Picture Entry: Because she looks cute

Believe it or not, there are quite a few cute girls in the ICS department. You see them around here and there in classes, and it really makes you think (ICS being the nerdy geeky major as it is) what they were smoking when they decided to go into ICS.

Hmm, maybe the answer to that question is more obvious than I first thought.

But anyway, cute girls are always great inspirations to get you drawing, but they’re usually just a starting point… or, in other words, I wanted to draw a person and it turns out to be entirely something else. It is something that I’ve been working on for years, and I still can’t draw people to resemble a likeness. sigh.

As for the smut that starts to show up by the end of the picture (they’re drawn from left to right), it continues in the back page of this paper… let’s not get into that. I’ll just add that I’m staring to find the heavy duty cardboard paper as better canvas for sketching in class – it remains solid and flat on different surfaces, and I feel more compelled to draw something more worthwhile, since the paper cost more and all.

Picture Entry! Plus: I gotta see this!

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen this already, this piece was actually done in class instead of my free time at home. The characters are hardly new; I started drawing Adis (left) from Y2K, Celestria (center) was a character I invented in ’99, and Marie (right) was a one time picture thing I’ve done sometime during Y2K also.

Frontal poses are basically the only type of poses that I can do without thinking, but it makes good confidence builders; now I can actually go back to work on the challenging drawings with some confidence.

But just before I forget:

DDR: Ghetto Mix

Some time ago I saw this idiot trying to sell this getto mix on e-bay, and a bunch of arcade owners in socal actually took the bait! we have to go see this! There are even rumors that it’s running off from StepMania instead of anything Konami (although I doubt that, even though there are already people exploring that possibility). Coupled with the official closing/hiatus of DDR, we can actually continue this game series with hacked versions sold anonymously over the net!

So what if this version is a terrible hack job? People who usually do hack jobs are idiots who just want to make a few bucks; but if a team of quality programmers, artists, and step makers come together, we can make this happen! It’s still possible to get our hands on Dancemania albums (I don’t think they discontinued their sales yet), and the BMIIDX/GF&DM series would still be able to provide more Bemani Originals. And to fill the gap, we might as well throw in ANY song that we like into the mix. Why not? It’s our ghetto crap. Bam! We can make our own authentic DDR mix!

The only thing I would be worried about is copyright issues/legal issues. Aside from that, man, this is what I want to do when I get out of college!

Some just say the world is changing

Many people will agree
Many changes we are seeing
I will say
It’s the end,
the end,
the end of the century…

Having a scorched sky all around you and having almost zero coverage on all news site kind of make you rethink that all news are relative, and that not all news are relevant.

Among than other things it makes you think.

My allergy symptoms are going away, albeit slowly. My skin still feels irritated, especially when I try to sleep.

So anyway, my family celebrated by going out to dinner at Todai’s tonight. I insisted on it – I want to give a try at the rest of the sushi/sashimi crusine now that I’m a little tired of salmon and sometimes tuna. So, I basically went in and tried out everything that they offered, including those rather intimidating looking ones.

The end result: not very good. I’m not sure if it’s the resturant’s fault, but every new dish that I tried started tasting like fish stink before any other favorable flavor can settle in my tongue. I hope that they’re using fresh and well prepared materials – it sure wasn’t worth it paying $30 per person for this kind of crap if it’s their fault. But anyway, you know my motto – “If at first you don’t succeed, stay the hell away and never try again”. I guess I’ll be sticking to my salmon and tuna then. I feel awfully shallow that I can’t appreciate the full spectrum of Japanese crusine, but realizing that I’m already quite fixated on Chinese and American Italian food, I wouldn’t be the least bit worried about variety.

On The Other Hand

My brother found himself another girlfriend.

To clearify things a bit, my brother and I had always been rival in some aspects of life – our parents are not pushing too hard, but just the fact that they’re the traditional type means that we get compared to each other every other week or so.

