Friday, April 2, 2010

Making The Move

Not sure if you have heard, but Blogger is forcing everyone who hosts their site elsewhere and FTPs the files in to move to Google. Actually, you may have heard because I have been screaming about it for weeks. I am not thrilled. I am considering moving my blog to WordPress or Squarespace, or ??? And I know, yeah, yeah - should have done that forever ago - but I started out on Blogger, I like the simplicity, and I am not big on change.

And I really don't have time to deal with a *big* move right now - so we are doing the frakkin Blogger migration. In like 5 minutes. So Greeblemonkey may be wonky for the next few days.

In the meantime, who do you use, why, and are you happy?
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Scientifically Calibrated List of People Who Should Come Out As Gay But Really Are Not

So, you know how Ricky Martin turned out to be gay? Shocker, right? Yeah. Not so much.

The good news is I am super happy that Ricky finally felt comfortable enough in his own skin to be who he is out in the world, because personally, I could give a fig what or who other people do in the bedroom.

That doesn't mean that Favstar didn't have me rolling around on the bed laughing at Ricky Martin jokes that night - or, did it stop Bryan and James and I from talking about who ELSE might be gay during lunch, which lead to a conversation about the people who would be hilarious to watch come out even thought we totally knew they were not, in fact, gay.

I started recording us chatting on my phone to help me remember it for a post, but screw it. Here is the recording. As my post.









And here is our resulting Top 5. People who would be hilarious to watch come out but aren't actually gay. Except Urkle. We're still pretty sure he is gay.

JACK NICHOLSON


SYLAR


URKLE


SLY STALLONE


KARL ROVE


Oh. And I apologize for the slurping sounds I make all the way through the audio. We were walking back from lunch, the same lunch where I tweeted this:


I blame Spring Fever for all this.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And now for something different: American Idol Top 10

I have bored you with how bored I am this season, so OK, here is another thumbs up / thumbs down review. Because I seriously can't be bothered to do anything else. Not to mention I need to be monitoring Twitter at all times for the next brawl.

Um. OK. Just a FEW comments.

1. "Ready For Love" is *another* one of my ALL-TIME favorite songs (and double props to India Arie, Denver native, woot!), proving Michael Lynche has been filching through my iTunes, thus making me an accessory to his success, thus providing me residuals on everything he earns. Amiright???

2. I still hate Aaron, but I gave him a halfway arrow tonight. Because he is actually growing up on stage, like we are watching our own baby American Idol version of McCaulay Culkin. But don't get me wrong. Still hate him.

3. Andrew has been failing for weeks. He also gets a half arrow due to his downward spiral from peaking too early. Which brings me back to what I have pretty much lived my entire life by: Never trust Paula Abdul.

4. What the fuck was Siobhan wearing?

5. What the fuck was Siobhan's hair supposed to be?

6. What the fuck was Siobhan singing?

7. Tim Urban was so painful I spontaneously got up and started cleaning the basement during his performance.

8. Crystal Bowersox is awesome and is gonna win this whole damn thing.







Bottom Three:
Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens. Or Didi. But people might vote for Didi cause she is an emotional trainwreck. So I am sticking with Katie.

Tim goes home.


And you???


P.S. No really. I am serious. WHAT. WAS. SIOBHAN. WEARING???

*images from rickey.org
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Ladies, We Are Only Hurting Ourselves.

There was another Twitter fight last night.

This time, over the fact that a mommyblogger is going to the White House to discuss flexibility in the workplaces. Apparently she is not representative enough, not replicable, too successful... oh, and probably too tall and skinny to boot.

Last time I checked, Heather used to work as a web developer, got fired for writing her blog, and then slowly - yes, slowly - built her media empire over the last decade.

Her blog has enormous popularity, but her company itself has 3 employees - herself, her husband and an assistant she hired about a year ago. My company, started roughly the same time her blog started to take off, has 35 employees and is the 60th largest woman-owned company in Colorado.

Who is better suited to tell the White House about small business?

HEATHER.

Not JUST because of her personal experience, but because of her ACCESS to all of us.

