Easy Stress

I suppse that’s sort of like “Sweet and Lowdown.” Whatever. Well, today I get to take it easy but stress my brains out over my shoot tomorrow. I don’t have to go to class until 4:30 this afternoon and when I do it’s only for about 15 minutes. After that however, I have to run around the city and gather items for my photo shoot tomorrow. I have to find 2 pieces of frosted plexiglass, a red backdrop and chocolate covered strawberries. Odds are I won’t find the strawberries so I’ll have to make some, which of course involves a trip to the supermarket. I also need to pick up some chocolate pudding incase the dipping chocolate doesn’t work out. You see, I’m taking a picture of chocolate covered strawberries, very close up, with delicate lighting and a red background. According to my teacher it’s harder than it seems. That has me worried. I’ve had some tricky shoots before, but when the teacher says “wow, you like a challege huh?” it begins to worry me. I also need to buy some Poloroid (for test shots) from the school store since my B&H order won’t be here until Oct 1st. The problem with the school store is that it’s insainly overpriced (just like ALL school stores). We’re charged $15 a roll of Fuji Provia 120, a $5 roll of film. It’s rather aggrivating.

So, anyways, here it is 11:15am and I’m sitting around the apartment in my PJs debating which Hot Pocket to have for lunch, stressing about a photoshoot tomorrow. What a life. Everybody should be an artist. If you can deal with an insane amount of stress for 1 or 2 days a week, you get the rest of the week to relax and preplan your next stressful activity.

Oh, and I’ve got a few random links for you guys:

Nagle (or for anyone else if they feel like converting Mac icons to PC) I found a random little place for some OSX icons. Check out XIcons.com. And speaking of Mac stuff, there’s an OSX Dockbar in development for WinXP over at AquaSoft. They also have PC versions of iTalk, Aqua Finder, Aqua Browser, OSX Mail, iAppControls, and even a replacement version of “About this Mac” instead of your normal PC “General Info” tab.

Just thought I’d share. Later.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars

This weekend was actually rather relaxing and busy at the same time. I didn’t do anything in particular but I was always doing something. I was doing laundry, and reading a magazine, and playing computer games, and doing homework etc, etc, but never really doing anything important of “big” that would stick out in my mind as to actually having accomplished anything. I’m sure everyone’s had those days at work. You’re doing something all day, being busy, working on things, then at the end of the day your office/desk looks exactly the same as it did that morning, you didn’t get any further than you had been on anything you were working on and you feel tired because you worked on something all day but you can’t really figure out what exactly you did. It was one of those weekends.

I finished a writting assignment for Business Practices class and then went on to find “tear-sheets” for Commercial class. I also ordered my supplies, bought my books, read two issues of PC Gamer, two issues of PDN (Photo District News), went grocery shopping and cleaned up my apartment a little. I also helped out Lauren with a Photoshop project that turned out well.

I should also mention that I had the apartment all to myself this weekend which was absolutely fantastic. I like my roommate, but it’s always great to have some “breathing room” every once in a while. Jason and Melissa went to Maryland for the weekend to visit friends. They actually just go back a little while ago.

On a separate but similar note, this whole Melissa living arrangement has gotten me thinking. It’s not that she’s a bad person, or that I want her to leave, that’s not it at all. I’m just starting to wonder if she hasn’t gotten comfortable in her current situation and so is less motivated to do anything to change it. For those that don’t know, Melissa is a friend of my roommate Jason. Melissa was a bit strapped for cash this summer and so Jason and I let her stay in our apartment pretty much for free (she was paying the electric bill). My thinking was that it was better to have someone there to keep an eye on all our stuff than to have an empty apartment full of expensive things just waiting to be robbed. So, thinking that, I didn’t have a problem with her living in our apartment. I did ask however, that it not become a long term thing. This, looks more and more like it’s going to happen. Originally she was supposed to save up enough money to have her own apartment by the time we got back at the end of August. Then it changed to “when school starts” because she was still looking for an affordable place to live. Now we’re up to, “maybe a little longer.” I’m just waiting till we reach “awhile.” I like her as a person, she seems sincere and intelligent, which is why I don’t have a problem with helping her out. It just seems from my perspective that she’s grown comfortable with staying here and her current situation. Not that I can blame her, I would doing anything to rock the boat if I was getting free rent either. I dunno. I don’t really have any sort of problem with the situation at the moment, but it’s working up to it in my mind. If it becomes an issue, I’ll say something to Jason, but for the time being I’ll let it be and see if it straitens itself out.

Moving on. For the rest of this week I’ve got a photo shoot on Thursday and some heavy printing to do on the weekend. I’ve got to reprint my ENTIRE portfolio to 8×10 by November 2nd. I also need to find a nice portfolio case/box/thingy to showcase all my work in. Currently I’m looking at pieces at Lost-Luggage.com. They’re a bit pricy but it’s almost the same for a nice leather portfolio case anyway, so if I’m going to be paying the same amount I might as well be different. Take a look and tell me what you guys like the best. I’m leaning towards the “Ice Nine” book/binder (frosted clear acrylic) but wouldn’t mind an “Isotope” case either (again, frosted clear acrylic but this time in “briefcase” form).

Anyway, I’ve got a few chapters to read in my art history book before I go to bed. Later.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Unreal Tournament 2003

I just figured I’d share this little tid bit that I happened across on NeoWin.

