Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shaping Up

I really need to get more exercise. Running from client to client, eating in the car on the way, and sitting in front of the computer all day is taking its toll.

So this week I started the 100 Push Ups project. We won't even discuss how dismal my "initial test" was, but I'm giving it a try.

In the meantime, I'm also trying to suss getting out and getting a little exercise every day. Tonight's pilates-esque class was foiled by the necessity of purchasing a new vacuum cleaner, but I did get a quick walk in. Walks are a great way to get out with Beatrix and maybe the dog, get a little bit of a work-out, and enjoy the end of the "summer" we've been having.

So, if you'd like to get out on a walk (likely with a lively toddler in tow), let me know!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer Weekend

As those local to this blog know, summer in Minnesota has been a bit...un-summerlike this year. As in, not really very warm. This has made Patrick happy, but left me feeling cheated.

So I was happy to get this summer weekend off on the right foot with warm weather, and by mailing my summer mix cd to my cd group. Because I am old, it's heavy on the 80s, but I think it says "summer" exactly right:

Too Darn Hot Erasure
Things Can Only Get Better Howard Jones
I Love You Goodbye Thomas Dolby
Tainted Love Soft Cell
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) Eurythmics
I Would Die 4 U Prince
Only You Yaz
Life During Wartime Talking Heads
Doors Of Your Heart English Beat
China Girl David Bowie
Body Talk The Wallets
A Change Would Do You Good Sheryl Crow
La La Love You Pixies
Seasons Of The Hurricane Juliet Turner
Summer Dress Shawn Colvin
Ice Cream Sarah McLachlan
Summer's Cauldron XTC
Vaquinha Mansa Cesaria Evora
Hole In The Bucket Spearhead

Yesterday, we got to go to a delicious clambake that our friends Kate and Ryan (and daughter Sasha) threw. Great food, and fun to meet a lot of new people as well as see friends.

Today we threw a small pool party, which was incredibly enjoyable. My amazingly hostess-skilled friend Rebecca made great margaritas, and everyone enjoyed hanging out in the pool and being together.

So, uh, yeah, only the second half of August and finally feels summery. Where are the cicadas and my shortie pink-striked pjs with the kitty on them?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Arts Learning Exchange

A few weeks ago, I went to the first Arts Learning Exchange session sponsored by Arts Midwest. I meant to post on it earlier, but I've been thinking over it and distilling it a lot.

The speech was by the always amazing Ben Cameron, former head of TCG and now with the Doris Duke Foundation. Ben is a force to be reckoned with, and every time I hear him speak I am inspired to action and nearly brought to tears. He is eloquent, well-read, brilliant, and passionate. He is what I aspire to in arts leadership.

Ben began the speech with some really dire news about the future of the arts, complete with scarey statistics about audience erosion, worries about the inherent dis-functionality of the 501c3 model, and declines in giving that herald a true financial crisis that is likely to last for several more years. Even more frightening is the sense of a crisis of urgency and relevance that the arts and culture as a whole currently finds itself in. What values do we offer the community? How do we offer them? How can we better go about changing the world, and how do we ensure that we continue to exist in order to do so?

He then shifted to the challenges and opportunities available to us in a changing, new, socially-networked, media-full, participatory environment? From the value of the internet for co-creation, social engagement, and true connection to the art — to video and other media that is truly riveting (and this comes from me, who really hates watching video on the computer, to the very idea of the inherent discomfort of change and the loss of control we face when dealing with a digital, connected world — it was riveting and involving and validating and challenging and inspiring all at once.

The full text of the speech is here. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me. Now I just have to figure out what to DO about it!