Tag Archives: Technology

an interview with two foreheads and an invisible man

I had the ph.d interview today- it was really weird because it was over Skype. I had made sure my cam would give a clear picture of me in front of a white, empty wall and that Tom was eating breakfast in the bedroom so the interviewers wouldn’t get an image of him wandering about half-naked. Very considerate, right? But what I got from the other side was a picture of two foreheads and sometimes a couple of eyes, and they weren’t even of the person asking the questions because he was sitting behind the screen. Very odd angling of the webcam. It would have been less distracting with no video what so ever. It’s really difficult to give the appearance of interest through body language and to achieve a feeling of eye contact for the other half you have to stare straight into the camera, not into the eyes of the picture beneath. I think I did OK under the circumstances, but they didn’t really make it easy for me. In general, I hate being interviewed, it’s awkward and I don’t think I’m any good at it at all. If I know “sort-of” what the questions will be I will prepare for them, but whenever a question catches me off-guard I find it difficult to come up with an interesting answer and elaborate. Annnyhhoooow I don’t feel too bad because now I can forget about it for a few weeks and focus on life here again. It’s quite nice that it will take them a while to decide who to give the job to, because that gives me time to think about whether I really want it or not.

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The very important job of making family Christmas Cards

For the last few years, mum has asked/nagged/demanded me to create a family Christmas card on Photoshop and I’ve obliged. Partly because I want to make mum happy, partly because I like editing photos, partly because it’s an… interesting challenge.

It seems like most people in my age have parents that believe that computers are magical, incomprehensible machine, but that somehow the secret wisdom of computers was imparted on their children the second we left the womb. Every 20-something hold the power to do almost anything with it with just a click of the mouse, and if we can’t get it to work, it’s simply because we don’t want to do it. My boyfriend constantly gets cryptic texts from his mum with questions like “Why is the green thing gone”, “what’s my password?”, and “I think I made the hard drive disappear. How do I get it back?”. It’s always completely innocent questions that leaves you wondering “What the freaking hell did she do? What is she talking about and how could Tom possibly know how to fix it?”.  My mum doesn’t ask as much computer questions, but that might just be because she has given up trying to understand computers and simply doesn’t use them anymore.

My point is that mum’s understanding of Photoshop is not the greatest and that I wouldn’t be surprised if she sent me a comment like this:

sharp-suits-worst-client-comment-posters-24

Click on the image to see a collection of puzzling editing requests. Anyhow,  about this year’s family Christmas card. One rare year I got professionally taken photos to work with, but most of the time it’s a mix of regular cellphone photos taken with varying lighting conditions and backgrounds that needs to be cropped and copied into a card. I know mum wouldn’t mind that much if it looked like a tacky mess (as long as I put Christmas hats on the cats and the dog, lighten her teeth and add a decorative background), but it’s a matter of pride for me to try to make it look at least a little good. If I can’t do that, I’ll go in for making it purposefully tacky. One year, I just gave up and sketched a Christmas card instead.

christmascard2011

This was from the year when we had our photo taken by a professional photographer (my mum thinks he’s great, but a bunch of his photos are blurry. At least he has good equipment):

godjul copy

Anyhow, these were the photos I had to play with this year. They’re not too bad individually, but they’re hardly any similarities between them. They’re all taken under different lightning conditions, different poses and using different equipments. They’re also taken in late August, which doesn’t really give you any Christmas feelings.

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This is what I managed to put together. I’m kind of disappointed that I couldn’t include any pets this year! I tried fitting in Bagheera the Dog in the card but it looked ridiculous. His head was floating in the corner of the card like he was a ghost dog looking down upon us from dog heaven.

julkort2

I can’t find any of the other Christmas Cards I’ve made, but maybe that’s for the best. Merry Christmas times, everyone, and be nice to each other. I don’t believe in God or Jesus, but I believe that a lot of people want to have a special occasion to show their appreciation for their loved ones, and Christmas is an excellent opportunity for that.

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