gwalla (gwalla) wrote,

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Lunch at Pixar and other stories

Met up with craziesunshine for lunch Friday at Pixar. Since my folks had taken off to a spa in Napa for the weekend, I was without a car, so I decided to skate down there. I totally underestimated how long a trip it would be, and it started raining about when I hit Martin Luther King Jr. Way, so I would up late and wet (I'd brought my umbrella, but skating + open umbrella = broken umbrella). Identified myself to the guard at the gate, and he gave me a guest ID. The sticker includes a pic of one of the little three-eyed alien guys from Toy Story and the phrase "A stranger from the outside!", which I thought was cute as hell.

The atrium of the main building at Pixar is really posh. It's a huge open indoor space with a café and couches; the design made me think of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Maggie introduced me to some of her coworkers, who all seemed really cool (and whose names I've forgotten, since my memory sucks), and we went to the Emeryville Public Market to eat. I mostly talked to Maggie and this one Jewish-Canadian guy who was interning. He agrees with me that Snakes On A Plane will be a cinematic milestone. Back at Pixar, the group broke up and Maggie gave me a quick tour of the premises. A lot of the place is off-limits to guests for obvious reasons, but she showed me some photos of people working on previous films and pointed out the ones she worked with directly, and a bunch of preliminary art and materials for Cars. They even had little tubes of soil from various places on Route 66 so they could get the look right. She also showed me the rendering farm, which looks kind of like HAL 9000 and friends. And a big old stuffed Tux the Linux Penguin.

Maggie had to get back to work (she'd stretched her lunch break pretty far as it was), so I took off for home on foot, skates in hand (skating in the rain is a pretty bad idea, really—there's not a lot of traction and water is bad for the bearings). I walked back to the Public Market, stopping there briefly to grab a white chocolate mocha, to wait at the bus shelter for the 6 to take me up Ashby. Except the shelter was a figment of my poor memory, and the buses had been changed around so the 6 doesn't go by there or up Ashby anymore. Oops. So I ended up walking all the way home, actually further than I should have since the Public Market is further from my house than Pixar, in a pair of soaked Converse. What I should have done was walked up to San Pablo Ave. and caught the 72 to University, then transferred to the 51 that lets off a few blocks from my house. But that would have been a very indirect route, and my brain doesn't work that way, even though it would have been faster and resulted in less time in the rain. Grah. Mental note for next time I'm in that situation, at least, which I will of course forget if such a situation does arise.

Despite the wetness and toe-blisters, the trip to Pixar was totally worth it. I had a load of fun and would do it all over again.

In other news, I finally loaded some songs onto my new iPod Nano. And discovered that I had severely underestimated how many gigs I'd need to just load all of the mp3s I have on my hard drive, let alone the ones I've got on CDROM and the live shows I have on FLAC and SHN. Dammit. Oh well, just means I need to trim out the stuff I'm less likely to want to listen to. I'll probably upgrade somewhere down the line, but god dammit I just bought this thing and I'm not getting rid of it until I've gotten my money's worth.

Intended to store a bunch of crap on CDROM so I could delete it from my hard drive and free up some space. Didn't get around to it. Maybe tomorrow. I need to do it sometime soon, because I'm nearing the last bit of my 20 gig hard drive. Sheezus, 20 gigs! I remember when just having one gig of space was a pipe dream, and actually filling it was unthinkable, let along filling it just through casual usage. Filesize inflation is kind of nuts. Then again, back then graphics were in 16 colors and computers had typing buffers that could be filled up by a two-fingered typist, so there's something to be said for progress.

And so, I leave you with a really awesome fan-made lightsaber duel video. Enjoy!
Tags: diary, links

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