Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I only listed 8 things...

1) Finally worked on the "Producer's Guide to CMIG" which is an essential part of passing off some of my responsibilities to others (Josh, Tiffany, etc.)

2) Got a duplicate of my front door key made for Stephanie.

3) Did my first full stair workout this year. Conveniently the parking garage has the same number of floors as the one I used last year so I can use the same one I did last year. In terms of flights of stairs it is 1 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 4 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 4 3 5 4 3 2 5 4 3 2 1 Sometimes I lost track of which set of 5 I'm on in the middle, but more or less this is what I do. At the half way point I switch my starting point, so instead of starting every set in the basement I start every set at 5-X where X is the number of flights in the set. It makes it seem like it's going faster.

4) Leftovers

5) Spent some time looking for a new (screen)writer's group that would be based somewhere near where I live. Not much luck unfortunately. There's a screenwriter's group that meets once a month nearby, but it's not really a workshop group, so I think I'll stick with Fire Escape's group, even if it means trekking down to Hyde Park (or staying there later on work days).

6) Watched most of Heroes- except that it was taking forever to buffer and then it stopped working altogether (along with the rest of the internet.)

7) Frustrated, I decided to read some Sandman -which is awesome and requires no buffering

8) I came back and the internet was still borken. I was hoping that maybe someone in one of the upstairs apartments would have fixed it while I was away, but apparently they don't use the internet, or at least don't mainline it. My landlord had mentioned when I moved in that the router sometimes would act up and you just had to unplug it and plug it back in again to fix it. In fact I have a key to the upper part of the house solely for this purpose. So I went up to the second floor and found the closet where the router was and fixed the internet. Huzzah! It was strange, I felt like I was sneaking into someones house, even though I was only in the stairway that the two upper apartments share.

So for somereason I only wrote down 8 things on this day. Maybe I forgot after the internet came back. But here are two things I defiitely did.

9) Watched the rest of Heroes. Sylar + Bennet = Awesome

10) Went to sleep! I love sleep.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Haha! I have reached the top of the page again!

1) Honey Nut Chex may not be as delicious as chocolate chex, but I think I like them better than Honey Nut Cheerios. Honey Nut Cheerios are just too much sometimes. Honey Nut Chex are nice and light and crispy and tasty.

2) I really liked the written part of today's Penny Arcade: Origin of CD Keys Part 3.

3) There is a technician from apple here all this week to upgrade our server. Huzzah!

4) Good student interviews

5) California wrap

6) I really really like this part from "Fever" in Cathedrals - "Richard says hello." Carlyle didn't say anything. He said the word to himself-- hello. What could the man possibly mean by this?

It's not as apparent taken out of context, but Carlyle's suspicion is perfectly over the top.

7) Used a Zipcar again today. Tiffany needed to move her bookshelf from someone's basement in Hyde Park up to her new place. So I rented a Honda CR-V and picked up Tiffany and we drove down, picked up the bookcase and a bed frame and drove it back. Part of the bedframe was too big to fit in the SUV, so we put it on the top, but we didn't have any rope. Luckily it was just the right size that it fitted on pretty snugly and Tiffany rolled down her window and held it for security. And hey it didn't fly off!

Tiffany told me about her weekend (it was her and Seth's anniversary, they saw Wicked etc.) and her day. I told her about how we blew a couple fuses today.

8) Driving is fun

9) Yet another True Blood w/ Karan

10) Those peanut butter/ chocolate cookies from mom are still delicious

11) Started reading Sandman Vol 2.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Look down for new material

This weekend I added about a weeks worth of wonderfuls. I'm still a couple weeks behind and because of the chronological issues with this blog the new material is hidden below older stuff. There are pictures of my new apartment (with stuff in it).

I really should be doing more stair training

1) Morning of posts

2) Putting together top level of Green Grocer

3) Played Mario Kart with Paul, Stephanie, Alex and Alex's friend.

4) More lego sorting

5) Some arranging

6) Even more sorting

7) Made peanut chicken. Delicious!

8) Talked with Mom and Dad. They've decided they are coming out here for Thanksgiving again and that they are driving. This is great because it means I don't have to try taking off more time from work that week or trying to fly then (which is always heinous). They'll get to see my new place and they will be bringing all the legos. I'm going to need to make another trip to the container store. :)

9) Went running around looking for a public stairwell I could use to train for running up the Sears Tower. Found a perfect one in the parking garage at the hospital a couple blocks from my place. Did a short workout.

10) Shower

11) Groceries

Friday, September 26, 2008

That fruit salad deserves every exclamation point I gave it

1) Spent some time in the morning sitting with LaBarbera in his office going thorugh his many many videos looking for ones to put in the video. It's always great when the professor has lots of b-roll for us to choose from. He is also so enthusiastic and wanting to tell you more about his subject. He's exactly the kind of person who should be a professor.

2) Ordering the Castle Advent Calendar

3) Had a whole bunch of student interviews. Maybe 5 or so? I was nervous about them at first, but once I got into the swing of it, they went fine. It was really clear to see which students were the best.

4) Coming home with Tiffany. It's nice to have someone to share the commute with.

5) Hummus and Pita

6) Mega Man 9 - galaxy kills jewel- jewel does not kill hornet

7) Riding my bike to paul and stephanie's place (Tiffany, Seth, Dana and Krista all came over as well)

8) Chips and salsa

9) Pizza and pear cider and the debate

10) Fruit salad!!!

11) Hanging out afterward

12) Mega Man 9 - Defeated Magma Man with just my normal weapon

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maybe that's why Stephanie's are always non-sequiturs

1) This interview with Matt Ashton on TBB. He's one of the guys I met at Brickworld.

