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Cathay Pacific
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Flying out to another city is sometimes a bit stressful, especially if you've been travelling a lot. Here's what happened on the 11th, when I was set to fly to San Francisco.

21:00: Laundry laundry laundry. Blacks, whites, blue-greens, red-browns. No clean clothes and not enough time. I pulled the last load from the washer, hung it up, and ran out.

01:00: I hailed a cab to the W, in the hopes of meeting dzuunmod. They had already left but I was treated to a strange scene of beating music, girls dancing on dividers in precarious heels, and expensive drinks. Everyone else was too clean and sharp to be geeky, though I managed to fit in. Until I pulled out my notebook and started writing.

02:30: Rode the bus up to St. Viateur to buy bagels for my expat friends. The bus is full of drunkards, as the bars had just let out. Some girls got off the same bus and they were weaving around trying to find the bakery. I led the way. Got a dozen sesame seed ones and consumed one greedily while it was still soft and hot. There are hundreds of newspaper clippings lining the walls, you know, and even signed photographs.

03:00: Rode the bus back home. Ironed a few shirts and packed the suitcase. Tried fitfully to stay awake.

04:30: Cleaned the kitchen.

05:30: Bagged up the bagels.

08:50: Got to Dorval airport bleary-eyed and confused. Tipped the cab driver well for driving like a madman. Then I stood in line forever at security, got through the TSA, and arrived at the gate. There I discovered that I had no seat.

No smoking
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

11:00: Kurt von Finck and Jeff Bailey showed up to keep me company. They boarded the plane before me while two other passengers waited to see if they could free up seats. One was really upset, since he had to make it for his daughter's birthday. I was remarkably calm about the whole thing, finding it even amusing. The ladies at the gate shook their heads when they realized my suitcase was on the flight.

11:20: The handlers rearranged some cargo so that we could fly. Seats were made available and we boarded. I sat in one that had been vacated three times. We got briefed about emergency procedures, where I claimed to know how to open the emergency exit. There's a lot of legroom in those spots. Kurt sat in front of me chatting with a guy the whole flight. I passed out happily.

14:45: Awoke in San Francisco. It was bright, sunny, and warm. I was still tired, even though I gained three hours of sleep. We met Jim Morrison, got our bags, and headed out the door. With our local guide, we got on the BART, then the CalTrain and were off to Sunnyvale.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

15:30: On the train, we shared the car with some kids from USC. They were all in football uniforms, swapping beers, and being rowdy. Their coach told me they were going to play Stanford at 16:00. The conductor, grumpy man he was, shouted at them to get out of the hallways. Kurt and I went to the second level where he chatted with some guy from Vancouver. I watched the guys below do the college football thing: talk about girls, make out with girls, and crack open cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

15:40: They got off at the Stanford Stadium stop, which was basically a hole in the fence. It's a stop solely used for football games. Isn't it odd how football is so important that the train would make a special stop? Calm returned to the train.

16:10: We got off at Lawrence and tried to walk to the hotel. We commandeered a shopping cart, one of those huge Costco numbers. That didn't work out so well with all our baggage, so we found a petrol station and got the attendant to call a taxi for us. She had trouble understanding us at first. While we waited, I bought a map. Then I juggled.

17:00: The cab brought us to the hotel. We dropped off our stuff and I took a bath. Then it was dinner at a local Japanese restaurant, which looked pretty empty. They shouted irasshaimase at us as we entered, so it couldn't have been that bad. I asked for a tatami room, we sat down, and I pigged out on otoro. Mmm, it was good to be back in California.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

19:00: I was supposed to go to SuperHappyDevHouse, but I thought it was on the other side of the city, instead of a half-hour away. Whoops. Instead, I attended a party with Jim. We walked from Sunnyvale to Palo Alto. It was a good walk, except for the fact that I was in constant pain from my bruised foot.

19:45: We arrived to a group of people playing some form of game. I no longer recall what it was. It eventually devolved into people just sitting around talking. I met Mike, who was the host of the party. And I forgot-her-name, who was the cute girl that all the guys wanted to talk to. And Will Chan, who would show up in my later adventures. Everyone else got introduced to me, and I forgot all of their names too. But I do remember that they all worked for Google.

22:30: There was a lot of partying, which involved excessive drinking on most people's part. I'm glad that Jim has brought alcoholism to his co-workers, although slightly disturbed at their tastes. They bayed at the moon on the balcony, which ended up in the cops arriving. Nicest cops I'd ever seen. They thought the party was cool, since we were quiet by then, but had to show up because of a neighbour's call.

00:15: The Token Hot Guy at the party had hooked up with the Cute Girl, so I made people promise not to let them drive off drunk. This failed because everyone else was having a "good time" and didn't notice them putting on their shoes. This meant that I had to trail them to a parking lot, in a dark neighbourhood, and I am bad with directions. She wanted to drive herself home in her car, but the guy seemed reasonably sober, so I let him drive. I hope they didn't get into trouble.

00:25: I walked back in the warm Californian night, slightly lost, until I found Jim getting into Will's car. Will drove us to the hotel, where I collapsed instantly of exhaustion.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
28th Nov, 2006 00:09 (UTC)
Mmm, otoro...
28th Nov, 2006 00:20 (UTC)
It was oh so buttery!

I had to order seconds.
28th Nov, 2006 01:49 (UTC)
That was a fun read. I'm pretty wiped too, from flying to Boston for Thanksgiving, then NYC with my Mom and then getting back to Montreal at 12 today and having to hit the ground running work-wise. While I was in NYC I picked up an Ubuntu CD in an activist bookstore in the Lower East Side so I'll have to give it a try ;-)
28th Nov, 2006 02:37 (UTC)
I hate having to start work immediately after returning from a trip. Leaving is fine, but returning is too much of a shock.

I hope you have fun with Ubuntu. Give me a shout if you run into trouble.
28th Nov, 2006 02:21 (UTC)
Simon, Will is willchan (or Will Chan). We want to be sure the correct person gets the google points.
28th Nov, 2006 02:37 (UTC)
Re: willchan
Ah, thanks.
28th Nov, 2006 04:48 (UTC)
But what time(s) did you go to the bathroom? :P
28th Nov, 2006 04:54 (UTC)
I don't recall! My memory is abysmal as you can see.
17th Feb, 2007 11:47 (UTC)
Interesting mountain view. Cool blog.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )