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PlanetScale Team Profile: Lori and Raunaq

January 12, 2019
Abhi Vaidyanatha

Interviewer: Abhi Vaidyanatha, PlanetScale Software Engineer

Interviewee: Lori Clerkin, PlanetScale Executive Assistant

Interviewee: Raunaq Gupta, PlanetScale UI/UX Designer

Here at PlanetScale, we have an extremely diverse group of individuals that make up our team. Considering how different our backgrounds are, I thought it would be worthwhile to give everyone a peek into the awesome things that make us who we are. As a side note, it may sound like I made up the flow of this interview for comedic effect, but it was just as scatter-brained as it sounds. We made coffee right before this interview, which could explain a few things.

Lori and Raunaq

Abhi: Hey guys how's it going?

Lori: Bitchin' dude. Raunaq: I love this coffee so much. L: Right, it's really good! R: I need more of it... as long as I don't die eating something, I'll eat it. L: Did you ever eat the worm of a tequila? R: Is that a thing? L: Yeah you drink it and you're drunk for like 3 or 4 days because the worm is living inside of you. R: Can't say I've tried that. I do want to eat locusts though. There's a restaurant in the city that serves them.

Abhi: So Lori... What would you say are your main hobbies or interests?

L: First off, I'm not complex. What you see is what you get. R: Like the wysiwyg editor? L: What?... R: What you see is what you get. L: Visible confusion L: Anyway, I don't like to say that certain things define me, but if I had to pick it would be triathlons and music. I grew up with older siblings that introduced me to 60s, 70s, and 80s music. Stuff like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, and Black Sabbath. My sister used to lay in the basement with speakers next to her ears and listen to Black Sabbath, so I think it's in my blood. Although, I really only started listening to harder stuff after going to OzzFest. R: One of my favorite bands, Incubus, opened for Ozzy at OzzFest once. Maybe they exchange melodies. Is there a GitHub for melodies? L: Completely ignores Raunaq's comment L: When Lady Gaga and Metallica performed at the Super Bowl I stopped listening to Metallica for a while. R: Wasn't Metallica the first band to sue Napster? I read that in a book somewhere. L: Lars is a jerk. He is. R: I don't know him personally, I'm sure he is a nice man. I think you need energy to be an asshole. L: I think you need energy to be a drummer. He's not that great. The rest of Metallica is insane, Lars is lucky to be where he is. Eh... I'm totally doggin' poor Lars. He's gonna come after me. R: Oh man, yeah.

Abhi: Okay, how about you Raunaq?

R: These days I really like cats and cars. I'm always looking to photograph new cats and old cars. I think about design a lot too; I can't separate myself from that. I love going to concerts. L: And you travel for them too! R: And I travel extensively for them. These days I really like Nine Inch Nails. They’ve sorta mellowed out, but they are still making really good music. They don’t want to get bored doing the same thing over and over again. L: Very similar to Godsmack, who are also maturing with their music while their music matures with them. R: I do have one small hobby - I collect small die-cast toy cars. L: SEE, you're way more interesting than I am. R: Ignoring Lori's comment R: I feel like cars are such an amazing design constraint. You can do so much with the aesthetic of a car - it's beautiful. America has such a cool modding culture around cars.

Abhi: So you like new cats and old dogs... I mean old cars.

R: New cats and old dogs sounds like a really good band name. "We are new cats and old dogs... live from Mountain View Amphitheatre!" L: Guitar noises R: I actually saw Incubus in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, and again in 2015, and then again this year in India. That was the first time they performed in India actually. L: That is awesome, they knew, they felt the vibe. I think I first saw them in '98 at Slims in SF. It's owned by Boz Scaggs, famous for that one song... you know the one that goes, "Lido... whoah oh oh."

Abhi: I think you need a degree in paleontology to know that song.

L: Whatever, it doesn't bother me at all. I could care less how old I am. Raspberry noises R: I'm also gonna see Ben Kenny, who is playing with Incubus right now. He previously played for the Roots. L: They are a bunch of rich kids, like Peter Gabriel. R: Who is that guy? L: Blank, aghast stare

Abhi: C'mon Raunaq, even I know who that is.

L: Yeah, because of your dad.

Abhi: Nuh uh.

L: Okay, it's because you're a DJ.

