Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moving to my own domain

The title implies several different meanings to me today.

But essentially, this post is to alert you that I now have my own domain, www.kathybisbee.com, where I've moved my blog.
I'll keep this one up, but you can now find my archives and my newest posts at:

my new blog site.

It's been fun here at blogger.com, but I like the flexibility and functions offered by Word Press.

-K

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Courage, dear one

Mark Twain has said, "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it."

I've never seemed to lack courage to help other people. Issues, causes, people. It was easy to see that action needed to be taken and be an advocate for something I believed in.

But making changes in my own life has taken me much greater courage. We all get too comfortable sometimes and stop growing. I've been looking back at all the things I have overcome in my life and how much I've grown. I took some risks, allowed myself to be very vulnerable and in the process, I gained greater courage. I am still afraid of change at times. I still fear what I do not know. I sometimes worry about what will be.

Every day I remind myself to let go and let the Universe run the show. I have so much more to learn. Ongoing. For eternity. But I walk with courage, my head held high. I'm looking forward to opportunities to grow. These days, the light at the end of the tunnel has begun to shine with great brillance.

One reason I'm blogging about this is I have met many people of courage in the past two weeks...my girlfriends who are moms, juggling identity, ego, lack of sleep, love and motherhood...my dad following his dream, the activists I've met who are fighting for change here and all over the world. I'm modeling my moments after their good examples and find myself inspired by their life stories as they unfold before us.

Confession: The real reason I haven't blogged for over a week is that I discovered www.ourstory.com. It's amazing site where you can tell your digital stories and share them with friends. Easier than blogging, but similiar, you can add photos, video, tell your stories easily with timelines and private groups for friends, family or special projects. I'm going to set up one for my girlfriends and family to share more than they can in my blog comments or in email or elsewhere online. In the meantime, my stories there are public and you can check them out and post your own stories!

Very cool tool. Speaking of cool tools. Here's our new marketing campaign. It's been very fun to work on. It's still in teaser-mode, but we launch phase two of the campaign on Oct. 4th and tell you just who the "tweegles" are!

-K

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Craigslist Non-Profit Boot Camp

Why is it that the term "bootcamp" is being used for just about every workshop I've seen lately? It's definitely a meme in current circulation.

I'm in Berkeley, CA for a whirlwind day of networking with like-minded activists, non-profit administrators, technology people and generally amazing people doing great work to create social change, set up by the Craigslist Foundation.

I'm definitely on comfortable home turf here.

I'm mostly here because I serve on the board of the Santa Cruz Film Festival and we want to build our organzation. We're planning our own "bootcamp" for the Fest all about creating independent media and helping people tell their stories. It's also been great finding folks who are interested in the same kinds of social change mechanisms I am, like digital storytelling as a tool for creating understanding and breaking down walls, art as revolution and social networks for a more participatory democracy.

Here's some cool links I found today at the workshops. Their URL's are fairly self-explanatory. I visited them all and found them interesting. I'll write more later on some tips & tricks for non-profits.

Here's the WIKI for folks to post their notes from the day's events.

Smart Meme has useful worksheets on creating and sharing progessive stories
www.sourcewatch.org
www.grassrootsfundraising.org
www.democracyinaction.org
volunteerforchange.org
www.goodstorm.com
Community Change.org
CRM Tool for non-profits
Vtiger CRM/blog tool for non-profits
One Northwest.org
Radical Designs does tech apps/maps for non-profits
Aspiration Tech works with Radical Designs and did a great program on e-advocacy
cMarket does online auctions, but so does Shopsite, an inexpensive ecommerce program I have taught classes about and used for small business consulting.

A few others:

This guy Peter has a veggie bus that he shuttles people around in and will soon be a "pop", as he informed me that he and his wife were seven months pregnant. (he offered this up when I told him I worked for a "mom-n-pop")

Social Marketing Blog
Social Marketing Ideas for non-profits
Net Squared, a Tech Soup project, "remixes the Web for Social Change"

Wow. People are doing some amazing things in the world. Sunday at Solfest proved equally inspiring.

Time to get out and do something to create change. Anything.

Next post: what I am inspired to do...big and small.

-Kathy

Monday, August 14, 2006

The gratitude continues...



My mom sent me these photos today. I'm feeling particularly close to her especially at this moment. It's nice. I look like her in this picture, don't you think?

