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"I sort of have a foreign oil-esque dependence on companionship that I need to shed." - Kevin Pereira

I am back from my vacation and being ricocheted around my apartment. I am unable to walk in a straight line after last night's red eye from San Francisco to New York. I took a nap but I truncated it at just two hours because I want to try to readjust to East Coast time. I'm tired and discombobulated so please use those facts to forgive the emotive nature of this blog post.

In going through my RSS reader, (which I forced myself not to check while I was on vacation), I found a video post by my friend Kevin Pereira, host of G4TV's Attack of the Show. Kevin spent the weekend exploring the lovely city of Philadelphia. I casually follow the random ramblings of his blog and Twitter posts but in this particular video, he said something that made me think:

"I sort of have a foreign oil-esque dependence on companionship that I need to shed."

I haven't spoken to Kevin in a few months so I'm not sure exactly what this means for his life but as I leave behind my San Francisco friends and family once again, I am left thinking about what it means for mine. I spend so much time on my career that companionship is something that usually falls by the wayside. I am typically able to convince myself that it is an acceptable trade off at this juncture in my life but the truth remains that I don't have a "foreign oil-esque dependence on companionship." In fact, I may have quite the opposite. So who is better off? Kevin and his over-dependency or me and my over-independency? What if Barbra Streisand is right? What if people who need people really are the luckiest people in the world? If that is true, I'm hosed.

But I turned 30 three days ago. I am older and trying like mad to become wiser. I was so darn happy to be around my family and friends in San Francisco this week and I realized that I do need people. I spent 10 days with my loved ones and we miraculously did not kill each other! On the contrary, we enjoyed each other immensely. Of course, there was plenty of flowing wine to help that cause, not to mention far too many birthday events: wine tasting, water skiing, cooking, spa days, barbecuing, happy hours, and an overabundance of Mexican food, which should tide me over for a while now that I'm back in New York where there is just no such thing. You can find the Flickr album of my birthday week here.

I can't take "my people" with me to New York and I'm not ready to move back to San Francisco yet but I can learn a lesson from the insightful, albeit hungover, thoughts of my friend Kevin. Over-depedence on companionship: bad. Under-dependence on companionship: equally bad. In my thirties, I will strive to find the Goldie Locks balance for my social life and let people in a little. But not today. Today I'm holed up in my apartment. I'll be open to companionship tomorrow.

Taking A Little Break

I know I haven't written a blog in a very long time. There are a lot of things I haven't done in a very long time, including seeing my family. I've been working so hard and at long last it is time to take a breather. I am headed home to San Francisco in the morning for a week-long vacation.

Tomorrow I will be picked up at the airport by my sister Linzi and we will head to Chuck E. Cheese with our cousins for some quality girl time. After that, we will have a sleep over at my mom's house and hopefully baking cookies and telling ghost stories are both on the agenda. (My sister is 26 and still afraid of Bloody Mary!) I intend to sneak out of the slumber party when the girls go to sleep so that I can have a beer with my dad. Or as he calls it, "a brewski." On Saturday, my mom will come home from her vacation and she and I will sit in the living room and drink copious amounts of her drink of choice: chardonnay. On Sunday, my family and friends are heading to Napa for my birthday party.

I don't know why I am disclosing this amount of detail but I suppose it is because I am so excited about seeing my family, heading home to Northern California, and taking a rest from breaking news. I have finally began to adjust to New York City and I am really pleased with the direction my career has been taking lately. In fact, I recently updated my demo reel and it helped me to see how far I've come since I was that scared new girl in town waiting impatiently for her furniture back in January. Nevertheless, life is not only work and it is time for me to let go for a week. I'm going to try REALLY hard not to send in stories to be included in Loaded or obsess about email or any other CBS-related communication. I am going to do my best to unplug. We'll see how that goes.

I'll be back in time for a Saturday segment on the Early Show during Labor Day Weekend. When I'm back in the swing of things, I'll try to update this blog a bit more frequently. I think Twitter has taken the momentum out of blogging. Anyway, happy Labor Day, dear reader. It has been fun knowing you in my 20s. See you on the other side!

