Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pre-Dave Matthews Concert excitement

I know I say this every time... but that was seriously one of the best Dave Matthews concerts I've been to yet!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am pretty sure this was Dave Matthews Band concert #9 for me, and MAN IT WAS AMMMAAAAAAAAAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was really fun to hang out with my Waterloo homeys who all live in Mountain View now. :) I got there about 2pm and then we got some Thai food which was nice but the service sucked. No worries though cause the food was pretty good. Then we took off to Yaron's house, and it was really nice, and then I dropped my stuff at Matt/Johnson/Peiran's apartment and it was also just totally amazing. Very nice, very clean, very new looking. I liked it a lot, and it's sortof the style I was hoping to get, but my apartment is cool too. It feels a bit more "lived in" but you get the tradeoff that it has lots of character I suppose! Anyway good times, and it was cool to see everyone's place.

Then we went to dinner to a place called "Amber India" which one of my Indian co-workers recommended!!!!!!!! It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!!! We got Chicken Tikka Masala, some Lamb curry, Lentil curry, Spinach and Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, and more. It was aweeessooome.

After that we drove to the Dave Matthews Concert, and it took about an hour for a 10 or 15 min drive because the traffic was SO nuts. Dmitry was a driving powerhouse and we got there just in time to catch most of the first song so we didn't miss much. We couldn't find the other Waterloo people or Matt Parrott, but it was still SO amazing. See next post for more details!

Matt at "Pasta?" Haha

A place in Silicon Valley that looks like it's been there since the days of Microsoft Windows 3.1

Hey look, it's "Mountain View!"

Yaron's neighbourhood, very nice

Playing some guitar, and trying to watch The Office through the Web Browser on the Nintendo Wii

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Books I want to read

Jess (Frank's fiancee) just mentioned a cool book to me called Microserfs and it sounds really awesome. Facebook has this crazy Book application and I've been posting a bunch of books I want to read at some point, just wanted to post them here too.

  • Microserfs - Douglas Coupland
  • Howl and Other Poems (Pocket Poets) - Allen Ginsberg
  • The Fountain - Darren Aranofsky
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
  • Stardust - Neil Gaiman
  • True History of the Kelly Gang: A Novel - Peter Carey
  • Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy - Rene Descartes
  • The Cinema of George Lucas
  • Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas Hoefstaeder
  • Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance - Barack Obama
  • The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book) - John Stewart
  • John Carter of Mars
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson


Taylor is up here for the weekend from Blizzard with his girlfriend, she is really nice and we all enjoyed meeting her tonight at Jupiter in Berkeley. Tomorrow I am off to Mountain View to chill with my Waterloo friends, go to the Dave Matthews concert and generally hang out.

Tonight was awesome, chillin' with everyone at Jupiter and getting a chance to chat with Jake a bunch which rocked.

How cute

Ahh!!! How... insane?

Nathan and his friend from EA

Kev and I with some Pizza

Haha random picture

Another random one of everyone

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Office, Dave Matthews this weekend, Movies with long titles

Today was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING at work, AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! No surprise!!! Man it rocks. It's just awesome for so, soooooo many reasons. My work is SO interesting and motivating and challenging and new and exciting. My co-workers are all hilarious geniuses. My friends at LucasArts are also smart, and not insanely Computer Game nerdified which is good (cause I can't handle the Computer Game nerds, sorry y'all), and just everyone rocks. I'm starting to get to know some of the people on my team better, and doing more after-work stuff with them.

Last night a bunch of people from work got together to watch a movie that one of the guys was on the crew for like 15 years ago. We were intentionally watching a teeeerrrrible movie so we could make fun of it, and it was just hilarious. Everyone in the room yells stuff out and pokes fun at the ridiculousness of the movie, and we got a drink beforehand too so it was even funnier. Man, that was just amazing. I think this group meets every month for this movie night (if you can call it that, haha), and yeah, it was just amazingly hilarious.

Tonight instead of watching a bad movie, I watched an excellent one! It's called (wait for it), "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford", starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. It was just amazing. Beautiful photography, amazing scenery and the acting was fantastic. It was a reaaaaaaaaally long movie though, it was about 2 hours and 40 minutes! Pretty glad I saw it though, but I got home pretty late and had dinner at 11pm. Hehe crazy. Anyway great film, but kindof a long one for the theatres I guess.

The Office Premiere was tonight. Man I love that show. I know I am a total girl for saying this, but man I am so happy about Jim and Pam. Hehe I think everyone is feeling pretty happy about that too. :)

Oh yeah in other awesome news... Dave Matthews Concert THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's my 9th Dave Matthews concert and oh baby it is going to be SO good. I really want to hear "Sister", "Break Free", any random new stuff, "Pantala Naga Pampa/Rapunzel", "Stay or Leave", and just the general crazy jam session stuff. I think the new Trumpet player is on tour with them too, which is great cause he is really talented. Good stuff.

Ok time for bed. Oh yeah, I got Indian Food for delivery last night from the place that I love which is kindof close to my house. They make this Chicken Saag (Chicken and Spinach) curry which is so awesome I can't explain it without getting hungry. Mmm, good stuff.

Looks like that movie I watched tonight has an 8.2 on IMDB and a 68% on Rottentomatoes, but yeah there seem to be good ratings for the cinematography, as expected. Looks like it's only opened at 5 theatres in the country so far. Hopefully it will get to more, but at 2 hours and 40 minutes I think it'll lose the general crowd. It was really well done though and I enjoyed it a lot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

As good a reason as any to be up at 2am

So why am I up at 2am again? Well this time my insatiable appetite for unnecessary but exciting knowledge has lead me to drink mixes. Yes, drink mixes. I found this site while searching around for wine types, reading reviews on Grey Goose Vodka from France (and trying to determine why it got a 96 on some taster rating, and how in the world one Vodka can taste different from others, and why this warrants a $30 price tag, over a standard cheapo one like Smirnoff which is at least 1/2 or 1/3 of the price.)

Why do I care about all this stuff? Well I was inspired by my co-worker Ciaran at his housewarming/birthday party, he had a whole set of shakers/sugar solution/mixed drink creation possibilities, and he made a Mojito as good as I had on the shores of the river in Rome. So I figure it's kindof a cool skill to be able to make a mixed drink for your friends, and I figure that now I am entering "adult" land I should probably figure out how to make a Martini. Next time I have a business guest over (and by that I mean, Matt Lausch), if he demands a chocolate appletini, who am I to refuse, or call him a girl/Zach Braff? Sorry Matt, had to use someone as an example.

Anyhoo, this is all really quite interesting. I know it's kinda silly really but actually it's kinda cool to see how technical this gets. It seems to me though that basically every drink recipe was probably created by some moron mixing something together with something else, getting their friend to drink it on a dare, watching them get sick, and then changing the recipe so it didn't make their friend sick on round 2. But there is some interesting chemistry going on here to mix all of the potential ingredients together, shake them with ice or pour them through a strainer or something random. Feels like high school Chemistry class (pour 1 beaker of basic solution into 1 beaker of acidic solution...), so it sounds like it'll be fun. Plus, Ciaran's Mojito was pretty much legendary, and I want to see if I can do that too. Anyway, this site seems pretty interesting, and was the first link on Google. Interesting stuff.

