Today we walked to the park from the hotel (which is across the street). We got rained on slightly. Our first stop was the Lego Clubhouse, where they house the gazillions of bricks we had to choose from to be our core supply for the build-off tomorrow. We had an hour, and most everyone spent the last half hour sitting at the little tables tinkering. It's what we do.
Then we had our interview and two building challenges. The interviews were conducted by HR staffers Kim and Heather (as a team), HR guy Marcus, and Pat the model shop boss. I got Kim and Heather, who were totally friendly. I talked about my career history and they wrote a lot of stuff down. When the big question came, "why should we pick you?" I opened with "I'm a lateral thinker," and while they were writing that down I froze for a second. Then, while they were still writing, the internal flywheel started spinning again and I rattled off the rest of the spiel that I'd been gathering in my head over the last week or two. I think I did that "selling myself" thing with more push than in any other job interview I've ever had. I even said "I get people to like me quickly" or something like that, which I had some post-interview mini qualms about. Buuut, what the heck, it's true. I'm charming, it's an asset. What can I say?
I went back to the little waiting room, thinking I still had to talk to Pat and Marcus. Then, in a bit of casual conversation I figured out everyone only got one interview, with one of the interviewers. My dawning relief was so bewildering, my confirmation of this came out "you blean we just must have one interview, to us?" Well, great! (Also good was my realization that I hadn't held anything back, thinking there was more to do. I was aiming to impress everyone equally).
The time limit for both building challenges was 55 minutes. The first building challenge was to make an egg. Everyone got to sit in front of this gorgeously organized set of bins. Plates, from 1x1 to 1x8, then 2x2 to 2x8, then the brick versions of the same pieces. I went for the green, cuz green is pretty. I asked if I could listen to my iPod, which I did. When I was worried I wasn't going to finish the egg, I thought "oh great, it's going to look like I was too busy fiddling with my iPod to do the task." I had a couple spots where I needed to pull stuff off and rethink. Then, as I was closing in on the top, I was certain each downward push was going to implode the whole thing. I reminded myself that I'd built animation props out of much flimsier materials, that I had the right touch if I just concentrated. (The guy next to me started his from the top first, which I wished I'd thought of.) But in the end I actually had enough time to sort the unused pieces back into their bins. Sorting, of course, is the other great joy of Lego freakery.
The second challenge was to make a face out of bricks, at least six inches high. This guy just makes it. We had a full range of yellow pieces and some selected black and white ones. Right away I decided to make him winking (or grimacing in pain, you decide), which was a good application of my "don't forget the hook" point I realized after going on KRON that time. Although I came up right against the time limit, this was a much more relaxed experience. (There's another pic of this guy in the last post, if you scroll down. I used the flash, so you can tell his teeth are white).
On my way back to the hotel I saw I had a message from the always delightful Tami, saying she was blowing off work to come hang out at the park with me. We scoped the place really good, making sure the thing I'm going to do for my build-off piece tomorrow wasn't represented anywhere. It isn't, but I can't tell you what it is yet. It turned out that one of Tami's ideas while we were brainstorming last night, to rep some works of fine art in Lego...they had that idea already. So obviously it was a good idea -- just shows you how good it is to have her brain on my side. You'll notice that blue light saber floating in space, that's so the kids can pose fighting the D-man. But Tami's a hugger, not a fighter.
It's been a full day. I took a nap, ate some steak, and now I'm going to practice for my piece tomorrow. Thank you so much for all the attention and good wishes, all of you. I can feel you sending me good vibes all the way from here, and it's the best thing ever, I mean it. I might not get the top spot tomorrow, but right now I feel like I can't lose.
Here's a few photos from my wanderings today and yesterday.
This is the first thing I want to copy when I get home. Big, beautiful bass. Or salmon. Trout?
If this ever actually happened in nature, it would be unstoppable.
Miniland's Embarcadero Center. This feels incomplete without a little Jonah and Marly running around in it.
The dinosaurs are heartbreakingly pretty. Fantastic colors.
Something about the bottom of this guy's jaw -- I love it!
The mini Smithsonian might be my favorite structure in all of miniland.
I love how this isn't just a big basilisk, it's a giant version of the toy of the basilisk. And he seems to be snaking out of the dirt. Sssss!