Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Letter

I can keep faking it to everyone including you, but I can't fake it to myself... I still love you. And I can’t date anyone because I know I’m not over you. I could spend the rest of my life judging you for what you did, but I don't want to anymore. I don't want to because I'm tired of feeling angry. I dealt with that for too long for so many years and I just want to let it all go.

I do feel happy. Truly I do. It's taken me time to get to that point, but it's there. But now I wish I could do things over again, having learned so much and experienced so many new things. All the things you wanted me to do with you. Why couldn't I have just been that man before? If I could start all over - from the beginning and stop my mistakes - I don't think I would pass up that chance.

But time travel unfortunately doesn't exist. And in the end, would I even learn anything? No, instead of thinking about the past, I need to think of the future. I know even if we could try again things wouldn't be the same. We would have to make it better than ever. I want to believe that so badly. I tell myself I deserve better, but I can’t shut off my feelings. I accepted that truth a long time ago. I understand the difference between want and need now. And I know I don't need you back, I just want you back. I would give anything just to feel you in my arms again. I would be happy just to say hi to you. I entertain thoughts that maybe someday you'll want to try again. Maybe someday after we’ve grown wiser we’ll both want to try again. But that's just my fantasy, and I'm sure you don't feel the same.

I really feel you'll forever be the one who got away. But I will keep my distance, just because I know if I really love you, then I have to learn to let you go. Someday I'll get there... someday.

My best friend... I miss you. And I still love you.

"I'd give you everything, if only I'd have known you'd take it
But you don't, 'cause you're you. That's why I'll always love you... Pearl of the Stars."

"If I lay here... If I just lay here... Would you lie with me and just forget the world?"
Thursday, May 5, 2011

Art Piece #9 - Self Portrait

I think until school is over, I may just be posting a few art pieces here and there. I really haven't had much to write about since the reviews ended back in February, and school is continuing to bog me down with a lot of work, pushing all of our noses into the grindstone until they bleed. Oh well. Just two more weeks!

So, today I present something I did back in my freshman year.

Self Portrait. 14" x 11". Pencil. 2008.

When enrolled in a figure drawing class, you should expect to draw perhaps hundreds of basic human figure poses -- and equally expect your big projects to be drawings of human figures. There were many times during this particular class in which we were encouraged to do portraits, whether of yourself or other people. The idea was to help us understand human anatomy.

This was the result of numerous portrait exercises. After drawing ourselves, we were also tasked with including images of things that reflected our interests and personality. The drawing shows me holding my guitar. Back then I was much more interested in learning guitar (I REALLY need to get back into it). The sort of cloudy atmosphere surrounding my head was meant to imply the fact that my head is generally in the clouds. All my life I've been the type of person who tends to get lost in his own world.

The other images simply represent my liking of reading, writing, music, and art in general. Simple, really, but it met the requirements.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Art Piece #8 - Fruit Bowl

Wow, I haven't made one of these posts in nearly three months. I hadn't realized it was so long. Well, a large part of the reason for this is because I'm currently in the process of putting together some pieces for my animation portfolio. As I looked back through some of my more recent work, I came across one in particular I was really happy with.

Fruit Bowl. Maya. 2011.

I've been a longtime fan of hand-drawn 2D animation. For most of my life I had a certain dislike toward 3D work. That was, until some of the early films of the last decade changed my mind. Besides, 3D is slowly becoming the standard for animated films these days, so I suppose I should get with the program.

Autodesk Maya is a highly sophisticated CG Modeling, Texturing, and Rendering program that's worked its way into many of the major studios. Some of the animation you see in these more recent films -- Avatar, Tangled, and TRON, to name a few -- is the result of beautiful rendering thanks to talented animators and modelers using this program.