In my refusal to go to bed at a decent time I also learned what all the different sizes of measurement are, like a "shot" is 1 oz and a "jigger" is 1.5 oz (haha). Apparently some people measure in cl, centiliters?!?! It's like being in Europe and trying to figure out how large the bottle of Coca Cola is!!

So yeah, I'm up, it's 2:20am, and I've been reading passionately about how to mix white russians and mojitos and black russians and amaretto sours and what the sizes of measurement are and how to make your own sugar solution and sour solution, used for Mojitos.

Oh yeah, also a cool Autodesk Event coming up that I am going to have to miss cause I am seeing Oliver Stone talk. :)

In other news, I just got my Jelly Belly Gumball Machine from Ebay!!!!!!!!!!

Oh night of random stuff. I gotta go to bed. Happy mixing to all.

Monday, September 24, 2007

2 months in...

So it's been 2 months already since I moved to California?! Time flies, eh?!!!!!!!!!

Work has been incredibly interesting and awesome and challenging, and I am really excited for where it will continue to go and what I will learn next. The benefit of working in a place with so many amazing and talented people around you is that every day you get inspired by the place... it really is quite amazing what ILM has created over the past 30 years, and to be a part of this place is just SO cool. I'm really happy to be here and I am still loving the "new" apartment.

On that note, something I need to work harder at is my boxes from Canada. They showed up about a month ago and I spent the first week madly unpacking as much as I could... and then I stopped. :) So I really have to get back to unpacking this stuff at a more consistent rate. I think that's the next major plan now that the major, most important Jewish holiday week has just finished.

Lots of fun stuff coming up soon too. There are some Sukkot events I might go to. Also the Dave Matthews Band concert is this coming weekend, and that is just going to be totally amazing. I can't wait!!!!!!!!

Just thought I'd make a couple of lists for fun...

What ROCKS now...
  • No homework (finally)
  • My own apartment, going to bed when I like, doing what I like in the evenings
  • Setting up "my own place" for the first time!
  • WORK, of course!!!!!!!!
  • That I have business cards (man that is SO awesome)
  • Hanging out with Matt Parrott way more cause we work at the same place now
  • Finding cool coffee shops around my house to chill out at on my own, relaxing, reading a paper, having a coffee
  • Lots of free time in the evenings for catching up on shows I like, and eventually playing more guitar and recording music
  • The memories of Europe and how amazing that was
  • The fact that I've finally graduated from Waterloo
  • The fact that I don't have to move anywhere in 4 months (like I have been for 5 years)
  • Going to Ikea and buying stuff
  • Getting good deals on Craigslist
  • Um... living in CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!
  • Biking to work and getting lots of healthy exercise
  • The fact that in 2 months it'll just rain "a little bit" rather than be a huge insane blizzard every day
  • "Winter" here is like 10 degrees Celcius with a little rain, an exponential improvement on the insanity of winter in Waterloo
What is kinda different and scary and I need to get used to...
  • Living in my own apartment with no roommates
  • Missing my friends and family in Canada
  • Missing stuff from Waterloo: Bomber, chillin' with Joel and Yung and friends
  • Not having "friends in the neighbourhood" yet
  • Finally paying for all the bills on my own
  • Making sure not to forget to pay bills
  • Taking a while to meet new people, having to forge new friendships and community at work (since we're not thrown into a group of friends as we were when we were all interns)
  • Not being an intern anymore, and trying to get a feel for how now is different, being a full-time employee
  • Not seeing my Pixar friends enough since they are kindof far away in the East Bay
  • Being a "real person" now :)
So there are a bazillion awesome things here, but lots and lots of changes too. So it's going to take some more time I guess to get used to all of these differences. I am having a great time though, and looking forward to building up some new friendships here at work too. Matt's friends are all really awesome and I see them quite a lot at work. So I should have another party, maybe once the rest of my stuff is unpacked and clear, then we can rock out in my sweet apartment. Oh that's another good thing, my apartment is awesome for parties. :)

Breakfast, Tim Tams, Transformers and Cars Toys

Today was pretty sweet, I got some stuff done I needed to do, and also chilled out a lot since I needed the usual post-fast Yom Kippur recovery day. Pretty awesome that Yom Kippur was over a weekend this year, so I am actually not falling apart when it's time to start work again. Good stuff.

Ok anyhoo, after a slow start, Yaron and I took off to his old neighbourhood in San Francisco and got some really nice breakfast at this crepe place. I had an Athens Omelette which had feta, spinach, pine nuts and some other good stuff in it. Pretty awesome.

Then we went to this Australian store where we bought Tim Tams, the famous Australian cookie!!

Then off to the Metreon to see... Transformers in IMAX!!!!!!!! It was ammmaaaaaaaazing. The effects were just unbelievable. I am not surprised now when I heard about how complex the effects and the characters were, it was just unbelievable!! Totally amazing and definitely pushing the limits of effects on screen!! It was sooooo "Michael Bay" (the director) - a very intense film with tons and tons of rock music and action and explosions. It was just awesome. And definitely worth seeing on the big screen. Some of my new friends and co-workers were in the credits!! Totally amazing.

After that we both had a renewed headache so we chilled for a bit and then Yaron went back south to Mountain View. I chilled out downtown for a bit, buying 5 new Cars toys (sweet), entering some contest to win a new 2008 Honda Accord, and just wandered around for a bit before coming home.

Tonight I made some nice Tortellini and then got to work on some stuff... locating my Dave Matthews Band ticket (sweet) and then taking care of organizing a few things, bills, etc. I've decided the calendar on my wall isn't sufficient for the "too many things" going on, so I've started using Google Calendar (which seems pretty good), and I managed to get some necessary things organized. I gotta pay for my bed finally (even though I've been sleeping on it for a month and a half already, haha) but yeah I think that bill is coming due. I thought I could defer the payment with my credit card, but it looks like maybe not. Anyway it'll be reaaally nice to finally get the last of the startup costs taken care of. Man it's been expensive to furnish this place!! Even with the awesomeness of Craigslist, I've bought some really nice, good, long-lasting stuff too which has been pretty costly. Yaron said he is impressed with my choice to do that though, and move away from the "junky student stuff" situation. I still bought some Ikea stuff and so on, but it's pretty nice stuff, and I figure something like pots and pans I may as well get something good (finally) and then have it last a long time, rather than buy something for 4 months and then buy it again like I was doing all the time as a student.

Anyway, after this the bike and the bed and everything else will actually be paid off. Nice. Now I gotta continue paying back my parents for all the money I borrowed for Europe. :) That's not too bad, except for the fact that this is the worst time in 30 years to be converting money from US Dollars to Canadian Dollars (the Canadian dollar hit par with the US Dollar last week)... ahh!!! It's been getting steadily worse for a while to convert US Dollars to Canadian Dollars, but now they are actually equal for the first time in 30 years. That's insane!!!!!!!

Well I'd better get off to bed, going to be a busy day tomorrow and I still want to do some more reading.

