Category Archives: California

Eastbound (and not down)

I cannot believe I am doing this. I thought I would live in California forever. When I moved up to San Francisco from the Silicon Valley in 2009, I told myself that I’d never move back to the East Coast… but I am. And when I cut through all of the sadness of leaving my friends, I’m excited about it.

In September of last year, I started dating an amazing girl that lives in Northern Virginia by the name of Hillary. We met on Jam Cruise in January of 2011 and kept in touch throughout the year. In September, we both met up in New York City for a weekend of music and adventure, and I think we both knew that we were on the verge of something very exciting.

This past January, we decided that this East Coast-West Coast relationship was just too difficult and we needed to do something if we wanted to try to make this work… Enter New York City.

I’ve spent the last week in New York finalizing one of the most critical components of my upcoming relocation, the apartment. I’ve found an amazing 1++ bedroom in Park Slope, Brooklyn and just need to coordinate the physical move. Work has been incredibly flexible about the entire thing, especially considering that half of the team that I manage is based in the NY office.

I’ve done three long-distance moves in my life and this move is very different. This is the first time where I actually have a lot of feelings for the city I’m leaving and will be very sad to say Goodbye to the West Coast and the incredible people and city of San Francisco. Since re-starting my life in SF in 2009, I’ve met so many awesome people through work, kickball, the music scene, yoga and life. The transition is going to be tough, but I know I’m making the right decision. I love Hillary and I know this is right. It’s just the adaptation back to the east coast lifestyle is going to take a lot of getting used to.

So here I am.. on an airplane back to San Francisco for the very last time as a California resident.  My plan is to leave San Francisco after Memorial Day and drive out to New York. Fortunately, there’s enough going on the next few weeks to keep my mind off of the sadness of leaving California… but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

I’ll definitely miss this place.. I’m just happy to know that I have someone as wonderful and loving as Hillary to be there on the other end to help make this whole thing worth it.

The dangers of Alcohol

On the eve of before Californians are set to go to the polls to vote on the history ballot initiative  that will decide whether or not adults over the age of 21 should legally be allowed to  consume and grow marijuana within the states borders, I came across this interesting article on webMD discussing the dangers of alcohol. The exact title of the article is “Experts: Alcohol more harmful than crack or heroin.”

As someone who recently become a teetotaler for health reasons, I found this study particularly interesting. It’s found that abusing alcohol is almost 3 times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco. It makes me wonder why we allow a drug as dangerous as alcohol to be consumed without judgement, yet other much less dangerous substances are demonized.

I was actually thinking about alcohol a lot this past weekend, as I ventured out to various halloween-related events and parties. Take Friday night, for example. I was at the Independent to see Lotus in San Francisco and during the set break a group of girls standing next to me were completely hammered. So much so, in fact, that one of the girls fell over and passed out on the floor. It took 3 of her friends to carry her out of the club and,  I assume, left with her to take her home. That girl was done for the night.. and not only that, she was probably so hung over the next day that she didn’t get to do much on Saturday either.

I’m not saying that I condone the use of Marijuana, however, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of a similar experience from someone smoking weed. I just don’t quite understand why there is such a double-standard when it comes to the health of Americans. If the government was really concerned about the health of its citizens, it’d not only take a look at the alcohol consumption in this country, but also at the food that it allows its citizens to consume.

That said, I’ll be curious to see what happens tomorrow and will be excited to see how people vote on this groundbreaking piece of legislation.

What I’ve been up to..

It’s been quite a while since I’ve come ’round these parts. It’s been a hectic couple of months, for those of you that know me well.

The Design
The look of The Diatribe was driving me nuts. It didn’t feel right. I needed to revert it to a more blog-like style. I figured this was a little more appropriate. Considering the lack of authorship from my cohorts, I’ve also personalized it a little more for your truly. I’m not kicking anyone out of The Diatribe, just personalizing it, considering I have more than 3/4 of the posts on here. 🙂

Where am I
I moved up to the Big City a few months ago. It was partially this move that probably prompted my downfall, but I’ve taken up residence in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco — which is right about here (and no, that’s not my house):

View Larger Map

My Health
Over the past two months, I’ve been battling a terrible case of pancreatitis that was brought on most likely by a gallstone. I spent 2.5 weeks in the hospital (two of them, actually) and the rest of the time I’ve spent resting in bed and on the couch laying down. In my most recent doctor’s visit, I found out that I was no longer suffering symptoms caused from my pancreas, but it’s most likely that the gallstone that caused this little issue is now in some inappropriate place in my innards, causing the pain and discomfort.

I’ve been on a lovely feeding tube for the past 2+ months, and would die for some pizza, chicken wings or pad thai. Regardless, I have a procedure scheduled for this Wednesday to find that little bugger and then I should know more about my return to normalcy.

