Monday, February 4, 2013

tech blog

I don't know if I should call it a Tech blog or what but this is what I started for now...

I've been very consumed with work this year and just have much to say about some things. If I still have any readers on this very dead blog (like my godfather... hi Aram!) this new one won't be that interesting content-wise but I may put some of my work up there at some point. Or if I ever get some free time I will make my own website/portfolio since I seem to be needing it anyway.

I really should put creating a portfolio on my calendar and have it remind me every day of every week. All my work is scattered everywhere from logos to web-based personal programs and x-box game. Some of it is just sitting around on my desk because I've been too busy to digitalize and post it anywhere. Mike keeps yelling at me for that and telling me I should post my drawings and graphics somewhere for people to see. And he is right about one thing - it would make my life a lot easier as far as clients go... so I decided to start small and just make a blog and go from there. If I stick to it I will move it to my own page that I yet have to make.

Oh no I'm stuck in a loop now. Keep repeating myself. It's been a long day with a lot of learning. I have so many paths in front of me as far as what I can do and learn and I just can't pick a direction. So many opportunities, so many challenges. High pressure, stress... I love every minute of it. I'm so lucky to be doing what I love for my work.

It's funny I was moving in the programming direction and looking back at the projects I did in summer I feel like I've grown so much. But now it seems like my priority is graphics and maybe animation in the future (2D for advertisement and hey maybe even cartoons). That's on the premise that I completely master drawing and vector graphics.

And I'm just dying to learn windows 8 app development and deepen my skills in jquery, ajax, bootstrap, learn html5 and canvas thoroughly. And I want to be extremely good at all of those things. It's never enough for me what I can do right now, where I stand, there is always more and more to learn. And all of those things are huge directions requiring a lot of time to perfect my skills. I barely sleep at night and can't wait for the next day to go on with my work and self-education and research.

Sometimes I feel like such an uneducated little ant that's crawling in the desert so ignorant of its sizes for every sand particle seems like huge milestone to him. And sometimes I feel really good because I can do so many things!

My work has a really positive effect on my life in general - I try to do good at everything be it housework, cooking, or decorating the house, or even staying in touch with my friends in Armenia. Just everything! And it feels like the more I do the more energy I have. Maybe because it's not a chore, not something I have to force myself to do but something that I enjoy so much, that I can't get tired of. Even the really horrible weather outside - I don't mind it at all and I appreciate its beauty in some way. I still hate winter but it doesn't bother me. Upbeat instrumental music, good mood, good coffee, French cigarettes, and a beast of a computer and who cares how cold it is outside?

me + work = happy! :D

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Little Armenia in Paris

I know how this trips go - hectic and full with impressions and events. so i will try to reflect as things occur...

i arrived in Paris in the morning. had about 1 hour till the flight. it got delayed, then again. all smoking areas were closed. last cigarette was in atlanta. i walked to the end of the terminal and saw some guy who i knew was a smoker with the same problem. i questioned myself why i was so sure that he smoked then i realized he had a cigarette in his hand. i addressed him in english ready to switch to french. he just said "armenian". feeling of relief. he said he found a "spot". we went downstairs and smoked by some massage chairs. no detectors went off and that cigarette tasted so good... the forbidden fruit is sweet.

his name was Sahak, he was 38, has lived in Paris for about 20 years. he said it's a shame i don't have a visa or he would've given me a tour around the city. a couple hours later the flight was canceled and the crowd was told to go down to "air france" desk. transit passengers were to get hotel vouchers and visas if needed. everybody else was told "well if you are flying from Paris you must have some place to go to. so bye".

People had visas with 1 entry (so as soon as you go through customs at the airport your visa is annulled). People were calling other people, figuring it all together. those who were to get rooms were offering a guest place to others.

people were dead tired, hungry, thirsty (the terminal was shut down, there was no food, no drinks, not even enough spots to sit which we gave to older people). but people stuck together. eventually in 6 hours everybody got a voucher and was headed to the hotel. 90% of passengers on the bus were armenians which made it funny - if a local was to get on the bus they looked confused.

