Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Train time is "me" time

It is really hard to get it through my head that, no, on a work day I do not get to do ANYTHING besides come home and sleep. That is going to have to be The Way It Is. I can't keep on with this four-five hour a night stuff, so tonight after Jenn's party that will have to be the end of the Doing Things. 

Last night I just needed groceries pretty badly, so I hit up Whole Foods on the way home. Managed to get out of there pretty affordably, actually. Some sale items, yadda.

I feel like I had something more important to say than, "Why the hell am I here blogging when I have 15 minutes to shower and get out the door?" but maybe what is important that I answer that question with an "Exactly!" and run for it : /

Oh, my final work schedule, if you haven't seen it in every other location yet:

M-R, 11PM - 10AM

i.e. three-day weekends on the actual weekends

I almost feel like a pussy for taking this shift, and I'm realizing that it will be easier than most of them, probably, since the weekend is the busiest time. I better have some kickass weekends if I'm not gonna be working lol 

The job is going well, but I don't have time to talk about it. At all. Haha, CANNOT BE LATE for the train, although I do at least have a ticket this time. "Thanks, bank, for believing me when I say that I am not committing fraud by buying my monthly CalTrain ticket!" Just gotta find the validation box...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Volunteering for the San Francisco International Film Festival

IS SO MUCH FUN. I'm really glad I decided to do it. It's keeping me really busy this weekend, so I don't have to just sit here and think about how cool my new job at Cryptic is going to be tomorrow ;D

My first day was Friday, when I did two shifts at the Kabuki. First I was line wrangling, which was pretty easy. This nice lady was talking to me the whole time and this cheerful Australian guy kept bringing me water and programs to leaf through, etc. Very easy way to start off. The second shift that night was part line wrangling OUTside (much more exciting since there is more actual wrangling) and then devolved into taking ballots and seating the late show. 

Saturday I worked at a hall at the not-yet-open Disney Museum in the Presidio. Had a hell of a time getting there, but once I did it was great. I first helped other people figure out where to go and then go to bus tables. The coolest part was that one of the brothers who wrote a ton of songs for old Disney stuff (back when Walt was around) was there playing the piano and singing. Really classic stuff, and he was a classic showman, too. Very entertaining. Lots of the songs everyone knew, of course, so it was sort of heart-warming to have all these adult cinema patrons singing along to Winnie-the-Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, etc.

Bussing tables at a cocktail party is actually more complicated than you might think. You have to be sort of aggressive with some glasses that are half full or a plate with a crumb of cheese left if it looks like no one is around, but on the other hand, you don't want to take away a glass that someone is still working on, or saving for another round of the traveling wine. I love when you can walk up to someone right when they need you, like right as they put that last bite-sized cream pie in their mouth, so you can take their plate in one smooth motion and they thank you for being so attentive. So satisfying. I could definitely see myself doing more catering-type stuff. It's really fun to work schnazzy events. 

Incidentally, a tangent: I've meet at least two people who do this sort of thing for a living -- traveling around working different film festivals while freelance writing or maybe having one main gig (at Sundance, in the case of the Australian guy) and then loaning themselves out to other places. That is a lifestyle I would be very interested in. It's really eye-opening lately, the amount of jobs I'm seeing that I think I could be quite happy doing. 

Today I met a really cool lady at the Kabuki. We chatted a lot while working the will call table together. Will call is pretty fun, except when the tickets aren't in the box. Then customers get upset (understandably) and we have to call over a box office manager *sigh sigh*

Anyhow later on I will be at the Castro doing line wrangling or ushering or whatever they assign me ;D Looking forward to it. I'm gonna try to pick up some hours next Saturday morning, I think. This is really one of the coolest things I've done in the city (as I tweeted earlier) so I want to take advantage while it's around. (Not to mention that I'm going to get a free San Francisco Film Society membership :D) W00t!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Urgh @_@ Plus: Mates of State, Haircut, Jury Duty, Cycling Adventures

Urgh @_@

So I'm running completely on sugar free RockStar right now, feeling a bit horrible, haha. I decided it would be smart to walk home at 3 am, stopping off at Orphan Andy's for some late night food, uhm, and generally not sleeping. My allergies are going bonkers for some reason. Dust, pollen, all that air junk is messing me up.

