Wednesday, December 10, 2008

City Weather -- Global Warming and Beyond

SF weather is pretty unpredictable. I'm not sure if its global warming or el nino fallout, but in general it is pretty ridiculous. In the past month and a half or so, it has been both 80 degrees and 50 degrees with a delightful mix of fog, rain and unbelievable sunshine. In the summer, it is often cold, whereas in September and October it is generally sunny and warm. December is clear and beautiful but doesn't go much above 50 degrees.

Beyond this, different areas of the city have completely different micro climates. While the Mission and Potrero Hill are generally fog free and warm, the Sunset and the Richmond (both close to the beach) are almost always fogged in and breezy. I remember a month or so ago (November 15th -- I remember the day because I bragged to all my friends living on the East Coast) it was 75 degrees. My girlfriends and I actually laid out at Ocean Beach IN NOVEMBER. There were a ton of surfers out, lots of dogs, and families all frolicking along the sand. I love that when it IS beautiful in SF that everyone takes advantage of it, too. So basically, the weather is yet another reason why SF is amazing...I swear I'm not biased!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dude, Update Your Blog

Today one of my friends IMed me "dude, update your blog" so I guess it's about time. (PS, how psyched am I that I have actual readers who care...kick a**!)

It has been a crazy couple of weeks particularly since my roommate went and got engaged to her bf (I am happy for them...I swear!) and they are kicking me out of the apt. Let me just tell you that with the shoddy economy and the tough housing market in SF as is, it has not been fun. Plus work has been super crazy and you know how we all have family requirements around the holidays! Anyways, back to apt hunting in SF. I read recently that San Francisco is the most expensive place to rent in the entire United States next to NYC. I get that SF is an exceptionally desirable place to live (duh, why else would I want to live here?!) but this really irks me because moving really sucks. Like really sucks. And finding a place to move TO really, really sucks. So basically, I have started to spend all my free time on Craig's List. And not in a creepy way, (no missed connections for me, thank you!) but in a practical way. As soon as a new room goes up in one of my four or five target locations, I recraft my "pick me, pick me, I'm an awesome roommate" email (which by the way has had record responses this time around...apparently I'm doing something right!) and shoot it off right away. With that said, I guess I am being pretty picky this time around also since I have already turned down a couple of places. I just keep on thinking the perfect place, with the perfect roommate(s) at the perfect price will show that too much to ask?

PS -- How cool is this house?! I know where it is too, the colors are unreal in person.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tech Gal Weakness: Shoes

I don't know what it is about shoes, but I feel like I can never have enough. I don't even need to dress up for work (I pretty much wear jeans everyday) and I organized my shoes this evening and was overwhelmed by the number of pairs that I have. I mean, I totally wear all of them and (most) are very practical. Plus it's technically winter now here in SF, so I totally needed those adorable brown slouchy flat boots that I picked up today (they were on sale...I SWEAR) and the other black ankle pointy toed ones I got from zappos last week. I could write a whole post on zappos alone, between their customer service to their unbelievable selection and kick-a** free shipping upgrades, I feel like I will never look at shoe shopping the same way.

Anyways, back to root (or should I say heel...haha) of the shoe problem. I don't know a single one of my friend
s who doesn't love them. Even non-girly girls love shoes. What is it about them that is so appealing? I actually have a friend who has over 40 pairs stashed in her closet and almost always wears uggs, vans or flipflops. I am convinced that all women have this weakness. Perhaps it is HBO's fault or Dorothy and her fabulous ruby red slippers. HBO may take the cake due to the unbelievable success of Sex and the City, a show that references at least one pair of $500 shoes on every episode. Women lust after said shoes even though we know they are unrealistic, uncomfortable and completely overpriced. Are we that easy to please? Is the key to every woman's heart through a pair of Manolos, Louboutins or Choos? I don't think so, but they sure are pretty.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tech Gal Baracks the Vote

I am an Obama fan and I am exceptionally proud. Tomorrow (hopefully, I'm staying VERY positive) marks the end of the Bush regime and the beginning of something new and exciting. I sincerely hope that I can post tomorrow and say that I feel the world is moving in the right direction. I know this is a little heavy compared to my usual upbeat and sassy commentary, but I want to stress the importance of going out and voting tomorrow. I will be at the polls bright and early (before my morning conference call...ick) and am going to have a hard time sitting still until a winner is declared. I wish everyone out there a wonderful election day. It's going to be fun and exciting one for sure!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Seriously? SERIOUSLY.

So as I have mentioned before, I am an overly connected person. I am constantly texting, mobile internet-ing, twittering, and facebook updating. Generally, I like to know what all my friends are doing at any given time but recently something went seriously wrong. I love twitter, I really do. Those adorable 140 character updates sometimes make my day. Today was not that day.

