No, I didn’t have fast food for Thanksgiving this year, but I am in the heart of the Fast Food Nation. My dad moved to Colorado Springs a few years ago after living in Germany for five years. He has worked for the US Air Force for over twenty years, mostly in Spokane. But after his time was up in Europe, the job that he was able to transfer to was at “Space Command” in Colorado Springs.
The first thing that I thought of when my dad said that he was moving here was the the book Fast Food Nation. I had read it recently and remembered the vivid descriptions of the long stretches of housing developments and repeating restaurant chains. My first visit a few winters ago lived up to everything that I remembered in the book.
Now I am back for my second visit, currently wrapping up day three of a five-day trip. The weirdness of the endless Targets and repeating shopping malls as we drive down the freeways, not just in Colorado Springs, but Boulder and Denver too, is really getting to me. Thanks to Amazon’s Online Reader, I was able to search inside Fast Food Nation and read about the descriptions Colorado Springs again for the first time since the book first came out (I don’t have the book since I borrowed it from the library).
It was eerie reading it this time. My dad works at the air force base discussed in the book. I am currently sitting in a brand new town house development just off of Academy Blvd. and Woodman Road, which were the major streets in chapter 3. My dad’s stepdaughter even works at the local Carl’s Jr. And just today I noticed a sign on the freeway for the Focus on the Family visitors center, also mentioned in the book. I would quote some of the book, but there is just too much that is so accurate after being here that I just have to say that you must read the book fully understand what I am going through right now.
There are a few interesting cultural things here, though. The book also mentions the independent bookstore Chinook Bookshop, which I hope to visit tomorrow or Monday (Heather mentioned that there was a good bookstore downtown years ago, but I didn’t remember the name). Also, driving through downtown yesterday, I saw on the old marquee of a movie theater “Fast Food Nation.” The irony (ok, maybe it isn’t irony, but you know what I mean), of this movie playing at the last old movie theater in downtown Colorado Springs didn’t hit me until we were long past it (I am a bit slow), so I also want to go back and take a picture of it this weekend. I might even see if my dad is up for visiting Focus on the Family.
Since I realized that I probably have new readers (Hi coworkers! Hi family!), I thought I better put up a quick update now that I have started the new job. So…
- Caltrain is working out well so far, except that the drive to the train station sucks and I think I am going to take the light rail instead starting next week.
- New job is good so far. I haven’t really done much yet, but I think that will quickly change.
- I am exhausted from getting up early. I am on day two and haven’t overslept yet (thanks to setting two alarms), but I am still staying up too late at night.
- And dude! Remember how sick I was last week and how I thought that I got a nasty spider bite or something? I was talking to my sister in law and we realized that I have shingles! Seriously. I finally made it to the doctor today and she confirmed it. But sadly, there is nothing that can be done about it. I just have to wait it out. At least I am feeeling way better compared to last week. If you are running to WebMD right now, chill out. It isn’t a big deal when you are young. I’ll be fine. No, you didn’t catch it from me.
- Working in San Francisco is great!
This week was supposed to be full of lasts for me: last time volunteering, last time at my step class, last time tutoring. But then…I got sick. I hate that. I never get sick. Or at least I live in denial and think that I never get sick.
Wednesday, I was sicker than I have been in years, with the flu or something. Who knows. I thought I was getting better, but I had to miss most of work today too. I think I am finally starting to get better, but I thought that last night as well.
I have pretty much wrapped up my work at IBM. I had my exit interview, my office is mostly cleaned out, and I have finished most of my projects.
I have also been saying my goodbyes, and it has been sad realizing that I won’t be seeing these people everyday anymore. Everyone has been incredibly encouraging with my new job and have said some really sweet things. And driving home tonight, I noticed this note on my windshield. I’ll miss everyone at IBM too!
Tomorrow is my going away lunch, and then I turn in my badge and computer! And that will be it!
I can’t go (day before my last day at IBM), but SFWoW is putting on a workshop that I really wish I could attend:
When: Thursday, Nov 16, 2006 6pm – 8pm
Where: Marker Seven offices, 701 Sutter, 5th Floor, SF 94109 (see directions below)
Register now! 25$ pre-sale, 30$ at the door (if not sold out) (see ticket info below)
Meet up with other San Francisco Women on the Web members to learn about the exciting technology of AJAX by participating in a hands-on workshop with programmer Catherine Block Daves. This is a follow-up hands-on workshop to our initial Introduction to Ajax lecture.
- Key ingredients
- Hands on
- Q and A
Anna has talked me into doing PR for SFWoW, which I think will give me some good experience, so I am looking forward to actually attending an SFWoW event after I start working in the city.
After five years with IBM, I have decided to leave for other opportunities. Well, for one opportunity. In a few weeks, I will be starting my new job as a technical writer at Coverity.
I’ll be doing a very similar job as my current job, only for a very small company. Aside from the size of the company, the other big change is the location. Instead of driving to south-south-south San Jose, I’ll be taking the train to San Francisco and working in SOMA/South Beach.
Thinking back to my first day at IBM in 2001 just out of college, I see how much I have grown professionally and personally since then. So much changes in five years! I won’t miss the work, but I am going to miss all of the great people I have met at IBM over the years: the mentors, the cheerleaders, the coffee-breakers, the long-lunch-takers, the commiseraters, and the good friends.
Of course, this one change has started a chain reaction of others changes. Next week will be my last week to volunteer with the kids at HomeSafe, and my last week to tutor math at Oak Grove High School. This is also going to impact my availability to teach classes at 24 Hour Fitness, but I am hoping that I’ll be able to teach either in the city or to teach classes later in the evening in San Jose. And yes, I have already started looking at how to overbook myself with extra-curriculars in SF, like ballet classes and volunteer work!
And then there is the big question: Am I going to move to San Francisco? Not for now. But we’ll see how the commute goes, and what the rental market is like in San Jose and San Francisco, and how often I find myself crashing on friends’ floors in the city. I would really love to live in San Francisco again.
Here it is! My new phone (although it isn’t activated yet). I finally have a flip phone with a display on the outside so I don’t have to constantly flip it open to see what time it is or who is calling. And it has a camera! With a flash! Think I am prolific with the pictures and Flickr now, just wait.
And most importantly: it’s super cute!! Look how small it is! OMG!!!
A conversation I had a few minutes ago:
MM: rumsfeld steps down!
MM: oh yeah victory dance
Me: u sure??
MM: they just say on npr
Me: you think it was because of the election?
did they say?
MM: oh yeah
things just keep getting better and better
MM: it’s so clear that people are sick of him and the iraq crap, theyre good at denying but this is undenaiable.
thank friggin gawd
I can’t find anything online about it
MM: they just said it again, and Bush is speaking at 10am on NPR.
and is expected to announce it
Me: oh wait, I think they are updating it now