Monday, June 28, 2004

The Insidious Internet

The information superhighway can be an evil thing and I'll tell you why. Tomorrow I'm turning in my cable modem and will be unattached from internet access at home for quite a while, and my first thought was, honestly, "What am I going to do?" What if I need information from my email, or check a phone number, or find directions; how will I update this blog? Are we so dependent on internet access that we begin to lose track of our own lives when it's not available? How did the world function before this was created? I poke fun at Lyndsey for always relying on the web every time she has an idea or a question about something, and now I've fallen into her mode. Sometimes having web access can hinder personal growth instead of building it. I've cut valuable exercise, painting, and reflecting time in order to surf the web. But tonight I'm packing up my CPU and peripherals to join the other boxes prepared for the big move and I will not let the insidious internet take up any more of my precious time and worries. However, I will try to find someplace where I can update this blog....I can't leave you in the dark too long.

Last Minute Updates.

Well, packing up my apartment has been going very well, just have a few things left that I'll be using during the week. The weekend flew by so fast that I didn't get a chance to see Fahrenheit 9/11, plus I missed The Terminal last week and will probably miss Spiderman 2 this week. My whole summer movie series will take a serious hit throughout the month of July, but that's ok. With my last week of work, the wedding and honeymoon around the corner, I've still got some last minute planning and organizing to do to make sure I'm all up to speed. I even started a couple paintings but just can't seem to finish them. Does that ever happen to you? My brain wants my body to move at the speed of thought which means I get sidetracked; but it only happens when there is a lot to do. No matter, this week, it's go time! I'm going to get back in the procrastination-filled, creatively-energized, late-night momentum just like working in Studio back in college. See you at the finish line.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Apartment Packing.

Starting today, Lyndsey and I have begun packing up and trashing all my belongings from my current place. Coming up on my last week of work and with the wedding two weeks away, we've got plenty of items on are to-do-list. Trashing my junk has actually has been easier than I thought. Kind of used the rule that if I haven't looked at it since I moved from College Station, chances are I wouldn't look at it again. Cards, papers, thing-a-mabobs, gagdets, didley-winks, you name it, I'm trashing it. I've never been a grocery-bagger, and neither has Lyndsey for that matter, but it turns out I'm horrible with the physics and chemistry of packing. My boxes end up being too heavy or I forget to tape the bottom together (I just interfold the flaps); but thank goodness for the common sense know-how of my girl. If today's events were a television show, I'd be Jessica Simpson, Lyndsey would be Nick Lachey, and it would be called "Almost Newlyweds."

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Corporate Stories Part 1: Dress Code.

Thought I'd start a new column on my learning experiences in the corporate world from the past couple years. First thing is about dress code. It's the first characteristic of the company I noticed when I went in to interview; what people were wearing. Types of shoes, shirts, slacks, jeans, exposed tattoos, piercings, styles, what does this company deem acceptable? On my first day, I wore a short-sleeved, button down, flat-bottomed shirt, designed to be untucked and yet proper (so to speak); along with khakis and some casual leather shoes. Went to lunch with my new boss and was introduced to a Vice President. Approximately 3 hours later, while resetting the furniture in one of the large conference rooms, my boss raises the issue of our corporate dress code in a surprisingly calm and politically correct manner, requesting that I simply tuck-in my shirt to abide by our departmental standards. Blame it on naivete, blame it on style, fine. But, imagine if you will, the chicken looking both ways to make sure the road is clear before crossing it, only to trip and fall on his face from a miniscule pebble after his first step. That was how I felt. Paranoia and caution have since followed my every fashionable step (or misstep), which is why I haven't worn that shirt since. But I am reminded of that experience each day at the office because on my company badge...there is a picture of me...smiling...from that

The Best Commercials.

The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) recently announced the 2004 Honorees in television commercials. The awards are very similar to the Oscars with categories in Cinematography, visual effects, animation, sound design, etc.., with a couple of unique ones like graphics, low budget, student commerical, and ad campaign. You can check the Awards Show website to check out the winners in each of the categories. I'm sure you'll recognize most of them. There are some amazing creations and a few commercials that make you go, "Huh?" My favorites are "Girlfriend" (Best Talent), "Tractor Beam" (Best Visual Effects), and "Wingman" (Original Music). I am surprised that the HP ads for their digital cameras weren't in there. Great graphics and visual style! Unfortunately, you can't watch them here, but they are taking the winners on tour at museums around the country.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Wedding Invitations.

