Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finding Happiness

How do you find happiness when everything in your life falls apart? the idea of happiness came up into a discussion I had with my friends earlier today over a cup of coffee and some cigarettes.

What does it mean to be happy? it's more than smiling and laughing because you can be depress and still smile and giggle. it's more than an emotion because "happy"emotion can still come and go in a depressive state. For me happiness is a personal view of ourselves and our lives that is created from an inner reflection. Our emotions and mood changes very rapidly and we can laugh and smile from time to time even when we're sad. But it is how we perceive ourselves and our lives and everything in it that truly determine the state of our happiness. But to find true happiness that last for a life time, we have to be honest with ourselves and seeing the truth and accept it as who we are. It is when we learn from ourselves through our honest critique of ourselves that is when we will be honestly and truly happy.  It is the honest part that is the difficult part.

So can we still find happiness when everything in our lives fall apart? I can say from my personal experience that yes people can.  It is when we go through these tough trials that we find our true self and it is in our darkest moments that our true character shines. And when we go through these turbulent times that we see who we are and we understand and appreciate every moment of our lives; the "normal" moment s becomes more precious and valuable. I believe that everyone must go through these trials and tough time to find happiness but I know that a lot of people out there are going to disagree.

Happiness is discovered by ourselves within ourselves and no where else.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Critiquing Babylon: Class Assignment

This oil on canvas painting is called Babylon by Robert Davis and Michael Langlois. It is a painted collage filled with nude people, animals, flowers and objects, all interlaced with an organic twine. One can look at this and immediate see the context of this painting and its correlation with the characteristic of western societies especially the United States.  This piece brings up social and political issues and portrays it in a very beautiful painted comical satire.    

What immediately draws the viewers' attention is the use of various tone of blue and how it all comes together into a symmetrical gradient expanding from the center horizon outward. The blue tone gives the painting a cold and artificial feel. But it is the presented subject in the painting that makes it very interesting. One's attention gets immediately drawn to the naked woman in the center with two commercial airplanes on her back like wings standing on top of a monkey that is standing on a lotus flower which is supported by two overweight individuals on each side.  The naked woman with the airplane wings implies the over-saturation and glorification of sex used in commercial media. the monkey standing and cheering on the lotus flower below the naked woman gives a very comical message like all of this is a big joke.  The two overweight individual at the bottom supporting it all with the Bentley logo in the middle symbolizes the foundation of this country build with the over-indulgence of unhealthy food and unhealthy lifestyle.  

The painting is also divided up between left and right, where right represent the right wing conservative and the left is left wing liberals. Each sides portrays ideas and issues that America is struggling with. On the right side, the conservatives are dealing with foreign affairs, stealing land from other nations and exploiting it for oil. On the left side, the conservatives are dealing with issues with the acceptance of homosexuality and sustainability. And all of this is woven together with "the fabric of our nation" that is held together with Neo-Gothic style architecture in the background.

The overall piece is very successful in creating a profound satirical imagery of America. It brings up serious social and political issues that is in the back of American's mind and present it in a very comical way.  Although it is funny, it makes one truly analyze the currently state of our nation and wonder if this really is how the United Sates really is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

MOFO Event

Just came back from The Oversocial Mofo revue at Anno Domini, a poetry slam and music event held by my friend Mike Mcgee.  To simply put it, the show was amazing. The event had both amateur poets as well as veteran poets such as Mike Mcgee and Jamie DeWolf, a legend in the poetry scene from Oakland, music from the Gold Hush and a performance from Veronica Malki.

The poetry was raw, full of emotional subjects and expressive gestures from all of the poets.  The music was entertaining as well as funny. The overall atmosphere, from the supportive audience to the charismatic hosts, generated a very intellectual and creative vibe.  It was a great event and a nice way to end a crazy week.

Crazy Wednesday

Wednesday started out with high hopes. I was told by my friends at work that there a great place to do a photo shoot in the Santa Cruz mountains called the Big Basin. I did some background check on it and founds picture of it online filled with great scenery of giant red wood Forrest and water falls. So My friend Damian and I decided to go and look at the place ourselves first before we take the girls out for a photo shoot.  I was excited and hopeful as we begun to embark on the journey.

Neither of us had any idea where we were going; my GPS was not working and the long road took us up the mountain to some obscure location with no other cars around. We came to a giant rest stop parking lot with just another car parked there.  We saw that the sun was setting and the fog were drifting in so we decided to takes to quick shots.  As soon as I got my equipments out I took some snap shot and the sun set, the fog filled the sky and the temperature dropped.  I yelled to Damian to hurry him up to continue our trip. 

