kirk.is
quotes and links. worth the click.
 
2015.07.31

  ...of the moment  
That feel when the song from the album your high school girlfriend LOVED is only 99 cents on iTunes, not the de facto standard for up-to-date music of $1.29. Sure you're saving 30 cents but you feel somehow judged.
Watch Cops' stories coalesce. Ugh. I know cops have to protect their own and they are often placed in dangerous and uncertain situations, but they also need to accountable to the truth, always.

2015.07.30

  ...of the moment  
On those creepy remixes used in movie trailers
tl;dr: how much of expertise is legit, and how much is "just" a collection of good tricks?

Last night at practice for Honk @ The Hatch Shell I played with John, a tuba-player just out of college who was trying to make a go of full time freelance career of it.

It reminded me how recently I realized that Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band, despite the touring they do and the amazing way they launched "Honk!" as a cultural thing, isn't an exclusive bunch of semi-pros but is open to aspiring beginners. Admittedly it looks like they look for more woodshed practice than I've historically put in, but still, it's interesting to know that if my current beloved band ever blew up it might be an option. (And in general I've been learning that tuba players seem to be in short supply.)

So, I feel like I punch above my weight a bit, tuba-wise; I certainly don't practice enough, but I have an ok ear and over the year I've gathered a lot of bass lines and what not that I get a lot of mileage out of.

Similarly, I met with my buddy Jeff​ today, and he is using me as an amateur game design consultant; another field where I'm proud of some of the stuff I've done but also feel like a duffer. (I'm kind of chuffed that he said talking to me is kind of refreshing, in terms of my kind of Jack of All Trades approach to things like music and game making, or that there's a general vibrance I pull off, relative to a lot of the people he runs into on a daily basis.) I quoted the old TMBG lyric "There's only two songs in me and I just wrote the third" which is how I feel about my approach to game design, so often going back to the well of handrolled x/y inertia.

Finally, Melissa​ (who does UX) mentioned wanting to increase her design chops, and that (along with the work I did for JP Porchfest and some personal website refurb I've been mulling over) made me think about my own design skills. And again, I feel like I have a small bag of tricks I come back to, supplemented by some decent intuition and thoughtfulness. (I like what I came up with to fill out the back side of the JP Porchfest poster, http://jpporchfest.org/2015/downloads/JP_Porchfest_v5.pdf ) It reminded me of the infographic I'm putting here for future reference; I love seeing shortcuts like that.

So I dunno. I understand full time experts can sometimes develop ungodly skills, but it feels like a number of disciplines play by 80/20 rules, where 80% can come pretty quickly with concentrated study, and sometimes that's absolutely plenty to get the job. Maybe this is all just kind of a balm for Impostor Syndrome (Like Ian Bogost says "The solution to impostor syndrome is to accept that you are in fact a fraud and just get on with it.")

from tumblr:
people: i can see ur bra thru ur shirt
me: o no!! now everyone can see that i, an average teen wear a bedazzled titty holder to hide the nip nops that society condemns as satanic pepperonis because it's not like we were born w them omg i'm so embarrassed :'[

2015.07.29

  ...of the moment  
I'm going to operate on the assumption that there's a decent chance your day will be improved by an image of Katharine Hepburn on a skateboard.

via

2015.07.28

  ...of the moment  
TIL a New Vocabulary Word: Gamine!

"a girl with mischievous or boyish charm."

Not unrelated to Manic Pixie Dream Girl, I'd say.

Source: http://joshreads.com/?p=25478

via
I'll bet you somewhere near, some illustrator is sighing and putting a little tricorn-hat wearing mascot proposal away in a dank filing cabinet.

2015.07.27

  ...of the moment  
A Poem by Brenda Shaughnessy:

A Mix Tape: "Don't You (Forget About Me)"

"Think of the tender things that we were working on." – Simple Minds

Such a delicious pain in the ass to make,
on a double deck if you were lucky,

otherwise you had to drop the needle
onto the precise groove as your left

index hit PLAY/RECORD, taking all
afternoon or many. Mistakes, thinking

too hard about what you wanted
to tell the person but couldn't say

any other way. It was always
"I love you," didn't you know?

Mix tape: private language, lost art,
first book, cri de coeur, x-ray, diary.

An exquisitely direct and sweet
misunderstanding. We weren't

fluent yet but we lived in its nation,
tense and sweaty for an anthem.

Receiving a mixtape could be major,
depending on from who; giving one

to someone in public was a dilemma.
You had to practice. Would you say,

nonchalantly, "Oh, here, I made you
a mixtape?" By the lockers? In class?

Ugh! But giving it over in private
could be worse, especially arranging it.

You never picked the best song off
the album, definitely not the hit single.

The deeper the cut the deeper buried
your feelings for that person. You didn't

know? Not all lovesongs, though--
that would make you seem obsessed,

boring. They should know you're fun
and also funny and dark-hearted

and, importantly, unpredictable.
A "Blasphemous Rumours" for every

"Only You." And sexy! Though not
Prince's moaners--not "Erotic City,"

not "Darling Nikki"! But what?
Not top 40, stylish, with a sly angle,

70s funk, some Stevie Wonder, like you've
got background you don't really have.

As it records, you have to listen to each
song in its entirety, and in this way

you hear your favorite song with the ears
of your intended, as they hear it, new.

This was the best feeling of your young
life. Then the cold chill of suddenly hearing

in your 3rd favorite INXS song a lyric
you'd break out in hives over if you thought

they thought you thought that about them
when they heard it: (there's something

about you, girl, that makes me sweat).
The only thing worse was the tape

running out a full minute before the end
of "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out."

You never got it right, not even once.
That was part of the mixtape's charm,

to your dismay. Did it ever win you
love? You never fell for anyone

else's mix either. Sometimes cool,
mostly was just someone else's

music in a case dense with tiny
handwriting to get all those titles in.

So much desire in those squeezed-in
letters. Not "love me!" so much as

"listen to me! Listen to me always!"
So that's really it, right? Maybe

you thought someday you'd make
a mixtape that your splendid friend,

your lucky star, your seventh stranger,
would take a pen to, punching in

the little plastic tabs which meant,
as you well know, it could never be

taped over again. They'd never use
your mixtape to make another mixtape,

to give away or to copy a friend's album
they didn't like enough to buy, joining all

the ok tapes in caddies stacked up a wall
or thrown in the backseat of the Datsun,

then in moving boxes, stored in parents'
garages, 5 for a buck at a yard sale,

buried in landfill, or, saddest of all,
discarded on the street, purple script

still aswirl on the white label FOR YOU--
JUST BECUZ. Shiny brown ribbon

tangled, strangled, never again to play
out what had to be said just that way.
Boston's tech problem is the same as its Olympics problem I'm bummed the Olympic Bid is dead, mostly because of the way this article has stuck in my head. We're too smart and neurotic to achieve greatness.



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