Tag: Gif

See you Space Cowboy…

See you Space Cowboy…

Yeah, I know I made this joke when I was leaving Los Angeles last week.

But in my defense… That was on my social media feeds independently. Not on the blog.

Thus I get to reuse the same joke. So there, imaginary detractors.

After a week of keeping the world up to date about my Florida vacation, it only seems right to finish things off by writing my last piece from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

IMG_3545

I’ll be landing in LAX at about 12:30 a.m. tomorrow, so by then it would be too late.

As far as the final Floridian afternoon went… I don’t have a lot to say.

I slept in a bit this morning after staying up way too late playing more Fire Emblem (though at my grandparents house, “sleeping in” is still only about 10:00 a.m.).

To make up for a lot of what they did for me over the last week, I wanted to cook breakfast for the old folks once Grandma got home from the gym.

Unfortunately Grandma is a nut about other people being in the kitchen, so my best intentions turned into her cooking with my minor assistance.

I made eggs for Grandpa and myself though, so at least that was something.

Once we finished breakfast, Grandma and I tried to go to the Morikami Museum. It’s honestly a really beautiful place from the outside:

IMG_3489.jpg

That said, the outside is all we saw because it started pouring the second we turned onto the road.

I swear it was raining much harder than that gif makes it look. So much so that it didn’t seem worth trying to go through a multiple-mile long outdoor experience.

So instead we got frozen yogurt at Menchies.

IMG_3491

Even though that too wound up being an adventure because it was raining so god damn hard.

IMG_3492

As the afternoon wound down, so did the rain. Our respite from the inclement weather gave me the chance to pack my bags, straighten up the space I was leaving behind and (sort of) help Grandma make burgers for early dinner.

IMG_3493

After that, it was time to say goodbye.

It’s crazy to me that I’ve been here for a whole week already. It seems like just yesterday I was landing and lamenting the impending heat wave.

Now that I’m leaving, I feel like I’ve grown. No longer am I the immature kid who believed I would melt in Floridian heat.

I’m an absolutely mature, well-grounded adult who doesn’t hate the heat. Instead I hate the fact that it managed to somehow be hot enough to leave me sweating and uncomfortable while ALSO raining hard enough to make umbrellas near-useless at keeping the horizontal water at bay.

Good riddance, Florida.

I may have loved spending some personal time with my grandparents, but the idiom that there’s nothing like coming home will undoubtedly hold true.

Off to the races!

Off to the races!

I’m going to try keeping this brief because I have a new game to return to.

Today was racetrack day in Florida.

The idea that we would be watching horse races was interesting for me to prepare for. It’s been a long time since I’ve personally gone to any kind of races, and in the time since there have been controversies at the track I’m most familiar with in Del Mar due to a series of horse deaths.

Obviously Florida is a whole world away, but I was curious to see whether any hint of animal rights backlash would reach across the country.

I didn’t see anything of the like.

What I did see is one of the coolest god damn landmarks ever built:

pegasus_credit_shutterstock
Shutterstock photo from The Miami New Times

Look at this. A Pegasus stomping on a dragon? How could you not be excited to go to Gulfstream Park?

I wanted to get a photo of the statue myself… But naturally heavy weather picked up the moment I separated from my grandparents to get a nice angle on foot.

Here’s the best I got:

IMG_3481
Not quite as majestic.

That said, I did get some nice photos of the area in-and-around the track. The whole place is like a Las Vegas gambler’s dream.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So how about the races themselves?

I had a good time looking through the schedule when we first arrived. There were an obscene amount of horses named after Marvel Comics characters (though no Thanos), and one named after that spelling mistake the President made some years back.

I had to bet on Cofveve for the memes. Especially with my Dad’s justification that “losers are winners in this country.”

But in the end, memes and a slight sunburn were the best I got.

Cofveve disappointed by being in the very back for the entire race.

IMG_3472
Look at this loser horse. SAD!

Yet… The story doesn’t end there.

While I was wasting my money, Grandpa put a bet on a box of three horses and Grandma copied his bet.

They managed to win ~$1,300.

The nuttiest thing is that it was apparently a complete accident? Grandpa intended to bet on one horse but wrote the wrong number down.

And then crazily enough, two races later they managed to win another $75 or so!

Lesson learned: Always copy off of Grandpa’s notes.

Because I bet on three races and managed to walk out with nothing but a hot dog…

IMG_3480

And this neat horse-racing gif.

animated-3.GIF

Then, you know, I got soaking wet trying to take a picture of that statue.

