Friday, August 31, 2007

Jansen is here!!!!!!!

So tonight was awesome, my buddy Jansen Sullivan, legend of OSSSA, 6 foot 5 Chinese Irish Canadian, and champion of basically everything from Physics to Breakdancing to chugging Guinness to traveling Australia to just being a fiend... is here is San Francisco!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jansen is here with the Asian volleyball team he coaches and so he is here for a tournament this weekend. I met him at his hotel and we hit up some In N' Out Burger, and then got some other random food and chilled out and chatted for like a good, solid 4 hours. Turns out we actually haven't hung out since when I LIVED IN TORONTO, which would have been December, 2004?!??!! That is insane. So it's been like 2 and a half years since I've seen the guy. That's nuts.

Anyway it was totally awesome to hang out and catch up on everything, and man that was awesome. I'm going to give Jansen and his buddy Fred a tour of LucasFilm tomorrow and they are pretty excited for that. I think Jansen can come to my party on the weekend too so that also rocks. Man, so many people are visiting San Francisco lately, this is awesome!! Great to have some of my Waterloo homeys up here now too.

Getting some ice

Streets in Fisherman's Wharf area

Awesome moon tonight

Haha, Jansen trying to plug in the fridge

Worrrrrrrd!! Haha there are so many old photos of this exact same pose, we just have different haircuts and are wearing different clothes, haha.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kitchenware, and a cool Transformers shirt

Today was awesome, just got home from another fantastic day of awesomeness at work, and made some pasta, and finally unpacked my insane 14-piece copper-bottom stainless steel cooking ware. Yes, it was probably unnecessary to get something that good, but it's nice to have decent stuff to cook with!! If I ever need to make pasta for 20 people, I'll be all sorted out!!

Anyway, got a SUPER AWESOME Transformers shirt today at work, and it ROCKS.

Me and my awesome new shirt

Nice kitchenware

Kitchen more set up now

Me rockin' my new shirt

My awesome new shirt and hat

Revenge of the nerds

So, there comes a time when you have to decide if you're taking the side of Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda, or if you're turning towards the dark side.

Personally, I kinda just like the colour blue.

It's come to the point where I actually am going to buy a Star Wars Force FX Lightsaber. I know, I know. I am always priding myself on somehow being above the absolute nerdiness of having been a Waterloo Computer Science student... I'm always making fun of my friends/nerdy acquaintances for playing Magic Cards, Dungeons and Dragons, Stratego, Risk, and other nerdy enterprises.

And here I am, buying a lightsaber. I know. But MAN it's awesome!!

Ok if you don't believe me, check out this picture.


I guess you gotta get these while they last, and Frank told me he wants to (wait for it) have a duel. When a Texan asks you to duel, it's sortof rude not to. Even if it is a lightsaber duel.

But anyway. I hope I've kept the mystique going, and actually had you thinking I wasn't nerdy AT ALL, what with the Dave Matthews listening, Simpsons watching, and general decent social ability. Well this proves that even those of us who diss on the uber-nerds at Waterloo... still have a little bit of nerdiness we can save up for a rainy day.

And I'm blogging this too. Wow. 3...2...1... ok Joel you can make fun of me now. (But when you come to visit, I know you're going to want to play with the Lightsaber)

Vince and my Waterloo homeboys

This weekend was awesome.

Saturday I got up early and went to Emeryville to help Kevin move to Walnut Creek. That worked out well and we all had a great time and Kevin's new place rocks. Then we drove around a bunch and a got a shirt at Macy's on sale. Then we went to Berkeley and got some Zachary's Pizza which was awesome as usual. Then... we went to a cool bar and hung out there for a bit and then found the "Unofficial Beastie Boys Afterparty", which was at a hip hop club on Telegraph and it was intense!!!!!!! There were live DJs for hours and it was so awesome, sweet sweet hip hop and I totally busted a move for quite some time. It roooocked.

Sunday I got up at like 1pm and then called Vince, who is an old friend/co-worker from Alias in Toronto. He is here visiting some friends, so we hung out and got some coffee at Cafe Trieste in North Beach. Then we bussed back to my apartment to meet my Waterloo homeys!! A whole bunch of guys showed up, they've all moved here to work at Google!! Awesome. So we hung around for a while, and then headed out for some Margheritas and random Mexican food.

Hey Norm, I used the frying pan you sent me!!

Vince at Cafe Trieste

Chillin' at Cafe Trieste

On the rooftops

Waterloo homeboys

Waterloo representin' San Francisco!!!!!!

