Thursday, September 30, 2010

the men of madison ave.

let me preface that only during a small fraction of my post living-with-mom-and-dad life have i subscribed to cable tv. i have always relied on the internet for my garbage consumption, vs. the tube. i'm a site surfer not a channel surfer.

the first time i watched every episode of a television show from the beginning of the season till the end of the season was ally mcbeal season 1. after a few episodes i was hooked. we (i had a female roommate, who was responsible for hooking me on ally mcbeal) would make sure to schedule our week in order to watch this show as it aired [before dvr and internet on demand services like hulu].

somehow having a season of ms. mcbeal under my belt felt like an accomplishment. i finally achieved what most people had first achieved in middle school, devoted time and energy to a single program for an entire season. i lay you ten to one most of my friends saw every episode of beverly hills 90210 seasons 1 through 3 as they rolled out.

the second occurrence happened with the office [american version], where i saw every single episode (but had to backtrack using the aid of to torrents and hulu). to date i've seen every episode of every season. and i know it's much cooler and more credible to say that the brittish office is better than the american one, but really guys? that's far from true for me. steve carell is amazingly funny, dwight, jim & pam, the whole gang make me laugh audibly time and time again. the american office is on season 7, the brittish one only had two seasons.

as i write this, i'm on my third.

mad men.

donald draper. never has the name donald registered as 'cool' in my mind, until this show came along and dramatically changed my perspective. i've always pictured the disney duck. in fact donald draper's character is loosely based on a man named draper daniels of chicago, a famous advertising man of the 60's.

but mad men isn't a wacky office-based comedy, it's an amc drama. i now watch amc dramas, oh boy i must be maturing. though, at this rate, what's next, lifetime?! okay, now i'm just being dramatic.

let me rewind and recap.

mad men stands for madison [avenue] men aka the advertising central in 1960's new york city. and my opinion is that not only are the men mad, but so are the women, and children.

the "most screen time" award is a tie between cigarettes and scotch. the second most screen time award goes to awesome set design, and wardrobe. after an episode of mad men i'm ready to spend whatever i need in order to find myself in a sleek 1960's suit, skinny tie, tons of hair grease, and a freshly pressed shirt with cufflinks while i'm en route to a smoky bar/restaurant where women are beautifully dressed pieces of meat and men are aggressive carnivores. however, knowing myself, if i were to somehow appear in this fantasy land of mine, i'd most likely geek out on the amazing scotch selections and art deco glassware.

the show feels like a super cool history lesson, an american history lesson. the president's assassination, gender roles, the value of a dollar, the technology that exists in the office and home, completely fascinate me.

the characters are compelling. i can't say i love any one character or hate any either. joan sure is fun to look at, and while i'll admit that she is deservedly famous for her curves, her facial features and colors are just as standout-ish. she's got amazingly fair skin, bright and bold red hair, and stunning blue eyes. then of course we have don, who is the definition of masculine. women want him and men want to be him (so i ripped that quote off of austin powers, but hey, it's more true in this context isn't it?).

peggy seems to be everyone's favorite. i like her struggle, and how she attacks it, but i just don't find myself rooting for her all the time. i wish she grew some balls once in a while, but again, she's a woman in the 60's -women having balls back then was basically illegal.

we're now on season 4, and i'm caught up to the most recent episode. that in itself has only ever happened three times in my life. i foresee myself watching every episode until they stop making episodes. the story is engaging, the characters are interesting, and the visual stimulation is stunning. i want to be a mad man!

Monday, September 27, 2010

the eggling pt. 8

ray ray has made a comeback. i've decided to let the dead sprouts wither and fall by their own. i expect 2-3 more weeks for ray ray to be back to his glory days.

as for rondo. well... a picture is worth more words than i'm willing to write right now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

concept doodling

i set up my video camera, pulled up a blank piece of paper, and doodled for 15mins. here's what happened (at 8x speed).

song: Rendezvous Potrero Hill by Architecture in Helsinki

Monday, September 13, 2010

nice guys finish last

a month ago my friend jumped. he was 31 years old.

i composed a letter on my computer, then hand wrote it, and mailed the letter to his parent's house. it's been just over a month, and i've probably thought about him in one way or another each day since then.

i have debated whether or not to post this here for the past few weeks, it's personal, it's sad, but it's real. i wrote this from the heart, which is how i try to write all my blog posts.

Dear Aquino Family,

It’s tough for me to write you this letter, I’ve got lots of thoughts and emotions stirring right now.

