Exploding Art Mimbulus Mimbletonia style

A blog by Julia Felix about experiences on the CAMS New Media in NYC and Europe study abroad program.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Oh No!!

Well, we only did one thing today really, and that was go to NextFest. John asked us to pick an exhibit there and write a couple of paragraphs about it, but I can't quite figure out how. I want to talk about all the interesting things that were there, and I have about 30 pictures of everything. So this should be interesting.

After a night of hardcore partying, almost everyone managed to get up and meet at 9:45 to go to NextFest, which took place in the Javitz convention center. John picked up our tickets, handed them out, and we were off to explore.

And now I'm going to write the longest sentence in the universe.

There was a cool harp made out of lasers that people could play, some kind of light up blocks, a cool fog screen thing, a "Media Mirror" that projected what was in front of it in the form of little tiny live television feeds, a cool space-time spandex pokey screen, a projected dandelion that blows away when an infrared hairdryer is pointed at it, a bunch of interactive projected games/images that move when a person tries to push them, Coca-cola Blak (eeew), some kind of underwater diving suit that was basically made so people can take oil out of the ocean floor, robot dancing follows, some kind of blinking robot xylophone, mechanical hands, therapy baby seals that squeek when you poke them, another mirror type thing with little discs, electronic prostitute shoes, a robot Albert Einstein, electronic people that read your blog outloud for you, a program that searches the internet for images based on the captioning on whatever channel you're watching, a weird circle bike/car thing, and a really cool musical light thing that the creator admitted was just an excuse to use Toshiba stuff since they were his sponsors. *Catches breath* Actually, that wasn't as long as I thought it'd be. Picture time!

Even though I just discovered my new love of Mirror like electronic things, now that I know how they work, they don't seem as interesting. Especially since now I've seen four of them in the last two days. No, by far my favorite thing in all of NextFest was Laptop_Orchestra by a nice guy named Paolo, who seemed to be one of the only people in all of NextFest who actually wanted to tell me about what he was doing. Even though the poster claimed it to be "an interactive synthetic instrument," Paolo told me that it wasn't so much an instrument as a media project where a person could create images and tones in any way they wanted.

Here's how it works (sort of): There are 15 laptops set into a table, each programmed with different algorithms that cause them to make different patterns on the screen when activated. They are activated with touch sensitive "stem tops" (long antenna like things) that are arranged in the same order as the laptop screens. Each time the stem tops are touched, the screen makes an image that has a corresponding tone, creating a very nice image and sound piece which has absolutely no purpose other than to be beautiful. And that, I've recently discovered, is my favorite kind of thing. Paolo actually explained to me that he was being sponsored by Toshiba and basically made Laptop_Orchestra because he needed to use their product. It just proves my point that sometimes people make the best things when they aren't trying to.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Donations for Tisch??

Today is an optimum day for blogging. It's Friday night and everyone is at a toga party. The internet is so fast right now.

Well, today was yet another exciting day. We started off the day by going down to the ARChive, an archive for pretty much all the popular music ever created since the late 1940's. The guy there had some amazing stories about people that he's met with all over the world, and told us about some of his adventures in Columbia where it seems he was almost murdered a few times a day.

Afterwards, we had a couple of hours before we had to be at Tisch for some kind of unknown reason, so we wandered around looking at random shops and sort of looking for food. We found a few really cool things, including a restaurant called Felix, an advertisement that made no sense, and a mailbox with "My dick is big" painted on the side.

Eventually, Jenny saw a place that she had heard had really good hot chocolate, so we stopped in there. It was $4 for a 3 ounce cup of hot chocolate, but that was because it was so good. They basically melt a chunk of really good chocolate in a cup for you, and then you drink it. I almost considered buying something there, but it was $7 for two 1in big pieces of chocolate, so it didn't happen.

At around 5pm, we got to Tisch. Caitlin and I had our first New York hot dog stand hot dogs while we waited for everyone to get there. They were pretty good. I kind of want one now.

When everyone got there, we went up to the 4th floor. I don't remember what that floor is, but it has to do with technical stuff. The point is, it was awesome. In the lobby, there was this really cool piece called The Wooden Mirror by Daniel Rozin. Basically, it was a bunch of little wooden squares connected to motors with a camera in the middle of the whole thing. The camera would record the image of whatever was in front of it, then the motors would move the wooden squares accordingly depending on the shade of gray that was in the image. I played with it for a good 20 minutes.

There was another really cool piece there by a guy named Tristan. I remember seeing something at SITE Santa Fe that it reminded me of a little bit. He had programmed some motors with some kind of algorithm, then hooked up some fishing wire tied to a pen, so that the motors would move according to the algorithm and draw some kind of random picture. I also stared at that for quite a while.

The guys at Tisch told us about the school, what they did there, etc., and now I really want to go there. It's only a two year program! It can't cost that much, can it??? So I'm thinking that everyone who's reading this should get $1 from everyone they know, and donate it to the "send Julia to Tisch" fund. Or the "send Julia to the Manhattan School of Music" fund. That should start me off with about $1000, and then if I sell crack on the street and pimp out some ho's, I might be able to pull it off.

After Tisch, I stayed in the Village for a while and had a really good dinner of delicious sushi!! Mmmmm. Then I came back here, went to Tom's birthday party and had a really good time watching everyone get really drunk, and then I came back here to do my blog post. The end.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm sorry, but eyeliner just doesn't look good on everyone.

Finally, after almost a week, I've recovered from the Come Out and Play Festival. I celebrated by walking way too much today, which I celebrated by eating ice cream! Yay!!!

We had class at 11 today, where John told us about how we had to finish up our Cube project (the project that he commissioned an artist to do with us), which I'm pretty sure none of us are even close to finishing, and mentioned that he had planned a tour at the Whitney for us at 1:30 and if we could go we should.

The show we were taking a tour of was about Picasso and American art (yay more picasso!!), and since I decided I loved him so much when we went to MoMA yesterday, I had to go. We got there a bit late, but met up with the tour guide and had a great tour...apparently.

When our tour first started, there were a couple of old people who decided that they could follow us around and take the tour with us. I was kind of angry about this (I can't really explain why, but wouldn't you be?), but there wasn't really anything I could do about it since they weren't being annoying or anything. A little while later, we acquired a couple of little old ladies. I suppose that people saw there were a few older people in our group and thought that it must be some kind of free tour. So suddenly there were about twenty people following us around, and I was just going crazy trying to decide if I should stop the tour and make them all leave. But where would they go? 5 feet away? It seemed stupid. And they weren't really doing anything, they were just following us. So I couldn't really justify it, until the end of the tour where they started standing in front of us and asking questions. But since we were on the last artist of the tour, it seemed stupid to throw them out then, too.

After the tour, we were free to wander around the museum. I looked around a little bit, but my legs hurt from standing for so long, so I decided to leave after about half an hour.

When I left the museum, I realized I wasn't sure how to go about getting back. We had taken the subway, and then the bus, and then walked a bit, but I didn't know exactly where we had come from or what bus to take to get back to the subway stop. So I just started walking west (not randomly, alright?) towards Central Park. I could have just walked up and around it, but I figured since I hadn't really been there yet, I might as well just walk across.

It was actually really cool. There was grass and trees everywhere, and some statue of a king in Poland, a pond, a totally random castle which was right next to some kind of concert stage, and other interesting things. But I think the most interesting thing about it was knowing that none of it at all used to be there. I watched a huge long special on PBS or something random like that about how they made Central Park, and how pretty much everything in there, even the huge rocks, had to be brought over from other places. I sat down on a big boulder, ate an ice cream bar, and appreciated things for a minute, then continued on with my journey home.