And more randomness

Cool light at the Mexican restaurant

How many awesome lectures can one JCC have?

So I've been here a month, and I've been delaying finding a Shul here since I am not sure which one to go to, I still have a lot of unpacking, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now I have to make a decision soon because Rosh Hashannah is coming up and I need a place to go. So... I started by looking at the JCCSF website. MAN IT IS AWESOME.

So, growing up in London, Ontario, I can't say that I wasn't drawn into the awesomeness of those Purim carnivals at the JCC and so on. Those were some pretty good hamentaschen.

But, we never had this list of people coming to speak at the JCC (this is crazyness):
  • Mitch Albom (author of "Tuesdays with Morrie")
  • Oliver Stone (director of Platoon, JFK, etc)
  • Michael Chabon (author of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay")
  • James Kugel (Harvard professor)
  • Chris Ware and Art Spiegelman in Conversation (Art Spiegelman, author of "Maus" and "Maus II")
  • Harry Shearer and Judith Owen (Harry Shearer, voice from "The Simpsons")
And the list goes on. And these are all pretty much in the next few months. This is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe the list of talks and lectures and awesomeness. This is amazing. And everything is either free, or so cheap it's crazy. Like $10 or $20. This is amazing.

So yes, apparently the JCC in San Francisco is totally awesome. I will definitely have to get to some of these events. And I think there should be lots of options for Rosh Hashannah, I just have to get that sorted out within a week or two from now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Europe, England, old friends

So I randomly logged into my old Yahoo Mail account, which I do once or twice a year just to make sure there is nothing important there. Turns out there were a few Facebook invites from some really awesome old friends. I added them, and then really started to get into it. Man, how cool is Facebook?!

Anyhoo, ran into some really awesome old friends on there, and that just rocks. Then saw a bunch of photos from my recent Europe trip and thought a lot about how awesome it was.

So it's 2:45am, I'm still up, I have work tomorrow of course, and I didn't really do all that much unpacking. But I did add a lot of awesome people to Facebook. So the night isn't wasted!! :)

Anyway, great times. I sure miss a lot of those cool people. But maybe they can come visit me in San Francisco some day. :) It's a bit strange to run into old friends that you haven't talked to in so long... it's kinda weird and sortof sad really. It makes you want to keep in touch with old friends better. But it's really hard when you're in a new place to keep in touch with old friends... those people who are really really important to me, I'm trying hard to keep in touch, even if it's just a message or email every little while. Hopefully the blog is good for keeping in touch as well, it's only one-way, but if old friends want to keep up with what I'm up to, it's pretty good for that.

Long evening of thinking about awesome days in Europe and when I lived in England.

Oh... you know why I started thinking about all of this tonight?
I was unpacking and came across some love letters that I sent back and forth to my first girlfriend Monica Owens, from Johnson City, Tennessee. :) We met in Oxford, England when we were both at school there together, when I was in Grade 7. How funny. I found a bunch of the old notes we wrote each other, and it was really cute. Good stuff.

I'm so excited by all these old memories, no wonder I'm still up at 3am. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blue Bottle coffee

Ok a few more things to yap about before I unpack some more stuff.

I made some Blue Bottle coffee tonight... at home!!!!!!! I grinded up some coffee beans I bought last weekend at the Ferry Building, and it was pretty sweet!! Obviously not as good as their Cappuccinos but still very nice.

Also... my buddy Yaron is getting here this weekend, which is awesome. This reminded me that I need to find a Shul for Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. Fortunately there is an Orthodox Shul around here that will be great for Yom Kippur. Would be nice to check out that huge Shul here as well for Rosh Hashannah maybe. Anyway we'll see. There is a girl at work who is from Stanford and she is thinking about going to the big Shul too, and she is going to let me know if it sounds cool. Last year was nice with the Pixar people, but this year will be cool too. It'll be awesome to hang with Yaron again, and not walk outside all day in the hot sun in Berkeley like last year. :)

Arrested Development, Office Decorations

Today at work was AWESOME, again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man it is exciting to work at ILM, it is soooooooooooooooooooo cool and I love what I am doing. It ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! My apartment is also totally SWEET and I am finally getting a little more comfortable here now that I finally have my bed to sleep on.

Looks like I still need some other stuff, like curtains, a DVD rack, a shelf thing for my papers and receipts and stuff, but otherwise not too much. It's nice to be getting more settled now.

