New Office: Pros and Cons

This whole work-home separation has been really a) wonderful and b) hard.

a) Wonderful

– More stairs! I walk up and down at least (and this a conservative estimate) six times the number of stairs I did when I worked at home.  This has to be good for my butt and my general well being.

– Biking! I bike to work!!  So fun.  And Real Simple says that biking gives you more energy which is something I definitely need.

– No cat.  No one is meowing and clawing and trying to eat some of my lunch.

– People!  I talk to at least one extra person every day.  It rocks.

– Way cool space.  Warehouse 416 is a way inspiring place to spend my time.

– Friendship! (Yes, this is somehow different than people.) I have an office mate who is pretty freaking awesome and takes great photos that make the office look even better than it actually is:

(Photos by Sarabek Images)

b) Hard.  And stressful too.

– Rubberbands are hard to locate. I always kept a well-stocked home office which, I now realize, was relied upon in non-home affairs.

– Where to file?? My desk is at work.  I pay my office bills and my home bills at the same time (always have).  Where do my home credit card bills go?  Where do my work bills get filed?  (off subject — why are they not all e-bills??)

– What to do? Get up earlier? The office is in a warehouse that has an art gallery on the ground floor, artist studios and one other business office.  It’s pretty vacant and rather creepy late at night.  Which is when I’m used to accomplishing most of the coding necessary to develop websites…what can I say?  I’m a night person.  It’s quiet — no one calls and I can put on a soap, and get in the coding flow.  I’ve been tried staying late by talking myself out of American Horror Story memories and dissolving into the comfortable lull of Days of Our Live, and then boom!  The timer from the weekly Toastmasters meeting goes off startling the wits out of me and bringing back American Horror Story memories.  SO SCARY.

– No cat.  When I drop some food on the floor, I have to clean it up.  That’s a serious bummer.


I love German Typography

We’ve been back from our Europe 2011 adventure for a month today. I’ll save my rant about the passage of time for another day.

I loved many things about Germany, but their typography stuck out for me. Here in Oakland, CA, the best thing about our street signs is that there’s an oak tree on them. The funniest thing about that is that oak trees are actually fairly hard to find around here… but that’s neither here nor there.

The typography is nice, clean and elegant on this Oakland street sign.  I love the ‘g’ and the spacing is nice…

…but somehow this German street sign has more even more elegance and nuance.  Perhaps it’s the perfect spacing between the letters or just the addition of the ß that adds that extra oomph I like so much. Continue Reading

When Does a Doodle Become an Art Piece?

Of all the dozen or so museums Will and I saw in Europe last month, the exhibit that keeps coming up is one that neither of us liked.  At all.

At the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin we saw the exhibit Secret Universe, the works of Horst Ademeit.

Each day of Ademeit’s life, he would take a Polaroid of something that bothered him about the world and record his thoughts and complaints all over the edges.  He would number them, so he could keep track.

Horst Ademeit "5805" Archiv-Nr.: Ad 621 Mischtechnik / Polaroid 11 x 9 cm © Courtesy Galerie Susanne Zander, Köln

Only after Ademeit’s death, as the exhibit related, was his “body of work was discovered.” This body of work — these thousands of Polaroids lined were up, one by one, in numerical order forming a grid stretching through three rooms.

The ramblings of a disturbed man set out in the meticulous fashion in which he formed them for all to see.  This obsessive tracking of each day is something we have come to associate with psychosis or other mental illness.

Though we didn’t like the exhibit especially, we are still talking about.  It strikes me now as a wonderful glimpse into the pain of what it is to be human.  At least this man had an outlet for all the complaints that many of us swallow in the effort to be gracious human beings!

But at the same time, I don’t know if it’s art.  I wonder if perhaps it would be better characterized as anthropology.

But when a doodle become an art piece?  When you have thousands of them lined up side by side? Continue Reading

Germany 2011: A Journey in Photographs

Will and I embarked on a three-country European vacation last month. The first country we visited was Germany where we were hosted by our friends Spencer and Ann Marie. Thank goodness for friends!

The sheer number of amazing museums and other wonderful things to do in and around Berlin was fairly overwhelming, but did not preclude an awesome stay.

Continue Reading

Villa Nova I La Getru, Spain

When I went away to college, I showed an interest in photography by signing up for a Photography course.

My father lent me his old Nikon camera– those were the days before digital cameras.  He gave me instructions, many of which where to help with navigating the manual camera.  The one that has stuck with me, and, I believe, has had the most lasting impact on my photography, was to hold the camera vertical in relation to the earth, to look for straight lines in the subject and to mirror them in my photo.

I thank my father on this Father’s Day for these instructions and for that indispensable advice.  Coming from a long line of artists on both sides, I know that I have many to thank for my ability to find a subject anywhere, and to look for the best possible manifestation of that subject.  But I know that realistically without my father’s guidance, I would have been thrown into the deep end — kicking and screaming with no way out, and that instead, I was gifted an incorrigible eye for photos, for art, and for life.

With this in mind on this Father’s Day, Will and I embarked on an adventure on our first day in Villa Nova I La Getru, Spain. With a richly colored country side, and character-filled landscape, there was hardly a lack of inspiration.  These are a few of the unedited photos I took. Continue Reading

move over Mrs. Claus

Christmas has a new heartthrob!

I have never understood why retailers expect us to swap everything in our house out for holiday themed versions. Personally, I use a lot of red around the house, so much of what I own fits right in for the holidays. Also, I have a huge number of things I’d rather store. Even the 2 1/2 foot fake tree I found for $20 on Craigslist is a burden most of the year.

I am a sucker for homemade Halloween decorations, though. Somehow there’s always room for them.

I like layers.

I always have. Everyone always says that as a Californian you learn to dress in layers. Having lived and visited elsewhere, I always wonder why they claim that be a uniquely Californian thing.

I will always avoid moving to New York–you cannot avoid the subway and it is so ridiculously hot in winter–practically the inverse of the outside temperature. My clothes and coat become sweaty and uncomfortable, and the moisture freezes again when you leave the subway.

Honestly, I don’t know how anyone lives there. But I do miss my friends that do.