The above is no where close to what Maya is fully capable of doing. However, I love the result here, just on my personal level of skill. I'm relatively new to Maya and the 3D animation world -- despite my love of computers. Ironic, yes? The truly amazing thing about this program is the amount of objects you can create with only a few techniques. The apples and pear were created with a curvilinear tool, while the bananas and oranges were created with spheres. And even the texturing applications are truly outstanding. While I feel I could have done a better job at creating the texture of an orange, I'm pleased with this current result.
Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 3

In some ways, the third day of my visit with Katie was a very fitting end.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning I was looking immensely forward to what we had planned today. Long before I even arrived, Katie concocted a plan in which my parents would arrive that night and we would all have dinner together. This was a very good plan. In the meantime, I had to get dressed and get something to eat. That's when my parents took me to the cafe at the hotel and we got breakfast. I ordered chicken fried steak, eggs, and hash browns for my meal.

I've tended to stay away from ordering chicken fried steak for health reasons, but on those occasions where temptation overwhelms me I've never regretted it. I love to add LOTS of sauce to my food, and chicken fried steak is no exception. Aside from the gravy they already lathered it with, I wasn't satisfied until I layered it with A1 steak sauce and some tabasco. It was absolutely fantastic!

The only thing that made it more fantastic was getting to see Katie again.

The drive on the way, however, was not at all what I expected. It turned out that my trip was going to be cut short by a day. My mom's off days from work had been messed up, and in order to keep a later and much desired day off, she had no other option but to return to work a day early than anticipated. Hearing this news crushed me, and I had no idea what I was going to tell Katie.

So it was actually with a heavy heart that I managed to walk up to the front door and see Katie there, greeting me with that beautiful smile of hers. I couldn't help myself; the moment we were in each other's arms again it was back to kissing and cuddling. But soon, I broke the news to Katie. It was by far one of the worst moments in a period of three days that should have been pure bliss. 

But that didn't stop us. We were bound determined to make this day memorable. First, we had to make a trip to the store for the night's dinner. The second trip to the store was pretty much the same; lots of kissing at the traffic lights.

After getting back home, we realized that in the entire time I had been here we had been so focused on cuddling, kissing, cooking, and playing Mario Bros. that we forgot to take pictures! Silly us!

We took a lot of pictures that day, many of which I'm not posting simply because there are so many. We took them everywhere we went -- the park down the street, an underpass just before the main road, her bedroom. There were so many places! One of my favorite pictures was of us drinking our butterbeer, which we finally finished making that morning.

Yes, we are that cheesy. But it was awesome.

Before long, we had to get started on making dinner. I had never made home-made lasagna before. Any previous experience with the dish was the result of store-bought products, which often led to overcooked cheese. This was going to be a most intriguing and interesting experience.

I felt special. It turns out this recipe is one that has been in Katie's family for years. I felt flattered to be a part of knowing this. What I found the most interesting was that the recipe called for cottage cheese. I HATE cottage cheese, normally. But my God, it was amazing on this lasagna! I was easily converted! The rest of the meal consisted of a salad Katie's sister made. I love cilantro, it makes a lot of food just taste incredible. Strangely enough, I never thought of putting it in a salad. Alyson opened my eyes to it.

And the final dish was garlic bread. Once again, this was made according to a family recipe. All in all, it all smelled so good! Soon enough, my parents arrived.

I worried at first that having dinner with both Katie and my parents would be awkward. To me, it was anything but. We shared hilarious stories together -- Alyson reminiscing about a younger Katie, and my parents going into great detail about my two year old self. Dinner, as I knew it would be, was utterly fantastic, and we rounded it off with some butterbeer.

Soon we were out the door and headed back to the strip. First, my parents took Katie and I to Fremont, otherwise known as "Old" Las Vegas. Most of our visit consisted of walking, but it was worth it. There were interesting light shows and entertainment, and my parents and I played a few rounds of black jack while Katie cheered us on. We still lost.

We then made our way to the strip itself, where we visited some of the more elegant hotels such as the Venetian, the Palazzo, and the Wynn. I can now cross out these hotels on my list of those I've walked through. The architecture within these buildings was simply outstanding. One can easily walk the strip of Vegas just for the pleasure of sightseeing because the hotels have that much to offer.

