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Tuesday, September 30, 2003
I'm a cyberholic... 
OK, so we finished up our day at the Photoshop Conference fairly early and headed into town. Hard to believe that such a fancy hotel as the one I'm staying at doesn't have high speed internet access.

So as soon as I saw a sign for "cyber cafe" I ran across the street. Some people run when they see the coffee sign; not me... thoughts of bits and bytes running through my head. I'm on a per minute time limit here, so this is just a quick cyberfix before heading out for some Miami food.

Using a very used keyboard with missing letters on the keyboard makes for a challenge to my sight typing skills.

Glad the "backspace" is big, and the spell check is close by.

So is a sushi bar... so see you later...

2:58 PM

Monday, September 29, 2003
PHun PHilled PHlorida 
After a long flight of a lot of chatty people and very little food, we finally arrived at our hotel around 10 pm. Because of a torrential downpour that made everything smell like steamed seafood, I was looking forward to grabbing a decent meal and settling in before the long day tomorrow.

I looked down at my room number and repeated the number back to make sure I got it.
“PH-75” replied the man behind the desk.
“You’ve got the PENTHOUSE?” screamed my traveling companions, “How’d you get the penthouse???”
“I dunno”

After some negotiation for better rooms, we spent the next hour or so checking out the amenities that seemed more appropriate for all of us in one place, than one person per all of that.

As I wandered about the dining room, kitchen and living room; through the French doors to the two bedrooms, with marbled bathrooms, I put my bag into one of the two walk-in closets, with hanging robes and more pillows on the shelves than Bed, Bath and Beyond. I wondered what I was going to do with all that space. Should I jog around the living room? Get up at 2 am just to change beds?

Perhaps my needs have become simpler over the years, or I’ve settled for less. It just seems inappropriately much for one person. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lifestyle I certainly am not minding, I just think that this would be worth even more if I were sharing.

It also makes this little laptop seem even smaller, sitting by itself on the marbled desk, next to the leather chair and one of five phones. The data port on the phone is just inches away, and me without a modem. I feel so disconnected to it all.

Maybe what I need is a hot shower in the master bathroom and good nights sleep in the king sized down-covered bed. That should help me forget about it all for a while.

9:55 PM

Sunday, September 28, 2003
Down for the count... 
Friday afternoon, my computer started to talk to me in a tone I was all too familiar, and really, really did not want to hear... a clicking noise. The sounds of a hard drive misbehaving... making the sound of death.

I had made a backup of data the last time I had trouble, which wasn't that long ago... so I wasn't as concerned as I was the last time... but still. I am going to be away all next week at Photoshop World in Miami, and that's no time to be without a computer.

My computer doesn't care.

By night, the heard drive was gone. I'd like to think it's just sleeping, or at worse, in a coma... but I know that by the time I get back to the office, and leave it with the technicians for a while, the diaagnosis will not be a good one.

In the meantime, I lost all day yesterday to trying to get a very, very old laptop up and running for the trip. It was so old that I had to find creative ways to get new software on it, to run some new hardware. I got as close as "sort of working" ... where everything "looks" right, but nothing actually does anything.

I can bring the machine with me to do the very very basics and figure out the rest. It's just how something as "advanced" as this thing once was, it can hardly do what I need it to do.

Do I just need more? Did I settle for less then? Was my ignorance bliss?

And what of the next great thing coming down the pike? What other unnecessary things now will become so vital tomorrow?

No matter now, I've got other important machines to use for tomorrow... like a washing machine.

11:31 AM

Friday, September 26, 2003
Resetting the sails... 
The old saying that "the only constant thing is change" is very much true at work. It's also true that "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Players change, conversations change, even when it sounds very familiar.

It's important to keep in mind that it isn't really the same just because it sounds like it. If you act the same, re-act the same, you won't necessarily get the same results.

And so its come time to adjust the sails... just a little bit.

And that surprised a number of people today... people who said "that's not like you" ... people who want things to stay the same ... who might fear change.

