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August 8, 2006

Partyweek part I: Red red wine

Grunderskolen SF'06

After putting in a lot of long hours towards studying lately, this week looks like it might become the complete opposite and maybe the most intensive week of parties so far this summer.
It all started out last Friday when Øystein called me just after I got back from work and asked if I wanted to join him and some of the other PeerMe people at Cascals for finger food and drinks. When I got over there a few of the others had been sitting there for a while already, and some others were just coming. We ended up spending six straight hours there, drinking the bar empty of our chosen brand of wine and enjoying various kinds of tapas for a final tab of more than $400 USD (!), which Tom picked up himself, as he always does whenever we go out with him.

While we were sitting at Cascals and enjoying ourselves, PeerMe's acclaimed lawyer, Mr. Blakeney Stafford, dropped by to join us for a few glasses of wine, and he is really an awesome guy! A real life Silicon Valley veteran, friends with many of the well known entrepreneurs like Steve (Wozniak) and really up to speed the going ons of the valley. During the evening the idea of a BBQ at his place so he could meet some more of the students from our program popped up, and since it conveniently was a Friday night we elected to have the BBQ on the following Saturday. To recharge from the red wine and prepare for the nights BBQ, the better part of Saturday was spent lazing and tanning by the pool, before I headed over to Blake's place around 6p.m along with Øystein, Carina, Ivar, Ida, Torunn, Cecilie, Tirill, Simen and Arthur. When we got there Tom and Blake and a few of his friends were already gathered in the back yard, so we jumped straight into helping out with the food and setting the porch-table. Tom had prepared steaks and thai marinated beef from his own grass fed cattle-ranch in Colorado, which is probably the best and most tender meats I have ever had! This combined with his amazing home made salad dressing, Øystein's provance-grilled potatoes and a selection of great French red wines just made for an excellent meal!

After we had finished eating, Blake opened his game-room for us, a small cabin in his back yard that was filled with games like shuffleboard, foozball and pool, as well as a lot of old relics like Norwegian skiis and WWII helmets. He had also prepared a large bucket of cleaned strawberries and sparkling wine which we enjoyed for dessert while having fun trying out the different games, and as it had gotten dark outside he also set up his telescope so we could enjoy the stars up close. It was almost like I hope my home can be sometime :-)

As it approached midnight and Blakes friends started heading home, Tirill, Cecilie, Øystein, Carina and myself decided to go clubbing in downtown SF again. This time the choice fell at Ruby Skye, a top 5 nightclub in the U.S located just of Union Square. After som trouble finding both the place itself and somewhere to park initially, it appeared in front of us with a very inviting entrance, and after ponying up the cover charge it was pure bliss! This place is just awesome! Art Nouveau Victorian architecture combined with modern furnishings, sound and light systems make this place just incredible! An immense main dance floor overlooked by a huge balcony, and dancers high up on the far wall over the stage next to a video projection of themselves. In addition there were multiple lounges and even a chill out R&B room in the back. This is hands down the phattest club I've ever been to! Just check out the website!
After hanging out at Ruby Skye for a few hours we got in touch with some other people who invited us to join them for an after party at their place. As it was about time to start heading back we decided to join them, and headed straight into a traffic jam across the Oakland Bay Bridge at 4a.m. in the morning! Due to some roadwork half the lanes were closed, and a highway with three lanes in each direction apparently isn't large enough even at that hour in the morning!
Then after standing in line for about an hour and driving for another, we finally arrived at our destination in Hayward. It was a really cool house with a furnished garage that was just made for after-parties, with couches, a pool-table, blacklights and a even a beer-fridge. Just perfect for an awesome after party! However after having a couple of beers with them it was getting late, especially since it would take at least another hour in the car to get home, so we decided to head back to Mountain View along with the rising sun.

At least we had nothing planned for all of Sunday, so after sleeping in until noon I had a long talk on the phone with my girlfriend Carina back in Norway, for despite all the fun we are having here I miss her a lot... wish you could be here!
Since I was already up I headed down to the pool for a couple of hours to get a little tan-value out of the day, and afterwards I just went back to bed since I wasn't fully rested yet, but I woke up to have dinner just a little later. Then Bjørnar called and invited me to join him on his "triple date" with Ida, Torunn and Jessie, and since everyone else was out and about I didn't have anything better to do, so I went to meet them at an Italian restaurant just down the street. However Bjørnar sucks at giving directions, so I ended up walking along El Camino Real for 45 minutes before I finally found the place, which was just in time to taste some pizza before it was time to call it a night, so at least I got some fresh air and a nice walk before heading to bed again to get rested for another Monday at the office.

Øysteins absence last night was due to him going to the airport to pick up a friend of his that were coming to visit, so when I got home from work today I joined them on a sightseeing trip to the HP Garage, the birthplace of Silicon Valley. It is actually a small nondescript garage in the middle of suburbia, where two students named Hewlett and Packard started a company to make oscillators in 1936. As you probably know they hit it big, and this started the snowball of entrepreneurship rolling that has lead me to study in San Francisco this summer. Amazing, and yet a very dull sight. Then after picking up a couple more of his friends at the airport and going back to Park Place, we were once again invited up to Tom's place for a BBQ. As the meat he serves is just the best we just couldn't refuse, and also Øysteins newly arrived friends just had to taste some, so after a short business plan meeting to organize everything for the lectures tomorrow we joined him for a few hours and had a good time with more meat and red wine, which I am almost getting tired of by now...

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