Friday, April 25, 2008

What Awful Thing Am I About To Subject You To?

Looks like That Guy and I did a thing of making a television show, again. I hate to be a person who makes the same mistake twice, but here I am. Regardless, feel free to watch it, it should appear below these words. It's called The Lousy Hour, and I promise that it lives up to its name in at least one capacity.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here is Why I Can't Abide Micro-Blogging

Listen: I’m not about to pretend to be on the cutting edge of anything these days, because keeping on top of the internet is like trying to build a sandcastle in a tsunami, so when micro-blogging started existing (and eventually became more prevalent) I really didn’t take much notice for a number of reasons:

  1. I am not a guy with an enormous number of internet-only contacts, and even fewer internet-savvy-internet-only contacts
  2. I am not that interesting
  3. I don’t have the kind of self-worth that allows for me to write down every small thing I have done in a day with the expectation that the world gives a god damn about it
  4. I have a decent attention span and a pretty firm grasp on the written language, and as such have graduated to paragraph form (most of the time) for things I feel worth writing and sharing
  5. I am not a 12 year-old

Ok so, issue resolved, right? No, not right. For awhile the existence of sites like twitter were of no concern to me - I did not use them, and I did not know anybody dumb enough to hassle me to use them, and so we went along respectfully ignoring one another. But then Facebook, a site in a sort of steady state of information-overload-collapse, started integrating with these micro-blogging sons of bitches. Before you get on my case about anything, I’m well aware that the status-update field on Facebook was oft-abused before this integration, and that people were already capable of using this feature for dumb purposes at essentially any moment with mobile integration, but the truth of the matter is that this was usually too complicated for dumb people to set up, so it wasn’t a problem.

Now, however, it is kind of a problem. Anytime I sign onto the aforementioned social networking site I am faced with a fair number of people twittering about their terrible minutia. I realize that I am not forced to read this, and that I can adjust settings in order to cut down on this garbage, but what really bothers me is not that this technology exists (I am sure there are valid uses for it somewhere, somehow) it’s that people use it for the dumbest reasons possible. The fact that some of the people I am friends with are the perpetrators of such internet bullshit calls into question the decisions I’ve made in terms of the company I keep (digital or otherwise) becuase it is not easy to get onto my reasonably short list of contacts.

Here, let’s look at some of the information I’ve been given in the last few days (despite not requesting it) about people I kind of know:

Kelly is twittering: finally rolling out of bed... hooray, 12 hours of sleep!

Jon is twittering: Cereal supplies running low. Next at-work breakfast: back to Pop Tarts.
Jon is twittering: BTW, I think I've finally found the correct size boxer briefs from H&M, which took longer than you'd think.

Robert is twittering: Quick shower and off to work.

This isn’t news. This isn’t interesting. This isn’t Funny. This isn’t anything.

Here, for the sake of argument, is how I might do a micro-blog post about what I'm currently up to:

Miles is Twittering: I can't hang out with my friends right now because they're watching Desperate Housewives in the other room and I am the last man on earth with a beating heart and honest Standards.
Was that a lot of fun? Did you enjoy reading a sentence about exactly what situation I found myself in? You better not have, because if that is the case then you have not been paying attention.
Please Stop it.
You’re Welcome
Now you Know.


Weirdly enough (and I hate to be the guy who tells you this) Penny Arcade and I are really on the same wavelength as far as this matter is concerned.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Do You Think it is Okay to Like Brian Eno?

And I'm not talking about the Brian Eno that produces Talking Heads records and sometimes makes an album about taking a mountain by strategy, no no. I'm talking about the Brian Eno that just sort of gets in front of some kind of music making device like a simple piano or control board and makes background noise for a body to listen to when that body is having conniptions. Because I'm not sure it's okay to like this Brian Eno, but the fact of the matter is that I really, really do when the Time Calls For It.

Listen: as a person who is pretty prone to panicking and worrying about things that don't make an enormous amount of sense I can tell you that the sensation is god awful at best. One time, about nineteen months ago I found myself in a situation that got me real worked up, worked up in a looking-desperately-for-the-exits kind of way. Eventually I did find the exit (it was a door), and I made my way back to where I needed to be. Somehow, through logic that now escapes me, I got it into my brain that I needed to listen to Music for Airports. I don't know how I knew about this album, and I'm also not sure that I'm allowed to call it that. Maybe I'd heard it at some point before that time 19 months ago, but I wouldn't testify to the fact. Regardless, that is what I listened to, and back then, much like now, I found it remarkably soothing.

