14 June, 1999


So, to finish the story I was telling, after a night at MikeyA‘s, I spent some time with Aunt Joyce and Harlyn. They live in Alameda, near Oakland and across the bay from Palo Alto, where Tellme is located. Erik is spending the summer working for Cobalt, in Mountain View, near Palo Alto. Well, his family just so happened to move to Alameda as well, so the first week, we sometimes shared the long carpool from Alameda to the West Bay. I spent one night at his house, not wanting to wake Joyce and Harlyn, who live their vegan lifestyles on extremely early schedules which tend to clash with the extremely late schedules of Silicon Valley employees.

A Matter of Housing

That Sunday I accompanied them shopping at a food market, nice weather, nice food. I was extremely intent on finding a place, and it came down to me just about ready to move in to a small room in a nice house with three other interesting guys to the tune of $600 per month, covering utilities. At the very very last moment though, Dave found a place just down the road about a mile and a half from Tellme. Two bedrooms, two baths, pool, sauna, gym facilities. Well, for the $1650 shared between us, I jumped on it figuring this way Dave has a place too. Then it was a happy ending all around because I tipped Joe from the house with the $600 room and Erik Gilling with the shitty commute off to each other and you know, that was probably a good match as well.

Busy Days, Busy Nights

And since then, I’ve been working hard and getting things done at work at a pace that, while slower than I’d like, seems to have earned the respect of my workmates at Tellme. For social activity, I have a large peer group of UIUC alumni. This weekend there was drinking and dancing in celebration of Luther’s birthday. Before that, I recall helping to move Joe in to his San Francisco Apartment. Before that, a party at Brandon Long‘s, where we saw the most excellent movie, Dark City.

Now, by most measures this is a good peer group, a large number of very intelligent guys who have access to a shared body of history to retell and all working in similar professions – there is always something to talk about. Unfortunately, they are, almost to a man, all guys. As much as I enjoy them, the sausage parties have to be complemented by some more balanced activities.

So, always something to do during the day, or on the weekend. I eat out a lot, having made for myself and consumed maybe five breakfasts at the apartment. Due to ever-present phone delays and the busy schedule, I never get around to calling Mikey or Joyce. I need to adjust the brakes on the Volkswagen because the other day I involuntarily blew a stop light.

But, well, we have a phone at home now, DSL on order. The voice T1 at work is finally up, after repeated delays from Pacific Bell, and is not yet production thanks to another delay on the part of MCI Worldcom. Well, since the brake incident, I’ve been biking to work. The other day JG drove me over in his Land Rover and I picked up a cell, er, excuse me, PCS phone … funny little toy, but useful, and it keeps your SysAdmin on call. Since we have but one guy who is the CFO things have been rather weird around Tellme when it comes to buying things. Sounds though, as if purchasing stuff on one’s own credit card and then submitting an expense report is common practice in the Silicon Valley, at least among startups.

Back At The Ranch

So, I’m hoping to slow down a little here in my writing. Let’s talk about this weekend. On Friday Dave missed his flight to a Wedding out in Missouri, owing to bad weather delays in the Midwest. Well, he was rather bummed. I believe that evening was rather slow, because I don’t remember it. Saturday I met up again with Eric and Vernell, who are visiting from EnterAct. We rode up to San Francisco and visited Haight-Ashbury, checking out good music and drug paraphernalia. Eric and I wandered in to this park which was actually a wooded mountain within the city of San Francisco. At the summit was a wonderful view, and some person who had apparently enjoyed too much acid or something as he paced about in circles, speaking of our proximity to some galaxy and how one should either go over, around, under, or through a tree.

Ayup. Riding back to Palo Alto, we collectively checked our e-mail at Tellme. At that last moment I heard of the gathering over at Be for Luther’s birthday. We ate Pizza and walked over to the bars of downtown Palo Alto. Unfortunately, Palo Alto, being a rich college town around Stanford, is not the coolest place to party, but there was some enjoyable dancing and attractive women at a club called Q. Dave desires to go back, and I share that desire.

Sunday … slow day. Waking up around noon, we headed out and picked out a couch at Krause’s Sofa Factory. Neat place, you pick your style, you pick your fabric, you pick your options, like down cushions or a sofabed. Same comfortable sofabed as MikeyA’s place, lifetime warranty on most everything, ought to be worth the price, though we needed only pay a third down and the balance on delivery in two weeks. For some mysterious reason, perhaps our transient status, my credit report for six months same as cash didn’t quite work out. Then we headed over to Fry’s and picked up our Bose surround-sound stereo to complement our TV. Nice system, though we would have had it the week before except for credit problems. I think Discover raised the limit on my card since they received my last payment. In a few months, the considerable spending I’ve burdened it with ought to be whittled down quickly. Vernell had stopped by early with a pretty friend from Georgia. They were heading over to check out Stanford, and then, from what I gather, Berkeley. This left Eric alone at the hotel without a rental car. I borrowed Dave’s car to pick him up and off we went to eat at a Chinese place. We then spent the evening with Little Dave watching another cool movie, Zero Effect. At Luther’s party, I finally got to see The Big Lebowski, yet another great movie I’ve seen at somebody’s house since arriving in California.

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