Yaron at breakfast

Me making a weird face at the short ketchup bottle

Aweeeesssssome new Cars toys!! I got the Yeti finally!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yom Kippur

It's that busy time of year again that's packed with tons of important Jewish Holidays. From last night to tonight, it was Yom Kippur, the most important day in the entire year. We fast for 26 hours, no food, no water and it's pretty super intense. It's considered a Mitzvah (a "good deed") to eat a bunch of food before the fast starts, so my buddy Yaron Friedman (betcha can't tell he's Jewish from that name, oh wait, yes you can, hehe) came up to hang out again this year for the important holidays.

We had a massive huge meal last night, we shared a full chicken, ate an entire loaf of challah (Jewish braided egg bread), ate a ton of grapes, had Tropicana orange juice and more and more. It was fantastic. Then we felt sick (similar to last year) :) Good times though and we had a lot of intense discussions, which is in the nature of this important holiday, so that was great.

Shul was fun today, again quite different that I am used to here but I think Yaron really enjoyed it too. People seem really into it here and really involved, and I like that.

This evening we got home and broke the fast on chocolate on the way home, hehe. But we had our major breaking of the fast meal with more challah and cream cheese and smoked salmon, more grapes, Mango Ceres juice, more Tropicana, and so on. It was fantastic and we didn't overeat so that was good. Then we watched Monsters Inc (still the best film ever made - Pete Docter you are a genius!!!!!!!) Yaron had never seen it, and since it's the greatest film of all time for about 1000 reasons we had to bust it out. I must have seen it like 30 times by now. What an awesome movie. :)

Yaron was just home in Canada for Rosh Hashannah and he brought me back 2 cans of Tim Hortons Coffee!!!!!!!!! Ahh!!!!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!!!! So I am really excited for that, I can't wait, it's been like 2 months!

Ok now for some photos and then I need to get to bed.

The pre-fast meal

Yaron ready to pounce on the food

Cheers on some Maneshewitz wine... L'Chaim!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Software, Friends, and Happy Feet

Today was super awesome. It started off with me working reaaaaally hard for something, it was pretty tough and I had a lot of trouble trying to figure it out. After a lot of effort, reading, talking to my project leader about the software design, discussing some more intense details with another software engineer... and about 6 hours later... I figured it out!! Computer Programming can be funny sometimes, it can go really smoothly and be fun and, although challenging or needing you to pay attention to a lot of details, it's all pretty sweet and good times. But then sometimes it's NUTS!! Like today, there can be a problem you get stuck on for hours and hours and hours. You can try 100 different things, and still not figure it out. Then you can talk to a bunch of really smart people, they give you some ideas and start some thoughts processing in your mind... and then eventually these ideas connect with all the things you came across earlier and BOOM!! The answer then becomes clear and you scribble at lightening pace on a sheet of paper until you get some kind of idea down. Then, it turns out to be kindof right, but you forgot about 10 more details you need to consider. After more thinking and plotting through then answer in your mind, the scribble on the paper is starting to make some sense, and then you try coding it. Then, there are a bunch of crazy Syntax issues that take another 2 hours to sort out... and then that last time, once you've fixed the last error, and you're sure it's going to work... and BOOM!! It totally works!!

That is an absolutely awesome feeling, and today, after an entire day of struggling over the same problem, I got it figured out about 4 minutes before I was going to give up for the day and go downstairs to meet some co-workers after work. Good times!! That was AWESOME because it was super cool to hang with some of the people from my work, at lunch and so on I seem to pretty much hang out with Matt's friends, who are super awesome too but yep it's cool to hang out with some people that I work with in a non-work atmosphere too. Good stuff. We got a couple of drinks at a place near work and chatted for a while about a bunch of interesting stuff. Cool people and really nice to hang out with them after work.

Tonight I came back kinda late and just hung out for a while, had some food and I just watched Happy Feet. A few people told me they didn't like the story, and that it went from "Be Yourself" to "Don't overfish the waters" in about 2 seconds... you know what, it was still a cute story. I was expecting the plot twist, and it was fine, and actually since I knew it was coming I could see how they were leading up to it. It's not a total tragedy that an animated film for kids tries to make a political point... in fact I think it adds more weight to the film as a whole. Good stuff. The movie was nice, pretty awesome scenes with the penguins flying down the ice and tumbling around and so on. I thought the seals and whales looked pretty scary for a kids movie!! The story had a few unexpected story points and stuff that I wasn't too keen on, and some stuff they just kinda threw in there that seemed to push the story along although it didn't necessarily make too much sense at that moment. The feathers on the birds looked pretty nice and the ocean water was pretty nice. Interesting use of human actors in the movie too, it was a bit crazy to see humans in an animated film, but once you got used to the idea it kinda worked. Pretty cool concept though and kudos to them for pulling it off!!

Anyway off to do some reading tonight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mitch Albom talk in San Francisco

Tonight I went to the JCC for the first time and it was absolutely amazing.

I was there for an incredibly awesome and inspiring lecture by Mitch Albom, the author of "Tuesdays with Morrie." (

The majority of the lecture was Mitch describing his relationship with Morrie, and how he re-connected with Morrie after 16 years of being entrenched in his own life, and his own career goals. Morrie was his University Professor, and an extremely kind and motivational mentor. Morrie was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, and decided to share his knowledge with the world until his last day. Nightline did a story about this, and Mitch was 1000 miles away, flipping through the channels and then ran head-on into this story. He felt embarrassed that he hadn't contacted his teacher and mentor in over 16 years, and when he contacted him finally, Mitch said, "I used to be your student, but you probably don't remember me" - nothing could be further from the truth. Morrie treated Mitch just as he had 16 years earlier, and Mitch made a visit to his old ill friend. Every Tuesday from then onwards, Mitch flew up to Morrie's home and visited him throughout the progression of his illness. These "Tuesdays With Morrie", soon became sessions where Morrie would give life advice and broad, big picture ideas to Mitch about how to live your life well, and how not to squander the precious gift of life that we have. He talked about regrets, and how people strive for money and fame but forget what is really important in life.

Hearing Mitch himself tell the story behind "Tuesdays with Morrie" was really amazing, he is so passionate about the issue and the whole situation made him turn his entire life around, re-evaluating why he was leading such a fast-paced life as a Sports Columnist, and if it was really what he should be doing in the world. There are some incredible lessons that Mitch learned from Morrie, and that Mitch is making his life's goal to try to pass onto others as well. The book is FANTASTIC, and Mitch has since written 2 more fictional books, although he revealed to us that a lot of the basis for these books comes from stories in his own life.

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the lecture was the Q&A session afterwards, when someone asked Mitch what his advice would be for the young adults of today. He had a really eloquent answer, describing how he feels that notoriety plays too important of a role with today's youth. Very interesting answer and his description of how people just want to be "seen" - not necessarily if they are doing anything important or good for society or even good for themselves. The idea that "the more YouTube hits you get, the better" is not really what life is about, and this meaningless fame is not what people should aspire to achieve. He said that we should aspire to be good people, to make a difference to others, and to build and work on our relationships that are important to us. When it all comes down to it, the relationships you have with the people you love is really the only thing that matters in the entire world. He mentioned another quote from Morrie, and he said it was especially good because it rhymes!! "When I am giving, I feel like I am living." Morrie was ill, but didn't want people to feel sorry for him or to be constantly taking sympathy from people. He, instead, made a point to continue giving himself, his advice, and his brilliant view of the world to all who would listen, for as long as he could. By giving, he felt much more alive. What an amazing and motivating message.