There once was a boy, let's call him silly tech boy 1.0, who is also overly connected and exceptionally busy like myself. Silly tech boy 1.0 (or STB 1.o for short) had expressed interest in going on a date a few weeks back, but it hasn't quite happened yet. STB 1.0 was happy to tweet when he was hitting all the tech parties, enjoying a movie, or visiting other friends, yet could not make time to call a wonderful tech gal like myself back. So, I decided to unfollow STB 1.0 on twitter because honestly I didn't need to know what he was doing 24/7.

And here comes the seriously part. Less than TWO HOURS LATER I receive a forwarded email from STB 1.0 from a lovely (and now hated) service, called qwitter. The service sends you an email every time someone stops following you on twitter and apparently STB 1.0 had signed up for the service and KNEW that I stopped following him. How embarrassing is that? How was I supposed to know that this freaking technology existed!? I had a friend who recently got called on un-friending someone on facebook, but I had NO idea that you could tell when someone stopped following you on twitter. I mean, I love technology, I really do, but what was the service's parent company thinking when they created the service? Did they know it advance that it would totally mess with my afternoon? And NOW I have to freaking explain myself to STB 1.0...Seriously? SERIOUSLY!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Random Tech Gal Moment of the Week

So today at our offices, we caught the guys across the alley sneaking around taking pictures of one of my colleagues who had her feet out the window. At first we were slightly creeped out but then we reminded ourselves that tech geeks aren't really that intimidating. Being the strong tech chicas that we are, we began a paper and pen conversation across the alley followed by emailing about the situation. Turns out they are yet another tech company and we are now attending a party at their office next week. San Francisco is RIDICULOUS sometimes. I swear, there are more tech companies than pigeons. This concludes the random tech gal moment of the week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tech Gal Dating Rules

I have heard that SF has more singles than any other city in the U.S. and I totally believe it. I have an overabundance of smart, beautiful, driven, single girlfriends and I feel like most of the guys we meet are losers. I recently asked some of said girlfriends about their wonderful dating and bar hopping experiences (we have all done our fair share) and there are certain things that us SF gals don't stand for.

1. Being incommunicado or flaky -- The biggest turn off EVER in my mind. My time is valuable and canceling at the last minute is an excellent way to get booted out of my cellphone.

2. Cheesy pickup lines -- No, I have not been running through your head all day. And no, I do not want to attend the party in your pants. Do these really work anymore?

3. Stupid bar tricks -- While pounding a beer might have seemed cool when I was in high school, those days have long gone. I'm not going drink for drink with you either.

4. Talking smack about my friends -- Don't tell me that you think my friend is a b*tch, because I just met you and I've known her for half my life. I wonder who I will side with?

5. Bringing up an ex girlfriend -- We just met, so why are you even going there? It doesn't show sensitivity, it shows that you just want to talk about your ex-girlfriend who is the LAST person I want to hear about on a first date.

6. Looking at yourself in the mirror behind the bar -- Really? Seriously? I'm standing RIGHT HERE. I can see YOU!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tech Gal Knows How to Mingle

Sometimes a tech gal needs to get dolled up and get her network on. Friday was one of those nights. My company threw a fabulous cocktail party (thankfully too exclusive to be on valleywag!) at a swanky flat in pacific heights and we went all out. Between makeup at Smashbox (I am obsessed!) to a fantastic cocktail dress to a killer blowout from Amy (adore her!) at Glama-Rama, let's just say I looked my best. We had web 2.0 themed drinks, killer food options, and the bloggeratti were all in attendance. It was a BLAST!

But this brings me to the larger topic of parties and how prevalent and expected they are in the valley. Networking is like a sport here and the more people you know, the greater likelihood that you will turn into a Internet celebrity (think Kevin Rose, Robert Scoble or Jason Calacanis) which is every tech geek's dream. What's up with this economic downturn that everyone seems to be talking about? While I'll note that quite a few tech companies are dropping employees like a bad habit (Yahoo, anyone?) that doesn't seem to affect the SF/silicon valley social scene. There is always some new company launch, social media happy hour, tweetup or tech panel. There are weeks when I attend 3-5 parties before Thursday which in itself is pretty disgusting. Whatever happened to having an independent work and social life? I guess I shouldn't really complain since I am constantly meeting new young tech guys and gals like myself, checking out new interesting venues in SF and learning about the hottest new web software...but a tech gal needs something to complain about, right?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SF vs. NYC -- the great debate