I'm not sure I convinced them enough that the boat is intact, that the destination is still there; its just we all need to shift a bit in order to get there. People believe what they want to believe and convincing them otherwise is not an easy task.

It's tough, and scary, because it can sounds like I'm compromising; like I'm losing my edge... or worse, my ethics. That can't be further from the truth.

When I say things like "the company owes us nothing but a paycheck at the end of a hard day's work" or "if you're unhappy, you can always find other opportunities" I am neither intending to stop caring about my job or the people around me. In fact, quite the opposite. I am doing what I can to empower others to take on personal responsibility. It's up to YOU to become a valuable employee, not up to the company to keep you busy. The company has to serve their ultimate boss, the customers. It's my opinion that they do that by empowering ALL their employees... but if any one employee takes that to mean they're owed something, then they sorely misunderstand their purpose and their role in the process.

And if you are ever REALLY unhappy where you're at, sitting around complaining about it will only make other people unhappy. It won't make you any happier, nor the situation any better. You have the POWER to seek out that which will make you happier. It's no one's fault but your own if you don't correct it. We must be responsible for our own happiness.

And so I'm sounding a little different... maybe even acting a bit different too... but it's only because the wind is coming from another direction and I remember back to when I didn't change course and got lost.

I will continue to stick to my plan to harm no one, to make the world a better place than the way I found it. and to help all those I can along the way.

Everything else is just the details.

9:53 PM

Thursday, September 25, 2003
Creating reality, whether you like it or not... 
In the past I've talked about how the company buys into the saying that "perception is reality" yet today had a bunch of reminders that perception CREATES reality a lot more than we give it credit for.

I thought a lot about a story I used to tell...
Person A and Person B come from similar backgrounds. They have the same experience and skills. The only difference is that Person A has a "can-do" attitude, while Person B turns every mole hill into a scary mountain.

Person C comes along and does something good. Person A says "great, I can do that too!" while Person B turns away... "what's the point of even trying?"

When promotion time comes at work and Supervisor A looks at Person A and B, they see how "A" has done more work than "B" and that "A's" can-do attitude is infectious.

When "A" gets the promotion, it proves them both right... "A" believes that anything is possible, and has the job to prove it; "B" who believes that no matter how much they try, they always fail... also has proof.

They both create their reality, even if one would rather make more excuses than progress.
It all comes down to personal responsibility.

I know I hold the door of opportunity open for as many people as I can. If Person A walks through, Person B shouldn't get jealous of "A" and mad at me for holding the door open.

But then again, it's all the door's fault.

10:27 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
I've become acutely aware of every minute that goes by during the day. Perhaps it's the change of morning routine, the drudgery of budget crunching or the email from the beginning of the week. The time hasn't change, just my awareness of it...

Every... single... minute... of... it.

My biggest concern about the email was that it would create "clock watchers." I didn't expect it to be me.

Time is so relative. It moved so slowly this morning... it takes only moments to read these few sentences...

It's taken me an hour to get this far.

Time is up.

10:00 PM

Monday, September 22, 2003
An email went out today about punctuality. Apparently some workers got caught coming in late and this matter has made it all the way up the chain of command. The "war stories" started to surface again around the water cooler, of what happened to people years ago, who had the ill-timed fate of taking an elevator with the CEO...

Heads are shaking... some are spinning... some are flipping...

On the flip side ("tails"?) there's also a lot of talk about people staying late... very late... like early morning hours; which is usually followed with the statement "they don't say anything about THAT."

I wasn't there. I don't even know the people in question, so I can't even comment about them. However, I can always comment about the effect clock watching has on people.

I understand hard work, long hours, dedication and the like. The success of the company proves that a lot of other people do too. The company has the right to declare and adhere to its office hours. It can use its "exempt" employees however it needs to in order to get the job done.

It will run the risk of creating clock watchers at the tail end of the day. I remember one employee who you could set your clock by... not a minute early, nor a minute late... didn't matter if the building was on fire. When his day ended, it ended.

His "head" was elsewhere. It wasn't with the company, or its best interests. He did his "job" and went home. He did what was expected of him... demanded of him... and he would never be in trouble for that.

