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traveling almost constantly next month

13 Sep

map of my travelsNext month I will travel to the most cities and countries in the shortest time period in my life. Most of it will be for work, but I’m also looking forward to spending a brief vacation period in Barcelona and Paris. I wanted to be able to picture the time-line of the madness chrono-grapha-mologically, so I whipped up a Google Map of my whirlwind of upcoming trips.

I am already both excited about the journey and missing home at the same time!

Growing up in Denver nostalgia

10 Sep

I have never seen a post/discussion that captured the pop culture of growing up in the Denver area so well as this one on boingboing.

Radiolab coming to Austin?

23 Apr

I just heard that KUT is going to have Radiolab on at 3pm every day this week to see what response to it is like in Austin. I am fanatically obsessed with this show. It’s insightful, intelligent and funny, and I’ve learned a lot from it: everything from how rats to laugh to how problematic theories on the center of universe can be.

Since we don’t get it on the radio here, I listen to the podcast on iTunes, but I’m really hoping that they’ll get enough positive response to make it a regular show. If you want to call in to let KUT know that you like it (since they’re gaging response by calls), their number is 512-471-2345.

young me

19 Apr

As a creatively-thrown-together Santa. (Note the bib beard and stocking hat.) I guess even then I liked to throw together costumes from random items around the house.

This is half of my submission to ze frank’s Color Wars.
littlesanta.jpg

hoogerbrugge, get down!

10 Apr

I’ve been a fan of Han Hoogerbrugge’s art and animations for a few years. I’m ecstatic that he has put up his whimsical and dark and hilarious short snippet animations on his site. You have to hover on them or click them to make them work. Oh, the hours of joy one can find on the nets.

limo rides a go-go

17 Mar

Last night, we met up with some friends for farewell cocktails and dinner. When we learned that the two restaurants that we wanted to go to had a wait of more than an hour, we decided to walk to a different area, about 15-20 blocks away.

Just as we started to head in that direction, a limo with its front windows down turned into the crosswalk in front of us. I half-jokingly asked the guys in the front, “Are you guys for hire?” assuming they’d just laugh. Instead their response was, “Sure, where are you going?” and so I asked how much it would cost to go to lower Haight. They told us we could pay whatever we wanted since they were just killing time, waiting to pick up someone who wasn’t ready yet.

So the four of us hopped in the back and we ended up going down to the Indian restaurant in style! All of this reminded me yet again that it never hurts to ask and that life will only give you the answers/adventures to the questions you ask of it.

yelapa vacation

2 Jan

I posted some pictures of my trip to Yelapa on flickr. What a paradise of tropical jungle and beaches! Accessible only by boat, this town is 15 miles down the coast from Puerto Vallarta. I can’t wait for the next time I can go back.

i’m a photographist!

28 Nov

While home for Thanksgiving, I went through a few boxes of stuff from my childhood. One of the best finds was a diary I wrote in when I was 11 years old. Every page dutifully started out with the words “Dear Diary,” and most of it consisted of me rambling on about boys, whether one liked me, how cute one was, how one talked to me after lunch, how I wished another would ask me to “go with him,” etc.

The best non-boy related part was the list I’d made of things I wanted to be when I grew up:

1) An interior designer
2) A fashion designer
3) An artist
4) A photographist
5) An animal trainer

Since my profession is UI Design and I enjoy creating art and taking pictures, I haven’t been too off-base from my childhood goals. Now if only I can find out how to figure in the animal training, I’ll be set!

Maker Faire Swap-A-Rama

18 Oct

This weekend, I’m going to go strut my stuff/model for a “recycled fashion show” at Maker Faire. It should be fun to both participate and watch, so for whomever is interested in checking it out, voila the low-down:

SWAP-O-RAMA-RAMA @ Maker Faire

What it is in a nutshell: a giant clothing swap and series of do-it-yourself workshops to explore reuse and celebrate creativity through the recycling of used clothing
Dates: Saturday October 20th 11am to 5pm & Sunday October 20th 11 to 4pm
Location: Travis County Expo Center, Austin TX
What you need to participate: A ticket to Maker Faire plus any size bag of your unwanted clothes required to enter
What you get: all the clothes you can carry plus the ability to learn to modify and make new from old
Cheaper Advance Tix at http://tinyurl.com/yolpga

what I’m going to be in:
the Recycled Fashion Show: Saturday Eve from 5pm to 6pm

and more exciting details:

  • make the move from consumer to creator
  • a host of talent brought together to teach you how to transform your new/used duds into works of your own
  • An extraordinary crew of artists and designers & the workshops being offered, and local groups: Craft O Rama, Craft Mafia, Sublime Stitching, Goodwill, First Samples and Studio 3 as well as artists Zimka, Mary Keene, Andee Knutson and Gretchen Elsner.
  • T-shirt mods, conductive textiles workshops, silk screening, wool re-spinning and more!
  • DIY Stations where you can learn many wonderful ways to create out of textile reuse
  • Sewing Stations where local designers will teach you fresh clothing mod tricks
  • On-site Silk Screeners with a host of original designs to refresh old duds and extraordinary local designers who’ll show off their work in the Swap-O-Rama-Rama
    reuse fashion show MC’d by Jennifer Nordstrum.
  • Remainders go to Austin’s Goodwill

a list of things i’ll miss about san francisco

17 Sep

  • the excellent public transportation system
  • the diversity in food and people
  • the plantlife and ubiquitous tropical flowers
  • the art scene and the museums
  • the SFShenanigans antics
  • bike rides and walks in Golden Gate park and Glen Park canyon
  • the quantity of creative and interesting freaks
  • the amount of things to do
  • the incredible views from so many places in the city
  • the Victorian architecture
  • the murals in the Mission
  • the friends i’ve made and reconnected with
  • out of town excursions to the wine country and other beautiful surrounding areas
  • shopping for funky costumes on Haight
  • the proximity to the ocean & hot springs
  • free concerts at Stern Grove

live from paris

11 Aug

I’m in Paris for work right now, and am posting random pictures I take on this flickr set. It’s fantastique to be back here, and I’m glad that my French is still fairly intact.