Ladies, I am generally not a GIRLPOWER! kind of gal who always puts women first no matter what. But we do ourselves a disservice to bitch and moan when one of our sisters has a great opportunity and all we do is question her right to be there. Yes, there are people who get picked for stuff time and again. Yes, some of them do NOT deserve it. But do YOUR thing and someday someone will see it.

In the meantime, cheer on the people who cheer for us.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

A New Way of Thinking

I opened an envelope this week that could change the course of our lives.

OK, maybe that is a bit overly dramatic. But we had Declan tested for the Highly Gifted and Talented program this year. And yes, the results are in. I won't bore you with the details, but yes. They want him.

The few people we have told have said things like, "Well, I'm not surprised."

To be honest... we were.

Because - at the risk of sounding like a total asshole, there is a difference between being smart and being gifted. A big one. Smart kids know the answers, gifted kids want to understand the questions. These results don't prove my son is smart - they prove he thinks differently. In fact, lots of kids who are gifted also have learning disabilities. Which is why I think they are testing children earlier and earlier now for HGT, seeing as that sort of stuff *really* doesn't come into play till middle school and above.

And that's the thing. We *really* need to think about this for middle school and above, because *that* is where a lot of HGT kids get lost in the shuffle, in the hormones, and in the system.

My husband and I are examples.

Oh, sure, we did fine, and there are a million reasons why we are the way we are and did what we did in school, which in a nutshell was... coast. Bryan in particular was a conundrum for his family, and to this day they really don't get him. But he was that gifted kid who did just enough to get by. And was (is) interested in just about everything, so couldn't commit to that one thing, which is why he had 5 years and 50 majors in college.

He just thinks differently.

Along comes Declan, so similiar to both of us in so many ways, so we really hadn't thought through what that might mean for him.

The good news for us is that our school district gets him. His educators get him. I emailed his teacher the night we got the letter and had a long, long email back from her before bed. Like she knew it was coming and had something in her drafts waiting for me. Which I forwarded to Bryan. And we discussed. And we have been thinking about. And we discussed some more.

The net net?

For right now? Not much.

He is in second grade, and these years are important on so many levels, social aspects ranking very very high with us. So, for now, that envelope pretty much means nothing to Declan and he doesn't even know of its existence.

But for later?

Yes. We'll be remembering that envelope later.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Let's Talk Clean Water With An Old Friend

A few years ago, my class had its 20th high school reunion. I didn't go.

What happened after, was a flood of people from high school reconnecting on Facebook. Some of the connections were weird. Like all of sudden meeting up with someone you were supposed to know, but actually didn't.

But a few have been awesome. A few have become better friends now than they even were then.

Case in point: Jessica.

Who REALLY cares about our environment. So much so, when she messaged me about supporting her Aveda Walk for Clean Water, I asked her to guest post for me (below).

See? There really is some good in the world to be had from Facebook.

__________________________________________________________

THE CASE FOR CLEAN WATER
by Jessica McCarthy

A few days ago a good friend of mine (not Aimee) posted this as their Facebook status:

"How do you define success?"

The answers were really interesting. I flippantly gave one - now I can't even remember it. Because today, something even better is happening. Today, a project that I'm doing picked up steam and took on a life of its own.

I work for this amazing company called Neill Corporation. We're the oldest and largest private distributor for Aveda in the world. And crazy people like me are valued there. At this time of year, crazy is where I'm at. I am a woman obsessed.

It's Earth Month in Avedaland and I'm raising awareness and money for Clean Water projects around the world.

