Sunday, December 21, 2008

Top Albums of 2008

Several weeks in the making, hours of listening later, the jury
returns with the verdict:

The Top 15 Albums of 2008 (Sample size of about 43):

15. Anathallo - Canopy Glow

14. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins

13. Mates of State - Re-arrange Us

12. The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride

11. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

10. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell

9. Sigur Rós - Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

8. Greg Laswell - Three Flights From Alto Nido

7. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles

6. Breathe Owl Breathe - Ghost Glacier EP

5. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

4. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (technically self-released in
2007, but label released in 2008)

3. The Submarines - Honeysuckle Weeks

2. Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster

1. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

Honorable Mentions:
JJ Heller - Painted Red
Headlights - Some Racing, Some Stopping
Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
The Weepies - Hideaway

Still Processing:
PlusMinus - Xs On Your Eyes
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
She & Him - Volume One
Welcome Wagon - Welcome to the Welcome Wagon
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Friday, November 28, 2008


I'm using to track my finances and found the following equivalencies:

-a tank of gas for my vibe
-dinner for two at Panera Bread
-dinner for one at Red Robin
-an average trip to Target (chocolate, soup, and underwear)
-a glass of wine at Five & Ten

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another magazine from the bathroom. Who has a subscription to Old West magazine? What is this about women and whips?

The article featured several such newspaper headlines. Though I'm not really sure what the whole point of the article was. That women are crazy and can't be trusted?

I really like the type of the headline here, maybe I'll mock something up similar to that, use it for something.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to work.

Athens was awesome. "Blog" girl is amazing. She is addicted to internets like it is crack, it makes me laugh. We did lots of reading, it was a good time. I read an entire book: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, which was really funny. I started Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott on the flight home, it's very good and not at all like David Sedaris.

I'm starting to get into using Google Reader for the internets, like "Blog" girl does. Lots of exciting new things for me.

Work is boring without my boss to tell me what to do. He can't possibly expect me to be productive coming back from a vacation without oversight (or any real clear idea of what I'm supposed to be doing).

Found this magazine in the bathroom at work:
Yeah, it was pretty much what inspired the type for the logo I made him. It's funny because this particular style is very popular right now and this magazine is 30 years old.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Tomorrow I'm going on my first vacation of my adult life (which isn't saying too much, because I've only had a real job for 7 weeks). Also, my boss is sitting in front of me on my flight to Atlanta, wth? Small world.

Work is fun, though, even when I'm going bonkers by the end of the day. But, I'm very glad to be putting it out of mind for a few days.

Also, I'm going to visit the person responsible for this site. She is really awesome.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Found some memos with Halliburton Letterhead from the 1960s, thought that was pretty neat

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Color Logo

As promised:

Sunday, August 17, 2008


My first week , I was asked to make the logo for our company. I was given a rough draft of the logo which had been made in MS Paint by someone. I made a few circular based C's and liked the one above the most and plopped the strange J on there and just ran with it. My boss couldn't have been happier. Later I added color, and actually doubled the J to the left, so there is a black J and a grey shadow of the J on the C, which is like Burnt Sienna.

Then I took the weird J and built it into a quick and dirty typeface I put together in an afternoon. The long and short of it is that my boss loved the logo an absolutely HATED the typeface I came up with. I was crushed, but resilient, because I still make fun of his choice of Algerian as our corporate font. Tomorrow at work I'll maybe but together a sample of the finished product for the blog.


It is nothing short of awesome to be using knowledge I acquired in college classes in the work I'm doing. I honestly never expected to get the opportunity to interface with geology again, but now every day I'm looking at maps with my boss and pointing out anticlines, relating structural contours with isopachs (formation thickness maps), pouring over geologic maps, and checking out well logs.

This past week I made four or five maps, and this next week I hope to churn out a good 6 or 7. I've been trying to build up a repertoire of map layouts to go to when I'm under the gun and need to prepare a map in 15 minutes instead of the usual 4-8 hours.

The work situation is really great. My boss is a character and purposely brings up politics and actively seeks out my opinions on different events. After a few discussions we've reached the point where our differences can be summed up as relating to our age differences. He is a 56 year old man with a lot of money to protect and I am a 24 year old with lots of money to pay. Right from the beginning, though, it was clear that we would get along, he isn't a social conservative, doesn't thump the Bible at me or anything, and is really genuinely curious about the world.

