Thursday, October 06, 2011

Goodbye and Thank You Superman!

(Steve Jobs 1955-2011)
Steve Jobs is gone and the world is a lonelier place. 

My first computer was a Mac and until now I will never forget the pride I felt in telling everyone I owned the best computer in the world. And it was. Thanks to you, Steve Jobs.

We will miss you, Steve, but we will always have a part of you with us through your iPads, iPhones, iPods, iTunes, and Macs. Most importantly, you will always be our hero – for setting the bar so high and yet showing us all, by example, that nothing is impossible, that the sky is there so our reach can be limitless.

You are a genius and a visionary and we are proud to have shared the light of this world with you, even for just a brief 56 years.

We will miss you tremendously. Thank you, Steve Jobs.

The following is Steve Jobs' outstanding commencement address at Stanford in June 12, 2005:

“I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.”

- Steve Jobs (1955-2011), Former CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios      

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Take me out to the ball game!

I’m a big baseball enthusiast and although I’m a die-hard NY Yankee fanatic, sometimes, being a girl, I’m thinking ‘why can’t we all just get along!’ For instance, wouldn’t it be great if we could see Big Papi of the Red Sox wearing a Yankee hard hat? That would be the beginning of world peace! Not to mention it would look kinda cute.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Phew! I thought we lost our blog!

Hi friends, we're back! I got the scare of my life when I tried to log on here and I was re-routed to the Blogrolling site. What the heck. I cried my eyes out and did all kinds of research online. I felt like Tim Magee in NCIS doing computer forensics - whatever that means. Anyway, I guess I did well because we're back!

You never know how much you love something till you almost lose it so we're here to stay. I'll be posting again (I hope, I hope) in between, of course, watching the NY Yankees with my Sweetie D via my MLB package. Love those Yankees! Love my D more! Which reminds me, gotta go watch the replay of this evening's game. Talk to you guys later! Man, how I missed this.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Trivial Pursuits

I just got an email from a girl named Janice asking me if I knew of any “trivia” or one of those little-known facts about some well-known entertainers. (Psst, Janice? Next time you want to ask something, do it as a comment, okay? You know how finding comments on our blog makes my head spin with joy. *wink*)

Well, Janice, at the risk of making our blog appear like an entertainment blog, I am going to share with you some little-known facts or trivia about our worshipped idols which I’ve come across from reading old fan magazines. There aren’t very many, actually, but here are some of them:

* Did you know that Michael Keaton’s real name is Michael Douglas but he can’t use it for obvious reasons?

* Did you know that Michael J. Fox auditioned for a role in one of Robert Redford’s movies and when Redford saw how short he was, he threw a fit and, worse, threw Michael out?

* Did you know that Mel Gibson was not born in Australia but in New York? His father brought his entire family to Australia to dodge the draft in the 70s.

* Did you know that there were originally five members of The Beatles but the fifth one, Stu Sutcliffe, died of brain hemorrhage?

* Did you know that in England a fag is a cigarette so when you say you’re sucking the butt of a fag, it simply means you’re smoking a cigarette? (Say what?)

Sorry about that last one. It’s simply my way of saying “I’ve run out of trivia, Janice!”

But thanks for emailing our site, anyway. And do come back soon. TTFN!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

For J

Dear J,

I love you.

I know the wonderful people visiting our humble site likely will have no interest in this post and may even be turned off by it. I sincerely hope that that is not the case, but irrespective, I love you sweetheart and want to shout it out.


Monday, January 16, 2006

2005 — The Year of Famous Breakups

The year 2005 has come and gone and, sad to say, so has the husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover of many a famous Hollywood celebrity. While we are not exactly aiming to make our blog The Blog of Lists (Get it? As in Book of Lists, the bestselling compilation of odd facts and trivial information released some years back? You don’t? Ok, never mind), I have decided to go on with what D had started in his last post listing Hollywood actors/actresses arrested the past year. This time, however, I am listing the Hollywood couples who, for some reason or another have decided to ‘uncouple’ the past year.

The reason I chose this list is, well, in a small measure because, as a woman, I sympathize with any poor soul who has to go through the pain and loneliness of a break-up. But in most part, I chose this list because, as a woman, gossip about well-known personalities simply intrigues me! He-he-he.

If my list is not complete, well maybe whoever is not included is not that popular anyway. In which case, it would be a good thing not to publicize their breakups. That way, if they decide to get back together, no sweat! Nobody knew they were together in the first place, right?

So here goes, drum roll, please. . . . The Hollywood couples who split-up in 2005 are:

* Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston — Talk about starting the year with a bang, they announced their split-up on Jan 8 after 5 years of marriage. Brad parries rumors of a relationship with Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie. Jennifer keeps silent but suddenly decides to help Vanity Fair sell an issue by giving a no-holds-barred interview in September and then KAPOW! By October 5, their divorce becomes final.

* Charlie Sheen & Denise Richards — 7-month pregnant Richards kicks out her husband Charlie and files a divorce in March citing irreconcilable differences as the reason. Why she chose to marry this guy who is known to have such a taste for prostitutes is beyond me. And to think she is pregnant with their second child! Oh well.

* Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey — Just a few days before Thanksgiving this 3-year-old MTV couple decided to call it quits after some “careful thought and consideration.” Wonder who took charge of the thinking and who did the considering?

* Renee Zellweger & Kenny Chesney — The Bridget Jones Diary star decided 5 months was too long to stay married to her country singer husband and in Sept filed an annulment citing “fraud” as the reason. Then she issued a statement asking people to refrain"from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalized or untrue conclusions" about her ex. Duh!

* Eddie Murphy & Nicole Murphy — Married since 1993, this couple divorced in July stating they were concerned about the welfare of their five children. Hmm. Or maybe it was Eddie's alleged concern for transvestites, whatever.

* Katie Holmes & Chris Klein — This Katie is one busy miss! After breaking off her engagement with Klein in March, she is again engaged in June to Tom Cruise and by August is pregnant with his child! Now that’s a girl who doesn’t waste any time. But then again for an alleged seven figures, I'd marry Tom and pretend to have his baby too.

* Jude Law & Sienna Miller — Their engagement went pfffft when a British tabloid published a story in July about Jude’s affair with his kids’ nanny. Almost immediately, he issued a public apology to Miller for his ‘indiscretion.’ What a wanker!

* Chad Michael Murray & Sophia Bush — Now, here’s another one of those less-than-six-month marriages. These One Tree Hill co-stars split in September, just five months after they got married. Guess no one warned these kids about marrying your co-star. Next season, you could be paired off with another actor/actress. What then, huh?

* Paris Hilton & Paris Latsis — In September, Paris the rich girl called off her engagement to Paris the rich boy saying she wasn’t ready for marriage yet. Well, no one really believed this union would last anyway. Paris, Paris, c’mon! Maybe Tokyo, Tokyo or New York, New York. (Did I really say that?)

* Leonardo DiCaprio & Gisele Bundchen — Hollywood heartthrob Leo was dumped by this sexy catwalk beauty after a tempestuous 4-year relationship for one important reason – his excessive partying and flirting with his and other actors’ ex-girlfriends.

* Nicole Richie & Adam "D.J. AM" Goldstein — Mutually agreed to call off their nine-month engagement without citing any reasons. Who knows with these young couples. Some say it had to do with AM eating too much and Nicole hardly eating at all.

* Mischa Barton & Brandon Davis — The O.C. star has decided to end her one-year relationship with the billionaire heir as early as February last year. Wonder how it feels like to dump a billionaire boyfriend?

* Valerie Bertinelli & Eddie Van Halen — Now, this is really sad. After 24 years of being married and bringing up a son together, Touched By An Angel actress Valerie Bertinelli and her alcoholic-rocker husband Eddie Van Halen are calling it quits. Maybe now she is touched by boredom! Ho-hum.

* Shannon Elizabeth & Joseph Reitman Shannon filed for divorce from Joseph citing irreconcilable differences. I would say something humorous but I can't compete with the incomparable Protein Wisdom.

* Jenny McCarthy & John Asher Fomer playmate of the year and perenially struggling actress Jenny filed for divorce from her director husband citing irreconcilable differences. Rumor has it John was fed up with Jenny's penchant for appearing nude in movies. What husband wouldn't want his wife bearing it all for every horny teenager and the rest of the world to see?

* Tori Spelling & Charlie Shanian — Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Tori Spelling has split from her actor-writer husband Charlie Shanian after 15 months of marriage. 15 months or 50 years, I’m sure it hurts just the same!

* Christina Applegate & Johnathon Schaech — Just before Christmas, Christina Applegate and her husband, Johnathon Schaech, called it quits after four years of marriage. Their publicists said it was a mutual decision. Sure, sure!

* Jamie Lynn DiScala & A.J. DiScala — Sopranos daughter Jamie-Lynn DiScala and her husband-manager, A.J. DiScala, have split up after two years of marriage. But there’s a hopeful note, A.J. DiScala claims it’s “just a separation and anything is possible including a reconciliation.” We hope his wife feels the same way.

* Gabrielle Union & Chris Howard — The sexy star of Bad Boys II decided to call it quits with her husband of 4 ½ years last November. They have no children and no new movies to speak about. So why are they in my list? @##$

Enough of these split-ups! It’s a new year. Stay connected, okay!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Actors/Actresses Arrested in 2005

I could say something erudite about how this isn’t really a superficial exercise, but rather a reflection on the inappropriate and counter-productive amount of respect we accord celebrities: yada yada yada. Maybe it's just cool that so many actors/actresses get busted so we can laugh at their distress and feel better about ourselves (or something like that).

Feel free to let us know of any oversights. There’s probably a PhD candidate somewhere who is breaking his parent’s hearts and bank account that needs a thorough list.

......................................The LIST.......................................

* Brancato Jr., Lillo: Heroin, burglary, involved in murder of a policeman, others. Got his break in the Robert De Niro-directed film "A Bronx Tale'' in 1993 and played doomed mob wannabe Matt Bevilacqua during the 1999-2000 season of "The Sopranos." He was really good in "The Sopranos." What a colossal fall!

