Seriously Though, Less Really *Is* More

“Technology millionaires don’t hobnob with celebrities or buy a fancy car. They travel to Thailand, or they fund an incubator. These things are just as expensive, but that’s the classic hacker ethos that prizes the mind, not materials.”

lol, Classic hacker ethos? I’m certainly no talented tech millionaire (yet), but I covet the so-called “classic hacker ethos.”

Over the past year or so, I’ve developed this preoccupation (no, not John Cusack, although there’s that too), but it’s this preoccupation with reducing the amount of personal belongings that I own. After a difficult day at work, I like to come home and take out my frustrations on the objects in my living quarters.

It’s unnervingly satisfying to give up my attachment to these things and see them off to their new lives. They don’t need to stay a part of mine, because I don’t know what I’m doing right now, and I can’t be in charge of things.

Every once in a while, I will get caught in a store and go on a buying binge. I usually hate spending money, but on these occassions, I go in and just do not know where to draw the line. I can’t afford that much, but I dupe myself into thinking it’s OK. And then I go home and feel sick with this incredible urge to purge myself of something else out of shame and guilt. Is there a consumption disorder that exists at the opposite end of the spectrum from hoarding?

I’m becoming a thing-vigilante, and I’m completely serious about it. Constantly evaluating and re-evaluating my possessions for what they are worth and minimizing my stuff (and myself) down to the essentials is pleasurable. My space has been put on a radical diet. I’m overwhelmed in my mind, but I can at least control how overwhelmed I am in my physical space. Yes, part of me does believe that reducing personal possessions is responsible, and what most people should strive to do. But I’m not here to tell anyone how to live their own life, and that’s not really what I’m getting at anyway. The larger percentage of my reasoning for this comes from my constant desire to disappear. I figure, the less objects I have to my name, the less of ‘me’ there is to consider physically, and eventually, the less of me there is to consider at all. That is the crux of it.

Each time I give or throw something away, I’m able to withdraw bits of myself from my environment. I get that you aren’t what you own, but your belongings can act like little extensions of yourself. Little representatives or spokes-things. They reveal things about you to other people when said people come snooping around your space. I don’t want spokes-things. I’m not a corporation. I’m an individual. I need to reel my self-expression back onto 2-dimensional surfaces, and furthermore, back into my head. There’s no reason for me to have representatives. When you die, run away or otherwise vanish, you leave that shit behind and then people sift through it. It reminds them of you and the fact that you were a thing. Eventually, I will get down to a ridiculously small amount of things (clothing included), and it will be like I never even existed. It’s not really a statement against mass consumerism (although I dislike that also), but rather just self-minimizing for therapeutic benefit.

On that note, if you’re one of those people who thinks that we, as relatively privileged world citizens here in Western society, should revel in our ability to consume to excess on the principle that others are forced to live with less, not by choice, but due to economic circumstance, then realize that you are trying to legitimize a set of desires and values that are pretty irrelevant to what I’m talking about. This isn’t some inadvertent making-light of people who struggle on a day-to-day basis to get by with what little things they have. Minimalism may be considered trendy or something, but for fuck’s sake, I’m just sad, not ignorant.

At some point, I expect that all of my misgivings, shortcomings and insecurities will be modestly contained in a single room. I don’t want to let any of that crap unnecessarily seep out into the aether. So here are some books (some spokes-things) to help along the way:

The Joy of Less by Francine Jay; 2010

In The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide, Francine Jay, also known as ‘Miss Minimalist’, explores the philosophy of possession reduction, offers tips on how to detach yourself from belongings and streamline different types of living and working spaces, how to avoid the desire to accumulate shit, and examines the environmental impact and psychological cost that cluttered living can have (she encourages people to buy the Kindle version of her book. I did not do that).

