Paul and Katy :)

Over the Thanksgiving break, I was lucky enough to fly out to Florida (Captiva island off the Western coast, to be specific) to go see a really good friend and his fiance (also a wonderful person and friend) get married. :) The experience turned out to be absolutely amazing. The entire trip was packed with moment after moment of fun, family and a beautiful environment. Starting off with a beachside house to wonderful family and friends getting together each night, all culminating in an absolutely breathtaking wedding by the sea with a sunset so amazing it was hard to believe you were really there. Absolutely astonishing. It's been so long since I've had a chance to get out of the city, and this was the perfect way to do it - surrounded by friends and fun people :)

Which, honestly, is what make the whole experience. It really was a very small get together (I believe right at around 50 people), most of whom were family. Paul even convinced me to come up a few days before to have Thanksgiving dinner with thier two families. Needless to say, the potential for it to be a weird situation for me and the few other non-family members there. But I must say that never in my life have I ever felt so much that I belonged there because of how welcoming each and every one of the people there were. Immediately when I came to the Drake's home for the first day, her entire family was so welcoming that it felt like I wasn't staying with people I didn't know well, I felt like I was staying with people I had grown up with. I had the exact same experience with each of the people I met from Paul's family when we went over for Thanksgiving dinner. Each person there was totally welcoming, and to put it simply, treated me as if I were family. So much so that at the end of the trip I had to remind myself that I wasn't the one gaining a family that weekend, Paul and Katy each were! :) After meeting both your families, it's very apparent where you both get your open and welcoming personalities from. I now know what it feels like to be welcomed with open arms. :) Thank you to every single person I met over the trip. You made an outsider feel like family.

And of course - anyone that knows me knows that I was going around with a camera in hand practically every moment of the trip. O:-) Well, I did, and I took tons and tons of pictures. Now, I realize that it's been 2 weeks since this happened, but I had a bunch of annoyances pop up in getting the pics from my camera, through some processing and up to the web in a timely manner. Every shoot is always a learning experience, and aside from a lot of photography techniques, one thing I've really realized is that when you've got an emotional backing in the situation you're shooting, it's really really difficult (maybe this is just for me) to get the dynamic, artistic shots out of the situation. Instead, it's hard to break away from the things that are there - so there are tons of pictures of happy people, Paul and Katy, and just family. That's the heart of what was there. So most of my pictures are of the "Awww... they're so cute" or "Look at the baby!" mentality. Anyways, I'm just glad that they're up now ;) I would love it if you would take a look at them and comment away (especially if you were there, but everyone is welcome to comment) on the pictures about your happy memories from each of the events. :) You can find them here, on flickr:

Thanksgiving 11-23-06
The Day Before 11-24-06
The Wedding 11-25-06
The Reception 11-25-06
The Day After 11-26-06

Paul, Katy, I am absolutely honored that I could be there for such a special time for both of you, marking the beginning of your lives together. I absolutely can't wait to see your futures unfold. In the short time I've known you both, I'm amazed at how many people's lives you have touched and improved with your prescences. I have no doubt that list of people inspired by you both will grow with each passing day.

I know you can put me on that list. And for that I thank you both.


I'm dreaming of a white...

... November? ... Thanksgiving? ... No, that's not right.

But sure enough, yesterday, the last day of November, we got a nice coat of snow up here in Dallas. I've even got a few shots that I need to post up of snow packed up around the house. :p

Also, got a chance to go to a cozy (probably Blue October at the Lakewood Theater here. Turned out to be a pretty spectacular show. The opening band Wide Awake was pretty awesome, and gave some pretty sincere props to Blue October at the end of their set. Very cool. (I've gotta say that Blue October is another band that performs spectacularly. Especially since the lead singer was doing the concert with a broken leg, but also in a suit. Nice ;) I didn't even realize how good some of their music was, so now I've got one headphone in listening to their new CD. Some damn impressive stuff. And for some reason, their encore was one of the best I've ever seen. I think they played one song from each style they represent. And they did it damn well. They opened up with 18th Floor Balcony. Awesome. :'-)

Also, I swung by the shirt stand and felt like I was back in High School - $15 - 20 for concert tees! Jeez! Some people still do sell their stuff for a decent price. I'm used to $30-40! So I picked up a shirt that I really liked. Simple, and has a set of lyrics on the back:

I'm reaching farther than I ever have before
leaving all who broke your heart upon the shore
I may be some sort of crazy
We may be some sort of crazy
But I swear on everything I have and more


... what was that?

Ok, go ahead and add Kasabian and Men, Women and Children to the list of fun bands to see live. Never have I seen the people in the Gypsy Tea Room so excited and jumping up and down. Definitely a great time.

However, this is the FIRST time in my life I've ever left a concert with my ears ringing. Literally, I got home where it was quiet, and I sat down and said to myself, "What the hell is that noise?" So yeah, that's a bummer, and surprising, given that I've gone to like, a bajillion concerts in my time. Time to buy a pair of High Fidelity Earplugs if I want to hear later on in life :p

I wonder if those will make me look like and alien with little antennas coming out of my ears... o_O

*makes little alien noises before finishing off the post*


You have GOT to be kidding me

Ok now, what the heck... Sometimes it's truly amazing the people that we come across in our country. I agree entirely with what Paul had to say about this article - "Ignorance, personified." I mean seriously, talk about stereotyping tons of people and an entirey industry without looking at it with an open mind. I think the only part of the article I can agree with is this:

The problem with this stuff is that some people can deal with it constructively… but other people get addicted to it, just like opium, just like drugs and alcohol…

And clearly that means that it is a plague on society that could never provide any benefits at all to society as a whole and needs to be eradicated so America doesn't fall to its knees.

The last quote of the article is indeed the best part, though:

I don’t own an iPod. I would never wear an iPod… If this is your primary focus in life - the machines… it’s going to have a staggeringly negative effect, all of this, for America… did you ever talk to these computer geeks? I mean, can you carry on a conversation with them? …I really fear for the United States because, believe me, the jihadists? They’re not playing the video games. They’re killing real people over there.

Oh, I guess I better go turn my life around because of the horrible things I'm doing by working for an industry that has this staggeringly negative effect for America. Clearly I can't have a conversation held on with me. I guess he's saying we have something to learn from the jihadists (is that even a word?). They're killing real people over there while we're not. That's just brilliant.

Idiot >_<


Wow. Just, Wow.

Got into a photo discussion with Paul here at work, who sent me a link to the photographer Katy and him are using for their wedding next week.

Gary Donihoo - absolutely amazing.

I am absolutely taken aback by some of these images - his ability to capture the emotion of the moment and setup the composition perfectly to highlight that is ASTONISHING. Some of those shots are genuinely awe-inspiring. Simply put, if there was ever a person that could make a wedding truly feel like an event filled with magic and happiness, this is the person. I would very very much encourage you to look through his portfolio. I was practically floored looking through it.

Posted up a few shots from the waiting / midnight sale of the Wii - check out the flickr set.

Also fun - nailed an infield home run in the bottom of the last inning at the softball game Sunday! w00t! (Never mind I also got a ground ball to the face in the same game...)


Just cuz

An online conversation between me and a coworker that may be the biggest Nintendo fanboy ever.

winter says: so i picked up like 8 wii games today =)
winter says: no zelda or red steel.. but I think those are the only ones I'm missing
nozomiyume says: dear god man
winter says: it's new!
winter says: it's fun!
winter says: it's wii!!!!
winter says: wiiiiiiiiii
nozomiyume says: but you don't even have the system yet!
winter says: and you'll be the sad one on launch day with no games!
winter says: hah!
nozomiyume says: heh
winter says: i'll be all like swingin my sword, and suturing some wounds, and boosting my excitetruck... and you'll be all like "why won't you play some more wii sports with me!!!"
nozomiyume says: ...
nozomiyume says: you've officially lost it
nozomiyume says: just thought I'd let you know
nozomiyume says: I'm amazed that the system could drive you to insanity BEFORE it was released
winter says: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/weeee.php
nozomiyume says: that's gonna be you on Saturday, isn't it?
nozomiyume says: I'll take that as cofirmation
nozomiyume says: temporal insansity with a system that requires you to jump and swing stuff around
nozomiyume says: this can only lead to great things
winter says: exactly



Been a long time since I've been rock climbing, and especially since I've been at work so much recently, it's been tough. But, we finally went again this last weekend, and I conquered my first black! WOO HOO! The difficulties at this gym are Green (5.6-5.8), Blue (5.9-5.10) and Black (5.11-5.13). The main reason I got up it was because it was a multi-wall climb, where you had to use the other walls as leverage to move, which is something I'm pretty good at. This description of the rankings (the Yosemite Decimal System) is the funniest (and most accurate I've seen so far).