Since this talk was at the JCC, and it's still the week in between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, Mitch said that if you are Jewish, this point should be taken as well in the context of this week. This is the week where you are supposed to think about how you have wronged people, how you could have been better to your friends and to your family over the past year. These are the most important relationships you have and you should make sure you know that, and that these people know that as well. He also talked about forgiveness, and told a very sad story about how one of Morrie's biggest regrets was falling out of touch with a good friend for an unnecessary reason, and never having the chance to tell this friend that he was sorry. These kinds of regrets are hard to live with, so we should make sure that the people that are important in our lives know how much we appreciate them.

Amazing ideas, and an amazing talk. And a lot of important thoughts to swirl around during this important week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hilarious shirt, Cars, Caprese Salad

Check out the awesome shirt I just got on Threadless!!

Sweet new shirt design

Haha I love it. And it totally affirms my good judgment to delay purchasing a car here in San Francisco and make do with ZipCar plus my awesome bike. I am pretty keen for the whole San Francisco style "love the earth" kind of situation, so as you know a bike gets pretty decent mileage, even compared to the Prius (believe it or not) haha :) And this comes without the side-effects of paying for a parking spot/gas/insurance as well. And the benefit of 1 hour of exercise every day. Awesome.

Hehe so yes I suppose I have already become a strong supporter of "bike-commuting", since I love it, and I do it every day!

Talking about "Cars", I finaaaaaaaally got my Guido and Luigi Ferrari Fans Cars toys today in the mail. I've been waiting for those for aaaaaaaages. So those totally ROCK.

Tonight I made some more Caprese Salad (I know, I gotta learn how to make other stuff), it was perfect except then I poured half a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar down the kitchen cupboards. Oops. Haha so I had a bit of a cleanup effort, oh well. Then chatted to my buddy Alex on Video chat with Skype for 2 hours, good times.

Totally want a snack now. And hmm ran out of time for unpacking again. Maybe I'll do a little bit now.

Why Jeremy Piven rocks

I think it's extra awesome that Jeremy Piven has to stretch his personality *that* far to become Ari Gold on Entourage.

Jeremy Piven won the Emmy again this year for his acting on "Entourage" and well deserved, I must say!! Also... his speech was just fantastic.

I mean, how often do you hear an actor speak in such a heartfelt manner, thanking all the right people, and really making it clear that they are doing their job for all for the right reasons? Amazing. When Ans and I met him in Cannes we were blown away by how soft-spoken and nice he was, and how he stopped and chatted to us even though they were all clearly in a rush and late to shoot their Entourage episode. Amazing. Seems to me like he couldn't be more different from the character he plays on TV!!

Isn't it nice when the good guy wins?

Jeremy Piven winning the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Labels in Blogger

I just spent a bit of time tagging some posts with labels. Now if you look on the left hand side of my blog at the main blog address ( then you can sort the posts by topic. Specifically, I added labels for Europe 2007, France, Spain, Italy and Greece if you want to see posts I made from/about those things specifically. Sweet.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Picture frames up, Ikea drawer shelf, curtains

Today went from being pretty slow and chill and generally non-productive to pretty hefty in the "sorting out stuff" department. Niccccccccccce. Yeah so this afternoon I put on the laundry and headed out to a REALLY AMAZING coffee shop around my neighbourhood. I liked the old one I was going to, but the cakes/food there wasn't that great, it had nice WiFi and some cool staff and so on, but closed pretty early too. This one is open late every night and seems to have live music almost every day. It's amazing!! There was a live jazz band playing when I arrived, and I had some nice Cappucino and a slice of Strawberry Mango pie. (Yes!!) I chilled, read "The Onion" newspaper and listened to the music for a while. Perfect thing to do on a nice, sunny Sunday afternoon!!!!

Then I came back, put my laundry in the dryer, had a shower, made some food etc. Tried out my Pyrex container in the Microwave for the first time and it's pretty good for making soup. Pretty much fits a can of Campbell's plus a can of milk exactly, then I can pour it out into a bowl. That seems like a way easier way to make soup than heating it on the stove. :)

Cool, then tonight I stood on the ledge of my futon (thankfully it can hold me) and reached up to the curtain rod to get my new curtains up. Turns out it is pretty much a PERFECT fit. And it makes the room look nice too.

Then I spent some time putting in screw-in wall mounts and screws to hold up 2 picture frames of family photos that my Mom gave me, and my Diploma. Then I opened the box from Ikea from last week and spent an hour putting together my drawer shelf unit. Sweet!! Joel told me that putting stuff together from Ikea was "basically sitting around in your boxers and swearing for 2 hours until it comes together", but actually it was more like about 1 hour in my pyjamas making a fair bit of noise with the hammer and putting it together pretty quickly!! There were a few decently confusing pictures, and the fact there is no helpful text to go with the photos makes it take a bit longer. But it wasn't too bad and got together pretty quickly.

New curtains, photos on the wall

Diploma on the wall

More photos on the wall

Ikea furniture in pieces

Finished Ikea drawer shelf

Coffee, Audio Mixer, the Dave Matthews guitar, Party

Yesterday was actually pretty busy. I started off at about 8am and headed to the Walk-In clinic to get a prescription updated. This was my first time dealing with the USA Health Care system and Michael Moore was right - literally the first or second thing the secretary asked everyone was "Do you have your Health Insurance with you?" Wow. I guess it's the same at home in Canada, "Do you have your Health Card with you?" except that EVERY SINGLE PERSON gets a Health Card. Crazyness.

Anyway it wasn't too much of a wait, just like an hour and a half, and I got to have breakfast at the famous hippie hangout "The Red Victorian" on Haight St in San Francisco for breakfast. There were hot hippie waitresses there, so that's always an added bonus!! :)

Anyhoo, after that I got my prescription sorted out and then took off downtown to the Ferry Building. I chilled there for quite a while, relaxing much more than I did last week when it was just a major schlep. It was really fun and I got some Blue Bottle Coffee (big surprise, eh) and some nice strawberries from a local farmer etc. Then Matt Parrott met me there, we chilled for a bit, took a walk and then I took off downtown on the search for toys and a french coffee press. I didn't find either, but I did wander around Macy's, The Disney Store, Urban Outfitters and a bunch of other places. I found some bad ass Ratatouille coasters at the Disney Store and talked to the girl at the counter for a bit. The coasters are awesssoome and they seemed to have a lot of that kitchen stuff on sale. Nice.

Ok next up was the Guitar Center. This is a HUGGGGGGGGGGGE music store on California St that puts Steve's in Toronto to shame!!!!! It is HHHHHHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. They must have had like 300 guitars there to play. It was nuts. I went into the acoustic room, then checked out the classical-acoustics (sweet), and they had quite a few acoustic basses too. Then I went into the humidified acoustic room (i.e. "the good stuff") - MAN it was sick. They had like 10 Taylors there, and I played the Dave Matthews guitar, the Taylor 914CE!!!!!! It was... wait for it... $3999 (ouch).... list price of $5200!!!!! Ahh!! So yeah it was bad ass. I wanted to plug it in but I think it needed a battery. Anyway, the sound was gorgeous.

