Archive for the Thoughts Category

What I Saw on the Way to Class

Posted in Life and General, Thoughts with tags , , , on October 11, 2011 by jeiji

Okay, so I have the weirdest sense of perception. I just… selectively see and change things in my head without really thinking about it, and then I believe what my mind concocts from the reality. It’s a turbl thing. So… After my COMM40 class, I passed by the science building, I saw this:

Yup. I saw “Ignorant Phycus”. This girl I figured was studying… like… I don’t know Philosophy?! Where you study about completely unobservant flowering plants?! OI DUNNO But I looked again, it turned out it was “Integrated Physics”. That makes more sense.

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Defining The Ambiguous

Posted in Thoughts, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by jeiji

“Well he would just spray paint on a wall, and people would be like ‘Well My 12-year-old daughter could do that.’ How come you can make thousands of dollars when I could do that if I tripped down the stairs?” Alex doesn’t like Jackson Pollock. As countless others have wondered, why is what he painted so easily classified as “art”? Four of us newly discovered philosophers sit at awkward places around a desk in a classroom under the Business Building at San José State University. We tackle one of the hardest and most convoluted questions in our society, trying our best to find a single answer. I asked our group “What is art?” Big mistake… Never have I been thrown into such a vortex that led to countless other questions and opinions. Once we seemed to approach a unanimous understanding of one concept of art, we find that there are deeper tunnels to explore. Some of those tunnels met other tunnels, and others just halted. Some had too many forks in their paths, and had to be avoided all together. Either way, we had already embarked on a treacherous journey with no road back, spelunking and traversing the many nooks and crannies of our outlandish landscape. We had no idea what to expect.

Jackson Pollock - Galaxy Pictures, Images and Photos

Galaxy - Jackson Pollock

“Well… I don’t know… some people talk about Salvador Dali’s paintings and they say ‘He was high as hell, like what’s up with that?’” Alex likes Salvador Dali. We had just come out of talking about Jackson Pollock, and started trying to define art by means of understanding. Was it that if someone can understand a piece, it is art?  I think Alex was trying to point out that just because it isn’t understood, doesn’t mean it isn’t art. Earlier on in the conversation I had mentioned Picasso and some other abstract artists and paintings, stating that the meaning may be hidden, and can be understood, but we soon found ourselves exploring the thought of purpose. If the artist had no preconceived purpose, planning or personal motivation to the piece he or she is working on, is it truly art? I brought up an example: “When something is squeezed out of you, or required, can you call that art?” My roommate, Daniel had always teased me about drawings I would bring home to display in the apartment. He would ask when or where I found the motivation to make the piece, and if it were for a class, he would say, “That’s not art, that’s an assignment!” in a jeering, pedantic tone. Alex returned an answer to my question: “Oooh, it can count, I mean my professor now only does cups, like does stuff with the cups, like he’ll design them.” Alex is a sculptor, and for sculptors, cups are the basics. You do them every class, Alex says, even in the advanced classes. I agree that assignments have the potential to be art. I usually treat it as if it were born of my own motivation, “That way when I finish it, I can honestly say, I put my heart into this, like I really want this to go into my portfolio. In fact, in my design 83 class, we had to do these 9 icons, and they were too easy. So she’s like “Okay, get creative.” so I turned each one into a portfolio-worthy, stand-alone logo, and sold two of them.”

We soon found our compasses pointing toward the advertising world, where McDonalds and Burger King’s showy posters lie ahead. I ask if their advertisements they display on the windows can be classified as true art. McDonald’s ads usually consist of large pictures of burgers and prices, blinged out to the max to grab your attention. Megan, another philosopher, doesn’t deem these marketing ploys true art, but presents another point of view: “Well, I wouldn’t [classify them as art], but I’m sure there’s people out there who would think they are good.” The McDonald’s ads are missing basic design principles, especially with use of space. They are usually cluttered, and can use clashing colors. But it seems that that is what sells those heart attacks on a plate. It’s all about grabbing attention.

On similar turf, we address jingles for stores in commercials and on the radio. It is often the same situation as the advertisements for fast-food chains: no good composition or basic principles of music in sight. I described it as “something you wouldn’t want to listen to in your iTunes playlist”. I again say that it is not art, but Meliza, our fourth philosopher, comes at us with an idea we hadn’t considered. “I think that a lot of people in the commercial field would think that is the art of doing commercials, and then there’s the art of music, so I think that it depends on the people who are involved,” she said. What an interesting point of view. None of us had thought to think of it in the eyes of the artist who designed such a work. This gave us something to chew on for a while, and we discussed it deeply. Though I was still firm in my belief that art must have the basics, I had been open to a whole new idea.