It wasn't too long after that I dropped my parents back off at the hotel, and Katie and I continued to walk the strip ourselves. We went through Planet Hollywood and took a very brief stroll into Paris before deciding to go back. My parents allowed me to spend my final night at Katie's house.

The three days I spent with Katie were the best of my life. But they were also short. As much as I wanted to spend more time with her, there's something in the way that our final day and night together was spent that actually made it the most perfect way to end my visit.

I'm already planning for my next visit. And when I leave, this time it will be longer.
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 2

Having to go back to the hotel on the first night sucked a bit. I realized I would be seeing Katie the next day, but I wanted nothing more than to just curl up with her and sleep there for the night -- which was the original plan until circumstances changed such.

I wasn't tired at all when I got back to the hotel. So rather than go to sleep, I instead went down to the casino and had a beer with my mom while we played the slots. I was kicking butt at first; I managed to win almost $10 from the $1 I was betting with. I felt like the king of the world.

Of course, like all good things, this came to and end. Soon I lost it all. Oh well. It suddenly occurred to me how hungry I was. I hadn't eaten anything since the fajitas with Katie, and I still wasn't sleepy. I walked upstairs to the cafe and ordered myself one of their awesome Graveyard Specials -- Roast Chicken, a side of mashed potatoes, and vegetables for just $4.99. By the time I finished and paid, I was full and definitely ready for sleep.

I was not an easy night's sleep. The pillows in the hotel were incredibly flat, and something about the mattress wasn't too comfortable. Not only that, I was so restless. All I really wanted to do was make the 15 or so mile drive back to Katie's house.

I guess I fell asleep at some point, the sound of the television being the first sound I remember hearing in the morning. The first thing I did was check my phone. Katie and I have this awesome routine of texting each other when we wake up, even if the other isn't awake. I awoke to see I had a couple messages from her, the most recent having just gotten to me about a minute before I woke up. She told me she was making pancakes and asked me to breakfast.

Not wanting to miss a single opportunity with her, I asked her to wait until I got there -- and we could make them together. The plan for the day was that I would drop my parents off on the Las Vegas strip, and then head to Katie's  house. Unlike the day before, in which I made the trip with both my parents, this was the first time it would be by myself. I was so elated.

The minute I got through the door we immediately set upon each other like wild animals and kissed as if it were the first time again. I realized how much I missed her in just the last 12 hours that I just hugged her and kissed her like there was no tomorrow.

But we had plenty of things to do that day, and so we broke apart to get started on breakfast. We soon realized, however, that we were missing one very crucial ingredient for pancakes -- eggs! We had no eggs! OH NOES!! Whatever were we to do?! Oh yeah... shopping! And so Katie and I went on shopping for the first time together. I drove us over to Smith's, holding her hand the entire ride. There were several moments where we ended up making out while stopped at red lights. So worth it!

We got to Smith's and set about collecting various items, including our eggs. Other items included strawberries and whipped cream (for the pancakes, get your minds out of the gutter you naughty people!). We also picked up all the items necessary to make butterbeer, the drink made famous by the Harry Potter series.

Soon we were back at the house and set about making breakfast. It turned out neither of us are particularly professional at flipping, and they turned out to be thinner than usual. Still, they came out amazing -- topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and syrup, these pancakes were just phenomenal!

After breakfast, Katie and her sister introduced me to New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. I've always loved the original Mario games for the Nintendo and Super Nintendo, and this game takes the best of these games and complies it into one large-scale adventure. We died plenty of times. Normally, dying in a video game tends to annoy me. But today, it was just funny. I haven't had an experience with video games like that in a long, long time.

