Socialization, tutorials, and attention.

I took the day off work because of this cough that’s been plaguing me for about a week now. Last night was pretty bad; hours worth of coughing, and once it was time for sleep, that didn’t happen either. Every time unconsciousness would start to claim me, a violent coughing fit would start. We’re talking maybe three hours of sleep here, and this whole thing is really taking a toll on my body.

A day of rest, hopefully no talking, orange juice and whatever cough suppressant is available at CVS – that’s my Thursday. In a quick recap, my week has been: biking yesterday (about 4 miles), learning that classes are suspended until further notice, thinking of reallocating the finances I allotted for that into the house fund, agreeing to volunteer for an art project with the Museum down in Balboa Park, and another work mixer last night (at work). It was good, there was lobster, and despite coughing my lungs out I had a nice time.

It’s really grey and cool out; I will go back to bed after going to pick up those items, but I wanted to share today’s random linkage with you guys:

http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/great-email-newsletter-by-kayak.htm
Learn From a Great Email Newsletter Example: Kayak

http://www.ning.com/
Create Your Own Social Network For Anything

http://woork.blogspot.com/2008/09/7-stunning-tutorials-to-design-modern.html
7 Stunning tutorials to design modern interfaces for websites

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Social Networking comes full circle….

…and it’s starting to close in on me.

Just discovered FriendFeed, which basically takes all your online personas and puts ’em into a nice lineup. It takes my little obsession with lists and makes me feel more ADD, and then reminds me that I make lists for more reasons than just to have them.

I’m basically trying to go fully digital – you guys should see the major contact/music consolidation projects I’ve got going. Sheesh.

Anyway, I haven’t toyed with FF enough yet to see how well it suits me as far as interaction goes, but it seems okay. At the rate the Internet is going, people won’t really need personal pages anymore. You just link them to your Myspace/Facebook/Twitter…… or in this case, FriendFeed, which is slowly taking *over* Twitter, ever since the ‘view replies’ function broke.

Interesting.

Lost & Found version2.7

I haven’t been very exciting or productive as of late, so below are things that show others who are both. Why on earth is the timestamp showing 1970? Hmm. Also… Halloween is fast approaching and I need to decide on a costume (as well as an event). Here are some costume ideas, help me choose one.

Event Found [via Juxtapoz]
Fear of Clowns
Title: Coulrophobia: Fear of Clowns
Dates: 09/29/06 – 10/30/06
Times: Opens September 29th & 30th, 2006 : 6pm to 12am.
Where: 3333 Adams Ave. San Diego, CA 92116
Price: Free

What: Artist and curator Kelly Hutchison (DarkVomit) along with the ART OF FRAMING GALLERY has invited an exhibit of 40+ national and local recognized artists to display their imaginations and artworks in the theme of Coulrophobia, the “fear of clowns”.

The show will feature the original artwork of the great Skip Williamson, Mitch O’Connell, John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994), Pamela Jaeger, Extremo the Clown, and 30+ other extremely talented artists from Alabama to Wyoming. There will be clowns in attendance… as well as music, food, drinks, t-shirts, prints, free vomit bags (for your viewing pleasure) and loads of laughs and creepy fun.

Things To Read
Dlisted – Celeb gossip… with photos and snark.
RazorRamon.com – Hard Gay, an infamous Japanese comedian.
cloudypool – Art & illustration, found via a livejournal.
The Standing Room.com – Music and blogging.
Athenia Animus – New to San Diego, but fabulous all the same.
Juxtapoz! – Please buy all the issues immediately.
Juxtapoz@Myspace – Linx to some art-tastic profiles.
Questionable Content – Aw, someone decided to panel my life.
Foxy Foxy – One of the most inspirational & beautiful people I’ve ever met.

Interesting LiveJournals
Some of them aren’t current, but they’re interesting nonetheless.
farbel
futurebird
howtheylooknow
malady_dome
ozzdotnet
provoca7eur
quizzicalsphinx
shakespeherian
stereolabrat
sunnybananas
with_gusto
wogs

Things To Buy
Lush – My wishlist is here.
PixelGirlShop – I especially love the Klong and sushi pillows.
ipodshuffle – Eighty bucks for a baby ipod; not bad!
Necromance – Need some weird home decor? Perhaps a twin fetus?
J!NX – G33kery at its’ finest.

