Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hollywood Lives

For the record, I highly recommend playing tourist in the place you grew up. Since Reid had never really experienced LA, I trotted him around everywhere - Griffith Park, Farmer's Market, Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach ... and so on.

He'd requested a brief stop at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. It seemed like the cheesiest touristy thing we could do but it ended up being a real highlight for me, the person who had driven past it so many times without ever stopping.

For one thing, all those footprints, handprints and scrawled-in-cement autographs? I hadn't realized that the great majority of them are from Old Hollywood. We're talking John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Cary Grant. There's a smattering of newer folks, like Johnny Depp, but it's the Barrymores and the Pickfords who rule these hallowed grounds.

As a result, I experienced a giant, squishy pang of love for the place. Here were carloads - nay, busloads! - of modern-day tourists who probably hadn't heard of these stars of yesteryear. I heard one teenager say aloud: "Who is Bette Davis?"


Honestly, I could have stayed there all day. Reid took a photo of me putting my hands into Carole Lombard's tiny handprints. Perfect fit. Since she was so glamorous, ballsy and funny, she's kinda my hero. (That's her at right.) That she was married to Clark Gable and died in a plane crash while on a USO tour during WWII only cements (ha!) her place in my heart.

My favorite Grauman's moment was watching a little boy gingerly put his hands into the tiny imprints of Shirley Temple. Did he know who she was? Had he ever seen her films or her tap dancing? Probably not. But in the simplest of ways, it was the seamless melding of two eras - no technology needed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

LA Bound

After all my recent Boulder immersion, I'm craving the shallow, smoggy world of Los Angeles where the women are easy and the men are armed ....

Okay, not really. But it sounds a lot cooler than, "I miss my mommy!" Y'see, it's Mama Iva's birthday on Saturday and I'd rather she spent it with me 'cause I'm thoughtful that way. We're also going to check in on the desert cabin, just to make sure nobody's living in it.

I'm also dragging Reid along for the ride. He passed through LA back in the 70s but really has no idea what it's about. It'll be fun to show him around. The man has got the world's best LA tour guide (me) and the world's best hostess (Mama Iva) making him the luckiest man ever to visit the Southland.

I sure hope all the smogs clears up by tomorrow ...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

DiMe Spent

For several months now, I have been working to organize the Digital Media Convergence Symposium, also called DiMe. On Friday evening, it all came together and I'm so damn pleased.

Pictured above are some of the smartest folks I know - our panelists and moderator. I made them pose here just before the event kicked off. From left to right:

Michael Brown, Founder, Serac Adventure Films & Film School
David Rolfe, Partner and Director of Integrated Media, Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Aidan Chopra, Product Evangelist, Google SketchUp
Don Hahn, Producer, Disney ("Beauty & The Beast", "The Lion King")
Brian Robbins, Founder, Riptide Games
Krista Marks, General Manager, Kerpoof (Disney Interactive)
Jason Mendelson, Partner, Foundry Group
And our fabulous moderator, Robert Reich, Founder, OneRiot and the Boulder-Denver New Tech Meetup.

I could say an awful lot about this group but suffice to say, I am immensely proud to have worked with them. The audience was thrilled and we had to keep adding more chairs as people flowed in. The discussions around creative and technology were funny, invigorating and thought provoking. I got the biggest thrill of all watching panelists take notes during the panel. VICTORY!

Already looking forward to DiMe 2011 ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doggie Date

A couple of weeks ago (before my life was consumed with this), I had a wonderful date with a dog named Murray. He belongs to Chris and Beanie, two friends who live in Morrison. (Beanie is my horse teacher.)

I called up, nice and proper, and asked: "Can Murray come out to play?" I picked him up Saturday morning and off we went. Bless his doggie heart, he was so excited he sported a giant boner all the way back to Denver.

Reid came along and just like that, my two favorite Colorado boys were in one spot. Bliss! We took Murray for walks, played ball with him and introduced him to Beaudreaux, Reid's cat. (Murray could care less - he lives with two cats - but Bo was fascinated. Pretty hilarious.)