2) Finished Talking to Dragons. They were fun books. This one was possibly the best.

3) Helping Aaron test the audio set-up for a conference. When I test a mic I don't just say "check, one two," that's lame. I usually just do a stream of consciousness and say whatever comes to me at the moment. I ended up telling him about the saga of our break room being relocated into a closet and other stories that are funny in hindsight. It was enjoyable.

4) The stuff for fixing the server finally arrived.

5) The Lego Castle Advent Calendar is being made available in US (for a limited time) You have to order over the phone and give them a code, but I'm super excited. This looks like a cool set and in particular I can't resist that jester hat.

6) Nap on train on the way to Stephanie's

7) Played Braid for a while. Such an awesome game. There was a world were you can put down a ring to make time run slow. Very cool.

8) Then we watch the season premiere of The Office. It was pretty good. The Holly/Kevin and Holly/Oscar scenes were great. Also the Ryan thing was good too. And Kelly was great.

9) We feasted upon delicious meat sauce

10) Ashley brought cupcakes form Cupcakes just so she could watch us enjoy them. Mine was an apple pie cupcake. Mmm...

11) Played some more Braid

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes it's hard to come up with a relevant title

1) Sleeping in a litte - but still on time for work

2) Not being worried about the semi-high profile shoot (library ground breaking) that was happening.

3) Ate my lunch on the quad

4) Got a package from mom containing delicious delicious chocolate peanut butter cookies (and a box of mac and cheese)

5) The mere fact that this lego animation job posting exists is heartening. (I'm saying this because I still haven't heard anything back from them...)

6) There was still a bunch of time after work before screenwriters, so I went to Hyde Park Produce to pick up chips, guac and salsa, and pesto pasta and then I went over to Mead's apartment and hung out until everyone showed up.

7) The pesto pasta, chips and guac and salsa were all delicious of course.

8) Screenwriters was good until I fell asleep on the couch and realized I should head home.

9) Read Talking to Dragons on the way home

10) Played a little more Mega Man 9. Managed to get to Splash Woman , but could not defeat her. I also managed to get to Galaxy man and discovered that in that Concrete defeats Galaxy. I was thinking it would defeat Magma, but it did make sense in a weird way. Galaxy man was shooting out these black holes, but if you hit them with Concrete they stop sucking you in and disappear.

Better than the Denver job

I just sent them an e-mail.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


1) Today the 174 pulled up before the 55 and so I took that from the Red Line and discovered it takes me even closer to work than the 55 does. Less than a block away!

2) Went on a cleaning spree in the office.

3) We finally had a meeting about dividing up the responsibilities in the office.

4) Had a shoot at the Hancock building. How often does that happen?

5) Sat in on a meeting between Fire Escape and Julie Peterson.

6) Came home to find Stephanie on my door step!

7) We watched House (w/ Felicia Day!) and ate fried rice

8) Then we played the us some Okami. We conquered the island of monsters and gained the power of lightning.

9) House new PI/friend was creeping me out for the whole episode and I could figure out why. I knew he looked familiar, but I didn't know what he was from. Wikipedia informed me he was the scary carjacker from the most traumatizing Six Feet Under Episode ever. No wonder he seem creepy.

10) Watched True Blood episode 3 with Karan. Because it's based on a series of books after doing a little wikipedia research I know that one of the characters is going to turn into a wolf or a tiger at any minute and Karan and I were both very excited by this prospect. But of course now every scene without a weretiger is slightly disappointing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mega Day

1) We had an interview with one of my bio professors today. It was really cool, he was very animated and it was a gorgeous day. We shot at Botany Pond.

2) Got a voicemail from MAC saying they had fixed their mistake on my account and everything's fine. That's what I like to hear.

3) Started reading the fourth book in the Dragons series: Talking to Dragons. Much better than the third.

4) Fast commute home

5) Leftovers

6) Stephanie's blog -I forgot to look at it yesterday so I got to read two posts today.

7) Mega Man 9! It's awesome, but much harder than Mega Man 1 and 2 were (not that I've entirely beaten them). On the first pass through I didn't even get close to making it through any of the levels. Twas fun trying though. It's got some kicking music.

8) Then I set myself to it and after many attempts I was able to beat. Concrete Man. He had a cool minboss - Vacuum Elephants.

9) The 2 hour season premiere of Heroes. There are always going to be some obnoxious things about Heroes, but this season definitely has a higher ratio of awesome/obnoxious than the past two so far.

10) There was a commercial for something that involved the Swiss Family Robinson sneaking in to someone's living room and building things on her sleeping husband. I was my kind of commercial.

11) Read the TWOP recap of House from last week. That was good enough for me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zip Zap Zop

1) Last of potato flag for breakfast

2) Picked up my laundry key from my landlords. I like them.

3) Then I picked up a zipcar. This time it was a Scion XB, which I had hated based on their marketing. But driving it, I actually liked it alot better than the Toyata Matrix I had the weekend before. It also had a cord to connect my ipod to the sound system. Awesome.

4) Went to Potbellies for lunch, got an Oreo shake.

5) Moved the last stuff out of that apartment and turned in my keys.

6) On the way back I tried to drop off my comcast modem again, but found out they were closed on Sundays. But then I looked at my iphone in their parking lot and realized there was a Target between there and my house so I went. I bought a whole bunch of DVDs on the cheap (both Kill Bills, Snatch, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Robin Hood Men in Tights), a new bathmat and a new front doormat, a paper towel holder, some socks and because it was right there, another divider box for sorting legos.

7) I stopped at home briefly to extend my reservation on my car.

8) Then I went to Brown Elephant and dropped off a bunch of clothes, a couple lamps, some old pots and a carpet.

