Why is art, “art”?

Today, my parents, Michelle and I went down to SF-MOMA, which is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Apparently, it is the second largest museum in the United States consisting of contemporary art. Overall it was neat. Though I don’t think I am left brained enough to grasp some of the very abstract things that some of these artists attempt. For example, why is a piece of blank canvas considered art? A urinal signed by someone in 1917 is also considered art. It is interesting to think about, but all it mostly accomplishes is making my head hurt!

One of the floors was dedicated to photography, which I found much more interesting. In fact, one of the rooms on that floor had quite a few pictures of Redlands! That was surprising and nostalgic. Another interesting section was based on nothing but objects. There were sculptures as well as various “everyday” objects that were on display.

To get into the spirit of things, I think I will get myself into this whole “modern art” phenomenon as well. The following piece is entitled with something that has nothing to do with the picture (this seems to be one of the rules when creating modern art). The title: “Watermelon Over a Blue Moon.” Secondly, I have applied a few bright and weird colors. Third, I leave it up to your own interpretation! ๐Ÿ™‚

Watermelon over a Blue
“Watermelon Over a Blue Moon”

Yesterday, I had my 30 day review at work. It went completely great! None of the supervisors had any sort of complaints about me. We went over the file that is kept on me and there were a few good comments written in there from some of the supervisors as well! The review form had two sections on “Good Things” and “Things that need Improving”. The Good section was full of comments and the Needs Improvement section had almost nothing. Just very basic stuff such as “Needs more experience on the floor.” That made me so happy, I think I had a huge cheesy grin on my face the rest of the day.

Other random things that are notable: Went swimming today for the first time since about September. I love water! I wish I was a stronger swimmer though, that comes with practice. Hopefully I’ll go a lot more. I definitely want to get back into a workout routine as well. I had one for awhile then got caught up with moving/school/work. Also, met a very cute girl from London today, who is on vacation. That was a neat experience.

Need to start looking for a new apartment too. The room I am staying in is entirely too small, plus our lease is up in a few months anyway. If I can find something, I’ll probably move out immediately. I may end up looking around Haight, Fillmore or Church. Those are my top priorities, though those areas may be kind of expensive. We’ll have to see how this goes!

Lastly, David and I were jamming last night. I was showing him ideas I had for a new song. He came up with some awesome riffs and suggestions that really inspired me. I think I might create a cheesy web page detailing the evolution of a song. There may even be vocals and lyrics eventually! Stay tuned for more info! ๐Ÿ˜‰

[Updated: (3/23) 2:03AM] – Click here to check on the evolution of a song! A crappy mp3 is also posted.

What you won’t see on the news

I attended my first antiwar protest today. It was a powerful experience. There were people from all types of backgrounds, all sorts of opinions and even all levels of intelligence there. One of the coolest events was seeing Peter Camejo speak. It’s really too bad he isn’t taken more seriously, he is an amazing orator and does a great job at getting his views across in a rational matter. You can view pictures I took of the protest here.

Yesterday I went exploring and ended up walking for a few miles along Ocean Beach. It was such a beautiful day. I will have to post those pictures soon. In other news, Michelle went down to Southern California to visit our parents for the first part of spring break. Michelle and my parents are driving up tomorrow and they will spend a few days up here. I’m excited to see them.

Spring break is now officially in session. Though sadly, I will be working through it for both my job as well as a report in geology. We’re analyzing a landslide that happened in Marin and basically coming up with erosion rates for a small watershed for the past 13,000 years basically. It is going to be such an intense report and I haven’t even started. Due in 3 weeks too!

Newly hired!

Got the job at TJ’s! Rad! So that will give me a much needed financial infusion. So far it has been pretty good working there and everyone I work with is really friendly.

The last few weeks have been extraordinarily busy though, between working and school. This past weekend we went on a field trip into Marin and measured a landslide that happened in the 1980’s for our geomorphology class. It was a busy day, but what an amazingly beautiful area. I will definitely have to come back there.

Last week I planned to drive back down to Southern California after classes got out at night. On the way to school on Wednesday, something like 2 inches of rain fell within 30 minutes, creating all sorts of flooding and power outages. School ended up being cancelled, so I took the opportunity and drove down earlier than I had planned. Though it ended up raining the entire drive home, so that was a stressful 7 hours.