As you know, Eric was a large part of my life. Our ‘crew’ of Eric, Minh, Hong, Gene, James, Nancy, Elisa, Sunny, and myself was virtually inseparable during high school. I feel that each of these people have had a major impact on shaping the person I am today. And according to my proud parents, I’ve turned out a-okay.

I remember first getting to know Eric, during classes, lunches, and hang out sessions at different peoples’ parent’s houses. Eric and I had a very similar sense of humor, and we understood each other’s humor. Most of my early Eric-memories are of joking, smiling, and laughing. He always got better grades than all of the guys we hung out with, as well as most of the girls (mainly it was that darned Nancy getting the best grades, I think she was paying off the teachers!).

Fast forward to Eric letting us in to see free movies, feeding us free shrimp burritos, and of course plenty of snowboarding (or just talking about snowboarding).

Now, much more recently -with the student loan business, I worked alongside Eric quite a bit. His position in SD was parallel to my position in LA. There wasn’t a day I’d go without some sort of communication with him: phone, email, instant message, or even sometimes all three at once!

Eric was a honest and hard working co-worker, a positive influence in my critical ‘personality forming’ years, and most of all a fun guy to spend time kicking back with while having a few laughs.

I will miss him. I’ll never forget him. And I’m very thankful that I was able to know him for as long as I did.

I can’t understand the feelings that you are, and will be, feeling. But I do understand what has been lost. And the reason I’m writing this to you is to tell you just how much Eric has meant to my life. I love him.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

cd for testing audio

i love audio reproduction equipment: speakers, amplifiers, headphones, equalizers, mixers, record players, more speakers, more headphones! you get the idea.

i don't feel bad spending and splurging on audio equipment, because unlike almost all other electronic technology, audio equipment is ageless. sure you can tell me that the 2011 line of model xyz speakers are better than some 1970's crap boxes that i got from the salvation army. but aside from low level audio equipment (the cheap shit), audio reproduction equipment doesn't go obsolete. the same cannot be said for audio production equipment, but i'm not going there.

computers get faster, video gets higher definition, hard drives get smaller and faster with more space, connection types get smaller, data transfer speeds get faster, and thus phones, computers, tv's, gaming consoles, etc grow obsolete.

however, our ears can only hear 20hz to 20khz. and stereo systems developed in the 70's have been able to produce those frequencies with high volume and quality. sure there's been advancements in audio reproduction, but they haven't necessarily made older equipment obsolete like all of the other electronic examples i listed earlier.

i've polled a few of the older people i know who i'd consider 'into music'. and all of the people i talked to (all over 50yo), had audio systems that i would consider very old. some purchased their amps and speakers when they were in college, that's the 1970's! imagine me telling you my cell phone was from the 70's! or my TV, computer, hell -even my refrigerator! but their audio systems still produce high volume high quality sound, which hasn't and won't change.

which is why i do consider spending more money on audio equipment. life is too short to spend time listening to crappy speakers. it's also too short to drink cheap wine, hang out with shitty people, and watch bad tv. unless you love bad tv, then that's your own issue.

but i digress.

every audio setup is different. the songs are the same, but they can sound 100 different ways on a 100 different setups. which is why i've taken one variable out of the equation, my making my own cd for testing audio.

what is my cd for testing audio? it's 12 songs in a particular order that i am extremely familiar with. i know every word, every note, every second of each song is embedded in my audio memory. i've also listened to these songs extensively on my favorite audio setup. this prepares me to experience other stereo systems with a solid baseline. get it, bass-line.

it's one of my favorite things to do, spend an hour listening to songs i've memorized on a sound system i've recently met. playing 'watch the speakers' has been a favorite pastime of mine since i learned which knob was the volume on my dad's mcintosh amp + cerwin vega floor standing speaker home system.

here's how i've mentally categorized each song on my cd for testing audio:

acoustic guitar (live)
recorded guitar
rock guitar
pop rock
violins, keyboard, piano
keyboard guitar

you can download a .zip of my cd for testing audio. but the only way to have a real cd for testing audio is to create one yourself.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the eggling pt. 7

remember rondo, he was separated from ray at birth... and when i got him wasn't in the best of shape.
rondo is a lavender, and he's doing oh so well now. he must like loud electronic music.
he's even getting a little stubble. i guess it drives the chicks wild.
ray on the other hand, is NOT doing so well. i rarely use caps on this blog, and i just used caps.
as ray got bigger, he'd wilt faster and faster, due to a needed increase of watering frequency.
there's lots of death around ray now, but not all is lost.
we see a bit of hope.... it's been a rough and wild 13 weeks and 2 days since day one. these egglings are not for the feint of heart.
and i can't disregard good ol trusty rubber plant that has no name and will not die regardless of how bad i treat it.