I'm aware of that: an Andreaesque segue and intervention, of sorts

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/04/09 10:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/04/09/8370899.aspx

Content of Michael Kaplan's personal blog not approved by Microsoft (see disclaimer)!

Anyway, last night Andrea called.

After our usual pleasantries/ribbing/etc, the conversation turned out to be mainly about the blog (this blog) and went something like this, with the general theme being the phrase I'm aware of that1:

Andrea: Not everyone gets the "Fight the Future?" reference in your recent blogs.
Michael: I'm aware of that.
Andrea: Maybe you could provide an explanation  for the non "X-Files Geeks" in your audience.
Michael: Oh, okay, You see...
Andrea: You're the one always telling me about the difference between "I don't understand" and "I don't think this is understandable" aren't you?
Michael: Yes, that is the constant battle that documentation writers face, since developers are usually colorblind and sometimes condescending in that range.
Andrea: I'm aware of that. I used to watch X-Files so I understood the reference. I meant explain for everyone else, you dope!
Michael: Uh oh, was I being condescending?
Andrea: No, but you were about to, love.
Michael: I guess I'm aware of that. Fair enough, I'll put in my explanation soon.
Andrea: Good. Very good.
Michael: Perhaps this could have gone into the Suggestion Box?
Andrea: I'm aware of that.
Michael: Good!
Andrea: To tell you the truth though, I find "Michael Live" to be more interesting. I'm sure other readers might try the same if they had your mobile.
Michael: I'm aware of that. Carry on, MacDuff.
{Michal sighs}
Michael: Anything else on your mind?
Andrea: Two things. But I don't know if you are up to them.
Michael: Try me.
Andrea: Been there, done that.
Michael: Ouch! Er, I'm aware of that.
Andrea: Sorry, I couldn't resist!
Michael: I'm aware of that, too. So anyway, you can just tell me what you're thinking. I'll either do it or I won't, right?
Andrea: Yes, I'm aware of that.
{Andrea sighs}
Andrea: Okay, the first one is that I think you need a good friend to give you suggestions for your non-technical posts sometimes. They are missing something, without... without... er...
Michael: Liz.
Andrea: Yes, sorry.
Michael: Well she is elephant in the room.
Andrea: Elephant?
Michael: Well, perhaps an uncannily slender elephant.
Andrea: In the room?
Michael: Maybe on the phone.
Andrea: I'm aware of that.
Michael: No worries, go on....
Andrea: I was just thinking you could use a hand with your inspirations. I know I'm not her, but I think I can help a little.
Michael: I don't know, it isn't like something I ever scheduled.
Andrea: I didn't schedule this call, hon.
Michael: I'm aware of that. And a fair point. You had something in mind, as a "for-instance"?
Andrea: Well I was thinking about songs and song themes. would you say that the Steve Taylor song you like and the Samantha Ronson song you like are opposite sides of the same relationship? Well, not relationship, but the same people, and the way that most relationships happen with the same like people?
Michael: Hmmm..... interesting. Not exactly that, though -- they are both about one person, each -- though from two different points of view. They could both be about the same person, though. I'll think about it, that could be interesting....
Andrea: Since it was my idea, I guess I'm aware of that.
Michael: Though I think your take on it was wrong.
Andrea: I'm aware of that.
Michael: So what was the other thing?
Andrea: The other thing?
Michael: You said  two things. And then you only told me one.
Andrea: You certainly do pop the stack quite effectively, Mr. Kaplan.
Michael: I'm aware of that. And Mr. Kaplan is my father, not I.
Andrea: Mr. Michael, I'm aware of that. The other one is about the technical blogs.
Michael: Really? I didn't know you even read the technical blogs!
Andrea: I do, love.
Michael: I'm aware of that. Well, I am now at least.
Andrea: I don't think people understand your relationship with your old team. Especially since you are still writing about a lot of the same things you were before. Do they read it? Do they agree with you or disagree? Do they still talk to you?
{deep breath from Andrea}
Andrea: And I don't just mean other people for this one. I don't get this one either. What's your connection to them, now?
Michael: Oh wow, that one is a bit harder.
Andrea: I'm aware of that. But I sincerely doubt that I am the only one who is curious.
Michael: Okay, I'll think about that one, too. Maybe that'd worth a post or two, at least for the "me" half of it. I wouldn't try to speak for the other half....
Andrea: It might help the confused among us. There is one more thing....
Michael: Uh oh.
Andrea: You need to take her advice and start keeping yourself open to the possibilities.
Michael: How do you know I haven't been?
Andrea: Have you?
Michael: I couldn't say, really.
Andrea: Why not?
Michael: If I were it would be a secret. And "the best little secrets are kept."
Andrea: I'm aware of that. But those lyrics are for your special fan club made up of 23 year old girls.
Michael: Hardly a club! And at 23 they are women and often ladies. Girls seems kind of demeaning.
Andrea: I'm aware of that. But it is still easy to get a rise out of you.
Michael: You read the blogs, just like they do. And when I act too obfuscationary, like in
that alphabet soup blog, the people who didn't get it thought I must have been on drugs when I wrote it.
Andrea: Were you?
Michael: No!
Andrea: So tell 'em to fuck off.
Michael: Hardly open and respectful, that.
Andrea: I'm aware of that. But that blog was awesome.
Michael: I didn't know you thought so, you never mentioned it.
Andrea: Jacob learned a lot. With all the languages he knows? He thought it was great.
Michael: Jacob, he's your boyfriend, right? Nice to know I made your beau that happiest person in Nederland....
Andrea: Second happiest, actually!
{pause while Michael laughs hysterically at a joke that you may not understand fully, but if you don't them keep in mind that I am not drunk or on drugs!}
Michael: I'm still not going to drop hints about actual Sheilas or times I play the Beau. It is quite obnoxious, you know?
Andrea: Haven't you been doing that already?
Michael: Not usually, no. I tend to go on when it isn't happening, not when it is.
Andrea: So how can I tell the difference between a friendship upgrades into a relationship and when you just kind of grow apart, if you stop talking in both cases?
Michael: Well first of all, you can't -- by design.
Andrea: I'm aware of that.
Michael: And second of all, with perhaps one or two not-terribly-recent exceptions, that particular conversion has always been a downgrade for me, unless I was able to revert the change quickly enough to keep from "breaking the build" of the friendship.
Andrea: I wonder whether you realize that if you didn't talk about relationships like they were software development projects that you might be more successful at them.
Michael: I'm aware of that.

