The HiPo Lounge

So it's like, a blog about me. And my notions about some things.

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

I'm, like, direct.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Post Regarding My Curious State of Being



I have no idea where this post is going. I'm rusty, obviously. Pulling up the Blogger beta Dashboard was like prying something almost entirely deteriorated out of the ground. Isn't that a sad metaphor? But at the end of the day, I have to be honest with myself. And you all. I've been absolutely lousy at posting these past several months.

You probably want to know why I've been lousy at posting. (The five of you who read me, that is.) Most of you know. You got tired of waiting and asked me, and I told you. I like, changed careers about 2 1/2 months ago. I was a Sourcing Specialist (similar to a recruiter) and then my company went through some pretty major growing pains, and then my company bought a very tiny Web Analytics firm, and then I moved over to that very tiny Web Analytics firm and became a Web Analyst. So that's my job now, and shit.

Many of the five of you might inquire: What does a Web Analyst do?

But really?

Do you really think you want to open that door? Do you want to hear about heat maps and KPIs and web trending and dashboards and bounce rates and Unique Visitors and on and on and on? You don't. I assure you. I LOVE what I do now. I LOVE my job. Seriously. But I do NOT want to write about it. I mean, unless there's a healthy dose of irony involved. (Or unless the company pays me.) So just know that I have a totally new career and all, and will be happy to answer any questions about it via email. Or, alternately, over a ridiculously ironic comment thread here on this blog, if you so wish.

So part of why I haven't been writing is because of the new career. I'm EXHAUSTED. I have to cram so much technical information into my head each day that when I get home, I just want to watch dumb television or read or IM with some of you (some of you being Alison, with whom I am IMing right now as I write this post. Alison really has to deal with some crazies, people. Her posts are not hyperboles, I tells ya.)

Another part of why I haven't been writing is because I want to rebrand this site and decide how I want to move forward with it. Do I want a theme? Because the "theme" up until now has been: Leslie. She Crazy In Her Head! Like, do I want to draw it together more? Make it more cohesive? Not that I'm interested in "selling," per se, but I would like a substantive readership. (And by "substantive" I mean, like, maybe in the 7-10 person range. I shoot for the stars, people.) And I would like some consistency, in some fashion, somehow. I just don't know how I want it all to go down. (Also, part of me being a Web Analyst now is that I'm actually learning how to, you know, analyze the web. So this means that when I do revamp this space, I can do so in a ridiculously "bling" fashion. Via some high class developers we just hired a few months back. I'm just REALLY INVOLVED in the whole big, long, arduous process of learning about all of the necessary tools by which I will be able to revamp in the somewhat near future. So part of me doesn't even want to begin rebranding until I'm an [a? Depends on how you "pronounce" the acronym, right?] SME {that's Subject Matter Expert for people who don't know. Do you see how annoying I've become in my normalcy? SME? Really? Seriously? RS?})

Another another part of why I haven't been writing is because I'm curiously (see there how I tied it all back to the title of the post? I am gifted, y'all) uninterested in writing these days. I'm interested in consuming. I'm interested in reading, and at a voracious level. I'm interested in learning, and being taught. I've gone back into full-on student mode. So that makes me this massive sponge, and I just want to absorb. I'm also incredibly vocal at work (and am encouraged to be so, which is sweet!) and am sort of the social coordinator for a lot of our events. I've never been so socially involved at work--not since I was a waitress 'round about 3 years ago. It's made a difference. It's easier for me to come home after a day at work and contemplate what relationships I built that day than to write about it--because I can't really write about it. Because it's in a nebulous, unwriteableaboutit space.

Can you tell that I'm losing steam? And whoa. I still have two more paragraphs to go. It seems that now I actually DO have some (however deluded) notion of where this post is going.

