A happy announcement

< professional update >

After a month off (give or take some freelancing), I have shopped around for the next appropriate professional fit and am pleased to announce (to whom? There are 3-5 of you who read this, and none of you know what UX stands for, but that’s ok) that, without further parenthetical asides (just kidding! Here’s one more!) I will be joining Slalom Consulting as a consultant starting Monday.

Slalom is a business and technology consulting firm with 14 national offices and high rankings for workplace satisfaction, and I will be joining their UX team here in New York. My esteemed colleague MJ recently joined the firm and suggested I speak to them (thank you MJ). Slalom is different in that all client jobs are local (i.e., 90 minutes away or less) – and though my first engagement will be farther away in New Jersey for however many months, I’m happy to get my hands dirty. Rather excited to develop a range of new skills while learning from the best practitioners/teachers in UX and interaction design. The part of me that desperately wanted to get an MBA after taking several great classes at Sloan is nerding out right now.

To greener pastures!

< /professional update >

Majorité Opprimée

“Oppressed Majority” – pretty great short film, depicting a society in which woman hold the control, and inverting all the horrible things that happen to a woman in our culture to show what it would be like for a man. Obviously not meant to imply that all these terrible things happen on a daily basis, but just compresses a bunch of subtle and not-so-subtle examples of harassment into one video. Apparently 9 million people found it before me.

Posthumous Question for Yukio Mishima

[An acrostic poem I wrote for Poetry Invitational]

Shameful how most of us lack such a sense of purpose—

Especially since, by 45, you’d published over 100 books and

Plays, reproduced, achieved expert status at kendo and weightlifting,

Pledged allegiance to the throne of the emperor (all hail our living god), trained special forces,

Unabashedly maintained homosexual liaisons while

Keeping true to the code of the samurai despite a courtyard of soldiers laughing at you—and in the moments before you realized your best friend was

Unable to correctly chop your head off, were your thoughts as concentrated and spectacular as your life? Like spring snow?

These vagabond shoes are longing to stray

I have this old man neighbor. He lives above me.

Allow me to point out that I live in a small apartment in Queens and my walls are paper-thin; I can hear every word of the Greek couple next door, when they fight. The old man above me watches wrestling, Golden Girls, and talk shows on TV, then plays retro sitcom and movie theme songs as muzak (synthesized) on repeat, usually until bed. Sometimes he moans or screams, loudly. Sometimes he drops very loud things on the floor, over and over. On Saturday a woman comes over, presumably to do his laundry or shopping, but I’m not sure. I hear her voice once in a while.

Anyway, tonight feels like my own scene from a movie; I am an unemployed professional gigging as a consultant, spending 12+ hours writing a report all night for a client while my lonely upstairs neighbor plays his soundtracks.

“Start Spreading The News” just came on. It’s so perfect. Even better that it’s raining outside. Made me think of Carey Mulligan’s excellent performance in Shame:

This is a generic brand video

(via McSweeney’s)
- – - -

We think first
Of vague words that are synonyms for progress
And pair them with footage of a high-speed train.

Is doing lots of stuff
That may or may not have anything to do with us.

See how this guy in a lab coat holds up a beaker?
That means we do research.
Here’s a picture of DNA.

There are a shitload of people in the world
Especially in India
See how we’re part of the global economy?
Look at these farmers in China.

But we also do business in the U.S.A.
Or want you to think we do.
Check out this wind energy thing in Indiana,
And this blue collar guy with dirt on his face.

Also, we care about the environment, loosely.
Here’s some powerful, rushing water
And people planting trees.
Our policies could be related to these panoramic views of Costa Rica.

In today’s high speed environment,
Stop motion footage of a city at night
With cars turning quickly
Makes you think about doing things efficiently
And time passing.

Lest you think we’re a faceless entity,
Look at all these attractive people.
Here’s some of them talking and laughing
And close-ups of hands passing canned goods to each other
In a setting that evokes community service.

And advancement
Are all words we chose from a list.

Our profits
are awe-inspiring.
Like this guy who’s looking up and pointing
At a skyscraper or a kite
While smiling and explaining something to his child.

Using a specific ratio
of Asian people to Black people to Women to White men
We want to make sure we represent your needs and interests
Or at least a version of your skin color
In our ads.

Did we put a baby in here?
What about an ethnic old man whose wrinkled smile represents
the happiness and wisdom of the poor?

- Kendra Eash

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