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I was just informed that MTV is planning on doing a remark of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh please, say it ain't so!

I don't know how they can think that this could possibly be a good idea. Who do they think will go to see it? Certainly not the die hard fans. We know the movie sucks, but we love it because it sucks. The low production and cheesy effects are part of its appeal.

For All Those Road Warriors Out There


My Page-a-day calendar had this gem for me today.

Not looking forward to that sales conference in Dayton, Ohio? Help is here! Ever tries making towel origami, dental-floss pompoms or soap scrimshaw? How about toilet tennis or in-line tray skating? Hotel Hobbies offers 50 boredom-banishing and completely legal ways to have fun while you're cooped up and far from home."

Far from home? I might have to try some of these AT home.

Building Your Personal Brand


I've finally getting around to catching up on a lot of blogs and news and whatnot. It seems the recent addition of a RSS reader to my life (I'm using Vienna) has been a good idea.

I was catching up with Inkblurt just now, and he referenced Chris Brogan and his 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media. This may be old news (it was posted in mid-June, but it's new to me.

Building a personal brand is something that lots of folks are talking about lately. It certainly was a focus of BlogHer this weekend. We've also talked about it a lot at work. It's a subject I've wrestled with with my web properties over the years.

The line between personal and professional brands is also an interesting one to consider. I don't really want future clients reading about what my cats are doing or my latest political rant. It doesn't seem all that professional. And yet, I don't want to stop ranting or talking about The Kids.

I've also been thinking about implications with name changes. Come next summer, I won't really be cfox74 anymore. Do I change everything to cogan74? If I sign up for a new media service these days, which username do I chose? After all, to the New York Times I'm still cberlingo!

A New Blog


I spent most of yesterday putting together a brand new blog. No, don't worry. Chachi In Charge isn't going anywhere. But I decided that I have too much passion and excitement about all the crafty-goodness I've been up to lately. Rather than try to keep that all in, I decided to give it its own space where it can run free.

I introduce: Like I Need Another Project. It's a place for me to document projects that I'm working on. As well as ideas, patterns, books, tools and tips. Come on by and take a look!

Wow! My brain has been firing off ideas non-stop ever since I got home from the BlogHer conference last night. I have so many ideas for posts and projects, as well as big chunky thoughts that deserve sitting with and thinking about for awhile. I hardly know where to begin.

Rather than post a conference review, I thought I'd post some quotes I heard throughout the weekend that stuck with me. I tried to capture who spoke the words where I could.

"The universe bows down to the power of women blogging." Jane Goodwin

"It takes a village not just to raise a child, but to nourish the adult. " - Jane Goodwin

"It's karma. It's linky love."

"Writing is not about the words, it's about connecting brains together." - Amy Gahran

"Writing is enforced reflection"

"How you think about writing is as important as the writing itself. It's about the *process*." - Amy Gahran

"I think better through conversation. I don't have to know the answer up front."

"People are more engaged by conversations than monologue." - Amy Gahran

"Blogging is like the mob. I try to get out and they pull me back in." - Mena Trott

I also want to thank the lovely ladies that I had the pleasure of chatting with during and between sessions and over lunches. Some were new faces. Others are dear friends I love so much. You all helped me have a really great experience this year. Thank you.

I am Love


You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

European Tour 2008


Watch out, here I come! I just booked my plane ticket, so it is now official. I am flying to Amsterdam on Sept 24 (arriving the 25). I'll be speaking at the EuroIA Conference Sept 26-27 in Amsterdam.

The next thing on the agenda is UX Intensive Copenhagen Oct 13-16. (Register before the price goes up June 30 and be sure to use the code FOCF to save an extra 15%!)

Sandwiched between those two events is two weeks of lovely, lovely vacation. E and I haven't been on a proper vacation (e.g., one that doesn't involve family and is longer than 3 days) since we went to Maui in 2005.

Right now we are thinking of getting a houseboat for a week+ in Amsterdam and just relax and get to know the city really well. We really enjoyed our short trip there last year. We know we want to take the train to Copenhagen and have a few days there together before E goes home and I go to UX Intensive. But what else shall we do? More time in Denmark? Should we get off the train and explore Germany? We're thinking possibly a few days in Berlin.

The major goal of this time is to relax. We definitely want to see the sights, but it's not going to be a rush-rush-must-see-EVERYTHING kind of trip. It's so exciting!

Phoenix has a lovely airport. I can't speak to the rest of the city, since I have only ever been in the airport. But I know the Phoenix airport really well. How is that you may wonder? Let me tell you about my trip to Minneapolis for UX Intensive.

I knew better than to book a flight straight on NorthWest to Minneapolis. I opted for the US Airways one with a stop in Phoenix simply so I would still get miles on United. I WILL get Premier status this year!

I left San Francisco at 8:25 this morning, on a United flight. Got to Phoenix early. Which was good because United and USAirways are in different terminals. I had a leisurely lunch and then headed back through security to my gate. Where I discovered they had overbooked the flight. Lovely.

BUT! They had another flight they could put you on that got in 10 minutes earlier than the oversold one. Great! So I volunteered. Two other folks also volunteered and the three of us got our paperwork (I now have 1 free ticket on US Airways, go me!) and headed over to terminal 3 where NorthWest is. It will be okay, I thought. NorthWest isn't as bad as I remember. Heh. Famous. Last. Words.

