29 April 2006

smart machine.

I never forgot something I learned in high school - there is no Chinese character for "computer" - it's communicated by putting together two already-existing characters : "smart" and "machine."

Well, the phrase came to mind just now when I was very creeped out by one of my sites. I recently registered on 43things.com to keep track of my goals. I just went to see my goals list, and a bunch of photographs that I had taken were lined down the side, but I hadn't put them there. I scrolled down and saw the flickr logo underneath them all. Somehow, my 43things account and my flickr account found each other and linked together. They are trying to consolidate all of my information into a nice little package for me.

What will happen next?

21 April 2006

raining


I guess it's evening, since it's twenty after seven pm, but the sun hasn't set yet, so it still feels like afternoon.

It's been gray and rainy all day. Most people hate days like these, and sometimse I do too because I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (I can just feel an ex boyfriend of mine rolling his eyes all the way in New York). But it's lovely when I have no music on and I can hear (and see) the James River from my apartment, hear the cars driving down the wet streets, hear the birds taking refuge in the trees. I'm eating a tart green apple, and just finished making some tea. I'll treat myself to biscotti, too.

I have piles of work in front of me, my desk lamp is on, and it's wonderful. The next two weeks will be quite sleepless, which is why I threw everything aside last night and went to bed at 10.30pm, to wake up at 9.30 this morning.

I keep glancing over at my piano.

20 April 2006

17 April 2006

and yet another.


"i take back hating richmond. i actually am happy here. i am ready to leave, but i'm at peace here. it's a good place for an introvert. i can spend days here without talking to anybody. there are so many interesting and different coffee shops and diners. the different cultural layers are great... there is a quiet prettiness about the old streets + colors + houses, but also a gritty + dark feel of dishonesty, dirty water, cigarettes, tattoos + debauchery. could it be likened to cursive's ugly organ record? there are beautiful parts, like the instrumentals in staying alive and the beginning of the recluse, but also dark + painful + charged parts, like art is hard. or the pain in the voice of sierra."

also written in the coffee shop

albums I can listen to all the way through, regularly.


01. Nirvana | Bleach
02. Tegan & Sara | So Jealous
03. Blonde Redhead | Misery is a Butterfly
04. The Smiths | The Queen is Dead
05. Cursive | The Ugly Organ
06. The Mars Volta | Deloused in the Comatorium
07. Gorillaz | Demon Days
08. Mew | Frengers
09. Umbrellas | Umbrellas
10. Denali | The Instinct
11. Metallica | Master of Puppets
12. Blonde Redhead | Melody of a Certain Damaged Lemons
13. Amélie soundtrack
14. Enon | High Society
15. Death Cab for Cutie | Plans
16. Deftones | Adrenaline
17. Coheed & Cambria | In Keeping the Secrets of Silent Earth 3

I'm sure I can come up with 3 more. I hate it when lists aren't a multiple of five.

new york.

"something that hopefully will never happen again is losing my self. ugh, how terrifying. it was like i was just a body, no soul. just a pod walking around.

it was [my last boyfriend]. i completely lost my sense of self, ...lost it in him. it's like we were one person. i thought not of myself - johanna - but as me+[boy]. a we, not an i. so as a result, when he broke up with me, i was completely alone and had no idea who i was. boy, was that an empty time.

it was the best thing in the world to get that internship in new york. it forced me to remove my body from that toxic environment. put me in a completely foreign place. why not, right? why not 100% wipe the slate clean and start over with an empty body, with no familiarity?

so. it was a slow process of finding my self again and figuring out who i was, what was important to me, what my purpose and dreams were.

but it happened. and i didn't realize it until it all hit me one day. i had spent the time with loved ones, pouring myself into my work and at a wonderful city. but mostly alone. me and my thoughts. lots of thinking, writing, reading and observing.

that is huge. i have the strongest sense of self EVER now. i can love, i can life, but when the day is done and i get into bed, no matter how happy or heart broken i am, i know who i am.

and who was there during this whole process? to comfort me and watch it happen and let and encourage it to happen? who smiled and was so happy and laughed and danced with me when i smiled?

new york.


and he gave me a huge hug and a phenomenal last week and said a graceful and stoic goodbye and a "see you soon, i promise" when [the boy] picked me up and drove me back to richmond.

see? can you now understand - maybe a little - why i have such an attachment to this place? why i can't breathe unless i'm there?"

- written in a coffee shop about an hour ago

notebook snippets

I had four cups of coffee yesterday and little food. The way I was feeling at 3.30am reminded me of that part in Coffee & Cigarettes where the guy mentions drinking lots of coffee right before bed because it makes him dream faster. My mind was racing but my body was exhausted.

"I wrote something on my wall today, right next to my bed, at eye level when I'm laying down.

today is a good day to die.


My mother used to tell me that Native Americans say it in the mornings. I always envisioned them saying it when they stepped outside, looking at the land and the sun. It speaks (to me) to living life to it's fullest, never holding back on wishes and dreams. So that if one were to die today, they would be satisfied with everything they had done up to that point.