Mates of State

Were in town tonight at The Independent. I felt sort of bad because the bf had meant to make it (had a ticket and all) but MoS went on second instead of last. Anyways, I was really excited to see them. It's been quite a while, and this time I got up really close (only one girl between me and the stage) and really rocked out. Love their music, love the chemistry they radiate as they play together. They smile at each other and the whole world feels right.


I'm gonna link to another Yelp review, mostly because I have been Yelping a lot, but also because it will be a good illustration of how awesome the salon is and what a deal I got. Then I can just focus on the haircut itself.

Yep, that's the one. What's interesting is that despite the fact that it is a boy haircut, people seem to think I'm a girl now. I guess the boy cut highlights what little femininity I possess. Of course, I'm pretty sure all the lesbians are checking me out now, but that is fine. What is hilarious, is that I think I caught the eye of some tourists in the Castro today, "Look honey, a real live twink!" (Nobody actually said this, but this is the feeling I got. I could just be high on my haircut ;D) Anyways, time will tell whether I am still ambiguous or really just broadcasting lesbian all over the place.

Jury Duty officially over as of Thursday of last week. Nope, I didn't think of baking cookies for everyone until after. I could describe the trial in detail now (domestic violence in my neighborhood, albeit not the exact part of it that I live in), but I think I will just say that I actually really enjoyed the experience and would recommend not trying to get around it. That is really just me. I think for many people it stresses them out to have to shoulder the responsibility of making such an important decision and also feels like a hassle since you miss work, but it's great to exercise some critical thinking and group facilitation and things. During the deliberation phase I talked a lot, took notes on the blackboard while we compared inconsistencies in testimonies from both sides, pushed early for a vote just to gauge how aligned we were (had to be unanimous, which it was in the end). We found our defendant not guilty. The prosecution had a very tough case, and he knew it. I think my favorite part was getting the chance to talk with the lawyers afterwards. I expected to just sort of head out, but the judge mentioned that the lawyers would really appreciate feedback, so we all hung out in the hall for a bit, and I learned that you CAN ask leading questions on a cross-examination.

Anyways, I know that my experience was a really easy one (just four days a week, three hours in the afternoon, a tad over two weeks like that) and more interesting than many cases (people were mentioning asbestos trials that last for months), but I would still like to do it again. I'll never try to purposely get dismissed.

Cycling Adventures

I had planned on keeping a better record of where I've been biking. In fact, I'm considering starting a biking blog, since I am going to be doing so much of it and am really getting into it. Bicycling is one of the most exciting things I have going on, really, and it just seems like it would be more of a resource for people if I break off the topic. Maybe I will just do that (and NOT call it "Cycling Adventures" ;p)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Anime is cheap?

I was just reading this blog that says anime is cheap now. AND HOMICRAP if each slayers SEASON doesn't cost $24.99 on Amazon!! I need to make more money so I can afford cheap anime and take myself on awesome memory road trips. Seeing Slayers again would be such a great time *tear tear* YOU GUYS REMEMBER THAT'S HOW I GOT INTO JAPANESE? RIGHT? RIGHT? T_T I'm becoming a geek all over again. Whenever I have free time I feel so good. I got so much done today but I also got to watch anime and blog and read and I even when on a bike ride. Was this the most productive day EVER? So happy! Yeah, man, sometime soon I will get some Slayers and force my boyfriend to watch it with me. AT LEAST A DISK OR SO. You didn't have to be there, I promise. Slayers rocks!! Everyone should watch this show. SO MANY GOOD SHOWS!!!

