Monday, November 10, 2008

Nov 3rd

Mon Nov 3, 2008

Woke up early, plenty of time to get ready for work. The shower is very European. I've taken pictures (soon to be uploaded). Aditya told me that I should turn on the heater for the shower about 20 minutes before taking the shower. Don't leave it heat for too long or it will be really hot!

The kitchen is stocked with basics, so I was able to have a treasured cup of tea (Taj Mahal tea with milk) before I left. Oddly, I also chose to have a banana for breakfast, something I rarely do. This was a good thing as the pipeline folks here eat lunch at about 1pm. I choked down my pro-biotic and malaria pills with my tea (waste of good tea!!), and I was ready to go.

Angela came by the apartment to take me to work. When I asked her what time she would come by, I originally suggested 8am. However, the office doesn't start until 8:30am, so she came by at 9am instead. ("Whew!" thought this night crawler.) The clocks in the apartment were off by 1 hour, so I didn't know which were right - the clocks or my watch. (Watch was right, clocks are now reset. :-) She hailed the autorickshaw as easily as any native New Yorker hails a cab. We got in, and she told the driver where to go in Hindi. (The drivers do not speak much English.) After a short journey of about 20 minutes, we were dropped off in front of our building, a tall, dark glass building behind HyperCity and the InOrbit mall. The fare was 17 rupees (Subtract 101 from the number on the meter). The driver i not tipped.

Our office is on the 3rd floor. It is very modern, and wonderfully decorated. We are all on one floor, and the pipeline folks (Sam, Aditya, Chingkhei, and Sijo) are distributed among the pods (aka "cubes"). The pods seat about 10 people. Having the staff distributed keeps them close to production and in the loop for problems. Most of the pipeline folk sit near the windows, since they do not need to work in the dark (like lighters and compositors). In general, the whole office has soft lighting and is not nearly as dark as my office in LA. BTW, offices here are called "cabins."

Aditya gave me a tour of the office.

Lunch was very tasty Indian food. Mmmm.....

I brought chocolate to the Tech Team meeting and it seemed to be much appreciated.

I had dinner next door at Little Italy, above the Croma electronics store. The spaghetti was tasty, though oddly spicy (with bell peppers). The people sitting next to me were speaking Spanish, so I felt right at home. Yes, Jeff, you can get cheese pizza there!

Nov 2nd

Sun Nov 2

Landed at about 12:30pm at BOM airport (Mumbai). It is warm and humid, very tropical. My coworker Aditya met me as I came out of the terminal, and we headed off to the apartment so I could drop my luggage and change into some jeans and cooler clothes. After a brief tour of the apartment, we headed out to the International Animation Day in Mumbai, which R&H India helped produce.

This is a big animation event in Mumbai, and everyone was there. I met many people from the office here: Vani, Prasad, Sam, Sijo, Chingkhei (aka Sapam), Angela, and Meghna. Chingkhei put together a cool flight simulator (hardware and software). Wow, straight to my heart!

Aditya and I nipped out for a pizza lunch at Not Just Jazz By The Bay overlooking the bay. He told me that many tourists (from India and elsewhere) come to walk around the bay.

Then back to the Animation Festival to watch the awards ceremony where they showed some cool shorts and gave out awards.

Afterwards, we returned to the apartment. It took about an hour (Sun evening) and we saw part of a wedding on the way. I also saw 5 people (a whole family) crammed onto 1 motorcycle! Once there, I promptly crashed into bed and fell asleep.

Nov 1 Portsmouth, here we come!

Slept in a bit, and then headed out to Portsmouth to see the Daleks exhibit at Spinnaker Tower. Very cool!

Oct 31st Happy Halloween in the UK

My friend Rosie picked me up at the airport and we headed to Sainsbury to pick up a few last minute things for her awesome Halloween Party for the neighborhood kids.

Oct 30th

Thu Oct 30 16:16:22 PDT 2008

Leaving the office today. I'm off to pick up my luggage, then off to the airport. Rachel D. is giving me a ride. My flight is leaving at 7pm from LAX. First stop: London to visit my friend Rosie and her family. I'm arriving in Mumbai on Sunday morning. There is an animation festival happening in Mumbai that I have been invited to... I'll go if I'm not too tired.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Catching up the year (or, 2008 in Review)

Lots has happened this past year.

In January, I moved back in with parents in Orange County (now called "The OC") while I worked on what to do next. My parents are very cool, so this was OK for a while.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Books on Deck

Been a few months since I've posted... I'll try to post more soon.

I've returned to the West Coast. Glad to be here!

That said, here's the latest in books:

Books on deck:

* 101 Essential Tips WINE by Tom Stevenson

* This Is Not the Life I Ordered by Deborah Collins Stephens, Jackie Speier, Michealene Cristini Risley, Jan Yanchiro

My friend Lesley, who is also in transition, leant me her book. It is very inspiring and interesting to read.

