I’m Rejoining Gov 2.0

I am very excited about this week. The new fall weather is heralding my return to the government world. I had been on exodus exploring personal interests in environmentalism. I loved the time away and even used it to create A Clean Life, find utlimate personal health, and become an evangelist for a better world.

As I ease back into this I am excited to re-join the ranks of Gov 2.0. The Gov 2.0 Expo and Summit are the perfect events to jumpstart all of this. They provide the perfect opportunity to network, reconnect with old friends, and catch up on the latest in government tech innovation.

The event is reaffirming my zeal for innovation. I really did miss the technology and rapidly changing environment. It has made me look back into my past and reassess my experiences. Their are so many fond memories on my resume and a lot of years starting to build:

5 yrs – community manager
6.5 years – trainer/teacher
7 years – customer service
1.5 years – project management
8 years – social media
15 years – computer software/hardware/online
3 years – post-baccalaureate
  • 5 yrs – community manager
  • 6.5 years – trainer/teacher
  • 8 years – social media
  • 7 years – customer service
  • 1.5 years – project management
  • 15 years – computer software/hardware/online
  • 3 years – post-baccalaureate

As you can see I have a wide range of experience with a strong focus in computers, community management, and teaching. I hope to see my new focus move into more social media and project management. Two areas that I am already deeply involved in and would like to explore more.

Now, off to chat up some old friends in Gov 2.0 đŸ™‚

From the rich green tops

as i practice my descriptive writing…

nestled above the forestry sits a calm revelry. Squirrels plunging into nuts i have not the idea. Home in quiet suburbia. Children grumbling as they saunter down to the breakfast table. Parents busily readying themselves for the days haul.

The crestline slowly lowers to the old city of Alexandria, off in the distance to my eyes. The long boulevards of kings, dukes, and queens. Small shops of every noticeable tackery. Into the glamorously highlighted Torpedo factory. In front of that the simple waterfront of the capital.

Vote for Our SXSW Panels!

Hey Everyone – voting opened today for SXSW 2010 panels. The SXSW panel committee will use our votes to help determine what kind of conference SXSW ends up being.

So, please vote for my panels and my friends. All the words below are clickable

From me, Steven Mandzik:

Local Food: Creating an Online Community of Local Eaters

How a Zero Waste Lifestyle Can Save Your Life

From Friends

Dating 2.0: How Social Media Gets You Dates – by Amy Senger

Innovating Bureaucracy: Getting Government To ShareAndrea Baker

What Does Corporate America Think of Web 2.0? – by Andrew McAfee

Developer from Mars Takes on Designer from Venus – by Chris Bucchere

Technically Women – 4 panels by women

The Connection Is Made

This will be the first time I memorialize this aspect of my being. I have the ability to connect with someone on an unconscious level. It belies distance and any form of communication. Its nothing short of telepathy.

My newest connection is with Amy Senger.

There I was not a minute before this writing, tired, no exhuasted, riding the metro to Ballston. My eyes were closed on the verge of sleep when a random thought invades my being. It is not my thought, though. It doesn’t belong to me but I am thinking it. Next a raging emotion, also not mine, comes sweeping through my consciousness. I open my eyes. I look around in a daze.

Just what is this??

Having some experiences with this sort of connection I settle back in to my in-between consciousness. As I relax and let the feelings and thoughts wash over me, more and more come. I start to make sense out of them. I am able to separate my own thoughts and feelings from the invaders.

As I do an image of a person starts to form. It is the beautiful Amy Senger. It is her being deep in my consciousness. As it often happens many of these feelings are not directed at me, about me, or for me. They are just flowing through me and I experience them.

Occasionally, a few of them are about me. From their I have trained myself to respond. I have learned to send back feelings and thoughts through the same channel. It is a very strange thing.

Greek definition of telepathy means distant, ‘tele’, and to be affected by, patheia

I sometimes feel very weird about this. I don’t think I’m supposed to be aware of these connections. I think I’m supposed to experience them without knowing what this is. But I do know what they are. I have tested them. It is very real and very strange.

Now, I must go because Amy has just texted me to call her, strange…


I’m reminded of a story that I once heard as a sad tale. A boy decides that he wants to bake a cake for his mom. He saves his money for the cake mix and the other ingredients. Gets home only to realize that he forgot to buy eggs.