5.0 to 5.4
There are two hand- and two footholds for every move; the holds become progressively smaller as the number increases.
5.5 to 5.6
The two hand- and two footholds are there, obvious to the experienced, but not necessarily so to the beginner.
The move is missing one hand- or foothold.
The move is missing two holds of the four, or missing only one but is very strenuous.
The move has only one reasonable hold which may be for either a foot or a hand.
No hand- or footholds. The choices are to pretend a hold is there, pray a lot, or go home.
After thorough inspection you conclude this move is obviously impossible; however, occasionally someone actually accomplishes it. Since there is nothing for a handhold, grab it with both hands.
The surface is as smooth as glass and vertical. No one has really ever made this move, although a few claim they have.
This is identical to 5.12 except it is located under overhanging rock.

Anyways - that's totally awesome, because I didn't have any idea when I would ever get up a black. So yay!


Oh dear god

A friend of mine just went down to work at JPMChase and came across this internal video from a BOfA/MBNA. I think I'm with the poster - I'm speechless. O_O

The weirdest part is that I'm not sure the audience gets it. There's not even so much as a snicker through the whole thing o_O.


She was moving around the room like a green silk whirlwind

I've recently been reading a bunch of Neil Gaiman and am constantly impressed by little tidbits of his writing style. There have in fact been multiple times where I've laughed out loud while reading one of his novels in public, much to the entertainment of the people around me. Currently reading Neverwhere, and before that finished Smoke and Mirrors and I think I'm going to go onto Stardust afterwards, since it's currently being made into a movie, although the story seemed simplistic and somewhat short when I glanced at it in the bookstore.


These days that you were waiting for

There are few things that compare to a really fun and energetic concert - and one of the best ways to enjoy that is in the FRONT DAMN ROW :) Thanks to Paul's awesome birthday present of front row tickets to Ben Folds, I was actually able to sit front at center (literally) at one of the best shows I've seen in a long time (thanks Paul!) I would definitely add Ben Folds to one of the "awesome people to see play live" list. It was pretty obvious that the whole band was just enjoying themselves on stage the whole time, as evidenced by this entertaining conversation between songs:

Guy in Audience: "Ben, they won't let me sit close enough to you!"
Ben: "Oh, that sucks!"
Ben: "Hey, can we let him sit up here for a while?"
(Ben proceeds to call the guy and the girl he was with up to sit behind him at the piano for the next 2 songs)

Now what was really funny was that the guy looked like he was going to pass out from excitement while up there as he frantically took pictures with his cell phone:p

Also, Ben had bought a 2k dollar synthesizer before the show and sung about it and used it through the evening :p He was even taking lyrical suggestions from the audience :p At very few shows are you able to laugh your butt and enjoy the actual music with a smile never leaving your face :)


Starbucks Musings

Sometimes it’s amazing the little tidbits of people’s lives that you come in on. Just sitting outside, being around people – we end up engaged in other people’s lives, subconsciously or intentionally. When the people around you become passionate or excited about their conversations or lives, our ears peek up. Or when people utter little key words that we tend to associate with, you get the smallest tidbit curious of what might make them bring it up. It becomes so easy to just pull ourselves outside of the little world we have become comfortable with and realize that there are indeed other entire lives co-existing with us. Every person that we run into – the person behind the counter, drinking the coffee at the next table, cutting you off on the freeway – all of them have their stories, starting from when they were a baby – working through their problems, living through their successes and failures. Sometimes I find it interesting to really look at a random person out there and realize to myself there’s almost certainly a time when that person has laughed so hard they couldn’t breathe, or have cried so hard it felt like nothing else in the world mattered, have been angry, elated, crushed, everything. It’s enlightening to try and visualize that sometimes. Each person has their own stories. A part of me wishes I could hear them all. Or more of them at least. It’s very humbling, anyways.

Makes me wish I brought my camera :p


Culture shock!

Sam and Max: Culture Shock Season 1 Episode 1 came out today! 13 years after the original game came out! Who else out there had this off-kilter humor as a part of their adolescence? *raises hand furiously*

"Hello? Yes, Commissioner! Yes?... Yes?... Yes?.. Holy jumping mother o'God in a side-car with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib! WE'RE ON OUR WAY!"
-- Sam of Sam & Max, the Freelance Police



Sometimes it's nice to hear

Text I got just recently:

Things are at least settled for tonight, thanks for your offer to help, i am not really used to talking about it, i hope u don't take this wrong or feel pressured in any way but what really helps is how much i look forward to spending time with u, having so much fun laughing and smiling and not thinking about what's happening for a few hours 8-@


Holy crap! My sister just got word that she's going to get a grant from the city of Austin to do a big public art piece on New Years' Eve! Isn't that totally amazing?! So totally awesome! Congratulations Sis, so proud of you! ^_^


Been absent

Need to not be, but in the interim, here's some funny stuff.

Yeah baby! Ensemble for the win!

Also, some programmers at work found a google search engine that searches public code. Interesting at the least but what's funnier was the first search that got sent around about it. Who would have thought programmers swear in their code? Apparently over 29,000 different cases of it :p

If you ever thought Legos and cold needed to go together, here's the product for you.

And this is just funny. Yet another picture that went around at work in response to an email thread.

That is all. Nothing more to see here.


Bungie + Ensemble = Halo Wars

The internet is already going nuts with information. It's pretty neat to watch :) Halo Wars


Camera toss!

Would you believe there is a huge group of people online that toss their cameras into the air and catch them (most of the time) trying to take pictures?

Definitely makes for some very cool pictures - check out their flickr pool.

I think Pat's take on it sums it up best:

Pat: this makes me hyperventillate: http://www.flickr.com/photos/earthtoneremix/194390170/
Pat: evidently, there's a whole cult of camera tossers.
Pat: and it originated here in austin
Pat: there's a blog for it, too
Pat: it seems most of the cameras tossed are point-and-shotos
Pat: shoots
Pat: though there's a review on the blog of the tossability of the canon 10d
Pat: which hurts my soul
Pat: and my pocketbook
Pat: this cult puts out some beautiful photos, though.


Holy crap!

Job == Awesome. Just ask me why. That is all.
Woo hoo!

Awesome! Paul and I each conquered a blue climb at Stoneworks today (each of us got up a different blue one). To put that in context... Stoneworks is a rock climbing gym that has three difficulty levels - green, blue and black. Up until now, we were playing on the greens, to the point where we could both get up them w/o pretty much any problem at all. Today we decided to tackle all blues and actually managed to get up them! Talk about a confidence boost - now we have to get up all the blues in the gym...

Also, sushi after a climb at a random Japanese sushi house that happens to be open until 1am right off the freeway is good. As is the five hours of coffee afterwards.

Need. Sleep.


Must digest food...

Oh man, I am ever so stuffed. The parents and sister came into and mom brought a veritable smorgasbord of home cooked Indian food for Paul, Katy and David, who came over tonight. You know there's going to be a lot of food when you're overwhelmed by the appetizers alone.

For once, the weather was actually beautiful outside, so we got to eat on the patio, chat and enjoy the weather and view from the backyard... course... after course... after course... of tons of food. And somehow you would think that six people eating as much as they could through all this food would put a dent in the food that my mother brought. You would be very wrong. Somehow, even after eating dinner and with three people taking leftovers home, I have a fridge and freezer jam packed with home cooked food.

Truly amazing. I think my mother's home cooking ability should be the eigth wonder of the world. It literally might involve food that is self replicating, because it never seems to disappear. I mean, this could solve world hunger! She almost literally pulled sonf (those little Fennel seeds you eat after your meal at Indian food restaurants) out of thin air. I think she's the MacGuyver of food. Katy's theory is that she's a witch.

I'm not sure I can eat the leftovers fast enough...



So, futokutei means random in Japanese - that, and it's just a fun word to say :p

Two pics from the trip to San Antonio this last weekend. Totally forgot that I had it set on 1600 ISO to experiment last time I was out, so most of the pics needed some post processing to even look decent.

I really like the colors on this one, but wrestled (and am still wrestling) with the composition of it. The marguerita glass is supposed to be a little blocky in its colors, but it really doesn't seem to come across in the low res version. *edit* Updated a new version. The composition is a little better, and the fade effect on the background is less harsh on the marguerita glass. I think it helps.

