Month: March 2008

The role of personal integrity in change, or “I am my own homeboy”

Monk Debate: The Young One

Like driving in Los Angeles (or electricity most anywhere else), change continues to be both a sticky wicket and the only game in town. In other words, I’m not the only one wrasslin’ this bear.

Exhibit A (from Andrew, in an email exchange generated by the last post on Change, that Bitch-Dog from Hell):

Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about all the aspects of personal integrity and how important it is to a person’s sense of identity. Some of it is the aftermath of events from last year and some of it has to do with my dissatisfaction with the way things are in my life and my commitment to changing them.

By amazing coincidence (or not), the very same day I happened upon this TED talk on happiness by ex-pat French Buddhist monk (say that 3x fast) Mathieu Ricard. It’s a fascinating talk, I mean, how can a discussion of the impact of mind training on happiness as measured by MRI patterns of high-level meditators not be?, and I’d highly advise a look-see, for the delicious fusion of book smarts (Ricard completed his PhD thesis in molecular genetics), humor (he’s funny!) and orange robes (he’s a monk!) (and he’s funny!)

But if you’re not into it just now, the salient point of his talk as far as this humble, little blog postie goes is that you are your own best shelter against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. In Ricard’s parlance, the trick is a high enough level of detachment to see that you are a part of The Whole, and that emotions are not the truth of you, but more like colors, light playing on the waters of you.

The bad news is that some people come to it more naturally than others: he uses the contrasting examples of the very poor man who seems content despite having “nothing”, and the very rich man who, ensconced in the most fabulous luxury, penthouse apartment, outfitted with the sweetest amenities, in the tallest building in town, sees his window only as a thing to jump out of.

The good news is that, according to tests like this on meditation and “happiness” (possibly better described as “peace of mind” or maybe “inner peace”), given a strong enough desire and a commitment of time and effort, one can alter one’s default setting.

Where integrity fits in, as I see it, is in helping to actualize that good-news change. Buddhist teachings are chock-full of references to “right” this and “right” that, living, thinking, work, etc. If you’ve got no integrity, or it’s on the weakish side, you’re going to be far more likely to spend time on the bad path, partly because it’s the easiest path and partly because you may, at a certain point, not be able to discern any difference, much less benefit, between various paths.

If, on the other hand, your integrity is shored up nicely, you not only have a keener eye for the salubrious choice, but you also have the spine (or the stones) to make it.

All of this stuff is pretty simple, when you get right down to it, which is why it’s so blasted confounding. I know that I’ll be better off if I keep it to two glasses of Pinot, a few hours of farting-around time and early to bed. But in the moment, the choice can be difficult, because, and I’m a little sheepish about this, my integrity is a little weak in places.

But Colleen,” you say, “don’t you mean your discipline is weak? Surely one can have integrity and lack discipline.

I used to think that; now I’m not so sure.

I don’t believe I’m a bad person for eating French fries when it’s been pointed out to me by my very own intestines that I shouldn’t; I believe I’m a weak person. But framed that way, I’d say “weak” equals “lack of integrity.”

Or let’s take another example from my pathetic life. I got in a big fight with The BF today, which both Jon from my new-favorite coffee hang and Neil, from That Blog About the Talking Penis will attest to. Ostensibly, it was about money, but as with most things, it turned out to be about other stuff: my inability to communicate, my fears about communicating, my fucked-up views about abundance and scarcity and my lack of integrity when it came to gossiping. Don’t worry, The BF wasn’t dumping on me. He was providing the valuable and needed service of Calling Me on My Shit, something that probably doesn’t happen enough these days.

And that last thing, the gossip thing, was what finally got to me. Because I understand the power of early patterning about money, and am working on repatterning mine. I can talk about what a petty bastard I am; I brought up the very topic of my petty bastard-ness. What I was deeply ashamed about, that is, what pierced my heart with the flaming arrow of truth, was that I was foaming at the mouth about someone else whose actions over the past year, AN ENTIRE TWELVE MONTHS, had progressively enraged me to the point where I blew a gasket (behind her back, to someone else) over an absurdly insignificant display of cluelessness which should have invoked, if it invoked anything, pity or compassion.

So much for enlightenment.