I'm 3+ years old when this was taken in Virginia Beach. A cold summer, no doubt. Lucky for me, many many years later, I'm enjoying a beautiful summer in Santa Cruz.

What I'm grateful for (and I feel like I've been saying this a lot):

-a sweet, loving and handsome husband
-really great friends & deep, meaningful, long-lasting friendships with men and women
-a home in a beautiful spot of paradise (with cats I actually have grown to like, even tho' I'm a dog person)
-a strong connection with my family and ancestors
-passion and interests that keep me fired up
-an education that keeps expanding
-a job I enjoy
-opportunities every day to grow and learn
-Wallace Stegner's books
-live music and digital storytelling
-organic food, beaches, redwoods and the smell of salty water when the fog rolls in...

Me & Mom at Gettysburg


Enough of this. I'm trying to keep my posts shorter due to some advice I saw on a blog better than mine.

Special thoughts and prayers tonight to my dear friend David. May Ranger & Jake run together in the great woods of the sky.

-K


"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mendocino & Home

Alec and I took off for Caspar, CA this weekend for some shows and to hang with our friends, Lindsey and Sean. Lots of good laughs with them and much fun!

Camped by the ocean, got very little sleep but had yummy breakfasts, made s'mores at sunset with good folks around a campfire, did a few peaceful hours with Alec kayaking on the Big River through the woods and saw some good Butter shows.

I really am grateful for this summer. I've had some lovely weekends with friends and "family".

This was the view from the Mendocino Headlands, where we walked for a bit. Next time we'll take the kayak out on the ocean too.


Today we were at Hidden Villa in Los Altos. I worked the merch table...I love talking to people and engaging them. Just like tabling back in the day...I learn a lot asking questions and sharing what I know with them. Here's a few shots from the day.

I cracked up when I saw Kyle, Chris and Arin demonstrating how I dance. I'll post that video later this week It's pretty darn funny. I'll miss those kids! We had a great time last night playing cribbage during the set break.





Now, things shift a little more to the homefront. I'm turning my focus on graduate school goals for this year and putting some time into my Santa Cruz world. I feel like I've been out of town most of the summer and been able to reconnect with a lot of folks.

I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine and settling into late summer in Santa Cruz!

-K

Thursday, August 03, 2006

No War on the people of CUBA!

Che Guevara once said," I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves."



Unless you're the U.S. government.

It seems the U.S. is once again prepared to spend millions ($80 million!) to pay off "dissidents" in Cuba...towards the goal of a renewed war on Cuba. The long-anticipated end of the 45-year long divorce-that-went-bad between our government and Fidel Castro seems to be near...with Fidel's recent hospitalization and handing over of power to his brother, Raul.

Why does a democratic movement need for the U. S govt. to pay people to become dissidents? It's more about the U.S. gaining control over the island. This has been going on since 1898 since Cuba has long been a strategic military location in the Carribean.

I keep thinking about Hiltons and McDonalds along the Malecon. sigh. So much for the preservation of the incredible and unique culture, political struggle and resolve of Cuba. Tho' I have faith in the people of Cuba. Los Cubanos son muy fuerte!

George Bush and his administration are ready to move in on Cuba in the event of Fidel's demise. I find it unbelievable (tho' not surprising) that the US media is continuing to propagate the old lies about Cuba. I read reports this week that said there is "no freedom of religion" and "no elections at all" in Cuba or that "people can't say anything bad about Fidel in public". I have video footage exactly to the contrary of these lies spread by U.S. interests.

To read about my experiences in Cuba, check out my Web site here



Colbert's hilarious video about this week's events

I collected some links and other folks' opinions below. Let me know what you think!
Hasta la victoria siempre!

-K

In a statement released today, Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) said the following: “Should Fidel Castro ultimately be unable to continue to lead Cuba, we must leave the transition to the Cubans… The Cubans themselves must make decisions about their future, free of threats and intervention from abroad.”

--Conservative Peggy Noonan, former speech writer for Ronald Reagan, in the Wall Street Journal:

“Use the change of facts to announce a change of course. Declare the old way over. Declare a new U.S.-Cuban relationship, blow open the doors of commerce and human interaction, allow American investment and tourism, mix it up, reach out one by one and person by person to the people of Cuba.”

