I recently volunteered to help improve our internal processes and with my new role I’m also responsible for board development, so I’m taking every oppotunity I can to learn about what a more typical board does. Ty was sweet enough to invite me to his board meeting so I can see how a more mature organization/board conducts its meetings. It was absolutely amazing! They were so organized. Everyone was so prepared to talk to all the agenda items. They slated 2 hours to cover all the agenda items, started 10 minutes late and still ended an hour early! I was so blown away. I’m so jealous.
As I was driving home tonight, a pesty little voice inside my head kept whispering in my ear the same message it’s been echoing all week… "It would be so much easier if I just lived on the westside already." I live on the eastside and I work on the eastside, yet I find myself commuting into seattle more and more. Just this week alone, I was there Wednesday for the VNSF dinner, Thursday morning for a training class, Friday night for a board meeting, and today to train the new volunteers for Tet In Seattle and for another board meeting. And tomorrow I’ll be there for a 9am mtg and even more volunteer training for Tet in Seattle. The thing is, this week isn’t really an anomaly. Looking at my calendar, next week is the same… monday committee mtg, tuesday charity function, wednesday board mtg (just to observe not participate) and then all day Saturday and Sunday for Tet in Seattle. For weeks and weeks it looks like this. Why not just give in already? It sure as hell would save me a lot of gas! =)
But if I lived in Seattle, I’d deprive myself of the 30 mins to an hour and a half that’s invaluable because it can serve so many purposes. It’s a chance for me to be alone with my thoughts. Or the nice opportunity to not have a thought. It’s that precious time of day when I’m between places I need to be and I can just pause and breathe. It’s the 30 mins I can use to call a friend and catch up. And my favorite is the long drive home after a great day when I can just savor the events of the day and look forward to tomorrow being even better.
Tonight was the first "VNSF Family & Friends" dinner. I organized this dinner so our new VNSF volunteers get an opportunity to meet the rest of the VNSF board and our board advisors. As is par for the course w/ the VNSF board — we had great food, great conversation and great fun! What’s even more valuable is we got to hear a fresh perspective from people completely new to our organization. Since VNSF is still small, 90+% of our donor base is through personal connections of board members. And most of the board has either served on the board for more than half its existance or was recruited my a founding member (like me). So our oganization is still very small, very personal and we’ve relied mainly on those personal, trusted contacts to fundraise, recruit, etc. Our new set of volunteers is really the first set of people who have joined without personally knowing someone on the board beforehand. As a result, they gave us great insight into some of the questions, some of the skepticisms that run through people’s minds. It was awesome! Can’t wait to schedule another one so the rest of our volunteers can make it!!
It’s a good tired though. It’s been a long weekend… especially a long day. I’ve been out & about for the past 13 hours on only ~4 hours of sleep and a much needed 30 min. nap. I had so much fun though! We started playing poker instead of MJ as research for me but as it turns out everyone’s having so much fun they want it to be a regular thing! =) I also did another game afternoon and was pleasantly surprised that I not only had a ton of new faces (probably about 10 out of the 14) but actually had more people come than RSVP’ed (I think b/c the weather was not so nice). I squeezed in a 1 hour massage for a little "Me" time but sadly the massage was not so good. =( And today I saw Kite Runner, which was SOOO good!! It really did justice to the book. The book of course is more graphic and more descriptive, but the movie was just as moving, just as impactful. SUCH a good movie!! If you haven’t seen it; you should.
Sadly no one wants to see this with me. It’s times like these when having a significant other is nice — you always have someone who’ll go see whatever movie you want to see (at least if you’re lucky and your s/o is nice like that). I may have to go it alone on this one. The last movie I saw alone was Forrest Gump. My bros & I went to the movies but they wanted to see the latest Star Trek movie and I didn’t (well, if we’re being honest, it was really because I already stood in line opening night to see it w/ my fellow trekky friends) so I went to see Forrest Gump. Well, there I was watching Forrest Gump, which is SAD!! I was sitting there alone discretely wiping away tears hoping the people next to me didn’t think I was some weirdo. I’m not sure watching it with other people would have helped any, but at least there’s the comfort of them already knowing I’m a weirdo but for other, more legitimate, reasons.
My most recent life change was switching radio stations from KUBE 93.3 to NPR.
My first exposure to NPR was actually in college when my bf at the time & I would listen to Garrison Keillor’s Prarie Home Companion. It sounds cheesy but I love his voice and it’s a really funny radio show. Since then, it’s always been one of my presets but less b/c I actually listened to it and more because it felt like that’s what smart people should be listening to.