I am sure that at some point someone will bother me and say that SF is not THE city, simply a city. I recognize that many believe NYC to be the end-all, but as far as the silicon valley is concerned that is not the case. Yes, there is the silicon ALLEY (New York) and yes, there are several other large tech hubs across this wonderful world of ours (London, Tokyo, etc) but when it comes down to it, it's called the silicon valley for a REASON. The valley is the hub for innovation, technology, and venture capitalists. Even really large European companies often set up teeny-tiny offices to prove that they have a valley presence. So when I say city, I mean my version of THE city which happens to be a short drive away from the silicon VALLEY. This is my world and I'm not ashamed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Accidental Tech Gal Workouts

I'm ever so sorry for the lack of posts the last few days, it was a busy weekend and has been an even busier week thus far. I had a few friends in town from LA, tons of errands, and few rooftop gatherings to attend to better see the lovely blue angels. Us tech gals can't always sleep, eat or work out as much as we like so I'm dedicating tonight's post to accidental tech gal workouts.

1. Hauling a** to the bus -- or other forms of public transpo...I know I referenced this before, but I don't think I can stress how often I do this. I blame and the soon as I see there is a bus coming and by sprinting two blocks I will save myself 15 minutes of waiting, I just can't say no. Sunday is an excellent example; I forced my brunch mates to sprint across Van Ness in order to catch the bus before it sped off. Of course, I was the one leading the charge and who triumphantly caught the doors while gasping "HOLD THE BUS" -- but what did you expect?

2. Climbing hills in SF -- and by climbing hills, I mean just trying to visit my friends. SF is full of hills (my friend who was here this weekend was flabbergasted that we walked everywhere/no one had cars) and you have to be prepared. I carry flipflops in my huge purse pretty much 24/7 because if I don't, my feet bleed from the heels and I just can't handle that. Have you ever tried walking up to Union from Polk street? What about up Dolores street through Noe Valley? And North Beach is a whole other issue that I'm not even going to bother going into.

3. Carrying all your crap -- Being a city girl I have to carry everything with me. This means when I go to the gym, grocery shopping, or even lugging my laptop from work, I gotta handle it all on my own. Now if you combine carrying all your crap with numbers one and two above, you've got yourself an even bigger problem. I received my wine club shipment today and let me tell you, dragging an awkward box on the bus was definitely not enjoyable. Plus, I find myself limiting my grocery options to things that are light so this means no heavy liquids, canned goods and forget laundry detergent!

4. Stairs -- My office building has seriously the scariest elevator ever. Every day I feel like it's touch and go. I know you may think I'm making a big deal out of nothing but seriously our mail lady told me our elevator was the worst out of any on her ENTIRE route! It often acts up which forces us to climb the five or so flights of teeny tiny devil stairs and by the time you get to the top, you practically keel over in pain. Of course this is completely independent of stairs in residential dwellings (SF, people, SF) that I'm not even going to get into!

Ah, the joys of being a tech gal! At least we burn calories faster than your average chica, right?

Friday, October 10, 2008

GOOD vs. BAD days

When tech gals have good days...we have GOOD days. Unexpectedly, today turned into one of those good days. I was totally on, got all of the sh*t I had to do taken care of and in general killed it. Of course the flip side of this is that yesterday was a BAD day. I was feeling low, nothing seemed to be going my way and all the items on my to-do list seemed to overwhelm me. No matter what I did, no matter how much caffeine I had, I couldn't shake the feeling that the world was crashing down on top of me. Ah, but those depressing feelings are gone now! Today is also excellent because it is FRIDAY and I had OSHA thai for lunch which is by far the best place to get Thai food downtown. I included this lovely pic of their fresh spring rolls (the peanut sauce is killer) to make all you out there in blog-land jealous. Plus, one of my girls is coming up from LA today which also can be added to the happy list. AND the weather is gorgeous, clear but can definitely tell it's fall. And on top of all THAT the blue angels are out practicing which I love love love. Sure they are loud, pollute the environment, and are war machines, but I seriously LOVE them. I cannot wait until this weekend to hit up a roof party and watch them in awe! Happy Friday!

Communication -- How Much is Too Much?

So I am a complete over-communicator by nature and sometimes it gets me in trouble. Actually, I don't know if trouble is the right word. Maybe I should just say that I sometimes end up putting my foot in my mouth via text, email or call. Actually I take that back, I USUALLY only put my foot in my mouth by text or call. Occasionally I will wake up in the middle of the night, check my messages and respond. Once a colleague called me on it and I was embarrassed, but if it answered their question, was it really that bad?! I mean would rather be over-communicating than under communicating, because then I would come off flaky which is definitely a no-go. Is it my crackberry's fault, I wonder? I know it definitely contributes to the problem (it's an addiction! I can't stop!) but I just can't say no. Score for the day: crackberry -- 1, techgal -- 0

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Vaaaaalley

While I am an SF gal at heart, trips to the valley are both necessary and appreciated. Whether it's Palo Alto, San Jose, Mountain View or even the dreaded Sunnyvale (soooo far!) it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. That said, the valley has its own form of bustle, it's just often on El Camino instead of Market St. I'm often surprised how many people commute daily between the SF and the SV, I did it myself for a year and I'm glad that time is behind me. Plus now when I do go I can take the train which makes my life SO much easier. My only issue is that the train doesn't have wireless! A lot of other public transpo options in SF do have it, one would think the major connector between two technology hubs would get it together! Life is hard when a tech gal can't always get what she wants...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mail Goggles?

