Tech University, CA: Loaded

A month ago, Google made son an offer and moved him up from southern California.

Before Google, son worked six years for Blizzard, manufacturer of World of Warcraft. The Blizzard headquarters in Irvine is a sprawl of low buildings. Irvine even has a Blizzard way.

What young boy doesn’t play video games. Dream job! Son is the uber-nerd, going to San Diego Comi-con every year, reading science fiction exclusively, and attending Magic Card conventions.

Google put him up in fully furnished apartment in Palo Alto, biking distance from Google headquarters in Mountain View. Rent is free for three months. They sent him a real estate broker to assist in his hunt for a more permanent living arrangement. In the meantime, son signs up for free cooking classes held in his apartment complex.

Apple, Google, Facebook: the three big engines of Silicon Valley employment. During a brief stint living in the City, self shared a building with a bunch of Google engineers. Many of them had just moved to the Bay Area.

This past summer, her niece (19, studying in Michigan) got an internship for Facebook. They gave her an apartment in Palo Alto. AND she was driven to work each day by a Facebook car service. Her niece is still a teenager and she gets ferried to and from work in a Facebook car.

The Economist of 30 June 2018

“the headquarters of Western tech giants” as “typically horizontal affairs, in keeping with their supposedly flat hierarchies. Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus is a jumble of two-storey buildings connected by parks and bridges. Google is a collection of dozens of separate structures spread over an entire neighborhood in Mountain View. Employees commute between them on colourful bicycles.

So, yeah. Those tech giants are loaded.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Any Kind of Red

Thank you to Cee Neuner for the Fun Foto Challenge: RED

Red is a particular favorite of self’s.

  • Aug. 14, Redwood City’s Fox Theatre: George R. R. Martin read for a Locus Magazine fundraiser.
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Fox Theatre, Redwood City: 14 August 2018

  • One of self’s handbags: a friend made it for her, using material self brought with her from the Philippines.

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  • Self’s birthday was July 14. Son and his wife, Jennie, flew up from southern CA and we spent the day in the City. Stopped at the Museum of Modern Art to see the Magritte exhibit, then had a snack in the sculpture garden. GREAT DAY! BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden: 14 July 2018

 

 

 

Still On P. 27 of THE DOOR

  • All the time, my stepfather was shaking and swearing, because call-up letters were flying around like birds.

This evening self suddenly thinks about her World War II novel (244 pages) and realizes it has no heart. The only thing it describes is how an 18-year-old is sent into the mountains with the enkargado.

When Bacolod was occupied, self’s Dear Departed Dad was 12. The Japanese High Command chose the biggest house in Bacolod to commandeer. Which at the time was Dear Departed Dad’s family’s house.

It had a winding staircase made of imported Carrara marble! With a working Otis elevator! Of course the occupiers must have marveled about how that house had come to be, in such a small island in the center of the Philippines.

Must have been pretty tense, right? When self knew her grandfather, he was an old man in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down. He was always that way, always a sublime paralytic in her memory. It wasn’t until six years ago that self learned that her grandfather suffered the stroke during the Occupation.

There’s a war story self’s Dear Departed Dad told her about how, one day, everyone in Bacolod was made to line up around the Plaza. There was a prisoner seated in the middle of the Plaza and he was beaten pretty badly. The guards wanted him to point out his accomplices. Right when two of my father’s uncles passed in front of the prisoner, his guards gave him a particularly vicious beating. And his arm came up and he pointed, without thought. And he was pointing at one of my father’s uncles. Who was immediately taken away and never seen again.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cal Shakes’ THE WAR OF THE ROSES: FIERCE

Oh, kudos, Cal Shakes. Kudos for everything. For the chart showing the House of Lancaster and the House of York, for the jumbotron messages above the stage (BOO! and RICHARD IS DEAD! were so on point!)

It was a lovely way to spend a late summer afternoon.

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In choosing the seats, self noticed most of the tickets taken were on the LEFT side of the amphitheatre (Section E). She figured that must be because of the sun. When it strikes directly, and you’re sitting there for four hours (yes, the play was four hours: it passes quickly), it is not fun. So she snagged the last three tickets on the left side, which were in the next to last row.

She’s never before sat so far from the stage, but it worked out perfect because this was a large-cast production, with a lot of comings and goings, and from higher up you can really appreciate how every inch of that stage is put to good use.

Self’s only regret was that she did not spring for a button saying, THOU TOAD! ‘Twas only $3.