So far, I’ve never won a single victory against my brother. There might be advantages for him to be older than me and go first on every venture of life, but in the end after I walk the same path he still comes out on top. Let’s take some more recent events that I mentioned and you remembered (hopefully):

Remember how my brother graduated from UCI? We both went in to get an ICS degree, he came through four years all at UCI and graduated with honors. Me? I slacked two years in a community college, and I’m barely able to graduate this year if everything works out (which seldomly does).

Remember how I mentioned that my brother worked at Blizzard? We both wanted to be game programmers for quite awhile – we had gone as far as to collaborate on ideas and make some stuff together some years back. He got the job from that place after one interview – no BS, no phone calls, just a note in the mail a week after the interview that says “you’re hired”. Me? I’d be happy if I can make it somewhere in some third rate independent developers somewhere in the middle of nowhere and get no pay for whatever the hell I do for them.

Not to mention that my brother hopped from a part time job at Rockwell to a year long internship at Intel 2 years into UCI, and he came back and finished his degree just fine. No way in hell I can get my ass near glorious titles like that – not even in my dreams.

And to come full circle, I’ll admit that half of what I did back around ’99 and 2000 with all the crazy attempts at online dating was bacause my brother scored big with his first girlfriend – a fine prototype of asia’s finest, pure, innocent, and completely submissive to every whims. Well, he gets dumped, but that’s hardly losing – technically, I didn’t even have a start on anything before I lost, so I’ve let this record slide and hid the truth of those two years from my family (and told it to everyone else).

So here I am, going to Todai at what is suppose to be my birthday dinner, and I sat through two full hours of gigglish conversation between my brother and his new girlfriend, which is another fine example of perfection – or something like that. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that my entire meal tastes fishy – that and my allergy still acting up on me makes this one of the worst birthday dinner ever.

Of course, it’s not like any of our birthday dinners were anything special – in the past years we basically just go out, eat, and that’s the end of the story, but at least I don’t have to stomach so much crap – I honestly start to believe that maturity is just another term for “tolerance of shit in your life”.

Do I even have to explain how I’ve lost this one? I’m already at a lost without my brother’s help, thank you very much. Having myself stuck in this kind of situation just makes it all the more worst. And in comes the yellow-orange apcolypse sky. How quaint. I’m sure I’d be fairly amused if somebody come along and blow this fucking world away.

Public Notice

I’m currently officially allergic to…… something.

About a month ago, I started having skin rashes around my body. It was just a small patch of redness and so I just used some skin treatment gel to cure it. Then a few days ago all hell broke loose and now the red rashes are all over my body. I went to the medical center today, and I was being diagnosed as having allergic reactions toward… something.

The problem is, this started a month ago. Given my memory lapse, I have no idea what new thing I was touching or eating, but if you remember showing me some exotic pet, fur, food, plants, shampoo, etc. about a month ago, please let me know so I can avoid the hell away from it in the future. I haven’t had a good night of sleep for almost a week because of this, and sure as hell I’d want to avoid it from happening again if I can.

Oh, by the way, since it’s my own allergic reaction, it’s not contagious. Although I might look a bit intimidating, please don’t avoid me like the plague – it won’t get to you, unless you shove me something that I’m allergic to and make me suffer, then I’ll surely think of something that can make your life miserable.

And have a nice day… I’m sure not having one right now. ittai yo ;___;

ph33r my compatibility.

According to this, Asuka should have the hots for me VERY soon. Let me find that EVA DVD Box set...

Fun and games aside, this is my two cents about this particular quiz: unless any one of you are sexually active (which I don't think anyone who filled out that form is... or are you, now?), the quiz is basically a bunch of random fill-ins. I stopped filling out the quiz at about question 10 because I realized that I'm just going to raise reckus by a bunch of random results that means more than it implies.

So there. I stand by my superior compatibility.

And here’s the missing footnote #3.

3)The two people that I completely trashed in my dream were Tracy and Frank.

