Friday, March 30, 2007

multiple carrots

whew! the week is almost wrapped up. good. i need to take care of a bunch of things this weekend... It's been a strange week. Last week was rough as it was "new job!" and i was sick, this week it's been hitting me a bit more "this is where i work now..." and that I am gonna be in it for awhile. But yah, it is definitely starting to grow on me. I have seen some other scenes from the game and it's just.. damned gorgeous. A little daunting (i have a lot of software and technique to adjust to) but I know i will be alright. I have to say, the job is good but I STILL hate orange county. I hate it, i drive around during lunch and it just makes me upset. OC's not a bad place, but it's not a place for me. Whatever, I wasn't a big fan of the valley either anyway. That being said I completely feel justified in my decision to commute to that studio from this city, rather than relocate to be closer to the office (shorten my commute). Yeah, the drive in and out is a bit on the long side, but it's not what i would call unbearable. We'll see what I am saying a year from now. But HOLY GEEZ I am going to be putting a lot of miles on my car and gas into my tank. I filled up two nights ago and already I am at half a tank. It's crazy.

We saw 300 tonite. It's may's spring break and I have been kind of a bummer boyfriend for.. awhile, so I thought it'd be a nice gesture to take her out for a decent meal and a flick (she picked). i want to take her out for a nice time this weekend as well - i feel bad 'cause she had some plans for the break which sort of fell through and she's been sort of chilling on the couch, I want her to enjoy herself before getting back to the academic grind, y'all!!

I always make fun of my Dad ("you live in the PAST!!!") as he is always talking about toys and food and stuff he remembers fondly from his childhood.. he is quit a nostalgic fella, i tell you. Well I can't hold a candle to him, or can I.. As i get older i realize i spend a lot of time in my head regurgitating the innocence of my youth, err, the material innocence of it. I grew up a pretty spoiled kid, whether it's good or bad I can't say. But i reflect on it a lot, the stuff i had when I was a kid, the long-lost weird toys of the eighties (oh come now, i am part of an extremely nostalgic generation, there's a whole cottage industry built around this phenomenon-- it ain't just me!!) I bought oneof these things off of eBay and it arrived in the mail yesterday..

yeah, i bought a tabletop pac-man, so sue me. i haven't seen one of these things in a zillion years, but it was one of my favorites when I was a wee tyke (I was a pacman junkie, to be sure). Much to my delight my folks got me one of these in.. man, 1982 or something? We used to go to the Cape Cod every summer, and I brought it with me ad left it on the floor. My Dad was skulking to the kitchen late one night, and he stepped on the &^*&(%ing thing and the top "cabinet" part broke off - the machine still worked, but it was kinda ghetto and crappy. I would put the broken-off part on my head and pretend it was a Darth Vader helmet (it's wild to look at that thing now and realize that my head was once little enough to fit in there..)

I had a Zaxxon one as well, which had a really cool dual-screen with mirror effect (not gonna try to explain!) whose batteries melted and destroyed it... and there was a series of like 4 or 5 other ones which i never had got my hands on. I am kinda tempted to lay out he cash and buy a few more just 'cause they look soooo cool... I am not real big collector but it's fun to collect things that came in real small sets, sometimes. Also, it is pret-ty nerdy. Or maybe i will just save my money for booze instead. HAW!

It is 2am, i can't believe it. I wanted to do some work tonight but instead i just surfed and blogged.. and now i must get some sleep, i've got another full day ahead of me tomorrow.

Oh yeah and halllujah it is PAYDAY!!
ps don't worry matt i haven't forgotten about your site... just settling into my new situation..

Sunday, March 25, 2007

maximum results yielded by minimum effort

first week of work = all done. interesting times, very much so - shitty in that already i am sitting amidst a hotbed of potential politics, sort of. is there ever ANY WAY OUT OF THAT?? Fucking clearly not, ever. What else is there, then. I guess "i love it..."

I guess I am getting old. I KNOW i am already getting more neurotic. Dude, I bought rogaine today. I bought ROGAINE today!! That's unbelievable! I can't believe it.. maybe i should sign up for the goddamned 401k plan after all. Sigh, whine, wheeze.. where are my golf pants, Maureen?

Edwin and I went to the Asian Night at the Vanguard last night. That guy can talk me into anything "yeah, twist my arm!" Well,it was fun. I needed to celebrate I guess, and what better way to do it than doing what i do best.. anyway it was fun. we had a long night and ended up at another place up the street. It was alright... another forgettable evening plowed into oblivion by a lil' excessive jagermeister. Always winds up with me in one piece (hey if i die quite suddenly, at least i'll have never seen it coming)

It was a weird week, kind of sad. The dust is clearing, so to speak. i have a BEHEMOTH of work ahead of me, in some ways.. i have to learn a lot of new skills and make a good impression. Rebuild my rep from scratch yet again, man.. i am kinda tired of this. I do what i have to, and it'll feel a lot better after I get that first paycheck in my bank account. Till then it's a little of "herrrrre we go again, tis time with a little feeling, sucker..." But yeah. a weird week. It is The Future, welcome to it.

