Archive for August 2008


Strange Attractor

August 29th, 2008 — 1:40pm

My wife has a habit of dwelling on things that make her angry, replaying them in her mind, each iteration like the increasing inertia of a flywheel building her anger to an ever higher pitch.

It’s a trait I remember from my father, which I believe is at least partially genetic, a predisposition toward this sort of behavior that exists in her genes.

Of course half my father’s genes are mine. What I began to wonder is if there were some unknown attractor that encouraged me to pick someone with those traits. The psychologist would say that growing up I associated that sort of a temper with normalcy. This makes sense, but what  if there were also a genetic predisposition toward choosing a mate that would have many of the same genes as those from whom you (or I) take half of our genetic makeup?

What if there are subsets of genes which are better able to propagate as a collective because they encourage behavior that leads someone to mate with an individual that carries those genes that are missing from the subset the individual received at birth?

In still different words, you have a parent ‘A’ and a parent ‘B’ and the child is born with a Mendelian subset of those genes, call them .5A1/.5B1.  What if there is an aspect of having .5A1 genetic subset that encourages that individual to seek out another individual as a mate that has .5A2 in their genes? What if that genetic subset is seeking to regain its continuity in a subsequent generation, exerting CONTROL over your destiny?

Comment » | science

sleep

August 26th, 2008 — 8:07pm

The moment between sleep and waking, when you hear the voices inside your head, and you know that they are always there, constantly arguing, discussing, weighing opinion, battling one another, and somehow canceling each other out until there is only one voice, one primary stream of consciousness that you tell yourself after the fact is you… –that moment is impossible to grasp, but always in retrospect full of mystery and excitement.

It can only be sensed in retrospect because the ability to reason and consciously tune in those voices also cancels them out.

Thought is a light that destroys the ingredients of thought, washing out the muted hubbub with a single glaring torrent.

Thought is a vector. It only exists as motion between items, giving form and direction by the differences from second to second, like the individual frames of a reel of film that can only simulate reality when they are flickered one to the next in rapid succession.

When you wake up, the projector starts moving and the noises of the people in the theater no longer have relevance. You can’t hear them talking… but whenever the projector stops for a moment they’ll still be there beside you, inside… and waiting.

I woke up from a dream and realized I’d cut my hand somehow. How do you cut the back of your hand and not notice it?! There was a streak of blood all down my side of the bed. I must have been a little intoxicated when I went to sleep, but I don’t actually remember having anything…

Comment » | Uncategorized

Wine

August 22nd, 2008 — 10:44pm

This image is the first thing to pop up on a google image search for ‘beautiful’ What the fuck is this?!

Comment » | Uncategorized

Wednesday

August 21st, 2008 — 2:13pm

Here is a graphic of the path of development for the as-yet-unfinalized sidebar to the online beauty retailer account management pages. Click on it to see the full image (apparently one of the dingbat fonts is missing from this computer, so they look a little off).

It begins on the left as I am given the suggestion to make the piece look like Vegas signage. I know they don’t really want Vegas signage, so I try a few limited touches to imply that ’50s, quirky attitude.

No go. So then I go full Vegas, knowing they will think it’s too kitschy when they actually see it, which is exactly what I am told. But they like the lighthearted aspect, so I keep some of the assymmetrical shapes and that doesn’t fly either.

At this point, the brand director gives up on me and there is a missing design that the CD did, which replaced the lipstick icon with some pink shapes that were symbolic of a mixed drink. That one wasn’t appreciated either.

No Vegas signage, I am told: we don’t want to see ANY Vegas-ness whatsoever–what a dumb idea Vegas was, they say. And so the parade of design continues to the right with a more retro ’70s look, but I have just learned that the director is asking the CD for more examples, too, after not quite being satisfied with my take on the ’70s. I’m not sure what retro ’70s means to the brand director, but I’m thinking pseudo art deco, cocaine and the movie Xanadu.

