Adventures in Pregnancy : The Lemons

I’m still (THANKFULLY) riding the high that is completing a second advanced manual and earning the Toastmasters Advanced Communicator Bronze award last night.

To be clear, I was crap.

Pale. Stiff. Sweating. Lots of uhms and ahs and unconscious pacing.

In true tech fashion, I was slapping the slides together seconds before the meeting started.

But.

It’s done! And filed! And hopefully the point will be awarded to our club in time to earn the Presidential’s Distinguished Club award.

I know. I know. You want to hear about the pregnancy.

FINE.

Let’s talk about pregnancy and vomit and blood and piss. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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Toastmasters Groningen at the Spring Division C Conference

Four of us made our way together by train to get there before the ten a.m. registration / start time.

Let me emphasize how FAR it is from all the way up north to all the way down… to the middle of the Netherlands.

Two.

Whole.

Hours.

Okay, it’s not that far.

But some of us got up at four thirty even though we set the alarm for five thirty cause we were SO FREAKING EXCITED!

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And Then I Lost

Yesterday was the third round of this year’s International Speech Contest, the Division C Contest.

I did my best. I was overtime. And then I wasn’t. And I almost started crying. The audience laughed a lot. Both men and women told me they cried afterwards. There were some amazing speeches tho. And I wasn’t in the top three.

This is my speech.

I’m flying along at forty thousand feet. I’m dressed in layers. I’m in the window seat. I’ve settled in for a long seven hour SLEEP.

Then I hear those magical words, “Chicken or Pasta”.

I’m WIDE AWAKE.

Chicken or pasta.

Do I want the healthier chicken or the TEMPTING pasta?

Easy, right?

Chicken or pasta is a simple question. Other questions can be a bit more complicated.

What should I study? What will my career be? Will I date that guy? Will I marry that girl? Do I rent or buy a house? Do I want children?

Contest Chair and fellow decision makers, if you have focus – if you know your way forward, making difficult decisions can be easier.

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In The Midst Of A Job Change And

No, I’m not leaving Red Hat.

But.

I am changing departments and slightly changing responsibilities and while I’m not quite ready for THAT post, I’m totally ready to ramble on about this that and the other. Specifically, I’m LEAVIN’ ON A JET PLANE.

To scoot over to Boston for a team all hands meeting.

For two days.

I’ve never flown so much in such a short time and THEN, of course, the speech competition is this Saturday.

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I’m Competing Next Saturday In A Speech Contest

whenever i start working on this particular speech. this speech that i’m doing for a series of contests. this speech that won THAT club contest and that may or may not win the next level of the toastmasters international speech contests, my stomach starts flipping.

the fuck.

OUT.

one of the things that happened while i was competing, in both the international speech AND the evaluator contests, is that i was flipping. the fuck. OUT. and that meant that my stomach was doing that butterfly thing. and that i was sweating ALL OVER. and i found it very difficult to focus. at all. i was shaking almost the ENTIRE NIGHT. even after awards were given and representation confirmed, i was high for hours. and then i crashed for DAYS. because this contest? well, it was similar to how i felt when i used to audition ALL THE TIME. back when i danced.

y’know, professionally.

not with a pole so much as scraping by in that weird modern contemporary way with lots of white make up and silky kimonos and excruciatingly slow movement. there were some auditions that were more stressful and somehow OVERWHELMING then others.

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Let’s Get Personal

I am unexpectedly DELIGHTED to speak at Red Hat’s Open Voice Toastmasters club TOMORROW.

No big deal.

And cause it’s no big deal, no problem, no worries, I’m totally going to do project two, Let’s Get Personal, of the advanced manual Storytelling.

::PANIC::

Now part of me is REALLY TEMPTED to talk about the pole dancing class I took four weeks ago where I was SHOWING OFF WAY TOO MUCH and, like the forty year old I am, THREW OUT MY HIP and haven’t been able to walk right EVER SINCE.

But another part of me thinks, “Rain, this is YOUR JOB.”

So I’m going to go the safe route and talk about the not so safe experience of leaping out of a plane. Because this is their first impression of me.

And I’m feeling a little scared.

Except that’s exactly the point, to get personal, like I do here, when I remember to write. And, if I’m honest, since I’m scared, I should do it anyway.

Cause that’s how I roll.

So.

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Keep The Engagement HIGH

f7f46d3b-c0a2-4319-9269-871078ef3144The other day at Toastmasters Groningen, a few members of our club went over to Stenden Toastmasters in Leeuwarden and ‘captured’ the Explorer’s Cup.

This MASSIVE TROPHY is a Dutch only initiative to encourage members of clubs to visit other clubs and participate in the meetings. In order to ‘capture’ it, you have to take at least two members of your club to the club that currently has the cup and one member must be a speaker and one member must be an evaluator and the third can optionally have a role, but it isn’t necessary for the cup.

I fell asleep writing that paragraph.

I have absolutely no explanation why I’m over the moon that our club captured this thing, except that I thought it was a cool enough item that I put it in my presidential vision.

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We’re Going To Label This One Contemporary Awkwardism

photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9aI had an epiphany this morning – that the internet has had stages, not unlike art movements. In art there was the Renaissance, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Modern art, and Contemporary – and before you get too impressed with me, know that I totally wikipedia’d that shit. (After I google’d ‘art eras’, realized I meant ‘periods’, chuckled, then googled ‘art periods’ imagining bloody swathes of time).

YOU’RE WELCOME

But in the internet, we haven’t really labeled the movements. Well, some of us have but most of us don’t really think about it.

Except those guys. Those guys totally thought about it.

But that wasn’t the epiphany.

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