featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I thought about having this locked down to just the KC folks, but what the hell, some of the rest of you might be interested, too.

Here's the deal: Every year, forever, the Gaia Community has done an arts-and-crafts show (the Winter Bazaar, if you've been following along) as a winter fund-raiser. Every year, we make about $1000 on this event. We have put a lot of work into making it bigger and better, which means that we make more money every year, but it also costs more money (and more time) every year, leaving us with a steady profit of, yep, $1000. Getting volunteers to assist with the thing is difficult, getting someone to manage the thing is nigh impossible. Attendance is generally poor. So I'm thinking, this sucks, let's not do it anymore. If we don't do it, we need to come up with some other fund-raising concept that will make at least $1000 profit for the organization.

[livejournal.com profile] zylch and I spent some time this evening kicking around the idea of having a Yule Ball, some sort of reasonably upscale (but not obnoxiously upscale) costume and/or fancy dress party experience instead. There would be music and dancing and probably food, and possibly a silent auction and/or raffle. It would be a holiday party that you could take your significant other(s) to, regardless of gender, number, or preferred lifestyle arrangement. It would have a magical theme (possibly but not necessarily something Harry-Potter-ish). There is every possibility that there would be games and/or some sort of participatory art experience. There would be a door charge, previously mentioned silent auction/raffle, and possibly sales of non-alcoholic beverages (because we probably can't get a liquor license).

The thing is, we've not done an event like this. I have no sense at all of whether there would be enough interest in it to make it work or not. Hence, a preliminary investigation, very unofficial. Feel free to comment further on the concept. (Also, if you really love the Winter Bazaar, feel free to defend its continued existence. Nothing's been decided yet at all.)

[Poll #1241479]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I thought about having this locked down to just the KC folks, but what the hell, some of the rest of you might be interested, too.

Here's the deal: Every year, forever, the Gaia Community has done an arts-and-crafts show (the Winter Bazaar, if you've been following along) as a winter fund-raiser. Every year, we make about $1000 on this event. We have put a lot of work into making it bigger and better, which means that we make more money every year, but it also costs more money (and more time) every year, leaving us with a steady profit of, yep, $1000. Getting volunteers to assist with the thing is difficult, getting someone to manage the thing is nigh impossible. Attendance is generally poor. So I'm thinking, this sucks, let's not do it anymore. If we don't do it, we need to come up with some other fund-raising concept that will make at least $1000 profit for the organization.

[livejournal.com profile] zylch and I spent some time this evening kicking around the idea of having a Yule Ball, some sort of reasonably upscale (but not obnoxiously upscale) costume and/or fancy dress party experience instead. There would be music and dancing and probably food, and possibly a silent auction and/or raffle. It would be a holiday party that you could take your significant other(s) to, regardless of gender, number, or preferred lifestyle arrangement. It would have a magical theme (possibly but not necessarily something Harry-Potter-ish). There is every possibility that there would be games and/or some sort of participatory art experience. There would be a door charge, previously mentioned silent auction/raffle, and possibly sales of non-alcoholic beverages (because we probably can't get a liquor license).

The thing is, we've not done an event like this. I have no sense at all of whether there would be enough interest in it to make it work or not. Hence, a preliminary investigation, very unofficial. Feel free to comment further on the concept. (Also, if you really love the Winter Bazaar, feel free to defend its continued existence. Nothing's been decided yet at all.)

[Poll #1241479]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Thanks to everyone who filled out my poll yesterday. The backstory on that is this: at the PSD conference, I went to a presentation called Radical Hospitality. Radical Hospitality is the name of a for-sale workshop that you can have certified consultants come out and do with your congregation, to teach the congregation how to be welcoming to visitors and, to a lesser extent, how to care for the existing membership. The goal of all of this is, of course, to get more people to become UUs, which is not a terrible goal.

It was, however, a fairly terrible presentation. I will not recount the sins of the presentation, but will instead share my single biggest WTF moment.

