geek

Moving On

Thanks so much for all your thoughtful feedback on my last post. I’m very lucky to have such awesome people reading my blog. I’ve decided to write a letter to the CEO of the company to let them know what happened and then I plan to let it go. I don’t want to spend too much more time worrying about the negativity of that situation. I need all the room I can create for the positive, if you know what I mean.

That brings us to the assorted linkage of today’s program:

-Tomorrow we’re going to take the kids to the Promenade in Santa Monica and Alex and I are sneaking over to meet up with Thomas Hawk, Trevor Carpenter and some others for a Photowalk. The details can be found here at Upcoming.

This is a very accurate and compelling story written by a woman raised in polygamy and struggling to get out.

Cindy Samuels mentioned in an email the other day that my writing could be compared to Anne Lamott. Of course I then had to go reacquaint myself with her writing and found this gem. I think Lamott is fabulous and I had forgotten how much I identified with her truth. And it appears that where I’m getting to with religion might line up with her also. To think I might someday be as real and solid in my writing as her, well, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

-How many times do I have to ‘friend’ you before we are really and truly friends already? How many social networking sites have to spring up and be semi-successful before we begin using some kind universal ID system (maybe OpenID?) where I’m allowed to just suck in my already known and trusted ‘friends’ and stop having to go through the monotonous process or finding and friending you all again? Have Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Flickr, Involver, Upcoming and Pownce taught us nothing? And those are just the ones I use the most and the ones I can think of. There are many, many others. Make my life as end-user easier, already.

(As Far As I Know) Bloglines Sucks

Hello, you weary traveler. You’ll know I’m talking to you if you are one of the hundreds of people that get pinged each and every day with this old entry, this old entry or any number of other old entries. I’ve contacted Bloglines a few times and the very most cooperative they have been is to tell me it’s not their issue (when it VERY CLEARLY IS). The very least was the time they ignored me. Oh, and the other time they ignored me, too. Frustrated much?

Basically, I would suggest not using Bloglines anymore. People that read my feeds via other means, as far as I know, have not had any issues. But for the 159 Bloglines users that have contacted me, and the many others of you out there that just try to ignore it every day, let me just say – I’m sorry and I wish there was something I could do about it.

MetaFilter Junkie

I am mostly a lurker on MetaFilter. I love reading the entries. I think I don’t comment much, in fact I’ve only ever left one comment, because I never feel smarter than the other people already commenting and I’m not sure that what I would add would really be improving things. Thank goodness lots of other people don’t feel the same way as I do.

Recently, there have been two threads of really excellent reading. The first is the sad story regarding a baby that died. The title of the article by Nina Planck is Death by Veganism. Sadly, the death was really by stupid-ism or misinformation-ism. But the conversation that ensues in the comments of the MetaFilter thread are really quite wonderful on many levels, some beyond just entertainment. For example, according to Vegan.org, “A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products.” Which might include a mother’s breast milk if you interpret it that way.

In this particular thread, you go through entire lifetimes of social relationships in a matter of minutes. People get on a soapbox. People reply. People get testy. People get nasty. People get sarcastic. People apologize. People make up. Some people move on. Others come back and won’t let it go. It’s a fascinating commentary regarding online relationships. But, this particular comment, replying to an earlier comment, wins the prize for humor.

And I’d like to know how far Veganism goes myself. Antibiotics? Beer?

The second fascinating thread is this one entitled What it Feels Like For a Girl about an image of Allison Stokke that has been around the world and back again. What I find interesting is that the entry is written quite neutrally. This is the actual verbiage from aerotive:

This photo has launched high school pole vaulter Allison Stokke into Internet memedom. Her reaction: “I worked so hard for pole vaulting and all this other stuff, and it’s almost like that doesn’t matter. Nobody sees that. Nobody really sees me.”

