Friday Events and Dardy and Jay's Housewarming

Thursday night started an eventful set of get togethers and parties that’ll end with Saturday’s Vienna Teng concert at Eric’s place in San Francisco. On Friday night, Dardy Chang held a housewarming party at Leghorn, his new residence in Palo Alto. Dardy, for those readers who don’t know, assigns a name to all of the places that he’s lived in the past, such as Lennox and Brenton.

There were plenty of events that happened on Friday afternoon and early evening before the Party at Dardy and Jay’s that are worth mentioning, however.

Splurging At Palm?

This morning, when I woke up, I noticed that the rubber grommet on my glasses had fallen off. It made the left side of my glasses very loose. I played around with some of my co-workers by taking off the left-side and wearing only the right-side. Freaky! I was talking with Carl Chen and Leo Parker, two co-workers at Palm, the other day about Lasik surgery, since the two of them got it within the past year. It’s certainly something that I’ve thought about getting, but I don’t know if my eyes have stabilized yet enough to go under the laser. Also, I’ve kind of grown use to me with glasses, such that seeing me without them is strange!

On Friday afternoon, my team at Palm held a quickly organized All Hands meeting to introduce one of the new VP’s in our organization. This event was a welcome change of pace from the past few weeks of battening down the hatches and being fiscally conscious. Although this was certainly no Billion Dollar Bash (the name given to the supposed grand party held shortly after Palm’s IPO in 2000), it was extravagant by Palm’s new standards: yummy pizza, cold brewskies, and sodas.

The Web Services group hung out, questioned the incoming VP, and generally hung out on a quiet Friday afternoon. Like I said, it was a definite welcome relief from the past few weeks of working to the bone on projects. Here are some additional pictures from the Web Services All Hands meeting on Friday:

Quick Dinner At Home

After the day at Palm, I raced back to the house to work a little bit on the new people section of my web site. At the time of this writing, it’s still not done yet, but it’s getting closer to completion. Automated and dynamically driven, it’s going to make tracking down all the people that I’ve come across in my life easier. More to come when I complete that!

A little over an hour before the start of Dardy’s party, Rita and Eric dropped by from San Francisco. Remember, the night before we passed silently in the night at the Rengstorff Avenue exit on Highway 101? What a difference a few minutes could have made then! This time, however, we had more than enough time to chill at the house, take some pictures, and chat about the people in our lives from college that have come and gone. Rita had eaten earlier in the night, but Eric hadn’t, so I made him a quick dinner of spicy eggplant and tofu. I donned the tradtional Teahouse garb and got busy stir frying a quick dinner for Eric, which the two of us scarfed down while Rita took pictures.

Rita’s getting the hang of the D30, but she’s wary not to use it too much lest she get jealous because she doesn’t have one. I say keep on shooting with it, so you’re compelled to purchase one! Besides, in a few years, the technology will get to the point where these cameras are accessible to the general populace. When that happens, expect a great deluge of creative work coming out of the woodwork. It’s beginning to happen right now with Digital Video. Independent filmmakers are coming out with some very intriguing work on the Net. Makes me want to plunk down a few thousand dollars on some DV equipment and become an independent filmmaker myself! Heh, we’ll see…

Dardy’s Housewarming In Palo Alto

A little after 9:00 pm, we all drove in Eric’s car to Dardy’s. We were some of the first people at his place. We met his roommate, Jay, whom I remember from the days working at the Teahouse. I managed Jay during Lambda nights… wasn’t he the cashier back then?

The party seemed to be comprised of people from three main groups:

  • Taiko People: The Taiko players from Dardy’s past and present.
  • Gavilan People: These were people from Dardy and Jay’s freshman year house at Stanford.
  • Online Journalists: Rita, Eric, and me comprised the online contigent of the party.

Eric mentioned that it’s a small world when you meet people who you’re connected to by some small degree of separation. At the housewarming, I ran into a bunch of people that I used to know from my Stanford days, including Lan Phan and Dave Li. Dave was the original Mr. Teahouse, being the first manager of the newly revived Teahouse during my freshman year at Stanford. Dave was also a Taiko player back in the days, but has since retired from active duty. He works over at PayPal and lives on the same street that I do. How strange is that?!? I also ran into Jamie, a friend of Sonya (Taiko connection). I met Jamie about a year ago at Joanie’s Cafe in Palo Alto, where she was having brunch with Chase Thompson; Chase, who hails from Lake Oswego, Portland, lived in my freshman and sophomore year residences at Stanford.

There was this guy at the party, Lou, who stopped me during the evening and asked, “Were you at Stanford graduation with that camera and a big lens?” Indeed I was, and it turned out that I spoke to his uncle at graduation about digital cameras, since he was using a Nikon Coolpix 990. Indeed, it is, as Eric puts it, a small, small world!

One of the neat things about going to Dardy’s housewarming was that I connected a lot of faces to the names I’ve been reading on his journal. I met up with Dishi, Carolyn and Dave, and Jay, to name a few.

Photography: Hiding Behind The Camera?

I am both a social and outgoing as well as a quiet and introspective. Usually at parties, I’m either one or the other, but on Friday night, I was a little of both. I think that Rita and Eric thought I was more of the introvert, preferring to hide behind the camera instead of interacting with the others. The fact is, I was interacting with the others through the camera. It’s a great tool for inviting and kick-starting a conversation. That being said, I have been relying on it just a bit too much in my social interactions. It’s as if the camera has been grafted to my body! I realized that my normal social skills were a little rusty, so at one point in the evening, I put the camera away and conversed with the others the traditional way.

I didn’t stay that way too long, since there were soo many interesting scenes and people to shoot. I only took the 17-35mm f/2.8L lens with me to the party, so I wasn’t able to get many close-up shots without making the subjects look all distorted from the wide-angle effect. My flash was conking out on me later in the evening; have to get some of those rechargeables that Rita had brought, the PowerX that Eric recommends to everyone he meets.

Drinking and Koi Palace

As Dardy mentioned in his journal, he drank up a storm, downing jello shot after jello shot, among other alcoholic beverages. Near the end of the night, Dardy had become quite happy and disoriented, babbling about Viagra and reciting the alphabet backwards (a trick he learned from while driving from Las Vegas to Texas with his parents). We were planning on going to Koi Palace in Daly City for dim sum Saturday morning and were a little worried that Dardy wouldn’t be feeling up to it after his night of inebriation. I actually was thinking of not going too, but I told the others to give me a call Saturday morning to confirm. That, however, is a topic for another photojournal.

Pictures

Here are the rest of the pictures that I took at Dardy and Jay’s Housewarming Party in Palo Alto:

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