I got to the car and I realized my keys were not in my pocket but it was in the car on the passenger seat. I freaked out and started cussing and screaming but that didn't help, as a matter of fact the people in the other car was laughing and enjoying my misery. I try everything to get my doors to open, both Damian and I even though of breaking the trunk lock and try to get into my car from the back but that failed miserably. Finally after an hour I gave up and pulled out my phone to call for road service but just my luck there was no signal. This was the very moment that I realized that I was stuck in the middle of a mountain with no way of getting help.

Finally out of desperation I asked people from the other car if they had some tools to smash my windows with and surely enough they did.  Bam! quarter window gone. what left are shatter glass shards and a frown on my face. I thanked the other people and got back in my car, contemplating if I should continue the trip. I figured since I got this far and gone through all this trouble I might as well continue the trip. So Damian and I continued on, only to find ourselves lost, alone, and cold in a one lane road in a middle of a dense foggy forest with no signs of life from anyone or anything.  After getting lost for another two hours we somehow magically found ourselves in Santa Cruz.  At that point we figured we might as well head back to San Jose; we agreed to never go back to that pointless place ever again, or at least never go back at night. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Photo Shoot with Carly

Over the weekend my friends Damian, Carly, Bernadette, and I decided to go out and do a photo shoot. On my previous photo shoot with Bernadette, she told me about a location in San Francisco where she used to go to when she was little and she remembered it being a really nice location to do a photo shoot.  It was a ruin of an old bath house from early 1900s that was burn down during a fire. What is left are concrete walkways and remnant of old bathing pools that are now filled with sea water, algae and lily pads. But unfortunately that day ended early because as soon as we got there it rained and the sun already set.

Now a week later we returned to finish the photo shoot, but unfortunately the sun was already starting to set so I only had time to shoot Carly. For this shoot I was a bit more prepared, I was shooting with my digital camera as well as my film camera.  The result was amazing.

I tried to take as many shots as I can before the sun set because after it sets it becomes near impossible to do any sort of shoot without artificial lighting. But since Carly already have had modeling experience before, we were able to work quickly and diligently.  She knew exactly how to pose, it was like she can predict my shots a head of time.

Overall it was a fun photo shoot and I'm planning on doing more with both Carly and Bernadette in the near future.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Photo Shoot With Bernadette

Last weekend I decided to do a photo shoot with my good friend Bernadette.  I've taken pictures of her before and all the pictures came out really good; she is very photogenic and very expressive. Originally we were planning to go to downtown San Francisco to do the shoot but as soon as we got to her house and I saw her back yard I fell in love with the place. The back yard was filled with vintage cars and motorcycles, a shack with tools and a tree house.  It was very chaotic but has a sincere nostalgic feel to it. So I decided to do a quick shoot there with her in her vintage cars. The shoot came out spectacular.

Soon after we headed toward the west side San Francisco to continue the shoot at a bathhouse ruin next to the waters. Unfortunately it was raining and the sun had already set, so our photo shoot was cut short. I've learned a lot from this shoot life bring lighting equipments, extra outfits, and definitely check the weather. All and all it was still a good day. I'm definitely planning to finish this shoot but at another time.

You can see the photo shoot on my deviantart page here.

A Night Without Plans

Around the middle of last week I had the urge to just leave San Jose and go to San Francisco.  As much as I love San Jose, I've grown tired of the city because I have spent the last seven to eight years working and going to school there.  So to go to San Francisco is therapeutic for me. So my best friend and I headed toward San Francisco near sunset without any plans; what ever happen happens.

The point of the trip was simply to get lost and discover new places in San Francisco that we have never been to before and we accomplished that.  We somehow ended up in the industrial side of East San Francisco and found amazing old abandoned factories, power plants, old abandoned schools, old warehouses, and run down buses.  There is something so amazing about these locations, maybe it's the fact that it's been neglected or forgotten or the fact that people don't even know these places exist.  For my friend and I, finding these spots is like finding lost treasures.

As the night goes on, we were further lost and somehow ended up by the stadium where the Giants were playing the Rangers and got stuck in the horrific traffic for half and hour. It is probably the only time I have ever got road rage. When we finally got out of that mess we found ourselves lost again and next thing I know we were at the San Francisco City Hall, which I always drove by plenty of time before but never stop to look at it.  We spent a bit of time there exploring that area and took some nice photos of it.

Finally to end the night we figured we might as well go to the Mission District to eat and relax from all the walking we did that night.  And after a nice dinner we found a nice bar that had gypsy jazz band performing and spent the rest of the night there hanging out before heading back home to sleep.

It's funny how time and time again whenever my friend and I go places without any plans or expectations, we always end up meeting awesome people and have a lot of fun.