tell 'em i ain't coming back

I'm done with New York, save for continuing to support/sort of telepresence-something at NYC Resistor, and the pissing-few things I have in storage.

I said I'd go back. Clung to the thought. Don't want to, any longer.

Finding a way to get everything there, here. Finding a place here, where "here" is currently 21st and Guerrero, and maybe later the badlands of the Mission, the empty zone by the freeway.

I still want to be involved there, but I am far too busy with rediscovered passions to put up with living there.

I am alive and strangely well.

(Hey, LJ. I haven't seen you in a while. Turns out Google Plus is kind of pathetic and Facebook is far worse.)
real programmers

the secret is out


Fancy yourself a photographer? Carry a camera to capture a particularly fetching scene for posterity, or at least for Flickr? Have you ever struggled with capturing that elusive, shimmering quality known as desire? Struggled with lighting? Experimented with texture?

Well, I've got the secret trick that will make ALL your images explode with sensual desire!

Step 1: Locate a white female between 18 14 (shhhh) and 25, with a pleasantly shaped mouth.

Step 2: Doll her up with pale pancake makeup, lipliner (make sure we can all see those lips! Really sure!), and any of a range of lipsticks in a gloss finish somewhere between "dewy" and "allergic edema." A course of saline injections may be advisable if your prop's lips normally protrude less than 2cm from her jawline.

Step 3: Frame the mouth in the photograph in close proximity to the object being portrayed. The mouth (not "her" mouth, don't be silly) absolutely must be slack and partway open; any photograph where the prop is smiling, closed or open-mouthed, is wasted. Closed-mouth shots indicate that the prop is actually a corpse, and are quite worthless. For similar reasons, you must include as little of the face as possible -- you'll just have to crop it out later.

Step 4: Take large numbers of shots with the mouth and the object being licked, trailing down the lower lip, caught in the slightly visible teeth. Employ gelatinous textures -- both edible objects such as candy, and inedible objects such as boots, work well -- bright spot lighting, and occasional evidence of wanton untidiness such as a smudge of that lipstick or a most unladylike trail of drool.

And you're done! You have successfully communicated that the subject of your work is interesting, desirable, expensive, or even simply tasty. As this is the only composition that can possibly communicate those qualities, you can congratulate yourself on a job well done, send the proofs off to the content manager, and go back to checking in at your favorite bar on Foursquare.


Fuck you, NYC Fashion Week.
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    sick disgusted

robin laid an egg

I think I have determined that I would like Christmas better if it were a workday. Still, you understand, keeping a lot of the cultural overkill in the run-up to it - but in my mind, the real holiday is December 24, because that's the actual height of anticipation, and the holiday itself will be spent in our pajamas, eating, if we are so lucky as to have extra food, or outside having some purposefully industrious Outing, or possibly being lonely and depressed and achingly bitter. I am pretty willing to partake in a lot of the depersonalized traditions involving rich food, horribly overplayed music, presents, numerous days off the dayjob and heightened inclination to give to charities, but as I'm not Christian, the significance of the big day is very much wasted on me, and the Victorian-inspired schmaltz is one big, bewildering collective party, already completely abstracted away from the idea of the birth of a god.

Perhaps it would be more logical for us heathens to abstract Christmas still further away from "Jesus, Lord at thy birth, Jeeeesus Looooord at thy birth", recognize the foregoing month as pretty much cultural foreplay, steal the New Years tradition of some big countdown to a grand orgasm finish, smash a crystal ball at midnight on the 24th, and spend the next day (or two, for Crimbo-observing countries, of which we totally should be one) refreshed and being extra-friendly and extra-badass at whatever we normally do anyway. Observing Christians should be entitled to take the day off, like it's Yom Kippur.

Perhaps I just think this because I'm not a big drinker, and have forgotten the festivity-extending qualities of eggnog and mulled wine. Clearly someone should bring me some frickin' eggnog.

In other news, I am massively sensitized to idea-fail as expressed by magazine cover design today. If the rag in question weren't already folding for lack of funds, I would be sending them a cranky letter for posing 4 employees of some random company with the white hipsterish dude standing beatifically over the black and white women, arms spread like a portrait of a 17th-century patriarch. Dammit, guys, that's not how it's done... but you're going out of business anyway.

damn the man, save the empire

Seattle people! I think I've posted about this before... I'm on a mailing list concerning the fate of the B&O Espresso building. There's been a campaign for about two years to block its destruction and displacement so that yet another developer can wedge yet another mixed-use condo onto the property.