By this time, it was the early afternoon. I woke up at 8:00 am that morning, and we spent nearly 4 hours just making breakfast and playing Mario Bros. That's what I call productive! The next hours consisted of Katie and I spending time alone in her bedroom, kissing, cuddling, hugging, and just being so close together. Occasionally we would stop to get some water (making out dries out your mouth!), watch some episodes of Big Bang Theory (I'm officially loving that show), or tease her cat (she's adorable beyond words). But most of the time was just us and us alone. Soon enough, we were getting hungry again. And I knew where we should go.

I thought there couldn't be any fast food Mexican joint that could possibly be better than Chipotle Mexican Grill. Yes, I realize it's not authentic, but I couldn't care less. So sue me!!


Anyway, it turns out I was wrong. There WAS something better than Chipotle. And that place, my friends, was Cafe Rio. I had never heard of this place before meeting Katie. This isn't too surprising; Cafe Rio is not common around Southern California. I think the closest one to me is around and hour and a half away. This place is fantastic. The burritos were massive and tasty, and cost the same price no matter the meat inside. For my first time I chose to get a chicken burrito with all three types of sauce, rice and beans, lettuce, cheese, and pico de gallo. And then I ordered it enchilada style, which pretty much meant taking half of the ingredients already in my burrito and placing more of it on top of it!

Holy crap, it was good!

Following this intensely amazing first time experience (in which we only ate half our meal and decided to save the rest for the next day), Katie treated me to Yougurtland. The only other time I've tried frozen yogurt was at Tutti Frutti, and I didn't care much for it. This place was far better. I got mango yogurt topped with more mangoes, some strawberries, and kiwi.

*Mouth waters* I think it's safe to say I've been converted to a love of frozen yogurt. Or mango frozen yogurt at least!

The evening winded down with us heading back to Katie's again. We started creating butterbeer, going as far as making the sugar extract needed for half the recipe. A last second thought occurred to me that we should save it for tomorrow night, when my parents would be coming over for dinner. And we ended the night by watching more episodes of Big Bang Theory until I had to go back to the hotel.

Two days in, and Katie fits so well into my life. I love you, Katie!

Stay tuned for Day 3!
Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 1

I woke up on Sunday, April 3 groggy and tired. It was just after 8 am. Like most people my age, waking up at that time is not the norm. Especially considering I was so excited the night before that I didn't manage to fall asleep until almost 2:30 in the morning. So it was with great effort I managed to get out of my bed and stretch. 

It took me less than a few seconds, however, to remember just why I was waking up that early. And soon, all grogginess and tiredness dissipated with the speed of a traffic light turning green. Instead, my mind had been replaced with the same excitement and joy that had occupied it in the preceding weeks. I was dressed within minutes, and extra sets of clothes were packed along with a bag of general hygiene products into a suitcase. I was so excited to hit the road that I was ready to leave by 8:35.

Too bad my parents weren't. I had forgotten I wasn't leaving for at least another hour.

So instead I sat. Then I stood up. And I sat down again. I ate a bowl of cheerios. I like cheerios. Especially with bananas. As it was Sunday, I read the Sunday comics. This has been routine since I was at least 7 years old. I love the Sunday Funnies. But even as I read the comic strips my mind kept going back to Katie. And it brought smiles to my face. For the first time since we met online all those months ago, I was going to finally meet her. And my heart soared.

Finally, we were out the door. 5 hours of driving awaited me before I could see her. And in some ways, it was agonizing. I remember the route that leads to Vegas, having traveled on it many times. There's this one long stretch of road that has many hills and bumps. Going over them feels like being on a small roller coaster. I  wasn't sure whether the feelings in my stomach were caused by driving on this road, or were the result of a combination of nerves and excitement.

I texted Katie for about an hour and a half, keeping her updated on where I was and how far we were. Eventually I had to turn my phone off to conserve the battery lest it died and I couldn't talk to her until arriving at my destination. In the few hours I had my phone off I busied myself with reading one of my favorite books. Before long it was lunch time. My parents took me to In-N-Out Burger.

Oh man. I love In-N-Out! Double Double animal style with fries and a Dr. Pepper? I swear, I need to live by this restaurant in my future home.

As satisfied as I was with my lunch, I was more anxious to get back on the road. I'd waited so long, I couldn't wait much longer. So we were soon driving again, but Vegas was still at least 120 miles away. *sigh*

An hour and a half later, I looked up to see that we were coming up to a sight I've seen many times. The stateline! We were about to cross the border into Nevada! At that point, it was only 45 miles to go! I turned my phone back on and texted Katie, so happy were we both that I was so close! So close! The closer I got, the more agonizing it became for both of us. I was all for driving straight to her house while my parents went off to get a hotel room.

We were coming up to the strip. The strip is seriously one of the most amazing sights you could ever see, and the interior of most of these hotels is beyond fantastic.

Unfortunately, I did not go straight to Katie's house. Instead, my parents got off on the strip to find a hotel first. The wait became almost unbearable at this point. I remember impatiently walking around the casino floor as my dad sorted out registration. I occupied myself with watching the slot machines, feigning interest until I finally tore away. I think it was at that point I was visibly agitated. I tried to keep my composure, but it was getting difficult.

Thirty minutes later, we finally left our hotel room and I was officially on my way to her house! At that point, I was incredibly nervous. It was finally here. I would finally see Katie beyond a computer screen. I would finally  kiss her and hold her in my arms. As excited as I was, I cant deny I was nervous beyond all reason.

The drive from the strip to her house was about 20 minutes. I drove the way so that I could familiarize myself with the location since I'd be driving back and forth a lot in the coming days.

Soon, I parked outside her house in the driveway. I remember my heart was beating faster than I could ever remember it doing so. My legs were shaking from pure nerves and utter excitement. I climbed the steps and rang the doorbell.

It was pure bliss. Katie threw herself into my arms and we kissed for the first time. And not just sweet little kisses. It was full on passion and fiery, the result of love built up over months and months of never being able to release it before now. We hugged. And in that moment, I was the happiest man alive. This moment was for us and us alone.

We broke apart reluctantly. Silly me had forgotten that my parents were waiting out on the driveway, hoping for the chance to meet the amazing woman I've told them so much about. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

Before long, my parents left. And Katie and I spent our first moments together, alone. Needless to say, there was lots of intense cuddling and kissing, all the while our faces were likely plastered with the goofiest of grins, the happiest of expressions. Could you blame us? All I know is that in those moments, nothing existed for me but the girl I was currently holding in my arms, kissing with all the passion I could.

The next couple hours passed in a haze as the two of us just cuddled and kissed, so happy and so joyful to finally be together. We broke away from ourselves long enough to make fajitas. I thought my mom's fajitas were awesome. The ones Katie and I made together were beyond anything. And so for the first time, we cooked together. Dinner took some time to make -- as more kissing and hugging got in the way. We put on some Disney music and sang "A Whole New World" from Aladdin together. It was beautiful harmony. I didn't think I could love her more, but in those moments I fell harder. Katie was absolutely perfect.

And to think, it was only the first day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Burnt Out

I knew I should have completed most, if not all, of my homework before I left for Las Vegas last Sunday.

Since getting home on Wednesday, I haven't been really in much of a mood to do anything other than sit at my computer and attempt to do some work. Unfortunately, I haven't been getting anywhere. The moment I sit down to add another entry to my Color Journal, I put the paint away.

As soon as I load my Internet browser to work on assignments for my Computer class, I get distracted and end up watching YouTube videos or chatting on Facebook for hours.

I think I'm starting to come down with a small case of senioritis. The worst part of it is that I was doing so well until the last couple weeks. I just want school to be done and over with. Frankly, I'm just ready to move on with my life. While the outside world might be scarier than school could ever be, I'm just done with school.

I miss Katie. A lot. It's amazing how easily she fits into my life. I realize I'm still young, but I feel confident in saying I've found the woman of my dreams. In the short few days I spent with her, I've never felt happier. I just want to go back to her soon.

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