Food for thought: On birthdays and the detached connected generation

So this week I turned the page on yet another chapter of my life.  I officially entered my 30s.  Last year was the BIG “dirty thirty” turnover and this was the step in.

As I had been not single for a majority of this year, I haven’t seen as many of my friends as I’d have liked to.  Add to it last year’s awesome birthday trip to Seattle was not in the works as I’m currently a Muse for Hire as well as teensy bit pregnant.  (Read: not even showing just yet)

As things have been a bit all over the map and tumbling down as well as riding up (I will go into them in other posts but you can start by reading this one here and this one here to get an idea of where to start) I started to have a few rain cloud thoughts about this year’s birthday.  A couple of shitty phone calls later from my past and, well, I wasn’t exactly feeling the most bubbly about everything.

Granted: there were TONS of birthday messages on my Facebook wall and a few of you even reached out to me on Twitter.  And that was fantastic and completely appreciated.

Despite the TONS of friends and wishes, There were only a few people who even asked what I was up to… less than I could count on one hand… and one of them lived cross country.

I felt crappy about it.  Silly as it were, and knowing that I had dropped off the radar a bit with my relationship, I still was bummed.   Moreso, I felt bad about being bummed- worried that it was potentially just another case of pregnancy hormones trying to get the best of me on my otherwise productive day.

It wasn’t until I ended up telling my current roommate about my plans for the evening that things really came into view.  As it turned out, he had talked to another friend of mine who also knew what was going on and they were trying to arrange a small little outing for me.

I felt like a total asshole.

“People probably assumed you already had plans because, like me, you’re always so busy.”

I bucked up a bit and helped pull the reins.  I reached out to a few close friends and asked them to dinner.  As it turned out, there will be more dinners in the works in the next coming days.  Friends were happy to go and hang out with me and have dinner and what not to celebrate.  They, like my friend commented, just assumed that I had other plans.

At dinner I mentioned the whole thing to friends as well.  It was a unanimous thing said amongst everyone.  As active as we are in our daily lives, how often, unless you have a set group of friends that you do things with CONSTANTLY how often do you take the time to ask someone what they are doing for their birthday?  Really take a moment and step back and think about it.  You might be incredibly surprised.

In a day and age where we are so digitally connected, we too often forget just how much it means to someone (who yes might totally be busy a lot of times) to even get asked the question of what they’re doing.  It may seem petty in a the scheme of things, it could mean the world to… even the people you think might think are social rockstars.

Special days are special because of the people we share them with.

While it’s true that social media is a great tool to stay connected with friends it doesn’t replace the power of going one step further and showing you are also real life person outside of a page.

 

Social stalking..now with geotagging! Episode 2: real time gps tracking

As if there weren’t enough of these little 2.0 toys to catch your fancy, this weekend when my friend from San Diego said he was heading up for the day to visit, he let me know of yet another.

For those of you in the know already, there are various geotagging programs out there. Stalking, therefore, (as I previously posted about) in the new media age has become even easier.

About 6 weeks ago I was invited to a very secret meeting to brainstorm ideas for a social media related topic. I knew only one person entering the meeting, but was taken back upon revealing my twitter identity, to be met with the question:

You’re on Brightkite aren’t you? I’ve seen you checked in here.

As these programs become more and more popular I can see this becoming a more and more common occurance. Can you imagine going to into a work meeting and having the following conversation occur:

1.So how was that bar you went to last night?

2.What bar?

1.Oh the one that you posted you went to on X social geotagging site….

As a woman it’s a scary thought.

I know of at least one woman who has been stalked via her geotagging submissions.

But wait, there’s more!

Enter gsped.com and google latitude.

Both of these sites utilize your phone to announce your locations in real time.

I’m not surprised. Again even scarier though.

My friend Dan Spisak just laughed at me.  I’d gotten lost on the freeway to go somewhere I’ve been a few times… that was down the street from work.

“Oh that would be wonderful.  Then I could give you some really bad directions and watch you get totally and completely lost in real time!”

Yes indeed.  Such wonderful programs… to get stalked on and give my friends ways to prank me.  Thanks 2.0!

Chase me.

It’s that time of the year. The season of trips and comings and goings. It’s a nonstop fest of go go go. But if by chance your dance card isn’t completly full this year, and you want to catch up with me.. here’s just a few things coming up on my schedule:

Wed-December 10th 7-10pm:

Microsoft Startup Zone, in partnership with Stephanie Agresta and Brian Solis of The TechSet, is hosting this event bringing together the tech innovators in Southern California to celebrate the launch of BizSpark, a new program for those who contribute to a dynamic ecosystem that helps startups flourish. Join us at Beso in Hollywood for free hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and have the chance to network with some of the most influential technologists around. Some of the hottest startups in town will be around to showcase their products. Also, all attendees can participate in a “twitter raffle” to win an XBox 360 Elite.

