Cinco de Mayo party, 01


Students celebrated their first real opportunity to blow off steam after a year that 
claimed more than its share of academic casualties. 

Last of the sleep-over stragglers have departed, and I just finished taking out the 
last bag of empty cerveza & tequila bottles. I'm pleased to report there were no 
casualties. No one puked. Nothing got broken, no fisticuffs, and only 1 lover's quarrel. 

I feel surprisingly good .. considering. Learned long ago that only premium tequilas 
can be consumed without regret. No need for hair of the dog. Tho my voice is a little 
horse from yakking so much.

Became a little concerned when one couple was MIA, but returned hours later with 
unusually large smiles from a trip to beach. =)

Many students (who've been stuck in the city all year) especially enjoyed taking a 
barefoot stroll down to the beach (a block away) under a full moon over Laguna.

Wendy made a caldron full of her famous guacamole, containing chunks of avocado. 
Also had chicken tacos, nachos with gobs of melted cheese .. everything you'd expect 
at a Cinco de Mayo party. No one went hungry.  

Cops never came, even tho music was kinda loud, and bass was PUMPing, thanks to 
Keith, who brought some great, trancey, rave music with him. Also, a bunch of people 
brought musical instruments with them, and several impromptu, sit-down sessions 
materialized (guitars, bongos, etc.). Onlookers sang along with familiar songs. 

When musicians took breaks, the stereo was turned up, and dancing began. Dancers 
loved the hardwood floors, slippery with sand tracked back from the beach.

Had a couple of games going all night long. Some guests had never played online before, 
and seemed amazed after learning they were playing against *real* people .. on the Net. 
Unreal Tournament saw the most action (easiest game to stay alive in), with Quake III
Counterstrike coming in 2nd & 3rd. 

All newbies were thoroughly trounced & humiliated, tho some gaming veterans managed 
to hold their own .. despite the tequila. 

The Matrix style of play in CS blew many minds. It allows you to jump high & hang in the 
air for extended periods, and move at hyper speeds while airborne (like in the movie). 

Some also wanted to play with Premiere 6 & the real-time editing effects (RT2000) in Win2K. 
They loved not having to render effects & transitions. Most Film school students are editing 
video on a Mac with
Final Cut Pro (software rendering).

One guest, Brian, is editing trailers for Lord of the Rings trilogy .. due out Christmas. 
LOTRs was recently voted best book of the millennium (doesn't have to compete with 
the Bible) at Everyone was saying what an incredibly cool gig that was. 
Brian said they're shooting all 3 films at the same time .. to save money. 

For example, some scenes are used in the 1st & 3rd movies, but not the second. So they 
shoot everything - for all movies - at that particular scene, before dismantling the scene. 
They have also constructed over-sized scenes .. to make Mr. Bilbo Bargins (the hobbit) 
appear smaller than the actor really is. 

Wendy & I are reading the Hobbit & LOTR before the (first of the) movie(s) come(s) out 
at Christmas .. easy to see why it's the most beloved story of the last thousand years.

Lots techie talk about video encoding last night. MPEG-1, MPEG-2, which encoder is best, 
how to make video look its best, for the Internet, for CDROMs .. DVDs, burning DVDs .. 
pig heaven for a geek. 

One guest, Brad, who has degree Computer Engr'ing, quit his lucrative job as Director of 
Software Dev
to attend Film school in LA. He says (graduate) Film school at USC is 
"10 times harder" than Computer Engr'ing (at Michigan). 

Brad made a cool Vampire movie for last project (16mm) and just finished editing a 546 .. 
like Wendy & 
Lisa. Of course, we watched some of Wendy's movies.

Brad's 546 editing partner is Eric, a history major, who couldn't recall the historical 
significance of Cinco de Mayo. "Musta missed that class," he said. =)

Keith just sent a note saying: 
Thanks for an AWESOME party. You and your place rock!