Tweeter: jonizzle


Sunday, December 02, 2007 by Jon

First post on my Macbook. Hooray.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007 by Jon

In the recent months, I would wonder if I was too young to ponder my own mortality. I always thought of it light-heartedly though, more of a philosophical, thinking man's type of way, rather than someone who has experienced death and the heavy emotions that can come with it. Sadly, the times for light-heartedness are past. Perceptions are completely changed when the experiences hit you in real life, when the lives of others end.

Sadly, this past week marked the end of two lives for people in my world. One I have never met, but was deeply loved and deeply close to her daughter whom I care about, and that is more than enough to make my heart heavy. The other person is a relatively young man, only a few years older than myself, who lived for many causes I also live for. He even committed himself to TAF one year, to be a counselor to the young men and women in the Junior High Program. Perhaps those JH campers and others he was a counselor to, will be the children he leaves behind. And I'll take solace believing in the fact that both people made positive impressions during their time here on earth, despite both being taken before we would expect.

Most likely, I've been too young and too naive thinking that I can contemplate death. I have been watching the new Ken Burns film on PBS called "The War". The stories, mostly of sacrifice during World War II, combined with recent events, does not exactly cause me to appreciate more (though I should), but more so just feel ridiculously lucky. Lucky to be healthy, to be able to laugh, to talk to friends every day, to buy an ipod, and to pretend that I can freely think about things like mortality.

Still though, it seems we are to live not be afraid of death, but to celebrate instead. But it is a lot easier to say when death has not come around you. But what else can we do? In the seemingly infinite sadness that we may feel, life goes on, right? It does, eventually. But for now we pause and reflect. We comfort those we care for and we try to let our hearts go out to them. We give our moments of silence to simply stop and pay our tributes of respect. And I seal the memories in my heart and mind of those who are no longer here, thankful for what they've done with their time and how they have affected my being, even if in the smallest of ways.

RIP Mrs. Kiang, mother to Michelle.
RIP Keimay Yang, JH counselor, TAF 2004.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 by Jon

Before Traci and I left tonight, I asked her if I should bring a camera. We both figured no, since we've been here and done that, and while its okay that I didn't, I would still like to remember this night.

Augustana gets better every time I see them. Jack's Mannequin, and therefore Andrew McMahon, is actually quite good live, can sing, and rocks it out on the piano. I've never been a big Dashboard fan so Chris Carrabba's set was only meh for me. But yea. Augustana great. I look forward to their new upcoming album very much. And I'm gonna wanna listen to more of Jack. And hey, partying with rock stars is always fun too right?

But in the end, the reason I want to remember this night is because I witnessed a lot of creativity, a lot of art, and a lot of talent, in front of my eyes and through my ears. I guess a camera still wouldn't have really mattered then.

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Monday, October 01, 2007 by Jon

What a great sporting weekend it was for me. The Cubs clinched a playoff spot, Illinois upset Penn St., I got to play my first organized game of baseball with live pitching in ten years (damn that's a lot longer than I thought), and I won my fantasy baseball league.

The fantasy baseball victory is perhaps the most impressive, if you knew baseball and knew my team (not that great on paper) and the three teams I beat in the playoffs (ridiculously good on paper).

But in the end, my small-ball style of fantasy baseball won out in the end. Hooray hooray hooray!

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Friday, September 21, 2007 by Jon

I clicked this link in a facebook advertisement, and is it just me? Or does anyone else think its rather...stupid.

Some sample advice from the website, "Beware of friendly, outgoing guys."


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Saturday, September 15, 2007 by Jon

I haven't been listening to as much music in the past year, which makes me sad. A casualty of this is that I also do not listen to many of my past favorites. But as I sit here and make a super cool American mix cd for Jing, I am reacquainted with songs I once loved. In return, they remind me of past thoughts and hopes I had for myself, my life, loved ones around me, and humanity in general. Music has that innate way of getting to you and your past, doesn't it? The songs you love are always a little more poetic than you wish you could be, and the just make me want to live more.

Anyways, the two I am listening to again are Run and Best of Me. Run is always great. Best of Me though, reminds me of JH last year, and all of my campers, and the hopes we as the JH Staff had for you all. As I listen to it right now, its a little wistful, a little emo, but a little hopeful and positive as well. And I hope that it makes you feel the same way. The world can be a rough place, but there are hopeful things to look forward to, positive things to focus on, feeling and thoughts to be shared, relationships with people to be forged, and love to be spread.

So in ten years, I hope this song comes on randomly on your playlists, and it reminds you of happy times in your youth, but not better times. Because our hope is that only better days lay ahead for us all.

Slideshow songs this year:
1. Alphaville - Forever Young (Dan Hamel mix)
2. Lifehouse - First Time
3. Syntax - Pride
4. Rob Thomas - Little Wonders
5. The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight

(Tonight, Tonight's repeated lyrics are "Believe in me". I believe in everyone, but dear, I believe in you a little bit more because you mean a little bit more).

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007 by Jon

Honestly, I don't know if I'm right about this. But if I'm wrong, I fear the outlook for mankind becomes a lot less bright and a lot more bleak.

Other than that though, life is, as it always should be, good.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007 by Jon

Getting It

Part 1
Part 2

Before reading my three cents, you should check out Tim's note, followed by Tiffany's note. I'm piggybacking onto them, and just want to reiterate one point that the speakers said all week, that anyone can be a leader.

Tim pointed out that he was the camper in the spotlight when he was in JH. In Tiffany's note, she pointed out that she was the camper on the sidelines in JH. And me? I definitely wasn’t in the spotlight, but I wasn’t necessarily on the sidelines. Perhaps I was somewhere in the middle, and I grew into the light a bit more.

Using the three of us as examples, we clearly have different paths to our leadership roles and the styles that got us there. But one thing keeps us the same, and that is at some point realizing that you’re going to get more out of your time by serving and empowering others. Somewhere and somehow along our lines of development, we started to get a taste of “getting it”. And no matter where you think you stand now as an individual, you’re somewhere in-between the shadows and the spotlight.

And that shows anyone can be a leader.