He would also never be happy here, never go that extra mile, never really care.

It might just be my opinion, but unless you get into the hearts and minds of the people... "Heads" you lose.

10:40 PM

Sunday, September 21, 2003
Not worth it... 
Got an email today that I almost didn't open. It looked too much like spam ("deadline has passed"). It was from a previous award, which granted me a silver award in a very upbeat, friendly tone. This one was different.

This note had a harsh, condescending tone to it... about how upon second inspection, the horrible horizontal scroll bar had not be solved within the deadline set. This "would not be tolerated" and my award was "revoked immediately."

Well, being the packrat that I am, I looked back on the friendly note that "suggested" that I fix the scroll bar "soon"... no mention of a deadline, or consequences... their website also didn't mention a timeline, just that awards would be granted on "exception" if the problem is fixed soon.

It just reminded me how important clear communication is...

... and so I removed all references to them, including the original notice in my "what's new" section and my PDF printout of their winners page. Their name will appear nowhere; not even in this note.

The horizontal scroll bar will be fixed soon enough. In the meantime, I've cleaned their slate, which made room for the SpeedyAdverts Webmaster award I won in the very next email.

10:17 PM

Saturday, September 20, 2003
Knot the way I want it... 
Life can be like a string... going along perfectly well in a straight line. Then we have those moments of complete jumble, before returning to a straight line. We look at the straight line again like everything is back in order, but really we have a knot left somewhere in our past.

Some can be ignored and just left behind; mine involved taxes, so like death could not be avoided.

It wasn't so bad, but I needed a professional who could do some "deep cleaning."

Going off to a far off part of the city, I waited for the accountant to finish with his previous knotted up client. I walked past a warehouse full of model trains (a hobby turned into a business), into his back office. I was met with a large man, with a large white beard. As he talked about his other clients, with their much larger knots, he reassured me that this would be an easy fix.

It felt like a gift.

He then told me how he works hard during the beginning of the year, but is busy with the trains at the end of the year. I smiled, thanked him a lot, and took my boxes of two year old paper back to my car.

It took a little research on the internet... but the beard, the trains, the busy schedule.... it all made sense to me now.

Maybe the knot is a bow.

10:59 PM

Friday, September 19, 2003
When did this become 'reality'? 
You know how they say, "back to reality" after you've been away? Well, whenever I find "them" I'm gonna tell them that I must've missed the plane back.

Today was basically a day to do everything in no time... just forget I was even away and just make sure that the whole week be crammed into eight hours... and oh, by the way, "please roll out that (unfinished) project by next week, thanks."

So it doesn't matter if it is "realistic" to get it done, but it WILL get done... in "real" time or otherwise.

Just like in Star Trek, where Scotty always managed to get exactly what they needed in the final moment...
"Scotty we need more power!"

"I'ma given 'ah awl I got..."
Who needs reality, when you've got work to do?

10:45 PM

Thursday, September 18, 2003
How convenient 
Now that I'm "home" let it be said that California is no "better" (or for that matter "worse") than Texas. Our Walmart looks like their Walmart, our super-sized malls have the same Starbucks and J.C. Penney. We are just as caught up in our pre-fabulousness as everybody else. It's just being in an unfamiliar place with familiar surroundings that made it all so noticeable.

We've become too convenient for our own good.

I love convenience, by the way. For many years I've chosen to live in metropolitan areas for that very reason. But as I travel around the country, I see the same big corporations trying to make you feel like you're in a small town.

They've made it very convenient for you...

...to make them even richer.

That's America for you... at its best, and worse. It's capitalism. Make something more convenient for someone else and they'll make you rich. Trains made it easier to travel, steel made it easier to build higher... TV dinners and microwave ovens... computers and cell phones... pre-fab homes and pre-fab meat.

It's all so pre-fabulous... and it hardly costs a thing...

...or does it?

10:16 PM

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
After dinner, as I walked along the "neighborhood" around the hotel, I reflected back on the trip. Everything has been very "nice" ... the bumps along the way has been more like scrapes instead of cuts ... and everything I've seen or done has been "nice."

