Remembering Steve Jobs


In case you didn’t know, I am a big nerd. I am also a big sap. So when I heard the news that Steve Jobs had passed away today, I kinda broke down in tears. In public. Ugly crying, everywhere.

First, let me rewind. Six weeks ago Steve stepped down from his position at Apple, and I guess I knew then that it was a wrap. Steve had always said when his health got so bad that he could no longer lead Apple, he would step down. And when that day had come, I knew things had to be dire, because Steve struck me as the kinda guy who would try to work until his dying day. I shed some tears that day, knowing his time had to be soon.

I came home crying this evening (finally home where I could really break down) and my roommate thought I was a bit crazy for crying over the passing of a man I had never met. But, much like Michael Jackson, Steve was a cultural game changer for the majority of my life.

My first interaction with a (cool) personal computer was some early model Macintosh. Sure, I’d played Oregon Trail on some sort of early model IBM. But I remember loving computers and thinking they were awesome in 7th grade when my Journalism teacher taught us how to lay out our school newspaper on a Macintosh. It was way more interactive, it made cute, cool sounds and it was easy to work with. In High School, we did our art projects on Macs in Art class. At home, our very first computer was an Apple laptop. My first interactions with the Internet was through an Apple computer, and today I make my living on the Internet. The first computer my parents bought for me in college was a graphite iMac. Every computer I’ve ever purchased as an adult has been a Mac. My first (and last! lol) boyfriend was an Apple Genius. I remember the day I bought my first iPod, convinced that me and 50 Cent had to be the only Black people on the planet who owned iPods…and that was cool. I remember the day I bought my first iPhone. And as a budding entrepreneur and someone trying to mold her career, I’ve admired Steve’s passion, business acumen, and innovation.

In some way shape or form, Steve Jobs has influenced the way I consume and produce media, the way I think, and he’s had a hand in how I communicate with the world. I know we all have a limited time on this earth, but I think one can only hope that they will leave behind a legacy as impactful as Steve’s.

Rest in peace.

Where I've Been

It’s been a rough few weeks here at lizbdotscom. I’ve been everywhere doing everything, yet nowhere doing nothing. All at the same time. So, let me give an update to the few people who keep up with me on my pitiful little piece of cyberspace:

  1. I’ve been consulting on the side. Yes, cheating on all of you! I am a web/social media/technology consultant. It’s been fun so far, I have some super awesome great clients, and I have been learning so much. I love it. I will at some point launch a website for my consulting company. Right now, I am too busy doing the actual consulting work though.
  2. I am working with a startup. Those in the inner circle already got my e-mail telling them what I am up to. I will announce more details here, shortly. I promise!
  3. I went on “vacation”!! I put vacation in  quotes because it wasn’t a true vacation, I was so busy! I was in DC,  for my dear sorority’s 100 year anniversary celebration. Alpha Kappa Alpha worked it out in DC, ya’ll! This was my second national convention since I was initiated six years ago. It was lovely–the little piece I saw of it. Truthfully, I couldn’t take off enough vacation days to spend the whole time there, and I was in the middle of launching a site into beta while I was away. I did get some time to catch up with some of my prophytes, had a chapter reunion, saw some of my sands I haven’t seen in years, met and hung out with a soror  who is an avid reader of VerySmartBrothas (I’ll have to write a post on the experience of meeting your readers). I also spent some a lot of money on paraphernalia, and had the opportunity to spend some time with the BFF and his main squeeze. I still missed seeing some important people on this first round, but I think I am going to be back in DC in January, so hopefully I can finish the rounds then.
  4. I snuck a quick trip (24 hours) to NYC while I was on “vacation.”  Spent some time with some of my favorite people 🙂 New York loves me, I tell you! I was in BK exiting a restaurant, when I heard somebody call out to me by my government name. Turns out one of my friends I hadn’t seen in years was walking by and saw me. Crazy. I thought he was in LA this whole time, but turns out he had moved to NYC since we lost contact. An iPhone restore gone bad has erased his number from my phone tho! LOL.*sigh*
  5. Let me not even go there with Apple right now. They deserve an entire entry over this whole new iPhone fiasco.
  6. I’ve been in a grouchy mood lately, and I realized it’s because I hadn’t heard any new music (I haven’t had time to look in my usual spots). I am back on the bandwagon though. Amanda Blank and The Cool Kids have revived me out of my funk. Check Amanda out on Santogold’s “I’m A Lady,” and take The Cool Kids’ Bake Sale for a spin.
  7. I recently gave a presentation called Blogging 101 for the local chapter of the NABJ. It was a great experience. Even though I have been blogging here and everywhere for the past five years, when you sit down to articulate your experiences and best practices to a new audience you realize there is an art to this whole blogging thing.

