31 May 2010

Classic Scrub moments

I have really learned to appreciate the little things that can make my day (and week) that much more enjoyable. One of my all time favourite past times is watching the entire length of a tv series a few episodes at a time after a long day of work/Uni, or to stay warm inside on a cold relaxing night with some snacks.

So far I have watched:
-Friends: a classic
-Seinfeld: if you haven't seen this before, I am deeply disturbed and ask that you leave this blog immediately.
-The Office (American version): Absolutely hilarious I recommend
-Dexter (the ending of season 4 was insane! I still can't get over it): Watch it, now.
-Better Off Ted: A hilarious show, a really enjoyable watch
-How I Met Your Mother: An absolute classic, I have fallen off my chair from laughter
-Arrested Development: Brilliant
-The I.T Crowd: Again, if you have not seen this before, leave now
-Californication: No words needed

Currently I am up to season 8 of the brilliant show Scrubs! This show has had me in stitches from laughter many times over now, so I decided to post a few of my all time favourite parts.

(Click the headings for a link to the clip)

Flying head doctor
Far out I laughed so hard at this. The part when the body dives off the stage is priceless! And then he starts clapping! I am cracking up laughing just typing about it.

Shadow puppet theater
Who thinks of this stuff seriously, this was brilliant! I fell off my chair from this one.

Sasha's Assassination
"Saaasshhhaaaaaa!!" I think I cried at this clip!

Giant puddle
I seen this for the first time a few years back, I remember literally falling off my chair from laughter. Seriously, who thinks of this stuff!

Bob Kelso "Two thumbs"
"What has two thumbs, and doesn't give a crap? Bob Kelso, nice to meet you" Classic!

Turk is back from his honeymoon
Hahaha! JD "Aww man, how did this happen!"... Turk "Ok, from now on we are calling this roof A". Hilarious!

It's the little things in life =)

30 May 2010

Two minds

I live an extremely busy life, if I say so myself that is. My week consists of work 9 - 5 three days a week, University about 11 - 8 two days a week, field hockey games on Saturday afternoons, then the rest divided between homework, exercise and leisure.

Don't really see friends very often any more which is a major bummer...

Anyways, I have been single for quite some time now (8 months or so), for ages after I absolutely hated it and would almost obsess with the idea that 'life would be so much better if I had a girlfriend'... which is sad I know, but it was just a phase. I had a girlfriend for 4 years when I was 17 - 21, so growing up with one for so long it is kind of all you know, having someone always there is something you get used to, so it is was a bit of a shock to be on my own again.

That all passed a while back which is good.

I love my life at my moment, I honestly do. I really enjoy my job to the point where I actually look forward to going in, University is going amazing and I am really enjoying my research. Moving out of home into a share house is going fantastic, I get along well with the housemates and the freedom is awesome. I recently started field hockey for the fun of it to which I play once a week, something I have wanted to start for years now.

And hell, I guess I can't complain about life even if I wanted to. In the last 4 months I have seen Taylor Swift and Paramore live in concert, checked off a life-goal of appearing on national tv, had a 5 day holiday to Queensland with my sister for the fun of it, went on a 10 day cruise just a few weeks ago, got a taste of how it would be like to live in the city, and have a trip to Thailand waiting for me at the end of June.

Which yes looks like I'm bragging, which in secret I was =P but in not so secret it was more in an attempt to convince myself that life is better than it appears to be. You know what the problem is though... I live this crazy life and do all these cool things just because I can... the problem is I do them alone.

Obviously I was with people when I did those events, but they were never anyone special, you know? Everyone has friends, but there is a vast ranking system for each friend on how much they mean to you.

Group 1: Down the bottom you have 'know their name, see them at a party every now and again, if you think really hard you may remember where they work/study'.

Group 2: A tad higher is 'known them for quite a while, can have a good laugh and chat whenever you see them, don't really hang out with them on a free day though, chat mainly via Facebook comments and at parties'.

Group 3: Then comes the ones that start to matter 'know them well and possibly even their family, have their mobile number and wouldn't be surprised to receive an sms/call from them, you'd invite them to events'

Group 4: All the way up to 'one of your best friends, you can rely on them and chat to them frequently, someone you can turn to'.

