Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exciting Times, Indeed

Oh, how this job calls to me.

While I spend timer-clocked hours digging away in the boring-but-lucrative technology salt mines, my soul craves the crazy adventure that would undoubtedly pay just enough to scrape by. And despite the endless forms of communication that now exists, I still miss the small town community newspaper, the last bastion of Old Journalism.

I've got a feeling that I'll likely end up at the same place I began, and that'd be just fine.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Honest Post

Last Thursday, my friend, Kate, came over so I could share my teensy bit of tech knowledge with her. Counting Kate Armstrong as a friend isn't just like meeting somebody nice, it's like discovering plutonium. Very. Powerful. Stuff.

Kate is a force of nature and amidst all her declarations of power and intentions for 2012, she asked if I would like to join her "Dream Team."

"What's that?" I asked.

"It's people sharing their dreams and holding each other accountable for the tiny goals leading up to the realization of that dream," she explained, eyes wide with excitement.

"Um, okay." It seemed easier than signing up for Team in Training, that's for sure.

"So, in one week, what tiny thing are you going to accomplish toward your dream?"



"Well, I haven't written an honest blog post in months." 

"Do that then. You have one week."

So, here it is, on deadline eve. I've struggled with sharing in this space for a number of reasons. Mainly, because I've created this self-branding problem where I'm fairly visible on the web and yet, for all my self-promotion, my innards have suddenly turned shy and serious. Also, despite all the amazing things I experience, I have never felt more boring.

Truth is, change is afoot in 2012. Big stuff. Scary stuff. Changes that would be hard to explain without a blog, so I've vowed to come clean. My life is wonderful but it also includes pain. I tried getting pregnant last year and it didn't take so motherhood still eludes me.

To compound this ache, there are no animals in my charge. With the exception of Kirk's handsome cat, Boudreaux, and the neighbor's dog, Matisse, I am beast-less, which saddens me deeply. I am responsible for not a single being in this world, save myself. Freedom and loneliness - two sides of the same independent coin.

Perhaps this is my mid-life crisis?

Certainly, there is a predictable experience of asking myself, 'Just what have you accomplished? What good are you? Do you even have anything worthwhile to say?' For months, I have harbored serious doubts about the latter question.

So, this is the state of things. One of my part-time gigs has me reading others' blog posts day after day. Let me tell you, there's a lot of nonsensical rambling out there (similar to this post) but there's also a tremendous amount of well-written insight, brave admissions and hilarious storytelling.

And it's about time I rejoined the party.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wild Animal Sanctuary

Back in late October, Laura, Kirk and I went to the Wild Animal Sanctuary east of Denver. Way out on the flat prairie, a kind soul named Pat Craig corralled 720 acres and the non-profit now hosts nearly 300 wild animals, including lions, tigers, bears, leopards, mountain lions and wolves. After months of promising myself to go, I finally made it.

At the information hut, I read a ton about every wild animal out there but do I remember anything? Nope. However, there is one thing that stuck in my head: Mountain Lions are the largest feline that purrs. There's your Large Kitty Trivia of the week.

Naturally, I took many a photo but there's only so much you can shoot of a cat-from-above.

I liked these two - they frantically paced in unison the entire time. I wonder what made them so nervous?

It was hard to tell how much of that large acreage was actually being used but the happy volunteers excitedly told us about plans to expand. Animal sanctuaries, as necessary as they may be, are sad places. Unlike zoos, circuses or marine mammal parks, these animals are done 'working.' Nearly every animal has a similar story about either escaping abuse, neglect or at the very least, no knowledge of their wild birthright whatsoever. Places like this one take a ton of space, lots of people who care and a boat load of cash to keep them running.

This is Eddy the Black leopard. He had his own show on Animal Planet, "Growing Up Black Leopard." Fortunately, he was born at the sanctuary and grew up literally in the Craig home with tons of love and care. He's a lucky boy.

We saw a few bears and wolves too.

And, on our way out, a single camel with a bunch of livestock - horses, cows and sheep, I'm guessing? Perhaps it was the herbivore section.

'Twas a beautiful day. I'm grateful for places like this.