Invitation: A spoken or written request for someone's presence or participation ( Wedding guides will tell you that their are all kinds of rules and regulations to follow in order to have a successful and well-minded wedding; and so will your Bride. Depending on the person, or family, some are no-brainers, easy to follow and take no time to plan. Others become socially questionable, politically motivated, emotionally charged water balloons exponentially expanding until the pinnacle moment of combustion. This is where wedding invitations fall. Deadlines, text, the invitation itself, response cards, maps, stamps, order of operation, and who makes the list? Feelings of warmth and joy over seeing close family and friends share in this wonderful event become filled with greed, envy, selfishness, and arrogance. Someone will ask, "When was the last time we heard from these guys?" instead of, "I can't wait to see them again!" And there is always the, "You have to invite them, they won't come, but you have to invite them, they invited us to their child's wedding." To which I respond, "I don't care, I haven't spoken to them in 15 years!" I mean...someone responds with that. And why do these questions only come from the groom's side of the family? My Idiot's Guide to Being a Groom mentions nothing of the sort. But I've figured it out. I know how to solve this, and it all starts at the very beginning, with the most infamous of wedding questions, "What kind of wedding are you having?" Usually two answers, small or large? Lyndsey and I chose medium, but we should have said SMALL, regardless. This lets everyone off the hook, immediate friends and family only, and when others somehow receive invites in the mail - Everyone is Happy, or so I would hope.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Re-Sign or Resign?

Monday turned into a heartbreaker after I handed in my letter of resignation. I knew my supervisor would be surprised or disappointed and I just couldn't figure out how to do it. Or When? I analyzed it, set up multiple scenarios, thought about what he would say, how I would respond. Thought about it so much that I began reading about it on the web. I actually Googled 'resignation.' One site talked about tone, interpretation, legal issues, and even said, "Make sure you've discreetly prepared to leave. You may be escorted off the premises shortly after you give notice." Yes, I thought that was a bit ridiculous too, but I'm sure that it does happen, and it may have even happened at my company. Then I thought about my supervisor again, the discussions we've had in the past, and the respect I have for him as a passionate and understanding person, and my confidence instantly returned. My reasons are truthful, I'm proud of what I've accomplished, what I've learned from the corporate world, and all the details in between. From projector setups on the 30th floor to buffet dining on 3 to the Saturday at the office following the layoffs last year, it's been an eccentric endeavor. I have nothing to fear and am ready to take on the next challenge. So when it's your time to Re-Sign or in my case, resign, follow your heart and stay motivated.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

No Reality for Me.

As some of you may know, a few months ago I sent in an audition tape for an ABC reality-based TV show called "The Benefactor." Created and hosted by Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who was simply going to give away $1 million, the application asked 4 questions. 1. What would you do FOR a Million Dollars? 2. Why should Mark give you the money? 3. How would it change your life? and 4. What would you NOT do for the money? So I thought about it for a week, got some advice from a few friends, read more articles about the show and made my tape. Nothing had really been announced about what would be involved or what he was looking for, except that it wasn't going to be about eating bugs or remote islands. So I didn't get on the show, they filmed it last month in Dallas, but have since been reading updates from the set on Mark's Blog. Recently he posted a description of the contestants and the challenges, and it all makes sense now! In my tape, I never once mentioned my background, likes/dislikes, interests, or other witty commentary. In fact it was pretty bland. Guess I'm destined to live a bona fide reality life and not one homogenized by reality tv. Check out The Benefactor Promo from the link on the right of Mark's main page, but watch out for the volume, and look for the show on ABC in July.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Last Comic Standing.

For those of you who think I might watch a little too much televsion...maybe you should just get Cable...or maybe you're right; but I just fell in love with another great reality show. (see title of this blog entry) Where comics test their talent and writing by performing in front of a live audience and a cast of comedic judges. Hosted by Jay Mohr (Bob Sugar in the film Jerry Maguire), and in it's second season, LCS is a hit without even trying! Bring in a bunch of comics looking for a big break, record their short sets, life stories, interview the judges, and edit together to form a series. Brilliant! Last night, Bob and Ross (talent bookies for the Tonight Show) toured the states hosting Open Auditions, then gave callbacks a second chance, before making an official round of cuts. You could easily see the Fireworks from the Bombs, which included a guy called 'BuckStar' - who visited 7 of the auditions around the nation before even getting a Callback! Of course he didn't make the next cut. Tonight, the survivors performed in front of a larger audience with new additional judges (like Colin Quinn), and everyone was hilarious! Keep you're eye on Todd Glass, Corey Holcomb, and Dan Ahdoot, whose set about choosing comedy over medical school at Johns Hopkins was a riot! I liked those guys. Jim Norton and Monty Hoffman are also familiar faces from television and might have an edge. Semifinals are next Tuesday @ 8pm on NBC. Check it out if you love comedy!

Monday, June 7, 2004

Harry Potter Grows Up.