I'm also going to become an official employee of Jayden Consulting starting next month, instead of a contractor, which is something I'm looking forwards to (among other things, non-work related).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I have a job now, I'm using my GIS skills to make maps for an oil geologist. I'm already having a lot of success with finding and organizing heaps of data. I'm really proud of me. This is a great experience and I'm really getting a chance to flex my muscles in an area of my expertise.

Also, I'm now a very tiny part of something that people don't really like, the oil industry. But, oil is something we all use a lot of. It's in tons of the products we use every day, and gas is made from oil, so there is that. There is lots of oil in the ground still, and we need to find it, alternatives are years off and even with them we will still need oil for lots of things. Also, with the rising price of oil, it's more and more feasible to get at oil that is more costly to find and remove.

I'm also not really opposed to increased offshore drilling. I do like that my boss won't work in areas that he considers beautiful.

So that's that. I'm in geology now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

because i can

Maybe if I had a bigger stick,
I could hit the moon into the sun
and end it all with fireworks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Word Shape Onomatopoeia

rhinoceros is one of the first words you learn to associate with R.

rhino exhibits the phenomenon when the h (which I called a rhino h) pops up above the x line to create a horn, just like rhinos have. So it's like onomatopoeia (where a word sounds like what it is: bang, meow, etc) but visual instead of aural.

Anyone have another example of this phenomena?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Festival of the Arts: Meat on a Stick

Pretty much every year since I was very small, I have gone to downtown Grand Rapids for the annual festival of the arts. Basically, lots of food booths, several performance stages, art tents, and awesome kids activities. In the old days, the Christian School Association had a food booth which had like strawberry tarts and pigs in the blanket and was Dutch themed. The funny part was that it was only open on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday it was taken over by one of the local synagogues. I always thought that was the most interesting thing (I also used to think that it was Jewish people who worked at Meijer on Sundays).

There is one thing I have to get every year, Saigon Sate. Barbecued pork on a skewer. It's a flavor I need to experience at least once a year, every year.

This year I got my Saigon Sate, it was a bit fatty, but still delicious. I've also taken to getting Souvlaki, which is basically just Greek meat on a stick. I think the booth at Festival uses beef for theirs, but the interesting thing is they serve it on a stick on a bun. There are two camps on what the bun is for. The first is that the bun is simply an edible plate for your delicious meat on a stick. The other says that you should removed the stick and eat it as a sort of sandwich. I think I'm in the first camp.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mystery Maps

A new game I'm playing with friends. I create a map which depicts some phenomena the game is to guess what phenomena is being mapped. It is a test of geographic knowledge to an extent, but also spatial reasoning skills. Essentially the map presented is as if the map were made but presented without a title or legend labels, i.e. take note of color schemes and different ramps. Just two so far, we'll see how long this stays fun.

Mystery Map 1

Mystery Map 2

Monday, May 26, 2008


Known to most as the and sign, this is one of the wonders of typography. When I set about creating the ampersand for Jonkera (which is a terrible name for the Futura-like small caps font I created), I went to the source to figure out just what I was doing with it.


The word ampersand is from "and per se and," which means "and by itself and." It originated with a ligature of Et (latin: and) in the first century with the Romans. As a lover of Latin, this is the source I decided to recall when making my ampersand. Below are three prototypes I created. The rightmost one is an ultra-modern version. The center one falls in line with most modern typefaces while still utilizing Jonkera geometrics. The leftmost one I feel is best adapted for Jonkera as a smallcap font, utilizing the lower case sized T and half of the numeral eight.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Today will be better, I swear

I've always felt that if you try hard enough, you can feel better. And when you feel better, things can get better. To feel better, I will have to be proactive. I love typography and I love design. I've dabbled a bit, and I think I'm a pretty good amateur. The quarterly is my thing and it's time for the next one. I'll give myself until next week Friday to finish.

Somebody check in.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Helper Monster

I'm still not sure why or how things ended up the way they did. The world is a huge place and we don't get to connect to very many people in it. Right now I'm trying to decide how to get on with life, how I'm going to find a job, how I'm going to deal with having a job. I guess just coping with how I'm going to cope. I'm worried about being alone, even though I know that's not going to happen. I'm worried about getting hurt again. I'm worried about hurting someone else. Some parts of me want to sit inside away from the world, just to be sure I don't step on anyone's toes.

Then there is my too good for it's own good memory. Half my music collection is unlistenable because of memory ties, it's worse this time than the last. And the little things, little actions, words, phrases, places. I got angry at a book the other day because I hated that it had a happy ending, when it should have been neutral.

