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Joined Sep '06

To contact me: AIM name: cubansmurf91, or Xbox Live, my gamertag: bladerunner15

Random stuff about me...

Fav color: Blue, for the male "standard 16-bit color" interpretation. For those among us who manage to break one color into 10 different ones, cobalt blue.

Fav TV shows: 24! the best show on television, Avatar, the old seasons of Stargate SG-1, and House M.D.

Fav Movie: "The Bourne Ultimatum." Yes, the shift has been made. In a surprise move, the threequel of the Bourne saga has surpassed it's predecessors in the category of awesomeness. My second and third favorite movies are "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy," respectively. (Yes, I see the pattern, too)

Fav Food: Lasagna. Just like Garfield.

Fav Songs: I can't list them all. Just look up some good classic rock songs and they would probably be on this list. But, here are some that deserve recognition:

Free Bird, by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Through The Fire And Flames, by DragonForce

Riff Raff, by AC/DC

Fly By Night, by Rush

Highway Star, by Deep Purple

Canon Rock, by JerryC - alternatively by Hackologue (YouTube names, watch their videos!)

My future aspirations: I really wanna be a Digital Effects Editor, but you never know how well art careers work out, so my back up would be a Robotics Engineer. Or Pyrotechnician.

Other: I'm from Miami, which rocks (literally. Rock concerts are very common. Deep Purple was preforming here over the summer. So was Styx, Ozzy Osbourne, and Foreigner. Lynyrd Skynyrd is touring here in January). You know, minus the whole hot summers and warm winters part. I'm male. A Manly Male Man. Yes, I'm one of the few testosterone-driven anomalies within the Kataang circle.

- June 23, 2007 (sit tight, this'll be long)

I am currently working on a FanFilm. where me and my friends live out the most exiting scenes of movies such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Matrix," and "Star Wars." More movies will be added as we get ideas and work on screenplay. There will be lots of sword-fighting, as me and most of my friends study Kendo, the martial art of Japanese Fencing (Also called fighting with big ass Samurai Swords and flipping around everywhere.) I pride myself on doing the visual graphics editing (lightsaber blades, bullet time, explosions, gunshots...) and I act as well. Right now our biggest hurdle is finding a way to film our movie without a camera man (we're working on hiring a friend at $10 an hour, and yes, that is overpaying ). While action scenes will be ever present, this movie will be primarily a comedy. Me and my friends are too goofball-ish to do anything serious in front of a camera.

And so, the nerd in me will rear it's head now as I explain my job in more detail. Yes, I will act, but being the only one in the group with a greater knowledge of video editing, I will most likely be spending hours, days, weeks, and months behind a computer rushing to finish as soon as possible. Tools of the trade include Photoshop, After Effects, Premier Pro, and Image Ready (all Adobe products), and also 3D Studio Max (an Autodesk product) (Yeah, you see that icon at the top of my bio? Well, that's me with a lightsaber I edited in. That's just a hint of what I do. Made with Photoshop). While I am less familiar with it, I've also taken it upon myself to learn some good audio editing techniques, as I'll probably end up doing that too. The movie's audio score (soundtrack) will be designed by me, using songs from the original movie being spoofed, some of our favorite songs (Thunderstruck by AC/DC ftw!!), and movie style trailer music from the awesome peeps over at Immediate Music Studios. All this audio work will be done with either Audition or Soundbooth (also Adobe programs, specialized for audio.)

And... Let's keep going! Props are being hand-made by us in a desperate attempt to save much-needed money. I designed most of the lightsaber hilts (I'm starting to think that the other guys don't do nearly as much work as I do), mine drawing heavily upon the original Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsaber for reference, but with a few twists of my own. Andrew, my bud and Kendo master, has a lightsaber hilt that is designed mostly around the Dark Side, using sharp angles, claw-like spires, and a black/chrome color scheme, making it look heavy while keeping it small and light. It will probably end up being the more elegant of all the saber designs. Sean, other bud , will be using a hilt with a ~20 degree rounded bend on the bottom end (Count Dooku style, minus the top bend). This bend makes the hilt more balanced and wieldy for his style of fighting, which is more of a one-hand fencing type thing. His saber was the hardest to design; we couldn't come up with any decorative pieces to make his hilt more exciting. In the end, we used a brown/bronze color scheme, handgrips being made of brown leather, and bronze buttons and pommel (I'm really proud of this one). Of course, all these sabers are still being machined, so this info is subject to change.