Will you say 'wait a minute' when it's time for you to die?

[I saw that in Adbusters over the summer]"

-

"on eating breakfast shortly after dawn.


I think I've pointedly done this once. The first night I hung out with my friend Nate. I think it was 5.30 or 6.00. We had hung out all night... we were hungry and went to 3rd Street Diner. I may have had corned beef hash with fried eggs slapped on top. and coffee. I actually think it was dark when we got there, and that pretty morning light when we left. There is something peaceful about the silence so early in the morning. People move more slowly than when everybody is fully awake and zooming around. I should do this more often. It reminds me of the time Nicole described Chinatown at 7.00am, when the bus arrives to New York, everybody slowly opening their shops and setting up for the day. quiet. beautiful."

-

Nicole mentioned a couple of nights ago that she wants to live in the sky. I didn't get it at first, but I really do now. "I live in the sky here, sort of. When I am in my bed and I look out my window, all I see are clouds."

-

"on Yakitori Taisho and why it makes me miss Japan even though I've never been there


There is a Japanese restaurant on St. Mark's place, and I always noticed the sign and wanted to go in.

OH!TAISHO!


...in scribbly (or grungy) letters (a dull gold, I think). I never got to see inside, because it's set down a couple of steps, I think. But Laura took me, last I was in New York. This place feels so fucking authentic, even though I shouldn't know what the hell I'm talking about. tiny, cramped, you can barely move, God help you if you're fat. so noisy and full of life and we sat on these teensy little cow-milking stools right in front of the kitchen where people were frying and chopping and yelling Japanese at each other and the din was incredible. We got amazing pan-fried rice noodles with vegetables and pork and it was unbelievably cheap, I think. It was like walking into Japan, and then walking back out into the cold of New York City, with a warm and happy tummy."

-

A lot of this stuff was sort of written in an e-mail to Nicole last night.

Okay, time to start my day.

15 April 2006

Versadome

Seeing as modular housing is becoming so huge lately, here is another -


Versadome



Seems a little more versatile than LoftCube, but I still prefer the latter because of the specific style, design and probably the fact that they're harder to get ahold of, what with building codes and such. Does anybody know if they're available outside Berlin yet?



flying Scion





from the recent auto show in NYC.

More interesting to me is what Audi did for their new TT - treating the whole thing as a fashion show. I wonder where the outfits came from.





PSFK

12 April 2006

trading up

I heard a consumer research term used in a TV spot recently - trading up.

(from the editorial review of the book by the same name - "...growing segment of the American middle market with more disposable income than ever. They're talking about people who take shopping tips from Oprah and Martha, swear their washing machine makes them happy, and dine at "fast casual" restaurants instead of burger chains." (amazon.com))

I am very familiar with the term, as I did a project on the democratization of luxury during my advertising internship in college, and I've read books such as Living it Up - America's Love Affair with Luxury and Snobbery: The American Version. But I wonder if the average consumer would know of it. Has it been getting press in the news and such?

The TV spot was for Quilted Northern toilet paper. It shows a woman ordering a ridiculously complicated coffee drink at a Starbucksesque place - something like a tall soy two-pump English Toffee latte (not really, that's what I order, but it was just as complicated and lengthy to say!). Then the woman is walking through the toilet apper aisle of a store, and you hear "you trade up for everything else, why not your bath tissue?" I suppose this particular toilet paper is a little more expensive and squishy. It's clever, but would the average toilet paper buyer even know what the hell this means? Or is it implied clearly enough?

Americana


I never really grasped the concept until this weekend. or... never felt it until this weekend. I've never really done typical American things, like going to fairs, baseball games, oh wait wait wait. I love diners. I guess that is part of Americana.

Anyway, I went to a local burger joint a couple of days ago with 2 friends of mine. We sat upstairs, with lots of light coming through the windows, HUGE burgers and fries and sodas around us, the walls were yellow, the tablecloths were checkered, and "Why Can't We Be Friends" was playing on the radio.

and that was it. So that is what it feels like. It was kind of nice.

07 April 2006

INFOLUST


trendwatching.com published it's April briefing today, on a new term - INFOLUST. It pretty much represents the ultimate in consumer empowerment, guided by our insatiable need to know everything. The hell with information overload - no such thing. The briefing talks about competitive prices when shopping online, sharing of information and reviews, mobile devices becoming increasingly useful (Google, GPS, video on mobile phones). You can now find information on apartments-for-rent by texting a certain code to a certain number, based on the sign hanging outside. These plus other QR-type codes hold so much information for consumers with relevant technology in such a small space, it only leaves room for more. Will our heads explode, eventually? Even kinetic culture junkies such as myself have to prioritize with the information we choose to take in, or we will never sleep. ever.

Here is the briefing.

more synesthesia!


So, people not completely related to psychology think of synesthesia too! I want to marry him.

I found this project linked on PSFK's fashion blog. A fashion /runway project in which each part is given a sound. the sound of fashion. The hair might be one sound, the skin of the model might be another, and each fabric, each stitch, each button... a sound. I wonder how that will be. I'll be monitoring the progress, of course.

