Sunday, November 4, 2012

Beans Don't Burn on The Grill

So as I was saying, the video game company in my basement is leaving the nest. Three and a half years ago, they were two guys in our guest room. Then they were five guys in our guest room. I still can't believe that worked, like, at all. Then, if you've been reading for a while, you probably remember (ie, were traumatized by) the Big Basement Project of 2011, which led to at least one marital argument and a few all-nighters and at least one diaphragmatic hernia. So pretty standard for home renovation.

So the guys moved into the basement office and life has been grand. I've loved having them down there. Matt was close but not too close, and it had the feeling of being part of an exciting enterprise. I do recommend hosting a start-up in your home at least once in life--it is fun. Lots of ups and downs. We've celebrated the ups with many a midnight ice-cream party, and we've weathered the downs with countless whispered kitchen conferences. It has been a pleasure watching these guys work hard, and watching Matt get to do what he wants to do. Now the news around here is that, as the result of various wheelings/dealings, the game company is moving up and out. This is good, all good. It's a great deal for them. It means they'll get to grow and hire people and bust a move into phase 2. But since we're here to talk about me, I'll tell you that I'm a little sad to not be Wendy with the Lost Boys anymore. And I'll miss the flexibility of having Matt on the premises during the day. Yet, at the same time, it was also time for this start-up to get, like, started up. Doncha know.

So last night Matt and I went out and I was totally rocking this pair of Tracy Reese booties I found on ebay for a song and they are so adorable yet way, way less comfortable than I hoped. I think we're talking your basic one-hour shoes. Anyway, right. So we went out and then after dinner he showed me around the offices they're moving to. They're joining forces with a bigger game studio, and these guys have got a super-slick space and lots of great resources. Like a usability/testing lab. Which is apparently greatly to be desired.


I snapped this picture of the testing lab because as soon as I walked in the door I was transported to my college language lab. Do you remember the college language lab? Man, I don't know, I love languages and liked studying them, but somehow that language lab just sucked the life right out of me. Just me? One cool thing he pointed out though is that each little station has a camera set up to film the person playing, I guess so their reactions can be gauged and somehow used to improve gameplay. I dunno but fancy!

And across the hall is a room full of snacks.


This is one of the standard amenities in tech companies, I think--keep your people from wanting to wander away from the office by plying them with goodies--but it would be a big problem for me. There's a huge glass jar full of peanut butter cups and I would just move my laptop over next to it. And then get my head stuck in there. Problem.

Anyway, it's all a lot nicer than our basement, I GUESS. And it's only about ten minutes from our house so I'll still be able to pop in and give my opinions about everything, which I know they totally want me to do.

That's the update on the life/work sitch around here. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this. xoxo

17 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Back in the dark days of my college years and language labs, we had formica cubicles with giant headphones and cassette players. And we ate doritos from tiny cellophane bags, sucked on Sugar Daddys and Marathon Bars and drank Mello Yellow to stay awake. Now those were some good times.

Becky said...

Yes, exactly! You know, I wonder if they even have language labs anymore, because now everyone has their own powerful computer and broadband internet and women can wear pants and everything. I mean, we used to have to go type our papers in a computer lab. Maybe that's all a lost world.

Amy said...

It's so bittersweet when your first start-up leaves home...it's like, "Wait. Where did all the nerds go?" Sigh. Well don't you worry--those nerds are just 10 minutes away. They'll get to run around, breathe fresh air, and play with other nerds. It's what is best for everyone.

Star said...

Lovely post, as usual, and, as a teacher of English to non-native speakers, I found the comment about language labs very eye-catching. Made me remember my own similar experiences. (We don't use language labs!) I'm going to link to your post on my FB page, thanks!

M said...

Ah, the hilarity of this blog continues. My son has taken Italian for 2 years and I think I heard him say the word "lab" once. Rosetta is probably making them extinct like the 15 cassette tapes I threw in the trash yesterday. : ) Goodbye Raffi...you made car rides so dang fun.

M

Bren said...

1. Thank heavens for boboplomo or whatever it is that forces you to blog every day each year. It's now my favorite annual holiday.
2. Lawd, Matt. I am so impressed and happy for you. That's one hell of a snack room y'all got there. Really, really super happy for you!

Amy said...

Firstly first, congrats to Matt and the boys. A startup that does more than start is impressive.

Second, I'm sort of annoyed that "LOL" has overrun the literal aspect of the phrase "laughing out loud." Y'know? First there was LOL, then we had to ramp up to ROFLOL. Following your comment about getting your head stuck in the peanut-butter-cup jar, I'm going to DODLOL: Drowning Out the Dishwasher Laughing Out Loud.

And I have a really noisy dishwasher.

So, what are you going to do with that really awesome basement and its gorgeous floor now?

Jenni said...

Wow, big move Blue Mammoth! We are so excited for you guys.

Elle said...

It will be fine bc of the absence and all, and now you can have yr gift-wrap station. And an exercise studio! Buy a Reformer! xoxox

Keely said...

Woop woop! Go Blue Mammoth! So proud of your little nerds leaving the nest.

AlGalMom said...

I never set foot in a language lab, but I used to call the programming lab the "sensory deprivation room." It didn't even have a clock--I remember working on some code for a while and then having the surreal experience of not knowing whether I'd been in there for hours or days. I had to call my husband and ask him what time it was.

Congratulations on the exciting move for the company!

AlGalMom said...

I never set foot in a language lab, but I used to call the programming lab the "sensory deprivation room." It didn't even have a clock--I remember working on some code for a while and then having the surreal experience of not knowing whether I'd been in there for hours or days. I had to call my husband and ask him what time it was.

Congratulations on the exciting move for the company!

Marsha said...

Wow! Ultra congrats to Matt and the gang. What a great milestone. I just wrote last night about being conflicted about all the game stuff as it pertains to my son, but Matt seems totally normal! So perhaps I can take the company's continued & growing success as a sign to calm down already.

Cassi Renee said...

Oh My God. Their very own snack room?!! I could so use one of those. In my house.

Congrats to Matt :-)

Amy said...

Yeah, we need to hear about your plans for the basement now!

Lisa Lilienthal said...

I'm totally obsessed with what is going to happen in that basement. I kind of picture you and Pretty Neighbor shredding it up down there, but there has to be more!

Veronica said...

Way to go, Matt and co.! How exciting for them. Our language labs had big cassette recorders, like a parody of the 80s.