We truly do all have it within our minds and bodies and hearts. I've seen it in many of you at TAF. It is just up to you to use it. Hopefully we spark the realization of your own potential and how much promise lays ahead of you in your lives. We all have wonderful strengths and qualities to share with not just TAF, but the world, that can make positive impacts on mankind, in unique and compassionate ways. Get it?

The Slideshow
The songs we used, in order, were:
1. Alphaville - Forever Young (Dan Hamel mix)
2. Lifehouse - First Time
3. Syntax - Pride
4. Rob Thomas - Little Wonders
5. The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight

The version of Forever Young used was randomly heard on NPR evening radio, which I was listening to because my iPod had died that morning. This was Wednesday night before TAF. I had just started to think about the week ahead when this song came on. I took it as a sign. Some things are just meant to be.

The TAF Video
Keep an ear out for it. Hopefully it'll be ready in a few months.

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Friday, June 29, 2007 by Jon

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by Jon


No really. I'm awkwardly incredibly happy about laying down unique words like that without having to use an S or -ERS or -ING's. (395 might be my highest point total ever too)

Also, this doubly taunts Justin because a) He has cravings for Mexican food in Shanghai and b) he can't get on Yahoo! right now to play Literati. SO MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST MOVE BACK TO THE STATES JUSTIN.

But then again, he won't know this because China blocks Blogger sometimes...

Damn. We all lose in the end then, don't we?

(I just realized 2 of my last 3 posts with images have been about me playing word games. I'm so hot.)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 by Jon


After 5 days I finally decided to take pictures of my left ankle. And for the first time, I looking on the outer side and it was much more bruised and purple than I imagined.

This is the inside of my left ankle, which is what I pretty much only see. Based on the deep bruises and initial swelling, I kind of just assumed it was the worst part of the sprain. Apparently not!

The outer side of my ankle. ITS SO BIG AND PURPLE. The flash from my camera might mask some if it, but yea, its sick.

And lastly, the size difference between my left foot and right foot. Let me remind you, this is after 5 days and a considerable amount of swelling has gone down. Hah. I GOT OWNED.

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Monday, June 25, 2007 by Jon

where is justin.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007 by Jon

I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a TAF conference call tonight. As many of you know last year was my final year as PD, so it has been a little odd for me to not be thinking about TAF and JH 24/7 this time of the year. Normally I would be having conference calls all the time, but this has been my first TAF one in well, almost a year.

I spoke to the ED and PD's about what I could potentially do this year for TAF (if I can go), and then I hung around for a bit of their conversation afterwards. It was the smallest thing that touched me, but the PD's had a conversation over which 30-minute block of the morning schedule was the right one for breakfast. That is such small and minute detail in the grand scheme of a camp focused on growth and personal development, but this is what PD's do, two months before TAF no less. They spend their nights carefully crafting and shaping your experience.

And once you're like me and done as a PD, it's great seeing the other PD's caring and planning as much as you did. Lot's of love over those telephone lines.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007 by Jon

Today is the one-week anniversary of me and my apartment. I've already had 5 overnight visitors, the Yang's, Roger, and Carolyn. It's been busy with work and hosting, but whatevs. I AM THE HOCHIE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. YES.

Also, it took about four weeks, but Michelle and I finally solved the Bill Clinton Sunday Crossword from the New York Times. BALLER.

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Friday, June 01, 2007 by Jon

For my own memory, I would just like to note that tonight was the night that Lebron James got ridiculous all over the Detroit Pistons. And that my uncle fell asleep, didn't see the game, and still is not impressed by Lebron.

But oh my. Lebron. You crazy.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007 by Jon

I played a lot of Text Twist today.

I was originally aiming to break 200,000 points but I guess I overachieved. I think it is funny that I lost on the word "STYMIE". I thought it was that, but I kept hopelessly punching in STIMEY or STEIMY repeatedly to no avail, as the seconds ticked away. For those of you who don't know what it means -

sty·mie /ˈstaɪmi/[stahy-mee]
2. a situation or problem presenting such difficulties as to discourage or defeat any attempt to deal with or resolve it.
–verb (used with object)
3. to hinder, block, or thwart.

Perhaps the game was telling me to stop playing and sleep.

Tonight (in between rounds of Text Twist) I went to the Gilbert Ping Pong center in LA, because Will really wanted to play. On the drive there, I noticed my impending dilemna; Do I play hard and beat my boss in ping pong, or do I let him win and set him up for slams so he can feel even better?

I have played Will before, who is apparently good, and I beat him fairly well. But he really must have been rusty back then, so luckily my dilemna was solved in the fact that Will easily beat me all night. Yea. I'm a great employee.

Lastly, I am moving into my new apartment this weekend. In the shower just now, I realized that my life here in California so far has been akin to...The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! Disregard the fact that I'm not from West Philly nor did I get into a fight with shady characters, but Uncle Terry is definitly an Uncle Carl, Aunt Lily is not only the Aunt BUT ALSO Jeffrey, and Mei Mei could be Tatyana Ali! What fun. Though I must say, Andrew is a little cooler than Carlton. So I guess these last two days are like the series finale. Though I'll be back for holiday specials (and laundry!).

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007 by Jon new TAF website.

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Monday, May 28, 2007 by Jon

I go to a great church in Orange County. It's called Rock Harbor, and it is pretty darn tootin' sweet.

This was a great sermon.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 by Jon

Today was a blogworthy day. But I begin with yesterday, or actually, the day before yesterday, Thursday. The production team I was working with all week was for a Walmart commercial. Now most people do not like Walmart already for the way they treat employees and whatnot, and so maybe this will not be surprising.

On days when we are filming, the hours usually start early, around 7AM-8AM, maybe 6AM in some cases. But oh no, not for mega-corporation Walmart. They wanted us to have our first shots going at 2AM, because any later in the day might cut into the business of ONE Walmart in the middle of nowhere and into the $100,000,000 they make daily as a company.

