Heya and Happy New Year!

I can’t believe how fast time is flying lately! Seems like yesterday was the turn of the new year and decade! Hope that your holidays were enjoyable, relaxing and that 2010 is treating you well!

Where has January gone?! This month has just flown by. It’s amazing how much happened and how it all felt like a couple hours. The biggest moment that happened this month was my trip to San Francisco. It was brilliant! On the whole it was just fun, friends and little sleep! Leading up to it, spent a couple long, sleepless nights trying to iron out some big kinks in the new shot. I decided to put it on so that I had something new to show. It turned out better than expected but less than I hope for. Surprise surprise! It’s got a ways to go still and the whole piece in itself (1:17 in total!) will take awhile to complete. Still debating if I will polish more then move to a new shot or go for the whole kit and kaboodle. Yay debating! It’s up in the current project section like I promised it would be.

The trip was a blast! The flights were good even with the extra security measures in Canada. I basically slept all the way down since I was up for almost 30 hours for the early departure. I stayed in hotels with a good friend of mine and it was nice to have that change of pace. One of our rooms was massive and could easily hold a dozen people and still feel empty! Digressing here. It was fantastic to see my friends again in person! We conglomerated as often as we could just to rock the time to its fullest! One day had the AM job fair and the next two more classes graduated to join the rest of us alumni. It was awesome meeting new people at both events and running into familiar faces. Finally got to meet a few friends for the first time in person! It’s almost surreal talking to them a couple feet away when all you have seen is their shoulders and head on a webcam for a couple years. Also ran into some people who I either peer buddied or alumni tutored which was neat. Getting compliments and thanks for the help I was able to give was surreal. My humble opinions, rants, and rambles helped far more than I thought they would! I am so glad I can give back to animators and will keep doing so as long as I can. Got my fingers crossed that something will come from this job fair. One day they will realize they need a laughing Canadian and I am just the laugh for the job!

Grad was more good times! Got to help out as a volunteer and chat with some of the grads before the ceremony started. Seeing their nervous, excited faces reminded me of my grad. I wish them luck in their adventures and will hopefully work with them in the future! The ceremony was well done as always. The founders Shawn, Bobby, and Carlos always try to outdo the previous ceremony’s entrance, and they did a great job this time. Carlos was a Na’vi from Avatar and Shawn and Bobby were ninjas who battled. They had stunt doubles do the fight and they did a great job of it. Their battle was cool and at the same time the animator in me would be geeking out over how they moved at times. The rest of the ceremony was great and there were a few speeches and presenters that brought the house down. One student was so overwhelmed that he had troubles speaking which was endearing. A couple mentors shook up how the intro for their award went. One reworded a Dire Straights song to be more AM and another dressed as a monk and used his voice over talents to make the Biggest Personality in Live Q&A award special. You’d have to see it because my words don’t do them justice!

The rest of my time there was spent hanging out with friends. It was a nice break from everything to just relax with great company. Before I go on, I have to mention this neat 50’s diner that was next to our hotel. It was a cool environment and the food was good. I can’t remember the name of it to save my life, but if you are on the corner of Powell and Sutter you will see what I am talking about. One night we went to a good friend’s apartment and we got wrapped up in the new Mario Brothers game for the Wii. After a long night, six hours or so I think it was, we ended up beating the game! After the cheering died and the photos were snapped, we realized how tired we were! My friend that was sharing the hotel with me departed a couple hours later. Was sad to see him go. Spent the next couple days with a friend to just chill and wind down after the craziness. A group of friends and I went to Muir Woods the next day. It had been raining so luck had it that it had cleared out enough that we could go and not get dumped on. The woods were amazing! The redwoods look big in photos, but they feel like giants in person. It was so calm and peaceful. We had a couple photographers in the group and they were taking advantage of the scenery to make some fantastic photos. It was a little dark due to the overcast sky, but the moss on the trees looked like it was glowing. It was an amazing experience. On the way out, we passed through the Bohemian Grove. This prompted me to start quietly singing Bohemian Rhapsody which quickly caught on with a friend. We ended up creating an impromptu sing along! We were singing away while wandering out of the park. He always wanted us to go karaoke, so it ended up finding us in the woods! Queen will always be the theme of the trip!

After the woods, the sun was going down. We ended up going to Muir Overlook by Muir Beach to watch the sun set. The overlook was breath-taking. It is almost indescribable in words. I was stunned into silence just soaking in the cliffs, ocean splashing on the rocks below and birds effortlessly floating in the wind. It was so beautiful I didn’t want to leave. Many photos were taken of the scenery and of each other. Just utterly amazing place. Was the perfect way to end the day. It even called for a group hug. We toured back through SF on the way back and ended with supper and Avatar. That was easily one of the best days I’ve ever had. That overlook is ingrained into my mind and is my happy spot when I meditate.

Sadly, had to come back home. I was tempted a couple times to stay and live in my friend’s closet. This was the first time that the feeling was so overwhelming. Animation may be a passion of mine, but the people who come along with it are what makes it worth it. I’ve made some life long friends and it’s getting harder saying good-bye to them. One day we will all live together in a big house and it will be awesome! It will be the Golden Girls-like house of animators! Since returning, just trying to get caught up at work and get more animating done. My body is still on SF time which doesn’t help when its two hours ahead here! One day it will straighten out or I will just have to go back!

I’ve rambled on far longer than I thought I would be! Have a great continuance of the new year, live, love, laugh, and randomly burst into song! Let those close to you know what they mean to you and never stop moving forward!

Follow your bliss!