I feel drained, creatively. The layout for my site bugs me ... I launched this whole thing prematurely, before I'd really settled on how I want it to look. But no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to come up with anything better.
So I'm gonna take a break.
This isn't a full-blown, "no-activity-whatsoever" leave of absence. I'll still periodically update the blog, post vignettes, maybe even upload the occasional project. It's just that I'm spending too much valuable time on the Internet, checking out my favorite design portals (currently surfstation and halfproject), looking at the sites they plug and hoping to get inspired. It isn't working, and I feel more and more unproductive as time passes.
So this will be a sort of working vacation. I bought a nice, spiral-bound hardcover sketch book and a set of colored pencils for my Design 1 class. We never actually got around to using them, so now I have a lot of tantalizing blank white pages just asking to be used, and 12 sharp pencils just itching to touch paper. I have a delightful book of poetry that my friend Albert gave me for Christmas. I want to go back to my creative roots, before this whole web design gig. I want to sketch, read (a real book), and write (with a pencil), three activities that I've left woefully underpracticed (is that a word?). Maybe, if I refresh myself offline, I'll be able to refresh my online work. I dunno.
It's been fun. It's been less than a month, and thethousand has been already been far more successful than my last site, unscripted v.4. Hopefully, when I get back, this site will be even better. =)
Addendum: Well, I've done a little house-cleaning before I leave. I've posted a new vignette, added some links, and modified the typography ever so slightly to make it a tad more readable. That last fix is a temporary solution, when I come back, I'm gonna "remix" (not redesign) the site so that the newsbox won't be so cramped. That's about all I can do for now. Good night, and see you soon.
December 2001 Archives
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you want to do?
I was never the sort of kid who really seriously pondered over those things, or even had a set goal. Over the years, I've wanted to be:
1. a fireman (of course)
2. a policeman (of course)
3. an astronaut (of course)
4. a pilot
But that was a long time ago, when I was a wee tot and thought that the day Mr. Policeman came to visit was the bestest of the whole year. I've always been one of the top students in my class (yeah, I'm a nerd), but never thought about what I wanted to do. Instead, I'd just sort of do well in school. I always used to write stories and draw comic books, and I guess that's why during junior high and early high school, I had a secret desire to make movies, specifically as a screenwriter.
In particular, I greatly admired J. Michael Straczynski (had to look up how to spell that). Here's a guy who had a teacher at his community college tell him he wasn't going anywhere. So he just worked at it, and every time he got anything published, he sent it in to the teacher who said he couldn't make it.
Today, he has a couple novels under his belt, and did work on Murder, She Wrote and The Real Ghostbusters among others. But his greatest achievement was convincing network executives to give him a shot at his pet project, a sci-fi TV show. Many turned him down, but through persistence, he got the WB to finally take him up on the offer. His show, Babylon 5, held the distinction of being the first sci-fi TV series to last more than one season while a Star Trek series was on the air. From the get-go, he created a 5-year story arc and stuck to it, creating a consistency never before seen in a sci-fi series. This concept was successfully "borrowed" by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which became the first Star Trek series that didn't rely on the usual plots: Alien of the Week, Mysterious Planet of the Week, Space/Time Distortion of the Week, Beautiful but Deadly Stranger of the Week, etc. That was a tangent...anyways, another thing I admired about jms is that he kept in touch with the fans...he faithfully participated in usenet discusssions even when Babylon 5 was just an idea.
So why am I talking about careers, anyways? Well, cuz I found this short film by Industrial Light & Magic, George Lucas' effects shop. If I had a dream job, working at IL&M would be it...or maybe at MIT's ACG. Or maybe I could be Indy...hehe.
imyj.f2s.com: nice site by a 17-year old residing in Singapore. Shows control and good taste in a very minimalistic design style, especially with the color red (a tough one to do right).
emptydrome: design portal. looks clean and chaotic at the same time, if you can imagine that. Nice integration of Flash and HTML, too. Not a perfect site, but a worthy effort.
ok. so I saw Fellowship of the Rings again. so sue me.
in other news...
the-null: baloney is one of the people behind the lavishly illustrated design of halfproject. I really admire his work, which takes more talent than simply making abstract shapes in a 3D program. *cough*
I'm also toying with an idea for a site that I'll reveal (wait for it) soon. Ah, "soon". The (rather empty) promise of a thousand web designers. Hehe.
Merry Christmas! =)
Now get offline and spend some time with someone you love.
I saw Fellowship of the Rings again. *bows head in embarrassment*
It was good the second time round, though I don't think third time's the charm...my rear end would complain loudly. =)
Went out to Gabe's house for a Christmas dinner thingy with a bunch of doctors and their wives (Gabe's dad is chief of, um, "stomach stuff" at the UC Med Center in Sacramento). Of course, I got asked the inevitable "so, what's your major?"