But it only takes until comment two (?) or three for it to get into sexual innuendo. And from that point, it’s anyone’s game. People angry about the way men think about women. People angry that other people are making them out to be sexual assholes. The thread even encompasses what constitutes acceptability regarding ‘asking for it’ when it comes to internet fame. I personally don’t find anything wrong with her father’s watchful eye or their worrying about weirdos. As a mom, I totally get that. As a female I understand getting unwanted ogling and how aggressive men can be scary at times. And as someone who has a tiny understanding of human nature I think that all of their worry won’t matter much in the long scheme of things. She’s a top athlete. She’s trying to be an Olympian. Her photos are going to be on the internet and you can’t stop people from linking to them or thinking she’s sexy. But discounting her feelings of vulnerability seems pretty hardhearted if you believe that everyone has a right to their feelings.

But the Made Me Laugh Outloud award goes to this comment. And, thank you. Thank you. [LOL]

Also see: Ask MeFi, MeFi Music, Podcasts, My interview with Matt Haughey [6/2004]

Look, It's a Survey

Over there on the right side column at the very top you’ll see a survey. If you have ten minutes of your life that you weren’t using for anything important it would be awesome if you would click that link and answer some questions. In the long run, it helps the ads on this site be more relevant. In the short run, it could keep you from doing the dishes or folding socks or finishing that TPS report.

And by way of complete honesty, if you don’t do it, I totally understand because I probably wouldn’t do it on your site, either. But because I totally appreciate Blogads and how they hook me up, I thought I’d ask.

Yes, I am not much of a salesperson.

The Weekend? She Rocked.

Palm Desert is the land of many seniors. I grew up next to a place, which back then, was pretty much the same as PD is now. It was hot, kind of barren with localized sudden bursts of green and flowers and manicured lawns amid the homes that all looked like mirrored images of their neighbors, and lots and lots of older people accompanied with the smell of BenGay. And small dogs. Which is all great because what’s not to love. That town I grew up next to has changed somewhat since then. It’s kind of a college town with young families coming in. You know what happens when you get a bunch of young, procreating Mormons in one place….they go to church, organize the year supply room, finish the quilt, bottle the rest of the peaches and plant the garden. And then they make more babies.

The one major difference between the two places that I could see was money. And with that money in PD, many of the lovely, older ladies had chosen to do strange and unusual things to their faces. We had a sort of contest going on for who could take the best photo illustrating the problem but every time I got close to someone who would have for sure made me the winner, my hands and arms stopped working, my mouth got slightly slack and I couldn’t move. So, Aaryn won, although I can’t seem to find the photo that illustrated the Trout Mouth issue in her photostream. Update: I found it.

We were sitting at lunch, eating great Mexican food and everywhere you looked there were these women that don’t look human sitting next to men that actually looked their age. With their collars pimped up on their pastel-colored Polo shirts. But the women. Yikes. It’s like someone smeared all their features slightly with putty, lightened them up with bleach and then inflated their lips four sizes too big. It’s not pretty. It’s not fooling anyone. Stop it! You’re scaring me!

And then Susan took us to see bunny-headed people at the museum that were straight out of Donnie Darko. (Why? Why?? You’re scaring me!)

Katie has young knees. She spent most of the weekend crouching in one contortion or another, really working to get the shot.

Poor Tam was sick for a good portion of the time but her hair always looked great. I just thought she was crying because it was so hot and my breath smelled bad but it turns out that her cold medication wasn’t working very well. She told the funniest stories. Unfortunately, I can’t repeat them because of the blood pact we made to protect our own, but let me just say that thin walls make a great backdrop to a number of punch lines.

Jessica was kind enough to try on some of my hats. Holy crap, is that woman photogenic.

And Aaryn shamed us all with the size of her equipment.

This weekend we laughed our selves silly. Drank too much. Talked. And talked. Took naps(me). Susan made jambalaya which I’d never had before. We took a buttload of photos. Ate chocolate. And soaked our souls in great company. I slept in the same bed as Susan and I thought I must be snoring because when I woke up she had her pillow wrapped around her head. Turns out she just sleeps in a faux-smothering way every night. Or she was lying and my snoring was peeling the new finish off the kitchen cabinets.

