Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Screw you, Casey. Live in a box. A soggy one. With a hole in the top."

When I sell the house that we currently don't own, I'm going to be the biggest bitch everyone has ever met.

Totally going to mindfuck all the buyers. I'm going to sit on contracts for weeks on end. I'm going to not accept the highest bidders. I'm going to tease by putting it on and off the market. I'm going to have "open house" and then lock all the doors. I'm going to put it on the market for a ridiculously low price so that the biggest bidding war known to man ensues.

Because I will be the seller.

And I can.

Psychotic much? Yes please.


Originally uploaded by lilmissimpatient.
Again, I wait.

I'm so over this house hunting process. So very over it. The hunting part is fun - the wait to see if the hunt was a success is another story.

We are supposed to hear back today. I've been trying to keep myself busy doing menial little chores around the house.

The chores included washing Guido. He was overdue for a bath, and getting quite ripe. However, we were out of his normal shampoo...The special oatmeal-infused-super-expensive-wonderful for his skin shampoo, so he got a combo of Evan's Balsam and Protein shampoo, and my Tressemme conditioner.

He is now silky soft and smelling like a girl.

I have a feeling he won't be talking to me for a while. But that's fine, at least he doesn't smell like a sock anymore.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The opposite of Progress

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees, and has the following statistics:

-29 have been accused of spousal abuse
-7 have been arrested for fraud
-19 have been accused of writing bad checks
-117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
-3 have done time for assault
-71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
-14 have been arrested on drug related charges
-8 have been arrested for shoplifting
-21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
-84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the past 12 months

Do you know what organization this is?

It's the United States Congress.

The same group of idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Thank fucking god it's Saturday.

And I mean it.

Want to hear about my Friday? Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.

We drove down to Dale City to check out a fairly decent townhouse - 3 levels, nice end unit, big windows, cute stream in the back. The house had actually gone on the market Thursday afternoon around 3, but neither Morgan nor I had the time or energy to battle rush hour to go down and see it. Morgan called the sellers at 8:45am on Friday, just to double check that it was okay to look at. So, we went at 9am, the second the lockbox opened to look at the house. It was adorable inside, well maintained, a fireplace!!

We decided by 9:15 we'd like to make an offer on it. 9:30, Morgan called to get the fax number to fax our offer, but alas, we were too late; the house was SOLD. Sometime between 8:45 and 9:30 an offer was faxed in and accepted. Someone bought the house literally from under our feet.

Instead of taking this as an omen for the day to come, we plugged on. Dropped Evan back off at work, went to the doctor, called Lauren a few times, and then the fun began.

I picked up Lauren to go to the DMV. Always a fantastic finish of the week. I needed new registration stickers for Evan's car, and she needed a vast array of DMV documents. After paying my outrageous sum of money (okay, okay, it was only $63. But still outrageous), I waited in line for Lauren's new license with her. When it was our turn, a man with a lightbulb shaped head asked what we needed. Lauren, in her polite Michigan voice explained she needed to pick up her new license. Lightbulb man asked who told us to come to him for that. I piped in that the man three windows down had, in fact, sent us down here.

"That's NOT true," said the lightbulb. Minor aggitation and a few choice words later, we left with Laurens license and my registration in hand. We were unsuccessful in getting the stickers for her car though. Keep that in mind, it will be important later.

We meandered into the parking lot, bitching about the DMV and the state (commonwealth) of Virginia, when lo and behold, there is the spot where I left my car. Only, my car is missing. MISSING!!!!! I paced like a mad woman, Lauren lit a panic Parliament, and we mused about what could've happened to it. Enter: The sign.

The sign that I swear was definately not there when we got to the DMV. The sign that was directly behind the sign that said "DMV." The sign that says "Parking for Dollar Store Only. No DMV parking." And below it, the number of a tow company.

I called. Yes, ma'am, they sure did have my car. They'll gladly release it for $95 cash. NO checks. NO credit. NO debit. NO money order. Give them the green.

But how to get there...We begin calling 411 to get the numbers of local cab companies, when Crazy Cabbie wanders out of the DMV. I run up to him, and try to explain our situation. He is off duty, but agrees to run us up the road to Lauren's house. We pile in and get underway. Crazy Cabbie missed our turn, and proceeds to put the cab in reverse and back up half a block down the Columbia Pike. We throw $8 at him and leap from the car never to look back.

Back on the road in Lauren's Buick, we stop at 7-11 so I can MAC out the appropriate fees to pay the ridiculous towing fare. The second my foot hits the pavement, my flip flop broke. I kick the shoes off, and proceed into 7-11 barefoot, carefully avoiding sticky melted Slurpee and the just mopped section.

My money safely tucked back into my wallet, I hop barefooted into Laurens car where we proceed to drive around for 2 hours, following erroneous directions from some punk kid who answers the phone at said ghetto tow company. We end up in the parking lot of the DMV, where it all started and demand to be given EXACT directions.

As we pull from the parking lot of the DMV, there was a cop, waiting at the light. As we passed, he turned his head and gave us the police staredown. Sure enough, he rounded the turn and the gumball lit up.

Lauren showed him the papers from the DMV. She showed him her new license, still hot off the DMV presses. She showed him the papers and explained the ones she forgot, so she couldn't get her stickers. He sneered, and wrote a ticket anyway.

Friday ended with the two of us curled into our own little respective ball, wrapped in a blanket, semi-comatose state.