The presenter was espousing the philosophy that in order to be welcoming to and supportive of visitors to our churches, we must first understand why people visit churches. She went on to say that a recent study had revealed that 50% of Americans say that they have either only one person in their lives, or nobody at all, with whom they can have deep, meaningful conversations, and that 20(something) percent said they had nobody at all. Of course, there was no citation to go with this data point, so I can't discover anything further about it (like how the study defined deep, meaningful conversation, or who the sample set was, or how the question was phrased, or who sponsored the research or anything). So I contented myself with going, "I bet that's bullshit."

She went on to say that this was why people came to churches, because they were so terribly lonely. I wasn't sure that necessarily followed, but I was willing to ride along with it to see where it went. She then lamented the fact that it was now easier to communicate with people electronically than ever before, and that this ability to email and post and so on was replacing "real connection", rendering people unable to have the kind of conversations they desperately need to have.

In fact, I heard some variant of "OH NOES THE INTERNETZ ARE DESTROYING ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE MEANINGFULLY" about four times over the course of the conference, from different speakers. Something lit up in my tiny brain at this point, because the speaker would almost inevitably go on to lament the fact that the denomination was unable to attract younger people in the quantities we would like to. I'm thinking the Luddite attitude might have something to do with that, no?

So anyway, in reaction to that, I had to ask you guys. Of course, I am stacking the deck in favor of people who feel socially connected and able to have deep conversation through electronic communications channels by taking a self-selecting sample from a social networking site, but hey. I'm fully aware of that. Part of the point of the exercise was to reassure myself that you were all still out there. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Thanks to everyone who filled out my poll yesterday. The backstory on that is this: at the PSD conference, I went to a presentation called Radical Hospitality. Radical Hospitality is the name of a for-sale workshop that you can have certified consultants come out and do with your congregation, to teach the congregation how to be welcoming to visitors and, to a lesser extent, how to care for the existing membership. The goal of all of this is, of course, to get more people to become UUs, which is not a terrible goal.

It was, however, a fairly terrible presentation. I will not recount the sins of the presentation, but will instead share my single biggest WTF moment.

The presenter was espousing the philosophy that in order to be welcoming to and supportive of visitors to our churches, we must first understand why people visit churches. She went on to say that a recent study had revealed that 50% of Americans say that they have either only one person in their lives, or nobody at all, with whom they can have deep, meaningful conversations, and that 20(something) percent said they had nobody at all. Of course, there was no citation to go with this data point, so I can't discover anything further about it (like how the study defined deep, meaningful conversation, or who the sample set was, or how the question was phrased, or who sponsored the research or anything). So I contented myself with going, "I bet that's bullshit."

She went on to say that this was why people came to churches, because they were so terribly lonely. I wasn't sure that necessarily followed, but I was willing to ride along with it to see where it went. She then lamented the fact that it was now easier to communicate with people electronically than ever before, and that this ability to email and post and so on was replacing "real connection", rendering people unable to have the kind of conversations they desperately need to have.

In fact, I heard some variant of "OH NOES THE INTERNETZ ARE DESTROYING ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE MEANINGFULLY" about four times over the course of the conference, from different speakers. Something lit up in my tiny brain at this point, because the speaker would almost inevitably go on to lament the fact that the denomination was unable to attract younger people in the quantities we would like to. I'm thinking the Luddite attitude might have something to do with that, no?

So anyway, in reaction to that, I had to ask you guys. Of course, I am stacking the deck in favor of people who feel socially connected and able to have deep conversation through electronic communications channels by taking a self-selecting sample from a social networking site, but hey. I'm fully aware of that. Part of the point of the exercise was to reassure myself that you were all still out there. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (bullshit!)
I sometimes have these experiences in which somebody presents something to me as a fact, with a statistic attached, and I just go, "Dude. There is no way that could possibly be true." This poll is an extremely unscientific reaction to one of those moments. I'll tell you the rest of the story tomorrow, but please provide your input if you can.

Note: for the purposes of this poll, "deep, meaningful conversation" means whatever you think it means.
Clicquez-vous! )
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I sometimes have these experiences in which somebody presents something to me as a fact, with a statistic attached, and I just go, "Dude. There is no way that could possibly be true." This poll is an extremely unscientific reaction to one of those moments. I'll tell you the rest of the story tomorrow, but please provide your input if you can.