This one turned out really well. I'm thinking of printing it out and putting it up somewhere. Of course this is where I become a little more sad that I'm limited to 6 megapixels :
On a more annoying note - my last pair of contacts got all dried up, so now I'm limited to just my glasses until I get a chance to go get some more contacts. I don't mind the glasses, but they make things like climbing, volleyball and photography more difficult...

Now then... need to go and prep for the freaking Indian food extravaganza this weekend... The family is coming up, and it sounds like there shall be cooking a plenty. Paul, Katy - you have no idea what you've done asking my mother to cook. There will be so much food...


Climbing? Climb on!

Alright, so I've started to go climbing again recently, at this awesome place here in town called Stoneworks, which apparently has the tallest indoor climbs in the nation, weighing in at 110ft! Let's just say that climbing those walls is a totally different experience than the 20 - 30ft I'm used to doing.

Anyways, got a few guys in town into it as well, including my buddy Paul from work (who is apparently a direct clone of me or vice-versa, but that's a story for another time :p) who brought his point-n-shoot camera, yeilding some pretty cool shots:

Additionally, you can check out his flickr of it for the rest of the pics.

Also important to note - don't go climbing only two days after the last time you climbed. I went last Thursday and again Saturday, and there are all kinds of muscles I didn't know I could have this sore... owie.



"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
Shoulda looked at my calendar.

So what, is this national "Bail out on Vijay day"? Why the hell didn't anyone tell me about this so I could plan for it?


Texas Hold 'Em Champ!

...this week. But still, got to come home with a fat wallet today. Especially nice since I sucked it up last week :p So yeah - fun night, ending with a winning hand, taking home 50% of the pot :)

Also, I'm addicted to this site: Flickr Tag Browser. Totally awesome to be able to type something, anything in, and see what visuals people have imagined for that. Super addictive :p
Damn you Pat!

Pat sent me a link to http://www.stumbleupon.com/ - the biggest time waster ever. Thanks. Now I'll never get anything done when I'm sitting at a computer ever again.

Here's the first thing that came up:




I guess I really don't sleep much anymore - I find myself up late more often than not nowadays :p You would think I would be tired from spending an entire day running all around Dallas, but apparently not. Today I was up because of a few reasons (one of which involved an overflowing toilet and cleaning up after it *sigh*) and the other was more fun - I was rolling around on the living room floor with my cat trying to get a decent picture to enter into a contest in Austin. It was a free pet photo contest, so I figured why not try :) And after I got something decent, the post processing of it became interesting as well and really brought the pic to life (thanks for the suggestions and help with it Sherman!) So... here's what I've got: (if you've EVER seen Vincent playing with his feather-on-a-stick, this picture will make sense immediately)

Some of the detail is gone in the low res, if you want a hi-res version, just ask :)

He's so cute. ^_^ If you want to imagine a humorous image, just think of how I had to look lying on the floor, holding up a feather-on-a-stick with one hand, trying to avoid having my cat pounce on me and kill me and trying to take a photo of the whole ordeal at the same time :p



Visions from the other side

It's always interesting to hear specifics about what's going on on the other side of the world, especially when you know someone over there. If you know Sean, you should really take a look at this Australian 60 minutes report about what's going on in Afghanistan. Him and his platoon actually have a spot in it.

Although we know he's been over there this whole time, it's a little different for some reason to see him actually doing what he's doing. Sheds some light on what his day-to-day activities must be compared to ours.


Woohoo / doh!

Here's a round of woohoo's and doh!'s for the day because I don't feel like doing much else for a post :p

Doh!: Falling asleep last night at 11pm while at my computer on my bed
Woohoo: Getting a crazy amount of sleep because I was too lazy to get out of bed this morning
Doh!: Getting TOO much sleep and being tired all day because of it
Woohoo: Finally getting some progress on the big thing I'm doing at work
Woohoo: Breakfast food and good coffee for lunch at Cafe Brazil - reminds me of Kerbey Lane :)
Woohoo: Got a group of people together to go climbing tomorrow - yeah!
Woohoo: Leaving work early because of a fire alarm sending us walking down 15 flights of stairs
Doh!: Thinking about the fact that the fire alarm may have been real and the office may be a scorched pile of rubble right now...
Doh!: Hitting tons and tons of traffic on the way home because of an accident on the fwy :( (didn't look like any injuries)
Woohoo: Admiring the pretty day outside and taking the bike out for a ride :)
Woohoo: Finally finding the adapter for the soaker hoses for the house after going to three Home Depot / Lowes'
Woohoo: Deciding to stop by a Gamestop to look for a used copy of Psychonauts (recommended by Sherman recently)
Doh!: Realizing the only used copy is at another store way out in the middle of nowhere
Doh!: Getting pulled over on an empty road for going 11 over after speeding up to make it through a yellow :(
Doh!: Having my helmet fall off the handlebars when I pulled over and get scratched up and breaking my shaded visor! >:-O
Woohoo: Having the cop be super nice and just writing me a warning! :) (maybe he took pity on my scuffed helmet / shield)
Doh!: Buying my copy of Psychonauts only to look at it and realize yet again that I don't like playing video games alone - I think I'm a social gamer...
Woohoo: Taking a tour of the INSANELY nice and fancy Lifetime Fitness gym. Holy Crap! I think I'll change over my membership to there. It'll be worth the drive.
Doh!: Seeing a really bad wreck in an intersection I had JUST driven through after leaving the gym... :(
Woohoo: Finding another cool little hangout area / place in Dallas :)
Woohoo: Iced Green Tea Latte - 'nuff said
Doh!: Getting home and realizing the freaking adapter for the soaker hoses doesn't fit! ARGH!
Doh!: Popping open my copy of Psychonauts at home only to realize they didn't put the DVD in the case!!! >:-O
Woohoo: Relaxing at home for a while... :)

So yeah. Got pulled over today on the bike. Totally sucked, but I definitely got lucky that the cop was nice enough to just give me a warning. Gave me a healthy and non-painful reminder that speeding on the bike is not a good idea because of safety and getting a ticket (I really don't speed on it much at all - usually just a bit over the speed limit, and a little worse on city-to-city trips). Needless to say, I spent the rest of the night just cruising and enjoying the ride without cranking the throttle, which was a ton of fun. The only sad thing was the rattle on my shade because two of the tabs broke. :( Well, I guess I'll take a scuffed helmet and having to buy a new visor over a speeding ticket any day.

Also was really really creepy to drive to the gym and leave no more than 20 minutes or so later and see the intersection I turned on filled with multiple fire trucks, police cars and ambulances, and then see the accident that had happened there... The first car had its front smashed in, and the other looked worse. I ended up getting stopped close to the front before turning, so I could see the faces on the people there cleaning up, the paramedics moving people into the ambulances and the damage to the cars. The cops weren't talking to anyone, and judging by the looks on everyone's faces' there, it was pretty bad. A very in-your-face reminder of our frailty.

Everyone be safe, and happy.


Pretty amazing...

...how quickly a night of just hanging out can all of a sudden turn into the crazy real-life seriousness / reality that tends to surround us. Really odd sometimes. I realize elaboration is necessary, but I'm sleepy. It's bedtime.



It's just too funny not to post

So we lost a machine at work today. Specifically our build machine, so it was tough to get much done without it.

Now the strange thing is, when I say lost, I don't mean it busted, or the power supply went out or something. I mean we physically lost the box. Turns out that we had all just been connecting to it from our local machines, and noone really knew where the machine was physically located. So this morning we were literally scouring the offices looking under people's desks trying to find our lost build machine. How weird is that?

Turns out the machine was mislabeled. But it was odd to go digging through an office because we thought a full sized computer had disappeared.


Austin FTW!

Another awesome trip down to Austin this past weekend. I won't bore you with the details, and instead just think through the weekend and jot down thoughts. You can fill in the rest.

