Category Archives: reverb11

Reverb 2011 – What did you discover?

I found amazing camping spots out and about with Jackie. Really, really cool places.

I discovered an entrepreneur’s spirit in me, and it wasn’t just because of the lifestyle design books that I enjoy. There’s some kind of DARK POWER that guides me through this world now. By “dark”, of course, I mean “light”. America!

I discovered (again) that I really do love Jackie – she is so swell and tiny and cute.

I noticed that all one has to do is be active and make a decision to have life happen at 1000 miles per hour.

Reverb 2011 – Let’s do it.

Gwen Bell said that she won’t be organizing Reverb11, but that we are indeed welcome to do it ourselves.

“Fine!” I said. “I’ll go right ahead and do it, then.”

And then I didn’t.

Instead, I waited for Cali Harris (of the Formerly Reverberating Triad of Gwen, Cali, and Kaileen) to serendipitously tweet about how I could outsource my Reverb prompts to Kaileen: [blackbirdpie url=”!/caligater/status/142627309692788736″]

After scraping Kaileen’s list and saving each item as a draft here, I am now ready to get it crackin’ once more.

It is time for Reverb11.

Reverb 2011 – Where did 2011 begin?

This year came in with a great WHOOSH. I was living with a little kitten named Jackie. Note: Jackie is actually a woman who I refer to as a kitten. She is also my girlfriend.

I was hopeful, I suppose. I had money in the bank, but the consulting gig that had provided my income for the second half of 2010 was gone. I knew that I’d eventually have to square away new work, but what it would look like and smell like and feel like was a complete unknown.

The support network that is Denver was ready to help, though, and I inherently knew that it would all figure itself out.

What I didn’t know was just how difficult and workful this 2011 would be.

Aaaaaaaaaand we’ll get to that soon enough. Still plenty more posts to go before I sleep.

Reverb 2011 – Who did you meet?

Most important meeting of 2011: Yet another version of Tim Brauhn – more on him later.

This is definitely a post that I should move further down in December, since four of the most interesting meetings will happen after Christmas when I’m back home in Illinois.

I have so many babies to meet.

Five, to be exact:

1. My little brother had a baby, so now I have a nephew. His name is Eli, and he seems fine.

2. My oldest buddy Murph’s wife is in labor as I type this, so that’s another baby.

3. I was home for a short time in June to attend my buddy Jason’s wedding. Now he’s got a baby named Benjamin, so I’ve got to meet him and tell him not to trust his father’s lies.

4. My cousin Jason had twins, like, forever ago, but his family moved back to Illinois from Florida so I’ll get to meet the babies at a family reunion/Christmas/New Year’s part of sorts.

So many new shiny little baby-people. I dig it.

Reverb 2011 – What books did you read?

Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk (won it in a prize drawing and devoured it one sitting inside a tent at the edge of a large cliff)

Four-Hour Body – Tim Ferriss (pre-ordered it because I’m a sucker – if Ferriss wrote a book about punctuation marks I’d buy it)

Brewing Up A Business – Sam Calagione (he founded Dogfish Head – need I say more?)

The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls (terrifying tale of a dysfunctional family)

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight – Alexandra Fuller (another terrifying and offensive [in that special White African way] memoir that I guess I didn’t really finish)

Mirrors – Eduardo Galeano (bunch of vignettes from human history – I realized after the first page that Galeano had stolen my idea, damnit)

Buncha cook books (because I can’t not read them)

The Way to Paradise – Mario Vargas Llosa (amazing story weaving together the lives of the civil rights activist Flora Tristan and, many decades later, her grandson, the artist Paul Gauguin)

Couple others. Many. Books good.

Reverb 2011 – When did you struggle?

Quite a bit, actually. This year was funny in that way.

I opened 2011 with money saved and no good ways to earn, so by the end of January I was a little tense from the work-search. On January 27th, two crazy, simultaneously-strugglesome-but-opportunityesque things happened.

1. My boss at The 1010 Project told me that he’d be leaving very, very soon. I would be the only paid staff (aside from our part-time Country Director in Kenya). At that time I’d been hanging around as a consultant with a stipend. Anything could have happened – maybe I’d become Executive Director, maybe we’d find someone else, maybe the organization would shut its doors. But we rolled through. The Board crowned me Director of Operations (a part-time employee) and tasked me with guiding us during the transition.

2.  Spotted Koi, a web development firm whose principal I was friendly with, offered me another part time position. This meant doing some project management stuff for online things here and there.

Suddenly, my calendar was a LOT more full, and my bank account wasn’t hemorrhaging quite as massively. But then came April, and TAX SEASON.

For the second half of 2010, I basically earned all my money as a contractor, i.e. I did not pay taxes. Suddenly, I was staring down the barrel of a considerably large payment to the IRS. I hired an accountant and set about trying to make sense of the previous year’s expenses and payments. Luckily, we worked my dues down to a slightly lower level, but it was still enough to wreck me. April and May were not pleasant, as I dodged student loans and cut back on food budgets.

I went to Kenya for a few weeks in June to lead a group of high schoolers on an Engaged Learning Experience with The 1010 Project, which is not the easiest thing to do, but it did provide some breathing room.

I spent the rest of the summer and early fall with Jackie, hiking and camping around our beautiful state. That wasn’t a strugglesome part, but I will mention it in a later REVERB post, I’m sure.

And then to wrap the year up, I started Denver Seitan Company with Mark Mann and another dude. Launching a company, especially one that requires me to cook food and distribute it is a wildly nuts thing to do.

Also, it was goddamn cold today and my bike rides to and from the office were fraught with misery.