Saturday, July 14, 2007

-- where the masses come to graze

Getting ready to fly. Back at the airport when I was standing in line in the huge crowd, it really seemed like I was in a herd of cattle. This is where America comes to graze, at airports and rest stations, where large numbers of us gather and wait.

I had the visual equivalent of being in the mall and suddenly being aware of the whoosh of noise all around yet you can't hear what anyone's saying. Voices fuse into one giant white noise of conversation. Standing there, I felt like everyone blended into one, husbands and wives standing passionlessly away from eachother, banal expressions on their faces. Women who'd given up on themselves distant from Archie Bunker husbands, both nursing impending deliveries, drinking to occupy themselves in a meaningless life where losing intimate connections with loved ones seems to have been the only successfully-realized side effect of the goal of living.

Because of this, I can kindof understand the Korean girl I met once who said her first impression upon coming to the U.S. was that everyone looked alike. How is that possible, I thought. We have different hair colors, styles, texture! Different sizes and shapes! But standing here, now I realize we can be unexpectedly predictable in all our phenotypic diversity.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

about me

Spleen (n.)

A large, highly vascular lymphoid organ, lying in the human body to the left of the stomach below the diaphragm, serving to store blood, disintegrate old blood cells, filter foreign substances from the blood, and produce lymphocytes. This organ is conceived as the seat of emotions or passions: venting one's spleen.

Suffix "-ess": indicating a female (e.g.: lioness, actress, waitress, sculptress, stewardess, etc.).

About Spleeness

I only have one spleen but it tries hard anyway. Right now my spleen and I live near Washington DC. I studied communications and biology as an undergrad because I love science and, well, communicating. I might be the smallest-haired person you've met that hails from the big-haired state of NJ. I grew up on the Jersey Shore but have yet to see the infamous TV show.

In my free time, I run a few blogs, Twitter feeds, a Flickr account and a few other social media sites. I'm especially interested in usability data. I sometimes informally tutor a group of seniors on technology and this is one reason I pay such close attention to good design and navigability; people adopt tools when they're truly useful, not just hip. Online communities thrive with participation, just like real-life communities, so it's important for me to be active online, not just lurk. But I like my contributions to be valuable, so you'll rarely find me announcing what I ate for lunch. A number of my social media contacts have turned into good friendships -- I met my oldest online friend in a Usenet group in 1994!

I live 3 Ani DiFranco songs away from work and like to make jewelry on weekends.

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