Underwear Ninja comes with Space Suit: August 2006
Underwear Ninja comes with Space Suit
to blog or not to blog, which is the path a true underwear ninja must take? whichever path it be, it will surely be a rough-hewn one. argyle, possibly.
Monday, August 28, 2006
never know who you'll meet
well today was a long day
i put in a 15-hour day at the studio.
and tomorrow will be even longer.
its all due to the amount of SAG actors coming in to record lines of VO.
we planned it so that each actor can be in and out in about 30 min
and i'm 1/2 of the people orchestrating this operation.
one thing that was noteworthy was that i got to use the packets of starbucks coffee that i hoisted from the seattle sheraton. i tore open the packets and dumped it all in the coffee maker. it was good, but a little paper-tasting.
one other thing that was noteworthy was when jason griffith came in to read the lines of "Bevil". he thought heavy melody was cool place and he said it was "a dream come true" to be there. he loved the friendly staff (me, since i ran the recording session by myself coz everyone else was on a conference call) and loved the hominess of the studio. actually, he's been to quite a few recording studios in ny. he says most of them are dingy. it turns out that he does VO as sonic the hedgehog and shadow the hedgehog for "Sonic X". i thought that was pretty cool. (for those of you that don't know, sonic x is a staple saturday morning cartoon on fox's "4kids tv". i've actually had it playing in the background a few times in my apt. and not just that, but he's the official voice of sonic the hedgehog in the sonic game series. actually, i just did a wiki search for him and he' s the voice of stormshadow in the latest GIJoe series too.
but anyway, here's the coolest part. apparently he really loves this place. he's even offered to do VO for whatever we want for FREE! that coming from a pro SAG VO guy is awesome! can you imagine what that did to my self esteem?? i mean i get at least partial credit for that, right?
well anyway, time for me to get whatever sleep i can salvage.
posted by underwear ninja 10:38 PM   3 comments
  • At 9:58 AM EDT, Blogger Iris Blue said…

    Did you recognize his other characters by just his voice?

  • At 6:45 PM EDT, Blogger Big Penguin said…

    Atta Boy, NINJA!!! Make it happen!

  • At 7:52 PM EDT, Blogger R the Great said…

    Yes! You get the credit. Making people feel welcome and appreciated is extremely important. Keep up the good work.

    Let's skype sometime. I want to see your new home.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006
blog makeover
i gave my blog a facelift. i like it; i think it works.
i just have to figure out the title though coz its ruining my face!
and its covering up my pretty ny sunset
(for those bloggers out there that have been keeping up with my postings... yes, that's the ny sunset photo that i posted a while ago)
posted by underwear ninja 11:24 PM   3 comments
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
seattle: day 3
the first class of day 3 was an XACT workshop. Yessssss!
(XACT stands for "cross-platform audio creation tool" and is the toolset that microsoft uses to implement audio for all their stuff. PCs, xbox, and 360)
definitely been looking forward to this so i can get an idea what the heck they're all talking about and ask some questions.

