Monday, April 14, 2008

166. Update to Resume in Photography, and Where I'm at in Life in General, Post Acceptance to Bren, UCSB

Man, do I need to VENT! Intellectually barf to the nth degree!

Before I elaborate my thesis of "falling apart, putting back together again," I will sketch out ADDITIONS to my resume, breaking through a few milestones here. I am sure they are not everything... it will be mostly photography-centric.

(1). THE BREAKTHROUGH. MY FIRST NEWSPAPER OPINIONS ARTICLE/LETTER WRITTEN FOR THE UCR HIGHLANDER. Unfortunately not on line. Will put on line a later time. A satirical 420-word letter/editorial called "The Stigma of the Yellow Envelope" documenting my receiving a parking ticket on Easter Sunday (in front of my pissed-off father) within 15-minutes of parking by the tennis courts. I told Dr. Young in our meeting that it is a great tragedy my first article was not science-related. What irony. I broke the ice. That's all that matters. I have my first official "clip" to show people for future newspaper entries.

(2). My photography has been spreading all over the place (around UCSB).

(2a). For example, I didn't notice this at first, but the ocean picture in the above brochure is mine. Photographed and photoshopped. Funny. The conference was on March 18 and it took me till April 14 to notice it as I shifted through the papers.

(2b). Photography for Oscar Flores and Dulce Osuna. Website boosters.

Oscar's website is and

(2c). Cheryl Chen used my "Day of filming at Goleta Beach" collage in a poster advertising the "Shifting Sands of Goleta Beach" film.

(2d). The Goleta Beach posters and postcards I made. Of course, they're my pictures... because I made the poster and postcard. Duh.

(2e). This Environmental Media Website that is being built through Bren and Dave Panitz website design course. They posted a few of my Blue Horizons images. Woohoo.

(2f). Dave Panitz' environmental media course this past winter 2008 used a lot of my very best photographs in my past collection. Wow.

This photographic usage really makes me feel very very useful. I am thankful for that. Very thankful to feel useful.

(3). Basic traning in the Canon XL2 from Oscar Flores. More on that later. Makes my Sony VX2100 seem like a video camera for 3-year olds. *Sigh* Remember, Vic. Never get an HD camera. Why? Because to upgrade to HD will require an upgrade to a supercomputer, and I am not going to cut off any limbs to get a mega-thousand-dollar supercomputer to process HD digital film.

(4). Helped Oscar Flores, as videographer, for The Great Wall of Los Angeles. We used my camera.

(5). Helped Dulce Osuna and Oscar Flores with a news clip for Channel 62 (Los Angeles Spanish television station) pertaining to Chicano Women's Appreciation Convention/Ceremony in downtown Los Angeles. Aired a few weeks ago. They used my Sony VX2100.

(6). Interviewed by two Brooks students (Kirsten Silva aka "bodhiseeds" on and Noel West) on issues pertaining to Myspace and Facebook. Aka human communication mediated by technology. It was quite an accident actually. I had just come from a Sustainability Newsbeat meeting with Katie Maynard (my first one) and here were two students sitting down at the Arbor, eating pizza, right next to... a beautiful, black, new Sony HD camera. I passed by and I couldn't help asking what the hxll was going on. Apparently Brooks Institute of Photography is changing its tune because no one can really get hired as photographer anymore. Combine photography and videography, and voila. Apparently Kirsten said that videography is "easier" than photography. Well, I think Brooks might be beating photography like a dead horse, based on the experience of one of my relatives, Brook, who tried attending Brooks Institute and dropped out because they spent an entire quarter analyzing one photograph. Talk about hitting my head with a frying pan. 100 times. Really hard.

I am watching the video right now. Level 1 contributor. It's mostly about myspace and facebook and dating. Interesting. It's hideous, dating and facebook. Clever overlay interviews with facebook b-roll. There is no music. Really sucks. They twisted it. I'm in there with just one soundbite. Meeting people at bars intimidating. Bars verus on-line.
There's no music in the background. Online thing. Best side on line. I asked someone what would you put on Craiglist. Your life becomes a TV show. Care about what people think than what you are experiencing. They had old footage of images, dating in the past. I thought the film was very conservative. No spunky. No wild music. No fast-pacedness. Very stoic. They did a set up with an internet date. I was more interested in philosophy of human interactions. Shxt. Internet dating. It was 11:37. Current bought the television article. I was in the collage in the beginning. They didn't tell me that this was about DATING myspace facebook. I thought it was about technology and human interactions in general. I can't believe these are Brooks students. I can do this. Noel West and Kirsten Silva. It's so interesting. People get whatever they want out of it. At least I got a soundbite in there. At least NOW I know how Phil Freeman feels like. Spending so much time and so little footage. That's why filming needs to be a two-way street.