9) Then I went grocery shopping at Treasure Island. I liked it a lot better than Jewel, except that the produce awas confusing because you had to get it priced in the produce section before going to the register.

10) Did some laundry

11) Talked with mom and dad

cleaning day

1) Slept for ~ 12 hours

2) Slow morning (afternoon technically) This was the first day I really had to relax in my apartment since moving in. I mean I was relaxed when Adam was here, but it's different.

3) Jimmy Johns for lunch. I love it so.

4) Mac admitted they were wrong for trying to charge me for the rest of September.

5) Nostalgia sort of flooded me as I was sitting in my apartment eating lunch and then as I was cleaning. I guess I just took for granted how powerful a place can be in bringing back memories. When I look back on the last year I've come pretty far. Especially that first month where I had very little furniture and only one tiny lamp to try and light that enormous living room.

6) So then I spent the afternoon cleaning the apartment. Not fun really, but at least now it's done.

7) On the way back north I read a bunch more of Calling on Dragons.

8) Went out to dinner w/ Tiffany and Seth. We went to a pizza place near them. We got a bottle of wine, which made me feel very grown up. We got a thin crust spinach and garlic pizza and pumpkin ravioli for an appetizer. The pumpkin ravioli were a littel dissapointing, but everything else was lovely.

9) Then we went to their place and they showed me clips from Flight of the Concords, which they had told me about a couple times before. The songs were all pretty hilarious/awesome.

10) Walking home I discovered more of our neighborhood.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I like friday

1) Lunch = Buffalo Chicken Wrap (not as good as california unfortunately)

2) Leaving work early (but I still have things to do this weekend)

3) Nap

4) There was a really cute puppy that sniffed at me while I was waiting for the bus.

5) Stephanie! Yeah, I had just seen her on Monday, but I like seeing her, what can I say?

6) We played through the demo for Braid which is this awesome game for XBox Live where you can reverse time at will. And in some levels time only moves when you do. It's crazy and awesome.

7) I was feeling kind of icky all day, but I finally felt better.

8) We met Paul for dinner at a cool Thai place by their place. I had garlic chicken. It was tasty.

9) I used the washing machine in their basement to finally do so much needed laundry.

10) While it was going Stephanie bout the full version of Braid and we played through it. When we got to the world where you have a shadow time self running around too it got so confusing.

11) It's awesome how close we live to each other.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm trying to get through these as fast as possible

1) Train not crowded

2) There was a part in Calling on Dragons "in which the plot positively curdles."

3) Bus was there quickly, despite what bus tracker said.

4) Renee had already dealt with a good deal of problem and helped me with the rest. What problem? nothing big, just a faculty member complaining.

5) California Wrap

6) Rode my bike home. This took almost exactly 80 minutes.

7) Left over potato flag for dinner.

8) Internet - Sam & Stephanie

9) Quick shower

10) Called my landlord about laundry key

11 ) Finally filled out move-in sheet/figured out most of keys

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Has it been a year already? Has it only been a year?

1) Got ready and Adam got his stuff together and then we were off. We parted ways at teh Belmont bus stop. It was really cool hanging out with Adam for a few days and him getting to meet my friends.

2) Reading Sam's stuff and Calling on Dragons on the train

3) \Ffresh mozzerella sandwich for lunch - I also sat outside while I ate it, which was nice. I usually eat at my desk. It's a habit I'm trying to break.

4) New part of Jack & Ellis!

5) Today was the 1st anniversary of working in my position at CMIG. To celebrate we went to the Med and got fruit tarts and milkshakes (well I got a milkshake at least).

6) Work day went well, even if it was long.

7) Sitting at back of train and eating leftover lunch parts.

8) Downloaded Mega Man 2 on my Wii. Beat Wood Man and Bubble Man. Used Bubble power to defeat Flash Man. Used Wood power to defeat Air Man. Used Air power to defeat Crash man.

9) Sent out a bunch of e-mails I'd been meaning to send.

10) So early this year there was some internet drama that tore about the online brickfilming community. I'm not really a very active member in the community, I only post when I have a new film to share or if I see something cool and want to comment on it. But I was aware of the drama because it lead to the creation of a new site. Well I stumbled upon a description of the "saga" which could be a lot shorter, and probably wouldn't interest anyone else, but it was nice to see what had happened, because it confused the hell out of me back in June. Oh internet people, you are so ridiulous.

Another day off

1) Sleeping in a lot. Adam was sick and we had bothe been up late, so we didn't really wake up until nearly noon.

2) Chewy bar breakfast

3) shower

4) We played Mario Kart w/ others online again. We did much better this time. One of us came in 1st at some point.

5) It was nice and sunny out. The previous 3 days it was raining all day.

6) Adam hadn't seen "The Dark Knight" yet and I had no problem seeing it again so we went.

7) Got Jimmy Johns for dinner.

8) On the way to the movie we made a quick detour by the lego store to pick up this set. When we got home we split up the bags and instructions and put it together. It's incredibly awesome.

9) Then we played Mario Kart online with Alex and one of his CA friends.

10) Caught up on the internet

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Day Off

1) Waking up late

2) Finishing application for contest

3) Playing Mario Kart online with Adam. Even though we were technically competing against each other, we were really competing against the other players, especially the ones that kept beating us.

4) Getting the application sent.

5) We had brunch at Nookies Tree. It was good and reasonably priced. Then we went grocery shopping at Whole Foods (to find soy free vegetable bouillon for Dana) and then came home.

6) It was already around 5 by this point so we started making dinner (Potato Flag takes ~ 2 hours to prepare).

7) After we had gotten part way through Stephanie showed up and she and Adam played mario kart while I worked on dinner more.

8) Eventually everybody else showed up. Everybody being Paul, Dana, Tiffany, Seth and Krista.