Another another another part of why I haven't been writing is because I will be given the opportunity to blog for work in the very near future. (They're not going to pay me. They're just going to let me. Good enough--let's go.) We just launched our new website this week, and we've all been given permission to blog on it. I told you earlier in this post that I don't want to write about Web Analytics. That's not strictly true. I mean, it is sort of true. I just want to be given the freedom to find a voice within the realm of Web Analytics that is creative, flexible, agile, deft, and intuitive. Those are all vague terms, right? Okay, what I really mean is this: I would love to write about Web Analytics in a dynamic and creative way--in a way that is entirely compelling and interesting to an audience, and in a way that no one has ever tackled before. (I shoot for the stars, people. Have I mentioned that before?) I think part of why they hired me is because I'm a writer (though not a very reliable one as of late) and therefore capable of efficient and whimsical communication--whimsy being the key. Also, I'm REAL goddamn handy with a label-maker, and I've proven it time over time. I'm not sure whether that ever came up in my interviews, but it became very apparent very immediately after I started. What can I say? I had some prior experience . . .

Lastly, another another another another part of why I haven't been writing is because (and this is just a recent thing--like a thing that sort of halfway cemented itself in my head TONIGHT) I think I have sort of a good, sophisticated idea for a screenplay in mind. I haven't had notions of writing a screenplay in quite a while, despite having been heavily involved on all levels with the filmmaking my company does. (I only co-penned one of the shorts that we produced, which was fine, because I got to co-direct on everything, which was entirely awesome.) But the point is, I was sort of lying up there earlier, when I said that I'm curiously (See? There. Did it again. So clevah!) uninterested in writing. Sometimes I go through spells of not wanting to write. But really, I always want to write.

Let's just hope some of this momentum sticks. With the writing, and all.

This one is for you, SG. Thanks for pushing me. Sometimes I really need it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Reunion of the Known and the Unknown

That there up above is a line from a Bright Eyes song called "Lime Tree." If you don't know this song, you should listen to it. Even if you hate Bright Eyes, you should listen to it. It's a beautiful song, and it's the one thing that's contextualizing my life right now. Read: this ONE song is the soundtrack for everything that's going on with me right now with my job, my relationships, etc. Everything. It's from the album Cassadaga. If you listen to it, you will understand quite perfectly my state of mind. (I should tell you that there's an abortion reference, or what I think is an abortion reference {or maybe it's a miscarriage reference, I don't know} and it should be noted quite clearly that I have *not* had an abortion {or a miscarriage} recently or ever. But the sentiments in the song are what I want you to pay attention to: the duality that is so goddamn consistent and inherent in human nature.)

I'm in such a weird space in my life. I don't know how to tell you about it. So much of it has to do with this career I'm trying to build, and I can't talk about it. Because it's confidential. And because it means so much to me, it has to remain confidential. Because I care. Because I finally, for the first time in my life, really, really, really, really, really care about a job. And love it the way most people (many of you guys) love your kids. It's a thing I want to grow and nurture and inform and make special. I love it so much that it's taking me away from you all. It's taking me away from this blog. And Good Christ! I miss y'all! I miss y'all so much it hurts! And I want to make this blog something special, too, but I have to focus on the job first right now. Because I have to believe in it, even during the dark hours (tonight is dark hours time, unfortunately. But that could change tomorrow.)

But can I tell you something that I know I can tell you? That doesn't have to be confidential? From last Thursday until late Sunday afternoon, I got to be a co-director on a film shoot for my company. I was allowed to make movies! Just little silly movies for my company. Not a big deal. But SUCH a big deal to me. To be on a set, to be adjusting lighting, to be monitoring the sound, to be giving suggestions on how people should act, to be working in such a collaborative environment with colleagues who are Oh So Brilliant! I can't tell you the high I experienced from Thursday to Sunday. It was so much more powerful than any drug you could ever conceive of (though I hear crack is quite popular.) It was absolutely one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Or ever will have. And for that, I am eternally grateful. No matter what happens. With anything in my life.

To quote another line from that same song from Bright Eyes, I feel lost AND found with every step I take right now. So we'll see how that pans out for me. Really, go listen to the song (I'd provide a link, but am exhausted and have to sign off after posting this.) It will be way less cryptic than this post is, in a way. The song, I mean.

I will keep you updated as best I can. And I really do miss you all. But I'm keeping tabs on you all and know that you're all basically okay. Right? Let me know if that's not the case. Because maybe we can commiserate.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Because I Once Told Someone, "There is nothing in this world that is not funny, not even death."