I just made a decision to place my rock crab film on See what's up with Current TV. Just to get into a good habit. You know? Break the ice.

Kirsten said they had a hard time getting interviews, but then she asked if I wanted to be interviewed. I was like, sure. No problem. She also said, "You have a nice face." What? So, you are ultimately deciding who to interview based on "who has a nice face"? What the hxll? It's like saying I'm going to interview fisherman X over fisherman Y because of aesthetics and not quality and content of character. See? I think that is the modern sin. Surface value reasoning. Racism is just a small piece of the problem. Screw if I have a hideous face or a nice face. Right now I feel like I look like an OGRE! I would interview an ogre. Because my own curiosity overpowers mere aesthetic.

I said several clever "soundbites" they might use. These soundbites will be incorporated in my own essay on "human communication / how to manipulate humans." Their 5-10 minute video will be aired on in less than two weeks. In attempt to reflect upon what I remember mentioning:

(a). Victoria Minnich, environmental media Ph.D. student at Bren, UCSB (boy, that felt SO good saying that)

(b). I used myspace and facebook. I was dragged into it. It's a one way street. I put things out, but I don't pro-actively search for friends. People tend to find me.

(c). Direct human interaction overpowers technology-mediated interaction. Whether computer, cell phone, video conferencing, whatever technological medium. Direct interacting helps me get published. Helps me get into graduate school. Etcetera. Helps me "get pulled up the capillary tree" of bureaucracy. I only add people on facebook and myspace if I have met them in real life.

(d). Reverse. Meeting someone on line then meeting real life. Happened with one guy on Craigslist. Will never do it again. Total waste of time. The guy was dull, apathetic.

(e). Technological-communicative hypersaturation. Evolution of technology and communication. High school. First giant boxy computer. First email induced by Jonathon Tao (high school best buddy, now Ph.D. student at UCSD). What's the point of this? Email is useless in my life. Why would anyone need email? Beats snailmail. Went to UC Davis. Email. Ethernet. BAM. Blasted by information. Fall off a log. Learn how to use laptop. More rapid internet and accessibility. Filling up cyberspace. Development of social networks. I talk to family and friends in person. Then the cell phone. Then emails. Now social networks. FXCK. Too many layers of maintenance in life. I have 38 messages in my phone box. I am not going to cater my life and time to maintaining social networks.

(f). Communication-technological saturation (inputs-outputs) leads to ECP. I have electronocommunicatiphobia. ECP. Real disease. I made it up. It's called the balance between expriencing REALITY versus COMPUTER-TECHNOLOGY-GENERATED reality. Being addicted to screens/shells/plugged into the matrix system versus being plugged into your mind's internal TV box of reality. Balancing mental inputs and outputs.

(g). I have no crazy stories to tell with myspace or facebook. Tried to make one up. Became a dud. I tell the truth. Interesting or not. Not into making whoppers just for show. My two stories came from craigslist (the dud guy) and email (the UC Davis chemistry listservice fiasco, which I shared at Toastmasters).

(h). Facebook and Myspace are CLUTTER AND CHAOS OF AMERICAN SOCIETY. Unless you use them strategically for marketing purposes. Total zen. Eliminate unwanted clutter in your life.

I wrote this down because I DESERVE CREDIT FOR WHAT I SAID. Like I'm giving away ideas like they are worth a little less than a penny. I hope Joel and Kirsten are good editors so maybe their video will go a bit farther than on

(7). I joined Toastmasters, local chapter. Haven't paid my dues yet. Went for two weeks straight. Will have to miss this week due to dentist/doctor. Was hooked up through Grace Rachow, poet, presenter, publisher, coordinator of Volunteers at the Santa Barbara Writers' conference. Oh. SHXT! The deadline for the SCHOLARSHIPS IS TOMORROW. SAME AS TAXES DAY. DXMMIT. DXMMIT. DXMMIT. Okay. Finish writing this ASAP.

[random blip]
My first impromptu. Tabletopics. Most embarrasing moment. The chain reaction email at UC Davis. I emailed a TA to complain about a grade based on teamwork not individual effort and accidentally emailed the entire class with the list-serve reply button. I received hatemail for a week saying I was a whiny baby etcetera. Roommate Phil posed as my cousin and send hate mail to a girl who said very hateful things to me and said he was going to beat her up. My sister Jenny remembers. People responded very well.

