Friday, June 11, 2010

Letters

So i just found and spent a good hour reading old highschool love letters, from ex girlfriends and just "friends". Really trippy, yet nostalgic to read. I couldn't help but smile a little. So much love and thought, transcribed on a few pieces of paper. After all, i've always said that writing someone a letter is the closest thing to feeling close to someone when they aren't there... which I think would explain why we chose to spend the time to pen down our thoughts in the age of phones and cells and pagers (at that time yes pagers). And this is why I still write letters when I can. I encourage you to do the same! You'll never know what could happen, as was the case with my best friend. In the process of moving to a new place, he accidentally knocked over a box, spilling a bunch of letters similar to the ones i just read tonight. And whatever struck me to open the envolopes and start reading, struck him too. Most of these were "love" letters from a girl he met and fell for at a summer camp back in highschool. They had continued being friends afterwards, but then they would eventually lose touch as you might expect. But after reading the letters, the whiff of nostalgia over took him, and prompted him to reconnect with her after years of not talking. Present day: they are happily married and have a beautiful baby girl Madeleine (my goddaughter). So again, I encourage you to write a letter to someone if you can... just tell them about your day, or what they mean to you or how you feel for them. They might one day stumble upon it and read it, to have it just brighten up their day if they're feeling down or insecure (as was the case for me), or in the extreme case of my best friend, change their lives...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, March 23, 2009

Compositing Assignments

The two big compositing assignments I had back in school. Oh the memories...

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Me in Top Gun.. can you guess who?

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Originally, I had filmed myself doing reps with just the bar, and was gonna comp the weights in 3d (ya know.. i.. i.. could've lifted all those weights myself... yeah.. but it is a compositing assignment). So when the match on the bar failed, I went to my back up plan and just animated a 3d guy lifting the weights. Once I restarted the project, from camera match to final render, I finished it in a day. Probably my greatest feat as a 3d artist thus far.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Les

Just recently, my Uncle Leslie passed away at the age of 58 from a heart failure/attack. The news about his death was as equally shocking as it was sudden. And though I didn't get to share words about him at his funeral, this blog will serve as my personal eulogy in his memory:

The question I most often get when friends and associates hear about the unfortunate passing of my Uncle, is "Were you close to him?" And though I don't know much about my Uncle, I reply "Yeah, I was." What I knew about my Uncle was just superficial information: he was one of 2 of my Dad's younger brothers, he was a lawyer, father to my cousin's and a husband to my aunt, lived in Alameda, etc. It wasn't until the funeral did I find out so much about him, that he ran the Oakland Marathon in the year I was born and ran well enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, that he recently got scuba certified, climbed a 14,000 ft mountain and that he met my Aunt on a bike ride from Concord to Tahoe. He volunteered for the Eagle Scouts, through out and well after my cousin earned his badges, and he was actively involved in my cousin's sports including soccer, ultimate frisbee and cross country, often times timing Kaila's laps and giving what he thought (and what was I'm sure) helpful advice on how to improve her times. He was a world traveler who trekked on lands I still wish to visit and though he was a hard working a successful attorney, he took off more and more time off to be involved in his childrens life. This is just a short list of his accomplishments and loves, and all of this was new to me until right before I bowed 3 times to give my final respects before the casket was closed.

But I still considered him close to me, because I loved him and I knew he loved me the same. Maybe it was because of a connection due to our similarities: we're both the middle child of 3 brothers (though I have an older sister as well), we were both shy, quiet and reserved, and we both have a mysterious collection of freckles on our faces. Maybe it was just the typical Uncle/Nephew relationship. But I knew that every time I would see him during the occasional family function, I'd be happy to see him. He always made me laugh though I'm sure I made him laugh more by some of the ridiculous things I would be into during the different phases of my life. He would question why I would need a pager at the age of 15. My smart ass reply, I needed to be on call for my clients.

I always looked up to the great man that is my Uncle, and even though he isn't with us anymore, he will always inspire me to be the best person I can be... hopefully, someone with the same integrity as him.

PS: My Uncle wasn't the only person I learned more about that day. I learned how great of a writer my Dad is, from his beautiful eulogy. I learned more about the living conditions my Dad and my Uncles had to live with. Them 3, along with 6 of their cousin's, all grew up together and became best of friends. They call themselves, the "9 cousins". Them and their families all lived in one place, several of them sharing the same room. They couldn't afford toys, so they were each other's toys, playing games with each other and forging what would be life long friendships. They could barely afford the food that fueled their energy. Which puts into perspective where they are now: a lawyer, a VP for a commercial insurance company, and a scientist at Genentec to name a few. They came from having nothing to the luxuries of families, houses, and traveling. It makes you appreciate what you have, and that to be successful, you have to make smart choices, work hard and make sacrifices. The lifestyle that my parents and friends enjoy now, was not given to them by any means. They made sure to drill that into my head and taught me that my luxuries, even at an early age, had to be earned.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If you haven't noticed, this is my first post in over a year. I'm long over due and for that, I apologize to all my faithful fans of my blog who check religiously everyday to see if I've posted something new (sense the sarcasm?) I've been meaning to post for a while but other distractions have unfortunately taken priority over a public display of my thoughts.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Weeds

This morning while i was checking myself out in the mirror as the shower was warming up (hey, don't pretend like you don't do it too), I noticed something about my appearance. It wasn't an empiphany or anything like that, cause I (like many others i'm sure) am very familiar with my imperfections. It was more like a reminder than anything else. They were always there, but i guess it became more apparent since my haircut: gray hairs. Too many to be cute; too little to be distinguished. All I could think of was, "Damn weeds, ruining the lush Eden that is my hair." I started conceiving excuses of the how the salt got mixed with the pepper: my parents, my school, no sleep, the drugs, the alcohol, the nature of my life. And so, naturally, i started plucking.

This reminded me of my dad. I picture him when i was younger, hoeing away at the weeds in our backyard, tirelessly fighting a losing battle and working on making his farmer's tan even more embarrassing. I would occasionally help by not really helping at all, swinging at 'em with a stick pretending i was a ninja or baseball player. "Stop fooling around and go for the root," my dad would tell me. This would ensure that they wouldn't grow back as fast. But needless to say, this didn't work too well. Their numbers would seem to almost double. I could almost hear them chanting, "If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" or "Resistance is futile." (to all the geeks out there.)

But that's the way it is. Our life is littered with "weeds" that we have to maintain to keep our gardens beautiful... or at least enjoyable enough to look at. And not just the weeds we have to pull in order to keep up our appearance: the plucking, shaving, cleaning, geling, brushing, moisturizing, accessorizing, etc etc. But all the little things that's a part of our everyday life that keep us alive and healthy and a so-called normal being of society, like paying the bills, feeding ourselves, feeding our children (luckily not there yet), going to work, doing homework, or even coping with a lost loved one or a love that was lost. All these little things combine to make a pretty powerful force that we hopelessly fight enough to keep us alive another day. We don't really see it, though we feel it from time to time - or maybe all the time. But it's that picture of integrity that my dad painted for me, ingrained in my head, that helps me to keep fighting as long as I have ammo. And not to forget those friends that playfully hack away at those plants, like i did with my father as he adviced me to "go for the root."

P.S. - Happy Valentines Day to everyone.