Abhi: Am I not allowed to have good taste in music?

L: Looks over to Raunaq L: He sang for Genesis. Actually, I just saw Phil Collins and he had to sit in a chair because he fell ill. R: So he was Fell Collins? L: Laughing a little too hard at Raunaq's bad joke L: He had drop foot! R: Drop foot sounds like a band name. I wish this room were full of cats right now. I keep thinking about being in a room suffocating with cats.

Lori's dog, Rocco, enters the room


L: How about a big greyhound instead of cats? R: Talks for a while about Lori's sheep socks and a riddle he heard on a cab ride L: I still don't get that riddle. The one about the goat, farmer, cabbage, and wolf. R: I'm surprised there isn't an Uber like rideshare app called Cabbage. Because it's cabs. And everything is about the cab economy - Cabbage - it's the age of the cabs. L: Cabbage patch dolls ruined this word for everyone. R: I don't know this culture. L: Show him a picture of the doll. Do you know Chucky? R: Like Chuck E Cheese? L: Laughing, a little out of breath R: I do know about Sour Patch Kids. L: Yes, those are amazing. But yes, Chucky is a doll that comes to life and kills people. R: Just for fun? L: Yeah.

Abhi: Alright, so wh-

L: What's my favorite band? It's Godsmack. It's on my license plate too. R: Is that allowed? L: I mean you can have TJ heart MC. R: What is that, Trader Joes loves Michael Caine? L: Actually starting to get out of breath from laughing R: I have a cat too, back home, who I'm missing these days. I have a person fostering him right now and she says that she loves him. I'm scared that she's gonna take the cat from me. L: Oh no! R: Yeah, I gotta get back soon. L: I'm crying; it's exhausting to laugh this hard.

Abhi: Okay. Let's get to another question. What's something that you guys are looking forward to in the upcoming holidays?

L: I’m looking forward to my birthday in 5 days. R: Oh sweet! My birthday is on the 20th! R: Hi-fives Lori R: That’s why I’m gonna see Ben Kenney! It’s his last solo show. L: I’m so jealous. You HAVE to go. I’m looking forward to PlanetScale taking off, the Godsmack show in April in Milwaukee, and going to the beach in June.

Abhi: What about you Raunaq?

R: I’m probably gonna see Thom Yorke, the lead singer of Radiohead. L: I can’t stand his voice. Euuuugh. The second he opens his mouth I’m like aaaaah. I’m sorry. R: That’s understandable. You don’t have to apologize for opinions. I’m gonna go meet my friend Jason in Chicago. L: Deep dish pizza. R: Yeah, and these sandwiches that are made out of plantain buns. L: I’m gonna eat my way through Chicago when I go. R: Like Pac-Man. L: Yeah exactly, I’m gonna do that in Milwaukee. Gonna squeeze in some extra meals.

L: Do you love your birthday too. It’s your day! R: Do I? L: You get to wake up and say “I can do whatever the f*** I want” R: But I say that to myself every day! L: Goes into another bout of laughter R: I’m alive... not dead. Isn’t that a Pearl Jam song? L: Starts singing the song L: Can I just say that Eddie Vedder is super hot. R: He plays the uke pretty nicely too. L: I saw Pearl Jam open for the Rolling Stones. Just as they were in the middle of their set it was pouring rain and man... there’s nothing hotter than a wet Eddie Vedder. It was pretty spectacular. R: Yeah that’s burned into my memory now. L: I love that he’s good friends with Neil Young who's also really cool. Well, super cool until he cheated on his wife. R: What’s your most memorable concert experience? L: Grateful Dead for sure. We get there and we couldn’t find parking. So I gave my keys to a random guy and told him to just come back and get us at 11 AND HE DID. R: That’s wow. Wow. L: Yeah there were a lot of things wrong with that night. R: No, that’s fine... But just giving your car to someone? L: We did drop him off at his house. That was the most memorable show ever - there was nothing like it. Everyone just loves everyone else and loves the music; strangers are best friends by the end of the concert. Sorry Godsmack. You're not my most memorable show but I love you.

A: Well… thanks guys! I feel like I just need to get you guys a show and have you talk to each other.

R: It would definitely have to be a podcast.

Abhi only got to 2 out of the 8 questions he had for the interview.

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