I kept walking west until I was on some Central Park street, then I was on some other street that I didn't recognize. Eventually, I found Amsterdam Ave, which I know is near where I wanted to be. I walked down there for a while, then went over another block to Broadway because I realized that all the subway stations were over there. At that point, I was on 86th street and felt fine, so I just skipped the subway stop there and kept going. Nothing too eventful happened on this walk. There was a point where I thought I'd be generous and give my daily pocket change to some random homeless guy on the street (I have change in my pocket that I reserve especially for this) but what I thought was probably a bit more than a dollar in change turned out to be about 35 cents in nickels, so then I just felt stupid. Especially since the guy had a huge basket to put stuff in, and there was only about 30 cents in there anyway.

Oh, I also did find this sign though:

Eventually I was on 116th street and figured I might as well walk the remaining four blocks up to International House. I actually met up with Stacy and Jenny on the way, who had remained at the Whitney when I left and were just getting back also. Except they didn't walk as much as I did. At all. I realized that I had walked all the way from around 75th street to 123rd or so. According to Google Maps, that's 3.8 miles. Wow.

When I got up to my room, I intended to work on my project and other things I need to finish, but as usual when I decide to do that, I just passed out on my bed for three hours. Eventually I woke up and had a nice nutritious dinner of a bowl of Raisin Bran. Don't worry momma, it's full of fiber!

Luckily, Terin happened to have some left over salmon from a fancy dinner he went to with John tonight, and gave it to me. Yay salmon!

That's all for today. Bye.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No good titles today. Sorry.

First order of business: I was half asleep for the first hour of the day, so I was stupid and completely forgot to put my memory card back into my camera. Because of this, all the pictures I took are on my camera, and I can't get them off without a cord, which I left at home because I was only planning on using memory cards. So not only did I hardly take any pictures, but you won't be seeing them anyway. Because of this, I declare this random picture day. Only a few of them will make sense with what I'm talking about, so if you don't get it, you probably aren't supposed to.

I had to be ready to leave this morning at 9:15. I know to some of you that's not that early, but considering almost everyone on this trip stays up until 2am to 4am working on projects/blogs, it's pretty early. We had to get up that early though, because we were going to Astoria to see the American Museum of the Moving Image. Even though I was mostly asleep for the first hour of the tour, it was still pretty fun.

I didn't exactly learn anything new (there wasn't enough time to get into too much detail about anything), but I did get to try all kinds of fun things. While we were learning about the very first moving images, there was a machine that the museum had made where you could record about 5 seconds of video and have it made into a little flip book, so I did that. Then there was an animation station where I made an astronaut get eaten by fish and turn into a woman who fell over and turned into a frog holding a knife and fork (they had some really random things to use, alright?). We also redubbed a part of the movie Babe, and watched a scene from Titanic with the soundtrack divided up so we could hear all the different parts of it. We also saw the first video games and played them a little, which was kind of cool. Finally, we all went downstairs and played more video games in the arcade lounge until the other half of us came back from the tour.

Afterwards, about half of us got lunch together at a restaurant across the street, then made our way over to the Museum of Modern Art. To be honest, I found it a bit disappointing. There were some really amazing pieces in there, and almost all of my favorite ones happened to be Picasso, but I only found about 5% of what I saw interesting. I think I might just not like modern art too much. Unless my mom explains it to me. That usually helps a little.

Something else that I thought was interesting there was actually seeing really famous pieces of art. We always see these famous paintings and sculptures in photos and on television, but we just recognize the image and don't really see them as a painting or a sculpture. When it's actually there, you can see the texture really well, and see how the artist made it. For example, I spent a good ten minutes staring at Starry Night by Van Gogh, and thought it was really interesting to see how it was painted. Even in photos you can tell that that painting is full of texture, but when you really look at it, it's not a slow and subtle layering of paint like a lot of textury paintings are. You can tell he just put a glob of paint on his brush and went for it.

It was also kind of funny to see how people looked at the art. There were constantly about five or ten people crowded around Starry Night, but almost no one even glanced at the OTHER Van Gogh painting right next to it. I also thought it was really interesting that people paid all this money to get into the museum and see famous art, and then they didn't even spend more than a few seconds looking at things like the HUGE Monet painting (which I actually thought was kind of hideous in real life) and all the cubist paintings. I also had a bit of fun with that, because I soon realized that if I stood there and stared at a really boring looking piece (or at least something that no one else was looking at) with a look of deep concentration on my face, people would start to stop and look at it with me like there was suddenly something more interesting about it. So I got my free $12 out of the experience at least.

I wish this post ended there, and I almost wish the night ended there because I was and still am pretty tired. But it didn't.

Right after visiting MoMA, we were due at a sort of send off Cocktail party that was going to be full of Carleton Alumni, down on 22nd street in a really big apartment (By the way, if David Diamond ever sees my blog, thank you for the party. It was very generous of you and we all had a good time). John had basically been telling us for days that it was our job to mingle as much as possible at that party, and I feel like I did a fairly good job of it. I talked to a guy who was a concert pianist and 1964 graduate, and a nice lady who was a recently retired graphic designer. I also ended up talking to another lady who turned out to be the concert pianist guy's wife. They were very different people, but they seemed to like eachother, and it was interesting to see how they interacted. She high fived him at the end of the conversation, which was funny because I thought he seemed so dignified.

This was my dinner tonight. Mmmmm....I had some grapes too.

Okay, that's it. I'm going to sleep.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Only Empty Walnuts Make Noise

Today we did two things - gallery hopped in Chelsea, and met up with a sound art writer and critic.

The End.

Haha, you wish my blog posts were that short. As usual, I will explain in excessive detail what went on today.

Everyone got up at the crack of dawn (11:30am) to go down to Chelsea. The plan was that we would divide up into smaller groups when we got there, wander around for a little bit checking out a bunch of art galleries, and then go meet a sound art guy infront of MoMA at about 5pm. As usual, I was with Stacy, Rachel and Jenny.

We got to Chelsea and wandered around for a long time looking at random art galleries. Most of them weren't very interesting actually, but I attempted to find something good about the art that we looked at. I was sort of reminded of John telling us once that most people spend about three seconds looking at each art piece before they move on to the next, and I often counted while my group checked things out and it was actually about three seconds per piece. I tried to counter this by talking about the art with the gallery people and getting some press releases, but it was kind of pointless. By the time I was half way through the press release, everyone else in my group was mostly done with the show and I had to leave.

The gallery hopping wasn't a total loss though, since we found a really amazing artist named Michael Cheval. His work reminds me a little bit of Renaissance paintings, but it's also got some very surrealist qualities. I'm pretty sure he's considered a surrealist painter actually. So I'm excited about finding out for him and I really wish I could get his art album *coughhintcough*.

Another show we saw was your typical political art exhibit. Basically, it was about how everyone hates Bush, Bush is destroying the country, etc etc. I was a little upset though when we met up later that that was the one my group remembered best. We were talking, and I was saying that I thought Cheval was amazing, and then all of a sudden it was "Yeah, that political one was really good too!" and the truth is, it wasn't. There were about six or seven really interesting pieces in that show, and the rest of them were kind of shallowly deep "Yeah, Bush is stupid." type pieces.