9) Potato flag was awesome of course.

10) After dinner we played Cranium. The ones that left an impression on me were Dana's Baton Twirler and the club cranium Sigmund Freud.

11) After everyone left Adam and I played Smash Brothers for a while.

12) Later, I posted the animation to youtube and then linked to it on Brickfilms and Bricks in motion and Eurobricks. I also watched True Blood episode 2 online with Karan. It's not really that good of a show, but it's fun to watch it together.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's finally finished!

(Click "watch in high quality", it's better that way)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Eat, Animate, Repeat

1) Took a nap after eating breakfast

2) Spent a couple hours animating

3) Walked down the street and got potbellies for lunch

4) During lunch I watched this great Tina Fey as Palin clip from SNL

5) Spent more time animating

6) One thing I did last night when I was coming back from the wedding was stop back at my old apartment for a minute to take my awesome shower head from there, and brought it to my new place, because the one that came with the apartment is very inferior. So I had my first really good shower in this apartment.

7) Went downtown and met up with Adam at the Metra station. Then we headed back here.

8) After he dropped his stuff off we went for dinner at this Mexican place just around the corner called Mi Tierra. It was alright, but I'm sure there are much better places around the neighborhood.

9) Then we came back and I worked on animating the final scenes while Adam played Mario Kart (and some Smash Brothers) so his skills would be more on par with mine.

10) Finally finished the animation. So remember back in May when I bought a lego set and attached three goals to it, so I coudln't put it together until I'd finished the goals. This was one of them. Yikes! It shouldn't be another 4 months before I finish the last goal though.

Poll Results
The Aquatobots
5 (50%)
The Skeleton Brothers
3 (30%)
Paradise Hills
2 (20%)

Of course the Aquatobots are the natural choice, they are adorable and they did live in Paradise Hills first, but I'm glad some people voted for the Skeletons. Steve has a special place in my heart.

Erika's Wedding

1) Waking up later than 7 (9:30)

2) Taking a little longer to get ready than usual (1.5 hours instead of 1)

3) California wrap for lunch

4) Successfully entered a Zipcar for the first time. I couldn;t figure it our at first, but I called their support line and someone explained it to me without being too patronizing. You just have to hold your card in front of a reader in the upper corner of the windshield (and unlike my new CTA card, it actually works through my wallet). And I had tried putting my card there, but I was waving it around frantically instead of holding it in place for 5 seconds.

I really like Zipcars, they are clean and it's super easy to reserve and pick-up and gas is included. So I adjusted my mirros and such and drove over to the office. Then I loaded up the equipment and headed north to the wedding.

5) What I didn't realize was that the highway I had planned to take was flooded for the first few miles and so I got caught in a ridiculous traffic backup for like an hour and then was forced to exit and there were no detour signs so I just had to guess what streets to take.

I tried to consult the maps function on my iphone when I was stopped at red lights and that gave me a general sense of where I was, but it was not helping me figure out if I could get back on the highway or what an alternative route should be.

So I called Stephanie, and yes I know it's bad to talk on your cell phone while driving, but I think talking on your cell phone is a lesser evil than trying to browse the internet on your iphone while driving since that require you taking your eyes off the road. She got me on a relatively major road heading in the right direction and then I was close enough to the highway that I saw when I had gone norht of hte flodding and could get back on.

6) Now despite showing up about an hour after the wedding was supposed to start, I ended up not being late. Apparently the wedding before had run over time so they were still waiting in another building when I showed up. That was nice. I would have felt really bad if I had actually been late.

7) Talked with Adam while I set up my equipment. He was a very good production assistant, carrying around my bags and stuff and helping me move the tripod when necessary.

8) We were both surprised to see our 4th grade math teacher there. Mr. Wiess apparently is married to one of Erika's friends. It was strange that he remembered us after 13 years.

9) It was nice to see all of the Dusens. I've known them all for a long time, but I hadn't really seen any of them for a while. I also briefly saw the newest Dusen, Kat, who's about a year younger than Isaiah.

10) The ceremony was a traditional Serbian one. So the bride and groom's arms were tied together and they wore the special crowns and there was a lot of chanting. You know, the usual. The filming went well. I still have to put together the DVD (it's what I'm going to work on today) but considering my camera wasn't actually attached to the tripod, it went exceedingly well.

11) For the reception I sat at a table with Adam and his brother Carl and his fiancee (they got married two weeks later) and their family friend Sebastian, who I'd met before and one of their aunts. There was lots of food (a whole bull on a spit) and an open bar (I only had a couple glasses of wine before switching over to sprite) and a serbian band and a dance floor. I got some footage of the festivities, but most just sat and talked and ate and generally had a good time. There was this mazing cake that had those wafer cookies with the creme in them as part of it. I don't understand how it worked, but it was delicious.

12) I dropped off the equipment and returned the Zipcar and then had incredible CTA luck home (the iphone helped the first leg of this.) Then I collapse to sleep.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

To-Do lists are very helpful

1) I met with Renee to talk about how I had too much on my plate and what we could do about that. The meeting didn't really end up reducing my work load, but it helped at least prioritize some things and made me fell better, which is important.

2) I got the University to pay the $150 termination fee I was charged for ending my Verizon account. Which is only fair since they didn't tell me I would be charged this ahead of time and had taken over control of my Verizon account and so were technically the ones who terminated it anyway.

3) California wrap for lunch - I had forgotten its wonders.

4) Had a productive day

5) Finished Searching For Dragons, tried working on a blog update on the train, but found that the iPhone is ill-suited for interfacing with blogspot. It's workable, but only barely.

