Month / July, 2003

July lights

interior of a restaurant with lights strewn above chairs

I wonder if Edison lived long enough to see Christmas lights?

detail of light bulb

I wonder how they would have made him feel?

single light bulb against a wall

I think he would probably have said… “Yeah, you see those lights over there? Yeah, that’s all me baby!”

Cookie Question

Todays Wednesday Slump Question(TM) comes from wonderfully creative “Glovia”:http://www.glovia.blogspot.com/ who posed the question last week:

bq. If you were stranded on a desert isle and you could only have three kinds of cookies, which ones would they be?

(And yes, again we are aware of the logistics of refrigeration and expiration on a desert isle, but we again don’t care.)

Below: A $10 “Dean & Deluca”:http://www.deandeluca.com/ Snoopy cookie that Diane got as a present from her friend Rorry.

A Dean & Deluca Snoopy Cookie

Imagination run wild

Today I have been thoroughly enjoying images from an extremely detailed new movie, much in the style of Tim Burton, Rustboy. I have been re-visiting the site all day to check out the gorgeous screen captures and movies snippets. I implore you…

check it out.

Umbrella Jackass

Me, Diane, and a few friends went down to the Prospect Park band shell to see Stephen Malkmus rock out in the Celebrate Brooklyn series and all was fine and dandy until he was about to take the stage. We suffered through Shannon McNally a bizarre musician from Long Island with an identity crisis. Yes she was born on Long Island, but she has a southern twang as if she was from Tennessee (not that I know anything about accents or geography, which I don’t), which deeply urked me. I’m all for southern musicians having a twang, but if you’re from Long Island I want to hear no southern twang.

It seemed fake.

As soon as this music (for lack of a better description) ended there was the usual “Help Prospect Park” speech that comes during the show…

Without your support…

pitter

we wouldn’t be able…

pitter, patter

to hold events like this…

pitter, patter, pitter, patter, pitter

And then all hell broke loose, the sky opened up and torrents of water were falling upon us. Somewhere nearby a flash of light and I knew I was about to very damp very quickly.

and now Stephen Malkmus.

He was great, got up on stage apologized for the rain and began to play, but unfortunately this jackass with the largest umbrella in the world stood between us and the stage. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had to walk 5 paces just to see around his gargantuan umbrella. This makeshift structure would have easily seating several people, but was he with any other people? No, this outcast was by himself under his own personal astrodome.

My point is this people, if you’re going to bring a funeral umbrella out, make sure you’re going to a funeral, or at least put it away after Shannon McNally is done yodeling.

Brooklyn Bandshell with guy with umbrella

Killer Table

a table with pointy teeth reaching out with one leg

If you start thinking about tables and the fact that they have legs, it can quickly make your imagination run wild.

(I did this drawing on the train this morning and realized, when I got to work, it was totally inspired by the beautiful and fanciful style of one of my favorite illustrators “Witold Riedel.”:http://www.witoldriedel.com/MT/ *Mad Props.*)

Wednesday Slump Question

Fried Ice cream from our local Mexican restaurant

This one comes from _Diane_ who asks:.

bq. If you were stranded on a desert isle and you could only have three flavors of ice cream for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?

(And yes we are aware of the logistics of refrigeration and expiration on a desert isle, but we don’t care.)

(And no we don’t mean “dessert isle.”)

Laces

It’s like an old western shootout. I face her, she faces me, tumbleweed blows between us… “can I help you sir?” She asks eagerly fingering the switch on her walkie-talkie. “Yes I’m interested in the brown/light brown combo over here in a size 10.” She, without missing a beat barks UPC codes to a henchman in the back, who moments later is holding a box.

I nod defeat, this sales person is pretty good. I sit on a beige rectangle and furtively remove my ex-shoe and try on my new… hold on, this feels tight. I look down at my feet hoping I, in my haste to try on my new pair of kicks, forgot to remove a bunch of screwed up packaging paper. I didn’t. I could have sworn I was a size 10 in this brand. “shit” I say under my breath, realizing that either the shoe company has changed it’s sizing or I flipped up and asked for the wrong size. Now she’s going to think I’m a big asshole and basically loose all respect in me as a footwear consumer.