With obviously more groups in between but you get the idea.

I have a tonne of friends, I really do, this is because back in high school I was always friendly and completely myself to everyone, so as a result I had my main tight circle of friends but I also had a fairly solid foot in about 2 - 3 other friend circles as well. But the majority of these friends fall within groups 2 and 3... and not group 4, the ones that make life worth living.

To be honest, I only have 2 friends that fall into group 4, but they fall into it by a thread. One of them I don't think even really knows that they mean that much to me, which is sad. The other is a roller coaster of crazy where it is hard to know if they are my friend or a stranger. So while I can do all these cool activities, and live this busy life that I enjoy, and look forward to the future, I just can't shake the feeling that without someone meaningful to share it with, its all pointless, empty...

I have always heard that 'you must be happy within and with yourself, instead of seeking happiness through the company of others.' Hmm, or maybe I made that up just then? Anyways the point is, I agree you should find happiness and content for having yourself as your only company, and not rely on others to make you happy, but I think there comes a line where you can be truly happy with yourself and your life (which I am), but still be unhappy.

I think I am at that line.

28 May 2010

Exciting possibility!

An awesome opportunity has presented itself which I am (for reasons not completely known to me) insanely excited about! As I mentioned just the other day in fact, I am really enjoying my Honours course I am currently doing, working with Sophie my supervisor being one of the highlights.

Anyway, my last meeting was a few days ago, and I had another with her today during which the topic of tutoring opportunities being available to me as I am Honours student came up. This will allow me to teach the practical classes for 2 of the current units in the Games Design and Development degree at my University! Awesome!

I have a choice between 2 classes, although I might try and teach both.

One of which would be teaching the first years in Game Fundamentals, which pretty much involves exposing the students to all the different elements that make up a video game (lighting, characters, stories, themes, graphics and so on) and how these all work together and what they bring to the gaming experience. This one I feel will be really rewarding as I am pretty good at connecting with people if I really need to, and it would be great to get the students thinking about how a game presents the experience to the player that could lead to some excellent discussions. The students also get free reign on their creativity, something I would love to encourage and shape if I could.

The second class is Audio and Visual Game Elements for the second year students. This involves using 3DS Max (a 3d modeling software) to draw things like swords, spiders and rocks in 3d, complete with textures and lighting. Then changing from visual to audio elements where we focus on how audio can enhance the visuals and induce a desired mood that changes the experience that the video game has on the player. There is also the fun challenge of producing sounds using the Foley technique.

I have got wild imaginations running through my mind on how being a teacher could turn out. My best case scenario would be being able to connect with the students, seeing their minds turning away with the breadth of their imagination the limit.  Fresh faces to an old field is always exciting.

So many people play video games, watch movies, read books, but how many actually stop to think about what kind of experience that medium had on them. Did you feel immersed in the world, invested in the characters, found yourself lost in thought about the back story, debated the resulting ramifications when critical monumental events occurred. If you did experience something profound, look further to how it had that affect. Was it the way the characters were described, the towns portrayed, the lighting and sound involved (if it was a visual medium obviously). Think about why a certain colour and texture was used in a certain scene, the background music used to set a desired mood, the camera angles, the names of the characters.  All chosen for a reason.

Then of course, how this was all brought together to (hopefully) seamlessly create an entire dimension within your own mind.

Anyways, I was pretty excited about that and thought I'd share it here.  If I do take the offer I won't start until next University semester which is 2 months away yet.  Will keep you updated!

25 May 2010

Enjoying Uni

I tell you what I don't seem to do on this blog anymore, reflect. Which to me at least is a shame, which is cool because I write this blog purely for myself and never in an attempt to gain followers. I am selfish in that regard aren't I? =P

Today was an absolutely awesome day, it was the exact kind of day that I needed right now. This year I have two major events in my life, my job (which is exactly related to the field of work I want to form a career in) and completing my Honours degree at University.

Every week I meet up with my absolutely awesome supervisor Sophie. She is one of the coolest person I have ever met in my life, I look up to her tremendously both as an academic and as a person. During these meetings we brainstorm ideas, I usually bombard her with about 3000 questions on everything from report writing methodologies to referencing citations, and as we have become good friends over the last few months, usually spend a while talking about whatever springs to mine.