So I've got a new question to think about now: Does art have to be about some kind of issue in order to be good? I really don't think so. Terin was talking once about how he appreciates nice looking images and all, but he doesn't think something is really good unless it has some kind of deeper (he seemed to mean political by this) meaning. But if someone takes a picture of a tank with a baby on it and claims it's a statement about the war in Iraq, does that make it better than a well thought out, hand crafted surrealist painting? I suppose I'm just a little disappointed that someone can disregard something as cool as Cheval for something that has a much more obvious (and therefore shallow, I think) "deep" meaning. But you can be the judge of that.

We finally met up with the sound art guy (I can't remember his name, no one else seems to be able to either, and it's not on the Wiki. Sorry.) and he turned out to be probably the nicest person we've met on our trip so far. He really seemed interested in explaining sound art in general to us, not just his own work, and was just really excited about us learning about it. He took us to two sound art pieces: The Times Square piece by Max Newhouse, and another piece up in The Dreamhouse (sort of in Soho) by Laurent Marion (I think). About half of us (myself included) thought both of the pieces were amazing, and the other half hated both of them and never wanted to hear sound art again.

One thing that we discussed was that Max Newhouse didn't agree with the term sound art at all. He felt that the sound itself wasn't an art, and that the placement/atmosphere of the sound is what mattered. I agree that his piece, which is actually right in the middle of Times Square, would have been stupid in a gallery or something, because it was just a synthasizer playing the same tone forever. But in Times Square, it was really relaxing to have a single note playing. It kind of reminded me of Tibetan throat singing or something.

The other piece was in a gallery, and was also just a continuous noise that didn't change, but it was awesome by itself. In that case, placement didn't even matter because there was actually a point where I was lying there with my eyes closed and completely forgot about where I was. So I'm not sure what to think about that, but I loved both of them.

We talked a bit to the guy afterwards and discussed sound art some more. It actually took quite a few times of asking him before he would go into his own work, and it was kind of nice talking to someone who didn't think what they were doing was the best thing in the world. Then I went home and spent way too long working on this. That's all for tonight.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I am PONG!!!!

Alright everyone, I've talked to a bunch of people about my blog, and the main suggestions seem to be better paragraph distinction (I have no idea how to explain that one) and most of all MORE PICTURES. I do try to put up as many pictures as I take in a day, but that's not enough. It's never enough!!! Is it!? So I'm going to do something that I already sort of do, but I'm just going to do it more now; I'm going to start inserting any kind of image I can think of when I need one, even if it makes absolutely no sense with what I'm talking about.

So here's what I'm thinking: Just to keep this a little more interesting, if anyone wants to they can put in suggestions for pictures I should put in my blog. I'll type the word/phrase into google or something, and pick the weirdest thing I find. I'll even go into InDesign and put a little border around it with word on it so you know what's going on. Sound good? Comment leaving starts.............now!

I didn't really feel like posting yesterday because....well to be honest I was just feeling kind of lazy. But, I will post about yesterday today because nothing really happened today anyway. Woo!

Yesterday was the last day of the Come Out and Play Festival. Since playing Journey to the End of the Night and Cruel 2 B Kind within a few hours of eachother had pretty much destroyed any desire I had to move, the only game I played was The Go Game. It was................................uh....................well, it was pretty crappy actually. But that wasn't entirely the games fault.

The Go Game was recently bought out by something called Think Geek, which decided to technologically enhance it by using mildly complicated cell phones instead of paper notes in order to get instructions. These instructions are generally things like "take a picture of someone in your group doing something they've never done before" or "go to (insert location) and find (insert random thing)." The game sounded pretty fun on the website ("Go Game, by way of the Come Out and Play Festival. Like a scavenger hunt, on completely insane technological steroids."), but I ended up getting grouped with some horrible people.

I arrived at Washington Square Park half an hour early, even though I thought I was late at the time. When I found my team, there was only one person from it there: an older lady (maybe in her mid-forties or fifties) named Reenie. She seemed pretty nice, and we talked for a while. But forty five minutes later, we were still the only people from the team who were there out of the eight that were supposed to show. A lady from the game came up to us and said that she was just going to stick us in another group- Team NYU (yeah, that doesn't sound like a group of....well anyway). That team consisted of three jocked out (but reasonably nice) muscular blond guys with puca shell necklaces and sandals, and the parents of one of they guys-a lady who looked waaay too unhappy with her life considering the clothes she was wearing (Trophy Wife), and an older guy who was so obviously bent on thinking he was better than everyone else that I almost left the second I heard him talk (Old Guy).

Eventually one of our original teammates showed up. He was a tall blondish guy who kind of looked like he belonged in a really fancy coffee house or something, but he was actually really nice and one of the only people I didn't want to kill by the end of the game.

To avoid ranting too much, I'm just going to make a little list here of all the things that were wrong. Otherwise this post will be as long as my last one.
(* means I'm actually going to write in more detail about it)

1. Our phone was screwed up and we spent about 10 minutes of the game trying to figure it out while the Old Guy told us stories about how "back in [his] day...."
2. Old Guy so obsessed with finishing the game before everyone else that we ended up half assing the whole first part of it.
3. Same problem as #2, but it led to lots of speed walking which was really painful for me at the time.
4. I morally objected to our first photo*
5. All of our missions were kind of lame and one involved doing a word problem....about pizza. PIZZA. WORD PROBLEM.
6. Trophy Wife complained about everything the entire time*
7. Old guy bashed Carleton*
8.Two of the younger guys had to leave, taking with them any hope of doing something interesting for our photos and videos.
9. Old Guy sexually harassed bat girl*
10. Did I mention speed walking?

So one of our first missions was to take a picture of one of our teammates doing something they'd never done before. Terrified that they were going to say something like "Let's have Julia get naked and dance in the fountain!!!" I decided to hang back from the group a little bit while they figured that one out. Almost immediately, a possibly homeless transvestite walked by us. Apparently no one in my group had any kind of sensitivity towards other people's feelings because they thought that it would be hilarious to do a "take a picture of me with the freak" photo. I ended up standing about 20 feet away from them staring in disgust while they did this and considered running over to the guy to apologize afterwards, but the were already speedwalking on to the next mission. Now that I think back on it, I should have either left right then, or stopped them before they even did it in the first place. At least I won't have to see any of them again.

Later on in the game, I was walking a little behind the group (I couldn't walk quite fast enough to keep up) with the trophy wife lady who also couldn't keep up. She walked up next to me and said something like "This game isn't very fun..." and I started agreeing with her and going on about how I thought it was so horrible that they took that picture, and that the old guy was so bent on winning that it was sort of draining the fun out of it, and she starts with "And its all in parks and I hate parks. They smell like dogs. I hate that! And all this walking! I really just need a soda." I suppressed my look of disbelief/horror/disgust, and walked on, hoping the game would get better somehow.

Not too long after that, trophy wife walked up to her husband (we were in a park again) and started complaining about how it smelled. He looked around, said something like "yeah, it does smell weird." then turned to me and said "remind you of Carleton?? Hahahaha." I just gave him a really dirty look and said "No."

Towards the end of the game we finally got hold of Bat Girl. Bat Girl was pretty much there to give bonus points. If your team could find her, she'd give you a special photo assignment that you could get points for. Our assignment was to take a scandalous picture with her for a fictional tabloid magazine. Old Guy jumped in immediately and said something like "I should be looking up her skirt!" and started getting down on the sidewalk to do it. Bat Girl was like "Whoooaaaa..." pretty much everyone did a kind of nervous giggle and I looked just about as horrified as the guys wife did. Old Guy tried to convince us that we should do his "looking up Bat Girls skirt" photo a little bit more, but we eventually got him to settle for making it look like he was paying her for sex.

