Monday, May 07, 2007

Conan O'Brien visits Industrial Light & Magic

Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien got much of the same tour as I did when he visited ILM. He also tried out their amazing motion capture system. Check it out!

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posted by Brian at 11:49 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Free Time, China, I.L.M., and the Ever-growing Gaping Hole of Cacaphony Outside My Apartment

Sometimes forks break. Sometimes you don't feel like eating what's on them because you're full or have lost your appetite.

Given my complete lack of preparedness for the GMAT and grad school application, I decided it would only be masochistic to force myself down that spindle, given that my job was coming to an end. (One of the requirements of a Fully Employed MBA application is having a job!)

Besides, going up to San Francisco to work at everyone's dream company Industrial Light & Magic seemed very likely. I NAILED the interview. Definitely one of my best ones at least. Upon leaving, the H.R. guy (who had picked me up / dropped me off at the airport) said it looked really positive. But two days after I saw the actual Han Solo in Carbonite, the ILM cafeteria with ginormous bay windows looking at both the Golden Gate Bridge AND the Palace of Fine Arts, and met the guy who wrote the original 3-D software I learned on back at U. Penn, I got a call saying that I didn't quite have the experience they wanted for this particular position left open by a particular guy leaving. Wha? Good luck finding an exact match like that.

So it's quite possible I'll get something there someday, but for now, I'm back to plan B, which is to enjoy the free time. My Chinese visa is ready on Monday. Luckily, China has not banned like it has, so I should be able to upload photos (I hope) while I'm there.

Meanwhile, making the extended homestay nye-imbearable is this condominium they're building right outside my window. For now, it's a gaping hole that started out as dirt, but has since been filled in with cement and ominous rebar towers. Work on the hole begins promptly at 7 AM, but the prelude begins fifteen minutes or so before when the diesel orchestra arrives.

Aaarrgh. I KNEW this was coming. I KNEW it would be insanely noisy and that it would drive me slowly insane. But the work situation didn't seem stable enough to warrant moving and having a new, more expensive lease. Plus, Moving itself ranks up there with being castrated, being eaten by Neo-conservative Republican pirahnas (how unlucky would that be??), and being stuck on the top floor of a traffic jammed parking garage, needing desperately to pee. Thus, my inaction has led to this fate.

Incidentally, I do wonder how long -- were I to run a garden hose unsuspectingly over to the chasm -- would it take to fill the hole and make a three-story deep swimming pool.

Oh well. Luckily for me, other friends are "between jobs" or have lighter schedules. Distractions abound. Tonight begins the Circuit Bending festival, or a bunch of geeks gutting electronic gadgets to make them glitch and gurgle in ways they were not intended to. This is way more prefereable than the industrial clanging, grinding, diesel engine idling symphony outside.

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posted by Brian at 12:27 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fork in the Road of Life

Forks are definitely the most popular metaphorical roadside cutlery. Seldom, if ever, will you hear anyone mention they have a "spoon", "ladle", "electric can-opener" or a "chopstick" in the road of life. Indeed, look for the shot in the Muppet Movie where Kermit and Fozzie encounter a giant fork in the road on their sing-a-long ride to California.

And so it is now that I have a fork in the road. On one spoke, I have a job interview for an R & D position at Industrial Light & Magic (I.L.M) coming up. If that path follows through, I'd wind up back in San Francisco where I had resided from 1995 through 2003. Off another spoke, I could stay here in Los Angeles and pursue a part-time M.B.A. at UCLA (assuming I get accepted), presumably finding another software job. That had been my plan except that I'm not continuing my present contract (stupid corporate takeovers!)

Then there's always the "bizarro" spoke of the fork, where I would do something random, like start a band, or skurry off to Jamaica, Brazil, China or Europe for the rest of the year.

Typical usage of forks involves using all spokes at once, and there's a good chance I will get to do a little of everything.

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posted by Brian at 2:11 PM 0 comments links to this post