Pending attendees can sign up here on the Eventbrite invitation. And if you can’t make it to this one, there will be one coming up in San Francisco. So don’t worry bay area innovators- there’s more than enough coming your way too, even if it doesn’t mean a spot on Lalawag this round.

I’m pretty sure that I will be fashionably late to this event as it’s the day to get my crack, erm comic book fix. But don’t worry, I shall indeed be there unless I run over my cat again.

December 11th 5-11pm:

On Thursday, December 11th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, the Digital Family Reunion (DFR) is bringing the Southern California technology and business communities together for the holidays at the Skirball Cultural Center. In association with some of the region’s top trade associations and social networking groups, the DFR is throwing the holiday party of the millennium… so far! The DFR will reignite old relationships, spark new ones, and set the stage to kick off 2009 with a bright new start.

Inviting early adopters and legacy participants of the Internet 1.0 and today’s digitally apt Internet 2.0 tube dwellers, the DFR will create the optimum conditions for these generations to synergize with one another and inspire opportunities that will serve our industries, our region, and our society at large. Attendees will include leaders from all the major industry sectors such as media, entertainment, finance, publishing, venture funding, software, commerce, education, and many more.

This event is hosted by personal friends of mine. The crew from Digital LA has a track record of throwing some of the best parties in LA. They’re a classy but balls to the wall crowd. You will most definately be missing out if you don’t attend this one. You can find out more about the event and get tickets here as they’re bound to be selling out fast.

December 15th 7-11pm:

Get ready for our Digital LA Holiday Party! It’s time to digitally deck the halls of the appropriately-colored Green Door club in Hollywood. And chill with your digital friends for the holidays! Relax with drinks in the French-inspired Victorian lounge. Dance to our special holiday DJ mix. Don’t forget to ask for our Holiday Digital Drink special.

This event goes on once a month and I’m a regular attendee. So if I happen to miss you at this one, there are more opportunities to catch me at his events. So come on out, buy me a drink and meet some buisness contacts in the process. Sign up here and hope to see you there.

December 17th 7-10pm:

The holiday season has arrived! Since gamers know the importance of having a good time and staying young at heart is an important part of life. No child should ever be denied that right. Gaming communities, companies and players alike have decided to come together in the spirit of the season to give back to the little ones.

On December 17th, Gamers United is bringing together some the elite to host a toy-drive social for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. To be a part of this special party you must do two things. One, RSVP. Two, bring a new, unopened toy to gain entry to the soiree. Simple.

With the combined forces of the ECA, Gamer Vixens, Mimoco, Gaming Angels, Pwned and more, the children will not be disappointed.

There’s something about giving that makes feel all warm and fuzzy.  So what better way then to celebrate the holidays then giving back to our community?  If that wasn’t a good enough reason to attend, add to it those intelligent, awesome, and gorgeous women of the LA gaming scene.  Did you miss meeting someone at the Girls in Tech event last week? Here’s another opportunity to do so and help some less fortunate kids have a Christmas too.  So take some time aside, and RSVP here to come on out to this event.

and last but not least perhaps you can make a double header for this night…

December 18:

choice a)

Only a fool would miss The Mother of All Karaoke Christmas parties as we’re taking over On the Rox at The Roxy theatre, closing it to the public and LIVEStreaming the whole damn party! If you want to be “Internet Famous” here’s your chance.

The NY Tech/Media people think they can out party AND out sing LA, so we’re going to throw the biggest most ridiculous Karaoke Christmas party ever and LiveStream the show to the NY tweeps and all over the Web.

LA Tech, Entertainment, and Media come out and represent. Even if you don’t sing, come for the party.

Now this event is sure to be a blast- as my friend Francisco Dao will be dressing up in an Elvis costume.  It’s also being sponsored by Techzulu. Hopefully a few of the NY brat pack will come on out and see how exactly the tech crowd out  here gets things done.

choice b)

Mindshare is a monthly event which was created to serve as a platform for networking and the sharing of ideas across a wide range of fields.

The evening consists of presentations, food, drink, art and music, within the ambiance of a stunning loft outside of downtown LA. Founded in 2006 by alum of Art Center, RISD, Caltech, Claremont and Stanford, Mindshare works to foster a sense of community within this vast city.

Now, sadly I haven’t gone to one of these yet.  I really shouldn’t be saying that out loud or I’m likely to be flogged with a stick of string cheese or something.  However,  every single person that I know that has gone has had nothing but great things to say about it.  A friend of mine even met the guy she’s been seeing there.
It makes the 18th a very tough call.. and I may have to hit both of them.  Either way, you’re night is sure to be one to remember.  Rsvp here for karaoke and here for Mindshare.
I hope I see everyone at some of the events!  Back to the 9-5 now though.

off the radar update

It’s been a good couple of weeks since I’ve really made a cameo into the social scene but that’s about to be changed.  I’ve been pounding the virtual pavement feverishly for leads… to be given an offer a few weeks ago.  I was very optimistic about the position as its within the industry I have the most experience in- video games.

