Monthly Archives: February 2009

Beautifully Produced Oscars Show

I just watched the Oscars and I thought it was very beautifully produced, and I’m talking beyond the graphics.

I like how they explicitly grouped the awards by the process of making the film, so they’re not just appearing out of order, and that they used the same people to present each group of awards with their comedy bits and what not.

While I thought that bringing past winners of the supporting and leading roles to present the nominees was very meaningful and exclusive in a way, sort of like initiating someone into a sorority or fraternity (although I have absolutely no clue to the actual process), it must be even more disappointing for the losing nominees to be brought up to the stars before being dropped off falling to the ground.

When I first heard that Hugh Jackman was hosting, I didn’t think it would be a good show. But the fact the he did at least two musical numbers made me realized why they picked an actor instead of a comedian to host. There is just something that Jon Stewart or Ellen Degeneres could not have pulled off had they hosted tonight.

With the graphics, they used a very elegant approach and kept it simple. They used the Oscar statue to be the “1” in the 81st Annual Academy Awards logo, which normally would seem like the obvious answer to a design student’s project. But this was done very effectively and carefully to make the Oscar statue look like a 1 next to the wide 8 yet also the statue itself.

What stood out for me was the way they presented the nominees, in those little collages before they announce the winners. With the screenplay awards, they zoomed to a scene in the script, with a typewriter face, and played the typing against the actual scene in the films. With the documentary awards, they interviewed the directors and crew of those films. It’s all very thought-out.

Watching the Oscars makes me want to watch more movies. There are so many films out there that tell really compelling stories that it’s a shame not to view them.

And finally, a nice touch to pair the credits with this year’s upcoming films. I think Meryl Streep as Julia Child would be fun to watch.


Best Friend

About two months ago, I got this fortune from a fortune cookie, “Soon someone new coming into your life will be a best friend.” I thought, how cool. I’m going to get a best friend.

Two months later, I don’t have anyone new coming into my life that could be my best friend. All I’ve done in the past two months is work on this website for my client. Then I realized, that a month ago, I started learning MySQL and MySQL-related PHP scripting. I found it so useful that I wanted to make over my site with MySQL wherever possible. No more annoying XML that takes double the PHP scripting to do what I want.

So it seems that MySQL will be my best friend. As of now, there is still a love-hate relationship. But I think once I get to know it better, I won’t be able to live without it. I still wish I had an actual human being to be a new best friend.

If I really do believe in fortune cookies, that is.


What Am I Doing? (Feb 2009)

What am I doing? Not blogging here, obviously. Not a single blog since my last update. As I’m writing this, I am in the middle of a semi-deadline to get my client’s site up and ready to go because they’re going to a convention in a few days and passing out business cards that I designed, and leading them to the site that I also designed. (I just realized how I don’t like saying that I designed these things because it really was more of a collaboration, and I just happened to be the one who knows how to use the tools the most.)

It’s been almost three months since I’ve learned about this project and met these awesome people that are my client. And mostly it’s been an exciting and a great learning experience for me. I sort of wish I will always have clients like these in the future. And every day, I become more comfortable and have a better idea with what I want to do, at least for the next few years. I enjoy waking up every day, looking forward to do something that I love.


Since my last monthly update, I had left my job at Peet’s. It was probably a good time to have done so, both in the short term and long term. Because soon after my last shift, I put this freelance project into full gear and started working on it almost every day, putting in more hours than at Peet’s. As I had said before, some things took longer than I expected. Had I kept working both “jobs,” I’d still be sketching the layout for the site or, perhaps more likely, I would have been fired by my client!

I probably went through a week or two of old job withdrawal. I liked my job at Peet’s; I really enjoyed working with the people and seeing the regulars. It was a real bittersweet moment to have left that job. Only a few days ago did I notice how I don’t really remember how it feels to steam milk or pull shots. Ever since I left Peet’s, I had devoted my life into this freelance project; I literally couldn’t imagine working at the bar. I still love the people, no doubt, and I wish I could see them more often (if I could get over the awkwardness of going back to my old workplace).

The Future (Always Thinking About the Future)

As I’ve learned to enjoy my new “job,” my mind became more free to think about the possibilities of where I could go. It’s probably okay to say it here since my family doesn’t read this, but I’ve been thinking about moving south. And by “south,” the range spans from the South Bay, near the San Jose area, to SoCal, around L.A. and San Diego. I want to do it mainly for independence, and also for the weather. But what’s as important, if not more, is my career. If there’s a job that’s fit for me all the way in the East Coast, I wouldn’t mind giving that a try. My family’s probably not so keen of that idea, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world for them.

A “Historic Moment”

I’ve been so engulfed by this project that I haven’t really had the time to digest the fact that we’ve just witnessed what so many people apparently without a thesaurus have described as a “historic moment” in the country. It still hasn’t fully hit me yet, just as it hadn’t hit me eight years ago with the previous administration change. There are moments, though, where I realize that this man is our president.
Right now though, it seems that none of that matters. It must be a sobering feeling for him and everyone that the world and its problems don’t stop for this “historic moment.” (Maybe for a day, but that day has passed.) It’s time to get to work, employed or unemployed.