- Dallas to Austin is a long drive made much more fun with crazy upbeat music
- There are some things you never ever escape. Apparently one of mine is Orientation
- The view of the stars at just about any lake in Austin is gorgeous
- Sometimes what you hear about things don't match when you see them in person
- Sleep is most definitely for those who have nothing to do at night. lol
- It's always fun to hang out on the lake
- Driving on 1431 is absolutely GORGEOUS
- Meeting up with old friends and coworkers is a blast - especially with Margueritas
- I'm not terrible at Texas Hold'Em! I actually made money from the tournament!
- There are a lot of people (including myself) that want me back in Austin
- It's awesome to have someone with a boat to hang out on Lake Austin with
- My skills at water skiing are... well... not so good
- I totally wanna try wakeboarding - lessons will be necessary :)
- Good: hanging out with old buddies for a long time
- Bad: realizing previously mentioned hanging out kept you in Austin until 11pm Sunday night when you had work the next morning in Dallas
- Full body dancing to loud music while driving in the middle of the night is a great way to stay awake
- Weekends are far too short


Nerdy WoW humor!

It had to come up at some point :p

Blitzenslayn: ok, I was wrong. with the auctions successful, I'm at 74 gold right now.
Me: dude
Me: that's still insane
Me: I'm impressed you can budget so well in WoW but so poorly in real life
Blitzenslayn: it's easier to make money in WoW than it is in real life. *grins*
Me: touche, touche
Me: lol
Blitzenslayn: I can legally sell herbs to people and make a profit in WoW, in real life, the moneymakers tend to be illegal.
Me: lmao
Me: oh, true that, true that

The last four panes of this comic make me laugh :p

And soon - off to Austin again!



As per usual (sometimes), it's figure drawing Wednesday, and when I go and actually get even a single decent sketch, I like to post them up. Nothing really special this time around, but a few decent ideas strewn onto paper. More of experiments this time around than anything.

While emptying the camera w/ the pics on it, I came across a picture that I took a few nights ago that turned out pretty awesome.

I think "World in Motion" would be a good title for it. I love how everything seems to be swooshing by while my buddy is totally in focus.

Hopefully that will be one of the last of those type of pictures from my point 'n click camera, since my SLR should be in the mail as we speak. (or as I type, I suppose). Anywho, onto the sketches:

Just an interesting shape
The start of something that may have been beautiful
A pretty composition, for some reason
Playing with harsh edges
Experimenting with wacky proportions and harsh edges

Overall, I think they all have something interesting, but the first and third are the ones that I look at more than once.

Anywho, it's late. I should really be sleeping more. Yoi yume o.


Holy multiple posts, batman!

4 posts in one day?! I must be crazy >_<

If you're bored, check out these movie trailers one of our artists found after coming back from a comic con if you're in the mood for some crazy stuff:

Pan's Labyrinth

New movie from Guillermo del Toro (director of ‘Hellboy’ and ‘The Devils Backbone’) All Spanish language big budget insanity. They apparently showed a subtitled 10 mins at Comic Con this year.

The Fountain

Darren Aronofsky, Director of ‘Pi’ and ‘Requiem for a Dream’. He left Batman Begins to make this.

Children of Men

No idea who made this, but it looks incredible.

The Prestige

Chris Nolan (director of Batman Begins) re-teams with Bale to make this in between the Batman sequel.

Interesting stuff, no?

Also, it sucks to have old injuries surface. I think I tore a muscle - like, 3 years ago or so. I always thought it was just a bad stretch, and that it would loosen up once I started to work out again, but sure enough, it just hurts like holy hell a lot :( So much so that it started to bug me a lot this weekend, and even more during my workout today - boo!

Also, also, the artists in our studio are freakin' talented. Got to see a bunch of new ideas from them in the last couple days, and holy crap do they look good. It's like they have been able to crank out inspiration like it's on an assembly line. lol. Wish I could get that effect every once in a while :p
Cute attack!

Matt's kitten, Innocent, c/o leximancer
Arty smarty post?

Whoever decided that it was a good idea to bundle over a hundred games of Sudoku into Brain Age for the DS was a freakin' genius. The first few times I tried it, I totally sucked at it, but once I got the style of game, and some of the patterns down, it's a fun little thing to do when just chilling out at home, or watching TV. Totally nerdy, but fun :p

I've started to develop a taste for a few wines. Not very many, but after going to a cozy little wine bar here in Dallas and trying a decent variety of bottles, I've found a couple that I like. (Although the cool guy who ran the place moved back to Cali, which is kinda sad) There are 2 red wines that I definitely enjoy, and I can totally see how they would go well with certain types of food - most obviously, a good cheese plate :) Methinks it's time to start making some more fun meals at home for the wine to go well with :p

Stumbled across a very very cool interview with Yoshitaka Amano this morning on 1up.com that goes pretty deep into a "day in the life" and shows his office, inspiration and personality. Definitely an awesome read, if you're interested in an artist and his work (obviously more interesting if you're familiar with his work). It's very cool to see a lot of the pieces I've seen from him in sketches around his office, and to hear about his inspirations and passions, and where his ideas came from. Even more than that, it's awesome to see how genuine of a person he appears to be - definitely awesome. He's on the top of the "people I'd love to meet someday" list - it's a shame I don't speak Japanese. I would absolutely love to own an original piece by him someday - because I enjoy his work, but also because when you see that and have an idea behind the person that made it, the pictures speak volumes more when you see them.

Tiny snippet:
1UP: So it's like perspective, how art is to one person can be entirely different to another.

YA: So video games say something different to me too. I could just express something, in a game world in a different way. That's why I like working in games too. I think it would be interesting if I could express something from a painting in a video game.

While reading that, I came across a reference to Neil Gaiman, and Amano's work with him, so I poked back over to Gaiman's site (I've been reading a few of his books recently) and totally remebered again why I like his work - he's an awesome writer and just has some crazy ideas. That and a wacky sense of humor - there were some stores in Smoke and Mirrors where I actually laughed out loud because of the pictures he painted with his words. It's also very cool that he blogs - always provides an interesting read. That and one of the pictures (in a random set) on his blog is of him trying to write and his cat totally interrupting him - don't know why, it just makes me laugh :p He's also on the top of my "people I'd love to meet" one day list. Just to see what kind of a person he is.

And... ARRGGHHH! They're remodeling the floor beneath us - like, RIGHT beneath us, so there's the occasional FREAKING LOUD DRILLING beneath our office - so loud that you can actually feel the ground shake. It's either going to be a long day, or a very short day because I might go nuts and leave early.
Fuck dude.

Man, internet radio is the best and worst thing ever. It's the kind of thing that you turn on while you're folding laundry and the next thing you know, you've gotten into a productive groove and it's 1am when you're finally done and you're blogging and you should totally be asleep since you barely slept over the weekend. Weird. But then there's some songs that you just can't be still during, like Dani California. :p

People can be absolutely fascinating sometimes - especially when you learn new things about them - it's amazing the scope and impact the events in our lives have, and more interestingly, how they compare and appear next to those in our own lives. I feel like I'm constantly given reasons that remind and amaze me of this. Guess its another level of reflection from our surroundings, neh?

Got lucky enough to make a shotgun trip down to Austin to meet up with a bunch of work buddies from there, the ones that moved over to BWA. First of all - got to spend the whole day on Lake Austin, which was awesome, because it's been ages since I did that, and was also a welcome relief after the sauna of a ride there from Dallas on the bike. (which was also a lot of fun) That and even had a big BBQ at Roy's palce and got to hang out with all the guys I used to work with and catch up and drink some beers - man, that was a trip back, and also a blast. I had forgotten how funny they all were :p And holy crap - I ended up riding the Waco to Dallas trip back at night - it's been a long time since I saw so many stars in the sky. On the streches of road between the little towns, even through my shaded visor, I felt like I could see hundreds of stars in the sky - absolutely beautiful. Also reminded me how nice riding the bike could be (which I had forgotten after riding in the 107 degree heat...)

Also got the oppurtunity to go to a BBQ over the weekend with a bunch of people here (actually in the apartment complex I lived in when I was first here) and played water volleyball for almost 4 hours - until the sun went down and, get this, it actually got cold! (was mostly from the wind after getting out of the pool, but still). Made me reminiscent of the sand volleyball days back in High School. Oh man, was it a good time. I'm hoping to jump in on one of the indoor teams up here for the fall season. :)

Also, I'm a weak, weak man sometimes. I've been craving getting a digital SLR for years now, and recently started looking again after Howard showed me his, and Sherman starting talking about his. After reading about a bajillion reviews online, I settled on one, a good solid one that I really liked. Prices weren't looking so hot, so I was hoping to wait until a sale came up on one of the various online stores. Until what happens? Announcement comes that they're not making that model anymore! WTF! So I ended up caving a buying one from one of the few stores online. I spent a whole freaking lot of money today because of the camera, all the accessories and an extra lens. But ooohhhh man, am I looking forward to getting it (it's the D50 on the Nikon website) :D

Speaking of people and events, I got the "family update" from my mom today. One of my cousins (Raji) just found out that his wife is pregnant - which will be their fourth baby! They're gonna have a whole army of them soon! And on the opposite end of the spectrum, another one of my cousins who was pregnant (Sharon) recently miscarried :'( which makes me really, really sad. They have two boys and were looking forward to their first daughter :'( Love you guys!