Memory has a wierd way of playing tricks so that dreams resemble reality in some way but keeps representing things in this poetic, condensed form. The situation was appropriate since Tracy did meet Frank during AX2003.

I would be lying if I say that AX2003 sucked because the con itself sucked – it was basically the people that I didn’t get to see and the things that happened during AX that completely pissed me off. Funny that I was still lying to myself after I admitted that it was over, and that the feeling of being “trapped” I had for the last two months was sort of like an aftershock of an incident, something that isn’t immediately visible but nonetheless makes you feel terrible for no reason at all.

The funny thing is, I actually had the idea to do what I did in my dream – I would have acted upon it if I got drunk during George’s birthday party. But since I don’t, I’m happy to find closure in a dream – I wake up tired in some way because of classes and refreshed in another way because I think I’ve been rid of my “inner demons” for the moment.

That, and I really, really think the two game machines I dreamt about were really, really cool.

Picture Entry: Pictures From My Dream

I just thought that the cool contraptions I had dreamt up was worth sketching out. Here they are:

Top left corner: That’s the next generation dancing machine I had a dream about. As you can see, it looks like a mix between a DDR machine and a PPP machine. The circles on the floor are both sensors and panels, so it can sort of tell between hands swinging over it and feet stomping it. There’s a bar that can be opened sideways, for bar hugging… come now, no dancing machine is complete without the bar. The entire machine is enclosed in this slick cylindrical design. More elegant than what I’ve drawn, actually, but as you can see, I’m actually quite bad at drawing machines.

Center: That’s the girl I saw from my dream, playing the thing that I’ll now refer to as Dream Stage. The screen somehow instructs her to do DDR style stomps or swing her hand around PPP style. It was actually quite fun until she failed, I thought she was doing well.

Oh, for those who have unfortunately never seen a PPP (Para Para Paradise) machine, it’s basically a game where you swing your hands across sensors in order to make arrows go away like DDR, but you can be very elaborate on your motions even though it isn’t being judged by the machine.

Lower Left: A series of sketches on how the VR-FPS machine works. First the back panel covers my back, then the front panel closes in. I then get trapped in this rigid thing and I felt it tilt back. then I found my hand around two guns and the googles suddenly turns on. I guess they put it on me somehow and since I’m wearing glasses I couldn’t feel them put it on.

Lower Right: How I’d play the game. All you have to do is force your body in a direction like how you’d push the joystick and you’ll walk forward, backward, and strafe. You don’t actually hit the walls like how I’ve drawn in the picture. The stuff felt like a combination of gel and styrofoam.

Bottom (Small): just a typical “screenshot” of how the game would look like. It’s not perfect emulation… like 3D glasses, you can peak outside the goggle area and things would look slanted, but since you’re inside a pitch black chamber, it does help getting your eyes focused on the screen.

I seriously think these two things are great. The foot-hand combination thing for Dream Stage is great, but I really love the FPS controls. While we don’t really have motion detection gels at this day and age, I’m certain that we can use motion capture equipment like the ones game studio use to make game movements – add that system to a set of wires that hangs you in mid-air, and you got yourself a virtual reality control system more elaborate and effective than anything that’s out there so far – this is one that might actually work better than the keyboard-mouse combination, and I had “gameplay experience” to prove it! (although it might just be myself letting myself win in my own dream…)

Dreams, Closure, and More Disappointments.

On a bad note, I woke up at 9:30 in the morning. I had set the alarm clock at 6 in hope that I’ll be able to look at my ICS 161 homework and BS my way through the ICS 175B homework, but I end up accomplishing neither – and that’s a really crappy feeling to have.

On the plus side, I have a really interesting dream right before I woke up. Note that there’s stuffed marked with (*X)… those are footnotes. I always thought that putting things inside paranthesis during a story is annoying (as if I don’t elaborate enough already) so I’ll do the footnote thing and hopefully that’ll make the story more coherent.