More hobby, less bullshit :D

Guilty Pleasure, tra la la

It's only the first episode and she already has a crush on a married guy! YES--I mean....

Nope, this show really does rock. We totally deserve some fan service in the opposite direction now and then. I know there's plenty of shonen ai floating around, but this is completely different, you'll agree. Like that whole scene of close-ups on Claudio suiting up for work? Come on, it's so great.

And I LOVE Nicoletta. She's sooooo adorable. When she smiles??? AH! I'm hooked.

w00t six miles

On a bike. Let's recall my schedule:

2.7ish miles to CalTrain
an hour to an hour.5 on the train
8-9 miles to work

Then the whole thing in reverse 11 hours later:

8-9 miles to CalTrain
an hour to an hour.5 on the train
2.7ish miles home

So even at the most taxing of any one technical "time" I still only did about 3/4 of the ride. And it's give or take a quarter of what I will be expected to ride in a whole day (~24 miles because I need room to make mistakes).

I did make some mistakes, but what's nice about being on a bike and making mistakes is that you can just hop onto the sidewalk to figure out what to do next.

Despite a couple incidents like these, today went really well. I biked to Caltrain and back all in one go, got a little lost because of some one ways and some freeway entrances, but it really didn't go so horrible as you might expect. Of course, I'm exhausted, and that will never do, but Cryptic has showers, I found out, so we already know who will be arriving early to take care of THAT. I'm feeling more optimistic, although I haven't ridden at night yet. I will be doing that during this week, though, and then next weekend I will go south to figure out a route from San Jose. 

Also, I'm still on antibiotics with puffy nodes, so I think when all is said and done today rocked. I'm also getting work done, so that is awesome. I'm gonna do another level on this guide and then reward myself with dinner and some an episode of Ristorante Paradiso. 


Now for an orange...

Chocolate Work Day

Yeah, despite my virus issues I am eating peeps (ok, just one) and chocolate eggs on Easter morning because that is what I have done for 23 years (or this is 24, maybe). So tasty! 

But wait, there was an actual purpose to this post! Oh, I know. I was going to discuss some anime because for some reason I was being really nerdy and watching some shows from THIS SEASON (cutting edge!) yesterday. I would have taken screens, but I don't know how on my Mac...and I'm supposed to be working now. This is a quick post!

Eden of the East

Actually, this is how I got started on this quest. They promised exhibitionist boys. Oops? Did that really lure me in? I guess so. Well, I mean. I saw the screens they had, so it wasn't really necessary, but then I was looking up the show because I liked the character designs (no, not THOSE designs; jeez, they wouldn't actually show it) and the story sounded cliché as usual, but interesting enough, given the cute characters. I also like the look of the secret agent cell phone. 

Anyways the first episode was pretty much what we were told to expect! Nudity! It's amusing that it starts off in the United States and even more amusing that the girl gets in trouble for throwing things at the White House haha (She wants to make a wish in the fountain, but it's so far away!!) I will definitely watch more of this show, partly because I am a sucker for cute boys with amnesia, and...ok, maybe that's the entire reason. Go superficiality!


While I was browsing the streaming site I was on, I noticed they had K-On!, too. I remember hearing this was about a group of cute girls who makes a band, or something like that, and that sounded appealing given the cross-like tendancies it could have between something like Beck and, say, I dunno...Azumanga or Lucky Star? I was hoping sort of. And it IS high school freshman being sort of cute. And the main girl is a total weirdo space-case with no life. It could work, we'll see. 

Ristorante Paradiso

I haven't actually checked this out yet, but just read the description:

"21 year-old Nicoletta leaves her grandparents' home in the countryside to work in Rome at a restaurant owned by her estranged mother's lover. But something sets the popular and elegant Casetta Dell'orso apart from its rivals: the entire restaurant is staffed by older gentlemen wearing glasses (as per her mother's preference). Thrown into this adult world, Nicoletta must try to find personal and professional stability - things that become increasingly difficult to achieve as she falls under the spell of Casetta Dell'orso."