Sometimes you should really just listen to your gut. And now it's time to blow out the candle, put away the feather-tipped ink pen and retire to bed. g'night.



... friends are very smart. Thanks dude.



Just a warning - this whole post is going to be exceedinly random. Just a train of thoughts all being typed up.

I recently really started to miss teaching. I don't really know why, but one day last week on the way into work, I really missed the feeling I got when teaching karate classes back home. My only guess is that since my heaviest excercise was karate for years and years and years, and tied very close to that was teaching karate classes, there's a mental tie between the physical act of working out and the mental feeling of teaching - of passing on information - and more importantly - the feeling you have when you see one of your students learning, and happy about it. That's a really amazing feeling - one that I'm missing a lot now. How strange is that?

It makes me so happy to see Matt enjoying his new kitten - Innocent XIII. The weekend he came up here, Matt, Mike and I spent practically the whole weekend in the upstairs just playing with him - probably the cutest thing in the world. It's absolutely amazing to just sit and watch him run around, in a totally new place - full of energy, passion and curiosity. What's truly amazing is the childlike innocence (no pun intended) of this little animal. He would run around, perfectly content to crawl around and stumble up every little stack of things, learning from each mistake. But more beautiful was how he acted around us people - none of us could resist picking him up and playing with him, and occasionally having to spray him with water if he was doing something bad. But the amazing part is that regardless of what would happen, he would continue to happily explore, sit and sleep on all of us - he would never let the little frustrations he got of us holding him (occasionally) or spraying him do anything at all to him. Happily he would go along his way, finding joy, finding happiness in every little thing he stumbled upon, and letting each of the bumps he came across melt right off, while still learning from them. Really beautiful to watch.

Apparently software engineer is the best job in the nation - hooray for me, I suppose :)

The figure drawing class from last week was one of the more bizarre ones I've been to. I went into it pretty excited, because throughout the day I had really been in a mood to draw, even though (or possibly because of) I was operating on little sleep that day. But for some bizarre reason, when I sat down in front of the blank newsprint, conte pencil in hand, totally ready to go, I couldn't. I don't know why, I just couldn't. I tried to draw what I saw from the model gesturing different poses each minute, but all that came out was bizarre lines and shapes that only vaguely resembled the human form - and of those that did, they were more lifeless and emotionless than I had ever seen. I tried softer strokes, abstract strokes, even harsh definition of the form in front of me - but nothing worked - nothing captured anything I saw from my eyes or in my head. Never, NEVER have I wanted to draw so badly and just couldn't. I finally ended up leaving after a mere hour - out of frustration or confusion, I'm unsure. But I stopped nonetheless.

Can you possibly believe that my hair is 33 inches long? How crazy is that?

So one of the fascinating things about my job is the team size. Only a little over 20 at the moment. Last week we had a meeting discussing a fairly serious topic that affected the game on a fairly base level. Turned out to be a long meeting, but about halfway through it, I realized what I was really experiencing around me - I didn't have a bunch of people arguing about their job, or the project they're working on, or have management come down and make demands, or have bitterness arise from differences in opinions. Instead I looked around and saw a room full of people who were all passionate about what they were here for, and could discuss the problems and concerns everyone had in a manner that would allow a happy conclusion to be met. It was astonishing to watch and experience. Not like a bunch of coworkers, but like a difficult discussion between family or close friends - with the goal of solving. It was amazing how being there, and hearing some of the words out of their mouths drew direct parallels to the struggles we go through. So much so to a literal extent, even. And even then, as time passed on, I found those reminders again and again. From out drinking wine and listening to the past and present pains of the company, to talking in depth with a friend by moonlight about problems gone and resolved and fears now gone. Astonishing how different and diverse we all are, and yet how similar our struggles become. Perhaps that's how we get through them. Not only by ourselves, but also through each others resolutions. Past, present and future.


It points...

Went down to Houston this weekend - I was excited about the trip because I was looking forward to taking the bike down there - been far too long since I've taken it out for any real amount of time. And then the weather came... crazy thunderstorms all weekend! (which ended up being totally true, it was like someone dropped an ocean on the city). So turns out it's good I didn't take it back, but I finally realized why a lot of motorcyclists call other vehicles on the 'cagers'. When you really want to ride, to feel the wind, to just be outside, the car feels like a cage :( Thankfully I took the bike out tonight - nothing like riding towards the sunset, turning around and following the moon home. Cool feeling after a bleh work day.

While down in Houston, I ended up seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a pretty fun and simple movie, but it was better than I thought :) Definitely had some of the funniest scenes I've seen in a movie in a long time. Johnny Depp is a freakin' genius - even funnier than in the first one :) Sometimes I wonder how the writers came up with this stuff (like the choreography in the last fight scene - holy crap!). It was a beautiful combination of slapstick comedy, action and special effects thrown together to make a bunch of fun in the theater. Definitely recommend it :)

I love how only a handful of our friends can totally take over a place. lol. I think Saturday night was proof positive that we can make any place with any number of us a lot of fun. :)

Oh, and to Shannon and Reece - Congratulations! I saw a picture of Shannon after the wedding - you looked breathtakingly gorgeous! :D

And just to finish it off with randomness:

- Pat, you brought up a crazy good memory over the weekend - Flame on!
- Half price books + Mike's employee discount == lots of books for nearly nothing :)
- Mike, you were totally on fire Saturday night (must be the English major in you)
- Mel, you managed to shatter my poor mind to the point of irrecoverability >_<
- Irony's a bitch
- Mike was on fire, but Pat still wins for quip of the night :p
- Shell, you and your parents may just give me a death by chocolate
- 10 hours of driving in a weekend takes a lot out of you
- My sides still hurt from about 8 hours straight of laughing

Oh yeah - we totally need to get a group together to see A Scanner Darkly this weekend :)


Look in my eyes

Well, I said I would post pics from last week's life drawing class, and I finally dragged the newsprint back here and snapped some pics. They're not great, but I really like the progression that you can see in the pictures in order. One of those sets of pics where I really liked some of the stuff that came out - some realistic, some stylistic, even some that convey emotion (which I tend to struggle to do). It really is a shame I was so exhausted that day - it was a good art moment for me. Anyways - onto the pics.

So here they are, in the order that they progressed.




... you've pushed yourself to your limits, you've given everything you could give, it hurts to move on and everything is sweat and tears ...

you've taken your first step of the marathon.



Alright, so I hate that I've been meaning to post for days, and then I constantly either forget or don't have the energy to get all my thoughts out, so they dissipate into nothingness. What fun is that? So anyways - here's some random musings for those of you that are bored reading the internet.

Wed: Alright, another figure drawing class came and went last Wednesday. I can't remember why, but I had barely slept the night before so I was totally exhausted - which is a shame, because that was one of the days where I was just on fire (at first) - the model 'spoke' to me on an a very right brain aspect, and I got quite a few sketches that I really liked out of it. Unfortunately, there were a lot of people, and so I was stuck in a chair instead of an art seat thingy (that holds up your sketchpad, too). So a combination of my arms getting exhausted quick, and my body just being damn tired forced me to leave after only an hour - boo. But, I got some very cool figures out of it, pics to be uploaded next time I take a camera to work. :)

On that note - I added pictures from the last few posts where I said I would put pictures - including lightning and my poor sketch from a week or so ago. Not too good when I look at it again, but I figured I said I would put it up, so I did.

Fri: Got an interesting link at work Friday. An absolutely astonishing website - We feel fine. It's a site made by these two tech guys that made a site that will scan new posts from a variety of blogs and search for sentences that have "I feel..." in them somewhere and capture them. After that, they are all presented in beautiful ways. Truly an amazing place to just dive head first into a sea of the world's emotions - to see real people's real feelings. Truly and absolutely beautiful. I found myself just clicking through all the sets of data and a bunch of the quotes, just to see what people were thinking. It's truly interesting to see one of those feelings and try and guess the context of it. What an awesome application of technology to visualize human lives and emotions. They also made a site called Love lines, which does a similar thing, but with people saying things from a range of "I love..." to "I hate...". I'd strongly recommend that one as well, because you can rapidly click through those one by one. Even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) is that it's constantly scanning - so it's different every time you go back. Remember - it's non-fiction there. Those people are real. Fascinating.