Both she and son forked up cash for the donation bucket. (This year’s fundraising goal is $150,000)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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The set for The War of The Roses was amazing, as were the costumes. Kudos to Scenic Designer Nina Ball and Costume Designer Anna R. Oliver.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: TEAL

Love this prompt from Cee Neuner!

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A collection of short stories by the great Wakako Yamauchi who passed away recently. Her own art is on the cover. Edited by Lillian Howan, published by Hawai’i University Press.

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Bought from a Tibetan vendor in Dharamsala: “This will make you strong like _____!” said the vendor to me. Forget which Hindu god has the lightning bolt.

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College-age self and Dear Departed Dad

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Jenny Allen, Essay # 15: WOULD EVERYBODY PLEASE STOP?

Self’s favorite essay so far. She loves the motherly distress over the thought that her 13-year-old daughter receives dick pics from an acquaintance. The mother, a true Mama Bear, calls the boy (whose number she finds from an email on her daughter’s computer — Bad Mama for snooping! Bad!)

“Hello?” says the boy, “warily.”

“Hi! Who’s this?”

“M—-” he says, giving his name. Good Lord, this boy would probably follow a guy who said he had a hurt puppy in his car.

Anyhoo, the conversation never touches on the dick pic, and yet there is eventually a

Long pause. “Oh.”

And I think, he’s putting it together. He knows.

The mother does talk to her daughter about it, and succeeds in being very light. Trusting, you know. She lets it go. But inwardly, she can’t stop worrying. So, some time later, when she and her daughter are “on vacation in the country,” she brings it up again:

“Were you shocked when you saw the picture?”

“Yes.” She’s smiling, but she says ‘Yes’ in the same tone that she might say “Of course” or “Duh.”

“Well, what he did was send an assault, and that’s wrong, and — “

“Bye-bye.” She walks outside. She has always been a private person. She hates Talks.

And the mother is rebuffed. Again. And yet again.

The last image is of the daughter sitting on a swing: she “swings slowly, the wood making little creaking sounds like a sailboat’s mast in the sea.”

How lovely the image!

And a few sentences later, the piece ends.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Week 5: Coffee

“Coffee, you complete me.”

That pretty much sums up what self feels about coffee.

So glad she can participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

Self has two coffee makers: a red and a white.

The white is a 10-cup, and the red is a four-cup.

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She also has a favorite coffee mug, which she bought from a wee little store in North Beach.

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The other side of the mug has a picture of Han Solo.

Which reminds her: this time next week, son and his wife will be back in the Bay Area. He accepted an offer from a high-tech company in the area. Self is so happy to have them close by!

She only learned the news about two weeks ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Story # 4, OLIVE KITTREDGE: A Little Burst

Olive has been eavesdropping at her son’s wedding. Suzanne, her new daughter-in-law, and a guest are discussing her son:

“He’s had a hard time, you know. And being an only child — that really sucked for him.”

Seaweed murmurs, and Suzanne’s oar slices through the water again. “The expectations, you know.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Things About the Magritte at the San Francisco MOMA

Self has seen it three times.

The Magritte-themed food in the fifth floor café is so much fun:

In the adjoining sculpture garden, you can pose in front of this sign and you will look fabulous and so ‘San Francisco’:

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Andrew and Jennie, 14 July 2018

There is a great, really great interactive portion at the end: Raise your arms, and YOU’RE the Magritte!

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More later. Stay tuned!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Week 2 Photo (Blue, Pop Art, Vivid Color)

Self’s entry for Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge this week (She invites us to derive what inspiration we can from a new photo every week — quite an interesting challenge!)

You can see the photo for Week 2 here. It’s a vivid picture: a wall mural in bright colors, a vintage truck with a raised hood.

Self chose to focus on the colors. And, as luck would have it, she doesn’t have to search for very long before she stumbles on just the right pictures.

Last Saturday, son and his wife flew up from Orange County and we spent a day in the City. SO. MUCH. FUUUUN! Self had been raving about the Magritte exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since forever. So that became our first stop.

We stopped for refreshments at the 5th floor café, and posed for pictures in the sculpture garden:

 

 

Here’s one last: Andrew and Jennie having fun at the interactive portion of the exhibit. The screen they’re staring at is bright blue, son is wearing a black sweater, and Jennie’s wearing a blue hoodie. So that’s an acceptable interpretation of the photo challenge, right? Not to mention: the cords for the audio guide are orange!

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 14 July 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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