The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).

Where Was I?

Although I was really trying to keep myself from doing meme's, the one that Jeff Croft (but apparently Dan Rubin beat him to it) tagged me with provided me with a bit of a challenge. For one, it has been a while since I've thought so far back, and two, doing so would offer me some time to reminisce. However, unlike Jeff's answers, I'll be presenting mine backwards, as I'm sure you'd like to discover more about the 13-year-old Bryan than the 22-year-old Bryan.

Where was I ten years ago?

Ten years ago (April of 1996, age 13) was a long time ago. It's funny how much I don't remember back then, I'll try to write out what I do remember. By this month in 1996, I was getting ready to finally graduate from middle school (or the 8th grade). I was attending Copeland Middle School in Rockaway, New Jersey and I was seriously a hell of a lot different back then. I was one of only a handful of asians in my grade (I guess this would be one reason why I don't really get along with my own "kind") and I guess one would say that I was one of the shyest people out there. I can vaguely remember having girlfriend at the time, but it was one of those "school only" girlfriends, if such a thing exists.

Other than that, my life was pretty much that of a normal child my age. I watched a lot of TV. My dad had built me my own room (complete with a bathroom) in the attic to the jealousy of a lot of my neighborhood pals. I remember a long stint of challenging myself to beat any game I borrowed in 3 days or less (as that was what Blockbuster's rental policy for games was at the time), the only game breaking that streak being Chrono Trigger, which took 2 rentals to beat. I was playing intramural basketball where I did hold the "league high" for free-throw percentage (92.6%). I was also the fastest roller blader on my block. ;)

Where was I five years ago?

Five years ago (April of 2001, age 18), I was in the final year of my high school career at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, New Jersey (Note: I designed this site back when it first launched as the township government was my first ever client). I would have to say that this was definitely a turning point in my life. Being a senior, no matter what part of the education hierarchy you fall in, is always a treat. By 2001, I can admit that I was pretty accomplished. I was a senior member and graphic designer for our closed circuit television crew and had the pleasure of hosting "Weather Center Live" for a second year. (Those bastards got a new studio the year after I graduated.) Yes folks, I was a weatherman. I don't think the show's been quite the same ever since.

[You might be from the BRHS Class of 2001 if] you remember when Weather Center Live was actually good.

In other extra-curricular news, I was had just come off of co-hosting an awesome talent show with one of my best friends at the time. Just to give you a sense of what happened, we came out dressed differently after each act. Outfits included: glow sticks, backwards suits, bubble wrap and togas.

[You might be from the BRHS Class of 2001 if] you remember two lunatics at the Talent Show running into each other wearing boxer shorts and bubble wrap.

I had participated in a performance sponsored by the local asian culture club in which I had to learn [one of the hardest parts of] the Filipino folk dance, tinikling, in about 4 weeks. After serving two years as president of our school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter, I had become a student advisor and had frequent arguments with our faculty advisor - who seemed to change yearly. By then, I had already been accepted into college and consequently my grades for that half of the year slipped just a tad.

[You might be from the BRHS Class of 2001 if] everybody started yelling at you at graduation when it started to rain.

Fond memories indeed. I definitely came another step closer to the person I am today because of those years in high school. I could literally write a whole story of my experiences in high school, but I don't want to bore you. ;) As for Avalonstar, I had put up my first design which had a picture of Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was a full image with an image map, but I later scrapped it for something a little easier to deal with. I had no idea of the importance Avalonstar would play in my life over the coming years as it was just a place for me to waste time - at the time.

(All the quotes are from this page. Ahh, memories.)

Where was I one year ago?

A year ago (April of 2005, age 22), I was in the final year of college career at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Jen and I had been living together for a little over a year in our Providence apartment and we had already been dating for two years.

Although I had participated in a lot of extra-curricular activities by this point in high school, this wasn't the case by this point in college. I was taking my final 3 classes, Women in Leadership (in which I helped publish a small book on women leaders), Management Seminar and my final entrepreneurship practicum. As if I didn't have enough free time, I spent my days working at the local UPS Store on Dorrance Street, where I had just hit my year anniversary. I guess my memories at the UPS Store were fonder than my school memories, since I was working with one of my favorite bosses (and overall favorite people). Joe taught me more through that job than I learned at my four years of entrepreneurship classes combined. I don't mean to throw any bad blood towards JWU, but they just didn't have the lasting effect that Joe's teaching did. As a way to pay him back, I helped start a small firm, fourzeroone, which is still in operation today. A month later, I graduated from JWU with honors.

Even though it was a year ago, Avalonstar was disheveled. I was only getting into the whole "blogging" thing, and I had a hard time finding time in between work, school and Jen to write. I was running Movable Type at the time and the "Knighted" design was actually noticed by Andy Budd, who had placed it on his "nice designs" list. Once again, little did I realize how much Avalonstar would change my life, and ultimately lead me to my first "real" job and one hell of year.

Avalonstar is the 22-year-old personal website of Bryan Veloso: content creator, retired professional user interface designer, and compass of purpose.
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