October 23, 2005
My Vacation Week, An Apology of Sorts
Don't know why I'm a apoogizing, per se, except maybe for having a lamer than average week on kisrael, or maybe to myself for not getting through that many things on my project TODO list. Update: maybe I should pre-emptively apologize for this really dull entry.
I burned a great number of hours getting through a new (to me) videogame "Mercenaries". It's kind of like "Grand Theft Auto: Future Wartorn North Korea"...violent, but a lot of fun. (And unlike GTA penalizes you for killing civilians. 'Cause it's not murder when it's war, you see. [UPDATE: "and it's soldiers you're indiscriminately bringing to untimely ends, I meant to say]) I'm realizing I prefer "mission" based games which present different tactical situations and then let you select your approach (sneak around and snipe, run in guns blazing, bring some excessive weaponry or military vehicles to bear, etc) versus the more common "puzzle platformers" where there's one correct solution you have to figure out to get to the next stage. It's part of this larger game philosophy I'm trying to hash out, where "novel interactions" are what I'm really looking for in games...and the missions count as novelty, even though they're made from a small set of gameplay elements and routines.
The only project I worked on was a new edition of my "photobook" photo album (still a work in progress) but I got to do a reasonable amount of other stuff during the week:
- Tuesday Ksenia took me to a gallery and panel discussion of Protest Posters at MassArt.
- Wednesday I attended a light but technical lecture at my alma mater by Ben Shneiderman (Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory) on tools for visualizing multidimensional data. His work has led to some cool stuff, like recognizing certain correlations in the human genome, that kind of thing. (His message was first present an overview of all data, then let the user drill down and pick what relationships they want to check out, generally with 2D graphs.)
- Thursday I had another call with the therapist I've been having weekly sessions with, and then I had a followup back massage appointment.
- I started Friday with a pedicure (!)...my first. Cool to have my feet minus the usual cracking I get. Also I had a checkup with my regular doctor...he agreed with my assessment that I need to drop the frickin' wait I've packed on since the divorce.
Quotes of the Moment
"If you're not sick of Elvis by now, you probably never will be."
--Art Chantry at that MassArt panel, explaining a record cover for the Von Zippers where he cut-and-pasted a bunch of celebrities with their mouths zipped closed.
"Working with hippies is really hard."
--Art Chantry explaining a "Give Peace A Dance" poster, where he ended up having to throw in everyone's idea, 'cause that's the way hippies work.
"There's nothing more dangerous than a true believer."
--Art Chantry again. Anyway, he says his most reproduced work is his Ready For War poster, a bit like "The Scream" I thought.
"That's one thing I learned from politicains...don't answer the question, just say what you want to say."
--Robbie Conal during the Q+A after...he's probably most well known for his Contra/Diction poster. In general he was a bit too sardonic and trying overly hard to be funny, but still kind of interesting.