Saturday, December 26

December 9, 2009

Happy (day before your) birthday, Jackie! Such a great excuse to gather for dinner at Fresca in the Fillmore followed by a cake from Tartine.

December 8, 2009

Work provided a holiday-themed snack break in the form of hot cocoa and cookies. In keeping with workplace tradition, all cocoa came with optional splashes of peppermint schnapps or Baileys, and cookie decorating supplies were plentiful.

December 7, 2009

The confused house in my neighborhood from my November 1 post that included Christmas decorations under their Halloween cobwebs got their holidays right this time. As I walked by, I saw lots of twinkly lights and no bats, candy corn, or other October 31 paraphernalia.

December 6, 2009

One of my absolute favorite restaurants in DC is the Amsterdam Falafel Shop in Adams Morgan ( They had the inspired idea to install a do-it-yourself garnish bar with over 20 options -- from the traditional hummus, cucumbers and tomatoes, to the less traditional baba ghanoush and roasted cauliflower. Gone are the days of dry, tasteless falafel. If yours ends up that way, you only have yourself to blame. Genius! Not to mention delicious. I was a little out of practice, but the one pictured was pretty good all the same.

December 5, 2009

Inspired by unbelievably low fares a few weeks earlier, I made the somewhat impulsive decision to spend the weekend in Washington, DC. And I mean weekend -- total time on the ground came to about 30 hours. When I bought the tickets, I thought that it would be nice to catch up with friends and enjoy the chilly late-fall air. I ended up getting more than I bargained for, arriving just in time for the first snowfall of the season.

Thursday, December 24

December 4, 2009

All Stanford Product Design Masters Program 2nd year students are given two weeks to design and create a personal statement for exhibition at an event held early every December. My friend Danika is a 2nd year, and this is her project -- a multi-level community garden completely constructed and planted by her. Each plot represents another student in the program.

December 3, 2009

Jerry models the latest in bear fashion at Etsy's Handmade Ho Down in San Francisco, a collection of craft artists selling their wares for the evening in a multi-level nightclub. I try to ignore the fact that he plans to wear it to Cal football games.

Sunday, December 13

December 2, 2009

My new coffee table assembled and positioned. I like this photo for its unconventional camera angle and the fact that the focus accentuates the sharpness of the table corner.

December 1, 2009

A bout of Thanksgiving nostalgia resulted in my irrepressible need to make more stuffing.

November 30, 2009

Diner decor.

November 29, 2009

The latest in my apartment decorations -- magnetic photo ropes from Photojojo. They do a great job filling empty space, and they're so easy to update that I'm hoping to change the images on them frequently, kind of like a rotating exhibit at a museum. This first installment is of postcards sent to me from around the world.

November 28, 2009

Doing something active outdoors during the long weekend has become a Thanksgiving tradition. This year I hiked down to Stinson Beach from Mt. Tam State Park. The beach was crowded with people enjoying the beautiful weather. I chose this photo as my favorite because I like the color and the clarity of the ripply reflections. More photos from the hike and the beach can be seen here.

Monday, December 7

November 27, 2009

Christmas tree close up.

November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving means I can finally have an eggnog latte! Nevermind Santa ... this is my marker that the holiday season has really begun.

November 25, 2009

Decorated palm trees in downtown Redwood City. Happy California holidays!

November 24, 2009

Free pie day at work! Apple, pumpkin, sweet potato or pecan. One per employee.

Sunday, November 29

November 23, 2009

My bedroom window, 7am. It might be cold outside, but it's warm in here!

November 22, 2009

Signs of a good Sunday -- hot chocolate in the Murray mug and a good book to read. (Not pictured: papasan chair and soft, warm blanket)

November 21, 2009

One of many amazing displays of Stanford spirit at the Big Game tailgates.

Saturday, November 28

November 20, 2009

Few things are more rejuvenating than having dinner with a big group of friends after a long, seemingly endless week at work. The nine of us spent a couple delightful hours eating, catching up, and laughing at our table at Tamarine. The silliness continued after dinner. This is the restaurant's entrance.

November 19, 2009

Before she worked at DreamWorks, the surfacing coordinator worked on the special effects in New Moon. The lighting coordinator I work with decided that was something we should celebrate on the movie's opening night. I wish I had been involved in the prank, but I take solace in the fact that someone I manage was the instigator.

Friday, November 27

November 18, 2009

I stopped to watch the divers at Avery Aquatic Center on the way to yet another Stanford basketball game. The temperature was in the mid-fifties, and the poor divers had to cycle in and out of the pool and the evening air. Brrrrrr. Because the chain link fence was in the way of the action, I spent a few minutes playing with focus, seeing what would happen if I focused on the links or on the action beyond.

November 17, 2009

I'm intrigued by how abstract this image is. Looked at from above (click here), the dark circle with light radiating out of it looks almost like a solar eclipse. At this angle, you could say the sun is in front of the flames, with the black spokes serving as its rays. (I think it also looks like a six-legged spider. Or a flower.)

November 16, 2009

The decorating continues. The framing is done, but how long will it take me to actually hang them up?

November 15, 2009

At the last basketball game I attended, I liked the ghostly images of action captured with long shutter speeds. My hands weren't very steady, so the photos looked like blurred shapes on an even blurrier background. I used a stable surface this time. The results still aren't quite where I'd like them to be (I think I left the shutter open too long), but I'm getting closer.

