Dear Readers – I’m sorry

Dear Readers –

I'm sorry for the lack of updates recently, you see, I've been secluded. My training requires it. What? megnut's going to the Olympics? No no no, it's The Fair. This weekend. And my goal: for an entire day, to consume only food on sticks. No one does food on sticks like Minnesota.

I've been practicing up in my apartment these past few days. I started small, with toothpicks and little pieces of fruit. Once my hand developed the requisite strength, I moved on to tofu on longer sticks. Soon it was Grape Nuts on toothpicks in the morning, vegetables on wooden skewers in the evening. My grip is indomitable; my stamina, tested; my stomach, ready to digest any stray wooden sliver that should slip down my throat.

Thank you for your patience and support during my absence. A day such as this should not be undertaken lightly, and knowing that your thoughts are with me during this challenging time will help me persevere. I shall think of you all, as I recall the words of my old rowing coach, "Pain is temporary. Pride is forever." Food on sticks, here I come!

Yours always,

ps. I may even post a picture or two upon my return.
pps. May your long weekend be filled with food on sticks as well.

After the most stressful week

After the most stressful week I've ever had in my whole work career, I was looking forward to relaxing all weekend and recovering my sanity, but I fear I may go off the deep end instead. See there's this INSANE woman who keeps calling me. She has called, oh, eight times perhaps? looking for Mark. She's left voicemails with messages saying, "I'm not sure if this is the right number, but if it is, could Mark call me back?" Of course, there is no Mark at my house. So no one returns her call. So she calls again. I've spoken to her, I've told her, "This is the wrong number." In fact, the second-to-last-time, I said, "I don't understand why you keep calling. I told you there's no Mark here. Why do you keep calling me? Why?" I really wanted to know, because I don't get it.

Aren't we all a little embarrassed when we get a wrong number? Don't you just apologize and hang up? Then wait a few minutes, dial real carefully, watching every number, and hope it goes through? And when it doesn't, and it goes again to the place you didn't expect, don't you give up? You realize that somehow, you've gotten the wrong number, and there's nothing more you can do about it. Unless you're this crazy woman.

me: "Why do you keep calling?"
her: "I just thought that, well, maybe somehow, if I dialed the digits a different way, I'd get him. But I guess I just dialed the same number again."
me: "Yes, you did. And he's not here. And he'll never be here, because I don't know who he is!"

I thought that statement ended it sometime last week. This afternoon, this weekend afternoon as I was relaxing in my apartment, just basking in the nothingness, in the freedom to eat microwave popcorn for lunch, my phone rang.

me: "Hello?"
her: "Hi, is Mark there?"


I spent six summers at

props to nikolai for the imageI spent six summers at an all-girls camp in Vermont. Whenever it was somebody's birthday, we had this little routine we'd go through in the dinning room.

One table would clink their glasses and say, "Today is somebody's birthday!"
"Whose birthday?" the rest of the room would respond.
"Blogger's Birthday!" the table would scream.
"How old is it?" we'd yell back.
"1 year old!!" they'd say.
"Let's sing to it!"
And we would.

Blogger application, Blogger application,
Here's to you we sing!
We all hope that years to come,
may never sorrow bring.
Nothing mar your happiness,
may your skies be blue,
may each birthday,
be a mirth-day,
Blogger here's to you!

It looks like it might

It looks like it might rain at any moment, you can almost see the droplets forming in front of your eyes. It's the kind of day where you crack open your eye at the sound of the alarm and turn right back over, burying your head beneath your blankets for another ten minutes. It's a sad kind of day.

Last night, Deepleap announced they were shutting down, and I feel like I've lost a member of the start-up family to which I belong. I'd always viewed Deepleap as the sister company of Pyra. It seemed like we were in it together, our two teams, doing something different. Doing something we loved, because we wanted to change things. It was Us against Them. (Them, the evil dot-coms, the ones who were taking over San Francisco, destroying the homes of elderly nuns to build their offices, driving through parks and wetlands in SUVs crushing wildlife, making millions on non-viable businesses.) The 'Leapers knew what it was like to lay it all on the line for a dream; to visualize something so clearly, you can almost touch it, taste it, breathe it; and struggle to make it palpable to others.

They were our doppelgängers, our Texas Twins, they were the only other people I knew that were Doing It. Starting Something. Sure I know lots of people doing web stuff, but they're not founding companies. Deepleap was like us, was like me. They saw something that could exist and the strove to make it happen. This failure shakes my foundation, upheaves my long-held belief that intelligent, hard-working people with good ideas will succeed. Perhaps that belief still holds true for me on an individual basis, but as a collective, it no longer does. It's not enough to gather a smart and diligent team, armed with a fascinating concept. Perhaps I was naïve, but I honestly thought that it was. Goodbye Deepleap.

It's a sad kind of day.

The last sugar packet from

hibiscusThe last sugar packet from Hawaii. I wish I had more, but for some reason, I was being really picky about the design on the packets while I was there, and I only took home the ones I thought were good. Now I realize that probably all of them would seem good to me here, back at home. It's funny how that happens: in the moment your judgment clouds with the relativity of the things which surround you. I chose five sugar packets out of approximately ten, because those five seemed "better." Yet looking at the packets here, all ten of those in Hawaii were "better." And I experienced a similar thing when showing people some of my pictures. While in Hawaii, I didn't take many pictures, I just thought, "well, they won't be very interesting." In some way, even after a short time there, I'd become immune to the dramatic scenery. I think I even had the thought, "it's just the ocean" at one point. Yet as I look over the photos here, I want to smack myself for being so stupid. Why didn't I take more pictures?

Is there some message here? Something about the adaptability of human beings to adjust to surroundings? Or perhaps the importance of seeing new places to gain perspective? Or something simpler, like Take those pictures while you're there, because when you get back, you'll want them? Or maybe it's just that I was thoroughly in the moment while I was away, and my brain wasn't bothered by comparisons (Kauai vs. San Francisco: The Vista Showdown, The Five Benefits of Hawaiian Sugar Packets over their Mainland Counterparts, etc.). Perhaps it's because everything was just ideal the way it was, and my only thoughts were on snuggling and snorkling and sleeping and just being there.