It was Anime Expo. I went inside the building with my parents, but we got seperated rather quickly. I couldn’t care less because I have other things I want to do, so the first thing I checked was the arcade. Besides the typical games you’d see, there’s this really interesting game.

The machine is like a combination of PPP and DDR. Basically, you have a pad that has 6 sensors in the center and more on the outside, probably ending up having some 20 sensors on the dance pad. I don’t know how the dance steps are displayed on screen (it looks something like DDR steps), but basically you will stomp “arrows” on some steps and fling your hand over the spot at other times.

A girl was playing her first game on that machine and failed on the first song (as it should be). There’s a ridiculously long(*1) line, and I presume that it is the line that leads to the machine, so I got in line as soon as possible, since I checked the clock at remember that the Expo closes at 12:30(*2), and it was Sunday so it was the last day.

Lo and behold, this girl(*3) and her boyfriend was right in front of me in line. And for some reason I just started pulling my worst lines out on them – anything I’d pull out on the internet, I unloaded on them in “real life”. The line kept going, but at one point I was so disgusted at them that I puked, and so I ran off the line to the nearest bathroom in order to clean up.

When I got out, I went back to the line because I was really close to the front when I left the line. A kind lady sitting on a chair(*4) told me that “by the judge’s decision, I can’t go back in line”. I got so frustrated at their crap that I basically left the room by kicking the glass door open. Then the lady suddenly went after me. I retorted,

“Are you going to throw me out of the ‘con too, now?”

And that shut her up.

So here I am, moseying along until I saw my brother coming down the escalator. I told him about the machine and he got excited, so we decided to get in line and give it one more try.

This time, there’s nobody to provoke and I thought I fast-forwarded the waiting in my dream. But right before it was my turn I realized that it wasn’t the line for the dance machine afterall. A guy was wearing a pair of virtual glasses and holding two guns, shooting around. When it was my turn, they showed me a different machine.

I stood in front of a bunch of monitors and wires and go “Where is the machine?”

Then something closed in behind me and covered my entire body. And something started to rise out of the floor from the front two, and I got sandwiched. It was pitch black as they tilted the machine so that I’m lying flat. It basically felt like a coffin but I could still move my limbs somewhat, it felt like moving inside a pile of those packaging foams.

After that, the really cool part started. Somehow during the process a pair of 3D glasses got attached to my eyes. Basically, it was like I was glimpsing out of gas mask goggles. I also found myself with a pair of pistol like the other guy. Basically, wherever I point my gun at, the screen responds – so I can point my gun sideways and shoot from there. If I want to move, I simply bump my body against a direction and I’d be “moving” that way. Since the gel is semi rigid, it’s actually pretty responsive. I can also rotate by rotating my entire body. I think the entire machine rotates when I do that, I’m not sure since I’m still inside their “coffin” thing.

So I’ve spent the first few minutes in a deserted city war zone shooting down aliens(*5), pretty standard FPS stuff. I’ve gone as far as maybe the “second level” where vehicles(*6) started to show up, then I died, but when they open up the “coffin” everyone was appluding, including all those who were waiting in line. Apparently I was the one who lasted the longest in their records.

I realized that my brother was either done or he got off the line somehow. So I found him playing this children’s version of DDR(*7), and I thought “no way, this is too ridiculous!”(*8)

And that’s when I woke up and realized that I hadn’t set my alarm clock the previous night.

1)Actually, by AX standard, that wasn’t a long line. It was rather typical compared to the line for the masquerade… well, you know what I mean.
2)I think that’s around the time when the exhibit hall closes on Sunday at AX.
4)I think this is a reflection to scenes I read from the 10K Commotion manga.
5)The aliens are obviously from the movie “The Returner”, which I saw the previous night.
6)The vehicle is obviously the one from the Half-Life 2 demonstration video.
7)This… machine… exists. I saw an e-bay link to sell one of these things some time ago, it had a yellow colored pad with 3 arrows (the back arrow is gone). It’s just wierd.