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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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