it’s often frustrating when discussing work with other people. i’ve grown to accept that people don’t really care (yet) about sustainability, the underlying principles and concepts, or the technology behind some of the innovations. but when people ask me about what it is that i do, and then glaze over and respond in a way that shows they obviously weren’t listening, it’s not only aggravating, but downright rude and hurtful. i know that i find much of it extremely fascinating and beautiful, and that’s all that should really matter – but i like to share the things that interest me, and i like to know that what i do matters. it sounds a bit like a desire for validation, and maybe i want that from some people – but at the same time its generally rude behavior to ask a question and not listen to the answer. i’ve explained this type of stuff to enough different types of people to know that i can get longwinded about it, but i do know that i’m not a boring speaker (even if i’m sometimes a boring writer).
just picked up a pair of shure ‘sound isolating’ headphones at the apple store – essentially glorified earbuds. i’ve been reading a lot about them – all the reviews i’ve read recommend these as practically the best earbud style headphones around. they’re expensive – i got the cheapest model, but the most expensive model goes for about $500 (remember these are earbuds!). even though i probably shouldn’t rationalize such a purchase, i do listen to music a lot, practically all day while i work on the computer – unless i’m reading/studying. as i’m working a real job for the next 6 months, and not studying in school next semester, i figure i’ll be at the computer and building models a whole lot, so these headphones should be worth it.
so what’s so great about the headphones? they’re basically earplugs w/ headphones built in. there’s the noise canceling technology for you – it blocks all outside sound, allowing your ears to focus more clearly on the sound. the speakers are also supposed to be pretty high quality – and for top dollar, they should be. one of the really wonderful things about the earplug concept is that since it blocks out all outside sound, it allows you to keep the volume much lower, thereby saving your eardrums for a later date. w/ these new headphones, i have the volume set almost to 0 – way better than the typical 1/4 bar i normally keep it at for low-volume listening.
supposedly it takes about a week for your hearing to adjust to shure headphones, but i can say that after a few hours i’ve already noticed the superiority of these buds over the standard ipod buds – same w/ my over-the-ear headphones (granted they’re all cheap sets, never costing more than $20). i’m happy to finally have a good pair of headphones, and will eventually team this up w/ a high quality over-the-ear set of headphones for home listening. as i continue to listen to ever more music, and my taste continues to evolve, i’m starting to develop audiophilic tendencies. i’m certainly no snob yet, but i definitely can tell the difference a really good set of headphones makes.
an extremely wonderful site that catalogs w/ photos many abandoned and decrepit, yet fascinating locations in NY.
not only is this hysterical, but it’s perhaps the only funny thing produced by SNL in years. free video download from iTunes:
i wasn’t a big fan of fiona apple when she debuted w/ tidal. i liked ‘shadowboxer’ alright, but her sound just didn’t really do it for me. fast forward to now, and i’ve managed to pick up a copy of her new album, extraordinary machine. wow. she is by far my favorite new artist – and i’ve had a lot of them recently. i’ve only managed through the title song, ‘extraordinary machine’, and ‘get him back’, but this is such a well crafted album. everything sounds precisely positioned, thought out, intense. its beautiful – if you have any appreciation of her work, then you’ll definitely like this new album. plus, the album art is incredible.
link to fiona apple on itunes
going to mexico w/ the fam this week, very much looking forward to it. i don’t get the chance to spend significant time w/ them now that i live in austin, so the family trips are always wonderful. even better is that cindy is coming – it’s her first trip w/ my family. next week – time to kick back, drink some coronas, and be a tourist for 6 days…ahhhhh!!!
HOWEVER, i get a little wound up if all i do is perform tourist duty – it goes against my need to be slightly eccentric and slightly non-mainstream. god forbid i get labeled an ignorant american. so every year i break from the crowd and go exploring off the beaten path. it really is quite amazing to see the squalor that a lot of the town lives in – these are the people who are employed by the tourism industry. we see beautiful and clean hotels and restaurants, but the truth is that the people who serve us barely get by. pretty incredible considering what the cost of living must be down there, and the amount of money we pay for everything. it’s beautiful, though – such a different lifestyle, very communal, and not concerned with materiality. i guess that’s how it has to be when you’re lacking funds, but its also just not an important aspect of their lives – as far as my untrained and naive eye could tell.
the weather outlook in puerto vallarta next week: mid-80’s, partly cloudy all week.
Jan 4 is my first day of work at Grimshaw. Jan 4 is also the date of the Rosebowl. This means that I will immediately proceed to a bar (tbd) following work and watch the showdown between UT and USC. i guess i’ll have to crash in the city that night, b/c i’m not trudging back to LI at 1 in the morning, only to return to the city 7 hours later.
anyone who actually reads this and will be in NYC is welcome to join me root on my UT longhorns.