And I gave my current response: "Computer Science, but I'm seriously considering an Individual Major that combines Computer Science with Design." I dunno. I love working with computers, but my grades got hammered this quarter. I think it's God's way of telling me try harder, but I can't help but wonder if Computer Science really is the way to go. Choosing my major (or my school, for that matter), wasn't something that I committed serious prayer about, and I think I'm still not devoting enough prayer time to it.
Not to mention, being with a bunch of doctors reminded me of my family legacy. My maternal grandfather was a medical doctor. My mom is a medical doctor (as well as a PhD in Biochem!). Then again, an uncle on my mom's side wanted to be a pilot (long story, but he ended up as a ground crew chief at an airport), an uncle on my dad's side was a pilot (died in a crash), and I think every guy in my dad's family took flying lessons at one point or another. I've got 20/13 vision and always dreamed of being a fighter pilot (too many Star Wars marathons), so maybe that's in my blood? I don't know.
Maybe I could be a flying doctor. Hmmm...
Fellowship of the Rings was sweet! But I have to wait a whole year for the sequel?!
Good time—went out with Dan, Albert, John, Hilary, Justin, and Melissa to watch the movie. It was definitely an epic, and best of all, it didn't feel like 3 hours—when the credits started rolling, all I was thinking was "Not another year!" Definitely worth it. Stunning visuals—New Zealand's natural beauty rivaled (maybe even surpassed) all the fancy computer-generated effects they supplemented the story with. It certainly is nice to see a movie where the effects support the storyline, rather than eclipse it. It's rather unfortunate that the Star Wars saga seems to be going in the opposite direction.
I also admired how Peter Jackson stuck close to the book, something that got him panned by critics—any diversions he took were also quite tasteful.
Anyways, I'm off to burn down the kitchen...erm...cook dinner. =)
Looks like creating crystals is something of an addiction. Here's my latest creation, Trendy Crystals II, also available as a desktop.
Maybe I should come up with *gasp* an original idea. Incidentally, I still haven't finished that "other" splash/project idea I had...I'll get it up once I knock off some hours for work.
I am a sellout. Yes, I, too, have jumped on the bandwagon and made my very own trendy-looking 3D crystals image, and I've even made it available for download as a desktop background.
Trendy Crystals Desktops
Also, I have a new project up, entitled lovely day. It's fairly simple, and right now I'm thinking of it as a sort of work in progress, though I'm not sure yet about what to add to it. Music is courtesy of Asim Khan.
Some nice design tutorials available at recently redesigned wastedyouth.
Working on a new splash (or project? We'll see...)
You may have noticed the new song I put up, "Afindrafindrao." It's a traditional Malagasy dance; the name translated literally means "step by step." It's a dance that opens just about any sort of social function, from Independence Day banquets to wedding receptions. It's a sort of partner line dance, where both partners face the same direction and everyone forms a line that goes around the perimeter of whatever event they're at. It's hard to explain in writing; Afindrafindrao is something that needs to be demonstrated in person. Best thing about it is that it takes absolutely no coordination whatsoever. If you have two legs, you can participate. =)
I like this particular recording due to the rather complex harmony: apparently, the tune of the song was influenced by minuets played in King Louis XIV's royal court. It's also got about 30 seconds of beach sounds at the end, kind of giving the atmosphere of the island. I've provided the file in .WMA format, which is playable on Windows Media Player. I'm checking with my web host to see if they support Windows Media streams, if they do, I'll switch it to a streaming version...for now, it's a reasonable download at about 750Kb.
Incidentally, NPSIS, the company that hosts thethousand.net, just updated their website...big improvement over the old page. If anyone is looking for a webhost, I definitely recommend NPSIS...their basic account offers a lot of features up front, and is fairly affordable (I paid the equivalent of $6.50 a month or so). Also, their staff is really helpful...they actually apologized for taking so long when they took a little over 24 hours to respond to an inquiry. They were helpful even before I was a paying customer; they basically walked me through the process of transfering my domain and redirecting DNS stuff when I switched webhosts.
finals are over...I'm exhausted but relieved. I'll take a couple days to recover, then I'll start working on a couple projects I've been holding off on. Look to see some updates here in the next few weeks. I've got a vignette just itching to be written, a couple photos I may or may not put up, and desire to put in some serious Flash experimentation time. If time permits, I might dabble a little with 3D stuff, too.
Two quick links, then I'm off to bed.
young designers league: a really impressive site oriented toward budding designers in their teens (though it seems at 19, I'm excluded. Rats.) Interesting content, including an interview with surfstation's Jemma.
lost designs: design firm with an unmistakable 2advanced look.
Hmmmm...so that's actually 4 links. Anyways, I'm going to call it a night.
