Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Belle The Cat Annual Report 2008

Two-thousand eight was a transitional year. In January I worked on a number of projects for Mentor Graphics including press releases regarding a project between Mentor and its competitor Cadence. Although I did not write this release I did insure that all approvals were received in time for coordinated release over the wire.

I continued my volunteer work for the Portland Japanese Animation group “Kumoricon” (kumori means “cloudy” in Japanese). In past years I have worked as their Live Charity Auction Manager, Publicity Outreach (“Street Team”) Leader and this year took on the title of Industry Relations Manager as well as Charity Auction Adviser. I worked four major events for Kumorion – Mochi Fest in January, the February Masquerade, May’s Kumoricon-lite event at Portland State University (support only) and the actual three day event in September. At a rough estimate, I got over $55,000 in-kind donations from over 12 different businesses for 2008.

In February I participated in the release of Mentor Graphics Fiscal Forth Quarter Results insuring the timely and accurate posting of the earnings information on Mentor’s website as well as to the wire. I also worked on media kits for a number of product launches. I started preliminary planning for the Design Automation Conference event, including sending the “save the date” to all invited parties and kept track of the responses.

In March I oversaw the creation of more media kits. I also helped with the dissemination of Mentor’s publication, the EDA Tech Forum Journal as this project was transitioning from one publishing house to another.

In April I worked at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose California, meeting with editors and analysts regarding our newest embedded software products. I also wrote a press release about and attended the Mentor Graphics Children’s Development Center’s Art Show. I reported coverage for quarterly recording.

In May, for personal reasons, I decided to move back to Wisconsin. I worked on a number of press releases and put together a clippings book of coverage and managed the RSVP list for a Science Dinner event.

It was at this time that Cadence decided to make a “hostile” bid to take over Mentor. I volunteered to work as a telecommuter until the takeover was successful, defeated or withdrawn. My significant other and I decided to travel across the country in a 1978 Dodge RV and set up our new home in Prairie du Chien Wisconsin. He left ahead of me to find employment and I stayed behind and held a rummage sale.

At the end of June we left. The journey was short – only about 5 days – but it was treacherous and uncomfortable. In Idaho it was 107 degrees. The RV kept threatening to overheat or die. We were all very happy when we arrive in one piece.

July was my time to enter back into the wonders of summer in Wisconsin. This included visiting the Crawford county fair, the Kickapoo Country Fair and going to the Prairie Dog Blues Fest. I also continued to work for Mentor and set up my home office to do just that. I updated the procedure book making sure there were instructions for all of the duties I took care of. I reported our Q2 coverage. I also was still volunteering for Kcon and corresponding with companies to get prizes donated.

In August I remotely worked on Mentor’s earnings release, and was as surprised as anyone when Cadence pulled their offer to buy us only days before hand! Other summer outings continued on the weekends, such as going to the LaCrosse Irish Fest and visiting Milwaukee with Donnie.

In September I returned to Portland to learn that yes, my contract was being terminated on October 31. I worked at Kumoricon which went very well. We had 4470 attendees (vs. 3003 in 2007) and our charity auction made $4550 which was almost double what we did in 2007. Back in Wisconsin I journeyed to the Carriage Classic Horse Show as well as going to see They Might Be Giants in Minneapolis. I also went to Octoberfest in LaCrosse with friends and family. Donnie, his parents and I also went picking apples. I attended one last Mentor event for John Deere. I also completed my clip books regarding Cadence’s failed attempt to take over Mentor as well as working on another science dinner, more editorial meetings, press releases and press kits.

Donnie had worked for quite some time on a fat tire Schwinn bike we had discovered in a friends barn. It was to be a replacement for the one that was stolen from me in Portland (it had been my Mom’s in college). What started out as a rusty pile of metal and wilted rubber covered in bird droppings became my new green machine!



In October, I finished up my duties for Mentor including training in my replacement. I reported our Q3 clips, worked on press releases and a launch, the U2U RSVP list and the Higher Education release. Donnie and I visited Cleveland for a pre-Halloween party and I went to Boo at the Zoo.


In November Donnie and I invited our parents out to Happy Joe’s Pizzeria to tell them that we planned to get married at some point. I received a goat ring. I also got a Nintendo DS! We went to see Donnie’s old band mates play at the Acoustic CafĂ© and I worked as an Election Poll volunteer for election day. I updated my site, applied to jobs and job sites, polished my resume and also worked on pitching articles to local magazines and newspapers. I also went to the Career Services department at the UW Madison and have been corresponding with them on a regular basis. We went to a local chili cook-off and split Thanksgiving between our families, the Trempealeau Hotel and our friend in the Cities.

Finally it was December. For Donnie’s birthday we went out to lunch together. I was in a Christmas parade with my aunt and her boyfriend’s horses. I got to dress as an elf and ride with Santa! I made a lot of my presents this year. We went to the Prairie night time holiday parade and the pub crawl that followed. Each bar downtown had a signature drink that we got to taste and vote on. I went to a local business fair and won a drawing for a gift basket. I also went to my parent’s house and cleaned for them, earning an 11 lb chicken and a dozen eggs, among other things, as payment. I continued to job hunt and talked with a number of people about possibilities. I joined and submitted a story for a contest. We had to, of course, attend the Carp Drop for New Year’s in Prairie.

And now it’s 2009. The Chinese year of the boar. Numerology states it is a 2. 2 = Balance. Union. Receptive. Yin. Wheras 2008 was a 1. 1 = Individual. Aggressor. Yang.

Hope it’s a good sign!

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