Also won one Tabletopics. And did a talk on film "getting to know who I am based on how I think." The topic was on comfort foods. And I had no secret recipe of comfort foods but advised everyone on what NOT to eat. My mother's recipe: two pieces of soggy bread, mayonnaise, brocolli, corn flakes, and beef liver. I told them that my relationship with food is very bitter largely due to my mother. She is the type who is Greek. My big fat Greek wedding. The father became obsessed with Windex and you spray everything with windex, it will solve all your problems. My mother's version of windex was garlic. She would make me and my sister gargle raw garlic in our throats and told us it was painful because it was killing bacteria. Uh huh. So this is my meager relationship with food. Back to the infamous sandwich, supposedly great tennis food. I had a bite and started to cry. People laughed but I talked right through it, perhaps because it is an old story in my mind, and I didn't find it particularly funny to go through. Grace Rachow, one of the leaders of this experimental Toastmasters group, told me despite my mother's qualms and quirks, she must have done something right to have raised me. She scanned me top to bottom. I guess so! My Greek mother has interesting quirks but I am still alive and functioning somehow. He he.

[more fragments]
Forgot other add-ons for resume. Sigh. I know there are a few more. I forgot.

I guess after making use of all this photography... I can understand why Lauren labeled me as a Goleta Beach production associate. I am thankful for the appreciation. From PA to PA. Production Assistant to Production Associate. I like being the volleyball retriever. Filling in all the holes that no one else seems to be proactive at covering!

[Brain pause]
I am looking how my photography is being used and I've been paid jack. With Oscar and Dulce, we trade a shxtload. So, it all comes back to helping me. But I am starting to feel used a bit. Oscar and I talked about that. The feeling of being used. Both Oscar and I work hard and we're both nice and sadly, intrinsically people-pleasers. But we have to learn to draw the line of getting trampled.... I photograph close friends as presents. But yesterday I just snapped amidst my chaos (mostly the chaos phobia of paying taxes). The only thing that is preventing me from charging is ownership of a professional flash. So? I racked up my Chase gift certificates and sunk in the money for a Nikon SB-800 flash, the flash my cousin Mike Dillin trained me on about a year ago. Amen for Mike. I even got a cheap 13-dollar equivalent to the Gary Fong flash effect plastic hat you put on flashes so you get really nice lighting in dance clubs and bars and coffee shops. If people ask for a photoshoot, I will ask for $50 flat for three-hours max at first or a $25 appreciation-of-skill-and-labor donation fee. I don't take food as trade. Food in America makes people fat. I already sit on my xss enough. I do take other items for trade. Most likely electronics-related.

I have some bad news for myself. My life simultaneously falling apart and being put back together again. All the basics that I was ignoring--my teeth, the car, accumulation of papers--all came to a giant collapse of problems as soon as I signed the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) at Bren, UCSB form. As for my teeth, I drove to Corona last week because I had a panic attack at UCSB. I was overwhelmed with information the day after Bren recruitment day, and I had to stop attending Art Sylvester's geology course. It was difficult and I am still going through withdrawal, but my level of personal information management is absurdly horrible. Too much input and not enough output. My life the last two or so years has been 50% daily input and 50% daily output. Now it must be 10-20% input and 80-90% output, progress toward a real Ph.D. in an academic environment of people who I am in agreement with philosophically, in a place where I find meaning and value in getting a Ph.D. I didn't know that "Ph.D" didn't have different meanings in different schools and places. At UC Riverside (engineering school) for example, students get Ph.D. but they pump you in and out the system like a cow. 3 years. You're out. I go back to Fall of 2005 while Bruce Tiffney was telling me about the interdisciplinary Ph.D. Bruce stated that a Ph.D is [paraphrased] "a student who is able to identify a problem and systematically solve it, with consent and collaboration of a small committee of elders who have passed through the university capillary action before you, and have got their Ph.D. union card stamped on their foreheads. If they are in common agreement with your work, you get your union card" and then one day it will be much easier to publish books. Screw publishing books. Film dah bomb. I'll still publish books, but... they will co-evolve with acoustivisuals.

So back to the teeth. I was driving to Corona, and my back tooth was in such immense pain that I believe that day (in bad traffic as well), I popped about 20 ibuprofen and a few tylenols (the acetyminophen stuff that's bad for your liver) in one day. When I was in Corona, I cried myself to sleep. I cried and moaned for two hours before I went to sleep. That kind of pain humbles you. The funny thing about pain in the mouth is that a nerve is inflamed and exposed only in one tooth, but there is a chain reaction such that other associated, branched nerves get all activated as well, so I was also feeling pain in the upper front and lower left. The next morning, I woke to my surprise with no pain. The pain hit around noon or 12:30, so while I was going to Riverside to trade cars, I started moaning and crying again from pain. I was in no mood to switch cars, though it would have been gas-efficient to take the Toyota Tercel and not the Subaru Legacy. Hence comes in the car problem. This was a pivotal moment in my life. I was at home in Riverside, not able to function from the tooth pain. Had I switched cars to the Toyota Tercel, I would not be stuck in Santa Barbara right now, because when I rushed back that very day to the dinner at Beachside Cafe in Goleta, my water pump broke (in the Subaru) and the radiator started to overheat. I drove about 4 hours that day, and it was only the last few miles of driving in Goleta I had the radiator problem. Amen. What if that would have happened earlier? Like on the freeway? My car would have been toast.

