any edits will have to wait until Monday and I'm left with a brain full of words and no where but here to put them.

So glad to have a blog on nights like this.

Today was full of inspiration. I'd like to think it was due to some thrift store browsing, Farmer's Market shopping and time spent at a local shop talking... well... shop. But I'm thinking the inspiration is always there and the 25 degree drop in temperature from last week has allowed for the creative juices to start flowing again. It was hard to be creative when all you wanted to do when it was 112 outside was sleep... all... day.

The women in my family (scratch that, everyone in my family) tend to be the type that can't settle on one hobby/passion/career path/life skill but rather about 1014 of them. Take music for example - I play piano, bassoon, recorder (don't laugh, it's a viable instrument albeit a bit outdated), cymbals (again, don't laugh, they take more skill than you'd think) and keyboard percussion. I own a guitar and fully intend on learning more than 4 chords. Also on my "need to learn" list is mandolin, uke, accordian and upright bass. Oh, and I can play a few songs on the oboe and know scales on a flute and trumpet. I have similar tastes in crafting, cooking, working, hobbies, clothing styles and nail polish color. I cannot pick just one thing and stick with it. I must stick with the 1014 things I referred to above.

Today's inspiration came in the form of creating. I've been filled with professional inspiration lately and having a chance to step away from that today was a bit of a welcome vacation. It can't be all business all of the time (okay, so my away from business time is often spent on my other business, but you know what I mean). I've been making some dessert stands out of vintage (or close to vintage) plates and candle sticks since last fall. Like everything else I do, I surrounded myself with this new creative outlet and made what seemed like 100s of plates but really was closer to 20. Creating is great... that is, until you've run out of room because your new creation was taking up every square inch of your work space. I had very good intentions of taking these dessert stands to a local shop on consignment, but that part of me that is a wallflower in professional settings also comes out in this setting. I am not good at selling myself. Like any good artist, I need a manager! Thankfully my sister isn't not afraid of it and carted me off to Red Hill Gallery and Homewares today and I left the shop a few stands lighter than when I went in. It's a good feeling and I hope it pays off. While at the shop, my sister and I filled our heads with hundreds of new ideas. If we ever find the time to put those ideas in motion, we'll be a creative powerhouse.

To go back to the topic of doing many, many things, my sister recently wrote about figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. That topic is a bit cliche as all of us, as adults, laugh when we talk about it (I think that was her point). Do we ever really grow up? If we do, do we ever reach that point of being what we want to be? I'm not sure I know exactly what I want to be but I do know who I want to be. The who has a certain look, she laughs, she makes other people laugh, sometimes she cries, she gardens, she models funky outfits in front of the mirror only to change and wear something less risky out the door, she works in the performing arts, she dances with her heart when no one is looking and she does whatever the heck she wants to. I think I've reached the "who" I want to be when I grow up.

I'm proud of that.

I'm glad I can live each day and be proud of who I am no matter what I'm doing. Sometimes that what is working, sometimes it's taking a nap, sometimes it's being creative and sometimes it's watching Mad Men until 3AM with a bowl of popcorn in front of me. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will change daily until I leave this earth. No need to decide to be one thing - just enjoy being a lot of things.


A Post-mortem

Post-mortem - it's a dark joining of words referring to the time after death. It's also what any convening of the event planning forces, post event, is called. Throw a big party then schedule a post-mortem to talk about it. Get a huge festival off of the ground then schedule a post-mortem... are you getting the idea?

Upon thinking about it, post-mortem really should be reserved for events gone horribly wrong. You know, the outdoor concert called off because of flooding only minutes after it strikes you that maybe you should have picked a venue on higher ground? Or perhaps the one where the local fire department comes in to make a big scene about not having enough exits when you are clearly using an outdoor space with plenty o' exits (I'm pretty sure the packed bar across the street would have been a worthier recipient of the Fire Marshal's attention). However, those events never seem to have a post-mort meeting. Perhaps we want to block those events in a small part of our memory - in that space where we hide less successful activities in order to make room for the hugely successful ones. We are human, after all, no one wants to talk about their failures.