Actually the coolest part is that I have finally started to decorate my cube at work, I put up a HUGE Canadian flag yesterday, and I've got some toys there already. I am going to start taking in lots more toys tomorrow and really setting up my office nicely!! I have to get some pictures and posters and so on up soon too. Good times!!!!!!!

For now... back to unpacking. I've been watching Arrested Development Season 2 like all night. I gotta get back to this unpacking. At least another box unpacked tonight. We'll see how it goes. This weekend?? Well, I'm going to help Kevin move from Emeryville to Walnut Creek on Saturday, and that means chillin' with Jake and Frank and other related awesome homeys too, so that's always good. Figure I'll have the housewarming party here next weekend instead cause I still have boxes everywhere and need to unpack some more first.

My friends and I are, like, famous... or something

Just ran into this website.
(Congrats Yaron, Susan, Yung... you're insane by the way) :)

Sweet, sweet lovin'. Not a bad deal after workin' so hard for so long.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More unpacking

Tonight I did the usual, biked home from work, chatted with my parents, called Alex, bought some groceries, got some indian food, listened to Dave Matthews for a while, and unpacked a bazillion more things!!

I am in the stage now of needing to sort out small things, papers, posters, toys, and so on. That is cool, but that stuff takes ages. I sorted out and stored away all my clothes today, so that was great. But yeah, this kind of small detail stuff does take a while. So I took the opportunity to re-arrange my room after chucking out a bunch of the empty boxes. I moved my bed around again so it is not completely blocking the entrance to the walk-in closet, and put a small table beside my bed with an alarm clock and lamp on. So that is great.

Got a bunch more stuff organized and realized I need a whiteboard and a filing cabinet or drawers thing. And also curtains. I should add this stuff to the list. :)

Anyway here's some sweet photos.

New bed and other stuff

Walk-in closet sorted out

Table near bed

Bookshelf mostly set up, lots of boxes still to do!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Digital SLR camera, more unpacking, books

Sweet deals. I was looking around and found the Canon Digital Rebel XTi Camera for about $700. That is a great deal, it's 10 Megapixels, and can take rapid-fire camera shots at 3 per second! That is sweet. I'd probably get that with a 4 GB Sandisk Extreme III card. Pretty awesome stuff.

I have been thinking about the camera since I've just been discussing travels plans for Vegas and the Grand Canyon in December, so it'll be good to get that before then, but probably I can't get it for quite a while. At the moment I'm still in the purchasing mode for necessities, though that is almost done. I'll still get a TV and TV stand, but otherwise I've got most of the essentials now. Maybe another area rug, but I can get that from Craigslist too. Oh yes, and I also need a Vacuum Cleaner. Other than that I am mostly set now for necessities, so that is good.

A lot more unpacking tonight. I got most of my books onto the huge bookshelf!! That is great, and man I have a lot of books. It's fun to finally have enough space to get them all on one shelf and also to organize them by type (Art, Math, Maya, Computer Science, Science, Business, Harry Potter... etc!) Good times.

Alex just suggested an external Hard Drive. I notice there is a 500 Gb external drive online, it's 7200 RPM too, and it's only $200?! So that is a pretty decent price. I'd probably get a smaller one, maybe 250 Gb but it would be nice to have some more space. Especially with all these bazillions of photos I am taking all the time! But yes, this is another one of those "not yet" purchases. I have lots of other stuff still to take care of before I start buying too much other stuff.

I gotta get some major decorations going at work. It's pretty chill there right now. I need some major christmas lights, maybe the disco ball, and a bazillion toys. Oh yeah and my huge Canadian flag. I need to do some major decorating over the next little while, my office area is still pretty plain, and I gotta make it awesome asap. :)

Ok back to more unpacking and listening to the Dave Matthews CD again!

Lots of things to do, Grand Canyon/Red Rocks climbing trip

So I'm still up at 2am again, I've really got a lot of stuff to do.

Tonight I called PG&E and finally moved my electricity bill over to my name from the Realtor which is necessary so they don't cut off my electricity. That would not be so good. Anyhoo so that's sorted. Then I emailed like 100 people.

So it's official. I am going to Las Vegas and, specifically, to Red Rocks to do some bouldering over the Christmas break with JG!! That rocks. (haha, no pun intended) I'll be checking out Vegas as well for the first time which is cool, seeing some cool shows and also taking a Day Trip to the Grand Canyon and staying there overnight, which is ALSO going to rock. Coolest part about this? It's actually over Christmas Day! Now, as a Jewish guy on Christmas Day, my day is usually full of fun stereotypical events like going to a movie and eating Chinese food. But this time I'll be driving back to Vegas from a glorious day and a half at the Grand Canyon, and staying overnight in a fancy hotel and seeing a cool show, and (if I end up playing some small, cheap tables in Vegas), not losing more than $50. :) Anyway, it's going to be freakin' awesome.

