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Archive for November, 2003

The Matrix: Revolutions

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The best part was seeing all of the furrowed brows exiting the theater.

Home, San Diego | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Nov 29, 2003 00:11:34

Bunch o’ photos

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Had a wonderful few days in San Francisco, thanks to my sister Wendy, the Greenwoods, Benjamin, Eric, Elizabeth, Alex, the SLSQ, my “roommates” Elliot and Mandy, Vienna, and Clara.

AND DEN, I got into the car with Geoff and drove down to Orange County through the horrible holiday traffic and through the morons on the road who insist on driving in the left-hand lane when they are not passing. It took almost nine hours, but we made it in time to get Geoff to the hall before the concert (which was wonderful, even though it was in a bizarre venue for a string quartet performance). Steve and Hiro came up from San Diego for the concert, and we (+ Livia and her friend Karine) ate at Oki Doki before-hand. I love that place. In fact, we all went back after the show for some more food. ;)

blah blah blah. [see some photos]

Home, San Diego | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 26, 2003 19:19:06

Wildlife Photographers of Silicon Valley

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I was offered the opportunity to give a talk to the Wildlife Photographers of Silicon Valley last week, a day after returning from my crazy trip to Ecuador and to the American South. I think I might have been a bit out of it, but everything seemed to go well. :) Thanks to Adam Tow for taking some photographs of the event. (see them here).

Home, San Diego | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 26, 2003 18:57:37

“Home,” part II

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One of my biggest pet peeves is having people look over my shoulder when I’m working on my computer (e.g. while editing images, writing e-mail, working on a web journal). It’s like someone peeking over your shoulder when you are writing or reading a personal letter. I really hate it, and on every trip I take I inevitably have to relate my feelings to others, because personal space on boats is virtually impossible to obtain. On the other hand, I don’t mind over-the-shoulder peeking so much if I am just screwing around on the web, or if I am showing/browsing through photos.

And if it’s my grandfather peeking over my shoulder, I don’t really mind, either.

However, when my mother, grandmother, and grandfather are all simultaneously nagging me about a currently non-existant girlfriend/wife/grandkid/etc. (while peeking over the ol’ shoulder), it’s almost too much to handle. So I fled, and am now alone in another part of the house.

Home, San Diego | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Nov 26, 2003 15:00:09

“Home”

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My mother is funny. I walked in the door at 1:30am last night after hanging out with the SLSQ in Orange County (they were performing at the Orange County Performing Arts Center), and the first thing she told me (she was sleeping already) was that my head seemed really big. And now, she’s poking a lobster with a wooden cooking spoon. She and my grandmother are talking about how “mean” the lobster is. You, because it was taken from the ocean, driven to our house, stored in the refrigerator overnight — and it is still trying to escape. In fact, it nearly flipped water onto the keyboard of my notebook computer, which would have been really bad.

I slept until noon today. I think I really needed the rest.

Home, San Diego | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Nov 26, 2003 14:02:45

Nov 20, 2003 – Vienna Teng Tour: Louisville to Indianapolis

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Unfortunately, I was unable to continue to the end of the tour with Vienna. We spend part of the day wandering around Louisville trying to find a place to eat, and then drove to the airport in Indianapolis to drop me off. Too bad. :(

I don’t know how she does it. For nine weeks she has been performing nearly every evening, driving to a different city when morning arrives. For early morning radio/TV interviews, she has to get up really early and drive through the night/early morning to arrive in time. I have a lot of admiration for her drive, and for her attitude. Even though she was at the tail end of her tour and has been singing the same sets over and over again, she still sang in a way that … well, was wonderful. [see some photos]

Be sure to check out Vienna Teng’s music at: http://www.viennateng.com

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 22, 2003 19:11:42

Nov 19, 2003 – Vienna Teng Tour: Nashville to Louisville, KY

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The Parthenon, Nashville. Bizarre!

Vienna performed this evening at the Rudyard Kipling, a nice little place in Louisville, Kentucky. David Barnes — who seems like an exceptionally nice guy — opened for her, and there was a fairly large turnout for the show. Unfortunately, there was no one to work the door, but I was happy to do it. David’s girly-fan contingent showed up in strong numbers in the beginning, and left one-by-one during Vienna’s set.