"The building is being nominated for historic landmark status. This is, in no small part, due to the community’s great response in signing the 1650choice.org petition - we’ve collected close to a thousand names/comments in support of saving the “B&O Building”. There have also been great turnouts at various design review meetings to save this building with a good many supporting Majed and Jane, the owners of the B&O Espresso Café. We especially need your further support for this historic nomination process. Your attendance at the upcoming nomination meeting is very important, as the decision of this Board will determine whether the “B&O Building” can be saved or will be demolished. Your presence can really make a difference with a large turnout conveying to the Board the importance of this building to the community. Notification by email of this landmark nomination meeting will follow when scheduling information from the City is available. Please attend!

Again, please attend the upcoming very important landmark nomination public meeting! Notification of the time and location will be emailed when available.

Thank you,


If you have an opinion about B&O surviving, especially if you're a Capitol Hill local, please get on 1650Choice's mailing list.

(There's also a design review option for what happens if the building is lost, but that doesn't, you know, permit B&O to stay in business while the condo is constructed.)

Yeah, I'm feeling cranky about compromise this morning. What with getting a health-care bill past the House only by the expedient of throwing abortion-seeking women's health needs under the bus. It's progress, but deeply unfinished progress.
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bad habit

couple of times now I have been totally unable to talk about finished-ish work without blanketing it in really aggressive self-deprecation.

like, way more than contextually appropriate, enough to quite derail the conversation..

and I cannot, thereafter, tell whether positive comments are sincerely about the work or are just trying to save me from myself, so I oughtn't, but I do it as a pre-emptive strike against what I think the criticism ought to be.

I also had a headache the size of Maine from mismanaging the caffeine/food/sleep trifecta; it's a lot like the good/fast/cheap triangle.

you might say it's unproductive, you might say it's self-destructive...
real programmers

enemies and lovers

Yesterday tcepsa, gipsieee and I sat on a hillock in a sunny park and traded thoughts on my two favorite warring quotations on work:

"The perfect is the enemy of the good", and "Good enough isn't."

The one from Voltaire, the other from dymaxion's dad, and other places.

The discussion is impossible to summarize, because between three people we had at least six notions of different motivations for work that might influence the level of effort one ought to devote to it. It seems reasonable to me that one's vocation carry a different standard than their relaxing avocations, though the definitions slip sideways in the wonderfully subtle case where the "rightness" of the product of one's work is entirely subjective.

I could go on like that for a while, but instead I will complain that I am going bugfuck crazy on my current graphic homework, which is to make the rest of the alphabet for the rusted wireframe lettering I posted on Facebook t'other week. (Decided not to do the red satin, since it's not really legible further back than one foot.)

Not being a complete Apple fangirl, I'm not convinced that the blank white background offers the best possible figure/ground relationship to all things, and I take seriously the Bierut essay from DO a bit back. The whole reason I liked the red satin concept was the idea of temporarily borrowing a figure out of the ground, literally pulling by threads. The wire figures float in anonymous white space, chunks of un-graphic detritus existing only in opposition to their ground, and I've tried contrasting them on various thematic and less thematic substances -- blue silk, pools of cream, more of that cursed sculptural mesh, skin, concrete -- but they never become a more-than-surface component of anything.

So that's the best visual I have on hand, but now it's Monday night and I don't like it.

I would say I should've thought of this when I had the idea. But, no, I DID think of this, and decided at the time that it was a good image. Grrrrr.

ETA: thought of a really good complementary image with which to improve it. Unlike the thirty-odd ideas I hacked up and discarded this week, I actually LIKE IT. Mucking about with straws and pans of dish soap was not a lost cause last night. Of course, the image settled in my mind as I emerged from the subway, printed and trimmed homework in hand...

I have another week to do it in, at only a loss of some time and some photo paper.

I'd say "that's how useless-brain rolls," but that is not, in fact, how I would like to roll. Perhaps next I'll learn how to do all the iterating BEFORE the job is due.

hardware does things it's not supposed to do

I'm really confused.

I just took the battery out of my dead laptop, slid it in again on a whim, and turned it on. The clock thinks we're in 1969, so it obviously crashed hard, but... ?

This is after I bought a new battery for, and spent two days reinstalling on, teferi's machine and had been using it for a week.

This week is already fired and it's not even Thursday. Crit went terribly, I want to rework that idea yet again, and I thought I had a great idea for this week's homework, but I just tried it and it didn't work that well after all. (Premise: make lettering out of something, anything. Idea: carve letters into ice cubes, illuminate. Problem: the channels fill with freshly warmed water that melts the remaining surface.) I didn't think to get off the subway until 125th St, going home tonight. Feeling desperately un-smart.
fondant Yoshi

bump, bump

Yargh. Today, we live under a rock.

My laptop died Tuesday morning. RIP, little Phthalo, 2004-2009.

Fortunately, it was recently backed up!

I'm borrowing teferi's old Macbook before I find some cash to cough up for a replacement setup. Work is busy and full of explosions. I am way behind on all electronically mediated socializing. Also, have come down with a potentially fatal case of the projectbunnies, apart from SVA homework. Anyone with a like obsession, you know the drill.
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