California, Day One

So far, I haven’t suffered derision by hookers or whinos. I got into town at a little after 6:00 p.m. PST on Thursday and moped around trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get to Mountain View. I finally decided on a door to door shuttle because a taxi ride was going to be a hundred bucks and dandruffy and intimidating. I rode with a nice group of people with whom I shared a few chuckles and got out for $40 total, including a generous tip to the driver, who was very helpful. The only downside was that it took an hour and a half because I was the last passenger, and it was dark, so I couldn’t really see much of anything. My hotel’s pretty nice, though I move out today and into another one in Palo Alto, no longer on the Mozilla Foundation’s dime.

I’m here for a summit on the Spread Firefox initiative, which I helped start up back in the Fall and which has been sort of stagnant for the last few months for various reasons that Blake briefly goes into. I met Bart for breakfast yesterday morning, and after hanging out for a while, we went on over to the foundation and met pretty much all day to talk about the structure and goals of sfx and the relationship of the project with Mozilla (which relationship has been made more firm; we’re an officially supported project now rather than sort of a bastard stepchild snuck in and dumped on the sysadmins very much understandably to their chagrin). It was a good day, I thought.

Afterward, Bart and Chris and I went out for dinner (I had jerked chicken for the first time ever and am glad to report that it’s very good) to talk about the services my new company’s going to be providing. Discussing the stuff and having face to face time with Bart and others in my new company is the reason my stay out here is a little extended. We walked around near the Stanford campus, went to a nifty Borders bookstore, which we walked through to get to the Apple store, where we hovered around a $2000 monitor the size of basically an IMAX movie screen and brainstormed about logos and other things. Then I came on home, it now being about 10:00 and my being very tired from hardly having slept the night before, and watched some TV and went to sleep.

I was watching VH1 while getting dressed and waiting to go for breakfast yesterday when a Gwen Stefani video came on in which she was doing sort of a takeoff of Topol singing “If I Were a Rich Man” in Fiddler on the Roof. The video had a pirate theme and was very weird. Just before that one, I had seen an Eminem video that was sort of an homage/take-off/rip-off of “Toy Soldiers.” It was sappy (for Eminem) and sort of cliche and all “Ok, rappers, stop killing one another” but was sort of catchy.

M called yesterday to report that she was at the doctor with Lennie, who had begun shitting blood. They’re doing lab work to see if they can figure out what it is. The blood is bright red, which is apparently much better than if it were darker; darker blood means it’s coming from further up in the gastrointestinal tract and is more of an internal thing. Lennie also had a rash come back, which rash in the past has been deemed a reaction to so far two different common antibiotics. So maybe she’s allergic to the third they’ve put her on. Here’s hoping that’s all it is. M says she’s acting as happy as ever and doesn’t seem to be feeling bad. That’s good, at least. I’m sort of paralyzed here, waiting for a call from M any minute to tell me the status, that maybe — whoops — she just accidentally spilled some fingernail polish into Lennie’s diaper and everything’s ok and my baby’s not going to croak while I’m here alone in California petrified at the thought on my free day today of venturing out to San Francisco and possibly inadvertently joining a horde of hookers and whinos and anticipating skipping the Super Bowl to talk about Web services (provided I make it back from San Francisco) and all these other fun, scary, stupid, stupid things that make me feel like a real deadbeat dad for being out here doing while my baby, please, please, baby, be ok. Be ok.

For a while now, I’ve been reading Heather Armstrong’s blog. She’s sort of an Internet celebrity because she lost her job for blogging about her job. She’s certainly not the only one to suffer this fate, but she’s perhaps the most famous. She’s a good writer and has many stupid unimportant things to say but also has many funny and tender things to say. Take for example this month’s letter to her daughter, who just turned a year old, in which Heather articulates in just the most gorgeous ways imaginable some of the tender sorts of things parents feel for their little children, which sort of tears me up, sitting here thinking about my poor caterpillar slobber monkey cheerfully shitting blood and me not able to get her belly or share a vaguely tug-of-warrish chew of her stuffed sheep as we like to do or roar together or even just change a diaper so that M, who’s there alone with her and afraid and without my immediate proximal support, can maybe get a little emotional break.

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