Fingers crossed, I will be starting back the 9-5 days on Monday.  I am beyond eager to finally get back in line.  The lapse has been beyond frustrating as it has been pushed back not 1, but 3 times now.  When I was originally offered the spot, they told me that I’d be starting the following Monday, then it was supposed to be this Monday, and now this coming Monday.

The beauty about any job within the entertainment industry-much like tech, is that continuous love/hate relationship.  You are either swamped with tons of work or are sitting by the phone waiting for the call.  I crave the 12+ hour days.  To an extent, I’m kind of envious of the grip (even if he does get injured quite a bit at work) because you can tell how much he loves his work, despite the drawbacks.  I believe that’s part of what it takes to be successful here.

Passion.  Dedication.  Drive.

One can’t put all their eggs in one basket, as I have learned over the past few weeks even more so that time is a pertinent and valuable commodity.  I’ve lost quite a bit playing the waiting game.   I am also currently looking for other solid leads.

That said, however, and this is a bit embarrassing to admit, it’s hindered on my ability to go to as many events recently as I skim through the teensy bit of savings I have left.  This isn’t meant to be a pity party at all- I’m alright thanks to a few wonderful people within my life.  (Though if you must insist on buying me alcohol, I won’t turn you down… please keep it roofie free unless you’re incredibly attractive and/or otherwise awesome though) I’ve just been pushing myself to be incredibly responsible even more so than usual.

When I found out about a friend of mine hosting a PR 101 meeting last night and wasn’t there, I felt really bad that I had not been there to support her.  She is absolutely amazing and I could learn a lot from her.  The people are first and foremost why I attend these functions.  They are a varied web of open source information if you only take the time to listen.

I was hesitant at first to committing to anything but decided that I miss my friends and enjoy the events quite a bit.  I miss hearing people’s stories.  I want to know more about them, and how they push the envelope for their industries.  I’m pushing myself to attend more again, even if I feel like it happens sporadically as compared to the past.

Who knows?  Maybe someone out there will have the opportunity I’ve been looking for.. or maybe, just maybe I’ll be that for them.

I look forward to seeing the usual suspects tonight.  I’ve missed you.

*Cheers*

Mindfucking

This was going to be pretty epic tonight.  I was going to bring not just a date to a social media event, but someone I genuinely care about- two things that I haven’t done yet.  It was talked about me having a possible +1 previously, but…

This would likely have been the last tweetup I’d be able to go to down south for awhile.  Work during the week prevents my schedule from being quite as free to taking the long drive down.

I love going home.. there’s a freeing feeling that I get everytime I’m there.  However, there is also some mindfucking I could do without.  I am sick and tired of bullshit games and drama over absolutely nothing.  Fret not, I haven’t been scared off of going to the events (sorry to break it to you, you know who).  I will be attending them occassionally, but just not as frequently as I have been.

To my friends down there who are unfortunately effected by this, know this has absolutely nothing to do with you.  You are amazing and I wish I was closer.  Some days I just wish more than anything I was back home… 5 minutes away from the heart of.. my heart.  But last month’s events, and now the developments I have here…

I value my sanity and my relationship with the grip more than to tolerate the unnecessary garbage I have had to deal with when even in the same room and civil as…

I’ll see you someday soon I hope.  Maybe on a weekend we can have our own mini-tweetup and catch up.

for no reason

He claimed she was no one to him.

“Just a friend!  Just a friend!.. Who you’re probably jealous of.”

And admittedly I was.

Once upon a time.

In another time.

Now it’s a given that I date quite a bit.  Or rather, have dated quite a bit in the past.  It takes a lot to dazzle me.  I hadn’t found the person I was willing to be exclusive with.  I enjoy the single life far too much to be tied down with a ball and chain to someone less than extraordinary.

Once upon a time.

In another time.

I thought this man and I would one day be that exclusive couple.  But he was far too greedy as well, but wouldn’t admit it.  Our last sexual romp involved arguing about his philandering ways.

“No more. No more.”

“Yes mam'”

We pseudo parted ways.   Taking yet again another “time out” as it were.

Because that’s what you do when it’s more than just throws of passion under the sheets- however amazing as they may or may not have been.

Part of me craved that volatile relationship.

One upon a time.

In another time.

He ended up becoming official with this girl now.. who he’d claimed was only a friend.  He’d brought her to parties and functions… who did he think he was kidding by thinking everyone didn’t at least gather they had to be sleeping with each other.