6) For dinner I decided that if I was going to eat out the least I could do was go someplace new. So I went out and wandered around up Halsted and came across a pizza place called the Pie Hole. I got a slice with chicken and basil on it. it was incredible.

7) Played a little Mario Kart

8) Did dishes for the first time

9) Came up with a to do list for the animation. This was a list of all the 14 shots I had left to animate, grouped by background. Each one also had the number of frames that needed to be shot, so I wouldn't have to keep consulting the Final Cut project.

10) Animated three of those shots. I think they were the last of the shots involving the human warrior.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I know I know

Once more I am behind, nearly a week so. There's a number of factors, which I could enumerate, but basically it boils down to there being a lot to write and not a lot of time to do it. Rest assured, I am in my new apartment and doing fine. Work has been all over the place. My friends are awesome and continue to light up my life. I won't be catching up anytime soon as this weekend is another very busy one. Adam Dusen is in town for his sister's wedding (which I will be videotaping) and then he will be staying with me for a couple days (which I will be taking off from work). It's all exciting and wonderful, it's just a matter of getting there.

The world persists

1) Alex sent me the link to this surprisingly informative Large Hadron Collider rap. It doesn't explain why there is actually no danger of it ending the world, but it does do a good job of breaking down what it does do into fairly simple terms.

2) Tiffany was again the best thing about work today.

3) The descriptions of different types of magic in Searching for Dragons really intrigued me. I had never thought about types of magic users having magic that felt (and was) fundamentally different. In the NNN world the various types of magic (Dragon, Wizard, Intangible and so on) are all the same when you break them down. They just look function a little differently because of the constraints created by the casters. But then again, their magic is more like applied science anyway, which I guess just reveals my personal beliefs about what magic is/should be.

4) Trains come so fast at rush hour even if you just missed one there's another one coming soon

5) By the time I got up to Lakeview I was hungry and feeling scatterbrained and didn't want to have to think about dinner so I got a Chipotle Burrito at the corner.

6) Just coming home instead of trying to return the modem or go shopping

7) Northern Exposure - "A Kodiak Moment" - most episodes do a good job of blending the three stories together more or less seemlessly. This one felt more mishmash-y and all the stories felt a little off. But I still enjoyed Chris, definitely my favorite character.

8) Lego dollhouse at least look at the kitchen

9) Talking w/ stephanie

10) Downloaded Dr. Mario/Virus Buster and played that for a while.

11) Crossing something, anything off the to-do list

12) Posting an update, however short

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


1) In the morning I got a Red Eye from the woman handing them out and read it on the first part of my commute and did the sudoku and crosswrod puzzle for the rest.

2) Teaching Tiffany how to do some stuff around the office like burning DVDs and compressing stuff.

3) I tried to return my Comcast modem after work, but got there just after they closed. However it wasn't a total waste of time as I connected another pocket of Chicago that I had been to once to the big Chicago map in my head. As I knit all these pieces together, I'm realizing Chciago is not quite as gigantic as I used to think.

4) Had leftover pasta and and a frozen pizza for dinner.

5) Sent out a bunch of e-mails I'd been meaning to send for a while.

6) Karan sent me a link to watch the pilot of True Blood. The title sequence is really cool. The rest of the show is alright, not as awesome as I'd expect from an HBO show by the guy who did Six Feet Under, but interesting enough to keep Karan and me watching.

7) Talking with Adam about his imminent arrival.

8) Crossing things off to do list

9) Watching through what I had done of the animation and remembering how awesome the part that's done already is.

10) Setting up my new animation studio. No picture because I've since taken it apart. It was on my kitchen counter. It's much better than my table because I can attach the lamps right to it and it's higher so it's just art arm level and eye level when I'm sitting down, so I don't have to bend over very much.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our houses are so close now!

1) Today was my first day commuting to work and it went fine. Everything runs so frequently at rush hour that I didn't have to wait long for the train or the bus. I also got a seat immediately today. A luxury that I don't always get.

2) I spent most of this hour reading Searching for Dragons

3) Fall was definitely rearing it's head today. There was that cool edge in the air that only comes in fall. It was wonderful, it felt like I could wrap the cool around me.

4) Today in our production meeting we finally decided on a solution for our storage issue. I've been asking for that all year.

5) It was gross and rainy in the afternoon. When I got home I changed clothes and felt better.

6) Then I headed over to Stephanie and Paul's place for dinner with them and Dana.

7) Drank Berrywiess

8) Had their tasty Thai curry for the first time

9) Then Paul made smoothies for dessert.

10) We played dominoes and Hungry Hungry Hippos

11) And then watched some Simpsons

12) It had stopped rainging for my (~20 min) walk home.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First Day Here

1) Waking up in my new place

2) Watch some Daily show

3) Got some stuff at Walgreen's

4) Put some shelves together

5) Wandered about bleary-eyed in my new neighborhood for a while

6) Had brunch at Clarke's with Tiffany and Seth and Krista (once she showed up). Tiffany talked about her ridiculous time in Milwaukee on Friday. I had a Monte Cristo, which was kind of intense, but tasty and some delicious potatoes. Brunch was on me to thank them for helping me move.

7) Across the street at Beyond the Wall I bought a new shower curtain and a rug for my bathroom sink.

Want a better look at my awesome shower curtain? Here's a slightly better one. And yes, it's Starry Night.

8) Spent the afternoon setting up my kitchen. Here's what it looks like with some cabinets open.

I really like these hooks above my oven.

9) Went grocery shopping at Jewel on Broadway. It's a bit of a walk, but all the grocery stores are. It was way busier than the Treasure Island ever was and the aisles were really high and felt crowded. I don't think I'll be going back there. I've got a whole bunch of groceries stores that are equidistant from me. I am trying them out one at a time.

