Saturday, June 30, 2007

Silicon Valley is such a weird place to live or work or spend any time in. Now that I am working for what is in many ways *the* Silicon Valley company, I really know it. Yesterday after work, a bunch of people ended up at the local bar, the place where everyone goes after work. I am loosely acquainted with the people I went there with, but most of them I don't particularly know well and rarely work with - it was just the accident of having champagne at someone's birthday party which inspired people to go out. The combination of people was weird - it wasn't a bunch of higher-ups but it was all people who work behind the scenes of the company and therefore kind of have the power. People you need to know if you're someone like me and needs to get stuff done. Anyway. So we just hung out there, talked about random things including but not limited to work. I shared my theory about how it really is true that men playing hard to get/being oblivious/uninterested can get the girl (if they decided they wanted to), because at a certain point you're just frustrated enough that you want to prove that you're not insane. This is true. And I oh-so-tactfully informed my friend that she should break up with her boyfriend. That sounds worse than it is.

Tina met me there and we went to some tapas place in downtown Palo Alto for dinner. We wanted light food, so we ate about 2 full baguettes worth of bread and butter and ordered two little dishes - a tuna tartare with taro chips and some crab cakes. I love me some crab cakes. We also got a bottle of wine, which for me after the previously mentioned bar outing pushed me beyond the legal limit, so afterwards we needed something to do to sober up before driving. What did we do? We went to the Apple store. There was a line of people waiting to get in, because a bunch of employees were keeping the crowd inside the store at a reasonable level (actually it was pretty open still and not insanely crowded, which is a very Appley thing to do). First we just wanted to witness the spectacle of the line, but then it was suddenly short so we hopped to the front of it and got in. There was a split where you could either walk over and play with the phone, or walk straight up and buy one. I was shocked that they were still in stock. They didn't have the 8GB but they had the 4. I started talking to these two Apple employees - one who works at the store, and another who actually works for Apple in what is called the "Executive Relations" team. Which is, as far as I can tell, the team that does customer service for the people who are pissed off or delusional enough to e-mail Steve Jobs directly. He claims Steve reads every e-mail he gets (any permutation of stevejobs at apple dot com or sjobs or steve.jobs or whatever) and then if for some reason he doesn't answer them (insert editorial comment here: he doesn't answer any of them) he passes them to this team. My personal theory is of course that his beleaguered executive assistant reads his e-mail, but that's just my opinion. Anyway so I basically challenged these Apple guys to sell me on the iPhone. And they couldn't do it! One guy was like "I'm on a family plan with Verizon so I'm not switching. Maybe later." And the other guy is getting one for free, because by the end of the month of July, any employee of Apple who has worked there for more than a year is getting a phone.

After a bit of this, I walked over to the phone and was waiting to play with it. These two guys were taking their sweet time with it, and after a bit, I noticed one of them had a Google badge in his pocket and he turns out to be a Google intern. So I made friends with them as well. It's just insane how you run into all these people out who work for these companies and you can have lame conversations like "Ah, YouTube, one of the front page applications on the iPhone." Which we did, and I did play with the iPhone and it is pretty sweet I have to say, although that keyboard definitely does take some getting used to. Or, would take. I didn't buy one. I may just wait and see if we get some at work (even if we do, I won't, because everyone wants one) or if it ever goes to Verizon. Because I do my research and I hear the data plan sucks. BUT it is revolutionary.

Then Tina and I really liked the bags that people were walking out with - the iPhone bags. So we asked the two guys at the counter if we could have the bags, and they gave them to us with minor grumbling. We said bye to Peter (the family phone plan Apple store employee who is going to be an art student next year) and then before we left we asked the guys outside the store manning the line to take a picture of us with the giant iPhone display. We held up our bags and they totally thought we had bought iPhones and were just so jazzed we had to commemorate the occasion. What IS this place?

We went to Tina's house, which is tricked out because her roommate has his own design company and he has designed most of the stuff in the house, from random gadgets to wall decorations to the giant contraption with a swing on it over the pool to the lighting scheme and to some of the lamps themselves. I am a little obsessed with the lamps but apparently he charges a lot. Tina and I hung out in the hot tub and I jumped in the pool off the swing and it was really an amazing end to the evening. I quite love the random things that happen in my life and the random people I meet. And I love California - for some reason I feel like my life here is singularly awesome. I love jumping from a hot tub to a cold swimming pool. And ending up at a house that is decorated by a self-employed genius artist. And being able to talk about anything with almost anyone you meet, and meeting new people all the time who are interesting and interested.

Now, to read Harry Potter, attempt to clean my room, find myself breakfast, and then to later on barbecue and drink margaritas ("fresh margs" as Kirsten Cohen would say) on my friend Julia's front lawn, provided the two of us can figure out how to get the grill started.

3 comments:

MissEm said...

Send me your email address you are ready to join the LAC here in the city! Our next party (thai cooking lesson) is on the 17th :)

Anonymous said...

sara says...
i miss you and am very jealous of your new rocking single city girl life. it doubly hit me today that my life is sort of over for a long long while when i got called into work on the 4th of july and got stuck there for a good six hours and then when i got back home, i couldn't do anything but sleep all day. then, when i finally woke up at 8pm, hence missing all the parties, i went up to the hospital to watch the fireworks since alec was on call all night. awesome.

Kim said...

Dude, those bags are totally worth getting jazzed about. You know, if you're a pack rat (which I most definitely am) and can't help collecting bags...