The hotel is "nice" ... the homes are "nice" ... the people everywhere are very "nice" ...

But as I walked along the very "nice" homes I realized that something was missing... "organic" was the word I finally came up with. Everything I had been experiencing, from the hotel, to the homes with the tennis courts or the malls; even to my own class... have been so planned out, scheduled, pre-thought and re-thought. Nothing had a sense of belonging where it was.

In the past, roads used to form wherever the cow paths used to be. They'd wind around a hilltop because the cow didn't like the hill. A home was placed in a position to get the best sun during the day and the evening wind at night. The market place was always in the center of town because it was the closest for all the people.

None of this was present. Everything just seemed to be placed at a wrong angle, or at a predefined distance from one another (like the trees along the evenly spaced, properly curved roads). Even as I sat in the lobby of the hotel, I noticed that all the chairs were in their right place, next to the fireplace with the properly placed logs and the appropriate amount of shelf dressings (three books with themed bookends, two plants and a jar).

This part of Texas is flat... very flat... it gave planners a chance to make anything they wanted, however they wanted. Like so much in today's society, I think they overthought it. (I mean that in a "nice" way, of course).

As a society, have we've gotten ourselves so busy that we've given up our originality for the sake of convenience?


At least one person wasn't thinking though... I found a lone golf ball on the sidewalk on the way back in to the hotel.

It was "nice."

9:23 PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Sugar please... 
The misadventures continued in the morning, as we arrived early... did everything we thought was right, then found a large group of people in the room where we were supposed to teach; claiming the room was theirs. It took us nearly 45 minutes, til about 15 minutes before class time to track someone down, find that it was our room after all, go back down there, armed with the proper "proof" ... only to discover they had all scurried out like mice minutes before.

Then we had a rushed 15 minutes to discover all the nuances of Murphy's Law... the projector now has ways to ruin your computer's display settings, the internet never works when you need it and the supplies that look just fine the night before turns out to be missing that little "doohinky" that would actually make it useful.

Now faced with a crowd of hopeful students, all smiling at your misadventures and witty repartee, you're thinking... we're in for one of THOSE days...

Despite a rather rocky start to the class, we were able to pull ourselves together and get into the groove. Of course my "propensity for verbosity"** kept the class too long. It was a good thing we were all hungry, or else we'd still be there...

Course while in Texas, I just had to go for some BBQ... lunch at a chicken BBQ... dinner at a Chinese BBQ... I wonder if tomorrow I should just stop off for some McBBQ on the way to class.

"Propensity for verbosity", roughly translated = "blah... blah blah blah... blah blah" (it will be you bigger points in scrabble than "blah" will)

9:34 PM

Monday, September 15, 2003
Texas Lemonade 
If you really are supposed to make lemonade when Life hands you lemons, then I've got several gallons to spare. Today was a day to test patience and resolve, to be sure.

Right now I'm finally settled into a hotel near Dallas, getting ready for an early night (by California standards) since the next few mornings will be spent teaching web design... providing things get better than they've been today.

It started off just fine; until my travel companion (the main teacher of the class) missed his flight.. He was able to make a later flight, but that means I had to change my plans to be more like... go get car, drive 20 miles to the hotel, then over to the office to pre-setup the class by myself, then back 20 miles to the airport to pick him up before 20 miles back to the airport. A lot of driving, but not so bad, right?

Then came the "blair witch moment." I left the office, headed on the "Texas 121" just like the sign said... thought it all looked familiar (everything looks familiar after a while)... tried to wind my way through construction zones and figure out how can the 121 become the 35 and north 5 at the same time? Then after spotting a little S-121 sign below all of them, and making a dash three lanes over and around the bend, I somehow manage to keep my wits and the car intact. Checking the odometer, I'm pretty sure I'm close to the airport by now.

10 more miles go by... but the sign still says S-121, so I better keep my eyes open. Oh look, they have a street here with the same name as the hotel... and... no, wait, that can't be the hotel... did I turn around? am I going north? OK, wait, I drove north FROM the airport... I couldn't possibly be another 20 miles away... not with him now standing outside on the curb?

