Oh, Camp Mighty. It’s hard to explain what it is because it is so much more than words can tell, but basically it was a weekend where we brought our Life Lists and focused on accomplishing things. From the website:
The objective is to improve your life until it cannot be further improved…The retreat gives you time to think about what you want, a team to help, and a pool. For floating.
Camp Mighty was a larger version of the Mighty Summit I went to last year, a life-changing event, as it was what started my business in earnest and what helped me realize on a visceral level that living epically is totally possible, even for little old me.
This year’s event brought into focus that I’m in a Good Place right now. My Life List is chugging along; I have successfully created the space for doing Amazing Things. The time is there, the room is there, the fortitude to press onward and accomplish is there. That didn’t come easily, but my 2010 goal of making my lifestyle such that I could Life List as I wanted was accomplished.
And it feels SO GOOD.
“So, Amber,” I asked. “What now?” Because, ok, excellent, but one can’t stop.
The larger conference was broken down into four teams; we met together and were encouraged to share five things with the group that we wanted to accomplish. Here are my picks, and if you can help with any of them, get in touch, please. It would be so nice of you.
- Holi color fight.
- Hike in Hawaii, jump off a cliff, and yell “Geronimo!”
- Officiate a wedding ceremony.
- Fly kites in a group of friends.
- Be in a book club.
They’re all “doing cool stuff” things because that’s where I am right now: I want to have FUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN! Wouldn’t you know: I was seated a few chairs over from two ladies who live in Maui – one of who is building a guest house.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Amber, and I make an excellent house guest.”
“See you this spring?” she said. “I know a cliff you can jump off of.” (Later that evening we decided capes should also be involved.)
Someone else had “have a professional portrait of myself taken”, and, of course, I had my camera. The only thing cooler than having someone help you with a Life List item is to help someone else yourself. (A lot of people had this on their list, actually, but between timing and the rain, I didn’t get to snap as many faces as I’d have liked.)
Best parts: hugging people who have inspired me. And hugging people I’ve inspired. (So much inspiration!) And rocking out to the TonTons (plus chatting with the singer between sets – she’s adorable). And drinking champagne in the hot tub while chatting with super smart ladies. And the speakers. And dancing my ass off at the space-themed dance party, in my pretty space-themed dress. And soaking up the sun poolside. And road tripping with three hilarious gals from LA to Palm Springs, with a pit stop at In-N-Out (as one does when one is from the east coast and lands in California).
(My dress is from here.) (I totally brought my one-frillion dollar camera into the hot tub. I was careful. The photos were worth it. Don’t judge me.)
I did end up floating in that pool, too, alone on Friday night, with the rain in my face and my body warmed up by the hot tub. It was incredible, and an excellent way to think, by the way, should you have the opportunity.
“What next? What bigger? What more?” I whispered these questions to myself softly, but heard them loudly because my ears and my lungs were both underwater. You want to know what popped into my head?
Adventure. Business bigger.
Everyone who has heard the details of AMP growing the past year is astounded at the trajectory, but I still want more. I decided, as the pool wormed its way into my ear canal, that I will be consciously unafraid of making more money and getting more business. (It is terribly difficult to be consciously unafraid when your stomach is in knots.) I will take on larger, longer weddings, I will stop dragging my feet about offering customers prints and albums. And I will have more adventures, because those are rad, and I deserve them.
You all know me by now; you know I do not believe the “Universe speaks to us” or anything like that, but goddamn if there isn’t an unprecedented inquiry for a 120 person wedding sitting in my inbox as of 9:30 am Tuesday morning.
So I will open myself to adventure and success this year.
Oh man oh man. Here I go.
Today is the day of my Charity:Water event!
I’m nervous and excited. There’s going to be a photo booth, and if it’s successful, I’m making it part of my business plan. Setting up a photo booth is something I’ve been dreaming about since this March; it’s overdue. Panic over logistics set in yesterday, so I texted my friend Clay who is another smart photographer, and he helped me brain storm it down to a manageable project. Thanks Clay! You seriously saved my behind.
Will I see you there? You still have the opportunity to RSVP on Facebook.
If you can’t make it but you still want to donate, you can PayPal me dollars (theambershow at gmail dot com) and leave me your address. As a thank you, I will write you a poem and put it in the mail. It will be awful, but will probably make you smile anyway.
The details, again:
25 Avenue B (btwn. 2nd and 3rd street)
New York, NY
open bar from 7 – 8pm, $5 suggested donation
drink specials all night
full burger menu
a photo booth that hopefully doesn’t suck
Camp Mighty is in a few weeks. About 150 people are descending upon the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for a few days to talk Life Lists and party. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to soak up some sun and inspiration.
Requirement for my attendance is raising money for Charity:Water. My first thought, of course, was some sort of photography thing I could do, but that sounded less fun than hosting a happy hour in Manhattan, which is exactly what I’m doing. Here are the details:
November 3, 7pm – 11pm
25 Avenue B (btwn. 2nd and 3rd street)
New York, NY
Open bar from 7 – 8
$5 suggested donation.
There will be drink specials all night, and they have a full burger menu, too.
Five bucks for open bar?! You can totally drink more than that in an hour. I think even my teetotaler friends can put more than that away in Diet Cokes.
To raise more dollars for this awesome charity, there will be raffle prizes and a photobooth set up. We’re taking cash, checks and, because the world is awesome and I can swipe a credit card with my iPhone, we’re taking plastic, too.
Hosting a charity event is on my Life List anyway, so this is perfect.
See you there? You can RSVP on Facebook here (preferred) or leave a comment on this post.
If you can’t make it but you’d still like to donate, you can use PayPal to send in a donation (use my email address theAmberShow at gmail). If you leave me your address, I will hand-write a poem just for you and put it in the mail.