Conclusion
So, for the most part, I won’t be updating the Diatribe that regularly. It’s more of a place to put some thoughts or commentary that is longer than 140 characters. So, stay tuned.. but don’t expect a flood of new bathroom reading material to crop up here. We’ll take it in stride. 🙂

Smokey Says…

“Only you can prevent Forest Fires.”

Well, I wish someone was listening to Smokey when the yesterday morning. This is about 13 miles south of us, and as it stands now — we’re not in danger of the fires, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t know its there.

It started as a very small contained fire yesterday morning at 5am and spread so quickly that by 7:45 as I was getting ready for work — it was classified a full-on forest fire. Having never lived near forest fires before in my life — the past year or so has been interesting.

Last summer, there was an onslaught of fires which left the sky orange for several days. Last night, while walking little bogart, you could look to the south and see an orange glow coming off the mountains — nothing freaky, just looked like there was some football game or something with an orange hint.

This morning, though, was something different. You looked out the window and it looked like there was a mild fog everwhere — until you left the house and were greeted with the distinct smell of a campfire. From Los Gatos to Mountain View, you could see the smoke in the air and smell the fire. It was very strange.

In case you’re wondering where things are — here’s a map of the activity:


View Larger Map

Yuck

I tell ya, we really lucked out last year. Between the time that we moved to California in October 2007 through October 2008, I believe it rained no more than 30 days during the entire year. And most of these days, it would rain for a few hours — then clear up.

This winter is much more “normal” — from what I’ve heard. It rained half the month of December and I think it’s been sunny maybe 7 or 8 days here in January. And when I say rain, I mean it rains — non stop, solid rain for the entire day.

It’s been raining like this for at least the last 3 days. I’m not too heartbroken.. 50 degree rain is better than 10 degree wind, snow and ice.. It’s also nice, too, because rainy days make the sunny days that much better.

The weather was starting to get a little boring — I’m glad we can mix it up a little out here.

Wimps

Man, we’ve really lost our thick skin as we head into the winter season. It’s been “cold” out here for about 3 weeks or so now, and we’re freezing. Now, let me clarify what I mean by cold. It’s currently about 49 degrees here — with a low tonight going down to 36.

50 Degrees — and we’re bundled up like ski bunnies. I guess it takes just about a year for your body to adjust to a new climate. Unfortunately, I’m headed back to Boston next week on business just in time to get hit with another storm hitting the Northeast.

I might survive for the three days that I’ll be visiting the Boston Google Office, but — the two weeks that I’ll be out there for holiday break — is going to be C-O-L-D. We’ll be excited to come back to the ‘balmy’ California weather. Heck, in Boston, 50 degrees is shorts weather after a cold winter.

I guess it’s all relative. Anyway, time for me to get my hat, scarf, gloves, and jacket — to take the dog out for a walk. BRRR.

My First Shaker

Holy Moly! We just experienced our first earthquake. It registered a 5.6 and was located about 15 miles East of where we live. The house was swaying — very surreal feeling — and Bogart didn’t even know what was going on.

I recall a story The Captain once told me about hearing pebbles and rocks “jumping” outside, after a small Quake in Boston. And I think that’s the best way to describe it — a low rumble, rocks and pebbles falling, the apartment shaking and swaying.

When I first saw the Quake reported, it was stated as about a 3, which concerned me.. “If this is a 3, what’s a 7?” But — after a few minutes, they adjusted the reading to a 5.6. Much more in-line with what I’d expect a “5 or Moderate” Earth Quake to feel like. Whew.

So, I guess we’re no longer Quake Virgins.

Update: According to the 11pm News, this was the biggest Quake to hit the Bay area since the Loma Prieta Quake of 1989. Additionally, the only thing to have shifted after more careful evaluation of the apartment was ‘Naughty Betty,’ who appeared to be 3″ skewed, but still hanging and perfectly safe.

So, about this city of angels…

I got back last night, just in time to take Miss Possible to the airport for a trip back to the East Coast for weekend full of baby showers, hoping that she doesn’t get any funny ideas. I spent just about a day and a half in Los Angeles, and that was more than enough time for me.

Business aside, the city itself was interesting, to say the least. We booked our hotel online at a place called , on Wilshire just blocks from the famed Rodeo Drive in a lovely area known as Beverly Hills. Looking at the photos online, we were thrilled to be in such a luxury hotel in such a great area of the city.
The Beverly Pavillion Registration Desk
One of my co-workers brought his Tom-Tom (or as we called her Luella) Portable Navigator so that we were able to get around the city without much need for directions. As we were coming down Wilshire, we heard Luella say “100 yards to your destination” — but all we saw was an ugly brick building covered with scaffolding. As we pulled into the Hotel Garage, we began to get very nervous as it served several purposes at once: Garage/Valet Drop, Hotel Lobby, Registration Desk.

As we pulled up the sound of drilling and jackhammers was so loud you could barely hear yourself think. It made for a very bad first impression.
Continue reading So, about this city of angels…