you can take the girl out of the valley, but you can’t take the geek out of the girl.
rumination: just because i’m officially residing in la-la-land now, it doesn’t mean i don’t miss the geekcore, or wonder what’s happening in the tech scene. at times, i wonder if i ever really was a geek anyway. maybe i welcomed being put under a bucket? just because i work(ed) in startup does not make me a g33k . i loved my engineers and hoped that through process of osmosis, i’d get smarter (S-M-R-T) by hanging out with them. maybe it’s just the assumed culture, that because you carry a shiny MacBook and know people by their flickR user names, and you log upwards of 80+ hours a week online, you think that makes you a geek by modern day standards.
i work with machine tools now, running a small business that my father started over 10 years ago. i leased my first office and warehouse space ever. i love my shiny little keys that let me into the mini-haven that is my new workplace. a room to call my own, an office to manage, and a warehouse to maintain. i no longer log crazy hours online, i see sunlight (in some ways), and i socialize with friends who don’t know or care what Wikipedia is. srsly.
i’ve always been okay with letting other people be bigger geeks than me. as long as i was on the fringes of the scene, detecting the pulse, keeping one ear to the ground for tech shenanigans, i didn’t feel the need to be fully integrated. even when i was living in silicon valley, i didn’t feel the need to go to every meetup. than again, since it was my first time working in startup, i was working crazy hours and didn’t prioritize face time. as long as i knew people who were heavily involved in the scene, i felt like i had a good enough understanding of the general lay of the land. just as i’m not on Facebook (and haven’t been since 2005), i don’t digg, and i don’t chat online incessantly (sorry Meebo, AIM, and…whatever), i don’t feel the need to experience things firsthand to know that i don’t care for them. however, i have stumped at the web2.o expo before, i have dated people i’ve met online (IILWY hates me), and i will soon upgrade to a MacBook Aire (yes, i added an ‘e’).
i’ve been so absorbed with and overwhelmed with the office move, that i’ve felt no nostalgia for tech parties, open bars, or free schwag. until now. hear me officially pimp geek dinners in LA. i’m sad because i missed this event last night at uWink:
LA Geek Dinner.
i recently met Heather who puts on these great dinners at hot locations like uWink, and i am starting to feel the itch to be more geeky again. her enthusiasm is beyond contagious, it’s fantastic energy for all (wo)mankind. no more of this, living on the fringes of geekdom thing. i use my Booze Mail coasters daily (thanks Renkoo!), and i am miraculously using a Neopets pen, which resides in a Girl Geek Dinner mug. note: i guess i miss my schwag.
i no longer work in the valley, i don’t live online anymore (nor have i really ever), but i can still be a geek in my own way. i used to be a Nikon SLR aficionado, i am hardcore about yoga, i read 5 books at a time (currently: Laurel Ulrich Thatcher, Michael Pollan, Malcolm Gladwell, Cormac McCarthy, and Jean Paul Sartre), and soon i will be a knitting master (if i ever make it to my first knitting class). i’ve done corporate ladder climbing, startup schizophrenia, and now i’m back to small family-owned business stylings. i still don’t know how to dress because i haven’t had a dress code in 3 years (jeans and a hoodie is standard fare), but i know i don’t ever want to watch The Hills. i want to go to these LA geek events to figure out how to mix high tech with low tech. the machine tools i work with are comfortably stale in a stable industry, conducted in low tech machine shop ways. the culture is different. the interactions, more humane. i deal with people, not emails.
let’s see if anyone still acknowledges me as a geek in 1 more month.