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04:56 pm: Portland Memories

Ate last night at Jake’s Famous Crawfish, a pretty spectacular seafood restaurant in Portland. When we walked in, something started tickling in my brain stem, but it took until I saw the cedar plank salmon on the menu to realize what it was.

I had been there once before.

The year was 1996, and I was graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. These were the good old days when any idiot undergrad could come to the West Coast and command $80k. My friend Seth had made the trip in 1995, and settled with a testing group at Intel. He encouraged me to come out and interview. I resisted, since I was happily dating redmed, and she had four years of med school in front of her in Ann Arbor. Also, I had a job and a Master’s degree lined up. Seth kept pestering, and eventually I asked to talk to his boss. I explained the situation to the boss, who replied “give us a chance to convince you.”

Game on. As long as everyone knows the score, I have no compunctions about being wooed.

So I flew to Portland. They put me up in a decent hotel downtown, and I had a day of interviews. I hit it off with the boss immediately, and the rest of the team as well. It was clear to me that I wasn’t going to stay, but it was fun. Towards the end of the day, the boss called me and Seth to his office and said something along the lines of: “fdmts, we all like you a lot. You would do well here. Seth, here’s a corporate credit card. Go out, have some fun, and convince him that he wants to live in Portland.”

Bad thing to say to a couple of 22 year old college buddies.

As I recall, we went to Jake’s and put our names in. Told that there was an hour or so to wait for a table, we found a nearby bar and settled in for a couple of pre-dinner drinks. We got back to the restaurant and absolutely gorged ourselves on – if I recall correctly:

* A dozen oysters
* A dozen crawfish
* salads
* dinner entrees (I had the cedar plank salmon)
* Two bottles of wine

My recollection gets fuzzy around dessert. Did we have dessert? I don’t think that we did. I recall that we spent a few hours at some nightclub where in scanty dresses would dance in cages that were up on pedestals. I’m pretty sure there was more drinking there too. I’m relatively certain that Seth made use of my hotel room rather than trying to get home. At least, I hope we were that smart.

I didn’t take the job, and I’m astonished that I remember that night in as much detail as I do. Who knew that all that detail was still in there?

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.

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