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Holy crap, I’m in Luxembourg!!!
So I haven’t blogged in a very very very long time because I’ve been so incredibly busy. The Catch-22 of blogging is that if your life is boring, then you’ve nothing interesting to blog about, but if you’re doing all kinds of crazy cool stuff that is worth posting, then you’re probably too busy to blog about it.
I wasn’t doing much at the beginning of 2006 so I didn’t have much to blog about, and then suddenly in May I had a full-time job for 7 months working pre-production Technical Coordinator on the feature film version of my friend Shane Acker’s 9.
At the same time I was also teaching Advanced Game Prototyping and Design at the Art Institute of Los Angeles and Interactive Animation at UCLA. The Ai classes are Undergrad and the UCLA class is Graduate level, but students in both classes use Flash ActionScript to make Flash games.
It was really really hard to juggle my full-time production job with teaching part-time but it was totally worth the experience. I knew I’d only be working on 9 until Shane and few other Americans moved to Luxembourg for production, so I was planning on using the Winter and Spring Quarters to finish my thesis film so I could finally get my Master of Fine Arts in Animation and continue teaching. But my plans changed when the line-producer called me from Luxembourg on my second-to-last day and asked me to come to Luxembourg for a couple months. I had to give up my Winter Quarter classes at Ai but I knew that Luxembourg is a once-in-lifetime opportunity that I just couldn’t miss.
So with only a few weeks to prepare for a 12-week business trip, here I am in Luxembourg City in the middle of winter.
Thursday December 28, 2006
I flew out of LAX on Thursday December 28th and thanks to a full day of air travel and the 9-hour time difference, it’s already Saturday.
Both of my flights were on time and the 10 hour flight to London-Heathrow flew by (pun intended) because Air New Zealand had movies on demand. They offered all kinds of American films that I haven’t seen yet, like Little Miss Sunshine, but I figured I could rent those DVDs anytime when I get back to the States so I decided to watch a bunch of the films from New Zealand. Out of the Blue, The World’s Fastest Indian, Perfect Strangers, and Banana in a Nutshell were all excellent films by Kiwi directors (I’m going to blog Film Diary posts about them later). I also started to watch two other Kiwi films, but I stopped Fracture after 15 minutes because it just couldn’t hold my attention and I only got about 30 minutes into In My Father’s Den before the pilot turned off the entertainment system in the final part of our flight, right when the film was getting very interesting.
Friday December 29, 2006
The layover in London-Heathrow was 3 hours, but I wandered the shops in Terminal 2 until I caught the tiny Lux Air jet to Luxembourg City. I got to practice my German a little bit on the flight to Lux while ordering food, but “käsebrot und orangensaft bitte” (“cheese sandwich and orange juice please”) is pretty easy so hopefully the more advanced German will come back to me soon, though I think most of the people I’ll be interacting with speak French instead.
All of my American coworkers are out of town so I had to take a taxi to my four-star hotel, where I’ll be staying for the next 2 and half months.
Saturday December 30, 2006
My hotel room is pretty kickass. It’s a one-bedroom loft studio with a spiral staircase and a kitchen-in-a-closet. I doubt I’ll get to use the kitchen much though because I’ll probably eat most of my lunches and dinners at work like I did during pre-production, and the hotel has an awesome Breakfast Buffet which way better than the cheap bagel-and-banana “Continental Breakfast” that I’m used to while traveling. This morning I had orange juice, coffee, cereal, a croissant, a roll, toast and jam, cheese, a hardboiled egg, a tangerine and a kiwi. I’m gonna get pretty fat pretty quick if I keep eating like that. I was going to go for a run before breakfast to explore the city, but the sun didn’t come out until after 8 am and it was cold and dark. It’s not quite as dark now, but it’s still pretty cold, freezing in fact, just over 32 degrees Fahrenheit (check out the little weather.com feed for Luxembourg I added at the bottom of the left menu).
The only problem so far with my hotel room is that the air aonditioner constantly makes crackling and popping noises. Even when the AC is off it sounds like a giant hard drive being formatted. I know the human brain is capable of tuning out persistent sounds over time, but my brain can’t tune out the AC noises because the crackling is so frantic and sporadic and since I’m such a light sleeper, it made it really hard to sleep last night even though I was exhausted from my trip. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if the sound was droning and continuous, but I found myself anticipating the forthcoming gurgles during the few seconds of silence when the AC momentarily stopped making noises. After an hour of trying of trying to sleep, I finally covered my ears with a second pillow, which sort of blocked the sound but since I toss and turn in my sleep, I woke up each time I rolled over to reposition the pillow. The head sandwich also blocked out the sound of passing cars, except for the occasional car bumping European techno.
Other than the noisy AC, the only other problem I’ve encountered so far is that I can’t use the SIM card that the producer provided for my Sony Ericsson W600i because Cingular “locked” my phone when I bought it. Apparently most American wireless providers “lock” their branded cell phones when you buy them with a contract so that you can only use their network’s SIM cards. My cell is a GSM World phone compatible with European networks, but I have to unlock it before I can use any other SIMs. Hopefully I’ll be able to unlock my phone sometime next week when I start work after New Year’s.
I’m going to be very very busy for the next 12 weeks as Production Coordinator on 9 but I’ll try to overcome the blogging Catch-22 since this blog will be the best way to let my friends and family know what’s going on in my life while I’m half a World away. I brought my new Toshiba laptop, my new Canon PowerShot SD630 digital still camera and my trusty ol’ Canon GL1 DV camcorder so I’m going to try to blog everyday and post photos and video of my trip as often as possible. I doubt I’ll have time to do a daily video blog like my hero Ze Frank but I’ll try to post video at least once a week. I hope to have my first video post up by Sunday night (Luxembourg time) / Sunday afternoon (Los Angeles time).
Well it’s 39º F outside so I think I’ll go exploring before lunch.
Seriously, I can’t believe I’m in Luxembourg.
Do they speak German where you are, or French?
boreing place on earth lets get drunk
american way soon
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