I also took pictures; the largest set I’ve ever uploaded to Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/CrazySphinx/media_set?set=a.640970955956159.1073741826.100001297801903&type=1

I took this picture last night in a part of town I wasn’t very familiar with. I was looking for an ATM because I didn’t have cab money and when I turned a corner, I saw this woman standing. For a split of a split second, I thought she was real. I thought there actually was a woman standing there in the shadows, looking at me — presumably trying to give me some food. Or poison.
Just before that, I was in a 7-Eleven — they usually have ATMs in there — but his one didn’t. So I asked the cashier if he knows where I could find one, but the guy just shook his head, didn’t even bother with a proper word answer. On my way out, I held the door open for this nice middle-aged aunty, and wouldn’t you know it, she turned around and said — “If you’re looking for ATM, walk straight, and after the next block, turn left”.
I don’t know if she told me because I held the door for her, but I’m almost certain that she did. Not that it matters.
I’m writing this at seven in the morning because right after I got the ATM, and the cash, and the cab, I knocked out the minute I got into bedroom. Even though I had a text to send. Even though I had an e-mail to reply. Even though I had this to write.

I took this picture last night in a part of town I wasn’t very familiar with. I was looking for an ATM because I didn’t have cab money and when I turned a corner, I saw this woman standing. For a split of a split second, I thought she was real. I thought there actually was a woman standing there in the shadows, looking at me — presumably trying to give me some food. Or poison.

Just before that, I was in a 7-Eleven — they usually have ATMs in there — but his one didn’t. So I asked the cashier if he knows where I could find one, but the guy just shook his head, didn’t even bother with a proper word answer. On my way out, I held the door open for this nice middle-aged aunty, and wouldn’t you know it, she turned around and said — “If you’re looking for ATM, walk straight, and after the next block, turn left”.

I don’t know if she told me because I held the door for her, but I’m almost certain that she did. Not that it matters.

I’m writing this at seven in the morning because right after I got the ATM, and the cash, and the cab, I knocked out the minute I got into bedroom. Even though I had a text to send. Even though I had an e-mail to reply. Even though I had this to write.

I currently have 6% battery on my laptop, which means I have to get this post up before the battery hits 1%. Sometimes, these daily blog posts feel like a chore, yes, but I need the routine. The discipline. One part exercise in prose, one part life-marker.
Most days, when I don’t write, I can’t tell Monday from Tuesday from Thursday. Writing makes me remember, but more than that, it turns me into an observer. I notice and remember and do things because I know that at the end of the day, I’ll need something to write about.
I don’t do New Year Resolutions, but since the January, I’ve kept a Bullet Journal and it’s really fun carrying that around. I can’t say for certain whether or not it’s made me more organized, but it always amazes me at the end of the month when I go through it seethe amount of shit I got done.
There’s a scene in the Veronica Mars movie, she’s at an interview and they’re listing all her credentials: “PI license by 18, majored in psychology in college…” bla bla bla (I don’t remember) and then they asked —
"…as a psychologist, what does that say about a person?"
Bullet journaling. Taking pictures every day. Daily blog posts. What does that say about a person?
My battery meter says 1%.

I currently have 6% battery on my laptop, which means I have to get this post up before the battery hits 1%. Sometimes, these daily blog posts feel like a chore, yes, but I need the routine. The discipline. One part exercise in prose, one part life-marker.

Most days, when I don’t write, I can’t tell Monday from Tuesday from Thursday. Writing makes me remember, but more than that, it turns me into an observer. I notice and remember and do things because I know that at the end of the day, I’ll need something to write about.

I don’t do New Year Resolutions, but since the January, I’ve kept a Bullet Journal and it’s really fun carrying that around. I can’t say for certain whether or not it’s made me more organized, but it always amazes me at the end of the month when I go through it seethe amount of shit I got done.

There’s a scene in the Veronica Mars movie, she’s at an interview and they’re listing all her credentials: “PI license by 18, majored in psychology in college…” bla bla bla (I don’t remember) and then they asked —

"…as a psychologist, what does that say about a person?"

