bunnyfish adventures

June 5, 2009, 1:01 am
Filed under: mini-adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
This is not Dublin, but I kinda liked it more.

Howth: This is not Dublin, but look at that mist!

I went this past weekend to Dublin, a city I expected to look… less new. Somehow, I’ve been spoiled a bit by living in the quaint town of Delft that magically stores nerdy tech students infinitely in its canals (or perhaps in the wind).

The first day I got there before my companions, so I decided on a day trip to Howth, pronounced more like “Hoath,” to walk around the peninsula. I was surprised by the public prevalence of written Gaelic, and then while on the train ride to Hoath I realized it didn’t matter whether which language local young teenage girls spoke, because I couldn’t understand anything with their accents.

map-howthNear the beginning of my journey around the peninsula (my free map from a coffee shop makes it look very Lord of the Rings), fate brought me to a fellow lone traveler from Germany named Oda, who was stood up last second by her friend for her birthday trip to Dublin.

We happily trekked along the surprisingly empty, surprisingly steep, surprisingly narrow path for the first hour or two… and a bit more tired for the remaining couple hours getting back to the train station.

For the rest of the weekend we hit up the touristy stuff, but also stopped by a small design market on Saturday that was a bit eclectic.  I bought a necklace from Aoife, who is on a mission to bring bone-carving back to its Irish roots (who knew it started there?).  Apparently the butcher starts gathering bones when he sees her coming.  Nice.

Other favorites from the trip:

  • more decently priced and locally brewed beer at Messrs. Maguire
  • food from the Hairy Lemon
  • old school Guinness advertisements illustrated by John Gilroy

And one surprising thing I found was that I missed the size of Dutch beers.  Half a liter of beer is just too much for me if I want to do anything other than sit down and be lazy.  Really lazy.

Click on me for photos.  Incomplete set until I see BSJ again.

Click on me for photos. Incomplete set until I see BSJ again.


February 2, 2009, 7:23 pm
Filed under: design, mini-adventures | Tags: , , , ,


click above for pictures

Went to Amsterdam on Friday with Robin to look for maple syrup and at some random design stuff.  We went to the Van Gogh museum, walked around the markets, and visited some design shops like droog and Frozen Fountain.

I also got a Dutch comic book from Lambiek, that is according to their website, the oldest comic book shop in Europe.  It has a female protagonist, and a dinosaur on the cover.  Translated, it’s “Isabelle and the Monster.”  We’ll see if it’s any good motivation for me to learn to read Dutch.  The cover of another book of the series was pretty good, “De waanzinnige geleerde,” but I kind of wish I knew what was going on.

comic book I got from Lambiek

comic book I got from Lambiek

Now that I translated it, it kind of makes sense.  But I didn't have Google Translate in the store.

Okay, now that I translated it, it kind of makes sense. But I didn't have Google Translate in the store.

whistle while you work

Work has been all I’ve been up to since I got back to Delft last Sunday.  The semester doesn’t end until the end of the month, and I took an extra week of break to be at home.

It was great!  I had an awesome break.  I took a crapload of pictures and my net luggage was one 42-pound check-in.  (Granted, I was carrying some things back from the US as a favor to some friends.)  So far I just have pictures of my trip to the Creation Museum.

Creation Museum

Regarding the new year, I had three mental resolutions while on the flight back:
1) Don’t be lazy.
2) Be less self-conscious and shy.
3) Be less negative.

Shit.  Let me start over.

1) Do more!
2) Be more confident!
3) Be more positive!

That’s the spirit.  They’re resolutions that aren’t really new, but it’s nice to actually make them.

I haven’t been sharing a lot of schoolwork on here because there wasn’t much to show visually.  I’m still learning what is expected here, and while classes are starting to wrap up, I need to start making things.  We have a viewing of our Domestic Appliances videos on Wednesday, where there will be prizes and voting and all that fun stuff.  More updates to come.

unproductive productivity
November 24, 2008, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Delft, design, mini-adventures, school | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I came home last night after watching Cloverfield and went on a cleaning/organizing spree that started with the dishes, then proceeded to the kitchen, and ended with my staying up all night going through all my finances since I got here.  The picture below is just a few receipts from my frequent grocery runs to C1000, one of the three supermarkets in my area.


I also realized that I could also keep track of the cashiers’ names and started a tally of who has served me the most.  (Hallo Seborah.)  Cindy and Jeanne are tied for second.  I started trying to diversify my cashier when I was going there more than three times a week.