Buying some shit on ebay lately. yea. some SHIT. For real. Stuff i dn't really want, or need, and probably can't afford. It's alright, we are all allowed a little stupid leeway here and there now and again (then in now, if and then, fore and aft). EBay is like A Magic Endless Vegas Christmassy experience. So gratifying "what can i get away with?? what crap would I LOVE?" This is coming from a guy who likes to own almost nothing. Okay, I Am being harsh on myself for a minute, I am not so shameful. I just want to have my ow stupid shit that is completely irrelvant to my real life for 15 minutes out of my day to distract me from the other shit (like Rogaine). Anyway there's something magical about coming home from work and finding brown packages containing cool surprises randomly left at your door. Or did I just describe dog shit.

We went to an Art Show tonight, a former coworker of mine had some sculpture being shown at this gallery opening. I was expecting a quiet mellow night, the place turned out to be packed to overflowing. It was pretty much a mob scene (hey well ya know, free rinks). I don't know this person very well, but he is a really nice guy, very talented and honestly.. in this digital field we all work in, it is nice to see someone I know actually doing some creative production which is tactile (more so than just a PS3 disc with some GBs of data on it...) It was nice to go out, but a bit weird.. I haven't anything against Santa Monica, though it can be a bitch to drive over there sometimes (not real bad though). I have got spoiled in that i live in a hip area, and I can easily "let my hair down" and get back home with no real problems. I won't really get shitfaced when I am out of my Comfort Radius unless it's a special-special occasion, and half those times i can't really "feel right" 'cause my alter ego cant justcome and go as he pleases (and oh yeah, he pleases). It's too bad 'cause there's a whole world out there to explore. But good 'case it keeps me outta trouble.. I guess.

Anyway a bunch of old coworkers at the party. Some fellas I hadn't really seen since I got let go, um, 6 months ago. You know, i'll always hold my time at Neversoft with a degree of reverance, as I've always said "imagine working with all of your best friends, that's what it's like" and it was really true.. it was a happy time for me, even when it was miserably obnoxious. So yeah, good to see those old guys again, but in this weird context, makes me kind of want to put that chapter of my life behind ad get on with the new one - there's a whole lot of work to do, yet.

One of the bosses was there as well (one of the guys who pulled the trigger and fired me) - which was a little awkward. Man, I cannot express, even now after this time has passed I STILL strongly fantasize about telling those assholes off.. it makes me raelly bitter, just makes me feel like useless shit. I know "it's business and all" but for crying out loud! I want comeuppance! Well I could say shit, but I am mature enough not to be a dick and shoot myself in the foot like that. he did say hi and what's up and all of that, i didn't humor him with any bullshitty small-talk - I really don't wanna go into that. I wanna say i wonder what I'd do if had been drunk, but I don't think i'd be out of control about it then either.

I guess some of this happens in life to you, from time to time.. you have a situation where it's the you that you WANT to be and the you that you HAVE to be.. you just gotta suck up and do the right thing, be productive and well.. not a dick. Anyway the art world is a weird one. It's not something that I honestly am attracted to, in the business/social sense, though I can see it's usefulness at times. It is pretty irritating though. Coming from a guy who lives in Hollywood.. wtvr.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

aw shucks

I feel like this was the last time i was really happy and carefree. Ironically i was recently fired, but i guess my life was sorta coming apart at the seams anyway, just then.

Seeing those pics pisses me off, almost - I want to be happy like that, again! I will settle down with this job and get back to regularity. Accomplish the goals I have set (get out of debt, become better at my job, etc). But if I am still feeling bummed then I am gonna do something positive about it.. I need to have some good times again.

Seize the day, as they say...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

first day at Obsidian Entertainment

well, sick of blogging, but good to be historical. My how time flies.. well after 6 months of confusion, today was my first day at "the new job." I accepted it not even a full week ago, and just a couple of days ago I was still stressing over "should i pass? can i pull out, is it too late.. should i just snap and go to new york!!?"

Yeah, there's no way that stuff can't still be lingering in my head, at least not for a little while. I am getting lots of weird feedback from all sorts of people "why did you do this?" Next time I have major life decisions to make I will just keep them to myself, apparently.. haha. Anyway, Obsidian is.. NOT Neversoft, that's for damned sure. Completely different vibe. It is weird being "the new guy" again, the one who gets introduced in a flash to tons of more-established-at-that-studio people. They put up a little message on the company internet board "welcome to Ron Alpert!" And then there was a brief monday afternoon company meeting "Welcome Ron Alpert from Neversoft" (clapping) Yeah, I guess I have a little bit of an image now.