* Complete Maya Programming volume II by David Gould

Reading this book got temporarily suspended. When I returned to the West Coast, my luggage was too heavy, so it got "thrown over-board" (actually shipped by mail). I've got it now, so I've been "sipping" it.

Books up next:

* You're in Charge - NOW WHAT? by Thomas J. Neff and James M. Citrin

* Very Blueberry by Jennifer Trainer Thompson (impulse buy at a winery)

Recently finished:

* The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

One good thing I've found about checking out business schools is that the business school websites are really interesting. Michael Watkins is a professor at the Harvard Business School. I could have used this book in my last job to help me navigate all the challenges I faced.

* The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (leant to me from Mars)

This books talks about the synchronicity of life. What is odd is that this book came up when I went to rent my sublet here in Berkeley. Later, while I was at work, I mentioned to a coworker that I had recently read a book that reminded me that I want to visit Peru. He immediately knew which book I meant! When I asked him how he knew which book, he said, "That is what the book is about." This is why I love the Bay Area!

* Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

* Transitions by William Bridges

* I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher

* Runner by William C. Dietz

William C. Dietz is one of my favourite authors. If you like military sci fi, he's the best. This book reminded me a little of Andre Norton's worlds of the Forerunners. I also recommend Elizabeth Moon for military sci fi in space.

* The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Thoughts on the nature of reality. In an odd way, it goes well
with The 4-Hour Work Week.

Music on deck:

Same old, same old. Have asked for new CD's for future listening enjoyment!

On a good note, I found that I can plug my iPod Shuffle into my CD adapter for my car stereo. Happy traveling music day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Musings on Books and Music

Back in Princeton Junction, I'm overlooking the 2 acres of woods in my sister's backyard. It is a warm fall day, although technically it is still summer. I'm downloading all of the talks available from the SIGGRAPH 2007 conference, something that is tying me to my computer at the moment.

Recently, Mars asked me what I liked. At the time, I thought he was referring to icecream, but thinking about it later in the evening, I wondered what do I really like? So here are some things*... (yeah, not a complete list!)

*Note: "Things" is my catch-all word for people, places, activities, etc.

Favorite things, or things that make me happy:
  • Having a lovely morning tea (chai or Earl Grey) with someone close in the warm sun, outside when the weather is nice (72 degrees F or higher) or inside in a sunny nook when the weather is cool, with a nice apricot pastry or bizcocho (concha).

  • Having a nice cream tea with friends in the afternoon.

  • When my niece or nephew spontaneously declares their love for me.

I asked Mars, if he had all the time and money in the world, what would he do? He said he would like to work on stopping Global Warming.

I realized that I don't have a good answer to that question at the moment. In the past, I usually would say, "Working in animation" since that is what I did, and I loved what I did.

Books on deck:

  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

  • Thoughts on the nature of reality. In an odd way, it goes well
    with The 4-Hour Work Week.

  • Complete Maya Programming volume II by David Gould

  • Answers the question of what to do once you've started your API programming in Maya. I really like this book so far.

Books up next:
  • Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships by Dr. Temple Grandin & Sean Barron

Recently finished:
  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss (see )

  • Interesting food for thought. Talk about breaking out of the box! Lots of good thoughts about outsourcing, and running your own business, and deciding what you want to do in life.

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  • and
  • The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner with Quincy Troupe (see )

  • Two good books about hard times in San Francisco / Bay Area.

    I really related to Chris Gardner's time when he was homeless. I've recently felt that weird sense of dislocation when you don't have a permanent place to live, as I've been bouncing between the West and East Coast since mid-March.

  • Miles, Mystery & Mayhem by Lois McMaster Bujold

  • One of my favorite authors. We've all got to have a little light reading in our lives, right? Ms. Bujold wrote one of my favourite books, The Curse of Chalion.
Music on deck:

Snakes and Arrows by Rush
I just saw the Snakes and Arrows tour on Monday night. Rush played to a sold out crowd at Madison Square Gardens. Amazing!

The Crane Wife by The Decemberists

Recent Wanderings

Just to fill in the gap here on my recent doings...

I spent July in Princeton Junction, then traveled during August:

First week: SIGGRAPH 2007 in San Diego, CA.
Stayed at the Omni with Domenic, my favorite roomie and good friend. Saw lots of friends, saw a lot of good talks, and spoke with many people about opportunities at their companies. Many of the folks from Laika were also staying at the Omni, and it was wonderful to see them. It was also nice to see old friends from Disney and the Bay Area.

Next: home to my parents' house in Fullerton, CA.
Got together with Rachel to practice setting up tents and getting last minute items for Burning Man.