And so with first shot scheduled for 2AM, we had to arrive on set at 11PM. That means I had to wake up at 9PM, and drive 66 miles north of Los Angeles to the middle of nowhere Walmart, and start my day. So in order to do this, production went home early at 2pm on Thursday, so we could go home and "get some rest". I struggled to take a 3 hour nap.

And so the "day" started and we filmed at Walmart, and then had a company move a few miles away to the desert where we filmed all day. I got some serious raccoon eye-age from my sunglasses right now. All in all, I finally got home at 530PM, so for those of you keeping track at home, that was twenty hours from the time I left home and came back. I was even too tired to take pictures of food and message them to KLai to taunt her. What a shame. I managed to keep my sleep schedule intact and stayed up till 8PM, and then I slept for the most sound and solid 12 hours I have ever slept in my life.

And so I woke up and began my Saturday. A Cubs vs. Dodgers game was in the mix here, but before that, I had some important apartment matters to take care of. There was one really great candidate and I went back and checked it out this morning to take some photo's of because I forgot to the first time. I spoke to the managers a little bit, and during my tour, two other girls came in to look at the apartment too. GASP! I left soon after, and I was already seriously considering this place before I even came in the morning. So I had to act fast. I found out the girls were also very interested, and that they wanted to be told if I made any moves so they could out move me...but I was already in line waiting to make my money order for a deposit. And so I did it. I made the money order and took it back to the building managers and got it. So hooray. It is a two bedroom apartment, so I might be annoucing a roommate search soon. I'll post pictures some time as well.

So while this was all kind of rushed, and made me quite flustered, I think I'll be okay. The managers are really nice (an older Bulgarian couple), and the apartment is spacious and located well near the Los Feliz village, with trendy shops, a wide variety of cheap to good restaurants and cafes, and a Pinkberry. And LF is next to Hollywood, so my morning commutes are going to be easier.

And so I celeberated with my first Cub's game of the season, as they were visiting the Dodgers here in LA. The Cub's won 4-2, with back to back homers from Aramis and DeRosa hit near us. Combine that with a quick 2:30 hour game, and it was a great time. But more sun, and now my skin is even more tingly, and my raccoon face is even more apparent.

But yea. Apartment. Woohoo! Alex is coming to live with me for the summer next week. And then the visits begin with Roger! No really, all of you, come visit! Pictures later?

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Monday, May 21, 2007 by Jon

I recently spent two wonderful weeks in Illinois, splitting my time between Springfield and Champaign. It was one of my most rewarding trips in a long time if I don't count TAF's. Funnily enough though, I did feel a certain pre-TAF anxiousness and excitement prior to my arrival. TAF has always felt like "going home" to me, and I guess it should be no surprise that with the number of close friends at UIUC, it is another home.

It was good to be in Springfield and to spend time with my dad and my sister. Cheryl and I watched Spiderman 3 together (which was only okay), but the chance to go to the theatres with my sister was worth it. We used to go all the time together when we were younger, and I hope we can start again when we live in the same city. I got to see Steve and Adrienne too. It's nice to be able to just pick up where we left off, even if things have not always ended well or whatever and ever. Theres a lot of love there, and unlike most other things, I believe that will last.

And then a week in Champaign-Urbana. I basically lived it up and just spent as much quality time as I could with close friends. Everything worked out well in that I was able to see everyone I wanted to see often (though only one Erika playtime, boo Erika). Finals schedules seemed to work out and I got to just be around those I've missed being around. I hung out at the RSO, piano-ed with Marg, threw the baseball around with B-Roy, did crosswords on the Quad with Michelle, talked about Heart Motives with Lester, went to a CRH4 small group reunion, ate at Mandarin Wok and Woori Jib, made fun of Tina and Keelin, went to Grainger with Jessica, massaged Alex, Hello Hello Hello'd with Angie, listened to Jamie complain (and noticed that my darling also has a big head...) So you know, pretty much everything I did last year but packed into one week. So it was a very restoring and heartfelt few days. I even got to do some stuff for ITASA Remix! Though not as fun.

And when I left Champaign this time around, I really felt a sadness that I didn't feel when I left last Fall. I think it finally hit me this time because my image of the University of Illinois won't ever be the same with people gone. Jamie, Tina, Michelle, Marg, Ming, Keelin, they won't be there anymore, as well as other familiar faces in the crowd that made up my UIUC experience. But hey, that's how it is. But it's also why those times should be stored in memory to look back on. How often can you really live within walking distance of so many great friends? I guess that's why some people say college was the greatest time of their lives, though I still disagree. But it is a wonderful wonderful place and I hope I can visit again soon before all of my other close friends graduate and leave. And I hope all of you move to Los Angeles. Right now. Seriously. Do it. Live near me. We'll play and be all Hollywoodish.

I don't have any pictures that do justice to how wonderful my trip was (but I do have pictures of food that will soon be up on!). And to all of my friends that graduated last week, Congratulations! And to all of you who are not moving close to me in Los Angeles, you suck. I hope I can see you back at Illinois at least one more time in our lives, but for sure we will see each other outside of Illinois. Because of course, it is not where we are, but merely just being together anywhere, that matters.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 by Jon


After a conversation with Alex on Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and an argument of who is dreamier, him or jmraz, Alex posted this info about Mr. Levine:

Levine's major influences include The Beatles and Stevie Wonder, as well as The Police. His ex-girlfriend, model Kelly McKee, was featured in Maroon 5's This Love video. He has been friends with Jake Gyllenhaal since he was in kindergarten. He resides in the Hollywood Hills with close friend Gene Hong.[4]
quaggo rama: HE'S DOWN WITH ASIANS


Anyways, I hope to write a long post on my recent and wonderful trip back to Illinois soon. Toodles.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007 by Jon

Here at home sits my old and dusty desktop computer. The screensaver is every picture that I have taken or accumulated since the year 2000. While I type away on my newer laptop, some photos and faces catch my eye in the background on my old monitor, and I'll find myself staring at picture after picture and recalling old names, old faces, and old places.

