You talkin’ ta me?!

Peet's Coffee was the proto-Starbucks, the Alex Bennett to their burnt-bean Howard Stern. They make some mighty fine coffee, and my Financial and Menu Adviser - best you forget me before her, otherwise she'll come around and kick your booty - and I buy our weekly grind from them. Most often it's a pound of Colombian, ground to perfection. Perfection, you must understand, is a stove-top pot. Today, the Peet's closest to my office had run out of Colombian. I settled for Costa Rican, which I hadn't had in years and therefore couldn't pick out of a criminal line-up. I ordered the Costa Rican, and the barrista - oh, fuck it, she's a goddamn coffee-slingin' wage slave, the poor gal - asks me to choose the Free Beverage of My Choice and to give her a name to attach to the order. A coupon supplied by Parental Unit the Younger provided me with an opportunity to get any free drink of my choice, as opposed to the regular free tea or coffee, iced or hot, and given the "scorching" San Francisco weather I chose something chilled and loaded with chocolate and caffeine. Also, I gave my name - Diego Montoya. She laughed and asked if that was my real name. Sure it was, I said - in Japan. Turns out, of course, that she had lived in Japan for a year, and so we talked briefly about names, the TH dipthong, and getting by in Nipponland. As I left Ye Olde Caffeine Depot, I realized that only half of that energy surge coursing through me was due to the recently-imbibed chemical influx. The rest came from the thrill of making a connection with a previously faceless, unknowable person. Having just finished Clay Shirkey's excellent book, Here Comes Everybody, which ties the disparate threads of computer social networking and real-life consequence together into a neat little bow, it became apparent that this kind of connection was the quintessential experience of my generation: We meet strangers, and discover that they are not so strange, and are perhaps more like us than we had previously thought, and possibly even build longer-lasting business or personal connections with them - even though that last example wasn't the case today at Peet's. The point of all this is that I am terribly sorry for not blogging for the past several months. I've been busy, but who hasn't? Much of the busy-ness has finally paid off, with two promotions leading to a slightly less panicky approach to having spent three decades harrassing people. I'm a bit more able to balance my time, instead of solely - um, dually - focusing on work and karate. I haven't stopped photographing, so there will be more photos. I haven't stopped writing, even though most of my writing has been work-based of late. That's great if you're into software or watching me make a boring fool of myself on video, less so if you don't give a fig. So, in the future you can expect more Live! Nude! Girls! I mean, more hot, steamy photos, cold drug-laced drinks, and the kind of rare commentary you can get only from a native son living in his hometown. Stay tuned. (Oh wait. Does that outro show my age?)