Saturday, July 07, 2007

Jeff Timons "The Goonies"!!!

I felt that my blog was in DESPERATE need for PICTURES!

Jeff Timons' "The Goonies!" Featuring Matt, Craig, Anthony, and David "The Ohio Team" (order of people to whom I have met, order means absolutely nothing otherwise). Last weekend I had a very bad panic attack, so on Saturday I went to visit Jesse and everyone at California Sound Studios in Lake Forest, California. Jeff Timons (of the band 98 degrees) wasn't there (I think he was with his kids) but it doesn't matter because the whole "think tank" crew for Jeff's next album was there, and we had a blast taking pictures. Everyone totally cheered me up. I was going through denial that I was in school, combined with my own panick-ing, simply because I didn't have a camcorder to mess around with (though it's already been the first week of school), combined with my lack of knowledge of Final Cut Pro. In all honesty, I was eager on the first day of class to get a 10-hour bootcamp orientation on how to use the cameras and final cut pro.... But no, I had to wait like for a WEEK-AND-A-HALF before I could play, play, PLAY!!! Life is good at Ca Sound. Life is very simple. Just chill out and make music. Hang out and watch Planet Earth in the evenings (a very generous present from Jesse). Hang out and be an "armchair environmentalist." (what a tragic concept for America, but it's true. People are addicted to the "beautiful, weird, and interesting" in which organisms--my research--become high fashion models down the runway of diverse environments, my research essentially is everyone else's tourist attraction, and visa versa... everyone else's work is my play, ha ha). It was very healing to visit--because I was just bombarded for the past week with all this new information: new environment (to some degree, UCSB has changed, new buildings, old buildings bulldozed, new people, for sure...), new people in class, new teachers, new place to live, new this, new that, new habits, new routines.... And this can be extremely stressful, especially since I worked so hard to establish solid relationships and friendships with CA Sound and some people in Central Casting, to just give this all up and go back to school was extremely difficult! I think every time I make a big "move" the first week I go through depression because my mind has not assigned "addictive value" to routines yet. I have not adjusted my mental nor physical metabolism yet. The same thing happened to me when I moved to Orange County in March of 2007. The first week I was very depressed and stressed out.

Many things about UCSB were familiar, but many things were not... but the point is right now I am feeling psychologically more stable hanging around the Central Coast. Well, at least at THIS moment.... We'll see what I'm up to an HOUR from now....

I have a track record of volunteer work with California Sound Studios, mostly with photography. California Sound helped me and motivated me with my individual pursuits in music. They helped me through some of the most difficult periods of my last year's leave of absence. I can never thank the whole Wright family enough. It's as if they have adopted me.... I have learned so much from everyone in the family--Frank (professional guitarist for Sony and Cher Chicago), Joann (President?), Nathan (the PR guy, the "hustler"), Jesse (head sound engineer), and the sound engineers Adam Duffy (music and dance expert from North High School of all things [that was my high school, if you can't tell], he's a total hilarious riot act), Jeremy, and the musicians Dan Bellini (Reign the Italian), The Morning Riot (Tony, Josh, Chris, Fuzzy), and as above, The Goonies!!! Jesse has been such a great friend for me. He listens to all my crazy daily "intellectual dramas" without really being too annoyed by them. He thinks my intellectually emotional ramblings are "cute," which is just fine. As long as he's listening. Which reminds me I just wrote a poem called "Time" which I'll post on the next blog. We confronted the whole "boyfriend-girlfriend" issue a few times, which I responded in the end with a poem-song called "My Addiction" (Jesse responded with giving me an archaic A-drive floppy which I can't even read! He says there's a letter inside, but...). In short, right now I am in such transition and vulnerability, I don't want to mentally strap and assign my mind to any other person to such a degree. Some people claim relationships are like "freedom" and to me at this it's more like "bondage" or a form of prison. I can have best friends and all that, but *ugh* I don't want to get into it anymore. The discussion of the male species is a whole book on its own (N = 7).