It's a great personal joy for me, as these pictures are a visual timeline of my youth. The quality of the photos changed as technology did, and along with that, the faces of the people I spent the most time with changed, from group to group and place to place, as I grew older myself. I'll see pictures of friends who I haven't seen in years and I'll be sad. I'll see pictures of friends who I still know now and laugh at how young and thin we looked. I'll see pictures of my JH campers who have grown taller, older, and are turning into fine young men and women and feel old myself. And I'll see the many, many, many, MANY pictures of all the girls I have loved/liked/had crushes on, and I'll laugh (for being a creep and taking so many pictures of them). And I think it is good for someone to see all of these. To see who they spent time with, who used to be their closest friends in the world, who they used to be in love with, the different countries they went to, and how much youthfulness we all once had. Because the way I view things, we are all the products of what we were, where we were at, what we felt, and most importantly, who we were with.

This is one of those good times when I look back on a part of my life and am grateful for the decision I made to snap away. I slowed down when friends kept yelling at me for taking bad pictures of them all the time. But whatever, in seven years you'll laugh about these pictures and be glad I took them. So this is a warning that I am going to try to take many many photos in Illinois this upcoming week. Yes, I will try to give you warnings so you'll be ready. And hey, I'm even starting to think about upgrading yet again to an digital SLR. ISNT THAT EXCITING BRIAN?!?!!

I've missed out on a solid two years that could have been part of my digital timeline, so I am eager to start again. There have been too many lovely people and memorable places that I have been to just keep all the photographs and stillframes in my mind. I'm getting old. It's time to (again) record all of these things on (digital) film.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by Jon!!!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007 by Jon

I saw Matt Leinart at Nordstroms today. I got really excited, and it was probably the first time I have felt really star-struck in LA.

I think most guys like me WOULD be more star struck by athletes though. We have a closer connection to them, ie: watching them all the time in games, on Sportscenter, reading about their bio's for fantasy sport purposes, etc, than we would for movie stars (usually).

So yea. Matt Leinart. He really is a lot dreamier in person too. Dreamy dreamy dreamy. Except Grace doesnt like his hairy armpits. Hah.

quagg o ram a: he is a good looking man

I agree.


Hahaha...from Wikipedia:

"Leinart was born with strabismus (“crossed eyes”), as his left eye was not aligned correctly with his right. He underwent surgery when he was three years old and was fitted with special glasses to correct the problem, but the eyewear combined with Leinart's already-overweight frame to make him an easy target for ridicule at the hands of other children.[1] “I used to get made fun of for being cross-eyed. It's just a terrible thing because kids are so cruel to the fat kid, to the kid with the glasses. So I turned to sports,” he would later say.[2]"

I think I love him more now...

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Friday, April 13, 2007 by Jon

Another good Augustana concert tonight here in LA.

Off to ITASA tomorrow, where I will get to see some of my dear Illinois friends. That'll take place at Stanford, which will be followed by fundraisers in the Bay Area Sunday and Monday. Then I get two "down" days, where I will just probably work hardcore for Will, because Thursday and Friday will be spent filming an ESPN commercial (yes!). And then the next week might already be booked on another commercial project, followed soon after by a long due trip back to the Springfield for family and to the Champaign-Urbana to see more Illinois friends before they graduate.

Let's roll.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007 by Jon

I was sent to do a pickup today at NBC-Universal Studios. I few good stories came from this. First, like all studios, security is pretty tight so I had to give my drivers license at the guard gate and wait for a pass, etc. Unfortunately, my Coordinator had yet to call to inform them that I was coming, so the security guard, and older gentleman about 60 years old, looked at me with a dead blank stare and said, "I can't let you in, you don't have a pass." And because my Coordinator Paul likes to mess with me, and has been for the past few days, I thought the security guard was messing with me too.

So I just smiled at him with a silly little grin. And he kept staring back at me with a dead blank. And I kind of giggled. And then 10 seconds ticked by. And I realized he was not kidding. And so I called Paul and got the clearance etc etc etc. The guard must have thought I was an idiot.

So anyways, I drove into the lot to find the building I needed to go to, and when I saw it, I just pulled into the first open spot I saw. But as I turned into the parking spot, I saw a sign that said, "RESERVED FOR J. CAMERON". Oops. I probably shouldn't park in his spot. He might be kind of important.

The building itself was also a maze of hallways, but in my lost confusion, I walked by the office for the production/writing staff of The Black Donnellys. It was cool. But then I came home and found out the show had been cancelled. Which sucks.

So yea, that was my trip to NBC-Universal Studios. As I left, I was tempted to go into the Studio Store to snag some Friday Night Lights and The Office gear, but it was across from the security guard station and I didnt want the old man to see me again.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by Jon

Day 2 of 2 for filming T-Mobile commercials. I've always said that there is food aplenty in film production. To express this better, I kept track of what I ate today (in the form of text messages to Klai to mock her for not being able to eat everything I was able to eat, wahahahaha!).

8:30- A plate of corned beef hash, two eggs, side of bacon, side of sausage, half of a danish from the catering service.
10:00- Craft service guy comes around with Odwalla juices and vitamin juice shots.
10:45- Getting hungry again, head to craft service trailer for a blueberry muffin and some nuts. time
11:30- Craft makes yogurt parfaits. And remember, it's only 11:30. We're not even close to our scheduled lunch break.
12:45- Turkey and salami sandwich on wheat with provolone, made in craft service trailer. This was probably a mistake because fifteen minutes later...
1:00- Crafty comes around with a Greek tray! Complete with falafels, dolmas, pita bread, pita chips, hummus, tzatzki sauce, etc. I ate a lot of falafels. They were good.
2:15- Deli tray! Complete with gourmet meats and cheeses. The highlight for the crew usually. I held back though, and only had a few crackers, spicy pepperoni slices, and grilled salmon strips.
3:15- Feeling really full, it was lunch time. Catering offered up some skirt steak kabobs, steamed vegetables, and a small salad. I passed on the chicken and salmon and all of desserts because well, I'm not a pig, geez. But yea no really, I ate about 1/10th of what they served.

We finished filming about 2 and a half hours later. So no more food. But yea, all of that, in a span of seven hours. Film production is awesome.