I had an orthodontist appointment and I was dropping my car off since I hadn’t touched it while I’ve been up here and also don’t want to have to worry about parking tickets or it getting broken into. After my orthodontist appointment, I hung out with friends from all walks of life during the day. It was good to see a lot of close friends again as well as some of my geology buddies that I’ve left behind down there. Interestingly enough, one of the guys I am going to school with up here knows a friend of mine at Cal State San Bernardino. He went to high school with her and they both attended some geology classes together over at R.C.C. Crazy!

I bought an adapter for my computer so I uploaded some videos to the site. Check out the downloads section to see them, but I don’t recommend trying if you are on dial up. They are pretty hefty downloads.

It’s raining people!

I was coming home from school yesterday and got off the train like I normally do. As I’m riding the escalator up, I notice a rather frail old man in front of me. He steps off the platform and takes a few small steps, more like shuffling his feet. I was thinking to myself, “Hmm, that doesn’t look natural.” As soon as I finished that thought, he collapsed. As he fell forward, he landed on a lady who was in front of him. She was caught totally unaware and landed flat on her face. I remember exclaiming, “Oh shit!” I ran to old woman who was laying face down and to see if she was okay. A few other people did that same. Looking over to the old man, his eyes were rolled up into his head and he was on the ground shaking. My phone had no reception in the station so I stood up and yelled for someone to call 911 or get the BART police. After a few more moments of yelling this, one of the people working one of the transit booths ran over and told me that BART police were on the way.

Another guy went to help the old man, who had now come to. We picked him up and asked if he was alright. He was still completely unresponsive though and mumbling a bunch of random words. There was no way he could stand on his own, so we carried him to a railing and had him sit against it. Two police officers showed up a few moments later and started asking some questions. I explained what happened along with another lady who was tending to the woman who fell. After a few moments, the officers said we were free to go. As I was leaving, the old man looked at me, waved and gave a thumbs up sign.

Still no luck regarding the job hunt. Waiting for TJ’s to call me back. Crossing my fingers and hoping they liked me well enough. Back to the grind!

Cramped Quarters.

Classes finally started last week. Originally, I was signed up to take Geomorphology, Paleontology, Volcanology and Physics II. Total of 14 units and a fairly large load. Volcanology ended up having only one other person in the class with me, so that will most likely be cancelled. I ended up dropping it anyway, so that frees up my Wednesday nights. Physics II is going to be hell and from the reviews I’ve read on teacherreview.com, I need to stay as far away from this woman as possible. So I dropped that. That only gave me 7 units (I believe I need 8 to qualify for full time status). SFSU has this requirement called Segment III classes that all students are required to take. They are basically a choice of classes from a large group that you must take. I chose a geology related one entitled “Our Violent Earth”. It seems like it will be cake! So this semester should be relatively easy.

Had a job interview with Trader Joe’s on Friday. As I was sitting down, I noticed my application had a post-it note attached to it that said “Good 1st Impression.” Awesome! I felt fairly confident about the interview too. They said they would call me this week sometime to inform me of their decision. Hopefully I nailed it!

My bedroom is basically complete. My main computer is hooked up and I am back in business! So what does my bedroom look like? Check out the pictures! And no, those posters aren’t mine. I just haven’t had a chance to take them down yet. Pretty cramped quarters if I do say so myself. The cool thing is that I built that bed myself. I’m quite pleased with that.

Pic 1 – Looking inside the bedroom.
Pic 2 – From the inside, looking out.
Pic 3 – Under the desk.

Also posting a new song that I actually put together quite awhile ago. Entitled “Electromagnetic” since it was completely put together on the computer. I was messing around in Fruity Loops and creating some drum beats and bass lines when I came up with it. It is kinda catchy. 2 minutes and 38 seconds is the run time. 2.5mb download, get it here.

Lastly, I meant to post about this last week. Upon my arrival to San Francisco 2 weeks ago, my car had been parked out in front of my sister’s apartment for not more than 3 hours when I received my first parking ticket. It was kind of like a welcoming present.

Live from San Francisco, CA!