OK... so 20 miles and 45 minutes later, I try to figure out the airport. Unlike LAX, which separates its parking and terminals, Dallas/Fort Worth likes to put it's parking signs on the same sign as the terminal, so you're never really sure if that's the place or not... and just like having two highways with the same number (the 121 likes to have a business and a residential version), the airport likes to have THREE entrances with the letter "C" on it... so if you don't have the exact gate number, you could end up back at your hotel. Don't even ask how I managed to go to "E" (I didn't even want to buy a vowel).

After that, it seemed to be alright. We shared "war stories" of our trip, drove around the airport three more times trying to find the way out... and I almost went passed the hotel, since it seemed so much closer than before.

8:48 PM

Saturday, September 13, 2003
Finders Keepers? 
In order to improve my site, I dig into my stats to find out how people are finding me. It's almost always AJ from American Jrs that brings them to my blog, but on occasion you get something like "daily thoughts of wisdom for employees" which can actually help me optimize my site so that those people can find me. It's one thing to find new visitors, it's quite another to keep them.

Not sure I helped the person looking for a "sad picture of a worm" but I hoped they liked my site anyway.

Hey, come back!!

11:45 PM

Friday, September 12, 2003
Fudge it, the Budget... 
It's that time of year again, where we start begging for money planning our budgets for next year. It's interesting the games that people play. So much work goes into calculating how much you'd really need, then doubling because you know they're gonna cut it, or you fudge your numbers lower because you know that if it gets too high, it's just going to be cancelled altogether. At minimum you show that you still need to keep your people... and in the end, you're given a 10% increase over last year and the projects without the budgets are the number one priorities.

Did I mention I've done this before?

What's more interesting than the process itself is the meaning behind it. Whether they know it or not, creating a budget is actually a declaration of their commitment to the project... and to you. Sure it's tougher to do the work without any money, but it's tougher to do it if it was the first to be "cut" or worse, was never even mentioned in the budget talks. That's like being picked last for the team. You might still be playing the game, but you'll be stuck someplace where you can't do much good.

Once again this year, we're talking about putting video into the list of "things to buy" (naturally keeping the price low so as not to draw too much attention). Perhaps they should just put enough money in the budget for this.

10:42 AM

Thursday, September 11, 2003
Clock watcher... 
I was very much aware of the clock today... from the moment I woke up. Mostly because two years ago everything played out moment by moment; and all reminders of the 9/11 attack playing back on TV was like "at 9:03 am, the second jetliner hits the south tower..." So each time I looked at the clock, I replayed my own moments as well ("at 10:10 am, minutes after the collapse of the first tower, I call to find out that Tony is still out on the street somewhere near the towers")

The remembrance of this day hung over the office like a cloud. Everyone thought about it, people only talked about it quietly by the water cooler, if at all. People just went about their daily lives, because that's what we do in Life... we live.

Yet even besides the clock watching the day seemed to drag by. Odd, since when you're doing things that you're good at, isn't the day supposed to fly by? Not today. Even though I was doing nothing but writing, every line seemed like molasses. They sounded no different than any other line I've ever written... just sloooooower.
At 5:33 pm, I was done though, and packed up.

At 5:41 pm, I reached my car in the parking lot.

From 5:50 pm to 6:32 pm, I made phone calls to New York, mostly leaving messages on people's machines.

At 6:34 pm, I dropped off my clothes at the drycleaner.

At 6: 51 pm, I arrived home.

At 7:42 pm, I had dinner.

From 8:12 pm until now, I checked emails, watched Extreme Makeovers on TV and cleaned up the dishes.

In about ten minutes, I will shut down the computer and go to bed.

10:58 PM

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Let Freedom Ring... 
Turning on the TV, images of the Twin Towers cast shadows on the present moment. Two years ago today, I was planning to go to bed and have a normal day in the morning. Only a handful of people had different ideas planned for us.

The thing about living in a free society, is that we have the "right' to start thinking of other stuff... the economy, unemployment, the weather... which celebrity might become governor. It's a testament to our resilience, our pride... our arrogance.

