I gots ta reprazzant.
Born Michael Karikas to a pair of square dance loving folks, I spent my early days screaming, pooing, and drooling in the glorious city of Pacoima, California (which also happens to be one of the most impoverished, crime-ridden cities near L.A.). My father spent his days writing programs for the Commodore 128, among other things. This glowing box with many buttons caught my eye, and trying to be like my Dad, I started messing with it around the age of four. I also fell down the stairs once and watched a lot of 80s cartoons, which would later make me a sucker for pop culture merchandise. I was also a pretty big Trekkie for being just a toddler.
At age five my parents decided that maybe living in the ghetto wasn't a good idea, so they took the other extreme and moved on up to Wallowa, Oregon. At population 805, and away from any hint of civilization, it was rural paradise. Unfortunately, I never showed much interest in any of the local pastimes, like huntin', shootin', gruntin', breakin' stuff that ain't broke yet, hikin', saying 'drownded', pushing the limits of alcoholism, hypnotizin' chickens (his name is Brian), or raising a pot-bellied pig on beer (his name is Kenny). Yes, I spent most of my formative years still in front of the computer screen, writing programs and soaking it all up like a young sponge. Sometimes I did go outside. I even played organized soccer from K - 6. I now have interest in half of the aforementioned pastimes, though I'm not saying which.
School started as a hellacious experience - as outside blood I already had one mark against me, and being a pacifist and computer dork were more unforgivable sins to my peers. At one defining point during my Freshman year I broke that mold through public tomfoolery. Once I could make my classmates laugh, I was made responsible for a series of comedic public displays, enjoyed by myself and the other 170 students in the school (jr. high and high). I also made nearly 20 action-comedy videos for school under the guise of edutainment with my good pal Zac, which at the time were pretty sweet. I also gained an interest in Pro Wrestling and highly caffeinated beverages, both of which have mostly passed with time. I played a lifetime's worth of videogames during that time, which is fortunate, since an utter lack of free time has removed that hobby from my life.. I kick so much ass in Street Fighter II and Galaga that it's pretty ridiculous.
Upon high school graduation Zac and I traveled to Seattle to live life in the 'big city', posing as students at the Art Institute of Seattle. This is where I learned I had made a terrible financial mistake, but rode it out to graduate in the spring of 2002 with an AAA degree in Multimedia/Web Design. Even with an AAA... I still have to pay for towing, nyuk, nyuk! At AIS I learned that my self-education was all that was going to make me succeed, although I did learn a bit about analog audio/video recording and 'the real world'. Instructors like Brett Polonsky, Paul Clark, somebody-I-don't-remember, and a handful of students were particularly influential. The highlight from my time at AIS was my portfolio, which was the groundwork for Karikas Interactive, and my job at LuxuryRealEstate.com.
Since then I've spent many, many days working as the Lead Web Developer at LRE, making all the things happen 'behind the buttons' and telling people what to do. On other days I work for freelance clients through Karikas Interactive, LLC, which is how I contribute to the world in a positive way. The majority of my clients contribute to the community in some way, and are always happy to talk to me, both of which make me happy! Although web development is a profession I enjoy, I need 'release'. In 2004 I did circus acrobatics, which was amazing, but I haven't been able to sustain the weekly schedule. Then, there was guitar. Now, there's maintaining PirateJokes.net, the internet's complete treasure trove of salty pirate humor. I also do parties and bar mitzvahs! I also enjoy making videos, although the opportunities and time are far and few between. Sometimes I make computers out of old NES cases... but that only happened once. When I get burnt out from this computer stuff I will become a penniless concertina player/artist in Paris. If it weren't for Alice I'd already be there.
I can often be seen around Seattle riding upon my electric cycle Spokey, or in my mighty chariot Blue Steel. I once loved a scooter named Sparky, but he was stolen from me during Thanksgiving 2004. I also loved a car once.
Friends, especially over a fine beverage. Standing on people, and being stood upon, but not stood up. Alice, with a chalice, in a palace (we've got some fat rhymes). Controlling the minds of my three nieces. Reasonable people. People who are way into their beliefs. Metal ballads. Guitar solos. Animation. Theatre, dead or alive. Big things. Shiny things. Sushi! Things with great texture. Things. Cellos. Shocking literature. Inappropriate comments. Alpacas. Live performances. Attempting to play the guitar. Air guitaring and singing at the top of my lungs (sorry neighbors). The number 8. Regulation sized disco balls. Pixels. SNES era (and earlier) games and culture. Reminiscing. Stars. Jumping. Supporting good things. Robots. Pirates. Creativity, especially involving robots or pirates. Pirate jokes. Keyboard shortcuts. Open source. Circus beer. Circus Contraption. Conan. Electricity. Power ballads. Sparky. Spokey. Elephants. Penguins. The Concertina. Making sound effects. Life's rhythm.
Mean people. Yelly people. Folks who can't reach a middle ground. Grudges. Low refresh rates. Time, and the frequent lack thereof. Liquid food on my hands (e.g. leaky burritos). Government with an obvious and divisive agenda. Forgetting to eat. One-sided arguments. People doing annoying things that I later realize I do quite often. Animated classics or illustrated books that insist on having a live-action remake, man those piss me off. Static without a beat. Getting dirty. Gas and oil. Websites that display a picture at one size but the picture is really much, much bigger! The letters L, O, and L right after each other.
In 2006 I hope to expand my artistic horizons, see friends more, and launch several plans for perpetual lucrativity. Gotta get one of those condo things, too. I'm also need to listen to less emo.
You can learn a little more about me at my MySpace profile (Friendster is so passe). So hip.
- Mike (Dec 20, 2005)
2019 UPDATE - living in Huntington Beach now with my amazing wife and daughter. I encourage you to check out Ace Academy, my wife Alice Tong's financial education initiative. Her goal is to be a resource for kids of all ages to make better financial decisions, making better lives and more opportunities for them, their families, and the world! Also, I'm going to leave that MySpace link up above. What a wonderful little time capsule this website is.