Comment » | anxiety, design, Whining

sucker list

August 18th, 2008 — 8:21pm

It’s depressing to be so familiar with the ways of direct marketing. I have donated small amounts of money over the last few years to the Midnight Mission, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and the Nature Conservancy. Now I am on a liberal sucker list, and each of the above-mentioned non-profits along with a ton of others (Indian Orphans?) have sent me envelopes PACKED with heartstring-tugging CRAP to get me to pony up more money. Not only am I disgusted with the Nature Conservancy (which is apparently one of the better ones in terms of low overhead fees) but I have now virtually given up on donating money to any of them. A typical bi-monthly envelope is jammed with tree-destroying garbage such as personalized address labels, pleas to answer polls –the answers to which are meaningless because the polls are just devices to encourage a response — images of threatened and extreemly cute wildlife, personal pleas of poverty, stickers to put on my car, offers for a free stuffed animal if I pay more money, and various and assorted manipulative devices designed by well-paid professionals to wheedle their way into my checkbook. If they had just sent a simple, recycled plea for help, or a postcard, once or twice a year they’d still be getting my cash. I can’t be paying for more trees to be cut down so that more personalized address labels can be sent to more liberal suckers…

1 comment » | Whining

I test well…

August 18th, 2008 — 1:54pm

So these Austrian Doctors are the most anal retentive clients EVER. I mean they somehow spotted an RGB color that was off by 2 points (out of 255) in the red channel. The tech guy whose name I can never remember was watching on screen and he turned to Dr. Pierley and said, “needs a few percentage points red.” And she nodded to him as if she’d been thinking the same thing. This is why I call these people wine snobs.

But now every time I bring in a version to check out, the doctor gives me another test. It’s a bit like a mental massage; I definitely feel better after leaving… The light is still giving me massive headaches though; feels like it’s digging into my brain.

Comment » | art, Whining

evil guy in car

August 17th, 2008 — 9:18pm

After riding my bike every day at lunch for an hour, I have started to feel demonstrably better. Just sitting around the house, watching a dvd or reading, my entire outlook on existence is improved. I don’t know if exercising schizophrenics to exhaustion has ever been tried as a therapy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it works better than serotonin re-uptake inhibitors.

But I have a tendency to feel competitive with traffic and always end up hopelessly racing the cars next to me, occasionally moving into traffic when someone slow is in the rightmost lane, which can annoy people who feel that mass determines right of way.

So when I swerved across the boulevard to go to a Ralph’s and some guy leaned his head from the back of a black SUV and yelled, I thought maybe I’d cut him off. But then I realized he was yelling at a Hasidic man walking across the Ralph’s parking lot, and then I realized that he’d yelled something nasty with the word ‘jew’ in it. Traffic was a little slow and I debated whether or not to race up and knock off the SUV’s side mirror, but I didn’t think I could safely make it over in time. Now I wish I had.

Comment » | Whining

tastes thin

August 15th, 2008 — 10:20pm

A few months ago my friend mocked me for being thin… but not quite thin ENOUGH. Turns out I was on the top end of what the BMI height/weight scale said I should be. As a slouching 6’1″ shave-headed white male (aka ‘moby’) the government says I should weigh between 145 and 185. So I quickly lost ten pounds, and then much more slowly lost another ten pounds. Giving up french fries and bread and biking on my lunch hour was enough to take me to 164… but I fear that without giving up liquor the remaining ten pounds to 154 will be exceedingly difficult. On the positive side, now that I no longer have so much fat, I can drink one glass of wine and actually feel the intoxication. I am going to test this right now.

Yes, it is true. My wine bill is about $50 a week now, but my palate is really expanding. Perhaps if I give up almonds…

Comment » | Whining

humingbird

August 15th, 2008 — 8:34pm

Walking back from the store, I saw a tiny hummingbird hovering in front of the stalk of a bird of paradise. And as I approached, it dipped, then flew up and over the nearest building. But as it dipped and rose into the air, a tiny, yellow butterfly confronted it, then flew next to it for about twenty feet, in unison as it rose. I’ve seen this behavior between pairs of butterflies in the mountains; they confront each other and then fly in tandem skyward. I think it’s competitive pre-mating behavior that males engage in and it’s interesting that the hummingbird, completely obliviously, was able to set it off.  Meanwhile, office drones continue their plodding forward movement in all directions.

Comment » | office, Whining

Sweet Hellish Pain

August 14th, 2008 — 3:39pm

The online beauty retailer account management pages that I have been working on for most of eternity have now received an official shrug of indifference from the brilliant, young boss of the company. This is amusing to me, because at this point the creative control has been taken away from four different people, me being none of the four. At this point in the design process, everyone who has fretfully micromanaged the process has had his or her decisions second-guessed at some point along the line, most finally the CD of the site, who went and redesigned the graphics that I created, making them apparently less desireable than they were originally. It was frustrating, but now it’s just amusing, because I no longer feel insecure about the process. Everyone has had their creative expression bitchslapped in a massive circle jerk of uncertainty. I, however, am working at home today. My life may be going nowhere at the moment, but at least I get to ride my bike at lunch.

Comment » | anxiety, office

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