“Just before 5AM Eastern Standard Time this morning we shipped the release version of Unreal Tournament 2003 to manufacturing. It should be in production later today and in stores before the end of the month.”

That was from Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games. But the fun doesn’t stop there. They also announced that UT2k3 would be a 3 CD set (!!!) and include the following (besides the normal “tons of levels, characters, etc” stuff):

-Maya Personal Learning Edition with UT2k3 plugins.
-Karma Authoring Tool (for changing the physics engine).
-UPaint – a 3D paint app for painting directly onto game models.
-Unreal Editor 3.0 – for levels.
-Unreal Script Editor – for custom game play types, code development etc.
-A fully working Karma-enhanced vehicle for mod makers to develop from.
-Full Linux installer (both client and server).

Plus, for seperate download as the game is released, the server stand-alone so you can run a server without buying the game, the Unreal Development Enviroment to edit and compile Mods and 3D Studio Max plugins. That and they’re already working on a free addon pack. Some of those aren’t ready yet, but will be fairly soon.

I would like to tip my hat to Infogrames and Epic for being extremely nice to the Mod community. It’s nice to see that game developers are smart enough to realize that expansions, addons, MODs and new game play development are the only way to keep a game fresh and exciting. Before it was common to simply release a level editor and be done with it, but these folks have gone out of their way to make it easy for people to play with their game engine. Especially getting Alias Wavefront (makers of Maya) to help out with a personal learning edition and plugins, and then getting Discreet (makers of 3DMax) to develop plugins as well. This game will have more custom models and levels than you can shake a stick at. Mark my words, 2 weeks after its released I’ll have 100+ models in my collection.

Anyway, I’m just a little excited about this game (in case you couldn’t tell). I do however, have some concerns. First and formost… it’s the same game. It really is exactly like the original UT. That’s certainly NOT bad. They took a good thing, updated it and made it better. But, it is still the same old thing. The FPS (first person shooter) game catagory has gotten sadly uncreative. Sure, you can up the polygon count and show me new ways for blood to splatter across a room, but it’s still nothing new. That’s ok for the time being I guess. It’s entertaining to play but its going to get to a point where I’m tired of “blowing shit up.” That’s why I’m excited about some games for this winter and for the first half of next year. There’s some great looking RTS (real time strategy) and Adventure games that look to hold me interest. For example:

City of Heros – A massive online world of super heros and super villians.
Deus Ex 2 – follow up to a very popular action/rpg-ish/adventure game
Full Throttle 2 – Finally, something new out of LucasArts that ISN’T StarWars.
Rise of Nations – awesome looking RTS coming in March
Unreal 2 – not UT2k3, but an actual first person story.

Then there’s a few random ones I’m interested in, like Homeworld 2 or SimCity 4, but those will just be things to hold me over until bigger games come out. Anyway, as you can see, the PC game world isn’t as dead as everyone thinks it is. I think next year will be a big return to some serious gaming. Wait and see.

As for me, I’ve rambled on about this stuff for far too long, it’s time for lunch. Later.

Classes… again.

Well, I was wrong about history class. It seems like it’ll actually be a great deal of fun. A good teacher can make all the difference. Especially when your teacher happens to be a yonger version of John Cleese. I kid you not. He’s Brittish, insane, and funny as hell.

For example, his very first words to us were the following:

“Good morning class, my name is Jon, not professor Fields, not Mr. Fields, just plain Jon. I suppose we should go over the rules and safety procedures of the building. Actually, on second thought, screw that. If you haven’t read them before, it’s your own fault. In case of a fire I suggest that you all run screaming to the nearest exit like little children.”

Now, make sure you imagined all that in a Brittish accent. THAT is my teacher.

My other class (Commercial Photo) went as I had planned. We got an extremely vague description of our first project and then were allowed to leave. That’s about it. I’ve already dropped $200 on books and various nessesities and haven’t even ordered photo supplies yet. You can see how broke this semester will make me. Regardless, I’m feeling good about it and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.

Today I’m doing a bit of research for my Buisness Practices class and trying to think up ideas for my first Commercial shoot on Thursday. That’s about it.


After having “Buisness Practices for Photographers” yesterday and “Commerical Photography” and “20th Century Art History” today, I’m starting to feel confident that this semester might not suck. Well, the art history class is going to suck… a lot, but that’s to be expected. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a dark room for 2 1/2 hours looking at sides of dead peoples work. I have no ambition to do it. Sure, I can give you reasons why it’s important to learn about the history of art, where styles came from, who the “big names” were, but I’d be full of crap. I just simply don’t care. It’s not that I think that I shouldn’t learn it, it’s that I don’t WANT to learn it. If someone handed me a 700 page hard cover text book and a camera and said “here, choose”, which do you think I’d pick? That’s the problem, I have two other classes that are so cool, it’s going to make 20th Century Art History look like high-school French. As for the other two classes, they are the shit. Buisness Practices is probably the most important class I’ll ever take here. No joke. We cover everything from finding a job to fixing up your portfolio to how to make self-promotional marketing material. It’s cool. Even more important than that is my Commercial Photo class. This is the bread and butter. It’s what I want to do with my life. I’d better enjoy it or else I’m screwed. Luckily I have the class with a whole bunch of friends and a good teacher. Plus we’ve gotten new equipment for the studio. This should be great. Well, I’m off to find something to eat before class. Later.

oooh… link to course descriptions.