Last week, my brother was sent a catalog for graduate programs for SVA. I’ve always wanted to study abroad, even before ever finishing my undergrad studies in Ateneo, and SVA is one of the schools I’ve looked into. I mean, Milton Glaser, Steven Heller and Stefan Sagmeister all teach there. (Not to mention some of my other favorite design critics and writers.) Unfortunately, it was not and still isn’t quite in my price range. Taking out loans is kind of risky, too, so that’s the very last resort.
I think there’s this inexplicable void and angst attached to going to art school elsewhere, only because my own BFA experience left a lot to be desired. But that’s another story.
My only resolve really is to get better and to learn how to save. Honestly, I think I’m getting better at saving, so that’s good. I’m so far behind my financial goal, but I think panicking will make it worse, so I’m trying not to panic about money. That’s the worst thing to do. And, of course, blowing your cash the minute you get it. I remember finding out when I was younger that it is not a norm for kids my age to have their own savings accounts. (I thank my parents for planning for our financial future and habits, and for thinking ahead.)
Anyway, I’m just going to power through, I suppose. And build my body of work. Here’s my “collection” of work, so far:
Not very impressive at the moment, but I think I’ll get there. I just have to spend time really evaluating my work. It’s so hard, because it’s something that’s close to my heart (and ego), but I know that unearthing the flaws and weak points in my work will eventually lead to a stronger style and better expression.
Anyway, just some weird life and future thoughts on a Saturday morning. The Field Notes giveaway will end tomorrow, by the way. Better get your last minute entries in!
A few updates, I suppose. Sometimes, I need these assessment things to kind of prove to myself that I’m actually doing things. It’s kind of hard to remember when you are in charge of your time, and it seems like a lot of it goes to television and eating and invasive Tumblr memes.
Above: Lunar Landing, 2011. This: Science Year, 2011.
Aside from these things, I’ve been quite busy with client work, which I am thankful for. But sometimes, I feel like crashing my head through a wall. Sometimes, it really pays off, though. One of my recent projects is called Roadtrip Zambales, which is an effort to draw more people to beautiful Zambales! Here is the teaser. I had nothing to do with it, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.
Other exciting things also happened in the week that was, but I’m a bit too tired and knackered to talk about them. After all, it’s half past four in the morning. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my place in the world and it just depresses me. It depresses me that I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough and that people look down on me. It’s really just ramblings of an ex-high school loser, but sometimes, it really can’t be helped. It’s been growing more intensely, and I don’t know what to do, so I bury myself in work and t.v. and lots and lots of tea. Anyway.
Until then, I hope you enjoy these. I’ll be back with exciting new projects, and perhaps pictures. Good night.
I started writing this on February 3, and I feel like it might be time to continue this train of thought, and get on with it. Ahem:
This marks the beginning series of posts has been stewing in my head for the past couple of months, and because I’d been putting it off for so long, I was afraid I’d never get to post it—here I am, at 4:25 AM, writing a crapshot introduction for it. In case it’s not common knowledge, I have currently been enamored by a certain film called The Social Network. To be honest, I expected very little from it, and only really wanted to see it a little bit. How the frak was I supposed to know that it was going to turn me into a crazy lady?
But I digress.
The Social Network is a semi-fictitious account that follows the dissolution of the friendship that founded Facebook, not-so-arguably the biggest social networking site to date. (It’s based on Ben Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires,” which was based on the story of Eduardo Saverin, Mark Zuckerberg and the website that came between them.) On paper, it sounds like a horribly drab film—I can see you now, shaking your head and asking: “You want me to waste the hours I haven’t already wasted on Facebook, watching the story about the dorks that came up with it?”—but I maintain that it’s pretty much a stroke of genius.
It’s curious to see how a movie about something as cold and (strangely) impersonal as a website can cause this much noise. It’s gotten a lot of awards show buzz and recognition, aside from all the crazy stanning from the Tumblr community—me, included. Zadie Smith wrote a pretty telling review on it for The New York Review of Books, which caused me to think about my relationship with Facebook, with the people I am friends with on Facebook, and ultimately, the Internet.
