30 January 2008

I might be on TV!

I can't say anything yet, but I just did an interview for a pilot television show. They tell me it will air regardless if it gets picked up or not, so I'll let you know when it does! The show is geared at looking inside the game industry for young adults to get an idea of what kind of jobs exist. I'm told it will air on television in addition to being seen in the classroom.

I was calm right up until the camera started rolling, but after a few questions I did OK. It's exciting to be on camera, but I'm always nervous about looking like a buffoon until I see the final cut.

More details later...

28 January 2008

I should be in bed

But I'm not, ha-HA! Below is the first video I've recorded at Flixn.com. David Jaffe uses it for video blogging and I want to be as cool as him...






I noticed afterwards that you can't hear the audio from the PSP. That's only because it's faced away from the mic, I promise the stream includes audio. =)

Let me know what you think!

26 January 2008

My Inspiration

Attention, Internets. I love this woman:


She is my inspiration, my motivation, and she adds positive energy to my life.

I wrote a poem for her just now using Magnetic Poetry Online, called "The Winds Whisper".

I'd also like to dedicate some songs to her; songs that make me think of her when I hear them.

Hilary Duff - "Why Not"
Liz Phair - "Why Can't I"
The Beatles - "She Loves You"
Muse - "Unintended"
Frou Frou - "Must Be Dreaming"
Gaelic Storm - "She Was The Prize"
Snow Patrol - "Chasing Cars"
The Turtles - "So Happy Together"
Two Week Notice - "Threehundred and Twenty"

20 January 2008

Cloverfield

At ease, no spoilers here.

I feel obligated to add my two cents to the buzz behind the film Cloverfield. Just released last Friday, the movie was #1 in the U.S. weekend box office and even set a record for best release in January history, beating out the 1997 release of Star Wars "special edition."

This movie rocked my damn socks off. As I've stated before, I rarely go to the theater these days, but this one had "SEE ME IN THE THEATER" written all over it. If for no other reason, I went on opening day because I wanted no additional spoilers. There was a fascinating mystery instilled in my head when I saw the trailer. I knew I would enjoy the movie most by not knowing anything else about it. Boy, was I right.

You know a film has done its job if-

(1) you walk out of the theater going "wowowowowowow"
(2) you can't stop thinking about it on the way home, that evening, or the next day
(3) you want to see it again inside of 24 hours

The film is so harrowing that driving home at night through the city made me uneasy. What would I do if the same thing happened to me right now?

About the production itself, I was extremely impressed at the quality of the visuals. In terms of digital effects, I was anticipating low budget because the perspective of the movie is from a video camera. What was delivered blew me away! Low expectations caused already excellent effects to look even better. Planning top budget effects in controlled camera shots is hard enough; to pull it off when the camera is moving about violently is extraordinary.

In terms of camera work, yes, at times the camera is SERIOUSLY SHAKY. Like, cop drama show on caffeine shaky. It's gonna piss a lot of people off, but it worked for me and that's all I care about. Most of the time the camera is under control. Despite all that, I have to give mega kudos to the cinematography team behind Cloverfield. The entire movie is from the perspective of a bystander holding a camera, yet it feels like every single shot in the movie was planned with care. To do that, to show precisely what you want the audience to see AND create this illusion of the character holding the camera is (to me) the single most impressive aspect of the production.

I highly recommend seeing this movie immediately, but only if you aren't turned off by intensely gripping thrills or sci-fi/horror levels of gore. Think Alien, Pan's Labyrinth, or Blair Witch Project (that movie sucked, this one is awesome) if you need a comparison of intensity.

Discuss your opinions of Cloverfield in the comments!

18 January 2008

This One's For You, Mr. Fischer

Chess legend Bobby Fischer passed away on Friday. In honor of his life and achievements, a co-worker and I played a game of chess after work.

I played a good game, however I made two huge blunders, seen at 13 and 36. I had setup our queens into a delicious Mexican standoff, yet I responded to a move that disrupted the standoff and didn't realize my queen was vulnerable. After that I achieved a huge comeback but made a horrible move that resulted in a checkmate at 36. This puts my record with Chanh at 1-1-1.

16 January 2008

Snowing in Atlanta!

This isn't how I left my car! Nor is it one of the reasons I live in Atlanta =P

sent from my mobile phone

15 January 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

My Xbox 360 died. Again.