Cutlasses (the most common sword used by people out on the open sea), are also being custom designed, but are proving more difficult to construct. I've designed mine, it'll be a black/gold color scheme, which was a quite common scheme for decorative swords in that era. For this one I'm trying to maximize style, even if it means cutting away from functionality. I don't like shiny blades, so I'll probably have it made of aluminum to keep it light and achieve this matte look I'm searching for. And, of course, all swords will have blunt edges, we don't want any accidents.

Well, all that color and designing talk left me feeling quite... um... feminine? Well, hopefully I can redeem myself now. Here's a whole paragraph dedicated to guns. Our pistols will most likely be real-world replicas, either just one model or several. My friends really like the small "Beretta TomCat" design, but I prefer something with more meat on its bones. Maybe a "Glock Model 21," a black "Colt .38 Super-Pistol," or even an antique "Smith and Wesson Model 15 'Combat Masterpiece'" revolver (This is the part where Google Images comes in handy). I do like the classics. Eh, the revolver will probably hinder the fast paced shootout scenes. I mean, how many shots could I get out before needing to reload? And, of course, a word to the concerned, these guns will not fire. These guns will essentially be non-functioning model toys. The bullets, muzzle flashes, and bullet impacts will all be digitally added; none of it will be real.

We haven't had much time to think of any other scenes to add, but here are some ideas we were shooting around for a couple of hours: a Kingdom Hearts/Final Fantasy scene (not likely; you try machining those massive, extravagant swords), TRON (we like this one, but the 3D work will be intense, so that drops it off the radar a little; Google Images for TRON, lol)), Sonic the Hedgehog (no clue how to do this one), Hero (you know, that Jet Li movie. While this is more in our range, we have no way to add that Chinese ambient feel to our backdrops), and we had some more ridiculous ones. I'll update as things move along.

-July 25, 2007

-Sigh- Two of our sponsors bailed on us. Which means cash-flow has decreased even more. They said that production was taking too long. Let's see those #&tards put together a feature film with limited cash and limited experience. Part of the deal was that we get as much time as we need -we agreed that, as students, our free time was limited- and now they decide to break it off. We're still planning on finishing the movie, but it's going to be very problematic now. (The whole deal with our sponsors was simple: we advertise for these small local businesses any way we can in the movie, they front a little cash. And, by "a little," I mean about $300, virtually nothing compared to other business expenses.)

-August 2, 2007

Well, first I'd like to say that "The Bourne Ultimatum" comes out tomorrow. If you have a brain, I recommend you go. My tickets are sitting here at my computer as I type. Secondly... Still in a pile of $#! because of our sponsors. But, we'll deal with that, I guess. And thirdly... I need guidance. I came into some good cash (non-movie related), and I seem to be at a crossroads. On one hand, I could use this money to help move my movie along. On the other hand... I can finally trade up from my crappier "Epiphone Vintage G-400" up to a real (and much better quality) SG, the "Gibson Faded SG Special" (in a choice of "Worn Brown" aka finished wood, or "Worn Cherry" aka awesome Angus Young '61 SG red). Naturally, the second option is a lot more selfish, but we were intending on finishing the movie, even before I came into this amount of money (about $650. The joys of being in the stock market!). And... well, I really want this new guitar. I mean really, really want it. Well, what do you guys think? If you care, leave your opinion in a review to one of my stories.

-August 3, 2007

I just got back from watching "The Bourne Ultimatum." Yeah, you see that thing at the top of the page that defines my favorite movie? It has changed to the Ultimatum. If you have seen the previous Bourne movies, I highly recommend you go see it! The twists and turns and reveals and shocks are intense. But, after the adrenaline from watching it faded away, I was left in sorrow, because this is most likely the last Bourne movie, and it ended in such a great position to continue it. I mean, this was the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers. Please, do yourself a favor and go to your nearest movie theater and watch it. You wont be disappointed!

