Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pay Attention, This Is Gonna Be Quick

I feel as if I have been worn down. My patience has been tried in a few different ways. I have had to make the decision to not follow through with one of the main reasons I moved down to the bay area.

Making the decision to not go to school wasn’t really all that hard. Not hard at all in the fact that when you’re as “young” as I am (so say the loan companies based on my credit history) you almost get laughed at when you ask someone for $30,000.00 for school on a private loan.... twice. I think in the long run, if I keep making short films and start saving my money, when I have a chance to I can get the proper equipment and do the kind of things that I want to. All in all, I believe it’ll be much cheaper and more rewarding path. Plus, I keep meeting people that are into film and have some sort of skill in the craft. Which is good because I hear it’s all about connections and I’m thinking of investing in a little black book

I am going to attempt to update you on the happenings of my life in the bay area, so bare with me if I kind of jump around:

  • The weather has been, shall we say, Oregon-ie. One minute it’s raining and the streets are flooded the next it’s a blue bird day and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. 

  • Last weekend, my dear friend Michelle flew into Oakland International Airport and we rocked San Francisco and Berkeley like it was... 2009? We had loads of fun and Kendra and I tried our hardest to show her everything we could but honestly this city is freaking huge and we haven’t explored the whole thing ourselves. Not a very flattering picture of any of us but we were more into having fun than looking pretty.

  • I still haven’t heard back from the people that interviewed me from On24. I’d be extremely happy if I got an email asking for another interview but I’d settle for an email or a call letting me know that they have decided to go with someone else. Just so I can at least have a little closure.

  • Another thing about jobs, I recently met the the “On-Premise Manager” for the east bay area of Red Bull. A really nice guy, and I told him that I was looking for another job. I’m going to leave it there as to not jinx anything. Let’s just say that I’ve secretly wanted to work for Red Bull for ages and I’m willing to do almost anything. Childish... nah, just motivated.

  • My taxes are done and e-filed. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy about that. Which, if you ever have done taxes and are happy at the end of them, that means that you are getting some sort of return or at least don’t have to pay.

  • I’m currently in a contest trying to win some technological gadgetry and if you care to check it out by all means be my guest. The more votes, the merrier. I am currently in first place but there is still tons of time for other contestants to gain more votes, so if you are so inclined, vote daily. Here’s a direct link to the voting right HERE

There is more going on here but I currently have the attention span of a five year old. One more thing though, Kendra and I are trying to prep the apartment for more guests. Spring break is going to be... cozy to say the least. We love having visitors, so if you think you are going to be in our neck of the woods, by all means just let us know. 

Oh yeah, and if you are on Twitter, follow me. You can do so by clicking the "Follow me on Twitter" link to the right of this page.

Friday, February 13, 2009

War In San Francisco

Another quick update here. First and foremost, I’ve come to realize how quickly the start date for my school is coming up and that I still haven’t been really approved for any of the money to attend. In fact, I’ve been denied on two separate occasions. However, I have been approved for the “merit loan”, which the name alone sounds like something extraordinary and remarkable. Quite the contrary actually. This “merit loan” is, in essence, just like any other loan you would take out for a car or a house. Which means that you have to start paying it back immediately. Now don't think that I am, for one second, not grateful for being approved for the "merit loan". Apparently this particular loan is only awarded to one person each session. Quite the honor really.

Well, this is bad news to a student that would be using that loan money to attend school full time for a solid year. With being at school full time, it would prove to be rather difficult to work as many hours as he does already, barely make ends meet, and take on another loan payment....? Like any other loan, the “merit loan” requires a down payment. General rule of thumb for down payments is 10% of your total loan should be your down payment. If you do the math for that, 10% of $30,000.00 is $3,000.00.

If you are clutching at your throat right now, gasping for air at the thought of slamming down $3,000.00, then you and I are in the same boat. That, to me, is a lot of money.

The beauty of student loans is that you apply for the money to attend school, the loaners understand that you will be bettering yourself with an education and give you time to actually go to school. They don’t expect you to pay back the loan until you have graduated. Now that makes sense to me in so many more ways than the “merit loan” that expects payments immediately plus a hefty down payment.

I have high hopes. I also, thanks to my mother, have a good sense of reality and know when to stop mindlessly chasing your dreams. At least until your dreams are a little bit more attainable.

And speaking of dreams, pillows are usually where they take place. Which brings me to something a little lighter and not so depressing also the reason for the title of this post. Kendra over heard a couple of ladies talking about a huge pillow fight happening in downtown San Francisco. So naturally she Googled it and found out that it has been running for a few years now and is an annual thing every Valentines Day. Apparently thousands of people meet in the Justin Herman Plaza and when the big clock on the Ferry building stikes 6pm, the feathers begin to fly. I nabbed a video from YouTube (below) of previous years and ones in different cities, so you can get an idea of how big this thing really is.

