Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Boithday

Hey, so I turned 24 on Tuesday (16th). It was a pretty nice birthday even though my mom and sister were in New York and couldn't celebrate with me - but dad and I went to Paula's downtown and had some great seafood, and I got a bunch of nice calls.

It occurs to me that I haven't really sounded too upbeat lately, so I'm going to start posting funny things on this blog, you know, to balance out all the serious stuff.

I can't remember the funny thing I was going to write about, so instead I'll tell you about the one time I went to the Cracker Barrell (Barrel?) with Naveen on Easter several years ago... never again, let me tell you.. but anyway, I really had a hankering for eggs benedict. So I asked the waitress when she came, "Do you have any eggs benedict? I can't see it on the menu, but I didn't know if maybe I missed it, or there might be a special or something."

"Hmm, no, we don't have eggs benedict. But we do have French toast."
(Gesturing to the entree list)

I looked up at Naveen, and he looked up at me, and all I could say was, "We're going to need a few minutes."

How the hell do you go from eggs benedict to French toast? They are nothing alike! The bulk of the conversation, then, for that morning, centered not around the glorious event of God's Son being raised into heaven, but instead about breakfast items that could only be compared by a few common ingredients - but otherwise come out completely different.

I wish I could remember the other funny story... but it will come to me later.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I am, or I'm Not

So here's what it comes down to. I have this constant debate about what I should do with my life - am I making the best decisions? And I'm not really asking that of or for myself - I'm somewhat obsessed lately with religious aspects that I frankly don't understand. I always wanted to be an animator - now I have the chance, and my grip is weak. It's like I've stopped believing in being what I've always wanted. Does a person only believe and hope for the unattainable? Not that it's a cakewalk, at all, but I'm just saying I have a chance and I'm not quite stepping up to the plate.

Where the religious stuff comes in is complicated. A lot of my life as a child is resurfacing now, and I'm seeing how I was often very involved, spiritually. Nowadays it's difficult to find any time to connect with that side of myself, and that conflicts with my ability to really believe in what I'm doing. I think I need to set aside some time to devote myself to my beliefs, to relearning them and sustaining them, and perhaps then I will be more certain about my choices.

Someone I know just got hired at Dreamworks. I messaged him tonight to ask whether he worked or not through his schooling. Turns out, he didn't. He spent most of his time animating. That doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is my unfathomable drive to attempt working and school at the same time, despite an obvious decline in animation learning and productivity. Somehow I tell myself that the work experience is important and I should keep my job - which I do love, by the way - and it's relevant, good work. It just drains me, though. I get home and I don't have anything left for animation, which is a huge problem. I can't keep saving all my week's work for Saturday... that is killing me.

What about going part time? Or back to freelance? Is being an art director so much more relevant and reputable? Hopefully one of these days I'll figure out the answer to that question. It's going to take more digging, though, that's for sure.

For now I have to keep on truckin'.....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A New Beginning

Old habits die hard.
I tried my very hardest to submit on time in 401... but just missed the cutoff. Ever have one of those days? All these programs open, computer's running slow, you think it's 2:50pm but server time says it's already 3:01pm?
I need to improve my workflow.

So, since it's still January, I'm adding yet another New Year's Resolution to my list: concentrate on progress. I am generally so tired after work that I haven't spared any mental strength for animating at night. I make my way through the week, and then Saturday comes, and I spend the whole day playing catch-up with my animation lectures and assignments, not to mention some small amount of social networking, and do the same on Sunday until 3pm (EST) when I am forced to let go and move on. It's an exhausting work flow for me.

The solution simply is to concentrate on the space of time available to me through the week, and push past fatigue and find again those sparkling wonders of possibility with a child's eyes.

As I pondered this today, I realized the concepts of time and space are so integral to my state of being. I always seem to have trouble finding time, so I need to focus - clear my head and move forward. I am an animator, and while I've improved my key poses in the last 3 terms at AnimationMentor, I now need to fully see the realm of possibility of character and motion - in between the keyframes. I have to refine my spacing and timing. Interesting that "breakdowns" have different meanings in my life, too. It has taken me a long time to realize that I live in a transitional world - things are constantly changing, sometimes very unstable, and I have to simply embrace that.

One thing that is helpful for me at this time is listening to classical Indian music. My fiance was born here in the United States, as I was, but his family is from India, and I've asked them to bring back some music for me. To the average onlooker (including my parents and some extended family), it might appear that I'm aiming for the stereotypical enlightenment of the hippie generation (minus the recreational drugs, unless you count chocolate). Really, all I want is to do what it takes to get myself to focus on what I have and where my aim should be. The enchanting, unique rhythms of classical Indian music reflect my desire to be surprising and entertaining in my ongoing attempts to bring characters to life.

That said, I am ready to start improving my workflow. My assignment was late today, yes. Now I have room to improve - to concentrate and focus throughout the week (not just the weekend) and to avoid any possibility of falling behind. The aim should always be upwards. I know I am dedicated, I just need to find the better path.