Planning to blog posts about my JetBlue All You Can Jet pass trips at http://wyman90.wordpress.com

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I purchased the JetBlue All You Can Jet pass which allows me to travel to any city that JetBlue flies to between September 7 and October 7. The original intent was that I’d be able to travel around the country looking for jobs. At least that’s the plan but with the lack of interviews coming in, this may just turn out to be one long ass vacation. Still haven’t planned out the whole itinerary but hoping to go to a few places I’ve never been before in addition to visiting some friends and family. I’m not too fond of travelling alone and may be tired of jumping on planes in a short time. Hopefully, I’ll be rejuvenated by the trip and won’t be burned out by the end of it.

Awesome! The one word that comes close to describing how I felt about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World when I came out of the advanced screening a couple weeks ago. I’m not going to spoil anything but I’ll merely say that the film works on so many levels. It works as a comic book film. It works as a romcom. It works as a martial arts action film. It works as a video game film that’s not actually based on a video game. The music was pitch perfect. Even with a fairly large ensemble cast, the acting was top notch with several outstanding performances coming from the supporting cast. Edgar Wright’s directing was stellar with many inventive sequences and transitions that surprised and delighted. Compared to the books, many scenes were trimmed but it made for a more streamlined story. It’s definitely a generational film with many pop culture references and the sad thing is that it didn’t do as well as expected at the box office on opening weekend but will hopefully develop a following as time goes on.

I’m a fairly knowlegdable Jpop fan. I don’t understand the language but I know the artists that I like. I’m not a fan of Kpop though. Not sure that I can pinpoint the reason but I never really got into it.  But after hearing a number of people on Youtube covering the following Kpop song, I’ve given it another chance.

And the verdict is…I’m still not a big fan of Kpop but I can see that this artist has all the markings to be a great R&B artist. The group that he is a member of  seems to be quite popular in Asia and has started to branch into the Jpop market. I’m actually impressed with their Jpop efforts and their lastest PV in particular. In the video, they do well to artfully hit several visual cues that I find pervasive in Jpop videos of similar tone, including broken glass and rain.

Bonus Video: Namie Amuro – Get Myself Back

A summertime jam. Not a fan of her earlier work but in recent years, she’s been hitting the right buttons.

My sister just set out on a cross country trip to Seattle where she bought a house recently. She moved out there over a year ago but needed to come back to retrieve her husband and more importantly, her dog. ;P I may be making a similar trip sometime in the near future. Maybe not to Seattle but there are a few places upon which I’m deliberating including:

Los Angeles: I have family there and know a couple people there. I’m still intrigued by the idea of seeing if I can develop a career in the Hollywood system and it’s the best place to make some contacts though I’m very wary of the plastic people, constant traffic, and the soulless life sucking energy there. Oh, did I mention earthquakes…

San Francisco: I know a good deal of people there and with the confluence of art and technology, it seems like a good place where I could restart my career. I hear that the heart of the city is quite expensive though and even though I’ve visited several times, I’m not sold that it’s an area where I’d stay long term.

New York City: NYC has always been a city I felt I would always visit but could never live. I don’t think I naturally have the heart to move there but if I could find a worthwhile job, I wouldn’t hesitate.

Seattle: I don’t really know anyone there but that didn’t stop my sister. The Emerald City hasn’t really been on my radar as a place where I’d live but having a place to stay rent free for a few months as I acclimate is somewhat enticing. Though I’m sorta fearful of running into shiny vampires and laughing myself to death.

Overseas: I’ve never been overseas so I don’t know how I’d handle it but there are a couple places I’ve always wanted to live even if it’s only for a short time.

I wish I had a clearer picture of where I’m going but since I’m fairly certain that I’m just wasting my time staying here, I hope to find some helpful advice like yesterday.

Last week I was able to catch a couple shows even though I should have been working on other things. Saw the Kina Grannis show at Jammin Java. She’s a very talented singer and is one of those independent artists who are successfully using the Internet as the main tool to market themselves.

That particular show was streamed online and can been seen here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7688072

The other show I went to was a free ninja gig Amanda Palmer set up in Bethesda the night before her concert at the 9:30 club. It was free form jam session that she hoped would help spike ticket sales. She also is an artist that heavily uses the Internet to promote her work.

With the music industry in dire straits and the means of distribution changing,  many artists are  forgoing the music labels and doing everything themselves to earn a living. By using social networks, they are engaging directly with fans and cultivating a larger fan base. They do covers that are requested by fans, they answer question posed to them on Twitter, and they hold contests for tickets and merchandise. The music industry isn’t fighting for most artists these days so those artists are taking matters in their own hands. It’s a tough road but those with talent and perserverance seem to be able to thrive.

