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Thursday, March 31

I keep telling myself that I don't really need my cell phone, but I know it's not true (which is why I continue to pay for it). I know I had my phone at some point while driving home last night, and by the time I got into my apartment, it had disappeared. Which you'd think would make the finding easy, right? Yeah, whatever. It's still MIA and I'm starting to get antsy.

So if you've called my cell and I haven't responded, don't take it personally. It's not you. It's not me either. It's the phone's fault.

Btw, I've had the Famous' Light, Sweet Crude for more than a month now and I LOVE IT more every time I hear it. They're fun live and you should go see them.

And beware people sporting new specs. Their depth perception is all wrong. I hit bumped a planter this morning trying to get out of my parking spot. I have to watch my feet every time I approach stairs or a curb to make sure that the lead foot hits the right spot and I don't end up flat on my face ('cause that would scratch the new glasses).

I hope to eventually stop asking everyone's opinion on them. I hope also to get used to the lack of peripheral vision. I'm told it will happen soon. Can I fast forward to that point now?

Wednesday, March 30

New glasses:



Every day, just trying to look more like my avatar.

Monday, March 28

Just trying to publish ...

How many 5 year-olds..... [via Jon]

Just when you thought I would never change the time on my car stereo, it turns out that I don't need to! I managed to wait out the 6 months and next Sunday at about 1 or 2 a.m. I'll be back on schedule. Procrastination isn't always a bad thing, you know.

In other news, is Kevin looking either saintly or penintent here?

Sunday, March 27

Spell with Flickr


BnO parkingoeb neonO_02nO parkingLIBlue Na



[via Erica]

I haven't spent an evening at home since the 10th, and it's starting to get to me. I've already made plans to go out a few times this week coming up, but I think all other plans will have to wait until I can at least get my dishes done (and laundry, and bills, maybe even a few more boxes unpacked). And maybe some more sleep.

In other news, the Lake Park post office is the most customer-unfriendly post office I've ever been to. I have tried and been turned away 3 times now while attempting to get a post office box. First because they stop taking applications at 3 p.m., then because I didn't have enough identification, and today because it turns out that they don't take applications at all on weekends. The woman who helped me on the first trip actually told me that I could take care of it on the weekend, and no one contradicted her on the second trip, so the third trip came as quite a surprise. Argh.

The bullet-proof glass doesn't improve the experience.

I drove into the City tonight, expecting to meet up with some friends, but no one was answering their phone, so I drove around for a bit and came back home. Except for my 5-hour nap and the farmer's market this morning, today has been somewhat of a wash.

Here's hoping Easter brunch and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence turn this weekend around.

Friday, March 25

The next O'Reilly bestseller: Scrotum Hacks. What do you think should be on the cover?

Thursday, March 24

Andrea's site is one to visit very regularly. Not only for the photos, but for the reflections - not just your average water anymore is a great example. Makes me want to write self-affirming statements on myself, since I'm pretty sure that no one else sees me through as dark a lens as I do. And trust me, no one thinks bad things about you either. And if they do, it's just because they don't know how super you really are.

ps
another post of hers that I bookmarked a while ago: Obsession

Droogle: "Droogle is a site dedicated to helping you make the most out of your alcoholic ingredients at home. We've assembled a powerful search engine to help deliver the most accurate drink recipes quickly and easily."

That's awesome! [via Amanda]

Wednesday, March 23

Happy birthday, Lucia!!! You're sweet, your friends are sweet, and boy was that cake sweet.

I've decided that I don't like my glasses enough that I'll start wearing my contacts every day. This means that I squint at the computer a lot more, but it sure makes walking in the rain a whole lot easier, since I can now see where I'm going. It also means that when I don't get enough sleep and I experience the usual difficulty in getting the damn things in my eyes in the morning, I come into work looking like I've coming off a 3-day bender.

That, and the morning DJs reading emails from people weighing in with their experiences of having to make the decision to take their loved ones off life support ... well, my eyes are red and puffy. So attractive!

