3 movies, 3 decades

I finished watching three movies from 3 decades that span 50 years apart!

I began the day watching Aliens which was released in 1986. I saw Alien last weekend, great movie for those who like thriller sci-fi. So I have to continue the saga in the next movie. Aliens was even better than Alien because of the technology and realness of the movie. Even 20 years later it is very convincing and awesome. Now I am half way ready to see the new movie Alien Vs. Predator.

The second feature of the day was Blow, released in 2001, starring Johnny Depp. I knew this movie was about drugs but by the promotional poster I expected more Penelope Cruz. Good movie showing the misfortune of drugs.

The last feature tonight was Cool Hand Luke released in 1967. This movie had the atmosphere of a movie in which James Dean would have starred. However, Paul Newman with his unforgettable smile did a great job playing a rebel without a cause. His gain was never giving in or giving up. Always fight to the end. This is one of those movies that would be considered a classic. I also bet that most people my age or younger would have such a difficult time sitting through two hours of this movie. It’s not as fast paced as your average MTV style movies that are the norm of today’s cinematic experience.

Three movies, three decades, 50 years. All three excellent movies in their own respects.

My computer won’t boot up… I hope it boots up tomorrow so I can back everything up…

so tired

too tired to write a lot. i probably won’t be going to grad school. got a call, recommended i get a second bachelor, thought about it, decided it might be right. probably will turn in financial aid app anyway to see what happens.

no news, just olds

I have been in this house for a month now since I moved from WestU. In this month since my move, I am no further in my process of finding a job as I was a month ago. Where is my place in this world?

At the current time, I am working, saving up money, spending some money, having fun and trying to figure out what to do next. I am applying to grad school to seek a Computer Arts degree. I am talking to the sound designer at Second Baptist Church trying to see if he’ll give me some work because I need to continue my education and get back into the scene. I am also talking to two guys in LA who are working to give me names and numbers of people to contact for possibly internships over there. I have worn out my other contacts in the industry, or at least for now. It’s just so bleak right now with my laziness and pessimism. However, I think it’d be wise for me to take a look at my strengths.

Strengths Passions:

  • building computers
  • basics in computer networking
  • web design
  • finding good computer deals
  • ear for music
  • playing piano by ear
  • listening to music critically
  • basics in audio engineering

So there are many things that I like to do. There are probably other things but either I can’t remember them or am too lazy to remember. But, I should touch on each of these.

building computers I can build computers from scratch. I have been building computers for the past 4 years for money and know them inside out. It is easy to buy parts for a computer and build a fresh computer for me to use. However, I can’t use this ability to make billions of dollars. I’d be a sucker to continue building computers for a living. I’d rather own the person building those computers.

basics in computer networking I know how to network computers in a small network. I have been working with this situation for about 4 years as well. But, there are so many times when I don’t want to continue or get sick of it. It’s frustrating sitting in front of a computer for so long trying to figure out a problem that should have taken 2 minutes. At those times I just give up and let others figure it out; I’d rather be watching TV instead. Yet, it is satisfying to get a network to work correctly and efficiently. Just not a huge passion for it. I’m sure that I could find an entry level network administrating job that pays $30,000 a year but what’s the point if I’ll get sick of it? I would rather do something that I love doing no matter and how long. (Yet, as I type this I know that my desires change constantly so it seems hopeless.)

web design For the past few years, I have been trying to brush my skills graphically and technically to do some web design. It’s really fun when you have vision but becomes difficult when your vision needs brushing. I have the knowledge of how to go about the designing process but it’s the focus that needs some brushing up. That’s why I’m applying to grad school. It’d be fun to somehow combine this with the audio/music but I don’t know how.

finding good computer deals HA! Yeah, I’ve probably saved about $500-700 in computer parts from rebates. Will this help me to live my expensive life? heh… riiiiiight

ear for music Now, here’s where I could bank on something. I have a really good ear for music. No, I have an excellent ear for music. I can hear things very well and like to share my opinion when appropriate. My past record is about 85% positive when it comes to giving critical advice because of what I heard. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes just as anyone. I am, however, very good at hearing things musically. When I was mixing the past year and a half, I extended my role of mixer to co-producer giving my opinions and comments to the musicians to make sure their performance was to my liking. I know that technically I shouldn’t (I’ll touch on this in a sec) but it’s so easy for me.

listening to music critically This is basically an addition to the ear for music comment. I can hear things very well, and because of my formal music training ability, I am able to hear songs in a different note than most people. I can understand the theory of what people are trying to do if I want. I see things that most others wouldn’t. I’m confident of my ability to hear things critically. In fact, there are so many times that I’d just love to just replace someone that is horrible and perform myself. Usually it’s a person singing harmony, something in which I’m practically an expert. Yeeeeesh.