Went out and saw a spectacular songstress in Deep Ellum on Friday (from Austin, ironically). Here's a link to her myspace, which has some of her songs. Very very cool - a combo of old fashioned music, jazz and vocals. Was a really fun time, and the venue was a little cozy cafe - good music and food - fun stuff :)

Sat: I am not impressed by the rock climbing gyms in the DFW area. That makes me sad :(

Sun: Started off the day meeting a bunch of sportbike riders from dfwsportbike.com going through a bunch of country roads way up north on the road to Oklahoma - fortunately the meetup was only a few miles from the house, so it wasn't bad. Once I got there, there were maybe 10 bikes, and more and more just kept showing up - there must have been 25-30 total! So we all rode up the freeway and out to the country roads and stopped at a gas station to get ready to go. I knew I wasn't the highest skilled so I hung out at the back but got caught in the first 5 or so when we left the gas station.

Let's just say I was humbled pretty damn quick. I always felt comfortable on the bike, but never rode close to the limits of it. My chicken strips (for those who know what they are) are huge, and I have no problem with that. Yeah - we got out to the first big twisty (which was a damn long curve), and I've never had the bike that far over - I was really proud of myself for not panicking, and riding through it without incident, but I knew then that these guys were way outta my league, so as soon as the next straightaway came, (had to go through a few shorter twisties with my heart nearly leaping out of my chest) I let the 20+ guys behind me take the lead, cuz I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up without going way way outta my comfort zone and probably wrecking. I was really glad we had a guy who was willing to keep up the rear (there were two of us that were enjoying the landscape but couldn't tear up the twisties - although I was really afraid the other guy was gonna crumple his new R1...), so I was able to 'ride my ride' and do them at my confidence level and catch up at the stops. More than that, it was cool to not be 'looked down' on or anything like that when I showed up at the end of the line - all the people were cool (primarily I think cuz they all know how much it sucks to wreck a bike...).

Here's a pic of all (most?) of the bikes.

Turned out to be a really fun ride, and I got a lot of good practice on the bike. I also realized that although I ride a sportbike, I dunno whether I'll ever ride it like a sportbike. I love taking the bike out and making trips on it and enjoying the scenery and the rush of being outside, and although there is something exciting about leaning hard into the turns and taking the bike to those limits, I think I'd rather keep the bike as upright as possible. =P I think my poor sportbike has a cruiser-minded owner.

Shiny side up is more important than thrills, methinks.


End of the world!

One thing that the deck at the new house is great for is thunderstorms. There's a pretty bad one that's coming through this area, but isn't quite here yet, so I decided to go out on the deck and watch the sky (Vincent, of course, wanted to accompany me).

Wow. It is absolutely gorgeous watching the lightning tear across the sky and light up the landscape - almost as if it wants to get a glimpse of the world below by lighting it up momentarily. It was in many places over the landscape too. I even managed to get some pictures - with my digital camera, no less! (those of you who have ever tried to capture lightning - especially with camera with no configurable shutter speed - you know how much of an accomplishment that is).

Quite the sight, definitely. After a while, there was one blast of lightning that stretched across the full sky, covering my entire field of vision and lighting up the area almost to the level of daylight for a moment. It was so visible that I managed to react, raise the camera and take a photo of the tail end of it before it disappeared. Now what happened about half a minute later was an earth shattering barrage of thunder - the kind that literally moves the earth, makes you lose your balance and feels like the end of the world is coming - ala War of the Worlds or something. (I don't know if I lost my footing because of the deck shaking, or my legs just got wobbly from the sounds of the buildings shifting all around me). It was about this time that my cat ran and cowered by the door, and promptly got distracted by a bug and starting rolling around with it. It's nice to know that if the world were to come to a violent end, my cat would be thoroughly distracted by a small bug. =P

I ended up sitting outside through about five of these massive streaks of light and earth shattering thunder until it started to rain noticeably and it was time to go inside. Really makes you realize how large and massive the world really is around us. Truly beautiful, no less.

Edit: pictures! the first massive earth-shattering crash of lightning, a freaked out kitty, the last massive crash before I retired to the inside

Plus, rain would be good right now, since there's a drought in the area. :)


Kittens solve all the world's problems

Ok, so a coworker recently saved a litter of very young kittens, and was trying to find homes for them here at work. Turns out that Matt is going to be able to take one of them in! Yay!

Here's a picture of three of the little guys - the middle one is Matt's new kitty - he is bobtailed and is only 6 weeks old. Karen (the coworker who found them) is currently calling him Stubby, although I think his new name will be Innocent XIII (because we all know cats are never innocent...). He was also apparently the first out of the litter to purr :)

Now I dare you to look at that picture and not smile (and probably go "awwwwwwww") :)


All at the same time

So I was tossing back and forth whether or not I had the energy to stay after work tonight for the figure drawing class. I felt pretty bad since I had to miss the last two weeks, but still decided I was way too tired (I haven't been sleeping recently - don't really know why, my body just doesn't wanna sleep), and as I was walking to the elevators to leave, the art lead of the team I'm on (great guy, heads up the drawing classes) saw me and called down the hall asking if I was leaving. So, I decided to stay.

I was a little late in, and today was a long pose (one of the reasons I was thinking about not going - it's been too long, and I'm not comfortable enough with the base figure to do a confident long pose), so we spent a little time warming up with gestures before getting down to the 2.5+ hr pose. I tried to sketch during gestures and what came out looked more like alien abominations than the human form - especially since they gestures were quick enough that I never got a full body sketch (only a few minutes on each). And once we got to the main pose, my heart just wasn't in it - which is a shame, because today was the first male model we had, and I was really looking forward to it (I find myself able to stylize the female form more easily - so even a picture that is slightly inaccurate can still be an interesting piece - I need more work with the male form). So away I go, trying to take what I see and translate it to the massive newsprint in front of me.

The night ended up being a lot more interesting than I expected. There were only 4 of us there and the model, and we all (all of us and the model) ended up jamming to the music and taking movies, music, comics, all kinds of random stuff (speaking of which, I am going to have to dump the money into buying the whole Sandman series at some point). We eventually went into things like passion and how people live their lives, from seeing them to imagining them, from good to bad. It was truly inspirational, beautiful and painfully gut-wrenching all at the same time. An insanely amazing experience. At the end of all of it, I looked down at the long pose I was working on, and I can see the different parts I worked on as different topics came up - and weirdly, some of the parts I am usually terrible at, came out decent, while some of the stuff I'm usually good at weren't so hot. Very very strange. It's not a good piece by any stretch of the imagination, especially since when I started the base sketch I really didn't 'feel' like drawing (and that never goes well), so I was building off of that base. Anyways, I've said that I'd post my pictures once I did them, and I'm going to - I'll take a camera into work tomorrow and snap a picture.

On that note - I am working on 3 other pieces at home (digital), just trying to find the time to do everything at night - working out, drawing, going out, reading, setting up stuff at home, and city trips - lots of stuff to balance. Once those are done, they'll be up here. On the plus side, one of the pieces that I was just blobbing paint onto, I decided to do a little detail work, and it came out really well, which is probably going to help me finish it up.

Right now I have the strongest craving to jump on my motorcycle, pick a direction and drive until I'm out of gas or exhausted, park the bike and fall asleep under the stars, without caring about getting back or anything else.

Edit: link to the picture from that night



Stumbled across this myspace group while poking around on the internet. Looked pretty interesting, so I kept reading and came across this quote they had on there. Very cool.

This is a shout out. To all the Moto-Folkers out there. The ones who want to experience the world through wider eyes. Who are willing to sacrifice the safe walls of steel that surround us in our vehicles everyday. Who love to wander with the wind by their side. Who welcome the butterflies every now and then and who's hair stands up naturally on the backs of their necks. Who thinks of life and not death. We are men, woman and children. We are pilots, nurses and students. We are people. We are colorless and oh so colorful. Borderless and cross every border we can. We are free spirited and wild. We are Sport, touring, cruiser and off-road warriors. We are Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. We are free to choose. Free to live...and free to ride.

For people that question that phantom "group" that you become part of once you own a bike - this is a pretty good manifestation of it.