it was a class of about 30 computers with windows vista on them. pretty cool. they look a little different but i can't see any MAJOR differences from xp.
the xact toolset actually isn't able to run on vista... so we all had to restart the computers in xp mode.
so our instructor starts right in. before we all even have our computers rebooted he's going through all the features of xact. then some staffers suddenly remember we're all supposed to have hand-outs that help us follow along on paper. they do a little scrambling and leave the room to get to the copier.
then he's pulling up all these sounds that we're "supposed" to have on our computer, but don't for some reason.
so we have no sounds to work from.
i end up doing a computer search for .wav files and found a sound of a gun shot.
too bad i can't hear what it sounds like though coz there an error message that tells me there is no audio hardware or no support for audio or something like that.
might as well though, coz the headphones we were all supposed to be supplied with never showed up...
so at this point he's chugging right along and i'm really trying to figure out what he's talking about by using my gun shot sound in the same way he's doing it. going through the motions and hoping that mimicking him enough will produce the same effect.
the whole workshop was a fiasco in my opinion and i let them know that in the survey.
i went up after the class and asked him about implementing and
basically how to start from the ground floor of all this business. it turns out that i actually don't have to write code, like i thought i would have to do from all that talk on day 1.
i thought i would have to learn c++ or c#
but instead, you tell the programers where to put the sounds and they do it.
et voila! the rest of sound implementation is giving them instructions. you make sounds and set parameters using XACT or middleware, and then those programs spit out instructions that look a lot like hypertext and you hand that over to the programers.
well, that's the simple way to explain it anyway.
after that workshop, i had a clue what this was all about.
i went to look at middleware booths. booths for audio, booths for graphics, booths where they show middleware that mimics human expressions. cri, wwise, fmod, creative labs.... all these are just for audio. pretty cool. they're all trying to demonstrate how easy their programs are and how great you can make things sound.
then in the afternoon, after lunch, there was a panel for audio middleware. for those of you that don't know what a "panel" is at a convention: they each give a presentation and then there's a Q+A at the end.
it was awesome being on the other side of a convention like this instead of running A/V gear. thing have a much different perspective.
after that, we were done. and it was time for exploring the city coz it was still day out.
*see pic to the right..... leaving gamefest*
one thing to note about seattle is the trollys. they're not like "trollys" but more like buses with rods on the tops of them to catch the wires strewn about 10 ft above the street.
its kindof an eyesore but maybe they save gas. that's chris in the pic...
that's another thing.
chris is in a lot of the pics i have. i'm not in a lot of pics because noone takes pics of me. and if they do they don't do it right.
we walked down to the port. where i snapped this pic...
of course i contrasted and darkened it a bit, but only coz i wanted to use it as a wallpaper. its more interesting to have a highly contrasted pic as a wallpaper than just bland buildings. you can see the port cranes and the 2 stadiums (i think one is baseball and one is football).
i also saw a sign that looked kinda like the starbucks sign, but it was scary.
actually, it WAS starbucks. but it was one of the first ones. this IS the land of starbucks after all... and every restaurant and hotel served starbucks coffee. and i took all the starbucks coffee packets from my room all 3 days so i have about 6 days worth of coffee yay.
but anyway i didn't think to take a pic... you can probably find what it looks like online. it was the same girl, but brown. and instead of just her face, it showed her whole body. which was nude. turns out she's a mermaid with two tails (that's the freakish part). the hair goes to her waist and doesn't cover her up.
and then i was looking for totem poles. the map showed totem poles. my mom said there were totem poles. and i was like "hellz ya das what i'm talkin bout!". thinking i was gonna see some crazy totem poles. but... i only found 1 and it was lame. it only had 1 carving way at the top. and the back of it was flat. in fact, you wouldn't even be able to tell it was a totem pole if it had wires strung to it (like a telephone pole).
how disappointing.
the from the totem pole was this shot of people laying on the grass. i thought it was pretty and kinda showed "seattle by the water".
we started getting hungry and looked for a place to eat. the criteria: find a place that serves alcohol and find a place that serves something like a menu from applebees or friday's.
actually, there are NO places to eat along the water unless you want fish. and i didn't want fish.
i ended up eating fish.
and before it got too dark chris wanted me to take a pic of this ring in the sky. he was actually quite urgent in how he told me to take a pic of it. i don't think chris had every seen something like that before coz he was absolutely amazed. i was like, "uh, it looks like a plane made a u-turn". it was still cool nonetheless and i guess if i was from the early 1900s i would think it was a sign from aliens.
the Public Market stretched for at least half a mile. for some reason they were really big on this whole "pig" theme. everywhere you looked in this market was a pig statue or pig sign telling you where to eat. why pigs? why not fish? its not like the restaurants sold any pork products anyway. apparently the Public Market was in a levi's jeans commercial in the early to mid 90s. guys throwing fish. guys catching fish. all done in levi's jeans. and i think that tradition is real and still goes on. something about throwing fish. this is a big thing to the seattlites and they play up the whole "famous Public Market" thing because of it.
these shots were taken at the top of a san fran-esque hilly street. i couldn't make up my mind which pic i liked better. it all depends on which setting i use on my camera how it color balances. here's one that looks more green/blue and one that looks more pink/orange.
so that's basically my trip to seattle. left in the morning to get to the airport by 1p (seattle time)
heard about a bomb scare at the port about 20 min into the flight, got back about 9p (ny time).

now to download all these middleware sdk's and figure 'em out!
posted by underwear ninja 6:24 AM   2 comments
  • At 9:20 PM EDT, Blogger Iris Blue said…

    Almost like being there. The photos would make nice posters, too. This makes me want to travel to the west coast again. It's soooo far by car.