RIDICULOUS! And I love it!

Oh, and I learned how to take screens now, but it's too late! You'll all just have to suffer through another boring textwall! 

Back to that work, now. Enjoy your bunnies or Jesus or whatnot :D

Friday, April 10, 2009

In sickness

Today I am at home working all day because there are so many things to get done. 

Also, I am sick. Yesterday pretty much all I did was go to the doctor (the thing on my head is a lymph node, reacting to [some virus?], go to jury service, and go to bed.

I continue to be motivated an astonishing amount towards a great many things (PMI certification, C++!), none of which help me immediately RIGHT NOW. 

But let's see, I gave my trumpet a bath. It still looks like hell, which is fitting, because right now it sound a bit like hell, too. Not like it's a terribly good trumpet, but hey, I refuse to be limited. I will rock this thing (eventually). For right now I am lucky if I can hit an E at the top. I remember those days, though, and how if you just work at it, you'll be at the point where hitting a G above the staff is nothing and hitting a C off in the stratosphere is just what you do. I mean, the pros do it, right? So it must be possible ;D I've nailed the D above that C, back when I was a trumpet player who actually played trumpet, so I know it is possible for me, too. Practice, etc.

So far none of the neighbors have come knocking down the walls. I'm not sure if they realize this could be a daily event. Well, that's the thing, isn't it? Four days a week I will be unable to continue what should be a daily ritual. The plan is to bring my mouthpiece to work, I guess, and buzz around outside for a bit before having lunch. That doesn't help your fingers much, but it does wonders for your chops, really. I guess it's also really boring, since you don't sound like a trumpet, but more like a kazoo or something. I'll have to find some interesting exercises to work on.

But yeah, high, don't play trumpet when you have a swollen lymph node in your head. It sort of hurts. Go eat an orange instead, and get to the post office before it closes, and finish clearing your inbox so you can attend to all the rest of your PRESSING MATTERS.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Some good goals

Again, it's really hard to be getting excited about LIFE AND STUFF when there are things to take care of, but I've been thinking of some good goals as we move forward with, uh, LIFE AND STUFF: 

1. Obviously I'm committed to living in the Mission. If I'm going to train up to biking around 24 miles a day to work, and buy a 200 dollar train pass, then that much is clear. Why don't we take that a step further by paying more attention to local news and taking up Spanish (and not jut for a lark like in high school)? 

1a. I guess the understated goal here is my commitment to biking. I NEED to bike everyday, at least a little, and more likely, a lot. Otherwise I will never get up to doing the commute and I NEED to get up to that as fast as possible. This weekend will be a big push, for sure. 

2. The programming thing, I'm actually pretty excited about this idea. I think it will really help me gain some cred at work if I can show that I'm not just some customer service chick, and I bet it would also be really fun. Plus, what if I could get involved in some indie projects? Maybe there is some awesome designer out there who just needs a programmer zombie to put their ideas into code. I will be that guy! And I will be a more well-rounded producer eventually, because of it.

3. Let's please not forget Japanese. There are good books lying all over my room, just need some time, which I will have. 

4. Lately I've been doing a good job of this, but ALWAYS READ. Always! There is no excuse for not having a book with me at all times. I don't have to go fast, just pay attention. Novels and non-fic and magazines. Just keep reading. It's not like I run out of stuff!

5. Play tennis on a least one of my days off, if not two. Swimming, maybe, but it's probably not really in the budget at this point.

Anyways, maybe you can tell I'm feeling inspired. Unfortunately, being inspired doesn't help me get any work done. FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS. I did get my oranges, though. And strawberries! They were really cheap because they are going to go bad, like, tomorrow ;D

I'm in a good mood.