Someone added me to Web Nouveau's list of table-less sites...or maybe I added myself and don't remember. Hehe. Anyways, I know I fully intended to add myself, but three of my splash screens use tables, so I wasn't sure if that counted (I suppose I could redo them without tables...). Anyways, the main page was linked, and anything accessible from there doesn't use tables, so I guess it counts.
Couple of link-ups I wanted to give out:
youngpup.net: Some sweet DHTML scripts up for grabs here. The site design appeals to me too—nice clean lines, plenty of white space, neutral color scheme accented with a tasteful amount of orange (oh yeah...exercising my Design 001 vocabulary!).
Axis Interactive:: With all of the Flash movies I've seen in the past couple of years, it takes a lot to impress me anymore these days. This is one of the best corporate, Flash-based sites I've ever seen. One of the pluses is that it doesn't feel like a corporate site. The site also utlizes the best integration of sound and imagery I've ever seen online.
robert penner: This is the person responsible for the sound and motion of the Axis Interactive site. His site offers a number of Flash experiments, as well as useful equations to use in Flash and sample FLA files to download.
theroot42.org forums: New design community site that's already a great learning resource. Hopefully it will resist the sort of descent into madness that's plagued other community sites.
jessett: or is it called "creating a website?" I dunno. Anyways, nice web design resource. Looks like it targets newbies, but there's something here for everyone to learn.
If I were a work of art, I would be Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
I am extremely popular and widely known. Although unassuming and unpretentious, my enigmatic smile has charmed millions. I am a mystery, able to be appreciated from afar, but ultimately unknowable and thus intriguing.
Which work of art would you be? The Art Test
This is interesting...google is making 20 years of Usenet posts available online. These posts include Tim Berners-Lee describing his WorldWideWeb project back in 1991, and a post mentioning something called "Yahoo, the work of two students at Stanford." It's fascinating how history can now be captured in a way never imagined.
new vignette up. by the way, if you want to comment on any of the vignettes I've written, I'm thinking about making a separate comments system for vignettes...in the meantime post your comments here in the newsbox.
two finals down, one to go.
I pulled an almost all-nighter (one hour of sleep), so maybe I'm still hallucinating, but I woke up this morning and found this message:
The Thousand is the CoolSTOP Best of the Cool Daily Pick! Omigosh!!! Thanks jenett!!!
Addendum: math final is done ... not too shabby, and a lot easier (and less comprehensive) than I imagined. Assembly final is tomorrow @ 4, so I'm going to catch up on some sleep and get cracking on studying. Must resist urge to design ...
finally turned in my last programs for ECS 50! No more assembly programming! (for a couple quarters anyway)...man, assembler.org and josh davis make assembly languages look so trendy, but it's really annoying. Anyways, gonna get my studying for math done (final tomorrow morning @ 10:30).
till I get back, check out these links I wanted to post while on hiatus:
Shiiizzz Stuff: personal page I stumbled on. Really elegant (hand-illustrated?) layout with a whole lot of dhtml subtly inserted here and there, with a php back end.
flash effects: minimalistic flash interface featuring interactive experiments.
fourthcube: design firm with a simple but professional look
Flame Warriors: anyone who has ever experienced chaos on a forum can relate to this.
Cross Movement: More Christian rap. These guys are good. Favorite tracks: Know Me (Huh, what?) and House of Reps
splash #4 is up ... put that together when I should really be studying for finals...I'm out, be back, maybe Tuesday (after MAT and ECS finals are done).
so, my site is now officially live. if this is your first time here, you'll notice that i've been updating the news for about a week and a half. the comments are kinda funky right now: they work, but they open in a pop-up for the time being.
nothing else to say, really. welcome!
everyone go check out Alludure, yet another site by a UCD web designer. we seem to be popping up all over the place. hehe...
hmmm...she listed me as a "professional webdesigner" on her friends page, and I got a laugh out of that for some reason...I mean, I suppose I technically am a professional, but it still sounds kinda weird.
well, I have a temporary solution for the comments issue...I don't particularily like the pop-up, but it should do until I figure out a way to make comments work with php. So...all that's really left for me to do is to put up my random splash page script.
site launch tomorrow?
well this is old news (two weeks old, actually), but the d/votional project was awarded 4.5 stars by ChristSites.com They gave me a little banner thingy to put on the site, but since it doesn't match the color scheme (yeah, I'm perfectionist...), I figured I'd post it here. You can click on the banner for a full site review.
pretty. For those of you who don't know, the d/votional project was an independent web site I created for Macromedia's Student Web Design Contest (to all you design heads out there: next deadline will be June 15, 2002 ... start submitting). Although I didn't win, making the site was a really great experience ... I got to experiment with Flash in ways I never have before, and I learned a lot about good design principles. It was also uplifting to read over the testimonies that people sent me. I'm mulling over whether or not I should redesign the site, incorporating an HTML version as well as a Flash version.