Sunday, June 29, 2008

Where does the time go

I admit it, it's been weeks since I kept my readers () up to date on the happenings around 3D Radioland.

Although we've been plugging away at attracting business partners, working on our prototype, and just plain keeping our enthusiasm and the buzz going, all three of us have day jobs that demand plenty of attention.

If you'll indulge me, however, I'm going to do what, in my opinion, too many bloggers do -- shamelessly share the minutia of their lives. When I started this blog to chronicle the birth of a company I vowed I wouldn't stoop to personal laundry airing because, damn it, I'm a writer not a diarist.

But I realize at a certain level all these posts have been pretty personal, and no one has complained yet, so here's more.

During the past few weeks I've observed more than once the well-worn aphorism that the more things change the more they remain the same.

Monday evening the lovely gals of BWET gathered for our weekly salon in the back room of The Cup.

People were going around the table talking about how difficult is for them to fit into the techie world because it is so male dominated. Lack of respect, earning less than men for the same work, being in the minority, and so on.

The stories were familiar, as familiar as a bedtime story you heard as a child, told to your charges as a babysitter, rediscovered with your children, and shared with your grandchildren.

But it wasn't a gentle, soporific tale. It was a dreadful deja vu.

Listening to these cute, stylish, Macbook and iPhone toting girls, I could see, hear and smell (well, it might have more mind-altering substances, rather than fresh-roasted free-trade coffee) the discussions I vigorously participated in when I was a hip 20-something, what we called rap sessions and consciousness raising back in the day.

What happened to the all the groundwork laid by these women's mothers, grandmothers, aunts and older sisters? Where did the cultural, political, economic and policy changes we fought for disappear to? Why are young women still frustrated by the same issues (translated, of course, into 21st century terms)?

The experience resonated with something that had happened a few weeks before as I was walking through the physical therapy clinic. A woman called out "Jane!" I didn't respond, but got to work on that stubborn rotator cuff (ain't midlife grand?) Again, "Jane!" I turned around, seeing a peer working on a similar injury.

"I'm Caron. Who's Jane?"

"She's a real political go-getter around here," she replied, grimacing with effort.

"And you are?"


There was something about her that seemed familiar, so I blurted out, "Sara Davidson?"

I was right.

Sara Davidson is author of Loose Change, a story of how three women, based on Davidson and her friends, adjust to the tenor of the timultuous 1960s. I barely remember the book, and Davidson has gone onto many more things. But I recall that her protagonists dealt with similar issues to my BWET friends from within a naturally less technical framework.

All I can do is hope these women train their sons and daughters in a way that makes conversations like Monday nights anachronistic when they participate in the equivalent coffee klatsch years from now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Words for thought

The other day my friend Lorna and I were talking about our deteriorating brains. As "women of a certain age," we know it goes with the territory to lose some cognitive function. Luckily we are not yet women of another certain age -- the one when you have lost the capacity to even remember the mental symptoms and focus only on the physical ones.

We compared notes, and spelling was near the top of the list. Both of us have noticed of late a tendency to type a word, look at it and know there's something wrong, but not be sure what it is. Damn frustrating, especially for a writer/editor like me.

But being of a certain age has its positive cognitive aspects, as I discovered last night during a game of Scrabble with a bunch of Gen Y and Millennial friends.

When Gwen Bell invited to me to BWET (Boulder Women Engaging Tech) meetup, I hesitated because she described it as a place for young women entrepreneurs to get together and chat. But since I am an entrepreneur and devotee of The Cup it was irresistable, I mean irresistible.

After about a half hour of introductions, Gwen announced we'd be playing Scrabble. Since there were 10 of us, I suggested rather than split into two tables that we play with two or three women on a team.

Jamie and I were already sitting side by side at the west side of the square table, so we agreed to partner up. Goldie was more or less at the corner and could go with us or the team on the north side, so she ended up kibbitzing for both teams. But we never needed her help.

I worried about spelling, but as I told Lorna I try to keep my wordplay skills up by playing Scrabble on my Palm. He's quite good at it, knows all the two-letter words, and really keeps me on my toes.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Many of the ladies admitted they had never played Scrabble on a board, although many were familiar with Scrabulous, an online game I was unaware of.

Between not knowing the rules or strategy and spelling skills developed using texting instead of textbooks, most of our opponents floundered (did I mean foundered? These are after all entrepreneurs ...). The tightest competition was between Jamie and me and Gwen and Kari, but in the end age won out.

We beat the skorts off those girls.

For photos that at my advanced age I can't figure out how to include in this post, check out Gwen's flickr photostream.