This has probably been all over the Internets for months or something, but a buddy just sent it to me tonight, and I haven't had a good laugh in about a week and 1/2 straight, and I fucking LIVE to laugh, honest to God, and it was just what I needed. And I love Demetri Martin. The thing that absolutely kills me is the ransom letter/paperclip joke. Because when I was writing that goodbye letter to Kristin, that fucking paperclip came up, asking me if I was writing a letter and needed some help. At that moment, I was so close to shattering every piece of glassware I own-- you have no idea. No, I do NOT need help writing a goodbye letter to one of my best friends who just died, paperclip. But thanks. Thanks for your concern. Thanks for your empathy, paperclip. It moves me in ways I cannot express . . .

Anyway, if you haven't seen it, go watch and laugh. I'm tired of torturing you people with drama. Because really? I quite like you. For realz.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dear Kristin,

This is a letter that should have been written a long time ago. But I think you already know all that I’m about to say. You know it because that’s precisely how we knew one another: because we both just got it. It was palpable in the energy between us from the very beginning.

We all know that I’m not so great at making friends with girls, but you and I were fast friends—a rarity for me. I should have known you were going to make one hell of an impression on me.

It’s hard to know exactly what to say. I just went back and re-read the letter I wrote to you when I left Austin to move up here to Seattle. An excerpt:

“I expect you to fight the good fight when I leave here. You have to champion for all women to only date nice guys—not assholes. Maybe you could find a way to mass-produce a bunch of Mannys and we could market them. Hmmm. Ah, it’s probably not possible.”

When I wrote that line, about fighting the good fight, I in no way expected you to literally take me at my word. But you did, didn’t you? Not with the guys, but with something infinitely more precious: your very existence. Well met, my dear. Well met.

Kristin, this battle you fought was epic. It ended up being larger than you in the end. But can I tell you something? I’ve never seen such grace, such humor, such dignity, such elegance, or such determination in a human being. Literally. Ever. You will forever floor me. You amaze me.

I was just down in Austin last weekend and for part of the week. My company was gracious enough to send me down there for professional reasons. I unfortunately did not get to see Jason because I was literally working almost the entire time (love you, JJ), but I did see Libby, briefly, and it was a nice moment: we exchanged very few words, but we didn’t need to. It was enough just to see her face and to know how it was that we came to know each other: through you. I couldn’t help but think about you almost the entire time I was down there.

I went to many panels for the interactive part of SXSW. Some of the panels were great, and some were mediocre. My favorite panel, however, was a keynote speech by this fellow named Frank Warren, who founded this website, which I had never heard of until I sat down at the panel. You send him postcards with secrets on them, and he posts them. Which, as simple as it sounds, is a really incredible and intriguing concept. He talked about the “authenticity revolution” and about people having “rich interior lives.” And I kept wishing you were there with me, because everything he was saying was shit that we used to talk about, in some sense. Those two phrases are very powerful to me, and are especially prescient to me right now, tonight, as I write this goodbye letter to you.

Kristin, I want to thank you. I want to thank you from the depths of my soul, for being a completely authentic person, and for having such a terribly goddamn rich interior life, and for having the courage to share it with not only me, but with everyone that you knew and touched, in however large or small a way. I am honored that you let me be a part of your life, so honored. You’ve enriched my life in ways that I am still trying to understand.

So let’s get old school Kristin/Sarah for a minute. Today, I knew you were gone. I just knew. I stayed at work, and tried to work, late into the evening, but I knew something was different, and I tried to ignore it, because ultimately, I didn’t want it to be true. I was avoiding it. My mind was resisting it. Driving home, I realized how absolutely glorious the sky looked. Delightful (our word.) Heavenly. You know I am agnostic down to the core. I simply don’t know what happens when we die. But what I like to imagine, in spiritual terms, I guess, is that now you’re omniscient. Your body stopped working today, but Kristin has been released into the universe. Now the world really has you! Remember all of those talks about energy we used to have, ad nauseum? You’re like, totally putting it into practice right now! My heart grieves heavily tonight, and will for a long time moving forward. But I don’t think the connection we have, or the connections you ever had with anyone, will ever really die. You made such an impact on everyone you met. Can you ever really be gone from us? I don’t believe so.