The book is based on her popular blog, where she chronicles her own journey and efforts to reduce. And blah, blah, blah. She also features ‘Real Life Minimalist’ stories submitted to her by various single, married and/or child-rearing minimalists (some having quite a few children, but still maintaining the lifestyle to the best of their ability). I do like her sensible takes on consumerism, gift-giving, making your things pull their weight, and the alternative decorum ideas she comes up with. The only thing I might object to is how she treats unwanted, clutter-causing things as if they are “intruders.” I suppose I don’t like that because I’m one of those delusional people who still secretly thinks that inanimate objects have legit feelings too. But anyway, it’s all sort of interesting:

The Story of Stuff


The 10-Item Wardrobe

The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno; 2010

A few years ago, Dave Bruno radically reduced his possessions down to 100 things. Then he plopped out a book about it. (He’s similar to that dude who went completely generic, or that other dude whose family radically reduced their carbon footprint to like… almost nothing). It transformed his life or something. What I like about this guy is that he operates his minimalism under the assumption that things themselves aren’t inherently bad. Still, he’s vehemently against consumerism and thinks we’d all be better off if we used more of our brain power toward actual human thoughts, people moments, and productivity, and not so much…ya know, stuff? He’s a little gimmicky about it, but whatever.

I may never make it to 100 things, but I suppose that isn’t the point. Besides, even if I did want to, my Second Life days have primed me for it (no pun intended). When I had an SL apartment on the Manhattan sim, my prim count limit was 250. That was all that I could afford. For those of you unfamiliar with Second Life apartment rentals or prim counts, the amount of Linden dollars you pay your landlord per week determines your allowed number of prims (or objects). Most objects are comprised of more than one prim, but you can find sculpted objects that use up less prims. So if you’re on a budget, you have to be very selective of what you purchase for your place, and as you accumulate more items into your inventory, you have to constantly monitor how many objects you have placed in your space.

It all amounts to vigilance, folks. Don’t be judgmental. Get that shit outta here.

And click on this mystery link.


A Very Expensive Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Tiffany’s

Round Brilliant Ribbon Ring; Tiffany's

I’m not at all in the market to get married anytime soon, nor do I usually have expensive tastes, but somehow I ended up on, and the above engagement ring they featured earlier this week has been makin’ me cuckoo bananas.

I love the ribbon idea and how the diamond is nestled into it, almost like it’s being revealed. It’s like a diamond flower in bloom. Fuck me. I can’t stop looking at it. This mofo goes for $11,700 at Tiffany’s.

Tiffany & Co: Round Brilliant Ribbon Ring

I betcha if John Cusack ever finally got around to tying the knot with someone, she’d be sporting a much pricier engagement ring (probably in excess of $100K, or am I overestimating?). So would it really be too much for me to ask him to just like get me this as… just a gift for a friend? Just like a small gift for the thought?…Ya know, like for the trouble of being in love with him or something? Not that he owes me anything, but it’s just a thought.

I’m Usually Pretty Good at Not Spending Money

And when I do, I’d like to think that it’s pretty well-directed. I go into stores, I stick to my mission. I know what I’m looking for. If they have it, great. If not, why waste time? However, tonight I got a little carried away at the drugstore after work.

Here were today’s finds:

1) A 2012 Avalon planner in brown.

Things about Friday will be jotted here.

This will be good for jotting down things about 2012. My 2011 planner served me pretty well last year, but this one is nicer and more spacious (not that it necessarily means I will have more events to fill the space with. All that extra space will just paint a more visually accurate picture of how little of a life I lead.)

2) An apple-inspired tote.

This will be good for toting apple-inspired food items to work (e.g. apples, apple bread pudding, apple juice, apple flavored rice cakes, apple oatmeal packets, etc.) I am just kidding. I plan to tote a larger variety of breakfast and lunch items in this tote. I wonder if this is a purchase that I will later regret.

3) A sock monkey.

I think I’m naming this little guy “Beets.” I just looked at him and felt like his name would be Beets (or rather “Beatz,” but I’m not really cool enough for all of the coolness that would imply). I think he will get along quite nicely with my other two sock monkeys, Mr. John CuSock (a gift from a co-worker) and Roberta (a gift from my dear friend Kelly. Roberta has on a red vest and holds a little oval plaque with my name on it.) As you can see, I’m slowly amassing a nice little collection of monkeys. One of these days I’ll post a sock monkey family photo of the three of them together.

