Entries in boulder (4)
After 7 months of being a hoodlum in Amsterdam, I returned to Boulder for a holiday visit with my fiancee Stephanie. Here are the highlights thus far:
- Having a chat with Kent, during which we realized that it makes no sense for men to have a femur, when a he-mur is so much more appropriate.
- Collapsing onto Sarah & Rich's LoveSac and wondering why I never owned one of those bean-bag beasts.
- Watching the Hobbit and questioning whether I'll ever find time to go on an adventure with dwarves before my 40th birthday.
- Discovering that Rachel cannot juggle and that I am powerless to help her learn.
- Learning from Steve and Morgan that kids named Dylan are 35% more likely to be jerks than children not named Dylan.
This is a town full of terrifying lessons. I'm now doubly glad that Stephanie got me a Moleskine for Christmas.
This is what I had for breakfast. It was awesome.
I moved to Boulder 10 years ago. In September 2000, I put some CDs (gross, I know), shirts, pants and some Lucky Strikes* (gross, I know) in a single backpack and hopped a Greyhound from Dallas to Denver (gross, I know) before hitting Boulder an hour later. And I never left.
Here are the highlights and lowlights from a decade of life in the Boulder Bubble:
- Seeing Wesley Willis live at Tulagi before he passed away and the venue itself shut down.
- Earning a degree in journalism from CU Boulder without punching a poli-sci major in the throat.
- Singing and playing guitar before sold-out crowds at the Boulder Theater and Chautauqua Auditorium.
- Getting stranded in Gunbarrel during the blizzard of 2006.
- Watching some of my favorite spots disappear (Masa Grill, Tom's Tavern, Penny Lane).
- Working as a waiter for a day at the Ramada Inn, getting yelled at by a customer re: his toast and quitting on the spot.
I love this town because it carved a small hollow in its heart for me when I needed it more than anything. Saccharine!
*I quit smoking the first year I was here.
Last night, I attended a reading at the Boulder Book Store that I heard about on Twitter via their well-run @BoulderBooks account.
Mignon Fogarty, the creator and host of the Grammar Girl podcast, was promoting her second book, "The Grammar Devotional," with a book tour. Given my huge crush on both Fogarty and grammar, I was powerless to resist her visit to Boulder.
She talked about all the usual stuff - how she got started, writing and grammar, her future projects - but she truly came alive during Q&A. She fielded specific questions about grammar, as well as some behind-the-scenes stuff. Throughout, Mignon was a witty wonder and very obliging - even when my dumb self asked for a photo:
I asked her about the impact of social media on the quality of writing and grammar, since more people are writing (whether on Facebook, Twitter, blogs), but not everyone is pausing to proofread.
She replied with a thoughtful answer about how over time, such writing can make teens stronger writers, but with adults can be a mixed bag, given the less-is-more ethos behind the more dominant social platforms. While it's good to see so many people generating written content and sharing it with others, she is horrified to hear that LOL and emoticons are creeping into school essays.
I picked up her new book (which she gracefully signed) and highly recommend you do the same. Good grammar is better than good gravy.
I'm currently taking part in Startup Weekend, a three-day community event where you "get together with local developers, marketers, designers, enthusiasts and do what you do best. Start projects, start companies. No talk, all action."
In our case, that means about 40 people eating pizza, riffing on startup ideas, forming small groups and working toward a goal of having something developed by Sunday night. Maybe a plan, maybe a working demo, maybe something else entirely.
It's my first time, so I'm trying to absorb as much of the energy as possible.
The event's founder, the luminous Andrew Hyde, has stressed the importance of community from the start. Consider this quote: "This is about meeting people, this is about community. If you're not into making friends, you're not going to have a good time here."
I've met some really smart folks so far - developers and programmers, which is quite a change from the PR/mktg folks I normally hang out with. I confess to being intimidated by their ability to actually build the things we are brainstorming, but PR/social media will also play a role - so I'm eager to contribute.
But at the same time, I wish I had their app-building skillz. It's something that I've toyed with but never committed to - learning the languages necessary to build stuff. My career focus thus far has been describing and communicating - it'd be a thrill to construct something from scratch for a change. I'm hoping to pick up some great perspective this weekend.
I'm returning to the fray for Day 2 shortly...