I will get back to the continuation of this blog episode of the "basics of my life falling apart," but before I mention that, I will quickly address the "paper problems." One of the three problems besides teeth and car that occurred to me the last week or so. First off, I will admit that on April 14, 2008 I finally finished my 2007 taxes. AMEN! Woohoo! Beer for that, for sure. This year was the first year I ever filed a 1040 form, and not 1040 EZ. I paid $13.50 at, which I highly recommend. I don't mind paying $13.50 at all. Basically this website helps you fill out all those threatening-English government forms. I do not understand the English language of government forms, whether copyright service or taxes. They are quite frightening. It's not like it's Shakespearian English. Shakespeare is close to incoherent to me, but at least has a level of poetic, acoustiaesthetic taste to the words used. Taxes language to me sounds like... abrupt, harsh... like German English. English transformed to Slavic. That's how it feels like. Then there's free tax USA that helped transform everything into regular English. I don't think I will ever fear paying taxes again now. I think through freetaxusa, I saved $150 in taxes than if I just filed 1040 EZ without any help.

The second paper issue I had was with the Toyota Tercel. Apparently I am "delinquent" in paying registration fees. I have delt with so much paperwork passing through me the last few months, I didn't keep tabs on everything. So here I am, driving to Corona in sheer pain, stuck in traffic (there was a bad accident that closed the entire 15 freeway, which ultimately affected all neighboring freeways), having to go "offroading" on the Imperial Highway. Amidst pain and chaos and drama, my mother had to call me and lecture me on how I'm not responsible because I didn't pay the car registration on time. Now it's double the cost and it hurts my parents' insurance because the car is under THEIR name. Well? I thought it's their car and I just use it. My mom said that she would change ownership name to me. We'll see. I didn't appreciate this comment. It was bad place, bad time. The night before I car-camped in Ventura, and I also cried myself to sleep in tooth pain. That made me really groggy the entire day. So by the time my mother called me on the road... hearing about my careless paper trail is about the last thing I wanted to hear. It's so bipolar compared to the week before. My parents treating me and Justin and Jenny out to Templo del Sol because we all made it into grad school. *Amen.* My mom can be pretty bipolar in a certain way, but she has to put up with a lot of shxt at work.

So, that was my papertrail problem. Back to the car problem. Radiator is busted. I received tremendous help from Kyle Meisterling, carbon expert and generalist-of-all-things. He taught me how to check out my radiator and water pump... in addition to the oil. So, now I know how to check TWO things in my car. THAT goes on my resume.

[fragments of thoughts] biology technology ecology and economy. they're all systems, input output systems. I think them the same way. same analogies. why so different, and why studied by such different sectors of the university. got metal. got oil. got water. and they flow through pipes right. and there different parts of the car engine, like organs. I think the only way. I know how to check the radioator and the oil now. I seem to learn new things "not in my field" as soon as they break in my own life. Richard's auto import service... highly recommended.

Accurate Import Services
401 Santa Barbara StSanta Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 962-1741‎

The other problem is information overload problem. It comes from multiple sources. Art sylvester. The younglab dinner, guessing how to label our selves. Meeting with Dr. Young. One-liners. Bren school recruitment day. Vicodin from the doctor. My roomies house is stashed with vicodin. Good deal.

I was supposed to get my car today. Shxt. I was cleaning papers, so I stopped. Stay in delusion, papers sprawled all over my room, I don't want to feel trapped. I'm starting to focus / ignore the unnecessary clutter, it feels good... ucla, ucr... everything negative of my past transformed to a positive audience, as soon as you find your right niche space....

Rock crab, driving me NUTS, saw troy, sam shrout, california fish and game... shxt... I need to get my act together. photography. [end fragments]

1 comment:

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

So, years later, I find my work on the internet... but not on my website. Cool, but not cool, but nevertheless cool anyway.

First off, I found myself here: and then I found the film I worked on --> Shifting Sands of Goleta Beach, part 1:, part 2:

Wow. It brings back memories. I miss Dr. Sylvester the most. He's so cool. *Sigh* I also miss Jethro. Really savvy character and great editor. I learned a lot of tradeoffs about working alone versus working with a group. It took 6 months before the production group became a superorganism--and that was the very last shoot. Sigh.