“That other movie about Facebook” is called Catfish. Set up as a documentary, it follows the unlikely friendship of photographer Nev Schulman with an eight-year-old girl, Abby, over the Internet—a relationship which might be the least creepy situation that we encounter for the rest of the film. He eventually forms bonds with the rest of Abby’s family, with much of the attention shifting to her gorgeous half-sister, Megan. I watched it a couple of days after I saw The Social Network, and I’ve written a review about it for Pelikula, but I feel like it’s worth revisiting, for the sake of argument.
One of the biggest points that Catfish is trying to assert is pretty obvious: don’t believe everything you see read on the Internet. What people seem to take away from The Social Network is that Mark Zuckerberg is something of a douchebag, but I suppose it’s just because it is less upfront about Facebook’s social implications. Helpfully, Smith’s review touches on a lot of things that many might have missed or overlooked.
I am thinking about the projected length of this discussion, and I feel like it’s going to take me a while to sort out my thoughts, so this will come in parts. Also, I’ve bought and read most of Jaron Lanier’s “You Are Not a Gadget,” which Smith reviews along with The Social Network. She makes up and uses a term that I have since adopted as my personal goal; I’ve been re-learning how to be a Person 1.0.
What exactly is a Person 1.0? I couldn’t really tell you right now, but I’m looking into that. All I know is that technology has rapidly been shaping the way we interact with people, as well as how we function as human beings. I don’t know about you, but often I’ve let slip computer jargon in “RL” conversations. I’ve asked people to delete what I just said, or to please compress their story into a .zip file because I have no time for it right now. (Just kidding about the .zip part, but wouldn’t that be amazing?) Sometimes, I wish I could just CTRL+F a Philosophy text to get to a term which has a definition escapes me. Do you not groan at the injustice of it all?
Lately, I’ve been weaning myself off of the Internet—or so it seems. I have been online, sure, but my “presence” hasn’t really been active. Is this progress? I doubt it. I think I just found other useless things to do. Or, I just got too lazy, or it finally dawned on me that, No, Carina, the Internet doesn’t need another GPOY. However, I’d like to think that I’d been spending my time on fairly productive things. I mean, I do feel a little bit more self-fulfilled, occasionally. I don’t know if that means anything.
In any case: there it is, really. I’m re-learning how to be a Person 1.0, and thinking about what that means. At some point in my life, I’m sure I was a Person 1.0. It’s just really fascinating to step back and think about just how much technology has shaped and changed the way we view the world, and how we think. It’s astonishing, and it’s mind-blowing, and that is probably why people don’t really think about it all too much. This is so ingrained in our culture and our habits.
It’s scary because it suggests some kind of major alterations in the world. I mean, at the rate that technology is already shaping the present (and in turn, the future), I think it’s safe to assume that big things are going to happen. And it’s scary that we don’t know just what these changes are going to bring about. Like I said, social implications are inevitable, but think about other possible revisions to life as we now know it. I think it is potentially terrifying, and it doesn’t help that everything is very, very possible.
This is just the beginning of what I hope to be a string of fairly coherent thoughts about the future. At the very least, I hope I make sense. I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of all of this is, at this point, but I’m fairly sure that, given the scope and the subject matter, it may very well concern you, Person 2.0. Don’t try to deny it! The fact that you are on a computer, reading this obscure blog by some nobody from the Philippines, means that you kind of know your way around what a Person 1.0 would call “The Information Super Highway.”
Don’t worry, fellow Person 2.0. We can find a way to make it better.
When this month started, Sarie and I were talking and she asked me what I wanted to be, regardless of any conceivable obstacle, and I had answered: “To work for Penguin.” I was met with a look of disappointment—I mean, how unimaginative! So, I took the question to Twitter, out of curiosity, and I was surprised with the volume of answers I was met with (32!).
It also reminded me of one of my most favorite blogs/projects online, Backyard Bill. This is just from what I take from the structure of his posts, but essentially, he takes photos of interesting people, most of whom have interesting occupations and strong personal style. A lot live “alternative lifestyles,” by which I mean that they have occupations that are not very usual or typical. Certainly not pencil-pushing or number-crunching. One of the latest entries featured a jewelry maker, Philip Crangi.
