Archive for April, 2006

Ugly Stepsister

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

So one of my coworkers told me that there’s a Planet Granite down the street from our work.

I decided to bust out my climbing shoes to take to work. For shits and giggles, I tried them on. I totally felt like the ugly step-sister trying to put on Cinderella’s glass slipper.

We’ll see how it goes, 5 years later, a tingly arm and 40 pounds heavier.

No time

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

There’s just not enough time in the world.

Or rather, there’s plenty of time in the world, but not enough time for me to do everything I want.

I got to hang out with some friends tonight at a mini-game night, mid-week (Gasp! A school night!), which was fun, but I’ll pay for it soon as I lost a good number of hours that could have been used for rigging and lighting in my maya class. I want to spend time with friends, and also succeed at my classes and still keep a modicum of my sanity and health for work.

It’s all about opportunity costs.

Where is my time best spent?

I get different returns depending on where I spend it.

Supposing that friendship is a tangible quality “f”, skill improvement is a tangible quality “s”, likewise for health and sleep, as “h” and “z”, respectively. And finally, work, which is actually a summation of other variables, should be “w”. A final variable to be accounted for should be happiness, or overall mood, “m”.

Now given that time “t” can only be spent once, it becomes a matter to juggle f, s, h, z, and w. H and z are interrelated, as a decline in z will result in a decline in h. Consequently, a decrease in h affects m and w.

But are f and s mutually exclusive? Given that as s approaches an asymptote, f decreases sharply. However, it is possible to have f and s at high values, but w begins to suffer.

What is necessary to note is that as any variable within the set of (f, z, w, s) increases, some increase in m will occur.

Which gives the most worth though? the problem is the diminishing returns as too much of one is focused on, thus the juggling.

At some point, s will become less aggressive when classes let up, at which point, f, z, and w are no longer competing for a portion of t. Unfortunately, severly low values of s result in a feeling of “spinning one’s wheels” and m will eventually decline.

Something to ponder.

Compost heap

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Can’t sleep.

Need to get up in a few hours to keep working on Maya stuff.

So in my interminable boredom and insomnia, I rummaged through my nightstand.

What I found was a lot of old love letters and notes to myself.

And I knew this already, but it bears repeating. I’ve rectified many failings and mistakes, but have had opportunities to make new mistakes. That’s just the way it goes.

And in reading the old letters, it was very much like what Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Delving backwards through relationships, seeing the heartbreak and the joy and remembering what drew you to them in the first place.

Lot of things went right in those relationships. But ultimately, a lot of things went wrong…or at the very least, one thing went wrong, and it was big enough to end it.

So it’s been 5 years since my last relationship.

Am I in a position where I’ll fare better?

Some of the things I saw written were real gee whiz kinds of things, at least when I look at them now. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing those things for so long, that when I was younger, I couldn’t even conceive how to do them, but now it’s second nature. Man, that was a run-on sentence.

So now, I look forward, and I see more things to fix. It’s easy to get depressed, but I suppose in another 5 years, I’ll look back and see that I just couldn’t simply conceive of the solution without having to endure the process first.

Personality DNA

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Interesting little personality test. It’s pretty thorough.

Here’s the text:

You are a Builder

You are detail-oriented, cautious, and practical, making you a BUILDER.

You are excellent at focusing on the concrete, functional elements of things, so you’re good at making things happen.

Pursuing novel ways of doing things helps you to be efficient.

You’re great to have on a team, as you understand how things work and don’t let your ego get in the way.

You’re perceptive, down-to-earth, and realistic.

You don’t see a need to commit to a set routine or schedule—you’d rather improvise a little.

Although you may doubt yourself sometimes, you have the skills and the curiosity to pursue broader adventures.

You like to consider a lot of information before making big decisions, and you think about that information in realistic, thorough ways.

You don’t concern yourself with flashy styles or surface appearances—you’re far too sensible for that.

You’re not one to force your positions on a group, and you tend to be fair in evaluating different options.

You tend to believe that things happen for a reason, and that not everything is under our control.

If you want to be different.

Think more abstractly about things without abandoning your valuable sensibility.

how you relate to others

You are Advocating

Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.

Some people find being around others exhausting—but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.

One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.

You have insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.

You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.

Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don’t look to impose your ways on others.

Your sensitivity towards others’ plights contributes to an understanding—both intellectual and emotional—of many different perspectives.

As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.

You’re not one to force your positions on a group, and you tend to be fair in evaluating different options.

You tend to believe that things happen for a reason, and that not everything is under our control.

If you want to be different:

While it’s important to think about others, don’t forget to take some time for yourself, and occassionally to put yourself first.

Take some time to spend with a few close friends; although it’s difficult to find people to trust, it’s worth the effort.

When you have great ideas, it can be hard to relinquish control, but it can also feel good to take the pressure off and enjoy someone else leading the way.

Upcoming

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Weee! I got my RSS feed of Upcoming.org to show up on my sidebar. —->

A little delving into some php plugins and some tweaking.

Yay.

