Real Cane Sugar

My desk has been overrun by a purposefully ignored, massive pile of tax paperwork and medical bills for quite a while (am I officially old?), so I finally got to finishing my taxes and paying off all the surgery expenses. My insurance experience: not so bad. In total the bills are pushing $30,000 – but I am paying about $5k out of pocket in the end. Although, those expenses are inflated because of the existence of insurance itself, so I guess it evens out.

If you’re an iPhone App developer, don’t wait for a 1099 in the mail from Apple, because you won’t see it. The App Store is basically a system allowing you to sell your products through it, which means Apple’s cut is basically commission for the sale. This also means you have to add everything up yourself (using your monthly financial reports from the iTunes Developer Portal). It’s not so bad, just time consuming, and slightly annoying since you have to convert all the world currencies to USD (thank you Google).

After all this monotony, I treated myself to a Canon 7D to replace my Rebel. It’s quite a step up and I’m loving it so far, but I haven’t had too much time to play with it. Hopefully I can stitch together some little video vignettes soon. I actually prefer the color from Nikons but I didn’t want to replace my lens collection, and I’ve had some great results shifting the color offset a bit in the menu settings. Here are some sample shots.

I’ve been helping my good friend Jane with the development/launch of her new site. Olive Hue is a paper goods company, and all her hard work deserves your attention, so check it out!

A couple weeks ago I missed catching the premier of How to Train Your Dragon with my Dreamworks friends, so we caught the opening night show in IMAX 3D. I believe this is their best picture to date. It’s adventurous, endearing, and best of all, fun with no strings attached. I know Jeffrey Katzenberg is sold on 3D (well, not so much the technology itself but more so as a reason for people to spend money), but I don’t know if I am. I definitely loved it on some shots (the first flight sequence on the back of Toothless over the water) and I was pretty close to feeling the rush myself, but it’s a bit like white noise during the rest of the film. And I’ve said it before, the whole picture is darker, and I don’t care what they say in the fancy 3D intro – not as sharp.

On a related note, we just had a panel/signing at Nucleus for the film, featuring Alessandro Carloni (head of story), Nicolas Marlet (character designer), Pierre Olivier Vincent (art director), Simon Otto (head of animation), and Tracey Miller-Zarneke (author of The Art of How to Train Your Dragon). I think it was our best panel yet… so entertaining, and full of interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes and examples. And European artists.

If you know me, you know I like (love) cola. More specifically, Coke. I’m aware it’s not a healthy love, but, there it is. Chris and I finally checked out Galcos Soda Pop Stop to check out their crazy collection of… soda. They have a massive range of the fizzy drink (and beer) from bizarre (chocolate, cucumber) to traditional, and we left with a random sampling. Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola is a brewed soda (alcohol content: 0.5%) and seemed a little light at first, but by the end of the bottle I really enjoyed it. Mr. Q. Cumber was pretty nasty (unless you LOVE cucumber). I just had a bottle of Moxie… also not to my taste, it’s a little herby. There’s a bottle of Double Cola waiting in the fridge that I’m saving. I might need a (dare I say it) cola break after all this. :/

I’ll save up all the recent project work for my next post. Peace out.

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
-Ernest Hemingway


After my impulse (pun intended) purchase of the Roland V-Drum set last year, and my shoddy (different type of pun intended) practice routines, I decided (with some suggestions from Tim) to take a drum class. We’re a couple weeks in and it’s a blast! It started a little slow but it’s picking up steam quickly and I’m already at my skills’ limit (which is just what I needed). It’s nice to have some homework again, especially with something as therapeutic as drumming. “Studying” consists of rudiments, paradiddles, standard rock beats, and basic fills.

I’ve also noticed that I have a similar issue as guitar, and it must be rooted in music in general. Basically, the longer I play, I begin to fall asleep. This happens no matter what I’m playing/practicing. It started with guitar and I’d literally just start to fade until I fell back and was out. Thinking it was guitar-specific, I was quite surprised to feel it happening while drumming, since it’s so physical. Apparently, music = sleep. I also blink at almost every snare-hit.

It’s certainly nice to be taking a class solely for fun, and I’m considering photography and possibly Japanese in fall.

We’ve been on a roll at Nucleus lately; it seems we have an event almost every weekend now. The last few shows have been super-packed and successful, and attracted some publicity. Above is a clip from Electric Playground’s coverage of our Zombies in Love show (skip to 1:30 for some action), and some YouTube footage below that.

Last weekend was our Alice in Wonderland exhibit, Curiouser and Curiouser. If you attended, you’d find plenty of costumes, meringue mushrooms, little bunnies, and high-caliber art. If you didn’t attend, here are some photos!

Yesterday was my final day of physical therapy, and after doing a bunch of tests it seems my right leg is basically back to full strength. I’m not allowed to jump back into the basketball fray just yet, but they did recommend that I go shoot around and warmup – apparently some light running and jumping is healthy for bone recovery. Seriously, doctor’s orders!

Side note: I guess I lost close to 20 pounds last year. I know I lost some weight, but I had no idea it was that much until I was weighed just before surgery. What did I do? Well, lots of basketball (obviously) and I just stopped eating when I was full rather than cleaning my plate. If you’re wary of it, you’ll be surprised at how much earlier in the meal this happens.

Science + Art Section!

I’ll leave you with a couple images to expand your mind. The first is a high resolution image of our galaxy (click the thumbnail to see the full-res version). Just look at all the stars! If that isn’t enough to blow your mind, imagine that it’s likely most of these stars have their own planetary systems.

And finally, here’s an Israeli settler throwing wine on a Palestinian woman. Have a good day.