Rather, as an adult looking back at his own childhood he tells that he just didn’t know he needed eggs. So, he goes to his neighbor and asks for some eggs. She gladly gives them for his momma’s birthday.

Cake is delivered and everyone is happy. The mom is surprised and delighted. But, a few days later the mom scolds the child and grounds him after finding out that he had to ask the neighbor for eggs.

She was worried that the neighbors might think she couldn’t take care of, or feed her children.

Now the narrator finishes this off by not blaming his mom for such behavior. Instead saying that this is acceptable in our society and that it’s not making us any better or happier.

So, please think about this tale as you rush to judgement. Remember, that sometimes life is a bit more complicated than we would like to believe.

Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998)

“Velvet Goldmine” is a movie made up of beginnings, endings and fresh starts. There isn’t enough in between. It wants to be a movie in search of a truth, but it’s more like a movie in search of itself. Not everyone who leaves the theater will be able to pass a quiz on exactly what happens.

Set in the 1970s, it’s the story of the life, death and resurrection of a glam-rock idol named Brian Slade, played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and probably inspired by David Bowie. After headlining a brief but dazzling era of glitter rock, he fakes his own death onstage. When the hoax is revealed, his cocaine use increases, his sales plummet, and he disappears from view. A decade later, in the fraught year of 1984, a journalist named Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) is assigned to find out what really happened to Brian Slade.

Do we care? Not much. Slade is not made into a convincing character in “Velvet Goldmine,” although his stage appearances are entertaining enough. But a better reason for our disinterest is that the film bogs down in the apparatus of the search for Slade. Clumsily borrowing moments from “Citizen Kane,” it has its journalist interview Slade’s ex-wife and business associates, and there is even a sequence of shots that specifically mirror “Kane”–the first interview with the mogul’s former wife, Susan.

“Citizen Kane” may just have been voted the greatest of all American films (which it is), but how many people watching “Velvet Goldmine” will appreciate a scene where a former Slade partner is seen in a wheelchair, just like Joseph Cotten? Many of them will still be puzzling out the opening of the film, which begins in Dublin with the birth of Oscar Wilde, who says at an early age, “I want to be a pop idol.” I guess this prologue is intended to establish a link between Wilde and the Bowie generation of crossdressing performance artists who teased audiences with their apparent bisexuality. Brian Slade, in the movie, is married to an American catwoman named Mandy (Toni Collette) but has an affair with a rising rock star named Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor), who looks like Kurt Cobain, is heedless like Oscar Wilde and is so original onstage that he upstages Slade, who complains, “I just wish it had been me. I wish I’d thought of it.” (His wife, as wise as all the wives of brilliant men, tells him, “You will.”) The film evokes snatches of the 1970s rock scene (and another of its opening moments evokes early shots from the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night”). But it doesn’t settle for long enough on any one approach to become very interesting. It’s not a career film, or a rags-to-riches film, or an expose, or an attack, or a dirge, or a musical, but a little of all of those, chopped up and run through a confusing assortment of flashbacks and memories.

The lesson seems to be that Brian Slade was an ambitious, semi-talented poseur who cheated his audience once too often, and then fooled them again in a way only the movie and its inquiring reporter fully understand. In the wreckage of his first incarnation are left his wife, lovers, managers and fans. It is a little disconcerting that the last 20 minutes, if not more, consist of a series of scenes that all feel as if they could be the last scene in the movie: “Velvet Goldmine” keeps promising to quit, but doesn’t make good.

David Bowie (if Slade is indeed meant to be Bowie) deserves better than this. He was more talented and smarter than Slade, reinvented himself in full view, and in the long run can only be said to have triumphed (if being married to Iman, pioneering a multimedia art project and being the richest of all non-Beatle British rock stars is a triumph, and I submit that it is). Bowie is also more interesting than his fictional alter ego in “Velvet Goldmine,” and if glam rock was not great music, at least it inaugurated the era of concerts as theatrical spectacles and inspired its audiences to dress in something other than the hippie uniform.

Todd Haynes, the director and writer, is an American whose first two films (“Poison” and “Safe”) were tightly focused, spare and bleak. “Safe” starred Julianne Moore as a woman allergic to very nearly everything–or was she only allergic to herself? These films were perceptive character studies. In “Velvet Goldmine,” there is the sense that the film’s arms were spread too wide, gathered in all of the possible approaches to the material and couldn’t decide on just one.

ROGER EBERT / 6 November 1998