After this trip I will hopefully have enough money saved up to come back to Canada for a week, should be most likely that I'll head back home for a week which would be great, and hopefully spend some time in Toronto for New Years again, which was awesome last year.

Ok so that rocks. With all this on my mind, I am also thinking about a bazillion other things I need to do. I unpacked a lot of stuff tonight, and also checked on Joel's blog to see how he is doing. My friend Yaron is coming up this week to start at Google which ROCKS. I am excited to have more friends in the area. It's still going to be a little while until I sort out my apartment fully and can spend my weekends totally relaxing and enjoying the weekend rather than thinking about all the stuff I need to do. This weekend was pretty good though, chilled out with Ruth and then Frank and his friends today, that was good.

I want to change my website and make it cooler. Also I've got to replace that Mike Wazowski with a Lightsaber. (Sorry Pixar homeys, it's gotta be done!) :) Don't worry, swapping out this graphic doesn't change the fact that Monsters Inc is still the greatest film of all time. :)

I met a dude on the BART today who recognized me from Siggraph and is a student in San Francisco and freelance artist, and we chatted about general movie stuff. He said he lives near the park and we should go biking. Haha awesome. So I totally made a new friend on the BART. Hooray!!

I am slowly getting my place more put-together and organized. There is a ton of work left to do. But man I am sure glad I finally have a bed!!!!!!!! Ok that's it for now.

I want to change my website to have a "Best of Europe 2007" Photo section. It is going to take ages to go through my 4500 photos. But I want to select maybe 20 or 30 of the best photos of the entire trip. I am going to print them too and put them up around my apartment to decorate or at work. Also I'll post them online in full-res if anyone reading this wants copies as well.

It is also super cool that I've got a couple of guests who might be coming in November, so I am glad by then I will be waaaaaaaay more sorted out than I am now, and actually everything will be running quite smoothly. I might even have a TV and a Vacuum Cleaner by then!! I sure hope so!! :)

An SLR Camera is going to be my next major purchase once I pay for my bed and continue to pay off my "tab" to my parents from all the extra money I spent on my Europe trip. I want to get that before going to the Grand Canyon since I think that deserves a nice camera!! Also... I should probably take a Photography class at work so I don't put my glorious new SLR on "Auto" and use it like a regular camera. :)

Ok time for bed. Hope you are all doing well and for my friends moving to California, send me an email when you get here and we'll hang out. Party at my place! Well... as soon as I get these boxes out of here and my laundry into my new dresser, then I'll have some floor space to hang out.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Food in Marin, Superbad, Auto Show

I went up to Marin today with Kevin to meet Frank and Jess and a bunch of the new Pixar Interns from A&M. Good times. We had some great breakfast, and then headed over to a nice outdoor auto show!! Then we went to see the movie "Superbad", which I wasn't sure about, but it turned out to be absolutely hilarious. It was definitely a certain type of humour, but all of us seemed to laugh pretty hard. It was pretty crazy and the young actor is from Arrested Development, and he was just awesome on that show, and did a great job in the movie. Good stuff!!

Anyway it was great to see everyone, and this evening I've been unpacking more stuff. I finally unpacked my breakables, and the movers DID NOT break my prized Pixar limited-edition wine glasses, wahoo!!!!!!!! Also all my other glass stuff and wine glasses all arrived in perfect condition. Now I am listening to the Dave Matthews CD and it rocks.

Breakfast at Marvin's in Novato, California

Mmm... French Toast

Hey, it's the Autodesk San Rafael headquarters!!

Car show

Wahoo, check out that major sponsor!! Whhaat uppppppppp!!!!!!!

Sweet paint and my reflection in the car

Awesome 57 Chevy

I wannnt thhhat

Crazy boat

Nice paint job on boat

Haha random chickens driving a car

Another sweet paint job

Fuzzy Dice!!

More fuzzy dice!!

Cool Shelby Cobra

Nice license plate

Sweet drive in food holder

I got ice cream here

Lizzie from Cars (sortof) haha

Sweet Ferrari

Looks like Sheriff from Cars

New Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds CD and DVD

It finally arrived. The new Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds CD is awesome and I also got the new DVD and it is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are some brilliant renditions of a bunch of older and newer songs, and man it's just as good as Live at Luther College, but with a bunch of the newer stuff I haven't ever heard Dave and Tim play. And there is a DVD!!!!!!!!! It is sooooooooo good.

