No Fancy Name
Sunday, July 30, 2006
friday night sushi with dr. free-ride and geeky mom
I'm the big lazy loser of the bunch, because although we agreed to each blog our dinner experience separately in a Rashoman-like experiment, I'm the last of the bunch to do it. See? Geeky Mom did hers, and so did Dr. Free-Ride.

Let's start with my day(s) leading up to this exceptional outing...because it is my blog and therefore all about me. At my company, we're a vendor. That means, for the most part, we work on our clients' terms rather than our own. For as much as we try to beat into our clients the optimal way to do things from a scheduling and organizational standpoint, not only for the sake of their budget but also our sanity, tasks often do not work out that way. In such instances, we often find ourselves with an extremely important task handed to us at the deadline, and the need for everything to happen flawlessly and immediately, but without any time to prepare such flawless and immediate work because it was all handed to us at the deadline.

Anyway, the relevance of that story is this: at 3:30pm on Friday (I was to pick Geeky Mom up at 6:30ish) I had been up for about 36 hours straight, sitting on my butt working non-stop, and I was smelly and really needed a shower...and a nap. I managed to pull it together, though, and headed off to the Hyatt with the hope that I would recognize Geeky Mom from her avatar.

I did, except her avatar doesn't show that she's about thisbig. Seriously. I'm not terribly big (except around), but I think I'm twice her size. But despite her small stature, she has a huge personality and a big brain, so with my large size, small personality, and small brain it all evened out.

Now, I already knew Dr. Free-Ride is awesome, since she was my philosophy prof and we see each other frequently. But Geeky Mom is also totally awesome! We got in the car and began the nonstop chattering that people do when it's like they're old pals, despite the fact that they were heretofore faceless inviduals from inside the internet tubes.

So the dinner. I take full responsibility for the shitty, shitty service at the otherwise awesome sushi place. I go to this particular place (Hanamaru, 675 S Bernardo Ave, Sunnyvale) all the time and I have very low expectations for service when I go there. The waitstaff does not seem to be a professional waitstaff—that is, people who do it for a fulltime job and therefore learn tricks of the trade (or even the basics of the trade), and there is often a language barrier (their bad english, my bad japanese), but when I go by myself or with other people who go there a lot, this bad service is just something we expect, and deal with, and chalk it up to the charm of the place. But when you take out-of-towners or people with special dining needs (vegetarians), all the bad service is exacerbated and gets a little frustrating and the person who raved about the place, such as myself, often feels terrible about it.

But that didn't stop us from eating two full waves of sushi and talking talking talking for a couple hours! Geeky Mom, despite her small stature, can put away the sushi. She learned, first-hand, of my bottomless pit of a stomach for all things sushi-related. Dr. Free-Ride got all these vegetarian rolls that I've never tried, and so now I have a ton of things to try the next time I go there.

We talked about a gajillion things, although I must admit I spaced out for a moment and tried valiantly to flag down a waitress for more beer when they talked about their various birthing stories. C-sections, breech babies, water breaking, other stories...I have nothing to contribute in that area but I shifted uncomfortably in my seat as a show of support. Dr. Free-Ride has an awesome run-down of the other things we actually talked about. Some of my favorites:
* The range of technical abilities, not to mention willingness to try to figure things out, manifested by faculty members who interact with academic technologists.

* Some bloggers seem to look like how they blog. [STILL trying to figure this one out]

* Why it might be that some faculty members don't have any apparent strategies for dealing with disruptive students in graduate classes.

* How we might program BlogHer if we had control over such things.

* Our abiding distrust for vendors of a certain sort at conferences.

* The inadvisability of letting one's cat develop a sushi habit.

* Hour 40 of not-sleeping is about when the hallucinations start.
I wish travelling around the country/world wasn't so time-consuming and cost-prohibitive. There are some awesome people in our little corner of the blogosphere. I'm lucky Dr. Free-Ride is just down the hall from me in the faculty office building, but Geeky Mom is waaaaay over on that other coast. Sad.

Although I'm still trying to figure out what "you look just like you write!" means, which was the first thing she said to me. I look like I use a lot of ellipses, semi-colons, and hyphens? Neat...

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