GEEK HEAVEN IN La-La Land
& A Little Bit of the Grind
Saturday: Scramble to make the last shuttle flight out-of San Jo going to the city of Angels
Lots of college types and actor-wanna-bes trying to take advantage of the low fare
I sit next to an Asian lady whos got enough make-up on to shame a Japanese Kabuki actor
She megelameTs me as she makes sure that the seat next to me is in fact where her hand-bag belongs
I am fascinated by the hand-bag
It looks like the old lunch box I used to carry at ACS, but "sounds" much more expensive
I quickly remind myself (or is it console?) that fake Guccis are a dime-a-dozen
I am headed to LA to attend a Geek convention in that ultimate of soul-less concrete jungles Anaheim. The convention is all about "photons" and how to do "what-ever" with them
Since neither I or any one else in the world has actually seen a photon, I cant explain what it looks like
(take that as a disclaimer, since several of you goremsoch out there may actually be thinking Im using a code word for koo-daz)
"Ladies and gents, please fasten your seat belts
We will be experiencing some turbulence as we land"
I nearly break out into a cold sweat while watching the Asian lady attempt to do the same through her make-up
I also wonder why Im getting nervous about planes in my "old age"
After all Ive flown nearly 100 times in the past year alone
In any case, my brain decides to envision headlines without my permission as we land
"Lone African-American perishes in shuttle crash"
After successfully negotiating my way out of LAX, I head over to my old classmate's house
I know yezarey lijoch dont do this any more, but "old-school" can still head over to a friends house at a moment's notice without pre-announcing your arrival WASP-style
We decide to head over to yet another friend's house, but call ahead since his mom and dad are visiting from home
(if you call ahead when the folks are visiting, you are sure to be fed).
Sunday: Day One of Geek-fest (as opposed to Greek-fest)
several important sounding speakers get up to speak
I had planned to stay awake by eating the munchies, but remembered that it was Tsom
Avoid dilemma by drinking several gallons of water over the next few hours
Finally decide I would rather drive back to LA to chill with yagerE lijoch
We check out the movie "Enemies at the Gate"
A rather serious affair, but nothing like the cool black and white World War II movies that we were forcefed by ETV back home
(In those movies not a single Soviet soldier died
[Editors disagree vehemently: indE! Ere Starring'u died in every single movie!] That was nothing compared to Chinese war movie classics like "From Victory-to-Victory" where Maos boys didnt even get wounded. But I digress
Suitably satisfied with movies ending, (yep, most guys like a shoot-out ending), we head back to my buddy's crib to try-out Ethee version of the movie Swingers
Yeah, OK, what we really did was spend the rest of the evening spent talking about cool stuff like relationships
(Dont worry, we didnt solve anything)
Monday: First official convention day
35,000 thousand descend on Anaheim to try to make sense of the stock market crash and broken dreams
Most decide in the first few hours of the show that it was a lot more fun last year when engineers were swapping stories of making instant millions
Since I never did have a piece of that action, I don my new company shirt and wander the show floor aimlessly with co-worker
Other "floor-guys" who knew me from before come up to us and want to know why we have become "serial job-hoppers"
I couldnt answer that question except to remind myself that my Dad served his country loyally for 25 years only to be tossed out unceremoniously by Menge and his boys
(Then again, some of those who replaced him and his peers didnt do so badly
It became a tradition during the Dergue days to become an Ambassador for a year, defect, and promptly come to the West and buy homes and property
I never got a straight answer on how someone could do this on a government salary)
"Excusive me guys"
We turn around to face a scruffy-looking guy with a note book
On seeing the man, we toss aside our wandering personas and "turn on our radars" The social norms of high-techdom imply that something mildly important is about to happen
(In the rest of the world, you put on a 3-piece suit to look important
.Out West, the more cavalier you are, the more "VIP" you seem)
what are you up to??" We realize that an interview had already begun with a well-known industry "rag", and quickly introduce ourselves and our responsibilities without seeming too eager. Paul the reporter seems a bit impressed and perplexed at the same time
"Why on earth did you leave your old cushy jobs?" he wonders
Q&A goes on for a while
We finally escape, and I decide I need to check out yet another homeys crib in Newport Beach
Hey!!! Dont blame me for not "mixing-in-the-mixing-bowl"; I just need some good Tsom wat before I starve to death
Anyway, I crash at 10 while discussing my wedding plans on a full stomach.
Tuesday: Up at six in order to attend some big meetings on stuff I barely understand but must explain
After the meeting, people walk up to me and congratulate me on the interview
Stunned by the speed of the Internet, I rush over to my hotel room to log-on
(Yes, I still have my hotel room
I just havent used it)
"Refugees from Investment group *#* resurface" states the article
This cracks me up since I come from a country where the word refugee is not used so liberally
In any case, the article was well written and gives our poor start-up some free publicity
Back at the convention, I run into an Ethiopian analyst who tells me she just met another Ethee lady called "Hirte"
I heard many names in my time, but that was a new one on me
In any case, girl has made us proud as PhD. scientist at a hot-shot New Jersey start-up
On that upper, I bid yall farewell
(Or until the Seleda editors come-lookin for Raph again..)