We eventually hung up the phone, some time before Dallas came on (Sue Ellen launches a film to ruin J.R., and J.R. foils a deal.).

We agreed to have unscheduled conversations from time to time, and I agreed to think about the potential blog topics, above.

I needed that.

Friends that know when they need to jump in and talk to you about something when no one else seems to? Priceless! :-)


1 - Some history is important here -- during one of my visits, this was part of a drinking game we played2,3. On all later occasions, no drinking happened, but we would laugh and acknowledge that it was the appropriate time to take a drink....
2 - In the game, every time someone said something you knew, you had to say I'm aware of that and take a swallow of your drink. You could try and skip it but if someone called you on it then you would have to finish your drink and repour.
3 - In more recent years, another friend of mine (Stephanie) unknowingly inspired me to create a similar game with a diferent phrase, one that was her favorite -- There is no question.


This blog brought to you by(U+2406, aka SYMBOL FOR ACKNOWLEDGE)

Gwyn on 9 Apr 2008 5:15 PM:

Do you carry a voice recorder everywhere you go, just to record long conversations like this one? Or record your phone calls? Or do you just have an uncommonly good memory for conversations?

Michael S. Kaplan on 9 Apr 2008 5:42 PM:

In this case it was from memory; I have a great short term memory for conversations and when it is a really important conversation sometimes even longer....

I never record them though, that would be creepy! It is bad enough that I am slow to shut IM windows since that will give me several "days" of memory and people think I save logs until they look and see that I just never shut down the IM windows until Patch Tuesday. :-)

Cheong on 9 Apr 2008 11:28 PM:

I'm not aware of that game but it sounds interesting, probably will try it next time we go drinking... :D

Michael S. Kaplan on 10 Apr 2008 12:55 AM:

It is a lot of fun if the people involved have known each other for a long time, under possibly different circumstances. :-)

MSK Fan Club on 18 Apr 2008 1:33 PM:

Glad you're still being held accountable. Do you IP track your comments?

Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Apr 2008 2:21 PM:

That someone is out there self-identifying as a member of my "fan club" is rather frightening!

But I generally do not IP track comments -- lots of the anonymous resolve to the MS firewall, which I suppose means something. :-)

And since Andrea can't force me to do her bidding (a job she used to have), I am not sure if this is true accountability....

sam i am on 18 Apr 2008 4:25 PM:

i don't know who the msk fan club is. but club or no, you will always have your fans here.

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referenced by

2008/11/08 'It's Not Easy' saying WTF to an 'Ant in Alaska'

2008/04/19 On the one who was Built on the Tale O' the Twister This Way

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