  • At 6:58 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good pix and comments, un. almost like being there. --nbk

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Sunday, August 20, 2006
seattle: day two
so i get up and take some shots of the alexandria rossoff building. it's got a funky "apple core" base and is the focus of most of the pics i took out of my hotel room window. mostly because its the only really interesting building that i have a few of.
head down to the lobby at 7am
chris has some problems with his card key (he left it in the room) so i had some time to peruse the USA today. well well well look what they're talking about in the lifestyle section. microsoft to unviel XNA for creating your own video games *pictured here*. to be released TODAY.
hmph. i wish i woulda heard it before america did but oh well. i'm here and that's that. turns out that the keynote speaker was talking about the picture that was in the newspaper.
after a quick walk to the harbor coz we got lost, we ended up at the convention. which, as it turns out, was right next door.
yada yada yada boring keynote address that unviels the XNA program. i like the concept. and i wanna try it out.
the smallest room in the whole convention was allocated fo the audio track of classes.
and man o man were those confusing

they basically told all about the guts of XNA and how it's a little different from earlier directX in the way it routes, processes, and plays audio. how it's very similar to PC in most ways. and its all very technical and very powerpoint-oriented.
ya it was rough and i'm gonna have to look back at those notes and powerpoints again. i haven't even worked on 1 xbox title yet and there's people (like the guy that wrote the music for the "halo" series) in there that have the pleasure of asking questions like "what's the advantage of multi-streaming on 4 and 5 instead of 1 and 2?" and other gibberish that i'm too ignorant to understand.
what I wanna know is "how do you put sound in an xbox game...." ugh i'm outta my league here.. i feel like "derrr derr dughghh"

after a day of banging my head on my table there was a par-tay across town at a bar/segway transport/barbeque club.
yes, it was a mishmash of things that didn't seem to go with each other very well.
there were:
xbox 360 games on plasmas screens to play on the walls.
a live band on stage. but no drummer. just a drum track. (lame) especially lame since the reason to go to one of these partys is to network and mingle. and it made it really hard to do when everything you say has to be a shout and every other word people say is "what?!?"
an open bar, which was nice.
fannnnntastic barbeque chicken and pork!
gogo dancers, which was nice too but a little awkward considering the current clientel. it was actually pretty funny to see the geeks of the US stand and stare at gogo dancers.
a mini segway transport rink. really mini.
its hard to look "cool" on one of those.
unfortunately, i didn't think to take pics of it except for one of the stupid gimmicks that the band had to try to sell a cd of their crap *pictured here*.

the bus back to the hotel was nothing of note and would have been unworthy of a tale save for 1 "gentleman" who, when he got on the bus, yelled "yaaaaaa, microsoft PARTY! woohooooo!" very sarcastically and then gave the entire bus the finger.
...and then proceeded to tell us how ignorant we all are because the engine only uses 1/6th its processing power. how we're all "fucking idiots" because we didn't utilize out multi-threading. mind you, he's yelling all this. apparently he takes these things very personally.
he singled out a middle-age woman and started calling her a fucking moron. she said "i have no idea what you're talking about" and he was shouting about how that's the problem.
"you just wait til christmas! when you're all out of a job!!"

and as it happened, one of the lead program designers for xbox was sitting next to him.
i could elaborate on what their conversation was about (since i was sitting right in back of him) but i'll just say that he put him in his place. the dude was almost to tears after being told about what makes a good processor and what, instead, makes a good video game.
posted by underwear ninja 1:08 AM   2 comments
  • At 8:49 PM EDT, Blogger Iris Blue said…

    What an awful thing to do to a perfectly good segway. It looks like a pimped up PEZ.

  • At 7:58 AM EDT, Anonymous Steve said…

    Yaaaa, microsoft PARTY! woohoooo!

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Friday, August 18, 2006
seattle: day 1
seattle didn't seem as big as i thought it would be
coming into town by shuttle bus, we (chris, my producer and I) passed boeing, the ports, a couple stadiums, the space needle, and then we're there.

clean city too. mighty clean.

and at times it seemed like there was nobody there. but i guess coming into town on a sunday afternoon might look like that.
we stopped off at the sheraton and tried to decide if we should take a taxi, the monorail, or walk to the "touristy" part of town, the Seattle Center. that's where the space needle is and a couple museums.
me: "how much for a taxi to the seattle center?"
valet: "hmm... under $5"
ok so as it turns out my map is drawn a little like a theme park map. crazy cartoons drawn out of scale. it looked like the seattle center was on the other side of the world. but you look down the street and its right there.
we walked and beat the monorail.
it was boring walking down the street of seattle. same sh%, different city. they had banana republic, nike, gap, *yawn*....
i can get any of this stuff in any other town in america. its too bad that it worked out that all stores are everywhere now =(
i DID get to see a starbucks joint that had the original logo on it. a fully-nude mermaid with 2 tails on a wooden sign. finally, a little something you can't see somewhere else...