They are definitely a highlight to my week.

Anyways, it got me thinking. She asked me how I am going with everything in general, how I am finding my other classes, how my research is progressing, basically my current mood if I am coping or feeling stressed (she is awesome like that). I took a minute to think about it.

My classes are going well, my research is progressing nicely with about 3 key components that are crucial to my research currently in motion, I seem to be on track with everything... and then it hit me. While this is a lot of work involving lots of reading of published papers, writing reports to be done, constant meetings, other classes assignments to complete, all this balancing with work, in the end I can sum it all up... I am enjoying everything minute and aspect of it immensely.

I get bored and lose focus with things extremely easy. Ha, for instance, right now I am sitting at my University library writing this blog when I had promised myself I would spend this time writing a report that is due. If I don't find something enjoyable, I just can't do it, so it was an awesome realization to know that I really value being here, it feels exactly where I am meant to be, where I belong at this point in my life.

Knowing that you are where you are meant to be is invaluable, I see and meet too many people that are in jobs, or courses, or even relationships that they just shouldn't be in. Their heart isn't completely in it, perhaps I am wrong (I usually am). If you aren't 100% invested in something then you're just kidding yourself and wasting your time. Life is too short is all I am saying.

This year, which scarily is already half way through, will be one of my toughest but also most rewarding of my life. By the end of the year I aim to have a completed Thesis written, with hopes (and possible plans) to even get it published with a recognized international journal.

Life is short, you can do whatever the hell you want, nothing is stopping you, make the most of it.

24 May 2010

Living the dream

One of my life dreams has always been to live in a city. That post I just linked explains it all, but to sum up, I just love the hectic life style, the city seems vast, mysterious. It sits well with the saying 'if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere'... which yes I know is referring to New York, but whatever you get the point.

For some unknown reasons if I am going to make the big (and very expensive) move to a city there is only two cities that I'd consider living in. Melbourne or New York. I am not really sure why exactly I wouldn't consider others. Melbourne I'd definitely consider because I live only about 30 minutes from the heart of Melbourne city, so have obviously been there many times in my life so I know how beautiful of a city it is. And New York you ask? Well if I am going to make such a big life decision, I might as well go all out.

This now leads me to the meaning of this post.

Last week I was lucky enough to live the dream!.. although for only 3 days, but living it nonetheless! As part of my research for my thesis I applied for a scholarship with the Apple University Consortium which offers a comprehensive 3 day training workshop focusing on games design and development (my area of research). Although spots were very limited, I must say I was rather proud of myself that I got accepted. Awesome.

As part of this scholarship, they offer paid accommodation to anywhere you choose (as long as it is under $150 a night) if you live outside the Melbourne metropolitan area, which ever since I moved out of home a few months back, I now do! I got to stay in the city for 3 whole days!

I was unbelievably excited, the day before the workshop I spent about 3 hours looking up hotels in the city, trying to choose which one I wanted to stay at. I tried to go the fanciest I could go within my budget, eventually settling upon Metro Apartments in the very heart of the city. Before I even arrived I planned to make the most of my 3 short days, I knew the city life had always been a dream of mine, but so often a dream seems so much sweeter in your mind than in reality.

Consider it a 'test run' if you will.

My room was pretty snazzy, a small apartment feel with its own kitchen setup, small living area with an adjoining separate room for the bedroom. Probably something similar to what I would most likely live in if I do ever make the real move to the city some day. It was on the 8th floor providing a good but limited view of the street below and surrounding buildings. There was a pub just outside the door which was great, filled with people in suits obviously having a few drinks after a long day at their unknown companies. I sat in there myself for an hour to have a beer, soaking up the atmosphere of the bustling city life, one moment enjoying the buzz, the next feeling rather isolated and insecure of being surrounding by so many unknown faces.

The workshop took most of my time running from 9.30am to 5pm over the 3 days, so it was only at my 45 minute break for lunch and after the workshop that I got to experience the city life for real. I roamed the streets. I know these streets very well already from my countless nightclub and bar crawls from my younger years, although those tours of the cities were usually about 10 beers down and at 3am in the morning.

