Hi. Don't hate me because I'm in Maui. 2001
It's lovely here. Ahhhh.... warm, humid, wonderful local folk.
I haven't touched a computer since last week on Wednesday. Mmmmm.....
I do miss you, my web-headed pals. I am, even in beautiful Hawaii, looking forward to SxSW.
I'd write more, but I'm paying by the minute - only 15cents though, such a deal, thank you Maui Swiss Cafe in Lahaina - and this keyboard is way up high & will make my shoulders feel funny. Oh, hell, I'll write more. Here are the highlights:
Day 1: early evening midweek flight on American, not full, special meals edible - Recommended
arrive very late, crash at plain, but clean Hawaiian-owned Maui Seaside hotel in Kapahuli, stay up late like ninnies watching a fascinating show about Abe & Mary Lincoln - Recommended
If starving, the Safeway is still open and is eerily just like home except they have more varieties of spam.
Day 2: pickles & tunafish from the can for breakfast - seemed good at the time...
Drive to Iao Valley & walk up hill to admire view, then back down through lower trail - very beautiful, not to be missed
Lunch at Kaokaka or Kakakao or something like that in [the mall in Kapului with the big white sailcloth pieces on top] - decent & cheap. 5 spice chicken recommended
I bought a great hat at that mall too. Very cute. I'll have pictures for you when I get home.
Slow mosying drive out to Paia where I got grape shave ice & sat on the beach - oh yeah - and we shopped for everything we needed at the wonderful natural food store, Mana.This is a great (albeit funky) town! - highly recommended.
And then, and then, we arrived at the amazing rental vacation home in Huelo. Just astounding. wow. marble, jungle, teak, waterfall, cliff, birds, hot tub, flowers, statuary, outdoor shower... sooo beautiful & relaxing. Absolutely marvelous.
Day 3: Um, hmm, what was that day? Oh the wonderful whale watch! We saw a dozen whales, many up close. Cute little baby whales jumping out of the water over & over like excited children anywhere. So special. - Pacific Ocean Adventures Ecotours, highly highly recommended.
Day 4: loafing around reading - uh huh, yeah, now we're talking. Was that the night we went for that excellent dinner at Mama's Fish House?
Day 5: Long, exhausting exciting day. Drove to Hana. Yes, it is as beautiful as they say, perhaps more so. In Hana, had a plain but edible & cheap plate lunch from Tutu's Surf Shack. Then onward! Soaked our feet in O'heo Gulch (a.k.a. "Seven Sacred Pools") and boldly continued on around the wild back road beyond which no rental car is supposed to go. S'ok, we had a 4WD, had no troubles at all (didn't even have to engage it at all) and they need never know. It is impressive, unusual wonderful scenery. Worth seeing. We even spotted more whales sporting about from the car! It's definitely whale season here. So, it was wonderful and worth it, but a very very long drive. I would advise staying the night in Hana & doing it in two sessions. We came around the back and went up the side of Haleakala crater to admire the sunset from the Kula Lodge (view excellent, food mediocre, service quirky but friendly). Got back to Huelo 12 hours after we started. Oy.
Day 6: up at 3:45a.m. - yikes - to drive across the island to Lahaina and get on another boat trip with Pacific Ocean Adventures Ecotours. This time it was snorkeling at Lanai and a dolphin/whale watch. I did get in the water even though it was quite choppy and I did see beautiful coral & tropical fish, but unfortunately my motionsickness (which I had none of on the first trip) wasn't relieved in the water very much and I was becoming cold and trembly, so I got out early. And I went straight to the bathroom on the boat and was sick and felt better. Then I went up and saw Edmond sporting about like an old hand even though it was his first time snorkeling [apparently he's always been a great swimmer, was even lifeguard certified - so after 2 years, you still get suprises with even the closest of friends]. I watched him and watched for dolphins and watched the waves go up and down and *blurk* went down to the bathroom and got sick again. And then I changed out of my wet bathing suit and felt better and thought everything was fine (or at least that there was nothing left to upchuck). Edmond got out and was all happy & excited and telling me about the fish he saw and the boat set out searching for dolphins - didn't see any, oh well - and the water was choppy and all of a sudden *blork* over the side of the boat. Ahem. And then I really was much better though still a bit pale and enjoyed the rest of the trip including the whale that dove under the boat and then spouted right in front so those people got a faceful of whale breath (yes, they were appropriately happy about it). Now here I am in Lahaina and ready to stroll slowly down to the Old Lahaina Luau.