Bullet journaling. Taking pictures every day. Daily blog posts. What does that say about a person?

My battery meter says 1%.

Tharish tells me Sushi Zanmai. I say OK. Sure. I get there at 7:45 PM and naturally, there’s a queue. I text Tharish:
"All motherfuckers be like we want sushi"
I honestly don’t know why I sometimes text like that, but I suspect it might have a thing or two to do with Thug Notes.
Anyway, Tharish arrives and we wait. And wait. And then we get a table next to these two fancy looking dames.
I order eel and tuna and salmon sushi, like a real G. Tharish, she orders vegetarian. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s not sushi unless the thing on it used to be a living, breathing thing.
So we wait. We wait and wait. The fancy dames next to us also wait. We wait and wait, and then we get our sushi. Tharish takes a bite of her not-sushi sushi, looks up at me, and says — “You know the problem with most relationships? People expect to get way more than they’re willing to give”.
I tell her no, that’s the problem with our society in general. 
Me, I can’t scroll down a page on the Internet — any page — without hitting a link or an article about productivity or some life-hack thing. 4-Hour Work Week. 4-Hour Body. 4-Hour Chef. Tim Ferris alone — the fact that he got to publish all these books as often as he did — is a testament to the fact that we, as a people, are obsessed with cutting corners, and that, unfortunately, may lead to the collapse of society as we know it.
I ask the waiter to refill my green tea (because it’s RM1 with unlimited refills and I’m trying to get the most out of my RM1). Tharish refills hers too. The fancy dames next to us, they snap at the waiter and tell him to cancel their order because they’ve been waiting 40 mins for it. The waiter, he apologizes and tells them he’ll check with the kitchen and they can get their food at no charge. They say no — presumably out of principle — and ask for the bill instead.
Tharish and I, we look at each other. She’s probably thinking the fancy dames could’ve been a little nicer to the waiter. The fancy dames, they’re probably thinking — “it’s the principle, goddammit!”
And me, I’m thinking there’s still hope for us as a society.

Tharish tells me Sushi Zanmai. I say OK. Sure. I get there at 7:45 PM and naturally, there’s a queue. I text Tharish:

"All motherfuckers be like we want sushi"

I honestly don’t know why I sometimes text like that, but I suspect it might have a thing or two to do with Thug Notes.

Anyway, Tharish arrives and we wait. And wait. And then we get a table next to these two fancy looking dames.

I order eel and tuna and salmon sushi, like a real G. Tharish, she orders vegetarian. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s not sushi unless the thing on it used to be a living, breathing thing.

So we wait. We wait and wait. The fancy dames next to us also wait. We wait and wait, and then we get our sushi. Tharish takes a bite of her not-sushi sushi, looks up at me, and says — “You know the problem with most relationships? People expect to get way more than they’re willing to give”.

I tell her no, that’s the problem with our society in general. 

Me, I can’t scroll down a page on the Internet — any page — without hitting a link or an article about productivity or some life-hack thing. 4-Hour Work Week. 4-Hour Body. 4-Hour Chef. Tim Ferris alone — the fact that he got to publish all these books as often as he did — is a testament to the fact that we, as a people, are obsessed with cutting corners, and that, unfortunately, may lead to the collapse of society as we know it.

I ask the waiter to refill my green tea (because it’s RM1 with unlimited refills and I’m trying to get the most out of my RM1). Tharish refills hers too. The fancy dames next to us, they snap at the waiter and tell him to cancel their order because they’ve been waiting 40 mins for it. The waiter, he apologizes and tells them he’ll check with the kitchen and they can get their food at no charge. They say no — presumably out of principle — and ask for the bill instead.

Tharish and I, we look at each other. She’s probably thinking the fancy dames could’ve been a little nicer to the waiter. The fancy dames, they’re probably thinking — “it’s the principle, goddammit!”

And me, I’m thinking there’s still hope for us as a society.

