Peter Lyons

Big Gypsy Immi Love

November 29, 2009

I went out to California for work again. I flew out to San Jose on Sunday, arriving in the afternoon, and took the rental car up to San Francisco to meet Pat. Rebecca and Tanya were also there. I hadn't seen Tanya since Burning Man 2008 so I was glad she was home. Pat and Tanya have been roommates several months now but had only very slowly been furnishing their apartment, so they wanted to go to Ikea and pick up a few things, so I offered to drive them their in the rental car. I had just driven past it on the way up. We mistakenly went to the one in Palo Alto, a good forty-five minute drive south of San Francisco, which I had just passed on my way up, so it felt a bit silly. In any case, we went in there and as expected I found it a bit uncomfortable and crowded with families with hordes of children literally running amok. We breezed through and picked up just a few things. They couldn't find any window coverings they liked in their budget and the book shelf they were going to buy for Marcia was out of stock. So with three small coffee tables and four folding chairs in tow, we headed up 101 again, stopping at a Best Buy along the way for Pat and I each to get some headphones. This time we hit bad traffic getting into the city, so we were a bit late for the "family dinner" we had planned with Marcia, Rebecca, Rebekah, and another friend of theirs. We stopped to pick up some food and drinks then ate together on the new coffee tables. I gave Rebecca a ride to her new nomadic residence and then again made the long drive down 101 to my hotel in Sunnyvale.

The week of work was both disappointing and exciting. We did a bunch of planning and realized we would fall quite short of the mark for our next release, and a formal procedure was started to notify interested parties that we would be dropping features from the release, so there was some stress and frustration associated with that. However, almost instantly after the announcement, the team started making huge strides of progress, so that got me excited that maybe A) we could still deliver the main functionality we were shooting for but B) people might not be constantly panicking about it.

Bernie and I took a very nice run at Rancho San Antonio park Tuesday morning. We saw some wild turkeys and enjoyed running on the curvy, hilly dirt trails. I met up with Ed one night to do some rock climbing. I gave him a crash course in belaying and he took the test. Administration of the test took longer than it should have so I figured he was probably not quite passing it, but apparently he was good enough to be permitted to belay me that night after some additional instruction from the gym staff, but not convincing enough to get the permanent "OK to Belay" card. We did some fun climbs though.

I was set to come back Friday night but a bit of snowy weather in Denver caused United to cancel my flight and reschedule me for Saturday morning. I ended up booking a rather weird and appealing hotel called the Domain Hotel on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale for that final night since my original hotel was full. It was dirt cheap - $50 - so I expected it to be basically a Super 8 type setup, but I was surprised to find it fully remodeled in a modern high-tech but weird decor and nicely appointed with sleep number beds, a fancy office chair, and actual wired ethernet. I'm not particularly skilled at describing the weirdness of the hotel, but let's just say it was weird and odd and I liked it. However, I had worked from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm that day, scarfed down a turkey sandwich at the Denny's next door, and had to gas up the car, return it, and get on an early flight so I went immediately to sleep.

Back in October when I went to hear the Kronos Quartet Cynthia and I got Boba Tea. I have a fascination with Boba Tea, and some of Cynthia's friends that we met at the auditorium asked why I liked it so much, and I wasn't sure, but I said something like "I don't know. It's just yummy and Japanese and weird". And that made me realize that Boba Tea is just strange and random enough to be weird and delightful and I think these days I am quite delighted by things that are pleasantly weird.

Michale picked me up in Denver and came with me that evening to the Imogen Heap concert at the Fox Theater in Boulder. It was an odd show at 7pm because apparently they had double booked the theater so they gave Imogen an early show and had a second show afterward. It was fun to see Immi in person and enjoy her fetching stage presence. As with most of her live performances though, it was fairly lackluster. Her opening act had technical difficulties that prevented him from doing anything at all. And sadly the new Ellipse album is just not stellar. It's certainly got some good tracks, but nothing more. Just some good tracks.

Sunday evening I had a meal with Jennifer in Denver and then took a swing dancing class at The Mercury Cafe. The band they had was called Impromptu Musique and they were "gypsy jazz" and quite good, especially the trumpet player.

This past week I had two fun climbing sessions Wednesday and Thursday with Stephanie and Safia, respectively. I've been working a lot and not doing much else, although it was good to do a little yoga now that I was back home. Last night I went with Michale and her friends Tollie and Zack to an America Indian Fry Bread Taco place and then to the Bindery | Space theater to see a very funny black comedy called "Big Love". It was really quite great. It was a modernization of an ancient greek play and there was some great acting, singing, riding around on roller skates, and a constant swing between the macbre and serious grandious and the silly and humorous and humble. I go to very few plays, so it has been quite a while since I have enjoyed one this much. I also really like being very close to performers, and the theater had seating on three sides of a square stage at floor level, so it was very up close.

I'm composing this post on a flight to Newark. I'll be in the NJ area until December 1. Tonight Marc is getting me at the airport and we'll have Thanksgiving The Prequel with the band crew. I haven't seen most of my old bandmates and their families in two years since last year I got a cold in transit and had to cancel the visit while I was contagious, so I am very much looking forward to it. Tomorrow it's up to Mom's for a big Italian Pronzo meal which I am also very much anticipating.