To add, I think the caterers are pretty mindful of not wasting the food, so don't worry. They know there are hungry people out there.

Anyways, tonight for dinner I only ate half of an apple. Good for me.

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Friday, April 06, 2007 by Jon

I've been working on a new T-Mobile commercial this past week, and into next. We filmed one of two new commercials today. It was a good time, being a relatively simple shoot with 8 PA's, so it is pretty chill. This commercial also has some stunts and pyrotechnics, which are pretty cool to set up and watch executed.

As usual, way too much food was present, and I ate a lot. I think I ate too much gourmet cheese, and it upset my stomach. And then I went to lunch, and I told myself to not eat anything cheese there. But then the first thing I saw was cheesecake, and I forgot. And then I went to make a salad and I saw cottage cheese! But different from the cheesecake, I remembered I shouldnt eat it. And then I added more vegetables to my salad, and then I saw the shredded cheddar cheese! And yea. It's really hard to remember to not eat cheese when you love it.

I think another cell phone company should come out with a "My Six" in response to T-Mobile's "My Five/Fave Five". I think that would be funny. And good for consumers!

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Thursday, March 29, 2007 by Jon

Bits & pieces.

- I've had a heavy heart and a thrilled soul the past few days. But then at the same time, I have been convering two jobs, so the body is almost too tired to remember. but yea, a heavy heart, and a very happy one as well, all at the same time.

- Filmed at Disneyland today. To gain entrance into their parking structure, I had to tell the guard a security code. The security code was "Captain Jack". No joke.

- I was thinking tonight about things, and I remember how B once touched upon leaving yourself outs in life, much like in poker. But then again sometimes you have to go all-in. I just think there are some good life lessons to be learned from Texas Hold-Em.

- I usually only listened to The Scientist and Clocks and a little Politik, but I never truely realized how good the rest of the album is/was.

- A long time ago I realized that its sad how often we as people can never really know someone, even if you think you're close. Angie brought it up tonight again. Kinda sucks, yea? It kinda just makes me want to hug people, just for that one singular moment.

- I am very, very, very tired. With a heavy heart and a happy heart. What a week, and it's just now halfway over.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007 by Jon

i recently got sick with a sinus infection because i was cleaning my ears too much with that asian wood stick thingy. (this generaly produces a laughing response from whoever i tell). yes, i love the wooden ear cleaning stick, and in fact i wish my body produced more ear wax so i would have more to clean, but alas, i do not even know the proper name for it.

but thanks to karen and the internet!

"Ear picks (Chinese: ; pinyin: er sháo; Dutch: wattenstaafje; Japanese: , mimikaki), also called ear scoops or auriscalpium."

and from Wikipedia:

"Embellishments - Down puff: A ball or "puff" of goose down is located at the opposite end of the ear pick away from the tip. This is used to clean out tiny specks of flaky ear wax that may have broken off during the process of ear cleaning." (I never knew thats what it was for! AND ITS SO MUCH SOFTER THAN A QTIP!!)


"Ear picks are a commonly used item and preferred for ear wax removal in East Asia. The person having their ears cleaned would lie down with their head in the lap of the person doing the cleaning. It is generally considered a pleasant feeling, like having one's back scratched. The cleaning of ears is thus considered an act of intimacy, often performed by a mother to a child or, among adults, by one's lover."


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Friday, March 23, 2007 by Jon

This has long since been my favorite sports video. My version now sits on a hard drive on my old computer collecting dust back in Springfield. So thanks youtube.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007 by Jon

I'm in Dallas now, here for the Taiwanese North American Chamber of Commerce conference. Tonight was the closing banquet. The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders performed. Jerry Jones walked around. And remember, this conference is dominated by first-generation Taiwanese American moms and dads.

Anyways, Dallas is a lovely city. I probably feel that way because there was a lovely girl in the Taiwanese Young Professional TCOC. I tried talking to her a few times. But then tonight, I noticed a ring on her finger, and realized she was engaged/married. Hah. Sadface. But alas, a lovely lady she still is.

Off to Houston tomorrow!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007 by Jon

I see pictures of a loved one and feel a rush of blood to the chest. A smile and some warmth, a laugh and a sparkle. Heart of stone heart of stone, or heart of caring and compassion. A heart that gives more than it takes. They call it the wellspring of life, and yes, it is. But for whom does it serve? Is yours your own wellspring? Or perhaps it is for others, for your family, for your friends, for the world, for God. Quench other's thirsts with your heart I should say, but I fear, if one does that, then their hearts become stone. So how do we keep the wellspring flowing. Well for me, I will pray. Pray that I can open up my heart, and that I will find love to give, more than to recieve. And that the waters will always flow, and that everyone and everything around me will refreshed and renewed. Because that heart of stone...few things scare me more than having that heart of stone.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007 by Jon

Here's the Albert Hammond Jr. music video I worked on a few months ago with Karen Lin.

It's always interesting to see how the final product turns out, because it is hard to always tell when you're actually on set and watching it being filmed. Scenes are recorded out of the final order, and you don't know what the actual shot is unless your watching a monitor. Also, I think the part with the Jesus wall painting and W.W.J.D bumper sticker was unplanned. I didn't hear about it or read it in the music video's pre-production treatment. But whatevs, it seems to have worked out well.

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by Jon

Sunday was a good day. I met up with Nicho, some of his friends, and our visitor Stephanie from back home in Springfield. We played beach volleyball in the 75 degree weather. And then I had crabcakes for dinner. Yes, a good day it was.

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Monday, March 05, 2007 by Jon

Page one of the San Jose Mercury News. Word.

Focus on dark past


By John Boudreau
Mercury NewsLINK

Will Tiao is pitching Silicon Valley a different kind of business plan -- one full of international espionage and even murder.

Sound like a Hollywood movie? Well, it is, but one based on real events that pitted the dictatorial Taiwanese government of the time against those suspected of leading the democratic movement in Taiwan and the United States.

Bay Area Taiwanese-Americans in recent months have invested and pledged millions of dollars to see the film made. In February, Tiao appealed to Silicon Valley's influential Taiwanese American Industrial and Technology Association for funding.

