Has it really been four years since I graduated from Stanford??? On Sunday, June 17, 2001, I attended the fourth Stanford graduation since I walked down that red carpet and said goodbye to my college years. There were only a handful of people that I knew who were graduating this year, a far cry from years past, when I congratulated many of my friends on their graduation. This Sunday, I was able to meet up with my cousin, King, Randy’s girlfriend, Juliana, and Jerry Chang’s sister, Jennifer.
Juliana and Jennifer were both graduating from the International Relations Program, so I didn’t have to run between diploma ceremonies across campus The IR ceremony was held at Dohrman Grove next to the Art Gallery. I was hoping that I would run into Jennifer’s family, including Jerry and his brother, John, but I couldn’t see them anywhere in the crowd. I did see someone who turned out to be their dad, and he was sporting a huge white Canon lens. Yes, it had the red stripe on it, meaning it was a Canon L lens. I never knew that he was a photographer! Jerry and John, unfortunately, weren’t able to make it to the event; I was a little disappointed in that, since I really wanted Jerry to meet Randy; those two people mirror each other in many ways. No wonder they are my friends!
I did run into Randy, who was sitting with Juliana’s family. Graduation days are always strange events. You meet for what’s usually the first time the families of your friends. You get to see them interacting in a dynamic that you’re not necessarily used to seeing. After all, you’ve been hanging out with “John” or “Jane”, thinking that you “know” them until you meet people that have known ’em for 18 years longer than you have! But, the question begs, “Who knows them better? You or their families?”
After taking pictures of Juliana, her family, and Randy, I walked briskly over to Maples Pavilion, where my cousin, his family, and my grandmother were celebrating his graduation from the ME Masters Program.
I had spotted my grandmother and my cousin and was walking towards them when I heard someone call out my name! I turned around and it was Sophia Tseng, one of Eric’s good friends. Sophia and I have been playing meet-tag, as we never have gotten around to hanging out with each other due to our busy schedules. She was planning to come to Vienna Teng’s open mic this past Friday, but circumstances forced her to cancel. And, I haven’t been attending many of Eric’s concerts at his place, so I’ve been remiss on my end at meeting her. But, chance had it that we met at Stanford by Maples Pavilion!
On my way out, I noticed these crates of water just sitting at the gates to Stanford Stadium. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to snag some free drinks, I drove my car to the stadium and proceeded to stash about five palettes of water into my car. The back end was doing some serious sagging from the weight of all that water! I later brought some of it to my workplace, which no longer gives out free water. No worries, now that I have my own Special Reserve!
Epson Stylus Photo 1280
On my way back from graduation, I decided that I wanted to give Juliana and her family a little graduation present: a photo of Juliana from graduation. The problem was, I didn’t have a color printer! I certainly had the digital camera and the images, but there wasn’t anything with which to print my colorful photos!
So, I decided to bite the bullet and drive over to the local Fry’s in Palo Alto (Western theme!) and purchase the printer I’ve been eyeing for the past several months, the Epson Stylus Photo 1280. When it comes to color printing, there is really only one choice: Epson’s Stylus Photo printer series. And so, I walked right into Fry’s and talked to one of the salesman by the printers, pointed to the 1280 and calmly said, “I want to buy that one, the 1280.”
I’m not going out on a limb by saying that most of the people who work at Fry’s are… shall we say… challenged, but this guy, whose name I can’t remember, was actually quite friendly and helpful. He got the printer out of the backroom and promptly printed the paperwork that I need to give to the cashier. I was a little suprised at how good he was, since the salespeople usually are brusque and not very knowledgeable.
At any rate, I took the printer back home, unpacked it, set it up, and printed my first photo. And, it was… well, let’s just say that the colors were just a wee bit off! In an instant, I welcomed myself into the wonderful world of color management. Man, this is going to take a long time to become an expert on, I think! Undaunted (or ballsy, take your pick), I looked at the picture’s colors, and by sight compensated for the colors in Photoshop. I then printed a second print which looked a little better than the original. I packed the two pictures up and drove over to Hunan Homes, where Juliana and her family and friends would be celebrating her graduation over some Hunan-style Chinese food.
Dinner was fun and remarkably filling from a food perspective. Normally, I can chow down Chinese food like a vaccuum cleaner, but this night, I got full pretty quickly. Dunno what caused that… maybe it’s my body telling me to stop eating so much, lest it bloat into Jabba the Hutt size!
I got to meet with with Juliana’s family again, some of their family friends, and Charlotte Wu and her mother. I first met Charlotte during my 26th Birthday Weekend at, you guessed it, Hunan Homes with Randy and Juliana. It was good to see her again, and just in time, as she’s off to Italy for the next two and a half months.
Also present at the party was Jenny Zhang, a soon-to-be senior at Stanford majoring in Digital Art. After meeting sooo many musicians over the past several weeks, it was fun to finally meet a fellow artist (yeah, artists unite!). We talked about digital photography and filmmaking, something that I want to get more involved in after watching the kick-ass short film, Duality. Jenny’s off this summer on a URO grant to work on a film up in San Francisco; man, that sounds like fun… be able to do something creative and have someone pay you in the process!
Evercrack and Digital Cameras
Charlotte just got a Canon PowerShot A20, the digital camera that she was planning on taking with her to Italy. Unfortunately, she didn’t have many accessories for it and was planning on going abroad with only an 8MB CompactFlash card and AA batteries. I offered her an “all-purpose loan” of my 64MB CF card and a PC card adapter (so she didn’t have to lug around an extra cable and install extra software). I would have loaned her the AA battery charger that I had, but the voltages only matched America’s voltage system. Hopefully, she was able to purchase a battery charger and some rechargeable batteries before her trip, as that camera sucks normal alkaline AA batteries like a vampire.
While I was giving her the goods, her boyfriend, Mike, dropped by to take her back to the City. We chatted about a variety of interesting, mostly computer related subjects, including this upcoming Star Wars game based on Evercrack… err, Everquest. Man, that game makes me drool just by looking at it. Imagine being able to roleplay in the Star Wars universe, where you can be anything from a human to a Rodian! Greedo can indeed live on!
Randy brought over a couple of videos, Chungking Express and Happy Together, two films by Wong Kar-Wai and staring the suave Tony Leung Chiu Wai, not to be confused with the equally suave Tony Leung Ka-Fai from L’Amant. I didn’t realize that there were two Tony Leungs out there in Hong Kong cinema. The former is called the Little Tony, since he’s a few years younger than the latter, Big Tony. They both starred together in Wong Kar-Wai’s film Ashes of Time, which I have yet to see. Also starring in Happy Together was a young Chen Chang, who played Lo in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. These actors sure get around, don’t they! Chungking Express was an interesting movie, though we only saw the second portion of the film (which is separated in two separate stories). Faye Wong, one of my favorite Chinese pop singers, was fantastic in the movie as Faye. You gotta love the short hair look on her!