Here’s where the change part, and the integrity part, comes in: five years ago, I would have fought it, and him, and the whole #%$@! world. I would have carved out a bunker next to Mt. Self-Righteous and hunkered down for the duration. But I’ve been working on observing (first step of change) and acknowledging (second step of change) my self as expressed through my actions fairly actively for the past ten years, and assiduously for the past five. Simple actions, but with a significant effect on integrity. And, I’m starting to see, “happiness”, in quotes because, sadly, I think it’s become too often confused with “pleasure” or, more specifically, “fleeting feelings of pleasure.”

Oo-la-la. Such fancy talk. Really, it all boils down to another good news/bad news thing. If you get on board the integrity bus, both the good and the bad news is you’re responsible for your “happiness-in-quotes.” I think it’s good. I like the idea that if I make some possibly tough choices up front, I can change the way I see and move through the world. I like that anyone can do it, and that it doesn’t cost money. I like that personal change, or an investment in integrity, can possibly effect other kinds of change.

I like that I’m my own homeboy. Except when I hate that I’m my own homeboy.

But liking isn’t really the point. The point is, it is what it is.

Namaste. And out.


Image by silverlinedwinnebago via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

What change looks like

LED trails

Life has been a little tumultuous lately, largely of my own devising.

For example, earlier this year I quit, or at least, quit long enough to take a big-girl step back.

I started saying “no”, a lot. And started saying “yes” to things that didn’t always make sense. On the surface. To “normal” people. I’m making mistakes right and left and being both punished (depending on how you define “punished”) and rewarded (ditto) right and left. It has been, to put it mildly, a confusing time.

Frequently, in the back of my head, I hear my sister relaying a snippet from our father when she expressed the need to take a vacation: From what? he said.

Because she didn’t have a Job-job, like him. Because she wasn’t pulling down massive dollars-per-year, like him. Because the ethos in our family has always been As long as there’s more to be done, you will do it until there is no more “you” left.

Some things don’t make sense while you’re in the thick of them. And getting distance is a luxury that’s rarely supported. I’ve worked hard to surround myself with hard-working people who also appreciate the value of real leisure, the ROI on hanging with friends, the importance of enjoying every moment, or, at the very least, as many as possible.

I’m still not very good at it; I’m new at it. It feels really, really weird to be in flow with my actual life, different…harder…different than being In The Moment as an actor, although that was good training.

One note at this juncture: Dad didn’t mean to be mean when he asked that question that cut through my sister like a hot knife through butter; he was doing what he knew to be right, by rote. Holy shit, is that a tough one to remember, to fully accept. But there it is. He did the best he could with the thinking he’d done. At some point, I think he’d decided he’d done enough thinking. (There’s a whole book in that alone. Someday, I hope to be a good enough writer to write it.)

Here’s what I’ve learned: it takes more will, more strength, more doubling back and rethinking and re-plotting to effect meaningful, personal change than you can possibly imagine going in. Perhaps some people are better wired for it; perhaps there’s something to this whole reincarnation thing and some of those among us have a bit of a leg up, personal-evolution-wise. No one here is gonna know until it doesn’t matter anymore.

By definition, most of our personal growth is self-generated. But there’s no shame in asking for help. Just today, I asked it out loud, again: Why can’t I get anything done? Why am I stuck? What the $%@(^! is wrong with me?

And my friend, who is 10-odd years down the road, didn’t bat an eye. Talked about it like I was showing her a mysterious carpet stain I needed help identifying the right cleaner for, or a piece of writing that was a little ganky and needed some tweaking.

“A lot of times,” she said, “I find I resist things the hardest when it’s becoming most obvious that they’re really going to happen.”

It was as if she opened a mysterious steam valve I didn’t know existed, or tapped some chi point an acupuncturist might, or just plain old threw a light on in a slightly darkened corner of a room. All was well again, for a while, and the conundrum put back into perspective: as some Thing in my care to observe, and process, and deal with.

As I learned long, long ago in advertising, watching my friends’ hotshit careers suddenly go down in flames with sudden downturns in the economy, there is no real safety; it’s just an illusion. Just like there is no stasis: just periods where change is so incremental as to seem non-existent.

I am change and you are change and this, right now, is change.

This. Right now.

Learning to drift and steer simultaneously, that’s both the trick and the lesson…


Image by CowGummy via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

The Burger King® method* of Getting Things (Really) Done

moleskine pda supplies

I spent yesterday getting coached into organization by one phenomenal couple of personal productivity experts.