It’s not easy being a rockst*r.

Spent most of this weekend sleeping, playing WoW, and debating if it is indeed hot in here. Friday there was some bar hopping and hookah lounging, Saturday there was an engagement party and a new club promo-style thing, and today was spent questing for the Midsummer Fire Festival. I’ve hit a new record, four-of-seven days spent drinking. It’s crazy. I’m kind of worn out by it though so that’s enough for me at the moment.

This upcoming week I am heading back to the gym, to at least the Wednesday night class, and spending some time brushing up on my mortgage literature. Enthralling, I know. So for those of you who would like more g33k itinerary, here. Your very own Fire Pet is just a few flight paths away.

Sound-o-rama – Who needs more music? You do!

Like so many others one might associate me with (25-30 age group, Southern Californian, technically inclined, consistently online), my music tastes vary pretty widely. Depending on the mood-of-the-moment, I'll make the full rotation from yoga and nature tunes to T.S.O.L. and Frank Zappa. I am also a notorious station-flipper in the car, which is part of my character.

For over a year now, Live365 has been my saving grace. With roughly 40 stations in my presets and a huge selection of others to browse through, things were going well. There were, however, two major downfalls – first, the commercials that pimped the VIP memberships every five songs or so. Next, the lack of choice.

Wait, wait wait wait. Didn't she just say– yes, yes she did. Hmm. A little clarification: Live365 gives you the ability to choose music out of premade stations, run by people you don't know, and occasionally wouldn't be able to access anyway because it would be the random VIP station of the day.

A week or two ago, a co-worker introduced me to a potential placebo for my musical A.D.D. – Pandora. (You can check out my current favorites list as well.) Pandora is, so far, the wave of my musical future. Much like Live365 you are able to choose music (by artist or song) that you want, however you can not only create your own stations, but *guide* the development of the station by choosing several different options. Don't like it? The song immediately stops and switches to one that may suit your choices more, based on past song choices. (As opposed to Live365, where you click the little thumbs up or thumbs down, and that's…. pretty much all that happens. You still have to listen to the song though.)  As the selections come up, you have the following options:

+Why did you play this song?
Based on what you've told them so far, they're playing the selected track because it features (for example) east coast rap roots, use of modal harmonies, a tight kick sound and many other similarities identified in the music genome project.
+Make a new station from this song
+Buy this song from iTunes / album from Amazon
+I like it / I don't like it
+Add to Your Favorites page

You can also edit the stations by renaming them, selecting additional artists (for example – a trance station with your top 10 favorite DJs), and viewing your selections of likes and dislikes.

It would be good to get some more international music in there, but so far I haven't found it yet. By 'international', I mean Arabic, Egyptian, Turkish… things that I can practice bellydance to. My Eastern music range needs to broaden, because despite liking J-pop and Talvin Singh, that type of music isn't what I'm paying to take classes for. Anyway, they apparently weren't "playing the full breadth of songs in the Music Genome Project collection" until late March. Things are improving, but it gives me that tiny disappointed feeling when the following comes up: "I'm sorry, I can't find "Artist/Song" in the Music Genome Project. We're always looking for great new music to include, so we'll check it out. Is there something else you feel like listening to?"

It's also a nice way to discover artists with very similar sounds to ones that you like. Another example, this morning was Social Distortion, followed by Johnny Cash… then by someone else singing "Ballad of a Teenage Queen", which I wasn't certain if they were covering Johnny Cash's version, or if they were the original singers. Either way it sounded good.

Two last perks – they correct typos in your searches. Let's say you're searching for DJ Keoki, but spell it "DJ Kyoki". They then ask "Do you want to select the artist 'DJ Keoki'?" Very nice. Another tasty moment was hearing a fun club mix of "Cry Little Sister" by Johnny Vicious. Mmm.

Overall, I'm giving Pandora a 4.5 of 5 stars for the present moment. Great job, developer dudes.