the pop song of the second is w/o a doubt "hungry" by the artist known as okay. he's got a gravelly-weird voice somewhat reminiscent of dylan and destroyer, mixed with a musical sensibility that's all homemade-drum-machine-guitar-strum-keyboard cheese.
yes! something went right today. i just got word that i've been admitted to berkeley's graduate program in information management and systems. now i just have to figure out how i'd pay for it...
the bass on this song broke my ipod headphones: of montreal's "wraith pinned to the mist (and other games)." my plan is to pick up a pair of non-white headphones this weekend, so that i can keep listening to this song over and over again.
over the weekend i finished wodtke's information architecture book. near the end she shows examples of jesse james garrett's "visual vocabulary" for making site maps and suggests that a good way to practice is to reverse engineer an existing website. in other words, make a site map by very thoroughly analyzing some site. this gave me the brilliant (i think so at least!) idea of making a map of the akqa site, the company that i applied to a week or so ago for an information architect position. here are the results, which i emailed to akqa's human resources department this morning.
some new changes are underway here at raccoon and zebra dot com, inc. first, i'm applying some of the ideas i've been reading about in christina wodtke's information architecture book. now the links on the site show up in a lighter shade of orange once you have visited them. if you're mousing over the link, it gets underlined w/o any lighter shade. christina argues that using a different shade for visited links helps the user and i agree, though i recognize why visual designers don't like it—it's harder to make the page look good. i tried a few colors for the visited links before settling on the lighter shade of orange, but i'm concerned that it's not different enough. gotta check it out on a few different computers/browsers/operating systems.
i also realized that maybe the names of my pages in the site navigation weren't very clean. for example, it used to say "music," which could be a link to a page about anything music related. so i'm trying out "music portfolio" to indicate that it's basically a spot to download music i made in the past. i'm not completely happy with the word "portfolio" because it implies that i'm looking for gigs, so i think i'll try to come up with something better over the next few days. until i'm sure about the labels i'm not going to reprogram the site so the navigation will be a little confusing.
third change! i added all the stuff to the right, the lists of recent books, movies, and projects. just trying this idea out.
on the way to work today i heard songs by kanye west, gary numan, django reinhardt, animal collective, sonic youth, four tet, nick drake, and blonde redhead. this would never have occurred w/o the grace of the ipod's "shuffle songs" feature.
at first i started using the shuffle setting because i didn't want to spend a bunch of time interacting with a computer while marching in the massive morning commute herd. deep down i would have preferred to hear the exact track that i was in the mood for at every moment along the way. but then there was the problem that with 20 gigs of music to choose from, i'd get overwhelmed with the options and not be able to make up my mind. there was so much good stuff that i wanted to hear it all, so i'd be constantly switching between tracks, sometimes w/o even finishing songs. it was ridiculous.
partly this is an obvious instance of the whole modern deluge of information. i mean, a couple days ago a friend at work gave me three cds of mp3s, which is probably a year's worth of album consumption for me a few years ago. i've started tackling this "problem" by limiting the ipod's inventory primarily to stuff that i'm not that familiar with. now i'm completely used to listening to a random hodge podge collage of genres and unfamiliar sounds.
but i think there's something else going on here, too. i'm trying to put it into words. basically, as technology gives us control of so many details of our experience—our own personal band playing in our ears with customizable volume and song choice at every moment—it becomes kind of nice to give up some of that control. there's a certain excitement when the ipod dj calls up the perfect track at the perfect moment. it reminds me of a time when i was around ten, riding in the car and talking about the song "one night in bangkok" with my step-sister, when the song came on. we turned it up and it sounded way better than it ever would have if we'd just popped the tape in.