Ethereality News & Weblog

May 31, 2006

Princess Ruu = Demonic Possession?

Filed under: Art & CG,Cool & Fun Stuff,My Life/Musings,Photography,Site News — Rob Chang @ 5:03 am


News:
I’ve been getting emails for years about my Melancholic Princess painting. Apparently, some person bored out of his mind decided to make up a urban legend around my painting and started passing it around. I’m pretty sure it started in China, as the earliest email I got about the urban legend was from China a few years ago. Recently, I’ve been getting emails from English-speaking people about it, which means this whole idiotic ordeal has reached the western hemisphere. This is an example of one of the links people are passing around in forums.

Kitty Cat Diary updated:

After we settled down, I promise I’ll start shooting more “serious photography,” instead of keep on posting my casual “bad photography.” 😀

Weblog:
This teenager in India has been emailing me nonstop everyday with tons of very basic questions about 2D and 3D, and I tried to help him with the time that I have. When I finally had to tell him that I’m too busy to cater to his every whim and wish, and pointed him to cgtalk.com for his future questions, he decided to call me names. It boggles my mind how ungrateful, rude, and selfish some people can be. When I was growing up, there was nothing like the internet available, but everyone learned anyway, because we were passionate, hardworking, and resourceful. Now, with this amazing learning tool called the internet, the overall IQ and motivation of young people seems to actually drop to alarming levels. Maybe back then the unmotivated and dim-witted ones just never had any chance, so no one noticed them anyway. Now they can jump online to annoy and terrorize others with their presence.

Elena and I have been contemplating the idea of putting a GPS navigation system in our car. We have terrible sense of direction and get lost all the time, so a GPS system would save us a lot of wasted fuel from wandering around. Some models are really fancy, doing crazy things like language translation and millions of point of interest for visiting Europe. We just want a simple voice guided system with auto updated correction if we veer off the planned route, but it appears that’s only available in the higher end models–which always includes a lot of stuff we don’t need but will pay for anyway. Of course we could just go on relying on mapquest.com and printed maps, but dealing with them while driving is just such a pain, and often you have no place to pull over for a long stretch.

May 22, 2006

Bad zombie–no brains.

Filed under: Computers & Gadgets,My Life/Musings,Travel,Video Games — Rob Chang @ 1:21 am

Weblog:
I’m a huge zombie fan, but I have to say, I’m completely underwhelmed by all the zombie games that’s been made thus far–including those still in production. Why are they all focussing on endless carnage, as if the only thing that’s compelling about the zombie genre is the blood and gore and the severed body parts. That’s like saying the best thing about thrillers is the gunfights. Totally, and completely missing the point in my opinion. I have a zombie game design that I’ve been working on, and it’s exactly the kind of zombie game I would pay good money to play. I want to talk about the design in detail, but you never know–it just might get picked up by a studio one of these days. So for now, mum’s the word.

Elena got sick after we arrived in the States–her immune system finally caving in from all the stress and sleep deprivation before and during the move. I seem to be fine thus far–which is miraculous, as my immune system is about as strong as an eggshell. But you know how it is–the moment you make mention of your state of good healthy, some unseen force off somewhere will say “Oh YEAH? We’ll see about that!” Screw knocking on wood–I want to take a baseball bat to the cantankerous fucker.

It’s a really strange feeling–finally being back in the States for good. I told Elena just yesterday that I kept feeling like I might get yanked the thrown back into China any moment. It’s a subtle and unexplainable fear, which has no real justifiable source, as my life in China was far from being hard. In fact, I lived very comfortably–broadband internet, expensive restaurants, tons of DVD’s and video games, and lots of freetime to work on whatever I wanted. As long as I stayed at home, life was in fact, quite peachy. I think it really comes down to the overall quality of life. In China, the environment as a whole is far worse–the government, the media, transportation, lack of global awareness, social inequality, corruption, environmental pollution, insane traffic, low moral standards, lack of education, dirty streets, rampant poverty..etc–it creates a sense of oppression that weighs heavily on your spirit. The minute I was back in the States, I felt like my soul could breathe freely again. As much as the people running this country can be real assholes, I love America and all that it stands for. Most people will never understand that feeling until they’ve lived in a country that does not hold dear the value of freedom, justice, and equality.

I mentioned about the bad power supply last time, and I did get it replaced. It’s sad that I know more about putting together computers than the guys working in the computer department of Circuit City. I mean, I’m about as un-techie-like as one can get, but even I know how to put together a computer correctly and troubleshoot hard drive booting sequences in the bios. I ended up turning one of their computer on display into a little DIY station and took care of everything myself. Sales guys would walk by and see me ripping out the peripherals of one of their computers and ask “Um.. do you need help?” It was kind of funny, in a pathetic way. Anyway, a brand new 400 watt juice machine is now powering my workstation. Sometimes simple things in life are worth celebrating. 🙂

May 16, 2006

Touch down!

Filed under: Art & CG,Film/TV/Animation,My Life/Musings,News,Travel — Rob Chang @ 7:10 pm

News:
Elena and I are now in Sunnyvale, California. The family friends we’re staying with already have broadband connection setup (and compared to the cable connection I had in China, theirs is blazing fast), so I’m actually typing this on my own desktop workstation (which was taken apart and flew with us on the plane). However, for some reason my powersupply isn’t powering any of my hard drives, and I had to use an external power connector to power the hard drive with Windows on it. Unfortunately, everything that’s important are kept on the other hard drives (I never store anything important on the OS drive, in case I have to reformat and reinstall the OS), including all of my works, email archives, pictures, mp3’s, videos..etc. Tomorrow I’ll get a new power supply and see if that changes anything.

Weblog:
We survived the trip, coming out the other end of San Francisco International Airport with only sore shoulders and backs, a throat infection, and sleep deprivation (children who won’t stop crying or shut up throughout the flight). Our luggages were overweight–all of them, but no one charged us any penalty fee–locally or internationally. We felt blessed.

While on the plane, we watched every movie they showed, because we couldn’t sleep with the spawns of Satan crying non-stop anyway. Watching Kingdom of Heaven for the second time made me like it even less than the first time. During some parts, it felt like Ridley Scott was bored out of his mind–as if he was just going through the motions. Seeing Bourne Supremacy for the second time also wasn’t as fulfilling as the first time (although it’s still a good movie). Seeing it the second time, the handheld cam and the quick cutting got a bit annoying. It’s a style of photography that’s overused these days, and when most people use it, they almost always overdo it instead of using it in appropriate amounts and during appropriate times.

Tomorrow begins a long string of things I need to take care of–get car insurance, a cell phone, replace my workstation’s powersupply, change of ownership for my car (my dad is awesome–he’s got an old Acura in great shape he’s not using, so he just hands it over to me. Saves us the headache of going car-shopping)..etc. I also need to teach Elena how to drive (oh joy!)–which probably won’t as scary as many think it would be. I’ve taught ex-GF’s how to drive in the past, and I managed to get through each time without exploding with impatient anger–which I’m sure some husbands/boyfriends would find impossible. I’m pretty mellow when it counts. 😀

While looking at a bunch of concept art a few days ago, it occured to me that as amazing and imaginative some of them are, on their own, they collectively convey a singular notion, and that is “what if?” Presenting the “what if’s” is what good concept art should do, and the answers to the “what if’s” are the stories the concept artworks support–be it a screenplay, a video game, or a comic book. Inevitably, the what if’s are never as exciting as the answers, because our curiosity is only satiated by answers, not questions. I think that’s precisely why I’ve always been a storyteller at heart and an artist second–the story is what engages my emotions and intellect.

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