August 9, 2009

Every Once in a Great While…

Posted in Ketchup, Pieces Parts at 11:43 pm by nedbun

you have to stop and realize that technology can and will prevent you from enjoying the simple things in life, most of which are free, that mean the most to you. That is if you stop long enough to realize it.

I’ve done a lot in the past month since I haven’t written, and I promise to provide many wonderful photos and stories to go along with them in the coming days. I just now unloaded my camera of 500 photos. That’s roughly 16 or 17 photos a day for the past month. Awesome.

The summer is coming to a close… I’m sad, but I can’t say that I didn’t do the things I wanted to do this time around. I had a blast and it went by quickly, but it was jammed packed with laughs and good times. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got lucky with one of my little sisters for senior year; it appears as though we have a lot in common and we will get along great. The only trouble is I actually have two little sisters since there are about 25 of them and about 12 of us… I hadn’t thought about how many people we’ve lost in a while. Crazy stuff.

I am beginning to appreciate swag more and more because when you wear it to work people can’t judge you on what you’re wearing. Dress code for work was very different compared to last year, but since I had a whole bunch of swag it wasn’t much of a decision. I think I can do without the All Access thong…. it was free though!

I’ve attempted to go shopping several times this summer, and I have been wildly unsuccessful 99% of the time. It’s sad when you try to buy stuff when you really shouldn’t be spending money and you can’t because there’s nothing you like. It’s weird because I’ve found this to be true for quite some time now… Eventually I’m going to run out of black shirts and my jeans are going to rip. What will I do then?! Shit.

Daniel Spievak, who I went to high school with, is interning at Lionsgate’s marketing department near UCLA… what a small world! He says staying at UCLA is cool, but traffic really sucks. I think he needs to get out more. ๐Ÿ™‚

Driving in the desert at night is probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I will avoid that as much as possible in the future. I suppose that being on a boat in the middle of the ocean in pitch black darkness and not being able to see land anywhere would be scarier… I don’t anticipate finding out anytime soon.

You would think that a relatively large and well-known company like Orbitz would be able to afford to get more than one song to play while you’re on hold on the customer service line.. At least it was classical music and not a Jonas Brothers song, I guess.

The Prius commercials with the people dressed up as flowers and plants is really creepy. It’s a great idea and I think it was executed very well, but it’s disturbing for some reason. Maybe it’s the trippy music.

You know those people that are really miserable all the time? What’s their beef?! I can’t understand why said person is so angry all the time. What irritates me the most is the waste of intelligence due to poor attitude and work ethic. There’s nothing worse than someone with a great mind that never gets used to its full potential because nobody wants to work with them. Sad… I wish you would get over whatever is making you angry at EVERYONE.

Going back to school after this summer will be rough… Hopefully I won’t screw everything up like I did last year. I think I’m doing a much better job of having fun and relaxing than I did last year. Plus, I have plenty of time between moving back East and starting school, which I didn’t have last year. I guess this year I can’t use the excuse that I’m burnt out because I never stopped working. I’ll have to think of another reason why I’m screwing it all up.

I can’t decide if I want to come back to the West coast after I graduate… I really like it here, but I don’t know if I would want to live here for a long time or during the “winter.” I love to travel, but it’s kind of crazy to think of starting a life here and having all my family be 3,000 miles away. I guess I’ll have to continue to weigh my options.

I had a dream a few nights ago that I moved back home after I graduated because I couldn’t find a job, even at the mall. I’m terrified that I’ll graduate and not be able to support myself or find a job that won’t make me feel like I wasted four years of my life getting an education. Maybe I should go to bartending school like I planned to two years ago.

My financial aid got cut because I made too much money last summer… I was over the bracket by $500. Bummer. It’ll be a rough start to the year, but I’ll live. It can’t be that bad.

I’ve begun to keep my checkbook balanced at all times again. I don’t care if there’s online banking! It never reflects exactly how much money I have because the majority of purchases these days are authorizations so they take forever to clear. Either way, I like having an accurate snapshot of my account whenever I need it. It helps me avoid those $33 overdraft fees that banks love so much. I can live without that fee, trust me.

