27 February 2012

Music Monday

Jack White—Love Interruption

Jack White's first album, Blunderbuss, is due to be released on April 24th. This is his first single, Love Interruption. J and I heard this on the radio the other day and I couldn't wait to see what Jack White had cooked up this time. I am a huge fan of the Raconteurs—theirs is one of my top five concerts of all time. I never really got into the White Stripes, but I'm excited to take a listen to this album and see if it's something we'll add to our collection. I'll bet anything Jack White does would sound good on vinyl.

23 February 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Neon Birthday Candles

My Husband (and his birthdays)

I love celebrating his birthday almost more than celebrating my own. I surprised him with a vinyl copy of Radiohead's The Bends, and we went out to dinner with a bunch of friends to one of the most awesome restaurants in Somerville, Highland Kitchen—I ate about twelve thousand buffalo brussels sprouts. I also made red white and blue (freedom) cupcakes that were decorated with robots. Geeky fact no.157 (that people at the table did notice): the candles were J's age in binary: 11101.

Things that made me smile
I recently went to a guided meditation for the first time and we used energy as a concentration tool. This is going to sound so strange like hippie nonsense, but I actually "held" a ball of energy in my hands this week. It felt awesome and powerful and so calming  ♥ Long weekends are great—I feel refreshed and recharged, and so much brighter—for my short work week! ♥ 

20 February 2012

Music Monday

The Submarines - Birds

"It's not so easy feeling everything"

It's been a long time since I've felt like songs like this speak to me, but I know how difficult it is to open your heart to people. I don't ever care to go back to the days wondering and waiting, but sometimes I still do just this. Only it's not people I'm waiting for. It's just me, waiting to learn, forgive, and open up to myself.

Also, I have a tremendous thing for birds.

16 February 2012

Things I Love Thursday—Serendipity

To R.P. Salazar, with Love

Since it was Valentine's Day on Tuesday, I thought it somewhat apropos to post this video about how a couple fell in love over an email typo. It was very sweet.



I love things like gullzilla, because when ridiculous things like this happen and aren't fake they're even more serendipitous and amazing.

Things That Made Me Smile

The feeling I get when I've completed a design project ♥ Having friends that are so terrible that we not only threw a surprise party for someone (such a mean thing to do in its own right), but we made it a "bad cheese" surprise party because this person enjoys a fine cheese, and we don't lose an opportunity to tease him about it. A few of us have deliberately bothered not to learn how to pronounce gruy√®re, so we'll call it g-cheese to his face. We are all the worst ♥ 

15 February 2012

All is Right In The World Again...Mostly

Well, after nearly a week of waiting and emailing and calling, I finally have a conclusion from the t-shirt design committee.

They agreed that there was nothing wrong with using stock imagery. As another entrant whose design was pulled pointed out, by barring stock imagery they'd limit the accessibility of the contest to people who weren't designers. A very good point that I wish I had made!

I came to my own conclusions about this as a designer.—as someone who could produce the imagery that I used, but why? I have two jobs and am going to school. I don't have time to draw/photograph/trace yoga practitioners. Design groups frequently host contests like this and their designers are sometimes encouraged to use specific stock imagery. When they consulted with the communications department, the designers there confirmed all of this. I'm no longer defending any of my actions or theirs, just stating what my main arguments have been since the beginning.

The long and short is that even though all of our actions were above board this year, the competition has been compromised and they're just going to pull everyone's designs. An apology/explanation email will be sent to the entire getfit community, and we will all get a very nice consolation prize for our efforts. Next year the rules are going to be written so that the parameters are more clear. Whatever direction they decide to go (yes or no on the stock imagery), I'm glad the ambiguity will be removed from the rules. I think they did a very good job handling all of this, with the exception of jumping so quickly to accusations from a petty little mole rat in the first place.

The only hitch in this whole thing is that the person who originally fingered two of the designs will probably benefit from this like the rest of us, but that isn't the committee's fault. The committee will most likely have to come to the conclusion that this person was just trying to do a public service—I have a really tough time believing that Tattletale McJerkface was acting in anyone's interest but their own, and has some seriously bad karma coming their way. But maybe that's just me.

14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Ana Montiel
However you choose to celebrate this holiday (whether you participate in courtly love or consider it a manufactured Hallmark holiday), happy Valentine's Day!

My best Valentine's day was with J in 2006. We went to dinner in Waltham, rode through a snow storm to search for Strawberry Peeps, and watched The Squid and the Whale, and it didn't feel manufactured at all.

Since Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday this year, and J will be away on travel, I will be at pub trivia with friends. Besides, we've been having more frequent but more random date nights every now and then, so I think we'll just consider it another Tuesday, although I did decide to surprise J with a copy of The Squid and the Whale, since it was on sale at Amazon—what great luck!