In the end, it was all worthwhile. We had a great time, my grandparents won a lot of money…

And they bought me Fire Emblem: Three Houses with some of that money.

IMG_3483

I’ll admit, I may have been dropping hints throughout this vacation about wanting the new Fire Emblem game. Usually I never know what gift to request when they ask, so it was a rare opportunity.

But I didn’t expect to actually get anything until Grandpa was in a celebratory mood.

Now I no longer have to avoid spoilers at all costs, and so far I’ve adored the little bit of time I’ve been able to sink into Three Houses.

In fact, I’ll likely be posting some takes like this about the game on Twitter:

So follow me if you’re into that sort of thing.

More Fire Emblem takes will have to wait, however. Because we went out to dinner at one of the grandparents’ favorite Chinese restaurants:

IMG_3485

IMG_3484

Let me tell you. They had some stellar short ribs.

I’m still licking sauce off my fingers as I write this.

Unfortunately, this is the penultimate Florida vacation blog post. As of tomorrow night I’ll be back on a plane to LAX, landing at 12:30 a.m.

It’s a shame because I’ve genuinely been having a great time. But all good things must come to an end.

So come on by tomorrow to see whatever we wind up doing as a big send-off!

We’re through the Endgame

We’re through the Endgame

For days, all I’ve heard about Avengers: Endgame is that it is perfect. There was not a single bad thing said about the 22nd Marvel Cinematic Universe film.

That couldn’t be true.

This movie is three-hours long. It simultaneously culminates two-dozen films, sequelizes a massive blockbuster and ends stories for characters we’ve known over 10 years.

There was no way it could balance that and still come out perfect — even if everyone seemed to agree otherwise.

Without spoiling me, by the way. Thanks y’all!

But I had an open mind. The family watched Infinity War last night, then Dad and I did a deep dive into the One Marvelous Scene series on YouTube to prepare.

I even wore my finest Marvel socks for the occasion:

Three hours later, we left the theatre. Then came chores. Almost three more hours later, I sat down to write.

I still don’t understand how it was actually perfect. Better than I was led to believe.

Because this movie isn’t just a beautiful, all-encompassing endpoint for a decade-long story. It also makes every other MCU movie feel more important in hindsight.

I mean every movie.

I don’t care about Thor: The Dark World. But this movie genuinely made me care about it.

Endgame even improved characters.

Pepper Potts never really did it for me, in part because I hate Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop pseudoscience.

But the way she plays into Tony Stark’s arc made me care about Pepper Potts beyond her cute version in the Nickelodeon cartoon.

In fact, the arcs given to each of the original six Avengers are about as fitting as I could ever hope to create (without spoiling them — yet).

Granted there is one thing about the movie I’m not a huge fan of in concept. Like Infinity War, Endgame starts with no context and uses the assumed familiarity of long-time fans to set up obviously telegraphed emotional ploys. Both dramatic and comedic.

The opening scene is Hawkeye spending time with his family on house arrest, paralleling Ant Man & The Wasp. I cringed in anticipation, as they make it obvious we’re about to watch the snap’s effect on this previously-unseen Avenger.

But the scene’s obvious dramatic intent didn’t make it less effective.

The moment is escalated by becoming Clint’s jarring driving force for the story, and informing his growing connection to Black Widow.

There are a dozen scenes in the movie that I could take a similar fine-toothed comb to because they’re blatant emotional ploys. But they’re effective and well-deserved story beats for MCU fans, as obvious as they are.

There are also references to jokes and cameos from other Marvel movies that are obvious callbacks, but emphasize the fleshed-out relationships between characters as far-flung as Thor and Rocket Raccoon, or Captain America and Spider-Man.

Hell, even things like “girl power” scenes that have gotten the studio crap from brainless fans in the past have seemingly been cranked up just to rub it in people’s faces.

But even this moment, which may have gotten an eye-roll out of me in a less well-crafted film, was arguably one of my favorite scenes. Because it emphasized how the MCU has developed some fantastic characters, who all got time to shine in the…

Big CGI Fight Scene™ between two armies. A scene that actually epitomized my feelings toward Endgame.

Again, in literally any other movie I would feel numb watching a mindless clash between mostly faceless mobs that includes moments of character fan service and callbacks.

But Marvel has elevated that mindless action to such a high degree for their decade-long viewers that it creates transcendent filmmaking.

In his One Marvelous Scene video, Nando v. Movies read a quote from this A.V. club article that perfectly captures my thoughts on how the MCU reverses action movie conventions. It’s worth a read.