Ferry Building awesomeness with Ruth

Yesterday was sweet. I FINALLY got my bed. So I've graduated from sleeping on the Futon to a real bed!!!!!!!! Yes, it is AWESOME. I am so happy to have a real bed to sleep on. Wahoo!!!!!!!!!

Ok so after getting the bed delivered I took off downtown to go to the Ferry Building for the necessary Blue Bottle Coffee Company coffee and bread, cheese and fruit. Ruth from Pixar (the brilliant Cambridge English major that she is), met me downtown and it was awesome, and she'd never actually been to the Ferry Building!!!! So I was excited to share my San Francisco "secret Saturday event" with Ruth... although it wasn't very secret!! It was REALLY busy, but we got a bunch of food and then took off to a quieter area cause it was a bit more nuts than usual. Got some fantastic peaches and grapes too. Also, I bought Blue Bottle Coffee beans for the first time ever! We'll see how we do on those. Seems exciting and potentially awesome, so looking forward to brewin' those up.

Chillin' at the Bay

An artistic shot? Or just Ruth's feet? You decide.

Up at Citizen Cupcake on the top of the Virgin Music Store in downtown San Francisco, feeling very "hip"

Awesome interior of the downtown mall

Pretty awesome inside the downtown mall

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Michael Moore's "Sicko"

Tonight I watched Michael Moore's new film, "Sicko."

It is a painful and sharp attack on the American Health Care system. Compared to Canada, Britain and even Cuba - American health care's focus on profits and privatization is shown to be their downfall. It is a scary film, and a very truthful look at the issue. It's really concerning and frighteningly accurate.

Michael Moore talks to a bunch of Canadians in Sarnia, Ontario and London, Ontario (which just so happens to be my home town), and the concept that the more fortunate should help the less fortunate is described by the man from Sarnia, Ontario. He says something to the effect of, "I pay taxes for this, since other people would do the same for me if I was sick." And he has no problem with this, since it's for the benefit of his fellow Canadians. I'd say this is an overwhelmingly common view in Canada, and I certainly am happy to pay more tax if I know it's funding a heath care system that treats the people who need it. Sure, there are problems in Canada, and no system is perfect. But this movie really points out how scary and broken the American system is, and how much it is failing for the people at the bottom of the social and financial ladder. It's really quite sickening to be honest, and there are a few parts in the movie there that are almost impossible to watch.

Even if you hate Michael Moore movies, or you have a big opinion about him or his style of filmmaking... go see this movie. It's really a masterpiece. He should win an Oscar again next year for this movie. It's such an important film, but with the way he describes the health care system and the lobbyists here in America - it's hard to think anything will happen unless the citizens of America speak up and do something. Interestingly enough, this is exactly what is happening. Check out: for some stories on what people are doing to try to change the state of health care in the USA right now.

What an interesting and scary film. I'm sorry to say it, my good friends from America, but watching this movie makes me pretty darn happy I am a Canadian. This country is awesome, and the opportunities here are amazing. But watch this film and you'll realize that other countries handle their poor much, much better than you do here in America. It's a sad truth... but nevertheless, it's the truth. The sooner the citizens of America (and more importantly, the government) can admit to this, the sooner things can be changed. More money from taxes can (and should) be put into improving what is clearly failing for the poorest people of the country.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bowling, Harry Potter 5 shirt!!!!!!!

Today was awesome, again!!!!!!!! No surprises there.

Work was awesome and I got a ton of stuff done. I am really getting into it now and it rooooocks. Today the weather was absolutely amazing, so I went with Matt to this Italian Deli in The Marina and got some good food there. We ate it by the Palace of Fine Arts, and I told Matt it was basically the same as being in Europe, just people weren't drinking beer outside with their lunch. :)

I got an AMMMMMMMMAZZZZZZZZZING Harry Potter 5 Crew shirt today!!!!!!!!!!!! It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cool. Check it out.

Harry Potter 5 shirt

Sweet. So that rocks the house. After work I went out to go Bowling with a bunch of people from work. Someone is leaving to move to another company so we all went Bowling. It was really fun to see a bunch of people from work and hang out. Good stuff.

Now I think I better spend some time unpacking. My bed comes tomorrow, and I am so excited to turn the futon into my actual couch, and to have a real bed finally!!!!!! Also tomorrow I should probably get some Blue Bottle Coffee Company coffee beans and do a bunch of unpacking.