Rita and I no longer live together (that’s a story for another day), and as if to manage the loss (or at least ease the transition), we have these regular half-hour catch-up sessions at the office every few days. We meet up to update each other on each other’s lives; stuff we’ve done, stuff we’d like to do… you know, life.
It was during one of those catch-ups, right after Rita told me about her weekend, that I said — “Living like a baller!”.
To which she asked, “what’s a baller?”.
At that moment, I had a realization. Of course I could’ve easily explained to her what a baller is and how, saying it to her in the context I did, is most certainly a compliment. But I didn’t do that because I felt that still wouldn’t have essence and  meaning behind the phrase “living like a baller”.
If I said to you right now — “Shit just got real”, and you’ve seen Bad Boys II, you would know immediately what I’m saying and exactly where I’m coming from.
Admittedly, you could still, on a purely information-transference sort of way, know what I mean even if you hadn’t seen that sentence come together in Michael Bay’s epic spinning slow-mo shot with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, but I would argue — and this is the central thesis of this post — that something would be missing.
That “something” missing is something that cannot be taught or explained; it’s the language equivalent of “You had to be there”.
So when Rita asked “What’s a baller?” I didn’t reply. Instead, I said something else entirely. I said, “It sounds like you had a really amazing weekend, and I’m insanely jealous”.

Rita and I no longer live together (that’s a story for another day), and as if to manage the loss (or at least ease the transition), we have these regular half-hour catch-up sessions at the office every few days. We meet up to update each other on each other’s lives; stuff we’ve done, stuff we’d like to do… you know, life.

It was during one of those catch-ups, right after Rita told me about her weekend, that I said — “Living like a baller!”.

To which she asked, “what’s a baller?”.

At that moment, I had a realization. Of course I could’ve easily explained to her what a baller is and how, saying it to her in the context I did, is most certainly a compliment. But I didn’t do that because I felt that still wouldn’t have essence and  meaning behind the phrase “living like a baller”.

If I said to you right now — “Shit just got real”, and you’ve seen Bad Boys II, you would know immediately what I’m saying and exactly where I’m coming from.

Admittedly, you could still, on a purely information-transference sort of way, know what I mean even if you hadn’t seen that sentence come together in Michael Bay’s epic spinning slow-mo shot with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, but I would argue — and this is the central thesis of this post — that something would be missing.

That “something” missing is something that cannot be taught or explained; it’s the language equivalent of “You had to be there”.

So when Rita asked “What’s a baller?” I didn’t reply. Instead, I said something else entirely. I said, “It sounds like you had a really amazing weekend, and I’m insanely jealous”.

Two of my favorite podcasts — 99 Percent Invisible and Snap Judgement — are currently going head to head for a chance to be at the Regional Final of KPCC’s annual Public Radio Bracket Madness.
Side note: An image of Glee just flashed in my head at the mention of “Regional Finals”. Is that show still on air?
The whole thing — this public radio madness thing — feels like that scene at the end of Warrior, you know the one: Tom Hardy vs Joel Edgerton.
You’ve followed both brothers, you understand where each of them is coming from; you know what a win would win for each of them, and you believe that both really deserve that win.Thing is, there’s only one of you, and you can only cast one vote. I think’s what they mean by being “stuck between a rock and a hard place”.
For this March Madness thing, I may or may not vote for either of the shows, regardless, one show will definitely proceed to the Regionals, and I’ll be fine by me.
For Warrior, I rooted for both brothers. As I watched, my allegiance kept changing with every kick and punch, but  then when the fight finally ended, I was content with the winner I was given. I wasn’t content because I thought the one brother deserved the win over the other, but because the match was over — I’d waited out the rocky-hard place and I’m now in the clear. I could breathe again. In a way, I too was a winner. 
Unfortunately, some (most?) things in life, you can’t just wait out. Not picking a side, ignoring the problem hoping it’ll go away, just ensures that you stay in that rocky-hard limbo forever and ever — the type of punishment that’s right out of Greek mythology.

Two of my favorite podcasts — 99 Percent Invisible and Snap Judgement — are currently going head to head for a chance to be at the Regional Final of KPCC’s annual Public Radio Bracket Madness.

Side note: An image of Glee just flashed in my head at the mention of “Regional Finals”. Is that show still on air?

