21 November 2007

San Francisco: part 1

Regular readers and xml suction cups alike - apologies for the long time between posts. It's just that there's been a few things really occupying my time recently.

Foggy treasure island

Like moving to San Francisco.

In my ongoing quest to get into high-end special effects work, I was stunned when an application I had made to Industrial Light and Magic was met with a request for an interview.

There was a bit of back and forth in terms of phone interviews, after which, I came in for a couple of interviews on-site at The Presidio in San Francisco City, followed shortly thereafter by an official job offer, at which point my head simply exploded. As Briony can attest, the subsequent mess was a bit difficult to clean up.

So began our six-week odyssey to get moved to California. You know, with that guy in charge.

One of the great things about moving country is the pressing urge you get to start shedding stuff. San Francisco is notoriously expensive to live in, so we quickly came to the conclusion that we'd not have a lot of room in whatever apartment we end up living in. So you need to just start aggressively getting rid of the myriad piles of junk that you accumulate over the years. Our stash was considerable, so it was with some relief that we got rid of a good chunk of it. Once we had pared it down to the bare essentials, OSS removals (framed html?? why why why!??!!????) arrived to get it sent off. We had been expecting a large truck. What we didn't expect was..

the container

..the whole shipping container. That was kind of awesome. Anyway, that all got loaded into the truck, and is in transit as I write. There are numerous other little hilarious situations that occur when moving country (including a whole heap of fun in regards to visas - but that's a post for another time), as anyone who has moved country can attest to.

We've been here less than a week, but I have to say that one of the more pleasant surprises we got was that US customs and immigration isn't quite as insane as they are quite often portrayed. I'm sure that there have been many cases where things certainly haven't gone down so well, but for myself and the boss it was fairly benign. There was the small issue stemming from the fact that the E3 Visa isn't listed on the system properly at immigration, but they ended up simply picking the nearest one (E2) and are going to let DHS figure the rest out :P

Amie and I

Last weekend, my cousin Amie (visiting from Manhattan), was in town to present a paper at a conference at the Parc 55. Apart from catching up, she wandered around town with me, pointing out what to look for in apartments and neighborhoods (and expanding my lexicon - I now know a lot more about sketchy parts of town).

(Amie is a legend in our family. She's graduated top of the class in pretty much everything she's done in New York, and is currently studying medicine whilst moonlighting as a publishing machine. She's getting married this coming May, and the wedding is going to be in Baja California, in Mexico - how cool is that!)

But that's enough of that. Today is Turkey Day, and we have to somehow find lunch whilst everyone else is consuming some rather startled, but dead, birds.

In part 2 (after lunch!) - living and working in San Francisco:

the badge

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