If you’re in New York City tonight looking for something to do, you might want to swing by the Cupcakes and Dates Charity auction hosted by a few of my lovely friends. They’re auctioning off dates with bachelors and bachelorettes to the highest bidder, and all the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.
You can also bid on ME! The winning bidder’s “date” will be a one hour photoshoot package. (although if you bid big, I might throw in a little something extra. No promises… but I totally don’t have a gag reflex. What? It’s for charity.)
There will be a bake sale element, too, and trust me – I know some of the people who are baking for it, and they turn out some quality goods.
If you want to go but you don’t know anyone, text me at 424-226-2378 to say that you’re coming and Rob and I will meet you out front so you don’t even have to walk in solo. We will hang out for the evening, ok?
“Cupcakes & Dates” charity event
932 2nd Avenue (corner of 50th & 2nd Ave)
“…in between grabbing piles of tomato and throwing them at each other and throwing them at others and squashing them on peoples heads he kept kissing me.”
My friend Val is traveling Europe and met a sexy boy in the middle of La Tomatia, the world’s largest tomato fight.
When I was a kid, I got exasperated and asked my (African-American) father why all the black people on TV talked “black” even though none of our relatives did. He didn’t know – no one seems to – and I have a gut feeling that 20 years from now people are going to watch these commercials and shake their heads at how racist they are.
Someone made this barely exaggerated parody of “black people in a McDonalds commercial”, and I did the laugh-so-hard-you-can’t-breathe thing, and now Patrice and I can’t stop quoting it at each other and giggling.
p.s. here is the mango pineapple smoothie commercial referenced in the video.
After a few friends read my list of 25 things I plan on doing this summer, there was an outcry of “I want to make friendship bracelets with you!” So I threw a party to do just that. Admission was one skein of embroidery thread, and we started off by undoing them and wrapping them around clothespins to keep them neat.
Most folks grabbed a dvd off of the shelf and started braiding on it, which works well. A few people opted for the safety pin method.
Someone showed up with a mess of emboridery thread from her childhood, and Johanna here decided she could untangle it.
We have, I think, the smallest living room in the world, and I have no idea how everyone fit. They just… did.
Patrice has no idea, either.
And the results!
This was a super fun and really inexpensive party idea. I’m already scheming my next one!
Photo by G.
Nicole, G. and I “met” in 2007 on Flickr, but I never met Nicole face-to-face until last week, when G. and I helped her with her fun photo project, shamelessly laying all over the floor in Grand Central Terminal to get good shots of Nicole’s feet and traveling suitcase. It’s fun to be a tiny bit silly in a group of fellow photographers. Then we went to Waldy Malouf’s Beacon for dinner; the trout was ace, the company was better. I told Nicole there was literally nowhere else I would rather be that evening than running around with my two photo-crazy gal pals, drinking champagne and splitting souffles (Plural. Two. It was girls’ night. No one should have to decide between bourbon caramel and double chocolate souffle.)
Oh, internet. You give me such fun friends.
“True Stories, Boldy Told”
I started listening to Risk! after meeting the host, Kevin Allison, at an event. “I know your podcast,” I said, “because my husband made me listen to an episode, and I was sooooo uncomfortable! It’s inappropriate!” He laughed and said, “You will NOT like the story I’m about to tell tonight, then.” He then got on stage and told the tale of meeting a heavily-accented Asian man at a club and having awkward sex with him which he descibed in detail while I slid down in my seat and covered my face with my hands.
I’m kind of a prude.
On the podcast, Kevin usually tells one of his own stories in the hour-long broadcast, and notable comedians and story-tellers (and sometimes every day folks, too, from all walks of life) tell stories, too; stories that they swore they’d never tell. Stories that are awkward and embarrassing: think pooping your pants on a date or drug-induced hijinks in the 90′s. I refuse to listen to it with anyone else in the car, and have to be careful while listening on the subway: I tend to bust out laughing to myself, making me look like a crazy person. If you’re like me, though, and you love the stories of other people, this is for you.
Pay the $2 and get the full version; it’s worth it. Fruit comes flying up from the bottom of the screen and you have to use your samurai sword (your index finger!) to slice it before it falls to the bottom. There’s a magic formula to an iPhone game that makes it good: Quality graphics, simple premise, challenging game play. This game has it all.
I know, everyone is obsessed with Angry Birds, but I’m more partial to the squat little chicken with wings too tiny to fly. The game is sweet: you touch the screen to wake him up, and when time is up, the sun goes down and he falls asleep again. Gameplay is a little tricky to master: the ground is a series of islands covered in dips. Since the bird can’t fly, he has to use gravity to be mobile. You touch the screen to fold his wings and make him heavy to slide down one side of a dip, and lift to make him light so he goes flinging forward. It takes a little practice to get the timing down, and then the obsessing begins! You start with a series of three objectives, and when you complete them, you get three more. Each set is a score multiplier, making it a constant challenge. Also fun: the design changes every 24 hours, so you want to check in every day to see what wonderful combination of colors, hills and coins the designers have in store.
A few weeks ago, we randomly acquired a 10 oz. tub of wet dog food – stuff we would never feed the dogs normally because it’s full of chemicals and weird by-products.
Gross, right? It smells even worse.
I felt bad chucking it, though, and since it was only ONE tub, and I knew they would love the crap out of this gooey, smelly stuff, I decided to make it a treat. I portioned out it out into small plastic cups and put it in the freezer. When the temperature outside got really hot, I passed them out. Dog popsicles!
When I went to take her photo, Leeloo grabbed her popcicle and started running!
It’s ok, girl. I really, really don’t want to share.