We got to the hotel at 10 PM. restaurant was to close at 11. we went in at 10.30. had food, wine, and conversations about personal lives and politics, about science and technology, funny stories and more wine.

i felt home. i was in a foreign country under such circumstances... but i felt home. at first i was starting to stir the waters and have a group go tour Paris at night and even thought that i could go by myself. but in a couple minutes i just knew i wasn't going anywhere. i knew i wasn't trading a piece of world-famous piece of metal for that company of people that circumstances brought together. kids, young people, middle-aged, old people... they had one similarity - they were armenian. which means no matter how bad things go each and every one of those people will help you, will do everything for you - from giving you a shelter to sleep and money with no return, no expectations, just because you are armenian and they CAN help you. they have been there and somebody did the same for them.

Sahak gave me his phone and i texted my mom to let her know i was fine. i went upstairs to his room to return the phone. he asked if i could stay for a couple. i considered going into some guy's room who i barely knew in a foreign country. a voice in my head whispered "he's armenian". i was almost ashamed of thinking what if he has bad intentions. i walked in with no hesitation. we talked for a bit then some other guy came in as well. we all smoked together in a non-smoking room, then i went back to my room and fell asleep.

even though it was unfortunate circumstances... i was happy. i was happy to be there and experience that. i was happy to see people be so nice to each other, do all that from an open heart. life is unfair and bitter too often and when you see human decency, kindness, something good - you have to value it, praise it, appreciate it... encourage it. i fell asleep with no doubts, no fears, no concerns. i knew i wasn't alone. i knew i had those people. it felt good to see people care for each other.

at 5.30 AM i was woken up by a phone call. the reception accidentally called me 1 hour earlier than they should have. i somehow managed to have a full conversation in french. it shocked me a bit. i haven't spoken french in years... but it all came back. in my mind i thanked all my teachers for giving me the knowledge, for teaching me.

i had a hot shower, felt fresh and rested even though i only slept for 4.5 hours. slowly people started crawling out of their rooms and having breakfast. some fruit some yogurt, cheese, coffee for breakfast. quite a few people asked me if i already had breakfast, made sure i ate well, and that everything was good.

we were at the airport by 9 AM. some guy left all of his stuff including his wallet with me. Sahak bought me coffee. i tried paying him back. i said i had american currency and asked how much i should give him. he laughed at me and asked if everyone was so crazy in america and that i must be joking.

the plane was to take off at 11. it was delayed for 1.5 hours because an armenian older lady was taken somewhere else by mistake and we said we have to wait for her.

at 8.30 i arrived in yerevan. 24 hours later than expected from the beginning of the trip. I know i added a few gray hair on quite a few people's heads due to lack of communication... but i would never trade this experience for anything in the world. my aunt brought me gorgeous bouquet of roses to the airport. i was home. my family expected me to be tired and upset.. not smiling from ear to ear and hyper-active. the rest is history as they say.

and now i have to get ready as i have a very saturated agenda for today. friends and family demand my time and attention and i am ready to give it to them to the last drop. Life is good. the day is sunny and i can put my hand on my heart and say i'm happy. viva Yerevan! (et Paris mon cher ami)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

40 days of nightmare

I was coming back from Edjmiatsin when it occurred to me 'that's the road'... and the curb... and the store. The black fingers clenched my heart and wouldn't let go. I could be wrong - could've been any other place but probably wasn't as the photos from the article were burnt in my mind as if I saw it yesterday. I wasn't looking for the place. I wasn't looking to find myself on that road - it was a last moment decision to stop by at Edjmiatsin church on the way back.

Then I remembered - I lit up a candle for his rest but when I was on the way out the wind had blown it out. It was not supposed to happen and I was not supposed to light the candle up. I lit it up again. I didn't pray for I had no words and nothing to ask for - I did it because it's something everybody does and it's just a... common habit?

It was a good day when I saw him last. We were hanging out at the usual place, joking, drinking and smoking. As always when it was time to part ways we said "well it's not the last time we see each other. will probably do it again before you go back to the States. But whatever happens we will "unconditionally" meet again the next time - here in Armenia or we will come to visit you in Ohio". I knew it was the last time... for that visit as it was my last day but how could I know...

40 days... so many things have happened in everybody else's lives and people got the ability of smiling and laughing again. To me it seems that I've been running away from the closure. Running away from all that has happened and just trying to live my life and pretend that everything is fine. I don't want this closure. Not now not ever. I still wake up and hope that it was just a bad dream and it's not true.