Everything looked quite a bit different in the middle of the day and sober =)

First thing you notice is how bad you stand out, any street I walk on I am in an ocean of black suits and grey skirts, worn by business people holding briefcases and blackberries, chatting to colleagues using phrases like "I have got a meeting with Paul at 3pm but I can schedule you in for 4pm" and "we need to push forward on the Johnson case to gain approval from the board" (which is legitimately something I actually heard).

I on the other hand have blue jeans and a white shirt, Ipod with some Circa Survive pumping away and the biggest question on my mind at the time is what I am going to have for lunch. It was a good experience to be had though.

I spent my first night in the city walking around the streets, half looking for somewhere to eat, half just enjoying the feeling. I thought I would be all happy and buzz the entire time, then the strangest thing happened... I got bored.

Being in the city with your bed to sleep in being only 5 minutes away at any given location was great, don't get me wrong. The atmosphere was awesome (especially when walking by a lively pub), the skyscrapers were impressive, there was plenty of things to do... the problem was, I was and felt completely alone. I hurried back to my hotel room and spent the night watching episodes of Scrubs and writing a report that was due, finished by reading my current book in bed (stuff that I could easily do at home I know haha).

I attempted the same thing again for the second night... I was in search of a place called 'Mrs Parmas' that a friend of mine recommended a long time back. After a lengthy tram ride and terrible directions being given via phone from Sabbi, I didn't find the place and the joy was taken out of the night. Alas I hibernated in my hotel room once more.

So, my verdict of the city? Is it still at the pinnacle of my dreams? You bet ya! but with some modifications. Being in a big city I found can be scary, boring and lonely when you're there on your own. I don't have any friends who live in the city, nor close enough that we could of met up for dinner or something either. If (and when perhaps?) I decide to make the big move, I will definitely have to have work within the city so at least I can hang out with work colleagues, or make friends within the city.

If I had friends and work in the city, then living within one I still think is one of my big life dreams... well to live in one for a little while at least.

Regardless, it was awesome to experience it even if it was only for a few days =D

11 May 2010

Meant to be - Part Two

(This story is a continuation of this post here)

"I'm Aaron by the way"

"Carly" Wow, another coincidence... last year I kind of fell pretty hard for a girl called Carly who I was good friends with, which long story short didn't turn out in the end like I was hoping.

We got chatting, shared the usual like where we work, what we're studying, our age, she was actually a pretty awesome girl. Turns out her birthday was in 2 days time on the Friday... which is a little strange as mine was in 5 days on the Monday lol. She even studies at the same University campus as me, although that isn't too much of a coincidence around my area.

During the movie we shared a lot of laughs, we half talked half watched what was going on. It went pretty good, there wasn't any magical sparks or anything but you'd say we got along rather well. Made her crack up laughing when she offered me a really strong liquorish... it tasted terrible, I just could not swallow it but didn't want to spit out so I sat there with an awkward expression on my face, always good to make someone laugh haha.

As you could predict the movie came to an end.  We began to say our goodbyes, the entire time the days events playing on my mind... everything seemed like it had happened for a reason, maybe meeting Carly was it?

"Well nice meeting you, enjoy your night!" she says cheerily as she gets up to go rejoin her obviously baffled friends.

"Yeah you too, thanks for joining me" I say with a laugh. Crap, I can't let this end here! I know there wasn't any monumental spark between us which would warrant a second meeting, but surely it would be a bigger mistake to just walk away?

"Hey, you wouldn't want to do this again some time by any chance?"

"Oh, umm..." She hesitated.

"Ha that's alright never mind, just thought I'd ask"... sigh I am such a loser.

She calls out as I am about to turn around "Hey, did you want to meet my friends?"

Ummm... why? I didn't say that of course. "Sure".

She introduces them (I forgot their names as soon as I shook their hands), they had a rather comical look of bafflement on their faces, almost to say "who the hell is this guy... and why are we meeting him?". I summoned some willpower to stifle an oncoming burst of laughter.

"Aaron here has no power, that's why he is here". Carly explains.  Now, she obviously meant power as in electricity, but after just watching the movie 'Kick Ass', I, and you could see the two friends had also, jumped to the conclusion that she meant 'power' like one of the characters from the movie. Haha!