Are they really failures, though? I'd like to consider them chapters in my text book. I'm not sure which class I'm taking, whether it be Life 101, How to Succeed in Business When All You're Doing is Trying Your Darnedest 101, or Fake It 'Till You Make It 101... whichever it is, I'm filling up chapters left and right. I'd rather not continue to hide those so called failures, I want to pull them out, dust them off and learn from them. I want to have a post-mortem meeting (alone, mind you, I'm not quite ready to admit some failures to the world) for each and every one of them. Where did I go wrong or did I even go wrong? Did I surround myself with the right team and would a different team resulted in a completely different output? It's time to look at these and use them as professional (and perhaps personal) growth opportunities. It wouldn't be smart of me to sit around and wait for the learning opportunities to only come to me at conferences and because of new events at work. I've got plenty lined up in the dark corners just waiting to be pulled back out and studied. I should never be out of perfect opportunities for improvement at this rate.

Upon my return from the conference I've thought a lot about how that one week in Phoenix will shape me. Coming back from conference can often have the opposite effect that you would think. You come back with such a driving force of inspiration behind you only to be faced with the same old challenges you left at the beginning of the week. They are exhausting, tiresome, and old. You were desperately hoping for new challenges, but there the old ones sit on your desk, smiling their sly, weaselly grins, beckoning you to sit down and try to sort them out in the same way you failed at before.

I will not fall for their tricks.




I'm going to approach them at a different angle. I've got new weapons and if I still need to acquire some, I know where to get them. It's time to broaden my horizons as it seems my current horizons were not enough to solve these problems. As the Booking and Events Manager at my venue, I'm queen bee when it comes to booking spaces. I know how to space events out to avoid timing conflicts (and how to calm people down when my attempts at this are overridden), how to communicate what set up needs there are, and how to get the team working towards great events. I know how to draw up a space use and promoter contract. I know how to negotiate figures so that both parties come out happy (and if they don't, I know how to get over it). I know how to train a House Manager, how to evacuate the hall in the event of an emergency and how to handle the FOH for a 10,000 seat concert in a hall that isn't even ours. It isn't what I already know that is going to be my success. It's that in combination with what I don't know.

If this personal post-mortem of my past experiences has taught me anything, it's that the time has come to jump out of my box and learn some new skills. It's time to step backstage and learn a bit more about Production than I already do (you know the phrase "I know just enough to get me in trouble" well, that's me to the "T"). It's time to sink my teeth into our ticketing and patron database software so I'm not left having to go to others every time I have a question. This girl's horizon is going to be broadened and no one is going to do it for me, this time it's up to me.

So I go into the work week ready to ask my peers to become my teachers. I'm ready to learn from them. I'm ready for my workplace to be just as inspirational to me as a conference is. Conferences come a couple of times a year, your office environment is there 365 days (those of you not in the event industry might think I'm exaggerating but I even got emails about work last Christmas day... it doesn't end, but it's worth it when the end result is spectacular). Why not let each day be just as inspirational as a conference session?

Dear Friends - what can I learn from you?


And Down

Disclaimer: my humor and wit is taking a bit of an afternoon nap right now so this post might be lacking just a bit in those areas. It shall return soon, I promise.

I'm writing this final conference post from the Phoenix airport. I found a very empty Jet Blue gate (they always seem to be empty), a plug and some free wifi, so what better place to sit and enjoy some down time before heading back home?

This morning was a great end to this conference. To start with, my alarm wasn't set for 5:45AM so waking up at 7AM was almost like sleeping in on Sunday. The last slew of activities were some organized venue tours. I joined about 12 of my fellow Performing Arts venue managers as we toured the Orpheum, Phoenix Symphony Hall and the Herberger Theater. Seeing theaters that I don't work in 7 days a week was a nice change of scenery but getting a few more precious hours being able to chat with fellow managers was invaluable. I met a fellow who seemed to have my exact job so it was a great chance to bounce some ideas off of each other and get some notes about what works for his venue and what has not worked for them. Again, I'm left feeling full of ideas, full of energy (as soon as I get some sleep in my own bed) and full of enthusiasm. What an amazing feeling to leave a conference with.