Tuesday, November 24

November 14, 2009

My friend Lindsay and I enjoyed a tapas dinner at Laiola in the Marina. I finally got to cross the restaurant's pan con chocolate with sea salt and olive oil off 7x7's list of 100 things to eat before you die in San Francisco. (It was #31, and it was amazingly tasty.)

November 13, 2009

This is no time to arrive home from work on a Friday night. At least the Mona Lisa clock makes it a fairly intriguing photo.

November 12, 2009

BLT for dinner on Tartine bread! So hungry ... so delicious.

November 11, 2009

Fridge friends.

November 10, 2009

I think this photo has a retro feel.

November 9, 2009

Kettle corn ... my newest guilty pleasure.

Monday, November 23

November 8, 2009

This is Hinckley. He is a very rambunctious puppy. When I heard he was coming to visit me, I read up on pet photography techniques. The advice to get down on their level was good, but I wasn't told how to prevent puppies from bounding over to investigate the weird clicky thing invading their world. I wish this was in focus, but I thought it did a good job capturing Hinckley's personality. More very cute puppy photos are viewable by clicking here.

November 7, 2009

What a beautiful San Francisco weekend afternoon! I took a break from a whole lot of walking to take some photos of the fountain at Yerba Buena, right between the Metreon and the SF MOMA. I had a lot of fun playing with long shutter speeds (this one is f/22 for 2 seconds). The influx of light on an already sunny day caused some of the photo to blow out, but I like the colors and contrast that emerged when I manipulated the levels.

Sunday, November 15

November 6, 2009

I tried my hand at sports photography at the first Stanford Men's Basketball home game, an exhibition against Sonoma State University. I learned that it's hard to get the focus right as you're trying to capture the more athletic moments of the game. Most of the photos that turned out best were from the quieter moments -- the referee, a player crouching as he waits to enter the game, free throws, the home team bench. I chose this as my photo of the day because I like how the framing with the court in the foreground makes the very tall players look small.

More photos here:

November 5, 2009

For the second consecutive year, my work organized an event called "PDI-Con", where DreamWorkers could showcase and admire their artistic endeavors outside the world of animation. This year included a interactive component in the form of a giant blank canvas and markers so we could create our own art at the event. This was one of the early drawings before the canvas filled up (viewable here).

Saturday, November 14

November 4, 2009

Our newest lobby decoration. People are saying "Dragon" is our best movie yet!

November 3, 2009

It finally happened. It took 11 months and 3 days, but I forgot to take a photo. I blame my water heater. The pilot light went out, and all my re-lighting attempts failed. I was so frustrated and distracted that my daily photo completely went out of my head. I took this the next morning.

November 2, 2009

My floor lamp forest. All are available for adoption ...

November 1, 2009

A house on my block was indiscriminate in the decorations they put up for Halloween. I thought the juxtaposition of holidays was funny, so I took this photo. Given the fact that Christmas commercials started airing on tv and sparkly displays of red and green appeared in most stores on November 1, it's also a sadly accurate reflection of the start of the holiday season. (I'm a strict day-after-Thanksgiving observer.)

October 31, 2009

I did dress up for Halloween, not in a costume, but for Christine's wedding. She dressed up, too, as a beautiful and very happy bride. I chose this photo for the big smile on her face. It captured the essence of the event better than the invitation, the cupcakes (they were delicious), or the random photos that I discovered on my camera once I uploaded them (thanks, Patrick).

Sunday, November 8

October 30, 2009

PDI/DreamWorks hosted a Halloween lunch and costume parade for their employees and their families. The employees were creative -- one was dressed as a beer bottle and served his own home brew and another was a "Peep Show" showcasing the sugary bird-shaped Easter goodies. The kids were just plain cute.

October 29, 2009

Le Club 55 hosted a pre-Halloween party starting fittingly enough, at 5:55 pm. They were explicit about their expectations -- it was a drinking party, not a costume party. They also had dry ice. Awesome. My department is the coolest.

October 28, 2009

Monsters versus Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space premiere night! I invited some friends over to watch and to see my apartment for the first time. The panda pumpkin guided them in.

October 27, 2009

Searching for flights that will take me home for the holidays. So expensive!

October 26, 2009

Less than a week before Daylight Savings takes effect, there are beautiful sunrises over the Redwood City salt flats and Dumbarbon Bridge to be seen as late as 7:30 am.

October 25, 2009

Shiyan showing off our afternoon's work. For the record, there's a panda carved into the pumpkin. Some say its rendering is too "abstract."

October 24, 2009

The LSJUMB* made an appearance at our pre-game tailgate. It was classic Band -- the Tree smiling and dancing (although the fangs were new) ... the Dollies ... the drum major running around campus in a wetsuit and flippers ...

*Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band

October 23, 2009

At the Class of 2004 party at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I was trying just to get the class year projected on the floor, but someone walked into frame. I think it made it a better photo -- now it's reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe.

October 22, 2009

Mel and me taking a photo of ourselves at Dinner on the Quad, the first of our Stanford reunion activities (5 years already!). I like the way MemChu* looks behind us.

*Memorial Church

October 21, 2009

Photo of a photo yet to be hung on my wall. The content is still as true today as the day I took it a little over three years ago.