Everything that I need to survive is up here, though I did leave a lot of stuff back at home. My first full week in San Francisco is coming to a close. It’s been non-stop though. Between packing things away, building a loft bed for my room (that way I can actually have room!), buying food and eating it as well as job hunting, I’ve hardly had time to relax. My computer is still in pieces at the moment since I don’t have a desk or anything to set it up on. I’ve been using an old laptop that my mom doesn’t use anymore to check email and do internet browsing. Right now, I’m updating this page from my sister’s iMac. Not too keen on how this will work. Hopefully things should be finalized in the next few days and I can post pictures of my new life.

Lately, the weather here has been absolutely beautiful! Perfectly clear skies, temperature slightly on the chilly side. Tonight it’s been sprinkling and it looks like there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow. The wet and cold weather that San Francisco is known for is definitely something I’m going to have to get used to. Haven’t seen much of it yet however. Knock on wood I guess!

On Saturday night, Megan B. was in the San Francisco area since her choir at Chapman University was on a tour of the Pacific Northwest. Saturday was their last night of the tour and since she was in town, we decided to hang out. I met her at Fisherman’s Wharf where she introduced me to loads of her choir friends. Later on we went to go eat at some very pricey sea food restaurant. We had a bunch of left overs that no one was going to eat, so I asked them to bag them for me and I ended up giving 3 bags of food to homeless on our way home. Yay for noble causes! Anyway, it was definitely good times seeing Megan again as well as some of her friends that I’ve seen on prior occasions as well: Jeff, Emma and Brittany.

I have an appointment with the chair of the geology department at SFSU tomorrow. Walking around it today and last week, their department actually seems quite large. Where we basically had about 2 classrooms to ourselves at CSUSB for geology, they appear to have an entire floor dedicated to the department. They even have pictures of all their students posted on the walls. It looks like there are at least 25 geology undergrads there, so it is a pretty decent sized program. I think it will be a challenge, but I’m definitely looking forward to it. School starts Wednesday!

Been putting out lots of applications and resumes for job hunting too. It gets so repetitive filling out the applications. They all ask exactly the same questions and are pretty much setup the same way, except the front page where a company’s logo will go. It’d be much easier to have a standardized form, print it up and just drop it off, but I guess this way weeds out all the lazy people. ๐Ÿ˜› I did have an interview today though at SFSU’s bookstore. I felt pretty confident about it. We’ll see how it goes though. He still had others to interview throughout the day and I am supposed to call him back tomorrow.

EDIT: Doh, using Mozilla’s WYSIWYG editor on the Mac, it totally screwed up my webpage. Time to open this in a basic and boring text editor and do it the old fashioned way. Ugh!

Updates have been few and far between.

Hey look, an update!

Been doing quite a bit of house cleaning on the website to update some information, correct broken links, add new links, add some pictures here and there. Probably nothing too noticeable though!

After spending a week up in the Bay Area and doing a lot of contemplating, I’ve finally decided that I’m going for it. Been packing all my stuff and will be moving to San Francisco come this Tuesday. I have so many things of my life now packed away into boxes. And I won’t even be able to bring them all mainly due to current circumstances. For the time being, I’ll be living in this large closest/storage room thing at my sister’s apartment. There isn’t much room to bring a lot of my stuff up, so I’ll have to bring it up later and after I muster up enough money to get my own place.

This last week has been absolutely busy though. From packing, to saying goodbyes, to hanging out with people. I have so many feelings going through my head, from being excited, to nervous, to sad. Though it’s not like I’m saying good-bye forever. I’ll be coming back to visit. I already have some appointments to come back down here in a month for an orthodontist visit.

Today and tomorrow some folks in geology are going orienteering down in the Anza Borrego Desert that is kind of near San Diego. I really want to go, but won’t be able to attend since I still have quite a bit to finish packing. Tonight I also have some plans with some more friends to hang out as well.

Saw Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” yesterday. I’ve seen this movie before, but it is extremely well put together. Watching it a second time, I’ve concluded that the film mostly leaves it up to the viewer to decide what the problem is in America. While I dislike guns (I wouldn’t mind even more strict laws in place), it is ultimately our society that is the root of the problem. While debating this the other day, I came upon the realization that even if all guns in America were somehow magically removed, you would still have violence. (This is why debating with an open mind is fun! You can learn, understand and see things you might not have thought about!) Granted, you most likely wouldn’t find people robbing a liquor store with a bow and arrow, but our society has such a violent shadow, this wouldn’t change many things in my opinion.