So that’s it. My goodbye to you, sweetie. I am so earnestly and honestly going to miss the living hell out of you, but you are in my heart for good, and that fact will never change. I love you, KDawg. Always have and always will. And I hope, in some cosmic sense, these words, or at least, the sentiment behind them, will find a way of reaching you, somehow.


Yr Ever DiDi

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Post That Is Somewhere In Between Last Weekend And This Weekend

It has literally taken me until tonight--Saturday night--to block out some time to blog. All week I've wanted to tell you about the fun things I did last weekend, but now it seems totally irrelevant, seeing as it is currently this weekend. But nothing interesting is going on this weekend. And there are like 800 things that have occurred during the week that are infinitely more interesting than what's going on right now. (Right now? I am writing this. I am writing it in hot new jeans, but that's about the only interesting thing going on. The hot jeans. Boring, right?)

But fuck it. I'll tell you about last weekend anyway.

So I live alone and all my friends in Seattle are couples. "C'mon, Leslie! You have to have some single friends?" No, my friend, no I do not. I do not have ONE SINGLE FRIEND in Seattle. Not one. I've adapted to this quite well, so I don't need you to feel sorry for me about it. But my weekends are not the most, uh, social times. Most of the time, I love the solace the weekend brings. It's just me and the dog and I do chores and sleep a lot (because I don't sleep during the week) and clean and shop and what have you. I have a pretty typical urban single gal existence.

But every once in a while, I have, like, a TOTALLY social weekend. Usually it's not planned. This past weekend was kickstarted early Friday morning, when I got a text from my friend Susie inviting me to go see the Hives play on Saturday night. I was supposed to go down to PDX for this gal's party, but I opted out, not because I don't LOVE HER TO DEATH, but because I absolutely CANNOT NOT make out with her brother in law when I see him. It's like he's got magical powers or something. Seriously. And I have my hands full with another boy situation that will likely end in tragedy, so I don't need the extra burden right now.

Anyway, I never get to have a girly night out, ever, because of course all of my friends are boys, so I got pretty excited about the idea of hanging out with another chick for the whole evening. And Susie is literally one of the most awesome people I know in Seattle. She's my friend Ben's fiance. She's British and finds everything hilarious, and I can't think of a more delightful person with whom to keep company. So I agreed to go out. "Whoo hoo!" I thought. A weekend night out! What a rarity!

In the meantime, I got an email from my buddy John inviting me to a dinner party that night. I thought it was a joke at first. (I'm never invited to dinner parties at John and Cait's--not because I'm not important or something, I just think they forget about me because I'm single. It's not a mean thing at all, it's just that when you're tracking all of your peeps as couples, the single person does not show up on the radar. It's just what happens. I was bitter about this when I first moved back here, but now I don't give a shit. Really, it's just what happens.) So after some witty back and forth email, wherein John let me know that I was legitimately invited, I was like, "Cool. Swanky dinner party. I can do that."

Anyway, I'll spare you the in-depth details, but suffice it to say that Friday night I ate a TON of spectacular food (Cait is the best cook, like, ever) and consumed a TON of spectacular wine (we all had to bring a particular bottle of wine and we had tastings all night) and chit-chatted about work and got to see an old college buddy of mine who I hadn't seen in over a decade (Hi AH, if you read this!) and it was delightful. And then, on Saturday, I went and had dinner at Ben and Susie's place and then Ben chaufferred us to the show in Susie's Mercedes Benz (which was very fancy) and we made up all these inside jokes at the show (I love inside jokes. They're my favorite) and just generally had a fabulous time. And it was quite lovely to to have a weekend that wasn't par for the course, even though I quite like my par for the course weekends.

And then my work week was so crazed that it felt like three weeks wrapped into one. I'll spare you the in-depth details, but suffice it to say that Monday some people on my team were let go (which is sad) and I had my first official film shoot (where I was told that my antics in getting myself down to Austin for SXSW were considered "quite the coup"--I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but there you have it), and then I had a lot of meetings, and then I had some more film shoots at the end of the week (did you know that it's quite a lot of fun to make a movie with your company? Especially when your company has a really good sense of humor, and they're paying you to dick around with expensive film equipment and hang out with upper management?) I got to shoot one of the scenes myself, so that was pretty sweet. And I was sorta kinda in charge of sound, so I hope I didn't fuck that up too much. We'll see.