10) I bought a package of Sugar Snap Peas and I the entire thing as soon as I got home.

11) I then made a simple dinner of pasta and tomato sauce. I also ate carrots and watched the Colbert Report.

12) I called Mom and Dad and told them about the moving and such.

13) Put my books in my bookcase and my DVDs in my DVD shelf. Here's what my bedroom/office looks like (or boffice as Stpehanie dubbed it).

14) Put things away in my closets. I do wish I had maybe one more closet, but I can make do with these. Here's my living room, because you haven't seen it yet.

Most of the legos were still packed bakc then, I only got around to setting most of them free today.

15) My PC laptop's screen had not been working when I tried it yesterday and I was worried it had been broken during the move. But it finally deided to work tonight. Hurrah!

16) Count blockula's brickshelf gallery - check our the Nintendo characters at least

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Moving Day

1) Went down to UHaul in the morning and had a heck of a time convincing the woman behind the counter to rent me a the truck I had reserved, the way (I thought) I had reserved it. Thankfully I eventually managed to convince her to give me a truck at all.

2) When I returned to my apartment with the truck Stephanie and Dana were just pulling up. The three of us did the heavy moving - all the big furniture. We had a system where two people would carry and the other would hold the door. We rotating the door holding person. It worked out well. Thank god for the elevator. Even if it had those stupid lightbulbs. But yeah Dana and Stephanie definitely deserve the biggest thanks. I don't know what I would have done without them.

3) After a couple hours Tiffany and Seth showed up. Then we were able to put someone (Seth) in charge of packing the truck while the rest of us brought down everything. Eventually the packing job became big enough that Tiffany helped him out. By this point most of the stuff was coming down by dolly anyway. They did a good job of packing the truck - nothing fell over when we opened it again.

4) While Tiffany and Seth and I worked on packing some stuff in the truck, Dana and Stephanie went to Jimmy Johns to acquire lunch. It was absolutely delicious.

5) After lunch we packed the last bit of stuff up (legos) and headed to Lakeview. Dana drove Tiffany and Seth and Stephanie rode with me. The traffic was a little gross, but not too terrible. Whenever Stephanie and I drive together I think of our road before 2nd year.

I think that was a really important moment in our friendship. Road trips are excellent tests of how much you can stand a person. You're trapped with them in a small space for a long day and you both are getting restless and tired from driving. Stephanie and I passed with flying colors.

But yeah, this was not nearly as long. Also, we saw a flying contraption fall into the lake.

6) When we arrived at my new apartment Paul was there waiting for us. Krista showed up maybe 20 minutes later. Because we had 6-7 people unloading and because the distance was not nearly as far (and not at all vertical) the unloading went much faster. It literally took less than 40 minutes. It was amazing.

7) Everyone complimented my new place.

8) Dana gave me a Snoopy SnoCone Maker as a house warming present. I always wanted one as a kid.

9) Dana then offered to drive down in her car when I drove the truck back to the South side and then drive me downtown. This is so much better than me trying to catch whatever buses and trains. She dropped me off at the Roosevelt staion and I hopped on the Red Line and was home 20 minutes later. The other way would have taken forever. Like, I'd still be on my way back now, three weeks later.

10) We got the truck back before 5, which is when it was due back.

11) Spent an hour or two setting up my bedroom and bathroom.

12) Got Chipotle for dinner.

13) Spent the rest of the night setting up the living room. This took a lot more time, because it involve a lot of maneuvering and construction. I'll post pictures of my apartment in another post.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Communications Retreat

1) The temperature was just right for wearing a hooded sweatshirt and the dress code for the retreat was "SUPER casual" so I wore the Zelda sweatshirt that I had bought on a whim a while back for the first time.

2) The retreat was at Catalyst Ranch. As you can see from their website the word colorful doesn't even begin to describe the d├ęcor. I swear I’ve never seen so many colors in one room before. It was a really cool space, with lots of different comfy chairs, couches, cushions, even a hammock. (SleepyDave would have had a field day.) There were various toys and things scattered around the tables.(I found the few legos there were and turned them into a little llama.) Renee and I played Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots.

3) Then there was the food. Oh. Em. Gee. So for breakfast there was a few hot dishes (scambled eggs, various potatoes, chicken sausage etc.) a huge plate of fruit, and fresh squeezed OJ (and of course coffee and tea) set-up inside the room. Then out side the room there was a bar of cold stuff (bagels, muffins, cereal, this amazing swiss style coffee cake with cream etc.) It was incredible.

After they took the breakfast stuff away they put up a basket for of snack foods in the room, where there was also a fridge stocked full of soda. Then for lunch there was this incredible macadamia crusted mahi mahi, stuffed chicken, grilled vegetables, salad, fruit salad, straw/blue/black-berry shortcake and a chocolate frosted buttercream cake and some other stuff I don’t remember.

And then after lunch they set-up a snack bar that had everything from popcorn and nuts to mango slices and chocolate covered raisin and a dozen other things. I ate so much and so well. I didn’t even really need dinner.

4) There were a variety of team activities throughout the day. They all involved brainstorming and problem solving. The most fun one was the egg drop. We divided into four groups and each group got an egg, 12 plastic straws and about a yard of masking tape. The eggs were going to be dropped from 8 feet and we had to design something that would prevent them from breaking using the materials provided.

I ended up being the main engineer for my team, after the guy who started putting it together was having trouble. Even though I know I’m good with legos and such I don’t really think about how those 3-d dimension construction skills are one of my talents. I just assume anyone could do the same if they tried. It was nice to have a useful talent.

We worked really well as a team, as I was doing the construction, another person on the team would hold the contraption, other people would hand me pieces of tape or straws and everyone who wasn’t directly involved with the construction was offering encouragement and thinking up a name for our contraption. It ended up looking like Sputnik, a ball with attenatae sticking out in all directions and so it was named Sputnegg.