Actually it was a really terrible 1st day. I didn't have an awful drive in, in fact it took me exactly one hour (whew!) and the traffic wasn't crippling as I was expecting. But all day I was nursing a fresh new cold, sneezing and dripping all day to the delight of onlookers and new fellow coworkers (do you detect my sarcasm?) If not for being my first day I'd have taken it off, actually. But I soldiered thru it - got all my apps installed, all my quick keys and custom-software configurations set up.. did some paperwork, and started soaking up the design docs for the project I'll be spending the next year and change of my life living intimately with.

To reiterate - Obsidian is NOT NEVERSOFT. Not by a longshot. This place is relatively "new" (2003) but borne of the ashes of an older company with many of the same principles - anyway, probably at least as old as NS if not a little older, but completely different style. NS is all about the punk rock and roll "bad boy" culture, this place is more of the "laid back 'we're a production studio'" vibe. Not as hectic and intense.. it's gonna be weird to adjust to a more "normal job," but i do know one thing - the game, while not my usual cup of tea, has some potential to be a GOOD looking piece of software, regardless of how it ends up selling. I can tell there's a lot of room here, for a guy like me to really come into my own on the graphics side. Well, we'll see. NS trained me for speed, efficiency and juggling technical issues (frame rates and delicate poly/texture budgets, etc) and this place looks like it will be more relaxed in those areas (new console gene, completely different game format). Unfortunately I can't discuss the context here, for the time being...

OC still pisses me off. Yeah, it's very pretty and I will adjust to the drive. If today's commute is "the usual" then I will be satisfied. There's some folks who can't stand being en route to work more than 15 minutes or so, and I can understand that. I have to keep this apartment though, I need to be where my fun is at. It's all a compromise.

We'll see how my attitude is in a couple of months.. hahaha.

To conclude, I'll say I am super-driven now to start picking my life back up from the limbo it's been in. I want to start pushing forward with my plans for "the next step," because whirling around in an endless semi-circle is suffocating to me. I keep picturing another name on my resume, at some point it is gonna be 2009 and what have I got to show when that comes? Another name. Another studio. I can't do this same schtick forever. It's so tiring to think of.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

america's favourite neurotik sun

here i am. i haven't blogged in awhile. by jove i am sick to death of blogging! i am tired of it, like several things i have become slavishly addicted to it and while i's not quite so... destructive as my other addictions, it's certainly putting some wear 'n tear on my soul (and perhaps my lifestyle). well before i lay low for real, i will put down some updates for those curious as to the life and times of my twisted soul.

the last couple of weeks have been some of the most obnoxious of my life - existing in my own head has been a party of evilness. rather than being happy that my days in limbo were numbered, i have felt like i have been sitting at crossroads (or, more appropriately, staring down the barrel of a gun, sonofagun, sonofabitch, getting paid, gettin' rich). stay? go? A B C? I decided to take the job in orange county, southern california. NYC was taking too long to gt back to me while there had been a lingering offer to work locally (well, locally enough) on the table. The circumstances that led to my decision, as usual, were dubious. In the end, as I have all along, I stand by my choice as the proper one. I don't regret it. I won't lie - i am filled with sadness and disappointment. I WANT to reinvent myself for the umpteenth time. I want to pull a trigger and mow myself down in the middle of a crowded Los Angelean street for all to see and as the blood and pieces of brain and skull splatter behind and around me and onto the boulevard, I want to be a fresh naked baby cavorting and tearing up a different town with a different crowd with different places to do, different bars to get wasted at, different personalities to be soiled by. Yeah, I want a change... but I have a change and not at the cost of this future. That's not to say myother future would be bad either, at all. "life's a crapshoot."

Anyway I am not the type who will seriously question "what if... what if.." until the end of my days. I can change my environment but i can't really change my character. After 32 years of being trapped in this shell I know myself somewhat half-decently by now. If I was in a different town I'd find the same type of people, the same type of girl, the same type of jobs. Instead of being sad that I'd stayed with the less mysterious life I've got out here, I'd be sad about all the sacrifices I'd just made to get over there. An eye for an eye. And then I could deal with the consequences.

Okay well I can talk about this up and down, but the reality is.. I am sick to death of the limbo, and happy to be getting into my new situation tomorrow. Yeah my drive will be a pain in the butt. yeah Orange County is drab and colorless. Yeah I might get stuck in another Art Cave with no natural light and bitter people all up in my face. But at least i will be happy doing what I am doing, and excited for where it's directing me.


I want to start living. I want to fix my bike. I want to buy a skateboard. I want to draw, I want to read more. I want to pay off my credit debt and get my car all fixed up ad running smoothly. I want to stop pissing off my girlfriend. I want to go back to the gym. I want to limit the time I spend in front of the PC when it's not quite so essential that i be in front of it. I want to discover some new music, meet some new people. Drink less alcohol and eat less shitty fast food.


I want to indulge some different bad habits...