Listen: I bring this up only because in the past couple of days I have been getting myself awful worried about something that, now, in the light of greater preparedness and a healthy dose of Ambient 1: Music For Airports seems a lot less threatening and terrible than it did about eight hours ago. In conclusion I am making this album the first-line treatment method for when I get too upset, okay? So now you know.

Also, if you were wondering, the second-line treatment for when I get too upset is putting this on a screen and myself in front of that screen. Thank you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Was that Fortune Cookie Trying to Say?

"Diligence is the mother of good fortune."

  • This is not a proper fortune, this is just a baseless claim about diligence.
  • I have not been being particularly diligent recently, which is why I am awake at 2:30 a.m. with half two-fifths of the MS Office suite open and humming away on my desktop.
  • Given my current situation it is arguable that this fortune cookie is in fact a warning about what may turn out to be misfortune in my future.

I am Worried.

in other news: I was right about how this would play out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What Have I Been Up To?

While I am loath to self-report, and, even worse, self-congratulate, because it is Casual Time here at this blog there is no excuse for me not to make my main accomplishment of the last week into something you will wind up reading about. I do not want this to become a habit though, and I know you don’t either. I will try to keep things brief.

As you may or may not already be aware, I am essentially always on the lookout for objects the likes of which will serve dual functions of being utterly indispensable in my daily life while also lending credence to the widely-held theory that I am secretly an old person. While this collection of useful and reassuringly heavy items did a decent job of writing things and sometimes cutting my face, it did nothing for my time spent at a computer or walking around in a typical fashion. Fortunately, somebody else had the neat idea of taking olde time radio headsets and putting modern-day headphones inside of them, so this past week I co-opted that idea and made these. And also these.

Listen: there is nothing more dangerous than being met with success when undertaking projects like these. Typically when I set out to do something that isn’t dependent on sitting passively in front of a screen things do not turn out positively, which reinforces the important “do not try things” lesson. The last time this happened was when I got it in my head that making these was a good way to spend the last summer I’d get to be around my old friends, and things got pretty out of hand*. Unfortunately, the outcome of this most recent endeavor has given me the same kind of reckless ambition I had the last time I got to cut things apart with a Dremel tool. Pretty soon I will become a fixture down at the hardware store and the only website I’ll ever check will be Instructables. Sorry in advance everybody.

*Listen: going through the dungeons of the internet to find the picture of those light saber hilts turned into sort of a beautiful and terrifying photographic summary of a brief period of my life. Now you know the wonder and the shame I felt then and now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What Must be Done?

Listen: I’ve been looking at the right-hand side of this webpage, and it occurred to me just how bad a job of Information I’ve been doing for the past remotely memorable period. There are a handful of possible solutions to this issue: 1) do not change anything, and occasionally remark about how poor a job I do, 2) find more information to share, or 3) be less self-conscious/restrictive about the whole matter and post anything I feel like, creating a lawlessly magnificent environment like the one in which this place started last summer back when nobody knew about it.

Anyway I chose number 3. Things are going to get more casual around here, and we’ll see how it goes, okay? Ok.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Latest Disappointment from the Letdown Factory

Situation: Campus Movie Fest(ival) reared its ugly head on the confines of Tufts University this past week. In a fashion similar to the two other times this has happened my accomplice and I were interested enough in the annual ordeal to fill out the necessary online forms and offline papers in order to be granted custody of a simple camcorder, black Macbook, and unnecessary tripod, the first and last of which were left unused for a week or more, while the laptop was put on loan to an ally upstairs for purposes more noble than poor movie-making.

Yesterday evening, however, the deadline for our completed movie was looming within the 24-hour mark, and it became clear that something had to be done. In a trademark easy-way-outist decision, we opted to adapt something written months ago into a workable solution to our as-yet un-thought-about movie conundrum. Eighteen hours later the following emerged, springing fully-formed from the head of iMovie '06.

Enjoy, I'm sorry, you're welcome, and now you know.

Prediction: The powers that be at CMF will opt not to screen this labor of love at the University's finale event, and I will not be there to see it not happen.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Here is a Robot

In the stead of any better, more actual Information that I might have to provide for you. Now is not the best time for Information - and neither was the last week, if this website is any indication (and it is).

About the Robot: As might be obvious to the moderately trained eye, it is not complete. Also, it is in kind of an ugly ink-gone-vector-filter-terrozone, for which I will make no apologies. This robot turned 4 on February 19th of this year, meaning that it has been alive for longer than I care to think about. Also, while determining its age (by finding the scan of the original drawing which was done during both AP U.S. History and AP Biology - no you may not see it here) I realized that I have forgotten a lot of its details and also reversed its arms. It does not have a name.