When that army battle ended, my heart was racing so hard that I got worried.

Then five seconds later, the movie left me crying at three different scenes that wrapped up multiple stories supremely well.

All in a movie where I laughed out loud, and got to appreciate unexpectedly beautiful character dynamics like Iron Man and Nebula.

But on top of all that, this movie genuinely made me excited for a post-Endgame Marvel.

I thought once the core six were gone, I’d feel more apathetic because characters like Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel or Black Panther strike me as better ensemble heroes.

But torches were passed. And certain movies staring certain characters with certain plots sound amazing as a result.

There isn’t much I can do from here besides gush and spoil things.

So I’m going to do that. In the meantime, go watch Avengers: Endgame.

Believe the hype. This movie is, truly, a Marvel to behold.


Featured Image courtesy of IMDb

Continue reading “We’re through the Endgame”

Giving back

Giving back

Happy Homestuck day!

The phenomenon may have ended a few years ago, but my friend Juan‘s adjustments to our group Discord server shows that it’s still a holiday we celebrate.

Amazing how much of an impact that webcomic has had even…

Ten years later?

God I’m old.

Okay, let’s move on before I lose my mind.

It’s rare that I come to Cal State Fullerton on a weekend since I left the Daily Titan, but somehow I managed to get myself here two days this weekend.

Yesterday I was doing some work on behalf of the Honors Center. Today I was doing some work on behalf of SPJ.

It was Welcome to CSUF day! An annual event for incoming freshmen and transfer students to visit campus and check out different clubs and organizations.

I have some pretty strong memories of my welcome day four years ago, speaking of getting old.

It was the first time I met Bonnie, the recently retired Daily Titan advisor, and her sweet little doggo in a stroller.

Talk about a good first impression for an upcoming three-year stint on the paper!

Thus I know the event works.

So now that I’m the Secretary for our campus’ SPJ branch, I figured it would only be right to give back by telling new students about what kind of experiences the journalism program offered me.

… Especially since it got me a little more gif practice:

I was stationed on the lawn between the Education and Engineering buildings, standing in the sun alongside Kat Abando, a fellow soon-to-be graduate who I’ve worked with on the paper.

IMG_2526

Looked a little flushed after all was said and done, even though we had a large tent for all the Comm organizations to stave off the heat.

animated
More gif practice, baby

That harsh sun wasn’t enough to keep new students away however.

A ton of people were admitted for the upcoming year according to the school’s Associate Vice President of Student Engagement, which means there were a whole lot of bodies wandering campus.

By the end of the day, SPJ had at least 20 signatures from people interested in joining the club. Not a terrible haul, and everyone I got to talk with personally seemed really interested!

Especially after I humble-bragged just a little about awards I’ve gotten thanks to my on-campus engagement.

To be fair I was usually just explaining stuff that Kat was suggesting as examples. So it wasn’t like I was being entirely self-serving of my own accord.

Though it did feel good to see people impressed as I told them about stuff.

So that’s pretty cool.

A lot of my time was just standing around talking, so I can’t say a whole lot of interesting things about the experience in retrospect.

However, it was definitely great getting to see the generation coming in right as I’m on my way out.

There was a passing of the torch kind of sentimentality to the whole affair, and while I continue to be stressed about the whole graduation, seeing a strong brood on the way made me feel a lot better.

So here’s to the next generation.

Cretaceous developments

Cretaceous developments

Yeah that’s right, these developments are so monumental that they’re one step more advanced than the obvious ‘Jurassic’ developments joke I could have made to attract attention from Spielberg fans.

Unfortunately the dinosaur conceit is also just clickbait.

Sorry y’all, but the promise of this neat-o dinosaur ice cream waffle was too much of an enticing image not to use! I found the window graphic while wandering Del Amo Mall for lunch with Mom and Aly and fell in love.

Especially after my friend Mitchell suggested their potential ultimate marketing strategy of the Green Tea-Rex.

I have no idea if they actually capitalized on that idea because I never tried the Waffle-saurus Rex.

We were on a mission from Aly to instead eat boring old regular Taiyaki.

Even though dinosaurs > fish. Obviously.

In other words, no dinosaur ice cream waffle reviews. Arguably a worse travesty than my continuing to remind myself to talk about Shantae: Half-Genie Hero despite vehemently continuing to put it off.

Instead I’m going to talk about things on the horizon, most of which came to light while I was at the mall.

For instance, I’ve been invited to this year’s Comm Awards:

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 9.13.36 PM
Cut off the RSVP email just in case. Sorry party crashers!