Other purchases of the night included some Febreeze (clean linen scent), hydrogen peroxide (for gargling), and a 10-pack of black ballpoint pens (for jottin’).

I’m off to remove the cat hair from some of my bedsheets while I finish watching The Thin Red Line.

Arf, arf, arf.

Little Christmas Radio

I don’t think my dad liked the gift I gave him this year. It’s a nice little vintage-inspired radio. I saw it in a magazine and kind of fell in love with it. It’s really classy, and I thought it might be something that would look sharp in his office. But apparently he already has radios stationed in every room of the house that he lounges in? (I think the radio he has in his bedroom is kind of past its prime, but whatevs).

Crosley CR221 Solo Radio - Black

We shall find some place for it. We shall find some love for it.

Epic shoe post numero uno.

I woke up today really depressed about my future. And by my future, I mean my career potential. And by my career potential, I mean how long it will take me to before I can worm my way into a paid position at NASA once I graduate. My parents gave me a huge lecture over brunch about how I need to believe in myself (*eyeroll*) and how I need to go after the things I really want in life (*another eyeroll*). I was just trying to express to them the sentiment that I feel like I would be at a greater advantage at getting into a co-op or internship with the gov’t. agency of my choice (i.e. NASA), had I switched to a Computer Science major back in freshman year, when I nearly did…

They think I will be able to work my way into a career in science, easy as pie. My father, who worked for the government for 32 years as a military aircraft quality control specialist, is convinced that the gov’t. will swoop me up and train me for anything my ambitious little heart desires. Thanks, dad. But it’s not in my personality to be quite so optimistic, let alone believe anything you say. Regardless of how my future will play out in reality, I feel like I’ve got a looong and potentially treacherous road ahead of myself. Anyway, I got all down in the dumps and grumped around the house about how I would end up flipping burgers for the remainder of my life…when my mom suddenly had a wonderful idea: why don’t we go buy some shoes?

Now, I had no money for this and usually I don’t agree to a shopping excursion if I don’t have the financial means for it. But I guess the Jane Aldridge in me won out over my penny pinching tendencies…. so I enlisted mother’s help (she owed me money from helping her with some work anyway). I totally bought the cutest, most unique pair of heels I have tried on in a while. At first glance, I thought these heels were fucking hideous. I literally scoffed at them. But then I took a second look (from slightly farther away)…and when I dared to put them on my feet? Well, it was love at first stride.

When I put on these shoes, I feel decadent. And you know I’m not one to try to play up on sex appeal, but I really believe that these shoes are onto something, and that they have embarked upon a wonderfully sexy relationship with my legs. And if I paired them with the right skirt??…there’s no telling what sort of interesting adventures might ensue. How. exciting. is. that.

The shoes are from Bobbi Blu. Google image this and you’ll find a shit ton of unconventional looking pumps, sandals, wedges, boots and other styles, all very off-beat and sassy. The particular shoe I purchased is called ‘Edith’, and it apparently comes in peach, sage and black. Today I happened across the sage variety.


Bobbi Blu, 'Edith's in sage.

Bobbi Blu Women's Edith Sandal Sage

A rather sexy close-up.

I love love love the t-straps, peep-toes and ruffles, and there are so many colors in this shoe, that the outfit possibilities are endless. I could give or take the buttons up the center and the bows on the side, but…I do kind of like that they’re so girly and festive! I really thought they were puke-worthy when I first saw them, but the longer I had them on in the store, the more they grew on me. Here they are shown in the black and peach as well. The black ones might be even hotter than the sage ones, but it doesn’t matter…I would love these shoes in any color they could manufacture them in.