It was everything I’d hoped for. And nothing I expected. (Or, shall I say, feared.)

What I feared, and you can see this coming, if you’ve thought it through, is that I didn’t clean up enough for the cleaning lady. Or balance my checkbook properly for the bookkeeper. Or any other of a number of analogies that basically boil down to Oh, god…please don’t let my complete inability to do things the Right Way reveal the Hopeless Failure of a Human Being that I truly am.

I was expecting a protracted walk-through of my lame computer file structure, my equally lame physical files, my overflowing in-basket, my scores of lists and calendars and other Helpful Toolsâ„¢ creating redundancy and general chaos. Instead, we started with a surprisingly quotidian question:

“What’s a typical ‘Colleen’ day?”

And so I spun it out for them: the getting-up and getting tea. The booting-up-of-computer and making-of-bed. That first, fantastic blast of email & Twitter goodness: all the missives and blog comments and howdy-dos from my friends, real and virtual, that have popped up between bedtime and now, thanks to auto-mailers and insomniacs and my location on the West Coast. Eggs and coffee. And then…well, then a day that could be anything. All writing or a mix of writing and talking and design. A lot of, as I told everyone I met at SXSW, farting around on the Internet. A 2.3-mile walk around the Silver Lake reservoir at some point. Consistent inconsistency, from somewhere around 7am to somewhere around 10pm, seven days a week, 350-odd days a year.

They listened and smiled and nodded. Non-judgmentally. With genuine courtesy and curiosity.

Emboldened, I mentioned the soundtrack of “shoulds” that accompanied my tasks like a non-stop iTunes playlist. I should be doing something else. I should be doing this better. I should do this now, but let me deal with it later.

After taking in the entire sweep of me and my neuroses, we got to work. Which, as it turned out, meant getting all my stuff in front of me, where I could see it in one place. And learning a few simple ways to process new stuff so that as it came in, I could put it in a place where I could find it later.

Amazingly, there was no talk of best practices or Holy Grails or Right Ways of Doing Things. There was just me, and my process, and some gentle guidance towards self-discovery of the best way to support it.

On my own, I realized I was carrying around a paper calendar because I thought I should, because I had seen someone else’s paper calendar working for him. Like gangbusters. So I had tried several times to implement this paper calendar system: to map out my day to the 10-minute pod the night or the week before, and sit down each morning and follow it word for word.

It worked, a couple of times. And it felt great, having a whole day full of getting all these things done.

It also felt like a nun standing over my shoulder, guilting me into being a good girl. Or a noose around my neck, loosely tied, perhaps, and pretty…the Hermes scarf of nooses. But a noose, still.

I do not do well, you see, with being told what to do: I do well with suggestions, and the breezier, the better. I like the feeling, illusion or not, that I’m choosing my actions moment to moment.

No doubt this tendency to suspect the walls are always closing in is why marriage felt more like a straight jacket than a security blanket. I remember distinctly proposing to my then-husband that we privately and quietly divorce, but continue to maintain the outside appearance of being married. That way, we’d catch no flak from pesky outsiders, and we would have a profound and glorious shared secret: we would be choosing to stay together every single day; we would co-create our relationship as we went along.

No wonder that scheduling thing didn’t work out too well. Or the marriage, for that matter.

At some point toward the end of our day together, Jason and Jodi explained the faulty reasoning behind so many well-intentioned attempts to get organized: if I perform these steps…buy this binder…sort according to this system, I will be free.

Instead, the way to look at it is more like this:

I am free.

I can employ my freedom in service of my unique goals and gifts. By getting very clear on what those goals are, whether by assiduous self-observation or third-party assessment or giving myself the space to let them bubble to the surface, or any combination. By any means that works for me.

I can also employ my freedom to unearth my natural working style. And then, again, to find the services and methods and structure to support it.

Like anything else, it takes a little more work and finesse to find your own way in the world. It’s like the difference between couture and off-the-rack. Or styling things from the ground up vs. Garanimals. It takes a little work to find the unique sculpture locked in every slab of marble. But it’s there. And, to paraphrase old Martha Graham in her famous confab with old Agnes de Mille, if you don’t find it, you will seriously harsh on the planet’s mellow.