I don't want to write in this blog anymore. (Watch me be back on Wednesday)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

the point?

looked at the clock "what the hell, almost 4am already, how...?" then it's hits me "oh yeah, daylight savings..."

stayed in tonight, i spent a day of utter nothingness (once again) and was feeling a little bit of cabin fever, "it's saturday night - i should do SOMETHING!!" But the cool sat nite spot i used to semi-frequent has been turned into a gay club, and the place where the non-gay event got moved is kind of a shitty place (though close - i just get a crappy vibe from it). Well, whatever. besides as noted earlier, i went out friday night and spent a couple bucks i shouldn't've.. though, really, i can't feel too terrible about such things as spending too much time locked down tends to make me kind of nuts and miserable.

i got some zankou and watched a little bit of television (documentary). The older I get,the more i realize that I am quite different from many of my peers, in that i will rarely watch television, rent movies, etc at all. I know i have said this before, but it's to the point where i feel quite alien compared to the rest of the western civilization. the majority of the stuff out there just doesn't captivate me like it used to when i was younger, perhaps the internet has spoiled me (much more interactive). Also I am just not one who likes to watch canned "fake shitty stories, half-realized fanboy fantasy tripe" that seem to make up the bulk of what passes for modern cinema. I'm being harsh, there are definitely plenty of good films, but honestly - it's been YEARS since I was excited about a film. There have been releases here and there which may have caused me to raise an eyebrow, but nothing to the tune of "i HAVE to see this, it will enrich my life" - i just haven't had such a feeling in so long, between any film or television event and i do not miss it one bit. I guess I am a very specific type of nerd, then. On the other side of the world, i DO love learning things.

On top of all i've just written above, i am as fabulous as anyone else at "wasting time," perhaps more so than many - that may have to do with the weirder aspects of my personality.

I have been looking around on "the 3D forums" on the internet a little bit, lately. it's where "i came from," really i have learned so much about my craft back in the day from the discussion groups - but in the past few years my attentions have turned to other things. 3D is still at the forefront of my mind for various reasons, and due to my past as a generalist (as opposed to my current state as "level artist") i always wanna have some kind of a finger on the pulse of what is going on in "the scene" and feel that i know what's up and how to keep current. man, it is humbling to go back - i look in the forums (my favorite has always been and see what kind of work people are generating, many of whom are just hobbyists, and it blows my mind. makes me feel out of touch. excites me ""ohh i wanna try doing that stuff!" but i know i'd be looking at months of work to go off in a different direction now. which brings me to an important thought-- what the devil do i want? i look at the work i have been doing, and this plan i have had.. i know my capabilities, and i know where my industry is headed, and i KNOW i have to keep evolving in order to keep up. do i want to flesh out my repertoire more? when will i start learning more about human anatomy, character art? when will i put in some hardcore hours doing lighting.. vehicle design.. complicated material work? i know bits and pieces of all sorts of puzzles, and i can make a damned fine city block no questions asked.. but then what? just keep doing what i am doing and call it a day?

i have been musing a lot lately, about "starting a project" - i want to further delve into game design, pretty much. for a guy like me in a game world like this, to say that is something huge because i am soooo NOT a "modern-day gamer" by a longshot. i am still an active-enough retrogamer, and that's my gimmick i guess. But it's not just a trifling fancy for me, this is something i can see as some opportunity for me to evolve beyond just being a shitty staff grunt, as i've been for the past decade of my life. i feel like it's screaming at me, and it's not like i am walking around proclaiming this without anything to back up my plans. i have thoughts all bubbling over in my head, waiting to get the juices flowing, waiting for a language of expression to be developed. it seems like such a no-brainer, not 'cause "i want to make more money"but because this is something new and different and more necessary for me to explore. even if it goes nowhere, i have to at least start trying to flesh some of these ideas out beyond my normal means. it is exciting to me, in these days when i can't know how otherwise to feel excited, generally.

i feel odd. i have been unemployed roughly six months (not yet, but nearly). that's half the longest time i have been out of work - and i have been quite busy for much of the time, but the past several weeks i have been rather non-productive. i attribute it to burn-out, exhaustion, a feeling of "who gives a shit." I can keep making better pieces for my reel, and should, and it would be nice, but.. i will work again, there's no need to rush it. i feel like this time is sort of wasted though, i should be enjoying it then, instead of just puttering about uselessly. wasting my time and my mind, in a way. well, that's a hibernation period, it's not like i've had my head stuck completely in the sand anyway.

it feels good to type this stuff out (there's the therapeutic aspect of blogging), but putting it out there raises some questions for me, and makes me reconsider the direction i have been pushing with my head and my heart lately. it's really an aggravating time - i still don't know what is supposed to happen, what it is that i want to make me happy. in spite of my bitching, it makes me proud of my work (and thankful for my view of the world, even if it's kind of pissy and dark - at least it's unique and it's mine). I still have my ideas to hold onto, and they matter to me!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

blogs is bars logs

oh so no new jobs news yet. so don't ask.