I watched one of the Mars Rovers land about 2 weeks ago on NASA TV. Since then, I’ve been following it so intently. Partly because I find it so amazing and cool, though also partly because Spirit is a robotic geologist. I’ve been looking at all the pictures coming back and even posting in forums such as Slashdot, talking about the latest discoveries.

It’s late and I need to pack a bunch of random stuff that is laying on my bed before I can go to sleep. Until next time!

Vacation Time!

Hardly any updates as of late! Leaving later today to spend the week in San Francisco/Berkeley area. I’m really contemplating going to school up there. Hopefully I can get an appointment with an advisor at SFSU sometime this week to help straighten things out and work out a possible schedule.

In anycase, have a happy new year!

Musical Mayhem!

Cool! A song I’ve been basically putting together for the last 3 months is finally finished. Part of me wanted to just get it finished and out of the way and the other part was looking for something to do while avoiding my physics homework. Anyway, you can download the final product here, entitled “Tsunami Rock”. It is really a working/honorary title, since it was recorded using the guitar I bought from Tsunami Bomb’s guitarist. Total song length is 4:52 and it’s a 4.6mb mp3 file. If you check out the music page, you can find previous iterations and earlier versions of this song as I went along. It was originally (working title) entitled “Simple Punk”.

School is almost done! One more week of classes to go plus finals. I have quite a few projects that are nearly due for many of my classes. The biggest one, which is thankfully almost finished, is entitled, “Sediment Loads of the Lower Colorado River.” Basically, I’ve concluded that at present levels, sediment will completely fill Lake Mead by 5743 A.D. Of course that isn’t factoring in isostatic subsidence, Lake Powell filling up, debris flows from the Grand Canyon, or even if Hoover Dam will last that long, so take that date with a large grain of salt.

Anyway, I hope Thanksgiving was great for everyone. Personally for me, it is all about the pumpkin pie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks Mr. Schwarzenegger!

I used to love to post my political propaganda all over my website, but I’ve kind of toned down in recent times since it’s somewhat useless. Just lately though, there is something that makes me extremely irate:

Because obviously education is the least of our concerns: Our new governor of California is cutting $223 million dollars from the state’s universities. Now how rad is that? The Cal State system already increased tuition this year by 30% compared to last year, while the UC system increased their tuition by 25%. Now with this huge cut, how much more is tuition going to have to be increased next year?

I guess it is somewhat arguable that we would have eventually had to do the same under Gray Davis. But the thing I didn’t like about Arnold’s solution for balancing our budget was his mentality of “We’re going to cut taxes, but keep spending the same!” How on earth do you balance a budget that way? Glad to see he’s had a change of heart. I mean not only is he cutting out a source of revenue by repealing Davis’s car tax, he’s also cutting spending on one of the most fundamental and important parts of people’s lives: their education. Hmm, could it be because that intelligent people vote democrat? I mean Karl Rove, Bush’s advisor, even reportedly said, “As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

Granted, it’s inevitable that there are going to have to be budget cuts, but why is education always the first thing that is looked at? Ugh. Whatever though. Maybe I’ll have less homework to do now. Heh. :-/

In other news, new Offspring album entitled “Splinter” will be released next week. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I’ve been able to hear it. Sadly, I don’t think I will be parting with $13 on a new album from them. It’s especially sad since this is one of my favorite bands of all time too! Why can’t people make good music again?

More related music news! I’m a “model” for Tsunami Bomb! Hah! Basically I know the chick who does the merch stuff on their website. She asked if I had any Tsunami Bomb shirts and to take a picture in one. You can see the results of my dorkage on their website. Click Store -> Click on the first shirt you see that has a fire extinguisher on it.

Regardless of the overall depressing tone of this entry, things have been going good! School is winding down and lots of projects are piling up and nearly due! About 2 more weeks then we’re done! After that, I’m taking part in a geology project where we will be using some expensive GPS equipment to track movement of the Pacific and North American plates in relation to each other. It’s not too glamorous work since we basically sit and babysit a large GPS receiver all day. However, it’s fascinating what we will possibly be able to find out though!

Well, until next time! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!