Oh, another amazing thing to leave the conference with - a $100 gift card thanks to VenuWorks (gotta love wining drawings). I'm thinking that I'll apply it to the purchase of an iPad since leaving the conference with one of the many they were giving away wasn't in the cards for me. VenuWorks also provided me with a peer to look up to. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to meet and hang out with one of their VPs who's career, participation in IAVM, and excitement about what she does has left me just as excited about my future as the conference did. Wow... lots of use of the word, and variations thereof, excited in that last bit. I can't help it! It's just how I feel.

I'm very much looking forward to some time to process the things I've learned and to look into some new areas of interest. Looking forward at my calendar for next doesn't look promising for some reflection time, but I'm sure I'll find it in between meetings and, well, more meetings. I'll be curious to see how I use my refreshed enthusiasm and spark when I return to the office.

And speaking of returning to the office, if my team is reading this, a huge THANK YOU for managing things while I was out. It was the first time I didn't have to put out fires while away on business. I'm so proud of the team I get to work with in the office each and every day.

All Good Things Come To An End

The last night of a conference is always bittersweet. Every bone in my body is ready to head back to Arkansas, to the Sweet Boy, to the Schmoo cat and to my own bed, but a part of me wants to stay immersed in this environment. My brain wants the continued wealth of knowledge that comes with being surrounded by so many outlets of information. My heart wants that spark to stay bright. My soul wants to continue to be around people who absolutely love what they do day in and day out and work for what they believe in until they have nothing left at the end of the day.

Have I uncovered my take home assignment? Can I carry this spark... no, this flame back to my venue and spread it amongst my team? How can I share this adoration for my career with peers who seem so heavily immersed in the creative side that there isn't room left for the functional, operational, logistical end of things. I've talked all day with anyone who would listen about how disappointed I am that my venue isn't more involved in this organization. My venue is well on its way down a path towards expansion that will bring more venues online than was even imagined when it first opened its doors. It is so important now, more than ever, to be involved in an organization that puts all types of venues on display to learn from. The conferences are real time text books. They are a chance to bounce ideas of experts in the field and do so face to face. That is something a phone call or email would never be able to duplicate.

An organization like IAVM, the peers that come with it and the learning opportunities presented at it's many different conferences are not best experienced once a year, but rather all year. Would you all be so kind as to let me compare this to The Sims? When playing The Sims, one of your tasks for a happy little Sim person is to make friends and create relationships (as well as eat, sleep, shower, get smart, lift weights and use the restroom). If you do not work on these relationships daily, your little Sim person gets sad. You can't just call your Sim buddy up out of the blue (once a year, to tie it back into my discussion point) and expect them to laugh at your jokes or flirt back, they will yell at you and you'll lose the little Sim relationship. The same goes in real life. If you do not cultivate your relationships in real time, you start to lose your edge and this edge cannot completely be sharpened just once a year.

As I leave this conference tomorrow, I leave more confident than when I arrived. I'm confident in my abilities to lead my team through tough times and situations, confident in my knowledge of how my venue works in comparison to similar venues and confident that I'm on the right path in life. I do hope I am able to find outlets with the organization throughout the year to involve myself in. It would mean so much to me personally and professionally - but I know my continued involvement would also make the world of difference for my coworkers and my workplace.

(this is the fifth in a series of blog posts written while attending IAVM Venue Connect 2011 - just one more to go tomorrow)

follow me on Twitter @WoolyHands and keep up with my conference tweets with a #venueconnect search


Something I Just Can't Shake

Something away from the conference (but not necessarily away from my career) has derailed me today and I'm left with the life and energy just sucked right out of me. It was one of those afternoons that left me wanting to throw a fit... you know... the kicking, screaming, 5 year old throwing a tantrum in the middle of the candy aisle at your local Target kind of fit. Would anyone hear me? Yes. Would it make a difference? Not in a positive way.