Now that everyone is thoroughly all up in my business, I think I’ll shut up now. New blog tagline courtesy of The Cool Kids. 

Four Days Off The Grid

It’s been four whole days since I officially took myself off the grid (meaning off the internet). I am pretty much continuously on the grid. Between my twitter, my feeds, my iPhone and e-mail, I am pretty much connected to the web at all times. Try and catch me by phone, or in real life? You might miss me.

So, why did I go off the grid?

Surgery.

Not that I’ve been extra public about it (though not really hiding it), but I have/had uterine fibroids: non-deadly tumors on my uterus. I have had them for about 4 years (according to hindsight) but have only known about them for the past 12 months. I did my best to ignore the hell out of them hoping they would just GO AWAY (I do not suggest trying this), but last month I had my first and last head to head with these bad boys. It took one painful experience with symptoms for me to realize they had to go, ASAP. Anyway, a couple small incisions, one really large fibroid (15 cm!), and a blood transfusion later–I am doing swell. Back home. Resting up.

Besides this experience making me a kinder, more patient person, I learned a few lessons from being off the grid these four days:

1. I truly can’t go off the grid for a few days! Impossible! Due to my trusty iPhone I was checking email sending SMS messages while drugged up in the hospital. I still came home to 500 unread messages, but trust, it could have been worse. I guess I can truly go off the grid when I am visiting my family in New Mexico. They have limited dial-up on the farm out there.

2. If you are stuck with minimal cable, it’s pretty much hell being without the internet. The past four days my only media outlet and source has been TV with poor cable channel selection. It is a very sad existence. My last four days has been filled with nonstop chatter about the Pope, the Pope Mobile, the Polygomyst Moms, and low self-esteem topics. Perhaps these are all related? Either way, I became newly obsessed with all of these topics due to my TV-only predicament.

3. Low self-esteem: Judging by the commercials being aired in the daytime, I am either an uneducated person without a job who needs a job OR an education quick, fast and in a hurry; I have legal problems; and/or I need to lose 60 lbs or more. Between the commercials and Oprah trying to convince me I am  not a good enough mother, and Tyra telling me nobody thinks I am pretty except her, it’s a messed up world out there in daytime TV land.

4. I really do love my BFF. Not only would he e-mail me a tech support question while I am laid up on my sick bed (with full disclaimers asking me not to answer anytime soon), but I sat there and figured out the answer, got back to him within 15 minutes with not only my off the cuff guesstimate, but a link with the right answer and full explanation. There are only a handful of people in this world I’d do that for, and not think twice about it.

5.  Twitter still aces it as my source of information.  I  didn’t have much patience with waiting for web pages to load, or my Google Reader to load on my iPhone (I had ADD/narcolepsy habits for a few days due to anemia). But loading my front page of twitter a few times a day kept me plugged in on the drama, the happs and the bigger news items in one fell swoop. Go Twitter.

I’m not 100% back, but slowly but surely I am getting back up to speed. Thanks to everyone who has sent me  IMs, e-mails, text messages, tweets, and called me with your support and encouragement these past few weeks. I haven’t been able to keep up with everyone this week, but I definitely did recieve your well wishes, and I thank you.