There was an evening of jazz in the adjacent room, where local musicians took turns playing with each other. Vienna decided to sit in for a few songs, which turned out to be really wonderful! I want to hear her sing more jazz in the future. :) Everyone perked up, enjoying the rare treat of a good singer joining the local group of musicians (who were very good). Ken Pyle, the bar’s owner, was a revolutionary type guy, and kept talking about keeping the Constitution alive despite what is going on in the government these days. I told him that I photograph sharks, and after that, he kept telling everyone that I was “saving the sharks.” ;) [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 22, 2003 19:06:14

Nov 18, 2003 – Vienna Teng Tour: Knoxville to Nashville, TN

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Alright, I’ll admit it. I liked Nashville. It seems to have a great deal of influence from the East and West Coasts, and was quite cosmopolitan, in a comfortable, down-home sort of way.

After load-in at the Bluebird Cafe, we wandered off in search of a hotel. I wanted to see the bridge where Passage was recorded, but we were unable to find it, but shortly after we were forced to pull over to photograph the most beautiful fiery sky I’ve seen in a long time. It was quite a stunning sight, with lots of dark, saturated yellows, oranges, reds, and blues. The moment lasted ten minutes or so, and then faded into something a bit more plain. And then, we ate dinner at a restaurant called “Mirror,” which was excellent, and had a really neat cracked mirror for a wall. :)

The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville is a nice venue, and is apparently very well known in the singer/songwriter circuit. Angela Todd opened, singing a short set before turning the mic over. Greg, from Deep South Entertainment, and David Henry, Vienna’s producer, were present at the show as well, and afterwards we hung out a bit at Dave’s studio, where Warm Strangers was recorded. [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Nov 22, 2003 18:57:39

Nov 17, 2003 – Vienna Teng Tour: Great Smokey Mountains & Johnson City

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Ahhh, Johnson City. Simply mentioning Johnson City in slightly more metropolitan areas elicits chuckles and laughter, but the drive from Knoxville to Johnson City is beautiful. We took a detour, drove through the run-down, Disneyland-esque area that surrounds Dollywood, and hiked a bit in the Great Smoky Mountains. Everyone we met on the trail was very nice, and one guy even recognized Vienna because he had previously seen her on CNN.

After our little jaunt into the mountains, we arrived at the Sophisticated Otter in Johnson City. I’m not that knowledgeable about the touring artist scene, but I imagine that the venue should at least know that you are coming before you arrive. We were greeted at the door with lackadaisical nonchalance: “Oh, you’re playing here today? Oh… you need sound? What time are you playing again?” The best part was seeing posters that said, “VIENNA TENG – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18,” which would been fantastic marketing, had the show been scheduled for November 18th. Despite the venue’s valiant sabotage attempt, Vienna sang beautifully. The sound was good, and a local radio talkshow host brought a group of Irish nationals who were part of a reconciliation project. A Taiwanese couple (possibly the only ones in Johnson City) arrived for the show on time (which turned out to be an hour before she started), and we chatted for awhile about why pursuing anything other than engineering or medicine is taboo if you are the offspring of first generation Taiwanese immigrants.

The 19 people in the audience gave a standing ovation. It certainly is quality that counts, and not quantity. [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 22, 2003 18:45:09

Nov 16, 2003 – Vienna Teng Tour: Atlanta to Knoxville

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After my somewhat ludicrous flight that took me through Ecuador, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, I finally ended up at the Atlanta airport. Vienna picked me up from the airport in her trusty Chevy Cavalier (which fits her keyboard on models with a folding rear seat) and we took off northward towards Tennessee. On the way, we stopped by briefly to see Amy Norris, a very nice woman I met after the DEMA conference in Miami in October. A few hours later, we finally arrived at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville, TN. After seeing Vienna open for Shawn Colvin, it was really strange to see her play at a sports bar loosely attended by a few locals. Nevertheless, the show did draw out a few diehard fans, with whom we socialized for a bit before leaving to find a hotel. [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 22, 2003 18:25:59

*Poo* *chee* *poo* *chee*

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And now, for something completely different. Don’t worry… the “real” entries will be up soon after I return to San Francisco. :)