What spurred the change you might ask? Well, a few weeks ago, my friends & I were all meeting up at the Alki house. T & I got there before anyone was home, so I hopped in his car so we could wait together. I asked him how long he’d been waiting and he said for 15-20mins but not because no one was home yet but because there was a really touching story on NPR he was listening to and he wanted to hear how it ended. I thought to myself, "When’s the last time I heard anything on KUBE93.3 that was so moving, so enrapturing that I was willing to sit in a car keeping my friends waiting just to hear how the story ends? Never." So I decided to give NPR a shot!
I have to say, I’m really happy w/ that change. NPR has such great programs ranging from world politics to local human interest stories. It’s all good stuff. I never change the station. I guess because there aren’t commercials or bad songs to turn away from. I don’t feel any smarter (as is evident by my fleeting thought this morning that if you’re wearing knee-high boots but your jeans cover the fact that they’re knee-high, then what’s the point of wearing knee-high boots? You may as well just wear regular shoes), but I do feel like it gets me to think about things I otherwise probably wouldn’t.
Anyhow… I just got back from dinner & ballet w/ some friends. We went to see Ea Sola’s Drought and Rain, Vol. 2. (http://www.uwworldseries.org/artists.cfm?page=easola) It was… um…. intersting. I had to supress a laugh for parts of; supress a yawn for others. Parts of it just seem weird & silly to me. Other parts of it were downright disturbing and a little scary. Watch the clip below and imagine 70 minutes of that…
One good thing about being sick is getting to stay home and read all day. Despite having the headache/migraine from hell, I finished "A Thousand Splendid Suns" these last two days. It was equally poignant but less graphic than "The Kite Runner", which I have to say I was thankful for. There were many parts of "The Kite Runner" when I had to just stop reading because it was just too sad and tragic. I was able to get through "A Thousand Splendid Suns" w/o nearly as much crying… just a little towards the end. =) My next book needs to be something a little lighter. Suggestions, anyone?
I was listening to NPR on (long) drive into seattle today and the topic for discussion was Hilary’s surprise victory in NH. The big question was: how is it Clinton won when all the polls indicated that Obama would not just win but win by a lot. The analysts attributed the win to Clinton’s "humanizing" moment when she teared up and when she remarked "that hurt my feelings" during the Democratic debate when the moderator asked what her reaction was to not being well liked. Voters were quoted saying they "felt sorry for her" or that she finally showed some "softness".
Would voters be swayed positively by "softness" seen in a male candidate? When did "softness" become a criteria for good leadership? It just seems lose-lose for both candidates. Here’s Hilary, a very strong, intelligent, experienced politician but instead of being recognized as such, she’s being judged by how soft & feminine she is. Everyone woman can attest to that hypocracy and double-standard. Aggressiveness in a woman is seen as unattractive but on a man is seen as strong and desirable. And the double-standard goes the other way too — if Obama teared up, would that be seen as a good thing or a sign of weakness? How can he go up against that?
I just wonder sometimes what is this election really about? Are people voting on candidates or on principle? I know a lot of people would like to see an African American as President and a lot of people would like to see a woman as President, so is that what this election is coming down to? I’d like to just see the most capable person for the job in office — either way it’ll be historical, so let’s get the right person behind the wheel to steer this country back on the right track!
We celebrated D’s bday this weekend. It was no trip to Palm Springs or Whistler (which were being seriously considered), but it was a blast nevertheless. We started off w/ some MJ, happy hour at Matador (mmm mmm good) and then MJ (until 3am!) on Friday. Then on Saturday, dinner at 0/8 Seafood & Grill (YUMMY!!) and games til the wee hours in the morn in Bellevue. Finally coffee, brunch at Chinook (I love the scones!), more MJ, Guitar Hero and finally yummy Vietnamese dinner to round out the weekend. I had 4 of my last 5 meals w/ the same group of 5 people! What’s great is by the end of the weekend, M commented, "We’re like family!" Considering 4 out of 6 of us live pretty far from our family, I’m not sure if by that he meant, "I’m sick of seeing you. There’s a reason I live so far from my family… to avoid weekends like this!". =) I’m sure his addiction to Guitar Hero assuaged our constant MJ playing. =) Personally, I loved every minute of it. I didn’t find the time to be as productive with work, VNSF or other work, but my friends are like my family here in Seattle. Sometimes it’s nice to have that time with each other. Good thing the next bday won’t be for another month or so… =)