things are alright. went out with that jew matt yesterday and tried to convince him to stay on the one true path to glory, fame, and love. stay away from the darkside of teaching! he helped me re-output my demo video (web version) and we hustled back to hollywood for beer, shabu shabu and much nerdy talk of dr. who with tyler. we wound up at M bar then three of clubs, as usual i drank a bit more than i should but no harm came of it. ate me some wontons in thai town, no jumbo's but i will survive. sigh...

another beautiful day outside. 3pm. once again i find myself sitting on my ass doing absolutely nothing. i have things in my head to do but my charge seems drained "my get up and go has got up and gone, i hanker for a hunk'a cheese, YA-HOO!!" Yeah, i think i need some electricity. some exercise. somethin'. maybe i will grab my bleepity-cbleep-bleep camera and walk my two legs on into town. take some pics and eat a hotdog, YES I NEED A FUCKING CHANGE OF SCENERY WHY DO YOU ASK....

well, just some point...


comedy clubs are weird. comedians are weird. personally i think they're a bunch of drunks, they have got balls though. i can think of a zillion weird-ass things to say (not really funny, just strange) but i couldn't imagine standing up in front of a room of strangers to spit 'em out. though that might be strangely cathartic. Oh, business and craft is a weird mix, it messes with your principles, it takes away (for me anyway) the original purpose of doing what one does.. it's compromise.. and in the end i think i understand why some people are content to have hobbies and not mix work with play. on the other hand, some people are ALL work or ALL play no matter what. why are people like that -- necessity? well if you ask me, in the end everything is a game.


dust is funny. i feel autistic staring at it.. it just collects everywhere. i wonder how long on has to sleep before they'll get dusty. hey, it's happened! it's like tiny, non-cold snow that's kind of clumpy and gross. meanwhile, cement mixers started fascinating me the other day (oh, the things i think of while driving). So let me get this straight.. they have to keep shifting that shit or it'll solidify? i wonder how many cement mixer accidents there were before they figured out the proper speed of the mixer to turn. i wonder how many times a cement mixer can be used and reused without being "cleaned and scraped out" before it's too gukky and useless. i wonder if we'll ever see cement mixer jets. how rad would that be!! come on, you know they've had to transport cement while it was being mixed through long distances. surely, in history, its happened - right? so what, do they just get some big-ass plane and put a cement mixer in it, that's fucking expensive no? why not just build a dedicated cement mixing plane? (not helicopter, that sounds overly complex). I am not down with cement mixer boats either, i just thought of it but it sounds even less practical than the plane version. it just sounds like it's begging for trouble. like if the plane crashes, it'll all just blow up -- so fine, whatever. but if the boat crashed or whatever, then there's shitty cement leaking out all over the place, remember the valdez? need i say more? am i a genius or what?

Friday, March 09, 2007

what were your intentions, exactly

sit at computer. slight headache. feel lethargic, not hungry - eating getting boring. read a bunch of posts about stupid game convention and everyone marvels at new stupid technology.

log into myspace "must type blog." McDonald's advertisement flashing with cut-out of delicious looking cheeseburger is dripping down the page. Okay NOW i am hungry.

Pfah. lethargy wins once again. It's a long empty day today - i went to yuca's for the second time this week, i think i could probably eat that carne asada burrito every single day for like 3 weeks straight and not get tired of it. it's like crack. i could eat one right now, they'd have to put jalapenos in it though. i could eat that for lunch and zankou schwaerma for dinner every night. that'd be a pretty satisfying life for me. i'd have horrible gas, and be real fat, and dead, but i would die happy. also i would have to have some armenian deli roast beef sandwiches too. man, am i really gonna want to drive all the way over to the valley to get one of those for lunch tomorrow? has it really been almost 6 months since i've sampled that culinary delight?

i'm what you would call a food bore. I go to a place, i find one thing i like, and then from then on after i have found the one thing, i will order that shit ad nauseam (there's a joke in there, i just know it). Casey's hot dogs in Natick, MA - 3 all-arounds with ketchup, a Pepsi. Antonio's in Amherst - Taco Pizza. Subway, before they changed the fucking meat (assHOLES!) - steak and cheese with everything. i can never have it again! Togo's? Tuna sandwich. BJ's Brewhouse? Chopped BBQ Chicken Salad (also at CPK, though not as delectable). Quizno's, chicken carbonera sub --- milly's, tuna melt.. Mel's, Reuben with Coleslaw instead of Sauerkraut. SanamLuaung, however it is spelled, the Pad thai chicken with sweet n sour sauce, and a thai iced tea. hey I could go there and get one NOW.

is everyone like me? does everyone relentlessly order the same shit nonstop? or am i just an unimaginative person with a simplified palate? Is this what happens from growing up and not eating seafood? Why am i so BORING AND PREDICTABLE? Maybe one day i will enter a fugue disassociative state and forget all my memories and what food i am supposed to eat. That's pretty unlikely. I think it goes down DEEP, to my neurons. Which are pretty deep.