--Oswaldo Paya, a leading political dissident in Cuba, in an interview with Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald:

“We're in a very complex, very tense situation. The U.S. message should be to ratify that there is no such thing as a U.S. threat on Cuba, that there is no intention to intervene. It should say, ‘Look, the Cuban process must be defined exclusively by the Cuban people.’”

--The Los Angeles Times editorial board:

“The administration should lift the travel ban (which is, regardless of what one thinks of Cuba, an unjustifiable restraint on the freedom of U.S. citizens). Restrictions on remittances back to the island also should be lifted, as should any limitations on agricultural trade.”

--Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) in the Boston Globe:

“The administration, while pretending to prepare for dealings with Cuba after Castro is gone, only confirms that this government does not have the contacts, the intelligence, or the relationships with key actors who will shape Cuba's immediate future… Those nations that have cultivated relationships across the Cuban spectrum will most likely play important roles in shaping a post-Castro society. The United States, unfortunately, with its transition-to-nowhere road map, is poised to remain on the sidelines.”

--Sarah Stephens, Freedom to Travel Campaign director, in the Huffington Post:

“Fifty years of regime change schemes and bullying has got us nowhere with Fidel’s Cuba. The Cuba that will emerge after Fidel deserves to see the better side of the US, and now is the time to show it.”



U.S. Links & Opinions on Cuba:

Transition to Nowhere" by US Representative Jim McGovern, Third District of Massachusetts
Cuba Central --good source for updates about Cuba and lifting the travel ban
"Real Life" in Cuba Web site
Latin American Working Group
Cuba solidarity
Pastors for Peace

Official Cuban Sites:
Granma, the official Cuban newspaper
Radio Habana

Sunday, July 30, 2006

California on Fire

It's Sunday evening and we have had a 15-hour drive today from the Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington to San Francisco. As we drove past Mt. Shasta, thick smoke filled the air. Apparently, fires are raging all over northen CA near the Oregon border.

It's just good to be heading home, smoky mountains and all.

The Adventure Bluegrass Festival was great...a weekend in a beautiful place, time to ride a bike, hang out and catch up with Tim and Jill and Riley, swim at the same spot a few times, pick blackberries, listen to folks play traditional music at their camps, hear some great live bluegrass on stage, get solid interviews and dance my butt off during the last set of this little tour. Very good show. Late night swimming in the river, hot tubbing and early morning music...a peaceful and restful ending to the trip here.



With Tim, Jill and Riley this weekend. Riley (age four) said the funniest thing. As I was pulling him around in his wagon, he asked where my "van" was (his parents have a VW van). When I told him I was staying in the bus where the band lives, he said, "So, you get to have a sleepover everynight with the band?" Then, he referred to me as "Kathy, she sleeps with the band." So cute, while completely inaccurate, of course!



Below: McCall, Idaho, taking a dip in the lake with Erik and Nat. I love swimming in rivers and lakes. I tried to do so every day of the this trip, but I only made seven of nine days! :-) Some were cold, others just right. All were refeshing and good for my soul, especially with the view of the mountains right before me.



And, back in Montana, a pretty shot of Gallatin Canyon, where I spent four wonderful days with Margot, Bill and Baby T.



And here's me with my dear friend, David, who I hadn't seen for seven years. He and I arranged a rendez-vous on the 84 near the Idaho-Oregon border. He was headed to the Northern Cascades for a backpacking trip. At 3 am on Friday am, we drove together for an hour, then crashed out a truck stop. At seven am, the next driver, Aaron, got up and I spent another 100 miles with David. Not enough time, for certain. Nonetheless, it's the connection that we have that brought us together again. He's inspiring to me and is such a good friend. I'm glad we're back in one another's lives. Again.



This journey has been a reflective one for me. Building upon the themes in my "transits of Saturn" entry, I'm feeling my limitations, redefining my friendships, considering my purpose and goals for the next years and how I want to spend my energy, especially those of special projects, like HBR, SCFF and grad school.

There's so much I want to do, and I am fortunate to have a lot of inherent energy. But I have such limited time and energy to really focus and get good at the things I need to complete and master. I need to continue to learn to go inward more.

Right now, I'm tired, it's been a long trip, and there's still some work to do here on the bus during the six more hours left with the band. Tomorrow, it's back to Santa Cruz and my life as I know it.

-K