Some facts about water:
- Of the 6.6 billion people on the planet, 1.1 billion lack access to clean water
- Every 15 seconds, a child dies from lack of access to clean water - usually from diarrhea
- Water-related disease will kill 3.75 million people this year
- In 2030, 2/3 of the world's population will lack access to clean water
- Privatization of water is the 3rd largest business on the planet behind oil and electricity
- Single-use plastic water bottles are the largest polluter of the world's oceans
- 100 million single use plastic water bottles enter U.S. landfills each day

Reflector Orbs

It makes your head spin. How did this happen? We worry about oil, but our water is being stolen from us. Besides sunlight - it's the only thing that NOTHING ON THE PLANET can function without. While no one is looking, a natural resource is being stripped away from majority and controlled by a tiny group of companies. While we snack on Bluefin Sashimi at our favorite sushi spot, populations of large predatory fish (like that tuna) get smaller in number and is physical size as they are overfished. By the way - that tuna you're eating? She ate a few smaller fish last week. They were eating plastic remnants from the Atlantic Plastic Island that's size of Texas. Oh - the plastic? It was loaded with BPA. And on and on. It's seriously scary - like staring at the sun.

Then I remember the Covey thing about "circle of influence" vs. my "circle of concern." And I get small and mean - in a good way. Refocus to Avedaland and a bunch of hairdressers and their Earth Month Champion - me. And we focus on what we CAN DO.

The salons sell Light The Way Candles for $12 and 100% of their proceeds go to Global Greengrants Fund. Every 46 candles we move is a small sustainable water grant. Last year Aveda donated 1.2 million dollars. It's an inspiring project, delivered by a hairdressers.

And they smell good.

Regionally, I do the Aveda Walk for Clean Water. On April 18th, I'll walk 6km to raise funds for the Gulf Restoration Network. It's a 6k because that's what a woman in a developing community has to walk to get clean water for her family to drink - on a daily basis. She needs to get about 5 liters per person. I try to imagine my mom, walking 2 miles out with her empty containers, 2 miles back with 20L of water for my family.

And hey! I need sponsors!

For every $10 in donations, I will enter your name in the Gulf Restoration Network's "Rediscover New Orleans" drawing. You will be entered to win a weekend package featuring:
- $500 AIRLINE VOUCHER to the airline of your choice
- 2 nights at the HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL
- BRUNCH for 2 at the HOTEL INTERCONTINENTAL
- $200 Gift certificate for dinner at LILETTE
- Dinner for 2 at BAYONA.


My donation site is:
http://aveda.yourcause.com/jessicamc


The Neill Corp team will raise about $350,000 for the GRN in our 7 state area.

Another thing you can do to sport clean water - go now, read and watch Tapped The Film. This sharp and scary documentary just started its U.S. tour on 3/22 - World Water Day. Catch it in a city near you! We are bringing it to Austin to the most beautiful and green theater, One World Theater, on April 8th. The companies behind water privatization make the tobacco companies look like baby lambs.

OK, OK. Back to the original question. How do *I* define success?

Today - the way I define success is when something you believe in stops needing to be pushed from behind and needs you to run to keep up with it. My water project is happening.

How do you define success?

HAPPY EARTH MONTH!
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healthcare Reform and Political Discord

This week was a good week for me. Something I feel very strongly about finally came into being.

Healthcare Reform.


I build health education web sites. Cancer prevention web sites. OF COURSE I believe in this.

I don't give a flip what you say on Twitter or Facebook, I believe, to the bottom of my soul, in this.

Because, beyond the "I will pay $50 more for this, and my deductible will do that" minutia is an IDEA. A bigger picture. A shift in thinking that was long overdue.

Sure, I don't agree with everything in HCR. In fact, I actually don't think it goes far enough. But I understand our country is not ready for what we really need to do make us healthy, so I am happy with what I can get.

And I am so. fucking. sick. of people just thinking about themselves. Or spouting off about the Constitution. Please. Our forefathers would be vomiting in their spittoons over the rhetoric spewed in their name. And if not, guess what. It's a brave new world and THEY AREN'T HERE.

The main point of HCR for me: Get people insured, get them preventive care, keep them out of the ER for drastic procedures that we all pay for. Flip the system.

IS THAT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?

OK, fine. It really is complicated. I don't get the in's and out's of all of it. Because honestly, the way people are yelling, I stopped listening to a lot of it.

When people like this are out there, how can you not?