Bobbi Blu Women's Edith Sandal Natural

Definitely a solid investment. Now all I have to do is practice not looking like a complete asshole when I try to walk in heels, and I’ll be ready to knock em’ dead. I can’t get enough of these shoes. Whatever the equivalent of professing your undying love for and ultimately proposing to a pair of shoes is — I want to do that. But I think the only real way I can show my love for these puppies is by working them like they’ve never been worked before. And I’ve already gotten started with the following, eerie lo-fi rainbow shots of me modeling these shoes.

shy shot

shy shot

classy shot

classy shot

spanish shot

Spanish shot

money shot.

money shot.

I own these now.

Set of 2 Drinking Glasses

They are so beautiful. I dunno why that second one seems lop-sided, but I don’t care either.

I’m not perfect, so I shouldn’t expect the glass to be perfect either. Nothing in this world is.

There’s a song that I really want to post here, but it’s not on YouTube. I can purchase the space upgrade and upload mp3s? Is it worth $15? Perhaps not currently…

Remember that one time..

that I said I was never going to post photos of myself on this blog ever again? Well I lied. I had a little too much photobooth/shop fun today, and the result was the following set of funky, faux-artsy images of myself changing shirts, sniffing combs, wearing floppy hats, fucking with my hair, and picking idly at my face. I’m useless and I’m wasting my life away is what it is.

Wearin' a floppeh hat.

Wearin' a floppeh hat & feelin' good.

Sniffing my comb as promised.

Sniffing my comb as promised.

Clearly in distress since I lost color in my left arm.

In distress since the color has drained from my left arm.

This exercise turned out rather eerily.

What a creep!

Hi. I'm racially confused. (!얼마나 귀여운 보십시오! ulzzang??!?)

Racially confused?? (!그러나 귀여운! ulzzang??!?)

Bby girl be workin' those wires.

Bby girl be workin' those wires.

I have some sort of fascination with the saturation of color or lack thereof. Today was more of a ‘lack thereof’ kind of day as you can tell. But perhaps it is symbolic. Maybe my life is becoming lackluster. Maybe I’m in need of a 180 (or a haircut). You be the judge.

I really have nothing of substance to discuss in this post to be honest. I had heavier wires installed in my face today. All summer I’ve gone with light blue ties for my brackets, but I realized that this was making me look like a 15 year old girl. So instead I’ve switched to gray, a much more unassuming color. It doesn’t draw too much attention to my teeth, and fits nicely with my medium skin tone and dark features. It’s my new favorite bracket tie color (is that a weird thing to have?)

I’ve just really fallen more and more in love with neutrals as I’ve gotten older. Neutrals and near-neutral versions of earth tones. Take the color “mushroom” for instance. I’ve been eBaying and etsying like a mad woman this week. And it just so happens that  a large portion of the items I’ve been eyeing (namely knee boots, drinking glasses, and Korean and Japanese apparel) come in this “mushroom” color. I do not like mushrooms. I don’t like the way they look/taste/smell/feel, etc. But the one thing I will give mushrooms credit for is having a nice color, and I’m willing to buy products that come in “mushroom”…regardless of the fact that I do not like mushrooms.

The purchases I’ve undertaken this week include black shorts with shoulder straps; a corset-waist, under-the-bust dress with straps; some knee boots (in mushroom); two pairs of denim leggings (originally quite popular in Japan/skinniest jeans evr/bought one got one free?!); aaand potentially some tumblers and kitchen cups (most likely also in mushroom).

I’ll keep you posted.

I think I’m in love

With this man.

With this song.

With this super hot Samus zero suit cosplay.

She can sure work some pvc...

With this super hot Princess Rosetta cosplay.

I like guys, and even I would try to get her number.


And with these shoes.

Paul & Joe Sister; Gypsy Velvet Wedges; Spring/Summer 09 collection

The wedges were apparently spotted on Ashley Tisdale earlier this year (yuk). More respectably however, Zoë Saldana has been spotted sporting a similar, but shorter, non-wedge, slightly more buckle-y variant of this style by Emilio Pucci. Concept is essentially the same though: strappedy strappy strap strap.

God. I’m such a sucker for brunettes.

On my playlist right now is some Out Hud, Miami Horror, Fool’s Gold,  Ghosthustler, Mellowdrone and Max Justus.