Further afield

but not by much. Today was similar to yesterday in that upon my return from jury duty I decided I had better, once again, take the bike out. I really do have to force myself, because it is, as I have stated previously, terrifying. Besides that, jury duty tends to leave me a little sleepy, not because it's boring, but I guess just because I'm walking several blocks, listening intently, and then walking several more blocks, lounging in the BART, and slumping home, so I really have to drink some water, get psyched, get alert, and then, well, get in the street. 

*eats the carrots out of her stir fry* I am liking carrots less and less all the time, it seems -- at least the frozen ones that come in my stir fry veggie packs. Maybe I should just start buying fresh veggies so I can pick what I want in my dinner ;D I'm sure fresh carrots would be fine...

Anyways, the plan was to take Capp all the way to where it runs into Mission, go left down Mission until it runs into Valencia, and then return on Valencia, but when I reached the end of Capp, it was right turn only, so I ended up actually riding down Mission to the next intersection where I had a tiny bit of difficulty turning left because one guy thought he would just go. I guess maybe I should've yielded to him : / 

Actually I had some trouble with a bus before getting on Mission, too, but I think that was actually him being lame. I had stopped and then he stopped so I figured it was my turn to go, but he start going straight away again. Not much else I could do at that point besides wait, unless I wanted to broadside a bus with my new bike ;D

So I think then after turning left off of Mission I turned...onto...Valencia, going left, because I figured it would be good to take advantage of the bike path, which it was. That, of course, runs into Mission, so I did that for a while, and then turned and came back down San Jose, which was pretty easy. Took that all the way to 22nd, turned right, had a pretty easy time taking the left onto Capp and then walked my bike across the street to my house. 

*nom nom nom* This stir fry is so much better once the carrots are gone. It's amazing. I'm almost tempted to start throwing them out before I cook it, but that would be such a waste...of yucky carrots. 

Overall, I'd say today was...the same as yesterday. I didn't sense cars being more or less annoyed by me than yesterday, and I didn't feel like I had any more or less trouble communicating what I was trying to do, either. The only time I changed my plan was because the road wasn't going to let me go the right way, not because the cars intimidated me, so I guess in that sense I did better, but I also didn't really have much of a plan, either. But that's not true, because I did plan to take San Jose to 22nd and then turn, etc., so I guess I was successful. You wouldn't really expect less than that, though. It's not complicated (like riding from downtown San Jose to Los Gatos...)

Rather than going to the doctor in the morning to see what there is to see about the mysterious hurting bump on my head (which is not a bruise), I think I will go inquire about lights for my bike, and a rack. I definitely need front and back lights, but I'm still sort of on the fence about a rack, just because I think it will make me feel like I can take a whole bunch of stuff with me, when really I want to be traveling as lightly as possible. 

Ideally I would pack some a book or magazine, my DS/PSP, Japanese books, my laptop, food, and water. That's a lot of stuff. If I were just taking trains I would actually carry all of that with me everyday, but on a bike that is way too much, even if you're lugging it in panniers. I will have to think every morning what I really want to bring. I will have at least three hours everyday (train rides and lunch) where I can just do whatever, so it'd be good to have some Japanese to study or some kind of diversion. That said, I've proven time and time again that sometimes all I want to do in a train is chill out, stare out the window, or at the seat in front of me, and think about nothing (although that still seems like a waste of time)...

Even if I pack light, though, I don't think I will want to carry it on my back. I will be disgusting enough after all that riding without a backpack making my back even sweatier. So, I will need something suuuuuper sturdy that will not fall off the back of my bike during bumps in the road, where I can keep at the very least some books and videogames, if not my laptop. Hopefully the shop can help me out with all of these things and make it relatively inexpensive. (I know it's possible to spend 400 on a front beam alone -- not happening!)

As for everything else besides the bike, there is just a lot to do. I'm nearly done playing catch up, but there is still one titanic obstacle left. There are no more hoops to jump there, though, so I just have to set about the conquering. Originally the idea was that everything would be square by tomorrow night, but having my computer in the shop really borked that, so I have to just accept that it will take longer. Difficult, but not impossible! I think the hard part is understanding that yes, it will take longer, but no, that doesn't mean you don't have to start work on it right now and bust your ass till you are barely awake anymore. 

