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February 2006

Main Mission

The Typography Department at night

That image certainly makes the MATD studio look all swank and very, very Alpha-esque (another example), which only makes me feel more at home about the whole idea of going there. It may be a little less futuristic when you get close up or inside, but it doesn't seem like such a bad place for me to spend most of my waking hours for a year or so.

But maybe it will feel more like living on the moon if I wear the uniform.

All Glamour, All the Time

It's hard to maintain my rep as a Grade-A sexy motherfucker without the photographic evidence to back it up, so let's just see what I got myself up to this past weekend...

(Read the rest...)

Future Living

While retelling the glamorous story of my visit to Moonbase Alpha recently, I remembered that I’d wanted to link to an even sexier recreation of life the Space: 1999 way. If you're like me, then living in the 21st century hardly feels like living in the future since you none of us have our own sleek, minimalist pod homes on the moon yet. Well, a woman named Catherine Bujold took matters into her own stylish hands and transformed her home into a sleek pod home on the moon, Alpha-style:


You really owe it to yourself to click that picture above and examine the entire gallery. You too will itch to live in the future.

Luckily, the very active Space: 1999 fan community is chock full of information about how to recreate the feel of Alpha, so if you hunt around you'll find links to enough blueprints, diagrams, and photo references to get your own moonbase ready long before NASA ever will.

Cutaway view of an Eagle

My own geekery is turned up a few notches by this combination of sci-fi and type: a pretty thorough guide to the graphics and typography of Moonbase Alpha. Swoon! Still, I have to admit that even though the show looked as gorgeous as all get-out, the typographic standards, like the episodes themselves, were pretty cringe-inducing. By the second season, fortunately, they tried to introduce signage to Alpha that was actually legible. Oh man, when I think about the lucky graphic designer (never shown in an episode, of course) whose job it would have been to redesign the signage plan and graphics for the base. I suppose that once they went soaring into outer space (yes, the Earth's moon somehow achieved the speeds necessary for interplanetary travel, even though it was always moving slowly enough for the Eagles to fly on and off it regularly.), trapped at their sexy moonbase job with no chance of a vacation — EVER — they wanted to be able to find their way around more easily.

As a special bonus, I’d also like to point you toward this excellent page of MP3 downloads of all the music featured on the show, including the various themes, background music, and a prettyy impressive array of covers, remixes, and alternate versions from foreign markets. Space out, my friends!

Life Out There

Gawker, of all unlikely places, manages to articulate exactly the ambivalence I feel about New York City on most days in this post about the relative merits of life in New York versus life in the hinterlands, as exemplified by the furor over a high school production of Grease somewhere out there. It's always the same type of stuff that tips my scales in favor of life here.

Of course, I’m also getting ready to set aside the glamorous New York City life (that I barely take advantage of these days), so I’ve been thinking about a long-term plan to carry me through my departure next Fall. I really want to miss the living hell out of this place by the time I go to England. So I’m starting to think of places that I want to go and things I want to do before then — things I’ve done and loved, things I’ve always wanted to check out, surprising new things that have never occurred to me before. This idea has only started germinating in the last day or two, so it barely scratches the surface, but here's what I have so far:

Like I said, I’ve barely given that much thought. But that’s where you come in! , invite yourself along, let me know what I’ve been missing so far.

Flash! Bang!

Apparently yesterday's snowstorm was accompanied by lightning, which sounds like a pretty incredible sight that I seem to have missed altogether. It could have been cool enough to make me forget my ovarall aversion to snowy weather. I was holed-up in the Cracker Factory, staying true to my vow to remain locked indoors for at least 36 hours while the worst of the snowfall went about its business.

I did seem some amazing lightshows, though. The Long Island Railroad tracks emerge from their underground tunnel right acrosss from me, and the ice and snow did a phenomenal job of reflecting the sparks that the train cars make on the tracks. All night long I would see the brilliant flashes of blue coming up from street level, lighting up the dreary sky with some much-needed zing.

Life Support Systems at CriticalI wish those flashes could be harnessed as a source of heat, though, seeing as how my heater stopped turning itself on yesterday at about 2 in the afternoon. Lcukily there was enough ambient heat seeping in from elsewhere inthe building, but things still felt pretty frosty, especially by this morning. It's really one of my all-time biggest beefs about this particular piece of equipment: it generally works just fine until things get really cold, and then it seems to suffer from performance anxiety and it stops altogether until the pressure's off. It makes for a very Bohemian vibe, I assure you.



Wow, before I even had a chance to do my own plug for the show, WYSIWYG's big, 2nd-anniversary, 3rd-annual, shit-hot extravaganza — Worst. Sex. Ever. III: When Bad Sex Happens to Good People — has almost completely sold out. And we're in the big theater this time, even! Fear not, though: even if you're not one of the 125 people that got an online ticket already, some additional seats will be available the night of the show. First come, first serve!

P.S.: that’s not my butt. But it's a butt I’m fond of.

I Could've Had a Degree!

Well golly, all this hand-wringing I’ve been doing over my quest for a master's degree for the last few years could've been avoided after all. It seems I could just get an MFA in graphic design online Look, they say right there on the web page that with an MFA one can "teach graphic design at the college level, or to advance in the graphic design career you've already established." (Of course, I’ve kinda been doing that stuff anyway.) Yes, I think working in isolation, having drawn-out crits via e-mail, and reading online lessons would be just the thing. (Fuck, where are those sarcasm marks when you really need them?!)

I dunno, maybe some people can really learn best via those online thingamajigs, but having been through many years of art school as an undergrad, a grad student, and a teacher, I can say with great confidence that an online degree program in an arts field — even one with a strong techy component like graphic design — would totally blow. For serious. Most of the learning in the arts really comes from the interaction: making stuff, showing stuff, getting as much varied feedback as possible, having that feedback bounce off other people's feedback, taking in insight from a variety of personalities and trying to make sense of it all. It's all about the perils of subjectivity and the interaction and the informal stuff. An online design degree may get you a few letters to add onto your pedigree, but I really can't see what else you'd get out of it besides a few tips and tricks and some extra debt.

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