dad mom grents
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likker bud lsd coke
amy and i have quite a lively life together -
during the week we work at our web jobs, she gets paid more than me, and then on the weekends we spend our money buying knickknacks and appliances for the house or persuing some artistic extension to our space
this weekend's project - a canopy for our bed involving a mosquito net suspended on a frame made of light rope (light rope - like in movie theatre asile floors or midwestern trees near christmas).and all day we drive around and talk about our lives and friends and argue, in the world of shopping or our little honda, we keep up with each other and it never grows repetative or boring and i think that is just amazing - i've never been with someone for this long and not grown tired or exasperated or made them feel that way about me. sure we have our spats, usually days like this sunday are up and down - depending on our blood sugar. right before we eat is the worst. but it's always lively.
mostly amy has the vision for these things and i like to engineer them. my thing is non-permanent attachments - how can we use weight, string and geometry to suspend or affix things without actually drilling nailing or taping anything to the walls or ceiling. there's something about a weighted cantilever that says grace to me.
amy notes about my job, i haven't joined a company so much as i've joined a tribe.
i'm playstation editor @
at first my nice my-age boss joel said he expected me to keep the same hours as him - 9am to midnight. i thought i would work hard during the day and leave at 8pm. but it's not a matter of working hard to leave - it's that there shouldn't be any place i'd rather be. or at least, that's the optimum arrangement. 90% of the people that work there live within two blocks of work (downtown berkeley) and they love to be there. they stay at the office all day and come back after going home only to sleep because the people they know are doing the things that they love at the office. they really don't play that many games during the day at work - they trade news and gossip and fart jokes and then after 7pm or so they let their hair down a little and play whatever game their working on, or watch a movie on their computer, or whatever.
each day i've been there, i've eaten lunch with a pack of at least 5 to 10 geek guys, two out of the three meals are burgers. when was the last time your whole office up and went to burger king for a group lunch?
it's hilarious on one level - they love gaming and geeking so much and they just don't seem to care about chi-chi gourmet shit, or wearing nice sunglasses - they'd rather have $500 headphones and wear sweatpants to work.
it's taking me a little while to adjust - in some ways because of my ergonomic consciousness - like i care more about the working state of the office than they do. probably because i've had so much time to make myself a nice environment working from home, and partially because 20 geek guys are building up their company at a breakneck speed, and all focus is on the expansion of the database. desks are being crammed in to every corner available. someone else and i sat on a folding chair for the last half of the week. meanwhile everyone else is happy about burger king and free mountain dew (no diet pepsi nexttime joel)
everyone's pentium III is over clocked to at least 500mhz. there's a computer running next to me that has no case, and no chassis. just a motherboard on top of a cardboard box, hooked up to a power supply, a keyboard/mouse and a monitor. and it actually works! it's on the same desk as the two office dwarf hamsters - called "one" and "two." they don't distract me much, except that they quiver constantly. deliberately cynical nat put the two on my desk and one leapt to the floor, actually, two lept to the floor and he proceeded to scramble about and it seemed my primary notable duty on day one would be to recover the missing hamster. everyone was up from their chair looking around for it - a little bit of athletic activity.
it's fun to be there, because i am steadily encouraged to relish my geek tendencies. it's true that i can't go from 9 until 8pm without wondering what i might do that didn't involve the computer - there isn't much going on at the office that doesn't involve a screen. you icq and email and database and surf and research and write, take a break around 4pm for some office quake (maybe against company co-founder dennis "thresh" fong) and then back to the computer work until 7pm for some time on the office playstation and back at it.
they have betas and demos of things i didn't know were coming out this year. they even have chips and video cards that aren't on market yet.
a few of the desks in the office are used by certified computer game champions. wayne, they call him the korean pop star, he sits in front of me and has two large Starcraft trophies on his desk. mr. thresh, mentioned above, has a gold joystick and some very large (ie, enlarged on to foamboard) checks - his PGL winnings. I also saw his press clippings folder - this 22 year old has been on the cover of the wall street journal because he won john carmack's ferrari playing championship tournament quake! (he keeps it parked at his mom's house - hasn't driven it in some time. it's more like a trophy than a car.)
all this means that justin's travelling web roadshow couldn't mean less to these dudes than all the berkeley alternative lifestylers asking for change outside. gaming skills and geek knowledge are the most important thing here - they don't even joke or comment on making money that much. they mostly like to make fun of people who like unreal or team fortress or age of empires - old or too offbeat games. people don't seem too interested in the depths of my personal life and i don't have to share them to be important. i just have to find lots of people who like to play playstation games and want to do web research (reach me if that's you). it's actually, like, a job. and it's a fun job at that. fun tribe. too bad i have to miss paintballing for kenn's birthday later this month.
because their hardware tastes are too refined, most folks there seem to have brought in their own computers (certainly the firing squad guys). i'm happy with my measly allotted 400mhz - i did however bring in my captain's chair, my kensington trackball, my old school ibm clickyclack keyboard, and a monitor stand. this week i'm planning to drill some brackets into my desk to support my whiteboard - there's no cubicles and i'm not near a wall.
so i'm getting set up and i don't even have to give it much of a chance. as long as i can work comfortably, keep strain off my wrists, and stay stimulated, i'm going to learn a lot, on a lot of levels. i'm learning not to share my insights. not to share my personal connection to each and every issue or person that comes through the office. i'm learning to keep busy actually performing work to better the cause of my employer. and i'm practicing just doing my job, not expecting to know more about web promotion or design or information architecture than the people i work with. and in the amazing silence that comes, i find i actually don't know very much and the people around me at least pretend to know an enormous amount and it fills me with some faith that we may actually be making a good site destination for the 90% of generation Y that plays games of one sort or another.
that and i'm very much looking forward to my own monthly parking pass!
For recent family photos, I can thank the ultimate taxi for shooting uncle jim and lori - "Health Heros" yesterday. I'm very excited - amy is coming with me to nebraska for gramma's 91st birthday this week. i love nebraska and i love amy. two great tastes! there's a four hour roadtrip with 8 of my family members each way across the state to stuart, where my grandparents live, so that should be great bonding time. too bad colin can't make it! and i'm glad my job lets me get away.the thebrain interface should work from that link - try it, it's new!
it seems that svante's written something in english on his site
(warning - java and patience required)