I am gonna go buy some oranges first, though ;p The bf has me sort of hooked and I think it will be a perfect wake up tactic when I start to get sleepy later. 

Probably this weekend I will try to take a more sizable ride. Hopefully actually TO somewhere, if my lock shows up in the mail. In fact, there will be a slow trickle of packages arriving at my house, since my trumpet should get here tomorrow, and I also ordered a book (which will be written off taxes next year) for work that was recommended to me at GDC. 

Oh, and I'm gonna try to learn some programming. Ahem. Yes. If anyone has any advice here, that would be great, since I'm starting from scratch! Unless someone highly derecommends it, I'm going to learn Python first... Edit: C++ it is!

Anyways, now I'm really frustrated that I can't just get excited about this. I don't have time right now. Otherwise I'd be reading this textbook I just found, etc. Grr. Ohhhhh well. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

For a spin

Today after jury duty I decided I had better take the bike out. I already know it's going to be impossible to get up to 24 miles a day by the 27th, but it I won't be able to ride at all if I never start. I need to find a loop I can do in the mornings once I get some of these loose end work assignments out of the way, something where I know how many miles it is so I can just keep looping until my ass is sufficiently kicked. As for today, well, it went ok.

It took me a second to get used to how the gears work. It was set pretty low and at first I could only figure out how to get it to go lower, which obviously didn't help me at all. Then I realized that there were two buttons, that it didn't just loop, and that helped. Of course, it just means I was able to tire myself out embarrassingly fast, for someone who is planning on biking 24 miles a day in the not tooooo distant future.

I just took it easy around the back of the Mission today, pretty much between 21st and 23rd, I think. I'm still terrified of riding with cars. There was one intersection, I don't remember which one, where I was going to turn left, but got freaked out and went right instead. That was obviously pretty lame, though, so I made myself go around the block and do it again turning left. You just have to be assertive.

Anyways, it's hard to tell if I was annoying any cars -- one guy definitely zoomed past at an intersection -- but I don't think I was doing anything wrong. Needless to say, I'm still really nervous. Yawn, mrrf, mlah.

Only other news is that the local tech dudes changed their prices, so that while some services are cheaper, the specific one I require (and I'm sure one of their most popular requests, hence the raise) went up 20 bucks. "Gotta pay rent..." Yeah, me too : / I am so poor, but hey, my PC is back. Let's hope it works. Gotta crank on some things.

What day is it? Oh, Tuesday.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Is it more hardcore to move or commute?

I think finally being down in Campbell/Los Gatos has taught me that the one true path is going to have to be commuting. Moving down there would not be hardcore, it would be masochistic. I'm not saying that it's not possible to be happy down there, I'm just saying that it's not possible for me, especially given everything up here I'd be unceremoniously scrapping for no good reason. Oh wait, my job is a good reason.

And it really should be, I think. But you know, being so miserable this morning (and talking to my dad) made me remember that this is just a 3 month contract. I'm sure they would love to see me being so gung ho as to move down there, but isn't it also ridiculously gung ho to bike 24 miles a day? I thought so. I still think so. Let's get me on the freaking bike already. Maybe when they are ready to commit a little more to me, I would be willing to sacrifice more. But hell, sacrificing the entirety of your waking hours four days a week is a pretty big sacrifice already.

The other thing is that my concern is reliability. I don't really EXPECT my bike to break. What I expect is to be hit by a car. If I get hit by a car, whether during a 3.5 mile commute or a 12 mile commute, the result will still be me probably not being able to quite make it to work that day. And they should understand that. So, I don't know what my problem is. I'll just pack dry clothes in a waterproof bag and go with the rain jacket. Yee hoo.

I will either be the healthiest I have ever been or the least healthiest I have ever been. I think that will just depend on what I eat and the quality of the sleep I get. No sore shoulders!