Archive for October, 2010

Living in the Valley

I’ve been living in Silicon Valley for ten years now, for what they call the Lost Decade. I was here for the dotcom bubble of 2000, witnessed the crash of 2001. I saw the crazy real-estate spikes of 2007, the housing (and economic) ruin of 2008. I watched the Ex-Terminator run up our debt until it’s now riskier than Kazakhstan’s.

Through it all, I never wavered in my conviction that the Bay Area is the best place on earth.

I love Silicon Valley – let me count the ways. I love the gentle weather, the fabulous hiking trails. The bikers on the mountains in each clement season, the breathtaking ocean views, the ski slopes of Tahoe within driving distance. The ethnic diversity that makes me feel comfortable like I never did back East. The great eats, the crowds of Stanford students lining up outside the affordable sushi bars on University Ave in Palo Alto, the casual dress-code everywhere, the take-your-dog to work culture.

I’ve been around the world and I,I, I…consider Silicon Valley home.

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My novel “Speechless”

It’s not published. But it will be.

I just finished my third major revision. The first draft won third prize among 2700 entries in the Simon and Schuster First Chapters contest, but needed a lot of work. The second version had agents asking for a partial, and then the whole manuscript. But the “theme was too dark”. Now, finally, agents tell me I have a very good book ( though they won’t sign me on yet because the pacing needs some minor adjustment – with the publishing industry in such deep doo-doo, they can now only accept cut and polished diamonds).

But that’s okay. I’m willing to re-pace, revise and re-submit. Until I get that agent call asking for an exclusive contract.

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Give Haiti a Break

It’s unbelievably, unspeakably tragic. First the earthquake in January that wiped out 200,000 people in Haiti. Now the outbreak of cholera in Central Haiti and worries that it could spread to the quake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, where a vulnerable 1.3 million quake survivors are housed in tents.

250 people have already died. The images are heartrending.

We can help. Please go to Partners in Health and donate what you can.

http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti

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Ballot Gaffe

Poor Rich Whitney. The gubernatorial candidate from Illinois had his name misspelled on some voting-machines. So what, you say?

Well, it was misspelled as Rich Whitey. And half those machines are in African-American areas of the city.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20019635-503544.html

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The Eternal Dieter

I climbed onto my PreCor this morning. Did the requisite 300 calories. Ate two slices of whole wheat toast for breakfast. Am contemplating skipping lunch. The prospect depresses me enormously but the scales depress me more.

I’ve been on a diet for a nine years now, ever since I became a mommy. I’ve tried it all – Atkins, South Beach, WeightWatchers, Nutrisystem, Cabbage Soup. I lose a few pounds. Celebrate with chocolate. Gain them back. And the years roll by.

I am the Eternal Dieter. Not fat, just chasing the pipe-dream of getting back to my pre-mommy size. Every couple of months, I sneak into the fitting-rooms at Ann Taylor or Macy’s with Size 4 outfits. They emphasize the soft band of blubber around my waist. Sadly, I return them to their hangers.

In theory, I know what I should do. Change my eating habits. Ensure that the Calories in are less than the Calories out. Keep a food diary. I do all of this. Most of the time. But the exceptions ensure the soft band at my waist stays.

So I’ll just keep dieting. Forever.

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