There are so many stories that come from a special place called California Sound Studios. I'll spare you for a later day. :-)

Song Excerpt "Another and Again"

I have had this "broken record" song stuck in my head for a long time. It's called "Another and Again" (I have several matching main melodies to "dress up" the song). I only have two verses here, but the song actually extends to 10-15 verses (it ends up being like one of those 99-bottles of beer-on-the-wall type of songs, but most appropriately so), which one day I have a chance to work with. I started with "what's the point of getting a Ph.D" (most rebelliously and most accurately) as well as the "homeless man" verse. Ever since I met two really cool (and really intelligent) homeless "unincorporated" guys at Girsh park in Goleta (their names were Rick and Jason, more on this another time), this "homeless man" part of the song kept echoing in my brain... AGAIN. So I decided to dump it on paper. And voila!

Rick, the older, "more experienced" unincorporated human warned me (hold up! this IS the quote of the day! Thee "quotable quote.") "Never confuse intelligence with education." Ahem! and Amen! to that. Shxt. I figured that out on MY leaves of absence. Again, it's nice for other people to state aloud all the things that have been stuck in my mind for so long! I'm starting to think the "homeless" people of Santa Barbara aren't exactly your typical, regular homeless people. Maybe they figured out that there are a bunch of non-profits around here to pamper them, in addition to the exceptional climate....

I told Dulce (one of the motivated students in the Blue Horisons course) that I would like to hook up with a local newspaper and one day a week interview a random homeless person in Santa Barbara or Goleta, and do a write up for the paper. The series can be called: "Lessons from a Homeless Man." (or woman)

Another quotable quote from Rick (which I wrote a few poems about, a poem called the Theory of Absence, and it's in my QR book): "You never appreciate what you have until you have it taken away from you." It's cliche in my mind, but heck. It's a re-occurring theme in life that you can build several stories on top of, stories with very thick onion layers that just make you cry 'til your eye balls are about to pop out.

Rick told me that he would like to have a book written about his life story, and I told him that I was interested myself in such a task. I even gave him my ACCURATE cell phone (I have given people distorted versions of my cell phone number, depending on whether I even want to associate myself with such individuals... perhaps my degree of distortion of my cell phone number correlates with the degree of aversion from that individual, ha ha ha...). I was honest with Rick--I need to clear my plate, and it might take a little while to do so, but I think doing a co-authorship of a book will help me write my book Surviving the Systems. I would like to write my own life story through the comparisons of notes with a "homeless man." To compare and contrast--the parallels are numerous.

I identify myself strongly with unincorporated, "homeless" people primarily because (1). I thrive under difficult, arduous field circumstances (why I adore geologists, and the conditions of third-world countries...) (2). Homeless people are individualistic and maximally unincorporated, (3). They dress with the rags they got, and don't conform to the Hollywood fashion obsession of southern California, and (4). If I "believed" in re-incarnation, I strongly assume that I'm a born-again cave-girl (well, technically, I AM because cave-dudes and cave-dudettes WERE my ancestors, but in terms of a generalist (non-overspecialized-office-hermit-crab-dweller) know-how of the world, a live-off-the-land-day-to-day-survival, dealing-with-the-elements type of lifestyle, that is what I'm looking for). One thing I do not associate with homeless people is "drug consumption." Everyone consumes drugs--whether physically or mentally. I chose to be addicted to writing, and many homeless people became addicted to beer and cocaine and alcohol and the works. Can't people be a little bit more creative? Can't they find a more socially acceptable form of Alternative Addiction? (I want to create a song called Alternative Addictions). Can't they find a more self-fulfilling, rather than self-destructive addiction? Pete Sadler, one of my geology profs at UC Riverside, blatantly, sarcastically remarked: "Scientists and heroine addicts are one and the same. They are both addicted to something. Scientists are addicted to research and learning new things about their pet pea system of study. Heroine addicts are obsessed with shooting needles up their arms. In the end, we both stimulate the same pleasure center in the brain. In the end, we both experience the same 'mental highs.'" This is not the exact quote of Pete Sadler, but I'll be dxmmed it's dead on true.

