Above the CloudsHey there! Well, I’m in California. I’m alive. I started at Yahoo! on Monday. It’s going really well so far. Orientation took a day and 1/2…yay… : I’ve met a lot of really great people so far. Strangely, they’re not as “geek” as I expected. D and P et al take the cake on that one. My roommate is awesome (I have to say that, she found my blog! :P haha kidding). She reminds me a bit of Shannon. I’m at her aunt’s now. I was in a hotel until yesterday and now we’re here until we move into our apartment in San Francisco on Tuesday.

I’ve been going camera crazy since I got here. Lots and lots of pictures. Alex (roommate) calls me the human camera or walking camera…or something like that. I’ve taken hundreds, maybe even close to a thousand shots. Don’t worry, I didn’t put them ALL on Flickr. It’s been great though. I’ve been doing all sorts of things every day. Never a dull moment. A brief breakdown:

Saturday: arrive. Go to hotel. Explore Downtown Sunnyvale. Realize it stinks. Back to hotel. Sleep EARLY.

Are you sure about that bong?Sunday: Wake up EARLY. Met Cooper and a bunch of interns at the Caltrain station and went up to SF to go to the Great Gorilla Run and the Haight Street Fair. We ended up missing the Gorilla run because we didn’t want to get up that early, but we did get to go to the fair. It was really eccentric to say the least! I did go into a “paraphernalia” store. My mom was THRILLED to get that photo on her cell phone. :P Ate some great food and just took it all in. I also bought a tie dyed tshirt one of the few things on my list of things to buy in San Francisco. (I can’t really think of what the other things are…maybe that was the ONLY thing on the list!) So I was a happy camper. After that, we walked our way to the entrance of Golden Gate Park, but by that time Alex and her parents arrived in SF to pick me up to go check out the apt. We did that, got an early dinner in a GREAT hamburger place (I had a chicken sandwich…go figure), and then headed back. EXHAUSTING!<img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1189/543254442_21ad81dce7_m.jpg” width=”240” height=”180” alt=”Main Entrance” / align=”left”/>

</a> Monday was my first day of work. We had lots of orientation stuff. How to access things, how to get paid, what to do, what not to do: the usual. It was pretty fun though. The person doing our interview was REALLY animated. I loved her! If I were talented enough, I would make a cartoon of her and make bajillions of dollars. . That’s all we did really. An entire day of learning the ropes. AFTER work though, Alex’s uncle gave us tix to the SF Giants game. IT WAS AWESOME. We had great seats. We were on the jumbotron. Barry Bonds hit a home run. AND they won. AND I had a ballpark hotdog. It doesn’t get much better. We made it home at around 12:30AM after getting stranded in Downtown Sunnyvale and going into this 40+ year olds’ bar so they could call a cab for us. The entire day was just an adventure. There really is no other way to describe it.

My Setup :)Tuesday was another 1/2 day of orientation. I refer to it as Christmas though. It was IT orientation, so they brought us through how to connect to the networks, etc. blah blah blah. But then…the good part. We go in to get our laptops. I knew I was getting an Apple of some sort, but to my excitement, I got a brand new MacBook Pro. Pretty. Then I get to my cube and there’s a giant monitor waiting for me. Wonderful! Met my team browsed through what they’re working on. Basically just settled in. Wednesday was a lot of the same sans getting all sorts of new technology. I did, however, manage to snag a copy of CS3 and all sorts of other awesome progs. CS3 works like a charm on an Intel Mac. I can’t wait to get a copy for my personal laptop (anyone have a 99% off coupon?) ha!

Fisherman's WharfThursday (yesterday) Workwise, I had a lot of meetings. We had a UED (user experience design) meeting for some of the groups in Mission College and then we had UED all-hands meeting where all of the UED people (even those working in field offices) get together and show off what they’ve been up to. There’s some cool stuff coming out soon, let me tell you!

I moved out of the hotel and into Alex’s aunt’s guesthouse with Alex. We went up to SF to see our apartment, get our keys, and all that sort of stuff. After that we decided that we absolutely HAD to go to IN-N-OUT for dinner. Thanks to TomTom, we made it there in no time. What’s even better is that it it took us along the water. We weren’t expecting it at all and then all of a sudden we’re driving by the Fisherman’s Wharf! It was awesome. It was the first time I really felt like we were in San Francisco. We didn’t get to see the Golden Gate Bridge, which I think will be THE moment of “wow…I’m IN California”, but I’m sure that’s not too far in the future. Anyway – IN-N-OUT was amazing. I didn’t even mind the fact that I was eating a hamburger. We headed home after that.

That brings us to today…

Evidently Friday is “work from home” day in Silicon Valley. My manager and I were the only ones in the office! I did get to sit in on some Participatory Design tests which were pretty cool. The labs are so much cooler than the ones at Cornell! It’s really interesting to see what we learn in class about scripts and running user tests being used in real life. Should help when I take 440 (Advanced HCI) next semester! It was basically a pretty mellow day. We had our “intern welcome event” today from 3-5. Basically a party on the roof of the parking garage. It was HOT but cool. (that made no sense…but you get my point) Meetings and things are run pretty differently here. It’s all so informal! I love it!

Well…I think that’s it for now! If you’ve actually made it down this far, congrats! I hope it was worth your while! :P Keep following my Flickr stream, but I’ll try to blog more often so that they don’t end up being this long all the time! I’m planning on doing a “first impressions” sort of deal soon, so stay tuned for that one!

Until next time…