-August 19, 2007

Well, tomorrow is my birthday! Yeah, you bet I'm all excited, right? Uhh, no. This is mostly due to the fact, that while it is my birthday, tomorrow is also the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Yeah, everyone say it with me now : mother $#& ! Oh well. What can you do, right? Well, I gues it's just Miami Dade County's Public School System giving me a nice, big "happy birthday." Just focus on the positives, I keep telling myself. -presents... presents...-

-August 20, 2007

I'm 16... Uhhh... It feels just like 15. Except now I can legally drive. And I got a Zune. The Anti-iPod. This pleases me. And my classes are okay, I guess. Me, Andrew and Sean are all in 2 computer classes together (Architecture II and Visual Basic Programming). Those teachers will have pulled their hair out by the end of the year. We're either gonna make great friends with the teachers or we'll become mortal enemies. Either way, it's bound to be fun. Physics is a great class, but the teacher is a major snooze. English and American History are cool, the teachers already love me. The key to gaining their favor early on? Flaunt your intelligence and outgoing-ness. So I'm now set :). Well, just 200 or so days until summer xp.

-August 24, 2007

Liselle129 had finished her story "Destiny's Call" yesterday. Much sadness. It was truly and by far one of the greatest works I've seen on this site. I encourage anyone who reads this in my profile to go read her story and review. She's close to 800 reviews, and that would probably be a record for the Avatar fandom. Or close to a record, at any rate. Anyway, yeah, go my minions. Read her story. Comment on it. A story like that deserves it.

-September 3, 2007

My movie has collapsed. It's gone. Poof. Discontinued. After working so hard on it for a little under a year, another sponsor dropped us. They essentially said "sorry, but now that school started for you and your friends, the company cannot afford to fund your project any longer. We had never expected the project to take so long, nor did we think that it would become such a large investment." Translation: "Go to Hell." My friends and I were pretty devastated when we heard this, but we refused to go down just like that. We attempted to finish the movie on a much smaller budget, and keep it entirely local. That worked for about three days until we recieved a Cease and Desist letter from the city of Coral Gables (hometown). In order to film anything official (to be displayed to a live audience), we had to obtain a mountain of permits from the city (we had previously obtained permits to film in the neighboring city of Miami, who are much more laid back). These permits, unfortunately, require you to be at least 18, and they also cost quite a bit. That was pretty much the final blow, and after a tough decision, me and my friends decided to cut everything. We personally went to those sponsors who remained until the end and gave them the most gracious thanks we could, and then we told them that it was over, and that we'd be returning the money to them in full. They (the 2 remaining sponsoring companies), however, said that it would not be necessary, and that they were truly sorry that our film did not work out as we had planned. One of them even offered to give us more money, to see if we could salvage the project in any way, but we told them that such an act would be unfair. They were good people. God Bless them.

Just afterwards, we headed over to Andrew's house. We sat in his room in silence for a bit, before eventually Sean asked "Now what?" At the moment, we really didn't have an answer. But you know how they say that when one door closes, two more open? That just might be the case. My architecture teacher has recently chosen us (Andrew, Sean, and I) to compete in TSA (Technology Student Association), under the events of 2D and 3D Architectural Design, Photoshop, Film, and Video Game Design (we really like those final two). The Film event was really a wonderful thing; we might not be able to do anything on such a large scale, but in a way, we will have accomplished what we had originally set out to do.

Thanks for reading, and to anyone who liked the idea of our movie, thanks for believing.

September 22, 2007

What a season premier, huh? A:tLA Book 3 premiered last night, and it looks like we've got quite the season ahead of us. Already the action kicks off, we learn that the new invasion plan is centered around a small team of super-commandos (okay, not really, but it's a small team), the writers quickly and easily dispatched the Earth King and Bosco, and the angst has already started. Katara finally gets some things off her chest to her father, and Aang leaves on his own to "restore his honor" (dun dun duunn -Zuko Eye-), since the world thinks he's dead. Once his friends catch up with him, Aang sacrifices his glider for the good of his friends and the success of the invasion, dramatically impaling it into the face of a volcano (the Crescent Island from season 1, if you take notice), near small streams of lava where it bursts into flames moments later. Oh, and it looks like Zuko's now taken by Mai. Mwahahaha (evil cackling at the shrieks of Zutara fangirls)!!