I still prefer that Taylor Grand Auditorium guitar though, the really large Jumbo Acoustic, because it has a very very loud and powerful sound, pretty much because of it's size over a regular acoustic... pretty nice stuff. If I win the lottery I'm buying the DMB guitar. :) They had lots of other nice Martins and Gibsons but I love the Taylor sound (and I figure Dave Matthews knows what he is doing and he uses Taylors a lot) Sweeeeeeet.

My trip to the guitar store was not just to drool over guitars but really to buy an Audio Mixer. I ended up getting the Behringer Xenyx 802, it's got 8 inputs and some pretty fancy stuff for CD RCA inputs, and input/output from external FX sources (like guitar pedals) and stuff. I got some amazing Monster Cables from the guy I bought the condenser mic from, so that is going to work well. I've even got a DAC (Digital Audio Converter) which goes from the 1/8" jack input to a USB output that I can plug right into my laptop. Going to be pretty cool to see what this thing can do! The main purpose of this was that I needed a Phantom Power supply for my new condenser mic, and so this takes care of powering my mic along with letting me control audio input for the guitar as well. Also the USB input into the Laptop to me seems like an excellent idea.

Sweeeeeeet. Ok so I got the mixer along with some nice new acoustic and electric guitar strings and some new guitar picks. It is a really nice store, I think I'll head back there sometime and play some of the pedals. I've wanted a Boss Chorus pedal for ages too so I should go there and check them out and try them on the Taylor.

Then I went back home, super tired from the day but dropped off my stuff and went straight to Ciaran's. I work with Ciaran and he was having a birthday/housewarming party so it was great. He had some really nice food there and I met a bunch of his friends, good times!!

I got home about 1:30am and passed out pretty quick... and got my necessary sleep-in today... haha it's like 3:30pm now and I got up just over an hour ago. :) It's really nice weather so I should take a walk. But I am in the mood for sorting stuff today, so I should get some tunes on, get the laundry going and unpack some stuff. I also have to put together my new Ikea filing cabinet I got last week. That's going to take a while. :) Also gotta play with the new mixer!! Man, lots of stuff to do. And since I got up at like 2pm I should probably get started on all of this. :)

Ciaran and his friend and girlfriend

Dave from work and one of Ciaran's friends

Cute dog!!!!!!

Hehe this dog rocccked

Mmm... birthday cake

Ciaran and his cake

Cute cats

My new Mic Preamp mixer


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stephen Colbert's Atone Phone

Ok this is freakin' hilarious.

A friend of mine sent me a link to this video, of Stephen Colbert saying on his show that he has an "Atone Phone" for Jewish people to call him during the time between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur and to ask forgiveness for anything we may have done to wrong him over the past year. Haha. This is amazing. So... I thought it was just a total fake and there was no way he had actually set this up. Man, was I wrong. Turns out it totally works!!

Here's the video.

And here's the message I left on his answering machine. The best ones get aired on the show!!!!!!!!
Hey Steven,

Big fan. It's Mike Jutan here. (No, it's not spelled JEWtan, but I know you were thinking that) As a Canadian Jew with immigrant parents, I run a pretty tight ship. But sometimes I'm not as willing as I should be to just take other people's word for it on some stuff.

I was trying to think of how I wronged you over the past year, and I couldn't figure it out. So I just called your number. Laughing to myslef... I wrongly thought, "Oh, that Steven Colbert. This cocamaymee story about 1-888-MOPS-KEY and sharing the number with your Atone Phone... what a LIE. A blantant LIE to your loyal viewers like me."

Wow. Is my face red. Sure looks like you called my bluff and you DO have a Stephen Colbert Atone Phone. I can say with confidence that yes, indeed I HAVE wronged you.

I'm sorry to have doubted your ability to coerce the fine people at 1-888-MOPS-KEY into sharing a number with you. For this I am deeply sorry. I regret having ever doubted ANYTHING you've ever said on the air. And I aim to hold your name in much higher standing in the coming year.

And to you and your whole mishpukha, have a sweet and happy 5768. To you, my somewhat partially goyim brethren, I say L'Chaim!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A beautiful song

See my earlier post for my crazy day today.

You know what else is as good as Bubble Tea and Indian Food for calming you down? A song that is this heartfelt and freakin' awesome...

I heard the lead singer on the radio yesterday playing this live on a radio station in San Francisco. Check it out. I love this song!!

Plain White T's

Hey There Delilah

Hey there Delilah
What's it like in New York City?
I'm a thousand miles away
But girl tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Time Square can't shine as bright as you
I swear it's true

Hey there Delilah
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice it's my disguise
I'm by your side

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me

Hey there Delilah
I know times are getting hard
But just believe me girl
Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

Hey there Delilah
I've got so much left to say
If every simple song I wrote to you
Would take your breath away
I'd write it all
Even more in love with me you'd fall
We'd have it all

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me

A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
and we'll just laugh along because we know
That none of them have felt this way
Delilah I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you're to blame

Hey there Delilah
You be good and don't you miss me
Two more years and you'll be done with school
And I'll be making history like I do
You know it's all because of you
We can do whatever we want to
Hey there Delilah here's to you
This ones for you

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me.

Life lessons from jerk bus driver

Now, I might be one of the most patient people you know.

That said... read the following and you'll imagine how I "almost" got to the breaking point today (and the "breaking point" for a calm Canadian like myself is yelling "arrrghhhhhh" at a moderate decibel level so as to not ruin anyone else's day by subjecting them to an unnecessary fit/display of annoyance.)

I am always really a happy guy, so stuff like this generally bounces off me. But, in this week of thought and reflection between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, I think it's a pretty valid time to question why some people suck. If the purpose of this week is to think about how I can improve myself in the coming year, maybe I can analyze why I almost tore my hair out like 100 times today, and use this knowledge to my advantage - if these things annoy me when other people do them to me, I certainly should never do these things to other people. :)

Anyway... here's the gloriously frustrating story of my transportation woes today.

I got up at 8:00am and was planning on getting to the Synagogue for 8:45am when the morning Rosh Hashannah service started. There are a LOT of people attending this place (2500 families) and so I kindof expected it to start actually AT 8:45, not at 8:45 (Jewish Time) which means add 30 min or so. :)

Anyway I decided to take the bus along the main road towards the Shul so I could sleep in a bit longer and not walk (since the walk is a pretty decent distance)... anyway I jumped on what looked like the right bus. I checked out the map, and it went right past the Shul. So off I go.

As we pull up to my stop, I ring the bell, and the bus is still going. Someone beside me said, "Sorry man, this is the express!" I went up and asked the bus driver when the next stop was "Downtown", he said. Ahh crap. So I was about to take a 45 min adventure, and miss half of the morning Rosh Hashannah service. I near-pleaded with the bus driver to let me out anyway. We were even at the curb AND at a stop light. All he had to do was open the door. I said something to the effect of, "I am going to be late for Synagogue, and it's right there. Is there any way you can let me off, sir?" I even had my Kippah on (so I was clearly telling the truth about needing to get to the Synagogue)... and he said, "Sorry, next stop is downtown." Didn't even stop to really apologize, or pretend to care about the hassle he was causing me. Arrrrrrrghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! We were RIGHT there.