This trip has been so wonderful - so many new impressions and experiences, new and old friendships, and endless stories. But not for a second have I forgotten or fooled myself as far as what this trip was about.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stars will shine forever

Avag. I'm not sure what I can say. I know you're going to be fine I have no doubts about it. These 10 days are going to be one of the longest in my life. I'm not crying my eyes out because I'm afraid of what could've happened and I leave no room for "what could happen". I know there's nothing I can do or change but still... how I wish I was there. It would bring me some peace and ease for I feel guilty, guilty that I'm not behind the wall of your room. But I guess I'm not as good of a friend as I would like to be.

The day crawled to an end. People tried to distract me and make me smile. I did. But it was merely a smile on a doll. My eyes can't lie. And now I can stay alone with my thoughts and with myself. I couldn't believe it until I read your name in that forsaken article. They say I need to sleep. They are right... I can't go without sleep for 10 days and then some more.

I know what they are going to tell you - blame it on the bike and streets. But there have been plenty of dangerous activities that you did and that we did. You have a wild heart and thirst for adrenalin rush, for speed, for life. You don't like holding back and hitting the breaks. And that's how I know you, that's what you are.

The wait is the hard part. The feeling of powerlessness. We make fuss and haste to get ourselves busy and to feel that we can still do something, give some importance to little things but really it's just killing time. Approximately what I'm doing right now. We see it in movies and think "that person needs to go home and get some rest" yet when it comes to us we act exactly the same way.

Stars will shine forever... and I'm looking forward to seeing you and Niko at metroclub or irish pub this autumn and then walking home no matter how chilly it will be outside. And this all will seem so far away and it will feel like it was just a bad dream. I wish I could fast forward to those moments for right now the time doesn't want to move forward. I know you're going to be fine; there just is no other possibility. Maybe I'm far away but I can't think of anything else right now. Same goes without saying for Mary, Helen, my family. If only there was something I could actually do instead of grinding teeth and sitting in the dark typing all this.

I'm finally smiling. For real this time. I know everything is going to be alright. It's not even that i believe it, it's that I know so. There are so many people thinking and caring about you right now, and none of us have doubts. You are a tough kid, and you'll fight your way through, and shrug it off like it was nothing. I don't know how you are going to manage all the celebration that's going to come afterwards but hey you will definitely have fun and why not consider it sport extreme? I have no other words but "can't wait to see you!!!". Now get back on your feet, you, don't make me fly over there to kick your ass! Hang in there, we all are with you, Avag.

Friday, March 18, 2011

for those of you who still read this :)

i'm a bad blogger :) i post so rarely here... but you all saw me in Yerevan not long ago so there wasn't much to write about.

Anyway. I don't know how this came to mind but all of the sudden a song was stuck in my head and wouldn't go away. It was from "Notre Damme de Paris" musical ("hunchback of notre damme" in english i think... i don't know who translated "our lady of paris" into "hunchback of notre damme"). I started looking it all up on youtube and comparing. The French version is the best of course, then I'd say Russian, and English... I didn't like. It wasn't as much the voices though I think the hunchback was just not suitable but more of a language thing. It didn't flow as smoothly as in the other two I liked.

The translations were loose compared to French but it worked. For instance in Russian it would be "I'll sell my soul to the devil for a night with Esmeralda" and out of nowhere "the beauty turns a man into a slave". I'm not saying I didn't like it it just was different.

Today I've been watching the French musicale from beginning to an end holding back my breath. It was amazing and resonating at a deep level. I was almost considering giving Victor Hugo another shot but then again I know I can't digest his excessive descriptional style (call me a shallow person I don't care).

And then all of the sudden it dawned at me. When I was on my second year in university I actually went and saw the musicale... It was around "the small park" as I called it as a child and what is now "the park of fallen in loves". Professor George told us and we went. As far as I remember it was the original crew too.. Garou, Daniel, Patric... How I wished to understand more French back then but even though I didn't it was mesmerizing. I think my favorites were "Tu Vas Me Detruire" and "Dechire" though it's really hard to pick... Anyway here are the videos of "Belle" for you to compare on your own :)

English (fail.. they put Bell instead of Belle for title)

(if it doesn't work click here...



