So Norcal...

My first two weeks out here have gone by like a blur. The multiple simultaneous adjustments- new job, new apartment, new time zone, new routines and new area- have left me in a slight daze, as I'm forced to adjust to NorCal living. This week, I thought I'd take a few moments to reflect on those small things that make a big difference, on the lighter side of my valley indoctrination.

1. The traffic really is that crazy- I live only 11 miles from my new job, but because of where I'm situated 101 is my only option to get to and from the office. Sounds crazy, but I've scoured Google Maps and there aren't any backroads to get me there without doubling my commute distance. I can generally make the trek door-to-door in about 20-25 minutes, provided I leave by 7:45. The days I've left any later than that, my commute has never been less than 40 minutes- and even up to an hour. I just don't understand how this type of instantaneous logjam is possible, but it seems to hold true day-in and day-out.

2. I miss my morning show- Do you know of a great morning show in the San Jose/San Fran area? If you do PLEASE tell me! Back in NYC I fell in love with Elvis Duran and the Morning Zoo. No joke, sometimes I'd wake up at 6 and work from home until 10, just so I could listen to their show twice (6-8 and 8-10 are essentially the same routine). For the life of me, I can't find a morning show to listen to out here. They're all far too subdued for my taste. Please someone, cue me into something mildly raunchy, boisterous and non-PC, because John Tesh is cutting it. Come back, Greg T!

3. Old habits die hard- In the world of consulting, I lived out of a suitcase 3-4 days a week and got very used to that habit, as well as all the idiosyncrasies of road living that come with it. For example, I've just about gotten used to using full-sized bottles of shampoo again (luckily Minimus.biz is just a click away if that changes), have cut down to checking my frequent flyer balances once a week and have stopped expecting to get a delicious pillow mint each night.

There are a few habits, though, I haven't yet broken: For example, I did the wash earlier this week and almost instinctively put my clothes away, directly back in my suitcase. As if that wasn't enough, I battled with the mirror for about 20 minutes one morning trying to convince myself it really was okay to wear a t-shirt to work. I eventually gave-in, but decided I would at least iron it...to get the travel creases out.

4. It's okay to talk to people - When my best friend Mike came to visit me in New York last year, we gave him a good ribbing because he kept talking to people on the subway. If you're from New York, you're probably shaking your head right now. You just don't do that. Subway interactions should be limited to elbowing for position and muttering under your breath about how the guy with garbage bags full of Prado purses is taking up too much space. Mike's a true southern gentleman, though, and had faith that humanity could exist, even on the 4-5-6. Well, I can't say he was successful in making New York all chatty, but now I need to take a page out of his book. On an almost daily basis I'm taken aback by other human beings' willingness to interact with me. You can say something to a stranger, or even introduce yourself, and they won't run away! It's crazy! It also puts a lot more stress on me to have something interesting to say, as the one liners I'd gotten so good at back east no longer qualify as my half of a conversation. I'm improving rapidly though; last night on a flight back from the east coast, I met a very nice man named David Anthony who wound up being a professor at UC-Santa Cruz. We chatted for at least a couple hours about anything from sports to an interesting book he wrote to the Bay Area housing market (look out for future posts on my apartment hunting adventures!).

5. Technology is a real business- Many more posts to come relating to this topic, but suffice it to say that taking the internet by storm ain't easy. I'm not sure what exactly I expected, but suffice it to say that people here are impressively bright and the bar is high. As free spirited as most internet blockbusters appear, even the most relaxed UI has A LOT of work that went into building, marketing and fine-tuning it to be just what the user needs. But as I said, more on this in future musings...


Elizabeth said...

Danny! Looking forward to reading some great posts from you. I laughed so hard at #3. - Beth

Ada said...

You're so insightful! Love the posts! :-)

See you Thursday.. or tomorrow? Google Dance? LOL