Of Hearts & Souls

On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
(More leisure for artists everywhere)
A just machine to make big decisions
Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision
We'll be clean when their work is done
We'll be eternally free yes and eternally young.

Just got back from a fabulous vacation to Mt. Shasta (you know, it looks just like the soda can logo, talk about branding!) where I had a great time camping. I tell you, I haven't slept so well in a long time. Being out from under a deadline is a fabulous feeling. But, I'm a city gurrrl camping not a natural camper. I couldn't get the image of chicks getting chased through the woods by some freak wearing a hockey mask and wielding a cleaver. For me, being away from technology is terrifying enough, but add an overactive imagination to the mix and it gets downright B movie time. The strange thing about this was the only wildlife we saw was a dead deer on the way up. No squirrels, no fish, no birds. The only wildlife we saw were the hunky mountain men campers, Chuck, Steve and Paul who were pitched next to us. They decided to adopt us, cooked all of our meals and kept us entertained it's not like we did absolutely nothing we were the official martini mixers (and it's not easy to keep ice stocked in that kind of heat). Fortunately we had brought a shaker (not stirred) with us, not to mention a battery operated blender for the tropical drinks. It was lucky we passed through some town on the way up that its whole industry was olives, we had jars of 10 different kinds! Anyhow, we kept hearing this strange bird and cicadas I think Disney might have bought Mt. Shasta and was piping in "camping noises," but someone screwed up and put it on "Amazon" setting. Anyhow, it reminded me of Westworld, I expect that the hunky camping guys were actually simulacras. Even with all of its oddness, that vacation ended far too quickly. And before we knew it Pat and I were headed home on 5.

I had a great time today down at Buck's (Buckswoodside.com) talking with Jamis and Stuart Liroff of Edgewood Associates (www.EdgewoodAssociates.com), a really cool consultancy that is helping put back Silicon Valley's pieces. I had a great conversation about the Valley's future, as well as its past (you just can't talk about the future w/o talking about its history because we're reliving lessons as we live it). It's always interesting at Buck's. This month Jamis is featuring my book Dot-com Success! Surviving the Fallout & Consolidation on the menu! The LA Times interviewed Jamis about the downswing at www.latimes.com/living/20010526/t000044260.html columnist Shawn Hubler, did forget to mention the subtitle of the book in her quippy comment. But, I mentioned to the Sybex marketing people that we should have put a question mark after Dot-com Success! instead of the friggin' exclamation point. Or even changed the name of the book entirely. When I get the rights back, I will definitely make sure to give the book a completely different title. The info is relevant to any kind of startup you apply it to. But, whatever.

I was thinking about just how insignificant this whole dot-com thing will be soon when the Internet is ingrained, just as radio, TV, etc., is so much a part of our lives. Personally, I love old technology, I have a victrola, a quadraphonic stereo, one of the first Zenith radio systems (the kind with tubes) and vintage speakers (the big kind). All of these things used to be really hot technology at one time, and now they've just morphed into something we take for granted. That's when the Internet will finally be here when we don't have to worry about bandwidth issues...when we all have a server in our house to run our appliances. Dot-com will just be this era we went through to grow up. Kind of how disco is to music. Embarrassing as it may be (looking back), some interesting stuff came out of it.

Talking about technology.... I was visiting my friend Meera at the Stanford Hospital last week, her husband had just gone through a heart transplant a 33-year-old woman had donated her heart and he ended up with it. It was amazing to see. He'd been on the list for a while, but had just recently been able to find a heart. He's still not out of the woods, but it was amazing to think about. And to think about that some of the startups developed today will be able to grow tissues into organs so that people will live. All of the right-wingers making a noise about the issues surrounding this type of science should just once be put in the position of life and death and see how it swings their vote. Fundamentalists and their absolutes really get on my nerves. What makes them think their god wouldn't want such a solution? Or, perhaps, that someone else's god wouldn't want that solution? I guess it's the arrogance of trying to run other people's lives that really gets on my nerves.

At the hospital there was a really cool rabbi who sang an empowering healing song at Steve's bedside, it was a beautiful song. I was very moved by the song and the rabbi. I turned away from Catholicism at the age of 10 when the padre at school finally said I was way too difficult. I had no idea that this whole bible thing was so set in stone; I kept suggesting ways to make it more realistic, I saw too many plot flaws. Well, I pulled a religion out of the hat that my parents couldn't send me to a school for and I chose to be a druid. So, they agreed I didn't need to be a Catholic anymore and put me into three bowling legeus a week (where they hoped I would learn more discipline than the Catholic church was able to instill) where I maintained an average of 185, not bad for a 10-year-old. Today I'm a Silicon Valley Buddhist who loathes bowling, but appreciates discipline. But I was quite taken with this rabbi's frankness and compassion, and the fact that he used to be a medical doctor. A man of healing from both the science and the soul side of things. What mother wouldn't be proud? I asked him what happens to rabbis who don't have a good voice (many prayers are in song), he said he had heard of one rabbi who kind of used scatting instead of singing. I find that rabbis have a good sense of humor, but I don't think he wasn't just putting me on about the scatting thing. He must be a good guy, because he assured me he'd find a good Jewish man for me. Hopefully a toss up between Woody Allen and Einstein (two of my most favorite men in the world).

Time to sign off. Now that they killed Buffy on WBTV, it'll be interesting to see who pops up on Angel (as I flip back and forth between Dark Angel/Angel/Dark Angel/Angel). Time to unplug from the Internet and watch TV for a bit before reading my friend Meihong Xu's book Daughter of China that received rave reviews.

Good night (and finally an early one, at that)