Anyway, I stayed on the bus for the entire route, got off downtown (my relative annoyance made me so angry that I decided - after some thought, mind you - to NOT say thank you or have a nice day when leaving the bus... haha I am SO Canadian)... I schlepped to the other bus stop and went all the way back. This time I checked with the driver to make sure he was going to the right place.

Arrrrgggggggh. But, bad stuff always turns around for the better. I got to the Shul and turns out the service was quite a bit longer than expected, and so I was still there for about an hour and a half which is good.

So that was the crazyness this morning.

Now, this afternoon, I left work early to catch the bus all the way to Ocean Beach and Judah to meet some people from the JCC for Taschlich, which is a really important tradition for the holidays. I was REALLY excited to meet these people, it sounded like a great bunch of people, and we were going to chill afterwards and get some drinks and continue chatting. Sounded AWESOME. But the email said we should arrive at 5pm and please be prompt... since they weren't going to wait around at the meeting spot.

So I left super early. Rushing to get stuff done in time, I then took off and waited for the bus. And waited... and waited. Every second ticking on the clock made me wonder if I should call a cab. After waiting for almost 20 minutes (the bus should have come 5 minutes after I got there) - I gave up and called a cab. The cabbie didn't know the address I was giving him, so I had to give him another one, and jog there in the heat. Then I waited... and waited. There was another cabbie there, but he was eating his lunch and said he was waiting for someone. 25 min later, it was 5:45pm and I figured I'd better get a cab in 5 minutes or I'd definitely be too late to get there in time. It was at least a 15 or 20 min cab ride to where I needed to go. So I ran to the main street, and was hoping to flag down a cab. Just as I got there, my phone rang. The automated message from the cab company, saying my cab had arrived. Arrrrrrgh!!!!!! So I ran BACK to the place where I was originally waiting for ages. As I was running the cab passed me and didn't stop. Then I ran to the place where I was going to pick it up, saw him pull in, wait for about 2 seconds, pick up SOMEONE ELSE and take off. Arrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!

The nice security guard said he thought I'd given up on the cab, and he said it just didn't look like my day for transportation!! Haha, no kidding.

So at this point I was totally fed up. I had tried SO HARD for an hour, just to get to a place 15 or 20 min away, through 2 different types of transit, and neither worked at all. So so so so so frustrating. So I got on the free bus, ready to give up and go home, and delay the important tradition I was going to do today. Then, on the bus home, I remember they said at the Shul this morning that Taschlich was also happening at 5pm, at the place where I was going to get off the bus anyway!!!!!! Wait a second!! So I decided to switch my plans mid-bus ride and go to the other place. I got there, and it was super cool. Beautiful view, nice people, a few Rabbis on guitars, a violin, a mandolin, (hehe, it's a Reform Shul), playing Hebrew traditional songs with a bit of a jazzy remix and everyone singing and clapping. Awesome. There must have been 200 people there at least!!

So my major annoyance of the day ended up turning out well. I was still kinda arrgh though so on the way home I treated myself to Bubble Tea and some Indian Food to make myself feel better. :)

So what can I learn from all of this?

Well... don't rely on the bus if you REALLY need to get somewhere at a certain time. But also, don't rely on a Cab either, unless you plan it in advance.

But more in terms of personal interaction today... what sucked? When the dude wouldn't let me off the bus this morning. Maybe cause of some weird legal thing where they can't let you off at a bus stop that's not a real bus stop. I don't know. That's just my justification cause I am too Canadian to just call the guy a huge jerk. Also, the annoyance of being really excited for something, and planning it all out, and then it doens't work out due to factors out of your control.

The first part: well that's easy. If I don't want to cause other people the kind of strife I had today, I should be sure to analyze a situation. It may not be just what's on the surface. If someone asks me to do something for them, perhaps the first superficial reason ("Oh, this guy just wants me to make a special stop for him that's not on the route") is not the reason why they asked me to do them a favour. More likely, it's something important that they didn't say ("It's Jewish New Year, and I don't want to miss the entire service, and I don't want to walk in late to a brand new Synagogue I've only been to once before, and I want to meet some people beforehand, and so on.") People ask for help when they need it... sometimes when they really need it. And often you can help SO easily. Like the bus driver just needed to reach over and open the door. It would have taken 2 seconds. And then I wouldn't have had such a stressful and tiring morning. But he didn't, and that sucked.

So this, I reckon, is enough of a lesson in itself... that you can make or break someone's ENTIRE DAY in 2 seconds, by doing or not doing something. Pretty powerful idea I think.

And the other thing, well, I get excited about stuff. And I've seen so many of those "Life's Little Instructions" books recommending that you DON'T expect things from people, and you DON'T plan for things, and then you'll be pleasantly surprised if things work out. I have never agreed with that. I think you need to expect great things from people, and plan for huge, big, amazing things. If you do that, often these things actually DO work out and DO turn out right. So the stress this afternoon... I think I'll just blame it on the stress from earlier this morning.

It all comes back to the 2 seconds it would have taken for the bus driver to open the door for me.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

I just scored tickets to see Michael Chabon when he comes to speak here. His 2001 book, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and it sounds absolutely, totally, super awesome.

I have to read this.
Like the comic books that animate and inspire it, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is both larger than life and of it too. Complete with golems and magic and miraculous escapes and evil nemeses and even hand-to-hand Antarctic battle, it pursues the most important questions of love and war, dreams and art, across pages brimming with longing and hope. Samuel Klayman--self-described little man, city boy, and Jew--first meets Josef Kavalier when his mother shoves him aside in his own bed, telling him to make room for their cousin, a refugee from Nazi-occupied Prague. It's the beginning, however unlikely, of a beautiful friendship. In short order, Sam's talent for pulp plotting meets Joe's faultless, academy-trained line, and a comic-book superhero is born. A sort of lantern-jawed equalizer clad in dark blue long underwear, the Escapist "roams the globe, performing amazing feats and coming to the aid of those who languish in tyranny's chains!" Before they know it, Kavalier and Clay (as Sam Klayman has come to be known) find themselves at the epicenter of comics' golden age.

But Joe Kavalier is driven by motives far more complex than your average hack. In fact, his first act as a comic-book artist is to deal Hitler a very literal blow. (The cover of the first issue shows the Escapist delivering "an immortal haymaker" onto the Führer's realistically bloody jaw.) In subsequent years, the Escapist and his superhero allies take on the evil Iron Chain and their leader Attila Haxoff--their battles drawn with an intensity that grows more disturbing as Joe's efforts to rescue his family fail. He's fighting their war with brush and ink, Joe thinks, and the idea sustains him long enough to meet the beautiful Rosa Saks, a surrealist artist and surprisingly retrograde muse. But when even that fiction fails him, Joe performs an escape of his own, leaving Rosa and Sammy to pick up the pieces in some increasingly wrong-headed ways.