If I can weasel my way out of work early I am going to pack my bag with my weapon and try to make it down there to, at the very least capture some video or photos. 

You can see more information for the craziness that is the Great San Francisco Pillow Fight right HERE

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dirty Martinis = Hair Tonic

What a week. My apologies for not having an update for everyone right away. With having guests this weekend, working, an interview on Monday, and our shower not working, I was a little busy.

This weekend, one of Kendra’s long time friends came into town on his way to Hawaii from the Washington D.C. Keelan and his friend Andrew were so much fun to hang out with. I unfortunately had to work all day Saturday and missed their trip into the city where they saw some crazy dancers down by the cable car stop near the bay. Don't worry, she was mindful enough to bring the Flip Cam and got some really great shots of the dancers going to town.

As soon as I was off of work I raced home and met them at Zachary’s Chicago Style Pizza. I think I have mentioned this restaurant before but it’s really worth a second noting. We ordered a couple of their thin crust pizzas and we were all very pleased. The only problem with this joint is that you seriously have to have some patience. On average, it takes nearly an hour to get seated let alone the extra time you need to order and have your pizza cooked. Needless to say, we had plenty of good conversation and with that many people crammed into a small building drinking beer, there is always something going on around you.

Later I called my friend Roger over and we proceeded to enjoy some adult beverages and more fantastic conversation. Kendra had mentioned before that she hadn't ever had a dirty martini before and really wanted one. Keelan being the jack of all trades he is, whipped her up one and she found out shortly after her first few sips that just because it comes in a martini glass doesn’t mean it can’t grow hair on your chest.

After sending Keelan and Andrew off early Sunday morning we had the whole day to ourselves and decided to do some research of our own about local climbing areas. When I first moved down here, Kendra and I made the mistake of asking the manager of the local Marmot store if there were any good climbing spots near by. He proceeded to ask where we were from and after I told him Oregon, he then replied, “Oh, Oregon... We’ll nothing around here that you would like.”

I wasn’t really sure how to take that but I’m assuming that he meant in a way to show praise for all the amazing climbing spots in Oregon and there isn’t much in comparison here in the bay area. At least, that's what I'm going to pretend that he meant. With that rather discouraging comment we decided to finally do our own research and we found that there are at least 7 spots to do outdoor climbing all with in 15 mile radius of our apartment and some only one mile away. By far, the coolest one we found was Indian Rock up in the north eastern part of Berkeley. It’s up in the suburban hills and at the top of nearly every climbing route there is an outstanding view of the whole bay area.

When we got back to the apartment we were reminded that we had a small “get together” planned with all of our new neighbors. I was actually a little nervous that it was going to be really boring and we would have nothing in common. When we walked in to apartment #3 I realized, given how small these units are, that you can have a party of about 5 or 6 and it’s going to be a hoppin party. We actually had fun and realized that the only thing we had in common with our neighbors was that we lived in the same building. You might think that would be a boring and arduous set of conversations but with all the history that this building has and how outside each of our windows something crazy is always happening, there was plenty to talk about.

When Monday rolled around, I started to get a little uneasy and nervous for my interview. Then I realized how absolutely outstanding I am at selling myself to anyone or anything. The place I interviewed for is called On24 and they are a webcasting and virtual event solutions company. Basically if you think of all the money it would take for a company that’s putting out a new product to throw a huge convention with thousands of attendees to put on demonstrations of it’s products and or services, On24 provides an alternative where you can have all your potential buyers visit a webcast, webinar, or a virtual show of your product. (examples of virtual shows pictured above and below) Pretty cool idea, especially in a time of economic crisis, companies are looking for so many ways to save money and having virtual trade shows is one way that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on how big your turn out would be.

The position that I interviewed for is basically a back end/behind the scenes job. Making sure that the webcast or virtual show is going as planned. It would only be a part time job but it pays really well and will be worth it if I get the position.

At the end of my interview, my interviewer said, flat out, that he liked me and how “forthcoming” I was. It was a real confidence boost to hear that, so naturally I had a fantastic rest of the day. Things are looking good, I hope to hear back from him very soon.

As for the loan money for school... well let’s just say that’s up in the air and we’re still working on it. If I haven’t said it before I would like to say it now, a big thank you to Ann and Tammy for helping me on all this confusing and crazy loan business. You ladies rock for sure.

I’ll keep everyone posted a little more regularly on what’s going on... hopefully. For now, I’m going to go see the musical Wicked with my friend Roger. I’ve heard it’s amazing and Roger has seen it twelve hundred times already and still wants to go more. That’s gotta say something in itself.

