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Steam powered

Posted by james on March 31, 2004

<img src="../share/2004-03-25_california_strip.JPG" align="right"> I'm sorry to people that are waiting to hear from me. I haven't forgotten, I'm even planning out who I'll try to contact a day or two ahead of time. But lately I haven't had the time.

I get up every morning a little later than I'd like to (but still on-time for work), drive in traffic, get home late, and eat dinner, get one phone call in (maybe). Then it's work, email, and IM'ing until I got to bed. So it'll change... somehow. But just wanted to let you guys know, I haven't forgotten or lost steam. I'm going, man, I'm going.


Posted by james on March 30, 2004

Ich bin ein Rakete Affe.

Day 2

Posted by james on March 24, 2004

<img src="../share/2004-03-23-city_lights.JPG" align="right" border="1">I'm in California. It's hard to believe sometimes, but I know it's true. When I wake up, I'm in a large bed that isn't surrounded by boxes of junk I should never have owned. I get up at 8:00 AM easily, since it's really 11:00. When I get in my car (which has turned into a large bright red minivan), I sit in the driveway for a half-minute trying to remember which direction to turn out the driveway.

It's definitely California. The mornings are cloudy and overcast, but it will soon be warm, nice weather. The roads are all multi-laned, high speed limit, and crowded. I drive for miles through strip malls, 5 lane highways, and bridges that put Newport to shame (though I'm still fond of that one). I find parking easily, since I'm no longer fighting the Providence cops about what constitutes "too close" to the curb. I walk straight from my car to my building, which is a 20 foot walk on designer sidewalks and mini-gardens in lieu of a 10 minute run through snow and hills. I swipe my badge, walk past people I haven't met and don't know what they do, into my room where 4 others work alongside me.

<img src="../share/2004-03-23-driving_sky.JPG" align="left" border="1"> I haven't figured out the ropes yet, so I have to ask questions. Where's the bathroom? Do we fill out timecards? Is there a dresscode? What does that lever do? (<i>"Nothing... it didn't do anything! I've stared at that for 10 years wondering what it does, and it does absolutely nothing!"</i>) I walk with my coworkers to the cafeteria where someone with a really fancy name designs really fancy stuff for us to eat, and where people with very ordinary names actually make it and serve it to us. We get free frozen yogurt on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I'm surprised how excited middle-aged people from all over the world become when they're given the prospect of free cones. Chocolate? Vanilla? Gotta go with the combo swirl. Nice.

There's green, rolling hills all around us, all the time. Not rolling meaning "in a movie", or "description that sounds good in a commercial". These are real hills, they roll. They surround the view, from the ones right next to the building to the ones in the distance that let you know that the "Valley" at the end of the city's name actually means Valley.

So many things here are so different and so nice. But all I can think of is what time it is EST. I'm leaving work, driving towards the highway... 6:20pm here, add 3 makes 9:20pm there... Intervarsity is over. There are a few people still hanging around, one or two of them are cleaning up downstairs, putting things in closets and waiting to return keys. A few are upstairs, unable to go home until they're sure all the fun for the night has been had and they can reluctantly go home to do homework. Off the highway, almost home... 7:00pm here, 10:00pm there. People have left the building and most have gone home. What did they figure out? Did some decide to hang out? Or did everyone go home except for a couple that decided to raid other people's homes, staying till late in order to do homework but never really doing any. I don't know, I can't see anymore. But I'll hear about it later; little bits and pieces of what went on and how good the talk was, and how it's different without me.

<img src="../share/2004-03-23-driving_sunset.JPG" align="left" border="1"> I go home, Grandma's made steak. She must be thinking of my dad, who will eat as much steak as he can any chance he gets until his heart clogs up, and then he'll find a machine in the hospital that will scoop his arteries clean so he can eat more. I eat only a bit, which is all I can fit (and I'm even trying to cut back, which hasn't been working) and then settle for the night. A few emails, shuffling some stuff in my room, write a rant. Then I prepare for bed and start wondering how many people are asleep at 10:55pm here, makes 1:55am there... Most everyone's asleep, except for a couple of people... one is dutifully doing homework in the bedroom, another's in the kitchen listening to music and putting away dishes, another's on the couch waiting for exhaustion to let her sleep...

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