September 29, 2007

Kataang and Fluff! Glorious Kataang and Fluff! After finding a cave to take refuge in for the time being, the gaang decides to 'acquire' some new FN clothing. Aang takes a school uniform (which really starts a chain reaction leading to the Kataang and Fluff), Toph just grabs at something, Sokka takes a while to find something he liked, and then Katara... Has anyone noticed that she shows just a little more and more skin as the show progresses? In Book 2 she loses the tight sleeves from under her dress, and we also saw the reveal of the swimsuit that Aang dreams likes about sometimes ( :P ). Now she's got a bare midriff, showing off her curves, and she's wearing her hair down (is anyone else reminded of Princess Jasmine's red outfit from the first Aladin movie, after Jafar has taken control of everything?). Aang's reaction, a blush and a nervous rub-of-the-back-of-the-head, will pretty much confess that Katara looks smokin' hot. It will also confess that Aang has, in fact, NOT let go of Katara (or his infatuation for her, at least), as many people had been afraid of. Skipping through the majority of the episode, we reach a dance party at the end for Aang's socially repressed schoolmates. After showing them a few dance moves (one of which is eerily similar to Angus Young's "Duck Walk," which in itself is a modified version of Chuck Berry's "Duck Walk"), and after a quick dance with On Ji (which makes Katara a little Jealous), Aang asks Katara to dance with him. She fumbles with her hair and nervously hesitates before he says "Take my hand." Then she just smiles and allows her to pull her up. He whispers something in her ear, and after they bow to each other, they begin a dance that can only be described as an improvised and synchronized Waterbending spar. The actual movements, however, resemble more of the Brazilian Capoeira (literally describes as fighting through rythym and dance) than the form of Tai Chi, normally used to model Waterbending. Anyway, at one point in the dance (which everyone has gathered around to watch), they lean forward towards each other, eyes half opened as if they were to kiss (very unmanly of me: Squee!! I think I'll go hang myself now...). At the very end, Toph and Katara are commenting on how well the dance worked out. Katara leans in and plants a kiss on Aang's cheek, which if you'd take notice, is the second kiss Aang gets within five episodes, the last one being the Earth King back in Book 2 (Yay!).

A little unrelated to the episode, the music played during Aang and Katara's dance closely resembles some traditional Greek festive songs, played on the Mandolin or the classical Lyre. I looked up some of that kind of music, and I found a melody that's fairly similar and has been adapted for both acoustic and electric guitar. The effect is better on electric. After finding the tabs online, I've set myself on learning how to play it. It requires some really fast and constant picking/strumming. And I thought the intro to Thunderstruck was fast... I can't get very far into the melody without wearing my arm out.

October 5, 2007

Sorry dudes, but the Painted Lady was utter fail. Like, Gigafail. Terafail. Even Petafail (pay no attention to my strange language. I now refuse to use the word "very." And "uber." International System of Measurement prefixes are where it's at! xp) Yeah, it was all nicey-nicey with the helping and the Katara-secretly-sneaking-off-to-help-the-village, but they overdid it. It's kinda cool how they managed incorporate the part where the village people find out that the gAang aren't Fire Nation, but everything until the fight sort of dragged on. The part where Katara says "I'll never turn my back on people who need me" was just a touch too dramatic for me, but they lightened it up with some Toph-Aang humor. I suppose it was a good character development episode, but unfortunately, there are usually little to no references to character development in the show as soon as the episode ends. The whole Dock/Shu crap was way too abnormal for me to like, sorry. If I seem in a pissy mood, I'm watching Carlos Mencia right now. I'm sure some of that mentality is leaking over from the TV.

It's gonna get weired now that Aang can't fight directly. Seeing Katara fighting alone with Aang helping from underneath the village platform was just strange. Must've grown accustumed to seeing Aang kicking total ass.

