Category: Meta

Onward and Upward

Far easier than making new friends: importing old ones.

Jakob and Katie came up from, erm, inferior Californian cities to Berkeley this weekend to celebrate my birthday (22 as of the 24th!) which was really nice, especially considering that my actual birthday featured me being at the office till like eleven or something obnoxious.

Now here’s the thing, though. I’m sorta torn when it comes to writing about the past couple days, because by most measures my weekend was nominally a pretty typical weekend for someone in his early twenties. I went out with a mix of new and old friends, got drunk, and watched Batman. This is a tried-and-true way to have fun — that’s probably why the phrase ‘going out’ specifically encodes bars, clubs, restaurants, and movies — but I feel pretty strongly that writing about that sort of thing turns me into the blogging equivalent of those kids who like, tweet about making breakfast, or god forbid post instagram-filtered photos of said breakfast on facebook.

Namely there’s no reason for anyone who wasn’t there to give a shit, and for anyone who was there it would be supremely weird to read my like, commentary on going out with them? Like, what: “That bar in Berkeley was fun but gosh Katie is getting really lazy with her wardrobe; shit is embarrassing” or something? Profoundly uncomfortable, especially for the people I am just starting to meet and befriend. Why is precisely why the China match was intended to be coverage of a) events that were far removed, geographically and personally, from the blog’s readership and b) events that were unique and interesting in some capacity, so the blog was less about Kevin Shepherd’s personal life and more about the misadventures that Kevin had, which are always more interesting anyway and generally don’t require outside knowledge (like who ‘Jakob’ is, for instance) to be compelling. That sort of blogging is mostly impossible when I’m in the states, which is why it mostly doesn’t happen.

The reason why I’m torn is that now that I’m living here for the forseeable future, it’s starting to look like there maybe isn’t any great way to stick by this rule of thumb while also continuing to write quasiregularly. But on the ‘unusual thangs’ front for this weekend, at least, I’m still set because I spent several hours trying to gain access to the rooftops of UC Berkeley and toured the Google office in San Francisco, both of which are stories that are better told with pictures.

The only way to tie all this together:

Climbing Stuff I Probably Shouldn’t Climb, Particularly When “Stuff” Refers to Hip Technology Companies Which Are Far Too Cool To Ever Employ Me.

Also, Bears and Jakob.

So as some of you may or may not know, I kinda really like climbing things. Not so much in the traditional sense like climbing walls in gyms, or even trees, but rather climbing up insufficiently-secured buildings on North campus, or decaying Chinese landmarks, or down equally-unsecured-hatches into the Northwestern steam tunnel network.

(Click to enlarge)

So naturally when I figured out I was living within a block of a new college campus, my initial reaction was to take the Ezio-approved strategy of climbing up to top of the tallest possible building to get my bearings, then throwing a torch onto the kegs of gunpower stored at the top of said buildings as I dive dramatically off into a bale of hay hundreds of feet below.

All this to say is that Jakob and I tried really damn hard to get on the rooftops of Berkeley but their security is a lot tricker than Northwestern’s, so we were only really able to get up to one, and it was designed for people to go on. Had to cut through a construction zone to get there, so I guess that’s something, but still largely a bummer.
Still pretty though:

…but perhaps not as pretty as everyone’s favorite european posing with some amazingly-posed bear statues

How YOU doin?

And then let’s be honest this is pretty unrelated but I got to tour the google office today and then go do some work there for a while, and it kicked ass so I’m gonna put some pictures of it here because they deserve to be somewhere. And the Austin Facebook office too, because I toured it in march and have since realized that there will never be a good opportunity to upload them, but their ‘wall’ is really cool:

Naturally they get a full freakin' cafe FLOOR

And a slide. Unfairly cool.

One of the only things FB did better than Google, at least from what I could tell

Added an Index

Even though the site has been up for a year, today marked the first time I tried to use my site’s external (as in on this page, not in WordPress) search. Turns out it doesn’t work. Moreover, even if it did, I decided I wanted an easier way to navigate the site, so I made this archive page, which lists all entries in order of publication with date, hyperlinks to the blog, and a one-line description of what the post is about. It was an hour well spent; I’m really happy with it. You could use the link in this post to go see it, or you can go there anytime via the big shiny tab up at the top. Tell me that isn’t handy.