So can you tell that i have been doing nothing with my day? I sat today. that's it. not sick. not working. just sat. reading the industry news, not even reading (honest to goodness) bullshit, though it still pretty much qualifies as such. No, for a guy who prides himself on "i don't really waste my time," i pretty much wasted a whole bunch of it. But it's okay, I guess we all have to have those days once in awhile. For crying out loud, I mean, some people watch wrestling....

Well, I think i mentioned this, I DID go for a walk today. It was nice, perfect day for a walk in the park, get a little air into the lungs, the blood pumping, just watch out for the erratically placed dog shit littered here and there and to and fro. Walking helps me think, helps me clarify, cause it's hard to do it while driving ("Don't die, don't crash!"). And it did help me clarify, and I wasn;t too psyched about it, but at least it does. Actually, it made me want to go out and party tonight, which I didn't do, because I am in a frame of mind right now where getting loaded just doesn't feel very enjoyable. Escapism is nice but I am already pretty far escaped anyway, there's only so far up against a wall that one can go (and for some reason, typing that does make me a little hungry).

No, I have said it before, drinking is a strange thing, an I have definitely had an unusual and colorful history with it. It's been a wonderful friend and a horrible enemy. It's not ever going to be something I can just chill out with, kick back and have a few - no, the point of drinking is to go somewhere ELSE. I do not have many regrets in my life, but I will say that i wish I had been a little more experimental back in the college days when such things were more societally appropriate. Yeah, they say "it's better to smoke weed when you're older than to get started with it when you're younger," but that's not really my plan. Especially with the downtime, i can see it becoming sort of like a snake-eating-its'-own-tail sort of thing, but beyond that, it's just not my thing, really. Weed gets you fucked up, but it makes you stupid, not care. Drinking makes you just get your engines revved and DO LIFE. This town requires a bit of "doing" to get anywhere with it, mind you - and i can see how one could easily "do a little bit much of life" to their detriment, but as I mentioned in an email to a friend earlier, "there is that self-defense mechanism to count on," and good thing, too.

Well, talking about drinking makes me feel lazy. So far in this entry I have made myself feel guilt for being lazy, and feel anxious to go out and explore the ever-present scene, and wish I ate a laundry list of food. And yet I find myself still typing and thinking on it and not giving a shit. Good time to stop then.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

choke and die

a million things to say but it is so nice outside and i wanna get away from the computer.

no resolutions yet. i am still waiting for NYC to make me an offer - the stakes are high and leaving LA feels like it would be pulling off one of my arms. still i am so drawn to this idea.... i want to "grow up" some more. i don't know if i can do that here.

i haven't given an answer to the job offer (the good one) i DID get, and I hope they won't run outta patience - the clock is ticking. it has been.

it's been a strange week! i have been pretty social, a lot of jabberjawin'.. a lot of thinking. i am about to put on my socks and eat a burrito and then just go and walk around in the park, away from people and car alarms and distractions, and just think about stuff, walk around.. enjoy the beautifulness of the day.

i feel very driven to do many different things right now. i though "listing my options on paper" would help, but i really feel it's fruitless. i feel a gut decision is in order, but my gut is getting kind of large. sick of limbo, and yet i also realize this period has been good for me, overall. It's given me some perspective. But damn, i do need some money..

Monday, March 05, 2007

urinal cake dessert

i just ate some baklavah. it hurts my mouth a little to eat, but so very tasty.

i just shat and played columns on gameboy. as i get older i notice that the smell of my shit gets profoundly more potent (disgusting potent), lingers longer. This is what happens with age, I guess.

I have a great little "work nook" (so gay to say that) in my apartment, with a window right beside me - which i love. what i DON'T love is when one of my neighbors leaves her apartment building beside me and sits on the ledge and smokes, if my window is open then all her gnarly gross smokey fumes drift into my face. screw that and screw nicotine. why can't everyone else in the world be like me and have no vices?

i slept pretty badly last night - horrible, upsetting dreams. anxiety - yeah, i know. i woke up with a headache. i am convinced my girlfriend is a vampire, on the other hand, since she stays up all night long and sleeps all day!!! i am going to start holding crosses up to her and see if her eyes turn green. why weren't vampires ever afraid of Stars of David? Do the Jews hold no sway over vampires? Well, i guess we can at least try to make them feel bad.

Waiting to see what happens with jobs. Burbank pulled out of the race - I could talk my way back into it, but it wouldn't increase the asking price any. Supposedly I will hear back from NYC in the next couple of days - it is complicated as all those dudes are at an industry convention in San Francisco right now, but hey - it is always somethin'.