I missed shark week. Damn.

I’m really excited about this travel bag that I bought so I can keep it in my car for “emergencies.” It’s basically a sleep-over kit so if I have to stay somewhere unplanned I can be comfortable with my own stuff. It’s pretty awesome, but Tony doesn’t seem to share the same excitement about it as I do.

I finally got my laptop fixed! I now have a new display & bezel, new speakers, and a new topcase, which is basically a new computer with the same exterior shell as my old one. Sweet! The only thing is when I got it back I put in the new battery that I hadn’t opened since I got it for my birthday in April and it would randomly shut off whenever I moved it. Of course, I took it back to the store assuming it would be an easy fix. As it turns out, the numbnuts that changed my battery connector didn’t plug it in all the way so it was loose. As a result, whenever the computer was moved, it would wiggle loose enough to kill the power. Luckily, it was a quick fix and did not require re-sending my computer out. Great! Hopefully any other problems will arise before my Apple Care expires in October. I’m nervous about that.

I am very tan.

That is all.

July 21, 2009

Five trips to the beach over two weeks is not enough.

Posted in Ketchup at 12:35 am by nedbun

Sandy Knoll

So, last weekend I went to Oxnard beach both Saturday and Sunday. This weekend I only went on Saturday. It’s a little bit of a drive, but it’s a really nice, clean, practically deserted beach. Gorgeous. Plus, dogs are allowed. No losses there. It’s the kind of beach you see in the movies… there’s grass and a lot of trees just before you get to the beach. I discovered on Saturday that we were supposed to pay for parking.. I hadn’t paid the other times I went. Oops. It’s ok though because we found a great hidden area with FREE parking that’s a closer walk to our favorite part of the beach. Again, can’t lose.

Sandy Knoll 2The first Saturday I went, I only applied sun block once in the 4 hours I was there. Bad news bears. On Sunday I felt fine but I was getting more sun so it probably didn’t help the already developing sunburn on my shoulder. It’s hard to tell, at least for me, when I need to reapply sunblock because the breeze is so cool from the ocean that you can just bearly feel the heat of the sun on your skin. Needless to say, Monday morning I was hurting and nothing was going to help. I got some aloe gel and kept it in the refrigerator so it was nice and cold when I applied it; at home, at work, in the car… It was pretty annoying at first but it prevented me from molting like a parrot in the following days. I did, however get a pretty nice tan over my 5 visits to Oxnard Beach. Unusual for me, but fulfilling nonetheless.

QuinceneraWhen I first arrived last Saturday… You’ll never guess what I saw. Precisely, Robin. A quinceรฑera court taking photos at the beach. How classy. It would actually make for some gorgeous photos. It made my day.

Marina BackyardOxnard is a marina town. Great sea food and even better backyards. Imagine parking your boat in your backyard and being able to jump in your boat and take off directly to the beach. It’s ridiculous how gorgeous these houses are. I really should get a better photo… Maybe I purposely didn’t so I wouldn’t get arrested for trespassing and go into a heavy depression… We’ll see what happens next time I go over there. Either way this area is really great and has cooler weather than in the valley. No losses yet.

Joy&IJoy, Jeff, Alaska and I went on Saturday for some afternoon fun. We had a lot of fun with Alaska chasing each other around in the water and playing with other dogs on the beach. I’ve never heard of a dog beach on the east coast… why is that?

Alaska at the Beach

We played frisbee, catch, fetch, and splashed each other with water. Alaska had a great time and we really got a work out from running around with him in the sand. It was kind of impossible to keep our towels clean and sandless with his wet, sandy paws everywhere, but in the end we didn’t spend any time lying down soaking up sun.ย We were there for a few hours even though we really didn’t get there until well into the afternoon. We spent the morning cleaning up around the house. Joy and I discovered some really old chicken in the freezer from an old roommate that was living here when I left last summer.. you can fill in the “Best If Used By:” dates from there.

