December 2, 2009

this web is my web

Posted in blogging, DIYDesign, internets, nostalgia, technology, work, writing at 11:37 pm by Marise Phillips

So I got a new job today. More precisely, I got to go permanent after contracting for 14 months at a place where time has flown by in the best possible way. In the official announcement this afternoon, my new manager mentioned that I came to them with 15 years of experience working on the web. All very surreal as I mused on a) how long 15 years is and b) what a different direction my career — my whole life — would have taken, had I not been ‘desperate’ enough to turn to the Internet as a source of friends in a new town.

Looking back on my digital life, it occurred to me tonight that some of the first things I ever posted online were poems. Poems of lust and loss that poured out of me as fast as I could post them, not things I’d already written longhand or kept stored on floppy disk. (Because of course that was your average “high-tech” person’s backup solution in 1994. Tee hee.) But yeah, back to the poems. That unexpected, easy willingness to expose myself online rather surprised me.

Then again, when you consider the explosion of websites and apps such as…

  • my yahoo
  • blogger
  • myspace
  • flickr
  • etsy
  • blurb
  • twitter

…one of the Internet’s most enduring qualities is its revolutionary broadening of the means, and the potential reach, of self-expression. Of artistry. Of feeling. You know, those things we used to keep locked up inside, while making our living doing the more mundane things the world was willing to pay us for. And someday, maybe if we were really lucky, and tried really hard, we’d ‘get published’ and, at long last, achieve immortality. But now? Au contraire! I literally spend a part of every day sharing something about myself or taking a headlong dive into someone else’s life. And it all happens online, of course.

See, the corner of the web I like best is the one where we all have a voice (and call ourselves ‘writers’, ‘photographers’, ‘artists’, ‘comedians’ or ‘collectors’) as we show off to — and riff off of — one another. It’s funny to think that the celebrities I follow are no longer the ones splashed on billboards and magazines; these days, they’re the ones who craft the funniest/most poignant blog posts, crochet the twee-est baby quilts, take endless photos of men with impossibly ornate mustaches, and so on… *They* are the ‘cool kids’ now 🙂

Just this morning, however, I felt an uncomfortable mixture of disdain and desire creep into the shower with me, as I reflected on the new ‘celebrities’ I follow who sell ad space and hold giveaway contests on their blogs. Such a strange thing to do, I thought. Shouldn’t that be considered kind of… I don’t know… uncouth? Like having a corporate sponsor for your wedding? (“And now it’s time the happy couple’s first dance! Brought to you by Kitchy-Brand pressure cookers!”) But as the day progressed and I continued to chew on it, I had to retract my opinion as disingenuous. Making money off ads on your personal website? And how is that different than writing advertising copy for a living? Because you can hide behind the anonymity of the latter? So: better just to be out in the open about it?

Hmph. Sometimes I hate ambiguity 🙂 They say that women are unhappier than ever these days. They say it may be because we just *care* more. Enough to think twice (or three times or ten) about whether something we thought or did or said was the right thing. It’s all very very complicated, but a big chunk of what gets churned out online represents the space in which we’re hashing these things out, together.

Anyway, this has been my web. (Brought to you by our sponsor, Al Gore 😉 It’s messy and it’s weird and it can be ugly at times but, on the whole, it’s still beautiful.


November 8, 2006

i love my “girl”friend

Posted in home, internets, lovey, shopping, technology, toys at 8:10 pm by Marise Phillips

(s)he’s letting me get this fridge for us:

we found it on eBay available from a seller in Italy. i always assumed SMEG (shutup) was a British company, but nooo… somehow it’s Italian! How the hell did this horrid, cacophonous-looking word pass the otherwise oh-so-fabulous Italian vocabulary police??

well, at least the design MORE than makes up for it.

check out this confection:

May 6, 2006

testing 123

Posted in technology at 4:05 pm by Marise Phillips

using flock for the first time! let’s check it out 🙂

technorati tags:

February 17, 2006

another gym day

Posted in blogging, music, tales from the gym, technology at 7:27 am by Marise Phillips

proud of myself for going without K. also proud that i figured out how to type (jab) from the exercycle. i’m not doing it to show but rather to kill time 😉

and while i’m at it, i should also give myself kudos for finally recharging & refilling my nano! i was getting soo sick of the stuff on there. now, i finally get to hear DJ Kicks-Thievery Corp at the gym!

February 14, 2006

i am a copycatter!

Posted in blogging, tales from the gym, technology at 7:32 am by Marise Phillips

so here i am the l ju like k, inwat the scren. bui haveeintt recummbent–bi-pinieasiestairmstetyping. hwer, i canosee eesultof jabs. thisould un.
ok that was meant to say: here I am at the gym, just like my friend k, typing a blog entry. but i am on the recumbent bike rather than the stairmaster, for everyone’s safety, really…
I just have one thing to say: THIS SCUCS* ASS!!!