There were a few good things that happened at The Go Game though. For one, we made a nice video of my team reenacting pong which you can find if you register on www.thegogame.com and look for the video by Love Parade. Also, there was free food afterwards (good free food) so once again I didn't have to pay for food for an entire day.

And just to quickly update on today, all I did was work on my project. Exciting. I'll try to get some more pictures up on here soon, it's just really late right now and I actually have to get up tomorrow.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Are you ready for....YESTERDAY'S POST!!!!

Yeah. If you don't have a lot of time, you might want to wait to read this. Or at least save your spot when you leave because 1) A ton of interesting and exciting things happened today, and 2) I took A LOT of pictures.

Chapter I: Class, Eyebeam, Postmasters
So it all begins at 9:30 this morning. Just like any other day, we got up to go to class. John had reserved a bigger room for us so we didn't have to have class in Andy's room again, but all the walls had wood paneling so we weren't sure what to do with our projector. After trying a few different spots on the wall, we realized it wasn't going to work at all there and used the ceiling instead. Everyone laid down on the floor and watched as John explained to us how to use Pages, a graphic design program. We all had a good laugh because John was doing somethign where the background faded from white to gray, and he put a white square for a picture over it, but the projector was really bright so everything just looked white. So John was going on and on about how good this white square on a white background looked.

Class ended and there was some time for lunch before we headed to Eyebeam to meet with the graffiti guys (sorry, I can't remember their actual names anymore). Rachel, Stacy, Karina, Jenny, August and I all met up to go to Chelsea and find some food. We walked around for a long time, and Stacy, Karina, and Jenny didn't seem to be deciding on anything, so Rachel August and I took off to find our own food. We got some really expensive pizza, speed walked over to Eyebeam, and waited around for the guys to show up. When they arrived, they showed us around their lab where all kinds of awesome things were going on. The main guy showed us what he was working on, which had to do with retelling his life using robots that he made of himself and his wife. Then he introduced us to a lady who makes things like Gameboys and mp3 players from scratch out of strange things. There was also a guy who was making a program to help people conserve energy, another guy from the The Yes Men who was really nice and told us about some of the stuff he's done, and then we watched a few short movies about things that the graffiti guys have done. Afterwards we went upstairs to talk to them a little more, then we left to talk with a director of Eyebeam and take a tour. She showed us around and we finished in this room where they haad been having classes earlier. For some reason, there were these really creepy crawfish in jars on the table, and all the childrens drawings around the room made the whole thing kind of spooky. We lingered around for a little bit when the tour was done so we could ask questions and talk, and I saw this really scary childs drawing on the wall about disecting crawfish.
I don't know why, but lately the idea of any kind of animal not dying a natural or acciental death has been bothering me. I guess I feel like people are animals too, and if it's not right to kill a person, how is okay to kill a different animal? But this post is already going to be huge, so I won't get into that any further.

After Eyebeam, we had a short break before going to a different gallery, Postmasters. We decided to get something to drink somewhere, and stopped in this really small Mexican coffess shop (not really sure how to explain that place). While I was paying for my drink, the guys behind the counter asked me about our group. I explained that we are on a trip for school, they asked where I was from, and I told them New Mexico. Naturally, this lead to "Do you speak spanish?" So I got to display my excellent spanish skillz of "No esta aqui!" and "No habla espanol!" They were very impressed. It just goes to show that even Mexicans have no idea what goes on in New Mexico.

Soon after, we began walking to Postmasters. On the way there, there was a huge group of policemen on horses. They seemed to be doing some kind of ceremony, and I heard someone say somthing about it being a 9/11 ceremony. Then a guy in a plaid suit/outfit walked by, so I had to take a picture of that too.

We got to Postmasters alright and talked to the curator/owner about what she does there. Her main point was that she wants New Media to be just as accepted as art like painting and photography, so she shows all kinds of art in her gallery to demonstrate that New Media isn't any different. There was also an interesting show that had to do with birdhouses and in a different room there was something with remote controlled ducks. I don't know.

Chapter II: The Diner and Eyebeam Party
It was about 5pm, and the Eyebeam/Come Out and Play festival party was at 8, so none of us really felt like going home and coming back. Rachel, Stacy, Karina, Jenny, Alissa (or Kirsten. I've forgotten her name), Terin and I all went to this place called The Diner which was really nothing like a diner. It was happy hour, so Stacy, Karina and Terin ordered some drinks. And kept ordering drinks. We had 3 hours to kill, so we stayed there for a really long time ordering drinks, eating food, talking about philosophy, and telling stories about John Schott.
See, earlier in the day, John had an idea for a project that he wanted to call a "Gangbang." Apparently he does stuff like that a lot. Terin ended up telling us a story about John telling some people not to "blow their loads" why they did their portfolios. Oh, and Terin also tied a cherry stem into a knot with his tongue and told us a story about what happened after his dog ate a tub of Vaseline. I won't relay that one.

We left the diner at about 7:45, got to Eyebeam, and hung out for a while at the party watching people play space invaders on the side of a building and using musical instruments to play Mario Cart.

Chapter III: Journey to the End of the Night

I was very lucky to get Susan to take over my volunteering shift for tonight (last night), because otherwise this never would have happened to me.
Journey to the End of the Night is like a mixture of Amazing Race and tag. There were checkpoints that we needed to get to that were ALL OVER manhattan, but there were people who were running around trying to tag you. If you got tagged, then you also became a "chaser." So now back to the story.

For some reason, Stacy was not really very excited about playing this game, and refused to even register until Jenny arrived. Rachel and I (me especially) were really excited about playing, and signed in early. Jenny didn't show up for a while, but she found us and signed in. Stacy never found us/Jenny though, aso she wasn't playing.

The first checkpoint was on 32nd street (we were on 21st). I had been a little worried that Rachel would be too relaxed and not really even attempt to hurry, but Jenny was more hardcore about it so it all worked out. We set off together in search of a subway that would take us to 32nd street, all the while looking around for chasers and probably looking really paranoid.

We made it to the first checkpoint fairly quickly and without encountering any chasers. We figured out where we were going (checkpoint 2 was in the village), and started walking.

As we walked down the street, I was keeping an eye out for chasers. Walking walking walking, and then all of a sudden I saw one calmly walking in our direction but not looking at us. I walked way over to the side of the sidewalk and sort of stood/hid behind a mailbox. The guy was walking very casually almost past Rachel and Jenny, and then all of a sudden screamed something about how they should run and started chasing us. We took off down the street as fast as we could and ran until we couldn't see him anymore. Then we realized that Rachel was gon and started freaking out thinking that she'd been tagged. It turned out she was just hiding in a shop though, and we got back together and headed to the subway to get to the checkpoint.

Chapter IV: Checkpoint #2

Part of the rules of the game was that bus stops and subway cars and platforms were safe spots where we couldn't get tagged, but actual subway stations weren't.

On the way to checkpoint 2, we were standing on the opposite platform from some people who we realized were chasers. We kind of stared at eachother for a minute, then decided that it was a safe spot and waved at them. Instead of waving back, they started whispering to eachother and then went down the stairs to come over to our side of the platform.

Jenny, Rachel and I all freaked out and had to hide behind an elevator while the guys hunted around for us. A train came and left and it seemed that they had gotten on it, so we were safe.

As we waited on teh train, we had paranoid conversations about whether or not the guys were waiting for us at our stop or if they had gotten off somewhere else. We decided to get off a stop early incase they were waiting and walked for a few blocks probably looking very suspicious since we were constantly checking for chasers.

We were walking down the street trying to find where we were going, and all of a sudden this guy on a corner turns around, walks towards us and says "Hey, I've been waiting for you!" It was one of the chasers from the subway!!! Aaaaahhh!!!!! Jenny screamed "RUN!!!" and she and Rachel took off across the street. The chaser was in my way of going across safely, so I turned around and ran as fast as I could between the parking meters and parked cars to the end of the block. I didn't see him anywhere, so I crossed the street and hid in some kind of hotel until I could call rachel and find out where they were. We met up again in a minute and continued on.

Chapter V: Battery Park, Guys from London, and a Phone Explosion

We got on the train to Battery Park (checkpoint 3) with a few other people on our side (we'll call them Oranges, because chasers had yellow ribbons and ours were orange). On the platform, we had seen some chasers who get onto our train, but we weren't sure if they had seen us or not. All the other Oranges and ourselves were a little paranoid, so one of them went to look out the window to see if the chasers were looking like they'd seen us. They weren't, and they got off at the next stop so we were alright. We all introduced ourselves to eachother, and Rachel, Jenny and I met some really nice guys from London named Alex and Alfie who also had no idea where they were going. So we teamed up with them and a few other peopl to figure out where this labrynth in Battery Park was. On the way, there were a couple of Oranges walking ahead of us who I guess thought we might be a mob of chasers. We decided to have a little fun with them and started walking after them fairly quickly, then when Alfie yelled out that we were on their side they slowed down and agreed to join our group.

Battery Park was a little different than the other check in points we had because the safe zone was really small-only about a 15 ft radius around the actual checkpoint. Since we had no idea where the check in point was anyway, this was a little scary.

We cautiously approached the park, looking around fr chasers, and as we climbed over some benches to get in a chaser on a bike came out of nowhere and started coming after us. We all sprinted into battery pakr, not knowing where we were going. Rachel twisted her ankle, Jenny stayed behind to help her, and the british guys were way ahead of us. Suddenly, I was alone in the dark. In Battery Park. In the middle of the night. But Alfie and Alex popped out from somewhere and waved for me to come over, then we waited for Jenny and Rachel to get over. Our group slowly reformed and we went looking for the labrynth again.

We finally found it, right next to where we had come in almost, got out paper signed, and then went off looking for the next checkpoint which had moved to Broadway. Apparently the police didn't like the one on Wallstreet.

We began following some girls who seemed to know where they were going, and ended up on this tiny street between Broadway and something else. We were walking up the hill as quietly as we could, when we all glimpsed a chaser running towards us from about 20 feet away. The two girls leading ran off down Broadway, but most of us turned around and headed down the hill. I was running as hard as I could and checked behind me to see where everyone was. I saw that someone had fallen down and was on the ground, so I started slowing down to turn around and help, but the chaser yelled something like "She's down, but I'm still after you!" and Alex, Alfie and I had to keep going. The chaser was gaining on me really quickly, and I knew that unless I thought of something really creative I was going to get caught. I could hear him about 5 ft behind me, and I tried to turn the corner quickly to get out of the way or something. I don't know what I was trying to do. But as I did it, my cell phone flew out of my backpack pocket and exploded into about 10 different parts all over the sidewalk. I heard the chaser say something like "Go get your cell phone!" as he passed me to get Alex and Alfie. So I was safe. I picked up the pieces of my cell phone and walked up the hill to see if anyone had been tagged and find out who fell. It turned out it was Rachel, but she wasn't hurt too badly. She had a light scrape on her elbow and a slightly ripped shirt.

The checkpoint wasn't too far from where we were. There were apparently some chasers and everyone scattered for a moment, but I just hid behind a pillar and never saw them run by so I continued walking. Then I saw one on a bike lingering around in an ally, so I had to sprint by to the checkpoint. We got our paper signed and were just starting to talk about what had happened to Alfie and Alex when Alex showed up...by himself. He told us they got Alfie and we were going to rest and then keep going when Alfie showed up! He was, in fact, a chaser at that point, but he said he was on a "mission of peace" and told us that since the game was almost over (it was about 11:30 and the game ended at midnight) the chasers were easing off so people could finish. Then he said that if anyone was tired of playing, they could just go straight to the after party and hang out. We decided that we had been through enough for the night, and went off with him and Alex to find the after party bar.

Chapter VI: I think this is the last chapter

It took a while to get there, but we had a good time talking on the way and confusing people by wearing chaser and orange ribbons. Unfortunately they were carding at the door so we couldn't even go in and hang out. We talked outside for a little bit, but eventually the desire for beer was too much for Alex and Alfie and they gave us their numbers and told us to "text" them when we get to London. If the night had ended there, it would have been one of the funnest (is that a word) nights of my life. Right up there with Eric's all night chocolate syrup dance party. But we had some trouble with the trains (they were slow and a bunch of them weren't running) and by the time we got off at our stop Jenny and Rachel were really really grumpy. I tried telling them happy stories and making jokes, but I only got one sort of chuckle out of Rachel when I said that talking to Terin was like watching a Shakespeare movie because you have no idea what they're saying for the first 15 minutes or so, and then it suddenly all makes perfect sense (Terin has an extensive vocabulary which he uses. A lot). I still had kind of a good time on the way back though. We met some middle aged ladies in the subway who were terrified of rats, and there were rats all over the place, and we had to get off at the other 125th street stop which was more in Harlem, so we got to walk through Harlem at 2am. It actually wasn't that scary. I don't know what the big deal is. I guess it's just because black people live there?? Oooooh black people scary! Seriously people, get over it.

When I got up to my room, I really just wanted to lay down and pass out because we had been running around all night. But Stacy and Terin were sitting on my bed talking about stuff, and since I was not actually that sleepy (just physically exhausted), I hung around and talked to them for about an hour. They got up and went to bed, and I spent two hours writing down stuff from the day in my Harry Potter journal so I wouldn't forget it. And that is the end.

One last thing: Jenny has some video of Alex and Alfie which I hope to put up soonish. I'll see what I can do, but keep them in mind because otherwise you'll be like "Who are these weird british guys?"

I just want a Java Chip Frappuccino

Despite last night's excitement, today was not a total let down. At all. I didn't get to sleep last night until 5am, but I still managed to wake up in time to go play the game Cruel 2 B Kind down on Broadway between Columbus circle and Times Square. The game was made up of 70 or so teams of two people. When a person signs up (which we did by texting the people in charge, since it's a text message based game) they recieve a text message on their phone with their "weapon," "weakness," and code word. The weapon is a kind of compliment or nice thing to say to someone, and that is how you "kill" people in the game. By saying something nice. BUT, a groups weapon can only kill someone if it's the other groups weakness. It sounds confusing, it'll make more sense in a second.
Stacy, Rachel, Susan and I got there a little late, and only Rachel and I officially signed up before the game started. We walked about a block before we recieved our first text telling us that our weapon was "Nice shoes!" our weakness was "Have a spectacular day!" and our code word was "cold." We had totally missed the meeting with the rules and such, so we were trying to figure out what all this meant when we were approached by a couple of tourists who asked us if we could point them in the direction of Rockafeller Center. None of us quite knew where it was, but we told them to go towards 42nd street and it was near there somewhere. They thanked us and ended with "Have a spectacular day!" We all stood there kind of confused for a second, then Rachel said, "wait, are you playing the game!??" It turned out they were, and we had just died. It was a little sad since we had only been playing for about one minute, but in this game when you "die" you actually just give the people who killed you your code word and then join them and become a bigger team. after about half an hour, we had become a huge group of about 12 people. Our new weapon (there were updates every once in a while) was offering someone help, and our weakness was being serenaded.

We walked around for a long time trying to find people who looked like they were playing (some people had really well thought out disguises: there were people dressed as business men, tourists, mothers with their children, and girls window shopping. So we'd be walking and someone would just pop out and scream a compliment at us, we'd say "you're too kind." and then try ours. Sadly, we never found the people who were supposed to serenade us. We did (as a group) scream "Can we help you!?!?!" at about 100 people who weren't playing the game though. I must say though, my favorite part of the game was about half way into it. About 5 large groups of players (including us) were all standing on different sides of the street at an intersection, just by coincidence. We recognized eachother, and there was about five minutes of "CAN I HELP YOU!?!?!?!" "NICE SHOES!!!!!!!" "YOU LOOK JUST LIKE (insert celebrity)" "HAVE A SPECTACULAR DAY!!!!!" and "WAY TO GO!!!" from all sides. The tourists just stared around with this expression of "What the hell is going on???"

There was a "picnic" (we were a little disappointed) of cupcakes, cookies and juice boxes, and then they gave out awards to the people who won the game. The leaders of our group won "Super Assassin," which was exciting, and then it was off for lunch followed by a game I signed up for called "Tag Shufflesition." There was a little bit of time before the game started, since we needed a certain number of people for it to work alright, so I talked to the creator of the game a little bit. It turned out he's a student at Indiana University and he made the game with one of his professors. We talked for about 10 minutes about games, and Journey to the End of the Night, and then the game began.
Tag Shufflesition is a lot like Simon Says. Each player receives an ipod Shuffle with a special soundtrack programmed to it. On the soundtrack, someone gives you directions on things to do in the game area. I think "You are a Jogging Bumblebee. Weave in and out around the other players and make buzzing sounds." was my favorite, but there were also things like "lean to the left for the duration of this song" followed by a 5 or 10 second song and "Orbit in a clockwise direction around another player." The object of the game is to find the person who has an extra direction on their shuffle (and will therefore do something no one else does every once in a while), and then start imitating them. When everyone is imitating the correct person, the game is over.

The first round of that game didn't go too well. No one ever found out who the person was because we didn't quite understand enough to develop a kind of strategy. But in the second version (there were multiple soundtracks and multiple difficulties), a few of us knew to be on the lookout for anyone doing something we hadn't been asked to do yet. It seemed like forever of watching everyone walk around like a zombie, pretend to catch stars, stand like a steel pole, etc., before a girl started walking around pretending to shake hands with people and greet them. All at once everyone turned around and started following her and imitating her. When the guy running the game held up the green piece of paper (signifying that it was over and we won) everyone yelled "Yay!!!!!" So it was pretty fun.

I left Shufflesition before I really wanted to because my legs hurt (still from last night) and I needed to be volunteering at Eyebeam for the festival in a bit. While I was on the train, the driver? conductor? came on the speaker to tell us that the 1 train had gone express (which there isn't supposed to be on the weekend anyway...) and that we were stopping at 34th Penn Station and 14th Street. Neither of those were quite where I wanted to be, so I decided I should just get off at Penn and see what happens.

Penn Station is HUGE. It took me 15 minutes of wandering around to find the exit. Never go there unless you have to. That is all.

I ended up walking way more than I wanted to in order to get to Eyebeam, but I made it there half an hour early anyway for my intense 2 hours of volunteering which involved watching people play Sonic Pong, setting up some chairs, getting a free t-shirt, and eating pizza. Yeah, I was really exhausted after that one. But I still had a really good time. I talked to some people about the games, helped a male volunteer figure out the toilet paper situation in the women's bathroom, and just enjoyed myself in general.

There was a talk at Eyebeam about gaming that started right after my shift, but I was just too tired to stay there any more. I took off about 10 minutes into it, came back to my room thinking I was going to work on my blog or something, and ended up just passing out on my bed from exhaustion. Then I woke up and did this.

Tomorrow is going to be pretty exhausting but fun too. I'm playing The Go Game, which is a sort of scavenger hunt type thing (I've found that the descriptions on the website really don't encompass what the games are at all so far, so we'll see what it actually is). I'm on my own, so I'm being placed on someone elses team. It should be fun. But I won't be able to walk until the middle of next week at this rate. I'm going to start working on my post from yesterday. Make a note of what time this was posted and what time that will be posted, and you'll be able to understand how long I spend on these. Look at the times on this one and the one before it. These take forever!!

Quick Note

Hey everyone. Sorry I didn't update my blog last night, since I know all of you linger on my every word. But it turns out that yesterday was actually SO much fun and so exciting, that I was too tired to write it all out here afterwards. I did begin transcribing it in my Harry Potter Journal (thank you mara and matej!), and so far it has taken up seven pages (gasp! Same number as the books!) front and back.

I'm pretty sure that something in that much detail would be counted as a kind of personal "life journal" type post, but for the sake of the people who actually read this regularly, (hi Momma!) I'm going to do it anyway. Sorry John.

So here's what's going to happen: This post is HUGE. and I mean gigantic. Because of this, I have separated it out into "chapters" so that you guys can leave off and come back later if you have to. However, I still have to write my post for today, which isn't nearly as interesting, but not worth completely ignoring either. I did do things relating to the festival today, some of them were pretty fun, and out of appreciation for John I feel obligated to update my blog if anything interesting happened to me. I think I'm going to do today's post first, that way it won't seem totally lame after yesterdays, and I'm more likely to forget parts of it since I haven't been transcribing it in a journal for two days. So here we go.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Today, I only ate one thing...

...and it was chinese food. Today was yet another project day (I actually did work on my project), so I woke up at 10:30, took a shower, and decided it would be a nice day to take some more parking meter pictures, write my essay, and find something good to eat. So I packed up my backpack with my computer, my camera, batteries, etc. and headed towards the train station.

Then I decided I felt like walking a little more, so I started heading down Broadway looking for a place to eat/going to the 116 street station. I passed about three stores before I saw a big chinese food sign and decided I felt like chinese food. I was trying to not stand inside the store in case I didn't see anything I liked, but the lady kept waving at me to come in so I did. She said "You hungry?? We have lanch special! Foa Fiddy *point point*" I looked over at the lunch special menu she was pointing at and contemplated that for a while. "You get soup or soda too!" "hehe, alright..." Finally, I just decided to get some Pineapple Chicken because it sounded good and $4.50 for lunch is pretty cheap. So I got it. While I waited, I read all the signs written in bad english. There was one that said "Joining now!" and a standard Heimlich Maneuver sign that said "Victim of food-choking" on it. I was going to take pictures, but I didn't want to offend the lady because she was nice.

I eventually got my food and headed back towards the subway station, but then I decided that I should just eat here and work on my paper. Yeah, that happened. I sat here (actually, in the dining room place...) for hours alternating between changing the first three sentences of my paper and working on my parking meter project. But at least I got a little bit of both accomplished so far. I'm finishing the paper tonight, don't worry. It's just a rough draft anyway. I was down there for at least 4 or 5 hours, then I went back up to my room so I could work and be less distracted. Somehow, this is what happened instead:

Apparently, I just can't concentrate on anything. Ever. So, I got a little more of my project done (I'd post what I have so far, but the internet is going too slow and I know it won't work. Maybe later.) and a little more of my paper done, and had a lot of fun learning how to adjust things on my camera. I found out that I can make the exposure time anywhere from 1 to 5 seconds, and ended up taking pictures of my screensaver to test it out. They actually came out really cool.

And now I'm back down here, because it's time to work on my blog. That chinese food though, ended up lasting me all day. It was so much food. So I only spent $4.50 today. Wow...Sorry, nothing too educational happened today. But tomorrow I think we're going somewhere, I'm (very very hopefully) going to be playing my first game of Come Out and Play, Journey to the End of the Night, and I'll post again later.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This post is kind of boring.

I have no idea how to describe today. It was very hectic and nothing happened all at the same time. This morning we left at 9:45 to meet with a guy from Anthology Film Archives down in Soho. Unfortunately, we took the 3 express train instead of the 2, and ended up not being able to stop on Houston street like we intended. John seemed kind of upset about this and we ended up walking (kind of quickly) all the way back up to Houston. Some people had gotten off the train on 14th street and got there before us, so at least we had someone to say that we were on our way. There were also a few people who weren't in our train car when John realized we had gone too far, and we lost them too. I guess they figured it out alright though, because they eventually showed up.

When we finally got to Anthology, we watched about six movies, all avant garde. They were a little bit weird, but in general interesting to look at, or listen to, or think about, depending on what it was. There were a couple by Stan Brakhage, who I hear is a very very very famous avant garde filmmaker. Personally, I'm not sure if I LIKE that style of filmmaking, but it is kind of interesting. These films in particular were especially interesting since they are apparently pretty difficult to find and aren't shown publicly very often. So thank you Anthology guys for at least showing me something I've never seen and probably will never get the chance to see again.

Afterwards, we got to wander around Soho a little bit and eat lunch before meeting the famous John Canemaker, an Academy Award winning animator who runs the animation department at Tisch. It was a little depressing going over there and seeing all the cool film stuff they have at NYU. I'm missing the chance to major in Cinema Media Studies by one year, and even then, I doubt the department will be anywhere near that developed. It kind of just got me thinking again about whether things would have turned out better for me if I had known I wanted to do film stuff before fall term Sophmore year. But I don't know how I could have known that before then, so I end up wanting to regret something but not being able to. So now I'm just kind of sad but in a confused sort of a way. Oh well.

I had written a bunch of stuff about how much I like New York here, but then the internet exploded and all that was left of my post (so glad there's a "recover post" option) was this last paragraph and everything before it. Luckily, that was pretty much all the important things I had to say anyway. Well, I'm going to go now and sleep. My article on Chris Barr is supposed to be very roughly drafted by tomorrow night so someone can look over it. So I will write more tomorrow. Hopefully it will be more interesting, and there might actually be some pictures.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On the Corner of Porn Street and Porn

Do you often walk into the red light district and think to yourself, "I sure wish these porn shops were closer together!" Are you tired of not having all of your porn stores within 30 seconds or less of eachother? I know I am! That's why there's the corner of 4th street and 6th ave. I went down there yesterday to meet up with some people for dinner, and while I waited found that there were 6 "adult stores." Some were right next to eachother or across the street from eachother, and some were just around the corner. But they were there. And there was a baby in one. But that's it for that moment.

So Monday was a free day, but I used it to work on my project, and today was a project day, but I used it to accidentally pass out on my bed without getting much done. So I figure it works out alright. At risk of sounding like some kind of artsy "lets find a deep meaning in this thing that's actually just a line on a piece of paper" person, I'm going to tell you about my project. I think I've finally got it figured out enough to explain what it's about.

Basically, I'm taking pictures of parking meters all over the city. Or at least as all over as I'm willing to go. I take them in a circle around the parking meters so that I get all angles of it, and when I put them together it almost looks like a movie where you rotate around a parking meter. I'll see if I can get something up of it. What I'm going to do with it is change around the pictures a little bit, so that it looks like we're rotating around this parking meter, but the background is going to be changing the whole times to scenes from around the city. You might be saying to yourself, "Wow, that sounds really awesome. But what does it meeeeeeaaaan!?" That's why I'm writing this.

It is an exploration of place. No matter where you go in this city, there is always an object that is familiar, like a fire hydrant, a stop sign, a traffic light, or a parking meter. I dont know about you, but I always feel like being totally lost really isn't that bad if there's SOMETHING familiar around. Even if it is just a stupid parking meter. Now you might ask, "what about if you're lost in the woods? Trees are everywhere, and they're familiar." And to that, I say "shut up, you're ruining my point." No, not really. I suppose in this case, parking meters can just be a symbol that there is civilization around. If there is a parking meter, you know you're not in some place completely foreign to you. So that's kind of what this project has to do with. I got the idea for it while we were looking at Sophie, the program that the Future of the Book people are making, but I might be able to use Memory Miner for it. I'm not sure, we'll see.

I'm also currently working on another, less meaningful but hopefully still visually exciting project. From what footage I got on the subway before I found out it was illegal to do that, I have enough interesting, semi-low quality (personally I think that'll make it look better in the end) video of the lights passing by outside to make a pretty interesting visual light show type thing. I'll probably make it with Final Cut Pro if I can get it to work, or if nothing else, iMovie. But I do have a problem. I'm not sure whether I should use my recordings from the subway, or if I should put music with it, or both, or what song I should use, etc. So if anyone feels like telling me what to do, that'd be awesome. I was actually thinking of maybe making different versions of it and having people vote, or, for something even more interactive and fun, I was thinking people could send me songs or sound and I could make a customized one for everyone. But I'm not sure if people would want that. Tell me what you think in my comments! Those things are actually pretty useful.

Well, I'm all signed up for a bunch of games for the Come Out and Play Festival this weekend, and I'll be volunteering a little bit for them also. We'll see how that goes. I think that's it for today.

Quick question...

Unfortunately, I was too tired to spend 4 hours down here updating my blog last night, so I'll talk about yesterday and today when I spend 4 hours down here updating my blog tonight. But I do have something I was hoping to hear from people on.

Apparently John got an email from a friend, whom he wouldn't name, who thought that most of us had horrible blogs and that we should work on them a lot more. I have no idea if I'm included in that group, but based on the descriptions of why some of the blogs were bad, I'm assuming I am. So, if you guys have any suggestions on how to make this better, it would help a lot. Apparently the graphics of some of our blogs were an issue. I don't really feel like that's much of a problem on this one, because compared to some other people's blogs on this trip, it's fairly interesting visually. Also, I don't know how to work html very well, so there's not much I could do anyway.

Now, I know my blog is a little informal....maybe a lot informal, but I kind of like it like that. If people wanted to read about what we did on this trip from a more objective point of view, they could go read John's blog. I just don't really want to repeat the same thing everyone else is saying.

As for the writing style, I do it like this because I always feel like formal writing gets really boring to read after a while. Sure it looks better, sounds better, makes me sound more intelligent, etc., but that's not really who I am. I am *able* to write more formally if this is really bothering people though. Well, that's really it. Leave a comment on what you think of the whole blog, parts you liked, parts you didn't like, things like that, and I'll see if I can make this better. Thanks everyone, there's a real post coming soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Greenwich: The Bermuda Triangle of New York

The internet is taking forever, so I’m going to type this out and copy and paste it when the page finally loads. I have no idea why I’m telling you that though.

Today I am a changed woman. If by “I” you mean “my” and if by “a changed woman” you mean “feet really freakin hurt.” So there was no meeting this morning. According to John, he wants to give us Saturdays to stay up all night and party and stuff. So I ended up sleeping until 1pm and then got up to work on my project. Right now, I’m taking a series of photographs of parking meters in different areas. I know it sounds totally lame. But it’ll be cool, I promise. I might also do some kind of mapping thing where I can make a link on google earth where I took the pictures and then people can click on it and watch the actual thing that I made.

I think I just ate a peice of tinfoil.

Back to the story, I started kind of wandering around exploring. I found Washington Square (the place where that arch thingy is) and saw all kinds of awesome street performers. There was a jazz band with a guy who played two trumpets at the same time, a group of middle aged white guys with guitars who were with some crazy homeless black guy who I’m pretty sure just sort of decided to join them on his own accord, and a guy who played drums on buckets and had a whole performance with two other guys. I have some audio (hopefully coming soon) and a picture for each of these three people. Here you go:

Anyway, the guy who was doing drum stuff had this whole huge act and I didn’t get out of the park until it was starting to get dark. I started leaving, and then realized that I had no idea where I had come from, where the nearest subway stop was, or anything. Then I walked for a while and realized I had no idea where I had come from again. So I was wandering around Greenwich Village (which luckily isn’t too creepy) in the dark with no idea where I was going or where I should go, for about an hour and a half. I finally got really tired and thirsty and stopped in a Starbucks to get something to drink and ask for directions. The lady told me to go down 12th street and go right until I got to Rudolph street or something like that, and there would be a subway stop somewhere really obvious. So I sat down and drank my strawberry frappuccino thing, and this lady came in who totally looked like a prostitute in a silver sequine ultra short dress, silver platform shoes, and with a pound of eye makeup on, and then I left to finally get to the subway. I walked down 12th street, turned right, and the next thing I know, I’m on 4th street.....What!? So I turned around, and decided that I must not have gone far enough down 12th street. So I started going back, and then suddenly I’m on 10th street. So to get out of this, I picked this other street that was going in the direction that I had come from. But then I ended up somewhere that looked totally wrong. Where the hell was I??? I don’t know. I might never know. Anyway, I started seeing things that looked familiar from the last few times I’ve been down there, so I sort of walked around there until I found a different subway station (the one on Christopher street instead of 14th street) that I knew would take me to the place I needed to go.

I got back alright, but I am never going to Greenwich Village without some kind of map ever again. Seriously, that place is like the bermuda triangle.

Anyway, that’s it for today I think. My feet hurt, I’m sleepy, and I think there’s some kind of meeting in the morning tomorrow. I have a picture that I plan on putting up on this post if I can figure out how to make it. Otherwise, There will probably be a new post tomorrow, as usual. Until then....
UPDATE: Here's my pictures/music clips from Washington Square. The first part I was just trying to make exciting. As you will see, I totally did. The next part was based on an idea from my sister, and the last part is just something to keep you entertained. Here you go:

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Not the Sharpest Egg in the Basket...

Alright, so I'm going to try to keep this short because it's almost 2am and I'm going to be so tired tomorrow if I stay up much longer. Today we all got together to go to lunch in Brooklyn with these two prestigious mapping guys that John met last night. Unfortunately, we were really late (the subway was delayed....a lot) and we completely missed them. So we split up into smaller groups, got some food, and hung around until the "Street Art" tour. Completely off subject, but I always wonder what people think of this. Does something count as art if the person wasn't trying to make art when they did it? Because some street art is actually artists going around and making cool pictures and things, but some of it is just nice looking graffiti. So does that count? I don't know. I'm sort of leaning towards no though. Anyway, you people should comment and tell me what you think because no one seems to want to discuss this with me. Back to the story. So we were taking the street art tour, and I started to notice that people were staring at us because it was a huge group of 40 people or something and there was this guy leading us with a huge speaker on a tricycle so we were making a ton of noise. Then I started to notice that people were sort of giving us this look of disgust. Then I started to hear people yelling at us to get out of their neighborhood. Anyway, after a while, I realized that we were being sort of obtrusive, in a kind of literal sense. There were so many people that we were standing in the road and blocking traffic, and no one in the group even noticed or cared. And then there was a point where we were walking by some shop, and all the people working there had to stop and wait for us to pass because we were blocking their way. So at that point I started to feel pretty bad and just walked off when we got to the corner.

So this leads to my next adventure of the day. The subway!!! So I found the subway entrance after walking for about 10 minutes down this street, but I realized I didn't know what stop to get off on. Whatever, I've got an unlimited pass and there are always directions in the subway anyway. So I got on and was looking at the map, and there must have been a sticker on it before or something because all the names of the streets on the line I was on were sort of illegible. After looking at it for a while, I decided that I either get off on 6th ave. or 8th ave. and the worst that could happen is that I could get off on the wrong one and have to get back on. So I got off on 6th because it looked right, and waited for the next train. I started taking some pictures while I waited, and a subway guy came out and told me that people aren't allowed to video or photograph any part of the subway because of terrorist stuff. So that was kind of annoying because a lot of us were doing parts or all of our projects on the subway. So finally, the train came and I got on and everything seemed right. The stops were the same, etc. But when it was time to get off on 125th street, it was a totally wrong stop. It turns out I had gotten on the 2 instead of the 1 and ended up on 125th street, but instead of being on the corner of broadway, I was on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Street. So I was all pissed off from the street art tour, and my feet hurt from walking around a bunch all day, and it was hot and I couldn't believe I was on the wrong train and didn't notice. So I left the stop and just started walking in the direction that seemed the most correct at the time. And I walked for a really long time. Eventually, it turned out I was right and I saw the other subway stop on the bridge, which was really exciting for me. So I got some ice cream, and walked all the way to International House and went to sleep.

When I woke up, my roommates were back from Conflux and were about to go to this party at Monkeytown. So I decided to just get up and go with them. It was really fun actually. The second movie/piece they showed was a bunch of really awesome colors and sounds projected onto the screens. There was also another cool one that was sort of like that, where it was more of a visual thing than an actual movie. But the last one was really fun. The announcer person came up and said her thing about how this next performance is by blah blah (I don't remember their names. I have it somewhere if you really want to know) and it's the last performance of the night. Thanks. So it was time for it to come on, and there were just these digital numbers on the screen that said 10:00:00. And that was it. And we were all sort of waiting around for something to happen, and this one guy started clapping. So everyone was just kind of like, what the hell is that guy doing? and as he was clapping the numbers started moving. And it was a clock that was ticking downwards to 0. But the more noise there was, the faster it counted down. So at first, it was going pretty slow because it was just the one guy. Then some other people joined in, and pretty soon everyone was screaming and clapping and freaking out trying to get this clock down to 0. There was even a really cool moment where everyone kind of quieted down and the clock slowed down, and then we all started screaming again and it started moving fast. So that was a lot of fun. We got home alright, Rachel said something about someone not being the sharpest egg in the basket, and now I'm going to finish this up and go to sleep. Again.

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