I sometimes see hints of the person I want to be, I sometimes feel the motivation that I always dreamed I would have. But then I think, I could just go play that game or watch that show. And I put down the book and close GIS. I guess that's the problem with me, I am not a self motivated person. I always thrived off of the needs of others like some sort of helper monster.

I guess that's what I am, a helper monster.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama FTW!

Tonight, I went with the MVP software team (aka Scott and Chris) downtown via bus to see Barack Obama speak. We got to see the official endorsement by John Edwards as well as great speeches by both men. If I had brought my camera, I would post a picture or something, but I didn't. I left the arena feeling some hope, that this is actually a man who can help us bring change to government and along with it a real change for the country.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


In the end, I just wanted you to think I was clever.

I feel shattered and inadequate.

Sorry for being such an emo.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wendy's New Shakes

Last night when I popped into the drive thru at Wendy's and got some chicken nuggets before work, I noticed a sign for hand made frosty milkshakes in Strawberry, Chocolate Fudge, and Vanilla Bean flavors. I really couldn't wait to try one, so this afternoon I swung by Wendy's on my way home and got a strawberry one. They aren't cheap, a 20 oz set me back $3.19, but it was delicious like crazy. Like real strawberries, not just flavoring like McDonalds. Oh, and whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Yeah, you should go have one.

Les Prototypes

High energy French pop. I listen to it before French class and French tests to get pumped, however it's not good for me when I've had too much caffeine, my heart goes all a flutter and I feel shaky. Speaking of shaky, Wendy's is making "hand turned" frosty shakes, I think I'll go have one now.

If you choose to check out the Prototypes, I suggest the tracks: Dis Moi, Je Ne Te Connais Pas (which I think is in a movie), Danse sur la merde, and the semi-ridiculous Who's Gonna Sing?

In other news, I've got a flight booked for Seattle for my sister's wedding at the end of June. I'm sad that I'm not driving, but I'll shut up and just be happy that I'm going somewhere.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Elle a chaud un cul


But how about I get the Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even tattooed on my back over the course of the next 20 years. And then, in a feat of heroics or just moving from one place to another, I will break my back.

Maybe just the "eyewitnesses" on my arm. Those are the cool geometrics on the bottom right.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Idea Man

What if people were books. Better yet, what if your relationships with people were books. People you walk by on the street would be like "We saw eachother, he was wearing an orange shirt that said Lifeguard in faded letters, but I don't think he was a life guard. He had ugly shoes." Some books don't exist, because you don't know about the existence of every person. Some books would be like encyclopedias because so much had happened. Some of the stories would be tragedies. Can you imagine? What if everything that every happened was written down.

Pizza Hut has great pizza.

I wish I had gone to the apartment, then I could be playing MarioKart right now. I'm pretty sure that real-life should be more like mariokart. There should be red shells to take out the people you can't stand in front of you. Also, drifting should happen on normal roads with normal people, and doing it right should cause you to get a boost.

Conversely, Mariokart should be more like the real world, in that there should be a managerial mode where you have to account for the high price of petrol and pay for damage to your kart after races and such. I think that would be a great time.

Yeah, I should have gone to the apartment, so I could be watching Doctor Who right now.

I'm debating getting a new used laptop, probably an iBook G4 of some sort. I say this as my backlight is strobing at me. Poor lappy, I hope he isn't in any pain.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fantastically Sick

It's not very often that people actually get sick, like really sick, like stay in bed all day because your body can't handle standing up and facing the world. There is a virus going around that does that to people. I hope it doesn't find you.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ice cream is good.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

An Equation

(School + Work) / Time = No Social Life

This should not be surprising

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Des Lunettes

Des Lunettes are glasses, not eyebrows.

I'll lose a couple of points on a French test for that one.

But lunettes... little moons! Like eyebrows!

...or glasses.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Obligatory Stupid First Post

Did you know?


Alright, glad we've gotten that out of the way.

First lesson: Jacques Cartier

Facts: He was the guy that "discovered" the St. Lawrence in 1534.

He named the Gulf of St. Lawrence because it was St. Lawrence day when he first sailed into it.

He also named the land Canada, after thinking the word kanata, which means village, was what they called the whole of the land.

Impressive feat of silliness: Erected a 30 ft tall cross, claiming the land for Francis I, then kidnapped an Iroquois chief's two sons on his way back to France.

Went back... visited what is now Quebec City and Montreal, wintered, lost some men to scurvy.

Overall, did some good exploring.

Coolest Coincidence: the site of the Jacques Cartier Bridge over the St. Lawrence is the same site where he first landed in 1535 on his second voyage.

Le savez-vous?