"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Net Worthless

Existential crisis of meaning. Four years in Chapter Three. Leaving Westhaven. A new life is coming, but what sort? Well dude, we just don't know.

So here's this table from a slide from a presentation my business partner sent me as part of our ongoing project to raise the level of our entrepreneurial game. It's about people's motivations for starting businesses:

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It Seems I Have Been Walking For Years and Years and Years

Mood music from some kind of genius.

I'm coming unmoored from the patterns and places that have been holding me down (or stabilizing me) for the past four years. Like a piece of space-borne high tech equipment that becomes disconnected from the mothership, my relationship to my previous live becomes more and more a product of literal inertia. Gaps begin to emerge.

Nothing as yet is rushing to fill in the spaces. The new direction is unclear, less a product of intention and energy expended than drift. I am shifting geographies and societies, but this is a broad infrastructural initiative — like vowing to lose 10 pounds or to read the classics — and not an end in and of itself. Something that I'm doing the hopes of causing something else to happen.

I'm feeling increasingly strongly that this little fugue should resolve itself in another iteration of various life philosophies. Another turn of the wheel, at which point I'll be inspired and driven to start communicating The Word again.

Finally, apropops nothing, here's a nice little piece from William Gibson about how his novels have always been about "now", and have gradually made the transition in setting from being 300 years in the future (when he was writing in the '80s) to being set in about a year ago (as he writes now).

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Even Flow

I've been on a new kick this week, trying to set small and achievable goals for myself both in terms of taking on the often overwhelming sea of responsibilities with which I contend, and in improving the general quality of my life. So far I have a few things working:

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In Which I Enumerate What I've Been Doing Instead Of Blogging

So, what's been going on? Clearly I'm not doing a great job of expressing myself in the written word, and aside from what you might intuit from Twitter there's been precious little to go on in terms of my life and times. If it's any consolation, I've been similarly vague and opaque in real life too; when conversation turns to me and myself these days I've been full of noncommittal generalities.

The truth is, a lot is happening, so much and so constantly that I'm not really keeping up with the processing. The spiritual backlog is growing, technical debt to the soul.

One big thing that's been happening is that I met a woman. When I've revealed that to my friends of late I say it with italics — "I met a woman" — and with a kind of level eye-look that tells them I'm serious. She's out in New York City, a Lawyer by trade, double Ivy, South Asian, whipsmart and gorgeous (natch) and loves to dance. Her name is Rina and she's inspired some quality prose and two weekend visits back East this spring thus far.

It's geographically improbable, but I'm uncharacteristically sanguine. We have passed beyond initial worries that spending 72 hours together might become unbearable — that we won't actually like one another upon close examination — and into the subsequent worry that oh hey we actually do, and so now what.

Did I mention she's moving to London? Oh, yeah, she's moving to London, but again I'm uncharacteristically optimistic. However, it is beginning to dawn on me that this may actually be kind of unpleasant. Time will tell. I play the long game.

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Growing Up In My Own Way

That's right, today I am Thirty One (31) years of age. Been feeling nostalgic for all sorts of things in general — getting ready to move out of Westhaven, for instance — so will hopefully have something nice to write about that soon. Also working on a redesign!

In the meantime, here's a tune:

Age Like Wine by Todd Snider

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In Which I Ponder My Life and Career and Think About Working Out

Spent this past week at this little get-together called Drupalcon. I've done a poor job in general explaining what this "Drupal" is to my non-nerd quadrant of friends, and it's a pretty long story with a lot of angles and beautiful idiosyncrasies. And also now kind of a big deal on these old internets. Like, 3000 people showing up for a conference we organized, with major sponsorships from technology heavyweights and a presentation from the White House.