Alaska & IJumping for Joy

Jeff and Joy obviously had a good time. Alaska and I are buds except he has an obsession with attacking and trying to eat my right foot and hand. I have no idea why.

Alaska Backpack

On our way home from our adventures at the beach, we decided that Alaska should help carry something since our hands were full. Rightfully, it was his turn to carry his toys to the car. I will admit, he looks cute with a backpack on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today was a good Monday. I straightened my hair on Saturday so I got the usual “I didn’t even recognize you” responses, among others. I cut about 3″ off my hair. I guess when I wash it and it’s back to being curly I’ll be able to assess the actual damage I’ve done.. Right now, it doesn’t seem like I’ve lost very much. Hopefully I won’t be too depressed at how short it really is.

Do I really look better with straight hair? I don’t know if I can decipher that there’s a substantial difference.. I guess others would argue otherwise.

Today I put on a pair of pants that used to be pretty loose on me. They are no longer so. I wonder if I shrunk them in the permanent press cycle or if I’ve gained weight. I don’t feel like I’ve gained any weight so I don’t think that’s the issue, but what else could it be really?

Apparently we’re going to get slammed with work tomorrow. We’ll see what they throw at me now. I say, “bring it.” ย  ย  ๐Ÿ˜›

July 9, 2009

and then… mustard.

Posted in Ketchup at 9:38 pm by nedbun

Fourth of July weekend was pretty awesome. I was so exhausted the whole week that I was anxiously anticipating my Friday off for the holiday. The long weekend did me well. The weather finally got warm enough for me to make it to the beach, although I wasn’t wearing a swim suit this time, just hanging out.

On Friday my day off Tony and I decided to go to the beach… but we were hungry. We decided to eat breakfast at Cole’s, a historical French restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately for the beach, the French-dipped sandwiches we had there left us comatose well into the afternoon. We had tried Philippe’s French-dipped sandwiches a few weeks back, but we decided that we liked Cole’s better. Both, however, had equally poignant, nasal clearing, delicious dijon mustard made in-house. I’ll have to buy some before I leave so I can eat it when I have the flu. I swear it will work better than Vick’s.

Instead of the beach… Tony and I were both equally devastated about Michael Jackson’s sudden death the week prior. We had stopped by his family compound in Encino, which is about 10 minutes from my house, several times and to his star on the walk of fame in Hollywood. I will never forget hearing that news… My heart sank so low, I couldn’t even believe it. A call to his production manager from one of the salesmen at work was what it took for me to actually believe it. I was flooded with phone calls, texts, e-mails and co-workers at my desk. I didn’t know that everyone knew what Michael meant to me, what the cancellation of the shows and the end of such a powerful legacy really meant to me. It was mind-boggling. I suppose it’s true that I really did love him that much. I kept it together at work, but as soon as I got into the car the tears started to rain and I couldn’t stop the whole hour home.

I’ve thought about getting the souvenir ticket instead of a refund, but I have yet to really decide that. I’ve gotten really annoyed with all the rash comments about the situation regarding the allegations in the 90’s. It’s ridiculous the measures that people will go to in order to feel like they’ve put someone down. It’s saddening, frankly, that people find that necessary and continue to do it on a daily basis.

MJStar2

Michael’s star on the walk of fame was jam packed with people, flowers, letters, photos, and other memorabilia. It really got me choked up.MJStarJoe O’Neil had a ticket to the memorial service, but I decided that I couldn’t afford to miss a day of work for a crazy day like that… Much to my dismay, I hadn’t kept up with the lineup for the event and was very regretful of my decision once I found out that Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey would be there to pay tribute. After it all, I wish I would have gone, but I don’t think I’ll regret getting paid for that day when my paycheck arrives…

Regardless, the t-shirts from the tour are only $30 so I will definitely be buying one of those, if not 2 or 3.

Rest in Peace, Michael, we will always love you and miss you.

Santa Monica Sunset

For the 4th of July, we decided to watch the fireworks at the beach in Santa Monica, which was awesome because we got to see several shows from the beach from varying distances.

FireworksI won’t lie and say that we were close because we really weren’t, but it was breathtaking to see fireworks over the ocean. I would do it again in a heartbeat. At one point, several of the shows went into their grand finales and the sky was filled with colors. The reflections on the water were one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I love the beach. I love it I love it I love it.

PCHOn Sunday, we made a trip up to Malibu, which is easily the most gorgeous place I’ve ever been to. ย It’s cool temperatures, varied landscape, great seafood and beautiful beaches got me. Of course, I made sure to stop by Pepperdine University, one of Stephanie’s potential candidates for law school once she graduates from Penn State next spring. It’s a gorgeous campus with a giant library that overlooks the ocean. I mean what more could you want from a library. It’s bad enough you’ll be studying all the time, why not study by the beach? I say, hell yes.PepperdineThe university’s sign just past the huge library that I couldn’t get a picture of, but that’s what google is for, people.

Steph's Dorm

This is Stephanie’s future dormitory; a great big mansion overlooking the ocean with absolutely NO distractions. Oprah and Cher have lived in this home (according to Tony). This is a big step up from McElwain Hall at Penn State.

Getty Villa

Finally, this is where Stephanie will spend her weekends; the Getty Villa. It’s an addition to the main Getty Museum in Los Angeles in a beautiful villa on the Pacific Coast Highway, which follows the Pacific coastline. I haven’t been here yet, but I will. I’m sure I will want to move in just as I did with the other museum.

Malibu GasYes, even the gas stations in Malibu are gorgeous. This is, of course, why celebrities live here including but not limited to Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Mel Gibson, and Britney Spears. The Malibu high school also has dolphins on its facade. How cool is that?

I would say it was a good weekend, wouldn’t you? Maybe you’d say it was great. ๐Ÿ˜›

The rest of the ketchup.

Posted in Beginnings, Ketchup at 8:34 pm by nedbun

Home

Actually, I have more animal room mates than human ones. They were all pretty awesome until I found out 2 of the 3 cats had fleas… and then it became 3 cats with fleas.

Kitty

Kitty is a pretty awesome cat. She talks to you when you call her name and she is very verbal about how she’s feeling pretty much all the time. It can get annoying sometimes when she’s had a bad day and it’s 3 am because she does not hesitate to tell you about it regardless. She’s gotten very skinny since Flake and Miko have been preying on her food like vultures, although I will say that she puts up a really good fight or at least it seems like it based on the giant balls of ripped out hair left over after the wrestling matches…

Flake

Flake is too cool for school. He’s got ‘tude and he doesn’t give a rat’s ass if you like it or not. He’s sweet when he wants to be, but his main mission is to BUST OUT. He will stop at nothing to get outside. Continually he has forced his way between my window shutters and popped off my screen to freedom. I’m not sure why he is so obsessed with going outside, but this guy is on a mission and I’m clearly in the way. He was very welcoming to me when I first arrived, although we haven’t been such great friends since he’s been exiled from my room due to fleas.

Miko

Miko is the best. He’s a big fluffy cat with an equally ebullient personality. We fell in love the second we saw each other and we’ve been buds ever since. Miko will assume his “pet me” position anytime anyplace and at the drop of a dime. This does, however, put him in danger at night because he likes to sprawl out right outside my door. I have on more than one occasion stepped on him in the hallway in the middle of the night. Luckily, he has enough hair that I think the damage was negligible.

Alaska

Alaska is awesome. He’s a german shepherd, husky mix, which makes him HUGE. He’s lovable and very vibrant. He often passes out on my floor with his eyes open. He likes to lick the lotion off my legs, which in turn give me hives, but I love him all the same.

On the human side of things, I have 3 room mates; Joy, Myla, and Brant. Joy is the “owner” of the house. She’s 24, a financial analyst for Ernst & Young, and awesome. We get along great. Myla is an aspiring actress from Colorado who teaches yoga on the side. I’m not really sure what that means, but that’s what I know. Brant is a guy. I don’t know anything about him other than the fact that he’s from Michigan and cuts his bangs occasionally over the sink in our bathroom, which is… annoying. They’re pretty cool overall. My room is a lot bigger than last summer so I have a nice big bed, which I appreciate a lot. The house is cozy and in a quiet neighborhood. There’s always parking, flowers, and a nice little back yard to chase Alaska in.