The project has stirred the political passions of Taiwanese-Americans, some of whom say they were spied upon by their government after moving to the United States decades ago when Taiwan was ruled by martial law.

Tiao's perspective on the little-known chapter in Taiwan's history has received significant coverage in the Taiwanese and Chinese press in the United States, made a big media splash in Taiwan and has created controversy as some accuse it of being made to sway Taiwan's 2008 presidential election in favor of the Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, and its associated coalitions.

Not bad for a movie that has yet to have a single scene shot. Filming is scheduled to begin later this year.

U.S. involvement

The plot of the murder of a college professor is set during a painful chapter in Taiwanese history, a time when native Taiwanese and those leading the democratic movement felt persecuted by the Taipei government, a close U.S. ally because of its anti-communist stance.

``This is not an Asian-American identity movie,'' said Tiao, who has sought support from more than 10,000 Taiwanese, Taiwanese-Americans and Taiwanese-Canadians. ``This is aimed at mainstream America.''

For many Taiwanese-Americans, the project has struck a deep chord.

``We want people in America to know Taiwan's story,'' said Helen Lee, who teaches voice at the University of Nevada-Reno. Lee is one of a small army of investors backing the project. The minimum investment is $25,000.

Ho Chie Tsai, a 35-year-old Berkeley pediatrician, wanted to support a project that speaks to the Asian community. ``I've never seen this level of excitement in my community,'' he added.

Right now, the movie's estimated budget is in the $10 million to $12 million range, but that could change upward depending on fundraising successes or a partnership with another film production company. Kansas-born Tiao was an aide to former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum before becoming a fledgling actor and producer in Hollywood. The movie -- the working title is ``Formosa Betrayed'' (www. -- will attempt to distill Taiwan's complex politics.

Power shake-up

In 1949, Mao Tse-tung's communist forces conquered mainland China. The defeated Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang, or Nationalist, party fled to Taiwan, where they ruled as a government-in-exile.

In 1996, the first direct presidential election was held. In 2000, the opposition DPP won the presidency. The party in large part draws support from native Taiwanese, whose ancestors arrived in Taiwan between 1600 and 1900. The DPP leans toward independence from China, whereas the Kuomintang, or KMT, has a more conciliatory posture.

China claims Taiwan is its territory and has threatened war should the island officially declare independence. The United States, which does not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, has called for a peaceful resolution.

Taiwan's period of martial law spilled over to the United States as the Taiwanese government recruited students to spy on Taiwanese-American professors and others on college campuses. Tiao's script tells the story of a fictional character who is a composite of two real-life personalities.

One was Chen Wen-cheng, a Carnegie Mellon University professor and critic of Taiwan's government who died under suspicious circumstances during a visit to Taiwan in 1981. The other was Chinese-American journalist Henry Liu, killed in 1984 after writing an unflattering biography of Taiwan's strong-arm ruler, Chiang Ching-kuo, the son of Chiang Kai-shek. The killing occurred at Liu's Daly City home and was linked to a Taiwan intelligence agent, though the Taiwan government denied involvement.

The movie's story line, Tiao said, follows a detective who, while investigating the murder, begins to realize ``people are spying on each other.'' The cop eventually links the killing to Taiwan, even as U.S. government officials try to steer him away from Taipei.

``Many Taiwanese paid a high price for democracy,'' observed Taiwan scholar Shelley Rigger.

Tiao said his movie is not intended to be partisan. ``Basically, it has to do with oppression,'' explained the producer, who said his parents warned him when he was growing up in the Midwest to hang up the phone should any caller speak in Chinese. His father, an agricultural economics professor at Kansas State University who immigrated from Taiwan in 1968, was spied upon, Tiao said.

Still, the project is seen differently by others. ``It's political propaganda,'' said James Chung, executive director of a coalition of Taiwanese political parties in the Bay Area, including the KMT. ``DPP will use this film to attack the KMT.''

Film's message

For supporters, ``Formosa Betrayed'' is an opportunity to finally air their struggles.

``We never had a chance to speak out, we never had a chance to let people know what the real history of Taiwan was,'' Gina Mao said. The 49-year-old Hillsborough resident invested in the movie and organized a half-dozen meetings for other potential backers, including a dinner for 300.

Sui Hwu, 53, who has retired from her Sunnyvale land development and construction company, invested in the project because she was moved by Tiao's concern for Taiwan. ``I was so touched,'' she said, fighting back tears.

It will, though, take equal measures of financing and luck just to get the movie made, let alone get wide distribution. Independently produced movies, in particular, face difficult odds in Hollywood, observed Larry Tanz, chief executive of LivePlanet, the production company founded by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

For example, he said, thousands of independent movies are submitted to the Sundance Film Festival every year. ``Dozens make it, a handful win and only a couple or a few will get wide theatrical distribution,'' said Tanz, producer on the Emmy-nominated series ``Project Greenlight'' and upcoming feature film ``Running the Sahara.''

Nonetheless, he added, relatively low-budget movies can light up the big screen.

``If it's a great screenplay and a great story,'' Tanz said, ``the sky is the limit.''

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Sunday, February 25, 2007 by Jon

Musings from Taiwan (and after)

- This time around, I don't have any friends from the states visiting at the same time as me. And with plane tickets to Shanghai ultra-scarce with a long waiting list, it looks like I won't be able to see Justin & Erin. So a quiet week lays ahead, which means I can do other things. I'm going to try to go Sedaris on my travels (minus the gay banter).

- I saw the Barack Obama candidacy announcement here. Here in Taipei that is. I'm sure this is the first and only time Springfield, Illinois will ever make an appearance on Taiwanese television. I tried looking for familiar faces in the crowd, but saw none. Just a lot of white people who looked cold (go Springfield!). But whatever, props to to my hometown for making the headlines.

- There is an awkward commercial that shows people making some weird hand gestures and chanting, "WE WANT WANG! WE WANT WANG!" But then it's just a commercial for Chien Ming Wang and Big Macs.

- My dad is rocking out in a Members Only jacket. I think they're making a comeback, but I think his is from the original Members Only days, and he's been wearing it ever since.