First up on my playlist right now is Miami Horror. “Make You Mine” … Yep, that’s the one. And no…it’s not just because it features the creamy vocals of Alan Palomo…although that is definitely a major selling point for me. But, it’s overall a good track.

Miami Horror – “Make You Mine” (2008)

If I hadn’t told you it was him, would you have recognized that voice?? Following on that vein of thought, I would post some Ghosthustler, but I can’t find a vid for “Only Me To Trust”…I swear…this is why Alan Palomo appears in my dreams. Ghosthustler is a band that Alan fronted back in 2007, but which he has since left to pursue some rather beautiful solo projects. Which reminds me..I would like to plug Psychic Chasms real quick…


This next song from Mellowdrone makes me feel sappy (in a good way). For you Mellowdrone fans…consider me converted. The song is good, but besides that….the lead vocalist is just fucking hot.

Mellowdrone – “Fashionably Uninvited” (2006)

I am really digging Out Hud’s stuff from 2005 right now. I really wanted to post “Stoked American”, but I couldn’t find it in video form anywhere. So, here’s “It’s For You”. If you haven’t already listened to them, you should check out “Stoked”…they had me at that song. They are fun.

Last but not least, Fool’s Gold’s “Surprise Hotel” is very groovy. It’s in Hebrew, so I don’t know what they’re saying. But I think I like it. I like their white suits too. The full length album comes out September 29th.

Fool’s Gold – “Surprise Hotel” (2009)

And Max Justus…again, couldn’t find the video for the particular song I wanted. :/ boo.

New – Nou – Nue – Neu

A new track by Neon Indian, “Terminally Chill”, just came out yesterday. You can check it out at Pitchfork if you so fancy. Video artist Alicia Scardetta has been confirmed as Palomo’s partner in crime. Their full-length album is due out October 13, with the following tracklisting:

01 (AM)
02 Deadbeat Summer
03 Laughing Gas
04 Terminally Chill
05 (If I Knew, I’d Tell You)
06 6669 (I Don’t Know If You Know)
07 Should Have Taken Acid With You
08 Mind, Drips
09 Psychic Chasms
10 Local Joke
11 Ephemeral Artery
12 7000 (reprise)

Of note is the fact that “Seriously, It’s Over” does not appear on this full-length, unless it has been renamed. I’m hoping this is the case, seeing as it’s a great song…a little on the short side, but still very much so album-worthy. I also dig how they have “numbered” 6669 and its reprise.

Meanwhile, I am watching Star Trek again, and swooning over Quinto…againto. Get sum, Uhura.

WEB GQ Germany - June 2009 pg 2.jpg

yow, baybee.

Seriously. I’m usually fairly unfazed by appeals of the sexual nature, and I have light suspicions that Quinto might be gay (emphasis on “light” and “might”), but this photo?? Let’s just say I wouldn’t mind boarding his Starship Enterprise, if you catch my drift. ^_~

(…that one was for you, Jeff. I could also make a joke here involving the Vulcan salute but…I digress.)

Attack of the cyber fashion links!

These were taken at the 2006 Siggraph Fashion Show in LA. Very cool indeed.



But these photos aren’t quite what this post is about. Well, I take that back…they actually are. This post is about cyber fashion and bio-integrated utilities. In particular, it’s about the researchers and developers that are working to promote advancements in wearable computing and expressive/responsive apparel.

One of the groups that has presented at the Siggraph in the past is the Banff New Media Institute. Via their Am-I-Able research project, they have put into works the creation of responsive or “smart” clothing and accessories that can be used in a variety of personal applications. Really, the breadth of their research and develop projects is really inspiring. Their work even extends to interior furnishings and urban network planning! They also are interested in BAN’s, a.k.a Body Area Networks, and the potential synching of “body data” or bio feedback to various communicative devices (e.g. cellphones, iPods, PDAs, PCs, etc).

You can find a detailed list of all of their projects at this nifty site: Banff Institute

Smart clothing can also be used to monitor one’s vital stats, as well as aid in social interactions by providing others with information regarding the wearer’s emotional status. The creation of fabrics outfitted with electrical conductivity, including electro-thermal textiles, have resulted in some interesting, expressive/responsive designs. The Wakita Lab at Keio University in Kanagawa has constructed a fairly awesome Wearable Synthesis ensemble that is based on the notion of clothing as modular, taking input from the wearer’s body temperature and pace. This information can then be translated through various layers of clothing to external displays (namely colored light displays). This piece appeared in the 2005 Siggraph show. These links, also on the Siggraph show, go into a bit more detail.

A brief discussion of smart clothing with a pretty diagram (view PDF for diagram):

Georgia Tech’s designs for the US Navy…goes into a discussion of wearable computing technologies.

The 2008 Greener Gadgets Design Competition saw the debut of Jim Mielke’s Digital Tattoo Interface. Imagine having a self-concealing cell-phone embedded in your skin that is naturally rechargeable! Just eat, and you’ve got bio-Wi-Fi!

Skin Phone

Look mah! I can speed dial you from my mole !!

Greener Gadgets – Digital Tattoo Interface (Skin Phone)

One day ... they will be selling these at Urban Outfitters

This last video is probably the most blatant abuse of “smart” fashion….Not only does this dress/chair look silly, but it isn’t very practical. Although, it looks like it would make for a pretty good work-out….

Self-Sustainable Chair

It’s things like that that might give rise to scathing commentaries like these: 😦

Anyway, enough of that…some light, playful sounds for now.. I’m really digging this Charanga Cakewalk song right now. It makes me want to go on safari in outer space….or like, in Australia.

Charanga Cakewalk – Melodica (clip should play automatically from here)

Micachu’s “Golden Phone” is nice too.


Alright, the more I have pried on the internet over this product, the Emotiv EPOC headset, I am beginning to have my doubts as to whether or not it truly works. The price tag seems a little suspicious…only $300 for that kind of technology?? The following article is making me scared:

Also, in one YouTube video demonstration by Tan Le herself, co-founder of the company that created the headset, at one point one of the brainwave receptor pieces falls off..and then she just sticks it back on as if it were nothing! That was very suspicious indeed. It might have been a buffer piece or something…but really, why would you want a buffer piece when you’re trying to pick up electrical signals through someone’s skull??

In addition to this, it is curious that this technology has been around for quite some time now (in the hands of select government agencies and in the medical fields), however it is just now getting around to consumer/retail release?? And supposedly the Emotiv company is concerned that its competitors will reach a release date prior to their own (due to delays with the EPOC headset). All of this competition for a retail release…just now?? Yet the technology has been around for some time….and delays due to glitches?…..yet..the basic technology has been around (in successful use) for some time?

Very curious. Very curious, indeed. And I know, I know you’re all probably sitting there (all 2 of you) thinking, “Told you so..”, but…the fact that this technology is not unheard of is what continues to give me hope for such a product. For society’s sake, I hope the headset actually works.

I have two new dreams to post here shortly.

This has got me creaming my pants.

I’m sorry. That was entirely too vulgar for this blog. But still… have got to look at this. It’s only $299!!:

I’m so on that when it comes out. In fact, I found this in the first issue of the online magazine “H+”, a magazine that caters to Transhumanists by providing information about state-of-the-art technology that will assist in ushering in the biomechanical merger between humans and technology. If you are not savvy to Transhumanism, I suggest you check out these links first:

..and of course the wiki on it.

Transhumanism is what “mad scientists” like Dr. Kevin Warwick, Ray Kurzweil, Dr. Hugo de Garis, and others in the cybernetics and bioengineering fields have been on about for years now. Still there are plenty of fear mongering yahoos out there who are afraid that this is eugenics reincarnate, and will try their hardest to stunt the progress of transhuman development. But what they fail to realize is that the creation of a post-human society is not only in the works, but it is in fact inevitable.

On a lighter, unrelated note, I dig this boot:


$149.99 at