Have you ever been to Sacramento?
I know I hadn't, before today, except maybe to get gas on my way from San Francisco to Tahoe, or vice versa. This morning, I got up at the ungodly hour of 4 am to fly to Sacramento to interview with an energy efficiency research firm that is doing some great work in the state of California and around the country. It was cofounded by a woman who "grew up with the movement" so to speak, after the oil embargoes and energy crises of the '70s. She is a peer to some of my most knowledgeable and respected professors, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to meet her and her coworkers, especially after hearing how many resumes they've gotten (hundreds? over a thousand? who knows...). In the end, after conversing at length about my strengths and the work that the firm does, she acknowledged that the two positions they have available right now might not be the best fit for me, since they don't really do any sort of designing or even consulting with architects: their work is primarily number crunching - magic with Excel, if you will - and shaping the codes and efficiency standards that architects use and the utilities companies strive for. She THEN went on to refer me to about 10 other companies she thought of that I might be interested in working with, and she gave her blessing to use her name as a reference. Bonus! I mean, bummer that I didn't get a job, but I appreciate that she recognized that I have something to contribute (I'm also going to pretend that she saw a creative fire in my eyes that might be better used for something other than magic with Excel.)
The capitol looks like what a capitol is supposed to look like
But enough about that. Sacramento is an interesting place. No, really! The airport - whose free WiFi I am enjoying right now - reminds me of Anchorage, AK ... or maybe Lexington, KY. Not sure. The sunshine-y, fragrant, and green city center, around the capitol building, is quite lovely and brought me back to Honolulu's lush capitol grounds. Their light rail system reminded me of Portland ... the tree-lined streets and curious elevated homes struck me a cross between New Orleans and Philadelphia ... the flat landscape took me back to Chicago ... and the farm land surrounding the city proper was distinctly Southern Ohio. What a strange place! It's like a collision of every pleasant memory I have about our country. And the bikes! The bikes and bike lanes - not to mention the motorcycles and scooters - were all over the place. No wonder Facebook told me that I should live there after I took the quiz "What California City Should You Live In?" (I'm half kidding; those Facebook quizzes are usually rubbish but this one was unusually robust).
Looking back along the Capitol Mall from the statehouse.
Looking up into the statehouse dome.
Just in case you thought we were kidding.
Never seen vernacular like this before....
Anyway, I'm exhausted. I'm going to go try and stay awake until they board my flight. Ta.