Wednesday, October 08, 2014


My high school reunion was held a few weeks ago.

Last month, I was debating whether to go, and googled "should I go to my high school reunion".  Some of the webpages said "no, I already stay in touch with everyone I'd want to see".  Others said it was a pleasant evening but nothing special.

My classmates on the reunion planning committee got into a dispute.  One person wanted a formal sit-down dinner.  My senior class president wanted a casual bar gathering.  They could not agree.  So they each held their own event, at the exact same time.  Every day I got a promotional email about the sit-down dinner, and an email encouraging me to come to the bar event.

I was intrigued by how much people cared.  So I decided to go to the reunion.

You'd think there is no way that two conflicting events would be held at the same time.  Surely they would merge into one.  One half would come to their senses and combine with the other.  But no, both events were held.  35 people attended the dinner, and 35 people went to the bar.

I went to the bar.  Every hour or so, we'd look at Facebook and see photos of our classmates at the dinner across town.

My overall experience was off-the-charts awesome!  It was so nice to see my friends.

Real estate outside of the Bay Area is a lot more affordable. This is my high school friend's home. He lives alone.

This is my friend's master bedroom closet.

We hung out all weekend and cooked a meal the final night of the weekend. My classmate "Annie" made amazing roasted potatoes. 

I'm very glad I went to the reunion! I felt a great sense of community and connection. It was far beyond my wildest hopes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

inspiration by kiwis

I am reaching the end of watching 54 hours of Lord of the Rings behind-the-scenes commentary, and am freaking out that it's almost over.  The commentary teaches cinematography, and is filled with bromance and love of filmmaking.  Now what will I watch in the background when I work in the evening?

The final bonus disc is filled with tearful goodbyes as the actors and postproduction crew wrap up 5 years of work, and then the wonderful clean sweep of 11 Oscars.  There is a photo of Peter Jackson next to a table laden with golden Oscar statues, and I think of the quote, "For every 2 minutes of glory, there was 8 hours of hard work."

There was a time at the end of making LotR 3 when Peter Jackson kept adding new shots, which meant the composer had to change the music and the visual effects team had to re-do the effects.  They were all panicking.  Peter Jackson was quoted in a newspaper saying "Everything is under control."  So the visual effects people xerox'ed 30 copies of that quote and put it all around the office.  Ha!

The chaos and "chipping at a mountain with toothpicks" reminds me of every great software project I've ever worked on. 

Then because I didn't want the DVD to end, I watched a final extra feature, and it's about a 17-year-old brilliant young filmmaker who was winning awards at age 12.  But he developed cancer and only had two months to live.  So he made two short films in that time.  And they're really, really good.

I am in awe.  He spent his last time on earth using his gift, for the pure joy of creation.  Every minute mattered, and he used his final ones to do night shooting and explosions and running through mud, so he could tell his story. 

"No regrets," he said in his short film.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

you can stand under my parasol

At a party with brother Tom! Check out the shark in the background.

Drove over this bridge on the way to Napa for a friend's birthday.


In Napa, we were sitting outside eating brunch.

Bond: "It's too hot.  We should go inside."

Topi: "No, it's only because you're sitting in the sun.  Move over here to the shade.   All you need is shade.  Not love, shade."

Me: [lol]

Topi:  "And what is love but shade, from the harshness of the world?"

Friday, September 19, 2014


Talking to an innocent friend.

Me: "Robin Thicke has been apologizing a lot to his wife.  There was a situation where Miley Cyrus was twerking with him."

Friend: [nodding]

Me: "Are you familiar with what twerking is?"

Friend: "Is it like when she sticks out her tongue?  Something with sticking out the tongue?"

Me: "Oh gosh, okay, I see how this happened.  That's not what twerking is.  But I see how this happened."

Friday, September 12, 2014

i'm sure i will be so popular this time around

I'm going to my high school reunion next weekend.  Recently I got in touch with a classmate I hadn't spoken to since high school, Jake.

Jake: "In high school, you were a bit ... insufferable.  A know-it-all."

Me: "What?  Insufferable?  Like Hermione Granger?  But I never raised my hand in class!"

Jake: "No, you didn't.  But if someone was talking to you and said something wrong, you'd always correct them."

Me: "Oh, that's what you mean.  But if they're not accurate, then I need to let them know!  Otherwise they're spreading incorrect information!"

This abruptly reminded me of two weekends ago, when I was riding in a car with my dear friends.

Blaine: "It's like when the hobbits left Hobbit-town."

Me: [stifling my reaction]

Blaine: "And they went to the elf palace."

Me: "Rivendell!  It's Rivendell!  I could still handle it when you said Hobbit-town instead of Hobbiton, but elf palace is too much!"

So it turns out I'm still insufferable.