It survived the drop, but then there was a second, higher drop which only one egg survived: it wasn’t ours.

5) One of the nice things about the retreat was getting to know the people who are technically my coworkers (colleagues maybe?) but who I rarely interact with. It was nice to feel part of a larger team, but also in particular cool to meet Phyllis. Well, I ‘d met her before, but for like five seconds. But after spending some time with her it was clearly apparent that we were on the same wavelength. She went around testing the various chair for comfiness and collected a marker of every color for making notes. We had some good laughs too. Too bad our offices don’t work together more often.

6) The writing implement I chose was a four color pen. I used it to make these doodles:

Also I took some notes.

7) The walks to and from the buses to the retreat.

8) Got my Zipcard in the mail.

9) Took a nap during which I had a dream that involved everyone from communications + Jon Stewart poorly disguised working in the same office.

10) Dr. Monochrome's Monodome

11) A call from Stephanie

12) Packing to infinity

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In summary I'm awesome

1) I'm so glad the 171 is running frequently again, it really helps on days like this, with the rain.

2) The day at work went really fast. I'm not even sure where it went.

3) Stephanie and I are having an e-mail argument about the merits of professional sports. As you may know, I'm not a big sports fan (see Malifios' rant in NNN episode 2). It's always fun to argue with Stephanie, she's so sharp.

4) Well I guess I do know that ~2 hours of it went into my first performance review. Maybe 40% was actually about my performance and goals. The rest was Renee and I talking about more general office goals. It was really great, Renee is always really receptive to my ideas and this was no exception. It got me excited about this coming year.

Perhaps my favorite thing was actually one of the last things she said, almost as a side note. "You're really good at managing up." It was nice to see that she appreciated the times when I ask/remind her to do things. I was never entirely comfortable with that, it just seems weird to tell your boss that she needs to do something.

5) gchatting w/ Tiffany at work. Yes it may seem silly to gchat with someone who is sitting next to you, but it's generally more efficient than talking. We also then went to the break room and regular chatted by the water cooler. But then we were talking about non-work things. I don't think I've ever actually talked to someone in such close proximity to a water cooler before. It's like a rite of passage or something.

6) Then after work we braved the rain and went to Noodles for dinner. We talked about our high school/middle school teachers and their weird quirks. I had sweet and sour chiken and a sprite.

7) After dinner the rain was really coming down and I was not looking forward to walking home in that. I walked back towards Reynold's club but when I was a block away I saw one going past. "Blast!" But then I noticed a 172 bus approaching, so I hopped on that and rode it two blocks and successfully intercepted the 171 and rode that home. It was kind of awesome.

8) Some preliminary pictures of the new Power Miners line surfaced today. There's one set that looks awesome and the others all look pretty hideous. I (along with many others AFOLs) are hoping these are very preliminary pictures.

9) Did a bunch more packing. My kitchen is all but finished, I took apart several shelves and have started filling up various misc boxes as I am running out of things that fall into nice catergories. I am also running out of stuff to pack which is good since I need to finish tomorrow.

10) Downloaded the real Dr. Horrible soundtrack off of iTunes. The quality is so much better than the hulu bootleg one I had been listening until now. If you haven't watched it yet, you really need to do so, right now. Tiffany, I'm talking to you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Notice that everything wonderful happened after work today

1) After work I caught the 171 and took it to TI where I picked up some staples. Milk, bread and apples. I think it might be my most iconic grocery purchase ever.

2) Thus my dinner consisted of bread and cheese. Also a jello fruit cup (strawberry w/ peaches).

3) Watched yesterday's Daily Show. Funniest Part - Weather Forecast about Palin.

4) Watched most of The Colbert Report. (I stopped when the guest came on). I've only caught snippets of it before. That was a younger, more foolish me. It may be funnier than the Daily Show. Funniest part - "Not only is Alaska America's closest point to Russia, Alaska has Mt. Mckinley, which makes it America's closest point to Space. So That means she has space policy experience."

5) Today's awesome lego model -Evil sorcerer summons a demon

6) Then I took a nap - maybe 1.5 hours. It was only partially intentional.

7) Read the first chapter of Neverwhere. Oddly, just before my nap I had been thinking about Malifios and imaging him narrating an episode in the 3rd season and in it he was making some metaohor about doors and names. (It went something like, "My name is not Robert Vylan. Robert Vylan is the latest in a series of doors I've walked through. Malifios is a door too. My true name is hidden back at the begining of a labyrinth of empty rooms and open doors." I don't know that it's a metaphor that could actually work, but hey I was half asleep.) And doors have been all over this book so far. Just another in a long line of random coincidences.

8) Watched about 80% of Palin's speech before I got tired of it and wandered away. While I was watching it, I enjoyed the strange choices of crowd cutaways, including two of some men in suits escorting a woman (whose right hand was up in the air flashing the peace sign) away from the stadium and the ones of Palin's youngest daughter holding the baby and playing with his hair. Which begs the question, who brings a 4-month old special needs child to a staduium full of screaming people?

7) Ordered Alex's Lego AT-AT.

8) Did one last load of laundry while I have a machine in my basement (also because I had two tokens left). One of the few flaws of my new apartment is that there is no laundry in the building I will either have to go to a laundromat or use the machine in the basement of a different one of my landlord's buildings.

9) Packed up clothes and the rest of the Legos. Here is my Chicago-based lego collection:

And once again, here's the Pennsylvania part.

These two pictures make it look like they are roughly the same size, but those PA boxes are much more densely packed, so I still stand by my statement that the Chicago collection is roughly 1/2 the size of the PA part.