I have found that if you look hard enough anywhere you can find a good deal for a great place. People always go on and on about how expensive everything is, but I think they just don’t look hard enough or they don’t realize the difference between a scam and a great deal. Why don’t people get it?

From conversations with Joy, her parents and her are looking to sell the house so it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to live here if I decide to move out here next summer. We’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few weeks ago, I suddenly had a craving for flan… and I wasn’t in the mood to go find some so I made it myself. It came out pretty well except that I didn’t let it cool for long enough so it didn’t hold its shape as well as it should have. The next one I made (the following day) I left in the refrigerator overnight so it came out awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Flan

It was truly delicious.

P.S. I sent this photo to my uncle. He was ecstatic to discover that I hadn’t become a whale since I saw him 2 years ago. Not even a cow, a whale.

Posted in Beginnings, Education, Ketchup at 7:57 pm by nedbun

I am beginning to realize how much work this is going to be… but I’ll do my best to catch up before the summer is over (I’m starting to freak out at how close that is).

Work

Working at All Access Staging & Productions has been pretty kick ass. I came in to a very welcoming atmosphere where I was given responsibilities pretty quickly and tested on many skill levels. I feel that, despite the opinion of many, my education has prepared me immensely for this job. The high-paced environment and wealth of knowledge that needs to be at hand at any given time is something that I’ve been trained to do very well at CMU. It’s incredible when I think about where I would be if it weren’t for all the advancements and growth I’ve made since I started school.

All Access

The front of the building is ornamented with a giant aluminum sculpture, that which they call the “Madonna Tree.” It was pretty predictable since I had already visited Tait Towers and seen the “landscaping” there, although I have to admit I like this better.

The company is divided between two buildings; Fabrication & Operations and Rentals. My “office” is in this building, which is the main building for the company. The small upstairs portion of the building houses the accounting department and the CEO’s, Clive Forrester, office. Clive, who is a Brit, is pretty awesome and very personable. He’s the kind of guy you want to work for. Also, as a side note, he has a treadmill set into the floor under his desk, as do several of those who work in the accounting department. It’s kind of odd to think of it at first, but it’s pretty cool if you’re into that kind of thing.

My Desk

Anyway, downstairs in the main building are two designated set-up areas, storage, the shop floor, and the production offices where my “office” is. This summer I got my own company computer although I don’t have my own version of Vectorworks… just a viewer, which sucks in a time crunch, but I don’t like Vectorworks anyway…

Of course, I decorated my desk with some Married to the Sea comics, my Adam West photo, and two of my favorite albums. I won’t lie, most of these are recycled from last summer.ย (BY THE WAY, that is my snazzy new polka dot lunchbox! I have been looking for a good lunchbox for a while now. There it is. No more plastic bag lunches for me!)

I’ve had plenty to do from day one. A week into my internship, one of my bosses went on vacation for 2 weeks… It was a little odd to have the shift in command happen so quickly, but it really gave me a chance to get to know all the guys on the shop floor and everyone else in the building that I may need to talk to. These days, I’m pretty much BFF with everyone. Mostly because I understand what everyone does and I’ve actually done a lot of the work these guys are doing myself at some point. It’s great to have hands on knowledge. I realize more and more that an alarming number of the higher ups in this industry don’t have that on their belt. Thanks, CMU.

Among things that have ended up on my desk so far; Relocating the cutting and cleaning departments, The Black Eyed Peas, Chris Isaak, Chris Cornell, Lil’ Wayne, Keri Hilson, American Idol, Nickelback, No Doubt, Red Bull, Monster, Ne-Yo, Journey, Toby Keith, & Kenny Chesney. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

So far, I love working at All Access. It’s odd because they don’t really have project managers at all, which I think is largely why I’ve been accepted so quickly. I’m doing quite well. We’ll see how it goes for the remainder of my time. I’m not sure if this is the job I want to stay with after I graduate, but the connections to Production Management on tours is definitely there if I choose to take that route. All in all, great decision and an even better learning experience.