And now here we are. A very uneventful Saturday night (except for the hot jeans. Update! The jeans? They are still hot. These jeans aren't sweating it, so don't worry.) I've spent an entire day doing nothing but watching TV and lazing around in my pajamas, all in anticipation of the absolute utter lack of sleep that is going to be this week and all of next weekend. SXSW is going to murder me, but I know it's going to be worth it. Hopefully I will get a post in before I leave. But yeah, this is a snapshot of what my universe looks like right now. There's a lot going on. But I'm having fun with all of it.

Let me know if you feel you need to check in with the new hot jeans at all. I can let you know how they're doing, you know, whenever . . .

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some Failure. And Some Not So Much Failure. And A Meme Courtesy Of Mr. Lady

Many of you are probably wondering how I'm doing with that whole "giving up cigarettes Cold Turkey" and all. I wish I could tell you that I am A Rock Star God who was able to give up cigarettes with no problem whatsoever. But I can't tell you that.

I've been cheating. Not A LOT cheating, but cheating nonetheless. I made it 48 hours without a cigarette, and then I wanted to kill someone, so instead of killing someone, I smoked. There you have it. So, new game plan. This lady was kind enough to obtain a "Quit Smoking" hypnotherapy CD for me. It arrived in the mail on Friday, and I will be listening to it every night before I go to sleep. Hopefully, it will work. I also think I could benefit from an actual hypnotherapy session, but I'll have to save up for that. And I have cut back significantly. Not that this is an excuse, but, you know, I'm just sayin'. I'm sorry to disappoint you all. But I have to move on and in another direction, and try not to beat myself up about this "failure." Wish me luck.

In other news, I had a banner week in the professional world. I managed to successfully argue my way into a plane ticket, lodging, and an Interactive Wristband for SXSW in Austin at the beginning of March. This was a little bit like waging war, in that I had to keep making the case, over and over again, about why it would benefit the entire company for me to be down there. Since what I do at a fundamental level at the company is relatively new (concept-wise) this was no easy feat. But I somehow swindled it. For five days, I will be basking in the Austin sun (or rather, stealing glances of the Austin sun as I move through various conference rooms, listening to panel after panel of Interactive Speakers) and recruiting and researching for the company. The music side of SXSW doesn't kick off until Wednesday when I leave, but I'm actually sort of grateful for this, because I think I'll just want to relax and hang out with my friends during the evening. And I'm sure there will be live music somewhere in the city. It's Austin, for fuck's sake. I also signed on for some other film projects this week (I love that this company makes little movies! It's so awesome.) Anyway, I feel like I had a very important week at this new place. So I'm pretty pleased about it. And it's starting to feel like family. And that's what I was really looking for in a job.

Anyway, I owe this chick a meme--whether I'm smoking or not--so here goes:

How long have you been blogging?

It will be 2 years this July.

What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

I was TOTALLY anti-blog forever, and then I started reading A's (see first link above) blog and of course, this blog. And I started thinking, "Dude, I am a writer who is NOT writing. What the fuck is up with that?" And so I thought I would give it a shot. Right out of the gates I became acquainted with Mr. Lady's blog (see second link above.) Those three are my mentors, for the most part. But I mean, I like to think that we're all here to mentor one another, y'know?

Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?

I'm not trying to make money (although if Wes Anderson reads any of this and is like, "Dude, I could totally use this chick to help me out with my next clever film project," I ain't gonna balk) but I'm not just doing it for fun. I'm doing it to connect to you all, to contextualize my life a little bit. I mean, it is fun, but it's deeper than that for me.

What 3 things do you love about being online?

1. I have connected with people that I know well, better. (Thank you. Molla.)

2. I have connected with people that I don't know at all but who are similar to me, or have perspectives I wouldn't have known about or considered prior to the blogging. (Thanks again, Molla.)

3. Getting feedback. I like it when y'all talk to me. I want to know what you think, and I want it to deepen my understanding of you and of myself and all of our processes. It's about strengthing the bonds we have with one another.