Last year’s ceremony was a lot of fun (even if I’m not cringing slightly at my unkempt beard) and I’m excited to see what I’ll be awarded this time!

So much so that I made a great Tweet.

Gotta use one of the best gifs of all time to punctuate a self-deprecating joke.

Going further down the school-related rabbit hole, I also got an email today letting me know that CSUF Commencement tickets are officially available. As much as graduation-related stuff stresses me out, that is an important step in the process.

Or at least… It would be.

If the website worked.

For some reason the link to buy graduation tickets leads to an endless loop of security verification.

I wager the traffic of people going after tickets at once isn’t doing so great on the school’s website.

You’d think the network would be better prepared, but there must be too much energy going toward the development of more parking space. Another thing I got an email about.

The extra spaces are needed, even if it’s unfortunate that permit prices are hiking up $50 or so to facilitate the construction.

Luckily I’ll be a graduate who doesn’t need parking permits by then!

So hey, it’s not all intimidating and bad.

With those major Cal State Fullerton developments, the only other thing I can think to tease is a fairly big interview I scheduled for Gladeo Wednesday. Not sure I want to give it away because I’ve been pushed off once already, but let’s just say it’s a nice, recognizable name.

That’s about all I have for the night. My first day back to school tomorrow is going to be punctuated by a Cognitive Psychology exam, so I wanted to write-up something quick before I get back to studying.

Here’s hoping my lethargy in that department somehow pays off.

Out-of-context eavesdropping

Out-of-context eavesdropping

 

Catching something completely out of context in public.

It’s the trope that has spawned a thousand episodes of a thousand sitcoms. The Live-Action T.V. section of this fan-driven tropes wiki for out-of-context eavesdropping even suggests that the narrative device “was the plot of roughly 2/3s of the episodes of Three’s Company.”

But much like any cliché or stereotype, it is sometimes easy to forget that they exist in entertainment because they’re circumstances people see in real life.

I’ve found myself glancing over my shoulder on occasion when playing Fire Emblem Heroes, for example.

Looking at you Summer Noire.

The excuse of playing a video game somewhat mitigates that particular fear. We all know the Japanese are a special breed in that regard.

But today I had a slightly different experience in that vein, where the concern was being perceived as some kind of sociopath out of context.

So let me provide context that way you all don’t think I’m a sociopath.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time writing my novel. So much so that I skipped out on doing a blog post.

To make up for it I tried doing a silly gif thing:

Figured I should keep practicing that stuff I learned a few weeks back.

Even though I kept throughout today, I needed a change of scenery. Wound up dragging my Dad out to get coffee at a Coffee Bean in Torrance for a couple of hours.

While we were there I checked my school portal and saw the last two Comm Law assignments we needed to complete over Spring Break were finally uploaded.

I would have preferred to work on them at the beginning of the break… But I can’t force my professors to do things just for my convenience.

Luckily the assignments were quick enough to blow through that I can’t complain.

One of them just happened to come with some bizarre imagery.

For our section on copyright and trademark, a case we went over was Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions. In which Utah artist Tom Forsythe created a number of images using frazzled Barbie dolls in domestic appliances and common food items to comment on the brand’s effect on society’s treatment of women and gender roles.

All that fun stuff.

Forsythe won the case as fair use for commentary and was later compensated for the legal fees.

A very interesting case, but one that required me to watch videos zooming in on pictures of mangled Barbie pieces in enchiladas and stir fry.

Obviously the “school assignment” excuse would have saved me from any dirty looks. Especially given my ability to at least partially explain why the court case is important in First Amendment studies.

But I definitely would have gotten some dirty looks out of context, and I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder to make sure nobody was peering over the hedges.

Even though I would have more things to worry about if a total stranger was watching me from behind a hedge in a public space, I suppose.

Jason finally learns how to make GIFs

Jason finally learns how to make GIFs

Look at that, folks from yesterday’s post.

This is what we in the business call “good continuity.”

For those of you who don’t care to dive into the rabbit hole: Hello!

Welcome to me talking about today’s Society of Professional Journalists — Cal State Fullerton chapter meeting.

I’ve been our branch Secretary for a year now, but last semester the meetings conflicted with my three-hour Visual Communications class.

So this semester I’ve been better about going. Even if that means commuting for just that, like today.

Doing so has offered me the chance to live tweet a guest presentation by Washington Post editor Gene Park:

Then it took me on a tour of the CBS2/KCAL9 Broadcast Center.

