Although I'm now on my new server and I have all these cool CGI options in front of me, I'm stickin' with good old Blogger. It's just too nifty. (Unless someone can find a way to link my comments button to my new message board, using Blogger or not...)
What have I been doing this summer? Lots of things. Let's see if I can remember them all...
Mainly, there's my summer internship at PlanetLink. It's a nice little company and I'm having fun working, but it's completely not what I expected. First of all, it's unpaid. I had expected to get big money this summer for a new computer, and to save up some dough for college. I was originally going to sign up to become a camp counselor. I had been a counselor-in-training for the past two years, and since I'm now 16, the time has finally come when I can get paid. My mom said, why not do something you aim to do for a living? So I almost immediately ditched the counselor idea, and went to my career center to look at internship possiblities.
Terra Linda's School-to-Career (STC) liason showed me a list of internships. Only one dealt with computers - it was an Autodesk internship, where I would be redesigning their "Point A" website and getting paid $10/hour. (Autodesk is the biggest company in Marin, besides Lucasfilm, probably.) I was a bit too late to get all the applications done to complete my resume, so I let that one slide. My STC liason said that there would be many more internships coming in over the summer. Glee!
Not so glee. What I didn't know was that that Autodesk internship didn't really have much to do with the school. I wouldn't have to check into STC much to say how it's going. It'd be pretty much like a real job. I'd get a big ol' paycheck. How do I know this? One of my good friends snagged the job instead. I was left with the new internship opportunities. It must have been written in the disclaimer somewhere, in very tiny letters, that I'd have to go to a freaking class in addition to my internship. And it must also have said that I have no chance of getting into Autodesk with the class I'd be taking.
Let me explain: STC hooks kids up with up with internships all the time, but they also offer classes to go along with many of them. These classes are run by either Marin County Office of Education's Regional Occupational Program (ROP), or by the College of Marin (COM). I chose the ROP one, because it didn't seem like as much class time, and that there were many more internship opportunities. I shouldn't have picked EITHER. These classes are aimed toward poor kids not aiming toward college, with lessons on sitting up straight, opening one's eyes when they are talked to, and how to ALWAYS have one's fork on the left and knife on the right. That's why there were no Autodesk internships. No one loser enough to take the class would be at all qualified for it.
So before the class started and when I was presented with my job openings, I was just a little suspicious that there was no Autodesk calling my name. Instead, there were not-very-close-by jobs that offered no pay, except for one, which was PlanetLink, which stated, "unpaid or paid depending on experience." Well, hell! I was experienced! I was being paid 40 freakin' dollars per hour the year before to work on a Flash animation! Of course I'd be able to rack in some serious dough designing websites and fixing computers.
Nope. Not a cent since I've started. I should have paid a little bit closer attention to the interview, as my employer/supervisor/boss/president/CEO/ONLY PERSON IN THE FRIGGIN' "COMPANY", Steve, told me that it'd be "unpaid to start out with," but I'd be "paid a fixed amount once a new client comes in." Well you can guess that Steve hasn't always been the only person at the company. It's a dot-com startup. He's had hard times and has had to let a lot of employees go. This is because he probably hasn't gotten any new clients in a very long time. So summing it all up, no new clients = no money for Jeffrey. No new clients.
Keep in mind that I haven't been blogging much because I don't have much to complain about. That means that even though I'm not being paid, what I'm doing is fun. I've designed a few websites for some "old" clients, and I've set up some Macs to run on his big ol' server. There's another intern here as well, Dan, and since he's more experienced with hardware than software (and me vice-versa), we're both learning new things. The class I have to attend? Boring as hell. I'm not learning anything. It's a waste of my time. Now that I actually have something I want to buy, I feel like I've been completely wasting my summer, and I can't get out of this bind or else I'll fail the class and get a bad recommendation. And that's all I'll really get out of this... a recommendation.