We also made a stop at Petco, where I bought Murray a massive $13 pork bone. He proceed to ignore said bone until Reid's teenage son and all his friends showed up. Something about the surge of testosterone in the room made Murray suddenly very interested in it.

Murray slept right next to me the whole night. It was pure heaven.

So, why write about my doggie date two weeks after the fact? Because I'm stressed out, hungover, tired and could sure use a doggie kiss right about now.

Saturday, February 06, 2010



That's the sound of one's iPhone dropping into the toilet, post-pee. I know now that is the worst sound in the modern world.

I was at Google in Boulder, being charmed by all the Google-y creativity and open-space joy that a place like that could offer. Seduced by a yummy yogurt drink made on-site, I sauntered past the climbing wall with my iPendage in my back pocket and headed for the ladies room. What can I say? I let down my guard, I was charmed ... I relaxed.

My flesh-and-blood appendage did not hesitate to reach into sunny yellow waters and retrieve the device. I sighed heavily and dried it off with a paper towel. (The shock did not set in for several hours.) In a fatal mistake, I attempted to turn it on and off. This, it turns out, is the kiss of death for water damage.

Helpful, sympathetic Googlers helped me plot the next move. "Oh nooooo! Go to the Apple store," they said. "They'll know what to do!" They looked up the address and guided me out the door" "Good luck!"

Apple - for all its sleek techy goodness - had only homespun advice for me. "Stick it in the fridge," said one Apple-ite. "Try a bowl of rice," said another. They guided me out the door with directions to King Sooper: "Good luck!"

I breezed into the store, grabbed the rice and did self-checkout all in total zombie mode - without speaking to anyone or eating any brains. I then headed to my next appointment at the Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau. (I'd alerted them by email about The Tragedy.)

Kim met me with a sad face, like someone in my family had died. We stuck the phone in a bag of rice, in a bag, in the fridge and said a wee prayer. Then we got to our conference call-meeting where I played the role of "person in charge." Hoooo boy.

Post-meeting, I called up a skillful monk who works magic on this sort of thing. Even he was not encouraged. If the rice trick didn't work, he said, bring it in and he'll open it up for $60. "Good luck!" he said.

On the drive home, panic seeped into my guts. I slowly began to realize just how attached I was to this device, making me both resentful and fearful. Beyond the basic ability to call 911 should I need to, I was now screwed in all kinds of ways.

How can I check my email? Who might be texting me right now? Where is the picture of the frog? Or the cowboy video? Where is the nearest bar? How do I get there? The scenarios just piled up. I just put on a sad jazz station and made the lonely, helpless drive home.

Back in my office, I launched into FULL FRONTAL FREAKOUT. See, I'm putting together this little party next week and it's kind of crucial that I be, y'know, reachable. Jesus.

I didn't know what to do except send a few emails and read an endless thread of hapless fools who had done the exact same thing. I found some comfort and hilarity there.

My favorite was the guy who'd dropped the damn thing in a porta potty, reached in that ungodly mess and eventually coaxed it back to life. "The only problem now is," he told the group, "every time I make a call, it smells like poo."

Eventually, Reid came and saved me from myself and we got margaritas. The next morning - while the iPatient sat in a bowl of rice undisturbed - I made busy on email. By Friday night, I had come to grips with its loss and one cold hard fact:

That with everything that could be wrong in my life - my family, job, friends, money, health, freedom, hunger, pain, loneliness - this is not insurmountable, just expensive. At the end of the day, it's just a fucking phone.

Image Credit: iPhone in toilet by Hankish.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


With only 10 Tesla stores in the U.S., I was lucky to walk by the Boulder store on my way to a fancy shindig. I couldn't help but go in and get behind the wheel of these amazing electric cars. That's right, ELECTRIC.

With one charge, these babies can go up to 244 miles and do 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. Mind you, base price is $109,000 and just 53 have been sold in Colorado but MAN, these are sexy cars. Sitting in one is like being in a super-charged go-kart; all the controls are incredibly simple and it feels like you are two inches from the ground. I desperately want to drive one.

The Tesla's are not unlike the first televisions. In the beginning, they were outrageously priced and only the very wealthy could afford them. Now, there are 2.5 televisions in every American home.

Therefore, it's only a matter of time before it's MINE.