I wish, oh, how I wish, that there was one answer in one book, and that all I had to do was find that book. Instead, the maps to your map are in the books. Look at that person’s journey, and see what you can find in her struggles or his mishaps or their lightbulb moments that makes you tingly. The truth comes at us sideways, usually, and when we least expect it. Our job, I increasingly believe, is to prime ourselves for reception…and reflection…and synthesis.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with getting yourself a nice, new Moleskine notebook or a sexy MP3 recorder, if they’ll make the journey sweeter. I’m down with the gadgetry.

But for me, for now, the road to enlightenment is paved with some calendars output from iCal shoved into a plain, old artist’s sketchbook with a Uniball Micro shoved down the spiral.

Wave as you pass by on your way…


*For those of you who have never subjected yourself to the media matrix, “Have It Your Wayâ„¢” is the trademarked tagline of the Burger King corporation, and a cornerstone of their operations, marketing and positioning. Because, as anyone who’s ever tried to order a Filet-O-Fishâ„¢ with extra® tartar© sauce and No Cheeseâ„¢ has discovered, having it your way is not the way of certain other major quick-service establishments.

Image by walker clevelands via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

There’s also a wealth of wonderful shots (for inspirational/idea-unsticking purposes) with the simple Flickr search of “moleskine” in the attribution/non-commercial/as-is section of Creative Commons licensing; one favorite is this one by Mike Rohde, which has a staggering comments section.

Crazy trying


About two years ago, I went nuts.

Well, some people might call it that. I called it A Certain Longing: for peace…for quiet…for a little patch of green that I might call my own. And I started my strange, Saturday-morning p0rn routine:

  • Wake up at The BF’s
  • Make tea (and no, that’s not code for anything)
  • Pad into office and get online
  • Surf for real estate offerings in Small, Midwestern College Town

A little weird? Perhaps. But you try living in Los Angeles as a middle-aged, middle-class person for 16 years and see how you react. I’ve “been there, done that” with the U.S. Majors (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) and while I love urban life as least as much as I loathe suburban life, I remain somewhat in the dark about the in-between. Color me Small Town-curious, I guess.

Anyway, upon ascertaining that I could basically buy myself a phat pad in said Undisclosed Small Town for cash in hand, my fantasies grew more vivid and active. What, I thought, about a job? Perhaps I could throw away this freewheeling life of self-(sometimes-)employment, given the right opportunity. Could there be any opportunities worth throwing it away for?

It was a quick hop/skip/jump to the university’s website. I mean, hell, here was the major employer, right? Why not give ‘er a look-see?

Lo & behold, there was a job with all but my actual name on it.

And yet…

And yet, I was a kinda/sorta retired actor. Who was…who had seen many winters.

Who’d been living a semi-dissolute life off the company payroll since 1992. Translation: a woefully inadequate, almost 100% irrelevant résumé.

At least I still had one, I thought. And passion. I had shitloads of passion. Plus, that sense of humor. I mean, it had to be worth something.

Still, I was unemployable…right? Who would even look at me? A 45-year-old broad, who’d been off the market for years, tilting at crazy windmills like acting and TV writing?

Naturally, I did the only sane thing: I applied.

I drafted a crazy letter, and included a strange, not-especially-applicable, certainly-not-asked-for bio/one-sheet of my own devising. (And yes, I threw in an outdated résumé. Why? Who knows. Old habits die hard, I guess. Plus there’s that Cornell thing, that impresses some people sometimes. Might as well use what Dad paid so dearly for.)

I sent off the Kit-‘n’-Caboodle, expecting nothing.

A couple of weeks later, when I’d all but forgotten the escapade, I received a reply: “Missive received; continue communication.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but there’s a point to all this.

Never. Assume.

Never assume, as many foolish applicants to a dream job with Seth Godin did, that the Ordinary Route will serve. It will not. It may kill the deal.

Never mistake, as so many of us do, the un-thought-of for the impossible. They are not the same. People invent crazy stuff out of nothing every damned day. This country was founded on people inventing crazy stuff out of nothing. Embrace the wacko tradition. Let go of the bullshit notions that lash you to the mast of mundanity. They are not your friends. You are your friend. Innovation is your friend. Change is your friend, as scary as she may look from across the dimly-lit pavilion.

Sometimes, the trying does not work. Usually, the trying involves a bit of a leap. In the words of my beloved poet, soprano Beverly Sills, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

You’ll fall. You’ll fail. You’ll fumble.

