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Three whole days of awesome nothing.

On day one I had all these grandiose plans, but none of them happened. I did laundry and watched a movie. Train crew came and fixed our broken toilet. Exciting stuff!

Meanwhile the train was getting a bath.

(photo courtesy Nikki R.)

Later in the evening I tried the melon soda that came with my Japan Crate.
It was really good, like fizzy sweet cantaloupe.

Since everyone keeps commenting on the cup in the photo: yes, I'm an 80s kid and remember using these Welch's jelly jars as cups when I was little :) It's a great piece of nostalgia to have and use on occasion. I found it in an antique store. AN ANTIQUE STORE. How's that for making you feel old...

Tuesday, much the same. Jameson and I went to the grocery. As much as I would have liked to go do some exploring in this part of CA, I also have done a LOT of adventuring this year and my bank account has been crying for a break. So I went for a walk in the yard. There is a large cactus at one end of the yard, and it's bursting with ripe prickly pears.

Yes, I picked one. And ate it. It was pretty good, though a little overripe in the middle. Otherwise it tasted just like a store-bought one.

In this yard we are surrounded by white Union Pacific train cars, and every one is covered in graffiti. Neat.

Other folks seemed to be having fun with their mini vacation too. Since the train isn't moving for three weeks, train crew has set up a chill tent between the cuts.

(photo courtesy Nikki R.)

Circus Vargas is pretty close, so on their day off from the circus...some people went to the circus :D

(adorable photo courtesy Kathryn N.)

Others spent time in nearby San Francisco, or traveled as far away as Oregon...even Hawaii!
For me, the excitement was only 20 minutes away in Mountain View CA. You may recall that in my last post, I mentioned a visit from some folks at Quora. I've been writing on Quora for quite a while, and this week we're very close to their headquarters, so I've been offered a tour of their offices!!

"It's just an office and free lunch," they said. But hey. Anything that gets me off the train for a day. And for a reading/writing nerd like me, visiting Quora's offices is an absolute privelege!!

I drove out there in the early afternoon. Mountain View is a quaint little town with nice clean streets, a variety of shops and restaurants, and ample parking (imagine that!). I parked near the public library and walked the few blocks to Quora's office.

After checking in, Jonathan from the Writers Relations department came to get me and show me around!
In the "lobby" area there's a giant light-up "Q". Next to that there's a big map that shows where Quora's employees are from. Cool!

He took me through the office space. Although I was given permission to take photos, I didn't take many because people were at work and it felt rude. But here's some of what I saw:

There were no cubicles, just open desks with lots of space and little personal touches on them. People could choose whether to sit, stand, squat, lie down, whatever at their desks. Pretty cool.

Around the open desk areas were conference rooms, each one labeled with a Quora category question.
This one was my favorite.

Scattered throughout the office were complementary snack and beverage areas and lounge areas. Couches, pool tables, ping pong, and a large bike rack were some of the fun perks I noticed. We enjoyed FroYo at the office's own frozen yogurt machine. Sweeeeet.

The "New Features" gong. When new features are added to the site, you hit the gong and write the feature on it.

Quora provides lunch for its employees, and I got to partake in that. It was set up buffet-style, with a separate section for Paleo foods and allergy-safe stuff, and a table with a "food of the day" offering (today it was fried cauliflower in a zesty green sauce and a spicy meatball). Everything was delicious!

For more pictures of the actual space minus people trying to do their jobs, CLICK HERE.

After lunch we talked a little business. Part of the reason I've been given this opportunity to visit Quora is because they're interested in having some of my writings published. Although this was mainly a social visit, we did talk about the process of publishing through Quora. I'm excited to see where that will go :)

When the tour was finished I found myself with a few hours to explore Mountain View. I played Ingress for a little while, then spent my afternoon at the public library. It's been so long since I was able to enjoy some nice relaxing library time, chilling out in a comfy chair and reading random books. LOVE IT.

I met Jay and his wife Mira for dinner at Doppio Zero Pizza. Elynn, a new Quora employee, joined us as well. She and I both love taking pictures of food, so poor Jay and Mira had to wait when our food arrived as we happily clicked away.

We had some great pizza and a wonderful conversation on various topics. We parted ways and I drove home feeling pretty awesome. Thanks for a wonderful day Quora!

Thursday was the start of our next week of shows in San Jose. Both Thursday and Friday were one show days. It was nice to have the whole day free before the shows! On Friday I came to the arena early to print some things out and duck into the Whole Foods for dinner. On the way back I had to walk through a pretty large gauntlet of protesters. They had a big elephant statue.

Both shows went well.

Saturday, three show day. To kick it off I had a group of around fourteen(!) Quora people come to the show! I was able to give them a quick look at the backstage area, where they saw Assan and Mable (elephants) getting ready to perform. Then we visited wardrobe's Central Repair to try on some costumes! (photos forthcoming if Quora people post them :) ). It was great to have such a big group come out to see the show. Thanks y'all!

The other two shows were totally normal, nothing to report.

Sunday was a sort-of Slick Sunday because the train isn't moving, though we are loading out of San Jose. It was also Tim's (sax) 3-year circus anniversary! He brought us Psycho Doughnuts!
They were amazing. I'm still eating them.

The two shows went well, although during the Bungee act two of the aerialists had a rigging malfunction and ended up stuck in the ceiling until halfway through the Mongolian act. They were totally fine, it must have just been awkward for them to inch down like spiders in the middle of another act. Lol!

After the show we stuck around to watch Jake Arrieta get his first career no-hitter against the Dodgers (Jameson is a huge Cubs fan) then returned to the train for some R&R. Once again we've got three whole days to rest up, and this time we'll need to take advantage of it. Because although we're in the same train yard next week, we're playing the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The commute is expected to take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. Yikes.

Other stuff:

This week we say so long and see you down the road to Chris Miller, our Head of Sound. He's a great guy and I've no doubt he'll find success wherever he goes. Best wishes Chris!

(photo courtesy Chris M.)

Here are some fantastic photos taken by Mira and Jay, the Quora folks who came to the show last week. Lovely!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2015 11:49 am (UTC)
I love reading about your adventures and seeing the pictures. Thank you.
Sep. 2nd, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
Hey thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the posts :)

Glad that your kitty is home <3
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )