moving

(In both the physical and digital sense)

We moved down to So. Cal a few weeks ago. So far I am loving it here though there are a few things I miss about Seattle (I was there for 7 years). But I like the idea of starting afresh, it feels like there’s lots of potential for growth.

Also, this blog is almost 5 years old! I think it’s also the 5th main/personal blog I’ve been through. Re-reading the first post from back in 2005 is kind of funny:

More and more I hope I’d be able to make a living just freelancing. That would be the good life for me. But the closer I get to having to enter the real world and making a real living the more I want go to grad school.

I guess this means I’m living the dream?

Anyways, I think it’s time to retire the zephyrbunny blog. In a lot of ways it holds a lot of history I don’t want to be carrying with me. And perhaps I’ve outgrown it a bit? I guess I’m “consolidating my online life” somewhat. If you would still like to follow my exploits (I don’t even know who reads this anymore..) you can via seejayne.com. It’s my portfolio site but there’s also a newly minted tumblr powered blog embedded in there as well. Hopefully the tumblr will be an easier way to keep updates. Pinwheels will still remain it’s own separate thing for now I suppose.

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half a year

Updates

I don’t think I’ve ever not posted for this long. Gosh. It’s been almost 6 months? For a more visual representation of what went down between Jan-March you can check out pinwheels and papercuts. Here’s the cliffnotes version:

  • In Jan, I got a contract at Microsoft. It’s completely different than what I’m use to work environment wise, but it’s nice and I’ll be here through the end of June.
  • I’m going to Art Center in California for grad school in the fall! So we’re planning on moving mid July so we have time to get settled in and chill a bit.

I feel like I haven’t been making as much stuff lately but I sort of feel like it’s a nice change of pace. More in the next post.. I thought I’d break it up a bit…

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Unknowns

In a lot of ways and for a lot of different reasons, I feel like this year has been a lot harder than most. And in the end I feel like I’ve come out more confused about what I want to do with my life than when I graduated over 2 years ago. I think next year is going to be an even bigger rollercoaster, full of all sorts of turns and hills that I can’t yet predict. I suppose it’s been a while. Here’s the gist of what’s happening lately.

Grad Apps

I spent quite a bit of time researching various grad schools and looking at all my options, but in the end came back to the ones I’ve been interested in all along. I have officially applied to three programs (Well, I still need to finish up my portfolio to send to one of them):

  • MIT: Media Lab - Obviously my “Yeah, I wish” pick, but I figured I might as well try.
  • NYU: Interactive Telecommunication Program - I have been looking at this program for the past few years, since I started to discover the physical computing thing.
  • Art Center: Media Design Program - I’ve also been dreaming about going here, probably since high school actually. After meeting some of the faculty a few weeks ago, I feel even more inspired by the program.

I thought maybe three was too few, but I didn’t really feel a real connection to any of the other programs I was looking at, whereas these three have consistently inspired me over the years in various ways. All three of them have very different focuses, but I think they would all be great. I won’t hear back about any of them until around March though so it’s all just a big question mark right now.

Freelance

My last day at DK is going to be 2 weeks from now, December 18th. It’s really kind of weird to be leaving. Between now and when I hopefully go back to school I’m just going to try freelancing for a while.

I was looking at my old blog entry 3 years ago, when I was just signing up for the class DK was teaching at SVC, and I was so ecstatic it’s almost embarassing. But at the time I never would have imagined that I’d actually be working at DK. Or leaving it in 3 years. Even though it was a few years ago it still feels like all this happend so fast.

I guess in my original mental career path projection I imagined that I would probably work at a couple of different places and then some time later perhaps I would try to work there. And live happily ever after. Or how ever that story goes. But having skipped over quite a few steps in that process I find myself sort of struggling to figure out what happens next.

Next

And this is the point where I’m sort of unsure. I’m looking around, trying to get some freelance gigs lined up for January but I’m not entirely sure where to even look, because I’m not entirely sure what exactly I want to be doing. I obviously have some mograph experience now, but still feel like a bit of a generalist overall. I like working on all sorts of projects and I’m interested in getting back into more interactive work. I don’t have very much of that to show in my portfolio but I feel like I could do well in that space.

It’s also sort of weird with the big question mark that is grad school because it means I don’t really want to try and go full time staff only to potentially leave within a few months. So it just has to be freelance for now.

So yeah, from here I have no idea what I’ll be doing in 2010. But let’s hope it’s all for the better.

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Stocking up

Personal Finance time!

Last night I decided to try out the stock market thing for the first time. I don’t have any any student loans (though I if I go to grad school that might change very quickly), I have some savings already, and a little extra which is just tempting me to buy crap I don’t need. So… why not?

I realize it would have been better if I decided that earlier this year when everything was down, but I figured I might as well just start at some point. Technically nothing has gone into effect yet since it’s the weekend but it’s set up at least. I still have the retirement fund stuff going through work and the Roth IRA stuff but that’s all kind of boring mutual fund stuff that I can’t really do anything with until I’m old anyways. And the problem with the mutual funds is that it’s such a grab bag of stuff that a lot of times includes lots of bits companies I don’t really know or don’t actually really like. So I don’t really feel personally vested in it and don’t pay much attention to it.

I’ve read on a bunch of different PF blogs the advice to “invest in what you know” which makes enough sense to me. So I picked a couple of companies I felt like I understood at least somewhat:

Adobe - Considering my entire career is pretty much only possible because of these guys it seeed like a good idea. I’m not sure what I’d do if Adobe went down. I can’t imagine moving over to like Microsoft Expression or something.

Apple - Everyone loves them, and for good reason. I don’t think I need much explanation there.

Autodesk - They make AutoCAD which is what just about every THING is designed in. Buildings, bridges, planes, toys, cars, everything. Also Maya which is industry standard for 3D and movie magic type stuff. (Even though I think C4D is a much better 3D app). And 3ds max which is industry standard for games. So they seem pretty reliable.

Electronic Arts - EA makes a shitload of games, including things like The Sims and Rockband. They’re pretty much a gaming giant.

Monotype - I believe in typography too! Monotype licenses a ton of fonts, which I think will always be around. Unless we all suddenly become illiterate. They’re also cheap compared to the other ones.

American Apparel - Best t-shirts ever, even if they’re expensive. I could easily buy two things from AA and have spent more than I’m investing in these 6 total. Plus AA stock is only like $3.

So that’s what I’ve settled on for now. I’m not trying to give out advice or anything, just saying those are the ones that made sense to me, which I think is kind of amusing in itself. I feel like those 6 companies says quite a bit about what I know, which is apparently design, video games, and t-shirts.

Getting Started

I think what kept me away from trying to invest anything for a long time was that the whole stock market thing just seemed sort of nebulous and confusing. The only people that seem to really talk about investing are the guys in suits on tv. None of my friends seem to have any interest in it. I understood that my dad funded my college education through a mutual fund. And I understood that I should contribute to my retirement accounts. But otherwise I didn’t really know where you were suppose to start.

Eventually I figured I could start out at ShareBuilder*, which seems to be targeted at newbies like me. They don’t have any minimums, which is good because I don’t really have much to put in there. And they have automatic investment, which means I can budget that I only want to invest $150 (the price of a couple leggings, and a hoodie!) a month. It also means I can pay for fractions of a share. So I can say put $50 towards Apple every month, even if one share of apple is like $200/each right now. Or $40 towards Adobe might get me a little over 1. I didn’t realize this kind of thing was possible until last night. It’s also nice because I don’t plan on being one of those day-traders that’s constantly doing it. I’d rather just have it going on in the background of my life but still be able to check up on them occasionally.

So I guess we’ll see how that goes. This could all be a complete failure of an experiment but maybe it’ll at least be educational. Like I said, I’m not sinking a ton into it. Do any of you invest in any stocks yet? I feel kind of lame and boring blogging about it, but I don’t really know who to talk to about it.

* P.S. If you’re interested in ShareBuilder at all I can email you an invite that gives you a $25 account bonus

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I love graphs (part 2)

Graphic

I’m getting to this a little later than I planned but oh well. So as I established earlier, I love graphs. Especially when related to personal/social information. Here’s a couple of interesting bits from OkTrends which is Ok Cupid’s blog that charts all sorts of data from their online dating service.

We analyzed over 500,000 first contacts on our dating site, OkCupid. Our program looked at keywords and phrases, how they affected reply rates, and what trends were statistically significant. The result: a set of rules for what you should and shouldn’t say when introducing yourself online.

I think that set is pretty true and just kind of amusing. Having played the online dating game a bit myself (Did you know Angelo & I actually met through Craigslist?) it’s funny how many people actually do write first messages that are filled with nothing but netspeak and other poorly spelled words. Also, I can understand why zombies, vegetarians, and metal bands are up there but who knew physics could be so sexy? There’s a bunch more keyword comparisons in the original post.

This other set is a little more interesting from a race & gender perspective.

Throughout this post, yellowish colors are short-hand for “neutral” and red and green indicate “strong preference.”

So according to this people of all races are generally of average compatibility with everyone else. That sounds good. But let’s look at how people actually respond to race:

So the first obvious overall trend is that if you’re a guy writing to a girl you’re not very likely to get a reply. But if you’re a girl writing to a guy, you’re chances are pretty good. But it seems that if you’re a white guy you have slightly better chances at getting a reply across the board. It also seems that Black & Native American women are the most open minded about guys when it comes to race. But unfortunately Black women have the hardest time getting a response from guys. Also interesting is that while white guys are more likely to get a reply they’re also least likely to send a reply. The other thing that’s kind of interesting is that Asian women & white women reply to race similarly and are replied to similarly. And if you happen to be a middle eastern woman you have it pretty good across the board right now.

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  • Test

    What is a secondary Aside?