First Moving Violation

Thursday, April 13th, 2006



First Moving Violation

Originally uploaded by FngKestrel.

First one. I suppose I should throw a party or something.

I am so pissed.

But I did deserve it.

Vending Machine Donuts

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Okay, so I was playing poker today with some coworkers. We got to the break and I went to the vending machine to get a snack. I spied Mrs. Freshly’s Powdered Donuts and figured, why not?

Here’s why not.

I bit it them and could tell something was amiss. They weren’t as delightful as they usually are when I get them downstairs. I looked in the middle of one of these preservative laden lard bombs and saw what appeared to be a spiderweb. The taste in my mouth was also something akin to eating a spider web (don’t ask).

But with my compulsion and innate Asian cheapskatedness, I finished off the package instead of throwing it away. The last few were tasty, but I think I got a bad batch. And now when I burp, I get that weird taste in my mouth and it’s making me nauseous. I tried to throw up earlier, but to no avail. Tried to cover up that taste with chocolate and Pepto, but the after taste is so pungent that it’s defying all odds. I hope that when I go to sleep tonight, it’ll be gone when I wake up.

Yuck.

Unwinding

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

So as I type this entry in bed, it feels good to purge my mind of things that have happened today, to let go of anxiety and stress. Calming, if you will, for someone who gets excited far too easily. I’m like the little dog in those Bugs Bunny cartoons where the little dog is yipping around the big dog and gets bitch slapped. It’s easy to get wound up into a frenzy and I often do.

Do I want to talk about work though? I mean, I fear the day when a coworker might actually read what I have to say.

Some things are better left unsaid, I suppose. But then again, it’s no surprise my antagonism towards people. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m snarky. I’m irritable. I’m a pain in the ass. I don’t think it’s prima donna behavior. It’s just me feeling my boundaries.

This post is pretty pointless. Writing for its own sake.

Trying to figure out why my teeth are clenched.

Hmmm.

Not wanting to be totally forthwith.

What’s the point?

On story and storytelling

Monday, April 10th, 2006

It occured to me just now that I have been long overdue in writing. More so, I’ve been long overdue in telling a story. Story, not content. The difference is important. Story has form, content is shape. Content is the pieces of the puzzle, but the finished puzzle is the story. Both can exist in absence of the other, but the result is pulp in one form and facts in another.

So why this decision to tell a story? I’ve been reading the Sandman Companion, and it’s quite compelling. I always love hearing about the process. The how is as important as the why and the what. Director’s commentaries are excellent in my opinion. Reading interviews with Neil Gaiman is inspiring. Reading Alan Moore’s Watchmen is inspiring. Good writing in general is inspiring. Nurtures the mind, frees it from the constraints of standardized education.

Don’t get me wrong, standardized education is necessary for establishing baselines of competency, but at some point, we need to extend and expand people’s horizons. And that’s simply not a skill encouraged these days. It’s so much easier to ride on someone else’s coattails and be dragged to whereever they deem appropriate.

So this hasn’t really been so much a discussion on storytelling as it has a rant about the lack of creativity.

I think it’s being actively beaten out of students these days. Why be creative when it’s so much easier and rewarding to be safe. Why risk anything when you can be mediocre and successful.

Being in my industry, that fucking kills me.

There was a time when being creative in my industry was a worthwhile skill.

Now it’s just about hitting deadlines.

And the bastardization of works that other forms of media have created.

So.

Back on track. The very reason why my stories are weak. Because I write like James Joyce. Stream of consciousness writing. Whatever enters my little head. Very disorganized. Almost chaotic.

Things like climax, epilogue, development, merely speedbumps in my mind.

I suppose I could order them into an outline of sorts, but I don’t have any content. It would just be story, mere pulp, done for the sake of merely telling a story. What would be the point in that?

Here’s my content.
A man who feels like a boy. Kept in the trappings of his mind. Goal-oriented but lacking goals beyond 5 minutes. Horribly loyal and dedicated, like a dog. Insomniac. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Inner demons haunt him.

Here’s my story.
This man, grows up. He escapes his demons. He conquers his fear. He achieves what he needs to become a success. Or he redefines what it means to be a success. Or does he?

Something I’ve taken away from reading comments by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman is that well written convincing characters will tell the author how the story will come out. Characters develop and change, but what makes them genuinely them is their behavior. We pretend that we have choices, but when it comes down to it, we really don’t.

So I see multiple endings for our protagonist. And the way the story ends if I let him continue on his merry way is something terrible indeed. But I like our protagonist, I want him to succeed, to grow, to find an ending to the story that while isn’t completely saccharine, isn’t completely morose either.

This character feels two dimensional to me. He’s motivated very simply and exists very simply. His story will end very simply. There’s no emotional hook in him, no reason for people to care about him. He’ll spend his days in a cube unless we find out more about him and more about what makes him tick.

Once in a lifetime

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

For the record, at 2 minutes and 3 seconds past 1, it’ll be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

Stony.

Okay, it’s technically twice in a lifetime, since it’ll happen again in the PM.