I will tell you a little secret. Sometimes I tweet stuff to shake off hard-core conservatives. Not those assholes from this video, those I block. But people who "love God and my country and you are a socialist!" - I wonder why they are following me in the first place. Childish, I know, but sometimes it is fun to toss a few "GET OFF MY LAWN!" messages and see what happens.

I never call names, or go after people, or say anything other than what I am really feeling.

Which is what I have been seeing in relation to HCR, and that is sad.

I do have one conservative friend whose tweets I look forward to. Dana Loesch and I have managed to stay friends even though we don't see eye to eye on politics, and I always enjoy seeing what she has to say on any topic. Is she passionate? Yes. Is she loud? Yes. But she is smart, articulate and (mostly) reasonable. (Kidding, Dana!)

Why can't more of my interactions with conservatives be like what happens with Dana? Partly, I think - because nutjobs like Sarah Palin (and the video above, even) get more attention than people with real ideas for their party - which I think is very, very sad for the GOP.

Of course, the same can be said for Democrats - in that we are so wish-washey that we can't get anything done, or keep on point, thus making discussion infuriating. [This post being an example of that.] I like to think we are willing to see all sides, but the truth is politics sucks no matter how you slice it.

But, here's the thing. Politics aside. You are set in your ways. You have your feelings on HCR.

And I do too.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Dryspell

No, I am not quitting my blog.

But I am frustrated. Unfulfilled. Searching for something.

No, I am not taking a break.

No drama.

Just a little bit at a loss for words.

How are you?
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Friday, March 19, 2010

SXSWi Video Montage, Mom 2.0 Art Auction, and the March Greeblepix Winner, 3 awesome things making for a really really long title.

Yes, I did not bring my real camera to SXSW this time, which was a real treat for my back. So I took video clips instead.

Promise you won't sue me for any Blair Witch style-induced nausea - because most of this was shot holding the camera over my head, behind my back, or in other unmentionable places, so considering all that, I think it turned out freaking awesome, OK? Because, also, if you followed my tweets, I basically didn't sleep for 5 days straight - Yes! Another point in my favor.

In a nutshell, my main takeaways from the conference: location is like really, really, really important (which we knew already) and SXSW has become massively overcrowded. Which prevented me from attending several panels that I really wanted to see, which will make me think hard about even attending next year. (Yeah, right.)

The rest of it? The networking and seeing friends and collaborators and not sleeping? That stuff? AWESOME.



NEXT! You know that amazing Mom 2.0 Summit I did not get to attend, but I did send artwork for their gallery show? Well, those prints are up for auction right now, with the proceeds benefiting Haiti.

Here are my two:


And here is where you go to bid on mine, and all the other fantastic contributions.

NOW...

On to the REAL point of this post. Announcing the winner of this month's Greeblepix contest, meaning the person who gets bragging rights for the month, and more to the point, meaning the receiver of the $250 camera rental from Pro Photo Rental. Woot!

I absolutely love this shot. I love all the surprising things in it when you look close.


Congrats to Nate Anderson!

Nate, email me [aimee at greeblemonkey dot com] and we'll get your prize to you asap!

And thanks again to all those who participated. Your support of this contest, and support of each other really means the world to me. Next Greeblepix is April 19th!
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Greeblepix Finalists!

Oh, hello. Don't mind me. I have just been up for about 5 days straight at SXSW and am a leeeeetle bit tired. But I am home safe, and reacquainting myself with my family and my bed, both of which are awesome. AND checking out all your amazing photo entries this month. Clearly we were all in the mood to be moody. Which rocks. I love moody.

So check out these fantastic finalists. And vote your brains out. Because someone will win a $250 camera rental from Pro Photo Rental.
_________________________________________________________

Carolyn - Untitled


David Gannon - Flare


Jerry Deese - Lord of the Rings


Kelly Informal Moments - Learn To Breathe


Kimberly - Mominatrix


Marcene Perry - Follow The Rain Cloud


Melissa Jacks - Love


Midget Invasion - Deep Sea Diver


Nate Anderson - These Boots Were Made For Splashin'


Strawberrygoldie - AM


_________________________________________________________

Now. Get to it.


Poll closes Thursday at midnight. Spread the word.
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