Fame via Complaining

Yes! Witness my 7.5 seconds of demi-fame in KPIX Consumer Watch's Problem Solvers segment on license agreements. (Look for the clip called "Problem Solvers Tackles Software Issues.")

How suave I am as I note that it's not worth my precious drips of time to read EULAs when I install software! How charming as I maintain that I'd be happy to allow someone (or something) else to do the work for me, thereby freeing me up to pour another glass of wine and polish my seemingly spotless desk! And what impressive typing skills!

(Thanks, Joshy, for letting me be your star.)



Having done well for myself thus far this year, and itching as I am for a vacation that doesn't involve anything work-like, New England, or DC, I just bit the bullet and booked myself passage (in CONNOISSEUR class, natch--and free) to Europe for two weeks this September.

I haven't been out of North America since John and I went on our Epic European Adventure in the summer of 2002, and I'm achily excited at the prospect of returning to The Continent. Explaining to J recently why now seemed like a good time for a reprise, I wrote

You should know, J, that 2002 stands out as perhaps the best year for me in recent memory, in no small part because of my various travel adventures, including the Epic etc. Though I don't want to jinx myself or the ten months that spread out ahead of me, I will say that 2006 has been pretty swell thus far, and a return to EUROPE would only help this year clinch the title of Best Yet. I am determined to do what I can to get my ass on foreign turf.

It's true: though 2002 is still, in many respects, the year to beat, the past few months have signaled a possible return to balanced existence again after the annus rather horribilus that, by and large, was 2005. I hold out hope not that this year's trip to Europe will be a rehash of the memories I love so well of four years ago, but rather that it will bring a raft of its own stellar moments.

So, J, ass (&c) coming your way.


The California Dream

Before the Bay Area dipped into its (relative) cold snap a few weeks back, there were a few days that were so impossibly clear and warm--especially in the South Bay, where I've spent more than my fair share of time--that they made me wonder how I could ever even consider leaving.

Indeed, there's much to be said for our balmy mid-winter weather, which has always been one of my favorite things about living in Northern California. When it's possible to leave the house without a jacket, and perhaps to find yourself too warm regardless, it's easy to believe that you're living the sweet California dream, to fantasize about sun-soaked fields and genteel living and a sense of bright hope and all those other images that once made up the state's iconography.

The slightly less glittery reality, though, is that things are no longer quite as golden. You can still find the fields, but they're fewer and farther between, and broad swaths of the state seem to be losing them altogether. The genteel living is increasingly hard to come by as prices still (miraculously) climb, with no sign of drifting down. The hope sometimes seems to go as easily as it comes.

But maybe that's just the rain.