I am still anxious and upset about the prospect of moving, but excited as well. I am just looking forward for this process to finish so i can get on with my freakin' life!


My friend matt came by yesterday to screen a documentary he shot (well, he and his buddy scott made the thing). It's been in production for a few years now (four or five), spent a lot of time sitting on a shelf as he couldn't get anyone to properly edit it - at last he learned video editing and did the damn thing himself. It came out great, I am very impressed (especially for a two-man effort - 3 if you count the subject). It's not finished but damn near there. We watched the film then discussed it a bit afterwards, it was a fun time. I'd like to do more stuff like that in the future -- why don't i?

i used to watch a lot of indie cinema. there's a lot of things i "used to do" which were fun but i don't, anymore. i am getting old and lazy, or just codgery. or just... really busy.

the past few days have been a huge SLOWDOWN from the pace my life had been going at lately. it's been nonstop workaholic madness for this reason or that, with the general pressure of the ongoing job search fueling it all and really filling in the cracks. Right now, especially as things are sort of out of my hands, it feels kind of stalled.. which is weird for me. I "have the time and the state of mind" to do all the down-time things i've been wanting to (if not necessarily too much $$, but it's cool) and I am trying to get a little settled. I went to the valley to meet a friend for lunch, but otherwise I've been hunched over the PC all day, reading industry news and opinions/etc. All very relevant to what's going on in my life right now, so not just "dicking around" - still I feel like my time would be better spent outside (hey, it's gorgeous outside!) shooting photos or just getting some exercise or something. I feel like i've slunk into this self-imposed "prisoner mentality" in a way, like it just makes sense to sit on my ass and let time waft by. i don't like it - i spend enough times being forced to be indoors, really, for various reasons (work, work, work). I need something to kik me ass and put me in motion. I think I would feel better and my mood would lighten up.

Maybe tomorrow.

crazy hollywood story - not really, even - but it's good to dip into the well once in awhile. Friday night my girlfriend and I went out with some friends to go dancing. A rare thing (usually it's just me ad my drinking buddy), but I was happy to head into town. Downed a couple drinks - tried keeping it light, I usually down a HUGE shot of jagermeister before going out since it's insurance the night will be cheap, but often leads to me blacking out (thus negating the point of experiencing, well, ANYthing...) I had a small shot but chance would have it that the drinks I followed it with turned out to be unusually strong. No big deal, whatever, though they did make me kinda sick when the night ended. Noteworthy only 'cause I NEVER get sick, only twice since living in LA if memory serves - from drinking, I mean. Whatever, it wasn't a huge mess or anything, haha. Anyway, the point of the story is that we were in the club probably about an hour and a half, and then I got kicked out? WTF kinda bullshit is that? Now I like ot party, but I am not te most raucous individual.. I know how to behave. New club, just opened, they were filming some reality series there that night "The Bar" or some crap - a midget dressed as Superman and a Transvestite at the door, you know. Here's what happened, the dance floor had an elevated platform (maybe a foot or two higher) lining the wall, just for people to stand on - it had a railing to separate from the dance floor. My girlfriend was on the platform, I went to say hey and as the place was kinda mobbed, I decided to go in-between the bars rather than around to the ramp, who cares right? Well, they didn't like that and threw me out of the place. (Yuck she is smoking outside my window again, smells fucking disgusting.. argh!) What isn't this Hollywood last time I checked? Anyway no warning, no sign, just get the hell out right now thank you very much. That sucked! The night wasn't bad up till that point. I wasn't being belligerent or an ass or anything.. they also threw my friend's girlfriend-but-non-girlfriend-don't-know-how-to-define out for the same reason. Anyway that was a downer. Readers, don't go to "The Facade" on Hollywood and Ivar.

getting late. darker outside. sun going down. feel antsy. want to go for walk. will. also... one of my favorite hangouts in town has closed. lava lounge on la brea and sunset. used to be one of my usual hangouts, 'specially back in the day. I haven't been there much inthe past few years, but nice to pop in now and again. Sad to see it go. i whipped it out there once. Memories....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

