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?