Registration Stickers: 63.00
Cab Ride: 8.00
Tow Fee: 95.00
Pain and Suffering: 14 million
TOTAL FEE: $14,000,166

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Originally uploaded by lilmissimpatient.
Dear Lauren,

I have your iPod. I am holding it hostage until you meet my demands. Please note that I verify my claims by the photo to the right of this blog. Take note of the date on the paper. Time is running out on the 'pod, Lauren. I demand the sum of one gajillion dollars in small (5's and 1's, so as not to tip anyone off) unmarked bills. Place the gajillion dollars in the basket I will hang off of my balcony no later than Tuesday of next week. Wednesday, if you're super busy. Also, in addition to the gajillion dollars, I would like some cookies. Thank you and goodnight.

Your iPod Stealing Friend

Monday, June 20, 2005

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

My husband informed me that he read this Commencement Speech from Steve Jobs last week. But I'm slow on the up and up, so, I'm sharing it today, because I really liked it.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Simple Kind of Life

I had a complete breakdown today, and threw up in my doctors office. Appealing, isn't it? The doctor who I can't look in the eye. The doctor whose office is full of antique lace things and stiff victorian chairs in the waiting room. Yup. Vomited in her office. Definately wasn't in keeping with the decor.

She asked what I wanted from life.

I just want a simple life. I want a home, a husband and a dog, kids in the yard playing.

She's impressed with my education, she's impressed with my writing, she's impressed by my GPA. But none of those things matter. It's not who I am.

I'm just a simple girl from a little beach town. A girl with sand between her toes and sea salt curls in her hair.

I want to go back to a small beach town. I want to give my children what I had growing up. A carefree summer with new people streaming in. New friends every week, and a new beginning each fall. I want them to know their neighbors. I want them to respect their family. I want them.

But instead, here I am, in a posh neighborhood, filled with Prada shoes and Lexus trucks. Brand new blackberries and wireless everythings. Cars with more gadgets than my parents house. No lawns, they're too much work. No homes, they take up too much room. No time, no time, no time.

No time to relax, no time to get to know people. No time to plant gardens, no time to simplify.

Because really, why should we simplify, if a machine can do it for us?

And that makes me vomit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

On pins and needles

I hate waiting.

As a naturally impatient person, waiting is like THE bane of my existence. I. Hate. Waiting.

And yet, I wait. I resist the urge to call the realtor for the 43,568th time today. He'll call me. He promised. He will call as soon as he knows something. And this afternoon, he beat me to it by calling me even when he didn't know anything.

I blame the current owners of the house, greedy little bastards that they are. We gave them what they want, and they want more.

Well, HA! Jokes on them. We don't HAVE more. So there, Mr. Fancypants Homeowner.

We'll know by 5pm. One hour and twelve minutes from now. Do you know how many seconds are in one hour and twelve minutes? A Million. At least.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

At the risk of sounding angry

and therefor scaring away my beloved blog readers, I am about to post a not nice blog.

So, if you are looking to read about fluffy clouds, rainbows, puppies, or smiling babies, please take your blog reading elsewhere. Having said that, let us gleefully proceed into my rant, shall we? We Shall:

If it is your job to spend other people's money, then please, do your god damn job correctly. Truly, is it so hard for you to double check your calculator? Is that THAT difficult for you to say "I'm not competent enough to do this for you, please hold on, and I will get my manager." Really, you didn't even have to say please. "Let me get my manager," would be sufficient.

Instead, I am left speaking with what sounds like Napoleon Dynamite on the other end of the phone. He can't do his job for shit, but it's okay, because he's pretty good with a bo staff.

So, essentially...We. Are. Fucked.

We have an accepted contract that we don't have the means to back up.

Because some punk kid on the other end of the phone can't crunch the numbers. Even though that is his sole purpose in life.

Yes, totally and completely, 100%, most assuredly


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Excuse me, you're invading my bitter box.

What. Ever.

We didn't want the keys to your stinking house anyway.

It was ugly.

And smelled funny.

And looked like a 70's design fiasco.

And your momma dresses you funny.

No, I'm not bitter.

Not. At. All.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Right there by the X

Last night, Morgan, our realtor came over.

We three sat huddled around stacks of papers, each had our own alcoholic beverage set at our fingertips. We talked money. We talked lack of money. We talked theory and family.

In the end, we wrote out a proposal. We signed at the X, highlighted in yellow (so we didn't miss it), careful to squish our names onto the dotted line. With one swoosh of Morgan's fancypants pen, we offered:

We'll trade YOU, Mister and Missus SoonToBeNoMore, seller of house on Cloudcroft Court, no less than our entire savings account, and our debt for the next 30 years, if you kindly give us the keys to your home.

Please give us the keys to your home.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

It's probably like my favorite animal..

Originally uploaded by lilmissimpatient.
..bred for its skills in magic

There you have it.

A Liger.

Not as cool as I thought it would be. I think was expecting a big lions mane. Maybe that only happens in Tigons.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Never have I ever...

...Gone to every single class in a semester
...Been late on a rent payment
...Caused a car accident
...Cheated on a lover
...Hit a living thing in my car
...Pumped my own gas
...Gotten "learn chinese" on the back of my fortune
...Gone to a follow-up doctors appointment
...Been able to recite the Nicene Creed in church without stumbling
...Bought a piece of jewelery for myself
...Baited my own fishing hook
...Felt embarrassed about singing as loud as I can in my car
...Wanted a career
...Injected myself with anything
...Had a threesome
...Had a drug test
...Driven drunk
...Seen a ghost
...Eaten squid, oysters, mussels or octopus
...Wanted to
...Weighed how comfortable a pair of shoes are to their cuteness