We pondered more on how to recognize true art, but we four adventurers were soon to realize we had left behind something crucial to the journey’s progress. All this talk about true art, and how to spot it, but we had forgotten a small, yet important point. “So are you saying good art is knowing the basics? What if its just aesthetically pleasing?” Megan asks me. This opens up a whole new door to thought process. I hadn’t even realized it myself, yet, but a lot of what I was basing my opinion on was what “good” art was. Alex helps me out a little down the line by saying, “So the part that can’t really be determined would be if it’s good art, or if it’s just a job. Good art is basics plus the extra.” I totally agree with that. Good art has to have basic knowledge of composition and color theory, or pitch, or movement, or whatever basic concept you must master for that area of art.

Love Photography Pictures, Images and Photos

“Wow this is really much more complicated than I thought.” I sigh as we end our session. As a group, we still could not come to a final answer, just as I had expected to end this escapade. It was a long and treacherous path with no end, but I really believe we all had taken something from this session. We at least found a way to classify our thoughts, and learned to organize our thinking, making sure we knew what we were actually questioning. Though I don’t believe there was much of a point to be made from this adventure, there rarely is one definite answer to such an ambiguous question. In the end, we can at least agree that philosophy is in fact an art: the art of questioning.

dali Pictures, Images and Photos
The Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali

Not Successful

Posted in Thoughts, Writing with tags , , , on March 20, 2010 by jeiji

“Aw, dude, that’s such a program fail!” I immediately turned to look at Mike, a tech-savvy computer science major who used to spend his days, dilly-dallying in my dorm and criticizing programming excerpts he would read on the Internet. “This expression fails at sense-making, lol.” Yes, he actually said ‘lol’. His elitist and borderline offensively pretentious nature would explode at any random time, and I would usually ignore his exclamations. However this time, I couldn’t get over his usage of the word ‘fail’. In recent times, the era of text messaging and grammatical butchery, many words have been chopped and skewered, molded and cropped to fit into our comfortable dialect of articulation. One of the most frequently diced words young people in this country have beaten like a dead horse is that word, ‘fail’. The word is far less utilized in its original form, a verb, more than likely caused directly by the cyber population defacing the English language. I am almost ashamed to be part of that group, but only almost.

Super Fail

When someone in this day and age hears the word ‘fail’ in public, they can count on someone successfully embarrassing themselves in public, or making even the slightest mistake that can be picked up by jeering friends. A ‘fail’ is synonymous with an error, a slip-up, mistake or any other mishap that almost always ends with the perpetrator of the aforementioned ‘fail’ on the receiving end of misfortune. The usage of the word had come from a fast-growing trend of telling someone they had failed to (verb) well. Soon after, people began to use that sentence structure, but had replaced the verb with a noun. For example: “You fail at baseball.” It was infectious. Almost immediately after, the verb was even further replaced by adjectives, in form of gerund/adjectives! For example, “You fail at pretty-ing.” (implying that this person is not successful at looking attractive). I call such words ‘geradjectunds’, or ‘word-fails’.

epic fail pictures

The Internet effectively created and boosted the usage of the word, and made it almost impossible not to use. Videos on You Tube began to appear with names like “Bike Fail” and “Grape Stomp Fail”, which was hysterical, just for the record. An over-flowing of videos being uploaded onto the web began to commence, with ‘fail’ videos popping up everywhere. Realizing the up-rising ‘fail’ movement, people realized it needed to be at the very least, a bit organized. From this, “Fail Blog” reigns king and unanimously recognized authority of all things embarrassing and painful on the Internet.

epic fail pictures

They have a You Tube channel, packed with a plethora of videos portraying news reporters, politicians, people on bikes, and even babies, all meeting their doom on camera. There are even some people dying in some videos with titles like “Life Fail”, though these are highly uncommon. Fail Blog tends to keep a non-lethal aura in their collections. Their home site has an entire photo gallery, organized by type of ‘fail’, loaded with pictures of people failing to do average, every-day things. One of the more popular ones is “Bike Seat Color Fail”, which shows a young lady sitting on a bike with a mini-skirt. Nothing explicit is portrayed, but the bike seat color is the same color as her skin tone. The girl’s relaxed position reveals only the front-end of the seat, which makes the entire scene just a bit suggestive.

