Tag Archives: writing

An attempt at José Saramago’s Style, or, Trying to kill ten minutes of precious time.

At the art history library, where art is read about, and where the reading about of art in turn makes itself a sort of internal performance for the soul that outwardly manifests itself in the form of a college student sitting in a comfortable leather or old black wooden chair or at a table, flipping through an oversized codex of pictures of naked paints and the severe intercourse of grammar and space, or whatever, is also the setting of my keyboard’s monologue to the only other person on this floor, for it is a sunday, the day of rest, or rather, the day of refusing to do anything on my part in preparation for sitting there at holy mass half listening, Who’s to say that that is the way it should be, Who’s to say i’m consciously preparing for half-attention, You’re right, which in turn means that i am right, because face it, you’re grasping for deepness where the shallowness suffices in providing a clear image of your temporary intentions, Shall i pay attention at holy mass, then, Yes, by all means.

R.I.P. (and in God’s kindly misericordiate graces), S. Saramago. -2010

The Art of Walking

  • I was going to write a post about

    this book

    but then I got lazy.

  • So now I’m going to write about walking. Because that’s what I did this morning to get to work. And it was a fantastic sunny morning.
  • I just did a Google search of this post’s title and I found

    this book

    which apparently is only okay (according to the Amazon ratings).

  • But since I’d been mulling over the idea of writing about the former subject for today and had only switched topics about ten minutes before sitting down at my desk, I kind don’t really have much planned. So here we go.

Manhattanites, both residing and working, have a reputation for being some of the fastest walkers on the planet.  It’s so bad (or good, depending on who you are) that there’s a section of sidewalk somewhere dedicated to the idea.

I quickly raise the guilty hand on this issue.  When I’m at college and walking with my friends, I find myself having to slow down every five steps so that I can stay in pace with them.  Manhattan walking is best done alone, and with a scowl on your face.

But I kind of want to change that. First of all, this is a walk truly found only on people who want to look busy/important, and all self-humbling attempts aside, all the truly busy/important people probably aren’t walking down a busy street anyway. I’m not saying slow it down (we’ll never get anywhere), but maybe we should ease up on the hostile front.

Take today.  It was a bloody fantastic morning.  The sun was filtering through the trees in Bryant Park where white people were “doing” tai chi, specks of light bouncing off the layers of humid atmosphere (baahh I usually don’t romanticize humidity like this. I’ve always hated it.  But it can make a pretty picture.) and hitting the sides of million-story buildings like….like….like [heartbreaking simile].

I know people have places to go. But we kind of need to look around and realize how amazing the morning grind can look sometimes.

100 Habits of Successful Publication Designers: the first 25

Checked this book out of the library yesterday, and cracked it open this morning on ‘da bus.  I was originally looking for “the Poetics of Space” by Gaston Bachelard but I couldn’t find it because I don’t know my Dewey but that’s another story.

In any case I picked up this book at random and am pretty glad I did so far.  My present within-the-decade life goal, aside from being taken on a tour of North Korea and singing drunken karaoke with the tour guide [two nights before they realize I stole one of Kim Il-sung’s personally designed tea kettles and sentence me to 47 years hard labor only to realize I’m kinda bff with Adam Yamaguchi who would help bail me out], is to make a name for myself in the print publication industry. A big nice name in a bold, provocative sans serif. Probably super-imposed on a weird silhouette of my face, framed by some artsy haircut intended to downplay but acknowledge my big (read: wise) forehead.

I’ve only read the first 25 “habits” so far, but if you’re in or want to be in publication design, specifically for magazines, please take a look. So far it’s given me…wait, a few bullet points would look cool here:

  • The tips are given by a couple dozenish seasoned designers in the industry: Laurence Ng, Ina Salts, Arthur Hochstein, Kalle Lasn. The advice is humble and realistic.
  • The example magazines mentioned are popular ones mixed with more exclusive.  It’s a good mix and an excellent source of inspiration for someone just looking for a good combination of content/design (Ex. NYTimes Magazine and IdN are in the same section)
  • One tends to read down advice lists and see a lot of self-contradiction, especially for things like relationships and that fluff. If one wasn’t paying attention, one would dismiss the first 25 points as doing that sometimes. But it isn’t. When #7 says “It’s not about you” while #9 says “Be brave, bold, and passionate”, they begin to mold the dimensions of the balancing pole every good designer uses between voice and the backstage identity. I really like that about both the industry and the people who make it and keep it moving forward.

So yeah, even if you’re a journalist(-to-be)/editor(-to-be)/freelance writer(-never-too-early-to-be), check it out. It’s all one industry and subsets should be learning from each other.