What I like about this project a lot is that, aside from the striking photographs and some background information, it asks these people what they want to be when they grow up. Philip Crangi has some white whiskers already, and seems to have grown into his own person, but when he grows up he wants to be a jewelry designer (still), but he also wants to write science fiction.
This project and the question posed on Twitter both made me think about how a lot of people don’t really get their dream jobs. A lot of people, because of physical restrictions, their existing skill sets, or just the plain fact that that occupation is fictional, won’t be able to reach them at all, even if they tried really, really hard.
But, less depressingly, I thought about how you can kind of fall into a place you didn’t know you wanted to be in at first but can grow to love. I thought about how, even so much later in one’s life, even in old age, things move on and new possibilities can come streaming in. And that’s a calming thought for someone who has been going through a lot of questioning and worrying about the future, i.e. me.
I’ve posted all of the answers on Twitter here, if anyone was inclined to look. Pretty interesting, and varied, and some are pretty downright impossible, but they are futures fun to imagine nonetheless.
Marla was the only person who picked exactly what she already was.
My brother has such lofty aspirations.
The rest are under the cut.
A week ago, I started thinking about my life and how I could possibly improve it, in the most feasible ways. I’m not exactly one of the most goal-oriented people, but I do enjoy drafting lists just to somehow come up with a some sort of nudge towards a general direction. Sometimes, I feel like I should take my life more seriously (which is how I come up with these sort of lists in the first place), and other times, I feel like a big fun-sucker with no time for friends or family or even just some alone time with a book or a movie.
A large part of growing up, I think, concerns developing the capacity to discern the most workable balance between the two. Lately, I think I’ve been having too much of the former, but I’m not going to punish myself for having a lot of fun. Time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted, right? (I forget who said that, but I think he may be on to something.)
Instead, this is what I am going to do: I am going to think of the things I want to accomplish, but I’m going to try really hard to make them mine. I’ve been constantly feeling inadequate and unaccomplished, and mostly it’s because all these people around me, people I’ve grown up with and had by me whenever we’d whine about school, are doing so well. But I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to be a part of this competition. I don’t want to get there first. I just want to become somebody who does things that mean something.
I’m tired of shooting for aims that I know won’t make me happy or make a difference in the world that badly needs to change. It’s funny that the common pursuit these days is a name in lights, as opposed to love and everything that’s attached to it. Everyone just wants to be known—sometimes, it doesn’t even matter for what.
It’s hard to piece together, my whole idea, but I think you can kind of see what I mean. These days, I’m kind of okay with the thought that I won’t be someone people know, just as long as I remember to do and pursue the things that are important to me. It’s difficult when your main motivation turns out to be fame in itself. There are so many other worthwhile things to shoot for.
As school season rolls around, I find myself alone, at home, with nothing to do. I have recently graduated, been employed, then assumed the role of a quitter. Now, I am unemployed and bored, with a lot of time on my hands. And it looks like I am coming down with something, as my throat is all itchy and my gag reflex is acting up for no reason. I have taken this self-diagnosis of something wrong and made it into an excuse for me to not shower. At least, until maybe around 5 p.m. today.
Here are some of the things that I have done today:
- Stuff my face with food and muddy, burnt coffee that my parents and brother left me.
- Watch the last two episodes of How to Make it in America
- Answered some e-mails.
- Cleaned my RSS feeds! Kind of. I just marked most of them as read. Heh.
- Internet shenanigans.
In the middle of this entry, my sister got back from school. But she is reading Plato now, so I don’t think I am allowed to bother her.
So, I am did a little bit of reading myself.
Caveat Lector: Dirty feet ahead.
But then I got tired and hungry.
So, I guess I should just take a nap and plan for greatness when I wake up.
What do you do when you are alone? I honestly don’t know how to deal with all this time I have, without feeling like I am wasting my life away, somehow.
(In case you hadn’t caught on, this is a cry for help.)