Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Communications Log

UPDATE: OMG! I posted the wrong time and date. Can you believe it? I'm so excited about the training mission, I spaced. The communications logs will be available at the 27 cache locations below starting at 18:00 Pacific Time on November 4th! Don't forget the relay code to pick up your log on DVD: "The Operator left something for me." Good luck!


I found a last message from Melissa.

I realize that some of my truest allies won't be able to come to any of the four training events scheduled for November 4th, where I will also be giving out a communications log of my time here in DVD format. I'm sorry I can't do more training events, but I will be able to cache copies of the comm. log at an additional 27 locations on November 4.

100 Universal City Plaza Universal City CA
3111 K Street, NW Washington D.C.
1501 - 7th Avenue Seattle WA
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW Atlanta GA
2600 North Haskell Dallas TX
100 Northline Mall Houston TX
2320 North Campbell Ave Tucson AZ
6000 Universal Blvd Orlando FL
175 Tremont St Boston MA
2190 Empire Blvd. Webster NY
631 Richmond Road Richmond Hghts OH
300 West Waterfront Dr. West Homestead PA
4728 Bryant Irvin Road Fort Worth TX
728 West 1425 North Layton Hills UT
3535 West 86th Street Indianapolis IN
260 East Route 4 Paramus NJ
2121 Route 38 Cherry Hill NJ
Rte 611-160 Stroud Mall Stroudberg PA
3000 Alpine Avenue Grand Rapids MI
4300 Baldwin Rd Auburn Hills MI
37 Wall Street Huntington NY
220 New Britain Avenue Plainville CT
8141 Honeygo Blvd. Baltimore MD
2425 Vestal Parkway Vestal NY
4403 Palisades Ctr. Drive West Nyack NY
93 W. Campbell Road Schenectady NY
8065 Leesburg Pike Vienna VA

Beginning at 18:00 Pacific Time on November 4, friends and allies can approach an official at one of these rendezvous sites and deliver the relay code: “The Operator left a message for me.” (We'll use that Operator name. When they hear it, people go :-0 )

The first 50 allies at each of the 27 locations will receive the transmission log. I can release only one log per crew member.

If you are absolutely unable to rendezvous at one of these locations, and you are on my list of trusted allies, please contact Dana
[AFTER Thursday's training mission, please!] with your mailing address. She may be able to help.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Here's something I learned on my trip to Asia: They don't have fortune cookies in China. That’s an American thing.

Even so, all summer long, I kept wishing for a fortune cookie. I wanted to crack one open and pull out exactly the right cliché, the one small piece of wisdom that would put everything into perspective. I wanted to finish a meal and find the little slip of paper that would tell me, "Everything is going to work out for the best." "You are safe." "You will do the right thing."

Kinda silly to expect so much from a cookie, huh?

Last night, Aunt Margaret took me out to dinner. She wanted to see my trip pictures and hear all my stories. (I don't think she even realizes how much danger she was in these past few weeks, and by the way: she has completely given up on her hotmail account.) We went to Yank Sing so she could eat Dau Miu Gow and Chicken Fun Gwor while looking at photos of me stumbling along the Great Wall. Well, when we finished dinner, I finally got the fortune cookie I'd been wanting for months.

"A problem you solve for someone else is the very problem you must solve for yourself."

Can a fortune cookie be, like… retroactively right?


Today we helped Melissa go home again, but I don't think we quite know yet what that means for us. Even though Melissa is gone, I don't seem to have control over Aunt Margaret's site. There's still something living there, and it thinks it's going to broadcast something on Thursday 11/4.

For my part, I'm going to do what I can by helping Melissa execute the training mission she arranged for her crew. I'll be handling all the remaining RSVPs for the events, so if you can make it to Austin, Chicago, New York City, or San Francisco this Thursday evening, be sure you email me with the city and your crew name.


I don't know what happens next, but I think we did the right thing. I think we sent a lost girl back home. I think we solved the right problem. And I think our fortunes will change as a result.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

mission accomplished

It's over.

I made the Operator happy.

I protected Aunt Margaret.

I am so relieved.


This is how I did it:

Make yourself useful, the Operator told me. Help me track the rogue process.

I can't see the rogue process, she explained. So I need you to be my eyes for me.

She gave me these orders: Check the server log for modifications and unusual activity. Put up tags on the site so I know exactly where the process is working.

So I spent the day tagging the site with new text. Pulling random phrases out of a book, my favorite book actually, because using familiar words made it seem less scary, and guys, I was actually a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous.

I tried not to be nervous. I watched the server. I posted Sterne's phrases when I saw the rogue process, and I posted the time it was there so the Operator would know.

After 8 hours, the Operator told me I had fulfilled my mission. Nothing dramatic happened. But I guess I did my job.

A lot of you told me that I was wrong to even think about cooperating with Melissa. Some of you told me to wait just a little longer, until we had a better plan.

But many more of you said: Dana, do whatever you have to.

And so I did.

Aunt Margaret is safe.

Thank you for understanding. I did what I had to.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Natural Enemies

Have you heard the one about the cat, the dog, the old man and the thief? It's an ancient Chinese fairy tale.

A woman who runs a hostel in Shanghai told me the tale over tea one afternoon. I was bleary-eyed from staying up all night at an Internet café watching you guys chase axons. She picked out the strongest green tea on hand and, I guess, the strongest story she knew to go with it.

Four months ago, I didn't have any enemies. Now, I feel just like that dog.


Okay, so you know what the Operator has asked me to do.

You also know what she has threatened me with.

Please help me stop the Operator from hurting Aunt Margaret. She is real. Your “friend” the Sleeping Princess is not.

You might want to stop me. But I am not going to be stopped.

I can, however, be helped.

I need a way to neutralize the rogue process.

Friday, October 15, 2004

make myself useful

I'm coming home.

I don't want to talk about it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

hide and

Hi. This is Dana.

If you’re trying to have me hunted down and shot like a dog, please feel free to use my email and voicemail to communicate with Melissa. Everyone else is.

While you’re at it, please give a big hug for me to Adam.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


You rescued the Sleeping Princess!

Mission accomplished. Is there anything you guys can't do?

(Besides fix my aunt's web site, I mean.)

(Just kidding!)

It's so weird... I feel so incredibly relieved, knowing that the princess is back to sneaking around the server. The new happy ending to her Perdita story made me — well, happy. Really happy. Dazzlingly happy!

That's strange, right? I heart an A.I.?!

Well, anyway — thanks for bringing her home. Even though I'm still on the other side of the world, I kind of feel like a little part of me came home today, too.

I need to say one more thing. I know some of you helped the Operator last week when she wanted to track down her "rogue process." You gave her the information she needed to find and lock up the princess.

I just want to say — I understand. Even though my instincts would have been to protect the princess, I do understand. Talking to a brilliant, ruthless, intimidating A.I. from half a millennium in the future — well, it can be just a little mind-blowing. Who am I to tell anyone how to react to that?

I think when it comes down to it, we're all on the same side. Even if we have different ways of going about it, we all want to figure out why Melissa is here in 2004, and what we're supposed to do about it. We all want to save the world. That makes us a team, as far as I'm concerned.

In other news, I've been having my own payphone adventure of sorts today. Just spent an hour hogging a phone booth! Can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone as to why my ATM card won't work all of sudden. Everything was fine when I paid for a late sushi breakfast down at Tsukiji Fish Market. Then, the clock struck twelve, and my cash flow turned into a pumpkin. Kind of scary — Tokyo is no place to be alone and penniless...