“Do you have these in a 10�? It’s just that the summer makes my feet swell and…”

She looks at me, her eyes say “asshole” and her sudden shift from one foot to another tells me she’s thinking “stupid asshole.” “10�? Right?” “Yes please.” I reply, hoping the shoes will arrive quickly so I can get the hell out of dodge. I remain sitting on my beige monolith watching the shoppers ask for shoes in all ranges of sizes. One woman even asks if the have her size in a three shoe spread.

That’s ballsy.

“Here you go.” she says pushing the box into my hands and walking away toward another more competent shopper. I open the box and see shoes that look like they could fit. Nervously I remove them and set both on the floor, the sweat on my brow dripping down my forehead. I feel as if all eyes in the store are affixed on me, silently judging….

It fit.

I rise triumphant, box in hand and wave my saleswoman over. “They fit?” She asks, doubting my competence. “Yes they do. I’ll take them.”

Walking into the bright daylight outside the store, I have a passing urge for a cigarette to celebrate, but realize I don’t smoke anymore and instead settle for a bag of _peanut M&M’s._

Subway station at 96th street on the C line

Pitiful Bastard

I know it’s not particularly good taste to write about blogging. Apparently people find it distasteful, much like trimming your toenails at the dinner table, but I have been in a slump lately and you guys are my friends… right?

It comes down to to thinking about what terrific things I can jot down, thinking of something terrificly profound, and loosing all interest in typing it.

Take for instance a thought I had last month that I never shared…. Have you ever noticed how much “GlaxoSmithKline’s”:http://www.gsk.com/index.htm logo looks strangely familiar to the “National Pork Producers Council’s”:http://www.nppc.org/ logo.

My creative energy has been zapped. I haven’t been taking as many pictures as i used to. My entries have been far and few between, and I have a pimple on my neck that I swear is attached to my nervous system.

Something is up.

From now on I will post every day even if it means the post might not be where I want it to be and I will take a great picture every day… or at least one picture every day.

I will restart my creative impulses.

I will create powerful images that will inspire and inform…

myself.

Pizza stor sign from the interior

Web Design… Feh!

I am a graphic designer and as one I accept all kinds of jobs. I am currently pretending to be a web designer for a client and I have to say, web design still really sucks. Although the browser wars have temporarily issued a ceasefire, the tools in which enable people to create web pages are barbaric. It’s still like building a house with a measuring tape that has missing numbers and uses both inches feet and millimeters.

It has definitely gotten better.

Before starting this sadomasochistic process I picked up a copy of Jeffery Zeldman’s Designing with Web Standards and found it fascinating. It was a surprisingly entertaining read and very well written for real people who want to use it in everyday applications…. However, even with the new “standards based” tools, the process of web design is terribly technical and best suited to people who received high marks in algebra.

I am a visual person!

Not only am I a visual person, I also have dyslexia (as Naaman often points out my horrible spelling errors). Trying to remember the syntax of hand coding is an exercise in futility. I don’t want to play the game anymore. I want to draw on screen where my text will go and then quickly apply rules on how my text will look and that’s it. The process in web design is completely different, in order to create a box and then make it a certain size, you have to use a set of rules you keep in the back of your mind that will effect it’s position, height, width, etc.

It’s still clumsy.

Hand coding is an archaic approach to any kind of design. This isn’t the same thing as taking out a pencil, because a pencil quicker than drawing on a computer! No, it’s like chiseling into stone with your finger nails instead of using your chisel, because your chisel is big and clumsy.

Web tools are big and clumsy.

Somebody out there should create a web design tool that uses an actual browser engine (Gecko, Mozilla, etc.) to inform the design process. What you would then see on screen wouldn’t be a facsimile of your design, but your actual design rendered as it will appear. Right now Dreamweaver and GoLive both have pitiful html renderers. It’s impossible to see what your design looks like without switching to a browser to preview. This not only takes time, but also requires your computer to use more computing power to complete a design.

When all is said and done, the designs I’m coming up with are 10 times more interesting than they were 5 years ago because of these new technologies, but sometime in the future someone involved in the new web spec should consult a designer and find methods to make the process more design accessible and accessible for future non-programmers to author content.

(and yes, there may be spelling errors. So sue me.)