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January 21, 2009

Counting the Days, Just For the Heck of It

An idea came to me today. Sparked from several points (stumbling upon Daytum, spending a day Debbie having awesomely fragmented and non-linear conversations, and from another conversation about how up and down and relationships over lunch with my friend Krystle today) my new idea is: What if rated every day of my life on a scale of 1-10 and visually mapped the progression and the factors that affect the rating? There could be multiple variables that affect what makes my day good or bad like whether or not I socialized that day, or had a good meal or went to work. Ultimately, I would have the facts to make general conclusions about what makes me happy. Of course, I should know that by now through existing but I like to think that this evidence will come in handy when I have one of those conversations that go like "Milan, are you happy? [me: Yes.] Really though, are you? [me: Um, duuuh! See the chart!?]" What now!

I originally wanted to map the waves that my relationship with J tend to follow and study the types of issues, or 'wavelengths' and "amplitudes', and the high points (peaks) and the low points (troughs), but then I realized he miiiiight not appreciate me analyzing the intimacies of our life to that extent, esp if I have the intention of making it public.

Right now, I know I am at a high point in my life, but last month I was at an all time low. I know the peak of this ride will only last so long, but I'm curious, for how long and how high? How long and how low will my lows be? Will they lessen in frequency or will they lengthen in time? What is the meaning of life and why isn't it in the dictionary?

I've always been interested in information, growth and relationships between them. In elementary school I like to create my own roster of my classmates that rated who I thought was funny or cute or smart or all of the above. I used to draw a diagrams after diagrams of the interior of my room to see what worked best. For godssakes, I was an information freak. Reminder to myself to share some of the cool infographics I've found on the internets. Stay tuned..

January 19, 2009

Welcome, Barack Obama

I feel better knowing the world is a lot easier to take in knowing I have good people surrounding me. Lately the world's been throwing me curve balls from left field, and I don't even know if that's the proper usage of the sports lingo but so furthers my point. But luckily, right when I am about entertain the idea of temporarily giving up, there they are cheering me on, straightening me out, pulling me up. And there's something satisfying about having someone who you normally see as your opposite totally complete your perspective.

I also feel better because America now has a new president. I got into the city early to watch the Inauguration streamed at my desk at work, but on the walk to the office at the Metron there were two huge screens streaming the Inauguration live. Not being able to pass up an easy opportunity to participate, I joined the quickly multiplying crowd in welcoming our new president. It was a surreal experience because people cheered and booed and prayed and stood, as if the screens were naught but a portal to the live event, as if we were actually standing at the Monument, only a few thousand people short and oh, 60 degrees above freezing.

Here are a few photos and a video from this morning. Please excuse the god-awful pixel quality for my phone is ancient and decrepid. Please send donations towards an iPhone via Paypal.

January 18, 2009

"You like tulips, You don't like being mocked..."

This morning I dreamt that my boyfriend told me that he kept a planner to take note of all the things that I like and all the things that bother me, just to be safe and not make the same mistake twice. how sweet.

January 17, 2009

A Big Group Stroll

I had a dream last night that we went on a protest across the Golden Gate Bridge. We were lucky enough to find a really good parking spot so that we wouldn't have to protest so far. Whew!

January 12, 2009

Stylepedia, my new resource

Unexpectedly receiving a package at work today (as I'd totally forgotten that I'd ordered this book not ten days ago) made this book infinitely more awesome. A present? For Me? From Me?

Steven Heller is man I've only recently heard about, but already he is one of my design idols. He's the "tall tale" of design writers, having written over 105 books on the topic of design, 33 years of experience art directing the NYTimes Book Review, held MFA co-chair at the School for Visual Arts, and avid writer and editor for the AIGA. I stumbled upon him through a 200-word-limit article he wrote for Khoi Vinh's site, A Brief Message.

I haven't gotten past the table of contents yet but I knowingly predict that my ADD is going to wigg out when I start flipping through the alphabetical finger tabs and pages laden with illustrations. Co-written by Heller and Louise Fili, Stylepedia: A Guide to Graphic Design Mannerisms, Quirks, and Conceits has been [overly] described as a "quirky" piece of literature comprised of over 100 short essays covering key historical impacts on visual culture, from social icons to style periods and their creators. The introduction details the distinction between a fleeting "trend" and a sum of functional parts that make up a "style". Usually I'm the first to fall asleep during a history lesson but I'm hoping that Heller and Fili will be able to cure me of my narcolepsy and fill my brain with some good ol' fashioned design history juice -- I'll let you know how it goes!

January 7, 2009

A Day with the Cummins-Madelonis

_MG_5936, originally uploaded by mrrrrrrp.

