SXSW, Stolen Goods & Signs from the Universe

Forgive me for the somewhat random post today -- I'm in the process of wraping-up my last week at Google before sabbatical (I am taking 3-months of unpaid leave to go on my self-funded/self-planned book tour -- dates here). My last day is Thursday, then I hop on a plane to Austin first thing Friday morning to head to SXSW and kick off the book tour! I can't even believe I'm saying that out loud. It's right around the corner, people. The official book-release countdown is -- drumroll please -- 3 weeks, 1 day, and 8 hours (at the time of this writing); pre-order price still hovering at a bargain cost of $9.10 -- less than 3 Sprinkles cupcakes!

SXSW Shenanigans (and yes, cupcakes are involved)

I will have to sing SXSW's praises in another post -- but suffice it to say that this is my favorite week of the entire year. I describe it to my non-Internet-geek friends as "my Oscars" -- the event that culminates and celebrates so many amazing relationships and projects created throughout the year.

For any of you who are attending, let's meet-up! I am co-hosting two events -- I would love to see you there, and please feel free to invite your friends :)

My Mass Gadget Exodus

This has been an interesting month. In the span of eight days, I left my cell phone at LAX and had my car broken into. On the former, I got it back eventually -- and quite enjoyed being "un-leashed." On the latter: I returned to my car after a quick dinner at Chipotle last Thursday to find my laptop, FlipCam, iPod and Moleskine stolen (okay so a Moleskine notebook isn't a gadget but I cherish it every bit as much).

My irreplaceable Italian leather bag with half my digital life was ripped out of my back seat through a broken window. As far as crimes go, things could be SO MUCH worse, but I can't describe the terror I felt when I looked over my shoulder to pull out of the parking spot and noticed shattered glass and a hole punched through my back window. Thank goodness there wasn't someone waiting for me in the back seat!!

The other creepy part is that I have fully tinted windows and a car alarm -- so they must have been watching me tuck my bag behind the passenger seat...which I almost never do. But alas...all it takes is one stupid an ill-fated parking spot on an otherwise normal evening to lose some prized (albeit material) possessions.

I've backed-up my data recently, but not recently enough not to be upset. And yes, most of my data is in the cloud. But not all of it. And semantics are not really the point here (but so many people asked those questions it felt prudent to share). The point is this: as my friend Tara pointed out, my gadgets have literally been trying to escape me! Which is all the more interesting in light of the human magic post where I declared my need to slow-down and unplug from everything...immediately.

The universe answers in mysterious ways sometimes. Are you listening to the signs around you? If not, consider this a friendly reminder urge to tune in. Otherwise the signs get louder and louder in order to get your attention...and that's not necessarily a good thing.