Hey you guys!

A couple Saturdi ago it was time for some 80’s nostalgia at The Those Guys’ charity event. They had a free screening of The Goonies at the Rialto in South Pasadena, with an art auction and raffle to boot. The theater was packed! It was good to be reminded about how the film manages to be simultaneously horrible and awesome. Way to go Richard, Ryan and Israel! Read more about the successful event and view photos here!

I finally purchased Ableton Live last week (since my trial expired and wouldn’t allow me to save anymore). I was considering the whole Studio package, but I honestly feel that their instruments don’t sound very good. After all the synths and samplers I’ve experimented with, I still feel Native Instruments’ products are above and beyond the best. They sound musical and natural (or as natural as you can get at this point). That said, Live is my favorite DAW. While not as flexible or fully-featured as Cakewalk Sonar, Cubase, Logic Pro, Digital Performer or Pro Tools, it is the most fit for sketching and songwriting. I think Live’s session view works the way my mind does (when brainstorming) and I haven’t found a parallel to this in any other package. It seems weird at first, but go through the built in tutorials and it will all click (pun intended) after a certain point.

This made me sad. I’m not a fan of his later-in-life ultra-conservative views, but his early books occupied a large part of my childhood (and I’m not very well-read). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Jurassic Park (before the film!), and Sphere, The Terminal Man, and Andromeda Strain remain some of my favorite books. He combined great sci-fi storytelling with medical factoids, psychology and enough tech to satisfy the nerd in me.

If the government bails out the auto industry, let that be a further lesson to you young’uns that you aren’t accountable for your mistakes. Go ahead and do whatever you want, because it doesn’t matter. Capitalism apparently works except when it doesn’t.

If you’re into art, you’ll want to check out our latest show at Nucleus: Line Weight. Personally, I almost always enjoy drawings, sketches and preliminary work rather than “finished” pieces, and this show highlights this. While the pieces are still considered “finished,” it’s a more intimate look at the line quality and technical ability of these artists. I always enjoy Mari Inukai’s paintings, but this pastel drawing is one of my favorite pieces of the show. The work is only up until December 7th, but don’t fret – some great events are coming up including our holiday benefit auction and craft fair!


Change, Dog, Oops

Looks like Obama is indeed embracing the web in his platform of change. He’s going to post weekly YouTube videos during his administration (his version of the “Fireside Chats”), and change.gov seems to be the homebase for his net operations. Nice!

I went to see an early screening of Bolt at Disney Animation Studios (courtesy of Clio), and I thought it was great! I enjoyed the story and characters, the animation is top-notch, and the integration of paintings within the CG shots is tasteful and beautiful. It didn’t do anything new, but it did its job very well.

There’s a giant steel gate where I park at home, and it’s not really attached to the frame. A couple mornings ago a cop dropped it onto my car. All scratched up. He was pretty embarassed.


Germany & Italy Photos

I’ve uploaded my vacation photos to flickr, and here’s the breakdown for easy clicking-action. Enjoy!

[Germany](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/collections/72157608851166088/):
– [Wanders](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608977836513/)
– [Berliner Dom](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608978422398/)
– [Alte Nationalgalerie](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608978424110/)
– [Large Hadron Collider Exhibit](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608978424080/)
– [DDR Museum](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608977837649/)
– [Checkpoint Charlie](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608977837693/)
– [Art Forum Berlin](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608978627640/)
– [Liste Berlin 2008](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608978231651/)
– [Train to Italy](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608978991136/)

[Italy](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/collections/72157608915205504/):
– [Como Lago](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608995518278/)
– [Cinque Terre](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608993380007/)
– [Milano](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608993286923/)
– [Venecia](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608993473537/)
– [Plane Home](http://flickr.com/photos/shadiradio/sets/72157608995614830/)

More Photos:
– [Kazu and Amy](http://flickr.com/photos/studioamzu/sets/72157608991540629/)
– [Ben](http://flickr.com/photos/benzhubrush/sets/72157608917953423/)


Venecia and Goodnight!

Venice is a theme park without the rides, and I mean this in an entirely positive light. It is wondrous to explore it’s many alleys and bridges and canals and shops and nooks, and the charm level is cranked up to 11. We had some amazing food (theme of this vacation), took hundreds of photos, ferried the Grand Canal, and smelled the old water. Actually, I think the horrible smell and filthiness of the city are greatly exaggerated. It is definitely sinking though, with many patios already underwater.

Obama discussions from the locals continue. They might be more obsessed with the man than Americans.

Tonight is our last night, back in Milan. We briefly met up with Michele and Giovanni’s family before sitting down to a final, hearty meal. Tomorrow we’ll be flying back, and I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. Even though this was a vacation, I can’t wait to relax for a day or two… I think we’ve been walking nonstop from the minute a got here, even more so than Tokyo.

I’ll be posting all the photos in a couple days (took almost 4 gigs worth!), so until then peace out!


Milano

I think our little segment in Milano was the closest thing to a real taste of daily (urban) Italian life so far. The city is bustling, organized, and confident, and everyone is busy with the day’s tasks. After walking through some of the streets / shopping districts, we arrived at the mighty Duomo – the largest cathedral I’ve ever seen. It actually seemed more like something out of *Lord of the Rings*, and the interior was dark, ominous, and built to drive the fear of God in you. It is easy to imagine how powerful and persuasive the church must have been at the time it was built (for better or for worse). They also have dead popes inside, in display cases. Serious.

After, we visited Michele and Giovanni at the office responsible for translating Kazu’s comics into Italian. They have a pretty amazing set up, with their offices and homes in the same building, and we were treated to an amazing home-cooked meal at Giovanni’s family’s place. He has an awesome, charming family, and they and Michele were equally awesome hosts. The food was so delicious!

By the way, elevators in Italy are *tiny*.