The day is full of meetings. Not anticipating getting much work done. Yay!

Sunday, March 20

I have learned that the only way to currently get blogger to publish my site is to use the google toolbar blog functionality. Somehow, it ignores that I have over 500 posts on my site when I publish from here.

I am Home this weekend. I beat the storm by about 12 hours, which unfortunately meant that the 20+ people here for my parents' St. Pat's Day dinner were trapped inside the house for the duration of the event while the patios outside flooded in the sudden downpour. It was all good though. We were well-stocked with all the Irish liquor that we could find, which made everyone happier and better able to get along with one another. All is damp now, and the moon is peaking through the clouds. The food was great. I was supposed to bring back a report on the exact nature of corned beef, but even my mom and grandma, who have been making it for years and years and years, couldn't really tell me what makes beef into corned beef. The only thing we could really agree on was that it was really really good.

I also spent some quality time with my favorite 4 month-old, and we did silly things to her and took pictures. I'll have them up soon after I get back.

And my brother is selling is 2000 Integra and I'm going back and forth as to whether I want to buy it from him. Hmmm. He promises he'll un-lower it for me if I decide to take it.

In other news, I'm feeling kind of antsy since Austin. I am still tired from the rockstar partying, and yet I can't seem to settle down. I don't go to sxsw for professional reasons, or even to learn how to do this hobby of mine better. I go to spend time with friends, and make new friends - now I'm all anxious that we've all gone home and it's like it never happened (till next year, when we're reminiscing).

Ack, I don't know what I want to say here. I've rewritten that last paragraph 5 times now and look! It's 12:30 a.m.! Off to bed - I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Friday, March 18

PS: pardon the narcissism, but this is the best picture of me EVER. Thanks, Jay.

Thursday, March 17

For later, when I am called upon to remind someone of something:

Friend: i am still actually resolved not to date [object of lust]
Friend: b/c i don't know [object of lust] well enough. if we start hanging out more as friends, then after 3 months i would think about it
Friend: (famous last words)
Friend: (remind me of them)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I have this insidious fear that if I don't chronicle what I did in Austin, I will forget (never mind the pictures - my batteries kept crapping out and I didn't take nearly as many as I would have liked). Please let me know if I've gotten anything wrong, as I am having a really hard time remembering the chronology of events. I will add to this as it comes to me.

Friday:
Arrived as scheduled, was allowed to check into my room even though it wasn't in my name. It's amazing what you can do with a credit card. Went to dinner with Bryan, Lyn and M-D, and then proceeded to Break Bread Beer with Brad at the Ginger Man. Met up with lots more people there. I quit early, went to bed (see post about getting only 3 hours of sleep the night before).

Saturday:
To panel or not to panel, that was the question. We managed to make it to breakfast before they closed the doors at 10, then headed over to Kick! Good thing I had checked the weather, since it was HOT and SUNNY and we didn't want a repeat of 2002's sunburn debacle. MJ, Katie, Leia and I went from professional cheerleaders to professional hecklers in no time, finding it much more fun to come up with geeky put-downs than anything else.

We had lunch at Serranos. Very very good restaurant, with a very sweet outdoor patio. And then, since this is the Year of the Sheep and I basically did what everyone else was doing, I went to some panels: the Blogs and Blockades panel was very interesting. I had no idea the restrictions put on bloggers in China, nor how strong the online community is in Iran. Then I headed over to the Explodingdog panel, which was really just a review of the guy's professional life. We left when he started drawing. Dinner was at PF Chang's Guerreros El Sol Y La Luna, followed by Paradise (the New Omni).

This night ended at Senor Dan's Sweet Suite at the Hilton, as it did every subsequent night.

Sunday:
Again, up barely in time for breakfast. I think I went to breakfast again later on with Ruaraidh, Tina, Roger and Connie. I felt a lot better after the second breakfast (yay IHOP!). I then met up with everyone to go to see the Malcolm Gladwell keynote, which I found very entertaining. Katie and Leia and I had a yearning for ice cream, but they opted for naps instead, so I roamed the streets till I found a corner store where I satisfied my craving with a Crunch ice cream bar. Not nearly as good as Amy's, I'm sure, but I was told that was too far to walk, so I stayed close.

