Tout Va Bien!

I last posted on this personal blog at the beginning of 2022. It’s been almost a year, and boy-o-boy have I learned a lot this year. Interestingly, one of the most meaningful insights after a year of introspection is included in my previous post.

  • I want to be ENTERTAINED.

We are living in turbulent times. I remember my mother telling me how important “the movies” were to her generation while they were living through WWII. I feel it’s the same today. I’ve written so many times over the past few years to my Facebook friends, “Writers will save us all.

There’s nothing more powerful than a good story told really well. Over the course of my life, I can name films that had a profound effect on life choices I made. Films can educate us, enlighten us, delight us, shock us, and lift us up. I’m devoted to helping good films become the best version of their awesome selves they can be.

After my journey out here on the high plains, I am healthy, happy, and whole. I did the work to heal and soul search to determine what’s really important in my life. I arrived at a place where I want to return to work– renewed and refreshed.

I’m heading back to the two areas of “work” that I love: storytelling and technology. I’ve always stayed true to the belief that technology can improve our world for the better. Combining that belief with the intrinsic understanding of the power of film, and it appears the good ole’ Universe has gifted me the perfect opportunity. Merci beaucoup!

I start my new job on Monday.

Tout Va Bien!

I tore this bill off a wall in Paris. It’s a reminder to me that everything works out in the end.

Yes Virginia, There is a Universe

paintingIt was the strangest thing.

I was walking downtown in Orlando to present to a local Meetup of Data Scientists about Big Mountain Data. I had just arrived in Florida two months before from Texas.

It was early evening, and I was running late. As I briskly walked past an art gallery, I glanced to my left and there she was: “The Girl.”

I literally felt the image pull me toward her.

I “saw” her.

It stopped me in my tracks. I thought to myself, “This is the woman I’m working for.”

That night I even mentioned it on Facebook. The experienced stayed with me.

I was thinking about this piece of art this week, as Big Mountain Data is turning a corner in 2017.  The past two years have been rewarding, and I’m more hopeful than ever that we are on the brink of creating something truly meaningful.  My mind drifted to this piece of art.  When I saw it in the gallery, she had a hefty price tag, but I was thinking I might be able to afford this in 2017 somehow.

So, yesterday, I started doing some image searches from the photo I had posted  on Facebook.  I found the artist, and discovered she was a local.  She had a Facebook page, so I inquired if the piece was still available.  An assistant replied within minutes, and said she’d check.  The artist, Pamela Loudon, responded to me herself with an affirmative and asked me to contact her about it.

I thought about it and decided to tell her the odd story about how the piece “spoke” to me that night in downtown Orlando.  I told her what I do, and that I felt a strong connection to this work:

“I saw your piece walking past an Orlando gallery downtown. It was the evening of April 23, 2015. I was on my way to present to the Orlando Data Science Meet-up (a group of nerdy developers and data scientists). The artwork stuck with me.  It is something about the way the woman is fractured, kind of has a black eye, yet is surrounded with vivid color.  I felt a connection to the piece in a way I had never had a connection to a piece of art.”

Pam called me within moments of reading my email.  She had just returned from being out of the country for many months.

She said, “This is very strange.” She told me the history about this particular piece. That she was walking up a hill in Marseille, France and “The Girl” was pasted in burlap to a wall and a group of men were tearing her down.  She was moved by the work and told the men to STOP.  She pieced her together in her studio and started applying color.  She told me she felt this woman represented all women who are “torn off the wall by men.”

Long story short, as a traveling photographer and digital artist, Pam has visited places and witnessed events (including Nicole Simpson’s house in Brentwood) where women were abused horribly.  She told me that this piece was her first experience of how “spirited stuff” can find its way into art.

I always tell people that bizarre events happen all the time for me since I’ve been working on Big Mountain Data.  Coincidences and things that cannot be rationally explained.  Pam said, “You have to be open to the universe.”

I told her, I am.  I am.

The good news is she agreed to sell me the artwork at a price and payment plan I can afford.  She is happy “The Girl” is going to someone who truly appreciates her and will use her eery power in a way that will empower women everywhere.

Thank you Pam, and you out there in the cosmos working for us.

I Wrote a Song for My Startup

Okay, maybe not exactly original.  Readers of this blog may not have been alive when this song was recorded or popular, so maybe I can get away with it.

My last post was a poetic, meandering bit of self-reflection about how selfish it was for me to pursue a line of work that could negatively impact the people I love the most.

Well, sorry kids.  I can’t do it.  I’m addicted to this work.

Every day, there’s another death. There’s another reason to keep going.  I realize I’m starting over, reinventing myself at the bottom of a low-paying field, yet all arguments to give up fall away in the face of the opportunity to make a real dent in this particular universe. So, I’m continuing.  I took a pause, but that was about it.  I grabbed those bootstraps and yanked harder.

Good news is coming.  I promise.  Stay tuned.

News flash: it’s not about the money.

(But, you know, we do need that to survive… so, I encourage your support.)