Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Time to turn the raisin back into a grape.

Twice a year, I go here:

To do this:

With this guy:

Who also happened to perform my wedding ceremony, in which I married this guy:

Which is wonderful.

But I'm ready to go to the coast. I've had one day off since the beginning of July, if you don't count sick days, which I don't. I've been writing and reviewing marketing content for more than 50 hours a week, every single g-ddamn week. I've become so intimate with the nooks and crannies of the conference rooms at the office that there is nothing new for me to discover there.

So off I go to Esalen.

Organic food, endless processing (Esalen is very gestalt-y), a soft down comforter on chilly ocean mornings. No phone. No computer. Hardly any booze. Ornamental chickens. And humidity. I will plump right up. The crow's feet will disappear. My hair will get curly. I'll spend hours naked in hot springs with people whose names I do not -- and will not ever -- know. And we'll weep when we part at the end of the week.

Send me now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

I'm sick with a mysterious "flu-like illness" that changes twice a day. Two days ago, it was a fever, then chills, then muscle aches, then no fever, add throwing up. Yesterday, it was fatigue, skin sensitivity, headache. This morning, a head cold and chest-rattling cough.

I feel like crap, my husband is in Huntsville or Henderson or Something, Texas, interviewing an 85 year-old grasshopper expert, my dog keeps looking at me accusingly, and I have to work tomorrow, which is Sunday. So to cheer myself up, I went to the grocery store this morning and bought four kinds of cold medicine and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

Have you used these? I swear they'll change your life. I have been cleaning my kitchen for the last five hours, with breaks for coughing up my twenties, and I think that I will go all night. My 1954 wood panel cabinets are gleaming, and I am no longer afraid to replace the light bulb inside my refrigerator. Now I want to call in sick to work all next week so that I can clean every inch of my house. But sadly, I can't even call in sick to work because I'm sick.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's official: Technology and marketing make me sick

Not for nothing, but I have the flu. Achy, queasy, my skin hurts, I have a fever, and I am extremely emotionally oversensitive. Simply looking at my dog makes me want to cry, and she's pretty cute.

Would I be this sick if I didn't work for some of the two biggest pressure-cooker industries around? No. I don't think so.

A few years ago, when I was aimless in terms of career and most other stuff, I was perfectly healthy. I was staying out all night partying, participating in some questionable activities, making practically no money, and I NEVER GOT SICK. I never slept, either. And my skin looked great.

Now, I sleep 9 hours a night, which means no more being out after dark. I make pretty good money. I don't do anything questionable (see first sentence, above), and my skin looks like crap, and I have the flu.

It seems tragically unfair to me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kicking and Screaming...

I've been at a technology conference for the past two days. More specifically, I've been in a hotel ballroom with 150 technologists who are trying to figure out how the hell they'll be able to sell their social networking tools to enterprises. Or to Yahoo. Or Microsoft. Or Google.

Google, who just announced OpenSocial, sent a Googlite at the last minute to answer questions from the increasingly vocal and skeptical crowd. That turned into a warm and fuzzy love session with Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft folks talking about how much they respect and admire each other. How nice for them.

Maybe it's just me, but I see social networking as inherently a bit masturbatory and cowardly. When I look at social networking technology, I don't see new and exciting ways to connect with interesting, smart people. I see new and exciting ways of broadcasting my activities to the world without taking the risk that comes with having real relationships.

Don't get me wrong. I love Facebook. I love that I can reconnect with folks I knew 20 years ago. I like that I can goof off with my pals at work. But any technology that removes human beings from connecting with each other face-to-face, or even email-to-email, leaves me feeling empty and sad. Kind of like another solo activity sometimes does.

And you shouldn't think that I -- especially if I barely know you -- care what you were doing 45 seconds ago on the Internet. I'm sorry, I don't. I care about what you're feeling; I care about what makes you get up in the morning. I do not care which Web site you were just looking at, or which little bit of information you just read. But that doesn't mean I don't love you.