Images courtesy of On24

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quick Updates Are Easier To Write

Definitely not crossing my fingers but I am slightly hopeful.

I just wanted to give a quick update to everyone back home and to all those others that might care just because you love me anyway. Recently I reapplied for the ungodly amount of money that it costs to get into my school this coming March and it sounds like things are going really well.

One more thing that seems to be note worthy is Kendra passed around my name to a few people at work and it seems that I have gotten myself an interview for a much better paying job. If I get the job, it seems that the schedules won’t be conflicting so I’ll have to try and keep them both. Don’t want to jinx it by blabbing it just yet, plus if they happen to Google my name they might read this. Ha ha.

Anyway, wish me luck for that.

Looking forward to this weekend. One of our friends is coming this week before he jumps off to Hawaii. Just wish I didn’t have to work all day on Saturday. I’m sure we’ll be able to at least go out for a drink or dinner all together.

Seriously though, kind of nervous for this interview. I honestly don’t know if I’m quite qualified for this position but i am awfully crafty and creative so hopefully they’ll recognize that. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on the interview situation on Monday.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bike Rides, Vodka & The Ivy Room

I wanted to let a few of my boys know that I'm in good hands down here. I have recently found out that the little produce and specialty market less than a block from my front door has a wide range of Guayaki Yerba Mate. Cody and Ian can rest easy now, knowing that I won’t have to rely on them to partake of this delicious beverage.

Saturday was an amazing day. It definitely started off right too. I woke up around 7AM to get ready for a short shift at work and my lovely girlfriend, Kendra made me an outstanding omelete.

After work I hurried home cause Kendra and I wanted enjoy the outstanding weather on our bikes. We ended up riding all the way through the Berkeley campus and realized how much it was not like the University of Oregon. In fact, I’m sure it is double the size of the U of O at the very least. Lot’s of up hill streets on the way to the campus, and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard more whining from one person, but Kendra made it just fine. (insert winky-face icon here)

We weren’t terribly sure what we were going to be doing for our evening but my co-worker, Roger suggested we come to his place and have a few drinks. While at Roger’s apartment, I came to the realization that I am seriously allergic to cats. I’m already not a fan of cats, with the exception of a few select felines, but I seriously had snot running out of my nose constantly and my eyes felt like someone poured jalapeno garlic sauce in them. Honestly, not a pretty sight, but we still had fun. I knew later on we were going to head out somewhere, so I took it easy on the drinking, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t entertained. Kendra was definitely the life of our pre-bar party. She kept telling story after story, keeping Roger and I very amused with how animated she was. Amazing what a couple healthy shots of vodka will do to a girl with an empty stomach. (eww, that sounded like the beginning of a date rape story... sorry, but you guys know what I mean.)

Roger suggested we alleviate my waterfall of mucus and head to a bar up the street called The Ivy Room. At the door I had to use my pass port for an ID and proof that I was at least 21 years of age which reminded me of how ticked I was that my drivers license was gone. Anyway, the bar was awesome, big plush leather couches, lots of baroque-esk wall hangings and lighting fixtures. Also, there was a live DJ set up on top of a cool old dresser.

After a while of Kendra spilling almost every drop of her drink and mine and Roger’s sides hurting from laughing so hard, we made the group decision that we needed some Taco Bell. Lucky for us, the nearest Taco Bell was 2 blocks north and apparently able to withstand a missile strike. The drive through was equipped with a one and half inch bomb proof plexi-glass food delivery mechanism pictured here just below. Regardless, our $20 order of delicious mexican cuisine was delivered to us without error. And if you know anything about Taco Bell, you’ll know that $20 worth of Taco Bell is a feast of epic proportions.

Needless to say, we had a glorious night and can’t wait to have friends and family to come visit us so we can share these great bars and restaurants with them.

The last thing I must inform everyone about is another quick story about my wayward identification as mentioned in the previous post. Today we met up with one of Kendra’s college friends, Melissa, who also lives in the bay area. We decided to check out Ici, a local ice cream shop that, from the moment it opens to the moment it closes, always has a line of people out the door no less than 20 deep. After we finally got our delectable frozen dairy products, we started our journey back to our apartment. Just about 30 yards from our front door, I caught something out of the corner of my eye sitting in a little tree on the sidewalk. I instantly snatched it out of the tree, realizing it was my drivers license. So it seems, that there are good people in the world and that somewhere out there is a very unlucky underaged Pete Wentz look alike that won’t ever have my ID.

Hope everyone had an awesome Super Bowl Sunday and enjoyed all the commercials. Sorry for the mindless plug here, but if you are interested in a first generation iPhone, I'm selling one on eBay right now. Click HERE to see the auction.