An obituary on Tuesday about Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd, referred incorrectly to a school he attended. The school, the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, is an independent day school founded by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, a guild; it is not a school for haberdashers.
I'm in Helsinki where it's rainy and cold. I just did the math and I've had about 3hours sleep in the past 30 hours and so I'm much to tired to deal with a very important matter: While I'm sleeping could one of you pick up the ball and do what you can to forestall a collapse of the global economy? That'd be swell. Thanks in advance.
Day -3 Wednesday August 20th 2008
Exhausted beyond belief
The Man will cure me.
Day -2 Thursday August 21st 2008
Is that a head cold?
Not an omen, certainly
I’ll pack tomorrow.
Day -1 Friday August 22nd 2008
Tomorrow is here
Pick up truck and load it up
Now must go to sleep
Day 1 Saturday August 23rd 2008
Plan to leave at noon
Or rather, three, and still we
Need to buy water.
Day 2 Sunday August 24th 2008
Gorgeous Northwest drive
To hell with waiting in line
Slept in Alturas
Day 3 Monday August 25th 2008
Cows stalled arrival
Greeted by epic whiteout
Worst day of my life
Day 4 Tuesday August 26th 2008
I love this city so much
Living in the truck
Day 5 Wednesday August 27th 2008
Bikes don’t work that well
But Playa-vision is great
So, what do you got?
Day 6 Thursday August 28th 2008
Friends drop by, say hi
Evening plans delayed by nap
Deep playa teepees!
Day 7 Friday August 29th 2008
Last night on the town
Dancing, drinking, art and more
On the Rocket Bus!
Day 8 Saturday August 30th 2008
Thanks Nic for the Jeep
Left in dust storm for Reno
Slept through the Man burn
Day 9 Sunday August 31st 2008
Slept for thirteen hours
Showered twice and ate salad
Had drink, slept some more
Day 10 Monday September 1st 2008
Continued sleep binge
Watched bad TV, happily
Wished for more clean clothes
Day 11 Tuesday September 2nd 2008
Took truck to the dump
Drove toward Mt. Shasta, pretty.
Spent night in Ashland
Day 12 Wednesday September 3rd 2008
Loved the Oregon
Maybe move to Portland, but
Need to sleep on it
Day 13 Thursday September 4th 2008
Home in Seattle
Manic truck unloading and
Failed tries to make clean
Day +1 Friday September 5th 2008
Truck is a mess, but
Penske peeps think good enough
Bye Bye, fucking truck!
Day +2 Saturday September 6th 2008
Coffee, bacon, eggs
Lounging on couch, petting cat
Pizza for dinner
Day +3 Sunday September 7th 2008
Lazy Leschi brunch
Where we bump into playa
Day +4 Monday September 8th 2008
Full day back at work
Swimming through “urgent” all day
Let’s just burn something.
Yikers. This is officially, to me anyway, the Summer of the Pile On. Colliding vectors of physical, professional, emotional and psychic stress have all conspiring to wipe the smile off my face. Apart from the stressors previously reported (and those that won't be reported) here, the last couple of weeks have seen me have my identity stolen and my house burgled.
I'm certain that wasn't me swiping my (cloned) debit card at the Best Buy in Oakland to pay for $2,200 worth of electronics. Nor did I use a credit card to pay for an energy bill in Mississippi and mobile phones in Texas. And I'm completely sure that it wasn't me who used a second credit card, one sent to an altogether different address than the two previous compromised cards, to order $4,025 worth of "Christian supplies" on the Internet. It's being handled.
The robbery? I don't want to talk about it other than to note that I'm very happy with my new home security system and delighted to have found a friend to house-sit when I leave for vacation later this week.
Vacation. That's what I want to talk about. Actually, no, I don't want to talk about it I just want to get it started. I will, for the seventh year in a row, be headed to Burning Man.
This year there will be no %*#! RV, no convoluted and stressful logistics that involve flying to LA, and no ambitious theme camp. Hallelujah. Six of us will caravan down from Seattle this weekend, joining up with seven fine people from Sacramento. Another Seattlite will be appear later in the week. That's it, just 14 of us camping in the desert.
Sure, there will be 49,986 other people there doing the same thing (Black Rock City is on expected to hit its permitted population cap for the first time this year), but whatever. The word from the early arrivals is that it may be an extraordinarily dusty year, but whatever. I just need to get off the grid and recharge my batteries. I'm exhausted and running on empty so it makes perfect sense to vacation in an incredibly hostile environment, right?
Well, yes. I'm tired of self-actualizing and currently exhausted by my multi-screen, multi-tasking, fast-paced urban existence. I want to climb down Maslow's pyramid* for a while and look forward to focusing for over a week on complex tasks like drinking water, seeking shelter, eating, and being with other apes.
* Yes, I realize that needs are likely not rigidly hierarchical as apparently Maslow posited (not that I've read him) and all that, but whatever.
I thought it had been a few weeks since I last posted, but I just checked and see that I haven't said a peep on this thing in 52 days, which I think is some kind of personal record.
A lot has been happening and, as someone who's always seen myself as energetic and pretty open about the details of my life, it's been interesting to watch both my desire and energy to write here evaporate as well as feeling quite suddenly that the most important stuff happening with me are not things I want to broadcast.
It's not that I've been out killing puppies or otherwise doing heinous, shameful things and it's not that I'm not sharing the details of the important stuff with the friends and family I see in person. It's just that I've lost, for the moment, my public voice. But maybe I'm getting it back.
It's a moment where I've thought a lot about this blog, which in one incarnation or another has existed for over a decade (though the earliest years are either lost to the ether or incarcerated on a Zip Disk I've yet to find).