So, MY being addicted to things.... I became addicted to writing and learning new things about myself and the world around me. I didn't kill enough brain cells in the ritualistic college process of "endless Isla Vistan partying of purposelessness" to go through life just mindlessly doing things. Doing what I am told to do. I decided to become a slave to my own ideas, otherwise I would be the slave to others. I decided to not accept Reality as it is. For me to survive, I am addicted to creating my own Reality. Every day, I have to do it. Because the existing Reality already nearly killed me. I am addicted to spacetime. I am addicted to applying my right brain to creating Reality (I guess that's why I think Blue Horizons is an optimal program for me, being addicted to creating film and like being addicted creating Reality, or at least a boxed version of it). I think it's a good addiction to have. At least society doesn't seem to find me as a menace or pest (not yet, at least). Oh ya. I'm also addicted to air, water, food, exercise, sleep, a safe-territory and a roof over my head, bare-minimum mammalian eu-social interactions (a.k.a. "the social pill", you know... the basics (I wrote a poem on this too, "I think therefore, I am" type of poem). Stuff that homeless people are addicted to as well (in fact, all humans, and nearly all organisms), but homeless folks struggle more to retrieve them.

How come there seems to be more homeless men than homeless women?

I remember Meg buying a book written by a physicist-gone-non-profit-philanthropist who told the story of a homeless guy by the name of Stuart. It was an interesting story (for what I read of it), but it wasn't structured well. The Present was the first chapter and the Deep Past was the last. I automatically skipped to the last chapter to investigates Stuart's childhood beginnings, because ultimately that is where all bad habits and Markov-chain reactions start (as in my song, Shifting Baselines, "Please be kind, do rewind, all the tangled layers of space and time, back to the point of origins, for where it begins is where it ends is where it begins all over again") (Heck. I'm citing myself, pathetic. Then again. Self-citation is like citing all the random elements of my environment that allowed me to organize and produce a self-constructed idea. I cite myself. I cite my environment. No big deal. I'm not egotistical. I'm just relativistical) Maybe I'd be copying this physicist if (more I hope to be "when") I write this Surviving the Systems book, but it would have an interesting spin--it would be a doubled-up story of myself and Rick.

The last quotable quote Rick told me (Rick actually told me several quotable quotes) was: "The ladies don't seem to understand this, nor seem to think that this phenomenon is feasible, but it IS possible for men to have their hearts broken... most notably by women." This I have yet to witness. I have only experienced extreme desperate circumstances for me to go about crawling on their hands and knees, before their tiny-little sympathetic emotional centers are actually FINALLY stimulated. Until their huge ego-centric alpha-male machismo melts away into some level of social and environmental awareness, to display some feminine sensitivity. I guess I'm going to have to follow up on this quote, perhaps with some systematic self-scientific data gathering. He he. (Do you know I also want to write a book on N = 7, Dating as a Series of Scientific Experiments?) Well, I'm giving away my ideas like I'm donating my heart and my brain to society. Well, I'm doing that anyway. So, nevermind. They are MY ideas. They're self-published on Blogger anyway. They can't be stolen. I'm protected, and I'm going to pursue these ideas one way or another.

I can't seem to Quarantine Reality very well. Nor Quarantine my Creativity. Whenever I have attempted to Quarantine Reality, I seemed to be hit and slapped in the face and mentally bombarded with new elements of Reality, and then the system of my mind changes size and shapes as the new elements are rapidly being attempted to become organized and classified. *sigh*

Question Reality, The Elephant and the Oak Tree Abstracts

Just in case, if you didn't bother to notice my abstracts for Question Reality and The Elephant and the Oak Tree in my long, long, long resume (sorry) (my science writing professor, Hugh Marsh, used to make fun of me for my resume, because it was sooo long! Curriculum Vitae's can become so long that they could easily transform to a life story, a book of sorts... hmmm... good idea, huh?). These are just abstracts. Both books are not done, but I just need one more "crankin'" quarter and they'll hopefully both be over with. Cross my fingers my timeline of expectation is correct.