The first wave of my professional life was very startup-oriented. Silicon Alley from '98 to '01. I never made any money of course, but as a 19 to 22 year old kid it was amazing experience both on technical and business fronts. The second wave was all about politics, but definitely had that scrappy startup kind of vibe, bootstrapping an insurgent campaign and then getting the non-profit equivalent of venture financing to try out some totally unproven ideas, including building a professional space around Drupal and participating in the dot-org boom. After that I took some time off and freelanced, then started a company. While starting ones own company is an integral part of being an entrepreneur for real-real, the first few years of this were a lot of hard learning curve for me, and to be honest it was a lot harder than I thought.

Now, exhausted from an excessively busy week and battling a devilish low-grade cold, I still feel like, once again, the buzz is back. It's a new wave. I'm back to sleeping six hours a night and waking up jazzed.

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Astral Weeks

Blog-radio silence lately. I've been deep in the throes of nerd-dom (as the old tweets would attest) and haven't had the energy or will to come up for air and put it all together.

And this isn't me doing that either. This is me apologizing and promising Better Things To Come(tm) in the not too distant future.

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Scenes from a Sleepless Night

Couldn't sleep last night. Partly because I got all het up on Saturday and split a bunch of wood giving me a sore back, partly because I am — in the words of Phife Dog — <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHvmY5n1QcQ">stressed out more than anyone could ever be, and partly because the air mattress in Zacker's front room has a slow leak and deflates overnight, waking me back up at 3:30am for round two of the toss'n'turn.

But beyond the work-stress, familiar ghost that it is, there was something else flickering through my mind and keeping me awake, something born of contemplating the move away from Westhaven and reading The Savage Detectives and wondering anew about love. I started thinking back to the hot heady Summer of 2001, which is nine years ago. What it felt like to be a free man in Brooklyn, artistic pretensions and honest poverty and beautiful people every which way you looked. Potential unlimited. We did theater in backyards and hit up illegal dance parties in warehouse basements. It wasn't even all that early, but it was before things are like they are now. And I was young. Innocent even.

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Easy. You Know, The Way It's Supposed To Be?

Hippy music, please:

One of my most important original philosophical catchphrases is "The Most Important Thing Is To Stop Struggling." It's something I remind myself of frequently as my career goes through its whips twists and turns. Sometimes you find yourself in one of those situations where everything seems hard, impossible to begin on, just overwhelming. Sort of like being waist-deep in rubble.

Often the short term answer is to roll up your sleeves and dig out, because this is sometimes a devastatingly effective cheap psychological trick. That pile of dirty dishes never takes as long as it feels like it'll take, for instance.

But, then there are the times where you feel constantly like you're getting reset to that buried state, where you're beating your head against the wall, doing the Sisyphus shuffle. When you notice that, it's time to take a breath, look around, and see where/how/when to move laterally. Because as much as life is unfair, and full of adversity and strife and honest-to-goodness challenges, it's also supposed to be — like the CSNY song there — sort of Easy.

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Memories Of Pop Songs Coming From A Shower Radio

More music please:

This is a top-40 hit at the moment, and in heavy rotation (obviously) back out there in Nueva Jol. The video is a little ridiculous, but I challenge you not to let that chorus stick somewhere in your brain. You just gotta give it up for Jay-Z. He's been cranking out anthems for the better part of twenty years now. I remember when I first landed at NYU you couldn't walk fifteen feet without his hard knock life chorus ringing out from a car passing by. It wouldn't be the city without him.

I arrived back in San Francisco Tuesday morning having caught up on a little rest (better sleeping through chemistry) and in time for a pretty big pitch meeting followed by a couple long days in the office. Drove up the 101 Wednesday night, fueled by mate and hope and glimpses of stars, really dropping the hammer north of Willits and making the whole run in just about five hours.

Best moment was that stretch between Laytonville and Legget where the road opens up to three lanes to accommodate slow truckers and you get that huge vista of the eel river canyon just packed with great old trees; moon was just starting to rise up behind me and at that point I was up above the fog level, nobody else on the road. Rolled down the window and let the world in; pure north coast magic.

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