Traffic to and from work isn’t too bad. It’s not nearly as bad as everyone was telling me it was going to be. I usually get up around 6:00 am and am out of the house a little before 7:00 am so I don’t have to rush if I hit some minor traffic. It usually takes me about 45 minutes to get to work and an hour to get home mostly because going to work I’m going against traffic for most of the way, but that is definitely not the case when I’m coming home. I do, however, get to pass a pretty great landmark on the way home every day;

Bad News Bears

It makes me smile every time.

Traffic

Even when I do catch traffic, it’s not too bad. I really like the landscape here so I often just space out or take pictures of the scenery. It’s quite the sight. At least I think so.

At the end of the day, when I get home I feel like I actually did work and that my time wasn’t wasted, which is really great. I love that.

It has been a wonderful summer. Thank God.

July 6, 2009

Ketchup, not mustard.

Posted in Beginnings, Ketchup at 1:17 am by nedbun

Going back to six weeks ago…

Cheeseburger

My refreshed face after a long and gruesome semester. ๐Ÿ™‚

I arrive at the quaint Burbank airport after a long day of travel and what felt like 5 minutes worth of packing on the fly. I felt jittery and a little overwhelmed to be back in Los Angeles although I had been here to visit for New Years 4 months ago. I wasn’t sure whether I was excited or nervous. Probably both.

Getting picked up at the airport is awesome especially when you’re really tired. It was unexpectedly easy to adjust to seeing Tony again, although I will admit that his initial reaction to seeing me after 4 months was less than optimal. However, my unbearable hunger aided in deterring any semblance of an argument for the time being.

In-n-Out Burger is delicious.

I was sort of bummed out that the weather wasn’t better when I arrived as I was highly anticipating a much needed trip to the beach, but soon the rest of my plans would start to unravel as well. My trip to Vegas with Stephanie, which was supposed to commence two days after my arrival in Los Angeles, was halted by car trouble and a gut feeling that something was going to go wrong that day. I was bummed out because I wanted to celebrate my 21st birthday with Stephanie in the appropriate place, but alas it will have to wait until later. I think it was kind of a blessing in disguise because not being in Vegas made it easier for me to deal with the newly destroyed plans I had made for a car.

Not having a car in LA is like not having a Metro card and not being able to afford a cab in New York City; daunting and highly irritating. I will admit that I felt a little trapped not to mention that the geniuses that were supposed to move out the Sunday prior to me moving in had conveniently lost their living arrangement thus preventing me from moving in on time and in a comfortable manner. Needless to say I was very upset and my back was paying the price.

Eventually, things took a turn for the better when I finally moved in, but I still didn’t have a car. I ended up driving around with my Dad’s old friend’s brother’s good friend… eventually I got a car, but as much as I tried to avoid it I ended up renting a car for the first few days of work because the paperwork was taking too long. I did, however, get a great deal on a 2001 Toyota Corolla with 48,000 miles on it. I know it sounds like a scam, but it’s true and it was worth the agony because now my brother, Glenn, will end up with a car, which makes this a much better investment. Maybe it wasn’t worth the agony, but it’s a great car. The engine and interior are immaculately clean (are you surprised I bought it?), it gets great gas mileage (huge plus in LA and really anywhere these days), and it drives like a charm. I think the Davids would be proud of what I ended up with.

The agonizing seed

Glenn's Seed.

The DMV in California is EXPONENTIALLY better than the DMV in New Jersey. Seriously, it’s unbelievable. I would say try it for yourself, but nobody actually ever goes to the DMV voluntarily.

Once my car was in order, things calmed down a lot. Work was a lot less stressful, although I unfortunately got scammed pretty badly by the rental car company. I should have said something, but I didn’t.

Tomorrow I’ll get into my first days at work, my concerns for the “metal” genre, my room mates, Michael Jackson, French-dipped sandwiches, Malibu, and the 4th of July. I know, you’re thrilled. ย ๐Ÿ™‚