13 February 2012

Music Monday

Since Valentine's day is tomorrow, I thought maybe some people might need a balm in the form of fuzzy animals. Even when people don't love you, animals always do. This song is just pure silliness: You don't want to love me / I don't want to love you / I can find other things to do / I've got friends at the petting zoo.

Miracles of Modern Science are the Bon Joviver dudes. FYI.

10 February 2012

It's Okay To Cry

It's been a rough week (see above). I was accused, wrongly, of unoriginal design in a tee-shirt competition (how silly those words look coming out of my keyboard). My entry was pulled, and an email was sent to everyone who voted for it:
Thank you for voting for this year’s getfit@mit tee-shirt. Unfortunately, two of our finalists, including your choice, were disqualified from the contest when it was brought to our attention that portions those designs were not original, unpublished work, in violation of contest rules.
I had to send a strongly worded letter to their office about copyright and what constitutes original work. My source material was free, and what they found was another website that used that same source material in their own way, entirely uniquely from my own design. The "portions" of work that were "published" were used elsewhere because they are free for commercial and personal use.

What constitutes original design is such a hot topic in the design and blogging community, and it makes me sick to my stomach to be put in this position, but I feel so vindicated knowing that I am right, and they are so very wrong. So why do I feel bile at the back of my throat when I think of my design in the hands of people who don't understand these concepts, and who don't even bother to follow up with such strong and serious claims, but instead jump immediately towards the liability side of things at the expense of one of their fellow employees? Why can't I move on with my day and know that I'm right and they're wrong? Why do the words "libel suit" keep swimming through my head?

All I can do is sit and wait for now. And maybe buy a new wine glass*

*No wine glasses were harmed in this hullabaloo—it simply fell down in the sink and shattered to a million little pieces. It was just a bad day all around, is all.

09 February 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Wes Anderson

I was actually doing a little bit of JD Salinger sleuthing (trying to find a copy of Hapworth 16, 1924), and somehow stumbled on this little bit of serendipity. The only thing I have to ask is, WHEN IS SOON? My friend Matt and I are geeking out a little bit, and I hope my question is answered quickly.

Also, curiously, the post where I found this clip says that the order a person ranks Wes Anderson movies is very revealing. They did not expand on that statement, so I have no idea what they mean by that (only that their order revealed that I did not think very much of their order). So without further ado, my order:
  1. The Royal Tenenbaums
  2. The Life Aquatic
  3. Rushmore
  4. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  5. The Darjeeling Limited
  6. Bottle Rocket
The irony here is that before I started this list, I did not agree with his ranking Bottle Rocket at the bottom, but here we are, and that my number one is more revealing of my love of JD Salinger than Wes Anderson. Bottle Rocket is classic Wes Anderson. Raw. Pure. Sparse. But it shows just how much promise he holds for all of his future endeavors, which is why it's at the bottom of what I consider a very elite and perfect list of movies.

Dog Delivers Receipt

People. Will someone please tell my husband to GET ME A DOG? I doubt having a snausage of my own will stop me from posting video after video of dogs, but maybe it will help a little bit.

06 February 2012

Music Monday

Nada Surf—Waiting For Something 

Even though they've been around since 1992, every time I hear the name Nada Surf, I feel like this is not the type of band I can listen to. Well, it turns out that my preconceptions were way off in every way. Even the name is an existential reference to "surfing on nothingness," which sounds pretty cool to me. The video above is a live acoustic version that is, for some reason, performed in a museum in Paris, and is also spectacular.

For the polished mp3, look no further:

03 February 2012

Project 365 Update: January

Every year I try to "take more pictures," whatever that means. I thought doing a project 365 would be a good way to motivate myself, but I never seem to take a picture every. day. My iPhone makes it easier. So here is my accountabilibuddy—a monthly calendar. If I do not get a picture every day, no big deal—just a bright orange square.
This may be more "scary" or less pressure. That is yet to be determined.

My favorite picture this month was one of my mountains. I call them my mountains even though I haven't lived in El Paso in over ten years, but above the landscape and above the weather, the environmental element that I miss the mostest is the mountains:

I Miss the Mountains

02 February 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Beautiful Day at The Dog Park

This is a gorgeous video of a day at the dog park shot from a dog's perspective. How fun!

Bon Joviver

I know this video has been floating over the interwebs for a while, but I had to wait until Thursday to post! I think this is cute and funny at the same time.

Things That Made Me Smile
♥ We were treated to dinner this weekend at the Capital Grille to celebrate J's Master's degree. He finished a year and a half ago, so it was even more special to us—babies, weddings, life just got in the way, but they still found a way to take the time to celebrate this milestone with us. ♥ I started reading Sharon Salzberg's Real Happiness. I have to return it to the library before I will be able to finish it, but just one sentence about lovingkindness was enough for me to make a major breakthrough in the way I feel about other people. ♥ 

Happy Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day Explained by C.G.P. Grey via Laughing Squid.

I still can't spell Punxsutawney on my own, but just in case you needed a refresher on groundhog day, this quippy little video will clear everything up for you.