I didn’t get the job, you see. Bowed out too early in the process to know if it would have been offered. Boyfriend not ready to move. Me, not ready to move. Bottom line: while I flatter myself that the interview went well, I’ll never really know. And I’m still in L.A., in the same, small (but beautiful! and rent-controlled!) one-bedroom apartment, two years later. Still muddling along with my own crazy, dream-fueled, solopreneur cocktail of endeavors.

No matter. It’s the reaching out that makes the woman. Going out of your comfort zone, sniffing out something not quite in your reach, dipping a toe in the waters well outside your purview that matters.

This, I have done.

This, you can do.

Draft a crazy proposal. Reach out to other people and express, share, offload your crazy dream.

Crazy dreamers and crazy trying are the components of change.

And change, while scary, and yes, a little crazy-making, is the currency of growth.

Grow this world. Do the nutso thing.

Change the world, change your world.

Or die for crazy trying…


Image by LeiLeiPao via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

SXSW 2008: The music happens between the notes

communicatrix, deconstructed by Hugh MacLeod

While I’m still a relative newcomer to this conference stuff, I learned a lot during my first South by Southwest festival in ’06, and a lot more than that since then.

Stuff like…come alone! And with an open mind, the better to let old stuff drizzle out and new stuff pour in. Make plans, but be prepared to toss them out the window. Set goals, but don’t be surprised if your ultimate takeaway is breathtakingly, stupendously, maddeningly different.

There are also some technical things to consider, like not showing up tired. Learning to listen to your body’s “no” over your head’s (or heart’s) yes. We may be energetic beings with bodies, but the bodies are no less real for that, and will punish you mightily if you choose to ignore them too long.

So took a page from my own book and carved out quiet time here & there. Like giving myself the unspeakable (for me) luxury of coming in the day before even the “soft start” of the festival on Friday. One extra night of ramping up and sleeping in, plus one delicious morning of quiet, leisurely breakfasting with an old SXSW friend from Germany. (Bonus extra: super-short line for getting my attendee badge.)

Also, compared to all but the dead, I took it relatively easy with the parties. I am not built for loud and crowded places; my vocal cords were shredded after that first night of shouting over amplified music blasting two feet from my ears. Three more nights of same didn’t help. And while we’re at it, it’s a bit on the noisy side in the old conference center.

Also-also, I slept in and opted out more. I probably averaged two panels per day, which is far, far less than I did two years ago, when I guess I equated sitting in panels and keynotes with getting my money’s worth. As my friend, Eric, pointed out, all the panels are available as podcasts after the fact, but never again will you get so many nerds happening in one place at one time. Well, not until next year, anyway.

What did I do with my time? I hung. In the halls of the conference center. In this hotbed of A-list bloggery (I know, I know) dubbed the BlogHaus. In bars, a deux or trois or maybe neuf. Over breakfast and lunch. At my first BarCamp. At a movie. On the ‘dillo. At the Whole Foods. On Twitter (yes, it can be a little scary hanging out there, too.)

Basically, I let my gut be my guide. And when it got overly nervous, I talked it down and walked through whatever imaginary fire it was edging away from. All in all, a pretty good five-day stretch for a hopeless introvert.

I did, however, eat crap. Worse, I drank beer: about as far as you can get from an SCD-legal beverage. I enjoyed BBQ (excellent pulled pork at Stubb’s, no matter what the cranks say), and I enjoyed it with two acquaintances freshly made just minutes before. (Thank you, lovely Rebecca! thank you, charming Steve! You guys were so gracious, I forgot what a fifth wheel I probably was that night.) I enjoyed fucking Rolos, for chrissakes, almost every day. Not sure what’s up with that, or the repeated trips to the lobby Starbucks one night for dark chocolate, shortbread cookies and a lemon bar. Even before I got sick, I wasn’t much of a bar-cookie type.

We’ll have to see if I get to skate on the gut infractions. There have been some nervous-making stabbing pains in the past 36 hours, never a good sign. I’m hoping it’s me being overtired, and that a weekend of sleep (and a few weeks of fanatical adherence) will get me back on track.

If not, well, I’ll deal with that, too. Life is too short for a whole lot of worry. Keep it loose. Keep it weird.

Oh, and for the record? It wasn’t Quentin Tarantino. Not unless he’s managed to replicate himself or teleport a white-haired version of himself 2000 miles.

