Category: Long Beach

You knew this post would be titled ‘Traffic’

By , March 19, 2006

I realise now that I had no concept of traffic living in Brisbane. My commute Monday through Wednesday took 2 hours in each direction. 4 hours a day is a little too much driving for me– of course, there is no public transport from Long Beach to Santa Monica. So on Thursday, I decided to see what would happen if I left before six in the morning…

If I was thinking that I would round the on ramp bend to a relatively empty freeway, I was mistaken. What a crazy place when, at quarter to six in the morning, the 5 northbound lanes of the 405 form a sea of tail-lights. I couldn’t believe it was bumper to bumper even at 6am. Thankfully though the drive was a lot shorter, taking about 45 minutes. This to me seems much more reasonable. I think I would go insane if I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to work flexi-time. It’s also quite useful when after leaving work at 3, I’m home by 4 and able to do what I please in the remaining daylight hours. There seems to be so much time in the day when you rise early.

I played four games of pool at work on friday in homage to Irishman Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins. What are the chances that I would find an awesome job, with a pool table in the lunch room?

Work is great so far. Everyone is really nice and the work looks really interesting. The lunches are pretty decent, my cubicle is huge and comfortable– apologies to the guys at Virgin Blue who are still crammed in like sardines. My rant about Mac can be read elsewhere for those who care.

Touch and Go

By , March 8, 2006

What a week it has been from some serious problems with the visa process, to potential problems with shopzilla, to recieving a welcome letter from Homeland Security, to receiving my visa, and hopefully starting work on Monday. Applied for my social security number today which was riveting; I certainly wasn’t doubting that it would take 2 weeks to turn up via mail.

Through it all, Kris has been pretty amazing, and despite all the problems, showed me a wonderful time for my birthday on Saturday. We spent the day on Santa Catalina off the coast of Long Beach which was wonderful and sunny, and then had a wonderful dinner at l’Opera here in Long Beach. Thank you to Kris’ parents, Gene and Maria, for sending a bottle of wine at dinner, and having a laugh when they got a little more than they bargained for.

Darragh, you’ll be pleased to know that my first pair of sunglasses was in the swag of gifts from Kris.

Uncle Rod

By , February 27, 2006

February 17, saw the arrival of Benjamin Joseph Cologna to my brother in law, Rob, and my sister Monica. It’s interesting how the birth of one person affects the whole family structure; everyone gets a name change. Mums and dads become grandmas and grandpas, brothers and sisters become uncles and aunties. I am really excited that I have a nephew, and that Mon and Rob have started a family. It was amazing to see how happy everyone was when Ben was born. Congratulations Mon and Rob; he is super cute.

Thank you Ro

By , February 5, 2006

Kris and I went out for a lovely dinner at The Sky Room last night. It has an all art deco interior and has been around since the 1930′s. Friday nights has live swing, salsa and rock, and we had a lovely time. Thank you very much to my mother Ro for sponsoring the evening; we decided to dress well for the occasion.

Dotted line

By , February 2, 2006

There is a certain satisfaction that comes from signing a contract. I am always sure to sign with my nicest pen. I have posted the contract back to shopzilla and will be starting work as soon as immigration paperwork is sorted out.

Shopzilla is a young company involved in search / comparison shopping. It looks like a great place to work, with lunch provided daily and a pool table in the lunch room [I focused on the important things right?]. They are based in Santa Monica.


By , January 31, 2006

I have received documents from the company, so the offer is for real and confirmed. I am really excited that it all seems to be working out.

Job offer #2

By , January 30, 2006

So I don’t actually have the offer document in my hand, but the senior hr recruiter, from the company I interviewed with, has confirmed that they are going to make an offer. Hopefully I will have the documents on monday or tuesday so the waiting game will finally be over.

While a few paperwork / visa issues are sorted out, I will be sure to play lots of golf and relax as much as possible. Hopefully it will take a good couple of weeks.

The interview process over here is pretty arduous; I had to sit a 2 hour online Java proficiency test, as well as enduring a 3 hour interview schedule. I am pretty excited about starting a new job though– it will be nice to earn some money and start living a little, rather than feeling like I’m living in a time warp.

Job offer

By , December 22, 2005

Had a job offer from an interesting startup company. Their deal is data warehousing and they have a very interesting way of approaching it. I am very tempted to take it, the problem being the commute. It is really far south in Aliso Viejo.

Vamos a esquiar

By , December 22, 2005

Wednesday of last week we [Kris, Tats and I] packed up the rented Chevy SUV and hit the road for Mammoth. I had been talking up my skiing abilities after the Spainish adventure with Christian and Lionel. I was unaware that Kris and Tats were actually so good.

We could literally ski out the door to our room to the chair lift. The slopes were empty because holidays hadn’t started yet, so there were no lines for the lift [or people for me to hit on the way down]. Tats and Kris were pretty patient with me, and eventually we pounded chair nine and ‘Ricochet’ which was a black diamond.

We also went to an ugly sweater party.

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