On Saturday I took my younger cousins to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, another film on my summer-to-see-list. Now, I haven't read the books, and I enjoyed the first two; great stories, characters, and effects, and I'm just as excited as the next critic about the new director. I knew that the combination of HP's teen angst and Alfonso Cuaron's (A Little Princess, Y Tu Mama Tambien) visual style would make for an interesting movie. The trailers for the film proved this, and low and behold Azkaban was Great! Again, not knowing the back story and details from the books, I was enthralled in this movie. I was hiding from the Dementors, dodging the Whomping Willow, and flying with Buckbeak along with Harry. The time travel twist was very surprising and played out extremely well all the way through. Even had goosebumps during Harry's final "Expecto Patronum!" That was the best. My only drawback, which is incidentally the same for all 3 films, is that there is always so much to show and explain (and I'm sure so much more left out), that it takes 1 1/2 hours before the film really kicks into high gear. Film 1 never even mentioned the Sorcerer's Stone until the last act. Film 2 took the entire middle hour explaining the Chamber of Secrets, and in Film 3, we don't even meet the Prisoner of Azkaban until the last act as well! Although this time it's worth it, because Gary Oldman is bloody brilliant! Now that I've seen the films, I can't wait to read the books.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Birdstone eats Smarty Jones like candy.

After winning the Derby and the Preakness, Smarty Jones was the absolute favorite to garnish the Triple Crown with a win at yesterday's Belmont Stakes, which would have earned him a $5 million bonus! Starting in the 9th position, Smarty held his own for the first half of the race, taking his time to get in a good position, while Purge and Rock Hard Ten fought for the 1 and 2 spot. Smarty made his move around the corner maneuvering into the 1st position as Purge slid to the back. All of a sudden, Eddington was making a move and next to him, a 36-1 unlikely hero, Birdstone. Birdstone flew around the other horses determined to reach Smarty Jones for the win. And just as the end came near, Birdstone ran past the favorite to WIN the Belmont one length ahead of Smarty. It was unbelievable! I can't imagine losing a $5 million bonus in 5 seconds! Birdstone's owner had another horse in the race, Royal Assault, that ended up coming in 3rd, not too shabby.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Your Floorplan or Mine?

Pre-fabricated homes have been around since the days of the Charles Eames house, but only in moderation. Developers have since taken the 'pick and choose' method even further around the states with multiple options and upgrades for your new home. I like the idea of pre-fab homes. I like Eames' case study homes. I like that it can be affordable, with unique materials, and ready to move into in just a few months; yet I can't seem to get past driving through a neighborhood and seeing multiple versions of the same house, only with different colors, or mirrored floorplans, and that same tree in the same place on each lot! Call me a house snob, fine, but blame my studies. Although I don', when you're not rich, there really is no way around it. We will all live in somewhat of a pre-fab house because of affordability. I have accepted it and anxiously await its arrival. However, sometimes, even Pre-Fab can be unique...Welcome to The Glide house. Very nice, but it probably wouldn't work too well in some areas of Texas. Make sure to check out the construction photos for a real definition of Pre-Fab.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Saved by the Bell: New Reflections

A couple weeks ago the 3rd and 4th seasons of Saved by the Bell were released on DVD. Since I'm on a DVD freeze, I chose not to buy it, and instead broke out the 1st and 2nd season I bought last year to fulfill my SBTB addiction. The first season did in fact have Kelly, Slater, and Jesse; in addition to Zack, Lisa, and Screech; not to be confused with Good Morning, Miss Bliss - when the latter were in junior high. Watching the episodes back to back I've gained a new found respect and love for the show. Sometimes great writing and fun character developments in a fairly standard formula for the show, with tons of side characters and simplistic sets. I noticed for the first time that each of their bedrooms were the SAME SET, just with new paint and a different decor....also, that we never see Slater's room, only the garage when he gets his first car. Why not? Amazingly, the actor with the most challenging opportunities - dramatic and comedic - is Dustin Diamond, a.k.a. Samuel 'Screech' Powers! Unbelievable. He gets the best lines, the most physical stunts, and challenges Zack for the most screen time! And all he's ever done since were derivations of the SBTB series like The College Years and The New Class where Screech was Mr. Belding's assistant. Now he's used as a pop culture reference in films like "Made" and "Dickie Roberts"; not nearly the high profile career the others have had. Unbelievable indeed. Favorite episodes include The Mamas and the Papas (where they're married for a class project), Screech's Birthday (with a hilarious recording of the Hall Monitor's voice), and Miss Bayside (Screech competes in the beauty pageant). I guess if I see it on sale, I might just have to get the 3rd and 4th seasons. Next to Seinfeld, it's the only television series I'd buy on DVD anyway.