Hope you're all having fun too. I'll see you soon.
Look out! 2001
pb is huge! "I can't operate the controls of this toaster oven due to my giant hands!" he roared.
Why are you carrying that around inside you? 2001
If you have a vagina, you might want to think twice about what you put in it. Most tampons are bleached with chlorine. Dioxins, a potentially harmful by-product of the chlorine bleaching process, have been found in tampons.The cotton may also contain herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. Alternatives are available. Check at your health food store for tampons made with pure organic cotton which are non-chlorine bleached. Organic Essentials and Natracare are two such manufacturers.
Once A Geek, Always A Geek 2001
I managed to stay away from the computer most of the day yesterday and it was quite pleasant. My arms need more time off though. I started a refinishing project on a nice little table my mum gave me. Once it's all nice and woody (instead of painted), it will go next to my leather chair, Luxury, in the sitting room.
After wearying of sanding (though not so bad with the nice little palm sander Edmond gave me - thanks!), I cast about for something else to do that didn't involve a keyboard & trackball. Whilst mulling over how I used to spend my time before I became such a web geek, I remembered Magic cards, the blessing and bane of my existence as a small retailer. I still have lots and was pleased to discover that a five year rest was sufficient to wipe away burnout. They're still jolly good fun and I spent the afternoon and evening happily playing with brightly colored bits of paper. I even corrupted my friend Jun and got in a few games.
I now discover that there have been lots of new expansions since I was last paying attention. I think I'll visit the game store today. (Yea, the sickness is upon me again. You're never really cured).
I've been on the computer too much lately. 2001
My arms hurt. I've got to stay away for a while, so don't expect much in the way of updates or email. :(
On the bright side, we killed Diablo last night! Now I have Sir Bevidere the 28th level paladin.
(No, no, of course there's no relation between those facts. But just to be on the safe side, I will not be proceeding to nightmare difficulty.)
What does he eat right before bed? 2001
My dreams are positively mundane compared to Jason and the 17th century Bacon Grease. (Hmm, now I want a BLT. I am just a chow hound today. Tasting things seems to be the best way to cheer myself up...)
*sigh* It's not really getting better and I own that. 2001
A bunch of movie-making silly people (including my pal Mark) just showed up and began planning this afternoon's madness. I initially said "Ok, ok, sure, I could do that too if you need me." but I realized (fortunately within 15 minutes) that I really am too down to enjoy participating. Yeah, yeah, maybe it would cheer me up, but I doubt it. I seem to be entering the Black Dog Days of PMS. My shoulders ache and I'm weary. Blech. Why do I have to put up with this crap? I'm not even using this womb!
First Day of Vacation: 2001
Off to a rough start this morning. Yesterday evening was nice - the man of the house made his excellent chicken soup again and we played Diablo II, but somehow we weren't able to keep the momentum up this morning. I woke in the early a.m., went to the bathroom and then when I got back to bed, started sneezing and couldn't stop for a while. I felt bad for probably waking him up & keeping him awake. Apparently after I did get back to sleep, I snored mightily. I think I dreamed a lot, but I don't remember any of them. It seemed a choppy night. Read in bed for a little bit before getting up, but still felt kind of groggy.
It was at this point that the day took a bad turn. We got into a couple of those pointless annoying disagreements which leave me angry & sad & exhausted. This time we argued about (yes, I'm painfully aware this is stupid) cattle production in Hawaii - a subject on which we are both singularly uninformed - and which devices in our computer room are not supposed to be powered down - something I just can't seem to keep from goofing up on. (2 monitors are ok to turn off, but the 3rd isn't and the upstairs stereo should never be turned off but the downstairs one always should. There are logical technical reasons for all this but I keep making mistakes since I'm not as logical or technical a person).