playing piano by ear Yes, I can play the piano by ear. Somewhat easily and enjoyably. I like to listen to piano performances and mimic what I hear. Sure, I can read sheet music but I prefer to play by ear when I can because it’s just easier. I’ve developed a pretty nice pattern to follow and most people don’t know the difference. However, I am not at the point where I could play professionally. My biggest problem was having 4 different piano teachers from my first to last formal lesson. I don’t believe I developed like I should have. I also couldn’t stand practicing and rehearsing. I also formed a need to practice when no ears were listening. Why? I don’t like for others to hear me practice. It’s somewhat embarrassing and I’d rather them hear me when I’m a little polished. But then again, I barely ever perform in public as it is. If I were to take a few more years of lessons and seriously practice, I could probably go professionally. It’s just a matter of trying to sing and play at the same time. But I also don’t sing often… or at least in front of anyone! (That’s what my long road trips are for… heh, heh)

basics in audio engineering I’m not an expert in most of the field, but I know enough to record a band and produce a CD. Audio engineering was amazing at first knowledge. I took my first audio class my first senior year of college at San Jacinto Junior College. I know after a few weeks of taking that class that this was the direction in which I was destined to continue for college, I just didn’t know how. Then I was accepted in the program at University of Colorado at Denver. The very unfortunate thing was that I was only able to get my degree in Audio Engineering (technically Bachelor of Science in Music) and concentrate on this for the last two years of my six year education. Six years. Four years were spent trying everything else I could. I learned lots. But probably 70% of everything I took in college won’t help me with audio engineering. If I really want to enter this field and pursue it as a career, I need to apply to a place like Dark Horse Recording/a>, where I met an engineer who I believe I made a good impression, and continue my education to learn the tricks and trade of this craft. Or I need to go to Full Sail and get more education in the audio field. Full Sail is a mecca for the entertainment media arts. It would be out of this world to graduate from that program but it’s in Orlando, it’s extremely expensive, and I’m running out of time. Anyway, as I got into the ins and outs of my degree up in Denver, I found out that the whole technical side of audio engineering was a little over my head. There is so much physics and I made Cs and Bs in that course in high school. So I don’t think my passion is exactly the technical side of audio engineering but rather the producing side where I can call the shots. The producer has the control which is what I enjoy. Whereas the audio engineer is the ass which gets many kicks.

I sometimes like to explain my passions as those things which get my adrenaline pumping. Audio engineering, sound design, music technology, all have some parts which pump me up. I remember the last time I really felt alive was performing the musical Camelot at FUMC back in the summer of 1998. Being able to perform in front of a lot of people was easy. It’s not like public speaking where I must keep people’s attention with my words. Rather, people see my actions and words at the same time. It definitely was a rush being able to do that. I also remember in high school going to band competitions and loving to compete. Not all competitions get my adrenaline pumping, but those band contests did because there were a huge group of us with the same goal and you just wanted to do your best to claim that top trophy. So much fun. And more recently, I made a CD for the Annex Worship up in Boulder. Trying to figure out everything in the process of making that CD, working with all of those people, having so many meetings to figure out the process, and then sitting down to record and mix the whole thing. It was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was in total control and loved it. I made many mistakes but some of which I need to learn through experience. However, these previous things were absolute passions which got my adrenaline pumping. I need to find that in a job.

Although I have passions and strengths, I have no expertise that would get me a job right away. I have enough knowledge that forces me to seek only internships or apprenticeships. I’m all about learning, but I don’t want it to consume my life when I should be earning my keep. I want to practice my trades and make use of them.

What’s my idea situation? To spend a few years in the city of my choice, learning all the trades in the music/entertainment industry. In the meantime, I have enough money to go visit friends when I desire, to feed myself, pay rent, etc. I would also look into forming my own company so that I can get my control. I don’t like to be kicked around too much. I want to determine my own schedule. I want the ability to control how much I work rather than depend on someone else to tell me how much I work. I wish this weren’t such an obvious long term goal but it’s just how I see it right now.

santa and porky

In the midst of my normal Internet rummaging, I ran across a weblog of a certain international star. He keeps a regular tab of where I, oops, I mean HE, is and what he is doing! Check out Santa’s blog!

There are probably many phrases a person could say that sound silly. For instance, squiggle. Sounds stupid, right? Well, last night while I was having fun taking pictures and making a difference in my pathetic life, I came across one of the funniest sounding phrases anyone could think of.

Chuk (Dzuy) and I were talking about how funny the restaurant Buca di Beppo sounds.
Que, I asked?