October 13, 2007

Sokka's Master was a very informative episode, even without the sword training. The one thing that cought my attention the most was the beggining, when the gAang was watching the meteor shower. It got me thinking as to how much they know about what is outside of their world. Obviously, they had known of the existence of non-terrestrial bodies (Sozin's Comet), but any grasp they have of Outer Space has been left unknown to us. The only thing that got me thinking like this was when Sokka said "It really makes you realize how insignificant we are." That had sparked my interest from the beggining, but then at the end when Katara is saying that the peice of meteor Sokka gave Toph wasn't really "Earth," the questions just started blowing out of my head. We can infer that they know there are other planets, thanks to Katara's comment. We can also infer from Sokka's bit that they know about the vastness of the universe, granted, probably not to the degree that we do, but still. This, in turn, got me started on thinking of how advanced their technology really is. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and even Chinese had a basic knowledge of our solar system, but they didn't have much of a clue of what stretched past Neptune, because their technology and capability was limited. Even the Earth Kingdom, with its severe lack of mechanical systems and modern day technology, is more advanced than any of those previously mentioned ancient empires. What could the Fire Nation know that we haven't been made aware of yet? I later re-watched "The Drill" with the sole purpose of studying Fire Nation tech. After a few footnotes, I believe I can safely say that the Fire Nation isn't much farther behind in technology than the real world is today. The Drill used a 2-train drive system; under the Drill there was a set of tank treads powering forward. On the outside, pneumatic linear-action motors served as 1) stabalizers for the drilling process, and 2) a sequenced forward-drive unit that allows the outer shell to extend and retract, giving the Drill a caterpillar-based movement that I can only assume exists to exert great amounts of force against the object being drilled, without the wall forcing negative energy back at you (pesky Newton's Laws...). I don't know if anyone else can appreciate that for what it is, but something like that on that scale would probably be near impossible to make in our world. I would also like to assume that the Fire Nation has some kind of system dedicated to the observation of stellar activity, seeing as how that is what powers their Bending. They would most likely also like to keep track of comets, seeing as how they give them a temporary boost in power. And thanks to what we learned in The Library, we know that the Fire Nation has knowledge of solar eclipses, and they would probably like to keep track of those, too. By now I'm sure you're all wondering why the hell I care so much. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell you even if I wanted to. All I can say is that the Avatarverse isn't as based in the ancient world as I had previously thought.

Unrelated to all of this, I leave to Orlando for that previously mentioned technology competition thing in a week and a half. I can safely tell you... I'm no longer looking forward to it. When me and my buddies agreed to join... we had not been alerted to the fact that this was going to be a suit-and-tie affair. ...We're not very formal people... I was planning on wearing old jeans and my classic StarCraft t-shirt... Or my "For the Horde!" shirt... Or my AC/DC "For Those About To Rock" album shirt...

October 20, 2007

Strange episode we had here; it was completely different than everyones predictions. I'm probably gonna end up jumping around events here, so nothing's in any particular order. Azula actually seems to care about boys, something that everyone thought was impossible. But then again, we can never rule out that it's one of Azula's manipulative plots. Zuko is back in all his angry, angsty, emo glory and the Maiko action is still...don't really have a word to describe it, actually. And Ty Lee... good God, what is she, 14, right? What 14-year-old is that well-endowed? I think the artists were having a field day with that one. Honestly, could they make her breasts more noticeable? Not that I'm complaining of course, but you know... They were just so... Wow. Actually, there was that one part when she's telling that one dude to move over to give her shade, I'm fairly sure that the camera angle there was specifically made to accentuate her cleavage. I mean it, take a look at the episode. The scene makes her rival Pamela Anderson . Please, someone tell me where I can find girls my age like that.

For such a short bit on the gAang this episode, there was a heck of a lot of weirdness. Actually, it makes me worry for the future of the series. A dude with an eye on his forhead that blasts waves of explosive energy an unlimited amount of times with his mind in any direction with no fatigue in a metal exoskeletal suit... I was always afraid that this would turn into your stereotypical American anime. I could handle the strange magical elemental powers because they explain it and it makes sense. But this is just not right. I hope the writers know what they're doing. In other news, they changed Katara a little bit. Her swimsuit-bottom-leg-wrapping things are no longer "wrapped," now they just seem like tight, white shorts. Her hair is also straighter than it used to be when she's in water. Her swimsuit top has lost the shoulder strap things, so now it just wraps over her chest. Like I said, she loses more and more coverage as the show progresses.

