Friday, March 13, 2009

I went to Google and all I got was this mug ...

I happily stumbled upon the group Geek Girl Dinners NYC just in time for the first meeting they had last December sponsored by Thoughtworks (if you watch the video on their website for it, I'm the one in the last picture in the montage looking suspiciously to the side while protecting my chicken wing). It was fun, there were some very cool ladies to be met, and there were interesting speakers including Ana Radovanovic - Research Scientist for Google, and Valerie D’Orazio (aka “Occasional Superheroine“) - Writer, Blogger & Social Media Specialist.

Earlier this month, I attended the second Geek Girl Dinner (NYC Edition). This one was sponsored by Google and held at the NYC Google complex. I had high hopes for a full tour of the facility, but instead had to settle for the cafeteria:

... which (don't get me wrong), was damn nice for a cafeteria - with a great view of the Manhattan skyline, a large outdoor deck, and pictures of world renowned chefs along the hall leading in who'd all cooked there (it's right across the street from Chelsea Market and the Food Network headquarters). Rumor had it that one of the staff perks is a free lunch.

The only other thing I got to see (which I had to be escorted to by a very large security guard), was your average bathroom. The hallway leading to it, however, was about a block long (Big Wheel races, anyone?) and white from floor-to-ceiling with (unmarked, closed) doors. It was very (almost disconcertingly) nondescript, leading me to wonder what lurked behind those doors.

Back in the cafeteria (and the real world), the dinner's speakers were fantastic - intelligent, successful, work/life balanced, funny, and level-headed: Corinna Cortes, Head of Google Research NY, and Katrin Verclas, Co-Founder and Editor of

They were followed by a raffle, by which I was slightly downtrodden since a disappointing number of the prizes went to men (Really. Really?!?!) ... I can't complain though, because after all was said and done, I did get to go home with this lovely thermos:

. . . ooh, and managed to snap a picture of this:

(For the visually, challenged, his belt says "DON'T BE EVIL")

... which, I-shit-you-not, I was told I was "not actually supposed to take a picture of". What - does it have some top-secret, controversial significance? ... like serving as a constant reminder to keep the Google-folks in-check, lest they be tempted to use their all-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful pervasiveness for evil? HAHAHA! Ha, ha ... oh, man ... ... heh ... ... eh? ... Ah, whatever.

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