Alright, so here I am, on the night of the last day of my wonderfully fun and relaxing week long vacation in Captiva. It only seemed appropriate to blog about time. Certainly as the first few days passed while we were here, time was moving incredibly slowly, filling the days with time in the pool, tennis, cooking at the cottage, swimming in the ocean and of course, countless philosophical debates - yet only two days had passed. Surely the rest of the week would feel like forever! We could do everything we wanted! And yet, here we are, at the end of the week, trying to figure what on earth we managed that made the time fly by so quickly. Truth be told, I think most of the people are ready to head back, but it sure is nice to be able to sit out on the patio and enjoy the beautiful weather here. (Minus the mosquitos! Apparantly you really can't escape them, even by going to another state!

But what becomes far more fascinating than that is how we look at time on a broader scale (seriously? did you expect to read some post of mine that doesn't have some sort of existential undertones? :p). It's so easy to not realize where we're really spending your time. Something a close friend said really sums it up (I wish I could quote it directly, but the conversation is on my work machine) pertaining directly to the subject. It was something to the effect of, "Fuck not having enough time - the only live once here and we almost never spend time on the things that are really important to us. Sometimes we have to create time for those things, even if we can't 'fit them in' to our busy lives". Thanks Pat - you're always there for inspiration ;) And I tend to agree - so often we make the excuses - 'I just don't have time' and 'there are so many things I need to take care of' (myself certainly guilty). But you know what? We need to change to make sure that you're making time for the things that really are important. Just saying "I wish I was doing _____" or "I need to spend more time doing _____" or (worst of all) "Something I want to accomplish eventually is _____". Enough of that! Things like that need to be acted upon in the here and now. It's no reason to all of a sudden throw life into an upheaval, but to make sure that the time you spend outside of the necesseties are pushing towards those goals, those desires. I know it's something I intend to work on.

And even on a different note, think about the time that has already passed - the things that you certainly can't change. Personally, I can only speak for around 25 years of that time. And even then - if you know me at all, you know that my memory of my childhood is spotty at best. And not much better growing up. I think it's subconciously a reason I take so many pictures. Tangible memories. But seriously - think about where you were 1 year ago. What was your outlook back then? What was important to you? What things were you striving for? What was driving you? What were you excited about? What were you sad about? How similar were you to how you are now? How about 5 years ago? Really sit down and think about it. Personally, 5 years ago puts me in the middle of a summer after my second year in college, wide eyed and working like mad while goofing off with friends, living day to day, not even thinking about life after this 4 year long 'camp' with lots of classes. How about 10 years ago? Isn't it amazing how differently we can think in such short periods of time? It's really humbling when you think about it. Yet another thing I hope to keep in mind more often, as it pertains to me and the people I care about.

On a simpler note - two of the books I started and finished on this trip were Many Lives, Many Masters (recommended strongly by a friend), which turned out to be an incredibly fascinating read. I'll probably go back and re-read it later just for fun. And A Cat Named Darwin, which I randomly picked up at my favorite bookstore in the world, Bookpeople a few years ago, because, well, the kitty on the cover was cute, and it sounded interesting :) It actually turned out to be a much deeper and thought provoking read (not suprising since I was expecting a simple, shallow, vacation book. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it. So much so that I've already loaned it to someone else to read :p Oh, and for the video gamer in me, I totally went through Metroid: Zero Mission for the second time on hard mode, which proved to be (but of course) an absolutely phenominal glory of gaming splendor :)

Alright, it's time for bed. And then back to the world in Dallas and back to work on Monday. Nice and rejuvenated :)



Holy crap Veej! What're you doing? You just put a post up! Yeah well, this is substantially different, and just so cool that is warrants another post.

One thing that comes out of having Zach here as a roommate is that the intense videogame conversations are rampant around here. The industry is evolving and changing so much, it's always interesting to riff interesting ideas off of one another. After seeing Zach go through the entire Jak and Daxter series and chipping in my input when I could (such a great bunch of games!)

We got to chatting about how spectacular some of the voice acting and cinematography was in those games, and soon god on the topic of other games that acheived the same. Another example that came to mind (primarily because we were looking for a PSP copy of it) was Valkyrie Profile, which told a huge array of compelling stories in a sprite format - excellent RPG.

