Sunday, August 19, 2007

Goodbye, Summer 2007

Alas, my summer is almost done now. Before I get to the retrospective though, I'd like to share some pictures from last week where I was pre-occupied taking in the city with a very special, beautiful girl:

The flowers in Pike's Place are really beautiful this time of year, and the sunflowers are ginormous.

The Japanese Garden at the UW Arboretum is breathtaking. I love the little island in the middle there.

There was even a Tea House!

Sunset on Elliott Bay is truly something to enjoy.

The Pacific Science Center was fun since the both of us are such huge science geeks.


Golden Gate Park is perfect for a late afternoon picnic. You can't jump in the water, but it's still a sight to behold. I love how the sky almost looks like a blue texture I just painted on there.

The Seattle Aquarium was really awesome. They had a giant circle for the jellyfish to swim in since jellyfish have to swim within currents.


The river otters are soo cute!

We had sushi at Maneki and it was awesome! Mmm...California Rolls...

I got a good picture of the skyline from a harbor cruise.

So as you can see, I've been too busy to post. Sorry about that. I wanted to talk real quick about my thoughts on how my summer went. If you don't care, then just check back tomorrow for a real post.

This summer felt like an exact opposite of last summer. It was almost creepy. Fun-wise, last summer was probably my best ever. I meshed very well with the Rapscallions, our little group of interns, and we had pool parties and pick up basketball games every week. Plus, that was where my interest in Salsa began. However, work became rather pedestrian. I felt like a real member of the workforce in that on Sunday night I always felt like the weekend flew by and I didn't want to wake up for work in the morning. This summer, it turns out that I was actually slightly sad some Saturdays that I didn't have to go to work that day! Of course, in July, I actually fulfilled my whim and went to work on Saturdays, in the interest of spending time last week with my girl seeing the city.

Anyhow, Amazon was a lot of fun. It was good and bad. It was bad in that it wasn't quite what I expected. It wasn't as glamorous as Google or anything like that, but it was still fun is what's fun. In fact, at first, I wasn't really all that excited about my team. They just seemed like all business, whereas last summer I hit it off immediately with my mentor and the other intern's mentor on our team. Over the summer though, I definitely grew to like all of them. They were actually a fun bunch, and extremely smart. I don't know if I'll ever get over how smart everyone is there and how attached they are to getting work done for the good of the company. Now that is the power of loving where you work: when you care about doing what you do. At TI, the morale didn't seem as high. The HR people hyped it up as being high, but I saw it as more of an Office Space environment. At Amazon, it was a plain environment, but very open and friendly all the same. Plus, there's a wonderful view everywhere in PacMed (and in TCC, as well, I'd imagine). Yeah, free food and chocolate milk would be nice, but free tea and hot cocoa packets are still good. Plus, two monitors! The only drawback was the big plus of Dallas: I didn't have as much fun outside of work. I didn't mesh as well with the interns this summer as last. Not to say they weren't cool or smart, they were, I just never felt as close to them. Plus, I missed home terribly, especially my girl.

As for the city, it's freaking gorgeous. As happy as I was to be back in Texas yesterday, I hated getting off that plane and looking outside to see ugly. There's nothing pretty about Houston at first glance. Yeah, it has hidden gems, but Seattle's beauty is so overt that you'd have to literally be blind to not see it. Plus, it was so humid here! A 20 degree jump really sucks. The biggest problem with living there for me was not being able to get around by car because I lived in downtown. I guess the actual big problem with going there is the high cost of living and the insane prices for real estate. Amazon would compensate appropriately, so I could probably still spend sensibly, but it still requires saving a lot of money. I'd love to settle down there though. It just seems like a wonderful place to raise a family, it really does. There's just so much to do with kids, and so much to do for a date, as well.

So would I move there? It's funny, I've said that Seattle isn't Austin, but Austin also isn't Seattle, and that's the best way to sum up my current predicament. My mom wants me to move to California, but I don't know that I can make enough out there right out of school to afford to live there. Austin is a fun, smaller city with some natural beauties of its own and its close to other places in Texas, especially my family. Plus, I have a lot of friends there, and it's a great city for a bachelor should I find myself in that predicament come next fall. However, Seattle is a wonderful big city, and it's surrounded with lots of fun stuff to do, including Vancouver and skiing. Plus, the weather is much better there. I don't know what I'm going to decide, to be honest. I loved Amazon, and I think I'd genuinely enjoy working there full time, but that's not to say that I couldn't find just as fun a job in Austin. I really am not sure what I'm going to do right now. Then there's my girl, who I love like crazy, and I want to be included in whatever I decide.

Well, I have the fall to look forward to. I get to spend it with her, most importantly, and I have to decide my future. It's scary in a lot of ways, because my first job will pretty much make or break my career. I have to go somewhere that gives me a diverse skill base, gives me a solid career track for advancement, compensates me appropriately, is in a vocationally fruitful location, and where I'd really enjoy what I do. Definitely not easy, but Amazon is definitely in the running.

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