I started my day out at the conference going over a list of Trade Show exhibitors. I marked the ones I wanted to see for reasons that would make sense for my venue and current position at work. Then I marked the ones who were bragging about their amazing swag on Twitter (don't you judge me, we adults have been robbed of things like Easter Baskets, Santa Claus and trick or treating - we have to get it where we can). Then came the derailment. For whatever reason, that derailment left me staring down the aisles of the Trade Show floor with no purpose or direction. It was a sea of tables, expansive displays and one tower of cotton candy. I was lost.

A few texts of angry venting to my sister (she always listens) and I felt somewhat better. But the energy was long gone at that point. I was hoping to pick some up at the afternoon social media panel, but all I could do was focus on a grouping of individuals who seemed to mock social media with their snide questions and smirks. More energy suckers. They are everywhere today!

HELP. I need to find some positive energy and reset my brain. It's mid-week and perhaps I'm tired, but I know it's out there. This conference is full of it, I've just struck out today.

Okay, okay - that isn't entirely true. This morning's keynote about being overcommitted, overwhelmed and over it left me smiling from ear to ear. It wasn't overly eye opening. I know I'm at the end of my stress level rope, but it was nice to know I was surrounded by people who also have trouble putting that smart phone down (come on, I'm not the only one out there who has to check her email at stop lights). It's also nice to know that when given three minutes of time to do absolutely nothing bit sit and see where my brain takes me, my brain takes me around the world and back.

I was also able to meet a couple of interesting people who I've been lucky enough to stumble upon thanks to social media since arriving at the conference. They were brief meetings, passings really, but new contacts none the less. You wouldn't think from reading my post from a couple of nights ago that I had meeting new people in my blood. I'll surprise even the best of you... or maybe just myself... either way, someone is getting surprised.

Thankfully, today is still young and Venues Today is hosting a Women of Influence Awards Fiesta to kick off the evening. I can't help but think some of my positive energy will be restored at something like that. Who knows, maybe I'll even be brave enough to find some dinner buddies.

Whoa there wallflower - you're certainly stepping outside of your box.

(this is the fourth in a series of blog posts written while attending IAVM Venue Connect 2011 - let's see if I can keep this up all week)

follow me on Twitter @WoolyHands and keep up with my conference tweets with a #venueconnect search


Shoot For The Moon

Allow me to start by expressing my deep hatred for my iPhone right now. I took a lot of notes today upon said phone and somehow, half of them were deleted. I can't imagine I deleted them but I also don't want to accept that my small piece of modern technology is plotting against my ability to blog about all of the wonderful things I heard today. This might be an important lesson in good, old fashion note taking. Get out your pens and notepads people, technology can fail you.

Thankfully, most of the major points that I wanted to take with me after the conference have stuck with me. For my first blog post today, I'd like to concentrate on a couple of areas. One will be my attempt at making a theme out of last night's wallflower heavy post. Another I touched on with the title of this post.

You might as well shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. This isn't something I recite at my reflection each morning (actually, positive affirmations have never been my thing). However, this is something I practice in almost everything I do without even realizing it. Some people call me a perfectionist, some call me anal (such a nice word, no?), but I prefer to consider myself committed to the end result. Do whatever it is you're doing with amazing passion and consideration for the end result and even if you miss the moon, you'll land among the stars.

This saying could not be more evident in my life than what happened this morning. For a couple of weeks, I have been working on my 2nd Year Testimonial speech for the Venue Connect First Timers Breakfast. I wanted what I was going to say to stick with someone. I wanted to make the difference for anyone listening that someone made in me last year. I wanted to be inspirational but also real (not always easy). I also wanted to make an impression. Humans are somewhat self serving creatures, and while I wanted to help ignite sparks amongst the audience, I also wanted to show those listening what I can offer. I'm passionate about what I do, I'm one of the hardest workers you'll ever run across, I'm smart, well spoken and darn it, I can write a speech! Reciting the speech was another thing - but I've never claimed to be the world's greatest public speaker (if a cute, shakey voice does it for you then I'm sorry you missed the breakfast, I was full of cute, shakey voice).