Uninhibited inspiration

Alright, so I've decided to sell the house and move...


to Ikea! Because they have all the coolest stuff in the world! I've got it all figured out... I'll just move from one showcase room to the other every day and noone will be the wiser. *evil grin*

Anyways - holy crap! I went there today since it's time for their "summer sale" and I figured if they had anything I really liked, now would be the time to get it. Good lord... I went up to the showcase area and started looking around at ALL the different pieces of furniture, colored walls, entertainment centers, kitchen setups. Wow. Just wow. The totally nerdy creative interior designer part of me that watches Trading Spaces was having a mental orgasm. I quickly realized that I totally couldn't buy a thing because I had NO idea how everything should look yet. I think it's time to approach this properly - with diagrams of the rooms and a sketchbook. :D

I was disappointed with the selection of specific stuff... since I needed some silverware and dishes and outdoor furniture and such. And then I found the second floor - the marketplace. Holy crap pt. 2! Again, just a total mental overload. I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera to take pictures of all this so I could look it over at home... which is why I think I'm going back tomorrow with a camera and an empty memory card. O:-)

I think for once I may actually have to start worrying about money - not in the way where I have before, but more in the way of not spending more than I have... It's really nice to be able to see a lot of this stuff and know that I can afford it, but I need to be careful to check "can I afford it" as I go along. It seems like it's really easy to just say "well, I have the money, may as well enjoy it" - just have to not let that get me into trouble. I mean, the only real thing I've ever indulged on was my motorcycle, and I still take really good care of that and try and be intelligent about spending money on it (comments on the first bike blowing up are not necessary...). Hopefully I can keep to that. I just find myself looking at a lot of that stuff and saying to myself, I really want it - I should get it. We'll see what happens once I actually start buying some of the stuff...

Dance like nobody's watching - especially when people are. :) Was a lot of fun to blast the music and dance in place in the car - lots of people look at you and smile - it's kinda fun. Dunno why, just was in a fun mood today. Maybe it was the 100+ degree heat sending me into delerium. :P

The negative side of the day was cramps. :( Went to the gym to work out today and after about 25 mins on the bike, my right hamstring cramped a whole freaking lot. To the point that I couldn't move my leg at all for a few minutes, and then had to sit and stretch on the bike for another 5 minutes just to be able to get up and walk away from the thing. Now I'm limping my way around the house because it's sore. BOO! >:-O

It's time to let go of the handlebars, throw my arms up in the air, and ride the roller coaster we call life, screaming all the way. :)


Talk about a fun weekend

Taking the bike long distances and just being with yourself out in nature on the road is beautiful. Turns out that driving down to Houston for no specific reason other than to meet up with friends was a great idea. I got to put a good 400+ miles on the bike (I ended up getting a ride from College Station to Houston, otherwise it would have been 600+ miles), and got a chance to meet up with everyone from the area, most of which I haven't seen in a really long time. Really made me remember how wonderful the friends I have are. :)

I learned a whole bunch this weekend too - remembering growing up, who I was, who I've become and who I'm going to be. I also have learned a lot about my friends recently - their hopes, dreams, fears, joys and sadnesses. It's an enlightening experience. However, the one tangible lesson of the weekend: riding a motorcycle through a thunderstorm is quite a character-building event. One I hope I don't have to do again. o_O

Also, I started to remember how much my friends mean to me - it turns out that the majority of my friends are either doing really well right now, or they're on the way to doing really well, which is a great feeling. There are very few of them that seem personally lost or in limbo. It makes me really happy to see them doing well, and for some of them - really happy and excited. :) I had forgotten how much that affects me.

I finally started drawing again. It's been ages, but yesterday after I got back from the trip (totally exhausted), I started doodling stuff while relaxing and I think I'll finally be able to finish a piece again, which has been many years coming :) I'll be sure to post it up once I'm done.

And for the random book recommendation: if you never have seen Found, it's a book full of random things that people have picked up and sent into a Davy Rothbart, who collected them all and put them in a magazine. Once there were enough of these random notes, love letters, doodles and sometimes just receipts, he made this book. Anyways, that book was completed a few years ago, and he just recently released Found II, which has more of the same interesting stuff. It's a beautiful view into random people's lives. Have you ever looked around and people watched and wondered what's on different people's minds? These books answer that question by showing little slices of random people's lives from all over. Its truly fascinating. Well worth getting down in Sugar Land and hauling back up to Dallas on the bike :)

So yeah - for all of you that I was able to see this weekend - you rock! Hopefully there will be more get togethers like that more often. Stay happy! :)



Live each day as if it will be your last. Leave each day with a smile. Leave every goodbye as if you might never see each other again. Live every moment with happiness. Live each day to dream. Dream each night to strive for life. Live to hope, live to love, live to laugh.

Live life - you only get one.


Drunk people are funny

Especially when you get random drunk IMs. The whole conversation was funny, but for some reason, this made me laugh.

him: i am so drunk right now
me: really?
me: that's fun :-D
me: how much have you had?
him: hahaha
him: i dunno
him: firm event
him: they were paying for drinks
him: i had some champagne
me: haha
me: niiice
him: and couple glasses of wine
him: e
him: and then
him: to top it all off
him: i had some whiskey
him: lol
him: i also got my paycheck yesterday
him: i took one look at it
him: and said
him: if i was me
him: i wouldn't hire me for that much money
him: i'm totally milking them for all they're worht
me: lol


It's like the Godfather part two.

"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid" - Epictetus


For the child in you

Remember reading Shel Silverstein's books when you were a kid? Like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic? So, I found another cool artist at Scarborough Faire this weekend that had a great poem from Shel Silverstein on his website.

Listen to the mustn'ts
Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts
The impossibles, the won'ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
anything can be.

- Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Really amazing - when you go back and read some of those old poems, it's amazing to see how they appeal to the innocence of children - looking at the world in an unbiased manner, taking things at face value. Just welcoming the world. Makes you feel like a chlid again :)



Went over to Scarborough Faire today with Jen - it was like Ren Fest, but six months early! :) Turned out to be a ton of fun, and we even got to the see Ded Bob show. Although even funnier was the Mud Show, which featured (get this) one of the three guys from the Flaming Idiots back at the Ren Fest! That was a surprise! Apparently they broke up, and one joined up with the guys at the Mud Show. And to finish the day off, I got my palms read (I was interested since I started to look through the books I had again recently) and a tarot reading done. All I can say is - WOW. I do hold a good amount of belief in a lot of that stuff, but I always try and go in with a little skepticism. Without letting the woman know anything about me, she was able to read just about every facet of my personality like a book, and touched on a lot of my past quite accurately. All within the first five minutes - and in detail on some of the stuff too. I was really surprised. Even more interesting once she started touching on the future and did the tarot reading. (Not that I believe that all fate is defined to every last detail already, but it was incredibly interesting to see what she had to say). She picked up on a lot of stuff that I really didn't see coming. Probably the most convincing reading I've had.

Also, finally went out to another show here in Dallas - was just poking around and ended up in a bar that had a few bands lined up, so Jen and I hung around there for a while Saturday night. Was a total blast - the headliner was Flametrick Subs (who I had actually seen in Austin before and didn't realize it until they got up on stage), although the openers were also great (if not better). I couldn't even listen to Secret Devil Sign: first, they were CRAZY loud angry metal stuff, and second, the lead singer reminded me WAY too much of Sean, if he had decided to be the lead singer in an angry angry metal band instead of going to Westpoint. I just couldn't take them seriously - but it sure was funny. *laughs* And there was also Sidekick Mafia - who actually turned out to be really good. Had a pretty wide range of music, and all the guys were pretty talented. Put on a good live show. :)

And a more of an older update... the artists at work started doing figure drawing classes again (they used to do it a lot more often, but have recently gotten back into it). The first week I did it, I felt like my eyes had been reopened to that passion that I always had - the artist in me totally came out again. (don't get me wrong, I wasn't good at it by any stretch of the imagination - but it was nice to at least get back into it again). Really made me remember what passion I have for that kind of stuff - makes me want to get back into it more. And for a short second there, I really did think to myself, "What would have happened if I decided to go to art school after High School." Strange, no? This last week didn't go quite as well, because I was really tired going into it, and its a three hour session at the end of a workday. One thing I'm really amazed about is how non-sexual of an experience it really is. (we don't do nudes, but it's close) It's just really interesting - because your brain is so concentrated on capturing the mood, the 'feel' of the pose, looking at the musculature and trying to capture that, that the sexual image isn't even a thought at all. It's a really cool feeling to see all the people in the room that empassioned about their art and expressing it in wholly different ways.