Today, the train of interesting things continued as we hosted USC Digital Journalism Professor Amara Aguilar.

IMG_2433
Here she is (right) with our chapter president, Harrison Faigen (left).

The funny thing is, I’ve attended one of her presentations.

Last year at the ACP Convention in Long Beach, I learned about Google reporting tools like the Cardboard VR camera from Aguilar. Wrote all about it here.

Today she went over a couple of different tools that are useful for journalists to create a better social media presence on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

The presentation started with a few general tips, despite the idea that most content is tailored to the platform.

Primarily that social media content is best if it “awe” a viewer, provides them “laughter and amusement,” or instills some sense of “empathy” and “surprise.”

Then I jotted down this quote about how social media should be used to connect with people:

“When you’re looking at your device late at night before bed, people want to see personal content,” Aguilar said.

Personal stuff is particularly effective when it’s visual, so she spent her time teaching us about two apps anyone can access on their mobile devices.

First, the graphic design portion of the Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe Spark Post.

If you’ve spent a lot of time on social media or digital news sites like Now This, you’ve likely seen the kinds of images with text overlays that Spark Post is good for.

Because CSUF students have free use of the Adobe Creative Cloud, we were able to practice creating our own.

For the purposes of goofing around, I reused this image from my post-Us Twitter freak-out:

And reimagined it as this baseless Peanut’s fan graphic:

Nice, huh?

I think that resource is pretty neat, but mostly because it’s good for cropping images to dimensions used by specific social media sites.

The piece above being perfect for Instagram, apparently.

Dunno about that… I’ll let you know if I get more than just four likes on the post I made using it.

What I can see as being more useful to me in the long-run was her introduction to the GIPHY CAM app.

See, I’m a man who likes a good GIF — and I pronounce it both ways, so don’t bother asking.

I’ve always been interested in making my own, but never enough to seek out good ways to do so.

When I’m on my phone, this app seems like a pretty decent approach.

For instance, check out this practice GIF I made attempting to create a looping image:

Isn’t it amazing how I’m not only chubby, pimpled, clearly sleep-deprived and unshaven, but also that I couldn’t get the camera to sit perfectly still even when I had it propped up on a table?

I love that about myself.

Probably not the most successful first GIF attempt, but now that I know about this app I can get more practice.

Perhaps one day I’ll be skilled enough to make silly comic book GIFs in a big news story like this UFC girl piece from Medium Aguilar showed us.

Funny enough, this SPJ meeting was held in Professor Frank Russell‘s Comm 201 class. There was an issue booking the Titan Student Union.

Almost three years ago I first started my Twitter account in 201 because he required it. I’ve come to both thank him because it taught me a lot about social media, but also resent him after spending hours mindlessly scrolling.

Now that I’m about to graduate, it looks like I’m still learning new things about social media with him.

Isn’t it amazing how things come full circle?

Ice cream passover

Ice cream passover

After Aly won big at the Dos Pueblos Jazz Festival last night, I decided it would only be appropriate to celebrate by taking her out for ice cream.

Thus, this beautiful image of us together was born.

The girl and I actually spent most of the day together. Waking up relatively early to make breakfast (Bacon and eggs? Can’t go wrong), listening to internet videos while sitting on the couch doing homework/novel-writing and, of course, getting ourselves some of that classic soft-serve frozen milk.

In the process we also made some classic lols, including the most brilliant movie script doctoring ever imagined by anyone in the history of time.

What a good gif!!

I’ll be waiting on my check, DreamWorks. Because as soon as more than ~35 people see this Bee Movie joke pulled straight out of 2017, I’ll be raking in the followers and likes for sure.

Alright all joking aside, that’s just the kind of dumb humor that flows out when my sister and I spend some quality time together.

But because I’m a terrible human being that somehow still finds Bee Movie jokes humorous, I figured I would share that quality post with the world.

Consider me inspired by Nando v. Movies recently finishing his Man of Steel rewrite.

Obviously this whole post is a little lackluster, and that’s more or less because I actually did spend most of the day either cooking or working on my Senior Honors Project. Doesn’t give me too many interesting things to share, but I also didn’t want to just leave another blank day after losing March 1 to my all-out lazy afternoon.

So consider this a passover post of sorts. Just a real quick 300 words about my day to tide you all over in the hopes that I have something more substantial tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m going to get back to eating fancy pasta and writing. Because very rarely does my Comm Law class give out no homework, offering me the opportunity to catch up on my novel.

Looking to get past 100 pages before Tuesday.

Wish me luck.