Lifestyle

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is renowned for its lazy pace, winding beaches and dependable surf. Compared to neighboring Central American destinations it’s known for its stability and tourist-friendly attitude. But with roads that have more potholes than tarmac, Costa Rica gives you the best of both worlds: a pristine resort off the beaten path. ...

The Amazon

In the Amazon, dipping your hand in the river is an act of faith that it won’t get chewed off — and snakes aren’t just extremely poisonous, but can be up to 14 feet long. If you’re up for a walk on the wild side, there’s no better place to be. ...

Michel Kripalani, Class of ’89

It’s no wonder video games still cap the top of your birthday wish list: The industry has gone from GoldenEye to Gears of War in two decades flat. Just as video games began to make their way from TV sets to computer screens, Michel Kripalani was gearing up to graduate from UCSD with a Bachelor of Visual Arts. He was also finishing up a “life-changing” internship with a local design firm in Del Mar — one he said made his passion for digital media glaringly clear. “By the time I graduated, I knew what I wanted to do professionally,” Kripalani said. “I found myself at the cutting edge of a new industry. I loved the idea of mixing art and technology.” After college, Kripalani leapt straight into a startup company that set a swift pace for the young entrepreneur. After two years of designing interactive multimedia software, Kripalani switched things up and began to pour his talents into developing computer games. In 1991, when he was 23, he started his second company, Presto Studios, with his roommate, hoping to develop the most advanced graphics a CD-ROM was capable of displaying. In the 11 years that Kripalani managed Presto, the team created photorealistic games such as the Journeyman Project series (a postapocalyptic, first-person adventure), Myst 3: Exile (a quest set in Tolkien dreamscapes) and Whacked! (in which goofy cartoons beat the crap out of each other with oversized staplers and grenades). According to Kripalani, he was never afraid to take risks — an “entrepreneur at heart.” When he was laid off last January by Autodesk — an international software/architectural design corporation — Kripalani was eager to surf the next wave of digital design. “The whole time I was at Autodesk I was planning my next big thing,” Kripalani said. “When Apple shipped the first iPhone in June of 2007, I had to have one. When they made the [software development kit] available to developers and opened the App Store in June of 2008, the writing was on the wall.” That’s when Kripalani decided to embark on his latest business endeavor: iPhone apps. In 2009, he formed Oceanhouse Media along with Presto Studios partner Greg Uhler and his wife Karen. The company that designs and publishes its own line of over 75 positive-spirited iPhone apps — his first (and favorite) being Bowls, a relatively simple program that reproduces the sound of Tibetan bowls every time you flick your finger across the screen. According to Kripalani, his company hopes to produce up to 100 more apps this year, including a series of self-help programs based on the works of popular Hay House authors, and interactive eBooks based on Dr. Seuss classics. Kirpalani said he recommends getting as much work experience as possible in the college years. “Internships are absolutely fantastic — they help to prepare you for the workforce,” Kripalani said. “More importantly, they help you to determine if you truly are passionate about a particular field. So find an internship — jump in and get wet. And yes, Oceanhouse Media is always on the lookout for good interns. We’ve already hosted four students in the last year alone.” ...

Rusty Preisendorfer, Class of 78

In our current economic climate, the thought of making a career — and money — off something we love seems a mere classroom fantasy. But stories of serious daydreamers like 1978 Revelle College graduate Rusty Preisendorfer, founder and namesake of surf brand Rusty, still provide a scrap of hope. ...

Tom Pousti, Class of 86

Despite all the holier-than-thou attitudes on Yelp, ’86 Revelle alumni and plastic surgeon Dr. Tom Pousti has achieved the Holy Grail of consumer review site: a solid five-star rating. Pousti isn’t only popular, he’s experienced too, with 12 years in private practice and over 10,000 surgeries—ranging from the usual tummy tucks and face lifts to the not-so-usual labial reductions, gynecomastias and otoplasties (look ‘em up) — under his belt. Oh, and he’s expensive: A boob job will run you anywhere from $4,800 to $7,300 depending on what material you want floating around in your chest. According to the doc, who graduated with a degree in animal physiology, UCSD was his first choice, as was his profession. Pousti said he had always wanted to be a physician, but ultimately chose to specialize in plastic surgery because of the range of procedures he’d have at his fingertips. “The nice thing about plastic surgery is you get to do head to toe [work] — facial trauma, congenital trauma, burns, all kinds of reconstructive work, hand surgery,” Pousti said. “There’s a lot of variety and I think variety is what makes it interesting.” With 15 years of postsecondary education to his name (and diplomas from UCSD, UCI, and Harvard), Pousti’s spent more than half of his life in school. “You get to be an old guy by the time you get to work,” Pousti said. “But it’s definitely worth it.” And from his comments on what he misses most about our UCSD bubble, it’s clear that Pousti’s had to endure more than his fair share of sleepless nights and cram session to achieve his current success. “I enjoyed [UCSD’s] libraries — lots of places to kind of sit down and study,” Pousti said. “I was a pretty studious guy. I didn’t socialize as much as I would have liked to at that time.” His advice for would-be Nip/Tuck-ers: “Get a good start from the beginning because it’s easier to keep a decent GPA than to try to make up ground. It’s easy to get distracted when you get into college — there’s lots of pretty girls and pretty boys and all kinds of distractions. You gotta stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.” ...