We get over the terminal 3 and head up to the counter. The woman at the desk gives us dirty looks and tells us that she has no seats, all her planes are full. Don't we see that our paperwork has code UCI on it? That means it wasn't confirmed. After a huffy call to US Airways, she tells us that she can't do anything for us and we have to go back to US Airways. Lovely.

So, we shelp back out into the 100 degrees, again, to terminal 4. The two folks with me are beside themselves with worry and angst. I walk up to the first class ticket counter and explain our story to the woman. She was lovely. She made multiple calls and even got a supervisor when I asked what other compensation they could give us.

They kindly explained that they never move volunteers over unless the other airline has seats to give. One of the folks I was with watched the guy call NorthWorst and check there were seats. What happened in the 15 minutes it took us to get over to the other terminal is anyone's guess. Someone read the computer wrong or was looking at old data, is my guess.

The two other folks are now headed to American Airlines where they will fly to Chicago and then transfer to Minneapolis, getting in at 11:10 tonight. If they checked in early enough they'll get first class seats on the CHI-MIN leg.

I am now sitting in the food court of the mall that is Terminal 4. I'm on the 6:20 flight out of Phoenix, but at least I'm direct to Minneapolis. I'm scheduled to get in at 11:50. The only saving grace is that I'm first class. Oh, and I have a $5 meal voucher to spend in the food court here.

At least they have free wifi. I guess I'll go over my slides for tomorrow.

To get away from all the hungry people.

Tonight I ate meat for the first time since the summer of 1993.

Okay, technically that isn't true. I've had the random bite of fried chicken or such every now and then since '93. And in Mexico once I had a ground chicken burger cause it was the least offensive meat on the menu.

But tonight, tonight I made meat and potatoes. A whole roasted chicken with thyme and lemon with potatoes and carrots. I came home from work and started cooking. Felt very old-skool house-wifey. Everything was in the oven when E came home. Around 8 I had had it and was starving. We took the bird out -- the leg seemed loose in the socket to me and the juices ran clear. But when E cut into the thigh he said it was undercooked. So he popped it back in the oven. I left it to him to finish dinner. We finally sat down to eat around 9.

Now that I've eaten it, I feel... weird. It wasn't as bad as I was afraid it might be. The texture was a bit stringy and I had to chew more than I'm used to. But there wasn't tons of flavor, actually. At least it didn't taste like blood (guess it was a good thing that it was dried out after all). My mouth feels kinda greasy now, though. So far my stomach feels okay, which is also good.

I'm hoping that I see a big spike in my energy levels now. We've decided to add back soy later this week and then call off the food challenge. I really can't believe that I'm allergic to tomatoes or oranges. Soy could be a likely culprit, so we'll test that one. Otherwise we're just going back on Weight Watchers. The plan is little to no processed foods, as little refined sugar as possible, and chicken maybe once a week.

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to eat meat again. I stopped eating it all those years ago for mostly animal rights and environmental reasons. At times I had said that if I could afford to get the free-range, organic, local, happy chicken I would. Price is no longer a reason to not eat it. And I would only get the happy chickens. I'm actually okay with the animal rights part of it since I wouldn't be paying into the factory farm aspect. Which is a main reason for not getting meat at a restaurant.

But I've realized that so much of my identity is wrapped up with being vegetarian. I mean, it's been almost 15 years now -- all my adult life. It's just who I am. Who am I if I'm not a vegetarian? Am I somehow not being true to myself? I know lots of people go back to eating meat. It's not like I'm doing it because I suddenly hate chickens. I'm hoping it's part of the solution for stopping my constant exhaustion. That's a good reason to do it.

*sigh* I just don't know. I do know that I want to feel better. And if eating chicken again is the price I have to pay, well, I think I very likely will suck it up and do that.

The elimination diet is officially over! Yippie! While this brings the end of the g'nasty shakes and drinks, it marks the beginning of the Food Challenge Period (tm). Over the the course of the month I get to slowly add foods back to my "okay to eat list" and see if I can tolerate it or not.

This past Sunday we started with dairy. I had about 2.5 glasses of cow's milk and some cheese. It was so wonderful to have cheese again. Yum. Sadly though, my intestinal track didn't think it was so wonderful, if you know what I mean. So, officially, I'm lactose intolerant.

I'm suppose to wait 3 days between challenging foods to make sure I'm not having any carryover symptoms. But I felt fine on Monday and E had brought home a loaf of Italian bread, so we added wheat on Monday night. With some farmer's cheese. Cause dammit, I'm not sure a life without cheese is something I want to live. I've had some more wheat yesterday too.

I can't tell if I'm having a reaction to the wheat or not though. Tiredness is suppose to be the big symptom. Yes, I'm tired. But I also stayed up until close to 2 on Sunday night and have been up to at least 11 or later each night this week. So am I tired because of the wheat or because of the not getting enough sleep?

E made an interesting observation. When I was drinking the g'nasty protein shake and we were really good about having beans and rice or some such protein at each meal at the beginning of this adventure, I was feeling better. A lot better. Maybe I'm protein deficient. Could it be as simple as that?

So, now I'm wondering if it makes sense to add back some meat to my diet. Eat local, happy, free-range chicken from Whole Paycheck once a week type of thing. I've thought about doing this before, but never got up the nerve to do it. I'm not sure what to DO with chicken. It's been so long since I've cooked it. And the idea of eating it still makes my tummy do back flips a bit. But if that's what it takes to make be feel better, maybe it's worth it.


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