For those that haven’t seen Lost, a recap…

Just some thoughts on Lost now that the show has ended. I don’t want to debate whether or not it was a good show. I just want to analyze a bit about what made it work. For a mythology heavy show, it’s always a tight rope walk doing justice to individual stories and servicing the overall mythology in each episode. Whether it was flashbacks, flashforwards, or flashafterlives, each one gave an inkling of the characters off the island that should have been complete stories in and of themselves and had a thematic resonance back to what was happening on the island. I believe some of the best episodes did that quite well.

The mythology built upon itself throughout the seasons with mysterious occurrences though many would complain that a good deal of questions remained unanswered at the finale. I expected that might be the case early on and there were several factors leading me to believe this to be true during the course of the TV series. First off, it was produced by JJ Abrams who produced Alias, a show that was endearing the first season but one which I promptly dropped during the next season when I realized the main mythology thread (the Rambaldi prophecy) was a huge Macguffin that wasn’t really going anywhere and probably wouldn’t pay off well in the end. Another clue was when they hired Brian K. Vaughan as a writer. BKV main claim to fame is the Y the Last Man comic book series which I’ve enjoyed reading. I believe he is quoted as saying something to the effect that while writing Y, he knew how the story would end but wasn’t sure how he was going to get there. This led me to believe that Lost had a similar thought process. Lastly, if you’ve seen the TED talk that JJ Abrams did, you would know he’s big on mystery and using that concept as a driving force to entice people. At the end of the talk, he doesn’t reveal what’s in the mystery box which speaks volumes.

I believe that Lost did a lot with good characters and set up some very intriguing scenarios that fueled people’s imaginations. Was the ending a perfectly wrapped present with a fancy bow? No, but it did have an emotional resonance that I believe was a strong reason that people were hooked on the series.

Now, I’m currently watching a couple of interesting new series that have me looking forward instead of behind.

Luther – An amazing new show on the BBC which I like to describe as The Wire meets Silence of the Lambs. I’m not sure that’s a complete description but I believe that it’s enough to prepare you for what you’re going to see as Stringer Bell plays a flawed cop going up against some very wicked people.

Angel Beats! – Like Lost, this Japanese anime uses flashbacks to show the lives of a variety of interesting characters. Set in a type of purgatory, a bunch of teenagers go to school, except that they can’t really die because they’re already dead. Like most Japanese anime, more unusual things start to happen. So far I’m hooked since the writers are doing a good job of juggling the internal stories of the characters and external threats. The tone and some of the characters are reminiscent of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya which is also a good thing.

F is for five year plan. F is also the grade I’d give for accomplishing (or rather not accomplishing) goals I set for myself about five years ago. So I hit the reset button and start a new five year plan. Or am I just extending it to a ten year plan? Either case, I’m essentially setting similar goals but will go about them differently which will lead to improved results, hopefully.

Numerous goals are laid out but the main ones are to get a new career and move somewhere else. The first part is crucial since I’m stuck going nowhere in my current occupation and the rest of my life seems to be stagnating behind this barrier. And in the past, I thought I was going to meet people with similar ambitions who would help me run off to pursue them. However, not having found that kind of support, I figure I’ll have to move on my own and try to meet others along the way with whom I can collaborate (or at least commiserate). Though inaction seems to have a lock on me, feelings of “fight or flight” stress me daily. The choices seem to be simple, but I think that the best, if not only, recourse I have is choosing “flight” and then “fight”. Here’s to the next five years…

So when the hinge on my Mac Book Pro was wrecked, I decided to turn it into a desktop instead of paying to get it fixed. The decision was necessitated by my frugal nature as much as it was based on practicality. I felt there was a likelihood that I’d break it again. Here’s how I made the conversion.

The following is what I had to get together:

LCD Monitor – I cleared some space on the desk and set up a spare monitor.

Mini Display Port to DVI adapter – The MBP has a Mini Display Port for video output so I had to buy an adapter from Amazon. Off brand is cheaper than the official Apple branded one. Thought about getting the Mini Display Port to VGA adapter but DVI is digital after all.

DVI cable – To connect the adapter to the monitor. Was able to get one from by brother-in-law.

USB mouse and keyboard – Since I have the laptop closed, I need a keyboard and mouse. Had an old USB mouse that was flakey when plugged into the PC but for some reason it works rather consistently with the MBP. Must be a power differential with the USB port. Had a wireless USB keyboard lying around. You don’t ever have to open the laptop as long as you don’t shut it down and only put it to sleep when not in use. It’ll wake with a mouse click.

USB hub – Since the MBP only has 2 USB slots, it was a pain to have to switch out either the keyboard or mouse when I needed to use a port for another device. Luckily, was able to find a cheap (and kinda cute) one online.

Dell 10V – Still wanted a something portable so I decided to get a netbook that I could hackintosh. One of the easier laptops to modify is the Dell 10v so I got one from the Dell Outlet site. Not nearly the greatest laptop but it fits my needs.

Pulled the previous sketch into Illustrator and spent a couple minutes on it. Not quite there yet but it’s a start.

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