Sunday, February 28, 2010

Work, Fear, & Waking up that voice in my head.

While my friends went off on an exotic cruise bouncing along the pan-american coastline, I decided to spend this week doing work. Catching up on homework, going to a workshop, applying for post-grad work, and using force to move things a certain distance (multiply them, btiches! it counts!) I'm doing this, not because I am the most responsible of my friends, but because I am driven by the most powerful emotion in the whole wide world: fear. Fear that I won't find a job, fear that I've tinkered with my brain chemicals beyond repair, fear that if I don't learn marketable skills NOW I'll be useless once released to the real world, and the ever-present haunting fear that if I leave my desk for ONE SECOND I'll lose momentum, fall into an abyss of apathy and never graduate.

But enough of that. Let's talk about stories.

My first SB10t task at hand is to prepare for a Digital Storytelling Workshop that starts in eh... approximately 12 hours. By class time tomorrow I need to have created storyboard for a memory or event that will form the frame of the production. This is what brings me back to the wonderful world of xanga: it holds about 4+ years of posts spanning the most tUmUlTuOuS years of my life. Surely something buried among these archives is worthy of visual digitization? Probably. But that's not what has caught my attention as I peruse through high school/early college content (surprise! I got distracted again!). It's the presence of the online narrative itself. Reading over my old posts has made it abundantly clear that somewhere along the way I seem to have lost my ability to tell stories! Back in the day (circa 2004) I could weave an entire xanga entry from a mere song-lyric, an observation, or a funny thought. Symptoms of overanalysis? Most definitely. But at least there was something there, some narrative process in which I convert thoughts streams to metaphors or morality tales.

As excited as I am about learning a new computer program (Final Cut Pro) and developing my skills as a filmographer, I think the best part of this workshop will be that it forces me to reexamine my role as a narrative being. I will make a story and I will make it coherent. I will make it longer than 140 characters. I will complete a sentence without referencing hyperlinks. I can do this.

This post was directly copy-pasta'd from my xanga weblog... which brings up another goal for this spring break: CONSOLIDATE. There is no need to have five different blogs. I could either move them all here, start up a Wordpress, or buy a domain name and set up shop there. Maybe writing down this goal ON my blog will force me to take action... maybe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hasn't anyone in the Pentagon read Jurassic Park?

You know something's up when a project's goal is to "[eliminate] the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement." And that something is awesome.
Darpa's Biodesign research is looking into producing organisms that can live forever, be loyal (read: un-hackable) and be shut-off by a "genetically-coded kill switch." You know, just in case something goes horribly, horribly wrong.

The project is getting $6 million outright, but will probably benefit from the $20 mil they're pushing for a new synthetic biology program and $7.5 mil put towards improving methods of analyzing cellular genomes.

This kinda reminds me of the time in high school when we extracted the DNA out of a strawberry. Not because we did anything scientifically irresponsible groundbreaking with it, but just seeing the proteins swirling around in our little plastic tubes and knowing that that fluffy substance was the secret to the biochemical processes of life was mind-blowing.
Yeah, I don't get out much.

Full article and image credit: Wired Danger Room

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Specifically, freshly ground Southern Pecan.

I want to start reviewing things.
Coffee. Movies. Music. Cloud-computing applications.
I want Bettie Page bangs.
Assuming my hair will allow it.
I wanna learn how to work the linux-counterparts of my favorite adobe cs software.
Probably start off with GIMP, Xara, and Scribus.
I wanna finish reading those three books I started over Christmas break.
David Lynch, Acid Dreams, Everything is illuminated! Your bookmarked pages taunt me so!
I want to organize my music library, delete shit I don't like and free up hd space.
Never been one to listen to artists ironically anyway.
I want to figure out how to connect to a wireless network while running my ubuntu partition.
Hmm, and buy an external DVD drive so I can fiiiiiinally install Win7.
I want more boots.
Especially if this cold-rainy-weather keeps up.

Coffee makes me want to do many many things- even write a post on my godforsaken blog! Basically, anything but homework.
This might be a problem.

59 at night. Because a non sequitur post deserves a non sequitur picture.