I opted out of snowboarding for a day in the city with my lovely friends Marita and Glenn and his little brother Robbie, who was visiting from Ireland, and I am so glad that I did. I love being around people like this because they are so loving and open, and we can be annoyed and stressed but stay patient and calm at the same time. It was a lot of fun to wander around the big city that I work in but never get to see.

First, we attempted to go to the Academy of Sciences but the wait was so long it made me want to pee just looking at it. So we went to the Japanese Tea Garden instead. After that, we drove to the Ferry Building for some luncheon and then all the way back to the Golden Gate Bridge where the majority of these photos were taken. We walked a quarter of the way (at the best time of day for photos, in my opinion) before we got pretty hungray. But we couldn't have called it a day without visiting a few clothing stores that Robbie had in mind, so we drove downtown to the Abercrombie & Fitch store, and the other one, American Eagle. And then to the Ed Hardy store, which i'd never heard of until then, but will always remember it as the store whose security guard thought I was trying to steal a magazine.

We ended the day with an Ethopian cuisine experience in Berkeley, after which I decided that I liked everyone else's dishes but mine! They dropped me off back at my apartment shortly past 10pm and I said goodbye to Robbie who was such a pal the whole day. Come visit again soon!

See the rest of the photostream here.

January 5, 2009

Be nicer, not nice

"Happy New Year" means it's time to make a little sub-list of resolutions.

1. Learn to appreciate what I have.

I know it's totally cliche but I really am not good at this one. I'm always looking out and ahead and pursuing those damned more-betters. I can take breaks and accept where I am but it won't be long until I begin feeling useless and eventually worthless. Extreme supreme tacos, right? I'm going to try out this appreciation tactic and hope it balances my life a little better.

2. Blog more.

In addition to inbetweendesigns, my personal design and life blog, I have another blog titled PainfullyGood [read more about it here]. Both are the main creative outlets that I am currently sustaining, and I am hoping that both will become more functional (and maybe even famous!) by this time next year. Wish meh luck.

3. Be nicer.

Yeaaaah, so I'm not outright the nicest person. I highly doubt that even my closest friends have ever gushed "Yeah, Milan is sooOoOoOo nice!", and if they have, they are fired. If now is a time for a rebuttal, here it is: I just feel that being nice is cheesy and uninteresting. There has to be a name for people like me. Sadist? But seriously, please believe me when I say my heart is NOT a blackened coal and that I do not take pride in the fact. So I can be a little mean. Is it a lack of filter or an excess of judgement? Is it immaturity or inconsideration or are those the same thing? Is it a symptom of middle child syndrome or am I just making excuses? Whatever the reason, I am trying to improve. It's probably just the natural scowl I was born with, anyway. Gr.

4. Move into my own place.

For the very first time, I want to try living roomate/family-free. I am in a serious relationship that has been progressing slowly but surely, and I feel that if there is any time in my life that I should experience living alone, this could be my only chance. I could be setting myself up for oh, I dunno, bankruptcy, but I am up for the challenge. I hear being able to talk to yourself as you walk around the kitchen in your delicates is really worth it. Plus, NOT sharing a shower and toilet sounds absolutely glorious.... right up there with winning a whopping 2,008 US cents.

5. Stay employed.

I'm just throwing this one on because a list of 4 does not sound sufficient to me. A good one nonetheless, don't you think?

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5. Get comfortable talking to strangers.

I'm scratching the last one not because I don't want to stay employed, but because I was inspired at lunch today with a new resolution. Ladies and germs: I successfully experienced, for the SECOND TIME in TWO DAYS, a normal conversation with a perfect stranger. And by normal I mean a conversation that does not REEK of baby-stealing testosterone, or leech my energy or totally demolish my sense of safety. I know in reality that it is possible to have a perfectly normal conversation with a stranger and walk away feeling like you connected in a healthy but brief way, but I have only read about it. I have always been envious of folks who can do this and have surrounded myself with friends and lover who have that skill to make up for lack of mine. Until now. Maybe I gained a bit of confidence from hanging with some really good, socially healthy people this weekend, but I hadn't really believed in the whole thing until I experienced it myself. Hallelujah. Thank you Tucky from the SF Art Guild and random IBM guy who eavesdropped on Anna and my conversation over lunch at the mall.

Oh, and to add: on the way back from lunch I was handed a flyer about Psychic Reading at 1/2 price! and was still holding it when I got into my building elevator. Still high from making conversation with the IBM eavesdropper, I had the audacity to try and start a conversation with the other elevator passenger in the time frame it takes to get from the lobby to my floor. All I had time to say was: "Interested in psychic reading?" He laughed a laugh that was too short to be friendly and said "No." and then I had no time to recover. Great, now I'm the creepy psychic from the 5th floor. Our elevator is really fast, okaaaay!??!

What are your top goals for the year 2009?