Antisociology

The Future

Posted in artwork, movie, shortfilm, video by antisociology on July 15, 2011

Last night I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to see a preview screening of Miranda July’s new movie, “The Future” at the MoMA. I was actually in the standby line, credit and membership cards in hand, when someone asked if I was next in line and then shoved a ticket at me. Bonus!

For those who don’t know, Miranda July is an artist/writer/filmmaker. Her last feature length movie was “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” The characters and plots in her movies tend toward the quirky, outcast, and fantastical. If you’re uncomfortable with uncomfortable characters, her movies probably aren’t for you. Her film short, “Are You The Favorite Person of Anybody?” featuring John C. Reilly is actually available on YouTube:

July was there at the screening and answered some audience questions after the film. The coolest part was that she mingled before and afterwards. Standing a few feet away from her, I felt like what I think teenage girls feel when they’re standing by Justin Bieber. As it turns out, she’s just as quirky and adorkable as the characters she writes into her movies. Yes, I have a crush.

“The Future” is about a couple who realize that adopting a cat will tie them together in responsibility. Fearing that commitment, they take the month they have and try to live life without the burden of everyday cares. It’s a movie that is, on the one hand, about moments and, on the other hand, about the arcs and storylines that play out over our lifetimes.

The characters aren’t heroes; they’re flawed almost to the extent of being pitiable. It’s that quality, however, that makes their performances so good. We all have flaws. Life is tough and no amount of fantastical happenings can really change that.

The movie itself is beautiful, at times feeling like a very polished piece of performance art or a series of art photos. Props and music all seem to have been chosen deliberately and unnoticeably perfectly.

My one complaint about the film is that I felt it ran a little long. Scenes linger, and the character performances are slow… almost as if they were visually enunciating each beat in the plot. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to see it do well in general release.

Here’s the trailer for “The Future”:

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Product Management

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on July 10, 2011

One of the really challenging things about my new job is that I’ve taken a role I haven’t really formally taken on before. In addition to learning all about a new and complex suite of products as well as a new company culture, I’m really learning a new job at the same time. To be honest, I wasn’t even really sure what a “product manager” did when I started interviewing (the product was just that interesting).

I’m approaching the role as sort of an internal entrepreneur. Once I’m up to speed, I expect that I’ll be dividing my time between looking for new functionality, prioritizing feature requests from the field, and doing a little project management in juggling requests. The goal is to make sure that products keep evolving and improving but in a way that is consistent with the current state and future goals of the business.

This is a lot different than my role as a software engineer. Although I was also responsible for keeping the product going, deciding which features to build was somewhat out of my control. I could decide how to build things, but what or when was largely decided by other people.

This has actually been a tough transition on a lot of levels. First off, I am used to having been the one to have built… well… if not everything, close to everything. Secondly, I am having to make a transition from thinking in terms of code, to thinking in terms of documents. There are simply too many issues to keep track of for me to get knee deep in code.

Morning

Posted in artwork, habits by antisociology on July 6, 2011

My new morning routine:

Heavy

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on July 4, 2011

Dear Reader,

I apologize for the lengthy intervals between my posts. Between work, matters of the heart, and my own laziness I’ve neglected this blog. So, here’s what’s been going on.

Over the winter I started seeing a girl I’ve had a huge crush on for a while. Unfortunately, the relationship ended. I’m still not completely sure what happened. From what I can tell, it may have been bad timing or, more likely, my own inexperience with courtship. Love seems sort of like credit to me. To get good credit, one has to borrow money, but to borrow money, one has to have good credit. Maybe that’s what dating is. Borrowing a small piece of someone’s heart for a period of time — a small enough investment to get you in the door so you can build up enough credit to say “I love you” and mean it.

An interesting observation about myself. I recently learned (via Facebook, natch), that this girl (as well as another former love interest) has started seeing someone else. This revelation stirred up a response I didn’t expect. I actually got jealous and sad and lonely. To be honest, it still smarts a bit. I’m not sure why this reaction surprises me. I guess I always thought I was the sort of person who would react more cooly and rationally about this sort of thing.

Earlier this year, I had surgery on my finger to remove a benign growth. The surgery was fine, and I recovered in a few weeks. My finger is shorter than it was, but I have full use of it and don’t really notice.

Two weeks ago, I left the company I joined three years ago and started a new job. There were a number of reasons for leaving, none holding greater sway than any other. There were a lot of reasons to join the new place too (a decision wholly separate from whether to leave or not). So, I have a new position (non-engineering), in a new company. There’s a lot to learn, and I’m excited about gulping it all down so I can start making a real dent in things.

It’s summer now. This is not my favorite season, but there are still moments when I want time to stand still so I can just enjoy the moment. I’m working on filling up my life, finding a good balance between work (which I care about deeply), and everything else. I’ve recently started trying to paint again and have been trying to spend more of my time with people new and old.

I hope we can keep in touch more as I settle into this next chapter of my life.

With love, John