Does that take away from the fantabulousness of me walking up to someone I’ve never met, someone I thought directed one of my 20 all-time favorite films, sticking out a hand, and telling him to quit following me around?

No. No, it does not.

Here’s me, dorky as ever. But maybe, thanks to SXSW, just a little bit braver…


UPDATE 03/15/08: I also posted about SXSWi more from a general networking perspective on The Marketing Mix blog. Included there are some links to other summaries of this year’s SXSWi, and a great comment from Kathy Sierra, who was a (terrific!) speaker at this year’s event.

Image of my blog card deconstructed © 2008 Hugh MacLeod.

communicatrix & SXSW 2.0!!!

I headed over to the Hilton last night, figuring I’d find me some geeks at the bar and kick off my SXSW with bourbon and fellowship.

Three hours later, I left having met a bunch of guys here for a Whole Foods conference, an Iron Chef contestant, and a medical sales rep from Dallas with whom I had a lengthy discussion about theism (he’s pro, I’m not), socialism (I’m pro, he’s not) and marriage (on this, we were of the same opinion, mixed.)

One never knows, do one?

It is from that profound place of not-knowing that I…proudly? sheepishly? tentatively? announce the redesign of communicatrix-dot-com. To coincide with this greatest of all nerd festivals, the place where, as a guy in line with me to pick up badges put it, “I come to have my head expanded without LSD.” Because, like the doing of SXSW, the making of a website is an imperfect thing. (Especially when your coding skillz are minimal.)

Links are probably broken. Archives, for now, are non-existent (although individual entries are finally tagged.) For now, you’ll need to search for the things you want, and leave yourself open to serendipitous stumbling. Kind of like me, here, bumbling around at the mother of all conferences.

And now, time to pack up my stuff and get out and meet the people! For my 20, follow me on Twitter.

Just don’t forget to look up and say “hi!” And, maybe, “Hey! That looks just like your card!”


Non-existent accompanying image due to technology choosing this precise moment to go haywire…of course.

Why and how I’m going to SXSW

SXSW podcast pickle

I’m not a developer. (Oh, boy, am I not, more on that later.)

I’m not a gamer, animator, early adopter, Mac fanboy, social network guru, internet celebrity or famous author/change agent/superstah with a new book to shill.

But here’s the dirty little secret of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival: you don’t have to be a Real Geek to love it.

I didn’t know what to expect at my first SXSW, two years ago. And, outside of creating some schmancy new blog cards (upon which I neglected to place my phone number, on purpose!), I didn’t do much in the way of preparation. I went with an open mind, the better for the cosmos to stick a wedge in there and crack it the fuck open.

It turned out to be a very good plan, the not-planning. In fact, it worked out so well, I’m doing it again, with a few minor adjustments:

1. This time, I’m going solo.

No BF, no SXSW Gold Pass. It’s interactive only, and one big, fat, glorious, piggy king-sized bed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling with The BF, and by “traveling,” I mean exploring the turf, sharing experiences and having sex in motel rooms.

But I will be forced to get out there more and mingle. Having the Gold Pass (i.e., access to all the offerings of the SXSW Film Fest) and having a movie-freak companion meant I missed out on a lot of the schmoozing and boozing I hear tell happens outside the panels themselves.

Plus, communicatrix was pretty new to the internets a couple of years ago, and social media hadn’t really taken off yet. I knew one or two people going in, and met one or two more. This time, I’m excited to meet up with a whole slew (for me) of people, including Chris, Michael, Becky, Adam, Merlin, Alissa, Eric, Sean, Scott (who took this most excellent shot of the terrifying Podcast Pickle) and (your name here*).

2. I’m also planning…a little.

My natural tendency is to schedule myself down to the pee break, so I like to use vacation, which I characterize as me not doing my normal routine at home, not me sitting on a beach with a fruity drink, to mix things up.

I’ve made some oh-so tentative plans with a few people, and put their mobile numbers in my phone. I am also planning to be a total weinerdoodle and hole up in my hotel room alone with the cable TV on Thursday night. Because I know how tiring SXSW can be, and I want to experience as much as I can.

But other than that, the planning, as such, includes only one other thing:

3. An exciting and long-delayed image overhaul.

Watch this space, is all I’m saying…


*I’m serious, people, if you read this, and you’re going, for chrissakes, contact me! Who knows when we’ll get this chance again?

Image of the Famed Podcast Pickle by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.