This speech, my 2.5 minutes in front of a brand new group of peers, was a success beyond what I could have imagined. While standing up in front of the crowd, with my shakey voice and written speech, my eyes met with nods of approval, agreement, and empathy. I saw realization in the eyes of people sitting where I sat last year. After the breakfast, I was met with words of encouragement, appreciation and congratulatory remarks. I was also met with the opportunity to take my words, refine them, and potentially have them printed in an industry publication.

I shot for the moon and just might have landed there. I can't even imagine today happening any other way. It's just not in me to sit back and let things pass by me. Life is an amazing gift - live it your way!

Now, as promised, to get back to that wallflower topic from last night. I'd like to spin that from a negative to a positive. Is it so bad to be one that stands back and observes? Am I searching out the right opportunity to insert myself before jumping into the first opportunity I see? What if my immediate and exuberant insertion blocks my ability to see another less prominent but amazing opportunity just waiting in the wings? My leadership style is definitely a "go get them" style but I'm overly conscience about my team and how the team works together. I am successful in what I do because hang out on the sidelines playing coach instead of quarterback. This isn't a bad thing, it's my thing.

At least I made it a point to meet new people today and also jumped all over the opportunity to take someone up on a lunch invitation. It's still the old Erin (she's too valuable to leave behind), just one trying to play a braver role.

(this is the third in a series of blog posts written while attending IAVM Venue Connect 2011 - let's see if I can keep this up all week)

follow me on Twitter @WoolyHands and keep up with my conference tweets with a #venueconnect search


Networking and why I'm a superb wallflower

I wouldn't say that tonight was a complete failure... at least not for the 100s of people enjoying themselves over a nice, cool adult beverage meeting new friends and keep up with old. It might have just been one for me. Also enjoying myself over a nice adult beverage, or should I say, from behind a nice adult beverage. It happened like it's happened so many times before. I choked and decided that what tonight's reception needed was an amazing wallflower.

Now, don't get me wrong. Every good reception needs a great wallflower... right? It completes the room and provides harmony where harmony might not have been before. I guess I'm doing a service for all events out there. It takes great skill to do what I do.

Great skill and a complete lack of guts.

I'm not sure at what point in my life I lost the ability to chat everyone up like I've known them forever. It was sometime in college, I know that much. It isn't that I can't find topics of discussion if I'm forced into a group setting or if someone sits next to me at the dreaded lounge configuration in any normal reception setting, it's just that I can't bring myself to be the one to join those settings. I'm perfectly happy waiting for them to come to me.

I would like to go to my own defense a bit. I had a terrible time finding people that looked to be about my age at tonight's event. I saw (and even chatted with) industry veterans. Upon asking them how many times the have been to this conference, I got answers like 40 years! 'Scuse me? 40 years? "hi" "bye", not my crowd. Awesome mentors? Yes. Will we leave best Friends on Friday? No. The next group was a gathering of excited girls all sharing cheese off of one plate (and none of them with the aforementioned adult beverage). I'm going to go ahead and guess that these girls don't make up my crowd either. Perhaps here from a college? Maybe, I wouldn't know though, I didn't chat them up (that is the point of this blog post). Then I would think I saw someone my age, I started to approach them, and then I recognized the slumped shoulders and a double dose of registration goodies marking them as assistants to the older person at the table. Perhaps they would have jumped at the chance to talk to me, but their boss whisked them away before I could even make a step in their direction.

And there I was left alone, playing the part of a wallflower well enough to be awarded for it.

I even went as far as to passively aggressively post on Facebook that having a coworker here would be swell and all of my problems would be solved. Perhaps I should retract that statement. I've always gone to conferences with coworkers (well, except this conference last year in Houston) and here I stand at the cusp of my next big opportunity to grow and I'm cowering in the corner, grasping my iPhone as I text friends back home. This isn't the way to be 30 years old, almost 8 years into an amazing career, and taking over the world. I'm ashamed of this person.

Self - I'm giving you an assignment. Get the heck over your fears. Jump out there, meet someone away from an organized session. Walk up to someone and introduce yourself. You're charming, funny, and impressive to boot. Go show that off to the world and quit complaining about it on your blog!