So I wound up storming downstairs in a huff and a little later he left the house for points unknown [Oh, it was the gym. That's actually a pretty smart way of dealing with stress]. I had a bit of a cry and now my shoulders are all achy and I just feel bleak. It's all so trivial and typical of the toughest parts of our relationship. Actually, typical of many of my relationships since I started living with engineers instead of artists. I am attracted to engineers and their precise thinking, which I admire. However, my thin skinned nature means I'm particularly sensitive to times when they seem unyielding or unkind. We're equally at fault (in this case probably I'm more so since I'm making the mistakes & he's just more sensitive to them because he's under a lot of stress from health issues). Not a good start to my vacation. Maybe at least we'll blow through some tension before we take off for Hawaii for a week. I hope so; I don't want this vacation I've been looking forward to since October to be dragged down by dumb arguments. I suppose if I want that bad enough, I need to do everything I can to keep from starting or contributing to them.
So here I am, doing laundry and wanting to just kick back and play computer games, but my arm hurts too much to use the computer for extended periods of time. This stinks. I think I'll go read escapist fiction. "It rips my life away but it's a great escape..."
Yeah! Now it's time to kick it! 2001
There's a new episode of Radiskull & Devil Doll!!!
I mean, I knew Lance was fabulous. 2001
I knew that. I just didn't know how fabulous.
Is it the name? 2001
Weak Flesh 2001
My wrist and arm pain is getting worse again, despite a nice ergonomic setup at work and at home. This morning when I woke up my lower arms were not sore, but definitely felt fatigued - and this despite taking an evening off from the computer.
I did have a lovely evening last night. First I lay reading on the couch downstairs eating blue corn chips and Happy Jackal salsa (highly recommended). Then I moved upstairs to my leather chair, Luxury, and finished The Tipping Point while listening to a new Bach sampler CD . Ahhhh... delightful.
And now here it is Friday. My last day of work before a two (TWO!) week vacation. I'm taking Kristin to lunch today so that will make it go even faster. Sneaky Dinah.
Hmm, but I suppose it won't go by until I actually go to the office. I guess I better make that grueling 4.3 mile drive and start looking productive. (Now I'm here and it's colder inside than out. Office building dorkery!)
Oldie, but a goodie 2001
Before work, I finished rereading Bob Balaban's diary of the making of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This is one of those books you might think was a throw-away promo blitz thing which would have lost its interest in the intervening 23 years, but which is written with such charm and wit that I return to it every few years. It's out of print (no surprise), but I found a copy for sale in an Amazon auction.
Now I'm off to see if Bob Balaban has a website...
...didn't find one yet, but I did find this delightful piece of trivia on IMDB:
Played "Linus" in the original off-broadway production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". He is also on the original cast album.Okay, gotta break out the vinyl when I get home tonight. It all fits together so well...
Thursday morning and I'm a wee bit groggy. 2001
I had some tea (Earl Grey. Very warm. Hrm...darn this inferior setup), but it's not taking much effect. I think my body is really ready for my upcoming vacation. Upcoming in [checks clock] fifteen or so hours of work...
Hooray for Kristin! 2001
Happy birthday to Kristin!!! I had a dream this morning with Kristin in it. We were in a park and playing with some games made by our friends. I was trying to explain a joke to her, but doing a bad job so it wasn't funny, but she was being patient with me. After that Taylor was there and I gave him a huge hug. Then he lifted me up and I could see a beautiful creek area which was going to be part of a wild bird sanctuary or something like that. Kristin was getting a piggyback ride from someone else and we were talking about how pretty it all was. And then the alarm went off.
Ok, dream analysts, what was that all about?
Fear & Challenges 2001
Christina Wodtke wrote something interesting yesterday. She was talking about mentoring, but at the end she said
I think we as women are particularly susceptible to not taking risks like men do, and are often afraid to go for jobs when we aren't a perfect match for the job description. I've seen guys fake it through interviews, then madly read up on the job they went for and teach themselves on the job. Worse yet, I've seen guys fake it to get the job, and fake it through the job. I think this everytime I am faced with a challenge I'm scared of. And then I get mad, and I go for it. It's usually very hard when I take these big steps, and I get horribly stressed, I get insomnia, I cry-- and then I've done it, I figure it out and I have one more thing under my belt and I'm another rung up the ladder.I think she's right - certainly about the difficulty, insomnia and crying! I recently went through a tough spell like that. I'm not sure you could really say I was promoted, rather the company is growing and thus my position grew. One of the projects I was leading started to take on the form of a business unit focused around a product (or eventually a group of products. I got extremely stressed over all this responsibility. Between that stress and additional changes at the company, I eventually worked out with the rest of the management team that the product would be integrated into a different group and I would instead be the leader (or "Mission Commander" oo la la) of Global Services.