Then I remembered that why is porque in Spanish language. Well, Chuk was talking about Parkay so I said “porque Parkay” because of their similar sound! In conclusion to these two silly sounding words came the phrase:

Porque Parkay Porky? Porrrrque??? (Remember to roll your R’s)

So, if you ever want to livin’ up the situation, just repeat the preceding phrase and you’ll be the life of the party!

support this cause – support MUSIC

Go HERE now. Why? Because “it’s” out of hand. “It” refers to the fact that the RIAA is money hungry and wants to wrongly sue so many people.

Do you know

Tommy Franks? He is the commander of American forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He appeared on Late Night with David Letterman tonight to talk about himself and the war.

I have never actually seen him talk for an extensive amount of time but he did a great job on the show. I wonder if he will eventually run for a higher office? His defenses of the wars in the Middle East were very well said.

David Letterman – What are the chances that we don’t find WMD in Iraq?

Tommy Franks – There was so much evidence found in people’s yards and around the country that it will only be time before we uncover something, enough to prove that Iraq was a imminent threat to the safety and peace of the United States.

DL – What if we don’t end up finding WMD after our searches? Would there be enough reason for us to have gone over there?

TF – Well, if the ruler in a country of about 26 million people kept saying things such as “The United States will be destroyed” or “The United States will understand the wrath of their misdoings” or “The United States will not live for much longer”, would it not be right to defend ourselves? The Iraqi ruler kept threatening our honor. With these kinds of threats for the past 11 years, it is our duty to take this guy out.

These are not exact quotes but rather interpretations that I regurgitate from what I saw. Obviously, he said these things with much more poise and logic. His conviction about the wars, his defense of the military’s actions were impressive. If he decided to lead this country in another position, he will probably have my vote.

it’s been a long time

I haven’t written in a while. Why? Because I don’t find the time. I went to Dallas this weekend to visit friends and family. Fun times! I also haven’t had much to write. The same ‘ole stuff – Lookin’ for a job and workin’ when I can. Must try to get my portfolio up for grad school (I’m posting it online rather than sending it since it consists mainly of digital work.)

I think I might start a rant soon about the music industry. I have a lot to say about a huge issue. More to come soon.

where were you?

Since my generation now has a defining moment in time, I’ll list my experience two years ago.

During the entire time that the planes were hitting their targets, I was sound asleep. My classes didn’t start until about 1pm that day. So I would usually stay up the night before Tuesdays and Thursdays until I got tired and then would go to bed around 1am or later which would partly explain why I was still asleep. Well, that morning I got a knock on my door around 8 or 9:15ish (remind you that it was already 10 or 11:15ish on the East Coast by that time) by Todd (Great Aunt’s grandson). He said, “Two things. The World Trade Center towers are gone and your mom is on the phone”. I anxiously answered the phone and she told me what was going on, so I immediately turned the television on. Just like almost everyone else in the US/world, I laid there in bed soaking everything in the best that I could. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was just a year and a half ago when I went to New York with Jonathan and saw the WTC towers soaring over the city skyline majestically claiming their space. I even took a few photos with the buildings in the background.

I decided a few hours later to try and go to school anyway just to see if classes would be on or not. The reason is because we were learning something beneficial for Biology and the professor said she hadn’t been sick in a very long time so class probably wouldn’t be cancelled. As fate has it, it was obviously cancelled.

The really strange part was driving and riding to school. I usually took I-25 to the light rail and took a train to the campus where I walked (or sometimes ran) to class. That day, there were people on bridges above the interstate waving flags. The roads were so less congested than usual. Most people I saw were very solemn. It was very much a strange day.

I had been in Denver for just about two or three weeks before this happened, having moved up there for the last two years of my undergraduate education, and that adds to the strangeness. I wasn’t around any close family or friends and my dad’s aunt was out on a roadtrip the whole time. So it was just Todd and me dwelling in the house.

Little did I know that 1000 miles away Aunt Trisha was giving birth to my cousin Emily. Yes, she was born that day, September 11, 2001. I would assume that day meant so many other things to those who were there for the birth, many mixed emotions about everything. I’m the kind of person who likes to keep the TV on all the time to watch what is going on. Trisha is the person to keep the TV off and continue to live her life. Guess this is one reason I am who I am!

I may write something else about the people in the towers but would most likely include a link because it’s very difficult to think about. So check back if I decide to write more.

RIAA sues

In case you haven’t heard or read anywhere, the RIAA is suing 261 for trading files online that they claim breaks the law, something about copyrighted material or something… The RIAA better be going down or there will be more than 261 angry people.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/09/08/music.downloading/index.html

OOWwww

My back hurts. Not as bad as yesterday but I am still stiff enough that I need to lye on my back rather than move around a lot. Rather, I went out to visit with an old friend and got a haircut. Hope my back still heals quickly.