cocaine in my brain

yepppp, it's now march 2007. as usual "how did that happen.." Okay how long has it been since i have worked? Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb. That's awhile (but still shorter than my record of 1 year!!!) Well okay I don't rightly recall when last I wrote in this thing, i believe it's been about a week or so (checking.... yep, there it is). Yeah so - dammit, a lot has happened in a week's time. I went to New York City (arrived Tuesday afternoon, returned Thursday evening). After arriving I cabbed to my friend's Noah and Nikita's apartment in Williamsburg (Brooklyn, i believe) - the newlyweds - and hung out with them and their one-year-old, as they fed me delicious cheeseburgers and booze. Oh man, it felt GOOD to be in NYC. It just felt right, I knew I was going to like the feeling there. Yeah it was a little cold (not unbearable, by a longshot), there was a little crusty snow on the ground here and there, but the city looked great and i WANTED it, dammit! It was cool to see my friends, they're very warm people and just really easy to talk to. I could hang out with them all night... haha, I did. Next day was the interview with the studio, mind you I had a phone interview and did an art test for them.. i'd basically been in talks with them over a month and a half's time, or so, all told. Anyway i spent all day with them (got in at 11am, left around 3:30pm). The whole 9 yards, met the staff, got the tour, see all the departments, check out levels of their game, stuff like that. It looked good - the game is a bit rough around the edges, but for what it is it looks pretty slick. The people working there had a general enthusiasm about them, it was very nice, very excited and friendly people all around. Not my type of game, but hey i am a retrogamer.. still I could hack it, of course. It didn't "BLOW ME AWAY" as I was hoping it would, but the staff was cool as I said, and of course NYC (the studio is right in manhattan) is a real strong selling point for me. I headed back the following evening, feeling excited about the thought of a new life - I woke up the next day back home in my own bed, feeling in my gut "i want to go to NYC!"

Well, some things have happened since, a couple important things. I have had two offers, one in Burbank (up the road from me) which seems pretty cool - and one that's about an hour commute away, which has a decent-enough project (it's no tonyhawk, but still it'd be fun to work on) and this place is gonna do an "Aliens" game as well - I would LOVE to get on that project! Not what I am being hired for, but.. Anyway, Friday I talked to this guy and he gave me a very very generous offer - and it really surprised me, it changed things a lot. Suddenly this place seemed like it might be the smart move for me more than Burbank or NYC, and also I discovered something else, by chance - a former coworker of mine (same type of job, level artist) was at this studio as well. So yeah, you know I wanted to talk to him, especially as we'd both been burned by shitty politics at other studios in the past.

Well, I got on the phone with him today, and he basically pretty much "sold" me on the place. He said he was really happy and pretty much highly recommended it to me. That's a big thing - I know guys at the other two studios I've been considering, and they obviously want to bring me in over to their places as well, but now this 1st place had a whole lot less X-Factor going for it. I WANT to work at a place that will treat me right, rather than shit all over my self-esteem, I've had goddamn enough of that. It seems like this place might even be "a bit too chill" for my tastes, but hey.. if i am commuting, and doing freelance/personal work on the side as well, I don't think I have to worry about being understimulated. I do wish I could have "the best of all possible scenarios," of course, but this is looking plenty solid. So -- here's what it's gonna boil down to...

I emailed the other jobs (Burbank and NYC) and pretty much was straight with them, mentioning the stuff I just outlined above.I said "if you guys wanna match the offer I got, then that will change things.. but otherwise I think i am gonna have to go with these guys." GAH!! I got the ball rolling, and really - I will be surprised if B and C will step up to match A's raising of the ante. I will be HUGELY surprised if it goes to a "bidding war," haha, though that would be pretty hilarious (especially since about a month ago I was feeling like utter useless/pointless shit that no one wanted to touch with a ten foot pole). So yeah I will be surprised, but we'll see what will happen. All these 3 places do seem to really like my work, and my personality. We'll see soon.

It is sad, though.. especially with NYC so fresh on my mind. I really did have a great time, I knew I would love it there and I did - and I feel disappointed to just let it slip through my fingers so "easily." There's still a decent chance I could go for it (i still haven't got an offer, either way!) but I have a feeling after how this has all lined up, that it's not extremely likely. And it is too bad, because "for my life," though moving would be a HUGE pain in the ass, I know it would be extremely fulfilling to go work ad live there. I KNOW it would. But, damn it, I can not disagree with the fact that the Orange County job is just.. really.. too good an opportunity to pass up! It's not "thrilling" but it's got a lot of really good shit going for it.

Sigh. We will see.

I have a lot of other things to say, really, but I am tired of typing right now. I am tired of going over THIS shit that's for sure, but most of all - though I have a lot on my mind, otherwise, I just kind of want to relax on the couch and kick back in front of the TV!

but OH YEAH!!! I almost forgot!! And my Dad is going to love it when he reads this "what are you THINKING!!!" I can just hear it now.. but I might actually go out to London, England at the end of March with my girlfriend for a few days. Of course, that's dependent on a whole bunch of circumstances (like what job I end up taking, if they are cool with that, etc etc). She has been planning a trip over there for spring break and suddenly it was looking like she'd be going there alone, as her family couldn't work out their visa's in time. I would LOVE to visit London, obviously (never been there!) but of course I am jobless, broke, etc etc. Yeah I am in debt. But hell if I take the OC job I can wipe out my debt pretty quick, so a few extra bucks on the credit card ain't the end
of the world. Anyway, this is kind of a spur-of-the-moment thought, with little basis in reality, but as my life goes.. not exactly impossible. Like anything else in my life, it's entirely up in the air right now. We will see soon.