- I went to Ximen Ding today. Got chatted up by a very friendly male sales attendant who kept playfully slapping my arm and got playfully hissy when I said I didn't need to buy anything (I bet Sedaris would have liked him), and I saw an Abercrombie clone called 'WHO.A.U: California Dream'. But its not really Californian! Its Korean!

- One of the things I've noticed this time around in Taiwan is that the winter is so much more pleasant than the summer. It feels like a cool breeze perpetually runs through the city, and you notice things that would otherwise be undiscovered in the summer. For instance, the heated toilet seat here at my grandma's. Imagine yourself bending down and how normally you clench and brace yourself for the cold contour of the plastic bowl, but instead you are greated by the inviting sense of a heated chair awaiting the release of your bowels. One of life's secret pleasures indeed.

- I'm probably too young to wonder about mortality right.

- I'm sitting down at a table. The table is located in the food court of a department store. This food court has establishments such as Au Bon Pain, Starbucks, and Haagen Dazs. It is also Valentine's Day. Vendors are hawking roses and little teddy bears to passerbys. The table I sit at is in Taiwan. Hello globalization.

- The girl in charge of cleaning all of the tables here in the food court looks sad. I find myself glancing back at her to see if she still looks sad, and she does. Or she might just be incredibly numb and bored. Maybe both. I wonder what her life is like outside of this gleamy, plasticy, shiny SOGO food court. I feel like the haves and the have nots differ greatly here in Taiwan.

- This reminds me of my grandma's housekeeper. Her name is Mini and she is only 22 years old. She's been working in Taiwan for two years, but her home is in Indonesia, where her boyfriend lives. Her days are spent helping my grandma cook and clean, and as I've noticed, if she isn't doing that, she's probably in bed resting for the next day of work on her small futon in the corner of my grandma's room. Now I'm sure she could do worse as my grandma is a caring and thoughtful person, and I think my ahma's age justifies the need for help, but I can't help but feel weird. The idea of a young girl leaving her family and friends behind to go work as a servant in a foreign country is pretty hard. But in reality, that's how a good majority of the world works outside of the United States.

I think its weirder though because Mini doesn't look any different that someone I would be friends with. She's basically the same age as me and her style of dress is pretty western. She has some trendy blue adidas shoes and jeans and all that. But her life seems so much different than mine. I wonder if she envies me. I wonder how long she will do this for.

Does my American education really afford me better opportunities that her? Mini is no doubt a very hard worker and a genuinly friendly person. She's picked up Mandarin pretty well, so I wonder...could she do what I do back in the States? I think she easily could. What makes her and I so inherently different that she ends up making juice for me in the morning, doing my laundry, and vacuuming around me, all while I lounge around with my laptop and talk to friends all day long.

- I came to a realization on my drives home from work. I noticed that the traffic goes from really bad to really horrible right about the same time the the freeway reaches the Asian populated regions. I mean, it is almost as true as can be. Whenever I get a chance to pass a slow car, the car that holds everyone else up behind them, which oftentimes is in the fast lane, which causes this massive's usually either an Asian female or an old man. Someone needs to do an academic study on this so. It boggles my mind.

- I wanted to post pictures up with this post, but UIUC ended my netfiles subscription and I havent figured out another way to host my files yet. Sad. My internet connections to Illinois have officially ended.

- Lastly, I am too tired to fully elaborate my thoughts, but I went to dinner with Hochie in town last night and got to meet some new people. We were all Taiwanese, and we all had these criss-crossing connections (TAF, TACL) from way back that we didnt even know about that came full circle, and we worked in Hollywood or did something creative and had plans for the future or wanted to collaborate...and it was just cool. Us Taiwanese Americans...or just us PEOPLE for that matter, and ALL people, not just us in that room last night, we can be a pretty awesome and inspiring group of inter-connected individuals.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by Jon

I'm in Taiwan right now. I had initially hoped to hop over to Shanghai for a few days to visit Justin and Erin, but alas there are no tickets. However, I made up for a lack of Justin by meeting Justine, a friend to Will Tiao and a former Formosa Foundation participant. It has been suggested to me to participate in the Formosa Foundation's two-week all-expenses paid program (read that again, "all-expenses" paid) before, but due to my baby called the JH program, I would always decline commiting two weeks in June to this.

But now I don't have a baby called the JH program, and most of you don't either! So I recommend y'all apply for this. And remember, it's all expenses paid. That means they fly you to LA. That means you could get a free trip to hang out with me. And I am pretty valuable. And it's for a good cause and you'll learn a lot. It's win win win. AND the Formosa Foundation is not just looking for Taiwanese PoliSci majors to do this, but people of all backgrounds. And if you're from the midwest, you're pretty much a shoe-in for this all-expenses paid trip. So B-Roy, Jamie, Marg, Cho, Brittney, Stephanie and uh...any other non-Taiwanese subscribers to my xanga (I can't believe I can only think of five), you should do it. And get a free trip to LA and Washington D.C. With only a two-week commitment. All others are welcome of course too.

C'mon, what else are you going to do in June?

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 by Jon

I hear its cold back home, as well as the rest of the midwest and the northeast. I'd just like to mention that it was 86 degrees today in LA. But hey hey, there are side effects to the heat, like the two small brushfires I drove past on the 101 freeway. Or the multiple semi-truck accident that backed up traffic for eight miles (during non-rush hour). See, things in SoCal aren't always great.

But yea, 86 degree weather is pretty awesome in February. Unless it means our planet is dying of course.


This morning, Roger asked me if I was going back to TAF this year and it reminded me of my dream last night. In it, I walked into some eating establishment, much like a Denny's or a Perkins (although I actually think it was the diner in THE OC), and saw all of the returning and new TAF PD's and the new ED sitting in booths planning and discussing TAF 2007.

I walked up to them and watched them interact. I saw their faces and expressions and all of the smiles that go along with planning a TAF program. And in the dream, I didn't say anything to them, and they didnt say anything to me. I don't think they even saw me. So I just watched for a moment, stopped, turned around, and slinked away to a dark table in the corner and sat down with other TAFers who aren't as involved anymore. And from there, I watched the new group of PD's work only a few tables over, yet it felt like they were far far away.