(this is the second in a series of blog posts written while attending IAVM Venue Connect 2011 - let's see if I can keep this up all week)

follow me on Twitter @WoolyHands and keep up with my conference tweets with a #venueconnect search

I've landed in the desert

I'd prefer it if we didn't dwell on the fact that I haven't blogged in over 4 months. It would be nice if I could say I had been whisked off on a 4 month African Safari sabbatical... or perhaps living in a beach hut working on my tan but I've been doing neither of those things. I'm not going to tell you that the only thing consuming my time since March has been work... or that I come home in the evenings and feel like collapsing in a heap because my brain is so tired from answering thousands of questions about what kind of concessions I plan on selling at the upcoming show... or that I'm just plum tired.

Let's not dwell on that.

Let's get right to the meat and potatoes of this blog post.

I arrived in Phoenix (as in middle of the desert Arizona) earlier this afternoon for the International Association of Venue Managers (here on out referred to as IAVM) annual conference, Venue Connect. Conferences are great for so many reasons - I really could spend all evening writing about each reason. But for right now, right this very second, at 5:13PM PST, the number one reason this conference is great is because I'm feeling myself recharge. That eager spark that had started to dim while sitting behind my desk, answering question after question for the past year is start to gain some strength. Sure, tomorrow I'll probably tell you that the conference is great for the networking or education, but for right now, it's just that it's fanning the flame.

Last January I wrote one of my favorite blog posts from my hotel room in NYC while there for the APAP conference. My creative side was fed at that conference. I consider the IAVM conference one for the analytical side of my brain. This conference is for the organizational, operational, event logistics geek that lives within me. You know, one cannot live on ice cream sundaes alone, you also need your vitamins and that is what I'm getting this week.

The conference officially started today with a golf tournament (eh, not my thing) and a slew of meetings. Unfortunately, getting here from NWA (as is the same with getting almost anywhere from NWA) took the better part of my day, so I didn't get here quite early enough to sit in on meetings, but I'll kick things off into high gear with a very full day tomorrow. In fact, not to let down the "join every club and volunteer for every activity" person inside of me, I'll be speaking at the First Timers Breakfast. I have a 3 minute "2nd Year Testimonial" to grace the audience with and I'm quite chuffed. I'm hoping that during my 3 minutes, I can help ignite the spark that I'm here to feed.

After all, it was during the breakfast last year that I started to fall in love with my job instead of just having a crush on it.

(this is the first in a series of blog posts written while attending IAVM Venue Connect 2011 - let's see if I can keep this up all week)

follow me on Twitter @WoolyHands and keep up with my conference tweets with a #venueconnect search


To Take a Moment

I just need to take a moment...

... a moment to slow down, to breathe, to enjoy life as it comes, to watch a sunset, to listen to a thunderstorm. I just need to take a moment for myself.

Life has come fast and heavy since my last post. After returning home from the conference, work happened, snow storms happened, and an earthquake happened. Yes, you heard correctly and earth quake. I think it was the earth quake that actually set everything into place this week. For the past 6 weeks, I feel like I've been grasping at areas of my life that need rearranging. I've been jumping from project to project at work, not really able to complete any of them and the same could be said for my home life.

Around 11PM on Sunday evening, as I sat sleepily in bed watching the thunderstorm, what I thought was a loud clap of thunder startled me wide awake and I watched as the tall, spindly trees out my window swayed back and forth. What I know now to have been an earthquake somewhere near central Arkansas, was the one thing that seemed to jolt everything into place. For the past few days, projects at work are being completed, my desk is less cluttered, and piles of stuff at home are getting put away. It might sound extreme that I attribute all of it to the earthquake, but what else could it have been?

As I look forward to spring, I see many, many projects that I want to complete. I am not going to be able to get to them if I do not slow down to take a moment to breathe and to fall asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm instead of the sounds of tv.

Moments are healing.

Take a few for yourself.


In the strangest of places

Sometimes you find things in the strangest of places. I've been in Manhattan since last Thursday at the APAP conference (Association of Performing Arts Presenters). This is my first time to attend this conference and I am attending as part of their Emerging Leadership Institute. It is here... in this HUGE haystack of a city that I have found the strangest of needles.

Allow me a moment... or a few moments... to explain.