Next: flew up to Portland, OR.
Somebody had to get my car, and since I'm not working for anyone but me at the moment, that was happily me. The flight was delayed from 5pm until 12:30am, and I got into PDX at 3am. I was so happy to get my car, and hang out for a bit with Lisa Marie. I got the breaks fixed on my truck, got my hair cut at my favourite salon, spent some time at Powell's, met one of my tenants, and enjoyed lunch at New Seasons. Then I drove down to Greg and Ona's. They have such a lovely farm, and I loved Ona's garden! She took the Master Gardener's class from the OSU Extension. I would love to do that.

Next: drove down to Domenic's in Belmont, CA (Bay Area).
Spent a week taking care of Domenic & Lesley's house and dog Pico. Pico is a wonderful Portugese Water Dog, young and vibrant, loving and nice. I had fun walking him around, and enjoyed the first quiet house with my own space since I moved out of my house on June 7th earlier this year. At the end of the week, I picked up Domenic and family, and then recloated to Heather & Weylan's in Fremont. Had a blast staying with them, and playing with little Kai. He is 6 months younger than my niece and nephew.

Next: drove down to LA, CA.
Stayed with my parents for 2 days while I packed and got ready for Burning Man. I can't find my tickets. They got left behind in New Jersey when I left since I didn't decide I was definitely going to BMan until right before I left for CA.

Next: went to Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV.
Yes, I was a Burning Man virgin, and also a Burning Man snob. My sister and I had agreed years ago that once attendance passed ten thousand, it wouldn't be worth going to because too many "mundanes" would be there. I went to Burning Man, and was hoping to find life and job direction in the desert, and maybe meet some people who worked at my next company. Instead, I found the unexpected: love. It made me realize that love was missing from my life, and that I need it, especially when it comes from someone special. I met Mars (from San Jose, CA) over a grilled cheese sandwich at midnight. Neither of us had ever ridden in an Art Car, so we set off on a great adventure. We didn't spend much time apart after that.

BMan was a whirl: DeathGuild's Thunderdome (is that really Carl acting as ringmaster in there?), snuggling in Art Cars, drinking awesome martini's on the Martini A Gog art car, popping hydrogen bubbles, dancing our a's off at 10 O'Clock dome, a gift of a Milano cookie right before the Oil Derrick exploded, watching the glass dildo being made before a new dawn with Mars, bicycling from Esplanade to Walk-in Playa to grab Mars for the Star Wars jedi knight fight out by the Man. Finding Rachel (aka Saucy) in all that jedi confusion! Watching the Man burn with Saucy and Mars and Dave and Dave's friend John who was seriously tripping on shrooms (but in a good way, I was assured later). Sitting with Sal, reading and talking about China and NYC. Talking about keeping positive about the world and dispensing with commercialism in America with Peaches, Cream, and St. Joseph. Holding on to the Burning Dog Camp's tarp with BooBoo during our first dust storm. The martini's from Burning Dog (Yogi and Jake), and their wonderful steak dinner with the most awesome new potatoes ever! My second dust storm with chai and Mars in center camp, snuggling, Mars dancing in the rain, and the awesome double/triple rainbow after. Getting a massage from Jesus. Packing up and kissing Mars at the completion of every task which drove Saucy crazy. Saucy sitting in the back of our truck and banging on our shade tent poles yelling "Shit! Shit! Shit!" Get that girl some W-A-T-E-R! Special thanks to the Teamster guy who tied up all our stuff in the back of our truck the evening we left. Blessings upon him.

Next: back to Fullerton, CA.
I can't believe that it was 104 in Fullerton, about 10 degrees F cooler than Black Rock City. Rachel and I unpacked, tried to find a car wash, repacked her stuff, and off she went back to the "real world." I unpacked, washed my clothes, and the tarps, and my dad folded up the stuff that didn't dry before I left. Visited with Molly, Noah, Bob and Shawn and got caught up on all the latest Laika, Sony, and Rhythm and Hues CG gossip.

Next: Flew to JFK, back to Princeton Junction, NJ

Oh, yeah, did I mentioned that I decided to move back to California?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Living in Princeton Junction

Wow. I haven't blogged since I started this blog in 2005. Generally in life, I'm too busy to blog, I guess. I also need to update my web page ( I haven't touched that in over a year either.

Staring at the blank page is so intimidating. What shall I say?

I've moved recently from Portland, OR, to Princeton Junction, NJ (near Princeton, but not close enough IMHO). PJ is very nice, but very suburban. Suburban is a word that means "no single people over the age of 35 live here" and "which Mercedes is yours? ". However, it is very beautiful with woods and parks.

I enjoy more going into "the City" (NYC). Sadly, since I've moved here, I haven't been able to enjoy much of the night life. I love the bustle and looking how everyone dresses so differently. The City is vibrant. I loved having an office that looked out onto the streets and the tops of other buildings. I'd love to own buildings and plant gardens on the roofs, so from above you would always know it was my building because it was green.

OK, enough for now.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Welcome to the FranZone

First blog entry here. Expect pix of my recent trip soon.