My boss just proposed to the client that I come back for a couple weeks at the end of our project, and so I’m crossing my fingers!

never talk to a machine longer than necessary

24 Jul

No RobotsI personally don’t find it to be great fun to talk to machines when I’m trying to get help by calling customer service numbers. A genuine, bona fide person is usually able to direct me more efficiently to what I need than a tone-deaf, humorless computer who doesn’t understand the irritation in my voice when I have to repeat something several times. Fortunately, someone else at Gethuman.com must’ve been equally annoyed, and made an easy way to connect to real people through their frequently-updated list of “cheats” to be able to reach a live person via a multitude of companies’ customer service numbers. Nifty!

keeping track of all the restaurants

4 Jul

One option to be able to keep track of all the wonderful restaurants I’ve been eating at would be to make a little list of those places I recommend, and post it to my blog. But a much more insane, hopped-up socially-networked and nifty option would be to post reviews on yelp.com. Since I was feeling zany this morning, I decided to do the latter. This way I can remember all the wonderful food experiences I’ve had here in SF, and share them with all you all. Feel free to check out my hastily-composed and ever-growing list of restaurant recommendations on yelp.

helping strangers

29 Jun

Today another stranger wrote me a thank you comment for a problem and solution I posted.

It is so satisfying to have strangers post comments to my site in appreciation for me having posted something that helped them. I encourage everyone, whenever you have a problem and have worked to find a solution to it, to write it up on your blog. Even for the most banal problem, someone out there is most likely trying to find a way to solve it by desperately searching the net. Selflessly putting information up makes a great web of random kindness and it allows more of our efforts to be worthwhile in making this world a better place. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

I’m also going to try to be more appreciative and post a nice comment on people’s blogs who have posted things that have helped me to solve problems. That way, they too can get the small satisfaction of knowing that something they’ve done has positively touched someone in the world.

a whole 30 minutes of being a celebrity

20 Jun

Andy Warhol once said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” I feel lucky since this last weekend, I got to be famous for a whole 30 minutes.

SFShenanigans, the Improv Everywhere-inspired group, had their second antic, called Create Your Own Celebrity, and I got to be the celebrity. So I was the French-speaking Norwegian Pia Haraldsen, who was supposedly rumored to have something going with U2’s Bono, and who was followed around by a group of very-exuberant fans.

walking.jpgAs Pia, I walked down the street, accompanied by my bodyguard who walked behind me and who wouldn’t let any of the plebian masses get too close while I did a little shopping. And this wasn’t any normal shopping. I walked into the most fancy stores around Union Square, such as BCBG, Prada, Emporio Armani and Bulgari. Usually I would hesitate to go into these because I’d be afraid that the people who worked there would turn up their noses at me, but being dressed nicely and being accompanied by my suit-and-sunglass-wearing burly bodyguard made me fearless. I felt like I was right at home casually looking at jewelry that probably cost more than my yearly salary, and saying nonchalantly to those who asked if they could help me that I was “just looking.”

My favorite part was when I went into Bulgari to look around, and a few of the fans rushed in to try to follow me and take pictures. A couple of the Bulgari security guards jumped forward to usher them out, telling them that “they couldn’t do that in here” and that they had to leave.

It was hilarious and awesome to see them move into action to protect me. They locked the stores doors behind me so that the fans were stuck outside, and told me that I could stay there as long as I needed. They could see that I was worried about the fans that were following me, and wanted to make me feel comfortable that I was safe in that elitist place where the special classes could be separated from the lower ones. I couldn’t believe I was being guarded by f’in Bulgari security, as well as my own bodyguard who was stationed at the door, ready for my command.

I told them in my French accent that I would look around a bit more, and then when finally I was ready to leave and the fans had moved on, a guard unlocked the door and said “Au Revoir” politely to me.

When I was out of the stores on the street, I was almost constantly followed by a group that kept asking for my picture, an autograph, or just screamed, “We love you, Pia!” One of the fans even asked me for a date, saying, “What does Bono have that I don’t?” I occasionally turned around and gave a quick autograph, or a demure smile for the camera, but then there were a few times that I blocked the camera from seeing my face or asked my bodyguard in French why these crazy Americans wouldn’t leave me alone.

It sounds like the group of fans got a lot of people curious about who I was. Everyone wants to be able to tell a story to their friends about having got to see a celebrity up close. Some tourists around Union Square who weren’t part of SFShenanigans even took pictures of me, and some even pretended that they’d heard of me when the group explained who I was. It was great fun to be part of an antic that caused such curiosity and excitement. I can definitely see both the attraction to being loved and followed everywhere, and how it would get to be a bit of an annoyance if it couldn’t be escaped.

More pictures of the antics on this Shenanigans flickr set and a debrief of the event on the Shenanigans site.

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