Note: for the purposes of this poll, "deep, meaningful conversation" means whatever you think it means.
Clicquez-vous! )
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (giant squid)
The F-Yous won by a wide margin over the You Rocks yesterday, in case you were interested. But it was Monday, and today apparently people are excited about some basketball thing, so if I were to run the experiment today, the results might be different.

In fact, let's do that.
[Poll #1167895]

Specific poll results aren't viewable, just the aggregate.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
The F-Yous won by a wide margin over the You Rocks yesterday, in case you were interested. But it was Monday, and today apparently people are excited about some basketball thing, so if I were to run the experiment today, the results might be different.

In fact, let's do that.
[Poll #1167895]

Specific poll results aren't viewable, just the aggregate.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[Poll #1156940]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[Poll #1156940]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[Poll #1135381]

EDIT: You are all encouraged to move to my town and start radio stations. Especially [livejournal.com profile] gamera_spinning, who can skip the first step, as he already lives here.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[Poll #1135381]

EDIT: You are all encouraged to move to my town and start radio stations. Especially [livejournal.com profile] gamera_spinning, who can skip the first step, as he already lives here.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (gender)
So, I'm reading this book called Mockymen. It's not a good book. Let's leave aside for the moment the fact that the author took all that writing advice about showing, not telling, and decided it was so much crap. Let's also leave aside the fact that it appears to have plot enough for several unrelated novels, all jammed together in one short book (this feat largely being accomplished by taking out all the motivation and most of the transition between plot points).

Aside from that stuff, what I don't like about this book is that the main character (so far) is female, and the (apparently male) author has decided that it will make her a more realistic female character if she thinks about having a baby, and when would be the right time to have a baby, and why she and her partner haven't had a baby, and so on, about once every three pages.

Now, as you might be aware if you know me, or even if you read my journal regularly, I gave up trying to be female when I realized that a) it was sort of a crap game, and b) I was never going to be any good at it anyway. So I'm willing to believe that it's possible that women really do constantly think about having babies, and that's normal for the population. Therefore, I'm seeking further data. If you're a female-type person with female-type biology (or you used to be and/or used to have same), please enlighten me by making the clicky on the poll, below.

[Poll #1095206]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
So, I'm reading this book called Mockymen. It's not a good book. Let's leave aside for the moment the fact that the author took all that writing advice about showing, not telling, and decided it was so much crap. Let's also leave aside the fact that it appears to have plot enough for several unrelated novels, all jammed together in one short book (this feat largely being accomplished by taking out all the motivation and most of the transition between plot points).

Aside from that stuff, what I don't like about this book is that the main character (so far) is female, and the (apparently male) author has decided that it will make her a more realistic female character if she thinks about having a baby, and when would be the right time to have a baby, and why she and her partner haven't had a baby, and so on, about once every three pages.

Now, as you might be aware if you know me, or even if you read my journal regularly, I gave up trying to be female when I realized that a) it was sort of a crap game, and b) I was never going to be any good at it anyway. So I'm willing to believe that it's possible that women really do constantly think about having babies, and that's normal for the population. Therefore, I'm seeking further data. If you're a female-type person with female-type biology (or you used to be and/or used to have same), please enlighten me by making the clicky on the poll, below.

[Poll #1095206]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[Poll #1089909]
Of course you know nothing about the coffee bar except the name, right? So for bonus points, what do you imagine is in the coffee bar with the name you liked best (whether it's your name or mine, doesn't matter)? What does that coffee bar look like, and what sorts of things are available there?

Yes, I have a dream of quitting my job and running a coffee bar. If you had my job, you would have that dream too. And the other one, the one where you climb up a never-ending stack of paper, only to be knocked down by the Missouri State Legislature...
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
[Poll #1089909]
Of course you know nothing about the coffee bar except the name, right? So for bonus points, what do you imagine is in the coffee bar with the name you liked best (whether it's your name or mine, doesn't matter)? What does that coffee bar look like, and what sorts of things are available there?

Yes, I have a dream of quitting my job and running a coffee bar. If you had my job, you would have that dream too. And the other one, the one where you climb up a never-ending stack of paper, only to be knocked down by the Missouri State Legislature...

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