We are as free to move on as we are to memorialize; become forgetful as we are to remain fearful. Freedom is as much a gift as it is a curse. It costs a lot and comes with a lot of baggage.

But it's definitely worth having.

In my little microcosm of work, today I set one of my team members "free" to teach a class by himself, for the first time. I had a lot of faith that he'd fly. With all the responsibility and hard work that freedom brings, he did me proud.

9:11 PM

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Drawing to a close... 
The meeting just had to provide colored pencils, didn't it? I'm a drawaholic... and I went off the wagon today. I drew everything I saw, and then some... from a view outside the window, to a pirate ship (inspired by a crude version on a flipchart)... to the light fixtures, playdoh jars and even the pile of colored pencils themselves,

My boss's boss commented that I was like one of those court artists that draws all the people on trial.

I hope they know I was paying attention... just feeding a deep part of myself that's been starved lately.

They had their pasta; I had my pencils... and it was good.

11:19 PM

Monday, September 08, 2003
Join the club... 
This morning's horoscope...
You quietly crave more variety. Accept a passive invitation. Join a new audience.
...pretty much summed up the day.

Although I was only supposed to present my little presentation, I was invited to participate in the manager's activities. It felt odd at first, since these people are several levels up; but it was nice to be considered an equal.

Afterwards, the top executive had everyone over to her house for a private dinner. To see these people in a very relaxed atmosphere was quite a difference than their daily lives.

We should just work from her home from now on.

10:22 PM

Sunday, September 07, 2003
Different Worlds... 
Went to a friend's birthday party yesterday at the California Yacht Club. She and her husband are members; both being partners in law firms and all. Very very nice place... and a lifestyle I'm sure I could get used.

Of course to get there, you have to drive past some of the poorest neighborhoods of Los Angeles, before reaching those pockets of wealth near the beach.

And then there's the other friend at the party who just returned from Africa, photographing the building of missions in a poverty stricken, war-torn region.

You struggle to finish your mushroom chicken and capers, over talks of Mediterranean cruises and children walking miles through the desert for water.

The stark contrasts remind you of how different the same world is for different people.

It cooled off as the fog rolled in.

I thought about the old woman I gave a dollar to at Starbucks the other day.

I went to the gym.

11:04 PM

Saturday, September 06, 2003
Independence Day... 
For fun, I took one of those psychological profile tests from emode.com... this one on what are my best qualities that stand out. The free results told me that I'm an Independent...
The fact that you're an independent person who is usually able to handle things in a self-sufficient manner really draws people to you! But that's not the only thing. Your answers on the test indicate you're an inventive and creative person who usually has an abundance of imagination and ideas. You are a funny person who is likely known for your great sense of humor, too.

We've found that your particular combination of qualities is rare — only 1 in 10,000 people share the same general mix of traits. Those are great odds if you're trying to show a potential employer, colleague, friend, or date why you're exactly the right person for them.
The email that came after the test said this...
Did you know that people who are independent tend to be more intelligent, determined, and have a higher sense of integrity than most?
Based on past experiences, I'd like to think that's true.

Although I'm not planning to buy this particular detailed report, I've always enjoyed emode and recommend it highly. Mostly cause it likes to delve deep into your psyche... kind of like a trip up the mountain with Gurustu :-)

10:52 PM

Friday, September 05, 2003
Doing what you can... 
They say you should always write about what you know. After my team meeting at Starbucks, I sat down to my laptop and Vente-Mocha-Frapp-No-Whip, and cranked out a new article. Well, it had a few false starts, but that's the joy of having a computer... no one has to see your scribbles.

Making the Most with What You've Got.

It comes out of having to do so much myself lately, filling in the gaps with my own quasi-qualifications. It isn't a reflection on the wonderful team I do have; it's just a slow reminder of the missing pieces (Come to think of it, maybe that's why the graphic is a puzzle piece).

I guess if I really wanted to make the most of what I've had lately, I should've had the lemonade.

