Monday, May 07, 2007

Noogie the Noogler

Well, it's 10pm and my first day at the Google is complete. Not a bad day. Learned a bunch of things (yo, openwavers: I can't forward your resumes until 30 march next year because Google doesn't want even the appearance of violating my non-solicitation agreement with openwave; I'm sad to miss out on the referral bonuses). So much more to learn. On the plus side, I'm now clear who my manager is.

The food really is as good as they say. It was a very interesting sight: 7:30 at night, and a few hundred people are still at the office eating dinner; not sure how many of them went home after that, but the energy was really nice.

I think I made the right choice. We'll see what I think after a couple weeks of commuting.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Support the Troops

I was watching The Daily Show the other day, where Jon was interviewing Jeremy Scahill about his new book, and it came out that a "private security" person in Iraq earns in a month what a soldier earns in a year. That is just so wrong on so many levels. Then it occurred to me: this society runs on money, so a really effective way to get the troops out of Iraq while smelling like a rose would be to dramatically increase their combat pay and make staying in Iraq prohibitively expensive.
  • You're taking care of the troops
  • You're paying something closer to what the market has set as the value of the service
  • Can you really see Shrub vetoing this?

Seems like a winner to me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Story of My Life

Books and movies are dangerous. I spent much of my childhood immersed in books. Nine Princes in Amber. Dragonriders of Pern. Tolkein. Heinlein. Dune. Mary Renault. World upon world where stories unfolded with heroic protagonists. Plot was inevitable and characters had purpose. Their fate mattered, yet didn't matter. I cared for them and their situations -- I cried and raged and came up for air expecting to be, and sometimes acting like I was, in that world -- but they weren't real.

The experience left me feeling like my own life was a story. I would walk to school with a sense that I was 6 feet up and behind myself, watching myself walk to school, watching my life unfold. Nothing bad really happened in my life (though my parents' divorce threw me for a loop, and I cried when my first hamster died). I feel that anything bad that does happen to me is subject to revision; if not that, it's happening in a story and doesn't really matter.

Yet it is my life.

The whole thing has left me somewhat ill-equipped to deal with life. Eternally optimistic and trusting. Uncommitted to much. Lacking the passion and drive that come from a feeling of limits and the approach of death. Working on software as if I've got all the time in the world (have I mentioned that, until quite recently, I've been working on my 5th platform for mobile applications?). Some recent health issues left me panic-stricken at night, sure that my pounding heart was going to lead to, what is it they say on "Grey's Anatomy"? "v-tach"? At other times I go for weeks without taking my blood pressure, sure that things will be fine, because so far they always have been, and if they're not, I'll just edit the story. I'm afraid I'm going to wake up when I'm 80 and say to myself, wait! you mean that was all real? I don't get to try it another way?

But life is not fiction. Life has limits. Time goes forward. There is no second edition.