While that may sound morbid to some, it isn't that bad. When Roger triggered the memory of my dream, I laughed and I smiled. To be honest, it feels pretty weird to not be involved in TAF at all right now, to not know what meetings and conference calls are going on and to not be getting emails or to be writing any emails. My past four February's usually mark the beginning of "getting into-TAF mode". And right now...there is none of that. I went from getting to do everything, to hearing nothing.

But I think why I laughed and I smiled is because in my dream, I got to see the new people do what I got to enjoy for four wonderful years, and to see that some of my old co-pd's are still there. And I saw the happiness on all of their faces. So I know everything is in good hands along with full hearts for TAF (though there was never any doubt to this). I may be there in August, and I may not. But either way, it's neat to be so excited for something that you know you might not be able to go to. So good luck to the 07 PD's and ED, and especially to Alex and Tiffany for JH.

And since everyone likes to ask me, TAF will be held from August 5th - 12th at Manchester College in North Manchester, IN...but you might want to double check with a current PD.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007 by Jon

Overheard last night on the LA area evening news preview, when it was FIFTY-FIVE DEGREES outside, "New lows have people in LA wondering, 'Are we headed for a deep freeze?!?!'".


There is this Cingular commercial some of you might have seen where two guys are dancing and singing to a song playing off a cell phone. Like many songs, they mishear the lyrics, and think it's saying "Lock the catbox" or "rock the cashbox", and that is the "hero" (industry speak for THE catchphrase or product visual) line. BUT THE NAME OF THE SONG IS ROCK THE CASBAH. I dont understand how they could misinterpret the chorus of the song when they have the damn name of the song on the cell phone being held in their hands. Idiots.

Also, im in this fantasy basketball league and everytime I hear about how such-and-such player is on a hot streak, I go try adding him to my team but I see that this one guy in the league has already taken him. but this isnt the first time, it has in fact happened many times, and its annoying! plus, he oftentimes drops the player i wanted, but then REPICKS him up again before I have a chance to even realize he had dropped him. it adds an irritating tease to the whole act, including the fact that the player sits on waivers for 2 days.

so then i happened to look at the league list of how many moves each manager has made. in spite of my ability to pick up the guys I actually would like, I have made the second most moves in the league with 18 on the NBA season. this other guy Alex has made 14 moves, and our other friend Ming has made 11. those are pretty standard amounts, considering there have only been 11 weeks in the season so far.

but that one guy, HES MADE FORTY-ONE MOVES THIS YEAR ALREADY! FORTY ONE! Stupid Steve Lin...

Anyways, the I caught a televised session of the Prime Minister's Questions in Britain on C-Span the other day, and it was thoroughly entertaining. Examples can be found on youtube. I don't think there is any possible way in the world that George W. would EVER be able to do that for thirty minutes every Wednesday.

What an enthralling post.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007 by Jon

Whatup Justin.


- It was 85 degrees today. Yea.
- I had little emotional investment in the game, but it is pretty ridiculous that OSU had 51 days in between bowl games. The NCAA is stupid for scheduling that long of a break, then also claiming a playoff system would take too much time.
- I need to start growing my abs more. Abs abs abs. Grow your abs.
- Illinois football has a really good recruiting class coming in including the top DE and a top 3 WR. Four guys in the ESPN150 overall. Way to go Zook.
- I have yet to eat at a real authentic Mexican restaurant here in LA.
- Ok I really don't have much to say now, other than work related things, which was covered in the previous post that had been sitting waiting to be published for a few days. But if Justin asks me to update, goshdarnit I'm going to update!

- One last thing. For some brilliant reason, city planners in LA decided to have the 10, the 5, the 60, the 110, and the 101 all meet around downtown. That's FIVE major freeways in about a 2 mile span. That's effing insane.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007 by Jon

As the new year begins, I have much to look forward to. Beginning this month, I will start working for Formosa Films with Will Tiao on a feature film which some of you may have heard about entitled Formosa Betrayed. For the first few months, I will be working as an assistant to Will, who is the Executive Producer of the project. And hopefully if I prove myself to be competent enough, I'll be even more involved when production (as in filming) begins. I am actually very excited for this job. I look at it as an immensely satisfying opportunity to do what I want to do and staying true to myself while being paid for it and hopefully keeping the parents happy.

While working on commercials in Hollywood has been a great experience, the final product of my work lacks the positive impact on humankind that I wish my work to have. A few weeks ago this began taking its toll and I forgot some of the reasons why I came out to LA in the first place. I was actually thinking about going back to Illinois in the springtime, just to hang out with friends for a month. But while I dearly miss the people there, it's not for me right now. Luckily, I remembered that one night and promptly wrote a post-it note on my desktop saying, "stay in california until formosa betrayed gets made." And as fortune would have it, I ran into Will at a Taiwanese event that weekend, and we spoke about the possibility of me helping the project, and here I am now.

I feel that my life experiences really make me qualified to help this film out. First and most obvious is my Taiwanese background and identity. My parents have always had very strong Taiwanese identities, and that has passed on to me through them and fostered through TAF. A heavy majority of my closest relationships are with TAFers or people met through TAFers. So needless to say, my life would be VERY different if I wasn't Taiwanese or had never gone to TAF, and even that I feel, is an understatement. My college major showed how films and media can impact our society and bring attention to issues that are commonly held as afterthoughts to the general public. This definitly lets me grasp the magnitude and power that the film could possess. My work as a Program Director has also provided me with an invaluable skill set of handling logistics, teamwork, problem solving, problem anticipation, managing, and more. And then the last three months I've spent in Hollywood have helped me learn the film industry, which adds a professional element. Yes, those are my powers, and I look forward to using them for good.

So wish me and everyone else good luck. I am very thankful and grateful for this opportunity, and I am also very thankful and grateful to everyone I have ever met and for every experience that I have ever had. It has brought me here thus far, and I have every intention of continuing to build upon that. Happy New Year.

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