Circling


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Pretty soon we’ll be nothing but shape and color!

It was my first day at my internship. The clock hit five and the sun went down and I found myself circling the airport in rush hour traffic trying to find my way out of El Segundo. It didn’t seem to matter what lane I got in: the roads split and curved and split again until I found myself heading northwest instead of east. There was a tunnel and an intersection where no turns were allowed, left or right, and then the road split again and sent me alongside the runways towards the Pacific.

I finally found an intersection where I could get myself turned around and was driving back along the runways into the oncoming landing pattern. It was possible to see the inbound flights strung out across the sky in a glittering necklace of lights featuring a pendant of three glittering airborne diamonds of a jumbo jet waiting for clearance to land. It seemed to hang in the sky without moving- even as I drove closer to it, it never seemed to approach until the road curved again at the exact moment that it passed overhead feeling almost near enough to touch.

As frustrated as I was at getting lost and adding time to my commute, that was a sight worth seeing.

The internship itself was pleasantly uneventful for the first day. Yesterdays nerves were unfounded (no surprise). Most of the day was spent doing a form of data entry that involved organizing festival-screening films into a chart. It’s the kind of  organization and sorting that I find comforting: tedious, but not difficult.

The project involved gathering a lot of information from film festival websites. All the websites seemed to follow the same graphics template designed for mobile phones or tablets: something meant to be read on a small screen while in a car or outside a theatre. The emphasis was on graphics: the festival logo, some promotional images from films, so much so that it completely smothered all the pertinent information: the festival’s dates (including the year- one festival didn’t bother to include this so I couldn’t tell if the dates were for the upcoming festival or the previous one), the festival’s location, the festival’s mission statement. One horror festival was so slyly designed that I didn’t know it was a horror festival until I looked it up on Wikipedia.

I’m beginning to pass the tipping point in my patience when it comes to web design. The more updates come out the more dumbed down the design becomes. Icons are bigger. Colors are flatter. Edges are squarer. Fonts lose their serifs. I feel like I’m being forced into internet-kindergarten to be spoon fed colors and shapes. This isn’t a new trend, I’ve been suppressing my  irritation for some time now, but it has finally reached the point of ridiculous: I actually find myself zooming out on websites to make the text smaller so that I don’t feel like I’m supposed to trace each letter with the finger that isn’t shoved up my nose.

At any rate, frustration aside, it was a good day. More tomorrow.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 7, 2016.

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