What 3 things do you struggle with online?

1. Actually writing the blog. When life speeds up, and I have more to write about, I tend to post less. (I'm sorry I'm repeating answers, but Molly's were so good! Why change a good thing?)

2. What I can and can't say. Because this blog is public, and anyone can read it, there are things I can't write about here. Pretty dark things that I would actually like some of you to hear about, but not all of you. Like, sometimes I have to keep it lighter than I actually want. 'Cause dude, my parents read this shit! I can't run the risk of them hearing about that all night coke and hooker fest I had last weekend. That would not be appropriate. At all. (FYI, the coke? Hot. The hookers? Hotter.)

3. I'm a perfectionist, and I know I'm a solid writer, but I also know that I'm not the best writer in the world, and goddamn it if it doesn't bother me. Because like, it bothers me! One of the primary reasons I don't post (other than reason #1) is that I'm not sure I can capture the things that happen to me in any given week precisely the way I know I want them captured. I can maybe get close, but not all the way. There's insecurity there, and it's deeply rooted. What can I say? We all have our crosses to bear.

Well, there you have it. That's me, summed up as a blogger.

Don't hate me for the smoking. I swear I'm going to kick it. I can master it, I know I can. It's just going to take more will-power than I thought. I'll keep you updated . . .

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Break-Up Letter

Dear Camel Lights (and alternately, Parliament Lights),

I always knew that I would have to write this letter. The time came sooner than I expected, and this saddens me, but nonetheless, this letter has to be written tonight.

Tomorrow will be our last day together. I'm so sorry, but I've got to end it somewhere, and it seems like the end of the NFL season is the best time. We can enjoy the Superbowl together (go Giants) and the rest of the evening tomorrow, but I won't be able to see you after that. It would just be too difficult.

I know. You want to know what went wrong. Where you came up short. Why I'm cruelly turning my back on you. I owe you some explanations for this sudden change in our relationship. I will try to answer some of your questions.

The truth is, this hasn't been working for me for quite some time. My clothes smell like smoke, and I'm embarrased to be around people who don't smoke. I have a bit of a smoker's cough. My gums are, I'm sure, not in the best shape. There's tar on my teeth. I don't even want to think about what my lungs might look like right now. You take up more than a fair share of my time, and what am I really getting out of it? That sweet surge of nicotine only goes so far, and I'm always left wanting more. So really, how is this a win-win scenario? You're getting all the good stuff, and I'm not reaping any of the benefits.

We've been together for 14 long years. That's the longest relationship I've had thus far in my life. Saying goodbye to you is killing me. But alas, I know it must be done. Can we remember the good times for a moment? Remember the night we met? I was with clove cigarettes at that point, but you quickly won me over. And that road trip down to San Diego before we started college together? Man, we could not keep our hands off of each other. (At least we always had a consistent sex life, huh?) I'll never forget all the hard times you got me through. Leaving Seattle to move to Austin. Moving from Austin to come back to Seattle, which nearly killed me. All the deaths and break-ups and lost friendships and carnage in between. You've been there, right by my side, through it all. And for that, I thank you.

I must also thank you for all the friends you've made me. You have so many faults, yet your charisma has bonded me to so many wonderful people. But my bond with those people is set in stone whether you are there or not, so I feel comfortable walking away from you without losing them along the way. Please don't be offended by that. I'm only being honest here tonight.

I just need to move on. Our relationship has been so unhealthy, Camel Lights (or alternately Parliament Lights.) I have such a love/hate feeling about you at this point, and no one needs that sort of radical imbalance in life. I need to start thinking about being with someone who equally considers my needs. I can't meet anyone new if I don't give you up. So it goes.

Goodbye, Camel Lights (or alternately, Parliament Lights.) I will miss you (both physically and psychologically) more than you will ever know. Let's just enjoy the next 28 or so hours together, if we can. And then, it will be over.

Yr Love, but no more,

Leslie Dillinger

(P.S. Readers? If you could leave me an encouraging comment about quitting smoking, that would rock my world. You know, so I'll have something to read when I want to stab myself in the neck because I want a cigarette so badly. I appreciate your support during this difficult time.)