Friday, July 27, 2007

Flat Al Goes to NorCal - First Stop, Google

Sorry for Albert's long absence from the blogspot. It was an unfortunate combination of him being extremely busy having fun (and being slightly sleep deprived ;) and Erika's laptop being at the repair shop for one whole month...yeah, it was ridiculous - but that's a story for another time... Anyway, the important thing is that now Albert is here. He did the whole SoCal thing; now it's time to see what NorCal is like.

From Old Dominion to Sunny California, Albert made his way to Erika's place in Berkeley. For the past couple weeks, he's been traipsing around the Bay area --seeing Berkeley, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Mountain View, among other places.

On July 27th, Flat Albert woke up bright and early (5:50 AM !!) so that he could catch the shuttle to Google with Erika. It was a 30 min walk from her apartment to the Google shuttle stop and then a 75 min. ride to Mountain View, home of Google's main campus. Yes, it's a long ride, but at least they got to sleep in the comfty reclining leather seats. Albert was surprised to find that there was Wi-fi on the shuttle...but instead of taking advantage of this, he laid back and pondered his theory of relativity (a.k.a. went to sleep).

In the office, Albert sat quietly and looked out the window while Erika did some work. Even he's not allowed to see that Google confidential stuff. But at least he had a great view:

(This picture may look ugly...but it's a picture of one of the many solar panels scattered on the rooftops of the Google buildings and parking lots. I love Google. It's such a green company. Sidenote: A more impressive picture can be found at: )

Albert didn't have to look out the window for too long however. His first introduction to Google was at it's 2nd Annual Summer Picnic. Google rented out the Amphitheatre next door and had a carnival. They had a circus complete with a ribbon dancer (or whatever they call it. You know, Victoria, it's that thing that Pink did when she opened at the Justin Timberlake concert.),
acrobats and ridiculously muscle-y guys,
jugglers, trapeze artists, and contortionists...This looks impossible.

But it's not all fun and games aimed at kids (although they did have a petting zoo, carnival games, and henna tattoo artists)... they also had ALCOHOL!!! :)

Here's a picture of Albert, me, and my Berkeley CS grad student friend and fellow Google intern, Michael before...

...And after. (Yeah, that's Albert taking some of my Hurricane. It's ok, he's over 21. Also, note, Michael double fisting with the Hurricane and a beer....classy... Also, yeah, I'm Asian blushing a tad...). And the other person is Henry, one of my roommates.

Then we watched some people perform at "Google Idol" -- Google's very own talent show.

After the picnic, Michael, Albert, and I hightailed it out of there, and drove to Oakland to see one of the Berkeley CS professor's play, "Oh My Godmother" -- the modern day, gay guy version of Cinderella set in SF. ...Sorry, no photography allowed. But if you ever get the chance to see it, you should. It was hilarious. Both the prince and the "Cinder-Albert" characters were cute...and I'm reasonably certain that neither one was gay :)

After this action packed day, it was off to bed for Erika and Albert. (Einstein, not Cinder-Albert ;)

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