As I said before, I want to buy a computer of my own, to which no one else can restrict my access or modify. I'm aiming for a price of about $1000; that means that it should be state-of-the-art or up to 6 months old. All my internet buddies are shouting out "build your own!" but I'm not very sure about that. For one thing, there are bound to be hardware conflicts, there will be no warranty, and no software included. That's why I'm aiming to get another Dell. (And it's also been said that I look a bit like the Dell guy. :P) No one's really convinced me that there are any better reasons to build my own, besides "YUO CAN PUTT IN TEH ASUSS P4S333-VM MOMBORED!!!!!~~~" which I really don't care about. (Addendum: Oooohohohoo, fellow intern Dan has introduced me to Price Watch. Although the sellers seem a little shady, they look like better deals than what I have been seeing recently.)
I never said I wasn't getting any money this summer, though. My mom is starting up a little side-business, called Professional Matchmaking. She's getting me to install all the forms, tweak the design, and scold her about how much she should NOT have bought any package from Catalog.com. And I'm up to about $400 toward my new computer. I guess I'm on the right track, besides the fact that I'm saving up my money on PayPal. I have no idea why, but at least they're now owned by eBay and my money is somewhere in an FDIC-insured bank, so I'll probably be able to get all of it back in one piece when it comes time to buy.
And last weekend! My friend Omid's 17th birthday party. It was fun, and not as structured as in previous years. Like, last year we went to the Metreon to eat, play DDR and watch movies. This year, we went to Chili's, I brought DDR over to his house and we just went to the mall for a movie. I also got to play Halo, GTA3, and Max Payne for the first time. They're great, great games, but I'm sorta glad I didn't buy them... they're not really my types of games. Shooty shooty bang bang.
We saw Reign of Teh Fire really late at night. James and I tried to count as many clichés as we could during the film. We knew it was a bad movie before we started, but I personally didn't know what to expect. I'm not a big American media freak, so I don't watch TV or go to the movies often. James stated in his review that it was completely awful and ruined his summer streak of good movies, while I didn't really know what to think. It definitely wasn't as entertaining as Minority Report or Star Wars II, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud at Matthew McConaughey's character, who was more of a clichéd American than Duke Nukem, but it had a somewhat decent setting, as a post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by dragons. The shots of the dragons kicked ass, by the way... nice visual effects.
I'm spending WAY too much time in #rpgcomics as the newest op. I have to leave it open in the background all day to calculate stats, but that means that it's a distraction when I sit down and use the computer. I've gotten barely any work done on my MIDIs, and I hope that my one paid requester isn't shooting himself thinking that he's been ripped off. I AM working on "Brian Wilson," however slowly. I have done a few other cute things, though, like that test, and my new buddy icon (that's a Matrix reference, not Viagra).
Also, I have a confession to make. I, Jeffrey Faden, am a VOICE ACTOR. I've been VAing for a few months, and my voice has been featured in a few projects. The biggest one is The Echo Chronicles, which seems to be an anime show. I play a villain, Bass. Voice acting for me is strictly a side-activity, and it's only about once or twice a week that I check the Flava Board for new audition openings. It's not really my style because of all the Japanese influence (most of the projects are fandubs), but I do it because I just like acting with my voice. Maybe if I ever garner enough creativity to write (and finish) a story, I'll turn it into a voice show. And it'll have as little to do with anime as possible.
As a sharp contrast to being an amateur anime voice actor, I'm also working out a lot at Gold's Gym. I've got a personal trainer, an ex-soccer player from Brazil (!) named Marcos. He's a really great guy. Not only have I been able to lift twice as much since I started about a month ago, but he's also been teaching me Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that Eddy Gordo uses in Tekken 3, and also encourages playing DDR as much as possible (good cardio exercise). He's definitely worth it, and I'm beginning to grow out of my old shirts (finally a reason to get a new wardrobe). Speaking about DDR, I actually beat James at a dance recently. That probably means I'm getting better at it.
Finally, my parents are requiring that I read for an hour a day, or else they shut off my internet for the night, or something like that. Although it's summer, I have a lot of preparing to do for next year. I'll be taking the SAT IIs in French, Writing/Literature, and Math. And then come the college applications. So I have SAT books to read and the like. I think it's a fair deal, although most people at #rpgcomics disagree with me. That's because they're all SLACKERS, you hear? GET LIVES, ALL OF YOU!! Or else I'll keep believing that you're all imaginary people.