We had our final brunch at the country club. (Where Doug managed to buy us our meal even though he wasn’t there. He’s magic like that. Thanks, Doug.) I was (ahem) slightly hung over. At one point, as Susan was taking my photo, I went to stick out my tongue and food, crumbs of dry bread, fell splatty out of my mouth and on to my shirt. Yes, we are not all good at everything.

We took our final, excruciatingly meta and self-absorbed portrait after lunch. Inside, there was a man in a candy-striped suit jacket singing All My Exes Live In Texas with a banjo. That kind of says it all.

Up Dating

Joe‘s been helping me get my site updated. (He says it validates!) I’m back on the work-path. I’ve got more energy and feeling pretty good. Today I even cleaned the bathroom. And vacuumed. And I liked it.

Tonight we worked on the published photos page. What do you think? Like it?

So if you were hoping to hire me for shooting photos (I swear I won’t lose your disk – I figured out an alternate plan so that will never, ever happen again pinky swear) or to write and/or edit, please look also at my writing credits.

My Ineptitude Is Astounding

Not once, not twice or three times, but four times in the past year, my friends, I have deleted the folder with all my daily read links in it. I love Firefox and would preach it if they asked me, but COME ON it would be nice to have a question box that asks ‘Are you really sure, YOU IDIOT, that you want to delete this entire folder you have been working on for months?’

So. Sigh. I am not going to remake the folder. Instead I’m going to do what I said I would never do because it seemed so dang hard. I made a link page on my blog. And since the links are there, there is no reason to have them on the side bar.

Because I am a delete-happy idiot, I’ve lost a good third of the sites I read. If you know that I read your site, please comment in this post so I can add your link to my page.

Trip Videos

I took short videos with my phone on my trip so Joe could keep up with where I was and how I was doing. I added in the music details to some of them. All are available here.

Here are some of my favorites:
Grape Vines

Hi, Joe

Forgot to Clean the Coffee Maker

King City

Paul Anka

Ween + TMBG

Santa Cruz high surf with Grace

Parrots of Telegraph Hill with Thomas Hawk

Protected chicken cutlet from Grace

City Night

Brought To You By

Traveling is expensive. I want to do more of it but the costs mount up and it restricts the amount of interviews I get done. It’s public transportation or rental cars and parking and gas, food and incidentals. But it hasn’t been lodging, thanks to super kind and generous people.

My sponsors so far have been:

Joseph Crawford
Isabel Kallman
Rhoda and Dave Anderson
Mickele Hughes
Grace Davis and her husband George

Each of them has been instrumental to me being able to get the Interview Project going. They are the people that support people like me: someone with an unproven idea but with lots of passion. They believe in me and there is no way for me to express how much that means. I can’t wait to launch the site on January 15th. I believe that what I’m creating will serve not only as entertainment but also as a library of the people that have helped to create and shape the internet and the blogosphere, which is important as things keep changing and morphing (as they should!) so we don’t lose where we came from or how we got here. The way our world has changed, the way we interact, the way we get things done, the way we stay connected and informed, the way our neighborhoods and friends have moved from our cities into our computers and the people that take advantage of all these new tools – it’s all worth a deeper look.

Soon, there will be a sponsor/donate page where you can help out if you want. In the meantime, feel free to PayPal leah [at] leahpeah [.] com. And for the person that wanted to donate and stay anonymous, you can always send cash or cashiers check made to Leah Peterson to my PO box. That would be awesome.

Interview with Rebecca Blood

Rebecca Blood has long since earned her Blogging Stripes. When you talk about the Old Timers of the Blogosphere, her name will always be uttered with a slight amount of reverence due to her famous essay on the history of blogs and blogging. Although below in her interview Rebecca states she has nothing to tell other bloggers, please let me suggest that her piece on blog ethics is a very worthy read for all current and aspiring bloggers.

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