One more thing; the writers/artists SO majorly spoofed Final Fantasy in that scene where Zuko takes off his robe to play that beach-volleyball-thing. Seriously, give him white/grey hair and an 8-foot-long sword and he becomes Sephiroth. Even the doves in the background are out of Final Fantasy.

I leave for that competition thing on Wedensday. Still not looking forward to it. I'm going to miss the next episode of Avatar. Oh well. I'll torrent it and watch it on my computer on Saturday, same as I've been doing until now.

And, by the way, sorry for not updating any of my stories in God knows how long. As you might have inferred from reading all the above, I haven't had much time on my hands.

Quotes: These are all quotes from my life. No famous quotes here. Just an exhibit of how weired I and the people around me are.

iPods be dead

"iPods be dead. D-E-D. Marketing tells all. The iPhone is Apple's replacement. They know that people are catching on. The public realizes that they've been duped. Paying in excess of $200 for an item with the same functionality as an item that costs $20. No longer are white headphones status symbols that describe someone as 'cool' or 'in.' No longer is the trademark sound of the click wheel a symbol of 'the only player worth having.' And no longer is Apple keeping the technology-challenged public blinded to the world of superior music players. Sansas and Samsungs are now visible within the population. Black headphones have been spotted for the first time in years. The iPod is no more.

And the world rejoices, for Apple's reign and tyranny over the portable audio market is at an end."

-Me, in an excerpt from a piece of writing I did for a product review for the Microsoft Zune. There were endless fields of iPod fanboys giving the Zune (a wonderful product by the way) horrible reviews because "let's face it, it's just not an iPod." So I wrote this to piss them off. It worked, by the way.

We've been Thunderstruck

Me and Andrew: "Ahh ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh... -whisper-thunder!-whisper-"

Mother Nature: "BOOM! -thunderbolt-"

Andrew: "Dude... we so have to use this power for evil!"

- Me and my buddy singing the intro to AC/DC's Thunderstruck whilst I was playing it on my Epiphone G-400. (I'm trying to save up for a real Gibson SG [read above!, which was followed by a clash of thunder. To this day we haven't been able to replicate the results. We are displeased.

The glass is half empty, not half full

Me: -pulling something out from under a table- "Andrew, why do you have a half-empty bottle of Coke in your room?"

Andrew and Sean clamber around the room and proceed to place several objects on the bed.

Me: "Andrew, why do you have -quickly counts- six half-empty bottles of Coke in your room?"

-Me at Andrew's house. Sean was over, too. We believe Andrew to have a severe caffeine addiction. He doesn't deny it.


Sebass: "Great, I've got three fat-ass Cubans and a skinny Jew in the back of a tiny car. I think I feel the chassis bending. -grumbles-"

Manny -whispering to everyone in the back-: "Everyone jump on the count of three! One, two... three!"

Everyone in the back -ie. Me, Sean, Manny, Andrew-: -jump-

-odd scrapping noise-

Everyone in the back -ie. Me, Sean, Manny, Andrew-: "O.o"

Sebass: "Did the back end of my car just touch the road?!?"

Everyone in the back -ie. Me, Sean, Manny, Andrew-: "O.o"

Sebass: "I swear, if anything is wrong with my car, you douchebags are paying for it!"

- All of my friends, plus Sebass's mom jammed into his tiny, yet amazing car. Vintage 1969 Buick Riviera Coupe in a beautiful sky blue paint job. American Muscle at it's finest. Total cost of repairing/replacing the chrome bumper and muffler: $186.00. PS: Sebass is short for Sebastian. Pronounced Sea-Bass. Gives us an excuse to call him "Fish." As if to add insult to injury, "Lowrider" by War was playing when this happened. PPS: Andrew would be the Jewish one.

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