Baseball season is done, back to cruising everyone!

Once Halloween is out of the way, time to plan the next Brideau Household Adventure! We are heading back to the boat! The three of us will be taking the cruise to nowhere.

This is how it works:
Board in San Pedro
Eat and sleep and swim and relax for two days
Get off the boat in San Pedro

If you have never been on a cruise, a cruise to nowhere is really the way to go. These cruises are generally inexpensive, the staff is especially relaxed because they are either coming on or off contract, and if you don't like cruising - the boat docks back at home in a couple of days.

Cruising with a baby is no sweat. Our last cruise Iolani was just a hair over 6 months. She loved her tub, all the attention (being the youngest member on the boat has perks), and all the shiny (and incredibly clean) things to touch. This time she has a couple of teeth, isn't drinking formula, and WALKS! We will see if she has sea legs!

So - if you are planning on joining the cruise to no where come the end of November...don't forget to hop onto Cruise Critic and participate in the Roll Call.

Waiting for the new mac

I ordered the new mac the other day.  It will be delivered on the 29th.  In the meantime, I am visiting the order tracking page a couple of times a day.  Right now my package is in Anchorage, AK.  And, then tomorrow - it will travel like this:

This week's to do list The rain is coming...shoot.

Iolani didn't want to go to bed tonight.  We put her down for bed at 8, and by 8:15 she was using her favorite and only complete phrase: "All Done"

Like, she was "All Done" sleeping.  LOL.  She was sobbing in her room "All Done....All Done....All Done...."  It was hard not to laugh when I heard her saying this.  Alex and I would take turns going into her room and picking up Mr. Bear off the floor.  Alex would give Mr. Bear back to her, and I would simply set Mr. Bear back in the crib.  So, if she wanted to throw Mr. Bear again - she would have to get back to the far side of the crib to do anything with him.

Earlier in the evening she was "All Done" at the table after only three bites of food.  Then, she was "All Done" with her bath.  She knows what it means, or at least she knows what it does - it causes Alex or I to pick her up and move her onto the next thing.

Ah-lllll Done

We couldn't get her to settle down until we turned on the baseball game (Colorado v Philadelphia).  Once the game was on she settled down. She was close to falling asleep but then somehow got her hands on the remote.  And, with her being so tired - she just crumpled into a sobbing mess when we took the remote away from her.  I made her a bottle and let her fall asleep to the game.  

She's in bed now and I can get a little bit of work done before tomorrow morning....  Pre-work.  

Tomorrow is Monday.  I have a dentist and doctor appointment.  I'll be skipping the doctor appointment, errr  rather rescheduling it.  The Dentist and I have been like two ships passing in the night.  He's sitting on my invisilines, and our schedules haven't matched for me to go and get them.  The doctor appointment is a doctor appointment.  Dentist appointments are far more exciting to talk about than doctor appointments.

Tuesday is the last scoping meeting for Wilshire BRT. We will be at the conference center at Good Sam.  
Wednesday is the first meeting for the Rosa Parks station project.

And, of course there's the rain.  The rain is supposed to get here on Tuesday and leave on Wednesday.  I don't want to think the rain won't impact turn out for the two meetings, but I know that it will.  Which...of course makes me a bit frustrated.  The funny part of it is who can you really be frustrated with - the weather man? 

So, I'll do my best to give people good reasons to come to the meetings: I promise to have hot coffee when you walk in the door.  

Are you ready for the meetings?

Most of you know what I do: I sit at the entrance of community meetings, ask you to sign in, and then I record your comments. (I decided that I would come up with a very simple way to explain to children what I do) I do a lot more than this, however for the sake of this blog entry, we will keep it simple.

I’d like to think I’m almost an expert on “public comment” as I’ve written about it a couple of times. In reviewing my calendar I noticed that everyone should be planning for “public comment” opportunities galore come this fall.

So, I’d like to offer some tips. In the interest of full disclosure I am always excited to see people come to community meetings. I think community meetings are educational opportunities, examples of community participation, and a great way to meet your neighbor. However, usually the reason for people to attend a community is that a project may (or may not) be moving forward, and you might (or might not) like it. Either way, I am genuinely glad to see you take time out of your busy schedule to just be in the present. (Que the Cheese Factor)

So turn the ringer off on your phone, feel free to Twitter and text away about what you are seeing and hearing.