The two friends' faces went from slight bafflement to straight out confusion. I cracked up laughing. "She means power as in electricity, I have no electricity at home. She didn't mean power like the characters in the movie".

I thought it was a pretty funny, I think Carly laughed (can't quite remember)... the two friends gave out a minuscule exhale of air which I think was a pity laugh. Yikes, tough crowd, time to leave.

"Enjoy your birthday on Friday Carly, nice meeting you, take it easy!'  I say with a smile.

"Oh thanks! Yeah happy birthday to you too for Monday, I might see you around campus!"

I walk out feeling completely confused... was that what the whole day was leading towards? I didn't really gain anything from it. Sigh, who knows, lets go home.

On the way home I was sitting at a set of lights... the guy next to me had a shitbox car like mine. As soon as the lights turned green, we both flawed it! Up ahead the lane merges from 2 lanes to 1... I pumped my car as hard as I could, coming up to the single lane... closer, closer... I can make it! Dammit I have to change gear.  I pumped the clutch... lost the lead, had to hit the breaks as we reached the single lane... I lost the drag.

I never loose a drag! It almost seemed like some kind of punishment for messing up my meeting with Carly lol.

I get home to a pitch dark house, housemates are huddled together in the garage with candles and a notebook, it was quite a funny sight. Decided to sit on my favourite beach chair on the balcony before bed... the day needed some sorting through that's for sure. I was unaware that it had been raining while I was in the movies, the chair had turned into a miniature kiddy pool... I sat right in it.

I cracked up laughing at my own stupidity. Now was this punishment as well? This day is just too bazaar.

Later on Sabbi calls me, wanting to know the story of my day. We mellow over the details but couldn't come up with an answer on what any of it means... if it indeed was supposed to mean anything at all that is.

"I wonder when this will end, like was it just for today?" I question her.

"Hmm, well maybe it started when you seen the link to the 'Mad World' song yesterday on facebook, and then you seen it on a blog this morning, so maybe that's the middle, so the next time you see it that will mark the end".

That did seem plausible in a bit of a fate-is-real kind of way. "Well it is a pretty old song, I very rarely see or hear it these days. Seeing it twice in two days was coincidental enough."

The next day I return to work, still with yesterdays events twirling around my mind. About 10.30am, guess what song comes on the radio... I just couldn't believe it. Yep, you guessed it. 'Mad World' was playing. This is insane!

Freaky indeed...

I just can't believe the day... it really looked like I was meant to meet Carly for a reason. The song is called 'Mad World', which already is weird, there was so many variables that meant I could of so easily have missed that 9.10pm session of Kick Ass:
-I could of missed the bus in the morning and driven to work instead which would of changed things.
-If I had known that there was no class for the day, I would of stayed at work for the entire day instead, again changing things.
-If we hadn't lost electricity at the house I would of definitely missed the movies.
-If I caught the 8.12pm bus from Uni instead of the 7.40pm bus like I had originally planned to, I might of missed that session time.
-A chance that I could of chose to see a different movie (although it was only a toss up between Kick Ass and one other movie, but still).

Also the coincidence of seeing that song, and arriving at Uni at the same time as my sister, and receiving the sms from Jack straight after contemplating going home for the day... just too many coincidences!

Anyways, that was a few days ago now... I contemplated showing up at her work.  She works nearby in the liquor department of a supermarket... which is also freaky because on the Saturday just gone I lost my last bottle of alcohol in a taxi.  I loose my last liquor, she works at a liquor department? Haha it just keeps going. I decided against seeing her at work... seems a little stalker-ish for starters lol, as well as if I am meant to see her again I guess there is a chance I may see her around campus... so we shall let fate decide.

Although with the apparent 'punishments' after the movies it seems like that was a sign that I have missed my chance.

Meant to be, or pure chance?

09 May 2010

Meant to be - Part One

Wow... what a day. Or possibly even week, I am still not sure what to make of the events that have transpired over the past few days, it has definitely shaken what I thought I believed about fate.

We all have those times in our lives where it seems like something was meant to happen, some unknown force made even the most remotely feasible coincidence happen that leaves you wondering if it was indeed, just a coincidence, or something more. Sometimes it isn't a certain event, sometimes it is just a feeling you get, some sixth sense that plants a thought into your mind where you just know something even though you can't explain why.