And now I can also start keeping rough track of how much I’m spending on what.  Unfortunately I am missing some relevant information, so to reconcile my cash expenses I have a slush expense called “boozin’,” because in the absolute worst case scenario I would have spent all the rest on going out.  (Slightly unrealistic, but seeing it in my statement will be a nice reminder.)

norman 2008.11.20 - 12

DA dinner 2008.11.19 - 08

I also caved and paid for a flickr account so I can show more pictures in a pretty fashion that isn’t facebook-dependent.  Like watching a baby learn to walk, maybe you’ll see some more sophisticated photo management out of me in the future.

I uploaded other photos from the Donald Norman excursion (it was held in the Design Huis of Eindhoven, so there were some exhibits to see), and I also put up pictures from my Domestic Appliances inspirational dinner last Wednesday after a product imaging workshop with Philips.

At this phase of the class, we are developing individual concepts based on the research we did as a group in the first quarter.  To test out and learn more about some of our concepts, my group held a long-due inspirational dinner.  Ivo (glasses) is making a tofu squeezer and marinater, Elliot (plaid shirt) is interested in making steaming more accessible, and Suyanto (last guy) is interested in increasing nutritional knowledge and balanced eating.  We kind of failed to steam anything, but we did make tofu, sushi, noodles, green beans, and ice cream with fruit chunks and pineapple glaze.

Donald Norman went to MIT too
November 20, 2008, 8:36 pm
Filed under: design, mini-adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

don_normanReal quick before I head out to dinner, I went to Eindhoven today with Caroline (and ran into Sverre, Silje, and Gøril) to see a talk by Donald Norman. He wrote the books that are popular with designers such as “The Design of Everyday Things” and “Emotional Design: Why We Love (and Hate) Everyday Things.”

I brought my books for the train ride, in case I wanted to review them or ask him about anything in particular. don_norman(I ended up not.) Or if anyone else would want to read some of his books.  (My friends didn’t either.)  However, several people came up with the brilliant idea of having him sign my books.  (How novel!  No pun intended.)

Either way, I tried to keep it short but he noticed my American accent, I mentioned that they referred to his books in some courses at MIT, and he was like “Oh yeah, I went there too, I was Course 6.”

And actually, I knew that.  Dammit!  I had read that at one point and thought, “Oh cool,” but didn’t bother to remember it since I didn’t think I would actually ever meet him.

Regardless, he agreed to look suspicious in a picture with me, during which he said, “You seem like you should belong to the Media Lab,” and I think overall it was a win.

Wandering around Germany
November 12, 2008, 11:51 pm
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dom_colognei went away
for a while
just to come back again

Because I have a lot of photos from this past weekend, I’m trying out the facebook album approach.  (There are three, click the links above.)

Yoshi, Robin, Hiro (Yoshi’s friend visiting from Japan), and I had an excursion to Germany to look at some museums and “get inspiration.”  Places we visited were Zollverein (renovated coal mine now art scene) in Essen, the cathedral and museums in Köln/Cologne (Kolumba, Museum of Applied Art, and Museum Ludwig), and briefly Düsseldorf.  Food culturally, I had me some German beer, sausage, pretzel, and berliner.

Travel disasters were kept to a relative minimum.  We had a slightly unpleasant encounter with a cab driver who took us to another hostel of the same name in another town at 2AM after we overshot our stop on the train.  There was obviously lots of walking, and lots of climbing (we scaled the dom tower [509 steps, supposedly], our first hostel was on a hill in the middle of the woods, and we stayed on the 5th floor in our second hostel).

The red dot design museum at Zollverein had a lot of stuff to look at and play with (the more fun part!).  Kolumba had a really interesting space, unfortunately I didn’t know anything about the pieces since I couldn’t read German.  The Museum of Applied Art was a random find, but the design exhibit was rather awesome and the presentation was much more digestible than the first museum.  Museum Ludwig had many Picasso pieces, a sweet audio bar installation, and had a lot more that I’m not mentioning.

I mourned the fact that museums do not like to open on Mondays.  I stalked the chocolate museum in Köln at night to compensate.  (… I was so close to it without knowing it earlier on Sunday!  I was really sad.)  Thank goodness for glass.

And when I got home I was really happy to be on a bike.  My mind was refreshed, but my feet were quite dead.

Sungyon came to visit!
October 31, 2008, 1:27 am
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sungyon 2008.10.23-25 - 044

sungyon 2008.10.23-25 – 044

We went to Dutch Design Week (yes, part 2 for me) and also to Amsterdam for Sungyon’s birthday. (Many thanks to Marlous for letting us crash at her place.)

Design Week was less interesting this time than I thought it would be. I may have needed to know more about the things that were there, but it wasn’t as inspiring as I had hoped… There are some photos up on Flickr anyway. Speaking of which, it only shows 200 of my photos at a time, so until I get suckered into paying, seeing some of my older photos may not work.

And since I think my most loyal reader of my blog is Mom (hi Mom!), I’m linking to the slideshow so it’ll be easier for her to look at everything.