Browsing led me to another site about synesthesia - this one about giving songs digital shapes. They are beautiful, but I wish they had included music files, so I would be able to hear the song and try to follow the shape. I don't even have that Madonna track.

I am giddy.

beer as fashion?

Has anybody else seen these banner ads for Budweiser Select? They are popping up in Flavorpill's e-magazines, like JC Report and Artkrush.

Budselect

I just clicked on the ad, and it took me to this site... apparently Flavorpill is partnering with different artists on their interpretations of the brand. I love the work. What do you think? Smart psychographic to go after? While I am not a beer person, the brand will stay top-of-mind for me (I love the artwork enough to use the images as desktop wallpaper).

[xposted to the Adcenter blog]

05 April 2006

a hobby of mine


is to dance to happy music. alone.

written in TextEdit today

my friend andrew and i had bento boxes today at hana zushi. we had the best talks, too. so already you have 2 excellent things happening in one day. a lot of what we were talking about centered around the fact that you only get one life. a lot of people seem to forget this all too often. they turn into robots at work, get complacent at their jobs, hate waking up on monday mornings, stay in towns they hate for years because they're too "comfortable" to shake things up, etc. it's all about complacency, i think. you only get one life. go to tokyo. go to london. live somewhere you'd never dream of living. what have you got to lose?

another thing we talked about was the flattening of the world. technology moving at a faster and faster pace every day, and how in 10 years we may not even be able to catch up. he mentioned the japanese planning to expand underground, with clear sidewalks to act as skylights for those below. we talked about people not needing to work in an office, but existing in entire regions, working as mobile pods with their computers. i mentioned giving a presentation over the phone to someone far away last week, both of us with the file in front of us. bullet trains being commonplace, and being able to have a business dinner in paris with a client even if you lived in frankfurt. if you think of things on this level, the whole "flying cars" thing actually does exist, in a way. we can travel to shanghai without even leaving our desk in richmond virginia.

i have to go, my mind is about to explode.

i <3 Sriracha.

04 April 2006

counting!

I read in a Myspace bulletin... tonight, at 1.02 am and 3 seconds, the date will read

010203040506

WHEN will that happen again?

Start drinking!

oh my...


You can now buy custom grillz online.

found on dnawear.com

I think I'll go with the on my grind style. sunburst cut, of course.

AHHHHHHH

I was having fun clicking the "next blog" button on that top nav.bar, and after about 3 clicks, arrived at photos de bruxelles. I was born there! eeeee. I will have to visit it regularly, because I like seeing photos of where I used to live. I last went in the summer of 1996, and I barely remember anything.

new beer

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing is coming out with a new beer called "Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, a Belgian Whit (Ed.—Yes, that’s “Whit” not “White”) brew that is cloudy, has a hint of citrus and coriander and can be garnished with an orange."

For someone who doesn't care much for beer (aside from Guinness), that sounds really good. Kevin, wanna be my taster?

[from BrandWeek]

well, this is nice.


Please click on the image to refer to today's weather (bottom left).

03 April 2006

coffee shops.

I wonder if I can create complete experience schemas by writing down the main sensory stimulator for each?

Let's see. One of my favorite "moods" is introverted / introspective. For example, going to a coffee shop and people-watching, having my drink, maybe getting a bite to eat, doing some work on my iBook (with free wireless), etc.

eyes : lots of light and colors (sometimes through the lens of my Minolta)
ears : "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" by Rufus Wainright
hands /touch : iBook keys, the smooth pages of a Moleskine (see previous entry)
taste : cafe au lait (hot or iced, depending on the weather)
smell : ground coffee beans

Let's try another?

mood : date night (Nicole and I have a date night every Thursday. I am turning it into a mood.)

eyes : dim lights (as if someone took a photo without the flash) and smiles
ears : "Seventeen Years" by Ratatat
hands /touch : some sort of cup or glass
taste : ice cream
smell : pink

I don't know if that worked. I think it was just another way of creating or looking at a schema, instead of anything new or different.

Moleskine

I was very, very late to get my first Moleskine. I was at the art store yesterday, and they were out of my favorite sketchbooks, the 8.5"x11" black linen-bound. While waiting for more to be shipped, I decided to give this brand a try. Nicole loves them, Laura has one, I gave one to Jamie for her birthday... why not?

Upon opening the wrapper, I realized that this truly is a great brand that pays attention to all of the details. my favorite.

I got a plain ruled notebook.



First of all, the label across the front is color coded for each type of book they sell. Look at the typeface, and placement of.



Each one comes with a little sheet of labels "for sending signals, exchanging messages, collecting ideas."



For the time being, I put them into the little built-in sleeve in the back cover.



It even comes with a little history booklet.



Each page has beautifully rounded corners.

I was reminded of the opening of 1984... when the main character is presented with the smooth, creamy paper of the notebook. I think it was a notebook. hiding from the screens. That's what I felt like - like I had discovered something so wonderful that it almost seems like it shouldn't exist, or be allowed. Well done, Modo & Modo.
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