* Brown, Bobby: Failure to pay child support. “Being Bobby Brown.” Yea, he’s not really an actor, but his show is the best on TV. Given all his past transgressions, 2005 was actually a pretty good year for Mr. Brown.

* Carey, Alison: Prostitution. This is Mariah Carey’s sister. She is not an actor, but damn, this is Mariah’s sister.

* Carter, Nick. DUI. Also he allegedly maybe possible smacked around Paris. Is he an actor? He’s probably been in something. Who cares. Any pussy who smacks a chick (allegedly) should get all the bad publicity he deserves.

* Channing, Stockard: DUI. “The West Wing,” “Grease.” She'll always be Rizzo to me.

* Cook, Jason: Possession of drug paraphernalia (marijuana pipe), public intoxication. “Days of Our Lives.” I thought this sort of behavior was expected of soap stars.

* Cosby, Bill: Sexual assault. "The Cosby Show." No criminal charges (only civil) were filed, but there have been several women who have made similar claims. Sorry pudding-man, when there is smoke, there is usually fire.

* Crowe, Russell: Assault, possession of a weapon. “Gladiator”, “Cinderalla Man.” I suppose a phone can be considered a weapon. You ever drunk dialed anyone?

* Gamba, Danielle: Disorderly conduct on a plane. She is not technically an actress, but she was in Playboy, so it’s just a matter of time before she is on Cinemax. Besides, she is really cute.

* Hatch, Richard: Tax evasion. First season “Survivor” winner. He may not technically be an actor but he has appeared as himself in a few shows. I suspect that this is not the last we'll be hearing from dear-old-angry-naked Richard.

* Houston, Whitney: Possession of drugs. “The Bodyguard.” Given all her abuses, she has done a fantastic job of staying out of the clutches of the law. I hope her children don't end up like the Ozzbourne's pharmaceutical-abusing spawn.

* Kasch, Cody: Possession of marijuana. “Desperate Houswives.” Never heard of him. Never seen the show. But he is only a teenager, so not really that big of a deal. Then again the Different Strokes kids were once only teenagers too.

* Klein, Chris: DUI, being a schmuck. “American Pie.” He should have been arrested for some of his brain-dead comments concerning women and his relationships with them. I guess we shouldn't really be surpised that his ex Katie Holmes ended up (for now at least) with the ultimate freak of them all since she stayed with this pencil-eraser for five years.

* Langham, Chris: Internet child pornography. Appeared in BBC show “The Thick of It.” Ain't nothing funny about child porn. They're gonna love his ass in prison.

* Love, Courtney: Possession of Drugs. “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” One of the most troubled stars of them all. Her behavior at the Pamela Anderson roast was both uncomfortable and hysterical.

* Minter, Carrie: She was with Danielle Gamba on the plane. Also in Playboy. Same rationale.

* Paul, Alexandra: Failure to obey police officer. “Baywatch.” Not really sure why she was ever cast on Baywatch - a show that did more to exploit cuvy women than perhaps any other. I guess the producers (Hasselhoff?) dedcided that "something-for-everyone" was a good approach.

* Patric, Jason: Public intoxication. “Speed 2,” “The Alamo.” Speed 2 sucked, although the ship's perforation of the dock was cool.

* Payne, Bruce: Threatening behavior on a plane. “Passenger 57.” Don't really know who he is, but the claims are that he was also intoxicated. Next time I fly, I'm gonna get drunk at the airport before takeoff. You're not a real man until you get drunk at an aiport bar.

* Qui, Yuen: Illegal gambling. “Kung Fu Hustle,” “The Man With the Golden Gun.” Classic bond is still the best bond.

* Renfro, Brad: Heroin. Appeared in such films as “The Client”, “Apt Pupil” and “Ghost World.” When you get arrested on skid row in a police sting, you know things are desperate.

* Rhys-Meyers, Johnathon: Assault, possession of marijuana. "Bend it Like Beckham," "Match Point." The assault was for hitting his teenage girlfriend. Lock him up.

* Rodriguez, Michelle: DUI. “Lost.” The best part of this was she pulled a "do you know who I am" delusion.

* Sizemore, Tom: Possession of drugs, domestic violence. “Saving Private Ryan,” “Black Hawk Down.” His rap sheet is longer than this list, but he still gets acting jobs up the wazoo. It's good to be an actor.

* Slater, Christian: Sexual misconduct. “Windtalkers,” “Hollow Man” and a whole mess of other lousy movies. Although check out “Who is Cletis Tout” for a fun, under the radar movie that has a super hot Portia de Rossi.

* Sheen, Martin: Protesting without a permit (or something like that). “The West Wing.” The "West Wing" was excellent, then it was bad, then it was good, now I don't really care if it's even still on.

* Tucker, Chris: Speeding, eluding police. “Rush Hour.” I think he is the last person in the US who still believes Michael Jackson is innocent.

* Watros, Cynthia: DUI. “Lost.” Has this entire cast been arrested now?