Monday, January 17, 2011

2.5 weeks of Yerevanyan nights

I have only a week left. Many people ask how is your vacation? it's a funny thing to say about me going home... it's been 17 days of hectic heavily saturated eventful time. I haven't seen all of my friends/relatives yet and for that i'm sorry. I still have a week left though and i'll try to see everybody at least once. I'm not sure why i am writing all this or if it's interesting... just today I woke up to the sunshine coming through the window and the 17 days I've been here passed in my mind. It's been a relief for me to see people still treat me the same, that they didn't change - their life did but they didn't. That their attitude towards me stayed the same - i couldn't be happier to be wrong. i thought since i moved with time friendships will start diminishing and sooner or later we will only have old memories to talk about otherwise it will be awkward silence. i was afraid of this and so nervous before seeing someone... but now i know it's not gonna happen. and as funny as it is some people were worried about the same and it was a relief for them that i didn't change at all as they said i was the same Irina they knew years ago - even the looks stayed the same. i guess i'm just feeling happy and lucky to have all the people i have in my life. to still have them by my side.

so far i had a wonderful time and if i was given the chance to redo these 17 days i wouldn't have changed a thing. even though some days were exhausting and i would just pass out on the couch sometimes... still - there hasn't been a moment i regret during my stay in Yerevan.

you ask me if the city has changed? not really.. i've noticed a couple minor changes towards the better but all in all it's the yerevan i know, it's the city i grew up in, it's the city i'll call home till the rest of my life.

god, my posts can be cheesy sometimes. i'll go bite a lemon to quit smiling in such a way before i say more stuff.

Monday, January 3, 2011

trip to Armenia 3 - part 1

This has been hell of a trip. i hope you will be amused reading this.

Firstly, we got rescheduled to fly out 2 days later. The plane was to land at 2AM on 1st of Jan - but oh well.

So on the way to the airport me and Mike started arguing ho long we have in Atlanta. As it turned out, Mike didn't read his itenarary and was supposed to fly ouy 3hours earlier than me (the other 2 flights were the same as mine). We went to the aiport explained the situation. The lady said there was no room on my plane and they were gonna fly him to Memhis, TN, then to Atlanata and he was gonna have 30 mins to switch planes from TN to GA and from GA to London.

At this point I suggested him taking the netbook from me to enable communication but "everything was gonna be fine".

i arrive in Atlanta, let my mom know the situation, and get on the overseas plane. I arrive in London and the airport is empty. I let the corridor lead me, find a board with terminals and airlines, figure out where to go. Keep walking - no security no nothing. That door ahead leads outside??!! i don't have a visa... oh was that a bus? great goes to the terminal i need. i take it, go through customs, get my boarding pass... and find out my phone doesn't work (including wi-fi), the netbook has a pass i don't know and notebook is almost dead and the power supply for it is in the luggage. and there is no smoking zone in london...

i wait it out and go to the gate i need. i see armenian, i hear the language but i don't dare say a word. i don't dare let ppl know i'm of their kind because i might start crying. then i get on the plane which is half-empty, stretch accross 3 seats and fall asleep for pretty much the whole flight.

i woke up 1 hour before the landing and i see a loud fun company and ppl exchanging phones and facebook info. i was right about ppl meeting new year as strangers and leaving as friends. it made me smile even though i wasn't part of it. i really didn't have the energy to be social and fun... i just wanted it all to be over.

the plane lands and i'm thinking what else could've gone wrong? they could've lost the luggage... as i walk down the familiar corridors and tears roll down my cheeks. but i pull myself together as i know i'm still on my own and have to take care of stuff. last step.. need to pick-up the luggage. oh wait it's lost. fill in these papers. we will let you know on monday... it's 3AM ppl are gonna be worried... i walk out. my mom, aunt, her husband, and Hovik are waiting for me.

I wave and smile sheepishly as i walk towards them and say i lost my husband and the luggage on the way but it's ok i'm here happy new year. after they let me start walking and i light up a cigarette i explain the situation.

i walk out of the airport to see... it's snowing! you gotta be kidding me! it was 50 degrees until this very day! first day of snow... lol.

once i got home i found out from Steve that Mike's plane was rescheduled and he was to go through Paris and arrive at 8pm the same day.

then there was champagne, presents, jokes, and toasts. i was home. it felt like i never left, that i was here yesterday. nothing changed, nobody changed and it was so comforting.