I can't WAIT to have these books out and self-published! It will be a gigantic relief from my chest. It weighs a lot on me, but I know they will both pour out to finish soon enough. Blue Horizons is giving me the tools that will allow me to tell people stories about what I write in a more multi-media, interactive way. Otherwise, they're just lifeless words (not in MY mind, but perhaps everyone else's) that no one will pay much attention to in this modern "competitive bombardment of stories," especially if you hold status of an obscure peon graduate student. :-)

Blue Horizons Acceptance Letter

I think I was in Orange County (Mission Viejo, more specifically)--in a a total wreck when housekeeping for "Momma," a Persian grandmother with a case of arthritis--when I received the acceptance letter. I remember that I told Constance by email to envision my "jumping up and down" after receiving her acceptance note. Though I am not experiencing the "associated emotion" at this moment (an emotion as relieving, but not equally as shocking as the time I received the NSF fellowship in April of 2003), I made a self-monumental epiphany that this is the first time I have been "institutionally incorporated" and "institutionally accepted" for all the things I have accomplished in science AND art. This is the first time where people in the university have acknowledged my resume--the notion that I wrote a book called Question Reality: An Investigation of Self-Humans-Environment, along with a short story summary called The Elephant and the Oak Tree. Granted I was accepted at UC Riverside, but I don't think I was accepted for being who I wanted to be: a scientist who does art... to outreach and communicate to the public. I was accepted to UCR as a Ph.D student in geology, not a moreso "multi-media eclectic ecologist." I entered UCSB's Blue Horizons more accepting of who I struggled alone to become (though I still never seemed to be fully satisfied with myself), and at the same time I was institutionally accepted for who I am. A dualist science-art resume is a resume I never imagined creating--about a year ago, was a looming, far-off dream resume--but now that I look at what I had done, and all the struggles I went through to do so, I take a step outside my box to consider that this is potentially the most rewarding document so far: that I self-developed my spacetime abilities of my right brain, and that people were acknowledging and supporting my once-formerly suppressed skills (abilities that were not developed, nor prized by institutionalized education). This is indeed a co-evolution of self-system acceptance :-). I am no longer "homeless" or "unincorporated." I'm now a part of the mental metabolism of a larger system. And I cross my fingers this time I can actually keep up with the pace.

Thoughts of Chaotic Randomness

The Small Version.

The Larger Version.

I made a decision to shrink my images because they are way too large for the web, combined with a general inability to shrink them for suitable viewing. I hope this works. (Just found out that it did!)

My life is coming to order and falling apart, all at the same time. My mind desires to crank faster than the speed of light, but is unable to, due to my being up and alert until 4am in the morning. All my thoughts will just spew out in chaotic randomness.

Random Thought #1. I am posting the cartoon that was based on Hannah's and my conversation on Saturday evening at a Live Earth Climate Change music festival party at her house. I met one of the co-executive producers of "The Thin Red Line" by the name of Ross. I might have mistaken the movie. I am overwhelmed. I was lost that evening in the boonies of Santa Barbara and somehow ended up in Montecito. I finally found the house in the dark, along with my prof Constance Penley, as we both struggled to find the main, lighted house. Maria and her roommate were there. Hannah was sooo welcoming. We discussed project ideas. I myself right now--since I'm scootching pretty fast--decided to go independent, but am collaborating, as affiliated with Hannah and Dulce, with whatever days needed. I'm already "deep in the rabbit hole" with my project. I learned a valuable lesson: never ask any film professor about "agencies" and "agents" in Hollywood--perhaps even managers or any type of "middle men." I think she was totally turned off by my asking. Here was an opportunity to talk to such a knowledgeable person, and I was sooo mentally numb to ask such a question. Well... now I know. I have learned my lesson. This is my first ever "film studies" professor, as today I received my "first" ever lecture by a communications prof, of all things. I am learning new personalities on the "other side of the university"--the social sciences and humanities world--and I'm learning what questions to ask and what NOT to ask. There were a lot of other main themes this night, like my increasing anxiety to work on the "Shifting Baselines" song (besides the following Tuesday "panic attack").