11:23 PM

Thursday, September 04, 2003
Double time... 
I tried, oh how I tried, to finish up this current project by the time the next wave hit... but it doesn't look like I'm going to. It's vitally important that I finish up what I'm doing within the next couple of weeks... and yet starting next week, "all" my time needs to be dedicated to something new... not to mention "all" my time going into something else the week after (which I should be putting in "all" my time into right now if I really want to meet that deadline too).

Time is a funny thing... even if you had "all the time in the world" it'd still be 24 hours in a day.

Hasn't anyone invented something that can condense 36 hours into every day?

I need a timecruncher, and not one that just tells me the time...

11:17 PM

Wednesday, September 03, 2003
It is... 
Today the question was posed to me, "is it worth it?" meaning is it worth all the work I've been putting in... all the hours... all the grief...

My answer... "only if I want to succeed."

Success shouldn't be a struggle, but it often is. It certainly doesn't come easy, and it requires a lot of dedication and hard work. You know what they say about "if it came in a pill..."

So yeah, I think it is worth it, If only to prove to myself that it can be done.

It's very odd in my current environment because other people deliberately try to steal other's success. They do. I've not only seen it, I've been in those meetings...
Manager: Your project is going to So-and-So.
Me: Did I do something wrong?
Manager: Not at all, you've done great!
Me: Then why are you giving it to them?
Manager: Because Mr. Someone talked to Ms. Someone Else and they decided to give it to So-and-So.
Me: Do they know anything about the project?
Manager: No, but you can teach them.
Me: What do I do after that?
Manager: I don't know, we'll find you something...
And so it goes... usually with me and the team doing the same work we've always done, since were the only ones who know it; only we no longer get the credit.

So maybe that's why the question was asked... "is it worth it?" Afterall, three strikes and you're out right?

...but I'm not in it for the inning... I'm in it for the game. So my answer is still the same.

It is.

11:12 PM

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
In response to my latest article on the second wind, I was asked "how do you keep being creative, when you get in a rut?"

Ruts can be horrible, because even if the stuff you do is GOOD, for you it's the "same ole same ole" ... it doesn't hold any excitement for you; it looks like everything else you've done; it has no creative "spark." That can very easily lead to burnout... and eventually make you quit (which is a huge loss for everyone!)

A lot of what I said in the article applies to creativity as well... don't push it, take a break, ask for help... sometimes all I need is to get up and take a walk in order to get myself going again. But creativity is also different. It has a magical quality that can't just be forced, nor reached if you're doing the same thing today that you did yesterday.

What you need here is PLAY. It can come in many forms, but creativity happens when it is free. Whether you go someplace else to do something else, or bring in someone to "brainstorm" doesn't matter... as long as your mind is doing it differently.

Another thing to do is change the "mode" you're in. For instance, change the medium you work in... if you're a computer artist, pick up a pen and paper... or if you're a writer, try reading a bunch of books instead. How about getting out to a public place and just observing all that goes on outside yourself?

Many times creativity stops because we exhaust our resources within. Taking the time to "take it all in" is like refilling your gas tank.

Let it in, set it free and once again, it will come out.

11:16 PM

Monday, September 01, 2003
Camp it up... 
Went to see the movie CAMP tonight. It's kind of like Fame meets Meatballs; following the lives of a group of wannabe stars who spend their summer in a camp for performing arts, trying to find themselves and lose themselves at the same time. In contrast is an alcoholic washed up teacher who hasn't written a hit show in years who tried to douse their fire with a dose of reality.

It's a very endearing movie. It brought back memories of those years in high school, where we all dealt with those same issues (welcome to the teenage years).

I wonder if I had become like that teacher as I listened to his monologue. It was harsh, but very true... yet at the same time so full of regret and bitterness. I'd like to think I'm more optimistic than that, but having been out of the acting biz for some time, it just kind of makes you wonder.

What I found even more amazing than the movie itself, was when I went to check out the backgrounds of the actors on IMDB.com, for most of them, this movie is their one and only credit.

Is that encouraging or what?

I guess only time will tell.

10:56 PM


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