Just cuz it's hilarious - exploding G4!



Alright, so here's a sample of one of the recent additions to the quotes database from work.

"Alright, now we're in the state where you have no pants."


Why is it that sometimes I feel like I'm working with a bunch of college students? lol ^_^



I haven't watched a basketball game in a really long time - but today I went to the gym, and the Spurs v. Mavs game was on, and it was the Playoffs, so I figured, why not get a good seat? So I plopped down on one of the bike machines witha great view of the TV and watched the game. Who would've thought that as the game got interesting, that 24 hour fitness would turn into a sports bar full of people, complete with the raving Mavs fans to the casual watchers to the lone few Spurs fans. Turned out to be a lot of fun. Plus, the Mavs won! Yay western conference champs! ^_^

Also, because I had such a great seat and the game started to get interesting at the end, I tried to stay on the bike for as long as I could - was on for a full 60 minutes, non-stop! 22.6 miles of travel on the bike! Felt great! :) Of course once the game went into overtime, I decided to stop (plus the machine stops your workout at an hour no matter what - who knew?) because I don't think I could have physically gone any longer.

Definitely feels great to workout again - to really push my body to it's limits again. It really helps to clear up the mind - I had forgotten the best thing (for me) to balance a mental workout is a physical workout (and vice versa). Helps to bring the inspiration back into life.

In an attempt to prep for more long distance trips on the motorcycle, I bought some thin, over-ear headphones I was hoping I could wear inside my helmet. (so that there was actual music I could sing along to, instead of singing to myself - which is a lot of fun). I tried it on the way to work this morning, and was really surprised by how it turned out. It really turned out to feel really 'fake' - almost like I was watching a movie with a musical soundtrack in the background. It didn't feel very real, strangely enough. (besides, they were a little uncomfortable under there). I rode back home from work without them and just found the whole experience to be infinitely more visceral - more instinctive. There's just something about hearing the wind go by, feeling the road move underneath me - it made it so much easier to just appreciate everything - all the experiences. Maybe once I start doing the multi-hour trips, I'll look into some more music solutions. But for now, the sound of the world around me is all I need.

There's plenty to appreciate.



I don't know why, but for the first time in a long time, I had an incredibly vivid dream last night - I'm not sure if it's because I've been so tired recently, or what (riding the bike to and from work and working out makes the body feel pleasantly sore). Anyways, I apparently slept so heavily last night (or my body wanted to sleep so heavily) that I had a crazy lucid dream (one of the few that I remember realizing it was a dream). It wasn't anything insanely exciting (as far as I can remember), but so vivid, that when I was awoken by my alarm, my first thought was "Who / where am I?", then it was "Am I still dreaming?", then it was "Why the hell is my alarm going off, it's the weekend" (that one probably makes the least sense) and then I was so exhausted that I slept for another hour (which in turn, made me late to work). I think my brain was actually MORE tired after sleeping because of all the dreaming. How weird is that? Anywho, I'm really curious to see what my mind will be doing in the evenings now... fascinating at the very least.

So this link got sent around work today and sparked off a ton of discussion about the 'Uncanny Valley' - that is the wierd place where technology gets SO close to reality that the tiny little things start to creep us out. Think about things like Elmer Fudd. There's so much character / ridiculousness in his form that we accept it all as 'natural' for him and his actions / movements. But once we start emulating reality - the little things, like the way the cloth moves, or the way the face animates just start to look 'wrong' because we except something more ... real.

However, I DO think it's a gorgeous tech demo, and it fascinating about how far we've come in this sort of thing. Can you even imagine seeing this sort of movie back when we were kids? It would all seem like science fiction. Pretty interesting, IMHO - what do you think? Interesting? Creepy?



Find the beauty that you crave. And once you find it, experience it. Live it. Cherish it.

I heard from an old High School friend today (Gautam) who is doing just that - check this out: Sangaticenter - he runs the place and lives on-site full time.


You know you want to...


Hope is a waking dream. -Aristotle


Alright, I caved.

So my old fashioned blog is far behind the times, I suppose. So I went ahead and setup a Facebook, Friendster and Myspace accounts, (since it appears noone can settle on only using one of these... >_< So if you're on any of those, add me :)


Laissez-moi voir votre main

So I'm reading through my uncle's old indian palm reading book again and it's incredibly fascinating. If there's anyone out there that reads this, will you please please please photocopy / take a picture of both of your palms and email them to me? There's nothing more that I would love than to see than how the readings compare to the people I know.

Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top? And maybe a cherry?

kthxbye :)

Alright, so I finally got a chance to go to the gym - what, has it been like, a thousand years? I'd forgotten how good it feels to be able to push your body close to it's limits in order to improve it. It really is an odd concept when you think about it - slowly destroying muscles so that they react and rebuild. Weird. That and convincing your body that it's not getting any more food so that it will start to burn the fat off, only to appease it again. Strange how we revolve around tricking our bodies o_O

Anyways, I digress. Tonight I felt like someone was slamming my chest with a sledgehammer from the inside out. It's been so long since I've had a heavy workout I forgot how it felt. After about 20 mins on the excercise bike, I started to cooldown and my heart was beating so hard and fast I could practically see my shirt moving with each thump. Honestly, it was a little scary at the time, but afterwards, and even now, I can feel my heartbeat a little bit more confidently than before. That's definitely good.

Also, I finally got a good picture of me and my bike:

Awesome. More city-to-city trips on it to come soon. ^_^


Go super repairman, go!

Alrighty, so today was a freakin' super productive day around the house (just a regular day for... super repairman! *insert theme music here*)

Seriously, though - I had to pick up some stuff last night, and some during lunch at work today, but just check out the stuff I got done!

- Replaced a broken off sprinkler head (involving removing a broken pipe fastener)
- Dug up and replaced another sprinkler head in the front lawn (nice 'n deep)
- Fixed both the upstairs and downstairs leaky toilets
- Shutoff the water to the house and removed / fixed the rusted shut valve in the utility closet (the valve wasn't rusted shut, it was essentially rusted open). WD40 and brute force FTW!
- Installed the new washer and tested it out! :)

Freakin' awesome! So much stuff done, and now I can actually wash my clothes and actually walk through my utility closet! Also, a personal thanks to Matt - I still carry around the knife you bought me a billion jillion years ago, and it came in handy many times today :D;

*sidenote - ... I now know I've been at work too much recently - I instinctively ended that last line with a semicolon >_<

I've also come to realize that when a washer says "Quiet Wash" on it, that really means "Holy Freaking Ridiculously Insanely Loud Wash". I guess that didn't fit on the front as well as "Quiet Wash". Go figure.

Little things like this are really starting to make the house feel like mine - like a home. Definitely have sweat and tears in it - no blood yet. (I don't think...)

So now, here I am - filled with a feeling I haven't felt in a long time - the feeling after really working with your hands. From wrist deep in dirt to scrubbing wuth WD40 to attaching parts to lifting the washer with one hand and adjusting with the other to cleaning up afterwards, it leaves your hands tingling, sore and rough on the skin. I miss working with my hands and the way it leaves you feeling afterwards.

Now that I can actually wash my clothes, the trips to the gym will start up again. Perhaps that will help.
Space wipe

Bleh, so UT has finally decided to pull my student webspace from me, so the pics on the left have been pre-emptively purged. That also means that my old posts will have broken links, which is sad. Methinks it's time to at least take a look at myspace and / or friendster. Added to the ever-growing to do list (gets longer quicker with a house...)


One thing is for sure

It's wonderful to be able to step out above the rooftops and look across the night sky. Being able to step out underneath starlight and take in the world surrounding you is truly enlightening. This entire house is worth it for the back deck alone. I've not found a place better to sit and appreciate everything and just let the mind wander freely, watching the trees dance in the wind or the clouds creep by. Best of all, in the evenings, it's wonderfully quiet. It's a perfect fit for me.

Before crawling into bed tonight, I stumbled across an old journal of mine and for some reason, decided to flip through it. I was amazed - it was like I was reliving some pivotal moments in my life, some of which I didn't even remember writing down. Those were the most interesting, because part of me was remembering the sensations of those moments, while another part was experiencing it like a new story, hanging on to each word. What a beautiful gift - to be able to peek back at my former self like that. I'm glad I jotted those thoughts down when I did. Truly breathtaking.

I learned a lot today. Now it's time to bring the eve to a close.

Oyasuminasai. Yoi yume o.