Got back to the hotel in time to change and meet up with everyone for dinner at Mekong River, where the appetizers are so-so, but the dinners are pretty good. Then we headed over to the Red Eyed Fly for Fray Cafe 5, where the theme turned out to be goats and shotguns and straws up noses. It was great fun.

I think we went to Paradise again, followed by Dan's Sweet Suite. Got to bed at 3:45 that evening, a whole 15 minutes earlier than the evening before.

Monday:
I grabbed a bagel and a sip of milk before heading over to Dinah's panel this morning, How to make haste slowly. One of the better panels, as usual. She's a great moderator and her panelists are always smart and good speakers. And they allow for questions at the end. Then we waited around for the Bloggies, where hearty a**fucks, bashing Ernie (good-naturedly, of course) and a winning Dooce were the themes.

We spent the rest of the conference wondering where the women of web design were hiding themselves.

We skipped dinner altogether and headed over to 20x2, where the question was What's the Word?. Always fun to see what people can come up with for a two-minute presentation. After a bit of socializing, we headed over to The Bitter End, at which point I realized I had left my credit card at Tambaleo.

Finished the evening at Paradise and DSS.

Tuesday:

Missed breakfast altogether. Slept in a little, then packed up, as we had to check out of the room that day. Had lunch at W3 (wings place) and then headed over for the final keynote, Alex Steffen and Bruce Sterling. I'm still not quite sure what the fuss was all about, but I haven't read any of their books, so perhaps that's why I'm lost. But I have been thinking a lot about how to use less stuff.

Christine, Katie, Amanda and Leia and I then headed over to Tesoros, where I spent money I didn't have and we all got finger puppets. Afterward, Esin let us dress in her room (no hotel room of our own, remember?), and we all found rides to Kevin's Big Dinner (50+ people and really rare steak!!) and Bruce Sterling's Party (free beer! mirror shots! stupid back porch club!) and Ben Brown's House (sorry, Ben, didn't realize we hadn't been invited). Finished the evening off at Katz's Deli (no fries with my grilled cheese sandwich? wtf?) and then (predictably) DSS, where we were priviledged to watch the Kevin "I can perfectly imitate my Jewish aunt" Smokler/ Min Jung "I can channel my father like no one else" Kim stereotype match. I hope we get a repeat at future parties.

By this point, I realized that my flight took off at 9 a.m., and it was already 4, so why sleep? I'd only feel worse when I tried to wake up and get to the airport. So I just stayed up. This was a good plan, till about 5:30, when my eyes crossed and I couldn't seem to straighten them out. I kept falling asleep. I felt narcoleptic. I think I may have said or did some things that weren't appropriate, but I'm hoping those affected will understand and love me for the super person I am (right?).

I arrived home at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the same clothes I donned at about the same time the day before.

And that was SXSWi 2005, where we partied like rock stars and made friends we'll have for years to come (and we can stay with when we travel!). Like summer camp, but without the inhibitions.

Wednesday, March 16

I'm back! I'm exhausted! You know it's a good vacation when you need a vacation from your vacation.

All in all, it was an excellent SxSW this year - I don't know so much about the quality of the conference itself, as I only went to a few panels a day anyway, but the quality of the attendees was superb, as usual. Could you all please move to the Bay area so I could see you more often? I promise I'll invite you to parties and we could go catch a movie/pizza/beer any time. Really. Any time.

Anyway, here are the preliminary pics. I mean, the pics are all there, but commentary will be added when I'm more awake. (If they don't show as html pages yet, just give it a little time - they're still uploading)

Ok, I have bought into the Flickr thing. You can find most of the pics I took in my set, and make comments too.

