The last few weeks I’ve been reminded that yes, I am working for a Silicon Valley startup. We’ll just say things have been busy, and on weekends I’m usually inclined to be doing something that either doesn’t involve being in front of the computer or at least requires no thought. (Standard plug: one can follow me on Twitter or FriendFeed as “chipotlecoyote.” I’ve seen utilities that let you echo Twitter messages to your LiveJournal, which I hereby solemnly swear to never use.)
There’s many things I like about living in the San Mateo area. I like San Jose, but in terms of “urban cool,” the Peninsula wins. Mountain View, Palo Alto, Burlingame, San Mateo itself—and of course now BART is just about 10 minutes away, which opens up a huge chunk of the rest of the Bay Area. I’ve regularly gone not only into San Francisco but to Berkeley and Walnut Creek via rail.
What’s not so cool, though, is that it’s been somewhat isolating. Most of the people I know are in the South Bay. While 25 miles isn’t that far to travel, I’m no longer quite a “local.” I don’t get together with folks very often. I don’t think to call people (or IM or SMS or whatever) to ask what’s up when movies open or guests are in town, which means I’m often reading about get-togethers after they happen. While this can lead to a certain sense of paranoia, I’m pretty lousy at initiating contact myself. Some of that’s longstanding social paralysis; most of it is, I fear, that out of sight, out of mind works both ways. “Oh yeah, I should get together with
$X” flits through my mind occasionally, but all too often keeps right on flitting.
So as a general thought: hey, if you’re a friend in the local area, I should get together with you more often. (If you’re a friend in a long-distance area, I should probably get together with you more often, too, but that’s trickier.)