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Paranerda

1/28/2014

I've been in nerdlandia for a couple of days. Fewer than I should have, thank God for polar vortex and panicking airports, but long enough to remember why it is I don't like Silicon Valley. There are some real social problems out there. I don't think the rest of the country understands what happens when you fill an entire geographic area with people who essentially do nothing, and then make them wealthy. Everyone I spoke with who lived in the area had one topic of conversation. Ebay, Intel, McAfee, Yahoo, Apple, etc... I get it, but I don't understand it. Maybe it's because some of these folks have a vested interest in the health of these companies. But I think it's because the people in that area have a real problem relating to the rest of the planet. Silicon Valley is a dull, suburban place. It's not really attractive, there's a lot of traffic, sprawl and pollution. There are all sorts of things that the area tries to do to create a "quality of life" that are taken for granted in other areas. But I can see that an Indian from Mubai may think that a jogging path through the industrial park is a neat idea. Especially since he's been drinking free Red Bulls one an hour since he got into work and he needs to burn off some steam before returning to the short-term rental he lives in with seven other H1B's. But it's not the H1B's that are the problem. It's the NERDS! NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Maybe those nerds just got super excited meeting a "foreigner". Maybe they were trying to impress me. Maybe you've googled me and are reading this. So here's some hints. Don't assume that because you've never been east of Denver that there are no coffee shops in the rest of the country. Everyone drinks coffee. Fried shrimp? You can get those anywhere. Things are cheaper and there's no traffic out here in the sticks, so don't assume I can't afford what you can't afford. Yes, some people here in the middle will spend most of their monthly income on TV, just like you all do. Your weather? Not all that great. Even though we've entered the third ring of hell with this polar vortex thing, I know spring here is nicer than spring there. I've been both places. You need to trust me. If you look like you belong in a Far Side cartoon, do not try and get me to go out to "clubs" with you. Do not complain that there are no "hot chicks" working at {insert famous technology company here} so you'd never work there. Don't assume that I know the names of Google's C-suite executives OR believe that you are on a first name basis with them. I know people you don't care about either, get over yourself, I'm not impressed. Don't talk to me about the relative coolness of your car, bike, phone, or life when you are a three-hundred pound Accord-driver with crossed eyes and an iPhone 4 in a holster. Assume everyone has just about the same experience with affluence and we'll all get along. Stop talking about wine like you live in a winery. I know you don't. Your restaurant selections are disappointing, and they have sports bars everywhere. My college is better than your college (really). You don't really like hockey OR football, or you would live somewhere besides California. But most importantly, shut up about office politics at Symantec, McAfee, Intel, Yahoo, Google, Apple, Microsoft and how you are so glad you went to work for that failed start up right out of college.
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See this?

This was an awesome post that I started writing last week, then stopped because I had something to do. Yesterday, I looked at it and decided that I could make it super awesome by changing it around. I never got the time. This morning I looked at it and deleted the whole damn thing because it was awful. Not up to the standards at this here blog. And that's just sad. I really got to up my game. Ten years on I should be better at this. So for the third time in the last ten years I have put a laptop up in my bedroom so that if I have the late-night inspiration that I seem to only have when there's no computer available, I will have a computer available. Which means I won't ever have that late-night inspiration ever again. But still... I'll just have to trust my stream of consciousness. Such as it is. So lets see what happens.
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New leaves

1/18/2014

<a href="http://althouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/michael-pollan-explains-whats-wrong.html?m=1">Althouse links a video of the Kinks in a discussion about diet</a> and I'm going to link there in a post about New Year's resolutions, college, and how apple has made it impossible to blog from an iPhone. 

It's been two weeks since New Years and I have gathered my skirts and almost made the leap over the metaphorical puddle, but not quite. My goals this year seen insurmountable. I plan to be a more "positive" person. (In quotes because not really.  Or eventually really. Or I WILL be a more positive person because I AM a positive person and things are great and people love me, etc... See?  It's hard.). I'm doing this to myself because I have been moping over the last year for no good reason, and I'm tired of it. Really, physically tired. So I'm forcing myself to not mope. Or, if I can't not mope, at least re- enter the manic phase that I was in from 2009 to 2011. 

Which brings me to my second resolution, and the reason for the link to Althouse.  My diet. I'm a fat boy. Seriously. I'm 15 pounds heavier than I was at Easter. That's because I've been moping, feeling sorry for myself and eating like a TV twenty-something girl on her period. It's got to stop. I was trying a "paleo" type diet, but you know what?  I was in better shape before and I wasn't eating paleo, so while I WILL (resolutions go in all caps) stop eating all the shit I've been eating, I'm not going to start eating buffalo sausage and ass of giraffe for breakfast. I'll just return to how I used to eat. 

Apes, like dogs, are scavengers, and no one wants to eat like an ape. And while the video linked by Althouse is one of my favorite Kinks songs, it's also one that I turn down when at a stoplight.  The Kinks are one of those bands that have all of these cool songs that you forget about for years until you accidentally hear one in the background on a tv commercial, or while shopping over Muzak or when the iPod shuffles for real (I'm convinced my iPod hates me and wants me to listen to the songs I'm too lazy to remove from my iTunes library because maddmom likes them, like "sunglasses at night". Four times it came up on my way home from Birmingham. I stopped listening to music it pissed me off so much (see paragraph one)) which it hardly ever does. 

In college, back in the day, the English department at my school had a 400 level English class called "Kinkology" which was an examination of the lyrics of Ray Davies and associated songwriters of the second British Invasion period. I didn't take the class, because I knew I'd have to write a lot of pseudo-psychological Freudian bullshit and I wanted to get out of college ASAP, but I wanted to. Really. I think of that class every time someone finds a class like "the history of the TV show "Freinds" as told through penis puppetry (Soc 310)" in their kids class catalogue. This type of shit has been going on forever. Just make sure your kids don't take those classes and they will get fewer and farther apart. 

I'm out.