Inbox cleaning: 127/763 (a.k.a. an attempt to distract people from my last post)

December 7, 2008 – 10:25 pm

Total emails answered today: over 400. I’ve got to find ways to reduce the influx. Strategic mailing list unsubscriptions seem like the thing to do.

This post is mostly in order to distract folks from the video of me talking, to distract my future self when I next come across this post, and to make me stop thinking “GAH! Did I just post a transcript of me talking? That feels weird.” Yeah, I’m working on being less uncomfortable in spotlights. At some point I will make myself stop whining about it; the first step is to actually get in spotlights. Seriously. I almost said “but I can’t give a talk on that! I don’t know anything and I can’t speak!” when I was asked to do that presentation. So I’m happy with that victory, and allowing myself to feel uncomfortable about it.

Right. On to the distractions!

Pia found some Max Payne Stick Figure Safety Instructions in her hotel. This case makes the iPhone more accessible to the visually impaired.

On the more serious side: Sacha’s post triggered me to realize why I’m uncomfortable asking people “what do you do?” What I really want to do is ask someone what they’re passionate about; I tend to be around people who are passionate about their work, so “what are you working on?” has been good for me. Sumana made me stop and think about mastery and servant leadership and… Conversations with Caroline, Yifan, Matt, Michael, and 5-ee over the weekend – and a long note from Andrew – have also helped to crystallize some of my thinking on… life, to use the wide hand-sweeping gesture of a person struggling for a word to encompass far too much.

It’s cold here; first snow fell today, and I’m a little sick. I want to drink hot broth, hot cider, not eat food. I want to bundle up in a warm, warm, warm place and read and read and read, and sleep. I can manage the “sleep” part now, at least. I did read a bit today (2 books) and found this quote in a book by Vivian Gussin Paley, attributed to Annie Dillard.

No child on earth was ever meant to be ordinary, and you can see it in them, and they know it too, but then the times get to them, and they wear out their brains learning what folks expect, and spend their strength trying to rise over those same folks.

I’ll not grow up like that.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Inbox cleaning: 127/763 (a.k.a. an attempt to distract people from my last post)”

  2. I almost always ask something like, “what cool things are you up to?” or “what cool stuff are you doing with your time?”

    Recently, while in Seattle to check out tech opportunities, I was at a noisy dinner where I only knew one person. I asked her to tell me the occupations of the others at the table; I meant to get my bearings and figure out who might be useful to talk to. A stranger overheard and objected, saying that I should be asking for something useful, like “who’s good in bed?” I said that wouldn’t be useful, since I’m married & monogamous.

    “What do you do?” is often a boring default. But the occupation does tell you what that person’s doing with half her waking hours. I’m still angry at that stranger for assuming that I asked “what do they do?” because I could think of nothing better.

    By Sumana Harihareswara on Dec 8, 2008

  3. Oh yeah, and if you saw that I delicioused Spolsky’s thing on servant leadership, you may have seen that I’m wondering which of the SMTPs he’s dissing. Me or someone I knew?

    By Sumana Harihareswara on Dec 8, 2008

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  2. Dec 30, 2008: [M]etabrain [E]ntry [L]og » Blog Archive » Inbox cleaning: 199/763 (The Procrastination!)

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