The moniker "joygantic," I've always thought of it more as an appellation, was picked for a bunch of reasons but, thematically, has always described to me a feeling--something instantiated in a moment or thing--that just made me instantly feel warm and fuzzy, giggly and elated, grateful and optimistic. There was a period of time, years ago, when I felt I'd slipped into a blogging mode that was "and then I did that, and then I did this" and I backed away for awhile, thought about shutting down this project. But I found a voice which was authentic, surely warbled here and there, but seemed true.
Right now I'm waiting for that moment to percolate up again; it's starting to right now as I type. Because I don't have any desire to add to the noise or the bullshit that is so easy to find online. These pixels are mine and are about expressing my enthusiasm, sharing my life, and connecting with people. It's going to be awhile still before I've fully got my feet under me, but a note from a friend in New York today made me realize that there are some folks out there I love who I don't get to see often in person, who might want to know what's going on.
So here's some of what's been going on over the past 60 or so days, in no particular order:
In 2004, I joined a handful of talented people working to turn a business plan, scribbles on a whiteboard, and some investor money into a successful company doing something I thought was fascinating and at the center of a profoundly important global trend.
We launched a first-of-its kind service, won paying clients, expanded globally, launched more first-to-market services, and built a reputation as the leader in our space.
It hasn't been easy and hasn't been without its bumps, but more often than not we've been able to do the right thing at the right time, with great integrity, usually having fun in the process. Along the way we've grown and built a business that feeds 80 people and their families, which makes me proud.
It's been an amazing and exhilarating experience that just entered an exciting new chapter; today M:Metrics was acquired by comScore, the global leader in measuring the digital world.
It's a great move for both companies and I'm excited about the things that are now possible being part of a larger (but not gigantic) company. As an entrepreneur, I couldn't be more delighted than to have been there at the beginning and helped take us through a successful exit that made our investors and employees some money. Very personally, I'm happy that one of the sources of work and stress that's been piled on over the past few months as we negotiated this process has disappeared. We did it. Now we can get back to work. ;-)
Apart from the silly Zune post, my last substantive communique suggested that Thor was angry with me, a post which upon a re-read had me feeling stupid and shameful. No, not because of the underlying events, but rather that despite having dutifully read my Edith Hamilton in college I bungled the mythology allusion. Thor has a hammer. It's Zeus with the lightning bolts. Duh. A quick review of Hedwig showed me the light.
Things are . . . things.
We are in the process of buying an awesome condo in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego and the current plan is for Dia to move there around the 1st of July. I'm healing well from my unexpected surgery.
Things are . . . things.
My dear friend Suzi has told me, when asked how things are: "Well, I'm feeling feelings."
That about sums it up.
I just saw someone who I know--who does not work at Microsoft--listening to a Zune.
I’m not a sports fan.
That’s a statement that might seem curious given that I grew up on a consistent weekend diet of ABC's Wild World of Sports, played organized sports (mostly soccer) for years as a youth, and in my teenage years briefly dreamed I would follow in Peter Ueberroth’s footsteps and eventually be in charge of staging the Olympic Games.
Hindsight tells me that my love of playing sports had far more to do with loving being active and enjoying the social component of being on a team (I love teams) than actually loving the sport, my desire to stage the Olympics was really about my fascination with events that draw people together (c.f. Burning Man), and my love of Wild World of Sports was all about hanging out with my dad and--crucially--being genuinely riveted by "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."
These days, I tune into sports only for the crux: I watched the last quarter of a couple Final Four games this year, I watched the last half of the Super Bowl.
I was in LA on Saturday and on the plane ride down read the New York Times pre-coverage of the Kentucky Derby. My friend Karen in NYC has gone to the Derby for years and sung its praises. I was in Kentucky for a lovely wedding a few years ago and got a glimpse of the horse farms and the gorgeous rolling countryside, so I felt some vague social connection with the event. The race lasts, like, 3 minutes and based on my NYT reading was fraught with drama. I was in.
I turned on the TV at 3pm, knowing that post-time was 3:04. Perfect. My sports victory/defeat button was gonna be pushed in, what?, ten minutes or so of TV watching?
The Derby is interesting to me from a business perspective. Typically--think Super Bowl--the advertisers and sponsors are out there trying to get TV viewers to buy their products. Their beer, their pizza, their car. But the Derby is different. Thoroughbred racing is not a middle-class sport and the ads reflected this even though it's on broadcast TV. While I haven't seen this written down anywhere, it was clear that NetJets bought the "jockey pants sponsorship"; every jockey was pimping for fractional private jet ownership. And Yum Brands--Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC--was sponsoring the event not so they could sell more pizza/tacos/chicken but rather "to attract more individual shareholders."
A weird little window into social class, broadcast for all to see.
And then the race.
Starting from the outermost stall, Big Brown just dominated. It was glorious to watch. Riveting. Just amazing. OMG. Wow. "Thrill of Victory"? Check.
And then the second place horse, Eight Belles, "broke down" . . . which I've come to understand is apparently horsey talk for "won't live long." The filly was cooling down and just collapsed with compound fractures (!) in both front legs. She was euthanized on the track.
"Agony of defeat" is one thing, but dying for sport? "Sorry kiddo, you failed to win, we gotta kill ya." That's basically the plot of a Steven King novel I read when I was a kid, but here it was on TV. And the TV folks were ill equipped to handle it. There were faint mentions of Eight Belles--a shot of the equine ambulances on the track, a note that she was injured, a brief statement from the track doc that she'd been put down. And then . . . nothing.
I don't have any great thoughts about horse racing and what's wrong or what's right. I love the rush brought by the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" but remain completely upset that a gorgeous being had to die to complete that story.
I don't have a coherent ideology to draw on here to make sense of this, but I've been feeling dirty ever since.
Eight Belles . . . sorry.