It all started when I was on my cruise holiday a few weeks ago (bare with me, this is related), we heard the song 'Mad World', a well known song from the early 80's being played at one of the entertainment shows. Michael wanted to know what song it was, I remembered the title but not the band and promised I would look it up when we got back home.

Fast forward 2 weeks to Tuesday just gone. I log into facebook and see Michael has posted a link to 'Mad World' on his facebook wall. Nothing 'fate' like about that, so I first thought.

The next day was Wednesday, and here is when an unbelievable series of events starts to unfold.

I caught the bus to work as normal, got into work and did my usual routine when I get into work of checking emails, news, facebook and blogs. As I was browsing blogs I stumbled across a blog I had never seen before, scanning a few of her front page posts I see that she had a link to the song 'Mad World'... wow what are the chances, I rarely see or hear that song these days, and now I have seen it twice in 2 days, freaky!

At 12.30 I left work to take a bus to go to University as I had a class at 1pm. As the bus pulls into University my sister (who goes to the same campus as me), was in her car and pulled into the campus at the exact same time. Weird, that's twice now something highly unlikely has occurred.

Walk to my class only to discover the class had been canceled (to which I was not informed of...) so coming to Uni was a complete waste. I was on GoogleTalk chatting to my friend Martyn who suggested I might as well enjoy the unexpected day off and go home, which sounded pretty tempting. One minute after that was said, I receive a sms from my housemate Jack "Hey man, just letting you know our electricity has been cut and won't be back until tomorrow". Ok I guess that answers my choice for me, looks like I am staying at Uni for the day.

The entire day I am already getting a strange feeling that things are happening for a reason. Seeing the song twice, the bus arriving at the same time as my sister, class being canceled and me not being notified, thoughts about going home but then being notified the electricity is out therefore forcing me to stay at Uni... was something meant to happen today?

Martyn jokingly says 'maybe something is meant to happen today, make an effort to talk to as many hot chicks as you can'. I reply with 'haha well I am not sure it works if I am trying to make something happen, fate is supposed to guide me unexpectedly'.

With no desire to return to a dark house I stayed at Uni until night time. Originally I was going to take the 8.12pm bus home but opted to catch the 7.42pm instead. Once home I dropped off my bag, jumped in my car, got some petrol, got some McDonalds for dinner and made my way to the cinemas with the idea that a movie will pass enough time until bed time.

I didn't know where my housemates were so I decided to see a movie by myself, which some people say is sad, some say they prefer it at times to get a bit of alone time. All I can say is don't knock it till you try it, it is actually pretty relaxing lol. Anyways, arrived at the cinemas at around 8.40pm, chose to see the 9.10pm session of the movie 'Kick Ass'.

Wander into the cinema alone hoping that I would be the only one there, which I was for the first 10 minutes until a handful of people came in. I was at the very back on the room, center seat, Ipod headphones on in an effort to give a 'probably best to avoid sitting next to me' vibe to deter any would be kids sitting next to me, giggling throughout the movie. The plan worked.

A group of three friends walk in, two girls and a guy, they sit about 4 rows ahead of me. I think at that stage I thought in my head 'how nice would it be to have some company, I've got no one and that guy has two chicks with him!'. Something alone those lines lol.

Eventually the movie is about to begin, the lights go dim, I take off my headphones and push any thoughts of loneliness from my mind to just enjoy the moment.

Alas, about 5 minutes later one of the girls out of the group of 3 friends gets up from her seat, comes over and sits next to me.

"Hey! I felt bad seeing you watching a movie all on your own so I thought I would come and keep you company". She says.

"Hey, ha ok yeah sure, that'd be great!". Random, but awesome! Oh crap, I hope she doesn't think I am some kind of loner with no friends who often spends their nights alone in cinemas. "Powers out"... I half blurted, half seizured out...


"Power, at home, electricity." Argh why am I so retarded?!.. "The electricity at my house has been cut, so I'm just here to pass the time for the night. I would be here with my housemates but I couldn't find them when I got home".

She laughs "Oh no way, that's so unlucky!"

To be continued...