let’s light it up…

3030870582_9f8d023c76_zFor something that is a tremendous part of my life, I don’t talk a lot about my relationship to events. But rest assured, they are there. Sometimes like the telltale heart. Beating.

I live and breathe them. I may not be at conferences, talks, and sessions all day every day but events, their organizers, and their details fill my days and often invade my nights.

Events are my work and I love them. But oddly,  it’s not often I get to lead an event in my own back yard — especially one that has such a special place in my heart.

So when planning started for the inaugural Portland Startup Week, I was absolutely thrilled at the idea of bringing back some of the classics to celebrate the history of and progress within the suddenly vibrant Portland startup scene.

While many of the events focused on what we’re doing in startups, in technology, or in business in general, there was always one unique event that — in my mind— focused more on people. On their passions. On what makes us each unique.

That event? Undoubtedly, Ignite. It’s an amazing, fast paced, and inspirational format.

And uncomfortable, did I mention uncomfortable? Like slow dancing at your first middle school dance uncomfortable.

Not so much for the audience, but for the speaker who is exposing a part of their soul as they give you a glimpse at who they are and what really drives them.

Nothing brings people closer than being awkward — unexpectedly awkward — together. Maybe that’s why middle school dances are so important?

But I digress…

I think this is why Ignite has lived on in Portland (and throughout the world) in so many iterations.

4414489127_1e6aa8b3e2_zI’ve spoken at Ignite. (NOTE: Bonus points for those of you who notice the foreshadowing. HINT: WordPress shoutout!) I’ve embarrassed a reporter by talking abut my cleavage at Ignite. I’ve talked about Ignite on podcasts and on my blog. I’ve even hosted a food drive at Ignite.

But none of that — even talking about how to bluff your way through shit — made me think I was ready to be anything more than a participant.

So I was more than a little proud when given the opportunity to pull one together with some of the most inspiring (and quirkiest) Portland personalities I know.

Who? Well jeez. Hold your horses. I’ll tell you who. We’ve got speakers. They’re like speakers and stuff.

With all this in mind I hope you’ll join me at the Empirical Theater at OMSI Thursday February 5th for a very special Ignite Bridgetown – part of this first Portland Startup Week. Have a beer. Listen to the stories. Connect. See you there?

Photos courtesy of Aaron Hockley, did I mention he’s my co-organizer?

And while I’m mentioning things? Huge thanks to Blaze Streaming Media who will be there to record every moment and OMSI for providing a great place for us to play!

* edited 2/2/15 to reflect change in speakers

my bluff, called…

Last night I: met some great tweople, misidentified 6 people (my bad, sorry), made funny faces at @wajiii then forgot I saw him (doh), didn’t spend any time at all with friends that came to see me (sorry guys), barely saw my husband, watched some great presentations, bruised my feet (but my boots looked great) and felt loved and welcome by a big crowd of people at Ignite Portland 4

Thank you!

Here’s the video shot by Linuxaid (thank you so much for having the videos up SO quickly AJ)

If that’s not enough Cami for you, then swing on over here to see the news story on Ignite.  It’s sure to make you cringe a little…

For those of you interested I’ll get my slides up over the weekend.  I spent almost no time in my bed last night and I’m feeling like it’s nap time.

when we last saw our heroine…

Last time I was at Ignite I was anything but nervous.  No where near knots.  As a matter of fact I was down right chipper to attend the event.  I had a chance to sit back and relax on one of the comfy sofas in the balcony with friends and family and survey the events at hand.

I watched closely each presentation and, as much as I could from the second floor, I observed what went on in between.  What I saw then was what I usually see at Portland Tech events, a lot of love and family and gushy stuff.  Everyone smiling and laughing and being proud.  I was smiley too!  Look at this lovely photo of donpdonp and I at the last Ignite, taken by Aaron Hockley.

If you can’t tell from that photo, I had fun, a ton of it…  But I wasn’t nearly as excited then as I am for Ignite Portland tonight.

It’s going to be awesome… as long as I don’t faint or anything before 7:20 ish when I take the stage.


Tomorrow night I’ll get all fancied up in a little black top and a new black skirt with my big black boots (with 3 inch heels).  I’ll brush out my hair, smear on some lipstick and cross my fingers before I get in my shiny black chariot with my handsome prince and head to the ball.

Maybe ball isn’t the right word.  I think there has to be dancing for it to be a ball…  Perhaps I should call it a gala?  Yes, I think that’s much better, what with the lack of dancing and ball gowns.

Once there I will fidget nervously, drink, pace, smile and nod and then, when the moment comes, take the stage at Ignite Portland for 5 minutes (and 20 slides).  Hopefully as I stand on stage with the light from the projector shining in my eyes I’ll speak clearly and not spill any embarrassing childhood secrets but I can’t make any promises.

I’m in great company that night and looking forward to all the other speakers, but let me give a little love to a few in particular:  Betsy Richter, Melissa Lion, Katherine Gray, Amber Case and Rabbi David Kominsky are all giving talks that I’m thrilled to have a chance to watch live and in person.

If you’re there Thursday night make sure to say hi, oh and don’t be afraid to hoot and holler for us… we all appreciate a little bit of love.

stick it… thursday morning edition

Once again this isn’t the piece I was hoping to post…

I was out late with the fabulous Mr. Kaos, the indescribable Mr. Burrows and the heart stopping MissBurrows… We went to Ignite Portland 3, had a blast, met some wonderful people and then had Cuban food…

Good times.

So what can I say? What can I do to make up to you my sad and horrible lack of blog for today?

The First 10 people to comment get a brand new beautiful Strange Love sticker…

(if I don’t have your address you’ll have to send it to me)

***Edited to Add***

First and foremost I was completely remiss in not pointing out that the Cuban place we went to was Pambiche which the lovely Martin Kelly introduced Mr. Kaos and I to. I told our dinner companions that 16 trillion times but neglected to give him his due here on the internet… and like a good friend he yelled loudly about it!

Next a big ol HELLO to all the lovelies I met last night, a big IT WAS GREAT TO SEE YOU to those of you I’d met before and a NEXT TIME, I HOPE to those of you who I missed.

And Jo Beaufoix, even though you’re half a world away, you were with us last night in spirit when Craig from toonlet mentioned that you’d made a kid that looked like CamiKaos

I had such a great time at #ip3 that I could barely contain myself. Thanks to all the great people who worked so hard to bring it to us…

And now I’m considering a nap. xoxo

early to bed…

I’m working on a very long post…

But it totally isn’t ready yet. It’s taking a lot of thought, consideration, music, a nice glass of wine… you know… I need to seduce the post. Get it in my good graces. Get it to do all the work for me and then maybe climb into bed with me…

But the post and I? We aren’t quite there yet. We’re taking our time. Getting to know each other. Making sure we’re a good fit, this post and I. I don’t want to rush into things…

So instead of finishing that post I’m going to go to bed early and get my beauty sleep so I can be my bright and snarky self at Ignite 3. There’s A lot of information I’ll have to retain. A lot of people to say hello to. And then there’s the fact that I’m going with MissBurrows so I’ll probably have to spend most of the evening trying to get her to stop touching me…