More amazing adventures follow--but reader, why spoil the fun? Suffice to say, Michael Chabon writes novels like the Escapist busts locks. Previous books such as The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys have prose of equal shimmer and wit, and yet here he seems to have finally found a canvas big enough for his gifts. The whole enterprise seems animated by love: for his alternately deluded, damaged, and painfully sincere characters; for the quirks and curious innocence of tough-talking wartime New York; and, above all, for comics themselves, "the inspirations and lucubrations of five hundred aging boys dreaming as hard as they could." Far from negating such pleasures, the Holocaust's presence in the novel only makes them more pressing. Art, if not capable of actually fighting evil, can at least offer a gesture of defiance and hope--a way out, in other words, of a world gone completely mad. Comic-book critics, Joe notices, dwell on "the pernicious effect, on young minds, of satisfying the desire to escape. As if there could be any more noble or necessary service in life." Indeed. --Mary Park

The Simpsons video game

Um... AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haha check out the videos. Lard Lad is in it!! From the best Halloween Episode ever!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Done Entourage, JCC and Rosh Hashannah

I finished the entire SERIES of Entourage in 5 days!! Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan that show rocks!! Anyway it's been only about 5 days and I managed to get through the entire thing. It is SO good. Thankfully now I'm done it though, so I can get back to doing other things with my evenings!! :) I just watched the Cannes Film Festival episode tonight, which ROCKS cause I was there when they were filming it!! I paused a few times to see if I could see myself. :) haha. But I did see a lot of sets and decorations and stuff that I saw when I was there (The decorations for The Simpsons Movie, Transformers, and the 60th Anniversary of Cannes banners on the red carpet!) Cool stuff.

Anyway, now that I've finished that show, I've got to find lots of other fun stuff to do, like go to the absolutely amazing lectures that the JCC has here. More details about those when I go to them!!

Also, it's Erev Rosh Hashannah tomorrow night, the start of the Jewish New Year!! Pretty fun and should be a big celebration, but it's all the start of a big serious week where you are supposed to think about all the stuff you've done that sucks over the past year, and how you think you can be a better person next year. It's kindof like a personal Jewish confessional booth, but it's a week long, ends with a 26-hour no food and no water fast, and it's only once a year. :) And you're supposed to be analyzing yourself and coming up to your own conclusions in terms of where you want to improve yourself for next year.

Ahh, it's a good life. Being a Jew, it's all about action, baby!!!!!! (Ok, yes, too much Entourage... I don't want to start sounding like Ari Gold, haha) But seriously, the most important thing (arguably, of course) is WHAT you DO. No matter what you think, or what you say behind someone's back... sure, maybe you can improve on those things too... but the most important thing, hands down... is ACTION. If there is a time where you should have helped someone out, you thought about it, and thought it would be a nice thing to do, but didn't actually do it.... this is something that can always be improved upon I think.

Anyway, expect an array of thoughtful posts this week. A nice change from the usual barrage of pop-culture lingo and over-excitedness?!?! Hehe, we shall see. Anyhoo... Shannah Tova (Happy New Year) to my Jewish friends!! And to everyone, I hope you all can take some time once in a while to think about how you can be a better person. Not how you THINK you can be a better person, but how you can BE a better person.

Ah, the constant state of self-improvement, and self-renewal. I love it. Good times.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Joel's poetic genius, and Frizzante

I talked to my buddy Joel (aka Schmuel) Zimmer yesterday, he's a legend and has just moved to NYC for his job. He had a really interesting/awesome blog post this week about how "real life" working is different from our experiences as Co-op students, and just the weirdness of setting up a new apartment and buying stuff all the time and so on. It's pretty different and nuts, but of course there are tons of benefits. I guess it's just a major change going from school to work, and we've sort of been in this strange "school/work" combo life for the past 5 years, so it's a bit hard to know what to expect. Anyway Joel is much more eloquent a man than I, so here's his post if you're interested. It rocks. Brilliant.

Also, I've decided I love this stuff: I always hated Perrier and that other weird club soda stuff. "If you want water, drink water!! Not this weird stuff!!" This was my impression. Until now!! We ordered "Frizzante" (fizzy water) in Italy like a bazillion times, and I kinda like it now. It's cool cause you can sortof drink Pop by adding a bit of juice to it, but it's not insanely bad for you. In fact, it's just water. Plus it comes in those freakin' classy glass bottles so I am impressed. Good for fancy dinners too. Nice.

My busy car rental day

Wow, today was busy. I did like a bazillion things. Now I'll do my best to describe these things in way too much detail. Actually, not in tooooo much detail. It's already 3am, I'm exhausted from the day and I've got another episode of Entourage to watch. So I'll make it (relatively) quick. :)

Ok so this morning I got up later than I wanted to. But headed off right away to the dude who was supposed to sell me a TV entertainment unit (that I wasn't actually sure I wanted anyway), but seemed like a good deal and a good idea to get that before I get a TV. Anyway I got the ZipCar and then got to his place and he said it was not going to fit in the car. So that sucked. But I wasn't sure I wanted it anyway, and it was kindof a pain that the dude didn't tell me that it wasn't going to fit in a normal car and I should get an SUV. Anyway I said no worries and took off to the Sunset area to get my awesome blue squares Ikea rug. Sweeet!!!!!!! I had to make a stop off at a bank and made a parking spot on someone's driveway pretty much while I ran into the bank. But got to the rug person's house and it was in great condition, really cool and quite big, so I went for it. Great deal for such a cool rug, and it seemed to be in excellent condition. The people were very nice, the lade I didn't meet but her husband was originally from Jordan and was really nice and I wished them good luck for their move.

Then I got a call from Matt Parrott who had been waiting for me at the Ferry Building for ages with his girlfriend Miriam (who is also awesome), and sucked that they had been waiting. So I booted it downtown, and the drive downtown wasn't bad, there wasa bit of traffic but nothing too crazy. The most annoying part about driving around here is the one-way streets and the weird intersections and FINDING PARKING SPOTS ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I got there and then found a decent parking spot close to the Ferry Building, it was just 25 cents for 5 minutes!! I stuffed as much change as I had in there, and then went to meet Matt and Miriam. Got a nice Blue Bottle Cappuccino and also some more coffee beans. Then got a muffin and some peaches, said bye to Matt and Miriam and headed back to my car with the intention of driving across to the east bay. But as I got there I got a phone call from Frank (who was at Ghirardelli Square) and Bill (who had just arrived at the Ferry Building himself!) I just realized then that I'd just walked by Bill's car and so I got a bunch of change and put 1 hour more into the parking meter.

Then back to the Ferry Building, got some bread and cheese, saw the cute Cowgirl Creamery girl again but she was busy and I didn't want to make too much of a commotion. Bill's friend made fun of me for having a bit of a crush on this girl for like 2 years and never asking her out. :) Oh well. Anyway the coffee was awesome and we had bread and cheese and honey on a bench at the water. Then I said bye to Bill and his friend and took off, driving across the Bay Bridge for the first time!!!! That was fun and, again, driving over the bridge was no worries! It was finding the entrance to the bridge between the traffic and the one-way streets and no-left-turns (I CAN'T TAKE THOSE NO LEFT TURN SIGNS ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) haha, anyway I finally found it and got across the bridge and went all the way to Berkeley.

There I went to the North Face Outlet store and got an ammmaaaaaazzinnng new Gore Tex XCR lightweight bright blue jacket with a hood, for when the rainy season starts and I am still biking to work. It is a reaaaaaaallllllly nice jacket and it was SO cheap. I love that store!!