From time to time, us tech gals communicate when we shouldn't. Whether by text, facebook, twitter, phone or email, intoxicated communication hardly ever ends well. While I'm sometimes amused by my drunk tweets the next day (one recent update made fun of a woman's preppy iphone case and cougar-like behavior) the negative often outweighs the positive.

Enter Mail Goggles, a new labs feature that aims to save us from ourselves. As noted on both Valleywag and Techcrunch, Mail Goggles will administer a math test when you attempt to email late at night. While Mike Arrington points out "if I want to send a drunken email, and all that’s standing between me and success are a few math problems, I’m gonna go find that calculator," I guess it's the thought that counts.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tech Gal Necessities

There are certain things that every tech gal needs to be successful in San Francisco. My top five consist of:
  1. Amazing friends
  2. Consistent tech tools
  3. A bus pass
  4. A very large purse
  5. A high tolerance for bullsh*t and alcohol

1. I have amazing friends. Seriously, these girls rock it hardcore. Even though none of them are in tech, they always listen to me ramble about twitter, respond to my late night texts and sometimes even come with me to happy hours. Whether near or far (wink-wink to my ladies who don't reside in SF) I am surrounded by some pretty great gals.

2. Tech tools that actually work are key. My crackberry saves my life on a daily basis. Whether checking, finding a restaurant anywhere in the city or tweeting while on the bus, it keeps me in the loop. An ipod is also key. I do a ton of walking around the city and music makes everything go faster. And of course a laptop, duh.

3. Fast Past...'nuff said. I take the bus probably 4-5 times a day and it makes my life a better place. Plus, I'm ALWAYS running to the bus, so it's great to not have to dig in my wallet for change every time.

4. While Teddy R. carried a big stick, every tech gal needs a huge purse. Whether it's flipflops because your heels will hurt after one lap around the bar, snacks for a long night out, or your laptop, jacket, phone charger, camera and a ridiculous amount of schwag you have accumulated over the period of a night, it pays to have something to lug it around in.

5. Both are important. Falling over after a beer is not a successful networking tool neither is walking away from someone even if they are boring. Trust me, I have seen both in action and it never ends well.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekends -- Tech Gal Style

Tech gal weekends consist of whatever I freaking feel like. I purposely ignore all my work messages, don't do anything I don't want to, and sleep a ton. Lately, I have refused to make plans on Sundays with the exception of brunch. This way, I can change my plans at the drop of a hat without issue. Saturday afternoon is an excellent example. One of my closest gals called up totally upset over an ex and since I didn't have plans, I was able to hop on the bus, call up the posse and meet up for a late lunch. Late lunch turned into early evening drinks at Lush Lounge (which I highly recommend) and is indicated by this delightful photo taken by the crackberry. Needless to say, a good tech gal doesn't like to be tied down on the weekends!

Friday, October 3, 2008

GOBAMA in the city...

While I could have attended one of the many tech functions happening last night as a loyal Obama fan, watching last night's debate was an absolute necessity. I had previously arranged drinks with a friend at 83 Proof, a local SOMA haunt with an excellent top shelf liquor collection and I assumed that the the debate would be on. Of course, when I got to the bar, the TV had been taken over by a group of typical FiDi blue shirt and khaki wearing boys who were insistent on watching some baseball game. Really? There is an opportunity to watch Palin crash and burn and the game is on your mind?

With the crackberry in hand (every good tech gal needs one!) I was able to find an Obama rally/debate watching party less than two blocks away at Temple. It was an interesting crowd; young professionals mixed with older hippies, SF locals and East Bay visitors...all exceptionally passionate about Obama. Good times were had all around.

Who IS techgalinthecity?

Who cares about one tech gal's adventures in the city? I'm not sure, but I'm hoping to find out. As a somewhat seasoned professional in the tech world, I found myself wanting an outlet to voice my opinions on the goings of the fantastic city that is San Francisco. Sure we have twitter, facebook, friendfeed, the works...but I found myself wanting more than just 140 characters. So here are my adventures as I traverse the tangled web of lunch meetings, parties, strange new technology and social media celebrities.

Some stories are personal, some are work-related and some are just down right ridiculous, I make no promises that you will like them all. But isn't that what a blog is all about? So that's it...for now.