Going into this I knew I would have a blast in NYC. I knew I would learn a lot. I knew my brain would be full and my feet would be tired. I knew all of that. Those things are the obvious outcomes of almost any well planned conference. I felt that way at the IAAM (now IAVM) conference for venue management this past summer. I left that conference inspired, ready to work hard and just ready for the next big day.

However, going into this I didn't know that I would be sitting in the most uncomfortable chair for three hours on a Monday morning completely reevaluating where I am in my career. If you've followed my blog for some time, or at least have the honor of being my ear when I need one, then you know I've gone back and forth about where I'm headed in life. Do I want to work for myself full time doing something creative (selling yarn, teaching classes, etc)? Do I want to jump right into the management of a venue no matter what that venue is (theater, arena, sports complex, convention center, small club, etc)? Do I miss working in Programming and directly with the artists and artist management? Do I want to move to the agent and management end of the performing arts? What in the heck does this 30 year old want to do and where in the heck do I need to live to do this?

But there I was. Sitting in that very uncomfortable chair in the basement... erm, concourse level of the Hilton New York facing the largest revelation I've had since college. I am exactly where I need to be. I'm in a position that will allow me to take the lead on projects that will propel the theater I work into the next big thing. I'm working for someone who values my professional development and presents these amazing opportunities to me. I'm working with people who want to see my succeed and who share the knowledge that will help me get to where I want to be. For the first time in quite a while, I realized that I know, without a doubt, that I am in the right industry. I know that in 30 years, if I'm still working in a theater, I will love what I'm doing.

It really is an amazing thing to come to that point in your career. This isn't the same thing as an "I LOVE MY JOB" moment - although, I've had about 1200 of those this week. This isn't the same thing as a "look what I get to do at work and you don't" thing - although, I've also had many of those this week. This is a deeper, reaffirming, from the very bottom of my toes "MY GOD - this is EXACTLY what I need to be doing and EXACTLY what I need to keep focusing my efforts on" kind of thing.

If that doesn't have a familiar ring with you then I don't know what to say. I'm betting that only people who have had that feeling before know what I'm talking about. It's a feeling that leaves you babbling about everything filling your brain to your coworkers. I just wanted to turn to everyone I talked to today and proclaimed "I'm in such a good mood... I'm so happy... everything is fan-freakin-tastic!". The adrenaline is killing me and yet, everything is so clear.

My job is not just going to be what I do for a living, it's going to be something I live to do. How exciting is it to work in the performing arts industry? Why waste an entire lifetime not realizing that?

I hope you're not hoping I've have some important life/career goal to conclude this post with. I don't have that. It isn't a goal that has me excited, but the realization that I am doing the right thing and that I will be great at it and I don't have to question if I'm happy with all of this.

Because I am happy and if we bump into each other tomorrow, I'm probably going to tell you all about it in person.


Sorry to be so bland...

I just reread my previous post. Sorry it's bland. I've lost my snarky writing style and I promise you this...

I swear, upon all that is holy and sacred in the blogging world, that I will make sure to find my humor and snark before writing another blog post.

Perhaps I'll find it in NYC next week.

It's here!

My sister and me after 3 days of getting ready to open our Flea Market booth

No, not 2011... although it is most certainly and without a doubt here... but I'm talking about the Junque Rethunque booth at the Fayetteville Trading Post.

My sister and I spent the better part of the past 3 days getting things hauled around, pulled out of storage, unpacked, cleaned up, priced and staged and we're quite pleased with the end result. Even though the booth is full, I already have a small collection of things to go into the space when some things leave the booth. This is going to be a fun ride!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Holiday season - no matter what you did. The Sweet Boy and I stuck around here and visited family members that live in the area. I can't believe we go back to work on Monday... honestly cannot believe it. 2 weeks has flown by and I'm already looking forward to the next long break.

I'll be headed to NYC on Thursday for business (sounds posh, no?) and will be there for 6 days. I've been wanting to go on this trip since starting this job 7 years ago. Good things come to those who wait, I hope. I probably won't blog until I get back so I hope everyone gets a good start to the new year and talk at you later in January.