Louisville, KY | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Nov 19, 2003 23:55:07

Vienna Teng @ Nashville, TN

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I have many photos to post, but I’m having problems juggling being a Vienna Teng roadie and fulfilling my time-sensitive work obligations at the same time. For now, here’s a teaser photo:


Vienna Teng, in Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN | link | trackb | 11 comments » | Nov 19, 2003 00:34:19

Greenland

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A couple of weeks ago, I was flying home from Europe when I noticed that the passengers in front of me kept staring out of the window and pointing. I lifted up my sun-shade and saw the most amazing sight: the harsh, SE coast of Greenland. Jagged brown mountains scarred the whiteness of the snow, and large chunks of ice sat stationary in the pitch-like water. It would be great to visit sometime.


Greenland, from the air

Nashville, TN | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 19, 2003 00:24:37

Galapagos, Nov 2003

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Magnificent Frigate Birds, Isabela Island, Galapagos
[see travel journal]

Knoxville, TN | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Nov 16, 2003 22:34:48

Vienna @ Knoxville, Tennessee

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I’m sitting here in the corner at Barley’s Tap Room in Knoxville, Tennessee, watching Vienna Teng perform. Damn, she is good. I mean, I know she’s good, but somehow every time I hear her live, it hits me again.

Knoxville, TN | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 16, 2003 20:01:54

Travel, travel, travel

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I’ve been traveling now for something like 48 hours: Baltra, Galapagos -> Guayaquil, Ecuador -> Miami -> San Francisco -> Houston -> Altanta

I spent an hour or so with my sister, Elliot, and Mandy at SFO. It’s sad that my time with local friends has to be crammed into the short amount of time I’m back! [see some photos]

Here at the Atlanta Airport, American diversity feels very much black and white, unlike what I’ve grown accustomed to in California. And, along with spending a few weeks in Colorado, this is one of the few times I’ve seen people who are clearly packed to go hunting (you know, with woodland camo attire and long, metal cases on their baggage trolleys). There is also the occasional cowboy and cowgirl around.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to spend any time in Atlanta, as we will be driving out as soon as I am picked up from the airport.

I’ll be ready to post some photographs from the Galapagos as soon as possible. They are ready; I just need a high speed internet connection. :)

Atlanta, Georgia | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 16, 2003 08:09:02

I dream of shampoo

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Strangely enough, while I was gone, what I missed the most was using shampoo on my really short hair. I didn’t bring any, and the hotel didn’t have any. And so, I used soap. Soap really sucks.

Oh yeah, I wrote some stuff about Antibes over on Wetpixel.

And check this out (Kids playing Pong and stuff).

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Nov 4, 2003 10:46:49

Wetpixel wins at Antibes!

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Wetpixel.com has won one of the most prestigious awards in the underwater photograpy and videography community: the underwater web site of the year award at the Antibes Juan-Les-Pins 30th Festival Mondial de L’Image Sous-Marine (30th World Festival of Underwater Images). The awards ceremony last night here in the South of France was not unlike a small version of the Academy Awards, and the two-hour ceremony honored winners for underwater web sites, books, images, and films.


Obviously, the entire ceremony was in French, and even though Andi and Lars have a slight grasp of the language, we sat in the audience futilely trying to figure out what was going on. In fact, we didn’t even really know when the web site award was going to be announced; we heard something about web sites, but then someone else was called up to the stage (who ended up being the presenter, I believe). Suddenly, I heard, “Eric Cheng, Wetpixel.com!” and while walking up to receive my golden fin trophy, I was vaguely aware of some words being said in French. Actually, I was only vaguely aware of just about everything because the entire event was a bit surreal. I’ve never accepted an award in front of an audience so large — and never in a country where I cannot understand the language. :) But it was very exciting, and it shows that the community is starting to accept the inevitable transition from film to digital imaging.

By the way, it was really nice to have met the Digideep boys and Aline and Laura. I spent the extended weekend with them, and I must thank them profusely for their wonderful company. I’ll write more in an explicit Antibes report soon.

Antibes/Juan Les Pins, France | link | trackb | 24 comments » | Nov 2, 2003 03:44:44
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