November, 2010

Nov 10

Endings & Beginnings

In the next few weeks, we’re planning to move from the house we’ve lived in for 7 years in Sunnyvale, into a neighborhood in Palo Alto, motivated by a couple of public school options that we’re really interested in as SPL approaches kindergarten age. So I was cleaning up the garage some this morning in preparation for that, and found myself thinking a lot about the endings and beginnings that are going on in our lives right now.

This week was essentially my last as CEO of Mozilla, and Gary’s first week in that role. Today is the last day for the Green Gators U6 soccer team — SPL’s as a player and mine as the coach — not as momentous, maybe, but a meaningful milestone — I think SPL and I each learned some things about each other and ourselves. And moving from the first house that Kathy & I bought together, have lived in for 7 years — the only house and neighborhood that SPL has ever known — it’s funny that I can still remember the day we brought him home, and how tiny he looked in his crib the first time.

And for me personally, this is the longest I’ve ever lived in one house in my life. Since Dad was in the Air Force, we moved around a lot, living most places only 3 or 4 years. I’ve lived in the Bay Area more or less continuously since I first arrived at Stanford in 1989 (except for 18 months in Austin and internships in Colorado Springs and Dallas), and this is without question my home. Our house in Sunnyvale is only about a third of that time overall, but a lot has happened here.

For other milestones, Kathy & I both turn 40 in the coming months, too. Hard to really believe that.

So a few endings this month, and a few beginnings. They’re happy remembrances — we’ve been lucky to have wonderful neighbors, great teammates, fantastic co-workers, not to mention all our other friends, relatives, mentors.

And I’m not too worried about the endings that are coming — I’ve been fortunate to be able to maintain the important relationships in my life beyond the boundaries of a job or an apartment or a project, and figure that’ll continue. It’s hard work to maintain them — but it’s these relationships that transcend boundaries of space, time, interest, convenience — that really make up our lives, isn’t it? They give meaning to our lives with history and context, but also in creating a shared sense we have of tomorrow, and what comes next.

So onward, but with memories and some nostalgia, but also with connections.

Nov 10

Room, by Emma Donoghue

This book is on a lot of “best of the year” lists, for good reason. While it reminds me a bit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, in that it’s narrated from the point of view of a 5 year old, it’s an amazingly original work. It took me a while to get through the first 100 pages or so — once I did, though, I pretty much read the rest of the book in one gulp.

It’s a tough, emotional, book to read — in a lot of ways, it’s a sort of mother’s analogue to McCarthy’s The Road, in that it explores some fundamentals of the relationships between a mother and her son. The context is alternately sweet and horrifying, but a very smart book, in an original voice, and well worth the read.

Nov 10

Kill the Dead, by Richard Kadrey

The 2nd book in the Sandman Slim series — I liked it, but not as much as the first book, which I thought was really fun. This was a good continuation of the characters, but it felt a little rambling to me.