Star Wars

Building the LEGO Super Star Destroyer Executor

After waiting about two months to find a good block of time to put it together, I finally built the LEGO Super Star Destroyer Executor. I did not realize how massive this thing was. This was probably one of the funnest projects I’ve done in a while.

There were so man pieces—thousands, literally. However, there are some parts in the SSD where you can build pretty quickly based on routine.

If you’re wondering how long it took me, I measured time by watching the original trilogy 1.5 times. I believe it was somewhere in the middle of Empire when the construction was complete.

Next up, LEGO Millenium Falcon.

Level Up. Unlock More (Job) Opportunities

It is amazing how many skills I’ve learned from playing video games. So many hours playing StarCraft and Command & Conquer: Red Alert taught me to monitor everything in project management and multi-task. The SIMs taught me that if I drink too much water I might piss myself in the living room floor in the middle of a party.

Just kidding. Seriously. I don’t pee my pants at parties.

I have recently been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic where I play as a Sith Bounty Hunter. I am a freelance contractor, it only made sense to be a bounty hunter, right? The game is your standard Role Playing Game (RPG) where you start with a basic character. From there, you go on quests and do missions to earn experience points. Once you acquire a certain amount of experience points, you level up and can add certain skills to your character, making him or her more powerful (than you can possibly imagine). You can also gain credits on the way to purchase new items, combining your skills with weapons to become even more effective.

Uh…this sounds like real life. The reality…it is very similar.

This month marks a full year that I have been working with my mentor. When we met, I was still pretty junior and had a lot to learn from her. There were certain tasks she assigned me that took me some time to finish, and she usually gave me a lot of revisions. Not after leveling up, baby! After doing a lot of these projects, I learned and gained experience. My dexterity, knowledge (but not resistence to lightning, unforunately) increased and I became more effective at what I did.

It is amazing how much has changed in a year, and what I’m able to do. I emailed Marie a few days ago and asked her to give me feedback on what I can do better and areas I can focus on. I think it made her really happy to hear that.

Here are some RPG realizations that will help you in the work world:

  • Maybe I don’t have the skills to complete this quest? If you’re in a job search and wondering why you have not got that offer for the dream job…it could be you do not have the skills for it. This is not a shot at you, but a possible truth. Think about not just what skills are required for this job, but what skills can make you destroy the competition.
  • Experience points matter, even in areas you are highly skilled in. Experienced developers unlearn and learn code again to make sure they stay relevant in their field. Never say to yourself “I don’t need a refresher”. As a designer, I look for unexplored areas to see if there is a nugget of information I can take to become even better at what a do. A great example is when I learned to start using smart objects in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Focus on your quest. Don’t be a PK. Don’t be a Player Killer. There is a bunch of low-hanging fruit in work, and we all can get our own. There really is no need to be so invested in what other people are doing.

In life, you can never stop leveling up. Acquire new skills constantly, sharpen your old skills and you will find bliss in the work world.

My Ten 2011 Moments Told by Instagram

I was looking through my Instagram photos of 2011 and was blown away by so many great moments I’ve had. One thing I like about Instagram is your ability to try to manipulate the essence of the moment, not just taking a photograph of what was exactly seen. Here are ten moments that I really remember. This is by no means a top ten list, but just some to share.

Empire State of Mind. Emerald City at Heart.

A view from the Top of the Rock. This city is amazing…so many people here doing great things. I hope I can contribute something.

A New Hope

It was this photo that I was able to connect with someone I really care about. Whatever one believes in, there is something surreal about the way things align for people to meet each other. The photo itself is in front of Buckingham Palace in London.

New Beginnings

As I was unpacking in my new apartment in New York City this December, my cat Wilson (MegaKitty) looks out, observing. It was this moment that I realized this is new beginnings for the both of us. Crazy to think this little guy has been part of 1/3 of my life.

Happiness in Spain

This year I randomly decided to quit my job and book a one-way flight to Europe. I spent 4 months abroad and had time to think and really reflect about who I am and who I want to be. This photo is of my friend Nasim and I in Figueres, Spain. While in Europe I lost about 25 pounds and happiness was re-introduced in my life.

European Reflection

The beginning of my European trip in Croatia. This photo is taken by my friend Vivian. I looked out to the sea, facing Seattle, reflecting.

A Parisian Promise

I decided to leave a lock of love here for myself too…in hopes for someone in the future. Here is the post about it.

Paris

Spent months in Paris this year—only to realize I absolutely love it and it is a place I want to live someday.

Raiders Game in Oakland

In October, my best friend from college Mike and I flew down to Oakland to see a Raiders game. It was the first home game since Al Davis died. The Raiders beat the Browns and was the best sporting event I have ever been to. Silver and black until the day I die.

In Europe with My Brother

My brother and his wife was able to join me in Paris. It was the first time we hung out together in Europe. I hope there are more moments like this.

Star Wars Exhibit

Lego TIE Defender: an hour of loving memories

“Imperial High Command decided that defender pilots would only be selected from TIE interceptor pilots who had flown at least twenty combat missions and survived. We’re either the best pilots in the Imperial fleet or the luckiest.”
―Rexler Brath

It started when I went to the store to pick up some cat food. For some reason I walked by the toy isle, and there it was, a Lego TIE Defender! For those of you who don’t know, the TIE Defender is a starfighter derived from the Lucas Arts PC Game TIE Fighter. I remember the day like it was yesterday when I first laid eyes on this advanced starfighter. I’m not going to lie, I get a bit sentimental talking about. I think it’s because of the surprise when I first saw it—asking, “Oh my goodness, what on earth is that TIE Fighter? It looks like two TIE Interceptors!” It was one of the first times I recall something added to the Star Wars cannon. The Defender never appeared in the films, but it’s my favorite TIE Fighter.

After a long day of work, I spent an hour to put together the Defender. The combination of building Legos and Star Wars related memories brought so much joy—even as I grow older.