She was local.  It was conveniently accessible.  He’s all about the convince.  We’ve been through this before, earlier in the year when the equivalent of his first love- someone he was previously engaged to but broke it off with.  He doesn’t pursue a challenge, or he didn’t before.

Now this current affair.  I don’t know a lot about her.  It’s not my business.  I will say this though… she seems to be amazing, talented, intelligent, funny and beautiful.  She is good for him.  They could potentially be good for each other.

So why when she was away did he so quickly have me in his bed?  Why continue this push and pull game with me?  Is it just sex?  It could very well be.  Then you add in other things…

A friend of mine and I had a falling out a bit ago.  Previously him and said friend didn’t care for each other.  Miraculously he messaged her soon after I told him that we had a falling out.  He’s quite manipulative and knows what hes doing.

Something that we had discussed since near the beginning of our courtship.. he was now talking about doing with her.  This.. girl he knew vaguely in instant messages versus me, whom he’d had a history with.

I was frustrated, but I let it go.  I let them both go.  I focused on other things.  I focused more on me.

I went down there again.  That place is home and I’m passionate about those events regardless if he’s there or not.  I went down there for my friends.  But most importantly, I went down there for me.

When I was there, I met someone that he was associated with.  Someone I’d heard of but hadn’t formerly met.  To Big, I was never interested in talking to him because you knew him at all.  It wasn’t a plot to try and make sure you were stuck dealing with me.  I just thought that person might be awesome and he is.

I didn’t approach Big at the party.  I let him be.  I didn’t want to intrude on him and his girlfriend.  I genuinely respect them.  I would like to get to know her better.  I hadn’t given her a chance before, and that was just me being a baby.

Something happened in the interim of a hug at a party to later that night.  I’m really not sure what exactly it was either.

He has since deleted me from all social networks and the one time I tried messaging him politely to find out his version of the story, I’m gathering that I was likely blocked.

I didn’t expect this to happen.  I expect little anymore.  I shouldn’t even give a care about that whole mess.  But for some reason.. I valued the friendship and time we had invested in each other.  I guess I’m just a masochist for letting it go but wishing things ended amicably.

Is it so wrong to want someone you cared about to be happy?  To walk away knowing you really did all that you could in order to make things…

Its amazing how when you let go, you realize how much you really were cheating yourself about.  Sure I’ve dated quite a few frogs.  I’ve met a few worthwhile princes.

And then I met my “princess.”

confessionizer:

i wish that i said goodbye instead of running away from our issues and text messaging you…
would things of been different? its the question I ask myself every second of the day… I MISS YOU.

Sometimes I wonder… why people do things like this.. and I think of the situation with “Big” & me.  There wasn’t a text message.  Hell, I’m not even sure what exactly transpired in the interim.  All I know, is that I did all I could do.  Most of the time I feel amazing about it.. but others, I wonder if things could have been different too.

Things with me and the grip are absolutely amazing- in that extremely cute but sickening kind of way.  It’s calming and non dramatic.  It’s this warm blanket of something so wonderful it almost feels surreal.

And yet, at the same time… it’s not chaotic.  It doesn’t feel completely challenging.  With “Big” it was this struggle of heart.  This tug of war because neither of us wanted to admit that we were powerless.

I let go.  I had the wind knocked out of me.  The drive home from home had hit me like a brick truck.  I drove in silence.  The sound of the road. The hum of the traffic. No music.  Just pavement and air.  Of puffs of cigarettes and pffff.

I need to have a beach day.  I need to run away to the one love affair that is both that volatile storm of passion and the crackling fireplace on a cold winter’s night.

I adore the grip.  I know that Big is wrong for me.  So why does this even phase me?  I think I need some ice cream and a good spanking. /calls the grip

Thankful

Well, miracles happen.  I will be returning to my beloved SF this weekend for the Techcrunch excursion.  Thanks in part go to @zemote @techzulu and an unnamed person for helping to making this happen.

I’m an overcome by this sense of zen.  Eradicated all that is toxic from my life.  Leading a life of more positives.  I feel as if I’m on the upside of karma.  I want to do some charity work again.  Anyone else with me?  It feels like it’s been ages since I did it.

Oh yes, in case you didn’t know, I used to help out and do photography for a local non profit when I lived in Bakersfield.  It wasn’t all great, but there were a few alright shots in there if I do say so myself.  You can view a sampling of that work here.

I feel like a bit of a hippie.  There is so much that I still need to do.. but I want to thank all of you that have believed in me.. that continue to believe in me… that are there for me in ways of the heart.

It feels good to be alive.

Dear SF,

It’s been too long.. we are overdue.

See you soon magic city of 07.* (*blog to come about that later)

~j