My first 360 I won in a contest at E3 2006, playing a single game of Fight Night Round 3 against an inexperienced gamer. It didn't last more than six months of use before getting the infamous Red Ring of Death. (Don't you love the dark titles we give to Microsoft's failures?)

I'd been using the replacement for just over a year now, but it didn't survive the trip to bring the joy of Rock Band to Greenville. Shortly after returning home, the Little-System-That-Can't froze three times in a row, then failed to boot at all, once again victim to a trio of crimson lights.

A phone call to Microsoft tech support and five days later, I was delivered a prepaid box and label to send in my 360 for replacement. The box was nothing special, just a plain white cardboard box with no distinguishing marks.

I brought it into my local UPS Store for drop off and I kid you not, as soon as I walked in the door, the brown shirt behind the counter says "Another dead 360, eh? Put the box on the scale, please." I stood there, completely stunned at how instantaneously he recognized this plain white box for what it held. Unsurprisingly, the UPS Store is adjacent to Georgia Tech campus, so it's understandable that tons of 360s are processed from that location. But to recognize a plain white box...

I think it's pretty clear the failure rate for the first waves of 360s is MUCH higher than Microsoft will ever admit. What are my chances of getting a replacement manufactured in late 2006 or even 2007?

It's a good thing Jason also has a 360 for times like these. The rocking must go on!

Baked Goods Repel Orc Horde, Hobbits Describe Battlements "Delicious"

I present to you the grandmaster of all gingerbread houses, The Battle of Pelennor Fields.

Gingerbread house icing might actually stop catapults when dry...

Thanks for the link, Lisa!

08 January 2008

My Love for Muse

Last year was a great year for music in my life. I started an initiative for myself to further explore bands that I may only know by name or a couple hit songs. The world of music is intensely massive and I decided that my rate of discovery was too small. So, I ramped up my acquisition of new tunes! Lo and behold, it didn't take long for me to discover my all-time favorite band. Who might that be?

Muse.

I was first introduced to Muse in 2004 when a friend recommended a song to me on iTunes. It was the track "Muscle Museum" from their first album, Showbiz. When she was showing it to me, I wasn't paying that much attention, but added it to my library anyway. A couple weeks later, it played in Shuffle mode and I when I heard it I thought, "Good GOD, what is this aural nirvana?" The song has very passionate vocals, delivered by Matthew Bellamy's often high-pitched and crooning voice. It also features some excellent combinations of piano and electric guitar.

Naturally, you'd think after finding something I enjoyed, I'd go out and experience the rest of the band's material, right? I tried. I previewed other Muse songs on iTunes, but from those 30 second samples, I couldn't identify with the music. So, I kept "Muscle Museum" in my playlist and moved on. Fast forward to 2007. Nigel, a friend and co-worker insists that I watch a music video on YouTube. It was "Knights of Cydonia" on the latest Muse album Black Holes and Revelations. This music video is made of awesome. A fantastic blend of Spaghetti Western film parody, over-the-top rock ballads, unicorns, and lasers. 'Nuff said, just click the link. Stage6 link This song is also featured in Guitar Hero 3.

Anyway, after seeing this video, I was compelled to learn more about Muse. I bought Black Holes and Revelations and was immediately hooked. I couldn't believe what I was missing out on. I partially blame the 30 second previews on iTunes as a poor way to check out new music, but honestly I think there was a certain point in my musical listening that before it I wouldn't have liked Muse that much. And when I was checking them out in 2004, that point hadn't yet been reached. Perhaps a certain emotional state or maturity is required to feel their music. Maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about and I just love Muse...

I highly recommend Muse, but I realize they aren't for everyone. I love their intense sound... I'm captivated whenever I listen to them. Some of my favorite tracks are:

Showbiz
Muscle Museum
Unintended
Uno

Origins of Symmetry
New Born
Space Dementia
Plug In Baby
Citizen Erased

Hullabaloo
Map of Your Head
Shine Acoustic

Absolution
Time is Running Out
Stockholm Syndrome
Endlessly

Black Holes and Revelations
Take a Bow
Starlight
Supermassive Black Hole
Map of the Problematique

Ok, one more video link. I discovered this one quite recently. Their live performance looks INCREDIBLE. I truly hope I'll get to see them play live one day.



<3 <3 Matt Bellamy <3 <3