August 14, 2005

a weekend music extravaganza!

Posted in music, technology, toys, weekend at 3:59 pm by Marise Phillips

my goodness gracious me, but it was a musical weekend.

that is, after the total collapse I had on Friday. not sure why, but I started to fade right after lunch, and could not wait to get home and hit the sack. passed out the minute I got home, practically, waking up at 11:30pm (j came in and i thought it was morning already!) for a quick cup of tea and a bit of viz comics… then back asleep again at midnight, til 11 the next morning!! must've needed it or something 😉

so on saturday morning, j tells me we can do anything/go anywhere I like, as long as we swung by a music store, as he needed to buy a microphone. he and his friend Dave have been doing a "boys' music night" once a week now (sorta like how guys' guys tend to have their poker nights, i suppose), and j has really built himself a nice little digital studio setup.

since we also needed some breakfast, and i was in the mood to leave the city, i looked up breakfast places in the east bay, and decided it was time, at long last, to try Cafe Fanny — Alice Waters' spinoff (cheaper, faster version) of Chez Panisse. After a nice, simple breakfast amongst the, uh… multiculturally clad denizens of Berkeley, we got back in the car and spotted a store on Shattuck called The Starving Musician.

it was a great place, full of quality used gear and very nice salesguys. while jason was lingering over the microphones and chord books, i found myself in the back section playing with the percussion instruments. they had quite a nice selection of handheld drums like djembes and congas. so i started thinking how much fun it might be to get something like that to bang around on at home. unfortunately, the only pair of bongos they had were a bit ratty-looking and mended with duct tape, so we decided to take a look and see if we could find any music stores on Telegraph Ave.

of course we went into Amoeba (where I picked up dub versions of a couple of my favorite cds: suzuki by tosca, and richest man in babylon by thievery corporation. good good cds!!) but after a trip up and down both sides of the street, we found nothing. jason popped into Rasputin's, asked where we could find a musical instruments store, and was told to head back to shattuck. we found a funky old place down there that was going out of business, but they had very little in stock. specifically, there were no congas or bongos to be bought, discount or no.

so of course we ended up at guitar center. which was semi-unfortunate, since it's always such a zoo there on saturdays. to make matters worse, I'd never been in the percussion room before, and so was wholly unprepared for the chaos and cacophony. but i found some bongos that seemed decent and bought them, as j would not let me take the 3+ foot tall standing congas that were on sale for $189.

 oh come on… they're not that big!!

it's been fun playing them, and has made me feel like picking up the bass again, so that's good.

and if that were not enough musical goodness, we headed back to guitar center today, as j finally settled on a digital piano he was ready to buy. which gave me a good excuse to buy some more stuff: headphones I'd been wanting for a while, plus some downbeat loops and a "Teach Yourself Piano" book.

the new piano is fun! can't wait to start learning…

June 16, 2005

iTunes = Evil

Posted in music, shopping, technology at 8:22 pm by Marise Phillips

It all started with PayPal. They offered me 5 free songs from the iTunes Music Store if I verified my bank account. (Sounds like those famous last words: "The first one's free…" have been hit by inflation!)

I took the bait, verified my account and, a few days later, received my iTunes coupon via e-mail. It sat there for a couple days, beckoning me.

Last Saturday morning from bed, I attempted to cash out.

I went to the iTunes Music Store, created an account, and balked — they asked for my credit card information up front. It's not that I'm at *all* squeamish about that sort of thing, don't get me wrong… but I wanted my free songs NOW, man! Didn't wanna be slowed down by having to hunt down my purse and pull out my card. So I canceled out, a bit miffed by the whole experience.

Yesterday, at work, I decided to try it again. Gave up the card details, picked out my 5 tunes — all the while never realizing I could actually preview songs before buying them. So I ended up with a song I already had (on a different computer, so no way of cross-referencing, boo…)

But, worst of all, I'd caught THE FEVER.

I spent the next hour or so browsing the Music Store, alt-tabbing back and forth between Amazon (for recommendations) and iTunes (for potential downloads), until I settled on an album to buy. Yes, that's right: BUY. Never mind that I'd only signed up in the first place to get my 5 free songs.

But the album only costs $9.99, I reasoned with myself. That's much cheaper than buying the CD online (even with my employee discount), plus tax, plus shipping, and then (worst of all!) waiting for it to arrive.

On top of that, iTunes is sooo easy! And that's *precisely* how they hook you in. One click of the button, and the songs "magically appear" onto your hard drive in a matter of 10 seconds. Instant gratification junkies UNITE!

But I'm proud to say, I stopped after the one CD.

Today (woops) I bought another.

I started to wonder, how much money would I spend in a year if I bought one $9.99 CD every day?

But then I realized, I was never very good at math 🙂