Then off to Target, where I spent another $130 or something ridiculous. I got cleaning supplies for the toilet and the bathroom, a swiffer, swiffer refills, a massive pack of paper towels, toilet paper, Total cereal, coffee, and I got about 6 bottles of Classico pasta sauce since it was on sale for $1.99!! :) Good times. I also finally got a battery-powered air inflater for my big air mattress. It is so hard to inflate that on your own since it's a Queen sized mattress and it's pretty nuts. So I got an inflater for it and that'll be good for when I go camping or when random friends stay over and want to sleep on the air mattress. Yes, I got my favourite breadsticks there too. Even though I am not eating junk stuff now, you gotta get those breadsticks when they are hot and fresh... ohhh maaaaaaaaaaaaaan those are good.

Anyhoo, after that I went to Trader Joe's in Emeryville and got a few kinds of dried fruit.

Then... to Ikea!!!!!!!!! Yes, this day of schlepping around in the car is still going. Then I spent a good 2 hours at Ikea looking and stuff and picking out a nice paper drawer I needed to get. That was reaaaaaaally fun. I got lots of cool stuff there. Also I saw the multicoloured rug I wanted to get but it was too expensive, so I got the one from Craigslist instead. The one I got is exactly the same, just not such crazy colours.

After Ikea I drove back across the Bay Bridge and then home. I unloaded the car and dropped off all my stuff. Then ate something. Then Yaron called!! The Waterloo boys were in the city in the Mission and were going for dinner. Man. So I got BACK in the car and headed down there! Again, no worries. Easy drive, no worries, pretty quick, 15 min. But then I took about 30 min trying to find a parking spot!!!!!!!!!!! It took SO long, but eventually I got one. I met the boys, we had a hamburger and then went to a bar/chill place and that was fun. I didn't have anything to drink because I was driving, but it was cool to see the guys as usual. Then we went back to their temporary house, watched some SNL for a bit, and then headed out. They dropped me at the car and then I drove back home.

Wait, it's not done. Since I still had the car, and was still clearly trying to maximize my 1-day rental, I drove out to the Safeway store and went grocery shopping at 1:30 in the morning!!!!!! Haha insane. Anyway, it was super quiet (of course) and I managed to get some heavy things like Milk and stuff so I could drive all that stuff home.

Then... I drove home and unpacked the groceries. Then I decided I was going to be way too tired tomorrow morning to drop off the car early in the morning at the parking spot where it goes. This is about a 10 min walk from my house, so I just drove the car there and then walked back to my aparment. Man I'm tired, what a crazy day.

Tomorrow I am just going to chill and unpack and organize some of this stuff.

Matt and Miriam at the Ferry Building

Bill and friend hanfin' out


Happy people

All the stuff I got today!

Nice mugs to math the rest of my dish set

Cool couch pillow

Nice blue plater

Curtains and a contain for Muesli

My amazing new jacket!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nice inside, mesh interior but no fleece

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm on a mission... for a sweet rug

Ohh daaaaaaaaaang this is a sweet rug.

Sweet rug from Ikea, $249... ouch.

Ok but, yeah, it's $249. So... let's see what Craigslist has got...

Not bad!!!!! And only $60!!

I've never had to buy rugs before but my apartment is all hardwood floors and I should really put a rug under my bed and another one under the couch/new TV stand and TV when I get them. This one is pretty cool, 8'x8' so that should be a pretty decent size for the room here.

Either way. I'm on a mission. I gotta get some more stuff sorted out this weekend. And watch a heck of a lot of Entourage episodes while I'm at it. Let's hug it out!

Obsessions are healthy... right?

This is ridiculous. This show is so awesome and I can't stop watching it.
(P.S. Shout out to Louise for the props on my blog. And yes - I DO say "awesome" a truckload on this beast!)

I started watching Entourage 2 nights ago. Since then I've cleared through Season 1, Season 2 (all of it tonight minus 1 or 2 episodes), and watched the starting few episodes of Season 3. This is insane.

This show is so captivating it's like what Dave Matthews Band would be if it was a hilarious star-studded glorious HBO comedy rather than a star-studded glorious jazz/rock fusion band. Bam!!!!!!!

Ok yeah it's sick. And Ari Gold is hilarious. (And we MET JEREMY PIVEN AND TURTLE IN CANNES... now it means so so so so much more now that I am gloriously obsessed with their show. Fantastic.)

Anyhoo... not much else on other than work being totally awesome and super busy this week, and playing "catch up" with the 4 seasons of Entourage. :) Good times. Man, my eyes hurt, I'm watching too much Entourage. Oh well, I'll be through the entire show come the end of the weekend I reckon at the pace I am going. Apparently you can buy a "Let's hug it out" shot glass on the HBO website. I think my apartment is crying out for one of those.

I should probably get a car this weekend and go to Ikea. Haha yeah, I still need stuff. This weekend I really need to get a filing cabinet for all these papers and random important documents I have strewn (ooh big word for a computer scientist) across the house. I still have a ton of stuff to unpack, but it's all packed nicely into the corners of my apartment so I am pretending that I can really kindof ignore it for a while. When in reality, I really need to unpack a bunch more. I think I need to get some more shelf space and a filing cabinet, and fix the leg on the chest of drawers I got from Craigslist. Once that's all sorted I can unpack some more and maybe finally get some movie posters up and start decorating this place!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Entourage, Sweeeet bag, Corn on the cob

So, yeah. Entourage is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's taken me waaaaaaaaay too long to start watching this show - I finally started last night and maaaaaaan it is good. I wasn't sure if I liked it right off the bat but yeah it's really awesome.

So I was kindof inspired to start watching it since the episode on this week "The Cannes Kids" just so happens to be the show from the DAY WE SAW JEREMY PIVEN AND THE CAST OF ENTOURAGE IN CANNES when I was traveling in France!!!!!!!!!!

Need a refresher? Here's the post from the day:

That was so freakin' amazing. Ok anyway they played the episode this weekend that was being filmed when I was there, so that rocks the house. Now I have a good 45 episodes or so to catch up on before I can watch it. :)

In other news, I got an FANTASTIC bag today at work. It totally rooooocks. It's one of the famous San Francisco brand Timbuk2 bags (, they are very San Francisco style and it rocks. But the coolest part?? Not only is it a Timbuk2 bag, it's ALSO swag from work!

Best bag ever made

It is really nice, and has logos from the different sections of the company on the inside, pretty awesome!!!

I am really excited to score this bag because I really needed something to chuck over my shoulder on the way to work when I am biking, and the backpack doesn't work so well if it's really hot outside. Good stuff. And now I can represent!!!!!!

In other news, I love Corn on the Cob. It's on sale somethin' fierce at the moment (it was something ridiculous like 10 cobs for $2) and I'm hittin' that up pretty hard at the moment. Just in case you want to know what I ate for dinner tonight??!

MAN this is a random post. Anyway, I've been chillin' out this evening, just watching a bunch of Entourage and should really start unpacking more stuff. I want to get some more shelving or at least a filing cabinet before I unpack too much more stuff cause I need a place to put all of it.

I wore my new Paul Frank shirt today and Matt was wearing the same shirt - I knew that was going to happen one of these days. A few strangers laughed at us. Good times.

And now... time for some dessert. And perhaps some more Entourage.