epic fail pictures
The world around me has directly influenced even me to use the word in this way. Though I fully believe in proper usage of one of the most popular languages on earth next to Chinese, it just slips out sometimes. I have all kinds of Internet-loving comrades from all different backgrounds, and all different fields of study who use ‘fail’ in this unorthodox manner. I can’t help but to join in the fun. If ever a friend of mine should make a mistake in my presence, he is doomed to the relentless criticism of a discouraging ‘fail’ comment. Though I get plenty of outside influence from friends and classmates, I see it even in mainstream media! On a children’s network called “Cartoon Network”, they have these shorts before and after commercial breaks portraying staged ‘fail’ situations, like “Food Fail” and others. It seems that no one can escape the Internet community’s influence, whether directly exposed or not.

fail owned pwned pictures

On the other hand, we must all remember our own English bastardizations. Even how we all speak today has quite drastically transformed from what we now call “Old English”. All of those thee’s, thy’s and thou’s were just too much for us in the modern world. Even words like ‘beseech’ and ‘nought’, some of my favorite “Old English” words, have been replace with chopped and diced words like ‘search’ and ‘nothing’ respectively. If the ‘fail’ movement is to be called an abomination, what of our very own version of English we use today?

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Before ‘fail’ sold-out and got popular on the web, it was just a normal, average verb, used in moderation, as not to upset the person receiving it. But once the young people on the web got a hold of it, they never let go. I used to dread the word, seeing it on graded papers and hearing it in warnings, but now it has somewhat become a light-hearted tease word, bringing joy and happiness at the sight of one’s misfortunes. I guess if it makes people laugh, it’s socially acceptable these days… lol…

What do you think about this current craze? Voice your opinion in a comment!

Thank You, Jesus

Posted in Life and General, Thoughts, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2009 by jeiji

I just wanted to dedicate this entire blog post to the one who has made all of my accomplishments possible: my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I was looking around my portfolio while reviewing some older works, and I realized that I didn’t want to take another step forward in this career without taking God with me. Now, I’m just wingin’ it. About God.

I can’t imagine where I’d be if it weren’t for God. And when I say that, I actually CAN imagine, and it would suck. Royally. I can’t possibly give God enough credit for the opportunities he’s presented to me in my life. I often realize that I don’t work hard enough to even deserve some of the attention he lets me receive, and I don’t even take the time to talk about him in the areas he has blessed me. Well I just wanted to bless my blog with the presence of God. Hallelujah.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got my problems, I’m not perfect or carefree. But I have a sense of security, because I know God’s got my back. With the power of the Holy Ghost, I will persevere, even if it means I have to take a step down from whatever block I was on top of, or competition I was partaking in. When I’m in a pinch, all I need is some faith, and a heart full of praise and repentance. It is astounding, the blessings that follow. They’re unmistakable. You can’t pin good fortune or “karma” on that.

Again, this is a completely burden-driven entry, and I just felt the need to say something about the Great I Am. I don’t see why I can’t give him the spotlight, he always deserves it. Anyone who’s got a testimony or some words on the same plane, leave a comment! I’d love to hear about good works, or words of encouragement! God Bless.

Why I Don’t Drink Quickly

Posted in Life and General, Thoughts, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by jeiji
Next episode, Quickly... NEXT EPISOOOOOOOOODE! (quote from homestarrunner) click here to watch!

Next episode, Quickly... NEXT EPISOOOOOOOOODE! (quote from homestarrunner) click here to watch!

Soo, as promised, I am going to talk about my personal boycott against the international boba and milk tea and whatever chain from China, Quickly. Oh yeah. And I cut my hair :D. So anyhways, sometime around last semester or something, maybe during summer, I had been laid off from my catering job with Spartan Catering (ugh… terrible job…) so I was going around looking for jobs. I’m sure you can see where this is going, but I’ma’ tell the story anyways. So I went everywhere in downtown, even to Johnny Rocket’s. I applied to all the Targets and cafes and restaurants in town, and got a few bites, but mostly rejection because of the ever-so-lame hindrance of an economy we’re runnin’ heah. I went down to Japan town, practiced my Japanese, and got a few more bites, and conversations with management, even! They said they liked me, and would call me when some positions opened up.