My tips:

1) Take your time signing in. You took the time to make it to the meeting, take the time to record your attendance. If you walk in the door, arms full of stuff, you should feel free to set your stuff down on the table, and neatly write your name down. Have kids with you? Feel free to get them settled and come back. Before you leave the table, make sure you have all the materials for the meeting (the agenda, comment form, speaker card, and fact sheet).

2) Even if you are late, browse the boards (if there are any). Usually staff lingers in the back of the room, and you should feel free to engage them. It is a rare staffer who doesn’t like to talk about the project they are working on.

3) Sit Close! It must be human nature to want to sit in the back. Resist this urge. The closer you sit to the front the more likely you are to see the details of the presentation, connect with the speaker, and not get distracted by those wiggling around in the back.

When it comes time for the Question/Answer portion of the meeting, know that it’s just as nerve-racking for the presenter as it is for you once you get to the microphone. Based on watching numerous Question/Answer sessions, here are my suggestions:

1) Take notes. During the presentation, write down what your questions are. You can use the comment form for this. Once you get up to the microphone, you might have 2 minutes to get your question out. Don’t spend your two minutes at the microphone formulating your very important question.

2) Don’t expect an answer. This is the toughest part about community meetings. Your question is important, however it is likely when you ask your question, the person won’t have an answer. This is especially important during “scoping meetings”. The whole purpose of a scoping meeting is to find out what needs to be studied. So, when questions and comments are asked during the scoping process – you are essentially asking someone to study and get back to you. (Which then goes back to you signing in – being able to read your contact information is key)

3) Just because you see a timer, this doesn’t mean that you need to race through your time. The purpose of the timer is to ensure fairness for all – not to limit questioning of a project. Take the time to say your name, and then get into your statement.

If you see a court reporter, recording your comments verbatim – using your regular speech pace is a good idea. Since you know this isn’t a race to get in all the words you can, just slow down. If you run out of time – no worries: If you took my suggestion from above, you can just submit your notes into the comment box.

4) What if there’s no court reporter? Then know that the meeting is either being recorded with an audio recorder, or there are 2 or 3 staff members in the back feverishly writing down your comments. I often bring a recorder and take notes concurrently.

5) If you don’t like to speak at the microphone, ran out of time and you still had things to say, or you don’t feel ready to speak at the microphone, you can still send in your comment to the project. Check for a project website, an email address, or phone number. If it doesn’t seem obvious where you can send in your comment, come back to the sign in table, or connect with the presenter…someone will know.

6) Maybe you missed the meeting or came late there are a couple of ways to get caught up on a project. The first is to locate the project website, and review materials from there. If the website seems out of date, check for contact information, send an email and find out where you can find out more information. If you can’t find a project website, search on the internet for it. Not all projects have websites. Sometimes you can find a group for or against a project that is able to put something together. Facebook is another good option.

Still stumped on trying to find a project website – well I guess you could always email me, and I’ll take a look around.

Websites not for you (however ironic that you are reading this website) then consider contacting the agency leading the project, or your elected representatives.

National Coming Out Day Coming Up!

My dear friends and blogging buddies!

A very special Sunday is coming up: National Coming Out Day!

What is National Coming Out Day?
Wikipedia puts it best:
National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues. It is observed on October 11 every year[1] by members of the LGBT communities and their supporters (often referred to as "allies").

National Coming Out Day happens to fall on a Sunday this year, and in the times of Post Prop 8, I plan to be at Church celebrating! Our Pastor Sandie will be out of town that day, so she was able to ask Rev. Jonipher Kwon to come give the sermon. And, I couldn't be any more excited.

Pastor Kwon last spoke to our congregation before the passage of Prop 8. That afternoon, when Iolani was just a couple of months old, we were out on our corner, holding up our No On 8 signs.

Okay - this blog entry is a little winding.

Here's the thing...on National Coming Out Day, you should come out! Come out to support your brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers.... In fact, on National Coming Out Day, you need to come out for those who either can't or don't feel like they can't come out and be who they are. You need to come out and tell your friends and neighbors that you believe that if two people are in love and fully committed to one another should be able to be legally married, and to have that marriage equally count in both the eyes of the law and society.

So, I'll close with this...

The First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles welcomes you! We welcome you as a full person. You might think there's an additional catch to this...but there's not. Gay isn't wrong. Hating is. And, our lives are far too short to have this kind of hate in it, and it's a shame that in California we have our hate on the books.

I hope to see you on National Coming Out Day!

Some additional links:

Reconciling Ministries Network Blog

HRC: National Coming Out Day