Working For The Eye

This week CNET became an official property of CBS Interactive. It has been an exciting week for those of us here at CNET but while most people are wondering how their job will change, I had the privilege of having our new CEO Quincy Smith make it clear how my job would change. Smith was quoted in a recent article saying the following:

You're going to see a lot more promotion and cross-marketing of CBS brands, as well as the CBS interactive personalities: (for example) Natali Del Conte on the Early Show.

I had done the Early Show twice prior to this acquisition but this week my involvement with the show has gone into turbo mode. On Tuesday, I did a segment about hands-free calling technologies, which you can find here. I also helped research a segment late last night, which did not make it to the air, and I am currently working on a segment tomorrow about outdoor gadgets for the 4th of July weekend. Additionally, I am working with the Early Show team to plan iPhone coverage next week when it launches on Friday.

I am having a really good time working with CBS and I am hoping that my involvement with the network will not be limited to the Early Show. Their producers are very friendly, thorough, and news-oriented. They allow me a lot of freedom in choosing gadgets and tips for the segments I am involved in, and they let me come up with ideas for future segments.

I am amazed at how quickly CBS has been able to integrate CNET into its organization. Yesterday we all received a CBS Weekly Employee Newsletter. Today we were informed that we were put on the same Outlook Global Address List so we can email and schedule meetings between companies. (This also means that I can now email my long-time hero Leslie Stahl but I will try to refrain until I have something worthy to say.) CBS also put out a press release about my Early Show involvement, which you can find here.

To make a long story short, (although it may be too late for that), things are moving along quickly for me here in New York. Perhaps not as quickly as Valleywag would have it, but this is fast enough for me to adjust. I appreciate all the nice comments from last week's blog about getting kicked in the butt. There is still butt kicking going on in my life but I think I'm less on the receiving end these days. I know that our role from kicker to kickee flips back and forth from time to time but for now, I'm enjoying the view from The Eye.

Getting Kicked In The Butt

A very close friend (read: ex-boyfriend) emailed me last night out of the blue. I hadn't heard from him for a while and I think it is safe to say he doesn't really follow my career very closely but he sent me an unsolicited email of encouragement at a time when I really needed it. He reminded me of a saying that he and I used to find comforting. It was so perfectly timed that I thought I would share it with you. Brace yourself for these words of wisdom:

If you're getting kicked in the butt, at least it means you're in the front.

I've had a rough few days re-assimilating to New York after a blissful week in San Francisco. I caught a cold on Sunday morning, my flight back was slightly delayed, I was missing my family and friends, and my doorman scared me with a tale of two women getting mugged at gunpoint right in front of my building on Monday. I was feeling displaced and alone when this email came along. It was exactly what I needed to hear in order to remind myself that I moved here for a reason. I am making sacrifices for a reason. I am lucky to be able to do the job that I do every day and I have to allow myself those occasional "I'm doing it!" moments.

The kicked-in-the-butt saying does not necessarily mean that I want to be better than everyone else by being in the front. On the contrary, I don't navigate my career by comparing myself to other people. I just want to be the very best that I can be. Then again, I don't always want to live my life getting kicked in the butt. I am in transition right now, learning how to be successful while keeping a balance in my life that keeps me from going insane. I'll find my way. In the meantime, I must focus on kicking some figurative butt of my own and by that, I mean the butt of the Big Apple.

Getting Loaded in San Francisco

Last week I went on the CBS Early Show to talk about cell phone radiation. Can you find that segment here. Also, you can find CNET's Cell Phone Radiation Quick Guide here.

Immediately after filming this segment, I hopped on a plane and headed home to California. I am filming Loaded from CNET headquarters this week and having a really good time doing so. It is so nice to be home and I really like the San Francisco offices. I've been walking around this place smiling like an idiot because I'm too darn happy to be here.

My New York crew is nervous that I won't miss them but I found this video below, which was shot in New York, as I was searching through some shared folders today. I definitely miss them. I especially miss Randall Bennett, who no longer produces Loaded. He left CNET to do his own thing but when I saw myself giggle, "Look at Randall's face" on this video, I realized how integral he was in developing the show. I'm glad he's still my friend. Good luck, Randall!

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