20 bucks to get in the needle? pshaw!
instead we went to Experience Music Project (EMP) next door
its supposed to be a rock museum of sorts
it sounded so promising. especially for a couple music biz dudes here for an audio implementation lesson at the conference.
inside it was too wide for its own good. they didn't have enough stuff to fill the place it seemed.
there were some manaquins showing the garb of some famous musicians (not originals), a history of the seattle music scene, a walk-through dedication to hendrix, a pitiful exhibit on hip hop (it was mostly graffiti art and some spray paint cans behind glass), a "rock out" section, and a gift shop. the rock out section turned out to be the most fun because it had real instruments (guitars, keyboards, drum sets) that you could have a recording sessions with. but as fun as it was, it was still something i could readily do at any other time (music biz dude). i got a shirt at the gift store so i could have something "from seattle" (don't have any immediate plans to return). chris always complains about my wardrobe so i let him pick it out. its too small, but he says that's the style these days.

so we got outta there and hailed a taxi (btw that 1st pic was a hasty out-of-window shot as we drove by) to get us to registration at the conference center. nice place.
they had xbox 360 games, PC games, food, open bar, and a masseuse. i signed up for the massage and i got a dude. and he was really light on the touch so i was bored and wanted to get a-playin' on those video games.
my new favorite game right now is call of duty 2. its immersive in its own way.
then i was officially on "company time" and i had to network and mingle.
met a middle-agem quiet, lonely guy named drew who, before becoming senior director for xbox live, worked for the gov't making military games. he drove tanks and shot guns for research and developed real-time war simulators that they used for combat training for tank operators in the middle east. he had a bundle of interestingness hidden behind his casual boredom.
we were having a grande ole' time before SoundDelux *dun dun dunnnn* showed up and started blabbing about how many terabytes of SFX they have. (ya that's, great.... i was talking to drew)
met a dude from australia presenting some audio middleware called FMOD. he'd been up for about 40 hours and loved talking about monkeys. he goes on a trip to another part of the world every year and watches the monkeys there. he's even suffered in the coldest mountains to look at rare monkeys in their natural habitat. he was actually babbling about them, but he'd been up for 40 hours so he was excused.

chris and i headed back to the hotel at about 9pm and planned to meet at 7am for breakfast.
posted by underwear ninja 11:46 PM   3 comments
  • At 5:55 PM EDT, Anonymous rhonda said…

    Can't wait to hear more.

  • At 8:02 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good details and feel of it--nbk

  • At 7:49 AM EDT, Anonymous Steve said…

    You're showing signs of being a New Yorker!! When it comes to access to shopping & culture/museums you'll always be unimpressed by the size and 'pulse' of any other city you visit now.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006
more about gamefest to come...
just as my flight left seattle this morning for new york, not 20 min into the flight, i hear on the tv seat back that there was a bomb scare at the sea port.

i think i had good timing on that one =)
posted by underwear ninja 10:33 PM   1 comments
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Thursday, August 10, 2006
gatorade and what now?
well i'll be leaving on sunday for "gamefest" in seattle. while there i'll learn about implementing audio into xbox 360 games. woot!
i'm flying jetBlue flight 175 from New York, and flight 176 on the 16th back. a nice 7 hours in a seat with minimal leg-room. both ways.
so this terrorist plot comes at a "convenient" time. and by "convenient" i mean bad. now i'll have to wait for an extra 3 hours in the airport.

but you know what... is it really a "bad" time? i mean, WHEN is a good time? hmm?

i was all bummed about waiting for 3 hours in the airport and how big of a hassle it is. i was bummed for all of about 1 hour. and then i saw the TIME magazine photojournalism of the foiled plot:
flights canceled
hordes of people sitting in boredom in airports

it hit me. i woke up and realized... absolutely beautiful..

now THOSE are the kind of photos i'd like to see after a terrorist plot. photos of people in various degrees of fatigue, waiting for a ride home. there wasn't a single photo of a crashed plane. no photos of familys torn apart. no photos of innocent people losing their lives due to a selfish obsessed self-loathing abhoration of a human existance.
yes, i was very happy to see the people put out like that. and i'm all too willing to have to wait for however long in the airport or to not be allowed to take items in a carry-on bag. i'll smile all the way to the 12th chime because it could be worse. a whoollle lot worse.

a few hours is a meager price to pay
posted by underwear ninja 10:57 PM   3 comments
  • At 2:05 AM EDT, Blogger Big Penguin said…

    They can take my carry-on shampoo when they prey it from my cold dead fingers :-) Have fun in Seattle!