Random Thought #2. Random thoughts seem to string together spatially-temporally anyway, even though I am brain-dead. Hmmm. Next year will be a conference at Bren on "how scientists can better communicate with the media and the public." I cannot believe it but the quasi-obscure guy in the back who was religiously auditing the film-studies course taught by Constance Penley is a cinematographer at and collaborates with a larger company (Discover, I think) with a renowned scientist film-maker (don't remember his name) who has had a key role, workin on Blue Planet and Planet Earth. I think Jim graduated from UCSB in environmental studies and geography in 1988, but I'm not sure of anything I am writing. I told him how I am a part of the Blue Horizons program (and that I'm just a beginner)--he knows and has worked with Michael Hanrahan--and I flat out stated how I was shocked and honored to sit right next to him. Jim stuttered and mumled, "Well, I'm just a guy, like everyone else." Well, he's a "GUY" but a guy with such superb skills to work on major film projects the rest of the world sees!!! SHEESH!

Random Thought #3. Rebellious musician Prince will be releasing for "free" a CD called "Planet Earth." There was a statement that billboard charts are unrelated to fans likings (which I heard from Jeff Timons is partially true). I just rack up more and more jealousy every day because I have all these songs stuck in my head and no physical, collaborative, nor financial outlet to transform these melodies and words and concepts into a tangible CD. I need to create a proposal, ASAP, eh? ya.... I am now more awake than five minutes ago.

Shifting Baselines Blue Horizons Official Credit Sheet

Above is the jpeg and pdf file of the "Credit Sheet" that I created for Blue Horizons before I even started the program. Now that I have encountered random-and-interesting and filmably useful characters--so far, a member of the board of the Isla Vista Parks and Recreation District (IVPRD), a snowy plover docent, and two "homeless" men (I call them "unincorporated" people, I think the term "homeless" is too negative, whereas "unincorporated" is more like a romantic statement of freedom and individuality, sometimes I think homelessness is a statement of rebellion against the absurdity of Reality of modern society, so I wouldn't mind joining them once in a while, but this is a total tangent... sorry...). Where are we? So the past week I have met some very camera-friendly, enthusiastic, bona fide "natural-talent" actors to shoot, so I have to efficiently retrieve their contacts so they can receive their appropriate credit. I have more stories later, but I am thankful I thought of this beforehand. I chronically hear the looming echo of Michael Hanrahan’s ominous statement: “It’s all about data management.” If you don’t manage and organize your data, you can easily lose it, and you can’t build and go further with your work. I always thought this way, but it’s very nice to hear my own mentality coming out of someone else’s mouth. Instead of hearing my voice in my head all the time, I’m starting to hear other’s voices, reminding me of what’s the best thing to do….

I'm waiting for the day in which I'm going to have to deal with "permits." Ooooo, bad word. I was trying to avoid "the permit road block" as a scientist, but now as a novice film-maker, I'm seeing that permits are inevitable!!! *ugh*

Pre-Meditations of Shifting Baselines

Here are three documents that show my pre-meditations of the Shifting Baselines music video. As you can tell, I was beating my head against the wall with stale thoughts---in short, I have been pre-meditating for way too long!

This document is the "first final round" of lyrics for Shifting Baselines, with additional music ideas:

This documents demonstrates how much of my poetry/song writing revolves around the idea of shifting baselines:

And this document reveals my initial "naivete" about how to think about and construct movies, particularly music videos... in which now ideas are coming more clearly...

For the last month, I have been thinking too much about my thinking. *sigh*

Vic Finalizes Lyrics for "Shifting Baselines"


Finally, after a long time of struggle and "mental constipation," I manage to pull off creating a more final set of lyrics for Shifting Baselines. Michael Hanrahan (our production/editing instructor) told us to never let an idea get stale in the head. I have been a victim of that, but somehow last night, after a very nice social occasion with Constance Penley and the Blue Horizons students, I was able to finally belch out this....
The pdf file for shifting baselines lyrics is here: