Saturday, July 01, 2006

You Ain't Got No Home Buddah!!!

Funny as it sounds, that's how it feels. Traveling, traveling. It's a good thing. But it's very tiring. In the last two-and-a-half months, I've been to Seattle, Montreal, DC, San Jose/Mountain View, and Rochester. Mostly for job interviews. I went to Montreal for a week in April to attend the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (more about that later).

I'm heading back to DC for another job interview next week (YAY I get to go home!). Then back to Rochester. And the following week I may be heading to Pittsfield, MA for another interview. It's crazy. As soon as I drop my bags and get comfortable it's time to pack those bags and board the plane again!

As I mentioned above, I had the opportunity to attend the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Montreal back in April. This is the annual conferernce for the Human Computer Interaction community. For those who are wondering, Human Computer Interaction (or HCI) is a field of computing which focuses on the interaction between people and computers. One of its main goals is to improve the interaction between people and computers by developing computing systems that efficient, effective, easy to use, and easy to understand. And most importantly, that computing systems meet the needs of the people who use them. It's a multidisciplinary field that depends heavily on computer science, information science, cognitive science, anthropology, ergonomics, psychology, and sociology to name a few.

At the conference, there were several presentations, workshops, courses, and discussions devoted to recent innovations and developments within the HCI community. It was a wonderful experience for networking and learning about what other students, researchers, and practitioners are doing in the field. I was one of several student volunteers there. And I had a blast! Got to party a little bit. Got to meet a lot of new people. And I got to talk with several employers about possible job opportunities in their HCI departments. I even got to attend hospitality events in some of the local hotels sponsored by employers such as Microsoft, Google, eBay, and IBM. The Conference is held in a different location each year and usually lasts about five days. Next year it will be in San Jose, CA. I'd really love to go next year. But it all depends upon the money! I guess if I start saving now, I might be able to make it.

Other than that, I'm chillin' like a villain up in Da ROC. I've been listening to a lot of Chaka Khan and Phyllis Hyman lately. They are two of my all-time favorite vocalists. Both of whom I've been listening to and loving since I was very young.

Chaka Khan recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards. Much deserved and long overdue if you ask me. I've been bumping the following albums: Chaka, I Feel For You, Come 2 My House, Classikhan, The Best of Rufus & Chaka Khan, and Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol. 1. Word on the street is that she's been working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on a new album. Sounds like it's going to be hot! I'll be first in line to get it when it drops.

Phyllis Hyman is yet another consummate artist who never received the acclaim and accolades she rightly deserved. I've been playing the following over and over again: Phyllis Hyman, You Know How To Love Me, Living All Alone, The Prime of My Life, and The Legacy of Phyllis Hyman. It would be nice if she were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame or received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame even. (If Britney Spears has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, why not?) Though she's no longer with us, her legacy continues to live on. Now that I think of it, it would also be nice if Arista/BMG would re-release all of her earlier albums from 1977 - 1983. There's no doubt in my mind that there's an audience out here who craves them. I wrote a poem in tribute to Phyllis a few years back. Since her birthday is approaching, I may put it up. She would've been 57 this year.

Until later, hope you all have a great weekend!

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