  • At 1:03 PM EDT, Blogger live.laugh.love.20something said…

    Exactly!! well, not like penguin, but your thoughts.

  • At 8:05 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, I would much rather hear reports all day long about how the plot was foiled. More pictures and news like 9-11 should never have to be seen again.

    Have FUN at your conference.


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Saturday, August 05, 2006
it is new york after all..
saturday. what a day. wait all week to go to IKEA!
yay yay woot woot IKEA to get some shelving for my new room.
went to a diner with my new fam for some breakfast
came out and went looking for the car
..and its gone.
there is another car in its place and some smashed glass around the area.
yup, my roomy got his car stolen.
the police said they (the thieves) did a "good job" on it.
they took out the radiator, the passenger airbag, and left it in the middle of the street somewhere in brooklyn. its times like these that i'm glad i don't have a car while i'm up here.
it was otherwise a gorgeous day out. beautiful weather. the ice cream truck was a little more annoying than usual though...
so i'll be doing IKEA shopping online while my roomie goes through the insurance process and gets his car fixed.
posted by underwear ninja 3:19 PM   5 comments
  • At 9:47 PM EDT, Blogger Iris Blue said…

    That is awful!

  • At 10:16 PM EDT, Blogger Big Penguin said…

    I'm glad you like IKEA.... We're Broward and Olando are supposed to get 2 of the biggest IKEA stores in the US by next year. I've heard good things about them, but I feel better about your recommendations.

    PS - Sorry about your buddy's car.

  • At 10:37 PM EDT, Blogger underwear ninja said…

    no no i haven't been to IKEA. i was looking forward to going there coz i've heard about them a lot.
    it woulda been my first time =(

  • At 8:02 PM EDT, Blogger nbk said…

    It's so sad that such things can happen in broad daylight in town and no witnesses even try to report it, let alone try to stop it. It would make me question the basic decency of people, I'm afraid. I blame the bystanders nearly as much as the thieves.

  • At 2:30 PM EDT, Blogger live.laugh.love.20something said…

    OMG Ikea is the best place ever. Definately go with about 5 hours to spend. And don't lose their tools...Cuz it's pretty damn difficult to set up the things with the normal American ones...

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i dug it in a "dark art" kinda way
so last night i went to a housewarming soiree in astoria. i say soiree coz it was small and not rowdy. but neither was it boring. although at one point there was talk of monopoly and i was totally psyched! (neerrrd).
it was for paul boren and his girlfriend serena. they were the ones who invited me to the boat on the 4th. he does camerawork and is somewhat of a filmmaker and she is a waitress. there were paintings all around. most were pretty cool. a few looked like they belonged in a series. those ones were large murals of brown paint splashed and rubbed in different ways. one had footprints on it, on looked like jesus was on it, one had a huge circle with a couple "ghosts" painted inside. i asked about them. he said "you wanna watch a video?"
the video was a little like the music video of "closer" by NIN. it was basically shots of him laying down on this large canvas shirtless and having this paint poured over him, and then he would rub it around and stuff. and then the next shots were of him inserting a needle in his arm and having the blood drip through a tube into the jar we just saw before.
so ya, it turns out all those murals are made of his own blood being poured on him and smeared around. he's done this several times and collects about 2 pints each time. you can imagine how he looked at the end of the video. turns out everyone at this soiree has seen that video at some point.
"do your parents know about this?"
he said his parents asked him if they could see some of his latest projects. on christmas day. with his other relatives there too.
i really wanted to play monopoly but instead ended up talking about craig thompson's third book "carnet de voyage" (which serena got for me a couple weeks ago coz she was thoughtful)
posted by underwear ninja 10:47 AM   3 comments
  • At 9:44 PM EDT, Blogger Iris Blue said…

    Ugh! Seems like the blood could have been donated to save someone's life. Two pints is a lot. They don't even take that much when you donate blood. Wouldn't paint do the same thing?

  • At 10:12 PM EDT, Blogger Big Penguin said…

    To me, that's not art... just weird. If it's art because it looks cool, then fine... If it's art because it's his own blood, well then it's just gimmicy, ain't it!

  • At 3:33 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    eeww. I agree with Iris!

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Name: underwear ninja
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