The whole thing — this public radio madness thing — feels like that scene at the end of Warrior, you know the one: Tom Hardy vs Joel Edgerton.

You’ve followed both brothers, you understand where each of them is coming from; you know what a win would win for each of them, and you believe that both really deserve that win.Thing is, there’s only one of you, and you can only cast one vote. I think’s what they mean by being “stuck between a rock and a hard place”.

For this March Madness thing, I may or may not vote for either of the shows, regardless, one show will definitely proceed to the Regionals, and I’ll be fine by me.

For Warrior, I rooted for both brothers. As I watched, my allegiance kept changing with every kick and punch, but  then when the fight finally ended, I was content with the winner I was given. I wasn’t content because I thought the one brother deserved the win over the other, but because the match was over — I’d waited out the rocky-hard place and I’m now in the clear. I could breathe again. In a way, I too was a winner. 

Unfortunately, some (most?) things in life, you can’t just wait out. Not picking a side, ignoring the problem hoping it’ll go away, just ensures that you stay in that rocky-hard limbo forever and ever — the type of punishment that’s right out of Greek mythology.

First/Last, a film I short in late 2012, was screened today at Filmmakers Anonymous. I haven’t really watched the film properly since I made it, so to say that the experience today was excruciating is… well… a gross understatement. 
Admittedly, it has never been pleasurable for me watching anything I’ve made with an audience, even if it’s an audience of one. The joy for me is always and has always come from the making. The writing. The shooting. The directing. The editing. I get energy from creation.
Watching the film today, seeing all the things I would do differently now — it’s hard. Granted, I knew I wasn’t making art when I was making the film, but it’s so much worse than I thought it was. Zero subtlety. Machine gun rhythm. During the Q&A, someone said that I put the “short” in short film. I’m not sure if that was meant as a compliment.
Having said all that, I’m really glad I made the film when I did. At the time, I hadn’t made a short film in about two years, and I was starving creatively. I was spiritually broken and emotionally drained. First/Last injected life back into my life.
First/Last is the first film I directed that I didn’t write the script for, and in doing that, I learned how to use someone else’s story to tell my own story. First/Last taught me how to light very cheaply, and that has changed how I now approach cinematography. 
Finally, First/Last is how I met Sergiu, someone who I went on to have a really solid creative partnership with; someone I consider a friend; so if nothing else had happened, that alone is worth all the cringing and turning and physical hurt I experienced today.
There’s this shot in the film right after the kiss, a mid shot of Sergiu — over over the shoulder. He’s looking at Anna; something is happening but we can’t see what. There’s no music playing; his world is silent.
That shot, I’m still proud of.

First/Last, a film I short in late 2012, was screened today at Filmmakers Anonymous. I haven’t really watched the film properly since I made it, so to say that the experience today was excruciating is… well… a gross understatement. 

Admittedly, it has never been pleasurable for me watching anything I’ve made with an audience, even if it’s an audience of one. The joy for me is always and has always come from the making. The writing. The shooting. The directing. The editing. I get energy from creation.

Watching the film today, seeing all the things I would do differently now — it’s hard. Granted, I knew I wasn’t making art when I was making the film, but it’s so much worse than I thought it was. Zero subtlety. Machine gun rhythm. During the Q&A, someone said that I put the “short” in short film. I’m not sure if that was meant as a compliment.

Having said all that, I’m really glad I made the film when I did. At the time, I hadn’t made a short film in about two years, and I was starving creatively. I was spiritually broken and emotionally drained. First/Last injected life back into my life.

First/Last is the first film I directed that I didn’t write the script for, and in doing that, I learned how to use someone else’s story to tell my own story. First/Last taught me how to light very cheaply, and that has changed how I now approach cinematography. 

Finally, First/Last is how I met Sergiu, someone who I went on to have a really solid creative partnership with; someone I consider a friend; so if nothing else had happened, that alone is worth all the cringing and turning and physical hurt I experienced today.

There’s this shot in the film right after the kiss, a mid shot of Sergiu — over over the shoulder. He’s looking at Anna; something is happening but we can’t see what. There’s no music playing; his world is silent.

That shot, I’m still proud of.