Friday, March 11

Kids, let this be a lesson to you that procrastinating is a bad thing. Do not wait until the last minute to get things done, or you'll find yourself still awake in the wee hours of the night doing things that are not fun, which sucks when you have to be up in a few hours.

Bags are packed, nails are painted, trash has been taken out ... and I scored a ride to the airport in about 5 hours! I should get some sleep now.

Unless I get lucky and can borrow someone's computer between now and then, I will be out of email/website/IM contact till next Wednesday. I will be glued to my cell phone though, so don't hesitate to call if you feel the need to talk to me. I may even answer!

Thursday, March 10

I still have about 24 minutes left in my work day and all I can think about is how much cleaning I would like to do in my apartment and still have time to pack the exact amount of clothes I will need and paint my nails before going to bed and hopefully getting up in time to find a ride to the airport and get through security and check in for my flight to Austin tomorrow!

I need this vacation.

Wednesday, March 9

In case you were wondering:

I'm flying out from Oakland at 8:02 a.m. on Friday the 11th, getting in to Austin at 3:11 p.m.

I'm not sure how I'm getting from the airport into the city - I may take a cab, I may catch a ride from someone who will accept beer as payment.

I'm staying with Leia at the Hampton. We will have a fridge, and she has added "beer" to her shopping list. I may go get some snacky type food if you want to drop by later on.

My nighttime activities are listed in the Events section over on the right. If I am not there, or you want to find me during the day, call my cell - I am not as brave as Josh, so I am not putting the number here. You can contact me some other way (email? IM?) and I will (most likely) give you the number.

I am leaving on Wednesday the 16th at 9:00 a.m. Again, not sure how I'm getting to the airport, nor at what time. I will arrive in Oakland at 1:47 p.m. (hopefully).

Can't wait!!

Tuesday, March 8

Hey, nominations for the Photobloggies are being taken now. I don't really look at photoblogs much, but I'll be interested to see who makes the finals (a nice, short list of the best, the best way to get acquainted!).

Monday, March 7

I walked the whole way around Lake Merritt this evening ... I have no idea how far it was, but it took over an hour, that's for sure.



I tried to stick to the shoreline, but I kind of cheated towards the end - only because I was tired and hungry. I hadn't planned to go the whole way around the lake when I started out.

And those spots where it looks like I veered off into the water? That's just my ineptness with Photoshop. I didn't actually get wet at all. I also didn't walk through any buildings. Or into the middle of traffic.

And look! I'm #1 for Kristin in the UK!

Sunday, March 6

I can accept that I have to have a phobia. I can even accept that it will get worse as I get older. But why why why do I have to be phobic of something that is so fucking day-to-day common?? Why couldn't I be phobic of something like ... purple Grizzly bears or penguins or something else I would be as unlikely to see all the frickin' time?

I think I handle the debilitating fear extremely well, given the prevalence of the cause of that fear, mostly through mental distraction tactics and denial, but when it happens when I'm driving ... well, that just takes the cake. Given that it happened on my way home this evening, and getting back into my car will require more denial than even I can muster (and it's dark), I'm considering switching to public transit for the rest of my life, starting now.

Friday, March 4

My sister wrote today to tell us that she and her husband are moving back to California from Germany this summer, as he has been reassigned to Fort Irwin. Not having a clue where this might be, I decided to map it and thought I had made a mistake when I saw this. Turns out they're in the middle of the Mohave Desert.

Well, they may be in the middle of BFE, but at least they're in the same state and I might get to visit them more than once every few years. Yay!

In other news, I am exploring the various theaters in my new area, and Jane and I went to the Parkway the other night. Did you know that Wednesdays are 2-for1 nights? That's a pretty much first-run movie for $2.50. Must get there earlier next time, so we can score a couch. And the food was passable too!

And I've entered a whole new stage of clumsiness and absentmindedness - not only do I drop most things I pick up, knock over most things I walk by, and run into all sharp-edged things, but I went to the market late last night to pick up milk for breakfast this morning, and managed to leave it in the bag on the couch all night. I don't even want to know how bad it is, it's going straight into the trash, unopened.