10) The weather was cool today. It was one of those days where it seems like anything could happen. Stephanie and Tiffany have both expressed dismay at the looming end of Summer, but I am happy about the approach of Autumn. I don't have anything against summer, especially one as mild as this one, but Fall is still my favorite. Maybe I just like wearing hooded sweatshirts.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Post 300!

1) Waking up on time - even though SleepyDave muttered aloud "I don't want to get up."

2) Signed and delivered my very last rent check to MAC. Good riddance.

3) California wrap for lunch.

4) Got electric and gas set-up.

-1) This took twice as long as it should have. I had tried to set-up the electric online, but then I got an error message and was told I had to call anyway. So I called and discovered that in their system my apartment is listed as #BF as opposed to #G and therein lied the problem. Then as I was finishing up she told me she could set up my gas as well if I was interested and I thought "awesome, this way I won't have to give my information again or call another number, how efficient!" Wrong. Instead I was transferred to another company (not people's gas) who can help you set up multiple services. The woman was clearly dissapointed when I only wanted to set-up one. And then after I had giver her my information she told me I would have to call people's gas after all and thus she had not saved me anytime, but in fact wasted some. So I called People's Gas and finally got it set up. It wasn't terrible, but it was just frustrating that something that should have taken 20 minutes took an hour. Also, while they are very efficient at doing this stuff by phone, they really need to get into the 21st century and make their online system simpler and more effective.

5) The 171 is back on the school year schedule, which means it actually runs frequently enough to be useful again.

6) Remembering to pay the electric bill, it was due today and somehow I had forgotten to pay it until the last minute. I did so by the automated telephone system.

7) Finished off the chicken fingers and peas for dinner

8) Screenwriter's was short, and everyone seemed to be in a weird mood, but it pretty good.

9) Did dishes for almost the last time in this apartment.

10) Packed up a bunch more of the kitchen stuff.

So looking back I've spent more time complaining than anything else in post which is sort of against this blog's raison d'etre. Since this is post 300, that simply can't be. So let's find some cool things to counterbalance that.

11) Here's a cool Lego island creation

12) I recently bought Prog by the Bad Plus. It's amazing. They are fast becoming one of favorite bands. In fact I love them so much, I'm going to go buy another one of their albums.

13) I had a popsicle on my way to screenwriting.

14) The weather is still perfect for wearing sandals.

15) There was a skillet that I had cooked the scrambled eggs in. It was a crappy skillet and the only reason I used it was because I already packed my good skillets. It is not non-stick, so the prospect of cleaning off the egg stuff was not fun. So I threw it out. It was old and crappy anyway. I'm very much in a purge mood for this move.

16) My wounds from my bike crash are healing nicely.

17) For work today I e-mailed one of my biology professor to set up an interview. I mean I doubt he remembers me since there were like 100 people in the class and if he did remember me it probably wouldn't be because I got an A, but because I fell asleep every now and then (though not nearly as much in that class as some others.) Still, it was a neat feeling.

18) Got a couple more boxes from work today.

19) Stephanie returned to the internet today. Even if we didn't talk much, it's so rare that we go a day or two without IMing/ GChatting that there was a noticeable absence. Also, she finally updated her blog again. :)

20) Gene? Jean? Gave me a ride home from screenwriter's.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lab or Day?

1) My Chicago Card swtiched itself over to the 30-day type. I like when my accounts manage themselves.

2) I went and picked up the keys to my new apartment (3127 N Kenmore Ave., Garden, Chciago, IL 60657)!

3)Then I went and inspected it. It's bigger than I remember (I guess it not being full of furniture helps) I think it's going to be the perfect size. I can't wait to be living there. Let me give you a virtual tour. This is my front door:

Here's the entry way, with a coat closet and exposed pipe (maybe' I'll hang christmas lights on it?)

Here's a view of the living room from the kitchen

And a view of the kitchen from the living room:

Here's a view of my bedroom from the bathroom exit.

And my bathroom:

Another view of hte kitchen:

It's hard to convey the space of it wide pictures, my bedroom for instance is rEdiculous rectangular (7 by 19!). I guess that means you'll just have to come over and see it for yourself. But yeah, it's much nicer than my current place, if a little smaller. My favorite parts so far are probably the fact that my room is carpeted and that I have a lazy susan cabinet.

4) I got lunch from the Chipotle on the corner and had my first meal in the new place, sitting on the counter.

5) Then after I had taken the pictures and figured out more or less where thing were going to go I was feeling a little sleepy so I used my bookbag as a pillow and took a nap on my carpeted floor. Now the apartment is really broken in.

6) Then I moseyed over to Tiffan'ys new place. Along the way I stopped to pick up a 6-pack of Berryweis to take to Krista's party and got myself a Potbellies chocolate shake because my throat desired it.

7) Tiffany gave me of a brief tour of her place. It's pretty nice. The kitchen cabinets and the floor tiles were what impressed me the most.

8) Then we made our way over to Krista's new place. We could have gotten there faster if we had taken 2 buses instead of 1, but we had a nice little walk.

9) Then we got to see Krista's new place and had a little BBQ. There were hot dogs and (much later) chicken and lime-y drink. We also played Hoopla, which is like speed Cranium. Quite fun as always.

10) We also took a slow route on the way back from Krista's but we spent the time talking about work which was nice.

11) Called mom and dad. They visited Isaiah (and Jenny and Leo) this weekend and were full of stories about playing with him.

12) Pandog?! (Credit:Neil Gaiman's blog)

13) Spent the rest of the night writing up my personal achievements for my first year in my position (my anniversary is the 17th) and goals for the next year for myself and the office. Renee and I are finally going to do a performance review thing this week.