back contents next February 16, 2000

...and then she burst into song.

I got a bad disease,
Up from my brain is where I bleed.
In sanity it seems,
Is got me by my soul to squeeze.
Well all the love from me,
With all the dying trees I scream.
The angels in my dreams, (yeah)
have turned to demons of greed,
That's me.

I found myself twittering in my seat at work today. I've been more fidgety at work recently than in December and I wanted to figure it out. I stopped working and stared at my free copy of the Village Voice. I normally don't pick it up from the newstand on the first floor of my bilding, but the blurb on the cover, "Hacking Is Good for You :) A Special Section" attracted my eye. Staring at the cover, a picture of Moby, it came to me why I was twittering.

No sound.

That's not entirely true. At work, I am surrounded by the sounds of workers and keyboards and murmurs of conversations in the next cubicle. But there is nothing else but that white noise, and it was making me fidget. I needed something to fill that aural void. I looked forlornly at my emasculated CD player: I brought it to the Philippines with me, but my sister's headphones broke and she borrowed mine. I've got a player but no way to listen to it. I have speakers on my machine at work, but I didn't want to play my music for everyone in the department to hear. I have a tendancy of playing the same song over and over again.

Where I go I just don't know,
I got to, got to, gotta take it slow.
When I find my peace of mind,
I'm gonna give you some of my good time.

So, I decided to go out and buy a new set of headphones. I bought a pair that fit snuggly around your ears. They are more expensive than the conventional brands, but I dislike the feeling of headphones slipping from my ears. The feeling makes me uncomfortable and tense, instead of relaxing to my favorite types of music. When I got back to the office, I opened my newly-bought package, plugged in the player, plugged in the headphones and pressed play. I didn't care what was on: I just wanted to stop hearing the white noise.

Today loves smile on me,
It took away my pain, said please
I'll let your ride is free,
You gotta let it be,
Oh ya.

The disk in the player was BOCA 1, the best of college a cappella. I was eagerly surprised: I thought it might be my copy of Stephen King's Blood and Smoke. I enjoyed Blood and Smoke but I wanted something different today. Music, maestro! I haven't listened to it in a long time. My favorite track on the CD is University of Pennsylvania's Off the Beat's version of Soul to Squeeze.

It was sweet sweet sweet.

Where I go I just don't know,
I got to, gotta, gotta take it slow.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna give you some of my good time.

As I've gotten older, I've needed music less. I don't have to listen to it every day and I don't actively think "this experience won't be complete without music". I still enjoy listening to it. Mike typically puts on a tape or CD while he cooks and when we eat dinner and I frequently find myself pausing to listen and hum. I still sing in the shower. But I don't actively listen to music anymore. Many of my CDs haven't been touched for months. It's still a part of me but my mind has learned that it can't have everything and it compensates. I didn't realize how much I've missed it until I got it back today.

Oh, so polite indeed,
Well I got everything I need.
Make my days a breeze,
And take away my self destruction.

I did a conference call with one of my clients today. It was a very short one -- about six or seven minutes. I delivered my final version of the interface to them for approval and they liked it. I figured that they should enjoy it, since I incorporated every suggestion that they applied to the project. I'm the only one on the project: the only designer and interface developer. This is primarily because the site is a rework of a previous site that we've developed. They realized for v2.0, the content was dynamic (including the headers) and graphics couldn't be used for the headers. It needed to be redone with HTML and it incorporated navigation bars from other applications that we've done for the client. It was a chop job and they assigned me to it. No real original designing, no information architecture decisions and the focus of interface delivery was textual. Manipulation of the HTML. Right up my alley.

It's bitter baby,
And it's very sweet.
I'm on a rollercoaster,
but I'm on my feet.
Take me to the river,
Let me on your shore.
I be coming back baby,
I be coming back for more.

So, I took the two indpendent designs that they wanted to incorporate and I did what I do best in design: assimilate. I don't come up with "original" designs, exactly. I take elements from other designs and say "that looks cool... that looks cool... that looks cool... and.. yes.. yes.. fix this font here.. make it rounder.. change the background color from a grey to a faint blue.. yes.. yes.. it's alive! Hurrah! It works!" That's my creative process. It has always felt artificial to me. I think of genuine creativity as something that just springs to life from nowhere. Originality. Assimilated work always seems second-rate, so I don't think of myself as an artist.

I can forget but I will not endevour
Simple pleasures are much better
but I won't forget it never

It wasn't hard to put together. There are elements that had to be used because of the technical considerations of the site. A "no choice" design decision or a design decision that was "this way is the simplest and most direct approach". That's my approach in design, too. To the point.

Wish I was that way in my writing. Heh.

Where I go I just dont't know,
I got to, got to, gotta take it slow.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna give you some of my good time.

The client call was a little strange. Since I'm just the designer on the team, my interest in the conference call was "criticism and changes to the design" and nothing more. I knew very little on the project after it gets passed on to the developers and I kept defering the questions to the project leader who as unable to do the client call with me because of previous obligations. However, the client seemed very pleased with my work and, according to my PL, is a difficult client to please so my bosses are very happy that the client is happy.

Where I go I just don't know,
I might end up somewhere in Mexico.
When I find my piece of mind,
I'm gonna keep for the end of time!

At the end of the day, I treated myself to a blasting-in-headphones lip-synch of "Soul to Squeeze". Sweet.


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© Copyright 2000 Eileene Coscolluela