I handed out many resumes, and adjusted my tie over 4,000 times. Or more like 40. But still, my fingers were getting tired. So, after a long day, I decided to go home and rest, and wait for calls. On the way back, I noticed that I had forgotten to stoop by Quickly to try my luck. Yeah. I know. Black guy at Quickly would be funny, right? But I wanted to try everywhere. So I stepped in the door, vest and tie all neat and crisp, shining so bright I blinded an asian kid drinking his milk tea, and boiled his drink. Everyone turned around and looked to see where this amazing source of awesome had ben emanating from. Girls fainted, birds tweeted… and then I tucked my ego back into my pocket and stopped telling the darn story in a contrived and exaggerated manner. So I step up to the counter, striding long and high, confident, good posture, and in a competent, respectuful voice, I say, “Hi, I was wondering if you would be hiring any time soon.” It looked like the cashier was about to say yes, but she stopped.

“Yes?” I uttered, trying to help fuel her train of thought. It seemed as though someone had derailed it, and had left a wake of casualties.

“Hold on one minute, okay?” She blurped as she walked toward the back.

“Sure, okay!”

So I waited at the front a second, and started watching what they had on TV. It looked like another pop boy band that had taken the top spot on the Asian charts again. Or a rap girl group. I could NOT tell the difference. All I knew is that they sounded like a mix between the Pussy Cat Dolls and N’SYNC. Revolted and confused, I swing around to look back behind the counter. The smell of milk teas and delicious fruity smoothies filling the air, I thought about how it might be to work in a place like this. I envisaged me, making drinks, and handing them to smiling customers in an efficient, timely manner, and getting $20 tips because of my amazing smile, and perfectly level eyes. (Tucks ego back into pocket)

So finally, I her in view, talking with the manager, another Chinese or Asian woman, who seems to be asking her who it was, finger jabbing around, motioning with her nose. I thought it funny, because Haitians motion with their lips a lot. So Then the girl points me out, and waves. She looks at me, smiling, and shining, and unexpectedly, her face turns sour, and she averts her gaze back to the cashier, shaking her head, and walking away. I bursted into proverbial flames. As the cashier returned, she came to the counter, and told me, “No, not right now.”

“Thank you, have a nice day!” I said. Then I turned around, and tossed a grenade into the kitchen. Or at least I wanted to at the moment. I was so upset that someone would do that! Okay, I KNEW that they might not hire me because I’m black, but to do THAT? I mean, it’s wrong to discriminate, but it only pours salty lemon acid on the wound when you’re looking for a job to survive and go to school! So from that day forward, I boycotted Quickly, and every time I am reminded, I discourage people from going. Some agree, some could care less, they just want their stupid milk tea. But why support a business who isn’t supporting us? Why help a company that isn’t EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer), and decides not to help the community by creating less jobs? I suggest checking out a BETTER shop called Hydration, down the street from Jack in the Box, next to Iguana’s (if you’re in the SJSU area). I’ll blog about it later.

This is Athena. I'm cool wit'er

This is Athena. I'm cool wit'er

Writing this article, I got thinking. I remember talking to a few friends of mine who were Chinese, and somehow the conversation got into dating and relationships.  I was explaining to a friend of mine in my Chinese 1A class why I was taking chinese: because I didn’t like not knowing it. And I didn’t like when people would look at me, and start a conversation. I knew what they were talking about… That guy, Josh, 我的中文同学 in my Chinese 1A class told me, “Yeah, people just coming from Asia can tend to be a little racist. Like my dad. He told me ‘It’s okay to marry a white girl’, but you can’t marry a black girl.” Also, Athena (Check her blog in my links), another Chinese friend of mine told me about HER dad who told her “If you date a black guy, I will disown you.” or something along the lines of that.

This is Peter. I'm coo witim. Ano TEAM!

This is Peter. I'm coo witim. Ano TEAM!

I’m not saying I don’t like Chinese people, because that obviously isn’t the case. Peter and Athena, and other Chinese people I’m cool with can vouch. I’m also not saying that all Chinese people are racist, and/or have black people. But I AM questioning why so many of them love white people so much, and abhor the thought of black people dating their children, and working in their Quicklys. Again, I’m not saying all of them do, but I do realize that a lot of them do. It’s so ignorant and close minded. But whatever, I’ve accepted, that I won’t BE accepted by everyone, and that my lot in life (to become Japan’s biggest design influence) is… pretty darn near impossible. But not impossible. Tell me your thoughts on this, whether you’re Chinese, Black, or you just want to say something. I’m all ears!

It's okay, Quickly. Some day... SOME day... you'll be wishing I were your designer. These are the things that drive me to be phenomenal.

It's okay, Quickly. Some day... SOME day... you'll be wishing I were your designer. These are the things that drive me to be phenomenal.