And of course, one of my personal favorites was Shadow of the Colossus, which is easily one of the most gorgeous pieces of art I've ever seen. Just talking about it has made me want to play it again. Right now.

But the really compelling one was a little game well known as one of "The best games noone played", Beyond Good and Evil, an absolutely astonishing game that really is different than a lot of the other games out there (especially for its time period, given that it was released in 2003). Not only does it have a compelling storyline unique from many of the trivial game plots out there, it's a game where you can genuinely care about your characters and motivations. Jade is a powerful female protagonist (whose breasts aren't the sizes of watermelons! *gasp*!) that is a joy to play. It really is the closest thing I've seen to a movie, game, and art piece combined. I sit here, watching Zach play it again (for the 3rd time, I believe), imploring and begging you to go to your closest game store and buy a copy for the 10 bucks they're selling it for, since not enough people buy it (and trust me, it's there - we stumbled across about 20 copies while looking for Valkyrie Profile). It's a game that at least starts to prove where video games have been trying to head for a long time.

In fact, the reason I started typing this whole thing up was because of this really interesting article about why Beyond Good and Evil didn't succeed that I highly recommend reading.

It really is games like these last two that are really what excites me about being in the industry and where we're going. I hope that one day, before I leave the industry (in one way or another), that I can say I've created a piece of art that is as compelling and unique as one of those games. I know there are some people that want to work on similar things, and I hope I get the oppurtunity, because it seems like too many people don't realize what games could and have become. I wish that more people could appreciate games like Shadow of the Colossus and Beyond Good and Evil than the small groups of people that have played them.

"Let them know the truth about gaming: innovation hasn’t died; it just doesn’t always share the same amount of shelf space as mediocrity."



Food really is a wonderful thing - it's quite a bit more than just fuel. On that note - if you haven't already, go see Ratatouille - go see it right now, because it really is pretty damn wonderful. I'm already thinking about going and seeing it again I enjoyed it so much. The ending portions of it were so ridiculously funny and cute I was nearly crying from laughing so hard :p

Remy and I, we love cheese :)

Anyways - back to my point. Something I've realized again recently - food is not only delectably delicious, but also a powerful form of expression and 'social glue', as it were. The most fun times I've had in the last few months have been in the random times when me and my friends have all gotten together at someones house and either BBQ ed, or just kicked back with a home cooked dinner and a movie. Few things are as nice as a summer night out on the porch with a glass of wine, friends and fresh Indian food (I have my folks to thank for that night of deliciousness). On the other end of the spectrum, throwing together, seasoning and cooking a giant steak with a bunch of friends and some beers is just as much fun :p

Giant Chateau Brianne steak - SO good it was eaten off the cutting board

Just cooking at home has been a lot of fun too - homemade food just tastes so much better and is damn fun to prepare. I had forgotten how satisfying it is, since I haven't really done much since college. I've even started to furnish out my kitchen with more appropriate tools to cook with :) Most recently, I tried out a few new recipes (thanks Zach and Ciri for tasting!) which included: Gouda and artichoke bruschetta, stuffed chicken with a spinach and Gouda blend, lyonnaise potatoes, and a caramelized fruit cup parfait. Yum! They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach - I just didn't expect to be winning my own lol.

I have a soft spot for artichoke. Yum!

It also seems that in many ways, we do turn into our parents. Clearly not in all ways, but definitely in some. Why the weird parental comment? It kind of came to me when Zach and Ciri were chilling out at the house playing guitar hero, and the hummus I had made for a party the week before came up, and I decided to whip up a batch. A little while later, there I am, wandering out of the kitchen with a giant bowl of way too much hummus, fresh toasted pita bread, crackers, slices of salami and fresh slices of Gouda... (if any of you know my mother, you understand the point of this story). To top it all off, while relaxing on the couch watching them play, Ciri turns and makes fun of me, stating the obvious - "I love how you're actively cutting up new slices of cheese this entire time." And sure enough, there I am, cheese slicer and a slab of Gouda in my hand, mentally screaming to myself, "Holy freaking crap! I've turned into my mother!" Which, I suppose if this comes with the amazing ability to cook the best Indian food in the known universe, I can live with that :D

Homemade hummus is pure solid deliciousness.