PS. This is a mid-script post-script. I am going to work for Google! I have accepted the offer. Microsoft's offer was tempting, but Google's won out. They are both great companies, I've had great experiences with both, and I can recommend them both heavily. I'll be living in Seattle (working at Google's #2 office), working on I don't know what, and, you know, enjoying free food and massages. If you'd like, bring it up sometime in conversation casually, and I can gush with excitement a little bit! I'll try not to weasel it in the conversation if you haven't brought it up.
Regarding the "top N" thing, I figured, well, I do like this year 2007 more than any other year that has ever been, and I do like people, and things, and I do like top N lists, and I do like using variables in everyday speech, so to ring out 2007 I shall combine them all.
I give to you the "Top N people, places, things, and events of 2007." I also give to you the usual slew of disclaimers, like "there are a variable number of entities" and "they are not in order, but they are in some semblance of order, like sorta-cool to really-cool, and maybe each one is +/- five slots, so something could even be cooler than something else 10 slots after it."
And also with a preface: this has been such a goddamn great year. I'm like that guy in Office Space except in reverse: every day is better than the day before, and I think I passed up my previous high-awesomeness-score day in about August, so now pretty much every day is the best day of my life. Thank you to all my friends and family. I love you all. Thank you for everything; I have no complaints whatsoever.
- Orbital's CD "The Middle of Nowhere". I heard this in a London bookstore, went home and looked it up, and got so excited that I decided to pick up a bunch of techno (more on the way) with two cool benefits: 1. listening to great stuff like the Prodigy, and 2. I can talk intelligently about music with my cousin James and uncle Jim (Tasse, that is).
- XKCD. If Toothpaste for Dinner was the comic for my last year (sarcastic, funny, but a little bitter), XKCD is the nerdy, cute, and hopeful this year.
- Of Montreal. The first half of this year was highly influenced by "The Sunlandic Twins" (certain songs still bring me right back to Austria) while the second half saw "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" flitting through my head. Good grief. These guys are solid pop music gold, in the experimental pop style of, say, The Beatles.
- St. Anton, Austria. Speaking of which. This is both a charming Alpine town, a good ski location, and my first totally-transplanted-immersed-in-another-culture experience. I don't think I had such a great time while I was there (although parts were really good) but now it's got a big chunk of the "halcyon" portion of my brain.
- Keepon. WHEN CAN I BUY THIS I WANT ONE NOW WISH IT WAS FREE AND ALL MINE DANCING YELLOW BLOB
- Erm, Morocco. The whole country. And Rob, Andy, Steve, and Jared for making sure I wasn't too much of a wuss to have the most notable long weekend I can remember.
- Tom, Jon, and Corinne, as their enthusiasm gives me hope about NPP's future! I remember we thought it might be a bad idea to invite 3 people to the PG at once. Nope! By far the best thing we did all semester. Also: everyone who comes to NPP workshops. I love you all. Keep coming, they'll be fun!
- Maastricht, the Netherlands. Lovely town, straight out of a fairy tale. Also within two hours of a few airports.
- Scotch'n'Soda Theatre, for welcoming me back into your open arms even after about a year and a half of not being involved, and a semester of being gone. Plus, there are so many of us now, and that's exciting! I mean, we threw awesome parties, put on good shows, and invited both Bingo O'Malley AND the Neo-Futurists in one semester!
- Maastricht University and particularly Nathalie. They provided a great place for me to study abroad, take some useful classes, take some not-so-useful classes. Nathalie is the nicest and best study abroad coordinator you could ask for.
- Seeing Live at a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Or maybe the one where I went with Sarah, the Math Club, and a slightly inebriated John Mackey. Either way, if you go to a Pirates game, you'll get your money's worth.
- My Maastricht friends. I mean, acquaintances, even. Clearly, those of you who I became good friends with, I wish I got to know you better and that we had more time. But if I shouted out to all my friends, this would get tiresome. So I mean here the people I had sorta chance encounters with. Of course, we were all (mostly) in the same studying-abroad boat, but thanks for making such an awkward time fun. Whether it's my acting-class friends, Beej's friends from Singapore, the beautiful French ladies I very awkwardly hung out with a few times, odd classmates, or even people like the girl I rode a bike with to a korfball practice across town that one time. You may have thought I was the weirdest dude, and I will probably remember these one-time encounters longer than you. But thanks for making me feel a little more welcome in a strange land. Gerrit, back me up that these sort of friends are cool. PS. if any of you are reading this, feel free to drop me a line!
- Oh shit, Granada, I almost forgot! I think this is where my chill-the-fuck-out semester hit its peak. You can't spend four days at the Rambutan Guesthouse there with no goals or worries (and "La Costa Brava" by Ted Leo ringing in your head) and still be anxious afterward.
- Microsoft. Betsy and Dina have been the friendliest, most helpful recruiters, Bill (my friend from high school) has been great, and thanks much to all you Microsofters I interviewed with or talked to once or twice. To totally quote Robert Frost like word for word, "I had two paths in this wood. They both looked good. I picked one of them. The other one looked good too. This poem is not about being a rebel. It's about how, if I had it to do over again, I might pick the other one. Seriously, they were both pretty good paths."
- Noah Smith. Thanks, Noah, for taking me on as an undergraduate research assistant last summer without even meeting me, for helping me along my senior thesis so far, and for believing that I can possibly make it in the research world when even I don't think I can.
- Beej, and him letting me live in his house. It's fun, and novel to me: I'm rooming with a great friend, and so far we haven't even grated on each other much! Instead, we've developed an eccentric relationship where we're either a fast-paced super-witty comic duo, or a 68-year-old married couple. Either way is fantastic. Also, the location is nice, and the house itself is super cool, and I'm starting to get over feeling bad about breaking it a little bit.
- Gramp. See my last post.
- Google. I'm so stoked. Thank you to Melissa and everyone else who worked to get me an offer there, thanks to CMU for making it so easy, and I am feeling on top of the world in that, I don't know what I want to do, but Google is the maximum likelihood hypothesis, and I'm working there.
- Sarah--*** this post has been interrupted by the the bloggy-police. this blogger has been apprehended and put on probation. if he commits one more aww-isn't-that-cute infraction, he must move this blog to LiveJournal.***