The last two weeks have been a flurry of flights and European cities. I attended the Web Summit in Lisbon for the first time, a conference where the world's tech community comes together to exchange ideas. I was there by myself, which was a bit isolating and overwhelming, but also afforded me the chance to speak to people from all over the globe. In the middle of all this was, of course, the election. To say I am shocked and saddened by the outcome is an understatement. More to the point, I am still in the denial stage of grief and only since returning home have I started to even process what happened. I was at dinner with a friend and several of his friends the day after the vote. It's important to know that all the men present were pro-business and while not necessarily pro-Trump, were definitely anti-establishment. They saw the election as a way to shake things up - and I came to see that side of the argument. What I still can't wrap my head around is how Trump (or "He Who Shall Not Be Named" as many of us are now calling him) is the person to do the shaking. Unless you want the vibrations to be racist, misogynistic, bigoted and from a place of poorly-run businesses. One of the men asked me, "How then, do you think, did Trump win the election?" "White supremacists." His jaw dropped at my answer, and let me explain. If you look at the numbers of who voted for Trump, it was vastly white people. While I don't think all those voters are racists in the traditional sense of the word, in that they would deny someone a job or call a person names because of the color of the skin - that is exactly what they did with their vote. By overlooking Trump's many, many, many, many, many comments and actions in that direction. By not being concerned about how others would be treated in a Trump presidency.
My son turned 14 today. And he started 9th grade a few weeks ago. He is always the youngest in his class, but has always been ready for school. For the first day, we have do a photo on the front steps of our house. Although, as I went back through the years, not only did I get sentimental looking at how teensy he was compared to the young man who is now almost as tall as me - I realized that we didn't do his first day of school photos on the stairs every single year like I always thought we did. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you. [envira-gallery id="13804"] Which is one of the reasons I am "donating" a post on my kid's birthday for one of my favorite free services, Signup.com (formerly VolunteerSpot). I have worked with these guys as a designer, and used their site both as an organizer and a volunteer and I love how they help me stay on track.
About 13 years ago, this guy came into my company for an interview. He was a programmer, and clearly very talented. At the time, I thought he was all-business and all about the code. Totally perfect for the job, so we hired him. James just happened to have muscular dystrophy and be in a wheelchair. Turned out we hired one of the funniest people I have ever met and someone who has become our friend for life. We now know his whole family and we still see him regularly even though I left the company I co-founded over five years ago. When the Muscular Dystrophy Association asked me if I knew anyone who lives their life limitlessly that I could honor with a post, of course, I thought of James.
Last week, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Many people say this, but it feels like just yesterday *and* forever ago - all at the same time. We married here in Denver, a little while after we moved and it's fun to think about how young and optimistic we were then. We may be more cynical and jaded now, but in many ways, we still work on our marriage just as hard as day one. Some things get easier over the years, some harder. For example - we literally have talked about everything. What is there left to say after all this time? Well, for one, we recently chatted about how we make our marriage work so I could write one of these condescending posts about it. Look... We know every marriage is different. We've seen some couples split for reasons I could not explain, and people stay together for no good one. No judgements here, just some suggestions from two goofballs who still lean on each other as heavily now as they did two decades ago.
You just have to take a trip down memory lane when your son becomes a teenager.
I often feel like a fangirl when I write about bands that I have photographed, but when it comes to U2, there is no doubt. FAN. GIRL. ALL. CAPS. I know it's the in-vogue thing to dog them right now. But to the haters, I say: YOU CRAZY. My sister and I split the cost to buy Thriller and Unforgettable Fire (on cassette) and then proceeded to wear them both out. I wasn't allowed to see that tour back in Maryland, too young. And the world soon saw how cool Red Rocks was after U2's visit in 1983. I haven't missed a tour since then, many times seeing the shows with my college roommate MB who now lives in Wyoming - which is nicely convenient for us when U2 plays here in Denver. One time in Florida (where we went to college), we even met 3/4 of the band by accidentally waiting for MB's cousin at the wrong stadium entrance. This time, meeting Bono was no accident, but lots of luck. I am on the advisory board for ONE Girls & Women, and also enlisted lots of friends to volunteer for ONE over the two nights of Denver concerts. ONE and RED were kind enough to seize a window of opportunity, to slip me and MB in with Bono for a few minutes. My husband was kind enough to let MB come with me while he stayed back with her teen daughter, knowing how important the band is to both of us. Bonus hubby points FOREVER.