Hair and Spliced Tapes

When I was a kid we used to listen to Hair, the soundtrack. Now, for those of you who are familiar with Hair and know I grew up the daughter of missionaries, you might be surprised that we listened to that kind of thing. It’s not exactly Christian missionary kid material. But I knew the soundtrack by heart. Or so I thought.

We had piles and piles of cassette tapes when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was intentional on the part of my parents, but one of the ways I connected with US culture while growing up in Latin America was through the recorded cassette tapes my folks collected. We had everything from ABBA to Leon Redbone to Mannheim Steamroller to Bach. Mostly classical stuff, but lots of other goodies too. Including a few soundtracks to musicals like Hair and Godspell. 

When I went to college, I began my own cassette tape collection. One day I ran across the Hair soundtrack and, feeling nostalgic, I bought it. 

The first time I listened to it was a moment of awareness.

Imagine me singing along and suddenly, “Wait. #wut? What did they say?” There were words missing from songs and a whole song I had never heard.

Laugh if you will. But apparently my dad or some older sibling had spliced the tape to remove the bad words and a few songs that were too full of bad words to splice out. I guess someone like the music, but figured that it wouldn’t pass the parental controls so they made it work. Clearly we listened to it a lot, since I knew most of it by heart.

I recently heard Age of Aquarius on the radio and (as I sang at the top of my lungs to the chagrin of my children) I got to thinking what my parents would have done if cassette tapes hadn’t been the way we consumed music. Splicing a tape was easy. Find the spot, cut, tape. Done. 

You can’t do that to a song on an online music service. I would have missed out on some great music be issue in pretty sure uncut Hair would not have lasted long in our house. 

WordCamp Buenos Aires 2015: Presentation Slides and Notes

This past Saturday I had the very great honor of speaking at WordCamp Buenos Aires 2015 about one of my favorite topics, getting involved with the WordPress community.

Slides are here:

They are also on the WCBA15 site. And if you want to read the presentation I put full notes in a PDF. Please forgive any Spanish typos.

If you enjoy traveling to WordCamps this is one to keep an eye on. You can find out about other WordCamps on the WordCamp Central site.

Ancestors

I just received this old photograph in my email inbox. My uncle’s been going through old pictures and sent this gem to my dad. It’s a picture of the woman I’m named after, Alma Wunderlich, my dad’s mother’s mother. I don’t see myself in any of their faces, apparently the only thing I inherited from her is her amazing ability to give a deadpan #wut look.

wunderlich sisters

hiro + wapuu = BFFs

Karen:

So excited to have 55 new coworkers! Hiro and Wapuu are already a great team and I look forward to a lot of great swag. You can read more about the recent acquisition here: http://ma.tt/2015/05/woomattic/

Originally posted on Hi, I'm Nick:

wapuu_friend

View original

Scuffles and Scars

1978-01-18-Wednesday: Picnic in mts across the valley. Karen cut her chin 1 in gash in scuffle over skate board at Lillegard’s (emphasis mine). Off on a picnic about ten AM with sandwiches, cookies & lemonade. All but Boo – he had to go to math class. Explored hills that we see from balcony of the house and down into valley on other side. Lots of people living over there – poor areas, poor roads off the main highway. Two elegant looking eating houses near the top. Things are greener over there from clouds hovering over mts much of the time. Back home. Karen cut her chin a gash about an inch & 1/8 deep (emphasis mine). Lights were out this morning and again this eve.

This excerpt is from my Grandma Olivia’s travel journal, kept while visiting us throughout the years. Grandma Olivia is my mom’s mom and in this excerpt, she’s writing about a visit to San Jose, Costa Rica. The view she mentions is probably the one in the featured image on this post. And yup, poor little adorable Karen got pushed off a skateboard by her mean big sister. I cut my chin and I have the scar to this day.

I remember sitting on the end of the skateboard, my sister really wanting me to get off, and then my sister making me get off, as sisters do. Then I remember the blood gushing out of my chin, my brother carrying me to my mom and Grandma, the butterfly bandaid they put on my chin to stop the blood and help the cut heal. From time to time I enjoy bringing this story up, just to get a little sympathy from my family. Being the youngest of 6 and all, I have to work my angles. Wink wink.

San Ramon, Costa Rica
Here’s me with my mom about that time.

I’ve had this post sitting in my Drafts for months and it’s appropriate to post today on the day we celebrate Mothers in the US, as it’s a story of two moms, working together to fix up a wound and some tears. My Grandma saw fit to mention my injury twice in her notes so it was clearly a significant event for her. I am sure it wasn’t as horrifying as I remember it, but after all these years what I remember most is sitting on a high table, having my mom and her mom fuss over me, console me, love me, and fix me up right as rain.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Who, What, and Why?

My two youngest kids woke up too early this morning. Maybe the rare sound of rain on the roof woke them up. We don’t hear that very often in the high desert. 

In any case, they piled into bed with me and in the course of our early morning half asleep chatter someone said something that reminded me of the Abbott and Costello Who’s on First skit. I pulled it up on YouTube and sent them back to their room to watch it. All I heard for the next 8 minutes and 4 seconds from the other room was was deep belly laughs. Best sound ever. 

Press Publish, Phoenix

This past Saturday, April 18th,  I got to hang out with about 130 amazing bloggers and 13 of my coworkers at Press Publish in Phoenix, a new WordPress.com offering. The first one was in Portland a couple weeks ago.

I gave a 15 minute presentation about Blogging on the Go with the WP mobile app and spent the rest of the time at the Happiness Bar helping people with WordPress questions and issues.

IMG_2902

While I’ve been at my fair share of conferences and have enjoyed them all, Press Publish had a unique vibe that I can’t quite place my finger on. Perhaps it was the focus on blogging, the workshops about writing, and presentations about finding your voice. Perhaps it was the energy of notable bloggers like Kathy Cano-Murillo, Russ CrandallKatherine Fritz and Emily Austin. Or perhaps it was the sea of smiling enthusiastic Automatticians (my coworkers at Automattic), I always love an excuse see my distributed coworkers face to face.

In any case, lately I’ve lagged a bit in enthusiasm for support and outreach (for a number of reasons that very likely deserve a dedicated post but we’ll leave that for another day) and Press Publish was just the thing to renew my soul.

I spent the first few years of my WordPress life helping people use it to make websites. WordPress was a site building tool, not a blogging tool, for me until about the time I joined Automattic. While I enjoyed creating websites immensely, I’ve come to realize that I love helping bloggers so so much. Here I was, for one whole day, in the midst of this diverse and beautiful community of bloggers, hearing their stories, helping them jump hurdles, encouraging them in their journey and in turn being encouraged. This is what it’s all about and I can’t get enough.

Want to hear more about how Press Publish went? Stay tuned. The  talks aren’t online yet, but they will be soon and I’ll link to them from here. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about the event check out the website.