It's amazing the differences I've experienced in the last year. Case in point.
Symmantec's new aquisition SafeWeb has had a mass exodus of developers of late, so Smashcock had a party to celebrate Yuri's passing to better things. I of course call him that becuase his name is Babcock which was the ending of many 7 syllable lines of juvenile college limericks. While there I had an interresting set of experiences.
I'm can actually nbe a lot more self-confident and assured than I give myself credit for. There were a couple of new faces, a couple of old faces, and a couple of pretty faces at the party tonight. I actually made the rounds and talked to everyone. It was really weird talking with the 'techers. There was a naivite vibe from them that I wonder if I ever had. Mostly stemming from simplistic ideals of engineering ruling all. But the subtler points of the value of your social network were completely lost on them, and the ideas of alpha-male-ism (which is my internal phrase for just sticking up for yourself) were eye opening. It was certainly very odd to be back to talking on brute technical details as though they were the end-all-be-all.
And then there was the pretty face. She was cute, and while I missed my first opportunity to go and talk to her, I jumped at the second. Conversation was easy (relatively), and I didn't rely too much on either adrenaline or alcohol to get me through. She laughed at my jokes and I thought it went well. Later (while watching an episode of the Family Guy -- a competitor for her attention was working against me, and rightly so after I pulled an incredibly immasculating move on him) she kept making eye contact to make sure we were laughing at the same points. Granted that's my interpretation, but she was looking my way at all the right times.
I just wish I had had the balls to ask her phone number. Now I have to exploit the social web and hope I don't get cockblocked (which is actually likely given the look of the web). Not quite the path of least regret, but I'm still working on it.