Anytime you're really scared, go for it. Every time you beat that fear, you get tougher.
After the change I suddenly could breathe again. I felt in a space where I could succeed. Part of me has been thinking of this as having failed to be ready to take on the product leadership job, but the relief I felt in the new focus and the confidence with which I'm taking on this Global Services leadership position made up for that bad taste in my mouth. Having read Christina's comments today I realize I have something to add to that:
Sometimes when you're scared and you think you can't handle it, it means you should push yourself harder to meet the new challenge. BUT sometimes it means you're moving in a direction which is not going to provide you as much satisfaction as other possibilities. In my case it comes down to the product vs. service distinction. I thought I liked making tools, but what I really like best is helping people to use tools better and helping toolmakers understand their users better. I'm glad I figured out where I need to be to excel and doubly glad that my company needed someone in that role. The icing on my cake, washing away that bad taste of failure, is that the role I've chosen is actually just as important and complex and challenging as the one I turned away from. *whew*
Today I feel like sunshine and rain all at once; like blossoming trees with snow-capped mountains behind them; like shining black wood with bright green grass sparkling all around. Today I feel like a little gift from the universe. Yesterday I thought all that lovely stuff was going on around me, but a friend reminded me that I'm part of it all. Happy Dinah!
Flossing & Flow Management 2001
Just about to go to bed, actually, I confess, flossing at the computer while reading weblogs, when I read this intriguing post by James about "flow managing". I must remember to read this again in the morning. Nighty night, all.
Just found a scribbled note to myself from some past browsing: 2001
"5 major conglomerates control 80% of American book sales"
Wish I could remember where I'd read that. It's one of the points I want to hit in my yet to be written essay on why Amazon, though it may be bad for small booksellers, is not bad for small publishers or authors.
Edmond just brought me some delicious homemade soup! 2001
What a guy! Dang, this stuff ibgcoCi>good. Mmm, the weekend is going well.
Quiet Saturday morning. 2001
Woke at 9:30 as Edmond left to work out. Slowly drifted to awakeness by 9:45, then got energized by some ideas (microdonations -> creative people supporting other creative people -> barter -> flipping a coin in a hat -> non-profit organization as a central mediator for all this exchange -> service providers donating useful things like hosting which can be acquired with these barter coins) and got myself out from the seductive trap of flannel sheets and soft comforters.
Now I've been puttering at my computer for almost 2 hours. Visited some of my favorite sites and made a few slight changes to the layout of this page. Read email and listened to music. I have nothing planned for the weekend. This is by design because of the stress I've been under lately. No obligations to do a damn thing is remarkably healing. Really absolutely nothing I must do this weekend since I did laundry last week. I am totally free to play games, read, putz around with my site, organize my MP3s, surf the web, watch movies or sleep. I highly recommend creating this freedom for yourself.
Whole Lotta Nice Design 2001
Matt Haughey has done a gorgeous redesign. The way he breaks up his current and past thoughts in the design fills me with a deep sudden covetousness. Nice code, baby.
Continental Drift & Relationships 2001
I did a bit of soul searching and decided to remove a couple people from the page. It was a hard choice. I didn't want to send some message like "these people are bad! not my friends", but we drifted apart under odd circumstances and it felt like a denial of the sad truth of that for them to be still on the page as though I was still a regular visitor to their sites.
I feel a little icky, but honest.
Microdonations, Macrofees 2001
So Amazon has this new microdonation system which they call the Amazon Honor System. It seems cool enough, but jeez! look at the fees! They are charging FIFTEEN percent plus 15 cents a transaction. So, if you want to request a microdonation of $1, Amazon gets almost a third of your money.
For those without retailing experience, I will point out that most credit card processors charge between 2.3 and 3.5% plus 20-30 cents per transaction. This means you're way better off with a traditional card processor than with Amazon as soon as your transactions go over $1.
There will be no real microdonation solution until someone can bring the fees down to 10 cents on the dollar or less.
[thanks to Taylor for calling my attention to this new service of Amazon's. I'm even an affliate and I hadn't heard about it yet.]